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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

One Theory on the Scott Pilgrim vs. The World Take


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Scott Pilgrim vs. the WorldMuch is going around about why Scott Pilgrim vs. The World did so poorly this weekend at the box office, coming in fifth place and behind two movies who had been in the theaters already.  The Examiner points the finger at Michael Cera, and claims he’s not a box office draw.  That may be the case, but what we’ve seen lately is that not many people are any more.

I have a different theory on the $10.6 million dollar opening that actually received good reviews from viewers.  Bleeding Cool reported that tracking was down for the movie among female audiences.  With both Eat, Pray, Love and the Expendables tracking better.  But the stats I’d like to see is where the $10.6 million came from?

My theory goes that it’s mostly concentrated in major metropolitan areas, with very little brought in from fly-over Red states.  Lets face it, the audience for Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is anime, video game and comic book geeks.  The type of individuals shunned in smaller towns.  On the flip side, the Expendables is the type of movie testosterone driven he-men love throughout the country, especially in smaller towns and suburbs.  It’s an easy pick as to which would do better in a head to head match up.

The Expendables, I’m positive killed in those “red” areas and drew tough guys in metropolitan areas.  Eat, Pray, Love dragged the “date audience.”  That left the core audience too see Pilgrim.

Now, anyone have data to prove if I’m right or wrong?

Scott Pilgrim vs. The Box Office Returns


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Scott Pilgrim vs. the WorldIt wasn’t a good weekend for Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.  The film which generated good reviews from those that actually saw the film failed at being a draw at the box office.

Entertainment Weekly (and most other sources) are predicting the film brought in $10.5 million for the weekend, much lower than the studio and those involved had hoped.

That amount would put the film in fifth place behind the other two new films for the week The Expendables and Eat, Pray, Love as well as The Other Guys and Inception.

Review – Scott Pilgrim vs. The World


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Scott Pilgrim vs. the WorldScott Pilgrim vs. the World is based of the graphic novel series by Bryan Lee O’Malley and published by Oni Press.  Directed by Edgar Wright and staring Michael Cera and Mary Elizabeth Winstead the movie isn’t a Twilight for boys as some moronic reviewers have suggested, but instead is the first real movie for the Nintendo generation.  Throughout the kinetic action sequences and fight scenes and rapid fire banter are references through sounds and visuals that’ll appeal to Generation X.

When boiled down, Scott Pilgrim’s journey is the Legend of Zelda done in comic book form.  The less than confident hero must go through levels and defeat bosses to save the girl he likes.  Wright knows this and plays off of it perfectly with sounds familiar to 8-bit jockeys including musical cues from Zelda and visual cues from that and more including Super Mario Bros.  This is a movie for video game geeks and comic geeks alike.  A mish-mash love poem to pop culture for the ADD set.

The downside to the movie is actually the two main members of the cast.  Cera is his usual self, the character we’ve seen him play a million times.  At moments there’s great line delivery, but for the most part it’s the same old character.  Winstead also plays Ramona Flowers a bit aloof, and instead of a confident, strong woman, as I though she was in the comic, we instead get a broken, weak female lead.  The rest of the cast is dead on and fit their characters perfectly.

Overall, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is the best comic movie adaptation of the year.  But, I’m realistic, and if you don’t appreciate 8-bit music or see 1-ups pop up on screen this movie is definitely not for you.  As always, the source material is better, but this is a pretty damn good adaptation and one that should be seen on the big screen.

Read more

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World Opens Today


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I know where I’ll be tonight, but I feel this is just a good excuse to show off the trailer for Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.

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