The best comics of 2011

The best comics of 2011

I really cut back on comics this year, mostly because I simply don’t have room to store them, so only the best stuff makes its way into my house now. Then something wonderful happened. I got an iPad, and the ComiXology app really came into its own.

This led me to try a lot of new stuff. I’ve always liked indie movies, but I don’t necessarily want to own every one of them! The same with comics, and no surprise for the guy who’s favourite super hero is Starman, I dig some of the more obscure stuff.

Here’s the best stuff I read in 2011:

The Shade
As I said above, the 1990’s Starman series is my favourite comic series of all time, hell, I’ve got the symbol tattooed on my right shoulder, so when I read James Robinson was revisiting the city of Opal with Tony Harris’ studio mate Cully Hamner (who’s Blue Beetle redesign of several years ago is still one of my favourite costume designs ever), I was all in, and this series hasn’t disappointed.

Swamp Thing
Picking up threads of Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing, while still forging its own path, this has brilliant writing, and gorgeous Kevin Nowlan inspired art.

Batman: Knight of Vengeance
Brian Azzarello and Eudardo Risso can do no wrong in my opinion, this three issue mini-series starts with the conceit of “What if Thomas Wayne lived, and Bruce Wayne was the one who lived?”, full of some of the best moments of Flashpoint, and with some truly great Shock endings.

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man
Okay, it took 5 issues to get him in his new costume, but Miles Morales is a much more fleshed out character because of it, and he’s his own man with his own reasons of why “with great power must come great responsibility”.

Batman and Robin
Hands down the best concept of the last several years. Bruce Wayne’s artificially accelerated kid (who’s roughly ten years old) is a genius addition to the Batman Family. I think it’s a little bit funny that the guy who was orphaned has built a Michael Jackson-esque child posse around him, but it works. I like how different the dynamic between Damian and Dick Grayson was compared to Damian’s father Bruce.

Blue Estate
Wow, picked this urban crime noir up during Comixology’s recent .99 sale, and I am hooked! A great story with a constantly evolving art style.

Azzarello and Risso again. Again, the first issue was only $.99 on Comicxology, and I took a chance. It’s a future crime noir, with Azzarello’s typical panache with dialogue, and a really cool world.

Justice League
Right now the cool thing to do on the Internet is hate on Johns and Lee, but I’m really enjoying this series. Johns writing is solid, and Lee’s art is note-perfect. About the only thing I don’t like is the $3.99 price tag.

Wow, I have loved J.H Williams since Chase (which just got collected), but he’s at his absolute artistic peak on this series right now. The only proble I have with it is it’s impossible to read digitally. You genuinely have to read this in print because of the double page spreads.

The Red Wing
One of the few non-digital books I read this year, this time travel tale by Jonathan Hickman has art by Nick Pitarra that evokes both Frank Quitely and Geoff Darrow, and a story full of paradoxes and big action pieces. It was terrific.

So that was my list of favourites. What were yours?