This Week’s Comics

Another light week, and a sad, sad day for comicdom.  I’m picking up one book this week, ATLAS #5, which brings that series to a close. Since Jeff Parker has brought Jimmy, Ken, and pals with him on other books he’s written I don’t think this will be the last we see of them, but it’s disappointing that such an excellent book can’t find the sales numbers it needs to stay running.

Last week saw some very good books come out.  Fantastic Four continues Jonathan Hickman’s incredible run, with new artist Steve Epting on-board with his stellar pencils.  I was especially impressed by the scene with Doom, where it really dawned on me that Victor is a part of the family as much as anyone else.  Sure, he’s the crazy uncle nobody talks about, but despite multiple murder attempts it’s clear that he’s as much a part of the family as Ben Grimm.  Just not, you know….welcome.

Going into this issue Galactus is dead and Doom has lost his intellect.  Are these hanging plot threads from Mark Millar’s run?

And speaking of Millar, I continue to be pleasantly surprised with Nemesis.  The book has plenty of action, enough twists to keep me engaged, and the characters are in precarious enough positions that it doesn’t feel like one issue is going to be enough to wrap everything up.  Knowing Millar, it will be just enough.

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

This Week’s Comics

I’m running a day late due to a L.E.M.U.R. Comics Blog family reunion, as Matt and I sat around my living room talking comics rather than blogging about them. There are some really solid books out this week. New stuff to try, the conclusion of one of the best series of the 00’s, and more. Here’s what I’m looking at this week.

  • ALAN MOORE NEONOMICON #1 (OF 4) – I tend not to care about most books put out by Avatar. Creators tend to take the lack of editing (or maybe more accurately, standards and practices,) as a reason to come up with the most disgusting books they can. Still, a new mini by Alan Moore is cause for celebration, and I’ll probably be snagging this one.
  • ATLAS #3 – In light of last week’s new that Atlas will be ending with issue 5, if you haven’t read this yet, start with the first collections and pick this book up once it’s collected. I suspect this won’t be the last we see of our agents, though, since Jeff Parker will still be working in the Marvel Universe and he tends to bring his best characters with him.
  • BATMAN BEYOND #2 (OF 6) – I enjoyed the first issue, though I’m not really sure if this comic has legs. I’ll be picking up #2 to make sure.

    With the Scott Pilgrim movie almost here, Bryan Lee O’Malley gives us the final book of the Scott Pilgrim saga. So far each book has been better than the one before, so I’m expecting big things from this one.

  • THUNDERBOLTS #146 – Jeff Parker, Juggernaut, and Man-Thing. If that doesn’t sell you, nothing can.
  • TIME MASTERS VANISHING POINT #1 (OF 6) – I’m not sure if I’ll wind up picking this one up, but this kicks off the DCU side of Return of Bruce Wayne, and we’ll learn why Superman and Booster Gold are trying to stop Batman from returning to the present. Um, Clark? You can’t.

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

This Week’s Comics

Thanks to everyone who came by to check out my piece on cover prices this weekend, and especially to everyone who’s commented.  I hope we can make quite a conversation out of this.

As for this week’s comics…Well, there’s not much of note this week. And most of the noteworthy books are pretty pricey.  Still, let’s dive in.

  • ASTRO CITY SILVER AGENT #1 (OF 2) – I’ve resolved to start talking more about Astro City.  Maybe I shouldn’t since I don’t have a full run (or even most recent issues), but I know enough to remember that Silver Agent was Astro City’s greatest hero.  It will be very cool to see him, even if for only 2 issues.
  • BATMAN #701 – More Morrison, that’s all I care about.
  • GORILLA MAN #1 (OF 3) – I can’t believe we had to wait for The Uranian and Namora to get their own books before Ken Hale, the Gorilla Man and hands-down greatest Agent of Atlas, to get his.
  • STUFF OF LEGEND THE JUNGLE #1 (OF 4) – The first Stuff of Legend book was terrific, and I’m glad to see there’s more on the way.  Highly recommended if you’re looking for something different.

The biggest news of last week was how great the newest issue of Batman and Robin is.  Morrison’s masterpiece is really building up now, and it’s incredible.  Damian’s interactions with the Joker were
brilliantly accomplished, and Morrison really straddled the line between Batman of the past (the scenes with Dick and Commissioner Gordon reminded me of the 60’s TV show) and the future (the madness of
the Joker and Robin).  This book was superbly done, and a lesson to anyone still writing 6-issue arcs of Batman versus generic gangsters.

I’ll close this week on a sad note, the passing of Harvey Pekar, of American Splendor fame.  His was truly a unique voice in comics, and one that will be missed in comics.

