Thursday, November 08, 2012

The List - October 2012

I don't know why I had it in my head that I'd have this up on November 1.  No way I'd make that kind of turnaround time.  So, here we are.

1. Stumptown 2 - I'm not putting up the whole sub title each issue.  Just know that this is "The Case of the Baby in the Velvet Case" and not the first arc.  The baby in question is a guitar that's gone missing.  Of course, Dex quickly has ended up in the midst of a federal investigation of something bigger, 'cause that's the way things go with Dex.  On the plus side for Dex, she appears to be on the verge of a bit of romance with the drummer from the band.  Well, given the history of drummers in rock bands, it could be short lived, but this one seems a low key sort of guy. Finally got a little appearance of Dex's brother, Ansel, but not much yet.  As always, there's bonus material with Rucka writing about his love of PI stories.  And Southworth's art kicks ass, as usual.

2. Fables 122 - After the last arc taking Terese to adulthood while her siblings remained children, I was surprised to see this one start with an adult Aloysius.  Married and settled in a suburban lifestyle, albeit with a talking cat, he's an author at whatever point in time this story occupies.  That's just the intro for a two part story of Bigby's days back in the Lands.  He's a young, impetuous and powerful wolf consumed with acquiring enough power to kill his father.  Naturally, Willingham brings in the previously mentioned character of the former queen who's now a tortoise with her kingdom in a teacup on the back of her shell.  She's wiser than Bigby, who's convinced that he's going to die shortly, as divined by a green skinned woman.  I'm eagerly awaiting the concluding installment.

3. Wonder Woman 13 - Ah, the ever entertaining machinations of the Greek pantheon.  Apollo, now ruler of Olympus, calls his half sibling gods, and none of the others, to meet. Plenty of asides and inuendos amongst that lot, my favorite being when Ares, after finding out that Athena declined the invatation, says "no justice".  Diana, though a child of Zeus as well, wasn't invited.  In fact, she's looking for other children of Zeus who aren't part of the pantheon, which sends her on a trip to Libya to find Siracca.  As with any interaction involving the gods, there's plenty of deception and surprise attacks.  Azzarello's got it going again.  Tony Akins does the art, which closely matches Cliff Chiang's usual great work.

4. American Vampire: Lord of Vampires 5 - Concluding this limited series, Snyder and Nguyen leave no one unscathed, as you might expect.  The unexpected is that Felicia is now the head of the VMS.  Looks like vampire hunting will be young Gus's future, too.  Question is whether the VMS, as headed by Felicia, will hunt all vampires as it has or will change to hunting only those who threaten humans, particularly the Carpathians who have been trying to eradicate all other vampire breeds.

5. Invincible 96 - I love this cover because it is entirely opposite, not apposite, to what's actually in the issue. Not just the top part where it looks like Monster Girl is severely injured in the fight with her son but also in the bottom part where Monster Girl and Robot appear to have turned their backs on one another.  'Course, that second part might well come to pass if Monster Girl ever finds out what Robot ordered when he was ruling the Flaxans.  I'm sure that won't come to pass any time soon.  It's time to launch into the big events for issue 100, which means time for Mark to return to star status in his own book.

6. American Vampire 32 - "The Blacklist" is taking a bad turn for Pearl.  Hattie's in charge of the Hollywood Carpathians, even to the point of being called Queen.  Of course, Hattie's all about the power trip.  We get her story of how she survived Pearl shoving a gold plated sheriff's badge in her mouth in their last meeting, an encounter that left Hattie with facial scars like the Health Ledger Joker.  Pearl's well secured, but I have to think she'll be wreaking havoc on Hattie's plans, especially with the threat to Henry.

7. The Unwritten 42 - Carey and Gross continue to craft a great story, possibly even better than Lucifer.  "Live Like Lazarus" takes Didge's brief foray into wherever it is that Lizzie has been exiled to start Tom, Didge, Richie, and Danny, along with the unicorn, on a quest to find her.  This incorporates the story "Picnic at Hanging Rock", one of the many literary allusions in this series.  The Unwritten does more for making me want to read things I haven't than any other.  Oh, and Didge gets lucky this issue.  Good for her.

8. The Walking Dead 103 - My issue had the alternate cover by Chris Giarrusso.  Wow, that's disconcerting.  Rick has both hands.  It's all ages style.  It's more disconcerting than the usual creepy sort of cover because of the jarring difference between the art style and the book's content.  And what a content.  Negan and his boys are at the compound to take half of the supplies, as Rick agreed.  Conflicts and tension ensue, particularly when the half taken from the infirmary is all the vital medicines, leaving only the palliatives like asprin.  Of course, Rick and Jesus have their plan that's going to turn things on Negan.  With Andrea about to leave him because of his perceived cowardice, Rick fills her in on the plan.  Now if only Carl can be assuaged.

9. Before Watchmen: Minutemen 4 - I'm only buying some of the Before Watchmen books.  Truthfully, I could probably drop all the other ones, even though I am enjoying Silk Spectre, Rorschach and The Comedian, if I had to choose between them and this book.  Darwyn Cooke on both art and story is so much comic book goodness.  Learning the story of Mothman, which was only hinted at in the Watchmen, is worth it all by itself.  Adding the Silhouette's sad story makes it even more interesting.  Keeping Hooded Justice and Captain Metropolis as more of a sideline is the right choice, I think.

