December Comic Awards

In the wake of the conclusion of 2014’s Comic Book of the Year Awards, we’re back to the regular routine of assessing the best comics of the month. The last batch of comics for the year brings 2014 to an excellent close as they pave way for the continuing exciting storylines and expected creative prowess to be let loose in the new year. Writers Robert Vendetti and Van Jensen proceed to finely embellish upon Barry Allen’s mystifying predicament in the Speed Force while the twisted Barry Allen from the future maintains his cover of playing The Flash in the present as seen in the pages of DC Comics’ The Flash #37. Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor #6 was a sure standout for December; an absorbing single-issue plot unconventionally starting at the end and ending at the start of the story in textbook Doctor Who timey-wimey fashion. The confrontation between Iron Man and Daredevil took an exceptional turn last month in Superior Iron Man #2 and we get to witness the outcome in #3, and, finally, the Fantastic Four’s struggle is further amplified.

But out of these and other nominees, which were the best for the closing month of the year? One comic stood above them all.

Cover of the Month Award: Avengers #38/New Avengers #28

Cover Art: Alan Davis, Mark Farmer & Brad Anderson 

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I’ve personally always liked when comic book covers carry the same image over multiple issues. Never mind my own reservations for artist Alan Davis’ recognizably bold, cartoony technique as this work is quite well done. S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Avengers team but-heads with The Illuminati in a corresponding stylized battle positions and the explosive energy emanating from this full-scale picture prepares you for what both issues hold inside.

Art of the Month Award: New Avengers #28

Artists: Mike Deodato & Mike Perkins

Color Artist: Frank Martin

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With the absence of an issue of the gorgeous Bucky Barnes: The Winter Soldier broadcasting Marco Rudy’s incredible artwork, this award was somewhat more competitive than previous months. Most of New Avengers #28 is drawn by comic book artist veteran Mike Deodato while four pages showcase the pin and ink of Mike Perkins. Why Perkins wasn’t credited on the cover of the issue, I couldn’t tell you, but this still remains the eye-catcher book of the month. Containing a few two-page splash pages (a rarity for a Hickman written book) and more of what you would come to bank on from Deodato’s sensationally amazing, muscular offerings, there is a lot to look at and love.

Story of the Month Award: New Avengers #28 (“You Can’t Win” Part II)  

Writer: Jonathan Hickman

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Following in stride after the actions taken in this month’s Avengers #39, Steve Rogers’ cat-and-mouse conflict with the on-the-run members that make up The Illuminati eight months from now turns violent. As Sunspot and his assembled Avengers World squad come to quell the rising tension, Steve Rogers has no plan to back down and decides to command a battle on two fronts. Sending in the captured Hulk from an alternate world, and deploying his Secret Avengers, New Avengers #28 is an exquisite balance of action and drama. It’s heroes versus heroes and just when you think you know what Jonathan Hickman is up to, there’s another curveball thrown in there to surprise you.

Issue of the Month Award: New Avengers #28 (“You Can’t Win” Part II)  

Writer: Jonathan Hickman

Artists: Mike Deodato & Mike Perkins

Cover Art: Alan Davis, Mike Farmer & Brad Anderson 

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I guess it’s kind of inevitable for the comic book issue that received all previous awards to also receive Issue of the Month as well. I apologize if I seem New Avengers biased, especially considering this title winning a good majority of my Comic Book of the Year Awards and so forth, but I can’t help the fact that this series manages to hit all the right beats. While I already touched on the primary aspects which justify why New Avengers #28 is the best comic of the month, I cannot emphasize enough the amount of fun to read an issue like this is. From the great dialogue, smart narration by Reed Richards, quality art, and hands down killer story, it keeps giving with each page.

Thanks for checking out my awards out and check back sometime next month for January’s Comic Book Awards! Until then, I, and hopefully you, will continue to be reading comics in the new year!

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