Monday, December 29, 2014

comics for the week of 12/24/14.

I hope everyone had an excellent holiday season. They're all done now, it's the end of the year.

Black Science 11 - All right, this is finally the end for me. I can't read this in singles. It's just too big. Too confusing. It was another GREAT issue, but I can't take the backtracking, trying to figure out where I left everything. The art's great, there's a multiverse and an onion and so many different factions and it's all good, but I can't do singles anymore. Hooray for one of the best new series of the year. I'll see you again when you're available in chunks.

Buffy 10 - We finally get a clue as to the Big Bad, but I've still got no idea. It was nice to take an issue off, though, and, as usual, it happens with Harmony. Clem gets the big, awesome role in this issue, though, because even as Harm was narrating, we all knew there was no chance any of that was going to happen. Her fantasies were pretty in tune with what I'd think Harmony from the show would want, and Clem is perfectly in tune with how he was in the show, too, right down to the unicorns. Xander and Spike have a perfect conversation that Buffy overhears (and seems sad about?) and walks away from. I'm still waiting to see if there'll be an intersection between this book and its sister book, but given that Angel and Faith aren't even together in their own book, I'm not sure how that'll happen, unless it relates (circle time!) back to the Big Bad that we finally have an allusion to. I like the Soul Glutton sticking around in a bit part and I feel like we've seen both of the demons he was with before, even if I don't remember them. I was expecting to be disappointed by this issue, but the Buffyverse has usually done unexpectedly well with the vacation issues.

Daredevil 11 - A fun little diversion and right along with the tone of this new Daredevil book, but I found myself caring less than usual. Maybe it's because I don't have fond memories of Evel Knievel or maybe I just thought it should have been a one-off issue. It was fun, no doubt, especially the sections with Kirsten, Foggy and Matt recapping the old DD days. I still love the new place setting of DD in SF and I'm a huge fan of Samnee's art, but this issue was below par.

Mind MGMT 29 - The page showing Meru flashing back consecutively (except one panel!) constructing her distraction device was awesome. But the real incredible nature of the issue was the amazing progress of Meru. This arc has been all about her becoming what she could have been the whole time. And although her battle with the Eraser ends in a dissatisfying way, it's not like Meru lost. So there's a could more stories to tell (awesome, of course) and there'll be at least one more big battle. I like Meru taking control and I think there's some room to stretch over the finale of Mind MGMT in fact coming back, with Meru as its head. With the Politician story we've been getting in the back, in fact, it looks like that's an inevitability. With her psychic paper and umbrella in hand, Meru's going to have one last crack at her enemy; but after next issue's break of giving us the backstory of the Eraser.

New Avengers 28 - Cool! It's happening! It's all going down! We've got some momentum! And...I'm still not quite sure where we're going. But I love the Reed narration from the last issue carrying over to this one, but not until the middle. I love the reintroduction of the alterna-Hulk. I was sad to see Spidey on the side of weird Avengers yet again; you'd think he'd learned his lesson - maybe he just thinks it's a Tony vs. Steve thing and he was just duty-bound to switch it up? But now it's time to move forward. We've got some great revelations at the end (hello Namor) and we've got some serious possibilities with all the targets being held by Susan - how's she going to get rid of them? One by one and lock them up? One by one and recruit? Just shove them all together into some holding cell? That seems like an exceedingly poor idea. Now, we just need to find Tony.

Book of the week goes to Mind MGMT. This is what potential (almost) fully tapped feels like.

Monday, December 22, 2014

comics for the week of 12/17/14.

Wow, I didn't even realize I was a week late (again) until the next week.

Avengers 39 - Well that was a heck of a battle. Obviously loved the Hulk vs. Ms. Marvel, although it didn't feel like much of an actual fight. Reed's narration was spot on, as usual (Hickman just knows him by this point, huh?), we still don't see Tony (which is interesting given all the stuff going on in Superior Iron Man), and the variable at the end, while predictable, was fun. Other than that, it's all still just prelude.

Rachel Rising 30 - That was dark. And interesting. It introduced a lot of new stuff and had some terrible things to say about the old, particularly the way this spirit dude keeps coming up with new ways to get his spirit to move on. Damn. Also, Rachel was pretty much entirely out of this issue. It's great, but I also feel like it's meandering a bit. I mean, if he has a story to tell, I'm down for it. But if he's just publishing the book to keep it going, I don't get where the complaints come from when its numbers are so low that he'll be "forced to cancel" it. Either way, a beautiful issue and a nice addition to the shelf.

The Walking Dead 135 - There is a lot of shit coming to a boil here. This book feels like it's been on a HARD edge for the last few months and it's due to spill over any minute now. For real, how many seriously fucked up things do we have happening simultaneously? I love the way all the treads are coming unraveled and next month's cover seems to encourage me to think that it's going all the way to 11. Carl's locked up, Lydia looks like she knows what she's doing, the assholes are going to attack and the talkers are going to hit the other camp? Or the same one? Man. Good stuff.

Book of the week goes to The Walking Dead. I can't believe it, but I'm kind of thinking Kirkman is actually going to follow through on some of this.


So yeah, I just went to write this week's and realized I'd fallen behind without even knowing. So, a lot of catching up to do.

All New X-Men 34 - This was fun, mostly because I'd forgotten that all of them were along for the ride and not just Miles and Jean Grey. So when the issue opened, I was like, oh yeah, this is gonna be weird. And then we got our fun Bobby break, the section with Angel, where X-23 gets to be the brains and figure everything out, and the terrifying section with Hank and Ultimate Dr. Doom. Man, that guy's scary. Also, Hank is apparently still hung up on Jean. “That Spider-Man” also likes her. And we're left with a cool, 60s-style cliffhanger. Not the best art in this issue, but it was still a load of fun.

Fables 147 - Huh! Well, that's the first time I've been genuinely pissed off at the end of a comic book in a long time. And not pissed at what happened, but pissed that I don't get to keep reading. This felt like it could have been half an issue easily, if they'd just gone without some of the mystical mumbo jumbo with Rose, but it feels like an inevitability that next issue will FINALLY clear up some of the mystery. On the other hand, I have no idea what's going to happen with Lancelot and Brandish. I don't want it to end. But then we got a sweet Terry Moore treat with Beauty and the Beast (kinda) at the end. That was nice.

Multiversity: Thunderworld Adventures - Not surprisingly, my least favorite issue of this idea so far. Captain Marvel, Sivana, an impossible day, a crossover with Paralax and...that's about it. I didn't care.

Sandman: Overture 4 - Good God, that's some serious shit. I mean, the city of stars, the father of the Endless, the death of Hope? The imprisonment of Dream? The thing is, we know that's not how this is going to go. He's going to get trapped, yes, but not by stars. So there's still quite a bit of thread to unspool. Which is good because we have two more issues (six more months?) to go. It's beautiful and JH Williams is making his name even more so, but the delays are truly hurting at this point. I think it'll make an amazing addition to the oeuvre when it's done and I'm enjoying it as it's going along, but it feels like a truly early 90s Vertigo comic - there's very little rhyme or reason to it.

