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The Master

Every comic you've read in 2017

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Dread   

Green River Killer - A graphic novel Dark Horse put out about six years ago.  Was well done.  With no action and basically two hundred pages of talking heads this was a surprisingly quick read.  Art was on point as well.  Like I said, well done.  However, it does come off as an episode of, say, Criminal Minds.  Makes sense with the 'based on true event' thing and all.

Single Issues: 0
Graphic Novels: 1
Trades:
20 (154)

The investigating detective's son wrote it, right?

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Green River Killer - A graphic novel Dark Horse put out about six years ago.  Was well done.  With no action and basically two hundred pages of talking heads this was a surprisingly quick read.  Art was on point as well.  Like I said, well done.  However, it does come off as an episode of, say, Criminal Minds.  Makes sense with the 'based on true event' thing and all.

Single Issues: 0
Graphic Novels: 1
Trades:
20 (154)

The investigating detective's son wrote it, right?

That he did.  Which I cannot say I noticed until the last few pages.

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Dread   

Green River Killer - A graphic novel Dark Horse put out about six years ago.  Was well done.  With no action and basically two hundred pages of talking heads this was a surprisingly quick read.  Art was on point as well.  Like I said, well done.  However, it does come off as an episode of, say, Criminal Minds.  Makes sense with the 'based on true event' thing and all.

Single Issues: 0
Graphic Novels: 1
Trades:
20 (154)

The investigating detective's son wrote it, right?

That he did.  Which I cannot say I noticed until the last few pages.

I wanted to read that when it came out, but it became one of the MANY things that fall through the cracks. I need to check that out.

 

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All-New Wolverine Annual #1: Read this last year upon its release, and had to go back to it as soon as I saw it in the Marvel Unlimited app. The villain isn't much of a threat, but that's not the point; the point is having fun with the brain-switching of Laura and Gwen. And it is a blast.

Comics: 151

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Dan   

Daredevil Omnibus, Vol. 1: Collects Daredevil (1964) #1-41, Annual #1, Fantastic Four #73, and material from Not Brand Echh #4.

This was a surprisingly quick read. The stories themselves aren't very complex - "Daredevil beats up a bunch of bad guys" covers the plot of 90% of the issues - but there are enough other elements to keep the reader's interest. So much soap opera, you guys. You see, Foggy loves Karen, but Karen loves Matt, and Matt also loves Karen, but doesn't want to crush Foggy and also doesn't see how Karen could ever love a blind man, and oh the agony. Matt is presented as a mature, adult Peter Parker in a lot of ways here - he also has a lot of problems in his life, but has the experience and ability to deal with them rather than feeling sorry for himself all the time.

His blindness really does come across as a major facet of his power set. Matt's radar sense is barely referred to at all, and when it is it's not the semimagical ESP that essentially gives him his sight back that it later became; it's the natural result of all his heightened senses acting in tandem to let him know "hey, it looks like there might be a wall off to your left, maybe try not to smack into it." Otherwise, Matt is entirely reliant on his senses of hearing and touch, along with having a really, really, really good knowledge of the city (he can, say, jump from the roof of a building because he knows it has an awning that's usually open that time of day). It's very cool and unlike anything else that was happening at the time.

There's also the whole Mike Murdock thing, which goes on for an astonishingly long time, where Foggy and Karen are so smart that of course they're rapidly piecing together that Matt is Daredevil, but not so smart that they don't fall for "Actually, Daredevil is my long lost twin brother Mike that I've never mentioned to Foggy even though we've been best friends for years," which is preposterous as no one should be fooled just because Mike Murdock wears a porkpie hat, and Matt Murdock doesn't. While it's interesting that the staid, button-down Matt begins to worry about how much he enjoys the release that playing Mike (a hugely obnoxious hipster asshole) affords him, that particular thread goes on for years and was bone stupid when it started.

Daredevil has a terrible, terrible rogues' gallery. In the nearly five years this volume covers, the most memorable villains DD runs across are the Purple Man, the Owl, and the Masked Marauder (one of three, count 'em, three "master criminal geniuses who sit in their lair while sending goons out to commit intricately planned crimes" types, and is every bit as inspired as his name implies), and they're all pretty lame. There's a multi-part Doctor Doom story towards the end that's excellent, but the original bad guys are, to a man, dull. The action is generally quite good, however, so even if the guy DD is kicking in the face is pretty boring, he looks awesome while he's doing the kicking.

