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Rusty’s Comic of the Week: All-New X-Men #26

May 4, 2014
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all-new-xmen 26

It was Free Comic Book Day today and while I did indulge a little bit, you won’t so those books reviewed here. There wasn’t anything out that I was interested in (having missed out on Rocket Racoon) so I just picked up a couple of things for Ruthanne… an Archie Digest and a Hello Kitty comic. (Could anyone find the Catbug in the second Find Catbug spread?)

This week’s books, starting at the weakest…

AVENGERS WORLD #5 (Hickman / Spencer / Caselli / Mossa) Marvel

This was the only actually bad book I picked up this week. It was a mess.

“Manifold can’t help and no other teleporter can either.”

“Manifold goes to another universe for no reason whatsoever.”

“Manifold comes back and now he can help… for no reason whatsoever”

AVENGERS A.I. #12 (Humphries / Araujo / D’Armata) Marvel

I didn’t realize this book had been cancelled until now. That’s okay. It was a decent enough read but nothing I will really miss. This was… not a great wrap-up, but not terrible. The scene where Dimitrios gets past Galactus was too simple without enough pay-off. Beating him was too easy.

Doombot was awesome, as always.

BATMAN ETERNAL #4 (Scott Snyder / James Tynion IV / John Layman / Ray Fawkes / Tim Seeley / Dustin Nguyen / Derek Fridolfs) DC

I know that if a book is weekly you are going to need multiple artists… but this issue was kind of jarring with a very dramatic slide in art quality. It was messy with poor fundamentals.

Also, Batman’s treatment of Batgirl was kind of off. She wasn’t doing anything that Batman doesn’t do all the time. I guess he didn’t like seeing it in someone else. Falcone continues to not impress.

AVENGERS #28 (Hickman / Larocca / Martin) Marvel

I would rather NOT have this book tie in with New Avengers, since I dropped that book. Oh well… at least they did a decent job with it. I like it when they remember that Bruce Banner is really smart.

The Adaptoid stuff doesn’t make any sense, but I am not sure it is supposed to and it was a very small part of the book.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #1 (Slott / Ramos / Olazaba / Delgado) Marvel

If this were a normal sized book, it would likely have been comic of the week. Well, maybe. Paying $5.99 for a bunch of ads masquerading as story was annoying. At least the Electro and Black Cat parts were ads for THIS book. And I am planning to buy the Peter David Spider-Man 2099 book but there is no way I am getting New Warriors and this lame Kaine story sure didn’t convince me otherwise.

The main story was awfully good, though. I looked forward to the ongoing story of Peter dealing with the fall-out from Otto.

SILVER SURFER #2 (Dan Slott / Michael Allred / Laura Allred) Marvel

This book showed exactly why I don’ t;irk cosmic books. That fight scene was BORRRRRING. Nothing you can do about it. Throwing energy back and forth in space is boring.

So why is this book so high?

Dawn Greenwood. The energy added to the book by this character is palpable. Good job folks in making a book about a character like Silver Surfer actually interesting.

UNCANNY AVENGERS ANNUAL #1 (Rick Remender / Paul Renaud) Marvel

The only thin that would have made this book better would have been Art Adams interiors instead of just a cover.

This book was just fun in a way that only Mojo could be. The marketing guys set the book up so the immediate cheescakey pool scene felt like it was over-sold Hollywood time. The teen Avengers was a great knock on the upcoming teen Batman show.

This was just fun… and completely ignoring the regulate Uncanny Avengers book.

ALL-NEW X-Men #26 (Bendis / Immonen / von Grawbadger / Gracia) Marvel

The scene with adult Cyclops and teen Jean was perfect. Absolutely perfect… well, as long as you include the Kitty part.

The scene read… real.

Well done.

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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: Swamp Thing #29

March 9, 2014
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ST_Cv29

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.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Mighty Avengers #6

February 9, 2014
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MAvengers 6

A strong week… with a couple disappointments.

