Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Illumi-Nerdi's Best of the Best in 2013-Part 2

Every year, we make a list about all the movies, TV shows, and comic books that we watched and read during the year. For the past few days, I've become aware of a few things. I TV binge way too much and most of it's crap. I don't go out and spend $12.50 to see Oscar-worthy films. No, I go to the movies to be blown away by special effects and laugh at really stupid jokes. However, I do read some pretty rad comic books. This year's review will be 95% comics. Stretch your arms, place your headphones into your ears, and fasten your seat belt. The Illumi-Nerdi plans to educate you about a year of breathtaking and awe-inspiring moments of nerd culture.


Best Creative Duo in Comics Award: Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo on Batman

Two years and 25 issues in Greg Capullo and Scott Snyder continue to make Batman one if the best books out there and they are showing no signs of slowing down. Fresh off the heals of their wildly successful introduction of The Court of Owls and the reintroduction of the Joker in The New 52 , Snyder and Capullo had been given the tough task of telling Batman's origin in a fresh new way. But their tale is not just a simple retelling of an origin that comic fans and non-comic fans alike know. It is a re-invigoration that boldly goes in new directions and further fleshes out the caped crusader in ways that have never been attempted. Snyder’s story continues to be multi-facetted and emotionally powerful as he continues to take Batman to new heights, while paying homage to his long and storied history. Capullo's art fits perfectly with the story that Snyder tells. From his chilling representation of the floppy face joker to his timeless rendition of the moment that Bruce Wayne decided he would become Batman. Alone they are among the greatest in the industry, but together they are the simply the best. Truly a dynamic duo.

Written by Alexander Handziuk

Comeback Character Award: Green Arrow
Published by DC Comics
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Andrea Sorrentino

When the New 52 first hit the stands, fanboys were eager to read a revitalized Green Arrow. However, it was a mediocre title at best. By Year 2 of New 52 and the first year of Arrow, fans were hoping and praying that Green Arrow would re-enter DC's pantheon of heroes. There was no such luck. By the end of the year 2, Arrow's popularity was rapidly rising, and Marvel's very own archer, Hawkeye has his own solo book, and its numbers were quickly increasing. DC had to make a move before the book was canceled. Their move consisted of placing Jeff Lemire as the new writer and Andrea Sorrentino as the artist. Picture a hint of Hawkeye's book, an ounce of CW's Arrow, and fanboys receiving a breath of fresh air. All that added up to a reemergence of Green Arrow. Most readers place Green Arrow in DC's B list group. However Lemire and Sorrentino stripped Green Arrow of it's capeness, added a secret history to DC's mythology, and placed Green Arrow in a spy versus spy-genre. It's good to see Green Arrow get back the respect he deserves.

ComiXology's Newest Add to my Pull-List Award: Doc Unknown
Writer: Fabian Rangel JR
Artist: Ryan Cody

For years I refused to read digital comic books. I don't know about you, but I needed to hold the book in my hands and turn the pages with my fingers. One night the Internet was boring and Netflix failed to entertain me. So I decided to look through my inbox and I found an intriguing email for reviewing Comixology's Review Submit. One of the first titles I read was Fabian Rangel Jr's Doc Unknown. For those who haven't read it, Doc Unknown is old school noir meets Green Arrow. Doc Unknown is about a masked hero protecting Gate City from evil. Each issue is a stand alone story that explores Doc Unknown's origin. Rangel JR does a great job building Unknown's mythology in its short run, and he doesn't overload the pages with an overabundance of dialogue. Instead, the book relies on the artist, Ryan Cody, making Gate City a character within the book, and Rangel's superb job of developing the characters in a very short time. Next time you want to try a new comic book, Google ComiXology, and buy Doc Unknown. It's worth the time and cash.

Best Boyband in the Comic Community Award: Ed Brisson and his Army of Artists
Sheltered # 4

If you're an avid reader and belong to Twitter, you should be familiar with Canada's Ed Brisson and his artists: Michael Walsh, Johnnie Christmas, Simon Roy, Jason Copland, and Vic Malhotra. In the past year, Murder Book Alumni can be found in every corner of the comic book. It started with Ed and Michael teaming up for Comeback at Image Comics. At IDW, you can find Val working on Thumbprints and Michael re-introducing the world to Agents Mulder and Scully. While back at Image, Brisson bought over another Murder World artist, Johnnie Christmas, to work on Sheltered. Simon Roy can be found in Image's most recent reboot of Prophet. At Marvel, the reader can find Ed and Michael working on two separate Secret Avengers' arcs, and Jason Copland on Daredevil #33. These gentlemen are the future and they have so much to offer to the comic community.

