Hey, Mom! The Explanation.

Here's the permanent dedicated link to my first Hey, Mom! post and the explanation of the feature it contains.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Weekly Comics for 1404.16


Weekly Comics for 1404.16

Once again, here I am writing about comics and falling farther and farther behind with these weekly posts all the time. The daily deadline of the T-shirt blog propelled me to finish these more quickly. This one is now over two months old, and I am still laboring over it. Will I ever catch up? Stay tuned. UPDATE: When I first wrote the previous sentences this post was over a month old. I just had to revise it. :-)

Being as behind as I am is very frustrating, as you may imagine, if you have been reading my work over the last year-plus. I have gone from writing and publishing every day -- and even if I fell behind, I caught up within a few days, except for the final two months of my T-shirt blog, which features six unfinished entries -- to a new slow-growth model, in which my last post (as of writing these words) was over a month ago, and each week, I write "skip" on my to-do list for writing more days than I cross it out as a an accomplished goal. For instance (since I am pathological about keeping track), I only crossed off writing as an accomplished goal three times last week (being the week of 1405.26-1406.01, though, now, last week I did no writing), which was actually a high for the month of May given that I only wrote twice the week before and only once the two weeks prior to that. All of which is to say that I have not been writing as much as I would like in the last two months, which is more about taking a class, looking for work, and an increased need for work outdoors than it is about anything else.

So, on to comic books in a minute, but first...

ON BLOGGING, WRITING, AND WORK

For readers of my T-shirt blog, my grand plans have been a bit derailed by life, but I am working hard to circle the wagons. I do intend to return to the T-shirt blog soon. First, I will finish the seven unfinished entries, which you could find if you go look. Second, I will begin producing new entries at a moderately steady pace, given the way things have been going, I will be happy if I post weekly, but I think a schedule of two-three times a month may be more realistic. And then I am also trying to squeeze in fiction writing, which you will hear more about here if I can get enough in the can.

On the subject of fiction writing, I was reading Uber #12 recently, in which Kieron Gillen always has a postscript essay of remarks about his story, Uber, World War II history, and sometimes just whatever he fancies writing about that day. In issue #12, he wrote that he does not "believe in writer's block." He explained that anyone can write when inspired, but that writing is work, and the true measure of success is to write when one has to force one's self to write. These words struck home because they are the same things I have said my entire life about writing and have struggled to put into practice.

One of my original goals with last year's T-shirt blog was to force myself to produce some writing every day. Though life, work, family, and chaos forced me to skip some days, post incomplete skeletons of works in progress, or not devote as much time to the writing as I could on other days, I did manage to post a blog entry EVERY SINGLE DAY FOR A YEAR, which means that I did something. Even if I did not give myself that daily one hour minimum in the chair writing, I did some writing, I crafted an entry or some part of an entry, and then I posted SOMETHING. Often, this was not an easy task. It was work, and, more than one time, at the end of the day, I scurried to post something while negotiating with my family to allot me at least a few minutes to do so.

Originally, I thought the T-shirt blog would be a daily warm up. The posts would always be short and sweet. I would write some pithy remarks about my T-shirt, add a picture or three, and then post the results to my blog before moving on to devote myself to continuing work on one of my novel projects. I saw myself carving out at least an hour a day, and sometimes more, for this work. Gradually, the blog grew and grew in time spent and length of entries. I remember a two day period of July fourth and fifth during which I literally spent all day creating the blog entries for those days. (For the interested, this work can be seen with entries T-shirt #105 and T-shirt #106.) Though the text itself for both of these does not carry on at the kind of length one would think I could produce in an entire day of writing, much of the work on these entries involved research, finding web sites, culling through comic book art, and in the case of #105 creating my first ever You Tube video.

