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Rusty’s Comic of the Week: The Massive #27

September 28, 2014
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The-massive-27-cover

Isn’t that a great cover?

My weekly ‘review’ (barely) of the comics I bought this week in ranked order from worst to best.

Not included… I picked up what I thought was the new issue of Sandman Overture but it was really some stupid ‘Special Edition’ with art process and script stuff. Whatever. Taking it back.

BODIES #3 (Si SPencer / Meghan Hetrick / Phil WInslade / Tula Lotay / Dean Ormston / Lee Loughridge) Vertigo

Ugh.

This series hasn’t been great regardless but the special ‘police brutality’ issue was especially annoying because the writer slanted it so we would be on their side.

No thanks.

EDGE OF SPIDER-VERSE #3 (Weaver) Marvel

Remember how good the last issue of this book was, with Spider-Gwen?

This issue was pointless. Tons of bad exposition. A character that has no real reason to exist. There was no ‘small change to make a new character’. It is just a different person with a terrible costume.

What was the twist even supposed to be? Spidey but with big stupid boots?

INHUMAN #6 (Soule / Stegman / Gracis) Marvel

Inhuman Teen Squad saves the day. Then there was a little character advancement for Lineage and a Black Bolt teaser. That’s about it.

STEED AND MRS. PEEL: WE’RE NEEDED #3 (Edginton / Cosentino) BOOM! Studios

It was the ‘wrap everything up’ issue that was a little too pat. Not bad, though. Fun little mini.

MIGHTY AVENGERS #14 (Ewing / Larroca / Milla) Marvel

I am not a huge Salvador Larocca fan but it was a step up from Land. The story was… mostly okay. The basics were good but the Captain Planet thing was SUPER lame. This issue felt rushed so they could wrap up the series (before relaunching with the new Captain America).

I’ll be on board for the next iteration.

DEAD BOY DETECTIVES #9 (Toby Litt / Mark Buckingham / Ryan Kelly / Lee Loughridge) Vertigo

A good issue but a little rushed in places. Hmmm… maybe not rushed. More like jerky.

Why is Chewbacca on the cover?

SAGA #23 (Brian K. Vaughan / Fiona Staples) Image

Not the best issue of Saga… mostly it was plot advancement without any of the super groovy stuff that makes this book so amazing. Izabel’s story was nice. I was yelling at Marko again this issue. He is really stupid at times.

Kind of like people.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #1.5 (Slott / Perez / Herring) Marvel

This hidden mini has been hit and miss but this issue was quite good. The art was perfect and the ‘origin of quips’ was nicely handled. The way the mini wrapped makes be think morel only on the whole thing.

C.O.W.L. #5 (Kyle Higgins / Alec Siegel / Rod Reis) Image

A nice story about labour negotiations and public perception.

Honest.

THE MASSIVE #27 (Brian Wood / Garry Brown / Jordie Bellaire) Dark Horse

The Massive! In The Massive! Who would have thought?

And what the ship was DOING is just great! No explanation about how it was hiding but I am sure that will be tied into Super-Mary.

Something very big is about to happen between Callum and the baby. I can feel it.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Fables #143

August 30, 2014
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Fables143

A little late as last week got away from me. I have this week;s comics so it shouldn’t be as long before the next post.

Starting at the weakest…

ALL-NEW ULTIMATES #6 (Fiffe / Pinna / Woodard) Marvel

I am thinking of dropping this. This issue was just a big fight scene with nothing to give it context. There were emotional notes, but in vacuum. Poor storytelling all around.

DAREDEVIL #7 (Waid / Rodriguez / Lopez) Marvel

So, last issue I was mad because Mark Waid turned Jack Murdock into a wife-beater for no good reason. This issue he fixed that and made into into a good story about postpartum depression.

That should be a good thing but he shoe-horned it into a stupid story about Wakanda that made ZERO sense AND was bloody racist.

To be fair, it is the same racist that just about every writer gets when dealing with Wakanda, but that doesn’t excuse it.

“No, they are HIGH-TECH spears!”

Uh, no.

THE UNWRITTEN: APOCALYPSE #8 (Carey / Gross / Chuckry) Vertigo

The problem with this issue is the leftover problem from last issue. It depends on thinking that everyone would suddenly assume that their good friend is a rapist when someone they don’t know claims it… in a situation where they know that there are things railing against them that have weird powers.

