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Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Sex Criminals #4

January 14, 2014
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Hello folks… sorry I am a little late.

With no further ado…

From the weakest…

CATACLYSM: ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #3 (Bendis / Marquez / Ponsor) Marvel

So it seems that the Ultimate line is NOT being mothballed after Cataclysm, which seems odd. Other than Bendis’ Spidey, none of the books are any good. I guess that are going to try and change that.

This comic is also not that good, but for a whole different reason. Because the UU is weak, I decided not to buy all the Cataclysm books. This one is the extension of the Spidey book, so I though it would hold up. Not so much.

Also, I went from hoping that Miles’ dad would somehow join him in the 616 to wanting to punch him in the face, so there is that.

AVENGERS WORLD #1 (Jonathan Hickman / Nick Spencer / Stefano Caselli) Marvel

So, what makes this different than the regular Avengers book? It is a big cast book facing ridiculously overpowered foes. So?

Oh right, HICKMAN ISN”T WRITING IT! They have him listed as a co-writer but I understand that is a bit of an overstatement.

Well, is it better than the regular Avengers book? So far, yes, but it is early. The plotting is clearer, for one.

We’ll see.

YOUNG AVENGERS #15 (Gillen / McKelvie / Cloonan / Doyle / Quinones / Norton / Wicks / Bellaire / Wilson) Marvel

This is the actual final issue of YA. It should have ended last issue. This book was entirely superfluous. They got to make a statement that the whole team is ‘not straight’ which is not true, and they got to wrap up the not-Patriot thing with an offhand and pointless explanation that made no sense.

Great series. Lousy final issue.

THE MOVEMENT #8 (Gail Simone / Freddie Williams II) DC

This was a solid issue. Heroes got to be heroic. They bucked overwhelming odds to save a bunch of people and now they get to meet one of Gail’s other ‘pets’, Batgirl. (Too bad they can’t meet the Secret Six.)

AVENGERS A.I. #8 (Sam Humphries / Andre Araujo / Frank D’Armata) Marvel

So, whose side are we supposed to be on? The A.I.s are RIGHT to fear and distrust the humans. The humans are RIGHT to think that it is too dangerous to allow them to continue as is.

Hmmm…. interesting….

SWAMP THING #27 (Charles Soule / Jesus Saiz) DC

Getting his job back seemed a little too easy, but wow! The Parliament of Trees! Screwing over Lady Weeds! Alec has mad himself some (more) pretty major enemies here!

FAIREST #22 (Marc Andreyko / Shawn McManus) Vertigo

Cindarella. Lots of transformed mice. A stone Fairy Godmother. What is left?

Oh right. Evil stepsister.

This Cindarella story is SO much better than the last couple of Fairest arcs.

BLACK WIDOW #1 (Nathan Edmondson / Phil Noto) Marvel

That’s right. Phil Noto interiors, not just the covers.

And yeah, this book LOOKS amazing. The DESIGN is worth the cost all on its own.

Too bad the story seems a little weak. Not terrible, but it hold stye book back a little bit. Hopefully Edmondson can make this book as great as it looks.

FBP #7 (Simon Oliver / Robbi Rodriguez) Vertigo

I have been lukewarm on this book… until now! What a great issue! This Agent Reyes is a great addition! A story of blackmail and seeing the sorts of practical problems these physics loops can cause. Nice. I hope the book stays at this level.

SEX CRIMINALS #4 (Fraction / Zdarsky) Image

This book is just flat out funny.

Criminals are born! Playing with powers for good… and revenge! Hey, who appointed those costumed yahoos to be the sex-crime police?

(Kind of like most costumed vigilantes, I guess…)

For those that don’t know, this is not some kind of poem comic, but the sex content is high, clearly, But it is really, really funny.

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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.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Amazing Spider-Man #700.1

December 7, 2013
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amazing-spider-man-700-1-cover

Well, I am really sick. I also have a slam tonight that I am really not up to going to… but the show must go on and I have all the slam stuff. I am certainly not performing or hosting or anything.

