Rusty's World

Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Hawkeye #21

February 8, 2015
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Hawkeye 21

If you read my last post you know that things are changing around here… well not quite yet. No books were dropped before I picked up this week’s comics. Eventually all will be dropped, but in the meantime I will mark the ones that are the last issues I am picking up as a monthly.

These are not evaluations of the book per se, but rather where they are in their arc.

Ironically, it was a pretty good week… though I am a little preoccupied so my actual reviews are even lighter than usual.

Starting at the weakest.

AVENGERS #41 (Hickman / Deodato / Martin) Marvel

I don’t love Hickman’s storytelling in this issue (or most of his issues) but I do like the coming together of the universes. We now know this will be Secret Wars.

(My Final issue: #44)

ANT-MAN #2 (Spencer / Rosanas / Boyd) Marvel

This was a fun little comic, and the addition of Grizzly has that Spider-Foes vibe to it.

(My Final issue: this one)

SWAMP THING #39 (Soule / Saiz / Chung) DC

DC Comics is an absolute train wreck. Apparently the New 52 sales are dropping like a stone so they are scrambling to ‘shock the world’ again with Convergence. That means they are cancelling one of the very few decent books they still have.

(My Final issue: #40)

MIRACLEMAN #15 (Moore / Totleben) Marvel

Here is a good example of a book I will likely pick up in trade. The individual issues are $5 and what will the collection be?

(My final issue: #16)

MS. MARVEL #11 (Wilson / Alphona / Herring) Marvel

Weird cover. Good comic. This wraps up a story so I will be dropping it here. I look forward to reading more in trade.

(My final issue: this one)

STAR WARS #2 (Aaron / Cassaday / Martin) Marvel

The relaunch of Star Wars from Marvel has been great. I still wish it was post-Jedi, but it is hard to complain when the comics feel this good. It messes with continuity but… oh well.

(My Final Issue: #3)

C.O.W.L. #8 (Kyle Higgins / Alex Siegel / Rod Reis) Image

Do many people buy C.O.W.L.? If not, they should. And I bet it will read even better collected. I guess I will find out…

(My Final Issue: #11)

SAGA #25 (Fiona Staples / Brian K. Vaughan) Image

This is the first issue of a new arc. Rather than buy a bunch of issue when I know I will likely buy the collection at some point anyway, I will drop it here.

Saga is a great comic.

(My Final Issue: this one)

WYTCHES #4 (Snyder / Jock / Hollingsworth / Robins) Image

Wytches is a tough read… just because it is so unrelentingly dark. Maybe so, but it is also incredibly well done.

(My Final Issue: #6)

HAWKEYE #21 (Fraction / Aja / Hollingsworth) Marvel

This is the penultimate issue of Fraction’s run.

As I read this, all I could think is that this should be a movie. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really match up with the Marvel Movie World’s ‘Big Picture’ style… but it still should be a movie.

Oh, and I also want some purple Chucks. Ruthanne tried to buy some for me once but the website she ordered them from turned out to be a scam.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Ms. Marvel #10

December 23, 2014
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This was a pretty good week for comics. Starting at the bottom, as always.

INHUMAN #10 (Soule / Stegman / Isanove) Marvel

Medusa is just terrible as a person under an alignment swapping D&D curse. Her pony tail is ridiculous and her behaviour, as soon as she became evil, became incomprehensible.

Apparently while her alignment got swapped, her INT score also dropped by a many points.

Spidey also acted pretty dumb in this book.

I would drop it but I have hope that it will improve as soon as Axis is over. The Inhumans are set up to take the role of mutants now.(Screw you, Sony!)

AVENGERS & X-MEN: AXIS #8 (Remender / Yu / Alanguilan / Delgado) Marvel

It shows you how much I dislike the Inhumans book that it falls below the book that MADE it become so crappy.

Nothing on the big Wanda/Pietro/Magneto reveal. Okay.

One issue left.

SPIDER-WOMAN #2 (Hopeless / Land / Leisten / D’Armata) Marvel

Not as bad as issue #1, It was interesting that they dealt with Jessica’s pheromone power problem right off, because otherwise there would be some hypocrisy going on. (The Starfox version of the power had him branded a rapist).

I hope they get rid of it.