10. Fairest 8 - Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair.  On first glance at this cover I thought we were in for a Lady Godiva story.  Instead, it's the woman of the Miracle Gro tresses.  Lauren Beukes is a new writer to me, and Inaki Miranda a new artist.  They're both making a good initial impression.  Already we're headed in an unexpected direction, relating Rapunzel's condition to Japanese fables we've yet to see.  Love the attack of the origami.  Oh, and the story's set in 2002, before the Empire was defeated and the Dark Man altered the Woodland Luxury Apartments.  Frua Totenkinder's in her elderly appearance, too. 

11. The Creep 2 - Axel's my favorite PI, even more so than Dex in Stumptown.  I love the stories Rucka is crafting more, but Arcudi's work here is great, too.  Axel is just so well created.  I'd like the story to move a little faster, as Axel doesn't seem to be making much headway in even determining if he's investigating a murder, let alone finding a perpetrator.

12. Point of Impact 1 - A new one from Jay Faerber, with art by Koray Kuranel.  This is my first reading of a non superhero book by Faerber.  I really like Dynamo 5 and Noble Causes and though both books ended with a lot of story left to tell.  This is a four issue mini, black and white.  It starts high impact, literally, with a woman falling on the roof of a parked car just as the occupants are about to kiss.  The dead woman's a writer's wife, and there's some sort of conspiracy that results in someone breaking into his house, beating him up, and taking his laptop.  As a bonus, Faerber, as is his wont, has a one page text after the story talking about other stories that have influenced him.  This time it's about the TV show Boomtown, a show I particularly liked, and which fell into the all to large category of shows that I watched and very few others did.  One season of greatness, a second, shortened season that tried to change things for ratings, and that was it.

13. Dark Horse Presents 17 - Hard to believe it's 17 issues already.  More great stories in the ongoing Finder and Concrete Park, plus a Richard Corben adaptation of Poe's The Sleeper.  The Girl with the Keyhole Eyes concluded, too.  Very good and very amusing.

14. The Walking Dead: Michonne Special 1 - Some of this I'd read in the original publication in The Walking Dead, but I bought it because it included the story that gave Michonne's origin and was originally published in Playboy, which I didn't have.  Man, her boyfriend's best friend was an idiot.  Nice to see where she got the sword, too.

15. Before Watchmen: Rorschach 2 - This seems to be taking a long time to publish.  Because there was so much of Rorschach in the original book, I don't feel like I'm getting anything new to his character; however, it looks great with Bermejo's art, and Azzarello is telling a good story.  The cover's reference to the first issue of Watchmen's clever, too.

16. Thief of Thieves 9 - Conrad's son reminds me of sports greats whose children try to follow their parents but don't measure up.  That usually isn't so life  threatening as Conrad's son's failure is.  Then again, a baseball great can't take at bats for his son while Conrad can run a con that will pull his son's bacon out of the fire.

17. The Massive 5 - Much more personality development in this issue.  I like it, but I'm going to have to see more of that to move it up on The List.

18. Saucer Country 8 - I think all of the other Vertigo books that started at the same time as this one have come to a truncated end, as I saw The New Deadwardians on the stand this week with a "Final Issue" on the cover.  I'm not sure how much longer this one's going to last, either.  Neither the presidential election campaign nor the search for aliens is moving along quickly enough, which is probably costing it readers.

19. Dominique Laveau: Voodoo Child 7 - Like The New Deadwardians, this ended this month.  Clearly, it was not intended to end now.  The first arc just ended with the 6th issue.  Still, Hinds and Cowan did their best to wrap it up in this limited space of one issue.  As a result, it reads more like a summary of the story they wanted to tell rather than the actual story.

20. Animal Man 13 - Love the dead Hawkman on the cover.  Somehow the modern Hawkman always seems more interesting when he's dead.  Rotworld is taking off in this issue and Swamp Thing, finally.  Considering none of this is being seen in the other two DC books I'm reading, I'm guessing we're going to wind up with some sort of re-set where none of Rotworld happened.  Kind of detracts from the reading.

21. Swamp Thing 13 - See Animal Man above.  Well, not the Hawkman part.  Living Poison Ivy and Deadman (as living as he gets).

22. Swamp Thing Annual 1 - This is a nice, if irrelevant story about Alec and Abby meeting in Anton Arcane's fiefdom in the Carpathian Mountains long before he became Swamp Thing.  In fact, he was still a student, albeit a well known one, when the story takes place.  It's a creepy sort of story, both because Arcane rules a land where there are no living plants, and because Alec and Abby have their memories wiped.  Yet another re-set kind of story.

23.  Free stuff.  I pikced up several things out of the free category this month.  The best was a reprint of some Jack Davis Tales from the Crypt stories that were a give away for Halloween.  The promo of DC's The Arrow on CW was of no consequence, though I rather like the show.  An Animal Planet "World's Most Dangerous Animals" leftover from a Free Comic Book day was a factually based telling of why humans developed technology to be the superior species on the planet and not the mid-day snack of larger critters.  I took a look into some Marvel stuff for nostalgia's sake, and The Sensational Spider-man 34 and Annual 1, as well as Fantastic Four 544 and 545 and Wolverine 57 reminded me why I don't buy these books.  References to stories I read in the '80s still abound.  The weight of the past just drags these books down.  And the Chaykin art in Wolverine was particularly bad.  It's like he was just phoning it in.

1 comment:

  1. The Swamp Thing Annual is what I wish this title would move to - singular stories. This ongoing Rot arc (now 14 issues and counting and going at least until February) is just taking too long. Its good, but I'm worn out by it.

    Some of Moore's best work on ST were singular tales.

    And you like that Before Watchmen stuff waaay more than I do, but I think its awesome Stumptown made the top of your list. :D