Monday, November 17, 2014

comics for the week of 11/12/14.

Some good comics are coming out that I'm not posting about, but I'm not caught up with Tooth & Claw (still) or Wytches yet. I will be. Soon.

Thor 2 - Yeaaaaaah. This was awesome. The new lady Thor clearly isn't Freyja, like I thought it was last issue, but I'm still not super clear on who it is. Is it Roz? She knows Dario, she says things like badass, she's seen Thor fly, but can't fly on her own... Who else does that leave? Seems like she's a human, from the way she's reacting. Also, the Avengers being frozen here seems super unlikely given all they've got going on, but I'm OK with there being some universe-bending type of stuff going on. The art was superb, the back and forth with her thoughts and her dialogue was hilarious, and Malekeith carrying around Thor's arm as a trophy was an amazing touch. (Not mentioned at all, the perfect way to do little touches.) This is really, really good.

Ultimate Spider-Man 7 - Wow. So, if Peter is really Peter (and it seems like he is) and he's really back (and it seems like he is) then there's no way that Maria Hill actually killed Norman Osborn. Peter and Miles might have beat him and Maria might have kept him down for a while longer, but he'll be back. So that's hilarious that he's going to be a recurring part of the series and it's a great ace in the hole to have Peter somewhere in the world for potential visits (although I guess it's all for nil if the Ultimate Universe is going to be destroyed as it's always in rumor of being so). But the real money for me came from the last few pages. While Dad's return on the last page sets the scene for a great follow-up issue, the greatest surprise was the Bishop family and their ultimate allegiance with Hydra. (Also, we now have parallel plotlines in the Ultimate U and the 616? I'm not minding this one.) Another great issue of a great series.

The Walking Dead 134 - Damn. That was the best issue of this series in a long, long time. Jesus is my new hero and Carl is a fucking G. I mean, I don't even care that he killed those kids and I hope none of the adults do either. Shit might be fucked up for a while, but they obviously deserved it and it's sweet to see this side of him. Jesus got a prisoner, too, which is nice because I thought he was obviously just going to kill that whisperer. Maggie being in charge is the best and Gregory is perfectly described as a joke. What an issue.

Book of the week goes to...Spidey. They all could have had it. But Spidey was a nice wrap to something larger while all the others left pieces out - intentionally, obviously. They were all great.

Monday, November 10, 2014

comic for the week of 11/05/14.

I also got Tooth and Claw #1, as per the recommendations of my friends, but I've not read it yet.

Angel and Faith 8 - Continues to be fun, continues to be disjointed in a way that I don't really care for. The art is great and both storylines are cool, but I'd rather the ampersand actually be implemented. It's a great look at both of these characters, especially when Angel casually dismisses Amy (as he should!) and Sam realizes who Faith is, but they're stronger when they're together. My hope is that these disparate journeys are going to bring some of the others (Riley and Sam, not so much Amy or Warren) back into the fold when everyone reunites. Because it's obviously going to happen at some point. Also, Angel's drinking is clearly supposed to mean something to us, but beyond him just having these bad dreams I'm not sure what the significance is.

No book of the week when I only read one, but I'm excited to get to the aforementioned T&C.

Monday, November 3, 2014

comics for the week of 10/29/14.

The NBA is back and this was a hell of a week for comics.

All New X-Men 33 - Interesting, I'd totally forgotten they were in the Ultimate Universe. This was good, but I thought I'd remember being that excited. I like seeing how Jean is interacting with everyone but the Beast seems like it's going to have the most potential for future storytelling. I think it's clear this is going to tie into the Ultimate Universe far more than it is the 616 and I'm totally OK with that. The intriguing thing will be to see the X-Men who showed up at the end (is Jean Grey supposed to be dead in the UU? I didn't remember that, but I think someone said it...?) and how that all plays out.

Black Science 10 - The art in this comic is perhaps the most beautiful in any comic that's coming out right now. The story is still incredibly confusing. There's too many versions of too many characters. But the ones that get focused on in this issue (Pia and her brother) get some great work in. The characterization is there, I'm just worried that Remender is spreading himself too thin. Regardless, it's great. The parallels are obvious, they don't need to be delved into, but they work really well. The jump will almost have to take place next issue, though, given the frantic pace of the first arc and how long we've spent on this world during this one. Really cool work, still thinking this series will ultimately read better in trade than in singles, which isn't an accusation at all.

