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Rusty’s Comic of the Week: RASL #13

February 26, 2012
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A good comic week and a good saturday in general.


RASL #13 (Jeff Smith) Cartoon Books

I don’t buy much in the way of indy books. Heck, it was only recently that I added Image to my consideration list. (I still thought of Image as Spawn and Youngblood. Ick.) Many years ago I went to San Diego Comic Con. I was hanging out with a retailer from Calgary, Mike Moynihan, and through him I met Mike and Laura Allred (of Madman and now iZombie fame). We ended up spending most of the week together. It was nice. They are good people.

It was Mike (Allred, not Moynihan) who said he had just picked up the first four issues of this cool new comic. He recommended I give it a try. It was called ‘Bone’.

What a wonderful book. It is one of my ALL-TIME favourites.

(Aside… it may be time to contact Linda Medley. Over the years I have created a string of book books directly recommended to me. Mike Moyniham got me to try Madman. It was awesome. Then Mike Allred, the creator of Madman, got me to give Bone a go. It was Amazingly Awesome. So I then asked Jeff Smith, creator of Bone, for a recommendation. He suggested Castle Waiting. The trend continues…)

Anyway, when I heard Jeff Smith was doing a new book, I had to pick it up. Now, is Rasl as good as Bone was? No… but it is still pretty darned good. Dimensional travel. Art theft. Weird kid. Love. Nicola Tesla. What’s not to like?

Highly recommended.


SECRET AVENGERS #23 (Remender / Hardman / Breitweiser) Marvel

From one of my least favourite books to the top part of the list in just a couple months! The .1 issue by Remender showed promise but there was still something missing. The official first issue (last issue) was strong, but I still had some gripes. THIS issue, on the other hand, was excellent!  I am still not totally down with Hawkeye’s characterization, but I think it is going to change (Beast’s talk with him and the fact that it NEEDS to change to get Agent Venom on the team).

Two things really stole the show in this book. Beast laying the verbal smackdown on Hank Pym (I like Pym, but this attitude SHOULD exist towards him.) and Ant-Man. I have never really cared for the new Ant-Man but this issue changed that… of course it may be too late. 🙂


ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #7 (Bendis / Samnee / Ponsor) Marvel

Did I talk about Chris Samnee on this book already or I am just repeating what I said abut Amy Reeder on Batwoman? Normally I LOVE Samnee’s art. He was PERFECT on Cap & Bucky and I really loved his work on the old Ultimate Spidey book he did.

This time? Not so much.

I don’t know what it is. It is still well crafted but it just doesn’t seem to ‘fit’.

Still a strong book. The scenes where Miles is testing out his powers were great. The bit with Prowler and the Tinkerer were also really strong.


ALL-STAR WESTERN #6 (Jimmy Palmiotti / Justin Gray / Moritat / Phil Winslade) DC

A good book but the Batman refs are starting to get tiring. That underground tribe of people was just weird… and it felt pointless. The gun battle was cool and the teaser for next issue looks awesome! I am looking forward to New Orleans and a couple more classic DC western characters!

The back-up… well, I’ll just say that I am glad it is over. Hopefully I’ll dig the next one more.


FANTASTIC FOUR #603 (Hickman / Kitson / Mounts) Marvel

The most shocking thing in this issue? That letters praising the Bobillo art from FF.

I am not normally a big cosmic fan but this one was good. Clearing out the Kree and Inhumans while ramping up the Celestial / Galactus scrap was a good call. Looking forward to what happens next… which is something that wasn’t happening with the two FF books for a while.


AVENGERS ACADEMY #26 (Gage / Grummett / Hamscher / Sotomayor) Marvel

Uh, what’s with the cover? Was it supposed to be for last issue? Jocasta is IN the book, but that is where the connection ends.

I enjoyed this. It was pretty talky but that works for me. I was kind of disappointed that at least one main character didn’t switch sides (either direction) just for drama value. I really hope they are wrong about the kid. I think having an organization like that which actually does those things and isn’t secretly evil would be awesome.


FURY OF FIRESTORM #6 (Ethan Van Sciver / Gail Simone / Yildiray Cinar / Norm Rapmund) DC

I have waffled on Firestorm, but I like the way it is going. The emotional wringer that they are going through (especially Ronnie) feels real. The cover reads ‘CONSEQUENCES’. I hope they follow through with that.


