Monday, January 26, 2015

comics for the week of 01/21/15.

I'm also keeping track of (and liking) the Spider-Verse stuff, but I've got a couple questions: why do you think people are OK with this and hated Maximum Clonage? Why are they OK with this but hated JMS' The Other storyline? And what's going to happen for Spidey coming out of Secret Wars and the "destruction" of the Marvel Universe?

All New X-Men 35 - Well, that was fun and I know why Bendis is in love with this frame story format, but it really falls flat when we've seen it from him 68,000 times. There's no doubt Miles will survive, so why try to set that up as the hook and the cliffhanger? I mean, if it's just the cliffhanger, cool, that's just typical comic book formula. But when you get greedy? Well then, all the cool, fun stuff in the middle just feels like filler. And it really does at this point. Because the story has taken such an odd amount of time, it comes across like Bendis is just a terrible plotter. "Here's how much time you have before Secret Wars." "OK, so I'll do 6 issues of set up, 1 issue where EVERYONE is miraculously rescued from their circumstances which seemed IMPOSSIBLE before, and then 1 issue of conclusion." "Sounds great." Anyway, shit-talking aside, there was a lot of fun stuff in here, mainly the Bobby on Bobby action (again) and X-23's conscience. The Jean Greys helping each other was cool too.

Buffy 11 - We got a feeling it was coming and now it's here. I wonder how people will react? If it's a (semi-)permanent move, I'll feel better about it. (The semi's in there because it's rare that anything lasts forever in a comic book about a show about vampires.) But if it's just another red herring then this book is making a bad habit of those. I'm not a huge fan of the art in this issue and I'm bummed to hear that she'll be on for the whole arc. It's not that it was bad, per se, it was just a bit too cartoony for me. It fit with the speed dating bit, but the rest was just bit off kilter. Love how we get to see everyone coming along, but feel bad for Dawn and Xander. It doesn't seem like they're getting back together at this point. Willow's in an interesting place and Spike's got some cool stuff happening with both the kitten callback as well as the police work moving forward.

Fables 148 - Goddamnit, we still don't get the answers! I thought this issue was finally going to clear up the Rose Red and Snow White origin, but we only get half the story (if even that much!) so I guess we'll have to wait for another month - or maybe even both of the remaining issues. It was compelling, compelling reading and I was frantically turning pages, hoping for some kind of resolution before the end of the issue. For me, that's all you can ask for from a comic. I'm loving how this series is turning super dark in it's ending, but even more, I'm loving how all the stories still have so much more to play out. The "Last Stories" that have filled each of the issues for this storyline have been cute, if sometimes annoying interruptions of the main storyline. But in this issue, it was the first time that I actually saw them for what they are: extensions, sometimes into millennia of the future. The theme of Fables, then, is that these stories DON'T, in fact, end, even when issue 150 hits and it's billed as the end. While that makes me feel immensely better in the meta context, I'm still going to be super bummed when Fables is no longer a monthly title.

Invincible 116 - I loved the way this issue was done, including the sequences of the fight between Thragg and Battle Beast. I also loved the progression we saw with everyone (including I guess the regression of Eve's parents, who seem to be totally off the rails at this point, moreso than I ever remember seeing them portrayed as) but especially Mark and his dad. They're really digging into roles that are rather complex, and it's mainly because they've got larger responsibilities to deal with. We saw it with Nolan at the beginning of the series, when he was torn between his Earth love and his Viltrumite duty, but the leadership has really moved him as a character. And the opening, of course, was perfect. I love the way the people of Earth are responding to the new status quo, mainly because I imagine that's how they would? Solid entry. I hope this background fighting goes on for a few more issues so we have to imagine the scope of the battle rather than shortchange it.

Book of the week goes to Fables. 148 issues and I'm still feeling like it's going to be gone before it's time. What an amazing book.

Monday, January 19, 2015

comics for the week of 01/14/15.

I also read that weird ass Avengers interlude that's happening infrequently, but I didn't understand why I'm supposed to care about any of that.

