Hey, everyone. As we have just watched another year pass us by, and prepare to enter a brand spanking new one with youthful optimism of what 2010 could possibly bring in terms of the comic book realm, I felt that it was only fitting that I pay homage to my top three books of 2009.

These are the books that I personally felt represented some of the best efforts in writing and artistic composition. Now, hold up here before you boys and gals get all riled up. I just want to say, this is an opinion piece, and thus we will all have different choices as to what our favourite books were for 2009. Comics, after all, are a very personal thing, I venture to say that what we read in some way is a reflection of the kind of person we are. In the same way that the music we listen to represents apart of who we are so do our literary choices, whether they are novels or graphic novels.

All of us find a kinship with either a character or team of characters for what ever reason, but what makes us fall in love with these super clad bad asses is the creative driving force behind them. In most cases this is what makes or breaks a character for us fanboys and girls. I am sure all of us have experienced the tremendous disappointment of picking up a comic based on one of our favourite characters only to find out the writer has totally fucked it up. Or the writing is simply meh, and the art is what’s actually fucked up. Whatever the combination it only spells bad news bears for us comic book fans that have dished out our hard earned money to watch our beloved character ruined in print. We suffer through bad runs and pray that the comic book gods will come and save us from the injustice of bad storytelling. Unfortunately, we are at the mercy of such titans as Marvel and DC; we put our collective faith forward that the right creative team will save the day, as it were. Our patience is tested time after time, but there is usually always a light at the end of the tunnel and eventually the right people take pen to paper and we feel certain jubilation again.

I am not sure if you will find my picks for 2009 to be predictable or surprising at all. So, here they are none the less and not any particular order short and sweet.

The Invincible Iron Man
Written by: Matt Fraction
Art by: Salvador Larroca
Published by: Marvel

I must preface this by saying that I was never a huge Iron Man fan. I have always enjoyed the character, but I truly found affection for the cocky Mr. Stark once Matt Fraction and company took to the helm. The way in which Fraction writes not only Stark’s character but all the supporting characters as well is what got me hooked. There is cohesiveness to the story line that never seemed to be there before, for me, in an Iron Man comic. Fraction gave us, the readers, Tony Stark at his most vulnerable; he gave us strength in characters such as Pepper Potts that we have not seen before. He made us care about Maria Hill, and all this was accomplished by intricate character development on his part and bottom line good story telling. Matt Fraction has turned me into an Iron Man fan, and this is a run that I would recommend to anyone. If you have not been keeping up with the singles, then honestly get the trades when they come out you won’t regret it. Fraction has hit it out of the park on this one.

Written by: Robert Kirkman
Pencils by: Corey Walker/Ryan Ottley
Inker: Cliff Rathburn
Colors: FCO Plascenia
Published by: Image

What can I say about Invincible except, thank you Jose for introducing it to me one of the best comics ever!!! Yes you read that right…EVER! This comic came as a recommendation from Jose to me one night, and I took his advice and went out and bought the first trade. After reading it, I promptly went out and bought every other trade that I could until it brought me up to current. Robert Kirkman set out to tell the story of a superhero and he did it in spades. Robert Kirkman is a craftsman of relationships; he knows how to write them, he knows how to create them in his work. I have a fangirl crush on Mark Grayson; sooo would love to have him as my boyfriend. This is how fantastically the comic is written, you actually begin to feel emotional about what happens to them. Kirkman gets you invested in the Invincible universe as it were. Corey Walker was the original artist and co-creator of Invincible but soon gave up the reigns to a young artist named Ryan Ottley. Ryan Ottley can be compared to a highly ranked rookie in the sports world who is given a chance to prove himself and turns out to be a phenomenon of sorts. Not only do you have the pleasure of reading the obvious talent of Kirkman’s words but Ottley’s art is just as breath taking and pivotal to the story telling experience. If you have not been reading Invincible then you really should, once again, pick it up in trades.

If you want to start 2010 off with something that is hot, try Invincible, Kirkman and Ottley, how can you go wrong? I think the only way you could go wrong is if Hollywood got involved and tried to make a movie out of it. I hope they never do because that way my Invincible will forever remain pure.

Detective Comics: Batwoman
Written by: Greg Rucka
Art by: J.H Williams III
Colors: Dave Stewart
Published by: DC

My final fav for 2009 is Detective Comics: Batwoman. I know this book has some of the “heterosexual” fanboys all in a tizzy these days but I fucking love it! Again, I was never a big Detective Comics reader, but when I herd that Greg Rucka and J.H Williams III were going to be working on this title with Batwoman as the head liner, it was a no brainier that I would be buying it. We often hear that male comic book writers are unable to fully grasp the female voice. But Mr. Rucka must be in touch with his feminine side because he speaks for us females beautifully. I love the fact that Batwoman is openly lesbian and it is not portrayed in a raunchy perverted fashion. Batwoman’s sexual preference is simply apart of Kate Kane the character and is integrated maturely into the storyline. Rucka did such an amazing job with Wonder Woman that I am not surprised about the work he is accomplishing in Detective Comics currently. As for the art, well if you are at all familiar with J.H Williams, then I don’t think I can articulate how wonderful it is. If you are not familiar with his work I can only suggest that the next time you’re in your local comic shop pick up a copy of Detective Comics: Batwoman and you’ll see for yourself. This comic is breath taking and superbly written, there is really not much more I can say except it receives high praise all around.

