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Rusty’s Comic of the Week: The Unwritten: Apocalypse #4

April 19, 2014
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Unwritten_Apocalypse_Vol_1_4_Textless

Not a real strong week (and I don’t really like that cover I posted here, but it was the best book…).

Starting at the weakest.

WONDER WOMAN #30 (Brian Azzarello / Goran Sudzuka) DC

This is not the issue you want to hand someone if you want to convince them WW is a good book. Weak art, incoherent storytelling, just generally sloppy.

Why can’t Hera fix Hippolyta? Because there is more tension if she can’t, I guess. Why are the Amazons openly mocking Diana, and why is she acting like a completely ineffectual leader? Same answer, I suppose.

Oh yeah, what is driving force behind this issue? Zeke. Again. For two and a half years now.

The First Born is messed up.

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #31 (Slott / Gage / Camuncoli / Dell / Fabela) Marvel

Yeah. Well, it wasn’t as bad as issue #30.

In fact, parts of it were quite good.

Here’s the deal… I really like Slott’s Spider-Man. I really liked the whole Otto story (though it had been played out a bit), AND I was looking forward to Peter’s return.

Too bad it was done so poorly. Last issue was an absolute mess. Otto acted like a complete idiot, COMPLETELY out of character, and committed suicide, for no real reason. Now Peter is back, and while I LIKE that, and the storytelling possibilities it gives, there was nothing this issue that made Otto’s decision LAST issue make any more sense.

Oh, and by the way… Peter is still dead. We now have Peter’s body being run by the memories of Peter. I am sure that will be ignored.

Oh, and the Green Goblin reveal was STUPID. STUPID. STUPID.

The good thing? The way Peter was written. The way GG recognized who he was after ONE quip. I laughed out loud at that.

BATMAN ETERNAL #2 (Scott Snyder / James Tynion IV / Ray Fawkes / John Layman / Tim Seeley / Jason Fabok) DC

Solid issue in that ‘moody Batman’ genre. The shock of everyone realizing that Gordon was arrested is counter-weighed a bit by the reader knowing he was set up and that there is no way he won’t be cleared of the charges.

The reveal at the end… was kind of weak. That was a big build up for a fairly boring character.

X-MEN #13 (Wood / Mann / Briones) Marvel

A nice character issue. I liked the insights into Storm, Monet, Psylocke…
I wish Jubilee wasn’t a vampire.
I am not a big fan of the uber-powerful villain types that Wood seems to like, but he was hardly dealt with here.

Overall, a good week for the X, as the next book was…

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

…even better. Another character piece (though aren’t Bendis’ books almost always that?). An interesting thought, which may be overlooked, is the elements of abuse in here. Look at how Dazzler is treated. Now look at how Maria Hill is treated. There are some similarities.

I am interested in where Hijack is going. I am interested in the Sentinel attacks. I am interested in Mystique’s potentially growing band of drug-addicted mutants.

I also really hope that Dazzler is the one to kick her ass.

MS.MARVEL #3 (Wilson / Alphona / Herring) Marvel

Speaking of characterization… this is all that. Even the bit characters seem to have a personality. Wilson could have made that a regular robbery, but instead we get the shooter to BE someone.

I am still waiting for Kamala to stop turning into a blonde. I am sure it will come.

THE UNWRITTEN: APOCALYPSE #4 (Mike Carey / Peter Gross) Vertigo

This was a really great book. The way they built the tension was top notch. Tom has just created an army for someone else, in order to get some information. I am sure he will regret that. Wilson is out of his depth and Pauly Bruckner! That was just about the saddest scene I can recall in recent comic memory.

Wow.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Animal Man #29

March 29, 2014
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Sorry this is so late…. since this is really comics from LAST week, but I have been pretty tied up with VERSeFest.

Starting at the weakest…

SOVEREIGN #1 (Roberson / Maybury) Image

I was a fan of iZombie. When it was cancelled Chris Roberson burned some bridges. I didn’t agree with everything he said but I supported his willingness to speak up. So when Image announced his new creator-owned book, I was on board.

Then I read it.

This comic is really bad. A pretty much incoherent story with unclear art to complete turn the book into a muddy mess.

Oh well. No issue #2 for me.

