Rusty's World

Rusty’s Comic of the Week(s): Saga #8

January 4, 2013
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This is two weeks worth of comics since I was away for a bit. The real drama here, since it covers two weeks, is whether Hawkeye or Saga was going to be the better issue.

 

I guess I have spoiled that already.

 

Starting at the weakest.

 

BEFORE WATCHMEN: MOLOCH #2 (J.Michael Straczynski / Eduardo Risso) DC

When I read issue #1, right up until the last page I thought it was a one-shot. Now I wish it was.

The first issue gave a back story for Moloch. Something to make you care a little more about him. This issue just goes into unnecessary detail about stuff the happened in Watchmen that needed no extra explanation. In fact, this hurts the original story. Screw this issue. It just sucks.

 

FF #2 (Matt Fraction / Michael Allred / Laura Allred) Marvel

This comic was also unnecessary, but not in the actually damaging way that Moloch was. In this issue NOTHING HAPPENS. The Fantastic Four didn’t come back in four minutes. That’s it. I have high hopes for this comic and issue #1 did not let me down. Issue #2 did.

 

COMEBACK #2 (Brisson / Walsh / Bellaire) Image

This book isn’t bad, but it really doesn’t touch on anything new so far. If you were told the premise, you could probably come up with the story thus far. Hopefully that changes. I am not a big fan of the art, either.

 

CAPTAIN MARVEL #8 (DeConnick / Sebela / Soy / Gandini) Marvel

Was there supposed to be sexual undertones to the scene between Carol and Monica? If so, well done. If not, not so well done. What the last two issues reminded me is that I like Monica as Captain Marvel more than Carol.

Soy is leaving the book.

 

AMERICA’S GOT POWERS #4 (Jonathan Ross / Bryan Hitch) Image

What stops this issue from being higher on the list is that I am not going back and rereading the series every time a new issue comes out. If you can’t publish a comic with an ongoing story in some sort of timely fashion you should finish the whole book before soliciting any of it.

 

AVENGERS ARENA #2 (Hopeless / Walker / Martin) Marvel

I like the premise of the book and the feel of the book. What I didn’t like was side tracking the story for some back-exposition in the second issue. Killing a character is such on off hand way that we didn’t even know cheapens the whole thing as well.

 

WONDER WOMAN #15 (Brian Azzarello / Cliff Chiang) DC

Now we are getting into the better books. This issue is full of great characterization. Hera is the best example, but all of them – from the new brother to Hephaestus – are great. Orion still needs fleshing out, but that is to be expected.

 

FABLES #124 (Bill Willingham / Shawn McManus) Vertigo

This issue was well done… I suppose. The problem is that I haven’t liked the Bufkin story at all so getting a full issue of it doesn’t help (other than telling me it is over). It is better than the last two issues, but I am looking forward to getting back to the core of the book… and it looks like it is coming.

 

AVENGERS #2 (Jonathan Hickman / Jerome Opena / Dean White) Marvel

Good book in general, though it suffers from Hickman-itis. WHat I know about the new status quo I got from interviews and the diagram. It seems like that as Tony and Steve talk about the fact that they are changing things, that you might tactually TALK ABOUT HOW THEY ARE CHANGING THINGS. If you just went by the story you would assume the big change is that there are a bunch of reservists. Not a big change at all.

 

ALL-NEW X-MEN #4 (Brian Michael Bendis / Stuart Immonen / Wade von Grawbadger / Marte Gracia) Marvel

Nitpick: Going by the cover, it would seem that von Grawbadger has second billing. I know that i snot the intent but it is confusing.

Where Bendis works, and where this book works, is focusing on character. That works best here by focusing on the time lost heroes. This issue does that, to its benefit. Too much Cyclops and Magneto, except as villains, is a bad idea. (Side bit: Hank knowing… Beast’s password was a perfect touch – if not a bit inaccurate. Someone like Hank would change his password often.

 

THIEF OF THIEVES #20 (Kirkman / Asmus / Martinbrough / Serrano) Image

What can I say that I haven’t said yet? Basically, this comic is a good heist movie, in comic form.

 

BATWOMAN # 15 (J.H. Williams III / W.Haden Blackman / Trevor McCarthy) DC

Avengers Arena, listen up. THIS is how you do a side story to give added character to a supporting cast member. In one issue, without doing anything drastic, you have made the readers care more about Maggie Sawyer. It sure made me hope that she and Kate keep it together (and that Kate shares her secret).

 

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #700 (no cover credits, but Slott / Ramos / Olazaba / DeMatteis / Camuncoli / Buscema / Van Meter / Buscema) Marvel

The first Buscema is Sal. The second one is Stephanie.

Look, there is no shock about this comic. The only question is how long it will take and how will they revert to the status quo. In the meantime they have made me interested in the story, and that is enough.

The scenes with Mary-Jane, though, are really bloody creepy and they had better address that. Otherwise it is rape, pure and simple. (Assuming it goes that way.) We’ll see.

As for the back-ups, the deMatteis one is getting praise and I don’t understand why. It is routine and hardly original in its obvious pay-off. In addition, let’s all laugh and how old people lose their memory! Ha ha!

No thanks.

The Black Cat story was cute.

