Rusty's World

Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Astro City #20

February 19, 2015
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Astro_City_Vol_3_20

This would have been a small week anyway, but with my decision to cut back, I didn’t get Secret Six or Darth Vader. Down to four books (though next week is still nearly a full-sized week).

I am working out a system for one collections to buy. I am collecting older collections, trying to build my ‘library’, but that is coming out of a different pot of money. It is slower (unless I go on a poker tear… 🙂 )

It looks like the first book I am going to buy when I fully with over is Afterlife With Archie Volume 1. Assuming there isn’t a Lumberjanes collection yet.

For my ‘other’ collection, I have X-Men: Ghosts on order.

This week…

SPIDER-WOMAN #4 (Hopeless / Land / Leisten / D’Armata) Marvel

I should have dropped this book sooner. I thought this was still Spider-Vese, but it isn’t really. It is a little side note wrap-up and stage setting for the very different stuff to follow.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #14 (Dan Slott / Giuseppe Camuncoli / Olivier Coipel / Justin Ponsor) Marvel

So Spider-Verse ends in a big fight where suddenly the bad guys don’t seem nearly as tough for some reason. O’kay.

ALL-NEW X-MEN #36 (Bendis / Asrar / Gracia) Marvel

Another wrap-up as the X-Men in the Ultimate Universe story finishes up, with a number of hints at the Secret Wars story to come.

Is Secret Wars going to be all Beast’s fault?

ASTRO CITY #20 (Busiek / Anderson / Ross / Sinclair / Comicraft) Vertigo

This is the only book this week that I am not dropping immediately. There is another issue in the story.

And what a story it is! Showing how heroes age… the new super-powered ones, that is. This is the best thing along these lines I have seen since they did that aging Blue Beetle story.

Who am I kidding. This is better.

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Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Silver Surfer #8

January 18, 2015
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SIlverSurfer8

This was a pretty big week… because of Star Wars alone. It was highly anticipated, but how was it?

Well, it isn’t comic of the week, so we’ll have to wait and see. Starting at the weakest.

SPIDER-VERSE #2 (Slott / Anka / Immonen / Lafuente / Lopez / Mackay / Vella / Puig / Herrara / Templeton) Marvel

This wasn’t… terrible. In fact it might have NOT been last if it wasn’t for how kind of uncomfortable the Anansi story made me. I don’t want to call it racist and I am a fan of Kathryn Immonen… but let me just leave it at ‘it made me kind of uncomfortable’.

The punk Spidey story was great. Hobart Brown… who is that again? The Prowler? Let me go look it up… American Sculptor and founder of Kinetic Sculpture Racing?

Wrong one.

Bishop of the Diocese of Fond du Lac in The Episcopal Church?

Uh…no.

Yep, it was the Prowler.

Oh, and the Spanish story? Just no. I shouldn’t have to go on-line to find out what happens in a comic.

AVENGERS #34.2 (Humphries / Bengal / Curiel) Marvel

A fill in story to give us a better look at Starbrand? Or to GET RID of Starbrand?

I am all for the latter, but I don’t have faith that is what happened.

And I really dislike the art. The manga influence on American comics has been a real negative for me.

AVENGERS #40 (Hickman / Caselli / Martin) Marvel

Two overpriced Avengers comics in the same week? And their numbering is not even remotely close together?

Marvel is on drugs.

The worst part here is that this is NOT an Avengers story. It is a New Avengers story. Complete with a ‘shocking death’ that I don’t believe for a second. In fact, they kind of ‘killed off’ a whole bunch of characters that I guess were a big deal in New Avengers.

Whatever. Finish the Hickman run and let’s move on.

S.H.I.E.L.D. #2 (Waid / Ramos / Olazaba / Delgado) Marvel

This was a fun little Coulson / Ms. Marvel story fighting the Wizard….’s glove.

Plus a little backstory for Jemma Simmons (Ms. Steranko 🙂 )

The message at the end would mean more if this book was written by Willow Wilson.

MILES MORALES: THE ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #9 (Bendis / Marquez / Ponsor) Marvel

Ignore the cover. It has nothing to do with the contents of the comic.

This was a decent story but it was just so exposition heavy. Show us, don’t tell us, right?