It is also kind of icky that her first story ends up with her getting macked on, no matter what the reason.

BLACK WIDOW #13 (Edmondson / Noto) Marvel

The usage of fall colours made this issue pretty beautiful. It was a nice contrast with Natasha getting ugly as she tries to get some back for Isaiah… or maybe because of her connection to him, or whatever.


ALL-NEW X-MEN #34 (Bendis / Asrar / Gracia) Marvel

Not much is moving forward in this ‘rely X-Men go to the Ultimate Universe’ story, but that is perfectly all right. The characterization in this – particularly in the Jean/Jean/Miles story – is just excellent. Great writing.

FABLES #147 (Willingham / Buckingham / Leialoha / Pepoy / McManus / Moore / Loughridge) Vertigo

As Fables moves towards its conclusion, the story has remained satisfactory. I’m not really thrilled with Lancelot just standing there and not trying to actually BEAT Brandish, but that’s that.

The Rose story was also quite good.

MULTIVERSITY: THUNDERWORLD #1 (Morrison / Stewart / Fairbairn) DC

This was Multiversity… kind of, but mostly it was an old school Captain Marvel story, complete with the whole Marvel Family, facing off against Sivana and his crew.

Done perfectly.

Who else has done Captain Marvel this well in modern times? Jeff Smith. Anyone else?

WYTCHES #3 (Snyder / Jock / Hollingsworth) Image

The matter of a missing daughter from the point of view of the father who knows just enough to know there is something wrong but not enough to do anything about it… or even get anyone to believe him.


SANDMAN OVERTURE #4 (Neil Gaiman / J.H. Williams III / Dave Stewart) Vertigo

Normally when books are this late, I kind of lose interest. Instead, this issue was much better than #3! The father of the Endless!! And we are going to see the mother!! And we got a little Daniel, time tripping fun!

Clearly Destiny is the preferred child. He takes after Dad in a big way.

MOON KNIGHT #10 (Brian Wood / Greg Smallwood / Jordie Bellaire) Marvel

How to turn someone into an assassin. Spectre was hardly in this but when he showed up, it was dramatic!

What happens next?

MILES MORALES: THE ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #8 (Bendis / Marquez / Ponsor) Marvel

Right up until he last comic I read, this was going to be Comic of the Week. It is a great book.

We get part one of the Origin of Miles’ father and what a story! The S.H.I.E.L.D. / Hydra thing is a little cliche, but it is done so well! Plus the little comments about how black men are treated by police, without that becoming THE story were interesting.

As I approach the end of the year, I am interested in seeing what is going to com rout as my book of the year. In 2014 it was Ultimate Spider-Man…

Ms. MARVEL #10 (Wilson / Alphona / Herring) Marvel

Here you have a superhero comic. AN action comic. Yet Willow Wilson has PACKED it with great commentary about how youth are treated in today’s society. This story is about how the work dwells kids that they don’t matter and how it is such bullshit and what it really means to be someone with a life ahead of them, with so much available to accomplish.

Great, great comic.

Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Daredevil #9

October 31, 2014
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A couple of weeks behind but I won’t let an amazing festival and an extra week with my family and a couple of features out on the west coast to stop me from posting this!

Starting at the weakest…

SPIDER-MAN 2099 #5 (David / Sliney / Fabela) Marvel

I normally really like Peter David’s writing but this book hasn’t been great thus far. Add to that a cross-over with Spider-Verse… which has been pretty bad up until this point and you have the makings of a weak comic.

EDGE OF SPIDER-VERSE #5 (Way / Wyatt / Herring) Marvel

What did I just say about Spider-Verse? Yeah.

So far, the Spider-Gwen issue has been the only Spider-Verse comic worth reading. The whole event has been a waste up to this point.

ORIGINAL SIN ANNUAL #1 (Latour / Cisic / Chuckry) Marvel

I don’t think I ordered this. I am pretty sure I was in the computer for getting Original Sin and got this as well… but that’s okay. It was actually okay. In fact, it was pretty much better than the mini that spawned it. Not saying much. It had that 50s Sci-Fi feel. Too bad the art was so sketchy.

FABLES #145 (Willingham / Buckingham / Leialoha / Pepoy / Loughridge) Vertigo

Hey, Steve Leialoha was in a comic store I was in last week. (Hi Gareth!)

