One thing I really appreciate about a miniseries is that there’s going to be a short, self-contained story to tell. The big two companies (Marvel and DC) also tend to take some chances in giving backgrounds to lesser known characters or spotlighting up-and-coming artists and writers in miniseries. All of these miniseries I read as single issues, not collected. Sadly, my favorite miniseries on this list was not intended to be a mini, but an on-going, before it was cut off at the knees.
Without further ado: My Top 5 Miniseries in 2010.
5. Gorilla-Man by Jeff Parker and Giancarlo Caracuzzo
Parker certainly excels in writing Ken. It’s clear, he’s having a lot of fun. I love how we’re pulled in with an action story and how that story ties into a deeper one about Ken’s origins. Especially who Ken was before he became the Gorilla-Man. We know he was a mercenary of some-sort, looking for immortality, but we don’t know a lot more about him otherwise.
The battle with Borgia Omega and his henchmen of art was fun. And that’s what I was expecting when I bought this comic. I love the steampunk sensibilities of how Caracuzzo depicts Borgia Omega. And finding hidden treasures and heads inside sculptures and behind paintings is perfect, classic Agents of Atlas. I also loved Ken recruiting some of Borgia Omega’s henchwomen, and Jimmy lecturing Ken on how they don’t need more people on the payroll.
I love little Ken the orphan, and how yes, in the 1930s, rich people could basically buy children as J. Avery Wolward does with Ken. Everything about Parker’s presentation of Wolward says that he’s a collector. A collector whether it’s a collector of orphans to mold to his ideals or whatever else he’s going to send Ken after.
The little bit of humor with Bob’s holo-projector wristwatch works well to keep it light. As does Ken’s brief knife fight with Ji Banda, who never learned the secret password to prove Ken’s on his side.
I’m really looking forward to finding out the connection between Wolward and Mustafa Kazun and their snake-headed canes. Because you know, snake-headed canes are a short-cut for evil.
4. Girl Comics by Abby Denson, Adriana Melo, Agnes Garbowska, Amanda Conner, Ann Nocenti, Carla Speed McNeil, Christine Boylan, Colleen Coover, Colleen Doran, Cynthia Martin, Devin Grayson, Emma Rios, Emma Vieceli, Faith Erin Hicks, G. Willow Wilson, Jill Thompson, Jo Chen, June Brigman, Kathryn Immonen, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Laura Martin, Lea Hernandez, Louise Simonson, Lucy Knisley, Mariah Benes, Marjorie Liu, Ming Doyle, Molly Crabapple, Nikki Cook, Ramona Fradon, Robin Furth, Sana Takeda, Sara Pichelli, Sho Murase, Stephanie Buscema, Stephanie Hans, Trina Robbins, and Valerie D’Orazio
#1: I really loved this comic. I loved being the audience. I loved that it showcased women writers, artists, and editors. Yes, not every story knocked me out of the park with awesome. A few did though. I appreciate the spirit and the ability to discover writers and artists I might not have otherwise read stories by.
#2: I love the concept of this series. I love this as an anthology of women authors and artists. I love the spirit, even if not every story rocks my world. Say what you will, but it matters that Marvel Comics took the time to do this.
#3: I think I’m rather sad that this series is ending, and it’s taken me longer than normal to put together my review, post-reading it. I hope Marvel continues to make an effort in hiring talented women to write, draw, color, ink, letter, edit, etc. their comic books. I would hate to see this “marketing stunt” turn just into that.
3. Chip by Richard Moore
After reading Moore’s Boneyard, I really wanted more of his wacky horror-humor mix. Even though he writes about vampires, ghosts, gargoyles, etc., they’re never scary. And that’s the basis of Chip. Chip’s a 4 1/2 inch gargoyle who isn’t scary. But he really wants to be. He lives on a farm in upstate New York where chipped gargoyles are put out to pasture. But Chip’s not chipped, he’s just not scary.
His best friend Ash is a pixie, and there’s a cat Burble, who’s in love with him and always rubs against Chip. Interestingly enough, Burble cannot speak and is just a cat.
After all the other chipped gargoyles make fun of him and give him a demonstration of their scaring power, Chip sulks away. He finds Ash and starts hatching a plan to learn how to be scary. Chip decides they must go to the haunted farmhouse to find ghosts, which can then teach him.
Of course, Chip himself is scared of everything in the house and the wild. This book is really cute and well worth the read.
2. Spider-Man: Black Cat by Jen Van Meter, Javier Pulido, and Javier Rodriguez
I love that this is a comic book about a woman’s job. Sure Felicia has friends and some co-workers, but this is all about her. I treasure that in a comic book about a female character.
The thief tone of this book felt perfect. Pulido did a wonderful job with the art and making it a great read. It adds to the fun. I do think fun best describes the comics I’ve read by Van Meter. They’re delightful and fun, and I’m so glad she’s getting writing gigs with one of the big two. She’s definitely very talented.
I love that Felicia the thief goes after what she wants no matter what. That she’s worried more about her reputation than her safety. That she could dress up in her Black Cat costume and steal the Faberge egg, but instead, she steals it in daylight. She steals it while in her civis and talking on her cell phone.
I’m really looking forward to reading more of this comic.
1. S.W.O.R.D. by Kieron Gillen, Steven Sanders, and Mike Del Mundo
I’ve had my ups-and-downs with Joss Whedon over the years, but if there’s one thing he can do, it’s create an interesting character. Agent Brand’s a good one. I’m so happy she gets her own comic because really out of all the Marvel comics, there needs to be a human (or half-human in Brand’s case) in space story. Plus, I’ve really enjoy Gillen’s creator-own comics.
The bits that play with gender roles in the Beast-Brand relationship work really well. Gillen doesn’t forget that Beast’s a scientist or that Brand does have a soft spot for Beast. He’s just her blueberry muffin. Adorable. But in all seriousness, it does take a special kind of mind to be able to work day-in and day-out with your significant other, especially when you’re in life-threatening peril.
I like Brand’s background being explored not just in dialog with Beast, but actually having her half-brother show up. There’s more of that showing, not telling.
This comic’s really great. I highly recommend it for anyone wanting to pick up something new and awesome.