Friday, November 21, 2014

Weekly Comics for 1406.25

Weekly Comics for 1406.25

I told myself that I wasn't going to buy Robert Kirkman's Outcast. Not that I have anything against Kirkman. I love The Walking Dead, but I am trying to cut down on my monthly comic purchases, not add to them. Also, I did not know ANYTHING about it. I avoided the previews. I didn't read up on the imminent release of this new Kirkman book.

But then, I don't know what happened, as I did buy it and read it. Look at that list below, hardly a "light" week. Often I am more inclined to pick up a book that I didn't order on a light week. And I have told myself I am saving some books for the trade editions, such as The Fade Out, East of West, and Fatale, so I had it in my mind to "maybe" read Outcast in trade.

But then, I bought Outcast anyway. I will tell you what I think farther down the page. (And yes, it's distance, so it's FARther not FURther. FURTHER is not for DISTANCES of any kind.) (Yes, I am a grammar serial killer. Don't make these mistakes because I will find you, and it will not be pretty.)

Okay, so it's November not June or even close to June. I am trying to catch up on these blogs and it's bloody November. Actually, it's snowy November, like 16 inches of snow and drifting. This is more intense than last January, and it's not even officially WINTER yet. This is unofficially "Global Warming at its finest" as we used to say around the Neahtawanta. Thank you Bob Russell. I still hear you. (For what I mean by that comment, see this HERE.)

So, I am still catching up, and it's snowy out there, so that means curling up with some comic books, and we have some doozies here.

RE: SPOILERS: I don't have to explain that you read at your own risk, right?

It was supposed to be Superman #32 that was the most anticipated comic for this week. And it was, though in hindsight, it's not the best of the week. Superman #32 takes the top spot as I was eagerly awaiting the coming of John Romita Jr. to DC and the Superman title, after months, arguably years of Superman floundering as one of the least interesting books I buy (along with Action Comics) falling out of my top reads and finding its place among multiple other issues in the back log. Then, when I do get around to reading them, I read a bunch while watching football, pouring through an issue every few minutes. And then I think, why did I spend $3.99 for the opportunity to flip through that book in no more than five minutes and possibly much fewer? (Yes, FEWER, this is like the FARTHER AND FURTHER thing in the text above. Really. I will find you. Don't make me stop this car.)

So, it was not going to be Outcast that broke away from the pack. As you can see, originally, I ranked Outcast at thirteenth out of twenty-three comics, two of which fell immediately into the back log (and where Avengers Undercover still is and recent issues of Batman Eternal is).

So back to Supes in a minute, first, let me tell you about Outcast.


It's not the best Image book on the market. Doesn't have to be. It's Kirkman, It will sell.

It's about exorcism, sort of. That's good. So now zombies, exactly.

There's no apocalypse. Wouldn't Kirkman love to know how he's pigeon-holed here? Right.

Great art by Paul Azaceta. Moody and creepy.

I was really surprised. But don't believe me. Believe these people.






Do I really need to say much more? Can I say anything of relevance that these people at those links did not write? Hardly. This book has remained consistently good (and on schedule) since June.

Superman #32

So after all the anticipation, though good, Superman #32 was not great. Sadly. Because I wanted it to be great. But it's only good. I love John Romita, Jr. He's embracing some Kirby roots both in his art and in his jump to DC (something Kirby did as well, though for different reasons, I presume).

There's little WOW factor here.

The art is great (though the NERDIST accuses Romita of drawing the same face on all his characters), and the story is decent, helmed by a very good writer (Geoff Johns), but ultimately, not great, and since June, it doesn't live up to the DC marketing hype and has not received much hype since.




