15 Aug

Monthly Comics Update -July 2015

Reviews for July 2015

July was supposed to be a light month of comics for me. The Comics.Community podcast was on hiatus and I had recently pruned my pull list to a paltry few regular titles. Little did I realize that Marvel’s Secret Wars event was going to be so good that I had to pick up several titles. Also, I had forgotten about all of the #1 issues I had earmarked for my short box during the last three months of Previews episodes. All of that added up to nearly a comic a day for the month of July.

 

marvel -A-force #2  
aforceI’m enjoying a look at what the actual heroes are doing during this Battleworld/Secret Wars event, because most of the other books are focusing on villains or anti-hero type characters. The fact that She-Hulk is leading a group of all female heroes also adds an interesting angle to this story as the group dynamics are noticeably different than a male or mixed gender group. Score: It’s Good!

 

marvel -Princess Leia (2015) #5 (of 5)
leiaMy patience has finally run out on the Princess Leia comic. Thankfully, it’s also the final issue of the mini-series. I’ve noticed a downturn in the writing and art of all the Star Wars books after issue 2 or 3, and this book was the weakest of them all to begin with. I know people who like this book, and I’m probably being too harsh, but I had higher hopes for this book than what it delivered. Score: Disappointing.

 

marvel -Red Skull #1 (of 3)
redskullIssue one of this strangely compelling mini-series almost immediately threw the entire premise of the book on its head. A small cadre of heroes and villains are forced to go into the wastelands to find evidence that the Red Skull is dead. In this issue they find out just how doomed their suicide mission really is. Score: Intriguing.

 

 

marvel –Secret Wars #4 (of 8)
secretwarsALL HAIL DOOM! ALL HAIL BENDIS!
I keep asking myself; How is this event so good? It just is, and I need to accept that and move on with enjoying Secret Wars for what it is. The best comic book event ever. There, I said it. Four issues in and it’s already the best, most sophisticated, and most daring event the big two have ever pulled off. DC has tried some daring stuff. 52 was daring. They never pulled it off this well though. For that feat we must all be grateful. Score: Best. Event. Ever.

 

marvel -Shield Vol. 1: Perfect Bullets TP
shieldThe SHIELD comic is a nice blend of the comic book and television versions of the iconic Marvel peacekeeping agency. You get the feeling that they just plucked Coulson et al straight off the TV show and plopped them in the 616 universe without many problems at all. Watching Simmons interact with Ms. Marvel is pure joy for fans of the TV show, and watching Coulson team up with Spider-Man for a mission to Dr. Strange’s house seems like everything the Marvel Cinematic Universe would like to see in its phase 3. Score: It’s Good.

 

boom-studios -Spire #1 (of 8)
spireI was as excited by this title when I heard about it, but the comic itself didn’t actually grab me as something I need to read every week. I might pick this up in trade when it comes out, but it wasn’t the amazing read that I was hoping for. Score: It’s ok. It’s fine.

 

 

image -We Stand On Guard #1 (MR)
standThe next Saga, this is not. I just didn’t really buy into the premise as much as i thought, and none of the characters really interested me. The final blow was that I didn’t really like the art very much either. That’s three strikes as far as I’m concerned and this will be the only issue of the series that I buy. Score: Maybe in trades if the reviews are stellar.

 

 

idw -Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency #2 (of 5)
dirkSuch a quirky and interesting series after only two issues. Dirk is somehow miles away from solving any of the mysteries that are swirling all around him like moths around a flame. This series mixes whimsy and tension like no other series I can think of other than Dr. Who. Score: Whimsy!

 

 

dark-horse -Harrow County #3
harrowLike any good tale of terror, Harrow county is giving us answers that just lead to more questions and deeper mysteries. Ghastly spirits haunt an abandoned graveyard in this issue, but are they the monsters or the victims? Score: Creepy!

