Rusty's World

Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Saga #15

October 31, 2013
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saga-15-cover

This week had one of the most anticipated comics in years… at least to me.

Yet it wasn’t the comic of the week.

ULTIMATE COMICS CATACLYSM #0.1 (Fialkov / Suayan / Kirk / Woodard) Marvel

Bridging Hunger with Cataclysm. Unfortunately, Hunger was boring. I am looking forward to the real Cataclysm mini, with Bends and Bagley.

AVENGERS A.I. #5 (Humphries / Schiti / D’Armata) Marvel

So, the art is Schiti? Actually, it isn’t that bad.

What knocks this book down this week is the Alexis transformation. There is a memory block! She thinks hard! It is broken now!

That’s it?

X-MEN: BATTLE OF THE ATOM #2 (Bendis / Cho / Gracia) Marvel

This ended up pretty lacklustre. So the young X-Men can’t go back in time because of… what? Was that in the Wolverine & X-Men issue that I didn’t get? Because the future X-Men have no problem going home. The deaths mean nothing. The Brotherhood stayed here? That means something. Kitty and the youngsters have joined Cyclops?

This comic wasn’t great but there is story potential going forward.

INFINITY #5 (Hickman / Opena / Weaver / Ponsor) Marvel

This crossover has gotten better. It has moved all the way up to – doesn’t suck. I still am looking forward to it begin over.

AVENGERS #22 (Hickman / Yu / Alanguilan / Gho) Marvel

See Infinity #5.

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #20 (Slott / Camuncoli / Dell / Fabela) Marvel

He knocked out her tooth?! What the hell?!

I didn’t care for that at all. I like the new Parker company though. That will be interesting when Peter comes back.

SWAMP THING ANNUAL #2 (Charles Soule / Javier Pina / Kano) DC

Bit by bit, Swamp Thing is turning back into classic Swamp Thing. This was a good issue and a great evolution of his powers. I’m not sure I liked the mentor, but the Lady of the Weeds was pretty cool. Swampy is a really good comic.

SANDMAN OVERTURE #1 (Neil Gaiman / J.H. Williams III) Vertigo

I was SOOOO looking forward to this. Gaiman’s Sandman is one of… if not THE… high-water marks for long form comics. He is joined by one of the best design artists going. How could this not be good? How could they possible screw this up?

Well, neither Gaiman or Williams did… and this is almost a silly point… but the ads really annoyed me. Two page ad spreads interspersed throughout the comic whenever there was a scene break.

I hated it. It ruined the flow of the story. Comics used to be like this, but Vertigo books are usually held to a higher standard.

Great comic with that nitpick.

SAGA #15 (Brian K. Vaughan / Fiona Staples) Image

Which opened the door for the best CURRENT comic going to day. New inspiration for Alana. A dramatic turn of events for The Will and Sophia. An awesomely ridiculous cover. This is good comics. (If it wasn’t for that ad issue, Sandman would have taken it, though.)

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Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Ultimate Spider-Man #28

October 27, 2013
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ultSM28

This was a pretty disappointing week. It looked like a great lineup, but while they didn’t all crap out, there were many that jsut didn’t live up to expectations.

ROCKETEER & SPIRIT: PULP FRICTION #2 (Waid / Wallace / Wiacek) IDW

Issue #1 was my comic of the week… three months ago. It was drawn by Paul Smith. Now we have Loston Wallace. These Rocketeer comics have had some great artists like Smith, Chris Samnee, J. Bone… Wallace is none of these. These books live or die on their art fitting the style and mood. This was just not up to the task.

PRETTY DEADLY #1 (DeConnick / Rios / Bellaire / Cowles) Image

I was really looking forward to this book by the creative team of that great Osborne miniseries a few years back.

This was not what I was hoping for. It is just a mess. Here is my theme line for the week: what the hell is going on here?

GREAT PACIFIC #11 (Joe Harris / Martin Morazzo) Image

Allies then enemies then allies? Villain then sex partner then villain then idiot?

I don’t mind twists and turns but this book is starting to seem like it was plotted with a dart board at times.

