Game Tape

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…

Quick, fast, and in a hurry, here are some things from last week.

Jonah Hex #48 reminds us once again why he the roughest, toughest bounty hunter EVER. Besides, who doesn’t like a book guest starring Bat Lash.

Batman and Robin #5 still solid. Scarlet has an interesting moment of clarity and we see that being dead didn’t teach Jason Todd anything. He’s still too arrogant. Bruce made him die his hair? Really Morrison?

Planetary #27 ends in the only way it could. A surprisingly cheery and happy ending from Warren Ellis while condemning every “genius” in the traditional superhero books. Where’s my flying car? It’s in the Planetary universe.


I have no idea why this image keeps popping up as the cover solicit for X-Men Forever #9. Beast was on my cover and the story is about Sentinels. Unless something ungodly happens in this book, this is the last time I’ll mention it for a while. I love this book. I didn’t think I’d ever say that about a non-Parker X-book again. Say what you want about Claremont, and believe me I’ve said a lot, this is his A game. This is a fun X-Men book: no over arching and difficult plot threads, no “message” just mutants doing mutanty things. Thank you Chris Claremont.

I enjoy Secret Six as a whole, but I am also a fan of Suicide Squad. There are some parallels between the two, but they’re more tangentially related than anything else. This week’s book wrapped up a story arc that I haven’t cared for. In some ways, Gail Simone is repeating some of the ideas from the previous arc: the team divides too easily, there’s a wicked seeming betrayal, and a reuniting at the end with everyone buddy-buddy again. This isn’t the only thing that made this arc difficult to like, but won’t go into that here. Suffice it to say that this issue made some interesting promises for things to come. Finally, it was nice to see Bane as something more than the simpering strongman he’s been since he started in this title.

To those who picked up Booster Gold #25 wanting to give it a try: I promise this book is usually better. This is not indicative of how fun and enjoyable BG usually is. I did enjoy the back-up with the new Blue Beetle. Honest, this book has never been this dull.

This Week’s Books — And Some Rude Comments

Wow! Finally a decent-sized week for me!

  • BATMAN AND ROBIN #5 – Unlike everyone else, it seems, I liked #4. I dug the art (much more modern and less “lumpy”) than Quitely’s, and Morrison’s still telling a good story.

  • BATMAN ANNUAL #27 – This one will come down to page count and storytellers for me, but I’m leaning towards picking it up. The cynic in me says that the days of annuals being special are gone, with the dearth of minis and one-shots rendering them meaningless, but it’s been so long since we’ve had one, I think I’ll give it a shot.
  • BLOOM COUNTY COMPLETE LIBRARY HC VOL 01 – One of the best strips ever, finally collected in the deluxe format it deserves. I can’t wait for this.
  • IRON MAN ARMOR WARS #3 (OF 4) – I think I was just the victim of unrealistically built-up expectations on this one. Not bad, but not incredible, which is especially disappointing if you dig the idea of seeing Tony Stark fight a boatload of Iron Man suits while wearing a Doombot.
  • PLANETARY #27 – I know Matt’s been pretty disappointed with the delays on this one, but I always thought #26 was the last issue, so this is just a bit of lagniappe for me. I plan on reading through the whole series in one sitting (well, not ONE sitting, but as close as possible) as soon as I can.

  • SPIDER-MAN 1602 #1 (OF 5) – Dear Jeff Parker, I love you and would buy this is if it weren’t $4. Even so, you’re good enough you don’t have to take Neil Gaiman’s crumbs. Joe Quesada should respect you more, and I would be happy to sit down with him and explain your worth if you would like me to. Your friend, Jesse
  • STRANGE TALES #2 (OF 3) – The price point on this one is killing me, but this book is awesome. Once Strange Tales wraps up, PLEASE check out these guys’ indie books.
  • WAR HEROES #3 (OF 6) – Well, I remember LIKING the first 2 issues, but it’s been a while, and all I really remember is the US Army and an unused Ultimates plot. Still, it’s Millar and Harris, so you know you’re going to get a quality, if cynical, book.
  • X-BABIES #1 (OF 4) – Fuck you, Marvel. Seriously. “Let’s throw it at the wall and see if it sticks” is not a publishing strategy.
  • X-MEN VS AGENTS OF ATLAS #1 (OF 2) – The price point may mean I don’t pick this up, but assuming there’s a decent page count, I’m in. Have I mentioned yet how incredible Carlos Pagulyan’s art is? Incredibly detailed and realistic without sacrificing storytelling. I don’t know if AoA is his first book, but I look forward to seeing more from him.

Well, that’s it for this week, but I feel terrible. I’m getting way too cynical about comics. Obviously every company wants to sell their product and make a profit, but it just seems like Marvel and DC just see dollar signs instead of readers. I know the Internet is supposed to bring us together, but when the only thing you can trust is that Editor/Writer/Artist X is following the company script, does that really help the reader? Sure Stan Lee’s canival huckster act was gladhanding, but when it only came from one place once a month it felt more sincere…