With the 2010s officially in the books, we've decided it was time to take a look back at the comics that left the biggest impact on readers and the comic industry between 2010 and 2019. We're not saying these are the books that defined the decade or the best comics of the decade (although they are all great reads). Instead we decided to to shine a spotlight on the comics that will be remembered for the risks they took and the paradigms they changed in the 2010s.
Whether it was through sales or critical acclaim, these comics shaped where the industry is today and where it will be decades from now as they go on to influence cinematic universes, streaming series, video games, and more in the coming years. However, even as those adaptations take over the worldwide cultural zeitgeist, these books are proof that the comic book industry can still provide a place for creators to take risks and innovate within a visual storytelling medium. The creative spark lives on in the world of comics and this past decade is proof that it's not slowing down.
Thor: God of Thunder (2013)
Written by Jason Aaron
Art by Esad Ribić, Ron Garney, Jackson Butch Guice
Following the release of The Avengers in 2012, public interest in Marvel comics and the characters that appeared in the film was white hot. Fans new and old were clamoring for back-to-basics ongoing series that starred the characters they saw team up for the first time on the big screen and Marvel delivered with their Marvel NOW! initiative that kicked off in 2013.
Writer Jason Aaron and artist Esad Ribić captured lighting in a bottle their grounded take on the God of Thunder, winning over fans and critics alike with tight storytelling and striking artwork with each issue. The series ended at issue 25 and continued as Thor when the creative team made the daring decision to introduce Jane Foster as the Goddess of Thunder. In an interview with Vulture, Jason Aaron said the idea to change Thor's identity "grew out of the idea of the previous Thor becoming unworthy," and "opened the door for someone else to pick up the hammer and carry it around in his place." This decision reignited interest in the Thor comics and continues to influence the the title to this day.
The legacy of the Jason Aaron's Thor will live on in the next phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as it's been announced that Natalie Portman's Jane Foster will pick up Mjölnir in the fourth Thor film, Thor: Love and Thunder, which is currently scheduled for release November 21, 2021.
What to Read:
(W) Jason Aaron (A) Butch Guice, More (A/CA) Esad Ribic
A trail of blood consumes Thor's past, present and future! Throughout the ages, gods are vanishing - and Thor must unravel the gruesome mystery of Gorr the God Butcher! In the distant past, Thor discovers a cave that echoes with the cries of tortured gods. In the present, Thor follows the bloody wake of murdered gods across the depths of space. And millennia from now, the last god-king of Asgard makes his final stand. All three time-bending Thors must unite - but will it all be for naught if the massive Godbomb is triggered? Elsewhere, Malekith the Accursed makes his return! As the former lord of the Dark Elves begins a bloody rampage, Thor must find a new league of allies to aid him! And back on Midgard, what's going on with Dr. Jane Foster? Collecting THOR: GOD OF THUNDER #1-18.
In Shops: Apr 24, 2019
MARVEL PREVIEWS Page #143
Written by Scott Snyder
Art by Greg Capullo
When DC rebooted their continuity in 2011 with The New 52, fans were eager to see how Batman would make the transition post Flashpoint. Turns out writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo knew exactly what to do to revitalize one of DC's most popular characters. They introduced a new threat to Gotham, a secret society that has been pulling the strings known as "The Court of Owls." This first arc in Batman's New 52 continuity was an engrossing page turning mystery that helped shape Batman's lore for years to come.
It all eventually led to one of the most gruesome and terrifying Batman storylines with "Death of the Family," and inspired the DC animated feature in Batman vs. Robin. There are rumors that the next Batman video game will feature The Court of Owls, but this has yet to be confirmed. It's fair to say the influence of "The Court of Owls" will continue to follow Batman for years to come.
What to Read:
(W) Scott Snyder, James TynionIV (A) Jonathan Glapion, Rafael Albuquerque (A/CA) Greg Capullo
The DC Essential Edition series of graphic novels highlights the best standalone stories the medium has to offer, featuring comics' greatest characters. Hidden for years, the mysterious Court of Owls surfaces in Gotham City-what must Batman do to defeat them, and what deadly connection do they have to his past? Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo's masterpiece epic is collected in its entirety in trade paperback for the first time ever! Collects issues #1-11 of BATMAN as well as bonus material including sketches, scripts, design concepts and variant covers.
In Shops: Sep 05, 2018
DC PREVIEWS Page #75
Written by Brian K. Vaughan
Art by Fiona Staples
The 2000s saw epic ongoing comics for mature readers like The Walking Dead, Fables, and Y the Last Man rise to prominence as the readership aged and creatives in the industry wanted to push the medium forward. That trend continued and flourished into the 2010s with one of the most critically acclaimed comics of all time, Saga.
Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples' sci-fi epic weaves a tale only a comic can. A story of love and war that starts small and escalates with each issue. The gripping story of Alana and Marko trying to escape the horrors of war as they raise their child turns into a sprawling space opera as it pushes the boundaries of what one would expect from a comic. Saga's influence on dialog, social representation, narrative design, and character development will be felt in the industry many years after it comes to a conclusion.
What to Read:
(W) Brian K. Vaughan (A/CA) Fiona Staples
THE ULTIMATE BINGE-READ! Collecting the first nine volumes of the critically acclaimed, New York Times bestselling series into one massive paperback, this compendium tells the entire story (so far!) of a girl named Hazel and her star-crossed parents. Features 1,300 pages of gorgeously graphic full-color artwork, including a new cover from Eisner Award-winning SAGA co-creator FIONA STAPLES. Collects SAGA #1-54.
In Shops: Aug 21, 2019
PREVIEWS Page #66
Black Hammer (2016)
Written by Jeff Lemire
Art by Dean Ormston
Jeff Lemire and Dean Ormston's Black Hammer aimed to comment on the concept of superheroes with an original story that follows six superheroes trapped in a sort of twilight purgatory that takes the form of a town known as Rockwood. After many attempts to bring this comic to life it eventually found a home at Dark Horse in 2016 and went on to be a major critical and commercial success. Audiences responded well to the series' unique world and it's bleak take on the concept of superheroes in the comic medium.
The series made enough of a splash in the industry that DC's Justice League crossed over with the Black Hammer universe in the Black Hammer/Justice League: Hammer of Justice five issue miniseries. The world of Black Hammer will move beyond comics in the future. Legendary Entertainment acquired the rights to the series to create a shared universe between television and film properties. It's reported that Jeff Lemire will retain a fair amount of creative control in the development of these projects.
What to Read:
DARK HORSE COMICS
(W) Jeff Lemire (A/CA) Dean Ormston
Once they were heroes. Now, banished from existence by a multiversal crisis, the old champions of Spiral City lead simple lives in a timeless farming town. But as they attempt to free themselves from this strange purgatory, a mysterious stranger works to bring them back into action for one last adventure!
Collects issues #1-6 of the series.
In Shops: Mar 29, 2017
PREVIEWS Page #51
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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2011)
Written by Kevin Eastman, Tom Waltz, and Bobby Curnow
Art by Kevin Eastman, Dan Duncan, Andy Kuhn, Ben Bates, Mateus Santolouco, Sophie Campbell, Cory Smith, Ken Garing, Michael Dialynas, Dave Wachter, Damian Couceiro, Chris Johnson, and Brahm Revel
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a timeless brand that has managed to reboot and revitalize itself many times in the 36 years it has been around. The series started as a gritty black and white comic series that was initially a parody of some of the trends in comics at the time and eventually grew into a massively popular media brand that spans from movie to toys. The heart of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will always be Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird's comic series, and after going on hiatus in 1995, the series eventually found a home at IDW Publishing.
This currently ongoing series went on to become its own unique take on the turtles that fans have supported since it started in August of 2011. Turtles co-creator, Kevin Eastman, returned to write the series with Tom Waltz and recently hit a major milestone with their 100th issue in December of 2019. The success of the TMNT brand along with gripping storylines will remain a execellent example of how modern comics can revitalize a legacy series while still taking risks with such a major media property.
What to Read:
(W) Kevin Eastman, Tom Waltz (A/CA) Dan Duncan
Collecting the first 12 issues, this volume is the perfect way to catch up on the new ongoing series. Raphael wanders the streets of NYC in search of food, shelter, and answers. His brothers and Master Splinter vow to find him but a mutant alley cat named Old Hob and his gang of criminals keep getting in their way. The very core of the Turtles' family is at stake as a new origin of the TMNT is revealed! Collects Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1-12 of the current ongoing series published by IDW.
In Shops: Apr 20, 2016
PREVIEWS Page #165
One Punch Man (2012)
Written by ONE
Art by Yusuke Murata
Even though One Punch Man started as a web comic in 2009, it wasn't until 2012 that the hero Saitama was reimagined by legendary manga artist Yusuke Murata for an official manga adaptation. Known for its quirky sense of humor and smart writing, One Punch Man follows a hero living in a monster-ridden city who can defeat anything with just one punch. The series is widely recognized as a wonderful starting point for novice manga readers and continues to release new volumes to this day.
In 2015, One Punch Man was adapted into an anime by the animation studio Madhouse, and won over audiences with its crisp animation and tight comedic timing. Forever cementing Saitama's bald head as one of the most iconic characters found in manga.
