With 2009 coming to a close, the challenge was to pick and rank the 10 best comics from the entire year. I’ve estimated reading approximately 1,500+ issues over that time frame, so obviously it wasn’t the easiest task to complete. Still, after much deliberation, these are my picks for the 10 best comics of 2009.
1. Jonah Hex #50
Writers: Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti
Artist: Darwyn Cooke
Originally reviewed on December 3, 2009
Perfection. Defined as the highest degree of proficiency, skill or excellence, perfection is near impossible to achieve, especially when every comic ever printed is subjective in nature. You know, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” and all that jazz. Still, when I thought about all the comics I’ve read this past year, this issue of Jonah Hex kept coming back to me. While not perfect (frankly, what is?), it’s pretty close.
A wonderful done-in-one tale following our “hero” as he diligently goes about his day job, in this specific case while hunting down 50 various bad guys who had it coming to them. A fine story on it’s own. Now add a dash of romance – or the bounty hunter’s version of it – to the mix, sprinkle in a little personal vengeance, and top it off with a jolting reminder of how cruel life can be, and you’re left with a portrait of a man who makes no excuses for who he is or what he does, life expectations be damned.
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There is a new Barnes and Noble that just opened up in my neighborhood. Its built into an apartment building, one of three such glass & metal monstrosities recently built in the Upper East Side, with escalators that take you underground. So, at least if the events of The Day After Tomorrow ever happen (and Al Gore increasingly convinces me that they might) we’ll at least have a place to take cover.
Anyway, this new B & N is a MALL. A mall of books. Two floors, God-knows how many square feet of DVDs, books, graphic novels, film script collections, and pretty much everything ever printed. To say the least, I blacked out somewhere between the hours of one and four this afternoon.
My first recommendation is the first book I came away with: The Dylan Dog Case Files, published by Dark Horse Comics. Translated from Italian, Dylan Dog is a supernatural detective that hunts monsters in the Louisiana Bayou. Created by Tiziano Sclavi, Dylan is being brought to life by Superman himself, Brandon Routh in the movie Dead of Night.
My second recommendation is Detective Comics #854, which introduces the new creative team of Whiteout writer Greg Rucka and artist J.H. Williams III. The book also features Rucka’s creation from the pages of 52, Batwoman. If you happened to make it to New York Comic Con this past February you were treated to the delights of the first few pages of what is sure to be a downright beautiful book. You can download a preview of it at the link above.
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