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Every comic you've read in 2017

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Posted

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."

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Daredevil: The Target #1: Oh boy, this is a product of its time. Cover dated January 2003, there's a lot of hate and anger towards Middle Easterners. Had the series come to completion, one barely has to imagine where this would have went with said anger and hatred. In that regard, I'm kinda glad it never made it past one issue. Beyond that, Kevin Smith does an excellent job setting up a rematch between Daredevil and Bullseye in the wake of Karen Page's murder; this, clearly, was meant to be the epilogue to his brief Daredevil run. Glenn Fabry brings equal amounts of soft, quiet moments and heavy, rage-filled pain to the book. Be it Daredevil standing over Karen's grave or a baby crying for her dead mother, he makes this single issue come to life.

Comics: 163

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Posted (edited)

Escape from Gulag 396: This went in way harder than I expected from an A+A comic, let's leave it that way. Hits hard, and is a pretty neat one shot. 

Harbinger v4: It's probably cheating if I quote Jim, but yeah - a few awesome moments, mostly me rolling my eyes and groaning.

Single Issues: 113
Trades/Graphic Novels: 24
Omnibuses: 1

Edited by Venneh

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Posted

Motor Crush #4: Still digging it but four issues in and the main character isn't very likable. It's not written in an un-obvious way, I'm just surprised this much time has gone by and she's still basically a lying, thieving drug addict.

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Batman: Cacophony #1-3: This started out as just another Batman story, but quickly ramped up by showing just how horrid The Joker truly is, it did an excellent job explaining his mental state in just a few panels, and came this close to sticking the landing with a wonderful conversation between Batman and The Joker. But, for me, it all fell apart thanks to one too many crass, juvenile jokes by The Joker. In attempting to portray The Joker as a dark beast with a penchant for murder and comedy, Kevin Smith writes him as a high school boy who thinks he knows what mature humor is because his friends laugh when he makes dick and poop jokes. And, yeah, I get that's the point; after opening up to Batman, The Joker had to shield himself by making a dick joke, but because he made several jokes like that throughout, it lost any impact the scene could and should have had.

Comics: 166

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Posted

Don't read Widening Gyre. 

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That was the original intent, but I got up to the Poison Ivy scene and thought, "You know what, I'm good."

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That's absolutely the red flag of that book.

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The Amazing Spider-Man #144-151 and Giant-Size Spider-Man #5: The original Clone Saga! This was a whirlwind, to say the least. Thanks to the second (and more famous) Clone Saga, I knew the twists and turns of the original, but it was still exciting to read. The superhero action and soap opera drama are perfectly mixed, and they do an excellent job tiring readers out as much as they do Spider-Man himself. So by the end of the story, when Peter has absolutely zero energy and contemplates laying down to die, you understand why; in the span of a few weeks, he's experienced more life-altering drama than most people do in a lifetime. (Though, if one were reading these monthly, I bet one would not be as tired, as there would be breathing room. Reading them back-to-back, however, tires one out. But in a good way.) It's also interesting how Peter decides he's the real deal: emotion over science. This, I have to believe, purposely leaves the door open for an eventual sequel.

Art wise: Holy shit! Ross Andru is the man, inker-dependent. While I've never been 100% down with 1970s Spider-Man (he's too wide at the hips, and is 10-15 pounds too heavy for my liking), the action and drama are perfect. From action-pact wall-crawling to searching underneath beds for evidence, from kinetic blows to Aunt May telling an asshole she will smack his mouth (Really!), every panel and page are sold as greater parts of the story as well as brief character moments. From this, I must read more of his books -- especially Superman vs. The Amazing Spider-Man, which I did not know Andru illustrated until this moment when I looked it up.

Anyway, despite how Wizard painted the 1990s Clone Saga, the 1970s original was inventive, exciting, perfectly dramatic, filled with nonstop action, and is an excellent read.

However, despite the issues noted above, I will say this:

  • Amazing Spider-Man #144: You only need to read the three Aunt May pages, and the final two pages of the book.
  • Giant-Size Spider-Man #5: Fun, but not needed for the overall story.
  • Amazing Spider-Man #151: You only need to read the first three pages.

Comics: 175

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What If (v1) #30: As a followup to the original Clone Saga, I thought I'd take a look at the issue of What If? in which the clone had lived. (Though he's never called anything other than Peter or Spider-Clone in the comic, I'll call him Ben.)

Ben is downright stupid in this book. Upon waking up and fighting Spider-Man, Ben believes himself to be the real Peter Parker. (Okay, good so far.) He stashes Peter in a cryo-chamber for reasons, and begins exploring New York. However, he soon discovers he's missing three years of memories. Instead of thinking, "Hmm. Well, I guess that makes me the clone," out of nowhere he comes up with the idea that he's been in suspended animation for those three years and the clone of him has been living his life. (What?) When he finally realizes he is the clone, his freak-out is met with "Well duh" rather than the emotional punch they were going for. Yeah, sure, we know he's the clone because the cover and The Watcher tell us as much -- information Ben is not privy to -- but it's so damn obvious, it makes him look like a moron for not seeing it.

