Rusty's World

Rusty’s Comic of the Week: All-New X-Men #15

August 18, 2013
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all-new-x-men-15

But, you might say, that book didn’t come out this week!

You are correct, but I had some computer issues. Big ones. Ones that mean I am now typing this on a new computer.

So I have two weeks to catch up, but I am still going to it as two posts.

Big week… dredging the memory banks… starting at the weakest…

THE MOVEMENT #4 (Gail Simone / Freddie Williams II) DC

The weakest issue so far. The jump-cuts to mini-backstory bits made it feel like filler. I guess it is trying to give each character some personality but it just didn’t jell for me.

HUNGER #2 (Fialkov / Kirk / Aburtov) Marvel

Just this week Marvel announced that this series was just basically a lead-in to the NEXT series, which IS written by Bendis and (my spec) will likely end the Ultimate Universe and move Miles over to the 616 (under the name Spider Hero? Ugh.)

This was better than issue #1, The Rick Jones / Silver Surfer pairing was okay, but not enough.

SWAMP THING #23 (Charles Soule / Kano / David Lapham / Alvaro Lopez) DC

First off, the art was terrible. I mean REALLY bad. There were a few Swampy shots that were okay and I assume those were Kano, but overall… not good. Look at that Constantine shot on page 2! Holy crap! Then there is that message at the end, written in the trees.

At least I THINK it is a message since it is completely illegible.

Very disappointing. This book has been very good lately.

DIAL H #15 (China Mieville / Alberto Ponticelli / Dan Green) DC

The grand finale. As such , this issue is all about the plot. What is this book good at? Not that.

The plot-centric issues are the worst ones and the pure characterization issues are the best ones. This was definitely the former. I am actually kind of glad it is over.

AVENGERS #17 (Hickman / SPencer / Caselli / Martin) Marvel

So Ex Nihilo, Star Brand and Nightmask are now Avengers? Okay… I guess. I suppose that means their stories now had a purpose, as a set up for this.

I still don’t like the Avengers Army concept, so adding EVEN MORE characters is not good. What else don’t I like? Ridiculously overpowered characters on the team. The worst one in recent memory was Sentry. Now we have Star Brand.

Wow, this wasn’t a very good week, was it…

AVENGERS A.I. #2 (Humphries / Araujo / D’Armata) Marvel

I like Dimitrios as Iron Man, though I think he should take the faceplate off permanently, like he did in that one panel, to differentiate more. The one thing about it, though, is that despite being the Avengers A,I, villain, there is no way Stark wouldn’t get involved. His reaction to his tech being used for untoward purpose has been quite violent in the past.

FAIREST #18 (Williams / Sadowski / Pepoy) Vertigo

Hey, a non-cheescake cover! Some decent characterization stuff in here. I don’t have a lot to say here. Fairest has generally disappointed, but that is because my expectations were quite high.

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #15 (Slott / Ramos / Olazaba / Delgado) Marvel

Ramos should always draw the Hobgoblin. Spider Henchmen! Peter’s favourite women figuring things out! Phil Urich behind on his ‘car’ payments! This is really good stuff! People who are refusing to read this because of Otto are missing out. I am looking forward to the return of Peter as much as anyone, but int he meantime, this is good comics.

TRILLIUM #1 (Jeff Lemire) Vertigo

After some specific recommendations, I thought Trillium would be my top book this week.

Nope. It was really good, but not THAT good. The problem is the art. I am just not a fan. I found it distracted from the story. There were times when I thought it actually obfuscated the plot, and that is just not good. Because the story WAS good. Very good. The flip book conceit was perfect. I really want to know what happens next.

ALL-NEW X-MEN #15 (Bendis / Lafuente / Campbell) Marvel

The art was… perfect. Was it as great as we have had? Technically no, but it showed this team as the youthful characters they are supposed to be. The Hank/Jean scene worked all around. Scott and Bobby out in public was so… teenager!

This book takes over where Avengers Academy left off, and Avengers Arena absolutely DID NOT pick up.