Ultimate Spider-Man 8 - Well, that was cool and an interesting wrinkle, but the thing that actually impressed me the most was the fact that it was all Marquez on art. That's a damn impressive changing of the style for a time piece and I wasn't actually convinced it was all him. But other than the art, here's the cool things I noticed: the 2099 reference. The Kingpin's beginnings. The awesome way Ultimate U Nick Fury looks when he's young. And last but not least, the cover. This seems to be planting some seeds that some people who worked for HYDRA (maybe where Fisk was coming from?) a while ago are actually undercover good guys. So maybe there's hope for Katie Bishop? Anyway, it really only felt like half an issue since we didn't get the full story, but it was full of goodness.

Wytches 3 - This book continues to rule mainly because Scott Snyder knows how to dole out a story slowly but surely. We have the hint of so much backstory, but we don't need all the details laid out for us in every minute detail. It's crafting at its finest. The art is great too, with the splatter effects overused, but to great effect. Sailor is officially gone and the townies will officially do their best to cover up exactly WTF is going on. Solid.

Book of the week goes to Fables, if only for the ability to still enthrall me three issues until the end.

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 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, 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 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, 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.

Monday, September 22, 2014

comics for the week of 09/17/14.

Huge week.

All New X-Men 32 - Huh. Well, that would be an interesting way to re-introduce the newness of this gang. I don't actually think they're going to stay in the Ultimate universe, but this'll be fun for a while. It's interesting that they were all together but transported separately. It's interesting that I thought it was Turkey where Hank washed up, too. But most of all, it's fun to see Miles interact with yet another set of people that he thinks he knows and has semi-sorta-secrets from. Bobby is going to save them all? And what's going to happen with Angel and Jimmy?

Avengers 35 - This is what I've been waiting for. Throw me into the deep end, Hickman! Different artists for different stories in one book. We start with Ex Nihilo and Abyss (whose story is probably the most important, right, but it's the one I obviously get the least) and their casual observance that Earth is at the heart of the death of the universe. Then we get Eden/Manifold and Sunspot dropping in on Cannonball, who's living in the Shi'ar Empire? And has a kid? With a girl I don't recognize? (Am I supposed to know who this Izzy is? There's too many characters and I have a horrible memory.) They're reconvening the Avengers. Bobby fills him in on the missing 8 months, where people either dropped out or focused on "The Tony Problem." This is sounding dire for the new Iron Man book. It's almost compelling me to read it! It's time to come home. Next we get Starbrand and Nightmask who are apparently getting younger, and I'm glad that dialogue was in there, because the art certainly made it look that way. Also, they're dealing with survivors from the Bleed and we see "old models" and a reference to Sunspot as the most reliable Avenger. Finally, we see a Kingdom Come-style bearded-Supermanesque Hyperion. He must be the second of the titular three Avengers, right? (Which, BTW, is the most effective way to shatter the old. Replace that trope with completely new guys. Holy moly it's a killer when the one that's changed the most is still actually the same but so totally different.) He's in the Savage Land, building some sort of machine with his children and AIM (oh yeah, apparently Bobby bought AIM and they're good guys now?) The troubling parts of this issue is that the former Avengers Tower is now called Golgotha (an ominous name, to be sure), the intruder's mind moves like Quicksilver, but it turns out not to be Magneto's son, but Amadeus Cho, and the SHIELD guys are wearing helmets that make them look a hell of a lot like evil Reed from the Ultimate Universe. There's a LOT happening here. It looks like Cho's got an Infinity Gem? And he's called part of the Illuminati? And he says they've lost Stark? And who's he talking to? Ms. Marvel, Hawkeye and War Machine look to be the other side of that three, and it's sad to see such great characters (apparently) on the wrong side of the equation. The capper comes on the last page where we learn who's wearing that evil Reed Richards mask: his wife. It's a great, great, great, fresh start to a book that's going to be heading into amazing territory right away.

Buffy 7 - The Odd Couple and the restart, as penned by Xander himself. This is awesome. The comic adventures of two of the best characters in the series are always amusing when they happen, but the fact that Brendan is writing helps the tone, as previously noted. The arc itself is a bit silly (sirens, really?) but the dialogue is fun, Anya's got her place, Xander shows progress and regression and so does Spike. They're getting to good places, but for them, like all good characters, it's not a destination that actually matters they arrive at; it's the journey. I'll be interested to see all the jobs the various characters get, too, and how those fit with their personality types.

Daredevil 8 - What an awesome way to change the dynamic, keep a character relevant and reinvent him (them) for the next generation. And it was all accomplished in one issue. Mark Waid is absolutely killing it on this title. Samnee's art wasn't as great as I've come to expect, but he still stands head and shoulders above most of the rest of the crowd, so that's A-OK. The Purple Man appears to be dead, but his legacy should live on for quite a while, not only in Daredevil but in the MU at large. As a little note, I love all the DD merchandise we see in this issue, as well as the great way that Kirsten and Matt's relationship has progressed. No Foggy mentions this issue, which isn't great, but he'll make his way back to the spotlight.

Edge of Spider-Verse 2 - Yep. Gwen Stacy, Spider-Woman. This was everything I wanted and so much more. If she joined the 616, I might even start buying Spider-Man comics again. Gwen as Spidey has just a little bit of everything that made Peter Parker a great character for so long: some tragedy, some personality, a little ordinariness despite extraordinary circumstances, etc. The art was fantastic, too. I'm on board.

Fables 144 - Bigby is a killing machine and gets called the God of killing. This is shaping up to be way more tragic than I thought it would be. Mrs. Dark is almost completely transformed, it looks like she'll be ready to take on the whole gang of magicians, so it's lucky that Totenkinder comes back on the last page, looking all rejuvenated and ready for war. On the other hand, it's a shame to lose both Beast and Ozma in such cavalier fashion. However, it's wonderful to see that Snow White is finally accepting what's to come and that some of the Fables might stay in the Mundy world after it's all done, now that the secret's out?

The Private Eye 8 - As usual, BKV does a great job of flipping the script. Last issue it was a revelation that perhaps we'd been cheering for the wrong side. And this issue, we re-induce doubt. PI going after Mel is the touching part of the story, but Gramps surviving will be a major accomplishment if that's what's to come. On the other hand, we got more nods to journos (Greenwald and CNN) as the dominant force and more pop culture. The series is obviously gearing up for the finale and I can't wait. Journos getting overrun by CNN, the bad guys having noble intentions, the hero going after the sidekick, the girl along for the ride who (hopefully) won't just turn out to be another secondary character? This is a great time.

