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The Master, 1 January
Posted 1 January
Hulk #1 (2016): Jen Walters' latest ongoing. Good start but decompressed. So much more could've happened. Pretty annoying it ended when it did.
Robin 1992 Annual #1: Batman and Robin (Tim Drake) chase Anarky, who has black diamonds containing the power of Eclipso. Tom Lyle's on art and I'm not a huge fan of his style, despite that I've read tons of his work. An okay story.
Showcase '93 #5-#6, #11-#12: Tim tries taking down this souped up drug lord named Barracuda. Issue #5 has him and the guy engaged in a knock-down, drag-out fight that really puts Tim through the emotional ringer...all for naught because he didn't have any evidence that could've kept the guy in jail. He tries again by tricking him into being caught attempting to murder him, but it's later thrown out as Entrapment. In #11 he teams up with Nightwing who himself is chasing a gangster by the name of Chulo who killed someone in Flash vol.2 #83 that Dick could've stopped. (Continuity is a bit tricky here. By this time Dick would've left the Titans, but the Showcase issues imply that he hasn't. This is in the middle of Knightfall, right before Knightsend. It works, but through mental gymnastics.) The two team up and eventually take the thugs down despite constant typical police pushback from a couple of try-hard police lieutenants.
The Showcase story was terrific. I've never seen Tim Drake be in such a physically taxing fistfight before, and Kieron Dryer's artwork really sells the script. Tim's frustration that he's continually failing to put this guy behind bars provides great development for his character and learning more about the crime fighting game through Gordon and Nightwing. Dick and Tim's relationship is beginning to bud, as up to this point Dick's been rather short with Tim in their histories. Basically once Dick leaves the Titans he and Tim really start connecting. The artwork in issues #11 and #12 by Bob McLoed is terrific.
Posted 3 January
Bloodpool #1-#4: By Extreme Studios
Mega-Crap. Pat Lee's artwork is offensive to the eyes. The inking is bad and objects bleed into each other with no lines of delineation. The characters are insanely cliche'd (the team is made up of "teenagers" called Task, Rubbles, Psilence, Wylder, Fusion and Seoul) and the women are inhuman-looking monsters. The youngest member Seoul is a fifteen year old Korean-American girl who can summon the souls of dead warriors.
She looks like this:
Oh yeah, the black character is a Thing ripoff who's main attack is yanking off his head and throwing it at people.
It's everything bad about the 90s in one awful mess.
Posted 3 January
The Amazing Spider-Man Omnibus vol. 2: collects The Amazing Spider-Man #39-67, Annual #3-5, The Spectacular Spider-Man (1968) #1 and 2, and material from Not Brand Echh.
So here we have the first two and a half years or so of John Romita's run on Amazing. Growing up this was my Holy Grail; these were far and away the comics I loved most and always sought out in whatever form I could. Actually getting to sit down and read them in order as an adult was pretty fun. It's remarkable how quickly he adapted to the character; in issue #39 he's trying not to veer too far from Ditko, but within a handful of issues Spidey is unmistakably Romita's. True, Romita drew Spider-Man a lot more heroically, and his Spidey was considerably less (which is to say, not really at all) weird and angular than Ditko's ever was. And his action shots are very, very posed. But man, those poses are awesome. (The later issues see a lot of instances of layouts/breakdowns by Romita, with Don Heck doing finishes, which... no. No thank you. No.)
I didn't think it was possible, but the soap opera has been ratcheted up to an insane degree. (That's not a bad thing, just an observation.) Romita's background in romance comics serves him well here, and even Stan Lee has stopped pretending that despite what he thinks of himself, Peter has it pretty good right now in terms of his love life (other characters even remark that Peter is brilliant, handsome, and has two gorgeous women fighting over him). His home and family life is getting kind of tiresome, to be honest, as Aunt May's issues have been amplified to superhuman levels; whereas before she was always naïve, sickly, and prone to worry, she's currently allergic to oxygen, shrieks with fear every time she walks through a door and discovers the room is different than the one she left, and is very, very, very stupid. I didn't count the occurrences, but Doctor Bromwell has had to rush to an unconscious May's bedside a minimum of three times in this volume, and I'm perfectly willing to believe it was more than that. However, we do get some great stuff with Captain Stacy and the introduction of Joe Robertson, who is being set up as essentially the greatest newspaperman who ever newspapered, and who is going to have no trouble whatsoever figuring out who Spider-Man really is.
