Rusty's World

Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Astro City #15

September 17, 2014
1 Comment

Astro-City-15-cover-195x300

A pretty sold week, with one error purchase…

Starting at the (very) weakest…

ALL-NEW ULTIMATES #8 (Fiffe / Milogiannis / Bellaire) Marvel

So, after #7 I said I was dropping this book.

I got this issue by accident. This happened once before (X-Men) and the book got a temporary reprieve.

Not this time.

This book is just really, really bad. The story is weak and the art is atrocious.

DROPPED…AGAIN.

INHUMAN #5 (Soule / Stegman / Gracia) Marvel

This book is hanging in there. It isn’t stellar but it still an okay read.

X-Men Lite.

AVENGERS #34.1 (Ewing / Keown / Lee / Keith) Marvel

Hyperion is the kind of character that I don’t really like. The overpowered Superman style. This book gives him some character, so that is an improvement.

I still don’t like him, but hey…

EDGE OF SPIDER-VERSE #1 (Hine / Sapolsky / Isanove) Marvel

Multiversity, Marvel-style?

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

I still don’t like the new Black Cat, but other than that, the story was solid.

Silk, on the other hand, is growing on me. I didn’t like her at first but she is developing into her own, solid persona… in some ways more adept than Peter.

LAZARUS #11 (Rucka / Lark / Arcas) Image

This issue REALLY shows what it means to be a Lazarus. Sonja Bittner is pretty bad-ass. We also got some cool insights into politics in the world.

Solid issue.

HAWKEYE #20 (Fraction / Wu / Hollingsworth) Marvel

As usual, the Kate issues are just really good instead of amazing, like the other issues. David Aja is just too big a loss (with due respect to the very talented Annie Wu).

I was not really sold on the advantage to most of the non-linear storytelling this time out, but it worked out for the bookends.

I am lamenting the loss of this book and it isn’t even gone yet.

CALIBAN #6 (Garth Ennis / Facundo Percio) Avatar

No spoilers here.

But wow… talk about an effective use of emotions and misleading storytelling.

Just wow.

I can’t wait for the movie.

MS. MARVEL #8 (Wilson / Alphona / Herring) Marvel

This was VERY nearly the book of the week. Kamala and Lockjaw together are just adorable. But really, Willow had me on the first page, second panel. “Why are kids like me always being drafted into wars we didn’t start?”

HELLS YES!

As usual, GREAT storytelling. Absolutely perfect dialogue and one of the most refreshing books on the market.

ASTRO CITY #15 (Busiek / Anderson / Ross / Broome / Comicraft) Vertigo

As great as Ms. Marvel was, Astro City was just a little better. The fresh take on the Reed/Doom rivalry turned into a whole other thing. And while getting a book with a great, young new character is becoming more common, getting a book with a great OLDER new character is a whole other deal.

This sweet little old lady kicks some ass and does so without losing who she is as a character. Very nice. Masterfully done.

Advertisements

Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Silver Surfer #5

August 30, 2014
Leave a Comment

SilverSurfer5

Much bigger week than last week. Some great comics, though.

Starting at the not so great comics…

STAR SPANGLED WAR STORIES #2 (Palmiotti / Gray / Hampton) DC

This is just unpleasant. I am not anti-dark. I am not anti-horror. But when the ‘hero’ of the book spends his time describing in some detail how he is going to torture his victim…

I watched a movie on Netflix last week called ‘Thursday’. (I do NOT recommend this movie…) In it I saw the same scene where one character was describing the torture he was about to inflict. But in the movie, that was the bad guy.

Two issues is, neither of them good. DROPPED.

ALL-NEW ULTIMATES #7 (Fiffe / Milonogiannis / Bellaire) Marvel

I want to like this book but until they get a writer that understands things like plot and storytelling, I have had enough.

DROPPED

BODIES #2 (Si SPencer / Dean Ormston / Phil WInslade / Tula Lotay / Meghan Hetrick / Lee Loughridge) Vertigo

I ‘nearly’ dropped this book as well, for the same reasons as the G.I. Zombie book. It is just unpleasant. We’ll see.

INHUMAN #4 (Soule / Stegman / Gracia) Marvel

Hmmm… this book has been okay and this issue us that: okay. Hopefully the story advances in some way.

UNCANNY AVENGERS #23 (Remender / Greene / White) Marvel

What happened to the art? It was really, really bad this issue.

The story has been working, though. I am interested in seeing where this goes.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #1.4 (Slott / Perez / Herring) Marvel

Now that we are past the rehashes, this book works as a nostalgic look at a different era of Spider-Man. They should have done it during the Superior time frame when we could have used that reminder more than we do now.

REVIVAL #23 (Tim Seeley / Mike Norton) Image

Hey Star Spangled… this is how you do a creepy horror book right. Super creepy. Super odd. Super engaging.

DEAD BOY DETECTIVES #8 (Toby Litt / Mark Buckingham / Russ Braun / Lee Loughridge) Vertigo

Not very good storytelling this issue, but the character points were there.

STEED AND MRS. PEEL: WE’RE NEEDED #2 (Edginton / Cosentino / Grassi) Boom!