Thor: God of Thunder 25 - It's weird how many Thor books have been cancelled given how popular he is. And I know, just like the back page tells me, that this book isn't truly ending, per se, and the re-numbering makes sense. But it's still strange. This issue, though, gives us some great looks at all the characters we've grown to love over the course of this series. Old King Thor, with his Destroyer's arm, is a hint at what's coming. Because we've seen Avenger Thor with one in the near future. And young Thor? Well, he's not the worthless drunk he was at the beginning of this run. It's incredible to see that progress. However, it's not all good news: Esad Ribic is leaving the book. The new book faces an uphill battle without him. I'm hopeful that the new character, with her buzzworthiness simply about her gender will bring in enough readers to counter any of those stupid enough to leave over that same factor. For me? I'm still on board and probably even more committed than I was when I started this book. Jason Aaron knows how to write Thor and I'm game for more in this realm. Too bad this one marked the end of such a great artist working with Aaron, but I'm confident in Marvel's ability to grab some new talent.

Ultimate Spider-Man 5 - The longer they play this out, the more inclined I am to believe that this is actually Peter Parker. I don't think I actually want that, as they've done such a good job of getting him off the stage, but I'm kind of past the point of incredulity by now. It certainly seems like Peter Parker is he's holed up with Mary Jane. Maria Hill is with Miles, getting his story. Ganke will come into it in some way. And last but not least, JJJ takes a hell of a stand. I don't think it's going to work out well for him, but it's nice to see his character continue to evolve. The art was lovely, the scripting was nice, and the double page spread of the two of them together, with their hands up, was perfect. It got more than a few chances to shine, too, as the backdrop of the TV in others' panels. Seriously good stuff here.

The Unwritten: Apocalypse 9 - I don't know how to react. There's still so much more to wrap up. But yes, this was yet another almost perfect issue of one of the best series of our time. The connections are all revealed at this point, except for the fact that they're not. This is like that penultimate episode of LOST that so many people hated, but I have a feeling this one will go over so much better. Why? I have no idea, but it feels like a fulfilling part of the story. Loved hearing Cain's real name, loved seeing Madame yet again, loved the Will reveal. Loved that this is almost the end and the only real glimpse we get of the protagonist of the series is through his pseudo-self, the word-child, but it still felt complete and worthwhile. This book is incredible. There's one more note to play. I could not be more excited.

The Wicked and the Divine 4 - Baal was cool, the Tron hall was cool, the Gods were cooly indifferent and Luci took the easy way out. I still suspect the journalist, especially with her hands in those odd positions at times. But the art wasn't as good as it's been in the past, especially with Baal's supposed-to-be dramatic turn making his chain and jacket look like they're up in the air, which would be way too hard to do on a basic turn. I'm over this, but it's still beautiful. I don't care who killed the judge. I don't care about any of these characters.

Book of the week goes to Avengers. I'm all for the ambitious plans.

Monday, September 15, 2014

comics for the week of 09/10/14.

It's almost fall.

Avengers 34 - Yeah, dunno. Was this part of the regular line, just irregularly numbered? A cute little Hyperion story, but not really worth anyone's time who's already read Squadron Supreme or even any of his new stuff.

Death of Wolverine 2 – Yeah, it was still good and I'm interested, but I'm still not sure they're actually going to pull the trigger. The best part was the plethora of guest stars (Mystique, the obvious Viper and Sabertooth, but the quick pairs of goodies at the end was great, too) and the beautiful art. Even more excited, honestly, for issue three, with the promise of the good side of guest stars than I was for two. And did this come out only a week apart? That'd be super fun if they did it all in a month.

East of West 15 - Holy shit, this comic just leveled up in a significant way. The introduction of Babylon and Balloon will go down as my personal turning point on this book. I liked it before, thought it was good, but didn't have that edge to it. This issue? Obviously provided not only that edge, but two compelling characters, as well as yet another storyline to a book that doesn't need anything more in terms of plots to keep track of. But it was well worth it for the visions that Balloon was showing him as well as his easy dismissal of Conquest. The Beast as the Master of the Four Horsemen (with Death missing) but also as the kid Babylon being manipulated by Balloon as the fatherless champion of the world is now my favorite story going on here. I cannot wait to see how he gets integrated into all the other lines. And, of course, we spent some time with his mother and she's clearly got a plan, which will fold nicely, I'd imagine, into whatever's going to happen. This is getting really, really, really good.

Edge of Spider-Verse 1 – Yep, I read two Marvel event books this week and I don't regret either of them. This was really cool. I liked the Spider-Man Noir book that came out just before I jumped off the Spider bandwagon, and this felt like a natural return to it. I haven't read it since it came out, so that could just be nostalgia speaking, but the art, the dialogue, it all felt perfect. And the intrusion of the event didn't feel like any kind of bad thing since that's what it was set up in the first place to be. Can't wait for the next issue so we can meet the gang. Might even go back and find the first piece of the puzzle, as mentioned in the checklist at the back.

Hawkeye 20 - The neat little bow is being tied. It's been a phenomenal run. Hickman's got a way with the large and a way with the small. I'm still bummed, more than anything, that this run is ending, but I'm also ecstatic that it ever found a place and has managed to stay this good the whole time. I feel like it's got one or two more issues, but I wish it had vastly more than that. In this issue, we see Kate's story in LA come to an end, but not her story in general. Her encounters with Masque all add up to an interesting family dynamic, the good guys using her, in both the small sense (Harold) and larger (SHIELD) but it does seem like it works out for her. I mean, other than the whole PI thing, which was never a good fit for her anyway. The art, as always, is superb and the story's got her headed back to NYC for a HawkGuy reunion.

Invincible 114 - That was the incredible ending that felt practically inevitable from the beginning, right? I mean, that's the way it HAD to go down. And I love it. I'm happy the Viltrumites saw Rex's logic, I'm happy Mark lost, I'm happy the news is reporting on it just the way Robot said they would and I'm happy that Eve has her legs back and the baby out. Because I feel like we're only starting the upward motion again. This tiny arc has been resolved, but this cannot be a lasting peace. (It'd be a fun experiment to make it so, but I don't think that's what Kirkman's going for.) There will be a few issues devoted to how much better the world is, overall, because it makes sense that it will be. BUt there will be undercurrents and people who are bitter about the way it happened. (NB: Bulletproof is definitely going to pay for his Judas role.) The other interesting angle? Monster Girl. She's going to be pissed.

Powers 11 - Exciting. I feel like this might actually change something? I'm not worried about Walker, he'll survive that fall, but Pilgrim is a volatile sort and she might have a problem with this info. Also, Calista seems to be in a bad place and no matter how that turns out, it'll be a cool change. The only thing is, after one more issue, how long will it take until we get a new series that capitalizes on any of the possibilities that are going to spin out of this? With the TV series coming up, I'm worried that BMB will be even less likely to have time for his OG baby. Regardless, I'm amazed at the turn around in this short season. It's been a fun ride, I look forward to the finish.

