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Comic of the Year
Winner – Titans: Villains for Hire Special
We’ve talked about this book all year. In fact, people still hate this book because *Spoiler* it killed off Ryan Choi a.k.a. the Atom. What you can’t deny about this book is the fact that it returned Deathstroke to his former bad-ass-self. For a while he fell back into this rut of easily defeated villain that had nothing better to do than lose to the Titans. The “Villains for Hire” special was a game changer in a lot of ways.
Writer Eric Wallace took the fan favorite Titans book and filled it with villains. Not just villains, but the Titans worst villain Deathstroke. He took a book with a devote fan following and turned it upside down. In a way he said to those fans, “This is not your Titans, this is not for you.” Teamed with amazing art from Sergio Arino, Fabrizio Florentino and Mike Mayhew, the book looked as amazing as it read. A lot of people feel that Ryan Choi’s death was pointless and frankly it’s disappointing. Ryan’s final moments on the earth is probably the best story the character has ever been involved in and if more writers had written him with as much care as Wallace, perhaps he wouldn’t have killed him.
Runner Up – Sweet Tooth # 5
The conclusion to the first story arc of Sweet Tooth was one of the highlights 2010 had to offer on comic book shelves. Ironically, despite this being the last part of a story arc this is the first issue of Sweet Tooth I ever read and not only did it make me go out and by the entire series, but I am still subscribed to get Sweet Tooth ever month. There is not a lot of action in the series in general and this is no exception, but the emotion is so strong I already felt a bond between me and the character Jepperd and cried at the end. The art was also different than the average comic book. It was simplistic but nice, though by no standards the best artwork you will ever see. If I ever think of dropping Sweet Tooth due to its pacing issues all I have to do is go back to this issue to remember why Sweet Tooth is such an amazing comic book series and why this is my number one comic of the year.
Honorable Mention – Batman: The Return
Winner – Jonathan Hickman (Secret Warriors, Fantastic Four, Shield)
Since the hay-days of Bendis very few writers have been able to successfully write multiple monthly titles. This year Jonathan Hickman emerged as one of Marvel’s top writers and most valuable talents. He continued his spy-espionage work on Secret Warriors with amazing storylines such as: The Howling Commandos. A story arc spanning the beginning and the end of the Commandos with touching dialog exchanged between Nick Fury and Captain America. Truly it will change your view on both of the characters.
He continued to connect the dots between Hydra and Shield in a title of the same name (Shield) that told the secret history of the Marvel Universe. Since Shields inception some of the greatest inventors and adventurers have become members including Reed Richards and Tony Starks fathers. Hickman didn’t stop there; he also took over the Fantastic Four bridging the gap between all three titles. Hickman has literally reinvented the first family and brought them into a relevance not seen since Mark Waid left the title. Because all three titles connect with subtleties, it’s like reading one title from three different points of view and that’s why he’s the writer of the year. His “big picture” writing style insures that every month a title can be the best single issue of the year.
Runner Up – Matt Fraction
Simply put, Matt Fractions run on Iron Man has taken Tony Stark from Playboy Billionaire to Broke Inventor trying to give the world free energy. Stark and company have never been more interesting. Add Fractions run on Thor to the mix and you’ve got a solid second place.
Winner – Frazer Irving
If you want sadistic and creepy artwork, Frazer is the man you want to draw your comic. His work in Batman and Robin revitalized the Joker in a new look that usually is rejected for a well-known character that already has such a beloved style. Not Irving. He made me fall in love with the Clown Prince of Crime all over again. And when the artwork can rival Grant Morrison’s storytelling, one of the greatest writers of comics, you know you have something special.
Runner Up – Kenneth Rocafort
Rocafort’s work load may have been lite in 2010, but that didn’t stop him from putting out some of the best looking comics on the market. His work on Velocity has single handily changed the way the speedsters should be drawn in comics.
Winner – “Three” from Fantastic Four
Hickman has masterfully intertwined adventure, science fiction, drama and the concept of “family comes first” as well as other plots unfolding within the background of the main focus. Bringing these together is great writing and it definitely keeps you coming back for more. Not only has the storyline answered questions laid out at the beginning of Hickman’s run, but it’s also laid the ground work of what’s to come. One entire issue was dedicated to Ben Grimm as he takes a formula that will change him into his human self for one week. Nothing exciting happens in the issue as far as action, but it is one of the most heartfelt stories ever told in comics.
Runner Up – “Case One: The Dastardly Death of the Rouges” from The Flash
Barry Allen is charged with murder… in the future! Not only must he fight off the Rogue’s of his time, but he must also prove his innocence to the Rogue’s of the future.
Best Event Storyline of 2010
Winner – Shadowland
Okay some of you Daredevil readers might disagree with me, but I certainly liked the series. Shadowland had Daredevil falling from grace so really he acted like the devil. While not in full control of his mind and body Daredevil did some wickedly awesome things when he was being a bad guy. While I think maybe on a 50% chance, Daredevil was one of Marvel’s greatest villains. The team that worked on the Shadowland’s main title Billy Tan and Andy Diggle made Daredevil into one awesome character. If there is other people who did enjoy the series good for you too!
Runner Up – Siege
The event book to end big event books! Not only did it destroy Asgard, but it killed not one but two Gods in the process. This book could have been truly amazing had Bendis been able to write a stronger ending, but as it is it wrapped up the loose ends of the Dark Reign.
Best Thing to Happen to Comics in 2010
Winner – Stan Lee at Boom! Studios.
His work for Marvel has been legendary creating almost half of the Marvel Universe with the time he’s been there. From Spider-Man to Hulk and to The Fantastic Four to The X-Men, Stan has had a great job at Marvel. His work at Boom! is already great as well. Reading Starborn, Soldier Zero, and The Traveler has put a smile on my face. If anything at all, I can’t wait until there is a team-up between the different series.
Runner Up – Back to $2.99