Five Comics We're Looking Forward to in 2014

stray-bullets-41It's a whole new year, and that means a lot of stopping to take stock in just what it is what we've subjected ourselves to in 2013 and what we're hoping to see this year.

There are big events coming up from each of the major publishers, crazy initiatives like Dynamite's decision to relaunch the Gold Key publishing line as a licensed imprint and some old favorites returning for the first time in years.

So what are the things we're looking forward to the most? Read on...

New-52-Futures-End5. The New 52: Futures End

A new, weekly series set in the future of the DC Universe will unite some of the publisher's hottest talent in a story that will explore time travel, alternate realities and all that related goodness.

It will also bring Terry McGinnis, better known as Batman Beyond, into an in-continuity DC Comics story for the first time; in the past, the character has only appeared in Elseworlds tales or in speculative stories set in the Beyond universe.

“Really, what we’re trying to do with this book is to explore the nature of what a hero is and we’re doing that, obviously by playing with the future of the New 52 timeline,” Lemire said. “Past present and future all colliding in this story line.”

The involvement of Keith Giffen and Dan Jurgens gives it a sense of history and gravity, too, that some of the publisher's weekly stories have lacked. That pair have worked on some of the publisher's best and most "important" crossover events over the years, including Zero Hour (written and drawn by Jurgens--you can read our interview with him about it here) and 52, in which Giffen did breakdowns on every issue and Jurgens contributed some art.

watcher-dies4. Whatever the heck this thing with The Watcher is

I'll admit it - on balance, I'm more a DC guy than a Marvel guy these days. The biggest reason for that is that Marvel's non-stop parade of crossovers somehow seems more...non-stop...than DC's non-stop parade of crossovers. I'm not sure if that's accurate of just my impression.

I also tend to enjoy Marvel's big events somewhat less in recent years; since Civil War, I can probably name only two or three of them that really "worked" for me, and I can name at least that I thought were just dreadful.

All that said, I love the ambiguity of this teaser. Something about it makes me want to know more, and the fact that I haven't heard anything more from the House of Ideas on just what the hell is going on here makes me even more intrigued; with the week-long marathons of teasers and announcements, it sometimes seems like Marvel has trouble keeping it in their pants, so to speak, where this time around it feels like they're saving themselves for marriage.

Hey, speaking of marriage...doesn't Uatu appear in one of the puzzle pieces for the upcoming wedding teaser, which also has a suspicious blood splatter pattern--which is pointed in the same basic direction and shape as the one seen here? Mysterious...

hactivist3. Hacktivist

When I read the press release for Hacktivist, Alyssa Milano's new series for BOOM! Studios's recently-acquire imprint Archaia, I thought it sounded pretty cool and, on the strength of the premise and aritst Marcus To, I was willing to give it a try.

Seems from the hundreds of likes on an article about a non-Big Two comic book that our readers agree.

Set in the world of tech entrepreneurs and social media, Hacktivist is the story of two friends who operate one of the largest social media firms by day, but by night, use their hacking skills to help important social causes all over the world. That is, until the U.S. government finds out.

The story is apparently rooted in Milano's real-world friendship with the founder of Twitter, which is a little nutty.

And let me be honest, here. I got a little celebrity crush that I've never had before on Alyssa Milano when I realized that a famous actress who coudl just as easily slap her name on this sucker and go home is very emotionally invested--enough so that she remembered to praise the entire creative team, including the letterer, in her initial statement on the book.

Q2_001_PROMO_BRIGHT2. Q2: The Return of Quantum & Woody

Ever since the end of their run on the original series, fans have wanted more Quantum & Woody from Priest and M.D. Bright.

At New York Comic Com’s Valiant Comics panel, the publisher announced that Priest and Bright, the acclaimed creators of the cult-hit Valiant series, will reunite for Q2: The Return of Quantum and Woody – a five-issue mini-series set wholly in the original continuity of Priest and Bright’s groundbreaking Acclaim Comics series.

The new miniseries, which marks the return of both creators to monthly comics, will pick up in the modern day, launching an older Quantum and Woody into an all-new adventure set twenty years after the events of their original series.

The return of the original creative team comes after a run-up to the current ongoing series--a great one, by the way--that included a lot of people worrying about whether Bright and Priest were being done right by along the way. It seems to suggest that, at a minimum, they're happier with the way they've been treated by Valiant's new owners than some of the other original Valiant creators.

stray-bullets-killers-11. Stray Bullets

If there was another series besides Quantum & Woody that would be my pick for "most missed" in the last decade or so, it would have to be David Lapham's Stray Bullets.

After the success of Stray Bullets didn't yield the kind of sales that were needed to keep his own publishing effort afloat, Lapham turned to the Big Two for work on projects like Deadpool MAX, Young Liars, Sparta USA and Age of Apocalypse, all the while fielding questions from fans and press about when we would see Stray Bullets again.

And then, earlier this month, we finally found out.

The new Stray Bullets will be a massive endeavor, including a simultaneous digital release of all previous issues of the series along with a hardcover omnibus of the book’s original run and a new series, all launching in March.

And we can't wait...