Happy Thanksgiving all!
Now I know in life we often have a lot to be thankful for, but one of those things that we should all be thankful for is comics! Comics have affected each and everyone of us here at the Revolution and I wanted to get all the guys together and have a Thanksgiving feast. Unfortunately that would cost way too much money, so I just asked them all what comics they are thankful for.
It is hard to narrow it down to a short list of books I am thankful for. I read so many good books each month so I decided to skip over ones like Batman and Robin and Green Lantern. I went with 3 books and one studio that I am most thankful for this year.
Fantastic Four-the new team has revitalized this title for me. I am thankful that Marvel is giving Hickman and Eaglesham a shot at this book. What makes the FF stand out from other team books? This team is a family. The adventures are cosmic and filled with wonder but the main story always comes down to the family.
Booster Gold-Jurgens and Rapmund have given us a fun Booster series. It floundered a little when the Johns/Katz writing team left but Jurgens stepped up and took charge. I love the looks at the DC history.
Dynamite Entertainment-Alex Ross has managed to add a modern twist to classic Marvel storytelling. The teams he is guiding at Marvel and Dynamite are producing some amazing work. The combination of Ross style art, traditional heroes, classic superhero stories, and modern day storytelling provides me with many hours of reading.
Invincible-What can be said about Kirkman’s masterpiece? I was hooked from the start. Kirkman manages to surprise the reader and keep the stories fresh. If you have not read this yet, pick up the collections and start at the beginning. Some of the biggest surprises happen early in the series.
This year has had some great comics to be thankful for. Both old and new it’s been a great year to be a comic fan.
I’m definitely thankful for Jersey Gods which has just been an absolute stellar new ongoing series from Image. Everything about this comic has been great and I love it, especially it’s characters which the writer Glen Brunswick has done a great job of building up.
Jersey Gods has had lots of memorable characters from it’s main 2 characters Barock and Zoe to side characters like Helius.
is doing an awesome job of building up his own little universe and it’s been tons of fun to watch unfold. Brunswick
Currently Jersey Gods is on it’s second story arc, The Abandoned. This story line has been really great for it’s little twists and continuing to use the relationship of Barock and Zoe where we really feel for them and get to see just how strong their love is. We also get Barock’s crazy mom which is tons of fun.
Dan McDaid’s art has also really grown on me as time goes by. His art has gotten better and better and now I can’t see anyone else drawing this series other then him.
If you’re looking to get into Jersey Gods I recommend picking up the first collection then in January the 2nd collection and in February jumping on with #11 to read the series monthly. It’s one of the most fun reads I’ve had in a long time and I’m thankful I gave this series a shot earlier this year in February.
Jim hit the nail on the head about Invincible, but I wanted to at least mention it myself as I currently have been loving Invincible every month. Ever since the Invincible War this series has been getting better and better. I know a lot of people prefer to read this in collections, but with the Invincible Returns one shot in February I highly recommend you start on with Invincible there.
I am thankful for Streets of Gotham which has been an absolutely amazing series so far from Paul Dini and Dustin Nguyen. Even Chris Yost during his little fill in arc did a good job. Not to mention this series is actually a pretty good one for filler arcs because the premise allows different tales that aren’t just focused on Batman and it works really well here.
Paul Dini has taken what could have easily been a very boring and random series that has uninteresting stories and is just Batman going around fighting crime and he took that and he’s made something really special out of this series.
Dini has done it where he can tell a larger story issue to issue even by using different scenarios and characters from month to month which really is brilliant.
A good example of this is the building story of Hush impersonating Bruce Wayne and Zsasz using his newfound wealth but while these are all growing threats he is able to tell the story of a man who sells lairs to super villains and still make this one shot story just as interesting as the growing plots while still developing these other stories.
Also he seems to be trying to widen the view on
Gotham. We’re not just seeing it through Batman’s eyes anymore we’re now seeing this on a more wide level. We’re seeing people like Abuse and how Firefly are all reacting to this new status quo and how some of them are even shaking it up.
The art by Nguyen has been excellent. While he’s had his problems, he’s been doing a good job of handling a more wide cast of characters and Dini is taking the artist out of his comfort zone and really pushing him to do great things.
Dini is taking a risk and not playing it safe by writing this series as your typical side comic that never does anything interesting or important. He’s making this a series that anyone who’s a long time fan of his work or a long time fan of Batman should check out to see a different view on
I’m not reading much Marvel nowadays but I am reading the reboot of Ultimate Spider-man and it’s been really good.
Now anyone who saw my review of issue #1 knows I was rather disappointed with it, but Bendis has easily mended that and is once again making this series one of the best comics out there on the shelves.
