The Bookshelf: Top 4 of 2011 (Comics Edition)

Kill Shakespeare

It should come as no surprise that Kill Shakespeare if on our list as we have been shouting praises for this comic from mountain tops for most of the year. Have you not heard us?  Shakespeare’s iconic characters such as Romeo, Juliet, Hamlet, Othello, and Iago continue to dot our literary consciousness even some 500 years after his death. Kill Shakespeare ask the questions “What if Shakespeare was more than just a mere playwright?” What if the characters of his iambic pentameter were real and searching for the wizard known as Shakespeare?  In this dark tale, the Bard’s most famous heroes embark upon a journey to discover a long-lost soul.  Hamlet, Juliet, Othello, Falstaff, Romeo and Puck search for a reclusive wizard William Shakespeare who may have the ability to assist them in their battle against the evil forces led by the villains Richard III, Lady Macbeth and Iago.

Created by Anthony Del Col & Connor McCreery and published by IDW, Kill Shakespeare is a must have not just for those that like comics or Shakespeare, but its a must read for all those that who love great stories. The 12 issue series is now available in a trade paperback  form at killshakespeare.com.

Azteca

Azteca is another book that we have been beating the drum for all year as well, with good reason. Azteca is a story set in present-day Mexico, about a vigilante killer, Nicho, who believes he can succeed where the Aztecs failed and stop the world from ending in 2012. The Aztecs got it wrong. Instead of sacrificing innocent human victims, Nicho hunts evil men and other criminals in Mexico, murdering a new one each month in ritualistic human sacrifice corresponding to the ancient Aztecan calendar. Nicho’s beliefs are a mix of Catholic mysticism and ancient Aztecan lore, but his ultimate motivation is to find and kill the man who controls the most ruthless gang on the northern Mexican border: the leader of the Cárdenas drug cartel, El Serpiente. This is a hard-core story of vigilante justice and magical realism.

Written by Enrica Jang with interiors by Jhazmine Ruiz, and luscious covers by Scott Ambruson, Azteca is an immersive trip into a grim and gritty world that borders and blurs the lines of reality and imagination even only after three issues. Find out more about Azteca by visiting Redstylo.com.

The DC New 52

While it’s not one single comic or series, DC comics took one of the biggest gambles of the year with its New 52 promotion. While ending a long running series and restarting it with a new number 1 issue is not new in the world of comics, it is something different when a company does that to its entire line all at once. The New DC 52 wasn’t just a numerical start over, the event and the associated comics rebooted the whole DC universe. Some long time readers considered the idea of rebooting some of comic’s most well know characters as blasphemy. Some welcomed the idea of creating a jumping on point for an entire  universe. No matter where you fall, the DC New 52 brought an awareness and fervor to the world of comics since the Death of Superman. Some of the standouts from the new 52 include old favorite like Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman, indie favs like Animal Man, and new titles like Bat Wing.

Starborn

Imagine that you have had dreams of a far off alien civilization all of your life. As an adult for realize that the dreams were not dreams at all, but  a harsh reality as aliens come to kill you because you are the last heir to the long dead tyrant’s throne and the only thing standing in their way is shape shifting bodyguard who you thought was he hot chick that you grew up with. This is where young Benjamin Warner’s story begins in the pages of Starborn, a comic that could only come from the mind of comic legend Stan Lee. Published by Boom Studios with the creative team of writer Chris Roberson and artist Khary Randolph, Starborn is an imaginative and engaging series that was a breath of fresh air in the comics medium. It is truly too sad that it lasted only twelve issues.

Checkout this review of Starborn #1 by IGotSuperPowers

@websterstyle

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