Rusty's World

Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Saucer Country #11

January 27, 2013
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Here we go with another week of Rusty’s comic reviews….

 

Chris Koch wanted to know my take on Uncanny X-Force #1. I don’t read it but he told me what happened so I went and checked out the final page.

Ewwwwwww.

 

On to the comics I DO read, starting at the weakest.

 

WINTER SOLDIER #14 (Ed Brubaker / Butch Guice) Marvel

I kept hoping for a good pay-off to this story. Instead it is just semi-misogynistic crap, like most of the story has been. What was great about this book when it first started was that it was really a Bucky & Black Widow comic. This whole story has had Black Widow being a maguffin rather than a character. She is the woman in the refrigerator despite not actually being killed. Even in the end, she serves as angst for Bucky rather than a character in her own right. Does she ever even speak as herself in the comic?

Weak.

I am dropping the book. I know the creative team is changing, but it has soured for me.

 

BATWOMAN #16 (J.H. Williams III / W. Haden Blackman) DC

When can beautiful art be a detriment to a book? Here it is.

The thing that has been lost here is storytelling. Williams as writer has written a script that just allows Williams as artist to do big, lovely double-page spreads where he then stuffs in text blocks to try and understand what is going on… because the art doesn’t really show you at all.

The strength of comics is as linear storytelling. This doesn’t do that at all. If that is what you want, I would prefer you do it Stardust style, where Neil Gaiman provided Charles Vess with a prose story for him to illustrate. Don’t try to pretend it is comics when it isn’t.

 

AVENGERS #3 (Jonathan Hickman / Jerome Opena / Dean White) Marvel

There are world-threatening villains. The Avengers are an army now so they can take care of it! Except they don’t. Captain Universe does. Okay, what? How is having Captain Universe appear any sort of strategy? They can’t control that. (Oh, and side note, Hyperion can beat up the Hulk? No thanks.)

Eh.

 

UNCANNY AVENGERS #3 (Rick Remender . John Cassaday / Laura Martin) Marvel

That was better. Villains (but not over-powered, godly ones) fighting Avengers. Things look bleak, but I have a feeling the good guy swill figure out a way to pull this off. (Side note: I prefer it when Captain America is able to fight mental control himself, but the scene with him and Havoc worked. It was set up well.) (Side note #2: Having a different field leader when Cap is on the team never ‘feels’ right.)

 

BEFORE WATCHMEN: MINUTEMEN #6 (Darwyn Cooke) DC

Other than Silk SPectre, Minutemen is the best of the BW books… but this was probably the worst issue of the mini. Suddenly the whole thing was a plot by the Comedian and now it was Nite Owl who killed Hooded Justice? How does Hollis not now gather his forces with the sole purpose of bringing Comedian down? He could do it.

Good mini. Not great ending.

 

YOUNG AVENGERS #1 (Gillen / McKelvie / Norton / Wilson) Marvel

The book has promise but there were too many niggling little things that kept this book from debuting higher on this list. First off, apparently Wiccan is an idiot. THEY JUST WENT THROUGH A BIG TIME TRAVEL STORY THAT TAUGHT THEM HOW MESSED UP THAT CRAP IS! Why would he pull that?

The Marvel Boy / Kate Bishop thing doesn’t work for me at all. What happened to that cool NORMAL girlfriend that Marvel Boy already had? I assume Miss America is actually going to get some sort of explanation other than “hey, I’m a new superhero who just happened to be in the neighbourhood…”

I am also not a huge fan of the art.

A book like this is going to live or die on characterization, though, and that is working for me so far.

 

WONDER WOMAN #16 (Brian Azzarello / Cliff Chiang) DC

What can I say? Milan is awesome. The insight into his powers was really well done. The bar scene was excellent. Orion was… okay. I still don’t see his point, but hopefully that will come around. Herc is… nasty.

But it is the bar scene that really stood out for me.

 

REVIVAL #6 (Tim Seeley / Mike Norton) Image

There was so much in here. The world is finding out! Everything is going to change now! Anders’ eye shift shows how much you can do with linear art! Someone teach J.H. Williams that!

 

FF #3 (Matt Fraction / Michael Allred / Laura Allred) Marvel

Finally! Now it feels like the comic is actually starting! After two issues of nothing really happening, it was a nice change! (Though, did Darla really do that long scene in nothing but a towel? What is this, Saga?)

