What comics inspired us, made us cheer and cry and what comics made the 2016 (let’s face it, a sucky year otherwise) worth it?!
Let’s not hesitate any longer, let the 2016 Bleedies commence!
WTF Moment Of The Year
Sometimes something happens in a comic that makes your jaw drop in disbelief! It makes no sense...it is totally unexpected and you can’t wait until next issue to see how they will resolve it! This award goes to the biggest of those moments.
Batman Finds Comedian’s Pin (DC Rebirth One-Shot)
Either Alfred’s become a hipster pin collector or something is seriously amiss in the DCU!
Captain America Hails Hydra (Captain America #1)
How can you represent the United States if you are a xenophobic, corporate stooge that has the backings of nazis?! Oh....that’s awkward.
The Death of The New 52’s Superman (Superman #52)
But this time they have a backup Superman...and it’s the one that died last time!
Gwen Stacy Is Back—Sorta! (Clone Conspiracy #1)
She’s back, she hates Spider-Man and her bangs are fierce!
And the winner is...
Captain America Hails Hydra
This one was so huge it made mainstream news and fans went into full outrage mode! Yeah, it was really premature, since the next issue explained things more, and even if you had been following the recent Avengers crossover event, Pleasant Hill and have been reading Uncanny Avengers, you could pretty easily figure out what happened. Reality can be easily altered in comics, remember.
Listen, it was simply another comic book storyline (a rehashed one to boot), and to be honest anyone that thought it would last probably doesn’t read a lot of comics. Nothing this drastic lasts long and status quos always eventually return. And if Nazi Cap still turns you off, we have a perfectly good Captain America running around in Sam Wilson!
Seriously, his book has been excellent and socially topical. Who knows?! It may win some Bleedies this year!
Villain Of The Year
Ah, villains. We love them, we hate them, we weirdly glamorize them. I have to admit, either I am guilty of doing that. It’s just that they are usually a lot more interesting than the hero. For example, think of your favorite superhero movie...now think of its villain. It’s probably a pretty good one!
You can’t beat a good bad guy, and these four took the cake and made the heroes (and some of us) cringe in 2016.
Apocalypse (The Apocalypse War crossover event)
At the same time as he was getting his live-action movie debut, he made the X-Men’s lives even more miserable in the funny books. Whatta jerk!
The Jackal (Amazing Spider-Man & The Clone Conspiracy)
This is an all-new Jackal with a dry wit, an intimidating Egyptian mask and a taste for expensive suits! And it’s a good thing too, because he tried way too long to make the creepy, green, furry testicle look happen. Yeesh.
Lex Luthor (All Superman related books)
Of course his “S shield” lights up. Of course it does.
Two-Face (All-Star Batman)
He’s meaner than ever and STILL won’t get that thing looked at.
And the Villain of the Year is...
There’s nothing worse than a guy that steals your style and gimmick. After Superman got killed, Luthor of course moved right in to assume the role of the new Man of Steel. With a gaudy super-suit and all, Luthor is parading around in the guise of a do-gooder. Only Earth 1 Superman (who survived his reality’s demise along with his wife Lois and son, John) can show up and call him on his B.S.!
Some may say Luthor borders the fence between hero and villain but I think we can all agree that is only temporary. Already there are some nasty things popping up recently that show that this leopard can’t so easily change his spots. For one, it was revealed in the pages of Superwoman that Lex imprisoned his sister, Lena (who is more intelligent than he is) for decades in the bowels of LexCorp, and has been taking credit for her inventions for years! That’s taking sibling rivalry to a whole new level.
In my opinion just wearing the S on his chest is the ultimate act of arrogance and villainy. It’s the ultimate insult! And it is so LIKE Lex to do this. At the end of it all, he always wanted to take Clark’s place and be called Superman. This is the comic book baddie I’d most like to punch in his smug face these days.
Team Of The Year
Teamwork is something that makes comics great, whether you are talking about the people making the comic or a group of characters coming together, united against a common threat. This is my award to the latter. It could be two buddies reuniting after decades to protect the streets of Harlem, a team of iconic legends fighting against a universal threat or a team of villains forced together to do the good thing (or else), all of these teams are great...and deserve to be “Team Of The Year”.
The kids are alright...and have one of the funniest and entertaining comic books on the shelf these days! Although, If they’d stop looking at their cell phones for two seconds they’d actually get some superheroing done!
They may not be Hal Jordan or John Stewart, but Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz have definitely freshened things up for the JL! Minty fresh!
Power Man & Iron Fist
The greatest “buddy cop” style team of the 80’s comic scene is back and they have to watch their language! Hey, Mickey Mouse is their boss and Luke’s a dad now! Yeah, a lot has changed since the 80’s.
