2012 is just about ready to take a bow, and 2013 is very nearly upon us... Here at the blog, that means one thing, and one thing only... It's time for the FIFTH annual X's(and JT's!) Untitled Awards Post!!! First off, how the hell is this the FIFTH one of these things that I've done! That's flat out mind blowing to me... Seriously, I didn't expect this blog to last a year, and yet here I am five years later. Crazy. Not only is the blog going on five, but in 2012 I added a collaborator. My best buddy, JT! Who'd have ever thought JT, a guy who was searching the Internet for old Nightwing reviews(for some reason...) (I liked Nightwing, sue me! I even read "The Target"...ugh) would end up being my best friend and an integral part of this blog. I sure didn't! With JT now on board this year's Untitled Awards Post is going to look a tad bit different as JT will be adding his own thoughts and picks for your reading enjoyment in red. So anything written in black? That's from me, X. Anything in red? (Like this right here!) JT. Now, before we get to the awards portion of this post, two little things... First off, these awards? They are nothing more than the opinions of JT and I. Nothing more, nothing less. There's no science behind it, it's the things we enjoyed the most about the wacky world of comics in 2012. And since they are opinions, I'm sure not everybody will agree with them. And that's cool. However, if you do disagree with something, and would like to make your pick know, use a modicum of respect. I would never call somebody's opinion wrong(it's an opinion, it CAN'T be wrong! Just misguided!), so try not to make that mistake here. Productive dialogue is a good thing. Complaints and insults? (Or death threats.. don't Slott us!) Not so much. Thanks. The next order of business is to take a quick look back to last year's Untitled Awards Post and see what I expected 2012 to look like... According to 2011 X, I was expecting DC to lose traction coming off of their New 52 and for Marvel to have a huge year with their events and movies. A quick look at this year's sales charts and box office numbers tends to tell me I pretty much called that. As always, I'll have a (not so) bold proclamation for the coming year after the awards portion of this post. And that's it, the introduction is history, let's dig into the reviews!!!
X's Favorite Writer: Rick Remender(Captain America, Venom, Uncanny X-Force, Uncanny Avengers, Secret Avengers). As always we start the post with my favorite writer of the year, and damn did I have a ton of writers to choose from! I mean check out that runner's up list! That's a who's who of mainstream comic writers right there! But for my money(and his comics gets a lot of it!), nobody had a better 2012 than Rick Remender. And who could have seen that coming, really? This is the same guy who gave the world Franken-Castle!!! I have to say, this year all but erased the mess that was Franken-Castle from this comic fan's mind. Really, I don't even know where to begin. Remender made Venom into one of my favorite monthly books(before Cullen Bunn ruined it...). He took over Captain America from the GREAT Ed Brubaker and has thus far given us two fantastic issues. Uncanny Avengers? Probably the series I look forward to most every month. Sure, his Secret Avengers and Uncanny X-Force runs were kind of hit or miss to me, but nobody's perfect! I was really torn with this pick, but after typing this out? I know I made the right decision.
Runners Up: Christos Gage(Avengers Academy), Dan Slott(Amazing Spider-Man), Scott Snyder(Batman, American Vampire), Robert Kirkman(Walking Dead, Invincible), Matt Fraction(Hawkeye, Fantastic Four, Invincible Iron Man, FF), Mark Waid(Daredevil, Indestructible Hulk).
JT's Favorite Writer: Dan Slott (The Amazing Spider-Man). This was without a doubt the year of Spider-Man in my eyes, and that's because of Dan Slott. Slott had a huge year in terms of stories, character developments and just general awesomeness. While he didn't pen a ton of books like my buddy X's pick, Rick Remender, one of my runner-up picks, he only wrote one comic but wrote over twenty issues of it this year. This year alone Dan Slott gave us the Ends of the Earth story line that featured one of the most competent and well written Sinister Six teams I've ever seen, A great storyline where we saw Curt Connors cure himself but now suffers his penance as The Lizard, The Rise and Fall of Alpha, Two Hobgoblins, and then closed the year off with one of the most controversial comics of the year, Amazing Spider-Man #700! Dan Slott has thrown literally everything he can at Spider-Man this year and did such an amazing job that he's the only writer that wasn't moved around during Marvel Now. This was the year of Dan Slott, and while I respect the amazing work of Remender, Snyder and the rest of my Runner-Ups for this year, no one made me feel the connections and emotional investment in stories, as well as make me laugh and smile when I read their comics as much as Dan Slott.
Runners Up: Scott Snyder (Batman), Christos Gage (Avengers Academy), Matt Fraction (Hawkeye), Rick Remender (Venom, Uncanny Avengers, Captain America).
