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

August 17, 2014
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Astro City 14

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

Starting at the weakest:

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

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

Yeah, I’m done. DROPPED.

NIGHTCRAWLER #5 (Claremont / Nauck / Rosenberg) Marvel

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

The same goes for sexism.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Plus that Peter and Silk thing is just…gratuitous.

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

New creative team? Is it better?

Meh.

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

Really?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Strong characters with reasons to care.

SEX CRIMINALS #7 (Fraction / Zdarsky) Image

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

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

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

Someone needs to make this right. Probably Arthur.

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Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Hawkeye #19

August 6, 2014
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Hawkeye-19-cover

This was quite a good week and it has a GREAT comic topping things off.

Starting at the weakest…

BODIES #1 (Si Spencer / Meghan Hetrick / Dean Ormston / Tula Lotay / Phil Winslade / Lee Loughridge) Vertigo

Why so many creators? Well the gimmick is that there are murder investigations going on in different time periods that are somehow connected and each time period has its own creative team. Sound interesting? I thought so… but not so far. The first issue was kind of dull and the art was especially disappointing hidden behind a really great cover.

I am not giving up on it.

X-MEN #17 (Wood / Diaz / Briones / Mounts) Marvel

So, I planned to drop this book, accidentally didn’t, and the next issue (last issue) was quite good!

That lasted one issue. Huh.

Let’s see what the next story line brings…

AVENGERS #33 (Hickman / Yu / Alanguilan / Gho) Marvel

This Cap-goes-forward-through-time-thing has been okay but this issue was quite weak. Not much actually happened. And why was Star Brand all over the cover?

So… is this story just designed for Cap to trust Tony at the end? I hope not.

AVENGERS WORLD #10 (Spencer / Checchetto / Mossa) Marvel

Things coming together? That’s a good thing, I suppose.

UNCANNY X-MEN #24 (Bendis / Anka) Marvel

Kris Anka is one of those ‘design’ artists. He can come up with some great designs but doesn’t seem to be so great at actually drawing. This issue was especially badly drawn (to my taste, anyway)… plus the whole issue was just about getting Scott on site.

Oh, except for that wedding bombshell. That could be pretty interesting…

THE MASSIVE #25 (Brian Wood / Garry Brown / Jordie Bellaire) Dark Horse

This is where the books this week start getting quite good. The event is still happening? Well, that is pretty cool. I haven’t really liked the supernatural element of the book, but I am all for super-science. Mary is great when she isn’t stopping nuclear missiles with her brain.

And Cal is really, really sick.

CALIBAN #5 (Garth Ennis / Facundo Percio) Avatar

So, is this booked optioned for a movie yet?

The first part of the book – the explanation part – dragged a bit but the tension ratcheted right back up quickly.

How many issues is this supposed to run? They are running out of characters.

UNCANNY AVENGERS #22 (Rick Remender / Daniel Acuna) Marvel

The big complaint about big work-ending, time-travel stories is the big reset button at the end. You KNEW that Rogue and Scarlet Witch weren’t going to stay dead. You KNEW that the world would go back to what it was.

Oh but wait… Wasp and Havoc were still a couple and still remember having a baby? Sentry, Grim Reaper and Daken are still ‘alive’? What is going on with Rogue? And Wonder Man?

Well… cool.

STEED AND MRS PEEL: WE’RE NEEDED #1 (Edginton / Cosentino) Boom Studios

I didn’t order this but Ruthanne was with me at Silver Snail and saw it so we picked it up and added it to the file. I am glad we did!

This is the first Boom book I have picked up and this one was spot on. The Diana Rigg (because she IS her) was just perfect, and really, isn’t that the selling point of the book?

A reminder to the rest of the comic industry that you can make strong, smart and sexy without it being gratuitous.

C.O.W.L. #3 (Kyle Higgins / Alec Siegel / Rod Reis) Image

Last issue was hurt by the cover but this issue is great all around. Showing the 60s era sexism and then reminding us how it effected some of the women and THEN reminding us that it wasn’t ALL sexism. Well done.

