2017 Comic Review or How I met Jorge from Fanboys
by Fanboy Jorge S
Hello everyone! If I wer treating this strictly as a best of 2017 rundown, this list would be about four months late. This however isn’t strictly a best of 2017 rundown it's more of an attempt to show you the things you can expect from me and my writing on this site. I’m hoping it's also a way for me to get to know you all as well, so after you read this you should all definitely drop some comments in the proper section so we can discuss what your favorite comics of 2017 were, what you hope see later this year, and even what you already love about the new year of comics. We'll laugh, argue, and cry...well I know I’ll cry…(damn you, Jason Aaron)... Anyway, let's get into it.
2017 was an amazing year for comics. DC's Rebirth began to streamline it's top tier releases that began in 2016 with the Rebirth event that reshaped the DC universe again. However, Rebirth was a far cry from the New 52 series which is still to this day looked on with a lot of scorn, save for a few highly regarded titles…(I'm looking at you Gail Simone's Batgirl).
DC used the following year in 2017 to not only strengthen the fan base but to release their second tier titles into the mix which were just as well received. They even brought back the Watchmen! I would love to talk more about that amazing series, but it's technically a 2018 release.
Marvel on the other hand had a comparatively lackluster 2017. That's not to say they haven't released some amazing titles as well, because I believe they have. As a matter of fact Marvel has released some of my favorite titles ever in 2017. A big part of their failure of course is their late response to Rebirth with their Legacy event which left a lot to be desired, and I mean a lot. Even the higher ups saw the issues with it and opted to release a similar event just months later. Couple this with the widely mixed reviews of the Secret Empire event and you have a company that's really struggling to match it’s rivals success when they should be worrying about finding their own footing.
It's not all as terrible as I make it seem. Like I said before Marvel still has some properly stellar titles being released, even some that I might not normally be interested in seem very intriguing based on other readers' reviews. It’s also worth noting that the mutant focused ResurreXion event was a major success both commercially and financially.
One might argue that there are simply too many mutant based comics, but the way I see it, that just means there are more chances to reach a wider audience.
5. Jessica Jones
Words can not tell you how upset I am over this series ending prematurely. Michael Bendis' move over to DC is the obvious reason for this series’ early end which is a real shame. This short but amazing series brought the title character back to her roots as a gritty, realistic, and human super powered individual. We get to see Jessica back in action like her Alias glory days before her time with the Avengers. With a daughter and a now strained relationship with Luke Cage, Jessica spends a lot less of her focus on self preservation, a pressure very well explored in the comic. Though short, we get to see a lot of what we love about Jessica, especially including her relationship with the rest of the super hero world. This series also gives us the return of celebrated enemy, and a very satisfying crossover with Secret Empire featuring everyone's not-so-favorite SHIELD agent, Maria Hill. If you're a fan of Jessica Jones, The Defenders, or any of the Marvel super hero cast of New York City then this series is for you.
4. X-Men: Blue
I was so excited for this when I first found out about it. I was first turned on to the time displaced young X-Men by Scott when he introduced me to the 2014 Guardians of the Galaxy series that included the Trial of Jean Grey. Since then however, I didn't really spend time on mutant comics until the ResurreXion event. The wait was so worth it though. I'm a huge fan of classic Uncanny X-Men and the original team, so to see a comic centered on them was pretty awesome. That plus the added fact that they were being lead by Magneto, one of my favorite mutants of all time, it was obvious I was meant to love this comic.
I was not disappointed with this series, in fact it's been a really long time since I enjoyed an X-Men series this much. Even their Secret Empire tie in was amazing. Nothing made me feel a sense of excitement more than watching Magneto put Hydra Cap in his place.
The main thing I love about this series is seeing how these youngsters who were pulled nearly a century into the future adapted to everything, and how they changed based on the present day. Among these changes of course was the decision to make Bobby Drake gay, which of course sets him apart from his modern day version but also makes the comic more easy to relate to among a wider set of communities. Additionally the constant threat of the Phoenix Force eventually taking hold of Jean Grey, and the fear it stirs in her which is further explored in her stand alone series is a great trope. Well written and with some great art it's must read for everyone who wants more mutants.
