Now that you have had a chance to look at all the five star books reviewed by the Major Spoilers staff, it’s time to break the numbers down, and name the best comic books of 2012.

Before we get into the top books of the year, I thought it would be interesting to run the numbers and see what kind of data could be culled from the database.  For this rundown, all books reviewed during the year are included.  This includes all Retro Reviews.

Total Number of Books Reviewed in 2012: 824

Average Books Reviewed Per Month: 68

Reviewed Books by Publisher:

  • Archie Comics – 5
  • Aspen Comics – 7
  • BOOM! Studios – 35
  • Dark Horse Comics – 55
  • DC Comics – 220
  • Dynamite Entertainment – 50
  • IDW Publishing – 56
  • Image Comics – 100
  • Marvel Comics – 208
  • Valiant Entertainment – 9
  • Vertigo – 13
  • Zenescope – 8
  • Others – 58

Star Ratings By The Numbers*:

  • 0 Stars – 4
  • 1 Star – 14
  • 1.5 Stars – 22
  • 2 Stars – 45
  • 2.5 Stars – 66
  • 3 Stars – 128
  • 3.5 Stars – 156
  • 4 Stars – 173
  • 4.5 Stars – 121
  • 5 Stars – 85

* Dueling Review Podcasts, included in the number of books reviewed, do not have star ratings.

Most Reviewed Writer: Brian Michael Bendis

Most Reviewed Artist: Chris Samnee

It’s very interesting to look at the giant spreadsheet and play with the data to see what nuggets that can be found.  For example, based on just the 5 Star Ratings, the best publishers for 2012 are:

  1. Image Comics
  2. DC Comics
  3. Marvel Comics
  4. IDW Publishing
  5. Dynamite Entertainment

And with that in mind, let’s take a look at the best books for 2012, based on the five star rating bestowed by the Major Spoilers Staff


Writer: Joe Hill
Artist: Gabriel Rodriguez
Publisher: IDW Publishing
SOLICITATION:  The sprawling tale of the Locke family and their mastery of the ‘whispering steel’ thunders to new heights as the true history of the family is revealed to Tyler and Kinsey. Zack Wells assumes a new form, Tyler and Kinsey travel through time, and surprises beyond imagination will be revealed before the sixth issue ends!


Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Greg Capullo
Publisher: DC Comics
SOLICITATION:  Following his groundbreaking, critically acclaimed run on DETECTIVE COMICS, writer Scott Snyder (American Vampire) begins a new era of The Dark Knight with artist Greg Capullo (Spawn) and a new beginning for BATMAN! In this hardcover collecting the first six issues, a series of brutal murders rocks not only Gotham City to its core but also the Caped Crusader himself when the prime suspect is one of Batman’s closest allies – Dick Grayson!


Writer: John Layman
Artist: Guillory
Publisher: Image Comics
SOLICITATION:  Tony Chu – the cibopathic federal agent with the ability to get psychic impressions from what he eats – has been kidnapped! He was ambushed, knocked out, brought to a remote location, and bound securely. His captor intends to feed Tony from a menu of his choosing, to find out what Tony can see, in order to learn from him. His daughter, Olive, has been kidnapped for the exact same reason. Two kidnappers, two captives, and two very different outcomes. Presenting the fifth storyline of the New York Times bestselling, Harvey and multiple Eisner Award-winning series about cops, crooks, cooks, cannibals, clairvoyants – and kidnappers!


Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: David Aja
Publisher: Marvel Comics
SOLICITATION:  What you need to know: Fraction. Aja. Hawkeye. Kate Bishop. Cars. Guns. * Stealing from the rich never looked so good. * Get. Now.


Writer: Brian K. Vaughan
Artist: Fiona Staples
Publisher: Image Comics
SOLICITATION:  From New York Times bestselling writer BRIAN K.VAUGHAN (Y: THE LAST MAN, EX MACHINA) and critically acclaimed artist FIONA STAPLES (MYSTERY SOCIETY, NORTH 40), SAGA is the sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the worlds. When two soldiers from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war fall in love, they risk everything to bring a fragile new life into a dangerous old universe. Fantasy and science fiction are wed like never before in a sexy, subversive drama for adults. This specially priced volume collects the first arc of the smash hit series The Onion A.V. Club calls “the emotional epic Hollywood wishes it could make.”

There you have it, the best books and the best publishers for 2012.  Use the comment section below to share your thoughts and feelings over the data.


About Author

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...


  1. I really think it’s a positive testament to the site and its reviewers that the five best books listed are, with one duplicate, from different publishers. Even the genres and types of stories being told are fairly varied among the five.

  2. It was a really great year for comics. I’ve never been a Marvel guy, and AvX certainly didn’t get me into it, but the All New X-Men series as well as Hawkeye pulled me in. Saga blew me away, and Batman is continuing to be super strong. There’s so much awesome stuff coming out from all the publishers I feel a bit spoiled. Here’s to hoping 2013 continues the trend :)

  3. Also, I think the data can finally put to bed the trope that you guys are biased towards DC. While you review more DC books, the average review score shows that they’re not getting any preferential treatment. The large slant towards DC seems due to covering all the #0 issues that came out in August/September.

    • I don’t think we have a slant towards anything, except for “comics that are good.” Of course, even with seven or eight reviewers, that’s probably ten different ideas of what’s good (counting for the three voices in my head, as well as Good Stephen and Evil Stephen.)

      • What I meant by that is that if you look at the database numbers for September, there is a sudden, massive jump in DCs numbers based on zero month. Not by any means am I suggesting you guys have any clear bias. In fact, my comment states the exact opposite.

  4. There were more DC books precisely because of Zero Month. Had DC not had that stunt, you could probably remove 35 books from that number, because we wouldn’t have reviewed many of those titles.

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