Friday, January 13, 2017

Top 10 Memorable Comic Book Moments of 2016

Did one for movies.  Did one for TV shows.  Now, I will be listing my picks for “memorable moments” in 2016 comics.

Honorable mentions: New 52 Superman dies, pre-New 52 Superman replaces him; the Marvel Universe is rebuilt after Secret Wars, and Reed Richards and First Family begin rebuilding the multiverse; Batman teams up with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to fight Shredder and the Foot Clan and Ra’s al Ghul and the League of Assassins; New 52 Lois Lane dies, after being hyped as the new Superwoman, which actually ended up being Lana Lang; how (adult) Cyclops died is finally revealed

10.) Ben Reilly returns, and is the new Jackal. (Clone Conspiracy #3)

9.) There were some cool moments, but I never really liked Civil War II.  For all its flaws (which were actually due more to the execution than anything else), the original Civil War had an interesting premise.  On the other hand, Civil War II just didn’t make sense to me at its core and in several fronts.  But it did bring some significant status quo changes to the Marvel Universe, starting from the death of James Rhodes a.k.a. War Machine to the comatose of Tony Stark.   But the most memorable happening – as well as the thing that didn’t make sense to me the most – was Bruce Banner getting killed.

8.) Bruce Wayne becomes Batman again.  This development actually wasn’t a surprise; it was something inevitable.  But what made it extremely remarkable was the “how” (Batman #48-49).  Prior to losing his memories from Endgame, Batman created a digital clone of his brain and an apparatus that could upload this to a clone body.  It was meant to ensure that there would be a Batman even if Bruce Wayne is gone.  So with Mr. Bloom threatening everyone in Gotham, and Jim Gordon, being the substitute Batman, unable to stop him, the amnesiac Bruce Wayne decided – much to Alfred’s tortured disapproval – to sacrifice the happy life he had managed to gain for himself, by erasing the memories of “happy Bruce Wayne” via brain death – basically killing this Bruce Wayne – to give the “Batman brain” a blank slate to write on.

7.) The family is reunited – and expands – in Saga #36.

6.) Doctor Doom becomes the new Iron Man (Infamous Iron Man).  After Tony’s fate in Civil War II, one of his two successors (the other is Riri Williams, as Ironheart) is Victor Von Doom, who has seemingly had a genuine heel-face turn after Secret Wars, and just wants to do good, in his Doctor Doom-y way.  What’s refreshing about his take on Iron Man is his employment of both magic and technology, as well as the intrigue brought by the question of whether he’s really sincere of reforming and carrying the legacy of Iron Man, or he simply has a secret agenda.

5.) DC Rebirth Holiday Special depicts a beautiful tale that illustrates the unique, interesting dynamic between Flash and his Rogues Gallery.

4.) Finally, the greatest Flash ever, Wally West, makes his return to the DC Universe.  And in the most dramatic way possible: forgotten in the New 52 DC Universe and about to be permanently trapped in the Speed Force, his mentor Barry Allen remembers him at the brink of time and drags him back to reality.   (DC Universe: Rebirth)

3.) Through all these years, Batman has been actually clashing with three different Jokers!  (DC Universe: Rebirth)

2.) The Watchmen are entering the DC Universe!  (Again, from DC Universe: Rebirth)

1.) Captain America has been a Hydra sleeper agent all along.  Later, it was revealed that it was due to the Red Skull, using a Cosmic Cube, rewriting Steve Roger’s history.  This somewhat diluted the impact of this audacious plot twist (though straight-up retconning Rogers to being a villain all along would have been disastrous), but its initial revelation in Captain America: Steve Rogers #1 was easily the most unforgettable comic book reading experience I’ve had in 2016.

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