Rusty's World

Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Black Widow #7

June 8, 2014
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blackwidow7

A nice selection of good books this week… and one I won’t be getting any longer.

Starting at the weakest…

BATMAN ETERNAL #9 (Scott Snyder / James Tynion IV / John Layman / Ray Fawkes / Tim Seeley / Guillem March) DC

The only real thread that ties the BE story together is Falcone, and he isn’t very interesting. This was another issue of RANDOM THINGS HAPPEN! DIFFERENT BATMAN-RELATED CHARACTERS APPEAR! PLEASE BUY THOSE BOOKS TOO!

No.

Do you remember the issue of Batman that was supposed to be a preview for this book? It is what got me to buy it. How come that preview has nothing to do with this comic?

Dropped.

ORIGINAL SIN #3 (Aaron / Deodato) Marvel

Question… does Jason Aaron really like lame villains? I suppose if it were a challenge to make them credible, but they aren’t even trying? Clearly the big villains for this story are NOT the Orb, Midas and Dominatrix (or whatever their names are…)

Do you know what would be awesome? If the surprise reveal at the end was legit.

It isn’t, but it would be awesome. He is an ass.

IRON FIST: THE LIVING WEAPON #3 (Kaare Kyle Andrews) Marvel

Is Kaare Andrews the new J.H. Williams III? The super talented, amazing artist and designer who convinces someone that he should be writing the comic despite being completely inept at it?

Williams destroyed Batwoman. If a decent writer were to take this book over, I am sure they could salvage it.

But, is it ever a beautifully rendered comic.

MIRACLEMAN #7 (Moore / Davis / Austen) Marvel

That was a little sudden… and maybe a bit anti-climactic. Couldn’t he even TRY to survive? And why did Miracledog chase Cream anyway? Wasn’t Moran the main target?

AVENGERS WORLD #7 (Spencer / Caselli / Mossa) Marvel

I LIKE S.P.E.A.R.! PLEASE, don’t make them secretly bad guys. The idea that China would have their own super-defense plan has always made sense, but it has never done very well. Hopefully this will work. The Avengers and S.H.I.E.L.D. don’t have jurisdiction over everybody.

SWAMP THING #32 (Charles Soule / Jesus Saiz) DC

Back off fish-face! The exploration of undersea plant life has potential. Swampy standing up to Aquaman worked for me. As did the clear delineation of what side his ‘advisor’s’ were on… or not.

CALIBAN #3 (Garth Ennis / Facundo Percio) Avatar

If you like Alien, you will like this. Straight up.

I am not always a fan of Ennis’ language in this issue, but I can live with it. This is good, creepy, comics horror.

SUPERIOR FOES OF SPIDER-MAN #12 (Spencer / Lieber / Rosenberg) Marvel

The return of the REAL SFOSM book! They even make a joke about the suspended story. The Sinister Sixteen!

MILES MORALES: SPIDER-MAN #2 (Bendis / Marquez / Ponsor) Marvel

Okay, who stole the web shooters? It is clearly not Peter and I am very doubtful it is a clone. It is obviously a trick.

So, who is it?

I don’t think Miles is going to tell Katie (the cliff-hanger would have been handled differently if he was), but I wouldn’t mind if he did.

MOON KNIGHT #4 (Warren Ellis / Declan Shalvey / Jordie Bellaire) Marvel

This may have been comic of the week if it was one page longer. Great story. great visuals. Great FEELING. But an incredibly abrupt ending that made it feel like a page had been torn out. And you know it won’t be picked up next issue. That is it.

BLACK WIDOW #7 (Edmondson / Noto) Marvel

I like the clash between spy stories and superhero stories in the Marvel universe. Yes Natasha kills people. Yes it makes sense in her line of work and yes she could do so and still be a ‘good guy’.

But NO, the superheroes won’t and shouldn’t agree with those sentiments. I like seeing that.

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Rusty’s Comic of the Week: The Massive #23

June 1, 2014
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MASSIVE23

Another week where I let you know whether I liked the comics I bought and how much.

Starting with the weakest.

GIANT-SIZE SPIDER-MAN #1 (Caramagna / Koblish / Caracuzzo / Ciregia / Casagrande / Seeley) Marvel

In my library I have a copy of the first Amazing Spider-Men Marvel Masterworks. It includes reprints of the first ten issues of Spider-Man by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko.