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Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Swamp Thing #22

July 4, 2013
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Swamp_Thing_Vol_5-22_Cover-1_Teaser

Not as good a week as last week, but some solid stuff.

Starting at the weakest.

AVENGERS A.I. #1 (Humphries / Araujo / D’Armata) Marvel

This was certainly the most disappointing book of the week. The set-up last week – the Age of Ultron special issue featuring Hank Pym – was great… but all we have discovered this week is that Sam Humphries is no Mark Waid.

I guess we already knew that after the Ultimates.

Oh well. This is neither written well nor drawn especially well. I like the idea and I thought I liked the characters but so far:

Vision is no longer Vision. He is now a generic android.

Doombot got really annoying really fast.

Monica Chang is such the stereotypical ‘bitch’ character that it takes what COULD be a great female role and turns it into caricature.

Pym is… well, any actual character development has just been thrown out the window. He just recreated Ultron and acts like it is no big deal.

Victor Macha is… the one character I liked in this issue.

Hopefully it gets better.

DIAL H #14 (China Mieville / Alberto Monticelli / Dan Green) DC

This books alternating between beautiful and incomprehensible mess swung more towards the latter this issue. Mieville seems to excel on individual ‘moments’ but has a real problem with over-arching plot.

FAIREST #17 (Williams / Sadowski / Jimenez / Gren / Pepoy) Vertigo

The first annoyingly sexist depiction of the week.

This issue is really just a flashback and one small plot advancement. There just isn’t enough here for this book to score higher.

THE MOVEMENT #3 (Gail Simone / Freddie Williams II) DC

The second annoyingly sexist depiction of the week. Yes, it i swritten by Gail Simone, but that doesn’t mean that the first few pages isn’t a little bit too much ‘baseball bat’ plot development. Later, with the ‘Missy’ line? Much better handling of the concept.

AVENGERS #15 (Hickman / Spencer / Caselli / Martin) Marvel

The third annoyingly sexist depiction of the week: this issue’s cover.

Look at how well most of the cover is drawn. This is Yeinil Yu and the artist has talent. Now look at BLack Widow’s chest.

What… the… hell.

Someone has been borrowing Greg Land’s porn collection.

The inside of the comic is much better. Actual plot development! Decent ‘against-terrible-odds’ fight scenes! Triumph (if only temporary)! Goofy Skrull faces!

Banner’s right hand/left hand thing was too stupid for an actual genius, but whatever. This was a better comic than it has been.

MISTER X: EVICTION #3 (Dean Motter) Dark Horse

A nice wrap-up to the mini. Mister Smith was interesting. A liked his treatise on tattoos and defining of self. I wish I understood the hidden tattoo better. I get the dichotomy, but not why it was created differently than the others.

Looking forward to more Mister X!

THIEF OF THIEVES #15 (Kirkman / Diggle / Martinbrough / Serrano) Image

Best ToT issue in a while. I think it was more actual heist set-up, and less double-triple-quadruple cross for barely any reason. Yes, the book still has a problem with repetition, but this issue worked.

SWAMP THING #22 (Charles Soule / Kano) DC

Seeder is awesome! Who thought the Whisky Tree would work out well? Instead it turned into a DC version of Crossed. Constantine is great in here… better than in JLD. The art is beautiful too.

Very good book. With all respect to Scott Snyder, Charles Soule has made this a much better read.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Swamp Thing #21

June 9, 2013
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swamp thing 21

A bigger week with some pretty good comics.

Starting at the weakest…

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #11 (Slott / Gage / Camuncoli / Dell / Delgado) Marvel

There was nothing wrong with this issue, I just enjoyed it the least out of this week’s books. Otto was especially villainous in thought while continuing to be very effective in his mission. This is a dichotomy that works sometimes but not others. THe thing I DON’T like is that there are a number of JJJ’s who will be reading this who will be cheering for Otto. I call it Azrael syndrome.

