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Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Shutter #1

April 13, 2014
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Shutter1Cover

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

Hey, comics are sexist, who would of thought?

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

Starting at the weakest…

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

Remember that great series by Nick Spencer?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FBP #9 (Simon Oliver / Robbi Rodriguez) Vertigo

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

I am dropping this one.

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

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

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

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

NIGHTCRAWLER #1 (Chris Claremont / Todd Nauck) Marvel

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

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

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

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

Pym, the Living Planet?

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

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

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

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

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

Ugh.

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

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

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

ANNOYING SEXISM #3!!!!

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

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

Which he obliges.

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

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

Aaargggghhh…. I should have ranked this lower.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yes. Buy this book and all is forgiven.

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Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Hawkeye #17

March 15, 2014
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hawkeye17

A very solid week for comics. Even the bottom comic wasn’t so bad, and there was a battle for the top spot.

Starting at the weakest…

FBP #8 (Simon Oliver / Robbi Rodriguez) Vertigo

Sometimes this book gets a little hard to follow… but just a little. The art is partly to blame. I don’t dislike it per se, but sometimes it obscures the storytelling. The end for example… I KNOW who those two are, but only because of the story narrative.

ALL-NEW X-MEN #24 (Bendis / Immonen / von Grawbadger / Gracia) Marvel

I really like this book, but it is this low because I am NOT buying the Guardians of the Galaxy books, which makes following this one a little hit and miss. As usual with Bendis books, it is the characters that carry the day. That little Angela / Gamora interaction was a good example.

Did they REALLY kill Jean Grey’s family? Was that in the old death of Jean Grey storyline or after?

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #29 (Slott / Gage / Camuncoli / Dell / Fabela) Marvel

You know, Dan Slott, when you keep saying “don’t spoil the big surprise” and then there ISN’T a big surprise, you kind of lose all your credibility.

Was it supposed to be the new ownership of the Spider-Slayers? IT IS ON THE COVER! Was it the death of an annoying character nobody was invested in anyway?

Sigh.

The comics was still good. (And that is STILL not really Norman…)

BLACK WIDOW #4 (Nathan Edmonson / Phil Noto) Marvel

This comic continues to be really solid. Wonderful art and a pretty good story carries the day… but I WOULD like it if Edmonson raised his game a little and it wasn’t just mission after mission. Give Natasha some actual supporting characters. Down time.

MIGHTY AVENGERS #8 (Ewing / Schiti / D’Armata) Marvel

This continues to be the best Avengers comic on the market. Having Schiti on the art certainly helps. He is not the best artist going, but his so much better than the tracer. I like Adam getting his own storyline. He is an interesting character (though the power disparity concerns me, as always). The White Tiger bit worked really well too. I also really liked the Young Avengers stuff. (I have Wiccan on Twitter…)

SUPERIOR FOES OF SPIDER-MAN #9 (Spencer / Lieber / Rosenberg) Marvel

“He can’t drink that? Where would it go?” was Ruthanne’s admonishment towards Silvermane.

This is just a fun book.

I do have a question, though, what was with the waiting symbol when Boomerang was on the phone? Wait… I just figured it out.

Ha.

ASTRO CITY #10 (Busiek / Anderson / Ross) Vertigo

While I like this book… I am a guy. I think I know some people who would not agree with Kurt’s (also a guy) take on how a woman’s strength should apply in this situation. As I said, it works for me, but…

Still, a really good comic, and nearly in the top spot.

HAWKEYE #17

Fraction / Eliopoulos / Aja / Bellaire) Marvel

Well, what can you say about that. Damn good issue, dog.

It was not quite as good as the Pizza Dog issue, but it had that feel. This comic keep showing you what you can accomplish while still riding in the super-Marvel lane.

Great comic. One of the best going these days (along with Saga.)


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Sex Criminals #4

January 14, 2014
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sex-criminals-4-web-72

Hello folks… sorry I am a little late.

With no further ado…

From the weakest…

CATACLYSM: ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #3 (Bendis / Marquez / Ponsor) Marvel

So it seems that the Ultimate line is NOT being mothballed after Cataclysm, which seems odd. Other than Bendis’ Spidey, none of the books are any good. I guess that are going to try and change that.

This comic is also not that good, but for a whole different reason. Because the UU is weak, I decided not to buy all the Cataclysm books. This one is the extension of the Spidey book, so I though it would hold up. Not so much.