SANDMAN OVERTURE #3 (Neil Gaiman / J.H. Williams III) Vertigo

Classic Sandman. A wandering journey. An added character to give the Dreams someone to talk to. Ideas. Images. Vistas. Threats. Ideas.

Did I say ideas twice?

Dreams.

This book is like revisiting an old friend… who once taught you what comics could be.

HAWKEYE #29 (Fraction / Aja / Hollingsworth) Marvel

BRILLIANT!

BLOODY BRILLIANT!

This book might not be QUITE as good as the Pizza Dog issue, but it is close. Seeing the world through the viewpoint of someone suddenly deaf and down SO WELL.

There is sign language (with no cheat sheet to help you through). There is lip reading shown in a great fashion.

My question is, does Matt Fraction know someone who is deaf who helped him out with this? Is the lip reading part… accurate?

Wow. What a great book.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Sex Criminals #6

June 21, 2014
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sex-criminals-06-cover-chip-zdarsky-530x815

Some good comics… some bad comics… some dropped comics…

Starting at the bottom…

THE UNWRITTEN APOCALYPSE #6 (Mike Carey / Peter Gross) Vertigo

If you have read this and know me, you know why I didn’t like this one.

Rape isn’t funny. Yes he is the bad guy but tell me that scene wasn’t supposed to make him seem bad-ass or something?

Ugh.

This is normally a good book so I’m not dropping it for this, but someone talking about how cool it will be for him to stick his big unit into those little (Probably quite underage) girls… let’s just say it isn’t my cup of tea.

X-MEN #15 (Wood / Buffagni / Briones) Marvel

This comic did not make any sense. At all. We get a scene where The Future (what a stupid name…) confronts Jubilee and takes Shogo. Then we get a scene where Jubilee still has Shogo. Okay. I guess we are jumping around a bit on the timeline. Then we get a scene where The Future confronts Jubilee and takes Shogo… but it is completely different than the first one.

Uh, what? Was the first one supposed to be him visualizing it or something? Seeing into a false future?

Maybe it would have been clearer if the art was any good, but it wasn’t so…

Dropped.

AVENGERS WORLD #8 (Spencer / Checchetto / Mossa) Marvel

Another book with lousy art – though different lousy art from the last one. Plus the entire book was just a roll call with a different super team… including a ‘hero’ named ‘The Baby Killer’. (I know it is supposed to be that is very young and a killer but still…unpleasant.)

Dropped.

ORIGINAL SIN #4 (Aaron / Deodato) Marvel

This ‘event’ isn’t a story as much as an excuse – a trigger if you will – for stories around the marvel universe. Because of that, the main story is kind of weak. Once again, we have a bunch of people running around, acting in pretty random manners, just so they can get to an send result.

But that end result is pretty cool. We may have just seen a HUGE status quo change for a long-standing Marvel character. Until a new writer changes it back.

Oh, putting Bucky and Punisher in the same room just shows how lame a character Winter Soldier has become.

WONDER WOMAN #32 (Brian Azzarello / Goran Sudzuka) DC

Another one of those bombshell covers… but another pretty inoffensive one, as these things go.

It feels like things are really coming to a head. If this were stand alone story, rather than an on-going, I would assume that we were about to see the ultimate defeat of the First Born and the elevation of Diana to Queen of Olympus… but that would sure screw over whichever writer follows Azzarello.

AVENGERS #31 (Hickamn / Yu / Alanguilan / Gho) Marvel

This title is the best example of what makes Original Sin a good idea (the story trigger aspect), but at the same time we are all ‘scene’, little ‘plot’ right now. But, having said that, they are pretty good scenes. Great art… whenever Black Widow is not busting out… and Hawkeye doing what Hawkeye does beat… talking for the reader. “Does anyone know what the hell is going on around here?”

FABLES #141 (Willingham / Buckingham / Leiloha / Pepoy) Vertigo

The finale to Fables is not here, but we can feel it coming. Medea reminds us why Snow is bad-ass and people start to pick sides… sides that their leaders do not even realize exist yet.

