Rusty's World

Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Amazing X-Men #4

February 25, 2014
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amazing x-men4

A little late this week due to a crazy weekend. There are a few books on this list that actually came out the week before, but my comic store had a box go missing temporarily. Better late than never!

Starting at the weakest.

GREAT PACIFIC #13 (Joe Harris / Martin Morazzo) Image

Hmmm… this is kind of turning into a ‘wandering’ comic. The concept is fairly solid, but the plot is not.

You know, I think that is it for me. Consider the book dropped.

AVENGERS WORLD #3 (Hickman / Spencer / Caselli / Martin) Marvel

Uh… the whole issue for that? Zero plot advancement. Zero character advancement. Zero anything.

I was THAT close to dropping this book after reading this issue. It better get better.

UNWRITTEN APOCOLYPSE #2 (Mike Carey / Peter Gross) Vertigo

The first issue was great. The second issue was not. Guess how he came back? They concentrated on a story that he was in where he came back.

Yeah, okay. That part was pretty much a given… but that’s all this issue was.

X-MEN #11 (Wood / Anka / Mann) Marvel

My problem with this issue was the X-Men figuring out the plan. There was no reason for them to do so. It was a little too convenient. The Sentinel fight was decent, but that is about it. This isn’t a bad book but this wasn’t a strong issue.

FABLES #138 (Bill Willingham / Russ Braun) Vertigo

An interesting little story about Gepetto that sets him as a resurgent bad guy down the line. I assume that he will be part of the big final story as Willingham has announced that he is going to wrap up Fables in the not-to-distant future.

ANIMAL MAN #28 (Jeff Lemire / Rafael Albuquerque) DC

This issue seemed really rushed, but with the book wrapping up, I guess they had no choice. Lemire wants to go and start making some real coin writing Justice League instead of a low seller like Animal Man. Too bad. This book used to be quite good and is still decent.

WONDER WOMAN #28 (Brian Azzarello / Cliff Chiang) DC

A decent issue. Dio has turned out to be more interesting than expected. The Apollo / Firstborn fight was pretty well down, so far. Looks like a big, multi-god blowout is in the offing.

UNCANNY X-MEN #17 (Bendis / Bachalo / Townsend) Marvel

Asa character issue, this was very solid. It is unfortunate that the plot point moving forward is so ridiculous, but the story as a whole was good.

So, what was with Eva? What happened?

That part interests me a lot more than Hijack’s firing.

DAREDEVIL #36 (Waid / Samnee / Rodriguez) Marvel

Here is the problem with multiple writers spanning years of a comic. Everyone knows who DD is! Then the comic works hard to turn that around so DD can have a secret identity again. Now everyone knows who DD is again!

Oh well. The writing is good and the art is amazing and I am looking forward to DD in SF.

SHE-HULK #1 (Soule / Pulido / Vicente) Marvel

The success of Hawkeye seems to have opened the door of this type of book. Superior Foes falls into that category as well.

No complaints from me, because I really enjoy a smart, funny book. She-Hulk is the perfect character for this treatment and Soule did a good job. I am less fond of Pulido, but I like the general look of the book… I just don’t like Jen’s faces. Oh well.

I do with I got the Skottie Young cover variant. 🙂

AMAZING X-MEN #4 (Aaron / McGUiness / Vines / Gracia) Marvel

Do you know what made this book so great? The flashbacks. That and the Firestar stuff, but especially the flashbacks. This made you really FEEL how much the characters missed Kurt and that made the reunion scenes work that much better.

I felt like I had seen those scenes before, because they read just like the old Claremont book. Well done.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Amazing Spider-Man #700.1

December 7, 2013
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Well, I am really sick. I also have a slam tonight that I am really not up to going to… but the show must go on and I have all the slam stuff. I am certainly not performing or hosting or anything.

Starting at the weakest…

MARVEL KNIGHTS: SPIDER-MAN #3 (Matt Kindt / Marco Rudy / Val Staples) Marvel

Sigh. It was a bit better for one issue. Now it is back to just begin a series of pin-up pages (that are really well done). This is not a story.

INHUMANITY#1 (Fraction / Coipel / Morales / Martin) Marvel

Talk about disappointing. I am a big fan of Matt Fraction. I liked what I heard about this series and the position it is meant to hold in the Marvel Universe.

But this was really lame. This whole issue did nothing more than take a full comic to update what happened as one of the sub-plots in Infinity. (Admittedly the best sub-plot.) Nothing was advanced other than the disappointing and illogical death of a cast member.

Here is hoping it gets better.

