Sunday, 21 December 2014

The 10 Worst Comics of 2014

Lotta good comics came out in 2014 – lotta bad ones too. Here are my picks for the crappiest comics of the year. These all came out in 2014 so they’re the dregs of those published this year, as opposed to just bad comics I read this year, otherwise New 52 Savage Hawkman would run away with the worst of the worst!

10. New 52 Justice League by Geoff Johns/Various (DC)

The turd train that is Justice League barrelled on for another year! Volume 4: The Grid was a low point, being a random assortment of issues taking in Trinity War, Forever Evil and who knows what else. Then the series went full Forever Evil/Metal Men – and it wasn’t pretty. Johns continues his downslide with this title.

9. Marvel NOW! Iron Man by Kieron Gillen/Greg Land/Dale Eaglesham (Marvel)

How can a writer as talented as Kieron Gillen write such great comics like Young Avengers and The Wicked + The Divine, then produce such an awful series like Marvel NOW! Iron Man? I have no idea but maybe the issue is editorial? Maybe he’s been dealt a bad hand and can’t back out? Either way, Gillen’s Iron Man has been spectacularly bad. Tony’s gone to space, he’s been part of the Guardians of the Galaxy for no reason, and his terrible “secret origin” was revealed. Ugh. Throw in some Greg Land artwork and it makes for a nauseating read.

8. Marvel NOW! Captain America by Rick Remender/John Romita Jr (Marvel)

Rick Remender rewrites his crap Black Science series for Marvel under the banner of Captain America. I don’t understand the love for Remender, this guy can’t write! His Dimension Z storyline was the pits and had one of the most contrived father/son relationships between Cap and Ian. Who’s Ian!? You won’t care. Someone please take this guy off Cap!

7. Kick Ass 3 by Mark Millar/John Romita Jr (Icon)

The first Mark Millar entry on the list, Kick Ass 3 was one Kick Ass book too many. Stretched across 8 issues, the series started promisingly before descending into tedious rubbish. Dave putzes about with his hot girlfriend, Hit Girl stews in prison, the Big Bad looks menacing and a whole lotta nothin’ happens. Kick Ass was an enjoyable series but this final book proved to be utterly superfluous.

6. Umbral by Antony Johnston/Christopher Mitten (Image)

The team behind the lousy Oni series, Wasteland, give us Umbral, a bad Gormenghast knockoff. Boring “characters” run around while generic magic and monster scenes follow. The thing about fantasy is that it always sounds fun when describing it but reading Umbral is nothing but one long yawn. I have never a worse fantasy comic.

5. Coffin Hill by Caitlin Kittredge/Iñaki Miranda (Vertigo)

Poor Vertigo. Once the home of the finest comics, they’ve now lost them all to Image (who offer much more flexible deals for creators) and churn out crud like Coffin Hill. Witches, cops, dead people rising from the grave, punky sex, privilege; Coffin Hill is one of the worst structured comics ever with sequences flashing backwards and forwards in time with little sense to the plot. I think it’s trying to be Buffy – I know it failed.

4. Damian: Son of Batman by Andy Kubert (DC)

Andy Kubert is a fine artist – a writer he is not, and Damian: Son of Batman is proof that he should never be allowed to script any comic, ever again. Following Damian’s death in Grant Morrison’s Batman Incorporated, fans of the character, like me, were delighted to hear DC were going to revisit the adult Damian as glimpsed in Morrison’s Batman #666 and New 52 Batman Incorporated #5. But Morrison was not involved and… I can’t even say. It was horrible. For shame, Andy Kubert!

3. Starlight by Mark Millar/Goran Parlov (Image)

Millar attempts a Buck Rogers-esque type tale of an older man who once saved an alien planet is asked to save it once more. The most generic space adventure filled with references to better stories like Star Wars ensues. Millar is shameless, not just in stealing stuff for his comics, but in advertising Starlight as the book that makes the Millarworld make sense. It doesn’t. It’s just crap. Millar used to be a good writer but lately he’s gotten really bad and Starlight is representative of that slide into the hack he’s become.

2. MPH by Mark Millar/Duncan Fegredo (Image)

Detroit small-time crooks with big dreams discover wonder drug that makes them superfast. Ham-fisted, mangled message of big business screwing the lower classes follows. I don’t know how Millar does it but he keeps getting to work with the best artists in the industry while giving them the worst scripts. MPH is so cynically a movie pitch that’s been stretched to five issues, I can’t even muster up the contempt anymore. I’m done with this guy’s work.

1. All-New Amazing Spider-Man by Dan Slott/Humberto Ramos (Marvel)

One of the greatest Spider-Man stories in recent years – Superior Spider-Man – ended only for one of the worst to shuffle in, in its place: All-New Amazing Spider-Man. Rushed to coincide with Amazing Spider-Man 2, one of the most derided movies of 2014, the series highlighted Peter Parker’s incompetence, cheesiness, and all-round annoying personality – at least to me. The returning story did its best to undo everything set up by Otto so they could pursue a dull Black Cat/Electro story with some spider-lady love interest. Just terrible. Amazing Spider-Man really wasn’t a good comic but was even worse considering what preceded it – without a doubt, the worst comic of 2014. 

Just for yuks, here’s my pick for Worst Writer of 2014: Mark Millar! For all the garbage he put out this year and mentioned above, he is just bad.

And the Worst Artist of 2014: Greg Land. For Mighty Avengers and Iron Man, his traced, derivative art style is an insult to the senses. He is someone who instantly turns me off a title when I see his name on the cover – and I was looking forward to Spider-Woman too!

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