ASTRO CITY #19 (Busiek / Anderson / Ross / Sinclair / Comicraft) Vertigo

Another Quarrel story… and it looks like another to come. At least I hope so, because the end of this book doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Astro City is great (Rusty’s Comic of the Year for 2014) but this issue does not especially stand out.

DAREDEVIL #12 (Waid / Samnee / Wilson) Marvel

The twist wasn’t especially impactful, but the comic overall was good. A nice chase scene and a great scene between Matt and Kirsten.

And great art, as always.

LAZARUS #14 (Rucka / Lark / Arcas) Image

This book just keeps getting better and better. Politics. Intrigue. Humanity. Betrayal.

I love that Hock’s ridiculous accusations are 100% accurate. I also love that they are still wrong, in execution.

Speaking of execution… it looks like a bi fight is coming. Lazari as samurai? Truth through combat?

And Michael Lark is killing it on this book.

STAR WARS #1 (Aaron / Cassaday / Martin) Marvel

Yes. It is as good as I had hoped. When the characters spoke, I HEARD them, in the proper voices. It didn’t hurt that John Cassaday’s art was absolutely on point.

I’ll admit that I was disappointed that the book is set after Star Wars and not after Jedi. That guarantees a certain amount of wheel spinning, but what are you going to do. They want Vader to be in the books.

Yes. I’m all in.

SILVER SURFER #8 (Dan Slott / Michael Allred / Laura Allred) Marvel

Despite the minor disappointment about the Star Wars comic timeframe, it still seemed like it would get the top spot… until I read Silver Surfer.

Can you imagine? You have met someone. They seem pretty great. You are travelling around, having fun, seeing the universe, basically begin a Doctor Who companion… and then you find out that they are responsible for killing billions upon billions of people.

It is an aspect of Silver Surfer that is often glossed over. Why was he forgiven for that, exactly?

In some ways, this hits home. Very well done.


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: Daredevil #10

November 26, 2014
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Daredevil 10

What a range this week! From really bad to really good.

Starting at the weakest…

WONDER WOMAN #36 (M.Finch / D.Finch / Friend / Oback) DC

Since I have been married there are two comics that I have consistently purchased. Avengers (for me) and Wonder Woman (for Ruthanne).

That ends now.

David Finch has gone on record as saying that Wonder Woman is not a feminist. What a load of crap.

If that wasn’t bad enough, as expected, the art is awful. I didn’t realize HOW awful, though. Why does Diana look 15? Well, a face of 15 on a porn star’s body, of course.

What a shift away from the very strong previous storyline.

Oh… and the writing is actively bad. It reminds me of the worst of 90’s Marvel.

DC is really, REALLY sucking these days. What DC books do I still buy? Swamp Thing and..

AVENGERS #38 (Hickman / Caselli / Martin) Marvel

What was that other book I said that I have been buying right through my 21 year marriage (and beyond)?

Yeah.

Still, this book has been up and down a lot. This issue was a whole lot of wheel-spinning.

When is Hickman finishing up and moving on?

Can we get Bendis back? Stern?

AVENGERS / X-MEN: AXIS #6 (Remender / Dodson / Dodson / Delgado) Marvel

The ridiculous ‘inversion’ thing is still going on. Ugh.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #10 (Dan SLott / Olivier Coipel / Wade Von Grawbadger / Justin Ponsor) Marvel

I was never one of those anti-event comic people. But both Axis and Spider-Verse have been really weak so far. The worst part in the case of Spider-Verse is that the Spider-Man comic was really good before this story. When is it over?

UNCANNY X-MEN #28 (Bendis / Bachalo / Townsend) Marvel

This is better written than the cross-over books. I am just not a fan of the super-over-powered character story.

INHUMAN #8 (Soule / Larraz / Isanove) Marvel

I go hot and cold with Inhuman. The book got better with the Maximus / Black Bolt story has been better but I wasn’t thrilled with Bolt just flying off for no apparent reason.

The thing with Maximus’ hands was… icky.

SPIDER-WOMAN #1 (Hopeless / Land / Leisten / D’Armata) Marvel

This reminds me of the Mighty Avengers relaunch and how it was tainted by Axis. This book has the same problem with Spider-Verse.

