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Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Hawkeye #21

February 8, 2015
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Hawkeye 21

If you read my last post you know that things are changing around here… well not quite yet. No books were dropped before I picked up this week’s comics. Eventually all will be dropped, but in the meantime I will mark the ones that are the last issues I am picking up as a monthly.

These are not evaluations of the book per se, but rather where they are in their arc.

Ironically, it was a pretty good week… though I am a little preoccupied so my actual reviews are even lighter than usual.

Starting at the weakest.

AVENGERS #41 (Hickman / Deodato / Martin) Marvel

I don’t love Hickman’s storytelling in this issue (or most of his issues) but I do like the coming together of the universes. We now know this will be Secret Wars.

(My Final issue: #44)

ANT-MAN #2 (Spencer / Rosanas / Boyd) Marvel

This was a fun little comic, and the addition of Grizzly has that Spider-Foes vibe to it.

(My Final issue: this one)

SWAMP THING #39 (Soule / Saiz / Chung) DC

DC Comics is an absolute train wreck. Apparently the New 52 sales are dropping like a stone so they are scrambling to ‘shock the world’ again with Convergence. That means they are cancelling one of the very few decent books they still have.

(My Final issue: #40)

MIRACLEMAN #15 (Moore / Totleben) Marvel

Here is a good example of a book I will likely pick up in trade. The individual issues are $5 and what will the collection be?

(My final issue: #16)

MS. MARVEL #11 (Wilson / Alphona / Herring) Marvel

Weird cover. Good comic. This wraps up a story so I will be dropping it here. I look forward to reading more in trade.

(My final issue: this one)

STAR WARS #2 (Aaron / Cassaday / Martin) Marvel

The relaunch of Star Wars from Marvel has been great. I still wish it was post-Jedi, but it is hard to complain when the comics feel this good. It messes with continuity but… oh well.

(My Final Issue: #3)

C.O.W.L. #8 (Kyle Higgins / Alex Siegel / Rod Reis) Image

Do many people buy C.O.W.L.? If not, they should. And I bet it will read even better collected. I guess I will find out…

(My Final Issue: #11)

SAGA #25 (Fiona Staples / Brian K. Vaughan) Image

This is the first issue of a new arc. Rather than buy a bunch of issue when I know I will likely buy the collection at some point anyway, I will drop it here.

Saga is a great comic.

(My Final Issue: this one)

WYTCHES #4 (Snyder / Jock / Hollingsworth / Robins) Image

Wytches is a tough read… just because it is so unrelentingly dark. Maybe so, but it is also incredibly well done.

(My Final Issue: #6)

HAWKEYE #21 (Fraction / Aja / Hollingsworth) Marvel

This is the penultimate issue of Fraction’s run.

As I read this, all I could think is that this should be a movie. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really match up with the Marvel Movie World’s ‘Big Picture’ style… but it still should be a movie.

Oh, and I also want some purple Chucks. Ruthanne tried to buy some for me once but the website she ordered them from turned out to be a scam.

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Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Astro City #15

September 17, 2014
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A pretty sold week, with one error purchase…

Starting at the (very) weakest…

ALL-NEW ULTIMATES #8 (Fiffe / Milogiannis / Bellaire) Marvel

So, after #7 I said I was dropping this book.

I got this issue by accident. This happened once before (X-Men) and the book got a temporary reprieve.

Not this time.

This book is just really, really bad. The story is weak and the art is atrocious.

DROPPED…AGAIN.

INHUMAN #5 (Soule / Stegman / Gracia) Marvel

This book is hanging in there. It isn’t stellar but it still an okay read.

X-Men Lite.

AVENGERS #34.1 (Ewing / Keown / Lee / Keith) Marvel

Hyperion is the kind of character that I don’t really like. The overpowered Superman style. This book gives him some character, so that is an improvement.

I still don’t like him, but hey…

EDGE OF SPIDER-VERSE #1 (Hine / Sapolsky / Isanove) Marvel

Multiversity, Marvel-style?

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #6 (Slott / Ramos / Olazaba / Delgado) Marvel

I still don’t like the new Black Cat, but other than that, the story was solid.

