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Rusty’s Comic of the Week: C.O.W.L. #6

November 30, 2014
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cowl6_cover

Interesting week. My taste is moving away from superhero comics… but I actually don’t think that is it. I LOVE superhero comics, but superhero comics have just been getting… bad. The entire DC 52 line is bad and seemingly getting worse. Marvel is cross-over crazy, which would be fine, but the crossovers just aren’t good. (Axis is awful and Spider-Verse isn’t much better.)

So, what do we have this week.

ODY-C #1 (Matt Fraction / Christian Ward) Image

The latest creator owned comic by Matt Fraction. It is very ambitious. And it is quite disappointing.

How many variants of the Odyssey do we really need? Plus that art is of the type that is more worried about looking triply than actually telling a story.

The big gatefold was just an unneeded info dump.

Disappointing.

THE MASSIVE #29 (Brian Wood / Garry Brown / Jordie Bellaire) Dark Horse

A comic that had flashes af brilliance and flashes of ridiculousness seems to be ending on the latter. Too bad.

SPIDER-MAN 2099 #6 (David / Sliney / Fabela) Marvel

As mentioned before, Spider-Verse has been striking out. One of the problems is that the villains are so dull so when they throw out big fight scenes like this one, they don’t resonate. Lady Spider could have been interesting but Peter David wrote this issue like her only interesting quality is that both Miguel’s brother and Daemos found her attractive. Lame.

BODIES #5 (Si SPencer / Phil Winslade / Meghan Hetrick / Dean Ormston / Tula Lotay / Lee Loughridge) Vertigo

This is probably the best issue of this mini yet. The past and resent stories were remarkably clear. The future one was not but it also got to be home for the big twist. For the first time, I feel like I am looking forward to what comes next.

THE UNWRITTEN: APOCALYPSE #11 (Carey / Gross / Chuckry) Vertigo

Moving the story towards resolution. Gunning down childhood heroes (I loved the Tim Hunter reference). Blowing a trumpet. Ending existence.

Next?

DEAD BOY DETECTIVES #11 (Litt / Buckingham / Kelly / Loughridge) Vertigo

The main story was just wrap up but the sweet parts of this comic were very sweet. The passing of a mother, acknowledgement of wrongs done and a family photo. A ghostly kiss but mostly, the little epilogues with two cats and a couple of proud parents.

Nice.

CAPTAIN AMERICA and the MIGHTY AVENGERS #2 (Ewing / Ross / Coello / Rosenberg) Marvel

The first issue of this relaunched title was awful. The same reasons should have made this issue bad too, but they didn’t. Axis is still terrible but instead of focusing on that, they looked at the human side of what happens when someone like Luke Cage because awful and selfish. The team stood strong (and actually fought some bad guys!).

Much better. (But I am still looking forward to Axis being over.)

LAZARUS #13 (Rucka / Lark / Arcas) Image

Remember what I said when I reviewed that last issue of Klarion? Making verbal consent the norm is a GOOD THING.

They did it again.

Meanwhile, the scene with Forever and her family… the scene with Forever and the Lazari… Forever and Joachim… all great.

SUPERIOR FOES OF SPIDER-MAN #17 (Spencer / Lieber / Rosenberg) Marvel

I thought LAST issue was the LAST issue.

Turns out THIS issue is the LAST issue.

I nice wrap-up where everything gets spelled out for those people who need such things. (The Lost complainers, mostly… use your brains people!)

The two big reveals were Abner and one I won’t spoil. There also is one about who Fred is talking to, but that is just cute and not incredibly relevant. (I also hope the new mob boss is reflected in future comics.)

Good issue to a mostly great comic.

C.O.W.L. #6 (Higgins / Siegel / Charretier) Image

What a great comic. It is the origin of Grey Raven, told in the form of a sixties era comic, complete with period style ads and moralizing.

Is that his real origin or just ht public version? I actually hope it is the latter so we can see how things have changed since his early days.

