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Rusty’s Reading List 2014

May 26, 2014
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batman and son

I picked up the first Grant Morrison Batman volume. There are some really good examples of what I don’t like in this new style of comic writing, but Morrison pulls it off. Lesser writers don’t.

They just skip over anything that isn’t exciting. So, Batman is going to investigate a lead, and then he bursts into the bad guy’s hideout!

This is vernally weak writing. The journey matters! Don’t pander to the lowest common denominator!

You know those ‘sitting around eating’ scenes by Bendis? That is good storytelling.

As I said, Morrison can pull it off better than most, though.

2014 in Books

Light – Souvankham Thammavongsa
Adventures in Hi-Fi: The Complete R.E.M. – Rob Jovanovic & Tim Abbott
Oblivion – David Foster Wallace
Waiting for the Weekend – Witold Rybczynski
Black Baseball’s National Showcase – Larry Lester
A Storm of Swords – George R.R. Martin
Fatal Revenant – Stephen R. Donaldson

2014 in Comic Collections

Batman and Son
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: Saga #19

May 25, 2014
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saga19

A fairly big week and I was pretty happy with most of the comics!

Starting at the weakest…

ORIGINAL SIN #2 (Jason Aaron / Mike Deodato) Marvel

Chaos does not generally make good comics. Throwing a whole bunch o stuff at the wall is not good storytelling.

One example… there are three villains. Two of them are given ‘reveal’ captions to give their (stupid) names. The third, even though he is not hidden in any way, was not. Who was that sick, Thing-like guy? Do we have to read another book to find out? Sloppy.

BATMAN ETERNAL #7 (Scott Snyder / James Tynion IV / Ray Fawkes / John Layman / Tim Seeley / Emanuel Simeoni) DC

Hmmm… a couple of weaker issues in a row. Not a good sign for a weekly book. A lot of stuff that happened seemed random, but at least it was built around a core plot. The art was terrible. Look at that Catwoman reveal. Just awful.

X-MEN #14 (Wood / Mann / Briones) Marvel

Getting into the better books now. This was fairly solid but was a little “A to B”. So they are a team now because Storm told Wolverine? Do the X-Men have some sort of a official squad registration process? Did Storm fill out all the needed paperwork?

MIRACLEMAN #6 (Moore / Davis / Ridgway) Marvel

I liked the dream struggle with Gargunza. He almost felt like the protagonist. The use of rape as a simple plot point to make bad guys seems bad is wearying, though. This was 1984, however. Maybe it didn’t feel so weak back then.

AVENGERS WORLD #6 (Spencer / Checchetto / Mossa) Marvel

What I DON’T like about the Avengers these days is the Avengers Army feel. It makes characterizations take a back seat. So an issue like this which is all about characterization (albeit for a character I don’t generally care for), it is quite an improvement.

WONDER WOMAN #31 (Brian Azzarello / Goran Sudzuka) DC

I groaned when Zeke was missing. Again?

But this one was well done. Change is scary and hard to take. That was well illustrated here. (Forgetting that the next writer is probably just going to change it back.)

UNCANNY X-MEN #21 (Bendis / Bachalo / Townsend) Marvel

Things are coming to a head! I don’t know who the secret villain is but the interaction between Magneto, Blob and Dazzler was great. I LOVED the artistic choice of showing the old Magneto/Blob scene. Well done.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #2 (Slott / Ramos / Olazaba / Delgado) Marvel

Peter dealing with the changes to his life. Pretty interesting. Peter as a jailer? Hmmm…

I really, REALLY like the fact that Anna Maria seems to be staying as an important character.

UNWRITTEN: APOCOLYPSE #5 (Mike Carey / Peter Gross) Vertigo

Is it just a given that the best Unwritten issues are the ones spotlighting Pauly Bruckner?

And that last page!

DAREDEVIL #3 (Waid / Samnee / Rodriguez) Marvel

Strong issue as usual, but I have a question… Julia Carpenter? Spider-Woman? (I think she is called Madame Web now.)

