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Friday Five: 30 Days of Marvel, Pt. 2


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Emma over at Girls Read Comics Too is doing “30 Days of Marvel” where she gives various superlatives about the Marvel Universe. It’s good reading and since I’m a fan of both Marvel and Girls Read Comics Too, I’m going to steal the idea and give my responses as well. This is my second 5, with more to come… (Go to the links to see Emma’s choices).

1. Favorite Organization: I’m going to go with A.I.M. The stupid yellow beehive costumes aside, the fact that there is an organization of evil scientists who want to take over the world is pretty cool. The fact that they are in those stupid costumes somehow makes them even more cool. The be fair, I probably wouldn’t have put A.I.M. on the list if it wasn’t for their recent participation in Deadpool: Merc With a Mouth.

2. Favorite Creature: Cosmo the talking Russian space dog with telepathic powers. Yes, the concept is ridiculous. Yes, the accent is horrible. Yes, every issue of everything he’s in is well-written and the character somehow works.

3. Favorite Movie: I think I’m going to way out on this one and say Blade. I know I’m supposed to say Spider-Man 1 or 2 or Iron Man or X-Men 2 and while I love all of those movies, I love Blade even more, for several reasons. First off, it was the movie that made all of these others possible. Second, it defined the Marvel movie style and answered the question of what to do with the spandex. Third, it was Wesley Snipes’s last hurrah and I always liked Wesley. Fourth, the music was awesome. Fifth, the fight scenes and weapons were amazing. Fifth, I don’t really need a fifth, the first four are good enough for me.

4. Favorite Classic Character: Not sure what they mean by “classic,” but everyone else who is answering this one seems to be pointing to first generation Marvel characters. In that context, I’ll go with Spider-man. When I get a tattoo, it will be of the classic Spidey logo. I talked about why I like Spidey so much last time, so I won’t rehash it, but lets just say that I’m guessing Marvel’s rise to prominence owes more to Spidey than any other character.

5. Favorite Costume: I love the Wolverine costume hew wore when I first started reading X-men, the classic brown and yellow one. I’ve come to realize that everyone else prefers the yellow and blue and that’s what is going to be the main costume, but I still prefer the earth tones. Deadpool’s costume is pretty great and I think the X-force silver and gray suits look really good.

Friday Five: Top 5 Comic Book Blogs


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When I’m not writing and reading at Graphic Policy or blogging about politics all over the place, I do like to read another of other comic book-related blogs. Here are my five favorites. These aren’t necessarily the greatest comics blogs in the world (although some of them certainly are), but they are the best of the blogs that I read and of the ones I’ve seen. If you know of something better than what’s on this list, let me know, because I should be reading it.

Honorable mentions: Comic Book Resources’ main blog is one of the best sources out there for info on comics, so it really is must reading (or at least skimming) for fanboys. Seduction of the Indifferent: Short reviews and commentary on classic comics and topics (including some non-comics stuff).

5. She Has No Head: Kelly Thompson mostly reads different stuff than I do and she only posts once a week, but what she has to say is always worth reading.

4. Robot 6: A good news-oriented comics blog that also includes reviews and commentary that I often find enjoyable. Again, the tastes stray a bit away from mind quite often, but overall, good stuff.

3. Law and the Multiverse: Not limited to comics, but certainly limited to awesome. This blog takes a serious look at how the law would interact with various issues in a comic book/superhero world. Very good concept and very good content.

2. Girls Read Comics Too: A blog about comics and the portrayal of women in comics and the creation of comics by women written from the perspective of several funny and intelligent women? Yes, please! And they read a lot of the same stuff I do and they often interactive features frequently.

1. Comics Should Be Good: This is what got me into comics blogs. Brian Cronin is one of my favorite writers, regardless of what the genre of writing is. He has a great conversational style that works for both experts on a topic and newbies. No matter how much you know about comics, you’ll certainly learn something new nearly every time you read his stuff. His Comic Book Legends Revealed (and other Legends Revealed stuff) is must-reading. On top of that, this blog has the most lists and regular features that really get you drawn into the awesomeness of comics and the great debates, the great artists and the great writers. My Friday Five series was inspired by Cronin’s work and I read his stuff more than I read most political stuff and that’s what I get paid to do. On top of that, the blog has a number of other contributors, all of whom are good writers as well. If you like comics, of any genre, you’re hurting yourself by not reading Comics Should Be Good.

