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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.

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Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom #2

September 18, 2012
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This is one of those weeks that doesn’t have anything that really blew me away but neither did it have anything that was really bad.

 

Starting at the weakest…

 

IT GIRL AND THE ATOMICS #2 (Rich / Norton / Passalaqua) Image

After getting sucked in by the Mike Allred swerve I was ready to cut bait and run but Ruthanne said she enjoyed the book. After altering my expectations, so did I. Still, there isn’t a lot of meat on this. If it is going to ride on ‘fun’, it needs to be quite good. It is kind of borderline.

 

AVENGERS ASSEMBLE #7 (Bendis / Bagley / Miki / Mounts) Marvel

The weakest Avengers book as it still doesn’t feel like it has a reason to exist, other than pairing Bendis and Bagley. And even that is running its course soon. I am not a big fan of space stuff. We’ll see.

 

SAUCER COUNTRY #7 (Paul Cornell / NOT Ryan Kelly) Vertigo

Right off the bat, the cover says Ryan Kelly. It is not Ryan Kelly. It is David Lapham. That is fine (though Ruthanne disagrees – she thinks the art is awful), but it IS false advertising.

I liked when this book took a break to lay groundwork for the world as far as aliens goes. Now they have done it again and it is only issue 7. When I review The Massive I talk about how great the world-building is in that book. This book, not as great. The first sidebar issue was good. This one is pushing it. Get back to the characters. This is a good, but not great book. Don’t squander it.

 

WINTER SOLDIER #10 (Brubaker / Guice / Breitweiser) Marvel

I am not a fan of brainwashing stories, though with a book starring Bucky and Black Widow, you are pretty much going there. My problem with it is that when it is all said and done, Natasha is going to be fine, as if nothing happened. The number of times her brain has been scrubbed should really end in major brian trauma. Having said that, the story and art lend themselves to just the right atmosphere and tension. Hey did they kill Sitwell? Has he been killed before? How many times?

 

CAPTAIN AMERICA #17 (Brubaker / Bunn / Eaton / Magyar / Guru-eFx) Marvel

How do you get me to not care so much that the villains are kind of lame? Don’t put them in the book and instead throw in some Zemo! Yeah, that works. Too bad it looks like the Discordians are back next issue.

One thing… why can’t they just stop broadcasting that tv signal? Am I missing something?

 

BEFORE WATCHMEN: COMEDIAN #3 (Brian Azzarello / J.G. Jones) DC

What an all-around unlikeable tool. Kin said in his review that this mini makes him wish Comedian didn’t die at the start of Watchmen. It makes me glad he did. This issue was better than the previous because it didn’t read like the comic version of Forrest Gump. Also, I don’t need to like a character for them to be interesting, but I wonder how much ‘Natural Born Killers’ style response are they getting. “He is bad-ass!” No. The point is that he is despicable and evil. He isn’t a loveable jerk like Guy Gardner. He is just a rapist scumbag.

 

AVENGING SPIDER-MAN #12 (Kevin Shinick / Aaron Kuder / Matt Hollingsworth) Marvel

This book assumes a lot. It assumes you have seen Inception. Luckily I have. It also seems to assume you are reading Deadpool’s book. I am not. I have no idea why he wants someone to kill him. (It also assumes you know what Breakfast Club is, but I am 44. No problems here.) All that aside, this was a fun read. Deadpool out-wackys Spidey and the romp through Spidey’s dreamscape is pretty fun. And the Hypno Hustler next issue? I am in!

 

AVENGERS VS X-MEN #11 (Bendis / Coipel / Morales / Martin) Marvel

Strong, high-energy comic that moves the story right where it needs to be (and exactly where I predicted). I have to take issue with Coipel’s story telling skills, however. Have you heard the news? Have you heard the spoilers? I won’t break it hear, but let me just say… if I HADN’T heard the news, I still wouldn’t know it had happened. How does it look any different than anyone else he has been beaten and just gets up to fight again? This happened when they ‘killed’ Bucky too. You shouldn’t have to read spoiler sot understand what happened in a comic you just read.

