Looking back at 2012, it was definitely a year of transition for the mainstream comic book industry. Over at DC, the company continued to move along with its New 52 initiative. And though some stellar titles cropped up because of it, even more took slight steps backwards. It was a similar story over at Marvel, where the company announced a complete overhaul and reboot of its comic book line, titled Marvel NOW, that took place after its Avengers vs. X-Men crossover. In the short amount of time since it began, Marvel NOW has given us hope that 2013 will be a year of creative change at the House of Ideas, but it wasn't enough to wash the taste of the AvX crossover from our mouths. 

As the big two continue to pump out some great (and not so great) superhero titles, independent publishers like Image, Dark Horse, Top Shelf, Valiant, Boom Studios, Dynamite Entertainment, and Archaia launched a host of new properties that spanned across multiple genres and artistic styles. Comic lovers have seen horror, humor, espionage, sci-fi, romance, drama, and any other branch of storytelling you can imagine from these niche publishers. All of which, it's important to note, prove that you don’t need a roster of movie star characters to capture fans' collective attention.

As the year is winding down, let's take a look back at The 10 Best Comic Books Of 2012. Some of these titles might be a bit out of your comfort zone, but you’re going to have to trust us on them. They are simply the best.

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Written by Jason Serafino (@serafinoj1)