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Best Issue, Best Arc, and Best Art of the Year (so far)

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Eli Katz
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Best Issue, Best Arc, and Best Art of the Year (so far)

Postby Eli Katz » Tue Jul 08, 2008 2:05 pm

So we're halfway thru the year and I figured it would be fun to list everyone's favorite single issues, favorite overall stories, and favorite art so far for 2008. Here are my picks for each category:

Favorite Single: Criminal Vol. 2, No. 2. The series is incredible, and this particular issue, with all the deranged blackout scenes, is probably the single most powerful, disturbing, and perfectly crafted one that Bru has written. Nothing has moved me more than Criminal #2 this year.

Favorite Arc: There are many half-completed arcs that have me excited, in particular Batman RIP and Old Man Logan. But I can't pick anything that's only half done, when the all-important ending has yet to be revealed. I mean, as we have witnessed so many times before, especially with events and major storylines, a really good concept can be undone by a very horrible ending. So, my pick for best story arc of the year so far is the Dead Mothers arc that finished up in Scalped #17. It's just very powerful storytelling, as the characters, the rivalries, the emotions, the tragedies, and the mysteries become increasingly complex. I love this book more than any other, and I found this arc to be one of the strongest that Aaron has penned yet. If you are not buying this book, I don't know what's wrong with you.

Favorite Art: There has been some stunning work done by the finest guys in the biz -- the pencils of John Romita, Jr. in Kick-Ass, the illustrations of Tommy Lee Edwards in 1985, the wild work of Ron Garney in Wolverine, among many others. But despite this really great output by these and many other noteworthy artists, one guy has really knocked my socks off. It's an unlikely choice, especially after all the heavy hitters I just mentioned. But my favorite comic art this year so far is found in the pages of Joker's Asylum #1. Illustrated by Alex Sanchez, this book has a beautiful mix of realism and creepy atmosphere. The line work is intentionally rough and uneven, adding to the mania and unpredictability of Joker. But the detailed and highly realistic backgrounds, especially of the TV studio, keep the look of the book firmly rooted in the real world, with real-world violence. Great stuff. I am looking forward to seeing what other stuff Alex Sanchez will producing. This guy is an amazing talent!

So what are your picks?

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Postby chap22 » Tue Jul 08, 2008 3:09 pm

Issue: I hate to keep harping on it, but probably Immortal Iron Fist 16. Just the perfect way to wrap up one creative team's run and segue into the next, a fine issue on its own, and great-looking as well.

Arc: I don't care HOW it ends, my favorite arc so far this year is gonna be Booster Gold : Blue & Gold. Seriously, Booster 1,000,000 could turn out to be Hank Hall all along who was secretly the rape-child of Norman Osborn and Max Lord as conceived through a pact with Mephisto, and it still will not mar in any way the enjoyment and sheer fun I've experienced reading this arc so far. It is absolutely everything that is good and fun about superhero comics, from characterization to art to dialogue to concepts to emotion to use of genre-specific tricks and everything in-between. Just a blast to read.

A close second is Nightwing : Freefall, not because it was revolutionary or ground-breaking or anything really even all that special, but because it showed that good stories actually CAN be written in my favorite character's book if you just put a decent enough creative team on it who cares to do so.

And third will be Immortal Iron Fist : 7 Cities of Heaven. Just fantastic.

Art: Tough call here, but I'm probably just gonna stick with the master...George Perez's issues of Brave & Bold and his contribution to DCU 0.
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Postby Eli Katz » Tue Jul 08, 2008 3:28 pm

chap22 wrote:Issue: I hate to keep harping on it, but probably Immortal Iron Fist 16. Just the perfect way to wrap up one creative team's run and segue into the next, a fine issue on its own, and great-looking as well.


I read all this high praise from you and from many others, and I feel a little ashamed that I dropped this book after the first arc. For some reason, I just couldn't get into it.

It wasn't bad, but it just wasn't my thing. But just out of curiosity, would you say that, over the last year, the IF book has maintained or exceeded the quality of the first six issues. I'm interested, because if you think the book has only gotten stronger, I may just have to pick up those back issues.

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Postby chap22 » Tue Jul 08, 2008 3:33 pm

Eli Katz wrote:I read all this high praise from you and from many others, and I feel a little ashamed that I dropped this book after the first arc. For some reason, I just couldn't get into it.