Starting at the weakest…

MARVEL KNIGHTS: SPIDER-MAN #3 (Matt Kindt / Marco Rudy / Val Staples) Marvel

Sigh. It was a bit better for one issue. Now it is back to just begin a series of pin-up pages (that are really well done). This is not a story.

INHUMANITY#1 (Fraction / Coipel / Morales / Martin) Marvel

Talk about disappointing. I am a big fan of Matt Fraction. I liked what I heard about this series and the position it is meant to hold in the Marvel Universe.

But this was really lame. This whole issue did nothing more than take a full comic to update what happened as one of the sub-plots in Infinity. (Admittedly the best sub-plot.) Nothing was advanced other than the disappointing and illogical death of a cast member.

Here is hoping it gets better.

TRILLIUM #5 (Jeff Lemire) Vertigo

Congrats to Jeff Lemire for continuing to try and push the envelope of the storytelling medium. On the other hand, there is a reason why comics are printed the way they are. Some of what he has tried is just annoying to read. This falls into that category (though not as bad as the one you had to flip over constantly.

The story is interesting but… not THAT interesting.

GREAT PACIFIC #12 (Joe Harris / Martin Morazzo) Image

They are finally dealing with the elephant in the room. If Chas has the tech to CLEAN UP the mess in the ocean, why is he not doing it?

Hiatus now?

SWAMP THING #26 (Charles Soule / Jesus Saiz) DC

I almost missed this as it wasn’t put in my box by mistake. That would have been a shame as Soule is really doing a great job on Swamp Thing… who doesn’t appear in this comic. I LOVE Seeder. Woodrue never got the position he deserved after being such an important part of the most important Swamp Thing comic ever. It is nice that he is finally getting his due.

THE MOVEMENT #7 (Gail Simone / Freddie Williams II) DC

Is this going to be one of those books where actions have real consequences? I don’t believe Mous wis actually dead and Burden is going to save Vengeance Moth, but at what cost.

This is a hit-and-miss book, bu still a solid read overall.

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #23 (Slott / Gage / Ramos / Olazaba / Delgado) Marvel

Is there still a Venom book or is it cancelled? I am pretending there isn’t one because if there is, we know none of this can actually stick. Is Venom going to infect someone else? Is Flash free from it, but with new legs?

Hey, why can’t Miguel be called Miguel?

AMAZING X-MEN #2 (Jason Aaron / Ed McGuiness) Marvel

The second issue of the new, FUN X-Men book is here and everybody is in… Hell? Wheee?

It is fun, actually. The team is split and facing overwhelming odds. Dead allies and a mysterious reunion in the offing.

Bamf!

FAIREST #21 (Marc Andreyko / Shawn McManus) Vertigo

One thing stopped this book from being higher on the list – did Cinderella really NEED to do that scene in her underwear? It wasn’t as bad as it could have been either since McManus is not a standard T&A artist (good!)

Having said all that, I really like the Cinderella stories. I also prefer Andreyko to Willingham on this book (though I am happy with Bill W. on Fables).

I really liked the panel with the Huntsman and Crispin. I can’t recall, was that previously established?

AVENGERS ANNUAL #1 (Immonen / Lafuente / Beredo) Marvel

This book was good fun. The message was there, but not very heavy-handed. The characters were light-hearted and there was a good dose of ‘do I really sound like that’.

What stopped THIS book rom begin higher is that it made me think of the books I have read before that did a better job of the ‘lonely Christmas’ theme. Do you recall that Peter David issue of Peter Parker where Peter (lots of Peters) thought Aunt May didn’t want him to come for Christmas?

YOUNG AVENGERS #13 (Gillen / McKelvie / Thompson / Norton / Wilson) Marvel

I thought this was the last issue, but I guess there is another one.

This is where you need a scorecard to keep up with the twists and counter-twists. SO Loki is a bad guy? Or good guy? Or in between? Billy saved the day but then didn’t. Mother is defeated. No, I think we are good with that one.

Hey, does this mean Kate can go back to NYC in the Hawkeye book?

Speaking of Kate… Noh-Varr really blew that one. (Good.)

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #700.1 (Morrell / Janson / Buccellato) Marvel

Let me say upfront that I really like the Superior Spider-Man book. I like it quite a bit, actually.

