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Rusty’s Comic of the Week: The Unwritten: Apocalypse #1

January 26, 2014
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unwritten-apocalypse1-195x300

Big week with a drop and a surprising #1.

Starting at the weakest…

BATMAN #27 (Scott Snyder / Greg Capullo / Danny Miki) DC

More on the origin of Gordon’s coat? Really? Plus, the cops aren’t just bad…. they are bad enough to throw another cop in a pit of fighting dogs just to see what happens.

Ugh. Yeah, this just didn’t work for. This book has been more miss than hit and I am dropping it.

DC is really weak these days.

PRETTY DEADLY #4 (DeConnick / Rios / Bellaire / Cowles) Image

This book is five times better than it was the first couple of issues… which still doesn’t make it worth buying, in my opinion. Ruthanne likes it so we keep getting it.

AVENGERS #25 (Hickman / Larroca / Martin) Marvel

Well, this book wasn’t terrible. I liked the idea of finding a dead Hank Pym… to bad they solved the mystery for us immediately. Bad Avengers? Still, early strength Avengers should get whomped by the current level of power not he team.

AVENGERS WORLD #2 (Hickman / Spencer / Caselli / Martin) Marvel

I am good with the focus on Smasher (she sure looks like Yellowjacket at the end…), but I am less a fan of the yet-another-super-powerful-near-cosmic threat. I wonder how many people out there realize that the Entropic Man is not a new character?

X-MEN #9 (Wood / Dodson / Dodson / Keith) Marvel

Did Brian Wood create Arkea? He seems to be enamoured with her. Not a bad book. I actually think the Dodson’s (whom I like) is a bad choice with too many female characters because he does not differentiate between them very much. They were great on a book like Harley Quinn because they drew that one character very well without drawing attention to the fact that their range was a little limited.

I like the Sisterhood.

WONDER WOMAN #27 (Brian Azzarello / Cliff Chiang) DC

I think I am down to 3 DC books (this, Swamp Thing and Animal Man), and one os being cancelled.

This book is well done, but are we REALLY doing a story now about Zola and the baby being missing AGAIN? This book has got to expand its focus. It has been over two years with only one storyline.

THE MASSIVE #19 (Brian Wood / Garry Brown / Jordie Bellaire) Dark Horse

As I list my second Brian Wood title, I will say that I considered dropping all Wood books… and any creators that came out as acting inappropriate towards women in the comic industry.

The thing is, I read Wood’s apology and I think it makes sense. Am I giving him too much of the benefit of the doubt? Maybe.

Oh… the comic. It is pretty good. Callum hunting down his past.

ANIMAL MAN #27 (Jeff Lemire / Rafael Albuquerque) DC

This is the DC book that is begin cancelled, so Lemire can go work on Justice League. Sigh.

It is Justice League Canada, though, so I am going to give it a shot. We’ll see.

What makes this book land as high as it does this month is the scenes with Ellen. Punching that reporter was great. Showing that there are real-life consequences to such an action was also great. The fight scene wasn’t much but Maxine and Socks ‘going the wrong way’ (I have a feeling they didn’t and the Red is just circular) and the Shepherd paying for it… good stuff.

ALL-NEW X-MEN #22 (Bendis / Immonen / von Grawbadger / Gracia) Marvel

A strong characterization issue, which I tend to say a lot on Bendis books. The scene with Scott, Jean and Warren did ‘talking head’ in a great way. The Bobby scenes showed him off very well. Even the fight scene had a great level of kinetic energy, despite being a little one-sided.

I will have to remember to pick up the Guardians books, though they sure don’t look appealing based on that splash page. (Angela? How about getting some clothes?)

BLACK WIDOW #2 (Nathan Edmondson / Phil Noto) Marvel

Better than the first issue. The art is still spectacular but the writing mad dup some ground as well. Isaiah just got a little emote interesting and with the Iron Scorpion we now have a possible recurring villain for the book. Good, good…

I would recommend this book to a new reader.

MIGHTY AVENGERS #5 (Ewing / Land / Leisten / D’Armata) Marvel

Ah, Otto. The crazy thing is, he had a point… which he illustrated in the worst possible way. Arrogance will often be the undoing os such characters. Luke and Jessica sending Danielle away and then laying in to Otto was awesome. Is Jessica going to be more… active in this comic? I hope so (which does NOT mean going into costume with a codename…)

The best part of this book, and what nearly pushed it even higher? The last page. Complete with classic logo.

