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Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Hawkeye #14

November 30, 2013
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hawkeye-14

This was a pretty good week, overall, though I am also dropping a book.

Starting at the weakest.

PRETTY DEADLY #2 (DeConnick / Rios / Bellaire / Cowles) Image

This is the bottom book but it is NOT the one I am dropping. Why? Ruthanne really likes it.

I like the writer. I like the artist. I like the genre.

So why don’t I like this book?

Simple, I have no idea FROM THE COMIC, what it is about. (I know some from interviews, but that shouldn’t count.)

It just doesn’t make any sense. A series of pretty pictures (and they ARE that) does not make a story.

NEW AVENGERS #12 (Hickman / Deodato / Martin) Marvel

This issue sums up the PROBLEM with this book in microcosm. “You think Thanos and the Builders were tough? Wait until you face someone who is a REAL threat!” This book can do nothing but crank up the intensity. That is Hickman’s thing… make bigger and bigger threats, ad nauseum. That isn’t good storytelling. Just wait until the face the architects! is not my idea of interesting.

Many know I am a BIG Avengers fan from way back. That might have this book on my pull list a little longer than normal, but lets be honest. This isn’t an Avengers book any more than Avengers Arena is an Avengers book.

UNCANNY AVENGERS #14 (Remender / McNiven / Dell / Martin) Marvel

I don’t believe the end of this book for a second, and that is a good thing.

Oh, spoiler warning, I guess.

Still here? This issue they killed off Scarlet Witch, Rogue and Wonder Man. If I believed it was legit, I would drop this book right now.

This isn’t about begin attached to characters. Inf act, I am in the George Martin school of ‘kill ’em when people like ’em’ philosophy. No, my issue is them killing off two major female characters just like that. There is a shortage of TOP Marvel female characters and they kill two of them with no real pay-off?

Well, that’s why I don’t buy it. We’ll see.

INFINITY #6 (Hickman / Cheung / Morales / Ponsor) Marvel

The best part o this comic is the info on the cover that says it is the last issue. It was an okay read (which is why it is higher than the previous two books), but that is all. As an EVENT, it failed on all levels. The ONLY thing this story will be remembered for is launching the new Inhumans line… which has now been delayed three months. Well done.

ALL-NEW X-MEN #19 (Bendis / Peterson / Da Silva) Marvel

I quite like the Bendis X-books, but this one didn’t really stand out. Fighting mutant-hating soldiers with big guns. Been there, done that. A lot. Also, Cyclops suddenly turns into a moron, why? And the art wasn’t great. Not terrible, but not great.

THE MASSIVE #17 (Brian Wood / Garry Brown / Jordie Bellaire) Dark Horse

The environmentalists versus the old school whalers. I was firmly on the side of the Ninth Wave… but then Callum wants to shoot him? Huh?

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #22 (Slott / Gage / Ramos / Olazaba / Delgado) Marvel

When Peter comes back, he may be right out of friends. The Avengers… Black Cat… now Venom.

This book hits right on all levels. Character, story, subplots, everything.

REVIVAL #15 (Tim Seeley / Mike Norton) Image

Finding Em’s killer? All right! I’m onboard. Anything involving super-creepy Jordan? You bet. The oddly awesome Mr. Majek? Great!

Just… can we drop that racist asshole?

SAGA #16 (Brian K. Vaughan / Fiona Staples) Image

No the best issue of Saga, though still great. I am not a fan of dropping the word ‘faggots’ in, though it clearly was used to make that exact reaction. It also gave those two newshound an extra layer of character right away. The Klara / Oswald pairing is interesting and so on.

A good issue of a great comic.

THIEF OF THIEVES #18 (Kirkman / Diggle / Martinbrough / Serrano) Image

There are two points in a heist story that are mutually exclusive but are the points everyone is waiting for. One: the point where you find out that the plan wasn’t what you thought it was, and was actually way smarter OR Two: the point when the meticulously laid-out plan goes inevitably wrong.

This issue was the former. This is where the comic excels. When it gets away from that, it suffers, BUT can you just have the same two stories over and over?

HAWKEYE #14 (Fraction / Wu / Hollingsworth) Marvel

If you see Wu in the credits then it is a Kate Bishop issue. Fraction pulls off charming very, VERY well. She is trying to be a sped-hero on a bicycle. The fact that she pulled it off while obviously against overwhelming odds while kind of stumbling to a resolution while having an understated position on same-sex marriage (or as it should be know, ‘marriage’).

If Saga was a good issue of a great comic, Hawkeye was a great issue of a great comic.