TRILLIUM #5 (Jeff Lemire) Vertigo

Congrats to Jeff Lemire for continuing to try and push the envelope of the storytelling medium. On the other hand, there is a reason why comics are printed the way they are. Some of what he has tried is just annoying to read. This falls into that category (though not as bad as the one you had to flip over constantly.

The story is interesting but… not THAT interesting.

GREAT PACIFIC #12 (Joe Harris / Martin Morazzo) Image

They are finally dealing with the elephant in the room. If Chas has the tech to CLEAN UP the mess in the ocean, why is he not doing it?

Hiatus now?

SWAMP THING #26 (Charles Soule / Jesus Saiz) DC

I almost missed this as it wasn’t put in my box by mistake. That would have been a shame as Soule is really doing a great job on Swamp Thing… who doesn’t appear in this comic. I LOVE Seeder. Woodrue never got the position he deserved after being such an important part of the most important Swamp Thing comic ever. It is nice that he is finally getting his due.

THE MOVEMENT #7 (Gail Simone / Freddie Williams II) DC

Is this going to be one of those books where actions have real consequences? I don’t believe Mous wis actually dead and Burden is going to save Vengeance Moth, but at what cost.

This is a hit-and-miss book, bu still a solid read overall.

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #23 (Slott / Gage / Ramos / Olazaba / Delgado) Marvel

Is there still a Venom book or is it cancelled? I am pretending there isn’t one because if there is, we know none of this can actually stick. Is Venom going to infect someone else? Is Flash free from it, but with new legs?

Hey, why can’t Miguel be called Miguel?

AMAZING X-MEN #2 (Jason Aaron / Ed McGuiness) Marvel

The second issue of the new, FUN X-Men book is here and everybody is in… Hell? Wheee?

It is fun, actually. The team is split and facing overwhelming odds. Dead allies and a mysterious reunion in the offing.


FAIREST #21 (Marc Andreyko / Shawn McManus) Vertigo

One thing stopped this book from being higher on the list – did Cinderella really NEED to do that scene in her underwear? It wasn’t as bad as it could have been either since McManus is not a standard T&A artist (good!)

Having said all that, I really like the Cinderella stories. I also prefer Andreyko to Willingham on this book (though I am happy with Bill W. on Fables).

I really liked the panel with the Huntsman and Crispin. I can’t recall, was that previously established?

AVENGERS ANNUAL #1 (Immonen / Lafuente / Beredo) Marvel

This book was good fun. The message was there, but not very heavy-handed. The characters were light-hearted and there was a good dose of ‘do I really sound like that’.

What stopped THIS book rom begin higher is that it made me think of the books I have read before that did a better job of the ‘lonely Christmas’ theme. Do you recall that Peter David issue of Peter Parker where Peter (lots of Peters) thought Aunt May didn’t want him to come for Christmas?

YOUNG AVENGERS #13 (Gillen / McKelvie / Thompson / Norton / Wilson) Marvel

I thought this was the last issue, but I guess there is another one.

This is where you need a scorecard to keep up with the twists and counter-twists. SO Loki is a bad guy? Or good guy? Or in between? Billy saved the day but then didn’t. Mother is defeated. No, I think we are good with that one.

Hey, does this mean Kate can go back to NYC in the Hawkeye book?

Speaking of Kate… Noh-Varr really blew that one. (Good.)

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #700.1 (Morrell / Janson / Buccellato) Marvel

Let me say upfront that I really like the Superior Spider-Man book. I like it quite a bit, actually.

That doesn’t mean that I don’t miss Peter Parker. It is nice to see classic Spidey in action. (Though the idea that nobody needs him because of a massive snowfall doesn’t really make sense…)

Let’s wrap up the Octo-Spidey stores ion and bring back the original. (I had hope this was going to be that, but clearly not.)

Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Ultimate Spider-Man #28

October 27, 2013
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This was a pretty disappointing week. It looked like a great lineup, but while they didn’t all crap out, there were many that jsut didn’t live up to expectations.

ROCKETEER & SPIRIT: PULP FRICTION #2 (Waid / Wallace / Wiacek) IDW

Issue #1 was my comic of the week… three months ago. It was drawn by Paul Smith. Now we have Loston Wallace. These Rocketeer comics have had some great artists like Smith, Chris Samnee, J. Bone… Wallace is none of these. These books live or die on their art fitting the style and mood. This was just not up to the task.

PRETTY DEADLY #1 (DeConnick / Rios / Bellaire / Cowles) Image

I was really looking forward to this book by the creative team of that great Osborne miniseries a few years back.

This was not what I was hoping for. It is just a mess. Here is my theme line for the week: what the hell is going on here?