Comics for 1406.25

Superman #32
Fantastic Four (Original Sin) #6
Aquaman #32
Savage Hulk #001
New Avengers #020
Batman: Zero Year: Final Act #32
Hulk vs. Iron Man Original Sin #1
Amazing Spider-Man #003
Justice League #31
The New 52: Futures End #8
Deadly Class - 1987 - #6
Stray Bullets: Killers #4
Outcast #1 ("Darkness Surrounds Him")
Saga #20
Ms. Marvel #005
Guardians of the Galaxy #016
Flash #32
Trees #2
New Avengers Annual #001
New Warriors #006
Uncanny Avengers #021


Batman Eternal #12
Avengers Undercover #006



Changing it up a little by putting comments after.

So Outcast #1 ("Darkness Surrounds Him") emerges as the top comic from this week, and so I cheat and put it at the top of the cover gallery to follow. Maybe it seems the best of the lot because it was a new title, a first issue, or maybe it really is the best story and material of this week from June.

I cheat with my Fantastic Four cover in the gallery below, sharing a double comic for the sake of resolution, which provides a preview of Fantastic Four #7. I am LOVING Robinson and Kirk's run on my beloved Fantastic Four. The team is falling apart, which is always an interesting tale with this group that has not been told quite in this way before.

Of course, Aquaman. I have spoken of my love for Aquaman quite a bit before. Likewise, I have gone on at length about the Batman comic in previous blogs, so much so that Batman earned his own category (see SIDEBAR MENU). The wrap up of the Zero Year Riddler story was very excellent as has most of the Batman work from the venerable DC lately.

Stray Bullets is ripe for a future review. I loved the run of this comic back back in the '90s. This new run continues the excellence. The earlier Stray Bullets volumes would make nice Christmas (or Hanukkah) gifts for the discerning reader.

Also, as I have already mentioned, Saga is due for a full review somewhere in my bloggy world. It's part of that Image dominant excellence I was nattering on about in the previous blog post.

And Trees. You all know I love Warren Ellis. Warren (whom I think of as a friend of sorts since he's kind enough to include us all in his life) has introduced me to many amazing things, and he inspires me to want to do something more amazing and satisfying than this blog, which is just like exercise for the main event. But Trees #1 bamboozled me. Thus, I dropped Trees #2 to nearly last place only because I did not know how to think about it or what it was. Later, when Trees #3 comes out, I have to re-read the previous two issues, which I did twice before the whole thing congealed. Now, Trees ranks much higher as you will see when I get closer to the present with these blog posts.

Warren's recent weirdnesses live at the following.

The link to share is

++ writing most mornings at + logging at

Lastly, to justify my "science fiction" category, I want to share that I am reading Ray Kurzweil's The Sungularity is Near (finally). This also relates to the previous comment about Bob Russell and the post HERE. Anyway, I am also a fan of Cory Doctorow, and in Kurzweil's book he mentions a Doctorow book I did not know about, and I thought I either had read them all or knew the ones I had yet to read. The book is called usr/bin/god, which is a title reference I know "get" due to my work in Unix/Linux. However, the book never happened and Kurzweil was referencing it before it was published. All that exists is an EXCERPT, there at that link.

'Nuff said.



- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1411.21 - 8:44

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Weekly Comics for 1406.18

Weekly Comics for 1406.18

Yes, I am still here. Still catching up, but I am making a dent. Snow day today at all area schools, which just begs to be filled with some comic books!

RE: SPOILERS: I don't have to explain that you read at your own risk, right?

I have been waiting to catch up to the week that The Wicked and the Divine #1 came out. I am a bit slow on the uptake. Kieron Gillen did not really emerge from the pack of all comic creators for me until he began his Uber series at Avatar, which I have praised before on these pages. Okay, Uber or Young Avengers, I am not sure which came out first. But the anticipation for The Wicked and the Divine really began with Young Avengers, illustrated by Jamie McKelvie, who also did not emerge from the pack of all artists so that I noticed his work until I checked out his beautiful art in the hard cover graphic novel X-Men Season One, written by Dennis Hopeless.