2011 Looking Solid for Comic Book Movies


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2010’s crop of comic book movies was a bit lackluster in execution.  On paper though it looked promising.  2011 looks solid as well, and only time will tell if these movies can live up to expectations.  Not all of these are based on comic books but a lot surely take influences from them.

Below is a listing of what’s coming out and our initial thoughts.

January

  • Green Hornet – Seth Rogen dons the outfit in this updated tale of the classic character. – We’re expecting a flop, but hoping to be surprised.

February

  • I Am Number Four – It looks like X-Men for the kiddie set, and it’s based on a book? – With an X-Men movie coming out, this will either look solid or pale in comparison.

March

  • Battle: Los Angeles — Independence Day with an war movie twist. – The trailer looks awesome.  High hopes for this one.
  • Jane Eyre — Another take on Charlotte Bronte’s classic romance. – Marvel is doing a comic book (I believe), that’s why it’s here.
  • Sucker Punch — Zack Synder’s genre mish-mash. – Can’t wait for this one.

May

  • Kung Fu Panda 2 — Jack Black is back. – There is a comic book based on this property.  That’s why it’s on here.
  • Thor — Marvel’s first offering of the year. – The trailer has got me interested and waiting to see this on the big screen.

June

  • Cars 2 — Pixar sends the cast to Japan. – There’s a comic based off of this property.  I’ve never seen the first movie.
  • Green Lantern — DC attempts to launch a new property. – I’m nervous after seeing the trailer.
  • X-Men: First Class — Matthew Vaughn reboots the series. – I have no idea what to think but love Vaughn’s work.

July

  • Captain America: The First Avenger — Marvel’s third entry for the year. – So far this one is looking good.
  • Cowboys & Aliens — Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig star in this movie about aliens invading a town in the Old West.  Based on a graphic novel. – Great pedigree, no one will realize what the source material is.
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon — Third times a charm. – Has to be better than the second installment.  Right?

August

  • The Smurfs — The classic characters come to the big screen. – Who was demanding this one?
  • Conan the Barbarian — A remake of the classic Arnold movies. – Is this a remake or reboot?  It’s just not the same without Arnold.

October

  • Marvin the Martian — The Looney Tunes character gets his own film. – Like the Smurfs, there was demand for this?

November

  • The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn — Steven Spielberg brings the famous children’s novels to the big screen. – It’s Spielberg, it has to be good.
  • Happy Feet 2 — More dancing penguins. – There’s a comic book of this right?  I never saw the first.
  • Puss In Boots — Spin-off from the Shrek films. – Shrek got old for me. Hopefully this breathes new life into the franchise.
  • The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1 — Yeah, yeah, yeah. There’ll be a graphic novel adaptation eventually. – I saw the first film and hated it.  I’ve never read a page of these books.  Skip!

December

  • Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked — More singing chipmunks to annoy parents – Why?

Top Stories of 2010


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2010 was definitely an odd year for comics from layoffs, to the rise of digital sales, a rocky movie season and political controversy, there was a little bit of something for everyone.  But, what were the top stories here on Graphic Policy?  Check out below to see what you were searching for to get here and what you read.

Top Searches – this is what you were searching for to get here

  1. westboro baptist church
  2. comics invasion
  3. todd mcfarlane
  4. best comic books 2010
  5. green lantern movie

Top Stories – this is what you read and one was from 2009!

  1. Westboro Baptist Church Comes to San Diego Comic-Con – July 2010
  2. Best Comic Books of 2009 – January 2010
  3. Marvel vs. Comics Invasion Round 2… Fight! – September 2010
  4. Lantern Promotional Rings – October 2009
  5. Sneak Peek: Marvel Universe Comic Packs: Dark Wolverine and Dark Spider-Man – May 2010

Thank you all for making 2010 a record setting year for us.  Onto 2011 and a lot of surprises to come.

Best Comic Books of 2010

 

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It’s the first day of a new year and so that means we’re doing our “best of” listing of the top comic books for 2010.  Generally these are comic books that came out in 2010, though some are from earlier times and we got around to reading them.  Keep in mind, this is what I read.  We’ve added some new categories this year, but without further delay, here are the winners!

Best Super Hero Comic – The Invincible Iron Man

Invincible Iron Man #500.1Yes, this series won last year too, but writer Matt Fraction has kept up the excellence with an amazing plot mixing superhero heroics, politics, corporate rivalry and with the latest issue, we learn this is all the tip of the iceberg.

