2011, to say the least, was big for comics. After cooling down from mega events (kind of) DC and Marvel returned to the form with Flashpoint and Fear Itself, all of which was overshadowed by DC’s relaunch, The New 52. Several big creators from the 90′s returned to the big time, the 22-page format began to dwindle away, and if that wasn’t enough this was THE YEAR of day-and-date digital comics, more than 50% of comics sold every Wednesday are now available digitally the same day their released in stores.
So in honor of the last year we are returning to our “favorites” – throughout the coming weeks each writer for the site gets one selection for different categories such as favorite writers and artists to their favorite character, book, cover, death, and more, each spanning the 2011 year.
Our favorite writers category includes any comic book writer from 2011; whether they wrote a monthly comic series, an original graphic novel, one single issue, or were the host to a span of different content, if they wrote comics, they could be someone’s favorite.
Kieron Gillen | Geoff Arbuckle
Here’s the deal… Thor has his own book written by Matt Fraction, but before him, Gillen took Thor through Siege and really exercised his muscle on being able to handle these godlike characters. Fraction takes over and, to go along with the release of Thor’s movie, gets a new series. The old series goes back to the original numbering and back to Gillen’s care. Does this series have much to do with Thor? Not exactly, but it covers every other character in Asgard. Many had to wonder how this was going to play out with most of the characters being D level or lower. Plus, Loki had returned, but was a little boy. When Gillen took it, he ran with it making Loki one of the most interesting characters in all of Marvel. Gillen’s wit added to this new character also made him one of the most entertaining as he works his mischief in favor of Asgard as opposed to endeavoring to destroy it and Thor.
Scott Snyder | John Barringer
I’m nearly split (cough, Jonathan Hickaman, cough) but 2011 might go down as ‘The Year of Scott Snyder’ and I don’t think he wrote one thing I didn’t enjoy. His work on Detective Comics was not only an instant classic but may go down as Dick Grayson’s greatest “Batman” arc. His creator owned work with American Vampire and Severed was phenomenal and then to usher in Batman and Swamp Thing the way he has with DC’s revamp has been incredible to watch. With writers Geoff Johns and Grant Morrison getting all the hype going into the relaunch, it might be Scott Snyder that ends up building the most momentum, for both the characters he writes and his own career. More than anything he was a master storyteller this year; and what’s great, he’s just getting started.
Chris Roberson | Phillip Carson
After J. Michael Straczynski left SUPERMAN part-way through his “Grounded” story-arc, things looked grim. A writer I really liked leaving a mediocre story in the hands of a writer I’d never heard of? No sale. But enter Chris Roberson. Far from bringing “Grounded” to a screeching halt, he managed to inject some rocket fuel into its veins. By adding Superman’s descendants, The Superman Time Squad, and various other characters like Golden Age Superman stand-in Iron Munroe and the new Krypton-powered Super-Chief, “Grounded” became a Superman fanboy’s dream title. His Silver Age-inspired plots and modern day characterizations saved the story, and made sure that SUPERMAN’s last story arc was worlds better than what could have been.
Rick Remender | Dan Cole
Not only as his work on Uncanny X-Force made that book a must buy, he continues to entertain with Venom. His take on the character is the most interesting the symbiote has been in years and he is the only writer who has managed to make me read a comic with Deadpool in it’s main cast.
Matthew Sturges | Jamie Insalaco
Sturges’ House of Mystery knocked me on my butt from the very first issue until the last and quickly became my favorite comic book, almost entirely because of his writing and the other writers that were brought in to write short stories. It’s four year run was in a word epic and will be sorely missed. (Ed Brubaker and Peter David were also great in 2011, but Sturges edged them out by a nose.)
Jason Aaron | Victor Kutsenok
The man is one of the hardest workers in the industry today. His Punisher Max totally revamped the character and made him not only vulnerable, but mortal. His reimagining of Bullseye and Elektra made every issue a must read. His new Hulk may be just beginning but so far it is filled with potential for awesomeness. His work on Scalped, which in my opinion is the most consistently best overall monthly title in DC’s stable, is a must read each and every time. Lastly, he wrote the only “event” of the summer that actually had a cohesive story behind it and that wasn’t a jumbled mess. Even though he had the worst run on Wolverine ever, he did redeem himself at the end with an awesome final story arc. On top of it all, his Wolverine and the X-Men is beginning to feel like the X-Men issues of old. That’s a lot of work for one man each month and Aaron is definitely putting on an All-Star performance. For that, I commend him.
James Patrick | Tom Parry
As the DC reboot grew near, all the then current DC books were drawing to a close – taking over for J.T. Krul for the last three issues of Green Arrow, Patrick gave fans of the Emerald Archer a story that not only captured the character accurately, but moved him forward in a way unseen since before Judd Winick left the character, making a three issue story I feared would be trash filler into something that I wish could have continued.
Gail Simone | Wayland
Gail’s one of the best writers in comics today IMHO, especially when she has the combination of characters she likes and creative freedom as she did in Secret Six.
Let us know what your favorites were!