- ADVENTURE TIME #10
- FF #1 – So Reed Richards selfishly moves the Future Foundation to a mobile headquarters and the tale of their replacements begins here. Even the Fraction/Allred team here doesn’t really interest me, but depending on how desperate I am at my LCS, that might change. It’s how I picked up Fantastic Four #.
- MASKS #1 – Chris Roberson, Alex Ross, and the great pulp heroes. Hell yeah.
There comes a time in a man’s life when he looks back wistfully and reviews the choices that he has made. For me that time happens most Thursday. This is the Game Tape; let’s review shall we?
First up is a look at the best issue of any book that I’ve read in a long time. Goon #39 points out every gimmicky things that Powell sees as being wrong with big company comics today, and for my money he’s not wrong. From reboots and seeming pointless costume changes to poor story craft and jab at a certain rainbow corps, this issue lampoons with a sharp wit.
Next up was an enjoyable done-in-one issue of FF. Without going into detail, this is Peter Parker and Johnny Storm being Peter and Johnny. One’s frustrated, and one is oblivious. I won’t spoil it, but the last two pages are the funniest I’ve seen in a Marvel book since Ego the Living Planet fell in love with Earth. The last page is so great and weird that I’m probably going to use it as my facebook profile pic.
Secret Avengers #26 was fairly meh. It had potential and great art, but it wasted an inordinate amount of time throwing Thor and some b-listers at the Phoenix Force.
All-Star Western #8’s minimal use of the simpering Dr. Arkham was a pleasant read. It’s hampered a little by plot exposition, but it was a decent read.
I also found a copy of Supreme #63. It was as enjoyable as I remembered earlier issues to be. That’s certainly a pleasant surprise, as I’ve recently been burned on things I’ve reread early last decade.
A light batch this time around. Here’s this week’s new and noteworthy titles.
- FANTASTIC FOUR #602 and FF #14 – I confess I don’t know why Marvel decided to release these both on the same day rather than spacing them throughout the month, but I’m getting them both, so I suppose it doesn’t matter.
- GODZILLA KINGDOM OF MONSTERS #11 – And the monsters keep on rollin’.
- SECRET AVENGERS #21.1 – I’m caught up through 17 and looking forward to seeing how Rick Remender takes over.
- TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES ONGOING #6
Last week Prophet #21 led the new Extreme relaunch, surprising just about everybody, myself included. I recently re-read (if you can call it that) a few older issues and even with the reliable Chuck Dixon scripting I found them fairly incomprehensible and Stephen Platt’s — which I remember being impressed with at the time — had not aged well at all.
The conventional wisdom is that this is a European-style book, and while I can’t vouch for that description, it is unlike anything else on the stands right now. The book allow for absolutely no knowledge of what’s come before, and yet contains many of the Liefeldian tropes you’d expect, like giant knives and orbiting space station acronyms. The art is highly detailed, yet easy to read and follow. Earth teems with fauna unlike anything I’ve seen represented in a comic before, a nice sign as to the creativity of the creators. The plot, though a little on the complex side, is definitely easier to follow than the original series.
Prophet #21 is currently sold out, but should you find a copy, snag it. And let it lure you into sampling more of the Extreme 2012 relaunch. Glory, especially, looks to be a winner, and we’ll finally get the rest of Alan Moore’s Supreme scripts with Erik Larsen providing the art.
That’s it for this week. What looks good to you?
An interesting batch of books this week, and a healthy mix. Here’s this week’s noteworthy titles.
- COMP ALAN MOORE FUTURE SHOCKS TP – Interested in Alan Moore’s as-yet uncollected 2000AD work? If you’re like me, you’ve got Halo Jones and DR and Quinch, but aren’t quite willing to track down the short, random pieces of Moore’s work. And now you don’t have to.
