Waugh's Bag, Volume 6, Issue 52!

Waugh’s Bag

Volume 6, Issue 52!

“The Best of 2017!”

2017 may have been a crap year in a lot of ways, but when it came to entertainment, it was pretty damn awesome. Not only did we have the largest amount of comic book movies in recent years, they were all varied enough to fly in the face of the “all comic book movies are the same” hot take that has sprout up on the internet lately. And speaking of comic books, we’ve also got a ton of awesome books this year, including some from Marvel, a company that has been in trouble for some time now. So let’s stop with me setting stuff up, and talk about that best of 2017!

 

Spider-Man Homecoming

Show of hands of how is surprised by this? That’s what I thought. Yeah, I’m probably as biased as they come when it comes to this movie, but seeing Spidey share the screen with Iron Man in a fully realized Marvel universe was something I never thought I’d see happen in a million years. Add in the stellar performance from Tom Holland and a frightening Michael Keaton as the Vulture and you’ve got one of the best comic movies of the year.

 

Justice League (especially Aquaman)

“Wait a minute, wasn’t this also on your “Worst of” List too?” It was, but even though Justice League has a lot of faults, even I have to admit that I had a lot of fun watching this movie. While Steppenwolf was one of the movie’s major flaws, the strength of Justice League was seeing DC’s major characters team up for the first time on the big screen. Ezra Miller’s Flash ended up being a fun surprise, Affleck continued to be awesome as Batman, and Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman was still the spark that lit the fire of the move whenever she was on screen. But the real star was Jason Momoa’s Aquaman, who’s swashbuckling; “my Man!” yelling bruiser was just the thing the character needed to no longer be seen as a joke.

 

DC Comics

Speaking of DC Comics, was there another publisher on a bigger hot streak than DC? From Metal to Doomsday Clock, DC Comics became THE superhero publisher of 2017. They made characters like Mister Miracle and Hawkman into best sellers, and the continuing adventures of Batman and Superman have never been better. Plus, they poached Brian Michael Bendis, arguably the most high profile creator Marvel has had for the last decade. DC has been on such a hot streak that Marvel had no choice but to copy their lead with their own “Marvel Legacy”, and even then DC is still winning over their competition.

 

Moon Knight and Thanos

Marvel’s Legacy relaunch hasn’t been as high selling as the publisher may like, but there are a few gems in their new line up. Two of which have some of the biggest buzz of any comics this year. Max Bemis’ Moon Knight puts an even darker (and more compelling) spin on Marc Spector’s schizophrenia, and the God Country creative team of Donny Cates and Geoff Shaw has put a new spring in Thanos’ step that the title desperately needed. If you only get two Marvel books from Legacy, make it these.

 

Thor: Ragnarok

Who knew that all you’d need to give Thor’s movie franchise a boost was to inject a little funny? With What We Do In The Shadows director Taika Waititi at the helm, Thor Ragnarok is easily one of the weirdest movies Marvel Studios has ever done, but the gamble paid off, delivering one of the best movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Without it, we’d probably have gotten another Dark World.

 

Wonder Woman

There was no better year for DC’s Amazon to hit theaters. Wonder Woman was a star making moment for Gal Gadot, who delivered a powerful and poignant performance as Diana, and the awesome action scenes on Themyscira have given director Patty Jenkins even more clout than ever before. The “No Man’s Land” scene alone gives this a slot on the list.

 

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Sorry nerds, I loved The Last Jedi. A ballsy movie for the franchise, The Last Jedi takes everything you’d expect from a Star Wars movie and completely turns it on its head, delivering an experience that I haven’t felt since watching the original trilogy as a kid. For the first time I have no idea what the next episode will be about, and I cannot wait to see it unfold.

 

IT

In a year that saw my beloved Dark Tower get a less than great movie adaptation, the fact that It was not just a fantastic movie, but a successful one made this King fan very happy. In a year filled with a ton of Stephen King adaptations, the Andrew Muschietti directed film stood as the very best, with a stellar young cast to boot.

 

The Disaster Artist

A wonderful movie about ambition exceeding talent, The Disaster Artist is the story of the “Citizen Kane of bad movies”: The Room. With James Franco as Tommy Wiseau, the producer, director, and writer of said bad movie, The Disaster Artist is both a hilarious and heartfelt look into the creative process, which shows that even the worst products were made with good intentions.

 

The Punisher

Yeah, Iron Fist sucked and Defenders didn’t exactly live up to the build up, but count me as one of the big fans of Netflix and Marvel Studios’ take on Frank Castle. The Punisher was a series that could’ve gone wrong very easily, but Jon Bernthal’s take on the character was perfect, and the show didn’t shy away from such hot button (and topical) topics like PTSD, gun control, and violence in the media. It was the shot in the arm that the Netflix Marvel shows needed.

 

Logan

Simply put, Logan is my favorite movie of the year. I’ve seen it nearly ten times, and every time I watch it I see something new about it. Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart give incredibly heartfelt and moving performances, and Dafne Keene’s introduction is one of the classic comic book movie scenes. If all goes well, we’ll be seeing these names on Oscar Ballots soon.