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Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Miles Morales: The Ultimate Spider-Man #3

July 13, 2014
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MilesMoralesUltimateSpider-Man3-Cover

I wasn’t able to go get my comics last week. I got both week’s worth this week, read them, ranked them, and then split them back to their respective week so this is LAST WEEK’S list.

This week was bigger than the other, but the book of the week also only ranked third when I put them all together.

Starting at the weakest.

MIRACLEMAN #8 (Moore / Austen) Marvel

This comic actively angered me. We pay $5 for this comic. Normally that means you get multiple stories and then back-up material. I would rather they drop the old Mick Anglo stuff and charge less, but that might just be me.

THIS issue, though, had much less. You had the wrap up to the Gargunza story. It was fine but very simple. Then we get some stupid Cat Yronwoode filler that doesn’t even make any sense because they took it out of context with the reprints it was referring to. THIS shouldn’t have been bonus footage but instead it is a ‘main’ story. They should have dropped the Anglo stuff and given us another full story (original issue 9).

I feel ripped off. If this was normal, I would be dropping this book right now.

THIEF OF THIEVES #22 (Diggle / Martinbrough / Lucas) Image

You know what? I have had enough of this book. Not much more to say. It isn’t terrible, it just goes nowhere. It meanders and we basically get the same story over and over and over and over.

Dropped.

IRON FIST: THE LIVING WEAPON #4 (Kaare Kyle Andrews) Marvel

What a beautifully rendered book.

What terrible storytelling and (frankly) offensive characterization.

It four issues, Andrews has completely ripped Iron Fist apart, with no reason given, turned him into a selfish predator who takes advantage of women to try and fill some emptiness (that was never referred to before now), and made his title character completely unsympathetic.

The character of Brenda is incredibly insulting and a horrible stereotype. Ugh.

Dropped.

MOON KNIGHT #5 (Warren Ellis / Declan Shalvey / Jordie Bellaire) Marvel

This book shared some similar problems with Iron Fist… without the offensive parts.

It is very well drawn (not as good as the Andrews stuff in IF, but still very good).

It is very badly written (not as bad as the… etc.)

Warren Ellis has a rep that is well deserved but sometimes it feels like he cuts corners way too much. Here was have a story that has no first act. At all. Jus throw us in there, don’t explain anything, and let in unfold. Why was the girl kidnapped? There is an oblique reference to a crime family but that is it.

It is one long fight scene that seems to want to evoke that terrible Dredd movie or something.

I am NOT dropping this, because I consider this a misstep rather than an indictment against the book.

ORIGINAL SIN #5 (Aaron / Deodato) Marvel

So, is THIS why the mini exists? They continue to have th problem that it isn’t a story as much as a plot device.

I have a hard time getting worked up over changes to Nick Fury. They happen all the time. They always get reversed. Always.

SWAMP THING #33 (Charles Soule / Javier Pina) DC

Interesting storytelling technique. The book was about the conversations at him while Swampy fighting unending hordes of… something… was the back story.

Hmmm….

FAIREST #27 (Mark Buckingham / Russ Braun) Vertigo

Bucky writing instead of drawing. Interesting. I like the concept…. though it was done back in the second Fables book. The animals are revolting! (“They certainly are!”)

Seeing how the books are wrapping up, who knows how this one will turn out!

LAZARUS #9 (Rucka / Lark / Arcas) Image

Somehow I think that Casey and Michael have just become the most interesting characters in the book (with all due respect to Forever).

The whole ‘Lifted’ concept is problematic, but this whole work is that. Where are they going with it? When is it all going to come tumbling down?

BLACK WIDOW #8 (Edmondson / Noto) Marvel

Problem: you shouldn’t need to read the recap page to understand what is going on and the whole Bucky / Natasha scene and final page wouldn’t make any sense at all if you hadn’t read the crappy Winter Soldier story.

Having said that, I quite liked this comic. Noto’s art con tunes to be wonderful and the character of Natasha has just the right level of opacity. The Isaiah story is also getting really interesting.