Fresh off their live-action movie debut comes the team where anyone can die, creepy clowns are welcome and the government suits are even scarier than circus freaks! Sounds like the perfect summary of 2016 to me!
The Best Comic Book Team Of 2016 Is...
While all of these teams were great, I personally find so much joy in watching Miles Morales/Spider-Man, Ms. Marvel/Kamala Khan, Nova/Sam Alexander, Amadeus Cho/Totally Awesome Hulk, Young Cyclops and Viv Vision changing the definition of what a Marvel superhero is and looks like, and their challenges in trying to fight bad guys and being typical millennials. They’ve taken the name Champions, which in the past has been a pretty lame, horrible super team (with Hercules as its leader!? What could go wrong?!), and have given it a whole new respectability.
As weird as it sounds, this book speaks volumes about today’s youth and Mark Waid and Humberto Ramos are the perfect team to do it. These are the true next generation of Marvel’s heroes, with all their own flaws and good intentions. They gotta find a way to work together and live up to the mantles they have chosen and been gifted.
It’ll be fun to see what comes next for The Champions! I’m gonna keep reading!
Best New Character
It’s pretty self explanatory. This is the award that will be going to the most exciting, impressive new character of the year. And nearly every nominee is female! Well, okay, one doesn’t really HAVE a gender. So more like, we don’t have one MALE nominee! That’s for sure!
In all seriousness, it’s a good sign that more great female characters are being created and utilized right, and that’s a really good thing!
Cerebra (Extraordinary X-Men)
Old Man Logan wanted to tear her/him/it open at first sight. But that’s usually how he welcomes most people onto the team!
Gotham Girl (Batman)
She may have had a mental breakdown and shaved her head Britney Spears style, but as long as she keeps her mini-skirt game on lock, all’s good in the hood. As the kids say.
Riri Williams/Ironheart (Invincible Iron Man)
She caused so much controversy over a cover I’m surprised she’s not a Kardashian.
Viv Vision (Vision, Champions)
The way she speaks binary has all the boys going crazy.
And the winner is...
Riri Williams/ Ironheart
Riri has taken the Marvel Universe by storm! With Tony Stark out of the picture (for now), she has been left with the task of being the world’s “Iron Avenger”. And who better to take this on than the girl who literally built her first armor in her M.I.T. dorm?!
She’s no doubt the best new comic character. Riri exudes the spirit of a classic Marvel protagonist. She’s young, precocious, and just has the passion for doing what’s right and being a hero, no matter the challenges that stand in her way. Ironheart will be her superhero name, and it fits her perfectly.
She is a technological genius, and that gives her power...and a tragedy made Riri realize that with that power must also come a responsibility. It’s not a new concept, but it is one that will forever work.
Heroine Of The Year
Once again, I shall award a Bleedie to the one female character that exemplifies strength and beauty all at the same time. HOTY has become not just about those comics that teenage boys hide under their mattress (although, you’re free to do that...ya weirdo), but it’s also a character that female readers can get behind and live vicariously through.
So, without further delay...HOTTIES ASSEMBLE (is the one battle cry that never seems to work for me in real life)!!
Harley’s a staple in this category, but this year, thanks to Margot Robbie’s scene stealing performance in Suicide Squad, Miss Quinzel is now a household name! Will that give her an edge? Does Harley NEED an edge?!
Mary Jane Watson
Tony Stark made MJ his assistant this past year, because if you’re Stark you don’t hit the jackpot, you just BUY it.
Can last year’s HOTY make it two years in a row? She definitely will maintain Best Spandex Hoodie Combo every year!
Wonder Woman turned 75 in 2016, and not one wrinkle! Turns out being made from clay is the best way to maintain a great complexion!
And comic book Heroine Of The Year is....
For the second time in 3 years, Harley Quinn clinches HOTY! But this time it feels like she has earned it with being probably one of the most popular comic book characters of the moment! With a popular movie, a bestselling comic book series and probably the most cosplayed character EVER, EVERYTHING is coming up HARLEY!
The boys want her kinda crazy and girls wanna BE her kinda crazy....the former girlfriend of The Joker straddles (yeah, she definitely would straddle it, let’s be honest) the fence between naughty and nice...and that’s what makes her so fun! You just don’t know if she’s going to hug you or crush you under a ridiculously large mallet. She’s got a style all her own.
And to top it all off, “Daddy’s Little Monster” is just getting started with her superstardom, as it was just announced that David Ayer will be directing another DC live action film with Margot Robbie as Harley, this time with her fellow femme fatale cohorts, Catwoman and Poison Ivy in Gotham City Sirens! I think we can all agree that that movie already will be a huge hit! I know I’ll be first in line!
Scrap Of The Year
Avengers: Unity Squad vs. Undead Samurai Hulk (Uncanny Avengers #16)
Yeah, you read that right. Undead Samurai Hulk. Because just HULK wasn’t scary enough.