Starting at the weakest…

MARVEL KNIGHTS: SPIDER-MAN #5 (Matt Kindt / Marco Rudy / Val Staples) Marvel

I should have stopped buying this after issue #1. What a terrible, terrible comic. The thing is, the art is very good… in a vacuum. It just doesn’t illustrate the story well. And I am not totally convinced that there is a story there to illustrate. Yeah. Terrible.

TRILLIUM #6 (Jeff Lemire) Vertigo

Just when I thought this book couldn’t get more annoying. I barely even read a couple of pages because flipping orientation page-to-page (which was already very annoying) was not enough for Lemire. Now he has us flipping back an forth on the same page. I almost think this is a big joke for him and he is laughing about figuring out ways to piss the readers off.

If this was an ongoing, I would drop it now. There are only two more issues though, so I guess I’ll see how it turns out.

LAZARUS #6 (Rucka / Lark / Arcas) Image

Ugh. I like this book in general, but not this issue. The old trope of a woman using her sexuality to distract stupid men while her partners do something nefarious is old hat. This went beyond that. Instead she actually let them have sex with her, when I would argue that her speech made it clear she didn’t really want to. The guards who were taking advantage of the girl (even if she WAS just desperate for food and water…. even more so), were admonished…but that is it.

Yeah. I am not claiming that this is like the infamous rape joke that launched this blog, but it IS cheap writing that adds to the general rape culture.

Not cool.

(In fact, this shows how much I disliked the two comics below it on the list that this book wasn’t last.)

AVENGERS A.I. #9 (Humphries / Araujo / D’Armata) Marvel

I have enjoyed this book, and this issue wasn’t bad… there just wasn’t that much to it. No great Doombot quotes. The revelation that everybody can just do whatever they want in the Diamond makes any battle kind of pointless.

Yeah, there have been better issues… but the America vs rebelling nations analogy was spot-on.

X-MEN #10 (Wood / Anka) Marvel

First off, the art is a big step down from the Dodsons. With all of their faults, they are still very talented artists and this is more… journeyman art. This is a leo a bit of a bridge issue. Not a lot really happens. The reveal of who WILL be joining the villains was pretty interesting.

SWAMP THING #28 (Charles Soule / Javier Pina) DC

Not a bad issue overall, but it was saddled a bit with the origin of Capucine. She has not been an incredibly interesting character and her origin emphasized that. The scenes with the ex-Parliament were better.

FAIREST #23 (Marc Andreyko / Shawn McManus) Vertigo

From the James Bond-esque cover to the addition of Ramayan, this book was pretty solid… but just solid. Again, there seemed to be a lot of ‘bridge’ stuff and the bits with the mice… like what was up with the sex scene at the beginning? He can change back and forth if he says he loves someone? Is that it?

THE MOVEMENT #9 (Gail Simone / Freddie Williams II) DC

An up-tick of this book. Batgirl was a good addition to the mix… the girls’ dinner had just the right amount of tension-easing for Babs to let her guard down enough to get dropped. The fact that she is the daughter of a cop meant that there was no way these two forces would get along.

I am happy to realize that this story does not go into the Batgirl book, which I don’t buy.

BLACK WIDOW #3 (Edmondson / Noto) Marvel

Another strong done-in-one adventure story for Natasha. Phil Noto continues to be amazing and they story’s morality part was telegraphed, but is still worked. I wonder if Natasha realized the big slip Isaiah made there?

Either he set her up, or Edmondson made a huge mistake in the script. In the space of one page, Isaiah went from assuming the job didn’t work out to knowing not only what when down, but why.

SUPERIOR FOES OF SPIDER-MAN #8 (Spencer / Lieber / Rosenberg) Marvel

This is the Hawkeye of villain books. Or something.

The Silvermane vs Shocker fight was brilliant. Boomerang trying to pick somebody up. Big Wheel. BIG WHEEL!

