Rusty's World

Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Dial H #6

November 11, 2012
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Is that title right? Wasn’t the book on the bottom of the list and threatened to drop?

Yep.

Starting at the weakest…

AvsX: CONSEQUENCES #5 (Gillen / Walta / Charalampidis) Marvel

Turns out I have been spelling Jim Charalapidis’ name wrong all this time. Sorry Jim!

This mini is text book good idea / bad execution. The art in this issue was really, really bad. The story was decent… Cyclops is now a full villain, working with Magneto and Magik. The question is whether they are going to start calling themselves the Brotherhood. They should.

The only thing is… I am unsure whether Bendis, the write of their next series, sees them as villains. I hope so. I don’t think I am going to be picking it up anyway. We’ll see. It has been a long time since the X-Men have been worth reading, in general.

BEFORE WATCHMEN: MOLOCH #1 (J.Michael Straczynski / Eduardo Risso) DC

Right up until I read he news page at he back, I thought this was a one-shot. It read like a one-shot – straight up origin story. It was okay, but nothing ground-breaking.

SWAMP THING #14 (Scott Snyder / Yanick Paquette) DC

“Abby is dead!” “No she isn’t!” “Yes she is!” “No she isn’t!”

We get the point. We need more than that. The rest f the story is just generic zombie fighting.

NEW AVENGERS #32 (Bendis / Pacheco / Martinez / Beredo) Marvel

As Bendis is going around setting things straight, like making Dr. Strange Sorcerer Supreme again, he MAY be figuring out a way to bring Dr. Voodoo back. Of course he kills two more people along the way. One has heavy duty mystical ties so he is easily returned. The other… I just don’t buy. Not that she is an important character on her own, but her placement in the movie and the upcoming SHIELD tv show tells me that they won’t dispense with her that simply.

AVENGERS #33 (Bendis / Dodson / Dodson / Keith) Marvel

Having the old team back is still working for me. The banter betweenJanet and Hank was great. The art was nice (hough not top-Dodson stuff). The villain is pretty lame, though.

ANIMAL MAN #14 (Jeff Lemire / Steve Pugh / Timothy Green II / Joseph Silver) DC

Same basic plot as Swamp Thing, but the comic works better for me. The Maxine stuff gets the right balance of scared. The Buddy team is interesting and the last page reveal makes me look forward to the next issue! (Though I bet they aren’t with the Rot…)

FAIREST #9 (Lauren Beukes / Inaki Miranda) Vertigo

Let’s see… the art is not very good… the cover is way below Hguhes’ usual standard (though I like the fabric)… the story wasn’t strong and making sex the way to get her hair to grow again was kind of gratuitous…

So why did I like this issue as much as I did? Not sure. The whole thing just works.

AVENGING SPIDER-MAN #14 (Cullen Bunn / Gabriele Dell’Otto  Dommo Snachez Aymara) Marvel

I am a story first guy and I have not been impressed by Bunn. So why is this book so high. The art! Dell’Otto doing dinosaurs is just beautiful! The story isn’t awful and stays out of the way and those wonderful Savage Land scenes, complete with… firebreathing velocoraptors? Sure. Looking forward to the next issue.

AVENGERS ACADEMY #39 (Gage / Grummett / Hamscher / Sotomayor) Marvel

I wish I could say the same thing about this one, but there is no next issue to look forward to. A nice little tie-up. I am probably rating this too high, but it is getting a bump for the series rather than just this issue. Woefully under-purchased.

My only question is… what was Finesse looking up at the end there? Doing the final ending about one of the least interesting characters in the book was too bad as well. Still… good series.

DIAL H #6 (China Mieville / Mateus Santolouco) DC

Here is a book that has been VERY close to getting the axe for me… and now it is the book of the week. Let’s start with the art: it is suddenly way better. The artist didn’t change, just his choices. This time he put some effort into storytelling rather than just making pretty pictures. It is probably because this book is so quiet and he will go back to drawing chaos again next issue. For now, I can enjoy it.

Then the story… great, great, GREAT! Eat it, Super Chief! And Yes, I did get the overt right cross at Alan Moore. The character interplay between Nelson and Roxie was excellent. The insight into their lives was excellent. The attack of the flying horse was shitty. (Just kidding… it too was excellent.)

Great comic.


Ruthanne’s Comic of the Week: Fairest #8

October 16, 2012
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I was away all last week at the CanadianFestival of Spoken Word in Saskatoon. It was a lot of fun… one of the best iterations of CFSW ever.

That meant I wasn’t here to do reviews so this time out the comics are ranked in the order Ruthanne liked them, though the reviews are still mine.

 

From weakest on up…

 

WORLDS’ FINEST #5 (Levitz / Ordway / Craig / Perez) DC

No Kevin Maguire? Unfortunate, though Ordway is a decent sub.

Note to Paul Levitz: making a joke about Power Girl getting her clothes torn off her body every issue doesn’t make up for having Power Girl’s clothes torn off her body every issue.

This book is on thin ice.

 

DIAL H #5 (China Mieville / Mateus Santolouco) DC

This book is starting to feel like Mieville has a plan. That is a good thing. UP until now it has felt that things were just happening, but it seems like he is building a bigger narrative. It remains to be seen whether than narrative will hold up or not.

 

ANIMAL MAN #13 (Jeff Lemire / Steve Pugh / Timothy Green II / Joseph Silver) DC

Days of Future Past, Animal Man edition. The most interesting part of this issue is the Baker family story. They wouldn’t really kill Cliff, would they?

 

SWAMP THING #13 (Scott Snyder / Yanick Paquette) DC

I though the Rotworld Red/Green stories were going to be parallel alternate futures but it seems that they may be int he same world. I could sub Abby it for Cliff above, but I already know the answer to that one.

 

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #695 (Slott / Gage / Camuncoli / Green / Fabela) Marvel

Gearing up to issue 700 (and the ‘end of the series’). I am pretty sure the end panel is a swerve and Hobby doesn’t really know Peter’s secret. It will just be that he has captured his tech guy. I found the Bugle’s behaviour here quite reprehensible. That little news story would put Peter and his family in incredible danger (assuming he was what he said he was). I think Peter should sue them.

 

BEFORE WATCHMEN: RORSCHACH #2 (Brian Azzarello / Lee Bermejo) DC

The brutality of this comic is overwhelming, both given and received by Rorschach. We are watching him deteriorate as a human being. We know we won’t see his ultiamte fate in this mini, but you can see how it could happen. He is a mess and no caring waitress is going to change that.

