Posted on December 2, 2012 AT 09:41pm
Welcome to Comic Countdown #47, which will be the start of a very special four part series chronicling the best of the best in comics for 2012. With the year nearly over, this seems like the best time to recognize the talented men and women who worked so hard on making such great titles. Each of these four weeks the Countdown will be listing off two categories with five nominees each (subject to change based on final number of categories), to be selected by those of you who read this weekly list (and myself, of course). This week will cover two of the biggest categories: Best Ongoing Series and Best Limited Series (which will also include limited events within a company) which will recognize many of the fine books that have released this year. So on to the nominations!
Best Ongoing Series
This is the best of the best, the comics everyone has loved since their inception, both new and continuing. These titles may have just begun this year or could have been going for several, but remain as some of the best work out there in comics. This years nominees are:
Saga (Image Comics)
The Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples series has debuted to extremely positive reviews, with the sci-fi adventure focusing on two warring families and, in a Romeo & Juliet style, two lovers from the opposing factions, attempting to raise their newborn child. While that is only the tip of the iceberg of this series, many believe this is one of the greatest titles of the year.
Harbinger (Valiant Comics)
Valiant came back strong this year, with the new universe unleashing multiple amazing titles. Harbinger was decidedly one of the best, leading a long line of titles from the once vaunted publisher back into the limelight. Following the Harbingers, a group of super-powered youngsters who were cast out, the series has been back and better than ever since the relaunch of the Valiant Universe.
Hawkeye (Marvel Comics)
Not often does Hawkeye get listed in “Best Of”s, but this year is different. Fresh off of a lot of tragedy, Clint Barton got his own series, which posed a question that not many others do: What do heroes do when not saving the world? Barton, and the Young Avengers Hawkeye, Kate Bishop are put to the test of exploring that question and much more by writer Matt Fraction and artist David Aja. This is a unique and fun book that is just getting started, but is already very beloved.
Batwoman (DC Comics)
Kate Kane has returned in this brilliant and beautiful new run of Batwoman, by J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman, with art by Williams, Amy Reeder and Trevor McCarthy, all on separate occasions. With her New 52 offering, Kane comes in as a strong, intelligent and well-trained member of the Bat family, though she doesn’t exactly travel within the group. The art is beautiful, the writing is strong, and this series has one of the best female leads in all of comics.
Mind The Gap (Image Comics)
The Comic Countdown Pick for 2012′s Best Ongoing Series is a mystery for the ages. Jim McCann, Rodin Esquejo and Sonia Oback paint a picture of mystery, deception and lies after the attack of Ellis Petersson, a wealthy socialite who is beaten and left for dead in a subway station. Now in a coma, the spirit of Elle, trapped in a place called “The Garden”, has to find out who attacked her and why, while also remembering much of her life prior to the attack. Thrills and drama galore in this series, which is riveting in its delivery and one of the most beautiful looking comics out there today.
Best Limited Series
Orchid (Dark Horse Comics)
Tom Morello (best known as the guitar player for Rage Against The Machine) and artist Scott Hepburn explore the world of an iron fisted tyrannical rule after an ecological disaster that completely rewrote the way lives were lived. A young prostitute named Orchid learns that her role in breaking down the caste social hierarchy is vast, and she aims to escape captivity and the rules of the world in this limited series, which will be ending rather shortly.
Broken Pieces (Aspen Comics)
The short series about a biological apocalypse destroying the world, and the doctors leading the charge to fix is was one of the best new limited series of the year. Mark Roslan wrote a captivating story featuring Gabriella Adams, her husband Richard, and the cure to a virus that has been ravaging society. Give this series a shot, as its gone under the radar quite a bit with all the other series being released, because this is one that won’t disappoint. This one gets the Comic Countdown Pick of 2012 for Best Limited Series for all the listed reasons, and many more.
Happy! (Image Comics)
Grant Morrison, a former cop turned hit-man in Nick Sax, and an adorable blue horse named Happy, who is likely a figment of Nick’s imagination. This is a series that has to be seen to be believed, especially with a legend such as Morrison at the helm. With crime, violence, Christmas, and a pony, Happy! is a strange, unique journey.
Before Watchmen (DC Comics)
This massive series has been back and forth as far as critical reception goes, but exploring the characters in Alan Moore’s iconic Watchmen series, as well as some of the better in-run arcs of the series gives it a nomination here. In the scope of things, this is a huge limited series, but since it has a definite end, it qualifies here. The journey of the legends such as Nite Owl, Dr. Manhattan, Silk Spectre and Rorschach are all included, which makes many fans very happy.
Avengers Vs. X-Men (Marvel Comics)
While this event got mixed reviews from fans and critics, the impact of the series cannot be denied. This limited crossover event ushered in the birth of the Marvel NOW! campaign, watched the death of a major character, and brought forth some major questions in the Marvel Universe. As disappointing as it may have been to some, it had a lot of smaller tie-ins with it, and the scope and impact of the series gives it a nod here.
That’s it for the Countdown this week! Be sure to let your voice be heard on these nominees (and others, as write-in votes are happily accepted) here in the comments section or on our Facebook page. Comment and be a part of the awards process here at the Comic Countdown!
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