Silk, on the other hand, is growing on me. I didn’t like her at first but she is developing into her own, solid persona… in some ways more adept than Peter.

LAZARUS #11 (Rucka / Lark / Arcas) Image

This issue REALLY shows what it means to be a Lazarus. Sonja Bittner is pretty bad-ass. We also got some cool insights into politics in the world.

Solid issue.

HAWKEYE #20 (Fraction / Wu / Hollingsworth) Marvel

As usual, the Kate issues are just really good instead of amazing, like the other issues. David Aja is just too big a loss (with due respect to the very talented Annie Wu).

I was not really sold on the advantage to most of the non-linear storytelling this time out, but it worked out for the bookends.

I am lamenting the loss of this book and it isn’t even gone yet.

CALIBAN #6 (Garth Ennis / Facundo Percio) Avatar

No spoilers here.

But wow… talk about an effective use of emotions and misleading storytelling.

Just wow.

I can’t wait for the movie.

MS. MARVEL #8 (Wilson / Alphona / Herring) Marvel

This was VERY nearly the book of the week. Kamala and Lockjaw together are just adorable. But really, Willow had me on the first page, second panel. “Why are kids like me always being drafted into wars we didn’t start?”

HELLS YES!

As usual, GREAT storytelling. Absolutely perfect dialogue and one of the most refreshing books on the market.

ASTRO CITY #15 (Busiek / Anderson / Ross / Broome / Comicraft) Vertigo

As great as Ms. Marvel was, Astro City was just a little better. The fresh take on the Reed/Doom rivalry turned into a whole other thing. And while getting a book with a great, young new character is becoming more common, getting a book with a great OLDER new character is a whole other deal.

This sweet little old lady kicks some ass and does so without losing who she is as a character. Very nice. Masterfully done.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Hawkeye #19

August 6, 2014
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Hawkeye-19-cover

This was quite a good week and it has a GREAT comic topping things off.

Starting at the weakest…

BODIES #1 (Si Spencer / Meghan Hetrick / Dean Ormston / Tula Lotay / Phil Winslade / Lee Loughridge) Vertigo

Why so many creators? Well the gimmick is that there are murder investigations going on in different time periods that are somehow connected and each time period has its own creative team. Sound interesting? I thought so… but not so far. The first issue was kind of dull and the art was especially disappointing hidden behind a really great cover.

I am not giving up on it.

X-MEN #17 (Wood / Diaz / Briones / Mounts) Marvel

So, I planned to drop this book, accidentally didn’t, and the next issue (last issue) was quite good!

That lasted one issue. Huh.

Let’s see what the next story line brings…

AVENGERS #33 (Hickman / Yu / Alanguilan / Gho) Marvel

This Cap-goes-forward-through-time-thing has been okay but this issue was quite weak. Not much actually happened. And why was Star Brand all over the cover?

So… is this story just designed for Cap to trust Tony at the end? I hope not.

AVENGERS WORLD #10 (Spencer / Checchetto / Mossa) Marvel

Things coming together? That’s a good thing, I suppose.

UNCANNY X-MEN #24 (Bendis / Anka) Marvel

Kris Anka is one of those ‘design’ artists. He can come up with some great designs but doesn’t seem to be so great at actually drawing. This issue was especially badly drawn (to my taste, anyway)… plus the whole issue was just about getting Scott on site.

Oh, except for that wedding bombshell. That could be pretty interesting…

THE MASSIVE #25 (Brian Wood / Garry Brown / Jordie Bellaire) Dark Horse

This is where the books this week start getting quite good. The event is still happening? Well, that is pretty cool. I haven’t really liked the supernatural element of the book, but I am all for super-science. Mary is great when she isn’t stopping nuclear missiles with her brain.

And Cal is really, really sick.

CALIBAN #5 (Garth Ennis / Facundo Percio) Avatar

So, is this booked optioned for a movie yet?

The first part of the book – the explanation part – dragged a bit but the tension ratcheted right back up quickly.

How many issues is this supposed to run? They are running out of characters.

