9 to Watch in 2009: Comic Book Characters
9 to Watch in 2009: Characters
Newsarama gathered the facts, analyzed the fiction and reviewed the rumors to delineate who we think will the top – the 9 to Watch in '09. All this week, we'll be picking out the 9 To Watch in '09 in five categories: comic characters, comic creators, comic series/books, movies and television shows. The first three are clearly comics-centric, while the last two are wide open. First off, we start with the pillar of comics storytelling: the characters. They're the ones who bring it all together, making the story stronger, making the creators strive higher and being the glue that holds the whole package together. Without them, it'd be a faceless story – with them, it's the thumbtack that pins it down for us to remember. But who will matter most in '09? Our crystal ball is broken but our speculation is running wild – here's who we think will be the 9 Comic Characters to Watch in '09. Yes – there are some familiar faces… Wolverine (Marvel Comics) The character of Wolverine has been a contender since the day he was first born – err, published in 1974, but 2009 will see him reach his pinnacle of a storied life. With four solo comic book series (Wolverine, Wolverine: Origins, Wolverine: First Class and the upcoming Wolverine: Weapon X), a member of countless team comic books, an upcoming movie (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) and an animated series (Wolverine & The X-Men), he truly is the "it" character for the X-universe, and arguably the larger Marvel Universe. He's synonymous with the X-men brand, and is the only character to be included in every media adaptation of the X-Men franchise including film, television, computer and video games. He's gone by many names, but no matter what you call him – everyone calls him integral to comics. Battle for the Cowl miniseries. And although there's no Batman movie this year, the fruits of the blockbuster Dark Knight movie will be reaped in awards season in several categories. And there's always speculation on future Batman movies from Nolan, Bale and co. In comics we're trying to wrap our heads around someone besides Bruce Wayne being Batman, while we're still holding out hope that we haven't seen the last of him. It is comics, after all, isn't it? Oh – and of course – there’s Batman: Brave and the Bold on Cartoon Network – returning this Friday, January 2nd.
Although she is the female counterpart to DC's signature superhero, she's never quite lived up to her birthright until now. Her ongoing series has finally (finally!) gotten its footing with writer Sterling Gates, and Supergirl is emerging as a key part of the larger DC Universe not as Superman's proverbial “kid sister” but as her own person. Far from a Superman in women's clothing, Supergirl has begun to emerge and reach her full potential – and her fans couldn't be happier.
We might think of him as the Green Goblin, but in the Marvel Universe he's seen as earth's greatest hero. His assumption of a leadership role in Thunderbolts was just the beginning, as in Secret Invasion #8 he took an orchestrated lead role in the final charge against the Skrull invasion – with cameras rolling. That moment lead to the President of the United States making Osborn head of the replacement to S.H.I.E.L.D., H.A.M.M.E.R. Out with the Iron Man, in with the Green Goblin. Just as Tony Stark was seemingly in every Marvel comic in the past 18 months, Norman Osborn has filled that role as someone who you can truly love to hate, as we’ve seen in his post Secret Invasion #8, that was just the beginning.
Scarlet Witch (Marvel)Where In The World is That Witch Wanda? That's the question on the lips of Marvel fans after the events of House of M. She was briefly glimpsed in an issue of New Avengers, but 2009 looks to be her full-fledged return to the Marvel U as she is a member of Mighty Avengers as of issue #21, and also in contention for the vacant Sorcerer Supreme spot now that Doctor Strange has vacated the role. As one of the most popular females in Marvel comics, it's anyone's guess as to her rightful place in the Marvel Universe. But after the events of House of M, she's one to be watched by heroes, villains and fans alike. new ongoing series is to be released, that will reestablish Power Girl's civilian identity of software developer Karen Starr and created by writers Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray and preeminent Power Girl artist Amanda Conner. In The Corner Of Our Eye: There are several characters on the cusp of greatness in the coming months, and you can't count them out for a blockbuster 2009. They are: Static (DC Comics): He's back and like his Milestone kin will be integrated in the DC Universe. His animation career has overshadowed his comics prowess, and 2009 might be the time to reach his full potential. Spider-Woman (Marvel Comics): She's the face of the Skrull Secret Invasion, but that's not who she really is. Writer Brian Michael Bendis brought her back to prominence in the pages of New Avengers, and the long-awaited ongoing series from Bendis and artist Alex Maleev promises to let Spider-Woman come full circle. The Flash (DC Comics): Always running at a breakneck pace, in the past few years he's been off the mark but 2009 looks to be different. Longtime scribe Geoff Johns and artist Ethan Vansciver have set their sights on the world's fastest hero – the returning Barry Allen, so 2009 could be the year that the Flash gets good again. Scott Pilgrim (Oni Press): Don't count him out – with volume 5 of his award-winning series promising to be the "it" book for New York Comic Con 2009 and his eagerly anticipated movie in production now from director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead), this could be the year that Pilgrim goes from critics darling to a new icon in comic book lore. But…that’s just us...and there are many, many close calls to this list - Hawkeye and Mockingbird, Aquaman, Hawkman, heck, we've even heard rumblings about Firestorm. What say you? Who’s poised to make 2009 their year to the largest audience in comics? Not just a name – get your reasons in there as well…