Thought maybe I'd just make this an undated, running thread -- and just date the entries as the weeks turn.


3/28/2012


Of the books I've read so far, Flash 7 is my favorite -- I loved Flash running through the wormhole, the promise he made to Snart (and the resolution of that promise), an interesting wrinkle in what will likely wind up being the Golden Glider's origin, the hint at Captain Singh's love life, and more. I liked Iris going through the wormhole -- it'll give Barry some alone time with her (though I'm by no means anti-Patty). And I'm looking forward to Turbine, next issue!

All-Star Western never disappoints, either -- the lead story made good use of Hex's origins and I like the gladatorial scenario. And the backup art had a real John Severin feel to it, which I appreciated -- and I liked the look at Nighthawk's background, as well. My one quibble was that I couldn't tell if Cinnamon was wearing a mask or not -- in some places, it looked like she wasn't drawn wearing one, but the colorist might have been trying to fix that.

Aquaman, sadly, I'm thinking of dropping. It's good -- objectively a good comic, I think, well drawn and exciting in parts -- but it isn't really connecting with me. Maybe it will in trades, sometime down the road.

New Deadwardians: I was planning on waiting for the trade with this one, but I decided to give a single issue a chance. I love the mystery it sets up, and I love the low-key nature of the supernatural here. It's well worth checking out.

Legion of Super Heroes: Secret Origin wrapped up with a nice moment for Phantom Girl, in particular. That said, I'm not sorry to see it go. While it approached the formation of the Legion in a different way than I'd ever seen before, and Chris Batista delivered some nice Ernie Colon-inspired work, the book as a whole was kind of flat. I much prefer the modern-day Legion, with characters who have a long history behind them. 

Still to come: Daredevil and The Unwritten.

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The rest of this week's comics (though still no stragglers)"

Dial H 7: A good starting point to a new story. A creepy new threat is emerging in Littleton to wait for the Dialers, while meanwhile they look around the world (Paris, this issue, and then under the sea) for another Dial. There are plenty of neat concepts in here, and Mieville has tons of fun with it, especially in silly throwaway names of heroes ("Shark Mage!"), and I enjoy every issue. But there's something about it that never has me waiting with bated breath for the next one.  But this is defintiely good, playful stuff. And you get to meet Daffodil Host, if only briefly. 

Batman Inc. 5 My comic shop was shorted last week, so I wasn't able to get this issue until yesterday. A very creepy look at the Damien-Batman future -- especially in what happens to Commissioner Barbara Gordon. (I also liked the new Alfred, btw.) But I have to wonder why Bruce puts so much stock into this horrific vision of the future, if indeed he's not just playing a long game at pretending to take it seriously. Burnham's art is as detailed and fun as usual; it has an edge of the grotesque while never seeming overserious. And URGH...that smile on Barbra's face....just thinking about it is giving me chills.

I was bored this morning, so I went looking for the point in All New X-men #1 where Hank intercedes and asks the original teens to come to the future with him. To my surprise, I opened my Marvel Masterworks  volume #3 X-men to the exact page and have scanned it below for those who care to compare the new series with the point in history that has been altered now:



Kirk G said:

I am feeling the same way about Marvel Now, but I tried All-New X-men and was pleased to see the reasoning behind it.

SPOILERS:  Hank is mutating again. he fears he is dying. An off-hand quip by Bobby that the Scott that they knew would slap Cyclops around if he knew gets Hank to thinking seriously about doing something about it before he dies.

WITHOUT EXPLANATION, he shows up in the past just at the point where Hank is about to quit the X-men and go find Unus, and meets all five of the early team. His old self recognises his mutated self immeidately. (HOW?) and he warns them NOT to tell the Professor cause he'd disapprove and that he would mind-wipe them anyway.

That's all that's happened so far.

Frankly, I can't believe t hat serious thinker Hank would ever try such a stunt, especially with the professor's ethics so firmly in mind. He's SO concerned about Scott's ethics that he's willing to ignor the Professor's? And his own?

I will give this some more time to set up, but I thought with smaller pannels, this storyline could have advanced a bit further. As it is now, other than Hank showing up in the past, nothing much happened.  That would have been a half a page in Jack Kirby's comic books.  but...bendis....is...teh ....master....of...d...e...c...o..m..p..r...e  ...i...o..n...

*(Gee, did I leave something out?  Guess you'll have to buy a few more issues to fill in the blanks...)

John Moret said:

I have toyed with the idea of picking up All-New X-Men but it just seems like such a one trick pony "If I knew then what I know now, oh, wait! I'll tell myself" That said though I do have a bit of a soft spot for the original team. I kind of wish it was a bit later though because I would have liked to have seen early Mimic again but overall Marvel Now is becoming my jumping off point. I am paring down my Marvel titles to Avengers and Uncanny Avengers. I am finding Uncanny intreaging due to the mix of characters. It will be interesting to see how the story develops.

