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Thursday, December 22, 2022 

The MSM's choices for "best" of 2022

So another year ends with mainstream press outlets giving their choices for the alleged "best" of the year. Here's an article from the Mercury News, where a store manager gives some examples of what he considers best, and the examples include:
‘Spider-Man Life Story’

Story by Chip Zdarsky and art by Mark Bagley (published by Marvel Comics)

Another retelling of Spider-Man’s history? It’s with the fascinating twist that each chapter represents a decade of time since the first Spider-Man story in 1962, with our lead character aging in ‘real time’ from 15 years old in the first segment to 75 years old in the last. It’s action-packed, character-driven and ultimately moving.”
I think, if there's anything we could do without, it's all these never-ending retellings of classic origins for prominent superheroes. Or at least, not if it's such pretentious leftists who're assigned the task, and not at a time when the Big 2 are in such a terrible state of artistry and finance. And then:
‘BRZRKR’ (Berserker)

Co-written by Keanu Reeves (yep, that guy) and Matt Kindt, art by Ron Garney (published by BOOM Studios)

“A violent and compelling story of the man known only as B, who only wants the truth about his existence, but in order to get it, he might have to sacrifice his sanity. This is a Keanu Reeves action movie on paper — and who knows? Maybe a future big screen box office hit.”
And this is decidedly one of the most overrated projects of the year, developed all for the sake of adapting into a movie. And, this item is also decidedly suspect:
‘Strange Academy’

Written by Skottie Young, art by Humberto Ramos (published by Marvel Comics)

“This one is another all-ages winner from Skottie Young. Doctor Strange opens a school for the mystic arts. The teachers are some of Marvel’s most magical characters, including the Scarlet Witch, Magik (of the X-Men) and Brother Voodoo. Imagine Hogwart’s School with a Marvel universe twist.”
I wouldn't trust this either, seeing how badly the Master of Mystic Arts and Wanda Maximoff have been desecrated since the turn of the century, with the lady one of the biggest victims of Brian Bendis' writings when Avengers: Disassembled was published.

And then, here's Entertainment Weekly's list, and the picks include Marvel's Judgement Day crossover:
It's not every year that a summer superhero crossover event stands out as a truly great comic, but Judgment Day was special. Having already succeeded where the MCU could not in making the Eternals interesting, and then bringing Succession-style boardroom politics to Marvel's mutants in Immortal X-Men, writer Kieron Gillen collided these worlds in an explosive story that had three distinct acts of terrestrial war, celestial judgment, and apocalyptic action. Valerio Schiti's gorgeous art captured both intimate moments of regular humans reckoning with apocalypse and the massive scale of towering magical-scientific killing machines. Judgment Day's story also exploded outward. A brief fistfight or exchange of dialogue in the main series would be expanded and deepened in a subsequent issue of X-Men Red or Legion of X, making the overall experience feel like an exponentially epic story.
Considering Gillen was the writer who distorted the origin of Iron Man, to name but one example from his resume, the whole notion he could make his Eternals comic any better than the movie is decidedly laughable. Another title cited is Monkey Meat from Image:
The title may not sound super appetizing, but Monkey Meat is an endlessly entertaining anthology comic that eviscerates capitalism, pop culture, and even selfish hero fantasies. The connection between these stories is the same mega corporation, which got super-rich and powerful by selling mysterious meat. Every issue contains pitch-perfect parodies of corporate advertising, along with genre-bending stories about how such unchecked wealth can eventually poison everything — even the myths and legends people rely on for comfort in the face of such greed.
So here, we have another blatant example of anti-capitalism, but I guess there's no complaints the industry has to raise about socialism. And when they speak of "selfish" fantasies, we can probably guess where it's going with that. And, there's also this book starring Poison Ivy:
Contrary to what you might think, Poison Ivy is more than just the secondary protagonist of the Harley Quinn animated series. This well-deserved solo comic from Ms. Marvel co-creator G. Willow Wilson rightly puts Ivy at the center of a story about environmental catastrophe. Judgment Day wasn't the only superhero comic this year that pondered a dying planet, but Ivy had to address it without the godlike powers of a Celestial. Instead, the supervillain went back to basics: Spreading deadly spores across the country in order to save nature from humanity's depredations. Marcio Takara's depiction of the spores' aggressive mutations recalled the stunning horror of films like Annihilation, as Wilson's narrative saw Ivy struggling to choose between her eco-terrorist ideals and her desire for fulfilling human relationships. The combination was a rich reading experience that felt very in tune with 2022 concerns.
Wow, another horror-themed tale? And this time, written by one of the worst political propagandists ever to soil comicdom? Couple that with how a criminal character is being elevated to stardom yet again, and you have something that's more like an insult to the intellect. No doubt, what it's in tune with is wokeness.

