Rusty's World

Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Saga #7

November 24, 2012
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A little late this week. Sorry. I have been insanely busy. It wasn’t just the reviews, but reading that got left behind.

Starting at the weakest…

THE ULTIMATES #18 (Humphries / Ross / Milla) Marvel

I liked this storyline when it first started. The widespread break-up of the U.S. was something they could do in the Ultimate Universe that they couldn’t in the ‘616’. It was interesting. President Cap also had promise (even though they had to give him a character makeover to do it… that was already in process and the old version of the character really was awful anyway).

Over the last few issues, though, the book has been getting worse and worse. The art has ben really bad but I was dealing with that. This issue was just terrible. Beyond the awful art, the story was no better. It was just a big mass punch-up with no tension at all. Then the rah-rah go America tuff was just really annoying. They took an interesting premise and drove it into the crapper.

I dropped this book from my pull list following this issue.

NEW AVENGERS #33 (Bedis / Oeming / Beredo) Marvel

Let’s get this out of the way first. The art is horrendous. It isn’t the art itself that is so bad, because it isn’t. It is a style that I don’t dislike at all. But it is SO wrong for this book that it beggars belief. This is the middle of a storyline! Think of how ridiculous this is going to look once it is collected. Bad, bad choice.

The spontaneous possession powers of Daniel Drumm make for a very uninteresting fight scene. It just doesn’t mean anything.

I have a feeling something bad is going to happen to Luke. Either that or he saves the day.

FANTASTIC FOUR #1 (Matt Fraction / Mark Bagley / Mark Farmer / Paul Mounts) Marvel

I have great hopes for this book. I expect it to be a lot better than that Hickman mess and I like the premise of the two companion books.

Having said that, I have a couple of problems with this issue along the lines of characterization. So Reed is going to just lie, lie, lie to his family again. Haven’t we run this story before? Like a thousand times? It also only works of Sue acts like a doormat. And for them not to pay attention to Franklin’s dream… this isn’t just some kid’s silly nightmare. He has powers! Powers that let him see the future! What the hell!

I realize this issue was just to get them where Fraction wants them to be, but come on. Try a little harder.

Really nice art, though.

ALL-NEW X-MEN #1 (Brian Michael Bendis / Wade von Grawbadger) Marvel

This book has promise. Once gain the premise to get the book where it needs to be is a little shaky, but not as bad as the FF. I am looking forward to reading the cash of eras as we learn how much has been lost as comics get darker and grittier. We have gained a lot since the 60’s but lost a lot as well.

Another book with really nice art.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #697 (Slott / Gage / Camuncoli / Green / Fabela) Marvel

So Harry has joined the cast of Breaking Bad? No? Seriously though, it was nice to see him in that context. The Hobgoblin fight was decent and I LOVE the new Roderick status quo. Now I want to see the new Unicorn! Max saving Norah was pretty cool. Now we just have to wait… only another day for me… for the big issue #698.

CASTLE WAITING #18 (Linda Medley) Fantagraphics

This is it. The last issue. Sigh.

I can’t really recommend this issue, to be honest. Not that this issue us bad, but it is the last issue of a very long story. What I DO want to recommend is the collections. Buy them. Read them. Love them.

Am I crazy or dos it seem like she should be announcing a Snow White variant as her newest book?

I have heard that Medley is somewhat disillusioned with the industry so this may not just be the last CW, but the last Linda Medley comic. I hope not.

AVENGERS ASSEMBLE #9 (Kelly Sue DeConnick / Stefano Caselli) Marvel

I was ready to cancel this book but held off to see what DeConnick was going to do with it. My review is really simple: do you enjoy the fun style of the Avenging Spider-Man book? If so, you will like this. It doesn’t take itself too seriously without turning into farce. It is just good, fun comics. Yay!

THE MASSIVE #6 (Brian Wood / Garry Brown / Dave Stewart) Dark Horse

I am a fan of showing the pacifism is a viable option. (That is one of the reasons I love Saga so much.) This book is clearly leading towards a confrontation between the pacifist Captain and his less so inclined muscle. This is just a consistently good book.

GREAT PACIFIC #1 (Joe Harris / Martin Morazzo) Image

This may be getting a #1 bump but I really like the characters so far. It makes this hook in and make me want to read more. That is good because the plot is VERY undeveloped. Not that it really is, but we can only go by what we see and we are not told very much about what is actually going on here. I look forward to reading more to find out.

