In keeping with the theme of this "Year in Review" issue, here are my picks (in no particular order) for the best comic books of 2008.
Action Comics: Writer Geoff Johns and artist Gary Frank started their run on this comic without much fanfare. But by the end of the year, the creative team had re-established Superman's link to the Legion of Super-Heroes, redefined Brainiac, killed Pa Kent and brought 100,000 Krytonians back from the "dead." More than anything, Johns and Frank provided the most exciting and emotional tales Action has seen in decades.
The Walking Dead: Robert Kirkman's ongoing tale of survival after zombies have conquered the world (so to speak) was absolutely addictive this year. I can't think of another ongoing drama that's ever held my interest so completely.
Guardians of the Galaxy: The coolest thing about Guardians of the Galaxy is that it totally crushed the notion of "decompressed" comics. So, instead of needlessly stretching out storylines for way too long, writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning crammed dozens of plots, subplots, heroes, villains, guest stars and cameos into each and every issue.
X-Force: You know what I've always hated about the X-Men? They always came off like a bunch of sissies who trained for months in the Danger Room only to get routinely spanked and even killed once they were on an actual mission. But in the X-Men spin-off X-Force, the most deadly mutant heroes get to cut loose and chop deserving bad guys into tiny pieces. It's about damn time.
The Twelve: Now, The Twelve is the total opposite of X-Force and Guardians. It's a quiet and introspective super-yarn that stretches a tale of time-lost heroes over a year's worth of comic books. But not a page is wasted. So far, the comic hasn't even featured a major bad guy. Still, it's immensely engrossing.
Reviewed materials supplied by Heroes Aren't Hard to Find: www.heroesonline.com.