Monday, June 25, 2012

Another Week in Review – Starring BW The Comedian, Saga, Mars Attacks and Dark Avengers

So I cannot possibly tell you how much the cape and cowl set is boring me to tears. I have dropped Uncanny X-Men, Wolverine and the X-Men, Avengers, Fantastic Four, and FF. Marvel has jacked many prices to $4 which made it even easier to drop. I keep knocking DC books off my list also as the mainstream stuff has lost any charm. To be fair it has taken 50 years of reading comics to finally hit this point, but the new DCU killed my love for those characters like the way One More Day killed it for Spider-Man. The common thread is that the company decides they want to make up brand new continuity without starting the character over. So they throw away what they want and don’t care about what is and what is not canon for the character. The idea is to just wash away any issues, keep the characters younger and tell good stories. Which is fine and they are welcome to do it. For me it just means what I have invested in the characters is gone. It is freeing in a sense as my once massive list of close to 125 books is more manageable and now I find that I’m actually enjoying what I do read a lot more.
Saga #4 – Written by Brian K. Vaughan and Art by Fiona Staples – Publisher Image Comics – Price $2.99. This book seems to be a critical favorite and will probably climb up the sales charts as time goes by. I’m enjoying this book, but Vaughan stuff has never had any staying power for me. I dropped off “Y” the Last Man and fell off his Ex Machina, so Saga has to prove itself. The story is simple at this point two star crossed lovers are running from everyone in the galaxy and being chased by a die hard mercenary killer. Of course it has a cast of characters that are out of a drug induced haze that would make Grant Morrison jealous. The supporting cast includes a talking dog sized cat, a chopped in half ghost, a TV headed royalty. In this issue Will, the bounty hunter, visits Sextillion and we get to see copulating angels, fat whores and a six year old waif who is a whore. The story becomes more expansive every issue and at this point I’m enjoying this space opera that seems half Star Wars, half Romeo and Juliet and half whatever nightmare I had last night. It is both familiar and odd and right now I’m in for the ride, I just hope Vaughn can make this story into something that will hold my interest for the long term.

Mars Attacks #1 – Writer John Layman, Art John McCrea and Color by Andrew Elder, Publisher IDW, Price $3.99. What a blast. This book was out and out fun. It is based on the card series from decades ago. In a great touch John Layman is using trading card pictures to segment the book. It is a fast paced story of a Martian soldier who came to Earth in the sixties. He crash landed and was captured by humans. His crew comes to save him and they get killed saving him as he escapes. Now a General he is leading the invasion to take over and destroy Earth. John McCrea’s art captures the fun, the violence and the absurdity of it all with great aplomb. John Layman has such a great knack for telling stories, Chew of course has been awesome, but he also did a fantastic Godzilla story. It takes a true talent to take something familiar and make in new and fun again and Layman has a another winner on his hands.

Dark Avengers – Thunderbolts #176 – Writer Jeff Parker, Pencils Kev Walker, Inks Terry Pallot, Colors Frank Martin, Publisher Marvel Comics, Price $2.99. I swear I keep thinking about dropping this book but Jeff Parker has such a wonderful way with oddball character that I keep coming back. Last issues renaming to Dark Avengers gives way to us finding the Thunderbolts back further in time. Here at the beginning of life they help to create the Man Thing and also run into Doctor Doom. They apparently finally get back home only to have Doom tell them he has to wipe them out since he can’t have history saying Doom was beholding to a group of super villains. The issue ends with an explosion of the Thunderbolts tower. The problem I have is Jeff has so many plot points going on in this book and the time traveling saga has taken so long, I no longer remember what the heck is going on most of the time. When a book gets too convoluted I lose my investment in the book and it gets cut. Still Jeff Parker and Kev Walker (when he is the artist) produce a fun book. Maybe I should switch to trades on this book or just wait out the inevitable cancellation of the title.

Before Watchmen The Comedian #1 – Writer Brian Azzarello, Art JG Jones, Colors Alex Sinclair, Publisher DC Comics, Price $3.99. The BW series proves one thing so far, put together strong creators and usually you will get a strong comic book. Having JG Jones on the art guarantees a beautiful book. I don’t care if it takes him two months to finish an issue or not, his work is outstanding. Alex Sinclair is by far the best super hero color artist in the business and proves with this issue he is just one of the best color artists period. The muted tones add to the book and never take away from Jones’ art. The story itself is one that incorporates the Comedian into the Kennedy presidency in a fascinating way. I’m not sure if it all fits with the Watchmen series because I have not read that book in a long time, but it feels right. Eddie on the behest of Jackie Kennedy eliminates the Marilyn Monroe problem. Then when going back to be with President Kennedy he is side track by the FBI to help on a case. While he is helping the President is shot. Eddie realizes that he was being pulled away for a reason and the whole conspiracy theories about JFK just spill out in one’s mind as you are reading this and wondering what happens next. A great read and so far BW is three for three.

Next week’s list emphasizes that for me standard fare is going the way of the Gray Wolf. The standard fare books for next week Batman Inc (Grant Morrison saves this book), Flash (running out of time – yes bad pun intended), Ultimates (at least for one more issue), Incredible Hulk (probably last issue for him). Then the rest of the list is Fatale, Hell Yeah, Manhattan Projects, BPRD, Resident Alien, Berkeley Breathed Outland Collection HC, David Mazzucchelli’s Daredevil Born Again Artist Edition, Hit Girl, All Star Western, American Vampire, BW Nite Owl, I Vampire,  Justice League Dark and Scalped.

Next week I will either have a commentary post or Lee maybe running something as I’m on vacation. Till next time thanks for reading.


  1. How on earth are you still getting the Flash? I ordered the Born Again Artist Edition myself, but it won't get here before I leave for vacation.

    If you're looking for applicants to your comic subsidy program, I'd like to put in a form for Mars Attacks. Totally understand if its already spoken for.

    So where does someone in Florida go on vacation? New York?

  2. Back to Maryland.

    No new applicants are being accepted.

    You are right the Flash has to go. I just drop Batgirl after reading the last issue.

  3. You should save that trip for Comic-con. Maybe you can catch the O's in their home field.

    Dang welfare reforms!

    I'd take the pre-Crisis Flash any day over the New 52 one. Any day, month, or year. I'm patient. :)