It is just stupid and insulting.

MIGHTY AVENGERS #13 (Ewing / Larocca / Milla) Marvel

Better. Key cool moment? Luke’s dad talking to Power Man.

MULTIVERSITY #1 (Morrison / Reis / Prado / Ruffino) DC

This was a lot better than I expected and for a while I thought it might be book of the week. I consider Grant Morrison to be generally overrated, but when I read this book, I got the same feeling I did when I read issue #1 of Crisis on Infinite Earths by Wolfman and Perez.

High praise.

MS.MARVEL #7 (Wilson / Wyatt / Herring) Marvel

Another charming issue of a charming title. Kamala is just great. The bit with her telling Wolverine that she wants to help people without hurting people – amazing.

Oh and, “Hellooo, it’s called having an imagination.”

I would recommend this book to anyone.

FABLES #143 (Willingham / Buckingham / Leialoha / Pepoy / Sturges / Akins / Loughridge) Vertigo

Cryptic review that you won’t understand until you have read the book: I haven’t closed it yet. Hold on, Babe! Hold on!


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Saga #21

July 25, 2014
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Saga21

This was a very violent week…

Starting at the weakest…

100TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL: AVENGERS #1 (James Stokoe) Marvel

There have been a few of these but this is the first I have purchased. The conceit is that some big Marvel comics are done as if it were the 100th Anniversary of the book…. so in this case, as if it were 2063.

Nice idea. Too bad the comic is so lame. I hope comics aren’t really like this when I am 95.

DAREDEVIL #6 (Waid / Rodriguez / Lopez) Marvel

Great Chris Samnee cover. Big opportunity for Waid to use Original Sin to create a big twist in Matt’s life.

So how does he use it? He turns Jack Murdock into a wife-batterer. Really? The best you could come up with was to destroy an important, classic character?

Weak. Really weak.

STAR SPANGLED WAR STORIES #1 (Palmiotti / Gray / Hampton) DC

Hmmmmm… an updating of G.I. Zombie by the people who did the same job on Jonah Hex. I like the idea. I like the story in general. But it is just so… violent.

I’ll stick with it for now, but if I don’t enjoy reading it, I may not keep with it.

This is not the only book this week with that problem.

REVIVAL #22 (Tim Seeley / Mike Norton) Image

Revival turned ugly this week. It seems that everybody is pretty twisted this week. Rasch is suddenly a sexual predator and Hine has tapped into a pretty messed up under-belly in New York.

Again, not a bad story per se, but very unpleasant to read. Hmmm…

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #4 (Slott / Ramos / Olazaba / Delgado) Marvel

Silk does not thrill me so far. Another randomly, overly-sexualized female character. Her back story makes no sense thus far… and neither does she. This was not a very well-written issue. Can we blame Original Sin on that? Why not…

ALL-NEW ULTIMATES #5 (Fiffe / Pinna / Woodard) Marvel

Big fight scene, but one that was not too objectionable. Cloak and Dagger’s sex scene was not exactly subtle. Nice cover.

DETECTIVE COMICS #27 SPECIAL EDITION (Bob Kane / Bill Finger / Brad Meltzer / Bryan Hitch / Scott Snyder / Sean Murphy / Chip Kidd) DC

This was a free comic celebrating the first appearance of Batman on his 75th Anniversary.

There was reprint of that first story, which you have probably read ten times by now. Bad but important. Then there is a modern remake by Meltzer and Hitch. Has this appeared somewhere before? I feel like I have read it. Then a weird, uh… re-mixed version? Or a bit of one?

As far as free comics go, this one was pretty good!

THE UNWRITTEN APOCALYPSE #7 (Mike Carey / Peter Gross) Vertigo

This was a very good book, and in the running for book of the week, right up until the last scene. Did Lizzie suddenly become incurably stupid? Why in the world would she think that Tom had just decided to rape that girl, while the rest of his friends are following him up the hill? It makes ZERO sense. It is way out of character and, well… involves Lizzie acting so stupid as to insult the reader.

The REST of the book is beautiful and smart.

WONDER WOMAN #33 (Azzarello / Chiang / Wilson) DC

What happened there at the end? Did Zeke make WW a new body or did he make a new WW?