It wasn't bad, but it just wasn't my thing. But just out of curiosity, would you say that, over the last year, the IF book has maintained or exceeded the quality of the first six issues. I'm interested, because if you think the book has only gotten stronger, I may just have to pick up those back issues.

well, i'd say it maintained, but that's because it's been hands down my favorite Marvel book since about issue 3 or 4.

the second arc involves more of Orson's back story, cool new characters in a big kung fu tournament (think Mortal Kombat but well-written :-D ), a political revolution in K'un L'un, the Daughters of the Dragon & Luke Cage kicking ass, fathers and sons coming together, and a hoohah free-for-all between the hordes of Hydra and pretty much everybody. i just loved it, but if you didn't like the first arc, i can't fully endorse that you'll like this one any better (although i think you might...)
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Postby Eli Katz » Tue Jul 08, 2008 3:39 pm

chap22 wrote:well, i'd say it maintained, but that's because it's been hands down my favorite Marvel book since about issue 3 or 4.

the second arc involves more of Orson's back story, cool new characters in a big kung fu tournament (think Mortal Kombat but well-written :-D ), a political revolution in K'un L'un, the Daughters of the Dragon & Luke Cage kicking ass, fathers and sons coming together, and a hoohah free-for-all between the hordes of Hydra and pretty much everybody. i just loved it, but if you didn't like the first arc, i can't fully endorse that you'll like this one any better (although i think you might...)


Actually, it sounds more action packed than the first arc. I might just have to give the book a second go, especially because my Marvel reading is pretty slim these days.

Thanks.

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Postby nietoperz » Tue Jul 08, 2008 4:00 pm

Best arc is either Booster Gold: Blue and Gold or Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Wolves at the Gate.

The other two categories need some thought, though...
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Postby Mr. Batman » Tue Jul 08, 2008 4:14 pm

Best Issue:Booster Gold #0. This may be a surprise, but this was the issue that started it all. This was the start of Blue and Gold, the SECOND best story arc this year so far. This was exciting and I loved it.

Best Arc Definitly Freefall in Nightwing. This arc stunned me, and I loved it. Finally, Nightwing is getting good. This arc is exactly what it needed. The creative team did a splendid job. The Action Legion arc is third

Best Art I'd have to say that the best art comes from..Final Crisis #1. J.G Jones did an awesome job
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Postby BarryJordan » Tue Jul 08, 2008 4:19 pm

Best Issue:Immortal Iron Fist 13

Best Arc: Action Comics " Legion " Arc

Best Art: JLA 20-Ethan Van Sciver
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Postby C20Percent » Tue Jul 08, 2008 4:53 pm

Okay, I've given this some thought, and although I couldn't narrow the categories to just one here are some of my favorites:

Best Single Issue:

Checkmate #23 -- Greg Rucka turned Superman into a total badass. Superman ran through Kobra like it was a vacation, and he even stopped to talk some shit -- after I read that issue I thought, "That's how I always want my Superman to be."
Thunderbolts #120 -- Honestly, it was just great to see the Green Goblin running shop again; throwing Pumpkin Bombs like he's got an endless supply. I loved the way Osborn just marched to his costume and engulfed himself in insanity.
X-Force #4 -- The return of Archangel -- 'nuff said -- an awesome fucking moment.

Best Arc:
Action Comic: Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes -- For the simple reason that I hate -- HATE -- The Legion, and Johns was able to make me really dig some of those characters. I probably enjoyed the Subs more than the active Legion members (Stone Boy was awesome). A perfect Superman arc.
The Incredible Hercules: WWH Aftersmash -- I didn't pick up this book until 3 issues in because I was skeptical, but it really was that good. I loved the interaction between Black Widow and Hercules, and I love the Flashbacks present in this book. It gives me a Lost kind of vibe. I only wish they had went with a different direction concerning Cho.
Iron Man: Director of SHILED: Haunted -- An amazing story orchestrated by the Knaufs, which included Iron Man getting stripped of his powers, Tony Stark circumventing SHIELD and the U.S. Government, and an EPIC showdown between Iron Man and Mandarin (really great stuff), and Iron Man nuking himself -- perfectly constructed arc.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Wolves at the Gate -- Infinitely better that anything Whedon or Vaughn offered. The dialog was perfect, the action was serious, and although I thought Buffy's actions were out-of-character -- things actually happened in this arc to move the book forward. I think Xander is about to become a reckless badass.

