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Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Hawkeye #11

June 30, 2013
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hawkeye11

What a great week for comics! Comic after comic was in the running for best of the week… but in the end there was no contest.

Starting at the weakest…

THE UNWRITTEN #50 (M.Carey / P.Gross / B.Willingham / M.Buckingham) Vertigo

In a week full of great comics, this one falls here because it was so disappointing. I was really looking forward to this Unwritten meets Fables book and instead of that we got Unwritten meets messed up, altered time-line, not really Fables book. Just having some characters with the same name and similar looks does not make this a crossover. Snow White alone made me annoyed.

Very, VERY disappointing.

JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #21 (Jeff Lemire / Ray Fawkes / Mikel Janin / Vicente Cifuentes) DC

Interesting fight with Dr. Destiny. The idea that Deadman could posses the House of Mystery was especially cool.

So then, why am I cancelling the book?

Simple… Trinity. JLD is about to enter a multi-month cross-over with the two Justice League books. That is ridiculously stupid. JLD is NOT a Justice League book (despite its name) and forcing it to work with those other books, which I have no interest in, just makes me not want this one either.

Maybe I will re-add it after the crossover is over. Maybe.

Bad choice, DC.

UNCANNY X-MEN #7 (Bendis / Irving) Marvel

I am enjoying the X-books these days but this one wasn’t very good. Basically, Magik just isn’t that interesting a character and a murky fight with demons where the fight is only hinted at rather than shown (other than gold balls flying everywhere), doesn’t make for good reading.

Now someone wants to quit. Which someone? I don’t even remember.

I liked this book more before this 2-parter so I expect to like it again when it is done.

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #4 (Bendis / Pichelli / Ponsor) Marvel

Interesting characters… nice art… decent action… no plot.

This book DID have the best ‘sex scene’ I think I have ever seen in a comic. Still, I just don’t really like the space stuff in comics.

I am dropping this one.

LAZARUS #1 (Rucka / Lark / Arcas) Image

An interesting #1 but I was not blown away by it like I expected. You KNOW that Forever is going to rebel, but in the meantime, nobody in the book is worth cheering for.

X-MEN #2 (Wood / Coipel / Morales / Martin) Marvel

The 2nd of 3 X-books this week, and this one is much better than the last. Kitty vs Arkea was interesting, though I don’t think it will work a second time. Sublime was kind of annoying… but in a good way. The relationship between Jubilee and Shogo was brief, subtle and very strong. (So… is Jubilee a vampire or not? I am hoping no, but I wish they would address it. Actually, I am going to go look it up on Wikipedia… be right back…

Apparently she is still a vampire… or at least there has been no explanation why she is not.)

(I really hope she is not.)

THE MASSIVE #13 (Brian Wood / Garry Brown / Jordie Bellaire) Dark Horse

Two Wood books in a row, though they couldn’t be more different.

This book is all about what happened in New York, and all of coastal U.S. Chasing a nuclear sub with the intent of scuttling it and looking at the buildings poking out of the water… and here comes the navy! (The book does imply that NYC was the capital of the U.S. … I think it was just sloppy wording. New capital? Denver!

YOUNG AVENGERS #6 (Gillen / Brown) Marvel

Great story! What is this company that Prodigy and Speed are working for? The Prodigy concept alone is awesome. I guess since Barbara Gordon is no longer Oracle, Marvel can steal the idea. Following super-people who are no longer ‘fighting crime’ is interesting and it shows how easy it is to fall back into those patterns. So… what happened to Speed? I guess we know how the YA are going to get involved. (I hope Prodigy stays with them…)

Too bad the art wasn’t so great.

AGE OF ULTRON #10AI (Waid / Araujo / D’Armata) Marvel

This is a bridge issue between AoU and Avengers A.I., and that’s okay. Really this is letting us get caught up on why Hank Pym is going to be leading a new team. The new version of Hank’s early story was great and this book gave really good insight into the character and came to the proper conclusion… almost. Messing with a Doombot Hank? Have you learned nothing?

ALL-NEW X-MEN #13 (Brian Michael Bendis / Stuart Immonen / Wade von Grawbadger / Rain Beredo) Marvel

This is an all-around good book but what makes it hit so high on this list is Kitty’s reaction to Havok’s speech. Well done Bendis.