X's Least Favorite Writer: Scott Lobdell(Red Hood and the Outlaws, Superboy, Teen Titans). This one was a no-brainer for me. If I put together a top five list containing my favorite DC characters, it's almost definite that Tim Drake, Jason Todd, Bart Allen and Roy Harper would be there. All four of those characters? They are currently being HORRIBLY miswritten by one Scott Lobdell... Why? Why would Lobdell put Bat-character Jason Todd in space? Why would he have Roy Harper getting pep talks from cannibalistic super-villains? Why would he make Bart Allen painfully boring? Why would he do NOTHING of note with Tim Drake? Why would DC allow this?! The worst thing about this situation is that no matter how awful DC gets(and it's gotten pretty damn awful for me personally), I pretty much HAVE to but Teen Titans and Red Hood and the Outlaws because I want to support my favorite characters. But in doing so I'm also supporting a writer who has no business writing them... (Yep, when he says his books sell, you can't dispute it... for shame!) *sigh*
Runners Up: Cullen Bunn(Venom, Captain America &..., Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe), Tony Daniel(Detective Comics)
JT's Least Favorite Writer: Scott Lobdell (Red Hood and the Outlaws, Teen Titans)
Scott. Lobdell. The worst writer of the year by far in my eyes. I am an avid Jason Todd fan (you can tell by his screen name!), for years I lobbied for him to get his own book, I was excited when his animated film came out, I was excited when Lost Days came out, so when DC Rebooted and said I'd get a book with him and Roy Harper (who I'm a big fan of as well) and Starfire, I was ecstatic, and then I got to witness one of the worst series I've ever read. Thanks to Scott Lobdell I was forced to drop Red Hood and the Outlaws and Teen Titans. Things like Crux, Jason Todd in space, Jason going on dates with civilians (what?!). Danny the Street over in Teen Titans, Tim Drake apparently never having been Robin and The Joker basically making Jason Todd into Robin, are all I have to mention to show why Scott Lobdell is a hack, and he's somehow been rewarded with getting to write Superman. So, I'll wrap this up now, in a year where Brian Posehn caused myself and X to drop Deadpool after one issue (huh, I forgot how much the writers of Deadpool sucked...), where Ann Nocenti made me drop Catwoman after one issue, and Cullen Bunn just.... gutted an entire Venom run that Rick Remender made fantastic, Scott Lobdell is STILL the worst writer of the year.
Runners Up: Cullen Bunn, Ann Nocenti, Tony Daniel, Brian Posehn
X's Favorite Ongoing Series: Hawkeye. If you would have told me that Clint Barton, Hawkeye, would have a strong selling comic book with a top writer last year at this time, I'd have laughed in your face. And yet, here we are... It's almost like a dream come true for me... (Most people dream of money and women, X dreams of Hawkeye being successful.) One of my favorite comic book characters(and I'm not just saying Marvel characters, I mean in all of comics) is starring in his own solo series, it's selling well, has a fantastic supporting character in the under-appreciated Kate Bishop AND is written by Matt Fraction! Madness!!! And yet, that's what we have here Out of ALL the comic books I buy in a month(and we're talking about around 50-60), this is the one that I always want to read first. So yeah, Hawkguy? (Like the guy from M.A.S.H.) Definitely my favorite series, bro.
Runners Up: Amazing Spider-Man, Captain America, Uncanny Avengers, Walking Dead, Winter Soldier.
JT's Favorite Ongoing Series: Batman
(FYI - I excluded ASM or any books that end this year, since these are Ongoing titles)(It was ongoing for most of the year! That should count for something!) (Hey, shutty.)
This was a big year for Batman thanks to Scott Snyder, and of course, The Joker. Batman was already of one of the best comics coming out of DC when Snyder took over thanks to the excellent way he wrote Bruce, and introduced threats like The Court of Owls and the Return of The Joker. Some things have been hit or miss, like the issue with Harper Row, but I believe that may be building to something in the future...maybe the next Robin?(Oh god... I sure as hell hope not!) Besides that speculation, this series has been one of the best in recent memory, This new scary Joker has a lot of secrets and plans that we won't find out about until next year, but Snyder is spinning a tale of intrigue and doubt that makes me really makes me anxious to see what else he has planned for the Dark Knight.
Runners Up: Hawkeye, Scarlet Spider, The Walking Dead
X's Least Favorite Ongoing Series: Red Hood and the Outlaws. With Scott Lobdell getting the (dis)honor (Zing!) of the Least Favorite Writer award, it should come as no shock that one of his books would take the prize here. I ended up going with the series that has the most squandered promise, and for me, that is easily Red Hood and the Outlaws. This comic seems SO damn easy to write! (We'll do it for free, DC.) You have Red Hood(street hero), Arsenal(street hero) and Starfire(cosmic-type hero). With two street-level characters, you'd think we'd be getting a Streets of Gotham style of book here. The trio picks a city to work out of(any city not named Gotham or Metropolis would work) and fights crime. Sounds like a good premise, no? Instead we get Red Hood fighting magical... I don't even know what the hell the All-Caste is! (Neither does Lobdell...) Or Red Hood going on a date... That ends up IN SPACE!!! We have Jason Todd, the second Robin, fighting frigging space aliens!!! In space!! With his girlfriend!!!!! It's just so horrible!! Horrible and sad. So yeah, this series? My least favorite series by far...