THE MASSIVE #16 (Brian Wood / Garry Brown / Jordie Bellaire) Dark Horse

Is Brian Wood trying to make Greenpeace look irrational? Or am I reading too much here. This seems like a big shift from a stoy involving nuclear weapons and super-powers. I think those super-powers are bad for the story so I don’t mind too much, but this book seems to ignore the previous issues.

YOUNG AVENGERS #11 (Gillen / McKelvie / Anka / Norton / Wilson) Marvel

So why did Loki go from Kid Loki to Emo Loki? Did it serve any purpose other than making his age closer to the rest of the cast? Setting him up for his new series?

Marking time issue.

UNCANNY AVENGERS #13 (Remender / Acuna) Marvel

Wanda and Simon revealed as still being heroes was good. That was a pretty graphic sex scene… what is the rating on this book?

I was not a big fan of making Cap look so foolish, but I guess it was needed to make Havok seem more like a leader. Wasp’s method of defeating Banshee was… icky. Rogue is going to charge in and screw everything up, isn’t she?

SEX CRIMINALS #2 (Fraction / Zdarsky) Image

Another fun issue, though not as great as the first one. I am a little afraid that the fun in this book will wear off once they are into the life of crime, but I am willing to follow along to find out.

DAREDEVIL #32 (Waid / Samnee / Rodriguz) Marvel

Just in time for Halloween! Fun stuff as always from Waid and Samnee. I hope Marvel has a decent plan for this book once their run ends (which is happening soon.)

THE UNWRITTEN #54 (M.Carey / P. Gross / B. Willingham / M. Buckingham) Vertigo

Half o fa great book and half of a poorly done What If? comic. The whole ‘we can do whatever we want with the Fables characters because they aren’t real’ was lame. Bigby kills off half of his family, including his wife!

The second half where Tommy deals with the very fabric of reality was much better.

A three month wait now, hey? I am okay with that as long as you return with something better than Unwritten Fables.

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #28 (Bendis / Marquez / Ponsor / Mounts) Marvel

Final issue. Kind of.
During the Cataclysm story, each core Ultimate book is replaced by a mini tying into Cataclysm. Then… something else.

This was a solid issue, ignoring Cataclysm. They implied that S.H.I.E.L.D. wanted to make a team out of Miles, Jessica, Bombshell and Cloak & Dagger. Red herring to lead us away from the idea that the world is about to end? Maybe…


Rusty’s Reading List 2013

October 26, 2013
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This was a reread. It is a nice quality chapbook from a Vancouver poet.

8 of the 12 books listed here (not counting the comic collections) are poetry books…

2013 in BOOKS

Naked Poetry by Steve Miller
Zeppelin by Blaise Moritz
Go In My Glory Hole Heart by Regie Cabico, Cathy Petch & David Bateman
Am I Not by Em Kwissa
Heart Clench Year by Janice Lee
Against All Things Ending by Stephen R. Donaldson
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 Best American Comics 2007, Chris Ware, Ed.
Marvel Masterworks: The Uncanny X-Men Vol. 3
Marvel Masterworks Vol.12: The X-Men
Marvel Masterworks Vol.11: The X-Men
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 (month… year…): Fables #134

October 21, 2013
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fables134_1

Quite the extremes this week. The comic of the week was really… REALLY… good. The worst comic was… well, I might as well kick things off…

NEW AVENGERS #11 (Hickman / Deodato / Martin) Marvel

Let me start off by saying that even WITHOUT the problem I am about to lay out for you this book isn’t very good. Just as the 10 issues before it weren’t very good. What is keeping me around?

I just love the Avengers. I don’t buy them blindly any more (there are too damned many of them), but it is hard for me to let go. (Thankfully Mighty Avengers seems really good, because the Hickman stuff is very disappointing.)

Having said THAT, this book is worse than that.

There is a war in Wakanda, between some alien Thanos followers and the Wakandan army. You know Wakanda, right? One of the most (of not THE most) technologically advanced countries on the planet? Led by their Queen, the Black Panther. With all of that high tech at her disposal, she chooses to attack her enemy by… throwing a spear at them.

