Rusty's World

Ruthanne’s Comic of the Week: Fairest #8

October 16, 2012
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I was away all last week at the CanadianFestival of Spoken Word in Saskatoon. It was a lot of fun… one of the best iterations of CFSW ever.

That meant I wasn’t here to do reviews so this time out the comics are ranked in the order Ruthanne liked them, though the reviews are still mine.

 

From weakest on up…

 

WORLDS’ FINEST #5 (Levitz / Ordway / Craig / Perez) DC

No Kevin Maguire? Unfortunate, though Ordway is a decent sub.

Note to Paul Levitz: making a joke about Power Girl getting her clothes torn off her body every issue doesn’t make up for having Power Girl’s clothes torn off her body every issue.

This book is on thin ice.

 

DIAL H #5 (China Mieville / Mateus Santolouco) DC

This book is starting to feel like Mieville has a plan. That is a good thing. UP until now it has felt that things were just happening, but it seems like he is building a bigger narrative. It remains to be seen whether than narrative will hold up or not.

 

ANIMAL MAN #13 (Jeff Lemire / Steve Pugh / Timothy Green II / Joseph Silver) DC

Days of Future Past, Animal Man edition. The most interesting part of this issue is the Baker family story. They wouldn’t really kill Cliff, would they?

 

SWAMP THING #13 (Scott Snyder / Yanick Paquette) DC

I though the Rotworld Red/Green stories were going to be parallel alternate futures but it seems that they may be int he same world. I could sub Abby it for Cliff above, but I already know the answer to that one.

 

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #695 (Slott / Gage / Camuncoli / Green / Fabela) Marvel

Gearing up to issue 700 (and the ‘end of the series’). I am pretty sure the end panel is a swerve and Hobby doesn’t really know Peter’s secret. It will just be that he has captured his tech guy. I found the Bugle’s behaviour here quite reprehensible. That little news story would put Peter and his family in incredible danger (assuming he was what he said he was). I think Peter should sue them.

 

BEFORE WATCHMEN: RORSCHACH #2 (Brian Azzarello / Lee Bermejo) DC

The brutality of this comic is overwhelming, both given and received by Rorschach. We are watching him deteriorate as a human being. We know we won’t see his ultiamte fate in this mini, but you can see how it could happen. He is a mess and no caring waitress is going to change that.

 

THIEF OF THIEVES #9 (Kirkman / Asmus / Martinbrough / Serrano) Image

I like this book but I really hope every arc isn’t about somebody using his son as leverage to get him to work for them.

 

AVENGERS VS X-MEN #12 (Aaron / Kubert / Dell / Martin) Marvel

So Cyclops was kind of right at the start, but lost his mind on the way. Cap (and the Avengers)was kind of wrong at the start but kept his head and fought the bigger threat. Works for me.

I am interested to see where this goes from here. The return of the mutants was a good call. The ‘no more’ had run its course.

 

AVENGERS ACADEMY #38 (Gage / Grummett / Hamscher / Sotomayor) Marvel

This would have been my comic of the week. It is chock full of smart writing, Every page had something worth spotlighting. Gage’s way with these characters is masterful. What a shame that it is coming to a close next issue. Apparently it is guilty of excessive awesomeness.

 

FAIREST #8 (Lauren Beukes / Inaki Miranda) Vertigo

I know why Ruthanne has this at #1. They finally made the book about female Fables actually ABOUT a female Fable. Having said that, I would put this as high. After 7 issues of great art, this one was quite disappointing. Also, I am not a big fan of running to the witch to solve every problem (but finding out that the witch is Rapunzel’s mother? Is that new info?)

A good book, but not as good as AA, in my opinion.

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Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Before Watchmen: Silk Spectre #3

September 11, 2012
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This is my second RCotW in a row that goes to a Before Watchmen book. Whodathunk?

