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.
Character moments defined last week’s books and no writer brought it more than Rick Remender. Uncanny X-Force #12 and Venom #5 were top-notch showing from Remender. Whether you felt for Flash Thompson’s struggle to deal with his dying alcoholic father or Psylocke wondering if she should be sticking with her doomed lover in Archangel or a new flame in Fantomex, there was a lot to invest in here.
But of course, Scott Snyder and Jock were no slouches in Detective Comics #880. They take a brief detour into Joker territory issue, but it sets us up for what we’ve been waiting for – the Gordon family showdown. Creepy visuals galore, as dictated by this issue’s cover.
Music provided by 100EZ – One Last Look
San Diego is done. Long Live San Diego. Now back to your regularly scheduled programming…
5) Venom #5
Did I ever think I’d see the day that I would enjoy a Venom book led by Flash Thompson? That speaks of Rick Remender, Tony Moore, and Tim Fowler’s ability to make this a consistently great book. Tie-ins to the Spider-Island storyline highlight the next issue.
4) American Vampire #17
Stuff got real when Skinner and company broke out of prison in the Pacific battlefield of World War II. Now we hopefully get to see if Pearl is going to have some words with her creator.
3) Sixth Gun #13
Last issue, a mummy came to claim General Hume’s coffin. There’s your hook – now go buy it.
2) X-Men Schism #2
As I’ve said many times before, this is a great time to be an X-Men fan. Jason Aaron is building up the mutant/human tension again and this time, it may cost the relationship between Cyclops and Wolverine. Having Frank Cho on art this time sweetens the pot.
1) Detective Comics #880
Just look at the cover. If that’s not making you buy this, you are a troubled soul.