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Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Astro City #14

August 17, 2014
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Astro City 14

Caught up, now. This week was both better and worse than the week I just finished.

Starting at the weakest:

AVENGERS WORLD #11 (Spencer / Ienco / Mossa) Marvel

You know, I just don’t think I care enough about this book. Avengers Next are really lame – “What if all the Avengers had sex with each other?” The scattered storyline… the sub-par art..

Yeah, I’m done. DROPPED.

NIGHTCRAWLER #5 (Claremont / Nauck / Rosenberg) Marvel

Someone once told me that we should be glad for the openly racist because we KNOW there are racists out there and these one make them easy to spot and deal with.

The same goes for sexism.

Nightcrawler isn’t a book that would get yelled at or protested against over its sexism, but in a way it is more insidious because it does it without drawing too much attention to itself.

The first storyline had Kurt begin overly-protective of Amanda, despite the fact that she is an accomplished witch and was very capable of taking care of herself. I tried to give Claremont the benefit of the doubt and that was going to be a plot point where Amanda stood up for herself and Kurt learned he was wrong to act like that.

Instead she was written out of the book. In fact, she was damn neared ‘fridged’.

This issue there was something that may have gone without notice if I wasn’t already kind of unhappy about the way things had gone. Rachel takes Kurt into the Danger Room with a bunch of students. SHE sets of a scenario for the students. Kurt has down nothing at this point and is just along for the ride. She says she loads “one of my favourite [sic] worlds”. In it “Kurt’s the hero; I’m his sidekick.”

That’s one of her faves, is it? She just loves getting to play a ‘sidekick’? Oh, and keep in mind that these ‘roles’ had zero bearing on the rest of the story. She just said it. Because.

Do I condemn the book for that? No. But the trend is clear as day. DROPPED.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #5 (Slott / Ramos / Olazaba / Delgado) Marvel

I enjoy ASM in general, but I found I didn’t much care for this issue. I think part of it is the damage that Slott has done to the Black Cat recently. She is completely out of character.

Plus that Peter and Silk thing is just…gratuitous.

X-MEN #18 (Guggenheim / Talibao / Tadeo / Mounts) Marvel

New creative team? Is it better?

Meh.

And is this the third storyline already in this book focusing on female X-Men that deals with babies?

Really?

ALL-NEW X-MEN #30 (Bendis / Pichelli / Gracia) Marvel

This issue wasn’t bad but yet another book with the will ‘reveal’ was kind of lame. Warren and Laura’s ‘date’ was nice development, as was the new relationship between Jean and Emma.

ORIGINAL SIN #7 (Jason Aaron / Mike Deodato / Frank Martin) Marvel

Careful, Marvel. You nearly added some actual plot there. Nearly.

In fact, this book should have been lower on the list. In the end, is this entire mini going to be just setting up the new Winter Soldier status quo? A character I don’t care about anyway?

SHUTTER #5 (Joe Keatinge / Leila Del Duca / Owen Gieni / Ed Brisson) Image

This issue was much better than the last. This was about character and interaction and an interesting little mystery about dear old dad. Saved.

INHUMAN #3 (Charles Soule / Joe Madureira / Marte Gracia) Marvel

When I saw an issue of this came out, I assumed it was going to migrate to the bottom of my list, and possibly off it.

But this issue was actually pretty good! YES it is the Xavier School vs the Brotherhood all over again, but that doesn’t make it a bad story. Seeing things through the eyes of the ‘new mutants’ may not be novel, but it works.

SPIDER-MAN 2099 #2 (David / Sliney / Fabela) Marvel

All of a sudden, this book is about… people. There is a reason why so many people rave about Peter David’s skill with characterization. 

Strong characters with reasons to care.

SEX CRIMINALS #7 (Fraction / Zdarsky) Image

This was not as amazing as the previous issue, but it was still pretty solid. We got to add a new character to the inner circle, but most importantly Fraction dealt with the dark side of teenage hormones in a respectful way. He did it without turning Jon into a predator and made it feel ‘real’.

ASTRO CITY #14 (Busiek / Anderson / Ross) Vertigo

As usual, Busiek has this amazing talent to introduce a character and have us care for them almost immediately. Ellie is great and weren’t you ready to scream the second Fred showed up? You could tell immediately that he is a user and a loser. The story became very sad and I was incredibly happy to see the words ‘To Be Continued’ at the end.

