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Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Ultimate Spider-man #200

April 6, 2014
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Another big week… but not a great one.

(It is nice to be back on schedule…)

Starting at the weakest…

PRETTY DEADLY #5 (DeConnick / Rios / Bellaire / Cowles) Image

Ruthanne claims I am “not paying close enough attention” because I say that this book is nearly incomprehensible.

If you say so.

Here is a book with a writer than I like, an artist that I like, and a story that is an absolute mess.

TRILLIUM #8 (Jeff Lemire) Vertigo

Almost the same problem…

I have spent the last few issues of Trillium complaining that the annoying nature of the book is hiding the story. Well, this issue is not annoying at all to read so I could really let the story shine through… only to find it trite and deeply unsatisfying.

Oh well. I still like Lemire on Animal Man…

…oh wait. That is cancelled.

Hopefully Justice League Canada is better than it looks…

THE MOVEMENT #11 (Gail Simone / Freddie Williams II) DC

Huh. I have been enjoying this series (so of course, it is also cancelled), but this issue was not so great. It almost feels like Simone felt like she had to cram the entire Burden story into one issue to get it done in time for the book to end. The whole introduction and resolution of his brother and Burden admitting that he is gay came at a breakneck speed that really made it suffer.

REVIVAL #19 (Tim Seeley / Mike Norton) Image

Sometimes this book is quite good. Sometimes it is not so good. This time it was just kind of… meh.

Chuck better be okay!

INHUMAN #1 (Charles Soule / Joe Madureira / Marte Gracia) Marvel

Kin predicted that I would drop this after the first issue. Nope. It isn’t that bad. I am not raving about it, but it is interesting enough to keep with for now. The brother/sister at the end were interesting. I don’t really like Medusa, but I like the big door-guy. 🙂

Of course, this whole story is jus the X-Men vs the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants in their fight to recruit new mutants…

FAIREST #25 (Marc Andreyko / Shawn McManus) Vertigo

I like this story in general, but it feels like it has outstayed its welcome. Time for a new story maybe?

Preferably NOT by Willingham?

SHE-HULK #3 (Soule / Pulido / Vicente) Marvel

Not as good as the previous two issues, but it still had its moments. The Hellcat appearance was a nice touch.

Th parts of Pulido’s art that I dislike (Jen’s face) was even worse this time, though I like his art in general. The lay-outs were problematic as there were a number of times where I found myself reading panels in the wrong order (page by page instead of ‘wide-screen’).

MOON KNIGHT #2 (Warren Ellis / Declan Shalvey / Jordie Bellaire) Marvel

Very innovative opening, but was this whole issue just so Ellis could make a political statement about the power of world banking? It is only the second issue and it already felt like Moon Knight was an afterthought.

It was a good read, though.

BLACK WIDOW #5 (Nathan Edmondson / Phil Noto) Marvel

Raiders of the Lost Ark, anyone?

The Mad Monk wrapped up a little… abruptly, but in true 24 style, there is a bigger menace behind the curtain.

I am guessing that Tori Raven turns out to be bad, but I hope not. She is an interesting support character.

Oh.. off the google to find out if I should know who Damon Dran is…

Oh, okay. He is not a new character, but no… there is no reason I would have heard of him. (He appeared in a short Daredevil arc in 1972. And not much else…)

SWAMP THING #30 (Charles Soule / Jesus Saiz / Javi Pina) DC

Is that three Charles Soule books this week? Well, this is the best of them. Some Anatomy Lesson flashbacks and Alec getting his human on.

Lady Weeds has had a nice upgrade. It suits her. I am digging the Sureen arc.

CALIBAN #1 (Garth Ennis / Facundo Percio) Avatar

I usually barely even look at the Avatar solicits. I will admit that I read the on-line Crossed comic, but in general, the way they market their books leaves a little cold. (‘Fatal Fantasy’ covers? Really?)

Having said that, I stumbled across the solicits for Caliban and it sounded like something I would like. I am glad I did. This is a really sharp book. It has a real Alien feel (the Ridley Scott version). The characters have CHARACTER, even if only briefly.

Has this been optioned for a movie yet? Because it sure looks like one.

Nice surprise here from Avatar and Garth Ennis. (The back cover may be the only thing that stopped the book from being the top dog this week.)

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #200 (Brian Michael Bendis . Dave Marquez / David Lafuente / Sara Pichelli / Mark Brooks / Mark Bagley / Andrew Hennessy / Justin Ponsor) Marvel

Now… this book deserved the top spot.

I am nto a big fan of artist mash-ups, but this one was pretty seamless. I am also not a big fan of multiple massive splash pages… but, yeah.

The real work was in the other pages, though. This book reminds us about what has gone before and what is yet to come. This is character work to the core.

