Anyway, this is the first post of not only this blog, but of the new year and it should be special. By special, I mean it's time for THE GREATEST OF 2006 LIST. I do so love to list things and give my unasked for opinion. Though numbered, it's not really in a list of what I think was the best overall, except for the actual number one spot. And in typical year end list fashion, I shall be telling what I think is the best so-and-so was of the past year. Let's get to it...
This year saw the return of the Agents of Atlas, a team of superheroes not seen since the 50's(the actual 50's, not just comic book time), in a miniseries that surprised me not just by how well it's written, but in how fast it made me care about characters I've mostly never heard of. And Yellow Claw may be one of the best criminal masterminds in comic book history.
Thanks to Brubaker, Joey Chapman aka Union Jack made a comeback in '06, taking his place as the UK's number one superguy. Armed with only a pistol, a dagger and his wits, he outshines his super-powered compatriots by taking any chance and never backing down, no matter who he's standing up to.
And there is no character who owes more to Brubaker than Buchanan Barnes aka The Winter Soldier aka Agent of Nick Fury. The former sidekick cautionary tale has been remade into a badass not just in the present, but in his wartime persona as well. Bucky was a black ops pro who could kill a man twice his size with a kitchen fork. And seeing him interact with the new generation and getting in touch with an old colleague in Winter Kills was one of the greatest single issues of a comic this year.
I don't care how far reaching are the effects of Infinite Crisis, Civil War or 52, the one thing all three have in common are inconsistency. Plot holes riddle both CW and IC, with IC and 52 sharing art inconsistencies. And let's not get into CW's characterization problems. I don't have that kind of time. But Keith Giffen has been telling the tale of Annihilus's reign of destruction across the cosmos and the meager forces standing in his way with almost no missteps I can see. Divito's art has that right tone for galactic spectacle and personal dialogue. I just can't wait to see how it ends.
It was only developed by Grant Morrison, but damn, if it ain't still one of the best series out today. It touches on all the principles of Civil War, but isn't held up by the need to include every hero from the DCU. More than anything, it's just about what it means to be a superhero and what it used to mean to be an American.
One thing Robert Kirkman can learn from Dwayne McDuffie is that just because isn't as popular as the main guys, doesn't make them a loser. McDuffie rounded up third and fourth tier heroes and villains, giving us this tale of teamwork, betrayal, heroism and sacrifice.
The new version of Kara Zor-El Supergirl, well, sucked. She was a blank personality slate with the air of bitchiness. It wasn't until she befriended the one-time Rogue and scarf wearing Outsider Captain Boomerang that she became interesting. She had someone to talk to on the same level as her. Someone who's parent was less than inspiring but is still very much a part of who they are. And the fact that Boomer seems to be embarking into a longtime journey into those Kryptonite panties is just part of the coolness.
And in Robin #153, where it seemed as if we were going to have a throwdown between the sons of the fathers who killed each other, we get a old-fashioned superhero teamup with new-fashioned angst. I can't wait until Boomer and Robin meet again.
For every twist and turn the plot takes, the art is always crisp and riveting. I don't care if it had to be bi-monthly forever, Whedon and Cassaday should be writing the X-Men for at least another five years. I just hope Cyclops keeps that jacket.
The book is insane. The plot is insane. Their pursuer is insane. And the team is insane. The best part? The Captain's origin. Just insane.
The Justice League has been beaten down. Bad. To the point where Superman was begging for help. While the Legion of Doom is seen as humanity's saviors, the League barely manages to regroup and organize. But they have a prisoner, Captain Cold, and Batman thinks he can coerce the info the League needs out of Snart. You found out how far Batman is willing to go and why everyone is scared of him.
There it is, the first post from Blogspot's latest superstar. Time to go. I have two seasons of Veronica Mars to watch and no time to lose. Thanks to all those who make this worthwhile.