Rusty's World

Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Miles Morales: The Ultimate Spider-Man #3

July 13, 2014
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I wasn’t able to go get my comics last week. I got both week’s worth this week, read them, ranked them, and then split them back to their respective week so this is LAST WEEK’S list.

This week was bigger than the other, but the book of the week also only ranked third when I put them all together.

Starting at the weakest.

MIRACLEMAN #8 (Moore / Austen) Marvel

This comic actively angered me. We pay $5 for this comic. Normally that means you get multiple stories and then back-up material. I would rather they drop the old Mick Anglo stuff and charge less, but that might just be me.

THIS issue, though, had much less. You had the wrap up to the Gargunza story. It was fine but very simple. Then we get some stupid Cat Yronwoode filler that doesn’t even make any sense because they took it out of context with the reprints it was referring to. THIS shouldn’t have been bonus footage but instead it is a ‘main’ story. They should have dropped the Anglo stuff and given us another full story (original issue 9).

I feel ripped off. If this was normal, I would be dropping this book right now.

THIEF OF THIEVES #22 (Diggle / Martinbrough / Lucas) Image

You know what? I have had enough of this book. Not much more to say. It isn’t terrible, it just goes nowhere. It meanders and we basically get the same story over and over and over and over.


IRON FIST: THE LIVING WEAPON #4 (Kaare Kyle Andrews) Marvel

What a beautifully rendered book.

What terrible storytelling and (frankly) offensive characterization.

It four issues, Andrews has completely ripped Iron Fist apart, with no reason given, turned him into a selfish predator who takes advantage of women to try and fill some emptiness (that was never referred to before now), and made his title character completely unsympathetic.

The character of Brenda is incredibly insulting and a horrible stereotype. Ugh.


MOON KNIGHT #5 (Warren Ellis / Declan Shalvey / Jordie Bellaire) Marvel

This book shared some similar problems with Iron Fist… without the offensive parts.

It is very well drawn (not as good as the Andrews stuff in IF, but still very good).

It is very badly written (not as bad as the… etc.)

Warren Ellis has a rep that is well deserved but sometimes it feels like he cuts corners way too much. Here was have a story that has no first act. At all. Jus throw us in there, don’t explain anything, and let in unfold. Why was the girl kidnapped? There is an oblique reference to a crime family but that is it.

It is one long fight scene that seems to want to evoke that terrible Dredd movie or something.

I am NOT dropping this, because I consider this a misstep rather than an indictment against the book.

ORIGINAL SIN #5 (Aaron / Deodato) Marvel

So, is THIS why the mini exists? They continue to have th problem that it isn’t a story as much as a plot device.

I have a hard time getting worked up over changes to Nick Fury. They happen all the time. They always get reversed. Always.

SWAMP THING #33 (Charles Soule / Javier Pina) DC

Interesting storytelling technique. The book was about the conversations at him while Swampy fighting unending hordes of… something… was the back story.


FAIREST #27 (Mark Buckingham / Russ Braun) Vertigo

Bucky writing instead of drawing. Interesting. I like the concept…. though it was done back in the second Fables book. The animals are revolting! (“They certainly are!”)

Seeing how the books are wrapping up, who knows how this one will turn out!

LAZARUS #9 (Rucka / Lark / Arcas) Image

Somehow I think that Casey and Michael have just become the most interesting characters in the book (with all due respect to Forever).

The whole ‘Lifted’ concept is problematic, but this whole work is that. Where are they going with it? When is it all going to come tumbling down?

BLACK WIDOW #8 (Edmondson / Noto) Marvel

Problem: you shouldn’t need to read the recap page to understand what is going on and the whole Bucky / Natasha scene and final page wouldn’t make any sense at all if you hadn’t read the crappy Winter Soldier story.

Having said that, I quite liked this comic. Noto’s art con tunes to be wonderful and the character of Natasha has just the right level of opacity. The Isaiah story is also getting really interesting.

ROCKET RACCOON #1 (Young / Beaulieu) Marvel

I have (had?) the old Bill Mantlo Rocet series… but this is a little bit different. TH sold one was like a serious version of Captain Carrot. This one is just fun. Space fun, but fun nonetheless.

Believe it or not, this isn’t the best Groot appearance I read this week (next week?). Groot as wrestler is kind of weird.

Will this level of wackiness maintain? Will I get tired of it?

DAREDEVIL #0.1 (Waid / Krause / Kalisz) Marvel

Why does this comic exist? I am unsure. Maybe it was meant to be a Daredevil Annual or something. Regardless, it is a really good story. It was interesting to me that Daredevil – who is very familiar with any number of artificial lifeforms – completely dismissed the idea that the Adaptoid could be a ‘real person’. I wonder what the Vision would have thought if he witnessed that.

In the end, he feels bad because he cared at all.


I don’t like that part, but it still felt real. Good story. Well done.

MILES MORALES: THE ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #3 (Bendis / Marquez / Ponsor) Marvel

David Marquez is a brilliant artist. Open the book to page #5. Look at that page. Look at Katie and Miles. Even look at Ganke. This is a perfect, non-action, page. I would like to own this page.