That doesn’t mean that I don’t miss Peter Parker. It is nice to see classic Spidey in action. (Though the idea that nobody needs him because of a massive snowfall doesn’t really make sense…)

Let’s wrap up the Octo-Spidey stores ion and bring back the original. (I had hope this was going to be that, but clearly not.)


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

November 25, 2013
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Sex-Criminals-3-Cover

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

Starting at the weakest…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sigh.

FABLES #135 (Willingham / Buckingham / Braun) Vertigo

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

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

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

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

SEX CRIMINALS #3 (Fraction / Zdarsky) Image

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

This is a fun book.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Ultimate Spider-Man #28

October 27, 2013
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ultSM28

This was a pretty disappointing week. It looked like a great lineup, but while they didn’t all crap out, there were many that jsut didn’t live up to expectations.

ROCKETEER & SPIRIT: PULP FRICTION #2 (Waid / Wallace / Wiacek) IDW

Issue #1 was my comic of the week… three months ago. It was drawn by Paul Smith. Now we have Loston Wallace. These Rocketeer comics have had some great artists like Smith, Chris Samnee, J. Bone… Wallace is none of these. These books live or die on their art fitting the style and mood. This was just not up to the task.

PRETTY DEADLY #1 (DeConnick / Rios / Bellaire / Cowles) Image

I was really looking forward to this book by the creative team of that great Osborne miniseries a few years back.

This was not what I was hoping for. It is just a mess. Here is my theme line for the week: what the hell is going on here?

GREAT PACIFIC #11 (Joe Harris / Martin Morazzo) Image

Allies then enemies then allies? Villain then sex partner then villain then idiot?

I don’t mind twists and turns but this book is starting to seem like it was plotted with a dart board at times.

THE MASSIVE #16 (Brian Wood / Garry Brown / Jordie Bellaire) Dark Horse

Is Brian Wood trying to make Greenpeace look irrational? Or am I reading too much here. This seems like a big shift from a stoy involving nuclear weapons and super-powers. I think those super-powers are bad for the story so I don’t mind too much, but this book seems to ignore the previous issues.

YOUNG AVENGERS #11 (Gillen / McKelvie / Anka / Norton / Wilson) Marvel

So why did Loki go from Kid Loki to Emo Loki? Did it serve any purpose other than making his age closer to the rest of the cast? Setting him up for his new series?

Marking time issue.

UNCANNY AVENGERS #13 (Remender / Acuna) Marvel

Wanda and Simon revealed as still being heroes was good. That was a pretty graphic sex scene… what is the rating on this book?

I was not a big fan of making Cap look so foolish, but I guess it was needed to make Havok seem more like a leader. Wasp’s method of defeating Banshee was… icky. Rogue is going to charge in and screw everything up, isn’t she?

SEX CRIMINALS #2 (Fraction / Zdarsky) Image

Another fun issue, though not as great as the first one. I am a little afraid that the fun in this book will wear off once they are into the life of crime, but I am willing to follow along to find out.

DAREDEVIL #32 (Waid / Samnee / Rodriguz) Marvel

Just in time for Halloween! Fun stuff as always from Waid and Samnee. I hope Marvel has a decent plan for this book once their run ends (which is happening soon.)

THE UNWRITTEN #54 (M.Carey / P. Gross / B. Willingham / M. Buckingham) Vertigo

Half o fa great book and half of a poorly done What If? comic. The whole ‘we can do whatever we want with the Fables characters because they aren’t real’ was lame. Bigby kills off half of his family, including his wife!

The second half where Tommy deals with the very fabric of reality was much better.

A three month wait now, hey? I am okay with that as long as you return with something better than Unwritten Fables.

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #28 (Bendis / Marquez / Ponsor / Mounts) Marvel

Final issue. Kind of.
During the Cataclysm story, each core Ultimate book is replaced by a mini tying into Cataclysm. Then… something else.