 

 

 

idw -Star Trek Green Lantern (2011-) #1 (of 6) Reg Rodriguez
trekI’ve always considered Green Lantern to be a one-man Starship Enterprise, so seeing these two iconic franchises together is like a bit of personal fanfic come to life. That said, what’s most interesting here is how this crossover delves into Green Lantern mythos by tackling the Spectrum War. Other than that, this wasn’t a particularly good first issue because it was 99% setup and didn’t do much to get me excited about the series. The last page reveal was fun though. Score: Fanfic!

 

Featured Review

boom-studios -Strange Fruit #1 Main Cvrs
fruit

I’m kicking myself for not immediately recognizing the lynching reference made by this book’s title. Strange Fruit is about race relations in the Jim Crow era south, a time in which outright hostile and violent racism was the norm, and it’s a serious and important backdrop for any story. This is why I was so confused by the fantastical element that was introduced into the story at the end of this book.

I’m going to spoil things a bit those who haven’t read the first issue. So, skip this review completely if you want to avoid spoilers.

At the end of issue #1, a spaceman drops from the sky and saves one of our characters from being lynched by a local chapter of the KKK. The interdiction of an alien plays out like a scene from a superhero comic and distracts from the seriousness of the story. It turns what could have been an impactful study of our country’s dark past into a backdrop for some kind of sci-fi fantasy tale.

At best, the inclusion of an alien who looks like an African Adonis has a real ‘Brother from Another Planet’ kind of feel to it. At worst, it smacks of ‘Inglorious Basterds’ style wish fulfillment and pseudo-history.

The difference between this story and ‘Brother’, however, is that the late 70’s / early 80’s era New York City explored in that movie was used to shine a light on current social injustices that were not widely explored at the time. Mainstream audiences at the time either weren’t aware,or were willfully ignorant of the depths of racism that still existed. Thus, when an alien from another planet chose to camouflage himself as a Black American in order to blend in with humanity, then discovered that he did anything but blend in due to racial prejudices, it came as a shock and a lesson to the audience. My question for Strange Fruit is, what exactly are we going to learn about the oppression of Jim Crow era Mississippi that we didn’t already know? It was a terrible time. We all know this. How does adding an alien into the mix change our understanding of the era?

I’m really going to keep a critical eye on this series to see what questions it both poses and answers because the backdrop they’ve chosen for their story is not one that should be used lightly or fruitlessly. Score: It better pay off big.

 

dc-comics -Black Canary (2015-) #2
canaryThis is a bit of a breather issue as we get a training montage with BC teaching the band how to defend themselves, and we also get some history behind the band as a former member shows up to add a little personal drama into the mix. We don’t learn much about the bad guys in this issue or why they’re after Canary & crew, but that’s fine. Let’s give the story some room to breath after a cramped #1 issue. Score: Let it breath.

 

image -Empty Zone #2 (MR)
emptyzoneWow. What a second issue this was. The first issue was great, and this second effort just added to the greatness. We learned about the world, characters, and plot with deftly executed storytelling that answered our questions then slapped us right across the mouth with new ones. This is the best comic out there right now. I guarantee. Score: Simply the best.

 

 

idw -Godzilla In Hell #1 (of 5) 
godzilla2This was an interesting first issue in which there was no dialog, save for an occasional ROAOAOAOAAORRRR! It is literally Godzilla tromping through the first level of Hell, Dante’s Inferno style. I liked this issue and I liked the wordless storytelling, but I have some philosophical questions. Does a giant radioactive lizard really feel burdened by sins? Do the moral and ethical judgements of Heaven and Hell really apply to the King of Monsters? I’m not so sure. The only thing I do know is that none of that holds up against radioactive laser-breath. ROAOAOAOAAORRRR! Score: Gojira is Lord.

 

marvel -Hail Hydra #1
hydraThis was an odd little part of the Secret Wars event that has me wondering who’s who and what’s what in this sprawling event. It seems like some people understand that they are on a world composed of other kingdoms, and other people do not. This leaves me wondering if the version of Ian Zola-Rogers we meet in this story is one of the people who don’t know they’re on Battleworld, or if this is somehow the 616 version who just ended up here. In the few issues of Captain America I’ve read recently, Falcon-America and Ian-Nomad were messing around with dimensional transportation technology they stumbled across in a Hydra base. Maybe this is the direct result of that story. I don’t know. Score: I’m lost and it’s my fault.

