The Comic Frontline crew throughout the month of December discuss the best comic books of the year! This week they cover Best Moment, Male Character, Female Character, Villain, Indie Title.
5. G. Willow Wilson’s Last Adventure with the Ms Marvel Crew (Ms. Marvel)
Ms. Marvel #38 was not only a great closing chapter for Ms. Marvel, but the strong supporting cast G. Willow Wilson created along the way. It showcased just how much Kamala, Zoe, Nakia, and Bruno grew throughout Wilson’s five year run on the character.
4. Jane Foster Becomes Valkyrie (War of the Realms)
3. Jim’s Death (Batman: Curse of the White Knight)
2. Nadia Finds Out She’s Bipolar (The Unstoppable Wasp)
1. Betty Gets “Killed” Becomes Harpy (The Immortal Hulk)
I already really enjoyed The Immortal Hulk, but I truly began to love the series when it started focusing on the whole Hulk family. They’re all monsters inside and out.
5. Spider-Man’s play date with the terminal boy (Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #6)
This was such a heart-warming scene as Spidey goes on an adventure with this sick kid. Beautifully told story.
4. Carnage merges with Venom Symbiote
Such a visually cool moment and just scary when you think about it!
3. X-Men Reborn (Mutant Birthing Ground) in House of X
This was literally a rebirth of the X-Men franchise and in such a surprising and interesting way. Hats off to Hickman for finding a unique way to explain the resurrection of so many mutants!
2. Moira Revealed as a Mutant (House of X)
Something no one saw coming was the revelation that Moira was not only a mutant, but the one in control of every event and the one kind of pulling Professor X’s strings over and over again. Such a great way to retcon a character!
1. Roundhouse Turns Villain (Teen Titans)
Another instance of a shocking but pleasant surprise. I love Roundhouse as a character, but I love that he did something completely unexpected as well!
4. Jason, Trini, and Zack become the Omega Rangers
3. Shredder returns from hell (TMNT)
2. Conner Kent Superboy returns to the DCU
1. Jennika becomes the 5th turtle (TMNT)
5. Carl Grimes Tells the Story of his Dad to his Daughter (The Walking Dead)
4. Roundhouse Traps Djinn in her Own Ring
3. Batman hugs Commissioner Gordon once he Passes away in Batman Curse of the White Knight
2. Betty (Harpie Hulk) Rips Immortal Hulks Heart out and Eats it
1. Clark Reveals his Secret to Perry (Superman)
Best Male Character
5. Angel (Angel/Hellmouth)
I’ve always been a big fan of Angel’s character, especially from his TV show, and I love BOOM!’s modern take for the character with their new line up of Buffy titles.
4. The Thing (Fantastic Four)
Ben really was the heart of Dan Slott’s first year on Fantastic Four. He’s had some wonderful stories – from his marriage to him trading punches with the Immortal Hulk.
3. Spider-Man (The Amazing Spider-Man)
Spider-Man will always be one of my favorite characters, and the character rocked it this year as The Amazing Spider-Man focuses on classic Spidey storytelling with a modern twist.
2. Miguel (Dial H for Hero)
A new character on DC Comics roster that I hope is here to stay for a long time. He gives a fresh voice to a cult classic series.
1. Bruce Banner (The Immortal Hulk)
Al Ewing has completely redefined this character to not only show the monstrous side of the Hulk but Bruce Banner as well. The Immortal Hulk dives deep into the origins of what made this character so great in the first place.
5. Shayne J’onzz (Justice League)
This little guy was responsible for saving the Justice League from their imaginary utopia, and being the voice of reason for Hawkgirl… he’s had such a small but oh so important role to play in the epic story arc going on in Justice League.
After years of being an awful character, this year was all about redemption for the former leader of the X-Men. He has come full circle and is finally the man we remember, and it was done in such an organic and sensible way that it makes you believe it as opposed to just relying on suspension of disbelief.
3. Miguel (Dial H for Hero)
The unlikeliest of heroes are often the greatest and most interesting heroes. That’s the case with Miguel. He has proven himself to be a good and just person even when faced with temptation and desire. It’s like Harry Potter in front of the Mirror of Erised.
I was so impressed with this character and continue to be when he pops up. I wish he had been given an ongoing because the mini was just a taste of what this character can become over time.
I am so thrilled that Spider-Man is in the hands of writers that understand him and his supporting cast and have brought him back to the core character he was always meant to be.
4. Mikey (Birthright)
2. Tommy (Power Rangers)
1. Superboy/Conner Kent (Young Justice)
3. Eddie Brock
2. Bruce Banner
1. Peter Parker
Best Female Character
5. Sue Storm (Invisible Woman)
Sue not only shined in Fantastic Four, but also in her own series. And if you learned anything from her mini-series is NEVER UNDERESTIMATE SUE STORM!
4. Moira (Powers of X, House of X)
Moira changed the X-Men forever! I was absolutely blown away by Hickman’s take on the character, and I hope Powers of X/House of X is only a taste of what we’ll be seeing from the character in the upcoming year.
3. Betty Ross (The Immortal Hulk)
I was afraid that Betty would fade into the background after being depowered a few years ago, but Al Ewing brought her back in full force with a new destiny for the character. The Immortal Hulk is not only about Bruce’s journey as a Hulk, but the whole family members’ individual journeys.