First off, the cover gimmick was jarring this time. The look of the cover was too stirringly different than the inside first page.

The comic was pretty good though. Just a big fight scene, but done okay.

I have to admit, I am not sad that Fables is ending. It was a great comic at times but it feels like it has run its course.

AVENGERS & X-MEN: AXIS #2 (Remender / Kubert / Martin) Marvel

Speaking of big fight scenes… another fairly well done one. With a predictable ending, but hey.

MS. MARVEL #9 (Wilson / Alphona / Herring) Marvel

Not the best issue of this book, but it was still solid. How did Lockjaw get so small?

Marvel’s Operation: Try To Make People Actually Give A Damn About The Inhumans is in full effect, I see.

UNCANNY X-MEN #27 (Bendis / Bachalo / Townsend) Marvel

This was a step up from the uber-powerful mutant storyline. Cyclops is the reasonable one? That’s a switch.

SUPERIOR FOES OF SPIDER-MAN #16 (Spencer / Lieber / Rosenberg) Marvel

The ending was kind of abrupt, but it was still good. This was a very enjoyable comic overall and finding out what was behind Boomerang’s scheming was pretty cool. It totally fits his background too. Nice.

THE UNWRITTEN: APOCALYPSE #10 (Carey / Gross / Chuckry) Vertigo

Back into the Harry Potter world! Pauly Bruckner! Secret manipulations!

This is just a good comic.

MILES MORALES: THE ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #6 (Bendis / Marquez / Ponsor) Marvel

Well, they are still trying to claim that is really Peter, but of this first time they have shown it really probably isn’t. Ultimate Ben Reilly?

DAREDEVIL #9 (Waid / Samnee / Wilson) Marvel

Purple Kids. Emotional breakdowns. Matt finally realizing that someone can’t go through all that he has gone through without there being some mental scars left behind.

I want to read his book.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Astro City #15

September 17, 2014
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A pretty sold week, with one error purchase…

Starting at the (very) weakest…

ALL-NEW ULTIMATES #8 (Fiffe / Milogiannis / Bellaire) Marvel

So, after #7 I said I was dropping this book.

I got this issue by accident. This happened once before (X-Men) and the book got a temporary reprieve.

Not this time.

This book is just really, really bad. The story is weak and the art is atrocious.


INHUMAN #5 (Soule / Stegman / Gracia) Marvel

This book is hanging in there. It isn’t stellar but it still an okay read.

X-Men Lite.

AVENGERS #34.1 (Ewing / Keown / Lee / Keith) Marvel

Hyperion is the kind of character that I don’t really like. The overpowered Superman style. This book gives him some character, so that is an improvement.

I still don’t like him, but hey…

EDGE OF SPIDER-VERSE #1 (Hine / Sapolsky / Isanove) Marvel

Multiversity, Marvel-style?

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #6 (Slott / Ramos / Olazaba / Delgado) Marvel

I still don’t like the new Black Cat, but other than that, the story was solid.

Silk, on the other hand, is growing on me. I didn’t like her at first but she is developing into her own, solid persona… in some ways more adept than Peter.

LAZARUS #11 (Rucka / Lark / Arcas) Image

This issue REALLY shows what it means to be a Lazarus. Sonja Bittner is pretty bad-ass. We also got some cool insights into politics in the world.

Solid issue.

HAWKEYE #20 (Fraction / Wu / Hollingsworth) Marvel

As usual, the Kate issues are just really good instead of amazing, like the other issues. David Aja is just too big a loss (with due respect to the very talented Annie Wu).

I was not really sold on the advantage to most of the non-linear storytelling this time out, but it worked out for the bookends.

I am lamenting the loss of this book and it isn’t even gone yet.

CALIBAN #6 (Garth Ennis / Facundo Percio) Avatar

No spoilers here.

But wow… talk about an effective use of emotions and misleading storytelling.

Just wow.

I can’t wait for the movie.

MS. MARVEL #8 (Wilson / Alphona / Herring) Marvel

This was VERY nearly the book of the week. Kamala and Lockjaw together are just adorable. But really, Willow had me on the first page, second panel. “Why are kids like me always being drafted into wars we didn’t start?”


As usual, GREAT storytelling. Absolutely perfect dialogue and one of the most refreshing books on the market.

