Monday, December 31, 2007

Top 12 "Best" Comic Events of 2007

Green Lantern Corps #16
Originally uploaded by Heidi Meeley
After focusing on the books and events that I considered the “worst” of 2007, it is now time to concentrate on “best”. It took quite a bit of soul searching to narrow the field, but I am ready to acknowledge the things that made me smile, even while sometimes gritting my teeth to get through the process.

12. Fallen Angel from IDW: Peter David hit it out of the park with this fantastically written series focusing on the town of Bete Noire and the characters that make it so incredible. After a short run at DC, David found his stride with a more independent company. It really felt like he could be free to realize his vision, and I appreciate that.

11. 52 ends on a strong note: While Countdown still hasn’t found its vision over thirty issues in, 52 had a cohesive message from week one. Focusing on minor characters and making them astounding was no small feat, but I feel like DC succeeded very well here. With a stable of writer that read like a “who’s who” of comics, this weekly series had heart to spare.

10. Black Canary and Green Arrow Wedding: I know you are surprised to see this here, after my posts about not wanting to see the two together. I am a bit surprised myself. I still am not convinced that marrying Dinah and Ollie was the best decision ever, but it spawned a gorgeously drawn book that I am really enjoying, despite the dissent of others. Cliff Chiang is incredible, and I am having fun watching Dinah kick some butt. Time will tell how the marriage plays out, but I will always have my memories of the big event, taking enjoyment in the fact that it gave me something to take away the pain of “Amazons Attack”.

9. DC Showcase editions: While the cover to the Batgirl created a great deal of uproar, I chose to focus on the Showcase editions as a whole. I loved the fact that I got a Wonder Woman, Justice League of America, Teen Titans, and Batgirl collection for $19.99 each. I was glad that DC came out with a counterpart to Marvel’s black and white reprint bibles. It was about time!

8. Booster Gold series: Like a breath of fresh air, the Booster Gold series swooped in and captured my imagination. Dealing with “woulda, coulda, shoulda” from Booster’s perspective has been an eye opener. I especially enjoyed Booster Gold #5, which showed why Barbara Gordon’s fate could not be changed. This is the kind of fresh series I have been craving. The fact that Booster Gold stars in it amazes and thrills me. It is certainly the best thing to spin out from 52.

7. Dwayne McDuffie on Fantastic Four and JLA: I have never been so happy to see a writer take over a book then I was when McDuffie took over Fantastic Four at the end of Civil War. Talk about a book needing a shot in the arm! After horrendous storylines that made me want to rip the book in two, I appreciated McDuffie’s sure hand. McDuffie as the new writer on Justice League of America also pleases me to no end. This comic book veteran isn’t flashy, which is refreshing. He is just what these two team books needed. A sure vision and a reality check are what McDuffie brings and I am happy about that.

6. World War Hulk/Planet Hulk: Greg Pak accomplished the near-impossible. He took my mind off Civil War and told a great tale while he was at it. The godliness and redemption of Bruce Banner in his Hulk incarnation was spot-on. In my mind, Pak understands the Hulk character like no one has since Peter David’s glorious run. I loved Planet Hulk, and think it is one of the most underrated stories that was told this year. If you didn’t see it and want to cleanse your Marvel palate, I would highly recommend picking it up.

5. Gail Simone writes Wonder Woman: Two issues in and I’m feeling better about the title already. Simone brings an air of confidence and stability to the book that has been missing since the relaunch. Wonder Woman isn’t a diva, but she isn’t scared of her own shadow either. Time will tell how Simone puts her stamp on the book, but I feel secure with the Amazing Amazon in her hands. I still miss her work on Birds of Prey though.

4. A Fond Farewell to Strangers in Paradise: Terry Moore did something astounding. He ended his long running series Strangers in Paradise on his own terms in his own timeframe. After creating a fantastic body of work centered on Francine, Katchoo, and David, Moore decided it was time for the characters to have some peace and quiet. The good news is that I will always have the books to read and reminisce. The even better news is that Moore is still in the industry, doing what he does best. I will miss the book, but feel that Moore ended things on a very poignant and real level.

3. The Boys gets a new home at Dynamite Entertainment: After getting the boot by Wildstorm for justifiably lewd and obnoxious content, one of my favorite new series has a new home and creative freedom. Garth Ennis and Darrick Robertson are able to continue their vision with full support, and that is wonderful. It is a win-win for Wildstorm and Dynamite Entertainment, as well as the readers. We all get what we want, and for me that means I get to continue to read The Boys glorious demented adventures.