Which is the real reason to read these issues. The artwork here is absolutely phenomenal. Daredevil was blessed with a murderer's row of top shelf artists. The first issue is by Bill Everett, and when he proved too slow to keep up with a monthly title, Joe Orlando took over for a few issues, bringing his offputting, 50's EC Comics vibe with him. After that is a brief but defining run by Wallace Wood, then a stretch from John Romita that essentially served as an audition for Amazing Spider-Man and cemented him as a major artist in the 60s. After that, Gene Colan takes over, and his stuff is tremendous. Inks from John Tartaglione don't do him any favors, but his work still shines, and when Frank Giacoia handles inking duties, it's about as good as you're going to see.

Overall, a very fun run of comics that fly by quickly.

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For my money, Daredevil #1 is arguably the best first issue Stan Lee ever had a hand in, and that all comes down to Bill Everett's beautifully emotive pencils. That book flows so perfectly, it needs to be studied.

Action Comics #975: The mystery of the human Clark Kent has been solved, and things are about to get a whole lot worse for Lois, Clark, and Jon. If you're going to read it, do yourself a favor and stay away from social media until you do. Lots of people are spoiling it.

Comics: 152

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Justice League / Power Rangers #3: Can this become an ongoing? Please!

Comics: 153

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Dan   

For my money, Daredevil #1 is arguably the best first issue Stan Lee ever had a hand in, and that all comes down to Bill Everett's beautifully emotive pencils. That book flows so perfectly, it needs to be studied.

Agreed. He'd been writing his style of comics for a few years by this point and had his voice down cold, and Everett's storytelling is gorgeously done.

Also, I forgot about the Gladiator, a villain I like in theory more than execution. However, I love that his motivation to be evil is that he works in retail and customers are just the worst. I feel you, sir.

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Red Hood and the Outlaws #7: A solid one-off issue in which Jason contemplates murdering Bizarro before he can hurt anyone. Their relationship is very much in the mold of Lennie and George, so it makes sense to take it down this path. A few more pages demonstrating their budding friendship would have been nice, but there's nothing in the issue that could (or should) have been cut to make room for it; seeds are being planted for future stories, so time needed to be devoted to that.

Red Hood and the Outlaws #8: Another one-off, but this serves as a prelude to story that begins next month. Here, we get a look into Artemis' past, including a tragedy that shaped her into the angry warrior she is today. There's nothing groundbreaking here -- in fact, Jason even fills in the ending of Artemis' tale in a rather meta, page-saving way -- but it fleshes Artemis out. It moves her away from "wannabe Wonder Woman" to her own character. Also, more tipsy Jason Todd please!

I'm pleasantly surprised how much I'm enjoying this book. It makes me want to read the 2011 series of the same name, as well as the Red Hood / Arsenal followup.

Comics: 155

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Biff to the Future #1-2: The first two issues in this miniseries begin to fill in the gap between 1955 (when old Biff gave his younger self the sports almanac) and 1985A (when Marty stole it back). The first one shows Biff's life with his grandma, as well as his first dark turn from bully to killer. The second issue sees Biff in Hollywood, forming an ill-fated studio with a smarmy producer. Though I prefer the first issue and think the second is somewhat skippable, I see what they're setting up there. I'll probably read the rest when they come my way, but I'm in no rush.

Comics: 157

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Jessica Jones #6: How the villain was tricked and captured, Carol's non-answer over the merged universes, and the cliffhanger regarding the family drama all wrapped up a little too predictably. Not sure I'll stick with it.

Guardians of the Galaxy #1.MU: This was fun, and I loved the art.

Man-Thing #1: Two tales written by RL Stine. The first sees a chatty Man-Thing as a failed actor trying to find his way in life. The second is more akin to EC horror stories, with romance, murder, magic, and an ironic fate. While the Man-Thing story did little for me, I liked the brief backup. 

Comics: 160

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Dread   

Love is Love:the anthology benefitting the Pulse nightclub attack. at a hundred plus pages with mostly one page strips from various pros, the quality is going to  vary. There are stories that will make you think, and make you cry, and then there are those that will make you shrug, roll your eyes, and even a few that are pretty offensive. An interesting read, nonetheless.

GI Joe #1: this is TERRIBLE. This looks like someone drew this when they should have been listening in class.

Gamora #1: solid.

Generation Zero #5

Great Lakes Avengers #3: pretty good.

Grimm Fairy Tales Apocalypse #1: fuccck this. I give these guys too many chances. Zeenescope sucks, man.

Grimm Fairy Tales #1: same goes for this shit.

Harbinger Renegade #2: playing the slow game on this and that's ok. I'm liking Robertson's art more here than I usually do.

Hookjaw #1: Gar. Bage.

Hulk #1: I really liked this.