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Rusty’s Reading List 2013

November 29, 2013
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Swamp-Thing-The-Curse-196x300

The next volume of Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing. This is the one where John Constantine gets introduced. He isn’t yet all that he will be, but the concept is there… quite well formed, actually.

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
My Mouth Hurts Too Much To Fight You by Tomy Bewick
The Ways of White Folks by Langston Hughes

2013 in Comic Collections

Swamp Thing: The Curse
Swamp Thing: Love and Death
Saga of the Swamp Thing
Y, The Last Man Vol. 2: Cycles
Y, The Last Man Vol. 1: Unmanned
Marvel Masterworks Vol. 21: The Fantastic Four
Marvel Masterworks: The Fantastic Four Vol. 3
Marvel Masterworks Vol.6: The Fantastic Four
Marvel Masterworks Vol.2: The Fantastic Four
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

November 26, 2013
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SwampThing TPB 2

On to the second volume of Swamp Thing. The big thing I noticed this time out is how much Neil Gaiman’s Sandman owes to Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing. Not to call it derivative, but there are some definite techniques as far as storytelling styles go.

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
My Mouth Hurts Too Much To Fight You by Tomy Bewick
The Ways of White Folks by Langston Hughes

2013 in Comic Collections

Swamp Thing: Love and Death
Saga of the Swamp Thing
Y, The Last Man Vol. 2: Cycles
Y, The Last Man Vol. 1: Unmanned
Marvel Masterworks Vol. 21: The Fantastic Four
Marvel Masterworks: The Fantastic Four Vol. 3
Marvel Masterworks Vol.6: The Fantastic Four
Marvel Masterworks Vol.2: The Fantastic Four
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: Sex Criminals #3

November 25, 2013
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Sex-Criminals-3-Cover

This was a pretty good week. I went into it thinking I might prune a book or two from the bottom end… but I am not interested in cutting either of the bottom books. They were actually pretty good!

Starting at the weakest…

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL #1 (Gage / Rodriguez / Lopez) Marvel

I like Christos Gage and this was a good comic, but it didn’t quite ‘feel’ the same as the Slott version. The villain was pretty forgettable and never felt like a real threat. The scene were May sees him in action felt needless… but maybe I am wrong and there will be repercussions.

Not a bad book, just not as good as the monthly.

ANIMAL MAN #25 (Jeff Lemire / Rafael Albuquerque) DC

I am quite enjoying Animal Man, so why is this issue so low? Well, as I said, there are no real bad books this week. I think what makes this one relatively weaker is that it feels like just a piece linking the previous issues with the next one. The end seemed WAY out of place, but I can’t judge that until I know why it is happening. The bits with Buddy and Ellen worked, as they always do.

Definitely worth reading, just don’t start with this one.

AVENGERS #23 (Hickman / Yu / Gho / Mounts) Marvel

An issue of Hickman Avengers above an issue of Lemire’s Animal Man? Well, yeah, but just. This issue FINALLY starting feeling the air of desperation and need that comes with good war books… and that is what they need for this story to work at all. So, the story is starting to work in mood, if not in plot.

Side note, Yu is a very good artist when he isn’t drawing women’s breasts. I don’t mean they are too large or whatever – lots of artists have that problem. I mean he draws them like he has no idea what they are supposed to look like.

WONDER WOMAN #25 (Brian Azzarello / Goran Sudzuka) DC

Strife! The way Strife is playing everyone like a fiddle really works for me. The double standard between Hermes and Hera also really works, because it ISN’T a double standard. Hera was their enemy. Now she isn’t. Hermes was their ally and he betrayed them. Very different.

The only thing that stopped this book from being higher is that the art was only so-so and the scene with the First Born didn’t work for me at all.

X-MEN #7 (Wood / Dodson / Dodson / Keith) Marvel

Wait… Ana Cortes was a teenager? I like the Dodson’s work, but if you can’t tell the difference between a teenaged woman and an adult woman… well, that isn’t great.

The comic IS very good though. Monet is a very good addition to the cast, as is the new Karima (nice excuse about actually making her look brown). The interplay between the two is very good, as is it between Monet and Jubilee.

I have said before that the X-line is an embarrassment of riches right now.

AVENGERS A.I. #6 (Humphries / Schiti / D’Armata) Marvel

The good: the S.H.I.E.L.D. stuff so we question who the actual good guys are. The Hank Pym manic stage and the Victor reveal. The Dmitrios / Vision fight.

The bad: a meaningless reveal that actually doesn’t add anything to the story.

The awesome: “I am not compatible with embracing.” Respect his space, Hank!