 

FABLES #125 (Willingham / Buckingham / Leialoha) Vertigo

An issue of Fables! I mean, a real one! It has been a while since this book felt like itself. Now this is a pure set-up issue, but it still had the feel of the great book we used to love.

Brandish and Leigh are going to be trouble with a capital TRUH!

 

THE MASSIVE #8 (Brian Wood / Garry Brown / Dave Stewart) Dark Horse

Act two of a really exciting movie, no? Did they really turn the ship over to this new country? What do you think?

Does this oil rig country remind you of Great Pacific in any way? A little?

 

SAUCER COUNTRY #11 (Paul Cornell / Mirko Colak / Andrea Mutti) Vertigo

Saucer Country has been hit and miss for me. So much so that when I recently heard that the book is coming to an end, I just sort of shrugged.

Until this issue. Wow.

Forget all the alien stuff and conspiracies and how this issue fits in to the broader scheme of the book. Instead just read it as someone who has had a tough grasp on reality since witnesses something traumatic when he was young. Reading between the lines, I had already guessed some of what was going on… but the fact that people knew made this almost too much. To cause such a visceral reaction. Well done Cornell et al.

 

 

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Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Hawkeye #5

December 8, 2012
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I MAY get next week’s reviews up in decent time but after that I am not going to be able to do so. I expect to fell behind a couple of weeks. Sorry.

 

Starting at the weakest.

 

AVENGING SPIDER-MAN #15 (Cullen Bunn / Gabriele Dell’otto / Dommo Snachez Aymara) Marvel

Last issue a boring story was propped up by some really beautiful art. This issue the art was still good, but not as exciting, and the story was no better.

In fact, I think this i sit for this book. It is good when it is fun but now with the Superior Spidey coming, I can’t picture that. Dropped.

 

SWAMP THING #15 (Scott Snyder / Marco Rudy) DC

The pacing of Rotworld seems off. It doesn’t see, to be moving forward and even then it isn’t clear what it is moving towards.

Plus, the Rudy art is not my cup of tea. He is no Paquette, that is for sure.

 

BEFORE WATCHMEN: COMEDIAN #4 (Brian Azzarello / J.G. Jones) DC

This issue comes across as a montage rather than a story, but the pieces somehow are coherent. Still… Comedian is just so unlikable that it i shard to completely enjoy this book.

I wonder if issue #6 will feature Ozymandias.

 

DIAL H #7 (China Mieville / David Lapham) DC

Lapham is kind of like the poor man’s Steve Dillon. While the art is not great, my complaints before were about a lack of clarity. None of that here. This issue is not as strong as the last, but I am really enjoying the new partnership between Nelson and Roxie. These are definitely not your typical superheroes. Planktonian.

 

FAIREST #10 (Lauren Beukes / Inaki Miranda) DC

Ruthanne joked last month, wondering if Rapunzel was going to be dressed on any covers of this story.

Not so far.

This story continues to be just okay. The story is not really grabbing me and the art is so-so. At least the lead is… repeating myself, am I?

 

AVENGERS #1 (Jonathan Hickman / Jerome Opena) Marvel

Anyone who reads these reviews knows I am not a fan of Hickman, but I am a fan of the Avengers. This has concerned me. The first issue is… pretty good, actually. Some of Hickman’s narrative tics are still there and they still bug me. Dropping in new villains that we have been no reason to care about (and who act kind of stupidly) is not a good start. The art is good. I am not a big fan of the Avengers Army concept as I think you tend to lose out on characterization, but I’ll give it a chance. Cannonball joining = cool. Hyperion = not cool. Captain Universe? What?

We’ll see.

 

ALL-NEW X-MEN #3 (Brian Michael Bendis / Stuart Immonen / Wade Von Grawbadger / Marte Gracia) Marvel

Not as good as last issue. The leads don’t appear until the final page. Focusing on the villains for an issue is okay, though. I’m not sure about the malfunctioning powers bit. Is this just to turn Cyclops back into the version we remember (powerset-wise) and to stop Magneto from being too powerful?

 

ANIMAL MAN #15 (Jeff Lemire / Steve Pugh / Timothy Green II / Joseph Silver) DC

The pacing is the same on Swamp Thing but Lemire just does it better. ANimal Man’s army if interesting and the scenes with Maxine and William are chilling. Sure she acts stupidly, but she is a little kid. She SHOULD act stupidly. Continuing the ‘at home’ story gives AM a grounding that ST just doesn’t have. The art is better, too.

