Top o' the Lot: DC Comics for 2014 (so far)
Next in our month-long, weekly series of run-downs of the best comics of the first half of 2014 is DC Comics. While last week’s Marvel list was full of All-New Marvel NOW!, DC was dealing a lot with the legacy of 2013’s leftovers, and sowing seeds for the Future (pun totally intended). There may have been a hiccup or two with release schedules all-around, but no one can say DC doesn’t do it their own way. So, without further ado, we don the cowl (A LOT!), look at the brighter side of Evil, and look toward the Future, with Outright Geekery’s Top o’ the Lot: DC Comics for 2014 (so far).
Honorable Mention: Forever Evil
Forever Evil was a really fun, popcorn movie of a comic event, full of cool characters, neat scenarios, crazy cool team-ups, and the potential to change the DCU for a long time. Everything all sort of fell flat, however, when an untimely delay set the entire series of tie-ins and crossovers back a month or two. Worse still, DC’s next event was pretty much already underway by the time Forever Evil ended, taking most of the steam out of anything that may spin out of the event afterward. Still, it was a neat roller-coaster of a ride, and I really love the Crime Syndicate.
5. Justice League
Did I mention I really love the Crime Syndicate? During Forever Evil, DC’s premiere team title, Justice League was taken over by the same evil doers from the parallel Earth-3 that had taken over Earth. Within the pages of Justice League we were given great insight into this layered and sinister motley crew of super villains, and I loved every minute of it. Owlman’s adoration for a captured Nightwing, Grid’s search for emotion, and oh, the baby mama drama and love quadrangle was brilliantly done. Deplorable, despicable, dastardly, and so very, very fun to read. Geoff Johns could have taken this title anywhere for the event, but he took it to the best place: Evil.
4. Futures End
You can say what you will about weekly comics…and so can I, and all I can say is that the nature of weekly comics has finally caught up to a fair comparison. Most show rentals on Amazon.com run about 2 or 3 bucks, and you can’t even keep those. With Futures End, DC is writing each issue as a 30 minute or so part of a much larger “season” of a story, AND all that beautiful art is your to keep. I really think the strategy behind DC’s weekly comics gamble is going to payoff, simply because this is the way people buy stuff now. Digital is the Future (again, pun intended), and the compelling telling and large scope of the story doesn’t hurt it any either.
3. Batman Eternal
Take everything I said about DC’s weekly strategy (see above) and multiply it by Batman, and you have Batman Eternal. Since launching The New 52, DC has not been afraid to take risks and go all-in. So it makes sense that they’d put their number one selling character, and family of characters, and give him and all of his cavalcade of Bat-folks the weekly treatment as well. And I have to say it’s been a fun, if not slow, build in the very early start to the series. But, honestly, if readers didn’t know that a weekly title was going to be a slow-burn of a story they just don’t get the concept of weekly books. The story being told is a slow weaving tapestry of Batman-family characters getting into all sorts of trouble, and the potential for an epic story is almost certain. Plus, it’s been an entertaining joy of a read despite the slow build. The current events in Batman’s life were great, but so were the tales of his first adventures.
Yes it’s a story we’ve all read before; yes it’s been going on for a really long time; yes there may have been an editorial change because of the title; but I don’t care, I’ve read the hell out of Scott Snyder’s take on Batman’s origin story in the pages of Batman and the Zero Year story, and I don’t care who knows it. And it seems like I’m not alone, either, as sales for Batman have been leading the way for DC’s entire line. And besides, isn’t this what we wanted when they launched the New 52? New and different takes on characters and their entire histories was on the table from the beginning. There’s plenty of time to tell ANY Batman story that needs to be told, but the timing for Snyder’s Zero Year couldn’t have been better.
1. Superman/Wonder Woman
A surprise hit for me, and the title that cemented Charles Soule as a must read writer for my pull-box, Superman/Wonder Woman explored a comic book relationship that readers always wanted to see happen. This book was full of heart, and bravery, and emotion, and a brilliantly written love story that was the perfect balance of romance and super-heroics. All of this was brilliantly drawn by Tony S. Daniel who happens to be one of my favorite artists. Everything just came together in this book. It was the perfect storm of writer, artist, and concept…too bad the whole Doomsday event ruined the whole thing. Despite those tiny failings, this was my go to book at DC for the first half of this year, and I wouldn’t trade those first few issues for all the Batman’s and Forever Evils you got.
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