UNCANNY AVENGERS #22 (Rick Remender / Daniel Acuna) Marvel

The big complaint about big work-ending, time-travel stories is the big reset button at the end. You KNEW that Rogue and Scarlet Witch weren’t going to stay dead. You KNEW that the world would go back to what it was.

Oh but wait… Wasp and Havoc were still a couple and still remember having a baby? Sentry, Grim Reaper and Daken are still ‘alive’? What is going on with Rogue? And Wonder Man?

Well… cool.

STEED AND MRS PEEL: WE’RE NEEDED #1 (Edginton / Cosentino) Boom Studios

I didn’t order this but Ruthanne was with me at Silver Snail and saw it so we picked it up and added it to the file. I am glad we did!

This is the first Boom book I have picked up and this one was spot on. The Diana Rigg (because she IS her) was just perfect, and really, isn’t that the selling point of the book?

A reminder to the rest of the comic industry that you can make strong, smart and sexy without it being gratuitous.

C.O.W.L. #3 (Kyle Higgins / Alec Siegel / Rod Reis) Image

Last issue was hurt by the cover but this issue is great all around. Showing the 60s era sexism and then reminding us how it effected some of the women and THEN reminding us that it wasn’t ALL sexism. Well done.

SANDMAN OVERTURE #3 (Neil Gaiman / J.H. Williams III) Vertigo

Classic Sandman. A wandering journey. An added character to give the Dreams someone to talk to. Ideas. Images. Vistas. Threats. Ideas.

Did I say ideas twice?

Dreams.

This book is like revisiting an old friend… who once taught you what comics could be.

HAWKEYE #29 (Fraction / Aja / Hollingsworth) Marvel

BRILLIANT!

BLOODY BRILLIANT!

This book might not be QUITE as good as the Pizza Dog issue, but it is close. Seeing the world through the viewpoint of someone suddenly deaf and down SO WELL.

There is sign language (with no cheat sheet to help you through). There is lip reading shown in a great fashion.

My question is, does Matt Fraction know someone who is deaf who helped him out with this? Is the lip reading part… accurate?

Wow. What a great book.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Sandman Overture #2

April 5, 2014
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sandmanoverture2

Pretty big week with some pretty good comics. A couple of clunkers and a stop though.

Starting at the bottom…

SURVIVE #1 (Bendis / Quinones / Beredo) Marvel

I originally didn’t order this but I figured with Bendis writing it and using it as a segue into the New Miles book and the new Ultimates book… but no. This was pretty bad. A bunch of scenes of people saying…. hey, there is a new status quo! But let’s not talk about it too much because we are just going to talk about it again when each of the new books launches!

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #30 (Slott / Gage / Camuncoli / Dell / Fabela) Marvel

You have GOT to be kidding me! That was awful and people have been talking about how great it was. THAT is how you bring him back? THAT?

It is pretty bad when a fan theory on Bleeding Cool is ten times better than what the writer comes up with.

Dan Slott… this was terrible. Zero creativity and terrible characterization.

If I wasn’t generally enjoying the book, I would drop it now.

Looking forward to the return of Amazing…

AMAZING X-MEN #5 (Aaron / McGuinness / Vines / Gracia) Marvel

Not THIS Amazing…

Yeah. I bought this book because I really like Nightcrawler. But this wasn’t very good, overall. The resurrection was cheesy. Fighting pirates in hell or whatever… yeah. Not for me. Now Nightcrawler is getting his own boo, so this one is dropped.

DEAD BOY DETECTIVES #4 (Toby Litt / Mark Buckingham / Gary Erskine) Vertigo

Ruthanne and I chatted about this and decided not to drop it. I really like the characters – including Crystal. This story was pretty bad, though. They took the classic Gaiman issue and turned into a funhouse parody of itself. What made the boarding school so chilling is that it was so NORMAL. Not this.

Hopefully the book gets better.

AVENGERS #27 (Hickman / Larroca / Martin) Marvel

I am enjoying this evil Avengers story more than any of the Hickman run so far (damning with faint praise). I don’t like the art (especially the AIM costumes and Captain Marvel’s odd look), but the story works for me. I wish the scene on the cover actually happened because I like that era of Super-Adaptoid. There has obviously been a Hulk bait-and-switch.

