Destroy All Monsters, the latest Reckless graphic novel by Brubaker and Phillips. This one delves more into the relationship between Reckless and Anna. Reckless also gets involved in the dirty politics in LA and land developers. Reckless is older now, and nothing goes as planned. Including his fights as he isn't as fast and strong as he once was. If you like what this team does, then you will really dig this. They feel like they are at the top of their game here, and it was really ambitious that they released three graphic novels in about one year's time.
I need to read those. Crossing fingers for an omnibus. I'll wait a bit to see. If not, I'll pull the trigger on the individual collections.
In (vaguely) numerical order...
ELEKTRA: BLACK, WHITE & BLOOD #1: It was an act of the purist optimism on my part that I hoped Elektra: Black, White and Blood would have been anywhere near as good as Superman: Red & Blue or Wonder Woman: Black & Gold. I have never read an Elektra story by anyone other than Frank Miller who had a good handle on the character.
ONE-STAR SQUADRON #2: Remember Marvel's Next Wave? This is like that but actually as funny as it sets out to be.
MY BAD #3: This is like One-Star Squadron (both by Mark Russell) but with original (as opposed to established) characters.
CAPTAIN MARVEL #35 ("Last of the Marvels" Part 4): There's a young version of Genis-Vell running around in this one. A footnote promises that more of his story will be revealed this summer. I've sort of lost the story, here, but am looking forward to rereading the whole thing upon completion.
THE MARVELS #7: The Marvels is the closest thing to an "old school" super-hero series currently on the market.
SPIDER-MAN #84: (Chapter 10 of "Beyond"): Some parts of this are better than others. This is one of the good ones. Honestly, if it hadn't been for the Arthur Adams covers throughout, I probably would have dropped it by now. It's set to run 19 chapters, I think. I will say that Ben Reilly is more successful at being Spider-Man than Peter Parker ever was. There was a time back in the '90s, somewhere in the middle of the interminable "Clone-Saga," where an all-new supporting cast centered around Ben Reilly had been the freshest Spider-Man had been in years; "Beyond" is like that.
I was recently reminded of my Digital Pile of Shame: e-comics that I have downloaded and never got around to reading. The wakeup call came in the form of my Fire HD tablet yelling at me about low memory. I knew I had already read things still on there, like the Panel Syndicate comics, so I deleted all but the most recent, and other similar things. But I was still left with a number of titles I really did want to read, so I've been working my way through them, then deleting them.
Two of them have stood out, so far:
1. Babylon Berlin, a Titan comics black and white adaptation of the novel published by Hard Case Crime. I enjoyed the TV series, and this was an enjoyable European-style version of substantially the same story.
2. Capote In Kansas by Ande Parks and Chris Samnee from Oni Press. Another black and white story, beautifully rendered by Samnee. The story is an imaginary re-creation of Truman Capote's trip to Kansas to research the story of the mass murder he told in his book In Cold Blood. Remarkable storytelling. Parks made the inspired decision to include the murdered daughter as a character (who only Capote sees).
I read Capote in Kansas years ago. It's quite good (though I didn't and don't know why they felt the need to call it a "drawn novel"). We already have two different terms for that.
Yesterday night I read the first half of Lugosi by Koren Shadmi.I started too late or I would have finished it.
I expect to finish it tomorrow. Since The Twilight Man: Rod Serling is from the same author, I have ordered a copy of it.
I just wrapped up reading the early 2000s DC series Breach, by Bob Harras and Marcos Martin. It was originally intended to be a Captain Atom reboot, but then was retooled when DC decided not to reboot him -- but there are origin similarities, and a seemingly similar powerset. The villains are largely different -- extradimensional aliens -- but the milieu is similar: the hero is constantly being studied and monitored by military scientists, and when he was thrust forward in time, his wife and child thought he was dead (and she married his best friend, now a general).
I confess I didn't give the plot a lot of attention. I was most interested in the melodrama of the situation, and not so much the weird alien things. But it was a treat to see Marcos Martin's art at the beginning of his career, and to see how much power & innovation his layouts had, even then. Javier Pulido is a guest artist for a couple issues, and it's neat to see him developing, too. By the end of the series, I was mostly skimming -- I read these on DCU Infinite, so there's no money investment to recoup, only time -- so it was fun to see how much story the art could convey when I didn't linger too much on the details of the dialogue balloons.
Breach wasn't seen much after this series. My understanding is that he appeared in Infinite Crisis at one point, and then there was a reality shift and Captain Atom was in his place.
On Sunday while working at my LCS, I read the first volume of Nottingham. A different take on Robin Hood. here the Sheriff of Nottingham is the protagonist (not necessarily a hero). The identity of the Hood (not Robin Hood) and the Merry Men is a mystery since they wear masks. The reader of course knows who the Hood is.
The sheriff does some actual detective work into the Merry Men and a certain murder.