What to Read:
VIZ MEDIA LLC
(W) One (A/CA) One
Nothing about Saitama passes the eyeball test when it comes to superheroes, from his lifeless expression to his bald head to his unimpressive physique. However, this average-looking guy has a not-so-average problem -- he just can't seem to find an opponent strong enough to take on! Every time a promising villain appears, he beats the snot out of 'em with one punch! Can Saitama finally find an opponent who can go toe-to-toe with him and give his life some meaning? Or is he doomed to a life of superpowered boredom? For teen audiences.
In Shops: Aug 19, 2015
Honorable Mentions -
Still looking for more great titles from the last ten years? Here are a few choice titles from the last decade we think you should check out!
(W) Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis (A) Brooklyn Allen (CA) Noelle Stevenson
What's to Love: Lumberjanes is the hit series from the BOOM! Box imprint that features five rad ladies who fight monster baddies with the power of friendship! Written by Noelle Stevenson (Nimona, Adventure Time) and newcomer Grace Ellis, and illustrated by Brooke Allen (A Home for Mr. Easter), this new series has taken comics by storm and has earned rave reviews.
What It Is: At Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet's Camp for Hardcore Lady Types, things are not what they seem. Three-eyed foxes. Secret caves. Anagrams! Luckily, Jo, April, Mal, Molly, and Ripley are five rad, butt-kicking best pals determined to have an awesome summer together...and they're not gonna let a magical quest or an array of supernatural critters get in their way! The mystery keeps getting bigger, and it all begins here. Collects issues #1-4.
In Shops: Apr 01, 2015
PREVIEWS Page #313
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(W) Warren Ellis (A) Jason Masters (A/CA) Dom Reardon
After a mission of vengeance in Helsinki, James Bond returns to London and assumes the workload of a fallen 00 Section agent. His new mission takes him to Berlin, presumably to break up an agile drug-trafficking operation. But Bond has no idea of the forces gathered in secret against him, the full scope of an operation that's much scarier and more lethal than he could possibly imagine. Berlin is about to catch fire... and James Bond is trapped inside. Dynamite Entertainment proudly presents VARGR, the debut storyline in the all new James Bond comic book series, as crafted by masterful writer Warren Ellis (Transmetropolitan, The Authority) and artist Jason Masters (Batman Incorporated, Guardians of the Galaxy).
James Bond is trapped in Los Angeles with a MI6 agent under fire and a foreign intelligence service trying to put them both in bags... and possibly more than one foreign intelligence service. And things may not be any safer in Britain, with bodies dropping and ghosts moving in the political mist...
Contains James Bond #1-#12 (2015), Warren Ellis' VARGR and EIDOLON story lines.
In Shops: Jun 10, 2020
PREVIEWS Page #178
VALIANT ENTERTAINMENT LLC
(W) Duane Swierczynski, Matt Kindt (A) Manuel Garcia, Barry Kitson, Arturo Lozzi, ChrisCross, Matthew Clark, Matt Ryan, Stefano Gaudiano, Mark Pennington, Clayton Crain (CA) David Aja
Before Vin Diesel's BLOODSHOT hits the silver screen in 2020, experience the hit series that debuted Valiant's nanite-enhanced commando with this essential standalone volume!
From acclaimed writer Duane Swierczynski (Birds of Prey) and all-star artists Manuel Garcia (Black Widow), Barry Kitson (The Amazing Spider-Man), Arturo Lozzi (Immortal Weapons), and Matthew Clark (The Adventures of Superman), the BLOODSHOT DEFINITIVE EDITION trade paperback collection re-presents the blockbuster first year of the breakout Valiant series behind the upcoming major motion picture from Sony!
Collecting BLOODSHOT #0-13.
In Shops: Feb 19, 2020
PREVIEWS Page #367
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ARCHIE COMIC PUBLICATIONS
(W) Roberto Aguirre Sacasa (A) Jack Morelli (A/CA) Francesco Francavilla
When Jughead's beloved pet Hot Dog is killed in a hit and run, Jughead turns to the only person he knows who can help bring back his canine companion - Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Using dark, forbidden magic, Sabrina is successful and Hot Dog returns to the land of the living. But he's not the same - and soon, the darkness he brings back with him from beyond the grave begins to spread, forcing Archie and the gang to try to escape Riverdale! Collects issues #1-5.
In Shops: Jun 04, 2014
PREVIEWS Page #272
(W) Noelle Stevenson (A/CA) Noelle Stevenson
Nemeses! Dragons! Science! Symbolism! All these and more await in this brilliantly subversive, sharply irreverent epic from Noelle Stevenson. Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren't the heroes everyone thinks they are. Featuring an exclusive epilogue not seen in the web comic, along with bonus conceptual sketches and revised pages throughout, this gorgeous full-color graphic novel has been hailed by critics and fans alike.