The T-shirt blog did not work as a warm up. It became the main writing occupation of my life for 365 days. And now that I have ceased daily transmission, as of March 21st, I have not maintained the daily writing regimen that I thought I had locked into place in my life and my schedule. Thus, the point of my explanation here is to re-commit myself to daily writing. I will finish the outstanding entries of weekly comics for this blog, finish the unfinished ones for the T-shirts blog, start working on new entries, and begin the slow process of filling cans with fiction episodes that I plan to release here to the kind and loving audience I discovered during my year of T-shirt bloggery (and yes, "bloggery" is a word I have made up).

Thank you for reading and stay tuned.

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

The week of April Sixteenth was a great week for comic books. Just look at that list (see farther below). Excellent stuff. Difficult choices in rankings. And as I write this on 1405.07 and then finishing on 1407.01, all the issues Sinestro #1 and below still sit in my back log. I just had my bi-monthly free day for rest, relaxation, and reading of comic books, and I managed to get through just ONE comic book and none in the back log. So, the back log is still a bit on the large size. UPDATE: I managed two solid afternoons of comic book reading in June. I cleared the back log of things like Batman Eternal but I still have not read that issue of Sinestro.

What follows are some comic book reviews and general comments on comics for 1404.16.

UPDATE AS OF 1405.22: As you may note, I am still not done with this entry over a month after the release of these comic books, which calls into question my entire approach with writing, scheduling, and time. ANOTHER UPDATE AS OF 1407.01: Still not done but planning to finish this today one way or another.

I wrote about Superior Spider-Man #030 in the entry for Weekly Comics for 1403.26, and I claimed that Marvel botched the return of Peter Parker with a rush job. However, in that entry, I claimed to do a more extensive review later. Okay, here it is...


 Superior Spider-Man #030 and #031

My biggest problem with Superior Spider-Man #030 was in the quick resolution of the ongoing story line.

After 30 issues of stories, and over a year of our time (since January of 2013) within a few short pages Doctor Octopus ("Doc Ock")decides that Peter Parker is truly the better hero and the only one capable of saving his love, Anna Maria, from the clutches of the Green Goblin. But this epiphany was neither set up nor executed well.

Since Doc Ock transferred his consciousness to Peter Park/Spider-Man's body, leaving Parker's consciousness in his own failing and dying body, Otto Octavius has been in full command of the Spider-Man identity, believing himself to be the "Superior Spider-Man." Somehow, Peter's consciousness survived the death of Doc Ock's original body and returned to his own body, sharing mindscape space, described as a "memory fragment." At one point during the story line, finding Parker's memories (and identity) too intrusive, Doc Ock eradicated the consciousness of the body's rightful host, and it seemed as if the real Peter Parker was gone for good. But like so many things in the Marvel Universe, though "dead," he is never gone, especially with a trademark to keep in force and a new major motion picture due to be released. Thus, eventually, as a teaser to all good Marvel fans who knew that at same point Peter Parker's consciousness would return to full control of his body allowing him to resume his role as Spider-Man, though lost and feeling his identity slipping away, the Parker consciousness resurfaced in the mindscape but hid its existence from the controlling consciousness, Doc Ock, lest it be eradicated once and for all (again and maybe for good).

Meanwhile, the Green Goblin began terrorizing New York. Having compromised Ock's spider bot legions, and infecting Peter's last girlfriend Carly with Goblin venom, Osborn (the Goblin) has learned Carlie's secret: Doc Ock's consciousness is alive and has been in control of Spider-Man's body for some time. During all of this, somehow, in the midst of all these battles, Peter Parker reclaimed all his memories and his identity within the mindscape, which was handled well enough with a beautiful two page splash featuring art from the 52 year history of Spider-Man comics (see above).

But that's as far as the quality story telling progresses (and I am leaving out the threads of several sub-plots). The rejuvenated Parker consciousness gives Doc Ock a scolding (see right): "You screwed up, Otto. When there's time, you weigh options. When there's not, you act. And you always do the right thing. Even if it means giving up the advantage...like I just did. You know I'm here now, and I know that means: round two." By this statement, Peter declares that he is ready to go consciousness-to-consciousness with Otto for control of his body.