Infamous Iron Man #3: I'm going to like this book a lot more if it stops being "Thing shows up to fight Doom because he's Doom, totally ignoring that he's Iron Man now."

Invincible Iron Man #2: not as good as the last issue.

Jem-The Misfits #1: Terrrrrrible.

Justice League Vs Suicide Squad #1, 2: I loved this.

KISS #3: ok, this is not as good as the last two, but it was needed. This is pretty cool, actually.

Kong of Skull Island #5.6: may not have been entirely awake when I read these. Don't remember much.

Lake of Fire #5: this is really good.

Lucifer #13: still really good.

Comics: 245
Trades: 13

Graphic Novels: 8

Omnibuses: 4

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Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys: The Big Lie #1: This is a very dark take on the title characters. The transition from kid-friendly reading to mature material feels natural, in that their bright lives are shattered by a very real, very dreadful turn of events. I'm in for the whole miniseries.

Comics: 161

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Powerless #1: I have no idea what's going on in this new series from Vault Comics. Everyone has superpowers, but some people don't. And there's a virus that's doing something. There are quarantine zones and government oversight, as well as some high school baseball player and a school project. I really am confused.

Comics: 162

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Seven Soldiers of Victory - I don't know about these.  Well, that is not true.  I found these to be bad.  Like really bad.  Maybe I made the entire thing up in my head, but I thought these were supposed to be really good.  Each mini was bad and that ending was downright stupid.  I care about nothing the entire time.  Such a waste of time.

ApocalyptiGirl: An Aria for the End Times - Basically a girl and her cat in the apocalypse.  There is some higher story here, but it wasn't engaging at all.  Had promise and missed its mark.

 

Single Issues: 0
Graphic Novels: 2
Trades:
24 (184)

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Venneh   

Grass Kings 1: Kindt and Jenkins do Southern crime - a mysterious girl turns up in a fiefdom of a trailer park run by three brothers. Gorgeous Kindt cover, oversized. Worth a look. (Kinda weirdly racist opening though.)

WicDiv 27: The entire issue feels like it's coiling up like a snake, and the way that Gillen and McKelvie play with format in this only helps this. Wilson continues to do gorgeous color work. 

Single Issues: 109
Trades/Graphic Novels: 21
Omnibuses: 1

Edited by Venneh

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jim   

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.

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Donomark   

 

I'm pleasantly surprised how much I'm enjoying this book. It makes me want to read the 2011 series of the same name, as well as the Red Hood / Arsenal followup.

Comics: 155

Capture.GIF 

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Is it really that bad? I know Kenneth Rocafort took a lot of heat for his art, specifically Starire, but I hadn't heard too much about the writing.

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Donomark   

Best thing about it was that Lobdell proved to be the best Jason Todd writer since Judd Winnick, and honestly better. His scenes with Jason, especially in the past are really good.

But no, it was a terrible book. Roy and Starfire were torn down to the worst, most numbskulled versions of themselves. Actually Roy was just flat out made pathetic because it's funny he was a drug addict.

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Dread   

Mother Panic #2: I like the idea of a Bat-Family book being Vertigo and the art is next level great but the story is terrible and I'm out.

Nightwing #11: Pretty good. I like the idea they're building here.

Occupy Avengers #2: Ha! This issue plays out like an issue of Liberty Legion fan0fiction I wrote a couple years ago. It's pretty good, but maybe I'm biased. :)

Rocket raccoon #1: kind of fun.

Romulus #3: I can't really remember what happened here. Not great.

Kill or Be Killed vol 1: I liked this. Tight and psychological. Remarkable how close this is to Demonic, also from image at the same time. Not as good as Sleeper or Criminal (obviously) but better than anything else this team has done.

The Goddamned Book One Before the Flood: I'm so happy I'm not the only one who also thinks that the Old Testament is basically the most famous extreme horror novel ever. So close to the kind of shit I like to read and write that I absolutely can't wait for volume 2. I won't hold my breath since this took so fucking long to hit trade.

Sunstone vol 5: incredible. Beautiful stuff. Looking forward to the spinoffs.

Renato Jones The One % Season one: fucking beautiful. Kaare Andrews's breakdowns are better than basically everyone else's finished work. 

Edgar Allan Poe's Spirits of the Dead: the hardcover collecting all of Richard Corben's recent Poe adaptations from Dark Horse. A quick read, but he's so well-suited to adapting classic horror that I wish he would turn to Machen or adapt The King In Yellow next. But, there's money in Poe and Lovecraft, so I understand that.

Comics: 250
Trades: 17

Graphic Novels: 9

Omnibuses: 4

 
Edited by Dread

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jim   

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

Edited by jim

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