The stories themselves are a mixed bag. Romita was never as adept at creating memorable villains as Ditko had been; here we see the introduction of the Kingpin, and he's all right (it really did take Miller to turn him into a truly memorable bad guy), and if I'm being charitable, the first Shocker story was pretty good at selling him as a threat, even if it set the table for making him so ineffectual in every story he was ever in after that. There's a strong Doctor Octopus three-parter, they make good use of the Green Goblin, and of course "Spider-Man No More!" is in here. Nothing here is outright bad, with the possible exception of the first Spectacular issue, which is really uninteresting and very long. (The second one is quite good, however.) The magazine format seems like a waste of everyone's time and money, as the only real differences (other than the first issue being in black and white) were 1) the stories were longer, and 2) they were printed on better paper, which meant that they could print sentences that ended in periods more easily, and not every word balloon had to end in an exclamation point. Seriously. That's it. No wonder these didn't sell (at thirty-five cents, they were almost triple the price of a regular issue for not that much more material).
On top of which, the Not Brand Echh material they reprint here is some of the strongest stuff that mag ever came out with.
I've been waiting for this to get a second printing forever (the first printing has been going for $200-300 for years), and I'm really, really glad to finally be able to have this on my shelf. Fun stuff.
What's interesting to me about the Romita run is that he only does the sole artwork for a year and a half, maybe two years? Because once he has guys like Don Heck (who I agree is a boring artist) and John Buscema do the finishes, the art loses its polish. You look at some of the panels from scenes where Flash announces his draft into the Vietnam War (lol), or Harry and MJ drive by Peter on the street, and they are GORGEOUS. Anybody else on the art team and it just looks less special to me. The Buscema stuff isn't bad, but Romita on his own just makes the art shine off the pages.
Aunt May is pretty insufferable for a long ass time, until she's yelled off the book by Gwen Stacy. She's one of those characters who I never believe when creators say the book absolutely requires. She should've A) stayed dead after ASM #400 or 2) kept knowing his identity from the JMS run.
When I think of the truly amazing stuff I grew up reading, it's almost always been Romita inking over someone else. His style is so strong that it comes through no matter who he's working over, and sometimes that penciler can make up for Romita's storytelling/action shortcomings. Romita inks over Gil Kane's pencils fucking sing.
Oh fuck yeah, especially in the early Gerry Conway run before, during, and after Gwen's death. Kane's actual pencils I find ugly but his anatomy is terrific, so when you have Romita finishing those up (and in some scenes like Gwen's funeral literally redrawing the artwork) it's some of the best artwork Spider-Man has ever had.
I also wished he inked over his son more. The first appearance of the Hobgoblin had him ink JR Jr and looked so wonderful.
IMO, Kane has a long history of ruining his work with his own shitty inking, to the point that I have sometimes recoiled at the sight of it. (He did covers for Superman for a long time in the 80s that were just fucking awful, solely because it looks like he traced his work with a magic marker.) Put someone as delicate as Romita over them and I can suddenly appreciate the incredible storytelling and action he brought to everything.
Plus, I fully admit that Romita's Spidey is my Spidey due in large part to the fact that I grew up with it all over my house. As the Art Director, Romita was in charge of (among lots of other things) artwork for licensing and marketing. Until they switched over to Mark Bagley in the early 2000s, if you wanted a lunchbox or a puzzle or a 7-11 cup or whatever with a picture of Spider-Man on it, it was almost certain to be a John Romita Spider-Man you were looking at.
Posted 4 January
Bagley's my main man, thanks to when I grew up and the Marvel vs. Capcom fighting games, but Romita's always gonna be the greatest.