The Walking Dead 131 – I liked pretty much everything about this issue. From Rick's blowing off the revelation to Maggie taking control. From Carl's reunion with Sophia to Maggie's interesting new man. (Are we supposed to know him? Have we even previously met him? I get the characters mixed up, even after 10+ years. I got that his name was Dante, and that's about it.) The best thing, though, was the common sense way that Carl and Earl got everything worked out. Way more important than communal dinners is seeing some of the main characters in this book starting to talk to each other like real people would. The cliffhanger at the end is more of the same bullshit that's plagued the book for a long, long time, but I'm a little reassured that we're actually going to change things, with the dead whispers and the common sense. Maybe I'm still an idiot fanboy hoping for change, but this is an Image book by a guy who doesn't need the status quo to sell books. I'm hopeful.

Book of the week goes to East of West. It was great before. But now it's incredible.

Monday, September 8, 2014

comics for the week of 09/03/14.

Not a totally atypical week, at this point. Marvel event books that weren't great, no DC and a great Dark Horse syndication.

Angel & Faith 6 - Despite their being apart, Angel and Faith's stories seem to be coming together, just like the two main Buffy books are. Like the sunny vampire angle, don't like Angel's side of it: Amy being back feels like more of the same, especially when she pulls out a jar of Warren. If we're going to bring characters back from the dead, let's go to Tara. The fans are certainly clamoring for it. But honestly, this book felt fine. I like Angel's interaction with the cop. I still don't trust him. And Faith is clearly getting back to a place that can work for her. It's going to take this arc, but I feel like, by the end of it, they'll be reunited. Unless this is a whole season type of deal, in which case I'll be frustrated by that ampersand. Zane Pharmaceuticals seems like a nice juicy hook for later and the re-emergence of Amy is troubling for much much further down the line.

Death of Wolverine 1 - I was curious enough to pick it up and I'll be curious enough to finish it out. It's only a four issue mini and the way the series is set (already) with the Then and Now designations means they can basically throw this into continuity at any time. I don't think it's actually going to result in Logan being gone from the Marvel Universe. I think it's going to end with him dying in the Now, but getting his healing factor back in the Then, that is to say, our now. I think it'll be something they say, hey, this is definitely going to happen. Just not yet. But if Logan does actually get out of the 616, I want to be keeping up with it as it goes. And if he doesn't? Well, I won't be disappointed or surprised. This issue was fine. The pencils were sharp, the connections to Canada were fun, Logan's killing skills were on display and the dialogue with Reed was good. I'm interested to see next issue because it looks like Sabertooth is being kept as a pet by Viper. I've not kept up with Wolvie in a long time so that's weird to me, but I'm sure it'll be briefly touched on. Superhero comics. Weird.

Original Sin 8 - Gotta say I'm disappointed. Fury doesn't die, is relegated to some odd new role that we may or may not see. Bucky doesn't die, but is also relegated to a man in outer space, removing him from his best previous element. The Orb doesn't become the new Watcher, which is what I thought was happening (but maybe that's what we're supposed to get from Fury) and is back on the Earth being a reverse creeper Watcher? The shadowy figure behind Strange and Black Panther was obviously supposed to be Fury but they didn't notice him? And they didn't tell Cap...why? I'm not sure any of this makes any sense. Maybe it's just seeding for later but for now the conclusion really didn't live up to the previous wackiness.

Book of the week goes to Angel and Faith. Big Two are letting me down.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

comics for the week of 08/27/14.

I saw Boyhood. Everyone else should, too.

All New X-Men 31 - Celeste's remark was hilarious, the art was atrocious and I just don't find myself caring at all. Even with the introduction of a cool new mutant, with the power to jump across universes and the cool ending where we find ourselves where we were in the beginning (not the 616) it just doesn't feel like it did once upon a time. Maybe it's just the art. I'm gonna hang in for a while, because I like Iceman, but all the other concepts feel like crazily old retreads. Jean's crazy, she might destroy everything. Hank is curious. Warren isn't an angel, he's just Angel, a force for good. Bobby is stupid on purpose and will eventually regret not tapping his potential. I've seen it before. It felt like they had a chance to do something new, but they're wasting it. Maybe the Ultimate Universe field trip will revitalize that chance.

Avengers 34 - That was an end worth waiting for. Any time I get to see Iron Lad and Kang and Immortus all in one place, it's damn worthwhile. (I also want to reflect, now that Cap's journey through time and the Multiverse is done, how DC-like Marvel is becoming in the hands of Jonathan Hickman, and how much better it is than any of the concepts DC has tried out with their variations in a long, long time. I'm happy that I stuck with this story. I'm certainly not going to claim that I understand all of it or that I definitely know where it's going, but it's great.) Anyway, Cap gets to talk with a compatriot of his and his elder versions and we finally get the reveal of what older Hawkeye said to him. We see him reliably nifty shield trick yet again and he arrives back in the present to set all the Avengers on the course of tracking down not just Stark but all of the Illuminati. In New Avengers, though, we see that they're all sufficiently racked with guilt and they didn't even fight the last incursion, but rather that Namor and the Cabal have taken up that cause. So, will the Illuminati go down quietly, realizing they were wrong. Will they then try to get Cap to go after Namor, knowing that he's got to be the one responsible? Will Strange be there at all? (His disappearance still has not been noted thus far.) I don't know but I'm excited to have some answers. And we're getting there. And it's awesome.

Black Science 8 - Beautiful and moves the story forward. What more can you ask for in a comic? Oh, you want it to be meaningful in a long term way? Yup, this has got that in spades, too. The switch in narration that we've gone through in this series has been a great boon and getting to spend the whole issue with the kids was neat, too. (Aside from, of course, the backstory of the suddenly-English speaking shaman, who gives us our series title.) Kadir's not such a bad guy and I honestly feel bad for him, getting blackballed the way he is. More importantly, though, I'm worried about his fate when the kids (inevitably) return. There's going to be a serious schism and I'm not sure how it's all going to play out. However, I will say this: they're pushing Grant's death awfully hard, which makes me think he's not actually dead. I wouldn't put money on it, but I won't be surprised when (if) it happens.

Mind MGMT 25 - I know they billed last month's issue as the perfect jumping on point, but this one felt more like it. It gave us plenty of recap but also pushed us forward. I thought the margins were really pushing us toward not trusting Kevin (was that Duncan's friend's name?) but at the end it seemed as though he'd given Meru legit advice. However, every time I think something in this series is straight forward, it turns out to be at least a double cross, so that could obviously come back to haunt me. I liked how this arc is called the Eraser, but we didn't really see her in this issue - or did we? There's a lot happening in the foreground as well as the background of this whole work, so there will always be questions. But for now, I'm content in thinking that neither Duncan nor Lyme are dead while mourning Bill. Dusty doesn't FEEL dead just yet since his army came to Meru's rescue in this issue and he'll certainly have at least one more part to play. This is great, great, great stuff.

