Panel-to-Panel, My Favorite Comics of 2016
From the Hundreds Read, Here Are Some Highlights
(in no particular order)
A young, smart, girl of color who is single-handedly stealing the hearts of Marvel fans and edging her way into great-importance in the Marvel Universe. Add in some social commentary on the education system and an endearing Devil Dinosaur, and you have my attention (for good). Luella Lafayette (Moon Girl) being the newest addition to the Inhuman lot is the least of her buzz, she was quick to be ranked as the smartest being in this Earth-616. Move over Stark, Banner, and Cho, here comes Moon Girl to make some waves!
Miles Morales. Period. I can’t find a more fresh, multi-dimensional, and growing character in the Marvel line-up right now. Sure, there has been buzz about the new multi-racial Spider-Man for some years now, but his reverence keeps growing. His role in the Civil War II event not only placed him in the middle of some confusing judgment, but it also showed a new side—one that could lead him to some trouble (which is so exciting).
Dedication and true love for ones work is unmistakeable. That’s what I see in Rick Remender’s Seven to Eternity. A war against whispers, a disgraced family trying fight for their proud name, and a new fictional land which will keep you begging for more of the Tolkien-like story. And whether you call him the God of Whispers or the Mud King, the baddy in this story is sure to make you question your morals.
Although I loved Jonathan Hickman’s last Marvel event (Secret Wars, 2015), this book didn’t land on my radar when it hit the stands. Luckily, my friends over at Forbidden Planet (Union Square, NY) made the recommendation and I’m beyond thrilled to be reading this one. A detective story, with Satanic twists, in an elitist stock market world. The power and control issues that ensue, with some superb noir storytelling, is something to marvel at.
Was anything but all-new and all-different. I really do mean that in a good way, though. I’m actually glad that a comic today can still come out and tell a simple story and not need any gimmicks or tricks to keep the audience hooked. “All-New, All Different” might have been Marvel’s tagline in 2016, but I’m glad that Mark Waid gave a a book here that I could enjoy and have fun with.
Ah, Brian K. Vaughan did it again. If you’re not a fan of this guy, then I don’t know what to tell you… other than get yourself checked. The honest characters, the science-fiction storyline, the easily relatable aspect of it all. If you raved about Stranger Things—like any other sane person did—and you’re into comics, then this is your gold. As if anyone needed a reminder, the 1980s are coming back with fury, and Paper Girls is taking names.
This run made me an X-O fan. Wait, scratch that, this 4-year run by Robert Venditti not only made me an X-O Manowar fan, but it made me a die-hard Valiant fan. The company is putting out amazing stories—from Divinity to Britannia—and at the heart of their universe is X-O Manowar. I don’t think this character, this book, or this company is getting enough credit for the work they are constantly putting out and the way they are keeping up with the big two. I will stay tuned for their future, especially when the king returns and we get a fresh look at a new X-O line.
(the emotional and the unsuspected)
The storyline was mostly predictable, and some of the characters confused me by their actions, but Brian Michael Bendis did what he does best, which is keep me hooked with big emotional outbursts and big revealing events. I will never forget the moment when Ulysses looks forward in time, finding himself in front of a puzzled Old Man Logan, and the kid’s cry for help seems to jump out of the pages and rip my heartstrings straight out.
Mental hospitals, a “hero” lost in his own head, and layout art that captivated. Jeff Lemire’s run of Moon Knight was exactly what it should have been, and I loved it. Props also to Mr. Lemire for his work of Death of X, Bloodshot, Old Man Logan, Plutona, and so much more. What a great year for him.
Surprise, surprise… I mean, really, is anyone actually surprised that Valiant brought a new story that is so stunning and that I loved. The second detective-style story that I enjoyed this year, but this time in ancient Rome and with warriors and politics. This is a fun one, let’s hope to see more like this in the coming year.
This was definitely a wild one. Although it lost steam after 10-or-so issues, the start was exhilarating and revealing. A true showing of what the “social” world looks like today, pitting unsuspecting social media followers against each other in a survival of the fittest Twitter war for the ages (and for the millions). Manipulation of media at its best, as the story broadcasts how money manipulates, sheep follow false-gods, and few unfollow.
(again, in no order)
- Clean Room (Vertigo, by Gail Simone)
- Cage (Marvel Comics, by Genndy Tartakovsky)
- The Omega Men (DC Comics, by Tom King)
- The Mighty Thor (Marvel Comics, by Jason Aaron)
- Doctor Strange (Marvel Comics, by Jason Aaron)
- Weirdworld (Marvel Comics, by Sam Humphries)
- Divinity II and III (Valiant, by Matt Kindt)
- Wrath of the Eternal Warrior (Valiant, by Robert Venditti)
– Nahuel F.A.