 

GREAT PACIFIC #2 (Joe Harris / Martin Morazzo) Image

The story is starting to take shape here, and it is a good one. Can a country be non-stationary? Is Chas going to turn this place into some sort of viable haven? (Side note: New Texas = bad name.) He was way too quick on the trigger there… realistic Texan maybe?

I’m interested in what happens next.

 

BEFORE WATCHMEN: MINUTEMEN #5 (Darwyn Cooke) DC

This is one of the best BW minis, next to Silk Spectre, and what do both of those series have in common? Look up one line and the name in the brackets. Cooke really gets these characters and handles the time period very well. The Dollar Bill one-pager was excellent. The wedding worked. The comic book heroes bit worked okay, though it wasn’t great. The Hooded Justice story is clearly not over so I wouldn’t assume all is what we see.(Um, what was that panel all about? You know the one…)

 

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #699 (Slott / Ramos / Olazaba / Delgado) Marvel

This issue was so much better than the last. #698 had the big reveal but after a fairly lacklustre comic. This issue really made us feel the fear and desperation. The Lizard scene didn’t make a lot of sense… especially if Slott wasn’t using it as an excuse for Peter to break Curt out with him. Time will tell.

Only one more issue… at it is a massive. A budget buster. Apparently they are expecting it to break records. I don’t care, really. Just make it really good because it is really expensive.

 

HAWKEYE #5 (Fraction / Pulido / Hollingsworth) Marvel

Last issue was a ‘little’ weaker than the run had been so far. This issue totally made up for it. Good stuff. (Though, Wolverine? Why would they use Wolverine? How would that be a scandal at all? He probably killed more than that last week.)

This is Hawkeye. It isn’t that he has never killed. It is that he isn’t proud of it and would prefer to not do it. Okay.

It looks like Kate know has her own arch-enemy.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Hawkeye #3

October 27, 2012
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I am trying to catch up… really I am. A combination of being quite busy and a relatively new addiction to Out of the Park Baseball has kept me tied up. 🙂

 

From the weakest to the strongest…

 

MARVEL NOW! POINT ONE #1 (A whole bunch of people not credited on the cover) Marvel

Who gets blamed? The con man or the sucker? $5 for what is basically an advertising pamphlet. There are no stories in here – just hints of stories leading to new series being launched in the future. I have no problem with this concept and I think it is a great idea to give away at comic store… what? Not given away? Charged $5? What the hell?

When I ordered this, I thought I was getting new stories that helped set the stage for the new status in the marvel universe. Nope. Nothing more than little teasers. It is kind of liking watching one of those new tv season specials they use to have every september.

Pass this by. Don’t make the same mistake I did.

 

AvsX: CONSEQUENCES #2 (Gillen / Kurth / Martinez / Charalampios) Marvel

I didn’t mind issue #1… what happened here? Well the big thing is the art. It is awful. In a book that is mostly a conversation, the art was very distracting. The story was decent… showing Cyclops to be totally deranged. He has become a villain of the best sort – one that is convinced that he is right.

 

AVENGERS ASSEMBLE #8 (Bendis / Bagley / Miki / Mounts) Marvel

If this weren’t the last issue of this run, I would be cancelling it. It just never get good. Kelly Sue DeConnick takes over next issue, though, so I am going to hold on. Bendis is off to do Guardians and while I may miss him on New Avengers, I won’t miss him here.

 

ULTIMATE IRON MAN #1 (Edmondson / Buffagni / Troy) Marvel

Remember the previous UIM? By Card? if I didn’t know that had been jettisoned I wouldn’t have bought this.

It wasn’t bad. I don’t like the thing with the coin, but I do want to see more of the Ultimate Mandarin. It wasn’t tied in to the current Ultimate continuity enough.

 

CAPTAIN MARVEL #5 (DeConnick / Rios / Bellaire) Marvel

I will keep giving this book middling ratings until they let us in on what is going on , or at least have that seem to be more important. Emma Rios has joined the book! I quite like Rios, though I am not certain this is a perfect fit for her. She is best on quite dark books, in my opinion, and this is fairly light. Still better than no Rios at all!

 

WONDER WOMAN #13 (Brian Azzarello / Tony Akins / Dan Green) DC

It is nice to get back to the real book after the travesty off issue #0. Let’s start with that great Cliff Chiang cover. This issue is a very good ‘characer’ issue and the cover kind of shows that is leading somewhere rather than dumping you in to the middle of something. The mini twist was obvious but that is okay. What is obvious to the reader does not have to be obvious to the characters in the comic. Still a solid read and better than WW has been since… Rucka, maybe? Maybe longer?