Here's where the story could have become VERY interesting. An epic struggle should have ensued, as it should have been no easy task for Peter Parker to wrest control of his body away from the tenacious and ingenious Doc Ock. What if Peter had been able to transfer his consciousness elsewhere? Or what if he could establish himself such that Ock cannot eradicate him, making him a permanent, part-time resident in his former body and able to regain control of his body for limited periods of time? Or what if Parker could pretend to be eradicated and slowly insinuate himself into Otto's consciousness until he takes over completely, like the slow freeze of water when subjected to sub-freezing temps? Or the creative team should have done something I have not thought of because there was a lot of potential here.

But no. Nothing like that happened. Rebuked by Peter's lecture, Ock webs his way to Parker Industries, the company he founded in Peter's name after earning his PhD from Empire University, and willingly, without a fight, dons his consciousness controlling gizmo, and "erases" his own consciousness. In three pages, with neither struggle nor adequate story development, without making sense of Ock's maniacal control, his schemes, his arrogance, his plans, his core personality, within a few panels, he claims that PETER is the Superior Spider-Man, and the only one who can save Anna Maria, Ock's lover. And he disappears, leaving Peter to put on the traditional Spider-Man suit--discarding Ock's upgraded version--to resume his role as the Amazing Spider-Man.

I really enjoyed the run of Superior Spider-Man. Though the comics sometimes fell lower in my weekly stack than one would think given this touting, they held their ground in the top third; after Spider-Man punched Black Cat in the face, they often took position in the top five. And yet this so-called resolution of the story was weak and not at all on par with the story telling of the previous 30 issues. It was as if the movie studio phoned and  insisted that Peter Parker be put back in control of his body and return to being Spider-Man before the movie's May release, which forced Slott and crew to abandon a more protracted and longer resolution of the story and resort to this quick fix.

I must confess that the creative team, led by writer Dan Slott, has done an excellent job on the Superior Spider-Man series. But this resolution was very, very disappointing.

This brings me to one of the comics from this week, The Superior Spider-Man finale issue #31. See the link following for some art previews and pages.

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN SERIES FINALE

After the rushed switch from Doc Ock's control to Peter Parker's control, the follow up issue in which Peter stops the Goblin Nation menace and returns to his life redeemed the story sequence somewhat from the let-down of the previous issue.

The story opens as the Goblin taunts Anna Maria Marconi with his dominance of New York and her imminent death, Peter reveals to Carlie (as seen in the page to the left) that he is back in control of Spider-Man, his own body, and tries to figure out a way to defeat the Green Goblin. Carlie has been "cured" (a work in progress as the after effects linger) of the Goblin formula and has a touching moment with Peter once he reveals it's him in the suit.

In a move characteristic of the REAL Peter Parker, he calls his Aunt May to check that she is all right before heading off to engage the Goblin Army. Battles ensue, and in the end, Spider-Man saves both Anna Maria--using a maneuver he could not make when he failed to save Gwen Stacy years ago--and the Green Goblin, who was also plummeting to his death. Ultimately, the Goblin escapes, and Spidey makes good with the Spider-Man from the future and his supposed girlfriend Anna Maria. As a final MacGuffin, little Normie (Norman Osborn's grand son) is shown looking maniacal, setting up a future story line.

Follow up features in the double-size comic show Peter reconnecting with loved ones, including some much needed resolution with Mary Jane, who says she cannot be part of Peter's crazy life. Mary Jane also connects with Carlie Cooper, who is still feeling the after effects of the Goblin formula. Carlie is headed out of town, but she confirms for Mary Jane that Peter was telling the truth about Doc Ock being in control of his body for so long. Lastly, there's some much needed resolution for Jonah Jameson's Mayorial stint that ties up some more of the loose threads left over from recent Spider stories. All in all, this comic is a better and more fitting end to the long Superior Spider-Man saga than the previous issue, but this capstone does not make up for the weak conclusion to the Peter-Doc Ock battle for control of the body of Spider-Man.

