Rusty's World

Prometheus

August 31, 2012
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This is not a post about comics but it seems to fit here better than my poetry blog…

Last night I went and saw Prometheus with my friend and fellow poet, Kevin Matthews. This was the movie I was MOST looking forward to this year, but the rather lacklustre response when it came out took the bloom off that rose (and The Avengers stole that thunder by being awesome).

So I finally went and saw it at the Mayfair.

I liked it. It wasn’t amazing, but I liked it. Kevin probably summed it up best when he said “not as good as the first two, but better than 3 and Resurrection.” I agree with that (though 3 is better than people give it credit for).

Now, to get this out of the way, I will not try to hide spoilers or the like here. If you haven’t seen it and don’t want it spoiled, look away.

Still here? Okay.

The story is good. The concepts are good. The script s good. The acting (for the most part) is good.

Where I had a problem was the cgi. Not that it was bad, just that it overpowered the story in places. One of the things that made Alien so amazing is that it gave you sidelong glances into a horrifying world. We never got a good look at the pilot (the big elephant person that we now call the Engineers). We got an unclear look through bad video footage. This time we see everything very clearly, and it is not nearly so scary. The best example I can think of is the difference between the facehugger leaping out of the egg and the snake-thing forcing itself down the biologist’s throat. The facehugger was WAY freakier and when you saw it wrapped around his face, IT WAS ACTUALLY WRAPPED AROUND HIS FACE. This time we saw what was obviously a CGI snake pushing its way into an obviously CG-altered mouth. It just isn’t the same. It loses a lot of the edge.

I am not anti-CGI. It was used very well on the planet surface etc. It just made the actual aliens (no capital a) less menacing.

The analogy I used after the movie was that George Lucas proved that finally getting to do things the way you wanted does not always make for a better movie. Ridley Scott proved that again here.

Another big change is that in Alien they created an iconic monster. Here they instead went for a bunch of different threats. We had the snake-creature. We had the zombie-monster created out of the snake-creature’s blood. We had the guy infected by the black ooze (we never got to see how that one would have turned out. My guess is scanners-style head explosion like with the engineer head they found). We had the baby Cthulu and the grown version. We had the Engineer itself. Then, at the very end, we saw the next step in the creation of the Alien alien.

Most of it worked (though the zombie dude seemed to only exist to kill off some of the cast and to have the shit hitting the fan with everyone else while Shaw removed the Cthulu alien), but it seemed to be too many ideas all at once.

But maybe it wasn’t. What actually happened here? Kevin and I agreed that it isn’t always clear. The Engineers created human life on earth (and many other planets, by the looks of things) and now want to wipe it out. Why? They never say (which is fine). It is a pretty major plot point, actually, that they want to know but never get to find out.

So, what happened? The Engineers were willing to die to populate the world… were they willing to die to depopulate it?

I don’t think so. The first hologram we saw on the planet showed them running, seemingly in fear, and one of them dying when the door closed on its head. Why did the door kill him? I think the answer is elsewhere in the movie. Remember when Vickers wouldn’t let the Doc back on the Prometheus? I think that is what happened here. The Engineer was infected and they tried to keep him out to stop the infection from spreading. They stopped him, but it didn’t matter, based on the pile of bodies.

I think they created a bio-weapon that they couldn’t control and it killed them. A mistake happened and we see the aftermath.

Remember, the only ‘monster’ alien we see that hasn’t been created out of human interference is the snake creature. When it infects someone, their heads explode. They are nothing more than a fancy alien virus. The other effect they have is to create the zombie creature, but that looks to be a side-effect rather than anything else. He was killing people but he wasn’t… propagating.

Kevin thought they were trying to ‘replace’ people with a better organism. I don’t think so… but there is another piece of evidence to support that theory which I will get to later.

What do we know about the capital A Aliens? The form they take is affected by the creature they gestate within. We saw that with the dog in Alien3 and the Predator in AVP (which may not be canon, but whatever…). The alien evolves.

We see that here.

How did the other monsters come about? David took some of the black goop that otherwise does nothing that we see for sure. It seems to create the snake creatures out of the little worms that we see (much like the zombie creature is created out of the geologist).  He then got the Doc to drink it. Then the Doc had sex with Shaw.