Please, please, please let this all be a trick. No return of Norman. No return of Peter. Just no.


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

June 1, 2014
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Another week where I let you know whether I liked the comics I bought and how much.

Starting with the weakest.

GIANT-SIZE SPIDER-MAN #1 (Caramagna / Koblish / Caracuzzo / Ciregia / Casagrande / Seeley) Marvel

In my library I have a copy of the first Amazing Spider-Men Marvel Masterworks. It includes reprints of the first ten issues of Spider-Man by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko.

This week’s comic retold early stories – the Spidey origin and his first encounters with the Vulture, Doc Ock and Sandman. Straight up retelling. Nothing of any importance added. It was as if you picked up those old issues and read them… with two very important distinctions: the writing was weak and the art was terrible.

Don’t buy this. It is awful.

THIEF OF THIEVES #21 (Diggle / Martinbrough / Lucas) Image


The issue as a whole wasn’t that bad but once again, a writer thinks that only way to make a ‘bad guy’ seem really bad is to have him rape somebody. It is the same story that I read last week in Miracleman, but at least in that case the books as reprinted from the 80’s before we had a better idea of the damaging nature of this sort of rhetoric.

He could have just killed her. You want to make him seem really awful and still have him mutilate her? Well, that is pretty awful, but okay. So what did raping her first add?

We get it. He is an awful human being.

Weak, WEAK writing.

MIGHTY AVENGERS #10 (Ewing / Land / Leisten / D’Armata) Marvel

Is this the first appearance of the Watcher’s wife? A Watcher with lipstick?

The characterization of Ulana was fine. The visual portrayal was absolutely ridiculous.

Oh, was Uatu having a child a new reveal? If so, why did you give it away ON THE RECAP PAGE?

CHEW / REVIVAL #1 (John Layman / Rob Guillory / Tim Seeley / Mike Norton / Mark Englert) Image

Hmmmm… I read a review the other day that said that the Chew side was really good but the Revival side wasn’t funny enough… or something to that effect.

Allow me to rebut…

This crossover was stupid. The only part of the crossover I liked was Cooper explaining WHY they were doing a crossover (with a little Saga thrown in there for good measure).

Having said THAT, the Revival story was quite good. I wouldn’t bat an eye if it was in the regular comic. Chu was just a guest appearance that added pretty much nothing. Revival is a good comic and this was a good issue of that.

Then I flipped it over. Chew was terrible. I am very glad I haven’t been convinced to try this comic, and now it is pretty certain that I won’t. It is just a one-note gag all the way through. (Oh, and if you are going to cross-over with another comic, do you think you should MAYBE READ the other comic? Revival is NOT about Frankenstein people with limb grafting abilities. At all.)

Half a good comic.

BATMAN ETERNAL #8 (Scott Snyder / James Tynion IV / Ray Fawkes / John Layman / Tim Seeley / Guillem March) DC

A little chaotic, and not in a good way. Very sketchy. Still, another Stephanie Brown sighting, even if it was just to remind us she is still out there…

UNCANNY AVENGERS #20 (Remender / Acuna) Marvel

This was pretty solid despite being just one long fight scene.

I am very interested to see if they actually have everyone remember what happened and have Wasp and Havoc actually have a child together. This would be a very big character change for both of them.

When is the Giant-Man / Polaris team-up?

INHUMAN #2 (Charles Soule / Joe Madureira / Marte Gracia) Marvel

Issue #1 was so-so. Issue #2 was better. I am not sure I dig the Nuhuman label but I really liked Medusa’s (Lady Big Hair) portrayal in this book. Captain America was reasonable so she responded in a reasonable manner.

Having a sovereign nation in the middle of the Hudson probably won’t fly with the U.S. government, though. Tow them out to sea and Attilan Island will be the new Genosha or whatever that X-Island in San Francisco was called.

Because, let’s be honest here, this IS an X-Book.

AVENGERS #30 (Hickman / Yu / Alanguilan / Gho) Marvel

It is no secret to readers of this column that I am no fan of Hickman. AND this is following a New Avengers plot line in the Avengers and I didn’t like New Avengers.

Having said that… this was pretty good issue. Iron Man is played straight up as a villain here and I am starting to wonder when the rest of the heroes are going to stop putting up with his crap. Future Hawkeye was pretty cool (as you would expect). I liked it.

MS. MARVEL #4 (Wilson / Alphona / Herring) Marvel

YES! It took four issues for someone to say that the world didn’t need another BLONDE superhero (read: white). What they needed is Kamala Khan.

Yes! The character of Kamala IS this book and having her turn into a Captain Marvel clone undercut that. Now THIS is the future of the book.

I’ll admit, growing up the way I did, I have a hard time with her parents. I am trying not to judge because they seem awful to me.

C.O.W.L. #1 (Kyle Higgins / Alec Siegel / Rod Reis) Image

Another great new book from Image! This is treated like a super-hero union, but it seems more like a private Super-hero police force. Either way, it is quite interesting and visually appealing. (I love the cover design!)

