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  1. #1
    Run Runner shaxper's Avatar
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    Default What was the single best issue/story you read in 2012?

    I'm always looking to learn from what others here have read and enjoyed!


    For me, it was the 1978 Silver Surfer Fireside graphic novel. It was the big reunion between Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, as well as Kirby's farewell to what I suspect was his favorite creation.

    Here was my reaction to reading it 362 days ago:

    Quote Originally Posted by shaxper

    Silver Surfer (1978 Marvel Fireside Book)

    Been wanting to read this for a while now -- Stan and Jack's last word on the Silver Silver together before Stan finally surrendered the character and allowed him to be used by other writers. It was also one of the comic book world's first original graphic novels.

    Really though, it was just AWESOME seeing Jack and Stan work in this new format. The fireside books featured a kind of paper that was far smoother and showed more detail than normal comic book pages, but was less glossy and distracting than what's used in tpbs now. Stan's pencils look amazing in this medium, possibly the best they've ever looked, and he and Stan certainly pour their hearts out onto each page.

    Essentially, this is a non-continuity re-imagining of the Surfer's origin, very similar in many respects, but highly different in others. It also works to reconcile the two different characterizations of the Surfer prior to this (Galactus' loyal herald who grows a conscience, Galactus' unwilling servant who sacrificed himself to save his world). They do a nice job of this.

    Beyond that, the story is 100 pages of the Surfer, Galactus, and (new character) Ardina engaging in philosophical debates with themselves and each other. This sort of thing felt tedious after a while in the pages of the first volume of SS, but it works better here, divorced of the need to impose a 20+ page story and conflict on top of it. The characters just go for it, discussing and discussing, and it works for the most part. It's relatively deep, it espouses some original ways of viewing the human race and life in general, and there are probably only about ten pages where the story seems to drag and become tedious in its moralizing and philosophizing (pp.76-85).

    Stan and Jack provide a unique perspective on Galactus this time, portraying the generally detached, aloof demigod as a conflicted character with real feelings, doubts, and character flaws. I couldn't decide whether I thought this was genius or sacrilege (note: I have never read modern day Galactus stories and have no idea how he is depicted in them). Still, it was different, and this book worked hard to provide some VERY different choices with the Surfer and his story this time around.

    I had to read the ending too many times to understand what choice the Surfer made. Perhaps Jack's artwork was just too far ahead of Stan's words, as I was immediately captivated by Jack's bookend artwork and, perhaps, slower to follow the words and their subtle meaning. Still not 100% sure I'm clear on what the Surfer decided, but I think I know. Either way, damn powerful. Just wish Stan could have been a tad bit clearer.

    Pretty unforgettable story overall. Fans of the Surfer REALLY should read this one.

    Why hasn't it ever been reprinted???


    EDIT: Wow. I keep thinking about that ending. I mean...that was pretty much an ultimate tragedy. Truly. I think I need to read this again and again and again. It might be about to move into my top ten favorite stories of all time.

  2. #2
    Elder Member thwhtGuardian's Avatar
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    My favorite new experience of the year was probably Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess' Stardust, it was just an all around fantastic little fairy tale. Content wise it was more of an illustrated novel but I loved the way it was serialized, having it broken up the way it was reminded me of when I was a kid and my Mom would read to my brother and I before bed.

  3. #3
    Welcome to Bleeker Street MRP's Avatar
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    I reread Secret Origins #10 this year presenting the 4 takes on the origin of the Phantom Stranger. It was the issue I read in high school that made the Stranger one of my favorite characters, and I hadn't reread it in nearly 25 years. I enjoyed it every bit as much this time around as I did then. A close second would be the run of Planetary #1-27 which really forms a single story of sorts. I had read the first half of the run as it came out, but when illness and other scheduling issues made this a quarterly or annual release I lost track of it and never got back to finishing it until this year. It is perhaps my favorite Warren Ellis series, with gorgeous art by John Cassaday and an homage to the great characters and genres that spawned the comic book heroes most of us here partake of.

    -M
    A lunatic is easily recognized...You can tell him by the liberties he takes with common sense...and by the fact that sooner or later he brings up the Templars.
    -Umberto Eco

  4. #4
    Elder Member thwhtGuardian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRP View Post
    I reread Secret Origins #10 this year presenting the 4 takes on the origin of the Phantom Stranger. It was the issue I read in high school that made the Stranger one of my favorite characters, and I hadn't reread it in nearly 25 years. I enjoyed it every bit as much this time around as I did then. A close second would be the run of Planetary #1-27 which really forms a single story of sorts. I had read the first half of the run as it came out, but when illness and other scheduling issues made this a quarterly or annual release I lost track of it and never got back to finishing it until this year. It is perhaps my favorite Warren Ellis series, with gorgeous art by John Cassaday and an homage to the great characters and genres that spawned the comic book heroes most of us here partake of.