If it is a DIFFERENT Julia Carpenter, that is pretty sloppy. She was a pretty major character at one time.

Nice Saga reference. 🙂

SAGA #19 (Brian K. Vaughan / Fiona Staples) Image

AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!

THAT LAST PAGE!!!!!!

NOOOOOOOOOO!O!!!!!!!!!


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Astro City #12

May 18, 2014
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This was quite a disappointing week. A number of comics ‘under performed’,

astro city 12

There were still some good ones, though.

Starting at the weakest.

DEADLY HANDS OF KING-FU #1 (Benson / Huat / Yeung / Aburtov) Marvel

Marvel’s track record with new books hasn’t been stellar lately. Sure, they have Ms. Marvel. Nightcrawler has been relatively okay. But this is the third new #1 I picked up (after an AWFUL Magneto and a disappointing Cyclops) where I won’t be buying issue #2.

The art is poor and the writing is choppy. There is nothing to hook you here and they even fridge someone (though I think it won’t stay that way…)

Dropped.

FABLES #140 (Bill Willingham / Steve Leialoha) Vertigo

Wow. Speaking of disappointing…

This didn’t feel like a Fables book at all. Not having Buckingham hurts but mostly it was the poor storytelling in both art and dialog. You couldn’t even tell who these people were if you hadn’t read the previous issue. Sloppy.

The non-deaths were kind of funny, but not enough to save the book.

BATMAN ETERNAL #6 (Scott Snyder / James Tynion IV / Ray Fawkes / John Layman / Tim Seeley / Trevor McCarthy) DC

This title is very disjointed. It is almost like the old Batman Family title with someone trying to tie the stories together into one loose narrative. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Batwing felt like he could have been anyone and Spectre wasn’t really used at all. Of the hit and miss nature of the title, this was a miss.

NIGHTCRAWLER #2 (Claremont / Nauck / Rosenberg) Marvel

What save this title is the impression I get that they are going to deal with the sexism involved. Nightcrawler is acting in a real patriarchal manner towards Amanda which would bug me more if it was unaddressed. It looks like that won’t be the case. Otherwise it would join the other Marvel start-ups and the drop list.

ALL-NEW ULTIMATES #2 (Fiffe / Pinna / Woodard) Marvel

Hmmm… the free-for-all worked. It was a little disjointed but not so much that it ruined the scene. The characterization, though, was problematic. Why is Bombshell suddenly acting like an idiot with no real lead-up? More importantly, why would Black Widow NOT MENTION THAT SHE WAS JABBED IN THE CHEST WITH A HYPODERMIC NEEDLE FILLED WITH SOME SORT OF LIQUID?

Oh, about that… did she actually change her name to Black Widow IN the book? Did I forget that or did they just start calling her that?

JUSTICE LEAGUE CANADA #1 (Jeff Lemire / Mike McKone) Marvel

I know it is really called Justice League United, but my copy says Canada on the cover!

This is an okay superhero comic but nothing really makes it stand above any others. Stargirl got a chance to shine and for some reason the Adam Strange ‘origin’ reminded me of Hellcat, and that brought a smile to my face. (Oh, and #0 was not #0. It was #1. It was not a prequel. It was the first issue and this is the second. Period.

ALL-NEW X-MEN #27 (Bendis / Immonen / von Grawbadger / Gracia) Marvel

Not much to say. Psychic fights aren’t very exciting, but Bendis rights these characters so they are interesting.

Is that healer immortal now? I guess that will come up in Uncanny.

SHUTTER #2 (Joe Keatinge / Leila Del Duca / Owen Gieni / Ed Brisson) Image

Not as good as the first issue, but there is still potential there. A lot of chaos, which is not great for characterization usually. I like that she can get hurt. I like her Felix butler/clock. I like the Lion Squad (though not the name…)

AVENGERS #29 (Hickman / Yu / Alanguilan / Gho) Marvel

All right, why isn’t this in New Avengers?

