2013 was an interesting year for comics, and that includes brand new heroes and villains as much as it does the old guard we're all familiar with. So Iann Robinson and I came up with a list of ten of our favorite brand new characters that hit shelves this year. It's always tricky for original creations to gain traction in a medium that relies so heavily on established name-brand superheroics, so we thought we'd give a shout-out to some new blood that's earned the attention.
Here's to the new!
JOHN LINCOLN AND HIS VARIOUS IDENTITIES
Dream Thief (Jai Nitz, Greg Smallwood)
This Dark Horse book came along with a snazzy flash, with kickass art and a cool premise that is essentially Quantum Leap, but for murder. We didn't much like him at first, but once the magic mask finds its way into his possession, he becomes an unwitting avatar through which ghosts can exact bloody revenge on their killers – and John retains their knowledge after the deed is done. It's a slick-lookin' series with a promising future, even if it's centered on a guy who's kind of a selfish prick at heart.
The Answer! (Dennis Hopeless, Mike Norton)
Speaking of Dark Horse books, this Exclamation-Point-Faced Guy remains as big a mystery as he started even after four issues – and truth be told, Devin Mackenzie is just a cool a new character as he is, in part because she has little patience for superhero shenanigans from a guy who's probably eight shades of crazy. The book defied convention at every turn, not afraid to make its "hero" look ridiculous, but that just made us like him even more. Also, you can't say the guy's name more than twice without really wanting to pronounce the "w." Answer is such a weird-lookin' word.
Velvet #1 (Ed Brubaker, Steve Epting)
Velvet Templeton is a seemingly unassuming secretary for a spy base in London who turns out to be much more than anyone knew. Rarely are female characters the main ass-kickers in comics, and even less often are they intelligent characters actually written intelligently. Velvet Templeton would make Gloria Steinem proud. With only two issues under its belt, Velvet has hooked readers through this badass new character.
Infinity, Avengers (Jonathan Hickman & Various Artists)
It’s hard not to love something as ingenious as The Builders. An alien race older than any other, The Builders come in two batches, The Engineers and The Creators. When an attempt to make Earth sentient fails, The Builders decide Earth has got to go. On their way to annihilate our lovely home planet, The Builders wipe out pretty much everything in their path, even the Space Knights. Super badass.
East of West (Jonathan Hickman, Nick Dragotta)
While the run of East of West has lost steam, the character of Death is still intriguing. I’m a sucker for the old west, so the gunslinger guise Death sports in East of West is awesome to me. In a story arc that has nobody to root for, Death is the closest the story has to a hero. In short, his sadistic ways are at least for somewhat of a noble cause. If Hickman decides on a spin-off, Death is perfect candidate.