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Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Wytches #5

March 29, 2015
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Wytches 5

Three comics left… and a little disappointing overall.

MULTIVERSITY: ULTRA COMICS #1 (Morrison / Mahnke / Alamy / Altaeb / Baron) DC

Multiversity has been hit and miss with an emphasis on hit. The strength has not been the ongoing story, however. Rather it was the glimpses of different worlds under the eye of Morrison.

This issue looked to be something different, and it was. This was closely tied in with an ongoing thread throughout the others and it was really going to… uh, no. Nice conceit but it really didn’t DO anything. For the first five to ten pages I was thinking, “This is going to be comic of the week.” By the time I was finished I thought, “Uh… so that was it?”

One issue left.

DAREDEVIL #14 (Waid / Samnee / Wilson) Marvel

After a great issue last time out, this one was quite disappointing. The ‘new’ Daredevil is kind of ridiculous and his sudden attitude change is a little spurious. This was also one of those kind of choppy reads. The intro of Owl’s daughter and suddenly they were teaming up with no real interaction… do you think Waid is trying to get his story in before everything god wall Secret Warsish?

One more issue for me.

WYTCHES #5 (Snyder / Jock / Hollingsworth / Robins) Image

This was very solid. It seems like a hard shift from spooky and mysterious to hard reality and… still pretty darned spooky. It started to feel less a psychological horror story and more a monster movie.

And when did Sailor’s dad become the star of the book?

All in all, good, scary comics.

One more issue for me.

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Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Hawkeye #21

February 8, 2015
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Hawkeye 21

If you read my last post you know that things are changing around here… well not quite yet. No books were dropped before I picked up this week’s comics. Eventually all will be dropped, but in the meantime I will mark the ones that are the last issues I am picking up as a monthly.

These are not evaluations of the book per se, but rather where they are in their arc.

Ironically, it was a pretty good week… though I am a little preoccupied so my actual reviews are even lighter than usual.

Starting at the weakest.

AVENGERS #41 (Hickman / Deodato / Martin) Marvel

I don’t love Hickman’s storytelling in this issue (or most of his issues) but I do like the coming together of the universes. We now know this will be Secret Wars.

(My Final issue: #44)

ANT-MAN #2 (Spencer / Rosanas / Boyd) Marvel

This was a fun little comic, and the addition of Grizzly has that Spider-Foes vibe to it.

(My Final issue: this one)

SWAMP THING #39 (Soule / Saiz / Chung) DC

DC Comics is an absolute train wreck. Apparently the New 52 sales are dropping like a stone so they are scrambling to ‘shock the world’ again with Convergence. That means they are cancelling one of the very few decent books they still have.

(My Final issue: #40)

MIRACLEMAN #15 (Moore / Totleben) Marvel

Here is a good example of a book I will likely pick up in trade. The individual issues are $5 and what will the collection be?

(My final issue: #16)

MS. MARVEL #11 (Wilson / Alphona / Herring) Marvel

Weird cover. Good comic. This wraps up a story so I will be dropping it here. I look forward to reading more in trade.

(My final issue: this one)

STAR WARS #2 (Aaron / Cassaday / Martin) Marvel

The relaunch of Star Wars from Marvel has been great. I still wish it was post-Jedi, but it is hard to complain when the comics feel this good. It messes with continuity but… oh well.

(My Final Issue: #3)

C.O.W.L. #8 (Kyle Higgins / Alex Siegel / Rod Reis) Image

Do many people buy C.O.W.L.? If not, they should. And I bet it will read even better collected. I guess I will find out…

(My Final Issue: #11)

SAGA #25 (Fiona Staples / Brian K. Vaughan) Image

This is the first issue of a new arc. Rather than buy a bunch of issue when I know I will likely buy the collection at some point anyway, I will drop it here.

Saga is a great comic.

(My Final Issue: this one)

WYTCHES #4 (Snyder / Jock / Hollingsworth / Robins) Image

Wytches is a tough read… just because it is so unrelentingly dark. Maybe so, but it is also incredibly well done.

(My Final Issue: #6)

HAWKEYE #21 (Fraction / Aja / Hollingsworth) Marvel

This is the penultimate issue of Fraction’s run.

