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Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Hawkeye #11

June 30, 2013
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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.


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

May 8, 2013
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Decent week. A good pile of good comics.

Starting at the weakest…

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

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

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

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

Oh my god! Everything has changed!

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

Where are the super-brood?

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

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

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

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

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

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

SNAPSHOT #4 (Andy Diggle / Jock) Image

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

Or not.

Wow, was that depressing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I really enjoyed Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

This comic was good, too.

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

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

Fret not, little ones. Peter will come back.

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

HAWKEYE #10 (Fraction / Francavilla) Marvel

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

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

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

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

Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Hawkeye #9

April 11, 2013
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The second week in a row where I have no real complaints about any of the books I read.

Have I gone soft in my old age?

Starting at the weakest…

AVENGERS #9 (Hickman / Weaver / Deodato / Ponsor) Marvel

Hickman sometimes seems to have no idea how to tell a story… but the story he is TRYING to tell seeps through.

Oh wait… I said I wasn’t complaining. You got me.

I find those gene bombs, or whatever they are called, to be suddenly interesting. Do you see what was being formed there? It was a uni-mind. That is pretty cool.
I just hope they don’t figure out how to turn Starbrand into a hero. One Sentry was plenty.


I feel like I am supposed to recognize a whole bunch of people in this issue, and I don’t. Like… isn’t that narrater supposed to be Groucho Marx? I thought os, but he doesn’t look like him at all. Hmmm.

I like how they are showing that it isn’t so easy to just make more of those rocket packs.

Bridge issue.

AVENGERS ASSEMBLE #14AU (Ewing / Guice / Palmer / D’Armata) Marvel

So, I realized what Marvel has done. There have been a couple of these AU books that I bought, thinking they were part of the regular title. They aren’t. It is a bait and switch. They are really stand alone comics that they have stuck in using SIMILAR Numbering from the regular books to convince people to buy them.

That is kind of slimy.

But I would have bought them anyway… and been disappointed. That is, until this issue. The Fantastic Four and Superior Spider-Man were lame comics trying to fix stupid continuity problems. This one is instead giving us back story and showing what it was like when the Ultrons sudden;y took over. Much better.
Plus, any Avengers book with Tom Palmer on inks gets a thumbs up from me!

FANTASTIC FOUR #6 (Matt Fraction / Mark Bagley / Mark Farmer / Paul Mounts) Marvel

This is the real #6. It is good issue, moving the story along nicely. My only problem is that whenever you let the Franklin genie out of its bottle, it is hard to get it back inside.

Oh, and didn’t they just execute Blastaar? That doesn’t seem like them.

UNCANNY AVENGERS #6 (Rick Remender / Daniel Acuna) Marvel

This was the best issue of this title yet, I think. A brash Thor and a way of getting certain new powers in the hands of the greatest Avengers villain of all time.

Well, maybe the second greatest. Third if you count the Masters of Evil as one thing.

UNCANNY X-MEN #4 (Bendis / Bachalo / Townsend) Marvel

This issue had a cool premise… what else was going on during the conversation between the two X-teams? The interplay between Emma and the Frostlings was well done… but I actually think she should want them to stay where Jean is. Maybe since her powers are a little messed up, she needs them handy.
The reveal was poorly handled. It was poorly NOT handles in the previous X-issue and now it was poorly handled here. It makes sense but we are given none of it… just a cold reveal that isn’t even the cliffhanger. They should have revealed it last week.

AGE OF ULTRON #5 (Bendis / Hitch / Neary / Mounts) Marvel

Now we are getting somewhere. I have liked the mini a certain amount, but now things are going to start hitting the fan. I like that the heroes are being proactive and while I think they are wrong to do so, I really hope Logan’s team succeeds. I want to see what happens.

I bet that Pym has saved the earth at least once, no?

SAUCER COUNTRY #14 (Paul COrnell / Ryan Kelly) Vertigo

Cancelled right when it is getting good. I have already heard that Cornell and Kelly are planning to continue the comic elsewhere. I woudl certainly buy Saucer Country from Image or Dark horse (or IDW or…)

I’m just saying.

SAGA #12 (Brian K. Vaughan / Fiona Staples) Image

So this issue had some controversy. Get over it.

This is the second issue of Saga that did not win comic of the week for me, but that is because I love the Hawkeye issue so much.

Wonderful interplay between the Prince and Heist. You really can see each side and what motivates them.

One thing is certain, there are no ‘good guys’ in the war.

