Hey, Mom! The Explanation.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Weekly Comics List for 1407.16

Weekly Comics List for 1407.16

Hi. It's me again. It's December 2014, and I am still trying to catch up on blog posts from July, likely blog posts that only matter to me as who wants to read about comics from July in December. Well, I guess you could be seeking nice Christmas gifts. Or it's 2016, and this is still on the Internet, and you landed on this page in a search for Kieron Gillen, Nick Fury, or Robin's return from the dead, and you cannot figure out why this guy who owns this blog (that would be me) is so obsessed with writing about how he ranks his stack of weekly comic book purchases. It's not like the ranking actually corresponds to quality. After all, given that I ranked The Wicked and the Divine as number one the week the first issue debuted (see this blog post - COMICS FOR 1406.18), and now, the title has dropped to fifth in my stack does not truly indicate that it was the fifth best comic of the week.

More on this conundrum in a minute.

First, a word on wrap-ups. It's fun to see others rating or collecting of comics for the week. COMIC BOOK ROUNDUP is especially impressive as it's a collection of links to reviews for each comic. It's a very extensive web site. For instance, Original Sin # 6 (of 8) features 22 "critic" reviews (I assume this means established or "professional" (such as it is in this industry) reviews) and 13 user reviews.
This is also a great way to see sites dedicated to comics all in an easy to digest list. I have found a few of these but not all 22.


IGN is more of a grab bag. Its weekly comics round up focuses on a dozen or more key titles and that's all. Still it's a good resource.


I do not aspire to really doing "reviews" here so much as a wee bit of commentary. After all, if I am going to devote so much time to reading these VERY EXPENSIVE little booklets, I should have something to say about them, shouldn't I? Plus lately, as I continue to play catch up, as I can, I am trying to use it as a reward for grading. Grade or work so much and then I have earned so much time here. If I apply myself, perhaps in the new year, I may be caught up.

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

Original Sin hits the top of the stack again this week. I enjoy these crossovers for the most part, especially if done well. Here, the art alone, Mike Deodato, will keep me reading and ranking this one highly.

Once it was revealed that Nick Fury (an aged Fury whose special anti-aging formula has run out) was behind all the hoopla and the Watcher's "murder," it was obvious what was going on at the House of Ideas (aka Marvel). Out with old Fury and in with the new Samuel Jackson-esque Fury to have better continuity with the films. I know a lot of hardcore comic fans dislike this idea on principle alone and many long time readers who love ol' one-eye Nick Fury simply balked due to the change to their beloved character. But come on, people. Change is good. Too many comic book readers resist change simply because they want regurgitation of the same old same old, whatever it is that they love about comics, whatever it is that hooked them, replayed, in minor variations, endlessly. AND, well, that gets old really soon. The cast and the continuity and the landscape will only stay fresh and engaging if it is changed. Here's one of those changes, and I think it's a good one. After all, original Nick Fury had been out of the SHIELD driver's seat for some time, relegated to the background as a deep cover, super secret agent or involved in some weird and complicated saga with LMD gone bad that I didn't read. It was time.

Reviews of Original Sin # 6 varied from as high as 9.5 to as low a 3 out of ten as seen on CBR's catch all, here:

CBR - Just Original Sin #6 reviews collected

The NEWSARAMA review compared it to setting up and shuffling action figures without any mention of the gorgeous art and some truly strong story elements. Whereas the chap who gave the comic a 9.5 and called it a superb installment only gushed and had nothing negative to say to cause the loss of .5 of a point. Whereas the review linked below suggests that Fury has a Hitler complex, which is also a bit overstated.


All in all, I enjoyed Original Sin, which has now concluded as I am writing this in December, but it was a bit overwrought in some ways and probably would have worked better with a tighter focus and fewer plot threads. I do agree with one criticism I read which is that Aaron spends so much time setting up other people's stories that he fails to properly set up THIS story.

Savage Hulk takes second simply on the strength of art by Alan Davis.


This Pop Matters reviewer spends over half his review discussing his feelings about the darker Batman brought on by the 1980s Frank Miller frenzy and not so much about the Hulk.

But his point is valid in how this comic takes us all back to the days of Uncanny X-Men #66, originally published in March of 1970.

This comic purports to be its sequel. The reviewer wrongly attributes the original to Lee-Kirby even though Uncanny X-Men #66 was written by Roy Thomas and drawn by Sal Buscema. Lee and Kirby return for the next issue, but if anything Davis is reminiscing about the classic run of Neal Adams on the X-Men, which started in issue #56 and ended in issue #65.
So, if anything, Davis waxes nostalgically about Neal Adams, as issue #66 (the launch point for Davis' story arc) had continued to feature the great art work of Neal Adams, who, then, was one of the greatest artists in all of comics history (and still is, IMHO).