So Steve and Tony are now fighting… again?

How many times are we going to do the SAME STORY?

Having said all that… this comic was quite good. Good art. Decent storytelling (especially from someone not known for good storytelling, like Hickman). Pleasant surprise.

ASTRO CITY #12 (Busiek / Graham Nolan / Ross / Broome / Comicraft) Vertigo

This was the only book this week that I loved from end to end. While Nolan is no Anderson, he brings a certain Carmine Infantino-esque feeling to the pages. The story of addiction didn’t have to be about a super villain, but the fact that it was adds a certain element. I really liked the idea of constantly changing gimmicks to try and stay ahead of the game.

Astro City is consistently good comics.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Miles Morales: The Ultimate Spider-Man #1

May 11, 2014
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Miles_Morales_1_Cover

This was a very big week… though surprisingly light on story.

Starting at the weakest…

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: WHO AM I? (Fialkov / Bobillo / Mossa / Beaulieu / Mast) Marvel

This was free and worth exactly what I paid for it. Why they didn’t put this out with Free Comic Book Day, I am unsure but it is a free comic to advertise the digital comics put out by Marvel.

And what a poor advertisement it is. What a terrible comic! The story is weak and uninteresting and the art is abysmal. You should see the cover! What is that thing on Spidey’s chest? Apparently he is now Waterbug-Man or something. Terrible comic.

CYCLOPS #1 (Rucka / Dauterman / Sotomayor) Marvel

I am not sure what I was thinking. I like Bendis’ X-Men, sure, but this is the least interesting member, given a non-solo, solo book out in space. Space comics are dull… almost universally.

If you like space comics, maybe you will like this, but it isn’t for me.

Oh well. I won’t get #2.

ORIGINAL SIN #1 (Aaron / Deodato / Martin) Marvel

This is the big crossover and it kicks off with a really boring comic. Issue #0 was better.

The problem is that marketing has already told us what the story is so all this book was about was reminding us what the story is and kind of collecting a team (a nonsensical team, but a team). That’s it.

Hopefully #2 is better.

FAIREST #26 (Marc Andreyko / Shawn McManus) Vertigo

This story is finally over. It wasn’t bad, but it just seemed to keep going and going…

I appreciate that they have tied this book in with the main story in Fables, but it is done in such a way that would make ZERO sense if you don’t read Fables, and barely made sense here. SO… what is with that ring? Have I forgotten that? Apparently. I didn’t even know who that was on the last page until I read the next issue blurb. Sloppy.

MIRACLEMAN #5 (Moore / Davis / Ridgway) Marvel

Uh, why was this bagged? That tiny amount of not quite nudity? Really?

Wow. Get over it.

I really like the book but this was not one of the more exciting issues. The main story was good, but just good. The Young Miracleman story’s reveal was incredibly poorly rendered and then the old stuff… well, it is still pretty terrible.

Oh well. Still a good series overall.

IRON FIST: THE LIVING WEAPON #2 (Kaare Kyle Andrews) Marvel

Hmmph. Not as sexist as the first issue (though the running ‘joke’ about our hero not remembering his bedmate’s name continued), but instead we have an incredibly beautifully rendered and nearly incomprehensible reworking of Iron Fist’s origin.

The wonderful art is keeping me on-board but the story better get into shape or this will go the way of Batwoman.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #1.1 (Slott / Perez / Herring) Marvel

This is Marvel’s current trick of hiding a mini-series within the main series in order to convince people to buy it. Whatever. I would have bought it anyway.

Most of this issue was a retelling of part’s of Spidery’s origins. The added story took up very little of the book but looks like it will take over in issue #2. Okay.

Nice art. Very evocative of Ditko without being a strict homage.

MOON KNIGHT #3 (Warren Ellis / Declan Shalvey / Jordie Bellaire) Marvel

It looks like Moon Knight is going to be all one-off stories. That is a shame because the stories are well-written and the art is very nice, but there never seems to be anything behind them. No depth.

