Rusty's World

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.

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Rusty’s Comic of the Week: The Massive #23

June 1, 2014
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MASSIVE23

Another week where I let you know whether I liked the comics I bought and how much.

Starting with the weakest.

GIANT-SIZE SPIDER-MAN #1 (Caramagna / Koblish / Caracuzzo / Ciregia / Casagrande / Seeley) Marvel

In my library I have a copy of the first Amazing Spider-Men Marvel Masterworks. It includes reprints of the first ten issues of Spider-Man by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko.

This week’s comic retold early stories – the Spidey origin and his first encounters with the Vulture, Doc Ock and Sandman. Straight up retelling. Nothing of any importance added. It was as if you picked up those old issues and read them… with two very important distinctions: the writing was weak and the art was terrible.

Don’t buy this. It is awful.

THIEF OF THIEVES #21 (Diggle / Martinbrough / Lucas) Image

Sigh.

The issue as a whole wasn’t that bad but once again, a writer thinks that only way to make a ‘bad guy’ seem really bad is to have him rape somebody. It is the same story that I read last week in Miracleman, but at least in that case the books as reprinted from the 80’s before we had a better idea of the damaging nature of this sort of rhetoric.

He could have just killed her. You want to make him seem really awful and still have him mutilate her? Well, that is pretty awful, but okay. So what did raping her first add?

We get it. He is an awful human being.

Weak, WEAK writing.

MIGHTY AVENGERS #10 (Ewing / Land / Leisten / D’Armata) Marvel

Is this the first appearance of the Watcher’s wife? A Watcher with lipstick?

The characterization of Ulana was fine. The visual portrayal was absolutely ridiculous.

Oh, was Uatu having a child a new reveal? If so, why did you give it away ON THE RECAP PAGE?

CHEW / REVIVAL #1 (John Layman / Rob Guillory / Tim Seeley / Mike Norton / Mark Englert) Image

Hmmmm… I read a review the other day that said that the Chew side was really good but the Revival side wasn’t funny enough… or something to that effect.

Allow me to rebut…

This crossover was stupid. The only part of the crossover I liked was Cooper explaining WHY they were doing a crossover (with a little Saga thrown in there for good measure).

Having said THAT, the Revival story was quite good. I wouldn’t bat an eye if it was in the regular comic. Chu was just a guest appearance that added pretty much nothing. Revival is a good comic and this was a good issue of that.

Then I flipped it over. Chew was terrible. I am very glad I haven’t been convinced to try this comic, and now it is pretty certain that I won’t. It is just a one-note gag all the way through. (Oh, and if you are going to cross-over with another comic, do you think you should MAYBE READ the other comic? Revival is NOT about Frankenstein people with limb grafting abilities. At all.)

Half a good comic.

BATMAN ETERNAL #8 (Scott Snyder / James Tynion IV / Ray Fawkes / John Layman / Tim Seeley / Guillem March) DC

A little chaotic, and not in a good way. Very sketchy. Still, another Stephanie Brown sighting, even if it was just to remind us she is still out there…

UNCANNY AVENGERS #20 (Remender / Acuna) Marvel

This was pretty solid despite being just one long fight scene.

I am very interested to see if they actually have everyone remember what happened and have Wasp and Havoc actually have a child together. This would be a very big character change for both of them.

When is the Giant-Man / Polaris team-up?

INHUMAN #2 (Charles Soule / Joe Madureira / Marte Gracia) Marvel

Issue #1 was so-so. Issue #2 was better. I am not sure I dig the Nuhuman label but I really liked Medusa’s (Lady Big Hair) portrayal in this book. Captain America was reasonable so she responded in a reasonable manner.

Having a sovereign nation in the middle of the Hudson probably won’t fly with the U.S. government, though. Tow them out to sea and Attilan Island will be the new Genosha or whatever that X-Island in San Francisco was called.

Because, let’s be honest here, this IS an X-Book.

AVENGERS #30 (Hickman / Yu / Alanguilan / Gho) Marvel

It is no secret to readers of this column that I am no fan of Hickman. AND this is following a New Avengers plot line in the Avengers and I didn’t like New Avengers.

Having said that… this was pretty good issue. Iron Man is played straight up as a villain here and I am starting to wonder when the rest of the heroes are going to stop putting up with his crap. Future Hawkeye was pretty cool (as you would expect). I liked it.

