Category: year in review – 2007

Best Writer of 2007

Doominato says: Mike Carey, Ed Brubaker, Peter David, Craig Kyle and Chris Yost!

I really like Grant Morrison, but his turnout this year has been pretty lax. I don’t really have a good vote. Except for the combination of writers that gave me a throbbing gristle for “Messiah Complex.”

Fin Fang Doom says: Ed Brubaker!

Ed BrubakerWhile it’s hard to vote against Peter David for best writer of anything, I’ve got to hand it to Mr. Brubaker. In 2007, he made me care about a series where the title character is dead. He made me care about Daredevil, Iron Fist, Storm, Warpath and even Hebzibah. He made me care about a comic without a single superhero or zombie within it’s pages. Everything that’s had Ed Brubaker’s name on the cover was just a treat to read in 2007.

Doom DeLuise says: Ed Brubaker!

Criminal, Daredevil, and Captain America are three of my favorite ongoings, and it’s all because of Brubaker (and some phenomenal art in all three). Reading Captain America since his much-hyped death in issue 25 has been one of my biggest pleasures of the year, because I could see how easily the entire thing could’ve been fumbled (ahem, Captain America: Fallen Son, ahem), but it hasn’t faltered, and Brubaker is to thank for that.

Jim Doom says: Brian Michael Bendis!


Best Artist of 2007

Jim Doom says: Tie (Ivan Reis on Green Lantern and Leinil Yu on New Avengers)!

As far as my personal enjoyment of comics goes, it was a treat that the two best artists of the year were able to work on books written by the two best writers of the year.

Green Lantern 23While I tend to enjoy virtually anything written by Geoff Johns and Brian Michael Bendis these days, it says a lot that Ivan Reis and Leinil Yu are so great at what they do that their contribution often overshadows those of their accompanying superstar writers.

Johns built the structure, but Ivan Reis made the Sinestro Corps War. That story simply would not have worked as well without Reis handling the most important chapters. He simultaneously masters cinematic layouts with precise attention to detail, employing intricate cross-hatching without ever being stiff.

Yu is far more expressive in his work, and the tone of his drawings perfectly complements the claustrophobic action and dark humor Bendis writes in New Avengers.

Bravo to the assignment editors who put these guys on their respective books with these writers. The subject matter and the talent behind the words definitely helped elevate these guys.

It’s also probably worth noting that both books stayed on schedule. Reis took a few months off before the Sinestro Corps War, but it’s a lot easier to love an artist when you don’t have to also hate him for making you wait.


Worst Artist of 2007

Doom DeLuise says: Michael Turner!

Sub-Mariner 6Just look at that awful cover to Sub-Mariner #6. I honestly don’t understand how he’s considered to be one of the current A-list of artists. I’ve said it before, and I’ll continue to say it every single time somebody asks me. If Michael Turner is still drawing, and people are still paying for his garbage, the answer to the question, “Who is the worst artist alive?” will always, for me, be Michael Turner.

Jim Doom says: a whole lot of guys!

I tend to avoid art that I hate, which means I don’t know if I really stuck with any bad art long enough to give someone my top spot.

Billy Tan, Uncanny X-Men
Let me say, I absolutely do not understand ANY appreciation of Billy Tan. Not only does he not draw his own backgrounds, but his foregrounds are full of flat-faced, distorted-figured, expressionless UGLY PEOPLE! And judging by the anatomy he regularly uses for his women, Billy Tan has apparently never seen an actual female and he also apparently does not have internet access.

Joe Madureira, Ultimates 3
I’m starting to wonder if even Marvel realizes Joe Madureira sucks, considering how over-the-top their hyperbolic build up to his return was. Nobody could live up to that hype, so it instead reeked of “Goddang, this guy is crap; Let’s NEVER give people a chance to think that!”

As I wrote when it came out, “Joe Madureira’s storytelling is downright awful. You’ve either got to be awful or maliciously good to be able to make a well-trained human eye want to read right to left.”