I picked up Avengers #1 late this week, and I must tell you, I'm a bit disapointed.  It is extremely disjointed, jumping from the recent past to the distant past, to the future, and back again.

 

I got that Tony is tell Steve that there's something big on the horizon and that they'd better get ready for it, but just how does he know? Has he snuck a peak at the future?  Does he have a sixth sense to help him detect these things?

There's no explanation for who these new baddies are, why they are on Mars or what their relationship to the Avengers are, except for this might be a set up for the next Avengers movie in some way. (Remember Thanatos grinning at the end?)

Also, I note that all the principal actors of the movie are represented here: Hulk, Cap, Tony, Hawkeye, Black Widow, Thor. How convenient.  And there's apparantly a new roster of unknowns that have not yet been fully identified here as well...they answer the call in the next few issues, I guess.

Over all, I'm not impressed.

Thanks for printing those pages, Kirk -- and for sharing your thoughts on Avengers, as well!

I'm checking out both Avengers and Uncanny Avengers.  So far...eh.  Issue 1 of Avengers was pretty much all setup, and so far Uncanny Avengers isn't giving us much of the team, only Rogue and Wanda, and what we're getting isn't terribly exciting or most importantly, fun.

I have to say that I am really not impressed with the latest version of The Avengers. At least the last time they restarted the series they had the oral history of The Avengers as a backup. This issue, in my opinion is a case of writing for the trade. As an introductory chapter for a TPB it is workable but for a regular monthly reader plunking down his four bucks, I have to say, I feel a bit ripped off. Like was mentioned, we have the movie Avengers front and center, such as they are, and this obviously is to bring in and keep the casual reader who discovered them from the movie but if you are expecting The Hulk for the long term, well, keep those dreams going because it has never worked in the past. Too much conflict with greenskin’s monthly title (s). Sadly, this was a quickly forgettable read & I will give it another month or two but it could be dropped from my pull file

Now Uncanny Avengers, I have warmed up to that much more. The initial storyline is much more of a standard approach. We have the “team” broken up in to smaller teams although they don’t know it as of yet. We have Cap, Thor, Havok and Wolverine approaching the case from the aspect of Alavanche’s attack & perceived terrorist actions and then we have Scarlet Witch and Rogue closer to the center & going up against The Red Skull (who might just work as an Avengers’ enemy when all is said and done, I am as shocked as anybody but he did not bad as Dell Rusk during Geoff John’s run so there you go). So Uncanny looks like it will be there for a while, the non-adjective fuelled title? Wait and see but not too long.

12/12/12

Been really busy lately (the freelance life is one of fits and starts), but here are some brief thoughts on this week's comics, since there weren't a lot of them, and I can take time to read on the train.

Batwoman 14: A straggler from three weeks ago. Great art, and seeing Diana question a decisive action she takes here is a welcome moment. We've see a lot more of "warrior" Wonder Woman these days -- probably since Kingdom Come -- and this moment was an interesting reflection on that. Still one of the best comics of the New 52... although it never quite pulls me along like some of the less impressive books on the stands. (Which, I must admit, wasn't the case when Rucka was writing it.) I'm tempted to drop this for a little while and catch up with it later, but part of me says, "Are you CRAZY? It's so GOOD!"

Batman 15: An interesting way to rachet up the tension, and as for the secret that Batman never told anyone, its seems a very plausible thing, and not a betrayal -- more just confidence that the Joker couldn't have been there personally. So now I wonder... are there enough clues in this story for us to figure out a way that the card got there, but Joker did not? THERE'S your mystery, I think. 

Demon Knights 15: The end of the Cornell run. This has been a really good book, but it's never really reached great since the first few issues. I'm looking forward to seeing where the new writer brings it, especially since Chiang is sticking around. But here's to wishing the Shining Knight and Exoristos 30 years of happiness before their next adventure. (I doubt that'll be the case, though.)

The Creep 4: I'm ridiculously glad that the heart of this mystery involved no illicit sex/molestation shenanigans. That's so rare in mysteries these days, and it's absence kept me guessing. Arcudi sure put it out there as a red herringm it seemed to me, but what we learned was very, very different. Really good, and I hope to see more.

Conan the Barbarian: Part two of "The Death" and we get to see Conan doubting himself. That's pretty rare. Anyway, think this book is tops.

Saucer Country 10: Part 3 of "The Reticulan Candidate." I've had a little trouble keeping who's who straight with this book, but I still really enjoy it. And it's certainly an interesting notion that the Aliens may be on the Governor's side.