In single issues there’s usually some bigger worldly issue we’re presented with, great banter, often fantastic action and beautiful art.

This is a superhero comic for adults and one series I look forward to each month.

The upcoming Invincible Iron Man #500.1 is the perfect jumping on point to see what you’re missing.

Runner Ups – Secret Warriors, Uncanny X-Force

Best Non-Super Hero Comic –DMZ

DMZ 50Is there a more politically relevant comic book series out there?  Every month we’re given something to think about as we follow Matty Roth through Manhattan which is now a DMZ in the middle of the second American Civil War.

Writer Brian Wood is able to pivot and comment on what’s currently happening in politics and the world challenging our perceptions and not seem preachy at the same time.

With some single issues that stand as some of the best of the year and numerous holy shit moments, this isn’t just one of the most relevant comics out there, but some of the best political commentary of any entertainment medium.

Runner Ups – American Vampire, Chew, The Walking Dead

Best Limited Series or One Shot – Daytripper

DaytripperI’ve handed this comic off to so many people and not only sucked them into this series, but also got them to ask what else is out there?  This showed that comics aren’t about just spandex anymore.

There’s no other series out there that created such an emotional reaction each month.  I’m not embarrassed to admit there were numerous moments I broke down crying or teared up.  No other series has done that before to me.

It’s a shame it ended and hopefully we see more soon from the phenoms Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá.

Runner Ups – Killer: Modus Vivendi, Taskmaster, Velocity

Best Single Issue – Unknown Soldier #21 (New Category)

This series saw it’s conclusion this year but it also brought the best issue of any comic book during it’s end run.

This issue focused on the history of one Avtomat Kalashnikova rifle as it’s passed from one owner to another.  It’s a powerful issue looking at the mass distribution of a weapon that’s been a driver and common tool in today’s conflicts .

Powerful, heart wrenching, and an amazing political and historical statement, this issue is a must read for comic book fans and non-comic book readers.

Worst Single Issue of the Year – Fantastic Four Annual #32 (New Category)

Three words as to why – Time. Travel. Abortion.

Best Graphic Novel/Trade Paperback – Return of the Dapper Men

Return of the Dapper Men HCThere’s no other graphic novel that was more magical this year than Jim McCann‘s and Janet Lee‘s Return of the Dapper Men.

This is a magical world of wonder where time has stopped and adults have disappeared.  Neverland in a modern setting.

A modern classic is the only way I can describe this graphic novel that seems to evoke the best of those magical tales we read, watched and were told as kids.  This is a graphic novel parents will be sharing with their children for years to come.

Runner UpsHow to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less, Cuba: My Revolution, Revolver

Best Event of the Year – Artifacts

Artifacts #1 CoverThe first issue had me gasp “holy shit” out loud and the subsequent ones have just been setting up what will be a hell of a ride.

The public seems to have reacted well with issues going back for numerous printings.

All hell is about the break loose in the Top Cow universe and with Ron Marz‘s talented writing to drive it and some fantastic artists to back him up, there’s a chance this might be next year’s top event as well.

Best Genre of the Year – Zombie

The Walking Dead Zombie Teaser 2One thing makes zombies get the win here, The Walking Dead.  The comic book series continues it’s excellence and the television show had us wanting more after it’s first season’s six episode run.  There’s a reason it was one of the top rated cable series ever, it’s that damn good.  Evidence of it’s spread beyond the normal comic book reading public are the numerous people reading it on my daily commute and my non-comic book reading friends asking me about the series and comic.  I don’t see this type of legs with the big movie blockbusters.  Congrats to Robert Kirkman and AMC.

Runner Up – Noir

Best Comic Tie-In of the Year –Heroclix

Heroclix Web of Spider-manI’m a sucker for Heroclix and picked up the Blackest Night set at Gen Con this year.  I don’t play, but love looking at the detailed figures.  There’s something so much fun about it and I wish I had some local gamer friends that I can break out my figures once in a while and give me an excuse to get more.

With sets based off of Watchmen, Blackest Night, Brightest Day, Jonah Hex, Iron Man, Spider-Man and the DC 75th Anniversary it’s impressive this was a game and company on the brink of collapse not too long ago.

Runner Up – Marvel Universe toys.

Best Comic Book Related Movie – Scott Pigrim vs. the World (New Category)

Scott Pilgrim vs. the WorldIt’s been an up and down year for movies based off of comic books.  Next years crop of movies looks strong, but this year had one stand out and that was the kinetic Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.