ROCKET RACCOON #1 (Young / Beaulieu) Marvel

I have (had?) the old Bill Mantlo Rocet series… but this is a little bit different. TH sold one was like a serious version of Captain Carrot. This one is just fun. Space fun, but fun nonetheless.

Believe it or not, this isn’t the best Groot appearance I read this week (next week?). Groot as wrestler is kind of weird.

Will this level of wackiness maintain? Will I get tired of it?

DAREDEVIL #0.1 (Waid / Krause / Kalisz) Marvel

Why does this comic exist? I am unsure. Maybe it was meant to be a Daredevil Annual or something. Regardless, it is a really good story. It was interesting to me that Daredevil – who is very familiar with any number of artificial lifeforms – completely dismissed the idea that the Adaptoid could be a ‘real person’. I wonder what the Vision would have thought if he witnessed that.

In the end, he feels bad because he cared at all.

Really?

I don’t like that part, but it still felt real. Good story. Well done.

MILES MORALES: THE ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #3 (Bendis / Marquez / Ponsor) Marvel

David Marquez is a brilliant artist. Open the book to page #5. Look at that page. Look at Katie and Miles. Even look at Ganke. This is a perfect, non-action, page. I would like to own this page.

Please, please, please let this all be a trick. No return of Norman. No return of Peter. Just no.

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Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Black Widow #7

June 8, 2014
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blackwidow7

A nice selection of good books this week… and one I won’t be getting any longer.

Starting at the weakest…

BATMAN ETERNAL #9 (Scott Snyder / James Tynion IV / John Layman / Ray Fawkes / Tim Seeley / Guillem March) DC

The only real thread that ties the BE story together is Falcone, and he isn’t very interesting. This was another issue of RANDOM THINGS HAPPEN! DIFFERENT BATMAN-RELATED CHARACTERS APPEAR! PLEASE BUY THOSE BOOKS TOO!

No.

Do you remember the issue of Batman that was supposed to be a preview for this book? It is what got me to buy it. How come that preview has nothing to do with this comic?

Dropped.

ORIGINAL SIN #3 (Aaron / Deodato) Marvel

Question… does Jason Aaron really like lame villains? I suppose if it were a challenge to make them credible, but they aren’t even trying? Clearly the big villains for this story are NOT the Orb, Midas and Dominatrix (or whatever their names are…)

Do you know what would be awesome? If the surprise reveal at the end was legit.

It isn’t, but it would be awesome. He is an ass.

IRON FIST: THE LIVING WEAPON #3 (Kaare Kyle Andrews) Marvel

Is Kaare Andrews the new J.H. Williams III? The super talented, amazing artist and designer who convinces someone that he should be writing the comic despite being completely inept at it?

Williams destroyed Batwoman. If a decent writer were to take this book over, I am sure they could salvage it.

But, is it ever a beautifully rendered comic.

MIRACLEMAN #7 (Moore / Davis / Austen) Marvel

That was a little sudden… and maybe a bit anti-climactic. Couldn’t he even TRY to survive? And why did Miracledog chase Cream anyway? Wasn’t Moran the main target?

AVENGERS WORLD #7 (Spencer / Caselli / Mossa) Marvel

I LIKE S.P.E.A.R.! PLEASE, don’t make them secretly bad guys. The idea that China would have their own super-defense plan has always made sense, but it has never done very well. Hopefully this will work. The Avengers and S.H.I.E.L.D. don’t have jurisdiction over everybody.

SWAMP THING #32 (Charles Soule / Jesus Saiz) DC

Back off fish-face! The exploration of undersea plant life has potential. Swampy standing up to Aquaman worked for me. As did the clear delineation of what side his ‘advisor’s’ were on… or not.

CALIBAN #3 (Garth Ennis / Facundo Percio) Avatar

If you like Alien, you will like this. Straight up.

I am not always a fan of Ennis’ language in this issue, but I can live with it. This is good, creepy, comics horror.

