Writer: Bryan Q. Miller
Artist: Lee Garbett (6-7, 9-12, 14), Talent Caldwell (8), Pere Perez (10, 12-13) and Dustin Nguyen (15-16)
Batgirl started out 2010 with a team-up with Damian Wayne before moving into a crossover with Red Robin and the final arc of her first year as she faced off against the Calculator, who was trying his best to destroy the life of Barbara Gordon. To fill in the interim between arcs, two one-shots were released, one dealing with an encounter between Batgirl and Clayface, and the other featuring a fun tale as Batgirl and Supergirl faced off against an army of Draculas who’d escaped from the world of their movies. As the Bat books moved into the Batman Inc era, Stephenie found herself framed for murder and managed to resolve this problem before the year was over.
Writer: Judd Winick (1-16) and Keith Giffen (1-6)
Artist: Aaron Lopresti (1, 5, 8, 11, 14), Joe Bennett (2-4, 7, 10, 13, 15), Fernando Dagnino (6, 9, 12, 16)
The surprise hit of the year has been Justice League: Generation Lost, a series that has surpassed the more likely hit, Brightest Day, in nearly every way. It focuses on the Justice League International, the only people who remember Maxwell Lord, who was resurrected at the end of Blackest Night and has erased his existence from the face of the Earth. It’s a genius concept and every issue of this series feels like it should be the regular Justice League book.
13. Power Girl
Writer: Justin Gray (9-12), Jimmy Palmiotti (9-12) and Judd Winick (13-19)Artist: Amanda Conner (9-12) and Sami Basri (13-19)
Nothing says ‘awesome’ quite like Amanda Conner artwork, and for the first chunk of 2010, that was the reason to be reading Power Girl. The stories were fun and entertaining, sure enough, completely different in tone to Jonah Hex from the same writing team, but the art was the main draw. As this first epoch of Power Girl came to an end, we saw her face off against Satanna, help out a nerdy kid, battle a possessed Terra and resolve any dangling threads from the first year of her book. Then, Judd Winick and Sami Basri took over, and the book found its way into continuity; everything remained brilliant as we got a game-changing first issue, an intense action-packed two-part follow-up and a story arc tying into Justice League: Generation Lost as we dealt with the reality of Maxwell Lord’s return and the fact that Power Girl, and the majority of the world, don’t remember who he is.
12. The Walking Dead
Writer: Robert Kirkman
Artist: Charlie Adlard
The world of the Walking Dead has changed in the last twelve months; not only is there now a TV show, but the status quo has once more transformed completely from what it was. The characters are now convinced they are safe, until the face-off against the sadist hunters, that is. And then as the year came to a close the survivors dealt with the start of the epic ‘No Way Out’ storyline. Plus, in issue 75, we got a fantastic look at what would happen if the zombie attack turned out to be the result of an alien invasion.
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Steve Dillon
Yes, this series has been woefully delayed, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less spectacular when it does come out. The grittier version of the Punisher, as written by the true master of grit himself, Jason Aaron is one of the most consistently fun books on the market. The first arc deals with the MAX introduction of the Kingpin into the realistic and violent world of the Punisher, while the second deals with the Kingpin hiring Bullseye to kill Frank Castle. It’s horribly violent throughout, which suits the tone of the book, while some of the moments are absolutely fantastically hilarious. This is the Punisher series everyone’s been waiting for since Garth Ennis left the books a few years ago.
10. Amazing Spider-Man
Writer: Joe Kelly (617, 625, 634-637, 647), Dan Slott (618-621, 647-650), Fred Van Lente (622, 626, 647), Greg Weisman (622), Mark Waid (623-624, 642-647), Roger Stern (627-629), Zeb Wells (630-633, 647), Joe Quesada (638-641) and Bob Gale (647)
Artist: Max Fiumara (617, 625,647), Marcos Martin (618-620), Javier Pulido (620), Michael Lark (621, 634-637), Luke Ross (622), Paul Azaceta (623-624, 642-647), Michael Gaydos (626), Lee Weeks (627-629), Chris Bachalo (630-633), Emma Rios (631-633), Stefano Guadiano (634-637), Marco Checchetto (636-637), Matthew Southworth (637), Paolo Rivera (638-641), Joe Quesada (638-641), Karl Kesel (647), JM Ken Nimura (647) and Humberto Ramos (648-650)
Spider-Man’s Brand New Day era ends with this year, and so ends the TV show style shuffle of creative teams. This year we’ve had: The introduction of a new Rhino, a gritty battle with Mysterio, a confrontation with Mr. Negative, the return of Morbius, the return of the new Vulture, a battle between the old Rhino and the new Rhino, a sequel to “Nothing Can Stop the Juggernaut,” the devolution of the Lizard, the resurrection of Kraven the Hunter, the revelation of what happened in this new timeline to break up Peter and Mary Jane, the birth of a Goblin child and Spider-Man battling an army of his enemies to protect it. By the time Dan Slott took over as the permanent writer and began the new Big Time arc, Spider-Man was ready to get his life together, get a new job, get a girlfriend and face off against the new Hobgoblin.
9. American Vampire
Writer: Scott Snyder (1-10) and Stephen King (1-5)
Artist: Rafael Albuquerque (1-10)
The latest Vertigo series to engage completely has been American Vampire, a series so good that even Stephen King wanted to get involved and write the first back-up. The first stories are a duel tale; Snyder’s first arc involves vampires controlling Broadway in the 1920s, while King’s deals with the origins of sorta-protagonist, Skinner Sweet, in the Wild West. The second arc expands on both these stories as vampires travel to Las Vegas and get involved in the casino business, and then Skinner turns up and things start getting eerie. The third arc rounds out the year as we move into the next stage of the series, ready for 2011, which should be an awesome year for the series as it hits its sophomore stride.
8. Astonishing Spider-Man & Wolverine
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Adam Kubert
Jason Aaron and Adam Kubert unite for one of the most inventive and fun mini-series of the year, as Spider-Man and Wolverine team-up and are propelled backwards and forwards through time facing off against insane foes and illogical events. There’s not much else to say, except that it’s absolutely fantastic.
7. Fantastic Four
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Dale Eaglesham (575-578), Neil Edwards (579-582) and Steve Epting (583-586)
2010 started with a slight slump for the Fantastic Four, as good as the first arc of one-shots was, it wasn’t nearly as good as the first arc by Hickman and Eaglesham from 2009. The second arc, consisting of more one-shots and expanded information on all of the eccentricities of Hickman’s run so far. The main draw of 2010 was the “Three” arc which promises the death of one of the titular heroes by the end, in 2011; so far, it’s been the best Fantastic Four story in years.
6. The Flash
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Francis Manapul (1-6) and Scott Kolins (7-8)
A new series started for the Flash in 2010, and it came with the return of Barry Allen and a story arc involving the Rogues of the Future attempting to capture the Flash for a crime he committed due to the Rogues of the Past. It’s a unique and brilliant idea from Geoff Johns and Francis Manapul’s art was absolutely astounding in every issue. The last two issues of the year were one-shots focusing on individual villains, building them up in preparation for 2011’s Flashpoint event.
Next Time: 5 to 1