MS. MARVEL #4 (Wilson / Alphona / Herring) Marvel

YES! It took four issues for someone to say that the world didn’t need another BLONDE superhero (read: white). What they needed is Kamala Khan.

Yes! The character of Kamala IS this book and having her turn into a Captain Marvel clone undercut that. Now THIS is the future of the book.

I’ll admit, growing up the way I did, I have a hard time with her parents. I am trying not to judge because they seem awful to me.

C.O.W.L. #1 (Kyle Higgins / Alec Siegel / Rod Reis) Image

Another great new book from Image! This is treated like a super-hero union, but it seems more like a private Super-hero police force. Either way, it is quite interesting and visually appealing. (I love the cover design!)

Of course, it would be nice if some of the characters were a little more likeable…

DEAD BOY DETECTIVES #6 (Toby Litt / Mark Buckingham / Russ Braun) Vertigo

I have been fairly critical of this book thus far… until now! This was a very fun book, capturing the right mix of whimsy and threat that earlier DBD stories did. Done right, this book could be the new Books of Magic, and I consider that high praise.

THE MASSIVE #23 (Brian Wood / Danijel Zezelj / Jordie Bellaire) Dark Horse

The cynic in me wonders if Brian Wood decided to write this story with very positive, strong female presence after he had his “female comic creators are not your personal dating pool” comeuppance.

Regardless, whatever the motivation, this has been a GREAT story. I am not such a fan of the supernatural elements of the character but this issue doesn’t dwell on those. This is just good storytelling and strong character work.

I just read that tho book plans to end with issue #30.. Keep telling stories like this one and I will miss it.


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: Astro City #12

May 18, 2014
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This was quite a disappointing week. A number of comics ‘under performed’,

astro city 12

There were still some good ones, though.

Starting at the weakest.

DEADLY HANDS OF KING-FU #1 (Benson / Huat / Yeung / Aburtov) Marvel

Marvel’s track record with new books hasn’t been stellar lately. Sure, they have Ms. Marvel. Nightcrawler has been relatively okay. But this is the third new #1 I picked up (after an AWFUL Magneto and a disappointing Cyclops) where I won’t be buying issue #2.

The art is poor and the writing is choppy. There is nothing to hook you here and they even fridge someone (though I think it won’t stay that way…)

Dropped.

FABLES #140 (Bill Willingham / Steve Leialoha) Vertigo

Wow. Speaking of disappointing…

This didn’t feel like a Fables book at all. Not having Buckingham hurts but mostly it was the poor storytelling in both art and dialog. You couldn’t even tell who these people were if you hadn’t read the previous issue. Sloppy.

The non-deaths were kind of funny, but not enough to save the book.

BATMAN ETERNAL #6 (Scott Snyder / James Tynion IV / Ray Fawkes / John Layman / Tim Seeley / Trevor McCarthy) DC

This title is very disjointed. It is almost like the old Batman Family title with someone trying to tie the stories together into one loose narrative. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Batwing felt like he could have been anyone and Spectre wasn’t really used at all. Of the hit and miss nature of the title, this was a miss.

NIGHTCRAWLER #2 (Claremont / Nauck / Rosenberg) Marvel

What save this title is the impression I get that they are going to deal with the sexism involved. Nightcrawler is acting in a real patriarchal manner towards Amanda which would bug me more if it was unaddressed. It looks like that won’t be the case. Otherwise it would join the other Marvel start-ups and the drop list.

ALL-NEW ULTIMATES #2 (Fiffe / Pinna / Woodard) Marvel

Hmmm… the free-for-all worked. It was a little disjointed but not so much that it ruined the scene. The characterization, though, was problematic. Why is Bombshell suddenly acting like an idiot with no real lead-up? More importantly, why would Black Widow NOT MENTION THAT SHE WAS JABBED IN THE CHEST WITH A HYPODERMIC NEEDLE FILLED WITH SOME SORT OF LIQUID?

Oh, about that… did she actually change her name to Black Widow IN the book? Did I forget that or did they just start calling her that?

JUSTICE LEAGUE CANADA #1 (Jeff Lemire / Mike McKone) Marvel

I know it is really called Justice League United, but my copy says Canada on the cover!

This is an okay superhero comic but nothing really makes it stand above any others. Stargirl got a chance to shine and for some reason the Adam Strange ‘origin’ reminded me of Hellcat, and that brought a smile to my face. (Oh, and #0 was not #0. It was #1. It was not a prequel. It was the first issue and this is the second. Period.