This was a movie for the Nintendo generation with so much in there even our ADD generation missed some of the winks and nods littered throughout the film.

It holds up after multiple viewings and I know I left with a smile on my face.  Overall it was a year of weak competition but even in a strong year this would be a contender.

On an aside my favorite movies of 2010 were The Social Network, Black Swan, The Town and The Fighter.

Runner Up – The Losers

Best Series Finale of the Year – Ex Machina (New Category)

Ex MachinaI can’t think of a series which ended so perfectly.  To say more would give it all away, but I was beyond satisfied when I finished reading it and hoped for a second volume.

The finale of this superhero as Mayor series answered our questions, gave us some jaw dropping moments at the end and presented a Presidential ticket I might even vote for.

A lot of series left unanswered questions or gave us disappointing ones, but this one never seemed like a cop out and never treated us like children.

The ending was damn near perfect and the series one of the best of modern times.

Runner Up – Daytripper

Best Surprise of the Year – Killer: Modus Vivendi (New Category)

The Killer Modus Vivendi 006 CoverThis is a new category that I thought was appropriate to throw out there.  I look at this as comics you probably skipped in 2010, but you really should go back and check out. 

Killer: Modus Vivendi is the third volume for this character and saw him being manipulated by the CIA and Cubans in a tale about oil and spheres of influence.  Bond and Bourne, eat your heart out.

Not only do we have great action, some intense moments, but there’s also politics and a worldly view you don’t find out in too many other comics.  It’s the complete package in comics for adults.

Runner Up – Velocity, Kill Shakespeare

Biggest Disappointment of the Year – Brightest Day and Heroic Age

Enter the Heroic AgeI “Entered the Heroic Age” and looked forward to tomorrow’s “Brightest Day” and can say “no thanks.”  Does no longer being dark and gritty also mean convoluted and boring?

Marvel and DC comics took a dip this year as they moved away from dark stories and attempted to hark back to the golden age of black and white heroes and villains.  We also got the return of the 90’s with the return of characters we thought and hoped were dead and stayed that way.

This all clearly isn’t lasting long as the Marvel event Fear Itself looms over 2011.  As a hole things just aren’t quite as exciting as they’ve been in years past.

Runner Up – Iron Man 2

Best Character – Killer

I’m so happy Archaia put Killer: Modus Vivendi in my hands.  With it I got one of the best politically charged noir comics on the market and a badass anti-hero in the man we only know as Killer.

He beds the hot chicks, assassinates people with a shot, causes revolutions and destabilizes regions. Bond and Bourne are wimps compared to writer Matz‘s creation.

We get to see politics and the world from outside of an “American” perspective and a cold unrepentant killer and assassin who it’s all a job to.

This was the third volume with more to come.  I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Publisher of the Year – Archaia

ArchaiaSo where’d this company come from?  I don’t think there was one comic I read I was disappointed in or didn’t enjoy in some way.  The hardcovers are just high quality products and stories in between the covers reflect that.  The Killer, Mouse Guard, Cyclops, Critical Millennium and so many more are series you should be reading and if you’re not then you need to check them out.

Many of these series continue into 2011 and there’s many new ones to come.  When I think Archaia, I think high quality and expect the best.  So far they haven’t let me down.

Runner Ups – Top Cow, Marvel

X-Universe Superlatives for 2010


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As I was researching that last post, I saw a bunch of other things that jumped out at me and figured I’d come up with a best and worst of the year in the X-comics…

Best On-going Series: Uncanny X-Force

Worst On-Going Series: X-Men Forever

Best Canceled Series: X-Force

Worst Canceled Series: Wolverine Origins

Best Mini-Series: Dark X-Men

Worst Mini-Series: Psylocke

Best One-Shot: X-Factor Nation X

Worst One-Shot: X-Men Hope

Most Pointless Series: X-Men Legacy, the name doesn’t even mean anything at this point

Best Art: Clayton Crain in X-Force and Jerome Opena in Uncanny X-Force

Most Epic Art: Astonishing X-Men

Worst Art: Astonishing X-Men: Xenogenisis

Most Awe-Inspiring Shot: Hulk ripping Wolverine in half in Wolverine #900

Hulk Ripping Wolverine in half (Click image to enlarge)

Worst Shot: Beast drawn to look like Chester Cheetah in Uncanny X-Men: The Heroic Age

