Top 100 – 50 to 26

Top 100 Series

ALFRED scores 0% to 100%, average of 50%

October 5, 2020

Our comic scoring system ALFRED aggregates critic reviews and scores them 0% to 100%. Here’s your monthly update!

What’s Included
– Series with a minimum of two issues and qualify for ALFRED

KEY CREATOR
Stjepan Šejić

2014, Adventure

Definitely the most NSFW entry on the 100 due to its sexual content, there is more than just sensational images in this intimate look at relationships not portrayed in mainstream comics.

Two women deal with modern themes of sex, relationships, and fetishism in this erotic romantic comedy. So beware all who enter, because, to quote a few hundred thousand readers on DeviantArt: “I’m not into BDSM…but this story…I get it.”

KEY CREATORS
Larime Taylor

2013, Crime

The concluding issue of A Voice in the Dark is a testament to how to mount suspenseful and tense plotting and deliver resolution while leaving you wanting to spend more time in its comic work. Taylor has a singular perspective.

It’s been 72 days since Zoey killed someone. With her recent move to college, Zoey is eager to start a fresh chapter of her life – one where she can control her dark urges the way she has before. But when she becomes the host of a late-night campus radio show, Zoey must consider if she has given a voice to something far more troubled than her anonymous callers.

KEY CREATORS
Mark Waid
Chris Samnee
Matthew Wilson

2016, Superhero – Adventure

Waid, Samnee, and Wilson moved from Daredevil to their highest-ALFRED book: Black Widow. The character’s depiction in the 2014 series was outstanding, but the title was taken to new heights in this 12-issue follow-up. She’s solidified as a main character in the film universe, but this series truly cemented Natasha as a central comic character as well. The creators convey emotion through action, especially in its jaw-dropping finale. If you’re looking for more Black Widow prior to the film release, pick up this series.

Natasha has spent years gathering secrets, and when some of the darkest ones begin mysteriously going public, no one is safe. With her betrayed former confederates at S.H.I.E.L.D. on her heels and a lifetime of training and ingenuity at her disposal, Natasha’s out for answers in a knock-down-drag-out tale of action and espionage! Hidden enemies, old friends and unusual allies collide, and all eyes are on Black Widow. The chase is on!

KEY CREATOR
Stjepan Šejić

2019, Superhero – Crime

Writer-artist Stjepan Šejić followed up his run on Aquaman with this detailed, gorgeous, and frightening Black Label series. It provided a look into the Harley-Joker dynamic, with an emphasis on Dr. Quinzel’s psychiatric background and skills. Black Label’s freedom to deploy fresh origins in prestige formats may lead to more entries on the 100.

Dr. Harleen Quinzel has discovered a revolutionary cure for the madness of Gotham City-she just needs to prove it actually works. But with the criminal justice and mental health establishments united against her, the brilliant young psychologist must take drastic measures to save Gotham from itself. Witness Harleen’s first steps on a doomed quest that will give birth to the legendary super-villain Harley Quinn in this stunning reimagining of Harley and The Joker’s twisted and tragic love affair.

♦♦♦ TRENDING UP ♦♦♦
#46 Killadelphia

KEY CREATORS
Rodney Barnes
Jason Shawn Alexander
Luis NCT

2019, Horror

It’s difficult to have a unique take on the vampire genre in 2020 – until you see founding fathers in undead form, terrorizing modern protagonists. However, this is ultimately a story about legacy – both within family and within nation, and is as grim as any series in the 100.

When a small-town beat cop comes home to bury his murdered father—the revered Philadelphia detective James Sangster Sr.—he begins to unravel a mystery that leads him down a path of horrors that will shake his beliefs to their core. The city that was once the symbol of liberty and freedom has fallen prey to corruption, poverty, unemployment, brutality… and vampires. Welcome to KILLADELPHIA.

KEY CREATORS
G. Willow Wilson
Adrian Alphona
Ian Herring

2014, Superhero – Adventure

The groundbreaking creation of Wilson and editor Sana Amanat, Kamala Khan simultaneously burst into best-seller lists and critical best-of lists. Sharing much of what made the original iteration of Spider-Man special, while also highlighting and affirming Kamala’s family, culture, and geekiness, helped this series quickly earned ★★★★★ a rating. The final issues of the Last Days arc are engrossing and unforgettable, and will lead you to dive straight into the follow-up series of near-identical quality. The character is so relatable that the first arc might even rank as our top recommendation as a gateway comic to new, younger readers.

