You’ve read about the best. Here are the rest.
10. BATMAN by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo (DC)
Okay, this might be unfair. I’ve read every issue of Snyder and Capullo’s run, and that means I’m at least interested. But I always seem to be on the verge of stopping. The stories have gotten more and more “word heavy,” and ideas are straying farther and farther from the Dark Knight detective I expect when I buy Batman. I’m not saying corporate comics have to be entirely predictable, but a solid connection to mythos and tradition is partly why I read them. This year, they “killed” Bruce Wayne (but weren’t fooling anyone) and turned Batman into Iron Man. And it’s so damn heavy. It’s a slog to get through, and I find it hard to believe people “enjoy” reading this book. It’s not terrible—there are many worse books on the market, including every single other Batman book and most other DC books. But I’d come to expect much better from this team.
9. Martian Manhunter by Rob Williams and Eber Ferriera (DC)
Issue one started out great, with some adventurous art and a storyline about invaders from Mars, but the book quickly descended into a miserably confusing morass. I don’t blame Rob Williams for it, either, I blame DC editorial for not explaining what the fuck was going on. I recognize that some of you may know all the histories of the more esoteric characters in the DC universe, but I don’t. Especially when DC blows up its own continuity every three years.
To be fair, I could have just put “DC Comics” as one of my big disappointments of the year, but they’ve been getting consistently worse year in and year out so I’m not even surprised anymore.
8. Age of Apocalypse by Fabian Nicieza and Gerardo Sandoval (Marvel)
This book probably had its fans. Namely, people who liked the original saga or who liked all those awful comics of the 1990s. Namely, not me. This is the Goofus to the gallant X-Men ’92, a digital only book that embraced it’s over-the-top 1990s roots and turned them into something charming.
7. The Dying and the Dead by Jonathan Hickman and Ryan Bodenheim
The first two issues of this were incredibly intriguing—a complex tale of redemption and Gods—I couldn’t wait to see what came next. And I mean that literally. Issue #2 came out in April, and number 3 didn’t arrive until late September. For a complicated tale like this, that’s just too long. I had lots of trouble picking it back up and following the threads. Note to Mr. Hickman, if you’re going to choreograph a mind-blowing event for the big two, don’t start a creator-owned book unless you’ve got a full arc in the pocket.
6. Injection by Warren Ellis and Declan Shalvey (Image)
You can’t ask for a more talented creative team, which is why I stuck with this book as long as I did, but in the end it felt ponderous and slow. It’s not a terrible comic, but this duo just came off a brilliant run on Moon Knight and then moved from all that high-octane excitement to a book that was basically a bunch of people standing around and talking. A lot.
5. Armor Wars by James Robinson and Paul Rivoche (Marvel)
A pointless book, a pointless story, in a string of disappointments by the author. I’m beginning to wonder why I look forward to his books coming out.
4. Mrs. Deadpool and the Howling Commandos by Gerry Duggan and Salvador Espin (Marvel)
This was one I knew would suck because Duggan but the concept was so awesome that I held out hope. Hopes dashed.
3. Runaways by Noelle Stevenson and Sanford Greene (Marvel)
Runaways is recognized as one of the greatest unsung books in Marvel’s history. Fans have clamored for the better part of a decade for its return. Now, maybe they’ll shut up. Runaways was lightning in a bottle, and this is just an ember in an old shoe. This book probably made me sadder than any other one that came out this year, but at least I finally feel like I have closure.
2. Injustice: Gods Among Us Year Four by Tom Taylor and a bunch of really tired artists (DC Digital)
Tom Taylor’s first two years on this were phenomenal. Year three was meh. This year was just awful. Cliché-ridden writing and sloppy art brought this series to a serious low point. Prior years have had an actual story, whereas this one is just like the video game: A series of one-on-one fights strung together with clumsy, insultingly stupid dialog. Time to end this.
1. Comic Book Movies.
Avengers 2 was boring. Ant-Man was good, but not as good as it should have been. Fantastic Four was probably the worst superhero movie ever made.
If it hadn’t been for Kingsman, it would have been a total loss. Oh, and at least we had TV. Supergirl! Gotham! Flash! Even SHIELD was better than last year.