Top 100 Series

Top 100 Series

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

January 1, 2021

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 Creators
Mark Waid
Chris Samnee
Javier Rodriguez

Analysis
Kevin Smith. Joe Quesada. Brian Michael Bendis. Alex Maleev. Ed Brubaker. Michael Lark. These are just some of the all-star creators working on the Daredevil title prior to its relaunch in 2011. How did it go for Mark Waid’s run? It lands in the 100, with every volume earning an above-average ALFRED score. While a number of artists made lasting contributions to the character, Samnee and Rodriguez’s remarkable work served as a modern baseline against which new iterations of the character are compared.

Official Description
Having turned his world upside over the past several years, Matt Murdock realizes that justice may not be blind to his past and villains may not be the only ones looking for answers. If Matt Murdock could see what he was up against he’d be terrified.

Superhero – Crime
2011

Key Creators
Sean Murphy
Matt Hollingsworth

Analysis
The best-selling and critically-adored series that launched the Murphy-verse brings in literally every era of Batman from every medium (hello 1989 Batmobile) in this political thriller that looks at the actual social consequences of The Dark Knight’s actions.

Official Description
He’s been called a maniac, a killer and the “Clown Prince of Crime” but “white knight”? Never. Until now… Set in a world where the Joker is cured of his insanity and homicidal tendencies, The Joker, now known as “Jack,” sets about trying to right his wrongs. First he plans to reconcile with Harley Quinn, and then he’ll try to save the city from the one person who he thinks is truly Gotham City’s greatest villain: Batman!

Superhero – Adventure
2017

#80 Suicide Squad 2019 – 82%

#79 Powers of X 2019 – 83%

#78 The Weatherman 2018 – 83%

#77 Barbalien: Red Planet 2020 – 83% – NEW!

#76 Head Lopper 2015 – 83%

#75 Eugenic 2017 – 83%

#74 The Dreaming: Waking Hours 2020 – 83% – TRENDING UP!

Key Creators
Scott Snyder
Rafael Albuquerque
Dave McCaig

Analysis
Snyder and Albuquerque return to the world of American Vampire in this Black Label series. In its short run, it has made a strong impression with critics and patient fans.

Official Description
America is broken. Trust between the government and the American public has crumbled. Paranoia reigns supreme. It’s 1976, and this is the concluding chapter of the Eisner Award-winning American Vampire! Skinner Sweet has exhausted all efforts to regain his lost immortality. With his powers and purpose gone, he is now determined to go out with a bang. At a seedy motorcycle rally in the desert where he’s closer than ever to his death wish, Pearl Jones and a shocking partner tracks him down for one last, desperate mission: The force known as the Gray Trader and its minions are tunneling through the bowels of the world to unleash hell on Earth-just in time for America’s bicentennial. With catastrophe looming, it’s up to Skinner and Pearl to reconcile and change the course of history-or die trying.

Horror
2020

Key Creators
James Tynion IV
Martin Simmonds
Aditya Bidikar

Analysis
Tynion continues his non-superhero success with strong debut issues of The Department of Truth, a series that both feels fresh and familiar. Simmons and Bidikar bring a unique, memorable style.

Official Description 
Cole Turner has studied conspiracy theories all his life, but he isn’t prepared for what happens when he discovers that all of them are true, from the JFK assassination to flat Earth theory and reptilian shapeshifters. One organization has been covering them up for generations. What is the deep, dark secret behind the Department of Truth?

Crime
2020

Key Creators
Jason Aaron
Esad Ribic
Ive Svorcina

Analysis
While ALFRED is built to reward consistency over time, this four-issue series made such an impression that it landed in the Top 100. Concluding Aaron’s contributions to Thor, Ribic and Svorcina reflect the grandeur of the character, especially in the wild and nostalgic finale.

Official Description
All-Father of a broken realm and a dying universe, as he stood in battle against the Butcher of Gods, wielder of All-Black the Necrosword. Now that nefarious blade has returned, in the hands of Thor’s all-time greatest enemy – his brother, Loki – for one final, cataclysmic showdown. Behold the book no comics fan should miss – the celebration of the end of a truly Marvelous era.