A big fight scene, but a pretty darned good one. How can you make a WW comic where she is tied up the whole time? This is how.

MIGHTY AVENGERS #12 (Ewing / Land / Leisten / Milla) Marvel

The 70’s flashbacks really seem to suit Land, who I normally don’t like at all. This is a great story and I hope that Luke’s dad sticks around. “Want to go meet your granddaughter?” Great line.

DEAD BOY DETECTIVES #7 (Toby Litt / Mark Buckingham / Ryan Kelly / Lee Loughridge) Vertigo

Who would have thought that this book would have the same plot as Daredevil?

Kind of.

In this case, though, we had no investment in Charles’ father. I like the new characters. They have… well… character.

Good book. Lovely book.

SAGA #21 (Brian K. Vaughan / Fiona Staples) Image

I am still mad at them but at least Marko is trying…. not hard enough, but he is trying.

FIX THIS!


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: The Massive #23

June 1, 2014
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MASSIVE23

Another week where I let you know whether I liked the comics I bought and how much.

Starting with the weakest.

GIANT-SIZE SPIDER-MAN #1 (Caramagna / Koblish / Caracuzzo / Ciregia / Casagrande / Seeley) Marvel

In my library I have a copy of the first Amazing Spider-Men Marvel Masterworks. It includes reprints of the first ten issues of Spider-Man by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko.

This week’s comic retold early stories – the Spidey origin and his first encounters with the Vulture, Doc Ock and Sandman. Straight up retelling. Nothing of any importance added. It was as if you picked up those old issues and read them… with two very important distinctions: the writing was weak and the art was terrible.

Don’t buy this. It is awful.

THIEF OF THIEVES #21 (Diggle / Martinbrough / Lucas) Image

Sigh.

The issue as a whole wasn’t that bad but once again, a writer thinks that only way to make a ‘bad guy’ seem really bad is to have him rape somebody. It is the same story that I read last week in Miracleman, but at least in that case the books as reprinted from the 80’s before we had a better idea of the damaging nature of this sort of rhetoric.

He could have just killed her. You want to make him seem really awful and still have him mutilate her? Well, that is pretty awful, but okay. So what did raping her first add?

We get it. He is an awful human being.

Weak, WEAK writing.

MIGHTY AVENGERS #10 (Ewing / Land / Leisten / D’Armata) Marvel

Is this the first appearance of the Watcher’s wife? A Watcher with lipstick?

The characterization of Ulana was fine. The visual portrayal was absolutely ridiculous.

Oh, was Uatu having a child a new reveal? If so, why did you give it away ON THE RECAP PAGE?

CHEW / REVIVAL #1 (John Layman / Rob Guillory / Tim Seeley / Mike Norton / Mark Englert) Image

Hmmmm… I read a review the other day that said that the Chew side was really good but the Revival side wasn’t funny enough… or something to that effect.

Allow me to rebut…

This crossover was stupid. The only part of the crossover I liked was Cooper explaining WHY they were doing a crossover (with a little Saga thrown in there for good measure).

Having said THAT, the Revival story was quite good. I wouldn’t bat an eye if it was in the regular comic. Chu was just a guest appearance that added pretty much nothing. Revival is a good comic and this was a good issue of that.

Then I flipped it over. Chew was terrible. I am very glad I haven’t been convinced to try this comic, and now it is pretty certain that I won’t. It is just a one-note gag all the way through. (Oh, and if you are going to cross-over with another comic, do you think you should MAYBE READ the other comic? Revival is NOT about Frankenstein people with limb grafting abilities. At all.)

Half a good comic.

BATMAN ETERNAL #8 (Scott Snyder / James Tynion IV / Ray Fawkes / John Layman / Tim Seeley / Guillem March) DC

A little chaotic, and not in a good way. Very sketchy. Still, another Stephanie Brown sighting, even if it was just to remind us she is still out there…

UNCANNY AVENGERS #20 (Remender / Acuna) Marvel

This was pretty solid despite being just one long fight scene.

I am very interested to see if they actually have everyone remember what happened and have Wasp and Havoc actually have a child together. This would be a very big character change for both of them.

When is the Giant-Man / Polaris team-up?