Best Battle Sequence: New Mutants vs. Inferno Babies in New Mutants #18

Best Costumes: X-Force

Worst Costumes: The yellow and black “G.I. Joe” uniforms with hats in Xenogenesis

Most Stylish X-Character: Daken

Best Couple: Daken & Mystique

Worst Couple: Emma Frost and anyone other than Cyclops, they really should drop her infatuations/dalliances with people from her past

New Mutants #13 Best Cover: New Mutants #13 (Click image to enlarge)

Worst Cover: Astonishing X-Men Xenogenesis #3, Emma Frost with hips broader than her shoulders, a waist smaller than her head, a boob window like Power Girl with her bra showing, suggestively tonguing pancakes while sitting on a “chair” of Scott Summers on all fours dressed in the worst costume of the year. And it actually looks worse than that description.

Best Guest Appearance: Blade in Curse of the Mutants

Worst Guest Appearance: Ruby Thursday in Wolverine: Origins

Best Quote: Victoria Hand: “Director Osborn sends his compliments. And asks you to join him for some torture.” (Dark X-Men #5)

Best Story: Dark Wolverine #87, there aren’t great “moments” here, but this is the story of Daken flirting with and seducing a man in Italy and trying to figure out if he’s going to sleep with him or kill him. Adventurous storytelling at its best.

Worst Story (tie): “Skin Deep” from X-Men vs. Vampires #2, one of the worst fat-hating stories I’ve seen outside of Deadpool, “Ice Cream Alamo” in Nation X #4, Thunderbird, the native American character, nearly kills other X-Men over ice cream. Seriously. In a story with “Alamo” in the title. Seriously.

Best Villain: Bishop in Cable #22-25

Worst Villain: The vampire weight watchers lady from X-Men vs. Vampires #2‘s “Skin Deep”

Character I Want to See More Of: Darwin from X-Factor

Character I Want to See Less Of: Deadpool, I love him, but jeez is he overexposed these days

Comic I Want to See Published More Often: Astonishing X-Men, it’s great when it is published

Comic I Want to See Published Less Often: X-Men Forever, this series is so bad, it deserves its own separate post

Dumbest Character Still Being Used: Doop. Seriously. (Nation X #4)

Stupidest Thing In X-Comics All Year: A vampire whale, complete with giant fangs in X-Men vs. Vampires #2

Worst/Most Stereotypical Character: Vampire blaxploitation character Sheba Sugarfangs in X-Men vs. Vampires #1

Sheba Sugarfangs

The Real Top X-Moments of 2010


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(For the record, there are big-time spoilers here)

George A. Tramountanas at CBR counts down the Top 12 X-moments of 2010 as voted on by his columns readers. The problem is that the list is a very bad one. Second Coming is rightfully outside the Top 12 primarily because the aftermath of the actual “coming” has been a bit of a letdown. A number of the other entries belong on the list, although I could quibble with the order, but most of the rest of the list faces serious problems. Notably, there are several entries that are just plain sexist and reflect more upon adolescent male fantasies than they do upon great writing or art. Most egregiously, the putrid X-Women (which I reviewed here) is an honorable mention, when it should only be mentioned amongst the worst things Marvel published in 2010. On the actual list are a problematic catfight (#11), a fashion statement/multiple women fawning over one man (#8), and a tanline — and I’m not kidding (#7). Also appearing on the list is Doop. Doop is maybe the worst X-character ever (except the Nanny) and certainly doesn’t belong on the list. Another entry that doesn’t belong anywhere near the list is Cyclops and his son chatting in X-Men Forever, a series that betrays the very spirit of the X-universe over the years. Finally, while I wouldn’t put them on the list at all, I can at least see why the Angel-Psylocke reunion and the Storm & Gambit one-shot are on the list, but in no sane world do they belong at #2 and #1, respectively. This list is seriously flawed.

In order to determine the real top 12 X-moments of the year, we have to first define the universe of possible titles that these moments could’ve come from. So, I’ll be excluding Deadpool comics simply because he’s not a mutant and his own comics rarely have anything to do with the X-universe. I’ll exclude the “Forever” series, such as X-Men Forever, primarily because they sucked so much I stopped reading them a long time ago. And, sadly, I’ll exclude SWORD because it doesn’t really fit with the X-universe, despite have some x-characters in it. Also, I’ll be excluding humorous titles (X-Babies), juvenile titles (First Class, X-Campus), alternate timelines (Noir, Ultimates) or series that only had a final issue in January (X-Men vs. Agents of Atlas). With those exclusions, we’re left with a lot, including on-going series (Astonishing, Cable, Daken, Dark Wolverine, New Mutants, Uncanny, X-23, X-Factor, X-Force and Astonishing X-Force, X-Men, Legacy, Wolverine, Wolverine Origins and Wolverine: Weapon X), and too many limited series and one-shots to mention. There are well over 100 issues to choose from and many, many great moments appear in those issues. Too bad CBR’s readers got it wrong.

