This week, we’re handing out the Second Annual Comics Daily awards – one per day – between Christmas and New Year. Each award has been written up by a member of the Comics Daily team after a consensus was reached, and highlights what we feel have been the best of superhero comics this year.
Best Moment: “You and me and her and him- we’re just getting started.”
This category was one of the most closely debated amongst the three of us, for a somewhat unexpected reason; we couldn’t decide which passage from Planetary #27 should win the award.
Warren Ellis often likes to end his creator-owned enterprises on a positive note, with The Authority and Transmetropolian both concluding with hopes for the future, despite the deaths of the lead characters, but neither piece of closure felt quite so hard-fought. We’ve been watching Elijah Snow’s struggles to create the world he seeks over the course of the last twelve issues of the book, as he strove to keep his temper in check in the face of the darkness which surrounded him. The writer played the question of whether the character was going off the rails as being one of the key elements of the second half of the story, with the supporting cast openly beginning to doubt their friend. The initial event when it becomes clear that the centurion has been right all along is overshadowed by the dialogue itself (“We thought it’d be funnier if I waited”), and it’s on this wonderful last page that the full extent of Snow’s victory sinks in.
Looking away from the broader significance of the moment, it’s still a strikingly well-judged piece of characterisation, with Snow expressing a typically grandiose sentiment through some extremely simple vocabulary. It’s this that stops the speech from appearing mawkish or triumphalist, with the Planetary Foundation’s leader displaying a subtle humility, making a touching contrast with his more typical cranky ranting. Incorporating a perfect combination of plotting, characterisation and tone setting, the conclusion of issue 27 ensures that its readers will look back upon Planetary with warmth, however disjointed the book’s delivery may have been.
Runners-up: “Apology accepted.” [Scott Pilgrim Vs The Universe], “I was with the doughface, on the moon…” [Grandville], “That’s magic enough.” [Phonogram: The Singles Club], The world goes “Pop!” [Umbrella Academy: Dallas]
Previous winners: 2008 – “We just don’t like to make a fuss” [Captain Britain & MI:13]