The mix of corruption and ideals is a story that goes ever on…

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Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Daredevil #9

October 31, 2014
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DD9

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: Superior Foes of Spider-Man #15

September 7, 2014
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SuperiorFoesOfSpider-Man15-Cover

Not the best week ever. A lot of okay books and not many that blew me away.

Starting at the weakest…

SWAMP THING: FUTURES END #1 (Soule / Saiz) DC

(Shouldn’t that be Future’s End?)

Fancy cover. Well written. Good art. Interesting characters.

So why is it last?

Because stories have beginnings, middles and ends. This book is all middle. That would be okay if it were part of an ongoing arc, but it isn’t. This is a one-shot.

If you a re going to do a snapshot of five years int he future, in had better be a self-contained story. This was rubbish.

ORIGINAL SIN #8 (Aaron / Deodato) Marvel

A two-issue story stretched over eight issues. New status quo for old white Nick Fury, Bucky and the Orb.

The last one could be interesting. Maybe.

Winter Soldier is an incredibly lame character and Nick Fury ALWAYS goes back to being fine.

UNCANNY X-MEN #25 (Bendis / Bachalo / Townsend) Marvel

Hold on now… so Charles did something smart but kept in a secret and now everyone is mad. Scott is acting like an ass and all as a set-up to face some uber-powerful mutant. Yawn.

The Bendis X-books are normally good but this is a BIG letdown after the build up to the will. I am looking forward to getting BACK to the will and learning more about the Mystique thing.

SPIDER-MEN 2099 #3 (David / Sliney / Fabela)

This was fine. That’s it.

ROCKET RACCOON #3 (Young / Bealieu) Marvel

Why was this better than last issue? The mention of Half-World. Yes. I loved that old RR mini.

MOON KNIGHT #7 (Brian Wood / Greg Smallwood / Jordie Bellaire) Marvel

Interesting. In seems Wood is trying to keep the mood of the previous run while actually giving us a story rather than just vignettes.

If that is the case, this book should be a lot better going forward than the previous six issues would indicate.

MIRACLEMAN #10 (Moore / Veitch / Ridgway / Anglo) Marvel

Solid lead story with pointless filler, much like the previous issues. The Bates thing is interesting and while I don’t much like the idea that Liz is a puppet, the baby is quite intriguing.

SHE-HULK #8 (Soule / Pulido / Vicente) Marvel

Hands up anyone who didn’t see the last page coming? Anyone?

Doesn’t matter. Good comic. (Though I WOULD Like some explanation as to why Steve is old now. I don’t read the Cap book.)

FAIREST #29 (Buckingham / Braun / Dalhouse) Vertigo

The Owl and the Pussycat story was sweet. Reynard is an idiot but it is the former that really carried this book.

BLACK WIDOW #10 (Edmondson / Noto) Marvel

The time slipping was a little unclear at first. Also, setting up someone like they are going to be a big reveal and then making them someone you jus introduced is a little weak…

But still… strong writing. Strong art. Strong characters. (Though that was the movie Hawkeye, not the comic one.)

SUPERIOR FOES OF SPIDER-MAN #15 (Spencer / Lieber / Rosenberg) Marvel

This is just good comics. Funny without begin silly. Intersting characters while still not giving them TOO much depth (which is odd… but it works).

The book is cancelled, but I would suggest picking up the trades. (Though you can skip the non-Spencer issues.)


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Miles Morales: The Ultimate Spider-Man #4

August 16, 2014
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MIles 4

 

This is actually LAST week. I was away doing a couple of shows down in Toronto and Whitby so couldn’t pick up my comics until now. I read last week’s first to give the illusion of schedule…

 

Starting at the weakest…

 

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #32 (Slott / Gage / Camuncoli / Kubert / Dell / Fabela / Beredo) Marvel

 

So this is the ‘next’ issue of the cancelled Superior Spider-Man. Cancelled because Otto is dead. Well, this is a time travel issue from back when he was alive to kick off the Spider-Verse storyline.