Someone needs to make this right. Probably Arthur.

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Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Hawkeye #19

August 6, 2014
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Hawkeye-19-cover

This was quite a good week and it has a GREAT comic topping things off.

Starting at the weakest…

BODIES #1 (Si Spencer / Meghan Hetrick / Dean Ormston / Tula Lotay / Phil Winslade / Lee Loughridge) Vertigo

Why so many creators? Well the gimmick is that there are murder investigations going on in different time periods that are somehow connected and each time period has its own creative team. Sound interesting? I thought so… but not so far. The first issue was kind of dull and the art was especially disappointing hidden behind a really great cover.

I am not giving up on it.

X-MEN #17 (Wood / Diaz / Briones / Mounts) Marvel

So, I planned to drop this book, accidentally didn’t, and the next issue (last issue) was quite good!

That lasted one issue. Huh.

Let’s see what the next story line brings…

AVENGERS #33 (Hickman / Yu / Alanguilan / Gho) Marvel

This Cap-goes-forward-through-time-thing has been okay but this issue was quite weak. Not much actually happened. And why was Star Brand all over the cover?

So… is this story just designed for Cap to trust Tony at the end? I hope not.

AVENGERS WORLD #10 (Spencer / Checchetto / Mossa) Marvel

Things coming together? That’s a good thing, I suppose.

UNCANNY X-MEN #24 (Bendis / Anka) Marvel

Kris Anka is one of those ‘design’ artists. He can come up with some great designs but doesn’t seem to be so great at actually drawing. This issue was especially badly drawn (to my taste, anyway)… plus the whole issue was just about getting Scott on site.

Oh, except for that wedding bombshell. That could be pretty interesting…

THE MASSIVE #25 (Brian Wood / Garry Brown / Jordie Bellaire) Dark Horse

This is where the books this week start getting quite good. The event is still happening? Well, that is pretty cool. I haven’t really liked the supernatural element of the book, but I am all for super-science. Mary is great when she isn’t stopping nuclear missiles with her brain.

And Cal is really, really sick.

CALIBAN #5 (Garth Ennis / Facundo Percio) Avatar

So, is this booked optioned for a movie yet?

The first part of the book – the explanation part – dragged a bit but the tension ratcheted right back up quickly.

How many issues is this supposed to run? They are running out of characters.

UNCANNY AVENGERS #22 (Rick Remender / Daniel Acuna) Marvel

The big complaint about big work-ending, time-travel stories is the big reset button at the end. You KNEW that Rogue and Scarlet Witch weren’t going to stay dead. You KNEW that the world would go back to what it was.

Oh but wait… Wasp and Havoc were still a couple and still remember having a baby? Sentry, Grim Reaper and Daken are still ‘alive’? What is going on with Rogue? And Wonder Man?

Well… cool.

STEED AND MRS PEEL: WE’RE NEEDED #1 (Edginton / Cosentino) Boom Studios

I didn’t order this but Ruthanne was with me at Silver Snail and saw it so we picked it up and added it to the file. I am glad we did!

This is the first Boom book I have picked up and this one was spot on. The Diana Rigg (because she IS her) was just perfect, and really, isn’t that the selling point of the book?

A reminder to the rest of the comic industry that you can make strong, smart and sexy without it being gratuitous.

C.O.W.L. #3 (Kyle Higgins / Alec Siegel / Rod Reis) Image

Last issue was hurt by the cover but this issue is great all around. Showing the 60s era sexism and then reminding us how it effected some of the women and THEN reminding us that it wasn’t ALL sexism. Well done.

SANDMAN OVERTURE #3 (Neil Gaiman / J.H. Williams III) Vertigo

Classic Sandman. A wandering journey. An added character to give the Dreams someone to talk to. Ideas. Images. Vistas. Threats. Ideas.

Did I say ideas twice?

Dreams.

This book is like revisiting an old friend… who once taught you what comics could be.

HAWKEYE #29 (Fraction / Aja / Hollingsworth) Marvel

BRILLIANT!

BLOODY BRILLIANT!

This book might not be QUITE as good as the Pizza Dog issue, but it is close. Seeing the world through the viewpoint of someone suddenly deaf and down SO WELL.