SHE-HULK #4 (Soule / Pulido / Vicente) Marvel

She-Hulk would be the opposite of that. While you get a fun little story about Jen heading to Latveria (though I would shave killed to see Jen say, “Where’s my money, honey?”), you also get the depth with her visiting Matt Murdock and the denizens of her law office and building.

It is the depth that keeps me coming back to a world.

BATMAN ETERNAL #5 (Scott Snyder / James Tynion IV / Ray Fawkes / John Layman / Andy Clarke) DC

A better issue that the last. We get a nice spotlight on Red Robin and Harper Row (not to mention Vicki Vale). Those nanobots are a little indistinct, but they still worked. This issue feels disconnected from the previous ones (though it isn’t), but not in a bad way.

BLACK WIDOW #6 (Edmondson / Noto) Marvel

Every issue of Black Widow has felt like a little story that is getting bigger. Depth is good.

REVIVAL #20 (Tim Seeley / Mike Norton) Image

Speaking of depth, didn’t nearly every character feel a little more real this issue. Even the racists ass felt like something a little…more… now that we got a glimpse of his background.

And now the scope of the story gets bigger. Nice.

THE MOVEMENT #12 (Gail Simone / Freddie Williams II) DC

Well, it lasted a year. The rushed nature of the previous issue continued here, but there was not a lot they could do about that, once it was cancelled. It is as high as it is because of a great line on page 4. “I thought maybe we could remind people, you know? That it’s okay to care.”

If you have ever listened to my poetry, you might understand why I like that line.

CALIBAN #2 (Garth Ennis / Facundo Percio) Avatar

The surprisingly great comic form Avatar continues. If you are a fan of Alien, get this book. It is nothing at all the same, while having that same feel.

Getting rid of a bunch of characters was smart as they were a little hard to keep track of.

Hoe they did it, though… creepy.

SWAMP THING #31 (Charles Soule / Jesus Saiz / Javi Pini) DC

My favourite style of Swamp Thing is the super-laidback, caring semi-human that has this incredible bad-ass side that you do NOT want to mess with.

This issue was THAT all over. He cares about each person and will let you know what he will do to you if you cross him. Very cool.

And the Grey joins the Green, Red and Black. Any other colours? Are we going to have an Avatar vs Lantern colour-off?

MILES MORALES: THE ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #1 (Bendis / Marquez / Ponsor) Marvel

Miles Morales is one o fate best characters in all of comics and this issue reminds us why. He is real.

Well, obviously he isn’t really real, but he SEEMS real.

Only, one thing… PLEASE let that at the end be a trick by Mysterio or Chameleon or something and NOT a Miles Warren-type deal.

Please.

No clones. Spider-Woman is already one to many.


Rusty’s Reading List 2014

May 9, 2014
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light

This is one of the books of poetry I bought at VERSeFest.

I bought it primarily due to the poem called ‘Perfect’ and while the book is quite good, it is still that poem that really stands out for me.

2014 in Books

Light – Souvankham Thammavongsa
Adventures in Hi-Fi: The Complete R.E.M. – Rob Jovanovic & Tim Abbott
Oblivion – David Foster Wallace
Waiting for the Weekend – Witold Rybczynski
Black Baseball’s National Showcase – Larry Lester
A Storm of Swords – George R.R. Martin
Fatal Revenant – Stephen R. Donaldson

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

May 7, 2014
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rem

I picked up this R.E.M. bio in some remainder sale or the like. I really enjoyed it and it reminded me how much I enjoyed the band, once upon a time. It even propted me to go back and fill in some gaps in my album collection. In some cases there are albums that I HAD but never picked up CD or digital versions.

Now I really want to read a full bio like this about Paul Westerberg and the Replacements. Any recommendations?