 

NEW AVENGERS #30 (Bendis / Deodato / Beredo) Marvel

You know when there is a big crossover and it has little side issues that are expressly designed to NOT move the plot along so that people won’t miss anything if they don’t read it? You know how that makes the comics pretty lame?

Bendis knows how to NOT do that. From the prison break issue to this one, he gives you reasons to CARE about what is going on. In this issue he reminds us that in the aftermath of AVX, there should be increased anti-mutant hatred and paranoia. He also gets a character to make a decision that makes sense for his development. (Not that I agree with his logic…but that doesn’t make it out of character.)

Just a good story.

 

THE MASSIVE #4 (Brian Wood / Garry Brown / Dave Stewart) Dark Horse

New artist… yet it doesn’t really look very different. I would have to go back an compare the two, but the feeling of the book is still the same. This issue take a step back from world-building and switches to character-building. Good. I like both but it was time for an issue like this. I am quite enjoying the Massive and I really hope, like Saga, that it can stick to the principles of pacifism while also being realistic about it. So far so good.

 

ROCKETEER: CARGO OF DOOM #2 (Waid / Samnee) IDW

This is just fun. Dinosaurs with jetpacks? Really? Awesome! I like the addition of Earl Garland. I read elsewhere that he is anachronistic, but I don’t think a comic like this is required to portray systematic racism in a realistic context. Instead give us a strong (in every sense of the word) black character he acts as an equal to the others without anyone making a thing about it. I wouldn’t even have mentioned it if I didn’t read someone complaining about it.

Fun comic.


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: Fairest #5

July 10, 2012
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A pretty deep week. A solid-sized stack without getting overwhelming.

 

Starting at the weakest and moving up.

 

WORLDS’ FINEST #3 (Levitz / Perez / Maguire / Koblish) DC

So, I said I was going to drop this but I was overruled. I am not the only one with input on my comic purchases and Ruthanne wanted to give it another try as we like to support female character led books.

Well, it is still on the bottom of the pile, but it has pulled back from the brink a bit. The action was decent, though the villain is still lame. The cheesecake factor dialed down a bit, with the only spot being a funny little nod to the old Power Girl costume. I do like both Perez and Maguire. The comic is good for at least one more issue.

 

THE INFERNAL MAN-THING #1 (Gerber / Nowlan) Marvel

So Steve Gerber used to write a Man-Thing book. (That is where Howard the Duck first came to be.) It was weird. A lot of what Gerber wrote was pretty weird and Man-Thing was a perfect vehicle for it. It turns out that Marvel had an unused Man-Thing script that Gerber had done that was being PAINTED (!!!) by Kevin Nowlan. Yowza! I wasn’t going to miss that!

The thing is… it is pretty opaque. It is a sequel to an old book, which they reprint… part of it, anyway. I assume the rest will be in issue 2 and 3. I am hanging in there, hoping things get to be a little clearer.

 

AVENGERS VS X-MEN #7 (Fraction / Coipel / Morales / Martin) Marvel

Pretty clear who the villain are here. The one thing I am happy about is that the announced post-AVX books imply (to me anyway) that the current X-Men status quo is going to get demolished. In fact, I am pretty sure Cyclops is going to end up dead (if not all of the original X-Men). While I am not one to call for big deaths, they almost have to do something like that. They can’t just say “oh, sorry… we took over the world but we didn’t mean anything by it…”

The book hasn’t been awesome, but it has been better than many of the preceding ‘event’ books.

 

iZOMBIE #27 (Chris Roberson / Michael Allred) Vertigo

Ah, what could have been. The story is good. The characters are GREAT. The only real problem is the pace that the plot has been unfolding after the past handful of issues. That’s what happens when a book gets cancelled prematurely.

 

AMAZING SPIDER-MEN #689 (Slott / Camuncoli / Janson / D’Armata) Marvel

With the announcement that many (most?) of Marvel’s titles are getting a creative team shuffle, I can only hope that this is not one of them. Losing Dan Slott off ASM would be a major mistake. This is the best the main universe Spidey has been in years. Having said THAT, this i snot one of the best issues. It is okay, and I like how Lizard has manipulated the situation. I didn’t care for the ‘new Lizard’ at the end, and I hope that is corrected next issue. I am too big a fan of Horizon for anything to happen to them.