The first issue I talked about the great Peel art. That is still there, but this time I want to talk about the ‘voices’ of both protagonists. Perfect. You can HEAR them talking.

Fun comic.

ALL-NEW X-MEN #31 (Bendis / Asrar / Gracia) Marvel

How many times are we going to see the old X-Men fly off to Xavier’s will reading?

Still, the Warren / Laurie stuff was great and the new mutant with the dimension gateway powers is an interesting hook. Miles / X-Men Crossover by Bendis? Yes please!

AVENGERS #34 (Hickman / Yu / Alanguilan / Gho) Marvel

Captain America doing the right thing is always the right way to go. Yes!

Let’s get back to reminding the readers that being a hero means doing heroic things. You don’t rationalize and try to find the best of a bad situation. No. You fight and you win.

THE MASSIVE #26 (Brian Wood / Garry Brown / Jordie Bellaire) Dark Horse

I am still disappointed that this book went the supernatural route, but at least it is doing it well. We are starting to get answers and… finally… The Massive.

C.O.W.L. #4 (Kyle Higgins / Alec Siegel / Rod Reis / Stephane Perger) Image

Sometimes this book tends to the seamy side a little too much for my taste, but this is a really well written book and it looks beautiful.

Modern union busting tactics by the cops!

SAGA #22 (Brian K. Vaughan / Fiona Staples) Image

Damn it! This really kind of pisses me off. He was right! All the way through the argument, he was right! And then he had to do something stupid that immediately makes him the one in the wrong. But… that is right and the way it works.

Damn it Vaughan! Why do you have to make a comic so good that I actually care about the stupid people in it?

SILVER SURFER #5 (Dan Slott / Michael Allred / Laura Allred) Marvel

This book made me happy. Saga was probably better, but too bad. Happy wins.

Toomie! That is sticking! Yay!

The conversation between the boy and the Hulk… yes.

Stupid Saga…


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Fables #143

August 30, 2014
Leave a Comment

Fables143

A little late as last week got away from me. I have this week;s comics so it shouldn’t be as long before the next post.

Starting at the weakest…

ALL-NEW ULTIMATES #6 (Fiffe / Pinna / Woodard) Marvel

I am thinking of dropping this. This issue was just a big fight scene with nothing to give it context. There were emotional notes, but in vacuum. Poor storytelling all around.

DAREDEVIL #7 (Waid / Rodriguez / Lopez) Marvel

So, last issue I was mad because Mark Waid turned Jack Murdock into a wife-beater for no good reason. This issue he fixed that and made into into a good story about postpartum depression.

That should be a good thing but he shoe-horned it into a stupid story about Wakanda that made ZERO sense AND was bloody racist.

To be fair, it is the same racist that just about every writer gets when dealing with Wakanda, but that doesn’t excuse it.

“No, they are HIGH-TECH spears!”

Uh, no.

THE UNWRITTEN: APOCALYPSE #8 (Carey / Gross / Chuckry) Vertigo

The problem with this issue is the leftover problem from last issue. It depends on thinking that everyone would suddenly assume that their good friend is a rapist when someone they don’t know claims it… in a situation where they know that there are things railing against them that have weird powers.

It is just stupid and insulting.

MIGHTY AVENGERS #13 (Ewing / Larocca / Milla) Marvel

Better. Key cool moment? Luke’s dad talking to Power Man.

MULTIVERSITY #1 (Morrison / Reis / Prado / Ruffino) DC

This was a lot better than I expected and for a while I thought it might be book of the week. I consider Grant Morrison to be generally overrated, but when I read this book, I got the same feeling I did when I read issue #1 of Crisis on Infinite Earths by Wolfman and Perez.

High praise.

MS.MARVEL #7 (Wilson / Wyatt / Herring) Marvel

Another charming issue of a charming title. Kamala is just great. The bit with her telling Wolverine that she wants to help people without hurting people – amazing.

Oh and, “Hellooo, it’s called having an imagination.”

I would recommend this book to anyone.

FABLES #143 (Willingham / Buckingham / Leialoha / Pepoy / Sturges / Akins / Loughridge) Vertigo

Cryptic review that you won’t understand until you have read the book: I haven’t closed it yet. Hold on, Babe! Hold on!


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Saga #7

November 24, 2012
Leave a Comment

A little late this week. Sorry. I have been insanely busy. It wasn’t just the reviews, but reading that got left behind.

Starting at the weakest…

THE ULTIMATES #18 (Humphries / Ross / Milla) Marvel

I liked this storyline when it first started. The widespread break-up of the U.S. was something they could do in the Ultimate Universe that they couldn’t in the ‘616’. It was interesting. President Cap also had promise (even though they had to give him a character makeover to do it… that was already in process and the old version of the character really was awful anyway).

Over the last few issues, though, the book has been getting worse and worse. The art has ben really bad but I was dealing with that. This issue was just terrible. Beyond the awful art, the story was no better. It was just a big mass punch-up with no tension at all. Then the rah-rah go America tuff was just really annoying. They took an interesting premise and drove it into the crapper.

I dropped this book from my pull list following this issue.

