Rusty's World

Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Avengers #32

October 28, 2012
2 Comments

Is The Avengers #32 the actual best comic this week?

 

Of course not… but it is for me. I’ll explain when I get there, but sufficed to say that it has more to do with my history with the title than anything else.

 

Starting at the weakest…

 

SECRET AVENGERS #33 (Remender / Kuhn / Wilson) Marvel

This is the last issue for me. The story doesn’t interest me and the art is absolutely horrible. I considered holding on for the next creative team, but the hell with it. The only good thing in this issue is the destruction of Max Fury. I mean, Black Ant? Emperor Doombot? Really?

Pass.

 

ULTIMATES #17 (Humphries / Ross / Milla) Marvel

This book took a backslide this issue. In fact, if this was the normal level of enjoyment I got out of the book, I would also be dropping it. With the big surprise being that it is Modi not Loki pulling the strings, maybe you shouldn’t write him as if he were Loki. The Ultimates and SHIELD apparently charged into battle without a plan at all, as they fell apart immediately. Plus the art was pretty sloppy. Hopefully this book gets better again as it has been an interesting read.

 

AvsX: CONSEQUENCES #3 (Gillen / Eaton / Hennessy / Charalampois) Marvel

Better than the last issue. Cyclops is starting to show signs that he could be an interesting villain. The “I am a political prisoner” bit shows him to still be delusional, which totally works. I just hope nobody tries to redeem him. That would be a big cop-out.

 

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #696 (Slott / Gage / Camuncoli / Green / Fabela) Marvel

Interesting story, but not much of it. I mean, what really advanced here? Two Hobgoblins fighting, but what is our stake in it? What makes either any different than one another in practical terms?

I guess we won’t know until that goblin key opens its hidden lock. I picture quite a villain reunion in issue #700. Green Goblin and Dr. Octopus should be back right about them.

 

JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #13 (Jeff Lemire / Mikel Janin / Victor Drujiniu) DC

String issue. The villains are interesting and the struggles the ‘heroes’ face are challenging yet brief. It feels right for magical struggles. It ties in with the zero issue last month, which is nice. I am not sure how I feel about Nick Necro, but the rest of the characters are spot on. House Fight!

 

BATMAN INC. #4 (Grant Morrison / Chris Burnham) DC

A well-staged assault that really shows the advantages of working with a team. I don’t read the other Bat-books so I don’t know why the reveal is a big deal. The end is a swerve, guaranteed. IF ti isn’t, Batman is WAY out of character… but it is, so he isn’t.

 

CAPTAIN AMERICA #19 (Brubaker / Epting / D’Armata) Marvel

Final issue! Until the next one! Final Brubaker issue, though, and it is a good one. Bru shows that he is a fan of the history of ALL the Captain Americas (which was already pretty clear in the book). He also ties up a nice loose end before he puts up the chairs and turns out the light.

The Cap relaunch… well, I am going to give it a go, but neither Remender nor Romita are very high on my list of go-to creators. We’ll see.

 

ALL-STAR WESTERN #13 (Palmiotti / Gray / Moritat / Winslade) DC

This book waffles between ridiculous Batman references and good Batman references. This issue is more the latter. The circus didn’t have to be called that etc. but it didn’t distract from the story which is (not) a League of Extraordinary Gentlemen cross-over. This book is just a good, solid comic.

 

REVIVAL #4 (Tim Seeley / Mike Norton) Image

All I want to say here is PLEASEDON’TBEALIENS, PLEASEDON’TBEALIENS! That would really suck a lot of the cool factor out of this book. They ‘why’ is not the thrust of the book. Keep it that way.

 

FABLES #122 (Willingham / Ha / McManus) Vertigo

Fables’ best days are behind, but they still put out consistently good stories. I found the art to be a little hit and miss, but I really liked the story I hope it isn’t JUST a flashback and what happens in this story has a bearing on the modern stories.

I do want to mention the preview in the back.  If you are going to put out a hardcover graphic novel… couldn’t you get at least as good an artist as the regular book normally has? The art isn’t awful or anything, but it sure doesn’t seem ‘special’. For HC money, it should be ‘special’.

 

THE UNWRITTEN #42 (Mike Carey / Peter Gross) Vertigo

It feels like I am reading the old Unwritten again. Stories within stories and characters following journeys into the unknown with a surprise around each corner… or page turn. Yes!

 

NATIONAL COMICS: MADAME X #1 (Rob Williams / Trevor Hairsine) DC

An interesting take on Madame Xanadu, good plot, good execution, art that looks like it is channeling good Neal Adams… what’s not to like?

