Category: year in review – 2008

Worst Storyline in an Ongoing Series of 2008

new ways to die amazing spider-manFin Fang Doom says: “New Ways to Die,” Amazing Spider-Man!

While Amazing Spider-Man has been disappointingly good since Brand New Day started at the beginning of the year, the first “major” arc really fell flat for me. With Spider-Man, the Thunderbolts, Anti-Venom and Norman Osborn, there was just way too much going on in a six-issue story. Just like Spider-Man 3, “New Ways to Die” would have been better if they had left everything involving Eddie Brock for a different story.

Another major problem I had with the story is that it was the first major mention of pre-Brand New Day continuity in the title. The history Spider-Man has with Osborn, Venom and Eddie Brock comes from a time when Mary Jane was Spider-Man’s wife. It’s hard to accept that with MJ out of the picture, nothing significant from that history would be different. It’s easy to forget the mistake Marvel made at the end of 2007 when Amazing Spider-Man doesn’t mention anything from before that. But that’s the only thing I can think of otherwise.

Doom DeLuise says: “Search for a Hero,” Robin! (more…)

Best and worst of 2008:
Friends of Doomkopf (part 2)

As we enter the final week of our year-end awards, here are some more thoughts from several friends of Doomkopf.

Robb @ Capes Comics:

Best Ongoing Series: Green Lantern
As a whole, Green Lantern has been the best title out there for your money. The team of Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis have delivered the perfect blend of Earth grounded drama and epic Sci-Fi Space Adventure. Hal is a cowboy and has had more character development since John’s has been writing than he did in his entire history before.

We started the 2008 with the end of the Sinestro Corps Wars and eventually led us to a re-telling origin story of Carol Ferris and Hal Jordan early relationship, Hal’s early pilot years, and his first meeting with Sinestro. Carol is a woman trying to prove herself and hold onto what belongs to her family. Hal is a cocky, plane jocky, who appears to have no regard for rules. Throw in Sinestro as a mentor to the “green” Lantern, and you have the best origin story for Hal ever. We learn that Hal’s origin has strong ties and helps to set the “Blackest Night” into motion.

Best Moment of 2008

green lantern 34Jim Doom says: Hal and Carol, Green Lantern #34

Hal Jordan’s anger had been getting the best of him, and Sinestro lectured him about letting that anger get in the way of doing his job. “You need to grow up, deal with it and get on with your life,” Sinestro tells him.

So Hal decides to do just that and orders the ring to take him to the source of his anger – Carl Ferris, the man whose plane exploded, taking the life of Hal’s father. Carol Ferris confronts Hal at the door, but he busts in, demanding to speak to “the old man.” He charges upstairs to find Carl Ferris lying sick in a bed hooked up to various life support machines. Carol explains that the crash consumed her father with guilt to the point of wrecking his health. Carol had only been pretending to be the public face of the company — her father had nothing to do with the operations, as he’d been too sick to get out of bed.

Learning of what Carol had done for her father and what her father thought of Hal was a huge revelation to him, and suddenly all of his selfishness and resentment was put into perspective. “All these years, all this time. And I’ve wasted it. I’ve wasted it at hating someone. Being angry at someone. Someone who didn’t deserve it. A lot of people who didn’t deserve it.”

The scene ends with a rain-soaked embrace between two lonely people. It’s a formative moment for the man who would become Green Lantern, but it’s also a touching moment between two very human characters. I wrote at the time “I think Geoff Johns is the only mainstream comic book writer who knows how to believably portray tenderness between two fictional adults with real feelings. It made me say ‘Wow.’ And as always, Ivan Reis nails it with his art.”

Geoff Johns has been the go-to guy for great moments over the past few years, and a lot has come from the pages of Green Lantern. Off the top of my head, I’m thinking about the people of Coast City showing their support of Green Lantern, plus that awesome moment when a Sinestro ring chose Batman.