NEW AVENGERS #33 (Bedis / Oeming / Beredo) Marvel

Let’s get this out of the way first. The art is horrendous. It isn’t the art itself that is so bad, because it isn’t. It is a style that I don’t dislike at all. But it is SO wrong for this book that it beggars belief. This is the middle of a storyline! Think of how ridiculous this is going to look once it is collected. Bad, bad choice.

The spontaneous possession powers of Daniel Drumm make for a very uninteresting fight scene. It just doesn’t mean anything.

I have a feeling something bad is going to happen to Luke. Either that or he saves the day.

FANTASTIC FOUR #1 (Matt Fraction / Mark Bagley / Mark Farmer / Paul Mounts) Marvel

I have great hopes for this book. I expect it to be a lot better than that Hickman mess and I like the premise of the two companion books.

Having said that, I have a couple of problems with this issue along the lines of characterization. So Reed is going to just lie, lie, lie to his family again. Haven’t we run this story before? Like a thousand times? It also only works of Sue acts like a doormat. And for them not to pay attention to Franklin’s dream… this isn’t just some kid’s silly nightmare. He has powers! Powers that let him see the future! What the hell!

I realize this issue was just to get them where Fraction wants them to be, but come on. Try a little harder.

Really nice art, though.

ALL-NEW X-MEN #1 (Brian Michael Bendis / Wade von Grawbadger) Marvel

This book has promise. Once gain the premise to get the book where it needs to be is a little shaky, but not as bad as the FF. I am looking forward to reading the cash of eras as we learn how much has been lost as comics get darker and grittier. We have gained a lot since the 60’s but lost a lot as well.

Another book with really nice art.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #697 (Slott / Gage / Camuncoli / Green / Fabela) Marvel

So Harry has joined the cast of Breaking Bad? No? Seriously though, it was nice to see him in that context. The Hobgoblin fight was decent and I LOVE the new Roderick status quo. Now I want to see the new Unicorn! Max saving Norah was pretty cool. Now we just have to wait… only another day for me… for the big issue #698.

CASTLE WAITING #18 (Linda Medley) Fantagraphics

This is it. The last issue. Sigh.

I can’t really recommend this issue, to be honest. Not that this issue us bad, but it is the last issue of a very long story. What I DO want to recommend is the collections. Buy them. Read them. Love them.

Am I crazy or dos it seem like she should be announcing a Snow White variant as her newest book?

I have heard that Medley is somewhat disillusioned with the industry so this may not just be the last CW, but the last Linda Medley comic. I hope not.

AVENGERS ASSEMBLE #9 (Kelly Sue DeConnick / Stefano Caselli) Marvel

I was ready to cancel this book but held off to see what DeConnick was going to do with it. My review is really simple: do you enjoy the fun style of the Avenging Spider-Man book? If so, you will like this. It doesn’t take itself too seriously without turning into farce. It is just good, fun comics. Yay!

THE MASSIVE #6 (Brian Wood / Garry Brown / Dave Stewart) Dark Horse

I am a fan of showing the pacifism is a viable option. (That is one of the reasons I love Saga so much.) This book is clearly leading towards a confrontation between the pacifist Captain and his less so inclined muscle. This is just a consistently good book.

GREAT PACIFIC #1 (Joe Harris / Martin Morazzo) Image

This may be getting a #1 bump but I really like the characters so far. It makes this hook in and make me want to read more. That is good because the plot is VERY undeveloped. Not that it really is, but we can only go by what we see and we are not told very much about what is actually going on here. I look forward to reading more to find out.

THIEF OF THIEVES #10 (Kirkman / Asmus / Martinbrough / Serrano) Image

Is there ANY comic that feels like a movie that Thief of Thieves? Has this been optioned? Have they cast Clooney yet? (Not saying he would be the best choice… just who I think they would cast.)

This book ALWAYS has great characterization but what puts it over the top this issue is the scene with Emma as hostage. The swings between fear and comfort and fear and terror are SO well done. Now we are going to see thieving skills put to a different use.

SAGA #7 (Brian K. Vaughan / Fiona Staples) Image

What can I say about this book? WOnderful story. Amazing art. Great comic. It is easily my favourite comic coming out right now. Having Alana in a towel that whole time was brilliant. Watching her tough-girl attitude turn on a dime when she realized she couldn’t protect her child was absolutely perfect.

I read a review that criticized the book because the characters seemed too human.

That’s what I call missing the point… by a wide margin.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Avengers #32

October 28, 2012
2 Comments

Is The Avengers #32 the actual best comic this week?

 

Of course not… but it is for me. I’ll explain when I get there, but sufficed to say that it has more to do with my history with the title than anything else.

 

Starting at the weakest…

 

SECRET AVENGERS #33 (Remender / Kuhn / Wilson) Marvel

This is the last issue for me. The story doesn’t interest me and the art is absolutely horrible. I considered holding on for the next creative team, but the hell with it. The only good thing in this issue is the destruction of Max Fury. I mean, Black Ant? Emperor Doombot? Really?

Pass.

 

ULTIMATES #17 (Humphries / Ross / Milla) Marvel

This book took a backslide this issue. In fact, if this was the normal level of enjoyment I got out of the book, I would also be dropping it. With the big surprise being that it is Modi not Loki pulling the strings, maybe you shouldn’t write him as if he were Loki. The Ultimates and SHIELD apparently charged into battle without a plan at all, as they fell apart immediately. Plus the art was pretty sloppy. Hopefully this book gets better again as it has been an interesting read.

 

AvsX: CONSEQUENCES #3 (Gillen / Eaton / Hennessy / Charalampois) Marvel

Better than the last issue. Cyclops is starting to show signs that he could be an interesting villain. The “I am a political prisoner” bit shows him to still be delusional, which totally works. I just hope nobody tries to redeem him. That would be a big cop-out.

 

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #696 (Slott / Gage / Camuncoli / Green / Fabela) Marvel

Interesting story, but not much of it. I mean, what really advanced here? Two Hobgoblins fighting, but what is our stake in it? What makes either any different than one another in practical terms?

I guess we won’t know until that goblin key opens its hidden lock. I picture quite a villain reunion in issue #700. Green Goblin and Dr. Octopus should be back right about them.

 

JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #13 (Jeff Lemire / Mikel Janin / Victor Drujiniu) DC

String issue. The villains are interesting and the struggles the ‘heroes’ face are challenging yet brief. It feels right for magical struggles. It ties in with the zero issue last month, which is nice. I am not sure how I feel about Nick Necro, but the rest of the characters are spot on. House Fight!

 

BATMAN INC. #4 (Grant Morrison / Chris Burnham) DC

A well-staged assault that really shows the advantages of working with a team. I don’t read the other Bat-books so I don’t know why the reveal is a big deal. The end is a swerve, guaranteed. IF ti isn’t, Batman is WAY out of character… but it is, so he isn’t.

 

CAPTAIN AMERICA #19 (Brubaker / Epting / D’Armata) Marvel

Final issue! Until the next one! Final Brubaker issue, though, and it is a good one. Bru shows that he is a fan of the history of ALL the Captain Americas (which was already pretty clear in the book). He also ties up a nice loose end before he puts up the chairs and turns out the light.

The Cap relaunch… well, I am going to give it a go, but neither Remender nor Romita are very high on my list of go-to creators. We’ll see.

 

ALL-STAR WESTERN #13 (Palmiotti / Gray / Moritat / Winslade) DC

This book waffles between ridiculous Batman references and good Batman references. This issue is more the latter. The circus didn’t have to be called that etc. but it didn’t distract from the story which is (not) a League of Extraordinary Gentlemen cross-over. This book is just a good, solid comic.

 

REVIVAL #4 (Tim Seeley / Mike Norton) Image

All I want to say here is PLEASEDON’TBEALIENS, PLEASEDON’TBEALIENS! That would really suck a lot of the cool factor out of this book. They ‘why’ is not the thrust of the book. Keep it that way.

 

FABLES #122 (Willingham / Ha / McManus) Vertigo

Fables’ best days are behind, but they still put out consistently good stories. I found the art to be a little hit and miss, but I really liked the story I hope it isn’t JUST a flashback and what happens in this story has a bearing on the modern stories.

I do want to mention the preview in the back.  If you are going to put out a hardcover graphic novel… couldn’t you get at least as good an artist as the regular book normally has? The art isn’t awful or anything, but it sure doesn’t seem ‘special’. For HC money, it should be ‘special’.

 

THE UNWRITTEN #42 (Mike Carey / Peter Gross) Vertigo

It feels like I am reading the old Unwritten again. Stories within stories and characters following journeys into the unknown with a surprise around each corner… or page turn. Yes!

 

NATIONAL COMICS: MADAME X #1 (Rob Williams / Trevor Hairsine) DC

An interesting take on Madame Xanadu, good plot, good execution, art that looks like it is channeling good Neal Adams… what’s not to like?

Well, the fact that they left a cliffhanger in a one-shot, for one. They did the same thing in the Kid Eternity book.

Why are the National Comics books consistently better than the new 52 books?

 

AVENGERS #32 (Bendis / Mayhew / Peterson / Keith) Marvel

Spoilers, I guess, but if you didn’t see this coming…

Wasp is back! The scene where she meets the big 3 and Hank, reuniting the real founding Avengers (functionally… I know it was the Hulk and Cap took a few issues, but for all intents and purposes, these are the five).

I loved this. I have been reading Avengers for 28 years and I have collected the entire run and scenes like this are the pay off. Is the book actually awesome? No. It is good, but not the best of the week.

But it touched my little geek-filled heart.

 


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: All-Star Western #0

October 3, 2012
1 Comment

Sorry these are late. Next week’s will be even later as I will be in Saskatoon for the week. Chances are I will do two weeks at once next time.

Short even by my standards…

Working up…

 

WINTER SOLDIER #11 (Brubaker / Guice / Thies / Breitweiser) Marvel

This is wearing really thin. One of the good things about this book is the strong presence of Black Widow. Now she is all in-need-of-rescue and it is dragging out way too long. As I said last issue, her brain should be completely broken by now.

 

CAPTAIN MARVEL #4 (DeConnick / Soy / Barrionuevo / Quintana) Marvel

I like this book. Quite a bit, actually. I just don’t like that such an important plot point as WHY DID SHE SUDDENLY GO THROUGH TIME is being left as if it is a minor thing. At least mention it!

The next couple of issues are going to be drawn by Emma Rios! Sweet!

 

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #694 (Slott / Ramos / Olazaba / Delgado) Marvel

I graded this one too harshly. Ruthanne pointed out after that the airplane scene was pretty awesome. Which it was. I initially put it here because the wrap-up to the very uninteresting Alpha story was a very uninteresting and uncreative conclusion. That’s it? Really?

Please be better next issue, like the book normally is.

 

SECRET AVENGERS #31 (Remender / Scalera / Wilson) Marvel

Ruthanne doesn’t like this book. I think this issue is better than it has been. Good characterization and good fights. Neither great, but good.

 

JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #0 (Jeff Lemire / Lee Garbett / Cam Smith) DC

Young Constantine! Young Zatanna! This was just a good read. The characters were interesting. The story was solid, if a little predictable, but that is okay. JLD is SO much better under Lemire than it was under Milligan.

 

BATMAN INCORPORATED #0 (Grant Morrison / Chris Burnham / Frazer Irving) DC

Ruthanne has a legitimate bone to pick with this book. All these new characters (or fairly new characters within a relatively short time frame) and the only female hero is a sidekick? There is more than one kind of diversity, Grant.

Having said that, I quite enjoyed this book. A nice reminder of what Batman Inc. is supposed to be (and isn’t really in the regular book). Hopefully this is a sign that that real Batman Inc. is coming back. This is the only Batman book I read and if it remains just a ‘regular’ Bat book, I may stop.

 

BEFORE WATCHMEN: OZYMANDIAS #3 (Len Wein / Jae Lee) DC

Comedian is well written here. Some of the writers seem to forget that he is a BAD GUY. He is not a hero. In any way.

Great at, as always from Jae Lee. My only real complaint here is that Len Wein doesn’t know how to pronounce Ozymandias. The way he has him sound it out is just wrong. It is an existing name, from long before Watchmen. Changing the pronunciation because you think it sounds cooler is just dumb.

 

NEW DEADWARDIANS #7 (Dan Abnett / I.N.J. Culbard) Vertigo

I LOVE that the reversal on the big twist was in the same issue AS the big twist. Dragging it out would have been cheap. It sure doesn’t feel like this book is almost over. This issue was a HIT for me.

 

ULTIMATES #16 (Humphries / Ross / Milla) Marvel

President Cap kicks ass. He had so many great scenes and great lines. Too bad the art was so poor.

 

ALL-STAR WESTERN #0 (Gray / Palmiotti / Moritat) DC

I kind of liked that Jonah didn’t really have an origin. I would have said it was a bad idea to give him one.

I would have… before I read this issue.

This is a great, bloody comic.  I would be happy to hand this to someone who thought the comics can only be about superheroes. (Though one of the things that made it good was the lack of Batman references that are all over the book normally.)


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Ultimate Spider-Man #15

September 23, 2012
Leave a Comment

Some very disappointing books this week. Comics that I normally like quite a bit that just didn’t deliver.

 

Starting at the weakest.

 

THE UNWRITTEN #41 (Mike Carey / Peter Gross) Vertigo

Surprised? Well, so was I when I started reading the book and realized I had no freaking idea what the hell was going on. I guess this is a flashback because it has no bearing at all on the last story arc. Taylor is a completely different character than he was when we saw him there. I am thinking that this is a flashback to the end of the PREVIOUS story, but that was not really clear. Throwing back to a story from MONTHS ago, without a reference is a BAD idea. I have never wanted a ‘What has going before’ page as much…

 

WONDER WOMAN #0 (Brian Azzarello / Cliff Chiang) DC

Continuing the trend of these zero issues being pretty bad. A story of Diana when he was a kid being trained by Ares. Ares was awful. The story was awful. The little pretend nods to old comics weren’t witty. Blah.

 

AVENGERS #30 (Bendis / Simonson / Hanna / Keith) Marvel

Ruthanne thought this comic was sexist. I just thought it was lousy. ‘Let’s hash out our relationship while we are fighting this pointless villains!’ The dialogue crossed that line into unrealistic that Bendis tends to skirt so well. The fight was pointless. hey tossed out a good Spider-Man villain like he was a chump. Set up by Hydra… this book was as lame as when they fight Hydra or A.I.M. or whatever. Avengers vs nameless scrubs is boring.

Very disappointing.

 

THE ULTIMATES #15 (Humphries / Tan / Pallot / Noor) Marvel

This may have been better of it hadn’t been spoiled. Even the actual reveal was not great with the random phone booth ringing thing. Also, really bad art. I like the story line, which puts it higher than the others, but it is still another disappointing book.

 

AVENGERS ACADEMY #37 (Gage / Grummett / Hamscher / Sotomayor) Marvel

The first book I straight up enjoyed. I like the characterization of the kids. I alway shave. It is very well done. Too bad this book is cancelled.

Finesse is awesome, by the way. I don’t normally like heroes killing but as she said, he said she is a hero?

 

SPIDER-MEN #5 (Bendis / Pichelli / Ponsor) Marvel

The strength of this series has been the characters and this was more of an action story, so it is a bit weaker. I still enjoyed reading it but what made it better than AA was the last page. Now I want the non-existant issue #6!

 

FABLES #121 (Willingham / Buckingham / Leialoha / McManus) Vertigo

I still don’t like last issue and this deals with that so it was starting in a bit of a hole. Overall a good issue, thought they cover too much ground too quickly. I REALLY like the way they get to earn their ‘wholeness’ back. The time shift was unexpected but it could be interesting. Looking forward to what’s next. (The Oz story continues to just be a waste of pages.)

 

BATWOMAN #0 (J.H.Williams III / W.Haden Blackman) DC

Now THAT is how you do a zero issue! This is the best written of the new run, probably because it leans so much as the Rucka stuff. This is the character that is so great. It isn’t the story that I dog so much, but the return of a:  a clear narrative and b: the look into the thoughts of Kate. Good job.

 

REVIVAL #3 (Tim Seeley / Mike Norton) Image

This along with the Massive are my favourite new series… next to Saga. 🙂 The whole thing is so creepy without being overt… until that old woman showed up. That’s pretty overt. 🙂

That creature makes me a little nervous, but I have liked EVERYTHING about this book so I am willing to wait and see.

 

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #15 (Bendis / Marquez / Ponsor) Marvel

FINALLY! As great as this book is, the fact that it never referred to the crazy stuff going on across America was kind of annoying. This issue corrected that, and got rid of Miles’ guilt over the death of his uncle, which is good. The characterization continues to be excellent. Miles i sone of the best characters in comics and this is easily the best of the many books that Bendis writes. (When are we getting more Scarlet?)


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Before Watchmen: Dr.Manhattan

August 29, 2012
Leave a Comment

This was a big, but really good, week. There was only one really disappointing book and a number of very good ones.

 

Starting at the weakest…

 

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #692 (Slott / Ramos / Alazaba / Delgado / more) Marvel

Here is the disappointing book. I really enjoy Slott’s Spidey, but this book doesn’t hold up. First off t falls under the spell of the BIG ANNIVERSARY ISSUE, which means padded with extra cliche stories that just retread the same stuff we have seen hundreds of times before. It is the main story that was the disappointment, though. It introduces Alpha as Peter without Uncle Ben (and WAY more powerful) if that makes sense. It doesn’t work. If he wasn’t so powerful you might think it is a new character that could learn and grow, but he is too powerful. As it is, the best we could hope for is Sentry… and that is pretty bad.

Let’s see: unlikeable character with no long term prospects… uh, why is this a big deal again?

Disappointing.

 

SECRET AVENGERS #30 (Remender / Scalera / Wilson) Marvel

This almost fell below ASM, but for the great twist. LMDs are not people, no matter how much they want to be. I guess Ant-Man can’t get a new hat either. Remender also failed Taskmaster 101 (that’s okay, MANY writers make the same mistake): he CAN’T copy the style of Spider-Men because Spider-man does things that are physically impossible for someone who doesn’t have his abilities… which Taskmaster doesn’t. If he wants to beat Venom, he needs to do it as Captain America and Iron Fist etc. NOT Spidey.

 

JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #12 (Jeff Lemire / Mikel Janin) DC

The backstory for Dr. Mist was nice, as was the plan to divert the heroes. Question: dos the death of Zatara scene mean that the whole Alan Moore Swamp Thing story is in continuity in the new 52? So, who is the main bad guy? Should I recognize him? I am familiar with Blackbriar Thorn but not Black Boris.

 

FABLES #120 (Willingham / Buckingham / Leialoha / McManus) Vertigo

This is the worst issue of Fables in quite some time, which doesn’t make it awful, but well below it;s usual standard of excellence. So the kid goes crazy, sees visions, and kills himself in order to save his sister… which of course will turn out to be the right thing to do which may or may not leave him dead or whatever… you know what? Reading this issue alone, I don’t care. There is no suspense here, just a rambling mess of a character. Maybe it will work when read WITH the preceding issues.

 

THE ULTIMATES #14 (Humphries / Tan / Green / Pallot / Noor) Marvel

Now things are hitting the fan. They got Texas but lost the west coast and Wyoming. There is no longer a ruling body in the U.S. and somebody (ahem Loki ahem) is stirring up trouble everywhere he can. Great story. Too bad the art is fairly subpar.

 

ROCKETEER: CARGO OF DOOM #1 (Waid / Samnee) IDW

I don’t normally get Rocketeer but when I heard Chris Samnee was drawing a mini written by Mark Waid, I thought he would be a natural for it. I was wrong, kind of. Don’t get me wrong, he is great and the comic is really good and I don’t regret buying it at all and I will get the rest… but he isn’t as perfect as Ithought. Basically, he isn’t Dave Stevens. Nobody is, but when Betty showed up, well, nobody does Betty like Stevens. R.I.P.

Good, fun comic though. Give it a try.

 

BATMAN INCORPORATED #3 (Grant Morrison / Chris Burnham) DC

Are we sure that this is Morrison? It seemed a lot more… linear that I am used to from him. The story lays out in a pretty orderly fashion, with everything you need to know explained well and the characters moving forward in a fully comprehensible manner. Well done. (Though I would like to say, “Hey Batman… it is a trap, duh!”)

 

THE UNWRITTEN #40 (Mike Carey / Peter Gross) Vertigo

Speaking of things being a little clearer, the new Unwritten arc joins the old one right here. Everything worked: the unicorn, the new power couple Tom Taylor (isn’t he writing the new Rose and Thorn comic)… but especially the bopmb. That was just awesome.

 

AMERICA’S GOT POWERS #3 (Jonathan Ross / Bryan Hitch) Image

Ouch. So Zero gives other people powers – I think we knew that. But he can’t control it or who the powers go to? Or can he? Was Quarterback going to kill him on live TV? That seems like a bit of a stretch. I like this book… it is very character driven, which is the best way to go if you want me on board.

 

ALL-STAR WESTERN #12 (Palmiotti / Gray / Moritat / Kolins) DC

Tallulah kicks ass. She just beat them all, single handedly. That includes the ninja woman he beat the tar out of Jonah Hex and Tallulah handled her like she was nothing. One story wrapped up and another is starting. I thought this was going to get Hex away from the lame Batman references, but it looks like Arkham is along for the ride. That’s okay. He isn’t as cheesy as Mayor Cobblepot and the Court of Owls refs.

 

BRILLIANT #4 (Bendis / Bagley) Icon

Do you know what comics don’t do very well? Setting superpowers in the ‘real’ world. Brilliant is giving it a go and so far, so good. Overpowered kid with crazy energy abilities that is taking down loads of cops? Shoot him in the head. The interrogation panels is a well Bendis goes to too often, but it worked here. It properly set off the scared and scattered nature of the kids. Good book thus far.

 

SUPER CROOKS #4 (Mark Millar / Leinil Yu) Icon

RIght up until the last book I read, it looked like Super Crooks was going to be the book of the week. This issue made the whole series better. The way they pulled off the heist was a cool twist of the genre. The extra twist about the costumes made it even better. Read the trade. It is a bit gratuitous at times but I nice, self-contained story in all.

 

BEFORE WATCHMEN: DR. MANHATTAN #1 (J.Michael Straczynski / Adam Hughes) DC

Wow. This is a very, very good comic. The stream of consciousness (from a consciousness that is anything but routine) combined with the amazing AH! artwork makes the best comic of the week. The whole comic is Schroedinger’s Cat writ large. It is no coincidence that the first time they show this concept it involves a cat in a box. Has he just changed time? Has he erased himself from existence or did he witness a parallel world?

And, of course, Adam Hughes drawing Silk Spectre in such a way that you believe completely that ‘Jon’ would be drawn to her. This also makes you wonder, what would have happened if he DIDN’T change those names? Would Nite Owl and Silk Spectre have been together all along? What sort of influence would Rorschach have had on Dr. Manhattan?

Great comic.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: All-Star Western #11

July 31, 2012
2 Comments

Kind of an odd week. I can’t really rave about any books, but neither was there any that I had a real problem with. I went to the Jays game in Toronto yesterday and paid for it with a nasty burn and a bit of heat stroke. These are going to be even briefer than usual because of that.

 

Starting from the weakest.

 

SECRET AVENGERS #29 (Remender / Scalera / Wilson) Marvel

Decent story but the art is really not my cup of tea. I also don’t like the inconsistency in the portrayal of Taskmaster. Still worth reading.

 

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #690 (Slott / Camuncoli / Janson / Green / D’Armata) Marvel

I really like Slott’s run… a lot actually. But every multi-part story seems to have an issue where t feels like nothing really moves forward. This is that one.

 

CAPTAIN AMERICA #15 (Brubaker / Bunn / Eaton / Magyar / Guru eFX) Marvel

The only thing that holds this one back is the buy-in on the villains. I dont’ mean the masterminds, but rather the guys he actually fights. Who are they? Why do we care other than that they are wrecking stuff?

 

THE ULTIMATES #13 (Humphries / Tan / Pallot / Milla) Marvel

I quite liked this issue. The feeling of large scale disaster really is working. It reminds me of when they kicked the old New Universe into overdrive. I hope this Divided We Fall story doesn’t lean too much on the X-Men because I don’t read that book.

 

WINTER SOLDIER #8 (Brubaker / Lark / Thies / Guadino / Breitweiser) Marvel

Making the characters seem like they are really worried about Natasha is a trick when we aren’t at all, but they are pulling it off. Lots of tension and in a book like this, tension is key.

 

JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #11 (Jeff Lemire / Mikel Janin) DC

How do they make such an interesting comic while doing things that I do NOT approve of when I see them described. Timothy Hunter? Seriously? But it keeps working!

 

AVENGERS #28 (Bendis / Simonson / Hanna / Keith) Marvel

What a neat, innovative way to tell the story! Not as good as New Avengers was, but Bendis is really giving it his all to round out his run.

 

THE NEW DEADWARDIANS #5 (Dan Abnett / I.N.J. Culbard) Vertigo

This book was not one of my favourite Vertigo books but it is getting better and better. The undead suffragette stuff is awesome! The mystery turn has got me interested inTHAT part of the comic for the first time!