Of course, it would be nice if some of the characters were a little more likeable…

DEAD BOY DETECTIVES #6 (Toby Litt / Mark Buckingham / Russ Braun) Vertigo

I have been fairly critical of this book thus far… until now! This was a very fun book, capturing the right mix of whimsy and threat that earlier DBD stories did. Done right, this book could be the new Books of Magic, and I consider that high praise.

THE MASSIVE #23 (Brian Wood / Danijel Zezelj / Jordie Bellaire) Dark Horse

The cynic in me wonders if Brian Wood decided to write this story with very positive, strong female presence after he had his “female comic creators are not your personal dating pool” comeuppance.

Regardless, whatever the motivation, this has been a GREAT story. I am not such a fan of the supernatural elements of the character but this issue doesn’t dwell on those. This is just good storytelling and strong character work.

I just read that tho book plans to end with issue #30.. Keep telling stories like this one and I will miss it.

Rusty’s Comic of the Week: The Massive #22

April 27, 2014
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Pretty diverse week. Only one real stand-outs, but nothing too bad.

Starting at the weakest.

DEAD BOY DETECTIVES #5 (Toby Litt / Mark Buckingham / Russ Braun) Vertigo

So they are out of the boarding school, so that complaint is gone. Unfortunately this issue was not a lot better. It was very scattered, lacking any real coherence. The structure was hit and miss. The characters are still compelling enough.

THIEF OF THIEVES #20 (Diggle / Martinbrough / Lucas) Image

How many times can I say the same thing? This comic is a movie script. Straight up. That has its plusses and minuses.The characters are there but the plot is kind of jerky at times. This was not one of those times, though. Minus some for the attempted sex scene.

THE SAVIORS #4 (James Robinson / J.Bone) Image

I kind of love that they set up what looked to be a team, gave them personality, and then killed ’em flat, all within one issue.

Talking with the alien.

JUSTICE LEAGUE UNITED #0 (Jeff Lemire / Mike McKone) DC

I am not a JLA guy, but when it was announced that Lemire was going to be writing Justice League Canada, I knew I was going to give it a try. They changed the name, but this is still that book. It is pretty good (which is good, since they cancelled Animal Man for it). I kind of love that it starts with an autograph session.

Question… why is this #0? It clearly starts the story and carries onto the next issue. Why is it not #1?

UNCANNY AVENGERS #19 (Remender / Acuna) Marvel

Solid alternate futre timeline story. Bad guy time travellers trying to dave the earth while the heroes sacrifice everything.

Is Kang going to really save Katie Summers? Won’t that be weird when they go back to the regular time and Havoc and Wasp suddenly have a child?

DAREDEVIL #2 (Waid / Samnee / Rodriguez) Marvel

Shroud wasn’t always like that. I guess that is new for this story. I have to admit that I didn’t know he was blind. That makes a Shroud/DD California meeting an inevitability.

Is DD surrounding himself with a crack team of super-capable women to help him fight crime? If so, I approve.

ORIGINAL SIN #0 (Mark Waid / Jim Cheung / Mark Morales / Justin Ponsor) Marvel

Now THIS is what a #0 should be. It is some interesting backstory, giving us something to make the Watcher feel more… human, I guess… just before he gets his. It is kind of a sweet story, with real repercussions as Nova learns that his father is alive.

BATMAN ETERNAL #3 (Scott Snyder / James Tynion IV / Ray Fawkes / John Layman / Tim Seeley / Jason Fabok) DC

Falcone didn’t thrill me but Stephanie Brown? Yes please! I know some people think of her as Batgirl or Robin, but to me she was always best as Spoiler and this is as close to that as we have come in years.

LAZARUS #8 (Rucka / Lark / Arcas) Image

This book sometimes reminds me of when The Massive was at it best early. Where it lacked in plot it made up for in world building. This is like that. The characters all have immediate hooks and I want to see how things turn out for them, or don’t.

THE MASSIVE #22 (Brian Wood / Danijel Zelelj / Jordie Bellaire) Dark Horse

Speaking of The Massive… this isn’t that. Ignore everything thou have read so far and jeu tread this book. It totally stands on its own and gives us the story of a group of African women trying to ensure that they take care of their own in a convoy across the Sahara.

This is really good comics. (and the art is AMAZING!)


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Revival #17

February 1, 2014
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Hmmm… not a terrible week but a few book stat a normally love were not as goos as usual. It left room for a nice upset at the top spot.

Starting at the bottom…

INHUMANITY #2 (Fraction / Bradshaw / Fabella) Marvel

Hmmm… when they announced that Matt Fraction was going to be spearheading the new ‘franchise’ for Marvel, that sounded kind of exciting.

Then the first issue came out, and it wasn’t really very good. Then they announced that Fraction had left the project and was replaced by Charles Soule, who I find kind of hit (Swamp Thing) and miss (Superman and Wonder Woman).

Then this issue came out, and it is pretty awful. Bad writing. Bad art. Bad comic.

But, it is still Fraction and it is not the regular artist (this was solicited as a one-shot and was renumbered because nobody ordered it…)

O’kay. I’ll still give Soule’s Inhuman a shot, but it is son a short leash.