CAPTAIN AMERICA & BUCKY #627 (Asmus / Brubaker / Francavilla) Marvel

I couldn’t care less. Since they left WW2 behind the book has been uninteresting (and the art is pretty weak at times). I am looking forward to the next iteration of this book.


AVENGERS SOLO #5 (Van Meter / Robinson / McCann / Kesel) Marvel

The credits on the cover don’t include the two incredibly awful pages by Declan Shalvey. Wow, do they suck.

Why can’t they make a decent Hawkeye comic. I feel dumber for having read this. Avengers Solo is the worst book I have read over the past year (and that INCLUDES Avengers X-Sanction.)



Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Fables #114

February 19, 2012

Interesting week. Nothing really blew me away, but there were some solid reads. Disappointing art in a lot of books… including one bad enough that I may drop it.


FABLES #114 (Willinham / Buckingham / Leialoha / McManus) Vertigo

Q: How many storylines were advanced in this comic? A: A lot.

From Winter to Spratt. From Oz to an interesting talking boat. nice McManus art in the back-up. I a, looking forward to the next issue ! (And to Fairest.)


AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #679.1 (Yost / Slott / Clark / Palmer) Marvel

The secret is out… but Morbius leads to another classic Spidey foe (just in time for the movie…) The big strength in this issue was all about the scipting. There were some very funny bis and Uatu was a treat. Dan Slott has made a wonderful supporting cast and Chris Yost was a seamless addition to the team.


THUNDERBOLTS #170 (Parker / Walker / Pallot / Martin) Marvel

I still have some issues with the art… Troll’s costume is ridiculous and Moonstone does not look very… natural. The story, though, is very strong. Merlin is great in here. Ghost rejoining the squad… Boomerang’s ‘creative’ thinking. The best moment was Troll taming herself a dragon. Any chance it joined them in their tower? Now THAT would have been something…


AVENGING SPIDER-MAN #4 (Zeb Wells / Greg Land / Jay Leister / Wil Quintana) Marvel

Land seemed a lot less… bad tracing job this issue. Keeping him away from female characters might be a good thing. The little insight into Hawkeye’s character seemed more like answering to stupid comic readers that think that power is everything rather than actually reflecting the character. but the story worked. Next is SPidey and Cap.


NEW AVENGERS #21 (Bendis / Deodato / Mounts) Marvel

New is the better of the two main Avengers books right now, despite the Deodato art. I enjoyed this book despite DESPISING the character of Ragnarok. I am enjoying ht return of Osborne story but if this gets anywhere near actually havign the governemnt consider reinstating him… well, that is just too stupid for words.


WINTER SOLDIER #2 (Brubaker / Guice / Breitweiser) Marvel

The marvel espionage book. It even had some Fury in it. I do wish they woudl change the name, though. A: He is NOT Winter Soldier, and B: this is a TEAM book. A team of Bucky and Natasha. Name it something to fit.


AVENGERS #22 (Bendis / Guedes / Magalhaes / Keith) Marvel

The story isn’t bad but the art is really sloppy. What is with the cover? This book reads almost like Under Seige but the art really distracts.


WONDER WOMAN #6 (Brian Azzarello / Tony Akins / Dan Green) DC

Speaking of art being a distraction, I am sure looking forward to Cliff Chiang returning to this book. The story is falling into place, but Akins is too ‘straight-forward’ for this quirky take on WW and the gods.


ULTIMATE X-MEN #7 (Spencer / Barberi / Wong / Gracia) Marvel

This may be the last issue I get of this. The story wasn’t interesting. The ‘twists’ did not excite me. The art was SO bad. Look at the Wanda reveal. Wow. I mean holy crap. That art is embarrassing in it s awfulness. Is it 1993 again and I didn’t notice.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: The Unwritten #34

February 13, 2012
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Solid, though relatively small, week. The battle for the top spot was TIGHT!

Though there was one BIG disappointment.