It is kind of boring, actually. Some inter-dimensional baddy is killing alternate Spider-Men and they all have to team up. Repetitive mini-scenes gathering Spideys. That’s it.

 

ROCKET RACOON #2 (Young / Beaulieu) Marvel

The appeal of this has worn off pretty fast. I never thought I would say this but Groot was annoying. (Or, more that the conversations between Rocket and Groot were annoying. Groot’s ‘side’ of the conversation just didn’t ‘sound’ right to me.)

I don’t know how long I will keep buying this.

 

SHUTTER #4 (Joe Keatinge / Leila Del Duca / Owen Gieni / Ed Brisson) Image

This is late for me. It came out last month but I just got it.

It was… just a little bit frenetic. Even though there wasn’t action, it still felt like it was charging through the story too fast.

Much like Rocket Racoon, this book is getting its warning notice.

 

FAIREST #28 (Buckingham / Braun / Dalhouse) Vertigo

The problem with Fairest right now is that it doesn’t feel like its own story. It is just supporting the final Fables story and us such it never feels… important. Plus, the bit with the Spider as Fly tries to let him be human for a bit… well, that’s cheating. That is not the sign of a good leader, in my opinion.

 

BLACK WIDOW #9 (Edmondson / Noto) Marvel

Hmmm… I am not sure I like the idea of a Black Widow then is more out-of-control ruthless than the Punisher.

 

MIRACLEMAN #9 (Moore / Veitch / Bryant) Marvel

This was quite a scandal when it first came out. Part of me thinks that the controversy is silly. The other part of thinks that the scene was drawn in a gratuitous fashion.

Of course the big pay off was actually AFTER the birth scene. Ma-ma?

 

MOON KNIGHT #6 (Warren Elis / Declan Shalvey / Jordie Bellaire) Marvel

Ellis wraps up his run… by continuing to not give us any insight into Moon Knight whatsoever. A one page statement about love is not character development. Having said THAT, the was a decent issue as we got to watch the evolution of a villain.

Still, I don’t mind that Ellis is moving on.

 

SUPERIOR FOES OF SPIDER-MAN #24 (Spencer / Lieber / Ellis / Rosenberg) Marvel

The usual. If you have read this book, you know that is a good thing.

I wouldn’t be really thrilled about the sexual exploits of the one female character in the group becoming something for the others to joke about, but it surely wasn’t her who got the brunt of it. “Subtext” “I just need a minute” Funny.

 

SWAMP THING #34 (Soule / Pina / Wilson) DC

Like often happens in this book, a threat is built up as behind the scenes maneuverings and then is squashed quickly. It almost HAS to be that way do the power of the main character. A supporting cast, abruptly no more.

 

LAZARUS #10 (Rucka / Lark / Arcas) Image

Wonder what happened to Jonah Carlyle? We get to find out. It isn’t nice. You have to feel bad for the poor guy.

Almost like when Jamie lost his hand… oh wait, is the parallel that blatant?

 

SHE-HULK #7 (Soule / Pulido / Vincente) Marvel

Much better than the last storyline. Here we have a one-off dealign with shrinking people so we get a Hank Pym appearance and some Hellcat in action… though Patsy is right, Jen is awfully condescending to her.

 

MILES MORALES: THE ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #4 (Bendis / Marquez / Ponsor) Marvel

Let me reiterate, I don’t think Peter is back. Moreover, if he IS back, that is a really bad idea and poor storytelling. But he isn’t.

Still, adding May and Mary-Jane to the mix is excellent. Also, the mystery of Katie Bishop… well, it doesn’t deepen per se. It appears, I guess.

Good stuff and keeping me interested in the next issue. In a relatively weak week, that gets you top marks.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Daredevil #5

July 13, 2014
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daredevil-5-cover-2014

Now this is actually this week…. smaller selection, but arguably better, over all.

Starting at the weakest.

