Category: year in review – 2007

Worst New Series of 2007

Doom DeLuise says: Mighty Avengers!

Mighty Avengers 1I think this is new this year. Either way, I hate it. I got tired of the thought bubbles right away, and the way the characters interact bores the hell out of me. I think I lasted all of three issues before I got tired of that hot naked Ultron villain (forgive me if I forgot all of the details) and super giant sized goo monsters. Yawn. I’m not sure how Ultron ties into Annihilation: Conquest, if it does at all, but if you want to see how to make Ultron a fairly badass villain, look no furthr than that expertly crafted miniseries. Putting him in charge of the Phallanx operation is just super cool and damn scary. Oh, and before I forget, I also really hated the Avengers: Initiative series. So much so that I gave up on anything with the word “Avengers” in the title. I knew that was gonna happen! I even gave up reading New Avengers, which I was enjoying, since it had a couple boring issues, and I didn’t have any motivation to get onboard with all that silly symbiote overrunning New York nonsense.

Jim Doom says: Avengers Classic!

I wrote this when it came out: “Avengers Classic – according to the inside back cover editors’ notes – was inspired by the Classic X-Men series. You see, that series included stories from the Claremont days of Uncanny X-Men with backup stories by other creative teams that took place in roughly the same timeline. This series, however, is apparently going to have stories from the beginning of the Avengers series with backup stories that will be all ironic and sarcastic and just plain cute.

I think you can see the problem here. For every person that says Stan Lee and Jack Kirby were geniuses, there is probably at least one person who forgets how much comic books in the 1960s were really awful. Sure, they may have transformed a genre, and maybe their work is a step up from the other brands of awful that were the norm at the time, but I think comics from the 1960s are best left as fond memories and not dug up for all the kids to see just how full of crap the 50 year olds at the comic store really are.

Now, if the double-backup cutesiness was just a special thing for this first issue, I could maybe see this thing going somewhere. But it already lacks two out of the two things that Classic X-Men had going for it, and that eventually got canceled in an era when reprints weren’t readily available and the internet wasn’t really accessible. Probably not a bright future for this comic. What a bummer of a first issue.”


Best New Series of 2007

Fin Fang Doom says: Buffy the Vampire Slayer!

Buffy 1I’m not even going to pretend I’m being objective here. I love Buffy. This series could be the comic book equivalent of poop on a stick and I’d eat it up with a spoon. Having Joss Whedon write this cast of characters again is a dream come true. Having the much-missed-in-2007 Brian K. Vaughan write the second arc was incredible. So it just so happened this series I was destined to love turned out to be something incredibly worthwhile.

As far as new non-Buffy series go, I’d have to give the nod to Green Arrow & Black Canary. I’m not sure what it is about this series, but I like it. There have been times when I’ve loved Judd Winick’s writing (Exiles), and there’s been times when I’ve hated it (strangely enough, Green Arrow), but something seems to be clicking here. Cliff Chiang’s gorgeous artwork is certainly a large factor. Whoever is the colorist on the book also deserve a big thumbs up. The first arc on Paradise Island was so bright and colorful and just plain nice to look at, especially compared to the dark, gritty tones that are present in pretty much every other comic book.

Doom DeLuise says: Booster Gold!

Boy, howdy, do I love Booster Gold. His series has been super fun so far, and it has limitless potential for where it can go. He’s already traveled to a time when Sinestro was a Green Lantern, as well as to the night Barbara Gordon was paralyzed. Very cool stuff. I like it a lot.


Worst Mini-Series of 2007

Jim Doom says: GAYO!

GAYOGreen Arrow: Year One was a major part in the abuse Green Arrow took in 2007. I started out really liking this, but it ended up being just a stupid retelling-slash-update of Green Arrow’s origin that just made him look like a stupid tool. The type-shout insult of “GAYO!!!” became code for “Oh no – looks like Oliver Queen has gotten into a bad situation – how about something completely random will happen that will conveniently get him (and series writer Andy Diggle) out of this pickle!” when that started happening ALL THE TIME.

Honorable mention: For all the success of 52, there is that glaring poop smear on its record that goes by the name “World War III.”
Not only was World War III a huge disappointment in terms of the story it told, it also showed DC that they could claim “52 issues isn’t enough to hold this story – we need companion series in which we can illustrate monthly stories of nothing happening!!” and PEOPLE WOULD BUY IT. Hence the absolute fecal mess that is Countdown and its weekly irrelevant spinoffs.

Honorable mention: Endangered Species. I guess it set up the Messiah Complex, which has been really good, but I still think the whole motivation behind this miniseries is a drastic bastardization of what the X-Men represent. At least it didn’t cost any extra money to read – if you already bought all the X-books, that is.