3. Detective Comics
I could easily talk about this series for four solid days. Not only is it exceptionally well written and beautifully drawn, it's also one of the first times we've seen so many bats and ex-bats in one place. Just to give an idea to non readers, this series includes: Batman, Red Robin, Batwoman, Spoiler, Orphan, Batwing, and Clayface. The cast is only matched by the story telling. One example is the fight of against the Colony that we thought cost Tim Drake his life. The Victim Syndicate, and the slow descent into breaking that we see among the entire Bat-family is quite emotional and was quite easy for me to relate to. The plots are all very well constructed yet play at a tone which is accessible to most readers. This series is another that features something for literally everyone to love.
One of the things I love most about this comic is the constant friction between the members of Batman's team. Basil is definitely one of my favorite characters of the series. As a powerful villain turned to good, we see him evolve over time into the very heart of the team. From his taking responsibility of those whose lives he's ruined in the Victim Syndicate, to his touching relationship with Cassandra, the most recent arc which is technically from 2018 showcases the authors' ability to work on our feelings. They are able to divide us just as easily as they divide the team whose story they are creating. Any Fan of the hosting cast, be it hero or villain will absolutely love the series
2. The Mighty Thor
If this were a list of my favorite Marvel comics of all time, this would definitely take the number one spot. Not only is it very dear to me but I believe it is one of the best and most important comics out there right now.
I can go on for hours about how Jane Foster becoming Thor was one of the best decisions Marvel could have ever made or how Jason Aaron is one of the most promising talents in comic book story telling, but it'll probably bore you to tears or wouldn't it? You should definitely let me know. Either way, as of late The Mighty Thor appears to be reaching the twilight of its life. Back in October Aaron released the commemorative 700th issue of the title series and named it The Death of Mighty Thor. Now we've known for a long time that at some point sooner or later, Jane was going to succumb to her cancer, what we didn't know was that it would turn for the worse during the attack of one of Asgards most fearsome enemies, the Mangog, a collection of all the rage from a billion dead souls.
Jane’s death is not all we should be concerned with in this story. In the last year we've seen a follow up to the previous years' war of the realms. We've fought through some truly demoralizing encounters like the War Thor arc, and learned to love Jane for what she hopes to represent, and just how much she is willing to sacrifice for it.
It's an unrivaled tale of just how far one will go to protect worlds, a tale of what it might feel like to have the chance to fight for what is good. What it feels like to believe with every fiber of your being that standing up for if it’s what’s right is worth everything. No matter how high the cost.
She's an inspiration really and no one was more fit to tell her story than Jason Aaron who has treated her character with such love and such respect that I may actually weep when it ends. Please check this out if you haven't read this series in it's entirety starting from her 2014 debut.
1. Green Arrow
This. This is the pinnacle of both story telling and art. Not only is Benjamin Percy one of the best writers DC has to offer but Juan Ferreyra is one of the best artists. He is also my personal favorite. Any fan of classic Green Arrow will love this series, it's got so much that long time fans will know and love. Not only do we get our favorite social justice warrior back doing what he does best, but we get to see him fight against all the social wrongs of today. We also get a return of Black Canary, who was notably absent for the entirety of his New 52 run, along with the supporting cast of Emi, Roy Harper, and John Diggle. All of the members of team Arrow when know and love.
A story is only as good as its villain? Damn right. Since the start of this arc in 2016 as a top tier release for DC's Rebirth we've seen Ollie put up time and again with the criminal and terrorism funding organization known as the Ninth Circle. They work quicker than anyone else in the world moving money and resources to criminal politicians, corrupt police officers, right wing extremists, and the like. The story is both personal without being overly personal, emotional, gripping, action packed, and full of messages we all need to hear. For any long time fan of the series or anyone wanting to get into the Green Arrow for the first time, the Rebirth series is an amazing place to start.