Rusty's World

Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Hawkeye #1

August 5, 2012
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Anybody who knows me at all should not be surprised at my comic of the week choice.

Big week, made bigger because I missed two books last week and got them this week.

 

Starting from the weakest.

 

BEFORE WATCHMEN: NITE OWL #2 (J.Michael Straczynski / Andy Kubert / Joe Kubert) DC

Wow, was this ever a trashy comic. Bad story, bad writing, bad everything. Even the art wasn’t great. (Not terrible, though)

My only question at this point is whether I will miss the pirate back-up parts I don’t get if I don’t finish this miniseries.

 

WORLDS’ FINEST #4 (Levitz / Perez / Maguire / Koblish) DC

Why are we still getting this? Oh yeah… wanting to support female led books. And, in fact, that is what is good about the books. The characters of Huntress and Power Girl are interesting. (That and the great art), but the problem is that the villain they are facing… well, who cares? No character. No motivation. No nothing. They even ask the question on the cover without even thinking about answering it.

 

DIAL H #4 (China Mieville / Mateus Santolouco) DC

Just when this books tarted getting better, this confusing mess comes out. What is it with writers who try to hide the plot? In fact, this WOUDL have been below WF except the scene where the ‘hero’ turns himself into a hero WITHOUT his magic dial… well, that was nice moment.

 

BEFORE WATCHMEN: COMEDIAN #2 (Brian Azzarello / J.G. Jones) DC

I still don’t like the Forrest Gump version of the Watchmen. (‘So Comedian is chatting with Bobby Kennedy at the Ali / Liston fight…’) Having said that, much like the first issue, they do a decent job with such an annoying conceit.

 

AVENGERS ACADEMY #34 (Gage / Grummett / Hamscher / Sotomayor) Marvel

Tom Grummett is back! Yay! The story is continuing respecting the AvX continuity but not making it an integral part of the book! Yay! Jeremy Briggs is back! Yay!

What I didn’t like was the quickness that Briggs revealed his master plan. That seems like something that they should stew with a while. Is he good or not? The answer is emphatically not. Okay.

I also don’t like the existence of SPINtech. I didn’t like in A:I and I don’t like it here. It is too pat. There is a reason that Forge’s nullifier (Or whatever it was killed) was destroyed.

 

AVENGING SPIDER-MAN #10 (DeConnick / T.Dodson / R.Dodson / Delgado) Marvel

Another solid issue of Captain Marv… I mean Avenging Spider-Man. Seriously though, if this is the tone that the on-going Captain MArvel book is going to have, I’m all in.

 

iZOMBIE #28 (Chris Roberson / Michael Allred) Vertigo

A decent wrap-up to a prematurely ended book. This book reminds us what went wrong, with too many characters and plot threads all ending up here. The final resolution really worked for me, though. And no, not because Gwen got naked.

 

NATIONAL COMICS: ETERNITY #1 (Jeff Lemire / Cully Hamner / Derec Donovan) DC

So, when does one of the dead weight D 52 books (like Resurrection Man or something) get cancelled so Jeff Lemire’s Eternity can become a regular book?

Would it help if I said please?

 

ANIMAL MAN #12 (Jeff Lemire / Scott Snyder / Steve Pugh) DC

Speaking of Lemire… the Rotworld story ‘starts’ here (really it started in issue #1, but who is counting). I love the mix between the aggressive ‘male’ attitudes of Buddy and Swampy – ‘we are going to take the fight to them!’ – and the more protective ‘female’ attitude of Ellen – ‘we need to protect Maxine and save Cliff!’ Well done… and as we fight out next issue…

 

SWAMP THING #12 (Snyder / Lemire / Rudy / Green / Owens) DC

…the men aren’t exactly correct in their decision. I wasn’t thrilled with the ‘you ladies mind the fort while us menfolk go off to battle’ bit but the women found themselves neck deep in it pretty fast regardless.

One thing I will say right now… the thing that Arcane said about them being in there for a year? Baloney. Mark my words.

 

THIEF OF THIEVES #7 (Kirkman / Spencer / Martinbrough / Serrano) Image

Nick Spencer wrapped up the opening arc of the book and a smart and stylish way. The cops were outsmarted but in a way that ensured that Redmond has to continue in the thief biz. I am looking forward to seeing what James Asmus can do with it. I am also looking forward to seeing what AMC can do with it.

 

RASL #15 (Jeff Smith) Cartoon Books

Speaking of comics that have been optioned… we have the wrap up of Rasl. Quite satisfying, but the twist didn’t feel organic when reading it this way. It might feel better when reading them all at once. The twist AFTER the twist, on the other hand, read REALLY well. Destroying knowledge doesn’t work for me. This does.

 

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #13 (Bendis / Marquez / Ponsor) Marvel

Miles is one of the most ‘real’ seeming characters in all of comics. That sadness/depression/guilt he is feeling WORKS. You FEEL what he feels.

Then, the face to face at the end was perfect, brief as it was. Then Cap had to wreck it. So far.

 

AVENGERS VS X-MEN #9 (Aaron / Kubert / Dell / Martin) Marvel

Surprised to see this book rate so highly? Me too… but it deserves it. Spider-Man as the never quit, give it all, fight until the last breath leaves his body hero is jsut perfect here. Other writers have done that with Peter Parker before, but it doesn’t get old. It reminds me of the last stand of Skurge, but Spidey, even as he sacrificed himself, never lays down and dies. He keeps trying to find a way… and he does!

Emma is about to get very scary. My guess is that Cyclops takes her down… before doing SOMETHING to let himself be beaten and killed. By the end it will be the Avengers AND the X-Men vs the Cyclops/Phoenix, but ultimately he will defeat himself, intentionally, when he sees what he has become.