Mind MGMT 27 - Kindt gets it done yet again. The way this is working is brilliant; it's a backstory that actually pushes the narrative even further ahead than just a straight forward telling would? There's a question mark because obviously I can't be sure, but...it sure seems that way. We get the amazing news that Meru can kill the Immortals and we get the backstory of the first one. There's a lot more to come but I'm thinking that all of this will come back and be important. I'm not actually convinced Francis is dead and we still haven't seen Bill or Lyme but I'm not convinced they're dead either. (In fact, I think we've SEEN Lyme?) The umbrella is going to be important eventually?

The Multiversity: Society of Superheroes - This one's old but I'm throwing it on here because I didn't even know that I had missed it. It wasn't nearly as good as The Just, but I love seeing the different Vandal Savage (that was supposed to be an alternate version of him, right?) and the Doc Fate/Atom friendship. It was fun.

Rachel Rising 29 - Whoah. I have NO IDEA what the fuck is happening here. I need to go back and reread some of the older issues to find out if Malus is still in that lady. If he is, he should be dead soon, right? Which is a good thing. But he seems pretty confident that he doesn't need to live any longer. And Zoe doesn't seem too concerned about that, which is wrong. She obviously should be. Meanwhile, did Rachel actually try to kill herself? I mean, I'm not worried she's dead, because even if she is, she'll be back, but what's the point of that? And as soon as you saw the black man helping her in the store, you knew there was gonna be that backstory there, right? Sometimes Moore's cliches are a little tiring, but the story is still great, I just want to know where we're going.

Saga 24 - The Brand and Sweet Boy get the cover but Gwen and Sophie are the stars. Is this the first time that we've seen the young girl since the time jump? Damn she looks different! The way she fights with Will's sister gives the issue some comic relief, but the real juice is seeing the development of all the characters that drive this series. This is some master work on how to plot and make us care about even side characters. Hesit and Yuma get revealed to be exes (is this something we knew before?) and Ghus gets more than a moment to shine. And the only main characters are show on one panel on the last page. This is seriously on another level compared to any of the other books that are coming out now. Staples' art is a huge plus, but BKV's writing is something that'll shine forever.

Book of the week goes to Saga.

Monday, October 27, 2014

comics for the week of 10/22/14.

The first arc of The Wicked and the Divine is over and, while I didn't hate it, I'm not sticking with it. If anyone wants the singles, holla, otherwise they're going back to the shop. And post-facto, I realized that all the comics below are technically from different companies. (DC/Vertigo are different, right?) One per. That's unusual. But I'm happy DC is represented.

Avengers 37 - A lot of superb stuff in this issue. Let's start with the biggie: I did not see that coming from Mrs. Richards. She played her part well. And I'll be honest beyond that: I'm not really sure I truly understand what's going on here. Cap is part of SHIELD and they're patrolling the US borders, but they're on a leash. The Illuminati are trying...to...save the world? But SHIELD doesn't like how they're doing it? And...neither...does the world? But they're OK with the Cabal doing the exact same thing? Just because it's out in the open? Or are the Illuminati on one of those furious redemption cycles that no one's really aware of aside from the SHIELD team? The holograms of Beast and Hulk were cool, but I don't really like what this is all saying about Cap. As opposed to being the token ultra-lefty he was in Civil War, he's now a token uber-righty, hunting down his friends? I mean...I understand being upset about being brainwashed. That's not cool. But there has to be something more. In addition, we got to see some of the separation that's almost guaranteed to come up with the Inhumans and a bit of a reference to Hyperion being away as well as Sunspot making big moves. I liked it.

Buffy 8 - Buffy advising Spike not to feed the trolls made this issue. Along with the art. The gorgeous art. The beautiful, wonderful, amazing, Buffy-like art. Rebekah Isaacs on the Buffy book is how it's supposed to be. I'm not sure if that's just the nostalgia talking, but damn, it felt good. The little section with Richard Corben was delightful, too. As far as the story, there was a lot of exposition, as per the perfect jumping on point that Dark Horse was promoting on the cover (and that cover was awesome too!) but I really didn't mind it. It's nice that Spike and Buffy had an honest conversation and if you couldn't tell who else Warren was heading to resurrect, you're a fool. This is going to head some interesting places, there's little doubt about that.

