iFanboy’s Best of 2011: Top 10 Events

Events were everywhere in 2011. There were big ones and little ones practically bursting off the comic book racks. Each story was trying to convince consumers that it was Important and that it Mattered. What were the best of the best this year? That’s what we’re here to discuss in the Top 10 Events of 2011.


#10 – DC Retro-Active

With a line-wide ‘reboot’ on the horizon, DC looked to the past with their Retro-Active line. Inviting past writers and artists to come back and tell one more story gave longtime fans new tales stuck right in the middle of their favorite runs. It was a nice tip of the hat to nostalgia and it worked very well. Plus, anytime DC wants to bring Norm Breyfogle back to draw Batman is fine by me.


#9 – Infestation

Though the contents of the story didn’t quite live up to the first issue’s cover, Infestation did allow zombies to invade each of IDW’s franchised worlds. We got something special out of this event with Zombie Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man. Sadly, we never got the visual I was hoping for with Captain Kirk riding in Optimus Prime’s truck cab while Egon and Scarlett shot zombies out the back. Still, seeing how each group dealt with the zombie problem was fun all the same.


#8 – Fear Itself

With its several epilogues and three Point One issues, this was the event that just kept on giving long after you thought it was over. Every Marvel hero found him or herself caught in a war between Odin and his brother. The ongoing struggle of the Worthy and the Mighty with their hammers and Asgardian weaponry rubbed some readers the wrong way, but this Ryan Stegman Fear Itself: Deadpool cover made me forgive the series’ faults.


#7 – Star Trek / Legion of Super-Heroes

What happens when a group of explorers from the United Federation of Planets meets a group of defenders of the United Planets for the first time? Well, you have Brainiac 5 and Spock put a stop to the obligatory fight scene that springs up. Loaded with references to past Star Trek and Legion of Super-Heroes stories, this still-ongoing series is a blast for fans of both franchises. Plus, Chameleon Boy fights a Gorn. What’s not to love?


#6 – Spider-Island

Giving everyone on the island of Manhattan Spider-Man-esque powers turned out to be an even bigger problem than Peter Parker bargained for. Things got even worse when everyone started turning into actual giant spiders. In a story that could have been lost among things like Madame Web prophecies, the Jackle, and the return of Kaine, ‘Spider-Island’ allowed Peter Parker to outshine his spider based powers and show how he thinks on his feet. Peter will always have more to offer as a hero than just a collection of spider based powers. This story reinforced that fact.


#5 – Archie Meets KISS

Look. Archie is a social butterfly. He’s always out there, making friends with all kinds of people. Rich, middle class, nerdy, jerky, hungry, it doesn’t matter to Archie. One time, he even met the Punisher. So why wouldn’t Archie meet KISS? Throw in a town zombified by a magic spell cast by Veronica, an appearance by Josie, and Sabrina the Teenage Witch and you’ve got one fun story. I’m looking forward to seeing where this is going.


#4 – X-Men: Schism

In a story filled with international discord, Sentinels running amok, and a creepy new Hellfire Club, Schism really came down to two guys and their different visions of the future. While Wolverine and Cyclops haven’t gotten along before, this conflict lead to the most brutal one-on-one fight between the two yet and a fracturing of the X-Men. It even allowed for a great verbal low blow from Scott. Best of all, it was very new reader friendly. It allowed folks like me, with our fear of convoluted X-Men continuity, to jump right in and really enjoy ourselves.


#3 – Marvel “Big Shots”

Getting great writers together with great artists may not be a traditional event, but it’s an event all the same. Just getting Greg Rucka to return to mainstream comics after leaving DC was feat enough, but also producing the relaunched Daredevil and having it be as great as it consistently is something to brag about. Bendis and Maleev working on another book is just icing on the cake.


#2 – Flashpoint

Though DC claimed this wasn’t another parallel worlds story, Flashpoint turned out to be the ultimate parallel worlds story. And that’s okay. In fact, it’s great. One of the main things DC did right with this event was they kept it chronologically brief. It took up just four months and it, by definition, existed in its own little world. If you didn’t like the story, you didn’t have to read it. If you loved it, you could buy the entire 61 issues of the story, though most of us fell somewhere in between. Best of all, it had a major twist on the Batman mythos and sowed the seeds for the best event of 2011.


#1 – The New 52

This one changed everything. Continuities were rewritten where editors thought they were lacking before, Wildstorm became a part of the DCU, everyone was made younger, and the Superman wore jeans. Better yet, this got people back into the comic book stores in droves and it got everyone talking. DC became the top selling comic book publisher through Diamond, something it hadn’t been for years. Along with those sales came a a significant increase in revenue. From just that perspective, the New 52 was a success but from its overall industry impact, it was a grand slam.


  1. Maybe Im being too cynical here but are all of these really “events”?

    • Or are all of them really “the best?”

    • Given a certain slightly unorthodox definition? Sure!

    • Wow. Rather than being snide and pointless in my opening comment on this article; I’d like to say I thought this was very well written and interesting. I don’t necessarily agree with all of these but instead of “just saying that,” I’m going to attempt to actually leave something insightful here that illustrates my point rather than a comment that says absolutely nothing.

      While most of these are definitely “events” in the traditional sense a couple, such as the ‘Big Shots’ and ‘Archie meets KISS,’ don’t really seem to fit the bill. But then again picking 10 events out of one year will call for some stretching of the definition.

      That said I definitely agree with the new 52 being number one. Great idea and it has lead to some great comics. I personally think Spider Island should have been much higher though! At least top 5, other than the new 52 it was my favorite event of this year. Also, it was very cool to se so many non-MArvel and DC events included here. I think people so often associate the idea of ‘an event’ with one of the big two and it was cool to see so many smaller publishers included.