JUSTICE LEAGUE CANADA #3 (Lemire / McKone / Smith / Ortego / Maiolo / Dalhouse) DC

Sigh. I WANT this book to be better. A Canadian based Justice League written by Jeff Lemire? That sound great. Unfortunately it is just kind of tired old JLA retreads. The core DC stuff just isn’t very good.

Dropped.

NIGHTCRAWLER #4 (Claremont / Nauck / Rosenberg) Marvel

I nearly dropped this one too. I was grumbling through the sexist over-protectiveness of Nightcrawler over Amanda Sefton but I rode it out because I figured it was going to be a plot point. Kind of like the racial problems in Ms. Marvel. In Ms. Marvel I was right. In this book, not so much. Rather than deal with it, they just wrote Amanda out.

I’m not dropping it yet, but it is right on the edge.

SPIDER-MAN 2099 #1 (David / Sliney / Fabela) Marvel

Disclaimer: I was never a 2099 fan. I tried them all when they first started and I didn’t really like any of them, including this one. If this book was SET in 2099, I wouldn’t have picked it up, but I like Miguel’s appearance in the main book so I thought I would give it a go.

So far, so good. He is a little too willing to kill for my taste, but okay. What really made this book for me was the last Liz Allen page. Yes. Smart. Dangerous. Let’s see how that goes.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #1.3 (Slott / Perez / Herring) Marvel

The first two issues of this sneaky mini were not very good. This issue was better. Clash is a cliche but showing the problems that Pete dealt with from a different perspective worked a little better this time out.

CALIBAN #4 (Garth Ennis / Facundo Percio) Avatar

This is turning out to be a very solid mini. Very Alien, of course, and that is a good thing for me. The ‘attack’ was believable while still being stupid. How many characters are left?

ALL-NEW X-MEN #29 (Bendis / Immonen / von Grawbadger / Gracia) Marvel

I am not a big fan of ‘mental’ fights, but this issue worked pretty well. We also get to see the problem with time travel, as Xavier can just keep attacking over and over. Why doesn’t Kang do that?

I think that next time he ends up dead, just to close that can of worms.

Angel & X-23?

AVENGERS #32 (Hickman / Yu / Alanguilan / Gho) Marvel

I’ll give credit where it is do – this is a very good issue of Avengers. I think that Franklin is lying, and I think that trying to convince Captain America that the lesser of two evils is the way to go is kind of ridiculous (if he buys it), but the whole conversation worked and the secret of the tree (not the space ship part) was awesome.

SUPERIOR FOES OF SPIDER-MEN #13 (Spencer / Lieber / Rosenberg) Marvel

This book was nearly the comic of the week. I am almost regretting the decision. I wish these top two books were actually on different weeks because they both topped last week’s (still very good) USM book.

As if this book weren’t hilarious enough… that Beetle Bechdel line was KILLER. This is the kind of book that you say, “if you aren’t reading Superior Foes, give it a try.” Just make sure it says Spencer not eh cover because those fill-in issues were less good.

DAREDEVIL #5 (Waid / Samnee / Rodriguez) Marvel

This book edged SFoSM by a nose. It was the extra emotional impact as we got to see how much DD actually cares for Foggy. Loves him, really. The Death of Foggy (so to speak) was shown in flashback and this was just great comic with great art and very strong storytelling.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Black Widow #7

June 8, 2014
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blackwidow7

A nice selection of good books this week… and one I won’t be getting any longer.

Starting at the weakest…

BATMAN ETERNAL #9 (Scott Snyder / James Tynion IV / John Layman / Ray Fawkes / Tim Seeley / Guillem March) DC

The only real thread that ties the BE story together is Falcone, and he isn’t very interesting. This was another issue of RANDOM THINGS HAPPEN! DIFFERENT BATMAN-RELATED CHARACTERS APPEAR! PLEASE BUY THOSE BOOKS TOO!

No.