Well, the fact that they left a cliffhanger in a one-shot, for one. They did the same thing in the Kid Eternity book.

Why are the National Comics books consistently better than the new 52 books?

 

AVENGERS #32 (Bendis / Mayhew / Peterson / Keith) Marvel

Spoilers, I guess, but if you didn’t see this coming…

Wasp is back! The scene where she meets the big 3 and Hank, reuniting the real founding Avengers (functionally… I know it was the Hulk and Cap took a few issues, but for all intents and purposes, these are the five).

I loved this. I have been reading Avengers for 28 years and I have collected the entire run and scenes like this are the pay off. Is the book actually awesome? No. It is good, but not the best of the week.

But it touched my little geek-filled heart.

 

Advertisements

Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Hawkeye #3

October 27, 2012
Leave a Comment

I am trying to catch up… really I am. A combination of being quite busy and a relatively new addiction to Out of the Park Baseball has kept me tied up. 🙂

 

From the weakest to the strongest…

 

MARVEL NOW! POINT ONE #1 (A whole bunch of people not credited on the cover) Marvel

Who gets blamed? The con man or the sucker? $5 for what is basically an advertising pamphlet. There are no stories in here – just hints of stories leading to new series being launched in the future. I have no problem with this concept and I think it is a great idea to give away at comic store… what? Not given away? Charged $5? What the hell?

When I ordered this, I thought I was getting new stories that helped set the stage for the new status in the marvel universe. Nope. Nothing more than little teasers. It is kind of liking watching one of those new tv season specials they use to have every september.

Pass this by. Don’t make the same mistake I did.

 

AvsX: CONSEQUENCES #2 (Gillen / Kurth / Martinez / Charalampios) Marvel

I didn’t mind issue #1… what happened here? Well the big thing is the art. It is awful. In a book that is mostly a conversation, the art was very distracting. The story was decent… showing Cyclops to be totally deranged. He has become a villain of the best sort – one that is convinced that he is right.

 

AVENGERS ASSEMBLE #8 (Bendis / Bagley / Miki / Mounts) Marvel

If this weren’t the last issue of this run, I would be cancelling it. It just never get good. Kelly Sue DeConnick takes over next issue, though, so I am going to hold on. Bendis is off to do Guardians and while I may miss him on New Avengers, I won’t miss him here.

 

ULTIMATE IRON MAN #1 (Edmondson / Buffagni / Troy) Marvel

Remember the previous UIM? By Card? if I didn’t know that had been jettisoned I wouldn’t have bought this.

It wasn’t bad. I don’t like the thing with the coin, but I do want to see more of the Ultimate Mandarin. It wasn’t tied in to the current Ultimate continuity enough.

 

CAPTAIN MARVEL #5 (DeConnick / Rios / Bellaire) Marvel

I will keep giving this book middling ratings until they let us in on what is going on , or at least have that seem to be more important. Emma Rios has joined the book! I quite like Rios, though I am not certain this is a perfect fit for her. She is best on quite dark books, in my opinion, and this is fairly light. Still better than no Rios at all!

 

WONDER WOMAN #13 (Brian Azzarello / Tony Akins / Dan Green) DC

It is nice to get back to the real book after the travesty off issue #0. Let’s start with that great Cliff Chiang cover. This issue is a very good ‘characer’ issue and the cover kind of shows that is leading somewhere rather than dumping you in to the middle of something. The mini twist was obvious but that is okay. What is obvious to the reader does not have to be obvious to the characters in the comic. Still a solid read and better than WW has been since… Rucka, maybe? Maybe longer?

 

IT GIRL! AND THE ATOMICS #3 (Rich / Norton / Passalaqua) Image

I am warming to this book after the initial disappointment. The villain team is entertaining and it was nice to see more heroes in action. Just a light, fun book.

 

SAUCER COUNTRY #8 (Paul Cornell / Ryan Kelly) Vertigo

RIght when it looked like it was teetering on the edge of being dropped, they give us a good issue. This comic is best when it focuses on the people rather than the conspiracy. There was a distracting mix up of word balloons that hurts when trying to establish character traits, but still the book worked. And HERE was an ending that I wasn’t expecting!

 

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #16 (Bendis / Larraz / Ponsor) Marvel

Love the comic… but I don’t buy that Cap would welcome him into the Ultimates. Support him? Sure. Train him? Sure. Sign him up for the nation’s official superhero team? No way. If nothing else it would be a pr DISASTER. The comic was great, though. Look at what Miles is using for a cel phone at the end. Nice.