AGE OF ULTRON #9 (Bendis / Pacheco / Peterson / Bonet) Marvel

So we get a little speech explaining why the one they can’t do to fix the problem is to… do exactly what they do to fix the problem.

It is interesting to me how little of a book called Age of Ultron has them actually fighting Ultron.

I do hope that there ARE actual changes to history when this is done.

ASTRO CITY #1 (Busiek / Anderson / Ross) Vertigo

I bought the first volume of Astro City in my comic library project and I really liked it so I saw this as an opportunity to jump on-board.

This isn’t as good as the first volume of Astro City, but it is still entertaining and certainly worth continuing with.

American Chibi?

THE MOVEMENT #2 (Gail Simone / Freddie Williams II) DC

A solid first issue was followed by a better second issue. Mouse was especially fun this issue. I understand that the last issue reveal would actually mean something to me if I ever read Gen13.

AVENGERS #13 (Hickman / Spencer / Deodato / Martin) Marvel

This felt like an old-school superhero comic a little. Throwing down against the High Evolutionary!

Though for those who have seen me complain about how over-powered the Blue Marvel is, Hyperion is just as bad. Superman is boring over in DC comics. Why have Superman knock offs over here?

MISTER X: EVICTION #2 (Dean Motter) Dark Horse

This book oozes style. The story is good enough. The actual drawing is good enough. But the STYLE and DESIGN of both makes this book both retro and modern at the same time. It is unique.

FAIREST #16 (Sean E. Williams / Stephen Sadowski / Phil Jimenez / Dan Green) Vertigo

I have complained when Fairest focused too much on make characters but this book felt like we were seeing Nalayani’s story still, but this issue was giving us Charming’s perspective. That works… for an issue.

The art continues to be superb… but the font in the word balloons continues to be very annoying.

ALL-NEW X-MEN #12 (Brian Michael Bendis / Stuart Immonen / Wade von Grawbadger / Marte Gracia) Marvel

Stupid, misleading cover… but I am glad that what happened there did not happen inside. The one line that captures the beauty of this book was “You got to see your brother at his best.”

Meanwhile, their insistence at going and clearing their own name was perfect. Baby X-Men vs Sabretooth could be messy. Good thing Pointy Bits is coming with them.

DIAL H #13 (China Mieville / Alberto Ponticelli / Dan Green) DC

If it wasn’t for the part at the beginning where I felt like I was playing catch-up as the book delved into lots of exposition to try and cover how confusing the book was… it would have been number one. Open-Window Man is ridiculous but he was perfect here as he tried to recreate Batman (as Orphan), but was ultimately rejected… and then saves everyone.

That out of nowhere characterization is what makes this book work. When they get to the more plot-driven parts… well, the plot is not always so comprehensible.

SWAMP THING #21 (Charles Soule / Jesus Saiz) DC

Start with a beautiful cover by Jock… add in strong storytelling and nice art inside. A new interesting Swampy from the past. The Parliament of Trees (threatened YET AGAIN), a new character with promise (though limited). Even some good action bits.

This feels like the best Swampy issue of the relaunch. I was worried about what the book would be like after Scott Snyder left. It is better.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Animal Man #20

May 8, 2013
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comics-animal-man-20

Decent week. A good pile of good comics.

Starting at the weakest…

DIAL H #12 (China Mieville / Alberto Ponticello / Dan Green) DC

The tricky bit when doing a comic this crazy is that sometimes you run the risk of straying over the line from wacky awesomeness to just pointlessly weird. This issue went the wrong way over that line. Open Window Man? really?

The pace was frenetic but it just became disorienting and the story suffered.

AGE OF ULTRON #7 (Bendis / Peterson / Pacheco / Martinez) Marvel

Oh my god! Everything has changed!

Well, duh. And that was the whole issue. It was fine but it was the sort of issue you have to get through to go from the last one to the next one, without having much to offer itself.And the art wasn’t great, either.

Where are the super-brood?

