The Wednesday Waffle: Episode 15.2 - The 2018 Saucer Awards, Part 2.

December 27, 2018

Welcome back to The Wednesday Waffle! (Yes, we know it's Thursday. Cut us some slack. It's been a busy Holiday Season...) We've already had the results for the Best Major Publisher, Minor Publisher, Writer and Artist. Now, join us for the rest of the awards...

 

The 2018 Saucer Award for Best Character.

 

We were going to have separate awards for "Best Hero" and "Best Villain". But in the end we decided that we didn't want to be that binary - which category would Deadpool or Magneto fall into, for example?

 

So we invited you to name the best character overall, and we ended up with thirteen nominations. Interestingly, none of the headline characters - Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman or Spider-Man received a single vote. I'm not sure what that tells us, but it was interesting...

 

In third place we have Woody Henderson, the irresponsible half of Valiant's not entirely competent superhero double act Quantum and Woody.

 

Hugely irresponsible and absolutely refusing to take his role as a super powered hero seriously, Woody eschew's code names and costumes, and just does his thing.

 

Given that his book is not a massive seller (it ought to be, because it's awesome, but there you go...) it would seem that pretty much everyone who buys it from us must've voted for him.

 

This isn't a surprise, there's something immensely likeable about Woody. We'd honestly like more characters that were this much fun to read

 

 Speaking of fun, in Second Place we have The Merc with the Mouth, Wade WilsonDeadpool himself. It's been a good year for Wade, he got a second movie and  a new creative team.

 

Skottie Young seems to have been the perfect choice for scripting duties, bringing a wry but chaotic sensibility to Wade's adventures, keeping them original but also making the comic something that people who came to the character through the movie version would easily recognise.

 

We're loving it so far, and of course his adventures alongside everybody's favourite web-slinger continue over in Spider-Man/Deadpool too...

 

The winner's celebrations may, in the end, be a little bit muted, since her book was actually cancelled this year. Nevertheless, she has clearly lost none of her popularity, and the 2018 Saucer Award for Best Character goes to Kate Kane, the Batwoman.

 

Mind you, even though her book has (for now) moved on to the great spinner rack in the sky, Kate's year hasn't been entirely terrible. It is, after all, far better to go out on a high than it is for your book to slowly dwindle to obscurity.

 

And, just like Deadpool, Batwoman also got an on-screen gig as, in the form of Amber Rose she made an appearance in the DC TV Universe to great acclaim. So, congratulations Batwoman - we look forward to seeing you back in comics in the not too distant future.

 

The 2018 Saucer Award for Best Limited Series.

 

The penultimate prize in this years awards was open to any title with a planned limited run (that is to say, a series that ended after a small number of issues on purpose, not something that was cancelled due to low sales...) which had at least one issue published during 2018.

 

There were an awful lot to choose from.

 

 In third place we have Bendis' opening salvo in the world of Superman, the six part Man of Steel.

 

This was brave storytelling on several levels. For a start, given the deep love that fans continue to have for the original Man of Steel series giving anything this title was to risk a negative reaction, and it's true that not all fans were happy with it.

 

It's also the case that the previous run on Superman, which began with Rebirth was the most popular for quite some time, so a change in direction as drastic as this was also bound to upset a few folk. (We're nerds - we hate change...)

 

Generally speaking though, it was both a critical and commercial success, and is well worth your attention.

 

 In second place we have Exit, Stage Left - the Snagglepuss Chronicles. This is the latest of DC's updates of classic Hannah Barbera cartoon characters, following hard on the heels of the excellent Flintstones and Scooby Apocalypse titles. (We shall not speak of Wacky Raceland or Dastardly and Muttley here. Not everything lands...)

 

Here we have the deep south's ultra camp pink mountain lion reimagined as a great playwright in the heart of fifties New York.

 

Snagglepus is an out gay man, at least amongst his friends, but still closeted to the public because, well, because it's still the 1950s.