HAWKEYE #9 (Fraction / Aja / Hollingsworth) Marvel

This comic was amazing. It had a little of that time jumping thing that can be confusing but if you can follow along with Pulp Fiction, you can follow this.
Everything that made last issue seem less than perfect was here this time. Everything that made Clint seem like a bit of an ass was delved into here… but boy, did he screw up with Jessica. Big time.

And then the end… no!

Great comic.


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

March 5, 2013

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?


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.


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…)


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.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: The Unwritten #45

February 3, 2013
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Starting at the weakest…



Coming in, I would have said that THIS is what Before Watchmen SHOULD be. Comics giving story to characters who don’t have it. Let’s hear more about this character who had such a minor role in the original series.

Too bad the comic wasn’t very good.

Starting with the art… I love me some Steve Rude, but this looked mailed in. Then, the story… there was a good plot here, but the constant homophobia and the stupid cliched lawyers and then the ‘let’s fire through his super-hero phase just to get to the end… poor execution.



The idea that Before Watchmen would be an attack on Alan Moore has always been ludicrous to me. It is a compliment to the strength of his original story and the depth of the characters.

Until now. I understand that when Len Wein was the editor on Watchmen, he thought that the ending sounded like a rip-off to a TV show called Outer Limits. Now that he gets to write his own Watchmen comic, Wein came out and SAID it was a rip-off of Outer Limits.

Not cool.


ALL-STAR WESTERN #16 (Gray / Palmiotti / Moritat / Winslade) DC

The good: Jonah Hex recuperating. The interplay between him and the nurse… him and the old woman… him and Jane Eyre.

The bad: Mr. Hyde. It doesn’t work in the context of the comic. Get back to telling westerns and stop trying to turn it into League of Extraordinary Gentlemen or Batman prequels.

The ugly: The Tomahawk back-up is an absolute mess.


AVENGERS #4 (Jonathan Hickman / Adam Kubert / Frank D’Armata) Marvel

I really don’t like Hyperion on the team for the same reason I didn’t like Sentry on the team. This isn’t the Justice League, it is the Avengers, and an over-powered Superman knock-off just doesn’t work in this context (or in the Marvel Universe at all). I like A.I.M. here and the spin-off threat from the previous mini-arc.

As I have documented, I really don’t like Hickman’s style of storytelling. Jerky. Convoluted when there is nothing to be gained from being convoluted. He forgets that the purpose of storytelling is to tell a story, not bits and pieces of a story that will eventually makes sense… maybe.


SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #2 (Dan Slott / Ryan Stegman / Edgar Delgado) Marvel

Well, that was dealt with… badly, but what are you going to do? Otto changing his mind doesn’t make a whole lot of sense… but if he didn’t, this comic would quickly become unreadable. I know that if ‘Spidey’ and MJ had gone through with having sex, I would have dropped this book. There are places for levels of story. A Spider-man comic is not the place to have a rapist leading the book.

Now, that is NOT what happened, and the story was told well, but the end was a cop-out that left a little to be desired, logically. Oh well. Could have been worse.


BATMAN INCORPORATED #7 (Grant Morrison / Chris Burnham) DC

Morrison is another ‘jerky’ writer, but this book is really starting to come together. THe biggest addition to the Batman mythos Morrison has pulled off is that he has suddenly made Damian likeable. The little punk, with the addition of a few animals, has shown a side that makes his tough-guy side… better. I mean LOOK at the scene where he is playing with that kitten. Damian!

Well done.


JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #16 (Jeff Lemire / Ray Fawkes / Mikel Janin) DC

This new world that Lemire and Fawkes have created has made a good book even better. Constantine alone is worth the cost of this book. The ‘I’ll distract you while Orchid sneaks up behind you’ bit was awesome.

I wasn’t going to buy the new Constantine book (I consider the cancellation of Hellblazer for the introduction of a New 52 book to be somewhat of an abomination) but with Lemire and Fawkes writing it… I think I am going to have to get on board.


HAWKEYE #7 (Fraction / Lieber / Hamm / Hollingsworth) Marvel

A well written, two-story, book set during Hurricane Sandy. The first story would have made this book, comic of the week, easily, if it had been full length. The second story would have put this book close to the BOTTOM of the list. One very good story and one really lousy story (in story and art)… but the first story is REALLY good, so overall, a good comic.


THE UNWRITTEN #45 (Mike Carey / Peter Gross) Vertigo

The Hawkeye backstory left room for a different top dog this week and Unwritten gets the nod. This story of Savoy and a troubled child and zombies is the sort of mix that makes Unwritten so good when it is on… and it is on.



