*physical comics from All new Comics only…I still get a lot of comics from Comixology.
Looking back at the end of the year, it was a pretty spectacular year for comics. There was a bunch of awesome new stuff, some existing series got a shot in the arm, and the big two put out some really good stuff.
What surprises me the most about 2012 is how many comics I read regularly that aren’t from Marvel or DC. More than half of my entire list now is comprised of stuff from Image or Boom! Studios.
Brian’s Favourite comics of 2012
This is my kids’ favourite cartoon, and the comic is awesome fun. One of my favourite purchases of the year was a page from Adventure Time #5, the introduction of “Adventure Tim”.
All New X-Men
Brian Bendis takes on the X-Men, and what he’s doing here is really interesting. He’s brought the classic “original” X-Men forward in time, pulled right out of the original 60’s comics, to see what’s become of them. Iceman is an ice elemental, Beast is dying of his own mutations, Jean Grey is dead, Angel is an amnesiac who might actually be a biblical angel now, and Scott Summers has become the most feared and hated mutant in the world, who is now aligned with the X-Men’s greatest foe…Magneto. It’s an interesting story with awesome work by London’s own Stuart Immonen.
I joined the Amazing Spider-Man bandwagon for ASM 698, 699, and 700, the story arc where Doctor Octopus takes over Peter Parker’s body, and I have to say that Dan Slott has pulled off something for me that hasn’t happened since the 90’s. I’m actually interested in what happens next with Spider-Man.
America’s Got Powers
The art on this one is beautiful, with a really decent story from BBC game show host Jonathan Ross, and art by the Ultimates team of Bryan Hitch and Paul Neary. It’s a shame that it’s taken 8 months to get out 4 issues, but it’s a really good series.
Jonathan Hickman has quickly become one of my favourite writers. He has taken the classic Avengers line-up, and blown it completely sky high, with a massive team, even bigger than the ones from the 80’s, and facing bigger villains than ever before. Only two issues in, and the set-up here is fantastic.
Batman Lil’ Gotham
Digital Only – Dustin Nguyen is creating some awesome stuff here, with a fully water colour painted style, and really fun stories around things like Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. At only .99 per issue, it’s a great value, and something fun to read with Maks.
Digital Only – This comic by Chris Roberson (who left DC Comics rather spectacularly earlier this year), and Dennis Culver is the aftermath of the world’s greatest super villain defeating the world’s greatest superhero, and the ironic position he finds himself of being in as Earth’s mightiest protector. It’s fun, light, and really well done. A bargain at .99 an issue too!
If you would have told me a decade ago that one of Rob Liefeld’s creations would be one of my favourite comics of the year, I’d have said you were crazy…but it’s true. This is an awesome story about the child of two warring alien nations, and what has happened to her after decades on Earth.
Justice League by Geoff Johns and Jim Lee is just big, dumb, superhero action. It’s like watching a summer blockbuster movie. There’s not much there, but damn it’s pretty to look at!
Digital First – This is from the minds of the Penny-Arcade guys, it’s the tale of a bunch of children who are learning to become forest rangers in medieval times. It’s cartoony and light, and something fun to read to the kids.
This is probably the densest thing I’m reading right now. It’s about an alternate reality where the Manhattan Project R&D department being a front for other, even more mind bending experiments. The group has the brightest minds from all over the world, including several war criminals, a man who is entirely irradiated, and Robert Oppenheimer’s evil twin.
What if the dead came back to life in a small town? What if they didn’t come back as Zombies…just simply didn’t die? This is a really cool concept, and seems pretty much tailor made to become a movie.
Probably my favourite new series in a year of amazing new series. Every issue has had an awesome shock ending, and the narrative hook of having the baby narrate the series some time in the future is pretty awesome. Written by Brian K. Vaughn and art by Fiona Staples, it’s a great sci-fi series about a very Romeo and Juliet type of relationship. Read my friend Diana’s year end best of review for Saga for more about Saga
Starman is my favourite comic series of all time. Shade was a character in Starman who went through an amazing arc in the comic, starting out as a villain, and ending the series by vowing to take care of Jack Knight’s beloved Opal City, while the titular “Starman” left the heroic life behind to go raise his son. This mini-series hit all of the right notes, while still letting Jack Knight go off and be his own man.
Written by written by Brian Azzarello, and illustrated by Eduardo Risso, this story of an engineered human who gets embroiled in the centre of a massive controversy is typical Azzarello crime awesomeness with some of the coolest “future speak” I’ve ever read. It’s dark and gritty, but so much fun.
After the pretty poor “Avengers vs X-Men”, Captain America decided that the Avengers should have done more for mutants after the events of Civil War (and before that the House of M). To that end he’s created a new team that is half X-Men, half Avengers, with Havok, Cyclops’ brother, leading up the team.
Written by Rick Remender and illustrated by John Cassaday, Uncanny Avengers has been big, dumb action every issue so far.
The Walking Dead
Oh my god. No comic has ever given me such a visceral reaction as Walking Dead #100. I was angry about it for at least two days, and thought about it for days after. The current arc “Something to Fear” is the best the comic has been since the days of the Governor…and I should know…I read all 99 previous issues in 4 days back in the fall in anticipation of #100.
The comic deviates from the TV series quite a bit, but the changes are even more interesting. There has never been a Darryl. Sophia still lives in the comic. Lori made it much longer in the comic (and was killed by The Governor), and Shane only lasted 6 issues (way before the group got to Hershel’s farm).
Wolverine and the X-Men
Jason Aaron and Nick Bradshaw are having the most fun with an X-Men comic. This is about Wolverine’s “Jean Grey School for the Gifted”, the revised X-Men academy, where the grounds are a living monster, and the buildings are outfitted with alien technology. The comic has gone to space, where Wolverine and one of his students used telepathy to win tons of money from an intergalactic casino…in order to keep the school opened, to arguments with Educational policy makers. It’s fun, it’s light, and it’s my favourite X-Men comic since the 90’s.
Wow…Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang have re-invented Wonder Woman again, this time bringing us revised interpretations of the Greek Pantheon, and awesome divergences such as why there really are no men on Paradise Island (the Amazons send all of their sons to Hephaestus, who adopts them and puts them to work in his forge). One of my favourite series of 2012, but so far I’ve only bought it in collections because I think it works better as a series. I may start picking it up digitally in the new year though.
Now over to you…
That’s my list…what were your favourite comics of 2012? This is by no means all of the comics I read on a monthly basis, but is there something here I’m missing? Comment below!