Thursday, August 08, 2013

The List - July 2013

A mite tricky this month, writing the post on my wife's laptop rather than my usual computer access.  Hopefully I'll be able to get everything in place.  No doubt work will not allow for me to work on it this week, after being on vacation last week.  Right, then.  Off we go.

1. Invincible 104 - Ok, the Angstrom Levy story line seems to have ended sooner than I anticipated, but then again, 'Vince is going to try to pursue him into one of the dimensions of his conquering alter egos.  Mohawk guy's not one I would have picked to be the survivor of the crazy alternates, but there you go.  I'm sure more than a few reviewers aren't going to be buying into Kirkman's resolution of Eve unable to use her powers to defeat Levy, but I liked it.  Kirkman's always been talk heavy in his books.  Clearly he values what his characters say as much as what they do.  It's never been all about the fight, which is all the Big Two seem to have left in most of their books.  Eve's ability to reason with Levy is in keeping with both her character and his.  Mark wanting to pursue Levy to save him from Mohawk version is what I'd expect from his character as well.

2. Fables 131 - The beginning of Camelot continues the effort to return Bigby, but clearly that's going to take a long, long time, if it proceeds as planned.  More immediately, Brandish isn't dead.  Not that anyone but Swineheart and Mrs Spratt know that.  The conversation, amid autopsy, in which Swineheart makes his rational proposition for Mrs Spratt to have sex with him, now that she's attractive, is amusingly conceited.  Rose Red's discovery of how to implement her mission as an instrument of Hope is, as always with her, grand in conception.  Execution, I'm sure, will be another matter.

3. The Unwritten 51 - The alternate version of the war with Mr Dark in the realm of Fables is straight on into sacrifice of major characters.  Like most alternate reality stories it's safe to kill of a lot of your favorite, major characters, knowing they won't be effected in the main story.  Unlike such things in most superhero stories, these Fables run the risk of being killed off in their own book anyway, such as Boy Blue and Charming.  Killed off and possibly never brought back, that is. None of the usual superhero return after being dead a short while.  Tommy and friends may make an important change in the fight, but then again, maybe not.

4. The Walking Dead 112 - Is there anyone left who thinks Negan is just a clone of the Governor?  Clearly he's a far different character now.  A far smarter character than anyone gave credit, including Rick. Now, I do wonder about the wisdom of having his advance team come out of hiding when he's explaining his preparations to Rick.  Rick has shown himself to be a wild card, fully cable of using Andrea to take out Negan and his no longer under cover boys, even if it might mean his own demise.  We'll see what next issue brings.

5. Sex 5 - Ok, now we're moving into some good character interaction, the nature of our characters having been well established.  Graphic sex for this issue consists of some oral action in a men's room, and I must say that's one persistent woman, considering Cooke's drunkenness and ambivalence about the activity.  That she got him aroused is something of a minor miracle under those circumstances, especially a man of his age.  Lagravenese's showing her age, too, as her employees are so helpfully pointing out for her.  Ok, really, not a lot happens this issue, but it is amusing.

6. Uncanny  2 - This made a big leap on The List from last month because it suddenly hit me that this is the X-Men made more interesting than they have been in more than a two decades, for me.  So far we have characters with the powers of Rogue and Wolverine, reversing the genders on both.  They appear to have been born with these abilities.  They don't live in a tights and capes world, though.  They live in a world much like ours and are similarly competent or incompetent, as their personalities dictate. I like what Diggle and Campbell are doing with these characters, much like Casey is doing with the Batman mythos in Sex, though without the sex, at least so far.

7. Watson and Holmes 1 - I reviewed the first 3 issues of this series not long ago.  It was good enough that I went ahead and bought the paper version, having read the issues in a plastic format.  For those who missed the review, this is a version of the Doyle characters in which the setting is present day Harlem in NYC.  Watson is actually the lead character, though he still serves as the doorway to understanding Holmes.  This Holmes is less a creature of his own mind and more comfortable interacting with the rest of the world than most depictions of Holmes.  In this first issue little is known about him beyond his occupation as a consultant with the police and that he's brilliant in his observational and deductive abilities.

8. Wonder Woman 22 - This version of the New Gods is so much better than what I've seen in other iterations.  True, we've only had Orion and now High Father, but they're much more interesting than other presentations of them.  Azzarello clearly has flair for making pantheons fresh and interesting.  This High Father isn't to be trusted, in his relation of the history of his world or his intentions for Zeke or Orion.  The constant put downs of Orion are harsh and, to all appearances so far, unwarranted.  And yet, in the end, he appears to have acted the ass as a tactic.  Now all our band has to do is survive being face to face with the First Born again.

