Sunday, September 05, 2010

The List - August 2010

Yea! Extra time to get up the List. So, off we go into random order, an oxymoron if ever there was one.

1. daytripper 9 - Bras is back in his book and Moon and Ba are revealing more of how the story structure is working. It's been a great slow reveal because each issue individually has been so much of a joy. This is taking your time in telling your story done to its best effect. This issue, entitled "Dream", touches on the stories in the 8 previous issues and knits them together in a coherent arc, a fairly neat trick considering all the different points in Bras's life (or lives) that we'd visited in those issues.

2. The Walking Dead 76 - Another fine example of slow story telling done well. Kirkman's got a lot on the top end of the list this month, actually. Rick's in mea culpa mode, Douglas gives us a look into his background, and reveals some similarities and some differences between his background and Rick's background. Kirkman interestingly brings to the forefront that Rick's young son, Carl, has been the one to make the hard choices when someone's needed to be killed for the survival of the group. Kirkman's also churning up a possible outside threat of other survivors who we've already seen throw one of their own to the zombies so the rest could escape a building. Ah, the moral dilemmas of survival in a post apocalyptic world.

3. Madame Xanadu 26 - I know others have complained about the lack of Amy Reeder art and the cameo appearances of the titular character in this book, but Wagner's still hitting for power to me. It wasn't terribly difficult to see that this issue's star was dead from the get go, but Wagner still told a moving story of his life and his journey to figuring out he was dead. Chrissie Zullo's are had an anime style that fit nicely, too.

4. Invincible 74 - Not long ago Invincible and The Walking Dead were at the same numbers, but now Invincible is 2 issues behind. Funny how that goes. Does coloring make that much of a difference? (I jest.) Anyway, the Viltrumite War is in full fury, as seen by Freddie Mercury, aka the Emperor of the Viltrumites, reaching out to crush all opposition on the cover. Believe the hype that this is "The Best Superhero Comic Book in the Universe". Just don't expect it to be out every month. At least Freddie got his teeth fixed.

5. Scalped 40 - The DTs sure are a bitch. Equally interstingly, it seems Dash might have had a younger sibling but for his mother having an abortion. That story not only brought back Dash's dad, Wade, in that past story line but helped reintroduce him to the current story. Loved the meeting between Wade and Red Crow, too. The parallels between Gina's visit to the rez clinic for an abortion and Carol's visits to the clinic for methadone treatments is nicley done, too.

6. Superman Secret Origin 6 - And talk about slow publishing schedules. I'd forgotten altogether about this book not having ended. I'm a sucker for a well told origin story, which this is, but the book really makes it this high into the list for Gary Frank's art. That's not my usual, but this is that rare bird that's elevated by the art while the story is good but not outstanding. Actually, I'll have to re-read the 6 issues to figure out if it was even good. I think it was, but don't recall enough of it right now that a refresher is necessary.

7. Justice League Generation Lost 7, 8 - I may be alone in this, but I have thoroughly enjoyed this series. It's getting in the light heartedness I recall from the old JLI book but also working an outcast/conspiracy angle worthy of the X-Men. Max Lord's making for a very worth opponent who proclaims to be actually guiding the team to save the world. The Reyes Blue Beetle has worked very well with this team. With him not being familiar with all the old JLI interactions he's a perfect window for the readers to look into this team. Cliff Chang's stylized cover art is setting up the perfect vibe for this sort of spy story that these two issues involved.

8. The Astounding Wolf-Man 24 - Penultimate pandemonium. Maybe the demise of this book will help Kirkman get Invincible caught up with The Walking Dead. Anyway, everything's crashing down on Gary all at once as vampires, elder werewolves and more all come after him for a pound or so of flesh. But how does a vampire with a mechanical hand keep the hand with him when he turns into mist form?

9. Secret Six 24 - This was certainly a sudden turn in direction. Our merry band is in the American Old West taking on different roles and no super abilities. I couldn't say if these are supposed to be the same people, ancestors, a total fantasy or what, but regardless, it's a story that parallels much of what we know about the characters in their usual setting. I'm interested to see if this will be just a one off story or something that will somehow be significant in future stories.

10. Fables 97 - Rose Red sure does have a lot to feel guilty about. No wonder she's such a mess. Still, it's good to see her back on her feet and ready for confrontation. Sewing the comunity of The Farm back together will be quite the endeavor, but the obviously imminent battle against the Dark Man will require it. Next issue's title is "Red Dawn". I'm sure Patrick Swayze won't be making an appearance, but the communistic proclemations of some of the Farm's denizens can't make this title just a coincidence or solely related to Rose Red's name. Go Powers Boothe!
11. Guarding the Globe 1 - More Kirman finery. Set in the same mileu as Invincible and Astounding Wolf-Man, this team, in one form or another, has been around since the beginning of Invincible. If this were a Big Two publication it would have come out at least 5 years ago, but being creator owned at Image, Kirkman's just bringing it around now, when he's ready. Unlike a lot of first issue team books, there's no gathering and background. It really helps a lot to have read Invincible before getting into this. A little Dynamo 5 wouldn't hurt, either, and that's not even a Kirkman book.

