The 25 Most Anticipated Comics of 2016

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Punisher


Writer: Becky Cloonan
Artist: Steve Dillon
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: 2016

Becky Cloonan continues her transition from sketching to scripting in Punisher, a new ongoing with pencils from returning illustrator Steve Dillon, who also captured some of the sociopathic vigilante's most bloodstained antics under Garth Ennis and Jason Aaron. Judging from Cloonan's previous narrative work on The Mire one-shot and her current run on Southern Cross, expect her take on Frank Castle to be intense and relentless, with a firm foundation in character and emotion. The plot will revolve around Frank returning to New York City to track down some bullet fodder slinging a new drug. Inspired by Rambo and Jason Voorhees, this new title should perfectly complement the character as he rains hell down on season two of Dardedevil on Netflix. Sean Edgar

Sunset Park


Writer/Artist Ronald Wimberly
Publisher Image
Release Date: 2016

We've been excited for Sunset Park for quite some time, but its announcement last year left us with one soul-sucking wait. Nearly half a year later, and Ronald Wimberly's (Prince of Cats) gothic tale of gentrification is on the horizon: a tale that's set to both creep us out and add an extra dosage of social commentary. "I'm just writing about what's in my life right now," Wimberly told us last year. "And the funny thing about gentrification, it's something that we witness and compare stories about, but I've found few people who have even attempted to have a top down, Van Helsing view of the monster that is gentrification. Most people recognize the symptoms, but they don't know the history of the monster." We're all on board to see Wimberly re-interpret that history. Tyler R. Kane

Swamp Thing


Writer: Len Wein
Artist: Kelley Jones
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: Out Now

Swamp Thing's been penned by everyone from Alan Moore to Nancy Collins to Scott Snyder, but in this January release, the pen goes back to the hand of the green monster's creator, Len Wein. Returning to art duties from this summer's Convergence: Swamp Thing is long time DC veteran Kelley Jones. With Wein promising to "use the best of what everyone else did." Swamp Thing fans are definitely eager to see what's been growing in the dark. Tini Howard

Two Dead


Writer: Van Jensen
Artist: Nate Powell
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: September 2016

Full disclosure: writer Van Jensen has written for Paste and we've posted few Best-Of lists lacking Nate Powell's work. We're incredibly fond of both creators, so when Dark Horse announced the true-crime miniseries Two Dead, the pair's first collaboration, we cried tears of distilled sunshine and dopamine. Conversely, the characters in this hard-boiled yarn experience far less fun. Straddling themes of "conspiracy, violence, racism and madness," the plot uncovers the story of a police chief who murdered his lieutenant before pulling his gun on himself. With the event's ending serving as its description, the whys, hows and whos should serve as tantalizing bait for a book built on the blood and bullets of history. Realized in Powell's swimming lines and emotive faces, Two Dead is well and alive on our pull lists. Sean Edgar

Wonder Woman: Earth One


Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist: Yanick Paquette
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: April 6, 2016

As Grant Morrison told Paste back in March, "[Wonder Woman: Earth One] changed the entire playing field for me. I wrote a book that wasn't reliant on the structure of boys adventure fiction. It opened up a whole new way of looking at things." We can only fathom what those words mean coming from the prophet of post-modern genre fiction, but hell, there's no way this project won't be interesting. And considering that Morrison once told the website Newsarama that he considered Princess Diana "oddly artificial…something not like a woman at all," expect his take on the mythological demigoddess to be just as extreme as Brian Azzarello's game changer run. Sean Edgar