CBR's Top 100 Comics of 2022: #25-11 – CBR – Comic Book Resources

CBR’s annual year-end comics countdown continues, with praise for She-Hulk, Action Comics, Daredevil and more!
We're back with our longtime annual CBR tradition. At the end of the year, we polled the many members of the CBR staff that make this site so great and asked them for their rankings of the top comics of the year. Every publisher putting out new comics material in English, regardless of genre or format, was fair game; each individual list was then factored in to determine the overall Top 100 that will be unveiled on CBR over the course of this week.
We started on Tuesday with #100-76, then Wednesday saw #75-51, Thursday saw #50-26, with the countdown continuing each day this week. Here's the schedule (all times Eastern): Saturday, 12/31:3 p.m.: Top 10; Sunday, 1/1:9 a.m.: Master list.
Written by: Si Spurrier
Art by: Matias Bergara and Matheus Lopes
Letters by: Jim Campbell
Publisher: Image
This stunning miniseries follows a young girl and her giant protector, on a wordless (well, there are occasionally an alien language used, but we don't understand it) journey through a strange fantasy world, and the journey continues even when the girl's giant protector is seemingly destroyed (she carries on with just the guantlet of her former protector strapped to her back). Bergara and Lopes are required to do almost all of the heavy lifting for the story, and they come through with flying colors, but Spurrier's story makes everything comprehensible even without words, which is no easy feat of his own.
Written by: James Tynion IV
Art by: Alvaro Martinez Bueno and Jordie Bellaire
Letters by: Andworld Design
Publisher: DC
2022 literally came to a close with the final week of the year having the conclusion to James Tynion, Alvaro Martinez Bueno and Jordie Bellaire's epic horror series, Nice House on the Lake, one of the best horror comic series we've had in quite some time. Walter has "saved" all of his favorite people by locking them all up in a nice house on the lake, and the series shows the other characters coming to a determination of what they will do next. It's oddly heartwarming at times, even while it is horrifying.
Written by: Ram V
Art by: Mike Perkins and Mike Spicer
Letters by: Aditya Bidikar
Publisher: DC
The Swamp Thing was intended as a 10-issue maxiseries in 2021, but it was SO well-received that DC brought it back for a six-issue "Season 2" that was released in 2022. The series initially starred a new Swamp Thing, Levi Kami, taking the place of Tefe Holland while she was offworld, but in the second season, Holland was brought into the action, as well, in this striking exploration of the world of the Green, with awesome art from Mike Perkins (who did especially strong work on the breathtaking covers of this volume).
Written by: Rainbow Rowell
Art by: Roge Antonio, Luca Maresca, Takeshi Miyazawa and Rico Renzi
Letters by: VC's Joe Caramagna
Publisher: Marvel
I cannot say that Jennifer Walters has had a WORSE case of this situation than similar long term Marvel characters of her stature, as this is a common thing for superheroes, but boy, She-Hulk has gone through some STUFF, huh? Each creative team seems to take a wildly disparate approach to the character, and much of this excellent new series written by Rainbow Rowell is trying to get Jennifer into a new status quo that addresses her past issues without being beholden to them. The former Avenger, Jack of Hearts, is brought back as a new love interest for Jen, but the main villains of the series so far are a couple that are obsessed with the notion that Jen is the "perfect Hulk," as she is the one gamma-irradiated being where the gamma mutation seemed to have worked "perfectly" for her. It's a fascinating concept, and this new series pairs well with the new She-Hulk: Attorney at Law TV series, by addressing some of the same ideas, but from very different perspectives (Rowell's ultimate use of the fourth wall breaking in a recent issue was HEARTBREAKING).
Written by: Mark Waid
Art by: Dan Mora, Travis Moore, Tamra Bonvillain
Letters by: Aditya Bidikar
Publisher: DC
Mark Waid is a master of telling stories that are both retro and modern and World's Finest is a perfect example of that. Additionally, the art teams have been phenomenal, bringing to life everything Waid needs them to. This has been a great year for Batman and Superman, and World's Finest displayed them being great together. – David Harth, CBR List Writer
RELATED: CBR's Top 100 Comics of 2022: #50-26
Written by: Chip Zdarsky
Art by: Marco Checchetto, Rafael De Latorre and Matthew Wilson
Letters by: VC's Clayton Cowles
Publisher: Marvel
After their initial acclaimed run on Daredevil wrapped up in the crossover event, Devil's Reign (more on that later), most creative teams would finish their run with that sort of event. However, Zdarsky and Checchetto surprisingly recommitted to their run on Daredevil with a brand-new volume of the series, now spotlighting BOTH Daredevils, Matt Murdock and Elektra (who had taken over for Matt in the previous volume). The two Daredevils find themselves taking over the Order of the Fist, which is bringing them into a headon collission course with the new head of the Hand, Frank Castle!
Written by: Phillip Kennedy Johnson
Art by: Riccardo Federici, Will Conrad, Fico Ossio, Mike Perkins and Lee Loughridge
Letters by: Dave Sharpe
Publisher: DC
A big, bold, bombastic blast from the past, courtesy of some classic sci-fi/fantasy-style art from a strong team on all fronts. A deep-dive into what makes Superman as a symbol work, told through a variety of perspectives amidst a fun genre-throwback. Exactly the kind of comic that reminds audiences why we still read these perpetually ridiculous, entertaining, and inspiring stories. – Brandon Zachary, CBR Senior Writer
Written by: Mark Russell
Art by: Mike Deodato and Lee Loughridge
Letters by: Steve Wands
Publisher: AWA
This one JUST snuck into 2022, with the final issue of this award-winning dark satire being released in January. However, that was enough for the rules, so it counts, and the finale was truly a standout piece. I was discussing with someone yesterday the famous "Judgment Day" story from EC Comics, which used a story about robots to criticize the absurdity of racial prejudice, and it is hard not to think of that classic story while seeing Russell do a lot of the same critiques, also using robots, but in more painfully hilarious approach (and, of course, using more specifically modern satirical targets).
