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Rusty’s Comic of the Week: The Unwritten: Apocalypse #12

February 1, 2015
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UnwrittenApocalypse12

Quite a range of books this week… some were very good, some were less so…

Starting at the weakest…

BODIES #7 (Si Spencer / Dean Omston / Tula Lotay / Meghan Hetrick / Phil Winslade / Lee Loughridge) Vertigo

Do you see all those names in the credits? This is what you get when you make a comic by committee.

SPIDER-MAN AND THE X-MEN #2 (Kalan / Failla / Herring) Marvel

This is old-school style super heroics/ I LIKE old-school style super heroics.

Too bad this one is written so badly. What was up with that dialogue? I have a feeling I won’t be getting this comic for long.

I have a feeling that nobody will.

SPIDER-MAN 2099 #8 (David / Sliney / Fabela) Marvel

The Steam Punk Sinister Six were pretty cool and they are getting a spider version of Red Ronin.

But it is still Spider-Verse, which has dragged out WAY too long.

INHUMAN #11 (Soule / Stegman / Isanove) Marvel

Angsty Medusa as she ‘uninverts’. As crappy as THAT is, the Reader / Iso scenes were solid and that last page return was great!

REVIVAL #27 (Tim Seeley / Mike Norton) Image

Reviver fish! This book just keeper crawling along its creepy way but there was a couple things that were problems this issue. One, what the hell happened to open the book? Who got shot? Two, at the end, aren’t we past the time where people find a dead body and are surprised when it turns out to be a reviver?

UNCANNY AVENGERS #1 (Rick Remender / Daniel Acuna) Marvel

The great Acuna art really kicks this up a notch but we have a sold story (if a slightly iffy premise) that really gets things going. I don’t forgive Remender for pushing us into that Alignment-switching nonsense but this book is pretty good.

Wait a minute… did that say that Havoc kidnapped Wasp? Uh, why are the Avengers not trying to save HER?

UNCANNY X-MEN #30 (Bendis / Bachalo / Townsend) Marvel

Welcome to the problem with time travel.

It is kind of funny that THIS time slipped person shows up in THIS book, rather than the one with all the young time travellers.

BITCH PLANET #2 (DeConnick / De Landro / Peter / Cowles) Image

This book continues to impress.

How do you make a women’s prison exploitation flick and have it be feminist?

Well, honestly, so far you don’t… really. But DeConnick is including some great back matter so you have no reason to doubt her intention.

SEX CRIMINALS #10 (Fraction / Zdarsky) Image

The exploration into issues of depression and therapy have really changed this book… for the better. You still have the sex jokes and the wacky nature of the premise of the book, but there is something more laying just under (or sometimes ON) the surface.

Great stuff.

THE UNWRITTEN: APOCALYPSE #12 (Carey / Gross / Chuckry) Vertigo

This wraps up this volume of the Unwritten and MAYBE the Unwritten altogether. I am unsure.

This sure FEELS like an ending but they gave just enough extra to open it up if they want to.

They thing that bothered by in the extended ending was Lizzie. So, she ended up with Wilson? But then where is she at the very end?

Overall though, this book is really, really good. The way they defeated Rausch and Pullman made just too much sense, which is what makes me think they should stop in here. Any other threat would seem a little contrived.

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

December 14, 2014
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AstroCity18

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

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

Starting at the weakest…

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

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

Dropped.

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

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

Dropped.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SEX CRIMINALS #9 (Fraction / Zdarsky) Image

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fun comic.

AVENGERS #39 (Hickman / Deodato / Martin) Marvel

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

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

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

I get it.


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

October 11, 2014
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Astro City 16

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

Starting at the weakest…

MIRACLEMAN #12 (Moore / Totleben) Marvel

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

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

Ick.

KLARION #1 (Nocenti / McCarthy / Major) DC

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

CALIBAN #7 (Garth Ennis / Facundo Percio) Avatar

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

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

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

AXIS #1 (Remender / Kubert / Martin) Marvel

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

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

AVENGERS #36 (Hickman / Caselli / Martin) Marvel

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

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

Sloppy writing.

ROCKET RACCOON #4 (Young / Beaulieu) Marvel

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

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

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

Whoa, Saturnyne… cold.

