And so it comes to this…
It was a banner year for comics, but only 5 made the cut for best Quick Pick of 2011. Will it be:
Happy New Year’s and best to all for a great 2012!
After Justice League #1 set up the new status quo for the DCU, we finally get the first salvo of the new 52. And it was a doozy:
- Action Comics #1 gives us Grant Morrison’s new take on the Boy Scout in pants. Nothing spectacular, but good to see it taken back to basics with Superman fighting for the common man while dealing with authorities that want no part of him.
- Batgirl #1 sees Gail Simone take Barbara Gordon out of the chair and back into action. I already knew Simone would bring the great female characterization to Barbara based on her previous runs in Birds of Prey. I expected just as much here as well.
- You wouldn’t have expected much out of Tony Daniel in Detective Comics #1 until those last two pages knocked your socks off.
- Swamp Thing #1 took a newbie like me to the character and made me love it. Scott Snyder does horror right and this character fits his style just well. Yanick Paquette was no slouch either.
- Animal Man #1 also took a newbie like me to the character and made me love it. Jeff Lemire brings his off-the-wall creepiness to this character that sets the stage for great stories. All I have to say is I’m not burying dead pets any time soon.
There’s more of week 1 to come, but I only have so much voice to spare. Tune in soon for part 2 of what’s left of the new 52 in week 1!
Music provided by Jenny Dalton – Tuesday with Zooey
And so ends a classic run for the Batman ages. Detective Comics #881 ends a year-long saga from the minds of Scott Snyder, Jock, and Francisco Francavilla. Seriously, I can’t remember the last time I was so glued to a Batman tale, especially one primarily focused on Dick Grayson and Commisioner Gordon. And put James Jr. up on the long wall gallery of great Batman rogues – his creepiness and long-term effects on this series will surely last a long time.
Speaking of classic runs coming to an end, cheers to Bryan Q. Miller for wrapping up a great run culminating with Batgirl #24. Just amazed to see how far Stephanie Brown has come – nobody gave her a chance when this all started 2 years ago and now we’re sad to see her go for at least the immediate future. This issue wrapped it all up in a nice, fitting tribute to what Stephanie brought the Batman family legacy.
American Vampire : Survival of the Fittest #3 takes us back to German grounds, as Felicia Book and Cash McCogan find the doctor responsible for the vampire cure. What they didn’t anticipate was thousands of Nazi vampires in the midst ready to go to war. It’s been great to see other sides in this decades-long battle against vampirism and how they ended this issue really sets the stakes high (as if they already haven’t been higher already).
No, your eyes do not deceive you. I could really only think of four books I’m looking forward to. That doesn’t mean these four are short on the potential for great quality:
4) Red Wing #2
A lot of promise with its debut, as it told the story of fighter pilots that can time travel. One of them is lost in time and needs to re-build the time travel program to get back home. I could never turn these types of tales down and having Jonathan Hickman do it just makes it that much better.
3) American Vampire : Survival of the Fittest #3
Cash and Felicia infiltrate Nazi grounds to search for the vampire cure, only to encounter Nazi vampires. Somewhere in Scott Snyder’s mind, there’s a little ogre smiling and rubbing its hands in glee at all the messed-up stuff he’s coming up with.
2) Batgirl #24
It’s funny looking at how this book started 2 years ago and nobody gave Stephanie Brown a chance. Now nobody wants to see her go, as the current Batgirl takes her bow to make way for Barbara Gordon’s return. Bryan Q. Miller will surely have her exit gracefully, as she confronts her long-incarcerated father.
1) Detective Comics #881
Speaking of messed-up stuff in Snyder’s head, I’m never taking a shower again. Just read the last issue of this series and you’ll know what I mean. Snyder takes his bow on this book, as we receive the final showdown with James Jr. and what it could mean for the future of the Batman part of the DCU.
I’ve expressed great praise for Bryan Q. Miller’s work on Batgirl for the longest time and issue #22 shows why he continues to receive this praise. The already light-hearted antics of Stephanie Brown combined with Squire brings those antics up another notch. Much as there’s excitement behind Batgirl’s re-launch with Barbara Gordon returning to take the cowl, it’s still a sad state of affairs to see Stephanie and Bryan go soon (at least for the immediate future).
Flashpoint tie-in madness continues to rage in the DCU. Two great things come together in Wonder Woman and the Furies #1 – the Wonder Woman side of the Amazonian/Atlantean war and Dan Abnett/Andy Lanning. There’s a lot of political intrigue in this issue and gives you some great context as to what’s going on in current Flashpoint continuity.
And then we also have Deadman and the Flying Graysons #1. I was sold on this issue with Cliff Chiang’s cover alone. Then we got a nice outlook at the Grayson clan back in the circus, but fleeing the ongoing war ravaging Europe. This is a solid start and preps us for things we know of well if you know how the Graysons’ story ends.
This was a great struggle to find five books to discuss – which you would think wouldn’t be the case given all of the Flashpoint and Fear Itself tie-ins that have been coming out. Fortunately this week, I have exactly 5 books on the pull list:
5) Uncanny X-Men #538
Kieron Gillen has been getting rave reviews ever since he took on this title. I unfortunately am coming late to the party, but given the small amount of books I have this week, now is as good as time as any to give it a shot. I’ve been wanting to for a while after seeing Marvel getting spotty with this book after their Second Coming arc last year.
4) Hellblazer #280
Another book I’ve been off and on, but willing to jump back in. One thing you can say about the book is it’s had a consistent presence and is mindful of its continuity. Something to fear when Constantine’s DCU counterpart makes his presence known.
3) Flashpoint : Wonder Woman and the Furies #1
Another round of tie-ins gives us the Wonder Woman side of the equation in the battle between Amazons and Atlanteans. I’m hoping to see a really gung-ho personality in Diana and putting her in the hands of two of my favorite writers in Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning is the icing on the cake.
2) Flashpoint : Deadman and the Flying Graysons #1
I have no idea what this is about and yet Cliff Chiang’s cover is enough to draw me in.
1) Batgirl #22
Let’s enjoy these last few moments with Stephanie Brown while we can because it will all come to an end for her come this September. In this issue, she goes on her Batman Inc. assignment and goes on an adventure with Squire. Expect much bollocks.