ALL-NEW X-MEN #11 (Brian Michael Bendis / Stuart Immonen / Wade von Grawbadger / Marte Gracia) Marvel

This comic was damaged by the messed up publishing schedule. The big reveal was already spoiled in Uncanny, as was the result of the big reveal. Since this issue was mostly just about that, it felt a little pointless. The bit with Jean and Kitty was good. And yes, Jean is scary.

SWAMP THING #20 (Charles Soule / Kano / Alvaro Lopez) DC

The effect of Scarecrow’s chemicals on Swampy was really well done. That is the perfect nightmare for someone who has become as powerful as he has.

Superman was a straight up dick, though. He clearly needs help and Supes just utters vague threats.

I don’t know where Soule is going to go with the book, but his introduction to it was solid.

SNAPSHOT #4 (Andy Diggle / Jock) Image

So, everything gets wrapped up with a nice, happy ending.

Or not.

Wow, was that depressing.

MISTER X: EVICTION #1 (Dean Motter) Dark Horse

In a book where style takes front seat over story, it is still a pretty solid story! Especially the back-up. The scene where Shrodinger starts directing traffic is great.

If you are fan of design in comics, as I am, do not hesitate to grab any of Motter’s Mr. X books.

THE MOVEMENT #1 (Gail Simone / Freddie Williams II) DC

Did we really need a watered-down, super-hero version of Scarlet?

Yes, actually. I know plenty of people – good people – that if they had super-powers this is exactly what they would do. SUper-heroes are very pro-establishment as it stands, so it is nice to see the other side. I have faith that Simone can do this grey area, after she handled the darker areas so well in Secret Six (a book which should still exist…)

FAIREST #15 (Sean E. Williams / Stephen Sadowski / Phil Jimenez) Vertigo

Bad cover. No wait, great cover, but bad choice for a cover. Giving away the final page reveal on the cover is kind o fa bad idea, no?

This was a very good comic, and I am happy with it, but if this becomes yet another arc where the man is the actual start… well, that would suck.

The first issue was absolutely top-notch, though, so hopefully not.

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #9 (Slott / Stegman / Delgado) Marvel

I really enjoyed Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

This comic was good, too.

The funny thing is, if you look at things a certain way, Otto did nothing wrong. That wasn’t Peter. It was just the memory of Peter.

Still, there is much gnashing of teeth because people thought this was how Peter was going to come back.

Fret not, little ones. Peter will come back.

Just like Steve did. And Clark before him. And countless others.

HAWKEYE #10 (Fraction / Francavilla) Marvel

You really notice it was Aja isn’t here… but I still quite like Francavilla. This book is a little more surreal than it has been, but it takes you where you need to go and does it in style. It doesn’t take you where you might WANT to go, but that ship sailed last issue.

ANIMAL MAN #20 (Lemire / Leon / Green II / Silver) DC

I don’t really understand how this warrants its own story, but I don’t care. This is just a really good story. Trim off the Buddy stuff and just read about Red Thunder.

I want to see his movie. A much, much sadder version of Kick-Ass.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Animal Man #19

April 7, 2013
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Normally when I start these columns, I start by complaining. “This is why I didn’t like this book.” “This is why I am thinking about dropping…”

Not so much this week. I actually liked every book I got.

Good week!

Starting at the (relatively) weakest…

DIAL H #11 (China Mieville / Alberto Ponticelli / Dan Green) DC

This was the first DC book I read with one of those “WTF” covers… and it wasn’t really because they had long ago spoiled that Nelson was going to dial up the Flash. I guess this crossed over with the Flash’s book, but I don’t buy that one.

Nelson was a bit of a jerk here. No wait, he was a HUGE jerk… but that doesn’t bother me because it came across as real. He freaked out.

The accusations of sexual assault, on the other hand, are kind of a big deal. It is downplayed a little bit due to the ‘gender-reversal’ but it still needs to be dealt with.

The ONLY thing that I didn’t really like is the reminder that this book is part of the main DC Universe. This is where DC’s insistence that none of these books can be Vertigo or whatever really hurts them.