Hmm.  Nothing knocked me on my socks this week, but there are a handful of solid titles out there that I'm enjoying--mostly likely they'll be canceled soon:

* Scarlet Spider - Kaine needs reminding of how he's become a hero despite not being able to save everyone.  Then he completely redeems himself.  It's so nice to A) see people in the MU that embrace their heroes and B) see the reluctant hero embracing his new life.  Oh, and there's a fair amount of humor too.

* X-Treme X-Men -  Yes, another rehashing of the Exiles concept, but it works. I appreciate Alison taking a leadership position, and I also appreciate that she no longer enjoys her own reality (neither do I, really).

* Supurbia -  I really shouldn't like this, as the vast majority of the characters are tremendously unlikeable. I know there's more to them than we're seeing, but at the moment the title completely focuses on their own self-interests.  And yet...

There are some sympathetic characters here.  You have to feel for the children of these families, especially the ones of the Wonder Woman analogue.  You feel for the former supervillainness who's doing everything she can to change her life, but no one's allowing her to.  There's just enough to keep me interested.

So I've been swamped, and not even able to get my comics shipment until Saturday. But I've a few thoughts on what I've read so far:

Judge Dredd 2. I'm enjoying Swierczynski's take on Dredd so far, and have enjoyed the nods to crime writers, like the "Lawrence Block Block" or the wink at Jim Thompson this issue.

Batwoman 15: Right on the heels of me reading the last issue comes the new one, this time largely with Trevor McCarthy art. It's an issue to catch us up with Maggie in Gotham, and it's a pretty solid issue... though for the life of me, I can't remember the status of the Weeping Woman who shows up toward the end these days. Those 6 out-of-order issues really did a number on my engagement with the book. Anyway, even with only two pages of Williams art (3 with the cover), this sis still gorgeous stuff.

Legion: Another gorgeous issue, as Francis Portela pulls out all the stops to illustrate his hometown of Barcelona in the 31st century. Also, this is pretty much a done-in-one, too, so it's worth picking up if you have any interest in the Legion at all. But there's a little bit of a feeling of stage-setting for when Giffen shows up with 18 and everything doubtless hits the fan.

Batgirl 15: Wasn't planning on buying this, but the two-week gap before my next comics pickup yawned before me. I actually liked this better than issue 14. The fill-in artist has a more horrific tone without being too jarring -- like Benes had added some Totleben tricks to his repertoire. And it really is squirm-inducing. Good stuff, and I'll be back for 16.

Sword of Sorcery 3: I'm of mixed feelings about Amythyst: I want it to be awesome, but so far it just feels like a whole lot of world-building and stage-setting. And worse yet, I'd be so much better off if I could remember who most of these people are, but the gem-based names of the original series have been replaced with more standard-issue fantasy names, so I have a little trouble remembering who's who. Because I'm old? Almost certainly. Beowulf, on the other hand, I've really been enjoying. The first chapter concludes here, and next issue we're getting an updating of Stalker: The Man Without a Soul! Can't wait!

Fables 123: We get the wrap-up of Bufkin's adventures in Oz, and then an overview of his life beyond that. Essentially a fast-forwarded happy endings issue. Nicely done (and with cool Shawn MacManus art), but I can't say that I've ever been too invested in this series of 3-page backups, and will be very happy to get back to Fables proper next month.

Wonder Woman 15: I still really like this series... but MAN, I wish some of the talky-talky could have been cut short so that we could have seen Diana fight Orion THIS issue. I'm impatient.

Castle Waiting 18: I finally got this, and it's an adorable wrap-up to the series so far. I hope there are more, sometime down the line. I really love these people, and what a joy it would be to live in Linda Medley's pleasant, kind world.

Dark Horse Presents 19: Haven't read all of this yet, but Alabaster is considerably better than last month's, Resident Alien is of course a fave, Deep Sea is back (with scratchier art, but exciting), and Gamma has a blast with its Pokemon-inspired premise. Not crazy about X, and Captain Midnight was less impressive this outing,,, and I'm really not sure what Crime Does Not Pay is building to (if anything). A great little Mind MGMT story about a character we've only glimpsed in the series.  I missed Finder this month -- more Carla Speed McNeil, please!

I also picked up Unwritten, Happy, and Classic Popeye...as well as a Landridge Popeye that I haven't gotten around the reading yet, either. And I think I have last month's Unwritten still to write about, as well as Punk Rock Jesus 5. And Bedlam #1... issue 3 is coming out any day now, so I wonder if this was a mistake to even buy.

Doggone it, I missed Judge Dredd #2! I liked the first issue. I also still have a trade that I got for DIRT cheap with art by Brian Bolland at DCBS about a month ago, so there is still JD goodness to be read around here.

