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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.”

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Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Fables #136

January 5, 2014
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The first week of 2014 (though I think these comics were actually released on New Year’s Eve… whatever…they kick off 2014 for me).

It was mother small week but I understand that next week will make up for it.

Starting at the weakest.

NEW AVENGERS #13 (Hickman / Bianchi / Dall’alpi) Marvel

Wait, didn’t I cancel this book. Sigh. I messed up and bought another issue.

Nothing in this made me regret the decision to stop buying this title.

(Me, not buying an Avengers book? Has it come to this? PLEASE, get Hickman off the Avengers. He is ruining the franchise.)

(Thankfully Mighty Avengers exists. Despite the Greg Land art.)

ROCKET GIRL #3 (Brandon Montclare / Amy Reeder) Image

While this book is good, it is still disappointing to me. It seems that with every issue, Reeder drifts further away from the amazing artist who did Madame Xanadu and more towards a cliche-manga-style artist. That is a real shame. She was incredibly good.

She is still not bad, but it feels like a step backwards.

DEAD BOY DETECTIVES #1 (Toby Litt / Mark Buckingham / Gary Erskine) Vertigo

I expected this book to top the list, and it easily could have. Charles and Edwin are great as always and the new character, Crystal, seems really engaging. Great characters, great art, great comic? Well, not quite. Litt and Buckingham are making a big mistake in the return to St. Hilarion’s. It isn’t that going back is a bad idea, it is that they are turning it into some sort of pseudo-super-villain front for a horrible criminal plot.

What made the school so horrible is that it was so awful, and so normal. You could SEE this happening. You could BELIEVE it. It was REAL.

Mistake guys. Don’t go there. Seeing the Headmaster sitting in front of the bank of monitors was jarring at best, and comic destroying at worst.

SUPERIOR FOES OF SPIDER-MAN #7 (Spencer / Lieber / Rosenberg) Marvel

After seeing this book appear on so many rave lists, I decided to give it a try… and I am glad I did! Woo! The was great book! This issue was a back-story for the new Beetle and it worked in every way! Feminism in the criminal underworld! Why not? Complete with the ultimate old-school baddy (in attitude), Tombstone!

While this was not AS good, this book felt like the way Hawkeye reads, if you get what I am saying.

FABLES #136 (Willingham / Buckingham / Braun) Vertigo

If the Knights of the Round Table story going on the best arc in Fables history? Well, probably not, but it is certainly the best in the last… two-thirds of its run. Rose Red learned some interesting things this issue and we had some revelations that included the identity of a prospective knight (Sir None?), and a mystery about one of Snow White’s sons. This was just great, great stuff. (Too bad Brandish is in it, as he is a reminder that Fables was not always at these heights.)

Not that Fables has been awful or anything. It hasn’t. But there is a difference between good and great.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: All-New X-Men #18

November 19, 2013
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Zoobity-do zoobity-bow-wow-wow…

Starting at the weakest…

BATMAN #25 (Scott Snyder / Greg Capullo / Danny Miki) DC

Two over-priced gimmick covers in a row? At least issue 24 was a good comic. This one was not so great. It was not awful… well, mostly.

Except the Batmobile. Wow. Was THAT lame. Bouncy tires that stick to the roof? What?

ROCKET GIRL #2 (Brandon Montclare / Amy Reeder) Image

Much like issue #1, we have a very well drawn comic with a weak story. I am a big Amy Reeder fan so I hope this book gets better.

FBP #5 (Simon Oliver / Robbi Rodriguez) Vertigo

This was better than the last few issues. Focusing on people is usually good thing, especially early. If you don’t care about the characters, you aren’t going to care about the comic.

THE ROCKETEER & THE SPIRIT: PULP FRICTION #3 (Waid / J. Bone / Fajardo) IDW

I like J. Bone… but that cover is really crappy. I wish I got the Chris Samnee variant.

The art is better inside… but the story got weaker. That kind of Sci-Fi super-villainny stuff doesn’t seem to fit EITHER character. Kind of disappointing.

SUPERMAN/WONDER WOMAN #2 (Charles Soule / Tony S. Daniel / Sandu Florea) DC

Meanwhile, this comic is WAY better than the first issue. The first issue was pretty crappy but the focus on the WW side of things, with Apollo primarily, really worked. I live the understated cockiness of Superman… and I loved even more him getting knocked into the middle of next week for it. I am still not a fan of Doomsday but overall, this issue was a pleasant surprise.

