Sunday, December 27, 2015

A Year of Comics I read in 2015

Sadly there were A LOT of disappointing and bad comics this year. There were also some bright spots that are worth mentioning. If I get WAR and RSOB before the new year and feel like their worth mentioning here I'll add them.

Biggest Surprise: I didn't plan on getting Doomed, the Sneak Peek won me over enough to give it a try. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. The potential it had was amazing and I loved the characters. It was a story about someone who because a monster on the outside but still remained a good person. The concept is Hulk-like the execution was what made it fun. There were conflicts yet a lot of people including an antagonist saw through his appearance to see something deeper. There's a lot of heart here that's lacking in the books I hated this year.

Biggest Disappointment: Robin War. Where everything revolves around Dick Grayson and the other Robins are reduced to stereotypical character traits that just happen to be there contributing nothing of value. It's horrible. The dialogue, the bad characterizations, the in universe "logic." Pretty much everything except the art, tie ins and the We Are Robin issue. We're supposed to think Dick is great after he betrays his family and the kids he was training. Alfred despite forming this group that's being hunted down by the police is absent. The cops put all these kids still in costumes in suspended cages above explosive material and it never occurs to them the kids have any weapons hidden. The same cops that regularly deal with costumed criminals. No one questions how these expensive cells are already prepared not even Gordon.

Damian trying to escape which is rendered entirely pointless. Tim has to remind Damian he died. Jason randomly reminds Tim he's not an official Robin since he only took the title Red Robin in this canon. For some stupid reason Jason is blaming things on Tim and picking fights with him. Why? It can't be to make the Owls believe they want to kill each other because they didn't know they were involved or wanted a fight. So much is completely ignored because of bias and shitty writing. This event didn't show why the Robins are great (except the RHA and WAR issues) it reinforced why cash ins and editorial mandates are bad. It also highlighted another problem with this age of comics: the lack of character consistency and not making sure the writers do their research. I think a newcomer would wonder why the hell anyone likes the Robins after reading this awful event.

The Funniest thing I Read: Nothing stood out as much as last year but Red Hood/Arsenal had some funny moments as Roy tried to make them a business venture. But Roy didn't really think the ad campaign out like what happens when you combine the first halves of their code names.

Best Supporting Character: Doc Brown has been the star of the Back to the Future comic but Marty Mcfly plays a supporting role. Doc tells his sons  stories of why he's such good friends with Marty despite the age gap. Marty doesn't care that Doc is seen as a weirdo and actually understands some of his rather odd thinking. This duo never seem odd together and this comic remind us why.

Worst Character: You know DC keeps ticking me off with how the bat writers handle characters. Bruce has been on this list before which isn't a surprise. Damian was when Tomasi was writing him. They got me to actually dislike Babs to the point I still groan when I see her and don't want to read about her. When Tynion was writing I almost had a RHATO entry. I was fully expecting to have Alfred on here after he screwed the Robins over this year. Imagine my surprise that they managed to make me pissed off at another bat family member. Dick Grayson. Keep in mind I'm not even getting into all the bad things he did this year. His title is pretty unbearable but once Robin War rolled around I couldn't believe DC let them print this crap.

Dick returns to Gotham due to his brothers requesting his help with the hundreds of kids in the We Are Robin movement. He talks a good talk about training and what the legacy means then plans for all the Robins after him--yes including Jason, Tim and Damian--to get arrested. Keep in mind he never told his adopted brothers because he knew they'd say no. This is after he said there would be no more secrets between them. Now he's a mini Bruce that manipulates, lies and always assumes he knows best. What's worse is Dick's built up as the perfect Robin in this so you know that like Bruce there will be no consequences for his actions. He's not even remorseful and unknowingly put the Robins into the Court of Owls grasp. It also gives off the impression Dick doesn't see the Robin legacy as a mantle as he thinks that he alone (not his adopted brothers) should decide what becomes of it. Screw that.

Best Female Character: Princess Leia. I didn't think her mini was as good as it should have been but she's also in the Star Wars ongoing. Leia never takes crap whether it's from the Imperials or her love interest Han Solo. She's always been a great leader that's strength is incredibly inspiring.

Best Male Character: Kanan from Kanan The Last Padawan. The guy was just a kid when the Jedi order was betrayed and hunted down. His life changed in the blink of an eye, he had no one to go and was so sheltered he had no idea how to survive on his on. The mini series shows how Caleb Dume started to become the man we know as Kanan. It's a good story even if you never saw the tv show.

