2009 Mid-Point Check-In

Here we are in June, which means the year is half over! Holy smokes! It seems like yesterday that I wrote my epic Best of 2008 post. I thought I would do a check-in post to see how some of the best titles of 2008 are faring now.

Action Comics/Supergirl

Action Comics and Superman are now being written by Greg Rucka and James Robinson, with Sterling Gates on Supergirl. Action Comics was number one on my Best Of list last year thanks to the awesome Geoff Johns/Gary Frank Legion and Brainiac stories. Those stories paved the way for the highly entertaining New Krypton/World Without Superman that we are getting now in Superman, Action Comics, Supergirl and World of New Krypton. Despite the absence of my boy Geoff Johns, the story is still one of my favourites happening in comics right now. I think Sterling Gates and Jamal Igle have been doing a great job with Supergirl, and I love Pete Woods' and Renato Guedes' art on the other titles. And I get a taste of Gary Frank with some of the New Krypton covers, so that's nice. The other great thing about this current storyline is that, between the four titles, we are getting a piece of the story every week. If we think back to a couple of years ago, the Superman titles were a scheduling nightmare. Kurt Busiek's Camelot Falls storyline in Superman went on for like a million years, and Geoff John's Last Son story in Action Comics went on for slightly longer, both plagued by crazy delays resulting in way too many fill-in issues. The Superman family of titles is now a well-oiled machine...a machine that makes awesome comics!

Still on the Best Of list? Yes

Tiny Titans

I mentioned in a recent post that I am surprised and delighted that kids love this series so much. I haven't met many people, young or old, who don't love this series. Definitely one of the most fun and innovative superhero comics every created for young children, Tiny Titans is introducing kids to a crazy array of DC characters in the most hilarious ways possible. The art is adorable and can be easily replicated by the kids who read the comics. The jokes work on many levels. The short story format holds the attention of kids and myself alike. I love this book.

Still on the Best Of list? Aw yeah!

Ghost Rider

So Ghost Rider has been completely awesome every since Jason Aaron took over early last year. So Marvel was like "Hmmmm...it's pretty awesome...but what if it was CRAZY AWESOME?!" And thus we now have Tony "Walking Dead" Moore doing the art. To me, Ghost Rider is a perfect example of why comic books need to exist. You just won't get this exact storytelling formula from any other medium. It's insane, violent, hilarious, ridiculous fun. Every issue. Jason Aaron is my pick for best writer of the year so far, because between this, Scalped, Wolverine: Weapon X, and all the single issues of things he's been writing, he's been kicking ass.

Still on the Best Of list? HELL YES

Watchmen Mania!

So the Watchmen movie happened. And it seems like Watchmen Mania has calmed down quite a bit. I no longer work in a comic shop, so I am not on the front lines, but I would say that no one is really talking about this book anymore. But I liked the movie. I really did. I only saw it the once, and I haven't seen the animated Black Freighter yet, but I am planning on watching the long-ass director's cut with the animated bits included when it's released on DVD.

Since this is an abstract phenomenon, and not an actual thing, I am not going to say whether or not it is still on the list. But I will say that I think the movie was good, so my excitement about it last year was not wasted.

I may as well mention the other comic-related movies thus far. Wolverine was a miss. Star Trek was the greatest.

Wonder Woman

We are one issue away from the end of the Rise of the Olympian storyline. Gail Simone is still rocking Wonder Woman like she created her. Aaron Lopresti is still drawing beautiful art in every issue. I feel like Simone's run on Wonder Woman has been an effort to isolate the character from the DCU (ie - the Justice League) so she can be more properly constructed. Wonder Woman has been given the dignity she deserves, and I would say that it's getting near time she was reintegrated back into the larger DCU. I'd like to see her interacting with other characters more.

Still on the Best Of list? YES

The Incredible Herc

I love this comic so much. I have been buying it in trade format, mainly because somewhere way back I missed a couple of issues and then I ended up waiting for the trade and so forth. The same thing happened with Scalped. I am thinking about doing more trade-waiting and less issue-buying because I really do enjoy reading stories when they are all collected. But anyway.