This was a solid issue, ignoring Cataclysm. They implied that S.H.I.E.L.D. wanted to make a team out of Miles, Jessica, Bombshell and Cloak & Dagger. Red herring to lead us away from the idea that the world is about to end? Maybe…


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Saga #14

October 3, 2013
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saga14-cover-49aab

Pretty decent-sized week… complete with a book I thought I cancelled. Huh…

Starting at, well, that book…

AVENGERS ASSEMBLE #19 (DeConnick / Van Meter / Kitson / Magyar) Marvel

How many times do we need to read the same story? I mean… seriously. I thought I had already dropped this, but now I am doing it for sure.

UNCANNY AVENGERS #12 (Remender / Larroca / Martin) Marvel

This could have been higher if it wasn’t for the terrible art. Has Larocca always been this bad? I don’t recall.

The story is okay. I am not completely sure why Kang is being such a dick, but I have probably just forgotten.

There are better books out there, but the story is holding me so far.

AVENGERS #10 (Hickman / Yu / Alanguilan / Curiel) Marvel

Once again, the same story for the umpteenth time, but this time there was important story elements added to it. Plus the art was nice.

I do wish the Avengers books were better.

THE UNWRITTEN #53 (M.Carey / P.Gross / B.Willingham / M.Buckingham) Vertigo

I have not been enjoying this non-crossover, but this issue was better than it had been. The Fables characters were a little more palatable than the last few issues. It still feels like an Elseworlds book. At least the Unwritten parts are starting to feel more like itself. I liked the story in each others world aspect.

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #27 (Benids / Marquez / Ponsor / Mounts) Marvel

It seems weird to keep calling this story “Spider-Man No More” when he is clearly Spider-Man. Solid read. I am a little disappointed in Taskmaster because they had the chance to make him as cool as he used to be and kind of missed the boat. Now he is generic tough guy with an energy directing ability. Eh.

WONDER WOMAN: FIRST BORN #1 / WONDER WOMAN #23.2 (Brian Azzarello / Aco) DC

First off, this is the only one of these that I actually got the gimmick cover for. I prefer the regular covers generally, but whatever. The effect is well done, at least.

The book inside is really good! The art is great! I would much prefer that this Aco (who I had never heard of) be the designated fill-in artist instead of Tony Akins.

The real treat about this book is that First Born now has some character! I didn’t really like him before, but now he is at least a little interesting.

YOUNG AVENGERS #10 (Gillen / McKelvie / Norton / Wilson) Marvel

Another solid issue of YA. Mother now has a bit more depth and Leah just got nasty. The crazy stalker group is great.

I am looking forward to next issue… as usual.

REVIVAL #14 (Mike Seeley / Mike Norton) Image

One of the better issues of Revival in a while… until that last page. Ick. Jordan is an incredibly complex character. The idea of a suicidal child is awful… but when she is probably right? That makes it worse.

SEX CRIMINALS #1 (Fraction / Zdarsky) Image

Great new debut. It was nearly #1. Here is the thing, though, if you read the title and think, cool, Sex! It probably isn’t for you. Unless it is. It is certainly for ‘mature readers’, but it isn’t salacious. Except when it is.

Fun and interesting, the way sex should be.

SAGA #14 (Brian K. Vaughan / Fiona Staples) Image

Wow, three Image books top the week. This just beats out Sex Criminals because of the awesome scene between Gwendolyn and the Will.

Oh, but it also beats it out due to the touching scene between Heist and Klara.

Or maybe the panel with Sophie and Lying Cat.

Wow, this is just a great comic.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Lazarus #3

September 1, 2013
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Lazarus-03

Not a spectacular week, but some pleasant surprises. One cut, though, and one big disappointment.

CAPTAIN MARVEL #15 (DeConnick / Van Meter / Oliffe / Geraci / Troy) Marvel

So the art is better. The comic isn’t.

So now she has lost her memory and is turning into Binary? She has no emotional attachment to the people around her?

So a 30-year backslide in characterization?

Add to that, the THIRD time I have read the same story with slight variations.

Enough. Dropped.

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

I normally really like this book. The fact that I considered cutting it after this issue tells you something.

What is so great about this book is how grounded it is. This reads like something that COUDL happen, given extreme enough circumstances.

Spoiler alert, I guess…

Mary made nuclear missiles disappear with her mind. A whole bunch of them (though the number doesn’t really matter).

