BEST BIG STUPID EVENT: ABSOLUTE CARNAGE (MARVEL)
There’s no way this should have been good. Marvel Events have been almost universally dull-to-terrible for the past several years, and anything with Carnage has absolutely no right to be good. But Donny Cates and Ryan Stegman have turned Venom into a “must read,” and this spin-off has the same kind of energy. Even several (but not all) of the tie-in books by other creators were fun reads.
BEST MARVEL BOOKS OF 2019
And we’re closing out with my favorite DC comics of the near on the next page.
Meet the Skrulls by Robbie Thompson and Marcos Martin. Family espionage drama. It’s like The Americans, with Skrulls!
Immortal Hulk by Al Ewing and Joe Bennett. This is what Marvel does best: Big superheroics that have some kind of twist or smart device to keep them going. Immortal Hulk combines horror and action the way Bruce Jones’ phenomenal “Hulk” issues of the 1990s did, while at the same time reconciling (and sometimes slightly retconning) the character’s half-a-Century long history, to create a new and truly frightening monster for a new generation of comic book readers.
House/Powers of X by Jonathan Hickman with Pepe Larraz, R.B. Silva and Marte Gracia. For once a reboot that’s truly a reboot. Die-hard fans of X-Books were rewarded by seeing all the big name characters and all the lesser ones, too (it’s an encyclopediac story). Newer/more casual readers were introduced and/or reintroduced to familiar faces in a story that set the stage for a brand new way of telling mutant stories–without sacrificing or ignoring their pasts. When Hickman takes on a Marvel project he has a full vision, and this is his finest yet. Sadly, the non-Hickman regular series that have flowed from these two concurrent miniseries have not been as good. But that doesn’t detract from the potential for future stories provided by this epic story. Bravo for making me care about the X-Men for the first time in many, many years.