To close out the year we wanted to take an opportunity for each of the regular contributors to the ComicSpectrum site to share a “Top 10” list for 2016. Since I have a strong aversion to calling my favorite things “best”, we’ll probably be one of the few comics site on the internet not declaring our favorites to be magically the “best” things produced, but rather what they are, just our favorite things.
None of the contributors were constrained to any specific categories this year. They were asked to pick 10 things they really liked that hit the stands in 2016. Whether they were individual issues, series, trade paperbacks, books about comics, comics related toys, whatever.
Kicking us off for this year is regular reviewer Adam Brunell. Take it away, Adam. Tell us what you loved from 2016!
- Seven to Eternity
Events in comics came and went like usual, but when I was trying to think of my top 10 items released this year that had to do with comics, all I could think of was, “Seven to Eternity”. Writer Rick Remender has delivered an awesome story since the first issue. Everything read like a Dungeon and Dragons campaign with your friends sitting at the table. The art by Artist Jerome Opeña, dialogue and story are all easy on the eyes, and every comic released in this series has kept me captivated on every page.
After Writer Marguerite Bennett got me hooked on specific comic titles I hadn’t been interested in since the early 1990s, I had to check out this comic. The high praise throughout the comic reader community, stunning story, writing style and art by Rafael de Latorre made this series a must have for me. Requesting the series late was my biggest concern, and it took me several months to acquire the first issue locally, because everyone kept selling out. Aftershock Comics is now on the 5th print for the first issue, and for good reason.
- The Mighty Thor
Jason Aaron is well known in the comic world for his awe-inspiring writing skills, but nothing really stands out to me more than when Jane Foster became the Goddess of Thunder. Though the story started in 2014, Aaron keeps giving us more and more with this new Thor. When Jane Foster is not wielding Mjolnir, she is fighting cancer in her mortal form. The only issue that exists with crossing back and forth between from Thor to Jane Foster, is that Mjolnir destroys any chemotherapy coursing through Jane’s body. In recent events, it was revealed to readers that Mjolnir is actually an ancient storm with a personality trapped within the hammers structure. Artists Russell Dauterman and Steve Epting have provided astonishing works of art for each comic they have had a hand in. With a never ending fascinating story and art, this series had to make my list of favorites.
- SDCC 2016 Exclusive Star Wars Black Series Obi-Wan Kenobi Figure
I was not lucky enough to go to the San Diego Comic-Con this year, but numerous figures and comics were exclusive to the Comic-Con. Certain websites would have some of the exclusive deals as well, but certain items went faster than others, and if you weren’t quick with your purchase, you lost the item. One of those figures released at the Comic-Con was Star Wars the Black Series Obi-Wan Kenobi. I was not lucky enough to get this item when it was released, but a friend was and he made sure to let me know he had it. The figure is well detailed to resemble the late Alec Guinness who portrayed Kenobi in the first original Star Wars trilogy. Included with the Kenobi figure is a lightsaber and a plastic replica of the stone table in Kenobi’s home with a little blue figure to represent the Princess Leia hologram asking for his help.
- SDCC 2016 Exclusive NECA Alien vs Predator Cloaked Scar Predator Action Figure
I own this figure, and how I own this figure was out of pure luck. I have a friend that knows a guy that went to the SDCC 2016 Comic-Con, and old debts that were owed were brought into play for a good deal on the item. The figure isn’t transparent, but it’s a pure white Scar Predator figure to resemble the cloaked Predator from the first Aliens vs Predator movie. Being a big fan of the Predator and Alien movies, acquiring this figure was a blessing. Regardless of the figure being one color, the sculpture design of the figure is well detailed and clean. Included with the figure are several weapon accessories and a little colored structure to resemble the temple hologram in the movie.
- Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows
I hadn’t touched a Spider-Man comic since 2007 when the events of One More Day and Brand New Day had taken place. I didn’t have good feelings for the story after that, and I still don’t. During the recent Secret Wars event this title came out, it was an alternate universe where Mary Jane and Peter Parker stayed together and had a daughter. This angle had shown what would have possibly happened if the events of One More Day had gone differently. Writer Gerry Conway and Artist Ryan Stegman deliver a captivating story with fantastic dialogue and intense illustrations.
- DC Rebirth: Superwoman
There were many titles released for the DC Comics Rebirth event, but the only one that stood out above the crowd for me was the Superwoman title. We are given a couple of fresh heroes just learning their powers, but they are long time characters in the DC Universe. Lois Lane and Lana Lang have acquired the abilities of a fallen Superman, so they are now super powered, but this much power is too much for their human bodies to handle. Writer and Artist Phil Jimenez along with Artist Matt Santorelli bring us a dramatic action packed story of two dying heroes who would rather power up and let their abilities kill them than to sit idly by and let innocent people suffer.
- Southern Bastards
This multiple award-winning comic shouldn’t need an introduction, Writer Jason Aaron and Artist Jason Latour leave little to the imagination with this series. With everything feeling chaotic in the Southern Bastard world, there is crime, mayhem, sports and just all around bastards everywhere.
- Secret Wars
Though the title started in 2015, it ended at the beginning of 2016, which left the Marvel Universe changed. Heroes from alternate realities were pushed to different realities to form one Primary Universe. There are still alternate realities, just not as many. By the end of the Secret Wars we lost the Fantastic Four, because Reed Richards is now a cosmic God with his wife Susan and their children beside him in the heavens. Johnny Storm was left behind and is a liaison for the Inhumans, and Ben Grimm is now a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy until recently when they were stranded on Earth because of the second Civil War. Miles Morales and Peter Parker are in the same reality now, and Old Man Logan was pushed into the main Marvel Universe where the previous Logan had died. Remnants of faded realities are popping up all over the place, this series used a lot of different realities to answer a lot of “What if?” questions, but some also were just confusing. With all the side comics that were part of the Secret Wars, it wasn’t just one writer and artist to give credit to; I thought all the comics were great reads.
- Kotobukiya Alien Warrior Statue
Being a fan of Kotobukiya statues in general and anything from the Alien franchise in specific, this gem is a prize on my shelf. The statue is very detailed, and includes some plastic pieces to make an open grate like box to hang the alien warrior from the walls or upside down. Being a statue it lacks in joints to pose the figure, but what it lacks in being able to be posed it gains in detail and structure.
Thanks for sharing your favorites with us, Adam! Next time we’ll see what tickled Al Sparrow’s fancy in 2016!
https://comicspectrum.com/ Covering the full spectrum of comics culture