Tuesday, November 6, 2012

comics for the week of 10/31/12 (and 10/24/12).

First of all, I did read FF and it did make me tear up. This will surprise no one who knows me. Damn you Hickman! Can't wait for the Omnibus. It'll be a point of pride to have my nephew read it.

Fables 116 - Let's start with the cover! Goddamn, that is beautiful! (Although a bit ruined by that Arrow banner at the top.) Gene Ha's guest art starts out wonderfully and continues through the whole book. The reflection of the wolf in the marble floors is amazing, and the frame story device is great. The view of Hell was amazing! The turtle looked great! And the story he told...the way we see this going? Great, great book. The only drag was another lackluster Oz chapter as a backup, but I'm totally willing to overlook that.

Invincible 96 - Robert Kirkman knows comic books. The whole book was great. The interaction between Rex and Monster Girl finally stands resolved and that last page was a doozy. The battle was a relative matter in the overall story of the people behind it and that's how it should be. Really really good stuff here, where we also get some great play between Mark and Eve. I love to see the evolution of their relationship. To think that Kirkman is capable of writing in so many different ways is awe-inspiring and envy-inducing.

Mind MGMT 6 - Instant. Classic. It's not like we didn't know from issue one that this was going to be one of the all-time greats. But the last issue really solidifies that this is going to be a work of art. Matt Kindt is creating something here that is a love letter to the form, as well as an exemplar of what the form can be. The art is stunning: it's one of my life goals to own one of these pages. The text is packed so thickly that even after reading just a single issue, you pretty much want to go back and reread immediately. When the TPB comes out, it'll be the same. Here, we get Lyme confessing his life's crimes to Meru and we see a sort of a resolution with her. Although we might have seen some aspects of that resolution coming, it's still satisfying to see how well they play out and how long this has been going on and to anticipate what's coming next.

Ultimates 17 - Weak, don't care. Thor's son versus Cap. I have a feeling Cap will be OK. Cool to see Miles with the Ultimates as part of the team, but this storyline has stretched for too long already. Let's be done.

Unwritten 42 - Jesus, it is disgusting how good this book is. Every time I think I've run out of superlatives, there's an issue like this that takes it up a whole new level. Seriously. The weaving in and out of Australian whale myths with Savoy's embrace if vampirism, Lizzie being in Hades and the way that Didge and Armitage are starting to interact... I mean, this was already an intricate puzzle! It's just getting deeper and deeper. The cliffhanger ending is great, but come on! Let's talk about the middle, too. The art during the whale story was a highlight and I love how they've consistently used different displays (a cell phone here) to show different aspects of the story. The Unwritten is headed toward rarified air.

Book of last week wants to go to Mind MGMT. But I can't let my love for a story that's not nearly complete yet get in the way of the amazing issue of Unwritten that we got this week. Yep, I'm going there. Unwritten over Mind MGMT, for now.

And this week I'm really happy not to be reviewing Ultimate X-Men. It was a shit story and the art made me feel a bit ultra feminist insofar as the dress of all the characters was concerned. Really sad showing on Marvel's part.

Angel and Faith 15 - I love Whistler. He's one of the bit characters from this universe that I never thought got enough play. Well, now he is. He's back in a big way in this book, not just this issue, and I have a feeling that he's going to making some major moves. I loved his conversation with Angel, although it felt very stereotypical at times. I love that they're not trying to pave over the Twilight story, that they're trying to illuminate parts of it. And then...Pearl and Nash. That story was piss poor. But...the characters themselves have never been my favorites either. So it was doomed to failure with me. The change in pencils was not a good one. The best news from the back half of this book? The gorgeous David Mack cover to next week's Willow issue. Wow!

Rachel Rising 12 - Well, this one sure was a heartbreaker. Geez. A lot of character development, a lot of changing relationships, and a lot of deepening of the mythologies. But apart from that, I'm not sure that I can think of anything specific to comment on. Jet's body transfer was cool, if spooky. The priest is going to be a crazy character. And I feel bad for Earl.

Spike 3 - The book still has the irreverent tone of Spike, so I'm digging it, but I wasn't necessarily feeling this issue. Fine and dandy, I don't have to love every single note of a song to love that song, but it was weird to feel so off kilter when it had been so pitch perfect. The bugs are up to something and it feels really weird to me. Spike with the succubus felt weird to me. None of it was bad (including the flashback, which was quite good) but all of it was just half a beat off. I'm sticking it out, of course. Too much love for the Buffyverse.

Swamp Thing Annual 1 - Weird that they jumped so far (not that far, I know) ahead of the story, but cool to get this old look. The art was great, the story was a perfect example of how to do a good retcon, and the interaction between Anton Arcane, Abby Arcane and Alec Holland is clearly far from over, no matter how many times they tell us she's dead. Great great stuff.

Ultimate Spider-Man 16 - Whoah. This was great. The whole book was great. But then the end? Whoah! That was really good! I loved Betty Brant, I think Urich was an asshole, but I agreed with him, and I LOVE this new JJJ! He's a great spinoff from the 616 version, I'm happy they're going in this direction. St. Peter is still ruling over much of this book, and I have a feeling that's not going to change with the upcoming arc, but it's got such a different tone, it really is its own book. Congrats to the new team, this is a solid pivot.

Wolverine and the X-Men 19 - Bradshaw does some great art (although his Peter Parker in a bow tie looks wack!) and Jason Aaron is back to telling a great story that kind of touches on the stupid AvX Phoenix storyline, but is mainly about the characters. This is the kind of book that he can make his bread and butter and I, for one, hope that he does so. The news about Broo was interesting, but I feel more bad about it than hopeful, because it's one of those comic book scenarios where you just know that something more terrible is gonna happen to the poor guy. The Husk situation, on the other hand, is just downright frightening. I love the seeds that are being planted there. Last but not least, still not a fan of the new Angel. Even here it seems beyond weird.

Book of this week goes to Ultimate Spider-Man. I'm really proud of how far Miles has come as a character and I'm really excited about the prospect of having more Spidey in my life after I thought I'd abandoned the character for good.

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