Mark this issue. If they don’t manage to dig their way out of this, issue #15 is the moment The Massive stopped being a good comic.

FEDERAL BUREAU OF PHYSICS #2 (Simon Oliver / Robbi Rodriguez) Vertigo

This book was called Collider with the first issue but ran into some copyright problems.

The book is okay. I am hoping for more, honestly. There is promise here, but it hasn’t blossomed yet.

THE UNWRITTEN #52 (M.Carey / P.Gross / B.Willingham / M.Buckingham) Vertigo

Do you know what would be really cool? A story were Tommy Taylor and friends appear in the world of Fables.

To bad we instead got this alternate universe, kind of not really crossover.

The story isn’t terrible but as I read it, I can’t get out of my head how cool it COULD be.

NEW AVENGERS #9 (Hickman / Deodato / Martin) Marvel

Pleasant surprise number one.

The Black Order in action against the Illuminati. Namor turning into a full-on super villain again.
(side note: If this DOESN’T turn into some secret plot, how is Namor considered a ‘good guy’ after that? Back to his roots, I guess…)
(side note #2: which infinity gem did Reed Richards have?)

UNCANNY X-MEN #11 (Brian Michael Bendis / Frazer Irving / Kris Anka) Marvel

Sentinel! The ever-evolving Sentinels are awesome. (Though I prefer when they LOOK like Sentinels.)

Good overall. I wish the reveal at the end meant something to me, though.

YOUNG AVENGERS #9 (Gillen / McKelvie / Norton / Wilson) Marvel

Do you know what has dragged the last two issues down for me? Leah.

So much depends on her very appearance having a big impact on the reader and I never read Journey Into Mystery. It just loses that extra kick. Without that, the book is getting a little repetitive. Still solid, though.

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #26 (Bendis / Marquez / Ponsor) Marvel

Second Bendis book this week. The book hurts a bit from a lack of Miles, who is much more interesting that his costumed counterpart, but it is still really rock solid.

I have one big request, though. DON’T SCREW UP TASKMASTER. He used to be the best until they screwed him up over in the 616. You have another chance now.

UNCANNY AVENGERS #11 (Remender / Acuna) Marvel

The other pleasant surprise. This is a really good read. Wonderful art. Solid storytelling. Great characterization. This is all DESPITE having Sentry in it. I don’t knwo what is goign on with Wanda, but I guarantee that it isn’t what it looks like.

Good book.

LAZARUS #3 (Rucka / Lark / Arcas) Image

Now THIS is a good book. This is the best in its short run, by far. The characterization between the two Lazari was worth the price of admission alone. The negotiation scene was nearly as good. The bit with the Twins… everything. Good book. Very good book.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: The Rocketeer & The Spirit: Pulp Friction #1

July 28, 2013
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spirit-rocket1

Not as strong as recent weeks, but there are still some good books. Nothing really terrible, either.

HUNGER #1 (Fialkov / Kirk / Aburtov) Marvel

A little too ‘spacy’ for me. Let’s just get on with sending Miles and his crew over to the 616 uni and destroy the UU.

All right, it is clearly not going to happen with this mini because there is no way Fialkov gets the honour of shutting off the lights and putting up the chairs, you know?

Still, if the whole connection to tearing the universe open is just because the UU had a lame Gah-lak-tus and now Fialkov can do a story with a better version… well, that’s pretty lame.

UNCANNY AVENGERS #10 (Rick Remender / Daniel Acuna) Marvel

AM I crazy are was the dialogue really…off this issue? It just didn’t flow right. RIght from the joke Thor makes on the second page on. Huh. Remender isn’t usually that bad.

I normally lik eUncanny more than the Illuminati book, but this week the latter was better than usual and the former was worse.

Please don’t use this as a pretext to resurrect Sentry. He is better dead. Also, what was with Wasp’s costume? Is it 1963 again?

NEW AVENGERS #8 (Hickman / Deodato / Martin) Marvel

A tick better than it has been. Trying to explain how it fits into continuity is futile. If Reed is gone, let him be gone. If not, deal with it. “Hey, I have inter-space-time teleportation but don’t tell Scott Lang!”