I am not sure who that person in the bushes was. There are a lot of people who seem to think it is a Peter clone… but let me be a vote against that. That would really be lame. That is what stops the Ultimate Spider-Woman from being more interesting. Please NO MORE CLONES.

I REALLY want to know what Ganke made for Gwen.

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

October 27, 2013
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This was a pretty disappointing week. It looked like a great lineup, but while they didn’t all crap out, there were many that jsut didn’t live up to expectations.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Marking time issue.

UNCANNY AVENGERS #13 (Remender / Acuna) Marvel

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

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

SEX CRIMINALS #2 (Fraction / Zdarsky) Image

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

DAREDEVIL #32 (Waid / Samnee / Rodriguz) Marvel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Saga #14

October 3, 2013
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Pretty decent-sized week… complete with a book I thought I cancelled. Huh…

Starting at, well, that book…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I do wish the Avengers books were better.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I am looking forward to next issue… as usual.

REVIVAL #14 (Mike Seeley / Mike Norton) Image

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

SEX CRIMINALS #1 (Fraction / Zdarsky) Image

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

Fun and interesting, the way sex should be.

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

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

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

Or maybe the panel with Sophie and Lying Cat.

Wow, this is just a great comic.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Lazarus #3

September 1, 2013
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Lazarus-03

Not a spectacular week, but some pleasant surprises. One cut, though, and one big disappointment.

CAPTAIN MARVEL #15 (DeConnick / Van Meter / Oliffe / Geraci / Troy) Marvel

So the art is better. The comic isn’t.

So now she has lost her memory and is turning into Binary? She has no emotional attachment to the people around her?

So a 30-year backslide in characterization?

Add to that, the THIRD time I have read the same story with slight variations.

Enough. Dropped.

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

I normally really like this book. The fact that I considered cutting it after this issue tells you something.

What is so great about this book is how grounded it is. This reads like something that COUDL happen, given extreme enough circumstances.

Spoiler alert, I guess…

Mary made nuclear missiles disappear with her mind. A whole bunch of them (though the number doesn’t really matter).

Mark this issue. If they don’t manage to dig their way out of this, issue #15 is the moment The Massive stopped being a good comic.

FEDERAL BUREAU OF PHYSICS #2 (Simon Oliver / Robbi Rodriguez) Vertigo

This book was called Collider with the first issue but ran into some copyright problems.

The book is okay. I am hoping for more, honestly. There is promise here, but it hasn’t blossomed yet.

THE UNWRITTEN #52 (M.Carey / P.Gross / B.Willingham / M.Buckingham) Vertigo

Do you know what would be really cool? A story were Tommy Taylor and friends appear in the world of Fables.

To bad we instead got this alternate universe, kind of not really crossover.

The story isn’t terrible but as I read it, I can’t get out of my head how cool it COULD be.

NEW AVENGERS #9 (Hickman / Deodato / Martin) Marvel

Pleasant surprise number one.

The Black Order in action against the Illuminati. Namor turning into a full-on super villain again.
(side note: If this DOESN’T turn into some secret plot, how is Namor considered a ‘good guy’ after that? Back to his roots, I guess…)
(side note #2: which infinity gem did Reed Richards have?)

UNCANNY X-MEN #11 (Brian Michael Bendis / Frazer Irving / Kris Anka) Marvel

Sentinel! The ever-evolving Sentinels are awesome. (Though I prefer when they LOOK like Sentinels.)

Good overall. I wish the reveal at the end meant something to me, though.

YOUNG AVENGERS #9 (Gillen / McKelvie / Norton / Wilson) Marvel

Do you know what has dragged the last two issues down for me? Leah.

So much depends on her very appearance having a big impact on the reader and I never read Journey Into Mystery. It just loses that extra kick. Without that, the book is getting a little repetitive. Still solid, though.

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #26 (Bendis / Marquez / Ponsor) Marvel

Second Bendis book this week. The book hurts a bit from a lack of Miles, who is much more interesting that his costumed counterpart, but it is still really rock solid.

I have one big request, though. DON’T SCREW UP TASKMASTER. He used to be the best until they screwed him up over in the 616. You have another chance now.

UNCANNY AVENGERS #11 (Remender / Acuna) Marvel

The other pleasant surprise. This is a really good read. Wonderful art. Solid storytelling. Great characterization. This is all DESPITE having Sentry in it. I don’t knwo what is goign on with Wanda, but I guarantee that it isn’t what it looks like.

Good book.

LAZARUS #3 (Rucka / Lark / Arcas) Image

Now THIS is a good book. This is the best in its short run, by far. The characterization between the two Lazari was worth the price of admission alone. The negotiation scene was nearly as good. The bit with the Twins… everything. Good book. Very good book.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Ultimate Spider-Man #25

July 22, 2013
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Another week with really strong contenders for the top spot. Now that I have been adding a pic to the post it was tempting to make either Scarlet or Revival the top book just because the covers are so nice, but I have to be true!