2014 in Books

Adventures in Hi-Fi: The Complete R.E.M. – Rob Jovanovic & Tim Abbott
Oblivion – David Foster Wallace
Waiting for the Weekend – Witold Rybczynski
Black Baseball’s National Showcase – Larry Lester
A Storm of Swords – George R.R. Martin
Fatal Revenant – Stephen R. Donaldson

2014 in Comic Collections

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


Posted in Uncategorized

Rusty’s Comic of the Week: All-New X-Men #26

May 4, 2014
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all-new-xmen 26

It was Free Comic Book Day today and while I did indulge a little bit, you won’t so those books reviewed here. There wasn’t anything out that I was interested in (having missed out on Rocket Racoon) so I just picked up a couple of things for Ruthanne… an Archie Digest and a Hello Kitty comic. (Could anyone find the Catbug in the second Find Catbug spread?)

This week’s books, starting at the weakest…

AVENGERS WORLD #5 (Hickman / Spencer / Caselli / Mossa) Marvel

This was the only actually bad book I picked up this week. It was a mess.

“Manifold can’t help and no other teleporter can either.”

“Manifold goes to another universe for no reason whatsoever.”

“Manifold comes back and now he can help… for no reason whatsoever”

AVENGERS A.I. #12 (Humphries / Araujo / D’Armata) Marvel

I didn’t realize this book had been cancelled until now. That’s okay. It was a decent enough read but nothing I will really miss. This was… not a great wrap-up, but not terrible. The scene where Dimitrios gets past Galactus was too simple without enough pay-off. Beating him was too easy.

Doombot was awesome, as always.

BATMAN ETERNAL #4 (Scott Snyder / James Tynion IV / John Layman / Ray Fawkes / Tim Seeley / Dustin Nguyen / Derek Fridolfs) DC

I know that if a book is weekly you are going to need multiple artists… but this issue was kind of jarring with a very dramatic slide in art quality. It was messy with poor fundamentals.

Also, Batman’s treatment of Batgirl was kind of off. She wasn’t doing anything that Batman doesn’t do all the time. I guess he didn’t like seeing it in someone else. Falcone continues to not impress.

AVENGERS #28 (Hickman / Larocca / Martin) Marvel

I would rather NOT have this book tie in with New Avengers, since I dropped that book. Oh well… at least they did a decent job with it. I like it when they remember that Bruce Banner is really smart.

The Adaptoid stuff doesn’t make any sense, but I am not sure it is supposed to and it was a very small part of the book.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #1 (Slott / Ramos / Olazaba / Delgado) Marvel

If this were a normal sized book, it would likely have been comic of the week. Well, maybe. Paying $5.99 for a bunch of ads masquerading as story was annoying. At least the Electro and Black Cat parts were ads for THIS book. And I am planning to buy the Peter David Spider-Man 2099 book but there is no way I am getting New Warriors and this lame Kaine story sure didn’t convince me otherwise.

The main story was awfully good, though. I looked forward to the ongoing story of Peter dealing with the fall-out from Otto.

SILVER SURFER #2 (Dan Slott / Michael Allred / Laura Allred) Marvel

This book showed exactly why I don’ t;irk cosmic books. That fight scene was BORRRRRING. Nothing you can do about it. Throwing energy back and forth in space is boring.

So why is this book so high?

Dawn Greenwood. The energy added to the book by this character is palpable. Good job folks in making a book about a character like Silver Surfer actually interesting.

UNCANNY AVENGERS ANNUAL #1 (Rick Remender / Paul Renaud) Marvel

The only thin that would have made this book better would have been Art Adams interiors instead of just a cover.

This book was just fun in a way that only Mojo could be. The marketing guys set the book up so the immediate cheescakey pool scene felt like it was over-sold Hollywood time. The teen Avengers was a great knock on the upcoming teen Batman show.

This was just fun… and completely ignoring the regulate Uncanny Avengers book.

ALL-NEW X-Men #26 (Bendis / Immonen / von Grawbadger / Gracia) Marvel

The scene with adult Cyclops and teen Jean was perfect. Absolutely perfect… well, as long as you include the Kitty part.

The scene read… real.

Well done.