Surprise! We have an additional awards section for you all before our fifth and final entry in the acclaimed Kakuchopurei’s Best of 2018 Awards. We’ve realized that we cover a bit of movies, comics, and TV shows for quite a bit. Naturally, we should have an awards feature for just that.
As usual, we’ve added these death stare stills from the Malaysian horror film Munafik 2 so that you aren’t spoiled by the results.
Spider-Man: Into The Spiderverse
In case you didn’t get the memo, we’re Spider-Man fans. As such, we were happy to report that the new Spider-Man animated movie kicked so much righteous ass. And yes, it’s just a few short clicks better than Avengers: Infinity War. It’s a tough call considering the runners-up below, but if we had to pick just one that edges out with the feels, we felt like giving the win to the colourful animated feature done by the Lord Miller combo.
Our resident comic expert Alleef sung praises to the film in his spectacular review:
“With great power comes great responsibility” is only one of the many lessons Spider-Man teaches us. Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse also features three other traits that I believe defines the character as the late Stan Lee and Steve Ditko intended:
In the words of the late Stan Lee himself, Spider-Man “helps others simply because it should or must be done, and because it is the right thing to do.”
Spider-Man never gives up. Everytime he gets knocked down, he will get up again.
It’s the painful truth that Spider-Man can’t save everyone, but he never stops trying.
Under the mask, anyone can be Spider-Man, regardless of race, creed, or gender.
That last lesson is especially vital to this film, as it is the first ever movie to feature a Spidey that’s not Peter Parker (read: white male). Miles Morales, Gwen Stacy (Spider-Gwen), and Peni Parker are living embodiments of the movie’s most important lesson; that we can all be Spider-Man.”
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse embodies the best of its source material, makes it palatable and visually-stunning for its mass Spider-Man/comic book movie-loving audience, and packs a lot of emotion and character depth that elevates it further than it has any right to be.
Runners-Up: Black KKKlansman, Avengers: Infinity War, Searching, Annihilation, Isle of Dogs, Mandy, Hereditary, Sorry To Bother You.
Best New TV Show
Sometimes all it takes to liven up a family drama is to add in some haunted house and horror bits into it. And that’s what the most recent retelling of Haunting of Hill House does; it sticks close to its original source material while making it a Netflix-styled episodic show dealing with the messed-up Crain family.
Despite their problems and their quirks, you just end up enthralled by seeing them go through their problems in the end while also wondering if it’s all psychological. Yeah, we had problems with the last 30 minutes of the last episode, but everything else in the journey is solid TV gold. And really, we still have that Bent-Neck Lady twist and the “Two Storms” one-shot technique seared into our minds and hearts.
Runners-Up: Homecoming, Queer Eye, Bodyguard.
Best Ongoing TV Show
Daredevil Season 3
Alas, Marvel isn’t doing anymore Netflix shows. At the very least it went out with a huge bang; the latest Daredevil season delivered and then some! The first season’s best villain comes back again alongside new antagonists, Matt Murdock’s Catholic Guilt comes in full force here (post-Defenders), and the stakes are just as enthralling this time around.
Even if the show is clearly revisiting the same setpiece and area again, somehow or other this season just feels fresh because of its new narrative, pacing, and direction. The top-notch fight scenes do help. Alas, this is the last season before Marvel pulled the plug for all their Netflix TV shows, but at least it went out with a big bang.
Runners-Up: Luke Cage, Glow, Bojack Horseman, The Good Place.
Best Anime Series
Like all great categories, this is a tough one, but we’re going with the post-war alternate universe drama Violet Evergarden. It’s about a struggling letter-writing “doll” named Violet who used to be an emotionless war machine.
It’s touching and emotional, its story about post-war blues and coping with it is well-told and filled with rich characters, and it looks damn good doing it. Just bring a box of tissues if you plan on watching it though; it can be a helluva tearjerker.