I had been reading comics that Gillen had written for a while, such as Uncanny X-Men, Thor, and Iron Man. But I had missed Phonogram, which means I had also missed McKelvie for a bit. I actually think I first noticed McKelvie in his snarky exchanges with Warren Ellis and how both are active on THIS IS MY JAM, where I am also active as gmrstudios, before I actually saw his art work in a comic. Funny that. Social media first; comics second. I now own Phonogram though I have not read it yet. Still, as a fan of The Young Avengers, I was excited for Gillen and McKelvie's The Wicked and the Divine #1, so it's no surprise that it hits the top of stack for the week.

The Wicked and the Divine has continued to excel in the months since June (remember I am writing this in November of 2014). I cannot do much better than these reviews, so check them out. Or better yet, just go get the recent issues, or the first volume collected edition due out November 25th, which as of this writing is next Tuesday.


COMIC BOOK RESOURCES REVIEW - The Wicked and the Divine #1

COMICS ALLIANCE REVIEW - The Wicked and the Divine #1

I continue to enjoy the Original Sin series. Jason Aaron is another of these great new-ish writers in comics, along with Gillen, Hickman, Fraction, and others. And as I have mentioned before, having Deodato on art for this book is going to consistently catapult it to the top of my stack. It would have taken first place this week if not for The Wicked and the Divine.

Other good old Marvel Comics that are not going to get much text from me here also take top slots with Daredevil ranking next at third as it has been consistently excellent, Thor: God of Thunder takes fifth only because I have really been loving Alex + Ada, and Uncanny X-Men takes seventh only because an Image trifecta ranks at number one (The Wicked and the Divine), four (Alex + Ada), and then the WONDERFUL Sex Criminals at sixth. I still say that despite all the grousing by comic book fans for all kinds of reasons that are usually ill-conceived, soured by grapes, and often just nonsensical, BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS is one of the very best (top five) comic book writers working today. And if we factor out some good writers who are not producing with frequency (Warren Ellis) or consistent longevity (so many to choose from), and then we factor up Bendis' impact on the comic world in the last ten-plus years, he's far and away the Hank Aaron of comics: first ballot Hall of Famer. He's consistent, he has longevity, and he's changed the game: PERIOD.

Okay, I will add a bit more on the brilliance of Daredevil even though it is NOT written by Bendis, whom I was just touting. But it is written by the equally talented Mark Waid, who I was touting in the previous post. Just check this out, though it's as much about the brilliance of Chris Samnee as it is due to Waid in the pages shown below. Still, the team, the comic, Daredevil, has been consistently one of Marvel's best if not its single best superhero comic in publication. I have gone on about the awesomeness of Daredevil before, but in case you missed it, see the following:


and if you drill back to that posted linked above, you will find my other links from the T-Shirt blog about the awesomeness that is Old Horned Head.

Alex + Ada #7

Though as you can see, I am an ardent supporter of DC and Marvel, I also buy a fair number of Image Comics. In fact, my budget does not even allow me to buy all the Image Comics I would like to have. I am acquiring some via trade paperbacks, such as Fatale (which will be reviewed here at some point in the future) and East of West. I have been proclaiming quite loudly in the comic book store for over a year that Image Comics is arguably putting out the best line of comics. Though Marvel and DC have many solid titles, and though other companies like Dark Horse, IDW, Avatar, Dynamite, and even Archie are putting out some decent work, no company has more winners across its line than Image. And one of these winners is Alex + Ada.

Loving Alex + Ada takes some adjustment as it comes from one of the Luna Brothers, a team whose work I have been critical of, though I have bought and read it all. I taught Ultra in my last women's studies class, and I was critical online of both Girls and The Sword. But here Jonathan Luna has dumped a brother and teamed with the marvelous Sara Vaughn, whose sensibility is stamped all over this work. The result is a comic that has been slowly creeping up my stack, such that in the most recent purchase (remember this is November, so 1411.12), Alex + Ada ranked third.

Alex + Ada is about a robot (Ada, a female companion robot, see pictures below) who gains sentience and we watch as she discovers the world for the first time as a sentient being. The story unspools naturally and without extra exposition or encumbrances of heavy narrative. It's brilliant and beautiful.