 

Starting at the weakest…

 

DIAL H #0 (China Mieville / Riccardo Burchielli) DC

The zero issues are here. I don’t like the concept. Rehashes of origins for the most part, letting us know how they have mucked around with the them for the relaunch. This particular comic has an advantage of being a new concept (let’s face it, this book has nothing to do with the old Robby Reed version), but it fails for a different reason. IT IS STUPID. A sundial? Seriously? Four days to dial?

They DID completely change the concept of the heroes dialled up though… and not in a good way.

Bah. I am close to cancelling this book.

 

ANIMAL MAN #0 (Jeff Lemire / Steve Pugh) DC

Here is a better example, because this is a book I really like. Let’s take the established origin and tweak it enough to make the Red fit in it. Oh, and add Arcane for good measure. Boring.

 

SWAMP THING #0 (Scott Snyder / Kano) DC

Take my review of Animal Man and duplicate it exactly. Now sub in the word Green for the word Red.

Twice the boring.

 

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #693 (No cover credits, but it is Slott and Ramos) Marvel

I don’t like Alpha.I don’t mean in the way we are SUPPOSED to not like him, but in the way that makes the comic not anjoyable. It is the power level problems that made Sentry such a terrible character.  am looking forward to this story being over so we can get back to the GOOD Slott stories.

 

WORLDS’ FINEST #0 (Paul Levitz / Kevin Maguire) DC

This zero issue is a LITTLE better because these are NEW characters and their story has not yet been told. Not a great comic, but better than he others.

The comics do get better this week, I promise.

 

THIEF OF THIEVES #8 (Kirkman / Asmus / Martinbrough / Serrano) Image

Starting here. I really enjoy this book. The only reason this is so low is that, as the first issue of a new arc, it is all groundwork and not much in the way of payoff. It is really hard to judge books like that.

 

FAIREST #7 (Matthew Sturges / Shawn McManus) Vertigo

Hey, remember how Fairest was advertised as the comic focusing on the female Fables? Apparently the folks at DC forgot that. The first arc starred Sinbad. This stand-alone issue stars Beast. Yes, both stories are ABOUT females int he end, but the protagonists are male. I really undercuts the concept if you keep doing that. Ignoring that, which is hard to do, this is avery good comic that gives a whole new story for one well established character (not Beast, so you can probably guess). I like the McManus art. It fits. And that cover…oh boy.

 

AVENGERS ACADEMY #36 (Gage / DiVito / Sotomayor) Marvel

This comic was all about the moments. The moment between Mettle and Hazmat. The internal moments of White Tiger and Reptyl. The moment when Lightspeed is suddenly a bad-ass. “And now… I have a dagger.”

This comic will be missed. Only one issue left.

 

HAWKEYE #2 (Fraction / Aja / Hollingsworth) Marvel

I thought this would be the top comic this week when I read it. Third is still not shabby. The design and art of this book is beautiful. The stories are appropriately small. The addition of Kate Bishop is great (though she should get her own codename). But DO NOT have them sleep together. Fraction, I am warning you… that would be almost as bas as Angel and Husk.

 

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #14 (Bendis / Marquez / Ponsor) Marvel

Then I read this and thought that IT would be #1. It is all about one thing. WEB-SHOOTERS! WOO-HOO!

 

BEFORE WATCHMEN: SILK SPECTRE #3 (Darwyn Cooke / Amanda Conner) DC

MAN this is a good book. It is easily the best of the BW stuff (and a couple of the others are quite good). The drug scenes were INCREDIBLE. Conner is just a great artist. The only thing that concerns me is the addition of Comedian at the end. His appearances thus far show us that he was abetter character as a dead one. The only big that has really worked with him is Minutemen which is written by… oh right. I guess it might not be too bad.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Hawkeye #1

August 5, 2012
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Anybody who knows me at all should not be surprised at my comic of the week choice.

Big week, made bigger because I missed two books last week and got them this week.

 

Starting from the weakest.

 

BEFORE WATCHMEN: NITE OWL #2 (J.Michael Straczynski / Andy Kubert / Joe Kubert) DC

Wow, was this ever a trashy comic. Bad story, bad writing, bad everything. Even the art wasn’t great. (Not terrible, though)

My only question at this point is whether I will miss the pirate back-up parts I don’t get if I don’t finish this miniseries.

