Jiminy Christmas! | 2010 Picks

The new year is finally starting to roll out so I thought to highlight my picks from 2010: one book from each publisher that to me was the best material they put out.

Superman: Secret Origin by DC Comics

This one blew me away: a straight up superhero book.  Geoff Johns and Gary Frank deliver a reinterpretation of the Superman origin story: it’s a slight tweak with details for modern audiences.  No big surprises or twists, just solid story and art.  This one keeps the faith that a superhero story can be great.

The Marvels Project by Marvel Comics

Another origin story but with a brand new spin.  Brubaker know how to write a great story and be brings it here: a look at the very beginning of the Marvel Universe with a fantastic roster of Golden Age heroes.  Epting’s art brings the period to life.

Parker: The Outfit by IDW

The second story arc from Darwyn Cooke brings more of the same: gritty mob action with quick rapid dialogue and a no holds barred story.  Singular colour and heavy ink give the art a look that screams “period piece” and immerse the reader instantly.  Cooke’s hard lines and chiseled men enforce the story and contrast with his soft and rounded women: every element works together beautifully and can only happen when it’s a one creator work.

Usagi Yojimbo Special Edition by Fantagraphics

A beautiful collection of the first seven years of Usagi Yojimbo stories in a two book slipcase edition.  Excellent reproduction with a complete cover gallery, interview with Stan Sakai plus a whole lot more.

Scott VanderPloeg
Scott VanderPloeg

Scott works in I.T. but lives to eat and read. His other ramblings can be found at AE Index and eBabble. Art collection at Comic Art Fans.

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  1. Wow.
    We are in completely different mind states here.
    Superman Secret Origin is an awful, awful book. Not only is retelling Superman’s origin story a very, very lazy cash grab – Geoff Johns does it in a way that seems robotic and bored. The art is so plastic and borderline creepy thanks to Gary Frank fills 224 pages with frozen facial expressions.

    The Marvels Project was a fun read, but it might as well have been billed as ‘storylines that I want to use elsewhere but I don’t have place for at the moment because I have to focus on events.’
    I’m glad we’re finally now getting the payback for re-introducing John Steel – but this mini-series definitely lacked purpose. Even the ended was more than a little lackluster… it was a strange read. Strong no doubt, but It seemed like it would have been as a condensed annual.

  2. The Usagi Yojimbo special edition is so awesome that its awesomeness can barely be contained within its awesome pages.

    I shed a tear for the fact that only you and I bought copies.

  3. That’s the beauty of having an opinion: I read maybe a dozen superhero books in 2010 and liked these two the best.

    With Gary Frank you love his art or you hate it: his faces are intense and angry. Origin stories need to be retold every decade or so to give new readers a sense of belonging.

    The Marvels Project touched on an era we don’t see getting any coverage: I long for Invaders WWII stories.

  4. I’d have to agree with Pete on this, I think Secret Origin was completely unnecessary ego stroking on the part of Johns. I like Frank’s artwork but Johns is so desperate to merge pre-Crisis continuity with the movie continuity established by his mentor director Dick Donner that it’s kind of annoying. I recommend S.O. only to new readers, kids who don’t know the Superman character but one thing is for sure —- it’s definitely better than the awful Superman: Earth One graphic novel by JMS.

    Marvels Project was very much meh.

    Batwoman: Elegy by Rucka and JHW3 would be my first DC hardcover pick for 2010. Bloody fantastic on every level. Do I have a Marvel pick for 2010? Maybe Hickman’s FF stuff. Maybe.

    Do yourselves a huge favour and grab a copy of Scott Chantler’s Two Generals!

  5. When you started with “one book from each publisher” I was really excited to see which Broadsword Comics book you chose. Disappointing.

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