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Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Saga #21

July 25, 2014
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Saga21

This was a very violent week…

Starting at the weakest…

100TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL: AVENGERS #1 (James Stokoe) Marvel

There have been a few of these but this is the first I have purchased. The conceit is that some big Marvel comics are done as if it were the 100th Anniversary of the book…. so in this case, as if it were 2063.

Nice idea. Too bad the comic is so lame. I hope comics aren’t really like this when I am 95.

DAREDEVIL #6 (Waid / Rodriguez / Lopez) Marvel

Great Chris Samnee cover. Big opportunity for Waid to use Original Sin to create a big twist in Matt’s life.

So how does he use it? He turns Jack Murdock into a wife-batterer. Really? The best you could come up with was to destroy an important, classic character?

Weak. Really weak.

STAR SPANGLED WAR STORIES #1 (Palmiotti / Gray / Hampton) DC

Hmmmmm… an updating of G.I. Zombie by the people who did the same job on Jonah Hex. I like the idea. I like the story in general. But it is just so… violent.

I’ll stick with it for now, but if I don’t enjoy reading it, I may not keep with it.

This is not the only book this week with that problem.

REVIVAL #22 (Tim Seeley / Mike Norton) Image

Revival turned ugly this week. It seems that everybody is pretty twisted this week. Rasch is suddenly a sexual predator and Hine has tapped into a pretty messed up under-belly in New York.

Again, not a bad story per se, but very unpleasant to read. Hmmm…

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #4 (Slott / Ramos / Olazaba / Delgado) Marvel

Silk does not thrill me so far. Another randomly, overly-sexualized female character. Her back story makes no sense thus far… and neither does she. This was not a very well-written issue. Can we blame Original Sin on that? Why not…

ALL-NEW ULTIMATES #5 (Fiffe / Pinna / Woodard) Marvel

Big fight scene, but one that was not too objectionable. Cloak and Dagger’s sex scene was not exactly subtle. Nice cover.

DETECTIVE COMICS #27 SPECIAL EDITION (Bob Kane / Bill Finger / Brad Meltzer / Bryan Hitch / Scott Snyder / Sean Murphy / Chip Kidd) DC

This was a free comic celebrating the first appearance of Batman on his 75th Anniversary.

There was reprint of that first story, which you have probably read ten times by now. Bad but important. Then there is a modern remake by Meltzer and Hitch. Has this appeared somewhere before? I feel like I have read it. Then a weird, uh… re-mixed version? Or a bit of one?

As far as free comics go, this one was pretty good!

THE UNWRITTEN APOCALYPSE #7 (Mike Carey / Peter Gross) Vertigo

This was a very good book, and in the running for book of the week, right up until the last scene. Did Lizzie suddenly become incurably stupid? Why in the world would she think that Tom had just decided to rape that girl, while the rest of his friends are following him up the hill? It makes ZERO sense. It is way out of character and, well… involves Lizzie acting so stupid as to insult the reader.

The REST of the book is beautiful and smart.

WONDER WOMAN #33 (Azzarello / Chiang / Wilson) DC

What happened there at the end? Did Zeke make WW a new body or did he make a new WW?

A big fight scene, but a pretty darned good one. How can you make a WW comic where she is tied up the whole time? This is how.

MIGHTY AVENGERS #12 (Ewing / Land / Leisten / Milla) Marvel

The 70’s flashbacks really seem to suit Land, who I normally don’t like at all. This is a great story and I hope that Luke’s dad sticks around. “Want to go meet your granddaughter?” Great line.

DEAD BOY DETECTIVES #7 (Toby Litt / Mark Buckingham / Ryan Kelly / Lee Loughridge) Vertigo

Who would have thought that this book would have the same plot as Daredevil?

Kind of.

In this case, though, we had no investment in Charles’ father. I like the new characters. They have… well… character.

Good book. Lovely book.

SAGA #21 (Brian K. Vaughan / Fiona Staples) Image

I am still mad at them but at least Marko is trying…. not hard enough, but he is trying.

FIX THIS!


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Ms. Marvel #6

July 22, 2014
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MsMarvel 6

Small but good week, including a comic I meant to drop… but now am not dropping.

