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Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Swamp Thing #22

July 4, 2013
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Swamp_Thing_Vol_5-22_Cover-1_Teaser

Not as good a week as last week, but some solid stuff.

Starting at the weakest.

AVENGERS A.I. #1 (Humphries / Araujo / D’Armata) Marvel

This was certainly the most disappointing book of the week. The set-up last week – the Age of Ultron special issue featuring Hank Pym – was great… but all we have discovered this week is that Sam Humphries is no Mark Waid.

I guess we already knew that after the Ultimates.

Oh well. This is neither written well nor drawn especially well. I like the idea and I thought I liked the characters but so far:

Vision is no longer Vision. He is now a generic android.

Doombot got really annoying really fast.

Monica Chang is such the stereotypical ‘bitch’ character that it takes what COULD be a great female role and turns it into caricature.

Pym is… well, any actual character development has just been thrown out the window. He just recreated Ultron and acts like it is no big deal.

Victor Macha is… the one character I liked in this issue.

Hopefully it gets better.

DIAL H #14 (China Mieville / Alberto Monticelli / Dan Green) DC

This books alternating between beautiful and incomprehensible mess swung more towards the latter this issue. Mieville seems to excel on individual ‘moments’ but has a real problem with over-arching plot.

FAIREST #17 (Williams / Sadowski / Jimenez / Gren / Pepoy) Vertigo

The first annoyingly sexist depiction of the week.

This issue is really just a flashback and one small plot advancement. There just isn’t enough here for this book to score higher.

THE MOVEMENT #3 (Gail Simone / Freddie Williams II) DC

The second annoyingly sexist depiction of the week. Yes, it i swritten by Gail Simone, but that doesn’t mean that the first few pages isn’t a little bit too much ‘baseball bat’ plot development. Later, with the ‘Missy’ line? Much better handling of the concept.

AVENGERS #15 (Hickman / Spencer / Caselli / Martin) Marvel

The third annoyingly sexist depiction of the week: this issue’s cover.

Look at how well most of the cover is drawn. This is Yeinil Yu and the artist has talent. Now look at BLack Widow’s chest.

What… the… hell.

Someone has been borrowing Greg Land’s porn collection.

The inside of the comic is much better. Actual plot development! Decent ‘against-terrible-odds’ fight scenes! Triumph (if only temporary)! Goofy Skrull faces!

Banner’s right hand/left hand thing was too stupid for an actual genius, but whatever. This was a better comic than it has been.

MISTER X: EVICTION #3 (Dean Motter) Dark Horse

A nice wrap-up to the mini. Mister Smith was interesting. A liked his treatise on tattoos and defining of self. I wish I understood the hidden tattoo better. I get the dichotomy, but not why it was created differently than the others.

Looking forward to more Mister X!

THIEF OF THIEVES #15 (Kirkman / Diggle / Martinbrough / Serrano) Image

Best ToT issue in a while. I think it was more actual heist set-up, and less double-triple-quadruple cross for barely any reason. Yes, the book still has a problem with repetition, but this issue worked.

SWAMP THING #22 (Charles Soule / Kano) DC

Seeder is awesome! Who thought the Whisky Tree would work out well? Instead it turned into a DC version of Crossed. Constantine is great in here… better than in JLD. The art is beautiful too.

Very good book. With all respect to Scott Snyder, Charles Soule has made this a much better read.

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Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Swamp Thing #21

June 9, 2013
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swamp thing 21

A bigger week with some pretty good comics.

Starting at the weakest…

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #11 (Slott / Gage / Camuncoli / Dell / Delgado) Marvel

There was nothing wrong with this issue, I just enjoyed it the least out of this week’s books. Otto was especially villainous in thought while continuing to be very effective in his mission. This is a dichotomy that works sometimes but not others. THe thing I DON’T like is that there are a number of JJJ’s who will be reading this who will be cheering for Otto. I call it Azrael syndrome.

AGE OF ULTRON #9 (Bendis / Pacheco / Peterson / Bonet) Marvel

So we get a little speech explaining why the one they can’t do to fix the problem is to… do exactly what they do to fix the problem.

It is interesting to me how little of a book called Age of Ultron has them actually fighting Ultron.

I do hope that there ARE actual changes to history when this is done.

ASTRO CITY #1 (Busiek / Anderson / Ross) Vertigo

I bought the first volume of Astro City in my comic library project and I really liked it so I saw this as an opportunity to jump on-board.

This isn’t as good as the first volume of Astro City, but it is still entertaining and certainly worth continuing with.

American Chibi?

THE MOVEMENT #2 (Gail Simone / Freddie Williams II) DC

A solid first issue was followed by a better second issue. Mouse was especially fun this issue. I understand that the last issue reveal would actually mean something to me if I ever read Gen13.

AVENGERS #13 (Hickman / Spencer / Deodato / Martin) Marvel

This felt like an old-school superhero comic a little. Throwing down against the High Evolutionary!

Though for those who have seen me complain about how over-powered the Blue Marvel is, Hyperion is just as bad. Superman is boring over in DC comics. Why have Superman knock offs over here?

MISTER X: EVICTION #2 (Dean Motter) Dark Horse

This book oozes style. The story is good enough. The actual drawing is good enough. But the STYLE and DESIGN of both makes this book both retro and modern at the same time. It is unique.

FAIREST #16 (Sean E. Williams / Stephen Sadowski / Phil Jimenez / Dan Green) Vertigo

I have complained when Fairest focused too much on make characters but this book felt like we were seeing Nalayani’s story still, but this issue was giving us Charming’s perspective. That works… for an issue.

The art continues to be superb… but the font in the word balloons continues to be very annoying.

ALL-NEW X-MEN #12 (Brian Michael Bendis / Stuart Immonen / Wade von Grawbadger / Marte Gracia) Marvel

Stupid, misleading cover… but I am glad that what happened there did not happen inside. The one line that captures the beauty of this book was “You got to see your brother at his best.”

Meanwhile, their insistence at going and clearing their own name was perfect. Baby X-Men vs Sabretooth could be messy. Good thing Pointy Bits is coming with them.

DIAL H #13 (China Mieville / Alberto Ponticelli / Dan Green) DC

If it wasn’t for the part at the beginning where I felt like I was playing catch-up as the book delved into lots of exposition to try and cover how confusing the book was… it would have been number one. Open-Window Man is ridiculous but he was perfect here as he tried to recreate Batman (as Orphan), but was ultimately rejected… and then saves everyone.

That out of nowhere characterization is what makes this book work. When they get to the more plot-driven parts… well, the plot is not always so comprehensible.

SWAMP THING #21 (Charles Soule / Jesus Saiz) DC

Start with a beautiful cover by Jock… add in strong storytelling and nice art inside. A new interesting Swampy from the past. The Parliament of Trees (threatened YET AGAIN), a new character with promise (though limited). Even some good action bits.

This feels like the best Swampy issue of the relaunch. I was worried about what the book would be like after Scott Snyder left. It is better.


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

May 8, 2013
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comics-animal-man-20

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.