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Rusty’s Reading List 2014

December 30, 2014
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PlanetaryVol2

PlanetaryVol3

I read two more volumes of Planetary, which brings me up to my new one, Book 3.

It has morphed a bit, where the early issues hinted at some big conspiracy, now we are hip deep in it. It is like if you watched the first season of X-Files and then jumped forward past the next three (or thereabouts).

That does mean more connected stories, which I like. Good reading.

2014 in Books

Tattoo This Madness In – Daniel Allen Cox
Silence Is A Song I Know All The Words To – Shane Koyczan & Gareth Gaudin
Company – Max Barry
Ball Four – Jim Bouton
Live for a Living – Buddy Wakefield
The Cremation of Sam McGee and other poems – Robert Service
The Soul of Baseball: A Road Trip Through Buck O’Neil’s America – Joe Posnanski
Haiti Glass – Lenelle Moise
Anathem – 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

Planetary Book 3: Leaving the 20th Century – Warren Ellis & John Cassaday
Planetary Book 2: The Fourth Man – Warren Ellis & John Cassaday
Planetary Book 1: All Over the World and Other Stories – Warren Ellis & John Cassaday
New X-Men Ultimate Collection Vol. 1 – Grant Morrison
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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Rusty’s Reading List 2014

December 28, 2014
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Planetary1

So I indulged myself at the Silver Snail post-Christmas sale which means I will have a bunch of comic TPBs going up here. When I get something new, if it isn’t book one of a run, I also go back and read the others first. I am starting with Planetary (I just bought book 3).

If you like the style of writing that Warren Ellis used in Secret Avengers and Moon Knight, this is that… but the result is much better. Good stuff.

2014 in Books

Tattoo This Madness In – Daniel Allen Cox
Silence Is A Song I Know All The Words To – Shane Koyczan & Gareth Gaudin
Company – Max Barry
Ball Four – Jim Bouton
Live for a Living – Buddy Wakefield
The Cremation of Sam McGee and other poems – Robert Service
The Soul of Baseball: A Road Trip Through Buck O’Neil’s America – Joe Posnanski
Haiti Glass – Lenelle Moise
Anathem – 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

Planetary Book 1: All Over the World and Other Stories – Warren Ellis & John Cassaday
New X-Men Ultimate Collection Vol. 1 – Grant Morrison
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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Rusty’s Comics of the YEAR: 2014

December 28, 2014
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astro city 12

hawkeye-15-cover-197x300

sandmanoverture2

MsMarvel 6

cowl6_cover

Here are my top books of the year, based on the rankings assigned each week. The top two (Astro City and Hawkeye) were actually perfectly tied.

The real surprise on here is C.O.W.L. (It actually tied with Saga) It gets no attention and is consistently a solid book.

As for the others, if you haven’t heard of them by now…

Hawkeye is wrapping up but you should definitely buy Astro City and Ms. Marvel.

Sandman could probably wait until the trade but it will be great when it is done.

Here are the actual rankings, based on the placement each week. (Lower Case indicates there was only one issue purchased by me this annum – small sample size rules apply. * indicates I stopped buying the on-going during the year.)

1T. ASTRO CITY
1T. HAWKEYE
3. SANDMAN OVERTURE
4. MS. MARVEL
5T. C.O.W.L.
5T. SAGA
7. TOOTH & CLAW
8. ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN
9T. Secret Six
9T. WYTCHES

11. SILVER SURFER
12. SEX CRIMINALS
13. DAREDEVIL
14. SWAMP THING
15. Brilliant
16. ANIMAL MAN
17. MULTIVERSITY
18. MIGHTY AVENGERS
19. SUPERIOR FOES OF SPIDER-MAN
20. CALIBAN

21. BLACK WIDOW
22. MOON KNIGHT
23T. AMAZING X-MEN*
23T. DEAD BOY DETECTIVES
23T. LAZARUS
23T. New Avengers*
23T. SHE-HULK
23T. X-Men Legacy
29. ALL-NEW X-MEN
30. THE MASSIVE