Do you remember the issue of Batman that was supposed to be a preview for this book? It is what got me to buy it. How come that preview has nothing to do with this comic?

Dropped.

ORIGINAL SIN #3 (Aaron / Deodato) Marvel

Question… does Jason Aaron really like lame villains? I suppose if it were a challenge to make them credible, but they aren’t even trying? Clearly the big villains for this story are NOT the Orb, Midas and Dominatrix (or whatever their names are…)

Do you know what would be awesome? If the surprise reveal at the end was legit.

It isn’t, but it would be awesome. He is an ass.

IRON FIST: THE LIVING WEAPON #3 (Kaare Kyle Andrews) Marvel

Is Kaare Andrews the new J.H. Williams III? The super talented, amazing artist and designer who convinces someone that he should be writing the comic despite being completely inept at it?

Williams destroyed Batwoman. If a decent writer were to take this book over, I am sure they could salvage it.

But, is it ever a beautifully rendered comic.

MIRACLEMAN #7 (Moore / Davis / Austen) Marvel

That was a little sudden… and maybe a bit anti-climactic. Couldn’t he even TRY to survive? And why did Miracledog chase Cream anyway? Wasn’t Moran the main target?

AVENGERS WORLD #7 (Spencer / Caselli / Mossa) Marvel

I LIKE S.P.E.A.R.! PLEASE, don’t make them secretly bad guys. The idea that China would have their own super-defense plan has always made sense, but it has never done very well. Hopefully this will work. The Avengers and S.H.I.E.L.D. don’t have jurisdiction over everybody.

SWAMP THING #32 (Charles Soule / Jesus Saiz) DC

Back off fish-face! The exploration of undersea plant life has potential. Swampy standing up to Aquaman worked for me. As did the clear delineation of what side his ‘advisor’s’ were on… or not.

CALIBAN #3 (Garth Ennis / Facundo Percio) Avatar

If you like Alien, you will like this. Straight up.

I am not always a fan of Ennis’ language in this issue, but I can live with it. This is good, creepy, comics horror.

SUPERIOR FOES OF SPIDER-MAN #12 (Spencer / Lieber / Rosenberg) Marvel

The return of the REAL SFOSM book! They even make a joke about the suspended story. The Sinister Sixteen!

MILES MORALES: SPIDER-MAN #2 (Bendis / Marquez / Ponsor) Marvel

Okay, who stole the web shooters? It is clearly not Peter and I am very doubtful it is a clone. It is obviously a trick.

So, who is it?

I don’t think Miles is going to tell Katie (the cliff-hanger would have been handled differently if he was), but I wouldn’t mind if he did.

MOON KNIGHT #4 (Warren Ellis / Declan Shalvey / Jordie Bellaire) Marvel

This may have been comic of the week if it was one page longer. Great story. great visuals. Great FEELING. But an incredibly abrupt ending that made it feel like a page had been torn out. And you know it won’t be picked up next issue. That is it.

BLACK WIDOW #7 (Edmondson / Noto) Marvel

I like the clash between spy stories and superhero stories in the Marvel universe. Yes Natasha kills people. Yes it makes sense in her line of work and yes she could do so and still be a ‘good guy’.

But NO, the superheroes won’t and shouldn’t agree with those sentiments. I like seeing that.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Shutter #1

April 13, 2014
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Shutter1Cover

So, in a couple other aspects of my life, I have been confronted with the spectre of sexism and misogyny. You know how when something gets to the forefront of your mind, you are more likely to notice it elsewhere?

Hey, comics are sexist, who would of thought?

Seriously, though, there were a bunch of things bugging me this week… I’ll point them out when I get to them.

Starting at the weakest…

SUPERIOR FOES OF SPIDER-MAN #11 (Kalan / Peyer / Sliney / Plati / Carnero) Marvel

Remember that great series by Nick Spencer?

This isn’t that. This is two issues in a row of just… sub-par comics. I tried to see if Spencer was coming back, but I am not sure the COMIC is coming back. If it was to still be THIS, I would cancel.