WYTCHES #1 (Snyder / Jock / Hollingsworth) Image

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

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

SEX CRIMINALS #8 (Fraction / Zdarsky) Image

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

But that ending… no!

ASTRO CITY #16 (Busiek / Anderson) Vertigo

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

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

Well done. INCREDIBLY well done.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Astro City #14

August 17, 2014
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Astro City 14

Caught up, now. This week was both better and worse than the week I just finished.

Starting at the weakest:

AVENGERS WORLD #11 (Spencer / Ienco / Mossa) Marvel

You know, I just don’t think I care enough about this book. Avengers Next are really lame – “What if all the Avengers had sex with each other?” The scattered storyline… the sub-par art..

Yeah, I’m done. DROPPED.

NIGHTCRAWLER #5 (Claremont / Nauck / Rosenberg) Marvel

Someone once told me that we should be glad for the openly racist because we KNOW there are racists out there and these one make them easy to spot and deal with.

The same goes for sexism.

Nightcrawler isn’t a book that would get yelled at or protested against over its sexism, but in a way it is more insidious because it does it without drawing too much attention to itself.

The first storyline had Kurt begin overly-protective of Amanda, despite the fact that she is an accomplished witch and was very capable of taking care of herself. I tried to give Claremont the benefit of the doubt and that was going to be a plot point where Amanda stood up for herself and Kurt learned he was wrong to act like that.

Instead she was written out of the book. In fact, she was damn neared ‘fridged’.

This issue there was something that may have gone without notice if I wasn’t already kind of unhappy about the way things had gone. Rachel takes Kurt into the Danger Room with a bunch of students. SHE sets of a scenario for the students. Kurt has down nothing at this point and is just along for the ride. She says she loads “one of my favourite [sic] worlds”. In it “Kurt’s the hero; I’m his sidekick.”

That’s one of her faves, is it? She just loves getting to play a ‘sidekick’? Oh, and keep in mind that these ‘roles’ had zero bearing on the rest of the story. She just said it. Because.

Do I condemn the book for that? No. But the trend is clear as day. DROPPED.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #5 (Slott / Ramos / Olazaba / Delgado) Marvel

I enjoy ASM in general, but I found I didn’t much care for this issue. I think part of it is the damage that Slott has done to the Black Cat recently. She is completely out of character.

Plus that Peter and Silk thing is just…gratuitous.

X-MEN #18 (Guggenheim / Talibao / Tadeo / Mounts) Marvel

New creative team? Is it better?

Meh.

And is this the third storyline already in this book focusing on female X-Men that deals with babies?

Really?

ALL-NEW X-MEN #30 (Bendis / Pichelli / Gracia) Marvel

This issue wasn’t bad but yet another book with the will ‘reveal’ was kind of lame. Warren and Laura’s ‘date’ was nice development, as was the new relationship between Jean and Emma.

ORIGINAL SIN #7 (Jason Aaron / Mike Deodato / Frank Martin) Marvel

Careful, Marvel. You nearly added some actual plot there. Nearly.

In fact, this book should have been lower on the list. In the end, is this entire mini going to be just setting up the new Winter Soldier status quo? A character I don’t care about anyway?

SHUTTER #5 (Joe Keatinge / Leila Del Duca / Owen Gieni / Ed Brisson) Image

This issue was much better than the last. This was about character and interaction and an interesting little mystery about dear old dad. Saved.

INHUMAN #3 (Charles Soule / Joe Madureira / Marte Gracia) Marvel

When I saw an issue of this came out, I assumed it was going to migrate to the bottom of my list, and possibly off it.

But this issue was actually pretty good! YES it is the Xavier School vs the Brotherhood all over again, but that doesn’t make it a bad story. Seeing things through the eyes of the ‘new mutants’ may not be novel, but it works.

SPIDER-MAN 2099 #2 (David / Sliney / Fabela) Marvel

All of a sudden, this book is about… people. There is a reason why so many people rave about Peter David’s skill with characterization. 

Strong characters with reasons to care.