Update: Yes, I stole this from this post over at Comics Alliance.  I’m not proud.  And I think it looks awesome.

This Week’s Comics

It’s another short week, but that’s okay.  I picked up TONS of killer quarter books from ComicFest yesterday so I’ve got plenty to read (West Coast Avengers, here I come!).  Here’s what I’m looking at this week:

  • AVENGERS VS ATLAS #4 (OF 4) – And we come to the end of the time-spanning AoA vs Avengers crossover.  It’s been cool to see our Agents meeting up with different eras of Avengers, and this is has been a great fill-in until the new Atlas series starts up.
  • GREEN LANTERN #53 – Post-Blackest Night, this is probably where we’ll see the most in terms of cosmic DCU after-shocks.  I’m looking forward to it.  For all of Johns’ recent shortcomings, they haven’t been on this title.

Which brings us, somehow, to last week.  I was able to restrain myself from picking up Flash #1, but in spite of Matt’s unimpressed review and Chris Sims’ outright negative review I had to pick up Brightest Day #0 for myself.  They’re both right, and the first page with it’s dead baby bird and precious use of the phrase “Brightest Day” should have been my first indication.  The whole book is super-navel gazing not super-heroing, and while that works to some extent for a first issue, there’s no indication it’s going to get any better, just that we’re going to get another version of 52 starring Deadman.  Thanks but no thanks.

I also have a problem with Johns’ version of Guy Gardner.  At first I liked that he was still a jerk, but the good-hearted side shone through a little more.  Now he’s just written like “Earnest Guy Gardner” from the JLI days, except not funny or ironic.  Here was a character you hated, true, but he at least had his own personality different from anyone else in the DCU.  Now he’s just like every other Lantern: sincere, dammit!  And I think I’m going to pass from here on out.

So that’s it for me.  What are YOU Getting?

This Week’s Comics — And Some Quickie Reviews

AVENGERS VS ATLAS #3 (OF 4) – Any week with a new Atlas book is a week that I’m drooling for getting to the comic shop.  Thank you Jeff Parker.
BATMAN #697 – I wish I could stop getting this boring, boring book, but getting Batman every month is like breathing.
JOE THE BARBARIAN #3 (OF 8 ) – I haven’t gotten the first issue yet so I haven’t read the second, but I’m really looking forward to sitting down with this and reading a big chunk of it.  It’s been getting stellar reviews everywhere else.
MARVEL BOY URANIAN #3 (OF 3) – I still maintain that this is one of those “throw it at the wall and see if it sticks” books Marvel’s been doing, but it’s sticking for me.  This is the conclusion of the story of our weirdest agent of Atlas in the 1950’s, with some surprisingly good Golden Age reprints in the back.  This proves Marvel CAN print a $4 book that gives us enough extra bang for our buck.
MUPPET SHOW #3 – Oh, crud.  The reminder that I haven’t sent Matt his copy of #2 yet, and I swore to myself I wouldn’t read it until I do. This is the other drool-worthy book of the week.
SIEGE #3 (OF 4) – The first two issues of this were surprisingly good: fast-paced, full of action, and with a definite goal at the end. Hopefully this bookend can put the last 8 years of Marvel’s weirdness behind us.

I’ve read some really solid stuff the past week, including new comics!  Ex Machina #48 isn’t the last issue after all, but it was the strongest in ages as Mitchell Hundred and his evil counterpart start getting closer and closer to each other.  Weekly World News #3 is experiencing diminishing returns, as Ed Anger basically just crosses the country being a conservative hate-monger.  We get it already.  Based on the talk from the back of the book, more minis aren’t guaranteed.  It would be nice to see more stories, but  perhaps 3 issues each would be enough.  Batman and Robin #10 was the hit of last week, kicking off the Return of Bruce Wayne with a new mystery that will tie in nicely with the “Batman Through the Ages” theme they’ll be doing. I find it a little hard to believe that with as many times as the manor has been destroyed that there are any secrets still hidden, but I’ll suspend that disbelief, even as I wish this story was in the main title rather than some dull “Long Halloween” rehash.  I find myself amazed to start liking Damian, almost as amazed as I am that he’s liking being Robin.

I picked up the Ghost Riders: Heaven’s On Fire mini and was thrilled to see that Jason Aaron wrapped everything up very nicely.  There’s too much coolness in there to go into in brief, but if you liked his run on the main series, this won’t disappoint.

So that’s it for me.  What are YOU getting?

This Week’s Comics

It looks like Diamond may have moved their list of new releases.  Either way, it’s out.  Here’s what I’m looking at.

