Monthly Archives: January 2012

The WORST Comics of 2011!

Ah, the flip side to the “Best Of” list: the worst comics of 2011. By “worst”, I generally mean books that personally fell flat with me, because usually if there’s a book I don’t like, I drop it pretty quickly. But with so many books coming out in a given year, there’s bound to be some crap that gets through, so here’s my opinion on what I thought were some of the worst/most disappointing books of the year, starting with Marvel’s mega-event, Fear Itself.
“Big even here guys! Guys…..hello?”
Fear Itself
Where to begin? Fear Itself was another over-hyped, miss-marketed event that promised to “change the Marvel universe”, and while it did, it, and the changes it brought it about, weren’t all that cool.  Here’s the quick rundown: Odin’s brother shows up. Everyone gets hammers/becomes TRON-wannabes.  Iron Man gets drunk and goes to Odin to make weapons (which was pretty cool), Cap gets his shield destroyed, and Thor gets….um….to be honest, I don’t remember what happens to Thor. Wait, that’s right, he DIED, barely a year after he was resurrected. Oh, and Bucky “died” too.
That’s the biggest reason why Fear Itself is on this list. For such a “major event”, I really don’t remember all that much that happened in it.  It’s a real shame, because Matt Fraction does such a good job writing Invincible Iron Man that I was really looking forward to this event. From the sounds of it, Fraction wasn’t too happy with the marketing behind the story (he felt that it made people already know what was going to happen in it), and I have to admit, a lot of the “earth-shaking” moments of the story fell flat for me, and even know it doesn’t seem like there have been that many ramifications from it. Oh well, bring on Avengers vs. X-men I suppose.
Doomsday: Killer of Superman and quality runs on titles
Action Comics (pre-reboot, everything after #900)
Holy crap. Talk about a fall from grace. Paul Cornell’s Lex Luthor focused run on Action Comics was one of my favorite titles of the past year. His characterization of the bald megalomaniac was spot on, and his search for the Black Lantern ring from Blackest Night went numerous places that I didn’t see coming. Plus the issue where Luthor confronts The Joker is possibly one of my favorite issues of all time.
But then Reign Of Doomsday happened and Superman came back to the book. The style changed drastically, and bounced between everything from Superman to Justice League. Cornell is one of my favorite writers, and he has proven in the past that he is far above the crap that he put out here. Thank god for Demon Knights, as it allows Cornell to be free of editorial mandates for events and come up with whatever crazy thoughts pop up in his head.
I knew Nic Cage wore wigs, but holy crap man
Ghost Rider
By now it should be no surprise to see this book on this list. Started as a (flimsy) Fear Itself tie-in, Ghost Rider saw Johnny Blaze give up the curse of the Rider to an innocent. Strike one.  So why did I stay? Well, all of the solicits for the upcoming issues made it appear that Johnny would get the rider back. GUESS WHAT DIDN’T HAPPEN?  We’re still stuck with a girl Ghost Rider whose name I honestly don’t even remember. Rob Williams spent little to no time filling us in on this new host for the Ghost Rider, and wrote Johnny Blaze like the guy who’s in third row at the Daytona 500. When did it start becoming a “thing” to write Johnny Blaze like a redneck idiot, cause I sure as hell missed that boat. The only good thing about this book is that it’s cancelled.
Even Crazy Quilt wouln’t fight these guys
Justice League (pre-reboot)
HEY! Do you want to read a Justice League book with Mon-El, Dick Grayson Batman, Mikall Tomas Starman, Donna Troy, and Congorilla?
Me neither. While I love the idea of the Dick Grayson Batman joining the Justice League, that only works if he’s playing with the other key characters of the team. Not the B-listers that made up this “roster”. There’s a good idea here somewhere involving this team of lesser-known heroes stepping up to the big leagues, but this run was not it.
Whatever James Robinson has done to himself, please, someone, get him to stop. I haven’t read the new Shade series (I’m waiting till I finish Starman), but I’m halfway through the Starman omnibuses, and I’m wondering where the guy who wrote those is now.  I know that writing the League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen movie was heartbreaking for him, but I think we’ve all suffered long enough.
Someone explain this cover to me. Please.
Batman: Odyssey
Whoever listened to Neal Adams’ pitch for Batman: Odyssey needs to be forced to sit through Batman & Robin while wild hyenas chew on their feet and their eyes are held open by Edward Scissorhands. Characters show up between panels, conversations happen between two people while one is being ATTACKED BY MAN-BAT, and for some reason, the Robin in this book is Dick Grayson, but has the Tim Drake costume. It’s like Adams (and DC for that matter), don’t care at all about making a coherent story and know that the book is going to sell just by slapping “Neal Adams” on the cover.
Yes, Adams’ work on Batman in the 1970s is amazing, but the longer this book remains in the public eye the more that work will be tarnished.  I thought the era of artists being able to write died out in the 90s, but between this and David Finch’s Batman: The Dark Knight, I guess I was WRONG. Dead wrong.
That’s not all that was bad this year though. How about John Romita, Jr.’s “art” on Avengers? Or the fact that Thor had been replaced with some other guy seven issues into his own new series? Or Catwoman and Batman having a….”moment” together? OR THE FACT THAT MARVEL CONTINUES TO CHARGE $3.99 FOR A MAJORITY OF THEIR LINE WITHOUT ADDING TO THEIR PAGE COUNT?

Whew. Sorry. I feel much better now that I’ve unloaded all of that nerd baggage. Here’s looking towards the year 2012 in comics. Let’s hope the good outweighs the bad.

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