Best periodical comics of 2022

by MATTHEW PRICE

From the Dec. 30, 2022, editions of The Oklahoman

Behind the scenes, periodical comics had some ups and downs in 2022 as paper shortage and supply chain issues impacted what was released. Fallout from distribution shakeups continued, and some smaller publishers faced cashflow issues or even ceased operations. 

However, a small publisher in Oklahoma was a bright spot nationally, and bigger publishers provided quality entertainment as well. Here are my picks for the top 10 periodical comic books of 2021.

Batman/Superman: World’s Finest

Writer Mark Waid and artist Dan Mora craft this Superman-Batman team-up series that feels both modern and like a throwback to classic hero team-ups of years gone past. At turns thrilling and poignant, it remembers that comics, and especially superhero comics, have a great capacity to be fun.  

Do A Powerbomb

Daniel Warren Johnson’s tale is at the forefront of a handful of wrestling comics that made waves in 2022. In “Powerbomb,” Lona Steelrose seeks to escape the shadow of her mother as she enters the pro-wrestling ranks. The stakes are raised when she’s invited into a necromancer’s interdimensional tournament. 

We Promised Utopia

Oklahoma City publisher Literati Press is behind the sci-fi epic set in three eras, illustrated by John Eric Osborn, Jonathan Koelsh and Chloe Elimam and written by Charles J. Martin, writer of “Glamorella’s Daughter”; Adrian Morales, an energy engineer; and Robert Holman, a geophysicist. This is just one of the top-notch periodical titles Literati publishes; including “Glamorella’s Daughter,” 

Nightwing

Writer Tom Taylor and artist Bruno Redondo continue to revitalize the former Robin, now grown up and on his own away from Batman. Dick Grayson makes a huge donation to improve his city, making him more of a target in his civilian guise than as Nightwing. He gets by with a little help from his friends, including the new Superman and the Titans. The kinetic art makes this a fresh, inviting series. 

The Nice House on the Lake

A group of friends has been invited to a lake vacation as the world ends. The mysterious Walter, the player that holds the group together, has a dark secret that he can’t share – but which the visitors are desperate to uncover. The Nice House on the Lake is written by James Tynion IV, illustrated by Álvaro Martínez Bueno, colored by Jordie Bellaire, and lettered by AndWorld Design.

Immortal X-Men 

As mutants forge their own society on the island of Krakoa, it’s the Quiet Council who makes the rules, and ultimately decides who is eligible for the resurrection protocols, and what actions the mutants will take in worldwide actions. Writer Kieron Gillen and artist Lucas Werneck tackle political intrigue in the shape of an X-Men comic with “Immortal X-Men.” 

Human Target 

Tom King and Greg Smallwood mix Hollywood noir tropes with DC superheroes in essentially an alternate-universe murder mystery where the Human Target must solve his own assassination.

Smallwood pushes comic-book style artwork forward panel by panel, filling each moment with layers of meaning and reference. 

Good Asian

This noir-ish mystery wrapped up in 2022. Set during the Chinese immigration ban of the 1920s, Edison Hark is a Chinese-American police detective in San Francisco’s Chinatown investigating gang killings that may be tied to the death of his mother many years ago. Writer Pornsak Pichetshote joins artist Alexandre Tefenkgi for the series.

Aliengaged 

Colin Ingersol and Greg White’s “Aliengaged” follows three friends during an alien invasion. But Garrett’s not going to let a little thing like an alien invasion stop his planned proposal to his girlfriend. This is another solid sci-fi, this one with a dash of comedy, from Oklahoma’s Literati Press.  

Action Comics 

Superman leads a revolution on Warworld; his fight against Mongul’s tyranny shows how Superman is a hero even when taken away from his usual setting on Metropolis and his traditional supporting cast. Phillip Kennedy Johnson writes; artists include Daniel Sampere, Miguel Mendonca, and Riccardo Federici.

Matthew Price, matthew@matthewLprice.com, has written about the comics industry for more than two decades. He is the co-owner of Speeding Bullet Comics in Norman.

“World’s Finest” from DC Comics was among the year’s best. [DC Comics]

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