Also, I went from hoping that Miles’ dad would somehow join him in the 616 to wanting to punch him in the face, so there is that.

AVENGERS WORLD #1 (Jonathan Hickman / Nick Spencer / Stefano Caselli) Marvel

So, what makes this different than the regular Avengers book? It is a big cast book facing ridiculously overpowered foes. So?

Oh right, HICKMAN ISN”T WRITING IT! They have him listed as a co-writer but I understand that is a bit of an overstatement.

Well, is it better than the regular Avengers book? So far, yes, but it is early. The plotting is clearer, for one.

We’ll see.

YOUNG AVENGERS #15 (Gillen / McKelvie / Cloonan / Doyle / Quinones / Norton / Wicks / Bellaire / Wilson) Marvel

This is the actual final issue of YA. It should have ended last issue. This book was entirely superfluous. They got to make a statement that the whole team is ‘not straight’ which is not true, and they got to wrap up the not-Patriot thing with an offhand and pointless explanation that made no sense.

Great series. Lousy final issue.

THE MOVEMENT #8 (Gail Simone / Freddie Williams II) DC

This was a solid issue. Heroes got to be heroic. They bucked overwhelming odds to save a bunch of people and now they get to meet one of Gail’s other ‘pets’, Batgirl. (Too bad they can’t meet the Secret Six.)

AVENGERS A.I. #8 (Sam Humphries / Andre Araujo / Frank D’Armata) Marvel

So, whose side are we supposed to be on? The A.I.s are RIGHT to fear and distrust the humans. The humans are RIGHT to think that it is too dangerous to allow them to continue as is.

Hmmm…. interesting….

SWAMP THING #27 (Charles Soule / Jesus Saiz) DC

Getting his job back seemed a little too easy, but wow! The Parliament of Trees! Screwing over Lady Weeds! Alec has mad himself some (more) pretty major enemies here!

FAIREST #22 (Marc Andreyko / Shawn McManus) Vertigo

Cindarella. Lots of transformed mice. A stone Fairy Godmother. What is left?

Oh right. Evil stepsister.

This Cindarella story is SO much better than the last couple of Fairest arcs.

BLACK WIDOW #1 (Nathan Edmondson / Phil Noto) Marvel

That’s right. Phil Noto interiors, not just the covers.

And yeah, this book LOOKS amazing. The DESIGN is worth the cost all on its own.

Too bad the story seems a little weak. Not terrible, but it hold stye book back a little bit. Hopefully Edmondson can make this book as great as it looks.

FBP #7 (Simon Oliver / Robbi Rodriguez) Vertigo

I have been lukewarm on this book… until now! What a great issue! This Agent Reyes is a great addition! A story of blackmail and seeing the sorts of practical problems these physics loops can cause. Nice. I hope the book stays at this level.

SEX CRIMINALS #4 (Fraction / Zdarsky) Image

This book is just flat out funny.

Criminals are born! Playing with powers for good… and revenge! Hey, who appointed those costumed yahoos to be the sex-crime police?

(Kind of like most costumed vigilantes, I guess…)

For those that don’t know, this is not some kind of poem comic, but the sex content is high, clearly, But it is really, really funny.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Mighty Avengers #4

December 15, 2013
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mighty-avengers-4-infinity-cover

This was a fairly big week, but not a hugely strong one. Some decent comics but some disappointments as well.

Starting at the weakest.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #700.3 (Casey / Green / Van Meter / Rios) Marvel

So… this isn’t even a single mini? It is a couple of unrelated two parters? Or something?

The first issue was my comic of the week last time out. The second and third issues both came out today. The second one was good but this one is an unrelated change to another story. A bad story.

So, Peter just randomly gets torched to the point of disfigurement as an excuse to get him into a villain’s hospital? Uh, what? Isn’t getting burned alive kind of a big deal? “He heals fast?” Not THAT fast. He isn’t Wolverine.

Stupid.

And the Black Cat back-up wasn’t much better.

UNCANNY X-MEN #15.INH (Bendis / Anka) Marvel

Talk about disappointing…

I have been really enjoying Bendis’ X-books. This one has a fun premise – a ‘girl’s night out’. But… but…

First off, the Kris Anka art wasn’t terrible, but it also wasn’t great. That isn’t my real issue with this book, though. It is the blatant racism.

Look, mutants used to be a not-so-subtle metaphor for racism. Later they become a not-so-subtle metaphor for homophobia.

