In the spirits of the holiday season I wanted to take the chance to look back at the positives going on in the comic book industry this year. There are a lot of great stuff comic book creators are producing that as a fan I am extremely thankful for. Comics have been helpful in getting to escape and see adventures of my favorite characters. 2020 has been filled with a lot of great stuff that I’ve enjoyed. So with that here are some of things I’m thankful for from the comic book industry in 2020.
MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS & TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES CROSSOVER
Growing up the two biggest franchise for me were the Power Rangers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The majority of my toy collection as a kid was action figures from these two franchises. So when BOOM! Studios and IDW teamed up to give us a new crossover involving the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles there was no way I was going to miss out on this comic book.
And boy did they deliver one of my favorite reading experiences of the year with Mighty Morphin Power Rangers/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Thanks to the wonderful talents of Ryan Parrott, Simone di Meo, Walter Baiamonte, and Igor Monti we got a crossover comic book that was as epic as fans could expect. They delivered a modernized version of these characters and just had fun with what would happen when the Power Rangers and TMNT teams met. There were so many great moments from both teams fighting each other to Shredder becoming the Green Ranger to the TMNT turtles and April becoming Power Rangers and so much more to list. It was really a reading experience that I am so thankful I got to experience.
DC COMICS RETURNING TO ELSEWORLD STORIES
Over the last few years DC Comics has been bringing back their Elseworld line with various different comics. 2020 saw them go in even harder as they embraced more Elseworld comics thanks to their Walmart DC Universe, Digital First and DC Black Label lines. Both have given DC Comics more of a room to provide us with comic books that don’t have to be part of any sort of continuity. As fans we can just pick these up and get stories that are contained to those books universe.
Sure the quality of these comics have varied but we are seeing DC Comics take a lot more chances in exploring characters in different ways. We see that with their Digital First line where more unknown talent are getting to write comics involving Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. That helps build these names and gives them experience writing beloved characters.
At the same time we are seeing other things like the various DC Black Label titles and Tales from the Dark Multiverse that is going in on the concept there is a Multiverse. There can be comics that stand alone or use the rich DC Multiverse to tell fun stories that can be something different in familiar settings. Not having to think of where things tie into continuity is the fun of DC Comics having the Elseworld and Multiverse for their creators to tap into. Hopefully with things like Future State and Milestone Comics returning in 2021 we see this continue.
MARVEL’S STAR WARS COMIC BOOKS
Say what you want about the live-action Star Wars content that Disney has created but there is no denying the quality of the Star Wars comics. All the comic books that have been set in the Star Wars Universe since Marvel has regained publishing rights thanks to being owned by Disney have been high quality. All the Star Wars comics have added to the new continuity that Star Wars is set in that has helped enhanced what we know of the original Trilogy and beyond. Each of the Star Wars comic from the current series set after Empire Strikes Back to Doctor Aphra has been able to explore various corners of the universe while still maintaining the grand scale of the franchise.
FAR SECTOR IS A MUST HAVE DC COMICS TITLE
Far Sector has been one of the standout titles that DC Comics has published. NK Jemisin and Jamal Campbell have really created a special series as they have introduced a new Green Lantern to the DC Universe. And much like the Elseworld titles, they have been able to do that by having the series set on its own distant planet that is not Earth. Having that freedom to have Jo Mullein have her own story in a fresh setting. That has given her the chance to grow as a character as she comes into her own as the newest Green Lantern in the DC Universe. That growth she has been able to get while patrolling a new planet has helped set up Jo Mullein to be a major character as we enter 2021. That is something we are already seeing signs of as Jo Mullein will be the Green Lantern for the Future State Justice League roster. That speaks to the great job NK Jemisin and Jamal Campbell have done in building up Jo Mullein to be a strong character as she comes to her own as a Green Lantern.
MARVEL GIVING CHARACTERS FRESH STARTS
2020 in the Marvel Universe has been the year of fresh starts. Marvel has quietly gone in a different direction when it comes to relaunches for classic series and launches for new comics. Rather than tying it to big events Marvel has just allowed new series like Iron Man and Black Widow to begin with their own start rather than being tied to a new Marvel Universe status quo. The results of that are comic books that have been able to establish their own identities and stories built on the strength of what makes Marvel’s heroes so intriguing.
On top of that we’ve see Marvel launching new titles like Strange Academy that is focused on completely new characters to build out the magic corner of their universe. The series has done a very good job of using the iconic Marvel magic users like Doctor Strange and Magik to add sense of history to magic in the Marvel Universe. That history has made these new characters in Strange Academy come across as a fresh change of pace as they are our eyes into the expanding magic corner of the Marvel Universe.
All in all, there is so much to be thankful in the world of comics. On top of all the great comics we have a lot of new great talent that is rising up to make names for themselves. All of this makes 2021 a year to look forward to as there as the year is already shaping up to have big, exciting things to talk about in the future.
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