There's also the CBC, and the first one in line looks like a very deliberate choice:
Squire, a fantasy graphic novel, follows a young woman named Aiza. She's a member of the Ornu people, a subjugated group in the crumbling Bayt-Saiji Empire. With war on the horizon, Aiza enlists to train as a Squire in hopes it will lead her to Knighthood — and full citizenship. But as Aiza navigates the social and physical rigours of military training, she realizes the Empire's plans for "the greater good" may not be what's best for her people.

Nadia Shammas is a Palestinian American writer based in Toronto. Her previous work includes CORPUS: A Comic Anthology of Bodily Ailments and Ms. Marvel: Stretched Thin.

Sara Alfageeh is a Jordanian American illustrator from Boston. She's illustrated comics and picture books, including for Marvel Comics and Star Wars.
And their comic sounds like it could be an anti-Israeli metaphor. The former also worked on one of the worst propaganda comics to come out of Marvel in the past decade (and the latter possibly did too). This looks like another deliberate choice by the MSM that audiences would do better to avoid.

Here's what the UK Guardian lists, and the first item here, too, sounds fishy:
One of the year’s most gripping works focused on a family glued to the TV. Oxygen Mask (Faber) charts a boy’s panicked thoughts as the pandemic and George Floyd’s death dominate the news, while his ill father coughs and coughs “like something in him is breaking up and breaking down at the same time”. American YA writer Jason Reynolds lets his stream of consciousness unspool over three long sentences and 384 pages, while artist Jason Griffin shows blotches, bricks, buildings, masked faces and scenes of incarceration and apocalypse. It’s a brilliant collaborative effort: you can inhale it at speed or linger over every startling page.
A story written by a Young Adult writer? Most likely a leftist, and that's why you can't be surprised if it turns out this story takes a very dishonest, left-wing approach to the subject matter alluded to in the tale.

And look what Polygon's recommending for the year - a wokefest titled "Welcome to Hell: My Trans-teen Adventure":
Cartoonist Lewis Hancox’s memoir guides us through his experience of trying to survive high school while struggling with gender dysphoria. Every teen (cis and trans alike) can appreciate the frustration, awkwardness, and heartache here, even if it’s not identical to their own life. At the same time, Hancox pokes fun at his emo-loving, skateboarding, dramatic teen past, and his art style allows for things to be silly in parts.

Lewis the Author cleverly breaks the fourth wall throughout the story, popping in as narrator and sometimes even speaking directly to his past self. During some of the roughest moments when his loved ones react badly or say the wrong thing, Author Lewis pulls his present-day persona into the book. The reader learns how his parents and the few close friends he had during that time worked on themselves and ultimately embraced Lewis for who he is. Even when things seem hopeless in the story, adult Lewis keeps popping in to let us know that, like the saying goes, it indeed gets better.
One more reason why Polygon is so unbearable for a liberal site. And it gets no better when they recommend Tom King's Supergirl story:
Tom King is so synonymous with his particular brand of introspective, self-contained superhero comics, it’s become something of a goof. Which obscure character has he picked to make a sad 12-issue miniseries about this time? It’s funny because it’s accurate, but it does make it easy to forget that King’s writing, in which Mister Miracle brings a grocery store veggie platter to a meeting with Darkseid, is also really funny.

So yes, Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow, in which a precocious alien girl ropes Supergirl into serving as her guardian as she travels the universe hunting for the wanton murderer who killed her father, technically belongs in his canon of sad 12-issue minis. Deep down, it’s a story about separating what feels good from what feels right, and how and why we should pick ourselves up and move forward when doing so feels impossible. But up on top, it’s an episodic odd-couple travelogue, a True Grit but in space, with the Jeff Bridges/John Wayne role played to a T by Superman’s cousin, Kara Zor-El.

King’s blessing is that he consistently gets the best artists in the industry to work with him, and Woman of Tomorrow is a superlative example. Bilquis Evely’s work is almost indescribably beautiful here, her pacing emphatic, her compositions breathtaking, her expressions electric; the sheer creativity of the alien environments on display is phenomenal. Add in Matheus Lopes’ color work, and the book delivers multiple pages of wall-worthy art every issue.

The result of all this together is a True Grit tune, played on Superman musical instruments, in the style of The Sandman. I have never liked a version of Supergirl more than here, where King, Evely, and Lopes set her to answering the first and best question of the superhero genre: What does it mean to use power well?
I think that last paragraph says it all. Clearly, the columnist never cared for Supergirl as a creation, and her favorable stance is based solely on who's writing it, here being an ultra-leftist who never respected the classic creations he's building stories around now. Pure embarrassment.