Runners Up: Teen Titans, Venom, Avengers Arena.
JT's Least Favorite Ongoing Series: Red Hood and the Outlaws
No, this isn't Deja Vu, Lobdell is just this damn bad. I could go on and on about how bad he is, but I've done it once and X pretty much already mentioned anything else I'd throw out there so I'll just say this. Give this series to someone else. Get Gail Simone, bring back Judd Winick, get Bryan Q. Miller, give them this book and throw Wally West, Ravager, Huntress or someone on this team (AMEN!!!), and let them write a book that fans of these characters deserve. Because Scott Lobdell has effectively written one of the worst comic books in recent memory and we as fans deserve better, especially when there are many more capable writers that would give us better stories.
Runners Up: Worlds' Finest, Teen Titans, Catwoman, Venom
X's Favorite Event/Crossover/Mini-Series: AvX. This will probably be an unpopular choice, but hear me out. This event? It started out with so much promise. It was the Avengers taking on the X-Men. The story (kind of...) made sense! It was full of shades of gray. You could support the Avengers(like I did) but still understand the X-Men's stance(kind of...) and vice versa. And then the X-Men got Phoenix powers and became nothing more than simple villains... Sad. The story could have been so much more interesting had the Avengers continued badgering the X-Men while the X-Men tried to make the world a better place. Instead we got the X-Men pretty much declaring themselves rulers of the world. So yeah, this wasn't the perfect storyline... BUT, this event redeemed itself by undoing the dumbest of all Marvel's dumb editorial decisions... It undid the "No More Mutants" crap! We got new mutants! We have a Cyclops that is interesting! We have new mutants! If I didn't make myself clear, we got NEW mutants!!! No longer are the X-Men stuck with the exact same roster! We may get NEW X-Men! No longer are we stuck with the X-Men fighting a parade of Sentinels and a constantly re-spawning William Stryker! We can now get NEW mutant enemies! No matter what you thought of AvX, the end result justifies EVERYTHING that happened in it, and yes, the end result is also enough for me to make this my Favorite Event of 2012.
Runners Up: Court of Owls, Everything Burns.
JT's Favorite Event/Crossover/Mini-Series: Death of The Family
Joker decides to go after every single one of Batman's "family". That's
a great idea, an idea that would've been fantastic in the Old DC... but
still great in this one. This crossover has been held together by
Batman, which has been amazing, but surprisingly some of the cross over
issues have been just as strong, if not stronger. Damian's run-in with
The Joker in Batman and Robin #15 was one of the best comics DC produced
this year, the Batgirl issues have shown that Gail Simone still has it.
And seeing the Joker's creepy face, or lack thereof from a bunch of
different artists have only increased the aura of The Joker. Death of
the Family is probably the best crossover event from DC since Blackest
Night, and it was in my opinion the best crossover of this year, if only
due to some very lackluster parts of AVX.
Runners Up: Ends of the Earth, Spider-Men, Night of The Owls
X's Least Favorite Event/Crossover/Mini-Series: Minimum Carnage. So you're an editor at Marvel. You want to do a big storyline with Carnage(a GREAT villain.) You get Venom and Scarlet Spider on board. Sounds pretty good no? Carnage, Venom and Kaine?! That's pure money to me! However, Marvel made the mistake of over-thinking things... Instead of having Carnage escape from confinement and run amok, with Venom and Scarlet Spider battling him and each other, we got Carnage going to the Microverse... What the hell sense does THAT make?! The Microverse?! Really?!? The story ended up being about a power struggle in the Microverse with religious undertones... THAT'S what they do with Carnage?! Ugh. Just terrible... This could have been an event people were talking about for months afterward. Instead, it's an event I can't wait to forget...
Runners Up: Court of Owls(yes, really), Rise of the Vampires.
JT's Least Favorite Event/Crossover Series/Mini-series: Minimum Carnage
was really looking forward to this Mini-Series, you have Flash and
Kaine, Venom and Scarlet Spider, a decorated War Hero and a former
murderous clone, teaming up to take on a insane murderer with a powerful
symbiote by the name of Carnage. This had a ton of possibilities, and
it started off well, but the second they went to the Microverse and got
split up then ended up in some kind of religious Star Trek type world,
everything went down hill. The weird thing is, you can actually tell
which issues are the weak ones, they just happen to have the name Cullen
Bunn on them(Yup... Too bad it wasn't Remender and Yost doing this x-over.). I honestly believe if this crossover has been written by
Remender and Yost it would have been in my previous column, but sadly
instead of an odd couple group of heroes taking on a murderous psycho,
we got a trip to the land of tiny Carnage Clones, and ended things with
basically nothing changed, Venom's still Venom, Kaine is still a bad
ass, and Carnage is still crazy and in prison.