31. THE UNWRITTEN: APOCALYPSE
32. ROCKET RACCOON
33. FABLES
34. REVIVAL
35T. Bitch Planet
35T. Detective Comics
35T. Marvel 75th Anniversary
35T. STEED & MRS. PEEL
35T. UNCANNY AVENGERS
40. UNCANNY X-MEN

41. FAIREST
42T. AVENGERS A.I.
42T. WONDER WOMAN*
44. FBP*
45. SHUTTER*
46. JUSTICE LEAGUE CANADA*
47. AVENGERS
48. THE MOVEMENT
49. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN
50T. BATMAN ETERNAL*
50T. MIRACLEMAN

52. SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN
53. EDGE OF SPIDER-VERSE
54. THE SAVIORS*
55. SPIDER-MAN 2099
56. NIGHTCRAWLER*
57. X-MEN*
58. INHUMAN / INHUMANITY
59T. BATMAN*
59T. ROCKET GIRL*
59T. Spider-Verse
59T. Young Avengers

63. IRON FIST*
64. KLARION*
65. ULTIMATES*
66. ORIGINAL SIN
67. AXIS
68. AVENGERS WORLD*
69T. Captain Canuck
69T. Chew / Revival
69T. SPIDER-WOMAN

72. THIEF OF THIEVES*
73T. BODIES
73T. Deadly Hands of Kung-Fu
73T. Magneto*
73T. ODY-C
73T. Spider-Man & the X-Men
78T. Great Pacific*
78T. TRILLIUM
80T. FUTURE’S END
80T. Giant-Size Spider-Man
80T. Marvel Knights: Spider-Man
80T. PRETTY DEADLY

84. STAR-SPANGLED WAR STORIES*
85. Survive
86. Sovereign*
87. Cyclops*


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Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Daredevil #11

December 27, 2014
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Daredevil11

This is the last RCotW for 2014. Next week is a skip week. I saw one book (Miracleman Annual) that I’ll get, but it can wait until the week after.

That means that AFTER this post I will start crunching some numbers and generate my TOP 10 titles of the year. That should be fun.

Last year I guessed the book of the year would be Saga or Hawkeye and instead it was Ultimate Spdier-Man.

This year… Saga or Hawkeye? Daredevil? Ms. Marvel?

First, this week… starting at the weakest…

AVENGERS & X-MEN: AXIS #9 (Remender / Cheung / Dodson / Yu / Kubert) Marvel

Well, it is over. It never got better.

Lots of this book makes no sense, like why did the villains make that video? After they were evil again? Why was Carnage in it? Does that mean they made it in advance? That shows a lot of ridiculous foresight.

The alignment swapping annual was still inane. It seems that the whole thing was just so Iron Man could get a shot in the arm and Sabretooth could replace Wolverine. Oh, and I guess Havoc is joining Uncanny as a bad guy or something.

What a terrible story.

BODIES #6 (Si SPencer / Meghan Hetrick / Dean Ormston / Phil Winslade / Tula Lotay / Lee Loughridge) Vertigo

I have said it before: this was a really solid idea with really poor execution.

CAPTAIN AMERICA & THE MIGHTY AVENGERS #3 (Ewing / Ross / Coello / Rosenberg) Marvel

The Axis stink is hard to wash off. Okay cliche fight scene, but that is it.

THE MASSIVE #30 (Brian Wood / Garry Brown / Jordie Bellaire) Dark Horse

This was just an epilogue for the series. The comic had great moments but the arc went back to supernatural Mary, which was a bad way to go. The characters were good but the metaplot was weak.

SHE-HULK #11 (Soule / Pulido / Vicente) Marvel

A good She-Hulk / Titania tussle is always fun. This one had a bonus of Hellcat joining in – not to mention the mystery of Angie and her monkey. A big reveal just in time for the book to be cancelled… it turns out the secret villain was… who?

REVIVAL #26 (Tim Seeley / Mike Norton) Image

Moving the story forward. Alliances shifting.

