This Week’s Comics

It’s reassuring to see all the independent titles on my pull list this week.  It makes me miss DC titles that much less.  Here are this week’s new and noteworthy books.

  • FEAR ITSELF #7 POINT ONE – Err…I thought the Point One issues were jumping-on points for new readers.  Isn’t Fear Itself over?
  • GOON #36 – Always a solid read, last month’s issue (written by Evan Dorkin) was more hilarious that usual.  I hope they get the band back together soon.
  • HULK #44 – I recently finished reading the first year or so of Jeff Parker’s Hulk and it’s everything you could possibly want.  Namely, the Hulk beating the tar out of Marvel’s classic giant monsters. Highly recommended if you enjoy big things hitting other big things without taking itself too seriously.
  • INFINITE VACATION #3 (OF 5) – I really enjoyed the first couple issues of Infinite Vacation, a sci-fi tale of hopping bodies with other-dimensional yous, but then…It dropped off the face of the Earth.  I’m really glad it’s shown up again, and looking forward to seeing where Nick Spencer and Christian Ward take us.
  • LAST OF THE GREATS #2 – With the grand experiment in full effect, I’ve picked up more Image and indie titles with strong covers that I’d ordinarily buy.  Last of the Greats had an amazing cover by Brent Peeples, but unfortunately the story by Joshua Fialkov was a somewhat generic tale of humanity’s betrayal of 7 godlike aliens and their attempts to get the last of them to save us from another attack.  Oh, and the “Great” is a huge dick.*  The interior art by Peeples was passable, but stilted and not very dynamic.  I’ll not be picking up the rest of this series, beautiful covers or no.
  • PEANUTS #0
  • ROGER LANGRIDGES SNARKED #2 – Roger Langridge’s new Alice in Wonderland-style book has impressed both of us, with Matt’s tolerance for the poetry a bit higher than mine.  This is an all-ages title that is truly for all ages, and the jokes don’t stop with the dialogue, as Langridge crams each panel full of jokes.  Highly recommended.
  • STRANGE TALENT OF LUTHER STRODE #2 (OF 6) – Much like Last of the Greats, Luther Strode is another title I picked up solely on the basis on a strong cover and an intriguing blurb on the Bullpen Bulletins (or whatever thing they’re calling it) on that month’s Image Comics.  Unlike LotG, I enjoyed this book a lot.  Luthor Strode sends away for a Charles Atlas-style bodybuilding kit and is turned into a huge punching machine.  While there are enough internal organs and splatter effects to fill a Mark Millar comic, I felt there was enough heart in the story to get me to come back and see how it turns out. Recommended with reservations, as it could turn either way.

Rick Veitch is an enormously talented comic creator, both as a writer and an artist.  When I saw The Big Lie in the aforementioned Bullpen Bulletins, I thought it had a solid chance of being a good read and expected something like Brought to Light, by his frequent collaborator Alan Moore.  Big Lie concerns Sandra Mansfield, who travels back to September 11, 2001 in an attempt to rescue her husband Carl from the World Trade Center before it collapses.  Armed with her trusty iPad full of evidence, she sets out to provide enough proof to convince him to evacuate.

In itself, great idea.  In practice, it’s a mess.  Veitch spends too much time establishing the pseudoscience for how time travel works, when we all know it’s just a plot device to cram in all of the evidence he wants to tell us that 9/11 was an inside job.  Once he gets to that, all we get is a bunch of rushed strawman arguments and proof that the Carl is such a huge douche** that I find it hard to believe she would cross the street to save this asshole’s life, much less invent time travel to do so.

In the end, the only people who would buy this book have heard this argument already, told better.  You may be tempted to check this one out, but it’s a book better suited for laying down and avoiding.

Godzilla: Kingdom of Monsters started off really strong with just it’s premise: Godzilla and a bunch of monsters are going to pound the stuffing out of each other.  And it started like that, but then it turned into The Walking Dead, where the monsters are just the backdrop for telling the survivors’ tales.  Which is fine, just not what I picked up the book for.  Phil Hester stopped doing the art with issue 4, Eric Powell and Tracy Marsh are leaving, and there’s no third act anywhere in sight.  Truly, it’s all middle, which is okay, but we still need story arcs with beginnings and endings.  KoM feels like it’s meandering along, and I’ll pick up the next issue to see what the next writer can do with it, but everything that got me hooked is now gone and unless something changes I will be, too.

Apparently I’ve had a lot to say this week!  My ongoing pull list is still a thing, and going well.  Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @LEMURComics (Hi Larry!).  What are YOU looking at this week?

*Seriously, I can’t believe that this is the only new take anyone’s had on Superman in 20 years, since The Rob created  Supreme in 1992.
**She’s 10 years older and he doesn’t recognize her at all.  Sorry, 10 years doesn’t add THAT much baggage to your face.

Getcher Adjectives Heer!