INHUMAN #2 (Charles Soule / Joe Madureira / Marte Gracia) Marvel

Issue #1 was so-so. Issue #2 was better. I am not sure I dig the Nuhuman label but I really liked Medusa’s (Lady Big Hair) portrayal in this book. Captain America was reasonable so she responded in a reasonable manner.

Having a sovereign nation in the middle of the Hudson probably won’t fly with the U.S. government, though. Tow them out to sea and Attilan Island will be the new Genosha or whatever that X-Island in San Francisco was called.

Because, let’s be honest here, this IS an X-Book.

AVENGERS #30 (Hickman / Yu / Alanguilan / Gho) Marvel

It is no secret to readers of this column that I am no fan of Hickman. AND this is following a New Avengers plot line in the Avengers and I didn’t like New Avengers.

Having said that… this was pretty good issue. Iron Man is played straight up as a villain here and I am starting to wonder when the rest of the heroes are going to stop putting up with his crap. Future Hawkeye was pretty cool (as you would expect). I liked it.

MS. MARVEL #4 (Wilson / Alphona / Herring) Marvel

YES! It took four issues for someone to say that the world didn’t need another BLONDE superhero (read: white). What they needed is Kamala Khan.

Yes! The character of Kamala IS this book and having her turn into a Captain Marvel clone undercut that. Now THIS is the future of the book.

I’ll admit, growing up the way I did, I have a hard time with her parents. I am trying not to judge because they seem awful to me.

C.O.W.L. #1 (Kyle Higgins / Alec Siegel / Rod Reis) Image

Another great new book from Image! This is treated like a super-hero union, but it seems more like a private Super-hero police force. Either way, it is quite interesting and visually appealing. (I love the cover design!)

Of course, it would be nice if some of the characters were a little more likeable…

DEAD BOY DETECTIVES #6 (Toby Litt / Mark Buckingham / Russ Braun) Vertigo

I have been fairly critical of this book thus far… until now! This was a very fun book, capturing the right mix of whimsy and threat that earlier DBD stories did. Done right, this book could be the new Books of Magic, and I consider that high praise.

THE MASSIVE #23 (Brian Wood / Danijel Zezelj / Jordie Bellaire) Dark Horse

The cynic in me wonders if Brian Wood decided to write this story with very positive, strong female presence after he had his “female comic creators are not your personal dating pool” comeuppance.

Regardless, whatever the motivation, this has been a GREAT story. I am not such a fan of the supernatural elements of the character but this issue doesn’t dwell on those. This is just good storytelling and strong character work.

I just read that tho book plans to end with issue #30.. Keep telling stories like this one and I will miss it.


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.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Hawkeye #17

March 15, 2014
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hawkeye17

A very solid week for comics. Even the bottom comic wasn’t so bad, and there was a battle for the top spot.

Starting at the weakest…

FBP #8 (Simon Oliver / Robbi Rodriguez) Vertigo

Sometimes this book gets a little hard to follow… but just a little. The art is partly to blame. I don’t dislike it per se, but sometimes it obscures the storytelling. The end for example… I KNOW who those two are, but only because of the story narrative.

ALL-NEW X-MEN #24 (Bendis / Immonen / von Grawbadger / Gracia) Marvel

I really like this book, but it is this low because I am NOT buying the Guardians of the Galaxy books, which makes following this one a little hit and miss. As usual with Bendis books, it is the characters that carry the day. That little Angela / Gamora interaction was a good example.

Did they REALLY kill Jean Grey’s family? Was that in the old death of Jean Grey storyline or after?

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #29 (Slott / Gage / Camuncoli / Dell / Fabela) Marvel

You know, Dan Slott, when you keep saying “don’t spoil the big surprise” and then there ISN’T a big surprise, you kind of lose all your credibility.

Was it supposed to be the new ownership of the Spider-Slayers? IT IS ON THE COVER! Was it the death of an annoying character nobody was invested in anyway?

Sigh.

The comics was still good. (And that is STILL not really Norman…)

BLACK WIDOW #4 (Nathan Edmonson / Phil Noto) Marvel

This comic continues to be really solid. Wonderful art and a pretty good story carries the day… but I WOULD like it if Edmonson raised his game a little and it wasn’t just mission after mission. Give Natasha some actual supporting characters. Down time.

