Best comic-book series of 2012; Image Comics resurgence key as columnist looks at best periodical comic books of the year
The return of one of comics’ master writers was one of the biggest benefits of 2012, as Brian K. Vaughan returned to comics, creating the Image Comics series “Saga” with artist Fiona Staples. The resurgence of Image Comics, which is a hive of creator-owned comics activity, was a great sign for innovative periodical comics in 2012. So too was the return of Valiant Comics, a publisher that was big in the 1990s, and returned with a force in 2012.
The following are the best 10 comic book series of 2012. (See last week for the top 10 graphic novels, or go online to NewsOK.com.)
In the gorgeous, deep and enveloping comic series, Marko and Alana are lovers from opposite sides of a galactic conflict, and the story begins with the birth of their child.
Vaughan, known for “Y: The Last Man” and “Ex Machina,” has created the beginning of an epic sci-fi fantasy story here, as the pair are on the run from the authorities as their forbidden relationship is revealed.
Former “Iron Fist” collaborators Matt Fraction and David Aja return with “Hawkeye,” a look at the Rockford Files-esque everyday adventures of the archer Hawkeye when he’s not hanging with the Avengers. Artist Javier Pulido also contributed to the series in 2012. Fraction mixes comedic moments, action and engaging characters for Marvel’s best comic of 2012.
Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo have created a modern classic in their “Batman” run, especially with the return of the Joker in the “Death of the Family” storyline. The moody, creepy and dark story features Batman caught off-guard by the chilling reappearance of his deadliest foe, who has some new tricks up his sleeve and an entirely new look.
Another from Image Comics, writer Ed Brubaker and artist Sean Phillips create a noir classic with horror elements.
Aric of Dacia is a Visigoth warrior enslaved by alien colonizers in the debut launch from Valiant Comics. The warrior steals a suit of armor and escapes, before finding himself now on modern earth. The series is written by Robert Venditti (“Surrogates”) with art by Cary Nord (“Conan”).
Crime novelist Duane Swierczynski brings a noir sensibility to the techno-thriller comic book series “Bloodshot,” which is the third title to be released by the relaunched Valiant Comics. Artists Manuel Garcia and Arturo Lozzi round out the creative team for “Bloodshot.”
It was a big year for writer Joe Keatinge, who also helmed the excellent “Glory” for the Extreme Comics relaunch and wrote an issue of “Amazing Spider-Man.” Perhaps his most notable achievement was “Hell Yeah,” which feels a bit like early “Love and Rockets” meets “Crisis on Infinite Earths.” The series stars Ben Day, a young, superpowered man who discovers that alternate versions of him throughout the multiverse are being murdered. Andre Szymanowicz is the artist.
Wolverine and the X-Men
Working with a variety of artists, including Mike Allred and Nick Bradshaw, Jason Aaron wrote the most consistent X-Men book of the year. Wolverine deals with being the headmaster of the Jean Grey school for mutants.
Writer Waid worked with artists including Chris Samnee and Mike Allred on “Daredevil” in 2012, as the blind lawyer Matt Murdock is secretly adventurer Daredevil. Waid revitalizes once-belittled villains and crafts a fun, well-written crossover with Spider-Man over the year’s worth of issues.
Jonathan Hickman also completed a memorable run on “Fantastic Four” this year, though perhaps his best work was on “Manhattan Projects” an alternate history drawn by Nick Pitarra that mixes science fact and fiction.
- By Matthew Price
From Friday’s The Oklahoman