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Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Saga #14

October 3, 2013
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Pretty decent-sized week… complete with a book I thought I cancelled. Huh…

Starting at, well, that book…

AVENGERS ASSEMBLE #19 (DeConnick / Van Meter / Kitson / Magyar) Marvel

How many times do we need to read the same story? I mean… seriously. I thought I had already dropped this, but now I am doing it for sure.

UNCANNY AVENGERS #12 (Remender / Larroca / Martin) Marvel

This could have been higher if it wasn’t for the terrible art. Has Larocca always been this bad? I don’t recall.

The story is okay. I am not completely sure why Kang is being such a dick, but I have probably just forgotten.

There are better books out there, but the story is holding me so far.

AVENGERS #10 (Hickman / Yu / Alanguilan / Curiel) Marvel

Once again, the same story for the umpteenth time, but this time there was important story elements added to it. Plus the art was nice.

I do wish the Avengers books were better.

THE UNWRITTEN #53 (M.Carey / P.Gross / B.Willingham / M.Buckingham) Vertigo

I have not been enjoying this non-crossover, but this issue was better than it had been. The Fables characters were a little more palatable than the last few issues. It still feels like an Elseworlds book. At least the Unwritten parts are starting to feel more like itself. I liked the story in each others world aspect.

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #27 (Benids / Marquez / Ponsor / Mounts) Marvel

It seems weird to keep calling this story “Spider-Man No More” when he is clearly Spider-Man. Solid read. I am a little disappointed in Taskmaster because they had the chance to make him as cool as he used to be and kind of missed the boat. Now he is generic tough guy with an energy directing ability. Eh.

WONDER WOMAN: FIRST BORN #1 / WONDER WOMAN #23.2 (Brian Azzarello / Aco) DC

First off, this is the only one of these that I actually got the gimmick cover for. I prefer the regular covers generally, but whatever. The effect is well done, at least.

The book inside is really good! The art is great! I would much prefer that this Aco (who I had never heard of) be the designated fill-in artist instead of Tony Akins.

The real treat about this book is that First Born now has some character! I didn’t really like him before, but now he is at least a little interesting.

YOUNG AVENGERS #10 (Gillen / McKelvie / Norton / Wilson) Marvel

Another solid issue of YA. Mother now has a bit more depth and Leah just got nasty. The crazy stalker group is great.

I am looking forward to next issue… as usual.

REVIVAL #14 (Mike Seeley / Mike Norton) Image

One of the better issues of Revival in a while… until that last page. Ick. Jordan is an incredibly complex character. The idea of a suicidal child is awful… but when she is probably right? That makes it worse.

SEX CRIMINALS #1 (Fraction / Zdarsky) Image

Great new debut. It was nearly #1. Here is the thing, though, if you read the title and think, cool, Sex! It probably isn’t for you. Unless it is. It is certainly for ‘mature readers’, but it isn’t salacious. Except when it is.

Fun and interesting, the way sex should be.

SAGA #14 (Brian K. Vaughan / Fiona Staples) Image

Wow, three Image books top the week. This just beats out Sex Criminals because of the awesome scene between Gwendolyn and the Will.

Oh, but it also beats it out due to the touching scene between Heist and Klara.

Or maybe the panel with Sophie and Lying Cat.

Wow, this is just a great comic.

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Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Fables #132

August 25, 2013
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FABLES_132

Busy, eventful and fulfilling week.

But that is about life… this is about comics.

Starting at the weakest.

AVENGERS ASSEMBLE #18 (DeConnick / Kitson / Woodard) Marvel

This has not been a very strong book. Then it crossed over with Captain Marvel and was an actively bad book. I decided to wait it out. Now it is an Infinity ‘tie-in’ that just reads as being pointless.

Enough. Dropped.

AVENGERS #18 (Hickman / Yu / Alanguilan / Gho) Marvel

Also an Infinity book, but this one is one of the ‘core’ books. Jerky and Hickmanesque, but at least it advances the plot, if only a bit and in somewhat opaque ways.

What I know about Infinity. There are aliens attacking… the universe, I guess. They are tough and scary enough that lots of other alien races are teaming up to fight them. Oh, and Thanos is behind it but nobody knows that… or something.

THIEF OF THIEVES #16 (Kirkman / Diggle / Martinbrough / Serrano) Image

Ooh…harsh. Things don’t look good for our hero.

The fact that I have nothing else to really say tells you why this book is so low on the list this week.