 

WORLDS’ FINEST #4 (Levitz / Perez / Maguire / Koblish) DC

Why are we still getting this? Oh yeah… wanting to support female led books. And, in fact, that is what is good about the books. The characters of Huntress and Power Girl are interesting. (That and the great art), but the problem is that the villain they are facing… well, who cares? No character. No motivation. No nothing. They even ask the question on the cover without even thinking about answering it.

 

DIAL H #4 (China Mieville / Mateus Santolouco) DC

Just when this books tarted getting better, this confusing mess comes out. What is it with writers who try to hide the plot? In fact, this WOUDL have been below WF except the scene where the ‘hero’ turns himself into a hero WITHOUT his magic dial… well, that was nice moment.

 

BEFORE WATCHMEN: COMEDIAN #2 (Brian Azzarello / J.G. Jones) DC

I still don’t like the Forrest Gump version of the Watchmen. (‘So Comedian is chatting with Bobby Kennedy at the Ali / Liston fight…’) Having said that, much like the first issue, they do a decent job with such an annoying conceit.

 

AVENGERS ACADEMY #34 (Gage / Grummett / Hamscher / Sotomayor) Marvel

Tom Grummett is back! Yay! The story is continuing respecting the AvX continuity but not making it an integral part of the book! Yay! Jeremy Briggs is back! Yay!

What I didn’t like was the quickness that Briggs revealed his master plan. That seems like something that they should stew with a while. Is he good or not? The answer is emphatically not. Okay.

I also don’t like the existence of SPINtech. I didn’t like in A:I and I don’t like it here. It is too pat. There is a reason that Forge’s nullifier (Or whatever it was killed) was destroyed.

 

AVENGING SPIDER-MAN #10 (DeConnick / T.Dodson / R.Dodson / Delgado) Marvel

Another solid issue of Captain Marv… I mean Avenging Spider-Man. Seriously though, if this is the tone that the on-going Captain MArvel book is going to have, I’m all in.

 

iZOMBIE #28 (Chris Roberson / Michael Allred) Vertigo

A decent wrap-up to a prematurely ended book. This book reminds us what went wrong, with too many characters and plot threads all ending up here. The final resolution really worked for me, though. And no, not because Gwen got naked.

 

NATIONAL COMICS: ETERNITY #1 (Jeff Lemire / Cully Hamner / Derec Donovan) DC

So, when does one of the dead weight D 52 books (like Resurrection Man or something) get cancelled so Jeff Lemire’s Eternity can become a regular book?

Would it help if I said please?

 

ANIMAL MAN #12 (Jeff Lemire / Scott Snyder / Steve Pugh) DC

Speaking of Lemire… the Rotworld story ‘starts’ here (really it started in issue #1, but who is counting). I love the mix between the aggressive ‘male’ attitudes of Buddy and Swampy – ‘we are going to take the fight to them!’ – and the more protective ‘female’ attitude of Ellen – ‘we need to protect Maxine and save Cliff!’ Well done… and as we fight out next issue…

 

SWAMP THING #12 (Snyder / Lemire / Rudy / Green / Owens) DC

…the men aren’t exactly correct in their decision. I wasn’t thrilled with the ‘you ladies mind the fort while us menfolk go off to battle’ bit but the women found themselves neck deep in it pretty fast regardless.

One thing I will say right now… the thing that Arcane said about them being in there for a year? Baloney. Mark my words.

 

THIEF OF THIEVES #7 (Kirkman / Spencer / Martinbrough / Serrano) Image

Nick Spencer wrapped up the opening arc of the book and a smart and stylish way. The cops were outsmarted but in a way that ensured that Redmond has to continue in the thief biz. I am looking forward to seeing what James Asmus can do with it. I am also looking forward to seeing what AMC can do with it.