Rusty’s Comic of the Week(s): Saga #8

January 4, 2013
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This is two weeks worth of comics since I was away for a bit. The real drama here, since it covers two weeks, is whether Hawkeye or Saga was going to be the better issue.


I guess I have spoiled that already.


Starting at the weakest.


BEFORE WATCHMEN: MOLOCH #2 (J.Michael Straczynski / Eduardo Risso) DC

When I read issue #1, right up until the last page I thought it was a one-shot. Now I wish it was.

The first issue gave a back story for Moloch. Something to make you care a little more about him. This issue just goes into unnecessary detail about stuff the happened in Watchmen that needed no extra explanation. In fact, this hurts the original story. Screw this issue. It just sucks.


FF #2 (Matt Fraction / Michael Allred / Laura Allred) Marvel

This comic was also unnecessary, but not in the actually damaging way that Moloch was. In this issue NOTHING HAPPENS. The Fantastic Four didn’t come back in four minutes. That’s it. I have high hopes for this comic and issue #1 did not let me down. Issue #2 did.


COMEBACK #2 (Brisson / Walsh / Bellaire) Image

This book isn’t bad, but it really doesn’t touch on anything new so far. If you were told the premise, you could probably come up with the story thus far. Hopefully that changes. I am not a big fan of the art, either.


CAPTAIN MARVEL #8 (DeConnick / Sebela / Soy / Gandini) Marvel

Was there supposed to be sexual undertones to the scene between Carol and Monica? If so, well done. If not, not so well done. What the last two issues reminded me is that I like Monica as Captain Marvel more than Carol.

Soy is leaving the book.


AMERICA’S GOT POWERS #4 (Jonathan Ross / Bryan Hitch) Image

What stops this issue from being higher on the list is that I am not going back and rereading the series every time a new issue comes out. If you can’t publish a comic with an ongoing story in some sort of timely fashion you should finish the whole book before soliciting any of it.


AVENGERS ARENA #2 (Hopeless / Walker / Martin) Marvel

I like the premise of the book and the feel of the book. What I didn’t like was side tracking the story for some back-exposition in the second issue. Killing a character is such on off hand way that we didn’t even know cheapens the whole thing as well.


WONDER WOMAN #15 (Brian Azzarello / Cliff Chiang) DC

Now we are getting into the better books. This issue is full of great characterization. Hera is the best example, but all of them – from the new brother to Hephaestus – are great. Orion still needs fleshing out, but that is to be expected.


FABLES #124 (Bill Willingham / Shawn McManus) Vertigo

This issue was well done… I suppose. The problem is that I haven’t liked the Bufkin story at all so getting a full issue of it doesn’t help (other than telling me it is over). It is better than the last two issues, but I am looking forward to getting back to the core of the book… and it looks like it is coming.


AVENGERS #2 (Jonathan Hickman / Jerome Opena / Dean White) Marvel

Good book in general, though it suffers from Hickman-itis. WHat I know about the new status quo I got from interviews and the diagram. It seems like that as Tony and Steve talk about the fact that they are changing things, that you might tactually TALK ABOUT HOW THEY ARE CHANGING THINGS. If you just went by the story you would assume the big change is that there are a bunch of reservists. Not a big change at all.


ALL-NEW X-MEN #4 (Brian Michael Bendis / Stuart Immonen / Wade von Grawbadger / Marte Gracia) Marvel

Nitpick: Going by the cover, it would seem that von Grawbadger has second billing. I know that i snot the intent but it is confusing.

Where Bendis works, and where this book works, is focusing on character. That works best here by focusing on the time lost heroes. This issue does that, to its benefit. Too much Cyclops and Magneto, except as villains, is a bad idea. (Side bit: Hank knowing… Beast’s password was a perfect touch – if not a bit inaccurate. Someone like Hank would change his password often.


THIEF OF THIEVES #20 (Kirkman / Asmus / Martinbrough / Serrano) Image

What can I say that I haven’t said yet? Basically, this comic is a good heist movie, in comic form.


BATWOMAN # 15 (J.H. Williams III / W.Haden Blackman / Trevor McCarthy) DC

Avengers Arena, listen up. THIS is how you do a side story to give added character to a supporting cast member. In one issue, without doing anything drastic, you have made the readers care more about Maggie Sawyer. It sure made me hope that she and Kate keep it together (and that Kate shares her secret).


AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #700 (no cover credits, but Slott / Ramos / Olazaba / DeMatteis / Camuncoli / Buscema / Van Meter / Buscema) Marvel

The first Buscema is Sal. The second one is Stephanie.

Look, there is no shock about this comic. The only question is how long it will take and how will they revert to the status quo. In the meantime they have made me interested in the story, and that is enough.

The scenes with Mary-Jane, though, are really bloody creepy and they had better address that. Otherwise it is rape, pure and simple. (Assuming it goes that way.) We’ll see.

As for the back-ups, the deMatteis one is getting praise and I don’t understand why. It is routine and hardly original in its obvious pay-off. In addition, let’s all laugh and how old people lose their memory! Ha ha!

No thanks.

The Black Cat story was cute.


ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #18 (Bendis / Marquez / Ponsor) Marvel

Remember what I said about Bendis on the X-Men book? This is where he proves it. The plot is not the point in USM. The story is not the point. The characters are the point. Miles is perfect. Jessica is perfect. The real star of this book, though, is Jefferson.He did the right thing, but he still killed people. That is not an easy thing.

Well done.


UNWRITTEN #44 (Mike Carey / Peter Gross) Vertigo

Forget the reveal. What I liked about this book is Tom’s new attitude. He is just going to keep going forward and will never assume that something can’t be done. It is the perfect evolution of his unbelieving wide-eyed wonderment from the start of the series.

And that reveal… looking forward to issue #45. 🙂


HAWKEYE #6 (Fraction / Aja / Hollingsworth) Marvel

Remember how good the first 5 issues of this book were?

This issue is better.

It is all about Hawkguy. Like the guy from M*A*S*H.


Saga #8 (Brian K. Vaughan / Fiona Staples) Image

How could a comic be better than the best issue of Hawkeye? By being Saga. In the last two issues they have made an already great character (Alana) a hundred times better by showing her when she is vulnerable. Marko was excellent, as always. His father showed the seeds of how Marko came to be. The ‘meet cute’. Gwendolyn.

I love this comic.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Hawkeye #5

December 8, 2012
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I MAY get next week’s reviews up in decent time but after that I am not going to be able to do so. I expect to fell behind a couple of weeks. Sorry.


Starting at the weakest.


AVENGING SPIDER-MAN #15 (Cullen Bunn / Gabriele Dell’otto / Dommo Snachez Aymara) Marvel

Last issue a boring story was propped up by some really beautiful art. This issue the art was still good, but not as exciting, and the story was no better.

In fact, I think this i sit for this book. It is good when it is fun but now with the Superior Spidey coming, I can’t picture that. Dropped.


SWAMP THING #15 (Scott Snyder / Marco Rudy) DC

The pacing of Rotworld seems off. It doesn’t see, to be moving forward and even then it isn’t clear what it is moving towards.

Plus, the Rudy art is not my cup of tea. He is no Paquette, that is for sure.


BEFORE WATCHMEN: COMEDIAN #4 (Brian Azzarello / J.G. Jones) DC

This issue comes across as a montage rather than a story, but the pieces somehow are coherent. Still… Comedian is just so unlikable that it i shard to completely enjoy this book.

I wonder if issue #6 will feature Ozymandias.


DIAL H #7 (China Mieville / David Lapham) DC

Lapham is kind of like the poor man’s Steve Dillon. While the art is not great, my complaints before were about a lack of clarity. None of that here. This issue is not as strong as the last, but I am really enjoying the new partnership between Nelson and Roxie. These are definitely not your typical superheroes. Planktonian.


FAIREST #10 (Lauren Beukes / Inaki Miranda) DC

Ruthanne joked last month, wondering if Rapunzel was going to be dressed on any covers of this story.

Not so far.

This story continues to be just okay. The story is not really grabbing me and the art is so-so. At least the lead is… repeating myself, am I?


AVENGERS #1 (Jonathan Hickman / Jerome Opena) Marvel

Anyone who reads these reviews knows I am not a fan of Hickman, but I am a fan of the Avengers. This has concerned me. The first issue is… pretty good, actually. Some of Hickman’s narrative tics are still there and they still bug me. Dropping in new villains that we have been no reason to care about (and who act kind of stupidly) is not a good start. The art is good. I am not a big fan of the Avengers Army concept as I think you tend to lose out on characterization, but I’ll give it a chance. Cannonball joining = cool. Hyperion = not cool. Captain Universe? What?

We’ll see.


