As I woke up this morning, what went through my head (apart from a killer hangover from the night before) was the question what would 2012 bring me, and who would it belong to. I thought that 2011 had, most predominantly, belonged to DC based on the fact that no sooner had the year started had the rumours begun to surface as to what we would be seeing would be major changes to their world and the characters that inhabited it.
Rumour became fact by May when Flashpoint spun out of the pages of the Flash to bring us a story that changed everything. Indeed the story did as much, although it gave very little to it in terms of an engrossing story or even a definitive rationale as to why the changes occured. However from September onwards "New DC" hit the shelves and we all got the DC universe, reinvigorated, revamped and renewed (well mostly) and DC entertainment (as their sign above the door said) overtook Marvel for the market share and top spot in Diamonds top selling books for the next three months leading into the new year.
So, DC took a gamble and it paid off in spades, but the question is: what comes of 2012? What is there to look forward to in the new year?
For me, I'm looking forward to the possibility of upping my comic book budget and getting in some new titles, although I'm somewhat jaded by what's on offer. DC, despite their success, has not got me hooked with the relaunch, with my current followings of Action Comics and Demon Knights struggling to keep me invested to any great degree and very few of the others grabbing or holding my attention due to any number of reasons.
So, for me it must be Marvel all the way? I wish this was true and indeed the opening salvo of the new Thunderbolts issue having a new artist certainly cements this view, backed up by the intrigue as to what's next for Rick Remender's Uncanny X-Force after one of the best story arcs in recent times.
However, the loss of many niche titles (including the highly underrated Black Panther series) as well as very little reasons for investments in the bigger titles have me considering steering clear. Even Fantastic Four, a series I've been following for the longest, is struggling to keep me on tenderhooks with it's current arc as I was with prior runs.
In truth, I suspect 2012 could see independent titles making more of an impact on my life. 2011 brought the incredible Who is Jake Ellis? series into my pile (to which I'm hoping there is a follow-up) and the recent improvements in Boom's Irredeemable and Incorruptible series' of late as well as the most recent Hellboy runs certainly say to me that the more compelling stories will be found in these sandboxes, with newly formed characters making their presence known in compelling, creator owned stories.
But, this is my opinion and view on what is to come. Now let's see if the year follows through.