SUPERIOR FOES OF SPIDER-MAN #12 (Spencer / Lieber / Rosenberg) Marvel

The return of the REAL SFOSM book! They even make a joke about the suspended story. The Sinister Sixteen!

MILES MORALES: SPIDER-MAN #2 (Bendis / Marquez / Ponsor) Marvel

Okay, who stole the web shooters? It is clearly not Peter and I am very doubtful it is a clone. It is obviously a trick.

So, who is it?

I don’t think Miles is going to tell Katie (the cliff-hanger would have been handled differently if he was), but I wouldn’t mind if he did.

MOON KNIGHT #4 (Warren Ellis / Declan Shalvey / Jordie Bellaire) Marvel

This may have been comic of the week if it was one page longer. Great story. great visuals. Great FEELING. But an incredibly abrupt ending that made it feel like a page had been torn out. And you know it won’t be picked up next issue. That is it.

BLACK WIDOW #7 (Edmondson / Noto) Marvel

I like the clash between spy stories and superhero stories in the Marvel universe. Yes Natasha kills people. Yes it makes sense in her line of work and yes she could do so and still be a ‘good guy’.

But NO, the superheroes won’t and shouldn’t agree with those sentiments. I like seeing that.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Miles Morales: The Ultimate Spider-Man #1

May 11, 2014
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Miles_Morales_1_Cover

This was a very big week… though surprisingly light on story.

Starting at the weakest…

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: WHO AM I? (Fialkov / Bobillo / Mossa / Beaulieu / Mast) Marvel

This was free and worth exactly what I paid for it. Why they didn’t put this out with Free Comic Book Day, I am unsure but it is a free comic to advertise the digital comics put out by Marvel.

And what a poor advertisement it is. What a terrible comic! The story is weak and uninteresting and the art is abysmal. You should see the cover! What is that thing on Spidey’s chest? Apparently he is now Waterbug-Man or something. Terrible comic.

CYCLOPS #1 (Rucka / Dauterman / Sotomayor) Marvel

I am not sure what I was thinking. I like Bendis’ X-Men, sure, but this is the least interesting member, given a non-solo, solo book out in space. Space comics are dull… almost universally.

If you like space comics, maybe you will like this, but it isn’t for me.

Oh well. I won’t get #2.

ORIGINAL SIN #1 (Aaron / Deodato / Martin) Marvel

This is the big crossover and it kicks off with a really boring comic. Issue #0 was better.

The problem is that marketing has already told us what the story is so all this book was about was reminding us what the story is and kind of collecting a team (a nonsensical team, but a team). That’s it.

Hopefully #2 is better.

FAIREST #26 (Marc Andreyko / Shawn McManus) Vertigo

This story is finally over. It wasn’t bad, but it just seemed to keep going and going…

I appreciate that they have tied this book in with the main story in Fables, but it is done in such a way that would make ZERO sense if you don’t read Fables, and barely made sense here. SO… what is with that ring? Have I forgotten that? Apparently. I didn’t even know who that was on the last page until I read the next issue blurb. Sloppy.

MIRACLEMAN #5 (Moore / Davis / Ridgway) Marvel

Uh, why was this bagged? That tiny amount of not quite nudity? Really?

Wow. Get over it.

I really like the book but this was not one of the more exciting issues. The main story was good, but just good. The Young Miracleman story’s reveal was incredibly poorly rendered and then the old stuff… well, it is still pretty terrible.

Oh well. Still a good series overall.

IRON FIST: THE LIVING WEAPON #2 (Kaare Kyle Andrews) Marvel

Hmmph. Not as sexist as the first issue (though the running ‘joke’ about our hero not remembering his bedmate’s name continued), but instead we have an incredibly beautifully rendered and nearly incomprehensible reworking of Iron Fist’s origin.

The wonderful art is keeping me on-board but the story better get into shape or this will go the way of Batwoman.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #1.1 (Slott / Perez / Herring) Marvel

This is Marvel’s current trick of hiding a mini-series within the main series in order to convince people to buy it. Whatever. I would have bought it anyway.