 

THIEF OF THIEVES #9 (Kirkman / Asmus / Martinbrough / Serrano) Image

I like this book but I really hope every arc isn’t about somebody using his son as leverage to get him to work for them.

 

AVENGERS VS X-MEN #12 (Aaron / Kubert / Dell / Martin) Marvel

So Cyclops was kind of right at the start, but lost his mind on the way. Cap (and the Avengers)was kind of wrong at the start but kept his head and fought the bigger threat. Works for me.

I am interested to see where this goes from here. The return of the mutants was a good call. The ‘no more’ had run its course.

 

AVENGERS ACADEMY #38 (Gage / Grummett / Hamscher / Sotomayor) Marvel

This would have been my comic of the week. It is chock full of smart writing, Every page had something worth spotlighting. Gage’s way with these characters is masterful. What a shame that it is coming to a close next issue. Apparently it is guilty of excessive awesomeness.

 

FAIREST #8 (Lauren Beukes / Inaki Miranda) Vertigo

I know why Ruthanne has this at #1. They finally made the book about female Fables actually ABOUT a female Fable. Having said that, I would put this as high. After 7 issues of great art, this one was quite disappointing. Also, I am not a big fan of running to the witch to solve every problem (but finding out that the witch is Rapunzel’s mother? Is that new info?)

A good book, but not as good as AA, in my opinion.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Ultimate Spider-Man #15

September 23, 2012
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Some very disappointing books this week. Comics that I normally like quite a bit that just didn’t deliver.

 

Starting at the weakest.

 

THE UNWRITTEN #41 (Mike Carey / Peter Gross) Vertigo

Surprised? Well, so was I when I started reading the book and realized I had no freaking idea what the hell was going on. I guess this is a flashback because it has no bearing at all on the last story arc. Taylor is a completely different character than he was when we saw him there. I am thinking that this is a flashback to the end of the PREVIOUS story, but that was not really clear. Throwing back to a story from MONTHS ago, without a reference is a BAD idea. I have never wanted a ‘What has going before’ page as much…

 

WONDER WOMAN #0 (Brian Azzarello / Cliff Chiang) DC

Continuing the trend of these zero issues being pretty bad. A story of Diana when he was a kid being trained by Ares. Ares was awful. The story was awful. The little pretend nods to old comics weren’t witty. Blah.

 

AVENGERS #30 (Bendis / Simonson / Hanna / Keith) Marvel

Ruthanne thought this comic was sexist. I just thought it was lousy. ‘Let’s hash out our relationship while we are fighting this pointless villains!’ The dialogue crossed that line into unrealistic that Bendis tends to skirt so well. The fight was pointless. hey tossed out a good Spider-Man villain like he was a chump. Set up by Hydra… this book was as lame as when they fight Hydra or A.I.M. or whatever. Avengers vs nameless scrubs is boring.

Very disappointing.

 

THE ULTIMATES #15 (Humphries / Tan / Pallot / Noor) Marvel

This may have been better of it hadn’t been spoiled. Even the actual reveal was not great with the random phone booth ringing thing. Also, really bad art. I like the story line, which puts it higher than the others, but it is still another disappointing book.

 

AVENGERS ACADEMY #37 (Gage / Grummett / Hamscher / Sotomayor) Marvel

The first book I straight up enjoyed. I like the characterization of the kids. I alway shave. It is very well done. Too bad this book is cancelled.

Finesse is awesome, by the way. I don’t normally like heroes killing but as she said, he said she is a hero?

 

SPIDER-MEN #5 (Bendis / Pichelli / Ponsor) Marvel

The strength of this series has been the characters and this was more of an action story, so it is a bit weaker. I still enjoyed reading it but what made it better than AA was the last page. Now I want the non-existant issue #6!

 

FABLES #121 (Willingham / Buckingham / Leialoha / McManus) Vertigo

I still don’t like last issue and this deals with that so it was starting in a bit of a hole. Overall a good issue, thought they cover too much ground too quickly. I REALLY like the way they get to earn their ‘wholeness’ back. The time shift was unexpected but it could be interesting. Looking forward to what’s next. (The Oz story continues to just be a waste of pages.)

 

BATWOMAN #0 (J.H.Williams III / W.Haden Blackman) DC

Now THAT is how you do a zero issue! This is the best written of the new run, probably because it leans so much as the Rucka stuff. This is the character that is so great. It isn’t the story that I dog so much, but the return of a:  a clear narrative and b: the look into the thoughts of Kate. Good job.

 

REVIVAL #3 (Tim Seeley / Mike Norton) Image

This along with the Massive are my favourite new series… next to Saga. 🙂 The whole thing is so creepy without being overt… until that old woman showed up. That’s pretty overt. 🙂

That creature makes me a little nervous, but I have liked EVERYTHING about this book so I am willing to wait and see.

 

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #15 (Bendis / Marquez / Ponsor) Marvel

FINALLY! As great as this book is, the fact that it never referred to the crazy stuff going on across America was kind of annoying. This issue corrected that, and got rid of Miles’ guilt over the death of his uncle, which is good. The characterization continues to be excellent. Miles i sone of the best characters in comics and this is easily the best of the many books that Bendis writes. (When are we getting more Scarlet?)


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Before Watchmen: Silk Spectre #3

September 11, 2012
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This is my second RCotW in a row that goes to a Before Watchmen book. Whodathunk?

 

Starting at the weakest…

 

DIAL H #0 (China Mieville / Riccardo Burchielli) DC

The zero issues are here. I don’t like the concept. Rehashes of origins for the most part, letting us know how they have mucked around with the them for the relaunch. This particular comic has an advantage of being a new concept (let’s face it, this book has nothing to do with the old Robby Reed version), but it fails for a different reason. IT IS STUPID. A sundial? Seriously? Four days to dial?

They DID completely change the concept of the heroes dialled up though… and not in a good way.

Bah. I am close to cancelling this book.

 

ANIMAL MAN #0 (Jeff Lemire / Steve Pugh) DC

Here is a better example, because this is a book I really like. Let’s take the established origin and tweak it enough to make the Red fit in it. Oh, and add Arcane for good measure. Boring.

 

SWAMP THING #0 (Scott Snyder / Kano) DC

Take my review of Animal Man and duplicate it exactly. Now sub in the word Green for the word Red.

Twice the boring.

 

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #693 (No cover credits, but it is Slott and Ramos) Marvel

I don’t like Alpha.I don’t mean in the way we are SUPPOSED to not like him, but in the way that makes the comic not anjoyable. It is the power level problems that made Sentry such a terrible character.  am looking forward to this story being over so we can get back to the GOOD Slott stories.