Let’s see if I am right.

 

HAWKEYE #1 (Fraction / Aja / Hollingsworth) Marvel

I have been waiting for years for a decent Hawkeye comic. The Gruenwald mini was decent and it led to a good run leading the West Coast Avengers. That was a long time ago, though. Solo Avengers was D-list at best. That crazy mini with his pet werewolf, or whatever that was, is worth forgetting. The more recent Hawkeye and Mockingbird series was better… but not much.

And now this.

What a great comic. This is Batman: Year One and DD: Born Again, but for HAWKEYE. The story is excellent (forget the fact that he heals in six weeks… if you really want to be picky, why would he be in a regular hospital? The answer is because that is how this book works. The art is excellent and the DESIGN of the book is worth buying the book for all by itself.

If it continues at this level of quality, expect it to become a fixture at the Rusty’s COmic of the Week list.

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Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Spider-Men #2

July 2, 2012
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Compared to some recent weeks, this one was not great. A bunch of decent books, but not the onslaught of awesome we get sometimes.

Starting from the weakest.

THE NEW DEADWARDIANS #4 (Dan Abnett / I.N.J. Culbard) Vertigo

My problem with this book is that it is so weak on plot. We are four issues in and very little has happened. Everything is setting up character, with little regard for story. Sometimes that works (see earlier issues of iZombie). It started to work in issue 3, but I am back to finding myself not really caring about what is going on. I don’t care for the art much either.

JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #10 (Jeff Lemire / Mikel Janin) DC

The book isn’t bad, but the little touches that Lemire throws in (Constantine hangs out in the ‘House of Mystery’ while they hunt for the ‘Books of Magic’) make this feel like a parody book. “What if the Vertigo books were superhero books?” I need to ignore all that to get to the fact that this is a decent read. This is not the Hellblazer Constantine. Deal with it. One doesn’t affect the other and that is a good thing.

I like the idea of a return of Abnegazer, Rath and Ghast but I don’t really like their new designs.

BEFORE WATCHMEN: NITE OWL #1 (J.Michael Straczynski / Andy Kubert / Joe Kubert) DC

Updated BW rankings: 1. Silk Spectre, 2. Minutemen, 3. Comedian, 4. Nite Owl

Maybe the upcoming titles will make me feel better about this issue, but the characterization of Rorschach and Dr. Manhattan were really… off. Rorschach told a sex joke about Nite Owl’s costume being too tight after he talked to Silk Spectre. Really? It was VERY out of place. The Crimebusters meeting was a lot better back when things like Manhattan noticing Silk Spectre were subtle.

I liked Dan, but all of the trappings of the book were off. It is like JMS was given the Nite Owl assignment but really wanted to write all of them… but not well.

ALL-STAR WESTERN #10 (Palmiotti / Gray / Moritat / Garcia-Lopez) DC

I like Tallulah, but the forced inclusion of Batman elements is really annoying me. This Court of Owls nonsense has no place in a Jonah Hex comic. They just look ridiculous in the owl masks… overall, the sooner Hex gets away from Gotham, the better it will be.

The Bat Lash back-up was great. It was funny and the Garcia-Lopez art even outshone Moritat, who I normally quite love but this issue had some spots that felt… rushed. Next… Dr. Thirteen? I didn’t know there was a western version…

BATMAN INCORPORATED #2 (Grant Morrison / Chris Burnham) DC

This is the story of Talia and it works very well. In a DC line that has done everything it can to invalidate and erase past continuity, Morrison wrote an issue to ensure the backstory that he needs still exists in this post-post-crisis universe. Talia is a character the vacillates between characiture and a-level villain and it looks like Morrison has her firmly in the latter camp. Her betrayal of he father at the end of the book sets up the coming issues weel. The cover is a little odd. Is that an Az-Bats helmet? What are El Gaucho and the others doing there? Who is the guy with Azrael and Batwing?

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #688 (Slott / Camuncoli / Janson / D’Armata) Marvel

Slott makes ASM one of the best books of the old style. It isn’t all events and bombast. (Even when there is is an ‘event’ like the previous Doc Ock story, what made it so is marketing. It continued to be a regular book where one issue came after the next without five cross-overs etc…)

It is all about Peter. Without saying it, this issue shows that his idea of responsibility is changing. It doesn’t just mean, don’t let that mugger run past you. It means doing what you can to help, all the time.

Also, I LOVE the science side of this book now. Horizon Labs is the best thing to happen to the ASM book since… I can’t even remember. Certainly well before the JMS run.

ULTIMATES #12 (Hickman / Humphries / Ross / Garney / Milla) Marvel

Wow, did this book get good all of a sudden! This was a low, teetering book earlier in the run. What is the difference? I think it is Sam Humphries. I am not sure because Hickman’s name is still on the cover, but I think Humphries’ storytelling style is a lot clearer than Hickman’s is.

The defeat of Reed Richards was inventive and exciting… as long as you don’t say it out loud. When you try to explain that Tony convinced his tumour to convince the city to stop supporting Reed… well, that just sounds crazy.

Great, though.

Side note: I want to see the West Coast Avengers that they teased a few issues back.

SPIDER-MEN #2 (Bendis / Pichelli / Ponsor) Marvel

Here is the book that they fell short on delivering in issue #1. The fight between Peter and Miles was great in that it really boosted up Miles, without making Peter look weak. Everything unfolded the way it should, including the addition of Nick Fury. THe talk between Peter and Nick was excellent. In one massive word ballon Bendis showed that ‘decompressed’ storytelling is not all he can do. 🙂

After the first issue there was a debate about which Mysterio that was. Both??!?! They are the same guy?

Awesome.