Comics are stuck in a rut, aren’t they?  It used to be, when a new comic launched you got a bold new proclamation just in the title! Amazing Spider-Man!  Uncanny X-Men!  Giant-Size Man-Thing! Now, though…Well, now comic title’s are just the character’s name or a recycle title from days past (think All-Star Western or Journey Into Mystery).  But we’re here to help!  For this week’s LIST we present All-New, All Different Adjectives for Comic Titles!
  • The Many Snacks of Jonah Hex

  • Superman: Gastronome

  • The Canny X-Men

  • The Splendid Spider-Man

  • The Loquacious Spectre

  • Stroll Into Mystery

  • Everyday Events In Space

  • Tamed Western Tales

  • The Sane Tick

  • Political Action Comics

  • Decaffeinated Green Lantern

  • The Foyer of Dracula

  • The Silky Caress of the Man-Thing

  • The Mustachioed Adventures of Superman

  • The Erogenous Aquaman

Game Tape

It was a big Marvel week for me; lately they’re mostly Marvel weeks. So here’s what’s worth talking about.

Astonishing X-Men #43

Astonishing X-Men #43 feels like a filler issue while creative teams are shifted. Your mileage may vary on this one, but It had nothing to offer me after the eye-catching Arthur Adams cover. Basically if you’ve ever seen an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, then you’ve already seen this story. The team-up between Emma Frost and Danger reads like Troi and Data exploring what it means to be human. It’s a done-in-one so that’s nice, but that’s about all it gets points for.

Since the only two X-book I’ve been following are essentially self contained, I was surprised at how easy it was to jump into Jason Aaron’s Wolverine and the X-Men. The first issue is good. Seriously solidly good. Aaron conceived of the perfect way to introduce readers to the new school and to this faction of X-Men in general. There are some fantastic bits of dialogue, and Aaron nails each character’s distinct voice. Aaron’s also introduced several nice bits of potential conflict as well as an interesting new baddie. This was a dense and well paced first issue. Heck, I even liked Bachalo’s art. That’s saying something considering until the last year or so he was on my least favorite artist list somewhere near Kelley Jones. If you can find it this week, this is a title worth grabbing. This book is the winner of the week. I’m pretty sure this one will make it to the pull list.

All-Star Western #2

All-Star Western #2 reveals that the Crime Bible made it through to the new 52. Yay? So the Jack the Ripper style villain turns out to be something larger…and probably better. Hex has more to do in this issue, and Arkham gets knocked about a bit. Not a bad middle of the story. I wonder how much, if at all, Palmiotti and Gray have shifted their views and approach to story with the new editorial mandates. Was this Hex in Gotham story already planned? The El Diablo back-up feature was nice if a little bland. It’s a good introduction to the character; I just wish we didn’t have to suffer through more zombies. My hatred for the slackjaws borders on the Goon-esque. Still, it’s a good solid western.

In Brief

FF #11 is a roiling boil before things spill into Fantastic Four #600 and FF #12. Less space but much more talking, and we’re reminded that Annihilus is still out there plotting.

Superman #1 was okay. It hits all the right notes, there just isn’t much oomph in it. It’s the difference between writing because you’re in love with the character and you’ve got something to say versus simply being in love with the character. Enthusiasm alone does not carry too far. If I can get #2 on the cheap, we’ll see if it improves.

Secret Avengers continues to be good vintage Warren Ellis. It’s a fun combination of action and character. The art in this one is a treat too. Sort of Will Eisner style layouts on LSD.


Turns out bee farming is a great way to kick a chronic masturbation habit.


Did you ever fall asleep in history class? That’s what it’s like hanging out with Kid Eternity.


I lied on my All-Star Squadron application… I never punched Hitler, but at the 1936 Olympics I did spill my soda pop in his lap.


I did not appreciate the licenses that those writers and directors took with my 1970’s bio-pic: Harold and Maude.


Merkin and Blumpkin are the names of my two trained bees.


This Week’s Comics

A good number of indie books and an X-Title back on the ol’ pull list.  Who’da thunk it?!?!?!  Here’s this week’s noteworthy titles.

  • DAREDEVIL #5 – Back issues of Mark Waid’s Daredevil title has been REALLY hard to find, presumably because of how damn good everyone is saying it is.
  • FF #11
  • GLADSTONES SCHOOL FOR WORLD CONQUERORS #6 – One of the few titles I’m allowing myself to pick up new, and I can’t find issue #5 ANYWWHERE!  Damn!
  • GODZILLA KINGDOM OF MONSTERS #8 – While I’m still digging this book, I wish there were more clear-cut story arcs.  As it is, each issue just adds on to the events without any clear goal in mind.  Maybe IDW just wants to tell The Walking Dead with kaiju?
  • RED WING #4 (OF 4)
  • TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES ONGOING #3 – A surprisingly good reboot of the Turtles’ continuity, I’m enjoying this one a lot.  Worth picking up for some old-school comic storytelling.
  • VENOM #8
  • WOLVERINE AND X-MEN #1 – Jason Aaron gets his own X-Title coming out of Schism, and even though I more or less figured I’d never be able to wrap my head around X-continuity again, I’m going to give it a shot.