DAREDEVIL #30 (Waid / Samnee / Rodriguez) Marvel

This book has two good things going for it: Chris Samnee and that pseudo-emotional sucker punch at the end. And even that doesn’t actually MEAN anything. The ‘alien menace’ wasn’t that interesting and the Silver Surfer appearance was only good for the visual.

This HAS been a great book but the last few issues feel like a real slip for Waid.

ANIMAL MAN # 23 (Jeff Lemire / Steve Pugh / Francis Portela) DC

Solid book. Buddy’s struggles as he deals with the loss of Cliff manifest themselves well as he is more angry than he might otherwise be when dealing with threats. The L’il Nemo pastiche is also working perfectly, and it is better as it flips back between that and Buddy.

And now… betrayal!

X-Men #4 (Wood / Lopez / Smith / Peter) Marvel

A very well written book. We finally deal with Jubilee the vampire (I still think that is stupid… but you also shouldn’t just ignore it), and the backlash of Storm’s actions in the last story are mixed with an in-air rescue… and another in-air rescue.

Too bad it was marred but some really sloppy art. In the Storm team part anyone. The art in the Jubilee part (especially the baby) worked well.

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #16 (Slott / Ramos / Olazaba / Delgado) Marvel

So, about that secret identity, Phil…

The exposure of Phil Urich worked on many, MANY levels. The chaos it created showed how WRONG Otto was to take that tack, which really worked for the story.

The only problems I had were the summary dismissal of Norah. Not only did I not like it, but it was ridiculous and the only acceptable story going forward is her suing the hell out of the Daily Bugle.

That at the ‘Goblin Knight’ is a really lame name.

REVIVAL #13 (Tim Seeley / Mike Norton) Image

Great characterization issue. A formerly dead kid gets all spooky. A former player gets all charming. A doctor gets all murdery… or at least exposed as such.

Did anyone else think those knitting needles were going to find themselves buried in someone’s chest?

And did he just… discorporate?

WONDER WOMAN #23 (Brian Azzarello / Cliff Chiang) DC

Do you know what kind of comics I usually don’t like? Issue-long, over-powered fight scenes. WHat was this book? An issue-long, over-powered fight scene.

But it was really good. I should have known something was up the moment I said to myself, “You know, War is pretty awesome.”

That would be War the character, not war the concept.

Once again… looking forward to the next step.

FABLES #132 (Willingham / Buckingham / Leialoha) Vertigo

Remember when they formed the Fables super-hero team and it seemed like a neat concept that just didn’t really pan out?

The new Knights of the Round Table seems like the same basic concept but made way, way cooler. I still don’t like Brandish so seeing him get yet another comeuppance was nice.

Fables has been not as consistently awesome as it once was (barring Willingham’s occasional messed-up political commentaries) and it is still WAY better than Fairest, but this Round Table story feels like it has the potential to be really great.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Ultimate Spider-Man #25

July 22, 2013
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Another week with really strong contenders for the top spot. Now that I have been adding a pic to the post it was tempting to make either Scarlet or Revival the top book just because the covers are so nice, but I have to be true!

Starting at the bottom…

AVENGERS #16 (Hickman / Spencer / Caselli / Martin) Marvel

Well, they can’t all be winners. Sigh. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love the Avengers. I have the full run… yes the FULL run, right back to 1963.

Last night I was trying to remember the last time the Avengers were as bad as they are now. Geoff Johns? Maybe not. Chuck Austen for sure.

Sigh.

AVENGERS ASSEMBLE #17 (DeConnick / Buffagni / Woodard) Marvel

I don’t mind the story here but it isn’t enough to overcome the awful art. This AA / Captain Marvel crossover has made me want to cancel them both. In fact, they READ like books that are about to be cancelled, if that makes sense.

FABLES #131 (Willingham / Buckingham / Leialoha) Vertigo

First off – great cover. One of many nice covers this week. The story is solid. The Brandish ‘surprise’ (which was telegraphed all through this issue) was interesting, but not as much as the Rose Red story. The only reason that this issue is so far down is that is seems more like a prelude to great things than great things itself.

ANIMAL MAN #22 (Jeff Lemire / Steve Pugh / Francis Portela) DC

Steve Pugh’s depiction of the Red was really wonderful this issue! Maxine’s influence on the place is a welcome addition! It contrasted nicely with the brutal attack on Buddy. Of course you all knew exactly where the Cliff thing was going as soon as she started, but some lessons need to be learned, as the Shepherd pointed out. The villain reveal was great for fans of the old Teen Titans book… back when it was good.