Doominator says: Ultimates 3!

In 2007, only one issue of it dropped, but I can already tell I’m going to hate the rest of Ultimates 3. God awful is one word to describe it. That’s not one word? Well, the series is bound to make as much sense. The best thing it can do is hide behind a stack of “Heroes Reborn Get Reborner.”


Best Mini-Series of 2007

Doom DeLuise says: Trials of Shazam!

It may only come out once every few months, but it’s still really pretty awesome, and the art is beyond sweet. I have a lot of complaints about this mini-series, but I had more complaints about every other mini-series, so this is the one I chose as best, sort of as a default. It’s pretty good, but not super great or anything. Everything else is just straight-up worse.

Jim Doom says: Captain America: Fallen Son!

Fallen SonThe best way to make a huge even seem insignificant is to let it happen without much fanfare. Captain America getting killed is a huge event, and planning a miniseries around the various stages of grief featuring Captain America’s closest friends and colleagues was a great editorial decision.

The stories weren’t always homeruns, and the series wasn’t without its flaws. I acknowledged at a few points in the series that the framework they’d built for themselves almost required that the series lose momentum. But for the most part, it was very well executed, and most importantly, it treated the death of Captain America as an event that affected the entire Marvel Universe.


Worst Crossover of 2007

Fin Fang Doom says: Countdown!

Two years ago, the Countdown to Infinite Crisis was exciting and well-paced, its tie-ins were actually relevant, and it really set the stage for Infinite Crisis to pay it all off in a big way. Countdown to Final Crisis has been slow and cumbersome, the tie-ins have mostly just been an easy way to cash in, and there still doesn’t seem to be a cohesive narrative. We should all be very worried about how Final Crisis is going to turn out.

Doom DeLuise says: The Lightning Saga!

Never once during the course of this convoluted, shoddy, over dramatic, hackneyed piece of clap-trap did I even come close to thinking in my head, “Oh, this is neat.” It brought the return of Wally West, and it meant nothing to me by the time that happened. How Not to Tell a Story Rule Number Thirty-Five: Don’t tell a story involving 50 characters who all get equal face time without having a main character or overall narrative for the reader to latch onto. Seriously. Fifty freakin’ main characters.

Jim Doom says: Countdown!

Countdown 50Whether it was the title series, the way in which it would invade books I normally bought, or the countless spinoff titles, nothing has come remotely close to epitomizing the self-defeating excess of the 1990s quite like Countdown. Considering how un-fun this series is, and how completely it killed off the buzz coming off the end of 52, I can only conclude that this series is some kind of self-replicating virus, spreading across the weekly comics stands in order to kill off everything I would normally buy.

As I wrote after reading issue #39, “At this pace, the books keep getting progressively stupider and more poorly-drawn, so I’m predicting that issue #0 will be some crayon drawings of what I can only assume are potatoes or rocks bumping into each other.”


Best Crossover of 2007

Doominator says: Messiah Complex!

Messiah ComplexMessiah Complex was so much better than expected. It’s like two or three years of mediocre X-Men were blown away to make way for the coolest thing in the history of cool. And I’m not talking just comics. This is cooler than anything else that is cool. This is almost as cool as space. And space is fucking AWESOME.

Fin Fang Doom says: The Sinestro Corps War!

If Messiah Complex would have been completed in 2007, it would have had a fighting chance for Best Crossover of 2007. Since it didn’t, there’s really only one possible choice. The Sinestro Corps War was exactly what I want in a crossover: big fights, big suspense, and a plot that’s both entertaining ad logical.

Honorable Mention: Checkout, the Checkmate/Outsiders crossover. The thing I loved so much about this crossover is it made perfect sense. Checkmate is an organization that deals with illegal international metahuman activities, and the Outsiders were metahumans involved in illegal interantional activities. Not only did this crossover have a perfect reason to happen, it wouldn’t have made sense if it didn’t happen.


Worst Hero of 2007

Jim Doom says: Cyclops!

Astonishing 22He’s a dork in Astonishing X-Men, he’s a “douchebag” in Wolverine (Wolverine’s words) and he’s a pompous prick in Messiah Complex. Cyclops has just become a tool. After far too many years of no one giving him the respect he deserved, he’s now demanding it and not earning it. Why do all the hot women like him? Is it because they can manipulate him easily by way of his bloated, yet fragile ego?

Doominator says: no one!

I don’t really hate any hero or villain. For Christ’s sake, I like Longshot and miss Maggott.

Fing Fang Doom says: everyone in Countdown!