I think the Spider-corner of Marvel will be the place to go for female-led books AFTER this story line is done (with Spider-Woman, Silk and Spider-Gwen), joining great books like Ms. Marvel and Black Widow… but for now, it is still more Spider-Verse wheel spinning.

BLACK WIDOW #12 (Edmondson / Noto) Marvel

Speaking of Black Widow, this was a decent issue. (The Anderson Cooper appearance is kind of funny.)

I would like to see some more character rather than just mission stuff.

FABLES #146 (Willingham / Buckingham / Leialoha / Pepoy / Lee / Loughridge / Chung) Vertigo

Was that what Spratt’s role was also meant to be? The vehicle for turning Rose Red, so to speak? If so, nice planning. Things are turning a little… darker. Even Rose’s speech patterns were a little more… earthy, I guess I’ll say. She is changing. The end is coming.

REVIVAL #25 (Tim Seeley / Mike Norton) Image

Another episode in this horror town. Ibrahim messed up and now we have crucifixions.

This book has the episodes down, but I also wonder sometimes if they have a long term plan or not.

ASTRO CITY #17 (Busiek / Grummett / a bunch of inkers) Vertigo

Another solid issue of Astro City, though not one of the best ones. We basically got an old-school JLA issue, with the added freedom for Busiek to actually kill someone – which would have been hard to do if he was actually Hawkman.

MULTIVERSITY: PAX AMERICANA #1 (Grant Morrison / Frank Quitely / Nathan Fairbairn) DC

If Watchmen didn’t already exist, I would call this issue brilliant. Instead it is a very well done pastiche. It is kind of weird to see the characters that inspired Watchmen used in a Watchmen knock-off.

An interesting use of time shifting to give us a story that needs to be assembled by the readers as they go. Kind of like… well, you know.

MOON KNIGHT #9 (Brian Wood / Greg Smallwood / Jordie Bellaire) Marvel

This was incredibly well done. A look into the psyche of Moon Knight with a real interior motive ending in a bad situation. This book is well written and well drawn. It isn’t one of my favourite books but if it stayed at this level it would become one.

DAREDEVIL #10 (Waid / Samnee / Wilson) Marvel

Wow.

Daredevil is often a great book bu this issue surpassed that. Right from a graphic representation of depression to kick things off, to a more practical view of it at the end.

I thought I had reached the end of a very good book. Satisfying and sad. Then I turned the page and I almost cried.

Wow.

Apparently the Waid / Samnee run is ending soon. Too bad.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Astro City #16

October 11, 2014
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Astro City 16

I didn’t think I would get a chance to do this write-up (or even read all the comics) before I left for CFSW, but I was wrong. So once more into the breach before I head off to poetry Disneyland…

Starting at the weakest…

MIRACLEMAN #12 (Moore / Totleben) Marvel

When I read the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen TPB I was struck with how quickly Moore went to rape as plot device. He did it again here.

The introduction of Miraclewoman just HAD to involve Gargunza raping her over and over, did it? And she was o’kay with it? Somehow?

Ick.

KLARION #1 (Nocenti / McCarthy / Major) DC

Hmmm… I remember Ann Nocenti’s writing begin much more… coherent. This story isn’t bad per se, but it is a little opaque.

CALIBAN #7 (Garth Ennis / Facundo Percio) Avatar

I think I have to go back and reread the whole series because this issue made no sense at all. Why is she not dead? Why was she suddenly able to beat the crap out of something that handily killed everyone else? Was it just by shooting herself full of drugs?

That’s kind of weak. (Too gory as well.)

Overall, with the ending fixed up, this will make solid Alien-esque movie.

AXIS #1 (Remender / Kubert / Martin) Marvel

Meh. I am not a fan of uber big baddies whose claim to fame is just POWER. Then the heroes just fight and fight and fight unable to do anything until… they do. Weak writing.

Also, just last week (I think) I was talking about how it was nice to show Wanda as purely heroic. One week later she is a weak puppet. Great.

AVENGERS #36 (Hickman / Caselli / Martin) Marvel

Wasn’t I saying that Hickman is getting better? Well he is back to just throwing stuff at the wall and assuming that the writer will get it… or not care bough to bother. The universe is imperilled and Thor and Hyperion are travelling across the multiverse to die!

