23
Dec
2011
Best of the Rest: Comics
Other Notable Mentions
Chris
This was such a great year for comics, it's honestly hard to decide where to begin.

The DC Relaunch in September gave us a whole bunch of promising books that would probably have been worthy of consideration for the best series list if not for the fact that they launched toward the end of the year. Scott Snyder moved over to Batman, and is currently weaving a dark tale of conspiracy and history as Bruce discovers that he might not know Gotham as well as he thinks he does. Aquaman boasts some of the most gorgeous artwork on the stands thanks to Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, and Rod Reis, and Geoff Johns has done what many believed was impossible: turn Aquaman into a bad ass! Jimmy Palmmiotti and Justin Gray continue to publish one of the best westerns around in All Star Western, a direct continuation of their work on the critically acclaimed Jonah Hex. And Duane Scwierzynski's Birds of Prey is quickly becoming one of my favorite team books of the relaunch, heavy on intrigue, characterization, and ass-kickery.

Over on the Marvel side of the fence, Jonathan Hickman has made The Ultimates exciting, explosive, and relevant once again to the delight of fans who watched with frustration as the once groundbreaking book spun its wheels for years following the departure of Mark Millar. Jason Aaron, known for his dark and gritty work on Scalped astounded audiences with his ability to bring the fun in Wolverine and the X-Men, a book that boasts a stellar cast of new and old X favorites, and packs more insane you-can-only-do-this-in-comics ideas per page than your average Morrison book (Yeah I realize that's an oxymoron and a sacrilege, I'm exaggerating to make a point, the book is good). Mark Waid gave us a Daredevil series that is as fun as it is smart, blending swashbuckling action with clever legal quandries, all the while not ignoring the dark period that defined the character for so many years, but rather making a plot point of the fact that Matt himself has chosen to ignore that period of his life.

Matt Fraction's creator owned ode to all that is awesome, Casanova only shipped two issues in 2011 but his portrait of his protagonist Casanova Quinn reaching his lowest point yet, just as he discovered the identity of his arch-nemesis Newman Xeno was so awesome that I had to wrestle with myself over whether just two issues was enough to consider it for the best series list (it was a CLOSE call).

2011 was a phenomenal year for comics, and all of the great books that launched toward the end of the year ensure that the RTBN staff and I are beyond excited for what's in store in 2012.
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