elnino14

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Everything posted by elnino14

  1. Queen & Country by Greg Rucka (mostly), is pretty darn right amazing. It has a "The Wire" like sensibility on bureaucracy where much of the time is the stories are less about crazy invincible spy adventures and more about how the decisions are made behind closed doors, and the brutal psychological and physical impacts these "adventures" take on the real people that undertake them. I've got one more novel left, but I already love the change in status quo that Rucka has created in the last two novels. It makes each novel feel fresh and represents new challenges for our characters that we wouldn't have been exposed to otherwise. To get hyped for the new Thor movie, I read a bunch of Thor material, the last and only time I've ever really enjoyed Thor on the page was JMS' run, it was my first exposure and every exposure afterwards never really sparked my imagination. Jason Aaron's God of Thunder vol. 1-4: I was really satisfied with this run overall. This was a lot of fun for the first two trades involving the God Eater and God Bomb (along with 1 issue after), mixing large scale, adventurous plots along with a rollicking time travel story with three Thors, against an all-powerful, non-stop, motivated villain amongst an interesting reflection almost a meditation on what it means to be a god, the values of the gods, and how spite might form because of them. By the third arc, that deals with Malekith the Dark Elf, the book takes a bit of a dip and is not quite as awesome, where we get a motivated but bland one dimensional villain, thrown together supporting characters team, and while fun, but obvious tale of basic good vs. evil with a dash of Cosmic politics. The last arc tried to reach the heights of the fantastic first two arcs, but didn't quite get there, it certainly played into the split structure between different Thors more, making it more satisfying as a wrap around conclusion of the run. The ending though, like all comics, was a non ending - more of an advertisement for the next book, reminding me why I don't spend as much time reading traditional superheroes anymore. Kieron Gillen's Journey into Mystery: I read about half of this before I decided it wasn't for me. And really I should have known better, Gillen's fill in runs on Thor after JMS left were not my bag either, but I thought a refreshing take on the mythos that focused on a teenage Loki who knows who he's supposed to become and has to deal with the weight of his destiny or fight against it, would be far more interesting that it was in execution. The Loki plots were far more difficult to follow than JMS's stylings, and the book is narrative heavy, something I'm not too fond of. On the flip side of all of that, I read Garth Ennis' run on Hitman, after hearing about how it might even have been better than Preacher, which I really enjoyed so long ago. Hitman by Garth Ennis: It doesn't quite hit the highs that I felt with Preacher, but there are moments in this run that are beautiful, especially in it's second half. The first half errs on the side of a very goofy, fun, aspect that is enjoyable (a zombie zoo) with a few emotional moments, but the second half is filled emphasizes an absolute onslaught of heartfelt moments about brotherhood, friendship, family, regret, and even love, while never fore-going the goofy (there's an arc with the Hitman crew vs. dinosaurs). The issue with Superman in particular, is a stand-out issue, the arc about Ringo and Tommy, along with the final emotional arc of the series. Who knew that a story about a bunch of misfit assassins and heroes would have such an impact on me. I had a blast reading this, but wasn't able to see how truly wonderful it was until the second half. Not sure if I'm going to keep this one around for my collection or it's going to go back up on E-bay, but I enjoyed the hell out of it and would love to share it with others. If I have to debate about keeping it, it means that I'm debating about reading it again in the future and it's good enough to sit with my favorites (Preacher, BKV's Y the Last Man & Ex Machina, Ultimates 1 & 2, Bendis' DD, Sin City, Brubaker's Criminal & Sleeper, Ellis' Planetary, Transmet, & Fell, Morrison & Whedon's X-men). Given how much of a pain it was to find a decent set of this on ebay, that debate might last a little while. I think right now, I'm leaning towards it ending up in someone else's hands. I forget how much I like Ennis sometimes. Up Next: Probably going to read the two spin-off minis for Hitman about the side characters - Six Pac and Section 8. Given that they weren't my favorite part of the series, I'm doing this more for completion sake. I've got DMZ by Brian Wood sitting in my clothes closet (instead of boxes), so I guess that's coming up next. And I want to read some Black Panther before the film (maybe some Christopher Priest).