Saga 22 - Well isn't that just horrible. Man. BKV really upping the ante on making people believe that the death of this relationship is real and giving equal blame to both sides. It does seem to me that Alana's got some more horrible stuff going on, but Marko's response to her questions is inappropriate, even if his actions might not have been (yet). Meanwhile, Grandma either knows something is up or was warning of something far worse, because I don't believe that this deterioration, regardless of how bad it gets, is the worst thing the family's going to go through very soon. The biggest part of this issue (pun totally intended) though, was King Robot. And boy did he live up to his name. That massive screen was perfect, IV's submission to him, but his devious side-dealings, and the reporters seeing something in the play were all great sidelines, too. Love this book.

Book of the week goes to Mind MGMT. It's a rare occasion when something can overtake Saga, so I'll happily go with Kindt this time.

Monday, August 25, 2014

comics for the week of 08/20/14.

With Labor Day coming up it feels like summer is officially over, not only for NM teachers, but for the whole country. That being said, I think Guardians of the Galaxy "won" summer and Boyhood won best movie of the year. But the year's not over.

Buffy 6 - A fine issue, but the poor art really had a bad effect on me. I feel like we've been through this exact same idea before, but I'm fine with that, because the dynamic has changed significantly. Giles as the weak link is a new dimension, so I'll like seeing where that goes. The idea of San Francisco rents rising is a real one so it's cool that this got included. However, the bad art was really serious. I was glad to read in the letters page that the regular team will be back.

Daredevil 7 - Although it read during the statistics scene like a bit of an after school special, I was happy with the turn. We've seen it before, sure, (notably in an early aughts/late 90s run of Impulse?) but that doesn't mean it's not a good one. I'd love if Maggie and Matt developed a closer relationship, too, that'd be a neat dynamic. However, my only beef is that Wakanda sure seems to be making a lot of enemies lately. I can't imagine that T'Challa's sister will think too kindly of Daredevil from here forward after his little stunt in her throne room. All's well that ends well, next issue we get to escape the blasted confines of crossover territory and get back to what Waid and Samnee do best: making Daredevil fun again.

Fables 143 - Oh man, Mrs. Dark. This is getting seriously bad for almost everyone. Fables as a title and a story is definitely ending. The way Weyland goes out (if it's truly the end for him) raised my heart rate and definitely evoked the feels. The upcoming battle between Rose and White, as I've mentioned before, feels perfectly circular, but no less tragic. I'm going to be seriously bummed if Rose (or White, I suppose) has to die to complete the cyclical nature of this story. Meanwhile, the story of the magicians gang and the intersection of Fabletown and NYC is getting going. And, of course, Beauty and the Beast get their moment to shine. I love how his curse transferred to their baby and how he's still got his part to play. (I know I skipped over the bird and the post-script, but...)

Multiversity 1 - Yeahhhhhh...that was fucking weird. I don't really know what I'm going to think about the whole thing, but it was typically kooky Morrison in the best way. Things are insane, they feel like a purposefully 70s-inspired, drug-fueled manic romp through the winding Multiverse. I'm happy Morrison is getting to do what he wants to do, but I feel like it's going to be exactly what I said earlier: an awesome time that ultimately has no effect on the comics themselves. It was awesome, don't get me wrong, but...I feel bad for Morrison at this point. I feel like he might be a masochist.

New Avengers 23 - Well isn't that just exactly sticking the landing? Man. For a while, this book was completely lost, but it's definitely found its fit and its tone. I'm digging the mirroring, obviously, but there was so much more to it. From Wong's simple no, to the way my heart actually started beating faster as the Incursion was getting closer and closer. I've been reading comics for more than two decades at this point, and I knew nothing was going to happen, but I could still suspend my disbelief enough to think that something might. Now that's power. It was great to see Beast with a book (after confiding in himself, hah!) and Tony beating alcohol. Black Bolt's scream was primal and Bruce's reaction was more like mine would be. But unmentioned and conspicuously missing? Strange. I'm glad we got to see the family of Reed, and good for him for knowing sign language (good on Marvel, too!) and while I understand the fight just happened with Namor, it should still be a big deal that Stephen's missing, too. I have a feeling that's for later, though.

Trees 4 - Uh, I don't get it. It's too few and far between with too little concrete plot. I like it, but I just can't hang with it at this point. I'll happily read it in trade and I'll continue to recommend it to people, but I just feel like, at this point, that it's not for me.

Unwritten: Apocalypse 8 - Man. It's perfect. And it's so close to ending. But there's two chapters left and everyone's got a part to play. Next issue we'll have the Wilson showcase (and presumably some Savoy) and then the final will go to Tom (and presumably Pullman and some Lizzie action). Here we get Tom finding the grail, which apparently can be in multiple forms at one time, which will lead to some truly interesting results when it comes to the end and who's using those tools at the same time. I loved the background when Tom entered the church (?) of all the wooden puppets. There's also the angle of Rausch and how she's going to play into the endgame. I think there's obviously quite a bit of thread to spool out here and I couldn't be more excited.

The Wicked and the Divine 3 - Yep. It's pretty. And I'm no longer interested in it. Way too much self-indulgence. Not for me.

Book of the week goes to Unwritten.

Monday, August 18, 2014

comics for the week of 08/13/14.

I thought we'd get some real answers in the penultimate issue of the Original Sin mini-series, but I guess that's not how things work anymore. It was all right.

All New X-Men 30 - Yeah, that was all right. We're really getting into kind of murky, treacherous territory here, when it comes to layers. (I mean, I guess since we're talking about the X-Men, we've been there for decades, so maybe it's just me getting older...) I get that it's quirky and different to have Jean Grey and Emma Frost be friends, but that doesn't feel like a good enough reason for that to be the primary driving force of this issue. On the other hand, X-23 and Angel's story was refreshing. I like the meta aspect of them taking a break and their part feeling so much more real than the various soap opera drama with young Iceman, Beast and Jean hanging out with Professor Kitty and the White Queen and her goons. (Don't get me started on the romance angle feeling less cliche. I'm already depressing myself with this review.) But the next issue box has me semi-excited so we'll see if this title can revive itself.

Rachel Rising 27 - There's a lot happening here, but let's start with the fun: Jeff gets killed! (Shoutout and the back page explanation for letting me have such a ridiculous sentence.) But this is obviously bad news for Zoe, as well as Rachel and Jet, who are totally unaware of their little friend's ongoing activities. It's not like they don't know she's trouble. They joke about her previous kills. But this seems to be particularly dangerous and too close to home. They need to stay on their feet. Of course, there's plenty of other great stuff in the book, including a pep talk from Johnny to Earl about Jet, Johnny's playing detective, and her interactions with the cop and a peek into Rachel's insensitivity. She's worked with this guy for how long and Zoe gets all that personal information out of him in the first minute of their first encounter. Ray is a nice addition to the supporting cast, I'm hopeful that he gets to stick around for more than a minute.