ALL-NEW X-MEN #3 (Brian Michael Bendis / Stuart Immonen / Wade Von Grawbadger / Marte Gracia) Marvel

Not as good as last issue. The leads don’t appear until the final page. Focusing on the villains for an issue is okay, though. I’m not sure about the malfunctioning powers bit. Is this just to turn Cyclops back into the version we remember (powerset-wise) and to stop Magneto from being too powerful?


ANIMAL MAN #15 (Jeff Lemire / Steve Pugh / Timothy Green II / Joseph Silver) DC

The pacing is the same on Swamp Thing but Lemire just does it better. ANimal Man’s army if interesting and the scenes with Maxine and William are chilling. Sure she acts stupidly, but she is a little kid. She SHOULD act stupidly. Continuing the ‘at home’ story gives AM a grounding that ST just doesn’t have. The art is better, too.


GREAT PACIFIC #2 (Joe Harris / Martin Morazzo) Image

The story is starting to take shape here, and it is a good one. Can a country be non-stationary? Is Chas going to turn this place into some sort of viable haven? (Side note: New Texas = bad name.) He was way too quick on the trigger there… realistic Texan maybe?

I’m interested in what happens next.



This is one of the best BW minis, next to Silk Spectre, and what do both of those series have in common? Look up one line and the name in the brackets. Cooke really gets these characters and handles the time period very well. The Dollar Bill one-pager was excellent. The wedding worked. The comic book heroes bit worked okay, though it wasn’t great. The Hooded Justice story is clearly not over so I wouldn’t assume all is what we see.(Um, what was that panel all about? You know the one…)


AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #699 (Slott / Ramos / Olazaba / Delgado) Marvel

This issue was so much better than the last. #698 had the big reveal but after a fairly lacklustre comic. This issue really made us feel the fear and desperation. The Lizard scene didn’t make a lot of sense… especially if Slott wasn’t using it as an excuse for Peter to break Curt out with him. Time will tell.

Only one more issue… at it is a massive. A budget buster. Apparently they are expecting it to break records. I don’t care, really. Just make it really good because it is really expensive.


HAWKEYE #5 (Fraction / Pulido / Hollingsworth) Marvel

Last issue was a ‘little’ weaker than the run had been so far. This issue totally made up for it. Good stuff. (Though, Wolverine? Why would they use Wolverine? How would that be a scandal at all? He probably killed more than that last week.)

This is Hawkeye. It isn’t that he has never killed. It is that he isn’t proud of it and would prefer to not do it. Okay.

It looks like Kate know has her own arch-enemy.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Batwoman #14

December 1, 2012
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Big week. You know what happens on weeks that are too big? Drops!


Starting from the weakest…


CAPTAIN AMERICA #1 (Rick Remender / John Romita / Klaus Jansen / Dean White) Marvel

No more Brubaker, hey? No problem! We will just sign up… Rick Remender? Remender is one of the ‘hot’ writers that I just don’t like. (see J.Hickman) This issues reminds me why.

Marriage? That was out of absolutely nowhere. Hey,mystery subway car with no explanation whatsoever? Hey, why don’t you get on it by yourself just because some guy said so, with no explanation whatsoever? Why doesn’t SHIELD, including your maybe new fiancee just say, ‘hey you go ahead and climb on the mystery subway. We’re good.’ with no explanation whatsoever. Why doesn’t Cap walk into an unknown situation unprepared while daydreaming about… whatever… so he get punked, with no explanation whatsoever.

Note to Remender: having Cap say ‘wow, doing this sure is stupid’ doesn’t give you carte blanche to have him act like an idiot.

Oh, and the art is not very good.

I will not be getting issue #2.



IT GIRL & THE ATOMICS #4 (Rich / Norton / Passalaqua) Image

I have been disappointed since the first issue when I thought that Mike Allred was doing the book. It hasn’t improved.




CAPTAIN MARVEL #7 (DeConnick / Sebela / Soy) Marvel

I considered dropping this book, but I think I will let it have another chance. The scene between Carol and Monica sold it for me. I am disappointed that the art is back to Soy. I was hoping Rios would find her feet here.


AVENGERS #34 (Bendis / Peterson / Mayhew / Keith) Marvel

Wow, is that cover ever terrible. Who drew that? Brandon Peterson? With all the great artists in the book, that is what you chose? This issue was not terrible but the big stupid fight scene just to get a bunch of artists in the book was… well, stupid. The attempt to fix Wonder Man was interesting, considering he still behaved in a selfish and stupid manner.