I think the difference between Bendis and Remender is that BMB understands that mutants are an analogy for certain minorities in the MU. It used to be about racism and became about homophobia. I get that Remender doesn’t want it that way, but you can’t just turn it off. I remember a friend in college who was VERY offended when he was told he could ‘pass’ as ‘straight’. His response, “Why would I want to do that?”

Exactly. Well said, Kitty.

On many weeks, this might have been #1… but this week it was #3.

DAREDEVIL #27 (Waid / Samnee / Rodriguez) Marvel

The reveal where we discover that Matt is one step ahead was really, really well done. I loved it. It is one of my pet peeves in comics how the villains are always smarter than the heroes but the heroes pull it out with guts and fortitude. I don’t know about you, but I consider intelligence a pretty positive thing!

Great comic… right down to the intentionally misleading cover!

On any other week, this might have been #1… but…

HAWKEYE #11 (Fraction / Aja / Hollingsworth) Marvel

What an AMAZING comic! The entire story is told from the point of view of Lucky, Hawkeye’s dog. This was INCREDIBLE storytelling! It is our third chance to see the same events (and events around those events) but it ends with something totally new and gives some important information that we were not privy to before.

I thought this book was going to break my heart at one point. Not quite but it was still pretty sad.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Animal Man #21

June 24, 2013
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ANMAN_Cv21

Good size week with a ‘big’ release that was pretty disappointing.

Starting at the weakest.

CAPTAIN MARVEL #13 (DeConnick / Hepburn / Bellaire) Marvel

I wonder if this book would ‘read’ better if it had a different artist.

AGE OF ULTRON #10 (No cover credits – Bendis / Maleev / Hitch / Neary / Guice / Peterson / Pacheco / Bonet / Palmer / Marquez / Quesada) Marvel

Ugh. I have actually enjoyed this series but this comic was barely even part of it. It read like an epilogue. “Remember that plan from last issue? It worked. Now there is fall-out… and you get to see it in the following comics!”

It is an ad for follow up comics! (Which I was already going to buy.)

The series as a whole was good but the last half of this comic was lame.

AVENGERS #14 (Hickman / Spencer / Caselli / Martin) Marvel

Stuff happens!

None of makes any real sense!

PLEASE tell me that Hickman will leave the Avengers titles after Infinity. PLEASE.

Not likely.

NEW AVENGERS #7 (Jonathan Hickman / Mike Deodato / Frank Martin) Marvel

Better than Avengers, so that is something. This time out, anyway. Big earth-threatening menace! That just seems to go on and on without anything ever actually happening! Grrrr! And now there is war on earth! Grrrr!

See note from previous issue.

REVIVAL #11 (Tim Seeley / Mike Norton) Image

I am wavering on this book, but this issue was solid. I could do without that super-racist dude, but the main story with Emma and the organ-harvesters was interesting.

WONDER WOMAN #21 (Brian Azzarello / Cliff Chiang) DC

This is still the 21st issue of the same storyline, which is a little long, but the end made it worthwhile. New Genesis! Highfather! Boom Tubes! Some big boring tough guy! Okay, you can’t win them all.

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #12 (Slott / Camuncoli / Dell / Pallot / Delgado) Marvel

When is Peter coming back?

This is a well-written comic, but Otto is certainly unlikeable. The Jameson / Otto interaction is interesting. If Otto actually kills Smythe on Jameson’s orders, or even if he doesn’t, Otto now has blackmail material against the mayor. Interesting.

UNCANNY AVENGERS #9 (Rememder / Acuna) Marvel

So here it is! The big fight between Rogue and the Scarlet Witch!

Oh wait… that doesn’t actually happen? But the cover…?

Yeah. False advertising.

Godo story though. I know that this is going to blow over but I WANT Captain America to refuse to serve with Wolverine. I actually like BOTH characters but that should include Cap refusing to serve with Logan.

FABLES #130 (Willingham / Kitson / Erskine) Vertigo

I could see the ending coming, but I still liked it. I think the final panel was poorly don, though, because all of a sudden it seemed like the Rats had abused her, which wasn’t the impression I got during that actual scene.

Nezumi for the win!

