Grant's Favourite Writer – Brian Azzarello
There are tons of writers I could have selected for my year's favourite, but I ultimately have to give it to Brian Azzarello because Knight of Vengeance and Wonder Woman were so good. Knight was one of the few shining parts of Flashpoint, and it was dazzling; Wonder Woman is the title the characters has long deserved, and it's wonderful.
J.H. Williams III is the best in the biz. Batwoman is a book of staggering beauty, and it's all him. Never satisfied with what he's done before, Williams III always seems to be trying something new, and it's always gorgeous. I could look at his work all day and never get tired of it.
Simple yet effective, I think Martin's biggest talent is knowing what a colorists place is in the comic creating process. If it doesn't call for shadows or additional texture, no need to add it. When you can't tell the colorist is adding their own layer to the process, I think that's a sign it's being done correctly.
I don't know nearly as many colourists as I should, but Breitweiser really grabbed me with her work on Captain American and Bucky. While Chris Samnee's art was great, it was Breitweiser's colours that really made this book sing.
Favourite Cover Artist
Grant's Favourite Cover Artist – Mike Mignola
I love Mike Mignola covers. They do everything that I want my comic book covers to do. They're evocative, tell a story all on their own, and are actually representative of what's going on in the comic proper. What more could you ask for?
Favourite Ongoing Title
Grant's Favourite Ongoing Title – Batwoman
Grant's Favourite Mini – Mystic
As much as I dug Azzarello's Knight of Vengeance, I would be fooling myself to claim my favourite mini as anything other than Mystic. I've gone on at great length as to why I feel that this is a must read book, so I won't bore you with repetition. Just know that I really think you should read this if you haven't already.
Favourite New Series
I thought this was going to be a simple cash grab like Transformers Generation 1 was at the start of the millennium, but the book is doing great things by using both the 80's comics and cartoons and merging them together in a fun series that will appeal to any pizza power turtle fan.
Grant's Favourite New Series – Roger Langride's Snarked!
I'm always happy to see Roger Langridge writing and drawing on ongoing series. I'm even happier when it's one that is as good and as much fun as Snarked! A delectable combination of Lewis Carroll inspiration and Roger Langridge originality.
Favourite Single Issue
Grant's Favourite Single Issue – Jimmy Olsen #1
Grant's Favourite OGN – One Soul
I'm honestly not entirely sure how much press or fanfare Ray Fawkes' One Soul got this past year, but I can tell you with certainty that it didn't get enough. I picked up this book on a whim, and it is probably the best thing I read over the past twelve months. For those who aren't aware, Fawkes' book doesn't tell one story. It tells 18. All at the same time. Sound confusing? It is a little, but it's also something to behold. Each page has a classic nine panel grid, so over two pages, each story gets one panel. They're always in the same order, and they're all about different characters at different points in history. And it works. It works really well. One Soul is one of the most exciting, innovative, and enjoyable comics that I read in 2011, and I cannot recommend it enough.
It's common practice for the hero in his own book to usually come out on top in these kind of misunderstanding fights, but early on in issue #2 Abnett and Lanning make a point of showing the Avengers being completely outclassed by Quasar's cosmic team, seeing Earth's Mightiest as nothing more than a nuisance.
Grant's Favourite Fight – Barbara vs. James Jr.
Holy jumping jehosephats! This fight, which concluded Scott Sndyer's Detective Comics run in issue #881, might be more accurately described as James hunting his helpless sister, but it was friggin' amazing. Brutal as heck, it was so shocking that I actually had to stop reading for a bit when Babs finally starts fighting back. *shudder*
Favourite Main Character
Dick has always shown a leadership and growth to his character, being one of the few comic creations to actually grow over time. This is why Dan Didio was met with staunch objection to killing the first boy wonder in Infinite Crisis. But since Bruce went on his time traveling vacation, Dick grew even more as Batman. And with Detective Comics and Gates of Gotham, we saw that he can not only solve cases despite not being as analytical as Bruce or Tim, but still command the respect of other heroes and the bat-clan. In the long run Bruce will always be made to be Batman, but it says something when the fans were genuinely sad that Dick went back to his Nightwing persona with the DC reboot.
Grant's Favourite Character – Atomic Robo
This one isn't even a contest. In my opinion, Atomic Robo is kind of the greatest, so he's obviously going to be my favourite. Although it definitely didn't hurt that, over the course of the year, he squared off with Dr. Dinosaur, got into adventures of derring do in the 1930s, and had to deal with the Ghost of Station X. Some good stuff, that.
Favourite Supporting Character
Arrogance has never been so fun to read. You know how Luthor always says he could fix everything if Superman would just be out of the way? Well, Nemesis acts like that only on a bigger scale, where everyone on the planet is a Superman.Yet he still fixes everything!
Grant's Favourite Supporting Character – Frog-Man
He may have appeared in more than one issue (although I kind of doubt it), but Frog-Man did more than enough in Spider-Island: The Avengers to win me over. He stole every single scene he was in and had me guffawing quite heartily.
Grant's Favourite Villain – Jack O'Lantern
I really like the look of Jack O'Lantern. I think his getup is pretty danged cool. It's also pretty alright that he happens to be an interesting and rather messed up guy who's been quite the pain in Flash Thompson's side of late.
Grant's Favourite Moment – The Day of Marla Jameson's Funeral
The opening to Amazing Spider-Man #655 was something special. Dan Slott and Marcos Martin delivered ten pages that were completely devoid of dialogue that said far more than any amount of words ever could. The panel where you see Jonah is still wearing his wedding ring still gets me.
It's not the deepest book on the shelf, but Johns has put his usual quirks to the side to just tell a big story that tries to rehabilitate Sinestro, and Hal Jordan is just along for the ride. Add to it Mahnke's lovely art, it just has the perfect blend of keeping your attention every issue. Batman is redefining DC's flagship hero in big ways, Daredevil is all about beating up bad guys with a smile, but Green Lantern represents what a superhero comic should reach for; big fights, some clever moments, a sense of using past stories to move forward.
Grant's Favourite COMICS! – Batgirl (Bryan Q. Miller's)
We want to know what the glorious TWC readership loved the most in 2011. Let us know your thoughts, in any category, in the comments below.