GREAT PACIFIC #11 (Joe Harris / Martin Morazzo) Image

Allies then enemies then allies? Villain then sex partner then villain then idiot?

I don’t mind twists and turns but this book is starting to seem like it was plotted with a dart board at times.

THE MASSIVE #16 (Brian Wood / Garry Brown / Jordie Bellaire) Dark Horse

Is Brian Wood trying to make Greenpeace look irrational? Or am I reading too much here. This seems like a big shift from a stoy involving nuclear weapons and super-powers. I think those super-powers are bad for the story so I don’t mind too much, but this book seems to ignore the previous issues.

YOUNG AVENGERS #11 (Gillen / McKelvie / Anka / Norton / Wilson) Marvel

So why did Loki go from Kid Loki to Emo Loki? Did it serve any purpose other than making his age closer to the rest of the cast? Setting him up for his new series?

Marking time issue.

UNCANNY AVENGERS #13 (Remender / Acuna) Marvel

Wanda and Simon revealed as still being heroes was good. That was a pretty graphic sex scene… what is the rating on this book?

I was not a big fan of making Cap look so foolish, but I guess it was needed to make Havok seem more like a leader. Wasp’s method of defeating Banshee was… icky. Rogue is going to charge in and screw everything up, isn’t she?

SEX CRIMINALS #2 (Fraction / Zdarsky) Image

Another fun issue, though not as great as the first one. I am a little afraid that the fun in this book will wear off once they are into the life of crime, but I am willing to follow along to find out.

DAREDEVIL #32 (Waid / Samnee / Rodriguz) Marvel

Just in time for Halloween! Fun stuff as always from Waid and Samnee. I hope Marvel has a decent plan for this book once their run ends (which is happening soon.)

THE UNWRITTEN #54 (M.Carey / P. Gross / B. Willingham / M. Buckingham) Vertigo

Half o fa great book and half of a poorly done What If? comic. The whole ‘we can do whatever we want with the Fables characters because they aren’t real’ was lame. Bigby kills off half of his family, including his wife!

The second half where Tommy deals with the very fabric of reality was much better.

A three month wait now, hey? I am okay with that as long as you return with something better than Unwritten Fables.

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #28 (Bendis / Marquez / Ponsor / Mounts) Marvel

Final issue. Kind of.
During the Cataclysm story, each core Ultimate book is replaced by a mini tying into Cataclysm. Then… something else.

This was a solid issue, ignoring Cataclysm. They implied that S.H.I.E.L.D. wanted to make a team out of Miles, Jessica, Bombshell and Cloak & Dagger. Red herring to lead us away from the idea that the world is about to end? Maybe…


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Astro City #3

August 18, 2013
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ASTRO_City v3

Smaller week… but still pretty solid, despite a slight disappointment.

Starting from the weakest…

BATMAN #23 (Scott Snyder / Greg Capullo / Danny Miki) DC

Since Zero Year started it has seemed that every issue was a little worse than the one before. This one is the worst yet.

The new version of ‘I shall become a bat’ is just bad. You took an iconic and arguably PERFECT scene and turned it into a mess. Now it is some sort of hallucination that ends with a bat landing on his head like a trained pigeon or something.


INFINITY #1 (Hickman / Cheung / Morales / Ponsor) Marvel

I almost didn’t buy this, but I think it was either buy this or cancel all the Avengers books, and I wasn’t ready to do that (yet). One thing I will say is it sure is pretty. The badass aliens look badass. The weak skrulls look weak.

Oh, and Black Bolt was awesome.

SAGA #13 (Brian K. Vaughan / Fiona Staples) Image

Here was the big disappointment for the week. To be clear, it is not a bad book in any way. It is just kind of there. It feels like a bridge between amazing issues, you know? Grieving Marko really works.

In short – good comic, but not the issue I would use to show people how great it is.

GREAT PACIFIC #9 (Joe Harris / Martin Morazzo) Image

The complexities of international politics! I REALLY hope they will find some way to turn their new ally out. I hate to say I like what happened, because I don’t… but it is really good storytelling.

UNCANNY X-MEN #10 (Brian Michael Bendis / Frazer Irving) Marvel

I thought Irving was just going to be for the Limbo story, but I guess not. Good art, but better suited for darker fare. I could get used to it. There were some really great spots in this. The expansion of those time powers. Magneto / Hill / ‘Dazzler’. Cyclops crashing the pro-mutant protest and then supporting the Avengers.

Godo stuff.