I’m sorry, but I have to think none of this was planned by the Engineers when they made the bioweapon (at least I assume they made it, at this point). It changed things. When Shaw got pregnant a whole new creature had been created. It didn’t take on physical characteristics of its ‘mother’, but it did change from it’s former form. I actually think it is meant to be incredibly mutated sperm mixed with the same stuff that made the snake creature… but that is probably overthinking it.

(Side note: Scott finally got to include sex in an Alien movie. It was supposed to be in the first one but it got cut from the script.)

Then the creature, left alone, grows. Was it altered by the medical equipment? Maybe by the sterilization procedure (that obviously failed)?

Then it fought and defeated the Engineer. It used the new facehugging abilities (which we saw in a proto-format on the snake) and ‘infected’ the Engineer. Again, we are down a new rabbit hole here. The thing they created was not MEANT to work this one. It was David’s interference that started this chain of events.

In the end we see a more direct link. That isn’t the Alien we have come to know, but it is closer. The evolution has continued, and will continue.

But… there is a but. I’ll get to that at the end.

This is good stuff. That is the core of the movie and that is what made it good despite its flaws.

 

Oh… one last flaw: Guy Pearce was terrible. I don’t think I can blame him for the horrible old-man make-up they gave him. His story arc was fine, but every time he was on the screen I groaned a little bit internally.

Some good stuff:  Ridley Scott gave a bunch of cool little nods to both Alien and other movies. The “Good morning, Dave” from 2001 was a nice little laugh. The fact that an escape pod was sent off with an alien monster still aboard for an extra surprise was a nice touch. There were lots of little things like that.

 

 

But there is still that one thing. The little bit that makes the whole theory fall apart.

In the ‘temple’ you can see a carving of something that looks an awful lot like the original Alien. But with my theory, it has never existed at that point, so why would they have a carving of it?  In short, I don’t know. Kevin says it is because they is what they are MAKING and what it is engineered to become. That makes sense but I don’t think it fits with everything else that went on.

I’m going to go with it kind of being a mistake. Another little nod to Alien despite it making a bit of a plot hole.

 

Do you like Alien? If so, watch Prometheus… but I imagine you already have.


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Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Before Watchmen: Dr.Manhattan

August 29, 2012
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This was a big, but really good, week. There was only one really disappointing book and a number of very good ones.

 

Starting at the weakest…

 

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #692 (Slott / Ramos / Alazaba / Delgado / more) Marvel

Here is the disappointing book. I really enjoy Slott’s Spidey, but this book doesn’t hold up. First off t falls under the spell of the BIG ANNIVERSARY ISSUE, which means padded with extra cliche stories that just retread the same stuff we have seen hundreds of times before. It is the main story that was the disappointment, though. It introduces Alpha as Peter without Uncle Ben (and WAY more powerful) if that makes sense. It doesn’t work. If he wasn’t so powerful you might think it is a new character that could learn and grow, but he is too powerful. As it is, the best we could hope for is Sentry… and that is pretty bad.

Let’s see: unlikeable character with no long term prospects… uh, why is this a big deal again?

Disappointing.

 

SECRET AVENGERS #30 (Remender / Scalera / Wilson) Marvel

This almost fell below ASM, but for the great twist. LMDs are not people, no matter how much they want to be. I guess Ant-Man can’t get a new hat either. Remender also failed Taskmaster 101 (that’s okay, MANY writers make the same mistake): he CAN’T copy the style of Spider-Men because Spider-man does things that are physically impossible for someone who doesn’t have his abilities… which Taskmaster doesn’t. If he wants to beat Venom, he needs to do it as Captain America and Iron Fist etc. NOT Spidey.

 

JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #12 (Jeff Lemire / Mikel Janin) DC

The backstory for Dr. Mist was nice, as was the plan to divert the heroes. Question: dos the death of Zatara scene mean that the whole Alan Moore Swamp Thing story is in continuity in the new 52? So, who is the main bad guy? Should I recognize him? I am familiar with Blackbriar Thorn but not Black Boris.