Fin Fang Doom says: Rick’s crazy, The Walking Dead #51 (more…)

Worst Moment of 2008

ultimatum blob waspJim Doom says: The Wasp is dead, Ultimatum #2

There were two striking contrasts in how Marvel chose to treat the death of Janet Van Dyne. In the regular universe, it involved a world of heroes mourning and several issues devoted to reflection.

In the Ultimate Universe, it involved the Blob chewing on dead Janet’s intestines and saying “Tastes like chicken!”

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Jeph Loeb.

Honorable Mention: Martian Manhunter’s Funeral, Final Crisis #2

As I said at the time, “You know that life and death have lost their dramatic impact when the eulogy at the funeral talks about hoping for his resurrection. We know it happens all the time in comics. Let’s not have the characters shrugging off their friend’s death because the editors might want to relaunch his series in a few years.”

Doom DeLuise says: “I’ll kill you! I’ll kill you to death!” Countdown to Final Crisis #13 (more…)

Best Ongoing Series of 2008

walking deadFin Fang Doom says: The Walking Dead!

No title embodied change the way The Walking Dead did in 2008. In the first few months, writer Robert Kirkman killed the majority of the cast and kicked the survivors out of the prison they’d called home for 36 issues. The he switched things up to be about a kid and his somewhat crazy father trying to survive alone. Then the cast ballooned again as old cast members were brought back and new ones were introduced. Now the new gang is on the road to Washington DC, making a stop to check on those two guys Rick met back in his hometown just when this zombie apocalypse thing had started.

The great thing about The Walking Dead is that you never, ever know what to expect. A moment that seems mundane can turn absolutely terrifying in an instant, and characters can be killed or permanently disfigured at a moment’s notice. If the first issue of 2009 is any indication (and the “on time in ‘09” promise actually holds), this series could easily be on the top of the heap next year too.

Jim Doom says: Captain America! (more…)

Worst Ongoing Series of 2008

flashDoom DeLuise says: The Flash!

I’m not sure if this series has been any good in the past couple years, at all, but this year it was so bad that I actually dropped it. This coming from a guy who’s such a huge Flash fan that he even stuck with it through Bart’s awful run, no pun intended.

Wally West’s kids developed super powers, and it became this stupid little Flash Family Happy Hour, and it was freaking atrocious. It seems like every single issue was just the two kids getting in over their heads and having Wally bail them out, followed by a couple pages of Wally and his wife talking about how they don’t know where the kids got their powers or how stable they are.

What a snooze-fest.

The good news for the Scarlet Speedster is that Geoff Johns is going to be writing a Flash story in 2009. You may have heard about it. It sounds pretty badass.

Oh, and, technically, I think this Flash series is over now, as of the last week of the year. Beats me. I don’t pay enough attention to know these things.

Honorable Mention: Nightwing

I thought this baby was getting better for awhile there, but it’s still pretty bad. Thankfully, it’s getting the boot here soon. How hard is it to write a decent Dick Grayson story? I mean, seriously, he’s so much fun, it seems like it’d be hard to screw up.

Jim Doom says: Justice League of America! (more…)

Best New Series of 2008

secret six 1Fin Fang Doom says: Secret Six!

Both Birds of Prey and Gail Simone have suffered in quality since the two parted ways a while ago. Tony Bedard’s BoP is mercifully being put down in a few months, and Simone hasn’t been able to do anything to hold my interest (and I gave Wonder Woman plenty of time to do so). But when Simone re-teamed with her Birds of Prey partner Nicola Scott on a Secret Six ongoing, I was instantly hooked.

Secret Six has become the action caper comic that Birds of Prey used to be. The only difference is that this time there’s a lot more dudes (which the all-female creative team doesn’t hesitate to exploit) and the good guys aren’t quite so “good.” Heroes with questionable morals always make for interesting stories, so throwing six of them in together makes for one entertaining comic.

Doom DeLuise says: Guardians of the Galaxy! (more…)

Worst New Series of 2008

x-force 1Jim Doom says: X-Force!

It’s hard to be too informed in a judgment of a bad series. Typically, when something is terrible, I just stop buying it.