9. Brother Lono 2 - World's sexiest nun continues to give Lono problems with his vows, but no more so than his inclinations to brawl.  He should probably add drinking to the things he won't do, even though it's not strictly part of his vows.  In the meantime, LA drug distributor meets a really nasty end when he proves himself unwilling to simply accept the terms of the drug lords who supply him.  Who the drug lords are speaking with in a phone conversation will undoubtedly be both interesting and significant to the resolution of the story.  Not even Lono seems to think he's going to be able to maintain his vows.

10. Thor: God of Tunder 10 - I'm sure no one is surprised that Gorr has become a god, abhorrent as the thought is to him.  I almost wish the godbomb would actually wipe out all the gods throughout history, just to see if it takes him with it.  I'm sure it won't go off, considering this series is supposed to continue beyond the next issue and all that.  Having committed murder of a close confidant who made the mistake of worshiping him as a god, Gorr is fully in god mode now.  Over reaction to slight infractions is the hallmark of a deity.  And always remember, biting off your own tongue is more painful than you might think.

11. The Shadow: Year One 4 - A battle of wielders of the power to cloud men's minds is obviously going to be the course of this book.  The Shadow and his nemesis appear to be acquainted with one another, and the power is an addiction, which goes along way to explaining the Shadow's aloof nature.  Not that Margo knows that.

12. Fairest 17 - I have to say, this arc with Charming as the Maharaja feels like it's dragging a bit.  Then again, disintegrating maidens is interesting.  It's the trek across the desert and back to the village that is taking too long.

13. Lazarus 2 - Ok, I'm enjoying the story and the family interactions.  And Rucka has laid out a time line for how this world came to be as it is.  I'm not buying into that time line, mind you.  Populations rioting because of disastrous government and corporate malfeasance don't turn to the corporations to run things, not to mention hand over every freedom, no matter how illusory those freedoms may have been under the governments.

14. Collider 1 - I picked this up on a whim.  I have no familiarity with Simon Oliver or Robbi Rodriguez.  It was an interesting start to a sci-fi adventure involving disruption to the laws of physics in localized events, apparently the results of a scientific group's experiments 20 some odd years previously.  The localized nature of the events reminds me a bit of Fringe.

15. The Bounce 3 - Stoner superhero adventures continue.  Next issue's fight with a stony, desperate, Spanish speaking guy should be entertaining.

16. Dark Horse Presents 26 - I've really been enjoying the return of Trekker.  I like that Randall hasn't done away with her '80s influenced shoulder pads and knee guards in her costume, either.  There was more to the Buffy the Vampire Slayer's subsidiary characters arc, too.  Several other good stories round out the issue.

17. Ten Grand 3 - And now I know the difference between a button man and a hit man.  It was all about the back story this issue.  Kind of sweet, actually.  That was a surprise.

18. Thief of Thieves 15 - Big caper time in the offing.  This issue was set up to the big caper, including our twice burned FBI agent going rogue to pursue Redmond and his gang.

19. The Massive 14 - Like Lazarus, I don't find the semi-end-of-the-world reality of the book all that credible.  Worldwide government collapse just isn't that easy.  Whatever.  The Kapital is sailing up Broadway, having shaken off the rogue elements of the US Navy, and now tracking down a rogue crew member with a nuclear sub.

20. Batwoman 22 - DEO assistance or not, I find it unlikely that and Firebird would be able to subdue Bane so easily.  Then again, I haven't seen Bane used well anywhere but Secret Six.  After this arc in which the DEO is trying to control Batman, I'm not sure I'll be staying on board.

21. Miniature Jesus 2, 3 - Finally picked up issue 2 and then read issue 3.  This is a trippy book. I think it'll all come together in the end, and be very interesting, but reading it one issue at a time is challenging.  Must say I loved the Pythonesque Finger of God that squashed the church, though.  I'm going to have to re-read the whole thing once it concludes to see if it really does come together.

22. Damsels: Mermaids 3 - Suddenly, 3 issues in, it occurs to me to wonder why it's called Mermaids when we only have the story of one mermaid.  Eh.  No big deal.  Despite coming in last on The List I enjoyed this issue a lot more than the previous issue.  A good sea monster fight and a betrayal go a long way.  It was just a tough month of competition.

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