  2. My top events in random order are finding out about comixology 99 cent deals, the new 52, discovering the plutonian, & finding out about Marvel digital unlimited

  3. Other then Fear Itself should be waaaaayyyyy down the list, possibly be #100 in a top 10 list, this was a solid list giving a good reason for each of them. Considering I didn’t read a good chunk of what’s on here my person list would be:

    #100: Fear Itself
    #4: Big Shots (Only because I only read Daredevil, but because of how awesome that title is it’s a marketing idea that actually worked)
    #3: Flashpoint
    #2: DC Retroactive (Yeah some of them didn’t work out and seemed to only exist just to fill some time for New 52. But I applaud DC for continually showing they have great respect for the past and brought in some great talent to represent the best of each era)
    #1: New 52 (Was their any other choice?)

  4. Interesting list. Especially because, if I recall correctly, Josh, Conor and Ron were pretty unimpressed by both Flashpoint and especially Fear Itself.

    Personally, though, I pretty much avoided the big DC and Marvel “events” this year. Hey, that’s one way to fight “event fatigue”, right?

  5. Heh, the only event mini I read was Schism. It was rather good. The best overall thing I heard about Flashpoint was “Pointless”.

    I wonder how many of these would be considered good if we reread them a few years down the line. I reread Infinite Crisis recently. I liked it initially. Second time around? Ugh. What a dog.

    What a weird year of comics.

  6. Some stuff I do agree with like Big Shots but I have to disagree with Fear Itself and I read that Deadpool mini and covers didn’t really impress me.

  7. Much to my surprise, I enjoyed Spider Island a lot. I initially thought it would be a disaster, but the stories were fun, exciting, and diverse. Also, the event included secondary characters like Cloak and Dagger, the Master of Kung Fu, and Frog Man.

  8. Glad to see DC Retroactive get some love. From the quality of the paper to the art and writing, I thought it was nothing but a joy. And the only reason I can forgive Fear Itself on the list is because of Immonen’s art. That series was unreadable at times.

  9. I think everybody was pleasantly surprised by Spider Island. I know I was.

  10. The New 52 has to be the biggest event of the past few years because of the impact it had on the industry. Besides the obvious creative risks, DC’s bold move of taking all their titles same day digital was a game changer. If not for that, we’d still be talking about buying legal digital copies from the big 2 as an abstract concept thats years away…which is what was happening in the days and weeks before DC’s announcement was made. It might take a few years to fully see the impact, but i think we’ll look back on it as a major moment in comics history.

  11. I generally don’t find a lot to love about “event” stories. In the nature of doing a big event the scope is going to be very big involving all the heavy-hitters. I think sometimes this dilutes a lot of the characters into parodies of themselves and things just get messy. I enjoyed Flashpoint to an extent because it did focus on one central character, and despite the mass amount of tie-ins, you didn’t need to read them to follow the story. Plus the Batman mini was a fantastic story on it’s own.

  12. Good story. It shows that this year’s events were extremely weak (besides new 52-which is by far the year’s biggest news).

    In fact, the second biggest happening is the “demise” of Johnny Storm and the aftermath (which delivered).

  13. What about the death of Ultimate Spiderman?

  14. that’s too many events for one year

  15. I definitely think Ultimate Spider-Man’s death and replacement deserve some love on this list. And I cannot express enough how painful Fear Itself was for me, so its inclusion twists the knife in me just ever so slightly. Never again, Mr. Fraction. Never again.

  16. of the above, Spider Island is the best. Fear itself was terrible, Flashpoint was OK, RetroActive was good but rather hit or miss, Schism should have been a one-shot status quo shift, not two drawn out minis. the rest i did not read or were not in any way ‘Events’ big shots. was a minor ad campaign not an event.

  17. Im gradually making my rounds to reading well over half of the new 52 and quite a few of those 2,3, and 4 issues in.. Im beginning to think theres a lot of quality there… It turns out the books that initially attracted me arent the best of the bunch (the DCU dark stuff)…. Im a mostly Marvel and Independent guy… but im reading books like Justice League, Batwoman/and girl, a few of the green lanterns, aquaman.. etc.. all books ive never read before.. and Im loving them. I recommend giving as many of the 52 as you can afford a try guys.. everytime i think i know what im going to get from one of these books.. they prove me wrong.. and im normally a pretty good judge of this stuff… or at least i thought i was..

  18. I am sorry but GI Joe Civil War was one of the best events in the last few years.

  19. And so was Top Cow’s Artifacts.

  20. Agreed on GI Joe and Artifacts, though Artifacts was 2010 too. Invincible’s Viltrumite War came to mind, but I guess that’s just a story arc rather than an event? Or could it be an event? There was the spin-off Guardians of the Globe title taking place at the same time but back on earth.

  21. It’s a toughie to pick just 10, and props for picking some things out of the norm. While I don’t agree Archie meeting Kiss is anything “event” worthy, especially compared to so many others. Still, Archie MET Kiss!

    I wasn’t sure at first, but Spider-Island wound up being monumental to me, and it wasn’t because of the overall story. We heard something writers would never have addressed 10, 20, certainly 30 ago. The reason why Mary Jane took so long to become infected when every single person in Manhattan was climbing walls? Her prolonged “exposure” to Peter’s – ahem – DNA.

    There were many great events and many great moments born out of them this year, but that one truly stands out for this longtime Spider reader.

  22. It’s a good list with some nice surprises. I gotta agree with a few commenters, I thought TopCow’s Artifacts would be up there. It was only of the few “events” I read this year.

    I’m glad that even though Herc got brought into Spider-Island it still mocked it.

  23. love the top 2. would have loved to see hellboy’s the fury somewhere on here.