ALL-NEW X-MEN #27 (Bendis / Immonen / von Grawbadger / Gracia) Marvel

Not much to say. Psychic fights aren’t very exciting, but Bendis rights these characters so they are interesting.

Is that healer immortal now? I guess that will come up in Uncanny.

SHUTTER #2 (Joe Keatinge / Leila Del Duca / Owen Gieni / Ed Brisson) Image

Not as good as the first issue, but there is still potential there. A lot of chaos, which is not great for characterization usually. I like that she can get hurt. I like her Felix butler/clock. I like the Lion Squad (though not the name…)

AVENGERS #29 (Hickman / Yu / Alanguilan / Gho) Marvel

All right, why isn’t this in New Avengers?

So Steve and Tony are now fighting… again?

How many times are we going to do the SAME STORY?

Having said all that… this comic was quite good. Good art. Decent storytelling (especially from someone not known for good storytelling, like Hickman). Pleasant surprise.

ASTRO CITY #12 (Busiek / Graham Nolan / Ross / Broome / Comicraft) Vertigo

This was the only book this week that I loved from end to end. While Nolan is no Anderson, he brings a certain Carmine Infantino-esque feeling to the pages. The story of addiction didn’t have to be about a super villain, but the fact that it was adds a certain element. I really liked the idea of constantly changing gimmicks to try and stay ahead of the game.

Astro City is consistently good comics.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Miles Morales: The Ultimate Spider-Man #1

May 11, 2014
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Miles_Morales_1_Cover

This was a very big week… though surprisingly light on story.

Starting at the weakest…

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: WHO AM I? (Fialkov / Bobillo / Mossa / Beaulieu / Mast) Marvel

This was free and worth exactly what I paid for it. Why they didn’t put this out with Free Comic Book Day, I am unsure but it is a free comic to advertise the digital comics put out by Marvel.

And what a poor advertisement it is. What a terrible comic! The story is weak and uninteresting and the art is abysmal. You should see the cover! What is that thing on Spidey’s chest? Apparently he is now Waterbug-Man or something. Terrible comic.

CYCLOPS #1 (Rucka / Dauterman / Sotomayor) Marvel

I am not sure what I was thinking. I like Bendis’ X-Men, sure, but this is the least interesting member, given a non-solo, solo book out in space. Space comics are dull… almost universally.

If you like space comics, maybe you will like this, but it isn’t for me.

Oh well. I won’t get #2.

ORIGINAL SIN #1 (Aaron / Deodato / Martin) Marvel

This is the big crossover and it kicks off with a really boring comic. Issue #0 was better.

The problem is that marketing has already told us what the story is so all this book was about was reminding us what the story is and kind of collecting a team (a nonsensical team, but a team). That’s it.

Hopefully #2 is better.

FAIREST #26 (Marc Andreyko / Shawn McManus) Vertigo

This story is finally over. It wasn’t bad, but it just seemed to keep going and going…

I appreciate that they have tied this book in with the main story in Fables, but it is done in such a way that would make ZERO sense if you don’t read Fables, and barely made sense here. SO… what is with that ring? Have I forgotten that? Apparently. I didn’t even know who that was on the last page until I read the next issue blurb. Sloppy.

MIRACLEMAN #5 (Moore / Davis / Ridgway) Marvel

Uh, why was this bagged? That tiny amount of not quite nudity? Really?

Wow. Get over it.

I really like the book but this was not one of the more exciting issues. The main story was good, but just good. The Young Miracleman story’s reveal was incredibly poorly rendered and then the old stuff… well, it is still pretty terrible.

Oh well. Still a good series overall.

IRON FIST: THE LIVING WEAPON #2 (Kaare Kyle Andrews) Marvel

Hmmph. Not as sexist as the first issue (though the running ‘joke’ about our hero not remembering his bedmate’s name continued), but instead we have an incredibly beautifully rendered and nearly incomprehensible reworking of Iron Fist’s origin.

The wonderful art is keeping me on-board but the story better get into shape or this will go the way of Batwoman.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #1.1 (Slott / Perez / Herring) Marvel

This is Marvel’s current trick of hiding a mini-series within the main series in order to convince people to buy it. Whatever. I would have bought it anyway.