A spear.

A Queen of an African country LITERALLY throws a spear at someone.

Look, I am not implying that Hickman is racist. I don’t even know the man. But at a minimum he is guilty of being really, REALLY stupid here.

HUNGER #4 (Fialkov / Kirk / Aburtov) Marvel

Well, that was pointless. Rick Jones is Captain Marvel now. They are still going to destroy the Ultimate Universe, so who really cares? I am looking forward to Cataclysm, but this was just filling space.

AVENGERS # 21 (Hickman / Yu / Alanguilan / Gho) Marvel

Why does Marvel put the two Hickman Avengers books out on the same week every month? That doesn’t make sense at all.

This book is better than NA, but that is damning with faint praise. Any chance Bendis will come back?

UNCANNY X-MEN #13 (Bendis / Bachalo / Townsend / Gracia) Marvel

Speaking of Bendis…

Battle of the Atom is better than Infinity in every way, but this is still just an extended fight scene with an unexplained twist that seems a bit like a deus ex machina.

THIEF OF THIEVES #17 (Kirkman / Diggle / Martinbrough / Serrano) Image

The on-going heist picture of a comic book continues to be an on-going heist picture. That works for me. WHo is making the series? This seems like an AMC property to me. Hamm as Redmond?

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #19 (Slott / Stegman / Livesay / Delgado) Marvel

So if 2099 is staying in 2013, the Captain is likely playing Spider-Hero, Miles will be the Ultimate survivor, Peter is coming back (duh)… the web is going to get crowded.

ANIMAL MAN #24 (Jeff Lemire / Rafael Albuquerque) DC

I thought Brother Blood was a formidable enemy, but really he is just a flunky. It is the Totem that is the issue. Big threat. Scary implications. Stress induced reunion. Good character points all around.

WONDER WOMAN #24 (Brian Azzarello / Goran Sudzuka) DC

Do you know what annoys me? That Superman/Wonder Woman book probably outsells this one, despite being nowhere near as good.

This issue was GREAT! We are finally moving on as the prophecy has been dealt with and the new story about Diana’s place among the pantheon is really interesting. Hermes got a really good point in and Apollo is nothing to fool around with. Good stuff.

HAWKEYE #13 (Fraction / Aja / Hollingsworth) Marvel

I should be disappointed. After a long delay this book STILL didn’t advance the plot, and only put other actions into some sort of timeline.

But it did it really well. Great stories, great art, great comics.

FABLES #134 (Willingham / Buckingham / Leialoha / Pepoy) Vertigo

Wow.

It has been a long time since Fables was GREAT. It is still good (except when Willingham lets his politics take over), and sometimes it is really good.

But this issue is better than that.

Two conversations. That’s it. Two well written, moving, powerful, sad conversations. Illustrated in such a way to make them even MORE than they already are. Bucky’s design instincts go to a whole other level here.

But still… those conversations… the second one… the question…

I can’t even really describe this.

May I be overly moved by this? I lost my father this year. Did that chance how I looked at this book?

Maybe… but whatever. This is just a wonderful comic.


Rusty’s Reading List 2013

October 14, 2013
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I picked up this 2007 copy of Best American Comics in the bargain section at Chapters. THere are some really great comics in there. The Adrian Tomine, Gilbert Hernandez and Alison Bechdel really stood out. Some were less good, but that’s what you get in an anthology.

2013 in BOOKS

Zeppelin by Blaise Moritz
Go In My Glory Hole Heart by Regie Cabico, Cathy Petch & David Bateman
Am I Not by Em Kwissa
Heart Clench Year by Janice Lee
Against All Things Ending by Stephen R. Donaldson
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 Best American Comics 2007, Chris Ware, Ed.
Marvel Masterworks: The Uncanny X-Men Vol. 3
Marvel Masterworks Vol.12: The X-Men
Marvel Masterworks Vol.11: The X-Men
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 Reading List 2013

October 14, 2013
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I bought Volume 3 of the new X-Men Masterworks, which is what prompted me to re-read the first two volumes. This is great stuff by Claremont and Byrne. Here we get the storyline where two groups of X-Men think the other group is dead for an extended period – even prompting Xavier to leave earth. We also got the first Alpha Flight appearance. Nice.