  2. Yeah the shooting on live tv not ringing any alarm bells was highly suspect.
  3. Oops I forgot a few: Considering that a spidey movie was coming up soon, I wanted to read a couple of spidey books. The Fearless Defenders by Cullen Bunn: A overwhelmingly obvious plan to raise stock value on the superheroines of the Marvel-verse, you have this book that just keeps throwing more and more characters into the pot with little consequence. While the core team of Valykrie and Misty Knight is what drew me, they quickly get side-stepped by the crazy amount of characters in here, plots, sub-plots, and villains. Superior Spider-man by Dan Slott: As interesting (and controversial) as this run started out, it was very difficult to continue reading and moving through. It has aF lot of supporting characters that I don't know and eases it's way in and out some continuity storylines (with some of the other Spidey books) that I'm not privy to, so that made it more of a confusing read than normal. Along with that, I just didn't like the obvious way that Slott would hit upon his themes of "SUPERIOR," and ultimately by the end, along with my confusion, I didn't care all that much. Superior Foes of Spider-man: Freaking excellent. A fun romp through the D-list superhero world that makes these villains actually engaging and interesting. It's everything that Suicide Squad film wished it was. Probably the best "superhero" comic I've read all year. Ms. Marvel (Kamala Kham) through The Last Days arc: Even though I ultimately decided that the book wasn't for me, I notice that this is obviously a fantastic book, and a great way to envelope diversity through the use of humor and regular day teenage problems. I'm a bit removed from the teenage issues that this book addresses, and it was hard for me connect, even if I find Kamala adorable.
  4. Catching up to the half year (6 months)! Everything We Miss by Luke Pearson: This broke me as a person guys, one of the most emotional books I've read. The Massive Vol. 1-5 by Brian Wood: I've been wanting to read some of Brian Wood's stuff for a while now. I had the first trade of this a while ago. I enjoyed it, the climate change apocalypse felt realistic, and it had a great balance of eco-politics, adventure, and a slight tinge of mysticism but it felt a little too episodic for my taste and didn't leave an everlasting impression in terms of characters or emotionality. Mark Millar Stuff (MPH, Jupiter's Legacy vol. 1, Nemesis, Supercrooks): All this did was make me ask why I decided to read any Millar in the first place. Loud, brash, dumb, ultra-violent, obvious, and mostly heartless. Mark Millar Stuff 2 (Chrononauts, Superior): Oh yeah, that's why! A balance of fun core ideas, the delight of adventure, and (in the case of Superior) heartfelt moments. Mark Millar Stuff 3 (Starlight): There are time where Millar does go above and beyond the ultra violent movie pitch script or core idea, here Millar in an ode to the adventure serials, provides a timeless story about a man far beyond his prime and his dreams, getting a chance to relive them, truly a fantastic book all around. The Sixth Gun by Cullen Bunn: I had won a collection of the first 6 trades (which was about half of the series) and started reading them. It's a genre mash with a core of a western with elements of horror, and urban fantasy. It's got a breakneck plot, interesting concepts, and a fully realized world. It's a book the screams fun and interesting, and doesn't take itself too seriously but as a result, it doesn't say anything either, it doesn't do anything really new with the world that it's built. A fun story that was consistently entertaining, and sometimes popcorn entertainment is enough. There's a lot of characters here and many of them are pretty much one dimensional. They try and go further to do something really interesting by the end but it was a little too late for me. A couple of caveats: I thought the first trade felt like a mini-series that had a complete ending and then Bunn decided to just continue so the story after kind of feels tacked on for a little while before it finds a groove, also the side stories feel so derivative and unnecessary. Currently Reading: Queen & Country by Greg Rucka: I really love Greg Rucka, (I read the full Atticus Kodiak series last year, read his Elektra and Wolverine run the year before, and read his Punisher run the year before that) and I think Queen & Country is my Rucka project this year. I have read the graphic novels before, but without the knowledge of a proper read order (I have the definitive editions, and apparently the novels and the stories in definitive edition number 4 go in between the stories in the other volumes). Now that I have a grip on reading order and have bought all 3 of the novels, I've started on this to read it properly (and fully, it'll be the first time I've touched the novels). I've gotten through quite a few stories, and I absolutely adore the mixture of political drama, office politics, and real life spy work. A lot of internal conflict and pain is portrayed with just quiet panels and with a rotating band of artists, the art is never boring (sometimes certain artists are ill-suited to the story but that's the name of the game). The reading order has helped address some gaps and made the definitive edition stories sit in proper context. I'm currently on the second volume, and am looking forward to read the rest including the three novels.
