The Pullbox Awards 2009: Best / Worst Marvel

You got our take on DC a few days ago, here is from Joe’s corner of the world…

Best Marvel

Greg – For the better part of this year, Dark Avengers was the best book I wasn’t reading. It was only through the use of my geek friends that lent me their issues that I was allowed to peak at the rights and wrongs of Norman Osborne and his motley crew. The use of villains as heroes wasn’t a new concept at all, but Dark Avengers certainly put a new spin on things.

Eric – While I agree with Greg that Dark Avengers is a great book (and much better than I ever anticipated), I believe that The Initiative has been a better support book for the MU and an excellent place for writers / editors to introduce new stories and characters.  But neither of these get my vote.  I will have to go with (even though it is unfinished – will it ever be finished?) The Twelve – Marvel’s far superior answer to Ross’ Superpowers books.  Outstanding writing that takes this used plot device (JSA anyone?) and makes it fresh!

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Liana (Pop Culture Diva)The Incredible Hercules. It’s the Ambush Bug of the Marvel Universe, but better!

MikeThor – I know that there have been writer/artist changes and so many late issues, but it is still one of the best books out there.  Thor being banished from Asgard?  Loki throwing in with Doom and selling out his own brethren?  Awesome storytelling and great art.  Who can forget William the Warrior?  A human taking on three Asgardians.  Not only that, but making the readers care about this guy who was a short order cook.  Better yet is Volstagg taking over at the diner for him.  This series has some of the best developed characters and I hope the new creative team can continue this.

Chris and Neil (Kowabunga comics) –  Um…what? Is there one?  Incognito (Icon, Marvel Imprint)

Worse Marvel

GregI don’t read a lot of Marvel because every time I get excited about a book, it goes south after about 6 issues. This can been seen in the issues of Hulk. I know it started in 2008, but the story hasn’t really moved forward since then. We still don’t know who Rulk is, and I really don’t care anymore. I used to love the writing of Jeph Lobe, but this is going to go down and one of his biggest failures of his career.

Eric – For me Marvel has really failed all the way around in the heroics department.  Most or all of your major heroes have had some lapse in judgment or morals that have “tainted” them from being the true blue hero the fans want them to be.  Yes, Marvel has always had their anti-heroes… but this year it seemed like every hero became dark and sketchy.  When every character on the roster is willing to go over the line, it makes the line between hero and villain non-existent.

Liana (Pop Culture Diva) – Marvel Divas. It encapsulates all the things at Marvel Comics that keep me at arms length and cause me to relate more to Beast than Jean Grey. Divas was pitched as a mainstream comic for women (Yay!), but every woman I know who read it absolutely loathed it. Who exactly was this book written for? If being summarized as Sex In the City with superheroines done by a male creative team isn’t bad enough, said creative team described it as a lot of hot.

Men aren’t interested in Sex In The City. Women aren’t interested in a lot of hot fun unless it involves Daniel Craig or something. Divas was marketed with a cover depicting a quartet of babes just standing there looking breasty. That’s a male demo, straight up. The book doesn’t even appeal to lesbians, because what’s inside fails the Bechdel Test. (The Bechdel Test is as follows: 1. It has to have at least two women in it. 2. Who talk to each other. 3. About something besides a man.)  A man cannot write Sex in the City and infuse the story with any relevance. It cannot come across as anything but pandering, despite the best of intentions. Sex in the City itself was not high art. It was pandering, but at least it was a woman creator pandering to other
women.

Worse than the actual miniseries, however, was the scandal around it. I get really frustrated when the word “misogyny” gets tossed around inappropriately. There have been far more hateful things directed at women in comics over the years, and just because something directed at women is badly done doesn’t mean it’s hateful. Overblown, knee-jerk reactions like this result in an increasing deafness in the comic book industry to our pleas for better content for women

MikeFantastic Four – Sorry, Eric, but I have been a longtime fan of the FF, but they have been too much of “imaginauts” lately and not enough adventurers and problem solvers.  I don’t want to see Ben and Johnny going on vacation, I want to see what Reed is going to go about Galactus being used as an engine.  Too much going on with the Franklin and Valeria, specifically Valeria.  We are bordering on issues as bad as when a young clone of Dr. Doom was a member of the FF while Reed was lost and Lyja was “pregnant” with Johnny’s baby.

Chris and Neil (Kowabunga comics) – X-Men Forever, SWORD, Marvel Divas, Lock Jaw and the Pet Avengers

There you have it, our take on Marvel – we hit the indies and big events next!

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Updated: December 6, 2010 — 10:17 pm

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