SEX CRIMINALS #7 (Fraction / Zdarsky) Image

This was not as amazing as the previous issue, but it was still pretty solid. We got to add a new character to the inner circle, but most importantly Fraction dealt with the dark side of teenage hormones in a respectful way. He did it without turning Jon into a predator and made it feel ‘real’.

ASTRO CITY #14 (Busiek / Anderson / Ross) Vertigo

As usual, Busiek has this amazing talent to introduce a character and have us care for them almost immediately. Ellie is great and weren’t you ready to scream the second Fred showed up? You could tell immediately that he is a user and a loser. The story became very sad and I was incredibly happy to see the words ‘To Be Continued’ at the end.

Someone needs to make this right. Probably Arthur.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Sex Criminals #6

June 21, 2014
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Some good comics… some bad comics… some dropped comics…

Starting at the bottom…

THE UNWRITTEN APOCALYPSE #6 (Mike Carey / Peter Gross) Vertigo

If you have read this and know me, you know why I didn’t like this one.

Rape isn’t funny. Yes he is the bad guy but tell me that scene wasn’t supposed to make him seem bad-ass or something?

Ugh.

This is normally a good book so I’m not dropping it for this, but someone talking about how cool it will be for him to stick his big unit into those little (Probably quite underage) girls… let’s just say it isn’t my cup of tea.

X-MEN #15 (Wood / Buffagni / Briones) Marvel

This comic did not make any sense. At all. We get a scene where The Future (what a stupid name…) confronts Jubilee and takes Shogo. Then we get a scene where Jubilee still has Shogo. Okay. I guess we are jumping around a bit on the timeline. Then we get a scene where The Future confronts Jubilee and takes Shogo… but it is completely different than the first one.

Uh, what? Was the first one supposed to be him visualizing it or something? Seeing into a false future?

Maybe it would have been clearer if the art was any good, but it wasn’t so…

Dropped.

AVENGERS WORLD #8 (Spencer / Checchetto / Mossa) Marvel

Another book with lousy art – though different lousy art from the last one. Plus the entire book was just a roll call with a different super team… including a ‘hero’ named ‘The Baby Killer’. (I know it is supposed to be that is very young and a killer but still…unpleasant.)

Dropped.

ORIGINAL SIN #4 (Aaron / Deodato) Marvel

This ‘event’ isn’t a story as much as an excuse – a trigger if you will – for stories around the marvel universe. Because of that, the main story is kind of weak. Once again, we have a bunch of people running around, acting in pretty random manners, just so they can get to an send result.

But that end result is pretty cool. We may have just seen a HUGE status quo change for a long-standing Marvel character. Until a new writer changes it back.

Oh, putting Bucky and Punisher in the same room just shows how lame a character Winter Soldier has become.

WONDER WOMAN #32 (Brian Azzarello / Goran Sudzuka) DC

Another one of those bombshell covers… but another pretty inoffensive one, as these things go.

It feels like things are really coming to a head. If this were stand alone story, rather than an on-going, I would assume that we were about to see the ultimate defeat of the First Born and the elevation of Diana to Queen of Olympus… but that would sure screw over whichever writer follows Azzarello.

AVENGERS #31 (Hickamn / Yu / Alanguilan / Gho) Marvel

This title is the best example of what makes Original Sin a good idea (the story trigger aspect), but at the same time we are all ‘scene’, little ‘plot’ right now. But, having said that, they are pretty good scenes. Great art… whenever Black Widow is not busting out… and Hawkeye doing what Hawkeye does beat… talking for the reader. “Does anyone know what the hell is going on around here?”

FABLES #141 (Willingham / Buckingham / Leiloha / Pepoy) Vertigo

The finale to Fables is not here, but we can feel it coming. Medea reminds us why Snow is bad-ass and people start to pick sides… sides that their leaders do not even realize exist yet.

When I opened up to ‘The Last Story of Flycatcher’ I was excited and then… one page? Really?

DAREDEVIL #4 (Waid / Samnee / Rodriguez) Marvel

Whoa. So that is what Shroud was up to? Suddenly this ‘kiddie book’ is talking some real shit and doing so in a way that was powerful but not maudlin.

Waid nailed this story point perfectly and Samnee is one of the best artists in the business.