When I opened up to ‘The Last Story of Flycatcher’ I was excited and then… one page? Really?

DAREDEVIL #4 (Waid / Samnee / Rodriguez) Marvel

Whoa. So that is what Shroud was up to? Suddenly this ‘kiddie book’ is talking some real shit and doing so in a way that was powerful but not maudlin.

Waid nailed this story point perfectly and Samnee is one of the best artists in the business.

SILVER SURFER #3 (Dan Slott / Michael Allred / Laura Allred) Marvel

I am automatically going to be predisposed AGAINST this book because of the space theme. I am automatically going to be predisposed FOR this book because of the Allreds. So what is the deciding factor?

Well, there is one of those creepy cymbal monkeys that is really the heart of an extra-normal entity. There is Silver Surfer’s cosmic surfboard (snerk) getting a new, awesome nickname (double-snerk). There is a big decision that is strong in the way that no decision was actually made!

And there is one of the strongest, most well-rounded new characters in comics. Dawn Greenwood is a PERSON. She is strong despite being in over her head. She is heroic. She is decisive. She is REAL.

Well done.

UNCANNY X-MEN #22 (Bendis / Bachalo / Townsend) Marvel

A really, really solid issue of this title. We got a villain reveal (though killing him off like that was a little lame), the repatriation of Dazzler, the return of Magento, the crystallization of the REAL villain for the book, increased mutant/human tension, and Maria Hill NOT acting like an idiot.

And some great Chris Bachalo art.

This was really close to being my book of the week.

SEX CRIMINALS #6 (Fraction / Zdarsky) Image

Wow.

What has made this book great? Humour. Humour. Humour. Inventiveness and humour.

So what happened this issue? Well, there was SOME humour, but all of a sudden we got a peek at someone who has serious mental health issues, dealing with them and having his life turn… grey. He was revitalized by the end but for those pages, we got a glimpse of a world where everything gets ‘smoothed out’. Deadened.

I FELT this book.

Very well done.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Black Widow #7

June 8, 2014
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blackwidow7

A nice selection of good books this week… and one I won’t be getting any longer.

Starting at the weakest…

BATMAN ETERNAL #9 (Scott Snyder / James Tynion IV / John Layman / Ray Fawkes / Tim Seeley / Guillem March) DC

The only real thread that ties the BE story together is Falcone, and he isn’t very interesting. This was another issue of RANDOM THINGS HAPPEN! DIFFERENT BATMAN-RELATED CHARACTERS APPEAR! PLEASE BUY THOSE BOOKS TOO!

No.

Do you remember the issue of Batman that was supposed to be a preview for this book? It is what got me to buy it. How come that preview has nothing to do with this comic?

Dropped.

ORIGINAL SIN #3 (Aaron / Deodato) Marvel

Question… does Jason Aaron really like lame villains? I suppose if it were a challenge to make them credible, but they aren’t even trying? Clearly the big villains for this story are NOT the Orb, Midas and Dominatrix (or whatever their names are…)

Do you know what would be awesome? If the surprise reveal at the end was legit.

It isn’t, but it would be awesome. He is an ass.

IRON FIST: THE LIVING WEAPON #3 (Kaare Kyle Andrews) Marvel

Is Kaare Andrews the new J.H. Williams III? The super talented, amazing artist and designer who convinces someone that he should be writing the comic despite being completely inept at it?

Williams destroyed Batwoman. If a decent writer were to take this book over, I am sure they could salvage it.

But, is it ever a beautifully rendered comic.

MIRACLEMAN #7 (Moore / Davis / Austen) Marvel

That was a little sudden… and maybe a bit anti-climactic. Couldn’t he even TRY to survive? And why did Miracledog chase Cream anyway? Wasn’t Moran the main target?

AVENGERS WORLD #7 (Spencer / Caselli / Mossa) Marvel

I LIKE S.P.E.A.R.! PLEASE, don’t make them secretly bad guys. The idea that China would have their own super-defense plan has always made sense, but it has never done very well. Hopefully this will work. The Avengers and S.H.I.E.L.D. don’t have jurisdiction over everybody.