ASTRO CITY #15 (Busiek / Anderson / Ross / Broome / Comicraft) Vertigo

As great as Ms. Marvel was, Astro City was just a little better. The fresh take on the Reed/Doom rivalry turned into a whole other thing. And while getting a book with a great, young new character is becoming more common, getting a book with a great OLDER new character is a whole other deal.

This sweet little old lady kicks some ass and does so without losing who she is as a character. Very nice. Masterfully done.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Fables #143

August 30, 2014
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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: Ms. Marvel #5

June 28, 2014
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Maybe it is my general mood, but I was a little disappointed (at least) by most of the comics this week, even when there were some I normally really like.

Oh well… some weeks are like that.

Starting at the (very) weakest…

CAPTAIN CANUCK SUMMER SPECIAL (Richard Comely / Paul Gardner / Dean Henry / George Freeman / Claude St. Aubin) Captain Canuck Inc.

I was given this for free by Kin at the Silver Snail, and as such, I tried to be kind…. but wow.

Let’s start with the cover that is reproduced as the first page of the first story… with added Booster Juice product placement.

I guess Booster Juice wouldn’t pay the ‘front cover’ rate.

This comic is poorly written and poorly drawn. It is just generally bad.

Oh well.

ALL-NEW ULTIMATES #4 (Fiffe / Pinna / Woodard) Marvel

Now a cover like this had me a bit at odds because part of me says that it is kind of cheap, but the other part of me sees a really nicely illustrated cover. I wish David Nakayama did the interior art because it is really, REALLY sloppy. The less said there, the better. Bad.

The PLOT is solid and the information conveyed is good, but the actual scripting is just as bad as the art. The conversation is jerky and awkward. The whole comic flowed poorly.

It is too bad, because the revelation about Jessica Drew deserved better.

UNCANNY AVENGERS #21 (Remender / Acuna / White) Marvel

This story has been going on much too long, but it has turned interesting lately… until now. The big plan is to turn Rogue into one massive Deus Ex Machina? What is this, Captain Planet? “And if we all join hands and believe in ourselves…”

The betrayal worked and I was very happy to see ‘concluded’ on the last page.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #3 (Slott / Ramos / Olazaba / Delgado) Marvel

Slott’s Spidey has been steady. Not ‘blow you away’ but worth reading. This issue falls into that.

Of course he is writing Black Cat SOOOO out of character that we just have to accept that it is his take on her and move on, because none of her makes any sense otherwise.

REVIVAL #21 (Tim Seeley / Mike Norton) Image

Revival hits NYC! Solid story here as Dana goes all X-Files and (maybe) the rules change once again.

Revival is worth reading, but it is definitely a long-haul book.

THE MASSIVE #24 (Brian Wood / Danijel Zezelj / Jordie Bellaire) Dark Horse

Another beautifully drawn part of a very solid Mary story. Strong woman (which is Wood’s theme these days after taking some particularly negative press), tension, anti-capitalism, etc. All good. BUT, more of the ‘Mary is some sort of Super-Person’, which is very bad. It pulls the issue down a bit.

C.O.W.L. #2 (Kyle Higgins / Alex Siegel / Rod Reis) Image

Did this comic have more than one cover available? Because, if so, I sure wish I got a different one.

The insides of this comic were great – art and story – to the point that it could have been in the running for book of the week. But that cover. Oy.

YES, the scene is inside the book (kind of) but it is a fairly minor scene. The great stuff with Grant and his son and the impact of Grant feeling… less than adequate is great comics. The strip club scene worked on its own, but the cover makes the book look like it is Sin City. It isn’t.

SAGA #20 (Brian K. Vaughan / Fiona Staples) Image

Do you know what stopped this book from being number one? Because of the time I spent yelling at the characters.

So why is it still #2? Because I care enough about the characters to get angry that they are in the process of messing everything up.

MS. MARVEL #5 (Wilson / Alphona / Herring) Marvel

It took five issues but her is Kamala’s thought-caption: “I’m not here to be a watered-down version of some OTHER hero… I’m here to be the best version of Kamala.”


Great comic. Well written. Suitable art. Nice package.

(Yes, Saga is still probably better, but I am mad at both Marko and Alana…)

(C.O.W.L. might have been better if the cover wasn’t so tacky.)


