The Goodest Comics of 2007

I tried to think up a clever, year end awardsy sort of name for this, but the best I could think of was the Trusties, and even that made me want to bash in my own face with a shovel, so we're going no-frills as far as nomenclature goes. Anyhow, these are the comics / graphic novels / collections / strips / whatever I enjoyed most in 2007. Maybe not all of them actually came out in 2007, but oh well.

Agents of Atlas (Premiere HC) - I generally find Marvel's "premiere hardcovers" to be a pointless cash grab, but they really made this into a book worth owning. It's got the original mini-series (which was a great read on its own, by the way, and exactly the way a concept update / retcon should be handled), the first appearances of all the main characters, and the original What If story that spawned the concept in the first place. Spiffiness abounds here, folks.

All New Atom - Solid, fun superhero stories going on here. Gail Simone is obviously having fun, and the addition of Mike Norton as regular artist has only made things more enjoyable. Don't know if I'll be sticking around when they leave, though.

All Star Superman - When even the bad issues are better than most other comics, you know you have something special. But after the boring Bizarro two-parter and the bland Kryptonian thing last issue, I'm ready to have my socks knocked off again.

Annihilation Book One - This was the event Marvel should have given the hard push, grand sci-fi superhero storytelling of the highest order. And this isn't even the main part of the story! I have Book Two out from the library right now and am anxious to get into it.

Biff Bam Pow - More work from Evan Dorkin and Sarah Dyer is always a good thing. I'm not as big a fan of the Kid Blastoff stuff as I am some of their other work, but it was still a lot of fun.

Blue Beetle - The best mainstream superhero book being published today. And surprisingly, the best Spider-Man comic I've read in years. Never saw that one coming. Please oh please keep this book alive, DC.

Brave and the Bold - This is everything I hoped it would be... cosmic scale adventures making use of as much of the DC toybox as possible, written and drawn by two of the best in the business.

Dr. Thirteen: Architecture and Morality - Sure, there's lots of metatextual commentary for those in the know, but it'd all be pretty meaningless if it hadn't been folded into such a fun to read and beautifully drawn series. I'm glad to see Traci getting some play here and there in the DCU, but let's see the rest of Team 13, too!

Fantastic Four Visionaries: Walter Simonson Vol. 1 - The Acts of Vengeance stuff is fun, but it really comes to life once Simonson starts drawing the book, too. Probably the last time FF was fun until the Waid/Wieringo run. Let's get a Volume 2, already!

I Shall Destroy All the Civilized Planets: The Comics of Fletcher Hanks - As bizarre as advertised, and probably even more fun to read than you've been led to believe. Seriously, this is something you need to experience for yourselves . Fletcher Hanks was clearly breaking all the rules before there were even rules to be broken.

Immortal Iron Fist Vol. 1 – The Last Iron Fist Story - Ed Brubaker and Matt Fractions take on "kung fu billionaire" is easily the most fun mainstream Marvel book since Nextwave. I hope we get a second collection soon... I've heard such good things.

Johnny Hiro - Lots of fun pop culture referenced throughout, but also kind of sweet, too.

Justice League Unlimited - When they can avoid the "and so (insert superhero name here) learns a lesson" ending, it's a very fun book. And wow, would I love to own that splash page where the Question fights the alien yeti hybrids.

Legion of Super-Heroes in the 31st Century - If only for the introduction of the greatest Green Lantern of all, Jordana Gardner.

Marvel Adventures Avengers - Started off the year with the best Avengers story ever - the one with all the MODOCs and Karl, the incompetent AIM flunky - and while subsequent issues never quite matched that level of greatness, it was still lots of fun. Plus, Jeff Parker was able to milk another Agents of Atlas appearance out of it, and that's always a plus.

Nextwave, Agents of HATE - Died entirely too soon, but at least the 12 issues we did get are damn near perfect.

Optic Nerve: Shortcomings - Read this as single issues, but it does make a for a good story no matter how you came into it. However, I'd suggest Adrian Tomine greatly speed up his work rate before he tries doing a continuing story again.

The Professor’s Daughter - I think I said back in March that this would be the best graphic novel I'd read all year, and I was right.

Scott Pilgrim Gets It Together - Looking back, probably my favorite volume of the series so far. Still a lot of fun, but I feel like we got a lot of character development this time around. And more Kim Pine, which always a good thing.

Shazam: The Monster Society of Evil - Not everything I'd hoped it would be, and I didn't particularly care for the redesign of Mr. Mind, but still very enjoyable, and wonderful to look at.

Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four - Not my favorite Jeff Parker story, but it was a decent read. Admittedly, though, I mostly include this because it was the last full work from Mike Wieringo.

The Spirit - I'm an unabashed Darwyn Cooke fanboy, but honestly, I'd include this book even if I wasn't. The Spirit was so synonymous with Will Eisner that most folks thought him untouchable by other hands, and Cooke comes in and creates a book that pays homage to Eisner's work while still feeling very much like its own entity. No easy trick. That it read wonderfully and looked gorgeous was icing on the cake.

Sugarshock - Hilarious, beautiful, and 100% cheap-as-free. This particular portion of Dark Horse Presents on MySpace was worth dealing with all the spammy friend requests from fortysomething basement dwellers pretending to be Swedish underwear models.

The Umbrella Academy - An X-Men / Hellboy riff written by a rock star. It shouldn't work, even with Gabriel Ba artwork, but it does. That Way boy has chops. Turns out his music isn't half-bad, either. Who knew?

X-Men: First Class - Worth reading for the Colleen Coover strips alone, but hey, even the regular stories are good. Probably the first time I've really enjoyed the original X-Men since, um... well, it's the first time I've ever enjoyed the original X-Men.

4 comments:

De said...

Snagged the Iron Fist trade a week or so ago. Hopefully, I can get some time to myself this weekend to enjoy it.

Paul Karasik said...

Thanks for the kind words about my book, "I Shall Destroy All the Civilized Planets: The Comics of Fletcher Hanks". Agreed: these stories are more twisted than anyone could imagine, except, of course, Fletcher Hanks.

Readers unfamiliar with Hanks’ work may want to slide over to the BONUS page of my website for a slideshow of a full length Fantomah story that does NOT appear in the book:

www.fletcherhanks.com

Chance said...

Hey, someone else read 'The Professor's Daughter.' I don't know if I'd call it one of the best GN's I've ever read, but it was definitely different, and charming. We need more stuff like this in the USA.

Bill D. said...

de - Hope you enjoy it! It's a fantastic read.

Paul - No problem! Any chance of a second volume in the works?

Chance - I have no doubt that there are plenty of comics from the past year that are technically better than The Professor's Daughter, but in terms of sheer enjoyment, I liked it best.