In Shops: Feb 12, 2020
PREVIEWS Page #306
(W) Rafer Roberts (A) Mike Norton
When the forces of good and evil are hunting you down, the only logical thing to do is disguise yourself as a dog and go on the run! Eddie is a low-rent hustler who got magically turned into a pug during a con gone wrong. Tala is the part-demon daughter of Eddie's ex-partner. When Tala finds herself the target of powerful interdimensional forces, she goes to Eddie for help-setting off a chain reaction of chaos and destruction that could threaten the very fabric of existence. Can Eddie and Tala put aside their differences long enough to survive the magical mayhem and madness that they started, or will they kill each other first? Collects issues #1-5.
In Shops: Jul 17, 2019
PREVIEWS Page #269
(W) Kieron Gillen (A/CA) Jamie McKelvie
very ninety years, twelve gods incarnate as humans. They are loved. They are hated. In two years, they are dead. The team behind critical tongue-attractors like Young Avengers and PHONOGRAM reunite to create a world where gods are the ultimate pop stars and pop stars are the ultimate gods. But remember: just because you're immortal, doesn't mean you're going to live forever. Collects THE WICKED + THE DIVINE #1-5.
In Shops: Nov 12, 2014
PREVIEWS Page #223
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(W) Raina Telgemeier (A/CA) Raina Telgemeier
Raina just wants to be a normal sixth grader. But one night after Girl Scouts she trips and falls, severely injuring her two front teeth, and what follows is a long and frustrating journey with on-again, off-again braces, surgery, embarrassing headgear, and even a retainer with fake teeth attached. This coming-of-age true story is sure to resonate with anyone who has ever been in middle school.
In Shops: Feb 03, 2010
PREVIEWS Page #236
(W) Rick Remender (A/CA) Wesley Craig, Lee Loughridge
It's 1987. Marcus Lopez hates school. His grades suck. The jocks are hassling his friends. He can't focus in class. But the jocks are the children of Joseph Stalin's top assassin, the teachers are members of an ancient league of assassins, the class he's failing is "Dismemberment 101," and his crush has a double-digit body count. Welcome to the most brutal high school on earth, where the world's top crime families send the next generation of assassins to be trained. Murder is an art. Killing is a craft. At Kings Dominion School for the Deadly Arts, the dagger in your back isn't always metaphorical. Collecting the first arc (DEADLY CLASS #1-6) of the most critically acclaimed new series of 2014, by writer RICK REMENDER (BLACK SCIENCE, Fear Agent) and rising star artist WESLEY CRAIG (Batman). Experience the 1980s underground through the eyes of the world's most damaged and dangerous teenagers.
In Shops: Feb 12, 2020
PREVIEWS Page #70
(W) John Allison (A/CA) Lissa Treiman
What's to Love: John Allison's daily webcomics Bad Machinery and Scary Go Round are hilarious, the kind of strips where every panel makes you laugh out loud. As a result, John has earned a large, loyal following of readers that have followed his work daily for the past 12 years. Giant Days is an entertaining, slice-of-life look at three friends away at university, and is a series fans of things like Scott Pilgrim will not want to miss!
What It Is: Susan, Esther, and Daisy started at university three weeks ago and became fast friends. Now, away from home for the first time, all three want to reinvent themselves. But in the face of handwringing boys, "personal experimentation," influenza, mystery mold, nuchauvinism, and the willful, unwanted intrusion of "academia," they may be lucky just to make it to spring alive. Collects issues #1-4.
In Shops: Nov 18, 2015
PREVIEWS Page #304
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(W) Karmome Shirahama (A/CA) Karmome Shirahama
A beautifully-illustrated story about a girl who longs for magic in her life and learns that, on the inside, she already is what she wishes she could be. In a world where everyone takes wonders like magic spells and dragons for granted, Coco is a girl with a simple dream: She wants to be a witch. But everybody knows magicians are born, not made, and Coco was not born with the gift for magic. She's resigned to her un-magical life, until a traveling magician passes through her village, and Coco learns what what everybody "knows" might not be the truth.
In Shops: Apr 10, 2019
PREVIEWS Page #434
VIZ MEDIA LLC
(W) Inio Asano (A/CA) Inio Asano
Meet Punpun Punyama. He's an average kid in an average town.
He wants to win a Nobel Prize and save the world.
He wants to go far away with his true love.
He wants to find some porn.
But Punpun's life is about to unravel...
For mature audiences.
In Shops: Mar 16, 2016
PREVIEWS Page #443
VIZ MEDIA LLC
(W) Kouhei Horikoshi (A/CA) Kouhei Horikoshi
Middle school student Izuku Midoriya wants to be a hero more than anything, but he hasn't got an ounce of power in him. With no chance of ever getting into the prestigious U.A. High School for budding heroes, his life is looking more and more like a dead end. Then an encounter with All Might, the greatest hero of them all, gives him a chance to change his destiny...
For teen audiences.
In Shops: Aug 05, 2015
PREVIEWS Page #405