Sunday, April 04, 2010

The List - March 2010

I'm not liking this Wednesday as the last day of the month business, and April won't be much better. Too much of a rush to get this done. I'm also finding myself in the same boat with Jim, in that even the stuff toward the bottom is really quite good. It's only the very bottom that leaves me cold, and that's mostly strange little items picked up in a given month. Off we go, all the same.

1. Scalped 36 - Ah, Jason Aaron, you purveyor of the profane as holy. Shunka, master of mayhem and sage advisor to Red Crow gets the spotlight. Loved every bit of this story and can't wait for the rest.

2. daytripper 4 - Moon and Ba are still rocking this most unusual of story telling styles. While each issue stands alone and, by all appearances, contradicts its fellows, still the character of Bras develops in a consistent and enjoyable way. A life story told with multiple choice options, just like real life but with re-sets. Fascinating.

3. Unknown Soldier 18 - Moses is as good as dead. 'Course, he's been a walking dead man, and apparently sharing his mind with a dead man, for quite some time. I still maintain that he can't last but so much longer with the trajectory of his downward spiral. The violent setting of several years ago is unfortunately unresolved today, too.

4. Fables 93 - Willingham and Lapham, goblins and kings. Gordian knot's got nothing on Fly Catcher's dilemma here. Only time will tell how his resolution reverberates, as it should be in a good, long term story such as this.

5. Northlanders 26 - Shockingly, the dead bodies just keep piling up. Cold and brutal are succinct descriptions of this arc, as the Plague Widow nears its end. Sure doesn't look good for our heroine these days, though it never looked terribly bright from the beginning. And, to top it all off, the best of all illiterate warning signs - heads on pikes!

6. Madame Xanadu 21 - Back to the '50s we go, rejoining the fight between Nimu and Morganna. Good to see John Jones, in the style of his early tales, without all the cheesiness of those days. He always worked better without a costume for me.

7. Jersey Gods 11 - Penultimate issue? Say it ain't so! Zoe's kickin' ass and betraying Barok. How do we resolve that in one issue? And I'm still waiting for my Zoe full frontal, ya know?

8. Cinderella: From Fabletown with Love 5 - Ultima Thule, polar bears with bandoliers and AK-47s, and, oh yeah, the shoe riots continue. What's not to like? I know Fairy Godmother was meant to look evil or demented, or both, but I couldn't help thinking of Fairly Odd Parents and smiling.

9. Secret Six 19 - I've only consistently read this series when it comes to Simone's writing, picking the occasional trade of Birds of Prey otherwise. This is some great super powers writing. And I get to be Deadshot in our merry band here at Comics and..., even if we're numbering 7 and not 6.

10. Green Hornet: Year One 1 - Matt Wagner. What else needs to be said? Ok, it'd be even better if he was doing the pencils, too, but Aaron Campbell is no slouch. The one Green Hornet book I can say for certain that's worth the purchase.

11. The Unwritten 11 - Carey and Gross have entered some strange ground, but I'm still on for the ride. Curiously, I just noticed some demonic helmet on the cover of this issue that seems to be the same helmet that shows up in Madame Xanadu.

12. DMZ: Body of a Journalist TPB 2 - Wood's post apocalyptic Manhattan rolls on in this one and Public Works TPB 3, going full bore into the Iraq parallels, with manichean factions galore, suicide bombers, and corrupt corporations. Up through these trades, a good piece of work and not too heavy handed.

13. Ameican Vampire 1 - The latest Vertigo addition to my reading. I could probably drop everything published by everyone else and be perfectly happy with just Vertigo titles. As noted on this blog and elsewhere, we're starting on a new angle on the vampire lore, but this just lays the groundwork of what appear to be the two main characters. A good start, but we'll see how it develops.

14. Detective Comics 862 & 863 - A quirk that I got two issues this month. Not as good a story arc as Rucka has done previously with Batwoman, but an interesting effort. More on the relationship between kidnapper and kidnapee would have been nice, considering the significance in this issue.
15. Gotham City Sirens 10 - This trio is just a lot of fun. The three distinct personalities of Ivy, Harley and Selina keep things lively, and adding Nigma just adds to the fun. Couldn't quite figure out how Aesop found a bull with pointy fangs, though. Like Simone with Secret Six, Dini does a great job of developing character and stories with a bunch of people who, when you get right down to it, are generally unlikable if they were real people.

