Well look at that, apparently there’s a tie. And I’m sure it has
everything nothing to do with issue 7 of one of these series dropping this past Tuesday.
Brian K Vaughn/Fiona Staples (Image Comics)
With Hawkguy & Sex Criminals sitting at #2 and #3 respectively, I’m sure this comes to as a surprise to no one. Which means I have nothing to explain and the article is over.
::: Checks word count and curses :::
Okay so maybe I should explain some of this. But honestly, what is there left to say? NEWS FLASH: BKV STILL GREAT AT WRITING. FIONA STAPLES: REALLY HAS THIS DRAWING THING DOWN! THE LYING CAT: STILL PRETTY GREAT, EVEN DURING THIS PAST YEAR, THE YEAR OF THE PIZZA DOG!
Snark aside, Year 2 of Saga was fantastic. Sure we didn’t have the book every month, but when it dropped, each and every issue was a delight. Okay so giant monster gentitals may not be what some people consider delightful, but you get what I’m saying. It’s a well-crafted comic, and easily the crown jewel in the Image Empire these days. BKV’s dialogue is so natural, and his characters sound very realistic, despite having wings and televisions for heads. And again, Fiona Staples, REALLY good at drawing! The range of visuals she can supply to this book is beyond impressive, ranging from sexy to grotesque.
Also the book can be really funny at times, which I appreciate when it’s not tugging at my heart or toying with my emotions. I still get a little choked up at that Lying Cat conversation scene from above.
Saga was flawless in 2013, and I doubt that will change anytime soon. But like I said earlier, this is a tie.
Nick Spencer, Steve Lieber (Marvel)
2013 saw the debut of 3 books with the word “Superior” in their title. First there was “Superior Spider-Man“, which upset many a nerd and sold a butt ton of comics this year. There was also “Superior Carnage“, but I don’t care about that, and chances are you didn’t either. And then finally there was “The Superior Foes of Spider-Man“, a book that wasn’t even on my radar until the first issue dropped and the early buzz called it the next Hawkeye. Intrigued, I picked up #1 and made sure to buy every issue upon release since then.
As I said like a month or so ago, SFoSM is an FX/FXX comedy set in the Marvel Universe. Past Marvel books starring villains usually attempt to rehab them somehow, making them anti-heroes or straight up heroes. Your Deadpools, Venoms and Thunderbolts for example. Superior Foes makes these villains, arguable the weakest version of the Sinister
5 Six, LIKABLE yes, but also remains you that yes, they are the bad guys, and they enjoy doing bad things. It’s surprising refreshing, and a ton of fun.
Superior Foes use of continuity is probably one of the best things about the book if we don’t factor in how friggin hilarious some of the running gags are. One of my many problems with New 52 DC is that they seem to be embarrassed by their legacy, and the work many talented creators have done for them over the year. The past is embraced here, factoring in stories from Marvel’s silver age up to modern classic runs by writer such as Ed Brubaker and Jeff Parker, which results in some powerful and/or hilarious stuff. Issue #7, which dropped this past Tuesday, is proof of this, tying into the origin of the new Beetle quite nicely.
Nick Spencer and Steve Lieber, 2 wonderful veteran creators came out swinging with this title, and I loved every issue to date. This book definitely owes it’s existence to the success of Hawkeye, but it’s very much it’s own monster. It’s violent, but more so Looney Tunes style, hilarious, and surprising modern and refreshing. And all without a single appearance from the sales-boosting Spider-Man so far. It gets my pick as co-book of the year by being a fantastic book with little to no hype and the use some some obscure characters. Big ups to Spencer and Lieber for really coming through in 2013, as well as to the other creators I’ve talked about these last 3 articles.
And with that, the best of 2013 is wrapped up. It’s been a great year for comics, and I’m excited for what 2014 will bring. I’m taking a small break as I’m MagFEST bound this weekend, but I’ll be back later next week to talk about… ::: checks pull list :: SEX CRIMINALS! And maybe a book that’s :: gasps ::: published by DC!