The Multiversity: The Just - This issue was so so so so good, much better than the first. But then I found out there'd been another in between so this is actually the third. Regardless, the art was great when I expected it to be horrible and Morrison's giving in even more to his gonzo impulses and the comic books are invading and I got my bits of Kingdom Come in, so it was all good. Loved the Alexis Luthor character as well as all the other additions to the KC-verse that weren't in that opus. Loved the idea of Superman being gone, but Superman still being there and Kon being totally different (and loved the Bizarro twist). Liked Damian as Batman and his knowing that something horrible is coming and his constant "TT"ing. Hoping that we'll see a little bit less of Morrison's own comics in his own comics, but more of the references to Neil Gaiman's Sandman. (Hilarious.) Happy with how this is going so far. Need to catch up on the second issue.

Unwritten: Apocalypse 10 - Holy crap this is shaping up to be one weird ending. I didn't care for this issue as much as I have all the rest of the Apocalypse series, but I also thought it was going to be the last one and then I found out it's going 12. So that's both a good thing and a bad thing. I mean, there's obviously plenty of rope left here. And the gang is in an interesting spot. Pullman's back in the real world, Ambrosio has the trumpet and Tommy and Tom are distinct again. Pauly turning good(ish) again was a nice spot, I thought he was going to have to be sacrificed at some point - and that still might happen. But I'm curious most of all about the father-son relationship (surprise, surprise) and how that's going to play out. There's precious little time left and Tom's going to have to convince Tommy somehow that they're all on the same team. The most intriguing page in the whole issue, though? The single one with Madame Rauch looking at her puppets surrounded by her baby. There are plenty of twists and turns to come, it feels like.

The Walking Dead 133 - Even in the beginning of this issue I was holding out hope the whispering folk would be legit. But by the end, it looks like we've simply got our next token bad guys. I'm still happy that the new gang in Rick's camp is turning out better and that Andrea turned away Jesus when he tried to code talk to her. I like how she's handling the situation. I'm also a huge fan of Jesus, though, so I'm hoping that he won't have to die in the attack at the end of the issue. And Carl's showing growth, which a lot of people said would never happen, so that's cool. It's gonna really trip me out, though, if he tries to juggle two girls at once. That's not growth, that's just gross.

Book of the week goes to The Just. It was uneven at times, but when it was good, it was brilliant.

Monday, October 20, 2014

comics for the week of 10/15/14.

The fall crisp in the air means it's getting back to running season.

Daredevil 9 - More Mark Waid doing awesome things with Daredevil being blind that stupid people haven't thought of before: of course he doesn't know the Purple Kids are purple. How could he tell that? Foggy's disguise is truly pathetic and Kirsten is a perfect bit of levity for Matt. The way the whole issue plays, I certainly believe that he's turning a corner. And then the ending snuck up on me, in both ways. I believe Kilgrave is going to give him hell next issue, but I don't believe that it was all an act. This book is awesome in a totally different way than any Daredevil book has ever been before.

Death of Wolverine 4 - It was cheesy. I still cared and got a little sad. But not too sad. Worth your time for the 4 minutes it'll take you to read if you ever cared about the X-Men at any point in time. Will be not too fondly remembered and won't matter when he's back. But for now, I guess Logan'll make a hell of a statue.

Fables 145 - Well that was interesting. The cover gimmick was gimmicky, but it wasn't bad at all. And the story being out of time was an interesting wrinkle to that. And the fight between Bigby and Red and Totenkinder was interesting. I really want to see Ms. Dark get in on this battle directly. I don't know why they didn't hear what Bigby said and immediately realize they were wrong to try to take that fight away from Snow White. But it seems like their Camelot destiny is already getting in the sisters' way. With the dissolution of one of Bellflower's knives, I don't think she's going to be quite the savior she thinks she is. Which is better anyway. Because it looks like Cindy is going to take her out. So sad.

New Avengers 25 - Holy shit, Hickman brought in his SHIELD. And then it gets even better. Cho is trying to tell Sue to trust the smarter people, but the thing about the top 5% is that they never recognize how many people are above them. Nor do they ever learn enough to consistently trust them. Stark's not looking like the bad guy like I thought he was, which is nice, and it's wonderful to see Captain Britain as the new de facto tough guy since Thor and Hyperion are gone. Reed watching his wife torture (if that's not too strong a word) Cho had to be tough, especially with the language she was throwing around. But one of the most interesting parts, to me, was the overlap, the way we're seeing things truly interact. This seems not necessarily new to me (I mean, I hated the decompressed story just as much as everyone else after Bendis had his heyday) but better done than I've seen it before. The art was good, except for Sue's face. Some serious problems there. Good stuff otherwise.