 

FABLES #120 (Willingham / Buckingham / Leialoha / McManus) Vertigo

This is the worst issue of Fables in quite some time, which doesn’t make it awful, but well below it;s usual standard of excellence. So the kid goes crazy, sees visions, and kills himself in order to save his sister… which of course will turn out to be the right thing to do which may or may not leave him dead or whatever… you know what? Reading this issue alone, I don’t care. There is no suspense here, just a rambling mess of a character. Maybe it will work when read WITH the preceding issues.

 

THE ULTIMATES #14 (Humphries / Tan / Green / Pallot / Noor) Marvel

Now things are hitting the fan. They got Texas but lost the west coast and Wyoming. There is no longer a ruling body in the U.S. and somebody (ahem Loki ahem) is stirring up trouble everywhere he can. Great story. Too bad the art is fairly subpar.

 

ROCKETEER: CARGO OF DOOM #1 (Waid / Samnee) IDW

I don’t normally get Rocketeer but when I heard Chris Samnee was drawing a mini written by Mark Waid, I thought he would be a natural for it. I was wrong, kind of. Don’t get me wrong, he is great and the comic is really good and I don’t regret buying it at all and I will get the rest… but he isn’t as perfect as Ithought. Basically, he isn’t Dave Stevens. Nobody is, but when Betty showed up, well, nobody does Betty like Stevens. R.I.P.

Good, fun comic though. Give it a try.

 

BATMAN INCORPORATED #3 (Grant Morrison / Chris Burnham) DC

Are we sure that this is Morrison? It seemed a lot more… linear that I am used to from him. The story lays out in a pretty orderly fashion, with everything you need to know explained well and the characters moving forward in a fully comprehensible manner. Well done. (Though I would like to say, “Hey Batman… it is a trap, duh!”)

 

THE UNWRITTEN #40 (Mike Carey / Peter Gross) Vertigo

Speaking of things being a little clearer, the new Unwritten arc joins the old one right here. Everything worked: the unicorn, the new power couple Tom Taylor (isn’t he writing the new Rose and Thorn comic)… but especially the bopmb. That was just awesome.

 

AMERICA’S GOT POWERS #3 (Jonathan Ross / Bryan Hitch) Image

Ouch. So Zero gives other people powers – I think we knew that. But he can’t control it or who the powers go to? Or can he? Was Quarterback going to kill him on live TV? That seems like a bit of a stretch. I like this book… it is very character driven, which is the best way to go if you want me on board.

 

ALL-STAR WESTERN #12 (Palmiotti / Gray / Moritat / Kolins) DC

Tallulah kicks ass. She just beat them all, single handedly. That includes the ninja woman he beat the tar out of Jonah Hex and Tallulah handled her like she was nothing. One story wrapped up and another is starting. I thought this was going to get Hex away from the lame Batman references, but it looks like Arkham is along for the ride. That’s okay. He isn’t as cheesy as Mayor Cobblepot and the Court of Owls refs.

 

BRILLIANT #4 (Bendis / Bagley) Icon

Do you know what comics don’t do very well? Setting superpowers in the ‘real’ world. Brilliant is giving it a go and so far, so good. Overpowered kid with crazy energy abilities that is taking down loads of cops? Shoot him in the head. The interrogation panels is a well Bendis goes to too often, but it worked here. It properly set off the scared and scattered nature of the kids. Good book thus far.

 

SUPER CROOKS #4 (Mark Millar / Leinil Yu) Icon

RIght up until the last book I read, it looked like Super Crooks was going to be the book of the week. This issue made the whole series better. The way they pulled off the heist was a cool twist of the genre. The extra twist about the costumes made it even better. Read the trade. It is a bit gratuitous at times but I nice, self-contained story in all.

 

BEFORE WATCHMEN: DR. MANHATTAN #1 (J.Michael Straczynski / Adam Hughes) DC

Wow. This is a very, very good comic. The stream of consciousness (from a consciousness that is anything but routine) combined with the amazing AH! artwork makes the best comic of the week. The whole comic is Schroedinger’s Cat writ large. It is no coincidence that the first time they show this concept it involves a cat in a box. Has he just changed time? Has he erased himself from existence or did he witness a parallel world?