Most of this issue was a retelling of part’s of Spidery’s origins. The added story took up very little of the book but looks like it will take over in issue #2. Okay.

Nice art. Very evocative of Ditko without being a strict homage.

MOON KNIGHT #3 (Warren Ellis / Declan Shalvey / Jordie Bellaire) Marvel

It looks like Moon Knight is going to be all one-off stories. That is a shame because the stories are well-written and the art is very nice, but there never seems to be anything behind them. No depth.

SHE-HULK #4 (Soule / Pulido / Vicente) Marvel

She-Hulk would be the opposite of that. While you get a fun little story about Jen heading to Latveria (though I would shave killed to see Jen say, “Where’s my money, honey?”), you also get the depth with her visiting Matt Murdock and the denizens of her law office and building.

It is the depth that keeps me coming back to a world.

BATMAN ETERNAL #5 (Scott Snyder / James Tynion IV / Ray Fawkes / John Layman / Andy Clarke) DC

A better issue that the last. We get a nice spotlight on Red Robin and Harper Row (not to mention Vicki Vale). Those nanobots are a little indistinct, but they still worked. This issue feels disconnected from the previous ones (though it isn’t), but not in a bad way.

BLACK WIDOW #6 (Edmondson / Noto) Marvel

Every issue of Black Widow has felt like a little story that is getting bigger. Depth is good.

REVIVAL #20 (Tim Seeley / Mike Norton) Image

Speaking of depth, didn’t nearly every character feel a little more real this issue. Even the racists ass felt like something a little…more… now that we got a glimpse of his background.

And now the scope of the story gets bigger. Nice.

THE MOVEMENT #12 (Gail Simone / Freddie Williams II) DC

Well, it lasted a year. The rushed nature of the previous issue continued here, but there was not a lot they could do about that, once it was cancelled. It is as high as it is because of a great line on page 4. “I thought maybe we could remind people, you know? That it’s okay to care.”

If you have ever listened to my poetry, you might understand why I like that line.

CALIBAN #2 (Garth Ennis / Facundo Percio) Avatar

The surprisingly great comic form Avatar continues. If you are a fan of Alien, get this book. It is nothing at all the same, while having that same feel.

Getting rid of a bunch of characters was smart as they were a little hard to keep track of.

Hoe they did it, though… creepy.

SWAMP THING #31 (Charles Soule / Jesus Saiz / Javi Pini) DC

My favourite style of Swamp Thing is the super-laidback, caring semi-human that has this incredible bad-ass side that you do NOT want to mess with.

This issue was THAT all over. He cares about each person and will let you know what he will do to you if you cross him. Very cool.

And the Grey joins the Green, Red and Black. Any other colours? Are we going to have an Avatar vs Lantern colour-off?

MILES MORALES: THE ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #1 (Bendis / Marquez / Ponsor) Marvel

Miles Morales is one o fate best characters in all of comics and this issue reminds us why. He is real.

Well, obviously he isn’t really real, but he SEEMS real.

Only, one thing… PLEASE let that at the end be a trick by Mysterio or Chameleon or something and NOT a Miles Warren-type deal.

Please.

No clones. Spider-Woman is already one to many.


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: The Massive #22

April 27, 2014
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Massive22

Pretty diverse week. Only one real stand-outs, but nothing too bad.

Starting at the weakest.

DEAD BOY DETECTIVES #5 (Toby Litt / Mark Buckingham / Russ Braun) Vertigo

So they are out of the boarding school, so that complaint is gone. Unfortunately this issue was not a lot better. It was very scattered, lacking any real coherence. The structure was hit and miss. The characters are still compelling enough.

THIEF OF THIEVES #20 (Diggle / Martinbrough / Lucas) Image

How many times can I say the same thing? This comic is a movie script. Straight up. That has its plusses and minuses.The characters are there but the plot is kind of jerky at times. This was not one of those times, though. Minus some for the attempted sex scene.

THE SAVIORS #4 (James Robinson / J.Bone) Image

I kind of love that they set up what looked to be a team, gave them personality, and then killed ’em flat, all within one issue.

Talking with the alien.

JUSTICE LEAGUE UNITED #0 (Jeff Lemire / Mike McKone) DC

I am not a JLA guy, but when it was announced that Lemire was going to be writing Justice League Canada, I knew I was going to give it a try. They changed the name, but this is still that book. It is pretty good (which is good, since they cancelled Animal Man for it). I kind of love that it starts with an autograph session.