2013 in BOOKS

Zeppelin by Blaise Moritz
Go In My Glory Hole Heart by Regie Cabico, Cathy Petch & David Bateman
Am I Not by Em Kwissa
Heart Clench Year by Janice Lee
Against All Things Ending by Stephen R. Donaldson
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

Marvel Masterworks: The Uncanny X-Men Vol. 3
Marvel Masterworks Vol.12: The X-Men
Marvel Masterworks Vol.11: The X-Men
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 Reading List 2013

October 14, 2013
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Another Marvel Masterworks re-read… the next X-Men Volume (now called Marvel Masterworks: Uncanny X-Men Vol. 2). This is Claremont and Cockrum mostly, with Byrne starting at the end. This is where the X-Men really starts to take off, including the debut of Weapon Alpha (later called Guardian) at the end of the volume.)

2013 in BOOKS

Zeppelin by Blaise Moritz
Go In My Glory Hole Heart by Regie Cabico, Cathy Petch & David Bateman
Am I Not by Em Kwissa
Heart Clench Year by Janice Lee
Against All Things Ending by Stephen R. Donaldson
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

Marvel Masterworks Vol.12: The X-Men
Marvel Masterworks Vol.11: The X-Men
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: Batman #24

October 13, 2013
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Batman-24-Cover

This week had some surprises and some disappointments. The image above shows one of the surprises. We start with the disappointments…

AMERICA’S GOT POWERS #7 (Jonathan Ross / Bryan Hitch) Image

This book started good and got worse and worse as it went on. The delays got longer, the art got worse and the story went nowhere interesting. If this were on on-going, I would be cancelling it now. Very disappointing.

FBP #4 (Simon Oliver / Robbi Rodriguez) Vertigo

Another disappointing book. It has a great premise and there is a thread to follow, but the story seems really shallow, despite the depth of concept.

SUPERMAN & WONDER WOMAN #1 (Charles Soule / Tony S. Daniel / Matt Banning) DC

Wonder Woman is popular in this house so despite not being into the whole JLA thing, we decided to get this. Added bonus, Charles Soule is a great writer! Check out Swamp Thing.

This isn’t Swamp Thing. Yeah, this was pretty disappointing. Compare this to the great Brian Azzarello book. Not even close.

ROCKET GIRL #1 (Amy Reeder / Brandon Montclare) Image

It might be telling that the cover lists the artist first, because the writing is a little weak. Reeder is great, but this is not nearly her best work. Compare this ti Halloween Eve or Madame Xanadu and it is pretty disappointing.

I have been using that word a lot. Things get better. Promise.

AVENGERS A.I. #4 (Humphries / Araujo / D’Armata) Marvel

I am enjoying the concepts in this book. Dimitrios is an interesting villain and I hope that once he is defeated that the Diamond sticks around as a new ‘land’ in the Marvel world. Their very own Kandor.

X-MEN #6 (Wood / Lopez / Smith / Martin) Marvel

A good new chapter in the Battle of the Atom story. The villains are revealed as villains, though their story is not yet apparent. The Sentinel X reveal was a lot better than the Jean Grey one. Plus, we have a new Wolverine/Mystique hybrid maybe?

ASTRO CITY #5 (Busiek / Anderson / Ross / Sinclair / Comicraft) Vertigo

Sorry, but I have to say it again. After the last few issues, this one was a little… disappointing. Still a solid read but not near the excellence of issues 2-4. I did really like the Dame Progress / Mister Cakewalk / Dr. Aegyptus story-let quite a bit.

INFINTY #4 (Hickman / Opena / Weaver / Ponsor) Marvel

Now we get into the GOOD surprises! This comic was kind of bad-ass. Thor vs the Builder for Hala’s independence could have been a boring punchfest, but nope. Now the good guys have an army of Accusers at their backs.

BATMAN #24 (Scott SNyder / Greg Capullo / Danny Miki) DC

Speaking of surprises! I was considering cancelling this book and that was exacerbated when they showed up with a $7 issue (eep!)