The reveal (to the rest of the team) that Tombstone is Beetle’s daddy.

The Sinister Six has five members… or maybe four.

How did I miss the first six issues?

MS. MARVEL #1 (Wilson / Alphona / Herring) Marvel

This book would have landed a lot lower on the list if I hadn’t read interviews and seen some promo art.

A young, female, Pakistani-American, muslim super-hero headlining her own book.

Yeah. That is kind of a big deal.

They don’t shy away from the cultural differences but she doesn’t come across as a parody. STRONG writing. The art is not as good, but it gets the job done. It isn’t distracting.

Why would it fall lower, then? The last page.

Her first iteration of her powers as wish-fulfillment turns her into a blonde, white lady.

The thing is, I KNOW that isn’t where it is going – but wow. Leaving THAT as the last page cliffhanger with no pay-off?

Bad idea.

Anyone who reads this review, though… trust me. This is NOT where the book is going, based on everything I have read.

MIGHTY AVENGERS #6 (Ewing / Schiti / D’Armata) Marvel

Another great written issue and the art is better! There is so much goo din this issue… Jessica’s concern about being Avengers again… Power Man’s interesting power set… the difference in opinion between Luke and Adam… but more than anything, addressing the comments about Monica’s relaxed hair style… without trying to justify anything. They SEE the concerns and are willing to face them.

YES!

Though I imagine there are many readers who don’t understand the exchange at all, it was very great.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Sex Criminals #4

January 14, 2014
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sex-criminals-4-web-72

Hello folks… sorry I am a little late.

With no further ado…

From the weakest…

CATACLYSM: ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #3 (Bendis / Marquez / Ponsor) Marvel

So it seems that the Ultimate line is NOT being mothballed after Cataclysm, which seems odd. Other than Bendis’ Spidey, none of the books are any good. I guess that are going to try and change that.

This comic is also not that good, but for a whole different reason. Because the UU is weak, I decided not to buy all the Cataclysm books. This one is the extension of the Spidey book, so I though it would hold up. Not so much.

Also, I went from hoping that Miles’ dad would somehow join him in the 616 to wanting to punch him in the face, so there is that.

AVENGERS WORLD #1 (Jonathan Hickman / Nick Spencer / Stefano Caselli) Marvel

So, what makes this different than the regular Avengers book? It is a big cast book facing ridiculously overpowered foes. So?

Oh right, HICKMAN ISN”T WRITING IT! They have him listed as a co-writer but I understand that is a bit of an overstatement.

Well, is it better than the regular Avengers book? So far, yes, but it is early. The plotting is clearer, for one.

We’ll see.

YOUNG AVENGERS #15 (Gillen / McKelvie / Cloonan / Doyle / Quinones / Norton / Wicks / Bellaire / Wilson) Marvel

This is the actual final issue of YA. It should have ended last issue. This book was entirely superfluous. They got to make a statement that the whole team is ‘not straight’ which is not true, and they got to wrap up the not-Patriot thing with an offhand and pointless explanation that made no sense.

Great series. Lousy final issue.

THE MOVEMENT #8 (Gail Simone / Freddie Williams II) DC

This was a solid issue. Heroes got to be heroic. They bucked overwhelming odds to save a bunch of people and now they get to meet one of Gail’s other ‘pets’, Batgirl. (Too bad they can’t meet the Secret Six.)

AVENGERS A.I. #8 (Sam Humphries / Andre Araujo / Frank D’Armata) Marvel

So, whose side are we supposed to be on? The A.I.s are RIGHT to fear and distrust the humans. The humans are RIGHT to think that it is too dangerous to allow them to continue as is.

Hmmm…. interesting….

SWAMP THING #27 (Charles Soule / Jesus Saiz) DC

Getting his job back seemed a little too easy, but wow! The Parliament of Trees! Screwing over Lady Weeds! Alec has mad himself some (more) pretty major enemies here!