16. The Great Ten 3, 5 - I missed issue 3 when it came out and just got it this month. I'm happy to see we're not just going to bash the Communist Party in China. While not unwarranted, it's too easy. The format of an origin story for each member in each issue is managing to work at fleshing out the team while advancing the over all story of the apparent return of ancient Chinese gods. Cool cultural stuff, though I couldn't vouch for its accuracy.

17. Justice Society of America 37 - I'm a sucker for a story set in a futue that can't possibly be the "actual" future of a book, going all the way back to Uncanny X-Men 141 & 142. Throw in super powered Nazis ruling the world, a psychotic infiltrator and Bruce Wayne with a goatee, well, then, I'm there for sure. Clark Kent with an eye patch ups the Big Blue Boy Scout's cool quotient, too.

18. Irredeemable 12 - And speaking of Superman with a dark edge... Ok, The Plutonian is more the psychotic, homicidal break than dark edge. Looks like we're full into the group think that labels all of a kind as being the same, this time the super powered, when it comes to government policy. Can't quite think of where I've seen that before...
19. Incorruptible 4 - The other side of the coin in the world Waid has created for Boom! The art distracted me on this one. Instead of having Max Destruction's attempt to save his erstwhile girlfriend as the primary element in my mind, I keep thinking "How does Amberjack have a left forearm and hand when we just saw it rocket launch and attach itself to Jailbait's neck and can still see it around her neck, while in the same scene we see Amberjack with a left hand?" Of course, the other question is, what the hell kind of name is Amberjack?
20. Batman: Streets of Gotham 10 - I like this book, not surprisingly with Dini writing, but I keep confusing Zsasz with the kidnapper in Detective Comics. The new vigilante in Gotham is pretty cool. Harkens back to Shazam in a way.
21. Batman and Robin 10 - Much as I have issues with Morrison at times, I like his depiction of Damien rather a lot. I hope the return of Bruce Wayne doesn't disrupt this pairing of Batman and Robin.
22. DMZ: Friendly Fire TPB 4 - This one has fallen down quite a bit from the others because it reached a point where I said to myself, what the hell? Iraq analogy is just fine, but I can't for the life of me figure out how a bunch of barely armed militia guys are supposed to have taken control of large chunks of the US. The rationale put forth here that they blend with the population, a la al-Qaeda, doesn't wash. I'm going to devote a longer post to this later, though. I'm hopeful that subsequent story arcs make a more logical case for the Free States.
23. Haunt 6 - The entire first 5 issues re-told from the perspective of a previously minor character. Kirkman's getting more of my interest with this title, though still not to the level of The Walking Dead or Invincible (neither of which I've seen this month, by the way).
24. The Warlord 12 - Yea! Real change and advancement of the story. Well, if Morgan stays dead, anyway.
25. Action Comics 887 - Rucka keeps me involved in all these Kryptonian stories without me reading any of the other Superman titles. A very nice accomplishment.
26. Blackest Night 8, Green Lantern 52 & Green Lantern Corps 46 - Hey, I think we've reached the end. An odd bit of re-set at the end. Not surprising, I suppose, in the world of super hero comics, but a disappointment all the same. Want to break new ground in DC or Marvel comics? Keep some major characters dead. 'Course, that's not the goal, but we do so love to talk about it.
27. Jonah Hex 40 - One of three free books I got in a random bag Cards, Comics and Collectibles was giving away with regular Wednesday purchases. A good story, but it's a two parter, so I don't know how it ends. Well, Jonah's alive and lots of other people are dead at the end, I'm sure, but other than that, I don't know how it ends.
28. Outsiders 28 - What the hell? Is everyone on this team a mental case now? One more issue. If we're not improved, we're done.
29. Return of the Jedi 1 - Yep, this is the first issue of the movie adaptation from 1983. I think I had this back then but got rid of it a long time ago. One of the other 3 free books in the random bag. Paper quality sure has improved in the last 27 years.
30. The Great Unknown 1 - And number three of the freebies. I can't remember a thing about what happened in this book, and I just read it last week. Some sort of slacker vibe, I think.
The month is almost as notable for what didn't come out (The Walking Dead, Invincible, Stumptown) as what did.

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