Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Year in Review.

In the 3 months since I've started this blog up, I've managed to publish 342 posts. Not bad. Not bad at all. Hopefully, by this time next year, January 1, 2010, I'll have surpassed the 1,000 post mark. That is my New Year's Resolution. The best thing about it? I think this is one resolution I should be able to keep!

For me, 2008 will go down as the year I finally crossed the line I thought I would never cross... Me, the lifelong Marvel fanatic, who as a kid would ridicule my friends who read DC comics, finally began to collect and(gasp)enjoy DC comic books myself. I can imagine the stuff the 12 year old me would say if he could see me now! Joe Quesada, the horrid Editor and Chief of Marvel, had driven me to cheat on the company I never thought I would betray. Year after year of terrible crossovers has finally pushed me too far, and I can now say that most of the new comics I order carry the DC label.

It may not seem like a big deal to some people, but for the first 26 years of my life, I had NEVER brought a DC comic book. Only Marvel comics entered my home, never any of their competitor's books. I'd predict that as many of my Marvel comic subscriptions begin to finish up, the money I was spending on them will be going towards expanding my DC comic collection. Now, I'll never be able to just stop collecting Marvel comics altogether, but my heart now definitely belongs to DC(that's a weird way to put it...). Without further ado, some of my favorite comic related things of 2008! Just for the record, this is going to include some stuff from before 2008. Basically if I read/brought it this past year, it's eligible.

Favorite (Current) Ongoing Series- "Justice Society of America". Yeah, I've been enjoying the Gog storyline. Yeah, the storyline has been dragging on for practically the whole year. But, Geoff Johns has really crafted a masterpiece here. Like I've said before, if you ignore the Earth-2 nonsense in this series, the Gog story has been perfect. "Captain America" was a VERY close second, but the past two issues of Cap have been slight letdowns. If not for those last two issues of Cap, Cap probably would have won here.

Favorite Writer- Ed Brubaker. This was a TOUGH pick... It was going to be either Ed or Geoff Johns, but Ed's work on "Captain America" and "Daredevil" managed to sway me just slightly. I love Geoff's work in the JSA book as well as "Rogue's Revenge", but since I haven't started reading Geoff's work in "Green Lantern" yet, I have to go with Ed.

Worst Writer of the Year- Brian Michael Bendis. Yeah that's right, I chose Bendis. There was actually a time when I was a HUGE fan of Bendis and his work. I loved the first 60 or so issues of "Ultimate Spider-Man", as well as his early Avengers work, and most of the House of M storyline. But, since he was the driving force behind the craptacular "Secret Invasion", Bendis has earned this "honor". Besides the mess that was Secret Invasion, recently it seems like Bendis is taking great delight in rewriting the history of the Marvel Universe to fit the stories he wants to tell. That is TOTALLY unacceptable. Marvel has a rich history, a great history I might add, and Bendis seems content to just piss all over that history. You don't believe me, just look at what he's done with the Scarlet Witch, the so called Illuminati, his mistreatment of the Skrulls, as well as countless other smaller actions. If Bendis hates the pre-existing Marvel Universe so much, he should probably go to a different company.

Best Single Issue- "Kingdom Come Special: Superman". This was a pretty easy choice. I really loved this comic book. The art, the story, everything about it was perfect to me. The pain in Old Superman's face when he just couldn't bring himself to look at Lois Lane was so profound. Even though the guy is Superman, he just can't bare to look into the face of his greatest failure, the death of Lois on his Earth. Powerful stuff.

Worst (Current) Ongoing Series- "Ghost Rider". I'm sorry, but I grew up reading about the Danny Ketch Ghost Rider back in the 1990's. I figured I'd read this series, even though it followed the Johnny Blaze Ghost Rider, mainly because I liked the whole back story of Ghost Rider. So what does Marvel do? They change GR's entire origin. Now, GR was empowered by an evil angel or some such bulls###. That did it for me. "Ghost Rider", you earn the coveted "You Suck" award.

Worst Single Issue- "Nightwing #93 (July 2004)". Since I read this book this year, it qualifies even though it was published 4 years ago. If you want to know why I hated this comic as much as I did, just click here.

Best Crossover Event- "Final Crisis". What else could I have really chosen? "Annihilation: Conquest" was OK, but not that great. And "Secret Invasion"? Well, for more on "Secret Invasion", read on...

Worst Crossover Event- "Secret Invasion". No surprise here. I've hated the idea of Secret Invasion from it's onset, and can really only say terrible things about the story. Nothing about Secret Invasion made any sense from a historical standpoint. Click here to see what I mean in greater detail.

Favorite Character- "Bart Allen". Yes, I know Bart died in 2007, but I didn't get around to reading about him until 2008, so by my convoluted logic, he wins(it's my blog, it doesn't have to be fair!). Over the course of this year, I've read the entire "Impulse" series, "Young Justice", the "Teen Titans", and "Flash, The Fastest Man Alive". Basically what that means is I watched Bart grow from an irresponsible 13 year old to a heroic 20 year old, who wound up dying while trying to protect others. Without a doubt, Bart is one of my all-time favorite characters, and I hope that eventually DC decides to bring Bart back.

