Kabooooom’s Favorite Comics, Movies & TV of 2014!

This year has proven to be another chocked full of great entertainment – Guardians of the Galaxy for instance, big win! – and… the not so great – Amazing Spider-Man 2, big mess. But as we say goodbye to 2014, let’s focus on the best this year had to offer. Here are our favorite comic books, movies, TV shows and more of 2014!

» COMICS «

sex criminals

Sex Criminals

It isn’t easy compiling these ‘best of the year’ lists and narrowing down everything you’ve read and loved to a single series. That being said, when I was considering what comic was my favorite of year, Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky’s Sex Criminals immediately came to mind. Perhaps it’s the honest and often times hilarious relationship between Suzie and Jon, or just the frank way in which the series discusses sex, or the downright fantastic art and attention to detail. Plus, I’ve never read a better letters column than the one in the back of Sex Criminals. This 100% for adults only series is simply a must read for anyone who’s ever been in a relationship, been confused about sex, and finds a man getting smacked in the face with a dildo amusing.

Sarah Moran, Editor-in-Chief

 

injustice gods among us

Injustice: Gods Among Us

On its surface, DC Comics’ Injustice: Gods Among Us appears to be little more than a novelty comic specifically published to capitalize on the success of the video game of the same name. Once you dive in, however, it is immediately apparent that the old cliché “never judge a book by its cover” remains amazingly true. Writer Tom Taylor has presented readers with a completely insane story of what happens when Superman is finally pushed too far and it’s everything you’ve ever wanted in a superhero comic – and more. Each character – from Batman to Constantine to Harley Quinn and everyone in between – is written in top form. It’s so obvious how much Taylor loves these characters and the world in which they inhabit, and Injustice is all the better for it.

Rush Urbalejo, Associate Editor

 

injustice gods among us year two

Injustice Gods Among Us: Year Two

Why Year Two instead of Year Three? Honestly, I wish I could pick both books and call it a tie. But, if pressed to choose between the two, I have to go with Year Two because of its satisfying conclusion and what it did to give two of my favorite characters ever a happy ending that bookends perfectly with the first issue of the series. If that seems needlessly cryptic, I apologize, but I refuse to spoil a bit of this series for those who haven’t read it yet. Because you should!

Matt Morrison, Writer

 

the wake 2014

The Wake

When the world is full of mediocre event crossovers it’s nice to break away and read something a bit different. Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy’s apocalyptic sci-fi tale helped keep me entertained this year in more ways than one. The story is both thought provoking and the artwork is brilliant (as most of Sean Murphy’s is). Snyder blends the genres of science fiction, horror, and mythology to continually keep the reader guessing until the end. I remember while reading this series as it came out that I kept going back to re-read passages or soak up the visuals. The Wake is one of the few series that I promptly double bought in both single and collected versions just so that I could pour over every aspect of the story quickly or slowly, whichever mood struck me.

 – Marcus Hammond, Writer

 

» MOVIES «

nightcrawler movie jack gyllenhall

Nightcrawler

Dan Gilroy’s directorial debut centers on Lou Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal), a thief who finds the opportunity to become a freelance news videographer whose specialty lies in tragic occurrences. Gyllenhaal’s performance is absolutely one of the most interesting transformations of the year (sorry, Jake, but Steve Carell’s turn in Foxcatcher barely beat you out) and is a true delight. His character is creepy and articulate, brilliant and psychotic – the type of person that you avoid in the hallway at work. Gilroy makes some remarkably smart directorial decisions in this film – from his decision to keep most of his shots dark to enhance the effect of the video cameras on screen to bringing out the absolute best in every one of his actors – there is plenty here that would indicate we will be seeing more of Gilroy’s work in the future.

Rush Urbalejo, Associate Editor

 

guardians of the galaxy 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy

I suspect I’ll be far from alone in naming this one of the best movies of the year, but I imagine I’m one of the few who was optimistic about this movie going in. Make no mistake, Guardians was a gamble and it paid off big time for Marvel, who put one of their most obscure properties in the hands of a writer/director who – with all due respect to James Gunn – isn’t exactly known for crafting epic blockbusters. But craft a blockbuster he did, along with a crew of talented professionals and a cast of amazing actors. It is rare to see movies this fun and original these days and I think Gunn succeeded in his goal of crafting a Star Wars or Indiana Jones for the next generation.