But this comic was really good! It finishes off the battle with the Red Hood Gang… gives us what is probably the origin of the Joker, without revealing everything about him… and kicks off a Riddler story, who was the best part of the arc. Great!


Rusty’s Reading List 2013

October 13, 2013
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I just re-read the start of the new X-Men run by Chris Claremont and Dave Cockrum. I understand that this book is now called Marvel Masterworks: Uncanny X-Men Vol. 1. Good stuff, but not as good as it gets near the end of the next volume when John Byrne comes in and Claremont starts hitting his stride.

2013 in BOOKS

Zeppelin by Blaise Moritz
Go In My Glory Hole Heart by Regie Cabico, Cathy Petch & David Bateman
Am I Not by Em Kwissa
Heart Clench Year by Janice Lee
Against All Things Ending by Stephen R. Donaldson
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

Marvel Masterworks Vol.11: The X-Men
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: Swamp Thing #24

October 7, 2013
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swampthing24

Solid comic week.

From the weakest…

HUNGER #3 (Fialkov / Kirk / Aburtov) Marvel

It isn’t terrible but the whole ‘cosmic power’ and struggle against it in a non-specific way that drags on, issue after issue’ gets really old.

Also, inspired by Ultimate Peter Parker is almost becoming a trope.

TRILLIUM #3 (Jeff Lemire) Vertigo

And here is the most annoying comic of the week. When it was a flip book, it worked. When it is just random flipped pages, it is just a pain in the ass.

The comic isn’t good enough to make up for hoping it will end so you can stop flipping the book back and forth.

FAIREST #20 (Williams / Sadowski / Jimenez) Vertigo

Hey, remember what the premise of this Fables spin-off was supposed to be?

Yeah, me either. I am pretty sure it wasn’t the awakening of Prince Charming.

Not a great arc, but better than the last one. Hopefully Willingham doing Goldilocks will be better.

MARVEL KNIGHTS: SPIDER-MAN #1 (Matt Kindt / Marco Rudy / Val Staples) Marvel

This is the best LOOKING book out this week. Marco Rudy has done a great job. Too bad the story is such a bare excuse for a series of pin-up pages.

But, boy, do those pages look nice.

THE MOVEMENT #5 (Gail Simone / Freddie Willimas II) DC

Interesting issue. So there is a trial… but what authority does this court have? And what lengths are they willing to go to establish that authority? A schism was pretty much guaranteed at that point.

Best line: Oh no, you might see the skin around my eyes.

MIGHTY AVENGERS #2 (Ewing / Land / Leisten / D’Armata) Marvel

I have been a vocal opponent to Blue Marvel in the same way I was a vocal opponent of Sentry. Skewing the power level is DC’s thing. Marvel is better than that, usually.

Having said THAT, I really liked Adam in this comic. I may not like him when he starts fighting, but as the elder statesman, he was great.

Is this going to be the best Avengers book being published? Despite the Greg Land inclusion, signs point to yes.

ALL-NEW X-MEN #17 (Bendis / Immonen / Von Grawbadger / Gracia) Marvel

President Blaire, hey? Interesting twist… followed by the real twist. I missed the Wolverine issue but I don’t feel like I missed anything. Not much of a selling point there.

Still, this story is good, if slow. Lots of X-Teams from lots of times…

LAZARUS #4 (Rucka / Lark / Arcas) Image

This book is getting better and better. It was nearly #1 for me this week. Johanna is evil. I mean, REALLY evil.

So not all Larari are the same, I take it. I don’t think our star is as… metallic as Joaquim. I really liked the remove of the battle as the Carlyle’s tried to follow it through her biotelemetry.

Good book. Great art.

SWAMP THING #24 (Charles Soule / Andrei Bressan) DC

The reveal of who Seeder really is was excellent! I love the dichotomy between Swamp Thing and Seeder. (And Seeder is a lot better name than his pre-Alan Moore name.)

And the end with the Parliament NOT taking sides… wow. Charles Soule is the best Swamp Thing writer in a long time, in my opinion.


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