 

ANIMAL MAN #11 (Jeff Lemire / Alberto Ponticelli / Wayne Faucher) DC

I do NOT like the new ANimal Man powers and how they manifest. At all. I DID like the Animal Man vs Animal Man fight, as brief as it was. This book is not about Buddy. It is about the Baker family and this issue reminded us of that. But the art… ugh. Hopefully Buddy’s new power set won’t look as awful under a different pencil.

 

BEFORE WATCHMEN: OZYMANDIAS #1 (Len Wein / Jae Lee) DC

A bit of a mixed bag here. This is the best art out of ANY of the BW books so far, and that is high praise as I LOVE Darwyn Cooke and Amanda Connor. Jae Lee breaks from from the design elements that Dave Gibbons used and created something his own. Having said that, the actual story was fairly trite and predictable. The bisexuality was a nice touch, as was the vicious and overly intelligent childhood. But the whole girlfriend-in-a-refrigerator thing has been done to death. Even if it wasn’t that, it is still Batman losing his parents and Spider-Men not being there for his uncle. Only with drugs.

Is it still better than Nite Owl? Yes. Comedian? Uh, I’ll say yes. It isn’t better than the other two, though.

 

DIAL H #3 (China Mieville / Mateus Santolouco) DC

I held on through two issues of incredibly weak story due to the crazy INVENTIVENESS of the writing. Now it is starting to pay off. The insanity is not aiming towards a purpose… or at least seems to. The hint of a deeper backstory is what makes this a WAY better issue than the previous two. I think this is going to end up being a really solid book.

 

THIEF OF THIEVES #6 (Kirkman / Spencer / Martinbrough / Serrano) Image

This book is all character and design, which are two things I prize very highly in a comic. The book looks like no other one I get. It is half storyboard cinematics and half novel teases but always with interesting characters to keep it going. It is nice that the woman of the thief team, who, as usual, was only there to be T&A, is the one who catches Redmond. Looking forward to the explanation next issue.

 

CASTLE WAITING #17 (Linda Medley) Fantagraphics

Lovely book, as usual. DO not buy this issue. Buy the collection. You will be very glad you did. Volume 1 is a prized possession in this house. I am sure we will buy Volume 2, despite having the individual issues.

 

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #12 (Bendis / Marquez / Ponsor) Marvel

Wait, did he tell his parents… or at least his mother? I hope so, because the “oh isn’t he lucky that the one person who could screw things up for him is now dead” thing is kind of lame. Having said THAT, this is one heck of a good book. Miles Morales is one of the most intriguing new characters to come along in… well, a long time. The art is good (maybe not as good as Pichelli, but not far off). The fight was great. The scene with Miles’ mother was great. Ganke, as always, was great. Plus we got a ‘don’t blink or you will miss it’ look at his new supporting cast member. (At least I think so…)

Great book, month in and month out.

 

FAIREST #5 (Willingham / Jimenez / Lanning / Pepoy) Vertigo

Now Fairest, on the other hand, has not been as consistent… but this issue is excellent! Now if you have read my reviews (especially the early AVX comments) the idea of a book that is one big fight doesn’t appeal to me at all. When the fight is as good, interesting and inventive as this one, though…

The star of this book was the Snow Queen, which is a nice change from the previous issues where Ali Baba and the imp starred in the book that supposedly is meant to spotlight the women of Fables. At first I groaned a little at the idea that Briar Rose was motivated by jealousy, but the explanation worked all around! It isn’t that she is jealous, it is that she is getting pissed off at the very concept of love. That totally works!

And talk about beautiful art! Phil Jimenez is a master of his craft.

 

I also picked up Nexus Archives Volume 1 by Mike Baron and Steve Rude. I can’t wait to sink into it.


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.

 


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Ultimate Spider-man #10

May 6, 2012
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Do you know what it is like to work in a place where all anyone talks about it is whether we are going to be fired?

Stress is taking its toll…

 

It was Free Comic Book Day on Saturday. As per usual, I don’t really take part, since I think those should be to try and get new readers, not give extra comics to people who are already comic fans. I would have grabbed one of those Mouse Guard hardcovers but I was too slow.

I did pick up one book…

 

As usual, starting from the weakest book.

