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Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Hawkeye #11

June 30, 2013
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hawkeye11

What a great week for comics! Comic after comic was in the running for best of the week… but in the end there was no contest.

Starting at the weakest…

THE UNWRITTEN #50 (M.Carey / P.Gross / B.Willingham / M.Buckingham) Vertigo

In a week full of great comics, this one falls here because it was so disappointing. I was really looking forward to this Unwritten meets Fables book and instead of that we got Unwritten meets messed up, altered time-line, not really Fables book. Just having some characters with the same name and similar looks does not make this a crossover. Snow White alone made me annoyed.

Very, VERY disappointing.

JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #21 (Jeff Lemire / Ray Fawkes / Mikel Janin / Vicente Cifuentes) DC

Interesting fight with Dr. Destiny. The idea that Deadman could posses the House of Mystery was especially cool.

So then, why am I cancelling the book?

Simple… Trinity. JLD is about to enter a multi-month cross-over with the two Justice League books. That is ridiculously stupid. JLD is NOT a Justice League book (despite its name) and forcing it to work with those other books, which I have no interest in, just makes me not want this one either.

Maybe I will re-add it after the crossover is over. Maybe.

Bad choice, DC.

UNCANNY X-MEN #7 (Bendis / Irving) Marvel

I am enjoying the X-books these days but this one wasn’t very good. Basically, Magik just isn’t that interesting a character and a murky fight with demons where the fight is only hinted at rather than shown (other than gold balls flying everywhere), doesn’t make for good reading.

Now someone wants to quit. Which someone? I don’t even remember.

I liked this book more before this 2-parter so I expect to like it again when it is done.

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #4 (Bendis / Pichelli / Ponsor) Marvel

Interesting characters… nice art… decent action… no plot.

This book DID have the best ‘sex scene’ I think I have ever seen in a comic. Still, I just don’t really like the space stuff in comics.

I am dropping this one.

LAZARUS #1 (Rucka / Lark / Arcas) Image

An interesting #1 but I was not blown away by it like I expected. You KNOW that Forever is going to rebel, but in the meantime, nobody in the book is worth cheering for.

X-MEN #2 (Wood / Coipel / Morales / Martin) Marvel

The 2nd of 3 X-books this week, and this one is much better than the last. Kitty vs Arkea was interesting, though I don’t think it will work a second time. Sublime was kind of annoying… but in a good way. The relationship between Jubilee and Shogo was brief, subtle and very strong. (So… is Jubilee a vampire or not? I am hoping no, but I wish they would address it. Actually, I am going to go look it up on Wikipedia… be right back…

Apparently she is still a vampire… or at least there has been no explanation why she is not.)

(I really hope she is not.)

THE MASSIVE #13 (Brian Wood / Garry Brown / Jordie Bellaire) Dark Horse

Two Wood books in a row, though they couldn’t be more different.

This book is all about what happened in New York, and all of coastal U.S. Chasing a nuclear sub with the intent of scuttling it and looking at the buildings poking out of the water… and here comes the navy! (The book does imply that NYC was the capital of the U.S. … I think it was just sloppy wording. New capital? Denver!

YOUNG AVENGERS #6 (Gillen / Brown) Marvel

Great story! What is this company that Prodigy and Speed are working for? The Prodigy concept alone is awesome. I guess since Barbara Gordon is no longer Oracle, Marvel can steal the idea. Following super-people who are no longer ‘fighting crime’ is interesting and it shows how easy it is to fall back into those patterns. So… what happened to Speed? I guess we know how the YA are going to get involved. (I hope Prodigy stays with them…)

Too bad the art wasn’t so great.

AGE OF ULTRON #10AI (Waid / Araujo / D’Armata) Marvel

This is a bridge issue between AoU and Avengers A.I., and that’s okay. Really this is letting us get caught up on why Hank Pym is going to be leading a new team. The new version of Hank’s early story was great and this book gave really good insight into the character and came to the proper conclusion… almost. Messing with a Doombot Hank? Have you learned nothing?

