This week’s list focuses on comics in 2000 to 2010 and one event that’s not so much a comic but important none the less. Let’s face it, it was a good decade. Some of the best work in quite a while came from the comic industry during this time and the crash of the 90’s finally started to show signs of improvements as the movies pushed comic books to new heights.
I’ve always been an Avengers fan and this was one of the best times to be one. The Scarlet Witch once had children with an android, the Vision. They were actually created with her powers. Their souls were used from the villain Master Pandemonium. As a result of this story line, the twins ceased to exist and it became a dark secret for the Avengers. The Wasp has a slip of the tongue in casual conversation with Wanda which sends her off the deep end. The result is Hawkeye being killed in action, Scott Lang (Antman) killed by a reanimated Jack of Hearts, and the Vision being destroyed as he was split in two by She-Hulk. Needless to say, emotions were running high. With some help of Doctor Strange the Scarlet Witch is put under control and sent off to Genosha to hang with her father Magneto. This also resulted in the disbanding of the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, bringing in some characters not usually associated with the team.
It can be seen that the Scarlet Witch is one of the single most powerful heroes/mutants on the planet. Make her even more crazy then she already is and you have a problem. As a result of the Avengers Disassembled events, the X-Men and the remaining Avengers decide she’s too powerful to live. The only one having a problem with this was her brother Quicksilver. Quicksilver has always been a jerk in the Marvel Universe when it comes to trying to protect Wanda. He rushes to help her and she snaps. The Scarlet Witch alters the reality of the Marvel Universe. The mutants are now the ruling class with Magneto ruling. The only one who knows the difference is Wolverine and Layla Miller. Layla is a child with a special gift and the only who can overthrow Magneto. With every story there’s conflict and Magneto chooses mutants over his daughter. The Scarlet Witch rights the universe with three small words: NO MORE MUTANTS. Ninety nine percent of the planetary mutant population is de-powered and the Marvel Universe is righted.
In the DC Universe the word Crisis is normally a good thing. Example: Crisis on Infinite Earths. Now the Identity Crisis was a different matter all together. It starts out like a murder mystery with Sue Dibny being brutally murdered. Sue happens to be the wife, Ralph Dibny or The Elongated Man. The story is a Justice League story with a little re-writing of history. Apparently sometime in the past, Dr Light had attacked the JLA satellite. Instead of finding the League, he discovers Sue. Instead of doing something predictable and capturing her to use as bait Dr Light, he rapes her. Most DC comics had never really dealt with such a harsh subject manner. It was shocking to my reading eyes. The League discovers this and votes to have Zatanna mind wipe Dr Light. The beauty of the story here is the conflict that the characters have: are they heroes or judges? It tends to cloud the issue of their moral code. The story was 7 issues and dissolved a lot of friendships. I won’t give away the ending but another character in the DC Universe was killed in the process.
Believe it or not The Walking Dead was not a show first. In 2003 Robert Kirkman and Co made a brilliant comic book series about the apocalypse. If you’ve only seen the show, you haven’t seen anything yet. The comic torments the characters ten fold more. It is the root of the unpredictable deaths that the show unleashes on the view public every week. If you think there are some brutal things on the show, just wait until you flip through the comic book and watch Michonne dig out the Governor’s eye with a spoon, a spoon she eventually heats and shoves where the sun don’t shine. What makes the comic just as interesting is the fact that it is an independent of the show. Kirkman has said he knows the end of the book if it ends. It’s in gritty black and white where you can still feel the blood floor and horror of the Walking Dead and Living alike. Remember don’t say the Z word.
