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Sunday, January 16, 2011



Here’s my 2010 Top Twenty list of my favorite comics that I read this year. Next week, I’ll be serving up the first new reviews of 2011—and about time, too!


01. Howard ChaykinBatman/Catwoman: Follow The Money (DC) :: Chaykin’s still hitting all the high notes in a day and age when everyone else is lip-synching.

02. Paul Gulacy & Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin GrayTime Bomb (Radical) :: An ancient plague virus that destroys the world! A time-travellin’ team of terror-busters! More hob-nailed Third Reich ratzis than you can shake a grenade at! All this plus primo penciling by the great Gulacy? You’d better believe it ’cause this one’s fully loaded with nothing but non-stop action from cover to cover!

03. Joe KubertDong Xoai, Vietnam 1965 (DC) :: Who will rise to give thanks that this grand master of the art continues to draw rings around computer-savvy kids who are a quarter his age? I will. Thanks, Joe.

04. Scott MorseStrange Science Fantasy (IDW):: In “Dawn Of The Gearheads” Morse manages to merge ’50s sci-fi shock with ’60s drag strip stock and ends up with a customized futuristic flivver steered by a crazy cat called Headlight. The only thing missing is a special guest appearance by Tura Satana as Miss Headlights!

05. Geoff Jones & Gary FrankSuperman: Secret Origin (DC) :: The trouble with inserting real people into unreal comic books is that—unless you’re Mort Drucker—it’s almost always impossible to constantly render them authentically. But Frank manages to capture the spitting image of Christopher Reeve in every single panel with such uncanny consistency that you actually get a giddy feeling watching him pull it off—and rightly so.

06. Rick Remender & Greg RtiocchiniThe Last Days Of American Crime (Radical) :: Sometimes a wealth of words won’t suffice, so suffice it to say that this is the best new American crime comic now that 100 Bullets has spent its last shell.

07. Brian Azzarello & Lee Bermejojoker and lex (DC) :: This spot-on satire of calvin and hobbes originally appeared in Superman/Batman 75 and is well worth the price of admission alone, no matter what exorbitant back issue bounty your friendly neighborhood direct market comic retailer is now extorting for it.

08. Forrest J AckermanFamous Monsters Of Filmland (IDW) :: I don’t know about you, but I sure sleep a whole heck of a lot sounder at night knowing that the Ackermonster’s influential monster mag is back on track to haunt a whole new generation of fright fans and a host of older ones, too!

09. Cary Bates & Renato ArlemSuperman: The Last Family Of Krypton (DC) :: We all know that Kal-El escaped Krypton’s destruction and came to Earth alone, but what if his parents Jor-El and Lara had escaped with him? Sometimes a good premise can carry a book all by itself—and that’s a good premise, I promise.

10. John Arcudi & Peter Snejbjerg & Bjarne HansenA God Somewhere (Wildstorm) :: Snejbjerg and Hansen drew 2004’s outstanding Light Brigade so it’s no surprise that they’ve once again combined their considerable skills to create yet another transcendent experience which will leave you spiritually enlightened.

11. Joe Simon & Jack KirbyThe Boy Commandos: Volume One (DC) :: Reading these action-packed wartime tales about a buncha ragamuffin Axis-bashers is a certified hoot ’n’ a half, especially with senses-shattering story titles like “Satan Wears A Swastika!” Bonus points for getting Paul Buhle to write the literate comic book Introduction of the year—and if you don’t know what Buhle means when he refers to “The Aspirin Age,” then I suggest that you go and read page xi of Isabel Leighton’s 1949 book The Aspirin Age: 1919 – 1941 to find out.

12. Caanan GrallGeladore (Zuda) :: Best new artist of the year; you’ll see.

13. Adam HughesCover Run: The DC Comics Art Of Adam Hughes (DC) :: Bonus points for drawing such pretty pulchritudinous pictures. Points deducted for writing the introduction to your own book. I guess Paul Buhle was busy.

14. Ian Edginton & Christopher MittenKane & Lynch (Wildstorm) :: What makes bad kids bad? What makes them do the things they do? Who gives a hoot as long as they keep on doin’ it to death like these two congenital miscreants do in this crazy cacophony of chaos!

15. Paul Dini & Alex RossThe World’s Greatest Superheroes (DC) :: Love him or leave him, Ross is the man against whom all other men are measured when it comes to hyper-realism—and this collection contains his most nuanced work since Kingdom Come.

16. Greg Rucka & J.H. Williams IIIBatwoman: Elegy – The Deluxe Edition (DC) :: The elegant artwork will lure you into its web, but it’s the elegiac writing that’ll trap you into staying a whole lot longer than you had originally intended to.

17. Steve DitkoThe Creeper (DC) :: Meet the Creeper in this seldom-seen series of late ’60s psychedelic spookiness. I have a critical blind spot when it comes to anything Ditko so you won’t find me complaining about how downright silly these stories are, even if Michael Fleisher and Dennis O’Neil did write some of them.

18. Neal AdamsBatman: Odyssey (DC) :: I suppose I could go on at length and say something brave and bold like: “On Batman: Odyssey, Neal Adams proves why he’s the definitive Dark Knight artist!” but, c’mon, it’s Neal Adams drawing Batman! What more do you want? Denny O’Neil?

19. Neal Adams & Denny O’NeilSuperman vs. Muhammad Ali (DC) :: You want it, you got it in this long-overdue riotous reprint of the decade!

20. Neal Adams & Denny O’NeilBatman vs. Sonny Liston (DC) :: Not a hoax! Not an imaginary story! Not in my lifetime!

Be seeing you!

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