Question… why is this #0? It clearly starts the story and carries onto the next issue. Why is it not #1?

UNCANNY AVENGERS #19 (Remender / Acuna) Marvel

Solid alternate futre timeline story. Bad guy time travellers trying to dave the earth while the heroes sacrifice everything.

Is Kang going to really save Katie Summers? Won’t that be weird when they go back to the regular time and Havoc and Wasp suddenly have a child?

DAREDEVIL #2 (Waid / Samnee / Rodriguez) Marvel

Shroud wasn’t always like that. I guess that is new for this story. I have to admit that I didn’t know he was blind. That makes a Shroud/DD California meeting an inevitability.

Is DD surrounding himself with a crack team of super-capable women to help him fight crime? If so, I approve.

ORIGINAL SIN #0 (Mark Waid / Jim Cheung / Mark Morales / Justin Ponsor) Marvel

Now THIS is what a #0 should be. It is some interesting backstory, giving us something to make the Watcher feel more… human, I guess… just before he gets his. It is kind of a sweet story, with real repercussions as Nova learns that his father is alive.

BATMAN ETERNAL #3 (Scott Snyder / James Tynion IV / Ray Fawkes / John Layman / Tim Seeley / Jason Fabok) DC

Falcone didn’t thrill me but Stephanie Brown? Yes please! I know some people think of her as Batgirl or Robin, but to me she was always best as Spoiler and this is as close to that as we have come in years.

LAZARUS #8 (Rucka / Lark / Arcas) Image

This book sometimes reminds me of when The Massive was at it best early. Where it lacked in plot it made up for in world building. This is like that. The characters all have immediate hooks and I want to see how things turn out for them, or don’t.

THE MASSIVE #22 (Brian Wood / Danijel Zelelj / Jordie Bellaire) Dark Horse

Speaking of The Massive… this isn’t that. Ignore everything thou have read so far and jeu tread this book. It totally stands on its own and gives us the story of a group of African women trying to ensure that they take care of their own in a convoy across the Sahara.

This is really good comics. (and the art is AMAZING!)


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: The Unwritten: Apocalypse #4

April 19, 2014
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Unwritten_Apocalypse_Vol_1_4_Textless

Not a real strong week (and I don’t really like that cover I posted here, but it was the best book…).

Starting at the weakest.

WONDER WOMAN #30 (Brian Azzarello / Goran Sudzuka) DC

This is not the issue you want to hand someone if you want to convince them WW is a good book. Weak art, incoherent storytelling, just generally sloppy.

Why can’t Hera fix Hippolyta? Because there is more tension if she can’t, I guess. Why are the Amazons openly mocking Diana, and why is she acting like a completely ineffectual leader? Same answer, I suppose.

Oh yeah, what is driving force behind this issue? Zeke. Again. For two and a half years now.

The First Born is messed up.

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #31 (Slott / Gage / Camuncoli / Dell / Fabela) Marvel

Yeah. Well, it wasn’t as bad as issue #30.

In fact, parts of it were quite good.

Here’s the deal… I really like Slott’s Spider-Man. I really liked the whole Otto story (though it had been played out a bit), AND I was looking forward to Peter’s return.

Too bad it was done so poorly. Last issue was an absolute mess. Otto acted like a complete idiot, COMPLETELY out of character, and committed suicide, for no real reason. Now Peter is back, and while I LIKE that, and the storytelling possibilities it gives, there was nothing this issue that made Otto’s decision LAST issue make any more sense.

Oh, and by the way… Peter is still dead. We now have Peter’s body being run by the memories of Peter. I am sure that will be ignored.

Oh, and the Green Goblin reveal was STUPID. STUPID. STUPID.

The good thing? The way Peter was written. The way GG recognized who he was after ONE quip. I laughed out loud at that.

BATMAN ETERNAL #2 (Scott Snyder / James Tynion IV / Ray Fawkes / John Layman / Tim Seeley / Jason Fabok) DC

Solid issue in that ‘moody Batman’ genre. The shock of everyone realizing that Gordon was arrested is counter-weighed a bit by the reader knowing he was set up and that there is no way he won’t be cleared of the charges.

The reveal at the end… was kind of weak. That was a big build up for a fairly boring character.

