Ten for '10: Things to Watch in the New Year - Comic Books

2009 was a year for the record books, but 2010 is shaping up to do it one better. With Marvel’s Siege event chomping at the bit to begin and DC prepping itself to take advantage of the upswing Blackest Night brought on, the other players in the game are poised to make 2010 a year for themselves as well. Who will be the winners? We won’t know until the books are on sale, but for now we can point out some titles to watch come 2010.

Newsarama gathered the facts, analyzed the fiction, and reviewed the rumors to delineate who and what we think will the Ten for '10 - the top things to watch in the New Year of 201o. Today’s focus is on comic book series and books – some are continuation of hits from 2009 and some are newcomers in the new year. Let’s dig in!

Siege by Brian Michael Bendis & Olivier Coipel (Marvel)

The days of Norman Osborn as Marvel’s resident sheriff could be coming to a close. After his surprise grab at power in the final pages of Secret Invasion and ensuing domination in 2009’s Dark Reign, it looks like the former Green Goblin is going to bite off more than he can chew as he takes on the mythical kingdom of Asgard, home of Thor and the Norse Gods. His impending invasion, egged on by Loki, brings out not only the gods of Norse lore but also the potential of a reunion of the triad of the heavy-hitter Avengers: Captain America, Iron Man and Thor. Although Marvel’s apparently leaving out Ant-Man and the original Wasp in the promotion of this reunion, a lot of eyes are on this series for Norman Osborn getting his comeuppance and seeing a new chapter in Marvel’s ongoing saga.

Battling Boy by Paul Pope (First Second)

Talked about for years, Paul Pope’s first original graphic novel is eying a 2010 release. Battling Boy centers on the son of a god, whose father pushes him to leave their lofty home to rid a city of a plague of monsters. Although there’s not much else to go on, Paul Pope has released several images on his blog, and the book has already been optioned for a film by Brad Pitt and Paramount.

Flash by Geoff Johns & Francis Manapul (DC Comics)

Fresh off the success of Flash: Rebirth, writer Geoff Johns continues running with the Flash family into an all-new series. Joining him is Adventure Comics collaborator Francis Manapul, whose work on that series made him a hot talent – just like Newsarama predicted back in 2009. Although several men have held the mantle of the Flash, the newly-returned Barry Allen will play the lead in the relaunch of this classic DC title. Although previously thought to include stories about the other Flashes, our recent interview with DC Editor-In-Chief Dan DiDio revealed Barry will be the sole feature … and with a 23-year absence behind him, he has a lot of new ground to cover.

Avengers: Children’s Crusade by Allan Heinberg & Jim Cheung (Marvel)

Initially derided for its derivative name, the Young Avengers title became a big hit for Marvel beginning in 2005. Series co-creators Allan Heinberg & Jim Cheung made it their own, mixing a healthy love for Marvel lore while showing a next generation of Marvel heroes. Although Heinberg’s day job as writer/producer on TV’s Grey’s Anatomy led to the several delays, the creative team is returning to these teenage heroes in an all-new miniseries set to begin in July 2010.

Originally announced at last October’s Diamond/Alliance Retailer Summit, the bi-monthly eight-issue series should make the Young Avengers bigger players in the wider Marvel Universe, as well as follow-up on two team-members’ mother: the Scarlet Witch. With all that and the not-too-subtle history behind the name “Children’s Crusade”, this series could mark a return to a true “Heroic Age” that Marvel’s been promising as of late.

Neonomicon by Alan Moore & Jacen Burrows (Avatar)

These days, new work by Alan Moore is few and far between. Last year’s return to League of Extraordinary Gentlemen made a lot of fans happy, and now there’s news that in 2010 Alan Moore returns once again for a new series from Avatar Press. Dubbed Neonomicon, details past that are sketchy but plans are for it to follow-up on themes from The Courtyard and feature Lovecraftian themes and racial politics. The series is planned to be drawn by Avatar’s veteran artist Jacen Burrows, fresh off a long collaboration with Garth Ennis on titles like 303, Chronicles of Wormwood and Crossed. Although previous Alan Moore works at Avatar have been adapted from prose Moore has written, this will be Moore’s first direct comics work for the Illinois-based publisher.

Batwoman by Greg Rucka & J.H. Williams 3 (DC Comics)

Revealed just days earlier on the Word Balloon podcast here at Newsarama and as of the moment unofficial, writer Greg Rucka & artist J.H. Williams III will apparently continue their chronicling of the new Batwoman from the pages of Detective Comics in this all-new solo series sometime in 2010. Buzz around their issues so far has been enormous, with many critics slotting their run as a shoe in come Eisner awards season. Detective Comics has launched the careers of many characters – Batman being chief amongst them – so this is the test to see if this new red-haired bat has her wings.

