I’ve been lucky enough to be exposed to all sorts of new and different books in 2012. I concede that my list has more super than horror but who knows what will be on here in 2013? Now that I look at my list, I still see quite a bit of the darker, murkier side of some of what mainstream comics offered. I have a mix of monthly, mini-series, and collections on this list. If you try something new in 2013, I hope it’s one of these great series. My top 12 of 2012 list is in no particular order because they’re all winners. Enjoy and Happy 2013!
YOUR FRIENDLY NEIGHBOURHOOD BRADY’S TOP 10 COMICS OF 2012
12. Winter Soldier (Marvel)
Marvel’s spy world hasn’t been this exciting since Hickman’s “Secret Warriors”. The former Bucky, former Cap (I miss that costume) and expert death cheater extraordinaire James Barnes tries to redeem himself one day at a time. Ed Brubaker’s legacy hero works his covert way around the world passing through all the weird and wonderful hot spots. Gun toting Gorillas, Dr. Doom (he got around this year!), black market Doombots and Secret Soldiers complicate Buck’s life spectacularly. Butch Guice, Michael Lark and company make it all gritty gorgeous after mixing in a trippy dose of Steranko for good measure. It’s fun yet dark at the same time.
11. The Flash (DC Comics)
The creative team of Francis Manapul and Brian Buccelatto on this book has delivered a consistent and fun read since the starting line. Together, they have brought the scarlet speedster all kinds of excitement, brilliant layouts, and an overall sense of excitement to DC’s favorite fastest forensic scientist. Now with gorillas invading Flash’s home town, how can it NOT be amazing?
10. Demon Knights (DC Comics)
To me, this series was one in The New DC 52 that was an entirely new concept. Medieval super heroes with the most famous one being Jack Kirby’s The Demon? Paul Cornell knows how to write the heck out of a team book as seen in his previous work on “Captain Britain and MI:13”. This time, somehow, his canvas for creativity seems so much bigger with Bernard Chang’s beautifully graceful and violent art. Being the only heroes around shows how hard and complex it is to do what is right. “Demon Knights” is great fun with depth and fire breathing demons. Win win win.
9. Action Comics (DC Comics)
Just when I thought I could forget about Grant Morrison and Superman, I find “Action Comics”. His channeling of Kal-El’s entire history, present, and future in this series makes me smile in awe each issue. If you’ve ever liked anything about “The Last Son of Krypton” or the inventor of “WE3”, I dare you to come watch the first hero fly like never before. I’ll enjoy this ride until its end next year and you should too.
8. Fear Agent Omnibus Volume 1 (Dark Horse Comics)
Rick Remender is currently steering some pretty big ships over at Marvel which is great. However, what I am glad I got to discover this year was his older series in one big helping. Creativity abounds in this series! Tony Moore’s artwork is so hypnotically engaging that I re-read almost every chapter to take it all in. I wish I could say I knew Rick Remender’s “Fear Agent” back in the day but I’m so happy I found it in 2012.
7. Earth 2 (DC Comics)
When your icons are gone, who will step up? This alternate take of the DCU is fresh and innovative. I couldn’t wait to see the next month’s tagline and what James Robinson and Nicola Scott would re-create next on “Earth 2”. It’s also nice to see some Canadian content heroes popping up – now we’ve got Sandman and Booster Gold!
6. Batman Earth One Vol.1 (DC Comics)
Having not picked up Scott Snyder’s “Batman” series yet (I know, comics heresy), this volume from Geoff Johns and Gary Frank was a great start to showing off DC’s movie star. This story shows a more realistic and human version of Batman and everything inside the budding cess pool that will be Gotham. I look forward to seeing this Bat story blossom more with each volume.
5. Star Trek: The Next Generation / Doctor Who – Assimilation2 (IDW Publishing)
Anyone who likes either of these beloved icons will love this series. Writers Scott and David Tipton really have captured the voices of everyone in this sci-fi ultimate team-up. The first half of this mini-series is available in a collected edition already and the series wraps up just in time for Christmas and another “Doctor Who” Christmas special to delight all. Why has The Doctor bumped into Captain Picard? It’s simple really: to save all of reality, of course. What else would you expect from The Enterprise crew and The Time Lord with his Companions?
4. Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom (IDW Publishing)
Mark Waid and Chris Samnee delivered a love letter to the late Dave Stevens’ creation in the form of this mini-series. The action was fast paced, the art was dynamic and enough bread crumbs are left behind for another creative team to keep “The Rocketeer” flying for a long time.
3. Green Lantern (DC Comics)
Since The New DC 52, Geoff Johns has gone in directions I can’t imagine anyone saw coming. Bad guys are now good guys, former enemies start a cosmic buddy-cop hero quest, major characters get taken away, new ring bearers appear, and powerful forces taking dark turns are just some twists from the past year. With another game-changing crossover going on now, “Green Lantern” keeps entertaining.
2. Dark Avengers (Marvel)
Jeff Parker uses Marvel’s vast universe to its strengths in innovative and refreshing ways. In one year, there have been Thunderbolts, Dr. Doom, Luke Cage, Man-Thing, Skaar, time travel galore, and character progression all at the same time. All the artists rotating through the series have given the book a great style all its own. Every character and landscape its own unique look. I never knew which way the story was going to go next and I love that.
1. Hawkeye (Marvel)
Matt Fraction and David Aja are just doing beautiful and gritty work at the same time. I’ve always loved Marvel’s archer and you can tell that these creators do too. This series gives a fresh minimalist look and feel to the traditional hero books.