  5. My friend for a little while was into collecting CGC comics before he died. And since he was sick, I kind of just got into it with him to spend time with him. So as a result I have a few CGC graded comics. Mostly from the 80s because I love the look of the covers and I wanted to actually display stuff that I thought looked cool. Daredevil 181: Death of Elektra, Awesome Frank Miller Cover. Uncanny X-men 141-142: Days of Future Past Wolverine #1 Wolverine #10 signed by Stan Lee & Claremont, Len Wein, and one other, I got the book for free in great condition when I bought Wolverine #1, but then paid for the CGC and signing. Finally Incredible Hulk #340 signed by Todd McFarlane, this was my friend's that we sent off to CGC (with the one above plus his Fantastic Fours 25/26), but he passed away before we got it back so I kept it, for myself, as the last gift he gave me. He had a bunch, I can't fucking remember them all but he had FF 25/26, the Spidey Venom one, and a few other Spidey ones, FF ones. Thankfully I got the FF 25/26 signed by Lee delivered to my house and I was able to give them to him a week before he died. Unfortunately, his girlfriend raided his house and took all his stuff though leaving nothing behind for the rest of us (including his mom).
  6. So what you're saying is don't read this. I read Buffy Season 8 and thought it was terribly mediocre. I never got the chance to read what was essentially Angel Season 6 (and I own it in single issues). And completely lost interest in reading Season 9 of anything. I figured I'd try to forget the comics, and just let the franchise die with my memory of the tv shows but a part of me wants to rewatch Angel and read the season 6 (or the other way around).
  7. This is very much a sequel / finale to Garth Ennis' Punisher MAX series. So if you're interested in this, read that first. How much knowledge of the previous series is needed? I've read bits and pieces but it's been ages and I ever finished the run. I think I finished the slavers arc and maybe one more before I quit. Does the Aaron run stqnd alone at all. I really loved the Rucka run and thought this might be up my alley.
  8. I want some Essential reccommendations for Marvel from the last 5 years or so. I've read: Uncanny X-force by Remender Fantastic Four by Hickman Captain Marvel by Kelley Sue Moon Knight by Ellis Here's what I have in mind: Punishermax by Jason Aaron Wolverine and the X-men by Jason Aaron Thor: God of Thunder by Jason Aaron Uncanny Avengers by Remender Avengers/New Avengers by Hickman Journey Into Mystery by Gillien Young Avengers by Gillen All New X-men/Uncanny X-men by Bendis Cyclops by Rucka FF by Fraction Ms marvel Anything I'm missing? I could use opinions on, considering some of the following: Fearless Defenders Cable and X-force X-treme X-men by Pak X-men by Wood Uncanny X-force by Humphries All New X-factor X-force by Si Spurrier Amazing X-men Captain America by Remender Superior Iron Man by Gillen Secret Avenger by Spencer Secret Avengers by Kot Might Avengers Avengers World Superior Spider-man Deadpool by Duggan Superior Foes of Spider-man Guardians Nova Magneto Infamous She Hulk Loki Agent of Asgard Silver Surfer
  9. Anyways, my friend recently got into comics and asked for recommendations from me. I gave him a whole bunch. He read Fell and Y the Last Man, which he greatly enjoyed. I told him on his next choice to let me know and we'd do a sort of book club. To my delight, he picked Alias by Brian Michael Bendis. So I've been re-reading Alias lately. He's done with the book and I am almost finished with just two issues left. Such a strong book, a great look at the fringes of the Marvel universe, with a great main character who is flawed, human, makes mistakes, and doesn't feel like a typical superhero. A book that touches greatly upon themes of identity and plays with that theme maturely from all different angles. I've been pushing two books as his next choice hard. Daredevil by Brian Michael Bendis and Planetary by Warren Ellis. I'm not sure if he'll pick either one or go in a completely different direction. I have three different books in play before Alias: Docktor Sleepless by Warren Ellis Suicide Squad by John Ostrander (I was on Issue #40) Fantastic Four by John Hickman (Just finished the Dark Reign tie in that kicks it off). Both Suicide Squad and Fantastic Four/FF by Hickman were things that I wanted to read this year. FF by Hickman because I wanted to read his Avengers/New Avengers run afterwards.