There is sign language (with no cheat sheet to help you through). There is lip reading shown in a great fashion.

My question is, does Matt Fraction know someone who is deaf who helped him out with this? Is the lip reading part… accurate?

Wow. What a great book.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Sex Criminals #6

June 21, 2014
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sex-criminals-06-cover-chip-zdarsky-530x815

Some good comics… some bad comics… some dropped comics…

Starting at the bottom…

THE UNWRITTEN APOCALYPSE #6 (Mike Carey / Peter Gross) Vertigo

If you have read this and know me, you know why I didn’t like this one.

Rape isn’t funny. Yes he is the bad guy but tell me that scene wasn’t supposed to make him seem bad-ass or something?

Ugh.

This is normally a good book so I’m not dropping it for this, but someone talking about how cool it will be for him to stick his big unit into those little (Probably quite underage) girls… let’s just say it isn’t my cup of tea.

X-MEN #15 (Wood / Buffagni / Briones) Marvel

This comic did not make any sense. At all. We get a scene where The Future (what a stupid name…) confronts Jubilee and takes Shogo. Then we get a scene where Jubilee still has Shogo. Okay. I guess we are jumping around a bit on the timeline. Then we get a scene where The Future confronts Jubilee and takes Shogo… but it is completely different than the first one.

Uh, what? Was the first one supposed to be him visualizing it or something? Seeing into a false future?

Maybe it would have been clearer if the art was any good, but it wasn’t so…

Dropped.

AVENGERS WORLD #8 (Spencer / Checchetto / Mossa) Marvel

Another book with lousy art – though different lousy art from the last one. Plus the entire book was just a roll call with a different super team… including a ‘hero’ named ‘The Baby Killer’. (I know it is supposed to be that is very young and a killer but still…unpleasant.)

Dropped.

ORIGINAL SIN #4 (Aaron / Deodato) Marvel

This ‘event’ isn’t a story as much as an excuse – a trigger if you will – for stories around the marvel universe. Because of that, the main story is kind of weak. Once again, we have a bunch of people running around, acting in pretty random manners, just so they can get to an send result.

But that end result is pretty cool. We may have just seen a HUGE status quo change for a long-standing Marvel character. Until a new writer changes it back.

Oh, putting Bucky and Punisher in the same room just shows how lame a character Winter Soldier has become.

WONDER WOMAN #32 (Brian Azzarello / Goran Sudzuka) DC

Another one of those bombshell covers… but another pretty inoffensive one, as these things go.

It feels like things are really coming to a head. If this were stand alone story, rather than an on-going, I would assume that we were about to see the ultimate defeat of the First Born and the elevation of Diana to Queen of Olympus… but that would sure screw over whichever writer follows Azzarello.

AVENGERS #31 (Hickamn / Yu / Alanguilan / Gho) Marvel

This title is the best example of what makes Original Sin a good idea (the story trigger aspect), but at the same time we are all ‘scene’, little ‘plot’ right now. But, having said that, they are pretty good scenes. Great art… whenever Black Widow is not busting out… and Hawkeye doing what Hawkeye does beat… talking for the reader. “Does anyone know what the hell is going on around here?”

FABLES #141 (Willingham / Buckingham / Leiloha / Pepoy) Vertigo

The finale to Fables is not here, but we can feel it coming. Medea reminds us why Snow is bad-ass and people start to pick sides… sides that their leaders do not even realize exist yet.

When I opened up to ‘The Last Story of Flycatcher’ I was excited and then… one page? Really?

DAREDEVIL #4 (Waid / Samnee / Rodriguez) Marvel

Whoa. So that is what Shroud was up to? Suddenly this ‘kiddie book’ is talking some real shit and doing so in a way that was powerful but not maudlin.

Waid nailed this story point perfectly and Samnee is one of the best artists in the business.

SILVER SURFER #3 (Dan Slott / Michael Allred / Laura Allred) Marvel

I am automatically going to be predisposed AGAINST this book because of the space theme. I am automatically going to be predisposed FOR this book because of the Allreds. So what is the deciding factor?

Well, there is one of those creepy cymbal monkeys that is really the heart of an extra-normal entity. There is Silver Surfer’s cosmic surfboard (snerk) getting a new, awesome nickname (double-snerk). There is a big decision that is strong in the way that no decision was actually made!