Sex Criminals 7 - Man. This book is so weird and kinda good, but almost definitely makes me feel dirty. I do feel like it's a true effort to subvert that old paradigm, though, so it's not like it's without merit. Obviously. This issue doesn't go where I thought it would, based on the relationship deteriorating as we'd seen in the past, but I'm happy Rachel's back. Jon's depression leads him to do some bad, bad things, and we see some of his childhood which explains a lot of why he is the way he is. Shit, if I had those powers, I would have been way worse. (I kind of hope that's something all guy readers of this book relate to, otherwise I'm just a horrible person?) The art, as always, is gorgeous, and the nods in the backgrounds are more than chuckle-worthy. Also, the over the top nature of the nature of sex is halfway between gross and hilarious.

The Walking Dead 130 - Huh. Well that's cool. I love how Rick's legend is growing so large and how uncomfortable with it he is. I love his justification for the haircut and the beard. I especially loved the newbies' dismissal of Negan's bullshit. But there's some long term stuff here, too. I like Carl's discomfort with the other apprentice but it's clear they're both going to stay on. I like Maggie having her own place and being a big boss - she's earned it. I like the fact that the newbies got their few panels to shine but not much more, so we have their story still on the backburner. I like how much confidence the girl had when she said she knew when someone was lying. But of course, the moneymaker is the new development with the dead. That'll be great if it holds up. If it turns out to be a red herring, it'll be quite disastrous for Kirkman, at least insofar as my nerd group's confidence in his ability to turn the story up a notch. If he stays with it, though... could be a game changer. I like it.

Book of the week goes to The Walking Dead. Purely on potential, though. If it doesn't follow through, I'll have problems.

Monday, August 11, 2014

comics for the week of 08/06/14.

Go see Guardians again.

Angel and Faith 5 - A nice bit of tying between the two titles made me curious as to why this was such a mystery, but it was laid out nicely on the last page; of course they're not talking - that would make far too much sense. I mean, we've seen where sharing information can lead. Jokes aside, it was another solid issue. I like the involvement of the aunts in this title, but to get no Faith at all was quite a change. Are we just going to bounce back and forth until they (inevitably) reconcile? Dunno, but I'm along for the ride. It's fun seeing Angel in London, playing with the new Magic Town issues, and working with the police.

Invincible 113 - Yes, this book is incredible once again, over and over, month in and month out. Robot working with the Viltrumites feels like a short-term move: he might be authentic for now, but he cannot possibly let them live for long. And most of them have got to be smart enough to see that, too. So any alliance has got to be played from both sides for temporary gains as quickly as possible. Because, unfortunately, Rex has the time table in his favor right now. Despite showing cracks in the armor as he tries to take over the world, it certainly looks like he's succeeding. He's meeting with the President and while we haven't seen the death of any major characters (the Martian guy and my horrible memory inevitably failing aside...) we've seen plenty of blood, death and gore. The key players have made it out, but not all unscathed, and it's going to be a heck of an uphill battle, no matter how the alliances (temporary as they may be) turn out. More importantly, though, we've got two joyous occasions in this issue: Eve has the baby, the baby's safe and Eve's safe, the couple are staying together and she encourages Mark to get back in the fight. Most importantly, though: we have an excellent chance at a superhero baby with the name Dick Grayson! I know, I know, she's a girl. But how great would that be?

New Avengers 22 - Well, the art was terrible, and the conclusion was inevitable, but it didn't have to feel quite so flat, did it? I just feel like...where do we go from here? After the apex of last issue and the contrast provided by Namor's realism versus the heroes' idealism, it felt like more of the same, with that one huge caveat: Namor is clearly going to be a flat out bad guy from here on out and Black Panther is always going to be on his case. That's a good development, but I don't feel like it needed an entire series almost exclusively dedicated to getting to this point. If we're gong to build them up just to break them down, I'm not sure this was the right format? I liked Hulk being the voice of reason and the poor-Reed cliffhanger, but the rest of it felt like it'd already happened last issue.

Ultimate Spider-Man 4 - The conversation with Katie and her sister really was a strange way to open such a killer issue and it quickly spun into directions that I did not see coming. Who are her parents? Why is her sister so coldly practical? Then the issue shifts to Miles' fight with Norman and the Peter Parker character (whom I still refuse to acknowledge might even be the real deal) shows up and and the fight goes...weird. "Peter" whups him, Miles gets in a venom blast and Norman takes off. The most important development, though, is how everyone reacts to seeing the classic costume on the broadcast of the fight. Aunt May says she thinks it's him, everyone else only gets to exhibit their best shocked faces. I'm not sure how much longer this is going to be dragged out (six issues is the new norm, right?) but I'm curious to see if my jaded cynicism is going to be right or if they're actually going to bring the killed Ultimate Peter Parker back. I hope not, and I still don't believe it, but they're certainly selling it.

Book of the week goes to Invincible. I was holding out hope for Ultimate Spidey, but without a resolution, I can't be as satisfied as Kirkman made me.

Monday, August 4, 2014

comics for the week of 07/30/14.

Guardians of the Galaxy came out this week. It's great. Go see it.

Avengers 33 - Just Cap. A 2001 and Wizard of Oz reference in the first two pages. And then....more stuff I don't understand. There's so much scope (50,000 years, right?) at this point that I (we?) continue to have no choice but to sit back and let it wash over us and try to look back only in retrospect, in the future. (Which, I guess, is kind of a meta commentary on the story? Huh. I wonder if that's purposeful. Or if I'm just stupid and there are plenty of people who are getting this as it's happening.) The best/worst part, though, is the last page. I thought for sure that Cap was going to fall through fractured time and lose the Infinity Formula and we'd have some kind of resolution, both to this story as well as to the larger idea of how we're going to make the jump that's imminent (this is why I try to stay away from Previews. If I didn't know that jump was coming and Steve was going to be old, I wouldn't be trying to pre-rationalize it) in the Avengers World idea. But noooooo...we've got one more issue. However, I'm happy to see the words "To Be Concluded" which assures me that next issue actually will provide some sort of closure, whether I understand it or not. The biggest question? That sure looks like modern Tony, huh? It's cool, but I definitely don't get it.

Black Science - This book is the most bonkers book coming out in all of comics-hood. Seriously. The art is a huge part of it, with just totally cutting loose, but the coloring is definitely included, too. It reminds me of a 21st century take on the old four way colors. In this issue, I was lost in the best way. It all happened so quickly that I didn't even get to figure out who the narrator was until it was revealed. I should have caught it with the names, but I was happily surprised. With the way the characters are dying in this series, I think we've got to acknowledge that there's a chance the kids are dead, but I don't believe they are. I love the progression of all the characters and I loved the horse-fish, the sacrifices, the Shaman still being around.

East of West 14 - This book is close up there on the insanity meter. We've got Death looking for his son, but his ex-compatriots getting there before him. Before they do that, though, they check with their God-ish figure (Ezra [Have we seen him before?] is simply the Word's vessel, but I'm sure we're supposed to take him at his [pun intended!] word) to make sure it's OK. It's definitely not, and despite hearing that negative, the remaining trio of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse put their dastardly plan into action. Also, we see the Confederate States of America moving toward a new President and while it's no surprise who takes over the role, it's revealing to see the depths he descended to in order to get there. It's a confusing book, but there are huge things happening.