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

June 1, 2014
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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


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: The Unwritten: Apocalypse #4

April 19, 2014
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Not a real strong week (and I don’t really like that cover I posted here, but it was the best book…).

Starting at the weakest.

WONDER WOMAN #30 (Brian Azzarello / Goran Sudzuka) DC

This is not the issue you want to hand someone if you want to convince them WW is a good book. Weak art, incoherent storytelling, just generally sloppy.

Why can’t Hera fix Hippolyta? Because there is more tension if she can’t, I guess. Why are the Amazons openly mocking Diana, and why is she acting like a completely ineffectual leader? Same answer, I suppose.

Oh yeah, what is driving force behind this issue? Zeke. Again. For two and a half years now.

The First Born is messed up.

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #31 (Slott / Gage / Camuncoli / Dell / Fabela) Marvel

Yeah. Well, it wasn’t as bad as issue #30.

In fact, parts of it were quite good.

Here’s the deal… I really like Slott’s Spider-Man. I really liked the whole Otto story (though it had been played out a bit), AND I was looking forward to Peter’s return.

Too bad it was done so poorly. Last issue was an absolute mess. Otto acted like a complete idiot, COMPLETELY out of character, and committed suicide, for no real reason. Now Peter is back, and while I LIKE that, and the storytelling possibilities it gives, there was nothing this issue that made Otto’s decision LAST issue make any more sense.

Oh, and by the way… Peter is still dead. We now have Peter’s body being run by the memories of Peter. I am sure that will be ignored.

Oh, and the Green Goblin reveal was STUPID. STUPID. STUPID.

The good thing? The way Peter was written. The way GG recognized who he was after ONE quip. I laughed out loud at that.

BATMAN ETERNAL #2 (Scott Snyder / James Tynion IV / Ray Fawkes / John Layman / Tim Seeley / Jason Fabok) DC

Solid issue in that ‘moody Batman’ genre. The shock of everyone realizing that Gordon was arrested is counter-weighed a bit by the reader knowing he was set up and that there is no way he won’t be cleared of the charges.

The reveal at the end… was kind of weak. That was a big build up for a fairly boring character.

X-MEN #13 (Wood / Mann / Briones) Marvel

A nice character issue. I liked the insights into Storm, Monet, Psylocke…
I wish Jubilee wasn’t a vampire.
I am not a big fan of the uber-powerful villain types that Wood seems to like, but he was hardly dealt with here.

Overall, a good week for the X, as the next book was…

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

…even better. Another character piece (though aren’t Bendis’ books almost always that?). An interesting thought, which may be overlooked, is the elements of abuse in here. Look at how Dazzler is treated. Now look at how Maria Hill is treated. There are some similarities.

I am interested in where Hijack is going. I am interested in the Sentinel attacks. I am interested in Mystique’s potentially growing band of drug-addicted mutants.

I also really hope that Dazzler is the one to kick her ass.

MS.MARVEL #3 (Wilson / Alphona / Herring) Marvel

Speaking of characterization… this is all that. Even the bit characters seem to have a personality. Wilson could have made that a regular robbery, but instead we get the shooter to BE someone.

I am still waiting for Kamala to stop turning into a blonde. I am sure it will come.

THE UNWRITTEN: APOCALYPSE #4 (Mike Carey / Peter Gross) Vertigo

This was a really great book. The way they built the tension was top notch. Tom has just created an army for someone else, in order to get some information. I am sure he will regret that. Wilson is out of his depth and Pauly Bruckner! That was just about the saddest scene I can recall in recent comic memory.



Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Animal Man #29

March 29, 2014
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Sorry this is so late…. since this is really comics from LAST week, but I have been pretty tied up with VERSeFest.

Starting at the weakest…

SOVEREIGN #1 (Roberson / Maybury) Image

I was a fan of iZombie. When it was cancelled Chris Roberson burned some bridges. I didn’t agree with everything he said but I supported his willingness to speak up. So when Image announced his new creator-owned book, I was on board.

Then I read it.

This comic is really bad. A pretty much incoherent story with unclear art to complete turn the book into a muddy mess.

Oh well. No issue #2 for me.

