Over the past few weeks, “Best of” lists dominated the Interwebs—ranging from music to television to, of course, comic books. We even made a blog post linking a few of them that featured some of the great DC titles from DC COMICS—THE NEW 52, Vertigo and more.
The reason for this is simple. Without question, 2012 was a great year for comic readers, filled with gripping storytelling, unexpected plot twists, and edge-of-your seat action and excitement. All that, plus a whole lot of moments that made our jaws drop and had us exclaiming "Holy smoke!" out loud. (Actually, it led to us saying something a lot less PG…but there may be kids reading. In which case, “Hey kids! Comics!”) Sometimes the exclamation is over surprise. Sometimes it’s because it gets us excited for what’s to come. Whatever it is, it’s almost certainly awesome.
So, with all of those jaw-dropping moments and “Best of” lists going around, we figured we’d combine the two in a special two-part, two-day feature listing 12 "Holy Smoke!" Moments in Comics from 2012!
Trickster Lends Grodd a Hand
Gorilla Grodd finally made his New 52 debut, and this sinister simian is just as brutal and violent as we remember. In FLASH #13, Trickster attempts to finagle his way into Grodd's good graces. Of course, Grodd has no good graces, so that encounter ended about as well as you would expect.
Batman Arrives in Smallville
Throughout its 10-season run, the CW television series Smallville contained many a nerdy moment for comic book fans with appearances of various characters from across the DC Universe—the JSA (Stargirl!) and the Legion of Super-Heroes, Green Arrow and Black Canary, and, of course, the Flash, Cyborg and Aquaman. However, one heavy hitter never showed his cowl-covered face—until the digital first Season 11 brought the Dark Knight to the world of Smallville.
Andrew Bennett Breaks Bad
It’s fair to say that un-death hasn’t exactly been easy for Andrew Bennett. Over the past year, he’s been hunted, beheaded and resurrected as the vampire messiah, and that’s to say nothing about his extremely troubled relationship with the Queen of the Vampires. However, while readers of I, VAMPIRE may not expect an easy road for Andrew, we’re not sure anyone anticipated the ending of issue #12, which saw Andrew save the world by absorbing the dark magic at the root of vampirism, turning every other vampire on Earth back into a mortal. However, in a final shocking twist, we learned doing so had made Andrew both extremely powerful and very, very evil—effectively turning the hero of the series into the villain.
Death of the Trinity
In the months leading up to the launch of Earth 2, writer James Robinson discussed at length the Big Three of that world and how they differed from their main Earth counterparts. He also warned readers not to assume or expect anything based on what's come before. He wasn't kidding. In a bold move pretty much nobody saw coming, the first issue featured the last stand of the book's three stars—Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman—who gave their lives attempting to save the world from the hordes of Darkseid.
The Gray Son
The "Night of the Owls" event that ran through the Bat-books was the first crossover of DC COMICS—THE NEW 52, and it was filled with fantastic, fast-paced moments of action and brilliantly shocking reveals. Batman's connection to the Court and the revelation of his potential sibling left us completely stunned. But equally as shocking was the surprise revelation of Dick Grayson's family history and how the greatest tragedy of his life actually saved him from a gruesome fate.
Green Lantern's Dying Light
Comic readers are no strangers to death in comics, but seeing Hal Jordan and Sinestro (two longtime enemies now working together—which is awesomeness in-and-of itself) take on a horde of zombies and then sacrifice themselves while facing the Black Hand was just plain cool. Plus, it gave rise to the newest member of the Green Lantern Corps—Simon Baz!
Be sure to return tomorrow for the second half of the 12 "Holy Smoke!" Moments in Comics from 2012!