One of the best comic runs going today.

 

THE MASSIVE #5 (Brian Wood / Garry Brown / Dave Stewart) Dark Horse

Great, great issue. This is where the comic really works. GIve us huge world building and then drop in an issue like this one where the world you have built sits in the background while we get to read about the people of the comic and how they operate and maybe a bit of why they are like they are. Great characterization makes for strong comics.

 

NEW AVENGERS #31 (Bendis / Gaydos / Beredo) Marvel

What did I just say? When Bendis really shines it is when he deals with characters over big world-shaking events. Remember last week when I said that Bendis is putting his house in order before he leaves? That includes taking Luke and Jessica off the table so the next writer won’t screw them up. These are two of the best written characters in mainstream comics right now (not quite as good as the couple in Saga, but still very good) yet there is a whole bunch of people who absolutely hate them. I can’t figure out why. Maybe it is because they are too real in a medium that trades on fantasy. I don’t know.

The other thing that Bendis is putting in order? I expect that when the ‘magic’ story is finished, Dr. Strange will have his title back. I’m just saying…

 

BATWOMAN #13 (J.H. Williams III / W.Haden Blackman) DC

This has been a poorly written comic, until issue #0 which was very good. This issue seems to continue that trend… not AS good, but following some new lessons that Williams has learned about writing, I think. (“make sure people know what you are writing about” being a big one). He handles Wonder Woman well, though I don’t want him taking over for Azzarello. And, of course, the big draw for one of these books – he draws it as well. Beautiful, beautiful work. If there is another artist as talented when it comes to design working in comics today, I don’t know who it is (though I should really read some Chris Ware…)

 

BEFORE WATCHMEN: MINUTEMEN #4 (Darwyn Cooke) DC

Who would have thought that the best character to come out of Watchmen was only in it for one panel (or whatever). Silhouette has become my fave in these books, but I suppose that extends to Nite Owl as it is the way he relates to her that makes her so great. Too bad the Nite Owl comic was so bad. Even Silk Spectre seems decent after the graveyard scene. Still don’t like the Comedian, though.

 

HAWKEYE #3 (Fraction / Aja / Hollingsworth) Marvel

3 issues in and the best comic each week it has been out. What comic is better than this comic out these days? Saga? Well, yes, but not much else. The writing, the art, the design, the characters, the characterization… the little Hawkeye head that suddenly appeared to stop us from seeing a little Hawkeye head.

Great comics… and each issue one and done!


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Before Watchmen: Dr. Manhattan #2

October 20, 2012
Leave a Comment

Still trying to catch up. I get new comics tomorrow.

Since my last report we have dropped World’s Finest. Not good enough to keep buying (though there is a way worse comic this week).

Starting at the worst… and it is bad.

AME-COMI GIRLS #1 (Palmiotti / Gray / Conner / Akins / Wong) DC

This looked like a can’t miss! The writers from Jonah Hex and the amazing artist most recently on Silk Spectre.

Wow.

This may be the worst comic I have read this year.

Who is this comic marketed towards? Poor boys trying to struggle through puberty? Wonder Woman hasn’t been drawn in this horribly sexist manner since the bad old days of Deodato’s 90s where every shot was of her crotch and her costume was a thong.

Just awful.

I will NOT be buying #2.

CAPTAIN AMERICA #18 (Brubaker / Bunn / Eaton / Magyar / Guru-eFX) Marvel

A super-hero comic relies on villains. The villains in this story arc are dull, dull, dull. The exception is the Zemo vs Carter parts, but they are side notes and can’t make up for the Discordians. Then there is a hint that they might come back. Oh goody.

It has been pointed out to me that the slide started when Bunn joined Bru on writing. He isn’t doing it after the relaunch is he?

SECRET AVENGERS #32 (Remender / Scalera / Wilson) Marvel

Ruthanne doesn’t like SW at all, but I do. I did feel a little burned that the cool looking front cover scene didn’t happen at all. I liked the inventiveness of how the Void was defeated, but the Black Ant? Really?

AVENGING SPIDER-MAN #13 (Kevin Schnick / Aaron Kuder / Matt Hollingsworth) Marvel

Sometimes comics can just be fun. I don’t really like Deadpool most of the time, but the Hypno-Hustler? Yes sir!

I wonder if the fact that Deadpool is left in jail at the end of this one will be reflected in his own book.

I wonder idly, because I don’t read it.