 

ALL-STAR WESTERN #11 (Gray / Palmiotti / Moritat / Kolins) DC

WIthout a stand-out book, what puts this at the top of the list is Tallulah. She doesn’t need to hang around and wait for Jonah to rescue HER! No sir!


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Spider-Men #2

July 2, 2012
Leave a Comment

Compared to some recent weeks, this one was not great. A bunch of decent books, but not the onslaught of awesome we get sometimes.

Starting from the weakest.

THE NEW DEADWARDIANS #4 (Dan Abnett / I.N.J. Culbard) Vertigo

My problem with this book is that it is so weak on plot. We are four issues in and very little has happened. Everything is setting up character, with little regard for story. Sometimes that works (see earlier issues of iZombie). It started to work in issue 3, but I am back to finding myself not really caring about what is going on. I don’t care for the art much either.

JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #10 (Jeff Lemire / Mikel Janin) DC

The book isn’t bad, but the little touches that Lemire throws in (Constantine hangs out in the ‘House of Mystery’ while they hunt for the ‘Books of Magic’) make this feel like a parody book. “What if the Vertigo books were superhero books?” I need to ignore all that to get to the fact that this is a decent read. This is not the Hellblazer Constantine. Deal with it. One doesn’t affect the other and that is a good thing.

I like the idea of a return of Abnegazer, Rath and Ghast but I don’t really like their new designs.

BEFORE WATCHMEN: NITE OWL #1 (J.Michael Straczynski / Andy Kubert / Joe Kubert) DC

Updated BW rankings: 1. Silk Spectre, 2. Minutemen, 3. Comedian, 4. Nite Owl

Maybe the upcoming titles will make me feel better about this issue, but the characterization of Rorschach and Dr. Manhattan were really… off. Rorschach told a sex joke about Nite Owl’s costume being too tight after he talked to Silk Spectre. Really? It was VERY out of place. The Crimebusters meeting was a lot better back when things like Manhattan noticing Silk Spectre were subtle.

I liked Dan, but all of the trappings of the book were off. It is like JMS was given the Nite Owl assignment but really wanted to write all of them… but not well.

ALL-STAR WESTERN #10 (Palmiotti / Gray / Moritat / Garcia-Lopez) DC

I like Tallulah, but the forced inclusion of Batman elements is really annoying me. This Court of Owls nonsense has no place in a Jonah Hex comic. They just look ridiculous in the owl masks… overall, the sooner Hex gets away from Gotham, the better it will be.

The Bat Lash back-up was great. It was funny and the Garcia-Lopez art even outshone Moritat, who I normally quite love but this issue had some spots that felt… rushed. Next… Dr. Thirteen? I didn’t know there was a western version…

BATMAN INCORPORATED #2 (Grant Morrison / Chris Burnham) DC

This is the story of Talia and it works very well. In a DC line that has done everything it can to invalidate and erase past continuity, Morrison wrote an issue to ensure the backstory that he needs still exists in this post-post-crisis universe. Talia is a character the vacillates between characiture and a-level villain and it looks like Morrison has her firmly in the latter camp. Her betrayal of he father at the end of the book sets up the coming issues weel. The cover is a little odd. Is that an Az-Bats helmet? What are El Gaucho and the others doing there? Who is the guy with Azrael and Batwing?

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #688 (Slott / Camuncoli / Janson / D’Armata) Marvel

Slott makes ASM one of the best books of the old style. It isn’t all events and bombast. (Even when there is is an ‘event’ like the previous Doc Ock story, what made it so is marketing. It continued to be a regular book where one issue came after the next without five cross-overs etc…)

It is all about Peter. Without saying it, this issue shows that his idea of responsibility is changing. It doesn’t just mean, don’t let that mugger run past you. It means doing what you can to help, all the time.

Also, I LOVE the science side of this book now. Horizon Labs is the best thing to happen to the ASM book since… I can’t even remember. Certainly well before the JMS run.

ULTIMATES #12 (Hickman / Humphries / Ross / Garney / Milla) Marvel

Wow, did this book get good all of a sudden! This was a low, teetering book earlier in the run. What is the difference? I think it is Sam Humphries. I am not sure because Hickman’s name is still on the cover, but I think Humphries’ storytelling style is a lot clearer than Hickman’s is.

The defeat of Reed Richards was inventive and exciting… as long as you don’t say it out loud. When you try to explain that Tony convinced his tumour to convince the city to stop supporting Reed… well, that just sounds crazy.

Great, though.

Side note: I want to see the West Coast Avengers that they teased a few issues back.

SPIDER-MEN #2 (Bendis / Pichelli / Ponsor) Marvel

Here is the book that they fell short on delivering in issue #1. The fight between Peter and Miles was great in that it really boosted up Miles, without making Peter look weak. Everything unfolded the way it should, including the addition of Nick Fury. THe talk between Peter and Nick was excellent. In one massive word ballon Bendis showed that ‘decompressed’ storytelling is not all he can do. 🙂

After the first issue there was a debate about which Mysterio that was. Both??!?! They are the same guy?

Awesome.


Next Page »