Best Trend of 2009

Fin Fang Doom: back-up stories in $3.99 comics!

Four dollars is a lot to pay for a comic book. It’s more than I’m willing to pay for a standard 22-page comic produced by DC or Marvel. But throw in an 8- or 12-page back-up featuring characters I like but don’t sell well enough to have their own book and I’m sold.

DC led the way in 2009 with back-ups. I personally forked over that extra dollar for back-ups of Manhunter in Batman: Streets of Gotham and the Legion of Superheroes in Adventure Comics. Fans of the Question, Blue Beetle and the Metal Men got a chance to see those characters in other books.

Those back-ups even convinced me to buy a couple titles I never would have otherwise tried. The only reason I started buying Incredible Hercules late in the year was the Agents of Atlas feature. I almost passed on Streets of Gotham this week, but that Manhunter feature made the difference.

Of course, they haven’t all been gems. Nomad should be a back-up in something like Runaways, not Captain America. Thankfully, Cap is one of the very few comics I’d pay $4 for on a monthly basis.

Jim Doom: Respecting history!

I’m guessing that the recent trend of restoring original numbering has more to do with cashing in on milestones than actual respect for history, but for me, the ends justify the means. I may be a little off on my timelines, but I think Hulk, Daredevil, Thor and Captain America all got renumbered this year. These books have been published for decades, and Marvel finally wised up and realized that super-high numbers carry some credibility.

Honorable mention: $3.99 bonus content. If $3.99 price tags are going to be inevitable, at least some publishers are attempting to add value for the extra cost. But as MG Doom discussed recently, not all bonus content is created equal.

Honorable mention: Obama covers. I don’t know why these cracked me up so much, but they did. It was just such a bizarre trend that I couldn’t help but love it. Instead of requiring people to wear “Shameless opportunist” badges, you could just see who was putting out Obama variant covers.

Here’s what we found fashionable in previous years:

Doom DeLuise: The Marvel film universe
Fin Fang Doom: Fin Fang Doom buys less crap
Jim Doom: Making $3.99 books worth $3.99

Doom DeLuise: Less Countdown Crossovers
Jim Doom: Killing off Jack Kirby’s Creations
Doominator: On-Time Shipping
Fin Fang Doom: Multiple Artists on One Title