That’s it for this week.  What are YOU looking at?

Sweet Smell of Success…THE LIST

Signature scents are a multi-million dollar business for the Hollywood and sports set. It is no different in the world of capes and cowls. What else could keep Spidey in web-fluid? This week we look at the world of perfumes and colognes in a list I like to call “Smells Like Team Spirit.”

Hank Pym’s Desperation – This scent comes in both a perfume and a cologne. It effectively captures the essence of Hank Pym with a blend of comic book convention, drunken party hook-up, and subtle after tones of mom’s basement. Sold exclusively through Hot Topic stores.

D-Man’s Eau de Nuit – New York.  The Big Apple. The City That Never Sleeps.  There’s a certain joie de vivre in the city and its essence can be boiled down to it’s smell.  An unseemly mix of burning tires,
sour milk, and the aroma of 19 million people, Eau de Nuit captures the soul of the city, shakes it up and says “this is me, this is who I am.”  Caution: may burn eyes.

Aquaman’s Eau d’Eau – Smells like being smacked in the face with a fish.

Riddler’s Enigma – This olfactory assault combining Parmesan cheese, cod liver oil and rancid fat will have the women mystified. Puzzled as you walk by, they’ll scream “What is that smell?”… That’s the Enigma.

Kurt Wagner’s Nightcrawler – A deep musk scented with just a mysterious hint of smoky brimstone, this scent will have you
swashbuckling like the pirate you are!

Dr. Strange’s Sorceress Supreme – This exotic blend of patchouli, vanilla, and lapsang souchong is a power scent guaranteed to help you reach new heights in the boardroom or the bedroom.

Man-Thing’s The Touch – A strong musky smell reminiscent of fresh cut grass. Wearing this on a date will ensure that you reach her nexus of all realities.

Kara Starr’s Power Girl – You may not have an enormous exposure of decolletage, but you’ll smell like you do.

Ken Hale’s The Jungle – A subtle aroma of banana sends you swinging through the trees in this new scent, evocative of the paradise that is jungle.  A truly unisex eau de toilette, The Jungle is perfect for any boy or gorilla.

Game Tape

Uggghhhh… The last two weeks of books were pretty meh. Not awful, but not worth commenting on. This week is something else altogether.

I check Previews and the new releases religiously every week, but somehow Tales Designed to Thrizzle always surprises me when it’s in my box. This time around it’s a mixed blessing. It’s got all the great craziness, but I’m not sold on the whole color thing. Part of what I really loved about Kupperman’s original strips was the shading, line work, and amazing detail in his panels. The color flattens it in the same way that Ted Turner’s colorization flattened so many movies in the 1980’s. Loved the stories and fake ads, but please go back to black and white.

I ended up getting Scott Snyder’s Batman #’s 1 and 2 this week, and I’m impressed. While there’s an over-arching mystery, and who knew Batman could solve mysteries?, enough Batmany things are happening per issue to keep it interesting. Given the Bat-world’s relationship to owls, it’s a clever choice as an adversary. More impressive is that Bruce Wayne is getting a fair amount of quality panel time. So the writing’s good as is the art. Editorially, there are problems. Everyone is younger again. While in and of itself this is not a problem, coupling it with the edict that there have only been vigilantes and superheroes for 5 years creates some sticky questions. Obviously there’s the question of cramming 99% of continuity into 5 years. More problematic, how is Damian not a toddler? My suggestion: forget the stupid editorial mistakes and enjoy a good old DCU story.

This week marked an end of the first volume of Uncanny X-Men. I picked it up out of sentimental reasons; Uncanny  was the first series I collected regularly. I haven’t really followed the book in about 12 years, so I knew some things wouldn’t make sense… namely in this case: Mr. Sinister’s ominous scenes. Still, I was curious how to see how it would end. Gillen didn’t disappoint. Like a good series finally, things are wrapped up with a look to the future, and someone is there to turn out the lights in the last scene. For those that have been following, this is probably more of an epilogue or coda to the recent events of Schism. What I’ve heard and read about the X-Universe lately has me wondering if it isn’t time to come back.

In brief:

Transformers #28 probably had a good script. The art hid most of it. I understand the stylistic choice to have different artists depicting action on Earth and Space/Cybertron, but they made an difficult to interpret choice for Cybertron.

Fear Itself ended this week with #7, and it was plagued by the same problem as early issues. It only tells clips from the story letting the crossover titles wrap things up. Gone are the days when you could read the event title and get a solid complete story. Oh well…The epilogues were nice though…especially the shocking one involving the Hulk.

GI JOE: Real American Hero #171 told a good mission story involving some of my favorite Joes. The title isn’t groundbreaking, but it’s always damn good fun. Sometimes that’s all I’m looking for in a book.