FAIREST #22 (Marc Andreyko / Shawn McManus) Vertigo

Cindarella. Lots of transformed mice. A stone Fairy Godmother. What is left?

Oh right. Evil stepsister.

This Cindarella story is SO much better than the last couple of Fairest arcs.

BLACK WIDOW #1 (Nathan Edmondson / Phil Noto) Marvel

That’s right. Phil Noto interiors, not just the covers.

And yeah, this book LOOKS amazing. The DESIGN is worth the cost all on its own.

Too bad the story seems a little weak. Not terrible, but it hold stye book back a little bit. Hopefully Edmondson can make this book as great as it looks.

FBP #7 (Simon Oliver / Robbi Rodriguez) Vertigo

I have been lukewarm on this book… until now! What a great issue! This Agent Reyes is a great addition! A story of blackmail and seeing the sorts of practical problems these physics loops can cause. Nice. I hope the book stays at this level.

SEX CRIMINALS #4 (Fraction / Zdarsky) Image

This book is just flat out funny.

Criminals are born! Playing with powers for good… and revenge! Hey, who appointed those costumed yahoos to be the sex-crime police?

(Kind of like most costumed vigilantes, I guess…)

For those that don’t know, this is not some kind of poem comic, but the sex content is high, clearly, But it is really, really funny.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Mighty Avengers #4

December 15, 2013
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mighty-avengers-4-infinity-cover

This was a fairly big week, but not a hugely strong one. Some decent comics but some disappointments as well.

Starting at the weakest.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #700.3 (Casey / Green / Van Meter / Rios) Marvel

So… this isn’t even a single mini? It is a couple of unrelated two parters? Or something?

The first issue was my comic of the week last time out. The second and third issues both came out today. The second one was good but this one is an unrelated change to another story. A bad story.

So, Peter just randomly gets torched to the point of disfigurement as an excuse to get him into a villain’s hospital? Uh, what? Isn’t getting burned alive kind of a big deal? “He heals fast?” Not THAT fast. He isn’t Wolverine.

Stupid.

And the Black Cat back-up wasn’t much better.

UNCANNY X-MEN #15.INH (Bendis / Anka) Marvel

Talk about disappointing…

I have been really enjoying Bendis’ X-books. This one has a fun premise – a ‘girl’s night out’. But… but…

First off, the Kris Anka art wasn’t terrible, but it also wasn’t great. That isn’t my real issue with this book, though. It is the blatant racism.

Look, mutants used to be a not-so-subtle metaphor for racism. Later they become a not-so-subtle metaphor for homophobia.

So what do we get this issue? Well, the Inhumans are here and they are treading the EXACT same paths as mutants did. Sudden powers. Scared people.Feared and mistrusted. Blah, blah, blah.

So what happens when the X-Men encounter them?

They won’t help them because they aren’t mutants. Uh what? Weren’t you helping mutants because of a shared experience of being cast out by the status quo? Ho wis this different?

Oh, it is because they don’t have the same genetic make-up that you have?

So instead of being a metaphor for fighting against racism, mutants have become a metaphor for perpetuating racism.

Sigh.

SUPERMAN / WONDER WOMAN #3 (Charles Soule / Tony S. Daniel / Matt Benning) DC

I wish this book was better.

Dropped.

THE ROCKETEER & THE SPIRIT: PULP FRICTION #4 (Waid / J. Bone / Fajardo) IDW

The same goes for this book, but it is a mini and it is over. I like the Rocketeer. I like the Spirit. I like Mark Waid.

This book is much less than the sum of its parts.

LAZARUS #5 (Rucka / Lark / Arcas) Image

This book seems to be all concept and no plot. It still has promise, though. I hope it gets more consistent.

