Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Year's End

2008 is long gone, so why am I just now getting to End of the Year awards? Simple, all my old writings/files are still on the flash drive and I’ve yet to get them back. So I said Screw It! I’m re-writing this. I remember most of my choices and all the awards, so yeah, lets get to it! First, a list of all the awards.

Best Comic of the Year
Best Writer of the Year
Best Artist of the Year
Best Hero of the Year
Best Villain of the Year
Best One-Shot Comic of the Year
Best Mini-series of the Year
Best Story-Arc of the Year
Best New Ongoing series of the Year
Best Graphic Novel of the Year
Best Collection of the Year
Best Cover of the Year
Best Cover artist of the Year
Best Comic Movie of the Year
Best Video Game of the Year
Best Indy Comic of the Year
Best Moment of the Year
Best Publisher of the Year
Biggest Disappointment of the Year

Now that you know what to expect, let’s get rewarding.

Best Comic of the Year: Witchblade
Runner Ups: Detective Comics, Wolverine, Invincible, Spawn.

What happens when a comic has a perfect, solid combination of writer and artist, where the writer doesn’t just get the characters and write them excellently, but the artist does as well and the art is gorgeous? That is Witchblade. Following the event First Born, 2 women bear the Witchblade and with #116 a new jumping on point came. I couldn’t resist and I’ve been loving it ever since. Witchblade has been a non-stop great comic every single issue, the characters are all amazing, the art is just brilliant in every way and I still recommend it above all other comics.

Best Writer of the Year: David Hine
Runner Ups: Ron Marz, Paul Dini, Mark Millar, Robert Kirkman.

As great as Witchblade was, I can’t deny that David Hine did an incredible job on Spawn. While he was taken off the series just as he was really reaching the height of greatness, I can’t deny that every single issue of Spawn this year was a treat to read and since I’ve been reading again since the Armageddon arc Hine has been doing a great job. With any luck, one day he’ll return to Spawn somehow.

Best Artist of the Year: Stjepan Sejic
Runner Ups: Dustin Nguyen, Clayton Crain, John Romita Jr.

Sejic doesn’t just win this award for the fact that he’s an incredibly talented artist and that his style is absolutely incredible. Oh no. He wins the award for the fact that he’s got awesome art, and he’s TIMELY! He can keep up a schedule, which is more then can be said for a lot of the best artist in the business, no insult to them. Sejic had 2 books this year, his new ongoing artist as Witchblade and turning in beautiful panted work for Broken Trinity, on both accounts he greatly succeeded.

Best Hero of the Year: Invincible
Runner Ups: Thor, Batman, Spawn, Savage Dragon.

This was a really tough decision, while Batman had some great stuff 2008, Invincible made a great comeback from what, for me, was limbo. I jumped back on as of #51 and I’ve yet to regret it. After a while of slowing things down and setting the pieces up for things to happen later on, more is going down, it’s more exciting then ever and Invincible hasn’t been this great in a longtime for me, 2008 marked a lot of great comebacks and moments, Invincible’s was the best for me.

Best Villain of the Year: The Joker
Runner Ups: Hush, Mammon, Norman Osborn, the Skrulls.

Another tough decision, 2008 had some great villains. But try as I might I can’t deny that the Joker was at the top of his game this year. A great graphic novel, an awesome portrayal by Heath Ledger and what was undeniably one of his best moments of all time through Batman R.I.P. it’s hard not to love Joker and last year was one of the best years he’s had in a very long time.

Best One Shot Comic of the Year: Ultimate Spider-man Annual #3
Runner Ups: Thor: Reign of Blood, Detective Comics #850, Witchblade #119

This right here is why I love Ultimate Spider-man, its amazing blend of top notch action in the case of Mysterio, and compelling and interesting character stories such as the story of will Peter and MJ have sex, taking their relationship to the next level. Bendis gives us a perfect blend of these two aspects in this years Annual and it turned out to be an incredible read. David Lafuente’s art certainly helped as he hits a strong emotional balance with the characters without being unable to support great action with his art. While everyone may not love Ultimate Spider-man, it’s hard to deny what works and Ultimate Spider-man works incredibly well here as this, at it’s core, is what this great series is al about.