Black Bolt vs. Cyclops (Death of X #4)
Black Bolt sure gives “careless whisper” a whole new meaning (R.I.P. George Michael).
Darth Vader vs. A Crapload of Rebels (Vader Down One-Shot)
Is there anything this guy can’t do!? He’s like supervillain Batman....wait. DARTH VADER IS SUPERVILLAIN BATMAN!
Team Iron Man vs. Team Captain Marvel (Civil War II #5)
Cookouts at Avengers Mansion won’t always end like this if Thor would just remember to bring the darn hot dog buns!
And the winner is...
Darth Vader Takes On A WHOLE F^%#IN’ REBEL BATTALION WITH JUST HIS LIGHTSABER, THE FORCE AND HIS BADASSNESS
How could this not win!? Darth Vader crash lands on a planet and has to take on hundreds of rebels and doesn’t even fathom the idea of losing. He just lays waste to all of them. To top it all off, he’s WAYYY past his prime, right? Vader’s an old man (and sounds like he’s attached to a sleep apnea machine all the time) at this point and he still is this hardcore walking machine of death.
Before seeing Rogue One we have never seen Darth Vader display this level of awesome fighting skills in live action, so that makes what happened here that much more impressive. The only other comic book villain I could see even attempting something this awesome and arrogant is the guy who George Lucas has repeatedly denied Vader was based on...Doctor Doom! Hmm.
I should also mention this is the second year in a row that a Star Wars comic won this award! Kudos to Marvel for making SW the most action packed comics around!
Video Game Of The Year
We finally come to the final award of Part 1 of the Bleedies, and that is Video Game Of The Year. Now to be clear, we had to switch things up because of the surprising lack of games based on comic book properties in 2015! So I was forced to include simply video games that contained playable comic book characters and games that had some sort of comic book based on them.
While this year remained a slower year for comic book video games, I still needed to use last year’s criteria to fill up the final nomination. Thankfully 2017 should be a great year for this category, what with a Spider-Man game in the works for PS4, Injustice 2 on the way and Telltale knocking comic games out of the park!
Until then, let’s see what we got in 2016, shall we?
Batman: A Telltale Series
The best part is you get to decide how Batman gets to say “I’M BATMAN!” It’s a dream come true.
The game that was so good that the developer that made it filed for bankruptcy as soon as it was released. That’s the reason, right? Let’s go with that.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants In Manhattan
Don’t you just love how in TMNT games pizza makes you healthier!? Why can’t real life be like that?!
Walking Dead: Michonne
The best part is you get to choose which silent, dirty look Michonne gives people. It’s a dream come true.
And Video Game Of The Year goes to...
Batman: A Telltale Series
It’s becoming a habit of Batman games winning this award. Actually it’s usually either a Telltale game or a Batman game. So it’s only fitting that this year it’s a BATMAN TELLTALE GAME! Who’d ever think THAT would happen?!
Seriously though, this game is probably one of the most unique Batman games ever, because it gives you the chance to really dive head first and sort of help CRAFT a Batman story. You get to not only play and choose what Batman would do in certain situations, but you also have to fill Bruce Wayne’s (very expensive) shoes as well. Something we rarely get the chance to do. I never thought I would spend so much time in the Batcave working on the Bat Computer, but this game makes that experience just as engaging as punching bad guys in the teeth as Batman. Not an easy feat.
This is a whole new Bat Universe, with very little similarities in story as well as gameplay as past Batman games. This is early Batman, just starting out, he hasn’t really encountered his famous rogues for the first time, so in the beginning you are dealing with The Falcones and the GCPD, who do not trust him yet. Actually, at first it feels like a retelling of Loeb and Sale’s Long Halloween, but it soon very much becomes Telltale’s own concoction of the Batman mythos, which is really cool because you get to veer the Dark Knight any way you wish. I personally like a traditional Paul Dini Batman, but if you wanna make him rougher around the edges like a Frank Miller Batman, they give you the opportunity to do so. I’ve sometimes asked myself when faced with a decision “what would Batman do?” (don’t lie, you’ve done it too), and this game literally allows you to decide what Batman would do.
What made this game great was that it really was a risk. It was either gonna be great or fans would despise it for not being an action-based Arkham game. And I guess there will be some who feel that way. And while it surely isn’t an Arkham game, which I think is the definitive Batman video game series and will be so for quite some time, it doesn’t mean the Telltale Series is a BAD game. I had a lot of fun playing it and can’t wait for the next season.
Well, that’s it for Part 1 of the Bleedies! Stay tuned soon for Part 2 which will provide us with many awards like Comic Book Of The Year, Hero Of The Year and Movie of The Year. Look out for that and as always, bleed out!