ALL-NEW X-MEN #14 (Brian Michael Bendis / Stuart Immonen / Wade von Grawbadger / Marte Gracia) Marvel

Another striking cover. This issue was a good old fashioned super fight… but done really well. There was action, there were quips, there was plot advancement, there was villainous escapes and captures. Just a good comic for people who like old-school super-heroics.

WONDER WOMAN #22 (Brian Azzarello / Cliff Chiang) DC

And New Genesis joins the new DC Universe! I liked it! I wasn’t sure about Highfather being kind of a dick, but his last line showed that there are layers within layers here. Orion gets more characterization that works for him. Meanwhile, back on earth…

Good stuff. (despite still being the ‘first story’ on issue 22)

SCARLET #7 (Bendis / Maleev) Icon

This easily could have been the top book. I almost wanted to put in at #1 just because of the beautiful cover.

What stopped it from being #1 is that very little happened. It just happened very well, if you get what I am saying. The plot advanced in a very small way, but it a well-written, compelling and interesting fashion.

One of the best books going… but it just doesn’t come out often enough. Read the trades.

REVIVAL #12 (Tim Seeley / Mike Norton) Image

First, let em do a little cut and paste: “This easily could have been the top book. I almost wanted to put in at #1 just because of the beautiful cover.”

I have been close to cancelling this book in the past. I felt it had a great high concept that was being squandered. Then it devolved into random racism that didn’t seem to advance the plot at it became a bit of a chore to read.

This issue feels like they finally got it right, end to end.The emotional impact on both sides was well presented. The potential story threads were laid out nicely. Even the racism angle seemed to have a point this time.

Good book. Now keep it up.

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #25 (Bendis / Marquez / Ponsor) Marvel

Is there a character that you really feel what he is going through more than Miles Morales? If there is, let me know because I want to read that book.

Why he doesn’t want to wear the costume makes perfect sense. Why others want him to wear the costume makes perfect sense. Why he would end up making the decision he makes, makes perfect sense.

Jessica Drew was REALLY good in this issue. I have not been a big fan of the Ultimate Spider-Woman because I am not a fan of the clone angle, but here it works to perfection.

If you aren’t reading Ultimate Spider-man, you are missing out on some of the best characterization in comics.

My top 5 books, in no particular order are: Ultimate Spider-Man, Saga, Hawkeye, Scarlet and… whatever I say at this point will be fairly random as there are a bunch. But that is my top 4 for sure. (I would add Joe the Barbarian, but it is hardly current. Hopefully Sandman: Overture will join this list in the fall.)


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Batman #21

June 16, 2013
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This was not a great week. A small number of books and nothing that was really awesome.

That isn’t to say there wasn’t anything to read…

Starting at the weakest…

SUICIDE SQUAD #21 (Ales Kot / Patrick Zircher) DC

I’m not sure about this book. I added it back because I heard good things about the new writer, but he seems to be one of those writers that has everything very frenetic. I prefer things a little more linear… for this kind of book. Still worth reading further…

AVENGERS ASSEMBLE #16 (DeConnick / Buffagni / Bellaire) Marvel

This is not really Avengers Assemble. It is really Captain Marvel. First off, the cover is terrible. They should have let the interior artist do the cover because what they got is ugly.

If you like Captain Marvel, you will like this. I am borderline on both.

GREAT PACIFIC #7 (Joe Harris / Martin Morazzo) Image

My biggest complaint about this book was that it wasn’t moving forward. That changed this issue. It is no longer just some guy hanging out on a garbage pile. There is a settlement… with people… and the U.N…. and a terrorist… and a … tyrant in the making? Maybe?

Well worth reading.

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #3 (Bendis / McNiven / Pichelli / Dell / Ponsor) Marvel

GROOT! Forget the cover, the star of this book is the Racoon’s plant-like pal. Space politics and a big escape. Iron Man seems so out of place in this book… but he makes it have the one piece of familiarity that gives you a look into the new universe… or should I say Galaxy, around us. He makes the book feel a little more accessible.

BATMAN #21 (Scott Snyder / Greg Capullo / Danny Miki) DC

I have been hearing many good things about Snyder’s Batman, but I resisted because they seemed to always be in some big multi-book crossover and I wanted to try one of the books, not all of them.

Well, I decided to pick it up… and it was god! Not awesomely amazing, but good enough to be the best book this week. It is the start of Year Zero, which is a new 52 version of the early days of Batman. Good story, good art, good comic. So far, I recommend it.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Rocketeer: Hollywood Horror #4

May 12, 2013
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The-Rocketeer_Hollywood-Horror_4-195x300

This was a small, and not great, week. The comic of the week wasn’t even great. Good reads, but nothing exciting.