ASTRO CITY #3 (Busiek / Anderson / Ross / Sinclair / Comicraft) Vertigo

Yay! It was a two-parter! Was this as good as last issue? No, but it was still very, very good. I would hold the last two issues up against Saga, Hawkeye, Joe the Barbarian or any of the top books out there.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Astro City #2

July 17, 2013
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This was an EXCELLENT week for comics! FOUR books that easily could have been comic of the week!

Let’s start with the less awesome…

SUICIDE SQUAD #22 (Ales Kot / Patrick Zircher) DC

There was a time when Suicide Squad was one of my favourite books. Back then John Ostrander was writing it. Every time it comes back, I TRY to like it. This time I had heard that this hot indy writer named Ales Kot was taking over so I decided to give it another try.

This is a mess. Dropped.

AMERICA’S GOT POWERS #6 (Jonathan Ross / Bryan HItch) Image

I honestly thought this was over. This mini started very strongly but I think it needs an end-to-end read now. Coming out this slowly just ruins a book.

GREAT PACIFIC #8 (Joe Harris / Martin Morazzo) Image

The story was decent, if transitional. The art continues to look good if you don’t look too closely. Morazzo does great drawings of ‘things’ but his people are not to my taste. A solid if unspectacular read.

BATMAN #22 (Scott Snyder / Greg Capullo / Danny Miki) DC

The first half of the book wasn’t great. The storytelling didn’t flow well. Choppy. The petty fighting between Bruce and Alfred neither worked for me as characterization or as a logical story progression.

The second half made up for it. The Bruce / Nigma stuff was great, both as story and as design. Snyder and Capullo hit one out of the park there. I also liked Bruce’s public outing. Good stuff.

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #13 (Slott / Camuncoli / Dell / Pallot / Fabela) Marvel

This comic continues to have my brain at odds. I read it, enjoy it, and think how well Slott is doing at showing the difference between an actual hero (Peter) and someone who will do whatever it takes to win (Otto).

Then I go on-line and see reviewers talking about how much better at being a hero Otto is than Peter.

Am I the one who is missing the point here? I hope not, because anyone who thinks that what Otto is doing is heroic… well, let us just say that I disagree.

UNCANNY X-MEN #8 (Bendis / Bachalo / Townsend) Marvel

Nothing is that easy, Fabio. We got to see a ‘recruiting a new mutant’ bit, which used to be all the rage and looks like it is back. We also got to see Dazzler, acting all official-like. Plus, an incredibly powerful team… that really needs some basic training.

HAWKEYE #12 (Fraction / Francavilla) Marvel

The first of the four potential CotWs. The only thing that holds this book back is that Francavilla (while talented) is no David Aja. I think the ‘tell the same story from four different perspectives’ would work better if it was the same artist each time. It would make the parallels more clear.

This time we got Barney – showing how far he has fallen and the spark that is still within him when pushed. I could see him being a nice addition to the cast.

YOUNG AVENGERS #7 (Gillen / McKelvie / Wilson) Marvel

The king of comic design among active artists used to be J.H. Williams III, but these days it is between Jamie McKelvie and David Aja. The way this book was laid out made what was really just a series of montages into something better. Fraction needs full credit here as well as the different characters really shone through.

And, the story was advanced!

PLEASE keep Prodigy in this book! SPeed is okay, but Prodigy is amazing.

DAREDEVIL #28 (Waid / Rodriguez / Lopez) Marvel

At first I was disappointed when the sharp Chris Samnee cover did not open to reveal Samnee interior’s, but Javier Rodriguez was perfect for this take of mixed flashbacks and the dichotomy between childhood trauma and adult responsibilities. Why does Matt dislike this guy so much? Those wounds run deep. Why did he need to help him? Because, as unlikeable as he was, he was not guilty.

Now we get Matt vs the Sons of the Serpent which couldn’t feel more timely as a different courtcase in the real world showed the difference between law and justice.

ASTRO CITY #2 (Busiek / Anderson / Ross / Sinclair / Comicraft) Vertigo

The life of super-hero support staff.

This was an excellent comic, from end-to-end. “She tried to tell me. But I sent social workers.”


You know what? Just go read it. Not just this comic but all of Astro City… but especially this one.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Batman #21

June 16, 2013
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This was not a great week. A small number of books and nothing that was really awesome.

That isn’t to say there wasn’t anything to read…

Starting at the weakest…

SUICIDE SQUAD #21 (Ales Kot / Patrick Zircher) DC

I’m not sure about this book. I added it back because I heard good things about the new writer, but he seems to be one of those writers that has everything very frenetic. I prefer things a little more linear… for this kind of book. Still worth reading further…

AVENGERS ASSEMBLE #16 (DeConnick / Buffagni / Bellaire) Marvel

This is not really Avengers Assemble. It is really Captain Marvel. First off, the cover is terrible. They should have let the interior artist do the cover because what they got is ugly.