They roped in Gil Kane to do one two issues during the 90's Clone Saga, and it was fucking sad. Like, I think he was practically on his death bed in drawing those, and it was unreadable.
Secret Wars Omnibus: collects Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #1-12, Thor #383, She-Hulk (2004) #10, and What If? (1989) #4 and 114.
It's the first major companywide comics event, pretty much ever. (No one really counts Contest of Champions.) If you were 10 when this came out, it blew your damn mind. Otherwise, it's a year of a whole bunch of good guys beat up a whole bunch of bad guys. A cosmic otherworldly being of phenomenal power builds a planet out of a bunch of other planets and scoops up the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, and the X-Men, along with Spider-Man and the Hulk, and sets them to fight a big pile of supervillains, led by Doctor Doom.
That's it. That's the plot. It took twelve issues to tell this story.
Which is not to say there's nothing to like here. Mike Zeck's art is great in the early issues before he gets really rushed and sketchy towards the end (along with a handful of fill-in issues by Bob Layton, which aren't bad). As dumb and one-dimensional as most of the villains are, Doctor Doom is terrific. Spider-Man is given a few moments to really shine, especially in a scene where he takes on the X-Men all at once and handles them easily. Speaking of, it's pretty great to see the X-Men actually take part in an event; even back then, the X-Men pretty much kept to their own corner.
The writing's not awesome. Jim Shooter pulled rank and took charge of scripting duties (it was well-known that there was no way his book wasn't going to sell like crazy, and the royalties were going to be substantial, although Shooter also notes that by writing it himself, he didn't have to deal with either Claremont (X-Men) or Byrne (FF), the only realistic other candidates for a major Marvel event in 1984, pitching a shitfit over the other one writing his characters). Almost everyone is fairly out of character, with Wolverine and Professor X especially coming across like huge assholes even for them, and Johnny Storm is just straight-up terrible. Doom, however, is done really well, so he gets credit for that.
The collection is rounded out with an unnecessary Thor fill-in, a Titania origin story that's fairly decent, and a pair of What Ifs?, one of which is pretty okay for its time and the other of which was a confusing waste of everyone's time.
There's a great story: Carol Kalish, Marvel's head of direct marketing in the mid- to late-80s, was addressing a group of comic shop owners, and legendarily opened with something along the lines of "So. Secret Wars. That sucked, huh?" Everyone laughed in agreement, before she pointed out that it did, in fact, sell really well, and in so doing got everyone pumped for her announcement of the forthcoming Secret Wars II, which was of course one of the worst things ever.
What Did You Eat Yesterday 11: My first comic of the new year. Continues to be a combination of cooking comic, adorable domesticity, and an examination of gay life in Japan. Always a treat when a new volume comes out.
A Bride's Story 6: That time that Kaoru Mori decided to draw a several issue battle for most of the book and somehow gets even crazier detailed. Like, we usually end up cursing Kaoru Mori's amazingness several times in a volume.
Tokyo Babylon omnibus 2: And this is the volume where some stories just straight up left me sobbing. Plus the ending, which is merciless. CLAMP does some crazy ass shit, and you can see them starting to come into their own, style wise. Definitely worth your time.
Aleister & Adolf: while I have a particular interest in alternate history stories with Aleister Crowley, I really enjoyed this even if Hitler appears only as a specter (maybe depicted in 2 panels of the whole GN). The ending was a little Twilight Zone for me, especially for a GN-length work.
Pretty Deadly vol 2: this is gorgeous. It is also completely inflated. There's about 6 pages of story here. I think I'm done. Even at Image's discounted trade prices, this isn't worth it.
Josie & The Pussycats #2: ok, I adore this without measure. I know I will tire of it, but until then, I'm in.
Kiss #1, 2: If you'd asked me to guess what the plot of the newest Kiss comic was, I don't think "an adaptation of their ill-advised concept album "Music from The Elder" would be in my top 100 answers, though it might be in my top 3 pitches. Holy fuck. I'm losing my mind on this book.