SWAMP THING #32 (Charles Soule / Jesus Saiz) DC

Back off fish-face! The exploration of undersea plant life has potential. Swampy standing up to Aquaman worked for me. As did the clear delineation of what side his ‘advisor’s’ were on… or not.

CALIBAN #3 (Garth Ennis / Facundo Percio) Avatar

If you like Alien, you will like this. Straight up.

I am not always a fan of Ennis’ language in this issue, but I can live with it. This is good, creepy, comics horror.

SUPERIOR FOES OF SPIDER-MAN #12 (Spencer / Lieber / Rosenberg) Marvel

The return of the REAL SFOSM book! They even make a joke about the suspended story. The Sinister Sixteen!

MILES MORALES: SPIDER-MAN #2 (Bendis / Marquez / Ponsor) Marvel

Okay, who stole the web shooters? It is clearly not Peter and I am very doubtful it is a clone. It is obviously a trick.

So, who is it?

I don’t think Miles is going to tell Katie (the cliff-hanger would have been handled differently if he was), but I wouldn’t mind if he did.

MOON KNIGHT #4 (Warren Ellis / Declan Shalvey / Jordie Bellaire) Marvel

This may have been comic of the week if it was one page longer. Great story. great visuals. Great FEELING. But an incredibly abrupt ending that made it feel like a page had been torn out. And you know it won’t be picked up next issue. That is it.

BLACK WIDOW #7 (Edmondson / Noto) Marvel

I like the clash between spy stories and superhero stories in the Marvel universe. Yes Natasha kills people. Yes it makes sense in her line of work and yes she could do so and still be a ‘good guy’.

But NO, the superheroes won’t and shouldn’t agree with those sentiments. I like seeing that.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Saga #19

May 25, 2014
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saga19

A fairly big week and I was pretty happy with most of the comics!

Starting at the weakest…

ORIGINAL SIN #2 (Jason Aaron / Mike Deodato) Marvel

Chaos does not generally make good comics. Throwing a whole bunch o stuff at the wall is not good storytelling.

One example… there are three villains. Two of them are given ‘reveal’ captions to give their (stupid) names. The third, even though he is not hidden in any way, was not. Who was that sick, Thing-like guy? Do we have to read another book to find out? Sloppy.

BATMAN ETERNAL #7 (Scott Snyder / James Tynion IV / Ray Fawkes / John Layman / Tim Seeley / Emanuel Simeoni) DC

Hmmm… a couple of weaker issues in a row. Not a good sign for a weekly book. A lot of stuff that happened seemed random, but at least it was built around a core plot. The art was terrible. Look at that Catwoman reveal. Just awful.

X-MEN #14 (Wood / Mann / Briones) Marvel

Getting into the better books now. This was fairly solid but was a little “A to B”. So they are a team now because Storm told Wolverine? Do the X-Men have some sort of a official squad registration process? Did Storm fill out all the needed paperwork?

MIRACLEMAN #6 (Moore / Davis / Ridgway) Marvel

I liked the dream struggle with Gargunza. He almost felt like the protagonist. The use of rape as a simple plot point to make bad guys seems bad is wearying, though. This was 1984, however. Maybe it didn’t feel so weak back then.

AVENGERS WORLD #6 (Spencer / Checchetto / Mossa) Marvel

What I DON’T like about the Avengers these days is the Avengers Army feel. It makes characterizations take a back seat. So an issue like this which is all about characterization (albeit for a character I don’t generally care for), it is quite an improvement.

WONDER WOMAN #31 (Brian Azzarello / Goran Sudzuka) DC

I groaned when Zeke was missing. Again?

But this one was well done. Change is scary and hard to take. That was well illustrated here. (Forgetting that the next writer is probably just going to change it back.)