SUPERIOR FOES OF SPIDER-MAN #10 (Asmus / Carmenero / Pallot / Mossa / Cowles) Marvel

Why didn’t you put creator credits on the cover, Marvel? Were you trying to hide the fact that this issue was a fill in? (They sure didn’t try to hide it on the inside… the issue is titled ‘Filling In’)

Remember the smart, witty SFoS comic? This isn’t it.

I’m looking forward to the return of the REAL comic.

ROCKET GIRL #4 (Brandon Montclare / Amy Reeder) Image

Another one for the cancellation bin for us. We bought this because we are big fans of Amy Reeder. Well, the story is boring and the art is nowhere near the art that made us into fans. She is going more and more ‘manga’ instead of the beautiful work she did on Madame Xanadu.

Oh well.

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL #2 (Gage / Rodriguez / Lopez / Briones / Gandini) Marvel

Annuals should be special. They shouldn’t read like a fill-in issue from a different creative team. This was a Urich Family story followed by a Wraith story, just filling in cracks for the regal brook. Hmmm…

It wasn’t awful, just no big deal.

AVENGERS WORLD #4 (Hickman / Spencer / Caselli / Mossa) Marvel

Not bad enough to drop, yet. Not good enough to praise.

X-MEN #12 (Wood / Anka / Mann) Marvel

As is often the problem with books that fight nigh-unstoppable villains, the ending is a little to pat. They can’t drag out a fight so they either figure out how to beat them, or they don’t… and since they are the heroes, which do you think happens?

Oh, and the roll-call scene and the beginning was absolutely ridiculous. (The Paul Smith-ian shot of Pryor was nice, though.)

UNCANNY X-MEN #29 (Bendis / Bachalo / Townsend) Marvel

The scene with Dazzler was maybe a little too disturbing. Meanwhile the scene with the Sentinels was maybe a little too formulaic.

This book is not as good as Bendis’ other X-book, but it is still quite readable.

SEX CRIMINALS #5 (Fraction / Zdarsky) Image

This felt a little weaker than previous issues, but still a solid read. The kegel-face but was kind of funny but not as great as some of the high points of previous issues (like the karaoke scene…)

UNWRITTEN: APOCOLYPSE #3 (Mike Carey / Peter Gross) Vertigo

Well now we have the apocalypse the title implied. What a mess. No big shock about who the villain is, but wow… how are they going to get out of that/ Will the world remember this? Has this completely changed how the Unwritten world works? A world with time travelling hordes is not the world that the average Joe knew about before…

LAZARUS #7 (Rucka / Lark / Arcas) Image

Whoa. That was sudden and brutal. Beautiful cover and wrenching story. All of it.

MS. MARVEL #2 (Wilson / Alphona / Herring) Marvel

Everything about this book rang true. Her reactions. Her family. All of it.

But we REALLY need to move past the ‘my ideal image is of a white, blonde lady’. The quicker the better.

WONDER WOMAN #29 (Brian Azzarello / Cliff Chiang) DC

Can you smell it? That is the excrement hitting the fan.

Diana, God of War, leading her troops against the Usurper of Olympus? Yes please.

The good… this story seems to finally be reaching its climax.

The bad… when it does so, Azzarello and Chiang are leaving and we are getting a WW T&A book again.

DAREDEVIL #1 (Waid / Samnee / Rodriguez) Marvel

I am going to really miss the old Daredevil comic by Waid and Samnee. Hopefully this new one will be good… who is the creative team?

Oh. Okay then.

A silly renumbering, but what the hell. I like the setting. I like the new status quo with Matt as super-advising detective for the SFPD.

Oh hey, while you are there, say hi to our friends Nadine and Phil, would you?

Oh right… the review. Good comic. Buy it. Nearly comic of the week, but…

ANIMAL MAN #29 (Jeff Lemire / Travel Foreman) DC

I am going to give Lemire’s Justice League Canada a try, but it has better be good since this was cancelled to make room for it.

This book wavered between really good and Rotworld during its run, but this issue was absolutely stellar. Hands up, who though they were getting a FULL family reunion in this issue?

Instead they made it into a truly touching moment between those that were left behind.

I am not a fan of Lemire’s art and not Foreman so much either, but that didn’t distract me from the story which was perfect.

“Goodnight Cliffy.”


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Swamp Thing #29

March 9, 2014
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ST_Cv29

This was a very solid week for comics. Not perfect and no truly outstanding books, but some very solid reads

TRILLIUM #7 (Jeff Lemire) Vertigo

The fact that this is ending next issue is the only reason I haven’t cancelled it. This book is just annoying to read.