Starting at the bottom…

AVENGERS #16 (Hickman / Spencer / Caselli / Martin) Marvel

Well, they can’t all be winners. Sigh. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love the Avengers. I have the full run… yes the FULL run, right back to 1963.

Last night I was trying to remember the last time the Avengers were as bad as they are now. Geoff Johns? Maybe not. Chuck Austen for sure.

Sigh.

AVENGERS ASSEMBLE #17 (DeConnick / Buffagni / Woodard) Marvel

I don’t mind the story here but it isn’t enough to overcome the awful art. This AA / Captain Marvel crossover has made me want to cancel them both. In fact, they READ like books that are about to be cancelled, if that makes sense.

FABLES #131 (Willingham / Buckingham / Leialoha) Vertigo

First off – great cover. One of many nice covers this week. The story is solid. The Brandish ‘surprise’ (which was telegraphed all through this issue) was interesting, but not as much as the Rose Red story. The only reason that this issue is so far down is that is seems more like a prelude to great things than great things itself.

ANIMAL MAN #22 (Jeff Lemire / Steve Pugh / Francis Portela) DC

Steve Pugh’s depiction of the Red was really wonderful this issue! Maxine’s influence on the place is a welcome addition! It contrasted nicely with the brutal attack on Buddy. Of course you all knew exactly where the Cliff thing was going as soon as she started, but some lessons need to be learned, as the Shepherd pointed out. The villain reveal was great for fans of the old Teen Titans book… back when it was good.

ALL-NEW X-MEN #14 (Brian Michael Bendis / Stuart Immonen / Wade von Grawbadger / Marte Gracia) Marvel

Another striking cover. This issue was a good old fashioned super fight… but done really well. There was action, there were quips, there was plot advancement, there was villainous escapes and captures. Just a good comic for people who like old-school super-heroics.

WONDER WOMAN #22 (Brian Azzarello / Cliff Chiang) DC

And New Genesis joins the new DC Universe! I liked it! I wasn’t sure about Highfather being kind of a dick, but his last line showed that there are layers within layers here. Orion gets more characterization that works for him. Meanwhile, back on earth…

Good stuff. (despite still being the ‘first story’ on issue 22)

SCARLET #7 (Bendis / Maleev) Icon

This easily could have been the top book. I almost wanted to put in at #1 just because of the beautiful cover.

What stopped it from being #1 is that very little happened. It just happened very well, if you get what I am saying. The plot advanced in a very small way, but it a well-written, compelling and interesting fashion.

One of the best books going… but it just doesn’t come out often enough. Read the trades.

REVIVAL #12 (Tim Seeley / Mike Norton) Image

First, let em do a little cut and paste: “This easily could have been the top book. I almost wanted to put in at #1 just because of the beautiful cover.”

I have been close to cancelling this book in the past. I felt it had a great high concept that was being squandered. Then it devolved into random racism that didn’t seem to advance the plot at it became a bit of a chore to read.

This issue feels like they finally got it right, end to end.The emotional impact on both sides was well presented. The potential story threads were laid out nicely. Even the racism angle seemed to have a point this time.

Good book. Now keep it up.

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #25 (Bendis / Marquez / Ponsor) Marvel

Is there a character that you really feel what he is going through more than Miles Morales? If there is, let me know because I want to read that book.

Why he doesn’t want to wear the costume makes perfect sense. Why others want him to wear the costume makes perfect sense. Why he would end up making the decision he makes, makes perfect sense.

Jessica Drew was REALLY good in this issue. I have not been a big fan of the Ultimate Spider-Woman because I am not a fan of the clone angle, but here it works to perfection.

If you aren’t reading Ultimate Spider-man, you are missing out on some of the best characterization in comics.

My top 5 books, in no particular order are: Ultimate Spider-Man, Saga, Hawkeye, Scarlet and… whatever I say at this point will be fairly random as there are a bunch. But that is my top 4 for sure. (I would add Joe the Barbarian, but it is hardly current. Hopefully Sandman: Overture will join this list in the fall.)


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Animal Man #21

June 24, 2013
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ANMAN_Cv21

Good size week with a ‘big’ release that was pretty disappointing.

Starting at the weakest.

CAPTAIN MARVEL #13 (DeConnick / Hepburn / Bellaire) Marvel

I wonder if this book would ‘read’ better if it had a different artist.

