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With Thanksgiving fast approaching, it is only right to go on and talk about what there has been to be thankful for during the past year, either announced or actually come to pass. Some of these might sound a bit mean spirited, but in the end I figure it’s the best way to round off the holidays. So, like them or not, here goes a non-ordered list of things that I am thankful for in the year 2015 – pertaining to comics, of course.
This a bit of a “gimme”, because who really wanted this title to continue – let alone indefinitely? While Cullen Bunn is undeniably a competent, and even sometimes skilled, writer under the right property or title, Lobo did not have the distinction of being among those few. While Bunn’s The Sixth Gun is superb, and his other DC Comic Sinestro has been a entertaining romp, Lobo was more of a chore to get through now and again. It’s very likely not to be all of his fault in any case, not long after it hit shelves stories about Bunn’s other pitches began to come to light – some quite good – making it clear that this was one series DC probably wanted to fail.
I’m most definitely not one of Marvel’s biggest supporters, any listener to the Comic Chromosome podcast also hosted on this site can attest to that, so I’m usually very wary of their releases. The last months of 2015 came out with a real surprise in the quality department with the release of Tom King’s The Vision – a dark, vetigo-esque, take on the character in Marvel’s Post-Secret Wars world. While The Vision has been never a character that has caught my eye, Tom King has been a rising talent who is one to watch out for. Reading the first issue was one of the most thrilling reads I’ve had at Marvel in years, self-contained when it needs to be, and explanatory otherwise. Never losing sight of it’s central conceit, it bodes strongly for Marvel’s future.
Alan Moore’s Providence is, quite honestly, one of the best series being published currently in general. While Neonomicon is one of the worst series ever put to paper, it has gained a notoriety as being nothing more than a joke – a laughingstock. It’s a well-deserved reputation to say the least, as it is equal measures incompetently thought out and constructed. Yet, with regards to Providence, it is able to bring out the best while also staying true to the worst. It doesn’t shy away with what made Neonomicon fail, but instead capitulates on it, building it up as something it should have been but never was. Providence is also one of the best Lovecraft stories told in the past decade to boot, which is just a bonus, while it might take a while to finish – it will have been worth it.
Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Series is one of the many things he will be remembered for – especially at DC Comics. While sometimes offbeat, a bit on the edge, and weirdly colorful – it has never been altogether boring. When The Master Race was announced as the finale of the entire thing, and that Miller would be playing only a minimal (if crucial) part in its construction, there were some who were worried. Yet, ever the showman, Miller has announced intentions to write another fourth, and truly final, installment of the series – this time all by himself. Coupled with finally getting the story behind this universe’s Jason Todd in a one-shot, this is one bowing out that can’t be missed.
And that’s pretty much the big picture of what I’m thankful for in 2015, with regards to comics. It might not be a lot, but it is a surprising assortment – which is its own reward. Comments and thoughts would be appreciated below.