Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year, New Reading List

I know that a blog post from the panel is long overdue, but it was not for lack of comic love.  In fact, with the introduction of the New 52, I went through a crisis of a sort and felt the need to expand my reading list to include the Marvel world.  I did not expect it to become the huge undertaking that it did, but I have been thoroughly enjoying the ride.  The reason that I’m bringing this up at all, is because I had an odd realization yesterday as I was counting up how many books are on our subs list and the number came to 52.  Four months ago, we read 52 DC comics, today DC only accounts for 32.  Now, granted, that list is ever changing because of new mini-series, cancellations, our own insanity, etc. but Paul and I took a long hard look at what we really like to read and dropped whatever didn’t make the cut and that was easy in some cases and difficult in others.  There is a loyalty that we feel to certain books that we did have to cut out, but there comes a point when you have to stop reading a series because you love what it once was and see it for what it is now.

Loyal readers of the panel will be surprised to know that Green Arrow was never cut.  As much as I complained about the direction of that series, with the announcement that Ann Nocenti was jumping on board, I couldn’t cut it, because I have faith that any well received writer of Daredevil (my new love by the way) can do wonderful things with Ollie.  One thing that I’m not going to do on this blog is complain about the New 52.  It happened, and some really great books have come out of it, and it pushed me to delve into some new series.  I want to focus on comics I love right now and ring the New Year in right. 

So let’s jump into what is great reading out there!  Bear with me on this because I managed to jump into current Marvel continuity in a lot of books single issue, while I’m catching up with graphics and I went back to late 90’s, early 2000’s on most of them.  In other words, my reading list is all over the place. 

Comic Book Resources got it spot on with their top two books of 2011, Daredevil by Mark Waid and Animal Man by Jeff Lemire.  Matt Murdoch and Buddy Baker have to be two of the most enjoyable characters to read period, and Maxine has been so delightful.  Miss Pickles was my favorite comic book  moment this year hands down, all cats get hungry, even dead ones.

The most dangerous words to say in our house are “I will never read _____” because inevitably we will read whatever it is with a vengeance.  That is exactly what happened with X-Men, not because we weren’t interested but because the X-Men world is so vast and honestly a little overwhelming but we have since conquered it!  We went from zero X-books to four on the subs list plus catching up on six series in graphics with more single issue series to be added soon.  The X-Factor graphics are so addicting and I’m having a great time reading X-Men: Legacy and Uncanny X-Men although I have to say the Magneto/Rogue thing is taking some time to get used to.

All things Avengers.  Yes, you read that right.  There are a TON of Avengers books and I’m reading all of them.  I’m a little disappointed that as I’m jumping in, Bendis is jumping off, but I have all the back issues to read, so I’m good for awhile.

If Dinah is my number one kick ass, I’ll read everything she’s in character of DC, then Natasha (Black Widow) fills that role for me in Marvel.  She’s just the coolest cat in town.  Which means of course, that I’m also reading all things Captain America.  Oh Ed Brubaker (swoon).  He’s right up there with Greg Rucka for me now and that is huge!  Speaking of which, one of my favorite presents this year, the Wolverine Ultimate Collection by the man himself. 

Other current Marvel books we’re reading include:
- The Defenders, with Dr. Strange and Danny Rand you really can’t go wrong.
- The Incredible Hulk, I was as surprised as you.  But I’m digging it.
- The Punisher, it’s Greg and it’s great.
- Amazing Spider-Man, another “I will never” moment, but Peter Parker kind of grew on me.

Alright so that’s Marvel, but I know you’re itching to know which of the DC books stuck around.
- Action, duh.
- All-Star Western, so great!
- Animal Man, previously mentioned.
- Aquaman, Paul likes this one better than I do
- Batbooks, pretty much all of them.  Batwing got cut, it wasn’t bad, it just didn’t hold my attention like the rest. 
- Birds of Prey, brilliant.  The reboot did a lot of good things for this book.
- Blue Beetle
- Catwoman, I know I had my yuck moment, but Judd is a really good writer.
- Demon Knights, one of the top for me. 
- The Flash
- Frankenstein
- Green Arrow
- Green Lantern books, all but the Red.  I can’t believe it either after how excited I was, but I think it was better in theory.
- Justice Books, all of them.  Especially Dark, but I’m concerned about where they're going with Madame Xanadu. 
- Nightwing
- Savage Hawkman, mine more than Paul’s.  I got this, he got Aquaman.  It was a good compromise.
- Supes, girl and man.  Boy didn’t make the cut which was a bummer but only because of Rose Wilson.  She is such a great character but I just couldn’t get into the story.
- Swamp Thing
- Wonder Woman
That seems like a ton, it’s hard to believe there are 20 more.  Teen Titans was a hard cut, and a recent one but I honestly don’t miss it. 

Then of course, there are the rest:
- American Vampire
- Buffy, Season 9, very pleased with this season
- Memorial, just started
- Morning Glories
- Sixth Gun, isn’t everyone reading Sixth Gun?  Well, they should be.

So that’s my story and that’s what’s been holding my attention for the past few months.  If anyone’s interested in a 60 page in-depth list of Marvel graphics for the past decade shoot me a note and I can hook you up.  Until next time panel readers, and hopefully there won’t be such a huge gap this time.


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