I'll have to look at Empress. I ignored it because Millar, but that sounds really good. Batwoman 1: Batwoman as James Bond, I suppose. I'm only reading this because Hannah's buying it. Reliably above average, but the voice feels wrong to me. Casanova Acedia 8: Cycle goes three Moon issues, one flashback Bá issue. In this case, the flashback centers around the other team looking to kill Cass' employer. Bá's fantastic, and Moon coloring him is a joy. They got five great pinups, too. Risso, Ward, Latour, Zdarsky and Gerard Way. Ether 5: Turns out this is an ongoing now. Rubín's art + Kindt's ideas are a goddamned home run. Harrow County two issues: Dark and twisty. It makes me want to read the series.
Turns out I'm missing important context and scheduling for my comments about Christine/Victoria. From J. E. Sawyer's blog: I cannot speak for Chris Avellone (who wrote and directed Dead Money), but I believe we were limited by time/scheduling. Veronica was written and recorded for the base New Vegas game with (IIRC) only a few hooks for Dead Money. I think reactions to Dead Money content itself would have required a more comprehensive level of (way) advanced planning, i.e., we would have needed to know exactly what Veronica was reacting to in Dead Money at the time that we recorded her for New Vegas. Either that or we would have needed to book Felicia Day for more studio time during the development of Dead Money. That can also be difficult and expensive, especially since voice actors and studio time are generally booked in multiple hour blocks. It’s difficult to justify if the character is only saying two or three new lines.
Fallout: New Vegas is so good and so staggeringly broken. I avoid Freeside because two of five times I go there, it crashes. The bigger my save file gets, it crashes. I ignored the Great Khans area entirely because, well, it crashes. In terms of main plot, it's okay, the choice isn't much of one (baby liberal democracy protected by kill 'em all and let god sort 'em out generals versus literal sexist slavery versus crazy brain in a jar guy who rules Vegas with an iron fist versus you, maybe, but you've never run anything before in your life and at best you make deals) I'm planning on baby liberal democracy protected by generals who commit war crimes. The characters and setting draw me in and what keep me invested in the game, even when it crashes regularly enough for me to make dinner, take out the trash, or start reading 77 Dream Songs. The lore's a strong point. If the team tied up the Christine/Veronica storyline at the final moment, F:NV could reasonably stand next to Mass Effect 2 in terms of committing and succeeding on character arcs. If. What's there for the PC at this point (I'm assuming modders fixed most of the problems) is probably an amazing game. No idea about the 360 version. What's there for PS3 is broken but glorious, just like a piece of Old World technology you might find in the Waste.
Josie and the Pussycats 5: Comedy's difficult and the team continues to nail it. Archie got the right team for this comic. Hopefully it continues and gets an off period so Ms. Mok can continue to draw it. Archer And Armstrong Escape From Gulag Whatever Number: ...not remotely what I expected from an Archer & Armstrong comic, given that the first three pages involve Russian soldiers (most of whom have a Stalin mustache) burying Archer alive. Not sure how I feel about it quite yet. The Matt Kindt/Juan Jose Ryp backup is so good it makes me want a Imperium style mini featuring the Stalinverse "heroes."
Josie and the Pussycats 5: Lots of casual leaning on the fourth wall (literally in some cases with panel structure, well done), the fun jokes continue, and just a lovely, pleasant read on a Friday afternoon after a long two weeks. Harrow County 17-18: Carla sent this as freebies with some original art. No fucking idea what's going on, we apparently hit some major plot revelations, but most of it is a flashback, and real gorgeous, so I'll take it. Might pick up the first trade at some point. The Gods Lie: Quick one volume manga about two kids who are trying to keep it together, one of them moreso than the other. Young love and kids willing to protect each other and some fairly telegraphed twists, but still heart wrenching when it comes out. Worth a read. The Coldest City: As a graphic novel, the better kind of labyrinthine spy story. As the basis for Atomic Blonde.... well this is certainly going to be an adaptation isn't it. EDIT: oh hey this is Hannah on Jim's account hi guys Single Issues: 112 Trades/Graphic Novels: 23 Omnibuses: 1
Harbinger v4: The most mixed Harbinger yet. Some of the most "ugh, seriously" moments and some beats where I could only shake my head ruefully and applaud. I still think Imperium is the comic Drysart does best at, but there's some beats in the back half of here that play for me better than the good moments in the first three.