SNAPSHOT #3 (Andy Diggle / Jock) Image

This almost seems like a completely different book than the first two issues, but I like where it went. If there was a supernatural element it would almost feel like an X-Files, but instead… this is pretty messed up but still based (loosely) in reality.

Would these people think that getting to that police car is going to help at this point? Wouldn’t the police have called this in? Won’t there be an investigation of the facility?

GREAT PACIFIC #6 (Joe Harris / Martin Morazzo) Image

Wait… how does that little rod thing work? I thought it turned garbage into water… not controlled garbage like some sort of waster management green lantern ring.

Here we finally see how this new country can exist. You have to be needed and he figured out a way to be needed.

I liked Chas’ reaction to the Navy’s confrontation of the octopus.

It feels like next issue wills tart the next phase of the book. I’m looking forward to it.

AGE OF ULTRON #4 (Bendis / Hitch / Neary / Mounts) Marvel

Wait, what?

That is a pretty awesome concept. Ultron is controlling the world from the future. I wonder if he teamed up with anyone, or if he came up with the technology on his own (which is possible, considering how many people have created it). I assume Doc Doom’s time square is going to come into play.

I LOVE that the answer once time travel comes into play ISN’T “let’s go to the future and fight him”, but rather “let’s go into the past and stop this from happening”.

Bendis has two current Marvel books dealing with time travel now. The other one is also out this week.

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #7 (Dan Slott / Humberto Ramos / Victor Olazaba / Edgar Delgado) Marvel

Cardiac is pretty lame… always has been… but this issue was pretty good. I like that the Avengers have figured out that he isn’t really Spider-Man. I also like that Peter is learning from the way Otto handles things. Well, the non-over-the-top violent things.

Oh, and I love Ramos’ art.

Oh, and Slott is right. Otto Reply is a better letters page name than ‘Sup Spider-Man.

ALL-NEW X-MEN #10 (Bendis / Immonen / Von Grawbadger / Gracia) Marvel

So now we get Cyclops’ side of the argument. He is wrong, but that doesn’t mean he can’t have a side and it doesn’t mean he wouldn’t have people agreeing with him.

My pet peeve this issue is the last page. What a cheap ending. That is not how you get people to buy the next issue. SHOW the person and don’t give their reasoning until the next issue.

Oh well. I was buying it anyway because I think this book is great.

SWAMP THING #19 (Charles Soule / Kano) DC

Scott Snyder is off the book and replaced by Charles Soule, who I am completely unfamiliar with. Based on this issue, though, he is a good fit! This felt like a Swamp Thing book! A pre-Vertigo version, rather than post-Vertigo version. The WTF was not exactly a big deal (none of the three I got this week were), but the story itself was pretty solid. What happens when an elemental force gets scared?

I like Kano’s art on this. I like Yanick Paquette better, but this works too.

Good book. It is a big upgrade over the Rotworld story.

FAIREST #14 (Bill Willingham / Barry Kitson / Inaki Miranda) Vertigo

On paper, this would look pretty bad. Willingham doing a story on a female Fable and it is all about her trying to get a date? Told from the point of view of a male character (again)?

In practice, though, this was a really good comic. It was fun, while still having that dark underbelly at the end.

ANIMAL MAN #19 (Jeff Lemire / Steve Pugh) DC

Speaking of a comic improved by leaving Rotworld… Animal Man didn’t have a creative change, but the tone change is incredibly powerful. Now that they are no longer on the run, and with the impact of Cliff’s death, Ellen and Buddy can get back to normal.

Well, they can’t actually.

Ellen was incredibly well written in here. She is wrong, as we know, but there is not a single ounce of unbelievability here. She wants out of Buddy’s crazy world and is taking Maxine with her.

But she can’t. Things don’t work that way and that is what makes this even more tragic.

Meanwhile, much like in Swamp THing, Buddy is turned back into the old style of Animal Man. Animal powers instead of… red powers? Will those crazy vein marks be gone too?