I was just told that this book sells as much as three times what Animal Man sells for Lemire. That is crazy. Animal Man is a great book. This book is gimmicky for no purpose. The story is okay… but just okay. The art is really sloppy. And it is a pain to read.

Not a lot going for it.

MAGNETO #1 (Bunn / Walta / Bellaire) Marvel

Do you want to know something? I nearly didn’t buy Moon Knight but I was sold on Magneto.

I will not be buying issue #2.

This was wretched. Have I ever liked something by Cullen Bunn? I can’t recall. This was just nasty for no purpose. It was pretty much just copying the intro scenes for Magneto in the First Class movie. I am not opposed to comics about villains, but this didn’t work for me. What made it worse is that by comparison to the art, the story was amazing.

Yeah, the art is atrocious.

I won’t be buying issue 2.

UNCANNY X-MEN #18 (Bendis / Rudy / Staples) Marvel

Ah, Marco Rudy. There are times when I like his art and I am a big fan of artists who put some thought into design, but the actually drawing this issue was weak and some of the design elements were lorry thought out and made the book hard to follow.

It was too bad, because the story was quite good.

FAIREST #24 (Marc Andreyko / Shawn McManus) Veritgo

This was a decent story. Starting with a great, though unrelated, cover. The back story for our little Rat-Father was fun. Cindy kicking butt was good. The reminder of how Fables can be really resilient was nice.

A solid, though unspectacular, read.

THE MOVEMENT #10 (Gail Simone / Freddie Williams II) DC

Are those wings attached? If not, why would she leave them on?

That sex scene was the weak point of an otherwise great story. (I have nothing against sex scenes, but this seemed really random and out of place.) Using the book to illustrate the inequity of justice was spot on. Of course they pretend it is about the part o frown they are from, but it is the colour of his skin they are talking about.

Too bad this book is cancelled.

MOON KNIGHT #1 (Warren Ellis / Declan Shalvey / Jordie Bellaire) Marvel

I almost passed on this because I generally find Ellis is overrated, Shalvey is not to my taste, and Moon Knight is not a very interesting character. I like the Bendis series, but this wasn’t likely to be that.

I am glad a decided to give it a try. First off, while I haven’t been a big fan of Shalvey in the past, THIS was really good. Other than the villain, I like fall of the way this was drawn.

Yet another twist on the story of Moon Knight is expected. SO now he does NOT have multiple personalities. Until this book is cancelled and another writer has another go at it and brings them back.

Whatever. Good first issue.

THE SAVIORS #3 (James Robinson / J.Bone) Image

I liked the gathering of like-minded folks. I also liked how that fell apart so fast.

Did it HAVE to be the Canadian, though?

SHE-HULK #2 (Soule / Pulido / Vicente) Marvel

Here is my admission: we are big Hellcat fans in this house.

Did she HAVE to be stupid and drunk? Still, it was nice to see her and it looks like she is joining the cast! Yay!

That new building is pretty nifty. I like this book.

AVENGERS A.I. #10 (Humphries / Araujo / D’Armata) Marvel

This book is often good with on thing that makes it better. That is usually something said by Doombot. This time it was Gascheck. That whole scene was excellent.

(Though, unless something has changed, Sunspot is NOT invulnerable.)

REVIVAL #18 (Tim Seeley / Mike Norton) Image

This is all about Randy Decker, the zen bowler. His whole scene showed some of the real horror in a world like this. Add to that the chilling scene with Cooper to end the book and you have a really good comic book.

SWAMP THING #29 (Charles Soule / Jesus Saiz) DC

Good week for Charles Soule. The Sureen were excellent. The fact that all was not as it seemed was a bit predictable, but it still kept me interested. The New Orleans adventure of Weeds and Wolf is a nice addition.

The last time I remember that sort of ‘communion’, it was a sex scene.

Good, good comic.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Amazing X-Men #4

February 25, 2014
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amazing x-men4

A little late this week due to a crazy weekend. There are a few books on this list that actually came out the week before, but my comic store had a box go missing temporarily. Better late than never!

Starting at the weakest.

GREAT PACIFIC #13 (Joe Harris / Martin Morazzo) Image

Hmmm… this is kind of turning into a ‘wandering’ comic. The concept is fairly solid, but the plot is not.

You know, I think that is it for me. Consider the book dropped.