So what do we get this issue? Well, the Inhumans are here and they are treading the EXACT same paths as mutants did. Sudden powers. Scared people.Feared and mistrusted. Blah, blah, blah.

So what happens when the X-Men encounter them?

They won’t help them because they aren’t mutants. Uh what? Weren’t you helping mutants because of a shared experience of being cast out by the status quo? Ho wis this different?

Oh, it is because they don’t have the same genetic make-up that you have?

So instead of being a metaphor for fighting against racism, mutants have become a metaphor for perpetuating racism.

Sigh.

SUPERMAN / WONDER WOMAN #3 (Charles Soule / Tony S. Daniel / Matt Benning) DC

I wish this book was better.

Dropped.

THE ROCKETEER & THE SPIRIT: PULP FRICTION #4 (Waid / J. Bone / Fajardo) IDW

The same goes for this book, but it is a mini and it is over. I like the Rocketeer. I like the Spirit. I like Mark Waid.

This book is much less than the sum of its parts.

LAZARUS #5 (Rucka / Lark / Arcas) Image

This book seems to be all concept and no plot. It still has promise, though. I hope it gets more consistent.

BATMAN #26 (Scott Snyder / Greg Capullo / Danny Miki) DC

I keep thinking I might drop this book. Well, not yet. What puts this one onto the ‘good list’ is the idea that Bruce Wayne would be ‘anti-cop’. That makes so much sense that it seems almost odd that he has spent so long being a supporter of the police.

The ‘origin of Gordon’s coat’ was kind of silly, but it served its purpose.

FBP #6 (Simon Oliver / Robbi Rodriguez) Vertigo

Much like Batman, here is a book that always seems to be on the ‘we’ll see’ list. This issue handled things a little better. It feels like the promise of the book is finally paying off. This is a cop book where weird stuff happens. Cool. BE that.

AVENGERS A.I. #7 (Humphries / Araujo / D’Armata) Marvel

Do you get the impression that Sam Humphries preferred the old version of Blade Runner where they had a voice over to explain everything to the viewers? Pym’s exposition is sloppy storytelling. Period.

The Doombot stuff was classic, though. It made up for the Pym-narrator and a kind of stilted Daredevil.

ASTRO CITY #7 (Busiek / Anderson / Ross / Sinclair / Comicraft) Vertigo

Astro City is at its best when it gives us a street level view. This issue is the opposite of that as we get the story of Winged Victory. Still good, but not as great as the book can be.

There was a letter int he back saying the exact opposite. The writer was complaining that seeing these one-off characters isn’t as interesting as the ongoing stories of the major super-heroes. I disagree COMPLETELY. In this book, the heroes are the SETTING. It is the CHARACTERS that make it shine.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #700.2 (Morrell / Janson / Buccellato) Marvel

This is part two of the book that was my top pick last week. This was a good story. I read that David Morrell didn’t like tho issue. There were changes from what he wanted that he didn’t like. I am sorry to hear that, but the end story was a solid read that showed what makes a hero. That is very rare in comics these days. I liked it.

CATACLYSM: ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN #2 (Bendis / Marquez / Ponsor) Marvel

A nice series of flashbacks to the big flood to give a nice, street level view of heroics. They can’t fight Galactus, so what do they do? Save people. The ned would be a big deal if the USM book was still going. But it isn’t and I strongly believe that when it comes back, it won’t be part of the Ultimate Universe so it won’t even matter. It should give us an interesting issue 3, though.

I am kind of disappointed in the reveal about WHY Miles’ dad is anti-super. It is kind of… mundane.

MIGHTY AVENGERS #4 (Ewing / Land / Leisten / D’Armata) Marvel

Why did I enjoy this book so much? Character,character, character. Ewing writes these characters like he is Bendis. They feel like people – well-rounded and interesting.

But, let’s be honest here – what REALLY put it over the top? Danielle Cage. Apparently being adorable is now a super power.

Poopy Man!


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: All-New X-Men #18

November 19, 2013
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All-New_X-Men_Vol_1_18_Textless

Zoobity-do zoobity-bow-wow-wow…

Starting at the weakest…

BATMAN #25 (Scott Snyder / Greg Capullo / Danny Miki) DC

Two over-priced gimmick covers in a row? At least issue 24 was a good comic. This one was not so great. It was not awful… well, mostly.

Except the Batmobile. Wow. Was THAT lame. Bouncy tires that stick to the roof? What?

