Now that we have entered 2017, here are Mauricio’s thoughts on the comic world of the past year.
Best Ongoing Series- Wonder Woman
While this volume of Wonder Woman had a new issue #1 this year, it both continues the story of princess Diana of Themyscira and brings the character back to a level of storytelling not seen in years. The twice-monthly schedule has allowed Greg Rucka to tell two related and complementary stories: “The Lies” and “Wonder Woman Year One.”
Both stories, illustrated by Liam Sharp and Nicola Scott respectively, explore Diana as both an icon of love and truth and as a three-dimensional character with desires, motivations, and a strong sense of duty.
Best New Series – Black Monday
Murders Black Monday Murders is the most Jonathan Hickman-y Jonathan Hickman book in years. The guy who brought us East of West takes on the financial sector and shows us a view inside Wall Street that might be almost as dark as the real thing. Think The Big Short but with literal vampires. Tomm Coker’s moody art makes for a perfect complement to Hickman’s dark and cynical writing.
Best Miniseries – A.D.: After Death Scott Snyder and Jeff Lemire are, individually, responsible for some of my favorite comics of all time. They had also collaborated during the early days of DC’s New 52 relaunch by writing the interconnected Swamp Thing and Animal Man titles. Now they have joined together to give us a brilliant and complex science fiction epic that is deeply grounded in emotion and memory. Lemire’s art anchors and brings to life Snyder’s script and together they build a brave new world for their readers.
Best Cover – Omega Men #8
Trevor Hutchison’s covers for Omega Men walk a line between art deco sensibilities and propaganda poster imagery. This combination of overtly political themes and travel iconography provides a great gateway into the complex stories within. The cover to Omega Men #8 does all this while suggesting the feel of a decades old science fiction pulp novel.
Best Single Issue – The Vision #11
Tom King and Gabriel Hernandez Walta’s dark and brilliant The Vision ramped up the tension for ten straight issues, leading to issue #11 of the book where the Vision directly challenges his fellow Avengers to take revenge on his brother Victor. The inciting incidents that lead to this are heartbreaking, and the Vision’s rage is palpable. Most disturbing is the fact that you, as the reader, might be rooting for the Vision to burn the whole world down that he might get his vengeance.
Best Graphic Novel – March Vol. 3
This third volume completes John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell’s civil rights epic. The ending, grounded in the framing device the creative team has been using since the first volume, delivers an emotional end to a powerful story. In addition to being a great story, this portrayal of Lewis’s part in the struggle for full citizenship for African Americans may be more poignant than ever.
Best Writer – Tom King
I first noticed Tom King’s as one half of the writing team for the amazing Grayson at DC. Since then, King has become the writer for DC’s Batman Rebirth title and has brought new depths and excitement to the ongoing adventures of the Dark Knight. More impressive, however, was his writing on three “smaller” titles: the dark and foreboding The Vision, the realistic and complex Sheriff of Baghdad, and the challenging Omega Men. The man was firing on all cylinders all year and I am excited to see what he has up his sleeve for 2017.
Best Artist – Nicola Scott
While Liam Sharp has been doing some great work in “The Lies,” the shining star of Wonder Woman’s art team has been Nicola Scott. Scott has a fantastic sense for layout and action, but it is her character’s expressive faces that make her art unforgettable. Her young Diana comes across as hopeful, compassionate, and determined with a few strokes of Scott’s pencil. She brought a different kind of brilliance to her other collaboration with Greg Rucka, Black Magick, where her artwork shines in a sparsely colored world of crime and magic.