Another issue with a pretty ugly costume change. What is up with Iron Man’s armour? Ugly.

So, Atlantis and Wakanda are at open war. Interesting. How will this effect… everything? Will it even be mentioned outside of this book?

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #14 (Slott / Ramos / Olazaba / Delgado) Marvel

Spider-man has a private army now? This just can’t stand. This has GOT to be the turning point towards the end of this Otto run.

I have been enjoying the story, but the longer we keep up with it, the more it seems that Marvel considers him an actual hero and that is… ugh.

Having said all that, I am looking forward to the Otto/Osborne connection. I don’t say clash since Otto seems to be unwilling to interfere with Osborne’s machinations.

THE UNWRITTEN #51 (M.Carey / P.Gross / B.Willingham / M.Buckingham) Vertigo

Better than the first issue but still fairly disappointing. I am surprised Bill Willingham was okay with this since it makes all of his characters look pretty weak… and I don’t just mean in power levels.

LAZARUS #2 (Rucka / Lark / Arcas) Image

There was a letter in this issue complaining that Forever looks to ‘butch’.

Save us from small minded morons.

I think that once she gets her head together (which has begun), Forever is going to be one of those great characters that refuses to fall into the old cliches.

HAWKEYE ANNUAL #1 (Fraction / Pulido / Hollingsworth) Marvel

Yet another view of what has been going on in the Hawkeye book, this time from Kate Bishop’s perspective. A bit of fun that really loses its momentum at the end. I am also not a big fan of Pulido’s art, though it isn’t terrible.

A good issue for most comics abut a sub-standard one for Hawkeye.

THE MASSIVE #14 (Brian Wood / Garry Brown / Jordie Bellaire) Dark Horse

The Kapital vs the U.S. Navy. Kind of. The mystery of Georg. The return of the sub and a journey towards the lights of Broadway.

Without the lights, I am sure.

Good, solid adventure and intrigue.

YOUNG AVENGERS #8 (Gillen / McKelvie / Norton / Wilson) Marvel

“The laws of physics can kiss my ass.” How is Miss America not the coolest new character in comics?

Well, it would be nice if we got to know more about her, instead of just bits and pieces.

The big Journey Into Mystery reveal did nothing for me, since I didn’t read Journey Into Mystery. The last page thing was… surprising. I assume he is up to something because it is Prodigy and he is every bit as calculating as Loki.

Good book. Consistently good book.

THE ROCKETEER & THE SPIRIT: PULP FRICTION #1 (Waid / Smith) IDW / DC

Now THIS comic was awesome. Mark Waid has got the feel of these books down pat. I like the rotating minis thing they are doing with Rocketeer, but any chance DC could persuade Waid to write a regular Spirit book. (Not likely). Drawn by Chris Samnee? (Not likely). Or Darwyn Cooke? Or Paul SMith, who is doing this mini?

This book is just good fun adventure.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Astro City #2

July 17, 2013
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astro-city-2013-2-cover

This was an EXCELLENT week for comics! FOUR books that easily could have been comic of the week!

Let’s start with the less awesome…

SUICIDE SQUAD #22 (Ales Kot / Patrick Zircher) DC

There was a time when Suicide Squad was one of my favourite books. Back then John Ostrander was writing it. Every time it comes back, I TRY to like it. This time I had heard that this hot indy writer named Ales Kot was taking over so I decided to give it another try.

This is a mess. Dropped.

AMERICA’S GOT POWERS #6 (Jonathan Ross / Bryan HItch) Image

I honestly thought this was over. This mini started very strongly but I think it needs an end-to-end read now. Coming out this slowly just ruins a book.

GREAT PACIFIC #8 (Joe Harris / Martin Morazzo) Image

The story was decent, if transitional. The art continues to look good if you don’t look too closely. Morazzo does great drawings of ‘things’ but his people are not to my taste. A solid if unspectacular read.

BATMAN #22 (Scott Snyder / Greg Capullo / Danny Miki) DC

The first half of the book wasn’t great. The storytelling didn’t flow well. Choppy. The petty fighting between Bruce and Alfred neither worked for me as characterization or as a logical story progression.