Best Mini-Series of the Year: Marvel Zombies 3
Runner Ups: Thor: Ages of Thunder, Broken Trinity, Young Avengers Presents

Marvel Zombies is undeniably overplayed and overdone. However, while the 3rd volume probably won’t reinvigorate people who don’t like Marvel Zombies, as a stand alone story it was great with awesome moment after awesome moment and some seriously great artwork that stunned and impressed easily. If you’re not a fan of the zombies, you may still get a kick out of Marvel Zombies 3.

Best Story-Arc of the Year: Old Man Logan (wolverine)
Runner Ups: Heart of Hush (Detective Comics), The End (Spawn), Caged Angels (Thunderbolts)

Old Man Logan isn’t even over, I know, so saying it’s the best story of 2008 when it hasn’t even ended is a tough call. But we got half the story in 2008 and the other half in 2009, and try as I might, I can’t deny that it’s one hell of a great story. 2008 had some pretty good storylines no doubt and Old Man Logan has turned out to be the best of them all with it’s great twists and turns as well as character work and incredible art that makes each delay well worth it.

Best New Ongoing Series of the Year: Captain Britain and the MI13
Runner Ups: X-Force

Captain Britain is a character I’ve always liked, but never read a lot on. He’s had some good moments here and there but really he’s never gotten the recognition as much as other heroes of his stature have such as Captain America. Breaking out through Secret Invasion came Britain’s new chance at stardom and it worked. Paul Cornell has been doing an awesome job with the Cap, and it looks to keep getting better.

Best Graphic Novel of the Year: Joker
Runner Ups: None

2008 didn’t have a lot of new graphic novels that really stuck out to me, this was the only one I read also. Joker has a lot going for it, some great re-imagined characters, Joker himself acts perfectly in character and Jonny Frost was a great look into the world of Gotham on the side of the criminal’s. Gotham City has always been a rat-hole for the scum of the earth, but we’ve never seen it quite this well through the rats and monsters of the city.

Best Collection of the Year: Watchmen HC
Runner Ups: Civil War HC, Thunderbolts Caged Angels, Spawn: Neo Noir

Watchmen is an incredible book. I don’t need to tell anyone that, as you’ve either read it, or at the very least are aware it’s awesome. DC decided to release a HC that doesn’t’ bleed your wallet quite as bad in 2008. While some prefer the Absolute Edition, and that’s just fine, I understand that. I myself prefer a HC and that’s all I need, I was very glad to see the Watchmen HC under my tree Christmas morning and I recommend it to anyone who likes a quality collection book and an awesome story.

Best Cover of the Year: Magneto Testament #2 by Marko Djurdjevic
Runner Ups: Detective #850 by Dustin Nguyen, Annihilation #5 by Aleksi Bricolet, Spawn #185 by Todd McFarlane

The Holocaust is a serious, dark and disturbing event in the history of the world. Millions died all because of the sick dream of one man. There is no denying the horrors that happened so long ago, but whenever a comic tries to adapt it there has to be a level of seriousness that comes with it. Magneto Testament held that strength both in the comic, and on the covers as with every cover it seemed Djurdjevic poured his anger and pain into it to show how bleak and dark these times where.
Cover Artist of the Year: Marko Djurdjevic
Runner Ups: Aleksi Bricolet, Dustin Nguyen, Gabriel Del’Otto

Marko Djurdjevic has something about his style that just sticks out and is great stuff. He can turn in a dark and somber cover, such as his work for Magneto Testament or he can turn in an energetic and powerful cover such as some of his Thor work and covers for Daredevil. Either way he’s a great artist who’s finally getting some work in comics actually on the pages, but his covers continue to excel.

Best Comic Movie of the Year: The Dark Knight
Runner Ups: Iron Man, the Incredible Hulk, the Spirit

2008 had some seriously great movies on it’s hands. Iron Man was a great watch and is working on tying into a larger universe for Marvel Movies alongside Hulk’s comeback. The Spirit was a bit weird, but fun for me personally, but the Dark Knight took the cake, ate it, then threw the leftovers at the competition! Despite a somewhat slow opening when things get rolling in the Dark Knight they don’t stop until the credits roll. It’s something I’m sure a lot of Batman fans loved and a lot of movie-goers who have never picked up a comic enjoyed as well. I was lucky enough to see the Midnight Premier in my town and it’s something I’ll never forget.

Best Video Game of the Year: Megaman 9
Runner Ups: Dead Space, Final Fantasy 4 (DS).