 

IT GIRL! AND THE ATOMICS #3 (Rich / Norton / Passalaqua) Image

I am warming to this book after the initial disappointment. The villain team is entertaining and it was nice to see more heroes in action. Just a light, fun book.

 

SAUCER COUNTRY #8 (Paul Cornell / Ryan Kelly) Vertigo

RIght when it looked like it was teetering on the edge of being dropped, they give us a good issue. This comic is best when it focuses on the people rather than the conspiracy. There was a distracting mix up of word balloons that hurts when trying to establish character traits, but still the book worked. And HERE was an ending that I wasn’t expecting!

 

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #16 (Bendis / Larraz / Ponsor) Marvel

Love the comic… but I don’t buy that Cap would welcome him into the Ultimates. Support him? Sure. Train him? Sure. Sign him up for the nation’s official superhero team? No way. If nothing else it would be a pr DISASTER. The comic was great, though. Look at what Miles is using for a cel phone at the end. Nice.

One of the best comic runs going today.

 

THE MASSIVE #5 (Brian Wood / Garry Brown / Dave Stewart) Dark Horse

Great, great issue. This is where the comic really works. GIve us huge world building and then drop in an issue like this one where the world you have built sits in the background while we get to read about the people of the comic and how they operate and maybe a bit of why they are like they are. Great characterization makes for strong comics.

 

NEW AVENGERS #31 (Bendis / Gaydos / Beredo) Marvel

What did I just say? When Bendis really shines it is when he deals with characters over big world-shaking events. Remember last week when I said that Bendis is putting his house in order before he leaves? That includes taking Luke and Jessica off the table so the next writer won’t screw them up. These are two of the best written characters in mainstream comics right now (not quite as good as the couple in Saga, but still very good) yet there is a whole bunch of people who absolutely hate them. I can’t figure out why. Maybe it is because they are too real in a medium that trades on fantasy. I don’t know.

The other thing that Bendis is putting in order? I expect that when the ‘magic’ story is finished, Dr. Strange will have his title back. I’m just saying…

 

BATWOMAN #13 (J.H. Williams III / W.Haden Blackman) DC

This has been a poorly written comic, until issue #0 which was very good. This issue seems to continue that trend… not AS good, but following some new lessons that Williams has learned about writing, I think. (“make sure people know what you are writing about” being a big one). He handles Wonder Woman well, though I don’t want him taking over for Azzarello. And, of course, the big draw for one of these books – he draws it as well. Beautiful, beautiful work. If there is another artist as talented when it comes to design working in comics today, I don’t know who it is (though I should really read some Chris Ware…)

 

BEFORE WATCHMEN: MINUTEMEN #4 (Darwyn Cooke) DC

Who would have thought that the best character to come out of Watchmen was only in it for one panel (or whatever). Silhouette has become my fave in these books, but I suppose that extends to Nite Owl as it is the way he relates to her that makes her so great. Too bad the Nite Owl comic was so bad. Even Silk Spectre seems decent after the graveyard scene. Still don’t like the Comedian, though.

 

HAWKEYE #3 (Fraction / Aja / Hollingsworth) Marvel

3 issues in and the best comic each week it has been out. What comic is better than this comic out these days? Saga? Well, yes, but not much else. The writing, the art, the design, the characters, the characterization… the little Hawkeye head that suddenly appeared to stop us from seeing a little Hawkeye head.

Great comics… and each issue one and done!


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

September 2, 2012
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This was a small week. I only got six comics and as such, even the comic of the week is not something that would normally win on a full sized week. Not to say I didn’t like it, because I did.

 

I also took advantage of Silver Snail’s end of summer sale and picked up a few trades. I got the first volumes of Shade, the Changing Man by Peter Milligan and Chris Bachalo, Top 10 by Alan Moore and Gene Ha, and X-Factor Visionaries: Peter David.

 

Starting at the weakest…

 

INFERNAL MAN-THING #3 (Gerber / Nowlan) Marvel

Yeah, so in the end, not so good. Lovely art by Kevin Nowlan but the story is just confusing and one-note. This also reminds me of how much better Swamp Thing is than Man-Thing.

 

CAPTAIN MARVEL #3 (DeConnick / Soy / Kesel / Elson) Marvel

I really like what Kelly Sue DeConnick is doing with this book. I mean, if ANY book is going to send you the messages of feminism and strength in empowerment it should be the book and character that started as Ms.Marvel. I mean, that was the POINT of the character, once upon a time.