 

image -Island #1 (MR)
islandI loved the first story in this anthology magazine by Emma Rios, but the other two didn’t really grab my attention. A touching prose-only essay by Kelly Sue Deconnick was a nice break between comics and showed that good writers can hold your attention in any medium. Overall, I wasn’t overly excited by this first issue, but I am going to continue to support this experiment in comicbook form, as I feel it has too much artistic merit to dismiss after one issue. Score: At least It’s art, man.

 

marvel -Planet Hulk #3
hulkBLARGH! I want so badly to love this comic. Unfortunately, I do not love this comic. After only three issues the premise is wearing awfully thin and the writing is breaking down terribly. Characters are acting irrationally just to move the plot along, which is one of the worst sins a writer can make. The sin is compounded when it’s a version of my favorite character ever, Steve Rogers, who is the one being written irrationally. Score: Disappointed!

 

dc-comics -Gotham By Midnight #7
gothamI haven’t been a fan of the new art and the new direction of the story since the first arc ended in issue #5. Although I liked the story in this issue just fine, I am definitely missing Ben Templesmith’s art. Score: Losing interest.

 

 

idw -The Infinite Loop #4 (of 6)
loopTime Travellin’ Teddy threatens to destroy all of space and time unless the villains behind the death of her beloved Ano come out of hiding and face her. This book is coming apart at the seems, as all the different plot threads are being pulled at once. Hopefully, everything can be pulled back together over the final two issues because it would be a shame if it stopped making sense completely and ruined what started out as such a promising adventure. Score: Time is fleeting.

 

dc-comics -JLA Gods and Monsters Batman #1
godsbatmanMan. I thought this was going to be at least an interesting premise, but the writing was so flat and the art so devoid of energy that I had trouble keeping any interest in reading this book to the end. I think I did, but I can’t really remember anything that happened other than Batman killed a few people that he normally wouldn’t have.  Score: Forgettable.

 

 

marvel -Old Man Logan #3
The rabbit hole that is Secret Wars runs very deep, my friends, and this issue of Old Man Logan takes us farther into the warren than we’ve ever been. We find Logan mysteriously transported to the land of Stark, where Tony is the Baron but the Technovirus is king. Where is this story leading us, and to what end? I’m not even sure of Logan’s motivation in this story, other than he knows something is wrong and won’t stop until he finds out what. Typical Wolverine motivation, truthfully. Score: Still a good old time.

 

dc-comics -Batgirl Annual #3
bgannualThis was an odd non sequitur of a story that saw Babs crossing path with a shadowy government agency to take down a random terrorist group operating in Gotham City. We get a hint at what Dick Greyson has been up to lately and we learn that Babs can recognise him by the contours of his posterior even while her mind is being fooled by hypno-technology. Other than that, kind of an unremarkable story. Score: Batgirl of Butt-side.

 

dc-comics -Batgirl (2011-) #42
batgirlLivewire is a fun villain for Babs and Robo Bats to tackle, though it is pretty hard to believe that Jim Gordon can’t immediately recognise his own daughter as Batgirl, especially in her new costume. It’s a comic book thing, but still. I worry that this title may have peaked with the controversial issue #37, as that’s the last story that really made an impact on me. Score: It’s more Batgirl.

 

dc-comics -JLA Gods and Monsters Superman #1
JLAGodsChanging Superman’s origin story to be the son of poor immigrant farmers should make for a fascinating social commentary. There were some moments of fascination and some attempts at social commentary, but overall the writing and art fell flat for me. For some reason, both books in this Gods and Monsters series sounded better in theory than they ended up being in practice. Maybe it was just the execution, or maybe it’s just best to not fix what ain’t broken. Score: Not interested.