MIGHTY AVENGERS #8 (Ewing / Schiti / D’Armata) Marvel

This continues to be the best Avengers comic on the market. Having Schiti on the art certainly helps. He is not the best artist going, but his so much better than the tracer. I like Adam getting his own storyline. He is an interesting character (though the power disparity concerns me, as always). The White Tiger bit worked really well too. I also really liked the Young Avengers stuff. (I have Wiccan on Twitter…)

SUPERIOR FOES OF SPIDER-MAN #9 (Spencer / Lieber / Rosenberg) Marvel

“He can’t drink that? Where would it go?” was Ruthanne’s admonishment towards Silvermane.

This is just a fun book.

I do have a question, though, what was with the waiting symbol when Boomerang was on the phone? Wait… I just figured it out.

Ha.

ASTRO CITY #10 (Busiek / Anderson / Ross) Vertigo

While I like this book… I am a guy. I think I know some people who would not agree with Kurt’s (also a guy) take on how a woman’s strength should apply in this situation. As I said, it works for me, but…

Still, a really good comic, and nearly in the top spot.

HAWKEYE #17

Fraction / Eliopoulos / Aja / Bellaire) Marvel

Well, what can you say about that. Damn good issue, dog.

It was not quite as good as the Pizza Dog issue, but it had that feel. This comic keep showing you what you can accomplish while still riding in the super-Marvel lane.

Great comic. One of the best going these days (along with Saga.)


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Hawkeye #15

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

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

Starting at the weakest, though…

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

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

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

Brian Wood, you are going to destroy this book.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yeah.

Oh, this issue was good, too.

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

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

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

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

HAWKEYE #15 (Fraction / Aja / Eliopoulos) Marvel

First off, great cover.

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

Then, that ending. Whoa.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Mighty Avengers #6

February 9, 2014
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MAvengers 6

A strong week… with a couple disappointments.

Starting at the weakest…

MARVEL KNIGHTS: SPIDER-MAN #5 (Matt Kindt / Marco Rudy / Val Staples) Marvel

I should have stopped buying this after issue #1. What a terrible, terrible comic. The thing is, the art is very good… in a vacuum. It just doesn’t illustrate the story well. And I am not totally convinced that there is a story there to illustrate. Yeah. Terrible.

TRILLIUM #6 (Jeff Lemire) Vertigo

Just when I thought this book couldn’t get more annoying. I barely even read a couple of pages because flipping orientation page-to-page (which was already very annoying) was not enough for Lemire. Now he has us flipping back an forth on the same page. I almost think this is a big joke for him and he is laughing about figuring out ways to piss the readers off.

If this was an ongoing, I would drop it now. There are only two more issues though, so I guess I’ll see how it turns out.

LAZARUS #6 (Rucka / Lark / Arcas) Image

Ugh. I like this book in general, but not this issue. The old trope of a woman using her sexuality to distract stupid men while her partners do something nefarious is old hat. This went beyond that. Instead she actually let them have sex with her, when I would argue that her speech made it clear she didn’t really want to. The guards who were taking advantage of the girl (even if she WAS just desperate for food and water…. even more so), were admonished…but that is it.

Yeah. I am not claiming that this is like the infamous rape joke that launched this blog, but it IS cheap writing that adds to the general rape culture.

Not cool.

(In fact, this shows how much I disliked the two comics below it on the list that this book wasn’t last.)

AVENGERS A.I. #9 (Humphries / Araujo / D’Armata) Marvel

I have enjoyed this book, and this issue wasn’t bad… there just wasn’t that much to it. No great Doombot quotes. The revelation that everybody can just do whatever they want in the Diamond makes any battle kind of pointless.

Yeah, there have been better issues… but the America vs rebelling nations analogy was spot-on.

X-MEN #10 (Wood / Anka) Marvel

First off, the art is a big step down from the Dodsons. With all of their faults, they are still very talented artists and this is more… journeyman art. This is a leo a bit of a bridge issue. Not a lot really happens. The reveal of who WILL be joining the villains was pretty interesting.

SWAMP THING #28 (Charles Soule / Javier Pina) DC

Not a bad issue overall, but it was saddled a bit with the origin of Capucine. She has not been an incredibly interesting character and her origin emphasized that. The scenes with the ex-Parliament were better.