2. Captain America by Ed Brubaker: Brubaker has balls of brass. He killed Captain America and made it work. He was gleeful about it. Then he kept the momentum going by going right into the chase for the killer. Bucky, Black Widow, Agent 13, Falcon, and Tony Stark are being written as they were meant to be. They are dangerous, powerful, and they aren’t going to stop until justice is done. While I will always consider Steve Rogers to be Captain America, I am really enjoying the ride that Brubaker is taking us on.

1. Green Lantern/Sinestro Corps War: I was extremely skeptical about the GL/Sinestro War. I didn’t like the fact that Kyle was going to go evil, and that the Corps was going to be decimated. At the beginning, I thought this was a huge mistake. Boy was I wrong. Geoff Johns, Dave Gibbons, and an incredible team of artists turned a scary idea into the most successful event of the year. Forget Civil War. Let Countdown take a back burner. Even World War Hulk seemed tame in comparison. This war was the event of the year. Well executed and filled with humanity, pathos, and plenty of action, watching the GL Corps being torn down and built back up was like watching a beautiful painting become even better. This crossover event has made me an even bigger GL fan, and that is saying a lot.

That is my list for 2007. Did I miss an event you felt was noteworthy? Did you agree with some of these, or all of them? I raise a glass to toast the end of 2007 in all its glory. Salute! Now, bring on 2008!


Anonymous said...

12. Never read it.

11. I think the ending bobbled somewhat with the handling of the WWIII storyline (as basically a catch-all for the stuff they never addressed during 52). Still, compared to Countdown, it's a freakin' masterpiece.

10. Didn't read it.

9. I'm glad the black and white reprints are around (for newer fans to experience), but I personally haven't bought many of them.

8. I gave Booster Gold a try for three or four issues, but it never hooked me. Lighthearted books like this one can easily veer into "farce" territory, and I think it's been skating the line. Plus, I guess I've never felt any feeling toward Booster Gold in the past, so it's been hard to sustain my initial interest.

7. Yes! McDuffie was a welcome addition to both the FF and JLA. I'm disappointed that he'll be handing the reigns over to Mark "God, I'm Cool" Millar soon.

6. I recently read a hardcover collection of Planet Hulk and thought it was pretty good. I'll definitely read WW Hulk when the library to get this trade.

5. Yeah, great stuff. She really seems to be weaving some big, complex stuff here.

4. Never read it.

3. Never read it (that stuff isn't really my thing).

2. Agreed. Brubaker is doing some outstanding stuff here...pretty amazing since the title character isn't even around!

1. A big "HELL YEAH!" Favorite story of the year...or actually of the past SEVERAL YEARS. Outstanding from top to bottom...with fall-out for years to come.

Great lists, Heidi! I thought of doing my own, but I honestly couldn't remember much of the previous year's comics (how sad is that?). Your lists helped jog my memory.

Swinebread said...

12. One of those, man, “I can’t read everything” titles for me. Not reading.

11. Yes, yes, yes, I read 52 as four trades, very good. Can’t say enough about it. Too bad the event series before and after it aren’t so good. DC had a chance to really build on this and they blew it. I’m also glad they didn’t kill Batwoman.

10. All I picked up the Wedding Special, and it was the worst thing I read all year. I disliked the art, the plot was terrible, and there were elements of reversed sexism that angered me. I knew GA being killed was a ruse but I still hated it. All I wanted in this one issue was a nice happy story for a change. I can’t say anything about the rest of the series. Not Reading.

9. Yes the titles you mention were good, it’s about time but other showcase titles I was really looking forward to were cancelled: Suicide Squad, Secret Society of Super-Villains, Jonah Hex Volume 2, The Great Disaster, and Captain Carrot. So, I’d have to say thumbs down on Showcase Presents for me.

8. I’ve heard good things; maybe a collection will show up at the library, not reading

7. Not reading any of McDuffie’s titles

6. Didn’t read it. Though, I’d borrow a trade.

5. I have never read any Wonder Woman but Gail is getting so much press I thought about picking up an issue just to check it out.

4. I read the first few volumes of Strangers long ago but finally I just couldn’t get past the subtext that was swiped from Las Locas in Love and Rockets. But I guess imitation is the sincerest form of flattery right? I suppose if someone let me borrow the books I read them now though.

