Comic MMIX Year-End Picks: Favorites (and not-so-favorites) of 2009, part 1
Now that 2009 is officially over, we can do a year in review. This is by no means a definitive list of “the best of the year” as we’d never come to a consensus, just think of it as our varied and individual take on what stuck out in the minds of everybody here at the Mix. After all, as the song says, it’s a mixed-up, muddled-up, shook-up world. Onward!
Shortest Death of the Year: Kyle Rayner. Green Lantern Corps #42/43 (DC)
For those who know me well, I was offered quick condolences when I picked up Peter Tomasi’s Green Lantern Corps
#42. Kyle Rayner, my personal favorite ‘Super Hero’ was given a
decidedly trite death; sacrificing himself with an exploding Alpha
Lantern Core in order to blow up a smattering of not-so-easy-to-kill
black lanterns and their Nekron inspired construct. Gaping plot hole be
damned! Sure Mr. Rayner was one of two honor guardsmen, who we’d
‘assume’ knew how to wield the emerald light with a little flair, might
figure that the ring could make a nice bubble to contain the
aforementioned big-bada-boom, and NOT include himself… But it was far
for Kyle to tell Natu (his current, non-refrigerator-bound-beau) and
Guy (his best-buddy-with-a-bygone-bowlcut) that he ‘wuved them. And
guess what? Not twenty pages later, Kyle was resurrected by Star
Sapphire Miri Riam, who showed us yet another unknown power from the
crystal spewing pink ring club. It seems that ‘True Love’ allows a Star
Sapphire to combine hearts, and save a dead lover. I guess Miri wished
she could have done that when he husband died, a few issues ago.
Whoopsie! –Marc Alan Fishman
Most overlooked of the year: Final Crisis Aftermath: Run (DC)
It’s easy to hate event books–especially one as polarizing as Final Crisis–but it’s hard to deny that sometimes damn fine things come out of them. Zero Hour gave us James Robinson’s Starman, Secret Wars gave us Spider-Man’s black costume (even if it was retroactive), and now Final Crisis has given us Run, a tale of the Human Flame, the most unrepentant bastard in the DC Universe, on the run from the Justice League following the death of the Martian Manhunter. It’s funny, it’s fast-moving, and it’s smart as a whip, thanks in equal measure to Matt Sturges’ (Blue Beetle, JSA All-Stars) script and the perennially underrated pencils of Freddie E. Williams II (Robin). Besides, it has the Condiment King. Who can say no to the Condiment King? –Matthew Weinberger
Favorite dialogue of the year: from Irredeemable #5 (BOOM!), written by Mark Waid, when the winged Gilgamos meets the black super-hero Volt:
“I know you! You’re Black V—“
“That’s the other guy.”
“That’s the other other guy. Look, I am solidly aware that an electromagnetic African-American super is a total cliché. My apologies. I didn’t order this power off the menu, I swear.”
Favorite TV Shows resurrected as comics of the year (TIE):
I never thought a comic book of Galactica: 1980
would make this list, but Dynamite’s re-imagining of one of the worst
science fiction series in history actually works. The premise is
rethought with modern sensibilities and more layered characterization,
and truly explores the ramifications of the Galacticans making contact
with humans during the Carter administration. The first issue’s shocker
of having the Galactica blown out of the sky over the White House by a
nuclear missile was a great way to indicate that this wasn’t going to
be a retread of the short-lived kid-friendly series that ran on ABC.
The only problem I continue to have with this premise is that based on
the last episode of the original Battlestar Galactica TV
series, in which a broadcast of the Apollo 11 landing was received by
the ship, there is no way that they could have reached Earth in 1980,
considering that Boxey had aged way more than 11 years by the time he
was Troy. –Howard Margolin
Oh my lord, The Muppet Show.
Roger Landridge delivered a pitch-perfect strange interpretation of the
Muppets, yet uniquely his own— you couldn’t imagine anybody else doing
it quite this way, with the possible exception of Steve Parkhouse. Even
more impressively, Roger recreates the structure of the old Muppet Show
in the comic book format, in a much smoother transition than you would
expect to be possible, keeping all the humor, subversiveness, and
barely contained chaos intact. But the, what would you expect from a
comic company called BOOM!? –Glenn Hauman
Best threading the needle in adapting comics to film: Watchmen
Zack Snyder had one of the three hardest jobs* in films this year: making a Watchmen film that wasn’t going to cause riots in the comic convention aisles, and he mostly delivered. We’ll get a much better feel of the film as time goes on, and the flaws in the film will remind us of some of the flaws that we’d forgotten were in the original book, but it got about as close as you were going to get in an adaptation of the Holy Grail of comic fans. And the major addition to the film, the credit sequence, is still brilliant– in some ways, you wish that they’d used that as the trailer.
*The other two were James Cameron and Avatar living up to the hype and box office expectations, and Chris Pine doing Captain Kirk without doing William Shatner.
More to come in the next few days, and feel free to add your own favorites in the comments and we’ll promote the best.