THIEF OF THIEVES #10 (Kirkman / Asmus / Martinbrough / Serrano) Image

Is there ANY comic that feels like a movie that Thief of Thieves? Has this been optioned? Have they cast Clooney yet? (Not saying he would be the best choice… just who I think they would cast.)

This book ALWAYS has great characterization but what puts it over the top this issue is the scene with Emma as hostage. The swings between fear and comfort and fear and terror are SO well done. Now we are going to see thieving skills put to a different use.

SAGA #7 (Brian K. Vaughan / Fiona Staples) Image

What can I say about this book? WOnderful story. Amazing art. Great comic. It is easily my favourite comic coming out right now. Having Alana in a towel that whole time was brilliant. Watching her tough-girl attitude turn on a dime when she realized she couldn’t protect her child was absolutely perfect.

I read a review that criticized the book because the characters seemed too human.

That’s what I call missing the point… by a wide margin.

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Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Dial H #6

November 11, 2012
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Is that title right? Wasn’t the book on the bottom of the list and threatened to drop?

Yep.

Starting at the weakest…

AvsX: CONSEQUENCES #5 (Gillen / Walta / Charalampidis) Marvel

Turns out I have been spelling Jim Charalapidis’ name wrong all this time. Sorry Jim!

This mini is text book good idea / bad execution. The art in this issue was really, really bad. The story was decent… Cyclops is now a full villain, working with Magneto and Magik. The question is whether they are going to start calling themselves the Brotherhood. They should.

The only thing is… I am unsure whether Bendis, the write of their next series, sees them as villains. I hope so. I don’t think I am going to be picking it up anyway. We’ll see. It has been a long time since the X-Men have been worth reading, in general.

BEFORE WATCHMEN: MOLOCH #1 (J.Michael Straczynski / Eduardo Risso) DC

Right up until I read he news page at he back, I thought this was a one-shot. It read like a one-shot – straight up origin story. It was okay, but nothing ground-breaking.

SWAMP THING #14 (Scott Snyder / Yanick Paquette) DC

“Abby is dead!” “No she isn’t!” “Yes she is!” “No she isn’t!”

We get the point. We need more than that. The rest f the story is just generic zombie fighting.

NEW AVENGERS #32 (Bendis / Pacheco / Martinez / Beredo) Marvel

As Bendis is going around setting things straight, like making Dr. Strange Sorcerer Supreme again, he MAY be figuring out a way to bring Dr. Voodoo back. Of course he kills two more people along the way. One has heavy duty mystical ties so he is easily returned. The other… I just don’t buy. Not that she is an important character on her own, but her placement in the movie and the upcoming SHIELD tv show tells me that they won’t dispense with her that simply.

AVENGERS #33 (Bendis / Dodson / Dodson / Keith) Marvel

Having the old team back is still working for me. The banter betweenJanet and Hank was great. The art was nice (hough not top-Dodson stuff). The villain is pretty lame, though.

ANIMAL MAN #14 (Jeff Lemire / Steve Pugh / Timothy Green II / Joseph Silver) DC

Same basic plot as Swamp Thing, but the comic works better for me. The Maxine stuff gets the right balance of scared. The Buddy team is interesting and the last page reveal makes me look forward to the next issue! (Though I bet they aren’t with the Rot…)

FAIREST #9 (Lauren Beukes / Inaki Miranda) Vertigo

Let’s see… the art is not very good… the cover is way below Hguhes’ usual standard (though I like the fabric)… the story wasn’t strong and making sex the way to get her hair to grow again was kind of gratuitous…

So why did I like this issue as much as I did? Not sure. The whole thing just works.

AVENGING SPIDER-MAN #14 (Cullen Bunn / Gabriele Dell’Otto  Dommo Snachez Aymara) Marvel

I am a story first guy and I have not been impressed by Bunn. So why is this book so high. The art! Dell’Otto doing dinosaurs is just beautiful! The story isn’t awful and stays out of the way and those wonderful Savage Land scenes, complete with… firebreathing velocoraptors? Sure. Looking forward to the next issue.

AVENGERS ACADEMY #39 (Gage / Grummett / Hamscher / Sotomayor) Marvel

I wish I could say the same thing about this one, but there is no next issue to look forward to. A nice little tie-up. I am probably rating this too high, but it is getting a bump for the series rather than just this issue. Woefully under-purchased.

My only question is… what was Finesse looking up at the end there? Doing the final ending about one of the least interesting characters in the book was too bad as well. Still… good series.