ALL-NEW X-MEN #13 (Brian Michael Bendis / Stuart Immonen / Wade von Grawbadger / Rain Beredo) Marvel

This is an all-around good book but what makes it hit so high on this list is Kitty’s reaction to Havok’s speech. Well done Bendis.

I think the difference between Bendis and Remender is that BMB understands that mutants are an analogy for certain minorities in the MU. It used to be about racism and became about homophobia. I get that Remender doesn’t want it that way, but you can’t just turn it off. I remember a friend in college who was VERY offended when he was told he could ‘pass’ as ‘straight’. His response, “Why would I want to do that?”

Exactly. Well said, Kitty.

On many weeks, this might have been #1… but this week it was #3.

DAREDEVIL #27 (Waid / Samnee / Rodriguez) Marvel

The reveal where we discover that Matt is one step ahead was really, really well done. I loved it. It is one of my pet peeves in comics how the villains are always smarter than the heroes but the heroes pull it out with guts and fortitude. I don’t know about you, but I consider intelligence a pretty positive thing!

Great comic… right down to the intentionally misleading cover!

On any other week, this might have been #1… but…

HAWKEYE #11 (Fraction / Aja / Hollingsworth) Marvel

What an AMAZING comic! The entire story is told from the point of view of Lucky, Hawkeye’s dog. This was INCREDIBLE storytelling! It is our third chance to see the same events (and events around those events) but it ends with something totally new and gives some important information that we were not privy to before.

I thought this book was going to break my heart at one point. Not quite but it was still pretty sad.

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Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Batman #21

June 16, 2013
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batman-21-cover

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: Ultimate Spider-Man #22

April 27, 2013
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Ultimate_Comics_Spider-Man_Vol_2_22

Big week.

Right off, I should announce that you won’t see Batwoman reviews here any more… at least until they get a different writer. I like the character and want to support the diversity…but the comic is just terrible. It is such a muddied mess that it is hard to even tell what is going on from page to page.

Dropped.

It isn’t the only one… read on.

Starting from the weakest…

WOLVERINE AND THE X-MEN #28 (aaron / Perez / Martin) Marvel

I picked this up because I had been enjoying the Bendis X-books so much.

This isn’t them.

I read it all through the Savage Land adventure. I like the idea of the school, but this book… just isn’t good enough. Dog is a stupid character that should have never been created. Eye-boy is awful. Shark Girl has potential.

Art – bad. Story – dull.

Dropped.

BEFORE WATCHMEN: COMEDIAN #6 (Brian Azzarello / J.G. Jones) DC

Some of the Before Watchmen stuff was worth the effort. Some wasn’t. So, in Watchmen they implied Comedian killed Kennedy. In this mini they say he didn’t… oh wait, there is more the one Kennedy, isn’t there?

(This IS what happened, best as I can tell, just with someone else as triggerman.)

AVENGERS #10 (Jonathan Hickman / Mike Deodato / Frank Martin) Marvel

This is probably lower than it deserves to be, but I am kind of annoyed that ONCE AGAIN the Canadian heroes are used as a Worf, killed off just so the threat looks big enough to challenge the Avengers.

Alos, finding out what Validator said was a real let-down.

FANTASTIC FOUR #7 (Fraction / Bagley / Hennessy / Mounts) Marvel

Wait… did this book make sense at all? Why did they need to save Blastaar? Did I miss something?

Overall, this book is going nowhere.

Dropped.

FF #6 (Matt Fraction / Joe Quinones / Laura Allred) Marvel

See the last comment on the Fantastic Four review.

Marvel made it easier on me by not having Mike Allred do the art this issue. I like the characters… but they never really do anything.

Dropped.

JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #19 (Lemire / Fawkes / Janin / Cifuentes) DC

The cover didn’t mean anything… but it sure looks cool. I am referring to the Swamp Thing house on the fold-out. Nice. (This cover theme month is still turning out to be a whole lot of nothing.)

There WAS a cool reveal in this book, but not until the last page. I have to remind myself that the villain was DC first, despite Vertigo’s excellent co-opting of him.

I like Madame Xanadu, but I like how the other characters are questioning what use she is when she always tells them about things too late.

