Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My Favorite Comicbooks of the Noughties

Two days left in the decade, two blogs of favorites left to tell. Obviously, these last two posts had the most thought go into them, but they were also the hardest to winnow down to a scant eight (except music, music was a bitch as well).
Anyway, I wasn't a comic fan since birth, just since this decade and its stumbling, fumbling, often humbling comic book movies edged me over that way. Superheroes and sci-fi remain my main concern, so this list should surprise no-one. Anywhere. EVER.
I also want to give honorable mention, first to the artists I fail to mention in my top eight, you've done a bang-up job but I don't remember all your names. Also to Gail Simone- she's really damn great and this list came up something of a sausage-fest... sorry. Finally, to neglect them was like tearing out little bits of my soul, so to JSA, Star Wars: Tag & Bink Are Dead, Franklin Richards: Son Of A Genius, The Irredeemable Ant-Man, and every single Boom! Studios Comic I've ever read-- you all rock. And so, skipping the list I intended to make of my 8 favorite things Joe Quesada did to make me stop buying Spider-Man, here is:

(Why eight? That's how many fingers I have left with two thumbs up.)

8. Ultimate Spider-Man by Brian Bendis, Mark Bagley, & Stuart Immonen
Making the most of the Marvel movie audience, this comic revamped Spidey's origin and the events of his tumultuous 15th year. For a whole decade (and counting) it's been the only trade series I've bought consistently. Bendis deserves my praise for Daredevil, Alias, and Avengers as well.

7. Amazing Spider-Man by J. Michael Strazynski & John Romita Jr.
Trapped for decades in teenager mode, Spider-Man FINALLY had some stories where he acted like a grown-up. Mentoring and inspiring his students, patching the rifts with his wife, exploring his spiritual side, facing his mortality, sharing the truth of his dual life with his beloved Aunt May, and much more. Splendid art and mature storytelling highlight a series I may never be willing to buy again. (for full details, ask a Skrull named Joe Q.)
JRJR does a wonderful job on anything he's attached to, and JMS's Thor is also quite good. And considering how rarely I give a crap about Thor, that's saying something.

6. Strangers In Paradise by Terry Moore
Zounds! It isn't a superhero comic. It's on the list because it's charming, funny, romantic and sexy. I really have to buy this series and read it all, because there are times when superhero comics fail to have the answers to the questions that matter to me. Like the ineffability of the human heart and other poetic crap.

5. Invincible by Robert Kirkman & Cory Walker
I like everything I've read by Kirkman, no exaggeration of his talents is possible. From Marvel Team-Up to The Walking Dead he always does right by me and it's another series I need to buy and catch up on. There's an alien in it called Al the Alien. I'm really not doing it justice. Just read it, o.k.? Thanks.

4. Green Lantern by Geoff Johns
I wish I liked Hal Jordan more, because everything GJ has done for GL is awe-inspiring. I literally think Johns could start a religion with this 'emotional spectrum' jazz. From GL: Rebirth to the Sinestro Corps War to the astonishingly good Blackest Night I cannot gush enough. Sci-fi superheroics cleverly weaving stories from decades past into richer tapestries. Go, Geoff, go!

3. Legion of Superheroes by Mark Waid & Barry Kitson
They're a good team, Waid and Kitson. The Legion are also a good team.
See Legion Week or any Legion comic ever for details.

2. She-Hulk by Dan Slott, Ty Templeton, & Juan Bobillo
I don't buy as many comics as I want to. I can't afford it. And Marvel comics doesn't need my help anymore. They've got Disney. And Disney NEEDS to give me a She-Hulk movie. I don't ask for much. Just figure out how to expertly balance superheroics, legal drama, and comedy with a metatextual, metrosexual, werewolf-marrying, barfing-on-her-boss green supergal. Actually, considering how well superhero comedy has done historically I'm surprised this lasted as long as it did. Thanks, Dan & Ty.

1. 52 by Mark Waid, Greg Rucka, Grant Morrison, Geoff Johns, Keith Giffen et al
Bookmonkey said what needs to be said. As far as I'm concerned, this was the best thing superhero books did this decade: in terms of sheer output, art and writing quality combined to make something more than the sum of its parts. EVERY WEEK FOR A DAMN YEAR!

Thanks to these and so many others, I am a comic fanatic for life despite all the continuity screw-ups, cross-over convolutions, crazy-making cost per cover, and kooky Quesadas.
Make mine Comics!

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