Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Robb's Year-End Review 2011

So this was a crazy year for comics and all things nerdy. As a group, CBXF got new comics, went to a handful of conventions (even had our own booth at Contagion-Omaha), met some incredible creators, and watched the industry evolve. No one will deny the largest story was DC’s Reboot, but what else happened? Who died? Who came back? What movies rocked? What just stunk? 2011 was an incredible year. Besides the fact that JMS is a jerk, here’s what I took away from the first year of this new decade.

1. TV/Netflix: This damn pay site introduced me to a handful of great Sci-Fi and Comedy that I had been missing. Sean, Monty and Tracie had been talking Dr. Who for some time and my childhood memories tainted me in a negative direction for the Ol Doctor. It wasn’t until I accidently gave Torchwood a chance did I get netted into the Who trap. “Hey guys, I like this Torchwood show...” “Um Robb, Torchwood is a spin-off of Dr. Who?” “It is, crap?” The rest is history. Now I can’t get enough. This year I have watched and loved the last 4 seasons of Dr. Who and all of Torchwood. Even from time to time, pulling my skeptical wife in on an episode or too. Thanks Netflix! Other honorable Netflix’s mentions: Battlestar Gallactica, The League, Burn Notice, Earth Mightiest-The Avengers, Reboot, Sons of Anarchy, and Fanboy & Chum Chum. And a few others I’m sure I’m forgetting. Oh, We said good bye to Smallville. (Don the Cape!) And it went out with a whimper. As for regular TV, Big Bang and How I Met Your Mother, and Hell’s Kitchen seem to be regular staples. Ironically, no new shows have held me much. But I keep finding myself home and watching Tim Allen’s “Last Man Standing” (it’s ok... no really).
2. Hollywood - Superhero/Sci-fi movies. This year was a HUGE year for Marvel and an “Eh” year for DC when it came to the Big screen. The biggest winners: “Captain America, The First Avenger”, “Thor”, and the huge surprise, “X-men First Class”. And another surprise the “Rise of the Planet of Apes”. There are a few I’m still missing like “the Muppets” & “Cowboys & Aliens”, so I’m reserving judgment for them as yet. Some that fell short.. “Green Lantern”. With the exception of the Dark Knight/Chris Nolan movies... DC just can’t get a ball out of the infield. Marvel keeps hitting homers and DC is pop flying. But with next year’s trailers all hitting the scene, there is hope. Of course the Dark Knight Rises looks intense and we have hope for The Man of Steel, but Marvel isn’t backing off. Avengers & Amazing Spider-man, another Thor and Ironman?  Let’s not forget we have “the Hobbit” coming, too. But all in all 2011 was great for movies and leaves us excited for 2012.
3. Animation: Here is a category DC seems to lead in, but Marvel is catching! The DC Direct to DVD movies are the like first kiss from the hottest cheerleader in High school! This last year produced 2 really great animated movies. All Star Superman and Batman Year One. DC also put out Green Lantern Emerald Knights...  Good, but It feel short compared to the other releases. DC also finished up Batman: Brave and the Bold and started a new series Young Justice. Both are great shows! Marvel has been strong with Earth’s Mightiest and the Marvel’s Superhero Squad. Some other animation has made dents in me too. The Thundercats is an Awesome take on a classic 80’s cartoon, so is My Little Pony, Friendship is Magic. YES I’m serious. If you’ve not seen this cartoon, you must! I feel like Simpsons and Family Guy & Aquateen Hunger Force have really run their course and its difficult to enjoy the humor in them anymore, but I did love Bob’s Burgers, Metalocalypse, Venture Brothers, & Archer in the last year. Never count the Simpsons out, but this has been the longest dry spell for me in their 20+ year history.
4. Video Games:  I’m no gamer... never really been one. Monty tried to get me into Neverwinter Nights and I liked it a lot, but it never stuck. This year, however I’ve played more than back in 80’s, where Monty and I used play TMNT at the Quik Shop and  steal Playboys. This year has been mostly used games, but I’ve loved em. I’m always playing NCAA Football, a little  Left 4 Dead, & I got Fallout 3 and loved it. My wife would even stay up late and watch me play and run from scavengers/ undead burn victims/ vampires/weird dogs/giants as I walked through Washington DC looking for food. I grew bored though and one weekend found Batman Arkham Asylum. 2 weeks of my life, GONE. I can only imagine how cool Arkham City is?! Monty then forced me to download an all but free version of “City of Heroes”. I spent an hour making a character and played with 3 dozen jerks who were on the same mission and knew the keyboard driven game wasn’t my speed. Then out of nowhere DC answered. Free to download and play, DC Universe Online dominated many many of my nights and helped me reconnect with an old buddy from Lincoln. Also Sean’s Poor wife was forced to listen to 3 grown men cuss and yell at a TV screen late into the night, like nerdy school girls talking on a teen line. Tracie and my little brother have been pulled into this trap as well, so there is no denying its entrapping power.
5. Comics: Superman walking, Wonder Woman with Pants, Drunk Ironman, Mogo Dead, Island full of Spiders, An incorporation of Batmen, Thor dead...kinda, Cross-over hell, oh and DC started over... kinda... AGAIN!
The Good: Secret Six went out in a blaze of Glory. Awesome complete book. Loved it! DC put together a handful of really great books in their relaunch:: Action Comics, Justice League, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, and Batman. A few Surprises with All Star Western, Swamp Thing & Animal Man. Marvel brought back Joe Madeuria and put him on a quality Spider-man book, FF gripped us and set up an awesome story leading to Johnny’s return, Fear Itself had some incredible moments as Tony Stark is torn down in character, Thor falls to a prophecy, and Captain America is armed with an attitude and a Shotgun.
The Bad: Why did DC partially Reboot? Really, I’m more confused than ever about timelines and such. I understood the need, just hated the execution. Wipe it clean or don’t do it DC. Also Flashpoint stunk... Set up was great. Middle was great! Ending was totally WTF?  Like Geoff Johns had no idea this was going to be the story to reboot DC?
I know I’m forgetting a lot, but it’s been a long year and a lot has happened.  My computer crashed and took many pictures and logos with it. Not to mention my record of my Comic book library and the Fantasy Comic book league. It’s been a slow build to re-set up those items and the site seems to have slowed down. BUT FEAR NOT, 2012 will be the year CBXF gets more of Robb’s attention. So look for more bad photoshopped images, poorly written and heavy typo-o’d stories and blurry pictures of expensive toys that no man of 30+ years should own. It’s been a great year and I hope you and yours have a Happy-Healthy-Nerdy New Year!

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