Most of this issue was a retelling of part’s of Spidery’s origins. The added story took up very little of the book but looks like it will take over in issue #2. Okay.

Nice art. Very evocative of Ditko without being a strict homage.

MOON KNIGHT #3 (Warren Ellis / Declan Shalvey / Jordie Bellaire) Marvel

It looks like Moon Knight is going to be all one-off stories. That is a shame because the stories are well-written and the art is very nice, but there never seems to be anything behind them. No depth.

SHE-HULK #4 (Soule / Pulido / Vicente) Marvel

She-Hulk would be the opposite of that. While you get a fun little story about Jen heading to Latveria (though I would shave killed to see Jen say, “Where’s my money, honey?”), you also get the depth with her visiting Matt Murdock and the denizens of her law office and building.

It is the depth that keeps me coming back to a world.

BATMAN ETERNAL #5 (Scott Snyder / James Tynion IV / Ray Fawkes / John Layman / Andy Clarke) DC

A better issue that the last. We get a nice spotlight on Red Robin and Harper Row (not to mention Vicki Vale). Those nanobots are a little indistinct, but they still worked. This issue feels disconnected from the previous ones (though it isn’t), but not in a bad way.

BLACK WIDOW #6 (Edmondson / Noto) Marvel

Every issue of Black Widow has felt like a little story that is getting bigger. Depth is good.

REVIVAL #20 (Tim Seeley / Mike Norton) Image

Speaking of depth, didn’t nearly every character feel a little more real this issue. Even the racists ass felt like something a little…more… now that we got a glimpse of his background.

And now the scope of the story gets bigger. Nice.

THE MOVEMENT #12 (Gail Simone / Freddie Williams II) DC

Well, it lasted a year. The rushed nature of the previous issue continued here, but there was not a lot they could do about that, once it was cancelled. It is as high as it is because of a great line on page 4. “I thought maybe we could remind people, you know? That it’s okay to care.”

If you have ever listened to my poetry, you might understand why I like that line.

CALIBAN #2 (Garth Ennis / Facundo Percio) Avatar

The surprisingly great comic form Avatar continues. If you are a fan of Alien, get this book. It is nothing at all the same, while having that same feel.

Getting rid of a bunch of characters was smart as they were a little hard to keep track of.

Hoe they did it, though… creepy.

SWAMP THING #31 (Charles Soule / Jesus Saiz / Javi Pini) DC

My favourite style of Swamp Thing is the super-laidback, caring semi-human that has this incredible bad-ass side that you do NOT want to mess with.

This issue was THAT all over. He cares about each person and will let you know what he will do to you if you cross him. Very cool.

And the Grey joins the Green, Red and Black. Any other colours? Are we going to have an Avatar vs Lantern colour-off?

MILES MORALES: THE ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #1 (Bendis / Marquez / Ponsor) Marvel

Miles Morales is one o fate best characters in all of comics and this issue reminds us why. He is real.

Well, obviously he isn’t really real, but he SEEMS real.

Only, one thing… PLEASE let that at the end be a trick by Mysterio or Chameleon or something and NOT a Miles Warren-type deal.

Please.

No clones. Spider-Woman is already one to many.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Shutter #1

April 13, 2014
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Shutter1Cover

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

Hey, comics are sexist, who would of thought?

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

Starting at the weakest…

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

Remember that great series by Nick Spencer?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FBP #9 (Simon Oliver / Robbi Rodriguez) Vertigo

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

I am dropping this one.

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

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

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

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

NIGHTCRAWLER #1 (Chris Claremont / Todd Nauck) Marvel

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

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

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

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

Pym, the Living Planet?

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

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

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

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

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

Ugh.

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

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

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

ANNOYING SEXISM #3!!!!

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

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

Which he obliges.

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

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

Aaargggghhh…. I should have ranked this lower.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yes. Buy this book and all is forgiven.