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Preeeesenting the Top Five Comics of the new year! Top Five according to what criteria you may ask? Sales? Nope. Democratic process? Hell no! Blindfolded monkey? Interesting! Maybe in the future.  But for now these are simply the books that tickled our fancy the most in the past 31 days. And while our reading list is impressive, it is by no means exhaustive. in other words, these are the Purely Subjective Favorites of the Books We Happened to Read. But Top 5 sounds better!

In reverse order, ’cause countdowns are fun:

5. Bravest Warriors #4 (kaboom!) – Our heroes get humiliated, decapitated and degraded, as their lifeless skulls are used to put on a puppet show. And that’s just the first five pages! Joey Comeau and Mike Holmes continue to dole out the delightful depravity. And the back up feature by Ryan Pequin: oh, what have you done to our most beloved Founding Father? I’ve said it before and i’ll say it again: despite its trappings, this comic ain’t for kids. But it is most certainly for me. (DM)

4. Fury My War Gone By #8 (Marvel) – Garth Ennis has struck gold with this series–our No. 9 book of 2012; and with #8, he digs even deeper and strikes, well, golder with a violent chorus of well-tuned voices and a series of choices that burns hotter than napalm. (SC)

3. Rachel Rising #13 (Abstract Studio) – Terry Moore’s charnel epic heats up as revenge most heinous is set in motion, even as the narrative takes a time-out for a fairy tale. Suspense, dark humor and semi-dead vixens in beautiful black and white. This comic is so cool it burns. (DM)

2. Mind MGMT #7 (Dark Horse) – Who’s doing more between the covers than Matt Kindt?  He’s a one-man creation crew with clear vision and the enviable ability to convey it–and all its wondrous complexity–with scintillating precision.  And he knows he’s good, too: at the end of this issue, through Henry Lyme, who makes a promise to Meru, Kindt makes a solemn promise to his readers, me and you: “You’re going to get a hell of a good story.”  I’d expect nothing less!  That’s right, folks: our #3 book of 2012 is already staking its claim for the top spot of 2013. (SC)

1. Fatale #11 (Image) – No surprise that our No. 5 book of 2012 leapfrogs to the top spot this month. Ed Brubaker has been putting on a clinic of genre writing with this series, from 50’s noir to 70’s sleaze, and all with an undercurrent of Lovecraftian dread. This issue gives a nod to the pulp origins of our favorite medium, presenting a tale-within-a-tale involving occult shenanigans in the Old West. And what the hell? Frame it in Hitchcockian suspense for good measure. Sean Phillips has proven adept at keeping the tone deadly steady with his art, no matter what Brubaker throws at him. This one’s firing on all cylinders folks. Time to hop on board. (DM)

The Biggest Dis(appointment): Superior Spider-Man #2 (Marvel) – Give up the ghost, already.

So that’s our list folks! What’s yours?

Scott & Derek