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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Fairest #16 - Prince Charming is a bit of a rake, and there's a young man with a secret.  Reasonably entertaining.

X-Factor #257 - Layla tracks down Jamie in Marrakesh, and things don't go as planned.  As always, a decent read.

Astro City #1 - We return to a character I thought we'd never see again, and he goes on an adventure.  We also meet a couple of new characters, one whom I can't decide whether she's awesome or cringeworthy, and the other who's a bit of a mystery.  Good stuff.

Fearless Defenders #5 - Misty brings in the cavalry, and Valkyrie gets an upgrade...perhaps. Still fun, still likely to get canceled any day now.

Did you see the art on All-New X-Men this week? Stuart Immonen has been stellar since his beginning, but my gosh, that is by far some of the best I've seen. Great story as well--they packed a LOT into 22 pages.

I'm finally getting caught up on this week's books, including the ones preceding them. I hate that I get so backlogged. My goal this summer is to read all the way through my backed-up pile. Anyway, here's what I thought of this week's comics(+):

Thanos Rising #2-3: As you would expect from a book called Thanos, you get his point of view here. His POV is terrifying. The art is awesome. I love how Simone Bianchi draws background characters in his crowd scenes. They're nice and sketchy, but with discernible outlines. His alien women look alien--not "hot bikini babe with pointy ears", as many artist would draw them. Not that Bianchi can't clearly draw a sexy woman; it's just that they have tentacles and hard shells and spiky bumps. Not something a normal person would be attracted to. Jason Aaron's story reminds me of his work on his Penguin one-shot from a few years back.

I really like books from the villain's perspective. I loved Paul Cornell's year-long run on Action Comics a little while back told from Lex Luthor's take while Superman was on his Walk Across America. (We know where the real story was here, don't we?) I'm enjoying Superior Spider-Man like you wouldn't believe. And while Cornell's Lex Luthor and Aaron's Penguin are good examples, I can't help but believe they work even better in the Marvel Universe, where there is often a very thin line between hero and villain, and where some of the villains are virtuous, just misguided. I'd like to see some more street-level villains taken on in this manner.

Avengers #13: Wow, #13? Didn't this start out like three months ago? Anyway, speaking of the villain's point of view, I like how we got the story from the High Evolutionary here. I almost wanted to yell at Hyperion when he took direct action against him. This story seems to have been drawn to a conclusion in a nice conversation between Thor and Hyperion, but we still have yet to see what happens to H.E.'s zebra children. I was nervous when I saw that Nick Spencer took over the dialog duties, but I think it's been a good thing. Much more readable. Great series. Nothing like what came before, but I think that works in its favor.

Age of Ultron #9: I'm not entirely sure what what happened had to happen in this book. And the art by two big-time artists was just okay.

Superior Spider-Man #11: What I love about this story so far is that Spider-Man didn't seem to be taken by surprise by Spider-Slayer's "master plan". Now, if you've read this to the end, you know that the story isn't quite over, but I like the idea that Doc Ock has thought this one all the way through, and seems to be in control here. I have to say that, on this book, Guiseppe Camoncoli is my least favorite artist. I loved what he did on Hellblazer and The Intimates, but for some reason, his work on Spider-Man doesn't work for me. Bring back Humberto Ramos and Ryan Stegman! And if those guys rotating can't do it, then bring someone else with a slightly cartoony style.

Uncanny X-Force #4-5: This is making more sense now that I went back and read these two issues. I realized when I picked up #6 (which actually was part of this week's comics) that I had missed some of the story. These two issues make sense of everything. I felt for Spiral (hey, Marvel! Thanks for the villain work...), I like Puck more and more, I'm creeped out by Fantomex and his female clone being lovers, annoyed by Bishop, love Storm, and even more annoyed by Psylocke. But at least she looks good as drawn by Ron Garney. He wasn't around on #6, but hopefully that will only be gone for an issue or two.

Batman The Dark Knight Annual #1: This is a cute little story about Penguin, Scarecrow and Mad Hatter having a really bad Halloween night, funny enough that you can almost forgive a major character acting waaaay out of character to set it up.

Man, I loved this comic myself, Cap. I've said before if I had to buy just one Batman comic it would be this series.

A few from me from the past 2 weeks.

The Spider #12: Lawgiver makes his move, and Richard Wentworth goes to great lengths to prove he is not the Spider. He also gets the ultimate revenge on Lawgiver. The Fly is still out there though. Dynamite comics generally fluctuate greatly in quality, but I think this has been solid for 12 straight issues.

Thief of Thieves #14: To save his son Redmond takes on the one job he swore he never would. Andy Diggle takes the writing chores for this arc, and this looks like it will be a spectacular caper. I also love how Shawn Martinbrough really shows you that Redmond and his son are related, without making them just clones of each other. Really nice.