SILVER SURFER #3 (Dan Slott / Michael Allred / Laura Allred) Marvel

I am automatically going to be predisposed AGAINST this book because of the space theme. I am automatically going to be predisposed FOR this book because of the Allreds. So what is the deciding factor?

Well, there is one of those creepy cymbal monkeys that is really the heart of an extra-normal entity. There is Silver Surfer’s cosmic surfboard (snerk) getting a new, awesome nickname (double-snerk). There is a big decision that is strong in the way that no decision was actually made!

And there is one of the strongest, most well-rounded new characters in comics. Dawn Greenwood is a PERSON. She is strong despite being in over her head. She is heroic. She is decisive. She is REAL.

Well done.

UNCANNY X-MEN #22 (Bendis / Bachalo / Townsend) Marvel

A really, really solid issue of this title. We got a villain reveal (though killing him off like that was a little lame), the repatriation of Dazzler, the return of Magento, the crystallization of the REAL villain for the book, increased mutant/human tension, and Maria Hill NOT acting like an idiot.

And some great Chris Bachalo art.

This was really close to being my book of the week.

SEX CRIMINALS #6 (Fraction / Zdarsky) Image

Wow.

What has made this book great? Humour. Humour. Humour. Inventiveness and humour.

So what happened this issue? Well, there was SOME humour, but all of a sudden we got a peek at someone who has serious mental health issues, dealing with them and having his life turn… grey. He was revitalized by the end but for those pages, we got a glimpse of a world where everything gets ‘smoothed out’. Deadened.

I FELT this book.

Very well done.


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: Sex Criminals #4

January 14, 2014
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sex-criminals-4-web-72

Hello folks… sorry I am a little late.

With no further ado…

From the weakest…

CATACLYSM: ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #3 (Bendis / Marquez / Ponsor) Marvel

So it seems that the Ultimate line is NOT being mothballed after Cataclysm, which seems odd. Other than Bendis’ Spidey, none of the books are any good. I guess that are going to try and change that.

This comic is also not that good, but for a whole different reason. Because the UU is weak, I decided not to buy all the Cataclysm books. This one is the extension of the Spidey book, so I though it would hold up. Not so much.

Also, I went from hoping that Miles’ dad would somehow join him in the 616 to wanting to punch him in the face, so there is that.

AVENGERS WORLD #1 (Jonathan Hickman / Nick Spencer / Stefano Caselli) Marvel

So, what makes this different than the regular Avengers book? It is a big cast book facing ridiculously overpowered foes. So?

Oh right, HICKMAN ISN”T WRITING IT! They have him listed as a co-writer but I understand that is a bit of an overstatement.

Well, is it better than the regular Avengers book? So far, yes, but it is early. The plotting is clearer, for one.

We’ll see.

YOUNG AVENGERS #15 (Gillen / McKelvie / Cloonan / Doyle / Quinones / Norton / Wicks / Bellaire / Wilson) Marvel

This is the actual final issue of YA. It should have ended last issue. This book was entirely superfluous. They got to make a statement that the whole team is ‘not straight’ which is not true, and they got to wrap up the not-Patriot thing with an offhand and pointless explanation that made no sense.

Great series. Lousy final issue.

THE MOVEMENT #8 (Gail Simone / Freddie Williams II) DC

This was a solid issue. Heroes got to be heroic. They bucked overwhelming odds to save a bunch of people and now they get to meet one of Gail’s other ‘pets’, Batgirl. (Too bad they can’t meet the Secret Six.)

AVENGERS A.I. #8 (Sam Humphries / Andre Araujo / Frank D’Armata) Marvel

So, whose side are we supposed to be on? The A.I.s are RIGHT to fear and distrust the humans. The humans are RIGHT to think that it is too dangerous to allow them to continue as is.

Hmmm…. interesting….

SWAMP THING #27 (Charles Soule / Jesus Saiz) DC

Getting his job back seemed a little too easy, but wow! The Parliament of Trees! Screwing over Lady Weeds! Alec has mad himself some (more) pretty major enemies here!

FAIREST #22 (Marc Andreyko / Shawn McManus) Vertigo

Cindarella. Lots of transformed mice. A stone Fairy Godmother. What is left?

Oh right. Evil stepsister.

This Cindarella story is SO much better than the last couple of Fairest arcs.