And there is one of the strongest, most well-rounded new characters in comics. Dawn Greenwood is a PERSON. She is strong despite being in over her head. She is heroic. She is decisive. She is REAL.

Well done.

UNCANNY X-MEN #22 (Bendis / Bachalo / Townsend) Marvel

A really, really solid issue of this title. We got a villain reveal (though killing him off like that was a little lame), the repatriation of Dazzler, the return of Magento, the crystallization of the REAL villain for the book, increased mutant/human tension, and Maria Hill NOT acting like an idiot.

And some great Chris Bachalo art.

This was really close to being my book of the week.

SEX CRIMINALS #6 (Fraction / Zdarsky) Image

Wow.

What has made this book great? Humour. Humour. Humour. Inventiveness and humour.

So what happened this issue? Well, there was SOME humour, but all of a sudden we got a peek at someone who has serious mental health issues, dealing with them and having his life turn… grey. He was revitalized by the end but for those pages, we got a glimpse of a world where everything gets ‘smoothed out’. Deadened.

I FELT this book.

Very well done.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Saga #19

May 25, 2014
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saga19

A fairly big week and I was pretty happy with most of the comics!

Starting at the weakest…

ORIGINAL SIN #2 (Jason Aaron / Mike Deodato) Marvel

Chaos does not generally make good comics. Throwing a whole bunch o stuff at the wall is not good storytelling.

One example… there are three villains. Two of them are given ‘reveal’ captions to give their (stupid) names. The third, even though he is not hidden in any way, was not. Who was that sick, Thing-like guy? Do we have to read another book to find out? Sloppy.

BATMAN ETERNAL #7 (Scott Snyder / James Tynion IV / Ray Fawkes / John Layman / Tim Seeley / Emanuel Simeoni) DC

Hmmm… a couple of weaker issues in a row. Not a good sign for a weekly book. A lot of stuff that happened seemed random, but at least it was built around a core plot. The art was terrible. Look at that Catwoman reveal. Just awful.

X-MEN #14 (Wood / Mann / Briones) Marvel

Getting into the better books now. This was fairly solid but was a little “A to B”. So they are a team now because Storm told Wolverine? Do the X-Men have some sort of a official squad registration process? Did Storm fill out all the needed paperwork?

MIRACLEMAN #6 (Moore / Davis / Ridgway) Marvel

I liked the dream struggle with Gargunza. He almost felt like the protagonist. The use of rape as a simple plot point to make bad guys seems bad is wearying, though. This was 1984, however. Maybe it didn’t feel so weak back then.

AVENGERS WORLD #6 (Spencer / Checchetto / Mossa) Marvel

What I DON’T like about the Avengers these days is the Avengers Army feel. It makes characterizations take a back seat. So an issue like this which is all about characterization (albeit for a character I don’t generally care for), it is quite an improvement.

WONDER WOMAN #31 (Brian Azzarello / Goran Sudzuka) DC

I groaned when Zeke was missing. Again?

But this one was well done. Change is scary and hard to take. That was well illustrated here. (Forgetting that the next writer is probably just going to change it back.)

UNCANNY X-MEN #21 (Bendis / Bachalo / Townsend) Marvel

Things are coming to a head! I don’t know who the secret villain is but the interaction between Magneto, Blob and Dazzler was great. I LOVED the artistic choice of showing the old Magneto/Blob scene. Well done.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #2 (Slott / Ramos / Olazaba / Delgado) Marvel

Peter dealing with the changes to his life. Pretty interesting. Peter as a jailer? Hmmm…

I really, REALLY like the fact that Anna Maria seems to be staying as an important character.

UNWRITTEN: APOCOLYPSE #5 (Mike Carey / Peter Gross) Vertigo

Is it just a given that the best Unwritten issues are the ones spotlighting Pauly Bruckner?

And that last page!

DAREDEVIL #3 (Waid / Samnee / Rodriguez) Marvel

Strong issue as usual, but I have a question… Julia Carpenter? Spider-Woman? (I think she is called Madame Web now.)

If it is a DIFFERENT Julia Carpenter, that is pretty sloppy. She was a pretty major character at one time.

