- January 4, 2023
Top Ten Comic Books of 2022
If you know me and what I read, you should not be surprised to learn that SomethingCentral’s top ten favorite comic books of 2022 are still DC and Marvel-dominated, X-Men-dominated specifically. While there wasn’t anything not from the Big-two last year, you may be surprised by this year’s best spots.
I expanded my horizons this year, not as much as I wanted to, but more than last year, so I call that a win.
Remember, this is just my opinion. If your favorite comic wasn’t on this list, that doesn’t mean I didn’t like it. To be honest… I probably didn’t read it. Also, there are only ten spots so… maybe it just didn’t make the top ten. I’m not going to rank everything I read, I don’t have time for that.
Also, minor spoilers for all the books involved. I don’t want to give everything away, so forgive me if I’m a little vague in my reasoning. I want you to read these books, I don’t want to totally spoil them.
As we begin, please hit that like button, subscribe, and maybe check the SomethingCentral website when you have the chance.
10. New Mutants
Vita Ayala and Rod Reis began their run on New Mutants at the beginning of last year and ended this year. What they’ve managed to do with the new generation and the old has been nothing less than tear-jerking, heartfelt, and mesmerizing.
The way their characters have real, terrifying, personal issues that are personified by the art and story, is unmatched. Whether it was the kids learning that something as simple as not taking advantage of their friend, or something as deeply traumatic as healing childhood trauma, there weren’t any misses.
This isn’t to say the creative team managed to heal everyone and tie everything together in a stable bow. It’s the opposite. The issues and the pain were always there and still are, but the characters had finally taken strong steps toward healing.
Whether it’s Gabby, Magik, or Madelyne Pryor, they’ve all made steps to heal, and not everyone reacted perfectly or helped as much as they could have, but it was real in a way comic books usually aren’t, especially superhero comics.
9. Legion of X
I struggled to figure out whether I loved New Mutants or Legion of X more this year. Honestly, you could probably switch #9 & #10 and I would still be happy. Legion of X does a lot of what I loved in New Mutants but in a similar way.
It’s also about healing, but rather than being about people healing themselves and their friends, it’s about healing and treating a community. I was so worried that Nightcrawler was just building the mutant police system, but over Si Spurrier’s run with an assortment of artists, it didn’t become that.
Legion of X is what it looks like if there is a system in place meant to help and rehabilitate people. They don’t go out of their way to accuse, prosecute, and punish, but to find the truth and understand. It’s a story of how things aren’t always what they seem, and how empathy and community are better solutions to problems than force and aggression ever were.
This series is much younger so it hasn’t dived deep into as much as New Mutants have, so there are a couple of conundrums that I want this series to still challenge, but I’m more than willing to wait. What I think ultimately made me want to rank Legion of X higher was that I’m honestly more in love with Nightcrawler than I am with most characters across all the X-books.
8. Immortal X-Men
Immortal X-Men isn’t about trauma or healing. It doesn’t fill me with hope or belief in a better world. It’s kind of the opposite in the best way. What if all of the smartest and most powerful mutants were running Krakoa, and what if most of them, honestly hated each other? Not like in the “you’re mortal enemy” way, but in the petty “I hate your skirt” kind of way.
Kieron Gillen’s writing is perfect for this. His scripting can switch between laugh-out-loud comedic and deviously serious on a hat. It helps that he’s been paired with nothing but fantastic artists who can capture these larger-than-life characters, as they act like politicians, and at times, like children.
This is one of the funniest X-books on the shelves, by far. It has the best overall cast, being that it has a collection of the best X-Men and X-Villains together in one place constantly at each other’s throats.
I know that the X-Men series is technically the mainline story, but this one feels like the most important series going, which only helps its case.
7. Dark Knights of Steel
Finally, we hit a DC book to break up the X-Men brigade. Tom Taylor is one of my favorite writers, and the world he’s created with art from Yasmine Putri never lets me go. It feels like there’s a proper twist around every corner, and I’m also hanging onto every page. Somehow they perfectly capture the energy of the characters they have, even though they are in a setting so different from the original DC Universe.