If you like Captain Marvel, you will like this. I am borderline on both.

GREAT PACIFIC #7 (Joe Harris / Martin Morazzo) Image

My biggest complaint about this book was that it wasn’t moving forward. That changed this issue. It is no longer just some guy hanging out on a garbage pile. There is a settlement… with people… and the U.N…. and a terrorist… and a … tyrant in the making? Maybe?

Well worth reading.

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #3 (Bendis / McNiven / Pichelli / Dell / Ponsor) Marvel

GROOT! Forget the cover, the star of this book is the Racoon’s plant-like pal. Space politics and a big escape. Iron Man seems so out of place in this book… but he makes it have the one piece of familiarity that gives you a look into the new universe… or should I say Galaxy, around us. He makes the book feel a little more accessible.

BATMAN #21 (Scott Snyder / Greg Capullo / Danny Miki) DC

I have been hearing many good things about Snyder’s Batman, but I resisted because they seemed to always be in some big multi-book crossover and I wanted to try one of the books, not all of them.

Well, I decided to pick it up… and it was god! Not awesomely amazing, but good enough to be the best book this week. It is the start of Year Zero, which is a new 52 version of the early days of Batman. Good story, good art, good comic. So far, I recommend it.


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: Ultimate Spider-Man #19

January 6, 2013
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A fairly light week, but some good comics, as always.


Starting with the weakest.


ALL-STAR WESTERN #15 (Palmiotti / Gray / Moritat / Winslade) DC

This is a book that has been found as comic of the week. NOw it is at the bottom of the pile. Why?

It used to be a gritty western book which was fairly unique on the shelves. Bit by bit they have been turning it into a book for Batman readers to look at and chuckle as they slide in references to the Bruce Wayne / Gotham City mythos. That was bad enough. Now they are trying to be League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Jonah Hex fighting Mr. Hyde, powered by Eclipso!

No thanks. Turn this back into a western. Please. Next thing you know we will be getting the old HEX comic back as Jonah goes into the future…


NEW AVENGERS #1 (Jonathan Hickman / Steve Epting / Rick Magyar / Frank D’Armata) Marvel

The ‘Hickman-ization’ of the Avengers continues. New Avengers is now about the Illuminati… I guess. This comic was about Black Panther and some new world beating villain that is fairly indistinguishable from the new world beating villain in the Avengers, other than it is a solo villain instead of a group. (Without going back to check, is there a character named Manifold in both books? What is the Aborigine hero in Avengers called?)

There were references to the Illuminati and I have read that this is that book.

I sure hope it gets better.


BATMAN INCORPORATED #6 (Grant Morrison / Chris Burnham) DC

This book is hit and miss but this issue was pretty good. The challenge facing Batman was pretty simple except… what was the threat to Damian? When Talia says that Bruce has to choose between saving one or the other, that is a pretty standard trope, but there needs to be a threat to both. What was the threat to Damian?

On the other hand, Damian gets a kitten!


JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #15 (Jeff Lemire / Ray Fawkes / Mikel Janin) DC

This new world is interesting. It is bursting at the seams with magic, but magic is outlawed. Is that why? People aren’t using the magic so it is building up? Neat premise.

The best part of the book is when Constantine is forced to tell the truth… which is a problem for him as he lies every time he opens his mouth. I hope Lemire uses this to force him to explain some things to his teammates.

Could you picture having to tell everything you were thinking at all times? Shudder.


GREAT PACIFIC #3 (Joe Harris / Martin Morazzo) Image

Previously introduced but I hadn’t though of it until now… this new machine can turn sludge into water? Wouldn’t that DESTROY New Texas?


ALL-NEW X-MEN #5 (Brian Michael Bendis / Stuart Immonen / Wade von Grawbadger / Marte Gracia) Marvel

A lot of great stuff in this issue! We get to see the way Beast imagines himself… and that is looking like the vastly superior ‘ape’ version. Unfortunately Bendis had the opportunity to turn him back into that form but chose not to. Jean Grey gets to see… everything. We get the excuse for keeping them in the present. Solid book that is all about the characterization.

Iceman met Iceman. Beast met Beast. Cyclops met Cyclops. Jean Grey got to see her fate. When will Angel meet Archangel?


ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #19 (Bendis / Pichelli / Ponsor) Marvel

As much as I love Miles and Ganke and the rest, right now, it is Jefferson that makes this book amazing. This line MADE the book: “I don’t think it feels that way to him.”

Seriously. Buy Ultimate Spider-Man.


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