Thee Comic Column #17: Best Comic Moments of 2012

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Much like my “Best Albums of 2012” list or my forthcoming “Best Movies of 2012″, the idea of a “Best Comics of 2012″ list becomes almost impossible to compile. Consider the fact that – unless you work for Newsarama or some other such comics publication that pays you to read comics* it is IMPOSSIBLE to read every book released in a year. Bearing that in mind once you set out to write something like this you quickly realize w/out that “paid to do it” advantage you will no doubt miss some great, great things. I didn’t read Brian K. Vaughn’s Ex Machina until this year, so the entire time it ran it would not have made my list. There is just SO MANY books that come out in a year and parsing that volume down to a merely handful of those things forces you to draw hard lines and flip/flop criteria, lean in and away from endearment, etc. This then forces a not-so-accurate representation of the individual merits of the books, often based on how you might feel at that particular moment. Am I overthinking this? Yeah, probably. But all that being said, looking back on the last year in comics there were certainly a number of high points that stand out in my memory and those are what I have used to assemble this list. With that in mind here then is my list of the best moments in comics for 2012.


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5) Venom # 15-  in the final panels of this issue we realize that as Flash Thompson, aka Agent Venom, has put his heart and soul on the line to join the secret Avengers he’s really not been completely honest with his teammates or himself. This is the moment where we as the readers experience the same epiphany Flash does – namely that he is addicted to using the Venom symbiote. I don’t want to oversell this and if you were to just pick up this single issue it wouldn’t make as much sense or hit nearly as hard, but this was the ‘greatest’ moment among a 22-issue run of great moments. It was also the moment when I realized Rick Remender could do NO wrong.









4) Rachel Rising – The whole series. Every issue. Immaculate, affecting and breath taking, in art as well as story. And here’s the thing – IT JUST KEEPS GETTING BETTER. A lot of baaaaad stuff happens in issue # 11, but not only that this is the issue where much of the story had drawn to a natural point of juxtaposition – formerly disparate events began to coalesce and once again I found myself gasping for breath at just how masterfully (and seemingly effortlessly) Terry Moore can weave a story. Issue #11 was filled with revelations, murder, more revelations and… well, and a thoroughly dark aesthetic that promises to shape the remainder of the series.




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3) The Boys # 71 – Wow, this was a long time coming. It’d only been within the last year and a half that, as Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson’s The Boys built toward it’s conclusion, the true scope of the story became revealed and we as readers began to see – at the same time protagonist Wee Hughie did – that Butcher, the leader of the team of superhero-monitoring tuffs called The Boys, was in fact just as evil as the capes his team had been playing “Cold War” with for the entirety of the series. With the confrontation between the Homelander, his fellow supes and The Boys coming to a bloody finish in issue #65, this left the final arc of the series for the true final battle to be fought. Amidst the bodies of his friends Hughie stared his mentor down for answers and ultimately revenge – years of revelations and a violently endearing conclusion which made for yet another emotionally wrenching issue in a series that by the end, had been absolutely FILLED with them.

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2) Fans of AMC’s The Walking Dead would probably be surprised to see where the characters they know – the ones that have survived over 100 issues of  the comic series – are today. Rick Grimes, his son Carl and their compatriots have gone through A LOT of terrible things in the last year, but none of it affected me nearly as much as Carl taking off his bandage for the first time (since suffering friendly fire during a melee in issue #83). This is a great reminder that not only is this series hardcore (ie – anyone can and probably will die or suffer terrible, terrible things) but you just never know where any of these characters are going to go or what they are going to do. And that makes for the best comic book reading around.



1) Uncanny X-Force #36 – Pictured above, this issue actually moved me emotionally. I won’t go as far as to say there were tears, but it struck a chord I don’t think anyone has ever struck with me when using Wolverine (or any of the X-books for that matter). Watching Logan first murder and then cradle his dead son in his arms, errant panels showing what life ‘could have been like’ for the father/son that really, should never have happened.


* Paid to read comics? DREAM JOB DREAM JOB DREAM JOB

Shawn C Baker

Shawn C Baker

Shawn lives in Los Angeles where he co-hosts Drinking w/ Comics, writes screenplays and fiction and has been known to drink quite a bit of beer. Good beer.

One Response to Thee Comic Column #17: Best Comic Moments of 2012
  1. [...] amazing comics that were published last year. Yeah, I know – excuses excuses. After doing a simila...

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