ALL-NEW X-MEN ANNUAL #1 (Bendis / Sorrentino / Maiolo) Marvel

Finishing off the Eva Bell time travel story. Beautiful art and a heart-wrenching scene but the story was a bit light for an annual (or two).

This sets up future stories, it seems.

DEAD BOY DETECTIVES #12 (Litt / Buckingham / Vieceli / Santos / Loughridge) Vertigo

This book is not big on plot. Things just kind of happen and it only works if you care about the characters.

Luckily, I do.

UNCANNY X-MEN #29 (Bendis / Bachalo / TOwnsend) Marvel

That cover made me think we were actually getting back to the will.

Nope.

Instead we get a little power struggle between Magneto and Cyclops where both sides keep telling the truth.

Interesting.

C.O.W.L. #7 (Kyle Higgins / Alec Siegel / Rod Reis) Image

Who would have thought that a book that is fundamentally about politics would be so interesting?

DAREDEVIL #11 (Waid / Samnee / Wilson) Marvel

The different stories to kick of the issue were great. Reality vs truth or something. 🙂

Then the great Stunt-Master story. This reminds me, in a way, of the old Gladiator story, with a dark outcome.

Suddenly Stunt-Master is a real problem.

Waid and Samnee make good comics.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Ms. Marvel #10

December 23, 2014
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MsMarvel10

This was a pretty good week for comics. Starting at the bottom, as always.

INHUMAN #10 (Soule / Stegman / Isanove) Marvel

Medusa is just terrible as a person under an alignment swapping D&D curse. Her pony tail is ridiculous and her behaviour, as soon as she became evil, became incomprehensible.

Apparently while her alignment got swapped, her INT score also dropped by a many points.

Spidey also acted pretty dumb in this book.

I would drop it but I have hope that it will improve as soon as Axis is over. The Inhumans are set up to take the role of mutants now.(Screw you, Sony!)

AVENGERS & X-MEN: AXIS #8 (Remender / Yu / Alanguilan / Delgado) Marvel

It shows you how much I dislike the Inhumans book that it falls below the book that MADE it become so crappy.

Nothing on the big Wanda/Pietro/Magneto reveal. Okay.

One issue left.

SPIDER-WOMAN #2 (Hopeless / Land / Leisten / D’Armata) Marvel

Not as bad as issue #1, It was interesting that they dealt with Jessica’s pheromone power problem right off, because otherwise there would be some hypocrisy going on. (The Starfox version of the power had him branded a rapist).

I hope they get rid of it.

It is also kind of icky that her first story ends up with her getting macked on, no matter what the reason.

BLACK WIDOW #13 (Edmondson / Noto) Marvel

The usage of fall colours made this issue pretty beautiful. It was a nice contrast with Natasha getting ugly as she tries to get some back for Isaiah… or maybe because of her connection to him, or whatever.

Solid.

ALL-NEW X-MEN #34 (Bendis / Asrar / Gracia) Marvel

Not much is moving forward in this ‘rely X-Men go to the Ultimate Universe’ story, but that is perfectly all right. The characterization in this – particularly in the Jean/Jean/Miles story – is just excellent. Great writing.

FABLES #147 (Willingham / Buckingham / Leialoha / Pepoy / McManus / Moore / Loughridge) Vertigo

As Fables moves towards its conclusion, the story has remained satisfactory. I’m not really thrilled with Lancelot just standing there and not trying to actually BEAT Brandish, but that’s that.

The Rose story was also quite good.

MULTIVERSITY: THUNDERWORLD #1 (Morrison / Stewart / Fairbairn) DC

This was Multiversity… kind of, but mostly it was an old school Captain Marvel story, complete with the whole Marvel Family, facing off against Sivana and his crew.

Done perfectly.

Who else has done Captain Marvel this well in modern times? Jeff Smith. Anyone else?

WYTCHES #3 (Snyder / Jock / Hollingsworth) Image

The matter of a missing daughter from the point of view of the father who knows just enough to know there is something wrong but not enough to do anything about it… or even get anyone to believe him.

