Welcome to the Comic Bastards end of the year list. Similar to our group reviews, each of the participating writers will be giving their picks for their best and also worst comics of 2017. Without further ado, here are our #4 picks for Worst of 2017.
Dustin - Clueless: Senior Year
If ever there was a comic book that didn’t need to exist, it’s Clueless. At its core, there’s two weak, put positive messages that the book is trying to impart to its audience. The problem being, who the fuck is the audience? See, I grew up on Clueless. It’s of my generation. Hell, I live across the street from the fucking school they used for half of their scenes! This book, was written for modern teenage girls, that may have in fact watched Clueless and liked it, but going back to the fucking 90s to teach moral lessons, simply doesn’t work.
Too much of this story was written through the eyes of 2017. So much so, that the original tone and feeling of the movie was never once captured. Sure, they remind us of the easy character gimmicks and the fashion, but again… who does that make this story for? If it’s for my generation, then stop trying to teach us fucking moral lessons two decades too late and just capture the spirit of the fucking movie. This comic was so bad that I never want to see the movie again. I can’t blame Alicia Silverstone for banning questions about the movie, I would too, especially if I read this piece of crap.
Ben - 1985: Black Hole Repo
The one thing 1985: Black Hole Repo accomplishes is its Metal personality. The action was abrupt and fast-paced. That is literally the only positive thing I can say about the story as the rest of it seemed childish and incomplete. All the characters needed a ton of more development, and the political commentary seemed totally out of place and immature (Ronald Rump… Really?) In achieving its heavy metal vibe and momentum, the story suffers in service of it.
Oliver - CHAMPIONS
Mark Waid and Humberto Ramos have an excellent track record when it comes to writing teen superheroes. Impulse is one of my favorite comics of all time, so naturally, Champions was an exciting prospect for me.
Unfortunately, this book is the living embodiment of that Steve Buscemi “How do you do, fellow kids?” gif from 30 Rock. This could have been so great if Marvel had given it to a creative team with some actual youth and energy instead of two men in their 40s who no longer have any idea what a teen even is. I hoped that there would be a change of creative team for this when Marvel Legacy came along, but no such luck. Ultimately, one of the biggest disappointments of 2017 has been Marvel’s continual wasting of a book which could be something special.
Jonathan - Mighty Mouse
Admittedly, expecting an Alex Ross first issue cover to be any barometer of a book’s quality is probably a bit naïve on my part. But still, you’d think with a cartoon character as classic as Mighty Mouse Dynamite would be inclined to put some of their better creators on the book. Instead, we got this. Mighty Mouse is a limited series that has no idea what makes the eponymous hero interesting as a character, let alone how to make him relevant for 2017. Between the cliché as hell plot that says little more than “bullies are dicks,” the plastic facial expressions any time a character is supposed to be emoting, and the poorly thought out colors that can’t even remember that Colonel Morrissey is in the military and not a police officer, the presentation leaves just about everything to be desired.
But, the real icing on the cake is the utterly half-assed attempt at incorporating “cartoon logic.” Yes, I get it; it’s supposed to be silly and not make sense. But if you’re going to do that, you need to commit. You can’t just make up arbitrary rules like “a cartoon cannon can only be fired a second time if it’s funny” and then turn around and have Joey’s black hole be capable of functioning as a portal just because he says so. He drew them both, so why do they function so differently? It’s just a whole bunch of plot convenience without the self-awareness to know any better. Additionally, why is Joey even the Mighty Mouse superfan he’s supposed to be? What about the character resonates with him so much? How did he even find out about Mighty Mouse in the first place when apparently no one else in-universe seems to remember him? There’s only one answer that’s any level of available: plot convenience, plot convenience, and more plot convenience.