This has been quite the year for comic books. It's seen no end of scandals and controversies, as every year does: Marvel continue to refuse to give proper credit (never mind royalties) to its creators and do stupid things like that one porny Milo Manara Spider-Woman cover, and DC has a whole laundry list of mistakes, the biggest being the time it accidentally poisoned the water supply for half of Ohio whilst printing lenticular covers. They've continued their dominance over the box office, too, with Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians Of The Galaxy being the summer's biggest blockbuster smashes, and DC's plans to retake the cinema screen with Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice and Suicide Squad all falling into place. But enough of the doom and gloom and the adaptations, because there's plenty good going on in the funnybooks themselves. So much that it can be hard to keep track of it all. Sure there's been some steps backward, but comics made some giant strides forward for the first time in years too. We now live in a world where Captain Marvel is a woman (after a good few decades operating under the handle of Ms Marvel), where a hardback collection with a close-up of a breastfeeding alien toddler is a bestseller, and where a series called Sex Criminals is not only published but is one of the best comic books of the year. DC and Marvel have upped their game considerably over the past twelve months, putting out some of their most inventive, creative and downright gorgeous work to date. Then there's all the great stuff that happens outside the Big Two, which aren't so much nipping at their heels as leading the pack. Reboots, reimaginings, new worlds and new characters abound in the ten best comics of 2014.