Monday, November 14, 2005

5 Worst Comics of 2005

It's almost that time of year again when the "best of" lists appear all across the internet and on TV. Comics Reporter just linked to Amazon's Editors' and Customers' picks for ten best graphic novels of the year. Included in the editors' picks were lame things like Sin City volume one's second edition and Marvel 1602. What is going on over there? Not that the customer picks were any better. They were almost all humor collections. I'm not quite ready to do my "best of" list for the year, but I am ready to proclaim the worst comics of the year. Not that I read many comics that I'm sure would be in this list. I didn't read like, Tarot Witch of the Black Rose or whatever the hell that atrociously oversexed comic is, or other comics that I knew were awful. So, this list is really the worst five comics that I was subjected to this year. Enjoy and by God, pass on by when you see these titles in the store...

1. Gimoles by Mike Bullock and Theo Bain
I had to have been just asking for it with this title from Alias Publishing and Runemaster. It's completely cutesy, Disneyesque art with the most insipid, soulless "characters" to grace a comic book this past year. And that's saying something with all of the Claremont books that came out. The characters are so generic and do the things that were done in Fern Gully the animated movie, all over. Like, exactly. This is everything we've seen before reduced to its basic formula and as boring as it could possibly have been told. Seriously, this is possibly the worst comic I think I've ever read. And I read a fricking Jello-man and Wiggly comic, okay?

2. Of Bitter Souls by Charles Satterlee and Norm Breyfogle
Another uninspired comic that tries to do absolutely nothing different with what they work with. Yes, it has vampires and yes, it has superheroes. Yes, they're together in one book, but by God, do something cool with them! We've seen vampires like this getting staked like this a million times. The superheroes were designed on this artist's freaking lunch break. Oy.

3. The Stardust Kid by J.M. DeMatteis and Mike Ploog
I kept trying to like this comic. I picked up three issues of the series, even though I loathed the one before it because I loved Abadazad by these creators. Which makes you wonder how they could so completely and utterly screw this up. Yet they did. This title, unlike the others in the countdown, doesn't lack imagination. It's very imaginative. But it gets on my nerves like nobody's business. The narrator is annoying and condescending and tries to be clever, but isn't. The protagonist is the most reprehensible character ever. And each issue is packed with so much narration and miserable dialogue that it takes an hour to trudge through it. After reading this comic, you feel like you've been through an exhausting workout. And not in a good way.

4. Uncanny X-Men by Chris Claremont and Alan Davis
Again, big fan of these creators on the original Excaliber series. Again, big failure this time around. From the jab I made at Claremont earlier, you must have known he'd be in this list somewhere. Well, here it is. Along with The Stardust Kid, one of the densest reads in comics. Like I said in my New Excaliber review recently, Claremont's books are just plain crowded. And I don't say that just because there are so many characters in his books (which there are. It's like he has to include all forty fan favorite x-characters in every issue to make the readers happy or something), but the pages are crammed with panels and unnecessary dialogue to overexplain everything. When he writes complex stories that only he could find fascinating for a book like Uncanny X-Men, his storytelling weaknesses are only amplified ten-fold.

5. Sea of Red by Rick Remender, Kieron Dwyer and Paul Harmon
I'm always really hard on this book, but damn it, it just should have been a lot better than it is. It has a great premise, about vampire pirates and the revenge one seeks against another, but after you get past those surface elements, it's absolutely horrid. This is the biggest disappointment of the year just because I was so excited to get the trade and then I couldn't wait to burn the bloody thing. On the plus side, the trade is printed in an interesting way, but you just can't get past that sucky story (no pun intended) no matter how hard you try.

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