 

marvel -Star Wars (2015-) #7
starwarsThe closer we get to the new movie, the less I’m interested in filling in the cracks of the old stories. What was Ben Kanobi doing between episode III & IV? Moping in the desert, not being a Jedi, and creepin on young Luke Skywalker. These are not things I needed to see. His guilt at forsaking his Jedi ways is compelling, and the art was improved in this book, but it’s not enough to keep me buying this title. Episode Issue VIII will be the last issue of this comic in my pull list. Score: The Force snoozes.

11 Aug

I’ve Got Issues 08-11-2015

Featured Review -July

I’m still crafting my massive, month-spanning, review for July, but this gem just begged for a spotlight. So, I pulled it from the forthcoming post and sent it up early just to make sure it had proper room to breath.

boom-studios -Strange Fruit #1 
fruitI’m kicking myself for not immediately recognizing the lynching reference made by this book’s title. Strange Fruit is about race relations in the Jim Crow era south, a time in which outright hostile and violent racism was the norm, and it’s a serious and important backdrop for any story. This is why I was so confused by the fantastical element that was introduced into the story at the end of this book.

I’m going to spoil things a bit those who haven’t read the first issue. So, skip this review completely if you want to avoid spoilers.

At the end of issue #1, a spaceman drops from the sky and saves one of our characters from being lynched by a local chapter of the KKK. The interdiction of an alien plays out like a scene from a superhero comic and distracts from the seriousness of the story. It turns what could have been an impactful study of our country’s dark past into a backdrop for some kind of sci-fi fantasy tale.

At best, the inclusion of an alien who looks like an African Adonis has a real ‘Brother from Another Planet’ kind of feel to it. At worst, it smacks of ‘Inglorious Basterds’ style wish fulfillment and pseudo-history.

The difference between this story and ‘Brother’, however, is that the late 70’s / early 80’s era New York City explored in that movie was used to shine a light on current social injustices that were not widely explored at the time. Mainstream audiences at the time either weren’t aware,or were willfully ignorant of the depths of racism that still existed. Thus, when an alien from another planet chose to camouflage himself as a Black American in order to blend in with humanity, then discovered that he did anything but blend in due to racial prejudices, it came as a shock and a lesson to the audience. My question for Strange Fruit is, what exactly are we going to learn about the oppression of Jim Crow era Mississippi that we didn’t already know? It was a terrible time. We all know this. How does adding an alien into the mix change our understanding of the era?

I’m really going to keep a critical eye on this series to see what questions it both poses and answers because the backdrop they’ve chosen for their story is not one that should be used lightly or fruitlessly. Score: It better pay off big.

11 May

Page to Screen May 2015

page

Here are my rankings for movies & TV based on comic books that were produced in 2015.

 

 

 

1. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
Fans are always asking for movies that feel like watching a comic book come to life. Well, this movie provides that feeling in spades. It’s not a perfect film, but it’s the most comic book of any comic book movie, ever.

2. Daredevil (Netflix season 1)
Where AoU was a flawed but fun adaptation, Daredevil was a nearly perfect example of how to integrate comic book characters and stories into a more believable world. This series was possibly the most well-written comic book adaptation ever.

3. The Walking Dead (season 5)
The second half of season 5 saw Rick Grimes and crew return to civilization in a way that made them and us consider the possibility that living a nomadic and barbaric life might actually be the best way to survive. The show took time to breath and explore both its characters and its central themes of survival and family. It’s still the most mature comic book adaptation in many ways.

4. Agent Carter (season 1)
Benefiting from a series limited to only 8 episodes, Agent Carter was able to pour all of its writing, ideas, and fabulous 1940’s nostalgia into a neat little package. Peggy Carter is the most likable hero in the MCU other than the good Captain himself, and this series was a great vehicle for her. It wasn’t a perfect show, but it was very good and it left me wanting more.