UNCANNY AVENGERS #7 (Remender / Acuna) Marvel

I am not a fan of the big, over-powered space villains, bit knowing that Kang is behind it helps. What slots it this high is the character interplay. That ‘real’ Avengers crack by Wasp was a little petty… which is good. In fact, I liked all the character work in this one. The art is really good, too. Much better than Cassaday.

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #2 (Bendis / McNiven / Pichelli / Dell / Ponsor) Marvel

I have been ready to not like this book. Space stuff isn’t my thing. After an excellent zero issue, #1 wasn’t great. Then cam ethis one.

The plot isn’t grabbing me… but the characters are great! Rocket Racoon is awesome! Plus, is Sara Pichelli taking over for Steve McNiven? I like McNiven, but I like Pichelli even more!

So far, so good.

UNCANNY X-MEN #5 (Bendis / Irving) Marvel

So it seemed that all of the ex-Phoenix hosts had their powers changed except for Magik, right? Not so fast.

Magik’s powers have also been affected, and her powers mean a lot more than ray beams and twisting metal.

Dormmamu will likely be the least of their problems. There will be hell to pay…

Fraser Irving is the perfect artist for this story. His Limbo is perfectly nightmarish.

NEW AVENGERS #5 (Jonathan Hickman / Steve Epting / Rick Magyar / Frank D’Armata) Marvel

How do you get past Hickman’s circuitous, non-rational storytelling? Have an issue that involves on conversation with flashbacks. This issue works a lot better than previous ones have.

The Black Swan’s background was interesting, as was her dismissal of Dr. Strange – which tells me that magic is going to be crucial in saving the day. It will be the one factor that the Black Swan has not included in her calculations.

And who is the best suited to understand the balance of science and magic? Where are they going next issue?

THE MASSIVE #11 (Brian Wood / Declan Shalvey / Jordie Bellaire) Dark Horse

First off, I have been very critical of Shalvey’s work in the past, over on Thunderbolts. His attempt to fit with the style on The Massive is much more successful. It didn’t feel jarring at all.

Some important stuff happened here – the biggest of which is Lars learning about Callum’s condition. They also lost the helicopter and yet another crewman… the hard way, this time.

Plus sharks. Sharks are cool, right? And after seeing the Megalodon, I wonder when the Giant Octopus will show up. A Massive / Great Pacific crossover?

One thing though… swimming with the sharks when they are so hungry that they will jump out of the ocean to grab food on land?

Stupid.

THE UNWRITTEN #48 (Mike Carey / Peter Gross) Vertigo

From Hell to Hell? Why not? There should be as many version so fHell as there are people who have written about it. This isn’t Dante’s version, unless it is an altered one, since the devil is free.

Paulie learning his real origins should be interesting, as was Lizzie’s masquerade.

YOUNG AVENGERS #4 (Gillen / McKelvie / Norton / Wilson) Marvel

Is there a more fun book out this week? I say thee nay! Look at the design sense that went into this, from the cover, to the Noh-Varr attack scene. Beautiful. Loki is being an ass… and I am not referring to him taking a powder at the end. It is painfully obvious that he will be back. I am talking about him dropping those seeds of doubt into Teddy’s mind. Great stuff.

Marvel Boy is not me favourite character but the rest of the cast is aces.

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #22 (Bendis / Pichelli / Ponsor) Marvel

I guess Sara Pichelli is going to GoG, since they have announced she is leaving here. That’s okay, David Marquez is great too.

This book is… whoa.

So Miles’ identity is now known by Maria Hill. It was also known by his mother but…

Are they going to slowly turn him into Peter. I liked Miles’ mother so it is a loss… and you can argue that it is a bit of a ‘Girlfriend in a Refrigerator’, but the whole thing is going to tear Miles’ world apart. Trauma, despair and heartbreak make for good fiction.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Mister X: Hard Candy

March 31, 2013
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Starting at the weakest…

FANTASTIC FOUR #5 (Fraction / Araujo / Villarrubia) Marvel

So, I like the Fantastic Four comic. I like Age of Ultron. Having an Age of Ultron tie-in issue with Fantastic Four seems like a find idea… even if it is only to fix the continuity problems that stem from AoU being written long before the FF went off into space, or whatever.

