2019 was filled with a lot of fun and crazy moments from the world of comic books. Whether it was big events or characters making decisions that changed the landscape of their universes 2019 wasn’t short of things to talk about or enjoy. So as part of our look back of the year that was I’ve decided to go back and pick some of my favorite moments from comics like War of the Realms, Batman, Justice League, Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man, Captain Marvel, Power Rangers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and more to spotlight as we close out 2019.
ABSOLUTE CARNAGE #3
Carnage has always been one of the most terrifying villains in the Marvel Universe. The reason for that has been both the design of the Carnage symbiote and Cletus Kasady sadistic backstory. This moment solidifies just how truly terrifying Cletus as Carnage truly is.
ABSOLUTE CARNAGE #4
Eddie Brock’s Venom is a character that has gone back and forth between hero and villain. It’s all been dependent on the stories he has been involved in, whether that is his own series or in Amazing Spider-Man. Now Marvel seems to clearly want to position Eddie Brock’s Venom as a hero. This moment with Captain America giving Eddie words of encouragement help define Venom as more of a hero now.
AMAZING MARY JANE #1
The relationship between Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson is one of the most iconic romantic relationships in all of comics. Moments like this with both being silly and having a dance off while in two different parts of the country shows why Peter and Mary Jane’s relationship has been so endearing.
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #25
Mary Jane Watson has been drifting around from one career to another ever since giving up her life as a model and actress. Unfortunately nothing MJ has done has stuck. Which is why it is good to see her go back to her passion in acting as we see here that she is clearly very good at it and can become better now that she has her own ongoing series.
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #31
The whole Kindred sub-plot that has been going in Nick Spencer’s Amazing Spider-Man has been underwhelming. It has always needed a true kick to get it going. That is what it gets here as Spencer finally provides some intriguing hints at who Kindred is and their connection to both Peter Parker and Norman Osborn.
One of the most intriguing parts of Tom King’s Batman run has been the question of if Bruce Wayne can be happy as the Dark Knight. It is a question that comes down to if Bruce can go beyond the vow that started his life as Batman so he can live as someone that is comfortable in and out of the cape and cowl. That is best shown in this scene with Batman leaping into another situation that he could’ve let Superman and Wonder Woman take care of.
There is no one that knows Bruce better than Alfred Pennyworth. Alfred has been with Bruce before and after his parents death. He has been the constant in Bruce’s life no matter how much things have changed. Which made this moment even more poignant with Alfred telling the Flashpoint Thomas Wayne he does not know who Bruce truly is.
Probably the biggest moment in the Batman franchise since Grant Morrison “killed” Bruce during the whole Batman: RIP story. Whether DC Comics sticks with Alfred’s death or not does not take away from the impact of this scene. It is one that will be sure to rock the Batman franchise for 2020 and beyond.
When all was said and done the work that Tom King did to get over Batman and Catwoman’s relationship will be his legacy. 85 issues built to this moment where we see Bruce and Selina together at last. How long this last with new creative teams on the Batman franchise will be a big question moving forward.
BATMAN: LAST KNIGHT ON EARTH #3
Seeing Joker’s head on a Robin mecha suit sure was weird. But what makes this particular moment standout is how Batman looks. The smile on his face while he is carrying a baby Kal-El and looking off into the distance gives a sense of hope for this world that Snyder and Capullo created during Last Knight On Earth.
Batman Who Laughs has had a big impact on the DC Universe since he appeared in Dark Nights: Metal. His biggest impact up to this point has been transforming some of the biggest, lesser used, superheroes and converting them into one of his Infected. Shazam was the first big reveal for Batman Who Laughs Infected Justice League. It is definitely a great first choice as he is the counter to Superman that Batman Who Laughs needs by his side.
BATMAN/TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES III #2
When we talk about dream match-ups Batman vs Raphael from the original black-and-white Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is up there with one you never expected to happen. But here we are in 2019 with DC Comics and IDW delivering that very dream match-up in Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III.
BATMAN/TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES III #5
And what may top the moment before is this one with the current Batman Family and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles teaming up with the classic 80s version of Batman and TMNT. Just one of those moments as a fan that you can help but geek out over seeing.
BLACK CAT #3
Black Cat receiving her own ongoing series is long overdue. This splash page sequence shows how much fun a Black Cat series can be as we see Felicia Hardy using magic to defeat a villain in her own style.
BLACK CAT ANNUAL #1
As fantastic as Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson’s relationship is there is also a special quality to Black Cat and Spider-Man’s relationship. The banter that they have with one another is something you only see with these two. They know exactly what buttons to push with each other that gets great reactions from one another.