BATMAN #26 (Scott Snyder / Greg Capullo / Danny Miki) DC

I keep thinking I might drop this book. Well, not yet. What puts this one onto the ‘good list’ is the idea that Bruce Wayne would be ‘anti-cop’. That makes so much sense that it seems almost odd that he has spent so long being a supporter of the police.

The ‘origin of Gordon’s coat’ was kind of silly, but it served its purpose.

FBP #6 (Simon Oliver / Robbi Rodriguez) Vertigo

Much like Batman, here is a book that always seems to be on the ‘we’ll see’ list. This issue handled things a little better. It feels like the promise of the book is finally paying off. This is a cop book where weird stuff happens. Cool. BE that.

AVENGERS A.I. #7 (Humphries / Araujo / D’Armata) Marvel

Do you get the impression that Sam Humphries preferred the old version of Blade Runner where they had a voice over to explain everything to the viewers? Pym’s exposition is sloppy storytelling. Period.

The Doombot stuff was classic, though. It made up for the Pym-narrator and a kind of stilted Daredevil.

ASTRO CITY #7 (Busiek / Anderson / Ross / Sinclair / Comicraft) Vertigo

Astro City is at its best when it gives us a street level view. This issue is the opposite of that as we get the story of Winged Victory. Still good, but not as great as the book can be.

There was a letter int he back saying the exact opposite. The writer was complaining that seeing these one-off characters isn’t as interesting as the ongoing stories of the major super-heroes. I disagree COMPLETELY. In this book, the heroes are the SETTING. It is the CHARACTERS that make it shine.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #700.2 (Morrell / Janson / Buccellato) Marvel

This is part two of the book that was my top pick last week. This was a good story. I read that David Morrell didn’t like tho issue. There were changes from what he wanted that he didn’t like. I am sorry to hear that, but the end story was a solid read that showed what makes a hero. That is very rare in comics these days. I liked it.

CATACLYSM: ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN #2 (Bendis / Marquez / Ponsor) Marvel

A nice series of flashbacks to the big flood to give a nice, street level view of heroics. They can’t fight Galactus, so what do they do? Save people. The ned would be a big deal if the USM book was still going. But it isn’t and I strongly believe that when it comes back, it won’t be part of the Ultimate Universe so it won’t even matter. It should give us an interesting issue 3, though.

I am kind of disappointed in the reveal about WHY Miles’ dad is anti-super. It is kind of… mundane.

MIGHTY AVENGERS #4 (Ewing / Land / Leisten / D’Armata) Marvel

Why did I enjoy this book so much? Character,character, character. Ewing writes these characters like he is Bendis. They feel like people – well-rounded and interesting.

But, let’s be honest here – what REALLY put it over the top? Danielle Cage. Apparently being adorable is now a super power.

Poopy Man!


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Sex Criminals #3

November 25, 2013
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Sex-Criminals-3-Cover

This was a pretty good week. I went into it thinking I might prune a book or two from the bottom end… but I am not interested in cutting either of the bottom books. They were actually pretty good!

Starting at the weakest…

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL #1 (Gage / Rodriguez / Lopez) Marvel

I like Christos Gage and this was a good comic, but it didn’t quite ‘feel’ the same as the Slott version. The villain was pretty forgettable and never felt like a real threat. The scene were May sees him in action felt needless… but maybe I am wrong and there will be repercussions.

Not a bad book, just not as good as the monthly.

ANIMAL MAN #25 (Jeff Lemire / Rafael Albuquerque) DC

I am quite enjoying Animal Man, so why is this issue so low? Well, as I said, there are no real bad books this week. I think what makes this one relatively weaker is that it feels like just a piece linking the previous issues with the next one. The end seemed WAY out of place, but I can’t judge that until I know why it is happening. The bits with Buddy and Ellen worked, as they always do.

Definitely worth reading, just don’t start with this one.