Superhero – Fantasy
2019

#55 Sunstone 2014 – 84%

#54 Black Widow 2016 – 84%

#53 A Voice in the Dark 2013 – 84%

#52 Harleen 2019 – 85%

#51 Coffin Bound 2019 – 85%

Key Creators
G. Willow Wilson
Adrian Alphona
Ian Herring

Analysis
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.

Official Description
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?

Superhero – Adventure
2014

Key Creators
Mariko Tamaki
Joëlle Jones
Kelly Fitzpatrick

Analysis
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.

Official Description
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!

Superhero – Adventure
2017

#39 The Wake 2013 – 86%

#38 Excellence 2019 – 86%

#37 Gideon Falls 2018 – 86%

#36 Daredevil 2019 – 87% – TRENDING UP!


#35 Joker: Killer Smile 2019 – 87%


#34 Black Hammer 2016 – 87%


#33 Prodigy 2018 – 87%


#32 The Batman Who Laughs 2018 – 87%


#31 Eternity Girl 2018 – 87%


#30 Sandman Overture 2013 – 88%


#29 The Wicked + The Divine 2014 – 88%


#28 The Sheriff of Babylon 2015 – 88%


#27 Bitch Planet 2014 – 88%


#26 The Fade Out 2014 – 88%

Key Creators
Scott Snyder
Greg Capullo
Danny Miki

Analysis
DC values long-run series, so the decision to re-launch its entire line, including Batman, in 2011 was controversial. Snyder and Capullo’s Batman remains as the highlight of that era. Challenging Bruce’s knowledge of the Gotham is both believable and consistently shocking. What’s evident from the start is the introduction of new characters, plus new interpretations of old characters, as well as an appreciation for the history of DC’s most popular hero. It’s difficult to overstate how popular this series became the moment it launched, and it continues to thrive in collections. Death of the Family and Endgame boast the strongest ALFRED scores, and solidified this depiction of the Joker as a memorable version. The main creative team’s finale in issue #51 is incredibly moving and a testament to Bruce’s vow.

Official Description
A series of brutal killings hints at an ancient conspiracy, and Batman learns that Gotham City is deadlier than he knew.

Superhero – Crime
2011

Key Creators
Matt Fraction
David Aja
Matt Hollingsworth

Analysis
The single issue Pizza Is My Business stands out as a unique way to present a comic book, utilizing signs and symbols throughout. Hawkeye represents Fraction’s highest entry via ALFRED, and Aja’s award-winning cover art make an instant impression.

Official Description
Self-made hero Hawkeye fights for justice! He’s out to prove himself as one of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes!

Superhero – Crime
2012

Key Creators
Brian K. Vaughan
Fiona Staples

Analysis
This space epic has won awards, sold well, and earned rave reviews for more than a half decade. But let’s take a moment to reflect on the impact of this stellar series while it is on hiatus. Out of 54 issues, the reception for the series has reflected a staggering 32 ★★★★★ issues, most of any series in the ALFRED database. The first two volumes are in the Top 10 of our Graphic Novel rankings of about 1700 ranked by ALFRED, and all nine volumes rate at a score of 73% or higher. Some issues are so devastating that, if not read at the right time in your day, you’ll be shaken for your next activity. Vaughan and Staples are masters of their craft. Marko, Alana, Hazel, Prince Robot, and more become fixtures of your world when you invest in this series, and you’ll miss them between publications – quite possibly the highest praise a series can earn.

Official Description
Star Wars-style action collides with Game of Thrones-esque drama in this original sci-fi/fantasy epic for mature readers, as new parents Marko and Alana risk everything to raise their child amidst a never-ending galactic war.

Fantasy
2012

Key Creators
Jonathan Hickman
Pepe Larraz
Marte Gracia

Analysis
In recent years, Marvel has produced safe, entertaining stories. However, Marvel gave Hickman full reign of its X line with the twin titles Powers of X and House of X, effectively rebooting the convoluted franchise. The result? House of X stands as a modern masterclass – and THE standalone series of 2019. Larraz and Gracia brought to life dozens of characters, with graphic design by Tom Muller changing what’s possible within a big name comic series. The second issue, focused on Moira McTaggert, forever changed the Marvel Universe – and it can be picked up by anyone with even a basic knowledge of X-Men. There is an awe in observing what mutants can construct when Professor X and Magneto (joined by Apocalypse and…nearly everyone else) work together. As a result of this reset, several quality titles have emerged in its wake, including X-Men 2019 and X-Force 2019. Maybe more importantly, it serves as what might be Hickman’s high-water mark as a creator.