UNCANNY X-MEN #21 (Bendis / Bachalo / Townsend) Marvel

Things are coming to a head! I don’t know who the secret villain is but the interaction between Magneto, Blob and Dazzler was great. I LOVED the artistic choice of showing the old Magneto/Blob scene. Well done.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #2 (Slott / Ramos / Olazaba / Delgado) Marvel

Peter dealing with the changes to his life. Pretty interesting. Peter as a jailer? Hmmm…

I really, REALLY like the fact that Anna Maria seems to be staying as an important character.

UNWRITTEN: APOCOLYPSE #5 (Mike Carey / Peter Gross) Vertigo

Is it just a given that the best Unwritten issues are the ones spotlighting Pauly Bruckner?

And that last page!

DAREDEVIL #3 (Waid / Samnee / Rodriguez) Marvel

Strong issue as usual, but I have a question… Julia Carpenter? Spider-Woman? (I think she is called Madame Web now.)

If it is a DIFFERENT Julia Carpenter, that is pretty sloppy. She was a pretty major character at one time.

Nice Saga reference. 🙂

SAGA #19 (Brian K. Vaughan / Fiona Staples) Image

AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!

THAT LAST PAGE!!!!!!

NOOOOOOOOOO!O!!!!!!!!!


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

May 4, 2014
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all-new-xmen 26

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

This week’s books, starting at the weakest…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Doombot was awesome, as always.

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

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

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

AVENGERS #28 (Hickman / Larocca / Martin) Marvel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So why is this book so high?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The scene read… real.

Well done.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Animal Man #29

March 29, 2014
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animal-man-29cover-artjpg-0a557e

Sorry this is so late…. since this is really comics from LAST week, but I have been pretty tied up with VERSeFest.

Starting at the weakest…

SOVEREIGN #1 (Roberson / Maybury) Image

I was a fan of iZombie. When it was cancelled Chris Roberson burned some bridges. I didn’t agree with everything he said but I supported his willingness to speak up. So when Image announced his new creator-owned book, I was on board.

Then I read it.

This comic is really bad. A pretty much incoherent story with unclear art to complete turn the book into a muddy mess.

Oh well. No issue #2 for me.

SUPERIOR FOES OF SPIDER-MAN #10 (Asmus / Carmenero / Pallot / Mossa / Cowles) Marvel

Why didn’t you put creator credits on the cover, Marvel? Were you trying to hide the fact that this issue was a fill in? (They sure didn’t try to hide it on the inside… the issue is titled ‘Filling In’)

Remember the smart, witty SFoS comic? This isn’t it.

I’m looking forward to the return of the REAL comic.

ROCKET GIRL #4 (Brandon Montclare / Amy Reeder) Image

Another one for the cancellation bin for us. We bought this because we are big fans of Amy Reeder. Well, the story is boring and the art is nowhere near the art that made us into fans. She is going more and more ‘manga’ instead of the beautiful work she did on Madame Xanadu.

Oh well.

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL #2 (Gage / Rodriguez / Lopez / Briones / Gandini) Marvel

Annuals should be special. They shouldn’t read like a fill-in issue from a different creative team. This was a Urich Family story followed by a Wraith story, just filling in cracks for the regal brook. Hmmm…

It wasn’t awful, just no big deal.

AVENGERS WORLD #4 (Hickman / Spencer / Caselli / Mossa) Marvel

Not bad enough to drop, yet. Not good enough to praise.

X-MEN #12 (Wood / Anka / Mann) Marvel

As is often the problem with books that fight nigh-unstoppable villains, the ending is a little to pat. They can’t drag out a fight so they either figure out how to beat them, or they don’t… and since they are the heroes, which do you think happens?

Oh, and the roll-call scene and the beginning was absolutely ridiculous. (The Paul Smith-ian shot of Pryor was nice, though.)

UNCANNY X-MEN #29 (Bendis / Bachalo / Townsend) Marvel

The scene with Dazzler was maybe a little too disturbing. Meanwhile the scene with the Sentinels was maybe a little too formulaic.

This book is not as good as Bendis’ other X-book, but it is still quite readable.