Kong of Skull Island #4: this doesn't pretend to be anything other than what it is. It ain't great, but it's kind of cool.
Lake of Fire #3: solid.
Lord of Gore #1:I've read this comic before. Slightly interesting differences, but don't think I'll be coming back.
Lucifer #11, 12: So good.
Mayday #1: This was alright. I'll give it another.
Midnighter and Apollo #2: Fucking great.
Mother Panic #1: Weird. Not sure if I liked it or not. Nice to have a Vertigo book that interacts with the DCU proper though.
Motor Girl #1: Holy shit, this was terrible.
Motro #1: Weird and very interesting. I'll stick around.
Myopia #1: More garbage sci fi.
Comics: 14Trades: 1
Graphic Novels: 1
Batman and Robin Adventures vol.1: Collecting the first ten issues of the title that followed the Batman Adventures, Paul Dini writes the first three issues and issue #8, and Ty Templeton, who did art on the first two scripts the rest. Overall it's a thoroughly solid read. The first story is a two parter that shows where Grace went during the series after Harvey became Two-Face. Ty Templeton's artwork really works and looks just like the best animated episodes of the show. Rich Burchett does the bulk of the latter, and while his style is more "stylized" and a little more cartoony, it still is really good work. Tim Harkins does issue#5's art and that's way too much. Way too cartoony to the point where it looks like something out of Eek the Cat.
The stories are not as brilliant as Kelley Puckett's writing in the previous title, but they're still hella fun. They've forgone the 3-Act structure, which I never enjoy in comics, and most of the stories aren't as dark but are more adventurous. Two of my favorite issues I actually had as a kid. One is issue #6 where a tabloid reports that Batman has fired Robin and is looking to replace him. A kid dresses as Robin and tries to stop a robbery but is kidnapped in the process. B&R try to find him before he's killed and are deluged with several Robin wannabes hoping to impress Batman. Needless to say, Dick's pretty annoyed throughout. Issue #8 has Poison Ivy hypnotize Robin into working for her and Harley. It's a classic Dini script with the central hook merely giving way to a more entertaining twist, that being Harley's jealousy. I also maintain that in addition to the Joker, Paul Dini's the best Poison Ivy writer around, right next to John Francis Moore. The last two issues make up a Ra's and Talia two-parter which is alright, but the bulk of the collection is fun enough to mention and recommend despite those weaker stories.
Gotham Central vol.3: Still awesome. Set during the aftermath of War Games (back when that was the worst Batman stories ever got), this volume deals with the GCPD trying not to rely on Batman despite his constant help. It's cool seeing Renee the only one who's against destroying the Bat-Signal (aside from the Mayor who doesn't want to lose a tourist attraction) as she's pretty much the only cop from the previous decade who's had interaction with him. Another story involves Catwoman and another involves Dr. Alchemy, which causes Crispus and Renee to visit Keystone City and interact with the Flash's cops. This series is always recommended.
Posted 5 January
Gotham Central vol.4: Tragic. Heart-wrenching. Beautiful. The Dead Robin storyline had my favorite moment of the series, when Starfire walks into the squadroom and Maggie Sawyer and Renee Montoya start drooling.
Posted 7 January
Infinite Crisis (#1-#7): This is a conflicting story to read.
On the one hand, this is every that's been wrong with the Geoff Johns/Dan Didio era of DC Comics for the last ten years. It is unbelievably violent to the point of hilarity. It's drowned in DC Lore to the point of excess (and I think that works against it because while they reintroduce the idea of the Multiverse there are goo-gobs of pages of characters not even I'd ever seen before), and you have John's tendency to write "HOO-RAH" dialogue that doesn't have much point besides eliciting a one-second response from the readers.
On the other hand this is written with a lot of purpose. There can't have been a more direct (less subtle), explicit examination on what makes a proper hero in the then-modern DC Universe. It's a commentary on the post-Crisis, post-90s, post-2000s DC era and shines it under a light not to decry it, but to compare it with pre-Crisis idealism. Johns does clever work in showing that a lot of the Post-Crisis stuff works, albeit excessively by having Superboy die (I remember that was during the whole Superboy legal trouble).
