Comics / Spotlight

Binnies 2011: Best Ongoing Series

By Zak Edwards
January 2, 2012 - 17:54

As so much new happened this year, it's important to look at what has been good consistently through the year.  As titles change, many times they can stay the same, much to our delight, or radically change, which can also be exciting in itself.  For the Best Ongoing Series category, the Bin's writers looked at book s that have been going on for a while that had stellar years amongst the turmoil, what kept us interested throughout the year, no matter how they changed or stayed the same.  Here's what we came up with.  Remember, more Binnie Awards are just a click away through the links to your right.

Troy-Jeffrey Allen: Uncanny X-Force (Marvel)

With a plethora of one-liners and a cast of dysfunctional muties at his disposal, Writer Rick Remender has managed to conjure up one of the most accessible and entertaining X-Books since Joss Whedon's Astonishing X-Men run.  Using the time-traveling Apocalypse and his many contingencies to get around the villain-of-the-week formula, Remender embraces some pretty craptacular previous X-storylines. However, like some sort of plot amputating Phoenix, he rebuilds them into continuity gold.  Finally, it's safe to pick up an X-Book without the aide of an Official Marvel Universe Handbook, Wikipedia, and a flow chart.

Dan Horn: Detective Comics (Vol. 1)/Batman (Vol. 2) (DC)

Everyone has their absolute favorite era of Dark Knight storytelling, whether it's Adams-O'Neil, Grant-Breyfogle, Miller-Mazzuchelli, or any number of other fantastic creative teams. However, Scott Snyder's tenure writing the Caped Crusader, which closed out the pre-reboot Detective Comics and opened the DC New Universe Batman series, is quickly gaining on the character's most revered runs.  The year began with readers knee-deep in Snyder's neo-noir spin on Detective Comics, which saw Dick Grayson as Batman, brought the sociopathic James Gordon Jr back to the forefront of Batman continuity, introduced a terrifying new iteration of the notorious Joker, and showcased the virtuosic artistic talents of Francesco Francavilla, Jock, and Dave Baron. Snyder continued his dark saga with the Batman reboot, accompanied by artist Greg Capullo. Batman, dense with Gotham lore and deftly playing off of horror/noir sensibilities, continues to be the most consistently well-written and illustrated comic book series to result from DC's September 2011 relaunch.

Andy Frisk: The Mission (Image)

No superheroics. No tights. No over the top supernatural entities...well maybe a few... What then makes this book so interesting? Story. Mystery. A suprising twist. Dialogue. Characterization. It's a morality play and a who-dun-it all wrapped in one.

Colin Anderson: Fantastic Four / FF (Marvel)

I'm cheating a little bit here by using two series for instead of one, but Fantastic Four and FF are so closely entwined that they are, for all intents and purposes, the same book (and at one point were). Though I'm a little biased towards the series anyway, these have honestly been the best series I've had the pleasure of reading and each issue has kept me begging for more and wondering where each new issue will bring to the story. Jonathan Hickman has revitalized this book in a big way through an amazing grasp on each character, clever new uses of old characters, and by using standard comic conventions of killing off and bringing back other characters. These books excel at the small personal moments and the big, sweeping, action set pieces which is what I think every comic book should strive for.

Zak Edwards: Sweet Tooth(DC/Vertigo)

Sometimes ongoing series can settle into consistently entertaining while never really caring when the next issue comes out, but Jeff Lemire's Sweet Tooth couldn't come out fast enough to satisfy my love of it.  Most of what I was excited about this year was things that were new, but Sweet Tooth has consistently amazed me every issue.  Even when Lemire took on other writing duties and brought in another artist, the story and characters and willingness to experiment has brought me back every month.  I could point to other ongoing series like DMZ or Fables, but I read those in trades, so I don't really know how they did this year (hint hint Vertigo!).  But Sweet Tooth, the wait is unbearable.

Philip Schweier: Legion of Super-Heroes

Amid a company-wide relaunch of DC Comics, the Legion franchise barely hiccups, reinforcing its own continuity that isn’t entirely beholden to the rest of the DC Universe. While some newer fans might find the cast intimidating, is it really any different from the overall DCU, with its plethora of Leagues, Societies and Squadrons? Two tie-in titles, Adventure Comics and Legion Lost, are affiliated enough to be family, but not so closely tied one can’t be read independently of the other.

Leroy Douresseaux: Naruto (VIZ Media)

I picked Naruto again, and despite my best efforts, I could not come up with a replacement.  It tells a wonderful story and its themes of vengeance, family ties, tribal obligations, and war (among many) will resonate with readers, even older readers, as Naruto is ostensibly a children’s comic book.

Plenty more Binnie Awards were debated, check them out using the links in the top right of this very article!

Last Updated: August 31, 2023 - 08:12

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