And, of course, Adam Hughes drawing Silk Spectre in such a way that you believe completely that ‘Jon’ would be drawn to her. This also makes you wonder, what would have happened if he DIDN’T change those names? Would Nite Owl and Silk Spectre have been together all along? What sort of influence would Rorschach have had on Dr. Manhattan?

Great comic.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Saga #6

August 20, 2012
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A really solid week for comics.

 

Starting at the weakest.

 

AVENGERS #29 (Bendis / Simonson / Hanna / Keith) Marvel

What a mess. The last Bendis Avengers issue (New) gave us a talky issue to answer some possible complaints / concerns about the AVX plot, with great success. This issue tries to do the same but crashes and burns. Let’s start with the art. I am a BIG fan of Walt Simonson. Period. But this issue was just not so great. Ruthanne was quite put off by the Spider-Woman butt shot right up front, while I just found it a little…sloppy.

Then comes the plot. The question is, why doesn’t Xavier just shut down everyone psionically? You could ask the same question about every story ever published in the Marvel Universe! How do they normally get around that? Simple, Xavier doesn’t DO that. It is against his code of ethics.

Oh wait, except this time. He is on the Avengers side but won’t stop the X-Men. Oh, but he is more than willing to totally breach his own ethics by MIND-WIPING EVERYONE INVOLVED!

Ridiculous.

 

BEFORE WATCHMEN: RORSCHACH #1 (Brian Azzarello / Lee Bermejo) DC

I am not opposed to Before Watchmen. At all. Some of them have been very good. Some of them have been very bad ( {ahem} Nite Owl {ahem} ). But this is the first one that has made me go… why?

I am just not sure there is anything more than need be said about Rorschach. If you do anything to change him, that’s no good, but otherwise you are just retreading the character we already know.We’ll see…

 

CAPTAIN MARVEL #2 (Kelly Sue DeConnick / Dexter Soy) Marvel

The time travel story has been fairly predictable, but I see what DeConnick is doing with it. For the second issue in a row she is letting us in on a little HERstory, if you will. It is a nice touch without being preachy at all. The art is a little…manga for my taste, but it isn’t bad. At least it isn’t all cheesecakey like DC would have done with this book. Benes or somebody…

 

AVENGERS ACADEMY #35 (Gage / DiVito / Sotomayor) Marvel

So it turns out this story is the book’s swansong. Too bad. It has been a solid read. Too bad they can’t maintain a decent art team. Grummet is good but the rest have been fairly subpar.

The story unfolds the way you know it has to, complete with that little “you can only be cured ONCE!” caveat. Still, it was a nice read and the scenes between Hazmat and Mettle really worked.

 

BATWOMAN #12 (J.H. Williams III / W. Haden Blackman) DC

This is half way back to being a good comic! Great art! Now if only we could get a decent writer so the story is a little more comprehensible.

 

WONDER WOMAN #12 (Brian Azzarello / Cliff Chiang) DC

Much better. Gods fighting. Strife living up to her nature and a traitor! A new King of the Gods! This book is just a very solid read.

 

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #691 (Slott / Camuncoli / Janson / Green / D’Armata) Marvel

Dan Slott just did something I didn’t know was possible. He made me care about the Lizard. Lizard stories have a certain pattern to them. Connors turns into the Lizard. Spidey fights the Lizard. Spidey turns the Lizard back into Connors.

Slott turned that on its ear. It still felt the same until the ending when the nature of the creature changed, or at least the way we look at him. Then that final inner monologue…

 

AVENGERS VS X-MEN #10 (Brubaker / Kubert / Dell / Martin) Marvel

This issue did what it had to do. It moved Emma into a full villain and forced Cyclops to go face her so that he can become the PHoenix in full by the end of issue #11 so he can fight, and lose, and die in issue #12.

But it did it well.

 

SAUCER COUNTRY #6 (Paul Cornell / Jimmy Broxton) Vertigo

This issue (with a new artist, yes?) gives us a lot of talking to know where we stand about UFOs and aliens in the world of the story. It kind of reminded me of watching JFK… and I am one of the few people who would say that is a good thing.