THE SAVIORS #2 (James Robinson / J. Bone) Image

The first issue of this was my comic of the week (in a week where I only got two comics), but this issue is nowhere near as good. Alien tries to kill guy for unknown reason. Other guy saves him and gives him an explanation that is… just really generic.

Another possible short leash title.

FABLES #137 (Bill Willingham / Mark Buckingham / Russ Braun) Veritgo

A few good pages and a whole bunch of filler. The first Knights were named and a little bit of forward momentum on the Spratt / Bigby front.

The rest was just an overview of the world and a tip of the hat to the fact that the new North Wind isn’t a little kid anymore.

Not a terrible comic, but it felt like there was very little of substance.

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #26 (Slott / Ramos / Rodriguez / Martin / Lopez / Delgado / Olazaba / Vicente) Marvel

Why so many creators? Because the Peter scenes were by a different creative team than the Otto scenes. That was fine.

Kingsley is turning into one of my favourite villains. He appears to be the Scorpion of Marvel (L5R reference, woo-hah!). Meanwhile, the Green Goblin is most definitely NOT Norman Osborne. The biggest hint this issue was that it was Harry, which makes me think it isn’t.

I don’t know.

THIEF OF THIEVES #19 (Kirkman / Diggle / Martinbrough / Serrano) Image

Solid issue of ToT. I liked the ‘save’ and the counter-save and the arrest. The cheque was brilliant. The team is still out there. The black book that shows his plans within plans were also within plans.


MIRACLEMAN #2 (Alan Moore / Garry Leach / Steve Dillon / Alan Davis / Paul Neary / Mick Anglo) Marvel

Yes, I credited Moore. No copyright issues here. The Moore / Leach stuff is really, really good. (Though this time out you have to remind yourself how long this came out BEFORE Kingdom Come.) I still get kind of annoyed that I am paying for so much stuff I have no real interest in. I am not being this book for the 1950’s stories. I barely read them. I have no problem with classic comics… but these aren’t. They are just not that good.

UNCANNY AVENGERS #16 (Remender / McNiven / Dell / Leisten / Martin) Marvel

This book and a really BIG feel to it. The confrontations seemed epic. Captain America and Thor and Wasp epitomize what the Avengers should be. The fights with the separated twins felt important without just being energy thrown back and forth like a lot of the stories that pass for ‘big’ these days.

This is not the best Avengers book going, but it is easily #2.

DEAD BOY DETECTIVES #2 (Toby Litt / Mark Buckingham / Gary Erskine) Vertigo

This book does a lot to give Crystal even more character. It has the drawback of still having the ‘high-tech criminal enterprise’ laid over the classic boarding school… but it has the advantage that this isn’t in the forefront of the issue.

SAGA #18 (Brian K. Vaughan / Fiona Staples) Image

Last issue before the break…

So, what kept this from being #1? It was a really good comic with really good characterization… so what was the problem?

Well, ‘the push’ was ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous. ‘It’s okay, I knew you could do it!’ when the alternative was pushing her and their baby to their deaths? That is the most idiotic thing I have read in a while. Just awful.

Plus, the sudden jump was jarring.

REVIVAL #17 (Tim Seeley / Mike Norton) Image

While Revival out in a really solid outing this time. It feel silk you know these characters now. As a bonus, no over racist characters this time out! The Weimar vs the skinned (?) guy was riveting, but nowhere near as much as the woods scene between Em and May. Then the little reveal at the end which reminds us that there is still a mystery going on here…


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Hawkeye #14

November 30, 2013
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This was a pretty good week, overall, though I am also dropping a book.

Starting at the weakest.

PRETTY DEADLY #2 (DeConnick / Rios / Bellaire / Cowles) Image

This is the bottom book but it is NOT the one I am dropping. Why? Ruthanne really likes it.

I like the writer. I like the artist. I like the genre.

So why don’t I like this book?

Simple, I have no idea FROM THE COMIC, what it is about. (I know some from interviews, but that shouldn’t count.)

It just doesn’t make any sense. A series of pretty pictures (and they ARE that) does not make a story.

NEW AVENGERS #12 (Hickman / Deodato / Martin) Marvel

This issue sums up the PROBLEM with this book in microcosm. “You think Thanos and the Builders were tough? Wait until you face someone who is a REAL threat!” This book can do nothing but crank up the intensity. That is Hickman’s thing… make bigger and bigger threats, ad nauseum. That isn’t good storytelling. Just wait until the face the architects! is not my idea of interesting.

Many know I am a BIG Avengers fan from way back. That might have this book on my pull list a little longer than normal, but lets be honest. This isn’t an Avengers book any more than Avengers Arena is an Avengers book.

UNCANNY AVENGERS #14 (Remender / McNiven / Dell / Martin) Marvel

I don’t believe the end of this book for a second, and that is a good thing.

Oh, spoiler warning, I guess.

Still here? This issue they killed off Scarlet Witch, Rogue and Wonder Man. If I believed it was legit, I would drop this book right now.