The second half made up for it. The Bruce / Nigma stuff was great, both as story and as design. Snyder and Capullo hit one out of the park there. I also liked Bruce’s public outing. Good stuff.

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #13 (Slott / Camuncoli / Dell / Pallot / Fabela) Marvel

This comic continues to have my brain at odds. I read it, enjoy it, and think how well Slott is doing at showing the difference between an actual hero (Peter) and someone who will do whatever it takes to win (Otto).

Then I go on-line and see reviewers talking about how much better at being a hero Otto is than Peter.

Am I the one who is missing the point here? I hope not, because anyone who thinks that what Otto is doing is heroic… well, let us just say that I disagree.

UNCANNY X-MEN #8 (Bendis / Bachalo / Townsend) Marvel

Nothing is that easy, Fabio. We got to see a ‘recruiting a new mutant’ bit, which used to be all the rage and looks like it is back. We also got to see Dazzler, acting all official-like. Plus, an incredibly powerful team… that really needs some basic training.

HAWKEYE #12 (Fraction / Francavilla) Marvel

The first of the four potential CotWs. The only thing that holds this book back is that Francavilla (while talented) is no David Aja. I think the ‘tell the same story from four different perspectives’ would work better if it was the same artist each time. It would make the parallels more clear.

This time we got Barney – showing how far he has fallen and the spark that is still within him when pushed. I could see him being a nice addition to the cast.

YOUNG AVENGERS #7 (Gillen / McKelvie / Wilson) Marvel

The king of comic design among active artists used to be J.H. Williams III, but these days it is between Jamie McKelvie and David Aja. The way this book was laid out made what was really just a series of montages into something better. Fraction needs full credit here as well as the different characters really shone through.

And, the story was advanced!

PLEASE keep Prodigy in this book! SPeed is okay, but Prodigy is amazing.

DAREDEVIL #28 (Waid / Rodriguez / Lopez) Marvel

At first I was disappointed when the sharp Chris Samnee cover did not open to reveal Samnee interior’s, but Javier Rodriguez was perfect for this take of mixed flashbacks and the dichotomy between childhood trauma and adult responsibilities. Why does Matt dislike this guy so much? Those wounds run deep. Why did he need to help him? Because, as unlikeable as he was, he was not guilty.

Now we get Matt vs the Sons of the Serpent which couldn’t feel more timely as a different courtcase in the real world showed the difference between law and justice.

ASTRO CITY #2 (Busiek / Anderson / Ross / Sinclair / Comicraft) Vertigo

The life of super-hero support staff.

This was an excellent comic, from end-to-end. “She tried to tell me. But I sent social workers.”

Wow.

You know what? Just go read it. Not just this comic but all of Astro City… but especially this one.


Rusty’s Comic of the Week: Hawkeye #11

June 30, 2013
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hawkeye11

What a great week for comics! Comic after comic was in the running for best of the week… but in the end there was no contest.

Starting at the weakest…

THE UNWRITTEN #50 (M.Carey / P.Gross / B.Willingham / M.Buckingham) Vertigo

In a week full of great comics, this one falls here because it was so disappointing. I was really looking forward to this Unwritten meets Fables book and instead of that we got Unwritten meets messed up, altered time-line, not really Fables book. Just having some characters with the same name and similar looks does not make this a crossover. Snow White alone made me annoyed.

Very, VERY disappointing.

JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #21 (Jeff Lemire / Ray Fawkes / Mikel Janin / Vicente Cifuentes) DC

Interesting fight with Dr. Destiny. The idea that Deadman could posses the House of Mystery was especially cool.

So then, why am I cancelling the book?

Simple… Trinity. JLD is about to enter a multi-month cross-over with the two Justice League books. That is ridiculously stupid. JLD is NOT a Justice League book (despite its name) and forcing it to work with those other books, which I have no interest in, just makes me not want this one either.

Maybe I will re-add it after the crossover is over. Maybe.

Bad choice, DC.

UNCANNY X-MEN #7 (Bendis / Irving) Marvel

I am enjoying the X-books these days but this one wasn’t very good. Basically, Magik just isn’t that interesting a character and a murky fight with demons where the fight is only hinted at rather than shown (other than gold balls flying everywhere), doesn’t make for good reading.

