In the sea of comics that hit stands in 2010, what was really worth your time and money? Here are my picks for the year's best comics:
Chew: Image's cibopathic detective comic remained a hilarious and engrossing (and gross) read throughout 2010, proving it's more than a one-year wonder.
Stumptown: A more real-world take on private dicks, Stumptown pulled me in with writer Greg Rucka's trademarked flawed female heroine and artist Matthew Southworth's heavily researched illustrations.
The Walking Dead: This year was a big one for The Walking Dead. Not only did the comic make the leap to the world of TV, but the monthly book soared as it delved deep into the horror of hope.
Siege: Writer Brian Michael Bendis took a break from his talking-heads scripting style to craft an action-packed yarn that will go down in comic history as one of the Avengers' greatest adventures. And the art, by penciler Olivier Coipel and inker by Mark Morales, was just as epic as the story.
The Guild: Before reading this comic, I had never watched the gamer-centric Web TV show it was based on; luckily, it made for a hilarious read. Now I'm a fan of the show (at www.watchtheguild.com) and the book.
iZombie: Now here was a book with a cool concept and excellent execution. Bringing together horror with humor and the incredible art of Mike Allred — how can you go wrong?
B.P.R.D.: The Hellboy family of comics were some of the most entertaining (and creepy) books on the stands in 2010. But my favorite of the bunch was definitely B.P.R.D., which offered up action, tons of scary stuff and soap-opera style subplots that kept me coming back every issue.
Brightest Day: This bi-weekly limited series managed to feed my fix for superhero action and melodrama. It just happens to star many of my favorite characters (like Hawkman and Aquaman) in a variety of engrossing tales, and the art has been consistently great.
Avengers Academy: Who would have thought that the best Avengers title would star lame heroes like Tigra, Speedball, Henry Pym and a bunch of newbies? The creative team really cooked up a cool twist for this one, and they make a habit of showing the human side of their cast — instead of endless fight scenes.
Reviewed materials provided by Heroes Aren't Hard to Find: www.heroesonline.com.