BEST OF 2009: Toys, Trends, News, Etc.

Best of 2009 Comics


Our look back on the best and brightest comics, comic book movies, news and swag from 2009 concludes with today's list of the year's best comics-related announcements, crazy rumors, toys and trends.

(And just in case you missed it, be sure to check out our "Best Comics-Related Movies, TV And Games" and "Best Comics Of 2009" list!)

BEST OF 2009: NEWS, MERCH, TRENDS, ETC.


Walking DeadBEST ADAPTATION NEWS

"The Walking Dead" Television Series (AMC)

Never in my life did I expect to hear Frank Darabont's name in the same sentence as "The Walking Dead," but fate apparently had other plans. Seriously, can you believe that Robert Kirkman's zombie-ridden comic book series will make the leap to live-action television on the same network as the amazing "Mad Men" with Darabont's expert vision at the helm? With movies like "The Shawshank Redemption" and "The Mist" to his name, there's no doubt that Darabont has what it takes to bring the grizzly tale of Rick Grimes and his fellow survivors from the paneled page to the small screen.

- Josh Wigler

Wednesday ComicsBEST COMICS EXPERIMENT

Wednesday Comics (DC)

"Wednesday Comics" pushed the boundaries of what we can expect from a weekly comic. Envisioned as a throwback to the classic Sunday newspaper comic strips, "Wednesday Comics" gave several of the top comic creators free reign to tell some of the most entertaining superhero stories to come out this year — especially Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso’s Batman and Kyle Baker’s Hawkman.. It was the epitome of high quality continuity-free superhero comics — and we hope to see another run of "Wednesday Comics" in the future.

- Blair Marnell

Megan FoxBEST CRAZY CASTING RUMOR

Megan Fox as Catwoman

Still basking in the warmth of "The Dark Knight's" critical and financial success, 2009 sported its share of bizarre casting rumors for a potential third entry into the Batman franchise. Given her passing resemblance to a very young Selina Kyle, Megan Fox fans were pleased as punching security guards to hear the "Transformers 2" star could potentially sport feline attire. Fearing a repeat of Halle Berry's previous flop in the role, many fans were relieved when the rumor was revealed to be just that.

- Caleb Goellner

Lantern ringsBEST COMICS-RELATED SWAG

Lantern Rings

The worst thing to happen to the DC Comics universe may be the best thing to happen to comic fans in years. The multi-hued lantern corps have collided this summer in the wake of Geoff Johns' "Blackest Night" storyline, with dead heroes and villains rising to feast on the emotions of the living. As comic fans digest the series and its numerous tie-ins, they've also been treated to plastic rings of every color at participating retailers, fueling one of DC's strongest sales periods in recent memory and adorning fans with comics-accurate fingerwear to wage their own intergalactic emotional wars.

- Caleb Goellner

Disney buys MarvelBEST INDUSTRY-SHAKING NEWS

Disney Buys Marvel Comics

The comic book industry felt its collective jaw hit the floor the morning of August 31 when news of Disney's completely unexpected $4 billion Marvel Comics buyout broke. Lack of proper foreshadowing aside, everyone from fans to creators scrambled to wrap their heads around what the deal would mean for their favorite characters. After a brief period of disbelief and mashup merriment cooled, most came to accept the positive aspects of the deal given Disney's tremendous multimedia resources. With the buyout expected to formally commence at the crack of 2010, fans will find out which of their hopes (or fears) will be confirmed in the coming year.

- Caleb Goellner

Iron Man 2BEST REASON TO LOOK FORWARD TO 2010

A Full Movie Release Schedule

As regular Splash Page readers are well aware, 2010 holds three of the most anticipated comic book adaptations in recent memory. Between "Iron Man 2," "Kick-Ass" and "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World," there's something for everyone on both sides of the comic-reading fence. While "Kick-Ass" and "Scott Pilgrim" are already being celebrated for source-material authenticity, "Iron Man 2" audiences are ecstatic to return to Robert Downey Jr. and John Favreau's movie universe — especially given Mickey Rourke, Don Cheadle and Scarlett Johansson's action-packed additions to the cast as Whiplash, War Machine and Black Widow. A lineup this strong rarely rears its head in one summer, meaning many Splash Page readers (and writers) will be seeing a lot of their local theaters in the months to come.

- Caleb Goellner

T-RexBEST TOY

Squishable T-Rex Giant Plush (TopatoCo)

While 2009 produced many amazing works of plastic and plush, the most outstanding would have to be Topatoco's gargantuan T-Rex plush. Featuring nearly two cubic feet of cuddle space, there's a lot to love about this round and furry manifestation of Ryan North's "Dinosaur Comics" clip-art protagonist. The toy's inherent cuteness only augments the profound expression of the excitable prehistoric predator, whose vestigial arms are ripe for hugging the end of the decade.

- Caleb Goellner

stephenie MeyerBEST BUZZ-GENERATOR

"Female Force" Biography Comics (Bluewater)

If we had put together this list at the mid-year point, there would've been no question which trend earned the nod: U.S. President Barack Obama's constant cameos on comic book covers. Months later, however, there's no arguing with the year-end traffic reports — "Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling and "Twilight" author Stephenie Meyer trump Obama when it comes to generating buzz in the collector audience. While Obama's comic book cameos received a hefty share of attention in the mainstream media, it was nearly impossible to avoid mentions of Bluewater's unauthorized biography comics on the air or online over the second half of 2009. While there's some debate among longtime comics readers over whether this is a good thing, there's no arguing that (to paraphrase a comics character almost as famous as Obama) Bluewater's line of bio comics are the best there is at what they do — and what they do is get noticed by the media.

- Rick Marshall

Be sure to check out our previous Best Of 2009 lists:

1. Best Of 2009: Comic Books, Webcomics And Graphic Novels

2. Best Of 2009: Movies, TV and Games

3. Best Of 2009: News, Trends, Toys, Etc.

Agree with our picks? Have some of your own you'd like to share? Let us know what you think in the comment section or on Twitter!