Runners Up: The First X-Men(Ugh, I forgot all about First X-Men! Yeah, like JT said, it sucked.), AVX,
X's Favorite New Ongoing Series: Uncanny Avengers. It's only three issues in, (Two issues in, unless you know something I don't :P) but I'll be damned if Uncanny Avengers isn't everything a company-leading comic book shouldn't be! A great team line-up, combining Marvel's two biggest franchises(Avengers and X-Men), a great enemy(The Red Skull!), and a great story. Hell, not only was this my Favorite New Ongoing series, it very nearly was my Favorite Series, period! If I had another issue or two, and if they were as strong as the first three, then yeah, this series easily would have been my MVP. (One, Two, ya hear the clock tickin..) As it is, it's my rookie of the year, but come 2013's year end awards? I'm expecting this series to be my Favorite Series.
Runners Up: Captain America, Hawkeye.
JT's Favorite New Ongoing Series: Hawkeye
This was actually a really tough choice for me, as there were a lot of great series that started this year thanks to Marvel Now. However, none of them were as great as Hawkeye was, after only six issues so far, this has proven to be one of the best written comics of the year. Matt Fraction has made Hawkguy, sorry Hawkeye, a hilarious, relatable, strong lead and his inclusion of Kate Bishop as Hawkeye's sidekick/comic relief was a great choice. Add in the amazingly written issue three of this series, which I think is one of the best single issues of 2012, the awesome Bro's, and the clever stories we've already gotten, I wouldn't be surprised if this ends up being the best series of 2013(Or, you know, the best series of 2012, like SOME people are saying...).
Runners Up: All New X-Men, Uncanny Avengers, Thor: God of Thunder, Saga, Idolized, Captain America, Indestructible Hulk(Damn, JT, you liked a lot of new books this year!)
X's Favorite Hero of 2012: The Avengers. Yeah, that's right, I'm gonna cheat here(shut up, JT!). (Surprise, Surprise...) There really wasn't a single character that stood out for me this year. Instead, I think 2012 will end up going down as the year of the Avengers. They stood up to the Phoenix Force. They defeated the crazy X-Men. Bendis ended his run on the Avengers books AND they had the third highest grossing movie... Of ALL time!! For my money? You aren't gonna ever see a hero(es) have a better year than THAT! So kudos to the Avengers, the Earth's Mightiest Heroes, and my Heroes of 2012.
Runners Up: Professor Xavier, Rick Grimes, Iron Man, Scarlet Witch.
JT's Favorite Hero of 2012: The Avengers
Now first things first, I told X was gonna go with The Avengers prior to this week, but X said I'd be cheating, so imagine my surprise when a jerk who shall not be named picked The Avengers!(Shaddap, you!) :P That aside, this was a huge year for the Earth's Mightiest Heroes. The Avengers movie, which had been slow being set up since 2008 was finally released and it lived up to the hype and more, meanwhile the Avengers: Earth Mightiest Heroes run finished up and it's been called one of the best superhero TV cartoons of all time by multiple websites (And by X! It was fantastic!). Also, the Avengers have had a huge year in comics as well, not just the main series but Thor, Hawkeye, Captain America, Hulk, and Iron Man each of the main characters except one (sorry Widow) (Poor, poor, Black Widow...) have a new comic series that's been incredible so far. In a year that also had movies from Spidey and Batman, The Avengers still reigned supreme, and this was their year.
Runners Up: Spider-Man, Batman, Rick Grimes
And assemble they did in 2012!
X's Favorite Villain of 2012: Cyclops. First things first, this isn't an insult. I am not trying to slight any fans of Cyclops. (You'd better not be...) But for me, he WAS the top villain of 2012. Think about it. He fought against the Avengers. He battled Captain America. He bonded with the Phoenix Force, even though he saw how dangerous it was when it led to the death of Jean Grey. He tried to enforce his rule over the entire planet Earth, "For it's own good". He KILLED Professor Xavier. He broke out of prison. He's a fugitive with Magneto... Those are not the actions of a hero. Those aren't even the actions of an anti-hero. For me? Those are the actions of a villain. Plain and simple. (Sounds more like the actions of someone that is Bad Ass.) Others may see it differently, and that's fine. But I see ol' Scott Summers as a villain, and you know what? I like what I see...
Runners Up: Magik, Daken, Joker, Negan, Dr. Octopus.
You're a bad man, Scott Summers... (But he's SO good at it.)
JT's Favorite Villain of 2012: Dr. Octopus
No bad guy has had a year like Doctor Octopus (I can't really dispute that). In a year with Negan and Lucille, Joker's return and attack on the Batfamily, and Cyclops killing his mentor, Doctor Octopus is STILL the villain of the year in my eyes. Why you ask? Before getting to the obvious things, let's think about Ends of the Earth for a bit. Thanks to Doctor Octopus and his plans with the Sinister Six, we saw him blow up a Space station, defeat the Avengers, inadvertently lead to the death of Rhino(Wait, Rhino's dead?! Shows how much I was paying attention...) and Silver Sable, and of course he finally defeated Peter Parker. This year, Doctor Octopus did what no one else could, he beat Spider-Man, but he didn't just beat him, he killed him and took his body and is living on as Peter Parker and Spider-Man. It's not often a hero loses, but it's even more rare that a villain wins, and Dr. Octopus, a guy that started the year holding the world ransom is now holding the body of his arch-nemesis ransom, and that's a hell of a year if you ask me.