AGE OF ULTRON #10 (No cover credits – Bendis / Maleev / Hitch / Neary / Guice / Peterson / Pacheco / Bonet / Palmer / Marquez / Quesada) Marvel

Ugh. I have actually enjoyed this series but this comic was barely even part of it. It read like an epilogue. “Remember that plan from last issue? It worked. Now there is fall-out… and you get to see it in the following comics!”

It is an ad for follow up comics! (Which I was already going to buy.)

The series as a whole was good but the last half of this comic was lame.

AVENGERS #14 (Hickman / Spencer / Caselli / Martin) Marvel

Stuff happens!

None of makes any real sense!

PLEASE tell me that Hickman will leave the Avengers titles after Infinity. PLEASE.

Not likely.

NEW AVENGERS #7 (Jonathan Hickman / Mike Deodato / Frank Martin) Marvel

Better than Avengers, so that is something. This time out, anyway. Big earth-threatening menace! That just seems to go on and on without anything ever actually happening! Grrrr! And now there is war on earth! Grrrr!

See note from previous issue.

REVIVAL #11 (Tim Seeley / Mike Norton) Image

I am wavering on this book, but this issue was solid. I could do without that super-racist dude, but the main story with Emma and the organ-harvesters was interesting.

WONDER WOMAN #21 (Brian Azzarello / Cliff Chiang) DC

This is still the 21st issue of the same storyline, which is a little long, but the end made it worthwhile. New Genesis! Highfather! Boom Tubes! Some big boring tough guy! Okay, you can’t win them all.

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #12 (Slott / Camuncoli / Dell / Pallot / Delgado) Marvel

When is Peter coming back?

This is a well-written comic, but Otto is certainly unlikeable. The Jameson / Otto interaction is interesting. If Otto actually kills Smythe on Jameson’s orders, or even if he doesn’t, Otto now has blackmail material against the mayor. Interesting.

UNCANNY AVENGERS #9 (Rememder / Acuna) Marvel

So here it is! The big fight between Rogue and the Scarlet Witch!

Oh wait… that doesn’t actually happen? But the cover…?

Yeah. False advertising.

Godo story though. I know that this is going to blow over but I WANT Captain America to refuse to serve with Wolverine. I actually like BOTH characters but that should include Cap refusing to serve with Logan.

FABLES #130 (Willingham / Kitson / Erskine) Vertigo

I could see the ending coming, but I still liked it. I think the final panel was poorly don, though, because all of a sudden it seemed like the Rats had abused her, which wasn’t the impression I got during that actual scene.

Nezumi for the win!

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #24 (Bendis / Marquez / Ponsor) Marvel

Hey, the Ultimate Dagger wears clothes! Cloak and Dagger are interesting in their limited appearance so far. We don’t know if what is going on in Cloak’s… cloak is the same as in the 616 uni or not. Gwen’s slap of Miles was perfect.

You can’t be in a Spider-man book and not learn that with great power… etc.

ANIMAL MAN #21 (Jeff Lemire / Steve Pugh / Francis Portela) DC

This is the best book DC has going these days. This book as Maxine as a messed up Little Nemo. Twitter ruining Buddy’s life and letting the villain escape. The confluence of celebrity and tragedy. Buddy trying to actually be a super-hero.

Good comic.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Ultimate Spider-man #23

May 19, 2013
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Small week… some good books though.

Starting at the weakest…

AGE OF ULTRON #8 (Bendis / Peterson / Mounts) Marvel

If this is such a big cross-over, couldn’t they have gotten a better artist?

Nothing happens. I mean, stuff happens, but nothing you couldn’t explain away in a few lines. This mini is hit and miss. Great ideas but not always the best execution.

AVENGERS: THE ENEMY WITHIN #1 (DeConnick / Hepburn / Bellaire) Marvel

So, why did this need to be its own comic? Really, this is just an issue of Captain Marvel with Spider-woman and Thor guest starring. That’s okay. I read Captain Marvel and Avengers Assemble, so getting this cross-over was going to happen anyway.

Buy this if you already buy Captain Marvel. If you don’t, this isn’t going to change your mind.

WONDER WOMAN #20 (Brian Azzarello / Goran Sudzuka / Cliff Chiang) DC

Sudzuka is a better fill-in than Tony Akins.
There was nothing WRONG with this comic… but are we ever going to get something different? The gods send someone after the kid. Wonder Woman et al fight to save the baby. Rinse, repeat.

This is getting very, very repetitive.

FABLES #129 (Willingham / Buckingham / Leiloha / Pepoy) Vertigo

Well, I got what I wanted… but I wish there was a little more too it. They didn’t outsmart him. They just cast a spell and had a fight. But, the right person won and now it is ‘her other half’ that needs the saving. That works.

Oh, and Rose Red was awesome… (and right).

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #23 (Bendis / Marquez / Ponsor) Marvel

One year later…
It is the same story you would expect, just not so time-compressed. Miles’ girlfriend was a bit of a surprise. The pressures from Ganke and Jessica are the right ones.