Official Description
Charles Xavier reveals his master plan for mutantkind…one that will bring mutants out of the shadow of mankind and into the light once more.

Superhero – Adventure
2019

Key Creators
David Walker
Chuck Brown
Sanford Greene

Analysis
In its initial arc, Bitter Root wasted no time simultaneously addressing racism and monster hunting. The series put forth ★★★★★ installments with each publication. Walker, Brown, and Greene, have a knowledge of history combined with an imagination that brings this fantastical into the practical in this powerful series that captures the zeitgeist.

Official Description
In the 1920s, the Harlem Renaissance is in full swing, and only the Sangerye Family can save New York—and the world—from the supernatural forces threatening to destroy humanity. But the once-great family of monster hunters has been torn apart by tragedies and conflicting moral codes. The Sangerye Family must heal the wounds of the past and move beyond their differences… or sit back and watch a force of unimaginable evil ravage the human race.

Adventure
2018

Key Creators
Scott Snyder
Jeff Lemire

Analysis
Snyder and Lemire collaborate on this three-issue prestige series set in a future where death has been cured. It’s Lemire’s highest-ranking entry of four in the 100, and Snyder’s best showing of his seven series – most of any creator. The story makes use of Lemire’s eccentric art style, and Snyder’s penchant for nostalgia are pushed to their limits in this compelling journey showing that we’re all capable of change through the most difficult of times.

Official Description
Years after the discovery, one man starts to question everything, leading him on a mind-bending journey that will bring him face-to-face with his past and his own mortality.

Adventure
2016

Key Creators
Gene Luen Yang
Gurihiru

Analysis
DC and Marvel usually do not utilize backmatter as a way to supplement the context of their comics – but the final pages of each issue of Superman Smashes the Klan are educational and intimate. Harkening back to the emergence of the superhero genre yet all-too-relevant to modern times, this short series is approachable for readers of any age. Gurihiru’s art style is clean and dynamic, and serves as an approachable first comic book for new readers.

Official Description
The year is 1946, and the Lee family has moved from Metropolis’ Chinatown to the center of the bustling city. While Dr. Lee is greeted warmly in his new position at the Metropolis Health Department, his two kids, Roberta and Tommy, are more excited about being closer to their famous hero, Superman!

Superhero – Adventure
2019

Key Creators
Simon Spurrier
Aaron Campbell
Matias Bergara

Analysis
After a short period with no ongoing series, John Constantine returned with Spurrier’s 2019 Black Label incarnation. Haunting images throughout provide the backdrop for this gritty series, which lands in the Top 10 for the first time as it nears it finale.

Official Description
John Constantine is back in London, back to his old tricks-and just in time, as things have become very dark indeed in his old stomping grounds. A small-time gang lord has found himself dealing with a big-time outbreak of supernatural weirdness…and without any allies to call on and nothing left to call his own, John doesn’t have much choice about taking a paycheck from one of London’s worst, or accepting the help of one of the gang lord’s would-be foot soldiers. But what should be an open-and-shut exorcism turns out to be nothing but…and the author of this madness may just be getting started on their terrible masterpiece!

Superhero – Crime
2019

Key Creators
Tom King
Gabriel Hernandez Walta
Jordie Bellaire

Analysis
Behold – Tom King indeed finishes with three series in the Top 30 thanks to the unparalleled VISION. Drawing on many of the same themes as Mister Miracle, the series largely serves as a metaphor for being an outcast as King uses the Marvel Universe’s most famous synthezoid to reflect on suburban life. Neighbors, school bullies, supervillains, and an obsession with Shakespeare present obstacles for members of the family. Their dog Sparky, the Avengers, and nursing rhymes present solutions. King writes like a creator eager to prove himself while remaining grounded in real-life experiences. Walta and Bellaire’s images are so arresting that readers are compelled to stop and experience every panel. Ultimately, the message of our capacity for perseverance is universal, and Vision earned much-deserving universal praise.

