2011 has come and gone but not without some outstanding comic book publications. While DC Comics and Marvel were the top sellers there was some great work done in other publishing comic companies. Dark Horse Comics led with the death of Hellboy in Hellboy the Fury #3 while comic heroes tend not to ever die in the comic book world Mike Mignola really did it he killed his most well known character Hellboy. Very well written I am sure the series may still be available. Also at Dark Horse Jim Shooter revived some of the greatest Gold Key heroes with Doctor Solar – Man of the Atom, Turok – Son of Stone, Magnus – Robot Fighter, and Mighty Samson. Shooter did a good job of re-introducing these Silver Age characters to a new generation.
While at Dynamite Entertainment from the mind of the late Jack Kirby they re-introduced some of his wonderful characters like Captain Victory, Silver Star, and Dragonsbane with more to come from the comics series Kirby: Genesis. With many covers by Alex Ross you know the art looks good. Follow that with the comic book version of George R. R. Martin’s fantasy masterwork “A Game of Thrones”, Dynamite Entertainment left a creative mark on 2011. The up and coming IDW Publishing got the rights to publish the new timeline favorite from the movie 2009 Star Trek the continuing story of the early days of James T. Kirk and his fellow USS Enterprise crew members. Also in a separate story IDW printed a crossover of Star Trek and the Legion of Superheros series still going into 2012, plus comics with Doctor Who, G.I. Joe, Transformers, and True Blood good stuff from IDW comic book publisher for 2011.
At Marvel we began the year as the tragic saga of “Three” came to an end in the pages of FANTASTIC FOUR #587—and The Human Torch fell. Johnny Storm sacrificed himself so that his niece and nephew as well as his best friend, The Thing, could escape the Negative Zone. With this story came a series change that ended in two titles FF (Future Foundation) and again Fantastic Four adding Spider-Man in the absents of the Torch to make it Four again. These comic books ended the year with Johnny Storm coming back from the Negative Zone victorious and alive again. This story written by Jonathan Hickman may well be the best story trek of 2011 it involves Doctor Doom, the Inhumans, and just about everyone in the story line from the past 2 years.
Marvel also began the year with a cross title Mega event call the “Chaos War” which evolved an entity called the Chaos King or Amatsu-Mikabosh a Japanese God of evil, he is the embodiment of the chaos and nothingness that preceded creation, which wants to wipe out all existence and almost does. Hercules uses his new All Father status to remake the world at the sacrifice of his godhood making him mortal and launching a new series called Herc. Then not to be out done by the Gods of Mount Olympias writer Matt Fraction writes another world threatening event called “Fear Itself” involving Odin’s older brother the Serpent: God of Fear, who claims he is the rightful All Father not Odin. Very interesting story it introduces the Serpent’s the “Worthy” and Odin’s the “Mighty” lead by Iron Man. It ends with much devastation to the earth and Thor finally killing the Serpent then taking nine steps and falling dead. Odin mourns his son’s death then takes his brothers body and leaves the realm of midgard and asgard to the All Mothers: Freyja, Gaea, and Idune, who rule in his stead. Two major storylines that change many things in the Marvel universe.
Spider Island another major event centered around the New York City area. “Spider-Island” the storyline started in The Amazing Spider-Man and crossing over into other comic books published by Marvel Comics. It involve an infection that gave normal humans Spider Powers and eventually turned them into Spider creatures serving the Spider-Queen. It takes Mr Fantastic of the Fantastic Four and others of the Horizon Labs scientists to find a cure then a huge battle and inoculation of the public and the re introduction of Kaine as the clone of Peter Parker as a good guy cured from his previous problems. That is really an over simplification of a very complicated story. Another big story from Marvel.
On the Ultimate side of Marvel you have the Death of Spider-Man, the real death of Peter Parker. His heroic death brings on the introduction of a new Spider-Man, Miles Morales. A teenager of African American and Latino descent, he will have a lot of adjusting to do to fill the shoes of Peter Parker. So far the reviews have been very favorable of the new Spider-Man in the Ultimate Universe.
Well if you are overwhelmed by the events of the comic world I save DC Comics last for a reason. They changed everything with an event called Flashpoint. But before we get to that DC brought back Doomsday to the Superman titles in the “Reign of Doomsday” series. The crossover involves Doomsday hunting down Steel, Superboy, Eradicator and Cyborg Superman, the four main characters introduced in the wake of the controversial The Death of Superman storyline in 1992. The storyline itself draws its title from “Reign of the Supermen”, the immediate follow-up to The Death of Superman. This run of comics will reintroduce Doomsday as you never thought to see him. It results in the introduction of a character called Doomslayer a very interesting story. This leads up to the giant sized Action Comics 900 and the end of the series which was started in 1938.
Meanwhile the events of Brightest Day follow the exploits of these heroes and villains as they attempt to learn the secret behind their salvation. At the end of “Blackest Night”, 12 heroes and villains were resurrected for a later to be reveled purpose. Brightest Day #7 revealed that the 12 resurrected must complete an individual assignment given to them by the White Lantern Entity. If they are successful, their life will be fully returned. It ended when Boston Brand found the new champion who will bear the white light of life and take the Entity’s place. (Revealed as Alec Holland, the new Swamp Thing as of Brightest Day #24)
And that led into one of the biggest events in comic book history the series Flashpoint and the creation of the New 52 the remaking of the DC Universe. Flashpoint was a complete redirection in the DC Universe and change in history brought on by the Flash Barry Allen as he changed an event in his past that set every thing in a different direction an alternate universe. Everything changed with the only one who had knowledge in this time period of how things should be was Barry who no longer had the powers of speed. Without telling a synopsis of what happened Barry was the key in changing it back but in the process a mysterious “Lady in Red” helped him to bring a new universe into existence that resulted in DC’s Vertigo and WildStorm superhero groups brought into the main DCU continuity. You can read about that here in my blog. So this New DC 52 as the creators of DC began calling it was created with no connection to the previous history of events in the DCU. The writers and artist and producers at DC could go in any direction they wanted to. And they did with the retelling origins of all the icons of DC history. There was a new fresh look at the heroes that have been around for over 50 years.
In September of 2011 52 titles started at number one again including Action Comics which had not been interrupted in over 900 issues. Grant Morrison was given the rewrite of Superman origin, Brian Azzarello took on Wonder Woman, Tony Daniel would write Detective Comics, Geoff Johns writer and art Jim Lee for Justice League #1, and there are many more changes which we highlighted in Comics talk during 2011. I think the most dramatic change was the top sales of comic books for the first time in a long time when from Marvel to DC Comics. Mostly because of new readers and old readers that just wanted to check it out. Also DC provided digital copies of comic books the same day of paper publication, this is a first in the industry.
Keep in mind there was a lot of other things that happened in comics but I can only highlight the major ones in this venue. So quite an extraordinary year in comic books, one that will go down in history I am sure. We are here for you to keep you informed on the media known as Comic Book Entertainment and Movie greats with a lot of other fun things mixed in. Stay tuned Comic faithful Fore more. 🙂 Walt