5. Agents of Shield (season 2)
Season 2 of AoS has been much more consistent than season 1, with far fewer filler episodes, but it still falls short of other adaptations in the writing and visual departments especially when compared to its sister show, Agent Carter. Still, it gives us a weekly dose of the MCU and does so with likable characters who struggle and evolve over the course of each season. It doesn’t provide many great moments, but it does provide a heaping helping of good ones, and very few bad ones. (Edit: The season 2 finale was bonkers and provides several great moments that viewers will be talking about all summer. #Donttakefishoil, #FitzSimm….oh, #SecretAvengers)

6. Constantine (season 1)
Like many shows, Constantine got off to a slow start but was carried along by the charisma of its lead actor. In this case Matt Ryan played the smarmy, good-for-nothing, anti-hero known as John Constantine about as well as one could on network TV. This TV version is a bastard with a heart of gold, whereas the comic book version is just a bastard. Unfortunately, by the time the show caught up with the character there were already rumors that it wouldn’t be back for a season 2. Hopefully it gets renewed somewhere because it was just hitting its stride creatively near the end.

7. The Flash (season 1)
Season 1 has been a blur (boo! yes I went there!) and has included way more story and lore than any one season of a show has a right to include. So far we’ve been introduced to a cross-over with Arrow, Metahumans, FireStorm, The Atom, The Rogues, Reverse Flash, time travel, and Gorilla Grod. Even Agents of SHIELD didn’t move that fast in season 1. This fast-paced storytelling has managed to cram a lot of comic book goodness into one season, but at times I find myself needing a break and skipping an episode or two before I get back into the series. It’s the same problem I had with the first few seasons of Arrow, so it’s no surprise this show is produced by the same people. While Flash is one of the best offering from DC in 2015, it still has a ways to go before it competes with any of the Marvel shows.

8. Teen Titans Go! (Animated)
I can’t say that I watch this show very often, or that I like it as much as other Teen Titan cartoons, but it is consistently delightful and probably the best animated comic book property still being produced.

9. Gotham (season 1)
Season 1 was a real roller coaster of emotions for me as the show had the potential to be very good but consistently fell short of that mark. Gotham gave us a few strong episodes but also too many weak ones. The writing and characterization on this show fell short in many ways, particularly when compared to a show like Daredevil. Daredevil showed how to include campy and complex comic book lore into a TV show with finesse and sophistication, whereas Gotham used ham-fisted cameos and on-the-nose writing whenever faced with its own Batman lore. The worst offense for Gotham came during the season finale when I realized that after 22 episodes none of the characters actually changed or became anything more than what they were at the beginning of the show.

10. Arrow (season 3)
Hoo boy. This is the most wildly inconsistent comic book show on TV. Some episodes are good, some are bad, a few are better than good, and too many are terrible. The characters go through wild mood swings for improbable reasons and it too often resembles a daytime soap opera more than a superhero show. I like the Arrow as a character, and the actor who plays him, but the supporting cast is too inconsistently written and the plots have too many holes for me to keep watching every week.

11. iZombie (Season 1)
It seems like a nice show, but honestly I haven’t given it much of a chance. The first problem with it is that it’s not a comic that I’m familiar with. Secondly, it’s on at the exact same time as AoS and I typically watch my shows in real-time. Finally, and this may be the most petty complaint, I don’t like seeing the main character eat brains. No matter how she tries to dress them up with real food, it still turns my stomach.

12. Justice League: Throne of Atlantis (2015, animated)
I was not impressed by this animated offering in the slightest. The animation was fine, but not great, and same can be said for the voice acting, but the dialog and characterizations were incredibly disappointing. The versions of the DC characters in this adaptation were all of the worst versions of the characters. I actually got so frustrated with them that I cut this movie off after about 30 minutes.

13. Powers (PSN season 1)
I only watched the pilot episode, but was so disappointed in what I saw that I didn’t bother exploring how to find the other episodes. The writing, acting, and overall look of the show was not very good and I was particularly disappointed in the production values of the sets. The leading man, played by Sharlto Copley, seemed compelling, but he just couldn’t prop up the entire production.

 

Properties I did not watch in 2015:
Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015)
Ultimate Spider-Man (Animated)
Avengers Assemble (Animated)
Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. (Animated)

28 Jan

2014 ZebuNation Awards (Writing)

awards

Presenting the first ever Zebu Nation Awards For Excellence in Comics. Nominations.