The thing about comics that I love, and have always loved, is the fantasy and the idea of good vs. evil. The inner battle we all fight, the injustices we are exposed to in the real world. These are all themes that play out in the pages of a comic book. As I prepare to move forward in 2010, I do so firmly with comics in hand. I wish all the fanboys and girls out there a very happy new year, keep reading, keep watching CCW, and keep an open mind. It’s the only way to grow.

Cami/Variant Girl

  1. Deemar says:

    All good picks VG

    You know what all three books have in common?

    All three writers have beards, well Rucka has a 5 O’clock shadow, but BEARDS dammit

    • Pobra says:

      Don’t you see Deemar, facial hair can increase a man’s strength, talent and sexual prowess ten fold! Just look at Chuck Norris, or Jesus. I’m working on an Abe Lincoln myself 😉

      • Deemar says:

        Damn skippy P 😉

        I actually loss the need for hands since growing a beard.

        Beer cans? Opened

        Remote control? It stays in the beard

        Foreplay with the Mrs? She calls me Davey Jones DAMMIT

    • Variant Girl says:

      OMG your right, I have always had a thing for dudes with facial hair. Sexy! Thx for the comment I appreciate it:)


  2. Dan Griffin says:

    My top three for 09 would have to be.

    Detective Comics
    Written by Greg Rucka
    Art by JH Williams III
    Published: DC

    Never have i seen such a comic be the complete package. Amazing art and really great story.

    Written by Kieron Gillen
    Art by Steven Sanders
    Published by Marvel

    Gillen and Sanders knock it out of the park with this series. If you love BPRD and Green Lantern Corps then this is the book for you.

    Cowboy Ninja Viking
    Written by A.J. Lieberman
    Ary by Riley Rossmo
    Published by Image

    I just love the art and the outrageous concept this series. Plus i love the Golden Age package. I’m really happy that Image made the jump for this series from Mini to ongoing.

  3. Nice choices! My top 3 is:

    1. Invincible Iron Man
    2. Green Lantern Corps
    3. Detective Comics

    • Variant Girl says:

      We’re two for two, I have never gotten fully into GL but I know that’s a good comic. I’ve heard nothing but positives and the fanbase is huge. thx for the comment.


  4. Ironmuskrat says:

    Awesome review VG! I completely agree with Iron Man and Detective Comics being in the top five of the industry last year. I haven’t read Invincible yet, not because I don’t want to, but because I have some crazy plan to buy the past trades all at once and read them from beginning to end =)

    I always look forward to your reviews and comments VG =)


    • Variant Girl says:

      Ah thanks so much. It is really a privilage to write for CCW. I respect what Jose and Elliot do. I think a females perspective on comics is something we don’t see enough of in the commuity so I’m glad that CCW has given me a chance to speak my mind as it were in this forum. I appreciate all of you guys that read my reviews and take time to comment, it means a lot.


  5. Matthew Guy says:

    My top 3 are:

    1. Superman Secret Origin
    2. Walking Dead
    3. Detective Comics w/ Batwoman


    • Variant Girl says:

      Walking Dead another Kirkman great. I think that must have been on a lot of peoples top list. Thx for commenting:)


  6. Deemar says:

    Top 3

    1. Invincible
    2. Ironman
    3. Chew

    • Variant Girl says:

      Chew would have been another one on my list if I had a 10 best, but the three I chose already took up enough space LOL

      ths for commenting


  7. Chris says:

    I don’t know why but when I first read “I love the fact that Batwoman is openly lesbian and it is not portrayed in a raunchy perverted fashion.” I read it as “I love the fact that Batwoman is openly lesbian and that it is portrayed in a raunchy perverted fashion.” I don’t know where my mind was… Sorry! Anyway, I would probably list my top three if 2009 as:
    1. Scalped
    2. Detective Comics
    3. Sweet Tooth or Chew or Criminal or Phonogram… I can’t really decide between those.

    • Variant Girl says:

      I don’t know where you mind was either hmm LOL Anyway Scaplped is a great comic, easily a fav as well. I have never read any Sweet Tooth. Chew would have been on a top 10 for sure. The story is great the art is awesome. Thx for commenting!


  8. Deemar says:

    You know what I can’t just boil it down to just three, plus many of the books that would be in my top 3 were cancelled

  9. phil says:

    Unless I skipped over something, I guess we’re not talking minis, trades, or OGN’s. bot just ongoings. so with that in mind;
    As for your pix, VG17:

    Ironman: After Sal LaRocca left the FF, I have not been able to get back into his work.

    Invincible: Come this Feb / Mar, I’ll be going mostly trades, and there’s when I’ll pick up the Invincible omnibi, uh omnibusses? ( big books )

    Detective: Definitely, Rucka’s writing is just flat out on point, the man captures the nuance of character like few others, although I guess that I’m in the minority as far as JH’s tracings go. ( my opinion )

    As for me;

    Detective: for reasons already stated

    Bats & Rob: The Morrison/Quitely arc Jose’s friend, Avi said something to the effect of that he felt B & R were being drawn with a bare bones, non descriptive style…etc etc ( I’m paraphrasing of course ) but the thing is I basically agreed with Avi. Where we split was what he saw as weaknesses in the comic, I saw as strengths. I loved how understated the comic was. It was more substance than bombast, It kinda fell in the category of less is more.

    GreenLantern: Although I take issue with a murderer being recast as a hero in a comic, there’s no denying that GL is one of the hottest propeties going on today. Along with BN,GLCorps and all the other tie ins, this is truly a comic within an event to behold.

    GR8 insights, by the way…VG to the one seven:-)

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