SUPERIOR FOES OF SPIDER-MAN #10 (Asmus / Carmenero / Pallot / Mossa / Cowles) Marvel

Why didn’t you put creator credits on the cover, Marvel? Were you trying to hide the fact that this issue was a fill in? (They sure didn’t try to hide it on the inside… the issue is titled ‘Filling In’)

Remember the smart, witty SFoS comic? This isn’t it.

I’m looking forward to the return of the REAL comic.

ROCKET GIRL #4 (Brandon Montclare / Amy Reeder) Image

Another one for the cancellation bin for us. We bought this because we are big fans of Amy Reeder. Well, the story is boring and the art is nowhere near the art that made us into fans. She is going more and more ‘manga’ instead of the beautiful work she did on Madame Xanadu.

Oh well.

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL #2 (Gage / Rodriguez / Lopez / Briones / Gandini) Marvel

Annuals should be special. They shouldn’t read like a fill-in issue from a different creative team. This was a Urich Family story followed by a Wraith story, just filling in cracks for the regal brook. Hmmm…

It wasn’t awful, just no big deal.

AVENGERS WORLD #4 (Hickman / Spencer / Caselli / Mossa) Marvel

Not bad enough to drop, yet. Not good enough to praise.

X-MEN #12 (Wood / Anka / Mann) Marvel

As is often the problem with books that fight nigh-unstoppable villains, the ending is a little to pat. They can’t drag out a fight so they either figure out how to beat them, or they don’t… and since they are the heroes, which do you think happens?

Oh, and the roll-call scene and the beginning was absolutely ridiculous. (The Paul Smith-ian shot of Pryor was nice, though.)

UNCANNY X-MEN #29 (Bendis / Bachalo / Townsend) Marvel

The scene with Dazzler was maybe a little too disturbing. Meanwhile the scene with the Sentinels was maybe a little too formulaic.

This book is not as good as Bendis’ other X-book, but it is still quite readable.

SEX CRIMINALS #5 (Fraction / Zdarsky) Image

This felt a little weaker than previous issues, but still a solid read. The kegel-face but was kind of funny but not as great as some of the high points of previous issues (like the karaoke scene…)

UNWRITTEN: APOCOLYPSE #3 (Mike Carey / Peter Gross) Vertigo

Well now we have the apocalypse the title implied. What a mess. No big shock about who the villain is, but wow… how are they going to get out of that/ Will the world remember this? Has this completely changed how the Unwritten world works? A world with time travelling hordes is not the world that the average Joe knew about before…

LAZARUS #7 (Rucka / Lark / Arcas) Image

Whoa. That was sudden and brutal. Beautiful cover and wrenching story. All of it.

MS. MARVEL #2 (Wilson / Alphona / Herring) Marvel

Everything about this book rang true. Her reactions. Her family. All of it.

But we REALLY need to move past the ‘my ideal image is of a white, blonde lady’. The quicker the better.

WONDER WOMAN #29 (Brian Azzarello / Cliff Chiang) DC

Can you smell it? That is the excrement hitting the fan.

Diana, God of War, leading her troops against the Usurper of Olympus? Yes please.

The good… this story seems to finally be reaching its climax.

The bad… when it does so, Azzarello and Chiang are leaving and we are getting a WW T&A book again.

DAREDEVIL #1 (Waid / Samnee / Rodriguez) Marvel

I am going to really miss the old Daredevil comic by Waid and Samnee. Hopefully this new one will be good… who is the creative team?

Oh. Okay then.

A silly renumbering, but what the hell. I like the setting. I like the new status quo with Matt as super-advising detective for the SFPD.

Oh hey, while you are there, say hi to our friends Nadine and Phil, would you?

Oh right… the review. Good comic. Buy it. Nearly comic of the week, but…

ANIMAL MAN #29 (Jeff Lemire / Travel Foreman) DC

I am going to give Lemire’s Justice League Canada a try, but it has better be good since this was cancelled to make room for it.

This book wavered between really good and Rotworld during its run, but this issue was absolutely stellar. Hands up, who though they were getting a FULL family reunion in this issue?

Instead they made it into a truly touching moment between those that were left behind.

I am not a fan of Lemire’s art and not Foreman so much either, but that didn’t distract me from the story which was perfect.

“Goodnight Cliffy.”


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.


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