 

RASL #15 (Jeff Smith) Cartoon Books

Speaking of comics that have been optioned… we have the wrap up of Rasl. Quite satisfying, but the twist didn’t feel organic when reading it this way. It might feel better when reading them all at once. The twist AFTER the twist, on the other hand, read REALLY well. Destroying knowledge doesn’t work for me. This does.

 

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #13 (Bendis / Marquez / Ponsor) Marvel

Miles is one of the most ‘real’ seeming characters in all of comics. That sadness/depression/guilt he is feeling WORKS. You FEEL what he feels.

Then, the face to face at the end was perfect, brief as it was. Then Cap had to wreck it. So far.

 

AVENGERS VS X-MEN #9 (Aaron / Kubert / Dell / Martin) Marvel

Surprised to see this book rate so highly? Me too… but it deserves it. Spider-Man as the never quit, give it all, fight until the last breath leaves his body hero is jsut perfect here. Other writers have done that with Peter Parker before, but it doesn’t get old. It reminds me of the last stand of Skurge, but Spidey, even as he sacrificed himself, never lays down and dies. He keeps trying to find a way… and he does!

Emma is about to get very scary. My guess is that Cyclops takes her down… before doing SOMETHING to let himself be beaten and killed. By the end it will be the Avengers AND the X-Men vs the Cyclops/Phoenix, but ultimately he will defeat himself, intentionally, when he sees what he has become.

Let’s see if I am right.

 

HAWKEYE #1 (Fraction / Aja / Hollingsworth) Marvel

I have been waiting for years for a decent Hawkeye comic. The Gruenwald mini was decent and it led to a good run leading the West Coast Avengers. That was a long time ago, though. Solo Avengers was D-list at best. That crazy mini with his pet werewolf, or whatever that was, is worth forgetting. The more recent Hawkeye and Mockingbird series was better… but not much.

And now this.

What a great comic. This is Batman: Year One and DD: Born Again, but for HAWKEYE. The story is excellent (forget the fact that he heals in six weeks… if you really want to be picky, why would he be in a regular hospital? The answer is because that is how this book works. The art is excellent and the DESIGN of the book is worth buying the book for all by itself.

If it continues at this level of quality, expect it to become a fixture at the Rusty’s COmic of the Week list.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Fairest #5

July 10, 2012
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A pretty deep week. A solid-sized stack without getting overwhelming.

 

Starting at the weakest and moving up.

 

WORLDS’ FINEST #3 (Levitz / Perez / Maguire / Koblish) DC

So, I said I was going to drop this but I was overruled. I am not the only one with input on my comic purchases and Ruthanne wanted to give it another try as we like to support female character led books.

Well, it is still on the bottom of the pile, but it has pulled back from the brink a bit. The action was decent, though the villain is still lame. The cheesecake factor dialed down a bit, with the only spot being a funny little nod to the old Power Girl costume. I do like both Perez and Maguire. The comic is good for at least one more issue.

 

THE INFERNAL MAN-THING #1 (Gerber / Nowlan) Marvel

So Steve Gerber used to write a Man-Thing book. (That is where Howard the Duck first came to be.) It was weird. A lot of what Gerber wrote was pretty weird and Man-Thing was a perfect vehicle for it. It turns out that Marvel had an unused Man-Thing script that Gerber had done that was being PAINTED (!!!) by Kevin Nowlan. Yowza! I wasn’t going to miss that!

The thing is… it is pretty opaque. It is a sequel to an old book, which they reprint… part of it, anyway. I assume the rest will be in issue 2 and 3. I am hanging in there, hoping things get to be a little clearer.

 

AVENGERS VS X-MEN #7 (Fraction / Coipel / Morales / Martin) Marvel

Pretty clear who the villain are here. The one thing I am happy about is that the announced post-AVX books imply (to me anyway) that the current X-Men status quo is going to get demolished. In fact, I am pretty sure Cyclops is going to end up dead (if not all of the original X-Men). While I am not one to call for big deaths, they almost have to do something like that. They can’t just say “oh, sorry… we took over the world but we didn’t mean anything by it…”

The book hasn’t been awesome, but it has been better than many of the preceding ‘event’ books.