CAPTAIN MARVEL #3
Carol Danver’s Captain Marvel has risen up to become one of the most important heroes in the Marvel Universe. The biggest aspect of the character that isn’t always on display is her leadership. It is something I hope we see more of in the future as she steps up more. Because as we see here, Captain Marvel can be successful in the leadership role while also getting along with each other.
CAPTAIN MARVEL #5
Even with their history together it’s been rare to see Captain Marvel and Rogue interact with one another. It is nice to finally see them put their differences and antagonistic past behind them. A team-up with Captain Marvel and Rogue is something we should get sometime in 2020 to tap into the potential of their relationship forward.
CAPTAIN MARVEL #12
Sometimes it is just fun to see a big Dragon Ball Z-style fight go down in comics. Captain Marvel vs Thor is exactly the fight that deserves that treatment. You can just tell that both of them are screaming “It’s Over 9,000” as they fight one another.
Never get between Selina Kyle and the money she is owed for things she has stolen fair and square. This jeweler just learned that very lesson with the intimidating look Selina gives him.
It’s good to see that the character that made Matt Murdock face the reality that he is not ready to be Daredevil right now after his near-death experience was Spider-Man. This scene exudes the close history that Chip Zdarsky taps into to make Spider-Man’s words hit hard with Daredevil coming to terms with his reality at the time.
As the Mayor of New York City it has been impressive how Wilson Fisk has, for the most part, kept his past anger in check. That made this moment with Fisk killing one of the wealthy elite who kept pushing his buttons over and over again an even more impactful moment in the characters long history. It immediately creates the question of how long Fisk has as Mayor of NYC and possibly return to being Kingpin of Crime.
Elektra bringing up that Matt Murdock has never had an end goal in his mission as Daredevil is a big moment. It hits home to the reality that Matt has just been working as a protector rather than actually making a real change. Matt clearly realizes this and should make for even better character development as Matt becomes Daredevil again with a renewed sense of what he needs to do.
Black Canary becoming a Green Lantern is not something that I ever thought I would see. But as soon as Black Canary has Hal’s Green Lantern on her and she transforms into a member of the GLC it just looks right.
DCeased was filled with powerful character moments as our favorite heroes were faced with tough choices of ending those closest to them after they turned into zombie-like Anti-Living. Superman forced to take down Pa Kent ranks up there with one of the most emotionally impactful of these moments.
If you don’t tear up seeing Superman give his final goodbye to Lois Lane and Jonathan Kent then you need to check if you have a pulse. Superman’s final words to his son was just heart wrenching
DC’S YEAR OF THE VILLAIN SPECIAL #1
Lex Luthor revealing that he has had a hand in every big storyline that has been going on in the DC Universe is a big moment for his character. It shows how far he has come and how he has become the most dangerous person in the DC Universe.
DETECTIVE COMICS #995
Not enough is made out of how important Bruce Wayne’s relationship with Leslie Thompkins is. Outside of Alfred Pennyworth, no one has known Bruce and all his struggles more than Leslie. Bruce’s emotional state in trying to save Leslie as he remembers everything she has done for him adds to how impactful this sequence is.
DETECTIVE COMICS #999
It is a very dark and honest thing for Bruce to admit to his son, Damian Wayne, that he fear that one day he won’t be fast, smart or strong enough to survive going out at as Batman. It adds weight to what it means for Bruce or anyone to pick up the cape and cowl as Batman, Robin, Batgirl or Batwoman.
THE FLASH #65
Damn, talk about two guys who have hit a breaking point as Barry Allen and Bruce Wayne let out all of the things they held back saying to one another in the aftermath of the events in Heroes In Crisis.
FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD SPIDER-MAN #5
Cancer is never an easy thing to deal with. Peter Parker showing that he is going to be there for Aunt May is one of the best character moments in Spider-Man’s history. It speaks to how close their mother-son bond is as Peter makes sure Aunt May knows she isn’t going to tackle her cancer alone.
FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD SPIDER-MAN #6
Spider-Man’s legacy has been long cemented in the world of comics. One of the bigger impacts the character has is how he inspires kids. The introduction of Spider-Bite and his origin shows how big of impact Spider-Man has on everyone.
THE GREEN LANTERN #4
Throughout the run with Grant Morrison on Green Lantern, Liam Sharp has shown to be able to deliver artwork that is just wonderfully detailed. One of my favorite aspects of Sharp’s artwork on Green Lantern is the unique way he lays out his panels. This is just one example of that.
GREEN ARROW #48
I would not blame anyone for forgetting about the death of Roy Harper or any other deaths in Heroes In Crisis since they aren’t talked about much since the event concluded. But at least we see that Roy’s death is still impacting Green Arrow, as it should.
