Rusty's World

Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Avengers Annual #1

January 9, 2012

Good week for comics! Not to big… a nice amount of good reads. Even the clunkers seemed to be improvements on what had gone before.

Let’s start from the best and work back, as always.

AVENGERS ANNUAL #1 (Bendis / Dell’otto / Svorcina) Marvel

This is a really good book! The voice of the people versus the voice of authority sang through this book. This was an interesting parallel to Bendis’ book ‘Scarlet’. (Great book, by the way).

I used to be a Wonder Man fan but he hasn’t be interesting in quite a while. This changes that. I heard people complaining about D-Man, of all characters. D-Man was a one-note character that was never interesting. Now they are claiming that he is crazy. What I want is for him to be telling the truth (AND a little crazy). But that I don’t really like the people on other comic forums… so screw them! đŸ™‚

If you let it, this is a comic that actually makes you think. Rare for superheroes (let’s be honest here…)

SWAMP THING #5 (Scott Snyder / Yanick Paquette) DC

I go back and forth about what is the best of the new DC books. Is it All-Star Western? Is it Wonder Woman? Right now I am leaning towards Swamp Thing. This might not be quite Alan Moore, but it stands on its own. The Rot is a really cool villain and Abby is one of the best supporting characters going (along with the Baker family over in Animal Man).

The Paquette art is brilliant. The panel layouts were very well done (other than a single somewhat confusing double-page spread).

DC may not be great at superheroes, but they are great at the periphery books.

iZOMBIE #21 (Chris Roberson / J.Bone) Vertigo

Right up until I read the last two books in my pile, I thought iZombie was a shoe-in for comic of the week. As much as I have a big man-crush on Mike Allred, J.Bone is a wonderful change of pace. Don’t let the cartoony nature of his work fool you, this is some pretty deep work.

My only complaint was that I wanted to read the rest of the Dead Presidents origin.

ANIMAL MAN #5 (Lemire / Foreman / Huet / Pugh) DC

This is sort of a companion book to Swamp Thing. They share a villain and the books are going to cross soon. The only thing that knocks this book down is that Travel Foreman is no Yanick Paquette. Foreman is a very talented artist but the book is just so ugly. It is appropriate to the story but it makes it less enjoyable to read it.

I mean, just look at that cover. Ick. Not much of a selling point.

AVENGERS ACADEMY #24 (Gage / Grummett / Hamscher / Sotomayor) Marvel

This is a good read. The villain is not the most interesting and the Reptil from the future thing doesn’t ring my bell a whole lot… but the characters are just so wonderful. Tom Grummet is the perfect artist for this book. He is an upgrade without being a drastic change from what was going on. The cover was kind of misleading, but what the hell…

THUNDERBOLTS #168 (Parker / Southworth / Martin) Marvel

This issue was decent. I like getting back to the T-Bolts in the modern day, but I wasn’t really moved by the Mr. Fear story. The art was good but I didn’t think that the fact that Cage thought he killed that person was shown very well. Ghost is just plain awesome. I have a feeling one of two things will happen when this big time travel story is over. A: The new status quo will be very different OR B: the book will be cancelled. I hope it isn’t the latter.

ACTION COMICS #5 (Grant Morrison / Andy Kubert / Jesse Delperdang) DC

Action has been teetering for me. I have already cancelled Superman and I found this book was not holding my interest very well… until now. Strong storytelling here! I find that Morrison sometimes gets caught up in his ideas and doesn’t tell the story well, but not this time. Even the back-up was spot on.

Keep it going like this and Action will move up this list.

THE DEFENDERS #2 (Fraction / Dodson / Dodson / Oback) Marvel

Issue #1 was a big disappointment for me. This issue was quite a bit better. The scene between Dr. Strange and the red She-Hulk was worth the price of admission alone. Oddly enough, it is still Iron Fist that doesn’t feel right to me, and word is that Fraction loves the character.

AVENGERS: X-SANCTION #2 (Jeph Loeb / Ed McGuinness / Dexter Vines / Morry Hollowell) Marvel

Issue #1 was just terrible. Issue #2 was not exactly great, but it read better. I still can’t stand the art and the ‘Avenger of the Week’ thing doesn’t flow well. There was a little more characterization this time. Is it wrong that I just keep hoping that Cable will die again?

Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Swamp Thing #4

December 11, 2011

Now this is more like it! A solid week with some very good comics.


Let’s start, as always, with Rusty’s comic of the Week!


SWAMP THING #4 (Scott Snyder / Marco Rudy / Michel Lacombe / Sean Parsons) DC

Nice! They are really moving this story along nicely. The Green. The Rot. The Parliament of Trees. Abby. (Don’t screw up Abby!) I was worried when Yanick Paquette wasn’t doing the art, but Rudy is a very capable substitute. This book is on a collision course with Animal Man and that is okay with me.


iZOMBIE #20 (Roberson / Allred) VERTIGO

Right from the start… great cover! The pastiche of those teen mags is awesome! This may be the best Vertigo book (this or The Unwritten) but the great zombie attack had sidetracked it a bit. Now we are back with a nice Ellie / Francisco story, more on Spot and Gavin, Gwen and the Dead Presidents! Super nifty cool!


MOON KNIGHT #8 (Bendis / Maleev / Hollingsworth) Marvel

As much as I like the Avengers stuff, this is Bendis at his best. When Spider-woman was cancelled I was disappointed. Getting Scarlet softened that blow and now Moon Knight is where it is at. The art is absolutely beautiful. Maleev is one of the best in the biz. (There was a lot of good art this week, actually.) I never really cared for Echo before, but she is good in this book. The scene with the cop and Snapdragon played out nicely. Just plain good comics.


ANIMAL MAN #4 (Jeff Lemire / Travel Foreman / Jeff Huet) DC

This runs in the same ‘world’ as Swamp Thing, which is kind of a subset of the DC Universe. Still, I didn’t like this issue as much as the Swampy one because I don’t like the way the Red looks. I have a hard time with seeing it as anything other than the villain of the piece, when I know it is supposed to be the Rot. Maybe it is my bias but the world of the Green seems natural while the world of the Red seems abhorrent. Ellen is badass here. Great stuff.


AVENGING SPIDER-MAN #2 (Zeb Wells / Joe Madureira / Ferran Daniel) Marvel

I am still not the biggest fan of Joey Mads, but getting him to draw Mole Man and his ilk is playing to his strength, that is for sure. This is a fun book for people who aren’t looking for anything more than superhero fisticuffs. Nothing wrong with that. The exchange between Jonah and Spidey was funny, though I feel like I have read that same joke before. I am not a huge fan of Red Hulk, but at least this issue read like he wasn’t just the Hulk with a paint job.


AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #675 (Slott / Camuncoli / Janson / D’Armata) Marvel

There are parts of this book I really like and parts I don’t. The art was just okay and I really don’t like the way Vulture’s face is drawn. Actually I don’t like the way his followers are drawn either. The banter between Pete and Carlie was starting to get a little annoying, but it didn’t feel unrealistic. I like the story between them and I REALLY like the idea of Carlie and MJ having a sit down (and the reaction by Peter was priceless).


ACTION COMICS #4 (Grant Morrison / Rags Morales / Rick Bryant / Sean Parsons) DC

Last month I thought Action was in danger of being cut by me. This issue didn’t skyrocket up the charts but it was a solid issue.  Morrison doesn’t like to explain things much but the apparent new debut of Brainiac and the Bottle City of Kandor were a cool twist. The back-up was so-so, but bringing Steel in was nice. He kind of looks like an old Superman villain named Conduit. Remember him?


X-FACTOR #228 (David / Kirk / Milla) Marvel

Another book at risk of being dropped staves elimination off for another issue. Peter David weaves threads together so I keep wanting to know what happens next. What is going to happy with Madrox? Strong Guy? Is Hangman going to keep his turned leaf on the right side? (I hope so. Join X-Factor!)


DEFENDERS #1 (Fraction / Dodson / Dodson / Oback) Marvel

Even in a good week there can be disappointment. I was looking forward to this. I like the Defenders and I like the creative team they put together, The results? Not so good. What is with emo Dr. Strange? Also BOTH Strange and Iron Fist get a scene about casual sex that they regret? Seems a little odd. I’m giving the book more than one issue to get on my good side but they started out pretty poorly.