As I read this, all I could think is that this should be a movie. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really match up with the Marvel Movie World’s ‘Big Picture’ style… but it still should be a movie.

Oh, and I also want some purple Chucks. Ruthanne tried to buy some for me once but the website she ordered them from turned out to be a scam.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Ms. Marvel #10

December 23, 2014
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MsMarvel10

This was a pretty good week for comics. Starting at the bottom, as always.

INHUMAN #10 (Soule / Stegman / Isanove) Marvel

Medusa is just terrible as a person under an alignment swapping D&D curse. Her pony tail is ridiculous and her behaviour, as soon as she became evil, became incomprehensible.

Apparently while her alignment got swapped, her INT score also dropped by a many points.

Spidey also acted pretty dumb in this book.

I would drop it but I have hope that it will improve as soon as Axis is over. The Inhumans are set up to take the role of mutants now.(Screw you, Sony!)

AVENGERS & X-MEN: AXIS #8 (Remender / Yu / Alanguilan / Delgado) Marvel

It shows you how much I dislike the Inhumans book that it falls below the book that MADE it become so crappy.

Nothing on the big Wanda/Pietro/Magneto reveal. Okay.

One issue left.

SPIDER-WOMAN #2 (Hopeless / Land / Leisten / D’Armata) Marvel

Not as bad as issue #1, It was interesting that they dealt with Jessica’s pheromone power problem right off, because otherwise there would be some hypocrisy going on. (The Starfox version of the power had him branded a rapist).

I hope they get rid of it.

It is also kind of icky that her first story ends up with her getting macked on, no matter what the reason.

BLACK WIDOW #13 (Edmondson / Noto) Marvel

The usage of fall colours made this issue pretty beautiful. It was a nice contrast with Natasha getting ugly as she tries to get some back for Isaiah… or maybe because of her connection to him, or whatever.

Solid.

ALL-NEW X-MEN #34 (Bendis / Asrar / Gracia) Marvel

Not much is moving forward in this ‘rely X-Men go to the Ultimate Universe’ story, but that is perfectly all right. The characterization in this – particularly in the Jean/Jean/Miles story – is just excellent. Great writing.

FABLES #147 (Willingham / Buckingham / Leialoha / Pepoy / McManus / Moore / Loughridge) Vertigo

As Fables moves towards its conclusion, the story has remained satisfactory. I’m not really thrilled with Lancelot just standing there and not trying to actually BEAT Brandish, but that’s that.

The Rose story was also quite good.

MULTIVERSITY: THUNDERWORLD #1 (Morrison / Stewart / Fairbairn) DC

This was Multiversity… kind of, but mostly it was an old school Captain Marvel story, complete with the whole Marvel Family, facing off against Sivana and his crew.

Done perfectly.

Who else has done Captain Marvel this well in modern times? Jeff Smith. Anyone else?

WYTCHES #3 (Snyder / Jock / Hollingsworth) Image

The matter of a missing daughter from the point of view of the father who knows just enough to know there is something wrong but not enough to do anything about it… or even get anyone to believe him.

Chilling.

SANDMAN OVERTURE #4 (Neil Gaiman / J.H. Williams III / Dave Stewart) Vertigo

Normally when books are this late, I kind of lose interest. Instead, this issue was much better than #3! The father of the Endless!! And we are going to see the mother!! And we got a little Daniel, time tripping fun!

Clearly Destiny is the preferred child. He takes after Dad in a big way.

MOON KNIGHT #10 (Brian Wood / Greg Smallwood / Jordie Bellaire) Marvel

How to turn someone into an assassin. Spectre was hardly in this but when he showed up, it was dramatic!

What happens next?

MILES MORALES: THE ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #8 (Bendis / Marquez / Ponsor) Marvel

Right up until he last comic I read, this was going to be Comic of the Week. It is a great book.

We get part one of the Origin of Miles’ father and what a story! The S.H.I.E.L.D. / Hydra thing is a little cliche, but it is done so well! Plus the little comments about how black men are treated by police, without that becoming THE story were interesting.