ALL-NEW X-MEN #25 (Bendis / Marquez / Ponsor / Timm / Martin / Adams / Mack / Young / Keith / Rodriguez / Bermejo / Gracia / Williams / Jones / Del Carmen / Campbell / Ruffino / Wicks / Shiga / Hipp / Wittert / Parker / Wilson / Thompson / Smith / Wiacek / Bellaire) Marvel

There is a tradition to take a big anniversary issue, fill it full of great artists (and there is some GREAT art in this issue), and ale a really terrible comic.

Yes, this is that. First off, why is the 25th issue of something worth this treatment? That is not what I would call a major milestone.

Mostly, though, we have a series of pin-ups with a weak story trying to tie them together. (The best parts were the Kitty & Colossus and Logan & Jean mini-steps that had nothing to do with the main story and just seemed stuck in for no reason.)

DAREDEVIL #1.50 (Waid / Bendis / Kesel / Rodrigues / Maleev / Palmer / Lopez) Marvel

Another big anniversary type issue (with stupid numbering) to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of DD.

Another dud, but at least this one tried to give you a story.

A story about a jerk father who acts all condescending and disappointed about his son all the time. Oh, and that is the hero of the book.

Then there was a text piece, that i WAS quite enjoying until it turned out that Bendis and introduced a character, made her interesting, and then fridged her just to create some trauma for DD. (annoying sexism #1) Then there was a Mike Murdock story that was just plain awful. Stupid dialogue giving a DD obscure history lesson and pretending it is a story.

Very disappointing. I put it ahead of the X-Men book because there was a least an attempt at narrative.

FBP #9 (Simon Oliver / Robbi Rodriguez) Vertigo

Apparently this has been optioned for a movie. I bet it would make a better movie than a comic book.(Oh, the male character acts all protective of the capable female character for no reason… but I am not adding this to my annoying sexism list because A: it didn’t seem out of character and B: she ignored him.)

I am dropping this one.

ALL-NEW ULTIMATES #1 (Fiffe / Pinna / Woodard) Marvel

I LOVE Bendis’ Miles Morales. Near the end of the last run, he pretty much assembled a team for him, though it didn’t become official until the pretty lousy Survive comic from a couple weeks back.

THIS is NOT Bendis’ Ultimates. The dialogue is super stilted, the art is sloppy, and the plot is just… meh. The Kitty plot line is okay, but just okay. (Oh, and, the sudden pervasive nature of super-powered people everywhere… is that part of a bigger Ultimate Universe story or did Fiffe just randomly start that with no explanation?)

VERY disappointing. I am going to buy issue #2, because I really want this to be better.

NIGHTCRAWLER #1 (Chris Claremont / Todd Nauck) Marvel

Mostly decent comic, but it is a little ‘aged’, in the way that the Claremont style is a little dated. That’s okay. So am I.

The villain was kind of cheesy, but the big strike against the book is ANNOYING SEXISM #2. Amanda Sefton is an accomplished witch who of fully capable of fighting her own battles. So, our hero teleports her to safety, ensuring she is out of the fight long enough for him to defeat the baddy.

AVENGERS A.I. #11 (Humphries / Araujo / D’Armata) Marvel

A fun little jump back-and-forth through time. Doombot awesome as always. Alexis is turning out to be just a great character.

Pym, the Living Planet?

BATMAN ETERNAL #1 (Scott Snyder / James Tynion IV / Ray Fawkes / John Layman / Tim Seeley / Jason Fabok) DC

Where is Bluebird? She is why I added this book! Seriously though, this is a solid Batman book. The messing with Gordon is good timing for the new cop, Bard. Clearly Gordon is being manipulated / set up, but that doesn’t make it less of an interesting read.

MIGHTY AVENGERS #9 (Ewing / Land / Leisten / D’Armata) Marvel

I already knew who Ronin was so the reveal meant little. It is the Brashear story that really deserves the spotlight. How do you make a story interesting when the hero is so overpowered? Hit him in the ‘feels’.