AVENGERS VS ATLAS #2 (OF 4) – How many different ways can I say that Jeff Parker’s Agents of Atlas books are the best comics on the stands? Apparently only one.
BATMAN #696 – Whatever.  Why can’t DC keep this book interesting???
GREEN LANTERN #51 – Having just read issue #50, for once I feel like I’m up to speed for a new issue!
STARMAN OMNIBUS HC VOL 04 – I feel like Starman would have benefitted from Absolute Editions rather than just thick hardcovers (especially for $50!), but these are pretty nice.  Plus, it’ll let you get all caught up for Matt’s Annotations.
WEEKLY WORLD NEWS #2 – I really enjoyed the first issue, so I’ll be picking this up.  Ed Anger, Bat Boy, PhD Ape, and the cloud that looks like Satan.  How can you go wrong?

So that’s it for me.  What are YOU getting?

Game Tape: The Ultimate Sacrifice

Wednesday has come and gone. The heroes have fought their battles and villains have hinted at things to come. Now it’s time to review the game tape…

This week’s return comes with that not so fresh and not so clean feeling. There were two stores in town: mine and the other. I got this week’s comics from the other store…feels dirty. The guy behind the counter was, if you’ll pardon the expression, practically creaming his pants at the thought of another customer moving from my old store. Anyway…

How lucky to get two GI Joe books in one week. Origins #11 featured Beach Head. I want to say it was great, but I’m going to say this one was only okay. I think my judgement’s clouded on this issue. I love Beach Head. The more Beach Head, the merrier. As much as I appreciate the prevalence of green in his character design, it’s the voice got me. Really, it’s the voice casting as a whole that made the show so enjoyable for me. But I digress. Boilerplate story about soldiers sent to South America to stop a drug cartel. Things kinda go south. It’s Beach Head though so…Yay!

The regular series saw issue #14 come out. It’s enjoyable, but there wasn’t much to it. Extract Professor MacGuffin before Cobra does. Could have been better if it hadn’t felt so rushed. Bazooka fans will enjoy this though. Oh…and we see Snake-Eyes having a one-sided “come to Jesus” talk with the Hard Master.

I’m curious to hear what Jesse thinks of Starman 81 (Blackest Night). We were both really big Starman fans back in the day. This book is the reason I gave in and drove out of the way to this other store this week.

For me, this issue was a little schizophrenic. Some scenes were classic Robinson with hip (or at least obscure) pop culture references and a charming talkyness. Other parts of the book felt too fast. Scenes that should have taken their time were written in a choppy short hand. On the plus side, it gives readers a nice picture of Opal post-Jack. If we’re all lucky, Jesse will finally regale us with the story of how and why he was stalked and accosted by James Robinson.

Dan Slott is back on deck for Amazing Spider-Man #618. There’s a new arc with Mysterio and the Maggia crime family. Beating up gangsters and getting beaten up by Aunt May make for a pretty good issue. I think my favorite moment in the book is on the very first page, but I’m a sucker for a good (read: bad) pun. Looking forward to seeing where this is headed.

I also picked up Spider-Man 1602 #4 and Avengers vs. Agents of Atlas #1, but I haven’t read them yet. I want to savor these two Parker gems so I’ll post those over the weekend.

Unfortunately, this other store does not carry the Muppet books. I’m out last week’s regular book and this week’s Peter Pan #4. I’m beginning to suspect that the universe is conspiring against me and my comic collection.

Game Tape…the late edition

Wednesday has come and gone. The heroes have fought their battles and villains have hinted at things to come. Now it’s time to review the game tape…

This week was one of the best weeks for me in a long time.

I rediscovered two Jeff Parker penned issues and read a slew of things I had been looking forward to. It was a week of surprises: a true Festivus miracle!

First up is a book I kind of took a risk on: Mighty Avengers #32. After Jesse reminded me how much I love Dan Slott’s prose and seeing the preview pages on Newsarama, I figured I’d pad the light week with this one. Where else am I going to read the great line, “Let’s smite the hell out of something”? This issue is solid considering I’m not that keen on the whole idea of multiple Avengers teams working at a cross purpose with Osborne heading one of them. I’ve always liked Loki as an idea; here his grand game of chess plays out quite interestingly. The real strength was in something I thought would never happen: I liked Hank Pym. The guy’s been an Avenger since God was a kid, but he’s usually so whiny and self-doubty. If I want to read that, I’ll read 90’s Kyle Rayner or any Superman story from the last 5 years. Slott makes Pym interesting by making a self assured genius, refering to himself as “Scientist Supreme.” I may have to make a concerted effort to find Slott’s issues on the cheap in a few months or remember to get the trade.