Runners Up: The Joker, Negan, Thragg
X's Favorite Single Issue of 2012: Captain America #2. Now THIS was probably the toughest category for me to choose... Until two weeks ago, I thought my pick was a slam dunk no-brainer. It HAD to be Amazing Spider-Man #692. (That issue was REALLY good...) And then I read Captain America #2... That comic was pure bliss. It had everything! A great story, great art, great dialogue, great characters, a great cliffhanger, everything. I was captivated by Cap and Ian's journey. I felt for Cap as he tried to keep his young charge safe. I pulled for him as he battled all the freaks in Dimension Z. I WANTED Cap and Ian to survive unscathed And then Rick Remender ended the comic with a cliffhanger that has me almost pulling my hair out... Is Ian okay? Did that creature change it's mind before beheading him? It had to, right? Please?! Needless to say, waiting for issue #3 to drop is like torture for me. You want to read a fantastic story of survival? A fantastic story period? Buy this issue. It's comics like this one that remind me why I read comics.
Runners Up: Amazing Spider-Man #692, Winter Soldier #5, AvX: Vs #1, Winter Soldier #12.
JT's Favorite Single Issue of 2012: Hawkeye #3
(I REALLY need to go back and re-read this issue...)Much like X, I had a hard time deciding the winner of this issue, this was a huge year for great single issues. Pretty much any of my Runners up could have easily won, with the amazing new origin Snyder gave Mr. Freeze, the debut of Alpha, the swerve in Amazing Spider-Man #698 or the amazing story crafted in Amazing Spider-Man #700, but I had to go with what I think was one of the best crafted, funniest, most enjoyable stories of the year and that was Hawkeye #3. Hawkeye had so many great moments in that issue, whether it was his explanation on why he had a boomerang arrow (Because....boomerangs), seeing him naked with a old-school Hawkeye face covering his bow, the many great lines Kate had in that issue, the way the boomerang arrow joke "came back" at the end, all in all this comic was perfect in every sense of the word.
Runners Up: Amazing Spider-Man #692, Amazing Spider-Man #698, Amazing Spider-Man #700(wow, somebody liked him some Spidey books this year!), Batman Annual #1,
X's Worst Cancellation News: Avengers Academy. Avengers Academy was my Favorite Ongoing Series of 2011. It gave me my Favorite Writer of 2011. Not only that, it was great through 2012 as well. And then Marvel Now! happened. Marvel decided that instead of relaunching this series under the Marvel Now! banner, they'd just cancel and replace it. Okay, that's too bad. I love Gage's writing, but maybe the replacement series will be good, right? Wrong. As if to add insult to injury for us Avengers Academy fans, we get Avengers Arena, a series that is focused on KILLING the characters we loved from Avengers Academy as well as other series). Oh, and the main villain of the book? Arcade. Man does Avengers Arena make me long for Avengers Academy...
Runners Up: New Mutants, Grifter. (GRIFTER?! You poor poor fool.)
JT's Worst Cancellation News: Avengers Academy
One of my first few posts on this blog after joining it this year was about five reasons why you should read Avengers Academy, which you can read here,(What a cheap plug... Shameful!) but the gist of it was that it's something different. It's an amazing cast of characters that you can relate to, it helped make me a fan of Pym and Tigra, and there's a ton of great moments in that series. Time travel, watching characters grow and change, the crossover with the kids from Runaways, Christos Gage wrote an excellent series with new characters and made us fans of them, something that's not easy to do with one character, let alone six, but Gage found a way, so to see this series end was pretty crappy to say the least, but Gage was able to end things on his terms with an excellent story, and regardless of what happens to the Academy Crew in the future, luckily we have the amazing run by Gage, and their appearances in ASM to remember how great Avengers Academy was.
Runners Up: Uncanny X-Men, Justice League International
X's What the HELL?!? Moment of 2012: Danny the Street... Two words, Scott Lobdell... So yeah, in Teen Titans there's was a character named Danny the Street. And get this, he's LITERALLY a STREET!!! Yeah, I know Danny the Street was around in the pre-New 52 DCU. (I was blissfully unaware of that.) And yes, I know that Grant Morrison created him... um, her... um, it? But really, was anybody out there clamoring for Danny the Street to make it's New 52 debut?! Isn't this the kind of thing people should be forgetting, not bringing back! Can you imagine trying to explain this to non-comic fans? Hell, forget that, even explaining Danny the Street to comic fans is difficult! "Well, he's a sentient teenage street who helps people..." Why? What purpose does Danny the Street serve?! And how the HELL can a street be a teenager?!?!? How does THAT even work?! Does it age? (Baby = Sidewalk, Teen = Street, Adult = Highway, Senior = Dirt Road?) Can it celebrate birthdays?! Ugh... Let's just say Danny the Street is a true What the HELL?!? Moment and move on...