THE UNWRITTEN #34 (Carey / Gross / Perker) Vertigo

A strong issue clear through. I really liked how the heroes weren’t stupid just to make the trap better. It seems the cover should be for NEXT issue rather than this one. I foudn the art wasn’t as tight as usual, but no real complaints. I REALLY wanted to see what Tom pulled out of that mouth. Guess not…


THIEF OF THIEVES #1 (Kirkman / Spencer / Martinborough / Serrano) Image

This was REALLY close to taking the #1 spot, and I hadn’t even ordered it! It was a small enough week that I took a chance on a book I had heard good things about, and I am sure glad I did! The art is really nice and the story has just enough of a hook to keep me waiting for the next issue. Not a super-power in sight…


CAPTAIN AMERICA #8 (Brubaker / Davis / Farmer / Martin) Marvel

The new Cap series, especially since Alan Davis joined, feels like a throwback to the 80’s for me, and that is a good thing. It feels like Mark Gruenwald could have been writing it. This and Avengers Academy are the books that seem like they remember what comics were like BEFORE the 90’s damn near destroyed the industry for me.


BATGIRL #6 (Gail Simone / Ardian Syaf / Vicente Cifuentes) DC

A pleasant surprise. This book has been annoying me with Gail Simone’s refusal to address the massive elephant that has been in the roof since the series was announced… and it still annoys me. The interplay between Batgirl and Batman made this issue very enjoyable, though. I especially like the way Batgirl was concerned with the villain. Sure the parallels were a little sledgehammerish, but they worked.


SECRET AVENGERS #22 (Remender / Hardman / Breitweiser) Marvel

This was mostly quite good. Another ‘throwback’ style comic, like Captain America. but a couple of things didn’t sit well. Has Captain Britain been that obnoxious for a while? I sure don’t remember him that way. Plus, while the ‘provocative clothing’ comment didn’t seem unrealistic, it also rubbed me he wrong way. I realize they were making fun of the terrorists, rather than muslims in general… but still.


BATWOMAN #6 (J.H. Williams III / W. Haden Blackman / Amy Reeder / Richard Friend / Rob Hunter) DC

This was a disappointment, in a lot of ways. Look, Batwoman has been CotW around these parts. Let’s be honest, J.H. Williams III is probably the best comic designer in the business right now. I like what some other artists do in the way of design (Marco Martin’s two-page Spidey back-ups leap to  mind) but Williams is the best.

MEANWHILE, when they announced Amy Reeder (has she dropped the Hadley?) was going to alternate arcs with Williams and there was consternation and gnashing of teeth, it didn’t come from here. Her work on Madame Xanadu was exemplary. A book that alternates between these two great artists has to be great, right?


Here’s the thing… the story is not strong. The Batwoman that was brilliant had Williams drawing over Rucka’s story. Now it is Williams and Blackman doing the story and I think the amazing art has been hiding a fairly lacklustre script. On top of that… this isn’t the Madame Xanadu Amy Reeder. Her action scenes are weak and what amazed me the most… her faces were not crisp. That was one of her strengths before!

I don’t get it. The book isn’t bad, but it was disappointing enough to drop to the bottom of the list.


VERTIGO PREVIEW 2012 (Lots of people) Vertigo

It is here because it isn’t a satisfying read, but… there are four previews and here is my take and how this preview has netted them some sales.

DOMINIQUE LAVEAU: VOODOO CHILD (Selwyn Seyfu Hinds / Denys Cowan / John Floyd)

I was not impressed with the preview. I found it jerky (which is a trait I find in lost of comics these days… a trait I don’t like) Ruthanne liked it hough and we are going to give it a shot… at least for a trial run.

THE NEW DEADWARDIANS (Dan Abnett / I.N.J. Culbard)

I quite liked this one, The premise is interesting and the art flows nicely. The characters have enough to get me to want more… and the preview was timed at quite well. We are adding it.

SAUCER COUNTRY (Paul Cornell / Ryan Kelly)

Sold. Nice story. Interesting characters. I want more.

FAIREST (Bill Willingham / Phil Jimenez / Andy Lanning)

This is the only one we were already down for… and it was the best preview. I am looking forward to it.


Good News? Bad News?

February 9, 2012

Travel Foreman is off Animal Man, replaced by Steve Pugh, as of issue #9.


I think it is good news. My friend Shayne probably thinks it is bad news.


It probably depends on Steve Pugh. Still got it, Steve?