It’s medieval times, with knights, dragons, witches, and wardrobes, and yet, they still get Batman and Superman right. My favorite DC stories are where the creatives can use the entire DC universe and this is an example of why.
This series is admittedly, incredibly hard to talk about without heavy spoilers. Nearly anything I could say, from the ending of the first issue, is a shock. Without context, it may turn you off.
There are creative choices here that are risky, but because it is in its own contained universe, I focus more on what will happen next. If you’ve been on the fence, read the first issue, and you’ll know if it’s for you. Not many comic book series can say that.
6. Judgement Day
Judgement Day may just be the best Marvel event since Secret Wars. Rather than make superheroes fight, it brings them all together in a way never before. You’ve heard that line before, but I genuinely mean that. The heroes, people, and honestly, the readers of Marvel, are asked the question of whether or not we’re truly capable of being better.
The first few issues trick you by making you think this is going to be a brawl between the mutants and the Eternals. Just what we need is another war where someone else makes a vaguely racist attack on the mutants. This time, the racist attack on the mutants is used to reveal who the people of the Marvel universe are and if they deserve to be saved. More importantly, the question is asked if the heroes deserve to save themselves.
Beyond the existential questions the story skillfully asks and ponders, there are stakes to this story that hasn’t been there before. Sure, we know the heroes have to win, but the creative teams across the main story and tie-ins, make it believable that there is a story where the heroes don’t. This sets it apart from basically every other superhero comic on the shelf this year.
Judgement Day is an event we won’t soon forget and serves as a firm confirmation that the X-line is still in great hands.
5. X-Men Red
There’s something so fascinating about there being a whole other culture of mutants on Mars. Since the X-Men were first created in Marvel, the culture surrounding mutants has been one of finding acceptance and fighting for survival. With Arakko, that culture runs directly against a new mutant culture. A culture that thrives on battle and finality.
Things only matter to Arakko because there is an end to give life meaning. Things only matter to Krakoa because there is no end, so everyone finally has the chance to live. X-Men Red subtly shows how these mutant cultures collide and mix. Every X-Men series save for one touch on it, but X-Men Red does it best.
X-Men Red does it while also continuing the space opera started in S.W.O.R.D., and the decades-old storylines for characters like Storm, Magneto, and Sunspot.
X-Men Red is a story that will make you angry, make you cry, and make you bask in awe. It’s difficult to truly explain what this story does in words without spoilers. The best way to explain it is that Storm isn’t leading the Mars version of the X-Men in X-Men Red. Storm is leading a new brotherhood of mutants because brotherhood is what these mutant cultures need to truly become one.
Do you remember how I said every other X-book was dealing with the relationship between Krakoa and Arakko except for one? That was this one. While everyone else was being serious and telling tear-jerking serious stories, X-Terminators was busy being fun.
I don’t know how this comic got pitched or how it was approved, but I thank whatever god who made it happen. It’s been so long since a comic book was so unabashedly funny and proud of it. It’s not taking itself seriously and never tries to hit you over the head with how self-aware it is.
The cast of Jubilee, Boom-Boom, Dazzler, and Wolverine is perfect. I think it’s easy for comedic writers to make characters all start sounding the same when the jokes start rolling in, but Leah Williams makes sure that their different voices fuel the jokes instead.
And by jokes, I don’t mean one-liners, I mean how they respond to situations, how they look badass, how they get out of problems, and everything in between. There isn’t a panel in this series that isn’t about us having fun watching these four characters have an absolute disaster of a day.
It’s a crime that this is only supposed to be a mini-series. I want this to go on forever.
This series isn’t going to change anyone’s mind about the X-Men or comics. X-Terminators isn’t going to change the world.
Doesn’t change the fact that it’s the best superhero comic to come out in 2022.
3. Batman: Wayne Family Adventures
Last year I didn’t include this because it was a webcomic, but that was stupid, and I am rectifying my mistake. Season 1 ended after truly giving fans of the Bat-family what we have wanted for years. Season 2 is more of that same perfection. If anything, it’s even better because it expands its reach with more characters of the Bat-family.