Ultimate Spider-Man 6 - Well, it certainly seems at this point they're going through with it, huh? And I've gotta say, if Peter goes away (to return every once in a while as a guest, of course, I'm not totally naive) I think it'll be just fine. This was handled well. I mean, the MJ-Peter thing, the Miles-Peter thing, the Miles-Norman thing and, most touchingly, the Peter-Aunt May thing. There's so much good in here that it's almost tempting to look over the glaringly bad in comparison to usual art. It just was not good, though. Which is a shame because a book this good deserved art to match. I'm curious to see if they murdered JJJ, which would obviously be another huge change to a universe that has some really cool things going on right now. I'm not falling for Miles' dad, though, and I hope he doesn't either. (Not that I'm totally confident it's a red herring. I'm done being dismissive after tossing out Peter as a possibility for six issues. Anything could happen. And that's cool.)

Book of the week goes to Daredevil. The art and the storytelling are so powerful.

Monday, October 13, 2014

comics for the week of 10/01/14 & 10/08/14.

I missed a week already. But it was Homecoming week, so I assume I'll be excused.

Angel and Faith 7 - Fun. The old gang reunion continues, with Koh thrown into the mix, if he wasn't seen last time. Faith, Angel, Riley, Sam, Amy and (kinda) Warren all continue their separate (but intertwining, to be sure) paths, and it's a nice time to be had by all. I'm not sure why Faith has to keep explaining what happened with her and Riley every issue, it's not like there's many people just jumping onto this series free of context who are going to run out without that info, but... The art is gorgeous, the storyline is nice and I still don't know what to think of this Zane military family. It'll be a fun ride as they discover tribal daytime vampires and see where Riley's at in the midst of all this.

Death of Wolverine 3 - Fun, but nowhere near the excitement of the first issue. (This has been a trend the last two.) It's a great idea and I'm glad to be reading it, but it won't stick with me in any meaningful way, just like Logan's death won't truly exist for long in the 616. The art was a bit off, but Kitty was great, Ogun's always fun and the conclusion is next.

Edge of Spider-Verse 4 - That was a weird look. I didn't really care for it, not because I don't appreciate bastardizations of my favorite superhero, but because I didn't see much point. Is Morlun going to use this Patton as a soldier in his army? Or did he merely eat him? I don't really get it, but it was entertaining, worth the read if nothing else.

Thor 1 - That was awesome. And we're obviously supposed to get the idea that the new lady Thor is Freyja, right? I mean, I asked some of my friends if this issue revealed who it is, but they said no. So, sure, it doesn't out and out say it and I'm willing to acknowledge that it might be someone else, but...it seems pretty likely, huh? And the arm! The arm! So quickly! I love what Aaron's doing with this character and I'm hopeful that these changes will stay in place. I mean, unlike Aquaman, who seemed to lose his hand on a "the Universe is going dark" whim, this seems to be a rather carefully thought out plan. And we've seen him in the future, as this version, so let's roll with it, right? I mean, there's no way this changes the character for the worse. Let's continue to grow. Thank God for Jason Aaron. I finally can believe in change in comics.

The Walking Dead 132 - Well that was just lovely. I finally felt my heart jumping as I was reading this book again. It's been a long, long time since that's happened and I'm happy with this book like I haven't been for a while. I thought the time jump was interesting in theory, but I wasn't sure Kirkman was going to have the balls to follow through with it in any meaningful way, but it's nice to see that he's trying. Maggie's new role is great, Rick's reverence is bordering on disrespectful and dangerous, Carl seems to be coming into his own in a good way, and the last page revelations were great.

Book of the week goes to Thor. It was beautiful, it was moving, and it honestly changed things. What more could a mature comic book fan want?

*

It's vacation time, which means planes and airports, which means extra time to read and write. Hooray.

