new_years_ballIt is New Year’s Eve of the first complete year of the existence of Crisis On Infinite Midlives. We have all the comics we’re going to get in 2012, so it is time to publish my list of the best comics of the year… mostly because with no new comics, there isn’t much to review, and the biggest comics news we’re likely to get between now and Wednesday is likely to be “Frank Miller Publicly Intoxicated, Yells At ‘Hippies.’ Must Be Tuesday.”

So here’s my list; Amanda’s will appear later today. It is in no particular order, it encompasses everything from single issues to multi-issue story arcs to series that started in 2011 and ended this year. And I know what you’re thinking: “Rob,” you’re thinking, “Why don’t you organize things a little more? And use some consistent criteria for your list?” Well, because fuck you, that’s why. Look: it’s New Year’s Eve, and I intend to be recklessly intoxicated within about 90 minutes from the time I press the “publish” button.

So without further (or any) ado: here’s my list!

EDITOR’S NOTEOne spoiler! One spoiler!

I’ve got mixed feelings about Justice League International Annual #1 which is the final chapter of the book and which depicts the dissolution of the team. It has a lot going for it, including the return of writer Geoff Johns to the character of Booster Gold for the first time since 2008, and Dan DiDio’s return to writing O.M.A.C., which was one of the most underrated and unfairly cancelled books of the New 52 relaunch. It ends the story of the team decisively and fairly satisfyingly, if suddenly, and spins Booster, Blue Beetle and O.M.A.C. into new directions that could prove interestingly in the future… or in the case of Booster, in his past.

The problem is, the issue does it, in several cases, by introducing sudden and drastic changes in a couple of characters’ motivations and personalities, at least in relation to how they were depicted in recent issues of Justice League International. Which makes a certain amount of sense – you switch writers, you get new interpretations… or in the case of Booster, old interpretations. There is a sense in this issue of Johns and DiDio sweeping in to conclude the book and reclaim their characters, all while muttering, “No, no, no… Goddammit Dan Jurgens, you’re doing it wrong!”

Considering that Keith Giffen’s art on O.M.A.C. is an obvious and unabashed tribute to Jack Kirby, if there is any justice in this world, we will eventually discover that Giffen’s pencils of Superman’s face in the opening of this book were redrawn by Al Plastino… or in a more modern turn of irony, Rob Liefeld.

Actually, having looked at that lede I just wrote, and at O.M.A.C. #7 itself again, I think doing something like that wouldn’t be a dose of justice, but something that co-writer Dan DiDio and Giffen might do just as a self-referential goof, for the sheer, lunatic thrill of it… which seems like the reasoning behind almost everything they do in this book. This is not a bad thing. O.M.A.C. has, since its launch in September, been many things: over the top, agressively retro, and almost deliberately schizo in its jumping from outlandish scenario to outlandish scenario every month. It has also been one of the most consistently entertaining comics of the first batch of the DC’s New 52.

Well, we knew it was coming – the DC brass all but told us it was – but DC’s New 52 is now the New 46.

DC has announced that they are canceling Men of War, Blackhawks, O.M.A.C., Mister Terrific, Static Shock, and, in the interest of at least some justice, Rob Leifeld’s Hawk & Dove, after their respective eighth issues.

But since DC’s multiverse includes 52 worlds, and because the only words that rhymes with “46” are “ticks,” “dicks,” and “pricks,” they will be releasing six new regular books in May, including:

DC Comics’ New York Comic Con panel on their Edge / Dark line of New 52 books happened today, and while we haven’t come across any specific coverage of the panel yet that we can cannibalize, regurgitate and spit back at it in lieu of actual journalism Rob: edit this shit out now. We can at least act like we know what the fuck we’re doing -Amanda

Whoops! Sorry, technical difficulties, folks! Sorry about that. As I was clearly saying, while we haven’t been able to diligently ferret out any details about what happened in the panel, DC’s Source blog helpfully published the covers to the upcoming Frankenstein: Agent of S.H.A.D.E. #5 and OMAC #5, by J.J. Jones and Keith Giffen respectively, which you can see after the jump:

UPDATE 10/12/2011: The September sales numbers have been released, and OMAC #1 actually sold 33,581 copies. So let’s make that purely speculative magic cancellation number a little closer to 15,000 copies. 

Last week Diamond, the company that distributes comics to retailers like my local comic store owner (Who knows me by name and asks me if I would please stop asking to use his bathroom right after buying tentacle hentai), announced the preliminary wholesale sales numbers for September, which include all of the DC New 52 books except for the first print of Justice League #1, which came out in August. There are no specific copies-sold numbers yet, but OMAC came in at number 82, behind all the other New 52 books… including Justice League #1, which came out in… fucking August.

Which is a bummer to hear, since clearly OMAC is growing on us here at Crisis On Infinite Midlives… and even more of a bummer when Bleeding Cool reported last week that it was already in danger of being canceled:

And it’s written by co-publisher [Dan DiDio] and [sic] the man who has been pushing for the relaunch so long. So here’s the thing – will it seem just to anyone if one of the other 52 is cancelled [sic] due to lower sales and the publisher’s own comic, O.M.A.C., survives? I doubt it. Dan DiDio may be forced to sacrifice one of his own…

Wow. That’s depressing. Guess I’d better yank the title off my subscription pull list. At the very least, it’ll be another three bucks toward tentacle porn, or at least two bucks with another buck toward the sock cleaning bill. I guess when God closes a door, he opens a – what’s that, OMAC inker Scott Koblish?

O.M.A.C is not in danger of being cancelled.


Cover to DC Comics OMAC #2, by Dan DiDio and Keith Giffen“Lemme see,” I said to my local comic store owner, who knows me by name and asks me why his store always smells like a distillery explosion after I leave, “The New 52 week one books that we want to keep getting… definitely Detective Comics. Also Animal Man, Swamp Thing, Justice League International… we’ll call Batgirl ‘on the bubble,’ and, um…”

“Don’t forget OMAC,” Amanda chimed in.

“OMAC? Are you fucking kidding me? You read The Outsiders at the end of its run. Dan DiDio might be a good publisher or editor in chief, but whoever he answers to shouldn’t allow him to write anything longer than his own name.”

“Yeah, but I like Keith Giffen. And I really liked the end of the first issue. So I want to give it another shot.”

Sheesh. Wimmens, man. What’re you gonna do? So I made the commitment to spend another $2.99 a month because hey: I love her, and it isn’t gonna suck itself, and sandwich: I don’t have one, amirite?

Ow. Owwwww. Note to self: don’t write shit like that when you don’t mean it and when your girlfriend is your editor. But I digress.

So this past Wednesday OMAC #2 was, in fact, in my pile of subscription pulls, whether I really wanted it or not. So imagine my surprise when it turned out to be one of the better books of the week.