Best Character Development: I listed him before and did try to think of someone else. The only one besides my choice that really has a lot of character development is Kanan which tells us how he came to be the person he is now. Since not many dispute who he is I decided to go with Red Hood/Arsenal Jason Todd. This year he showed AMAZING restraint with dealing with Roy while his friend was dealing with some troubling issues. Roy did some things that most of us would deck him for like testing an invention by drawing a flame thrower on Jason when he was in the shower. Through that and the other things Roy did Jason remained a supportive friend with a great deal of maturity.

He opened up to Tim and helped strength their relationship. In return he learned how much his legacy meant to Tim. Jason recently took a risk by deciding to try to redeem Jokers' Daughter. I might not agree with it as she seems kinda unstable but damn that's still a huge development for Jason. Think about it: he is making the effort to attempt to reform someone who's dangerous and wants to follow Jokers" legacy. Whether isn't a smart choice or not it's still incredible that he wants to try. That's not something many would expect from Jason Todd. He's willing to look past his with Joker and returns to the root of his character: relating to others who suffered like he has.

Most Annoying Disregard of Canon: Robin War. Dear God this was abysmal and it's not even finished yet. Characters are wildly out of character, the plot makes no sense and attempts to simplify it only raise more questions. Apparently We Are Robin gives one explanation why things go bad and King ignored it to create a new one. Details from the tie ins don't fit, it's just a mess.

Most Boring: Convergance. I wanted it to be better and while it never seemed to drag the same way that Forever Evil did it didn't wow me. It just happened. Anything interesting from the previous universe could be found in some of the two part tie in series. Some of that wasn't so great. In the main story those characters barely do anything.

The Most WTF Moment: I'm sure there were a lot but there's one that stuck out for me for a number of reasons. We had Booster Gold, the character we had seen grown into a Time Master dying and Rip was desperate to save him. What do we get? Another freaking Waverider that takes away all of Boosters' previous personality, basically tells the audience we're still not learning anything about Rip, tosses his family and Ted aside to do his own thing. Second place goes to Rip calling Booster his dad in front of the other Booster and all the time traveling villains.

Best wishes for the New Year. Here's hoping we all get to see more of our favorites and their written well. Less of these hyped up events that make you dislike characters you once liked.


  1. I don't read a lot of stuff to be able to offer an analysis like yours but I have to agree with your choices for biggest surprises and dissapointment of the year.

    Doomed was a very pleasant surprise. Reiser was an appealing lead while Roman was a very interesting take on Alpha Centurion that combined with Lobdell's quirky plotting and Fernandez' amazing art, delivered one of the strongest series to come from the DCYou initiative. Shame that poor marketing and bias against Lobdell killed the series on its crib.

    Robin War has been a mess from start to beginning, but all of its faults are being brushed off by a lot of places in the internet due King's involvement. For some reason, the guy has become this idealized writer that only writes masterpieces at the eyes of the fans. Honestly I don't see why, Grayson and Robin War are bad while Omega Men is too presumptous and boring.

    The most grating thing is how people keeps claiming that his take on Jason is the best take for the character on YEARS. That Lobdell's take is inmature, angsty and inconsistent.


    Sometimes I really hate the fandom, I really do.

    Anyways, here's for a better year for all of our favorite characters. Happy New Year

  2. I didn't even mention some of the things I read like Titans Hunt which really didn't do anything to warrant attention yet. Well besides the Roy thing but that nothing I'd praise and only seems to be there for forced plot reasons.

    Some people were also turned off by the name thinking it would be a depressing story.

    I haven't been reading what other people think of Robin War although I saw the RSOB got pretty high marks on a review. I know there's a lot of hive mind thinking on what's popular. Some people were just so glad something was being done with Dick that they say his book is good. I have seem many hate how everyone puts him down and over sexualizes him.

    I did see someone claim the panel with Jason causally mentioning the WAR kids dying and how he could blame Tim was in character. No it wasn't. People seem to think Jasons' the bad fanfiction version now. Maybe because more writers are starting to write him that way.

    Lobdell has Jason working to move on in life and acting mature in situations many of us would blow up if we were in them. It's more consistent that the crappy bad boy role their shoving him into that reads more like a whiny five year old.

    Most fandoms have this stuff, it never makes sense.

    I certainly hope for the best, Happy New Year.

  3. Oh, there has been some unbelievable crap this year. And yes, the whole Robin War, which I am doing my best to NOT read, is pretty high on that list.

    It's been a gawdawful year for DC at any rate.

  4. I don't know how some of this stuff got published much less how some seem to eat it up like it was epic. Robin War is definitely at the top of my list.

    Without a doubt.