Hawkeye 19 - Oh man. I've loved this series as long as it's been going on and this felt like the perfect issue of the entire run. The only thing darkening its perfection? The realization that there's only two more (?) issues left. It's always felt like a comic that we didn't really deserve any more, at least not from one of the Big Two. When it came out, it was a revelation. It's still deserving of its spot in the sun, but I can't say that I'm surprised at its (inevitably too-soon) demise. This issue fully bought into the sign language and got us back to the truth of Clint as a deaf kid. While he's made strides getting over it (clearly) in the interim - I don't know if those were magical or superheroic or just plain old rectons out of spite for "weakness" - it's now got to be an essential part of him. If a lesser writer can't handle that wrinkle to this character, I'm just not sure they should get to write him. This has got to be Clint from now on, otherwise this sparkling run will mean nothing. This is a prime example of when continuity is important. Clint and Barney get back up after being knocked to the mat, they rally themselves (actually, it's more like Barney rallying Clint first, which is perfect with its tie to the past) and the troops (not just the citizens of the apartment building, but Clint's super pals, too) in order to take the fight to the gang that put them in this place. The last issues (the question mark in the beginning is to say I think I remember hearing there'll be two more, but that could be wrong...) are going to be incredible. As this whole thing (minus those two throwaway issues...) was.

Mind MGMT 24 - A lovely time for a break. It was a perfect little retrospective, giving long-time readers new clues regarding the life of Henry Lyme and providing a nice jumping on spot for new readers. I'm reassured by the fact that new comics like this are still coming out monthly (kinda) and that the hardcover collections are still readily available as well. There's not a lot to say in regards to this issue for a long timer, other than it was delightful to see some of the older adventures of Lyme and his once-upon-a-time partner. Also tragic is the inclusion of any other aspect, since we know they're all doomed: his marriage, his rescue of Meru, his time with the dolphins, with the artists, on the plane, etc. I mean, damn. Dude's lived a hell of a fucked up life.

New Avengers 21 - This was a masterpiece. I feel like we're in the worst/best kind of morality play, where Namor plays the Shakespearean role of villain embracing his heroic side in the most stark terms. It's a weird thing to say, but this mainstream Marvel superhero comic was on the level of some of the most impressive indie comics this week. When Namor started the battle between the Illuminati and the Great Society a couple issues ago, I wasn't surprised, but I was happy to see him fully embracing that role. This issue was even more than that and, ironically, I think it made him come off stronger. While all of the heroes have already clearly crossed the line, they're unwilling to take the LAST step. They've been perfectly content to walk all the way past the edge, but, Wile Coyote style, are still deceiving themselves that they're on solid ground. Only Namor is brave enough to look down and realize that he's overdue for a fall. I actually lost respect for Reed, Beast, Tony, etc. and gained some for Namor. Only Strange seemed fully aware of the price he's already paid. When the Great Society was first introduced, I was pissed off, because I felt like we were wasting time. But now that I've got the gift of hindsight, I see they were only a means to an end. And that end, amazingly, has been to put some kind of shine (whether it's of disgust or not) on Namor and slime up his Illuminati fellows.

Sandman: Overture 3 - Well. I don't know how to properly react to this issue because it feels like the true middle of the series. I'm not sure anything actually happened, but that's kind of to be expected from the Prince of Stories primarily just telling a story and wandering over some land, only arriving at his destination on the last page? I mean, he definitely met a companion who's going to be detrimental to his overall cause according to the Fates. And the art was gorgeous (duh) and the blending of our Dream and the Cat Dream became even better. But...the point of the story eluded me and the ending of the story just made me more anxious for the time to pass to get to the next issue. But the section with the bugs was amazing as was the little girl (Hope, love it) and her reaction to Dream's horrible, horrible laughter. That seems pretty accurate.

Spike: Into the Light - Yeah, that was cool. But nothing amazing. Just a Spike tale, pretty standard. I'm not sure it added anything to anything, at least for me. I was already a Spike fan, and I'd think anyone who's been on the series long enough is, too. But I'm glad Marsters got to write this, because it seems like he truly wanted to, and I'm glad the story of good Spike was advanced a little. There's not much more to it.

The Wake 10 - I'm disappointed to say that I was disappointed with the ending. It was appropriately epic in scope for a story that spanned more than hundreds of years (I mean, thousands, even millions, if you count the caveman stuff) but it felt so loose, so tenuous to the stories that I'd actually cared about in this book. The first half was Dr. Archer and her work and discovering the Mers and the second half was Leeward and her dolphin and her parents and the crazy new world she and her people inhabited. But that's the thing: we don't truly get resolution to any of those. We do, though, get a pullback by the camera, and a revelation that the picture was always much larger than we (or even Archer) suspected and a grander resolution. Which, I suppose, is good for Snyder, since it seems that's the story he wanted to tell. But for those of us who invested in the concept of the two protagonists, the only satisfaction we get is hearing Archer say she spoke with her son and that she gave him some good advice, which Leeward gets to use to bold effect on the gorgeous last page. Also, the turnout with the General and the Crazy Lady, which is the only bit of conclusion we see in regards to the future story. It was fine, but it felt like...not an ending?

Book of the week goes to Hawkeye. In a week of amazingly strong comics, there was a lot of competition, but I can't ignore the simple and most pure pleasures.

Monday, July 28, 2014

comics for the week of 07/23/14.

There are no sports. Life.

Buffy 5 - Continues the great story of how Buffy got her family back. This seems to be the overarching motif of Season 10 and I'm great with that. The Dracula/Maloker (sp?) issue was taken care of with much more ease than I thought it would be, but that didn't feel like a bad thing. I was more relieved that we didn't stretch story unnecessarily, especially since we have so much more good story left. First up, the Dawn and Xander plot. Secondly, the Xander and Anya plot. Man. He's got some stuff going on. Then, of course, we've got Buffy and the cops, young Giles, Willow recognizing her place and Spike still kind of struggling to fit in. Lots of good seeds planted in this issue, I'm sure they'll be followed up on and I'm sure it'll be cool.

Daredevil 6 - Huh. Well, this one was a miss for me. I'm not sure whether part of this story was planned aside from the Original Sin tie-in, but I'm going to go ahead and blame the event for the lackluster quality of a book that's normally stellar. The art wasn't up to par, the story was shoehorned in, despite all the attempts to fit it into continuity, and the fact that it's not just a single-issue arc is more than disappointing. I'm kind of glad that we're demystifying Matt's dad's character a bit, but this seems like an odd way to do it. Just have the Original Sin plot go through and take it up there, unless the Wakanda thing is going to have larger ramifications. If it's not, this is a waste of time and effort.