X-MEN #13 (Wood / Mann / Briones) Marvel

A nice character issue. I liked the insights into Storm, Monet, Psylocke…
I wish Jubilee wasn’t a vampire.
I am not a big fan of the uber-powerful villain types that Wood seems to like, but he was hardly dealt with here.

Overall, a good week for the X, as the next book was…

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

…even better. Another character piece (though aren’t Bendis’ books almost always that?). An interesting thought, which may be overlooked, is the elements of abuse in here. Look at how Dazzler is treated. Now look at how Maria Hill is treated. There are some similarities.

I am interested in where Hijack is going. I am interested in the Sentinel attacks. I am interested in Mystique’s potentially growing band of drug-addicted mutants.

I also really hope that Dazzler is the one to kick her ass.

MS.MARVEL #3 (Wilson / Alphona / Herring) Marvel

Speaking of characterization… this is all that. Even the bit characters seem to have a personality. Wilson could have made that a regular robbery, but instead we get the shooter to BE someone.

I am still waiting for Kamala to stop turning into a blonde. I am sure it will come.

THE UNWRITTEN: APOCALYPSE #4 (Mike Carey / Peter Gross) Vertigo

This was a really great book. The way they built the tension was top notch. Tom has just created an army for someone else, in order to get some information. I am sure he will regret that. Wilson is out of his depth and Pauly Bruckner! That was just about the saddest scene I can recall in recent comic memory.

Wow.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Shutter #1

April 13, 2014
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Shutter1Cover

So, in a couple other aspects of my life, I have been confronted with the spectre of sexism and misogyny. You know how when something gets to the forefront of your mind, you are more likely to notice it elsewhere?

Hey, comics are sexist, who would of thought?

Seriously, though, there were a bunch of things bugging me this week… I’ll point them out when I get to them.

Starting at the weakest…

SUPERIOR FOES OF SPIDER-MAN #11 (Kalan / Peyer / Sliney / Plati / Carnero) Marvel

Remember that great series by Nick Spencer?

This isn’t that. This is two issues in a row of just… sub-par comics. I tried to see if Spencer was coming back, but I am not sure the COMIC is coming back. If it was to still be THIS, I would cancel.

ALL-NEW X-MEN #25 (Bendis / Marquez / Ponsor / Timm / Martin / Adams / Mack / Young / Keith / Rodriguez / Bermejo / Gracia / Williams / Jones / Del Carmen / Campbell / Ruffino / Wicks / Shiga / Hipp / Wittert / Parker / Wilson / Thompson / Smith / Wiacek / Bellaire) Marvel

There is a tradition to take a big anniversary issue, fill it full of great artists (and there is some GREAT art in this issue), and ale a really terrible comic.

Yes, this is that. First off, why is the 25th issue of something worth this treatment? That is not what I would call a major milestone.

Mostly, though, we have a series of pin-ups with a weak story trying to tie them together. (The best parts were the Kitty & Colossus and Logan & Jean mini-steps that had nothing to do with the main story and just seemed stuck in for no reason.)

DAREDEVIL #1.50 (Waid / Bendis / Kesel / Rodrigues / Maleev / Palmer / Lopez) Marvel

Another big anniversary type issue (with stupid numbering) to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of DD.

Another dud, but at least this one tried to give you a story.

A story about a jerk father who acts all condescending and disappointed about his son all the time. Oh, and that is the hero of the book.

Then there was a text piece, that i WAS quite enjoying until it turned out that Bendis and introduced a character, made her interesting, and then fridged her just to create some trauma for DD. (annoying sexism #1) Then there was a Mike Murdock story that was just plain awful. Stupid dialogue giving a DD obscure history lesson and pretending it is a story.

Very disappointing. I put it ahead of the X-Men book because there was a least an attempt at narrative.

FBP #9 (Simon Oliver / Robbi Rodriguez) Vertigo

Apparently this has been optioned for a movie. I bet it would make a better movie than a comic book.(Oh, the male character acts all protective of the capable female character for no reason… but I am not adding this to my annoying sexism list because A: it didn’t seem out of character and B: she ignored him.)

I am dropping this one.

ALL-NEW ULTIMATES #1 (Fiffe / Pinna / Woodard) Marvel

I LOVE Bendis’ Miles Morales. Near the end of the last run, he pretty much assembled a team for him, though it didn’t become official until the pretty lousy Survive comic from a couple weeks back.