Great games come in all shapes and packages, some in big Legendary metal cases, and others, in the case of Megaman 9, in data you download over the internet onto your console. Megaman 9 had huge expectations for longtime fans of the series and even bigger expectations to people who had never played Megaman before. Despite some people not liking it, to me, it delivered more then anyone could have hoped for and was an incredible game experience.

Best Indy Comic: the Walking Dead
Runner Ups: Spawn, Invincible, Witchblade

DAMN YOU KIRKMAN! While 2008 had it’s share of disappointing events, Kirkman kicked everyone’s ass in 2008 with the Walking Dead. A huge amount of the original cast was killed off, as well as some characters that I really liked and was pissed off to see go. Still, I respect that it takes some serious guts to kill off some of these great characters and that a lot of it wasn’t pure shock value and that the deaths really where heart-wrenching and meaningful.

Best Moment of the Year: Norman Osborn gets Mad
Runner Ups: Al Simmons: Worst father of all time, Catwoman's heard is gone vs. Odin.

Warren Ellis truly is a mad genius. I wouldn’t be too surprised if someone where to one day discover a laboratory under his home where he’s dissecting comics and action figures and trying to figure something twisted out. But that aside, the man is clearly brilliant along with crazy, as seen in Thunderbolts where the Green Goblin returns and is crazier then ever. It was brilliance, every panel and every moment of dialogue was pure brilliance.

Best Publisher of the Year: Marvel Comics
Runner Ups: Image Comics, DC sucked again this year.

While to me Image had a lot more going for it, I can’t deny that Marvel was putting out more quality books then DC could ever hope to put out, bigger moments and characters then DC was marketing, and for that, Marvel continues to dominate the sales chart. Better luck in 2009, DC.

Biggest Disappointment of the Year: Spider-man Brand New Ways to Suck

Runner Up: Batman Dies…sort of, Secret Invasion, Skaar: Son of Hulk.

All things considered, 2008 had to be one of the worst years Spider-man has ever had since he was messing with clones. Just at the end of 2007 everything got changed, we all know OMD ****ed up the Spider-verse but where they went from there is crucial. Marvel could have salvaged Spider-man and not wasted time drudging on about OMD and poking fun at their fans as if they didn’t matter, but they chose the other route. Every now and then we’d get a jab such as the image of MJ reading Faust or a brick to the face in the case of Peter mentioning OMD during New Ways to Die. Now some writers didn’t harp on the frustrating decision of Joe Quesada, for that Zeb Wells and Joe Kelly deserve some credit, but Dan Slott unfortunately was the biggest time waster as every story he wrote had to do some stupid little jab. It’s a shame, some good stories got lost in the muck that is BND and OMD aftermath. Maybe 2009 will look better for the old web-head.

So ends Year’s End. I hope you all enjoyed it and if anyone may be annoyed at my picks, I’ll let you in on that I don’t read every comic or every event. I’m aware of some of the cool books like Captain Britain but not so much on other series like Action Comics or Justice Society of America. So these are my own personal picks for what I liked out of 2008, nothing official on the record as far as the majority’s opinion, just my own. So let’s say our last goodbyes to 2008 and get ready for 2009, things are already looking up.


Greg said...

Very nice list! Great job. Every review of yours I read of Witchblade I always wonder why I dropped it. It truly was a darn well written book but some how I fell behind and never picked it up again. At the same time at for a while I guess I thought the way Dani got a piece of the WB was extremely weird and seem to... "easy" in a way when Sara had so much trouble at first getting rid of it, you know? But yeah, the art for the book is indeed amazing and I can't wait to one day catch up with it.

Hine's a master, what else can be said? ;)

Loving Captain Britain and the MI:13. I picked it up simply because Blade was in it and he's my favorite Marvel character. It's great that he's already being written so well by Cornell. I really wanted to meet him at the con but could never find him.

Still need to pick up that Joker OGN. I think I'm gonna wait for the softcover.

Dark Knight kicked all sorts of major ass.

But I am disappointed of a Spawn moment not even being runner up! the revelation of Mammon orchestrating Al and Wanda to produce the perfect Hellspawn in Morana!? Yeesh!

Andrenn said...

Glad you like the post, Greg. I still recommend Witchblade, a good jumping on point is said to be #125, I'm not so sure, but if you're interested I highly suggest it.

I knew what I was about to post this I was forgetting something. It was killing me but I decided to post it anyway, in the original version that Moment was indeed a Runner Up. Sorry!