In the spirit of the CBR list, though, I’ll do a Top 12 of my own, talking about the real best moments of the year. Also, to spread the love, I won’t do more than one moment from the same series, which makes it more difficult, but I’ll give those others honorable mentions (there is one exception to this rule as you’ll see)…

Here are a few that didn’t make the Top 12…

New Mutants Nostalgia (New Mutants): There are a bunch of moments in New Mutants that are callbacks to older New Mutants events and the series is great if you were a fan of the original series. None of them stand on their own, though, as being strong enough to be of high impact to people who didn’t read the original series. Examples: Dani Moonstar turning into a Valkyrie, the return of the Inferno babies, battling the undead Hellions, etc.

The Reunion of Cable and Deadpool (Cable #25): Two characters who were linked for so long get a reunion that is key to the Second Coming storyline and is filled with the traditional Deadpool humor, including Deadpool being eaten — and vomited back up because he’s so unpalatable — by some kind of dragon-monster thingie.

Husk Kicking Vampire A** (X-Men vs. Vampires #1): Husk is a character that hasn’t been focused on much in a long time, but her short in the Vampires anthology gives her the perfect shot at the classic revenge moment against a rank-and-file vampire. One of the more empowering moments in X-Men comics this year.

And now the Top 12:

12. Norman Osborne Defeats Nate Grey (Dark X-Men #5): Osborne is able to defeat one of the most powerful mutants ever simply through the will of his craziness and with a little betrayal from his Dark X-Men against what is right. The sequence contains the best line of the year (see below) and really helps establish the total menace of Osborne and ineptitude of the Dark X-Men (and hence strength of the real X-Men).

11. Rahne’s Return to X-Factor (X-Factor #208): One of the few moments from the CBR list that belongs on the list. The love quadrangle here, which involves werewolves, gods, bisexual powerless mutants and gay soulless creations from other dimensions, is too much fun to read.

10. The First Mutants Develop Since M-Day (X-Men Second Coming #2): Kind of one of the key events in Marvel comics of the year. After the sacrifices of several characters in the Second Coming storyline, Cerebra reveals five mutants who have developed powers, the first since Hope was born. Opens the door for all kinds of things.

Wolverine vx. Mr. X 9. The Conclusion of the Wolverine-Mr. X Fight (Wolverine-Mr. X One-shot): Mr. X is the guy who can’t be beaten in battle. Except Wolverine beat him once. He yearns for nothing more than to avenge that loss and he pursues Wolverine in the most diabolical ways to get a rematch. In the end, though, Logan wins again by refusing to fight him ever again, no matter how violent the things Mr. X does to him. The best use of brutality in any X-comic this year.

8. Beast Leaves the X-Men (Uncanny X-Men #519): Nightcrawler was the first to be outraged by Cyclops resorting to using X-Force as a killing team after finding out about it. But Nightcrawler dies before he can truly react to it, Beast, on the other hand, leaves the X-Men — a group he co-founded — because they abandoned the original dream.

7. The Death of Cable (X-Force #28): Cable isn’t nearly as compelling or an important character as Nightcrawler, who died two issues earlier, but his death was hugely important for advancing the storyline of Hope. As long as Cable was around, Hope could never develop any further as a character, with him out of the way, she has a chance to become someone interesting.

6. Kavita Rao Outsmarts the Villains AND Egotistical Genius Dr. Nemesis (X-Men: Blind Science): Dr. Nemesis is the kind of character that infuriates people because of his huge ego AND the fact that he’s pretty much always right. But in the Blind Science one-shot he’s outsmarted by the villains and tricked into giving them a virus that will eliminate mutantkind. But Rao realized what was happening from the beginning and secretly sabotaged the whole thing, defeating the villains and outsmarting Dr. Nemesis. How often do female comic book characters get to save the day through their intellect? And how many of them are from India?