  10. Green Arrow: Year One - Inspired by the watching the first season, I decided to read this. It was ho-hum. Quite different than what I expected given the series. Formerly Known as the Justice League/I Can't Believe It's Not the Justice League: Giffen and Maguire's run on JLI didn't drop me as it did everyone else, mostly because in between the good stuff/the funny stuff there was some really bland unbalanced superheroics that were just uninteresting. The slapstick comedy doesn't do much for me, but the book was always a nice change of pace, I didn't read the whole run, I read the recent collected editions up to vol. 5 or so right before Booster Gold and Blue Beetle went on vacation to some island. The JLE was a decidedly weaker team. I appreciate what they did however and it did get me to enjoy certain characters that I had never seen before (Booster Gold/Blue Beetle/Guy Gardner). These pseudo sequels are in the same vein and are pretty delightful. They are a super-concentrated form of what came before. I doubt I'll ever read them again though. Onto reading a shit ton of Batman: Batman Year One/ Dark Knight Returns: Both are still amazing. Catwoman and Her Sister's Keeper: Really crappy. Supposed to tie into Year One but it's not really well thought out. Batman Shaman/Batman and the Monster Men: Two really good year one like stories. The Monster men is a lot of fun, while Shaman harks back to the extra-curricular travels that Bruce took before the Batman mantle. I don't remember much now, but they'r both fun detective stories. 100 Bullets Brother Lono: After being disappointed by the ending of the main series, I was hesitant to pick up the pseudo sequel. It has all the bloodshed and mixed noir/grindhouse sensibilities that a lot of the other stories did. It's certainly missing a lot of the original characters but you know what you're getting into, and you're pretty sure how this will all end from the first act. Reality Check: Great Idea, awful execution. A writer's superhero character enters the real world and asks his writer to get him a date, the writer has to overcome writer's block, face his demons, and put the character back where he belongs. Ghosted: Vol. 1 Haunted Heist: It's like Ocean's 11 with ghosts. The team is a mess of caricatures, but the main character is fun, and the plot held my attention. Fun Home: A family tragicomic: Way more in the vein of graphic novel than comic book. An autobiographical story, with a flood of literary references that I didn't pick up. Interesting and definitely different. Dramatic and slightly heartbreaking at the time. Maus by Art Spiegelman: The critically acclaimed story and it's a doozy. A perfect mixture of non-fiction narrative, history, and memoir. Palestine by Joe Sacco: A perfect mixture of journalism, history, and non-fiction narrative in a comic book form. Weird to read back to back with Maus. Saga vol. 1: Freaking amazing.
  11. So I just finished episode 5 of season 1, does this show get compelling at some point? Or am I going to have to wait until the end of the season like Agents of Shield?
  12. Finished up Matt Fraction's run on Invincible Iron Man, like I thought it was completely derailed by the Fear Itself event and while the issues weren't bad, it wasn't what I was interested in reading. After Fear Itself the series definitely gets back to the characters and plots that were interesting to me, the spymaster storyline, the Stane/Hammer/Mandarin team up. I liked the end-game but tonally it was a little different from how it started to how it ended. Mandarin is a villain is based in mysticism and they didn't change that much here, but they definitely had a hint of much of it being sourced from insanity and ego. What you end up with is another run that starts off strongly, gets caught up in an company wide event that muddies the waters a bit, tries to recover, and then ends weaker for it. Brubaker's run on Captain America, Fraction's run on Iron Man, I wonder if Hickman's run on Fantastic Four ends up being similar. Matt Fraction's Hawkeye issues 1-11: Man what a freaking fantastic comic book, every issue thus far is extremely enjoyable and David Aja and Fraction are just working magic together here. The whole thing is just beautiful to look at. Can't wait to continue this and get the full collection in an Omnibus edition. Batman: Earth One - I enjoyed this when I read it. Don't remember much of it now, outside of the more well-rounded characterization of Alfred, and more depth to the death of the Wayne parents. A+X: Read a couple of issues of this, it's supposed to be fun, and they're moderately fun, but they're so inconsequential and there's no depth that longer narrative runs have, that it feels like an absolute waste of time. Don't think I'll continue this.