America #1: Hannah and I talked about this on the podcast. There's a lot of growing pains (Ms. Rivera uses too many word balloons and occasionally narrates action on panel [page five, panel two is particularly egregious]), and its aesthetic is Not For Me. That's good, not every comic should be aimed in my direction, but I didn't care for the end result. Case in point: Ms. America's girlfriend flies a gay pride flag out of her apartment, visible from the street. In the foreground, Joe Quinones draws the two lovers flirting and moving closer to each other. In the background of a panel where the two almost kiss, the background is the gay pride flag. They don't need to have the gay pride flag in the background when the foreground is the two women kissing, have some faith in your readers, team. Maybe I'm missing something. I get the impression the team (Rivera, Quinones, Joe and Paolo Rivera and Villarrubia) designed this for readers new to comics generally. Good lookin' out for commissioning what looks like an all latinx creative team on this, and one with so many Eisners too. I enjoyed the hyper compression. No scene felt too short. I wish it luck. The direct market is unreliable at the best of times and outright cruel at the worst.
Kill Or Be Killed issue one: Yawn. It's Brubaker and Phillips and Breitweiser, so it looks gorgeous, but it's the most boring premise I've yet seen from the team. Rumble v1: Arcudi and Harren and Stewart do off-brand BPRD, which makes sense, given they made BPRD for years. Hell yeah. Weird combination of teams doing what they're known for. In Kill or be Killed, I disliked it, in Rumble, I loved it. Maybe I haven't read enough of Arcudi and Harren and Stewart to see the strings yet? Maybe Harren and Stewart get more rope from me because they've got a wider palate? If I dislike it in one place (and assuming everything else is equal), I ought to dislike it in another place.
House Of Binding Thorns by Aliette de Bodard: Exactly what I wanted from this book. More intrigue, more brutal post-apocalyptic Paris. The Last Days Of New Paris by China Miéville: Hell yes. A short (padded out with an unnecessary afterword) novel about a surrealism bomb detonating in WWII Paris, where Parisians and Nazis fight each other and also manifestations of surrealism. There's one awesome HOLD THE FUCKING PHONE moment in there, and the rest is breakneck fun. Think of an art-damaged, berserk Mignola-verse spinoff and you're about there. An unchained Dial H, perhaps? I haven't read one of his in a while, and damn, I miss his work.
Dr. Strange: The Oath: Yes. It warrants the phrase instant classic. Marvel repackaged it in a bigger size, with lots of extras. It's $40, though my LCS had it marked down to $20 because ain't no one playing that game.
Shipwreck 3: There's a Borges nod and finally some backstory as to what in the fuck is going on. Phil Hester and crew remain good. Black Panther 7-10: Fuck, there's a lot of talking. It's great quality talking, but goddamn, is there a lot of it. Shouts out to the art team to make all the exposition and interactions dynamic. Reading this makes me sad, because this is what superhero comics should be at a median level, but few, few teams are permitted this much latitude. Then again, few teams are this staggeringly talented, so... Descender 7: I already forgot what happened, but it was pretty. Wait! There's a new version of Tim-23. And he kills people! Mayday 4: Yes. This. Bring me more things like this. X-O Manowar 1: The opening "I'm reclining with a superhot alien woman after sex talking about how much I miss my homeworld" is eyebrow raising, but everything after that is so fucking good. X-O Manowar as a grunt in a space Easy Company with the art team's amazing work? Yes. I'm in. We get these for free, and I'm putting it on my pull. Monstress 10: I don't know what's going on here, but it's gorgeous. Josie & The Pussycats 4: If I only complain about how I'm pretty sure they got a metal reference wrong, it's petty as fuck. That said: Humor is difficult to work and this comic executed it without a sweat. I get the impression this is Ms. Bennett letting her hair down, and Archie Inc. puts her with a team that plays to that strength. Well done. (Dread, are you aware of a Dutch speedcore scene? Because with a description like that I'm pretty sure they meant Swedish thrash....)