 

REVIVAL #2 (Tim Seeley / Mike Norton) Image

Nice. This book is only on issue 2 but I am really enjoying following along The exorcist on the cover will be an interesting addition to the cast. I already feel like I CARE about the characters… and that morgue scene… who didn’t see it coming but it was awesome anyway! When will this be optioned?

 

SAGA #6 (Brian K. Vaughan / Fiona Staples) Image

Kin at Silver Snail accurately predicted that this would be my comic of the week. Right-o! The characters… ALL of the characters… are note perfect. A rocketship tree! Breaking the sword! Grandparents!

Only one bad thing… no new issue for the next two months?! Aaaarrrgghhh!!


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Spider-Men #4

August 16, 2012
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Sorry this is so late. We are in the middle of home renovations and the idea of free time is pretty foreign. Today I am installing a new closet. Tomorrow is back to flooring.

 

From weakest to strongest, as usual.

 

IT GIRL AND THE ATOMICS #1 (Jamie S. Rich / Mike Norton / Allen Passalaqua / crank!) Image

Is it just me? Am I the only one who ordered ‘Michael Allred’s It Girl and the Atomics’ and expected it to be by Michael Allred? I doubt it. Very disappointing and bordering on false advertising. It DOES say on the cover that it is by the ‘creators of Spell Checkers and Battlepug’ but much less prominently than Allred’s name. Mike even does the cover.

Oh… I have never heard of either Spell Checkers or Battlepug.

So, that aside, is the comic any good?

It is okay. The opening bit nearly had me not finishing the comic, but that turned out to be a swerve. I’ll be getting #2. Maybe with different expectations I will enjoy it more.

 

BEFORE WATCHMEN: OZYMANDIAS #2 (Len Wein / Jae Lee) DC

Remember what I said about #1? That again.

The Lee art is beautiful. The two page spread with Ozy springing into action is amazing. The story, on the other hand, does not measure up. It is trite and predictable. It also covers too much ground in a single issue, but that seems to be a common problem with some of these BW minis. Still way better than Nite Owl. Probably better than Comedian as well.

 

AVENGERS ASSEMBLE #6 (Bendis / Bagley / Miki / Mounts) Marvel

Still the weakest of the Avengers book. (Did you hear? Avengers Academy is cancelled! It is a lot better than this book…) The ‘quip’ level seemed to be out of place here as they try to get a cosmic cube back from Thanos. They should be worried that he is going to blink the universe out of existence, but no… still with the bon mots. The Guardians of the Galaxy are supposedly the big selling point this issue… and they continue to be not very interesting. Keep Rocket Racoon, Groot and maybe Bug and toss the rest of them. The Iron Man / Hulk trick served no real purpose whatsoever. A fully armed and armoured Iron Man should be every bit as scary as Hulk, so what is the upgrade?

Not a great book.

 

CAPTAIN AMERICA #16 (Brubaker / Bunn / Eaton / Magyar / GURU eFX) Marvel

Still with villains I don’t care about. Also, the art is much weaker this issue. So what DID this book have going for it? The Sharon / Dum Dum team! I really like their parts of the book. Oh, and the panel with Falcon asking Dugan “Is that a human head?” is awesome.

If it wasn’t for the coming shift in creative teams, I would not feel confident in the continued existence of this book on my pull list. I am beginning to think the name Cullen Bunn ranks up there with Chuck Austen on the do-not-buy list.

 

NEW AVENGERS #29 (Bendis / Deodato / Beredo) Marvel

When is an all-talk book worth getting? Well, often, honestly. This book is supposed to be about Cap and Namor but what makes it good is the opportunity to see what the characters are thinking and why they are doing what they are doing. Everyone blaming Xavier and Richards reminding the Avengers what they are fighting against (and letting us see why the Ultimate version of Reed is not so far fetched.)

One question? What’s with the cover? I have been vocal about my dislike of Deodato’s work… though I am coming around on him… but why get a cover artist who is CLEARLY inferior to the interior artist. You are doing it wrong.