MS. MARVEL, the ground breaking heroine that has become an international sensation! Kamala Khan is just an ordinary girl from Jersey City–until she is suddenly empowered with extraordinary gifts. But who truly is the all-new Ms. Marvel?

♦♦♦ TRENDING UP ♦♦♦
#44 Something is Killing the Children

KEY CREATORS
James Tynion IV
Werther Dell’Edera
Miquel Muerto

2019, Horror

Another consecutive Tynion series! The author’s most recent project outside of DC made an instant impression with its mysterious plot and haunting images. Could it lead to a live action adaptation?

When the children of Archer’s Peak begin to go missing, everything seems hopeless. Most children never return, but the ones that do have terrible stories—impossible stories of terrifying creatures that live in the shadows. Their only hope of finding and eliminating the threat is the arrival of a mysterious stranger, one who believes the children and claims to see what they can see. Her name is Erica Slaughter. She kills monsters. That is all she does, and she bears the cost because it MUST be done.

KEY CREATORS
Chip Zdarsky
Marco Checchetto
Jorge Fornés

2019, Superhero – Crime

The Devil of Hell’s Kitchen makes his top of four appearances on the 100, indicating that the character might be one of the strongest in the Marvel Universe. Following Mark Waid and then Charles Soule’s years with Daredevil, Zdarsky and frequent collaborators Checchetto and Gho find ways to challenge Matt Murdock. The Must-Read volume Know Fear is one of the best of 2019, and a Top 100 graphic novels in our database.

Bruce Wayne wakes up in Arkham Asylum. Young. Sane. And…he was never Batman. So begins this 
The next chapter in the ever-surprising saga of Daredevil! After a brush with death, Matt Murdock must piece together his shattered life — and that includes returning to action as Daredevil! But years of trauma have taken their toll, and becoming the guardian of Hell’s Kitchen he once was won’t be easy. Mistakes will be made along the way — and this time, one might actually prove to be the end of him. Because when a criminal dies, and Daredevil takes the blame, Matt must go on the run in a desperate bid to clear his name! But even he can’t outrun judgment forever. And with DD’s absence from Hell’s Kitchen, the real devils can come out to play.

KEY CREATORS
Brian Michael Bendis
David Mack
Klaus Janson

2012, Superhero – Crime

The highest-ranking of four Daredevil titles in the 100, fans of Bendis as well as casual comic readers will be gripped by this morose mystery featuring a number of Murdock-adjacent characters. Revelations abound in this eight-issue series.

Revealed at last… how it ends for the Man without Fear! In the near future, investigative reporter Ben Urich has one last story to write — what was Matt Murdock’s final secret?

KEY CREATORS
Dan Watters
Dani
Brad Simpson

2019, Crime

A pulse-pounding start and a stunning conclusion bookend this short series that was one of Image Comics’ finest in recent years. Now back for a second arc!

Cars! Guns! Entropy! Chased by an unstoppable killer, Izzy Tyburn has decided that if the world won’t have her in it, it can have nothing of her at all. She’s re-treading her life, leaving nothing but burned rubber, ash, and the sun-scorched bones of those who get in her way.

KEY CREATORS
Jody LeHeup
Nathan Fox
Moreno DiNisio

2019, Adventure

Both Weatherman 2018 and Weatherman 2019 contain zero below-average issues, but this second arc serves as one of the strongest sci-fi series in recent years.

Nathan Bright has no memory of his alleged role in the terrorist attack that killed 18 billion people, but that isn’t stopping him from trying to atone for the actions of his past self. Hunted by literally everyone in the galaxy, Nathan’s quest for redemption takes him to the scene of the crime—where he discovers that Earth’s not lifeless at all… it’s monstrous!

KEY CREATORS
Mariko Tamaki
Joëlle Jones
Kelly Fitzpatrick

2017, Superhero – Adventure

Tamaki, Jones, and Fitzpatrick’s coming-of-age take on Kara set the stage for DC’s original graphic novel approach for teenage tales later in the decade. It’s easy to imagine Being Super as assigned reading in classrooms around the world.

A coming-of-age tale like you’ve never seen before. But while growing pains shake up Kara’s world, a deadly earthquake rocks the small town of Midvale beneath her feet! The Girl of Steel has a choice: let her world die, or overcome her adolescent insecurities and be super!

KEY CREATORS
Eric Shanower
Skottie Young

2008, Adventure

Crafting an adaption of a classic puts a burden on the creators to deliver a unique experience. Shanower and Young transport you to Oz with this joyful tale for all ages.

