2011 in Review (Part 1)

2011 is coming to a close and since this is my first year writing for Comic Book Daily, I thought I would take this opportunity to highlight some of the highs and lows of the comic book world from my prospective.

2011 is coming to a close and since this is my first year writing for Comic Book Daily, I thought I would take this opportunity to highlight some of the highs and lows of the comic book world from my prospective.

Best New 52 Title

I haven’t read every single new 52.  I have skimmed through quite a few of them.  I’ve also read a few reviews on them.  The titles I regularly subscribe to are Wonder Woman, Batwoman, Supergirl, Dark Knight, Catwoman and Aquaman.  From what I’ve read and checked out for the new 52, so far my favourite is Aquaman.

Geoff Johns has breathed new life into Aquaman.  Aquaman had become the laughing-stock of the DC Universe (“Aquaman sucks!” is a regular theme on Big Bang Theory).

In the new 52 Aquaman is now hip and edgy (as the kids would say).  Right from the first issue we see Aquaman confronted by rumours and jokes about his character.  Geoff Johns has managed to throw all these jokes right out the window.  Aquaman fights enemies on land now.  He’s not confined to the water and fighting water based villains.

Speaking about villains, now Aquaman has a new villain to fight against.  They originate from a mysterious place called the “Trench”.  I look forward to seeing more from Aquaman.  I’ve talked to many people who are interested in picking up the trade next fall.  I can’t wait that long.  I’ll be buying this book monthly because it is a fine read.

Best Relaunch

I’m not going to consider DC with this one.   The new 52 was a publisher wide relaunch/reboot.  It’s not fair since there were so many new books released.

My favourite relaunch title for the year is Daredevil.  There are many new relaunches that came out this year.  Captain America, Punisher, Ghost Rider and X-Men being some of the titles.

Daredevil has a fresh new look and feel to the book.

Matt Murdoch has been through hell too many times.  Now Matt Murdoch has returned to Hell’s Kitchen a new man.  He’s decided that life is too short and he’s decided to have more fun.  You can really see it in the book.  No longer is he our brooding hero.  He’s having fun.

Daredevil has been a very enjoyable read.  The story is great, as well as the art.  If you haven’t been reading it monthly, it is another book I suggest you pick up in trade.

Best Event

This year we’ve seen Flashpoint, Fear Itself, Infestation but the one I’ve enjoyed the most is… Cobra Civil War.

If you are not familiar with the current world of G.I. Joe, Cobra Commander is dead.  Cobra Command has devised a contest where high-ranking members of Cobra compete to become the new leader of Cobra.  How do they determine the winner?  How else would an evil terrorist organization do it, body count.  The Cobra agent to arrange the deaths of the most G.I. Joe members will be chosen the new leader of Cobra.

The “event” happens in all three current storylines of G.I. Joe (ARAH written by Larry Hama is excluded since it continues the original story from the 90’s).  The Snake Eyes title focuses on our favourite ninja and Duke, who’s been exposed to a Cobra engineered virus.  The G.I. Joe title has focused on a traitor within G.I. Joe’s ranks.

The new Commander of Cobra was announced in issue #8 of G.I. Joe.  It even featured a “scratch” cover which would reveal the new Commander.  If you’d like to know who it is, I’ll let you know in the comments below.  I don’t want to be a spoiler.

No Surprise You Came Back

The only thing as assured as death and taxes is the return of Superheroes from the dead.  One of the big events of early 2011 was the death of Johnny Storm, The Human Torch.  He appeared to die while fighting a horde of aliens in the Negative Zone.  In issue #600 of Fantastic Four, the door to the Negative Zone is opened to reveal Johnny Storm standing there.

Johnny Storm did die, but was resurrected regularly by insect like creatures.  Torch was forced to fight in gladiator style battles every day for Annihilus.

I think everyone see that Johnny was going to come back to the pages of Fantastic Four.  Superheroes never die for long.

Best Comic Book Videogame

Arkham City… nuff said.

Most Disappointing Movie

This year saw 4 major comic book movies come to theatre (Thor, Captain America, X-Men First Class, Green Lantern – 5 if you include Cowboys and Aliens).  There was lots of hype for Green Lantern.  It was one of the most anticipated movies for 2011. Unfortunately it didn’t do as well as expected (so poorly in fact, we may never see Green Lantern 2).

As I stated in my review of the Blu-Ray in October, it was an enjoyable movie, but never did live up to it`s hype.

Favourite `Little Known`Find

(While not written in 2011, I did purchase this year) When I was at Fan Expo this year I talked to Jason Loo.  He illustrates the comic book for the Canadian G.I. Joe Convention.  He has written and illustrated his own series called AWOL`d.  I consider it a mix between The Losers and Degrassi.  The story is about a group of teenagers/twenty-somethings who have special abilities and work for a secret government organization.  They escape and try to fight back against the group they worked for.

Jason Loo has a very distinctive style and the writing is very good.  I picked up volume 1 and 2 from Jason at Fan Expo for a very reasonable price.  If you see him in the future, grab one of the volumes.  I think you’ll enjoy this thriller.

Well that’s it for this week.  Tune in next week for part 2 of my best (and worst) for 2011.

Ed Campbell
Ed Campbell

Ed Campbell is a collector of comics and action figures, primarily G.I. Joe. He is also a Cosplayer with Thor and Captain America as just a few of the characters in his arsenal. When not fulfilling his Comic Book Daily duties, he's "working for a living", volunteering his time for his local Fall Fair, and spending as much time with his family as possible. Use the links below to get in contact with him.

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