Yeah. Not bad.

SILVER SURFER #1 (Dan Slott / Michael Allred / Laura Allred) Marvel

I was a little disappointed in this book only because my expectations were so high. This book was all set-up with no pay-off. I would say it is ‘written for the trade’, so to speak.

That’s okay. I’m along for the ride.

FABLES #139 (Bill Willingham / Steve Leialoha) Vertigo

Wait, what happened to the Knights story? This is cute and everything, but I was enjoying the other one. Oh well. I guess Bucky needed a break.

This appears to be the kick-off to the eventual demise of this book. I guess that is because they are going back to the Homelands.

Hands up… who thinks Danny Boy is a double crosser?

UNCANNY AVENGERS #18 (Rick Remender / Daniel Acuna) Marvel

Decent alt-reality type story, like the old X-Men ones. They do a good job setting up the new status quo while also giving us the tip-off about how everything is going to get fixed. Pretty nice last page where we get a nice reveal.

THE MASSIVE #21 (Brian Wood / Garry Brown / Jordie Bellaire) Dark Horse

Nice double cross. Nice cast addition. Nice plot motion…

Though I do wish that the forward motion of the plot wasn’t tied in to this super-Mary thing. I am not a fan of that aspect of the story.

Oh well. Looks like it is entrenched. Better get used to it.

BRILLIANT #5 (Bendis / Bagley) Icon

I was ready to drop this. When I saw it came out (after what, a year?), I said to myself that if this wasn’t really good, I wasn’t waiting around for issue 6.

Thing is, it was really good.

The various reactions tot he exposure of powers was well done. You had fear. Fascination. Greed. The whole thing.

Hopefully the next issue comes out in a little more timely fashion…

HAWKEYE #18 (Fraction / Wu / Hollingsworth) Marvel

I heard a rumour that this book is ending… does anyone know if that is true? I hope not.

The Kate in L.A. stories aren’t quite as good as the Clint in NYC ones. Kate is every bit as interesting a character, but not having Aja hurts… despite Wu being quite talented.

But now it seems that these seemingly disparate threads are coming together! Oh boy!

(Of course, Clint still appears to be bleeding out on his apartment floor…)

MIRACLEMAN #4 (Alan Moore / Alan Davis / Garry Leach) Marvel

Man, this book is good. I actually have the old traceback of A Dream of Flying, which is now really hard to get. So I have read these issues but I am coming up to the end of what I have.

How often are reprints some of the best comics coming out?

The Warpsmith stuff doesn’t do it for me, though. Oh well.

SANDMAN OVERTURE #2 (Neil Gaiman / J.H. Williams III) Vertigo

Wow. This was one beautiful book. Beautifully written. Beautifully drawn. If issue 1 brought us back into the world of Sandman, this issue made it feel like we had never left.

Absolutely mind-blowing.

If you are NOT reading this book, I hope it is only because you are waiting for the collection.


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: Hawkeye #15

March 2, 2014
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hawkeye-15-cover-197x300

This was a really solid week. I liked all of the books, to a certain extent.

Starting at the weakest, though…

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

This title started with some amazing world building, before moving into some less successful, but still decent, character building. Now they are moving into the meta plot… and I don’t think I like it.

Remember when suddenly someone was super-human and could stop nuclear missiles? I was hoping that was a momentary blip and would go away. No such luck.

Brian Wood, you are going to destroy this book.

DEAD BOY DETECTIVES #3 (Toby Litt / Mark Buckingham / Gary Erskine) Vertigo

This is the second book in a row on this list with the same problem. great premise, great characters, being pushed in a direction that is not incredibly suited toit. BY making the school this kind o tuber-haunted, uber-high-tech, demon-worshipping… thing, you have completely missed what made the original occurrences of these characters o strong.

There are regular boy swap happen to be dead. This isn’t Deadman.

