It’s that time once again. I quickly take a look back at 2012 and look forward to 2013, but otherwise – we’re narrowing it down to the top 5 books of CBF for the year and picking the one that stood out. A strong list, but only one can prevail. What are your thoughts on the top picks for 2012?
Best to the new year!
There’s no stopping this juggernaut that is Saga. Issue #6 wraps up the first arc as our protagonists finally reach the Rocketship Forest, only to find out that they’ve got more trouble than they bargained for. The story is ripe with sub-plots and intriguing characters – some of which I’d definitely be interested in reading spin-offs of if Brian K/ Vaughan ever chose to do them. And Fiona Staples once again continues to blow my mind with her vivid detail. The two-month wait until the next arc will be painful, but worth it to see Staples continue to bring the goods.
Meanwhile, Wonder Woman #12 sneaked out of the corner and surprised everybody with its last page and where this arc is going next. Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang are knocking it out of the park with the continuing Greek god family saga that now incorporates a Jack Kirby creation that makes absolute sense in this new continuity.
And lastly, we get a return to form with Batwoman #12. Having J.H. Williams III back on art duty certainly helped and it goes to show that when he’s on point, he’s one of the best artists on the market. Wonder Woman guest starring also helped this issue and the team-up to come will keep me reading.
If it wasn’t for last issue’s cliffhanger, I wouldn’t have bothered staying along for the ride for Marvel’s summer event book. But then it was Jonathan Hickman’s turn to start the second act and it blew me away. It makes sense given Hickman’s knack for being able to handle super-powered teams with big ideas as he does so well in Fantastic Four. And a change in art to Olivier Coipel brought a breath of fresh air to the story, making this book one to pick up after it looked like it was going to fall flat.
Image’s current big-selling book came very close to the pick. Saga #4 took a diverging path and split half of the issue for Marco and Alana’s story and gave the other half to The Will. The latter was the most intriguing – and by that, I mean where the heck does Brian K. Vaughan come up with Sextillion? In any event, great insight into The Will and it shows us that not all characters are what we think it will or may end up being. Fiona Staples is killing it with the art – probably the best facial expressions I’ve seen from anybody today.
Don’t get sold out! Buy advance tickets to The Dark Knight Rises.
It’s weeks like these that remind me why I love comics. The superheroes may dominate the market (and quite honestly are keeping it alive), but new ideas pop up that make me happy to know how much more this industry has to offer.
Look no further than Brian K. Vaughan’s return to comics with Saga #1. If you know his knack for characterization in previous works like Y: The Last Man or Ex Machina, you’ll be no stranger to this premiere. Mixing it with a Star Wars and Romeo & Juliet premise makes for intriguing drama. Even better, Fiona Staples brings a grounded approach to the art that makes you feel so much for the characters that you forget that it’s a sci-fi book. Please get this book – if not for you, then for your father’s brother’s former college roommate. He’ll appreciate $2.99 for 44 pages of content and no ads.
Not to be pushed to the side, Vertigo unleashed Paul Cornell and Ryan Kelly’s political sci-fi drama in Saucer Country #1. I’m always a fan of genres meshed together and Cornell’s a good writer to do it. This could have easily went the X-Files route and it still could. But the focus on the New Mexico governor and her history keeps it grounded and focused – even if she’s not all there.
While it’s not creator-owned, it’s still a book you’re overlooking. Suicide Squad #7 is icky, creepy, and messed up. But it has Harley Quinn. And it has Joker’s face. And it has Joker’s face on Deadshot’s face. I’m going to stop typing now…
The one question that’s been asked a lot lately in comics other than how long can Jason Aaron’s beard get is when Brian K. Vaughn will return to comics. That was answered at SDCC’s creator-owned comics panel when BKV made an appearance and announced a new Image ongoing (yes, ongoing) called Saga for a 2012 debut.
The only details we have from BKV on this book is it’s about a family trying to survive a never-ending war across space. It’s also interesting he chose Image to publish the book rather than sticking to a comfort zone of his in Vertigo (Wildstorm obviously is out of the question). We’ll keep following this one like a hawk.