Runners-Up: Aggretsuko, Hakata Tonkotsu Ramens, Megalo Box, A Place Further Than The Universe.
Best Comic Book Adaptation (TV, Movie, Game)
Marvel’s Spider-Man (The Game)
In this unique category, we’re going to experiment a bit with adding films and TV shows here since we do cover them quite a bit. If you guys & gals like it, we’ll be sure to dedicate a day for non-gaming bits.
Comic book adaptations are a dime a dozen nowadays, and we can’t just shoehorn it to just games. With so many of them in tow, we need to narrow it down to the ones that do their respective source material justice and whether it fits with the medium it’s on. While films like Aquaman and Avengers: Infinity War did what they needed to do, we do feel that we’re left wanting more out of the experiences.
Somehow we got that with the video game equivalent of a Spider-Man lovefest, references and all. While all the nominees here are godlike in their own right, the medal goes to the one that made our 20 hours of game time in fictional New York all the more rewarding and immersive. Good job, Insomniac!
Runners-Up: Daredevil Season 3, Avengers: Infinity War, Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, Aquaman.
Saga (Image Comics)
We received some of the best comic book adaptations in the form of movies and games in 2018, with Avengers: Infinity War, Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, and Marvel’s Spider-Man on the PS4. These great movies and games won’t even exist without the source material, so let’s not forget the comics.
There were many excellent comics in 2018, not only from the Big Two (Marvel and DC), but also other publishers like Image, Valiant and more. Ultimately, we had to give the best comic of 2018 award to Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples’ Saga.
If it seems unfair that we’re awarding this category to a six-year-old comic, I’d argue the opposite. The fact that Saga continues to be as fresh and brilliant as it was back in 2012 is a testament to the series itself, with its fascinating blend of science fiction and fantasy as well as unique humour and narrative never failing to impress even the most jaded among all of us.
This year has featured some of the most shocking issues of Saga yet, especially as it goes deeper in exploring the relationship between its characters like Marko and Alana, and tying up a few plot threads from the past few years.
Hazel’s narration never fails to grab us by the heartstrings, and it’s been amazing growing up with her through more than 50 issue to date.
Saga remains the first non-Marvel or DC comic book we would recommend to anyone, which is a testament to how good it still is. It’s unfortunate that we won’t be seeing the conclusion to that final cliffhanger anytime soon due to the creative team’s year-long hiatus.
Runners-Up: Dark Knights: Metal, Mister Miracle, The Immortal Hulk, Coda, X-Men: Red, Birthright
Best Comic Moment
The Entirety of Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #310
2018 was an amazing year for Spider-Man, to say the least. It had what some might refer to as two of the all-time best movie and game featuring the wall-crawler, namely Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse and Marvel’s Spider-Man for the PS4. The comics had one too in Chip Zdarsky’s final issue of Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man.
Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #310 is a standalone issue, telling the story of a couple of filmmakers going around New York to find out what the public opinion of the hero is. The issue starts with some humour, with differing opinions from different people, some who think that Spider-Man is a menace and some who think that he’s a hero.
The issue then focuses on the opinion of a woman who will never forget what Spider-Man did for her son, Kyle. Spider-Man was stopping a bunch of robbers when he realized that one of them was just a kid who was pressured into committing the crime, so he lets him go. That kid’s name was Kyle, but it didn’t end there.
Spidey followed up with Kyle, occasionally visiting him and helping him out with his homework. This went on until tragedy struck. What happens next is heartbreaking, and we won’t spoil it here. This issue’s a tearjerker and we’re not ashamed to say that tears were shed. This issue will surely be considered a classic in the years to come. The story ends with these two pages, which we believe perfectly encapsulates Spider-Man.
Runners-Up: Two Marvel Weddings (Gambit/Rogue, The Thing/Alicia Masters), The Return of the Fantastic Four, Mister Miracle’s Ending, Saga’s Cliffhanger.