SEX CRIMINALS #5 (Fraction / Zdarsky) Image

This felt a little weaker than previous issues, but still a solid read. The kegel-face but was kind of funny but not as great as some of the high points of previous issues (like the karaoke scene…)

UNWRITTEN: APOCOLYPSE #3 (Mike Carey / Peter Gross) Vertigo

Well now we have the apocalypse the title implied. What a mess. No big shock about who the villain is, but wow… how are they going to get out of that/ Will the world remember this? Has this completely changed how the Unwritten world works? A world with time travelling hordes is not the world that the average Joe knew about before…

LAZARUS #7 (Rucka / Lark / Arcas) Image

Whoa. That was sudden and brutal. Beautiful cover and wrenching story. All of it.

MS. MARVEL #2 (Wilson / Alphona / Herring) Marvel

Everything about this book rang true. Her reactions. Her family. All of it.

But we REALLY need to move past the ‘my ideal image is of a white, blonde lady’. The quicker the better.

WONDER WOMAN #29 (Brian Azzarello / Cliff Chiang) DC

Can you smell it? That is the excrement hitting the fan.

Diana, God of War, leading her troops against the Usurper of Olympus? Yes please.

The good… this story seems to finally be reaching its climax.

The bad… when it does so, Azzarello and Chiang are leaving and we are getting a WW T&A book again.

DAREDEVIL #1 (Waid / Samnee / Rodriguez) Marvel

I am going to really miss the old Daredevil comic by Waid and Samnee. Hopefully this new one will be good… who is the creative team?

Oh. Okay then.

A silly renumbering, but what the hell. I like the setting. I like the new status quo with Matt as super-advising detective for the SFPD.

Oh hey, while you are there, say hi to our friends Nadine and Phil, would you?

Oh right… the review. Good comic. Buy it. Nearly comic of the week, but…

ANIMAL MAN #29 (Jeff Lemire / Travel Foreman) DC

I am going to give Lemire’s Justice League Canada a try, but it has better be good since this was cancelled to make room for it.

This book wavered between really good and Rotworld during its run, but this issue was absolutely stellar. Hands up, who though they were getting a FULL family reunion in this issue?

Instead they made it into a truly touching moment between those that were left behind.

I am not a fan of Lemire’s art and not Foreman so much either, but that didn’t distract me from the story which was perfect.

“Goodnight Cliffy.”


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Amazing X-Men #4

February 25, 2014
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A little late this week due to a crazy weekend. There are a few books on this list that actually came out the week before, but my comic store had a box go missing temporarily. Better late than never!

Starting at the weakest.

GREAT PACIFIC #13 (Joe Harris / Martin Morazzo) Image

Hmmm… this is kind of turning into a ‘wandering’ comic. The concept is fairly solid, but the plot is not.

You know, I think that is it for me. Consider the book dropped.

AVENGERS WORLD #3 (Hickman / Spencer / Caselli / Martin) Marvel

Uh… the whole issue for that? Zero plot advancement. Zero character advancement. Zero anything.

I was THAT close to dropping this book after reading this issue. It better get better.

UNWRITTEN APOCOLYPSE #2 (Mike Carey / Peter Gross) Vertigo

The first issue was great. The second issue was not. Guess how he came back? They concentrated on a story that he was in where he came back.

Yeah, okay. That part was pretty much a given… but that’s all this issue was.

X-MEN #11 (Wood / Anka / Mann) Marvel

My problem with this issue was the X-Men figuring out the plan. There was no reason for them to do so. It was a little too convenient. The Sentinel fight was decent, but that is about it. This isn’t a bad book but this wasn’t a strong issue.

FABLES #138 (Bill Willingham / Russ Braun) Vertigo

An interesting little story about Gepetto that sets him as a resurgent bad guy down the line. I assume that he will be part of the big final story as Willingham has announced that he is going to wrap up Fables in the not-to-distant future.

ANIMAL MAN #28 (Jeff Lemire / Rafael Albuquerque) DC

This issue seemed really rushed, but with the book wrapping up, I guess they had no choice. Lemire wants to go and start making some real coin writing Justice League instead of a low seller like Animal Man. Too bad. This book used to be quite good and is still decent.