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #24 (Bendis / Marquez / Ponsor) Marvel

Hey, the Ultimate Dagger wears clothes! Cloak and Dagger are interesting in their limited appearance so far. We don’t know if what is going on in Cloak’s… cloak is the same as in the 616 uni or not. Gwen’s slap of Miles was perfect.

You can’t be in a Spider-man book and not learn that with great power… etc.

ANIMAL MAN #21 (Jeff Lemire / Steve Pugh / Francis Portela) DC

This is the best book DC has going these days. This book as Maxine as a messed up Little Nemo. Twitter ruining Buddy’s life and letting the villain escape. The confluence of celebrity and tragedy. Buddy trying to actually be a super-hero.

Good comic.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Batman #21

June 16, 2013
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batman-21-cover

This was not a great week. A small number of books and nothing that was really awesome.

That isn’t to say there wasn’t anything to read…

Starting at the weakest…

SUICIDE SQUAD #21 (Ales Kot / Patrick Zircher) DC

I’m not sure about this book. I added it back because I heard good things about the new writer, but he seems to be one of those writers that has everything very frenetic. I prefer things a little more linear… for this kind of book. Still worth reading further…

AVENGERS ASSEMBLE #16 (DeConnick / Buffagni / Bellaire) Marvel

This is not really Avengers Assemble. It is really Captain Marvel. First off, the cover is terrible. They should have let the interior artist do the cover because what they got is ugly.

If you like Captain Marvel, you will like this. I am borderline on both.

GREAT PACIFIC #7 (Joe Harris / Martin Morazzo) Image

My biggest complaint about this book was that it wasn’t moving forward. That changed this issue. It is no longer just some guy hanging out on a garbage pile. There is a settlement… with people… and the U.N…. and a terrorist… and a … tyrant in the making? Maybe?

Well worth reading.

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #3 (Bendis / McNiven / Pichelli / Dell / Ponsor) Marvel

GROOT! Forget the cover, the star of this book is the Racoon’s plant-like pal. Space politics and a big escape. Iron Man seems so out of place in this book… but he makes it have the one piece of familiarity that gives you a look into the new universe… or should I say Galaxy, around us. He makes the book feel a little more accessible.

BATMAN #21 (Scott Snyder / Greg Capullo / Danny Miki) DC

I have been hearing many good things about Snyder’s Batman, but I resisted because they seemed to always be in some big multi-book crossover and I wanted to try one of the books, not all of them.

Well, I decided to pick it up… and it was god! Not awesomely amazing, but good enough to be the best book this week. It is the start of Year Zero, which is a new 52 version of the early days of Batman. Good story, good art, good comic. So far, I recommend it.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Swamp Thing #21

June 9, 2013
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swamp thing 21

A bigger week with some pretty good comics.

Starting at the weakest…

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #11 (Slott / Gage / Camuncoli / Dell / Delgado) Marvel

There was nothing wrong with this issue, I just enjoyed it the least out of this week’s books. Otto was especially villainous in thought while continuing to be very effective in his mission. This is a dichotomy that works sometimes but not others. THe thing I DON’T like is that there are a number of JJJ’s who will be reading this who will be cheering for Otto. I call it Azrael syndrome.

AGE OF ULTRON #9 (Bendis / Pacheco / Peterson / Bonet) Marvel

So we get a little speech explaining why the one they can’t do to fix the problem is to… do exactly what they do to fix the problem.

It is interesting to me how little of a book called Age of Ultron has them actually fighting Ultron.

I do hope that there ARE actual changes to history when this is done.

ASTRO CITY #1 (Busiek / Anderson / Ross) Vertigo

I bought the first volume of Astro City in my comic library project and I really liked it so I saw this as an opportunity to jump on-board.

This isn’t as good as the first volume of Astro City, but it is still entertaining and certainly worth continuing with.

American Chibi?

THE MOVEMENT #2 (Gail Simone / Freddie Williams II) DC

A solid first issue was followed by a better second issue. Mouse was especially fun this issue. I understand that the last issue reveal would actually mean something to me if I ever read Gen13.

AVENGERS #13 (Hickman / Spencer / Deodato / Martin) Marvel

This felt like an old-school superhero comic a little. Throwing down against the High Evolutionary!