And no list of the year’s worst artists would be complete without mentioning Michael Turner. This may have been his worst year yet, highlighted by that disgusting Justice League cover with Power Girl and her Impossible Breasts.


Worst Writer of 2007

Fin Fang Doom says: Reggie Hudlin!

BET REGINALD HUDLINReggie Hudlin is batting 1000! Unfortunately, he’s batting 1000 at sucking ass. Now I know what you might be saying to your computer right now…”Fin, if you hate Reggie Hudlin so much, why are you still reading his comics?” Well, I’m not. That’s how bad Reggie Hudlin is. I don’t read anything he writes, and I still know everyone else is better than him. Even Chris Claremont is a better writer than Reggie Hudlin, and Chris Claremont is terrible. That guy ruined one of my favorite comics, but Reggie Hudlin nerarly ruined Spider-Man. In fact, Reggie Hudlin probably softened Spidey up for the thorough ruining Spidey got at the end of 2007. In summary, Reggie Huldin sucks.

Doom DeLUise says: Jeph Loeb!

Jeph LoebHis writing on Wolverine was terrible, as was his stuff on Captain America: Fallen Son. Plus, he wrote some Onslaught nonsense that nobody read, but probably really sucked. Most recently, he started in on ruining the Ultimates, with a horrible debut issue. Plus, the fact that he’s associated with a certain television program I won’t name, he automatically qualifies for worsts on anything he tries to do.

Honorable Mention: Joe Quesada. Although he’s not technically a writer, and he hasn’t been credited as writing anything this year, you could see his fingerprints all over The Amazing Spider-Man One More Day story-arc. And that was just godawful. How do you explain all of the changes that took place, Mr. Quesada? “It’s magic; it doesn’t have to make sense.” Kudos.

Honorable Mention: Brad Meltzer/Dwayne McDuffie. It doesn’t matter which one was writing it; they both made awful contributions to the written half of the Justice League of America. That series has been unbelievably bad throughout all of 2007, and I’ve gladly dropped it as part of my New Year’s Resolution to only buy comic books that I know I’m gonna like (excluding Countdown).

Honorable Mention: All the Countdown People. Who knows who these guys are (other than Paul Dini), but man, oh man, do they all suck balls.

Jim Doom says: a whole lot of guys!


Most Underrated Creator of 2007

Doominator says: Jeffrey Brown!

“Clumsy” is absolute garbage, but everything he’s written since then has been good in a way that makes me feel uncomfortably emo. Feeble Attempts may be one of my favorite finds of the year. His interpretation of Jesus almost makes me a prayin’ man again.

Fin Fang Doom says: Salvador LaRocca!

Uncanny X-Men 491I honestly couldn’t think of someone that was really under-rater in 2007 I until I read Jim Doom’s entry below. Ivan Reis is a great artist, but I’m not going to write about him again. But pretty much all of Jim’s entry reminded me a lot of another artist: Salvador LaRocca.

LaRocca’s been one of the utility players at Marvel for about a decade now, always churning out above average work at an above average rate. In 2007, despite not having a regular gig, LaRocca really took his game to the next level. He has begun to make each and every character he draws look unique and realistic. LaRocca’s work on Uncanny X-Men last year really stood out to me. His Storm stands out to me as probably the best representation of the character in the dozen or so years I’ve been reading X-Men comics.

LaRocca’s spent most of his career jumping between high profile books like Fantastic Four, Uncanny X-Men, X-Men and Amazing Spider-Man, but I don’t think he’s ever been considered part of that elite group of artists that for some reason are allowed to get by just drawing a few dozen covers or three issues a year. Maybe that’s a good thing, though.


Most Overrated Creator of 2007

Jim Doom says: I guess I’ll have to say Michael Turner!

Somebody thinks he’s good because he litters the front cover of comic books constantly and he really, really sucks. I can’t think of any other examples of such mediocre-to-awful output being so heavily rewarded.

Doominator says: Jeph Loeb!

Jeph Loeb

Wolverine vs. Sabretooth made me hate comics and the fanboys who read them with an unnecessary fight and unnecessary death. He was a second issue of Ultimates 3 away from my worst writer vote.

