2007 will forever be the calm before the storm for Marvel Comics and DC Comics. The next year brought the birth of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and The Dark Knight. The two companies had it fairly quiet this year and could thus do their own things more or less. There was a small effort to acknowledge the movies at Marvel but only a small effort. What you had instead was a fascinating, weird year in comics. Time to look back at the comics of 10 years ago.
*This was a year between event minis, which meant it was a year dominated by the weekly series. 52 came to a thunderous, powerful end which cemented it as one of the great epics of the decade. 52 was a model of ongoing serialized storytelling that built to a climax that had an effect on the whole universe. It proved the weekly comic was a good idea.
*Then Countdown to Final Crisis started. Oof. Is Countdown really that bad? Yes, yes it is. It starts out ok with even a few good threads such as the fall of Mary Marvel and at least the idea of the multiverse journey. What it lacks is cohesion. The comic tries to do for characters like Jimmy Olsen and Donna Troy what 52 did for Renee Montoya and Booster Gold but there’s no spark. Many of the plots add up to character assassination. It’s garbage in the end.
*Amazons Attack is as bad as Linkara suggested in his review. There’s not one overhyped word. The nerve of DC to publish the trade without the connecting issues will forever be the biggest cheat in event comics history. But even if every piece you needed was there, this is a trashy, kind of racist, hyper sexist bit of dreck. Pass.
*The Sinestro Corps War was this year by contrast. I’ve praised it before so there’s no need to do so again. It’s a big story filled with character and action. Just what you want from comics.
*Shazam: The Monster Society of Evil hit this year and despite it coming from Jeff Smith of Bone fame it feels forgotten. Unfair as it’s brilliant. Smith plays to kids without shame and it’s just wonderful. Really a sweet read.
*Superman and Batman were pleasantly status quo. I recommend The Third Kryptonian especially. The Resurrection of Ra’s Al Ghul is just ok.
*This was the year of the Initiative. Pretty much everything Marvel did connected to the concept of a 50 state collection of superhero teams. I feel like overall it’s a stellar group of books. Avengers: The Initiative is fantastic. The two core Avengers books are great. Iron Man thrived as director of SHIELD. Solid stuff.
*World War Hulk was the summer event and it’s probably Marvel’s smallest event book ever really. There’s no epic status quo shift. The Hulk comes back to Earth, fights back, and learns what really happened to Sakaar. Slight but damn fun. This is a big, bold, knockaround book. Worth a read.
*The Death of Captain America was just covered in best deaths. Once more, a powerful study of why the character mattered. Cannot say enough great. Fallen Son was a fascinating mini too.
*The Messiah trilogy began in X-Men and I’d argue it’s the best thing to happen to the books in the decade. Endangered Species was a solid prologue to the brilliant Messiah Complex. The books seemed to finally break free of Morrison and the 90s this year.
*Oh god, poor Spider-Man. Back in Black was an unmitigated debacle. It was a ridiculous set of stories that didn’t seem to serve much purpose and reiterated how much Marvel loves the status quo. Even worse, the whole thing was a tie-in to Spider-Man 3, which I swear I can’t begin to fathom the revisionist history on. Oh and there was One More Day. Wait until December.
Next week: Bee Movie.