 

iZOMBIE #27 (Chris Roberson / Michael Allred) Vertigo

Ah, what could have been. The story is good. The characters are GREAT. The only real problem is the pace that the plot has been unfolding after the past handful of issues. That’s what happens when a book gets cancelled prematurely.

 

AMAZING SPIDER-MEN #689 (Slott / Camuncoli / Janson / D’Armata) Marvel

With the announcement that many (most?) of Marvel’s titles are getting a creative team shuffle, I can only hope that this is not one of them. Losing Dan Slott off ASM would be a major mistake. This is the best the main universe Spidey has been in years. Having said THAT, this i snot one of the best issues. It is okay, and I like how Lizard has manipulated the situation. I didn’t care for the ‘new Lizard’ at the end, and I hope that is corrected next issue. I am too big a fan of Horizon for anything to happen to them.

 

ANIMAL MAN #11 (Jeff Lemire / Alberto Ponticelli / Wayne Faucher) DC

I do NOT like the new ANimal Man powers and how they manifest. At all. I DID like the Animal Man vs Animal Man fight, as brief as it was. This book is not about Buddy. It is about the Baker family and this issue reminded us of that. But the art… ugh. Hopefully Buddy’s new power set won’t look as awful under a different pencil.

 

BEFORE WATCHMEN: OZYMANDIAS #1 (Len Wein / Jae Lee) DC

A bit of a mixed bag here. This is the best art out of ANY of the BW books so far, and that is high praise as I LOVE Darwyn Cooke and Amanda Connor. Jae Lee breaks from from the design elements that Dave Gibbons used and created something his own. Having said that, the actual story was fairly trite and predictable. The bisexuality was a nice touch, as was the vicious and overly intelligent childhood. But the whole girlfriend-in-a-refrigerator thing has been done to death. Even if it wasn’t that, it is still Batman losing his parents and Spider-Men not being there for his uncle. Only with drugs.

Is it still better than Nite Owl? Yes. Comedian? Uh, I’ll say yes. It isn’t better than the other two, though.

 

DIAL H #3 (China Mieville / Mateus Santolouco) DC

I held on through two issues of incredibly weak story due to the crazy INVENTIVENESS of the writing. Now it is starting to pay off. The insanity is not aiming towards a purpose… or at least seems to. The hint of a deeper backstory is what makes this a WAY better issue than the previous two. I think this is going to end up being a really solid book.

 

THIEF OF THIEVES #6 (Kirkman / Spencer / Martinbrough / Serrano) Image

This book is all character and design, which are two things I prize very highly in a comic. The book looks like no other one I get. It is half storyboard cinematics and half novel teases but always with interesting characters to keep it going. It is nice that the woman of the thief team, who, as usual, was only there to be T&A, is the one who catches Redmond. Looking forward to the explanation next issue.

 

CASTLE WAITING #17 (Linda Medley) Fantagraphics

Lovely book, as usual. DO not buy this issue. Buy the collection. You will be very glad you did. Volume 1 is a prized possession in this house. I am sure we will buy Volume 2, despite having the individual issues.

 

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #12 (Bendis / Marquez / Ponsor) Marvel

Wait, did he tell his parents… or at least his mother? I hope so, because the “oh isn’t he lucky that the one person who could screw things up for him is now dead” thing is kind of lame. Having said THAT, this is one heck of a good book. Miles Morales is one of the most intriguing new characters to come along in… well, a long time. The art is good (maybe not as good as Pichelli, but not far off). The fight was great. The scene with Miles’ mother was great. Ganke, as always, was great. Plus we got a ‘don’t blink or you will miss it’ look at his new supporting cast member. (At least I think so…)

Great book, month in and month out.