UNCANNY X-MEN #14 (Bendis / Bachalo / Townsend) Marvel

A nice spotlight on not-Morph. Bendis doing what Bendis does best – characterization. Bachalo was key here as he made the scenes with Mr. Deeds work. It was mostly wordless and needed to be. Good job.

YOUNG AVENGERS #12 (Gillen / McKelvie / Norton / Wilson) Marvel

So, this book was about getting people to read Journey Into Mystery? You should have done that while it was still being published. Seriously though, this is a really good comic. So, of course, it has been announced that it is ending.

Sigh.

FABLES #135 (Willingham / Buckingham / Braun) Vertigo

I am really digging the Knights of the Round Table concept, but I still don’t really get why Brandish has been ‘rescued’. I am with Snow on that one. The end was a little sudden, but with all of the pieces in the air, I am looking forward to where it is going. (Plus the books still gets extra brownie points for that amazing afterlife issue.)

DAREDEVIL #33 (Waid / Samnee / Copland / Rodriguez) Marvel

This was a really good read. Waid and Samnee should do a Marvel Monsters book. This one was top-notch. I will say that I think it s weird when a long-standing character says that he doesn’t really trust magic… how many times has he teamed with Dr. Strange?

DD is just a fun, old-school read. Top notch.

SEX CRIMINALS #3 (Fraction / Zdarsky) Image

Wow, is this book great. The second issue wasn’t as good as the first, but the musical number in this one was excellent! I actually read a review where the writer was complaining about the scene, saying that their inability to get the rights to the song really hurt it… I think you really missed the point there. I don’t think they ever tried. The ‘post-is’ were the POINT! Just like the Hawkeye censorship when we have otherwise had full frontal Clint, was the POINT!

This is a fun book.


Rusty’s Reading List 2013

November 20, 2013
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704669-swampthin1

I just bought the fourth volume of the Alan Moore Swamp Thing run so I am rereading them, starting with Volume 1.

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
My Mouth Hurts Too Much To Fight You by Tomy Bewick
The Ways of White Folks by Langston Hughes

2013 in Comic Collections

Saga of the Swamp Thing
Y, The Last Man Vol. 2: Cycles
Y, The Last Man Vol. 1: Unmanned
Marvel Masterworks Vol. 21: The Fantastic Four
Marvel Masterworks: The Fantastic Four Vol. 3
Marvel Masterworks Vol.6: The Fantastic Four
Marvel Masterworks Vol.2: The Fantastic Four
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

November 19, 2013
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I just bought the third FF Marvel Masterworks and the second Y trade so I read the other ones that went with them.

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
My Mouth Hurts Too Much To Fight You by Tomy Bewick
The Ways of White Folks by Langston Hughes

2013 in Comic Collections

Y, The Last Man Vol. 2: Cycles
Y, The Last Man Vol. 1: Unmanned
Marvel Masterworks Vol. 21: The Fantastic Four
Marvel Masterworks: The Fantastic Four Vol. 3
Marvel Masterworks Vol.6: The Fantastic Four
Marvel Masterworks Vol.2: The Fantastic Four
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: All-New X-Men #18

November 19, 2013
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All-New_X-Men_Vol_1_18_Textless

Zoobity-do zoobity-bow-wow-wow…

Starting at the weakest…

BATMAN #25 (Scott Snyder / Greg Capullo / Danny Miki) DC

Two over-priced gimmick covers in a row? At least issue 24 was a good comic. This one was not so great. It was not awful… well, mostly.

Except the Batmobile. Wow. Was THAT lame. Bouncy tires that stick to the roof? What?

ROCKET GIRL #2 (Brandon Montclare / Amy Reeder) Image

Much like issue #1, we have a very well drawn comic with a weak story. I am a big Amy Reeder fan so I hope this book gets better.

FBP #5 (Simon Oliver / Robbi Rodriguez) Vertigo

This was better than the last few issues. Focusing on people is usually good thing, especially early. If you don’t care about the characters, you aren’t going to care about the comic.

THE ROCKETEER & THE SPIRIT: PULP FRICTION #3 (Waid / J. Bone / Fajardo) IDW

I like J. Bone… but that cover is really crappy. I wish I got the Chris Samnee variant.

The art is better inside… but the story got weaker. That kind of Sci-Fi super-villainny stuff doesn’t seem to fit EITHER character. Kind of disappointing.

SUPERMAN/WONDER WOMAN #2 (Charles Soule / Tony S. Daniel / Sandu Florea) DC

Meanwhile, this comic is WAY better than the first issue. The first issue was pretty crappy but the focus on the WW side of things, with Apollo primarily, really worked. I live the understated cockiness of Superman… and I loved even more him getting knocked into the middle of next week for it. I am still not a fan of Doomsday but overall, this issue was a pleasant surprise.

