The 5 Best and 5 Worst Comics of 2010

By Jay Barish in Comics, Daily Lists
Wednesday, December 29, 2010 at 8:01 am

5) Hulk #23
You know how with Chew we said to just pick an issue and it's good? Yeah, pretty much the opposite here. This title's terribleness became infamous back when it first began and writer Jeph Loeb called for a double-page spread in issue #3 of the Red Hulk punching out the Watcher. Why? Just fucking because, that's why. Honestly, any issue by Loeb works, but this one specifically sucks gamma-irradiated nuts because it at long last tells us the answer to the question, who is the Red Hulk? That's right. It finally tells us the answer to the title's primary mystery first set up TWO YEARS AGO IN THE FIRST DAMN ISSUE. Seriously, at this point, who even gave a shit anymore? It was like the Clone Saga all over again. And for those people who still gave a rat's ass, the answer proved to be one of the most convoluted and insane misdirects ever. Now that I think about it, there was a reason for that Watcher moment. It was a metaphor for Loeb punching the fuck out of logic and breaking our brains.

4) Wonder Woman #601
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This has nothing to do with the costume because really, I could care less. We could all go back and forth about whether Wonder Woman needed a redesign or not but what she didn't need is the butchering that occurred to her character. I understand the desire to make Wonder Woman a more interesting and appealing hero. For someone so famous, very few people actually care about Wonder Woman enough to read her comic -- or for that matter watch her animated movie, a shame because that movie kicked major ass. Anyway, to make the Amazon Princess a more marketable character, they decided to kill off her people and turn her into a vigilante, street fighting hero. That's right, folks. To make Wonder Woman more unique, they essentially gave her Superman's origin and Batman's MO. To solidify her place on the Big Three, they made her MORE LIKE THE OTHER TWO. It's an infinite loop of insanity so dizzying that thinking about it for too long induces fits of vomiting and the urge to just lie down and go to sleep forever.

3) Ultimate Comics: New Ultimates #1
Just when you think Jeph Loeb's influence on the Ultimate line couldn't get any worse, here comes the continuing adventures of the Ultimates, a title on which Loeb last gave us the brilliant line, "I guess that makes me the mother fucker." Yes, it does. On so many, many levels. This book features characterizations so bad that they completely contradict the entire purpose of the Ultimate Universe by making it indistinguishable from the 616 AND sets back women in comics about 40 years. Everyone single person in this title comes off either bland to the point of uninteresting or ridiculous to the point of non-caring. I'd mention the plot, but really, what plot? I really think Loeb just doesn't give a crap anymore. The issue -- and series as a whole -- comes off as a string of pointless events and women taking their clothes off for no other reason that Frank Cho is drawing it. That's how bad this is. I'm complaining about Frank Cho drawing hot women. That's pretty fucking bad.

2) Superman #700
Specifically I'm referring to JMS, and as such, you should probably begin to notice a pattern here on this list. I could have picked the writer's first full issue on the series, but his segment in this milestone moment warrants the placement simply because of how it sets up the YEARLONG "Grounded" storyline in the most unbelievably dumb way possible. For those that missed this, in a single page, JMS gives the worst reasoning possible for Superman deciding to go Forrest Gumping across the US. Basically, after saving the world during New Krypton, Superman holds a press conference and a woman shows up, slaps him, says she could care less about his intergalactic whatsits and blames him for not saving her husband... from a brain tumor. The ball isn't dropped her so much as thrown to the floor and stomped on. It could have worked if say the dude died from, I don't know, the Parasite attacking and Superman being off planet. Instead, we get brain tumor. I guess instead of saving the world from massive death and destruction and enslavement, Superman should just go around x-raying everyone on the planet to check their health. Although, how's that for universal healthcare. What really makes it worse is that this actually works and Superman feels bad so bad he starts his hobo adventures. It's completely asinine and because of this one moment we get Superman walking around for a year doing absolutely nothing of interest or remotely superheroic. This year, Jimmy Olsen was more interesting than Superman. That is quite the accomplishment right there.

1) The Rise of Arsenal #3
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As bad as Loeb and JMS have been, this single issue and really miniseries as a whole wins -- or rather loses, I guess -- because you know the people involved can do better. So many terrible things happen in this comic: Roy ranking how good the girls he dated are in bed, beating a woman with an extension cord because "she likes it rough," impotence, heroin, and beating up junkies to protect a dead cat that Roy thought was his dead daughter. It's like the absurdity of the '90s fucked the grittiness of the '80s and then they both doubled-teamed decency until... you know, I could go on here but then I'd be getting as graphically vile as this title itself. I could go on, but instead I shall leave you with this:
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Indeed, Batman. So is our innocence.
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