  13. Who is Jake Ellis: This was an okay spy-ish book. Bulletproof Coffin and Bulletproof Coffin Disinterred: Complete insanity, one of the craziest, and off-the wall books I've read in a long while. Finished Straczynki's run on Thor, it's really a fabulous run that reads very well in Hardcover over a couple of weeks. Lots of great little character developments, especially Bill from Broxton and Balder, both minor characters getting a chance to shine. It's a shame he couldn't finish the run. Gillien does what he can, but he's left a lot of pieces and has to deal with getting pulled into events, and it's not bad, but it doesn't read as special or memorable. Fraction's run, I got an issue or two into and couldn't continue, it was a combination of being bored and pretty burnt out after reading Stracznski's and Gillien's run back to back. I'd like to get back to this eventually, I might skip Fraction's work but I'd really like to get into Gillien's Journey Into Mystery. Ha, read a ton of this. Re-read Fraction's run on Iron Fist, enjoyable, still didn't absolutely love it, but it's a ton of fun that mirrors a lot of DC's themes of legacy heroes. Duane's continuation felt right in place as well. The Immortal Weapons mini was a mixture of being really awesome and mediocre. The Fat Cobra issue was one I enjoyed quite a bit. Secret Warriors isn't as amazing as I once thought it was on a re-read. But I still really enjoy the spy espionage elements. I think the hints at the beginning are a lot of fun and the teenage team is really cool but I think the complexity is just there just to be there, Hickman plays a long game, but at the end of the day, the ending kind of leaves you a bit cold as the players (Nick Fury, and some others) are different from the players you actually grow attached to during the series (The teenage team especially). Invincible Iron Man by Fraction (#1-33, 500), I'm smack dab in the middle of this run, just finished the Stark Resilient arc and am in what seems like a bunch of one shots. I really like the Five Nightmares arc and after reading Stark Resilient, I like the theme of Stark's sins coming back to haunt him in the form of the legacy of his foes. The America's Most Wanted arc is really cool, globe trotting chase adventure featuring Norman Osborn, that really pushes back to Stark to his core. The most interesting thing is how Stark deals with the things he has done in his life and after years of being an asshole (Civil War, Head of Shield), how he feels about all these elements. Maria Hill and Pepper Potts guest star and you can see a ton of influence into the third movie here in how they treated Pepper. The issue after Stark Resilient was a little more fantastical but still cool, I'm interested in getting back to the main arc but I think it will be derailed by Fear Itself. Once I finish up Matt Fraction's run on Iron Man. That'll be two big famous runs from the modern 00's that I would have completed in it's entirety (the other being Brubaker's Captain America). Up Next: Matt Fraction's Iron Man (from Issue 501 to 527)
  14. Agreed, it would seem a little early to go the Milla route but the description sounds very much like Milla Here's another possibility, although it doesn't fit the description quite as well...maybe, Echo.
  15. I'm in the process of minimalizing the amount of stuff I have, specifically reading and then getting rid of a bunch of books. I'm re-reading J.M. Straczynski's run on Thor. I know this ends on a cliff-hanger, is stuff that comes after is worth reading? I've heard that Fraction, and Gillen have had decent runs, and I've heard great things about Gillen's Journey into Mystery. After this, I'll probably re-read Fraction's Iron Man, which is a run I never finished because they never finished releasing it in large hardcover format (but the library has it in stock), Fraction's Iron Fist run followed by Duane, and Hickman's Secret Warriors and then get rid of all of it. Those are some nice full runs that should get a decent price. My cap run went for like $125.
