The holidays are a time to be thankful, to remember what was good about the year, and to give to others. Personally, I am thankful that I get to read ground-breaking comic books and talk about them every week on a Hugo-award winning fan site. While fans of mainstream comics had several reasons to be disappointed with the decisions made by the DC and Marvel – Before Watchmen, the New 52, Marvel Now!, and the Batgirl firing/rehiring of Gail Simone are just a few of the controversial choices – 2012 was a great year for independent and small press comics. I looked back over my notes and put together a list of my favorite comics in case you missed something you’d love.
If you didn’t happen to find these great titles under the tree, you can always get them for yourself now (I won’t tell).
They’re listed in alphabetical order because all of these books are amazing, and it’d be difficult to rank them any other way. I’ve already reviewed a couple here at SF Signal (Click on the links to read my full reviews):
Superheroes are going to feature in this column quite a bit over the next few installments. Not exclusively, but pretty regularly.
I could waffle on at length about the fascinating idiosyncrasies and peculiarities of the whole superhero sub-genre that’s essentially run in the US by Marvel and DC, but I’m not sure anyone else would find it half as fascinating as I do (although, honestly, it’s one of the most unusual systems for creating, publishing, distributing and selling fiction you could ever imagine). So for now here’s just one proposition that sets the scene for the two titles I thought I’d talk about today.
Quite a lot of the long-running superhero series display a couple of apparently contradictory characteristics that can be an obstacle for the objective, casual (i.e. non-‘fan’) reader. They revel in dense and new-reader-hostile continuity, the established canon of past stories that exists in their respective shared universes; yet they also play fast and loose with the narrative, psychological or physical plausibility and internal consistency that are staples of most other kinds of fiction. Sometimes, superhero comics require not so much the suspension of disbelief as its ritual sacrifice upon an altar dedicated to the gods of never-ending, bombastic soap opera.