This comic follows the adventures of two delightful characters, Hercules and Amadeus Cho. It's barrels of fun with the best sound effects I have ever read. I love this comic so much that I followed our heroes over to The Mighty Avengers, which is a title I never read before but now I really enjoy. There are three trades of The Incredible Herc out now, and I highly recommend all of them.

Still on the Best Of list? YES

Top Ten Season Two

This has very slowly been coming out. Have we only gotten one new issue this year? Well, that issue was good.

Still on the Best Of list? Sure

The Amazing Spider-Man

We are now a year and a half into the near-weekly Spider-Man series experiment and I would definitely say it is a success. Lately I have felt it is starting to fray at the edges a bit (some fill-in art, some books with several artists, etc), but it's still pretty strong. Even though I hated the last issue, I am very impressed with the overall effort of the Spider-Man team, and it is often one of my favourite comics each week. The 24/7 story, which wrapped up a couple of issues ago, was fantastic.

Still on the Best Of list? YES

Secret Six

For real I love this comic. I am so happy it's an ongoing series. I think it just keeps getting better, too.

Still on the Best Of list? YES

The Age of the Sentry

Sadly, this piece of awesome is over now. While it lasted, it was just an absolutely fantastic and loving tribute to the Silver Age, and featured beautiful art by artists such as Michael Cho and Colleen Coover. The trade is coming out soon, and it should be on a lot of critics' Best of 2009 lists. Fortunately, Jeff Parker is currently writing a lot of other great comics, like Exiles, Agents of Atlas and Mysterius the Unfathomable.

Still on the Best Of list? YES

The Umbrella Academy

I'm not gonna lie to you: I haven't read a single issue of the second Umbrella Academy series. I don't know why. I guess I am waiting for the trade.

Still on the Best Of list? Maybe?


Francesco Francavilla took a break from doing the interior art on this series, but Cesar Rezac did a great job in his absence. I see that Francavilla is listed as the artist for the August issue, so that's exciting. I really enjoy this comic a lot. I think it's highly underrated, especially since Matt Wagner is writing it and he only writes things that are great. I think the first trade is finally being released soon.

Still on the Best Of list? YES

Daisy Owl

I read that the creator of Daisy Owl, Ben Driscoll, was recently able to quit his dayjob and focus on Daisy Owl fulltime! This is very exciting news for both him and for us fans. I bought a signed print of one of my favourite Daisy Owl strips, which I received and promptly spilled water on, ruining it forever. Sad face. I really can't wait until there is a book that collects this comic, which is perfect in every way.

Still on the Best Of list? YES

Batman: Brave and the Bold Cartoon

Not only is this still an awesome cartoon show, it is now an awesome comic as well! I am certainly buying the DVD collection of the first season of the show as soon as it drops. It's basically the only way I can get a proper Batman fix these days, too.

Still on the Best Of list? YES

And The Rest...

I want to give a shout out to series that are definitely headed to my Best of 2009 list if they keep up the good work:

Daredevil (a masterpiece of long-format superhero storytelling)
Captain America (Bucky is sexy)
Green Lantern/Blackest Night (This shit is about to jump off for real)
Scalped (I am going to have to do a whole other post about how awesome Scalped is)
Mysterius the Unfathomable (It's new! It's different! It's awesome!)
Batman and Robin (I don't think it's too early to call this one)
Unwritten (One of the most compelling first issues I have read in a long time)
Jersey Gods (I think I owe this series its own blog post as well)
The Muppet Show (Well, I mean, obviously)
Jonah Hex (I feel like they have stepped up the game this year...and the game was already pretty awesome)
Power Girl (I have really high hopes for this)
Wolverine: Weapon X (Jason Aaron and Wolverine is just a great combination)
Exiles (A delightful ragtag group of mutants from various dimensions)

And that's just from what's come out so far! I mean, we still have things like DC's Wednesday Comics and Darwyn Cooke's Parker book to look forward to!

2009 is gonna be a good year!