I would still like to know WHY she went through time. Also, her grand stand play sending the Japanese solider back to get his friends was just annoying. Gee, who wouldn’t think THAT would turn out badly. Over all, still good, though.

 

WINTER SOLDIER #9 (Brubaker / Lark / Thies / Gaudiano / Breitweiser) Marvel

From empowered women to the opposite. Black Widow has become a brainwashed pawn. With the number of times Natasha has been brainwashed, reprogrammed, deprogrammed etc., it is a surprise her mind hasn’t broken completely. Still, Bru does a good job with the save / twist. This book reads like an spy/action movie and that works. I wonder if this book will maintain this standard when he leaves, as has been announced.

 

THE NEW DEADWARDIANS #6 (Dan Abnett / I.N.J. Culbard) Vertigo

I run hot and cold on this book, but I quite liked this one. Delving into the downsides of living forever is good. Plus, they have finally introduced the hero of the book.

What? Salt isn’t the hero? But he is a poet, what else could he be?

 

AVENGING SPIDER-MAN #11 (Zeb Wells / Steve Dillon / Frank Martin) Marvel

One of those ‘tear-jerker’ comics that actually doesn’t do the job because it is a little proscribed. Still a very good comic and a nice reminder of what makes Peter into the hero that he is. Solid story telling. I really like Steve Dillon’s art, but I didn’t think it fit here. The Chris Samnee cover worked a lot better. I would have liked to see that in the interior.

 

BEFORE WATCHMEN: MINUTEMEN #3 (Darwyn Cooke) DC

Silhouette has become my favourite Watchmen character… and she was hardly in Watchmen. Maybe that is why. Cooke is able to tell her story without treading on holy ground. Maybe it is also because so many of the other characters are so unlikeable. Comedian is loathsome here. The cut scenes with Dr.Gretchen are really powerful.

As I said, in a stronger week, probably not a contender for top book, but still a very solid read. If anyone asks about Before Watchmen, I would recommend Silk Spectre, Dr.Manhattan and Minutemen without hesitation. Most of the others are middle of the road, with Nite Owl being the exception and the one book I am no longer buying.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: New Avengers #28

July 17, 2012
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Sorry this is so late. I was away in Toronto acting as Slammaster for SLAMtario. That was a lot of fun.

A good week, with a surprise as top pick… but also a couple drops.

DEFENDERS #8 (Fraction / McKelvie / Aymara) Marvel

I was ready to cancel this a couple of issues ago, but getting the Dodsons to draw Black Cat is a way to get a reprieve. 🙂 No such luck any more. The story is scattered and aimless. Most importantly, though, is the terrible characterization. The crazy thing is, the characters that are treated the worst or those from the Iron Fist center of influence… and it is written by Matt Fraction. I don’t get it. This has been a disappointing run and I am dropping it.

DARK AVENGERS #177 (Parker / Shalvey / Walker / Martin) Marvel

Drop #2. I really liked Thunderbolts. I like the parts of this comic that are still Thunderbolts. But I am not going to pay $3 every issue for ‘some’ of a good comic, because the Dark Avengers stuff is just awful. When Bendis remade the Dark Avengers he completely misunderstood what made them interesting in the first place. These were big name villains with strong track records that were taking the places of heroes. Even the original Thunderbolts didn’t make up villains to have them masquerade as heroes. They were well established. Here was get a bunch of d-listers that only existed to give Norman Osborne fodder in his mini. They are not interesting in their own guises… at least yet. Switching them to new guises does not make them interesting. The only one that showed ANY character in this comic was Barney… who is still a pale imitation of the original Trickshot.

Somebody let me know when they bring the real Thunderbolts book back.

AVENGERS ASSEMBLE #5 (Bendis / Baley / Miki /  Mounts) Marvel

Not dropped but on thin ice. This book appears to have no CREATIVE reason to exist. It takes up space as a marketing movie tie-in (which I never buy) masquerading as a ‘legitimate’ comic. The line-up matches the movie. The villain matches the movie’s reveal. Suddenly Black Widow and Hawkeye are kissing… because that matches the movie. The Guardians of the Galaxy appear… what movie was officially announced at ComicCon?

When does Ant-Man join the cast?

I give Avengers books a lot of leeway, but this book is so much a pure advertising vehicle that they should be giving it away, not charging $4.

