IGW honors the best and worst of 2011 thus far with the introduction of the 2011 Roman Awards!
BlueStreak here. I'm recovering from the Second Annual Hoffer-Douglas Beerpongapolooza which the missus and I won last weekend (suck it, Mammon!). Instead of a full column, I felt like this would be a good idea to announce the winners of the First Annual IGW Roman Awards, which are handed out to the best and worst books of the first half of 2011. Feel free to bitch and moan about what characters got snubbed in the comments.
Ballsiest Publisher: DC. DC managed to not only convince their corporate overlords that the Green Lantern franchise should be made into a movie, they also managed to instantly alienate their dwindling fan base by introducing the DCnU, a relaunch that allegedly will feature the systematic killings of fan-favorites such as Wally West, Stephanie Brown and the entire JSA by a new extreme character called Didionator.
Most Underappreciated Writer: David Liss. It's sad that only the Outhouse seems to truly appreciate how strong of a writer David Liss is. David Liss has accomplished two things in the last month alone. He 1) showed that the Storm/Black Panther marriage works and 2) proved that it's possible to finish a series about in-continuity superheroes set in 1920's (all five issues are in the can already). Suck on that, JMS!
Most Underrated Book: X-23, which has been surprisingly consistent in terms of both writing and art. Marjorie Liu has been pretty impressive in building X-23's relationship with the X-Men outside of the Young X-Men/Wolverine spheres.
Hero with Biggest Hole in Chest: Bucky-Cap Bucky-Cap wins this one by a hair over Donna Troy and Mockingbird. Congratulations, Bucky! Your death mattered!
Hero Whose Death Mattered the Least: Bucky-Cap: Awwww, man.....
Biggest Death: Mogo. It was huge! Literally!
Top Publisher: Image. Image runs away with this one by a landslide. Morning Glories, Walking Dead, Chew, Witch Doctor, Who is Jake Ellis, Green Wake and Red Wing (yes Red Wing's pretty good too) all look to be early contenders for Eisner Awards next year.
Lamest Event: Fear Itself wins narrowly over Flashpoint and War of the Green Lanterns although Flashpoint could still come on top by the end of the year. After all, we're 40% through Flashpoint and haven't advanced the plot at all. However, as it stands right now, Fear Itself has been epically "Meh" in all the wrong ways.
Most Useless Initiative: Marvel's Point One Initiative. Some are used to introduce teams to new readers, some were used to hint at new plotlines, some did....nothing at all. Basically, this was a cashgrab wrapped up with a pretty decimal point.
Worst Artist: Crisscross. I've always been of the opinion that one should not be overly critical of artist since I can't draw for shit. Obviously, artists have talent or they wouldn't be employed for a living. That's until I read Supergirl #65, which features a variety of facial contortions that should only be seen on Plastic Man's face.
Character Who Really Needs to Die: Wolverine. Jason Aaron's Wolverine is an excellent series but it has highlighted the fact that Wolverine has killed hundreds of people over the course of his life. He might be the best at what he does but at some point in time, he needs to be taken out. When you have a cabal of octogenarians going after you, it's time to die.
Character Most in Need of a Smack in the Face: Beast. I've really just wanted to hit him every time he pops up in a comic nowadays. It's a shame he's been turned into a one-note fount used by writers to force ham-fisted, half-cocked political ideas down readers' throats.
Top Backup Feature: Rocket Raccoon and Groot. This marks the second time that a backup has completely overshadowed the main story in a book in the last year. The first was Nick Spencer's seminal Jimmy Olsen.
Miniseries Most Completely Forgotten About: 5 Ronin. Seriously. I totally forgot this thing existed.
Poorest Decision Made By a Character: Superman renouncing his US Citizenship a week before Osama Bin Laden getting whacked. Poor timing, dude.
Top Robin: Damien, simply for making Teen Titans readable for three issues. It's a shame that the second Tim Drake shows up in the book, it immediately becomes the cesspool of mediocrity we're used to.
Top Batman: Batwing, whose three page appearance caused enough imaginary fan support to justified a new series in September.
Best Crossover: Age of X. A solid, enjoyable, tight crossover that reminded readers that it isn't necessary to have shock deaths in order to have a crossover with consequences.
Worst Crossover: The Death of Ultimate Spider-Man. While I have no problem with the actual death of Ultimate Spider-Man, the crossover with Ultimate Ulimates vs. NuUltimate Ultimatey Avengers who Ultimately Lose in an Ultimate Fashion was lame and unnecessary.
Best Book I'm Not Currently Reading: I hear that Journey Into Mystery book is pretty good. Let's pick that.
Book I'm Gladdest is Getting Relaunched: Action Comics. The book died the second Doomslayer was introduced. Paul Cornell must have known about this relaunch and phoned in a few scripts to bide time til September.
Book I'll Be Saddest To See Go: Secret Warriors. I wish this was continuing instead of S.H.I.E.L.D....
Top Writer: Scott Snyder. With Nick Spencer's stock taking a slight dip due to silly Fear Itself tie-ins, Scott Snyder has reclaimed the throne as the comic industry's favorite son.
Top Artist: Rafael Albuquerque. American Vampire sweeps the top creator awards. What really sealed the deal for me was Albuquerque's work on the Point One issue of Uncanny X-Men. Speaking of Point Ones....
Top Superhero Comic: Uncanny X-Force. This book is the only X-Men book you need to read. Also, it's had no delays, which earns it the nod over Morrison's Batman Incorporated, which is DC's strongest book right now.
Top Nonsuperhero Book: American Vampire. That makes three IGW First Half Awards. Hopefully it'll earn bottoms to all those tops it's getting.
IGW Roman Award Top Overall Series: Sixth Gun. Are you reading this book yet? If not, either buy it or burn your long boxes and denounce your comic book fanship.
Written or Contributed by: BlueStreak