Rusty's World

Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Fables #112

December 25, 2011
4 Comments

So it is very early on Christmas morning (or very late on Christmas Eve… take your pick). We don’t celebrate Christmas much. Tonight was spent with homemade Nuts & Bolts and video rentals of Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Grey Garden. Both good.

 

New comics do not stay unread simply because of a holiday!

 

FABLES #112 (Willingham / Buckingham / Leialoha / Pepoy / Green) Vertigo

What a charming book this was this month! It is a Christmas themed issue but it is no side-story. Rose Red has to decide what aspect of hope she wishes to be. The story and art are classic Fables. The reindeer are worth the price of admission alone.

I think I know who the spirit is that Rose needs to help. Roses are red, violets are… đŸ™‚

 

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #5 (Bendis / Pichelli / Messina / Ponsor) Marvel

Miles meets the Ultimates! It is good to see a negative reaction to Miles’ choice of code-names. It is also good to see that the understand why he would want to use it. Cool new costume. Was that a reveal about who his uncle is? I could go back and check but… Did he appear BEFORE Ultimate S-M #1?

 

WONDER WOMAN #4 (Brian Azzarello / Cliff Chiang) DC

I love the mood of this book. War is great (I can’t believe I just wrote that line…). Diana’ way of dealing with her recent revelation is pretty novel… and makes her seem more real. Cliff Chiang continues to be brilliant on this book. I can’t say enough… WW hasn’t been this good since Perez.

 

THE AVENGERS #20 (Bendis / Acuna) Marvel

Acuna is the absolutely right artist for this book. The way Osborne is one step ahead of Cap is great. Because, lets face it, if he doesn’t outsmart them, what does he have going for him? Protector actually said and did something? Will wonders never cease?

 

BATMAN INCORPORATED: LEVIATHAN STRIKES! #1 (Grant Morrison / Chris Burnham / Cameron Stewart) DC

I don’t normally buy $7 comics, but this is really two issues stuck together. This is Morrison wrapping up the Batman Inc. story he was doing before the New 52 came along. The Batgirl story was solid and the wrap -up story was a head trip. I can be critical of Morrison but the way he made that story make sense… while not making sense at all was amazing. I really appreciated the text pages letting you know how everything ties together so  I don’t have to go back and check.

 

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #676 (Slott / Ramos / Olzaba / Delgado) Marvel

I prefer my Spider-man comics to have Spider-man in them. This issue FEELS like a fill-in. I know it isn’t, but still. An o’kay read but that is it.

 

FANTASTIC FOUR #601 (Hickman / Epting / Magyar / Mounts) Marvel

So Johnny is back and that’s that?I think this story will read better collected. At least I hope so. Every issue I feel like I am asking myself what is going on.

 

THUNDERBOLTS #167 (Parker / Shalvey / Martin) Marvel

So an explanation for the Ripper stuff I suppose, but it is a fairly chaotic issue. This book continues to teeter.

 

X-FACTOR #229 (David / Lupacchino / Ortego / Milla) Marvel

Unlike this book, which I think has just fallen off. It just seems… random. I think this one is going to get the axe from my pull list.

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Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Swamp Thing #4

December 11, 2011
3 Comments

Now this is more like it! A solid week with some very good comics.

 

Let’s start, as always, with Rusty’s comic of the Week!

 

SWAMP THING #4 (Scott Snyder / Marco Rudy / Michel Lacombe / Sean Parsons) DC

Nice! They are really moving this story along nicely. The Green. The Rot. The Parliament of Trees. Abby. (Don’t screw up Abby!) I was worried when Yanick Paquette wasn’t doing the art, but Rudy is a very capable substitute. This book is on a collision course with Animal Man and that is okay with me.

 

iZOMBIE #20 (Roberson / Allred) VERTIGO

Right from the start… great cover! The pastiche of those teen mags is awesome! This may be the best Vertigo book (this or The Unwritten) but the great zombie attack had sidetracked it a bit. Now we are back with a nice Ellie / Francisco story, more on Spot and Gavin, Gwen and the Dead Presidents! Super nifty cool!

 

MOON KNIGHT #8 (Bendis / Maleev / Hollingsworth) Marvel

As much as I like the Avengers stuff, this is Bendis at his best. When Spider-woman was cancelled I was disappointed. Getting Scarlet softened that blow and now Moon Knight is where it is at. The art is absolutely beautiful. Maleev is one of the best in the biz. (There was a lot of good art this week, actually.) I never really cared for Echo before, but she is good in this book. The scene with the cop and Snapdragon played out nicely. Just plain good comics.

