With a year full of events, relaunches, new #1′s and a growing trend to “wait for the trade” it shouldn’t surprise anyone just how many miniseries there were in 2011. Whether their promise to not go on forever ends up being a blessing or a sad curse it takes a tough fan to avoid not reading at least a few of them.
Our favorite miniseries category includes any comic book mini/limited series that occurred during 2011.
Red Skull: Incarnate | Geoff Arbuckle
This is going to a little mini built around the idea of introducing the origins of a villain who was appearing in a big Summer blockbuster. I’m talking about Red Skull: Incarnate by Greg Pak and Mirko Colak. While I very much liked Fear Itself, and many of the series that came out with it (in particular Youth In Revolt and the Spider-Man mini), the Red Skull mini was five issues that almost seemed to punish and torture you for reading it. How can that be my favorite of 2011? Well, there’s a lot to be said for pure impact. Every single issue found the teenaged Johann Schmidt scheming his way to Hitler’s side. There’s not an issue in the series where there isn’t at least one or two moments that feels like someone is beating up your dog while you are tied to a chair and being forced to watch while a knife is held to your mom’s throat. It perfectly sets up one of the most evil villains in the history of the Marvel Universe and if you read it issue by issue, you might be thankful for the 30 days in between issues to get over the impact.
All our Captain America content HERE
Superior | John Barringer
Despite its [weird] release schedule that will span Superior from the end of 2010 to the beginning of 2012 Mark Millar’s creator-owned
Shazam Superman superhero story puts a dark and surprising twist on a familiar archetype that really did have me head scratching at the end of each issue; the cliffhanger to issue #4 in particular was one of my favorites of the year. The book has a certain childlike charm about it; we get to watch a kid with multiple-sclerosis have his biggest dream fulfilled and truly become earth’s greatest hero (a depiction which is lifted straight from Superman) but the dream is tethered to a unique and “devilish” twist, separating this story from any other you’ve read before. And the icing on top; Leinil Yu’s pencils. I image that most comic artists can’t wait to be asked to draw a killer robot throwing a cruise ship through a skyscraper in downtown New York – when tasked with the epic scene Leinil Yu delivers.
The Intrepids | Dan Cole
Writer Kurtis J. Wiebe and Artist Scott Kowalchuck craft a vibrant and fun mini series which has a retro pulpy style. Built around a simple premise, the book manages to draw out a sense of family from it’s main characters which allows it to reach great emotional heights. Married with the 60′s mod feel and zany sci-fi antics and you have a winner here.
X-Men: Schism | Victor Kutsenok
Where Fear Itself and Flashpoint failed miserably, Schism succeeded in spades. What made this mini series stand out was the fact that there was an actual cohesive story fueling the action, instead of some random scrapbook of images. Every issue had momentum that kept the tale building and building until it climaxed in an explosive ending. One that will actually have a long term effect on the characters involved. Schism changed the face of mutants as we know it. It restructured the teams entirely through a real occurrence and not through waving a magic wand and going “OK. This happens just because we say it does.” I enjoyed this series immensely and will feel it’s impact for years to come. To me, that makes a successful mini-series.
All our X-Men: Schism content HERE
Huntress | Wayland Smith
It’s far from done, but I’m very much enjoying it so far. In the midst of the new DC, Huntress manages to stay a hero (and stay dressed), not kill her bad guys, and protect the innocent. I find this especially ironic given her history. Points to Paul Levitz for this.
All our Huntress content HERE
Let us know what your favorites were!