When Kansas farm girl Dorothy flies away to the magical Land of Oz, she fatally flattens a Wicked Witch and is hailed by the Munchkin people as a great sorceress. But all she really wants to know is: how does she get home?

KEY CREATORS
Daniel Warren Johnson
Michael Spicer

2017, Adventure

Johnson, whose Murder Falcon was a near-miss from the list, writes and draws this Image maxiseries, imbuing it with tragedy, brutality, and hope. His current project tackling Wonder Woman for DC’s Black Label has a similar feel and new themes.

Thea dreams. Not of a better life, but of revenge on the clan that ruined her family. With ferocious battles between man, machines, and monsters ahead…who knows where her quest for vengeance will take her?

KEY CREATORS
Scott Snyder
Sean Murphy

2013, Horror

This horrifying ten-issue deep-sea tale from Snyder and Murphy (whose two White Knight series also made the 100) is a great presentation of what makes a Must-Read. Emotional, frightening, and also beautifully-colored, this series will leave you locked in place, reading issue after issue, trying to catch your breath.

When the Department of Homeland Security approaches Marine Biologist Lee Archer for help with a new threat, she finds herself plunged into the depths of the Arctic Circle to a secret, underwater oilrig where they discovered something miraculous and terrifying.

KEY CREATORS
Brandon Thomas
Khary Randolph
Emilio Lopez

2019, Adventure

While the creative team has done work for big publishers. their 2019 series showcases their talent in this tale of generational conflict and connection.

Spencer Dales was born into a world of magic. His father belongs to the Aegis, a secret society of black magicians ordered by their unseen masters to better the lives of others—those with greater potential—but never themselves. Now it’s time for Spencer to follow in his father’s footsteps, but all he sees is a broken system in need of someone with the wand and the will to change it. But in this fight for a better future, who will stand beside him?

KEY CREATORS
Jeff Lemire
Andrea Sorrentino
Dave Stewart

2018, Horror

Lemire and Sorrentino’s previous collaboration on Green Arrow yielded one of the strongest runs on the character in the database, and they’re also doing profound work in Joker: Killer Smile. However, Image’s Gideon Falls is a world filled with characters wholly of their own making. Psychology, religion, and blood make up this gripping supernatural science fiction tale.

The lives of a reclusive young man obsessed with a conspiracy in the city’s trash, and a washed-up Catholic priest arriving in a small town full of dark secrets, become intertwined around the mysterious legend of The Black Barn, an otherworldly building that is alleged to have appeared in both the city and the small town, throughout history, bringing death and madness in its wake. Rural mystery and urban horror collide in this character-driven meditation on obsession, mental illness, and faith.

KEY CREATORS
Jeff Lemire
Andrea Sorrentino
Jordie Bellaire

2019, Superhero – Crime

With so many Joker comics available, how can one stand out? Killer Smile focuses on the effect the villain can have on even the most earnest and well-meaning professionals in Joker’s orbit. Having taken on Green Arrow and Joker, the success of this series paved the way for the upcoming Batman prestige series from this creative team.

Everyone knows The Joker doesn’t have the most promising history with psychotherapists. In fact, no one’s even been able to diagnose him. But that doesn’t matter to the confident, world-beating Dr. Ben Arnell; he’s going to be the one to unravel this unknowable mind. There’s no way The Joker could ever get through the therapeutic walls Ben has built around himself. Right? There’s no way The Joker’s been entering his house at night…right? There’s no way The Joker has stood over his son’s bed, and put that book in his hands, the one with the, the, the…

KEY CREATORS
Mark Millar
Rafael Albuquerque

2018, Adventure

Sporting one of Millar’s most daring protagonists, this clever Mission Impossible analogue is dense with action and full of memorable set pieces. Albuquerque’s horror background shifts to a more clear and accessible action-oriented style in this Image series.

Edison Crane’s not content being the world’s smartest man and most successful businessman—his brilliant mind needs to be constantly challenged. He’s a Nobel Prize-winning scientist, genius composer, Olympic athlete, an expert in the occult, and now international governments are calling on him to fix problems they just can’t handle.

KEY CREATORS
Scott Snyder
Jock
David Baron

2019, Superhero – Horror

Following Metal, any number of iterations of the titular characters could have emerged and sold well. It’s telling that the Snyder, Jock, and Baron cared for the story and fans in a way that rewarded interest in this bombastic villain. Bruce was put to an unthinkable test, confronting his own transformation and past. Jock does equally impressive work with big, bold action sequences reminiscent of big budget blockbusters, while also imparting his trademark minimalist horror to other scenes.