Starting at the weakest…

AVENGERS ASSEMBLE #15 AU (Ewing / Guice / Palmer / D’Armata) Marvel

This comic was… pretty stupid and fairly pointless. Starting from having the Ultrons pretend to be Daleks right through to a super-powered soccer player… really?

I am guessing this book may have been interesting for people who read the Captain Britain and M.I.6 book. THat is just a guess because the comic acted like we would already know and care about this characters.

SUICIDE SQUAD #20 (Ales Kot / Patrick Zircher) DC

I loved the old Suicide Squad but when this run started, it just wasn’t very good, so I stopped buying it. With this new writer, I had heard that better things were expected so I decided to give it a try.

So far so… we’ll see. It is very violent, but it seems to be purposely violent. Are they just torturing these characters for fun? Killing people as a motivational tool? My biggest complaint seemed to be reversed int he same issue as they implied that their expendable characters couldn”t actually die… but then they seemed to take that back, which is good.

We’ll see.

UNCANNY AVENGERS (Rick Remender / Daniel Acuna) Marvel

Interesting. The arrogance of Sunfire was well done as it was obvious that he was doing it to mask his fear. (That line with Thor offering him a hug was terrible, though. It was like Remender had a line he wanted to put in and there was nobody suitable to say it and he just made Thor say it anyway.)

I also fine that Wasp has been acting WAY out of character. It is a point of view he wanted in the book, so he gave it to someone, even though it doesn’t fit well. I suppose that is the problem with characters with long histories. They were much more heroic in past eras and now we need them to be more… gritty.

AVENGERS #11 (Hickman / Deodato / Martin) Marvel

Speaking of odd characters choices… Black Widow is written differently from book to book. Does anyone recall that she used to lead the Avengers? Casually suggesting that torture and killing are the best way to handle things?
Now people will argue that it IS in character and they are not wrong. She is just very inconsistent.

Shang Chi is awesome in this issue. Sam and Bobby are pretty fun, too. That poker scene is sloppy and awful, but you can’t win them all.

ROCKETEER: HOLLYWOOD HORROR #4 (Roger Langridge / J. Bone) IDW

This is a fun issue. That’s about it. That makes it the best book of the week.

One note… I will often speak out against sexism in comics, even when there can be excuses for it.

Do you know how to get away with it? Adam Hughes knows. So do the Dodsons.

Do it with style.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Hawkeye #9

April 11, 2013
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The second week in a row where I have no real complaints about any of the books I read.

Have I gone soft in my old age?

Starting at the weakest…

AVENGERS #9 (Hickman / Weaver / Deodato / Ponsor) Marvel

Hickman sometimes seems to have no idea how to tell a story… but the story he is TRYING to tell seeps through.

Oh wait… I said I wasn’t complaining. You got me.

I find those gene bombs, or whatever they are called, to be suddenly interesting. Do you see what was being formed there? It was a uni-mind. That is pretty cool.
I just hope they don’t figure out how to turn Starbrand into a hero. One Sentry was plenty.

ROCKETEER: HOLLYWOOD HORROR #3 (Roger Langridge / J.Bone) IDW

I feel like I am supposed to recognize a whole bunch of people in this issue, and I don’t. Like… isn’t that narrater supposed to be Groucho Marx? I thought os, but he doesn’t look like him at all. Hmmm.

I like how they are showing that it isn’t so easy to just make more of those rocket packs.

Bridge issue.

AVENGERS ASSEMBLE #14AU (Ewing / Guice / Palmer / D’Armata) Marvel

So, I realized what Marvel has done. There have been a couple of these AU books that I bought, thinking they were part of the regular title. They aren’t. It is a bait and switch. They are really stand alone comics that they have stuck in using SIMILAR Numbering from the regular books to convince people to buy them.

That is kind of slimy.

But I would have bought them anyway… and been disappointed. That is, until this issue. The Fantastic Four and Superior Spider-Man were lame comics trying to fix stupid continuity problems. This one is instead giving us back story and showing what it was like when the Ultrons sudden;y took over. Much better.
Plus, any Avengers book with Tom Palmer on inks gets a thumbs up from me!

FANTASTIC FOUR #6 (Matt Fraction / Mark Bagley / Mark Farmer / Paul Mounts) Marvel

This is the real #6. It is good issue, moving the story along nicely. My only problem is that whenever you let the Franklin genie out of its bottle, it is hard to get it back inside.

Oh, and didn’t they just execute Blastaar? That doesn’t seem like them.

UNCANNY AVENGERS #6 (Rick Remender / Daniel Acuna) Marvel

This was the best issue of this title yet, I think. A brash Thor and a way of getting certain new powers in the hands of the greatest Avengers villain of all time.

