Comic books, graphic novels, whatever you want to call them -- it was a very good year for characters new and old, for revitalizing creaky concepts and republishing some classics.
Dr. Strange: The Oath (Marvel)
Protean writer Brian K. Vaughan, who freely professed to have disliked this circa-1960s supernatural superhero, didn't demolish the character of Dr. Stephen Strange. Instead, he did what he does in the other comics he writes, such as Runaways and Y: The Last Man he made Strange talk like a regular human, and gave him regular human emotions of doubt, confusion, and anger. The result was a funny, likable, unexpectedly emotional series.