  16. Prequel: Red Skull Incarnate, The Marvels Project Part 1: Winter Soldier (Winter Soldier arc, Red Menace arcs, and Civil War tie-ins) Part 2: Death of America (Death of Captain America, The Man With No Face, Road to Reborn) Part 3: Bucky Cap (Reborn, Two Americas, and all the Bucky Cap arcs) Part 4: Captain America renumbering, Captain America and Bucky and WInter Soldier spin-offs. Finished Part 2, Part 3 and am halfway through Part 4. Part 2 Death of Captain America is really the high point of the entire run. The legacy of Captain America, the continued redemption of Bucky and his winter soldier days, a really strong supporting cast with Black Widow, Falcon, Sharon Carter, and even the asshole, Tony Stark. The metaphors and the tie in of the book to the current day foreclosure crisis, unemployment rising, and economic downturn. An absolute despair and Brubaker plays with all these elements beautifully making it a political thriller without losing the superheroic aspects of Red Skull villainy, infiltration of Hydra Bases, and the general tight chicanery. Part 3 Reborn is where Brubaker begins losing some steam, there's a great stand alone Bucky Cap story before Brubaker has to spin his wheels and prepare for Reborn, and it really does seem way too quick. It feels like they had JUST buried Steve not too long ago. The Reborn story is interesting, and wraps up most of the plotlines related to the Red Skull, while leaving a dangling carrot in his daughter. After Reborn we get some pretty good Bucky Cap stories, focusing on his redemption. Overall the return of Steve ends up causing a lot of uneven work in Brubaker before we finally end up in Fear Itself wrapping up the Sin storyline in what was really an excuse to get Steve back in tights. Part 4: Steve is back in the flag tights, and all the creeping in of the superhero elements is full bore here, we're back with legit other realities and machine people and insanity bombs, and it all feels like Brubaker has definitely lost his step. Or maybe he just got tired of the political thriller nature, but the story just feels like such a left turn, with random characters from Steve's past showing up as full blown supporting characters, instead of falcon and Sharon Carter, we randomly get Diamondback and Dum Dum Dugan during one arc. The first side story in Captain America and Bucky, a retelling of Bucky's life is pretty solid, but the second story about 50's Cap is bland and ridiculous with robot clones and all kinds of crazy tomfoolery, I guess I just wasn't prepared for such a right turn, I mean it was always there with the Cosmic Cube, and the crazy robots in Europe, and mind control, and clones. Anyways, I haven't finished so I'll reserve judgement about the relaunch, and I still have the Winter Soldier run to read.
  17. With the new movie coming out, I've been inspired to (re)read Brubaker's Captain America. I've read most of it before, stopping somewhere around the renumbering. I've split it into 4 nice little parts: Prequel: Red Skull Incarnate, The Marvels Project Part 1: Winter Soldier (Winter Soldier arc, Red Menace arcs, and Civil War tie-ins) Part 2: Death of America (Death of Captain America, The Man With No Face, Road to Reborn) Part 3: Bucky Cap (Reborn, Two Americas, and all the Bucky Cap arcs) Part 4: Captain America renumbering, Captain America and Bucky and WInter Soldier spin-offs. I've just finished the first part. It doesn't hold up as well as I remember it. A lot of the first 6 issues hang on the mystery of who Winter Soldier is, and once you know that, it's just kind waiting for the characters to catch up. Once they do, they don't really know what to do with themselves. Nonetheless, there's some really nice character work setting the stage for what's to come, exploring almost the entire history of Steve Rogers and almost every relationship he's ever had (Iron Man, Falcon, Sharon Carter, Nick Fury round out the modern relationships, along with Bucky, Namor, Human Torch, and even France to round out the 1940 relationships). Red Menace is a nice little story that brings a ton of ongoing elements together effortlessly without really making it an essential huge part of the overall arc, there's not a ton of forward momentum in that arc, but there's some, and it still acts as a nice detour. I never noticed this before, but Cap and Bucky never speak before Cap is killed, they never have the conversation they should have. Really enjoying this series but really the best part comes up next. I wasn't too fond of the Reborn stuff last time, but maybe it'll hold up better now. I doubt I'll be able to finish EVERYTHING before the film comes out in April, but I think I'll get pretty close.