HEROES IN CRISIS #6
It’s totally understandable as someone who came back to the current DC Universe that Wally West would still deal with severe depression that he has his family does not exist anymore. That is in no way an easy thing to deal with. And with Wally jumping right back into being a superhero after returning he did not give himself enough time to properly get used to his new reality in the new DCU continuity.
HOUSE OF X #1
Jonathan Hickman did a lot of great things during the House of X and Powers of X mini-series. One of those is setting up a future conflict between the X-Men and Fantastic Four as Franklin Richards deals with whether he wants to live with either his blood or mutant family. That is something we will see come to a head in the early part of 2020.
HOUSE OF X #2
The revelation that Moira MacTaggert had the mutant ability to reincarnate back to the moment she was born while retaining the knowledge of all her previous lives was the best character retcon’s in Marvel’s history. Hickman made it all make sense and created a fascinating angle of seeing how differently Moira goes about tackling the conflicts she knows about herself and with others.
HOUSE OF X #4
One of my favorite moments of the year was easily this “final” goodbye between Wolverine and Nightcrawler. The conversation was honest and showed how close of a friendship these two share with another.
JUSTICE LEAGUE #20
From the moment that he appeared on screen Jarro the Star Wonder easily comes into contention for the greatest Robin of all-time. How can you not love seeing Jarro in a Robin costume while Batman encourages him on from a rooftop.
JUSTICE LEAGUE #30
There is a sense of hope when it comes to seeing the Justice Society of America together. Justice League #30 captures that sense of hope extremely well as you immediately feel like things can turn around no matter how dark they are with the JSA back in action.
JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #12
Wonder Woman declaring the official formation of the Justice League Dark was done exactly in the manner it should. The team saved the day from a Crisis-level threat and did it together as a team. That is exactly the statement the magic-based Justice League Dark needed to make.
While she was not a part of House of X or Powers of X Kate Pryde did not waste any time in showing how she is one of the most badass X-Men that there is.
MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS #45
From the time they first appeared Zordon established the rule that the Power Rangers are not allowed to use their Zords unless the threat they face escalates to that level. That made the Omega Rangers breaking that rule to take out Lord Zedd even more shocking to see actually happen.
MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS/TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES #1
The Power Rangers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are now being given a second chance at a successful crossover for fans to enjoy. This crossover already has just as much hype around it as any crossover there has been in the last few years.
POWERS OF X #5
Emma Frost is always at her best when she is the one taking charge of the situation. Going back to being the White Queen and member of the Council of Krakoa is the perfect situation for her. As she showed here, Emma is someone that commands as much respect as any X-Men out there.
SPIDER-GWEN: GHOST SPIDER #4
With how many Spider-Man and Spider-Woman there are running around thanks to Spider-Verse and other storylines it is about time we see Peter Parker step up to become a mentor. It is still not a role that Marvel has fully established for Peter but scenes like this show their is a lot of potential in Peter mentoring Spider-Gwen and Miles Morales to be even better heroes.
SPIDER-MAN: LIFE STORY #6
Speaking of Peter being a mentor, this passing of the torch moment of MJ handing down Peter’s old Spider-Man costume to Miles Morales felt like the appropriate evolution for Miles’ character. This speaks to how Miles is the future of the Spider-Man franchise.
Even though I am more of a casual Legion of Super-Heroes fan it is great to see them be brought back into the spotlight. Like the JSA, having the Legion of Super-Heroes around again makes the DC Universe feel complete.
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES #97
Jennika becoming the fifth Turtle in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles could have easily been a controversial and jump the shark story choice. But thanks to how well developed Jennika was before her transformation it was a great moment that builds excitement for how she will add to the dynamic in this series as the fifth Turtle.
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES #100
There is no bigger way to end the 100th issue of a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle series then with Splinter sacrificing himself to save his sons and the world from a universe destroying threat. Splinter’s sacrifice hit on all the emotional beats you expect it would in this splash page sequence.
WAR OF THE REALMS #6
With how incredible Jason Aaron’s run on the Thor franchise has been this double page spread of each version of Thor that Aaron has developed over his run feels special. It is a payoff to all the work he has done up to this point on the Thor franchise.
How can you not love a team of Golden Girls talking smack to Emma Frost? Even though they are set-up as antagonist the X-Men must keep an eye on this is as good of a way to make new characters fan favorites out of the gate.
YOUNG JUSTICE #1
Can’t help but be excited when I saw Impulse yelling out that the Young Justice team was back. His excitement over the announcement along with this double page spread is all that is needed to build hype for this new Young Justice series.
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