Starting at the weakest…

SHE-HULK #6 (Soule / Wimberly) Marvel

I have been known to recommend this comic. If there more issues like this, that will change. This was a pretty bad comic. The art was absolutely terrible and the story was pretty weak. It jumped around a lot both acting like it was resolving a story and not resolving it at all. Jen acted… oddly. The best benefit of the doubt I can give it is that it will make sense later, but that doesn’t help this issue.

ORIGINAL SIN #6 (Jason Aaron / Mike Deodato) Marvel

I get trying to stretch the mystery, but this is not doing that very well. It feels like Aaron is telling us what we should care about, rather than us actually wring. Other than old Fury, what has this book done? It is launching the new Winter Soldier – which I couldn’t care less about – and that is it. The Watcher killer pay-off had better be good.

AVENGERS WORLD #9 (Spencer / Caselli / Mossa) Marvel

I heard this issue was better and it was… I guess. Cannonball and Sunspot are great but this was still a bit sloppy an issue. Just time travelling like it ain’t no thing plus two Back to the Future references which might date Spencer more than anything (don’t worry… they date me too).

O’kay, but not stellar.

UNCANNY X-MEN #23 (Bendis / Anka) Marvel

All set-up, no pay-off… but it is set-up to something I am interested in reading so there is that. I don’t dislike Anka’s art, but this didn’t feel like the best indicator of his work.

FABLES #142 (Willingham / Buckingham / Leialoha / Pepoy / Shanower) Vertigo

As Fables rolls towards its conclusion, every issue has a certain measure of tension. Is that Bigby? Can he come back from wonton slaughter. Didn’t he do that already?

Snow is coming across as a bit stupid here as far as the armour goes. Isn’t it obvious that it is counterpoint to Rose? Isn’t it also obvious that she is set up as the wrong side?

X-MEN #16 (Wood / Buffagni / Sandoval) Marvel

Didn’t I cancel this?

I did, but I made a mistake and bought the next issue.

Guess what… it is quite good.

This is classic X-Men as they rally around a cause and do the right thing and it is relay starting to feel like the Future (stupid name) isn’t going to know what hit him.

SILVER SURFER #4 (Dan Slott / Michael Allred / Laura Allred) Marvel

Hands up, anyone who didn’t see the end of the comic coming WAAAAAY in advance.

What, two people?

If I was Surfer, I wouldn’t come anywhere near Earth. Ever.

Captain Marvel is a Guardian now?

MS. MARVEL #6 (Wilson / Wyatt / Herring) Marvel

Damn, this is a good comic! Kamal is perfect. She is written very well. The speech patterns are excellent. Her attitude is excellent. But what puts this book over the top? Sheikh Abdullah. What’s that? He actually gives good advice instead of being overly-patronizing and overly-protective like every other ‘parent-figure’ in comics dealing with teens?

Congratulations Willow on managing to show a religious figure in a positive light without making him… ‘too good’.


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Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Daredevil #5

July 13, 2014
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daredevil-5-cover-2014

Now this is actually this week…. smaller selection, but arguably better, over all.

Starting at the weakest.

JUSTICE LEAGUE CANADA #3 (Lemire / McKone / Smith / Ortego / Maiolo / Dalhouse) DC

Sigh. I WANT this book to be better. A Canadian based Justice League written by Jeff Lemire? That sound great. Unfortunately it is just kind of tired old JLA retreads. The core DC stuff just isn’t very good.

Dropped.

NIGHTCRAWLER #4 (Claremont / Nauck / Rosenberg) Marvel

I nearly dropped this one too. I was grumbling through the sexist over-protectiveness of Nightcrawler over Amanda Sefton but I rode it out because I figured it was going to be a plot point. Kind of like the racial problems in Ms. Marvel. In Ms. Marvel I was right. In this book, not so much. Rather than deal with it, they just wrote Amanda out.

I’m not dropping it yet, but it is right on the edge.

SPIDER-MAN 2099 #1 (David / Sliney / Fabela) Marvel

Disclaimer: I was never a 2099 fan. I tried them all when they first started and I didn’t really like any of them, including this one. If this book was SET in 2099, I wouldn’t have picked it up, but I like Miguel’s appearance in the main book so I thought I would give it a go.

So far, so good. He is a little too willing to kill for my taste, but okay. What really made this book for me was the last Liz Allen page. Yes. Smart. Dangerous. Let’s see how that goes.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #1.3 (Slott / Perez / Herring) Marvel

The first two issues of this sneaky mini were not very good. This issue was better. Clash is a cliche but showing the problems that Pete dealt with from a different perspective worked a little better this time out.

