Books came out, they’ve been read, and here’s what I thought.
I’ve been curious and tempted by A vs X teasers and hype. With issues 0 & 1 out this week (?) my curiosity turns to cynicism and reminds me why I don’t read Bendis anymore. Issue 0 (re)introduces us to Hope and Scarlet Witch in two separate and unconnected stories. It doesn’t bode well for a book when you can sum up a book in two sentences: People really hate Scarlet Witch. A teen with extraordinary powers is rebelling. It took a full issue to dully establish the status quo for the upcoming fracas. The weapons MODOK uses are interesting, but that’s about it.
Issue #1 showed me that things weren’t going to pick up ergo I would not pick up the other issues. If you’ve seen a Roland Emmerich film, you’ve read the first issue. We get quick views into the status quo of the characters we’re supposed to care for. We are introduced to the crisis via a government council meeting. People talk about stuff related to the impending crisis. Something inexplicably explodes. No. No. No.
The only thing that kept All-Star Western #7 from being great was Dr. Arkham. Why is he still around? The story is set in New Orleans. Nighthawk and Cinnamon are there. Potentially great, but there’s the whining and endlessly prattling character narrating and annoying all. He’s supposed to be a foil for Hex, but he’s not much of anything. Someone pop a cap in him.
If you don’t get the tinglies from the last couple of pages of FF #16, we probably won’t have much to say to each other. The rest of the issue isn’t bad, but those last pages…WOW.
I’ve done a little shilling for the Denver Comic Con in these pages lately (June 15-17, get your tickets now!), but there’s something else comic-related happening this summer. Cellar Door, a Denver literary anthology, is releasing an all-comic issue timed to come out around the convention. Titled (and themed) “Ancient,” you’ll see work by some great and committed Denver-area cartoonists. If you’re able to track down a copy, you’ll also see a 9-page story titled “What REALLY Happened to the Seven Wonders of the World,” drawn by FotB Andrew with words by me. It’s a humorous (hopefully!) look at what destroyed mankind’s greatest engineering marvels, and if nothing else it will be amazing to look at.
There’s also a Kickstarter going on to help defray printing costs, which is worth checking out for a little more backstory on the project and the opportunity to snag a copy once it comes out, potentially for less than cover price.
I’m so excited for this week, no preamble. We’re jumping right in! Here are this week’s new and noteworthy releases.
- ATOMIC ROBO REAL SCIENCE ADV #1 $2.75 - New Atomic Robo, and look at that price! Many issues of AR include backup features written by Brian Clevenger and drawn by other available artists. Real Science Adventures takes these from the backups and makes them the featured story. I admit I always appreciate Scott Wegener’s art the most on Robo, partially because he’s just that good, but mainly because the quality of the guest artists tends to fluctuate pretty wildly. Still, new Robo is new Robo, and you can’t go wrong for less than $3.
- BLOODSTRIKE #26 - I am SO torn about this one! On the one hand, it’s Bloodstrike, the main signal that the 90′s had gotten dangerously out of control (yeah, yeah, I read it. Shut up.). On the other, The Rob’s Extreme relaunch has been surprisingly good, so it’s got the virtue of being in good company. I’m in for now.
- DAREDEVIL #10 - I believe I covered this.
- FF #16 - After finally finding FF #1, I’ve read the first year’s worth of stories now. It’s technically good, but I definitely feel like it misses out on part of the appeal of Hickman’s run, namely that just about every story was a standalone but fed into the whole. It was very artfully done, and after 12 issues a complete story hasn’t been told yet. I think that’s pretty poor form. Still, it’s solid FF’ery if you can be patient with it.
- SNARKED #6
- TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES ONGOING #8
I had planned to take this space to mention Greg Rucka’s new Punisher series, but that will have to wait until next week, when I’ll pair it up with Rick Remender’s new Venom. So that’s it for this week. What looks good to you?
We’ve been running our weekly LIST for a while now…82 weeks to be exact, which makes it one of our longest-running features.. We don’t give ourselves a lot of boundaries, but there are some things even we consider crossing the line. For this week’s LIST we take you behind the scenes to LISTS We’ve Scrapped. For one reason or another, these just were not and could not make the cut.
Things found in Alan Moore’s beard
Superheroes’ Favorite Numbers
Heroes that are also Urban Dictionary Entries
Other Things Hank Pym Has Hit
Crimes that would land you in the Phantom Zone
Mutants Based on Kama Sutra Positions
Characters and Titles that never made it past the Comics Code Authority
Fish Aquaman Has Only Commanded Once
Where to hide a body in Gotham City
Other characters Bob Kane has taken credit for
Aunt May’s Favorite Sex Toys
Distances measured in units of Wolverine
Ant-Man’s Trophy Room
Things Rob Liefeld Can Draw Better Than Anyone, Ever
Not much I’m excited about this week. So here are three briefs.