Most Prolific (Writer)

Being a prolific writer demonstrates a command over not only the art of writing, but also the craft. Anyone can take years of their life to produce one good book. Likewise, anyone can string together vaguely coherent sentences to churn out mounds of literary garbage. It takes a special writer, however, to produce both quality and quantity in equal measure.

The nominees for 2014 are:

JASON AARON
A great year for Aaron with two Thor titles, two X-titles, a blockbuster event from Marvel, and an acclaimed creator-owned title from Image.

Publisher                  Title                                                                    Issues*
Marvel Comics        Amazing X-Men (2014-Present)               19
Marvel Comics        Original Sin (2014)                                        55
Image Comics         Southern Bastards (2014-Present)        18
Marvel Comics        Thor (2014-Present)                                     12
Marvel Comics        Thor: God of Thunder (2012-2014)        25
Marvel Comics        Wolverine and the X-Men (2011-2014)  7

 

RICK REMENDER
Remender continues his steady creator-owned output with three acclaimed series from Image, while also adding three flagship Marvel titles.

Publisher                   Title                                                                Issues*
Marvel Comics        Avengers X-Men: AXIS (2014-Present) 17
Image Comics        Black Science (2013-Present)                  15
Marvel Comics       Captain America (2012-2014)                  32
Image Comics        Deadly Class (2014-Present)                    23
Image Comics        Low (2014-Present)                                     10
Marvel Comics       Uncanny Avengers (2012-2014)              30
Marvel Comics        Winter Soldier: Bitter March (2014)      13

 

KIERON GILLEN
Gillen really cranked out the issues for Avatar Press while also producing a breakout hit with Wicked+Divine from Image and one of Marvels best graphic novels in Origin II.

Publisher                   Title                                                                Issues*
Avatar Press         God is Dead: The Book of Acts (2014)       6
Marvel Comics       Iron Man (2012-2014)                                    27
Marvel Comics        Origin II (2014)                                                12
Avatar Press         Uber (2013-Present)                                        68
Image Comics         Wicked+The Divine (2014-Present)        20
Marvel Comics        Young Avengers (2013-2014)                    4

 

CHARLES SOULE
What didn’t Charles Soule do in 2014? Killed Wolverine, Doomed Superman, ended Swamp Thing & Wonder Woman. Throw in an acclaimed run on She-Hulk and a creator owned title from Oni Press just for fun.

Publisher                   Title                                                                       Issues*
Marvel Comics        Death of Wolverine (2014)                            35
Marvel Comics        The Logan Legacy (2014-Present)              4
Marvel Comics        Inhuman (2014-Present)                                20
Oni Press            Letter 44 (2013-Present)                                       14
DC Comics         Red Lanterns (2011-Present)                              15
DC Comics         Red Lanterns: Futures End                                   2
Marvel Comics        She-Hulk (2014-Present)                                20
DC Comics         Superman/Wonder Woman (2013-Present) 37
DC Comics         Superman/Wonder Woman: Futures End     2
DC Comics         Superman: Doomed (2014)                                 7
DC Comics         Swamp Thing (2011-Present)                             14
DC Comics         Swamp Thing: Futures End                                  2
Marvel Comics        Thunderbolts (2012-2014)                             18
DC Comics         Wonder Woman: Futures End                              2

 

NATHAN EDMONDSON
Edmondson became the go-to-guy for spies in 2014 with titles like Black Widow, Deathlok, Punisher & Splinter Cell.