AVENGERS #23 (Hickman / Yu / Gho / Mounts) Marvel

An issue of Hickman Avengers above an issue of Lemire’s Animal Man? Well, yeah, but just. This issue FINALLY starting feeling the air of desperation and need that comes with good war books… and that is what they need for this story to work at all. So, the story is starting to work in mood, if not in plot.

Side note, Yu is a very good artist when he isn’t drawing women’s breasts. I don’t mean they are too large or whatever – lots of artists have that problem. I mean he draws them like he has no idea what they are supposed to look like.

WONDER WOMAN #25 (Brian Azzarello / Goran Sudzuka) DC

Strife! The way Strife is playing everyone like a fiddle really works for me. The double standard between Hermes and Hera also really works, because it ISN’T a double standard. Hera was their enemy. Now she isn’t. Hermes was their ally and he betrayed them. Very different.

The only thing that stopped this book from being higher is that the art was only so-so and the scene with the First Born didn’t work for me at all.

X-MEN #7 (Wood / Dodson / Dodson / Keith) Marvel

Wait… Ana Cortes was a teenager? I like the Dodson’s work, but if you can’t tell the difference between a teenaged woman and an adult woman… well, that isn’t great.

The comic IS very good though. Monet is a very good addition to the cast, as is the new Karima (nice excuse about actually making her look brown). The interplay between the two is very good, as is it between Monet and Jubilee.

I have said before that the X-line is an embarrassment of riches right now.

AVENGERS A.I. #6 (Humphries / Schiti / D’Armata) Marvel

The good: the S.H.I.E.L.D. stuff so we question who the actual good guys are. The Hank Pym manic stage and the Victor reveal. The Dmitrios / Vision fight.

The bad: a meaningless reveal that actually doesn’t add anything to the story.

The awesome: “I am not compatible with embracing.” Respect his space, Hank!

UNCANNY X-MEN #14 (Bendis / Bachalo / Townsend) Marvel

A nice spotlight on not-Morph. Bendis doing what Bendis does best – characterization. Bachalo was key here as he made the scenes with Mr. Deeds work. It was mostly wordless and needed to be. Good job.

YOUNG AVENGERS #12 (Gillen / McKelvie / Norton / Wilson) Marvel

So, this book was about getting people to read Journey Into Mystery? You should have done that while it was still being published. Seriously though, this is a really good comic. So, of course, it has been announced that it is ending.

Sigh.

FABLES #135 (Willingham / Buckingham / Braun) Vertigo

I am really digging the Knights of the Round Table concept, but I still don’t really get why Brandish has been ‘rescued’. I am with Snow on that one. The end was a little sudden, but with all of the pieces in the air, I am looking forward to where it is going. (Plus the books still gets extra brownie points for that amazing afterlife issue.)

DAREDEVIL #33 (Waid / Samnee / Copland / Rodriguez) Marvel

This was a really good read. Waid and Samnee should do a Marvel Monsters book. This one was top-notch. I will say that I think it s weird when a long-standing character says that he doesn’t really trust magic… how many times has he teamed with Dr. Strange?

DD is just a fun, old-school read. Top notch.

SEX CRIMINALS #3 (Fraction / Zdarsky) Image

Wow, is this book great. The second issue wasn’t as good as the first, but the musical number in this one was excellent! I actually read a review where the writer was complaining about the scene, saying that their inability to get the rights to the song really hurt it… I think you really missed the point there. I don’t think they ever tried. The ‘post-is’ were the POINT! Just like the Hawkeye censorship when we have otherwise had full frontal Clint, was the POINT!

This is a fun book.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Saga #15

October 31, 2013
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saga-15-cover

This week had one of the most anticipated comics in years… at least to me.

Yet it wasn’t the comic of the week.

ULTIMATE COMICS CATACLYSM #0.1 (Fialkov / Suayan / Kirk / Woodard) Marvel

Bridging Hunger with Cataclysm. Unfortunately, Hunger was boring. I am looking forward to the real Cataclysm mini, with Bends and Bagley.