ROCKET GIRL #2 (Brandon Montclare / Amy Reeder) Image

Much like issue #1, we have a very well drawn comic with a weak story. I am a big Amy Reeder fan so I hope this book gets better.

FBP #5 (Simon Oliver / Robbi Rodriguez) Vertigo

This was better than the last few issues. Focusing on people is usually good thing, especially early. If you don’t care about the characters, you aren’t going to care about the comic.

THE ROCKETEER & THE SPIRIT: PULP FRICTION #3 (Waid / J. Bone / Fajardo) IDW

I like J. Bone… but that cover is really crappy. I wish I got the Chris Samnee variant.

The art is better inside… but the story got weaker. That kind of Sci-Fi super-villainny stuff doesn’t seem to fit EITHER character. Kind of disappointing.

SUPERMAN/WONDER WOMAN #2 (Charles Soule / Tony S. Daniel / Sandu Florea) DC

Meanwhile, this comic is WAY better than the first issue. The first issue was pretty crappy but the focus on the WW side of things, with Apollo primarily, really worked. I live the understated cockiness of Superman… and I loved even more him getting knocked into the middle of next week for it. I am still not a fan of Doomsday but overall, this issue was a pleasant surprise.

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #21 (Slott / Camuncoli / Dell / Fabela) Marvel

Hey, I wonder if Otto will regret doing that when everyone gets moved back into their correct bodies.Peter now gets credit for all of Otto’s scientific breakthroughs?

Stunner is an interesting character. I am not familiar with her before now. She is pretty one-note, but she reminds me of Titania a little bit… with the tech angle. Titania’s origin, any way.

CATACLYSM: ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #1 (Bendis / Marquez / Ponsor) Marvel

This is really the next issue of USM, and it continues to be a good book. The Ultimates scene was great. The Bombshell scene was great. I like Bendis in general but there is no question that this is the book he is MEANT to be doing.

I hope he keeps doing it after the Ultimate Uni is destroyed.

ASTRO CITY #6 (Busiek / Anderson / Ross / Sinclair / Comicraft) Vertigo

This book is consistently really good. How does Busiek keep coming up with interesting character after interesting character?

I would recommend Astro City to anyone. Any volume. Any issue. Just buy it.

ALL-NEW X-MEN #18 (Brian Mcihael Bendis / Stuart Immonen / Wade von Grawbadger / Marte Gracia) Marvel

Speaking of good characters… Now Bendis didn’t create these ones (for the most part) but he nails each and every one of them. How can you pack so much characterization into so many characters in so few panels? This is like a master class in that. Let’s pick Eva Bell for example. If you aren’t reading Uncanny X-Men and just encountered her, how could you know so much in so few panels?

If Astro City is the perfect comic to read individual issues. This is a great book o read ongoing characters.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Batman #24

October 13, 2013
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Batman-24-Cover

This week had some surprises and some disappointments. The image above shows one of the surprises. We start with the disappointments…

AMERICA’S GOT POWERS #7 (Jonathan Ross / Bryan Hitch) Image

This book started good and got worse and worse as it went on. The delays got longer, the art got worse and the story went nowhere interesting. If this were on on-going, I would be cancelling it now. Very disappointing.

FBP #4 (Simon Oliver / Robbi Rodriguez) Vertigo

Another disappointing book. It has a great premise and there is a thread to follow, but the story seems really shallow, despite the depth of concept.

SUPERMAN & WONDER WOMAN #1 (Charles Soule / Tony S. Daniel / Matt Banning) DC

Wonder Woman is popular in this house so despite not being into the whole JLA thing, we decided to get this. Added bonus, Charles Soule is a great writer! Check out Swamp Thing.

This isn’t Swamp Thing. Yeah, this was pretty disappointing. Compare this to the great Brian Azzarello book. Not even close.

ROCKET GIRL #1 (Amy Reeder / Brandon Montclare) Image

It might be telling that the cover lists the artist first, because the writing is a little weak. Reeder is great, but this is not nearly her best work. Compare this ti Halloween Eve or Madame Xanadu and it is pretty disappointing.

I have been using that word a lot. Things get better. Promise.

AVENGERS A.I. #4 (Humphries / Araujo / D’Armata) Marvel

I am enjoying the concepts in this book. Dimitrios is an interesting villain and I hope that once he is defeated that the Diamond sticks around as a new ‘land’ in the Marvel world. Their very own Kandor.