On a third hand there's a bit too much silly adoration for Pre-Crisis that bridges into fanaticism. Johns pretends that the original CRISIS happened in the Silver Age, and not 1985 where you had the death of Aquaman's son and Roy Harper's drug addiction and the Judas Contract. It's not a precise comparison because it posits that all the dark stuff was directly after 1985. Admittedly there's a lot of stuff they list that happened in the 90s, but it's too skewed of a fanboy thing. It would've been better IMO if the story didn't take itself so goddamn seriously. Poking fun at Superman's long hair or Superboy's earring or AzBat's armor costume or Kyle Rayner's stupid mask would've made the story read more mature, more sane.
On a fourth hand the fight scenes, viciously brutal that they are, are pretty damn cool. George Perez and Phil Jimenez are DC's comics best artists, and Ivan Reis and Jerry Ordway are terrific back-ups. Scenes like Jay Garrick, Wally West and Bart Allen run Superboy Prime into the Speed Force, and Pre and Post-Crisis Supermen fly Prime through the ruins of Krypton into Planet Mogo is the stuff comics books are made of. Cool imagery and terrific action. The idea that the world is ending is sold through much of the violence. Jimenez is so good he makes the Teen Titans look like teenagers caught up in a wild-storm that they can't withstand. It's also nice to see things like WW's killing of Max Lord and Batman's paranoia called out as OOC.
On a fifth hand much of the "fixing" of the character's personalities was done on purpose so DC could justify this story. A lot of the 90s works for the story, but the stuff from the previous three years was written with ruinous purpose. That's disingenuous.
Ultimately Infinite Crisis is an entertaining but almost shallow story of which I change my mind on from reading to reading. It's why I can't get behind the whole "LOLZWATCHMENDIDIT" twist of Rebirth. Johns has done this before, and it's not strong writing in blaming decades of writers' career on in-universe shenanigans.
Posted 7 January
Crisis Aftermath: SPECTRE: Solid Cliff Chang artwork and decent continuation of the Crispus Allen character is soured by a stone cold bummer of an ending that's a bit too pleased with itself and kind of doesn't work on a thematic level. Needed an additional draft to justify itself.
Mythos #3, 4: Finishing a very successful one-man job of adaptin Lovecraft shorts over four issues. These were two of the best issues. #3 in particular has two of my favorite Lovecraft stories, The White Ship and Cool Air. Good stuff.
Namesake #1: Pretty overly complicated, but I do enjoy the premise. I'll give it another issue.
New Superman #5: this was alright.
Nighthawk #6: well this crapped out at the end. Snooze-worthy. Won't be missing this series too much anymore.
Nightwing #7-9: the last two issues of the Raptor storyline were fucking excellent. #9 is DEFINITELY a fill-in issue and I could have done just fine without ever reading it.
Occupy Avengers #1: This is starting out not too different than my Liberty Legion fan-fiction. I'm into it. I love Red Wolf...you know, when he's not an old west sheriff.
Old Man Logan #13: pretty good.
Comics: 24Trades: 1
Posted 8 January
Kingdom Come: The 20th Anniversary Deluxe Edition: collects Kingdom Come (1996) #1-4, plus a crapton of backmatter.
In 1996, the comics industry had spent ten years egregiously misunderstanding what it was that made Watchmen and Dark Knight so exciting and important. In the wake of these events and the rise of Image, grim 'n' gritty had pretty much completely taken over the business, and every issue of every comic seemed to be about a scowling vigilante badass laying waste to all who stood before him with all the knives and guns he could fit on his grotesquely misshapen and overmuscled torso. Also, all female characters wore g-strings and had their spines removed. It was pretty bad. Enter Alex Ross, who a couple of years earlier scored huge with Marvels, and his four-issue manifesto against the state of the industry. This is four issues of "Look! Look at what's happened to comics!"