CAPTAIN AMERICA #14 (Brubaker / Zircher / Deodato / Mounts) Marvel

I didn’t notice Deodato art when I read it. He merged it with Zircher pretty well. I liked this book over all and I like the cold war aspect of a battle with Bravo. I am not quite so taken with Bru’s willingness to kill long-standing characters off, but this was a Scourge story and that is what they are based on. It is worth noting that Mark Gruenwald said later that he was wrong to use Scourge to ‘clear the decks’. Killing characters should never be done lightly as everybody is somebody’s favourite.

SAUCER COUNTRY #5 (Paul Cornell / Ryan Kelly) Vertigo

This has ben a good read so far, but I feel it has been sidetracked a little by the hypnotist thread. It seems that they just now have their ducks in a row and we are going to move forward on the main plot. I am looking forward to it.

AVENGING SPIDER-MAN #9 (DeConnick / T.Dodson / R.Dodson / Delgado) Marvel

If this is what the Captain Marvel book is going to be like, I am sold. You will likely never see it at the top of my list, but a good solid, entertaining super-hero romp is nothing to turn your nose up at. DeConnick is a very good writer and I am glad she is on board. The Dodsons are always great, but they will not be the artists on the Captain Marvel book. I wish they had delayed this book so it came out in the right order, but oh well.

 

SPIDER-MEN #3 (Bendis / Pichelli / Ponsor) Marvel

Not as awesome as issue #2, but still a very good read. ‘Both’ Mysterios are now cooler than they were and the scene at the end… well, let me just say that meeting between Peter and Miles was epic, wait until the meeting of Peter and Aunt May and GWEN STACY.

 

BEFORE WATCHMEN: MINUTEMEN #2 (Darwyn Cooke) DC

Excellent comic. I enjoyed this a lot. Cooke really sets the mood and tone for the time period. The scene where the team decides to NOT go after the child molester is horrific, but it is balanced out by the great Silhouette, Nite Owl, Moth Man mission. Having Sil lead the foray worked on many levels. This book also makes me wish Cooke was doing the Nite Owl book. He got his tone very well. Moth Man breaking down in tears was spot on.

Here is the part that bugs me if I think about it too hard. This is what stops the book from being higher. The parallels between the homosexual relationship in the book and the children being molested was a little too… there. Cutting back and forth between a consensual act that was frowned upon at the time and brutal sexual assault son children is implying something that I TRULY hope was unintentional. If I thought for a second that Cooke was trying to say these have ANY sort of equivalency, I would never buy one of his books again. I HOPE that he was being more subtle and trying to show how ridiculous it is that Larry was worrying about dealing with the ‘gay issue’ while thinking child molesters was beneath their notice.

I hope.

 

THE MASSIVE #2 (Brian Wood / Kristian Donaldson / Dave Stewart) Dark Horse

Note to writers like Hickman and sometimes Morrison: this is how you can do quick jump cuts while not losing the flow of the story. The new Hong Kong in this story is artfully crafted. I am not sure how strong this book is on plot so far but as world-building goes, it is brilliant. I want to know more about this world and see what has happened in every part of it. More, more, MORE!

 

REVIVAL #1 (Tim Seeley, Mike Norton) Image

Speaking of more… what an amazing take on the (somewhat overdone) zombie genre! These aren’t zombies, they are something else entirely. The bit with the teeth was incredibly creepy and the final page reveal promises much more. Seeley came up with a motherlode idea and I guarantee that this will be optioned as a movie or tv show… if it hasn’t already.

 

SWAMP THING #11 (Scott Snyder / Marco Rudy) DC

Don’t let the ugly cover throw you off… this is a very good comic. Arcane. Alec. Abby. The mini parliament of trees. The art was beautifully moody and evocative of the edge of horror that was being called for by Snyder. It seems that the not-quite-crossover is becoming an actual crossover. I will have to remember to pick up the appropriate Frankenstein issue to go along with the two books I already get (Swamp Thing and Animal Man).

 

NEW AVENGERS #28 (Bendis / Deodato / Beredo) Marvel

Before reading the books I NEVER would have guessed this would come out on top. A simple story about three Avengers breaking out of the X-Men’s jail.

Wow.

This was incredibly well done.

I don’t know what else to say. Just read it. Does it ‘matter’ (other than reminding us that the X-Men are very much the villains of this story)? Not really. A good story doesn’t need to ‘matter’.


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).