This week’s comic retold early stories – the Spidey origin and his first encounters with the Vulture, Doc Ock and Sandman. Straight up retelling. Nothing of any importance added. It was as if you picked up those old issues and read them… with two very important distinctions: the writing was weak and the art was terrible.

Don’t buy this. It is awful.

THIEF OF THIEVES #21 (Diggle / Martinbrough / Lucas) Image

Sigh.

The issue as a whole wasn’t that bad but once again, a writer thinks that only way to make a ‘bad guy’ seem really bad is to have him rape somebody. It is the same story that I read last week in Miracleman, but at least in that case the books as reprinted from the 80’s before we had a better idea of the damaging nature of this sort of rhetoric.

He could have just killed her. You want to make him seem really awful and still have him mutilate her? Well, that is pretty awful, but okay. So what did raping her first add?

We get it. He is an awful human being.

Weak, WEAK writing.

MIGHTY AVENGERS #10 (Ewing / Land / Leisten / D’Armata) Marvel

Is this the first appearance of the Watcher’s wife? A Watcher with lipstick?

The characterization of Ulana was fine. The visual portrayal was absolutely ridiculous.

Oh, was Uatu having a child a new reveal? If so, why did you give it away ON THE RECAP PAGE?

CHEW / REVIVAL #1 (John Layman / Rob Guillory / Tim Seeley / Mike Norton / Mark Englert) Image

Hmmmm… I read a review the other day that said that the Chew side was really good but the Revival side wasn’t funny enough… or something to that effect.

Allow me to rebut…

This crossover was stupid. The only part of the crossover I liked was Cooper explaining WHY they were doing a crossover (with a little Saga thrown in there for good measure).

Having said THAT, the Revival story was quite good. I wouldn’t bat an eye if it was in the regular comic. Chu was just a guest appearance that added pretty much nothing. Revival is a good comic and this was a good issue of that.

Then I flipped it over. Chew was terrible. I am very glad I haven’t been convinced to try this comic, and now it is pretty certain that I won’t. It is just a one-note gag all the way through. (Oh, and if you are going to cross-over with another comic, do you think you should MAYBE READ the other comic? Revival is NOT about Frankenstein people with limb grafting abilities. At all.)

Half a good comic.

BATMAN ETERNAL #8 (Scott Snyder / James Tynion IV / Ray Fawkes / John Layman / Tim Seeley / Guillem March) DC

A little chaotic, and not in a good way. Very sketchy. Still, another Stephanie Brown sighting, even if it was just to remind us she is still out there…

UNCANNY AVENGERS #20 (Remender / Acuna) Marvel

This was pretty solid despite being just one long fight scene.

I am very interested to see if they actually have everyone remember what happened and have Wasp and Havoc actually have a child together. This would be a very big character change for both of them.

When is the Giant-Man / Polaris team-up?

INHUMAN #2 (Charles Soule / Joe Madureira / Marte Gracia) Marvel

Issue #1 was so-so. Issue #2 was better. I am not sure I dig the Nuhuman label but I really liked Medusa’s (Lady Big Hair) portrayal in this book. Captain America was reasonable so she responded in a reasonable manner.

Having a sovereign nation in the middle of the Hudson probably won’t fly with the U.S. government, though. Tow them out to sea and Attilan Island will be the new Genosha or whatever that X-Island in San Francisco was called.

Because, let’s be honest here, this IS an X-Book.

AVENGERS #30 (Hickman / Yu / Alanguilan / Gho) Marvel

It is no secret to readers of this column that I am no fan of Hickman. AND this is following a New Avengers plot line in the Avengers and I didn’t like New Avengers.

Having said that… this was pretty good issue. Iron Man is played straight up as a villain here and I am starting to wonder when the rest of the heroes are going to stop putting up with his crap. Future Hawkeye was pretty cool (as you would expect). I liked it.

MS. MARVEL #4 (Wilson / Alphona / Herring) Marvel

YES! It took four issues for someone to say that the world didn’t need another BLONDE superhero (read: white). What they needed is Kamala Khan.

Yes! The character of Kamala IS this book and having her turn into a Captain Marvel clone undercut that. Now THIS is the future of the book.

I’ll admit, growing up the way I did, I have a hard time with her parents. I am trying not to judge because they seem awful to me.

C.O.W.L. #1 (Kyle Higgins / Alec Siegel / Rod Reis) Image

Another great new book from Image! This is treated like a super-hero union, but it seems more like a private Super-hero police force. Either way, it is quite interesting and visually appealing. (I love the cover design!)