UNCANNY AVENGERS #17 (Remender / McNiven / Leisten / Martin) Marvel

It is alway sought to be convincing when you are doing something that every single reader knows will be undone in the next issue or so. The world is destroyed and only Thor is left? Oh my god! I guess they are cancelling the rest of the Marvel line and… uh, no.

Having said THAT, they did quite a good job with it, and THAT is what really matters.

(Of course, this just means the inevitable reset will be what saves Rogue, Scarlet Witch and Wonder Man.)

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #28 (Slott / Camuncoli / Dell / Fabela) Marvel

The throw down between Spider and Goblin is proceeding and it threatens to blow Otto’s world wide open. Is Carlie telling the truth or is it a secret plot… like it is with Lily?

Peter trying to keep himself viable hiding in Otto’s memories is a nice touch to remind us that he is there.

I wonder, when all this is over, if Otto will be dead or saved somehow. He would be a very different villain after this.

MIGHTY AVENGERS #7 (Ewing / Schiti / D’Armata) Marvel

Ah, yes. The book that actually FEELS like the Avengers to an old school reader like me. Forget Cap and Iron Man and Thor, the changes made to Avengers over the past handful of years, turning them into some sort of world army or whatever, can’t replace the old Avengers Mansion feeling, with a changing cast, but a changing SOLDIU cast, not people whipping in and out of rho reason. Characters talking to each other, not just strategizing.

Yeah.

Oh, this issue was good, too.

MIRACLEMAN #3 (Alan Moore / Alan Davis / Garry Leach) Marvel

Damn this is good stuff. Who would think I would be ranking a reprint book so high?

The only thing in this story is WHT would then leave Bates alone as a kid? If you think he is still a danger, you have to deal with him in some way. If you think he is innocent, you need to help him in some way.

Of course, since this is a reprint, I know what is still coming.

HAWKEYE #15 (Fraction / Aja / Eliopoulos) Marvel

First off, great cover.

This is just a great book. The fight with the Tracksuit mafia has context. Barney is an interesting addition to the cast as he has all the talents of Clint without the character. Still, better a cipher than a distraction. Bobbi.

Then, that ending. Whoa.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: The Unwritten: Apocalypse #1

January 26, 2014
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unwritten-apocalypse1-195x300

Big week with a drop and a surprising #1.

Starting at the weakest…

BATMAN #27 (Scott Snyder / Greg Capullo / Danny Miki) DC

More on the origin of Gordon’s coat? Really? Plus, the cops aren’t just bad…. they are bad enough to throw another cop in a pit of fighting dogs just to see what happens.

Ugh. Yeah, this just didn’t work for. This book has been more miss than hit and I am dropping it.

DC is really weak these days.

PRETTY DEADLY #4 (DeConnick / Rios / Bellaire / Cowles) Image

This book is five times better than it was the first couple of issues… which still doesn’t make it worth buying, in my opinion. Ruthanne likes it so we keep getting it.

AVENGERS #25 (Hickman / Larroca / Martin) Marvel

Well, this book wasn’t terrible. I liked the idea of finding a dead Hank Pym… to bad they solved the mystery for us immediately. Bad Avengers? Still, early strength Avengers should get whomped by the current level of power not he team.

AVENGERS WORLD #2 (Hickman / Spencer / Caselli / Martin) Marvel

I am good with the focus on Smasher (she sure looks like Yellowjacket at the end…), but I am less a fan of the yet-another-super-powerful-near-cosmic threat. I wonder how many people out there realize that the Entropic Man is not a new character?

X-MEN #9 (Wood / Dodson / Dodson / Keith) Marvel

Did Brian Wood create Arkea? He seems to be enamoured with her. Not a bad book. I actually think the Dodson’s (whom I like) is a bad choice with too many female characters because he does not differentiate between them very much. They were great on a book like Harley Quinn because they drew that one character very well without drawing attention to the fact that their range was a little limited.

I like the Sisterhood.

WONDER WOMAN #27 (Brian Azzarello / Cliff Chiang) DC

I think I am down to 3 DC books (this, Swamp Thing and Animal Man), and one os being cancelled.

This book is well done, but are we REALLY doing a story now about Zola and the baby being missing AGAIN? This book has got to expand its focus. It has been over two years with only one storyline.