David Lafuente on art has been absolutely gorgeous as his characters all look great and he brings a new kind of energy to Ultimate Spider-man that really looks great.
I really am starting to love this series again as Bendis has been doing great with building up our Ultimate Mysterio and also rebuilding our cast of characters as we see MJ coming back and being more interesting.
A lot has changed for Ultimate Spider-man but deep down it’s still one of the best books out there you should be reading.
I want to end on a mini-series. The recently concluded Dark Reign: Young Avengers which was just tons of fun to read and really great.
Now honestly this series mostly just served to introduce us to the Young Masters for their possible appearance later next year but I still loved the hell out of it as Paul Cornell did a great job taking what little he had to work with and making it work well.
I’m a huge Young Avengers fan and he really used the team and their dynamic incredibly well. Especially for Patriot who was just all kinds of awesome in this series as he finally manned up and smacked down
off his high horse. Norman
If all the Dark Reign mini’s left you confused on what ones you should and should not read, since there has been a lot of them, I say definitely give this one a try as it’s got some great character work and absolutely gorgeous art work. Some of the best art I’ve seen all year really.
The TPB will be out soon and while I think it really deserves the Hardcover treatment it’s better then no collection at all. Check this out for sure as it was my favorite mini-series of this year.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, Andrenn rightfully posed the question “What comic books are you thankful for?” That is a great question. Despite the numerous problems that current day comic books may be struggling with the fact remains that there are some titles out there that I am truly thankful are being published.
Now, this list of titles and writers that I am most thankful for from 2009 is absolutely not a “best of” list. These are not the titles that I find are the hands down best titles that you can buy. They are, in fact, simply the titles that I am most thankful for due to various reasons.
1. Incredible Hercules: I am thankful that Marvel publishes this offbeat title. This title is truly unique compared to the other titles in Marvel’s stable of comic books. Fred Van Lente and Greg Pak have made Incredible Hercules an enjoyable adventure romp that possesses an incredible sense of humor.
No matter what mood I might be in, Incredible Hercules always manages to elicit a chuckle from me and put a smile on my face. Very few titles can get that response from me. Incredible Hercules is able to do it each and every month.
2. The Marvels Project: One thing that I absolutely adore is the Golden Age of comic books. Part of why I like the DCU so much is their deep Golden Age history that they are quite proud of and like to embrace. Marvel, on the other hand, never had the same rich history. That was mainly due to the fact that Marvel largely ignored their Golden Age Timely Comics characters.
Well, that has been changing as of late and The Marvels Project is a large part of that change in thinking over at the House of Ideas. I am a fan of Ed Brubaker’s work and have been pleased with his handling of Marvel’s Golden Age in this title. The idea to fully flesh out its Golden Age continuity will only serve to give Marvel’s 616 Universe more depth and texture. I am looking forward to Marvel’s continued dedication to its Golden Age roots.
I am certainly thankful for Marvel’s efforts to cultivate its Golden Age and to educate the modern reader on some truly classic Timely Comics characters.
3. Ultimate Avengers: I am so thankful that Mark Millar has returned to save the Ultimate Universe in the wake of Jeph Loeb’s horrendous Ultimatum story. I have been a fan of the Ultimate Universe since the very first day. To be sure, the Ultimate Universe has had its ups and downs. However, I have always thought that the Ultimate Universe titles had plenty of potential. I certainly thought that the Ultimate Universe deserved better than the pathetic excuse for a story that Loeb gagged up in Ultimatum.
Once Ultimatum concluded I thought for certain that the Ultimate Universe was as good as dead. That could not be further from the truth. Like a knight on a white horse, Millar rode back into the Ultimate Universe and instantly made the Ultimate Universe an exciting place once again.
Ultimate Avengers is a young title, but it has already become an incredibly entertaining and exciting read. When it comes to action and adventure it is tough to beat this summer blockbuster styled title.
I am thankful that Millar has been able to work his magic in glossing over Ultimatum and attempting to return the Ultimate Universe back to its former glory.
4. R.E.B.E.L.S.: I am thankful that DC is publishing a title like R.E.B.E.L.S. that stands out from the rest of the super hero comic books that DC publishes. Tony Bedard has worked the same kind of magic with some of DC’s lesser-known cosmic characters like DnA have done with Marvel’s cosmic characters. Bedard has done a nice job with the old L.E.G.I.O.N. characters as well as with the Omega Men.
What is particularly enjoyable is that Bedard deals with more than just the typical cosmic characters that you see in the DCU like Green Lanterns, Rannians, Thanagarians and Kryptonians. Instead, Bedard takes the reader through the cosmic part of the DCU that is usually only ever seen in the pages of the Legion of Super Heroes.