The launch of X-Force was just part of the shallow stupidity that concluded Messiah CompleX. In my review of issue #1, I said “My big problem with X-Force is the philosophical situation set up in which Cyclops thinks he can keep the X-Men’s hands clean by having X-Men dress up in different costumes and call themselves X-Force. The leader of the X-Men is still ordering these hits. […]

The reason I think my nitpicking is more than just standard complaining is because we are supposed to buy these comics because we’re supposed to care about these characters […] But these kids are being used as weapons – just like in Weapon X, and those guys were bad guys, remember? – by Cyclops.

It would be one thing if I felt there were any indication that Cyclops were being set up for a judgment of some sort, but I don’t get that feeling. Instead, I get the feeling that this is just a shallow way to prop up Cyclops as the new and improved Tougher Scott Summers who’s doin’ what it takes to get the job done!”

Honorable mention: Hulk

This was another disappointment I dropped quickly, but it doesn’t get the top spot because I’m not as annoyed by the awful mistreatment of a new character as I am by the awful mistreatment of characters and a franchise that I have a long attachment to.

Doom DeLuise says: Eternals! (more…)

Best Crossover of 2008

new krypton specialJim Doom says: New Krypton!

Thanks to that great New Krypton #1 special, I’ve started buying Superman and Supergirl, whereas I previously only bought Action. My initial plans were to just avoid the crossover and drop Action for a while. Good work, DC!

Fin Fang Doom says: New Krypton!

There’s nothing better than a crossover where you can skip parts of the story and not be confused at all. The only issues of New Krypton I bought were the Special, Superman and Action Comics. The Supergirl issues were very Supergirl-centric, and therefore quite skippable to someone who doesn’t normally read Supergirl. And I didn’t even realize I skipped a part early in the crossover when Part 3 or 4 took place in a Guardian one-shot. It’s nice to be able to read only the issues I want to read and still get a complete story.

Doom DeLuise says: New Krypton!

While the ending could still end up being rotten, and the new status-quo they’re setting up doesn’t look all that terribly interesting, this crossover has been incredibly fun the past couple months.

When is DC going to learn that they can make an amazing crossover by just giving Geoff Johns a paycheck, a couple extra writers, and free reign over whatever he wants to do? After Sinestro Corps in 2007, New Krypton in 2008, and Blackest Night in 2009, I’m starting to think they’re getting the idea, but why waste time with filler like Final Crisis and Batman RIP when you’ve got this guy working for you? He’s a cut above the rest, clearly.

Here are our picks for Best Crossovers in years past:

Doominator: Messiah Complex
Fin Fang Doom: Sinestro Corps War
Doom DeLuise: Sinestro Corps War
Jim Doom: Sinestro Corps War

Jim Doom: Civil War
Fin Fang Doom: Infinite Crisis

Worst Crossover of 2008

batman ripDoom DeLuise says: Batman RIP!

While I enjoyed the Batman RIP story told within the pages of Batman proper, I can’t say that I much cared for dragging all of the other Bat-books into the big crossover event, as they never really interconnected in any sort of crossing-over fashion, aside from the fact that it was occasionally mentioned in Nightwing and Robin that Batman was busy taking care of other business or out of action for the time being.

I, for the most part, really enjoyed the stories told in Nightwing and Detective Comics, but why they were advertised as RIP tie-ins, I simply don’t know. I mean, Detective seems like it was telling a completely unrelated story about the latest threat from Hush. While Batman was taking care of that threat, he was roaming the streets of Gotham in his flagship title, high as a kite, thinking he was some Batman from an alternate reality. That doesn’t exactly line up.

So that’s my big complaint with this so-called “crossover.” Nothing crossed over.

Honorable Mention: Final Crisis

I’m not sure if this even counts as a crossover, but it certainly had a boatload of books that came out as a direct result of its existence, all of which were advertised as Final Crisis tie-ins. Other than the ones written by Grant Morrison, I have a hard time understanding why they even had the Final Crisis logo splashed on the cover.

I mean, honestly, how the heck is Legion of 3 Worlds going to have anything to do with Final Crisis?

Fin Fang Doom says: Secret Invasion! (more…)