The Hood has another motive for killing, not just attacking, the tax collectors and other people. As for the whole "steal from the rich, and give to the poor". The sheriff has his own questions on that.
I thought this was really good, and not all of the characters from the Robin Hood legend live through this. This version of the sheriff also went through the Crusades, which I don't recall seeing before. I highly recommend this. Even with the near giraffe necks some of the characters have.
This year's comics reading is (broadly) Miscellaneous Golden Age Stuff.
I started the year with a couple of Archives that have been sitting on by bookshelf for years: The Black Canary Archives and the Comics Cavalcade Archives. Working my way through the alphabet, I've just started The Doctor Fate Archives (probably the heftiest Archives on my bookshelf).
BEN REILLY: SPIDER-MAN #1: This is the first of three new Marvel first issues I bought this week. First of all, I'd like to say that I find today's Ben Reilly far more interesting than today's Peter Parker. I have been so divorced from Spider-Man for so long now ("Sins Past"/"One More Day") that I find Peter Parker virtually unrecognizable. Ben Reilly, however, is pretty much the same as he was 30 years ago. In fact, this five-issue mini-series is set "years ago" Marvel Time which translates to "1990s" real time. The editor and the penciler and the colorist were all heavily influenced by "The Clone Saga" which they read as kids. (How do I know that? Because they introduce themselves on the LOC page, a gesture I always appreciate.) More importantly, the writer of the new series is J.M. DeMatteis, my favorite writer once upon a time (back when he was writing Captain America and Defenders).
I hate to sound ageist, but I think one of the reasons I read so few new comics these days is that I'm becoming increasingly uncomfortable seeking comics by folks who probably weren't even born yet when I was in college. I'm not saying they don't have talent, only that their life experiences are so different from mine I cannot relate to their comics. I have grown so accustomed to their style, however, when I read this story by an "old school" writer, it was actually something of a shock to my system.
SPIDER-MAN #86: Speaking of "new school" Spider-Man, here is one that is, I must admit, very well-written... at least well-structured. We are about midway through the "Beyond" storyline, and Ben Reilly has just reached a major turning point. Here is the one picture a thousand words are worth.
I have not been exactly unreserved in my praise of "Beyond" so far, but one thing that has kept me buying is the exceptional covers by Arthur Adams throughout.
SILVER SURFER #1: I complain so much about the new school of writers and artists I feel as if I would be a hypocrite is I did not support one of the few titles produced by the "old school" guys. The first issue of this new (mini?) series is by Ron Marz and Ron Lim. (I am well aware that some of you reading this may well consider DeMatteis and Marz and Lim as "young turks," but they rose to fame some 30 years ago. Imagine your comics heyday, then subtract 30 years from that and see what you get.) Reading this comic book is like slipping on a comfortable pair of old shoes. It features Genis-Vell (the Fabien Nicieza version, not the Peter David version) as well as the original* Captain Marvel.
*(We can call him that now that DC has relinquished the rights regarding the character now officially called "Shazam.")
SHE-HULK #1: Wasn't it just a year ago I bought a new She-Hulk #1? (A quick internet search tells me that Immortal She-Hulk #1 came out in 2020; apparently it was a one-shot.) I haven't been following the developments in the life of Jennifer Walters for a while, but apparently she recently become "savage" I take it? Earlier this week (on a differnet thread) we were discussing how a "new #1" signals a change in editorial direction, and She-Hulk has had some noteworthy ones over the years. This one is written by Rainbow Rowell and I was surprised (because I had never heard of her) that I really liked it. A quick Google search tells me that she's not just another 20-something but an actual accomplished 48-year-old author of young adult and adult contemporary authors. Not every "legitimate" author who has tried has made a successful transition to comic books, but based on the first issue, I'll be keeping an eye on this series.
DEFENDERS #5: This is the last issue, so if you've been meaning to check it out (and I do recommend that you do), you might as well wait for the trade. BEST NEWS: "The Defenders Will Return - Summer 2022."
BLUE & GOLD #5 (OF 8): I've been enjoying this series.
EDGAR ALLAN POE'S SNIFTER OF DEATH #4: I never read an AHOY! comic I didn't like.
I've read various Bataman and Detective Comics from the 80s, and it made me realize I have actually read very few comics with Jason Todd as Robin. I appreciated that Harvey Bullock does think that this is a new Robin, and no one else on the police force seems to have noticed. Plus, we get art from Gene Colan, Alan Davis, and Norm Breyfolge, so that was great.
A lot of the Detective Comics contained Green Arrow back-ups, which were average at best.
Today I read Tales of Mother F Goose. This is a Tarantino-esque crime books using familiar names. You have Detectives Horner and Muffet investigating the death of informant Georgie P. One of the suspects is called Puss in Boots, so I think you get the idea. I really liked this, and was genuinely surprised by the ending, and I don't think I should have. Written by Frank Tieri with art by Joe Eisma. For those interested this is a magazine size comic, if not a little but bigger.