Well, maybe the second greatest. Third if you count the Masters of Evil as one thing.

UNCANNY X-MEN #4 (Bendis / Bachalo / Townsend) Marvel

This issue had a cool premise… what else was going on during the conversation between the two X-teams? The interplay between Emma and the Frostlings was well done… but I actually think she should want them to stay where Jean is. Maybe since her powers are a little messed up, she needs them handy.
The reveal was poorly handled. It was poorly NOT handles in the previous X-issue and now it was poorly handled here. It makes sense but we are given none of it… just a cold reveal that isn’t even the cliffhanger. They should have revealed it last week.

AGE OF ULTRON #5 (Bendis / Hitch / Neary / Mounts) Marvel

Now we are getting somewhere. I have liked the mini a certain amount, but now things are going to start hitting the fan. I like that the heroes are being proactive and while I think they are wrong to do so, I really hope Logan’s team succeeds. I want to see what happens.

I bet that Pym has saved the earth at least once, no?

SAUCER COUNTRY #14 (Paul COrnell / Ryan Kelly) Vertigo

Cancelled right when it is getting good. I have already heard that Cornell and Kelly are planning to continue the comic elsewhere. I woudl certainly buy Saucer Country from Image or Dark horse (or IDW or…)

I’m just saying.

SAGA #12 (Brian K. Vaughan / Fiona Staples) Image

So this issue had some controversy. Get over it.

This is the second issue of Saga that did not win comic of the week for me, but that is because I love the Hawkeye issue so much.

Wonderful interplay between the Prince and Heist. You really can see each side and what motivates them.

One thing is certain, there are no ‘good guys’ in the war.

HAWKEYE #9 (Fraction / Aja / Hollingsworth) Marvel

This comic was amazing. It had a little of that time jumping thing that can be confusing but if you can follow along with Pulp Fiction, you can follow this.
Everything that made last issue seem less than perfect was here this time. Everything that made Clint seem like a bit of an ass was delved into here… but boy, did he screw up with Jessica. Big time.

And then the end… no!

Great comic.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Saucer Country #13

March 22, 2013
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These reviews are very late because last week was VERSeFest – the awesome poetry festival that I am on the FOC for. THat included the first inductions into the VERSe Ottawa Hall of Honour (William Hawkins & Greg Frankson). That was my main project and I am really proud of it.

Starting at the weakest…

BEFORE WATCHMEN: OZYMANDIAS #6 (Len Wein / Jae Lee) DC

Doing stories of the earlier days of Watchmen characters… cool. Doing ‘backstory’ on the actual Watchmen story, ‘filling in details’… not cool. Whenever they have done that, the book has sucked. This issue was no exception. Way to ruin a decent mini.

AVENGERS ASSEMBLE #13 (DeConnick / Woods / Bagley / Hanna) Marvel

This was okay. DeConnick’s AA stories aren’t bad, but they read like fill-ins. That is not a good thing.

WOLVERINE and the X-MEN #26 (Aaron / Perez / Martin) Marvel

The flashback scenes were great. Too bad the modern art was so sub-standard. I like the story, but there wasn’t enough with the kids this issue. Dog is interesting. Has he appeared before (as a grown up character, that is)?

ROCKETEER: HOLLYWOOD HORROR #2 (Roger Langridge / J Bone) IDW

Another solid issue of Rocketeer. Why do they do these as minis? Is it a marketing thing? Is it easier to attract creators?

AGE OF ULTRON #2 (Bendis / Hitch / Neary / Mounts) Marvel

So he really was sitting there trying to come up with a plan. Cool. I like the SPidey story-within-a-story. They are still moving at a pretty slow pace. I just heard that Neil Gaiman is co-writing the final issue and that the rumours about a new character are about Angela instead of Marvel Man. The former is exciting. The latter is disappointing.

FANTASTIC FOUR #5 (Matt Fraction / Mark Bagley / Mark Farmer / Paul Mounts) Marvel

I am enjoying the two FF books. This time travel story was interesting with a nice twist at the end. The thing with … Thing had ominous possibilities.

UNCANNY X-MEN #3 (Bendis / Bachalo / Townsend) Marvel

Dissension in the ranks. Nice to see Magneto isn’t a push-over. The face-off with the Avengers was great. The way they were neutralized was great. The idea that they could take advantage of the situation was great.

Bendis does good X-Men.

