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.