This isn’t about begin attached to characters. Inf act, I am in the George Martin school of ‘kill ’em when people like ’em’ philosophy. No, my issue is them killing off two major female characters just like that. There is a shortage of TOP Marvel female characters and they kill two of them with no real pay-off?

Well, that’s why I don’t buy it. We’ll see.

INFINITY #6 (Hickman / Cheung / Morales / Ponsor) Marvel

The best part o this comic is the info on the cover that says it is the last issue. It was an okay read (which is why it is higher than the previous two books), but that is all. As an EVENT, it failed on all levels. The ONLY thing this story will be remembered for is launching the new Inhumans line… which has now been delayed three months. Well done.

ALL-NEW X-MEN #19 (Bendis / Peterson / Da Silva) Marvel

I quite like the Bendis X-books, but this one didn’t really stand out. Fighting mutant-hating soldiers with big guns. Been there, done that. A lot. Also, Cyclops suddenly turns into a moron, why? And the art wasn’t great. Not terrible, but not great.

THE MASSIVE #17 (Brian Wood / Garry Brown / Jordie Bellaire) Dark Horse

The environmentalists versus the old school whalers. I was firmly on the side of the Ninth Wave… but then Callum wants to shoot him? Huh?

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #22 (Slott / Gage / Ramos / Olazaba / Delgado) Marvel

When Peter comes back, he may be right out of friends. The Avengers… Black Cat… now Venom.

This book hits right on all levels. Character, story, subplots, everything.

REVIVAL #15 (Tim Seeley / Mike Norton) Image

Finding Em’s killer? All right! I’m onboard. Anything involving super-creepy Jordan? You bet. The oddly awesome Mr. Majek? Great!

Just… can we drop that racist asshole?

SAGA #16 (Brian K. Vaughan / Fiona Staples) Image

No the best issue of Saga, though still great. I am not a fan of dropping the word ‘faggots’ in, though it clearly was used to make that exact reaction. It also gave those two newshound an extra layer of character right away. The Klara / Oswald pairing is interesting and so on.

A good issue of a great comic.

THIEF OF THIEVES #18 (Kirkman / Diggle / Martinbrough / Serrano) Image

There are two points in a heist story that are mutually exclusive but are the points everyone is waiting for. One: the point where you find out that the plan wasn’t what you thought it was, and was actually way smarter OR Two: the point when the meticulously laid-out plan goes inevitably wrong.

This issue was the former. This is where the comic excels. When it gets away from that, it suffers, BUT can you just have the same two stories over and over?

HAWKEYE #14 (Fraction / Wu / Hollingsworth) Marvel

If you see Wu in the credits then it is a Kate Bishop issue. Fraction pulls off charming very, VERY well. She is trying to be a sped-hero on a bicycle. The fact that she pulled it off while obviously against overwhelming odds while kind of stumbling to a resolution while having an understated position on same-sex marriage (or as it should be know, ‘marriage’).

If Saga was a good issue of a great comic, Hawkeye was a great issue of a great comic.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week (month… year…): Fables #134

October 21, 2013
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Quite the extremes this week. The comic of the week was really… REALLY… good. The worst comic was… well, I might as well kick things off…

NEW AVENGERS #11 (Hickman / Deodato / Martin) Marvel

Let me start off by saying that even WITHOUT the problem I am about to lay out for you this book isn’t very good. Just as the 10 issues before it weren’t very good. What is keeping me around?

I just love the Avengers. I don’t buy them blindly any more (there are too damned many of them), but it is hard for me to let go. (Thankfully Mighty Avengers seems really good, because the Hickman stuff is very disappointing.)

Having said THAT, this book is worse than that.

There is a war in Wakanda, between some alien Thanos followers and the Wakandan army. You know Wakanda, right? One of the most (of not THE most) technologically advanced countries on the planet? Led by their Queen, the Black Panther. With all of that high tech at her disposal, she chooses to attack her enemy by… throwing a spear at them.

A spear.

A Queen of an African country LITERALLY throws a spear at someone.

Look, I am not implying that Hickman is racist. I don’t even know the man. But at a minimum he is guilty of being really, REALLY stupid here.

HUNGER #4 (Fialkov / Kirk / Aburtov) Marvel

Well, that was pointless. Rick Jones is Captain Marvel now. They are still going to destroy the Ultimate Universe, so who really cares? I am looking forward to Cataclysm, but this was just filling space.

AVENGERS # 21 (Hickman / Yu / Alanguilan / Gho) Marvel

Why does Marvel put the two Hickman Avengers books out on the same week every month? That doesn’t make sense at all.

This book is better than NA, but that is damning with faint praise. Any chance Bendis will come back?

UNCANNY X-MEN #13 (Bendis / Bachalo / Townsend / Gracia) Marvel

Speaking of Bendis…

Battle of the Atom is better than Infinity in every way, but this is still just an extended fight scene with an unexplained twist that seems a bit like a deus ex machina.

THIEF OF THIEVES #17 (Kirkman / Diggle / Martinbrough / Serrano) Image

The on-going heist picture of a comic book continues to be an on-going heist picture. That works for me. WHo is making the series? This seems like an AMC property to me. Hamm as Redmond?