SAUCER COUNTRY #13 (Paul Cornell / Ryan Kelly) Vertigo

Why did it take cancellation to make this book go somewhere? THe ending of this book was excellent as those little ‘imaginary people’ were one of the few things I really didn’t like in the book.

I am looking forward to seeing who they are working for.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Fantastic Four #4

February 17, 2013
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This was an odd week. It wasn’t a bad read, overall, but nothing really jumped out as amazing.

I do have a note about what is going on over at Marvel and how it affected my buying choices this week.

I am an Avengers guy. I have literally every (core) Avengers book ever… all the way back to 1963. I used to collect the ancillary Avengers titles… but they starting putting out too many. The bloody awful Chaykin mini is what finally broke that and it got me to just stop buying the bad ones.

I am NOT a X-Men guy. There have been good runs, but the level of interest with me hasn’t been high since… Claremont, really. (Though, I used to enjoy Peter David’s X-Factor.)

Then Bendis went from the Avengers to X-Men and Hickman took over Avengers.

So far, the Avengers books under Hickman are a mess. Meanwhile, All-New X-Men by Bendis has been one of the best new books I have read… at least among superhero stuff… and not counting Hawkeye… o’kay, let’s just say it is good.

Why? Characterization. Hickman does not consider that a priority. He writes the Avengers more like the JLA. THey are power sets, not characters. Bendis is ALL about characterization.

So, this week there was a new Secret Avengers book. I stopped buying the old one, but it was still Avengers so I considered giving it a try. The premise is that the members of the team get mind-wiped after every mission so they don’t even know they are on the team.

Does that sound like the basis for good character development?

Uncanny X-Men was also out. I was NOT planning on picking it up, initially. I am very firmly NOT in the Cyclops was right camp. But still… Bendis…Bachalo…

So, I bought Uncanny and not Secret. And I also bought WOlverine & the X-Men for the first time.

Bendis has made me switch sides…

Starting at the weakest…

BEFORE WATCHMEN: COMEDIAN #5 (Brian Azzarello / J.G. Jones) DC

It is possible to write a comic where the lead character is interesting despite being completely unlikeable. This is no that comic. This is a generic Vietnam is hell comic led by a scumbag.

Just not very enjoyable.

AVENGERS ASSEMBLE #12 (DeConnick / Woods / Hanna / Beredo) Marvel

This book continues to read like… it doesn’t matter. It reads like fill-in arcs despite having a permanent writer. Those fill-in arcs are okay, but in the end, if I don’t feel like the stories mean anything, I will lose interest.

WOLVERINE & THE X-MEN #25 (Aaron / Perez / Martin) Marvel

So, I decided to pick this up. It looked like a ‘jumping on’ book… and I guess it is. My only problem here is that there are so many characters that I don’t know that it is hard getting a handle on them. Aaron does a good job making sure there is character across the board, though, but there is a lot of back story I am missing. What is the deal with Kid Apocolypse / Genesis? Etc.

How will this tie in with All-New X-Men?

It was certainly good enough to buy #26.

AMERICA’S GOT POWERS #5 (Jonathan Ross / Bryan Hitch) Image

I think this will read better as a trade. I also wonder of Sarah Palin knows that she is a villain in a comic and whether she is okay with that. 🙂

Don’t believe the cover. This is no longer a 6 issue mini. It has been stretched to 7. I hope the extra issue is more story and not just more explosions and chaos.

UNCANNY X-MEN #1 (Bendis / Bachalo / Townsend) Marvel

I wasn’t going to get this, as I mentioned above, because it is completely populated with characters I didn’t like. Cyclops, Emma, Magneto, Magik… none of them appeal to me. What does appeal to me is what Bendis is doing with the X-universe. I find it interesting that he ramped the powers down in Cyclops, Magneto etc. and then created a new character that is probably more powerful that all the rest of them put together. That creates an interesting dynamic potential.

So does the last page reveal. I won’t give it away, but it could be interesting.

SAUCER COUNTRY #12 (Paul Cornell / Ryan Kelly) Vertigo

Sometimes the best thing for a comic is for it to be cancelled. Since it was announced they put out the best stand-alone issue (last issue) and now the story seems to actually been progressing towards a resolution (of sorts, at least), when the weakness of the book was that it was meandering.

AVENGERS ARENA #4 (Hopeless / Vitti / Martin) Marvel

First off, ignore the cover. It has absolutely nothing to do with the contents of the book.

I have not been sold on this book at all… and then this issue happened. Maybe it was because it spotlights character I actually care about. Either way, it is the first issue that makes me feel emotion or empathy towards the characters in it. And the last page… holy crap. Is that going to stick? If so, if they ever revive Runaways, that will change that book… a lot.