There’s no ongoing plot or sick action scenes, just vigilantes acting like a family, having personalities, and acting like people in the funniest ways possible. It’s like what if the Bat-family could act like normal people who can also beat up bad guys?
Other comics struggle to juggle so many characters, but the episodic nature of this webcomic allows for everyone to get character development, and subtle subplots. No one is one-dimensional, no one is weak or sacrificed for the plot, and every character is respected. This is shocking considering how mainline comics can’t seem to do that.
If you just want to seriously enjoy yourself, you owe it to yourself to read Batman: Wayne Family Adventures. It’s literally free to read on Webcomics, you don’t even have to buy it from any store. Heck, even if you don’t like Batman, I could honestly still say you may love this comic.
Also, it being a webcomic doesn’t mean anything, all it means is that it’s online only instead of physical. It still has all the magic of a comic.
2. Do a Powerbomb!
No more superheroes, only wrastling.
Seriously, Do a Powerbomb! is a deceptively simple story. Lona Steelrose wants to be the best wrestler there is, just like her mother who died in the ring. After a lack of training and support, she’s offered the chance to wrestle in a tournament. The prize? Her mom comes back to life.
That sounds deceptively simple because in reality, there’s nothing simple about grief, mourning, and fighting for someone who will never come back. There isn’t a team in the tournament who isn’t fighting something just like Lona is, who isn’t struggling to accept and let go.
The way Daniel Warren Johnson tells this story as both the writer and artist is nothing less than tear-jerking. Based on his love for wrestling and the kind of story-telling that medium is truly capable of, Do a Powerbomb! is one of the best comics you could read this year.
Sometimes it’s not about saving the world, or your species. Sometimes it’s about coming to terms with grief… while also coming over the tightrope with a steel chair.
I’ve been waiting to read Saga for years. While everyone else has known how absolutely tear-jerking and amazing this series is, I’ve been sitting here with the compendium on my shelf, waiting for an excuse to finally read it. When it was announced that the comic was coming back, I still didn’t jump on it.
It wasn’t until I had two or three issues on the backburner that I finally started from the beginning.
And my god, if I could go back in time and beat the crap out of myself for waiting so long, I would. The first 50 issues are a story of a family’s formation, fighting tooth and nail to survive in a world that doesn’t want them to be together. As a biracial kid, it was living out my worst fears growing up, but seeing how the family of Alana, Marko, and Hazel fought to stay together made me laugh, cry, and feel everything in between.
Then I got to the last issue, right before the hiatus, and I felt like I could have died.
I would be emotionally distraught if that’s where I had been left for years on end.
A Short Wait for One of the Best Comic Books of 2022 (and All Time)
Luckily, I had three more issues to read. For me, it wasn’t seamless. It was as if time had passed and we had left for a while, but it lost nothing in terms of quality. The struggle to be a parent in a world as terrible as Saga’s can be grating at times, but it only makes the highs hit so hard. The highs are achieved only because of how hard these characters fought for them.
Where the rest of these comics are ones you can pick up in arcs, you have to pick up the first 50 issues. Normally, I would say that I get it if you don’t want it, that’s a lot.
Not this time, forget everything else. Get Do a Powerbomb!, grab the Saga compendium, and catch up. You’re missing out on one of the best stories ever written, which you can and should only get from a comic book.
If you needed a story to illustrate the best that comic books can be, read Saga.
Thanks for Reading My Best Comic Books of 2022
Thanks for sticking around so long. I’m not going to do the top ten best comic books movies and tv shows this year. Last year’s videos didn’t perform as well as I wanted them to, plus I don’t have as much time for them.
If you do want my opinions on comic book movies, and movies in general, you can always follow my Letterbox. My ranking is already on there anyway.
If you want to read more about my comic book opinions, check out the blog or watch them on the Youtube Channel.
If you want to support me and read something interesting check out my own original stories. I have tons of chapters up on my website that you may enjoy. Thank you for watching, please like and subscribe for more.