THE MASSIVE #19 (Brian Wood / Garry Brown / Jordie Bellaire) Dark Horse

As I list my second Brian Wood title, I will say that I considered dropping all Wood books… and any creators that came out as acting inappropriate towards women in the comic industry.

The thing is, I read Wood’s apology and I think it makes sense. Am I giving him too much of the benefit of the doubt? Maybe.

Oh… the comic. It is pretty good. Callum hunting down his past.

ANIMAL MAN #27 (Jeff Lemire / Rafael Albuquerque) DC

This is the DC book that is begin cancelled, so Lemire can go work on Justice League. Sigh.

It is Justice League Canada, though, so I am going to give it a shot. We’ll see.

What makes this book land as high as it does this month is the scenes with Ellen. Punching that reporter was great. Showing that there are real-life consequences to such an action was also great. The fight scene wasn’t much but Maxine and Socks ‘going the wrong way’ (I have a feeling they didn’t and the Red is just circular) and the Shepherd paying for it… good stuff.

ALL-NEW X-MEN #22 (Bendis / Immonen / von Grawbadger / Gracia) Marvel

A strong characterization issue, which I tend to say a lot on Bendis books. The scene with Scott, Jean and Warren did ‘talking head’ in a great way. The Bobby scenes showed him off very well. Even the fight scene had a great level of kinetic energy, despite being a little one-sided.

I will have to remember to pick up the Guardians books, though they sure don’t look appealing based on that splash page. (Angela? How about getting some clothes?)

BLACK WIDOW #2 (Nathan Edmondson / Phil Noto) Marvel

Better than the first issue. The art is still spectacular but the writing mad dup some ground as well. Isaiah just got a little emote interesting and with the Iron Scorpion we now have a possible recurring villain for the book. Good, good…

I would recommend this book to a new reader.

MIGHTY AVENGERS #5 (Ewing / Land / Leisten / D’Armata) Marvel

Ah, Otto. The crazy thing is, he had a point… which he illustrated in the worst possible way. Arrogance will often be the undoing os such characters. Luke and Jessica sending Danielle away and then laying in to Otto was awesome. Is Jessica going to be more… active in this comic? I hope so (which does NOT mean going into costume with a codename…)

The best part of this book, and what nearly pushed it even higher? The last page. Complete with classic logo.

How about USING that logo on the book? No?

HAWKEYE #16 (Fraction / Wu / Hollingsworth) Marvel

This was the top book of the week right up until I pulled the final comic out of the bag.

Note: Issue 15 has not yet come out. This seems weird, but remember that right now Hawkeye is basically two separate comics – one about Clint and one about Kate. They also have different artists. I am guessing this is why 15 fell behind.

I don’t care. This was a really good, fun comic. Kate is pure charm. She i slough but not too tough. It looks like she has had enough of L.A., though. After the events of Young Avengers she is cleared to go back to New York. Will the two books-within-a-book intersect again?

THE UNWRITTEN: APOCALYPSE #1 (Mike Carey / Peter Gross) Vertigo

The Unwritten went on a little hiatus and then came back with a new name and a new #1. I guess sales needed a little pump.

Well, it seems like it was the fresh start it needed because the last storyline was incredibly disappointing (what a waste of a Fables ‘crossover’), but this one has fresh life (pun intended, if you read the book). The scene of Tommy trying to make to back to life were absolutely great. I don’t know what is going to come after this, because that is a one-off, but the different characters and lands that he pushed through without telling us what was going on, and getting clearer and clearer… yes. It worked from end to end.

Now, what has happened while he was gone?


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Hawkeye #14

November 30, 2013
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hawkeye-14

This was a pretty good week, overall, though I am also dropping a book.

Starting at the weakest.

PRETTY DEADLY #2 (DeConnick / Rios / Bellaire / Cowles) Image

This is the bottom book but it is NOT the one I am dropping. Why? Ruthanne really likes it.

I like the writer. I like the artist. I like the genre.

So why don’t I like this book?

Simple, I have no idea FROM THE COMIC, what it is about. (I know some from interviews, but that shouldn’t count.)

