Usually I try to post these before the end of the year, but things got a bit busy. That and I came down with a cold in the last few days. So here is my first of two “favourite” things posts of the year. Since this is a comic blog, I’ll focus on comics first. The next post will be my other favourite things of the year. Let me know in the comments what your favourites are.
Favourite comic book movie – Captain America: Civil War
This was no real contest. Although I enjoyed Dr. Strange, Civil War is the better movie. The debate between the two sides is much more balanced than the original comic event, the action is great, and it still feels like a Captain America story. The airport showdown is also quite the spectacle. That’s not to say it’s perfect, but it’s a very satisfying movie in the end.
Runner ups – Dr. Strange, Deadpool
Dishonorable mention – Batman v Superman (although I didn’t hate it nearly as much as Man of Steel)
Favourite team book – The Ultimates
This is by far the most creative series to come out of the All-New, All Different Marvel initiative. It’s epic in scale, yet it feels more like an exploration and discovery series than a superhero series in a lot of ways. The characterization is also great. Although the first volume ended, its second volume recently began, and it seems to be continuing the trend of utter genius.
Runner-up – DC Rebirth: Detective Comics (pretty much a Batman team book)
Dishonorable mention – Extraordinary X-Men (it’s just boring, and it’s the first main X-Men series book I’ve ever dropped since I started reading comics)
Favourite solo title
There are a lot of great solo titles out right now, from both Marvel and DC. There’s Ms. Marvel (which I unfortunately needed to drop due to temporary financial issues), Tom King’s Batman series (even if it did take a few missteps recently), the current Batgirl series (which seems to be getting better with each issue) and plenty more that I’m not reading, but I’ve heard a lot of good things about. But out of the solo books I’m reading right now, there’s one clear choice for this award.
I might be a bit biased here since Laura Kinney is my favourite X-Men character, but since its beginning, All-New Wolverine’s been the best X-Men series on the market. It strikes a great balance between dark, fun and dramatic. The characters in the book feel like a family, something that’s been missing in most of the X-Men team books in the last year. That last point alone propels this series above most of the rest.
Runner-Up – DC Rebirth: Superman (it’s almost more of a family drama than a superhero book), Spider-Woman (Consistently fun series that also gets very dramatic at times)
Dishonorable mention – honestly, can’t think of anything at the time. All the solo titles I read were at least alright.
Most entertaining single issue
This is the Squirrel Girl issue, and after the first story arc that ended a bit rough for Laura and Gabby, they needed an entertaining break from the norm. This issue is just plain fun, but with a great dramatic moment at the end that built on Laura and Gabby’s sisterly relationship.
Runner-ups – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 65 (this Christmas issue is so much fun, and includes almost every major supporting character without feeling overcrowded), Superman 11 (Jon Kent and Damien Wayne, Superman and Batman’s sons, are forced to work together after their first meeting ended up in a fight in the previous issue) – I’m also sure one of the Ms. Marvel or Spider-Woman issues could be mentioned here
Best New Character
This needs to be a character created in the last year or so, not just a character I’ve very recently discovered. I can’t think of too many characters like this off the top of my head, but Jon Kent from Superman comes to mind, as does Gotham Girl in Tom King’s Batman. But as good as these characters have been so far, there is a clear winner in this category. A character that’s quickly becoming a favourite.
In case you didn’t know, Gabby is one of 10 of Laura Kinney’s clones, in Alchemax’s attempt to create their own assassins. Of the 10, only Gabby and Bellona survived, and only Gabby gained any of Laura’s powers. She was the sheltered clone of the group, and comes out as a fairly optimistic girl who’s smart beyond her years, but still very much a child. She’s fun, but she’s also deadly when she needs to be, and she’s fiercely loyal to Laura, so far. She’s made a direct impact on not only Laura’s own disposition, but this series as a whole. She’s also starting to make appearances outside of the All-New Wolverine series, like Ghost Rider 1. That’s when you know a character is successful, when she’s the clone of a clone yet is still gaining a fan following of her own.
Most missed series
This is me talking about the comic series I miss the most right now. This could be a series that ended early in 2016 or sometime in 2015. Either way, it needed to end after the end of 2014, but it couldn’t have ended too recently (A-Force is too recent). This one was a bit of a close call.
Witchblade ended its 20 year run in November of last year, and it was the first non-Marvel, non-DC series I truly got into. It’s an often delightfully weird fantasy comic about an ancient artifact of power and its wielder, Sarah Pezzini. Story arcs range from trying to track down bizarre ritual murderers to somehow ending up in alternate dimensions and casually taking down chimera monsters. And while it’s true that Stjepan Sejic started an alternate reality version of the series, Switch, his shoulder injury has severely delayed the series. I can’t think of any series I miss more.
Runner-ups – Aphrodite IX/IXth Generation (a science fiction series taking place in a post-apocalyptic world where the cyborgs are at war with the genetically altered humans. Very deep with its themes, often exciting and beautiful art), She-Hulk (although Jennifer Walters is getting a new series soon, it probably won’t be nearly as entertaining as her usual series)
Most promising new series
This is about the new comics that are only up to 6 issues into their run. It’s too early to give any of these another award, but they deserve a special mention nonetheless. And this award is only between three different titles that have started recently. It’s also too early to say Ghost Rider since there’s only been one issue so far. For me, that narrows this down to between Batgirl and Supergirl. They’ve both gotten better with each new comic so far. Batgirl 5 and Supergirl 4 are both very dramatic issues that build on things established in earlier issues. They both show a lot of intelligent storytelling, and they’re both fun comics as well. I also like both characters about the same. This is a tough one for me.
Sorry Batgirl – you’re off to a great start, but I do feel that although the most recent entry in both Supergirl and Batgirl are equally great, Supergirl started off a bit better.
Best series of the year (that I’ve read)
This is purely between the solo series and the team book I chose as the best of the year. It’s between The Ultimates and All-New Wolverine. As much as I would love to choose my favourite X-Men character’s series, The Ultimates is the more creative series of the two. Also the art is more consistently good.
Other runner-ups – Detective Comics