How about USING that logo on the book? No?

HAWKEYE #16 (Fraction / Wu / Hollingsworth) Marvel

This was the top book of the week right up until I pulled the final comic out of the bag.

Note: Issue 15 has not yet come out. This seems weird, but remember that right now Hawkeye is basically two separate comics – one about Clint and one about Kate. They also have different artists. I am guessing this is why 15 fell behind.

I don’t care. This was a really good, fun comic. Kate is pure charm. She i slough but not too tough. It looks like she has had enough of L.A., though. After the events of Young Avengers she is cleared to go back to New York. Will the two books-within-a-book intersect again?

THE UNWRITTEN: APOCALYPSE #1 (Mike Carey / Peter Gross) Vertigo

The Unwritten went on a little hiatus and then came back with a new name and a new #1. I guess sales needed a little pump.

Well, it seems like it was the fresh start it needed because the last storyline was incredibly disappointing (what a waste of a Fables ‘crossover’), but this one has fresh life (pun intended, if you read the book). The scene of Tommy trying to make to back to life were absolutely great. I don’t know what is going to come after this, because that is a one-off, but the different characters and lands that he pushed through without telling us what was going on, and getting clearer and clearer… yes. It worked from end to end.

Now, what has happened while he was gone?


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Uncanny X-Men #16

January 19, 2014
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uncanny xmen 16

A very solid week. A good number of really good reads.

Starting at the weakest.

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN: INHUMANITY #1 (Gage / Hans) Marvel

Does Christos Gage READ Superior Spider-Man? This wasn’t even the same character. At all.

ALL-NEW X-MEN #21 (Bendis / Peterson / Anderson / Silva) Marvel

The book jus didn’t flow. Things happened but they didn’t feel like one page moved to the next. The art was pretty suspect as well. Not awful but not very strong.

MIRACLEMAN #1 (Moore / Leach / Anglo / Lawrence / Conroy) Marvel

I have been really looking forward to this, and the Moore / Leach parts were very solid, though not deep enough to warrant a higher spot.

Unfortunately I also had to pay for a bunch of other filler. The old Mick Anglo pages were pretty bad and the sketches and interview etc. should have been on a website for free, to padding out a $6 comic.

ASTRO CITY #8 (Busiek / Anderson / Ross / Sinclair / Comicraft) Vertigo

Astro City is a great book. It works better with shorter stories, though, and this is at least a three parter and this is a middle part. A fun little Confessor / Samaritan tussle worked. Good book, but not a stand-out this week.

DAREDEVIL #35 (Waid / Samnee / Rodriguez) Marvel

Daredevil is really consistent. I was wrong about Foggy last issue and the way the Serpents get Matt to defend their guy works… though he probably would have done it anyway.

AMAZING X-MEN #3 (Aaron / McGuiness / Vines / Gracia) Marvel

Beast makes this book. He is great in here.

Do any of you read Bleeding Cool?

On Bleeding Cool they mock Beast for saying he is atheist (though in this one he says agnostic). They say it is ridiculous for someone who has met gods and seen heaven and hell to say such thing.

Bull.

He explains it perfectly well here. Beast may have been to ‘heaven’ and ‘hell’ but he has also been to other dimensions and worlds that don’t claim any divine status. He has no reason to think this is any different, just with delusions of grandeur.

I prefer when my comics don’t try to make some sort of definitive statement about religious accuracy. To be more specific, I prefer when EVERYTHING works, no matter what your perspective. It make setter stories.

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #25 (Slott / Gage / Ramos / Olazaba / Delgado) Marvel

Until the end, this book would have been much lower. I didm’t like the ‘Flash is dying’ thing because it rues the suspense. However, the end was great. Otto using the opportunity to try and fix his rep was genius.

Nobody falling for it was even better.

UNCANNY X-MEN #16 (Bendis / Bachalo / Townsend) Marvel

Magneto meets Mystique and her new ‘brotherhood’.

And he kicks their asses.

Sweet.


Rusty’s Reading List 2014

January 17, 2014
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Fatal Revenant

Need more be said about the way my brain works.

Last year I listed Book 3 of the Last Chronicles of Thomas Convenant on my reading list.

This year I read Book 2.

For the first time.

2014 in Books

Stephen R. Donaldson – Fatal Revenant

2014 in Comic Collections

Daredevil Visionaries: Frank Miller Vol. 2
Daredevil Visionaries: Frank Miller Vol. 1
Justice League International Vol. 2


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Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Sex Criminals #4

January 14, 2014
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sex-criminals-4-web-72

Hello folks… sorry I am a little late.

