Hey, Mom! The Explanation.

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

Monday, December 29, 2014

Weekly Comics for 1407.23

Weekly Comics List 1407.23

Hello again, it's me. It's still December 2014 as I type this, and I am still writing about July 2014. Slowly, I am catching up. Again this will be a quick survey of comics from one week in July, but a week it was. GREAT comics came out this week and the titles I read are so good that I had to share a full cover gallery of all nineteen titles. Also, I can say, now, as of December 26, 2014, that none of these comics still resides in the back log and that I have read them all.

Let's move along. The Internet really helps me to refresh my memory on comics from over five months ago.

As I type, today, I just enjoyed two days of Christmas holidays with family. On Christmas Eve, I celebrated with my immediate family, my wife and kids, and then at her parents' house, the Creagers. Then, yesterday, on actual Christmas Day, I celebrated with my parents, sister, and brother-in-law, and since my wife got off work early, we were able to watch The Interview together, a satire about North Korea that had made a lot of news and that she wanted to see.

Now, today, Dec. 26th, I am back at work as I have final grades for two classes due tomorrow morning. But I am happy to be able to take little breaks to cobble together yet another long overdue blog post.

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

I find that I am turning to IGN and Comic Book Round Up (more the latter) for each of these belated blog posts.

Here's the links:



Superman is still riding high on the strength of John Romita Jr.'s art in this week for July. After Romita's debut last month (as described in Weekly Comics for 1406.25), the strength of the art alone keeps this book ranked second. Really, given my enjoyment of them and/or anticipation of them, any of the top seven could have been interchangeable. You will see Superman fade in subsequent months. I just read the most recent issue (Superman #37 as please remember that I am writing this in December about July comics) last night, and I was underwhelmed despite the catastrophic events in the story and the gorgeous art.

But any week that Afterlife with Archie comes out, it will take top spot. Though issue #5 came out only a little over a month before this one (Weekly Comics for 1405.14), there would be a long wait until the next one. (What will be the post for comics released 1412.10.) Many critics were underwhelmed by the last issue and the conclusion to the first arc of stories. But this issue embarks on a new set off issues, though fans will surely be frustrated in waiting five months for the next installment.

CBR shares 14 "critic" reviews, which total to an average score 9.1. Eight reviewers give this a 10/10 and the lowest rating is a six, clearly by a reviewer who did not put a great deal of consideration into the review. Sure, the comic portrays Lovecraft and Lovecraftian horrors dead on without modification (because the doctor is even named Lovecraft), but so what? This whole comic title is borrowing from something borrowed from a motif that borrowed from a trope. Are we really going to criticize the brilliance of this work with quibbles about being too derivative. The reviewer himself who gave it the six (from Multiversity) claimed that there were oodles and oodles of comics to read each week, which prompts me to dismiss his overly harsh opinion is ill-conceived.

Setting aside the six of ten, the lowest score for this issue is one lone seven and then an eight and an 8.3. Philistines!

I would much rather focus on the EIGHT reviewers who gave this issue an 10/10, quite unabashedly.

Here's a good one


Here's a tidbit.
Francavilla's art here is at a series best. His monsters --culiminating with a jaw-dropping splash page of that most terrible of Old Gods, Cthulhu -- are full of ghastly detail that reinforce how Francavilla is the most talented artist in the industry today. In the book's letters section, Aguirre-Sacasa declares that he and Francavilla are absolute H.P. Lovecraft fanatics. But more than that, each subsequent issue illustrates their combined passion for the horror genre as a whole. (The Wicker Man is referenced repeatedly here, and spotting the nods to other horror classics is quickly becoming a past time for Afterlife with Archie readers). This issue's Hammer Horror meets American Horror Story by way of Lovecraft may be a full of familiar pastiches, yet it is one that makes readers eagerly anticipate each new development in this bold twisted Archieverse. Things keep getting scarier in each new issue, and that is a wonderful thing.

This issue is a great change of pace and another reason that Afterlife with Archie always hits the top of my stack when it comes out. I would place this title in my top five favourite comics of the year. Collected edition for the first arc is out. It's worth the investment.

 Velvet should have taken the second spot. Superman edged Velvet simply due to my adoration of Romita and my hope that the new creative team would re-vitalize the title and the character. Superman has been in need of a boost for some time. Though I am in the minority in liking the JMS run, this was the last time, in my memory, that I was eagerly anticipating this comic. John Romita Jr's coming, much like the arrival at DC of Jack Kirby in the 1970s, rocketed this comic to the top of my stack, but sadly, it has not sustained the level of excellence I had hoped for.

And here's something funny, the same Multiversity reviewer who gave Afterlife with Archie #6 a six of ten gave Superman #33 an eight out of ten, proving that he's either too rushed, too over-fan-boy-focused on the traditional super heroes or just a moron.

Sure this issue of Superman doesn't suck, but it's not higher on the scale than Afterlife with Archie #6 by any stretch of the imagination. Further proving my point that the Multiversity reviewer is way off base.

The Johns-Romita run on Superman keep with many of the familiar tropes of the rich history of Superman, such as seen here with Perry White displaying the Daily Planet page as the titles for the comic issue. So, there's a lot to like here, but in hindsight, I would have dropped this book to seventh in the rankings after the throwback to the 1970s, retro Might Avengers with gorgeous Greg Land art.