 

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #18 (Bendis / Marquez / Ponsor) Marvel

Remember what I said about Bendis on the X-Men book? This is where he proves it. The plot is not the point in USM. The story is not the point. The characters are the point. Miles is perfect. Jessica is perfect. The real star of this book, though, is Jefferson.He did the right thing, but he still killed people. That is not an easy thing.

Well done.

 

UNWRITTEN #44 (Mike Carey / Peter Gross) Vertigo

Forget the reveal. What I liked about this book is Tom’s new attitude. He is just going to keep going forward and will never assume that something can’t be done. It is the perfect evolution of his unbelieving wide-eyed wonderment from the start of the series.

And that reveal… looking forward to issue #45. 🙂

 

HAWKEYE #6 (Fraction / Aja / Hollingsworth) Marvel

Remember how good the first 5 issues of this book were?

This issue is better.

It is all about Hawkguy. Like the guy from M*A*S*H.

 

Saga #8 (Brian K. Vaughan / Fiona Staples) Image

How could a comic be better than the best issue of Hawkeye? By being Saga. In the last two issues they have made an already great character (Alana) a hundred times better by showing her when she is vulnerable. Marko was excellent, as always. His father showed the seeds of how Marko came to be. The ‘meet cute’. Gwendolyn.

I love this comic.

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Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Dial H #6

November 11, 2012
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Is that title right? Wasn’t the book on the bottom of the list and threatened to drop?

Yep.

Starting at the weakest…

AvsX: CONSEQUENCES #5 (Gillen / Walta / Charalampidis) Marvel

Turns out I have been spelling Jim Charalapidis’ name wrong all this time. Sorry Jim!

This mini is text book good idea / bad execution. The art in this issue was really, really bad. The story was decent… Cyclops is now a full villain, working with Magneto and Magik. The question is whether they are going to start calling themselves the Brotherhood. They should.

The only thing is… I am unsure whether Bendis, the write of their next series, sees them as villains. I hope so. I don’t think I am going to be picking it up anyway. We’ll see. It has been a long time since the X-Men have been worth reading, in general.

BEFORE WATCHMEN: MOLOCH #1 (J.Michael Straczynski / Eduardo Risso) DC

Right up until I read he news page at he back, I thought this was a one-shot. It read like a one-shot – straight up origin story. It was okay, but nothing ground-breaking.

SWAMP THING #14 (Scott Snyder / Yanick Paquette) DC

“Abby is dead!” “No she isn’t!” “Yes she is!” “No she isn’t!”

We get the point. We need more than that. The rest f the story is just generic zombie fighting.

NEW AVENGERS #32 (Bendis / Pacheco / Martinez / Beredo) Marvel

As Bendis is going around setting things straight, like making Dr. Strange Sorcerer Supreme again, he MAY be figuring out a way to bring Dr. Voodoo back. Of course he kills two more people along the way. One has heavy duty mystical ties so he is easily returned. The other… I just don’t buy. Not that she is an important character on her own, but her placement in the movie and the upcoming SHIELD tv show tells me that they won’t dispense with her that simply.

AVENGERS #33 (Bendis / Dodson / Dodson / Keith) Marvel

Having the old team back is still working for me. The banter betweenJanet and Hank was great. The art was nice (hough not top-Dodson stuff). The villain is pretty lame, though.

ANIMAL MAN #14 (Jeff Lemire / Steve Pugh / Timothy Green II / Joseph Silver) DC

Same basic plot as Swamp Thing, but the comic works better for me. The Maxine stuff gets the right balance of scared. The Buddy team is interesting and the last page reveal makes me look forward to the next issue! (Though I bet they aren’t with the Rot…)

FAIREST #9 (Lauren Beukes / Inaki Miranda) Vertigo

Let’s see… the art is not very good… the cover is way below Hguhes’ usual standard (though I like the fabric)… the story wasn’t strong and making sex the way to get her hair to grow again was kind of gratuitous…

So why did I like this issue as much as I did? Not sure. The whole thing just works.

AVENGING SPIDER-MAN #14 (Cullen Bunn / Gabriele Dell’Otto  Dommo Snachez Aymara) Marvel

I am a story first guy and I have not been impressed by Bunn. So why is this book so high. The art! Dell’Otto doing dinosaurs is just beautiful! The story isn’t awful and stays out of the way and those wonderful Savage Land scenes, complete with… firebreathing velocoraptors? Sure. Looking forward to the next issue.

AVENGERS ACADEMY #39 (Gage / Grummett / Hamscher / Sotomayor) Marvel

I wish I could say the same thing about this one, but there is no next issue to look forward to. A nice little tie-up. I am probably rating this too high, but it is getting a bump for the series rather than just this issue. Woefully under-purchased.

My only question is… what was Finesse looking up at the end there? Doing the final ending about one of the least interesting characters in the book was too bad as well. Still… good series.

DIAL H #6 (China Mieville / Mateus Santolouco) DC

Here is a book that has been VERY close to getting the axe for me… and now it is the book of the week. Let’s start with the art: it is suddenly way better. The artist didn’t change, just his choices. This time he put some effort into storytelling rather than just making pretty pictures. It is probably because this book is so quiet and he will go back to drawing chaos again next issue. For now, I can enjoy it.

Then the story… great, great, GREAT! Eat it, Super Chief! And Yes, I did get the overt right cross at Alan Moore. The character interplay between Nelson and Roxie was excellent. The insight into their lives was excellent. The attack of the flying horse was shitty. (Just kidding… it too was excellent.)

Great comic.