So, VICE said they couldn't find 10 comics to put on their list for 2017. I get that 2017 has been a bit of a crap PR year for comics, especially the Big Two, but that is extremely reductive and disingenuous. There are plenty of talented creators who have done some phenomenal work this year in the myopic Big Two space, the alternative publishers, and the thriving indie scene.
So I'm going to meet and exceed VICE's challenge. Not only am I going to find 10 good comics, I'm going to find 20. Five each for Marvel, DC, the alternative publishers, and the indies.
Here's the criteria: They can only be comics I've reviewed for Bleeding Cool. That's why there won't be any of Jim Zub and Jon Malin's Thunderbolts on the list. That concluded before I joined up with the site.
Secondly, I'm only choosing one issue for each series, so there won't be any list dominated by a single title. As such, I'm choosing what I felt was the best issue for each book.
Thirdly, while going back and looking through the scores may be a good way to predict what will appear on this list, don't hold me to them. Feelings change over time, and some books that got an 8.5 may go higher than a 9.0 on the list.
And with that, let's talk about #5: Animosity #11 by Marguerite Bennett and Rafael de la Torre.
I haven't read as much of Animosity this year as I would've liked. Bennett and de la Torre have put together a brilliant comic with a seemingly simple and silly premise. What if animals could suddenly talk? What if they know exactly how they had been treated? What if they rebelled?
From there comes an apocalypse. Why wouldn't it? Suddenly our farming and meat industries have been turned on its head. The amount of sentient animals on this planet grows exponentially.
If it were just that, it wouldn't be as brilliant as it is. What pushes it further is how endearing all of the characters are. Jesse, Beth, Sandor, et all are great, layered, and complex characters.
Animosity #11 in particular shines due to the content of its story. It tells a rough tell wherein Jesse has to stand against her old cat, Mittens, whom is part of a farm that is still exploiting bees. Unfortunately, the bees are still necessary to mantain the farming and food infrastructure of the United States. It asks the question of which structures must be overturned for the good of society as it is. It answers that question too, but I won't spoil that.
Rafael de la Torre and Rob Schwager do a great job with the art too, and all of this together justifies Animosity #11's place on this list.