5. The Appearance of the Final Horsemen, Especially Pestilence (Uncanny X-Force #2): Another one I agree with the CBR list on, this is the best set of Horsemen yet and the Horsemen were always some of the best villains in the X-books. Pestilence, in particular, stands out.

Opena's art

4. Daken and Moonstone Flirting (Dark Wolverine #81): Is Daken gay or straight? Does it matter? Is he going to hook up with Moonstone or kill her? Is there a more original semi-romantic conversation in any mainstream comic of 2010? I doubt it.

3. Crone’s Holocaust Memories (X-Factor Nation X One-shot): This intro to the comic is beautiful to look at as it invokes the actual sketchbook powers of Crone and does a great job of connecting comics to the real world. How would a mutant of limited powers deal with the horrors of the Holocaust? This intro explains how.

2. Cyclops Defeats the Vampire Army (X-Men #5): Cyclops shows he’s the true leader of the X-Men and defeats the entire Vampire army by anticipating what the bad guys are going to do and by playing chess when they are playing checkers. The twist he turns on them is too good to reveal here, but let’s just say that 2010 established that Cyclops is actually the baddest of the badasses.

1. The Death of Nightcrawler (X-Force #26): The death of one of the greatest comics characters ever written should be the most important event in any year in any comics universe.

Nightcrawler dies

Honorable mentions: Beast referring to Abigail brand as ‘my little fruit bat” in Astonishing X-men #32, Daken’s gay kiss with Hawkeye/Bullseye in the middle of battle in Dark Wolverine #84, Shatterstar hitting on Iceman in front of Rictor in X-Factor Nation X #1, Madrox’s skepticism about Cyclops and Utopia in X-Factor Nation X #1, the return of Kitty Pryde in Uncanny X-Men #522, the callback of the famous Days of Future Past poster scene showing all the X-Men slain in Uncanny X-Men #525, the death of Silver Samurai in Wolverine #1, Wolverine getting rid of Romulus and declawing Daken in Wolverine Origins #48, X-23 leaving the X-Men in X-23 #3 (it’s the only way she can become a real character and not just an imitation of another character), Wolverine destroying Razorfists razor fists in X-Force: Sex and Violence #2, the rise of the Genoshan zombies in X-Force #24, the emergence of Hope’s powers in X-Force #28, the exploding vampire virus thing in X-Men #1, Wolverine’s final favor for Nightcrawler in Wolverine: Weapon X #16.

Friday Five (Times Two): Top 10 Marvel Series of 2010


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Since the trend around the comics blogosphere is to go with Top 10 lists, I’m doubling the usual Friday Five to offer up my top 10 Marvel Comics series of the year. Keep in mind as you read this that I didn’t read everything they put out, only about 60%, but I read them a lot more than anyone else, so I figured keeping it to only Marvel would be more fair than saying Top 10 Comics of the Year and then having them mostly be Marvel since that’s what I read. So with that, here’s what I liked this year:

10. Avengers Academy: One of the few “young” teams that Marvel has brought out in years that is interesting and the dynamics of the team keep changing, so it’s fun.

9. New Mutants: I was always a big fan of the original series and its good to see them back with a new batch of quirky stories.

8. X-Men Vol. 3: I liked the X-Men vs. vampires stuff and this series had the best of the bunch.

7. Taskmaster: This series, while mostly fun and funny, rewrote Taskmaster’s history to make him much more interesting and compelling.

6. Secret Warriors: The only Marvel series where the art stuns me every issue, add to that this is the best Nick Fury writing in years.

5. Uncanny X-Force: Not sure why they ended the old X-Force series and renamed it with the Uncanny name, but it has great art and a great concept that has been well executed.

4. Thunderbolts: The best group of characters and best dialog and interaction of anything in Marvel not written by Brian Michael Bendis.

3. Avengers: John Romita Jr. art is enough to make this high on my list, but a return to classic Avengers-style stories with Kang and other great characters makes this a winner.

2. New Avengers: This one gets a slight nod because Bendis has a particular knack for writing this group of characters better than the other group, particularly Spider-Man, Wolverine, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones and Dr. Strange. I don’t know if he just likes these characters better or he just gets them better, either way, I like what he does with them a whole lot.

1. The Thanos Imperative: This one is truly flawless for big epic event comics. It has a great cast that has a great diversity. It has a huge menace and amazing action sequences. It has great writing, dialog and art. And it has enough twists and turns to keep anyone interested, even if you don’t like cosmic stuff and don’t have a background with the characters. That would be me. I always hated Marvel’s cosmic stuff, but the recent work on these series, including this one most of all, has made me a believer.