WONDER WOMAN #28 (Brian Azzarello / Cliff Chiang) DC

A decent issue. Dio has turned out to be more interesting than expected. The Apollo / Firstborn fight was pretty well down, so far. Looks like a big, multi-god blowout is in the offing.

UNCANNY X-MEN #17 (Bendis / Bachalo / Townsend) Marvel

Asa character issue, this was very solid. It is unfortunate that the plot point moving forward is so ridiculous, but the story as a whole was good.

So, what was with Eva? What happened?

That part interests me a lot more than Hijack’s firing.

DAREDEVIL #36 (Waid / Samnee / Rodriguez) Marvel

Here is the problem with multiple writers spanning years of a comic. Everyone knows who DD is! Then the comic works hard to turn that around so DD can have a secret identity again. Now everyone knows who DD is again!

Oh well. The writing is good and the art is amazing and I am looking forward to DD in SF.

SHE-HULK #1 (Soule / Pulido / Vicente) Marvel

The success of Hawkeye seems to have opened the door of this type of book. Superior Foes falls into that category as well.

No complaints from me, because I really enjoy a smart, funny book. She-Hulk is the perfect character for this treatment and Soule did a good job. I am less fond of Pulido, but I like the general look of the book… I just don’t like Jen’s faces. Oh well.

I do with I got the Skottie Young cover variant. 🙂

AMAZING X-MEN #4 (Aaron / McGUiness / Vines / Gracia) Marvel

Do you know what made this book so great? The flashbacks. That and the Firestar stuff, but especially the flashbacks. This made you really FEEL how much the characters missed Kurt and that made the reunion scenes work that much better.

I felt like I had seen those scenes before, because they read just like the old Claremont book. Well done.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: The Unwritten: Apocalypse #1

January 26, 2014
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Big week with a drop and a surprising #1.

Starting at the weakest…

BATMAN #27 (Scott Snyder / Greg Capullo / Danny Miki) DC

More on the origin of Gordon’s coat? Really? Plus, the cops aren’t just bad…. they are bad enough to throw another cop in a pit of fighting dogs just to see what happens.

Ugh. Yeah, this just didn’t work for. This book has been more miss than hit and I am dropping it.

DC is really weak these days.

PRETTY DEADLY #4 (DeConnick / Rios / Bellaire / Cowles) Image

This book is five times better than it was the first couple of issues… which still doesn’t make it worth buying, in my opinion. Ruthanne likes it so we keep getting it.

AVENGERS #25 (Hickman / Larroca / Martin) Marvel

Well, this book wasn’t terrible. I liked the idea of finding a dead Hank Pym… to bad they solved the mystery for us immediately. Bad Avengers? Still, early strength Avengers should get whomped by the current level of power not he team.

AVENGERS WORLD #2 (Hickman / Spencer / Caselli / Martin) Marvel

I am good with the focus on Smasher (she sure looks like Yellowjacket at the end…), but I am less a fan of the yet-another-super-powerful-near-cosmic threat. I wonder how many people out there realize that the Entropic Man is not a new character?

X-MEN #9 (Wood / Dodson / Dodson / Keith) Marvel

Did Brian Wood create Arkea? He seems to be enamoured with her. Not a bad book. I actually think the Dodson’s (whom I like) is a bad choice with too many female characters because he does not differentiate between them very much. They were great on a book like Harley Quinn because they drew that one character very well without drawing attention to the fact that their range was a little limited.

I like the Sisterhood.

WONDER WOMAN #27 (Brian Azzarello / Cliff Chiang) DC

I think I am down to 3 DC books (this, Swamp Thing and Animal Man), and one os being cancelled.

This book is well done, but are we REALLY doing a story now about Zola and the baby being missing AGAIN? This book has got to expand its focus. It has been over two years with only one storyline.

