Rusty's World

Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Astro City #18

December 14, 2014
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AstroCity18

This has been a trying week, capped off by having to say good-bye to a loved pet, Zane the cat.

Big comic week, but I am lopping two of them off.

Starting at the weakest…

KLARION #3 (Nocenti / McCarthy / Florea / Johnson / Major) DC

I wasn’t thrilled with issue #1. I was happy with issue #2, but mostly due to one scene. This issue is a muddy mess. If there is a story here, it is well hidden.

Dropped.

SHUTTER #7 (Joe Keatinge / Leila del Duca / Owen Gieni / John Workman) Image

This book just didn’t turn out to be the book I was hoping for. It appears to be random craziness for the sake of random craziness.

Dropped.

SPIDER-MAN and the X-MEN #1 (Kalan / Failla / Herring) Marvel

This books as close to getting dropped after only one issue. I don’t have a lot of patience for bad writing. The plotting and scripting are just sloppy.

I am giving it another chance, but its leash may be very short.

AVENGERS / X-MEN: AXIS #7 (Remender / Kubert / Delgado) Marvel

Kin at Silver Snail asked my a very good question: why am I still getting this? I clearly don’t like it.

True, but believe it or not, this issue was a little better. And did they just drop HUGE bombshell in this issue? Wanda and Pietro are NOT related to Magneto? What?

BITCH PLANET #1 (DeConnick / De Landro / Peter / Cowles) Image

How can a comic both my pretty good and be disappointing? When your expectations are so high.

Will this book by a strongly written feminist comic under the guise of a women-behind-bars exploitation flick? Well, it has the potential and it has already started. Forget Orange is the New Black, this is a feminist Oz, and much better for it.

SEX CRIMINALS #9 (Fraction / Zdarsky) Image

This book has flashes of brilliance but this issue was a little more mundane. The argument was interesting but the Ana backstory was a little trite. She looks like an interesting character going forward, though.

UNCANNY X-MEN ANNUAL #1 (Bendis / Sorrentino / Maiolo) Marvel

There was very little story here for an oversized book, but what was there was interesting. And beautiful art!

I’ll admit that when Ava came back from her trip, I did not realize that she had aged so much. Did I just miss that, or was it not clear?

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL #1 (Ryan / Peterson / Atkinson / Nitz / Salas) Marvel

There is nothing really special about this book BUT at a time when the Spider-Man stuff is totally bogged down in the never-ending Spider-Verse stuff, it is nice to get some old school Spidey.

It is interesting that both stories had bit about Spidey not ‘quipping’.

“Don’t you have anything better to do?”

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #11 (Dan Slott / Olivier Coipel / Wade von Grawbadger / Justin Ponsor) Marvel

As for as Spider-Verse goes, this issue was okay. The Spidey/Ock fight was interesting and I like how Peter outsmarted Otto to win. The look at the Spidey cartoon version was kind of cute.

Do we NOW have the big boss? Will this story end anytime?

ROCKET RACCOON # 6 (Young / Parker / Beaulieu) Marvel

How do you get a Christmas reference without it begin a Christmas story? The Planet of Misfit Mechs!

How do you get the same vibe as Groot without overplaying Groot? A mech that only speaks in binary!

Fun comic.

AVENGERS #39 (Hickman / Deodato / Martin) Marvel

Illuminati vs Avengers… vs more Avengers? The Captain Marvel vs the Hulk scene was worth the price of admission alone.

ASTRO CITY #18 (Busiek / Anderson / Ross) Vertigo

Maybe it is because I am getting older but this issue really hit home for me. Not the origin so much (though it was fine), but the glimpse into the life of aging super-heros. Things just start getting harder to do…

I get it.

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Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Wytches #2

November 15, 2014
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wytches-2

Yuck. That cover is super creepy.

I don’t know if it is just my mindset (I am having a really horrible week. Disheartening is the best word I can use, I think. Welcome to depression land…), but this week was very disappointing.