But the best part of the comic? Jefferson. “Kid’s got play all of a sudden.”

Excellent stuff.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Ultimate Spider-Man #22

April 27, 2013
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Ultimate_Comics_Spider-Man_Vol_2_22

Big week.

Right off, I should announce that you won’t see Batwoman reviews here any more… at least until they get a different writer. I like the character and want to support the diversity…but the comic is just terrible. It is such a muddied mess that it is hard to even tell what is going on from page to page.

Dropped.

It isn’t the only one… read on.

Starting from the weakest…

WOLVERINE AND THE X-MEN #28 (aaron / Perez / Martin) Marvel

I picked this up because I had been enjoying the Bendis X-books so much.

This isn’t them.

I read it all through the Savage Land adventure. I like the idea of the school, but this book… just isn’t good enough. Dog is a stupid character that should have never been created. Eye-boy is awful. Shark Girl has potential.

Art – bad. Story – dull.

Dropped.

BEFORE WATCHMEN: COMEDIAN #6 (Brian Azzarello / J.G. Jones) DC

Some of the Before Watchmen stuff was worth the effort. Some wasn’t. So, in Watchmen they implied Comedian killed Kennedy. In this mini they say he didn’t… oh wait, there is more the one Kennedy, isn’t there?

(This IS what happened, best as I can tell, just with someone else as triggerman.)

AVENGERS #10 (Jonathan Hickman / Mike Deodato / Frank Martin) Marvel

This is probably lower than it deserves to be, but I am kind of annoyed that ONCE AGAIN the Canadian heroes are used as a Worf, killed off just so the threat looks big enough to challenge the Avengers.

Alos, finding out what Validator said was a real let-down.

FANTASTIC FOUR #7 (Fraction / Bagley / Hennessy / Mounts) Marvel

Wait… did this book make sense at all? Why did they need to save Blastaar? Did I miss something?

Overall, this book is going nowhere.

Dropped.

FF #6 (Matt Fraction / Joe Quinones / Laura Allred) Marvel

See the last comment on the Fantastic Four review.

Marvel made it easier on me by not having Mike Allred do the art this issue. I like the characters… but they never really do anything.

Dropped.

JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #19 (Lemire / Fawkes / Janin / Cifuentes) DC

The cover didn’t mean anything… but it sure looks cool. I am referring to the Swamp Thing house on the fold-out. Nice. (This cover theme month is still turning out to be a whole lot of nothing.)

There WAS a cool reveal in this book, but not until the last page. I have to remind myself that the villain was DC first, despite Vertigo’s excellent co-opting of him.

I like Madame Xanadu, but I like how the other characters are questioning what use she is when she always tells them about things too late.

UNCANNY AVENGERS #7 (Remender / Acuna) Marvel

I am not a fan of the big, over-powered space villains, bit knowing that Kang is behind it helps. What slots it this high is the character interplay. That ‘real’ Avengers crack by Wasp was a little petty… which is good. In fact, I liked all the character work in this one. The art is really good, too. Much better than Cassaday.

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #2 (Bendis / McNiven / Pichelli / Dell / Ponsor) Marvel

I have been ready to not like this book. Space stuff isn’t my thing. After an excellent zero issue, #1 wasn’t great. Then cam ethis one.

The plot isn’t grabbing me… but the characters are great! Rocket Racoon is awesome! Plus, is Sara Pichelli taking over for Steve McNiven? I like McNiven, but I like Pichelli even more!

So far, so good.

UNCANNY X-MEN #5 (Bendis / Irving) Marvel

So it seemed that all of the ex-Phoenix hosts had their powers changed except for Magik, right? Not so fast.

Magik’s powers have also been affected, and her powers mean a lot more than ray beams and twisting metal.

Dormmamu will likely be the least of their problems. There will be hell to pay…

Fraser Irving is the perfect artist for this story. His Limbo is perfectly nightmarish.

NEW AVENGERS #5 (Jonathan Hickman / Steve Epting / Rick Magyar / Frank D’Armata) Marvel

How do you get past Hickman’s circuitous, non-rational storytelling? Have an issue that involves on conversation with flashbacks. This issue works a lot better than previous ones have.

The Black Swan’s background was interesting, as was her dismissal of Dr. Strange – which tells me that magic is going to be crucial in saving the day. It will be the one factor that the Black Swan has not included in her calculations.

And who is the best suited to understand the balance of science and magic? Where are they going next issue?

THE MASSIVE #11 (Brian Wood / Declan Shalvey / Jordie Bellaire) Dark Horse

First off, I have been very critical of Shalvey’s work in the past, over on Thunderbolts. His attempt to fit with the style on The Massive is much more successful. It didn’t feel jarring at all.