Matt Morrison, Writer

 

the LEGO movie 2014

The LEGO Movie

The LEGO Movie had it all—good clean fun for the kids, enough veiled humor for the adults, and a moral that the entire family could feel good about. It’s really pretty amazing to think about the time it took to create such a film. While other movies may have been more critically acclaimed, when I think of 2014 I’ll remember the way this movie made me feel like a kid again. I’ll also probably never live down singing “Everything is Awesome” while jumping up and down with my son. It’s that type of positivity and togetherness that other movies can’t come close to creating.

Marcus Hammond, Writer

 

gone girl

Gone Girl

All things considered, Gone Girl had a major burden of high expectations that would have been nearly impossible to meet. And yet, somehow, David Fincher managed to surpass those expectations with his adaptation of the Gillian Flynn novel. Simultaneously chilling, creepy, off-putting, and always effective, Gone Girl features great lead performances from Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike that are worthy of awards consideration. The cinematography and settings are bleak, and the Trent Reznor-composed soundtrack matches as spartan and anxious. Gone Girl is everything audiences could have hoped for from David Fincher and company.

Ron Ackner, Writer

 

GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL_c371.JPG

The Grand Budapest Hotel

There were lots and I mean lots of great films released this year. From superhero movies to weird indies to great animated features – I just loved what 2014 had to offer. Yet, when posed to pick a favorite I keep thinking back on Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel. It had all the elements you love in an irreverent Anderson comedy: quirky characters, interesting aesthetics, unusual locales, a simple plot moving at breakneck speeds. Yet, what makes Grand Budapest really stand out is the marvelous performance from Ralph Fiennes right at the heart of it. His Mr. Gustave is a fascinating character, and only an actor of Fiennes talent could have delivered such a performance with the subtlety and nuance required.

Sarah Moran, Editor-in-Chief

» TV SHOWS «

Constantine - Season Pilot

Constantine

Another close one, with my decision being between Constantine and The Flash. In the end, Constantine won out because it had so much more to overcome and I have a soft spot for the underdogs. Constantine was cursed with a bad time slot, a network that doesn’t have a great track record with adapting properties (or urban fantasy in general), and an audience that was prepared to hate the show from day one because John couldn’t smoke/shag blokes/drop the F-bomb/etc. And yet, the show was instantly recognizable as a Hellblazer show and has proven successful enough to warrant a better time slot when it returns in January. In every important respect, the show got everything right when it came to capturing the essence of its source material and Matt Ryan is a perfect John Constantine.

Matt Morrison, Writer

 

last week tonight with john oliver

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

I’ll likely be the only one on this list who didn’t choose a scripted drama or comic book adaptation, but when trying to pick a favorite show it simply had to be HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. There wasn’t a single show this year that I anticipated more week in and week out. After every major, awful, terrible world crisis that came our way in the second half of 2014, I couldn’t wait to hear what Oliver and his writers had to say about it. Be it his bits on Net Neutrality, FIFA, Big Sugar, Ferguson, Civil Forfeiture, even our Pumpkin Spice obsession –  no matter the topic I was thoroughly informed, at times outraged, but always entertained.

Sarah Moran, Editor-in-Chief

 

fargo 2014

Fargo

The sheer audacity! Adapting Fargo, one of the most beloved and iconic of Coen Brothers films, to an FX TV series seemed like an exercise in foolhardiness. Even when the stellar cast was announced, Fargo simply seemed like a mistake, especially premiering shortly after the colossal success of True Detective. And yet, somehow, despite all the odds against it, Fargo became not just a success, but a resounding one. Fargo featured lead performances by a scene-stealing Billy Bob Thornton and Martin Freeman, as well as supporting performances from a cast including such luminaries as Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key, Bob Odenkirk, Kate Walsh, and Keith Carradine. And yet, despite all the big names in the cast, the performance that stood out most from Fargo was from a virtual unknown – actress Allison Tolman, in what is essentially her first major role in TV or film. Fargo managed to feature the dark humor and quirky style of the cult classic film, while simultaneously breathing fresh air into the proceedings, and as a result became simply the best show of 2014.