It just doesn’t make any sense. A series of pretty pictures (and they ARE that) does not make a story.

NEW AVENGERS #12 (Hickman / Deodato / Martin) Marvel

This issue sums up the PROBLEM with this book in microcosm. “You think Thanos and the Builders were tough? Wait until you face someone who is a REAL threat!” This book can do nothing but crank up the intensity. That is Hickman’s thing… make bigger and bigger threats, ad nauseum. That isn’t good storytelling. Just wait until the face the architects! is not my idea of interesting.

Many know I am a BIG Avengers fan from way back. That might have this book on my pull list a little longer than normal, but lets be honest. This isn’t an Avengers book any more than Avengers Arena is an Avengers book.

UNCANNY AVENGERS #14 (Remender / McNiven / Dell / Martin) Marvel

I don’t believe the end of this book for a second, and that is a good thing.

Oh, spoiler warning, I guess.

Still here? This issue they killed off Scarlet Witch, Rogue and Wonder Man. If I believed it was legit, I would drop this book right now.

This isn’t about begin attached to characters. Inf act, I am in the George Martin school of ‘kill ’em when people like ’em’ philosophy. No, my issue is them killing off two major female characters just like that. There is a shortage of TOP Marvel female characters and they kill two of them with no real pay-off?

Well, that’s why I don’t buy it. We’ll see.

INFINITY #6 (Hickman / Cheung / Morales / Ponsor) Marvel

The best part o this comic is the info on the cover that says it is the last issue. It was an okay read (which is why it is higher than the previous two books), but that is all. As an EVENT, it failed on all levels. The ONLY thing this story will be remembered for is launching the new Inhumans line… which has now been delayed three months. Well done.

ALL-NEW X-MEN #19 (Bendis / Peterson / Da Silva) Marvel

I quite like the Bendis X-books, but this one didn’t really stand out. Fighting mutant-hating soldiers with big guns. Been there, done that. A lot. Also, Cyclops suddenly turns into a moron, why? And the art wasn’t great. Not terrible, but not great.

THE MASSIVE #17 (Brian Wood / Garry Brown / Jordie Bellaire) Dark Horse

The environmentalists versus the old school whalers. I was firmly on the side of the Ninth Wave… but then Callum wants to shoot him? Huh?

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #22 (Slott / Gage / Ramos / Olazaba / Delgado) Marvel

When Peter comes back, he may be right out of friends. The Avengers… Black Cat… now Venom.

This book hits right on all levels. Character, story, subplots, everything.

REVIVAL #15 (Tim Seeley / Mike Norton) Image

Finding Em’s killer? All right! I’m onboard. Anything involving super-creepy Jordan? You bet. The oddly awesome Mr. Majek? Great!

Just… can we drop that racist asshole?

SAGA #16 (Brian K. Vaughan / Fiona Staples) Image

No the best issue of Saga, though still great. I am not a fan of dropping the word ‘faggots’ in, though it clearly was used to make that exact reaction. It also gave those two newshound an extra layer of character right away. The Klara / Oswald pairing is interesting and so on.

A good issue of a great comic.

THIEF OF THIEVES #18 (Kirkman / Diggle / Martinbrough / Serrano) Image

There are two points in a heist story that are mutually exclusive but are the points everyone is waiting for. One: the point where you find out that the plan wasn’t what you thought it was, and was actually way smarter OR Two: the point when the meticulously laid-out plan goes inevitably wrong.

This issue was the former. This is where the comic excels. When it gets away from that, it suffers, BUT can you just have the same two stories over and over?

HAWKEYE #14 (Fraction / Wu / Hollingsworth) Marvel

If you see Wu in the credits then it is a Kate Bishop issue. Fraction pulls off charming very, VERY well. She is trying to be a sped-hero on a bicycle. The fact that she pulled it off while obviously against overwhelming odds while kind of stumbling to a resolution while having an understated position on same-sex marriage (or as it should be know, ‘marriage’).