To bad this issue is so bad.

First off, I really dislike the art. Then, the entire IDEA of this books is terrible, “Okay kids, we are going off to die. Good luck!” SO the kids are off on a spaceship by themselves with no idea what to do next? That is just stupid writing.

Also, trying to make it seem like we really think they are not coming back… give me a break.

Bah.

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #6 (Christos Gage / Dexter Soy) Marvel

Take the entire first part of the last comment and replace all mentions of Fantastic Four with Superior Spider-Man. The art doesn’t work for Spider-Man. The comic is bad and that is clearly NOT Otto in AoU. This is a mess because it is continuity being forced where it doesn’t fit.

They should have just ignored it and moved on. THe continuity complainers should just shut up about it.

Two normally good books made bad by a cross-over.

WOLVERINE and the X-MEN #27 (Aaron / Perez / Martin) Marvel

Let me just start by saying how much a prefer Mohawk Storm. This is the way she SHOULD look.
An issue focusing on the students! Great! Iron Mask! Good stuff… but something was missing.I think the ‘why’. (Oh, and Eye Boy looks ridiculous.)

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #1 (Bendis / McNiven / Dell / Ponsor) Marvel

The .1 issue of this was very good. This one… less so. I might be a little biased as space comics don’t tend to do much for me. So Iron Man is in space now? Is he in space in his own comic as well?
Not enough Groot. Not enough Rocket Raccoon. Too much of everything else.

JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #18 (Jeff Lemire / Ray Fawkes / Mikel Janin) DC

Not the best issue, but the arc worked over all. This is not quite the father of Tim Hunter from Vertigo. Either one of them. (Do you remember when Tim Hunter was awesome? I do.)
The ending was satisfying and made wonder what next issue will bring. It looks like Frank is on the time for good, and that gets a big thumbs up from me.
If only the title of the book wasn’t so stupid.

FF #5 (Matt Fraction / Michael Allred / Laura Allred) Marvel

Alex out, Ahura in. (Though we haven’t seen the last of Alex… though his actions are a little ill-advised. John is crazy. Medusa is… mind-controlled, I would say. Ms.Thing is ever-awesome. Then there is Scott, son of Bob, man of ants.

FF isn’t quite Hawkeye, but it is closer to it than much else.

AGE OF ULTRON #3 (Bendis / Hitch / Neary / Mounts) Marvel

Story progression! The scene where a talk on tactics turns into a talk on losses was well done. Succinct but ending with Jessica and the baby and showing why Luke was so willing to risk himself worked for me. (Yes you can argue it is GiaR, but that scene also talked about four other fallen, and none of them were female.)

Taskmaster calling Red Hulk Dave was a nice bit of levity.

On the other siade, I really don’t like how Hitch draws Captain America. First off, I have never been a fan of the ‘scale mail’ look. That shirt is supposed to be chain mail, not scale mail. The way Hitch draws it, he often looks ‘fuzzy’ in longer shots. Fluffy, maybe.

UNCANNY AVENGERS #5 (Remender / Coipel / Morales / Martin) Marvel

The best issue of this title yet. First off, Coipel is WAY better than Cassaday. This is mostly a character issue, but it is a well done one.

What is with Cap’s kneepads on the cover?

That cover shows why it is awkward having Alex as leader. Having Cap on a team and NOT having him as leader is always going to seem wrong… but in this story in makes sense and that awkwardness is PART of it. It is great to see Wasp and Wonder Man back on a team and neither of them acting like idiots. Sunfire seems on there just to keep the premise of the book intact. Look at the cover. 5 mutants (and only 4 X-Men) vs 4 non-mutants. And 6 Avengers. Now 9.

THE UNWRITTEN #47 (Mike Carey / Peter Gross) Vertigo

Interesting. So is this actually hell or not? Hmmm. Tom losing his memory is well done… though he is getting it back. The return of the rabbit and the return of those who have died around Tommy was all interesting, leading up to that last page. Do you think the two Taylors can sit down and have a nice talk? Well, one of them is being tortured in death and the other one os having Lethe problems, so I would count on it being very satisfactory.

I am looking forward to The Unwritten Fables.

THE MASSIVE #10 (Brian Wood / Gary Erskine / Jodie Bellaire) Dark Horse

Coming off a meaty story, we now get a good balance of story and backstory. That last page seemed kind of chilling. Things are not going to be good soon.

I WILL say that I think the mutineers got off a little easy, but it totally fits with who Callum is. I am kind of surprised that we didn’t get a scene where Mag ‘took them to the boat’ and actually dumped them in the ocean, if you know what I am saying.

YOUNG AVENGERS #3 (Gillen / McKelvie / Norton / Wilson) Marvel

Best issue yet. Miss America is just all around awesome. I am missing Kate from this book, but America Chavez makes up for it. I want to know more about her and her two moms. Apparently she was in a mini called Vengeance, which I hadn’t even heard of.

Good comic.

MISTER X: HARD CANDY one-shot (Dean Motter) Dark Horse

I love Mister X. The funny thing is that I am a story guy, but this book is all about style and design. It may not look super-unusual now, but when Motter first started making Mister X comics, he was leaps and bounds ahead of everyone else. It is kind of like looking at Frank Miller stuff without knowing history and thinking that his lay-outs etc are ‘that style’ instead of ground-breaking.

And the story is good too!

It isn’t what I remembered from the comic. If you go to the ordering page that shows the old collections, look at the ones on the left compared to the ones on the right. That is what I remember. I remember the black, white and red comic.

The best news is the ad for an upcoming Mister X mini. Yes please!


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: The Unwritten #46

March 5, 2013
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This was a huge week, made bigger because of a couple delayed books from last week. When I get a week like this it makes me look long and hard at what I am getting and there were some books that were found very wanting.

The cutting scissors are out!

Starting at the weakest…

ALL-STAR WESTERN #17 (Palmiotti / Gray / Moritat / Johnson) DC

I feel like no book was destroyed by the New 52 relaunch like Jonah Hex was. Jonah Hex was a very solid book, and the early issues of ASW held up to that standard, but it has been getting worse and worse. The constant Batman references were annoying enough, and then Jonah vs Mr. Hyde was pretty ridiculous. Now he is fighting… Vandal Savage?!?! Making this book part of the DC Universe is just silly. Do you remember ‘Hex’, the comic that sent Jonah into outer space? This isn’t that bad, but it is along those lines. It was made even worse by making the ‘classic DC character back-up’ Stormwatch. Uh what?

Dropped.

BATMAN INCORPORATED #8 (Grant Morrison / Chris Burnham / Jason Masters) DC

Uh, spoilers, I guess… but who hasn’t heard?

I am not one of those people who gets mad when they kill a character. The story comes first and if you can make a good story by killing a character, go for it. I am also not one of those people who gets upset about them bringing characters back. If it makes a good story, go for it.

Take when Marvel killed Captain America. It was a good story, but we always knew they would bring him back. (In fact, they took too long because Bucky was a terrible Cap.) The same thing with Peter Parker. Hands up anyone who doesn’t think he is coming back. No one? Good.

The problem here is that Batman Inc. hasn’t been a very good comic and the only thing that made it better was Damian. Now he is dead and it was done so in a really sloppy fashion that MINIMIZED the impact of his death. The sequential storytelling in this book has been very bad and it really destroyed any build up to Damian’s death.

Are they going to bring him back? Some people say yes. I am not so sure. I think Grant Morrison is taking his ball and going home and Damian will stay dead as long as Morrison needs appeasing. (Do you think there would have been those Before Watchmen books if Alan Moore was working for DC?)

More importantly, I am not sure I care.

Dropped.

AVENGERS ARENA #5 (Hopeless / Walker / Martin) Marvel

What DC did to Jonah Hex, Marvel did to Avengers Academy. They took a very good book and ruined it.