I skipped Batwoman this month because the art wasn't by JHW, and it looked like Wondy took a back seat and was only in a panel or two. I think it was crazy how much the Warrior Princess took over Batwoman's title, but I wasn't complaining. The appearance of Pegasus was stunningly done. One of my favorite issues of the year.

As for Wonder Woman, I really love the way the gods and the humans interact with each other in this title. I also like how gods interact with gods--very matter of fact, without any of the hoity-toity high-falutin' talk that makes it a chore to read through. Also, this is the most approachable I've ever found Orion. I like the fact that he interacts with common bums (okay, so he turned out to be not-so) in much the manner he has interacted with mortals in the past. Love how small his little scooter looks when he gets off of it. Like technology has allowed it to get smaller and smaller.

Rob Staeger said:

Judge Dredd 2. I'm enjoying Swierczynski's take on Dredd so far, and have enjoyed the nods to crime writers, like the "Lawrence Block Block" or the wink at Jim Thompson this issue.

Batwoman 15: Right on the heels of me reading the last issue comes the new one, this time largely with Trevor McCarthy art. It's an issue to catch us up with Maggie in Gotham, and it's a pretty solid issue... though for the life of me, I can't remember the status of the Weeping Woman who shows up toward the end these days. Those 6 out-of-order issues really did a number on my engagement with the book. Anyway, even with only two pages of Williams art (3 with the cover), this sis still gorgeous stuff.

Wonder Woman 15: I still really like this series... but MAN, I wish some of the talky-talky could have been cut short so that we could have seen Diana fight Orion THIS issue. I'm impatient.

A few more for 12/19

Dark Horse Presents 19: I only had two more stories to read, and of them, "Station to Station was the strongest (an intriguing first chapter that seems to either involve teleportation, time travel, or both), and "The White Suits" chapter 2 was pretty good, too -- though I can't for the life of me remember chapter 1.

Unwritten: I always enjoy Unwritten, and these last two issues have been no exception. Tommy's going to the underworld -- via some storytelling at Hanging Rock, Australia --  to rescue Liz Hexam, and he meets quite a few interesting people along the way, including (in the most recent issue) two characters I never expected to see again, but who I'm so glad are back. It makes up for the unfortunate death of one of Tommy's recent companions last issue... not that that's stopping him. Plus: the girls of Wuthering Heights make a stew!

Happy! 3: I should probably read this all at once to get the full effect of it. But here, we see what Nick Sax's connection is to the missing girl and the imaginary pony. I expect some more mayhem next issue.

Classic Popeye 5: I haven't read all of this yet -- just the second story, the text piece (really!) and the one-page gags -- but it's another terrific issue. The only downside is that the original issues became shorter as the series went on, so the value-per-dollar isn't quite as high as it started out as. But it's still a fantastic book, chock-full of fun.

Stragglers (just so I can jog my memory): Landridge Popeye #7, Bedlam #1, Punk Rock Jesus #5

1/2/2013!

My previous stragglers are still stragglers (but now I've got the concluding chapter of Punk Rock Jesus to add to it!), but I did pick up some comics from this week and last today.

Justice League/Aquaman 15: I'm enjoying Throne of Atlantis probably more than any JL storyline so far (maybe that's the Ivan Reis art, or maybe because it's moving twice as fast?), but I will be so, SO happy if the League ever gets some coordination among its members, and bolsters its ranks a little. And I love Paul Pelletier's art, so I was glad to pick up Aquaman, too. The story has a Tower of Babel aspect to it -- instead of the JLA Protocols, it's the Atlantis War Plans -- but it's been pretty entertaining so far. And hopefully, there'll be some organizational/attitude changes to the League because of it.

Flash 15: Barry spends much of the issue in a coma, but that doesn't mean there's nothing to see here. For one thing, it's interesting to see Patti's love for Barry trumps her dislike of the Flash. Also, Marcus To's art looks better than ever, as he seems to have a bit of a Kevin Nowlan-style gloss to his line. But then, halfway through, we get more Manapul art, as Barry's comatose mind goes into super-speed overdrive, examining all the options for taking on Grodd. Which leads to the most spectacular "DC Comics Proudly Presents The Flash" that Manapul and Buccellato have done so far, but also to a bunch of potential courses of action so complex that I haven't had time to give them the attention they deserve. But in at least a couple of them, it looks like Patti takes on the Hot Pursuit identity that she had briefly before Flashpoint! There's a lot to chew on here; it's really impressive stuff.

I also picked up Superman Family Adventures, Joe Kubert Presents, Firestorm, All-Star Western, Batman Inc. and Fatale. All in all, a pretty great week for comics!

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