Saga 21 - Wow. I don't know if it was, but this felt like an extra-sized issue. And every single page was good. From the drugs that Alana is beginning to the lack of romance in her sex with her husband to the casual touch of the other woman, it was all good. Plus, we get Robot IV learning he has a son, grandmother paying her respects to Oswald and the quippy line from the indentured servant. This is just chock full of goodness and it's so beautiful and so well told. Also, Robot's kid is on a voyage, and Hazel's narration continues to be spot on. Plus, she's becoming an older person, so the chances of staying undercover and becoming much smaller. I love this book so much.

Trees 3 - This series is weird and this issue was the weirdest. It wasn't remotely bad, but I'm not sure of anything at this point. Could be, if I continue with this book, it'll turn out to be one of the most important parts of the series. Could be this is the issue that makes me say it's not worth it. It was pretty and intriguing, though. I like the girl, I like the professor and I'm interested in the kid artist. That's about it for this one.

The Unwritten: Apocalypse 7 - The glitches serve their point and Pullman scores a (temporary victory) at the end. But this clearly isn't going to fly. Even if it doesn't revert back to the epic romance tale, Tom's pants aren't even down! Logic will shine its light through, even if it's clouded through the story lens. The back and forth nature of this issue really worked well, until the end, where it was clear that things were elevating to another level. Just look at the narration. There's no way this is actually the narrative. The rabbit's having second thoughts, the king vampire was dismissed so easily when we thought he'd be yet another true challenge, we haven't even got to the side effects of Tom bringing back the childrens' father - remember they were previously orphans! This is winding down in a hell of a way and while the last few pages were a bad note, they weren't (at least, I don't think, at this point) a missed on. We're going to see some serious pulling together of the strings here - it's no coincidence that Rauch is remembering back to the one dangling thread we've got, the scene that was never explained. Also, hilarious that her kids are already dreaming up theology and picking sides. The new world is coming, and there's always a place for the stories of good guys in the sky.

Book of the week goes to Saga. It's an honor that'll continue more than a few more times while this brilliance is happening, but I'm just as happy with the title today as I was for issue one. What a unique thing.

Monday, July 21, 2014

comics for the week of 07/16/14.

I also read The Life After, on the recommendation of Dave Jordan. It was cool and, as he said, very Matrix-y, which should be up my alley. I'll check out the second issue, but I really just couldn't stand the art.

Fables 142 - A really sad look at how the battle lines are being drawn, despite some characters deluding themselves into thinking they're not. Rose Red and Snow White simply approach one another and magical armor springs up? Man, there's going to be some shenanigans. Also, the reappearance of Bigby out in the Mundy world has brought around New York's finest, and they're sure to have some itchy trigger fingers regarding a killer who's brought down some of their number already. Lastly, we see the real power of the North Wind - she's calling in all the favors and she's putting down a big bet. This is another solid cog in the machine of getting us toward the end. The laughs at the end, when it comes to Sinbad's last story are relatively meager, if only because of the foreboding sense I got from the real story. It's going down.

The Wicked and the Divine 2 - Did not care for it. Art is beautiful, but... The story is too self-indulgent. I'm buying another issue, but we'll see if it goes further than that.

Book of the week goes to Fables, not in any bad way, it actually earned it, but there was no competition in reality.

Monday, July 14, 2014

comics for the week of 07/09/14.

While the Solstice just happened a little bit ago, a New Mexico teacher's summer is more than halfway over. This is incredibly sad.

All New X-Men 29 - Before even reading it, I just want to talk about how weird the cover made me feel. It's like...we're living in a world where the original five X-Men have time traveled to the 'present' and are riding motorcycles around and know about what happened and...isn't that just weird? I mean, even for comics? Man. And then I read the issue and the end was the cover and the beginning and the middle...? Well, it was (KIND OF) a wrap up of some of the craziness that's been going on. While Xavier and Raze are (apparently) now here for good (which seems like a HORRIBLE IDEA, BTW) along with the time-displaced X-Men and the bad-but-not-really-bad-they-were-just-being-mind-controlled-by-Xavier have been sent back to the future (THAT SEEMS LIKE THE REVERSE OF WHAT YOU SHOULD DO, BTW), we have things kinda sorta set back to a status quo. But that status quo now involves a shitload of out of time people, and the bad guys in a place where there's no chance things don't go wrong. In good news, Angel is clearly the most underused of these characters, so it's nice to think we're going to get some shine time on him with X-23 next issue. Deadpool was also funny.

Avengers 32 – Well, I thought that was just about as wacky as it was going to get, but my jaw literally dropped at the last page. Not that it was so shocking or something crazier than I've seen in comic books, but just...I far down the rabbit hole are we going??? Also, I love that this is ostensibly an Original Sin tie-in, but there's nothing to it. We've got Cap, Black Widow and Starbrand 4,000 years in the future talking to Franklin Richards, seeing an Avengers World, with a cool cameo on the second to last page. And the dialogue was right up my alley, with discussions about time not being linear and space-time being an actual organism and all that good stuff. But every layer that we've peeled back has revealed more and more, so for the first time in a long time, I'm actually really, really excited for the next issue of Avengers because I feel like there's some point finally coming. I'm not sure I know what it is, nor where this battle between Cap and the Illuminati is going, but I feel like things are definitely coming to a head. And that's exciting.

Daredevil 5 - What a hilariously comic book explanation Matt has for Foggy regarding his own death. It's as though Daredevil's been through this before himself, or with his girlfriends, or with enemies, or with Spidey and Iron Man, who get specifically name checked, or he's been reading some Marvel Universe books. And then the whole book plays out and you wonder how Mark Waid hasn't gotten to be one of the biggest writers on the planet year after year after year. He just knows the genre so well, and he knows that DD has had years of bad karma, so he gets this one fortuitous moment, where the Leapfrog attacks, Foggy's complaining about faking his death, wanting to the the hero and he's presented with the perfect opportunity. Ant-Man's on hand for a special (and important) guest spot, and Foggy narrates the whole thing in his diary. It's so touching. A really, really good single issue that fits in so well with the overall narrative that's been happening in this book for the last 2+ years. Superhero comics at their best.

The Walking Dead 129 – Oh man. That's just...I don't know. I don't feel fear for any of the people I've come to love, nor any hatred for Negan, just a whole mess of...I don't even know. I'd forgotten about the new people, but I'm hopeful they're not going to be that stupid. I'm happy for Carl, in more ways than one and I'm worried about Rick. He seems committed to the idea of the new, peaceful society, but to a disturbing degree. I don't know how the rest of his people feel about him, though. They all seem more than okay with him, calling him sir, etc. So, I guess if he cracks down hard on a horse rider, they're not going to care? Which is fine with me? I don't know. It's in a weird place for me right now.

Book of the week goes to Daredevil. While I was really happy with Avengers, I just can't deny the truly happy feeling I get from Waid's DD. And Samnee's art is a huge plus.