6. Planet Hulk/ World War Hulk
Let’s face it: NEVER PISS OFF THE HULK. In Planet Hulk a group of heroes known as the Illuminati, including Iron Man, Mr. Fantastic, Doctor Strange, Namor, and Black Bolt decide it’s time to deal with the Hulk once and for all. They trick him into doing a mission in space. They place the Hulk in a craft that exiles him into space to a peaceful planet. Once on the planet, the Hulk sets to battle in an area. Through a series of events, the Hulk overthrows the Red King, ruler of the planet, and takes over providing a peaceful age. During the age of peace Hulk married Caiera and with their unborn child they are praised and gifted with the shuttle that brought him to the planet Sakaar. The shuttle apparently had sabotaged core though to ensure Hulk would not return back to Earth. The Hulk throws the shuttle into the atmosphere to try to save everyone, but it still explodes, killing everyone on the planet including Caiera. With the help of his minions the Warbound, he returns to Earth to get the Illuminati in World War Hulk. Enraged, the Hulk defeats most of the Illuminati. In a final battle with Sentry, he revert to their human form. Banner takes out Bob. During these events the Hulk discovers he was betrayed by a member of the Warbound. He becomes more angry than ever before leaving Tony Stark no choice to defeating him with Gamma lasers from space stations. We see the foundations of the heroic moral code falter in the Marvel Universe once again during this age.
What’s better than heroes fighting villains? Well heroes fighting heroes of course! With Civil War, the Super Human Registration Act is put into motion after an explosion caused by the villain Nitro near a school as the New Warriors tried to apprehend him. It says that all heroes must register their secret identities. The problem with this concept is the fact that it puts the heroes’ loved ones at risk. This story put Captain America at odds with Iron Man, as Steve Rogers sees this a fascist move. Peter Parker actually joins Tony’s side and reveals he is Spider-Man. The battle rages through New York as Iron Man is trying to capture anyone not registered. He is trying to do this as a matter of justice in his view. Captain America stands on the side of truth and privacy. The result of this conflict resonated throughout the Marvel Universe. Things evetnually fell apart for Spider-Man, who eventually had to make a deal with the devil to protect his family. The result of the story ended with the murder of Captain America and heroes staying distrustful of one another.
At the end of the decade, DC decided to mix things up a bit. They had an army of undead Black Lantern attempt to take over the DC Universe. The main hero of the event is Hal Jordan who had recently returned to the living himself. The Black Lantern Corp take over most of the heroes of Earth. Using black rings, the villains resurrect dead heroes from the past including the recently deceased Batman, Barry Allen, Aquaman, and Martian Manhunter to name a few. Each color in the Corp came together to defeat the Black Hand. The Blackest Night gave DC a decent refresh of older heroes that had been long missed. It also set up the Brightest Day storyline.
3. Iron Man (2008)
They had been making superhero movies for a really long time, and the X-Men and Spider-Man films hit even before this . What makes Iron Man so special? It was completely produced by Marvel Entertainment. It wasn’t licensed to another studio to make as the previously mentioned were. The actual creators of the comic took a hand in creating Iron Man and making it seem real. It took Marvel out of bankruptcy and set up the deal for Disney to purchase Marvel Comics in 2009. Iron Man still stand as one of the best movie origin stories put out on film, but it really gave way to the true resurgence of Marvel comics as a house hold name once again.
2. The Ultimate Universe
Marvel decided to reboot their entire universe with a fresh line of comics starting from the beginning, Ultimate Spider-Man, The Ultimates, Ultimate Fantastic Four and Ultimate X-Men. You would think rebooting the universe is bad idea; heck I thought that myself. I’ve seen Spider-Man redone and retold several times over my lifetime. The thing that made this excellent was that it took the older readers and made us younger readers once again. I could relate to Peter Parker being a web designer at the Bugle more so then a photographer. The Ultimates (Avengers) had a more real world feel than ever before. They even designed the Nick Fury in the Ultimate Universe after Sam L Jackson. It works really well. It was and still is really good read. When the Ultimate Universe started is was a wonderful place, even if as we all know it eventually buckled under its own continuity it was made to get away from to begin with.
Ah, Jim Lee, what can I say? I hadn’t been reading Batman for a really long time when this arrived. When I heard Lee was penciling Batman in this 12 part story line, I watered at the mouth. Batman was hardcore and Lee had the details in the artwork that made me enjoy reading his life again, not to mention the amazing story penned by Jeph Loeb that brought in every big Batman villain.. The story had brought in a character we had thought dead but not. It gave Bruce a little more back story to increase his mythos. This story was released early in the decade and had been reprinted like a gazillion times. They tried to repeat the success on Superman when Jim Lee jumped over to that, but never got close to HUSH and dimensions it brought to Batman.