 

WORLDS’ FINEST #0 (Paul Levitz / Kevin Maguire) DC

This zero issue is a LITTLE better because these are NEW characters and their story has not yet been told. Not a great comic, but better than he others.

The comics do get better this week, I promise.

 

THIEF OF THIEVES #8 (Kirkman / Asmus / Martinbrough / Serrano) Image

Starting here. I really enjoy this book. The only reason this is so low is that, as the first issue of a new arc, it is all groundwork and not much in the way of payoff. It is really hard to judge books like that.

 

FAIREST #7 (Matthew Sturges / Shawn McManus) Vertigo

Hey, remember how Fairest was advertised as the comic focusing on the female Fables? Apparently the folks at DC forgot that. The first arc starred Sinbad. This stand-alone issue stars Beast. Yes, both stories are ABOUT females int he end, but the protagonists are male. I really undercuts the concept if you keep doing that. Ignoring that, which is hard to do, this is avery good comic that gives a whole new story for one well established character (not Beast, so you can probably guess). I like the McManus art. It fits. And that cover…oh boy.

 

AVENGERS ACADEMY #36 (Gage / DiVito / Sotomayor) Marvel

This comic was all about the moments. The moment between Mettle and Hazmat. The internal moments of White Tiger and Reptyl. The moment when Lightspeed is suddenly a bad-ass. “And now… I have a dagger.”

This comic will be missed. Only one issue left.

 

HAWKEYE #2 (Fraction / Aja / Hollingsworth) Marvel

I thought this would be the top comic this week when I read it. Third is still not shabby. The design and art of this book is beautiful. The stories are appropriately small. The addition of Kate Bishop is great (though she should get her own codename). But DO NOT have them sleep together. Fraction, I am warning you… that would be almost as bas as Angel and Husk.

 

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #14 (Bendis / Marquez / Ponsor) Marvel

Then I read this and thought that IT would be #1. It is all about one thing. WEB-SHOOTERS! WOO-HOO!

 

BEFORE WATCHMEN: SILK SPECTRE #3 (Darwyn Cooke / Amanda Conner) DC

MAN this is a good book. It is easily the best of the BW stuff (and a couple of the others are quite good). The drug scenes were INCREDIBLE. Conner is just a great artist. The only thing that concerns me is the addition of Comedian at the end. His appearances thus far show us that he was abetter character as a dead one. The only big that has really worked with him is Minutemen which is written by… oh right. I guess it might not be too bad.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Saga #6

August 20, 2012
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A really solid week for comics.

 

Starting at the weakest.

 

AVENGERS #29 (Bendis / Simonson / Hanna / Keith) Marvel

What a mess. The last Bendis Avengers issue (New) gave us a talky issue to answer some possible complaints / concerns about the AVX plot, with great success. This issue tries to do the same but crashes and burns. Let’s start with the art. I am a BIG fan of Walt Simonson. Period. But this issue was just not so great. Ruthanne was quite put off by the Spider-Woman butt shot right up front, while I just found it a little…sloppy.

Then comes the plot. The question is, why doesn’t Xavier just shut down everyone psionically? You could ask the same question about every story ever published in the Marvel Universe! How do they normally get around that? Simple, Xavier doesn’t DO that. It is against his code of ethics.

Oh wait, except this time. He is on the Avengers side but won’t stop the X-Men. Oh, but he is more than willing to totally breach his own ethics by MIND-WIPING EVERYONE INVOLVED!

Ridiculous.

 

BEFORE WATCHMEN: RORSCHACH #1 (Brian Azzarello / Lee Bermejo) DC

I am not opposed to Before Watchmen. At all. Some of them have been very good. Some of them have been very bad ( {ahem} Nite Owl {ahem} ). But this is the first one that has made me go… why?

I am just not sure there is anything more than need be said about Rorschach. If you do anything to change him, that’s no good, but otherwise you are just retreading the character we already know.We’ll see…

 

CAPTAIN MARVEL #2 (Kelly Sue DeConnick / Dexter Soy) Marvel

The time travel story has been fairly predictable, but I see what DeConnick is doing with it. For the second issue in a row she is letting us in on a little HERstory, if you will. It is a nice touch without being preachy at all. The art is a little…manga for my taste, but it isn’t bad. At least it isn’t all cheesecakey like DC would have done with this book. Benes or somebody…

 

AVENGERS ACADEMY #35 (Gage / DiVito / Sotomayor) Marvel

So it turns out this story is the book’s swansong. Too bad. It has been a solid read. Too bad they can’t maintain a decent art team. Grummet is good but the rest have been fairly subpar.

The story unfolds the way you know it has to, complete with that little “you can only be cured ONCE!” caveat. Still, it was a nice read and the scenes between Hazmat and Mettle really worked.

 

BATWOMAN #12 (J.H. Williams III / W. Haden Blackman) DC

This is half way back to being a good comic! Great art! Now if only we could get a decent writer so the story is a little more comprehensible.

 

WONDER WOMAN #12 (Brian Azzarello / Cliff Chiang) DC

Much better. Gods fighting. Strife living up to her nature and a traitor! A new King of the Gods! This book is just a very solid read.

 

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #691 (Slott / Camuncoli / Janson / Green / D’Armata) Marvel

Dan Slott just did something I didn’t know was possible. He made me care about the Lizard. Lizard stories have a certain pattern to them. Connors turns into the Lizard. Spidey fights the Lizard. Spidey turns the Lizard back into Connors.

Slott turned that on its ear. It still felt the same until the ending when the nature of the creature changed, or at least the way we look at him. Then that final inner monologue…

 

AVENGERS VS X-MEN #10 (Brubaker / Kubert / Dell / Martin) Marvel

This issue did what it had to do. It moved Emma into a full villain and forced Cyclops to go face her so that he can become the PHoenix in full by the end of issue #11 so he can fight, and lose, and die in issue #12.

But it did it well.

 

SAUCER COUNTRY #6 (Paul Cornell / Jimmy Broxton) Vertigo

This issue (with a new artist, yes?) gives us a lot of talking to know where we stand about UFOs and aliens in the world of the story. It kind of reminded me of watching JFK… and I am one of the few people who would say that is a good thing.

 

REVIVAL #2 (Tim Seeley / Mike Norton) Image

Nice. This book is only on issue 2 but I am really enjoying following along The exorcist on the cover will be an interesting addition to the cast. I already feel like I CARE about the characters… and that morgue scene… who didn’t see it coming but it was awesome anyway! When will this be optioned?