These reviews tell the story much better than I, and if you don't mind spoilers, check them out, or just go buy the current set of Alex + Ada issues. Volume one of the trade paperback came out in July, and the second volume is due in March.

comic book resources review Alex + Ada #7




Sex Criminals #6

Another Image comic that I have been enjoying (as have many of the smart readers in the comic shop) is Sex Criminals. It's a story of two people who can make time stop after they have sex. They use this power to steal money to try to keep a library open where one of the main characters, Susie, works. But things get complicated...

Again, these reviews spell out what happened in issue #6 well enough, but you would be better off to go buy the comics. This is great stuff. Definitely, some of the best writing of Fraction's career so far.




Comics for 1406.18

The Wicked and the Divine #1
Original Sin (#4 of 8)
Daredevil #004
Alex + Ada #7
Thor: God of Thunder #023
Sex Criminals #6
Uncanny X-Men #022
Nova: Original Sin #18
The New 52: Future's End #6
The New 52: Future's End #7
Avengers World #008
Avengers: Original Sin #31
Silver Surfer #003
Iron Man #028
The Punisher #007


Wonder Woman #32
Batman Eternal #9
Batman Eternal #10
Red Sonja #10
Fables #141
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Ten #4


Locus Issue # 641 Vol. 72 No. 6


- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1411.18 - 19:18

Friday, November 14, 2014

Weekly Comics for 1406.11

Weekly COMICS FOR 1406.11

Okay, some success is achieved if I am writing and cobbling together imagery here less than a week after my last belated post. I figure any posts at this point is progress.

It's snowing as I write this in November, which is a far cry from the weather on June 11th, which was probably warm and sunny.

Okay, onward to describe the comics from so many months ago with a few oblique and possibly obtuse comments. As you can see, I have been spending a lot of time in MATH WORLD, especially angles and triangles. Sigh.

RE: SPOILERS: I don't have to explain that you read at your own risk, right?

Despite the fact that the single most anticipated comic in this list was Infinity Man and the Forever People #1, it drops to third in the list because of The Walking Dead #128 and Hulk #004.

The Walking Dead #128 logs the second installment in the post-All Out War story arc, which jumped ahead in time to the Alexandria community well recovered from All Out War, with Negan in a makeshift prison cell. I reviewed the previous issue HERE. The comic takes the top spot because I was still curious as to how the story would all shake out. The last issue ended with Carl confiding in someone, who turns out to be the imprisoned Negan. Both this issue and the previous feature more down time from the constant action of the All Out War saga, but like the previous issue, this one also gives us some action with zombies. Granted it's still set up for what will play out in this story arc, but the tricky reveal at the end of the last issue made me start my week with this issue. Since then, The Walking Dead has dropped in the rankings as it had before, not because it's no good but because the story arc drag on too long and the reveals and cliff hangers are not coming steadily enough for me to rank it higher each week. Also, I don't want this title to be an automatic top of the stack each week because then I am not thinking about my anticipation and weighing all the factors.

I love Mark Bagley, and Mark Waid's writing has been better than ever, especially over on Daredevil. The last run was not nearly as good as this reboot because of the art. I wrote about the previous issue is some depth HERE, and here's a full review of issue #004 from COMIC BOOKED: HULK #004. (Warning - this COMIC BOOKED blog's review at the link is full of typos and poor writing!) The ramifications of Tony Stark putting Extremis in Hulk's head to heal the brain injury when Bruce Banner was shot in the skull are beginning to play out. I like where this title goes in the months ahead (since it's November when I am writing after all); this title will continue to hit the top of my stack. And here's some nifty art of Hulk using Captain America's shield like a pair of brass knuckles.

I am a sucker for Keith Giffen's work and for retro-re-imaginings of Jack Kirby's milestones. Though I was not the greatest fan of Kirby's DC work in the 1970s, and though this diminishes my nostalgia-love factor somewhat, I was and am a huge Kirby fan.