Avengers 36 - That last page... And clearly we're being led to think that RDJ (I mean, Iron Man...) is behind all this. That he's the "Great Destroyer" and the Avengers are some noble entity in pursuit of nothing more than simply starting over again, but it seems likely that there'll be much, much more to the puzzle. I mean, it's Hickman. So we get to see Thor with his metal arm (ahead of his own series and referred to on the title page as simply Odinson, if not in the issue by Bobby as Thor) and we get to see Hyperion leaving his kids. We get a revelation about Bobby's own son. We see the New Universe kids tacking on their own reasons to join this cosmic voyage and, most importantly, toward the end, we seem to have this promise that none of these characters are coming back, they're all bound to die. This obviously won't happen, but it does set up a hell of a threat. I'm curious and back to loving this book, so that's a win in my eyes.

Black Science 9 - It's turtles all the way down, man. It just continues to get more and more complicated. While I don't think that was our Grant at the end of the book, I think his presence is intended to show us that it could be. And while I feel like we didn't get nearly enough of the kids this issue, we were obviously designed to recall them with our intro to Jake and Becca, which was not only a nice parallel but also something that obviously should be afflicting all of our characters; this realization of multiple universes would definitely destroy some of the confidence we've all built up over the years.

Sex Criminals 8 - This book is so weird in so many good ways. I mean, the art and the story, the basics of any comic book, are great. But then there's the content and the letters column and the subtext all in between and it's like, damn; where'd this brilliant madness come from? It's really cool and here we see that our new character has an existing relationship with our two mains, and there's some cool tension, but a lot of it is worked out by the characters themselves, which is always a good sign for their maturity, but then there's an ending where we're going to see at least two of them lose their shit. This book is good. You should read it. If you're sexually comfortable.

Book of the week goes to Avengers. It's nice that it's this big again, but not so nebulous.

Monday, September 29, 2014

comics for the week of 09/24/14.

It's movie time.

Edge of Spider-Verse 3 - Well, that was the least interesting and least worthwhile one yet. But it appears as thought it won't have anything (overall) to do with the larger story, so at least there's that? It was a waste of the seven minutes it took to read, though. Skip it.

Mind MGMT 26 - We see the history of the First Immortal, but he's not a character we've seen before. (At least, not according to my memory. The letters column seems to imply otherwise.) Even if he is, he's not one of the two we're super familiar with. We also see Meru act quite dangerously with the Greek guy (and the diver) she meets, but I think, ultimately, the point of those interactions was to highlight the shocking new development at the end: the Field Guide bleeds into the story. (So maybe Meru was the "bad guy" and it was highlighting how they were forgetting their training because of her ability?) The book is obviously ramping up for its conclusion and, even though I thought it was Duncan going to be miraculously healed, I still think we'll see him in time for the end.

New Avengers 24 - Hm, well...I won't say that I completely got it. It was a much larger tonal shift than we got in regular old Avengers. The Cabal is falling apart and Namor is trying to scrape some of his dignity back off his shoe and onto his person. He goes to Doom to effect this change, but it doesn't work out well for him. Doom, on the other hand, seems to be doing quite well. As always. And we see some pretty awful stuff in Wakanda. T'Challa and his sister go to break the bombs out of their headquarters - apparently Wakanda fell in the 8 month gap - but the Cabal are running things now. So the reports of them being off-world? Not entirely accurate. We also see the members who are off-world as brutal torturers, especially Thanos and his crew, in a touching scene with Xorn, Zorn and Charles Xavier. Man. That was rough. But the best thing is the sight of Reed, even if it's only in hologram form, and Shuri staying after to talk some smack to Proxima Midnight and (hopefully) not die in the process.

Rachel Rising 28 - The secondary arc is still being introduced, but it's coming along pretty rapidly. If Rachel (and Jet) don't realize how awful Zoey (two o's?) truly is, it's their own fault when it comes back to bite them in the collective ass. Jet, also, seems to be going through her own thing, part of which is weird, given who we know now is occupying her body. The cover subject last month gets introduced and he seems like he'll be a handful, pun totally intended. Last but not least, we have the fulfillment of some of Rachel's powers, which might come in handy some time in the future.

Saga 23 - So the split is more literal, huh? Interesting, but still not really promising. The division of the story is going to be even more frustrating next month when we don't even really get to check in with our main characters and then we go on break again. Le sigh. But here we have a whole bunch of convergence and we also see Marko being a good guy. Which I had faith in. Alana, on the other hand, slips further down the rabbit hole and the killer black and white robot gets even worse. The best part of the issue, for me, though, was the characterization we got of Izzy; she's a great character who deserves those lines talking back to Alana. She's a complex individual who's got her own shit going on - nice to see that acknowledged.

Book of the week goes to Saga. Still the best.