Alternate Cover: The comics industry in 2009 retrospective

James looks back at the last 12 months in the world of comics...


It’s the last Alternate Cover column of 2009, and that means it’s time for a barely traditional look back at the year in the form of 12 months’ worth of opinion pieces, rants and lists that make up Den Of Geek’s overview of the comic industry!

In January, I picked out 5 comics I was looking forward to in 2009. Never one to miss from point-blank range, the comics listed were, of course, among the best. Not perfect, but certainly well-received. All except Demo 2, which despite initial noises of a 2009 release date, ended up being scheduled for 2010. Still, that just means it can go on next year’s list!

In March, I outlined exactly why I wasn’t interested in the Watchmen movie. In case anyone doubted me, I’ve avoided the movie to this day and feel perfectly fine with that. Life’s too short for me to watch films I know I’ll hate. That doesn’t excuse the time I spent watching Wolverine, though.

And, of course, what would 2009 be without all those Barack Obama Comics? A celebrity comics fan himself, Obama’s name has probably sold as many comics this year as Wolverine’s. It’s just a pity Wolvey’s Canadian, otherwise they could’ve maybe worked out some kind of exchange scheme. Obama-mania has dialled down a bit recently, and it’s unlikely we’ll see that level of fervour again – but hey, it was fun while it lasted.

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The summer saw the return of two very different comic characters announced. In June, new of Captain America’s inevitable resurrection was delivered in a fairly botched “early shipping” stunt that upset fans and retailers alike. And me. However, in July, we saw the announcement that Marvelman (aka Miracleman) was coming back. While the collective jaw of comicbook fans hit the ground, the rest of the public barely registered. So I explained why it was a big deal. As it turned out, neither return had much of an impact on the rest of the year. The story of Cap’s return is STILL ongoing and looks set to just inch into 2010, and elsewhere, all news of Marvelman has faded into the background while Marvel figure out exactly what they can do with the character. A little disappointing, to be fair.

Come August, I decided to turn my ire on the Hulk line, which was (and still is) in some disarray. Long-time readers of Alternate Cover know I love talking about the Hulk, but regretfully, even I’ve had to swear off the current crop of comics. In September, Disney bought Marvel and Warner Bros. remembered they own DC comics, but more importantly, I could no longer restrain my irritation over the growing phenomenon of Motion Comics. I’ve yet to see one that works.

October saw me breaking rank as a Marvel fan and getting completely bowled over by the Batman: Arkham Asylum game. A list of comics to read after playing it remains valid today, especially for anyone who picks the game up as a Christmas present – get these to go along with it!

And that, more or less, brings us up to date. I’ll be back here for the first column of 2010 (or, to give it its full name, 2010: the year we make contact.)

James writes Alternate Cover every Monday at Den Of Geek. His previous column can be found here.