Though for those who have seen me complain about how over-powered the Blue Marvel is, Hyperion is just as bad. Superman is boring over in DC comics. Why have Superman knock offs over here?

MISTER X: EVICTION #2 (Dean Motter) Dark Horse

This book oozes style. The story is good enough. The actual drawing is good enough. But the STYLE and DESIGN of both makes this book both retro and modern at the same time. It is unique.

FAIREST #16 (Sean E. Williams / Stephen Sadowski / Phil Jimenez / Dan Green) Vertigo

I have complained when Fairest focused too much on make characters but this book felt like we were seeing Nalayani’s story still, but this issue was giving us Charming’s perspective. That works… for an issue.

The art continues to be superb… but the font in the word balloons continues to be very annoying.

ALL-NEW X-MEN #12 (Brian Michael Bendis / Stuart Immonen / Wade von Grawbadger / Marte Gracia) Marvel

Stupid, misleading cover… but I am glad that what happened there did not happen inside. The one line that captures the beauty of this book was “You got to see your brother at his best.”

Meanwhile, their insistence at going and clearing their own name was perfect. Baby X-Men vs Sabretooth could be messy. Good thing Pointy Bits is coming with them.

DIAL H #13 (China Mieville / Alberto Ponticelli / Dan Green) DC

If it wasn’t for the part at the beginning where I felt like I was playing catch-up as the book delved into lots of exposition to try and cover how confusing the book was… it would have been number one. Open-Window Man is ridiculous but he was perfect here as he tried to recreate Batman (as Orphan), but was ultimately rejected… and then saves everyone.

That out of nowhere characterization is what makes this book work. When they get to the more plot-driven parts… well, the plot is not always so comprehensible.

SWAMP THING #21 (Charles Soule / Jesus Saiz) DC

Start with a beautiful cover by Jock… add in strong storytelling and nice art inside. A new interesting Swampy from the past. The Parliament of Trees (threatened YET AGAIN), a new character with promise (though limited). Even some good action bits.

This feels like the best Swampy issue of the relaunch. I was worried about what the book would be like after Scott Snyder left. It is better.


Reading List 2013

June 8, 2013
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A small comic week meant another Walking Dead volume.

2013 in BOOKS

Faust McKenzie, Faux Reals by Chris Gilpin
Daughter of Regals and Other Stories by Stephen R. Donaldson
The Great Black North, edited by Valerie Mason-John & Kevan Anthony Cameron
Language Myths, edited by Laurie Bauer & Peter Trudgill
Tomy Bewick, My Mouth Hurts Too Much To Fight You.
Langston Hughes, The Ways of White Folks

2013 in Comic Collections

The Walking Dead Volume 3: Safety Behind Bars
The Walking Dead Volume 2: Miles Behind Us
The Walking Dead Volume 1: Days Gone Bye
Uncanny X-Men: From the Ashes
X-Men: The Fall of the Mutants
Richard Stark’s Parker Vol 1: The Hunter by Darwyn Cooke
New Mutants Classic Vol. 1


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Rusty’s Comic of the Week: X-Men #1

June 8, 2013
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XMen_1_Cover

This was a really small week.

Three books.

That’s it.

THIEF OF THIEVES #14 (Kirkman / Diggle / Martinbrough / Serrano) Image

Eh… in a vacuum this is a good read. My issue is that we seem to be getting the same story over and over. SOmebody gets something on Redmond and forces him to steal for them. He figures out a way to screw them over. Repeat.

NEW AVENGERS #6 (Jonathan Hickman / Steve Epting / Rick Magyar / Frank D’Armata) Marvel

Did you hear that they have announced a new REAL New Avengers? Only they are calling it Mighty Avengers.

This issue wasn’t bad. The way Black Swan talks down to all of them is fun. Hickman’s choppy writing style is less so.

X-Men #1 (Wood / Coipel / Morales / Martin) Marvel

Now THIS book was good. I love how Wood has made a comic starring female members of the X-Men without it being ABOUT the fact the characters are female. SOme may feel that revolving it around a baby is a little stereotypical, but it doesn’t read that way.

Is Jubilee still a vampire? Please say no…

Good characters. Good writing. Very good art. What’s not to like?