 

ANIMAL MAN #4 (Jeff Lemire / Travel Foreman / Jeff Huet) DC

This runs in the same ‘world’ as Swamp Thing, which is kind of a subset of the DC Universe. Still, I didn’t like this issue as much as the Swampy one because I don’t like the way the Red looks. I have a hard time with seeing it as anything other than the villain of the piece, when I know it is supposed to be the Rot. Maybe it is my bias but the world of the Green seems natural while the world of the Red seems abhorrent. Ellen is badass here. Great stuff.

 

AVENGING SPIDER-MAN #2 (Zeb Wells / Joe Madureira / Ferran Daniel) Marvel

I am still not the biggest fan of Joey Mads, but getting him to draw Mole Man and his ilk is playing to his strength, that is for sure. This is a fun book for people who aren’t looking for anything more than superhero fisticuffs. Nothing wrong with that. The exchange between Jonah and Spidey was funny, though I feel like I have read that same joke before. I am not a huge fan of Red Hulk, but at least this issue read like he wasn’t just the Hulk with a paint job.

 

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #675 (Slott / Camuncoli / Janson / D’Armata) Marvel

There are parts of this book I really like and parts I don’t. The art was just okay and I really don’t like the way Vulture’s face is drawn. Actually I don’t like the way his followers are drawn either. The banter between Pete and Carlie was starting to get a little annoying, but it didn’t feel unrealistic. I like the story between them and I REALLY like the idea of Carlie and MJ having a sit down (and the reaction by Peter was priceless).

 

ACTION COMICS #4 (Grant Morrison / Rags Morales / Rick Bryant / Sean Parsons) DC

Last month I thought Action was in danger of being cut by me. This issue didn’t skyrocket up the charts but it was a solid issue.  Morrison doesn’t like to explain things much but the apparent new debut of Brainiac and the Bottle City of Kandor were a cool twist. The back-up was so-so, but bringing Steel in was nice. He kind of looks like an old Superman villain named Conduit. Remember him?

 

X-FACTOR #228 (David / Kirk / Milla) Marvel

Another book at risk of being dropped staves elimination off for another issue. Peter David weaves threads together so I keep wanting to know what happens next. What is going to happy with Madrox? Strong Guy? Is Hangman going to keep his turned leaf on the right side? (I hope so. Join X-Factor!)

 

DEFENDERS #1 (Fraction / Dodson / Dodson / Oback) Marvel

Even in a good week there can be disappointment. I was looking forward to this. I like the Defenders and I like the creative team they put together, The results? Not so good. What is with emo Dr. Strange? Also BOTH Strange and Iron Fist get a scene about casual sex that they regret? Seems a little odd. I’m giving the book more than one issue to get on my good side but they started out pretty poorly.

 


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: The Avengers #19

November 20, 2011
2 Comments

Does that headline surprise you? It did me.

This week’s reviews, from best to least…

THE AVENGERS #19 (Bendis, Acuna) Marvel

Now THIS is the Avengers that turned me into a comic fan! The Avengers was the first book I picked up back when I was 16 (issue #235). While I have enjoyed what Brian Michael Bendis has done with the franchise overall, it was still quite far from the book I had loved so much. Thie story has Cap trying to figure out who the team is going to be, complete with the public reveal at the end. Classic.

As for the new lineup, Storm is an interesting choice with lots of potential… but I don’t really like HOW she joined. Not terrible, but still. The Vision, on the other hand, was a GREAT reveal. It reminded me of issue #242 where the Vision came back from a long recuperation period. Great stuff. (Now, what about that OTHER Vision…)

While I don’t mind Spider-man and Wolverine being off the team (they are fine on New Avengers), but I don’t like HOW it happened. They deserve a little more respect than that.

Oh, and the art was GREAT. Daniel Acuna is PERFECT for this book. Even the back-up was kind of fun. All in all, a great read.

 

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #674 (Slott, Camuncoli, Janson, D’Armata) Marvel

The cover now reads ‘The World’s Greatest Super Hero!’ Works for me.

Dan Slott is knocking it out of the park with Spider-Man these days. A great story built around the Vulture (the old cool one, not the newer, creepy one). The Peter working with Carlie sub-plot works for me. The Mary-Jane and Glory Grant sub-plot partying works for me. I am a little less enthused about the Horizon Labs / Kingpin thing, but I am willing to ride it out.

The art wasn’t as good this issue. Not terrible, but also not much ‘value-added’.