12. Dynamo 5 Sins of the Father 3 - Speaking of whom, here they are. Sort of a Challenge of the Titans thing going on here. I get the feeling that as much as I'm liking the battle with the three aliens, there's no long term effect to this arc. Faerber has a good story going, but it's just "stand up and fight" without a lot of character development, which is what I usually expect from him. Maybe he'll surprise me in the last 2 issues, though.

13. Northlanders 31 - Drugged out sex in the middle ages! Who knew! One of the best things about Wood's writing is that he doesn't just do big battles for some cause or other. He does do plenty of that, but he also shows how people can often end up in fights to the death of the dumbest, most trivial of things. This issue has a fatal fight between two characters who believe in the same gods and want the same sort of thing, but one's furious that the other killed a bunch of Christians and will be bringing the wrath of the Catholic Church down on their community. Now they have one less person to fight when the church does cme to town when they could have had a unified front.

14. Batman Streets of Gotham 15 - As high as this book is on my list, I still vacillate whether to drop it. Ivan Brandon has told an interesting Two Face story, but is it relevant to anything? Actually, that's just me getting sucked in by those who want a lot of continuity. The story was excellent on its own and didn't need continuity. I highly doubt Two Face will remain dead, or is even considered dead anywhere outside of this book, but who cares? I enjoyed the story of feckless criminals.

15. iZombie 4 - Gwen's meeting with Amon turned into quite a history lesson. Now, I've already read the 5th issue by the time I'm writing this, so my impression of this issue is a little colored by that, but at this point it's hard to say where and how Amon will fit into things. The story's definitely picking up. And who doesn't like were-terriers?

16. The Unwritten 16 - Lizzie Hexam is our star this month. She's apparently more of a mess than Tom, even. Considering she's supposed to be protecting Tom, her own descent into mental breakdown is probably going to hinder that.

17. Zatanna 4 - Love the Dini work. The Royal Flush Gang are such great lame opponents, too. They make an excellent distraction for the real threat, though. I suspect next issue will be quite a bit higher on the List, as I sense something really good coming in the confrontation with Mammon's minions. The light banter in this book is a good counterpoint to the serious magic.

18. Birds of Prey 4 - The problem with White Canary's background story is that her 12 brothers made me think of Seven Deadly Brothers from The Great Ten instead of their own individual story. They weren't 12 aspects of one guy, but still, they had no individual development other than that they were martial arts experts. And Chinese. The fight between the two Canaries was well written and depicted. The story of Savant and Creote was far more interesting. Savant's disability is certainly one of the most interesting I've ever seen.

19. Unknown Soldier 23 - I'm a bit conflicted with this one. I've enjoyed it very much up to this point, but now the personality of the soldier we know from WW II seems to be ascendant in Moses. I want more Moses and his struggle with what he's doing. Now it looks like he was part of some secret plot by the original soldier, of which Moses was unawares. Hopefully this is only temporary.

20. Science Dog 1 - This one shot is just a compilation of previous appearances by the character in Invincible. It's very good work by Kirkman and Walker, but you can tell it appeared in other places and at fairly wide intervals in time because things are repeated as background that were just presented a few pages previously.

21 Irredeemable 16 - Still just making the cut. It's taking too long to develop. The fake Samsara weasling his way into the Plutonian's sphere doesn't make a lot sense to me, either. Plutonian's already an international villain and killer of millions. He's a total loose cannon who thinks of himself as justified in his murderous actions because of the ingratitude he suffered when he was a hero. No matter how smart the fake Samsara is, he doesn't seem to be smart enough to recognize the deus ex machina he's in and the inevitable ill result for himself when Plutonian figures out the manipulation. I know I've seen it an innumerable number of times previously.

22. Gotham City Sirens 15 - This might be about it for this book. I like the three characters but I don't know where they're going. They get into some mess and have to stay one step ahead of the law. They don't adhere to the hero code but they're not quite villains, either. They're sort of a Secret Six lite.

23. The Twelve 5 - I'd heard good things about this, so when it showed up in the 3 for free bin, I took it home. Of course, I'm in the middle of the story, but it seems interesting. I can't recall if it ever reached a 12th issue, though. Considering Straczynski's track record, I wouldn't be surprised if it didn't.

24. The Bond of Saint Marcel 1 - This was one of the other books in the free pack. I've already entirely forgotten what it was about. Opening it up just now, there seems to be something to do with a bad girl, a vampirish sort of guy who's been around since at least the American Revolution, and family conflict. It has nice art. Very pretty.


  1. I'm almost done with Sirens also. I'm always amazed at how close our opinions are of individual titles. JL Gen Lost has won me over with the last two issues, I'm ambivalent about Streets, etc, etc,

    The Tweleve has not been completed,but the rumor is Weston has all the scripts now and Marvel is not soliciting the rest of it until it is all completed.

  2. The Twelve is something I may read in collected form some time down the road but I'm not making a big effort to find.

    I think the main difference in our purchasing is volume rather than taste. I feel almost frugal next to you.