Comics / Spotlight

Binnies 2011: Best Moment/ Biggest Surprise

By Zak Edwards
January 2, 2012 - 17:20

This year had some of the biggest surprises in recent memory, from company restructuring to the complete overhaul of more than just one company's line-up.  Not only that, but much of the comic book business continued to adapt to a changing market while risks were taken in multiple publishers, which led to some great moments within the comic themselves.  So what worked the best?  We'll tell you below but remember, more Binnie Awards are just a click away through the links to your right.

Philip Schweier: Company-Wide Relaunch of DC Comics

For a publisher that prides itself on its legacy of more than 70 years of the world’s greatest super-heroes, fans were stunned to learn that DC Comics chose to relaunch its entire line with all new #1s, including the long-running Action Comics, Detective Comics, Superman and Batman. This move was perhaps intended to convey to fans that DC Comics was choosing to let go of its past in favor of a brand new approach to its stable of characters and how they interact with their world. Editorially, it was a bold move, and according to sales figures since the September relaunch, effective in boosting DC’s sales.

Dan Horn: Foggy Nelson is a Stud in Daredevil (Marvel)

Mark Waid's involvement on a comic book is always a good omen, but his rejuvenation of the Daredevil series became an unprecedented breakthrough in sequential storytelling. Add a complete utilization of and dedication to comic book storytelling potential, a dash of camp, and an earnest character study, and you've got one of the best books on the market. But never mind that central protagonist Matt Murdoch's newest status quo is refreshing, intriguing, and ultimately a conduit for action-packed, uplifting adventures. Matt's unlucky-in-love law partner Foggy Nelson has a new status quo of his own: Ladykiller! Yes, the Fogster's gone all Three's Company in Daredevil, a fantastic and brilliantly subtle, gradual reveal that had just about every DD fan doing a double-take.

Zak Edwards: Marvel's Ultimate Universe Line

Back when the Ultimate Universe debuted a decade ago, the newest take on Marvel tropes was exciting, fresh, and just plain cool.  As the stories progressed, however, things began to fall apart for the entire thing.  Massive delays and poor writing eventually culminated in Marvel simply crashing a great big wave into New York as a giant middle finger to the complete downfall of a once great idea.  But 2011 saw the Ultimate line try again, once again getting some of today's hottest writing talent with some great artists to get an alternative take on the Marvel universe (which did nothing but disappoint this year).  These creators have breathed new life into a once almost dead line; the excitement is back and every book is honestly worth reading.  For those of you who abandoned the Ultimate line for good reason, it's time to get reacquainted.

Leroy Douresseaux: The success of Marvel Studios’ Thor and Captain America

I read that the proverbial “some in Hollywood” laughed at Marvel Studios’ attempt to bring Thor to the big screen.  Considering the clunky old television series and the 90s B-movie, a new Captain America movie deserved some chuckles, especially when its release date was changed a few times.  Yet both films soared past the critically acclaimed X-Men: First Class and Green Lantern, which received a tremendous promotional push, especially across the Time-Warner mass media empire.  To me, the success of these two films based on characters that can be considered not A-list talent simply shows that people like and know Marvel’s characters – a lot.  If Marvel doesn’t screw it up, audience and readers will gravitate towards Marvel products.

Andy Frisk: The return of a "School for Gifted Youngsters"

The X-Men are just not the X-Men without a school being run for gifted youngsters somewhere. As X-Men First Class showed, there's still plenty of drama, action, and relevance to be had out of an X-School setting. Wolverine and The X-Men is just what The X-Men, as a franchise, needed, and its wonderful to see the school setting least in one or two of the multiple X-Books.

Colin Anderson: The Return of the Human Torch

Jonathan Hickman makes another appearance in my choices via his method of returning Johnny Storm to the pages of Fantastic Four. Everyone thought that it was a cheap sales ploy to bring back the Human Torch so soon after his death but Hickman was able to create an interesting (and gruesome) way to bring him back- by having extra-dimensional bugs literally stitch his body back together. As good as Hickman's writing was, It was Carmine Di Giandomenico's depiction of these events that really won this selection. That panel of Johnny Storm being pulled back together piece-by-piece by bugs and watching as it happened was so horrifying that I actually couldn't look away and kept coming back to it because of just how awful it was. That is the sign of a well-handled scene that successfully affected be emotionally and that immediately granted it a place on this list.

Be sure to check out our other Binnie Awards, the links to which are in the top right of this very article!

Hervé St-Louis: Captain Atom

I never liked JT Krul's stories. Anyone remembers the dead cat in Arsenal's mini-series? And Freddie Williams II's art work irritated me on JSA All-Stars. But here with Captain Atom, they are actually creating something new using something blue, something old, something borrowed and something new. I was expecting a Doctor Manhattan series, but it's going beyond that. I can't wait to see what these two rejects dish out next.

Last Updated: August 31, 2023 - 08:12

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