Starting at the weakest…

SPIDER-VERSE #1 (Slott / Ramos / Olazaba / Young / Parker / Thompson / Medri / Cook) Marvel

When I ordered this, I thought it was going to be an integral part of the Spider-Verse story, which I was looking forward to because I really like Dan Slott’s Spider-man. Of course, Spider-Verse has been pretty awful so far and this is no exception. This is just a bunch if mini-stories that are incredibly repetitive and uninteresting.

There are some interesting creators in here. Too bad they weren’t involved in better comics.

CAPTAIN AMERICA AND THE MIGHTY AVENGERS #1 (Ewing / Ross / Rosenberg) Marvel

For those that don’t know, I am an Avengers fan from way back. I started buying comics in about ’84 and I went back and filled in the entire run so I have every Avengers comic ever published under that title. The thing is, the comics that are currently published bear very little resemblance to the Avengers comics I loved. They are no longer an organization of heroes with a punctuated equilibrium of a revolving cast. Now they are just an army. They work for S.H.I.E.L.D. – a military organization.

If this is what the Avengers had been when I first started buying comics, I would have probably become a big X-Men fan or something instead.

But there has been a silver lining and that is The Mighty Avengers. This book is the ‘real’ Avengers, in my opinion. They are the team living up to the name. The fact that the writers have also taken the concept of diversity really seriously is an added bonus.

When the book was ‘cancelled’, I did not sweat it. I knew what was coming. They were trying to cash in on the publicity generated by Sam Wilson taking on the mantle of Captain America by relaunching. Falcon was already a member so they were just moving him to the forefront. No problem.

So why am I unhappy with the relaunch?

This story is tied in with Axis (which has been another big disappointment – not as bad as Spider-Verse, but pretty darned bad). In Axis there was some sort of magic ‘inversion’ where a bunch of people had their D&D alignment switched.

No, I am not kidding. This is an entire storyline based on a D&D gimmick.

So, this is our first time seeing Falcon in action as Cap… and he is the bad guy.

You have GOT to be kidding me! Marvel has done some stupid things in their time, but this is up there.

Well done Marvel. Let’s show some diversity but introducing a black Captain America… out of control as the bad guy.

Awful.

AVENGERS / X-MEN: AXIS #5 (Remender / Dodson / Dodson / Martin) Marvel

Remember what I said about Axis?

Can I just add that Kluh may be the worst idea since Clor?

Actually, it may be worse.

It feels like Marvel has turned into fan fiction.

SHE-HULK #10 (Soule / Pulido / Vicente) Marvel

This book is much better but it has such a glaring flaw that it is hard to get past.

No, NOT the idea that Jen is a better lawyer than Matt. (Keeping in mind that she practices law off and on in between other things in her life and he has pretty consistently been a top lawyer for the history of the marvel universe.) That is still possible.

It is the idea that a case like this would get to stand in front of a judge.

Let me see… the claim is that someone, while being held at gunpoint tries to talk his way out and when they shoot the other guy, he is liable.

Uh, what?

Steve could have been sitting there saying “don’t shoot me, shoot him!” and he STILL wouldn’t have been liable. Ridiculous.

This is generally a very good comic though.

KLARION #2 (Nocenti / McCarthy / Major) DC

This book is sometimes confusing but big, big, BIG brownie points for showing a CONSENT scene as being ‘hot’.

CONSENT IS SEXY!

Well done Ann Nocenti and DC Comics (for a change).

SILVER SURFER #7 (Dan Slott / Michael Allred / Laura Allred) Marvel

These three are just adorable.

Yes, I said three. Toomey is absolutely a cast member in this comic.

Don’t use up all your space ideas Dan!

MILES MORALES: THE ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #7 (Bendis / Marquez / Ponsor) Marvel

Miles kicks some goblin ass. It looks we are going to get some resolution about his father. Pater… well, I don’t like the idea that he really is back from the sea, but it seems he is leaving the book for the time being… though why he lied to May, I am not sure completely.