For proof see my JACK KIRBY category at my T-shirt blog, especially entry for CAPTAIN AMERICA -T-SHIRT #106.

Still, despite my anticipation, the ongoing stories in The Walking Dead and Hulk dropped Infinity Man and the Forever People #1 to number three in this week's stack.

The Fan-Kirby-tastic nature of the art and story was worth a high rank spot just based on my enjoyment, but this is not the best of the Kirby retro books thus far. The recent OMAC reboot was better. Still, I am enjoying this New Gods spin off as long as Giffen is doing the art.

The Mighty Avengers: Original Sin #11 takes fourth because of the very fun story about a group of "original" Avengers from the 1970s. Merging a sense of black exploitation films, especially Shaft with 1970s fashions and atmospheres, this clever story arc of Blade's first foray with a group of Avengers is a wonderful diversion from the traditional Avengers fare currently offered at Marvel. Hickman's multiverse saga is growing a bit tedious and ponderously heavy. But this saga is great to backfill some history of the retconned Blue Marvel character (a much better retcon than the Sentinel) and a means to introduce Luke Cage's dad along with some other characters, such as the Bear, a beautiful blonde woman who can turn into a bear and Kaluu, a mystic with a big coat. This issue could have easily hit the top of my stack for this week if it was a quicker read. The first two issues only win out because they are quick reads and Infinity Man wins due to anticipation factor. I loved this story arc!! And unlike comic pundits who write supposedly "learned" reviews (see link below), I have no problem with Greg Land's art, even when he's going for typical cheesecake girly fashion poses. I mean, isn't that why we fan boys LIKE these artists?



The rest of the comics for the week rank in various ways. While my patience for the original X-men in the current time line has been waning (as well as missing Stuart Immomen's art) causing All-New X-Men to fall in the rankings, a comic like Uber has been inching upwards, as I have been enjoying this book immensely. Though it's less apparent with this week's work, the comic comes in much higher in future months. I enjoyed Starlight quite a bit, as it has ended by the time I wrote this blog (remember it's five months later, November of 2014), and She-Hulk has also soared higher recently. Note how far New Avengers has dropped. There's a book I used to rank very highly, but a combination of the artist and the overloading of the mythology with what Hickman is currently exploring has all bu sapped my interest level completely. This feeling has not changed since June. Whereas I have really loved the retconning Spider-Man: Learning to Crawl, which is telling new stories that take place between the original Spider-Man numbers one and two. Much like the Untold Takes of Spider-Man book from the 1990s, this current re-visiting of Spider-Man's early years is clever and well told in both writing and art. This title will jump out of my back log in future months and will rank highly.


Comics for 1406.11

The Walking Dead #128
Hulk #004
Infinity Man and the Forever People #1
The Mighty Avengers: Original Sin #11
Justice League United #2
All-New X-Men #028
All-New Invaders: Original Sin #6
Uber #14
Starlight #4
Secret Avengers #004
New Avengers #019
She-Hulk #005
Captain Marvel #004

Spider-Man: Learning to Crawl #01.2
Avengers Undercover #005
Batgirl #32
Batman: Detective Comics #32
Superman/ Wonder Woman #9
World's Finest: Huntress and Power Girl #24
Legenderry: A Steampunk Adventure #4


- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1411.14 - 11:57

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Weekly Comics List for 1406.04

Comics for 1406.04

I am renewing a dedication to get caught up on these. Why am I not writing a little bit throughout the day as I work? I don't know, I answer myself.

I doubt this content is of interest to very many people. Possibly just me. So, I am not even going to send all these through to social media. I am just going to post more frequently, get caught up, and then be more visible and frequent in the bloggy world.

I feel this needs more text.

Just to justify having the graphic.

I had not seen this variant cover for the Original Sin series.

I like it.

But then what fan boy doesn't like Black Widow's leather outfit with the zipper down the front....


RE: SPOILERS: I don't have to explain that you read at your own risk, right?


