By Todd Matthy
2012 has come and gone and what a year it has been. We saw two comic book movies achieve critical acclaim while grossing over a billion dollars. We saw the Rock return to the wrestling ring. We saw the Avengers and the X-Men square off with one another and Disney buy Star Wars. So what were the best moments of 2012. Click below to find out.
Best Comic Book: Batman: Whether probing Gotham’s hidden past with the Court of Owls or a terrifying new mission for the Joker, under the stewardship of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, Batman has been a solid, gripping, character driven, book built around stories that reveals new emotional, depths of the title character. If there was a book at the top of the pull list for 2012, this was it.
Best Writer: Scott Snyder: Whether he’s making the Joker more terrifying than ever in Batman, exploring the mysterious, magical, and trippy side of the DC Universe in Swamp Thing, or reinventing the vampire genre while exploring American history in American Vampire, anything written by Scott Snyder is the first comic I read. What makes his work so compelling? His characterization. Scott Snyder not only creates compelling plots but also brings us into the hearts of each character he writes. The characters are always on a clear emotional trajectory allowing Scott to reveal new traits while staying true to the character’s heart. Not to mention how he incorporates history into his work. And next year, he’s teaming up with Jim Lee for a brand new Superman comic book.
Best Artist: Greg Capullo– The former Spawn artist returned to top form this year, joining Scott Snyder on the New 52 reboot of Batman. His Batman is muscular and heroic as is traditional, but where Capullo really shines is when he wears his characters down. Under Capullo, when a character is hurt you see their pain. When they are worn down and haggard, their faces and bodies wilt. And as for his villains, downright creepy. The perfect compliment to Scott Snyder’s writing. Don’t believe me, check out the image below.
Best Hero: Tyrion Lannister: Last year, Tyrion was the scene-stealer; this year he stole the entire show. Whether he’s chastising his sister, manipulating the court, embarrassing (or in one case beating) his nephew, leading an army, or protecting poor Sansa, there’s no question that Tyrion Lannister is a character not only of great wit but also integrity. He also made the greatest inspirational speech ever, “There are brave men out there, let’s go kill them!”
Best Villain: Bane: Vicious and brutal yet calm and calculating. Bane does not care about money; he does not care about creating chaos. Bane is all about his mission and has the patience to see it through to the end. Making the character all the more menacing is his portrayal by Tom Hardy. Want to know how menacing Hardy was? Check out this scene:
Oh yeah, did I mention he BROKE BATMAN’S BACK? Nuff Said.
Best Movie: Avengers/The Dark Knight Rises:
Avengers- They said it couldn’t be done, but it was. Under the stewardship of Joss Whedon, Marvel not only gave us the ultimate nerdgasm but a great movie too. The most impressive part, every character got an equal amount of screen time.
The Dark Knight Rises- Let’s face it this movie had a lot to live up too. Despite it’s flaws, Christopher Nolan delivered an exciting conclusion to his Dark Knight Trilogy thanks to brutal action sequences, phenomenal performances from Anne Hathaway, Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Michael Caine, and capping the emotional arcs and themes established in previous movies.
2012 in Music: Click here for my Music Best of 2012 available on Examiner.com.
Best Dramatic TV Show: Game of Thrones: Whether or not you think last year’s season was better doesn’t matter, Game of Thrones is still the best show on television.
Revival of the Year: Voltron Force: Reviving a property is tough. You have to not only please the hardcore fans by giving them something worth of the original but also create something that is accessible to a new generation of fans. Voltron Force accomplished both. Having the original Voltron Force train a group of young cadets allowed older fans to see the further adventures of their heroes while giving younger fans an entrance into the world of Voltron through three young cadets. In addition to a great new show on NickToons, Viz has released a series of graphic novels written by Brian Smith that are some of the greatest Voltron comics ever. I can’t wait to see what happen next.
Wrestler of the Year: Daniel Bryan: Two years ago, Daniel Bryan was fired by WWE for choking an announcer with a tie. When he came back he was placed in a faction called APPLE. In 2012, he became World Heavyweight Champion, found a catch phrase with “Yes,” managed by WWE’s sweetheart, and was in a program with one of the company’s top stars, CM Punk. But, that’s not all. Toward the end of the year he revived the tag team division by teaming up with Kane and to top it all off, he’s dating Nikki Bella. Forget John Cena, 2012 was all about Daniel Bryan and it couldn’t happen to someone more deserving.
Breakout Wrestler of the Year: AJ Lee: Love her or hate her, there is no question the brightest star in the wrestling world is AJ Lee. So, how did this petite, video game loving, lady become not only the top Diva but also one of the top stars on the WWE roster? She was different. When all the Diva’s strutted down the aisle, she skipped. When wrestlers screamed, she let her eyes do the talking. And when it comes to playing crazy, her use of body language and pitch made you believe she was crazy. Did I mention she’s not too bad in the ring? AJ took a sledgehammer to the glass ceiling and her star continues to rise. Keep it up girl.
Tag Team of the Year: Team Hell No– It started as a joke. WWE wanted to win Charlie Sheen’s favor, so they threw Daniel Bryan and Kane together for a series sketches involving anger management classes to promote his show. The sketches took on a life of their own and quickly became the best part of RAW, eclipsing Charlie’s new show and kick starting as much of a tag team wrestling revival as we’re going to get on WWE TV.
Match of the Year: CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan-Over the Limit 2012- Two men who cut their teeth on the independent circuit achieved main event status in the WWE. It also featured one of the best finishes ever with Punk rolling Bryan over while trapped in the LaBelle Lock for the three count. Neither man looked weak coming out of this one. Great job!
WTF Moment of the Year: Disney buys Lucasfilm- A lot has been said about Disney buying Star Wars and the news came as a shock but it’s a good move and the best move for survival of the property.
Shameless Self Promotion of the Year: Buy Blackout– Yes, a shameless attempt to get you, the loyal readers, to purchase my comic book available on Indy Planet. You’ll love it 😉