Written by: Marjorie Liu
Art by: Sana Takeda
Letters by: Sana Takeda
Publisher: Abrams Books
Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda can basically do no wrong. Monstress is one of the prettiest books out there, and this new graphic novel is also gorgeous. – Thayer Parker, CBR List Writer
Written by: Tom King
Art by: Mitch Gerads
Letters by: Clayton Cowles
Publisher: DC
As noted in the previous installment of the countdown, DC is doing a series of one-shots spotlighting Batman's classic Rogues Gallery, all based on the same basic notion that was introduced in The Killing Joke, the idea that "one bad day" could break anyone. Here, King and Gerads reimagine the Riddler as someone who is brilliant, but is not necessarily a critical thinker, someone who is so obsessed with SEEMING intelligent that he will cheat to get the answer. When someone like that gets bored with his standard riddle trope with Batman, he turns to a terrifying approach to murder that leads to Batman perhaps having "one bad day" of his own. Mitch Gerads' art is incredible in this one-shot, as his color motifs, in particular, are just breathtaking.
RELATED: CBR's Top 100 Comics of 2022: #75-51
Written by: Kieron Gillen
Art by: Valerio Schiti and Marte Gracia
Letters by: VC's Clayton Cowles
Publisher: Marvel
Judgment Day shook the Marvel Universe, giving readers an event like no other this year. Kieron Gillen and Valerio Schiti hit amazing heights in this book. It shows that the Marvel event cycle can still make amazing stories. – David Harth, CBR List Writer
Written by: Stephanie Phillips
Art by: Flaviano and Rico Renzi
Letters by: Tom Napolitano
Publisher: BOOM!
Stephanie Philips hit the perfect mix of horror and adventure, and Flaviano's art is so clean, but Rico Renzi's colors steal the show. – Adam Crohn, CBR Features Writer
Written by: Pornsak Pichetshote
Art by: Alexandre Tefenkgi and Lee Loughridge
Letters by: Jeff Powell
Publisher: Image
For whatever reason, it feels like 2022 had an inordinate amount of great series coming to a conclusion. It's probably just a coincidence, but whatever the case, another one of the excellent series that begun in 2021 that drew to a close in 2022 was Pornsak Pichetshote's twisty crime story, The Good Asian, a clever murder mystery set in 1930s San Francisco, allowing for all of the great historical aspects of the past (specifically the intense racism of the past against Asian people) to intermix with the compelling main mystery. I 100% do not view comic books as, like, pitches for movies or anything of that sort. However, occasionally, you run up against comic book stories that are so perfectly suited for an adaptation into a hit film that you can't help but think of it in that terms, and The Good Asian would really make for an amazing movie (again, being a good comic book is MORE than enough of a reward in and of itself, being adapted is not some outright goal. Just noting that this story, in particular, seems well-suited for adaptation).
Written by: Chip Zdarsky
Art by: Jacob Phillips
Letters by: Jacob Phillips
Publisher: Image
While Newburn doesn't technically fit in with all the other ending series, in that it, you know, isn't over, it DID come to a dramatic end of its first volume in 2022, so it still sort of fits in with the other excellent ending series. These last few years have really seemed to almost be the "What CAN'T Chip Zdarsky write?" challenge as he is all over this countdown (including literally the next comic on the countdown) with wildly disparate comic book styles. It's a blast to see a writer trying out so many comic approaches, and genuinely excelling at them all! Granted, when you're working with a crime comic book artist as accomplished as Jacob Phillips, that can be a lot easier to do, but still, this is an excellently plotted and executed murder mystery with a compelling lead character who can easily sustain multiple volumes (the series has back-up stories throughout. I didn't credit the creators for them, as there were a couple of different ones. They were strong, as well).
Written by: Chip Zdarsky
Art by: Marco Checchetto and Marcio Menyz
Letters by: Clayton Cowles
Publisher: Marvel
As noted, the conclusion to Zdarsky and Checchetto's initial Daredevil run drew to a close a number of major storylines, specifically Wilson Fisk being the Mayor of New York City, and Matt Murdock's twin brother, Mike Murdock, become an actual real life character (after initially only existing as a ruse designed by Matt). As part of Daredevil getting his secret identity restored a few years earlier, Fisk lost the knowledge of who Daredevil was, but he has been haunted with the fact that he knows that he DID once know, so he is getting more and more obsessed with punishing Daredevil until he ultimately decides to ban all vigilante behavior in New York City, which, of course, brings him into conflict with all of the superheroes of the city. By the end of the story, Fisk and Daredevil's lives will never be the same.
CBR Senior Writer Brian Cronin has been writing professionally about comic books for over fifteen years now at CBR (primarily with his “Comics Should Be Good” series of columns, including Comic Book Legends Revealed). He has written two books about comics for Penguin-Random House – Was Superman a Spy? And Other Comic Book Legends Revealed and Why Does Batman Carry Shark Repellent? And Other Amazing Comic Book Trivia! and one book, 100 Things X-Men Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die, from Triumph Books. His writing has been featured at ESPN.com, the Los Angeles Times, About.com, the Huffington Post and Gizmodo. He features legends about entertainment and sports at his website, Legends Revealed and other pop culture features at Pop Culture References. Follow him on Twitter at @Brian_Cronin and feel free to e-mail him suggestions for stories about comic books that you’d like to see featured at brianc@cbr.com!


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