As I approach the end of the year, I am interested in seeing what is going to com rout as my book of the year. In 2014 it was Ultimate Spider-Man…

Ms. MARVEL #10 (Wilson / Alphona / Herring) Marvel

Here you have a superhero comic. AN action comic. Yet Willow Wilson has PACKED it with great commentary about how youth are treated in today’s society. This story is about how the work dwells kids that they don’t matter and how it is such bullshit and what it really means to be someone with a life ahead of them, with so much available to accomplish.

Great, great comic.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Wytches #2

November 15, 2014
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wytches-2

Yuck. That cover is super creepy.

I don’t know if it is just my mindset (I am having a really horrible week. Disheartening is the best word I can use, I think. Welcome to depression land…), but this week was very disappointing.

Starting at the weakest…

SPIDER-VERSE #1 (Slott / Ramos / Olazaba / Young / Parker / Thompson / Medri / Cook) Marvel

When I ordered this, I thought it was going to be an integral part of the Spider-Verse story, which I was looking forward to because I really like Dan Slott’s Spider-man. Of course, Spider-Verse has been pretty awful so far and this is no exception. This is just a bunch if mini-stories that are incredibly repetitive and uninteresting.

There are some interesting creators in here. Too bad they weren’t involved in better comics.

CAPTAIN AMERICA AND THE MIGHTY AVENGERS #1 (Ewing / Ross / Rosenberg) Marvel

For those that don’t know, I am an Avengers fan from way back. I started buying comics in about ’84 and I went back and filled in the entire run so I have every Avengers comic ever published under that title. The thing is, the comics that are currently published bear very little resemblance to the Avengers comics I loved. They are no longer an organization of heroes with a punctuated equilibrium of a revolving cast. Now they are just an army. They work for S.H.I.E.L.D. – a military organization.

If this is what the Avengers had been when I first started buying comics, I would have probably become a big X-Men fan or something instead.

But there has been a silver lining and that is The Mighty Avengers. This book is the ‘real’ Avengers, in my opinion. They are the team living up to the name. The fact that the writers have also taken the concept of diversity really seriously is an added bonus.

When the book was ‘cancelled’, I did not sweat it. I knew what was coming. They were trying to cash in on the publicity generated by Sam Wilson taking on the mantle of Captain America by relaunching. Falcon was already a member so they were just moving him to the forefront. No problem.

So why am I unhappy with the relaunch?

This story is tied in with Axis (which has been another big disappointment – not as bad as Spider-Verse, but pretty darned bad). In Axis there was some sort of magic ‘inversion’ where a bunch of people had their D&D alignment switched.

No, I am not kidding. This is an entire storyline based on a D&D gimmick.

So, this is our first time seeing Falcon in action as Cap… and he is the bad guy.

You have GOT to be kidding me! Marvel has done some stupid things in their time, but this is up there.

Well done Marvel. Let’s show some diversity but introducing a black Captain America… out of control as the bad guy.

Awful.

AVENGERS / X-MEN: AXIS #5 (Remender / Dodson / Dodson / Martin) Marvel

Remember what I said about Axis?

Can I just add that Kluh may be the worst idea since Clor?

Actually, it may be worse.

It feels like Marvel has turned into fan fiction.

SHE-HULK #10 (Soule / Pulido / Vicente) Marvel

This book is much better but it has such a glaring flaw that it is hard to get past.

No, NOT the idea that Jen is a better lawyer than Matt. (Keeping in mind that she practices law off and on in between other things in her life and he has pretty consistently been a top lawyer for the history of the marvel universe.) That is still possible.

It is the idea that a case like this would get to stand in front of a judge.

Let me see… the claim is that someone, while being held at gunpoint tries to talk his way out and when they shoot the other guy, he is liable.

Uh, what?

Steve could have been sitting there saying “don’t shoot me, shoot him!” and he STILL wouldn’t have been liable. Ridiculous.

This is generally a very good comic though.

KLARION #2 (Nocenti / McCarthy / Major) DC

This book is sometimes confusing but big, big, BIG brownie points for showing a CONSENT scene as being ‘hot’.

CONSENT IS SEXY!

Well done Ann Nocenti and DC Comics (for a change).

SILVER SURFER #7 (Dan Slott / Michael Allred / Laura Allred) Marvel

These three are just adorable.

Yes, I said three. Toomey is absolutely a cast member in this comic.