Some important stuff happened here – the biggest of which is Lars learning about Callum’s condition. They also lost the helicopter and yet another crewman… the hard way, this time.

Plus sharks. Sharks are cool, right? And after seeing the Megalodon, I wonder when the Giant Octopus will show up. A Massive / Great Pacific crossover?

One thing though… swimming with the sharks when they are so hungry that they will jump out of the ocean to grab food on land?

Stupid.

THE UNWRITTEN #48 (Mike Carey / Peter Gross) Vertigo

From Hell to Hell? Why not? There should be as many version so fHell as there are people who have written about it. This isn’t Dante’s version, unless it is an altered one, since the devil is free.

Paulie learning his real origins should be interesting, as was Lizzie’s masquerade.

YOUNG AVENGERS #4 (Gillen / McKelvie / Norton / Wilson) Marvel

Is there a more fun book out this week? I say thee nay! Look at the design sense that went into this, from the cover, to the Noh-Varr attack scene. Beautiful. Loki is being an ass… and I am not referring to him taking a powder at the end. It is painfully obvious that he will be back. I am talking about him dropping those seeds of doubt into Teddy’s mind. Great stuff.

Marvel Boy is not me favourite character but the rest of the cast is aces.

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #22 (Bendis / Pichelli / Ponsor) Marvel

I guess Sara Pichelli is going to GoG, since they have announced she is leaving here. That’s okay, David Marquez is great too.

This book is… whoa.

So Miles’ identity is now known by Maria Hill. It was also known by his mother but…

Are they going to slowly turn him into Peter. I liked Miles’ mother so it is a loss… and you can argue that it is a bit of a ‘Girlfriend in a Refrigerator’, but the whole thing is going to tear Miles’ world apart. Trauma, despair and heartbreak make for good fiction.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Saga #11

March 24, 2013
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Saga again? I think this makes 10 times out of 11 issues that it has grabbed the #1 spot. There was big competition this week too…

Starting at the weakest…

COMEBACK #5 (Brisson / Walsh / Bellaire) Image

What a terrible comic this ended up being. I think that they were trying to recreate the movie Primer in comic form and failing utterly. I have no problem with complicated comics but this was an absolute mess. Just look at page 8 and 9 for the wall of text that happens to try and explain the storyline. TOo much expository dialogue!

If you have a chance to read this comic, don’t waste your time.

WONDER WOMAN #18 (Azzarello / Sudzuka / Ains / Chiang / Green) DC

I used to really love this comic… what happened? I already talked about how this storyline was just going on an don, yet this issue had a resolution of sorts. The art this time out was really, really bad, which makes them lost the benefit of the doubt. But what really puts this book in the bad column?

How about the scene where War reaches in and rips a baby from a women’s womb.

The fact that they are gods and not really people and that it wasn’t really her womb doesn’t matter. Just look at that scene and tell me what you see.

That is some messed up shit right there. Ugh.

CONSTANTINE #1 (Jeff Lemire / Ray Fawkes / Renato Guedes) DC

They cancelled Hellblazer for this. Now, I wasn’t reading Hellblazer, but the idea that they would water down yet another character didn’t sit well with me. When they turned Constantine back into a DCU character, I had no problem with that. Hellblazer was still running and I had no more problem with both existing than I do with the idea that the movie version of, say, Captain America, is a different version than the comic one. No problem.

DC seems to think otherwise. They thought it was too confusing so they killed Hellblazer and replaced it with this.

At first I just wasn’t going to buy it at all. BUt then they switched writers, bringing in Jeff Lemire, who writes Constantine very well in Justice League Dark, so I thought I would give it a try.

I tried it. That may be all I do.

CAPTAIN MARVEL #11 (DeConnick / Sebela / Andrade / Bellaire) Marvel

From here on, I actually quite liked the comics this week. THere were lots of them, but they were quite good.
I am hot and cold about the art in CM, but this issue worked for me. I think the difference from issue to issue may be more me than the art, but this time I liked it.
I like the ‘can’t fly’ story now, and I wouldn’t mind if they took her flight power away from her permanently so her facility with flying machines had a greater utility.
This was a solid issue, but not outstanding.

NEW AVENGERS #4 (Jonathan Hickman / Rick Magyar / Steve Epting / Frank D’Armata) Marvel

So the Illuminati are straight up villains now? Having Cap pushed out was the right thing to do because he would be WAY out of character to go for this. I think Beast should have a bigger problem with this than he does. (I would prefer if they ALL had a bigger problem with this but…)
Not a great book, but I am still hoping that heroic natures take back over.