Runners Up: Jason Todd goes on a date... In space!, Talon: "Batman, I am the brother you forgot you had!!", Joker, the original creator of Jason Todd...
They're mourning A STREET!!! (The best part is he got upgraded to an Alley... maybe he knows Crime Alley?)
JT's What the HELL?!? Moment of 2012: Joker tells Jason... I AM YOUR FATHER
The Joker, purposely made ruined Jason's life and family to make him get taken in by Bruce Wayne and become Robin, so he could kill him and make Batman sad, because The Joker was bored... Fuck you Scott Lobdell(HA!! I couldn't have said it better myself!).
Runners Up: Deadpool sets himself on fire after losing his healing factor, Danny The Street, Jason's Space Date, Superman/Wonder Woman kissing makes Booster Gold disappear
X's Biggest Shock Moment of 2012: Doc Ock is Spider-Man. Now this? I did NOT see this one coming... For years Dr. Octopus had been a b-list character. He'd pop up every now and then, stick around for a few issues, but he always, ALWAYS lost. However, about two years ago Dan Slott, Matt Fraction and others did the impossible... They made Doc Ock into a threat! He was matching wits with Tony Stark. And winning! He nearly destroyed the world! He menaced Spider-Man more than ever before! In short, he became a somebody. And then Slott upped the ante. Ock wound up pulling off his greatest victory of all... He managed to swap his mind with the mind of Peter Parker. Yes, Dr. Octopus had become Spider-Man. While Peter was trapped in Ock's rapidly failing body, Ock was cozying up with Mary Jane! And if that wasn't bad enough, Ock managed to stymie Peter at every turn when Peter made a final, last ditch effort at returning to his body. In the end though, the joke was on Ock, for as Peter Parker died in Ock's body, the two relived all of Peter's memories and Ock decided to reform and become a better Spider-Man than Peter had been. How will this work out? We'll find out in 2013 between the pages of Superior Spider-Man.
Runners Up: Negan kills Glenn, Cyclops kills Professor Xavier.
JT's Biggest Shock Moment of 2012: The Superior Spider-Man
Superior Spider-Man is Doctor Octopus. No one saw that coming, literally no one. Anyone who says they DID is a liar. Prior to #698 when they announced Superior Spider-Man wouldn't be Peter Parker, X and I discussed many people it could be. Alpha? Kaine? Ben Reilly? Harry Osborn? Peter with a new name?(That was actually what I thought they were gonna do) Turns out it was a new name with Peter, as Doctor Octopus became the new Spider-Man in what has to be the shocking moment of 2012. Doctor Octopus is the Superior Spider-Man, or at least he claims to be, only time will tell if he's a nominee for Hero or Villain of the year come this time next year.
Runners Up: Batman has a Brother?! Negan kills Glenn, Cyclops kills Xavier, Miles Morales is in the 616 Universe?
X's Jason Todd Award(Most Underutilized Character): The Non-Existent Wally West. Yeah, that's right, I'm STILL pissed off about the disgusting way DC has treated Wally West. (And rightfully so!) A character who(prior to Final Crisis) had been the Flash LONGER than Barry Allen!!! That's right, he was the Flash for a longer period of time than Barry was! Add his run as Kid Flash, and this is a character who has been around for as long as most of the characters roaming the DCU! And yet what happens to him? Clueless Dan Didio and Fanboy Geoff Johns decide that since THEY like Barry more, Wally, his family, all of the stories he had been in, all no longer exist. In a nutshell, if you were to ask me what bothers me the most about DC and why I'm not nearly the DC fan I was just a scant two years ago, I would simply point to the treatment of Wally West. A character that deserved so much more than he's getting.
Runners Up: Black Widow, Bart Allen.
I still remember you, Wally!!! (Kyle could make anything...why just a banner they could have bought?)
JT's Jason Todd Award (Most Underutilized Character): Stephanie Brown
Stephanie Brown. Thanks to Bryan Q. Miller run of Batgirl, Stephanie became the best Batgirl in a lot of fans eyes, mine included, and two years later, she's nowhere to be found. The worst part is that fans have clamored for her return, even as Spoiler, and we've gotten nothing. She's a fun character, one of the few Bat-Family members that has been through as much drama as Jason and instead of being somber she's happy, she's funny, she's the light and joy of the Bat-Family, especially when Nightwing has been darker than ever since the New 52 started, and since Didio seems to want to make sure we don't see Stephanie in anything, even in the Smallville comic that doesn't take place in the main DCU, making Miller replace her with Babs Gordon, there's a good chance she may sadly repeat in this category next year (This is actually reason #723,890 as to why Dan Didio sucks.).