DIAL H #6 (China Mieville / Mateus Santolouco) DC

Here is a book that has been VERY close to getting the axe for me… and now it is the book of the week. Let’s start with the art: it is suddenly way better. The artist didn’t change, just his choices. This time he put some effort into storytelling rather than just making pretty pictures. It is probably because this book is so quiet and he will go back to drawing chaos again next issue. For now, I can enjoy it.

Then the story… great, great, GREAT! Eat it, Super Chief! And Yes, I did get the overt right cross at Alan Moore. The character interplay between Nelson and Roxie was excellent. The insight into their lives was excellent. The attack of the flying horse was shitty. (Just kidding… it too was excellent.)

Great comic.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Ultimate Spider-Man 16.1

November 4, 2012
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Starting at the weakest, as always…

 

WINTER SOLDIER #12 (Brubaker / Guice / Thies / Breitweiser) Marvel

What went right in this comic: the mood is perfect, as always. You really get that underground espionage race against time back against the wall feeling.

What went wrong: WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON? He implanted a mission into his own head? What the hell? That is just about the stupidest thing I have heard this week…

Oooh drama! Wait, it makes no bloody sense…

 

AvsX: CONSEQUENCES #4 (Gillen / Brooks / Charalampois) Marvel

Okay… last issue or so there was a thing were Cyclops was using some sort of dust to get a message from somebody. First off, that makes no sense. This prison would let him have this little package of dust? Uh no. Let’s forget that, though. It isn’t important. What IS important is that they don’t tell you who he is talking to. If  you realized that the dust was actually metal you would guess it was Magneto, but they didn’t tell you that. (I figured it was him, but you never know.)

That leads to a big cool reveal on the last page.

A big reveal that was spoiled on the recap page. Well done, editorial staff. Well done.

Or not.

 

ROCKETEER: CARGO OF DOOM #3 (Waid / Samnee) IDW

I have rally enjoyed this series. I still liked this issue but I had a little problem with how it unfolded. I am glad the villain died the way he did because it made it seem more ‘real’. But then to have him act in an uncharacteristic manner, SO uncharacteristic that Waid felt the need to try and explain it through another character (didn’t work), just so the rest of the story could work… not so good.

Then it looks like they are just going to wantonly kill all the dinosaurs. Hmmmph.

 

SWAMP THING ANNUAL #1 (Scott Snyder / Scott Tuft / Becky Cloonan) DC

There are two kinds of annuals. The kind that are integral to the main story and those that are cool side projects. This one tries to be both, making a story that could fit between two panels in the main book, shoehorning in a backstory. Eh. That is kind of the worst type.

The actual story was good, though. Well written and nice art. The readers of the main book that miss it, however, will have missed nothing, really.

 

AVENGING SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL #1 (no cover credits, but it is Williams / Walker / Livesay) Marvel

Avenging isn

‘t so caught up in on-going stories, so this is just a bigger than usual issue. What it really is, is fun. Entertaining story, witty dialogue, great art. What’s not to like?

 

CAPTAIN MARVEL #6 (DeConnick / Rios / Bellaire) Marvel

Yes! Finally an explanation! Kind of…

Wait. She explained who was behind it, but do they ever explain the how? Did she just DECIDE to make her plane into a time machine? Did I miss that part?

I hope the new version of Captain Marvel is still out there somewhere. She isn’t a villain per se, but it could be interesting.

 

JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK ANNUAL #1 (Jeff Lemire / Mikel Janin) DC

This is the kind of annual that is right in thick with the main story. Miss this an you are screwed… and what a great story it is! Great massive climax, good vs bad and all that. THe new team si kind of pulled together (while also advertising the other ‘magic’ books out there from DC). Nice art as always.

Is it me, or does it feel like the Books of Magic are going to tie in with something going on over in Wonder Woman? I expected to here a BOOM when the portal opened.

 

THE NEW DEADWARDIANS #8 (Dan Abnett / I.N.J. Culbard) Vertigo

This is the final issue and it is exactly what the series needed. It put a nice bow on the whole thing. I would now heartily recommend the sure to be coming trade. In fact, it seems to me that this should be optioned for a movie. It has that feel to it.

 

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #16.1 (Bendis / Marquez / Ponsor) Marvel

Great, great issue. This comic is always good but the Betty story was perfect. I would have been unhappy if JJJ had printed the story, but I also would have preferred if he had bought it anyway, just to try and bury it. The surprise final page was… well too bad on one hand and great on the other. This isn’t a character I am a big fan of, but the reveal makes me more interested.

USM is one of the consistently best comics going.


Who Is That Good Looking Guy On Page 18 of the Ottawa Metro?

November 1, 2012
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Or you can check it out here.


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