Best of 2018: Top 5 Comic Book Single Issues

2018 was another great year for comics, and we’re counting down our Top 5 Single Issues of the Year.

First off, we’d like to thank all of the publishers that participated this year and contributed nominations. Click the following links to see all of the nominees from: Image Comics, Dark Horse Comics, BOOM! Studios, AfterShock Comics, Valiant Comics, and Oni Press.

Nominations were collected from publishers, retailers, and the Monkeys Fighting Robots team. Each MFR team member then voted on their Top 5 choices; the votes were weighted and counted to provide the results below. Now on with the awards!


Honorable Mentions:

#5 – Superman #39 (DC Comics)

superman dc comics

By Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason (writers), Barry Kitson (art), Scott Hanna (inks), Gabriel Eltaeb (colors), and Rob Leigh (letters).

Way back in January, we called this issue “the first feel-good comic of the year,” and it stuck with us all through 2018. Just look at that cover. Doesn’t that just scream to you, “this is a beautiful, heartfelt Superman comic that’s probably going to make you cry.” It’s a single issue story where the Man of Steel takes a children’s cancer ward on a trip. Sometimes the best superhero stories are the small ones that focus on the humanity of our favorite larger-than-life heroes, and this is the perfect example of that.

Read our full review here.

#4 – Doctor Star and the Kingdom of Lost Tomorrows #4 (Dark Horse Comics)

doctor star dark horse comics

By Jeff Lemire (writer), Max Fiumara (art), Dave Stewart (colors), & Nate Piekos (letters).

Damn. Speaking of comics that make you cry, Doctor Star broke things in us that are still trying to heal. Set in the world of Lemire’s Black Hammer, Doctor Star is a story about superheroes, but more so about family, fatherhood, responsibility, and love. And just like the main Black Hammer series, Lemire uses this book to pay homage to classic superhero comics, this time honoring James Robinson’s Starman. The finale in issue four brought everything home perfectly, thanks largely to Max Fiumara and Dave Stewart’s art evoking the perfect somber tone.

#3 – Gideon Falls #1 (Image Comics)

gideon falls image comics

By Jeff Lemire (writer), Andrea Sorrentino (art), Dave Stewart (colors), and Steve Wands (letters).

Gideon Falls is a lot of things. It’s a horror story, a mystery, and a drama, all rolled into one. Most of all, it’s original; it feels like nothing else on the stands. Lemire has proven himself great at telling deep, intriguing personal stories, but with Sorrentino, Stewart, and Wands, the four are also able to shake you to your core. Seriously, horror comics are a dime a dozen, and while there are a lot of great ones, not many genuinely terrify you. But Gideon Falls will, by telling you two intertwining stories of a small town priest searching for purpose and a young man who’s searching for something else in his city’s trash.

Read our full review here.

#2 – Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #310 (Marvel Comics)

chip zdarsky spectacular spider-man 310 marvel comics best of the year

By Chip Zdarsky

Zdarsky’s farewell to Spectacular Spider-Man, which he both wrote and drew, spoke to the core of Spidey. Zdarsky frames the story within a documentary, having various New Yorkers discuss their feelings about the webhead. It was funny, it was sweet, and it was tragic. In the end, it’s going to remind you of everything that you love about the character, especially his heart. Spectacular #310 was not only a beautiful and touching comic, but it’s also going to go down as one of the best single issue Spider-Man stories ever made.

Read our full review here.

#1 – Fearscape #1 (Vault Comics)

fearscape vault comics best of the year

By Ryan O’Sullivan (writer), Andrea Mutti (art), Vladimir Popov (colorist), and Deron Bennett (letters).

Though only three issues in, Fearscape is reminiscent of some of the greatest comics of all time, such as The Sandman. It’s a story about storytellers, with an unreliable narrator at the helm. This first issue sets the tone for the series from page one, which is a critique of the nine-panel grid told via a nine-panel grid. We’re introduced to Henry Henry, a plagiarist who considers himself God’s gift to publishing, and our guide into this world. The series takes aim at comics, writers, critics, and just about everyone and everything in the world of storytelling, but it’s still easily accessible to readers who have never picked up a pen in their lives. There’s a great story beneath the commentary, and we can’t wait to see where it goes.

Read our full review here.

What do you think of our selections? What were your Top 5 Comic Book Single Issues of 2018? Sound off in the comments!

Anthony Composto - EIC
Anthony Composto - EIC
Editor-in-Chief for Monkeys Fighting Robots. A lifelong fan of Spider-Man and the Mets, Anthony loves an underdog story. He earned his B.A. in English because of his love for words, and his MBA because of his need for cash. He considers comics to be The Great American Art Form, and loves horror movies, indie dramas, action/thrillers, and everything in between.