 

SAGA #6 (Brian K. Vaughan / Fiona Staples) Image

Kin at Silver Snail accurately predicted that this would be my comic of the week. Right-o! The characters… ALL of the characters… are note perfect. A rocketship tree! Breaking the sword! Grandparents!

Only one bad thing… no new issue for the next two months?! Aaaarrrgghhh!!


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Hawkeye #1

August 5, 2012
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Anybody who knows me at all should not be surprised at my comic of the week choice.

Big week, made bigger because I missed two books last week and got them this week.

 

Starting from the weakest.

 

BEFORE WATCHMEN: NITE OWL #2 (J.Michael Straczynski / Andy Kubert / Joe Kubert) DC

Wow, was this ever a trashy comic. Bad story, bad writing, bad everything. Even the art wasn’t great. (Not terrible, though)

My only question at this point is whether I will miss the pirate back-up parts I don’t get if I don’t finish this miniseries.

 

WORLDS’ FINEST #4 (Levitz / Perez / Maguire / Koblish) DC

Why are we still getting this? Oh yeah… wanting to support female led books. And, in fact, that is what is good about the books. The characters of Huntress and Power Girl are interesting. (That and the great art), but the problem is that the villain they are facing… well, who cares? No character. No motivation. No nothing. They even ask the question on the cover without even thinking about answering it.

 

DIAL H #4 (China Mieville / Mateus Santolouco) DC

Just when this books tarted getting better, this confusing mess comes out. What is it with writers who try to hide the plot? In fact, this WOUDL have been below WF except the scene where the ‘hero’ turns himself into a hero WITHOUT his magic dial… well, that was nice moment.

 

BEFORE WATCHMEN: COMEDIAN #2 (Brian Azzarello / J.G. Jones) DC

I still don’t like the Forrest Gump version of the Watchmen. (‘So Comedian is chatting with Bobby Kennedy at the Ali / Liston fight…’) Having said that, much like the first issue, they do a decent job with such an annoying conceit.

 

AVENGERS ACADEMY #34 (Gage / Grummett / Hamscher / Sotomayor) Marvel

Tom Grummett is back! Yay! The story is continuing respecting the AvX continuity but not making it an integral part of the book! Yay! Jeremy Briggs is back! Yay!

What I didn’t like was the quickness that Briggs revealed his master plan. That seems like something that they should stew with a while. Is he good or not? The answer is emphatically not. Okay.

I also don’t like the existence of SPINtech. I didn’t like in A:I and I don’t like it here. It is too pat. There is a reason that Forge’s nullifier (Or whatever it was killed) was destroyed.

 

AVENGING SPIDER-MAN #10 (DeConnick / T.Dodson / R.Dodson / Delgado) Marvel

Another solid issue of Captain Marv… I mean Avenging Spider-Man. Seriously though, if this is the tone that the on-going Captain MArvel book is going to have, I’m all in.

 

iZOMBIE #28 (Chris Roberson / Michael Allred) Vertigo

A decent wrap-up to a prematurely ended book. This book reminds us what went wrong, with too many characters and plot threads all ending up here. The final resolution really worked for me, though. And no, not because Gwen got naked.

 

NATIONAL COMICS: ETERNITY #1 (Jeff Lemire / Cully Hamner / Derec Donovan) DC

So, when does one of the dead weight D 52 books (like Resurrection Man or something) get cancelled so Jeff Lemire’s Eternity can become a regular book?

Would it help if I said please?

 

ANIMAL MAN #12 (Jeff Lemire / Scott Snyder / Steve Pugh) DC

Speaking of Lemire… the Rotworld story ‘starts’ here (really it started in issue #1, but who is counting). I love the mix between the aggressive ‘male’ attitudes of Buddy and Swampy – ‘we are going to take the fight to them!’ – and the more protective ‘female’ attitude of Ellen – ‘we need to protect Maxine and save Cliff!’ Well done… and as we fight out next issue…

 

SWAMP THING #12 (Snyder / Lemire / Rudy / Green / Owens) DC

…the men aren’t exactly correct in their decision. I wasn’t thrilled with the ‘you ladies mind the fort while us menfolk go off to battle’ bit but the women found themselves neck deep in it pretty fast regardless.

One thing I will say right now… the thing that Arcane said about them being in there for a year? Baloney. Mark my words.

 

THIEF OF THIEVES #7 (Kirkman / Spencer / Martinbrough / Serrano) Image

Nick Spencer wrapped up the opening arc of the book and a smart and stylish way. The cops were outsmarted but in a way that ensured that Redmond has to continue in the thief biz. I am looking forward to seeing what James Asmus can do with it. I am also looking forward to seeing what AMC can do with it.

 

RASL #15 (Jeff Smith) Cartoon Books

Speaking of comics that have been optioned… we have the wrap up of Rasl. Quite satisfying, but the twist didn’t feel organic when reading it this way. It might feel better when reading them all at once. The twist AFTER the twist, on the other hand, read REALLY well. Destroying knowledge doesn’t work for me. This does.

 

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #13 (Bendis / Marquez / Ponsor) Marvel

Miles is one of the most ‘real’ seeming characters in all of comics. That sadness/depression/guilt he is feeling WORKS. You FEEL what he feels.

Then, the face to face at the end was perfect, brief as it was. Then Cap had to wreck it. So far.

 

AVENGERS VS X-MEN #9 (Aaron / Kubert / Dell / Martin) Marvel

Surprised to see this book rate so highly? Me too… but it deserves it. Spider-Man as the never quit, give it all, fight until the last breath leaves his body hero is jsut perfect here. Other writers have done that with Peter Parker before, but it doesn’t get old. It reminds me of the last stand of Skurge, but Spidey, even as he sacrificed himself, never lays down and dies. He keeps trying to find a way… and he does!

Emma is about to get very scary. My guess is that Cyclops takes her down… before doing SOMETHING to let himself be beaten and killed. By the end it will be the Avengers AND the X-Men vs the Cyclops/Phoenix, but ultimately he will defeat himself, intentionally, when he sees what he has become.

Let’s see if I am right.

 

HAWKEYE #1 (Fraction / Aja / Hollingsworth) Marvel

I have been waiting for years for a decent Hawkeye comic. The Gruenwald mini was decent and it led to a good run leading the West Coast Avengers. That was a long time ago, though. Solo Avengers was D-list at best. That crazy mini with his pet werewolf, or whatever that was, is worth forgetting. The more recent Hawkeye and Mockingbird series was better… but not much.

And now this.