With no further ado…

From the weakest…

CATACLYSM: ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #3 (Bendis / Marquez / Ponsor) Marvel

So it seems that the Ultimate line is NOT being mothballed after Cataclysm, which seems odd. Other than Bendis’ Spidey, none of the books are any good. I guess that are going to try and change that.

This comic is also not that good, but for a whole different reason. Because the UU is weak, I decided not to buy all the Cataclysm books. This one is the extension of the Spidey book, so I though it would hold up. Not so much.

Also, I went from hoping that Miles’ dad would somehow join him in the 616 to wanting to punch him in the face, so there is that.

AVENGERS WORLD #1 (Jonathan Hickman / Nick Spencer / Stefano Caselli) Marvel

So, what makes this different than the regular Avengers book? It is a big cast book facing ridiculously overpowered foes. So?

Oh right, HICKMAN ISN”T WRITING IT! They have him listed as a co-writer but I understand that is a bit of an overstatement.

Well, is it better than the regular Avengers book? So far, yes, but it is early. The plotting is clearer, for one.

We’ll see.

YOUNG AVENGERS #15 (Gillen / McKelvie / Cloonan / Doyle / Quinones / Norton / Wicks / Bellaire / Wilson) Marvel

This is the actual final issue of YA. It should have ended last issue. This book was entirely superfluous. They got to make a statement that the whole team is ‘not straight’ which is not true, and they got to wrap up the not-Patriot thing with an offhand and pointless explanation that made no sense.

Great series. Lousy final issue.

THE MOVEMENT #8 (Gail Simone / Freddie Williams II) DC

This was a solid issue. Heroes got to be heroic. They bucked overwhelming odds to save a bunch of people and now they get to meet one of Gail’s other ‘pets’, Batgirl. (Too bad they can’t meet the Secret Six.)

AVENGERS A.I. #8 (Sam Humphries / Andre Araujo / Frank D’Armata) Marvel

So, whose side are we supposed to be on? The A.I.s are RIGHT to fear and distrust the humans. The humans are RIGHT to think that it is too dangerous to allow them to continue as is.

Hmmm…. interesting….

SWAMP THING #27 (Charles Soule / Jesus Saiz) DC

Getting his job back seemed a little too easy, but wow! The Parliament of Trees! Screwing over Lady Weeds! Alec has mad himself some (more) pretty major enemies here!

FAIREST #22 (Marc Andreyko / Shawn McManus) Vertigo

Cindarella. Lots of transformed mice. A stone Fairy Godmother. What is left?

Oh right. Evil stepsister.

This Cindarella story is SO much better than the last couple of Fairest arcs.

BLACK WIDOW #1 (Nathan Edmondson / Phil Noto) Marvel

That’s right. Phil Noto interiors, not just the covers.

And yeah, this book LOOKS amazing. The DESIGN is worth the cost all on its own.

Too bad the story seems a little weak. Not terrible, but it hold stye book back a little bit. Hopefully Edmondson can make this book as great as it looks.

FBP #7 (Simon Oliver / Robbi Rodriguez) Vertigo

I have been lukewarm on this book… until now! What a great issue! This Agent Reyes is a great addition! A story of blackmail and seeing the sorts of practical problems these physics loops can cause. Nice. I hope the book stays at this level.

SEX CRIMINALS #4 (Fraction / Zdarsky) Image

This book is just flat out funny.

Criminals are born! Playing with powers for good… and revenge! Hey, who appointed those costumed yahoos to be the sex-crime police?

(Kind of like most costumed vigilantes, I guess…)

For those that don’t know, this is not some kind of poem comic, but the sex content is high, clearly, But it is really, really funny.


Rusty’s Reading List 2014

January 9, 2014
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DD Vis Miller 2

I ordered the second Miller Daredevil book before Christmas and it just arrived. It is out of print now, but I found it for a good price.

This is the stuff the Miller made his name on, before going to Wolverine and then Dark Knight. Solid work.

2014 in Comic Collections

Daredevil Visionaries: Frank Miller Vol. 2
Daredevil Visionaries: Frank Miller Vol. 1
Justice League International Vol. 2


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Rusty’s Reading List 2014

January 8, 2014
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DD Vis Miller 1

This is a re-read before starting the Vol. 2 I just bought.