Fin Fang Doom says: Jeph Loeb!

I don’t think the man has done anything good since Superman/Batman. Surely everything he’s done at Marvel has been pure drivel. Wolverine, Fallen Son, Ultimates 3, and probably some other stuff I’m forgetting because it was so bad, was not good at all. Yet he’s still hailed as one of the best writers in the business, and gets to destroy the Ultimate Universe and Hulk in 2008. Go figure.

Doom DeLuise says: Paul Dini!

Everybody treats him like he’s God’s chosen one with all the stroke, but his name appears on every single damned issue of Countdown, so, like, he’s not. Oh, Alex Ross sucks, too.

Hey! Check out what we had to so about over-rated writers and artists in 2006!

Worst Single Issue of 2007

Doom Deluise says: Amazing Spider-Man #545!

Amazing 545Coming in just under the wire, let’s turn to the judges. Does it count? It counts! Amazing Spider-Man #545, you’re not only the single worst issue of a comic book in the year 2007, but you might be the single worst issue of a comic book ever written. Congratulations! You FUCKING suck! You’re so bad, you ruined twenty years of stuff that was better than you. That’s a lot of issues that you completely ruined. Way to go, you must be proud of yourself. Welcome back, Harry Osborne, webshooters, and teenage angst. Good-bye, twenty years of character development and continuity. It’s like a gay dad accidentally raping his son.

Honorable Mention: Civil War: The Return. I can’t think of a single more ineffectual, unnecessary issue than this one. They brought back Captain Marvel in this much-hyped stand-alone tie-in, yet, within the pages of Civil War, he only showed up for a single panel, in the background, to no fanfare. Remember, Captain Marvel’s death was the first giant event in Marvel Comics’ history. And then they slipped him back in, fully alive, at the 11th hour of Civil War. Seemed annoying and pointless at the time; strikes me as desperate and pathetic in hindsight.

Jim Doom says: Marvel Zombies: Dead Days!

Marvel Zombies: Dead Days was probably the worst comic book I’ve ever read. I can’t even think of anything that comes remotely close.

Honorable mention: The Goon #19

As I wrote in July, “This comic has just gotten downright sad…Good looking art, really stupid story. It’s like the guy had a finite number of ideas that were fresh and exciting for the first dozen or so issues, but since then, is cluelessly cursed to reviving them and firing scattershot at the page, hoping that Frankie’s vulgarity and occasional visual non sequiturs would somehow fall conveniently into a humorous and intriguing combination. It just doesn’t work, and it’s so mind-boggling that something so incredibly good has devolved into something this bad.”


Best Single Issue of 2007

Fin Fang Doom says: Sensational Spider-Man Annual #1!

Sensational Annual 1Back in May, Marvel published a pretty decent annual to their worst Spider-Man series. Written by Matt Fraction with art by Salvador LaRocca, the stand-alone story was a love story to Peter and Mary Jane. Not a love story about Peter and MJ, mind you. It was a celebration of the love the two have shared throughout the years. Coming on the heels of the recent Spider-retcon, the mere fact that anyone would have been allowed to say anything so positive about Peter and MJ’s relationship is baffling. What’s even more baffling is how anyone, aftger having read this issue, could think the marriage has been an negative thing for Spider-Man.

The story was set post Civil War, where Spidey is a wanted fugitive and everyone knows Mary Jane Watson is his wife. MJ is visited in a cafe by an old boyfriend, who asks her what it’s like to be married to a superhero. Simultaneously, Peter is meeting with a police detective that he’s recently come to have a semi-trusting relationship. Peter and MJ each start to tell their guests about the history of their lives, specfically the history of their lives together. At the end, it’s revealed that MJ’s ex is now a SHIELD agent, and he’s there to force MJ into telling him where Peter is. Peter, thanks to a tip from the cop he’s meeting with, is able to rescue MJ right in the nick of time.