AVENGERS WORLD #3 (Hickman / Spencer / Caselli / Martin) Marvel

Uh… the whole issue for that? Zero plot advancement. Zero character advancement. Zero anything.

I was THAT close to dropping this book after reading this issue. It better get better.

UNWRITTEN APOCOLYPSE #2 (Mike Carey / Peter Gross) Vertigo

The first issue was great. The second issue was not. Guess how he came back? They concentrated on a story that he was in where he came back.

Yeah, okay. That part was pretty much a given… but that’s all this issue was.

X-MEN #11 (Wood / Anka / Mann) Marvel

My problem with this issue was the X-Men figuring out the plan. There was no reason for them to do so. It was a little too convenient. The Sentinel fight was decent, but that is about it. This isn’t a bad book but this wasn’t a strong issue.

FABLES #138 (Bill Willingham / Russ Braun) Vertigo

An interesting little story about Gepetto that sets him as a resurgent bad guy down the line. I assume that he will be part of the big final story as Willingham has announced that he is going to wrap up Fables in the not-to-distant future.

ANIMAL MAN #28 (Jeff Lemire / Rafael Albuquerque) DC

This issue seemed really rushed, but with the book wrapping up, I guess they had no choice. Lemire wants to go and start making some real coin writing Justice League instead of a low seller like Animal Man. Too bad. This book used to be quite good and is still decent.

WONDER WOMAN #28 (Brian Azzarello / Cliff Chiang) DC

A decent issue. Dio has turned out to be more interesting than expected. The Apollo / Firstborn fight was pretty well down, so far. Looks like a big, multi-god blowout is in the offing.

UNCANNY X-MEN #17 (Bendis / Bachalo / Townsend) Marvel

Asa character issue, this was very solid. It is unfortunate that the plot point moving forward is so ridiculous, but the story as a whole was good.

So, what was with Eva? What happened?

That part interests me a lot more than Hijack’s firing.

DAREDEVIL #36 (Waid / Samnee / Rodriguez) Marvel

Here is the problem with multiple writers spanning years of a comic. Everyone knows who DD is! Then the comic works hard to turn that around so DD can have a secret identity again. Now everyone knows who DD is again!

Oh well. The writing is good and the art is amazing and I am looking forward to DD in SF.

SHE-HULK #1 (Soule / Pulido / Vicente) Marvel

The success of Hawkeye seems to have opened the door of this type of book. Superior Foes falls into that category as well.

No complaints from me, because I really enjoy a smart, funny book. She-Hulk is the perfect character for this treatment and Soule did a good job. I am less fond of Pulido, but I like the general look of the book… I just don’t like Jen’s faces. Oh well.

I do with I got the Skottie Young cover variant. 🙂

AMAZING X-MEN #4 (Aaron / McGUiness / Vines / Gracia) Marvel

Do you know what made this book so great? The flashbacks. That and the Firestar stuff, but especially the flashbacks. This made you really FEEL how much the characters missed Kurt and that made the reunion scenes work that much better.

I felt like I had seen those scenes before, because they read just like the old Claremont book. Well done.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Uncanny X-Men #16

January 19, 2014
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uncanny xmen 16

A very solid week. A good number of really good reads.

Starting at the weakest.

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN: INHUMANITY #1 (Gage / Hans) Marvel

Does Christos Gage READ Superior Spider-Man? This wasn’t even the same character. At all.

ALL-NEW X-MEN #21 (Bendis / Peterson / Anderson / Silva) Marvel

The book jus didn’t flow. Things happened but they didn’t feel like one page moved to the next. The art was pretty suspect as well. Not awful but not very strong.

MIRACLEMAN #1 (Moore / Leach / Anglo / Lawrence / Conroy) Marvel

I have been really looking forward to this, and the Moore / Leach parts were very solid, though not deep enough to warrant a higher spot.

Unfortunately I also had to pay for a bunch of other filler. The old Mick Anglo pages were pretty bad and the sketches and interview etc. should have been on a website for free, to padding out a $6 comic.

ASTRO CITY #8 (Busiek / Anderson / Ross / Sinclair / Comicraft) Vertigo

Astro City is a great book. It works better with shorter stories, though, and this is at least a three parter and this is a middle part. A fun little Confessor / Samaritan tussle worked. Good book, but not a stand-out this week.