MORE ABOUT THE WEEKLY COMICS LIST

So much for sound bites and blurbs, eh?

Here's some delightful and tantalizing links for some of the comics in this week's batch.

WINTER SOLDIER - THE BITTER MARCH #3 - PREVIEW

JUSTICE LEAGUE #29

WHY IS YEAR ZERO CALLED YEAR ZERO? BATMAN 30

GOTHAM SPOILERS

BATMAN #30 = GOTHAM SPOILERS



I was very much looking forward to the Winter Soldier - The Bitter March series based on the cover art and advertisements alone. I had meant to offer a full review of the first issue in one of my T-shirt blog posts from February (which is still unfinished). Now, I am more inclined to render a review of the story's completed arc (in a future post here). It's a good comic, though, and a fitting companion to the other work in the Winter Soldier canon so far. It's no surprise (to me at least) that this issue takes the top spot in my stack for this week.

More to come in a future extended review, especially since as I write this, the fourth issue of The Bitter March has debuted on 1405.28. Stay Tuned. I write "stay tuned" a lot, don't I?

I wrote about Justice League #28 in the T-shirt blog with T-shirt #337-Underdog, this next installment with Justice League #29 is a worthy follow up, even though issue #28 topped my stack for 1402.19 whereas this one takes third for this week. I still do not like Gold's hair. And though it was great to see the Metal Men work with Cyborg in this issue, and though it was interesting to see the Metal Men take the forms of the Justice League on the cover, this (the Justice League imitation) is not something that happens in the comic book and thus proves to be a disappointment. I have more to say about the Metal Men and several Metal Men T-shirts to share, so stay tuned. (Obviously, "stay tuned" is my favourite phrase.)


Okay, sure. It's a great idea to have the Metal Men meet Cyborg. Sort of a robot-to-part robot thing. The metal like hair works for Platinum, always has, but Gold just looks stupid. I know that the hair thing works for the premise of the robots and their personalities. They try to be actual people, close to human. Gold would probably give himself hair. I just do not like the look of it at all.

This issue is just all right. My love for the Metal Men surely carries me through it. But the Metal Men are under utilized. There's a great deal of back story connecting to Forever Evil and more investigating and standing around than there should be, with the Metal Men almost as decorations rather than active participants.

Eventually, there's a battle sequencer in which the Metal Men get to do something, but it's not very much as the real conflict shifts inside Cyborg's computer brain. This culminates in the image below. Cyborg will save the Justice League. Ho hum. I wanted more Metal Men action.




Batman: Zero Hour: Final Act #30



I love the amount of Bat related bloggery that can be found on the Internet. See the links above, especially the Gotham Spoilers site. Very cool.

Batman - the Zero Year stories have proven to be consistently one of DC best comics for some time. Though I would rate Green Arrow slightly ahead of it in story quality and innovation to the form, and I am partial to Aquaman, Batman is arguably DC's best comic. Though this claim is a bit spurious as there are several DC comics that I do not read, such as Swamp Thing, Animal Man, and Batwoman, all of which are touted highly by someone at some time or other.

Re-telling the Joker's origin and the establishment of a Red Hood Gang provided fans with some of the best Batman stories in years, but the follow up with the Riddler has been even better. In the current Zero Year story arc, the Riddler has taken over Gotham City as its ruler with the help of Poison Ivy. (Please note that the story takes place in the past, removed from the current DC "present.") One of the strengths of the Zero Year Batman stories is the exploration of Bruce Wayne's past, both the early days of Batman and even farther back, such as in the opening sequence of this issue (see a panel from the sequence above). The issue opens with Bruce dreaming through a memory of scaling the girls' dorm in boarding school to entice Julie Madison to come exploring with him, sharing a map of Gotham, which turns up as the title page. It's always very cool to look at maps of Gotham City (more on this in a minute). But the flashback turns grisly when Julie Madison ends up with a bullet hole oozing blood in her head. I did not take this to be a memory of his dead parents, though I should have. Any bullet wound is a recurring image of his parents and their murder for Bruce and Batman.