List of Top Ten Lists of 2010


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Our tradition is posting our “top comics” list of the past year on January 1 of  the next year.  We feel it’s hard to look back and rate the best until all the days are over.  So, in the mean time, we’re compiling everyone else’s “Best of” lists.

Come back often as we’ll update this frequently.

2010 Lists

ABCFavorite Comic Book Artists of 2010

ABCFavorite Comic Book Writers of 2010

ABCFavorite DC Comic Books of 2010

Blogomatic3000Top 10 New Comic Book Series of 2010

Candy or MedicineTop Ten Mini Comics of 2010

Comic AttackInfinite Speech’s Top 10 of 2010!

Comic Books for Colored FolksSome of the Best of 2010

Comic RelatedWhy I Love Awards!

Comics AllianceBest Comics 2010 Graphic Novels

Comic Book BinBinnies 2010: Best Original Graphic Novel or Anthology

Comic Book Resources – CBR’s Top 100 Comics of 2010 Part 1, Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5

Comic Book ResourcesMy Top Ten Comics of 2010

Comic Book Resources – 20 Favorite Female Creators of 2010 Part 1 Part 2

Comic Book Resources: Committed33 Comic Books I Read in 2010

Comic Book Resources: CSBG ArchiveMy Best Ten Of ‘Ten!

Comic Book Resources: Robot 6Our favorite comics of 2010

Comic Book Resources: She Has No Head!Best (And A Few Worsts) Of 2010

Comic Book Resources: X-PositionTop X-Moments of 2010

Comics AllianceThe 5 Worst Comics of 2010

The Comics JournalThe best norwegian comics of 2010!

The Economist: More Intelligent LifeThe Year in Pictures

Entertainment WeeklyThe 10 Best Graphic Novels and Comics of 2010

Fearing AmericansThe Best Comic Books of 2010

Fiction State of MindMy Top Ten Graphic Novels of 2010/2011 Graphic Novel Challenge

Flavorwire10 of the years most buzzed about comics.

Girls Read Comics TooBest of 2010

Guys Lit WireGraphic Novels — notes from a Top 10 List

iFanboy2010 Book of the Year

iFanboyTop 10 Best Things About Comics in 2010

iFanboyThe Top 10 Best New Books of 2010

IGNBest of 2010

MTV GeekMTV Geek’s Top 10 Comic Books for 2010

MTV Splashpage2010 Best Comic Books, Webcomics and Graphic Novels

NerdageBest comic-book series of 2010

NerdageBest graphic novels of 2010

News OKWord Balloons: 10 Best Periodical Comic Books of 2010 Comic Book Challenge

NewsaramaBest of Best Shots 2010 (And What to Watch in 2011)

NfamousgamersMarronmarvel’s Top Comic Picks of 2010

Puss Reboots10 Best Graphic Novels

Read RantTop Ten Best Comics of 2010

The Sala-BlogListing the Year Away: 5 Worst Comic Books of 2010

The Sala-BlogListing the Year Away: 10 Best Comic Books of 2010

Think HeroTop 5 Comic Books of 2010

Suicide GirlsBest of the Best Comics Books of 2010

TechlandBest Graphic Novels of 2010

TechlandThe Ten Best Comic Books of 2010

Topless RobotThe 5 Best and 5 Worst Comics of 2010

Misc

Comic Attack – Touring the Cosmos: 2010 Cosmic Review Part 1

Comics AllianceThe 8 Biggest Comic Book News Stories of 2010

Diamond ComicsDiamond Announces Top Comics Books and Graphic Novels for 2010

Icv2’75 Years of DC Comics’ #3 Book of the Year

Jezebel – Favorite Female Comic Creators of 2010 Part 1 Part 2

MTV Geek11 Comics We’ll Miss in 2011

Riffs ReviewsThe Top Comic Book Quotes of 2010

ScotsmanBest of 2010

TechlandWhat We’re Looking Forward To in 2011: Comics

Friday Five


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Today’s five is the Top 5 artists whose work was most memorable to me over the years, in order. There is obviously a bias towards books I actually read, which means a bias towards Marvel in general and the X-Men in particular, but the art I’m citing still holds up to me now.

5. Dave Cockrum

4. George Perez

3. Steve Ditko

2. John Romita Jr.

1. John Byrne

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