AVENGERS #8 (Jonathan Hickman / Dustin Weaver / Justin Ponsor) Marvel

So, the Avengers acted pretty badly in here, no? All of the conflict came about because they treated someone who had done nothing wrong as an enemy, effectively turning him into one. While I am not a fan of idiocy as a plot device, this worked because you could see that they were really, really panicking. I think having characters used to being so powerful act rashly when faced with something MORE powerful makes sense.

I just wish Hickman did stories other than ‘big cosmic over powered god-think threatens the earth!’

REVIVAL #8 (Tim Seeley / Mike Norton) Image

Creepy and powerful stuff. The character turns in this book are great. I dug Ken Dillisch, as he worked against type. The plight of the suicidal was yet another twist in this already psychologically messed-up book.

This should be the next Walking Dead.

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #6 (Slott / Ramos / Olazaba / Delgado) Marvel

What I like about this book: Otto has become a VERY complicated character. His childhood flashbacks are becoming tiresome, but his obvious feelings of respect (and more?) for Anna Maria Marconi is really well played. Of course, his way of expressing that is a little over the top, but that is who he is.

What I don’t like: They did this in the mid-90’s when they broke Batman’s back. They replaced Batman with Azrael to answer to the people who thought that it was okay for Bats to be more brutal. They tried to show how wrong that would be. What happened? People cheered him. The people who say that Batman should have killed Joker years ago don’t understand what it means to be a hero.

I am afraid of that here. How many readers thing Otto was right to shoot that guy last issue? What I liked here is that people SHOULD realize that brutalizing two people over what amounts to a prank in order to commit a minor crime is too much.

I hope.

BATWOMAN #18 (J.H. Williams III / W. Haden Blackman / Trevor McCarthy) DC

This issue was fairly… straight forward. That is a nice change from the mess the last arc kind of became. The fight with Freeze was well done. Hawkfire is a stupid name, but the team is good. The Batman appearance was interesting and Kate was the right kind of rebellious to him. It suits her character. The D.E.O. stuff was good. The Maggie stuff was good. The ending was very poorly done. A cliffhanger that you have given us no reason to care or wonder about? Yeah… poorly done.

ALL-NEW X-MEN #9 (Bendis / Immonen / Von Grawbadger / Gracia) Marvel

Jean Grey without training from Xavier is a whole lot of bad news. How long before nobody wants her around at all? The bit with Angel makes me think there will be unintended consequences with her messing with his head. The Times Square reaction was ridiculous. They did NOT come from the 60’s anymore. (Though I still like that they did stylistically) Please get Lady Mastermind a new name and a new costume. Her and Emma Frost in the same comic is too much.

I thought Sabertooth was dead…

FABLES #127 (Willingham / Buckingham / Pepoy / Leiloha) Vertigo

The Snow White story makes me nervous but this issue was very solid.

I don’t have a lot to say except this… if Snow WHite doesn’t engineer her own ‘salvation’ from this situation, I will be annoyed. Also, please don’t make her win the day by using her ‘sexual wiles’.

Thank you.

DAREDEVIL #24 (Waid / Samnee / Rodriguez) Marvel

I stayed away from this comic for too long. WHile she is new to me, I am an instant fan of Kirsten McDuffie. The problem is, we know that Matt will keep trying to win her over, and that is npt really a great message. No means no, fella.

Samnee’s art is beautiful. He reminds me of Darwyn Cooke while still being his own artist. (Speaking of Cooke, my friend Kevin Matthews got me Volume 1 of Parker for my birthday. I am looking forward to digging in to it.)

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #21 (Bendis / Pichelli / Ponsor) Marvel

Nobody does characters better than Bendis and nowhere does Bendis do them better than this book. You FEEL what they are going through. The scope of all this is too much for Miles, but he gets through it because it is the right thing to do. Mary-Jane and Gwen coming over was perfect. The fact that they really screwed up by doing so is going to have an impact. There is no way that cop doesn’t connect them to Peter Parker and therefore Spider-man.

I really hope Miles’ dad makes it through this. I want to read more about him.

SAGA #11 (Brian K. Vaughan / Fiona Staples) Image

The best comic in an already amazing week of comics. THe ex talk was refreshingly frank (and funny). The space stuff was exciting and interesting. The Lying Cat rescue was cheer-inducing. Then… the fate of Barr…. with the bookmark comment… wow. Powerful. VERY powerful.

It made you feel the feels.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Scarlet #6

February 10, 2013
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Starting at the weakest. A pretty big week. Bendis got the TOP THREE spots this week. Holy crap.

 

ANIMAL MAN #17 (Jeff Lemire / Scott Snyder / Steve Pugh / Timothy Green II / Joseph Silver) DC

I finished this book and tried to remember what it was that I liked about it in previous issues. The further into Rotworld we get, the less I care for it. It is just a book monster fight. The end is supposed to have emotional impact but it doesn’t because I, as reader, am fully aware that there will be a bog re-set button at the end of the story. There is just no buy-in from me.

