A lot happened this year in the geek world, and while it’s hard to distill the year down into a brief best of, we’re doing our best. Here are Angel’s favorite moments, comics and miscellany of 2012.
This goes at the very top of my list mostly because it’s one of the first Marvel events I’ve really sunk my teeth into. While there was a bit of a shaky start for the event, I think that all in all, the guys and gals at Marvel did some fantastic things. No, it wasn’t a perfect event, and no, every issue wasn’t a favorite, and yes, the event did drag at times, but I think it set up some great stuff for the Marvel Universe in the months and years to come, just so long as we don’t get another reboot on the tail of this one.
Brian Michael Bendis
I’m not sure exactly when I became a Brian Michael Bendis fangirl, but between the amazing work he’s been doing on Ultimate Spider-Man and on All-New X-Men, I’ve become a gigantic fan of his. Miles Morales is my stand out character of the year, hands down (I adore him, you guys), and while my standards were so high that I didn’t think they’d ever be met, All-New X-Men has very quickly become a book that I look forward to every month. I’m loving where the story is going in the aftermath of AvX, and I can’t wait to see what the implications of the old team coming to the present day are. A few issues in and it’s barely even scratched the surface.
And when it comes to Miles, from Spider-Men (which was so delightful, it got me reading Astonishing Spider-Man this year), to his solo title, he’s been stupendous. I know that a lot of people were upset about what happened with Peter in Ultimate-verse, but I think bringing Miles into the mix was a great way to shake up the comic universe, and the fact that he’s so endearing and well-written is just the icing on the cake.
So, apparently I’m the one who gets to talk about Saga. I’ll say that I didn’t go into the year thinking that I’d end up reading ANY Image comics, let alone that one would become one of my most anticipated books every month, or that the artist of one would skyrocket to the top of my favorite artists. While I’ll say that there are some books this year that I’d put further up on my list than Saga, it’s only because I only got on the Saga train about a month ago. I’m crazy late to the party. But this book is amazing. It’s the most imaginative thing I’ve read all year, the art is spectacular (Fiona Staples outdoes herself with every single issue) and Brian K. Vaughn’s writing is brilliant.
There’s a reason that Saga has made the top of so many comics lists this year, and that’s because it’s unarguably fantastic. At one point this holiday season, I had three copies of the first trade paper back in my house, because I gave two copies as gifts this holiday season. Saga is amazing and it’s not going to do anything but get better.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe
The other ladies here mentioned The Avengers in their lists, but I’m going to take it one further and list the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe and all the people behind it. Perhaps I am mistaken, but I don’t think there has ever been such an ambitious multi-film undertaking as what Marvel has done in the past few years. Culminating with the Avengers film, the MCU brought five films together into one continuity, managed to make it all coherent and enjoyable, and left all of us wanting more. The guys at Marvel brought in a host of great talent both in front of the camera and behind the camera, and I think they’ve really reinvented the way that the public sees superhero films.
Their greatest triumph, I think, was securing Joss Whedon for The Avengers, and deciding to keep him on for the upcoming S.H.I.E.L.D. series, as well as for Avengers 2 and to serve as consultant for the rest of the Marvel Phase 2 slate. I’m also really looking forward to the five upcoming films, but none more than Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man. If you haven’t seen anything by Edgar Wright yet, do yourself a favor and brush up ASAP.
This was, without a doubt, my favorite single issue of 2012. I remember when I first picked it up from my local comic book store, went home and immediately sat down to read it, all I could think was “Now they’re just showing off.” Phil Noto and Marjorie Liu did fantastic work on this book as a whole, but the final issue was just amazing. It’s an entire issue without words that continues to explore Laura’s journey to find herself, to figure out whether or not she has a soul and what she is. When compared to what has been done with the character since then, it’s just in another league entirely.
I told Phil Noto, when I had the pleasure of speaking with him at HeroesCon in Charlotte this past summer, that I was impressed that he was able to do an issue like this, one where the protagonist spends a significant portion of the issue not wearing clothes (for specific plot reasons) without sexualizing it. A lot of artists tend to forget that something like that’s possible, and Noto manages to tell Liu’s story in a way that keeps the focus on the character without making it ABOUT the fact that she’s without clothes. The issue itself is simply gorgeous, and the series was canceled far too soon, in my opinion.
- The Dark Knight Rises: While I enjoyed Marvel’s The Avengers more, The Dark Knight Rises was a fitting end to Nolan’s Batman trilogy, and while I don’t think it was actually possible for it to live up to the unrealistic expectations set by The Dark Knight, it was a great film in its own right.
- Adventure Time: I have been enjoying the hell out of this series. While I picked up the book on a whim, since I’m a fan of the television show, I have yet to regret it. From wacky adventures about time travel to a ‘choose your own adventure’ story, I can’t say enough good things about this comic.
- Skottie Young: He’s been doing great things with all of his baby Marvel variant covers. They’re absolutely adorable, and I’ve picked up more than a few since Marvel Now! started up.