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #21 (Slott / Camuncoli / Dell / Fabela) Marvel

Hey, I wonder if Otto will regret doing that when everyone gets moved back into their correct bodies.Peter now gets credit for all of Otto’s scientific breakthroughs?

Stunner is an interesting character. I am not familiar with her before now. She is pretty one-note, but she reminds me of Titania a little bit… with the tech angle. Titania’s origin, any way.

CATACLYSM: ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #1 (Bendis / Marquez / Ponsor) Marvel

This is really the next issue of USM, and it continues to be a good book. The Ultimates scene was great. The Bombshell scene was great. I like Bendis in general but there is no question that this is the book he is MEANT to be doing.

I hope he keeps doing it after the Ultimate Uni is destroyed.

ASTRO CITY #6 (Busiek / Anderson / Ross / Sinclair / Comicraft) Vertigo

This book is consistently really good. How does Busiek keep coming up with interesting character after interesting character?

I would recommend Astro City to anyone. Any volume. Any issue. Just buy it.

ALL-NEW X-MEN #18 (Brian Mcihael Bendis / Stuart Immonen / Wade von Grawbadger / Marte Gracia) Marvel

Speaking of good characters… Now Bendis didn’t create these ones (for the most part) but he nails each and every one of them. How can you pack so much characterization into so many characters in so few panels? This is like a master class in that. Let’s pick Eva Bell for example. If you aren’t reading Uncanny X-Men and just encountered her, how could you know so much in so few panels?

If Astro City is the perfect comic to read individual issues. This is a great book o read ongoing characters.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Swamp Thing #25

November 14, 2013
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265px-Swamp_Thing_Vol_5-25_Cover-1_Teaser

This actually for last week as I was away at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word so didn’t get my comics until I got back.

It wasn’t a great week, honestly. Some okay books, but not very many.

MARVEL KNIGHTS: SPIDER-MAN #2 (Matt Kindt / Marco Rudy / Val Staples) Marvel

What can I say about this comic? It was better than issue #1. That is something, I guess.

I CAN say that after Suicide Squad and this, Matt Kindt is not rating very high on my preferred writers list.

THE MOVEMENT #6 (Gail Simone / Freddie Williams II) DC

So far I like the IDEA of this book more than the book itself. The art hurts it, but the biggest problem is that it seems to meander. It is character-based more than plot-based, which definitely an work but… we’ll see. It isn’t in danger of me dropping it yet.

TRILLIUM #4 (Jeff Lemire) Vertigo

Now HERE is an example of a book that is really hurt by its art. Jeff Lemire is a very good writer, but his art is distracting from the story. It really hurts my enthusiasm for the book.

MIGHTY AVENGERS #3 (Ewing / Land / Leisten / D’Armata) Marvel

There have been places where I have spoken out against Blue Marvel. I am not a fan of incredibly over-powered character. I hated the Sentry, for example. Having said that, Adam sure worked in this issue. In fact, they ALL worked well in this issue. Luke’s speech at the end was a perfect capstone. This very well could be the Avengers book that succeeds where the others are generally failing… making you care about the characters. Oh, and the identity of Spider Hero has been spoiled… I won’t reveal it here but… interesting. I sure didn’t guess it, and I am not sure of I like it. Could be worse, that’s for sure.

AMAZING X-MEN #1 (Jason Aaron / Ed McGuiness) Marvel

Another entertaining X-Book? It seems that the X-books are the place to be now that Marvel has done so much damage to the Avengers franchise. This book is just fun – straight up. The sexual innuendo between Wolverine and Storm didn’t really work, but the rest was top-notch. You can pretty much buy any marvel book with X in the title without going wrong. (Well, maybe not that Wolverine & the X-Men one…)

SWAMP THING #25 (Charles Soule / Jesus Saiz) DC

Swamp Thing vs Seeder for the right to be the avatar of the Green! What could be better?

This was a great issue with an interesting fight (not much of a punch ’em up, but why would it be?), interesting philosophical dilemmas and a surprise ending!

Good comic!


Rusty’s Reading List 2013

November 3, 2013
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Reread the first volume of the Lee/Kirby FF. This (along with Spider-Man) changed characterization in comics. Great stuff.

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
My Mouth Hurts Too Much To Fight You by Tomy Bewick
The Ways of White Folks by Langston Hughes

2013 in Comic Collections

Marvel Masterworks Vol.2: The Fantastic Four
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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