American Vampire by Stephen King, Scott Snyder & Rafael Albuquerque (DC/Vertigo)

Although relatively new to the comics field, Stephen King has made it his own with comic adaptations of his novels The Stand and Dark Tower breaking records – both in comic stores and mainstream bookstores nationwide. But in this series, King does a first: his first original work in comics. King will be joined by friend and co-writer Scott Snyder and artist Rafael Albuquerque on this American vampire tale, aptly titled American Vampire. Writers King and Snyder will each write a story for each issue, with King’s first being that of the very first American vampire in the 1880s.

Image United (Image)

Foretold in last year’s Newsarama 9 as a series to watch, Image United has exceeded expectations and word filtering out of Image says that the surprises aren’t over yet. The just announced Image United: Interlude series Invincible and a shadowy group of people behind him joining in the fray between the original characters of Image. Word is that it marks the inclusion of the new generation of Image heroes into the fight – Invincible and more. The amalgam effort by the seven creators involved has already shown to be a unique experiment that any film adaptation couldn’t hope to match, showing seven friends coming home prodigal son-style.

Nemesis by Mark Millar & Steve McNiven (Marvel/Icon)

The premise is simple: what if Batman were a bad guy? That idea, and the startling image of a white-draped superhero painting a bloody smile across his face, was all it took to send fans into a fervor earlier this year. Writer Mark Millar and artist Steve McNiven, who previously collaborated on Marvel’s Civil War and the Wolverine: Old Man Logan story arc, have proposed an idea so simple that it’s unnerving how enthralling it could be. For McNiven it’s his first creator-owned book, but for Millar it’s the latest in a string of successes such as Wanted and Kick-Ass. Little has been released about this book as of yet, but Newsarama are already hounding McNiven and Millar for more. Stay tuned!

DC’s Earth One Titles (DC Comics)

DC: EARTH ONE is Born As Ongoing GNs
DC: EARTH ONE is Born As Ongoing GNs
It’s too soon to tell what exactly these will be, but the two launch titles of DC’s just announced ‘Earth One’ line of Batman and Superman could prove to be a whole new playing field and a redefinition of DC’s two main heroes in the modern age. Although these two characters’ origins have been told (and re-told) numerous times, the star-studded line-up of Geoff Johns, J. Michael Straczynski, Shane Davis and Gary Frank could make this the biggest – and most popular – yet. In the emerging new age for DC with president Diane Nelson at the helm, these series – pushed not as traditional comics but full-length graphic novels – is an aim past comic shops and into the hearts, hands and wallets of the mainstream public.

In The Corner Of Our Eye:

2009 produced more comics than any year before it, and 2010’s bound to break that record – and then some. It was tough narrowing down our picks to 10, and there were a few that didn’t make the cut. But we couldn’t leave them completely behind.

Ex Machina by Brian K. Vaughn & Tony Harris (DC/Wildstorm)

Since 2004, Ex Machina has provided a West Wing meets Watchmen take on the superhero archetype that has wowed fans and delighted critics. And in 2010, the series is plotted for a close. Although details are sparse, recent developments show others with similar powers to Mayor Hundred. After the epic finale of co-creator Brian K. Vaughn’s other series Y: The Last Man, readers are looking forward to seeing what he and co-creator/artist Tony Harris take us on Hundred’s final term and future. Vaughn’s success in comics showed him move on to film and television such as on Lost, these final issues of Ex Machina could be the last we see of Vaughn in comics for the near future.

Choker by Ben McCool & Ben Templesmith (Image)

Described by McCool as a “hardboiled noir fable”, Choker explores the supernatural side of being a deadbeat detective. It’s the first major work for McCool, but a return to form for Templesmith and his previous work on Fell Wormwood: Gentleman Corpse.

Turf by Jonathan Ross & Tommy Lee Edwards (Image)

Although not well known by American audiences, UK television personality Jonathan Ross has taken his love of comics and written one – and enlisted artist Tommy Lee Edwards to draw it. Purportedly set in the American 1920s, it’s described as a “supernatural gangster” comic Turf has landed at Image and the publisher plans for it to be one of their big books of the new year. And fear not those who admonish famous people who come to comics – Ross’ penchant for comics is well-known, even going so far as to produce a documentary on legendary Spider-man artist Steve Ditko.

Demo by Brian Wood & Becky Cloonan (DC/Vertigo)

The original Demo served as game-changers for creators Brian Wood and Becky Cloonan, and they return to the fold in an all-new six issue series at Vertigo. First launched as an untraditional take on superpowers, it became a series of standalone treatise on a variety of subjects that most “superhero” comics wouldn’t even touch.

The Return of the Gold Key books (Dark Horse)

He did it once – can he do it again? Jim Shooter, who helped repopularize these characters at Valiant in the 1990s, returns to the characters at Dark Horse in some of the most sorely missed heroes in comics for some time. The characters announced so far are Turok, Son of Stone; Doctor Solar, Man of the Atom; Magnus, Robot Fighter; and Mighty Samson.

But that’s just us, and there are many, many close calls to this list. What say you? What book is poised to make 2010 its year? Not just a name – get your reasons in there as well…

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