 

The  story involves other Hannah-Barbera characters, like Huckleberry Hound and Quick Draw McGraw, and against the backdrop of the fifties anti-communist witch hunts and general moral panic weaves a narrative about identity, being true to yourself, standing up against society when society is wrong, loyalty, desperation and love. It's a genuinely powerful piece of work with some important things to say.

 

If, in 2017, you'd told me that a Snagglepuss comic would be one of my favourite books of 2018 I would have been sceptical. If you'd told me that enough people would agree with me that they'd vote to give it this award I would have assumed you were drunk.

 

And yet here we are - it really was one of the best books of 2018, and more than deserving of this second slot.

 

In a different year it seems likely that either Snagglepuss or Man of Steel would have been in with a serious shout of the top slot. This year though? There really was only one contender for the top honours in this category. Beginning last year, and concluding in 2018 we were privillaged to follow the adventures of Mister Miracle - the Winner of the 2018 Saucer Award for Best Limited Series.

What can we say about this masterpiece that hasn't already been said? Tom King, already given an honourable mention for his astonishing work on Batman this year turns in a script that will pull you in, rip your heart out, jump up and down on it for a bit and then spit you right out - at which point you'll eagerly come back for the next installment.

 

Add to that the sensitive but expressive art of Mitch Gerads  and you have a genuine winner on your hands. If you missed it, the trade paperback will be available very shortly - you should totally read it - it's immensely brilliant.

 

The 2018 Saucer Award for Best Ongoing Series.

 

This is our final award, and for us, it's the big one. Miniseries come and go. Characters change and evolve. Writers and artists go in and out of favour. But ongoing comics series just keep going - that's sort of in the definition. So which series did you really rate in 2018?

 

As was the case in all of the other categories, there was no shortage of contenders. The standard of comics right now is incredibly high, and frankly we were very very happy to turn this decision over the the public vote because we really couldn't make a decision.

 

In third place we have Eclipse from Image Comics. This dystopian future presents us with a world where the Sun has effectively gone rogue. Sunlight is now instantly fatal to all animal life - humans included. 

 

There's all sorts of political machinations amongst the survivors - a society now essentially forced to be subterranean and/or nocturnal - but when an individual who can apparently survive the deadly solar radiation appears the people who know of his existence are forced to face up to some difficult questions about the nature of the society they live in.

 

It really is thought provoking stuff.

 

 The runner up for the big prize is Star Wars: Darth Vader, a series that never fails to delight. This is of course the second series of Vader comics since Marvel regained the mantle of official Star Wars Comics folks and yet it is relentlessly original.

 

This series of Vader comics is, effectively, Darth Vader: Year One, the doings (we hesitate to call them adventures) of Vader in the immediate aftermath of his transformation from Anakin Skywalker, Jedi Knight and upholder of the Republic to Darth Vader, Sith Lord, disciple of Palpetine and scourge of the Republic.

 

Franchise comics are hard to pull off.

 

This one manages it and then some - adding nuance and detail to the backstory of one of the greatest villains created in the last century. And, of course, it's all cannon...

 

So, now we come to the big one - the winner of the 2018 Saucer Award for Best ongoing Series.

 

It was close, very close indeed, but in the end we are not surprised. The award goes to Batman, a title that has put its readers through some torments in 2018, but which has kept us coming back for more.

 It's been a heck of a year for the Bat, and it's clear that the drama is not over - not by a long shot. There are foes of a physical nature to be fought, but it's been made clear that he has some internal demons to take care of too.

 

We've said elsewhere in this awards post that Tom King is knocking it out of the park with this book, and we can only reiterate that statement.

 

Frankly, if you're not reading Batman, you're missing out...

 

So there you have it! Those were the winners of the inaugural Saucer Awards - assuming Desties survives to the end of 2019 (not something we're taking for granted - it promises to be a challenging year...) we'll see you next year for the Saucer Awards 2019!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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