Now, like Batman Inc., don’t assume you know why. I am not one of the internet folk who hate the concept of the book. What did I say about killing characters in the previous review? The problem here is the writing. There is no plot. There is only a concept, and it is poorly executed. Let’s randomly kill characters, or make it seem like we are killing characters (because I am not convinced it is all legit), for no reason. Why? Because Arcade is suddenly the Beyonder in a bad mood.

Remember? They have done this story already. It was just in a less bloodthirsty time. The Beyonder took a bunch of heroes and a bunch of villains and set them against each other. With lots of exclamation marks.

Nobody would call Secret Wars high art, but I would rather reread that than this. (Having a BOYfriend in a refrigerator was a twist. Not that it makes it good writing…)

Dropped.

COMEBACK #4 (Brisson / Walsh / Bellaire) Image

Another book that is all concept and no execution. Some people (hi Kin!) hate time travel. I don’t. If it is written well it isn’t confusing at all.
Guess what this book isn’t and what it is.

I WOULD drop this book, but this is issue #4 and it is a 5 issues series. I’ll hold out to finish it.

WONDER WOMAN #17 (Azzarello / Akins / Green / Pinna) DC

Wonder Woman relaunched with a cool new feel, solid writing, good art. What happened?
Well, that opening story arc never ended. We are 17 issues in and are still telling the same story from issue #1 with no end in sight. This book isn’t about Wonder Woman, who happens to be trying to save Zola’s baby. This book is about Wonder Woman trying to save Zola’s baby. There is nothing else. It almost feels like that old Prison Break show where they just keep throwing up obstacle after obstacle because if they ever win, the show is over. Plus they keep subbing in Tony Akins on art and he is nowhere near as good as Cliff Chiang.

I woud consider dropping this, but it is one of Ruthanne’s favourites and very few of the books we get are ‘for’ her. This one stays.

ROCKETEER: HOLLYWOOD HORROR #1 (Roger Langridge / J. Bone) IDW

I bought the previous Rocketeer mini because of Chris Samnee. I enjoyed it, and I have good things about Langridge and I like J.Bone, so I decided I would give this a try. It isn’t as good as Waid and Samnee, but it is still okay. We talked about cutting this and decided against it. If I cut this one, it would just be to keep my budget in line, not because it was bad.

YOUNG AVENGERS #2 (Gillen / McKelvie / Norton / Wilson) Marvel

So far I still like the old YA better, and the story here that basically comes down to ‘the adults are either evil or under the sway of the bad guy so it up to the youngins to save the day’ is interesting enough. The whole ‘trapping them in comic panels’ thing is kind of cute.

THE MASSIVE #9 (Brian Wood / Garry Brown / Dave Stewart) Dark Horse

This book confused me a little bit but I think I was distracted by the cancer thing… as were the people involved, I would say.

So the ‘fleet’ got a little bigger? Yet they still don’t have the ship that the comic is named after?

JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #17 (jeff Lemire / Ray Fawkes / Mikel Janin) DC

The big bust ’em up, throw down issue. Kind of… there appears to be more next issue. I really enjoy this comic and I am not sure why. Constantine is awesome is this other dimension. Frankenstein is kind of awesome in any dimension. It makes me wish I had read his book. (Side note: I ordered the new Constantine comic, but the preview running in the back of DC books this month doesn’t look very good…)

FABLES #126 (Willingham / Buckingham / Pepoy / Leialoha) Vertigo

Sometimes when something is supposed to be unsavoury it hurts the book even though it is doing what it means to do. This ex-husband of Snow White… ick. He is the most disgusting character that I can recall reading. Way worse than Comedian, and he is pretty bad. Now, he is supposed to be, but this rings worse. I think it may be because I know that Bill Willingham runs way on the right side of the political spectrum and this feels like an exaggerated version of what my lefty brain thinks that he thinks like. That is completely and totally unfair, but there it is.

BEFORE WATCHMEN: DR.MANHATTAN #4 (J.Michael Straczynski / Adam Hughes) DC

This book can be filed along with Silk Spectre and Minutemen to show how good the Before Watchmen concept CAN be. (Just don’t read Nite Owl or the Comedian unless you want to see the other end of the spectrum.)