Bruce Wayne/Batman wakes up in the apartment of a kid named Duke, whom Bruce saved in the first issue of this Zero Year sequence, and when Bruce looks out the window, he is faced with the vista shown in the two-page splash right and at the top of the blog entry.

The story's greatest flaw is the timing, but otherwise this comic is an excellent exploration of Batman's early years and Bruce Wayne's childhood (which continues in issue #31, which I read last night as I am writing these words on 1406.04 and still not finished near the end of June I have read issue #32 also. Stay tuned for more reviews).

Batman learns that the Riddler employed "Dr. Isley's stolen research" (AKA, Poison Ivy) to accelerate the dilapidation of overgrown Gotham. Scott Snyder's narrative remains vague about the actual timing (which in the next issue is revealed to be 27 days), but I felt that the condition of Gotham was too extreme given the time period involved. But the idea is very cool. The Riddler has taken over Gotham. Police Captain Gordon is on the street, heading up a very small band of resistance fighters. Batman is missing, and the citizens of Gotham are cowed and beaten into submission by a mad dictator (the Riddler) who kills any who oppose him in his Riddle game, reminiscent of the old Roman Coliseum. Here's the recap pages below.
Batman gets back to work right away with limited resources, cut off from Wayne Manor and the Bat Cave. In the end, he rescues the resistance fighters and Gordon from a Riddler trap of toppling buildings, falling one over the other like dominoes. Batman stays hidden until the big reveal at the end of the issue as Gordon introduces him as "the $%$^! psycho in a bat suit!" Ready for action in the next issue (which I will write about later).

MAPS OF GOTHAM: I am a huge fan of maps. I still like using paper maps or even better the laminated folding maps that became popular for their ease and durability prior to the Smart Phone, virtual map era. I still prefer the paper/laminated versions because I can take in larger vistas of the mapped area than I can see on the phone screen. Much like, looking through a paper book offers different searching methods and results than searching a digital version. So imagine my excitement, when Batman #30 contained an updated map of Gotham City.

I always imagined that Metropolis was the DC fictional version of New York, which would make Gotham City either Boston or Baltimore; at least, in my mind, it worked well that way. But others have established different interpretations. Frank Miller called Gotham City: "New York at night," which makes Metropolis the day time version. William Safire saw Gotham City as a mirror or Lower Manhattan. In past DC history, Metropolis and Gotham were shown as twin cities, separated by a Bridge over "the Narrows."

In any case, I was thrilled to see an updated Gotham map for the New 52, one that remained more or less faithful to the 1999 version by Eliot R. Brown.

In a recent issue of the Justice League, it was mentioned that Gotham City and Metropolis are sister cities, like night and day in a sense. Apparently, in a really tall building, like Lexcorps Tower, Gotham can be seen from Metropolis.


Hulk: Who Shot Bruce Banner? #001

I have to confess that I had not been enjoying the recent Hulk comics by Mark Waid and Leinil Yu (and other artists). I have great respect for Waid's writing. His recent work on Daredevil has been top-notch, and so I was excited to see him take on the Hulk. But a comic is a blend of writing and art, and no matter how good a writer is, if the art is not good, the comic will not be very good either.

Over my many years of reading comics, I have found that my favourite writers cannot overcome bad art. If the art is not working to tell the story in a way that I find sensible and appealing, then I am not going to like the book no matter how good the writing may be. Such was the case with Waid's Indestructible Hulk, and the chief reason, I have not reviewed it. I tend to steer clear of wasting precious blog space on negative reviews. But with another reboot, I was excited to see Mark Bagley take over, teaming with Waid, on a new Hulk comic.

The story here is also very intriguing. "Who Shot Bruce Banner?" as the cover depicts would have drawn me to the book even without the promise of Mark Bagley, whom I might count in a top ten of favorite currently working artists (though this would be a difficult list to make).