 

FAIREST #12 (Lauren Beukes / Inaki Miranda) Vertigo

The thing I can’t understand is why Fairst is getting such great reviews out in internet-land. The story is not very interesting and the art is muddy and generally sub-par. Mostly, the story is just too long. I keep hoping it is going to be over so we can get back to better stuff.

Fables is getting back on track int he main book. Hopefully Fairest can do the same.

 

SWAMP THING #17 (Scott Snyder / Jeff Lemire / Andrew Belanger) DC

Read the Animal Man review above. The same goes here. The only thing that makes this book rank a little higher is the Parliament of Rot scene. That has some promise.

 

NEW AVENGERS #3 (Hickman / Epting / Magyar / D’Armata) Marvel

Question: what are they arguing about? I was able to figure it out, but they never actually say. They also act as if Cap did what he did on purpose with nobody actually saying it or any evidence to support it… until he doesn’t deny it… kind of. It is hard to deny something that nobody ever says… or even implies.

This is kind of a mess, really.

 

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #3 (Dan Slott / Ryan Stegman / Edgar Delgado) Marvel

One of the interesting things about this storyline is how much smarter Otto is than Peter. If it wasn’t for his moral code, he would actually BE a better Spider-Man than Peter. The sudden backstory about being abused so having a soft spot for kids felt a little contrived. If Otto is going to need an excuse to beat a villain every time, that will start to wear a little thin.

 

GREAT PACIFIC #4 (Joe Harris / Martin Morazzo) Image

Nice idea. Good plot. Everything good except for the pacing. It is glacial. Four issues in and he is still just looking around. If he continues just as some rich kid wandering around on garbage, this series is going to lose my interest quickly.

Side note, couldn’t he use that invention of his to destroy the entire ‘country’, making the world a better place, in general?

 

DIAL H #9 (China Mieville / Alberto Ponticelli / Dan Green) DC

This book was always inventive but it used to lag on plot a bit. That has changed. I find myself interested every issue now. And it is still inventive. The Glimpse was great. What’s with the bug-head dude? Don’t know, but I am along for the ride. (Oh, and the portrayal of Canadians was funny. Not over the top, but funny.)

 

AVENGERS #5 (Jonathan Hickman / Adam Kubert / Frank Martin) Marvel

The Hyperion spotlight issue didn’t appeal to me because I don’t really like Hyperion. This Smasher issue was much better. Her interaction with the Hulk was great. (‘Smash’) Her origin was simple but interesting to follow. I liked it.

 

SNAPSHOT #1 (Andy Diggle / Jock) Image

Movie-style crime mystery. Interesting hook, leading you along but not giving you enough to figure it out. Nice Jock art. Black & white, which is rare these days. Nce package. Looking forward to the rest of the mini.

 

AVENGERS ASSEMBLE ANNUAL #1 (Christos Gage / Tomm Coker) Marvel

Man, this was a good Avengers comic! This was better than any I have read of the Marvel Now push. I want to see Gage on an Avengers book… or even a Vision book. Good story. Emotional impact while tying it in to the on-going story. Continuity flavoured without getting bogged down. And I quite liked the art, too!

 

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #20 (Bendis / Pichelli / Ponsor) Marvel

You have a fight scene against a superior opponent, sure. But what makes this book really good is the characters. Miles and Ganke are great, as always. It is Jefferson that really draws my attention, despite having so little in the way of lines. Why did he attack Venom? Doe she know who Spidey is? The on-goign story of his reaction to fighting Hydra is really great. I want more!

 

ALL-NEW X-MEN #7 (Bendis / Marquez / Gracia) Marvel

Cyclops and Mystique. The one thing I would say is that if you want Cyclops to not immediately recognize you as a villain, maybe you DON’T wear all those skulls as part of your costume. Just sayin’.

The way she led him down the path was perfect. She gave away enough of herself that he won’t immediately dismiss her when he finds out that she is a ‘villain’. The wedge she put between him and Wolverine was masterfully done.

 

SCARLET #6 (Bendis / Maleev) Icon

Before Saga, Scarlet was the best book on the market. But then issue #5 came out and it was a year before #6. Normally than will kill a book for me, but this one feels so real and such an answer to the chaos in the real world. I can see why they wanted to take a break, because it is hard to reflect the real world while also seeming like you are endorsing vigilantism. Still… comics need to be dramatic and extreme to work. I am not endorsing murder, but at the same time if there were more people who refused to accept the bullshit that surrounds us, maybe we WOUDL get some actual change.

In the meantime, this comic is incredibly well written and some of the most beautiful art on the market.


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