I've never done anything like this... but apparently end of December/beginning of January is the time for lists. So without further ado, here is the very first Favorites of 20XX (which is also the year Megaman X takes place) list for Music City Comics!
This year, Marvel Comics started a new volume of Captain Marvel (the second volume of Carol Danvers's adventures as the Captain) that was expertly written by Kelly Sue DeConnick. Each issue contains laughs and heart and strong female characters that aren't limited to just the title character. There are also occasional guest appearances from other Marvel Comics characters which all make sense in the situations and aren't just thrown in for sales, including one of my favorite ol' X-men universe characters, Lila Cheney. DeConnick's story has been extremely enjoyable and I'm sure will continue to be, but what makes the series even better is knowing the community it spawned. The two volumes of the series created the Carol Corps, a group of people who started out as just fans of the characters but developed into a team that supports each other very admirably. A series that can create friendship, strong female characters, humor, and great sci-fi stories was bound to get a commendation. For another killer Kelly Sue DeConnick read, check out her new Image book, Bitch Planet.
Favorite On-Going Trade:
This year, Image released the first volume of an incredible journey (that started in 2013) known as Sex Criminals. The story is written by Matt Fraction with art by Chip Zdarsky and it is brilliant. This trade is riddled with laughs, character development (sometimes for the worst), and people who can stop time by doing it. You know... it. You get to see these characters get used to their abilities and use them in funny but very honest ways. Fraction and Zdarsky are the perfect team and work completely in sync with one another, which results in a totally cohesive story. The character models look very similar to many people and will make you think "Oh hey, I know someone who looks like that" which brings you to a whole new level of humor. As the volume progresses, some mysterious characters present themselves, creating an even more pressing need to read more. At $9.99, there is no reason not to get this book, especially if you like fun. There are some extras included in the back, most hilarious of which being the list of sex positions that the team made up for this series. There is also a satirical companion book titled Just the Tips, which consists of sex advice, erotic stories (my favorite of which has a vampire), and some useful drawings. This series has received a huge fanbase in a short amount of time and it is easy to see why. The second trade gets released this March for $14.99.
Favorite One-Shot Trade:
This is going to be short, because once again, I will podcast about this one day (by the way, the first episode is almost done). Naja is about the worlds #3 assassin who is intense, emotionless, and [for the most part] cannot feel pain. She finds herself being hunted by some of the other assassins, and must go on the offensive to figure out why. The bodies begin to pile up as she slowly solves this dangerous mystery. Bengal has a very distinct style, with very smooth backgrounds and character details and confidently drawn human figures. It is an interesting read in a gorgeous oversized hardcover volume (it even has one of those fabric built in bookmarks). The trade is large, beautiful, and only $29.99. Give it a read!
Favorite First Issue:
Another Image series that started this year, Wytches (written by Scott Snyder with art by Jock), is an incredible addition to anyone's subscription list. The first issue of this series is absolutely terrifying and that is because Snyder and Jock write/draw about the unexplained. Characters starting in the first few pages find themselves in impossible, claustrophobic situations that set the tone for the rest of the issue. Jock's uneven lines create an uncertainty of what is lying in the shadows while Snyder crafts a backstory that creates more questions and a greater feeling of uneasiness. In the back of the issue there is a true story of Snyder's youth that is pretty Blair Witch esque and successfully adds to the story. The series comes out monthly (the fourth issue coming out this month) and is only $2.99. The first issue was just reprinted as an Image Firsts issue, available for $1.00.
Most Daring Publisher:
Since the beginning I have loved the books that Black Mask Studios has put out and this year they REALLY showed off the quality they will be producing. With incredible titles such as Last Born, Godkiller, Pirouette (there's a review I wrote around here somewhere), Critical Hit and more, the publishing company continues to impress. Some of the characteristics that these series include are also controversial, and written masterfully by the fledgling publisher. The amount of talent that has been collected in the short time the company has been around is admirable and it is hard for me to imagine that Black Mask Studios isn't going to be a big deal. If you haven't picked up a title from them yet, then give it a shot, you will not be disappointed.
Favorite (possibly most ridiculous) Moment:
Free Comic Book Day 2014 produced many fun stories, including G.I. Joe vs. Transformers #0. In this issue, surprise, the Joes fight Cobra Commander. In a huge firefight Snake Eyes lands on Cobra Commander's plane, and stabs him in the gut WHILE getting shot in the face. It doesn't make sense and I don't quite get it... but it was a pretty epic moment. Don't worry, Snake Eyes lives.
2014 was an EXCELLENT year for comics and I cannot wait to see what 2015 has in store!