It was difficult as a reader and a reviewer to narrow down three choices for my "best of..." list, but I really think these were the books that really shined this past year and hope to continue to in 2010
Talk about a series that has seen some highs and lows in the past decade. Once thought of just something pre-pubescent boys can drool on, Ron Marz has really put a new stamp on this book as easily one of the best. Supernatural hero, meshed with elements of a cop drama, with a lead character who is the mother of an infant makes for a great read with solid stories. Now, in 2009, there was "War of the Witchblades", with both bearers of the fabled gauntlet try to kill one another, with one almost succeeding. While artist Stjepan Sejic really soared with the best of them on some of the more horror/mystical elements, he stumbled here and there more often than not with the more quiet moments. Even with that minor hiccup, Witchblade is excellent and events coming in 2010, makes this a book not to be missed.
Silver: "Elegy" arc in Detective Comics
I know, I know. I did a 'Tec arc last year for the Silver Medal, but this book has just had great teams, and this year it went from already amazing to just down right the best "Bat" book on the shelves. Greg Rucka is nothing short of a great story-teller, but add his words to J. H. Williams' avant-garde style that echoes something out of Steranko-land, you've got one hell of a book. While the story of a bat-themed hero going after a pale-skinned villain might seem familiar, but Rucka and Williams wove something unique and different and set the bar for other super-hero books. You have my sympathies if you've been missing out on this one.
Gold: The Unwritten
Please tell me you've at least heard of this book. Now, I know the common concern is that most Vertigo books are so heavy and dense that it makes it difficult to just pick up a random issue and follow along. I can understand that, and this book is no different. However, what Mike Carey and Peter Gross have done here is just incredible and my favorite book of the past year. Unwritten is just so...just by itself and creative, it's hard to fathom that a lot of people are ignoring this work of art. The story is deep and rich with literary allegories, and is just damn smart. Let's see, it's the story of Tom Taylor, whose father was a prolific and famous children's book author best known for his Tommy Taylor series (think Harry Potter). Tom's father goes missing and it turns out Tom may actually be the boy wizard from the book series. With a Harry Potter-like character, you might think this is kid-friendly, well that's not exactly the case, just so you don't go running out and buy this for a young reader. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Sandman of this generation and my pick for best book of 2009.
What to watch for in 2010: Moon Knight
Yeah, I know he's not the center of any universe or anything like that. There's not a ton of MK merchandise out there or no Saturday morning cartoon (do they still even make those?). However, I've been having a blast reading "Vengeance of the Moon Knight", and there's been a slow build on Spector's lunacy (pun intended) and it's only a matter of time before he does finally snap, but if that moment comes, can he be find redemption? The weird thing is that the title of the book has the word vengeance in it, yet he hasn't really taken revenge out on anything yet, it's mainly his rogue's gallery going after him. Also, I just love what Hurwitz and Opena are doing and I'm just captivated by each page. Sure, there are some heavy events for all major companies lined up for next year, but I think this character will catch you by surprise.