Also, apparently, the cover I have on display in my cover gallery did not make it to print as the issue's final cover, which I would know if I had dug out the issue rather than using the Internet to write these mini-glimpse reviews. Still, as traditional super hero fare goes, this issue and the Johns/Romita run has been enjoyable, though (if I can remember) I will have some critical things to share about December's Superman #37 when I get to it.

Velvet #6 was mis-listed at CBR for last week. Here's the link: COMIC ROUND UP - VELVET #6.

This is a week for favourite comics as Velvet definitely ranks in my top five. I would rank this title over others that I love but that are top ten and not top five, such as Lazarus, The Walking Dead, and Daredevil.

I have raved about Velvet before and now that the title embarks on its second story arc, a part of the overall ongoing story, I am even more impressed and pleased.

I cannot do much better than the remarks of others.

Here's some other people's thoughts: from NEWSARAMA:

Spy fiction, once thought a dying genre, is one that takes a delicate hand to do well. With so many spy stories of recent years relying on sci-fi like technology or dizzying set pieces, Velvet stands apart as a solidly entertaining throwback to the nickel novels of old. Ed Brubaker, Steve Epting, and Elizabeth Breitweiser have given us a character and title unafraid to take the methodical pace of older spy fiction and translate it beautifully into the medium of comics. Velvet #6 takes the already engaging titular character and presents her as a directed force of vengeance shaped by the mistakes and lies of her past, making her a living, breathing, and compelling protagonist. Velvet has been this good from the start and from the looks of Issue #6, it won’t stop being this good for a long while.


The narrative is truly engaging, but where this book takes it to the next level is the way it looks. The art is stunning and the colouring is so consistent and spectacular that it makes this book one of those rare few where it is worth picking up just for the visuals. But luckily it’s not just an art book, it is a truly magnificent art book with a fantastic story that keeps the reader on the edge of their seat while rooting for the protagonist.


Brubaker is no stranger to the spy game—most recently, his run on Winter Soldier featured a heavily espionage influenced direction. His comfort with the genre allows him to turn convention on its head repeatedly in “Velvet #6.” Spy thrillers have relied on tropes for essentially as long as the sub-genre has existed. But the modern upheaval in story-telling has allowed Brubaker to relentlessly pursue a strong female lead character and lend a little bit of much needed diversity to the popular comics scene. “Velvet #6” relies on the protagonist’s strong narration to provide any needed exposition and gravitas. It’s refreshing to see Velvet as a worthy lead in a book that wouldn’t/couldn’t have existed only a few decades ago where female lead characters took their cues from James Bond films. 

With some of these other comics, Batman Zero Year: Finale #33 edges one of my personal faves, Aquaman, for fourth in the stack because it is the finale of the Riddler saga. This comic earned high ratings overall from many reviewers. It was a great conclusion to the Zero Year Riddler saga. The Batman Zero Year saga was a fantastic mix of Batman mythology, filling in background of young Bruce Wayne while telling a story dependent on Gotham City as a part of the plot. Fantastic!!

Not only have I written about Batman but I have raved about the next four comic titles: Aquaman, 
Daredevil, Mighty Avengers, and Amazing Spider-Man.

And before any one accuses me of over-focus on Marvel Comics, please note that my top ten this week is a nice mix of four companies with the Archie and Image books as well as only two Marvels in the top ten and six DC Comics. This is surely unusual as I buy and read more Marvel titles than DC titles. Then again, of the nineteen titles released this week, only four of them came from Marvel.

I could run the gamut of titles and comment on all of them, but I am pressed for time and five months late, so a few more quick observations and I will leave you with NINETEEN comic book covers.

Amazing Spider-Man has continued to get more and more excellent and has edged upwards in my stack since July. I have started ranking Saga, Supreme Blue Rose, and Trees higher, even though with comics that take longer to read I tend to rank them lower just for that reason. As much as I love Walt Simonson's art, I did not continue to buy Ragnarok. Batman Eternal has improved and is rarely in last place any more, though the Flash often ranks low as the new creative team is just not as good as the original, New 52, team of Buccellato and Manapul. I keep reading All New Invaders out of love for the original book from the 1970s. This book is good but it's not having the same effect on me as the original (as if anything could).

I let Buffy the Vampire Slayer: season 10 stack up in the back log and only recently cleared it. This is just circumstantial as I have been enjoying this book very much (though it's not top ten). Likewise, though I liked some of the re-imagining of the Greek gods, I was not too invested in the new 52 version of Wonder Woman. But after letting the title back log until I had six-seven issues, I read them all recently and was pleasantly surprised. Meanwhile, as of December, we are two issues into the new creative team (the Finches), and I have already written my thoughts on the debut of the new Wonder Woman for whenever I catch up to November.


Afterlife with Archie #6
Superman #33
Velvet #6
Batman Zero Year: Finale #33
Aquaman #33
Daredevil #6
Mighty Avengers - Original Sin #12
Amazing Spider-Man #4
The New 52: Futures End #12
Batman and Robin #33
All New Invaders #008
Saga #21
Supreme Blue Rose #1
Trees #3
Ragnarok #1
Flash #33
Batman Eternal #16


Buffy the Vampire Slayer: season 10: #5
Wonder Woman #33


Okay, I went a bit overboard this week by showing all the covers for the week's comics (plus one extra variant), but this week of July (during SDCC - San Diego Comic Con) was a huge week for comics. Great stuff. JUST LOOK AT ALL THIS GORGEOUS ART!!

- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1412.29 - 9:16
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