It is time for our year in review of the comic industry and the Good the Bad and the Ugly in comics. Again the big companies Marvel and DC dominated the scene with the Big Event comics. The ending of Blackest Night and the beginning of Brightest Day in DC Comics and The Siege of Asgard ending with the Beginning of the Age of Heroes in Marvel. There has to be a reason for Big Event comics done by comic creators one to change direction and shake things up and increase sales. It takes the place of promoting a single Hero by involving many at once with the reader thinking of getting more for the price of the comic at 3 and 4 and 5 dollars now. People who buy comics will prioritize their comic budget to see what is going on and buy as many crossovers that they can afford. I think the Ugly in comics is the ever increase in price. It inhibits the buying power of the buyer and if prices dropped it would actually increase sales more than they are and put more in the hands of new readers. While I enjoy reading comics the monthly cost is a factor in choosing what to read. And look at all the new titles that are being released they are flooding the market in hopes that you will buy everyone. It was part of the reason in the mid to late 90’s from last century the sales dropped and put the comic industry in dire trouble not giving the reader a good basic choice of a quality comic.
I thought the industry learned that lesson when they began this century with good comic writing and art in fewer titles. Be that as it may the good of comics must be recognized. The first is Marvel, Siege was well done, they had a conundrum on their hands and had to do something with the god like Sentry: villain and hero and at the same time and they wanted to change the direction from the Dark Reign. Plus Marvel wanted to conclude stories that began back in Civil War with the return of Steve Rogers the original Captain America. Thor is back and becomes a major part of Siege and the comics that followed called the Age Of Heroes.
Amazing Spider-Man finally dealt with the controversial change in history of the marriage of Peter Parker to Mary Jane which was dissolved back in 2007 with the series “One More Day”. They used a new series “One Moment in Time” to re-explain what happened and change direction of Spider-Man and Peter Parker and Mary Jane. The new stories define the character in a way that puts Peter Parker in a better position for good stories. Very fresh in it’s approach a great time to jump on if you have not followed Spider-Man for a while. Incredible Hulk and the Hulk resolved story lines that were started in the “Planet Hulk” story by Greg Pak back in 2006. They also answer the question who the Red Hulk is and who the Red She-Hulk is and who is stronger Green Hulk vs Red Hulk. Plus it sets the stage for the Sons of Hulk story and redefines the father son relationship between Bruce Banner and his sons. All together an excellent story with co writer Jeph Loeb.
The X-Men stories finally finish the Messiah ComplexX which is the climax of events that began with “House of M” in 2005 with the new story line this year called “Second Coming” solidifies what the future of the mutant population will be for the Marvel Universe. The story centers on the return of Cable and Hope Summers to the present day and Bastion’s final campaign to destroy the X-Men. A must read for the X-Men fan.
DC Comics was battling Marvel for the Big Event comics ending the series Blackest Night by bringing back the Anti-Monitor and introducing the White Power Entity and Sinistro as a White Lantern. Plus the White Power Entity resurrected 12 heroes and villains for a task that will be relieved in the year long series Brightest Day to be finished early in 2011. Wonderfully written by Geoff Johns who has been plotting these stories for years starting in Green Lantern: Rebirth back in 2004. The Return of Bruce Wayne was released this year and as the title says Bruce Wayne is back after being hit by the Omega Blast of Darkseid in 2009 Final Crisis. The Flash Barry Allen is back in his own comic again running as fast as ever. DC is redefining the speed force and where the speedster’s get their ability to run so fast.
Superman’s life has changed greatly he was for a while one of many Kryptonians on the earth with the destruction of Brainiac’s hold on the City of Kandor in a bottle. The people of Kandor were freed and they created another world in the solar system and inhabited it. This story arc ended the story which began in Action Comics #844 (2006) about Christopher Kent (Lor-Zod) who was sent to earth from the Phantom Zone and adopted by Lois and Clark Kent. It also dealt with many issues that came from the Brainiac and Legion of Super Heroes stories covered in Action, Superman, and Supergirl comics. A long journey for Superman and Supergirl and the repercussions from it are still affecting them and those around them in current story lines. All together a great collection of stories in DC Comics.
The bad of comics in my opinion was the story line in World War Hulks about the Hulked out heroes pitting Gamma radiated heroes against each other and then writing about it like it was the battle of the century between characters that you would want to read. Silly it was at best and totally a waste of paper. And would somebody please tell me why Deadpool deserves so many titles. How many times can you write about the mayhem and unstable – mercenary called Deadpool please some one fill me in.
I have more to say about 2010 and the comics we read but I will end this now by saying editors, writers, and artist and other comic creators did a wonderful job in producing many comics that I would call a good read in 2010 and some a great read. I will talk more about this soon in a new article reviewing more of this year. See you at the comic shop. Stay tuned comic faithful for more. 🙂 Walt