Next up is Thunderbolts #138 and #139. I remember reading about these months ago, but forgot them in the mean time. Given my love of Secret Six, you would think this title would be a natural. Bad guys working toward agendas which sometimes workout in everyone’s best interest…intentionally or not. There just hasn’t been a writer on the title I’ve cared about… Warren Ellis aside. Walking down the wall of books though, I saw that this week’s book was written by Jeff Parker and featured the Agents of Atlas. Apparently so did the previous issue. It ties in nicely to the encounter with Osborne in Parker’s AoA title. The art here is sometimes over inked and difficult to tell what’s what…especially given that the action happens at night or in poorly lit areas. I was especially pleased to find that Parker’s light and breezy dialogue and pacing works just as well when bent toward a more twisted crowd. If you’re looking for something else to read this week, These two books might do the trick. Proving the old Serbian proverb, “You can never go wrong with Jeff Parker.”

This week’s Chimichanga is funny, sweet, and cute. As part of the week of surprises, I never thought I’d use two of those words in association with Eric Powell, the man who wrote Satan’s Sodomy Baby. Don’t worry though, there’s still some potty humor to be found. I’m looking forward to future issues.

Last surprise of the week was Astonishing X-Men. I was seriously considering dropping this title after the Ghost Boxes story arc. I just couldn’t get into it and didn’t want to spend the money on the one-shots. This arc is proving different. You still get the great Ellis ear for dialogue, and now you’ve got Phil Jimenez art. Instead of being more retread of the Bleed idea from Wildstorm, we’ve got a villain using parts of dead mutants to create bio-weapons. While this isn’t a new idea, it works so well here in X-Men. It’s fair to say that Beast and Cyclops are Ellis’ favorite characters here. He writes them so well and they’ve got the best lines. The team itself has finally come together well too. As usual though, the interplay between Brand and Beast is his best writing. This issue we see a different side of the relationship from the usual references to kinky animal-sex. A genuine concern and care is displayed in an odd sort of way. It’s also nice to see the whole team working as a well oiled machine. Sometimes writers forget that most of these characters have been training to fight and work as a team since they were teens. I could go on about this arc as a whole and Ellis’ writing, but that seems excessive so I’ll end. Thank you, Warren Ellis, for restoring my faith in 616 X-Men.

This Week’s Comics — And More!

Diamond Releases for 9/02/09

It’s a pretty light week…

  • AGENTS OF ATLAS #10 – I wish I could say more about this.  AoA is the best book I get, hands down.  If you’re not reading it, you should.  If you are, then you know I’m right.
  • BATMAN #690 – Eh.  Winick’s Batman has been mostly unoffensive.  I wish I could even remember what he’s doing in there, though.  That can’t be a good sign.

Since I feel so bad about not having much to say, a few thoughts on some of last week’s books (SPOILERS ahead):

  • FLASH REBIRTH #4 – Johns is the man on Green Lantern.  I have to give him that.  He takes a nutty idea and makes it work with continuity, and throws in a healthy dose of pseudo-science just so we know we haven’t accidentally wandered into a Warren Ellis comic.  The idea of  the Sinestro Corps was brilliant in that it was so obvious and yet had never been done.  The Roy G. Biv corps seem a little like too much, but I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.  HOWEVER…When he does the exact same thing to the Flash?  It’s just too much for me.  Bring back every wannabe speedster ever?  WTF?  Invent a REVERSE Speed Force?  OMG!  Take an artistic license of how Flash travels at super-speed and turn it into a real thing like “red lightning”?  OMGWTFBBQ!  Too.  Much.  My brain wobbles at the sheer ridiculousness.
  • Fantastic Four #570 – Based on Matt’s glowing review and an otherwise light week I went ahead and picked this up.  It was solid FF’ery, don’t get me wrong, but Alan Moore called and he wanted the Supremacy back.  (Actually, I’m fairly sure Moore borrowed the idea from someplace else, too.)  The big surprise for me wasn’t all of the Reed Richardses, it was what two of them were holding on the last page.  Very cool.  This was a very solid book, it just seemed like a bit of a retread in some places.  PS – Note to Dale Eaglesham: Short sleeves and gloves do NOT go together.

Today’s biggest news is that Disney is in the works to buy Marvel.  Teh Intarwebz, of course, exploded.  Even people not reading comics have some smart-ass comment about Disney Princess/X-Men crossovers.  It’s just a headline, there’s no reason for me to panic, and the deal isn’t even done, yet I’m still queasy about the whole thing.  Pixar was bought by Disney and they’re still putting out quality movies.  DC has been owned by Warner Brothers for decades and they’re still doing fine.  Still…Disney bought Marvel.  It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out.