(Published by 8list,
Dec. 7, 2012.)
By Oliver M. Pulumbarit
Dozens of comic books made 2012 a memorable and fun for devout and newbie readers alike, but let’s narrow it down to a few of the year’s must-read graphic novels, ongoing titles, and miniseries:
The title depicts two potential futures where grown-up Archie ended up marrying Veronica in one reality and Betty in the other. But the similar element in those two separate timelines is the wedding of the gang’s gay friend in issue # 16, written by Paul Kupperberg. War hero Kevin Keller tied the knot with physical therapist Clay Walker twice in the moving—and inevitably controversial—milestone issue.
Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s ongoing run on the rebooted, flagship Bat-book is mostly inspired, aptly grim, and treads on previously untouched territory. The year’s arcs involve pitting the Dark Knight against the enigmatic Court of Owls and the deadlier, more grotesque Joker. Snyder’s tight collaborations with other artists on occasional back-up stories also enhance the book.
6 Morning Glories
Reading Morning Glories requires time and patience, but it’s ultimately rewarding. It focuses on a large cast of characters, students and teachers who have secret agendas and missions at a mysterious school. Slowly but surely, writer Nick Spencer and illustrator Joe Eisma unravel the complicated puzzles, which involve strange conspiracies and time travel.
5 Zsazsa Zaturnnah sa Kalakhang Maynila
The 85-page first issue spectacularly brings back
Ada, the effeminate male beautician who transforms into the sassy superwoman Zsazsa Zaturnnah. Packed with biting humor, big action sequences and an intriguing cast, Carlo Vergara’s Zsazsa Zaturnnah sa Kalakhang Maynila is an ecstatic, imaginative storytelling celebration.
Easily the most consistent and entertaining Avengers book from the Heroic Age batch, the now-canceled “
” had a great year and a memorable run, thanks to innovative and continuity-respecting scribe Christos Gage. The series featured classic Avengers with baggage as teachers to a new generation of super-beings, young trainees with the potential for villainy. Avengers Academy
3 Before Watchmen: The Minutemen
While it initially seemed sacrilegious to even consider expounding on Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ Watchmen mythology, Darwyn Cooke immediately proved that it’s not a bad idea at all. The writer delves into the complex connections between members of the Minutemen, elaborating profoundly on a number of minor characters. And oddly, his playful, cartoony style works in realizing some of the costumed adventurers’ darker moments.
2 Courtney Crumrin
Young sorceress Courtney Crumrin isn’t exactly heroic and nice—a couple of her previous graphic novels can attest to that—but she gets to prove her selflessness when a new friend gets into serious magical trouble. The colored monthly’s new stories by author-artist Ted Naifeh connect nicely to the older adventures, while introducing mysterious mystics and monsters from all over the Crumrin-verse.
1 The Walking Dead
Still gritty and unpredictable after all these years, The Walking Dead recently marked its 100th issue anniversary with the introduction of a new foe, Negan, and the untimely, brutal exit of one of the book’s beloved characters. It’s been a horrific year for Rick Grimes and company, but the title is rejuvenated by new challenges and even more zombie apocalypse survivors.