Don’t use up all your space ideas Dan!

MILES MORALES: THE ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #7 (Bendis / Marquez / Ponsor) Marvel

Miles kicks some goblin ass. It looks we are going to get some resolution about his father. Pater… well, I don’t like the idea that he really is back from the sea, but it seems he is leaving the book for the time being… though why he lied to May, I am not sure completely.

But Katie… Katie… Katie…

Hail Hydra.

WYTCHES #2 (Snyder / Jock / Hollingsworth) Image

If there is a creepier book coming out… I don’t think I want to read it. Maybe it is my currently dark brain but this book fired on all cylinders.

Creepy and scary and beautiful.

That cover, though… yuck.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Astro City #16

October 11, 2014
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Astro City 16

I didn’t think I would get a chance to do this write-up (or even read all the comics) before I left for CFSW, but I was wrong. So once more into the breach before I head off to poetry Disneyland…

Starting at the weakest…

MIRACLEMAN #12 (Moore / Totleben) Marvel

When I read the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen TPB I was struck with how quickly Moore went to rape as plot device. He did it again here.

The introduction of Miraclewoman just HAD to involve Gargunza raping her over and over, did it? And she was o’kay with it? Somehow?

Ick.

KLARION #1 (Nocenti / McCarthy / Major) DC

Hmmm… I remember Ann Nocenti’s writing begin much more… coherent. This story isn’t bad per se, but it is a little opaque.

CALIBAN #7 (Garth Ennis / Facundo Percio) Avatar

I think I have to go back and reread the whole series because this issue made no sense at all. Why is she not dead? Why was she suddenly able to beat the crap out of something that handily killed everyone else? Was it just by shooting herself full of drugs?

That’s kind of weak. (Too gory as well.)

Overall, with the ending fixed up, this will make solid Alien-esque movie.

AXIS #1 (Remender / Kubert / Martin) Marvel

Meh. I am not a fan of uber big baddies whose claim to fame is just POWER. Then the heroes just fight and fight and fight unable to do anything until… they do. Weak writing.

Also, just last week (I think) I was talking about how it was nice to show Wanda as purely heroic. One week later she is a weak puppet. Great.

AVENGERS #36 (Hickman / Caselli / Martin) Marvel

Wasn’t I saying that Hickman is getting better? Well he is back to just throwing stuff at the wall and assuming that the writer will get it… or not care bough to bother. The universe is imperilled and Thor and Hyperion are travelling across the multiverse to die!

Uh, what? What has implied that they are going to die? What has happened that says that they need to?

Sloppy writing.

ROCKET RACCOON #4 (Young / Beaulieu) Marvel

Poor Rocket. Plus another blast from the past character. But wait… plot twist!

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #7 (Slott / Gage / Camuncoli / Smith / Fabela) Marvel

While it is nice seeing Ms. Marvel get out into the Marvel Universe, it was pretty clear that Dan Slott does not have the same grasp on the character that Willow Wilson does. She just wasn’t quite right.

Whoa, Saturnyne… cold.

WYTCHES #1 (Snyder / Jock / Hollingsworth) Image

At the top of this column I spoke of Alan Moore using rape as a plot device. Scott Snyder does that as well, but somehow it felt more… legit? I guess? If Sailor really did manifest some powers, or called on someone that did, it makes ensue that it happened when she was driven to the ultimate fear. Also, having the assailant be a young woman also changes the dynamic somewhat.

That aside, this is a creepy, creepy book. In a good way.

SEX CRIMINALS #8 (Fraction / Zdarsky) Image

The introduction of Robert Rainbow was hilarious. His little imaginary striptease was just funny…. all the while reading… real. Suzie’s eye wandered and then snapped back. Real life.

But that ending… no!

ASTRO CITY #16 (Busiek / Anderson) Vertigo

That cover above is ‘thing’ Vertigo is doing this month with the story actually starting at the first page. The issue of Fairest last week was like that too.

What a story. Wow. A story of bullying and redemption. A story of of desperation and loneliness. And then a story of a trans-woman finding a new way of being, overlaid with super heroics while not acting like the trans nature of the character is something… weird. It just is.

Well done. INCREDIBLY well done.