Uh, what? What has implied that they are going to die? What has happened that says that they need to?

Sloppy writing.

ROCKET RACCOON #4 (Young / Beaulieu) Marvel

Poor Rocket. Plus another blast from the past character. But wait… plot twist!

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #7 (Slott / Gage / Camuncoli / Smith / Fabela) Marvel

While it is nice seeing Ms. Marvel get out into the Marvel Universe, it was pretty clear that Dan Slott does not have the same grasp on the character that Willow Wilson does. She just wasn’t quite right.

Whoa, Saturnyne… cold.

WYTCHES #1 (Snyder / Jock / Hollingsworth) Image

At the top of this column I spoke of Alan Moore using rape as a plot device. Scott Snyder does that as well, but somehow it felt more… legit? I guess? If Sailor really did manifest some powers, or called on someone that did, it makes ensue that it happened when she was driven to the ultimate fear. Also, having the assailant be a young woman also changes the dynamic somewhat.

That aside, this is a creepy, creepy book. In a good way.

SEX CRIMINALS #8 (Fraction / Zdarsky) Image

The introduction of Robert Rainbow was hilarious. His little imaginary striptease was just funny…. all the while reading… real. Suzie’s eye wandered and then snapped back. Real life.

But that ending… no!

ASTRO CITY #16 (Busiek / Anderson) Vertigo

That cover above is ‘thing’ Vertigo is doing this month with the story actually starting at the first page. The issue of Fairest last week was like that too.

What a story. Wow. A story of bullying and redemption. A story of of desperation and loneliness. And then a story of a trans-woman finding a new way of being, overlaid with super heroics while not acting like the trans nature of the character is something… weird. It just is.

Well done. INCREDIBLY well done.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Astro City #15

September 17, 2014
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Astro-City-15-cover-195x300

A pretty sold week, with one error purchase…

Starting at the (very) weakest…

ALL-NEW ULTIMATES #8 (Fiffe / Milogiannis / Bellaire) Marvel

So, after #7 I said I was dropping this book.

I got this issue by accident. This happened once before (X-Men) and the book got a temporary reprieve.

Not this time.

This book is just really, really bad. The story is weak and the art is atrocious.

DROPPED…AGAIN.

INHUMAN #5 (Soule / Stegman / Gracia) Marvel

This book is hanging in there. It isn’t stellar but it still an okay read.

X-Men Lite.

AVENGERS #34.1 (Ewing / Keown / Lee / Keith) Marvel

Hyperion is the kind of character that I don’t really like. The overpowered Superman style. This book gives him some character, so that is an improvement.

I still don’t like him, but hey…

EDGE OF SPIDER-VERSE #1 (Hine / Sapolsky / Isanove) Marvel

Multiversity, Marvel-style?

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #6 (Slott / Ramos / Olazaba / Delgado) Marvel

I still don’t like the new Black Cat, but other than that, the story was solid.

Silk, on the other hand, is growing on me. I didn’t like her at first but she is developing into her own, solid persona… in some ways more adept than Peter.

LAZARUS #11 (Rucka / Lark / Arcas) Image

This issue REALLY shows what it means to be a Lazarus. Sonja Bittner is pretty bad-ass. We also got some cool insights into politics in the world.

Solid issue.

HAWKEYE #20 (Fraction / Wu / Hollingsworth) Marvel

As usual, the Kate issues are just really good instead of amazing, like the other issues. David Aja is just too big a loss (with due respect to the very talented Annie Wu).

I was not really sold on the advantage to most of the non-linear storytelling this time out, but it worked out for the bookends.

I am lamenting the loss of this book and it isn’t even gone yet.

CALIBAN #6 (Garth Ennis / Facundo Percio) Avatar

No spoilers here.

But wow… talk about an effective use of emotions and misleading storytelling.

Just wow.

I can’t wait for the movie.

MS. MARVEL #8 (Wilson / Alphona / Herring) Marvel

This was VERY nearly the book of the week. Kamala and Lockjaw together are just adorable. But really, Willow had me on the first page, second panel. “Why are kids like me always being drafted into wars we didn’t start?”

HELLS YES!

As usual, GREAT storytelling. Absolutely perfect dialogue and one of the most refreshing books on the market.