Ron Ackner, Writer

 

sons of anarchy 2014

Sons of Anarchy

Honestly, 2014 was a stellar year for television; even more so for televised comic book adaptations. While shows like The Flash and Constantine had the geek in each of us cheering for more, Sons of Anarchy almost had viewers begging “No more!!!” with each episode of its final season. Creator Kurt Sutter was able to create something special with the men of SAMCRO and the series enticed anyone who cares about a good, dramatic story. Sons of Anarchy never glamorized the life of motorcycle clubs and in its final season, it actually proved as a competent deterrent to those curious about the life. From its opening moments of the season through the final moments of the series, Son of Anarchy’s last ride was an exhausting and often brutal picture of a violent man who lost everything, including his way. Television really doesn’t get much better than this. (Well, Breaking Bad, but c’mon!)

Rush Urbalejo, Associate Editor

» VIDEO GAMES «

alien isolation 2014

Alien: Isolation

Usually, I gravitate towards mainstream, first-person shooters like the Call of Duty franchise where I can just run into a situation, guns blazing like a bull in a china shop. Alien: Isolation, however, takes a much more subtle approach to its gameplay. The game gets major points for continuing the Alien saga within its original continuity, but what makes it stand out is that it’s all about stealth and cunning. You can’t just go into a situation and blow a bunch of Aliens away with a machine gun. Playing as Ellen Ripley’s daughter trying to find out what has happened to her mother, you have to do everything in your power to avoid the acid filled beasts. The Aliens learn from the players’ habits, making it increasingly difficult to charge into a situation. And while charging in without any real fear of being mowed down by enemy gunfire is fun, this game makes the player think critically about every action, and that’s pretty cool.

Marcus Hammond, Writer

 

the binding of isaac rebirth

The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth

The Binding of Isaac was one of the most surprising cult success video games of the past few years. Featuring a protagonist on the run from his homicidal mother, and adult themes like abortion, neglect, religion, all set against a backdrop of poop. Yet somehow, it managed to enchant audiences and become a game with a much longer than expected shelf life. So, when creator Edmund McMillen announced that the original flash game would be remade on a new platform – and as he had originally intended – there was some obvious excitement, but also trepidation. After all, so much of what made the original game successful was tiny quirks and challenging gameplay that simply could not be replicated. As it turns out, however, fans of the original cult classic had nothing to fear. The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth completely lives up to the success of its predecessor, managing to capture all the unique details that set the original apart, while adding significantly more content and polish. Rebirth is a masterpiece of a game, a challenging dungeon romp that can yield hundreds of hours of gameplay to the devoted fan.

Ron Ackner, Writer

» NOVELS «

skin game dresden files 2014

Skin Game

Again, this is one I can’t go into a lot of detail about without spoiling things for fans of The Dresden Files who haven’t read this far in the series, or for newcomers who haven’t read any of the books at all. Suffice it to say, the latest chapter in the adventures of America’s greatest wizard/private investigator provided a satisfying conclusion to a number of long-running subplots, and the surprising return to action of several fan favorite characters. If you’re a fan of quirky supernatural dramedy à la Buffy The Vampire Slayer and haven’t read any of Jim Butcher’s work, start with Storm Front and move onward.

Matt Morrison, Writer

 the martian 2014

The Martian

I love it when a story can combine genres (see The Wake above). Andy Weir takes science, fiction, action, adventure and blends each aspect together to tell the story of an astronaut surviving on Mars after being stranded by his crew. The narration and dramatic construction fluidly place the reader in the shoes of the main character as he experiences complete isolation, terror, hope, and triumph. By the end of the novel, the reader may feel both sadness and elation as he or she will feel like they have been stranded with little hope of rescue on a far away planet.

Marcus Hammond, Writer


These are our picks for favorite comic books, movies, television shows and more of 2014! What are your favorites from the past year? Let us hear from you in the comments below!

And from all of us at Kabooooom – Happy New Year!

 

About Kabooooom Automaton

One thought on “Kabooooom’s Favorite Comics, Movies & TV of 2014!

  1. Because Injustice was on here twice I went and picked up the first two trades. Man, is it good! Who’d of thought that a video game plot could become so much more.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *