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.
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.
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.
Yeah, I thought about buying it but i have the softcovers.. and well, double dipping isn’t something one does after Christmas!
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.
I totally agree with you in regards to a good Invaders WW2 on-going! The best part of Brubaker’s early Cap run was the Lark drawn WW2 sequences!
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!
When you started with “one book from each publisher” I was really excited to see which Broadsword Comics book you chose. Disappointing.
Feel free to add your picks, including your Broadsword choice. As well I stated “one book from each publisher” and not “one book from every publisher”.