He also has a very silly fight with The Kingpin, which involves a Ferris Wheel and a hovering cart. This could have been anybody, as nothing about it screams Kingpin. He attempts to snipe Spider-Man, because. He then attempts to jump him, because. And he then calls Spider-Man out, because. It's there to have an action sequence, nothing more, and it makes zero sense from top to bottom. That said, when Peter and Ben begin working together, the book picks up, and it is interesting following Ben as he tries to fill in the three-year gap. For example: as soon as he sees Flash Thompson, Ben expects to get harassed, not knowing Flash has turned his life around and is now buddies with Peter.

The resolution is neat, too, and I would like to see more of this universe. After waking Peter from the stasis tube Ben placed him in, Ben and Peter decide to share a life, including Spider-Man duties. While we now have an endless stream of Spider-Man clones, proteges, and alternate universe versions swinging around, a universe where Peter and Ben are the only two Spider-Men in town, living as long-lost twins, has a lot of legs.

Comics: 176

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Posted

Savage #2: shit, this is fun.

Spell on Wheels #3: the weakest issue yet.

Spider-Man #11: very unmemorable issue.

Squadron Supreme #14: solid. I feel like they kind of punked the original Human Torch out a little bit. Perhaps there will be retribution.

Star-Lord #1: Quill is on earth and runs into Old Man Logan. They get in a bar fight. Ok, I guess.

Dark Gods vol 1: fucking great,. Combine this with God is Dead and you've got one of my planned novels. Basically. I'm not upset. My idea is different enough. This was fun. They're sure as fuck taking their time doing the next volume though.

Clive Barker's Nightbreed vol3: this is a direct sequel to the movie. I wish it was longer than four issues as it feels a little too compressed.

Future Quest vol 1: fun as fuck. A few weird departures, but the main story is amazing. I want more of these.

Comics: 255
Trades: 20

Graphic Novels: 9

Omnibuses: 4

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Ultimate Captain America #1-4: Call me a purist, but I do not like the characterization of Ultimate Captain America. He's an unlikable, hard line fanatic. So watching him get his ass handed to him over and over and over again by Nuke made me smile, which I don't think was the intended reaction. Joking aside, who are we supposed to cheer for here? Cap is a dick to everyone, even his allies. When he shows up in Cambodia, he asks if anyone "speaks American" and acts like a bully. (Was this supposed to be a political statement about Vietnam by Jason Aaron?) Nuke makes great points, but he kills two SHIELD agents in cold blood. And when Cap finally turns the tide, he justifies America's bloodstained hands by saying it's "for the greater good." In the end, no one wins and everyone is worse for wear. (Again, is this the point?)

Having loved Ron Garney's Captain America in the 90s, he's rough-edged, almost Punisher-like take on Cap is so very different and refreshing. It perfectly matches the darker tone of the character in this universe. Despite my feelings about how he's portrayed, at least he's made to look like the harder soldier that he is here. Between this miniseries and his work on Daredevil, it's amazing to watch Garney stretch his artistic legs.  

Comics: 180

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Posted

Had to kill some time at work this morning, so I figured I'd read some random DC laying around.  I have no context for these, so let's see how well this goes.

Nightwing #15 - Says epilogue on the cover so I'll assume this is coming off of some sort of multi-part thing.  But this felt like a decent jumping on point, so kudos for that.  A nice simple issue with no real action that let me get a sense of the story before.  So, thumbs up to this one.

Superman #17 - Two kids in the spooky woods.  This was pure filler that I don't even know if it would make the trade. 

Green Lanterns #17 - I have no idea who these Lanterns are.  This did little to change that or to make me care.

Single Issues: 3
Graphic Novels: 2
Trades:
24 (184)

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Superman #19: A little confused by this chapter. Like, how did Superman reach the top of the tower?

Nightwing #17: Interesting. Having Dick see a sliver of his multiverse selves, as well as future versions of Damian, should have big ramifications.

The Wild Storm #2: Lots of talking, lots of people aiming for the same goal, but with different agendas. A little confusing as to who's who, but I like where it's going.

Comics: 183

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Superman #19 (2016): Myxzptlk has NEVER been drawn creepier IMO. The plot thickens with this Superman arc.

Spider-Man #14 (2016): This story is such a ridiculous cocktease. It's not about Miles and Gwen together at all, it's all about Miles' dad. And the pacing is bad. Several Bendis-y pages of decompression. Nothing happens in this issue at all.

Ms. Marvel #14-#15 (2016): Solid stuff, as ever. Tiny nitpick in that Kamala's going on about being alone, but she's been hanging with the Champions, two of which she's been friends with since her Avenger days.

Amazing Spider-Man #25 (2015): Seventy-Six pages. Ten dollars. Not a damn story worthwhile in it.

Nightwing #17 (2016): REALLY interesting. No idea where this is heading, and I'm excited.