Of course, it would be nice if some of the characters were a little more likeable…

DEAD BOY DETECTIVES #6 (Toby Litt / Mark Buckingham / Russ Braun) Vertigo

I have been fairly critical of this book thus far… until now! This was a very fun book, capturing the right mix of whimsy and threat that earlier DBD stories did. Done right, this book could be the new Books of Magic, and I consider that high praise.

THE MASSIVE #23 (Brian Wood / Danijel Zezelj / Jordie Bellaire) Dark Horse

The cynic in me wonders if Brian Wood decided to write this story with very positive, strong female presence after he had his “female comic creators are not your personal dating pool” comeuppance.

Regardless, whatever the motivation, this has been a GREAT story. I am not such a fan of the supernatural elements of the character but this issue doesn’t dwell on those. This is just good storytelling and strong character work.

I just read that tho book plans to end with issue #30.. Keep telling stories like this one and I will miss it.


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: 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 Comic of the Week: The Unwritten: Apocalypse #4

April 19, 2014
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Unwritten_Apocalypse_Vol_1_4_Textless

Not a real strong week (and I don’t really like that cover I posted here, but it was the best book…).

Starting at the weakest.

WONDER WOMAN #30 (Brian Azzarello / Goran Sudzuka) DC

This is not the issue you want to hand someone if you want to convince them WW is a good book. Weak art, incoherent storytelling, just generally sloppy.

Why can’t Hera fix Hippolyta? Because there is more tension if she can’t, I guess. Why are the Amazons openly mocking Diana, and why is she acting like a completely ineffectual leader? Same answer, I suppose.

Oh yeah, what is driving force behind this issue? Zeke. Again. For two and a half years now.

The First Born is messed up.

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #31 (Slott / Gage / Camuncoli / Dell / Fabela) Marvel

Yeah. Well, it wasn’t as bad as issue #30.

In fact, parts of it were quite good.

Here’s the deal… I really like Slott’s Spider-Man. I really liked the whole Otto story (though it had been played out a bit), AND I was looking forward to Peter’s return.

Too bad it was done so poorly. Last issue was an absolute mess. Otto acted like a complete idiot, COMPLETELY out of character, and committed suicide, for no real reason. Now Peter is back, and while I LIKE that, and the storytelling possibilities it gives, there was nothing this issue that made Otto’s decision LAST issue make any more sense.

Oh, and by the way… Peter is still dead. We now have Peter’s body being run by the memories of Peter. I am sure that will be ignored.

Oh, and the Green Goblin reveal was STUPID. STUPID. STUPID.

The good thing? The way Peter was written. The way GG recognized who he was after ONE quip. I laughed out loud at that.

BATMAN ETERNAL #2 (Scott Snyder / James Tynion IV / Ray Fawkes / John Layman / Tim Seeley / Jason Fabok) DC

Solid issue in that ‘moody Batman’ genre. The shock of everyone realizing that Gordon was arrested is counter-weighed a bit by the reader knowing he was set up and that there is no way he won’t be cleared of the charges.

The reveal at the end… was kind of weak. That was a big build up for a fairly boring character.

X-MEN #13 (Wood / Mann / Briones) Marvel

A nice character issue. I liked the insights into Storm, Monet, Psylocke…
I wish Jubilee wasn’t a vampire.
I am not a big fan of the uber-powerful villain types that Wood seems to like, but he was hardly dealt with here.

Overall, a good week for the X, as the next book was…

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

…even better. Another character piece (though aren’t Bendis’ books almost always that?). An interesting thought, which may be overlooked, is the elements of abuse in here. Look at how Dazzler is treated. Now look at how Maria Hill is treated. There are some similarities.

I am interested in where Hijack is going. I am interested in the Sentinel attacks. I am interested in Mystique’s potentially growing band of drug-addicted mutants.

I also really hope that Dazzler is the one to kick her ass.

MS.MARVEL #3 (Wilson / Alphona / Herring) Marvel

Speaking of characterization… this is all that. Even the bit characters seem to have a personality. Wilson could have made that a regular robbery, but instead we get the shooter to BE someone.

I am still waiting for Kamala to stop turning into a blonde. I am sure it will come.

THE UNWRITTEN: APOCALYPSE #4 (Mike Carey / Peter Gross) Vertigo

This was a really great book. The way they built the tension was top notch. Tom has just created an army for someone else, in order to get some information. I am sure he will regret that. Wilson is out of his depth and Pauly Bruckner! That was just about the saddest scene I can recall in recent comic memory.