 

FAIREST #5 (Willingham / Jimenez / Lanning / Pepoy) Vertigo

Now Fairest, on the other hand, has not been as consistent… but this issue is excellent! Now if you have read my reviews (especially the early AVX comments) the idea of a book that is one big fight doesn’t appeal to me at all. When the fight is as good, interesting and inventive as this one, though…

The star of this book was the Snow Queen, which is a nice change from the previous issues where Ali Baba and the imp starred in the book that supposedly is meant to spotlight the women of Fables. At first I groaned a little at the idea that Briar Rose was motivated by jealousy, but the explanation worked all around! It isn’t that she is jealous, it is that she is getting pissed off at the very concept of love. That totally works!

And talk about beautiful art! Phil Jimenez is a master of his craft.

 

I also picked up Nexus Archives Volume 1 by Mike Baron and Steve Rude. I can’t wait to sink into it.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Swamp Thing #10

June 10, 2012
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Remember how last week was a relatively small week?

Making up for it this week!

 

Starting from the weakest and moving up, as usual.

 

WORLD’S FINEST #2 (Paul Levitz / George Perez / Kevin Maguire / Scott Koblish) DC

Perez and Maguire? What’s not to like? Well, a badly written story, boring characters and a terrible villain are a start.

I love supporting female led books and I love the artists. That may not be enough. I don’t think I will be getting issue 3.

 

DARK AVENGERS #175 (Parker / Shalvey / Martin) Marvel

Ouch. I was quite enjoying Thunderbolts, but this is… not so good. I cannot stress how much I hate Ragnarok. At lest give him a different costume so we are not constantly reminded what a dumb character he is. In fact, I don’t really like any of this crop of Dark Avengers (as opposed to the first crop). The Osborne mini was very good, but that didn’t make the villains introduced automatically matter.

I would drop this too, but I am hoping we will get more actual Thunderbolts in the title soon, despite the name change.

Oh, Shalvey’s art is getting better each issue, though!

 

DIAL H #2 (China Mieville / Mateus Santolouco) DC

This book gets by on pure creative inventiveness. Here is hoping the plot starts to catch up soon.

 

ANIMAL MAN #10 (Jeff Lemire / Steve Pugh) DC

Some issues of this book, I love. Other issues I am luke warm on. I try to figure out what the difference is, and I can’t find it. Maybe it is my mood when I am reading it. It is well worth a read, but between this and Swamp Thing, AM has a ways to go.

 

iZOMBIE #26 (Chris Roberson / Michael Allred ) Vertigo

Sometimes I complain about a book not having enough plot. iZombie has too much. The characters are excellent but as the book trundles on to its untimely demise, there are too many plotlines that need to be crammed in and brought together. The book is suffering for it. Overall I still recommend the series. Buy the trades.

 

DEFENDERS #7 (Fraction / Dodson / Dodson / Oback) Marvel

I thought this book might be on the bubble down with World’s Finest, but the Dodsons drawing Black Cat? I am still not sold on the main Defenders storyline, but now I want to see a Fraction / Dodsons Black Cat book.

 

WINTER SOLDIER #6 (Brubaker / Lark / Gaudino / Breitweiser) Marvel

Michael Lark is pure atmosphere. This issue is all backstory, but it is on point! Fred Davis is the Bucky in a refrigerator, and I am not sure it was necessary, but the whole story of the sleeper for the past dozen years works well. Tying it in to Bucky’s story worked. (I do think they could go to the ‘Bucky’s past’ well too often, but they are not there yet.)

 

AVENGERS VS X-MEN #5 (Fraction / Romita / Hanna / Martin) Marvel

Something finally happens! I mean for real! Welcome the Phoenix Five!

One thing… when this is all over, Cyclops will be in prison, right? RIGHT???!

He should be.

 

AVENGERS ACADEMY #31 (Gage / Grummett / Hamscher / Sotomayor) Marvel

Does anyone write young adults as well as Christos Gage? The plot is the plot… whatever. It is the characters that really shine… and now there is a new addition to the cast! I wouldn’t have minded if that was a trade for X-27, or whatever her name is… you know… Wolvie-Girl. Still, I like what they did with Shaw, and the Loa / Mettle / Hazmat situation will be interesting to watch. Personally, I hope they avoid the whole triangle cliche and instead turn into a really strong friendship like was implied last issue.