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: All-New X-Men #8

March 10, 2013
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Starting at the weakest…

BEFORE WATCHMEN: RORSCHACH #4 (Brian Azzarello / Lee Bermejo) DC

In the end this mini was just generally unsatisfying. Rorschach didn’t even really defeat any of the villains. THey just kind of got beat on their own and on one case, he got vengeance. That’s it. Not one of the better BW books.

FAIREST #13 (Lauren Beukes / Inaki Miranda) Vertigo

The best thing about this book is that this Rapunzel story finally ends. I have read some on-line reviews about this story and I just don’t get it. It was a pointless mess of a story with some really crappy art. Look at the bottom left of page three. Why do so many of the characters look like blow-up sex toys?

I enjoy Fables, and I hope this book goes back to that level of quality. If it doesn’t, I may have to dump it.

GREAT PACIFIC #5 (Joe Harris / Martin Morazzo) Image

Ruthanne doesn’t like this book at all. I like it more, but I do hope it moves on in some way. I am still wondering why he would have a tool that could fix all of the garbage problems and not use it to just eliminate this big garbage patch.

SNAPSHOT #2 (Andy Diggle / Jock) Image

This is a movie in comic form. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if this were optioned. Interesting mystery. Interesting characters (once we got past the misogynistic bits in issue #1).

I’d watch it.

AGE OF ULTRON #1 (Bendis / Hitch / Neary / Mounts) Marvel

I really don’t like gimmick covers. Well, at least they didn’t charge extra. This book would have been $3.99 anyway.

This was a good kick-off to the story, but all it did was set the stage, so it wasn’t super-awesome on its own. Using Hawkeye and Spidey was a great idea. Cap at the end was chilling. I am looking forward to Bendis’ Avengers swan song.

SUPERIOR SPIDE-MAN #5 (Slott / Camuncoli / Dell / Delgado / Fabela) Marvel

Interesting turn. You had to see it coming when they used such a lame villain. That just changed Spider-man forever. Even when Peter comes back, having all those people SEE Spider-man pull the trigger HAS to change things.

ANIMAL MAN #18 (Jeff Lemire / Steve Pugh) DC

I am glad that Rotworld is over, but I am also glad that there were real consequences. The actual ‘execution’ was not super. It was kind of like the Damian offing where they ‘buried the lead’. Honestly, if it wasn’t for the cover, I would assume he was badly hurt as opposed to dead.

DIAL H #10 (China Mieville / Alberto Ponticelli / Dan Green) DC

Man, this has turned into a really good book! The secret of the new dial works on so many meta-levels. The ending was a big surprise and now I REALLY want to see where it goes from here. What other book would happily have the two leads be a women in her 60s (I am guessing) and an overweight couch potato… and then giving them a romance? Will it carry over to their ‘civilian’ guises? I’m not sure if I want it to. It would be gutsy but having a male/female partnership that ISN’T built on that is pretty cool too.

I have faith that whatever Mieville chooses, it will be interesting!

SWAMP THING #18 (Scott Snyder / Yanick Paquette) DC

Swamp Thing is Swamp Thing now! But Abby…no! I’ll admit that the mini-heartbreak was based on the OLD ST story, not the current one, because the current one hasn’t created that strong a connection. On the other hand, I don’t think Swampy would have done that in the old books, no matter what was saved.

AVENGERS #7 (Jonathan Hickman / Dustin Weaver / Justin Ponsor) Marvel

Damn, that was a good comic! I am no Hickman fan, and I have not been a big fan of his new Avengers run, but I have to give credit where it is due. THe intercut scenes were VERY well done. Bringing the New Unvierse into the Marvel Universe… yes! (Who is the Cipher, though?) Bring back DP7!

ALL-NEW X-MEN #8 (Bendis / Marquez / Gracia) Marvel

I have been enjoying this comic a lot, but what REALLY put it over the top this issue was Iceman and Kitty ‘translating’ the Captain America / Beast conversation. Oy my god, that was funny. Then when it cut to Cap and he is continuing that conversation at that exact spot. That was KILLER! Then Cap’s expression upon seeing Cyclops.