Like Captain America, here is another book that sounds like it is going to suffer greatly due to the Marvel NOW initiative.


REVIVAL #5 (Tim Seeley / Mike Norton) Image

I am liking this book less and less. It is still interesting at the core, but this ghost(?) stuff is going in a direction that doesn’t work for me. I would rather this book be more ‘this just happened’ and explore the fall-out alone. We’ll see.


COMEBACK #1 (Brisson / Walsh / Bellaire) Image

This book is getting a lot of praise and I just don’t see it. Not that I don’t think it is good… I do. I just don’t think this issue gives you enough to have any idea where this book is going. We have no plot here, just setting. Another wait and see book.


AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #698 (Slott / Elson / Fabela) Marvel

An otherwise poor comic saved by a huge and interesting twist. I can’t say this book was good, but I CAN say I am looking forward to issue 699 and on…


FABLES #123 (Willingham / Ha / McManus) Vertigo

Eh. Not bad, just not great. How fallen is Fables, no? I’m not even buying the new hardcover because the preview looks so boring.

I think Bigby is part of the problem right now. He is Wolverine… a character that was so awesome when he first appeared that now seems a little tired. I really hope this book gets back to the greatness it once had.


ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #17 (Bendis / Larraz / Ponsor) Marvel

Big battle scenes do not thrill me. Bendis’ characterization of Miles, however, really does. Once this book gets out from under the Ultimates cross-over, I expect it to be right back near the top of this list.



So… a cliffhanger ending to a one-off miniseries? Does this mean there will be ANOTHER Waid / Samnee Rocketeer series? If so, sign me up!


WONDER WOMAN #14 (Brian Azzarello / Tony Akins / Dan Green) DC

Wonder Woman winning using love and compassion. Recruiting family through shared heartbreak and familial betrayal.

This is good stuff. Really good stuff. WW is best when she isn’t playing the She-Hulk role and this issue is a good example of that.

This isn’t the best comic with Wonder Woman in it this week, though.


HAWKEYE #4 (Fraction / Pulido / Hollingsworth) Marvel

This is Marvel’s best comic these days. I LIKE the version of the world that says Hawkeye has some shame over killing someone. (I prefer a world where he DOESN’T do that, but that ship has sailed.) The idea that this tape getting out would harm his rep and the rep of the Avengers makes me happy. I read a review that said that people today wouldn’t care. In our world, you are right. A world filled with superheroes, though… gets held to a higher standard, thankfully.

The only flaw this issue was the last issue reveal. The fact that I had doubts about who that was supposed to be is bad. (I know who it is… but my first reaction was Mockingbird.)


THE UNWRITTEN #43 (Mike Carey / Peter Gross) Vertigo

As Vertigo seems to be crumbling to dust, isn’t it nice that they still have this book? This animal world as a twisted version of literary world-buildign works for me. The characters here are top-notch and I love the motivation behind this one. A rescue… from? Non-existence maybe?


BATWOMAN #14 (J.H. Williams III / W. Haden Blackman) DC

That the art is beautiful is no surprise. That the book is written as well as it is, is. I have given Williams a lot of flack for his poor writing chops, but this issue redeems him somewhat. The scenes with Pegasus are heavy, deep, shocking, painful… just very well done. Wonder Woman is good in here, though I wouldn’t want Williams writing a WW book. Her willingness to take his head is perfectly acceptable. Her threat to leave him there to rot, not so much. The 20 pages felt very short this tim eout. Lots of splash pages that were still FILLED with story. Best Batwoman issue in quite a while.



Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Hawkeye #3

October 27, 2012
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I am trying to catch up… really I am. A combination of being quite busy and a relatively new addiction to Out of the Park Baseball has kept me tied up. 🙂


From the weakest to the strongest…


MARVEL NOW! POINT ONE #1 (A whole bunch of people not credited on the cover) Marvel

Who gets blamed? The con man or the sucker? $5 for what is basically an advertising pamphlet. There are no stories in here – just hints of stories leading to new series being launched in the future. I have no problem with this concept and I think it is a great idea to give away at comic store… what? Not given away? Charged $5? What the hell?

When I ordered this, I thought I was getting new stories that helped set the stage for the new status in the marvel universe. Nope. Nothing more than little teasers. It is kind of liking watching one of those new tv season specials they use to have every september.

Pass this by. Don’t make the same mistake I did.