What a great comic. This is Batman: Year One and DD: Born Again, but for HAWKEYE. The story is excellent (forget the fact that he heals in six weeks… if you really want to be picky, why would he be in a regular hospital? The answer is because that is how this book works. The art is excellent and the DESIGN of the book is worth buying the book for all by itself.

If it continues at this level of quality, expect it to become a fixture at the Rusty’s COmic of the Week list.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Saga #5

July 19, 2012
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REALLY good week. Even the one book I have complaints about it a book I enjoy.

 

Starting at the weakest, as usual.

 

AVENGERS ACADEMY #33 (Gage / Green / Huet / Sotomayor) Marvel

I like Juston and his Sentinel. I like the characterization of Finesse. I am even okay with the use of Quicksilver as deus ex machina. What I have a problem with is that this whole story is predicated on Emma acting like an idiot. She could have destroyed the Sentinel with a thought but chose not to ‘out of mercy’. More important than that, though, are you telling me that the Phoenixified Emma Frost couldn’t sense Pietro are know what he was doing? Seriously?

Sorry, that doesn’t work for me.

 

INFERNAL MAN-THING #2 (Gerber / Nowlan) Marvel

Ah, the madness starts to make sense, as I suspected it might after reading the rest of the original story. Not much to say here, other than I enjoyed it. It is madness. Just soak it in.

So why is it so low? Because the rest of the comics were so good!

 

BATWOMAN #11 (J.H. Williams III / W.Haden Blackman / Trevor McCarthy) DC

I am kind of hoping that Williams’ new gig drawing the Sandman mini will keep him from writing this book. Stuff happens but it doesn’t have a good flow. He is in good company – that is my exact complaint about Hickman.

Things wrap up… but not. The art is okay, but I also look forward to the Williams drawn arc to come.

 

WONDER WOMAN #11 (Brian Azzarello / Cliff Chiang) DC

I have a feeling that the real reason Lennox can’t go with them is to avid giving away his real identity. Just a hunch. I also think Strife is going to change sides (as the cover kind of hints at). When Diana gets Zola back, will Apollo still be king? Or will we see the fruits of the Artemis / Demeter discussion that tells us things are not all as they seem.

Will the good guys ever get a chance to catch their collective breath?

 

AVENGERS VS X-MEN #8 (Bendis / Kubert / Dell / Martin) Marvel

Do I look knock-down drag-out all-fight issues? Generally not. Did I like this one? YES! I don’t know what it is but I really liked seeing Namor getting his ass kicked. I also really like Professor X standing up (no pun intended) for what is right.

Have I mentioned that Cyclops will be dead when this is all over? My only question is whether the remaining three original X-Men will go down with him.

 

CAPTAIN MARVAL #1 (DeConnick / Soy) Marvel

I am trying to decide if I like the art or not. It is certainly expressive… and a good way to go for a character that they are trying to set-up as not just a ‘pretty’ character (as the new costume attests). There is a lot to like about this comic. The fight scene was all about character-building, and they did a good job at it. I like that she and Peter are ‘pals’. That just really works for me. That whole thing about her outranking ‘Captain’ America is just silly. He isn’t really a Captain, and hasn’t been for a long time. The new characters (new to me, anyway) introduced haven’t really stuck yet, so we will have to see how that goes.

I definitely recommend the book.

 

FABLES #119 (Willingham / Buckingham / Leialoha / McManus) Vertigo

Uh…ick. That was just nasty. My only question now is how the CHARACTER of Therese survives this. That was pretty awful, no matter how hungry she was.

The back-up is still annoying. The little windows to her parents and the winds must be setting something up, because they didn’t do much here. Her brother, on the other hand…

 

BEFORE WATCHMEN: SILK SPECTRE #2 (Darwyn Cooke / Amanda Conner) DC

I read this book first and I thought it had a decent chance to be the best book of the week. It shows you how good the week is that it fell to third.

What year is this book set in? What year was Watchmen? It seems to make Laurie older in the original than I thought she was, but that is okay. Everything about this book works. The art is beautiful and the story has just the right amount of throwback kitsch, without going overboard. This is a book I would like to keep reading on its own, without any Watchmen connection.

 

THE UNWRITTEN #39 (Mike Carey / Peter Gross) Vertigo

I don’t know if it was just me but when I started reading this, I felt like I had picked up an old issue of Books of Magic instead. That is a good thing. A hand turning things to stories. The origin of Pauley Bruckner (with some GREAT art for the flashback scenes). Great Didge scenes (including an AWESOME series if captions as she narrates the story). And they ride off on a Unicorn. Hell yeah!

 

SAGA #5 (Brian K. Vaughan / Fiona Staples) Vertigo

Marko just became my favourite character in all of comics.

Many years ago, I was one of the writers for a game called Warlord: Saga of the Storm. This was my entry into the world of AEG which eventually put me to writing for Legend of the Five Rings. (This was before and during my discovery of poetry… which is the reason I STOPPED writing for AEG. I was using my creative time to write for someone other than me…)

Anyway, in the time I wrote for Warlord, I was able to create many characters,nations, gods and countries. (My best was probably the Narawat pantheon… now completely unused. I wonder if AEG would let me have it back…)

Amongst these characters was an illusionist named Zartoch (I can’t recall if I named him… I kind of hope not). I found a way to make a character in a game about constant warfare and battle into a pacifist. He used his illusions to defeat his enemies WITHOUT killing them. The reaction from the fans?

“I always knew Zartoch was a wimp.”

Being a pacifist is NOT being weak. NOT NOT NOT!

Neither is it being stupid. Marko has been called weak by ignorant readers. If they still think so after reading this issue… well, what can you do?


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Fables #118

June 25, 2012
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Big week. Lots of good books.

 

Unfortunately, it is a week that leads to a bit of trimming as well.

Starting with the weakest book as usual.

 

SECRET AVENGERS #28 (Remender / Guedes / Wilson) Marvel

This comic is awful. I mean absolutely awful.

Let’s start with the art. I really don’t like what Guedes has done here. It is sketchy and not dynamic in any way. The colours on it are very ‘crayon-like’.

Then the story. Let’s start with the fact that it makes absolutely zero sense when put in with AvX and the other Avengers AvX books. That wouldn’t be the end of the world except this is an AvX cross over. Were the editors sleeping? They should be pretty embarrassed about this mess.

Now ignore all that and try to judge this comic on its own.

Nope. Still terrible. They brought Captain Marvel back for no reason, only to kill him off again. I suppose this is meant to inspire Carol… but only if the editors get it together with the new book by DeConnick and after the mess the last couple of months, I seriously doubt it. Betrayal! Oh wait, just kidding! Oh wait, we need a sacrifice! Hands up anyone who thought he was surviving this issue anyway?

