Monday, September 21, 2015

comics for the week of 09/16/15.

While we're waiting for things to settle in the Big Two Universes, let's have a look at one of the books that's done well to avoid the whole mess, Hawkeye, just like Daredevil did a couple weeks ago. Fantastic.

Hawkeye 5 - Hah! What a bizarro twist to what had previously been an ordinary (and I mean that in every good sense of the word) book! That ending? Hahahaha. Weirdness. But the new direction for this book is great. I know I've said it for five issues straight, but I'm really impressed by what Lemire and Perez have been able to do here, after Aja and Fraction had accomplished previously. The biggest knock on this issue was the art, which wasn't up to its previous standards, but that's still a pretty minimal complaint. I'll be interested to see how far they take the future angle.

Invincible 123 - The best part about not reading Previews is that I get to be genuinely surprised by twists like the one at the end of this issue. I mean, Hawkeye was cool and all, but we've seen that (in comics in general, in the MU in particular) before...we've never seen this in Invincible before. And I'm convinced of Kirkman's words at the end in the letters column, too: I think this is not going to be a reboot, in fact, and that there'll be long, meaningful impact here. This is an amazing opportunity to do some great work. And let's be real, it's not like the whole issue hinged on the twist. It was yet another showcase for Kirkman, proving how much he loves Mark and how dedicated he is to the idea of a family in superhero comics form. I wish more people had the balls to tell stories like Invincible. This was great. Eve had a great day, Mark had a great day, Oliver is growing up, and we have this new angle at the end to deal with.

Book of the week goes to Invincible. If it all turns out to be a fakeout, I'll be pissed. But I don't think it will.

Monday, September 14, 2015

comics for the week of 09/09/15.

Things are slow with the mainstream universes. Marvel's Secret Wars is taking longer than expected and DC is miring in the slog. Good thing we've got the goodness found outside the Big Two. (And Spider-Man. Always Spider-Man.)

Bitch Planet 5 - Worth the wait. But now there'll be another wait, huh? With the end of volume one we see, and Kelly Sue directly tells us, that no one is safe. It's gonna be a hell of a ride, especially if these awesome ladies can't beat the guards. I know they were cheating, but you're shitting yourself if you think the pros won't do far, far worse. This is an amazing book for our time.

Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows 5 - Well, fuck Quesada's variant covers and his self-indulgent delight in knowing how he's screwed over so many Spider-Man fans, but good on this story for making use of the "Renew Your Vows" title in a meaningful way so that it's not JUST a dig at the marriage and its fans. The story ends the only way it could, with a To Be Continued... which felt right. Of course, before then, the Parkers team up to beat Regent and we see the ordinary people of the world turn against him because he's threatening a little girl. That doesn't seem likely when they were all for him killing the superheroes, but nobody ever said superhero stories have the greatest logic. Hawkeye continues to get special treatment, as he should, but the true thread of this story was the family. It was nice to have in a Spider-Man story once again.

The Walking Dead 146 - So the cover turned out to be a lie (except for the fact that that scene actually happened) but the leaders aren't actually squabbling to that degree. But that's OK (and good, even!) because they're going to need to be on the same page if they're going to take on the Whisperers. And it certainly seems like they're going to. While Rick is trying to convey the scope of the threat he's seen, his people are furious. But they don't understand. And I don't think that Rick Grimes is going to back away from this fight. He's just trying to figure out the approach. I think Maggie will help, and I even think there'll be a role for Negan? Is that out of left field? I don't know. But the cover for next issue makes me think that things are going to get worse before they get better, because if anyone's known for stupid, childish overreactions, it's the kids. And off they go. I don't really think the last page of Eugene looking menacing will come to any meaningful fruition, but I do think that might be an option that gets them out and "running away" which might set the stage for frenzy?

Book of the week goes to Bitch Planet. Heart loves Spidey, but Kelly Sue is just doing a better book and that's a fact.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

comics for the weeks of 08/26/15 & 09/02/15.

Lumberjanes is also out this week and is always excellent, you should get there, too.