Nice Saga reference. 🙂

SAGA #19 (Brian K. Vaughan / Fiona Staples) Image

AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!

THAT LAST PAGE!!!!!!

NOOOOOOOOOO!O!!!!!!!!!


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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animal-man-29cover-artjpg-0a557e

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: 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: Mighty Avengers #6

February 9, 2014
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MAvengers 6

A strong week… with a couple disappointments.

Starting at the weakest…

MARVEL KNIGHTS: SPIDER-MAN #5 (Matt Kindt / Marco Rudy / Val Staples) Marvel

I should have stopped buying this after issue #1. What a terrible, terrible comic. The thing is, the art is very good… in a vacuum. It just doesn’t illustrate the story well. And I am not totally convinced that there is a story there to illustrate. Yeah. Terrible.

TRILLIUM #6 (Jeff Lemire) Vertigo

Just when I thought this book couldn’t get more annoying. I barely even read a couple of pages because flipping orientation page-to-page (which was already very annoying) was not enough for Lemire. Now he has us flipping back an forth on the same page. I almost think this is a big joke for him and he is laughing about figuring out ways to piss the readers off.

If this was an ongoing, I would drop it now. There are only two more issues though, so I guess I’ll see how it turns out.

LAZARUS #6 (Rucka / Lark / Arcas) Image

Ugh. I like this book in general, but not this issue. The old trope of a woman using her sexuality to distract stupid men while her partners do something nefarious is old hat. This went beyond that. Instead she actually let them have sex with her, when I would argue that her speech made it clear she didn’t really want to. The guards who were taking advantage of the girl (even if she WAS just desperate for food and water…. even more so), were admonished…but that is it.

Yeah. I am not claiming that this is like the infamous rape joke that launched this blog, but it IS cheap writing that adds to the general rape culture.

Not cool.

(In fact, this shows how much I disliked the two comics below it on the list that this book wasn’t last.)

AVENGERS A.I. #9 (Humphries / Araujo / D’Armata) Marvel

I have enjoyed this book, and this issue wasn’t bad… there just wasn’t that much to it. No great Doombot quotes. The revelation that everybody can just do whatever they want in the Diamond makes any battle kind of pointless.

Yeah, there have been better issues… but the America vs rebelling nations analogy was spot-on.

X-MEN #10 (Wood / Anka) Marvel

First off, the art is a big step down from the Dodsons. With all of their faults, they are still very talented artists and this is more… journeyman art. This is a leo a bit of a bridge issue. Not a lot really happens. The reveal of who WILL be joining the villains was pretty interesting.

SWAMP THING #28 (Charles Soule / Javier Pina) DC

Not a bad issue overall, but it was saddled a bit with the origin of Capucine. She has not been an incredibly interesting character and her origin emphasized that. The scenes with the ex-Parliament were better.

FAIREST #23 (Marc Andreyko / Shawn McManus) Vertigo

From the James Bond-esque cover to the addition of Ramayan, this book was pretty solid… but just solid. Again, there seemed to be a lot of ‘bridge’ stuff and the bits with the mice… like what was up with the sex scene at the beginning? He can change back and forth if he says he loves someone? Is that it?

THE MOVEMENT #9 (Gail Simone / Freddie Williams II) DC

An up-tick of this book. Batgirl was a good addition to the mix… the girls’ dinner had just the right amount of tension-easing for Babs to let her guard down enough to get dropped. The fact that she is the daughter of a cop meant that there was no way these two forces would get along.

I am happy to realize that this story does not go into the Batgirl book, which I don’t buy.

BLACK WIDOW #3 (Edmondson / Noto) Marvel

Another strong done-in-one adventure story for Natasha. Phil Noto continues to be amazing and they story’s morality part was telegraphed, but is still worked. I wonder if Natasha realized the big slip Isaiah made there?

Either he set her up, or Edmondson made a huge mistake in the script. In the space of one page, Isaiah went from assuming the job didn’t work out to knowing not only what when down, but why.

SUPERIOR FOES OF SPIDER-MAN #8 (Spencer / Lieber / Rosenberg) Marvel

This is the Hawkeye of villain books. Or something.

The Silvermane vs Shocker fight was brilliant. Boomerang trying to pick somebody up. Big Wheel. BIG WHEEL!