FAIREST #23 (Marc Andreyko / Shawn McManus) Vertigo

From the James Bond-esque cover to the addition of Ramayan, this book was pretty solid… but just solid. Again, there seemed to be a lot of ‘bridge’ stuff and the bits with the mice… like what was up with the sex scene at the beginning? He can change back and forth if he says he loves someone? Is that it?

THE MOVEMENT #9 (Gail Simone / Freddie Williams II) DC

An up-tick of this book. Batgirl was a good addition to the mix… the girls’ dinner had just the right amount of tension-easing for Babs to let her guard down enough to get dropped. The fact that she is the daughter of a cop meant that there was no way these two forces would get along.

I am happy to realize that this story does not go into the Batgirl book, which I don’t buy.

BLACK WIDOW #3 (Edmondson / Noto) Marvel

Another strong done-in-one adventure story for Natasha. Phil Noto continues to be amazing and they story’s morality part was telegraphed, but is still worked. I wonder if Natasha realized the big slip Isaiah made there?

Either he set her up, or Edmondson made a huge mistake in the script. In the space of one page, Isaiah went from assuming the job didn’t work out to knowing not only what when down, but why.

SUPERIOR FOES OF SPIDER-MAN #8 (Spencer / Lieber / Rosenberg) Marvel

This is the Hawkeye of villain books. Or something.

The Silvermane vs Shocker fight was brilliant. Boomerang trying to pick somebody up. Big Wheel. BIG WHEEL!

The reveal (to the rest of the team) that Tombstone is Beetle’s daddy.

The Sinister Six has five members… or maybe four.

How did I miss the first six issues?

MS. MARVEL #1 (Wilson / Alphona / Herring) Marvel

This book would have landed a lot lower on the list if I hadn’t read interviews and seen some promo art.

A young, female, Pakistani-American, muslim super-hero headlining her own book.

Yeah. That is kind of a big deal.

They don’t shy away from the cultural differences but she doesn’t come across as a parody. STRONG writing. The art is not as good, but it gets the job done. It isn’t distracting.

Why would it fall lower, then? The last page.

Her first iteration of her powers as wish-fulfillment turns her into a blonde, white lady.

The thing is, I KNOW that isn’t where it is going – but wow. Leaving THAT as the last page cliffhanger with no pay-off?

Bad idea.

Anyone who reads this review, though… trust me. This is NOT where the book is going, based on everything I have read.

MIGHTY AVENGERS #6 (Ewing / Schiti / D’Armata) Marvel

Another great written issue and the art is better! There is so much goo din this issue… Jessica’s concern about being Avengers again… Power Man’s interesting power set… the difference in opinion between Luke and Adam… but more than anything, addressing the comments about Monica’s relaxed hair style… without trying to justify anything. They SEE the concerns and are willing to face them.

YES!

Though I imagine there are many readers who don’t understand the exchange at all, it was very great.


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

January 26, 2014
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unwritten-apocalypse1-195x300

Big week with a drop and a surprising #1.

Starting at the weakest…

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

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

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

DC is really weak these days.

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

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

AVENGERS #25 (Hickman / Larroca / Martin) Marvel

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

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

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

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

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

I like the Sisterhood.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I would recommend this book to a new reader.

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

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

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

How about USING that logo on the book? No?

HAWKEYE #16 (Fraction / Wu / Hollingsworth) Marvel

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now, what has happened while he was gone?


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Mighty Avengers #4

December 15, 2013
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mighty-avengers-4-infinity-cover

This was a fairly big week, but not a hugely strong one. Some decent comics but some disappointments as well.

Starting at the weakest.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #700.3 (Casey / Green / Van Meter / Rios) Marvel

So… this isn’t even a single mini? It is a couple of unrelated two parters? Or something?

The first issue was my comic of the week last time out. The second and third issues both came out today. The second one was good but this one is an unrelated change to another story. A bad story.

So, Peter just randomly gets torched to the point of disfigurement as an excuse to get him into a villain’s hospital? Uh, what? Isn’t getting burned alive kind of a big deal? “He heals fast?” Not THAT fast. He isn’t Wolverine.

Stupid.

And the Black Cat back-up wasn’t much better.