CALIBAN #4 (Garth Ennis / Facundo Percio) Avatar

This is turning out to be a very solid mini. Very Alien, of course, and that is a good thing for me. The ‘attack’ was believable while still being stupid. How many characters are left?

ALL-NEW X-MEN #29 (Bendis / Immonen / von Grawbadger / Gracia) Marvel

I am not a big fan of ‘mental’ fights, but this issue worked pretty well. We also get to see the problem with time travel, as Xavier can just keep attacking over and over. Why doesn’t Kang do that?

I think that next time he ends up dead, just to close that can of worms.

Angel & X-23?

AVENGERS #32 (Hickman / Yu / Alanguilan / Gho) Marvel

I’ll give credit where it is do – this is a very good issue of Avengers. I think that Franklin is lying, and I think that trying to convince Captain America that the lesser of two evils is the way to go is kind of ridiculous (if he buys it), but the whole conversation worked and the secret of the tree (not the space ship part) was awesome.

SUPERIOR FOES OF SPIDER-MEN #13 (Spencer / Lieber / Rosenberg) Marvel

This book was nearly the comic of the week. I am almost regretting the decision. I wish these top two books were actually on different weeks because they both topped last week’s (still very good) USM book.

As if this book weren’t hilarious enough… that Beetle Bechdel line was KILLER. This is the kind of book that you say, “if you aren’t reading Superior Foes, give it a try.” Just make sure it says Spencer not eh cover because those fill-in issues were less good.

DAREDEVIL #5 (Waid / Samnee / Rodriguez) Marvel

This book edged SFoSM by a nose. It was the extra emotional impact as we got to see how much DD actually cares for Foggy. Loves him, really. The Death of Foggy (so to speak) was shown in flashback and this was just great comic with great art and very strong storytelling.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Miles Morales: The Ultimate Spider-Man #3

July 13, 2014
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MilesMoralesUltimateSpider-Man3-Cover

I wasn’t able to go get my comics last week. I got both week’s worth this week, read them, ranked them, and then split them back to their respective week so this is LAST WEEK’S list.

This week was bigger than the other, but the book of the week also only ranked third when I put them all together.

Starting at the weakest.

MIRACLEMAN #8 (Moore / Austen) Marvel

This comic actively angered me. We pay $5 for this comic. Normally that means you get multiple stories and then back-up material. I would rather they drop the old Mick Anglo stuff and charge less, but that might just be me.

THIS issue, though, had much less. You had the wrap up to the Gargunza story. It was fine but very simple. Then we get some stupid Cat Yronwoode filler that doesn’t even make any sense because they took it out of context with the reprints it was referring to. THIS shouldn’t have been bonus footage but instead it is a ‘main’ story. They should have dropped the Anglo stuff and given us another full story (original issue 9).

I feel ripped off. If this was normal, I would be dropping this book right now.

THIEF OF THIEVES #22 (Diggle / Martinbrough / Lucas) Image

You know what? I have had enough of this book. Not much more to say. It isn’t terrible, it just goes nowhere. It meanders and we basically get the same story over and over and over and over.

Dropped.

IRON FIST: THE LIVING WEAPON #4 (Kaare Kyle Andrews) Marvel

What a beautifully rendered book.

What terrible storytelling and (frankly) offensive characterization.

It four issues, Andrews has completely ripped Iron Fist apart, with no reason given, turned him into a selfish predator who takes advantage of women to try and fill some emptiness (that was never referred to before now), and made his title character completely unsympathetic.

The character of Brenda is incredibly insulting and a horrible stereotype. Ugh.

Dropped.

MOON KNIGHT #5 (Warren Ellis / Declan Shalvey / Jordie Bellaire) Marvel

This book shared some similar problems with Iron Fist… without the offensive parts.

It is very well drawn (not as good as the Andrews stuff in IF, but still very good).

It is very badly written (not as bad as the… etc.)

Warren Ellis has a rep that is well deserved but sometimes it feels like he cuts corners way too much. Here was have a story that has no first act. At all. Jus throw us in there, don’t explain anything, and let in unfold. Why was the girl kidnapped? There is an oblique reference to a crime family but that is it.