Yes, it is true what you are thinking. Why is this important? I seem overly obsessed with the order in which I read my comic books each week. True enough.

But this order says something about the anticipation for each book, the correlation of time needed to read the book versus the enjoyment that will be derived, and the overall quality of the past issues that affect these decisions.

Additionally, certain favorite characters or teams, such as Aquaman and the Fantastic Four, always earn high places due to my affection for them. Alternatively, despite dear love for a character, such as the case with Iron Fist in the list below, if the comic is not good enough, then the love for the character alone will not be enough to rank the comic book highly.

And, then, I am a fan boy. Often big crossover events or a special cover (two characters kissing always gets me) will increase a book's ranking above issues of quality, character love, or the time/enjoyment equation.

So, given the "fan boy" element, Original Sin took the top spot this week. Since I am writing this entry about June comics in NOVEMBER. I have already finished reading this series. It's one of the better crossovers in recent years from Marvel. In part, this is due to the interesting concept of how the murder of the Watcher and the "explosion" from his eyes set off a chain of events in which we learn "secrets" of the pasts of many of the most popular marvel characters. The best of these is probably Tony Stark's original sin, in which we learn that he tampered with the Gamma Bomb the night before it exploded prematurely irradiating Bruce Banner in such a way that caused him to become the Hulk.

Also, the writing of Jason Aaron, who has distinguished himself lately with his run on Thor, one of Marvel's best comic books, and arguably one of Marvel's best artists: Mike Deodato. Art plays a huge part in how these books get ranked. Without Deodato's art, this one may not have made the top slot, even with this page (seen right) with Doctor Strange and the Punisher investigating bodies in another dimension.

I have shared art from Moon Knight above, and I have reviews elsewhere in the blog. Though this work is not as ground breaking as Ellis' run on Iron Man, it has been a much needed re-envisioning of a character I have always liked a lot (though not as much as local Fanfare manager Bill Artis). I was sad that Ellis' run ended at six issues, but I am also aware of the realities of his various projects and his work schedule. Fans should be happy that he tackles super hero comics at all from time to time,

Miles Morales: The Ultimate Spider-Man and Green Arrow have continued to impress. In Miles Morales: The Ultimate Spider-Man, with the re-launch of a new "number one," Miles discovers that the original Spider-Man, Peter Parker, is still alive. With issue #2, we readers are not sure if this is actually Peter or his clone or an alien or who knows what. I have read past this point now (four or five issues past), and we now know that this is Peter. He did not die after his battle with the Green Goblin that ended the run of the first Ultimate Spider-Man series. Though it seemed gimmicky at first, I am hooked. Comic fans criticize Brian Bendis all the time, but I would argue that he is one of the very best comic book writers in the business. Later, in hind sight, he will surely be rated as one of the best writers of all time. He's that good.

Green Arrow has been consistently excellent and making the top of  my stack each month. Since June, DC has changed creative teams. It's still good, but it's more in line with the TV show. Lemire and Sorrentino's run is one of the best in the title's history, adding new and smart mythology to the character.

Rounding out this week's stack, there are the usual suspects that rate highly, such as Aquaman and the Others, Black Widow, and even Iron Fist: The Living Weapon, despite art that I am not crazy about. I am sucker for anything with Doc Savage, and this recent re-vitalization of the character and mythology has been quite good. I have also discussed my adoration for the Clone comic before. A review is in the offing, but first I have to catch up on these weekly posts before I can even contemplate reviews.

Comics for 1406.04

Original Sin #3 (of 8)
Moon Knight #004
Miles Morales: The Ultimate Spider-Man #002
Green Arrow #32
Aquaman and the Others #3
Black Widow #007
Iron Fist: The Living Weapon #003
Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze #6
Clone #17
The New 52: Future's End #5
Captain America #021
The New Warriors #005
Amazing X-Men #008
Great Pacific #15

Superman in Action Comics #32
Green Lantern #32
Iron Man #027
The Punisher #006
Avengers World #007
Earth Two #24



- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1411.09 - 8:26