Mind the Gap #10: We finally get some answers! Hoorah! We know who Hoodie is (surprised me). We know who one of the major players are (didn't surprise me). A great series really.

The Wake #1: Pure set-up for the rest of the series. As Sean Murphy develops his own style I find I like it less and less. Agent Cruz looks like a freaking werewolf from Teen Wolf.

Fairest #16: Wow can't believe this is already to 16. Not much to add to what Randy said. I've really enjoyed it myself.

Invincible Universe #3: El Chupacabra is recovering alcoholic, and he was to drunk to save himself. Cast Iron died saving him. So, he goes to Serbia to apologize to his family. He learns 2 of the family's secrets while he is there that almost get him killed. His solution to the problem was great. A really good comic with some straight up superheroing.

Daredevil: Dark Nights #1: Matt is attacked during a blizzard and suffers from amnesia. He does learn he is DD though, and ventures back into the storm to save a little girls life. Lee Weeks both writes and draws this miniseries. Decent enough so far.

Green Lantern #21: I wanted to give Robert Venditti's run a chance, but what bothered me 2 1/2 years ago still bothers me today about the GLC. So, I will be passing on this again. I want my Green Lanterns to be the Billy Badasses of the universe. Here we get some new recruits who don't want their rings. Good job on finding replacements...

Ten Grand #2: It is hard to believe that the guy who wrote one of the most reviled Superman runs (and left before he finished) could also write this. This was really good as we see Joe's first interaction with Laura after a righteous death. It also seems the other side is tracking him.

Dial H #13: I know this is ending and that is too bad. We see another twist on the Batman origin. A possible origin on the dials, and what other dials there are. I hope Alberto Ponticelli lands on another book. His art is fantastic.

Bedlam #7: A new artist and a new arc. Doesn't miss a beat really. Fillmore might be a little to incisive on crimes, but he may be getting a permanent gig with the cops. We do get another new, creepy mystery at the end though. I'm amazed Image has so many good series right now.

Red Team #3: The team goes after someone who isn't just some drug dealer in Harlem. This also goes off without a hitch. Another solid new series by Garth Ennis. The Howard Chaykin cover is great.

Shadowman #7: This really moves the story forward as we lose a member of the cast, and Shadowman makes a deal with Baron Samedi. Samedi is a very neat character in this series (sorry, Cap). What did irritate me though is that Doctor Mirage is a central character on the cover, but isn't in one panel of the comic.

Finally picked up last week's comics... and even read a few!

Astro City #1: My favorite comic comes back from far too much time away, and it looks like it's going to remain my favorite comic. This return issue (a great re-introduction, with plenty of threads to follow) introduces us to The Broken Man (a mysterious character whose ID I have a guess about) and American Chibi (a new tween powerhouse... which the Broken Man's narration really makes more intriguing than expected)... and reintroduces us to a few Astro City residents, 17 years after we last saw them. Plus, there's giant Kirbyesque fun. There's nothing not to like here.

The Movement 2: I liked this issue more than the last, as we see the members of the movement pretty severely disagree with each other, and we see that Simone has also considered the "what exactly are these kids trying to accomplish?" question, and the possibility that whatever their goals are, they could be getting in their own way in many respects. Not even Virtue is a paragon of virtue, it seems... and Vengeance Moth looks like she'll be a lot of fun. Can't wait to see what her powers are.

Earth 2 13: We're into the second year of Earth 2 stories, and this is another issue devoted (largely) to fleshing out a peripheral character. (Not entirely; we see a pretty impressive fight sequence for Hawkgirl for a few pages... including some great upside-down flight and a fight choreographed by artist Yldiray Cinar.) We're introduced to Captain Steel via Commander Khan, and soon learn two things about him... he's pretty much invulnerable, and his history has also left him pretty much emotionally blunted. And then there's the last page, where all that's upended, and we get word of a new threat with a familiar name...

Also picked up Swamp Thing, Dial H, and the Walking Dead trade, but haven't read them yet...

 

I'm delighted if they actually do something with Samedi, instead of just name-checking him. I'm really easy to please!

 

Travis Herrick (Modular Mod) said:

Shadowman #7: This really moves the story forward as we lose a member of the cast, and Shadowman makes a deal with Baron Samedi. Samedi is a very neat character in this series (sorry, Cap). What did irritate me though is that Doctor Mirage is a central character on the cover, but isn't in one panel of the comic.

To me, it felt like comfort food. So familiar--the cadence, the feel, the whole unique tone of balance between regular Joe side and Super-Hero side. The art by Brent Anderson...everything just led to the perfect everything.