Wow.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Ultimate Spider-man #200

April 6, 2014
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ultsm2011200-dc21-b74b4

Another big week… but not a great one.

(It is nice to be back on schedule…)

Starting at the weakest…

PRETTY DEADLY #5 (DeConnick / Rios / Bellaire / Cowles) Image

Ruthanne claims I am “not paying close enough attention” because I say that this book is nearly incomprehensible.

If you say so.

Here is a book with a writer than I like, an artist that I like, and a story that is an absolute mess.

TRILLIUM #8 (Jeff Lemire) Vertigo

Almost the same problem…

I have spent the last few issues of Trillium complaining that the annoying nature of the book is hiding the story. Well, this issue is not annoying at all to read so I could really let the story shine through… only to find it trite and deeply unsatisfying.

Oh well. I still like Lemire on Animal Man…

…oh wait. That is cancelled.

Hopefully Justice League Canada is better than it looks…

THE MOVEMENT #11 (Gail Simone / Freddie Williams II) DC

Huh. I have been enjoying this series (so of course, it is also cancelled), but this issue was not so great. It almost feels like Simone felt like she had to cram the entire Burden story into one issue to get it done in time for the book to end. The whole introduction and resolution of his brother and Burden admitting that he is gay came at a breakneck speed that really made it suffer.

REVIVAL #19 (Tim Seeley / Mike Norton) Image

Sometimes this book is quite good. Sometimes it is not so good. This time it was just kind of… meh.

Chuck better be okay!

INHUMAN #1 (Charles Soule / Joe Madureira / Marte Gracia) Marvel

Kin predicted that I would drop this after the first issue. Nope. It isn’t that bad. I am not raving about it, but it is interesting enough to keep with for now. The brother/sister at the end were interesting. I don’t really like Medusa, but I like the big door-guy. 🙂

Of course, this whole story is jus the X-Men vs the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants in their fight to recruit new mutants…

FAIREST #25 (Marc Andreyko / Shawn McManus) Vertigo

I like this story in general, but it feels like it has outstayed its welcome. Time for a new story maybe?

Preferably NOT by Willingham?

SHE-HULK #3 (Soule / Pulido / Vicente) Marvel

Not as good as the previous two issues, but it still had its moments. The Hellcat appearance was a nice touch.

Th parts of Pulido’s art that I dislike (Jen’s face) was even worse this time, though I like his art in general. The lay-outs were problematic as there were a number of times where I found myself reading panels in the wrong order (page by page instead of ‘wide-screen’).

MOON KNIGHT #2 (Warren Ellis / Declan Shalvey / Jordie Bellaire) Marvel

Very innovative opening, but was this whole issue just so Ellis could make a political statement about the power of world banking? It is only the second issue and it already felt like Moon Knight was an afterthought.

It was a good read, though.

BLACK WIDOW #5 (Nathan Edmondson / Phil Noto) Marvel

Raiders of the Lost Ark, anyone?

The Mad Monk wrapped up a little… abruptly, but in true 24 style, there is a bigger menace behind the curtain.

I am guessing that Tori Raven turns out to be bad, but I hope not. She is an interesting support character.

Oh.. off the google to find out if I should know who Damon Dran is…

Oh, okay. He is not a new character, but no… there is no reason I would have heard of him. (He appeared in a short Daredevil arc in 1972. And not much else…)

SWAMP THING #30 (Charles Soule / Jesus Saiz / Javi Pina) DC

Is that three Charles Soule books this week? Well, this is the best of them. Some Anatomy Lesson flashbacks and Alec getting his human on.

Lady Weeds has had a nice upgrade. It suits her. I am digging the Sureen arc.

CALIBAN #1 (Garth Ennis / Facundo Percio) Avatar

I usually barely even look at the Avatar solicits. I will admit that I read the on-line Crossed comic, but in general, the way they market their books leaves a little cold. (‘Fatal Fantasy’ covers? Really?)

Having said that, I stumbled across the solicits for Caliban and it sounded like something I would like. I am glad I did. This is a really sharp book. It has a real Alien feel (the Ridley Scott version). The characters have CHARACTER, even if only briefly.

Has this been optioned for a movie yet? Because it sure looks like one.

Nice surprise here from Avatar and Garth Ennis. (The back cover may be the only thing that stopped the book from being the top dog this week.)