But the reviewer is right that the comic is fun and that's all it really needs to be: a bright, primary colored slug fest with cool throwback 1970s costumes. Marvel Girl's look alone from this era drawn by Davis, who owes much to Neal Adams, is gorgeous and worse the price of admission.

No wonder this one hit second on my stack for the week.


Teen Titans #1 ranked third simply due to my love of the Teen Titans, but this issue was truly awful. Despite what I said about change and comic readers wanting regurgitation of their favorites, there's a difference in quality between George Perez or Mike McKone and this terrible dreck.

The IGN reviewer at link above claimed this issue was "full of energy," which may be true, but I was so turned off by the art and the complete lack of any character driven story that I barely managed to get through the issue without discarding it in disgust. This title has dropped to the bottom of my stack ever since.

Robin Rises Omega #1 takes fourth simply due to its gimmick factor. Damian Wayne, Robin, son of Batman, recently killed in Batman Incorporated (an event I managed to mark early on in my T-shirt blog: T-shirt #6). Reviews drop as low as 3/10 on this one, but I think such low marks are unwarranted. Though super heroes are often killed leaving no doubt that they would return, the recent killing of Robin seems to have been done simply to be able to tell this story about bringing him back, which pits Batman against R'as Al Ghul and eventually Darkseid, as it's December, and I just read the issues in which Robin rises from the dead. In fact, tomorrow (Dec. 24 2014) the Robin Rises Alpha issue hits the stands, the bookmark  of this issue from July, ending the story of Robin's return and the new twists to the character due to his return.

Though it ranked fifth, I really like The Wicked and the Divine. Though as much as I like it, there seems to be something missing, something off, though I just read issue #6, so my feelings may be confused due to that influence. More on that when I catch up to December.

The majority of the reviews for The Wicked and the Divine #2 rank between 8-10, which I think is reasonable. Some hacks logged 6/10 or even 4/10, but these reviews are baseless. The wank who gave the comic a 4/10 claims that little plot goes down in this issue, which shows how very little he knows about plot. In fact, in his efforts to explain his low score, he actually highlights many of the things that The Wicked and the Divine #2 does right.

Check this out: from FRONT TOWARDS GAMER

We’re low on time so let’s wrap this up; not a ton of plot goes down in The Wicked and The Divine #2- we learn that the gods incarnate into already existing people which mean someone had to basically die so Lucifer could dress up like David Bowie (there I said it happy?) and do concerts so that’s depressing, Laura reveals more of her twisted inner madness as she becomes embroiled in the hunt for whoever framed Lucifer, and a rapper type god named Baal goes on TV and swears at a reporter for daring to suggest the “gods” shouldn’t be allowed to murder with impunity helping to cement the truly ugly nature of these so-called Gods and how completely backwards Laura’s worship of them is, The Wicked and The Divine #2 is not recommended.
The review at THE WICKED AND THE DIVINE #2 - BLOODY DISGUSTING does not make it into the CBR list, proving that it does not consist of all 'net posted reviews. I like this site. It's a new find. This chap gives WD#2 four skulls out of five, which seems more accurate.

The previous wank reviewer could learn a great deal from the smart comments of this reviewer:

I think it is really important to read outside your comfort zone. I don’t really “get” this book, yet, and that’s ok. In fact its a really good thing because it will motivate me to examine, re-read, think harder, and possibly even research. We should all try to read things over our heads from time to time and not dismiss them for being frustrating. Getting to know writers through their work is one of the best things about reading, and it is clear that Gillen writes from a very personal place. I think that’s really cool, and I’ll continue reading “The Wicked + The Divine” every month and revelling in how much smarter it is than me.
Yes. I agree.

Nova continues to be a strong and very fun book with smart characterization of the new adolescent Nova. I REALLY liked the Hulk vs. Iron Man (Original Sin) series, which unearthed probably the best secret of the entire Original Sin crossover, revealing Tony Stark's role in the Gamma Bomb explosion that created the Hulk. Also, Uncanny X-Men (Original Sin) #23 proved interesting as the story began to explore the Last Will and Testament on Charles Xavier, a very appropriate storyline.

Watch for some of the other titles, such as Fables, Ms. Marvel, and especially the AWESOME Stray Bullets to sneak up in the ranks in future weeks.

Also, one of these days, I am going to explain why I spend extra cash each month on the SF trade magazine Locus.


Original Sin # 6 (of 8)
Savage Hulk #002
Teen Titans #1
Robin Rises Omega #1
The Wicked and the Divine #2
Nova (Original Sin) #19
Uncanny X-Men (Original Sin) #23
Stray Bullets: Killers #5
Hulk vs. Iron Man (Original Sin) #2
The New 52: Futures End #11
Batman Eternal #15
Ms. Marvel #006
Secret Avengers #005
She-Hulk #006
Silver Surfer #004
Fables #142


Locus issue 642 vol. 73 #1


Not all the covers for this week, but a nice selection and especially the top ten.

- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1412.23 - 9:19
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