If Saga was a good issue of a great comic, Hawkeye was a great issue of a great comic.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week (month… year…): Fables #134

October 21, 2013
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fables134_1

Quite the extremes this week. The comic of the week was really… REALLY… good. The worst comic was… well, I might as well kick things off…

NEW AVENGERS #11 (Hickman / Deodato / Martin) Marvel

Let me start off by saying that even WITHOUT the problem I am about to lay out for you this book isn’t very good. Just as the 10 issues before it weren’t very good. What is keeping me around?

I just love the Avengers. I don’t buy them blindly any more (there are too damned many of them), but it is hard for me to let go. (Thankfully Mighty Avengers seems really good, because the Hickman stuff is very disappointing.)

Having said THAT, this book is worse than that.

There is a war in Wakanda, between some alien Thanos followers and the Wakandan army. You know Wakanda, right? One of the most (of not THE most) technologically advanced countries on the planet? Led by their Queen, the Black Panther. With all of that high tech at her disposal, she chooses to attack her enemy by… throwing a spear at them.

A spear.

A Queen of an African country LITERALLY throws a spear at someone.

Look, I am not implying that Hickman is racist. I don’t even know the man. But at a minimum he is guilty of being really, REALLY stupid here.

HUNGER #4 (Fialkov / Kirk / Aburtov) Marvel

Well, that was pointless. Rick Jones is Captain Marvel now. They are still going to destroy the Ultimate Universe, so who really cares? I am looking forward to Cataclysm, but this was just filling space.

AVENGERS # 21 (Hickman / Yu / Alanguilan / Gho) Marvel

Why does Marvel put the two Hickman Avengers books out on the same week every month? That doesn’t make sense at all.

This book is better than NA, but that is damning with faint praise. Any chance Bendis will come back?

UNCANNY X-MEN #13 (Bendis / Bachalo / Townsend / Gracia) Marvel

Speaking of Bendis…

Battle of the Atom is better than Infinity in every way, but this is still just an extended fight scene with an unexplained twist that seems a bit like a deus ex machina.

THIEF OF THIEVES #17 (Kirkman / Diggle / Martinbrough / Serrano) Image

The on-going heist picture of a comic book continues to be an on-going heist picture. That works for me. WHo is making the series? This seems like an AMC property to me. Hamm as Redmond?

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #19 (Slott / Stegman / Livesay / Delgado) Marvel

So if 2099 is staying in 2013, the Captain is likely playing Spider-Hero, Miles will be the Ultimate survivor, Peter is coming back (duh)… the web is going to get crowded.

ANIMAL MAN #24 (Jeff Lemire / Rafael Albuquerque) DC

I thought Brother Blood was a formidable enemy, but really he is just a flunky. It is the Totem that is the issue. Big threat. Scary implications. Stress induced reunion. Good character points all around.

WONDER WOMAN #24 (Brian Azzarello / Goran Sudzuka) DC

Do you know what annoys me? That Superman/Wonder Woman book probably outsells this one, despite being nowhere near as good.

This issue was GREAT! We are finally moving on as the prophecy has been dealt with and the new story about Diana’s place among the pantheon is really interesting. Hermes got a really good point in and Apollo is nothing to fool around with. Good stuff.

HAWKEYE #13 (Fraction / Aja / Hollingsworth) Marvel

I should be disappointed. After a long delay this book STILL didn’t advance the plot, and only put other actions into some sort of timeline.

But it did it really well. Great stories, great art, great comics.

FABLES #134 (Willingham / Buckingham / Leialoha / Pepoy) Vertigo

Wow.

It has been a long time since Fables was GREAT. It is still good (except when Willingham lets his politics take over), and sometimes it is really good.

But this issue is better than that.

Two conversations. That’s it. Two well written, moving, powerful, sad conversations. Illustrated in such a way to make them even MORE than they already are. Bucky’s design instincts go to a whole other level here.

But still… those conversations… the second one… the question…

I can’t even really describe this.

May I be overly moved by this? I lost my father this year. Did that chance how I looked at this book?

Maybe… but whatever. This is just a wonderful comic.


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

July 17, 2013
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astro-city-2013-2-cover

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.”

Wow.

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


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