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #19 (Slott / Stegman / Livesay / Delgado) Marvel

So if 2099 is staying in 2013, the Captain is likely playing Spider-Hero, Miles will be the Ultimate survivor, Peter is coming back (duh)… the web is going to get crowded.

ANIMAL MAN #24 (Jeff Lemire / Rafael Albuquerque) DC

I thought Brother Blood was a formidable enemy, but really he is just a flunky. It is the Totem that is the issue. Big threat. Scary implications. Stress induced reunion. Good character points all around.

WONDER WOMAN #24 (Brian Azzarello / Goran Sudzuka) DC

Do you know what annoys me? That Superman/Wonder Woman book probably outsells this one, despite being nowhere near as good.

This issue was GREAT! We are finally moving on as the prophecy has been dealt with and the new story about Diana’s place among the pantheon is really interesting. Hermes got a really good point in and Apollo is nothing to fool around with. Good stuff.

HAWKEYE #13 (Fraction / Aja / Hollingsworth) Marvel

I should be disappointed. After a long delay this book STILL didn’t advance the plot, and only put other actions into some sort of timeline.

But it did it really well. Great stories, great art, great comics.

FABLES #134 (Willingham / Buckingham / Leialoha / Pepoy) Vertigo


It has been a long time since Fables was GREAT. It is still good (except when Willingham lets his politics take over), and sometimes it is really good.

But this issue is better than that.

Two conversations. That’s it. Two well written, moving, powerful, sad conversations. Illustrated in such a way to make them even MORE than they already are. Bucky’s design instincts go to a whole other level here.

But still… those conversations… the second one… the question…

I can’t even really describe this.

May I be overly moved by this? I lost my father this year. Did that chance how I looked at this book?

Maybe… but whatever. This is just a wonderful comic.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Fables #132

August 25, 2013
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Busy, eventful and fulfilling week.

But that is about life… this is about comics.

Starting at the weakest.

AVENGERS ASSEMBLE #18 (DeConnick / Kitson / Woodard) Marvel

This has not been a very strong book. Then it crossed over with Captain Marvel and was an actively bad book. I decided to wait it out. Now it is an Infinity ‘tie-in’ that just reads as being pointless.

Enough. Dropped.

AVENGERS #18 (Hickman / Yu / Alanguilan / Gho) Marvel

Also an Infinity book, but this one is one of the ‘core’ books. Jerky and Hickmanesque, but at least it advances the plot, if only a bit and in somewhat opaque ways.

What I know about Infinity. There are aliens attacking… the universe, I guess. They are tough and scary enough that lots of other alien races are teaming up to fight them. Oh, and Thanos is behind it but nobody knows that… or something.

THIEF OF THIEVES #16 (Kirkman / Diggle / Martinbrough / Serrano) Image

Ooh…harsh. Things don’t look good for our hero.

The fact that I have nothing else to really say tells you why this book is so low on the list this week.

DAREDEVIL #30 (Waid / Samnee / Rodriguez) Marvel

This book has two good things going for it: Chris Samnee and that pseudo-emotional sucker punch at the end. And even that doesn’t actually MEAN anything. The ‘alien menace’ wasn’t that interesting and the Silver Surfer appearance was only good for the visual.

This HAS been a great book but the last few issues feel like a real slip for Waid.

ANIMAL MAN # 23 (Jeff Lemire / Steve Pugh / Francis Portela) DC

Solid book. Buddy’s struggles as he deals with the loss of Cliff manifest themselves well as he is more angry than he might otherwise be when dealing with threats. The L’il Nemo pastiche is also working perfectly, and it is better as it flips back between that and Buddy.

And now… betrayal!

X-Men #4 (Wood / Lopez / Smith / Peter) Marvel

A very well written book. We finally deal with Jubilee the vampire (I still think that is stupid… but you also shouldn’t just ignore it), and the backlash of Storm’s actions in the last story are mixed with an in-air rescue… and another in-air rescue.

Too bad it was marred but some really sloppy art. In the Storm team part anyone. The art in the Jubilee part (especially the baby) worked well.

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #16 (Slott / Ramos / Olazaba / Delgado) Marvel

So, about that secret identity, Phil…

The exposure of Phil Urich worked on many, MANY levels. The chaos it created showed how WRONG Otto was to take that tack, which really worked for the story.

The only problems I had were the summary dismissal of Norah. Not only did I not like it, but it was ridiculous and the only acceptable story going forward is her suing the hell out of the Daily Bugle.

That at the ‘Goblin Knight’ is a really lame name.

REVIVAL #13 (Tim Seeley / Mike Norton) Image

Great characterization issue. A formerly dead kid gets all spooky. A former player gets all charming. A doctor gets all murdery… or at least exposed as such.

Did anyone else think those knitting needles were going to find themselves buried in someone’s chest?

And did he just… discorporate?

WONDER WOMAN #23 (Brian Azzarello / Cliff Chiang) DC

Do you know what kind of comics I usually don’t like? Issue-long, over-powered fight scenes. WHat was this book? An issue-long, over-powered fight scene.