DAREDEVIL #35 (Waid / Samnee / Rodriguez) Marvel

Daredevil is really consistent. I was wrong about Foggy last issue and the way the Serpents get Matt to defend their guy works… though he probably would have done it anyway.

AMAZING X-MEN #3 (Aaron / McGuiness / Vines / Gracia) Marvel

Beast makes this book. He is great in here.

Do any of you read Bleeding Cool?

On Bleeding Cool they mock Beast for saying he is atheist (though in this one he says agnostic). They say it is ridiculous for someone who has met gods and seen heaven and hell to say such thing.

Bull.

He explains it perfectly well here. Beast may have been to ‘heaven’ and ‘hell’ but he has also been to other dimensions and worlds that don’t claim any divine status. He has no reason to think this is any different, just with delusions of grandeur.

I prefer when my comics don’t try to make some sort of definitive statement about religious accuracy. To be more specific, I prefer when EVERYTHING works, no matter what your perspective. It make setter stories.

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #25 (Slott / Gage / Ramos / Olazaba / Delgado) Marvel

Until the end, this book would have been much lower. I didm’t like the ‘Flash is dying’ thing because it rues the suspense. However, the end was great. Otto using the opportunity to try and fix his rep was genius.

Nobody falling for it was even better.

UNCANNY X-MEN #16 (Bendis / Bachalo / Townsend) Marvel

Magneto meets Mystique and her new ‘brotherhood’.

And he kicks their asses.

Sweet.


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

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

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

Starting at the weakest.

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

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

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

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

Stupid.

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

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

Talk about disappointing…

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

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

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

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

So what happens when the X-Men encounter them?

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

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

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

Sigh.

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

I wish this book was better.

Dropped.

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

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

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

LAZARUS #5 (Rucka / Lark / Arcas) Image

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

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

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

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

FBP #6 (Simon Oliver / Robbi Rodriguez) Vertigo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Poopy Man!


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Sex Criminals #3

November 25, 2013
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Sex-Criminals-3-Cover

This was a pretty good week. I went into it thinking I might prune a book or two from the bottom end… but I am not interested in cutting either of the bottom books. They were actually pretty good!

Starting at the weakest…

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL #1 (Gage / Rodriguez / Lopez) Marvel

I like Christos Gage and this was a good comic, but it didn’t quite ‘feel’ the same as the Slott version. The villain was pretty forgettable and never felt like a real threat. The scene were May sees him in action felt needless… but maybe I am wrong and there will be repercussions.

Not a bad book, just not as good as the monthly.

ANIMAL MAN #25 (Jeff Lemire / Rafael Albuquerque) DC

I am quite enjoying Animal Man, so why is this issue so low? Well, as I said, there are no real bad books this week. I think what makes this one relatively weaker is that it feels like just a piece linking the previous issues with the next one. The end seemed WAY out of place, but I can’t judge that until I know why it is happening. The bits with Buddy and Ellen worked, as they always do.

Definitely worth reading, just don’t start with this one.

AVENGERS #23 (Hickman / Yu / Gho / Mounts) Marvel

An issue of Hickman Avengers above an issue of Lemire’s Animal Man? Well, yeah, but just. This issue FINALLY starting feeling the air of desperation and need that comes with good war books… and that is what they need for this story to work at all. So, the story is starting to work in mood, if not in plot.

Side note, Yu is a very good artist when he isn’t drawing women’s breasts. I don’t mean they are too large or whatever – lots of artists have that problem. I mean he draws them like he has no idea what they are supposed to look like.

WONDER WOMAN #25 (Brian Azzarello / Goran Sudzuka) DC

Strife! The way Strife is playing everyone like a fiddle really works for me. The double standard between Hermes and Hera also really works, because it ISN’T a double standard. Hera was their enemy. Now she isn’t. Hermes was their ally and he betrayed them. Very different.

The only thing that stopped this book from being higher is that the art was only so-so and the scene with the First Born didn’t work for me at all.

X-MEN #7 (Wood / Dodson / Dodson / Keith) Marvel

Wait… Ana Cortes was a teenager? I like the Dodson’s work, but if you can’t tell the difference between a teenaged woman and an adult woman… well, that isn’t great.

The comic IS very good though. Monet is a very good addition to the cast, as is the new Karima (nice excuse about actually making her look brown). The interplay between the two is very good, as is it between Monet and Jubilee.

I have said before that the X-line is an embarrassment of riches right now.

