Well my lil’ darlins, I’m not gonna lie. This last year in comics was a bit of a dud!
Shucks, I’ll admit that I became a little bummed out and burned out about the way Marvel copped out and sold out. And it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that – at times – I hadn’t been so disillusioned since the time I quit reading comics back in high school. But you know what? Looking back on a year of weekly pilgrimages to my local comic shop (The Connection represent!) I can honestly say that it wasn’t all doom and gloom. In my attempt to sit down and write a Top Five / Bottom Five for this article, I found that I had WAY more stuff for the positive half than for the negative. Great new titles like Velocity and The Magdalena from Top Cow nearly made the final cut, and overall I’d say this year broke pretty even. A lot of horrible stuff, sure, but a lot of great stuff too. So check it out! My Best and Worst list of 2010!
Hellboy: The Storm (Dark Horse)
This year Hellboy was faced with two choices. Either follow his destiny and become Anung un Rama, the Beast of the Apocalypse, or take a different offer and become the newest heir to King Arthur (Excalibur sword and all!) Either way, a crown is going on the head which is now short one eye. Sound convoluted? In the hands of any other writer it would be, but Mike Mignola shows no sign of losing his vision for the character he created back in 1993. If only all writers were so careful and clever with their creations.
Iron Man by Design (Marvel)
You know when your favourite title has a different character on the cover? Like the Deadpool variant to your Avengers comic and you think “That’s idiotic! Why would I want Deadpool on my Avengers book?” Well Marvel did the same thing with Iron Man last year and while IT WAS STILL AN IDIOTIC CONCEPT, the covers themselves collected in Iron Man by Design are nothing short of phenomenal. In particular, Mike del Mundo’s art deco design, John Tyler Christopher’s art nouveau and Skottie Young’s samurai are nothing short of astounding. Did anyone but me even know this book came out? Well it did and if you didn’t get a copy, consider yourself enrolled in the Nuv Takhar School of CHUMPERY.
New Avengers #7 (Marvel)
Nobody does nothing. Nobody punches anybody and absolutely no hell breaks loose. The second-tier Avengers sit around a big ass table and business gets hashed out. And you know what? It’s my favourite book of the year. Bendis nails it! Immonen nails it! They absolutely NAIL IT! He even brought in SQUIRREL GIRL to babysit Luke Cage and Jessica Jones’ baby for chrissakes! I honestly can’t remember the last time I had so much fun reading a comic book. Brilliant!
Superman/Batman #75 (DC)
OH THIS ONE! I didn’t know what the hell was going on with the main story, but the back-up stories and pin-ups are so incredibly well done that I don’t really care. The who’s who of the comic book world get in on this book, but it’s the Adam Hughes Batgirl/Supergirl splash alone (look up, click to make larger) that makes this comic a priceless book in my collection.
Thor: The Mighty Avenger #1-8 (Marvel)
Everyone who read this book loved it. Even people like me! People who don’t give a flying crap about Thor. If you didn’t love this book, something is wrong with you. Like maybe you were born without a heart? And maybe government scientists are on their way to your house to kidnap you and do experiments on you? COULD HAPPEN! And I kinda hope it does happen to the executives at Marvel who cancelled it before it’s time. Roger Langridge and Chris Samnee, I salute you both!
I’ve been patient all year with the flagship Avengers title but I’m becoming increasingly irritated by three things. 1) The writing in this title is NOWHERE NEAR as good as New Avengers despite both books being written by Bendis. 2) John Romita Jr.’s art. Nuff said about that. And finally 3) Why does this series come off as a big fat lead-up to some goddamned ‘event’ that Marvel has planned for 2011? Probably because that’s EXACTLY what’s happening. (Again, look up, and much like Nuv’s little wee-wee, it just takes a mouse click to ‘embiggen’) I’ve been thinking about dumping this book all year and you’ll probably see that happen in the next three months if it doesn’t get really, really good. Then again they could just fire Junior…
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Eight
What can you say about this 40-issue disaster? It was a rambling, pointless exercise in pointlessness. Nothing interesting happened until issue 39, and then they killed the only likeable character (not Buffy, more’s the pity). So now I’m basically waiting until the last issue comes out so I can flip the whole collection for a small profit to some 30-year-old goth on eBay. Ain’t capitalism grand? Jo Chen DID rule on the covers though. I’ll give the series that.
Okay, this book really sucked. It sucked more than Nuv at a George Michael concert. Remember when Marvel declared a Year of No Events and then promptly served up the worst event in the history of Marvel Comics? And in the process ruined the entire legacy of an uninterrupted 132-issue Daredevil run? Yeah, this storyline was a write-off from the word go and the fact that Andy Diggle is still writing Daredevil comics makes me want to punch a kitten. Grrr!
Dear Brian Wood,
I don’t care about Matty Roth anymore.
Ian Explosivo (pronounced EX-plo-SEE-vo)
The last half of this year has been one big lead-up to a death in Marvel’s First Family. Like baby showers or musicians-pretending-to-leave-only-to-be-coaxed-back-by-applause-for-an-encore, it’s a revolting gimmick and a shameless hand that Marvel has played WAY TOO MANY TIMES in the past couple of years. And anyway, you know it’s gonna be Ben Grimm and then I’m going to be angry as shit all over again. Sigh…
Anyway, let’s let bygones be bygones! Let’s get our auld lang syne on! It’s a new year and there’s a whole pile of comics that look absolutely amazing coming out! And I’ll be with you every step of the way! OH, and as some sort of punishment for evil committed in a past life, Nuv will probably be around too. On that note, I’m accepting applications for unpaid interns with a go-getter work ethic and a laissez-faire attitude when it comes to assassinating my enemies.
NEXT ISSUE: NUV’S-LIST! TUNE IN TOMORROW!