This leads me to my next point. With DC determined to completely butcher the Legion of Super Heroes franchise, R.E.B.E.L.S. has served to satisfy my Legion itch. Honestly, at this point, I would much rather read R.E.B.E.L.S. than a new Legion of Super Heroes title. At least I get the feeling that DC is taking a relatively hands off approach concerning how Bedard handles R.E.B.E.L.S. compared to the Legion which is usually ripped apart by editorial decisions.
R.E.B.E.L.S. is a distinctive and original comic book that sets itself apart from the rest of the super hero comic books that DC publishes. I am thankful that DC decided to publish R.E.B.E.L.S. and that they appear committed to trying to grow this title’s readership.
5. Flash: Rebirth: Okay, I know the majority of The Revolution’s followers are rolling their eyes at this point. But, remember what I stated earlier: this is not a “Best of” list. There is no doubt that Flash: Rebirth has had more than its share of defects from its slow pacing to its questionable plotting. At no point would I ever claim that Flash: Rebirth has been an excellent title that is worthy of a “Best of” list.
However, the fact remains that I am extremely thankful for Flash: Rebirth. The reason is simple. I am a huge Barry Allen fan and I am tremendously thankful that Johns and DC have brought back Barry Allen. I am thankful that DC has given back to me my Flash.
Yes, I know that Barry technically “returned” in Final Crisis #2 near the end of 2008. But, Barry’s real return to the DCU has been during 2009 in both Flash: Rebirth and in Blackest Night. This is probably what I am most thankful for out of everything that has happened in comics in 2009.
6. Invincible: I am thankful for Invincible reminding me on a monthly basis what limitless creative potential that comic books free from editorial mandates possess. Robert Kirkman has managed to make Invincible one of my all-time favorite comic books.
Kirkman’s success on Invincible is not due to him being some incredibly talented writer. Nor is this title’s success based on the fact that it stars an established character that legions of readers would support regardless of how bad the story might be. Nor is Invincible’s success because Kirkman enjoys a huge hype machine broadcasting 24/7for him like many Marvel and DC titles do.
No, Invincible is one of my all-time favorite comic books because it is pure fun to read and it is one of those titles where literally anything can happen at any moment. The magic of Invincible is a combination of Kirkman’s wild and unchained imagination and the fact that Kirkman remains unfettered by the confines of editorial mandated stories on this title.
Kirkman is lucky enough to be able to do whatever he wants with the story on Invincible. The result is a story that while the plotting might become a bit wild and uncontrolled is still intensely entertaining and exciting. Invincible has that same special ingredient that Stan Lee and Steve Ditko’s Amazing Spider-Man possessed: heart. To be sure, Invincible is one of those rare comic book titles that has plenty of heart.
7. Irredeemable: I am thankful for this little gem of a title from Boom. Mark Waid surprised many people with this tale of a Superman gone bad. Waid is a writer often tied with more traditional super hero stories. In the current age of comic books where “trendy” indie styled writers like Bendis or crime pulp style writers like Brubaker and “adult” styled writers like Ellis are dominating the market, Waid’s stock has plummeted.
It is true that Waid may not be like the aforementioned writers, but make no mistake, Waid can write the hell out of a comic book. And Irredeemable is proof positive of that. I love that one of the most “adult” and “dark” comic books currently being published is penned by none other than Mark Waid. I will openly admit that I never expected that Waid would be capable of cranking out a read like Irredeemable.
Irredeemable is an intelligent read that offers the most fascinating take on question of “What if Superman was evil?” that I have ever read. I am so thankful that Waid found the necessary inspiration and creative freedom at Boom that enabled him to create Irredeemable.
8. Peter Tomasi: I am thankful for Peter Tomasi over at DC Comics. I am glad that DC finally has someone other than Geoff Johns and Grant Morrison to carry the load in the DCU. For a while, I was concerned for DC as it seemed that they were leaning far too heavily on Johns. It is never a good idea for a comic book company to place all if its eggs in one basket.
Tomasi’s blossoming into one of DC’s top tier writers, along with Johns and Morrison, means that DC will have more depth and flexibility with the creative decisions for the DCU. Tomasi has shown that he has the creative chops to write strong dialogue and good character work. Tomasi has also consistently displayed an excellent sense of the DCU’s continuity and the characters within the DCU.
Tomasi should be ready to assume the mantle as DC’s top writer when Johns eventually moves on to the next stage of his writing career.
9. Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning: I am thankful for Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning over at Marvel Comics. DnA have managed to performs wonders and resurrect the 616 Universe’s moribund cosmic characters.
I have always loved Marvel’s cosmic side of its universe. It is chock full of great characters courtesy of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. The Marvel cosmic characters have not been this interesting since the wonderful job that Jim Starlin did with them in the 1970’s.
I never thought I would say this, but at this point, Marvel’s cosmic side of their universe is the most interesting part of the 616 Universe. DnA consistently crank out entertaining reads on Nova and Guardians of the Galaxy. DnA has also successfully pulled off a galactic big event in War of Kings and are now working on their second one with Realm of Kings. Once underutilized characters like the Inhumans and the Shi’ar Imperial Guard have become relevant within the Marvel Universe.
I am thankful for DnA injecting so much excitement into Marvel’s comics side of the Marvel Universe and giving readers some of the most entertaining comic books that Marvel currently publishes.
As the comic and the character that first got me into reading comics it is great for me to be able to say that I look forward to reading Amazing Spider-Man whenever it comes out. Ever since ASM #500 the quality of this title was just not the same with the introduction of all the mythical elements to Spider-Man’s origin and a specific storyline that will not be mentioned. But finally, since the American Son arc, this is a title I look forward to reading each week that I get it. And I actually like this three times a month release schedule this title now has as it allows for stories that are not so great to end quickly instead of taking up half the year and also I don’t have to wait too long finish up an arc that I am enjoying. So it’s the best of both worlds. Also it helps that this title probably released one of my best single issues I have read in a long time in Amazing Spider-Man #600. So as a life-long Spider-Man fan I am thankful that this title has returned to the quality it once had with some great writers in Slott, Kelly, Van Lente, Waid, and others leading the charge.
Marvel’s Cosmic Titles
Before DnA came on to take on the task to revive the cosmic corner of the Marvel Universe I was not very familiar with most of the cosmic characters. The only Marvel cosmic character I knew about was Nova because of New Warriors. But that all changed with Annihilation and its sequel Conquest. Right now Nova, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Realm of Kings are the comics I am most enjoying right now. DnA have done a wonderful job breathing life into a long forgotten corner of the Marvel Universe and get new readers, like myself, into characters that were small characters. And all that work DnA have been doing really paid off big with War of Kings. While not a big seller like most of Marvel and DC’s big events it was probably my favorite event book I have read from either company. Even with that huge event DnA just continue to move onto bigger things now that Realm of Kings has started. And how can I not be thankful to the guys who gave us a talking raccoon who can kick ass and make awesome jokes.
Like Spider-Man, Daredevil has been a character I have been reading since I was a kid, and though there was never anything wrong with the title last year, the title was just never as strong as it was in previous years. That changed this year with Brubaker bringing back the Hand. For a while, like the League of Assassin’s over in Batman, the Hand had become jokes within the Marvel Universe as they never reached that similar threat level they once had. But Brubaker was able to bring them back into being a serious organization to deal with as he introduced Lady Bullseye and Master Izo. Both characters have added a lot to the Daredevil mythos. It also helps that we finally got the return of Wilson Fisk. Along with the Hand and the return of the true Kingpin of Crime this title is at the top of my list for comics I first read whichever week it comes out. And with the new direction for Matt Murdock’s character I have no idea where Andy Diggle and Roberto De La Torre, which is awesome.
Ambush Bug: Year None (I just love Ambush Bug. The first Ambush Bug mini series was the first series I ever bought at my first Comic Convention.)
for the Cowl (I liked the way Tony Daniels handled this series. I thought he did a good job of essentially re-doing the Batman franchise) Battle
The first 3 Batman and Robin (Grant Morrison is awesome, well for the first few issues. I love Frank Quietly's work as well. I'm disappointed in the way this series has gone as of lately.)
Wednesday Comics (It was a nice new way to read comics.)
Skrull Kill Krew (Ryder kicks ass. Plain and simple.)
Geoff John's Justice Society (I was happy to see the Justice Society come back a few years ago and Geoff Johns did a good job of introducing the new Justice Society.)
Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader (I buy anything that has to do with Batman and I enjoyed the one-shots)
That’s all for this Thanksgiving, everyone. We hope you had a great time, got some laughs, ate lots of turkey and enjoyed spending time with your family. I want to end this on one last thing I’m thankful for, even though it’s not comics per say. I’m thankful for the chance to write for you all and to meet everyone of you, everyone here at the Revolution and other blogs and all the readers. I’m thankful for all this and I appreciate every moment of it.
Thank you all very much and have a great Thanksgiving. We hope to hear what comics you're thankful for this year.