BLACK WIDOW #1 (Nathan Edmondson / Phil Noto) Marvel

That’s right. Phil Noto interiors, not just the covers.

And yeah, this book LOOKS amazing. The DESIGN is worth the cost all on its own.

Too bad the story seems a little weak. Not terrible, but it hold stye book back a little bit. Hopefully Edmondson can make this book as great as it looks.

FBP #7 (Simon Oliver / Robbi Rodriguez) Vertigo

I have been lukewarm on this book… until now! What a great issue! This Agent Reyes is a great addition! A story of blackmail and seeing the sorts of practical problems these physics loops can cause. Nice. I hope the book stays at this level.

SEX CRIMINALS #4 (Fraction / Zdarsky) Image

This book is just flat out funny.

Criminals are born! Playing with powers for good… and revenge! Hey, who appointed those costumed yahoos to be the sex-crime police?

(Kind of like most costumed vigilantes, I guess…)

For those that don’t know, this is not some kind of poem comic, but the sex content is high, clearly, But it is really, really funny.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Sex Criminals #3

November 25, 2013
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Sex-Criminals-3-Cover

This was a pretty good week. I went into it thinking I might prune a book or two from the bottom end… but I am not interested in cutting either of the bottom books. They were actually pretty good!

Starting at the weakest…

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL #1 (Gage / Rodriguez / Lopez) Marvel

I like Christos Gage and this was a good comic, but it didn’t quite ‘feel’ the same as the Slott version. The villain was pretty forgettable and never felt like a real threat. The scene were May sees him in action felt needless… but maybe I am wrong and there will be repercussions.

Not a bad book, just not as good as the monthly.

ANIMAL MAN #25 (Jeff Lemire / Rafael Albuquerque) DC

I am quite enjoying Animal Man, so why is this issue so low? Well, as I said, there are no real bad books this week. I think what makes this one relatively weaker is that it feels like just a piece linking the previous issues with the next one. The end seemed WAY out of place, but I can’t judge that until I know why it is happening. The bits with Buddy and Ellen worked, as they always do.

Definitely worth reading, just don’t start with this one.

AVENGERS #23 (Hickman / Yu / Gho / Mounts) Marvel

An issue of Hickman Avengers above an issue of Lemire’s Animal Man? Well, yeah, but just. This issue FINALLY starting feeling the air of desperation and need that comes with good war books… and that is what they need for this story to work at all. So, the story is starting to work in mood, if not in plot.

Side note, Yu is a very good artist when he isn’t drawing women’s breasts. I don’t mean they are too large or whatever – lots of artists have that problem. I mean he draws them like he has no idea what they are supposed to look like.

WONDER WOMAN #25 (Brian Azzarello / Goran Sudzuka) DC

Strife! The way Strife is playing everyone like a fiddle really works for me. The double standard between Hermes and Hera also really works, because it ISN’T a double standard. Hera was their enemy. Now she isn’t. Hermes was their ally and he betrayed them. Very different.

The only thing that stopped this book from being higher is that the art was only so-so and the scene with the First Born didn’t work for me at all.

X-MEN #7 (Wood / Dodson / Dodson / Keith) Marvel

Wait… Ana Cortes was a teenager? I like the Dodson’s work, but if you can’t tell the difference between a teenaged woman and an adult woman… well, that isn’t great.

The comic IS very good though. Monet is a very good addition to the cast, as is the new Karima (nice excuse about actually making her look brown). The interplay between the two is very good, as is it between Monet and Jubilee.

I have said before that the X-line is an embarrassment of riches right now.

AVENGERS A.I. #6 (Humphries / Schiti / D’Armata) Marvel

The good: the S.H.I.E.L.D. stuff so we question who the actual good guys are. The Hank Pym manic stage and the Victor reveal. The Dmitrios / Vision fight.

The bad: a meaningless reveal that actually doesn’t add anything to the story.

The awesome: “I am not compatible with embracing.” Respect his space, Hank!

UNCANNY X-MEN #14 (Bendis / Bachalo / Townsend) Marvel

A nice spotlight on not-Morph. Bendis doing what Bendis does best – characterization. Bachalo was key here as he made the scenes with Mr. Deeds work. It was mostly wordless and needed to be. Good job.