Sam Wilson: Captain America #20: There's an element of the writing that feels like going through the motions, but that's most likely intentional with the broader context of the story. Still good book.

All Star Batman #8: Some of the best Guiseppe Camuncoli artwork I've seen for a while. Interesting that he's doing this when he's still an artist on ASM.

Totally Awesome Hulk #17: Oooh...this the first time they've shown Ammy actually MAD as the Hulk?

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Posted (edited)

Amazing Spider-Man #25 (2015): Seventy-Six pages. Ten dollars. Not a damn story worthwhile in it.

How was the Hannah Blumenreich backup? 

Edited by Venneh

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Batman: Poison Ivy: This is a 48-page one-shot from 1997, and it is a damn fine read. Basically, a bunch of mercenaries test out a new weapon on what's supposed to be a deserted island. Unfortunately, Poison Ivy has made it her haven. When the island burns thanks to their weapons, she seeks revenge. No one is safe: not the trigger men, the accountants, scientists, or money launderers. They're all dead or ruined for stealing her peace, and you want her to win. Even after Batman gets involved, you still want Ivy to win. And she does; that's the best part, she pulls it off before Batman is forced to take her back to Arkham. Outside of a little exposition (she relays her origin to someone for no real reason), the writing hits all the right marks. Ivy is cold and angry without screaming like a madwoman, Bruce is an actual charming playboy, and Batman is intimidating without doing the whole "I'll break every bone in your body" thing.

And the art! Wow! Brian Apthorp demonstrates Ivy's beauty without going sexual or pervy; his sunny island scenes are just as stunning as his dark Gotham; and when Ivy is seen in a drugged state, she becomes a creature of myth. My only gripe with his work here is Batman. His face / mask never seems quite right and changes frequently. But if you can get past that, this is a book to read and marvel over.

Comics: 184

 

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Amazing Spider-Man #25 (2015): Seventy-Six pages. Ten dollars. Not a damn story worthwhile in it.

How was the Hannah Blumenreich backup? 

I've never heard of her, but her Peter Parker not looking a thing like Peter Parker bugged me. 

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Amazing Spider-Man #25 (2015): Seventy-Six pages. Ten dollars. Not a damn story worthwhile in it.

How was the Hannah Blumenreich backup? 

I've never heard of her, but her Peter Parker not looking a thing like Peter Parker bugged me. 

She does Spidey webcomics, sorta like USM for the Tumblr generation. They're charming, but I dunno if they're the right credentials for ASM. I'm glad for her getting the gig though, if I would buy this issue (I dropped ASM last year), it's to support her.

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Detective Comics #948-949: Okay read, but things wrapped up too quickly. There was literally no reason not to chase the mutated guy save for the fact that this was a two-issue story, and they wanted to leave some things hanging for the new series, I guess.

Batwoman: Rebirth: Not too keen on this one. While not bad, and it is certainly beautifully illustrated, it's mostly bullet points and a retelling of Kate's origin. (Why do I feel like we're always getting her backstory? Is that just me, or is that the way it is?)  

Batwoman #1: Good start. I'll be sticking around for the first story, at least.

Comics: 188

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Super-Sons #2: You know, what? Jon and Damian are so much fun together, I don't even care that I don't know what's going on with the villain.

Comics: 189

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Casanova: Acedia 8: Flashback issue. Do I have any idea what's happening here? Fuck no. Is the art absolutely gorgeous, especially the color palette for this issue? Oh fuck yes. 

Ether 5: This IS going to be an ongoing, which makes me very happy (and wonder how in the shit Matt Kindt has any work/life balance/sanity). Rubin and Kindt do neat things with structure here, and it's as gorgeous as ever. 

Single Issues: 115
Trades/Graphic Novels: 24
Omnibuses: 1

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Nancy in Hell: On Earth - I read the first mini at some point last year and apparently did not post my thoughts.  Which is a shame as I would love to know what I thought.  I remember it being a fun read with a badass chick murder-killin some demons with a chainsaw.  This was not that much fun.  Heaven vs. Earth vs. Hell politics.  So boring.  Great covers tho.

Nancy in Hell: A Dragon in Hell! - Probably would have liked this more if I had read it first.  I have zero knowledge of the Dragon so this was not for me. 

 

Single Issues: 8
Graphic Novels: 2
Trades:
24 (184)

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Batwoman 1: A damn sight better than the Rebirth at least. Feels like Marguerite got to take more of the reins here, even though Tynion, so that's nice. Batwoman goes international, and her past shows back up. Cox and Epting seem to be doing better than the Rebirth, especially on the flashback scenes. For $3, let's see where this goes.

Bloodshot Reborn 0: A solid wrap up of the Bloodshot USA arc and lays the plot for the new series nicely.

Single Issues: 117
Trades/Graphic Novels: 24
Omnibuses: 1

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Posted

Trinity #7: Fate forces Ra's al Ghul, Lex Luthor, and Circe to join forces. That's it.

Kingpin #2: This book has no idea how to be subtle. I might give it one more. I might be out. We'll see.

Comics: 191

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