The Comic Rack: Faves and Disappointments for 2008
My favorite comics for 2008. And I make a case for each and every one of them. I got a long reading list. Still, I can’t even begin to see how CBR ranked some of these books. It was just downright wrong…
This is a loooong list so hit the link and make the jump already…
Captain America – Best comic of the year, hands down. You need to act like you know. Brubaker is cooking up a masterpiece that rivals the Clairmont/Byrne/Austin Uncanny X-Men heyday. And he’s doing it better. Plus, his only modern day rival seems to be himself and Geoff Johns. Steve Rogers dead at the hands of Sharon Carter. The return of Nick Fury. The Falcon finally being written as the veteran he is and top notch hero. The best the Black Widow has ever been since being in a Daredevil comic. The Red Skull, Dr. Faustus and Zola acting every bit like the Treacherous Three.
And then there is James “Bucky” “Winter Soldier” Barnes. Now better known as…
Damn. This books kicks ass.
Daredevil – Brubaker giving himself a run for his money. One of the few books that is as consistent as Cap but much darker. This is the best DD has been since Bendis went balls to the walls on the title. To end the year we meet Lady Bullseye and Dakota North makes her case of being best casting in a comic evah.
Did I mention the Kingpin is coming back?
Green Lantern – It’s easy to do a character turnaround. What’s not easy is to make people care about a character they were totally indifferent about. That’s what Johns did with Hal Jordan here with me. I was at the point that I could give less than a fuck about any Green Lantern. Now, it’s at the top of my pull list. That’s talent. Plus, let’s be honest –
Sinestro Corps War was THE best mini of the year.
Booster Gold – The most consistent new title of the past year. This book is so damn good, it’s rapidly making Booster Gold into an A-lister. Now, that’s saying something.
Thor – JMS pulled off the reboot of the comic century and did it with style, grace and intelligence. This more than makes up for any part he played in the debacle called “One More Day”.
Batman (and all Batman titles) – I will confess I’m a Batman stan. And while I still argue that Morrison’s “Batman R.I.P.” run has left a slight bitter taste, it’s only because expectations had gone thru the roof. Still not as good as his initial JLA run, this will do for now. Besides, it’s better than Final Crisis (which ain’t saying much) and I still believe Bruce will be back.
Bruce Wayne is Batman
The Outsiders have turned out better than expected as did Birds of Prey, Nightwing (still doesn’t get the respect he deserves from half the DC writing core – he’s Batman’s first apprentice you idiots, show him the proper respect!), Robin, etc. Now everything is going up in the air. I hope Didio and Company know what they’re doing.
JLA – Given all the constraints that McDuffie has had to deal with, he’s made the best he could out of what he’s been told he can use. Firestorm joining the team was smart as was Batman’s reasoning behind it. The spotlight on Vixen was pretty cool and anytime we can get an Animal Man sighting – heck, I ain’t mad atcha. Plus, the Shadow Cabinet has shown up and being the total and complete Milestone geek that I am, just to see Hardware and Icon in action again made me grin like the fuckin’ cheshire cat. (More on the return of Milestone later…)
Ms. Marvel – Chick book? Look again. Espionage and balls to the walls action, this book is consistently more violent than freakin Wolverine. Carol Danvers kicks ass, kids. And she’s fine as hell to boot.
Superman (and Superman related titles) – Again going nowhere quicker than a hiccup. Along comes Geoff Johns. Nuff said. This is coolest Supes has been since JLU and that’s saying something because NO ONE has written Superman decently since John Byrne did it with the reboot from Legends. Yeah, I said it. NO ONE. Yeah, I’m including “Death Of Superman“. Damn skippy. Every last one of you had made the most important hero of the modern era into a pussy. The JLU crew finally got it right and now Geoff Johns is going to solidify the myth and the man into a new era of greatness. Now bow the fuck down.
All-Star Superman – What Morrison should’ve done with Final Crisis and Batman R.I.P was realized right here. He put together a body of work that will stand the test of time. Which is why expectations were so high to begin with…
Criminal – Are you kidding me? Have you been reading this? If you are a fan of noir in any kind of way, this is your book.
Cassanova – Funny as hell and creepy as all get out. There’s so many genres running around in this thing, it’s hard to keep track of the inside jokes. But it’s one entertaining read, I’ll tell you that.
JSA – Just thinking about Johns leaving this title makes me sad. What he did continuing the legacies of DC heroes was far and away the best tribute you could ever find in comics today. The JLA might be the powerhouses but Geoff Johns made the JSA the heart and soul of the DC Universe.