FANTASTIC FOUR #4 (Matt Fraction / Mark Bagley / Mark Farmer / Paul Mounts) Marvel

What did I say above… characterization. This book has it in spades. Reed’s inner monologue was brilliant. Maybe it is because I can relate to it… being married 20 years to someone who owns my heart utterly.

I don’t know. I will just say that the book moved me.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: All-New X-Men #6

January 20, 2013
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Wait a minute… didn’t Saga come out this week?

 

Starting at the weakest…

 

ULTIMATE IRON MAN #4 (Edmondson / Buffagni / Troy) Marvel

Let me reiterate what I have said before. At the moment there is only one Ultimate comic worth buying and that is Spider-Man. (That one is VERY good, however.)

This mini was… I don’t want to say terrible. I just found that I didn’t care about anything that was happening in it. At all.

 

AVENGERS ASSEMBLE #11 (Kelly Sue DeConnick / Stefano Caselli) Marvel

Not bad but, is this book going to remain as ‘Avengers-lite’? I know it is supposed to be accessible for the movie crowd but hopefully it will get a bit more meat on its bones. I liked the use of the Hulk, though. (Which, of course, mirrored the Hulk’s usage in the movie…)

 

COMEBACK (Brisson / Walsh / Bellaire) Image

While this book has not lived up to its promise, it is interesting. A little bit of Rasl. A whole lot of Primer.

 

SAGA #9 (Brian K. Vaughan / Fiona Staples) Image

This is the worst issue of Saga yet… which is to say it is still better than most comics on the market. I just found it kind of… dull this month. Gwendolyn is interesting and they just tied Slave Girl into the mains tory, but …still. A little lacklustre by Saga standards.

 

CAPTAIN MARVEL #9 (DeConnick / Andrade / Bellaire) Marvel

Just as Saga doesn’t have its normal spot, Captain Marvel’s normal spot near the BOTTOM of the list was obliterated this month! First off, I LOVE the new art! It keeps the non-mainstream, off-kilter look of the previous artists, while feeling less dark. It is pure style. I like it!

Plus, the story was great! Carol’s own Pepper Potts! Tony Stark acting like a dick! A cat… (side note… did this issue feel like it could be a Power Girl comic?)

Then, the ending was great! Looking forward to the next issue. I hope they can keep up the trend!

 

NEW AVENGERS #2 (Hickman / Epting / Magyar / D’Armata) Marvel

Let’s just start with that great Jock cover. Sweet. This issue was all talking… and it was very well done. I think the fact that the comic was really just a few scenes stopped that jerky feeling I often get from Hickman’s work. The characterization was mostly good… though when did Black Panther become such an asshole? (Exception: the scene with Namor was spot on.)

You know something is bad when Captain America suggests building the Infinity Gauntlet. Who is going to wield it? It would have to be Cap, no? Who else would they trust?

 

ALL-NEW X-MEN #6 (Bendis / Marquez / Gracia) Marvel

Is Marquez a fill-in artist or is he taking over, because with all due respect to Immonen, I like this better. With his experience on Ultimate Spider-Man it should be no surprise, but he gets that YOUTHFUL look down pat. Perfect.

Now, why is this book #1? Characterization. There are three major interactions here. Jean/Kitty (and a bit of Storm), Cyclops/Wolverine, and Angel/Angel. The first and last were both excellent… extremely. You really see how Kitty has matured and also see how dealing with mental powers it so difficult. The scene between the two Angels is just joyous and fun. I wasn’t sure what would happen because I don’t read X-Force and I have no idea what was going on with Angel. Is he sometimes Archangel or what?

The Cyclops / Wolverine thing was fine, but not as emotionally interesting as the other two, though it set-up that last page reveal.

I am really enjoying this book. Is it REALLY better than Saga? Overall, not even close. This issue though, you bet it was.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Saga #7

November 24, 2012
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A little late this week. Sorry. I have been insanely busy. It wasn’t just the reviews, but reading that got left behind.

Starting at the weakest…

THE ULTIMATES #18 (Humphries / Ross / Milla) Marvel

I liked this storyline when it first started. The widespread break-up of the U.S. was something they could do in the Ultimate Universe that they couldn’t in the ‘616’. It was interesting. President Cap also had promise (even though they had to give him a character makeover to do it… that was already in process and the old version of the character really was awful anyway).

Over the last few issues, though, the book has been getting worse and worse. The art has ben really bad but I was dealing with that. This issue was just terrible. Beyond the awful art, the story was no better. It was just a big mass punch-up with no tension at all. Then the rah-rah go America tuff was just really annoying. They took an interesting premise and drove it into the crapper.