Best Art: -- This is a pretty difficult one for me, but...
Barry Kitson on The Order -- At some point in this series I realized I was getting more joy out of Kitson's art than I was out of Fraction's writing. In fact, I thought the last few issues suffered immensely due to the absence of Kitson. He's also the sole reason I've picked up the Fantastic Four: Secret Invasion tie-in -- although to be honest, I'm not enjoying his work in that book as much as I did in The Order. I think Kitson belongs on a darker, grittier book and that Fantastic Four doesn't count.
Lan Medina on Foolkiller -- The best art I've seen all year. I'm not sure if his art could fly on a Superhero book, but on something realistic like Foolkiller it was perfect. The panels seriously pop off the pages; they feel extraordinarily alive. In this book he draws a gun-fight on the freeway that's superior to anything I've ever seen in any movie. I suggest giving this 5-issue mini a chance for Medina alone.
Last edited by C20Percent on Wed Jul 09, 2008 9:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Mr. Batman » Tue Jul 08, 2008 5:25 pm

I did love the Legion arc, but the Freefall arc did it for me

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Postby Zechs » Wed Jul 09, 2008 1:10 am

Favorite Single: Thunderbolts #120
Teen Titans #57

Both great single issues with characters kicking so much ass (Norman and Rose).

Favorite Arc:

It's Brubaker's Captain America. It's been what 25 issues on one single ongoing plot (Death of Cap)? And I'm still on the edge of my seat not even caring about the length.


Favorite Art:

Julian Lopez (Batman and the Outsiders)

The stuff being on this book and nobody knowing is criminal.
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Postby chap22 » Wed Jul 09, 2008 8:37 am

Frost wrote:
Favorite Art:

Julian Lopez (Batman and the Outsiders)

The stuff being on this book and nobody knowing is criminal.

i'll echo that sentiment. that book has been great, writing and art.
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Postby chap22 » Thu Jul 10, 2008 3:43 pm

chap22 wrote:Arc: I don't care HOW it ends, my favorite arc so far this year is gonna be Booster Gold : Blue & Gold. Seriously, Booster 1,000,000 could turn out to be Hank Hall all along who was secretly the rape-child of Norman Osborn and Max Lord as conceived through a pact with Mephisto, and it still will not mar in any way the enjoyment and sheer fun I've experienced reading this arc so far. It is absolutely everything that is good and fun about superhero comics, from characterization to art to dialogue to concepts to emotion to use of genre-specific tricks and everything in-between. Just a blast to read.


yep, after today's issue, it's official: arc of the year. and i seriously doubt that anything in the second half of they ear is going to match, must less surpass, it.
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rdrsfn82 wrote:Chap is right.

john lewis wrote:I got nothing but respect for [Chap]

jsalwen wrote:You're the man, Chap.

DMM wrote:Chap knows what he's talking about.

MoneyMelon wrote:chap is right about pretty much everything

GOSD wrote:chap FTW!

Ntikrst wrote:Chap's right

oogy wrote:All those quotes in your sig ain't lying.

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Postby rdrsfn82 » Thu Jul 10, 2008 7:32 pm

The Blue Beetle arc with the Reach was the best arc this year. I know it started late last year, but it wrapped up over the first four months and it's been my favorite, just ahead of Blue and Gold in Booster Gold. I also think that the Cinderella arc in Fables deserves mention. It was only two issues but two great issues.

Best issue of the year is too tough for me to pick right now. I'm tempted to go with Booster 1,000,000 though. That was pretty damn great. I have to give it a couple days and see if it remains in my mind as good as the Barbara Gordon issue of that series or the last issue of Blue Beetle's battle with the Reach when Booster showed up. I also loved that last issue of Iron Fist that chap mentioned. It really was nearly perfect. Another runner up is the issue of Buffy with Dracula, #13. I love the Dracula/Xander dynamic and that was really really good.

Best art is Final Crisis #1. Not my favorite story or anything, but the art was incredible and I don't see hardly anything that compares.
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