 

FAIREST #4 (Willingham / Jimenez / Lanning / Farmer) Vertigo

One more time: WHY IS A BOOK THAT IS SUPPOSED TO BE ABOUT FEMALE FABLES STARRING ALI BABA?

Having said that, this was a good issue. The storytelling conceit has been good and having the Snow Queen be an addict to them works on many levels. Having her drugged into working for Gepetto strengthens her character a lot. Not much Briar Rose here, but the addition of Hadeon could be very interesting.

 

THIEF OF THIEVES #5 (Kirkman / Spencer / Martinbrough / Serrano) Image

Does the gathering of the team reming anyone of Super Crooks? Oh well, it is a standard ‘heist picture’ set-up. It was well done, but once again… the only female of the group is a stripper? Really? WTF!

This books glides on the characters and the design… but those are both things I like a very great deal.

 

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #11 (Bendis / Marquez / Ponsor) Marvel

Spidey kicking ass! The first time you are punched int he face has to be a bit of a shocker. Being used to the Peter version, I was surprised he got hit so often, but at the same time, none of it seemed to phase him. Apparently his powers include being able to take a beating without even a bruise.

One of the best books on the market, month-in and month-out. BUY THIS BOOK! Anyone… everyone.

 

BEFORE WATCHMEN: MINUTEMEN #1 (Darwyn Cooke) DC

The baggage involved is immense. Here is my take…

Alan Moore got a little bit screwed by DC’s ‘it is yours once it goes out of print’. I say a ‘little bit’ because DC KEEPING it in print in order to keep the rights has probably done more for Moore’s career and reputation than anything else he has ever written. (And that is saying something.)

Moore thinks it is some sort of creative crime to use someone else’s characters.  This is the writer of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Oh, and let’s not forget that the Watchmen characters were all based on the old Charlton characters and only changed when DC wouldn’t let him use them. At least that is how the story goes… (and it seems pretty likely. The analogues are clear.)

Now… when Before Watchmen was announced, my reaction was ‘uh, no thanks’. Then they announced the creative teams. Wow. So now, my attitude is, ‘don’t buy them because they are Watchmen related. Buy them if they are good.’

The first one is good. REALLY good. Anybody who enjoyed the opening credits sequence of the movie (and most people I talked to liked it, even the ones who didn’t really like the movie as a whole) should like this. Darwyn Cooke is incredibly talented and he does a great ob here (despite some small continuity problems with the main story).

Even the Crimson Corsair back-up was solid. It is dense, as it should be, so the 2-pages didn’t seem too light and the density wasn’t overwhelming.

So far so good.

 

SWAMP THING #10 (Scott Snyder / Francesco Francavilla) DC

Normally this book takes a big drop when Yanick Paquette isn’t on it, but Francavilla is PERFECT for the mood of the return of Arcane.

ARCANE! BAD ASS! I wish he wasn’t tied so tightly to the Rot, as he was excellent without it. I guess they don’t want to tie so strongly to hell any more.

Regardless, excellent book (but a bump as I am already a fan of the Swamp Thing / Anton Arcane struggles).


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Ultimate Spider-man #10

May 6, 2012
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Do you know what it is like to work in a place where all anyone talks about it is whether we are going to be fired?

Stress is taking its toll…

 

It was Free Comic Book Day on Saturday. As per usual, I don’t really take part, since I think those should be to try and get new readers, not give extra comics to people who are already comic fans. I would have grabbed one of those Mouse Guard hardcovers but I was too slow.

I did pick up one book…

 

As usual, starting from the weakest book.

 

THE NEW 52 #1 (FCBD!) (Geoff Johns / Jim Lee / Gene Ha / Kenneth Rocafort / Scott Williams / Joe Prado) DC

I read that if you are reading any of the DC line,m you should pick up this book.

