Now that Christmas is done and gone, and no doubt our debt and weight gone up we begin to look toward the New Year. 2016 was a great year for comic books in general, with the rise of a lot of great independent books from publishers like Image and Aftershock. DC Comics in a sense apologized for the New 52 and DC You with their sensational “Rebirth” line that was launched by Geoff Johns. Marvel continued to do what they do best, put out number ones. With titles like “Champions”, “Death of X”, “Civil War II” and their recent event “IVX” putting the X-Men vs. the Inhumans.
No doubt that the comic book team here at LRMOnline.com has been kept very busy all year picking up a ridiculous number of books week to week. Our passion for the comic book industry is undeniable as we all go above and beyond to bring you comic oriented news and recommendations as soon as it’s available. This includes long hours of reading, traveling to conventions, and phone/skype interviews and of course writing the articles for the site. It is because of this that we have come together to look back and share some of our favorite books, creators and moments of the year. We are going two break this up into three segments throughout the week so it won’t be overwhelming. The contributors participating (besides myself) are Kat Calamia, Michael Connally, Jace Milan, Tim Jousma and Jeremy Scully.
This first piece focuses on some of our favorite books from the "Big 2" Marvel & DC. So here are our categories:
BEST DC Comics books:
Green Arrow Rebirth
Written by Benjamin Percy
Artwork & Colors by Otto Schmidt
Emmanuel Gomez - Somehow this consistently made it to the bottom of my stack and I just fell behind. BIG MISTAKE, the Green Arrow had really benefited from the Rebirth launch. Percy has done a phenomenal job at telling stories that have not only given us a better look at Oliver but his very well-known relationship with Black Canary. I highly recommend this book.
Green Arrow (New 52)
Written by Jeff Lemire
Artwork by Andrea Sorrentino
Michael Connally - Jeff Lemire and Sorrentino made Oliver Queen a badass with some the best storylines prior to DC Rebirth
Hal Jordan and The Green Lantern Corps Rebirth
Written by Robert Venditti
Artwork by Ethan Van Sciver
Colors by: Jason Wright
Jace Milam - Hal Jordan is a character that has been around for decades. From a writer’s perspective, the challenge for such an established character, is to tell new stories and not recycle old ideas. The unique vision writer Robert Venditti has brought to the character has been nothing short of masterful. Following in the footsteps of fan-favorite writer Geoff Johns is a daunting feat, but Venditti has not only survived in the role, he has thrived. His work on Rebirth, telling the stories of Jordan and the other lantern corps, is a pleasure to read. The work of the various artists on the series, from Ethan VanSciver to Rafa Sandoval, has also been top-notch.
DC Universe: Rebirth
Written by Geoff Johns
Artwork by Gary Frank, Ethan Van Sciver, Ivan Reis & Phil Jimenez
Tim Jousma - I really enjoyed the DC Rebirth story. The New 52 was too much of a departure from the traditional DC universe for my tastes. This was a wonderful return to form.
Written by Greg Rucka
Artwork by Liam Sharp & Nicola Scott
Kat Calamia - I’ve never been a huge fan of Wonder Woman’s ongoing series, but Greg Rucka has made me fall in love Wonder Woman! He does a great job at weaving Wonder Woman’s past with her present, and gives a shocking reveal at the end of the “Truth” storyline that truly rocks Wonder Woman’s world.
BEST Marvel books:
Written by G. Willow Wilson
Artwork by Takeshi Miyazawa & Adrian Alphona
Kat Calamia - This year Ms. Marvel explored Kamala’s place as a hero in Jersey City and as an Avenger. I was especially happy to see more character development from Kamala’s supporting characters.
Tim Jousma - Still my favorite comic today. G. Willow Wilson has created one hell of a character and world for Kamala Khan to inhabit.
Written by Al Ewing
Artwork by Kenneth Rocafort
Jace Milam - An incredibly inventive series by writer Al Ewing and superstar artist Kenneth Rocafort. The series is steeped in Marvel history while exploring new ideas and solutions for some of the MU’s most notorious problems, e.g. Galactus. One of the Marvel titles which seems to matter most and feels consequential and you don’t have to read 10 other books to know what’s going on.
Old Man Logan
Written by Jeff Lemire
Artwork by Andrea Sorrentino
Michael Connally - This was hands down the best storyline as a result of “Secret Wars”! Jeff Lemire and Sorrentino have done an amazing job keeping Logan a key piece of the Marvel Universe
Power Man & Iron Fist
Written by David F. Walker
Artwork by Sanford Greene
The Astonishing Ant-Man
Written by Jeff Nick Spencer
Artwork by Ramon Rosanas
Emmanuel Gomez – This is one of the very few Marvel titles that I looked forward to month to month. Nick Spencer makes Ant-Man/Scott Lang very relatable as he tries to be a hero and a father at the same time. Sometimes the best intentions don’t always have good results. This book is very consistent and entertaining month to month.
These are the DC & Marvel books that we enjoyed the most this year. That is not to say that there weren’t a lot other titles from the “Big 2” that we also really enjoyed. Feel free to comment on your favorite DC/Marvel books of the year below! The next piece will focus on Independent titles, which will be released tomorrow.