Official Description
The Vision wants to be human, and what’s more human than family? He goes to the laboratory where he was created, where Ultron molded him into a weapon, where he first rebelled against his given destiny, where he first imagined that he could be more, that he could be good, that he could be a man, a normal, ordinary man. And he builds them. A wife, Virginia. Two teenage twins, Viv and Vin. They look like him. They have his powers. They share his grandest ambition or perhaps obsession: the unrelenting need to be ordinary. Behold The Visions! They’re the family next door, and they have the power to kill us all. What could possibly go wrong?

Superhero – Adventure
2015

Key Creators
Tom King
Mitch Gerads

Analysis
King and Gerads may be the most talented creative team of the current comic creator crop. Mister Miracle came into our lives nestled between two of their other collaborations:The Sheriff of Babylon and Strange Adventures. Themes of parenthood, marriage, mental health, and power were heightened as a result of utilizing nine-panel grids throughout. Gerads utilized warping effects and a kaleidoscope of colors for fantastical sequences, and familiar/muted colors when depicting home life. Scott Free and Big Barda’s dilemma in issue #11 is the best of comic writing. When characters are faced with choices that confront their past, comics reflect real life no matter the setting. We’d all like to think we’d change when challenged, but fear leads to stagnation – stagnation of emotions…of vulnerability…of purpose…of values. Maybe becoming self-actualization requires surrender to elements out of our control. Taking a character nowhere near the A-list, and making fans and critics hang on everymoment of his life, is a feat that is a credit to the two talented creators.

Official Description
Scott Free is the greatest escape artist that ever lived. So great that he escaped Granny Goodness’ gruesome orphanage and the dangers of Apokolips to travel across galaxies and set up a new life on Earth with his wife, the former female fury known as Big Barda. Using the stage alter ego of Mister Miracle, he has made a career for himself showing off his acrobatic escape techniques. He even caught the attention of the Justice League, which counted him among its ranks. You might say Scott Free has everything…so why isn’t it enough? Mister Miracle has mastered every illusion, achieved every stunt, pulled off every trick-except one. He has never escaped death. Is it even possible? Our hero is going to have to kill himself if he wants to find out.

Superhero – Adventure
2017

Key Creators
Kieron Gillen
Stephanie Hans
Clayton Cowles

Analysis
While Die did not decline in its ALFRED score, it was surpassed this month! What is Die? While it was billed as “Goth Jumanji,” it’s so much more. Think a cross between Stephen King and the best role-playing game. Except it breaks everything you know about these genres while presenting some of the most compelling characters in comic history. Hans’ art is disturbing and beautiful all at once. Its first two volumes are currently in the Top 15 of our Graphic Novel rankings.

Official Description
DIE is a pitch-black fantasy where a group of forty-something adults have to deal with the returning unearthly horror they barely survived as teenage role-players. If Kieron’s in a rush, he describes it as “Goth Jumanji.” That only captures a sliver of what you’ll find in oversized debut issue—where fantasy gets all too real.

Fantasy
2018

Key Creators
Al Ewing
Joe Bennett
Ruy Jose

Analysis – Hulk ends 2020 at #1!
Immortal Hulk earned ★★★★★ status in all seven of its volumes, and its late-2020 issues put it over the top. Ewing and Bennet, alongside Jose, fully committed to the horror of actually living life as the Hulk. Despite a long history, this take on Bruce and his alter ego is long on expressiveness and introspection and filled with action, as evidenced by its pinnacle, issue #24 The Steel Throne. It also has the highest percentage of ★★★★★ issues of any series of its length. For over two years, every issue has delivered a quality read. Even the covers depicted by the iconic Alex Ross are spectacular. Take the opportunity to catch up on this all-timer.

Official Description
HORROR HAS A NAME. You’d never notice the man. He doesn’t like to be noticed. He’s quiet. Calm. Never complains. If someone were to walk up and shoot him in the head… all he’d do is die. Until night falls. And someone else gets up again. The man’s name is Banner. The horror is THE IMMORTAL HULK.

Superhero – Horror
2018