Thursday, December 27, 2012

2012 Year In Review: Comics

2012 solidified my move away from DC. In 2011 before the New 52 launched, I was buying 11 DC titles a month. As 2012 comes to a close, I'm now buying one. Not so good for DC, but it's been a motivator for trying a few different things, including some non-fiction graphic novels.

Comics I've added to my pull list:
A nostalgic add, but I enjoyed the old Devil's Due series so it was worth a go and met my 2012 mission of paying more attention to the smaller publishers (in this case Dynamite) . I dropped it after 8 issues since it wasn't very good but hey, worth a go right?

X-O Manowar
I was never a consistent buyer of the original series, but I did enjoy the occasional issue I picked up and I've since completed the run. I've been very happy to see the return of Valiant, adding all the titles to my pull list as soon as they've been announced. For all that it's the flagship title of the new Valiant I'd probably site it as the weakest of the bunch, but it's worth sticking with for now. I just wish the pacing would speed up a bit (and by "a bit" I mean "a lot" ;))


It's only just getting started so the jury's still out, but it has potential. So long as it doesn't go overboard on the voodoo like the old Acclaim relaunch did with Vol 2, things should be just fine.

Archer & Armstrong
This has been really fun so far. Got to the point quickly, and has kept things rolling since then.

My pick of the new Valiant. A good dose of the current "grim and gritty" style of comics, without *quite* tipping the main character over to the point of "unlikeable bastard". Story pacing has been effective.

Comics I've dropped:
As mentioned, it just wasn't very good. Off the top of my head, I think it was about 5 issues before Voltron itself actually joined the action. Too much standing around talking, and too long to get to the point. Plus the art is a bit on the weak side.

Blue Beetle
I'm not quite comfortable calling this "bad". All I can really say is I just didn't enjoy it. It shares the same problem several of the New 52 titles have - the character just hasn't been around long enough and doesn't have enough past stories under their belt to warrant starting their story all over again from the very beginning. We went through the origin story of the character too recently for me to be able to emotionally invest in it all over again, but really there's no way around it for the current creative team. To fit Blue Beetle into the current DCnU he has to start from the beginning. Just one of those things.

I really like what Geoff Johns has been doing with Aquaman. I just don't like how god damn slowly he's doing it. The Trench storyline was an issue or two too long, but it was cool so I kept on with it. The Black Manta story that followed was slow even by Johns' standards. I just don't feel it's worth my money, even though the overall concept is a good one.

This was terrible from the very beginning, both in the writing and the art.

JLI (cancelled)
I reasonably enjoyed this title but DC got rid of it, seemingly for story reasons rather than low sales. I don't get it but hey, if DC don't want my money...

Moon Knight (cancelled)
I loved this. Moon Knight channeling Wolverine, Spider-Man, and Captain America was a brilliant approach to his schizophrenia. I have no idea if this thing ended due to sales or if it was just due to end anyway, but I was sorry to see it go.

Hellblazer (soon to be cancelled, at least)
OK, this isn't ending until 2013, but I'm gutted about this so I'm adding it here to indulge in some extra angst. I buy it in trade format so I'm technically not losing it off my pull list, but well... for me it's the shining beacon in DC's roster, certainly as far as the last 16 months have been concerned with their superhero output. *sigh*

Comics I'm still reading:
So this is the section where I mention all the comics that I've been collecting for longer than just the past year. Somewhat depressingly, the list rounds out at one.

There will be a separate post coming about this series in the near future, but I will say this: I'm excited to see where Dan Jurgens will take the character, I just hope he gets a chance to do it before getting cancelled.

That rounds out the monthly titles I bought on a regular basis. There's a couple of graphic novels I'd like to mention, but I think I'll make a separate post for those. This post is a bit on the long side ;)

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