Rankings are the influential bread and butter of so many industries — from horse racing to baseball to Forbes ranking the highest paid celebrities. We here at AiPT! ask: “Why not comic books?”

We pick the hottest, most important and in the know comic writers, artists and characters/titles of the the last month and rank ’em to sate your ravenous comic book thirst:

Comic Books

Current
1
Previous
Batman
Batman is dead! Or is he? It doesn’t matter, because the Bat is a symbol and James Gordon taking over the character has been a success both in sales and love from the fans. Scott Snyder is exploring Batman in so many different ways and we’ve been surprised both at how fresh the character feels month after month… and how much we’re enjoying it. Since he’s taken it over that’s been the norm.
Current
2
Previous
Spider-Man
Renew Your Vows has been a smash hit with fans and we’re on board as well. Some might say the story is reminiscent of The Incredibles, but we’re sold on Spidey working as a family man. Plus he’s never had had the odds stacked against him this much.
Current
3
Previous
Superman
Depowered Superman’s popularity is a welcome trend: the character hasn’t changed much over the years save for some wacky events (::cough::Superman Red/Blue::cough::). It’ll be interesting to see how long this sticks, but for now we’re enjoying the ride.
Current
4
Previous
Darth Vader
Vader has had it good for the last few months since Marvel started his ongoing series. The comic has had great sales and the story has pitted him in an unfamiliar position as he’s on the Emperor’s shit list.
Current
5
Previous
Groot
Cosplay favorite Groot had a premiere issue that was tenth in sales for the month of June. He also made an appearance on the variant cover of Thors #2. For a character who was relatively invisible two years ago, he’s making it on our inaugural list, and that’s impressive.

Writers

Current
1
Previous
Scott Snyder
Snyder has changed the way we think about Batman, partly because of the epic story involving Joker, a brand new enemy that worked in the Court of Owls, and now the militarized/law enforcement version with Jim Gordon behind the visor. Needless to say Snyder has influenced the character on a Frank Miller level and might be even more influential by the time his run is done. Check out our Boston Comic-Con interview with him.
Current
2
Previous
Jason Aaron
It’s hard to argue Aaron isn’t killing it, no matter the publisher. From Southern Bastards to Star Wars, the guy has a hand in the biggest books every month.
Current
3
Previous
Jonathan Hickman
The man behind the years of comics that lead up to Secret Wars and the guy writing the main event deserves to be on the list. Considering how many moving parts he’s juggled over the years (especially this summer), it’s a wonder he’s not dead from exhaustion.
Current
4
Previous
Kieron Gillen
The Wicked + The Divine is one of the best comics on the stands. Period. Rock and pop musicians as literal gods is a great idea; while the music world isn’t as huge as it was back in the ’70s, audiences still want to explore this premise more than ever. Dare we say Gillen was ahead of the curve, as Martin Scorsese recently revealed he’s producing an HBO show about the lifestyles of rock masters?
Current
5
Previous
Matt Fraction
Why is Fraction on this list? Duh, he writes Sex Criminals, the most consistently funny and edgy comic on the stands today. Oh and he just wrapped up his excellent series Hawkeye with superstar artist David Aja. Need we say more?

Artists

Current
1
Previous
Fiona Staples
Wrapping up the latest Saga arc is one thing, but tearing it up on Archie as well? Staples has a fantastic sense for human expression but her panels also have a cinematic flair that brings them to life. Just look at Archie #1 and you’ll see a playfulness similar to someone using a handy-cam. Great stuff.
Current
2
Previous
Greg Capullo
Capullo used to draw Spawn back in the day (taking over for the title’s creator, Todd McFarlane) and now draws one of the most popular comics today. The man knows how to lay out a page, capture intense drama in a single panel and generally draw the heck out of Batman.
Current
3
Previous
Esad Ribić
The main artist on the biggest event book of the summer almost made it at #1, but couldn’t quite crack it due to some poor layouts here and there. That said, the guy has a near Alex Ross level of quality in nearly every panel and you can’t argue a more lifelike panel isn’t a better panel.
Current
4
Previous
Babs Tarr
Batgirl has been made more relevant due to Tarr’s costume design for the 21st century — and also more accessible than ever. Has any artist transformed how we view a character more?
Current
5
Previous
David Aja
David makes it on this list partially because he was able to get Hawkeye #22 finished and out there. Long awaited, sure, but well worth it. His layouts are so meticulously laid out, with an impeccable sense of symmetry; is there anybody better at layouts?

Based on recurring comic book sales, the rankings that our site gives the book as a composite score (that is, not just one person’s opinion) and overall talent/rising popularity taken into consideration.

  • Not Wade Wilson

    Needs more Deadpool.

    • David Brooke

      Check back in our August addition. Me thinks he’ll show up!

  • j d

    Um, what happened to the August rankings?

    • David Brooke

      Rest assured it’s on the way. We are still tabulating figures!