Now someone wants to quit. Which someone? I don’t even remember.

I liked this book more before this 2-parter so I expect to like it again when it is done.

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #4 (Bendis / Pichelli / Ponsor) Marvel

Interesting characters… nice art… decent action… no plot.

This book DID have the best ‘sex scene’ I think I have ever seen in a comic. Still, I just don’t really like the space stuff in comics.

I am dropping this one.

LAZARUS #1 (Rucka / Lark / Arcas) Image

An interesting #1 but I was not blown away by it like I expected. You KNOW that Forever is going to rebel, but in the meantime, nobody in the book is worth cheering for.

X-MEN #2 (Wood / Coipel / Morales / Martin) Marvel

The 2nd of 3 X-books this week, and this one is much better than the last. Kitty vs Arkea was interesting, though I don’t think it will work a second time. Sublime was kind of annoying… but in a good way. The relationship between Jubilee and Shogo was brief, subtle and very strong. (So… is Jubilee a vampire or not? I am hoping no, but I wish they would address it. Actually, I am going to go look it up on Wikipedia… be right back…

Apparently she is still a vampire… or at least there has been no explanation why she is not.)

(I really hope she is not.)

THE MASSIVE #13 (Brian Wood / Garry Brown / Jordie Bellaire) Dark Horse

Two Wood books in a row, though they couldn’t be more different.

This book is all about what happened in New York, and all of coastal U.S. Chasing a nuclear sub with the intent of scuttling it and looking at the buildings poking out of the water… and here comes the navy! (The book does imply that NYC was the capital of the U.S. … I think it was just sloppy wording. New capital? Denver!

YOUNG AVENGERS #6 (Gillen / Brown) Marvel

Great story! What is this company that Prodigy and Speed are working for? The Prodigy concept alone is awesome. I guess since Barbara Gordon is no longer Oracle, Marvel can steal the idea. Following super-people who are no longer ‘fighting crime’ is interesting and it shows how easy it is to fall back into those patterns. So… what happened to Speed? I guess we know how the YA are going to get involved. (I hope Prodigy stays with them…)

Too bad the art wasn’t so great.

AGE OF ULTRON #10AI (Waid / Araujo / D’Armata) Marvel

This is a bridge issue between AoU and Avengers A.I., and that’s okay. Really this is letting us get caught up on why Hank Pym is going to be leading a new team. The new version of Hank’s early story was great and this book gave really good insight into the character and came to the proper conclusion… almost. Messing with a Doombot Hank? Have you learned nothing?

ALL-NEW X-MEN #13 (Brian Michael Bendis / Stuart Immonen / Wade von Grawbadger / Rain Beredo) Marvel

This is an all-around good book but what makes it hit so high on this list is Kitty’s reaction to Havok’s speech. Well done Bendis.

I think the difference between Bendis and Remender is that BMB understands that mutants are an analogy for certain minorities in the MU. It used to be about racism and became about homophobia. I get that Remender doesn’t want it that way, but you can’t just turn it off. I remember a friend in college who was VERY offended when he was told he could ‘pass’ as ‘straight’. His response, “Why would I want to do that?”

Exactly. Well said, Kitty.

On many weeks, this might have been #1… but this week it was #3.

DAREDEVIL #27 (Waid / Samnee / Rodriguez) Marvel

The reveal where we discover that Matt is one step ahead was really, really well done. I loved it. It is one of my pet peeves in comics how the villains are always smarter than the heroes but the heroes pull it out with guts and fortitude. I don’t know about you, but I consider intelligence a pretty positive thing!

Great comic… right down to the intentionally misleading cover!

On any other week, this might have been #1… but…

HAWKEYE #11 (Fraction / Aja / Hollingsworth) Marvel

What an AMAZING comic! The entire story is told from the point of view of Lucky, Hawkeye’s dog. This was INCREDIBLE storytelling! It is our third chance to see the same events (and events around those events) but it ends with something totally new and gives some important information that we were not privy to before.

I thought this book was going to break my heart at one point. Not quite but it was still pretty sad.


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