I read way too many comic books. My attic is full of long boxes of comics that I’m sure one day will come crashing through my bedroom ceiling, killing me on impact. The autopsy will read “cause of death: comic books.” On the bright-side, it means I can put together a decent “Best of” list when it comes to the medium of word balloons. The last time I put together a list of my favorite comic books was in 2008, you can find that here. The list has changed quite a bit since then. These are my favorite comic books of 2010:
1.SHIELD: Leonardo da Vinci as a superhero. Galileo saving the planet from Galactus. Jonathan Hickman’s SHIELD could’ve just been THE LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN using historical figures instead of literary ones, but it is so much more than that. The only problem with the book is its bi-monthly schedule, making the wait between issues unbearable.
2. UNWRITTEN: A brilliant concept brillianty executed. What started out with a simple question (is Tom Taylor a fictional character come to life?) has evolved into a significantly larger story.
3. FANTASTIC FOUR: Jonathan Hickman, in his 2nd appearance on my list, has taken the Fantastic Four to a level unseen since the Kirby/Lee days. It is that good.
4. SECRET AVENGERS: Ed Brubaker’s last attempt at a team book (Uncanny X-Men) was a disaster, but apparently it wasn’t the team dynamic that was messing with his mojo, he was just working with the wrong characters. Using Steve Rogers, Black Widow, Moon Knight, the Irredeemable Ant-Man, Valkyrie, Beast, and War Machine as a covert-ops team, Brubaker is delivering one of the best books of his career. And Mike Deodato’s art is the perfect fit for Brubaker’s patented noir stories.
5. BATMAN AND ROBIN: I downright loathe about 1/4 of Grant Morrison’s work. Whether it feels like there are panels missing, or that I need to partaking in some sort of illegal substance to follow what’s going on, that 1/4 of the Morrison’s work drives me insane. For me, most of Morrison’s run on BATMAN fit into that category. BATMAN AND ROBIN, however, is much more reminiscent of Morrison’s brilliant run on ALL-STAR SUPERMAN than of that confusing mess his wrote in the pages of BATMAN. I love the dynamic between Dick Grayson and Damian Wayne, and many of the new villains Morrison added to Batman’s rogues gallery are perfectly creepy.
6. DAYTRIPPER: I wasn’t sure how Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon would make this formula work for ten issues, I’ll admit I was worried around issue 4 or 5, but the last few issues of the miniseries were probably the best.
7. ATLAS: No matter what writer Jeff Parker titles a book featuring the Agents of Atlas, it gets cancelled. Shockingly, the addition of the new 3D Man didn’t bring in new readers, but the adventures of Namora, Jimmy Woo, Gorilla Man, the Uranian, Venus, and M-11 will always hold a special place in my heart. Next time I’d call it THE ADVENTURES OF SPIDER-MAN, WOLVERINE AND THE AGENTS OF ATLAS. Maybe then it’d make it past 5 issues.
8. THE INVINCIBLE IRON MAN: While this year on Iron Man wasn’t as flashy as the writer’s previous two years on the title, Matt Fraction still delivered some tight storytelling in the rebirth of Tony Stark. And I love Pepper Potts as the iron maiden, Rescue.
9. JONAH HEX: If you want great standalone stories, Jonah Hex is one of the only titles on comic book store shelves that will fill that need.
10. THOR: While I’m really digging Matt Fraction and Pasqual Ferry’s new Kirby-esque run on THOR, Kieron Gillen was knocking it out of the park with very little fanfare before the new super-team took over the title.