2012 was a fantastic year for Marvel, with so many great books coming out, we at The Pure Mood just couldn’t fit them all into a top 10! Since we figured your eyeballs were dying to strain at the bright screen of a laptop for hours more, we figured we’d present you with our other favourite Marvel titles published in 2012. Without further ado, here’s our proud No-Prize winners!
WINTER SOLDIER – Brubaker delivers a final farewell to Marvel using the elements from the genres he’s built his career on – crime, espionage and pulp. It begins with gorillas in jetpacks and resurrected commie spies, and moves on to a touching love story between Bucky and Black Widow. Featuring beautiful art by Michael Lark and Butch Guice, this series was meditative and action packed.
UNCANNY X-MEN – Kieron Gillen captured the hearts of X-fans on his run on the flagship title, and while I loved it, it’s lack of inclusion on the top 10 list shows I’m not quite on the IN KG WE TRUST bandwagon. However, it was a very memorable run, with great characterizations of Magik and the recast-as-revolutionary Scott Summers.
HAWKEYE – A special little title featuring everybody’s favourite archer Avenger, trying to reach artistic heights greater than one would expect from an AVENGERS spin-off fueled by movie success. Postage-stamp sized panels, Mazzuchelli inspired character renderings, and the best characterization of Kate Bishop we’ve ever seen. A fun, whimsical series that is perhaps digested a little too lightly and presented a little too superficially to make it to the top 10.
DAREDEVIL – Waid’s career-defining, Eisner-winning, Noir-shattering take on the Man Without Fear held strong throughout it’s second year. Rivera left the title with a terrifying two-parter about the Moleman, hinting that Matt’s pyshce may not be as healed as we’d thought. Shortly after, rising star Chris Samnee took over, finding an artistic soulmate in Waid, and the title sung. Recasted as a horror title, DD shocked readers with it’s reinterprations of former D-listers like Stiltman and the Spot. Character focused, dramatic, with long-running plot threads that feel like every panel can be analyzed for future details…this is what I think of when I think of Marvel Comics. Not to be missed, and it only missed the top 10 by a sliver.
UNCANNY X-FORCE – Remender couldn’t have said it better – this title was all about saving characters tainted by the ’90’s. Mature, meditative character arcs on characters like Deadpool and Psylocke weren’t something I never thought I’d see. A sincere look into Wolverine’s constant hypocrisies and Fantomex’s moral complexities, this was an enjoyable, high-concept X-book about whether superheroes have the right to end lives to better the world.
MARVEL UNIVERSE VS. THE AVENGERS – This was the biggest surprise of the year. An out of continuity mini-series where Hawkeye takes on zombie Avengers doesn’t sound particularly appealing…but Maeberry treats the situation with respect, and the title does a great job showing what makes Clint such a unique hero. A depressing, bleak look at when a hero has to give up, and why they never should, MU VS THE AVENGERS is…surpisingly great.
SPACE: PUNISHER – This comic is insane. Don’t miss it. Track it down. Tierra redesigns the entire MU in a high camp twisted sci-fi tale of revenge, featuring a Doctor Octopus with actual slimy tentacles and a ninja-butler Jarvis, this is the definition of fun. Punisher fans aren’t known to be the most humorous of folks, but titles like this have always been what make Marvel unique as a publisher.
AVX: CONSEQUENCES – This was the best work Gillen did in 2012 as far as I’m concerned, and yet it was a weekly wrap-up of a big summer event. CONSEQUENCES follows Cyclops journey into martyrdom, with highlights including a second issue devoted entirely to a confrontation between Scott and Logan that reveals the hypocrisy in both their philosophical stances. A very intelligent series that explores the very warped post-AvX Cyclops in a realistic, human way.
CAPTAIN AMERICA & BLACK WIDOW – It seemed the beginning of the year had everyone singing the praises of Cullen Bunn’s work on THE SIXTH GUN, while meanwhile, Francesco Francavilla was being hailed as a pulp-art luminary sure to be remembered for generations. Then how was this title so overlooked? Featuring an intense plot about a villainous, multi-dimensional corporation run on greed and profit, Cap &… put the adventure and fun back into the genre. Beautiful digitally painted interiors, fantastic characterization of Black Widow and fun, hi-camp concepts like Curt Connors being the last hero in a post-apoc world, this title was too ahead of it’s time.