Favorite Villain- "Red Skull". The Red Skull has always been a thorn in Captain America's side, but the past few years, especially since his role in Steve Rogers death, Skull has really kicked up his evil quotient. Up until his "death" earlier this year, Skull has basically been pulling the strings of everyone, from his cronies, to the new Captain America, to Steve Roger's old friends and lovers, to powerful politicians. He even almost managed to get one of his dirty politicians elected to the White House. The Red Skull is by far one of the most evil characters in all of comics, and proved it again this year.

What the F### Moment of the Year- The return of Mockingbird. It just doesn't make any sense... She died... On panel, and without a doubt... Click here to actually see it happen. But now she's inexplicably alive again. Damn that Brian Bendis...

Best Moment of the Year- The death of Dr. Light. Arthur Light richly deserved his punishment at the hands of the Spectre for his many atrocious acts, most glaringly, the rape of Sue Dibny. Dr. Light is one villain I hope stays dead(although current issues of JLA have me wondering about just how permanent Light's death will be).

Weirdest Moment of the Year- The fact that Dr. Sivana was behind all of Green Arrow's troubles. I STILL don't get why Sivana decided he wanted Ollie dead in the Green Arrow/Black Canary series. It was like Judd Winick(series writer)pulled a name out of a hat and decided that it would be Sivana as the villain behind Ollie's kidnapping, the capture of Connor and Plastic Man, as well as many other bizarre actions. Why did he do it? The world may never know...

Worst Cancellation News of the Year- "Legion of Super-Heroes". Although not officially cancelled yet, LoSH only has one issue left, and I can honestly say that is a damn shame. This series has been solid for 49 issues, and deserves to continue on... Although their adventures are coming to an abrupt end, now and forever, I say "LONG LIVE THE LEGION!!!"

I'm sure I've missed a TON of stuff, but since over this past year I've read at least 2,000 comic books(!), there has to be a ton of stuff I've forgotten, especially from earlier in the year. If anyone out there cares to agree/disagree with some of my picks, I'd be more than happy to respond. There is nothing I like better then talking/debating about comic books, so comment away! Well, with this post finally done, HAPPY NEW YEAR to everybody(Except Tony Stark)!


  1. Nice picks for the best event and weirdest moment. As far as Bart Allen, I have a feeling we'll see him in 2009, either in the Legion of 3 worlds or the blackest night (depending on how dead he really is). I gave up hating Tony Stark the minute Norman Osborn took his place, because I feel like Tony FINALLY got what was coming to him, and he can come back to acting like an actual hero.

    I'm so glad you gave DC a chance. I know as a kid I read a lot of Marvel(I was a kid in the 90's who read comics, of course I loved X-Men!), but when I got to 7th grade I became a total DC fan. Green Lantern, Robin, Flash, Starman,Detective Comics...those were the days!

    If I could, I would give everyone, including you X-Man, a copy of the Starman omnibus, just to prove how great DC can be. I've probably told you that before, but I think it's probably the best series I've ever read, and I haven't even read the whole thing yet.

  2. I'm always hopeful concerning Bart, but with Barry Allen returning, I find it a little hard to believe there will be 4-5 Flash's running around the DCU. But still, hope springs eternal.

    By my nature, I'm a VERY loyal to things I care about. Whether that's my favorite hockey/football team, or family/friends, I usually never "betray" those things. I honestly never saw myself "betraying" Marvel and collecting DC comic books. But, I'm now seeing all of the great characters/stories I missed out on by unfairly ignoring the DCU. That's why I'm always happy to hear recommendations from other DC fans.

    You know Kello, I don't think you're the only person to tell me how great the Starman series was. I was actually looking for something to fill out my comic book order tonight and the omnibus would have been perfect! Oh well, I think I'll add it to the shopping cart at my online CB shop and next time I place an order I'll finally pick it up. Out of curiousity, is the Starman from the 90's series the same guy from the current JSA team, or someone different?

    As for Tony Stark, I don't ever think I can forgive him for betraying his friendship to Cap during Civil War, or for cloning Thor... That was just messed up. As far as I'm concerned, Tony is as responsible for Steve's death as Red Skull is. Until Steve is resurrected, I'll always despise Tony Stark.

    HA, who didn't like X-Men in the 90's? Before I got into collecting Marvel Comics, I used to collect those old Marvel trading cards. One of the cards showed Uncanny X-Men #1 and said it was worth something like $10,000 or something like that. Well, one day while at the store with my mother, I spotted X-Men #1, and mistook it for Uncanny X-Men #1. I couldn't believe the store was selling a $10,000 comic book for only $2.00! I begged my mother to buy that comic book for me, and although she thought the $2.00 price was kind of steep, she relented, and brought it for me. That mistake was the first comic book ever added to my now enormous comic book collection. Boy, was I a stupid kid or what!

  3. The Starman in the 90's series is Jack Knight, son of the original World War II-era Starman Ted Knight (the guy from the original JSA who wears the Red suit with the fin on the head). The series, which is about 80 issues long, has a definite beginning,middle, and end. It features a lot of DC characters, and ties into JSA history a lot. The art is very dark and detailed, and the main character is really the city the book is set in, Opal.

    The Omnibus has a hefty price tag, so I don't know if you want to try the trades first. But I have some of the trades and A TON of the issues, and I'd still consider the Omnibus. The Omnibus also reprints stories that didn't appear in the main series, so it's a big draw. Plus, the second volume is coming out in Febraury!