I'm glad not all comics are like this, but I'm really happy this one is.

Rob Staeger (Grodd Mod) said:

Finally picked up last week's comics... and even read a few!

Astro City #1: My favorite comic comes back from far too much time away, and it looks like it's going to remain my favorite comic. This return issue (a great re-introduction, with plenty of threads to follow) introduces us to The Broken Man (a mysterious character whose ID I have a guess about) and American Chibi (a new tween powerhouse... which the Broken Man's narration really makes more intriguing than expected)... and reintroduces us to a few Astro City residents, 17 years after we last saw them. Plus, there's giant Kirbyesque fun. There's nothing not to like here.

Comfort food.. I can see that, I guess. It certainly felt like a homecoming, at least. My comfort food would probably be Legion comics. 

I read a few of today's offerings so far:

Superman Unchained #1: I liked it -- Snyder gets Clark, Lois, Jimmy & the rest. I'm a little confused about the logistics of it -- Superman knew the 8th satellite was going to hit the water, but later reports think "Superman" diverted it to the water? In that case, why did Superman think it would hit the water originally? But the detail I choked on was Lois Lane moving ads around the Daily Planet. It's easier to believe a man can fly.

Suicide Squad 21: Two issues in, and Kot and Zircher continue to impress. We don't learn the details of their contract renegotiation, but it looks like the Squad has the upper hand on Waller for now. But why was this "part 2 of 2"? There's obviously more important, connected stuff to come.

Batman 21: Part one of "Zero Year." An intriguing start, with a flooded Gotham, Batman on a motorbike, and our first look at a giant penny. And one gesture from Batman that might be the single funniest Batman panel ever... just for the sheer unexpectedness of it. But man, what a boring cover!

Two more from this week's haul:

Demon Knights 21: We get to see a reconciliation between Ystin and Exoristos (and an explanation of why they parted), as well as a terrific little double-double-cross by Jason Blood. Bernard Chang's been replaced on the book (he's moved on to GLC), but the new guy, Chad Hardin, is an excellent replacement -- there's a lot of Chang in his style (for this assignment, at least). The tone of the art shifts a little in the middle -- it seemed different somehow, maybe shot directly from the pencils? Maybe it was an effect meant to simulate the firelight. Anyway, another fun issue. I'll be sorry to see this go.

Black Beetle #4: I don't know if anyone but me is reading this book -- it's a blast, with stunning Francisco Francavilla art and layouts -- but if you've been reading month by month, you might want to give issues 1-3 a reread before tackling this one. It ties the whole mystery together, and while it was satisfying as it was, I could have used a refresher on who all the characters & suspects were before tackling the final chapter. But this is seriously terrific stuff, and I'm very happy to see Dark Horse has another BB series scheduled for fall... this one more horror-themed than crime noir.

Still to come: East of West 2 (I realize issue 3 has shipped, but I'm on the fence about this book), and Thumbprint, the first part of a 3-issue mini based on a Joe Hill novella.

And now I've read East of West #2. And this series is cool as hell, in every way. It's set in America, with alternate history/governments; it's got a rich blend of sci-fi, western, and eastern stories; it features the Four Horsemen of the Apaocalypse; and the art is detailed without being hyper-realistic. It's pretty much everything I want in an SF comic... and yet, I'm also cool to all the characters. I don't quite relate to them, and feel very much an outsider. Things happen, and they look cool, but they don't resonate emotionally. So, like I was at the end of issue 1, I'm torn on whether I should pick up the next issue. I probably will -- it's a comic that's good enough to deserve several chances -- but right now it's only grabbing me by my eyes and my brain, and I want it to grab me by the heart.

Constantine #4 - Constantine takes a day off and visits his friends.  You can imagine how that ends up.  Something's just missing here, though.

Deadpool #11 - It's Deadpool.  It's wacky, occasionally funny.  Not the best nor the worst, and quite enjoyable sometimes.

Savage Wolverine #6 - A new creative team, and a good jumping off point I think. It is nice to see the real Spider-Man though.

Wolverine and the X-Men #31 - Quentin Quire goes undercover at the new Hellfire Academy, and I actually sort of like him for a change.

Oh, and worst teachers ever.

Thor, God of Thunder #9 - I want to like this, I really do, but I'm so #@$%!$ sick of Gorr the God Butcher.  I just don't care anymore.

I just started the first Thor trade last night. And you tell me this Gorr fella's gonna be around for ANOTHER trade?!?? Maybe they should re-title the book!


Besides, didn't Thor do this once before? Demigorge or somebody? I seem to recall Thor fighting a god-killer somewheres at least once before.

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