20 (Or So) Best Comics of the Decade: Jonny’s Supplementary List
Posted January 12, 2010on:
A new decade has begun, and with it, High Five! Comics will soon be unveiling our special “20 (Or So) Best Comics of the Decade” event (take THAT, Siege). But before we reveal the big list, we’ll start with a series of supplementary entries from HF!C’s contributing writers about those comics we each individually loved, but that didn’t quite have the mojo to make the final ranks.
Today, Jonny talks about some of his personal favorite books from the last decade.
It’s been said that Wonder Woman is the least relevant character in the DCU. Comic fans have consistently loved her as a concept, but this love was born from a feeling that she should matter rather than feeling that she did. While she gets credit for being the most significant Golden Age lady-hero and the certainly the longest running, we forget that her stories have rarely been interesting and have been largely antithetical to feminism. DC wanted her to be important, but they never knew how to make her important. This led to so many decades of reinvention that it eventually became offensive. All of that changed in 2002 when Greg Rucka did a 3 issue mini-series called Wonder Woman: The Hiketeia. The success of this little story landed Rucka 31 issues of in-continuity Amazonian drama that gave us something we’d always wanted. While it may be disappointing that it took 61 years and a dude to find something interesting about the alpha-female of comics, the important thing is that it finally happened. And what a delight that was.
In the 1980s Alan Moore effectively turned the comic industry on its head with a body of work so glorious and enthralling that he could have retired in 1987 and remained the guru-god of comics the rest of his life. We never forgot that (and neither did he) but the fact is he kept writing. And in a decade fraught with Moore-shite like Promethea and Lost Girls it’s refreshing to know that Alan was still capable of churning out great stories that proved to be radically different than his previous dark works like Watchmen or Marvel Man. Dystopia be damned! Tom Strong showed that the Father of the Dark Age was able to stay relevant 20 years later and still write stories better than most of his contemporaries in the naughties.
Ok, so the title sucks. You know what other title sucks? “The Beatles”. Ok, so it’s steam punk. Well, Wolverine wears yellow spandex. Now that we agree a title and theme don’t always discredit art let’s talk about what Warren Ellis has done with his crew of 12 twenty-somethings and the world they destroyed. FreakAngels made my list for three reasons. First: it’s damned good. FreakAngels has a large cast of cantankerous, bickering characters, it has a great setting, and a story that really does make you beg for more. Second: this has got to be the best story you can get for absolutely FREE on the internet. Third and most important: FreakAngels has acknowledged modern technology and been among the first of it’s kind to embrace digital media. Way to go Warren.
A comic featuring characters licensed by TV-land was something I never thought I’d get behind. As a rule licensed works are lame, soul-less, and trite. And yet I cannot deny how fun the BOOM! Studios’ line of books is. Most of their licensed catalog is enjoyable, but Muppet Robin Hood takes the cake. Maybe it’s my undying love of the Muppets, or just my admiration for any publisher turning out this many kid’s comics that don’t suck, but I couldn’t resist thiscaper. Kermit Hood, Sweetums Little John, and Fozzy Tuck are here in a work that should have been a movie, and made me giggle just as much as their variety show did when I was a kid.
See Brendan’s favorites that didn’t make the cut here.