But it was really good. I should have known something was up the moment I said to myself, “You know, War is pretty awesome.”

That would be War the character, not war the concept.

Once again… looking forward to the next step.

FABLES #132 (Willingham / Buckingham / Leialoha) Vertigo

Remember when they formed the Fables super-hero team and it seemed like a neat concept that just didn’t really pan out?

The new Knights of the Round Table seems like the same basic concept but made way, way cooler. I still don’t like Brandish so seeing him get yet another comeuppance was nice.

Fables has been not as consistently awesome as it once was (barring Willingham’s occasional messed-up political commentaries) and it is still WAY better than Fairest, but this Round Table story feels like it has the potential to be really great.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Swamp Thing #22

July 4, 2013
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Not as good a week as last week, but some solid stuff.

Starting at the weakest.

AVENGERS A.I. #1 (Humphries / Araujo / D’Armata) Marvel

This was certainly the most disappointing book of the week. The set-up last week – the Age of Ultron special issue featuring Hank Pym – was great… but all we have discovered this week is that Sam Humphries is no Mark Waid.

I guess we already knew that after the Ultimates.

Oh well. This is neither written well nor drawn especially well. I like the idea and I thought I liked the characters but so far:

Vision is no longer Vision. He is now a generic android.

Doombot got really annoying really fast.

Monica Chang is such the stereotypical ‘bitch’ character that it takes what COULD be a great female role and turns it into caricature.

Pym is… well, any actual character development has just been thrown out the window. He just recreated Ultron and acts like it is no big deal.

Victor Macha is… the one character I liked in this issue.

Hopefully it gets better.

DIAL H #14 (China Mieville / Alberto Monticelli / Dan Green) DC

This books alternating between beautiful and incomprehensible mess swung more towards the latter this issue. Mieville seems to excel on individual ‘moments’ but has a real problem with over-arching plot.

FAIREST #17 (Williams / Sadowski / Jimenez / Gren / Pepoy) Vertigo

The first annoyingly sexist depiction of the week.

This issue is really just a flashback and one small plot advancement. There just isn’t enough here for this book to score higher.

THE MOVEMENT #3 (Gail Simone / Freddie Williams II) DC

The second annoyingly sexist depiction of the week. Yes, it i swritten by Gail Simone, but that doesn’t mean that the first few pages isn’t a little bit too much ‘baseball bat’ plot development. Later, with the ‘Missy’ line? Much better handling of the concept.

AVENGERS #15 (Hickman / Spencer / Caselli / Martin) Marvel

The third annoyingly sexist depiction of the week: this issue’s cover.

Look at how well most of the cover is drawn. This is Yeinil Yu and the artist has talent. Now look at BLack Widow’s chest.

What… the… hell.

Someone has been borrowing Greg Land’s porn collection.

The inside of the comic is much better. Actual plot development! Decent ‘against-terrible-odds’ fight scenes! Triumph (if only temporary)! Goofy Skrull faces!

Banner’s right hand/left hand thing was too stupid for an actual genius, but whatever. This was a better comic than it has been.

MISTER X: EVICTION #3 (Dean Motter) Dark Horse

A nice wrap-up to the mini. Mister Smith was interesting. A liked his treatise on tattoos and defining of self. I wish I understood the hidden tattoo better. I get the dichotomy, but not why it was created differently than the others.

Looking forward to more Mister X!

THIEF OF THIEVES #15 (Kirkman / Diggle / Martinbrough / Serrano) Image

Best ToT issue in a while. I think it was more actual heist set-up, and less double-triple-quadruple cross for barely any reason. Yes, the book still has a problem with repetition, but this issue worked.

SWAMP THING #22 (Charles Soule / Kano) DC

Seeder is awesome! Who thought the Whisky Tree would work out well? Instead it turned into a DC version of Crossed. Constantine is great in here… better than in JLD. The art is beautiful too.

Very good book. With all respect to Scott Snyder, Charles Soule has made this a much better read.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: X-Men #1

June 8, 2013
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This was a really small week.

Three books.

That’s it.

THIEF OF THIEVES #14 (Kirkman / Diggle / Martinbrough / Serrano) Image

Eh… in a vacuum this is a good read. My issue is that we seem to be getting the same story over and over. SOmebody gets something on Redmond and forces him to steal for them. He figures out a way to screw them over. Repeat.

NEW AVENGERS #6 (Jonathan Hickman / Steve Epting / Rick Magyar / Frank D’Armata) Marvel

Did you hear that they have announced a new REAL New Avengers? Only they are calling it Mighty Avengers.

This issue wasn’t bad. The way Black Swan talks down to all of them is fun. Hickman’s choppy writing style is less so.

X-Men #1 (Wood / Coipel / Morales / Martin) Marvel

Now THIS book was good. I love how Wood has made a comic starring female members of the X-Men without it being ABOUT the fact the characters are female. SOme may feel that revolving it around a baby is a little stereotypical, but it doesn’t read that way.

Is Jubilee still a vampire? Please say no…

Good characters. Good writing. Very good art. What’s not to like?