New Avengers – Wolverine. Spider-Man. Doctor Strange. Iron Fist. Ronin aka Clint Barton aka Hawkeye. Echo. And the man himself – Luke Cage. Second coolest team in Marvel Comics today.
Uncanny X-Men – The Coolest Team In Marvel Comics Today. Brubaker and Fraction have bought back the most popular comic in recent history and vaccumed out the bullshit. Cyclops is finally living up to the “best X-Men leader” tag and he’s got the hottest reformed villain at his side. The transformation of Emma Frost is one for the ages. Plus moving the team to San Francisco was a stroke of genius. This book is on fire and if you’re not reading it – you’ve already lost.
100 Bullets – The end run of all end runs. To say 100 Bullets has been on a vicious, murder infested, runaway blood chase to it’s final issue is an understatment. The last twelve issues has been the best any can offer right now. Expectations have been met and exceeded. Everybody is making an appearance and you can already tell the death toll will be unreal. I can’t wait.
Secret Invasion – As great as it was flawed. Lentil Yu’s art has improved by leaps and bounds and Bendis did keep his promise to get the books out on time. It was a hodge podge of a mess and the ending was well, frankly – the ending was weaker than watered down scotch but it served it’s purpose. Game changers abound, the Marvel Universe is now about to experience a “Dark Reign” but sorry guys – I’m out. I just don’t have the patience for another round of buying all these titles to keep up. I’ll read about it on the net and when you get back to making regular comics again, call me.
Biggest disappointments for 2008
Remember waiting for that comic and saying to yourself, this is gonna be great! This is what comics should be! Well, these are the comics that after reading them, the only response you could’ve had was..
What the fuck?
Final Crisis – Pushed back titles. A timeline even Kang the Conqueror couldn’t follow. This book is all over the place and well, say what you want, it’s so damn confusing, it’s been giving me a headache. Grant Morrison is a genius, no question but does he need to try to prove it with this crap? Sometimes you can confuse your audience so much they stop caring. Guess what?
Black Panther – Why would put one of my favorite heroes on this list? Because I got to see first hand how good this title would be if someone else besides Hudlin was writing it. Why Marvel didn’t turn Black Panther over to Jason Aaron is beyond me. That last arc was a thing of beauty. And this whole “Who is The Black Panther?” with a new female BP, I’m not feeling. First you kill Cap, turn Iron Man into the world’s biggest asshole, slightly redeem him, give the keys to the kingdom to none other than Norman Osborn, and now this? Marvel – if you kill T’Challa – the first black superhero most of us ever read – I swear it will be my life mission to destroy you. No bullshit. I’ll bring that fucking company to it’s knees…
Angel – After The Fall – Joss Whedon is a genius but this damn book has more turns than the Indy 500. And this arc is waaaaay too long. Okay, bored now.
Teen Titans – What was once the sidekick JLA had turned into one of the coolest teams once Marv Wolfman took over and the legendary “Judas Contract” came out. While the titans have fluctuated back and forth, it’s core was still intact. Up until recently, this book actually mattered. But once DC killed off Connor Kent, it went downhill faster than the Flash on rollerblades. Oh yeah, then you guys killed Bart Allen. Niiiice. The Teen Titans have turned into Justice League International. Bah. Fix this mess, now. And by fixing I didn’t mean have Robin leave the team!!! Where’s Young Justice and Peter David when you need them?
Secret Invasion – Wait one damned minute, Slade. Wasn’t this on your “Favorite list”? Why yes it was. And still it makes it here too. There was so much promise with this major crossover. And it failed on so many levels. And really, what did you accomplish? Now, you’ve bought back heroes and returned heroes and killed off a founding member of the Avengers? Are you for real? Norman Osborn is “the man”? Seriously? “Dark Reign”? Seriously? No. As much as this was a win on some levels, on many more it was a colossal FAIL.
Best comic news of the year: The return of Milestone. If you were a Milestone fan and when it went belly up, it literally broke your heart. Literally. Rumors have come and gone again and again that it was returning in one form or another and none have panned out. Until now. How McDuffie and Didio did it, I don’t care. Just that I got back Static, Hardware, Icon, Rocket, Shadow Cabinet, Blood Syndicate and all the rest. Now, Dwayne and Dan, you wanna make every single Milestone fan’s 2009 complete?
Release graphic novels of the original stuff.
And watch us geek the fuck out in record number. In a damn recession. Come on, you know you want to…
Happy 2009, fellow Superhero Junkies…