But Katie… Katie… Katie…

Hail Hydra.

WYTCHES #2 (Snyder / Jock / Hollingsworth) Image

If there is a creepier book coming out… I don’t think I want to read it. Maybe it is my currently dark brain but this book fired on all cylinders.

Creepy and scary and beautiful.

That cover, though… yuck.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Astro City #16

October 11, 2014
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Astro City 16

I didn’t think I would get a chance to do this write-up (or even read all the comics) before I left for CFSW, but I was wrong. So once more into the breach before I head off to poetry Disneyland…

Starting at the weakest…

MIRACLEMAN #12 (Moore / Totleben) Marvel

When I read the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen TPB I was struck with how quickly Moore went to rape as plot device. He did it again here.

The introduction of Miraclewoman just HAD to involve Gargunza raping her over and over, did it? And she was o’kay with it? Somehow?

Ick.

KLARION #1 (Nocenti / McCarthy / Major) DC

Hmmm… I remember Ann Nocenti’s writing begin much more… coherent. This story isn’t bad per se, but it is a little opaque.

CALIBAN #7 (Garth Ennis / Facundo Percio) Avatar

I think I have to go back and reread the whole series because this issue made no sense at all. Why is she not dead? Why was she suddenly able to beat the crap out of something that handily killed everyone else? Was it just by shooting herself full of drugs?

That’s kind of weak. (Too gory as well.)

Overall, with the ending fixed up, this will make solid Alien-esque movie.

AXIS #1 (Remender / Kubert / Martin) Marvel

Meh. I am not a fan of uber big baddies whose claim to fame is just POWER. Then the heroes just fight and fight and fight unable to do anything until… they do. Weak writing.

Also, just last week (I think) I was talking about how it was nice to show Wanda as purely heroic. One week later she is a weak puppet. Great.

AVENGERS #36 (Hickman / Caselli / Martin) Marvel

Wasn’t I saying that Hickman is getting better? Well he is back to just throwing stuff at the wall and assuming that the writer will get it… or not care bough to bother. The universe is imperilled and Thor and Hyperion are travelling across the multiverse to die!

Uh, what? What has implied that they are going to die? What has happened that says that they need to?

Sloppy writing.

ROCKET RACCOON #4 (Young / Beaulieu) Marvel

Poor Rocket. Plus another blast from the past character. But wait… plot twist!

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #7 (Slott / Gage / Camuncoli / Smith / Fabela) Marvel

While it is nice seeing Ms. Marvel get out into the Marvel Universe, it was pretty clear that Dan Slott does not have the same grasp on the character that Willow Wilson does. She just wasn’t quite right.

Whoa, Saturnyne… cold.

WYTCHES #1 (Snyder / Jock / Hollingsworth) Image

At the top of this column I spoke of Alan Moore using rape as a plot device. Scott Snyder does that as well, but somehow it felt more… legit? I guess? If Sailor really did manifest some powers, or called on someone that did, it makes ensue that it happened when she was driven to the ultimate fear. Also, having the assailant be a young woman also changes the dynamic somewhat.

That aside, this is a creepy, creepy book. In a good way.

SEX CRIMINALS #8 (Fraction / Zdarsky) Image

The introduction of Robert Rainbow was hilarious. His little imaginary striptease was just funny…. all the while reading… real. Suzie’s eye wandered and then snapped back. Real life.

But that ending… no!

ASTRO CITY #16 (Busiek / Anderson) Vertigo

That cover above is ‘thing’ Vertigo is doing this month with the story actually starting at the first page. The issue of Fairest last week was like that too.

What a story. Wow. A story of bullying and redemption. A story of of desperation and loneliness. And then a story of a trans-woman finding a new way of being, overlaid with super heroics while not acting like the trans nature of the character is something… weird. It just is.

Well done. INCREDIBLY well done.