AvsX: CONSEQUENCES #1 (Gillen / Raney / Charalampiois) Marvel

All along I thought that Cyclops had to die for AvX to work. He is quite irredeemable. Instead it looks like they are setting him up to be Magneto, of a sorts. We’ll see where that goes. I’m glad it is in here because I don’t read any of the X-Men books.

AVENGERS #31 (Bendis / Mayhew / Peterson / Keith) Marvel

So, Bendis has some things to reverse before his run is up, does he? He is trying to give Wonder Man some character redemption and the mystery woman is pretty likely to be Wasp.

I’m okay with that.

I am surprised that it is the same artist inside and out because the art in the book isn’t bad but the cover is pretty ugly.

UNCANNY AVENGERS #1 (Rick Remender / John Cassaday) Marvel

Good premise. Good story. Good art. Nice surprise at the end. What’s not to like?

Well, I am not a big fan of Havoc, but that is a minor gripe. Let’s see where this goes. (Hey, didn’t he just join X-Factor again?)

HALLOWEEN EVE (Brandon Montclare / Amy Reeder) Image

After the mess that was Batwoman, it is so nice to see Amy Reeder drawing her own way again. The story is just okay, but every page is beautiful.

Do you know where she would be good? I would love to see her draw Young Avengers.

BEFORE WATCHMEN: DR. MANHATTAN #2 (J.Michael Straczynski / Adam Hughes) DC

What a great comic! This has become the top BW book me, even ahead of Silk Spectre and Ozymandias, becuase while it has art just as good as those books, it also has really inventive and interesting writing.

I read a review that called this book terrible because it goes again some minor plot point for the original mini. To that I say, get over it. If you let that ruin this comic for you, you may miss one of the best comics of the year (won’t know that until it is finished).


Ruthanne’s Comic of the Week: Fairest #8

October 16, 2012
Leave a Comment

I was away all last week at the CanadianFestival of Spoken Word in Saskatoon. It was a lot of fun… one of the best iterations of CFSW ever.

That meant I wasn’t here to do reviews so this time out the comics are ranked in the order Ruthanne liked them, though the reviews are still mine.

 

From weakest on up…

 

WORLDS’ FINEST #5 (Levitz / Ordway / Craig / Perez) DC

No Kevin Maguire? Unfortunate, though Ordway is a decent sub.

Note to Paul Levitz: making a joke about Power Girl getting her clothes torn off her body every issue doesn’t make up for having Power Girl’s clothes torn off her body every issue.

This book is on thin ice.

 

DIAL H #5 (China Mieville / Mateus Santolouco) DC

This book is starting to feel like Mieville has a plan. That is a good thing. UP until now it has felt that things were just happening, but it seems like he is building a bigger narrative. It remains to be seen whether than narrative will hold up or not.

 

ANIMAL MAN #13 (Jeff Lemire / Steve Pugh / Timothy Green II / Joseph Silver) DC

Days of Future Past, Animal Man edition. The most interesting part of this issue is the Baker family story. They wouldn’t really kill Cliff, would they?

 

SWAMP THING #13 (Scott Snyder / Yanick Paquette) DC

I though the Rotworld Red/Green stories were going to be parallel alternate futures but it seems that they may be int he same world. I could sub Abby it for Cliff above, but I already know the answer to that one.

 

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #695 (Slott / Gage / Camuncoli / Green / Fabela) Marvel

Gearing up to issue 700 (and the ‘end of the series’). I am pretty sure the end panel is a swerve and Hobby doesn’t really know Peter’s secret. It will just be that he has captured his tech guy. I found the Bugle’s behaviour here quite reprehensible. That little news story would put Peter and his family in incredible danger (assuming he was what he said he was). I think Peter should sue them.

 

BEFORE WATCHMEN: RORSCHACH #2 (Brian Azzarello / Lee Bermejo) DC

The brutality of this comic is overwhelming, both given and received by Rorschach. We are watching him deteriorate as a human being. We know we won’t see his ultiamte fate in this mini, but you can see how it could happen. He is a mess and no caring waitress is going to change that.

 

THIEF OF THIEVES #9 (Kirkman / Asmus / Martinbrough / Serrano) Image

I like this book but I really hope every arc isn’t about somebody using his son as leverage to get him to work for them.

 

AVENGERS VS X-MEN #12 (Aaron / Kubert / Dell / Martin) Marvel

So Cyclops was kind of right at the start, but lost his mind on the way. Cap (and the Avengers)was kind of wrong at the start but kept his head and fought the bigger threat. Works for me.