Runners Up: Eddie Brock, She Hulk, Wally West, Booster Gold,
X's Best Moment of 2012: The Rebirth of Mutantkind. I grew up on the X-Men. By far, they were my favorite comic book franchise. Back in the day, every issue, be it X-Men, New X-Men, Uncanny X-Men, or hell, even a book like Xtreme X-Men had the possibility of being great or of introducing a great new mutant character. A character that could possibly resonate with the fans and take off, ala Wolverine. And then Marvel destroyed all of that at the end of House of M. "No More Mutants" did more than decimate the mutant population, it decimated the X-books! There were no more new mutants... No more new X-Men. No more New Mutants. No more new villains Instead, what we got was a resolving door of Sentinels, William Stryker and bigots. Over and over and over again. As a result, I started to slowly drift away from the X-family of books because, for me at least, they had become monotonous and boring. That's why I was overjoyed with the end of AvX! Finally we would be getting new mutant characters! New heroes! New villains! New everything! Now, for the first time in YEARS, I actually look forward to opening an X-Men comic! It took a hell of a lot longer than it should have, but the important thing is that Marvel finally put things back the way they need to be!
Runners Up: Hawkeye not only getting a series, but a series that is selling well!, Marvel Now! not making the same mistakes(Destroying continuity!) the New 52 made, The Avengers movie breaking box office records.
JT's Best Moment of 2012: The Avengers Movie
Goddamn that movie was amazing. Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark is always amazing, but you put him with Captain America, Hawkeye, Thor, The Hulk, Black Widow, Sam Jackson as Nick Fury, Agent Coulson, and Loki and you have a masterpiece. That movie had action, tons of fighting, a great story, and a bunch of laughs, but the best thing about it? No one was overshadowed. Hawkeye and Widow weren't made to look weak because they didn't have powers, Thor didn't dominate whoever he fought just because he's a God (That Iron Man/Thor fight was SWEET!!), and The Hulk was better here in any of the last few movies he's had. This was the perfect movie for comic fans and casual fans, and it showed that when done correctly a comic movie doesn't have to be "a great comic movie", it can just be a "great movie", and that's what The Avengers is.
Runners Up: Hawkeye gets a series, Indestructible Hulk's premise, Layman takes over Detective Comics, Flag Football at Avengers Academy
X's Worst Moment of 2012: Scott Lobdell still writing 4 of my 5 favorite DC characters... I can't stress enough how awful a job Scott Lobdell has done on Teen Titans and Red Hood and the Outlaws... Those are two of the books I was most looking forward to with the New 52. Now, they are two of the books I dread buying the most. And thanks to my stubborn loyalty to Jason Todd, Roy Harper, Tim Drake and Bart Allen, I'll keep picking those books up... If there's a silver lining it's this; Lobdell seems to have left Superboy, and Tom DeFalco has done a pretty good job with that series. With Lobdell getting to write Superman(Why, DC?!?), maybe, just maybe, he'll leave either(or both!) Red Hood or Teen Titans... I can only hope...(I'm hoping with you!)
Runners Up: Joker single-handedly murdering most of the Gotham City Police Department... With his bare hands!!!, Ed Brubaker leaving Captain America and Winter Soldier, replacing Avengers Academy with Avengers Arena.
JT's Worst Moment of 2012: Rick Remender leaving Venom
Rick Remender's run on Venom was nothing short of fantastic. He took a character we all knew, Flash Thompson, former bully turned handicapped war hero and gave him the Venom Symbiote, the thing most of us think of when thinking of Eddie Brock, and he did what I thought no one could ever do. He made me like Flash as Venom more than Eddie. Flash was relatable, he wanted to do better and he was willing to use his powers to do so, he even convinced the symbiote to work with him, and while most writers would've drawn out the dissension between Flash and the symbiote for multiple arcs, Remender looked into other things, like Flash's relationship with his father, his girlfriend Betty Brant, and even gave him his own Rogues Gallery (Like the awesome Jack O' Lantern!), including none other than Eddie Brock. Remender's writing of Flash was probably the best character development since Bryan Miller wrote Stephanie Brown. And while Remender left Venom with a hell of a lot of potential, things didn't work out well with Bunn's writing for me and I've dropped Venom (And I'm only still hanging on to this series by a thread...), which I guarantee would not be the case if Remender was still writing our symbiotic superhero.
Runners Up: Lobdell on Red Hood and Teen Titans, Mark Grayson is bad in bed without his powers, Avengers Academy existing, The ending of Deadpool kills The Marvel Universe(Ugh... Please don't remind me of THAT...)
X's Character to Watch in 2013: Kate Bishop. This was a tough category for me. I went back and forth a few times, but in the end, I went with Hawkeye. (Clint Barton?) No, not Clint Barton, the other Hawkeye, Kate Bishop! (Ohhhhhh!) Kate is currently co-starring in the (extremely) awesome Hawkeye series (my Favorite Series of the Year) and is slated to be a member of the upcoming Young Avengers title (the Marvel Now! book I'm most looking forward to). So come January, Kate will be appearing in two series, after not being in any prior to the middle part of 2012. I can easily see Kate making it to the big leagues, probably not in 2013, but sometime in the near future. Yep, I can see a day where the Avengers line-up features two Hawkeye's. (Hawkguy's...) And let's face it, the more Hawkeye, the better!