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #21 (Slott / Camuncoli / Dell / Fabela) Marvel

Hey, I wonder if Otto will regret doing that when everyone gets moved back into their correct bodies.Peter now gets credit for all of Otto’s scientific breakthroughs?

Stunner is an interesting character. I am not familiar with her before now. She is pretty one-note, but she reminds me of Titania a little bit… with the tech angle. Titania’s origin, any way.

CATACLYSM: ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #1 (Bendis / Marquez / Ponsor) Marvel

This is really the next issue of USM, and it continues to be a good book. The Ultimates scene was great. The Bombshell scene was great. I like Bendis in general but there is no question that this is the book he is MEANT to be doing.

I hope he keeps doing it after the Ultimate Uni is destroyed.

ASTRO CITY #6 (Busiek / Anderson / Ross / Sinclair / Comicraft) Vertigo

This book is consistently really good. How does Busiek keep coming up with interesting character after interesting character?

I would recommend Astro City to anyone. Any volume. Any issue. Just buy it.

ALL-NEW X-MEN #18 (Brian Mcihael Bendis / Stuart Immonen / Wade von Grawbadger / Marte Gracia) Marvel

Speaking of good characters… Now Bendis didn’t create these ones (for the most part) but he nails each and every one of them. How can you pack so much characterization into so many characters in so few panels? This is like a master class in that. Let’s pick Eva Bell for example. If you aren’t reading Uncanny X-Men and just encountered her, how could you know so much in so few panels?

If Astro City is the perfect comic to read individual issues. This is a great book o read ongoing characters.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Batman #24

October 13, 2013
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This week had some surprises and some disappointments. The image above shows one of the surprises. We start with the disappointments…

AMERICA’S GOT POWERS #7 (Jonathan Ross / Bryan Hitch) Image

This book started good and got worse and worse as it went on. The delays got longer, the art got worse and the story went nowhere interesting. If this were on on-going, I would be cancelling it now. Very disappointing.

FBP #4 (Simon Oliver / Robbi Rodriguez) Vertigo

Another disappointing book. It has a great premise and there is a thread to follow, but the story seems really shallow, despite the depth of concept.

SUPERMAN & WONDER WOMAN #1 (Charles Soule / Tony S. Daniel / Matt Banning) DC

Wonder Woman is popular in this house so despite not being into the whole JLA thing, we decided to get this. Added bonus, Charles Soule is a great writer! Check out Swamp Thing.

This isn’t Swamp Thing. Yeah, this was pretty disappointing. Compare this to the great Brian Azzarello book. Not even close.

ROCKET GIRL #1 (Amy Reeder / Brandon Montclare) Image

It might be telling that the cover lists the artist first, because the writing is a little weak. Reeder is great, but this is not nearly her best work. Compare this ti Halloween Eve or Madame Xanadu and it is pretty disappointing.

I have been using that word a lot. Things get better. Promise.

AVENGERS A.I. #4 (Humphries / Araujo / D’Armata) Marvel

I am enjoying the concepts in this book. Dimitrios is an interesting villain and I hope that once he is defeated that the Diamond sticks around as a new ‘land’ in the Marvel world. Their very own Kandor.

X-MEN #6 (Wood / Lopez / Smith / Martin) Marvel

A good new chapter in the Battle of the Atom story. The villains are revealed as villains, though their story is not yet apparent. The Sentinel X reveal was a lot better than the Jean Grey one. Plus, we have a new Wolverine/Mystique hybrid maybe?

ASTRO CITY #5 (Busiek / Anderson / Ross / Sinclair / Comicraft) Vertigo

Sorry, but I have to say it again. After the last few issues, this one was a little… disappointing. Still a solid read but not near the excellence of issues 2-4. I did really like the Dame Progress / Mister Cakewalk / Dr. Aegyptus story-let quite a bit.

INFINTY #4 (Hickman / Opena / Weaver / Ponsor) Marvel

Now we get into the GOOD surprises! This comic was kind of bad-ass. Thor vs the Builder for Hala’s independence could have been a boring punchfest, but nope. Now the good guys have an army of Accusers at their backs.

BATMAN #24 (Scott SNyder / Greg Capullo / Danny Miki) DC

Speaking of surprises! I was considering cancelling this book and that was exacerbated when they showed up with a $7 issue (eep!)

But this comic was really good! It finishes off the battle with the Red Hood Gang… gives us what is probably the origin of the Joker, without revealing everything about him… and kicks off a Riddler story, who was the best part of the arc. Great!