I am interested to see where this goes from here. The return of the mutants was a good call. The ‘no more’ had run its course.

 

AVENGERS ACADEMY #38 (Gage / Grummett / Hamscher / Sotomayor) Marvel

This would have been my comic of the week. It is chock full of smart writing, Every page had something worth spotlighting. Gage’s way with these characters is masterful. What a shame that it is coming to a close next issue. Apparently it is guilty of excessive awesomeness.

 

FAIREST #8 (Lauren Beukes / Inaki Miranda) Vertigo

I know why Ruthanne has this at #1. They finally made the book about female Fables actually ABOUT a female Fable. Having said that, I would put this as high. After 7 issues of great art, this one was quite disappointing. Also, I am not a big fan of running to the witch to solve every problem (but finding out that the witch is Rapunzel’s mother? Is that new info?)

A good book, but not as good as AA, in my opinion.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: All-Star Western #0

October 3, 2012
1 Comment

Sorry these are late. Next week’s will be even later as I will be in Saskatoon for the week. Chances are I will do two weeks at once next time.

Short even by my standards…

Working up…

 

WINTER SOLDIER #11 (Brubaker / Guice / Thies / Breitweiser) Marvel

This is wearing really thin. One of the good things about this book is the strong presence of Black Widow. Now she is all in-need-of-rescue and it is dragging out way too long. As I said last issue, her brain should be completely broken by now.

 

CAPTAIN MARVEL #4 (DeConnick / Soy / Barrionuevo / Quintana) Marvel

I like this book. Quite a bit, actually. I just don’t like that such an important plot point as WHY DID SHE SUDDENLY GO THROUGH TIME is being left as if it is a minor thing. At least mention it!

The next couple of issues are going to be drawn by Emma Rios! Sweet!

 

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #694 (Slott / Ramos / Olazaba / Delgado) Marvel

I graded this one too harshly. Ruthanne pointed out after that the airplane scene was pretty awesome. Which it was. I initially put it here because the wrap-up to the very uninteresting Alpha story was a very uninteresting and uncreative conclusion. That’s it? Really?

Please be better next issue, like the book normally is.

 

SECRET AVENGERS #31 (Remender / Scalera / Wilson) Marvel

Ruthanne doesn’t like this book. I think this issue is better than it has been. Good characterization and good fights. Neither great, but good.

 

JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #0 (Jeff Lemire / Lee Garbett / Cam Smith) DC

Young Constantine! Young Zatanna! This was just a good read. The characters were interesting. The story was solid, if a little predictable, but that is okay. JLD is SO much better under Lemire than it was under Milligan.

 

BATMAN INCORPORATED #0 (Grant Morrison / Chris Burnham / Frazer Irving) DC

Ruthanne has a legitimate bone to pick with this book. All these new characters (or fairly new characters within a relatively short time frame) and the only female hero is a sidekick? There is more than one kind of diversity, Grant.

Having said that, I quite enjoyed this book. A nice reminder of what Batman Inc. is supposed to be (and isn’t really in the regular book). Hopefully this is a sign that that real Batman Inc. is coming back. This is the only Batman book I read and if it remains just a ‘regular’ Bat book, I may stop.

 

BEFORE WATCHMEN: OZYMANDIAS #3 (Len Wein / Jae Lee) DC

Comedian is well written here. Some of the writers seem to forget that he is a BAD GUY. He is not a hero. In any way.

Great at, as always from Jae Lee. My only real complaint here is that Len Wein doesn’t know how to pronounce Ozymandias. The way he has him sound it out is just wrong. It is an existing name, from long before Watchmen. Changing the pronunciation because you think it sounds cooler is just dumb.

 

NEW DEADWARDIANS #7 (Dan Abnett / I.N.J. Culbard) Vertigo

I LOVE that the reversal on the big twist was in the same issue AS the big twist. Dragging it out would have been cheap. It sure doesn’t feel like this book is almost over. This issue was a HIT for me.

 

ULTIMATES #16 (Humphries / Ross / Milla) Marvel

President Cap kicks ass. He had so many great scenes and great lines. Too bad the art was so poor.

 

ALL-STAR WESTERN #0 (Gray / Palmiotti / Moritat) DC

I kind of liked that Jonah didn’t really have an origin. I would have said it was a bad idea to give him one.

I would have… before I read this issue.

This is a great, bloody comic.  I would be happy to hand this to someone who thought the comics can only be about superheroes. (Though one of the things that made it good was the lack of Batman references that are all over the book normally.)