A few years from now, Superman retires because the public has embraced a new kind of antihero willing to kill their enemies. In the wake of his leaving, most of the other heroes of his generation also drift away, leaving only a new field of violent sociopaths who think nothing of murder and destruction in the name of fighting criminals, some of who are actual, literal Nazis. Superman comes out of retirement to make this whole thing stop, and there's various factions led by Batman and Lex Luthor figuring out the best way to deal with this whole situation, and Wonder Woman is getting more warlike, and Captain Marvel is hella crazy, and the Spectre is leading a pastor around to figure out the best way to handle all of it.
The story isn't as deep or meaningful as it seemed twenty years ago. It's still quite good, though. Mark Waid was absolutely the best choice to do the scripting, as he's clearly on Ross' wavelength, but sees the need to deflate the imperiousness a bit. The paintings are absolutely gorgeous, and if they're stiff and posed, at least they look pretty amazing. It goes almost without saying that this is by far the greatest thing Ross has ever done. It would be hard to overstate what a huge sensation this story was in the late '90s, as it sees like it was goddamn everywhere for years after it came out. Wizard Magazine became obsessed with it, which always struck me as hilarious, considering its entire point was to shit all over everything that magazine had spent years championing. But reading it now, it's obvious that you need to have a pretty good idea of comics, and especially DC Comics, and exactly where they were and what they were doing in 1996. So much of what happens is a direct response to the magazines that were then currently on the racks, and if you don't recall who was Green Lantern at the time or what was going on with Superman's hair or what have you, it will affect the way you can appreciate this story.
Nearly half of this volume is extra bonus material, including full annotations (there are Easter eggs in virtually every panel), essays, a history of the project, and tons and tons and tons of character sketches, which are usually something I gloss over quickly but here are really interesting and bring a lot to the understanding of the story itself.
All in all, an excellent collection of an important if dated event.
Posted 9 January
Faith 7: I missed a few issues in between here, but Jody Houser is basically getting to write Spider-Man here, and you can tell she's having fun with it.
Ninjak 23: Out this Weds. Feels like some ideas that Matt Kindt never quite got to do for Mind MGMT, but it's still fun. Art is a bit eye rolly at times on the T+A front, but it could be a lot worse.
Single Issues: 2Trades: 2Omnibuses: 1
Posted 10 January
Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service vols 13 and 14: I keep thinking that there's no way that this manga can get more fucked. Vol 13 proved me very very wrong. Some of the most fucked up (and frankly some of the best) stories that they've done here. Vol 14 is split between two political stories (including some politicians who I'm sure Chicago politicans would love to meet and trade ideas with), and a weird diversion where they imagine an American cartoon version of Kurosagi. This is all that exists Stateside for now, but the omnibuses have been doing good enough that they might be picking up new volumes. Hopefully. There's another six or so in Japan currently.
A Bride's Story vol 7: Kaoru Mori does a volume set entirely in a bath house, and I died within the first twenty pages. That's about all you need to know on that front. Crazily detailed as ever, and body diversity in the nudes, and what is basically a heavily implied lesbian love story. All hail Kaoru Mori forever and ever amen.
Kill Six Billion Demons vol 1: Image collected the first six or so chapters of this webcomic, and I might try to find it on my own and read the rest. The story's fun, but the real draw here for me is the coloring and lettering on the art - I still can't believe this is all one person doing this. Gorgeous and insane.
Fate/Zero vol 1: One of those cheap tie ins that they did to get that dank dank synergy money. Art's not fantastic, and the story so far is just the anime beat for beat.
Single Issues: 2Trades: 7Omnibuses: 1
Posted 11 January
Books of magic by Neil Gaiman illustrated by Scott Hampton, John Bolton, Charles Vess, and Paul Johnson: It is Harry Potter before Harry Potter. It was a way for people who did not know DC's magic superheros to get an understanding of the heroes and a couple of the villains. It has that epic story feel that I loved in Kingdom Come. Just Wonderful.
Graphic Novel: 1
So I don't generally come over to this side of the forums, but I've been rereading my Judge Dredd Case Files. I'm still on the first volume, though.