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #200 (Brian Michael Bendis . Dave Marquez / David Lafuente / Sara Pichelli / Mark Brooks / Mark Bagley / Andrew Hennessy / Justin Ponsor) Marvel

Now… this book deserved the top spot.

I am nto a big fan of artist mash-ups, but this one was pretty seamless. I am also not a big fan of multiple massive splash pages… but, yeah.

The real work was in the other pages, though. This book reminds us about what has gone before and what is yet to come. This is character work to the core.

I am not sure who that person in the bushes was. There are a lot of people who seem to think it is a Peter clone… but let me be a vote against that. That would really be lame. That is what stops the Ultimate Spider-Woman from being more interesting. Please NO MORE CLONES.

I REALLY want to know what Ganke made for Gwen.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Sandman Overture #2

April 5, 2014
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sandmanoverture2

Pretty big week with some pretty good comics. A couple of clunkers and a stop though.

Starting at the bottom…

SURVIVE #1 (Bendis / Quinones / Beredo) Marvel

I originally didn’t order this but I figured with Bendis writing it and using it as a segue into the New Miles book and the new Ultimates book… but no. This was pretty bad. A bunch of scenes of people saying…. hey, there is a new status quo! But let’s not talk about it too much because we are just going to talk about it again when each of the new books launches!

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #30 (Slott / Gage / Camuncoli / Dell / Fabela) Marvel

You have GOT to be kidding me! That was awful and people have been talking about how great it was. THAT is how you bring him back? THAT?

It is pretty bad when a fan theory on Bleeding Cool is ten times better than what the writer comes up with.

Dan Slott… this was terrible. Zero creativity and terrible characterization.

If I wasn’t generally enjoying the book, I would drop it now.

Looking forward to the return of Amazing…

AMAZING X-MEN #5 (Aaron / McGuinness / Vines / Gracia) Marvel

Not THIS Amazing…

Yeah. I bought this book because I really like Nightcrawler. But this wasn’t very good, overall. The resurrection was cheesy. Fighting pirates in hell or whatever… yeah. Not for me. Now Nightcrawler is getting his own boo, so this one is dropped.

DEAD BOY DETECTIVES #4 (Toby Litt / Mark Buckingham / Gary Erskine) Vertigo

Ruthanne and I chatted about this and decided not to drop it. I really like the characters – including Crystal. This story was pretty bad, though. They took the classic Gaiman issue and turned into a funhouse parody of itself. What made the boarding school so chilling is that it was so NORMAL. Not this.

Hopefully the book gets better.

AVENGERS #27 (Hickman / Larroca / Martin) Marvel

I am enjoying this evil Avengers story more than any of the Hickman run so far (damning with faint praise). I don’t like the art (especially the AIM costumes and Captain Marvel’s odd look), but the story works for me. I wish the scene on the cover actually happened because I like that era of Super-Adaptoid. There has obviously been a Hulk bait-and-switch.

Yeah. Not bad.

SILVER SURFER #1 (Dan Slott / Michael Allred / Laura Allred) Marvel

I was a little disappointed in this book only because my expectations were so high. This book was all set-up with no pay-off. I would say it is ‘written for the trade’, so to speak.

That’s okay. I’m along for the ride.

FABLES #139 (Bill Willingham / Steve Leialoha) Vertigo

Wait, what happened to the Knights story? This is cute and everything, but I was enjoying the other one. Oh well. I guess Bucky needed a break.

This appears to be the kick-off to the eventual demise of this book. I guess that is because they are going back to the Homelands.

Hands up… who thinks Danny Boy is a double crosser?

UNCANNY AVENGERS #18 (Rick Remender / Daniel Acuna) Marvel

Decent alt-reality type story, like the old X-Men ones. They do a good job setting up the new status quo while also giving us the tip-off about how everything is going to get fixed. Pretty nice last page where we get a nice reveal.

THE MASSIVE #21 (Brian Wood / Garry Brown / Jordie Bellaire) Dark Horse

Nice double cross. Nice cast addition. Nice plot motion…

Though I do wish that the forward motion of the plot wasn’t tied in to this super-Mary thing. I am not a fan of that aspect of the story.

Oh well. Looks like it is entrenched. Better get used to it.

BRILLIANT #5 (Bendis / Bagley) Icon

I was ready to drop this. When I saw it came out (after what, a year?), I said to myself that if this wasn’t really good, I wasn’t waiting around for issue 6.

Thing is, it was really good.

