As is customary, we kick off the new year by looking ahead to see what most tickles our respective fancies out of 2010′s already-announced comics…
Julian’s Pick: X-Men: Second Coming
Just the obvious one for me! I’ve made no secret of my fondness for Chris Yost and Craig Kyle’s take on the mutant franchise over the last couple of years, and it’s what looks set to be the finale of their X-Work (at least for the foreseeable future) which looms largest in my mind when I look out over the forthcoming year. While the “No More Mutants” plot device from 2005′s House of M event initially felt somewhat contrived, like Brand New Day it eventually managed to push the books it served towards a vein of rich, if familiar, material. Given that Second Coming effectively concludes not only the story which was begun in Messiah Complex, but also the ludicrously entertaining X-Force, there’s ample material available to fuel a compelling story.
Some of the momentum has been sapped from the X-Men since 2007. Matt Fraction’s reincorporation of the X-Men back into the wider Marvel Universe has resulted in some strong stories, but has somewhat diluted the focus of Uncanny and left some of that book’s present setting unexplored, while the always-dull Cable solo title means that the crossover writers will have to work quickly to bring a key element of the ongoing story. There’s no doubting the talent of the four sets of creators involved, however, and this weekly tale should provide an unmissable three months of action.
James’ Pick: Demo 2
This one almost edged out Dark Avengers last year, but by virtue of being pushed back into 2010, the stage is clear for Demo to take the top spot this year. Brian Wood and Becky Cloonan’s original Demo series was nothing short of a masterpiece, encompassing styles and genres across the board, delivering 12 fantastic one-off issues that, to this day, remain some of my favourite comics. The announcement of a new, 6-issue Demo series in the same format as the original came some time ago, but now the comics themselves are tantalisingly within reach. If they’re half as good as the originals, they’ll still be a must-buy.
Seb’s Pick: The Return of Bruce Wayne
Grant Morrison’s Batman epic has so far proven to be flawed at times, but never anything less than compelling – and somewhat against the odds, having Bruce Wayne out of the DCU for a little while has actually worked really well. His absence has hung over Blackest Night quite markedly, and despite inconsistencies in the artwork the Dick Grayson-starring Batman & Robin has already made for some enjoyable stories. More significantly, though, it’s also made his reappearance something to be truly anticipated – and the fact that Morrison will be telling the story in its own miniseries running concurrently with Batman & Robin is intriguing in and of itself. Not to mention the fact that the story sounds cracking – comparisons might be drawn with Captain America Reborn, but it’s clearly going to be a bit more of a full-on time-travelling epic, and let’s face it – there’s no character in the DCU better-suited to dealing with that than ol’ pointy ears. “Fun” has been the order of the day for the Batbooks ever since “RIP”, and that looks set to continue – this can’t really be anything less than terrific.