Posted on December 16, 2012 AT 08:58pm
2012 is nearly over, and for the last few weeks, the Comic Countdown has been taking a look at the best in the industry for the year. So far, the best ongoing and limited series nominees have been mentioned, as well as the best writers and art teams. This week a deeper look into the great comics of 2012 will be taken as the 2012 Comic Countdown Awards lists the nominees for best Protagonist and Antagonist (Hero and Villain seemed too narrow a scope, as that is mostly limited to super hero books, though those are included).
A protagonist is the main focus of the book, whether good or bad, and this year, there are some heavy hitters in the comics market doing a lot of work to either save the world, destroy it, or just live their lives. Whether it’s fighting against powerful villains or taking revenge on those who have done harm, these characters drive the story of a title to new levels.
Orchid (Orchid, Dark Horse Comics)
A former prostitute who, by a series of events, is set to become the leader of a resistance group set on stopping those who have decided that most of society is beneath them, Orchid is a complex character who despite appearances, is an incredibly strong, well-written and determined woman whose convictions make her entertaining to read throughout her series. Writer Tom Morello has carefully crafted her to be a focal point in the story, and her presence has been felt in a big way throughout the story. Without Orchid, there is no one and nothing to really accomplish in the book, making her integral to a great series.
David Loren (Think Tank, Top Cow Productions)
David Loren is many things: a genius, a slacker, a smart-ass, and something of a comedian. Working for the government making weapons has left him wanting more, and in the first arc of his Matt Hawkins written series Think Tank, Loren has proven that as a character, he can carry the entire cast with him. He’s incredibly smart, funny, clever, and supremely entertaining to read, making for a deep character that many readers can’t get enough of. Loren gets the nod for Best Anatagonist Of 2012 for his genius and his ability to entertain.
Miles Morales (Ultimate Comics Spider-Man, Marvel Comics)
While his series, and most of the controversy surrounding the character arrived in late 2011, Miles Morales has evolved from controversial replacement of Peter Parker to a Spider-Man all his own throughout the issues produced throughout 2012. Replacing an icon with a brand new character, especially one of Miles’ origins was a huge victory for writer Brian Michael Bendis, and something that was so well done that Miles is now a major part of the Marvel Universe, and his series is one of the tops for the company. He was good even after all the complaints died down, solidifying the fact that Miles may be new, but he’s a terrific character.
Hope Summers (Avengers Vs. X-Men, Marvel Comics)
Hope was huge this year, playing the focal point in Marvel’s biggest event of 2012. Being the chosen host of the Phoenix Force is not an easy job, nor did Hope do too well with it for most of the series. However, she eventually came around and after serving as a sort-of Mutant Messiah for quite some time, Hope came into her own during this event, making the focus on her completely justified and well-done, despite the series being a bit lackluster. Hope got a major push this year, and headlining a major event gets her the nod this year.
Joule (Idolized, Aspen Comics)
Given the chance of a lifetime (And an opportunity for revenge), Joule hooked readers into her story with the David Schwartz-written Idolized. This limited series featured her powers as well as the abilities of many others, combined it with the format of a reality show featuring those with abilities, and made it into a hit comic. She’s strong, determined and a bit crazy, giving readers the enjoyment of wondering what she’s going to do next to reach her goal of getting onto the Powered Protectors and gaining revenge on the man that killed her family.
Being an antagonist means opposing the central character in a title, whether the opposition is hero, villain or some combination of the two. Playing the role opposite the main character can mean having a wide range of focus in a series, but playing the yin to the protagonist’s yang is just as important of a role as being the focal point itself. These characters give the main character reasons to continue, motivation and a person or ideal to fight against.
Cyclops (Avengers Vs. X-Men, Marvel Comics)
While he was one of the focal points of the entire AvX event, Cyclops took things to a completely new level by becoming even more of a catalyst for a mutant revolution that ever before. His action put him in direct opposition to many in the Marvel Universe, and while he’s not exactly a villain, he’s become not far off due to his actions. Cyclops gets the nod for 2012 Antagonist Of The Year for his actions during AvX, especially considering some of the major turns his character took during the event.
Hoodie (Mind The Gap, Image Comics)
Hoodie is one of those characters that is very hard to describe, because no one knows who they actually are. Playing the secret villain in Jim McCann’s Mind The Gap, Hoodie may not be the person or persons in charge, but their actions have directly influenced the life of protagonist Elle Peterssen. Hoodie has done quite a bit of crazy things, and they seem to show no signs of stopping in this incredible mystery series.
Ludas (Broken Pieces, Aspen Comics)
Being the head of a major corporation is a big job, especially when you’re trying to use it as a front to control the world. Ludas made the life of protagonists Richard and Gabriella Adams’ lives hell over the course of this five issue series. From using the creation that changed Richard to trying to kill/destroy nearly everyone and everything, Ludas took the role of the villain to an interesting level, not being too involved until the very end, but making a huge impact on the series.
Jackie Estacado (Artifacts, Top Cow Productions)
While he’s a protagonist in his own series, The Darkness, Jackie Estacado plays the role of the villain, of sorts as the man who changed the entire universe and opposes, on many aspects, protagonist Tom Judge. This is a bit of a blurry line, but Jackie’s presence in this main series for Top Cow provides Jackie with an opportunity to let his dark side really show, especially after the main portion of the reboot.
Zombies (The Walking Dead, Image Comics)
Zombies are an easy antagonist, especially for a series such as The Walking Dead, but with the culture of the creature still on the rise, as well as the quality of the series, they’re no less effective. Zombies are terrifying, mindless creatures that oppose the group of survivors that make up the focus of the series. Not the most glamorous of antagonists, but they do their part as the acting opposition to an entire series, and a popular one at that.
That’s it for this week! e sure to vote for your favorite nominee or vote in your own! Until next week!
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