I came VERY close to cancelling this book from my file… and anyone who knows my addiction to Avengers comics knows what a big deal that would be.  In the end I decided to ride it out a bit for two reasons. 1. after this issue it is no longer an AvX cross-over. Maybe letting Remender go back to the story he WANTED to tell will help. and 2. Guedes is off the book.

We’ll see. Another mess like this and it is snipped

 

DOMINIQUE LEVEAU: VOODOO CHILD #4 (Selwyn Seyfu Hinds / Denys Cowan / John Floyd) Vertigo

To Selwyn, who has read my reviews the last couple of times DL has come out… sorry. I am a writer. Poetry mostly but I also used to write for Legend of the Five Rings and I know how much it sucks to read people talking about not liking your baby.

The book is cancelled now… as of issue #7. We won’t be getting the rest. I’ll just leave it there.

 

AVENGING SPIDER-MAN #8 (Slott / Templeton / Clark / Parsons / Quintana) Marvel

(Why does Slott get top billing on the cover? He didn’t write the comic…)

A book of this nature will also be a hit-and-miss prospect… and this one kind of missed. Story epilogues in comics are rarely good. If the story was worth telling, it should have been part of the main story.

The real problem here is that we basically have a flashback inventory-style story masquerading as an important plot point. The problem is two-fold: the nobody actually believes that Silver Sable is dead (and the narrative is making this abundantly clear) and… who really cares? It isn’t like she is an important character. Killing off D-list heroes is not exactly newsworthy, no matter how hard they try. The real story is that Spidey is upset that he ‘let her die’, but that story rolls along fine without this fill-in stuff being needed in it anyway.

 

BATWOMAN #10 (Williams III / Blackman / McCarthy) DC

Here they are starting to get better. McCarthy is no Williams III and Williams III is no Rucka. The jump cuts are an interesting conceit but they are also a bit conufsing. I feel like I need to go back and reference earlier issues and a reader should NEVER have to do that. I feel like he is writing for the trade and the story will work better once collected.

 

WINTER SOLDIER #7 (Brubaker / Lark / Thies / Gaudiano / Breitweiser) DC

This comic works very hard at feeling like a movie… and they do a pretty good job. I am wearying of the Russian connection behind every villain, but that is okay. The action was solid (except the firefight in the van. I am not sure why Bucky and Natasha aren’t dead. That is a pretty confined space for multiple people with machine guns to miss while spraying bullets around… they must have Stormtrooper disease.

The way the readers were led on the same way the heroes were led on was well done.

 

AVENGERS VS X-MEN #6 (Hickman / Coipel / Morales / Martin) Marvel

When I read people taking the side of the X-Men I kind of laugh. Those people must not have been reading comics for very long. This story has been done many, many times. I even just re-read a DC mini where they main heroes crossed over with a another universe full of different characters with the same names (I think the universe was called ‘Tangent’). Superman had done the ‘obvious’ thing and taken over the world to the betterment of everybody.

But what about free will?

Exactly. That is the story. I must have read that story in different places ten times… likely more.

Besides… Cyclops is a villain. The sooner everyone realizes that, the better.

At least stuff is HAPPENING in the series now. Also, this one of the few comics where I don’t find Hickman getting in the way of the story he is telling.

 

ASTONISHING X-MEN #51 (Liu / Perkins / Troy) Marvel

I don’t buy any of the X-Men titles normally. I bought this one. It is important.

They did a good job, mostly. Anyone who complains about them doing this marriage, whether do to homophobia, ‘sanctity of whatever’ or claims of pandering and whatever can feel free not to let the door hit you on the way out.

This is important.

And unlike the ‘coming out’ issue back in the 90’s, the book doesn’t suck.

I am not going to start buying the title though.

 

DARK AVENGERS #176 (Parker / Walker / Pallot / Martin) Marvel

Dark Avengers? Sure looks like the Thunderbolts to me.

Good issue… though I am not sold on the new version of Man Thing. The time travel who joins them is a welcome addition. I woudl say I am looking forward to the next issue but the next issue will probably be back to the pretty lame Dark Avengers. Are they splitting the art the same way? If so, that works because the better story gets the better artist.

 

AVENGERS ACADEMY #32 (Gage / Green / Huet / Sotomayor) Marvel

This is the AvX story properly turned into an interesting narrative that plays out as an actual story rather than just the idea of a story. How can a forced crossover turn to questions like ‘what is life?’ ‘what defines someone as a person?’

The X-23 bits are a little heavy handed, but that is normal for the character, She is about as subtle as a brick. Juston is great, though. Pym works as a foil well enough… though he IS acting kind of stupid.

The art is not great. Can’t Tom Grummet handle the workload? Why do they keep subbing in inferior artists?

 

BEFORE WATCHMEN: COMEDIAN #1 (Brian Azzarello / J.G. Jones) DC

This is the weakest of the BW books so far, but it is still pretty good. Dropping Comedian into the Kennedy family is a bit too Forrest Gump for me, but the end with Moloch is worth the pay off. I have read some commenters that say that Eddie’s turn to necrophilia is a bit much, but if THAT is what you think happened in that scene… well, your mind goes different places than mine does. I’m glad mine doesn’t. That isn’t a very nice place to live.

Now, there are some real problems with continuity here. Breaking continuity like the Avengers folks did is one thing. Breaking continuity between a prequel and the book you are homaging is a whole different thing. Here is hoping Azzarello explains the discrepancy later.

Or… wait… am I mixing up the actual Watchmen with the movie? That would be embarrassing…

 

WONDER WOMAN #10 (Azzarello / Akins / Kano / Green) DC

Two Azzarello books in a row! This one is REALLY good… storywise, but it is marred by sub-standard art. It is really too bad that Cliff Chiang wasn’t on this one, because the story is excellent. Diana’s excuse for beating his truth-lassoed question is what makes this book special.

In fact, all the characters in this issue were excellent. I LOVE how it ended and I especially love that Azzarello didn’t feel the need to EXPLAIN what was going on there.

Love thyself.

 

NEW AVENGERS #27 (Bendis / Deodato / Beredo) Marvel

I have never liked Deodato and I have made no secret of that. This current storyline though… Deodato should be drawing Iron Fist stories set in K’un-L’un full time. It is beautiful. It helps that the two female characters in the book are SUPPOSED to look alike so the fact that ALL of his female characters look alike isn’t a problem.

 

What MAKES this issue is the Hope and Spider-man scene at the end. Perfect use of the line that basically acts as the moral tagline for the entire Marvel line of comics.