AVENGERS A.I. #5 (Humphries / Schiti / D’Armata) Marvel

So, the art is Schiti? Actually, it isn’t that bad.

What knocks this book down this week is the Alexis transformation. There is a memory block! She thinks hard! It is broken now!

That’s it?

X-MEN: BATTLE OF THE ATOM #2 (Bendis / Cho / Gracia) Marvel

This ended up pretty lacklustre. So the young X-Men can’t go back in time because of… what? Was that in the Wolverine & X-Men issue that I didn’t get? Because the future X-Men have no problem going home. The deaths mean nothing. The Brotherhood stayed here? That means something. Kitty and the youngsters have joined Cyclops?

This comic wasn’t great but there is story potential going forward.

INFINITY #5 (Hickman / Opena / Weaver / Ponsor) Marvel

This crossover has gotten better. It has moved all the way up to – doesn’t suck. I still am looking forward to it begin over.

AVENGERS #22 (Hickman / Yu / Alanguilan / Gho) Marvel

See Infinity #5.

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #20 (Slott / Camuncoli / Dell / Fabela) Marvel

He knocked out her tooth?! What the hell?!

I didn’t care for that at all. I like the new Parker company though. That will be interesting when Peter comes back.

SWAMP THING ANNUAL #2 (Charles Soule / Javier Pina / Kano) DC

Bit by bit, Swamp Thing is turning back into classic Swamp Thing. This was a good issue and a great evolution of his powers. I’m not sure I liked the mentor, but the Lady of the Weeds was pretty cool. Swampy is a really good comic.

SANDMAN OVERTURE #1 (Neil Gaiman / J.H. Williams III) Vertigo

I was SOOOO looking forward to this. Gaiman’s Sandman is one of… if not THE… high-water marks for long form comics. He is joined by one of the best design artists going. How could this not be good? How could they possible screw this up?

Well, neither Gaiman or Williams did… and this is almost a silly point… but the ads really annoyed me. Two page ad spreads interspersed throughout the comic whenever there was a scene break.

I hated it. It ruined the flow of the story. Comics used to be like this, but Vertigo books are usually held to a higher standard.

Great comic with that nitpick.

SAGA #15 (Brian K. Vaughan / Fiona Staples) Image

Which opened the door for the best CURRENT comic going to day. New inspiration for Alana. A dramatic turn of events for The Will and Sophia. An awesomely ridiculous cover. This is good comics. (If it wasn’t for that ad issue, Sandman would have taken it, though.)


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Batman #24

October 13, 2013
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Batman-24-Cover

This week had some surprises and some disappointments. The image above shows one of the surprises. We start with the disappointments…

AMERICA’S GOT POWERS #7 (Jonathan Ross / Bryan Hitch) Image

This book started good and got worse and worse as it went on. The delays got longer, the art got worse and the story went nowhere interesting. If this were on on-going, I would be cancelling it now. Very disappointing.

FBP #4 (Simon Oliver / Robbi Rodriguez) Vertigo

Another disappointing book. It has a great premise and there is a thread to follow, but the story seems really shallow, despite the depth of concept.

SUPERMAN & WONDER WOMAN #1 (Charles Soule / Tony S. Daniel / Matt Banning) DC

Wonder Woman is popular in this house so despite not being into the whole JLA thing, we decided to get this. Added bonus, Charles Soule is a great writer! Check out Swamp Thing.

This isn’t Swamp Thing. Yeah, this was pretty disappointing. Compare this to the great Brian Azzarello book. Not even close.

ROCKET GIRL #1 (Amy Reeder / Brandon Montclare) Image

It might be telling that the cover lists the artist first, because the writing is a little weak. Reeder is great, but this is not nearly her best work. Compare this ti Halloween Eve or Madame Xanadu and it is pretty disappointing.

I have been using that word a lot. Things get better. Promise.