 

AVENGERS ORIGINS: LUKE CAGE (Glass, Benson, Talajic, Beaulieu) Marvel

These Origins comics have been hit and miss so far, and this one is a hit. Luke Cage is a great character, despite his blacksploitation roots, but they manage to make him modern and noteworthy without shying away from those roots. The reminder of why he is important IN the comic is also a reminder why he is important AS a comic. (But ‘Hero for Hire High’? Really?)

Is this the same writer from Suicide Squad? This is better. I am not familiar with the name Dalibor Talajic, but it was good stuff.

 

CAPTAIN AMERICA #4 (Brubaker, McNiven, Leister, Ponsor) Marvel

Seems like Marvel’s week, doesn’t it? This is a solid comic, with a solid premise, but it reads a bit like it is just moving the story along – getting from point a to point b. Those issues have to happen, but work better when you read them together.

The art is very good, but with all due respect to Steve McNiven (his is great) I can’t wait for the Alan Davis issues to start. His Cap in Avengers Prime showed he could be one of the CLASSIC Cap artists.

 

WONDER WOMAN #3 (Brian Azzarello, Cliff Chiang) DC

First, a note. You may notice that sometimes I give first and last names on the credits while sometimes I just give last names. The names are the ones put on the covers of the comics. DC apparently likes first names more than Marvel does.

The first two issues of Wonder Woman garnered my comic of the week nods each time. Why has this one dropped so much?

It is her changed origin. It doesn’t sit right with me. It seems like a needless change that kind of… cheapens her as a character somewhat. Maybe Azzarello will change my mind, but right now, I don’t like it. Did this colour my view of the issue? Maybe, but it felt a lot more disjointed that the first two.

The art is still great, though.

 

iZOMBIE #19 (Chris Roberson, Mike Allred) Vertigo

Another book that I expected to be higher on the list. There were parts of the book I liked… loved, actually. Spot’s date was absolutely charming. I hate to say it, but it was the art that threw me… and I LOVE Mike Allred’s art normally. He is one of my favourites. This issue seemed a little more… muddy maybe? A little sloppy? Not up to his usual level of brilliance, that is for sure.

 

AVENGERS ACADEMY #22 (Gage, Chen, Hanna, Buchman, Cox) Marvel

I guess Quicksilver is part of the staff so having an issue focus on him isn’t actually out of place… but it sure seemed it. To me, the book is about the students, not the instructors. Yes, Finesse was an important part of the issue, but not in a way I really cared for. She seems a little hero-worshippy towards Quicksilver, who really has done nothing to deserve it. Let’s face it, Quicksilver has been pretty much a loser ever since he first appeared. Oh well.

 

THUNDERBOLTS #165 (Parker, Walker, Pallot, Soto) Marvel

Does Marvel WANT this book to fail? Why else would they put THAT cover on it? It is HORRIBLE! We were actually laughing about it. Kev Walker still does the interior art, so no problems there.

A solid book overall (once you get past the front cover). The Satana/Namor scene seemed a little gratuitous – besides, she isn’t his type. She isn’t blonde enough. It is tough to get too invested in a comic whose premise is that nothing can really happen (at the risk of changing history).

Both Avengers Academy and Thunderbolts are rumoured to be teetering close to the chopping block. I hope not. They are both good comics overall.

 

ULTIMATE COMICS X-MEN #3 (Spencer, Medina, Vlasco, Gracia) Marvel

Want to see a lame review? I don’t really know what about this book didn’t thrill me. I just read it and found that I didn’t care much about it. I didn’t read Ultimate X-Men before, but it is the Spidey connection that got me interested. We will see if it sticks or not.

 

X-FACTOR #227 (David, Kirk, Milla) Marvel

Of late I have been wondering if I just think I like X-Factor out of habit. It used to be great and it has earned some leeway because of it. This is also a Kirk issue, which means the art is not strong. Still buying it, but I hope it turns around or I may stop.

 

BLUE BEETLE #3 (Tony Bedard, Ig Guara, Ruy Jose, J.P. Mayer) DC

Here is a book that does not have a track record to save it. I wanted to support this book because I wanted to support DC’s publishing minority characters… but the comic just hasn’t been very good. When I read it, I can’t help but compare it to Ultimate Spider-Man, and it pales in comparison.

Maybe I just want Ted Kord back…

Regardless, Blue Beetle is off my pull list after this issue.

 

I also picked up Northlanders Volume 3: Blood in the Snow, but I haven’t read it yet. I liked the first two books. I’ll let you know.