#1 Comic Company at NYCC Award: Image Comics

Here's our open letter to Image Comics. Unlike some comic panels and booths, Image's booth is organized. Their workers are actually smiling and they're enjoying their time. The end game of this letter is to thank Tyler Shainline and his team for making new and old comic book fans feel comfortable. Whenever we or anyone else had a question, the booth team didn't guess, but they cared and searched for the answer. Even if they had no idea, they took their time, and pursued the right answer. At the end of the day, we want to thank you guys and gals for caring. Outside Shainline's incredible team, Image's creators bring in readers via Facebook and Twitter. They are not pompous or douchey. Creators like Ed Brisson, Joshua Williamson, Robert Kirkman (Met him a bar and he's super nice), Roc Upchurch, Kurtis Wiebe, Joe Eisma, Rob Guillary, Amy Reeder, Michael Walsh, and Kelly Sue DeConnick . In the past few years, we the fans have looked at these creators as celebrities. These guys and gals deal with us via social networks and in person. Even if the typical fan doesn't entirely know you, all of you are so pleasant and caring because that person bought your book.

The Pablo Picasso Comic Book Award: The Red Ten
Published by Comix Tribe
Writer: Tyler James
The Red Ten #5
Artist: Cesar Feliciano 

It was Pablo Picasso that said "Good artists copy, great artists steal." Tyler James, the creator and writer of The Red is re-imagining DC's Big 7 with drastic changes to the characters and killing them off one by one. Instead of Batman being a man, the cape crusader is a woman and Comix Tribe's Flash-esque character is a pill popper. The Red Ten's major villain is a Joker-esque character but with a unique twist. The villain is named Oxymoron and kills anyone that self-contradicts their personality and/or values. With James' pen and Cesar Feliciano's brush, Comix Tribe transports a cape book into the murder-mystery genre. Usually fans cry because the cape-genre has been done over and over again. However, Tyler and Feliciano took the cape-genre to whole other level of creativity. They deserve recognition for taking an old idea, performing CPR on it, and refurbishing it into something brand new.

Best one-shot from the next generation of comic creators Award: PULP
Writer: Jeremy Holt
Art: Christopher Eric Peterson.

Once again, Jeremy Holt delivers a hit, but this time teaming up with the artist of Dark Horse's Grindhouse: Doors Open at Mightnight #1, Chris Peterson. PULP tells a story about a writer chasing his dream of publishing a piece of literature. However, this isn't a heartfelt tale about the ups and downs of achieving your dream. No, it is just more than that. PULP follows a creator's delusional dream and his bloody path to isolation. Holt and Peterson deliver a Memento-esque story that merges horror and noir.


Best Live Action Birth of a Superhero Award: CW's Barry Allen

When Arrow launched, just over a year ago with it's grounded, no powers shtick it seemed like a bit of a lost opportunity. So much of what makes superheroes distinguishable are their powers and the apparent lack of such properties made Arrow feel a bit short of its potential. Thankfully Barry Allen had other plans. From the moment he stumbled in, a few minutes late to the crime scene it immediately became clear that he was something special. From his mannerisms to his look, Barry Allen live action birth was done right. Grant Gustin plays Barry Allen exceptionally well and it seems that all the fuss over whether he was a good fit to play Barry was for naught. The future of The Flash is bright and 2014 looks to be an action packed one for the likes of Barry Allen and it is a future that fans can look forward to.

Written by Alexander Handziuk


Most Tiring Fanboy Outcry Award: Anything to do with Man of Steel 

One of the most polarizing comic book movies in 2013 (also of all-time) was undoubtedly Zack Snyder’s reboot of Superman “Man of Steel.”  It seemed as if fanboys either absolutely loved or despised his take on the classic American superhero.  Whether it was the collateral damage and absolute loss of innocent lives, the fact that Lois Lane figures out Kal El’s secret identity with too much ease or Jonathan Kent being somewhat cold when it comes to his adopted sons “different” talents (who could forget the discussion of the bus accident).  All in all it was one of the most talked about films among fanboys in a long time. 

P.S.With the casting of Ben Affleck as the caped crusader in the next installment of Zack Snyder’s reboot and the reaction to it, its safe to say in 2015 Superman will bring verbal fisticuffs among fanboys all over the world.

Written by TJ Kiss 


Comeback Band Award: Jesse and The Rippers

If you could find one theme in 2013, what would it be? My answer would be the "Return of the 90s." Cable, Bishop, talk of Doomsday appearing in MOS 2, the beginning stages of a X-Force movie, and the return of Jessie and The Rippers. If you're a fan of Jimmy Fallon then you know his passion and obsession for anything 90s. This summer, NBC hand-wrapped a present for my girlfriend, and when she opened it she found a mini-Full House reunion. Not only did we get the original - yes, the original Rippers cast, but John Stamos had the mullet and fashion sense that belonged to Jesse Katsopolis. Don't stop reading because it only gets better. In the crowd, the viewer found Danny Tanner doing a wacky dance and Jessie's wife, Becky, cheering him on. In the end, Becky arrived on stage along with Jimmy Fallon, and Jimmy had the audacity to touch Jesse's hair which of course Jesse put a stop to it. It will be a night that will live infamy for the children of the 90s.

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