- DAREDEVIL #6
- FF #12 – Even though I’ve been finding some issues of FF here and there, this has been the biggest misstep of my pull list experiment. I haven’t had the chance to read any of it since #1 is so hard to find. And yet, based on Hickman’s Fantastic Four, I have no regrets. I’ll fill in those holes eventually.
- HERC #10
- SPACEMAN #2 (OF 9) – Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso’s return to Vertigo. Though I could probably cheat and call this a Vertigo title, I’m going to throw this on the pull list and do it right.
- TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES ONGOING #4
- THUNDERBOLTS #166
- WOLVERINE #19 – I’ve read the first arc and a half of Jason Aaron’s Wolverine title, and it’s been stellar. However, I’ve been a bit behind due to missing a couple issues here and there. Fortunately for me, Friend of the Blog Andrew put issues 17 and 18 in my hands and insisted I read them. And I’m SO glad he did. When I reviewed Aaron’s Wolvie mini “Manifest Destiny” a few months ago, I loved it but was a bit disappointed that Logan as the ruler of Chinatown would be one of those plots that would wind up just forgotten to the ages. And yet here we are 3 years later and Aaron is picking it back up again. It’s everything you could wish for and more, and features Ken Hale, the Agents of Atlas’ Gorilla Man. And if that isn’t enough to get you to pick up this book, I don’t know what possibly could. Highest recommendation!
Due to the holiday I haven’t dived into last week’s books yet, but expect more reviews next week. Other than that my running pull list has been updated. What looks good to you?
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 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 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.
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.
This week was the biggest week I’ve had in a while, and there were things to actually write about too. Let’s see if I remember how it’s done shall we?
No sense in not starting with the 900 lbs. gorilla in the room. DC got it right. Action Comics #900 was worth reading. The black sphere saga ends and Luthor gets everything he ever wanted. Of course you have to be careful what you wish for. With the main story, Cornell shows that he really understands what makes both Luthor and Superman tick. In addition, we’ve got a strong start to the upcoming Doomsday cross-over. The back-up stories were pretty well crafted, but mostly forgettable. I can only assume the Donner piece didn’t get an artist because it would ahve upped the page count. A shame, because it could have benefited from being fully fleshed out. One other thing that this anniversary issue should have included is a recognition of other characters that have debuted or been featured regularly in Action Comics. Where’s the Blackhawk story? Congo Bill? Zatara? Wild Dog? Sure it’s primarily Superman’s book, but with an anniversary this big, there needed to be recognition of the history. At least he’s not going to start walking across the country.
Onward and upward then. FF #2 continues to be Hickman being Hickman. Dialogue and character are strong and clever. The situation continues to be dire and interesting too. Specifically, we learn in this issue what sort of deal Valeria made with Dr. Doom back in the pages of Fantastic Four. This issue also highlights one of Hickman’s greatest strengths. The ability to tell a whole story in a single issue while dropping crumbs to be picked up later. Seriously, there’s no reason not to be reading this title.
Age of X ended this week also. On the whole the story wasn’t bad. The world created there was sufficiently different and interesting, and the mystery created by jumping in medias res was well sustained. If anything, it ended a little too quickly and neatly. Still, it did manage to be a decent alternate universe story. It’s also interesting to see that there are small repercussions to be felt in the aftermath. So not everything is returning to status quo. Checking out the trade or finding the issues on the cheap wouldn’t be a bad idea.
I did pick up the second issue of the Godzilla book. I really liked the first issue. This one felt a little too disjointed. I’m curious to see where this book is going. In spite of the death and destruction, I’m inclined to root for Godzilla, but I’m not sure why yet.
The three Avengers books we solid too. The two .1’s proved to be genuine in their desire to serve as starting points. In Avengers, we’re teased with a Spaceknight. We also see a MODOK with spider legs. To my mind, this is not an improvement on the floating chair design. Secret Avengers is a nice done-in-one that introduces readers to all of the main characters while giving Nick Spencer a chance to find his footing on the title. Not bad.
That’s a wrap for this week. Good solid reads all around with only minor missteps.