The comic opens in the middle of the story. Bruce Banner has already been shot, and surgeon is being brought in by a security team to "fix" him. The issue's first big reveal is the moment the surgeon sees that his patient is Bruce Banner, aka the Incredible Hulk.

To my knowledge, this is the first time a story has explored what would happen if Bruce Banner underwent some surgery, especially brain surgery. Given Banner's propensity to "Hulk out," an operation is a risky venture.

If this story premise is not intriguing enough, it is soon quite obvious that something is sketchy with the security detail, who want the surgeon to add an implant to Banner's brain as a means to control him and thus the Hulk. As an added layer, the surgeon actually met Bruce Banner back in their high school days,

Given the look of the sun-glassed agents, it seems that either S.H.I.E.L.D. or some other government agency is up to something nefarious, but not so fast! This is not the government. As the agents reveal that they are not with S.H.I.E.L.D. The surgeon has a tough choice. With one slip of the scalpel, he could rid the world of the Hulk or, now, with the new wrinkle, rid the world of a Hulk controlled by some nefarious secret agency (Hydra? A.I.M.? It's not made clear).

But the Hulk has his fan base. Before the implant can be placed in Banner's brain, a nurse pulls the plug on the anesthetic because the Hulk saved her family: "he is not a monster!"

Right on schedule--as no Hulk story is complete without some Hulking out about midway through the tale--Banner goes green and Hulky, though he still sports a big hole in the back of his head, though this area is somewhat protected by the "healing" effect of the Hulk transformation. Hulk gets away, but the surgery has affected his brain, and he soon passes out. Jump ahead two weeks, now we see that S.H.I.E.L.D. is involved. But there's a terrible problem. Bruce Banner has suffered "irreversible" brain damage: "he will never be smart again."

I have not enjoyed an issue of a HULK comic this much in a very long time. Looking forward to more great work from Waid and Bagley.





Uncanny X-Men #020

I really like Chris Bachalo's art. His work does not make for an easy read, so often I will drop the comic in my stack and rank it lower. This lower rank should not be mistaken for lack of interest. It's a matter of the speed with which I can absorb the comic. Bachalo takes time.

I like that Bachalo colors his own finished art. In this issue, he penciled the art, and then used a slew of inkers (six in all) to finish his work, and then he did colors. Bachalo is a master of tints, shadowy S.H.I.E.L.D. agents tinted in purple with heavy inks are set next to characters in more realistic colors when they step into the light. Even with all these inkers on his work, Bachalo's style is very uniform. There's a cartoony quality to it, but there's also great attention to detail. The finished work also mixes media, such as an actual copied and reduced Howard the Duck comic book cover from the 1970s on the wall of one of the character's apartments and later an actual still image from a video feed on a monitor in the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier. I am an avid fan of Bachalo, who would be another candidate for the top ten currently working artists list. Also, how cool is the new Cyclops visor-free costume?

Ms. Marvel #003

When I first saw the ads for the new Ms. Marvel book, I was excited. I loved the idea of a Muslim-American comic character. I wrote about this news in my T-shirt blog in T-shirt #235 (reprinted here). I LOVED the first cover image. But I was not impressed with the first issue. I was slightly more impressed with issue #2. And now, with issue #3, I am definitely a fan.

I enjoyed Adrian Alphona's work on Runaways, one of my very favourite comics of recent years. Alphona spices his art with flavors of old style newspaper strips, a loose, sketchy style that gives the comic an endearing yet smart quality.

The story telling by G. Willow Wilson is beautiful. Kamala, the main character, is a very real girl, trying to understand her new powers and how to both do good work with them and how to be a good daughter and a good Muslim. The story takes us inside a New Jersey Mosque. We also see Kamala in school as her powers flare up unexpectedly.The dialogue is a crisp and realistic, especially the scenes with her family that are peppered with ethnic-specific terms of endearment.

Since I am behind schedule in writing, I just read issue five, and this comic just keeps getting better and better. I hope it survives an early cut and is not canceled any time soon.

