2010 is Bagged and Boarded

Thursday, January 6, 2011


So one thing I did this year was really get into comic books. I've been into specific titles off and on before (Buffy, Mouse Guard), and collected graphic novels for a long time, but this is the most in-depth week-to-week I've personally been.

Last weekend I posted my 2010 books retrospective, but I was inspired this week to write a comics retrospective as well.

Bear in mind, I didn't really get into collecting issues until well into the year, I may have missed some great stuff early on.

Favorite Cover: The Last Unicorn #1



This made me dance with happiness in the store. It's so gorgeous, and thick with detail. It captures the whole story. Here: I'll post it upside down as well so you can really see the other half.



Favorite Ongoing: American Vampire

To the surprise of no one who reads this blog, my favorite book this year, part of why I got back into collecting issues, is American Vampire. Come on, it's got history, and action, and bad-ass supernaturals. Sure, I picked up the first one because the second story was by Stephen King, but I've stuck around because I'm totally hooked on Scott Snyder's characters. (For Mature Readers, FYI)

Favorite One-Shot: Joker's Asylum II: The Riddler

The set of Bat-villain one-shots, narrated by the Joker, caught my eye earlier this year, and then I had to have them all. This one was my favorite, not just for the fun of the plot, but for the amazing art. There is an unanswered riddle in the story, and the art has a secret. Each panel is a playing card, and some of them are really subtle. I spent far longer than I should have re-reading this for all the tiny details. In the end, I couldn't find a satisfying answer to the riddle, but I had a lot of fun trying.

For example: 9 of Diamonds, 8 of Diamonds, Joker, 4 of Clubs


Most Disappointing: Bruce Wayne: The Road Home Catwoman, Oracle, Comissoner Gordon, Ra's Al Ghul

I wrote about this at the time. I picked up the first four one-shots of Bruce Wayne: The Road Home and really liked them. The other two pairs... kinda sucked.

Thing everyone seems to love that I don't understand yet: Batwoman

I know everyone is really excited that Batwoman is getting her own ongoing. I want to like her, but I feel a bit late to the party. I read the special Batwoman #0, which I found pretty dull, and I just picked up a special $1 copy of Detective Comics #854, which begins the Elegy plot arc, recently collected in a graphic novel. And... I just don't know. I dislike her look. I dislike the art. I don't like her yet. I just don't get the enthusiasm, but maybe I'll read the graphic novel in Barnes and Noble or something.

2011 Comics Resolution:

Yesterday I listened to the 3 Chicks Review Comics Podcast 2010 Special, and it reminded me how much I've totally abandoned Marvel. I sometimes pick up Marvel Adventures, because I can be a sucker for light fluffy superheroes, but that's it. I want to like Marvel, I like many of their characters, but every time I picked up an issue to flip through this year it was either awful or too reliant on current continuity for me to understand. I'd like to try a bit harder, though. As much as I love my Bat-books, it could be nice to have a little more variety in my stacks. So in 2011, I'm planning to look a bit more into Marvel books. (I know, I missed the “Year of Marvel Women”, so sue me. It looked crummy on the shelf.)

Also, Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes is a REALLY GOOD SHOW, and the best advertisement for reading Marvel Comics I've seen in some time. (Intriguing semi-obscure characters galore: I mean... Mockingbird? I had to go look up Mockingbird.)

A Special Thank You:

I need to do a special shout out here to JM Straczynski. He wrote some god-awful Wonder Woman this year. But before it even came out, suddenly Wonder Woman was everywhere. People who've never read a comic in their life suddenly had opinions about her pants. This drove me rather nuts, but it did have one personally positive effect: I became really interested in Wonder Woman. I liked WW in JL/JLU, I loved the animated movie, but I realized I might have never read a comic book with Wonder Woman in it. I'm passably familiar with most of the Bat-book girls, and as a teen I loved the female X-Men, but I actually didn't know much about Wonder Woman.

Well, that couldn't stand.

I bought Wonder Woman #600 when it came out and enjoyed it. I was finally reading Simone's Birds of Prey collected trades around the same time, and I loved Diana's cameo in that. So, I did a bunch of reading on the internet, and I bought some more books:



And now I love Wonder Woman, and I'm sure I'll read more of her history in 2011. So thanks, JMS, for writing crappy Wonder Woman, and calling my attention to the character.

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