I've also been meaning to catch up on Stand Still Stay Silent and Star Power. Granted, they're webcomics, but I think they count.
Ms. Marvel #13 (2016): I heard people whine online that this was too politically skewed, but it's really about getting out and voting. Yeah, it's definitely not subtle when aping the whole 2016 election by having candidates no one likes and the bad guy being Hydra and working for Dr. Faustus...but people too lazy or stupid or ill-informed not voting is a severe problem, and having a teen hero galvanize readers to change their minds and just do it is exactly the kind of thing that needs to happen in our media lately.
Totally Awesome Hulk #13, #14: A gimmicky two-parter with Jeremy Lin. Perfectly decent. I've forgotten specifically why his sister is mad at him tho.
Posted 12 January
Neon Genesis Evangelion: Shinji Ikari Detective Diary vol 1: Yup. This is sure a Evangelion spin off with magical beings that can be summoned from jewelry and also a detective story while we're at it. Not anything particularly notable. Jim picked this up for $5 in his recent trade order. Worth about that I'd say.
Shutter vol 1: Hadn't followed this at all before now - I knew Leila from her WicDiv guest issue, and I remember hearing neat things about how they mirrored the first issue later on in the run and an Akira tribute cover, but hadn't heard anything beyond that. It's a future with anthropomorphic animals and an adventurer father and the children he fucked up, who are now just trying to navigate their lives. This first volume was intriguing, and I'm definitely interested in seeing where the rest might go.
Psycho Pass: Inspector Shinya Kogami vol 1: Another tie in that looks at the past of one of the characters. Interesting setup for the actual detective part of this, art's solid. Again, worth the $5 that was spent on it.
Bizarro: DC somehow got Gustavo fuckin' Duarte to do a Jimmy Olson and Bizarro road trip miniseries. The story is fun, adorable, and just an utter joy to read (and includes X-Files knockoffs). They also somehow got Ba and Moon, Sienkiewicz, Cooke, Albuequerque, and many others to do awesome single page splashes. Find this, and read it. It's worth your time.
Shadowman vol 3: Aka that time Peter Milligan and Roberto de la Torre teamed up for a supernatural book. The result is as good as you'd expect. Baron also gets props for fucking gorgeous color work on this. No idea what's going on plot wise (I think I missed a volume of plot somewhere), but it keeps on building beautifully.
Single Issues: 2Trades: 12Omnibuses: 1
Posted 13 January
I read most of what Hannah read, minus some, plus other material.
We generally agree, so I’ll expand on where we disagree.
I enjoyed Fate/Zero v1 more than she did, though I wouldn’t buy the second volume without a more severe discount. It follows the show too closely.
I’m interested in more Psycho-Pass v1 manga, though. It’s a prequel manga, so it means they have latitude. The artist doesn’t skimp on backgrounds, either. I’m not sold on the conceit of the world, but I’ll continue.
Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service still eludes my expectations. I know it’ll be good, but I’m always surprised at how good it is. I’ll put it at top 5 mangas Dark Horse published, ever. I might even put it at top 5 Dark Horse period.
Loverboys. Not much to say, except that I’m trying to get a taste for Gilbert Hernandez’s work. It’s sad and strange.
Tokyo Babylon Omnibuses: Too long by 300 pages. I’m glad I read it so I can talk about it with my friends. It’s interesting from a historical perspective, as this was allegedly one of the first times a mainstream BL manga went this hard. As a reader 20 odd years after that point, though, I almost stopped reading at page 800 because CLAMP wouldn’t shit and also wouldn’t get off the pot.
What Did You Eat Yesterday v11. More cute stories, with the A story continually meted out. Hopefully, things move along a little quicker on that front. I like it for its portrait of a gay life in Japan as unremarkable, while also acknowledging the reality of significant homophobia in the culture.
Blame Academy And So On. Blame! errata, which is almost immediately undercut by stupid fan service. Every so often there’s a particularly inventive grotesque or a striking splash page. For super fans only.
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