The reveal (to the rest of the team) that Tombstone is Beetle’s daddy.

The Sinister Six has five members… or maybe four.

How did I miss the first six issues?

MS. MARVEL #1 (Wilson / Alphona / Herring) Marvel

This book would have landed a lot lower on the list if I hadn’t read interviews and seen some promo art.

A young, female, Pakistani-American, muslim super-hero headlining her own book.

Yeah. That is kind of a big deal.

They don’t shy away from the cultural differences but she doesn’t come across as a parody. STRONG writing. The art is not as good, but it gets the job done. It isn’t distracting.

Why would it fall lower, then? The last page.

Her first iteration of her powers as wish-fulfillment turns her into a blonde, white lady.

The thing is, I KNOW that isn’t where it is going – but wow. Leaving THAT as the last page cliffhanger with no pay-off?

Bad idea.

Anyone who reads this review, though… trust me. This is NOT where the book is going, based on everything I have read.

MIGHTY AVENGERS #6 (Ewing / Schiti / D’Armata) Marvel

Another great written issue and the art is better! There is so much goo din this issue… Jessica’s concern about being Avengers again… Power Man’s interesting power set… the difference in opinion between Luke and Adam… but more than anything, addressing the comments about Monica’s relaxed hair style… without trying to justify anything. They SEE the concerns and are willing to face them.

YES!

Though I imagine there are many readers who don’t understand the exchange at all, it was very great.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: The Unwritten: Apocalypse #1

January 26, 2014
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unwritten-apocalypse1-195x300

Big week with a drop and a surprising #1.

Starting at the weakest…

BATMAN #27 (Scott Snyder / Greg Capullo / Danny Miki) DC

More on the origin of Gordon’s coat? Really? Plus, the cops aren’t just bad…. they are bad enough to throw another cop in a pit of fighting dogs just to see what happens.

Ugh. Yeah, this just didn’t work for. This book has been more miss than hit and I am dropping it.

DC is really weak these days.

PRETTY DEADLY #4 (DeConnick / Rios / Bellaire / Cowles) Image

This book is five times better than it was the first couple of issues… which still doesn’t make it worth buying, in my opinion. Ruthanne likes it so we keep getting it.

AVENGERS #25 (Hickman / Larroca / Martin) Marvel

Well, this book wasn’t terrible. I liked the idea of finding a dead Hank Pym… to bad they solved the mystery for us immediately. Bad Avengers? Still, early strength Avengers should get whomped by the current level of power not he team.

AVENGERS WORLD #2 (Hickman / Spencer / Caselli / Martin) Marvel

I am good with the focus on Smasher (she sure looks like Yellowjacket at the end…), but I am less a fan of the yet-another-super-powerful-near-cosmic threat. I wonder how many people out there realize that the Entropic Man is not a new character?

X-MEN #9 (Wood / Dodson / Dodson / Keith) Marvel

Did Brian Wood create Arkea? He seems to be enamoured with her. Not a bad book. I actually think the Dodson’s (whom I like) is a bad choice with too many female characters because he does not differentiate between them very much. They were great on a book like Harley Quinn because they drew that one character very well without drawing attention to the fact that their range was a little limited.

I like the Sisterhood.

WONDER WOMAN #27 (Brian Azzarello / Cliff Chiang) DC

I think I am down to 3 DC books (this, Swamp Thing and Animal Man), and one os being cancelled.

This book is well done, but are we REALLY doing a story now about Zola and the baby being missing AGAIN? This book has got to expand its focus. It has been over two years with only one storyline.

THE MASSIVE #19 (Brian Wood / Garry Brown / Jordie Bellaire) Dark Horse

As I list my second Brian Wood title, I will say that I considered dropping all Wood books… and any creators that came out as acting inappropriate towards women in the comic industry.

The thing is, I read Wood’s apology and I think it makes sense. Am I giving him too much of the benefit of the doubt? Maybe.

Oh… the comic. It is pretty good. Callum hunting down his past.

ANIMAL MAN #27 (Jeff Lemire / Rafael Albuquerque) DC

This is the DC book that is begin cancelled, so Lemire can go work on Justice League. Sigh.

It is Justice League Canada, though, so I am going to give it a shot. We’ll see.