    -M
    Planetary is a great series, that Batman issue is one of favorite comics of all time and the rest of the series is every bit as good.

  5. #5
    Run Runner shaxper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MRP View Post
    I reread Secret Origins #10 this year presenting the 4 takes on the origin of the Phantom Stranger. It was the issue I read in high school that made the Stranger one of my favorite characters, and I hadn't reread it in nearly 25 years. I enjoyed it every bit as much this time around as I did then.
    Definitely need to read this now.

    A close second would be the run of Planetary #1-27 which really forms a single story of sorts. I had read the first half of the run as it came out, but when illness and other scheduling issues made this a quarterly or annual release I lost track of it and never got back to finishing it until this year. It is perhaps my favorite Warren Ellis series, with gorgeous art by John Cassaday and an homage to the great characters and genres that spawned the comic book heroes most of us here partake of.
    One of my favorite runs of all time, though I could have done without the final issue.

    I was all set to love Elli's Newuniversal even more (it certainly had even more potential), but then Ellis left the project, claiming his computer and hard drive were destroyed by a virus. Seriously, what writer depending on a machine for his livelihood doesn't make back-ups???

  6. #6
    Senior Member Polar Bear's Avatar
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    It was a book, not a comic: Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman. Though packaged and marketed as a children's book, this is for all classics comics lovers interested in comics history, creator's rights, and Batman. Absolutely fascinating.
    Anyway, it is cool for you to acquire acrimony of crumbling time on blast this website.
    --best spam ever

  7. #7
    Run Runner shaxper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Polar Bear View Post
    It was a book, not a comic: Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman. Though packaged and marketed as a children's book, this is for all classics comics lovers interested in comics history, creator's rights, and Batman. Absolutely fascinating.
    Read the Amazon synopsis. Fascinating. I wonder if kids can grapple with a story about real-world injustice that goes unresolved, especially when attached to a character that is supposed to embody absolute moral righteousness.

    Whatever the case, I'll be looking for this on the book shelves. Thanks for the head's up.

  8. #8

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    Hard to say, which is one reason I am participating in the Comics Club this year, as I can't exactly recall what issues I read this past year. Other than 120ish mediocre issues of Wonder Woman.

    So I will say Life with Archie was the best comic I read this year and the best ongoing comic being published (at least, of those I have read, which is only a small portion). Great straight up soap opera stuff with excellent character work from writer Paul Kupperberg. Plus the art is sharp, courtesy of people like Norm Breyfogle (who I thin is not currently drawing it, but did do some previous arcs). Good enough to get me collecting Archie titles for the first time ever.
    At last, Boy Comics finally gets its own website!

  9. #9
    Elder Member dupersuper's Avatar
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    Question...too...hard!

    *brainsplosion*
    Pull List; seems to be too long to fit in my sig...

  10. #10
    Elder Member dupersuper's Avatar
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    Question...too...hard!

    *brainsplosion*
    Pull List; seems to be too long to fit in my sig...

  11. #11
    Run Runner shaxper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Harris View Post
    Plus the art is sharp, courtesy of people like Norm Breyfogle (who I thin is not currently drawing it, but did do some previous arcs). Good enough to get me collecting Archie titles for the first time ever.
    Breyfogle...on Archie???

    Wow. Clearly I need to give this genre another try.

  12. #12
    Senior Member CromagnonMan's Avatar
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    dont think i could pick a single issue off the top of my head but the best discovery for me in 2012 was Kanigher/Kubert's Enemy Ace and Sgt Rock.

  13. #13
    Senior Member edhopper's Avatar
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    BONE. Finally got around to read it in the b & w softcover collection. I heard it was great, but it exceeded all my expectations. An amazing work.

  14. #14
    Senior Member mrc1214's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edhopper View Post
    BONE. Finally got around to read it in the b & w softcover collection. I heard it was great, but it exceeded all my expectations. An amazing work.
    I have it sitting on my shelf I really need to start it already.

  15. #15
    Senior Member edhopper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrc1214 View Post
    I have it sitting on my shelf I really need to start it already.
    Yes, yes you do.
    You will not be disappointed.

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