The blockbuster of the year, if not the decade. Other films may beat its take at the box office, but few will match its ability to satiate all walks of life, from the casual movie-goer to the most hardcore nitpicky nerds. More than that, it also provided a template for franchise and world-building in movies that's sure to be copied by others in the industry.
The Walking Dead
Let's face it: season two was kind of a stinker. It wasn't awful, mind you, but budget constraints and writing issues contributed to a disappointing season on the whole. The first half of the third season, however, blew the lid off the series and provided the best storytelling yet. Fans of the Image series were given The Governor, Michonne, and the surprise addition of fan-favorite character Tyreese late in the half-season. But even those who aren't familiar with the source material were given quality episodes with intriguing subplots, actual character arcs, and a smart juxtaposition of the abandoned prison held by Rick and his crew alongside the rural town ruled by The Governor. The best part? Not only did nobody die because of Carl, but he actually became a really great and sympathetic character.
Mark Waid's Daredevil run
Is there a better superhero book out there right now? We've raved about Mark Waid's current run on Marvel's Daredevil for some time now, yet it still doesn't seem enough. As much attention as the X-Men and Avengers books are getting (along with roster reshufflings that are intriguing but also seem like they picked team members out of a hat at the Marvel retreat), Waid's work on the book shows that a solo title can be just as much fun – if not more – than a team book.
Matt Fraction and David Aja's "Hawkeye"
What does Hawkeye do on the days when he's not out being an Avenger? Matt Fraction gave us the answer, along with absolutely stunning and unique pencil work from David Aja. It's no surprise that Marvel gave Hawkeye his own title after the success of The Avengers, but what is surprising is just how damn great it's been (though perhaps it shouldn't be given the two also contributed to that great run on The Immortal Iron Fist
a few years back).
Mixing elements of sword and sorcery fantasy with sci-fi can be a real mess, but Bryan K. Vaughan's weird and wonderful tale surpasses that obstacle easily. Probably because at its heart, it's a gripping tale of family and sacrifice amidst ethnic turmoil.
Star Wars, Presented by Disney
It was strange to see George Lucas sell his baby for roughly $4 billion to Disney, but even stranger to see some of the negative reaction and outright vitriol from some fans. What can Disney do to the franchise that Lucas himself didn't do with the new trilogy and Jar Jar Binks? This is, after all, the same company that bought Marvel and gave us The Avengers. And kudos to Lucas for donating all of the money from the sale to a foundation focused on education. We really can't emphasize that enough: he made four billion dollars
from this sale and donated all of it
to charity. Like him or not, don't ever say the man is all about money.
SOPA Stopped…for now
We started off 2012 with some good news: not only was the opposition to the woefully misguided Stop Online Piracy Act loud and angry, it was also powerful. The folks behind Yahoo, Google, Wikipedia, Facebook, Twitter, and basically any other internet company with an IPO joined forces to help bring a halt to the bill. It was a rare moment where concerns of the free speech of citizens and the bottom line of financial heavy hitters overlapped for the greater good.
Catch the fastest five minutes in tech, gaming, and comics on this week's edition of All Access Weekly next Thursday at 12/11c only on Spike.