The various reactions tot he exposure of powers was well done. You had fear. Fascination. Greed. The whole thing.

Hopefully the next issue comes out in a little more timely fashion…

HAWKEYE #18 (Fraction / Wu / Hollingsworth) Marvel

I heard a rumour that this book is ending… does anyone know if that is true? I hope not.

The Kate in L.A. stories aren’t quite as good as the Clint in NYC ones. Kate is every bit as interesting a character, but not having Aja hurts… despite Wu being quite talented.

But now it seems that these seemingly disparate threads are coming together! Oh boy!

(Of course, Clint still appears to be bleeding out on his apartment floor…)

MIRACLEMAN #4 (Alan Moore / Alan Davis / Garry Leach) Marvel

Man, this book is good. I actually have the old traceback of A Dream of Flying, which is now really hard to get. So I have read these issues but I am coming up to the end of what I have.

How often are reprints some of the best comics coming out?

The Warpsmith stuff doesn’t do it for me, though. Oh well.

SANDMAN OVERTURE #2 (Neil Gaiman / J.H. Williams III) Vertigo

Wow. This was one beautiful book. Beautifully written. Beautifully drawn. If issue 1 brought us back into the world of Sandman, this issue made it feel like we had never left.

Absolutely mind-blowing.

If you are NOT reading this book, I hope it is only because you are waiting for the collection.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Animal Man #29

March 29, 2014
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Sorry this is so late…. since this is really comics from LAST week, but I have been pretty tied up with VERSeFest.

Starting at the weakest…

SOVEREIGN #1 (Roberson / Maybury) Image

I was a fan of iZombie. When it was cancelled Chris Roberson burned some bridges. I didn’t agree with everything he said but I supported his willingness to speak up. So when Image announced his new creator-owned book, I was on board.

Then I read it.

This comic is really bad. A pretty much incoherent story with unclear art to complete turn the book into a muddy mess.

Oh well. No issue #2 for me.

SUPERIOR FOES OF SPIDER-MAN #10 (Asmus / Carmenero / Pallot / Mossa / Cowles) Marvel

Why didn’t you put creator credits on the cover, Marvel? Were you trying to hide the fact that this issue was a fill in? (They sure didn’t try to hide it on the inside… the issue is titled ‘Filling In’)

Remember the smart, witty SFoS comic? This isn’t it.

I’m looking forward to the return of the REAL comic.

ROCKET GIRL #4 (Brandon Montclare / Amy Reeder) Image

Another one for the cancellation bin for us. We bought this because we are big fans of Amy Reeder. Well, the story is boring and the art is nowhere near the art that made us into fans. She is going more and more ‘manga’ instead of the beautiful work she did on Madame Xanadu.

Oh well.

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL #2 (Gage / Rodriguez / Lopez / Briones / Gandini) Marvel

Annuals should be special. They shouldn’t read like a fill-in issue from a different creative team. This was a Urich Family story followed by a Wraith story, just filling in cracks for the regal brook. Hmmm…

It wasn’t awful, just no big deal.

AVENGERS WORLD #4 (Hickman / Spencer / Caselli / Mossa) Marvel

Not bad enough to drop, yet. Not good enough to praise.

X-MEN #12 (Wood / Anka / Mann) Marvel

As is often the problem with books that fight nigh-unstoppable villains, the ending is a little to pat. They can’t drag out a fight so they either figure out how to beat them, or they don’t… and since they are the heroes, which do you think happens?

Oh, and the roll-call scene and the beginning was absolutely ridiculous. (The Paul Smith-ian shot of Pryor was nice, though.)

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

The scene with Dazzler was maybe a little too disturbing. Meanwhile the scene with the Sentinels was maybe a little too formulaic.

This book is not as good as Bendis’ other X-book, but it is still quite readable.

SEX CRIMINALS #5 (Fraction / Zdarsky) Image

This felt a little weaker than previous issues, but still a solid read. The kegel-face but was kind of funny but not as great as some of the high points of previous issues (like the karaoke scene…)

UNWRITTEN: APOCOLYPSE #3 (Mike Carey / Peter Gross) Vertigo

Well now we have the apocalypse the title implied. What a mess. No big shock about who the villain is, but wow… how are they going to get out of that/ Will the world remember this? Has this completely changed how the Unwritten world works? A world with time travelling hordes is not the world that the average Joe knew about before…

LAZARUS #7 (Rucka / Lark / Arcas) Image

Whoa. That was sudden and brutal. Beautiful cover and wrenching story. All of it.