Very well done.

 

THE UNWITTEN #38 (Mike Carey / Peter Gross) Vertigo

A world without stories? I was wondering where Carey was going to take the book after the first mega-arc was over. This is a good direction. A VERY good direction. I don’t quite understand why that person is made of wood, but I DO get why she is turning back into flesh and blood. It shows what could happen to a world with magic in it without stories.

I am so happy that this great book looks like it can continue being great.

 

SAGA #4 (Brian K. Vaughan / Fiona Staples) Image

Remember the people claiming the breast-feeding panels in the first issue were gratuitous? They are going to lose their shit after reading this issue. 🙂

I don’t want to give anything away but the scene where the space pimp opens the door?

Yeah.

Yeah.

Add to that the conversation between our leads and the new nanny.

This is just good comics.

It was one of the first comics I read this week and I KNEW there wasn’t go to be a better comic in the pile.

 

Except then there was…

 

FABLES #118 (Willingham / Buckingham / Leialoha / Pepoy / McManus) Vertigo

The secret of the broken toys is… well, I don’t want to spoil that. But it is chilling. REALLY chilling. This book was already treading on scary ground, but that has been ratcheted up a whole bunch of notches. That would be enough to make this a great comic, but add to that the fight between a tiger and a damaged (in many ways) stuffed bear and… wow.

The Oz story is still not grabbing me. It is just too short.

 

If you bought Fables, Saga and the Unwritten this week, well… that would be a good week of comics right there.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Swamp Thing #10

June 10, 2012
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Remember how last week was a relatively small week?

Making up for it this week!

 

Starting from the weakest and moving up, as usual.

 

WORLD’S FINEST #2 (Paul Levitz / George Perez / Kevin Maguire / Scott Koblish) DC

Perez and Maguire? What’s not to like? Well, a badly written story, boring characters and a terrible villain are a start.

I love supporting female led books and I love the artists. That may not be enough. I don’t think I will be getting issue 3.

 

DARK AVENGERS #175 (Parker / Shalvey / Martin) Marvel

Ouch. I was quite enjoying Thunderbolts, but this is… not so good. I cannot stress how much I hate Ragnarok. At lest give him a different costume so we are not constantly reminded what a dumb character he is. In fact, I don’t really like any of this crop of Dark Avengers (as opposed to the first crop). The Osborne mini was very good, but that didn’t make the villains introduced automatically matter.

I would drop this too, but I am hoping we will get more actual Thunderbolts in the title soon, despite the name change.

Oh, Shalvey’s art is getting better each issue, though!

 

DIAL H #2 (China Mieville / Mateus Santolouco) DC

This book gets by on pure creative inventiveness. Here is hoping the plot starts to catch up soon.

 

ANIMAL MAN #10 (Jeff Lemire / Steve Pugh) DC

Some issues of this book, I love. Other issues I am luke warm on. I try to figure out what the difference is, and I can’t find it. Maybe it is my mood when I am reading it. It is well worth a read, but between this and Swamp Thing, AM has a ways to go.

 

iZOMBIE #26 (Chris Roberson / Michael Allred ) Vertigo

Sometimes I complain about a book not having enough plot. iZombie has too much. The characters are excellent but as the book trundles on to its untimely demise, there are too many plotlines that need to be crammed in and brought together. The book is suffering for it. Overall I still recommend the series. Buy the trades.

 

DEFENDERS #7 (Fraction / Dodson / Dodson / Oback) Marvel

I thought this book might be on the bubble down with World’s Finest, but the Dodsons drawing Black Cat? I am still not sold on the main Defenders storyline, but now I want to see a Fraction / Dodsons Black Cat book.

 

WINTER SOLDIER #6 (Brubaker / Lark / Gaudino / Breitweiser) Marvel

Michael Lark is pure atmosphere. This issue is all backstory, but it is on point! Fred Davis is the Bucky in a refrigerator, and I am not sure it was necessary, but the whole story of the sleeper for the past dozen years works well. Tying it in to Bucky’s story worked. (I do think they could go to the ‘Bucky’s past’ well too often, but they are not there yet.)

 

AVENGERS VS X-MEN #5 (Fraction / Romita / Hanna / Martin) Marvel

Something finally happens! I mean for real! Welcome the Phoenix Five!

One thing… when this is all over, Cyclops will be in prison, right? RIGHT???!

He should be.

 

AVENGERS ACADEMY #31 (Gage / Grummett / Hamscher / Sotomayor) Marvel

Does anyone write young adults as well as Christos Gage? The plot is the plot… whatever. It is the characters that really shine… and now there is a new addition to the cast! I wouldn’t have minded if that was a trade for X-27, or whatever her name is… you know… Wolvie-Girl. Still, I like what they did with Shaw, and the Loa / Mettle / Hazmat situation will be interesting to watch. Personally, I hope they avoid the whole triangle cliche and instead turn into a really strong friendship like was implied last issue.

 

FAIREST #4 (Willingham / Jimenez / Lanning / Farmer) Vertigo

One more time: WHY IS A BOOK THAT IS SUPPOSED TO BE ABOUT FEMALE FABLES STARRING ALI BABA?

Having said that, this was a good issue. The storytelling conceit has been good and having the Snow Queen be an addict to them works on many levels. Having her drugged into working for Gepetto strengthens her character a lot. Not much Briar Rose here, but the addition of Hadeon could be very interesting.

 

THIEF OF THIEVES #5 (Kirkman / Spencer / Martinbrough / Serrano) Image

Does the gathering of the team reming anyone of Super Crooks? Oh well, it is a standard ‘heist picture’ set-up. It was well done, but once again… the only female of the group is a stripper? Really? WTF!

This books glides on the characters and the design… but those are both things I like a very great deal.

 

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #11 (Bendis / Marquez / Ponsor) Marvel

Spidey kicking ass! The first time you are punched int he face has to be a bit of a shocker. Being used to the Peter version, I was surprised he got hit so often, but at the same time, none of it seemed to phase him. Apparently his powers include being able to take a beating without even a bruise.

One of the best books on the market, month-in and month-out. BUY THIS BOOK! Anyone… everyone.

 

BEFORE WATCHMEN: MINUTEMEN #1 (Darwyn Cooke) DC

The baggage involved is immense. Here is my take…

Alan Moore got a little bit screwed by DC’s ‘it is yours once it goes out of print’. I say a ‘little bit’ because DC KEEPING it in print in order to keep the rights has probably done more for Moore’s career and reputation than anything else he has ever written. (And that is saying something.)

