Horror comics don’t seem to quite get the love they deserve, even though they make up such a large part of the industry. In recent years, they’ve just seemed to be growing and growing. Yet they still don’t seem to quite get the exposure that they should, even when so many of them are based on large IP’s and huge franchises, especially in 2015.
That’s why I’m more than happy to spotlight what I consider to be the five best horror comics to come out within the past year. Some of them don’t get the credit they deserve. Most of the same titles pops up on these lists, which said titles usually deserve, but that also overlooks a lot of creator-driven and indie content. So with this list, I’m hoping to do my best to provide ample spotlight for both.
It can get tricky, though, because this year saw more great licensed horror comics at once than we’ve probably ever had at a single time. So many huge titles making the rounds, a lot of them very good. From Hellraiser to The Fly to the very specifically titled Evil Dead 2 comic series, there’s been so much and I’m so grateful for that. But these, ultimately, are the ones I considered to be the very best. These are Nat’s Top Five Horror Comics of 2015.
There was no better time to premiere a new Nightbreed comic—after over two decades—than last year. We talk a lot about how certain movies are rediscovered after a certain number of years, but we all got to watch Nightbreed be well and truly rediscovered when Scream Factory released the amazing director’s cut. The comic was also coming off of the successful runs of Hellraiser and Next Testament, both Barker properties. This comic is a great companion piece to new viewers of the feature as it spotlights the origins of many of the Nightbreed that people who saw the movie would no doubt be curious to know more about.
Both Buffy and Angel & Faith have been having interesting seasons, but Angel & Faith wins out simply because it’s more moody and horror-oriented. Buffy’s season has been relatively light, allowing the characters to be happy for pretty much the first time. But Angel and Faith are both characters who are never really going to get that, because they’re never going to not have a lot of blood on their conscience. Happily, though, this comic isn’t focused on dwelling on the past. The friendship of Angel and Faith is integral to the story, but it also has its own unique look and feel that distances it from Buffy and would truly make for a workable TV series.
Hoax Hunters gets so many points for its inventiveness and the uniqueness of its concept. It’s about the hosts of a reality TV show meant to debunk myths and urban legends, cryptozoological creatures, etc… But in actuality, they are covering their tracks. A lot of the monsters they go after are creatures that people legitimately claim to have seen/believe in, which sort of adds an interesting element to it. This comic was out of print for a few years, but it’s good to have it back in a limited run from Heavy Metal.
Negative Space is a very imaginative and intriguing comic and was one of the first titles that popped into my head when trying to think up my favorites of the year. It’s a combination of science fiction and body horror, but with a sense of humor as well. It’s essentially about Thing-like aliens that feed off negative energy and about the suicidal person who might be the only one that can stop it, even if it’s made pretty clear that he’s not going to have any second thoughts or change his mind.
This one may still raise eyebrows, but it’s earned it. I have absolutely zero problem calling Puppet Master the best horror comic of the year. If you read it separate from the movies, it’s just a great and imaginative little horror comic. If you’re a fan of the franchise, it makes the most out of a concept that the movies never truly explored in great detail. It has excellent character moments, but never once forgets to bring the horror and some imaginative death scenes to boot. This is one that should definitely be getting more exposure, but I think readers are beginning to gravitate toward it more and more. I can’t wait to see what this one has in store for us in 2016.