AvsX: CONSEQUENCES #2 (Gillen / Kurth / Martinez / Charalampios) Marvel

I didn’t mind issue #1… what happened here? Well the big thing is the art. It is awful. In a book that is mostly a conversation, the art was very distracting. The story was decent… showing Cyclops to be totally deranged. He has become a villain of the best sort – one that is convinced that he is right.


AVENGERS ASSEMBLE #8 (Bendis / Bagley / Miki / Mounts) Marvel

If this weren’t the last issue of this run, I would be cancelling it. It just never get good. Kelly Sue DeConnick takes over next issue, though, so I am going to hold on. Bendis is off to do Guardians and while I may miss him on New Avengers, I won’t miss him here.


ULTIMATE IRON MAN #1 (Edmondson / Buffagni / Troy) Marvel

Remember the previous UIM? By Card? if I didn’t know that had been jettisoned I wouldn’t have bought this.

It wasn’t bad. I don’t like the thing with the coin, but I do want to see more of the Ultimate Mandarin. It wasn’t tied in to the current Ultimate continuity enough.


CAPTAIN MARVEL #5 (DeConnick / Rios / Bellaire) Marvel

I will keep giving this book middling ratings until they let us in on what is going on , or at least have that seem to be more important. Emma Rios has joined the book! I quite like Rios, though I am not certain this is a perfect fit for her. She is best on quite dark books, in my opinion, and this is fairly light. Still better than no Rios at all!


WONDER WOMAN #13 (Brian Azzarello / Tony Akins / Dan Green) DC

It is nice to get back to the real book after the travesty off issue #0. Let’s start with that great Cliff Chiang cover. This issue is a very good ‘characer’ issue and the cover kind of shows that is leading somewhere rather than dumping you in to the middle of something. The mini twist was obvious but that is okay. What is obvious to the reader does not have to be obvious to the characters in the comic. Still a solid read and better than WW has been since… Rucka, maybe? Maybe longer?


IT GIRL! AND THE ATOMICS #3 (Rich / Norton / Passalaqua) Image

I am warming to this book after the initial disappointment. The villain team is entertaining and it was nice to see more heroes in action. Just a light, fun book.


SAUCER COUNTRY #8 (Paul Cornell / Ryan Kelly) Vertigo

RIght when it looked like it was teetering on the edge of being dropped, they give us a good issue. This comic is best when it focuses on the people rather than the conspiracy. There was a distracting mix up of word balloons that hurts when trying to establish character traits, but still the book worked. And HERE was an ending that I wasn’t expecting!


ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #16 (Bendis / Larraz / Ponsor) Marvel

Love the comic… but I don’t buy that Cap would welcome him into the Ultimates. Support him? Sure. Train him? Sure. Sign him up for the nation’s official superhero team? No way. If nothing else it would be a pr DISASTER. The comic was great, though. Look at what Miles is using for a cel phone at the end. Nice.

One of the best comic runs going today.


THE MASSIVE #5 (Brian Wood / Garry Brown / Dave Stewart) Dark Horse

Great, great issue. This is where the comic really works. GIve us huge world building and then drop in an issue like this one where the world you have built sits in the background while we get to read about the people of the comic and how they operate and maybe a bit of why they are like they are. Great characterization makes for strong comics.


NEW AVENGERS #31 (Bendis / Gaydos / Beredo) Marvel

What did I just say? When Bendis really shines it is when he deals with characters over big world-shaking events. Remember last week when I said that Bendis is putting his house in order before he leaves? That includes taking Luke and Jessica off the table so the next writer won’t screw them up. These are two of the best written characters in mainstream comics right now (not quite as good as the couple in Saga, but still very good) yet there is a whole bunch of people who absolutely hate them. I can’t figure out why. Maybe it is because they are too real in a medium that trades on fantasy. I don’t know.

The other thing that Bendis is putting in order? I expect that when the ‘magic’ story is finished, Dr. Strange will have his title back. I’m just saying…


BATWOMAN #13 (J.H. Williams III / W.Haden Blackman) DC

This has been a poorly written comic, until issue #0 which was very good. This issue seems to continue that trend… not AS good, but following some new lessons that Williams has learned about writing, I think. (“make sure people know what you are writing about” being a big one). He handles Wonder Woman well, though I don’t want him taking over for Azzarello. And, of course, the big draw for one of these books – he draws it as well. Beautiful, beautiful work. If there is another artist as talented when it comes to design working in comics today, I don’t know who it is (though I should really read some Chris Ware…)



Who would have thought that the best character to come out of Watchmen was only in it for one panel (or whatever). Silhouette has become my fave in these books, but I suppose that extends to Nite Owl as it is the way he relates to her that makes her so great. Too bad the Nite Owl comic was so bad. Even Silk Spectre seems decent after the graveyard scene. Still don’t like the Comedian, though.