MS. MARVEL #2 (Wilson / Alphona / Herring) Marvel

Everything about this book rang true. Her reactions. Her family. All of it.

But we REALLY need to move past the ‘my ideal image is of a white, blonde lady’. The quicker the better.

WONDER WOMAN #29 (Brian Azzarello / Cliff Chiang) DC

Can you smell it? That is the excrement hitting the fan.

Diana, God of War, leading her troops against the Usurper of Olympus? Yes please.

The good… this story seems to finally be reaching its climax.

The bad… when it does so, Azzarello and Chiang are leaving and we are getting a WW T&A book again.

DAREDEVIL #1 (Waid / Samnee / Rodriguez) Marvel

I am going to really miss the old Daredevil comic by Waid and Samnee. Hopefully this new one will be good… who is the creative team?

Oh. Okay then.

A silly renumbering, but what the hell. I like the setting. I like the new status quo with Matt as super-advising detective for the SFPD.

Oh hey, while you are there, say hi to our friends Nadine and Phil, would you?

Oh right… the review. Good comic. Buy it. Nearly comic of the week, but…

ANIMAL MAN #29 (Jeff Lemire / Travel Foreman) DC

I am going to give Lemire’s Justice League Canada a try, but it has better be good since this was cancelled to make room for it.

This book wavered between really good and Rotworld during its run, but this issue was absolutely stellar. Hands up, who though they were getting a FULL family reunion in this issue?

Instead they made it into a truly touching moment between those that were left behind.

I am not a fan of Lemire’s art and not Foreman so much either, but that didn’t distract me from the story which was perfect.

“Goodnight Cliffy.”


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Hawkeye #17

March 15, 2014
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A very solid week for comics. Even the bottom comic wasn’t so bad, and there was a battle for the top spot.

Starting at the weakest…

FBP #8 (Simon Oliver / Robbi Rodriguez) Vertigo

Sometimes this book gets a little hard to follow… but just a little. The art is partly to blame. I don’t dislike it per se, but sometimes it obscures the storytelling. The end for example… I KNOW who those two are, but only because of the story narrative.

ALL-NEW X-MEN #24 (Bendis / Immonen / von Grawbadger / Gracia) Marvel

I really like this book, but it is this low because I am NOT buying the Guardians of the Galaxy books, which makes following this one a little hit and miss. As usual with Bendis books, it is the characters that carry the day. That little Angela / Gamora interaction was a good example.

Did they REALLY kill Jean Grey’s family? Was that in the old death of Jean Grey storyline or after?

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #29 (Slott / Gage / Camuncoli / Dell / Fabela) Marvel

You know, Dan Slott, when you keep saying “don’t spoil the big surprise” and then there ISN’T a big surprise, you kind of lose all your credibility.

Was it supposed to be the new ownership of the Spider-Slayers? IT IS ON THE COVER! Was it the death of an annoying character nobody was invested in anyway?

Sigh.

The comics was still good. (And that is STILL not really Norman…)

BLACK WIDOW #4 (Nathan Edmonson / Phil Noto) Marvel

This comic continues to be really solid. Wonderful art and a pretty good story carries the day… but I WOULD like it if Edmonson raised his game a little and it wasn’t just mission after mission. Give Natasha some actual supporting characters. Down time.

MIGHTY AVENGERS #8 (Ewing / Schiti / D’Armata) Marvel

This continues to be the best Avengers comic on the market. Having Schiti on the art certainly helps. He is not the best artist going, but his so much better than the tracer. I like Adam getting his own storyline. He is an interesting character (though the power disparity concerns me, as always). The White Tiger bit worked really well too. I also really liked the Young Avengers stuff. (I have Wiccan on Twitter…)

SUPERIOR FOES OF SPIDER-MAN #9 (Spencer / Lieber / Rosenberg) Marvel

“He can’t drink that? Where would it go?” was Ruthanne’s admonishment towards Silvermane.

This is just a fun book.

I do have a question, though, what was with the waiting symbol when Boomerang was on the phone? Wait… I just figured it out.

Ha.

ASTRO CITY #10 (Busiek / Anderson / Ross) Vertigo

While I like this book… I am a guy. I think I know some people who would not agree with Kurt’s (also a guy) take on how a woman’s strength should apply in this situation. As I said, it works for me, but…

Still, a really good comic, and nearly in the top spot.