AVENGERS A.I. #6 (Humphries / Schiti / D’Armata) Marvel

The good: the S.H.I.E.L.D. stuff so we question who the actual good guys are. The Hank Pym manic stage and the Victor reveal. The Dmitrios / Vision fight.

The bad: a meaningless reveal that actually doesn’t add anything to the story.

The awesome: “I am not compatible with embracing.” Respect his space, Hank!

UNCANNY X-MEN #14 (Bendis / Bachalo / Townsend) Marvel

A nice spotlight on not-Morph. Bendis doing what Bendis does best – characterization. Bachalo was key here as he made the scenes with Mr. Deeds work. It was mostly wordless and needed to be. Good job.

YOUNG AVENGERS #12 (Gillen / McKelvie / Norton / Wilson) Marvel

So, this book was about getting people to read Journey Into Mystery? You should have done that while it was still being published. Seriously though, this is a really good comic. So, of course, it has been announced that it is ending.

Sigh.

FABLES #135 (Willingham / Buckingham / Braun) Vertigo

I am really digging the Knights of the Round Table concept, but I still don’t really get why Brandish has been ‘rescued’. I am with Snow on that one. The end was a little sudden, but with all of the pieces in the air, I am looking forward to where it is going. (Plus the books still gets extra brownie points for that amazing afterlife issue.)

DAREDEVIL #33 (Waid / Samnee / Copland / Rodriguez) Marvel

This was a really good read. Waid and Samnee should do a Marvel Monsters book. This one was top-notch. I will say that I think it s weird when a long-standing character says that he doesn’t really trust magic… how many times has he teamed with Dr. Strange?

DD is just a fun, old-school read. Top notch.

SEX CRIMINALS #3 (Fraction / Zdarsky) Image

Wow, is this book great. The second issue wasn’t as good as the first, but the musical number in this one was excellent! I actually read a review where the writer was complaining about the scene, saying that their inability to get the rights to the song really hurt it… I think you really missed the point there. I don’t think they ever tried. The ‘post-is’ were the POINT! Just like the Hawkeye censorship when we have otherwise had full frontal Clint, was the POINT!

This is a fun book.


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

October 21, 2013
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fables134_1

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

Wow.

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: 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: Astro City #3

August 18, 2013
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ASTRO_City v3

Smaller week… but still pretty solid, despite a slight disappointment.

Starting from the weakest…

BATMAN #23 (Scott Snyder / Greg Capullo / Danny Miki) DC

Since Zero Year started it has seemed that every issue was a little worse than the one before. This one is the worst yet.

The new version of ‘I shall become a bat’ is just bad. You took an iconic and arguably PERFECT scene and turned it into a mess. Now it is some sort of hallucination that ends with a bat landing on his head like a trained pigeon or something.

Terrible.

INFINITY #1 (Hickman / Cheung / Morales / Ponsor) Marvel

I almost didn’t buy this, but I think it was either buy this or cancel all the Avengers books, and I wasn’t ready to do that (yet). One thing I will say is it sure is pretty. The badass aliens look badass. The weak skrulls look weak.

Oh, and Black Bolt was awesome.

SAGA #13 (Brian K. Vaughan / Fiona Staples) Image

Here was the big disappointment for the week. To be clear, it is not a bad book in any way. It is just kind of there. It feels like a bridge between amazing issues, you know? Grieving Marko really works.

In short – good comic, but not the issue I would use to show people how great it is.

GREAT PACIFIC #9 (Joe Harris / Martin Morazzo) Image

The complexities of international politics! I REALLY hope they will find some way to turn their new ally out. I hate to say I like what happened, because I don’t… but it is really good storytelling.

UNCANNY X-MEN #10 (Brian Michael Bendis / Frazer Irving) Marvel

I thought Irving was just going to be for the Limbo story, but I guess not. Good art, but better suited for darker fare. I could get used to it. There were some really great spots in this. The expansion of those time powers. Magneto / Hill / ‘Dazzler’. Cyclops crashing the pro-mutant protest and then supporting the Avengers.

Godo stuff.

ASTRO CITY #3 (Busiek / Anderson / Ross / Sinclair / Comicraft) Vertigo

Yay! It was a two-parter! Was this as good as last issue? No, but it was still very, very good. I would hold the last two issues up against Saga, Hawkeye, Joe the Barbarian or any of the top books out there.


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