Meaningless Awards of the Week- 9/17/08

Walking Dead 52Best Issue- The Walking Dead #52

If you couldn’t tell by the cover, this issue features the return of Michonne, samurai sword in hand. But happily, that’s not the only return this issue.

Rick and Carl have been on their own for several issues now, and while the stories have been very good (especially last issue’s mysterious phone call), there’s not a whole lot you can do with two people in a house during a zombie apocalypse that hasn’t been done a million times before. So this issue, Rick and Carl hit the road and try to find Herschel’s farm. Along the way they run into some zombies (literally) and Michonne (not literally). And while Rick can’t quite find Herschel’s farm, the next best thing happens: Glenn and Maggie find him.

Glenn and Maggie are back, and they’re riding horses, which means they’re probably living at the farm. Which means Andrea and the old guy with the fishing hat and the twins and the little girl are probably living at the farm too. Man, it’s been almost a year since we last saw these characters, and I can’t even remember half of their names, but I’m glad as hell to see them all again.

Hopefully those new folks with guns on next issue’s cover are just as nice.

Best Team- The Uncanny X-Men, UXM #502

I like the idea of a team roster that isn’t the same every issue. If you’ve got all these mutants living in the same place, why would you always go back to the same 6 or 7 guys when you have dozens of mutants with dozens of different powers at your disposal?

Like for instance, Archangel would be good for recon in a wide open space, but he’s not exactly the type of guy you’d bring into close quarters combat. If you need a teleporter, there are now two you can choose from (and thankfully, they both have pointy ears). And since the other main X-Men book (X-Men: The Legacy) only stars Professor X and Gambit, there’s a hell of a lot of mutants at Cyclops’ disposal now.

Worst Artist- Larry Stroman, X-Factor #35

There’s still three and a half months left in the year, but Larry Stroman appears to be a lock for Doomkopf’s worst artist of 2008. When this guy first started on X-Factor at the beginning of the Secret Invasion arc, I assumed he was just going to be a fill-in, but maybe I was wrong. X-Factor hasn’t been nearly as good as once was after Messiah Complex ended, but it was still a decent read every month. Stroman’s art is putting this title on the verge of unreadable status.

Exactly how bad is this guy? Get out a piece of paper and draw a person. Does your drawing have the basic proportions of a normal human? If you said yes, then congratulations! You’re a better artist than Larry Stroman. If you said no, and your drawing looks like a jumbled mess vaguely resembling a human being, then congratulations! You’re still a better artist than Larry Stroman. He’s THAT bad.

X-Factor 35

Seriously, X-Factor is in trouble if this guy sticks around.

Best Ending- The Joker comes calling, Birds of Prey #122

I like that The Joker is getting around the DC Universe a lot more lately. He was one the leads in the all-villain Salvation Run, and he’s been popping up in Manhunter lately too. But his best appearances outside of Gotham recently have got to be those in Birds of Prey.

Y’see, twenty years ago, The Joker shot Barbara Gordon in the spine and paralyzed her. Unbeknownst to him, this ended the career of Batgirl and sparked the career of Oracle, who is a bigger asset to the superhero community than Batgirl ever could have been. Now, the Joker has teamed up with a bunch of high-tech villains in an attempt to take down Oracle. Of course, The Joker has no idea that Oracle is Barbara Gordon, and that he’s sort of responsible for the hero’s creation.

So what’s going to happen when The Joker shows up on Barbara Gordon’s doorstep dressed as a cop? We’ll have to wait until next issue to find out. My guess? The Joker doesn’t even recognize her, and Babs flies off the handle.