Marauders #11, #12, and #16
by Gerry Duggan, Stefano Caselli, and Edgar Delgado
Kate Pryde is my favorite character in all of fiction, with no exceptions. What Gerry Duggan has been crafting during his, thankfully, still ongoing run on Marauders for Kate has been nothing short of amazing. A new, seemingly permanent direction for a character that is in line with what has come before, all the while branching out into unexplored waters. Kate’s (long time coming) embracing of her sexuality is a massive highlight. As is her ever deepening relationship with both Emma Frost and Storm.
I cannot wait for the next steps of this journey in the new year and the promise of a Hellfire Gala is all too tempting.
by Jonathan Hickman, Lenil Francis Yu, and Sunny Gho
Hello and welcome to the single most emotional issue of a comic I have ever read. I’ve never been able to truly put into words quite why this affected me such, and I’m not going to try to here. I’ll just say that the story of Melody Guthrie, her death and resurrection (a running theme across this new Krakoan era of X-Men), is so beautifully told that I can’t help but cry reading it. Hell, I’m crying now just thinking about it.
by Zeb Wells, Dylan Burnett, and Mike Spicer
I came to this rather late. Zeb Wells (A lover of tugboats) is one of the GOAT writers, who’s work I adore, but this somehow didn’t pop up on my radar until a couple of weeks ago. Having now read it, I can say it was a massive mistake on my side to leave it for so long without reading, and I hope you will heed my words and pick it up.
It’s an incredibly simple premise filled with comedy and heart. Scott Lang has never been written better and we get some great development in his relationship with Cassie. And to top all that greatness off, Dylan Burnett and Mike Spencer’s art is so much fun to look at and gives the story a propulsive thrust that kept me reading and wanting more from this team.
Directed by Max Barbakow, Written by Andy Siara
2020 has been an odd year. I think we can all agree on that. When this released some 250 years ago back in July, we’d been stuck in our house for a number of months at that point. Then, almost out of nowhere along came Palm Springs, a time loop story about the monotony of life, and how bad it can be when days are repeating, while also having some incredibly fun moments between its cast, and truly great chemistry between Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti. I couldn’t think of a better story for this year and it was a much needed viewing experience, one I hope you’ll repeat.
Written and Directed by Christopher Nolan
We all love to dunk on Mr. Nolan, but this film? It rules. A sumptuous feast for the eyes, with some of Nolan’s best directing work. I did not expect to fall in love with this as much as I did, but then, all of a sudden I found myself sobbing at the ending, at the beauty of the friendship between John David Washington and Robert Pattinson’s characters. Was that down to me not having seen my friends in months? Possibly, but this is still one of the best things I have seen all year.
Created by Simon Evans, Michael Sheen, and David Tennant
A show that could only be made this year. Following David Tennant and Michael Sheen playing slightly fictionalized versions of themselves stuck in lockdown, trying to rehearse for a play. It is one of the funniest programs I have ever watched and was a balm when it premiered early on during this whole mess we are currently in. And with a second season due to premiere in the new year, now is the perfect time to catch up.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars – The Siege of Mandalore
Written and Directed by Dave Filoni
I love Star Wars. The original run of The Clone Wars actually further deepened my love for the franchise more so than the films ever did. In the process, Ahsoka Tano became my favorite character.
So when Clone Wars got canceled and we never saw what happened to her around the events of Order 66, I was devastated. Of course, we did later find out she survived thanks to her appearance in Rebels, but there was always this question of how exactly did she make it through these dark times.
This year, we got our answers. And what answers they were. A siege. An incredible duel against Darth Maul. Mandalorians being badass. Order 66. All culminating in a fight against the clones, Ahsoka’s brothers in arms, with a final, haunting shot of Ahsoka looking out over the helmets of those fallen Clones she had called friends.
The Haunting of Bly Manor
Written and Directed by Mike Flanagan
I don’t think my thoughts on this incredible, heartbreaking show can be better summed up than with the below meme, so I’m going to leave it at that.
The Last of Us Part II
by Neil Druckmann, Halley Gross, and Naughty Dog
I have never had an experience quite like I had with this game. Horrific violence. An almost constant sense of dread. Sadness permeates every single moment.
But what sticks with me most, and the reason for my love of this game, are the moments of happiness and kindness tucked throughout. The Dinosaur. Ellie and Joel’s final conversation. Abby and her Dad helping out a trapped zebra. Every single moment that Ellie and Dina share together, from their dance to the weed farm, to their life living on a farm. The “Take on Me” scene. Those are what will keep this game in my thoughts for years to come.
by Taylor Swift, Jack Antonoff, and Aaron Dessner
I mean, come on. Did you really think I was going to end this list without mentioning the greatness of Taylor Swift, and specifically folklore? Of course not, it’s the album of the year. One that I have listened to far too much to be healthy. This is something that cuts to the core of how great music can be when heard in the right circumstances, and I love it so.