THE MASSIVE #19 (Brian Wood / Garry Brown / Jordie Bellaire) Dark Horse

As I list my second Brian Wood title, I will say that I considered dropping all Wood books… and any creators that came out as acting inappropriate towards women in the comic industry.

The thing is, I read Wood’s apology and I think it makes sense. Am I giving him too much of the benefit of the doubt? Maybe.

Oh… the comic. It is pretty good. Callum hunting down his past.

ANIMAL MAN #27 (Jeff Lemire / Rafael Albuquerque) DC

This is the DC book that is begin cancelled, so Lemire can go work on Justice League. Sigh.

It is Justice League Canada, though, so I am going to give it a shot. We’ll see.

What makes this book land as high as it does this month is the scenes with Ellen. Punching that reporter was great. Showing that there are real-life consequences to such an action was also great. The fight scene wasn’t much but Maxine and Socks ‘going the wrong way’ (I have a feeling they didn’t and the Red is just circular) and the Shepherd paying for it… good stuff.

ALL-NEW X-MEN #22 (Bendis / Immonen / von Grawbadger / Gracia) Marvel

A strong characterization issue, which I tend to say a lot on Bendis books. The scene with Scott, Jean and Warren did ‘talking head’ in a great way. The Bobby scenes showed him off very well. Even the fight scene had a great level of kinetic energy, despite being a little one-sided.

I will have to remember to pick up the Guardians books, though they sure don’t look appealing based on that splash page. (Angela? How about getting some clothes?)

BLACK WIDOW #2 (Nathan Edmondson / Phil Noto) Marvel

Better than the first issue. The art is still spectacular but the writing mad dup some ground as well. Isaiah just got a little emote interesting and with the Iron Scorpion we now have a possible recurring villain for the book. Good, good…

I would recommend this book to a new reader.

MIGHTY AVENGERS #5 (Ewing / Land / Leisten / D’Armata) Marvel

Ah, Otto. The crazy thing is, he had a point… which he illustrated in the worst possible way. Arrogance will often be the undoing os such characters. Luke and Jessica sending Danielle away and then laying in to Otto was awesome. Is Jessica going to be more… active in this comic? I hope so (which does NOT mean going into costume with a codename…)

The best part of this book, and what nearly pushed it even higher? The last page. Complete with classic logo.

How about USING that logo on the book? No?

HAWKEYE #16 (Fraction / Wu / Hollingsworth) Marvel

This was the top book of the week right up until I pulled the final comic out of the bag.

Note: Issue 15 has not yet come out. This seems weird, but remember that right now Hawkeye is basically two separate comics – one about Clint and one about Kate. They also have different artists. I am guessing this is why 15 fell behind.

I don’t care. This was a really good, fun comic. Kate is pure charm. She i slough but not too tough. It looks like she has had enough of L.A., though. After the events of Young Avengers she is cleared to go back to New York. Will the two books-within-a-book intersect again?

THE UNWRITTEN: APOCALYPSE #1 (Mike Carey / Peter Gross) Vertigo

The Unwritten went on a little hiatus and then came back with a new name and a new #1. I guess sales needed a little pump.

Well, it seems like it was the fresh start it needed because the last storyline was incredibly disappointing (what a waste of a Fables ‘crossover’), but this one has fresh life (pun intended, if you read the book). The scene of Tommy trying to make to back to life were absolutely great. I don’t know what is going to come after this, because that is a one-off, but the different characters and lands that he pushed through without telling us what was going on, and getting clearer and clearer… yes. It worked from end to end.

Now, what has happened while he was gone?


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

January 14, 2014
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Hello folks… sorry I am a little late.

With no further ado…

From the weakest…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We’ll see.

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

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

Great series. Lousy final issue.

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

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

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

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

Hmmm…. interesting….

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

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

FAIREST #22 (Marc Andreyko / Shawn McManus) Vertigo

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

Oh right. Evil stepsister.

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

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

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

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

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

FBP #7 (Simon Oliver / Robbi Rodriguez) Vertigo

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

SEX CRIMINALS #4 (Fraction / Zdarsky) Image

This book is just flat out funny.

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

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

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