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Sunday, January 07, 2007

 

Top comics of 2006 superman

It's been quite a year for the comic book industry. From underachievers (DC's "Blue Beetle") to sleeper hits (Marvel's "Civil War: Frontline") we take a look back at the highlights and low points of 2006 and what is shaping up for 2007.
Forgotten hero Moon Knight returns as a man so troubled by his past that his mind has fractured into several different personalities.

Charlie Huston's tightly-knitted scripts and David Finch's art give the character the perfect edge as a dark and violent anti-hero struggling with his sanity.

Moon Knight has always been criticized as Marvel's answer to Batman. But with the new series, Moon Knight's finally stepped out of the bat's shadow.

Best single issue: "New Avengers No. 22"

For years Brian Michael Bendis has been telling people how cool Luke Cage (Power Man) is. In every book Bendis has written for Marvel, Cage has shown up but has never really been a stand-out character.

This is the issue that changed all that.

On the eve of Marvel's "Civil War," Cage is approached by agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. who ask if he's going to register.

He refuses and sends his wife and child to Canada to hide while he waits in his apartment for the agents to return and arrest him.

He makes what he thinks is his final stand against the establishment and erases any doubt that Cage (Power Man) is a hero that's not to be taken lightly.

Best writer: Ed Brubaker

From "Daredevil" to "Captain America" to "Uncanny X-Men," Ed Brubaker has quickly become Marvel's go-to writer.

In 2006, Brubaker was tapped to follow Bendis' applauded run on "Daredevil." The transition between writes was flawless and the book continues to be one of Marvel's finest.

Brubaker also did the unthinkable on "Uncanny X-Men" -- he resuscitated the X-Men after years of weak and forgettable storylines.

And in "Captain America" he brought back Captain America's sidekick Bucky from the dead and made "Winter Soldier" one of the best Captain America stories in years and a must-read for any comic book fan.

Best artist: J.H. Williams III

"7 Solders of Victory" one-shot artist J.H. Williams shows more versatility in one issue than most artists show in a career.

Williams' style ranges from Jack Kirby to Jim Lee and everyone in-between. He's able to change styles on each page and even per panel. Most amazing is how his art matches the individual artist from each of the "Soldiers" one shots.

Best Event: (tie) "Infinity Crisis" (DC) / "Civil War" (Marvel)

Both DC and Marvel pulled out all the stops this year with world-shattering events likely to have some serious long-term repercussions.

Before "Infinity Crisis," the heroes of the DC universe were already battered and beaten, both mentally and physically. The Justice League had disbanded while DC's "Big Three" -- Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman -- were at odds and not speaking to each other.
BY JOHN HARDICK, DUSTIN SCHOOF and CORY HANDELONG

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