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Comic Proportions 

A look back at 2007's best comic books

To coincide with this issue's Big-@$# Book of Lists theme, I decided to compile a list of my favorite comics of last year and the best lines I previously penned about those comics. Consider this the "Comic Proportions Quotable Top 9 Comics of 2007."

Action Comics (DC Comics): "Let's face it, Superman is a tough character to write. He's been around since the 1930s and there ain't much new stuff you can do to the guy. Johns' way of turning back the clock, at the very least, freshens up the character. I'm all for freshness."

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 (Dark Horse Comics): "If you're a Buffy fan, you should be reading this. And if you're not, pick it up because it's a compelling read with action, humor and pathos. (But, damn, why aren't you a fan of Buffy?!)"

Doktor Sleepless (Avatar): "The 'hero' of the book -- Doktor Sleepless -- follows in the footsteps of Ellis protagonists like Spider Jerusalem, Richard Fell, Desolation Jones and more ... meaning he's smart, he's a rebel, he's an outcast and a complete bastard. I love the brain-numbing amount of off-the-damn-wall science speak ... Here's an example of some of the crazy shit that Doktor Sleepless spouts off in, like, every panel: 'Electricity can only be replenished by whisky. This is actual physics. Do not argue with me. I am a doktor.' Crazy, eh?"

Fell (Image Comics): "Honestly, I'm usually not a big fan of mystery comics, but Ellis is a master at making a sometimes-boring genre exciting and bizarre. One of the cooler features of the book is the actual page structure; Ellis and Templesmith have created a panel grid that makes reading the 16-page comic seem like you're reading a 32-page comic."

Green Lantern, "Sinestro Corps War"(DC Comics): "Screw all those other DC crossovers and big-time storylines -- "The Sinestro Corps [War]" is the best epic going on at DC. And what makes it so good? The villains. Writer Geoff Johns has assembled the most hardcore crew of badass villains I've ever seen in the DCU -- and he's given them a common goal. The Sinestro Corps is the type of evil team that makes you wonder how the heroes will actually win. And, really, it's about damn time. The Green Lantern's ring is the most powerful weapon in the universe and Johns has finally given it an equally powerful opposite number."

Immortal Iron Fist (Marvel Comics): "Matt Fraction and Ed Brubaker understand the appeal and unique qualities of Iron Fist. They've transformed a poor-man's Bruce Lee into a complex, interesting and multilayered character. In past Iron Fist series, the writers seemed content to take a pretty undeveloped hero and just throw him in stories where he's drop-kicking a bunch of generic bad guys. Fraction and Brubaker, however, have created a rich mythology surrounding the character and his powers."

Mighty Avengers (Marvel Comics): "[Brain Michael Bendis'] approach to Mighty [Avengers] is almost the total opposite of what he does on New [Avengers]. He's loaded the comic with heavyweights like Wonder Man, Sentry, and Ares (the god of war) instead of scrubs like Echo and Ronin -- and he's downplayed the tongue action to play up the fisticuffs and explosions. If you hate Bendis, you'll love Mighty Avengers. Oh, and the art in the first six issues is by Frank Cho, and it's damn good."

Thor (Marvel Comics): "Looking back on the history of the character, Thor is always done best when he's done big. Big allies. Big adversaries. Big scenery. (I mean, the dude is a god.) And in this brand new No. 1, writer Straczynski succeeds at capturing Thor's big scale and scope. I love it. Every. Damn. Page."

Walking Dead, hardcover No. 1 (Image Comics): "I thoroughly enjoyed reading this comic, about a world overrun by zombies, from the beginning. Truthfully, I now think this series is best enjoyed from the beginning. Read it from issue No. 1 and you get to see how all these relationships started and the underlying emotional conflicts that have come to define the characters -- making this hardcover required reading for anyone interested in jumping on the book."

Reviewed materials furnished by Heroes Aren't Hard To Find: www.heroesonline.com.

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