Wednesday, December 10, 2014

comics for the week of 12/03/14.

I'm late. Sorry. Finals are coming up.

Angel and Faith 9 - A satisfying middle issue (even if it's late-mid) but I want the answers already. I want to see the re-combination. I want to see where this Amy madness is going and I don't really care about Faith's apology (or whatever) to Riley, nor about Riley and Sam. I mean, I'm cool if they join the gang, but I don't care enough about them (especially if they don't!) to spend this much time with them. It's like a greatest hits record; some of the nostalgia in Season 10 (Andrew wanting to resurrect Tara) hit the spot and some we know is just obligatory filler.

The Private Eye 9 - So so so so so so so so good and it really does make me believe that DeGuerre was a defacto good guy in this series. I mean, obviously, the death of Taj is what set all of our characters on their collision course and I'm happy we got that revenge out of the way, but it appears as though the dastardly plan will, in fact, go through. And I, for one, couldn't be happier. Gramps gets a lot of the shine in this issue, not only in the flashbacks, although they were great, but also in the modern storyline, where he has to explain that not every smartphone is an iPhone and gives the press the clues they'll need (presumably) to put all of it together. But we're left to wonder: what will happen to the press after we don't need the privacy and the aliases? After the Internet comes back. We got two old French goodies in this one, too. "The revolution is already finished" and "After me, the deluge." God this book is amazing.

Book of the week goes to The Private Eye.

Monday, December 1, 2014

comics for the week of 11/26/14.

Happy late Thanksgiving to all.

Mind MGMT 26 - This was really strong, especially, as per the letter page notes, the growth of Meru. She's such a different character than we saw in the first issue. And although I'm still not exactly clear on what's going to go down with the Eraser, I like the idea of the hero taking the fight to the villain. We get to see some of the power of the umbrella as well as Lyme and Duncan's possible survival. Additionally, the front and back stories seemed particularly relevant. Solid.

New Avengers 26 - Not quite as good as the last issue, nor as good as I wanted it to be, but still epic on the scale of storytelling. This is just so much more than Hickman's ever done before, so I stand by my point about how hard it actually is to see the forest for the trees. It's too big. It's really hard to keep track of all the parts. And now we see Dr. Strange (as though we couldn't tell from the cover or from the Black Priests' talk of the Eye) and he's behaving in a pretty worrying way. But let's be frank: isn't this entire story about how all of them are? I mean, Thor picked up the faux-Mjolnir and became bad Thorr. So, Strange talking straight up about killing one or two groups (and ultimately both) isn't a shock. But it also isn't something that should be casual. The fallout from this storyline, whenever it ultimately ends, has to be huge.

Unwritten: Apocalypse 11 - That was exactly the end it had to have and it's the perfect place for it not to be the actual end. It couldn't have gone any other way for this issue and next issue is really where we get to see the revelation. (Yes, that pun was intended, and yes, I think too many people who read Unwritten don't get it, won't get it, and are dismissive toward the literature-based influences, despite their obviousness.) Here's the threads I see that we need to take care of: father's apology, the rabbit, Madame Rauch, the devil's real form, the end of the universe, the duplicate versions of Tom as well as the Count, and the loose cannon. I'm happy with everything that's happening here, and I can't wait to see how it's going to conclude.

Book of the week goes to Unwritten. This is the way to stick a landing. They're only got one more tough one to do, but it'll be the most important.

Monday, November 24, 2014

comics for the week of 11/19/14.

There are a lot of things happening.

Avengers 38 - It might not have been necessary to read New Avengers first, but it sure was nice to know exactly what was being alluded to before it was semi-stated. But the money shot of this issue was not Jess and Natasha's company of Tony, but rather the last page. Holy moly. That's some intense build-up. I love the big role that Bobby DaCosta is getting, too, here's to hoping that Marvel is finally moving forward with some of the generational stuff they've been behind the eight ball on for a while now. The revelation of Hank as an AIM mole (via Bobby) was interesting and it adds yet another layer to the onion of intrigue that's going on in this whole storyline right now. I mean, honestly, Eden brings up a great point: what the hell is actually happening with all of this? It's a lot. It was good, though.