What makes this book land as high as it does this month is the scenes with Ellen. Punching that reporter was great. Showing that there are real-life consequences to such an action was also great. The fight scene wasn’t much but Maxine and Socks ‘going the wrong way’ (I have a feeling they didn’t and the Red is just circular) and the Shepherd paying for it… good stuff.

ALL-NEW X-MEN #22 (Bendis / Immonen / von Grawbadger / Gracia) Marvel

A strong characterization issue, which I tend to say a lot on Bendis books. The scene with Scott, Jean and Warren did ‘talking head’ in a great way. The Bobby scenes showed him off very well. Even the fight scene had a great level of kinetic energy, despite being a little one-sided.

I will have to remember to pick up the Guardians books, though they sure don’t look appealing based on that splash page. (Angela? How about getting some clothes?)

BLACK WIDOW #2 (Nathan Edmondson / Phil Noto) Marvel

Better than the first issue. The art is still spectacular but the writing mad dup some ground as well. Isaiah just got a little emote interesting and with the Iron Scorpion we now have a possible recurring villain for the book. Good, good…

I would recommend this book to a new reader.

MIGHTY AVENGERS #5 (Ewing / Land / Leisten / D’Armata) Marvel

Ah, Otto. The crazy thing is, he had a point… which he illustrated in the worst possible way. Arrogance will often be the undoing os such characters. Luke and Jessica sending Danielle away and then laying in to Otto was awesome. Is Jessica going to be more… active in this comic? I hope so (which does NOT mean going into costume with a codename…)

The best part of this book, and what nearly pushed it even higher? The last page. Complete with classic logo.

How about USING that logo on the book? No?

HAWKEYE #16 (Fraction / Wu / Hollingsworth) Marvel

This was the top book of the week right up until I pulled the final comic out of the bag.

Note: Issue 15 has not yet come out. This seems weird, but remember that right now Hawkeye is basically two separate comics – one about Clint and one about Kate. They also have different artists. I am guessing this is why 15 fell behind.

I don’t care. This was a really good, fun comic. Kate is pure charm. She i slough but not too tough. It looks like she has had enough of L.A., though. After the events of Young Avengers she is cleared to go back to New York. Will the two books-within-a-book intersect again?

THE UNWRITTEN: APOCALYPSE #1 (Mike Carey / Peter Gross) Vertigo

The Unwritten went on a little hiatus and then came back with a new name and a new #1. I guess sales needed a little pump.

Well, it seems like it was the fresh start it needed because the last storyline was incredibly disappointing (what a waste of a Fables ‘crossover’), but this one has fresh life (pun intended, if you read the book). The scene of Tommy trying to make to back to life were absolutely great. I don’t know what is going to come after this, because that is a one-off, but the different characters and lands that he pushed through without telling us what was going on, and getting clearer and clearer… yes. It worked from end to end.

Now, what has happened while he was gone?


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Daredevil #34

December 23, 2013
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dd34cover

When I picked up my books tho sweet, Kin at the Silver Snail told me to read Saga last because it was the best comic of the week.

That is usually a safe bet but, man, there was a lot of great comics this week!

Starting at the weakest…

ANIMAL MAN #26 (Jeff Lemire / Cully Hamner) DC

Animal Man is cancelled and the reports are that it is Jeff Lemire who has decided to pull the plug. After reading this issue, I no longer believe it. AM has been great but this issue reads like somebody who is wrapping things up in a somewhat off-hand, out-of-the-blue manner. I don’t buy it. I think he was told that sales weren’t good enough or something. (I don’t know the actual figures.)

I do know that they are giving him Justice League, which will pay a lot better.

Too bad.

PRETTY DEADLY #3 (DeConnick / Rios / Bellaire / Cowles) Image

Well this issue was better than the first two, but at this point I am only buying it because Ruthanne likes it. I think it is a bit of a mess. Can anyone actually explain the plot just by reading it once?

X-MEN #8 (Wood / Dodson / Dodson / Keith) Marvel

I am not normally someone who gets really caught up in little logic points. People don’t always behave in logical ways and sometimes people have to make bad decisions in order to move the plot forward.

But this… the security at the X-Mansion (or whatever it is called now) is so lax that Mary can just walk in but just good enough to catch her on her way out? That’s convenient. It wasn’t even hard. That is just ridiculous.