 

FAIREST #6 (Willingham / Jimenez / Lanning) Vertigo

This story would have been better if it ended last issue. They had a perfectly good method of defeating her, but no. THey had to switch it for an incredibly stupid twist just so Briar Rose could win the fight. THen we get a bunch of epilogue and that is it.

Still, I guess it was done alright. The art was great as always.

Wow. I am bring really negative this morning. Must be because I am tired. I really enjoyed this week’s comics and I am just slagging them.

 

THE MASSIVE #3 (Brian Wood / Kristian Donaldson / Dave Stewart) Dark Horse

I have seen reviews of this series that complain that they spend too much time world building. Poppycock! That is what makes this book so great! It isn’t plot driven, or character driven, it is world driven. It Gives it a really different feel from other books on the racks.

Oddly enough, the only thing about this book I didn’t like was someone else’s review. 🙂  Kin of Silver Snail said he liked that this book is proving that you can’t be nonviolent in a violent world. Let’s just say, if that IS what this book ends up being about, I will like it a lot less.

I think it isn’t going to be about that, though. I think it is going to show that you CAN. (While keeping Mag around to provide the action for the readers.)

 

SPIDER-MEN #4 (Bendis / Pichelli / Ponsor) Marvel

Ignore the cover. Not only does nothing like that happen, but that is a good thing. This comic is ALL about Peter and May and Gwen and Mary Jane. I am not afraid to admit that this book get me a little weepy. The emotional yet never overbearing punch provided by Bendis and Pichelli is just amazing. The worst thing about this issue? That there is only one more.

Hey, is Miles going to have webshooters now?


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Hawkeye #1

August 5, 2012
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Anybody who knows me at all should not be surprised at my comic of the week choice.

Big week, made bigger because I missed two books last week and got them this week.

 

Starting from the weakest.

 

BEFORE WATCHMEN: NITE OWL #2 (J.Michael Straczynski / Andy Kubert / Joe Kubert) DC

Wow, was this ever a trashy comic. Bad story, bad writing, bad everything. Even the art wasn’t great. (Not terrible, though)

My only question at this point is whether I will miss the pirate back-up parts I don’t get if I don’t finish this miniseries.

 

WORLDS’ FINEST #4 (Levitz / Perez / Maguire / Koblish) DC

Why are we still getting this? Oh yeah… wanting to support female led books. And, in fact, that is what is good about the books. The characters of Huntress and Power Girl are interesting. (That and the great art), but the problem is that the villain they are facing… well, who cares? No character. No motivation. No nothing. They even ask the question on the cover without even thinking about answering it.

 

DIAL H #4 (China Mieville / Mateus Santolouco) DC

Just when this books tarted getting better, this confusing mess comes out. What is it with writers who try to hide the plot? In fact, this WOUDL have been below WF except the scene where the ‘hero’ turns himself into a hero WITHOUT his magic dial… well, that was nice moment.

 

BEFORE WATCHMEN: COMEDIAN #2 (Brian Azzarello / J.G. Jones) DC

I still don’t like the Forrest Gump version of the Watchmen. (‘So Comedian is chatting with Bobby Kennedy at the Ali / Liston fight…’) Having said that, much like the first issue, they do a decent job with such an annoying conceit.

 

AVENGERS ACADEMY #34 (Gage / Grummett / Hamscher / Sotomayor) Marvel

Tom Grummett is back! Yay! The story is continuing respecting the AvX continuity but not making it an integral part of the book! Yay! Jeremy Briggs is back! Yay!

What I didn’t like was the quickness that Briggs revealed his master plan. That seems like something that they should stew with a while. Is he good or not? The answer is emphatically not. Okay.

I also don’t like the existence of SPINtech. I didn’t like in A:I and I don’t like it here. It is too pat. There is a reason that Forge’s nullifier (Or whatever it was killed) was destroyed.

 

AVENGING SPIDER-MAN #10 (DeConnick / T.Dodson / R.Dodson / Delgado) Marvel

Another solid issue of Captain Marv… I mean Avenging Spider-Man. Seriously though, if this is the tone that the on-going Captain MArvel book is going to have, I’m all in.