Left rattled by the events of DARK NIGHTS: METAL, Bruce Wayne must come face to face with the nightmares spawned from the Dark Multiverse. But even though evil devoured evil in the collapse of Challengers Mountain, the Dark Knight still has his doubts. He discovers that the Batman Who Laughs not only survived the fight with The Joker at the end of METAL, but now he is enacting a sinister plan across the Multiverse—something both terrifying and oddly familiar. But when Bruce Wayne realizes the only way to stop this madman is to kill him, he must consider violating the very rule Batman won’t break…the same rule that created this insatiable villain—the Batman Who Laughs!

KEY CREATORS
Magdalene Visaggio
Sonny Liew
Chris Chuckry

2018, Superhero – Adventure

DC’s Young Animal imprint delivered consistently strong series, and Eternity Girl was released after the initial wave of releases under that banner. Both incredibly intimate and surreal, this limited run series is the first in the 100 from Young Animal, and the first from 2018, which is the strongest year on record in the ALFRED database.

Caroline Sharp has been a lot of things, including both a superhero and a super-spy. But now, with those days behind her and her powers proving unreliable, Caroline finds herself stuck in a life weighed down by her depression and an inability to change. You see, Caroline is going to live forever, and there is no escape to be had. The very act of living reminds her that, to the rest of existence, she is an anomaly. All of that could change, however, when her old foe, Madame Atom, comes to her with an intriguing offer. Madame Atom can give Caroline the power to end her life; she just has to destroy the rest of the world.

KEY CREATORS
Kieron Gillen
Jamie McKelvie
Matthew Wilson

2014, Fantasy

WicDiv is a story that rewards you sticking with it, where after consistent ★★★★ and ★★★★★ volumes, the finale “Okay” landed in the Graphic Novel Top 10. If you’re committed, The Wicked + The Divine makes for one of the best long-term reads of the decade. It marks the third time the Gillen/McKelvie/Wilson team appears on the 100. Reaching near perfection in the series’ concluding issues, it pays off your investment in this tale of teens-as-gods. The richness of the character design and colors alone are worth your time, let alone spellbinding world-building.

Every ninety years, twelve gods incarnate as humans. They are loved. They are hated. In two years, they are dead. The team behind critically thermonuclear floor-fillers Young Avengers and PHONOGRAM reunite to start a new ongoing superhero fantasy with a beautiful oversized issue. Welcome to THE WICKED + THE DIVINE, where gods are the ultimate pop stars. But remember: just because you’re immortal, doesn’t mean you’re going to live forever.

KEY CREATORS
Neil Gaiman
J.H. Williams
Dave Stewart

2013, Fantasy

Before committing to a full relaunch of the Sandman Universe in 2018, Gaiman returned to Sandman in 2013 after decades away with this classic short series. Not all intellectual property benefits from returning for more, but this tale for Dream was a hit for both critics and fans thanks to Williams’ layouts and Stewart’s vibrants colors.

Discover the events leading up to Morpheus’ capture at the beginning of the SANDMAN series with this prequel limited series.

KEY CREATORS
Tom King
Mitch Gerads

2015, Crime

You’ll find yourself riveted by this real-world depiction of the fog of war, conveyed by writer/former real-life former C.I.A. agent King and best-in-the-industry artist Gerads, who excels with military-influenced art. Issues #5 and #12 are so intense that you’ll have a physical reaction to several pages. It is by no means a light read, and its portrayal of the danger of good intentions may even shift your worldview. 

Baghdad, 2003. Florida Police officer-turned-military contractor, Chris Henry is tasked with training a new Iraqi police force. When one of his trainees ends up dead, Chris is forced to team up with Nassir, the last remaining cop in Baghdad. Pulling the strings to bring them together is the mysterious Sofia, an American-educated Iraqi who has returned to take control of the city’s criminal underworld. This miniseries is a thrilling wartime crime drama told amid one of the most tumultuous times in modern history.

KEY CREATORS
Kelly Sue DeConnick
Valentine De Landro
Kelly Fitzpatrick

2014, Fantasy

Unflinching about its core values and message, the team of DeConnick, De Landro, and Cowles serve up a series that looks like no other book, and will make you feel the intensity of its characters and their stories. Per ALFRED, The President Bitch volume is one of the 25 best in the database.

In the 1920s, the Harlem Renaissance is in full 
A highly-anticipated women-in-prison sci-fi exploitation riff. Think Margaret Atwood meets Inglourious Basterds.