Avengers 40 - Wow, so are we going to get Black Panther as the new Namor? I mean, that was a damn cold blooded move. And the role that Black Bolt played, well, I don't really get that. (Also, just as a side note, could Namor really survive Black Bolt's whisper, much less a scream [and isn't there supposed to be no difference?], because that really bumps up his power levels in my mind.) I'm not sure that I buy into the concept of Steve just stopping his campaign because Sue said they should listen or on the appearance of Namor and Black Bolt, but the story needed them all together, so...sure. And last but not least, I love the Roberto and Sam angle as the new comic relief, if only for the great line it gave toward Beast. Good stuff, especially with the Cabal now being out of the picture, but still available if need be. I'm curious now where we're moving next; does Reed have a plan to stop them, or was this just a power move at the only time they saw it as possible? Will everyone be working together now that they know what needs to be done?

Daredevil 12 - This was actually my least favorite issue of the series so far, but not for any of the actual story reasons. It just felt way too cheesy. It felt like a 70s issue of Daredevil where we can see anything and everything happening for no good reason. Character needs super strength? OK, all of a sudden they have it. Next panel doesn't work if they're super strong? OK, it's gone. Too scattered. The base story, with the Stuntmaster wanting to go out on top, and the development of Matt and Kirsten's relationship, was good at its core. But all the superfluous stuff on top, especially the motorcycle and chase sequences made it feel a bit slimy.

Star Wars 1 - Meh. It was fine. I didn't dislike any part of it, except the ending. It's not for me, though, so I'll not continue with it. I'm happy there will be Star Wars comics for people who are into them.

Ultimate Spider-Man 9 - Not just a fun issue, but a fantastic one, once again mainly because of the art. While it's interesting to get Miles' dad's backstory (Jefferson?) the biggest thing is the shift in art from decades old to modern times. It's incredible how this works. And the Nick Fury involvement with Kingpin and Toad and MGH and SHIELD - it's all building an increasingly richer history for Miles. I love it. I love his character and I'm interested to see where it goes from here.

The Walking Dead 136 - Well, there was practically no action in this one and I couldn't really bring myself to care about much of what anyone said, so I think I'm siding with Nick Bennett: it's getting worse. I still hold out hope that next issue will be better, but I don't give a shit about Carl and his friendship with Lydia. I don't care about the plot to kill him. I don't care about the new whisperers and their shitty plot to attack one of the towns. There's no way any of it should work and it all feels the same. Bummer.

Book of the week goes to Avengers. Everything else was middling to bad with the exception of Spidey, so the long story with the jokes gets the honors.

Monday, January 12, 2015

comic for the week of 01/07/15.

Welcome to the new year. The second week in a row with only one book. It's the new norm for me, sadly. I did, however, check out the new Ant-Man #1 and it was fun. It has a Hawkeye-like feel, which could be cool. I'll stick with it for a while, see if they can keep it up.

Angel and Faith 10 - Huh. Well that was a hell of an ending. I just figured it was going to be Faith and I was disappointed; where would the shock be in that? But nope. I got what I was asking for. A shocker. The art in this series is phenomenal and the story was OK. As far as conclusions go, it did everything it needed to do, even if there were some cheesy lines. That's fine. I like the direction the magic guru is going because I didn't trust her, especially when it seemed like her goal was coinciding with Amy's and she was going to bring Willow in, but now I'm rolling over to her side a bit. I'm still wary, but she's a great addition to the cast of characters, I hope we can keep her around and utilize her more so than the vanished Koh. Good work, looking forward to the next one.

No book of the week when there's only one.

Monday, January 5, 2015

comic for the week of 12/31/14.

I guess it's only appropriate that I got only one comic on the last day of the year. My love for comics is just as strong as it was a decade ago, but I buy soooo many fewer comics. I'm not convinced that's a bad thing.

East of West 16 - For what it's worth, I also grabbed The World handbook, which I found very useful insofar as getting a nice little recap. But this issue picks up with the Apocalypse kids right where that issue left off, so it was even more than that. As far as the humans (or post-humans, where the Endless are concerned) we get to see some consolidation, some firming up of allies (the PRA and the aforementioned Endless), we get to see naiveté is not over (thanks America) and we get to see that there might be some hope for the ones we previously thought were hopeless - although I won't be holding my breath.

When I only grab one, I don't push for a book of the week.