Monday, November 24, 2014

comics for the week of 11/19/14.

There are a lot of things happening.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, November 17, 2014

comics for the week of 11/12/14.

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, November 10, 2014

comic for the week of 11/05/14.

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

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

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

Monday, November 3, 2014

comics for the week of 10/29/14.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Book of the week goes to Saga.