THIS is NOT Bendis’ Ultimates. The dialogue is super stilted, the art is sloppy, and the plot is just… meh. The Kitty plot line is okay, but just okay. (Oh, and, the sudden pervasive nature of super-powered people everywhere… is that part of a bigger Ultimate Universe story or did Fiffe just randomly start that with no explanation?)

VERY disappointing. I am going to buy issue #2, because I really want this to be better.

NIGHTCRAWLER #1 (Chris Claremont / Todd Nauck) Marvel

Mostly decent comic, but it is a little ‘aged’, in the way that the Claremont style is a little dated. That’s okay. So am I.

The villain was kind of cheesy, but the big strike against the book is ANNOYING SEXISM #2. Amanda Sefton is an accomplished witch who of fully capable of fighting her own battles. So, our hero teleports her to safety, ensuring she is out of the fight long enough for him to defeat the baddy.

AVENGERS A.I. #11 (Humphries / Araujo / D’Armata) Marvel

A fun little jump back-and-forth through time. Doombot awesome as always. Alexis is turning out to be just a great character.

Pym, the Living Planet?

BATMAN ETERNAL #1 (Scott Snyder / James Tynion IV / Ray Fawkes / John Layman / Tim Seeley / Jason Fabok) DC

Where is Bluebird? She is why I added this book! Seriously though, this is a solid Batman book. The messing with Gordon is good timing for the new cop, Bard. Clearly Gordon is being manipulated / set up, but that doesn’t make it less of an interesting read.

MIGHTY AVENGERS #9 (Ewing / Land / Leisten / D’Armata) Marvel

I already knew who Ronin was so the reveal meant little. It is the Brashear story that really deserves the spotlight. How do you make a story interesting when the hero is so overpowered? Hit him in the ‘feels’.

One thing that made me squirm was the idea that the Marvel ‘Age of Heroes’ no started sometime AFTER the year 2000.

Ugh.

IRON FIST: THE LIVING WEAPON #1 (Kaare Kyle Andrews) Marvel

Oof. I had a real problem figuring out where to slot this book. One one hand, this could have been easily the best book of the week. On the other hand it is an offensive piece of crap.

Let’s start with the positives… why a beautiful looking book! The lay-outs, the design, the STYLE of this book are TOP NOTCH. The storytelling (except the part I will mention below) was excellent. Great book… except…

ANNOYING SEXISM #3!!!!

So, he is begin interviewed… by the least professional reporter ever. They make a comment about there begin a student in order to justify it, but I will tell you that my work with Slam has had me interviewed by a number of student reporters and she is the worst I have ever seen. By a lot.

She is depicted as a complete airhead who blatantly flirts (and not in a grown-up, classy kind of way) with her interviewee, seeming more interested in getting him into bed than interviewing him.

Which he obliges.

Oh, how old is Danny Rand supposed to be? How old would this STUDENT reporter be?

Then, once they end up in bed, it is quite clear that he barely acknowledges her as human. She may as well be a sex-doll. They make a RUNNING JOKE that he can’t remember her name as she keeps repeating it to him.

Aaargggghhh…. I should have ranked this lower.

But, it IS the best looking book on the market. Any chance we can get a new writer and just let Kaare keep drawing it? Is tho stye J.H. Williams III conundrum?

ASTRO CITY #11 (Busiek / Anderson / Ross / Sinclair / Comicraft) Vertigo

This is solid story about the support staff behind a hero. Busiek obviously loves this concept as he has dipped ingot hat well a few times. The hero is a cross between Dr. Strange and a certain era of Wonder Woman… but does she ever come across badly here. If she is SOOO busy, why is it that every time we are show the hero, she is enjoying drinks with someone or ones? Or hungover from a previous celebration of her begin a hero.

All that makes her assistant come across as abused rather than anything else.

Oh, but part of the story included references to their old place outside of Victoria.

(I could throw another annoying sexism warning in there, but if I started complaint about how female characters dress, we would be here all day…)

SHUTTER #1 (Joe Keatinge / Leila Del Duca / Owen Gieni / Ed Brisson) Image

Until now! What a breath of fresh air! This is an interesting story about a women who grew up as an globe-trotting (and beyond) explorer who is now a photographer. Strong, interesting character. Nice art. Solid plot. Interesting story-propelling ending. AND a couple of great bonus strips in the back (ESPECIALLY MUNGORE!!!)

Yes. Buy this book and all is forgiven.