As 2017 begins to unfold, Nothing But Comics draws its coverage of 2016 to an end with my list of Best Single Issues. All entries are listed alphabetically by title.
The weather might suggest otherwise, but December has arrived and with it the inevitable year’s end lists. Luckily, at Nothing But Comics, we’re quite fond of year’s end lists. Our first group Top Ten will arrive tomorrow, but first I offer up my annual look back at some of the most memorable character from 2016.
All entries are listed alphabetically. For simplicity sake, characters without code names are listed by first name.
By G. Willow Wilson, Takeshi Miyazawa & Ian Herring
“We all have secret identities, but no secrets.”
Recently there has been much discussion about the merits of superhero secret identities. Once a core element of the genre, it has been increasingly falling out of favor with creators. Much of the Marvel Universe presently seems to ignore the concept; meanwhile CW series such The Flash give lip service to it in theory while pretty much discarding it in practice. In Valiant’s Faith, writer Jody Houser has been affectionately poking fun at the device (the heroine’s alter ego works as a “journalist” at a celebrity news blog and wears glasses as part of her disguise). A recent issue (#9), however, dug a little deeper exploring how Faith’s secret identity was a bridge to not only a superhero support group, but sincere friendships which keep her grounded in either identity. G. Willow Wilson plays with some similar ideas in the latest issue of Ms. Marvel, while also highlighting the importance of empathy.
Back in January Valiant launched a new solo min-series for Faith Herbert, aka Zephyr. This was great news for those of us who have been happily following her adventures ever since Joshua Dysart reintroduced her to readers in the pages of his Harbinger series. Two weeks ago, Valiant announced that demand for Faith had proven so strong that not only would her story be continuing, but it would be upgraded from a sequel mini to a new ongoing title. This is no small accomplishment, as Faith will be the first ongoing female solo title published by the current iteration of Valiant. As such, the new series, which will retain writer Jody Houser, represents another successful step forward for diversity in comics. However, it also points to another trend that has been occurring recently: a shift in the tone of storytelling. Ever since Alan Moore asked “Who Watches the Watchmen?” and Frank Miller pondered the last act of The Dark Knight’s career, the medium has been dominated by the grim and gritty archetype. At its height in the 90s, the prominence of such figures somehow achieved self-parody (cough, Az-Bats, cough) without losing their popularity. To this day, a new creative team’s pledge to “strip our hero down to nothing and see what makes him (or her) tick” is frequently cited as a fresh approach to counter lackluster storytelling. It’s not. Which does not mean that it cannot work, only that there is nothing groundbreaking about it. Instead, a new generation of heroines, including Zephyr, are helping redefine superheroes for a new generation of readers.
Two years ago Marvel published the first issue of Ms. Marvel. To say that it was a sensational success would be an understatement. The reviews were ecstatic, the fans passionately devoted and the sales reflective of both. It was a triumphal debut which went on to grow even richer in its sophomore year. Towards the end of 2015, Marvel relaunched the series as part of its All-New All-Different initiative and title just went on soaring without missing a beat. And so Kamala’s journey enters its third year with all its heart intact. This week’s instalment is an endearing, exciting reminder of why this series remains such a stand-out book. There were a lot of strong comics this week, yet, this one stands above the rest.
NBC’s year-end coverage kicks into full swing this week — yep, it’s list making time. Today I am offering my third annual look at which characters made the strongest impressions in 2015.
All entries are listed in alphabetical order.
0-0-0: This was probably one of the easiest pitches that Kieron Gillen has ever made: “evil 3-CPO”. The concept sells itself, right? What elevates the character above gimmick though is how well-executed it is. Despite some notable differences in ethical programming, 0-0-0 is very much a twin of the galaxy’s most famous protocol droid: deferential, thorough, proud of a job well-done and a bit cowering at times. Gillen evokes the mannerisms of 3-CPO so well that the reader cannot help but hear 0-0-0’s dialogue in Anthony Daniels’ familiar voice. This quality makes 0-0-0’s gleeful remarks about torture all the more chilling. It is also classic Gillen.
Continue reading This Year’s Finest 2015: The Most Memorable Characters of 2015
By G. Willow Wilson, Takeshi Miyazawa, Adrian Alphona, Ian Herring & Irma Knivila
Event tie-ins are often sources of concern. Many a great title has been derailed for a couple months by misbegotten editorial demands. Last year, though, writer G. Willow Wilson rose to the challenge of tying Ms. Marvel into Marvel’s Secret Wars. Along with artist Adrian Alphona, Wilson crafted a four issue story-line bursting with excitement, humor and heartfelt emotion. In other words, all the elements which help make Ms. Marvel one of the best series currently published. Tie-in or not, The Last Days of Ms. Marvel was one of the highlights of the year. Can Wilson repeat this feat with her tie-ins for the latest Event, Civil War II? Based on the initial chapter, the answer appears to be yes she can.
Hello friends, this week at The Banana Stand I wanted to talk about an idea I’ve been mulling over, and that is for an all women/girls team for the next “season” of Young Avengers. I loved the last edition by Gillen and McKelvie, and after hearing of the plans to keep the series in a season type of structure I couldn’t help but fantasize about the team I would want to read about. It all came about because even though I was/am a huge kid Loki fan, the character I found myself really loving after the last season was Miss America Chavez; she was just so cool, and I enjoyed every scene she was in. I then started wishing for a Miss America solo series, but I kind of knew that would never happen, so I moved on to making her a part of a team. This lead me on a path that culminated in the idea I’m going to lay out for you all in this article. So without further ado, let’s get to the team! Continue reading Young Avengers: My Season 2 Idea for an All-New! Team……Girls!