ASTRO CITY #15 (Busiek / Anderson / Ross / Broome / Comicraft) Vertigo

As great as Ms. Marvel was, Astro City was just a little better. The fresh take on the Reed/Doom rivalry turned into a whole other thing. And while getting a book with a great, young new character is becoming more common, getting a book with a great OLDER new character is a whole other deal.

This sweet little old lady kicks some ass and does so without losing who she is as a character. Very nice. Masterfully done.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Astro City #14

August 17, 2014
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Astro City 14

Caught up, now. This week was both better and worse than the week I just finished.

Starting at the weakest:

AVENGERS WORLD #11 (Spencer / Ienco / Mossa) Marvel

You know, I just don’t think I care enough about this book. Avengers Next are really lame – “What if all the Avengers had sex with each other?” The scattered storyline… the sub-par art..

Yeah, I’m done. DROPPED.

NIGHTCRAWLER #5 (Claremont / Nauck / Rosenberg) Marvel

Someone once told me that we should be glad for the openly racist because we KNOW there are racists out there and these one make them easy to spot and deal with.

The same goes for sexism.

Nightcrawler isn’t a book that would get yelled at or protested against over its sexism, but in a way it is more insidious because it does it without drawing too much attention to itself.

The first storyline had Kurt begin overly-protective of Amanda, despite the fact that she is an accomplished witch and was very capable of taking care of herself. I tried to give Claremont the benefit of the doubt and that was going to be a plot point where Amanda stood up for herself and Kurt learned he was wrong to act like that.

Instead she was written out of the book. In fact, she was damn neared ‘fridged’.

This issue there was something that may have gone without notice if I wasn’t already kind of unhappy about the way things had gone. Rachel takes Kurt into the Danger Room with a bunch of students. SHE sets of a scenario for the students. Kurt has down nothing at this point and is just along for the ride. She says she loads “one of my favourite [sic] worlds”. In it “Kurt’s the hero; I’m his sidekick.”

That’s one of her faves, is it? She just loves getting to play a ‘sidekick’? Oh, and keep in mind that these ‘roles’ had zero bearing on the rest of the story. She just said it. Because.

Do I condemn the book for that? No. But the trend is clear as day. DROPPED.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #5 (Slott / Ramos / Olazaba / Delgado) Marvel

I enjoy ASM in general, but I found I didn’t much care for this issue. I think part of it is the damage that Slott has done to the Black Cat recently. She is completely out of character.

Plus that Peter and Silk thing is just…gratuitous.

X-MEN #18 (Guggenheim / Talibao / Tadeo / Mounts) Marvel

New creative team? Is it better?

Meh.

And is this the third storyline already in this book focusing on female X-Men that deals with babies?

Really?

ALL-NEW X-MEN #30 (Bendis / Pichelli / Gracia) Marvel

This issue wasn’t bad but yet another book with the will ‘reveal’ was kind of lame. Warren and Laura’s ‘date’ was nice development, as was the new relationship between Jean and Emma.

ORIGINAL SIN #7 (Jason Aaron / Mike Deodato / Frank Martin) Marvel

Careful, Marvel. You nearly added some actual plot there. Nearly.

In fact, this book should have been lower on the list. In the end, is this entire mini going to be just setting up the new Winter Soldier status quo? A character I don’t care about anyway?

SHUTTER #5 (Joe Keatinge / Leila Del Duca / Owen Gieni / Ed Brisson) Image

This issue was much better than the last. This was about character and interaction and an interesting little mystery about dear old dad. Saved.

INHUMAN #3 (Charles Soule / Joe Madureira / Marte Gracia) Marvel

When I saw an issue of this came out, I assumed it was going to migrate to the bottom of my list, and possibly off it.

But this issue was actually pretty good! YES it is the Xavier School vs the Brotherhood all over again, but that doesn’t make it a bad story. Seeing things through the eyes of the ‘new mutants’ may not be novel, but it works.

SPIDER-MAN 2099 #2 (David / Sliney / Fabela) Marvel

All of a sudden, this book is about… people. There is a reason why so many people rave about Peter David’s skill with characterization. 

Strong characters with reasons to care.

