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Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Mighty Avengers #4

December 15, 2013
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mighty-avengers-4-infinity-cover

This was a fairly big week, but not a hugely strong one. Some decent comics but some disappointments as well.

Starting at the weakest.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #700.3 (Casey / Green / Van Meter / Rios) Marvel

So… this isn’t even a single mini? It is a couple of unrelated two parters? Or something?

The first issue was my comic of the week last time out. The second and third issues both came out today. The second one was good but this one is an unrelated change to another story. A bad story.

So, Peter just randomly gets torched to the point of disfigurement as an excuse to get him into a villain’s hospital? Uh, what? Isn’t getting burned alive kind of a big deal? “He heals fast?” Not THAT fast. He isn’t Wolverine.

Stupid.

And the Black Cat back-up wasn’t much better.

UNCANNY X-MEN #15.INH (Bendis / Anka) Marvel

Talk about disappointing…

I have been really enjoying Bendis’ X-books. This one has a fun premise – a ‘girl’s night out’. But… but…

First off, the Kris Anka art wasn’t terrible, but it also wasn’t great. That isn’t my real issue with this book, though. It is the blatant racism.

Look, mutants used to be a not-so-subtle metaphor for racism. Later they become a not-so-subtle metaphor for homophobia.

So what do we get this issue? Well, the Inhumans are here and they are treading the EXACT same paths as mutants did. Sudden powers. Scared people.Feared and mistrusted. Blah, blah, blah.

So what happens when the X-Men encounter them?

They won’t help them because they aren’t mutants. Uh what? Weren’t you helping mutants because of a shared experience of being cast out by the status quo? Ho wis this different?

Oh, it is because they don’t have the same genetic make-up that you have?

So instead of being a metaphor for fighting against racism, mutants have become a metaphor for perpetuating racism.

Sigh.

SUPERMAN / WONDER WOMAN #3 (Charles Soule / Tony S. Daniel / Matt Benning) DC

I wish this book was better.

Dropped.

THE ROCKETEER & THE SPIRIT: PULP FRICTION #4 (Waid / J. Bone / Fajardo) IDW

The same goes for this book, but it is a mini and it is over. I like the Rocketeer. I like the Spirit. I like Mark Waid.

This book is much less than the sum of its parts.

LAZARUS #5 (Rucka / Lark / Arcas) Image

This book seems to be all concept and no plot. It still has promise, though. I hope it gets more consistent.

BATMAN #26 (Scott Snyder / Greg Capullo / Danny Miki) DC

I keep thinking I might drop this book. Well, not yet. What puts this one onto the ‘good list’ is the idea that Bruce Wayne would be ‘anti-cop’. That makes so much sense that it seems almost odd that he has spent so long being a supporter of the police.

The ‘origin of Gordon’s coat’ was kind of silly, but it served its purpose.

FBP #6 (Simon Oliver / Robbi Rodriguez) Vertigo

Much like Batman, here is a book that always seems to be on the ‘we’ll see’ list. This issue handled things a little better. It feels like the promise of the book is finally paying off. This is a cop book where weird stuff happens. Cool. BE that.

AVENGERS A.I. #7 (Humphries / Araujo / D’Armata) Marvel

Do you get the impression that Sam Humphries preferred the old version of Blade Runner where they had a voice over to explain everything to the viewers? Pym’s exposition is sloppy storytelling. Period.

The Doombot stuff was classic, though. It made up for the Pym-narrator and a kind of stilted Daredevil.

ASTRO CITY #7 (Busiek / Anderson / Ross / Sinclair / Comicraft) Vertigo

Astro City is at its best when it gives us a street level view. This issue is the opposite of that as we get the story of Winged Victory. Still good, but not as great as the book can be.

There was a letter int he back saying the exact opposite. The writer was complaining that seeing these one-off characters isn’t as interesting as the ongoing stories of the major super-heroes. I disagree COMPLETELY. In this book, the heroes are the SETTING. It is the CHARACTERS that make it shine.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #700.2 (Morrell / Janson / Buccellato) Marvel

This is part two of the book that was my top pick last week. This was a good story. I read that David Morrell didn’t like tho issue. There were changes from what he wanted that he didn’t like. I am sorry to hear that, but the end story was a solid read that showed what makes a hero. That is very rare in comics these days. I liked it.

CATACLYSM: ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN #2 (Bendis / Marquez / Ponsor) Marvel

A nice series of flashbacks to the big flood to give a nice, street level view of heroics. They can’t fight Galactus, so what do they do? Save people. The ned would be a big deal if the USM book was still going. But it isn’t and I strongly believe that when it comes back, it won’t be part of the Ultimate Universe so it won’t even matter. It should give us an interesting issue 3, though.

I am kind of disappointed in the reveal about WHY Miles’ dad is anti-super. It is kind of… mundane.

MIGHTY AVENGERS #4 (Ewing / Land / Leisten / D’Armata) Marvel

Why did I enjoy this book so much? Character,character, character. Ewing writes these characters like he is Bendis. They feel like people – well-rounded and interesting.

But, let’s be honest here – what REALLY put it over the top? Danielle Cage. Apparently being adorable is now a super power.

Poopy Man!

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

November 19, 2013
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All-New_X-Men_Vol_1_18_Textless

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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Batman-24-Cover

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!