Civil War 3 - Huh. Well, that was a weird issue. I mean...both missions were successful, to a degree, but did either one of them get what they truly wanted? It seems like Cap's side is ahead for now, but I'm not sure what that's actually going to mean with the knowledge that a third party is involved...in...some way. Either way, it's still fun, Yu is doing fine work on the pencils and the story still feels like a clear possibility. Good stuff, not vital, but it'll make for some solid memories.

East of West 20 - Year 2 of the Apocalypse starts with a bang. The Union is trying to stave off war while the Endless Nation and the House of Mao are teaming up. But we see some treachery lying in the wings, not from whom we'd expect. I like the alliances that we'll see in this part because I think it'll make all the various parts easier to keep track of. I'm sad we didn't see Babylon this issue, but there'll always be time for him - he's a central player.

Fight Club 4 - Jesus. Palahniuk is into the meta-ficiton now, too, huh? OK, so I have no idea what happened here, other than Sebastian appears to be in the house, making soap, and meets up with Angel Face, almost beats him in a fight, but then loses due to nostalgia? And there's creeping signs (not just the obvious author cameo) that we know we're reading a work of fiction? Is Chuck the one who gives Marla the advice to get the kids to go overseas? Are they actually joining some of the fighting groups? Are we supposed to believe there's ANY Make A Wish foundation that would actually even send them there, much less get that close to the madness? No way, right? So is it all in her head? In his? In ours? Is this some sort of test? The Mack covers continue to be gorgeous, I'll tell you that much.

New MGMT 1 - Well well well. It's finally done, but the last page was perfect. Meru wins. There's a new MGMT. But there's just enough left over that things are still...in flux? I wouldn't even say that. I would just say that it was well-written. It wasn't the best written conclusion I've ever read, but it was almost exactly what it should have been and what it needed to be. I'm thankful for the series as a whole and for the fact that Matt Kindt succeeded in this ambitious look at something that used to be a lot more common: making good comics fun again and sell good numbers from month to month. Plus, it kicked ass the whole way out. It'll make a solid recommendation for any comic fan at any time.

Old Man Logan 4 - Well, that was fun, if only a one-note bit of fun. But I liked the crossover from the rest of the Battleworld storylines, and I like where it left Old Man Logan. We can see, maybe, where he's going to join up in the All New Marvel U. But for now, it's just a filler issue, showing old Wolvie taking on a whole world of zombies. Fun.

Book of the week goes to New MGMT. Let's not mourn its passing, let's celebrate its existence.

*

Happy late Labor Day! Instead of working, I ran, broke my phone, and read comics. In other words, it was a near perfect three day weekend.

Angel and Faith 14 - Interesting, fun, and another ending that I didn't truly understand. Drusilla still didn't look much like her character, but the ending with Faith and Fred on the rooftop having some vino felt real. We obviously learn why Mary was the prize, but I don't get the relevance of the statue, so I'm assuming it'll be cleared up for me some time soon. Fine issue, nothing special.

Daredevil 14 - A great end to a great run on a great series. It's funny to think, but since DD was relaunched in the Marvel Knights line, it's probably been the most consistently great Marvel book? I mean, shit. And the tonal shifts on this last run really hit their stride in this move to SF, the alliance with the DA, the refocus on Foggy and the friendship of he and Matt. There were so many good things about this run that I can overlook an imperfect last issue because it was damn good, just like the rest of the book. It wasn't perfect, but you know what? It doesn't have to be. It was fun and some of the most pure joy comics I've read in a long time. Thanks to Waid and Samnee for making things fun again while proving that fun doesn't have to mean wacky, off-the-wall, not-important-to-continuity bullshit. This was important. This matters. And it can still be fun.

Rachel Rising 36 - Well wasn't that just a perfect mixture? The gang of three are plotting their way into the Big Bad and his demise, we see just a smidgen of the guy who (probably) killed Rachel, and we get that amazing little glimpse into Jet and Earl. Those wordless panels, man, I love them. (And I know my buddy Dave Jordan loves them even more.) Terry Moore seems to finally be back on track and I'm loving this book again.

Book of the week goes to Daredevil. I think RR was probably actually better, but Waid and Samnee went out on a high note and I expect Moore to continue, so there's more opportunity for him.