It is one long fight scene that seems to want to evoke that terrible Dredd movie or something.

I am NOT dropping this, because I consider this a misstep rather than an indictment against the book.

ORIGINAL SIN #5 (Aaron / Deodato) Marvel

So, is THIS why the mini exists? They continue to have th problem that it isn’t a story as much as a plot device.

I have a hard time getting worked up over changes to Nick Fury. They happen all the time. They always get reversed. Always.

SWAMP THING #33 (Charles Soule / Javier Pina) DC

Interesting storytelling technique. The book was about the conversations at him while Swampy fighting unending hordes of… something… was the back story.

Hmmm….

FAIREST #27 (Mark Buckingham / Russ Braun) Vertigo

Bucky writing instead of drawing. Interesting. I like the concept…. though it was done back in the second Fables book. The animals are revolting! (“They certainly are!”)

Seeing how the books are wrapping up, who knows how this one will turn out!

LAZARUS #9 (Rucka / Lark / Arcas) Image

Somehow I think that Casey and Michael have just become the most interesting characters in the book (with all due respect to Forever).

The whole ‘Lifted’ concept is problematic, but this whole work is that. Where are they going with it? When is it all going to come tumbling down?

BLACK WIDOW #8 (Edmondson / Noto) Marvel

Problem: you shouldn’t need to read the recap page to understand what is going on and the whole Bucky / Natasha scene and final page wouldn’t make any sense at all if you hadn’t read the crappy Winter Soldier story.

Having said that, I quite liked this comic. Noto’s art con tunes to be wonderful and the character of Natasha has just the right level of opacity. The Isaiah story is also getting really interesting.

ROCKET RACCOON #1 (Young / Beaulieu) Marvel

I have (had?) the old Bill Mantlo Rocet series… but this is a little bit different. TH sold one was like a serious version of Captain Carrot. This one is just fun. Space fun, but fun nonetheless.

Believe it or not, this isn’t the best Groot appearance I read this week (next week?). Groot as wrestler is kind of weird.

Will this level of wackiness maintain? Will I get tired of it?

DAREDEVIL #0.1 (Waid / Krause / Kalisz) Marvel

Why does this comic exist? I am unsure. Maybe it was meant to be a Daredevil Annual or something. Regardless, it is a really good story. It was interesting to me that Daredevil – who is very familiar with any number of artificial lifeforms – completely dismissed the idea that the Adaptoid could be a ‘real person’. I wonder what the Vision would have thought if he witnessed that.

In the end, he feels bad because he cared at all.

Really?

I don’t like that part, but it still felt real. Good story. Well done.

MILES MORALES: THE ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #3 (Bendis / Marquez / Ponsor) Marvel

David Marquez is a brilliant artist. Open the book to page #5. Look at that page. Look at Katie and Miles. Even look at Ganke. This is a perfect, non-action, page. I would like to own this page.

Please, please, please let this all be a trick. No return of Norman. No return of Peter. Just no.


Rusty’s Reading List 2014

July 9, 2014
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Anathem_595

I LOVED this book. It might not be as good as Cryptonomicon, but it isn’t that far off.

This will definitely warrant re-reading (except, of course, I still have MANY books in my ‘to read’ pile…)

2014 in Books

Anathem by Neal Stephenson
Arc Poetry Magazine #73
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

Starman Omnibus Vol. 2
Starman Omnibus Vol. 1
The Mighty Thor by Walter Simonson Vol. 2
Thor Visionaries: Walter Simonson Vol. 1
Batman and Son
Daredevil Visionaries: Frank Miller Vol. 2
Daredevil Visionaries: Frank Miller Vol. 1
Justice League International Vol. 2


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July 1, 2014
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starman-omnibus-2

So, I have now read the second Starman Omnibus. For the most part it isn’t as good as the first (too many not-as-good divergences), but it also includes a multi-part story where Jack teams up with Sandman and Dian Belmont in New York and THAT is the best story arc thus far.

2014 in Books

Arc Poetry Magazine #73
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

Starman Omnibus Vol. 2
Starman Omnibus Vol. 1
The Mighty Thor by Walter Simonson Vol. 2
Thor Visionaries: Walter Simonson Vol. 1
Batman and Son
Daredevil Visionaries: Frank Miller Vol. 2
Daredevil Visionaries: Frank Miller Vol. 1
Justice League International Vol. 2


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