I like the Sisterhood that is forming, though.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #700.4 (Casey / Green / Chapman / Rodriguez) Marvel

The second part of that Spidey burn victim story. It got a little better, but not a lot.

Hopefully the next issue is better. I wonder when it comes out.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #700.5 (Reed / Grevioux / Chen / Weeks) Marvel

Well, that was quick. And it IS better. A fun little story with the Fantastic Four. Nothing too weighty. Nothing to important either. Just fun. The back-up is a message story. It feel alike it is the 80’s again… in a good way.

THE MASSIVE #18 (Brian Wood / Garry Brown / Jordie Bellaire) Dark Horse

I am considering dropping this book. The world building that Wood did to start the book was amazing. Then he gave someone super-powers, and then ignored it. This story was about a random revenge quest.

It isn’t terrible… at all… but it is starting to lose my interest.

REVIVAL #16 (Tim Seeley / Mike Norton) Image

Revival has a bit of the same problem, but not to the same degree. I’, sticking with this one.

That is a very lovely cover. Too bad it has absolutely nothing to do with the insides of the comic. Is that a theme this week?

This was a pretty violent issue. Explosions and blood every where, but that doesn’t mean what you think it might.

WONDER WOMAN #26 (Brian Azzarello / Goran Sudzuka / Jose Marzan Jr.) DC

A solid issue of Wonder Woman. The Zola story was pretty transparent, but that’s okay.

Diana kind of messed up pretty hard here, but that is good. Nobody should be perfect. (Remember what I said above about making mistakes to advance the plot?)

I do wonder if the story will change at some point so WW isn’t just reacting.

UNCANNY AVENGERS #15 (Remender / McNiven / Dell / Martin) Marvel

Well, we didn’t get an INSTANT reversal, but I wasn’t expecting one. What is that? The villains weren’t begin honest? NO!

This book got as high as it did because of the Wasp / Sentry fight. The Wasp is a GREAT character when written right, and Remender did a good job here.

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #24 (Slott / Gage / Ramos / Olazaba / Delgado) Marvel

The disappointing part was the info that Flash NEEDS Venom now. It changes everything. Now we know that we will get a revision to status quo when this story is over, as it pertains to Venom.

However, Otto’s arrogance is the story here. He thinks of Venom as just another tool that only he is smart enough to utilize. That works on many levels.

Also, his interaction with May… what a shift! His mind has hanged and he doesn’t even know it.

ALL-NEW X-MEN #20 (Bendis / Peterson / Asrar / Silva) Marvel

Speaking of covers that don’t match the comic… is that supposed to be what Jean saw in Scott’s mind? Maybe?

It is hero time. Fighting Purifiers and helping out another hero in need. This works for me. I DO hope that they don’t stay with older Scott’s group because then both Bendis X-Books are kind of interchangeable… or at least have the potential to be.

SAGA #17 (Brian K. Vaughan / Fiona Staples) Image

Best book of the week? Not quite, but not for lack of trying. The scene with the reporters was great. The scene with The Will bleeding was great. Marko and Alana hiding while Klara goes to defend Heist worked on many levels. The Heist / Prince scene was great! The opposite of war?

Then… it got sad. Quickly.

How could there be two books better than this?

YOUNG AVENGERS #14 (Gillen / McKelvie / Vieceli / Ward / Wu / Norton / Wilson / Loughridge / Bellaire) Marvel

Here is a book made up of people talking. Sound exciting? It is is pretty great. These are fully fleshed people, with feelings and thoughts and emotions and…and…and…

I am not a fan of jam books and that was a bit of a drawback, but the character beats in this issue were spot on, over and over. When Young Avengers first came onto the scene, Kate Bishop was the wonderful new character that never really fully blossomed. Now, wight he Fraction Hawkeye book and here, that has changed in a big way.

Noh-Varr is an idiot.

DAREDEVIL #34 (Waid / Rodriguez / Lopez) Marvel

Wow. That speech. Not the Daredevil one – the Kristen McDuffie one. With one set of word balloons, Waid has made me care about the character more than the previous issues combined. So what does that mean is next? Game of Thrones time.

My prediction: good news for Foggy. Bad news for Kristen.


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