Uncanny X-Men #8 is just okay this month. Basically, the story and the dialogue are more boilerplate than I’ve come to expect from Gillen in this series. There’s a prison break, our superhero team is called to wrangle them, and the Avengers show up to lend a hand. The sense of threat and anything really being at stake are negligible. If this issue was intended to show buddy-buddy status quo of the Avengers and X-men pre A vs X, it didn’t do much outside of tell the reader, “Hey we’re both good guys and we’re fighting bad guys together.” At the end of the issue, I was left feeling like I had finished reading a plot outline rather than an actual story.
The main reason I’ve always enjoyed Eric Powell’s works isn’t the (often excessive) potty humor, nor is it seeing a guy punch the hated slack-jaws into submission. The man knows how to tell a story. This has certainly been evident in the last two issues of The Goon. #37 & 38 actually have little to no involvement from our titular character. In spite of this fact, they have been enjoyable. Both issues deal with (literally and figuratively) strong women surviving in the depression era world of The Goon. As much as I’m looking forward to further stories involving people punching, shooting, and knifing the undead, as long as Powell remembers how to tell a good story I’m on board.
Regarding Batman #7: “Court of Owls” needs to end. The song has played too long. This issue’s “revelation” had the impact of a balled up sheet of paper. While the issues aren’t badly written, this Johnsian decompression is giving me the bends.
With this week gone, here’s to better days.
Such a fun batch of comics this week! Here’s this Wednesday’s new and noteworthy titles.
- AXE COP TP VOL 03 - I skipped Volume 2 because I picked up Bad Guy Earth in the single issue format, but with volume 3 the Nicolle bros. continue the printing of their webcomic. Damn fine madness!
- BATMAN ODYSSEY VOL 2 #6 (OF 7) - Kudos to DC for getting their act together on this book, as it’s been shipping pretty regularly. Unfortunately, volume 1 was unreadable, so I’ve passed up volume 2 completely.
- GOON #38
- INFINITE VACATION #4 (OF 5)
- PROPHET #23 - The first arc of the “All-New, All-Different” Prophet wraps here. Good, low-key sci-fi that you should be checking out.
- REED GUNTHER #9 - Despite reassurances from several sources that this is a good read, my LCS doesn’t get it! So I may never find out.
- ROCKETEER ADVENTURES 2 #1 (OF 4) - I’m very glad to see this Rocketeer anthology return, and the news of an ongoing is certainly welcome, as long as IDW doesn’t oversaturate the market with poor content (see: Godzilla).
- STEED AND MRS PEEL #3 (OF 6) - I wound up missing issue 2 and then realized I didn’t really miss it. Should I go back and give it another try?
- STRANGE TALENT OF LUTHER STRODE #6 (OF 6)
- THUNDERBOLTS #171 - My enthusiasm for this book as been waning; I think it’s stretched too thin by the publishing schedule, but it’s still pretty solid. Enjoy it now before it becomes Dark Avengers!
I haven’t had a chance to read any of last week’s new comics, but that’s okay because I found a copy of Daredevil #1 (the new series, let’s not get crazy) and got to read the first four issue of Mark Waid’s new title. I mentioned being impressed by #8, but 1-4 prove it’s not a fluke.
Matt and I met up a couple weeks ago and he mentioned he’s never been a Daredevil fan. We didn’t get to delve into that any further (I suspect daredevils killed his family when he was a small child), but this is definitely a DD run unlike any other, so I feel it’s worth examining on it’s own merits. It doesn’t diavow anything that’s come previously, but it definitely takes the approach that the character is getting a fresh start. For one, it’s not a dark, dour affair. And complimenting that, it’s definitely a superhero book. In these first issues he fights The Spot and Klaw. The Spot, for crying out loud! And not just played for laughs.
Waid manages to meld the best of Superman and Batman in Matt Murdock, in that he can’t help but hear and address crime across New York, but has only martial training and good intentions to back it up. (Waid manages to throw in a little Hal Jordan/Tony Stark as well, playing up his fearlessness and the the ladies man aspect of his character that MUST have been present this whole time, but never really addressed.)
Marcos Martin and the Paolo/Joe Rivera team are swapping off the art duties. Both are incredibly strong draftsmen and storytellers, and both have novel new ways of displaying Matt’s radar sense, but if you made me choose, I’d pick the Riveras as the stronger team, if for no reason OTHER than how they showcase the radar. It’s truly amazing.
If you — like Matt — have been on the fence (or are off the fence completely) on Daredevil, if you enjoy superhero comics you’ll enjoy Daredevil. The comic springs to life in your hands, and it’s enthusiasm is contagious.
That said, that’s enough for this week. What’s looking good to you?