YOUNG AVENGERS #12 (Gillen / McKelvie / Norton / Wilson) Marvel

So, this book was about getting people to read Journey Into Mystery? You should have done that while it was still being published. Seriously though, this is a really good comic. So, of course, it has been announced that it is ending.

Sigh.

FABLES #135 (Willingham / Buckingham / Braun) Vertigo

I am really digging the Knights of the Round Table concept, but I still don’t really get why Brandish has been ‘rescued’. I am with Snow on that one. The end was a little sudden, but with all of the pieces in the air, I am looking forward to where it is going. (Plus the books still gets extra brownie points for that amazing afterlife issue.)

DAREDEVIL #33 (Waid / Samnee / Copland / Rodriguez) Marvel

This was a really good read. Waid and Samnee should do a Marvel Monsters book. This one was top-notch. I will say that I think it s weird when a long-standing character says that he doesn’t really trust magic… how many times has he teamed with Dr. Strange?

DD is just a fun, old-school read. Top notch.

SEX CRIMINALS #3 (Fraction / Zdarsky) Image

Wow, is this book great. The second issue wasn’t as good as the first, but the musical number in this one was excellent! I actually read a review where the writer was complaining about the scene, saying that their inability to get the rights to the song really hurt it… I think you really missed the point there. I don’t think they ever tried. The ‘post-is’ were the POINT! Just like the Hawkeye censorship when we have otherwise had full frontal Clint, was the POINT!

This is a fun book.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Ultimate Spider-Man #28

October 27, 2013
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ultSM28

This was a pretty disappointing week. It looked like a great lineup, but while they didn’t all crap out, there were many that jsut didn’t live up to expectations.

ROCKETEER & SPIRIT: PULP FRICTION #2 (Waid / Wallace / Wiacek) IDW

Issue #1 was my comic of the week… three months ago. It was drawn by Paul Smith. Now we have Loston Wallace. These Rocketeer comics have had some great artists like Smith, Chris Samnee, J. Bone… Wallace is none of these. These books live or die on their art fitting the style and mood. This was just not up to the task.

PRETTY DEADLY #1 (DeConnick / Rios / Bellaire / Cowles) Image

I was really looking forward to this book by the creative team of that great Osborne miniseries a few years back.

This was not what I was hoping for. It is just a mess. Here is my theme line for the week: what the hell is going on here?

GREAT PACIFIC #11 (Joe Harris / Martin Morazzo) Image

Allies then enemies then allies? Villain then sex partner then villain then idiot?

I don’t mind twists and turns but this book is starting to seem like it was plotted with a dart board at times.

THE MASSIVE #16 (Brian Wood / Garry Brown / Jordie Bellaire) Dark Horse

Is Brian Wood trying to make Greenpeace look irrational? Or am I reading too much here. This seems like a big shift from a stoy involving nuclear weapons and super-powers. I think those super-powers are bad for the story so I don’t mind too much, but this book seems to ignore the previous issues.

YOUNG AVENGERS #11 (Gillen / McKelvie / Anka / Norton / Wilson) Marvel

So why did Loki go from Kid Loki to Emo Loki? Did it serve any purpose other than making his age closer to the rest of the cast? Setting him up for his new series?

Marking time issue.

UNCANNY AVENGERS #13 (Remender / Acuna) Marvel

Wanda and Simon revealed as still being heroes was good. That was a pretty graphic sex scene… what is the rating on this book?

I was not a big fan of making Cap look so foolish, but I guess it was needed to make Havok seem more like a leader. Wasp’s method of defeating Banshee was… icky. Rogue is going to charge in and screw everything up, isn’t she?

SEX CRIMINALS #2 (Fraction / Zdarsky) Image

Another fun issue, though not as great as the first one. I am a little afraid that the fun in this book will wear off once they are into the life of crime, but I am willing to follow along to find out.

DAREDEVIL #32 (Waid / Samnee / Rodriguz) Marvel

Just in time for Halloween! Fun stuff as always from Waid and Samnee. I hope Marvel has a decent plan for this book once their run ends (which is happening soon.)