SEX CRIMINALS #7 (Fraction / Zdarsky) Image

This was not as amazing as the previous issue, but it was still pretty solid. We got to add a new character to the inner circle, but most importantly Fraction dealt with the dark side of teenage hormones in a respectful way. He did it without turning Jon into a predator and made it feel ‘real’.

ASTRO CITY #14 (Busiek / Anderson / Ross) Vertigo

As usual, Busiek has this amazing talent to introduce a character and have us care for them almost immediately. Ellie is great and weren’t you ready to scream the second Fred showed up? You could tell immediately that he is a user and a loser. The story became very sad and I was incredibly happy to see the words ‘To Be Continued’ at the end.

Someone needs to make this right. Probably Arthur.


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

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

astro city 12

There were still some good ones, though.

Starting at the weakest.

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

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

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

Dropped.

FABLES #140 (Bill Willingham / Steve Leialoha) Vertigo

Wow. Speaking of disappointing…

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

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

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

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

NIGHTCRAWLER #2 (Claremont / Nauck / Rosenberg) Marvel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So Steve and Tony are now fighting… again?

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

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

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

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

Astro City is consistently good comics.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Shutter #1

April 13, 2014
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Shutter1Cover

So, in a couple other aspects of my life, I have been confronted with the spectre of sexism and misogyny. You know how when something gets to the forefront of your mind, you are more likely to notice it elsewhere?

Hey, comics are sexist, who would of thought?

Seriously, though, there were a bunch of things bugging me this week… I’ll point them out when I get to them.

Starting at the weakest…

SUPERIOR FOES OF SPIDER-MAN #11 (Kalan / Peyer / Sliney / Plati / Carnero) Marvel

Remember that great series by Nick Spencer?

This isn’t that. This is two issues in a row of just… sub-par comics. I tried to see if Spencer was coming back, but I am not sure the COMIC is coming back. If it was to still be THIS, I would cancel.

ALL-NEW X-MEN #25 (Bendis / Marquez / Ponsor / Timm / Martin / Adams / Mack / Young / Keith / Rodriguez / Bermejo / Gracia / Williams / Jones / Del Carmen / Campbell / Ruffino / Wicks / Shiga / Hipp / Wittert / Parker / Wilson / Thompson / Smith / Wiacek / Bellaire) Marvel

There is a tradition to take a big anniversary issue, fill it full of great artists (and there is some GREAT art in this issue), and ale a really terrible comic.

Yes, this is that. First off, why is the 25th issue of something worth this treatment? That is not what I would call a major milestone.

Mostly, though, we have a series of pin-ups with a weak story trying to tie them together. (The best parts were the Kitty & Colossus and Logan & Jean mini-steps that had nothing to do with the main story and just seemed stuck in for no reason.)

DAREDEVIL #1.50 (Waid / Bendis / Kesel / Rodrigues / Maleev / Palmer / Lopez) Marvel

Another big anniversary type issue (with stupid numbering) to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of DD.

Another dud, but at least this one tried to give you a story.

A story about a jerk father who acts all condescending and disappointed about his son all the time. Oh, and that is the hero of the book.

Then there was a text piece, that i WAS quite enjoying until it turned out that Bendis and introduced a character, made her interesting, and then fridged her just to create some trauma for DD. (annoying sexism #1) Then there was a Mike Murdock story that was just plain awful. Stupid dialogue giving a DD obscure history lesson and pretending it is a story.

Very disappointing. I put it ahead of the X-Men book because there was a least an attempt at narrative.

FBP #9 (Simon Oliver / Robbi Rodriguez) Vertigo

Apparently this has been optioned for a movie. I bet it would make a better movie than a comic book.(Oh, the male character acts all protective of the capable female character for no reason… but I am not adding this to my annoying sexism list because A: it didn’t seem out of character and B: she ignored him.)

I am dropping this one.

ALL-NEW ULTIMATES #1 (Fiffe / Pinna / Woodard) Marvel

I LOVE Bendis’ Miles Morales. Near the end of the last run, he pretty much assembled a team for him, though it didn’t become official until the pretty lousy Survive comic from a couple weeks back.

THIS is NOT Bendis’ Ultimates. The dialogue is super stilted, the art is sloppy, and the plot is just… meh. The Kitty plot line is okay, but just okay. (Oh, and, the sudden pervasive nature of super-powered people everywhere… is that part of a bigger Ultimate Universe story or did Fiffe just randomly start that with no explanation?)