X-MEN #6 (Wood / Lopez / Smith / Martin) Marvel

A good new chapter in the Battle of the Atom story. The villains are revealed as villains, though their story is not yet apparent. The Sentinel X reveal was a lot better than the Jean Grey one. Plus, we have a new Wolverine/Mystique hybrid maybe?

ASTRO CITY #5 (Busiek / Anderson / Ross / Sinclair / Comicraft) Vertigo

Sorry, but I have to say it again. After the last few issues, this one was a little… disappointing. Still a solid read but not near the excellence of issues 2-4. I did really like the Dame Progress / Mister Cakewalk / Dr. Aegyptus story-let quite a bit.

INFINTY #4 (Hickman / Opena / Weaver / Ponsor) Marvel

Now we get into the GOOD surprises! This comic was kind of bad-ass. Thor vs the Builder for Hala’s independence could have been a boring punchfest, but nope. Now the good guys have an army of Accusers at their backs.

BATMAN #24 (Scott SNyder / Greg Capullo / Danny Miki) DC

Speaking of surprises! I was considering cancelling this book and that was exacerbated when they showed up with a $7 issue (eep!)

But this comic was really good! It finishes off the battle with the Red Hood Gang… gives us what is probably the origin of the Joker, without revealing everything about him… and kicks off a Riddler story, who was the best part of the arc. Great!


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Astro City #4

September 15, 2013
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Astro-City-4_CMYK

It was a small week and not much in the way of extremes. The good thing is that even the ‘worst’ book is a pretty enjoyable read.

Starting there…

MIGHTY AVENGERS #1 (Ewing / Land / Leisten / D’Armata) Marvel

Standard time-extended set-up. A little too much time was spent on ‘why for-hire?’ with Al Ewing pretty firmly in the camp of that being non-heroic. That is the problem with that set-up. As soon as someone questions it, it falls apart. It WOULDN’T fall apart in the real world, but in heroic comics it certainly does. Based on Ewing’s comments in the back of the book, he sees the core members to be Luke Cage and Monica Rambeau. Sounds perfect to me. Otto-Spidey doesn’t fit but the Captain as Spider Hero could be nice (assuming that IS who that is). If it is, it is a nice touch that both his names are plays on other hero’s names.

So why is it at the bottom. Greg Land, for one. His sterile, tracing art does not appeal to me… though it is nowhere near as bad as when he was on the X-Men. Also, this is ALL set-up and no follow through. It is too bad that it starts with an Infinity cross-over, but as an excuse form, there have been worse.

Oh, and much has been made about this being the Minority Avengers. NOTHING was mentioned about that in the book. Good. Using minority characters – great. Putting them on the team BECAUSE they are minority characters (in universe) would NOT be great.

I look forward to the next issue.

X-MEN #3 (Wood / Lopez / Smith / Martin) Marvel

This is the first non-Bendis issue of Battle of the Atom, and it shows. Nothing against Brian Wood (I really liked the earlier issues of this book), but it seemed clear to me that he was told that he just had to get Jean Grey and Cyclops to the Uncanny group while showing dissension among the ‘modern’ X-Men… and that’s what he did. Point A to Point B.

I look forward to more of the Bendis issues AND I look forward to Wood getting to go back to telling his own stories.

AVENGERS #19 (Hickman / Alanguilan / Gho) Marvel

From one inter-family crossover to another. This is a core Infinity book. This is certainly where Hickman belongs – big, epic scope stories. This is better than the books had been before… but that is not saying a lot. Prisoners. Betrayal.

Well, that is about it, actually.

FBP #3 (Simon Oliver / Robbi Rodriguez) Vertigo

Did this book change names again? It was Collider, then Federal Bureau of Physics and now FBP. Regardless, this is also the best issue so far. Backstory and a fairly clear narrative while still maintaing that muddy ‘what are the rules here’ thing which fits the setting.

If it keeps being ‘luckily the messed up physics saves the hero’ then it will get stale, but not so far.

ASTRO CITY #4 (Busiek / Anderson / Ross) Vertigo

Kin at Silver Snail raved about this issue, telling me it was even better than the last two. I disagree. I don’t think it is better than the last two… but it is still really good and this does make three straight issues where it was my comic of the week. Yet another angle to see what this universe of super people looks like. Yet another issue where the characters, many of which you have never seen before, feel like actual people. Well done.

I have to admit that when I saw the villain was called Majordomo I said… uh, what? But he gets called on his bad name choice later.

Great comic. I should really pick up the other collections. I only have the first one, and then this volume as singles.