2013 was a great year for comics. It feels like a similar statement is made after every year concludes, but 2013 unquestionably saw exceptional work from several creators, across multiple publishers and genres within the medium. To close out the year, we offered what we felt to be the best comics of the year, highlighting dozens of writers and artists whose creative output we felt deserved to be celebrated.
But now we want to hear from you. Readers often offer us their opinions, via the comment section or social media, as to what they’re enjoying, or what they think we missed. Now we’d like you to let us know with your vote, as this week we’re launching the first annual ComicsAlliance Reader Choice Awards. We’ll have two categories per day throughout the week, and you can vote more than once if you like, though you’ll have to wait an hour at least before coming back to vote again. Voting will be open until February 11 at 10 a.m. EST, and we’ll announce the winners shortly after.
We’re kicking things off with Best Writer, and you can cast your vote after the cut.
And lo, we come to the end of another epic Marvel crossover event and -- quick head count -- it looks like all the black characters are still alive. If it's dead minority superheroes you're looking for, you'll have to go read Uncanny Avengers instead. Sorry, gang.
In fact, the Avengers' cosmic war-on-two-fronts is surprisingly light on a body count, which is the usual way the PR guys tell us that the stories matter. So now that Jonathan Hickman'sInfinity is, paradoxically, over, did all that kerfuffle tell us anything profound about the human condition? And were the Jim Cheung fight scenes good?
We're fast approaching the end of Marvel's sprawling space war/alien invasion crossover event Infinity, with one more issue to come. If you thought the story's two main threads -- the war against the Builder armada on the one hand and Thanos's invasion of Earth on the other -- were going to neatly come together, well... you may be disappointed. They are in the same comic, however.
Saturday afternoon's Marvel panel was billed as an Inhumanity panel, but most of the announcements were for new Marvel solo books, and there was almost – almost – news about the future of the Ultimate Universe. But not quite.
Marvel Senior Vice President of Publishing Tom Brevoort took the lead, joined by Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso and Ultimates editor Mark Paniccia, as well as writers Kieron Gillen, Jonathan Hickman, Kelly Sue DeConnick and Dan Slott.
Reader, this installment of Comics Alliance X Infinity, our recap of Marvel's latest big crossover event, is running shamefully late, but I swear I have a good excuse. I've been playing Avengers Alliance on Facebook all weekend. Now, I know that doesn't sound like a good excuse, but look, they're running an Infinity tie-in mission, so it's basically research, all right? And I don't think you fully understand how badly I need to unlock Black Bolt as a playable character.
But the comic version of Infinity won't wait forever. Or will it? My editors certainly won't, so let's jump back into the Infinity whirlpool with issue #3, by writer Jonathan Hickman and the returning art team of Jerome Opeña, Dustin Weaver and Justin Ponsor. Spoilers ahead!
On sale next week is East Of West #6, the latest issue of Jonathan Hickman and Nick Dragotta's sci-fi western series for Image Comics. Due to a Celestial event near the end of the Civil War, the technology of the American Frontier has been drastically advanced, but now the country finds itself teetering on the edge of disaster. As the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse attempt to kill the President of the United States, the man known as The Ranger has been recruited to hunt down and kill Death.
Image Comics has provided ComicsAlliance with a preview of East Of West #6, and you can check it out after the cut.
Welcome back to the Comics Alliance guide to Marvel Comics'Infinity, where we disentangle the Möbius strip of writer Jonathan Hickman's database-powered brain. When last we left the action in Infinity #1, the Avengers were heading into space to fight the Builder fleet, which left the planet undefended against Thanos. For a certain value of undefended. Only most of the superheroes were still on Earth. Like those 50 State Initiative guys. They can't all be on Arcade's Murder Islands, can they? Is there a 50 State Murderpeligo that Dennis Hopeless hasn't told us about?
Issue #2, with art by Jerome Opeña, Dustin Weaver and Justin Ponsor, opens with the arrival of Thanos's horror circus, the greyest show on Earth. The Avengers, meanwhile, have joined up with a host of alien races, had a big space battle, and lost it. That seems like a bit of a jump in the narrative, but Hickman has created an unorthodox storytelling challenge for himself, and the results are a little variable.
When Marvel announced that this year's big summer event comic was called Infinity, I considered faking my own death. I mean, it sounds a bit much, doesn't it? "Infinity?" As in, "having no end?" Didn't we already do that with Secret Invasion? Still, an event with no ending is good news for whichever minority character was meant to die in the last chapter.
But it turns out Infinity is actually a pretty tight sprawl, as sprawls go. The main series is six issues. The story spills over into six issues of Avengers and four issues of New Avengers. And everything else will tie-in somehow, because, hey kid, nice wallet you got there, be a shame if something happened to it.
So I didn't fake my own death! I'm here, present and correct, to provide ComicsAlliance's exclusive and totally spoiler-riddled guide to Infinity: ComicsAlliance x Infinity!It'll be over before you know it.
First issues of event comics have to accomplish a lot. They have to introduce a conflict, introduce a villain, give heroes memorable moments that bring the reader back to see more, set up side stories that can be fleshed out in other titles, have a big battle scene, and the list goes on.
Infinity #1 by writer Jonathan Hickman and artist Jim Cheung with a team of inkers, colorist Justin Ponsor and letterer Chris Eliopoulos, does some of those things, but in a sort of sidestep rather than a straight-ahead dash. And some of the items on the checklist, it willfully denies the reader. In the end, I wound up liking the approach, but getting there took a lot of trust not every reader may have.
Though sci-fi comics have enjoyed a renaissance of late, the sci-fi western genre, if such a thing exists, is certainly not one dominating the shelves. But East Of West, the Image Comics series from Jonathan Hickman and Nick Dragotta, has been one of the more successful and celebrated new series of 2013. East Of West features an alternate history tale of a technologically advanced American frontier, due to a Celestial event at the end of the Civil War. Now the country is teetering on the edge of disaster, as the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse attempt to kill the President of the United States. Hickman writes a tale that gives ample opportunity to Dragotta and colorist Frank Martin to create everything from robotic steeds to the image of the four horsemen clawing their way through dirt, bone and metal.
In issue #5 of the hit series, the contents of the apocrypha are revealed, and it may or may not predict the end of the world. East Of West #5 arrives in stores next week, and Image Comics has provided ComicsAlliance with a preview, which you can check out after the cut.
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