3. Good news as I like Dynamite, but alas, another title that falls under the “I can’t read everything” banner for me. Not reading

2. Ed may be a good writer but I was pissed Marvel killed cap. It seemed like an incredibly cynical, money-grubbing thing to do. Maybe if there hadn’t been all sorts of other horrible events and hi-jinks going on, I could have dealt with it but as it stands this is shortsided IMHO. Cap’s my Superman, and Marvel simply said that his values and ethics simply aren’t needed anymore in today’s world. Wrong, they’re needed now more then ever. Imagine DC killing off Wonder Woman because she’s quaint, or imagine the government breaking the law and not following the Geneva Convention because it’s quaint. Whew! I must be more angry about this than I thought.

1. Sounds good, just my kinda’ stuff, I’ll pick up the trade at some point.

You put a lot of thought into your posts and into this one in particular. Sorry if I come off as little rough. But hey, what you wrote got me thinking and that’s the best gift someone can give right?

(Well, OK, maybe the gift of life is best gift but your posts are up there.)

Eaglewing said...

Interesting list. I'm really surprised the BC/GA wedding made your list - btw, are they actually truly married yet? Fallen Angel is something that I have to remember to check out in trades. Sounds good. The Boys is great, and I'm so glad they were able to go to another publisher to continue the "glorious demented adventures" (well put :) And Ed Brubaker is doing some great work indeed. Although as good as his work on Cap and Daredevil is, I'd have to go with his Criminal as my top moment of the year (or rather my discovering of the book as events go). I enjoy the spandex set of adventures as much as anyone, but noir and crime genres are really my thing and the way he writes Criminal just knocks it out of the park every time. Not to mention the extras are just as good and an intriguing way to pull people to the monthly floppies. Between Criminal and Punisher Max, it's what really brought me back into the comics world over the last year and got me interested in even more titles. Can't wait to see what stories I read in '08. Happy New Year!

Vaklam said...

The Sinestro Corps is at the top of my list, too. World War Hulk just kept repeating the same scene. It was a cool scene but it never went anywhere.

Lisa said...

Fallen Angel is definitely one of the great comics people aren't reading. I should start recommending it to all of those people I got hooked on Manhunter - they'll have something to entertain them while they wait for it's hopeful return.

110% agreement on the DC Showcase books! It was about time DC did these. Marvel's had their equivalent for years even though DC has decades more stories.

Brubaker has brought many, many new readers to Captain America, even before he killed off Rogers. And who else could keep a comic book going for almost a year after the main character was killed off? His writing has really taken a character that many felt was out of date and brought him into the 2000's.

I agree with Gail on WW too - and if she had to leave BOP I'm glad Sean McKeever took the reigns. I think both comics have a great future with such good writers at their helms.

I'd add Marvel's Dark Tower: Gunslinger Born to the list. In fact I did have it on mine. This book outsold everything in the store and kept people coming back for more - a retailer's dream. And as a fan of Stephen King from WAY back I enjoyed reading this new version of the Gunslinger with the beautiful art. In a year when many people were starting to feel like there wasn't anything really exciting going on in comics, this one one of the stand-out series.

RedheadFangirl said...

Happy 2008 to you! A nice list, but I hadn't read maybe 1/2 of your choices...but man, you mentioned Batgirl twice and that makes me happy! Now where is that Johns All Star Batgirl?

Tony Z™ said...

12. I've been reading Fallen Angel since the DC series. The art was better then, but I'm still loving the story.

11. I just loved 52. Countdown has an occasional good issue, but just doesn't hold a candle to the 52!

10. Honestly, I thought I was the only person in the universe who was enjoying this series. LOL

9. I don't buy a lot of the Showcase books, but I have more than I thought. The ones I do have I love, love, love!

8. Booster Gold is one of my faves right now. I just hope he keeps skirting the fringes of the DCU and doesn't get pulled back into it.

7. I don't read Marvel, but I'm enjoying his JLA muchly.

6. Don't read Marvel...

5. It's not as spectacular as I was expecting it to be, but it's SO much better than it was that I'm happy anyway. I figure when the story actually kicks into gear it's gonna be a wild ride.

4, 3, 2. Never read 'em.

1. Had no idea this was going to turn out so awesome. If only the "big" comic events could be half this good...