This book was not as satisfying, storywise, as the previous three issues, because I don’t like it when they rehash what we have already seen (this is the same reason the otherwise good Ozymandias is sliding and why Moloch was one issue good and one issue terrible.)

And Adam Hughes is simply amazing. There are some artists who manage to take a tendency towards T&A but do it so well that it is beautiful rather than anything negative. Hughes exemplifies that. I mean, LOOK at that cover. Incredible.

As a whole mini this would rank higher, but this issue was relatively weak (and the flipped pages thing was just a novelty).

UNCANNY AVENGERS #4 (Rick Remender / John Cassaday / Laura Martin) Marvel

This is the best of the new crop of Avengers books… but as I have clearly said here and there, I am not a big fan of Hickman, so that isn’t hard. Still, this issue had a really good fight sequence against an ‘unbeatable’ foe, who lived to fight another day. It had a couple of really solid one-on-one scenes between Scarlet Witch and Rogue as well as Thor and Wolverine. I didn’t care for the tease, as I don’t look back at Onslaught with fond memories.

Also… what is the deal with the art? People rave about John Cassaday and I don’t know why. This just wasn’t that good.

UNCANNY X-MEN #2 (Bendis / Bachalo / Townsend) Marvel

First, I want to talk about the set. What is it about Bachalo’s art that makes the ridiculous costumes on the women seem so innocuous? Look at Emma on the first couple of pages. She has this weird cutout down the entire front of her shirt, yet it doesn’t seem to me to be overly sexualized. I think it is just the nature of his art. Those don’t look like melons hiding under her shirt… they are almost just well developed pecs. It waters down the effect, in a good way.

But then flip the page to the full page side shot of Emma’s face. That is some very pretty art. Well designed and well executed. Kudos.

Then there is the story. What does Bendis do well? Characters, characters, characters. These fell like real people. Real, interesting people. So far I like All-New better, but this is some solid work.

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #0.1 (Brian Michael Bendis / Steve McNiven / John Dell / Justin Ponsor) Marvel

Here is Bendis again! I only bought this book because of his name in the credits because I normally don’t like the space stuff.

This was a very, very good comic. However, it wasn’t the space stuff that is coming, so it remains to be seen whether my enjoyment of Bendis’ writing can counter by normal dislike of the spacey aspects.

Even if the comic wasn’t good overall, which it was, the look on Peter’s mother’s face when she heard why he got in trouble for fighting was perfection.

FF #4 (Matt Fraction / Michael Allred / Laura Allred) Marvel

This was just an all-around sweet comic. The hijinks of (the equivalent to) young boys with a crush that ‘turn awry’ making Jen and Wyatt’s date better and better was just so well done. When Kin criticized Fantastic Four in his reviews (which I didn’t agree with, but that’s okay) he said, why can Fraction write Hawkeye so well and this so badly?

This book is Hawkeye brought to the FF.

Speaking of…

HAWKEYE #8 (Fraction / Aja / Wu / Hollingsworth) Marvel

First, what a great cover. Amazing. The art inside was a lot of fun too, both Aja’s normally brilliant work and the special Wu ‘covers’ scattered throughout. Hawkeye is one of my favourite comics being published and I certainly enjoy it more than the Unwritten normally, but this week it slipped a bit because I had a bit of a problem with the story. So, she comes in, Jessica sees her, but there is no explanation about who she is or where she fits into Clint’s past? I would be okay with that if he WASN’T hooked up with Jessica, but since he is, that didn’t feel right. It needed an explanation.

Not enough to ruin the comic for me, but enough to knock it out of the top spot.

THE UNWRITTEN #46 (Carey / Gross / Ormston) Vertigo

Zombies, Vampires, the chilling menace of IMAGINING death and… oh my god… did she just do what I think she just did? OMG, she did! The ending of that book was super chilling. The puppet lady who you can talk to in your dreams was super scary enough already but now she can imagine things and make them real? Holy crap. This is Freddy ramped up to the freakiest. Well done.