UNCANNY X-MEN #15.INH (Bendis / Anka) Marvel

Talk about disappointing…

I have been really enjoying Bendis’ X-books. This one has a fun premise – a ‘girl’s night out’. But… but…

First off, the Kris Anka art wasn’t terrible, but it also wasn’t great. That isn’t my real issue with this book, though. It is the blatant racism.

Look, mutants used to be a not-so-subtle metaphor for racism. Later they become a not-so-subtle metaphor for homophobia.

So what do we get this issue? Well, the Inhumans are here and they are treading the EXACT same paths as mutants did. Sudden powers. Scared people.Feared and mistrusted. Blah, blah, blah.

So what happens when the X-Men encounter them?

They won’t help them because they aren’t mutants. Uh what? Weren’t you helping mutants because of a shared experience of being cast out by the status quo? Ho wis this different?

Oh, it is because they don’t have the same genetic make-up that you have?

So instead of being a metaphor for fighting against racism, mutants have become a metaphor for perpetuating racism.

Sigh.

SUPERMAN / WONDER WOMAN #3 (Charles Soule / Tony S. Daniel / Matt Benning) DC

I wish this book was better.

Dropped.

THE ROCKETEER & THE SPIRIT: PULP FRICTION #4 (Waid / J. Bone / Fajardo) IDW

The same goes for this book, but it is a mini and it is over. I like the Rocketeer. I like the Spirit. I like Mark Waid.

This book is much less than the sum of its parts.

LAZARUS #5 (Rucka / Lark / Arcas) Image

This book seems to be all concept and no plot. It still has promise, though. I hope it gets more consistent.

BATMAN #26 (Scott Snyder / Greg Capullo / Danny Miki) DC

I keep thinking I might drop this book. Well, not yet. What puts this one onto the ‘good list’ is the idea that Bruce Wayne would be ‘anti-cop’. That makes so much sense that it seems almost odd that he has spent so long being a supporter of the police.

The ‘origin of Gordon’s coat’ was kind of silly, but it served its purpose.

FBP #6 (Simon Oliver / Robbi Rodriguez) Vertigo

Much like Batman, here is a book that always seems to be on the ‘we’ll see’ list. This issue handled things a little better. It feels like the promise of the book is finally paying off. This is a cop book where weird stuff happens. Cool. BE that.

AVENGERS A.I. #7 (Humphries / Araujo / D’Armata) Marvel

Do you get the impression that Sam Humphries preferred the old version of Blade Runner where they had a voice over to explain everything to the viewers? Pym’s exposition is sloppy storytelling. Period.

The Doombot stuff was classic, though. It made up for the Pym-narrator and a kind of stilted Daredevil.

ASTRO CITY #7 (Busiek / Anderson / Ross / Sinclair / Comicraft) Vertigo

Astro City is at its best when it gives us a street level view. This issue is the opposite of that as we get the story of Winged Victory. Still good, but not as great as the book can be.

There was a letter int he back saying the exact opposite. The writer was complaining that seeing these one-off characters isn’t as interesting as the ongoing stories of the major super-heroes. I disagree COMPLETELY. In this book, the heroes are the SETTING. It is the CHARACTERS that make it shine.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #700.2 (Morrell / Janson / Buccellato) Marvel

This is part two of the book that was my top pick last week. This was a good story. I read that David Morrell didn’t like tho issue. There were changes from what he wanted that he didn’t like. I am sorry to hear that, but the end story was a solid read that showed what makes a hero. That is very rare in comics these days. I liked it.

CATACLYSM: ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN #2 (Bendis / Marquez / Ponsor) Marvel

A nice series of flashbacks to the big flood to give a nice, street level view of heroics. They can’t fight Galactus, so what do they do? Save people. The ned would be a big deal if the USM book was still going. But it isn’t and I strongly believe that when it comes back, it won’t be part of the Ultimate Universe so it won’t even matter. It should give us an interesting issue 3, though.

I am kind of disappointed in the reveal about WHY Miles’ dad is anti-super. It is kind of… mundane.

MIGHTY AVENGERS #4 (Ewing / Land / Leisten / D’Armata) Marvel

Why did I enjoy this book so much? Character,character, character. Ewing writes these characters like he is Bendis. They feel like people – well-rounded and interesting.

But, let’s be honest here – what REALLY put it over the top? Danielle Cage. Apparently being adorable is now a super power.

Poopy Man!


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