HAWKEYE #3 (Fraction / Aja / Hollingsworth) Marvel

3 issues in and the best comic each week it has been out. What comic is better than this comic out these days? Saga? Well, yes, but not much else. The writing, the art, the design, the characters, the characterization… the little Hawkeye head that suddenly appeared to stop us from seeing a little Hawkeye head.

Great comics… and each issue one and done!


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Before Watchmen: Silk Spectre #3

September 11, 2012
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This is my second RCotW in a row that goes to a Before Watchmen book. Whodathunk?


Starting at the weakest…


DIAL H #0 (China Mieville / Riccardo Burchielli) DC

The zero issues are here. I don’t like the concept. Rehashes of origins for the most part, letting us know how they have mucked around with the them for the relaunch. This particular comic has an advantage of being a new concept (let’s face it, this book has nothing to do with the old Robby Reed version), but it fails for a different reason. IT IS STUPID. A sundial? Seriously? Four days to dial?

They DID completely change the concept of the heroes dialled up though… and not in a good way.

Bah. I am close to cancelling this book.


ANIMAL MAN #0 (Jeff Lemire / Steve Pugh) DC

Here is a better example, because this is a book I really like. Let’s take the established origin and tweak it enough to make the Red fit in it. Oh, and add Arcane for good measure. Boring.


SWAMP THING #0 (Scott Snyder / Kano) DC

Take my review of Animal Man and duplicate it exactly. Now sub in the word Green for the word Red.

Twice the boring.


AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #693 (No cover credits, but it is Slott and Ramos) Marvel

I don’t like Alpha.I don’t mean in the way we are SUPPOSED to not like him, but in the way that makes the comic not anjoyable. It is the power level problems that made Sentry such a terrible character.  am looking forward to this story being over so we can get back to the GOOD Slott stories.


WORLDS’ FINEST #0 (Paul Levitz / Kevin Maguire) DC

This zero issue is a LITTLE better because these are NEW characters and their story has not yet been told. Not a great comic, but better than he others.

The comics do get better this week, I promise.


THIEF OF THIEVES #8 (Kirkman / Asmus / Martinbrough / Serrano) Image

Starting here. I really enjoy this book. The only reason this is so low is that, as the first issue of a new arc, it is all groundwork and not much in the way of payoff. It is really hard to judge books like that.


FAIREST #7 (Matthew Sturges / Shawn McManus) Vertigo

Hey, remember how Fairest was advertised as the comic focusing on the female Fables? Apparently the folks at DC forgot that. The first arc starred Sinbad. This stand-alone issue stars Beast. Yes, both stories are ABOUT females int he end, but the protagonists are male. I really undercuts the concept if you keep doing that. Ignoring that, which is hard to do, this is avery good comic that gives a whole new story for one well established character (not Beast, so you can probably guess). I like the McManus art. It fits. And that cover…oh boy.


AVENGERS ACADEMY #36 (Gage / DiVito / Sotomayor) Marvel

This comic was all about the moments. The moment between Mettle and Hazmat. The internal moments of White Tiger and Reptyl. The moment when Lightspeed is suddenly a bad-ass. “And now… I have a dagger.”

This comic will be missed. Only one issue left.


HAWKEYE #2 (Fraction / Aja / Hollingsworth) Marvel

I thought this would be the top comic this week when I read it. Third is still not shabby. The design and art of this book is beautiful. The stories are appropriately small. The addition of Kate Bishop is great (though she should get her own codename). But DO NOT have them sleep together. Fraction, I am warning you… that would be almost as bas as Angel and Husk.


ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #14 (Bendis / Marquez / Ponsor) Marvel

Then I read this and thought that IT would be #1. It is all about one thing. WEB-SHOOTERS! WOO-HOO!


BEFORE WATCHMEN: SILK SPECTRE #3 (Darwyn Cooke / Amanda Conner) DC

MAN this is a good book. It is easily the best of the BW stuff (and a couple of the others are quite good). The drug scenes were INCREDIBLE. Conner is just a great artist. The only thing that concerns me is the addition of Comedian at the end. His appearances thus far show us that he was abetter character as a dead one. The only big that has really worked with him is Minutemen which is written by… oh right. I guess it might not be too bad.


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