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Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Amazing Spider-Man #679

February 2, 2012
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So, I have been sick for days now. All the way through the weekend and just getting worse and worse. I finally stayed home today which means… early comics!


So, how were the comics that had to get me through a sick day? Pretty darned good, actually!


AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #679 (Slott / Ramos / Olazaba / Delgado) Marvel

I know that Kin down at Silver Snail hates time travel stories, but I don’t! This is two really good ones in short order (the Black Widow story in Secret Avengers is the other that comes to mind). I LOVED the resolution of this two parter. Strong story, strong characterization. Amazing Ramos art. This issue had it all! “To Be Continued… Last Issue!”


ANIMAL MAN #6 (Lemire / Leon / Foreman / Huet) DC

In soem ways this was a ‘break’ issue… but not really. This interlude told us a LOT about Buddy… and Cliff. And the ART! If John Paul Leon were to take over on Animal Man I would be thrilled! I am not a Travel Foreman hater, but the transition back to Foreman on the last few pages was jarring, because the Leon stuff was so good. The parallels between Buddy and Red Thunder were obvious but I would like to see more of the ‘movie’.


iZOMBIE #22 (Chris Roberson / Michael Allred) Vertigo

After a nice interlude, we are back to some great Mike Allred art! The story is moving along with all of its disparate pieces. There are so many characters that it would be heard to keep them straight, except they are all so well-delineated. (Dixie is a retired monster hunter? Did we know that already?)


WINTER SOLDIER #1 (Ed Brubaker / Butch Guice / Bettie Breitweiser) Marvel

For a while Bucky was Captain America… kind of. It was always a terrible fit. This was not Captain America in any way, shape or form. He always seemed like a completely different character that just seemed silly using someone else’s name. Kind of like the Young Avengers Hawkeye. Good character but hurting due to the inappropriate name choice.

BUT, as blatantly obvious that he was NOT Captain America, the Brubaker BuckyCap books were really good! So now, with the launch of Winter Soldier, we get more of those books without the extra baggage, while the Cap book has gone back to being a good CAP book. EVERYONE WINS!

And this book IS good. The title seems to only be there because calling a comic ‘Bucky’ would be lame (though I wish it was WS & Black Widow, as she is clearly a co-lead).

Question: what is the connection between Mitch and Bettie Breitweiser?


AVENGERS ACADEMY #25 (Gage / Grummett / Hamscher / Sotomayor) Marvel

Is that kid’s Sentinel destroyed? I hope not. Another good AA book. I am not a big fan of ‘Hey, let’s just whip together this gadget to fix everything’, but hey. The time travel thing was good. The Jocasta bit was telegraphed, but Veil wasn’t. Looking forward to next issue and… THE RUNAWAYS! Woo-hoo!


SWAMP THING #6 (Scott Snyder / Marco Rudy) DC

Why so low for a book I have said is one of my favourite of the new DC books? No Yanick Paquette for one, but mostly it is a style of book that I don’t like. The whole issue is a sort of willpower struggle where lots is on the line but nothing actually happens. It is kind of like the equivalent to the old wrestling submission moves like the abdominal stretch. They act like everybody is straining hard but it is just dragging things out until the inevitable hip toss.


THE DEFENDERS #3 (Fraction / Dodson / Dodson / Oback) Marvel

Well, the book LOOKS pretty! Is that it for Nul? Not exactly the big threat he seemed… A little deus ex machina there, but I guess that was the point.


THE TWELVE #9  (J.Michael Straczynski / Chris Weston) Marvel

When did issue #8 come out? 2010?

Not actually a bad comic, but how can you hold any interest with that kind of schedule. I do believe that there is a real story here and I look forward to reading it all when it is finished. By then I may be reading it on my private holo-viewer, though.


AVENGERS: X-SANCTION #3 (Jeph Loeb / Ed McGuiness / Dexter Vines / Morry Hollowell) Marvel

#1 had about as much story as I expect from that wretched AVX: Vs series. (none.) #2 had hints of story. This issue had ACTUAL story. It wasn’t enough to make the book more than passable… but that is a big step up.

Before Watchmen

February 1, 2012
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So, there are going to be a bunch of Watchmen prequels.


I am absolutely opposed in principle.


There is no way I would want to support this.






Did you see those creative teams?

MAN these look good!