The Marvel-leaning editor’s top picks of the year
By Miles Baker
Series of the Year — Y: The Last Man
I know some people aren’t digging where the book has been going in the last year or so, but I think those people need to check if their hearts are beating. I love that this series as turned to become much more about the characters than whatever the Hell killed all the men. This is been the most cathartic/shocking/sad year for Y ever: from the revelation of what killed the men to 355’s fight with Toyota to Mrs. Brown’s funeral. “Idigi lidigove yidigou, tidigoo.”
Writer of the Year — Ed Brubaker
Dude is on his A-game this year. Captain America is riveting, Daredevil is pitch-perfect, Criminal is worth re-read after re-read, Immortal Iron Fist is super fun, and Uncanny X-Men is okay. I don’t know why Marvel didn’t get Brubaker on Secret Invasion because I think it’s obvious that that would rock so very hard.
Artist of the Year — Pablo Raimondi, X-Factor
This is probably the most underrated man in all of comics and is a perfect fit for X-Factor’s noir-comedy stylings. He hits every dramatic note perfectly and I really love how each and every character has a distinct look, not just different hair colours and lengths.
Cover of the Year — The Lone Ranger #7
That shit is hot. I love John Cassaday’s art and his covers are always amazing and very well composed. This takes top spot because of the noose, it works so well to divide the two main characters.
Hero of the year — Cyclops
That’s right. I said it. Cyke had a fantastic year. He’s always been a favourite of mine, but he’s never been cooler or had better one-liners. Nothing, I repeat nothing, beats this panel
Villain of the Year — Red Skull
Did you kill America’s icon this year?
Comedy Book of the Year — She-Hulk
I love the crazy direction She-Hulk went this year. She marries a man under a love whammy and then he turns into a space wolf? That’s amazing. I didn’t even mind Slott’s way-to-quickly-paced “I really gotta wrap up these plots” issue, because at least it was funny about it.
Splash Page of the Year — TIE, Astonshing X-men #23 (“To me, my X-Men) and Y: The Last Man #58 (“the big Y”)
For very different reasons, but both because they made me make an audible noise after seeing them.
Best Brian K. Vaughan Story of the Year — Y: The Last Man, “Whys and Wherefores”
I was tempted to pick something more obscure by him, like his fantastic Dr. Strange mini-series, but I just can’t stiff this story. I screamed, “Brian K. Vaughan is an asshole” when I finished issue 58. I was so mad — but it was perfect. No comic made me feel as much as that moment did this year.
Best Book…when it comes out — Astonishing X-Men
I want to pick this book for every category. I could write 17 articles about how much I like this series. But reading them would take longer than reading entire run of Astonishing.
Most Pleasant Surprise — The ending of Shortcomings is amazing
Act one of this story was the worst thing that Adrian Tomine had ever written, but, lordy, did he ever save that story. The final confrontation between Ben and Miko was so funny and sad and real. The final chapter made the other books better.
Saddest Cancellation — Exiles
I don’t actually read this book on a regular basis, but based on what I’ve seen of New Exiles, it looks like Claremont just gutted a perfectly decent cult favourite so that he could write a wacky new X-team with all his favourite characters from 1980.