Chilling.

SANDMAN OVERTURE #4 (Neil Gaiman / J.H. Williams III / Dave Stewart) Vertigo

Normally when books are this late, I kind of lose interest. Instead, this issue was much better than #3! The father of the Endless!! And we are going to see the mother!! And we got a little Daniel, time tripping fun!

Clearly Destiny is the preferred child. He takes after Dad in a big way.

MOON KNIGHT #10 (Brian Wood / Greg Smallwood / Jordie Bellaire) Marvel

How to turn someone into an assassin. Spectre was hardly in this but when he showed up, it was dramatic!

What happens next?

MILES MORALES: THE ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #8 (Bendis / Marquez / Ponsor) Marvel

Right up until he last comic I read, this was going to be Comic of the Week. It is a great book.

We get part one of the Origin of Miles’ father and what a story! The S.H.I.E.L.D. / Hydra thing is a little cliche, but it is done so well! Plus the little comments about how black men are treated by police, without that becoming THE story were interesting.

As I approach the end of the year, I am interested in seeing what is going to com rout as my book of the year. In 2014 it was Ultimate Spider-Man…

Ms. MARVEL #10 (Wilson / Alphona / Herring) Marvel

Here you have a superhero comic. AN action comic. Yet Willow Wilson has PACKED it with great commentary about how youth are treated in today’s society. This story is about how the work dwells kids that they don’t matter and how it is such bullshit and what it really means to be someone with a life ahead of them, with so much available to accomplish.

Great, great comic.


Rusty’s Reading List 2014

December 22, 2014
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Tattoo

I bought this book years ago, simply because I was friends with the Dusty Owl folks who were selling it. I finally got around to reading it and it is… interesting. There is some low-grade Fight Club here but mostly it is Punk Rock and a push back against religious indoctrination.

There are a couple of problems with the book – with a couple of pages (including the last one) just stopping, mid-sentence. It also felt a bit more like an interlude than a whole story, but it was a good interlude, in the way many short stories are these days.

2014 in Books

Tattoo This Madness In – Daniel Allen Cox
Silence Is A Song I Know All The Words To – Shane Koyczan & Gareth Gaudin
Company – Max Barry
Ball Four – Jim Bouton
Live for a Living – Buddy Wakefield
The Cremation of Sam McGee and other poems – Robert Service
The Soul of Baseball: A Road Trip Through Buck O’Neil’s America – Joe Posnanski
Haiti Glass – Lenelle Moise
Anathem – 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

New X-Men Ultimate Collection Vol. 1 – Grant Morrison
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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Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Astro City #18

December 14, 2014
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AstroCity18

This has been a trying week, capped off by having to say good-bye to a loved pet, Zane the cat.

Big comic week, but I am lopping two of them off.

Starting at the weakest…

KLARION #3 (Nocenti / McCarthy / Florea / Johnson / Major) DC

I wasn’t thrilled with issue #1. I was happy with issue #2, but mostly due to one scene. This issue is a muddy mess. If there is a story here, it is well hidden.

Dropped.

SHUTTER #7 (Joe Keatinge / Leila del Duca / Owen Gieni / John Workman) Image

This book just didn’t turn out to be the book I was hoping for. It appears to be random craziness for the sake of random craziness.

Dropped.

SPIDER-MAN and the X-MEN #1 (Kalan / Failla / Herring) Marvel

This books as close to getting dropped after only one issue. I don’t have a lot of patience for bad writing. The plotting and scripting are just sloppy.

I am giving it another chance, but its leash may be very short.

AVENGERS / X-MEN: AXIS #7 (Remender / Kubert / Delgado) Marvel

Kin at Silver Snail asked my a very good question: why am I still getting this? I clearly don’t like it.

True, but believe it or not, this issue was a little better. And did they just drop HUGE bombshell in this issue? Wanda and Pietro are NOT related to Magneto? What?

BITCH PLANET #1 (DeConnick / De Landro / Peter / Cowles) Image

How can a comic both my pretty good and be disappointing? When your expectations are so high.