I dropped this book from my pull list following this issue.

NEW AVENGERS #33 (Bedis / Oeming / Beredo) Marvel

Let’s get this out of the way first. The art is horrendous. It isn’t the art itself that is so bad, because it isn’t. It is a style that I don’t dislike at all. But it is SO wrong for this book that it beggars belief. This is the middle of a storyline! Think of how ridiculous this is going to look once it is collected. Bad, bad choice.

The spontaneous possession powers of Daniel Drumm make for a very uninteresting fight scene. It just doesn’t mean anything.

I have a feeling something bad is going to happen to Luke. Either that or he saves the day.

FANTASTIC FOUR #1 (Matt Fraction / Mark Bagley / Mark Farmer / Paul Mounts) Marvel

I have great hopes for this book. I expect it to be a lot better than that Hickman mess and I like the premise of the two companion books.

Having said that, I have a couple of problems with this issue along the lines of characterization. So Reed is going to just lie, lie, lie to his family again. Haven’t we run this story before? Like a thousand times? It also only works of Sue acts like a doormat. And for them not to pay attention to Franklin’s dream… this isn’t just some kid’s silly nightmare. He has powers! Powers that let him see the future! What the hell!

I realize this issue was just to get them where Fraction wants them to be, but come on. Try a little harder.

Really nice art, though.

ALL-NEW X-MEN #1 (Brian Michael Bendis / Wade von Grawbadger) Marvel

This book has promise. Once gain the premise to get the book where it needs to be is a little shaky, but not as bad as the FF. I am looking forward to reading the cash of eras as we learn how much has been lost as comics get darker and grittier. We have gained a lot since the 60’s but lost a lot as well.

Another book with really nice art.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #697 (Slott / Gage / Camuncoli / Green / Fabela) Marvel

So Harry has joined the cast of Breaking Bad? No? Seriously though, it was nice to see him in that context. The Hobgoblin fight was decent and I LOVE the new Roderick status quo. Now I want to see the new Unicorn! Max saving Norah was pretty cool. Now we just have to wait… only another day for me… for the big issue #698.

CASTLE WAITING #18 (Linda Medley) Fantagraphics

This is it. The last issue. Sigh.

I can’t really recommend this issue, to be honest. Not that this issue us bad, but it is the last issue of a very long story. What I DO want to recommend is the collections. Buy them. Read them. Love them.

Am I crazy or dos it seem like she should be announcing a Snow White variant as her newest book?

I have heard that Medley is somewhat disillusioned with the industry so this may not just be the last CW, but the last Linda Medley comic. I hope not.

AVENGERS ASSEMBLE #9 (Kelly Sue DeConnick / Stefano Caselli) Marvel

I was ready to cancel this book but held off to see what DeConnick was going to do with it. My review is really simple: do you enjoy the fun style of the Avenging Spider-Man book? If so, you will like this. It doesn’t take itself too seriously without turning into farce. It is just good, fun comics. Yay!

THE MASSIVE #6 (Brian Wood / Garry Brown / Dave Stewart) Dark Horse

I am a fan of showing the pacifism is a viable option. (That is one of the reasons I love Saga so much.) This book is clearly leading towards a confrontation between the pacifist Captain and his less so inclined muscle. This is just a consistently good book.

GREAT PACIFIC #1 (Joe Harris / Martin Morazzo) Image

This may be getting a #1 bump but I really like the characters so far. It makes this hook in and make me want to read more. That is good because the plot is VERY undeveloped. Not that it really is, but we can only go by what we see and we are not told very much about what is actually going on here. I look forward to reading more to find out.

THIEF OF THIEVES #10 (Kirkman / Asmus / Martinbrough / Serrano) Image

Is there ANY comic that feels like a movie that Thief of Thieves? Has this been optioned? Have they cast Clooney yet? (Not saying he would be the best choice… just who I think they would cast.)

This book ALWAYS has great characterization but what puts it over the top this issue is the scene with Emma as hostage. The swings between fear and comfort and fear and terror are SO well done. Now we are going to see thieving skills put to a different use.

SAGA #7 (Brian K. Vaughan / Fiona Staples) Image

What can I say about this book? WOnderful story. Amazing art. Great comic. It is easily my favourite comic coming out right now. Having Alana in a towel that whole time was brilliant. Watching her tough-girl attitude turn on a dime when she realized she couldn’t protect her child was absolutely perfect.

I read a review that criticized the book because the characters seemed too human.

That’s what I call missing the point… by a wide margin.


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