Publisher                   Title                                                                Issues*
Marvel Comics        Black Widow (2014-Present)                27
Marvel Comics        Deathlok (2014-Present)                        6
Image Comics         Dream Merchant (2013-2014)               3
Marvel Comics        Original Sins (2014)                                  1
Marvel Comics        Punisher (2014-Present)                        22
Dynamite Ent.        Splinter Cell: Echoes (2014)                  3

 

CULLEN BUNN
Writing for books ranging from Godzilla to Green Lantern, Bunn racked up an astonishing number of bylines in 2014 and worked with just about every comic book company that mattered.
Publisher                   Title                                                                   Issues*
Dynamite Ent.        Army of Darkness (2014-Present)            14
Oni Press                  Brides of Helheim                                           4
Marvel Comics        Deadpool vs. Carnage (2014)                    5
BOOM! Studios        Empty Man (2014)                                         9
Marvel Comics        Fearless Defenders (2013-2014)               3
IDW Publishing       Godzilla: Cataclysm (2014)                         12
DC Comics         Green Lantern/New Gods:Godhead (2014) 2
DC Comics                Lobo (2014-Present)                                      2
Marvel Comics        Magneto (2014-Present)                              25
Marvel Comics        Night of the Living Deadpool (2014)      9
Dynamite Ent.        Shadow (2012-2014)                                      2
DC Comics         Sinestro (2014-Present)                                      12
DC Comics         Sinestro: Futures End                                          4
Oni Press         Sixth Gun (2010-Present)                                     10
Oni Press         Sixth Gun: Days of the Dead (2014-2015)      3
Oni Press         Terrible Lizard                                                           3

*Issue count tabulated using www.stashmycomics.com. May contain variants. Does not contain collected volumes or reprints.

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Best Old Favorites (Writers)

Some creators have been so excellent for so long that excellence is always expected, but scarcely rewarded. This award judges the best of the best in their own category, by their own set of standards, and corrects the injustice of taking these masters of the medium for granted.

Best Old Favorites recognizes the well-established creator who produced simply the best work or works during the year, compared against their own career body of work.

The nominees for 2014 are:

DAN SLOTT
Dan has been THE man for Spider-Man since 2008, writing just about every Spidey story of consequence during that span. In 2014 Slott kicked it up a notch with the end of Superior Spider-Man and the return of Peter Parker. He also spread his wings with a fresh and exciting take on Silver Surfer.
Publisher                 Title                                                                      Issues
Marvel Comics       All-New Marvel Now! Point One (2014) 3
Marvel Comics       Amazing Spider-Man (2014-Present)      95
Marvel Comics       Silver Surfer (2014-Present)                       16
Marvel Comics       Superior Spider-Man (2013-2014)            41

 

GREG PAK
The man who brought us World War Hulk and Incredible Hercules launched a Storm solo title in 2014 and also played in DC Comics toy box with a solid run on Action Comics and a mind-bending twist on the classic Batman/Superman team up.
Publisher                 Title                                                                      Issues
DC Comics             Action Comics (2011-Present)                     24
DC Comics             Batman/Superman (2013-Present)           43
Valiant Comics     Eternal Warrior (2013-2014)                         11
Marvel Comics      Storm (2014-Present)                                     9
DC Comics              Superman: Doomed (2014)                          2
Dynamite Ent.      Turok, Dinosaur Hunter (2014-Present)  87

 

WARREN ELLIS
One of the largest personalities and most respected names in the history of comics, Ellis still managed to surprise and thrill in 2014 with a genius take on C-List superhero Moon Knight. Ellis also racked up the critical acclaim with two intense and heady series from Image.
Publisher                 Title                                                                      Issues
Marvel Comics      Avengers Assemble (2012-2014)                5
Marvel Comics      Moon Knight (2014-Present)                       19
Image Comics      Supreme Blue Rose (2014-Present)           6
Image Comics      Trees (2014-Present)                                         7

 

GRANT MORRISON
Another heavyweight in the comics industry, Grant Morrison needs no introduction. Though he wasn’t the busiest writer in 2014, he did manage to bring an end to DC’s New 52 with the genre bending mini-series Multiversity. In his spare time he also used the new, Hollywood-based, Legendary Comics to satirized Hollywood in his Annihilator series. Morrison is so meta.
Publisher                        Title                                                                      Issues
DC Comics                      Multiversity (2014-Present)                          7
Legendary Comics      Annihilator (2014-Present)                            5

 