One thing that made me squirm was the idea that the Marvel ‘Age of Heroes’ no started sometime AFTER the year 2000.

Ugh.

IRON FIST: THE LIVING WEAPON #1 (Kaare Kyle Andrews) Marvel

Oof. I had a real problem figuring out where to slot this book. One one hand, this could have been easily the best book of the week. On the other hand it is an offensive piece of crap.

Let’s start with the positives… why a beautiful looking book! The lay-outs, the design, the STYLE of this book are TOP NOTCH. The storytelling (except the part I will mention below) was excellent. Great book… except…

ANNOYING SEXISM #3!!!!

So, he is begin interviewed… by the least professional reporter ever. They make a comment about there begin a student in order to justify it, but I will tell you that my work with Slam has had me interviewed by a number of student reporters and she is the worst I have ever seen. By a lot.

She is depicted as a complete airhead who blatantly flirts (and not in a grown-up, classy kind of way) with her interviewee, seeming more interested in getting him into bed than interviewing him.

Which he obliges.

Oh, how old is Danny Rand supposed to be? How old would this STUDENT reporter be?

Then, once they end up in bed, it is quite clear that he barely acknowledges her as human. She may as well be a sex-doll. They make a RUNNING JOKE that he can’t remember her name as she keeps repeating it to him.

Aaargggghhh…. I should have ranked this lower.

But, it IS the best looking book on the market. Any chance we can get a new writer and just let Kaare keep drawing it? Is tho stye J.H. Williams III conundrum?

ASTRO CITY #11 (Busiek / Anderson / Ross / Sinclair / Comicraft) Vertigo

This is solid story about the support staff behind a hero. Busiek obviously loves this concept as he has dipped ingot hat well a few times. The hero is a cross between Dr. Strange and a certain era of Wonder Woman… but does she ever come across badly here. If she is SOOO busy, why is it that every time we are show the hero, she is enjoying drinks with someone or ones? Or hungover from a previous celebration of her begin a hero.

All that makes her assistant come across as abused rather than anything else.

Oh, but part of the story included references to their old place outside of Victoria.

(I could throw another annoying sexism warning in there, but if I started complaint about how female characters dress, we would be here all day…)

SHUTTER #1 (Joe Keatinge / Leila Del Duca / Owen Gieni / Ed Brisson) Image

Until now! What a breath of fresh air! This is an interesting story about a women who grew up as an globe-trotting (and beyond) explorer who is now a photographer. Strong, interesting character. Nice art. Solid plot. Interesting story-propelling ending. AND a couple of great bonus strips in the back (ESPECIALLY MUNGORE!!!)

Yes. Buy this book and all is forgiven.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: 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: Hawkeye #17

March 15, 2014
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hawkeye17

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

Starting at the weakest…

FBP #8 (Simon Oliver / Robbi Rodriguez) Vertigo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sigh.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is just a fun book.

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

Ha.

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

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

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

HAWKEYE #17

Fraction / Eliopoulos / Aja / Bellaire) Marvel

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

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

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


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

February 9, 2014
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MAvengers 6

A strong week… with a couple disappointments.

Starting at the weakest…

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

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

TRILLIUM #6 (Jeff Lemire) Vertigo

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

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

LAZARUS #6 (Rucka / Lark / Arcas) Image

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

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

Not cool.

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

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

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

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

X-MEN #10 (Wood / Anka) Marvel

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

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

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

FAIREST #23 (Marc Andreyko / Shawn McManus) Vertigo

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

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

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

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

BLACK WIDOW #3 (Edmondson / Noto) Marvel

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

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

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

This is the Hawkeye of villain books. Or something.

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

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

The Sinister Six has five members… or maybe four.

How did I miss the first six issues?

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

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

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

Yeah. That is kind of a big deal.

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

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

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

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

Bad idea.

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

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

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

YES!

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


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