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Wonder Woman #19

April 21, 2013
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Big surprise at the #1 spot this week.

Maybe I am just in a good mood because I did really well at the Capital Slam semi-finals last night and made the finals. Time to get to work!

Starting at the weakest.

BATWOMAN #19 (J.H. Williams III / W.Haden Blackman / Trevor McCarthy) DC

So, the DC cover gimmick where it is supposed to reveal some big surprise? Did nobody tell Williams that?

I really should drop this comic. I like the character. I like the concept. I like to support diversity in comics.

But I prefer comics to be somewhat coherent. This isn’t. And the art is bad.


CAPTAIN MARVEL #12 (DeConnick / Sebela / Andrade / Bellaire) Marvel

I like this comic more, but this is still just a big fight scene. Interspersing the medical talk helped a bit, but not enough.

So, she ‘caught’ something now? I guess that makes sense because that way she can find a cure, go back to being her old heroic self, and feel bad about Helen Cobb. I get it.

It looks like they are going to try a more ‘standard’ artist starting next issue. We’ll see how that plays.

AGE OF ULTRON #6 (Bendis / Peterson / Pacheco / Martinez) Marvel

What really puts that book down this low is the art. It just wasn’t very good. The past Pacheco art is a lot better than the Peterson art… but nether really wowed me.

The end wasn’t shocking at all and the announcement of an upcoming book called Avengers A.I. has already spoiled that this ‘shock’ doesn’t stick around so, there is that.

The Age of Ultron spin-off this week was way better.

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #8 (Dan Slott / Huberto Ramos / Hector Olazaba / Edgar Delgado) Marvel

The scenes with the Avengers were not great. The cool big fight scene that was expected just didn’t happen and then their ‘scan’ was pretty weak. The stuff with Cardiac was a lot better and Otto’s feelings about being a hero were an interesting evolution.

They have teased that something big happens in issue #9. I think that is it for that Peter echo, cementing Otto’s place. (Of course, I still think Peter WILL be back, but not just yet.)

REVIVAL #9 (Tim Seeley / Mike Norton) Image

Ruthanne’s complaint is that the book doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, and that is a fair assessment, but I still like it.

I actually don’t know what else to say with this one.

THIEF OF THIEVES #13 (Kirkman / Asmus / Martinbrough / Serrano ) Image

This is another one I like more than Ruthanne does. I dig the cinematic feel of it. There are always twists but they don’t feel contrived. This issue marks the end of the Asmus arc but it also sets up the Andy Diggle arc that follows.

The one real criticism I have is that I wonder if EVERY arc is going to be about how someone manipulates him into stealing for them and how he turns the tables.

DAREDEVIL #25 (Waid / Samnee / Rodriguez) Marvel

This is an interesting take on the Daredevil fight scene. I love Chris Samnee’s art normally, so it feels weird criticizing him, but it felt like we were being TOLD that the fight was brutal, rather than seeing it. I recall when Waid made comments about how busted up Matt was inside, wondering, ‘why?’ It just felt like reading a normal fight scene with a supervillain while being told that it was much more.

DD is a good book, though. I am glad I finally starting buying it.

WOLVERINE AND THE X-MEN #27 AU (Kindt / Medina / Vlasco / Curiel) Marvel

Right off the top, let me say that this book does not deserve to place this high on the list. It is just not THAT good. The art is not great and the writing is nothing special.


But the CONCEPTS in this book really hit be in my happy place.

Wolverine and Sue Storm just screwed up. BIG time.

Forget the possible fall-out from killing Hank Pym… Sue just made Reed more distrustful and less likely to work with the wider community to keep the world safe.

Meanwhile, Wolverine just created a race of SUPER-Brood that would probably threaten the existence of humankind on the planet. (Think the movie Aliens, let loose on the world).

My only concern is that since this isn’t in the main title, these threads won’t be as important as the death of Pym one (which should also be a big deal) and won’t be touched on as much. I hope I am wrong.

FABLES #128 (Willingham / Buckingham / Pepoy / Leialoha) Vertigo

My concerns about this book have been allayed so far. Snow White was awesome. Brute force is clearly not going to win the day (in fact, wait until Bigby hears what he just did to his wife). Rose Red rose (ahem) to the occasion. The witches are DOING something.

I feel more comfortable that Snow will save herself and that is what I want to see.

WONDER WOMAN #19 (Azzarello / Sudzuka / Akins / Green) DC

WW is #1? Wow. I have not been liking the book that much lately, so what made is so great this time? Cliff Chiang isn’t even on art!

Oh, I how I enjoyed this book. Let me count the ways.

The Apollo stuff was okay and the Poseidon stuff didn’t do it for me… but the rest!

Let’s start with the naming sequence. They start with the Brit names. Diana suggests Steve and everyone gives her a look (that is almost a 4th-wall sequence). War shows where his head is at. Hera looking at the baby and the effect that has on her. Then, Zeke! Orion’s idea of what the name sounds like is awesome! What a great name!

The mod-WW semi-easter egg.

The kiss.

The balls.

The punch.

The UGLY Orion!

This book was FULL of great bits.


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