Moore thinks it is some sort of creative crime to use someone else’s characters.  This is the writer of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Oh, and let’s not forget that the Watchmen characters were all based on the old Charlton characters and only changed when DC wouldn’t let him use them. At least that is how the story goes… (and it seems pretty likely. The analogues are clear.)

Now… when Before Watchmen was announced, my reaction was ‘uh, no thanks’. Then they announced the creative teams. Wow. So now, my attitude is, ‘don’t buy them because they are Watchmen related. Buy them if they are good.’

The first one is good. REALLY good. Anybody who enjoyed the opening credits sequence of the movie (and most people I talked to liked it, even the ones who didn’t really like the movie as a whole) should like this. Darwyn Cooke is incredibly talented and he does a great ob here (despite some small continuity problems with the main story).

Even the Crimson Corsair back-up was solid. It is dense, as it should be, so the 2-pages didn’t seem too light and the density wasn’t overwhelming.

So far so good.

 

SWAMP THING #10 (Scott Snyder / Francesco Francavilla) DC

Normally this book takes a big drop when Yanick Paquette isn’t on it, but Francavilla is PERFECT for the mood of the return of Arcane.

ARCANE! BAD ASS! I wish he wasn’t tied so tightly to the Rot, as he was excellent without it. I guess they don’t want to tie so strongly to hell any more.

Regardless, excellent book (but a bump as I am already a fan of the Swamp Thing / Anton Arcane struggles).


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Saga #3

May 20, 2012
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A GREAT week for comics! Even the comic I have as the weakest of the bunch wasn’t all that bad! The fight for the top spots was tooth and nail!

 

As always, I start with the weakest and work my way up.

 

AVENGERS VS X-MEN #4 (Hickman / Romita / Hanna / Martin) Marvel

There are some real problems with this book. The biggest of which is that it feels like it is just a series of recaps about crossover books, after claiming you don’t need to read those books.  The actual meat of the story is told elsewhere (and it sounds like the best of it is in X-Men books, which I don’t read.)

Still, I like the direction the story is going. Wolverine is starting to act in a more rational manner, which is nice. I expect the Phoenix force is going to fly right past them there on the moon, but we will see.

 

WINTER SOLDIER #5 (Brubaker / Guice / Gaudino / Palmer / Breitweiser) Marvel

This is a nice wrap-up for the story (though it seems like there will be an epilogue or sequel to come). It is an interesting fight and the bit between W.S. and Red Ghost was pretty cool and the arrogance of Doom was spot on. WInter Soldier is not a ‘great’ book, but it is solidly a ‘good’ book.

 

AVENGERS #26 (Bendis / Simonson / Hanna / Keith) Marvel

Man, Walt Simonson is awesome. Just look at some of those pages! Look at the MOVEMENT in them. This is a master at work (and less of the ‘misses’ found in the previous issue). The stuff with Noh and Annie was great and I really hope that this ‘betryal’ works out okay and we get to see more of them. I don’t care about Protector normally, but adding her makes him way more interesting. (Yes, we have seen her before, despite what the guy from The Buy Pile says.)

This is an example of where the crossover stories are better than the main AVX book.

 

BATWOMAN #9 (J.H.Williams III / W.Haden Blackman / Trevor McCarthy) DC

I have written in the past about how much I love Amy Reeder’s work on Madame Xanadu and how bad it was on Batwoman. Trevor McCarthy is a nice change. He goes in for the design vibe of Williams (while not being AS good, but who is?). The lay-outs and execution are interesting. I like the switch between the different ‘worlds’ of the characters.

Characters are everything here, because the plot is kind of a mess. The characters ar strong enough to overcome it though.

 

THUNDERBOLTS #174 (Parker / Shalvey / Martin) Marvel

Surprised to see this book this high on the list of such a good week? Me too, yet here it is. The story is interesting! Following through on the problems with time travel, it messes with our heads and ties everything in a knot… not neat and tidy but firm enough to stop it from unravelling. I miss Techno.

I have been very critical of Declan Shalvey’s work (and some sleuthing tells me it is POSSIBLE that he has read what I had to say), however, a lot of the problems I have had are not apparent this issue. It feels a lot stronger, artwise.

This is the last issue before it switches to Dark Avengers. A name change doesn’t bother me. Adding such a terrible character as Clor or Ragnarok or whatever they are calling him… that bothers me. We’ll see.

 

AVENGERS ACADEMY #30 (Gage / Grummett / Hamscher / Sotomayor) Marvel

Is Christos Gage the best writer going for pure, honest characterization right now? If not, he is up there. Look how believable they ALL are in this book. Every time I see any of the characters talking about ANYTHING, I want to know what they think, because they seem REAL. In the letters page somebody complained about a lack of action. I find the action gets int eh way in this book. Make it pure soap opera and you really have something. In fact, the only scenes I didn’t like were the ones with Shaw in them. I just don’t care about him as he seems to only be there to be the villain.

 

SAUCER COUNTRY #3 (Paul Cornell / Ryan Kelly) Vertigo

This book suddenly got better. The scene with the obviously leading hypnotherapist was great. The bunnies. The argument that there are no facts, just mythology… even if it is real… is a head rush. Wherever this story is going, it isn’t predictable. I like that feeling.

 

WONDER WOMAN #9 (Brian Azzarello / Tony Akins / Dan Green) DC

I’ll start with a criticism: think of how god this book COULD have been, if the art was better. If only Cliff Chiang could draw EVERY issue…

Some people criticize WW because of what it is doing to such a classic character and her mythology. I honestly couldn’t care less. Say this isn’t WW at all and pretend this is a new Vertigo book if you want… I just know that this is the most interesting version of the greek gods I have EVER read. Ares is brilliant. In fact, I liked everything about this issue except the art. Akins isn’t terrible, but he isn’t good enough for the story being told here.

 

SAGA #3 (Brian K. Vaughan / Fiona Staples) Image

Great yet again. The story – the characters – everything.

What I really want to address is the letter that follows I review I read that says that the male lead is ‘weak’. Bullshit. He doesn’t act like your typical, testosterone laden leading man? GOOD. It is called character. Not everybody should act the same way!

Too ANYONE who says that Marko is (these are actual quotes from the mouth breather who wrote in) ‘a testosterone-free girl-man who is mind-numbingly “sensitive”‘ and ‘feeble and effeminate’ I just want to say, grow up. Even past the sexist crap you are layering in here, I am sure glad I don’t know you. Stick to the monster truck races and leave books with actual well-rounded, non stereotypical characters to people who can handle it.

In this context, do you know what ‘sensitive’ means? Not an asshole.

 


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