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Monday, January 09, 2023 

What Polygon thinks are the "best" panels of 2022

Here's another mainstream embarrassment in year's-end choices from Polygon, where they chose what they claim are the "best" panel moments from 2022's comics. One of those was a panel from Tom King's Supergirl miniseries where she holds the corpse of Comet:
The question isn’t “Is one of the best panels of the year in Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow?” It’s “Which panel in Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow do I choose?” I’ve previously said Woman of Tomorrow is the most Sandman-like thing Tom King has written, and while some portion of that is the semi-contained fable of each issue, it’s also the craft that artist Bilquis Evely brings to the comic’s worldbuilding, in a space adventure by way of the inexplicable creatures of Star Wars rather than the scientifically enumerated biomes of Star Trek.

But what makes Evely’s single panels wondrous is her compositions and her acting. Artists have used the iconography of Superman to recreate Michelangelo’s Pietá before, but Evely may have done it best, choreographing cape and clouds and sun onto the essential pose. Where Evely draws Kara Zor-El with a gaze hard enough to pierce the reader’s heart, Mat Lopes pops her irises with ice blue flecks, his work a carefully conducted symphony, emphasizing the important even as it highlights Evely’s intricate linework.
One must only wonder what's so "piercing" about a story built on the kind of downtrodden angle King's become notorious for. For now, what a laugh when they compare this to the Sandman, if that's the Gaiman-penned "fantasy" series they're talking about. The 1989-96 series is one of the most overrated tales I've ever seen, that's what it was. Nothing "wondrous" about that either.

Another example given is Superman's Jon Kent in a pride cape, and the writer even had the following joke to say:
Corporations should stay out of Pride — and deep down, Big Two superheroes are populist iconography, as the closest thing America has to modern folk heroes. We can recognize the truth of both of these ideas at the same time. In terms of story impact, it doesn’t get much stronger than making Superman into a potential PFLAG parent.

And we can recognize that even if a “Superman” is Clark Kent’s son, rather than Clark Kent himself, having Superman make out with his boyfriend in mid air above a Pride parade while he wears a cape lined with every Pride flag the artist can fit on it is potent iconography, and a powerful statement.
More aggravating kowtowing to the LGBT propaganda machine, which renders their supposed belief corporations should avoid the pandering hollow and meaningless. No complaints raised by the writer about how somebody else's creation was exploited for the sake of retconning into a homosexual protagonist either.

The news site also cited Marvel's Judgement Day:
AXE: Judgment Day was the best Marvel Comics spectacle in years, but there’s just one image from the event series and its voluminous tie-ins that is stuck indelibly in my brain. It’s mortals disintegrating under the wrath of god, while the tiny silhouette of Captain America stalwartly raises his shield — and the cosmic forces turn the innocent in his arms to a husk anyway.

Judgment Day constantly reminded the reader of the human stakes of the end of the world, and the vast gap between the struggle of average citizens to avoid god-meted carnage, and the super-strong, super-regenerative, in-many-cases-literally-deathless heroes who fail to protect them. Even Captain America, Marvel’s most iconic everyman, survives when every man around him is obliterated.

It’s a necessary dichotomy for a story where two of Marvel’s most powerful groups of superheroes — the Eternals and the Mutants — ultimately realize they must change how they share their gifts, and this single panel explains what just took me over 100 words to say.
Of all the abuse Captain America could be subjected to in science fiction scenarios, this is just as bad, right down to an apparent emphasis on failure to save innocent lives. It almost sounds reminiscent of King's writings, built as they are on themes akin to defeat. What's so "necessary" about this? Nothing. This is all just a lot of defeatist baloney that continues to tarnish famous creations that should never have come under the ownership of corporations.

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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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