The 2022 Golden Issue Award for Best Limited Comic Series

2022 has officially come to a close, giving us an opportunity to look back at the best and brightest of the past year. The realm of comic books, in particular, delivered some monumental things in the past twelve months, depicting stories that provided comfort to their readers. In addition to countless ongoing series and graphic novels, comics in 2022 included some pretty epic limited series. Whether they were twelve issues, three issues, or somewhere in between, these stories entertained and moved us in a succinct amount of time. That's why this year's's Golden Issue Awards — which celebrate our favorites from 2022 — decided to honor the best limited comic series of the past year.

And the winner for the 2022 Golden Issue Award for Best Limited Comic Series is...


Catwoman: Lonely City!

The four-issue epic of Catwoman: Lonely City technically began in late 2021, and its first two issues made so much of an impression that its cartoonist, Cliff Chiang, won one of that year's Golden Issue Awards almost immediately. But the book continued to truly thrive in 2022, culminating in its absolutely stellar final issue in late October.

It feels like a disservice to try to summarize Lonely City — sure, on the simplest level, it's about an older Selina Kyle who joins up with the likes of Poison Ivy, The Riddler, and Killer Croc to pull off one last heist in a neofuturistic Gotham City. But the text of Lonely City is about so much more — in addition to countless other narrative threads, and the compelling nature of its Gotham's status quo, the book proves to be a stunning showcase for things that are intangible and indescribable. Grief, regret, legacy, and a desperate need for connection can be felt throughout the four issues, in ways that feel both universal and cathartically specific. 

One part of what makes Lonely City's emotional core so effective is the book's reverence for its characters, and for the very idea of existing within the DC universe. The ensemble is a mix of, for the most part, long-running Batman villains and sidekicks whose appearances in the main DC universe are often a dime a dozen, but that only makes the freshness of their characterizations all the more groundbreaking. Lonely City is the rare book that recognizes the weight of its characters' decades-long tenures without getting swallowed up by them, or taking them to the edgiest and most grizzled extreme. Instead, there are moments of true levity and personality throughout, whether in the lovable one-liners of Killer Croc or the infectious charm of Poison Ivy.

After Chiang's brilliant tenure as the artist of books like Green Arrow & Black Canary, Paper Girls, and Wonder Woman, it was almost a given that Lonely City would be visually stunning. But there's something truly majestic about Chiang's work on this book, which culminates in an effortless blend of minimalism and intricate design. From the architecture of this Gotham City, to the all-consuming uses of color, to the frown lines on a familiar character's face, no detail is too superfluous for the story that Lonely City is telling. An entire essay could be written just about Lonely City's fashion sense, with every item of clothing Chiang designs contributing brilliantly to a character's personality, including an ingenious culture of superhero-inspired streetwear. The attention to detail — on a narrative and visual level — is so strong and satisfying that it makes some of the series' smallest cameos a reason for celebration, as you can't help but find yourself wanting to see Chiang interpret the entire DC canon in this manner.

Despite using a setting and characters that have existed for almost a century, Catwoman: Lonely City feels like one of the most groundbreaking installments of superhero comics in recent years. Every decision that Cliff Chiang makes in the book — whether as a writer, artist, colorist, or letterer — feels both genuinely surprising and inherently right for its characters. The four issues use the miniseries format to its fullest potential, packing in aesthetics and character developments that are simultaneously accessible and profound. To put it simply, Catwoman: Lonely City is an instant classic — not only a book that is going to remain in the hearts of its readers for a while, but it's the kind of book that deserves to be a perennial in DC's arsenal.

The nominees for Best Limited Comic Series are:

  • A.X.E.: Judgment Day by Kieron Gillen and Valerio Schiti (Marvel Comics)

  • Aquaman: Andromeda by Ram V. and Christian Ward (DC Comics)

  • Catwoman: Lonely City by Cliff Chiang (DC Comics) – WINNER

  • The Good Asian by Pornsak Pichetshote and Alexandre Tefengki (Image Comics)

  • Step by Bloody Step by Simon Spurrier and Matias Bergara (Image Comics)