Will this book by a strongly written feminist comic under the guise of a women-behind-bars exploitation flick? Well, it has the potential and it has already started. Forget Orange is the New Black, this is a feminist Oz, and much better for it.

SEX CRIMINALS #9 (Fraction / Zdarsky) Image

This book has flashes of brilliance but this issue was a little more mundane. The argument was interesting but the Ana backstory was a little trite. She looks like an interesting character going forward, though.

UNCANNY X-MEN ANNUAL #1 (Bendis / Sorrentino / Maiolo) Marvel

There was very little story here for an oversized book, but what was there was interesting. And beautiful art!

I’ll admit that when Ava came back from her trip, I did not realize that she had aged so much. Did I just miss that, or was it not clear?

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL #1 (Ryan / Peterson / Atkinson / Nitz / Salas) Marvel

There is nothing really special about this book BUT at a time when the Spider-Man stuff is totally bogged down in the never-ending Spider-Verse stuff, it is nice to get some old school Spidey.

It is interesting that both stories had bit about Spidey not ‘quipping’.

“Don’t you have anything better to do?”

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #11 (Dan Slott / Olivier Coipel / Wade von Grawbadger / Justin Ponsor) Marvel

As for as Spider-Verse goes, this issue was okay. The Spidey/Ock fight was interesting and I like how Peter outsmarted Otto to win. The look at the Spidey cartoon version was kind of cute.

Do we NOW have the big boss? Will this story end anytime?

ROCKET RACCOON # 6 (Young / Parker / Beaulieu) Marvel

How do you get a Christmas reference without it begin a Christmas story? The Planet of Misfit Mechs!

How do you get the same vibe as Groot without overplaying Groot? A mech that only speaks in binary!

Fun comic.

AVENGERS #39 (Hickman / Deodato / Martin) Marvel

Illuminati vs Avengers… vs more Avengers? The Captain Marvel vs the Hulk scene was worth the price of admission alone.

ASTRO CITY #18 (Busiek / Anderson / Ross) Vertigo

Maybe it is because I am getting older but this issue really hit home for me. Not the origin so much (though it was fine), but the glimpse into the life of aging super-heros. Things just start getting harder to do…

I get it.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Fairest #32

December 6, 2014
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Fairest32

Small week.

From the weakest…

INHUMAN #9 (Soule / Stegman / Isanove) Marvel

Stupid Axis. Medusa isn’t acting very nice! And she is wearing her hair in a ridiculously impractical braid, considering her abilities. Why?

Because she alignment switched!

Dumb… dumb… dumb…

TOOTH & CLAW #2 (Busiek / Dewey / Bellaire / Comicraft) Image

I really liked the first issue of this. What happened?

Well, it is still pretty good, but…

The species of the champion was no surprise but as I read it, it came across as a little… white supremacist. I know that isn’t the intention but the heroic human swoops in to save the primitive and barbaric foreign species…

We’ll see.

SECRET SIX #1 (Simone / Lachley / Geraci / Wright) DC

I used to love Simone’s Secret Six. Then it was cancelled and I read more Simone stuff and was generally underwhelmed. Not that it was terrible or anything, it just wasn’t as good as Secret Six was.

So, it is back! Kind of. This is post-reboot so the old book didn’t exist, I think. This one is unrelated with an almost all new cast.

The first issue was interesting, but I really don’t like the art and it is hard to see where this is going.

We’ll see.

SWAMP THING #37 (Soule / Saiz / Hollingsworth) DC

The new Lady Weeds / Machine Queen is pretty snazzy. Do you get the impression the machines have made a terrible mistake?

And, of course, Anton Arcane…

FAIREST #32 (Buckingham / Braun / Pepoy / Dalhouse) Vertigo

The final Fairest arc has ended (there is still one more stand alone issue). It ended up pretty well, with the glamour lottery and the result ion to the Reynard story. That ended very nicely, with the farm boys turning out to be good lads and a new status quo for the farm. Works for me.