AVENGERS A.I. #4 (Humphries / Araujo / D’Armata) Marvel

I am enjoying the concepts in this book. Dimitrios is an interesting villain and I hope that once he is defeated that the Diamond sticks around as a new ‘land’ in the Marvel world. Their very own Kandor.

X-MEN #6 (Wood / Lopez / Smith / Martin) Marvel

A good new chapter in the Battle of the Atom story. The villains are revealed as villains, though their story is not yet apparent. The Sentinel X reveal was a lot better than the Jean Grey one. Plus, we have a new Wolverine/Mystique hybrid maybe?

ASTRO CITY #5 (Busiek / Anderson / Ross / Sinclair / Comicraft) Vertigo

Sorry, but I have to say it again. After the last few issues, this one was a little… disappointing. Still a solid read but not near the excellence of issues 2-4. I did really like the Dame Progress / Mister Cakewalk / Dr. Aegyptus story-let quite a bit.

INFINTY #4 (Hickman / Opena / Weaver / Ponsor) Marvel

Now we get into the GOOD surprises! This comic was kind of bad-ass. Thor vs the Builder for Hala’s independence could have been a boring punchfest, but nope. Now the good guys have an army of Accusers at their backs.

BATMAN #24 (Scott SNyder / Greg Capullo / Danny Miki) DC

Speaking of surprises! I was considering cancelling this book and that was exacerbated when they showed up with a $7 issue (eep!)

But this comic was really good! It finishes off the battle with the Red Hood Gang… gives us what is probably the origin of the Joker, without revealing everything about him… and kicks off a Riddler story, who was the best part of the arc. Great!


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Avengers A.I. #3

September 8, 2013
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avengers ai 3

This week was pretty solid, but without any books pushing to the top of the stack… or the bottom.

Starting at the weakest…

X-MEN: BATTLE OF THE ATOM #1 (Bendis / Cho / Gracia) Marvel

There was nothing wrong with this book per se, but the whole thing just seemed a rehash of the discussions from the individual comics, all as a set-up for the end, with the pay-off waiting for the cross-over.

INFINITY #2 (Hickman / Opena / Weaver / Ponsor) Marvel

This is one of those rare times where Hickman’s style really works for the book. The choppy delivery gives the feeling of urgency and desperation. Plus the plot actually moves forward! A son you say… Is his name… Luke… Cage?

Probably not. (In fact, that would suck.) But it would set up that line…

FAIREST #19 (Williams / Sadowski / Jimenez / Braun) Vertigo

Beautiful cover, but with Hughes, that is pretty common. THe story was a little weak, but interesting. It shows what happens when ‘regular’ people interact with ‘spirit’ people. The regular people come out the worse for wear.

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #17 (Slott / Stegman / Livesay / Delgado) Marvel

Did we know about the Tiberius Stone / Spidey 2099 connection before? That is pretty impressive forward planning on Slott’s part otherwise.

I was never a fan of the 2099 line, but could we end up with THREE Spider-men in the 616? And none of them Peter?

ALL-NEW X-MEN #16 (Bendis / Immonen / von Grawbadger / Gracia) Marvel

Here is the pay-off from Battle of the Atom. The future X-Men were pretty interesting, complete with a great (though predictable) end game reveal. What really made this issue shine was the characterization between Jean, Hank and Scott. Great stuff.

TRILLIUM #2 (Jeff Lemire) Vertigo

This was nearly #1 (and it probably should be, really), but the art is still a negative. The back-and-forth between the two characters was great. We still have no idea what is going on, but that is okay… so far.

AVENGERS A.I. #3 (Humphries / Araujo / D’Armata) Marvel

Why did I like this issue so much? I didn’t like the first two issues that much. It is the Diamond. I really, REALLY hope that when this shakes out, there continues to be this new ‘land’ on the Marvel Earth – like the Savage Land, Atlantis, Wakanda, etc. for the A.I.

Great concept.


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