Book Riot's also delivering propaganda, including their own take on Judgement Day:
This was the biggest event on the Marvel Comics calendar this year, and it definitely lived up to the hype. With Druig as Prime Eternal, he declares mutants as Deviants, setting the full force of the Eternals against mutantkind. The Avengers try to help, resurrecting a dead Celestial, who then decides to test all of Earth. Will they be worthy of survival or all perish together?
None of this asks whether the book itself is worthy. They also recommended DC Pride:
I wrote extensively about this comic a while back, and it still holds up as one of the best comics of 2022. This 100-page special contains a dozen eight-page stories about LGBTQIA+ characters, written and drawn by LGBTQIA+ creators. This book is as ambitious as it is good.
They keep pushing this propaganda, and all the while hypocritically ignore Armenians and their culture as a wellspring for focus, along with Ukranians, come to think of it. Homosexuality and transsexuality are all they care about. They even recommended Marvel's Devil's Reign:
While not quite as expansive as AXE: Judgment Day, Devil’s Reign is pretty epic even as it focuses on Marvel’s New York City. Years of planning have paid off for Kingpin, who has successfully won the seat of the mayor of NYC. Now he’s targeting the heroes of the Big Apple like Daredevil and Spider-Man. Oh, and he has an army of supervillains and his own Thunderbolts at his command.
If this emphasizes villains, it's just as dismaying as DC's spotlights on Harley Quinn and the aforementioned Poison Ivy, along with Lobo, lest we forget. They also cited Immortal X-Men, again by Gillen:
The X-Men are a perennial favorite of mine. When Jonathan Hickman decided to step aside after breathing new life into the mutants, many were skeptical. I should have trusted Kieron Gillen, who navigated the change by leaning into how controversial the X-Men’s newfound immortality can be, as well as how it can be leveraged in fascinating ways.
Oh, do tell us about it. Gillen's another overrated scriptwriter who was never qualified for this to start with. Something tells me X-Men wasn't really a favorite of hers, and the only reason it is now is because of the leftist ideologues now running the store. The columnist also recommended a horror thriller called Maw:
Feminism and horror collide in this wild and gruesome ride of a horror comic. Marion Angela Weber needs to escape the booze, so she and her sister head to a feminist retreat. An assault on their first night changes everything, though, awakening a hunger in Marion and a horrifying transformation. Will anyone survive Marion’s monstrous new form?
One can only wonder why anybody thinks feminists truly want to read about and embrace horror themes instead of comedy and bright adventure. It's clear the modern PC stance on comedy is making that impossible, resulting in situations where it's made to look like they only care about misery.

We could probably also add this post from Multiversity Comics focused on movie adaptations, and highlight what they say about Robert Pattinson's The Batman:
The Batman is arguably the most full Batman movie we’ve ever seen. With it’s nearly three-hour runtime, the movie exposes its viewers to the inner workings of the GCPD, the criminal world, Gotham City politics, and generally takes more care to make Gotham feel like a place than your average Batman movie. Then there’s the stellar supporting cast who deliver great performances all around but with special highlights from Zoe Kravitz, Paul Dano, and Colin Farrell. Of course, Robert Pattinson wasn’t an obvious choice to play Bruce Wayne but he absolutely proves that he was the right one, leaning hard into the character’s angst and tortured soul. This is a version of Bruce Wayne that hasn’t figured out how to play the role of charming playboy yet and it’s an interesting angle. In The Batman, Bruce isn’t just being a vigilante because he needs to, he’s doing it because it’s the only thing he can do. The mystery that Matt Reeves has designed is thematically compelling and a lot of fun to watch unfold. Maybe most importantly, it’s just a treat to see Batman solve a real mystery, something he hasn’t really gotten to do on the big screen despite the fact that it’s been over 80 years since the character debuted in a series literally titled “Detective Comics.”
Some reviews I read claimed the Masked Manhunter doesn't really accomplish much of anything here, and why no mention of the PC casting, let alone any argument whether it's healthy to be putting so much emphasis into stories about serial killers? And what if the portrayal of Wayne as not knowing how to play charmer yet means he doesn't know how to lead a real romance yet, for the sake of PC thinking? This is lazy. As is their recommendation of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever:
One of those crowns belongs to one of Marvel’s very first antiheroes, Namor, embodied here for the first time by Tenoch Huerta, who possesses a charisma that makes you believe a man with tiny ankle wings can fly. Huerta, Coogler, and co-writer Joe Robert Cole took one of the publisher’s most insufferable characters, and made him into a genuinely appealing antagonist, a ruthless protector who was shaped – in one of the MCU’s most chilling scenes – firsthand by the cruelty and barbarism of the colonization of the Americas. “El Niño Sin Amor?” No, this is a man so full of love for his people, it is blinding; it’s a shame he’s too expensive for a solo series or special, but I eagerly await his return in future projects.
If the underwhelming box office intake is any suggestion, there may not be any more sequels, and if Namor's more of an antagonist than a protagonist here, that's decidedly appalling, as is any woke approach to the colonization of the American continent.

It's just sad how much PC junk continues to be recommended by the MSM, and chances are no independent press comics that could really be worth examination will ever be highlighted by the mainstream in the future either.

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About me

  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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