Great comic.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Scarlet #6

February 10, 2013
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Starting at the weakest. A pretty big week. Bendis got the TOP THREE spots this week. Holy crap.

 

ANIMAL MAN #17 (Jeff Lemire / Scott Snyder / Steve Pugh / Timothy Green II / Joseph Silver) DC

I finished this book and tried to remember what it was that I liked about it in previous issues. The further into Rotworld we get, the less I care for it. It is just a book monster fight. The end is supposed to have emotional impact but it doesn’t because I, as reader, am fully aware that there will be a bog re-set button at the end of the story. There is just no buy-in from me.

 

FAIREST #12 (Lauren Beukes / Inaki Miranda) Vertigo

The thing I can’t understand is why Fairst is getting such great reviews out in internet-land. The story is not very interesting and the art is muddy and generally sub-par. Mostly, the story is just too long. I keep hoping it is going to be over so we can get back to better stuff.

Fables is getting back on track int he main book. Hopefully Fairest can do the same.

 

SWAMP THING #17 (Scott Snyder / Jeff Lemire / Andrew Belanger) DC

Read the Animal Man review above. The same goes here. The only thing that makes this book rank a little higher is the Parliament of Rot scene. That has some promise.

 

NEW AVENGERS #3 (Hickman / Epting / Magyar / D’Armata) Marvel

Question: what are they arguing about? I was able to figure it out, but they never actually say. They also act as if Cap did what he did on purpose with nobody actually saying it or any evidence to support it… until he doesn’t deny it… kind of. It is hard to deny something that nobody ever says… or even implies.

This is kind of a mess, really.

 

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #3 (Dan Slott / Ryan Stegman / Edgar Delgado) Marvel

One of the interesting things about this storyline is how much smarter Otto is than Peter. If it wasn’t for his moral code, he would actually BE a better Spider-Man than Peter. The sudden backstory about being abused so having a soft spot for kids felt a little contrived. If Otto is going to need an excuse to beat a villain every time, that will start to wear a little thin.

 

GREAT PACIFIC #4 (Joe Harris / Martin Morazzo) Image

Nice idea. Good plot. Everything good except for the pacing. It is glacial. Four issues in and he is still just looking around. If he continues just as some rich kid wandering around on garbage, this series is going to lose my interest quickly.

Side note, couldn’t he use that invention of his to destroy the entire ‘country’, making the world a better place, in general?

 

DIAL H #9 (China Mieville / Alberto Ponticelli / Dan Green) DC

This book was always inventive but it used to lag on plot a bit. That has changed. I find myself interested every issue now. And it is still inventive. The Glimpse was great. What’s with the bug-head dude? Don’t know, but I am along for the ride. (Oh, and the portrayal of Canadians was funny. Not over the top, but funny.)

 

AVENGERS #5 (Jonathan Hickman / Adam Kubert / Frank Martin) Marvel

The Hyperion spotlight issue didn’t appeal to me because I don’t really like Hyperion. This Smasher issue was much better. Her interaction with the Hulk was great. (‘Smash’) Her origin was simple but interesting to follow. I liked it.

 

SNAPSHOT #1 (Andy Diggle / Jock) Image

Movie-style crime mystery. Interesting hook, leading you along but not giving you enough to figure it out. Nice Jock art. Black & white, which is rare these days. Nce package. Looking forward to the rest of the mini.

 

AVENGERS ASSEMBLE ANNUAL #1 (Christos Gage / Tomm Coker) Marvel

Man, this was a good Avengers comic! This was better than any I have read of the Marvel Now push. I want to see Gage on an Avengers book… or even a Vision book. Good story. Emotional impact while tying it in to the on-going story. Continuity flavoured without getting bogged down. And I quite liked the art, too!