 

iZOMBIE #28 (Chris Roberson / Michael Allred) Vertigo

A decent wrap-up to a prematurely ended book. This book reminds us what went wrong, with too many characters and plot threads all ending up here. The final resolution really worked for me, though. And no, not because Gwen got naked.

 

NATIONAL COMICS: ETERNITY #1 (Jeff Lemire / Cully Hamner / Derec Donovan) DC

So, when does one of the dead weight D 52 books (like Resurrection Man or something) get cancelled so Jeff Lemire’s Eternity can become a regular book?

Would it help if I said please?

 

ANIMAL MAN #12 (Jeff Lemire / Scott Snyder / Steve Pugh) DC

Speaking of Lemire… the Rotworld story ‘starts’ here (really it started in issue #1, but who is counting). I love the mix between the aggressive ‘male’ attitudes of Buddy and Swampy – ‘we are going to take the fight to them!’ – and the more protective ‘female’ attitude of Ellen – ‘we need to protect Maxine and save Cliff!’ Well done… and as we fight out next issue…

 

SWAMP THING #12 (Snyder / Lemire / Rudy / Green / Owens) DC

…the men aren’t exactly correct in their decision. I wasn’t thrilled with the ‘you ladies mind the fort while us menfolk go off to battle’ bit but the women found themselves neck deep in it pretty fast regardless.

One thing I will say right now… the thing that Arcane said about them being in there for a year? Baloney. Mark my words.

 

THIEF OF THIEVES #7 (Kirkman / Spencer / Martinbrough / Serrano) Image

Nick Spencer wrapped up the opening arc of the book and a smart and stylish way. The cops were outsmarted but in a way that ensured that Redmond has to continue in the thief biz. I am looking forward to seeing what James Asmus can do with it. I am also looking forward to seeing what AMC can do with it.

 

RASL #15 (Jeff Smith) Cartoon Books

Speaking of comics that have been optioned… we have the wrap up of Rasl. Quite satisfying, but the twist didn’t feel organic when reading it this way. It might feel better when reading them all at once. The twist AFTER the twist, on the other hand, read REALLY well. Destroying knowledge doesn’t work for me. This does.

 

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #13 (Bendis / Marquez / Ponsor) Marvel

Miles is one of the most ‘real’ seeming characters in all of comics. That sadness/depression/guilt he is feeling WORKS. You FEEL what he feels.

Then, the face to face at the end was perfect, brief as it was. Then Cap had to wreck it. So far.

 

AVENGERS VS X-MEN #9 (Aaron / Kubert / Dell / Martin) Marvel

Surprised to see this book rate so highly? Me too… but it deserves it. Spider-Man as the never quit, give it all, fight until the last breath leaves his body hero is jsut perfect here. Other writers have done that with Peter Parker before, but it doesn’t get old. It reminds me of the last stand of Skurge, but Spidey, even as he sacrificed himself, never lays down and dies. He keeps trying to find a way… and he does!

Emma is about to get very scary. My guess is that Cyclops takes her down… before doing SOMETHING to let himself be beaten and killed. By the end it will be the Avengers AND the X-Men vs the Cyclops/Phoenix, but ultimately he will defeat himself, intentionally, when he sees what he has become.

Let’s see if I am right.

 

HAWKEYE #1 (Fraction / Aja / Hollingsworth) Marvel

I have been waiting for years for a decent Hawkeye comic. The Gruenwald mini was decent and it led to a good run leading the West Coast Avengers. That was a long time ago, though. Solo Avengers was D-list at best. That crazy mini with his pet werewolf, or whatever that was, is worth forgetting. The more recent Hawkeye and Mockingbird series was better… but not much.

And now this.

What a great comic. This is Batman: Year One and DD: Born Again, but for HAWKEYE. The story is excellent (forget the fact that he heals in six weeks… if you really want to be picky, why would he be in a regular hospital? The answer is because that is how this book works. The art is excellent and the DESIGN of the book is worth buying the book for all by itself.

If it continues at this level of quality, expect it to become a fixture at the Rusty’s COmic of the Week list.