HAWKEYE #17

Fraction / Eliopoulos / Aja / Bellaire) Marvel

Well, what can you say about that. Damn good issue, dog.

It was not quite as good as the Pizza Dog issue, but it had that feel. This comic keep showing you what you can accomplish while still riding in the super-Marvel lane.

Great comic. One of the best going these days (along with Saga.)


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Swamp Thing #29

March 9, 2014
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This was a very solid week for comics. Not perfect and no truly outstanding books, but some very solid reads

TRILLIUM #7 (Jeff Lemire) Vertigo

The fact that this is ending next issue is the only reason I haven’t cancelled it. This book is just annoying to read.

I was just told that this book sells as much as three times what Animal Man sells for Lemire. That is crazy. Animal Man is a great book. This book is gimmicky for no purpose. The story is okay… but just okay. The art is really sloppy. And it is a pain to read.

Not a lot going for it.

MAGNETO #1 (Bunn / Walta / Bellaire) Marvel

Do you want to know something? I nearly didn’t buy Moon Knight but I was sold on Magneto.

I will not be buying issue #2.

This was wretched. Have I ever liked something by Cullen Bunn? I can’t recall. This was just nasty for no purpose. It was pretty much just copying the intro scenes for Magneto in the First Class movie. I am not opposed to comics about villains, but this didn’t work for me. What made it worse is that by comparison to the art, the story was amazing.

Yeah, the art is atrocious.

I won’t be buying issue 2.

UNCANNY X-MEN #18 (Bendis / Rudy / Staples) Marvel

Ah, Marco Rudy. There are times when I like his art and I am a big fan of artists who put some thought into design, but the actually drawing this issue was weak and some of the design elements were lorry thought out and made the book hard to follow.

It was too bad, because the story was quite good.

FAIREST #24 (Marc Andreyko / Shawn McManus) Veritgo

This was a decent story. Starting with a great, though unrelated, cover. The back story for our little Rat-Father was fun. Cindy kicking butt was good. The reminder of how Fables can be really resilient was nice.

A solid, though unspectacular, read.

THE MOVEMENT #10 (Gail Simone / Freddie Williams II) DC

Are those wings attached? If not, why would she leave them on?

That sex scene was the weak point of an otherwise great story. (I have nothing against sex scenes, but this seemed really random and out of place.) Using the book to illustrate the inequity of justice was spot on. Of course they pretend it is about the part o frown they are from, but it is the colour of his skin they are talking about.

Too bad this book is cancelled.

MOON KNIGHT #1 (Warren Ellis / Declan Shalvey / Jordie Bellaire) Marvel

I almost passed on this because I generally find Ellis is overrated, Shalvey is not to my taste, and Moon Knight is not a very interesting character. I like the Bendis series, but this wasn’t likely to be that.

I am glad a decided to give it a try. First off, while I haven’t been a big fan of Shalvey in the past, THIS was really good. Other than the villain, I like fall of the way this was drawn.

Yet another twist on the story of Moon Knight is expected. SO now he does NOT have multiple personalities. Until this book is cancelled and another writer has another go at it and brings them back.

Whatever. Good first issue.

THE SAVIORS #3 (James Robinson / J.Bone) Image

I liked the gathering of like-minded folks. I also liked how that fell apart so fast.

Did it HAVE to be the Canadian, though?

SHE-HULK #2 (Soule / Pulido / Vicente) Marvel

Here is my admission: we are big Hellcat fans in this house.

Did she HAVE to be stupid and drunk? Still, it was nice to see her and it looks like she is joining the cast! Yay!

That new building is pretty nifty. I like this book.

AVENGERS A.I. #10 (Humphries / Araujo / D’Armata) Marvel

This book is often good with on thing that makes it better. That is usually something said by Doombot. This time it was Gascheck. That whole scene was excellent.

(Though, unless something has changed, Sunspot is NOT invulnerable.)

REVIVAL #18 (Tim Seeley / Mike Norton) Image

This is all about Randy Decker, the zen bowler. His whole scene showed some of the real horror in a world like this. Add to that the chilling scene with Cooper to end the book and you have a really good comic book.

SWAMP THING #29 (Charles Soule / Jesus Saiz) DC

Good week for Charles Soule. The Sureen were excellent. The fact that all was not as it seemed was a bit predictable, but it still kept me interested. The New Orleans adventure of Weeds and Wolf is a nice addition.

The last time I remember that sort of ‘communion’, it was a sex scene.

Good, good comic.


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