ROBERT KIRKMAN
The man who brought us Invincible and The Walking Dead… Brought us more Invincible and Walking Dead in 2014. Consistent excellence is still excellence and Kirkmans two blockbuster series kept on rolling in 2014 with new and interesting plots to keep these long-form comics as relevant as ever.
Publisher                         Title                                                                     Issues
Image Comics                Invincible (2003-Present)                           15
Image Comics                Outcast (2014-Present)                               16
Image Comics                Super Dinosaur (2011-Present)               3
Image Comics                Walking Dead (2003-Present)                   34

 

ED BRUBAKER
The man who turned Bucky Barnes into The Winter Soldier has seemingly turned his back on Marvel and DC by producing only creator owned books in 2014. Long known as the king of crime, suspense, and noir, Brubaker hits a triple in 2014 with a spy series (Velvet), a crime series (Fade Out), and a horror/noir series (Fatale).
Publisher                         Title                                                                      Issues
Image Comics                Fade Out (2014-Present)                               9
Image Comics                Fatale (2012-2014)                                           9
Image Comics                Velvet (2013-Present)                                     8

 

MIKE MIGNOLA
Mike Mignola does Mike Mignola like no one else. His distinctive art and writing styles continue to thrill and chill with excellent new mini-series from Hellboy, BPRD, Baltimore, and the underrated Lobster Johnson.
Publisher                           Title                                                                             Issues
Dark Horse Comics      Abe Sapien (2013-Present)                                  11
Dark Horse Comics      B.P.R.D.: Hell on Earth (2013-Present)            17
Dark Horse Comics      Baltimore: Chapel of Bones (2014)                   2
Dark Horse Comics      Baltimore: The Witch of Harju (2014)              3
Dark Horse Comics      Baltimore: The Wolf and the Apostle (2014) 2
Dark Horse Comics      Dark Horse Presents (2011-2014)                      2
Dark Horse Comics      Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. (2014-Present)        2
Dark Horse Comics      Hellboy: In Hell (2012-Present)                           2
Dark Horse Comics      Lobster Johnson: Get the Lobster (2014)       5

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My Eisner Nominees (Best Writer)

The Eisner is the premier award in the comic book industry. Therefore, I will hijack the prestige of this award and declare my own winners from the list of Eisner nominees. Some of the following nominees may have qualified for other Zebu Nation awards, but I figure that being nominated for an Eisner should be enough for them and there’s no need to hog other awards.

Kelly Sue DeConnick
Kelly Sue makes a strong bid for an Eisner with a critical darling series from Image and a fan-favorite take on the iconic Captain Marvel.

Pretty Deadly (Image);
Captain Marvel (Marvel)

Matt Fraction
The Eisner trend seems to be writers with a pairing of one excellent indie comic and one outstanding “big two” comic from either Marvel or DC. Fraction is no exception thanks to his critical darling, Sex Criminals, and main-stream hit, Hawkeye. Throw in the end of the Fantastic Four just for extra credit.

Sex Criminals (Image);
Hawkeye, (Marvel)
Fantastic Four, FF (Marvel)

Jonathan Hickman
Hickman always confuses his readers, but in East of West and Manhattan Projects he confuses us in the best possible ways. Add to that a world-changing event for the Avengers and we may have an Eisner winner.

East of West, (Image)
The Manhattan Projects (Image);
Avengers, Infinity (Marvel)

Scott Snyder
Critics and fans agree that Snyder’s Batman title is far and away the best thing to come from DC’s New 52. Throw in two creepy gothic horror titles that fit perfectly with DC’s Vertigo line and you have an Eisner worthy 2014.

Batman (DC);
American Vampire (DC/Vertigo)
The Wake (DC/Vertigo)

Eric Stephenson
I’m going to be honest. I’ve never even heard of Eric Stephenson or his comic, Nowhere Men, until I saw this list of Eisner nominees. Either that means he is the favorite to win the award or this is some kind of prank by the Eisner committee.

Nowhere Men (Image)

Brian K. Vaughan
One of the best writers in comics has seemingly focused all his attention on what has quickly become everyones favorite comic book, Saga. Good move.

Saga (Image)

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