Buffy 9 - "It's not hard for the person who's dead. It's hard for those of us left behind. Bringing her back now...it would be cruel. Selfish. Hurting the one I'm supposed to love." This is the ultimate validation of Season 6. Willow has learned her lesson. Buffy forgives Spike, lets him know that he's a good man not because of his voyage for his soul but because he wanted to embark upon that voyage. If he were de-souled, he'd still be the good man he tried to be. Giles helps (in a typically loquacious fashion) and the Soul Eater gets a special spot in the funny villain hall of fame. This issue solidifies what I love about this series: character growth. That's the best thing that Joss has taught me and this issue continues the trend of the TV show.

Daredevil 10 - This issue hit you where it hurt the most at the beginning and had one of the cutest endings I've ever seen. Is that what we've come to now that Mark Waid is still teaching people and track ordering? Geez. It's so good. I'd love to see the Killgrave kids in the X-Men, too, as Kirsten said. But even better? Their relationship. Solid as usual.

Fables 146 - I'm falling into the hope over reason crowd, but I'm feeling rather desperate for Rose Red. There are some seriously magically amazing things happening now and Bigby deserves a happy ending. That involves his kids, his wife, and his sister-in-law. Let's find out what the Tontine is and let's have our Happily Ever After. The last Prince Charming story, after all, even with Jae Lee art, certainly didn't imply that anyone's going to be living any kind of charmed life. It's all going down in flames, isn't it? Well, they're beautiful to watch burn.

Invincible 115 - It was fun, but it felt short. The only really cool part was the revelation about Thragg's babies. All the rest was merely prelude, which felt like quite the dodge. I mean, there was literally nothing else. Meh.

Multiversity: Pax Americana - Boy, that was a lot to take in. There were so many things happening and it felt like there were tangential (at best!) connections to the rest of the series. But it wasn't bad in any way. And that's what made it so weird. I mean...Dave Jordan said it was Morrison and Quitely doing Watchmen, and that's clearly an influence. But there were so many other things, too. I mean, the Authority was clearly an influence (although I'm not sure how many people would say the Authority wasn't just its own homage to Watchmen...) and the political stuff was pretty overt (but, again, that's pretty Watchmen-centric...) so I don't know how to effectively evaluate this one. I feel like, overall, this issue will stand out when the whole series is done as the odd one out. There were still the explicit references to comics and we can see how there are different versions of the same things happening, but the ties to the overall, arc-centric story were less. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it was unusual.

New Avengers 26 - I'm always appreciative when there's editor's notes indicating to read a particular issue first. So I followed their directions. First of all, I love Hickman's influence in making the Richards kids (Val in particular, obviously, as things tend to get rather wonky with Franklin) a bigger part of the Marvel U. But beyond that? Man, it was pure disappointment on the part of Tony Stark. They are really, truly taking him to a dark place right now. Far, far worse than his right-wing craziness in Civil War, because that was an easily seen through allegory. This is, at least as far as I can see, supposed to be an accurate reflection of Tony's egotism. And it's sad. And it's true. And I'm worried for him. But most of all, I'm worried for a world without him.

Powers 12 - Huh. Well that was a hell of an end. Is that the real ending? Is this the end of another volume? Is that it for now? I guess I still don't care. I'm pretty much done with Powers even though it's good. The thing is it's not nearly as good as it's been in the past, but it's almost exactly as good as it's almost always been. Bendis tells one story in this book, over and over again, but he does it pretty well. That's it.

Universe 1 - Super fun and super cool that the Panel Syndicate is getting bigger. I'm not really sure that I see how this is going to be more than a single issue, but I've got faith in the creator. If he says he's got a plan, I believe in that. As far as this issue, I loved the variety of robot helpers and the quirky tone. I loved the fact that Tommy might have been ambisexual and with a robot nonetheless, but the real goodness of the issue was the scope. There's some large scale thinking going on here, which is alwatys nice to see. When people are ambitious, good things tend to follow.

Book of the week goes to Buffy. Still learning about character development from a comic adapted from a TV show adapted from a movie? God, this is solid gold.

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.