 

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #20 (Bendis / Pichelli / Ponsor) Marvel

You have a fight scene against a superior opponent, sure. But what makes this book really good is the characters. Miles and Ganke are great, as always. It is Jefferson that really draws my attention, despite having so little in the way of lines. Why did he attack Venom? Doe she know who Spidey is? The on-goign story of his reaction to fighting Hydra is really great. I want more!

 

ALL-NEW X-MEN #7 (Bendis / Marquez / Gracia) Marvel

Cyclops and Mystique. The one thing I would say is that if you want Cyclops to not immediately recognize you as a villain, maybe you DON’T wear all those skulls as part of your costume. Just sayin’.

The way she led him down the path was perfect. She gave away enough of herself that he won’t immediately dismiss her when he finds out that she is a ‘villain’. The wedge she put between him and Wolverine was masterfully done.

 

SCARLET #6 (Bendis / Maleev) Icon

Before Saga, Scarlet was the best book on the market. But then issue #5 came out and it was a year before #6. Normally than will kill a book for me, but this one feels so real and such an answer to the chaos in the real world. I can see why they wanted to take a break, because it is hard to reflect the real world while also seeming like you are endorsing vigilantism. Still… comics need to be dramatic and extreme to work. I am not endorsing murder, but at the same time if there were more people who refused to accept the bullshit that surrounds us, maybe we WOUDL get some actual change.

In the meantime, this comic is incredibly well written and some of the most beautiful art on the market.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Superior Spider-Man #1

January 13, 2013
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A fairly light week, both in quantity and quality. No awesome books. No terrible books.

 

Starting at the weakest…

 

AVENGERS ARENA #3 (Dennis Hopeless / Kev Walker / Frank Martin) Marvel

So, they are doing a Marvel Hunger Games. They were already wearing that on their sleeves, but this cover is ridiculous. Now they are killing off characters with no drama whatsoever. Mettle’s death had a point. Red Raven’s did not. Destroying the Sentinel had none. Two issues in a row where we got a back story to try and force us to care about a character.

I like the idea of this book… but it has not been done very well thus far.

 

FAIREST #11 (Lauren Beukes / Inaki Miranda) DC

I wish this story would end. Stuff happens. It feels semi-random and incoherent. The way Rapunzel climbed out of the well made no sense at all. It all just seemed a set up for the (admittedly bad-ass) image on the last page.

 

FANTASTIC FOUR #3 (Matt Fraction / Mark Bagley / Mark Farmer / Paul Mounts) Marvel

Is this going to be one of the SF shows where they face a new weird planet every week? (So to speak.) Those went out with the first Star Trek. Hopefully this ha a little more substance than that.

 

ANIMAL MAN #16 (Jeff Lemire / Steve Pugh / Timothy Green II / Joseph Silver) DC

The Rotworld stuff isn’t as interesting as the Maxine horror story. Chilling. They made a big deal about the Green Lantern and then didn’t do anything with him. Maybe next issue.

 

SWAMP THING #16 (Scott Snyder / Yanick Paquette) DC

I was disappointed with the big robot. Why? Because before I turned the page, I said to myself, “Cool! It is going to be Chemo!” and was disappointed that it wasn’t. 🙂

The Batman stuff made this issue really need. I love that Batman is the one who figured out what to do even though he had lost the fight.

 

DIAL H #8 (China Mieville / Alberto Ponticelli / Dan Green) DC

Going to Canada! Solid book, but do you know what made it so great? Flame War and the rest of The Insult. (Though I don’t get the Wolf Ticket gag…)

The art is not to my taste, but it isn’t terrible.

 

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #1 (Dan SLott / Ryan Stegman / Edgar Delgado) Marvel

Was this issue excellent? No, but it was solid, which is enough on a week like this. The new Sinister Six was enough to get it over. I mean, the Big Wheel! The Living Brain! Wicked!

If Otto becomes a rapist, though, I am going to have serious issues with this book. (The comment about her boobs was funny, I’ll admit…)


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: 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.


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