Meaningless Awards of the Week- 2/14/07

Astonishing 20Most Economical Characterization- Beast variant cover, Astonishing X-Men #20

This variant cover by John Cassaday tells you everything you need to know about Hank McCoy in one simple, two-toned image. First, he’s a big furry cat-like thing. Second, he’s incredibly agile. And above all else, he follows proper etiquette. Pinky’s up!

Best Twist- no one dies, New Excalibur #16

The latest arc of New Excalibur is titled “Fallen Friend.” Here’s how the issue was described in the solicits: “One of the team’s members suddenly succumbs to an all-too-real tragedy. The team must pull together and care for their fallen friend while their own lives fall to pieces.” As I’m sure most people did, I assumed someone was dying in the issue. As it turns out, the “fallen friend” in question didn’t die. Nocturne had a stroke. It’s not very often that a superhero succumbs to a real-life ailment and it’s treated like one. Superheroes die and come back to life every other month. They get limbs ripped off and live to fight another day. But in New Excalibur, Nocturne can’t move half of her body anymore. She can’t speak correctly. She can’t even remember the names of her friends. And it doesn’t look like things are going to get better any time soon.

Manhunter 28Best Pacing- Manhunter #28

The last issue of Manhunter ended with someone claiming to be Ted Kord showing up at Wonder Woman’s trial. With such a high-profile dead superhero, you might think it’d be obvious by the next issue if it was really him or not. Not here, though. He passed Wonder Woman’s magic lasso test and even submitted to a DNA test by Batman. This really seems like the Blue Beetle we all know and love. But DC wouldn’t do that, would they? We won’t know for sure until next issue, and by that time the suspense will be killing me.

Best Villains- everyone fighting Nextwave, Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E. #12

The final issue of Nextwave starts with the team battling a robot in a white tuxedo and top hat. Then it’s revealed that the actual villain behind said robot is a baby MODOK. But it turns out that the baby MODOK isn’t the actual villain either. The person who’s been giving Nextwave so much grief isn’t a person at all…it’s Devil Dinosaur. Devil Dinosaur in a smoking jacket holding a pistol and a glass of champagne. ‘Nuff said.