FEATURE: Josh Wilding's Christmas Wishlist 2012
Ho, Ho, Ho! We're less than two weeks away from Christmas, so now is the time to decide what you're going to get for your geeky friends and family this Holiday season. Also on the list are a few things that can't be acquired in a store...hit the jump to check 'em out!
10. Fantastic Four Vol. 1 - 3 (Mark Waid/Mike Wieringo)
I've recommended this incredible Fantastic Four run before, and I'm doing it again here! Collected in three "Ultimate Collection" trade paperbacks, Mark Waid and the late Mike Wieringo delivered what I consider to be THE definitive run on the title. We don't currently know what direction Josh Trank is planning to take the 2015 reboot in, but following this series would be a step in the right direction. During this run, Reed Richards takes over Latveria, the team travels to Heaven and meet God while searching for a fallen team member, and Johnny Storm becomes a herald of Galactus. It is quite simply, superb.
9. Green Lantern: Sinestro (Geoff Johns/Doug Mahnke)
DC's "The New 52" relaunch had almost no effect on Green Lantern, but that's no bad thing as it allowed writer Geoff Johns and artist Doug Mahnke to continue their critically acclaimed run. Of course, there was ONE major status quo shift as Sinestro was inducted back into the Green Lantern Corps after Hal Jordan's dismissal by the Guardians of Oa at the conclusion of "War of the Green Lanterns". When Sinestro creates a new ring for Hal, the book quickly becomes a buddy cop movie as the enemies are forced to work side-by-side. Crammed full of great humour, drama and action, this is a must-have for any Green Lantern fan.
8. People To Stop Bitching Over Which Was Better - The Avengers of The Dark Knight Rises
In my opinion, The Dark Knight Rises was better (but only just) Many agree with me, while many others would choose The Avengers any day of the week. The fact is, it doesn't matter - it's time to grow up and accept that everyone has their own opinions. There's really no need to argue about it MONTHS after they've both been released. I loved them both. For me, each film was perfect in its own unique way. Can't we just be grateful that we're living in a time that instead of getting more Elektra's and Spider-Man 3's, comic book movies of this calibre are hitting the big screen? Let's not turn 2013 into Man of Steel versus Marvel Studios, eh?
7. Yvonne Strahovski As Ms. Marvel
6. Supercrooks (Mark Millar/Leinil Yu)
I wasn't sure what to expect from this series when Mark Millar first unveiled his plans for Supercrooks. However, in the space of just four issues, it quickly became one of my all-time favourite pieces of his work (beating the likes of Nemesis and Kick-Ass). Telling the story of a group of supercriminals who decide to pull off the ultimate heist, the writer finds the perfect balance of action, violence, humour and great character work that he's become so well-known for. As if that wasn't enough, Leinil Yu (currently working with Mark Waid and Marvel on Indestructible Hulk) delivered some of hos best work yet. A must-have!
5. Batman: The Court of Owls (Scott Snyder/Greg Capullo)
Achieving with Dick Grayson as Batman what Ed Brubaker did with Bucky as Captain America, no one was complaining when it was revealed that Scott Snyder would be taking over at the main Batman writer for "The New 52" relaunch. This first volume introduces a whole new threat to Gotham City and puts Bruce Wayne through the wringer in a way which he hadn't been challenged in years. It's unfortunate that the second volume (which features a major revelation about his past) isn't available until next year, but you can't go wrong by picking this spectacular take on the Caped Crusader up this Christmas, especially as if features some incredible artwork from Greg Capullo.
4. Peter Parker Still Spider-Man After Issue #700
No, you can't buy this in a store, but on December 26th, you WILL be able to buy Dan Slott and Humberto Ramos' Amazing Spider-Man #700. Despite how unlikely it seems with every comment made by those at Marvel or with every preview page released, there's nothing I want more than for Peter Parker to still be Spider-Man at the end of this landmark issue. I say, "NO!" to clones, characters from alternate realities and mind swapping villains because while I can't deny that I've enjoyed stories in which a sidekick takes over for the hero ("NO, NO, NOOOO!" to Alpha by the way), someone else being Spider-Man is just too upsetting a thought. I've loved this character for as long as I can remember, and if Peter is done away with, I'm sure I'll be one of the many thousands who avoid The Superior Spider-Man like the plague. We'll see...
3. Marvel's The Avengers (Blu-Ray)
Somehow, Joss Whedon managed to do what many deemed an impossible task. He made a movie starring Earth's Mightiest Heroes actually WORK. Not only did this $1.5 billion blockbuster work, it was damn near perfect. The characters all get their moments in the spotlight as the writer and director brings them to life like never before in some truly iconic scenes. It's hard to imagine any future Marvel Studios movie topping a fight between the Hulk and Thor or the epic battle of New York. With an after-credits sequence which sets up the villainous Thanos for the 2015 sequel, "Phase Two" promises to be very exciting indeed.
2. Daredevil (Mark Waid, et al.)
Mark Waid's Eisner Award winning Daredevil series is shaping up to be one of the best runs ever. The first volume sets up the Man Without Fear's new status quo rather nicely, before the second pits Matt Murdock against Mole Man in a VERY personal and twisted confrontation (it's worth buying this just for the fantastic standalone issue #7). Volume three meanwhile strands Daredevil in Latveria as his battle with just about every major crime syndicate comes to an end. This paragraph can't even begin to cover the sheer amount of "awesomeness" contained within these books, so do yourself a favour and go buy them! Stunning artwork is provided by Paolo Rivera, Marcos Martin and Chris Samnee.
1. The Dark Knight Rises (Blu-Ray)
Never mind the best comic book movie of 2012, The Dark Knight Rises is arguably the best movie to be released this year (it's just my opinion, so try not to get too excited fellas...). Bringing his trilogy to an end in a truly epic fashion, Christopher Nolan delivered a film full of powerhouse performances and breathtaking set pieces. His preference for practical effects makes a real difference, especially when it comes to the final battle in Gotham City in which Batman and Bane battle on the steps of City Hall surrounded by literally thousands of extras. It's a film packed full of memorable moments and is a sheer spectacle from start to finish.
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