 

THE NEW 52 #1 (FCBD!) (Geoff Johns / Jim Lee / Gene Ha / Kenneth Rocafort / Scott Williams / Joe Prado) DC

I read that if you are reading any of the DC line,m you should pick up this book.

I beg to disagree. Let me rephrase the statement: if you are reading any of the mainstream JLAish books in the DC line, you might  want this. The books I read are a little away from the centre of the universe and I don’t think I needed to read this at all. Plus, I don’t like what they are doing to the Question.

 

THE DEFENDERS (Fraction / Ibanez / Sotocolor) Marvel

Oh, by the way, they killed all the Immortal Weapons and made one of them into a full-on villain.

Uh, what? If that wasn’t bad enough, they were killed in one panel each!

Remember how pissed people were at how Bendis killed Alpha Flight? This was worse.

 

WORLD’S FINEST #1 (Paul Levitz / George Perez / Kevin Maguire / Scott Koblish) DC

One of the ‘second wave’ of DC books. With this (and ‘Earth 2’) DC establishes that the old multi-universe style of writing is back in the new DC. I liked this book in general. The nod towards the post-crisis Huntress was nice. Reverting to the old Huntress costume was great and the new Power Girl costume… well, I’m not sold, but I don’t hate it either. The art was what you would expect with Perez and Maguire… which is quite a lot. Perez wasn’t able to stick around on Action for very long. Hopefully teaming up with Maguire will help him here.

The story is a bit… fast forward to get you up to speed. A hope things settle down next issue.

 

AVENGERS VS X-MEN #3 (Brubaker / Romita / Hanna / Martin) Marvel

Did I forget something? When did the X-Men stop fighting? I hope it wasn’t in a support book. That is a pretty big plot point to not have in the main story.

The way Captain America dealt with Wolverine was… well, a little harsh. Other than that… I don’t know. It is what it is. Big fight. A bit of treading water.

 

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #685 (Slott / Ramos / Olazabo / Delgado) Marvel

Speaking of treading water… I like this story in general, so I don’t knock this down too much, but this issue feels like the whole story may be one issue too long.

 

SWAMP THING #9 (Scott Snyder / Marco Rudy / Yanick Paquette) DC

I have mentioned before that this is the kind of fight I don’t like. STRUGGLE without really DOING any thing, but then overcoming through WILL… or the seeds of will, or something. Still, the comic is very good. The art is really nice. And that last page… yeah. I am looking forward to next issue!

 

DIAL H #1 (China Mieville / Mateus Santolouco) DC

Another DC ‘second wave’ book. I love the Dial H concept. I love the creativity behind the characters. I am so-so on the art. I may warm to it. It is the plot that I am not clear on thus far. Hopefully that clears up. (That is my complain about Voodoo Child as well.)

 

ANIMAL MAN #9 (Jeff Lemire / Steve Pugh) DC

Nice. A very solid issue. The Pugh art is solid. The story is interesting. The characterizations (of Maxine, her mom and grandmother, mostly) are strong. This is just a really good book. The ‘on the run’ aspect only really works if you ignore the fact that this is a world full of superheroes, but it is working so I am okay to ignore it.

 

AVENGERS ACADEMY #29 (Gage / Grummett / Hamscher / Sotomayor) Marvel

I love Academy. The characters are all so interesting and when Gage brings new characters in, they are just as good. The scene with Loa, Mettle and Hazmat made the book all on its own. I don’t read any of the X-Men stuff so I don’t really get what is going on with Shaw. Does he remember who he is or not?

BUY AVENGERS ACADEMY.

 

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #10 (Bendis / Marquez / Ponsor) Marvel

I thought Academy was going to be comic of the week, until I got to the last book in my pile. If you haven’t picked up on this by now, characterization is what makes a book for me, and what Bendis is doing with Miles Morales is amazing work. Ultimate Peter was a good, good comic. Ultimate Miles is better. The stuff between him and his uncle works on SO many levels. The reader knows not to trust Prowler, but why would Miles think that way? The characterization of the uncle is excellent too. I LOVED his reaction to finding out that Nick Fury knows who he is. The parallel between Uncle Aaron and Uncle Ben is perfect.


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