I beg to disagree. Let me rephrase the statement: if you are reading any of the mainstream JLAish books in the DC line, you might  want this. The books I read are a little away from the centre of the universe and I don’t think I needed to read this at all. Plus, I don’t like what they are doing to the Question.

 

THE DEFENDERS (Fraction / Ibanez / Sotocolor) Marvel

Oh, by the way, they killed all the Immortal Weapons and made one of them into a full-on villain.

Uh, what? If that wasn’t bad enough, they were killed in one panel each!

Remember how pissed people were at how Bendis killed Alpha Flight? This was worse.

 

WORLD’S FINEST #1 (Paul Levitz / George Perez / Kevin Maguire / Scott Koblish) DC

One of the ‘second wave’ of DC books. With this (and ‘Earth 2’) DC establishes that the old multi-universe style of writing is back in the new DC. I liked this book in general. The nod towards the post-crisis Huntress was nice. Reverting to the old Huntress costume was great and the new Power Girl costume… well, I’m not sold, but I don’t hate it either. The art was what you would expect with Perez and Maguire… which is quite a lot. Perez wasn’t able to stick around on Action for very long. Hopefully teaming up with Maguire will help him here.

The story is a bit… fast forward to get you up to speed. A hope things settle down next issue.

 

AVENGERS VS X-MEN #3 (Brubaker / Romita / Hanna / Martin) Marvel

Did I forget something? When did the X-Men stop fighting? I hope it wasn’t in a support book. That is a pretty big plot point to not have in the main story.

The way Captain America dealt with Wolverine was… well, a little harsh. Other than that… I don’t know. It is what it is. Big fight. A bit of treading water.

 

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #685 (Slott / Ramos / Olazabo / Delgado) Marvel

Speaking of treading water… I like this story in general, so I don’t knock this down too much, but this issue feels like the whole story may be one issue too long.

 

SWAMP THING #9 (Scott Snyder / Marco Rudy / Yanick Paquette) DC

I have mentioned before that this is the kind of fight I don’t like. STRUGGLE without really DOING any thing, but then overcoming through WILL… or the seeds of will, or something. Still, the comic is very good. The art is really nice. And that last page… yeah. I am looking forward to next issue!

 

DIAL H #1 (China Mieville / Mateus Santolouco) DC

Another DC ‘second wave’ book. I love the Dial H concept. I love the creativity behind the characters. I am so-so on the art. I may warm to it. It is the plot that I am not clear on thus far. Hopefully that clears up. (That is my complain about Voodoo Child as well.)

 

ANIMAL MAN #9 (Jeff Lemire / Steve Pugh) DC

Nice. A very solid issue. The Pugh art is solid. The story is interesting. The characterizations (of Maxine, her mom and grandmother, mostly) are strong. This is just a really good book. The ‘on the run’ aspect only really works if you ignore the fact that this is a world full of superheroes, but it is working so I am okay to ignore it.

 

AVENGERS ACADEMY #29 (Gage / Grummett / Hamscher / Sotomayor) Marvel

I love Academy. The characters are all so interesting and when Gage brings new characters in, they are just as good. The scene with Loa, Mettle and Hazmat made the book all on its own. I don’t read any of the X-Men stuff so I don’t really get what is going on with Shaw. Does he remember who he is or not?

BUY AVENGERS ACADEMY.

 

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #10 (Bendis / Marquez / Ponsor) Marvel

I thought Academy was going to be comic of the week, until I got to the last book in my pile. If you haven’t picked up on this by now, characterization is what makes a book for me, and what Bendis is doing with Miles Morales is amazing work. Ultimate Peter was a good, good comic. Ultimate Miles is better. The stuff between him and his uncle works on SO many levels. The reader knows not to trust Prowler, but why would Miles think that way? The characterization of the uncle is excellent too. I LOVED his reaction to finding out that Nick Fury knows who he is. The parallel between Uncle Aaron and Uncle Ben is perfect.