There usually aren’t a whole lot of feel good moments in comics these days. Stories rarely end on a postive note. I guess there’s not a whole lot of excitement in everyone being happy. Which is why, when one of those rare feel good moments does come along, it’s even more special. Sensational Spider-Man Annual #1 was one of those.

Doom DeLuise says: Criminal #5!

The conclusion to the first arc in Criminal was absolutely pitch perfect. Ed Brubaker wrote a lot of really great stuff in 2007, but this issue is his best.


Worst Ongoing Series of 2007

Doominator says: Justice League of America!

You know when there’s supposed to be this awesome thing that happened awesomely and it was awesome? Brad Meltzer’s plodding JLA missed the mark by lengths that are staggering. Was it the worst thing to happen to comics this year? Well, probably not. But to determine worst, you have to temper the hype surrounding everything. Weighing hype with delivery, JLA was like that semester when you told your parents you were going to make honor roll and instead spent “homework time” beating off to Christina Aguilera videos. Not that I would know.

Fin Fang Doom says: Exiles!

Exiles 100Exiles used to be one of my favorite series in comics. It was one of those rare circumstances where I picked up the first issue on a whim and was immediately hooked. I’d say that throughout the years, it had it’s up and downs, but that’s not really true. It’s pretty much always been up. Judd Winick’s run was great, Tony Bedard’s run was great…hell, even Chuck Austen’s run was great. That’s right, Chuck freaking Austen. Exiles seemed like it would join Amazing Spider-Man, Uncanny and adjective-less X-Men as one of the titles where if they’re still publishing it, I’d still be buying it.

Then along came 2007, and along came the worst villain to ever plague the Exiles. Worse than the Phalanx, worse than Hyperion, even worse than Proteus. That dastardly villain was none other then fabled X-scribe extraordinaire, Chris Claremont. Claremont jumped on the book in January band proceeded to clean house. Power Princess left with to make room for Claremont’s pet project Psylocke. Heather Hudson was taken out and replaced by Ultimate-esque Shadowcat. The Timebreaker bugs were taken out so the new higher power could be Roma or whoever from the Captain Britain Corps. Spider-Man 2099 and Longshot left to bring in a non-blue, non-female Mystique and a Rogue. By late 2007, Exiles was looking less and less like the book I’d loved for six years and more and more lie Chris Claremont’s personal playground. Then Claremont did the unthinkable…he replaced Blink with Sage.


Best Ongoing Series of 2007

Jim Doom says: New Avengers!

New Avengers 35Going back through my weekly reviews, it is clear that no comic was more exciting for me to read each month than New Avengers. And as I managed to explain nearly every month, the irony of this is that I was really close to dropping it a little more than a year ago. But when Civil War came, the New Avengers were split, and the book became a series of solo stories about how the Civil War was affecting the team’s heroes. Another change that happened at that time was the addition of Leinil Yu as regular artist. I have absolutely loved that guy’s work since he developed his own style, and it was a huge treat to have him start on a book that I was already reading.

So the big story of 2007 involved the New Avengers becoming an underground team of renegades and it was also the launching point for some of the first pieces of the Skrull invasion. Bendis employed several different storytelling styles – for example, one issue was entirely structured around a posthumous letter from Echo to Matt Murdock, and another issue was structured within a conversation between the increasingly-paranoid Luke Cage and his increasingly-frustrated wife Jessica Jones. Doing things other than “fight for 22 pages” seems to rub some readers the wrong way, but each week, something internal or external was developing and the story was advancing in an exciting way that made me eager to come back.

There are few comics that can effectively encompass a wide spectrum of emotions while still managing to tell superhero comics stories. New Avengers nails it each month. Other comic books are pleasant surprises when I see they came out that week; New Avengers actually makes me look forward to sitting down and reading.

I wrote this back in May: “It reminds me of the experience of watching Lost – it doesn’t matter if certain things are obviously coming; theres not a lot of point in anticipating other things because some are going to be completely out of the blue; the joy is in how we’re going to get there.”

The only asterisk to this selection is the awareness that Leinil Yu is leaving the book in 2008, but at least it’s to move on to the Skrull invasion series.