Friday, December 30, 2005

Best of Comics 2005

Here we go again.

Best on Going Series/Event Series

1.

All Star Batman and Robin
So. The number one comic this year, hands down, has to be Frank Miller and Jim Lee's collaboration. Otherwise known as Allstar Batman and Robin. As we all know Frank Miller gave the dark violent tale of Sin City. And Jim Lee was the artist on the hugely successful and important Hush series. So with that in mind DC came up with the brilliant idea of putting the two together.
All Star Batman and Robin, is your typical Frank Miller writing. Good. He's always been known for doing a more edgy and unforgiving Batman, and Frank nails it again. In the first few issues of All Star Batman and Robin, you almost don't like Batman. He's not the nicest of guys, and almost seems like he's not all there in the head. Forcing poor Robin in a "war" he doesn't belong in and emotionally shuttin himself out. Basically the Batman I've always loved. All Star Batman and Robin's art and story are superb. And is sure to be a fan favorite for years to come.

2.

Justice
Alex Ross is one of the premier artists in the comic realm. He consistently blows peoples minds. And can take credit for being the first artist, to ever get me to buy any piece of art. That being said, I was unsure of his writing ability when I first got wind that he was doing a series. However, Justice doesn't disappoint. The Story revolves around the JLA, and puts our heroes in great peril. Especially Aquaman. And I know what your thinking. Aquaman sucks. And I'll confess I share in that sentiment. But for this story arch he's been made into a really interesting character. So maybe I was wrong about Aquaman. And about Alex Ross. He can carry a story on his own.



3.
House of M
Here we go again. Brian Michael Bendis, as you have all heard me talk about, is a comic god. He can do no wrong these days. So it's no surprise to see that his run on House of M, make it into the top three. I have to admit, when I was reading it I thought two things: 1. Not another parallel universe story line please. 2. Cheap ploy to bring back Hawkeye. The story revolves around the new avengers and the x-men getting thrown into a parallel universe after Magneto's daughter's powers gets thrown out of control. When this happens all hell breaks loose. The story arch is actually captivating in a way. For fans of Bendis and the series it was nice to see the two stories blend together. The ending was what put it over the top. It was quite a cliff hanger, and im dying to see the fall out. If you haven't all ready read this book, you should do your best to pick up the trade paper back.



4.

Y the last Man
I've been reading some of Brian K. Vaughns stuff for awhile now. I have to admit, his run on Ultimate X-men has been hot and cold with me. Yet his own personal series, Y the last man, is a whole different thing. This is possibly one of the best series out there right now. I'd recommend this graphic novel to anyone wanting to get into comics, but not necessarily a supergroup based story. Y the last man's plot revolves around exactly that, the last man. A mysterious disease strikes the earth and kills off all but one of the men and his monkey. Now the hero of this tale (Yorick) must not only save himself but also the entire human existence. This book blends fantastic comedy and action all in one. Again if you haven't already you should pick this up in the trades.



5.

Powers
Powers is of course one of my all time favorite comics. There is so much I could talk about with this particular book, that I don't think I could even do it justice. Brian Michael Bendis unique brand of story telling and humor comes to the forefront of this rejuvenate marvel series. Powers deals in a semi-real world. There are super hero's, but "powers" have been outlawed by the government. The story arch now revolves around two cops and how they deal with power based phenomena and crime that comes along with it. Again like Y the last man, I highly recommend this book. I've continually looked forward to every issue from day one, and hopefully will continue to look forward.





Honorable Mentions: The New Avengers, Ultimates 2, The Other, Superman/Batman

Best mini series/one shots
1.

Countdown to Infinite Crisis-Johns
This one shot by writer Geoff Johns is an awe inspiring 80 pages tale of the DC Universe. Stemming from the fall out of Identity Crisis, this one shot tells or better yet sets the stage for the destruction of the JLA and other aspects of the DC universe. Having this one shot signed by exceptional artist Jim Lee doesn't hurt either. Current value $50 US. Thanks Jim.







2.

Serenity-Whedon
Whedon, Whedon, Whedon and more Whedon. Seems I can never escape this man. Serenity the comic book mini series, deals with the serenity crew before the movie, and a little after the series. It basically sets the stage for the plot of the movie. Definitely a good read, and actually helped clear a bit of the plot up.









3.


Ghost Rider-Ennis

I never knew much of Ghost Rider. The Art work grabbed me from the beginning. Yet, it was Ennis story telling that really drove this mini series home. The series revolves around Ghost Rider's escape from hell. I've always been fascinated with the war of heaven and hell told on the grand scale (aka milton) and Ghost Rider is no different. If the movie plot is going to be similar, I may just have to go see that. Interesting characters, settings makes for one enjoyable read.






4.


villains United-Simone
This is another story line, that is a buildup to the Infinite Crisis series. I was first introduced to Simone's writing through a bizarre but great series called Agent X. Simone has a unique style of writing. You never know what you're really going to get but what ever it is, is usually good. Villains United is no exception. Not to give to much away but the plot is of the formation of a super villains society. All the top ones in the DC universe band together to bring forth destruction. Only not everyone is too happy about. Infact I may have been the only one.





5.








Angel mini series Spike one shot-Jeff Mariotte/Peter David(tie)
Okay. So with Angel gone and Buffy long dead, you'd think my interest in the Buffyverse as they say would be weighing. Not so. Infact once I heard there was going to be a resurgence in Angel I rushed to my store to put down an order. I really wanted to find out what had happened from the end of the series. Who lived, who died. I was sorely disappointed on that front. Yet the story line for Angel was interesting none the less, and seems will be a continuation in 2006. As for Spike, well I simply couldn't let my favorite vampire go unnoticed in 2005. This one shot was worth every penny, and it was a lot of pennies. But no matter, I was pleased with the outcome and glad to see that he had a comic all his own.

