Story of the Year Award –
Single Issue: New Avengers #21, “The Bomb” (July 2014)
This issue will leave you in awe. Here we observe the finale of the blockbuster conflict between The Illuminati and The Great Society. With whole worlds hanging in the balance, The Illuminati are staring the unthinkable right in the eyes and it is staring back. Can they possibly kill a world? These heroes who are like saviors to their own? So much is at stake, and each team member’s soul and morals are horrifyingly tried. The heaviness and underlying dark sadness in this issue is staggering. New Avengers #21 is perfectly scripted by Jonathan Hickman and the last few pages are heart-wrenching to the reader.
Issue of the Year Award:
New Avengers #16, “A Perfect World” (March 2014)
Jonathan Hickman’s and Rags Morales’ New Avengers #16 is a revolutionary comic book issue. As Black Panther and Namor review this alternate earth which has survived incursions in curious ways, we are introduced to The Great Society, a league of heroes. This is where this comic pulls its stroke of revolutionary genius. Paying attention, it’s easy to detect that The Great Society are replicas of the Justice League, competitor DC Comics’ popular superhero team. Zoran, the Sun God (Superman), The Rider whose name is called Wayne (Batman), Dr. Spectrum (Green Lantern), Boundless (The Flash), The Jovian (Martian Manhunter), and The Norn (Dr. Fate). While not looking exactly the same as their DC counterparts, the resemblance is undeniably there, and each hero shares the same powers as them. And if you’re really paying attention, The Great Society’s Earth number is 4,290,001, and when added up without the zeros (42+9+1), the math equals 52 – DC Comics’ often representative number. This is a smartly executed plot device that is matchless. Why it is so radical is because we finally get to see what it might be like if Marvel met DC. That is every comic book fan’s dream, and New Avengers lets you in on the next best thing.
Series of the Year Award: New Avengers
Twenty-five issues later and The Illuminati are enduring to stop the unnatural death of everything. They are still trying to solve the same problem that was introduced to them in issue one of this series, and while it could sound like a slow comic to some, I’ve never read a comic book series before that has pulled me in and made me feel like Jonathan Hickman’s New Avengers has. It is my favorite comic book I’ve ever read. The expanding storyline is beyond impressive and the excellent work of the gifted artists on New Avengers will always be imprinted on my mind. This is the book I can’t wait to read every month and every issue, with its tremendous tone and satisfaction, features a team of heroes losing themselves in the wheels within wheels of impossible choices. You need to read New Avengers, not due to the fact I recommend it, but because ten years from now, this book will be considered a modern, and hopefully an all-time, classic to be remembered forever. You could be a part of that.
And this concludes my Comic Book of the Year Awards for 2014! Happy New Year everyone and thanks for reading!