Runners Up: Alpha, Loki, Nova.
JT's Character to Watch in 2013: Alpha!(YEAH!!!)
X's pick was Kate Bishop, a great pick if you ask me, but my pick is the former cocky hero known as Alpha. Alpha was given powers by a scientific mishap thanks to none other than Peter Parker, and after only four issues in Amazing Spider-Man, the cocky little jerk that you love to hate is scheduled for a Mini Series in the beginning of 2013 (I'll be getting TWO copies!!). Alpha is an interesting character in the sense that he was what Peter Parker could have become if he didn't have the great responsibility that was thrust upon him after the death of Uncle Ben, and Alpha had his powers diminished greatly by Spider-Man thanks to him using them very recklessly and for all the wrong reasons (Yes, exactly! He was a realistic, current version of Peter Parker! He's what most of us would be if we had those powers! THAT'S the appeal!). But his powers are slowly returning, and with a new Peter Parker to mentor him, only time will tell what's next on Alpha's agenda, but I'm expecting very big things from the newest teen superhero sensation (In closing, Alpha is awesome. The end.).
Runners Up: Hawkeye, Negan, SHAZAM
Whew, that was A LOT of typing! I don't know about JT, but I for one am glad this is finally the end of this, the largest post, by far, to ever grace this humble little blog. Last order of business is for me to make my (not-so) bold prediction for 2013... And that prediction is...... That 2013 will be a banner year for Marvel Comics. Riding the momentum of the Avengers movie, as well as Marvel Now! thus far surpassing the New 52 in terms of storytelling and interest, I can see Marvel not only holding on to the top of the sales charts, but I can easily see them taking a huge lead over DC. Honestly, other than a major stunt(something like returning to the pre-New 52 DCU), I just don't see how DC keeps pace with Marvel in 2013... Actually, I do see a way for DC to at least try to keep pace with Marvel without blowing up the New 52 and admitting failure... Give us one comic book set in the pre-New 52 DCU. A DC Comics Presents sort of comic that focuses on a different character for a storyline. A Stephanie Brown Batgirl story for issues #1-6, a Wally West Flash tale for #6-12, a Titans story(the Arsenal/Jericho team we almost got) and so on. ( I for one would buy that in a heartbeat.) It's been proven that people WILL buy alternate reality DC comic books, the success of Earth 2 is a testament to that, so why not give us a taste of the pre-New 52 DCU? It can only help. Other than something like that? Marvel dominates the charts running away in 2013. On the plus side, maybe Dan Didio gets fired if the gap between the two companies becomes too great. I can only hope... Now for a rare appearance from nice X! First off, a huge thanks to my best friend, JT, for foolishly... um, I mean, for smartly deciding to write here at the blog. He's definitely made blogging as fun as it's ever been. So thanks JT, I seriously mean that. You guys may not realize it, but he's truly been the glue that's kept this blog running for the few bumps in the road I've had to deal with in 2012. (Thanks X, I appreciate the kind words and I'm glad I was able to help out my best bud.) While I'm thanking people, I want to thank you guys and gals who take the time out of your busy lives to read the inconsequential nonsense JT and I spout day after day. Without readers, there's no blog, so thanks for reading. There, with the mushy stuff out of the way, it's time for me to wrap things up. JT will finish this post up, but for me? Until 2013(which isn't that far off, actually), X out!
MAN, this was a long post. I couldn't agree more X, but I did have fun in my first ever year end awards here, and hopefully you guys enjoy reading them as much as me and my hermano X enjoyed typing them up. As for MY 2012 prediction, since X took the obvious route, I'm going to make a bold prediction, in 2013 one of the following three characters will die.... Oliver of Invincible, Andrea of Walking Dead, or Damian Wayne of Batman and Robin. So, a bold prediction by me, I'm interested in seeing if I'm actually right since that's right off the top of my head, but I guess we'll see. In closing, I'd like to say that this year has been insane, in a good way. I was asked to write for this blog by my buddy X, after I got bored of the monotony of my own blog, started out posting arbitrarily, then I actually took over this blog for three months while X took some time off. That in itself is insane to me since I stumbled upon this place a few years ago, and here I was running the joint. This year I also bonded with my pal X even more, thanks to this blog and some personal things he's been dealing with, and I think we've become better friends for it. Also blogging has become fun again, but that's not just due to him, that's due to you guys for reading, commenting, discussing things and just being generally awesome so thanks. I can honestly say that this first year at this blog has been the best time I've had since I started reviewing comics a few years ago. Thanks to you guys for reading, thanks to the writers and artists that work hard for our comic enjoyment that give us such quality books to review, thanks to X for being a great friend, a great partner here at the blog, and the closest thing I have to a big brother, haha. And lastly, I wanna say one final time in 2012, Screw you Scott Lobdell! Thank you and Happy New Year, until next year, this is JT signing off!