Honorable Mentions- Seven soldiers, 30 Days of Night Blood Sucker Tales, Green Lantern Rebirth, X-Men the end, Lex Luthor Man of steel, Phoniex Endsong.


Best Writer

1. Brian Michael Bendis-Ultimate Spiderman, Pulse, Powers, Daredevil etc.
This is no shock to anyone who reads this site. Bendis is still number one in my mind. I don't think I've enjoyed a writers work more then I've enjoyed powers. His humor, though at times crude never ceases to lighten my mood. Plus overall, he's a really nice guy.

2. Paul Jenkins-Spiderman, Sentry, Generation M etc.
Didnt really know much about Jenkins work till this year. But he's quickly shot up the ranks. Apparently in 2006 he'll be taking up the helm on Pulse. I am looking forward to it. I've enjoyed his Spiderman immensely as well as Generation M. Now that he's signed exclusively with Marvel, hopefully he'll soon get on board a team title, perhaps Ultimate X-men?

3. Geoff Johns-Green Lantern, Infinite Crisis etc.
Johns is just another class act in comics. He's been a big time player in DC for awhile now. I've really enjoyed getting back into Green Lantern because of him. Johns is a great character writer, who will apparently be taking over Superman in 2006. Which of course, I'll have to read. As of right now though, Infinite Crisis is one of the best story lines in the DC universe right now.

4. Frank Miller-Sin City, All Star Batman and Robin etc.

Okay so having Jim Lee doing your art work doesn't hurt. Although Miller aint a bad artist himself I'm told. This year though with Sin City out in theatres and coming back into graphic novel form, I've really come to enjoy Frank's work a lot. He has a dark and twisted view that anyone can appreciate. Not to mention he's not a bad story teller. That never hurts in this category.

5. Garth Ennis-Ghost Rider, Punisher, Preacher etc.
Much like Miller, Ennis brand of story telling is not for the faint of heart. That may sound funny to some, but when you see someone's eye getting shot out or spleen ripped in half, two thoughts come to mind 1) woa cool 2) oh god that's gross. Ennis style of writing has grown on me. It takes some getting used to at times, but all in all is an enjoyable read.

Honorable Mentions: Loeb, Nicieza, Morrison, Whedon


Best Artist

1. Jim Lee
Having finally met Jim in 2005, has only strengthened my opinion that he is the best artist hands down. They're a couple who are in his class. Yet when it comes to Characters such as Superman and Batman. There is none better than Jim. I've grown to really appreciate his work. Besides anyone who can do a black and white sketch of Wolverine and Batman and sell it for $2000 bucks at an auction on the same day has to be some what decent right? Right.

2. Alex Ross
Alex Ross has the dubious distinction of being the first art I've ever bought. When I was down in SD last year, I bought his Signed JLA painting. Its now framed and hanging in my Room. His work has always impressed me. And now with his run on Justice I continue to be impressed. I said that no one can draw quite like Jim Lee. Well no one can paint the JLA quite like Alex Ross.

3. Michael Turner
After his busy year in 2004, 2005 must have seemed like a breeze. Turner is one of the best Cover artists in comics today. His current work on his own company of Aspen continues to impress. Not to mention the art he did for countless DC covers. Its almost a shame that he'll be joining Marvel in 2006. Almost but not quite. I look forward to some outstanding wolverine covers from Turner next year, hopefully.

4. Ethan Van Scriver
His work is fairly new to me, yet just as impressive. His work on Green Lanterns Rebirth and the current run of Lantern is outstanding. His work continues to impress me even now. Plus it doesn't hurt when Wizard magazine dotes you artist of the year. Though I may have to argue the point with them, they do make an excellent case, and Van Scriver continues to make excellent art.

5. Clayton Crain
Okay. So you may remember Crain from last years list. His run on the venom & carnage series created a lot of buzz. I remember hearing people say that Del otto and Crain were among the best new artists in marvel. I tend to agree. Its really fantastic and outstanding stuff. Hopefully Crain will continue to keep up the good work. Really enjoyed his Ghost Rider this year.

Honorable Mentions: Ian Churchill, Gabrielle Del Otto, Bryan Hitch, Ed Mcguinness, Greg Land

Best Villains- Magneto 2. Deathstroke 3. Lex Luthor 4. Scarlet Witch 5. Dark Phoenix
Best Heros- Superman 2. Batman 3. Spiderman 4. Wolverine 5. Daredevil
Best Groups-JLA 2. New Avengers 3. X-Men 4. Fantastic Four 5. Ultimates

Thats it. We done. Bring on 2006.

8 Comments:

Blogger M Rexin said...

Comprehensive

10:54 AM

 
Blogger Dunning said...

Is that good or bad.....That may just be the best comment ever.

1:45 PM

 
Blogger dinning said...

Wow, now I can't wait for Graham's Best of Comics 2005 post to arrive.

4:30 PM

 
Blogger Dunning said...

LOL. Oh Dinning.

7:24 PM

 
Blogger Graham said...

Graham's Best of Comics 2005

1. Doonesbury
2. Overboard
3. Monty
4. Bizarro
5. Rex Morgan, M.D.

3:16 AM

 
Blogger Dunning said...

Cmon now, no one really like Rex Morgan, M.D.. Thats like saying you only read the comic section for Family Circus.

1:49 PM

 
Blogger Graham said...

I actually like Rex Morgan, M.D., and I've been following it for almost a decade. Even though the last year or so has been sub-standard, I still find myself reading it each morning.

So there.

2:40 PM

 
Blogger M Rexin said...

I cant wait for the Rex Morgan, MD movie.

5:04 PM

 

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