REPRINTED CONTENT FROM T-shirt #235 


MARVEL ANNOUNCES NEW MS. MARVEL SERIES

First up is the new "Ms. Marvel." The Marvel Comics Company must renew trademarks, and with the previous Ms. Marvel (who has been known by many names) taking the mantle of Captain Marvel (a smart move given her history), it's time for a new Ms. Marvel. Nerd magnet Stephen Colbert satirized a reaction in a link farther below, shared by Charles Skaggs.

FROM WORD OF THE NERD ONLINE (see link):
Ms. Marvel will center on 16-year-old Kamala Khan, a Muslim-American teenager living in Jersey City, New Jersey.  Like any teenager, all of her opportunities are in front her and she is full of potential, but her parents’ high expectations come with tons of pressure and has led Kamala to carve out a future that she has little interest in.
 “At her core, Kamala is just a 16-year-old girl, exploring the many facets of her identity when she is suddenly bestowed with super-human powers that send her on the adventure of a lifetime,” says Marvel Comics Editor In Chief Axel Alonso.



 The series, and its central character, are brought to life by an all-star creative team, led by acclaimed novelist and multi-Eisner nominee, G. Willow Wilson (Air, MysticAlif The Unseen). Her writings about modern religion have appeared in such outlets as New York Times’ Magazine and The Atlantic.  Critically-acclaimed artist Adrian Alphona (RunawaysUncanny X-Force) brings his vivid artistry to the project capturing the vibrantly rich and kinetic world in which Kamala lives.
Thor: God of Thunder #021

Since Jason Aaron took over this comic, Thor has been revitalized. Starting with the God Butcher story and now moving on to the Last Days of Midgard story, featuring a show down with Galactus and Thor's great-great grand daughters, this comic has consistently produced excellence, even though I never rank it in my top five. Much like with Bachalo's work, these Thor issues are top five worthy, but they are dense enough that I will save them and place them lower in the stack. At some point, I may write more about my rating system, but clearly the speed with which I can read the comic factors into its placement in the stack. Esad Ribic's art is phenomenal.

Aaron has done many smart things with this comic. The God Butcher saga featured Thor from three time periods, our present, several hundred years in the past, and many millenia in the future. Likewise, this story features far, far future King Thor battling Galactus on an earth devoid of human life, a wasteland. Current Thor battles with a CEO of Roxxon, who is eventually revealed to be an actual mythic Minotaur. However, the Roxxon CEO defeats Thor with laws of the land, lawyers and litigation, which is something that Thor cannot easily throw his hammer at.

This comic is another example of why Marvel is arguably outperforming DC in the quality department.

Stray Bullets: Killers  #2

Last, but not the least of these, in my comic reviews for this blog entry, I share some words about Stray Bullets. Though it originally seemed a derivative of Tarantino's film Pulp Fiction, Stray Bullets established itself from 1995-2005 as one of the premier "independent" comics. Now, under the Image banner, David Lapham's Stray Bullets returns with excellent story telling, characterization, and B&W aesthetic. Relaunched in 2014, Lapham finished his unfinished Stray Bullets story, left off in 2005 with issue 40, and then launched a new story, "Killers," which is fantastic.





COMICS FOR 1404.16

Winter Soldier: The Bitter March #003
Superior Spider-Man (Series Finale) #031
Justice League #29
Hulk: Who Shot Bruce Banner? #001
Batman: Zero Hour: Final Act #30
Uncanny X-Men #020
Ms. Marvel #003
Thor: God of Thunder #021
Amazing X-Men #006
Nova #016
Stray Bullets: Killers  #2
Batman and Wonder Woman #30
Sinestro #1
X-Men #013
Ultimate FF #001
Birds of Prey #30
Wonder Woman #30
Solar: Man of the Atom #1

BACK LOG

Batman Eternal #2 - at the time this was back log, but I have since read it.
God is Dead #11

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- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1407.01 - 10:05

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