I generally think Frank Miller is quite overrated, but that doesn’t make these any less classic. More so volume 2, as this run was all written by Roger Mackenzie and is pre-Elektra.

2014 in Comic Collections

Daredevil Visionaries: Frank Miller Vol. 1
Justice League International Vol. 2


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Rusty’s Reading List 2014

January 5, 2014
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1031815-justice_league_international_v2

Here we go again!

I am still wading through a pile of comic collections. This one is another that I picked up at the Silver Snail Boxing Day sale. It is more of the great Giffen / DeMatteis / Maguire run on Justice League. This collection also includes the first annual, drawn by Bill Willingham.

2014 in Comic Collections

Justice League International Vol. 2


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Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Fables #136

January 5, 2014
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FABL_Cv136

The first week of 2014 (though I think these comics were actually released on New Year’s Eve… whatever…they kick off 2014 for me).

It was mother small week but I understand that next week will make up for it.

Starting at the weakest.

NEW AVENGERS #13 (Hickman / Bianchi / Dall’alpi) Marvel

Wait, didn’t I cancel this book. Sigh. I messed up and bought another issue.

Nothing in this made me regret the decision to stop buying this title.

(Me, not buying an Avengers book? Has it come to this? PLEASE, get Hickman off the Avengers. He is ruining the franchise.)

(Thankfully Mighty Avengers exists. Despite the Greg Land art.)

ROCKET GIRL #3 (Brandon Montclare / Amy Reeder) Image

While this book is good, it is still disappointing to me. It seems that with every issue, Reeder drifts further away from the amazing artist who did Madame Xanadu and more towards a cliche-manga-style artist. That is a real shame. She was incredibly good.

She is still not bad, but it feels like a step backwards.

DEAD BOY DETECTIVES #1 (Toby Litt / Mark Buckingham / Gary Erskine) Vertigo

I expected this book to top the list, and it easily could have. Charles and Edwin are great as always and the new character, Crystal, seems really engaging. Great characters, great art, great comic? Well, not quite. Litt and Buckingham are making a big mistake in the return to St. Hilarion’s. It isn’t that going back is a bad idea, it is that they are turning it into some sort of pseudo-super-villain front for a horrible criminal plot.

What made the school so horrible is that it was so awful, and so normal. You could SEE this happening. You could BELIEVE it. It was REAL.

Mistake guys. Don’t go there. Seeing the Headmaster sitting in front of the bank of monitors was jarring at best, and comic destroying at worst.

SUPERIOR FOES OF SPIDER-MAN #7 (Spencer / Lieber / Rosenberg) Marvel

After seeing this book appear on so many rave lists, I decided to give it a try… and I am glad I did! Woo! The was great book! This issue was a back-story for the new Beetle and it worked in every way! Feminism in the criminal underworld! Why not? Complete with the ultimate old-school baddy (in attitude), Tombstone!

While this was not AS good, this book felt like the way Hawkeye reads, if you get what I am saying.

FABLES #136 (Willingham / Buckingham / Braun) Vertigo

If the Knights of the Round Table story going on the best arc in Fables history? Well, probably not, but it is certainly the best in the last… two-thirds of its run. Rose Red learned some interesting things this issue and we had some revelations that included the identity of a prospective knight (Sir None?), and a mystery about one of Snow White’s sons. This was just great, great stuff. (Too bad Brandish is in it, as he is a reminder that Fables was not always at these heights.)

Not that Fables has been awful or anything. It hasn’t. But there is a difference between good and great.


Rusty’s Reading List 2013 – Final

January 1, 2014
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I finished off 2013 reading the first volume of the Giffen/DeMatteis/Maguire Justice League. Some fun stuff to ring in the new year.

Overall… I read less than I would have liked all year. I averaged one book a month from the looks of things. Just over half of those were poetry books, from Tomy Bewick to Steve Miller. Of the non-poetry books, two were non-fiction… a book on essays on language and the Em Kwissa memoir that took up a piece of the year, as for as importance goes.

On the comic collection library front, I read 29. Some were new (to me), some were not. All were worthy of spots in my collection.

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

Justice League: A New Beginning
Planetary: The Fourth Man
Planetary: All Over the World and Other Stories
Ultimate Spider-Man Ultimate Collection Vol. 2
Ultimate Spider-Man Ultimate Collection Vol. 1
Power Pack Classic Vol. 2
Preacher: Until the End of the World
Preacher: Gone To Texas
Swamp Thing: Murder of Crows
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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