2. Spider-Gwen (Ghost Spider)
I love the fresh new perspective Seanan has given the character as we see Gwen grow even further as a Spider person and newly enrolled college student.
1. Jane Foster (War of the Realms, Valkyrie)
Jane had a FANTASTIC year! She became the All-Mother, took lead in the War of the Realms, and took on the mantel as Valkyrie.
5. Harley Quinn
Say what you will about Harley, but her profile has risen this past year. Sure, it’s partly because of the movies, but she has shown a lot of growth in the various series she’s appeared, and writers continue to do new and interesting things with her.
Even though we haven’t gotten a lot from Domino this year, the Hotshots mini-series was another fun and solid tale of her and her friends, and now we find her at the center of a plot in the X-books where she is being used in a terrible way and one can only hope when she escapes she’s going to have some major revenge to dole out!
3. Invisible Woman
Sue has really shone this year, both in Fantastic Four and in her own mini-series. Even though that series just ended, it was enough to catapult her to the top picks on my list as it showed us what she was capable of and who she really is, and left us wanting more!
Gwen is a delight and such fun to read. This run so far and the previous one have been a blast, and I love that she is now interacting with the 616 more as well.
1. Jane Foster/Valkyrie
Jane had a banner year this year. She’s not Thor anymore, which she was great as, but now she’s been given a role that is even more fitting for her, and she has been a runaway success with it. Both in War of the Realms and in her own series, Jane is showing us once again why, like Sue, she should not be overlooked!
5. Invisible Woman
4. Gwen Stacy (Ghost Spider)
3. Lois Lane
2. Jane Foster
1. Mary Jane
5. Betty Ross
4. Jane Foster
2. Black Cat
1. Gwen Stacy (Ghost Spider)
1. Roundhouse (Teen Titans)
Roundhouse, just Roundhouse. What a well fleshed out villain with clear motives that help the audience relate to him.
5. Roundhouse (Teen Titans)
As I stated before, Roundhouse is one of my favorite new characters, and this turn just made him more so. He felt justified in what he did, but the reason I love him as a villain is because you’d never guess this fun-loving, goofy kid could orchestrate things the way he did. Brilliant.
4. Nyx (Avengers No Road Home)
There aren’t many villains that can tear apart the Avengers in such a systematic way, but in No Road Home, Nyx and her children did just that, and provided us with a great ride along the way.
3. Thomas Wayne (Batman)
Even though the series stalled a bit for my liking, I can appreciate the diabolical genius and skills of Thomas Wayne as he broke down Bruce throughout this long run, and it’s not over just yet!
We always knew Carnage was sadistic and pure evil, but he took that villainy to a whole new level with Absolute Carnage!
1. Malekith (War of the Realms)
Probably an underrated enemy of Thor, Malekith brought war to Earth like no other ever had, tearing apart all the realms and bringing about chaos that took the combined efforts of the entire Marvel Universe to thwart!
5. Jackle (Spider-Gwen)
4. Kitsune (TMNT)
2. Lex Luthor
1. Batman Who Laughs
4. Round House
3. Thomas Wayne
2. The Abomination (Immortal Hulk)
Best Indie Title
5. Go Go Power Rangers
Go Go Power Rangers is delivering the character driven stories I’ve always wanted with this franchise, and glad to see the series exploring past first 5 rangers with this year’s “Necessary Evil” arc
This series continues to defy as the hunt for Charlie becomes more intense and so is her relationship with Vita.
It’s always a pleasure when an issue for this series comes out. The series continues to dig deeper into the layers the superficial social media star is trying to hide.
2. Second Coming
What if Jesus Chris and a superhero were roommates? That’s exactly what Mark Russell and Richard Pace explores with their series Second Coming. It’s a book that’s funny but also pacts a lot of heart as it takes a look at religion through a modern lens.
1. Paper Girls
I will miss this series on my pull list, but the title ended on a perfect note as the girls learn what it means to grow up.
A unique story that plays on the culture of crowdfunding we find ourselves in the most awful way: to kill people! The concept is scary in its potential, but the charm of the series is the relationship between the two main characters as they forge a bond over the most dire of circumstances.
4. Once & Future
This one is lower only because there are still two more issues to go in the mini-series, but what I’ve read so far takes the legend of King Arthur and turns it on its head in a fun and irreverent way that has me on the edge of my seat waiting for each next issue!
Some of Skottie Young’s best work to date, the sprawling fantasy story is continuously a fun and solid read every issue. And the depth of the characters and their growth along this journey is a joy to experience.
2. The Realm
This is not a title I talk about often because I’m not up to date on it. Having read several issues of it so far, though, this is a hugely underrated series that combines epic fantasy with a post-apocalyptic world and is the closest thing to filling the gap left by The Walking Dead that I’ve seen to date.
I can’t say enough good things about this mini-series. If you like fresh takes on newly powered heroes trying to find their way and learn the ropes of being a hero then you should check this one out. Quin doesn’t automatically know how to fight or use his powers. Add to that the setting of New Orleans and the struggles the people of that city face and you have a great story that could very easily be the next Invincible if given time to blossom.
5. Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers
3. Paper Girls
1. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
4. Gideon Falls
3. Dead Eyes
2. Once and Future
Best Male Character
Best Indie Title
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