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16.05.2014 admin
EditComic Book of the Month: Batgirl Annual #2 Writer Gail Simone has been wowing us with her run on Batgirl since its inception in 2011, so it was only a matter of time for her to win IGN’s Best Comic of the Month award. Earlier this week, the comic book community lost Jerry Robinson, best known to fans for his creation of Batman's arch-nemesis, the Joker. Wonder Woman Other Nominees Daredevil Batman Saga Swamp Thing Wonder Woman has been one of the best of DC’s books since the inception of the New 52, but 2013 is when the series broke free from the pack. When we reflect upon the history of superhero comics, we often talk about seminal runs on a given title that become the must-read stories for future generations of comic book readers.
This issue featured a unique look at Poison Ivy that peeled back her layers like never before. In the write-up of the unfortunate news, I asked readers to sound off in the comments with their favorite Joker moments. Frank Miller's Daredevil, Denny O'Neil and Neal Adams' Batman, Chris Claremont and John Byrne's X-Men, Alan Moore's Swamp Thing, and Walt Simonson's Thor are held in the highest regard of comic book fans, often cited as the best of the best that superhero comics have to offer.
In fact, we can’t imagine any iteration of Poison Ivy not utilizing this genius addition to her character.
Simone uses Batgirl’s keen aptitude and empathetic nature to slowly reveal it to us, delivering one heck of a thrilling mystery along the way. What makes it extra special is that this could only be a Batgirl story; Batman doesn’t have the big heart that Batgirl does. Wonder Woman’s characterization wasn’t altered to fit the more boisterous version in Justice League.
Though long form sustainable runs have become more rare in the midst of increasing mega-events and relaunched titles, there have been some truly impressive runs that will surely be ranked among the all-time classics someday. Simply put, writer Brian Azzarello and artists Cliff Chiang, Matthew Wilson, Tony Akins, and Goran Sudzuka were allowed to stick to their guns, and it paid off magnificently. Robert Gill drew the first three seasonal chapters while Javier Garron handled the last one. Despite the high quality of each artists' work, this could be seen as a negative, but the changing of the seasons makes it work.
From the camp of Cesar Romero to the theatrics of Jack Nicholson all the way to Heath Ledger's more subtle and calculated approach, depictions of the Joker have varied wildly yet always retained the sensibilities of the comic book version.

After a touching origin tale where we learned about Wonder Woman’s childhood training by Ares, the God of War, she went on a harrowing quest to stop the deadly First Born. Besides, the strength of Simone’s writing is so great that it makes any qualms easily forgivable. Joker is in a unique position in the comic book world that benefits both adaptations and the books themselves – he's all of these various approaches rolled into one, making any take on him a viable one. She had help from one of the strangest supporting casts in comics: a human Hera, Zola and her baby, Orion of the New Gods, and a dude made of rock. There's no creator-owned work here, so you won't find things like Ex Machina, Invincible, or Irredeemable.
For creating an impressive, emotional Batgirl story that will forever change the way we think about the classic Bat-villain Poison Ivy, Batgirl Annual #2 is IGN’s Best Comic of the Month.
It had bone-crushing fight scenes that were gorgeously rendered, stone cold drama with flashes of warm humor, and one of the most poetic conclusions in recent memory. The runs in question also have to have been handled predominately after April 2002; it could have started before then, but a majority of the run must fall in the last decade. 3 #14-44, #600 When Gail Simone and Aaron Lopresti took over Wonder Woman in 2007, it was a saving grace to a book that had floundered after a delay-ridden relaunch and shuffling creative teams without a firm direction or approach to Diana's character. Simone coming on board was an assurance to fans that Wonder Woman would be taken to new heights, and that promise was kept. But compare this to the confident swagger of the Joker that beat Jason Todd to death with a crowbar (and then exploded him) and the differences abound. In addition, the character of Tom "Nemesis" Tresser became one of the series' most appealing additions, with Simone using him as a new romantic interest for Diana that was the source of much humor and, unfortunately, heartbreak. 2 #60-70, #500-524 It's important to remember that Waid and Wieringo's work on the FF was so beloved by fans, that when Marvel removed them from the series in an attempt to take the characters in a different direction, the reaction was so volatile that they were eventually reinstated to complete their story. Essentially, this also means that any portrayal that we see of Joker in other mediums is accurate to the source material. Given how vocal and reactionary we can be as comic fans over even little things like costume changes, imagine how large the scope of that outcry was to actually get results like that? I find it amusing when people compare Ledger's Joker to Nicholson's Joker, because to me, that's apples to oranges.

If half of what makes Joker interesting as a villain is his parallels to Batman, one can't possibly compare the two characters when they serve as foils for vastly different Batmen.
3 #1-45 Before he realigned the DC Universe around Hal Jordan, Geoff Johns relaunched the Teen Titans with a stellar mix of traditional Titans and Young Justice alumni.
Meaning, Ledger's Joker would've been a terrible nemesis for Michael Keaton's Batman, and vice versa for Nicholson and Christian Bale.
Like much of Johns' work from earlier in his career, he focused on the interpersonal relationships of the characters and built them out in new and interesting ways, establishing a new status quo for the team that would stand for the better part of the decade, until DC relaunched the title with the New 52. If you want to get meta, you could say that the nature of Joker's suggested super-sanity implies that a Joker transplanted from one film to another would adjust his personality for whatever fits his new surroundings best. 3 #1-37 Under the guidance of crime fiction extraordinaire Ed Brubaker (not to mention Darwyn Cooke on the first arc), Selina Kyle underwent a transformation into one of the DC Universe's most formidable female (anti)heroes.
With a new costume and a new outlook on life as the protector of Gotham's East End, Selina quickly gained a memorable supporting cast and some new villains.
I urge you to recall a time before Heath Ledger was ever cast as the Joker, when fans were doubtful that anyone could overtake Nicholson as the live-action Clown Prince of Crime.
With a reboot impending after Dark Knight Rises, it's likely we'll see another new take on the Joker for another dramatically different kind of Batman film. We'll see all the same concerns -- that it will pale in comparison to Ledger's Joker -- but if it's true to whatever tone the film sets and its portrayal of Batman himself, I'm betting we'll be eating crow once again.
From Reed Richards meeting an evil cabal of his other selves, to reuniting with his father, to the death (and return) of Johnny Storm, to the formation of the Future Foundation and lots (lots) of time travel, Hickman's FF epic has been a thematic tour de force. One thing is for sure, though, whoever takes over the FF next has got one hell of an uphill battle.

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