THE UNWRITTEN #54 (M.Carey / P. Gross / B. Willingham / M. Buckingham) Vertigo

Half o fa great book and half of a poorly done What If? comic. The whole ‘we can do whatever we want with the Fables characters because they aren’t real’ was lame. Bigby kills off half of his family, including his wife!

The second half where Tommy deals with the very fabric of reality was much better.

A three month wait now, hey? I am okay with that as long as you return with something better than Unwritten Fables.

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #28 (Bendis / Marquez / Ponsor / Mounts) Marvel

Final issue. Kind of.
During the Cataclysm story, each core Ultimate book is replaced by a mini tying into Cataclysm. Then… something else.

This was a solid issue, ignoring Cataclysm. They implied that S.H.I.E.L.D. wanted to make a team out of Miles, Jessica, Bombshell and Cloak & Dagger. Red herring to lead us away from the idea that the world is about to end? Maybe…


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Saga #14

October 3, 2013
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saga14-cover-49aab

Pretty decent-sized week… complete with a book I thought I cancelled. Huh…

Starting at, well, that book…

AVENGERS ASSEMBLE #19 (DeConnick / Van Meter / Kitson / Magyar) Marvel

How many times do we need to read the same story? I mean… seriously. I thought I had already dropped this, but now I am doing it for sure.

UNCANNY AVENGERS #12 (Remender / Larroca / Martin) Marvel

This could have been higher if it wasn’t for the terrible art. Has Larocca always been this bad? I don’t recall.

The story is okay. I am not completely sure why Kang is being such a dick, but I have probably just forgotten.

There are better books out there, but the story is holding me so far.

AVENGERS #10 (Hickman / Yu / Alanguilan / Curiel) Marvel

Once again, the same story for the umpteenth time, but this time there was important story elements added to it. Plus the art was nice.

I do wish the Avengers books were better.

THE UNWRITTEN #53 (M.Carey / P.Gross / B.Willingham / M.Buckingham) Vertigo

I have not been enjoying this non-crossover, but this issue was better than it had been. The Fables characters were a little more palatable than the last few issues. It still feels like an Elseworlds book. At least the Unwritten parts are starting to feel more like itself. I liked the story in each others world aspect.

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #27 (Benids / Marquez / Ponsor / Mounts) Marvel

It seems weird to keep calling this story “Spider-Man No More” when he is clearly Spider-Man. Solid read. I am a little disappointed in Taskmaster because they had the chance to make him as cool as he used to be and kind of missed the boat. Now he is generic tough guy with an energy directing ability. Eh.

WONDER WOMAN: FIRST BORN #1 / WONDER WOMAN #23.2 (Brian Azzarello / Aco) DC

First off, this is the only one of these that I actually got the gimmick cover for. I prefer the regular covers generally, but whatever. The effect is well done, at least.

The book inside is really good! The art is great! I would much prefer that this Aco (who I had never heard of) be the designated fill-in artist instead of Tony Akins.

The real treat about this book is that First Born now has some character! I didn’t really like him before, but now he is at least a little interesting.

YOUNG AVENGERS #10 (Gillen / McKelvie / Norton / Wilson) Marvel

Another solid issue of YA. Mother now has a bit more depth and Leah just got nasty. The crazy stalker group is great.

I am looking forward to next issue… as usual.

REVIVAL #14 (Mike Seeley / Mike Norton) Image

One of the better issues of Revival in a while… until that last page. Ick. Jordan is an incredibly complex character. The idea of a suicidal child is awful… but when she is probably right? That makes it worse.

SEX CRIMINALS #1 (Fraction / Zdarsky) Image

Great new debut. It was nearly #1. Here is the thing, though, if you read the title and think, cool, Sex! It probably isn’t for you. Unless it is. It is certainly for ‘mature readers’, but it isn’t salacious. Except when it is.

Fun and interesting, the way sex should be.

SAGA #14 (Brian K. Vaughan / Fiona Staples) Image

Wow, three Image books top the week. This just beats out Sex Criminals because of the awesome scene between Gwendolyn and the Will.

Oh, but it also beats it out due to the touching scene between Heist and Klara.

Or maybe the panel with Sophie and Lying Cat.

Wow, this is just a great comic.