VERY disappointing. I am going to buy issue #2, because I really want this to be better.

NIGHTCRAWLER #1 (Chris Claremont / Todd Nauck) Marvel

Mostly decent comic, but it is a little ‘aged’, in the way that the Claremont style is a little dated. That’s okay. So am I.

The villain was kind of cheesy, but the big strike against the book is ANNOYING SEXISM #2. Amanda Sefton is an accomplished witch who of fully capable of fighting her own battles. So, our hero teleports her to safety, ensuring she is out of the fight long enough for him to defeat the baddy.

AVENGERS A.I. #11 (Humphries / Araujo / D’Armata) Marvel

A fun little jump back-and-forth through time. Doombot awesome as always. Alexis is turning out to be just a great character.

Pym, the Living Planet?

BATMAN ETERNAL #1 (Scott Snyder / James Tynion IV / Ray Fawkes / John Layman / Tim Seeley / Jason Fabok) DC

Where is Bluebird? She is why I added this book! Seriously though, this is a solid Batman book. The messing with Gordon is good timing for the new cop, Bard. Clearly Gordon is being manipulated / set up, but that doesn’t make it less of an interesting read.

MIGHTY AVENGERS #9 (Ewing / Land / Leisten / D’Armata) Marvel

I already knew who Ronin was so the reveal meant little. It is the Brashear story that really deserves the spotlight. How do you make a story interesting when the hero is so overpowered? Hit him in the ‘feels’.

One thing that made me squirm was the idea that the Marvel ‘Age of Heroes’ no started sometime AFTER the year 2000.

Ugh.

IRON FIST: THE LIVING WEAPON #1 (Kaare Kyle Andrews) Marvel

Oof. I had a real problem figuring out where to slot this book. One one hand, this could have been easily the best book of the week. On the other hand it is an offensive piece of crap.

Let’s start with the positives… why a beautiful looking book! The lay-outs, the design, the STYLE of this book are TOP NOTCH. The storytelling (except the part I will mention below) was excellent. Great book… except…

ANNOYING SEXISM #3!!!!

So, he is begin interviewed… by the least professional reporter ever. They make a comment about there begin a student in order to justify it, but I will tell you that my work with Slam has had me interviewed by a number of student reporters and she is the worst I have ever seen. By a lot.

She is depicted as a complete airhead who blatantly flirts (and not in a grown-up, classy kind of way) with her interviewee, seeming more interested in getting him into bed than interviewing him.

Which he obliges.

Oh, how old is Danny Rand supposed to be? How old would this STUDENT reporter be?

Then, once they end up in bed, it is quite clear that he barely acknowledges her as human. She may as well be a sex-doll. They make a RUNNING JOKE that he can’t remember her name as she keeps repeating it to him.

Aaargggghhh…. I should have ranked this lower.

But, it IS the best looking book on the market. Any chance we can get a new writer and just let Kaare keep drawing it? Is tho stye J.H. Williams III conundrum?

ASTRO CITY #11 (Busiek / Anderson / Ross / Sinclair / Comicraft) Vertigo

This is solid story about the support staff behind a hero. Busiek obviously loves this concept as he has dipped ingot hat well a few times. The hero is a cross between Dr. Strange and a certain era of Wonder Woman… but does she ever come across badly here. If she is SOOO busy, why is it that every time we are show the hero, she is enjoying drinks with someone or ones? Or hungover from a previous celebration of her begin a hero.

All that makes her assistant come across as abused rather than anything else.

Oh, but part of the story included references to their old place outside of Victoria.

(I could throw another annoying sexism warning in there, but if I started complaint about how female characters dress, we would be here all day…)

SHUTTER #1 (Joe Keatinge / Leila Del Duca / Owen Gieni / Ed Brisson) Image

Until now! What a breath of fresh air! This is an interesting story about a women who grew up as an globe-trotting (and beyond) explorer who is now a photographer. Strong, interesting character. Nice art. Solid plot. Interesting story-propelling ending. AND a couple of great bonus strips in the back (ESPECIALLY MUNGORE!!!)

Yes. Buy this book and all is forgiven.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Hawkeye #17

March 15, 2014
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hawkeye17

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.)


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