Saturday, December 31, 2011

Remembering Great Things About 2011!

As we approach the end of 2011 and the beginning of a new year, I can't think of anything better or appropriate to describe my wishes for 2012 other than this simple panel from the Batman Adventures Holiday Special issue, featuring a quiet and tender discussion between two old friends of justice, The Dark Knight Batman and Police Commissioner James Gordon.

Seriously though, it's time for an annual list of popculture related things I found memorable within the year, and boy are there a lot to enumerate. Next year still ushers in The Dark Knight Rises, but this year also had big moments for the Caped Crusader, and he'll be featured extensively as I go on. Here goes some of the stuff I found so memorable for 2011.

COMICS: DC The New 52

Yes the big reboot. Call me biased or a sucker for Jim Lee's artistic talents, but I do love it when a plan, or in this case big gamble comes together, and 2011 saw the relaunch of the DC Universe in a somewhat new and unexpected way. Sure, it divided the comic continuity in a way where they weren't sure how taking the undies would make a difference, but it certainly sold numbers by the record, highlighted by the dominance of the publisher's flagship team-up title, Justice League, which is written by Geoff Johns and Jim Lee. Other nods go to Scott Snyder's Batman run, Jeff Lemire and Travel Foreman's Animal Man, and Grant Morrison's take on a younger Superman in Action Comics. Those books fared well. There are titles that have their flaws though, such as ones that treat heroines like sex objects (Starfire in Red Hood and the Outlaws) and books that readers fail to grasp like The Fury of Firestorm, but it's only been 5 months since the relaunch as of this writing, and it would be unfair to lay judgement right away without seeing a full year of this gamble take its course. So yes, 2011 in comics definitely was highlighted by DC The New 52. It was a big year indeed.

GAMES: Batman: Arkham City

Best. Comic. Book. Video. Game. Sequel. Ever. If you thought 2009's Batman: Arkham Asylum was a sophisticated and brilliant piece of work, this will blow you off the edge, much like how Christopher Nolan raised his bar by making The Dark Knight an even better movie sequel to Batman Begins! The Dark Knight reigned supreme in 2011 in terms of comics and games alright. Just wait til 2011 for the epic conclusion to Nolan's Batman universe!

TV SHOW: Game Of Thrones

I'd be lying if I said The Walking Dead Season 2 was my favorite pick of this year. No, that honor goes to HBO's live action TV series adaptation of George R.R Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" novels, using the title of the first book of the series as its name - "Game of Thrones". As the name implies, the series evokes a world where chivalry is all but dead and treachery and conspiracy run rampant, as different factions fight and battle one another for the Iron Throne and the Seven Kingdoms, not knowing what evil is slowly crawling out of the shadows. Martin has been called the "Modern J.R.R Tolkien", so that's saying a lot, plus Sean "Boromir" Bean of The Lord of The Rings fame is here as Lord Eddard Stark of Winterfell... How can you go wrong with epic here?!

MOVIES: X-Men First Class

Frankly, it was a toss between this and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, but you can't go wrong with a formula that brings a classic Marvel superhero franchise together with an excellent cast and a near flawless script. The fact that this movie begs to be a semi-reboot of the X-Men film series bolds well for the franchise, and James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender outperformed themeselves as Charles Xavier and Magneto, leading to the birth of the "FassAvoy" and "McBender" era of internet memes. Actually, the origin also got accepted and embraced somewhat into mainstream Marvel continuity, so how's that for a domino effect. Definitely, X-Men First Class deserves the top spot for my movie of 2011!

ANIMATED MOVIE: Batman: Year One

Yes. This one takes the cake for perfectly adapting one of the most recognizable and seminal works of DC Comics, not to mention one of the series that returned Batman back to his darker roots. If you haven't watched this DC Animated Movie feature, I implore you to do so!

MUSIC: Maroon 5 - Moves Like Jagger ft. Christina Aguilera

As for BEST SONG, there are too many to count... But honorable mention is THIS:

Maroon 5 - Moves Like Jagger ft. Christina Aguilera

And there you have it... The Best I could pick out for 2011! 2012 is here, so Happy New Year!

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