Posted on December 23, 2012 AT 08:20pm
It’s a very special occasion, as this marks the fiftieth installment of the Comic Countdown! It also marks the final week of the Comic Book Awards, where the biggest and best of this year will be celebrated. Over the last few weeks, topics such as the best ongoing series, best limited series, best writer and art team, as well as the best protagonist and antagonist have been listed, with nominations coming from all over the comic book world. The final Comic Countdown awards post will focus on the bigger subjects, with the topics of Best Crossover/Event and Company Of The Year on the agenda for today.
Crossovers and events tend to be a major focus for comic book companies, bringing their biggest stars together to rally against a common enemy or fight amongst themselves for a certain cause. Some of the biggest events in history have shaped the landscape of the company for years to come, and with this year featuring several major events, companies prove that this is the way they’re planning to go for major shifts in the landscape.
Avengers Vs. X-Men (Marvel Comics)
Marvel knows how to go big on events, routinely having some of the biggest ones that comic book has to offer. While they may not always be of the best quality (this is an example of one of those times), the impact of the series is always profound. Avengers Vs. X-Men pitted the two biggest franchises in Marvel’s stable against one another, battling it out to preserve/destroy the Phoenix Force, which was heading back to Earth, this time with a target on Hope Summers. While that went nowhere near to plan, the series made some major moves and had some interesting twists that helped springboard the Marvel NOW! movement.
Top Cow: Rebirth (Top Cow Productions)
Top Cow made a major change with the endgame for this event. Focusing on the Artifacts universe, the flagship series of the company, Top Cow built up into a massive, action-packed series, and then in the climax scrapped the entire universe and basically started again with some dynamic changes. The series and the universe has been better than ever since, proving that hitting the reset button isn’t always a bad thing, and that is why Top Cow: Rebirth gets the nod for Best Crossover Of 2012.
Night Of The Owls (DC Comics)
This was an interesting event, focusing mainly on the Bat family and their fight against the Court Of Owls, who were setting their sights on a takeover of Gotham City. With all the major stars from that grouping featured, this event not only was an entertaining ride, it created some dynamic shifts in Gotham, as well as introduced some new characters and groups for DC. This was cited as one of the better events of the year, and DC fans should be proud of what transpired.
30 Days Of Night/Criminal Macabre (IDW Publishing/Dark Horse Comics)
Now this is how a true crossover is done. With two major companies taking a premier book each and setting them on a crash course. With these two horror hits, both series have been greatly impacted by one another. Teaming with another company to create a new, dynamic story is something that is very difficult, but IDW and Dark Horse did a great job pulling the entire event off. This long-hyped event is just getting started, but the very premise of it is something to take notice of.
Spider-Men (Marvel Comics)
Fans were not too pleased at the news of Peter Parker’s death awhile back. When his replacement, Miles Morales, was announced, the comic book world went crazy with everything from unnecessary racial remarks to outcries over Pete being the original an only Spider-Man in their hearts. Marvel did their best to help squash the doubt by setting Peter and Miles up on a crash course that could jump universe in Marvel Comics. The “normal” Marvel Universe and the “Ultimates” universe where Miles resides collided, marking the limited “Spider-Men” event. While it was rather short, Marvel did their best to create an exciting storyline with the two names that have donned the Spider-suit. Love it or hate it, Marvel should be commended for their attempt to blend old with new and make it fun for everyone.
Company Of The Year
There are several major companies out there, and while not all of them can be number one, each has adoring fans who love what the company comes up with on a constant basis. With top level behemoths such as Marvel and DC, to some of the lower level companies that produce some stellar titles, the best company of the year isn’t always the one with the biggest numbers. While a major factor, fans prefer quality, and many of these companies deliver in multiples.
Image has had a very strong year, selling out in some major titles, introducing many more, and making the celebration of their 20+ years in business one that was well worth remembering. Titles are flying off the shelves, books are getting major development deals, and overall, the company is enjoying an incredible year that should put them up a notch or two as one of the top companies in comics. With several houses to choose from, Image carries a large list of terrific titles that fans have loved without too many off the superhero comics that are flooding the market. It’s the diversity and longevity of some of these titles that gives Image Comics the nomination for Company Of The Year.
Dark Horse Comics
No one does horror like Dark Horse, and this year, they made sure no one forgot that fact with the introduction of some majorly creepy titles, headlined by the “Year Of Monsters” initiative that Dark Horse artist/writer Mike Mignola began in 2012. With crossovers, horror titles and some of the best licensed comic books in the world, Dark Horse has done a terrific job of making their mark as a company that looks out for the interests of the faithful.
While they may not have the largest numbers, this smaller company has some great exclusive titles that fans are clamoring for. Since their inception, Aspen has gone above and beyond for the fans, delivering on some interesting titles that no other company had even thought of, let alone attempted. On the cusp of their tenth tear in business, Aspen Comics has been pushing out great title after great title, propelling them into the conversation for Company Of The Year.
When a company goes out in a blaze as Valiant had years ago, coming back in something that is often not possible. But Valiant did just that, re-introducing several of their flagship titles to a new audience with a whole new universe, to monumentally positive feedback. With Valiant back in action, many other publishers should be on the lookout, as their new universe is coming back strong, with a huge and growing fan base behind it.
This one is no surprise, as Marvel is the biggest company in the entire world when it comes to comics. They have the biggest names, the biggest budgets, the best teams and the largest amount of multimedia ventures in the entire industry. While their numbers are good in the comics medium, their quality has dipped in some instances, making them a lock for a nomination, but not for a win this year.
That’s it for this year’s Comic Countdown Awards! Make sure to vote, write in or comment on any of the choices seen here. Next week the Countdown will be doing the announcement listing for all of the winners in this years awards, so be sure to check out who brought home the awards next week!
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