52 showed us that you don’t need A-, B- or even C-list characters as the stars of a major book to make it work. If you put a lame character into a great story, that character becomes great as a result. On the other hand, if you put a lame character into an even lamer story, it just sucks. Maybe Karate Kid and Holly Robinson could have been interesting if Mark Waid and Geoff Johns were writing them, but Dini & Co. sure aren’t that good.

Doom DeLuise says: Iron Man!

Let’s not forget that Civil War ended this year, and Iron Man came out winning, but, also, looking like the biggest dick in the world. Few writers have been able to make him heroic and in full control of his rational mind since. He’s making the rounds at redemption, though, getting his helmet handed to him all over the place.

Hey! Check out what we had to say about this category in 2006 and 2005!

Best Hero of 2007

Doom DeLuise says: Booster Gold!

The greatest one you’ve never heard of, Booster Gold. How do you redeem a character that is only heroic for the endorsements, fame, and praise? Make him be incredibly heroic behind the scenes, but have it so that nobody knows about it and still treats him with scorn. And this is the path he’s chosen. Absolutely fantastic. His role in the end of 52, plus his ongoing monthly, has been one of complete and utter fun.

Jim Doom says: Captain America!

Cap FireHe made Civil War worth reading and he was awesome in New Avengers and his own book … and then he got killed. But even in death, he only proved how awesome he was.

Whether it was in flashbacks in books like New Avengers (the scene when Hawkeye joined the Avengers was fantastic) or by inspiring people like Bucky and Tony Stark throughout the Marvel Universe, Captain America’s presence and heroicism were only amplified by his death.

For the most part, if there was a great Marvel comic in 2007, Captain America was involved in some capacity. The decision to kill him off was questioned, but it definitely wasn’t done with any disrespect to the character.


Worst Villain of 2007

Fin Fang Doom says: Iron Man!

There’s no doubt in my mind that Iron Man is not a hero. Every time in 2007 that he appeared in a comic that didn’t have his name in the title, be it Thor, She-Hulk, Captain America, or Civil War, he was presented as a total asshole. Not necessarily evil, but definitely not good. Yet despite the fact that he totally deserved to get pwned by Hulk, Thor, Nova, She-Hulk, and the Winter Soldier, he was still presented as a hero in the Marvel U.

If Marvel were do an all-out heel turn with Iron Man, like it seemed they were doing in 2006, they’d have one hell of a villain on their hands. Until then, they’ve got a villain that’s not nearly living up to his potential, or just a hero that’s a really big dick.

Doom DeLuise says: Captain Atom/Monarch!

MonarchNowhere do they explain why Captain Atom went from being a hero in his Captain Atom miniseries (Captain Atom: Armageddon) before Infinite Crisis to a villain in Monarch’s armor after the Battle for Bludhaven. Countdown doesn’t even come close to explaining it, either. The only time we saw him between those two “events” was when Kyle Rayner caught up with him in the Bleed during the Ion mini-series, when Captain Atom/Monarch wasn’t acting at all villainous. Without explaining why he’s acting like a villain, we have no reason to care about his actions. And, thanks to the Countdown Arena mini, we now know that he’s incapable of being phased during a fight against three Supermen and a whole bunch of Captain Atoms from other universes. Unlimited power? Unlimited stupid, is more like it.

Honorable Mention: The Joker. Whether he was posing as a magician involved in elaborate black magic snuff shows, stuck in Arkham and teasing Jimmy Olsen in a scene reminiscent of Hannibal Lecter’s first appearance (without any drama or relevance), or standing next to Lex Luthor and sneaking up on the JLA several times an issue, the Joker has been a friggin’ joke all year long, only it’s a really bad joke with no punchline.


Best Villain of 2007

Doominator says: The Joker!

A pre-emptive vote for the Joker. Sure, he was kind of scarce this year. But he’s just in hiding …

Fin Fang Doom says: Sinestro!

The antagonist in the biggest storyline in 2007 was a shoe-in for best villain honors. And even in defeat, he remains a badass.

Green Lantern 21Doom DeLuise says: Sinestro!

He brought every A-list villain out of retirement for a full-on attack against the Green Lanterns and the Guardians of the Galaxy, and, in the end, instilled fear within each and every one of them. Enough fear to change the Book of OA and add lethal force to the list of things the rings are capable of. Now that’s something.

Jim Doom says: Sinestro!

He lost the battle but he won the war. Sinestro pulled the right strings and got exactly what he wanted – he put fear into the hearts of the Guardians, and the Green Lantern corps will never be as noble or pure again.

Hey! Check out what we had to say about this category in 2006!