  18. Finished up my read-through of 100 Bullets. The hook is better than the pay-off. In fact, near the end, after about the 60th or 70th issue, it definitely felt like there were plot twists for the sake of having plot twists. In fact I'm not sure if I understood anybody's motivations by the end of this.
  19. I had a couple of things to catch up on last year before the thread got closed, but didn't. Anyways, the highlights of the end of last year: Spider-men: This was the crossover of the Ultimate Spider-man Miles Morales and 616 Spider-man Peter Parker, it was one of the best things to come out of the reboot. I liked this more than the Death of Peter Parker arc actually, although that cover and the last few pages from that arc was absolutely amazing. Hickman's Ultimates: Months later, I have no memory of this at all. It was fine and entertaining while reading it. Age of Apocalypse by Dave Lapham: Meh, it's a decent book, but it's hard to care about characters that originated in a cross over at least a decade ago and I hardly have a memory of. Now the big stuff: I read a crap ton of Warren Ellis, some I liked, some I could care less. According to goodreads, Scars and Atmospherics were the highlights there. Young Liars vol. 1-3 by Dave Lapham: I've been meaning to read this, and I was on board in the first few issues, especially as the theme of people creating the stories that they want, where every person is the hero of their own story. But as it got along, and it got weirder and weirder, somewhere along the line, I was reading because I wanted to see how this was going to all come together. The answer is that the end comes together in an interesting way, not in a way that will make you go A-HA! but more like a way that will make you go hmmm.... It's a weird book, and nobody is really all that likable, much less the main character, who is very unsympathetic, but it's a book that's a headspinner with no clear answers, fun action, ridiculous events, and yes, it's got a killer soundtrack. The Punisher vol. 1-3 and Enter the War Zone by Greg Rucka: I've never been that into the Punisher, strangely enough because he should be a character by all accounts I should love, I read half way through Ennis' run and found most of it enjoyable. This run by Greg Rucka turned that around, by focusing on the lives that Punisher touches, showing the Punisher less as a man and more of a force of nature that touches peoples lives, you can tell where this is going from the beginning, but seeing the interaction between Frank Castle and a certain supporting character really makes the book worth it. Enter the War Zone was slightly lesser in quality as superheroes and Punisher never really mixed that well, but it resonates as it's a thematic capper to the run. Really enjoyed this run. This YEAR I'm making it a point to get through some of the series that I've accumulated over the years. I've been reading 100 Bullets since the beginning of the year, maybe a little bit before. I'm 4 trades in which is about 30 or so issues in of the 100. I'm liking it, I'm actually enjoying the plots that focus on supporting characters more than the plots that focus on the large super-duper conspiracy, which while little hints are thrown here and there, seems to be dragged out for the sake of it. I started the 5th trade this morning and I really loved the first two issues of that arc. I'll be working my way through this for the next couple of months. It doesn't seem like a keeper for me though that I'd want to come back to to read again (like Preacher, Y the Last Man, Criminal, Sleeper and Ex Machina were), so I'll be getting ready to sell off the set that I have.
  20. I've been wanting to read the run for a while. I should read it some time next year. I had been planning on reading JLI/JLEu, I should probably read this after.
  21. Marvel Universe: The End - I didn't care for this. After reading quite a few Thanos (and cosmic) stories including all of the Inifinity sagas, the Life and Death of Captain Marvel, and the entire new run on the Cosmic universe by Abnett and Lanning, this all seems so long winded and boring. It seems plase and overdone. For some reason Ultimate Universe keeps pulling tempting me back in even after I've given up on it numerous times. Ultimate Comics Fallot: After the death of Spider-man there was basically a restructing of the entire universe, this was really the book to tie up those loose ends, put a capper on the large really fantastic supporting cast of Spider-man and when it focuses on those individuals and how they deal with the aftermath of the death of the friend/family member/ team mate in Peter Parker, it is pretty powerful. When it focuses on auxillary plots, Rogue and Quicksilver especially, it loses the emotional power of the main book and clearly focuses on the new initiative of the universe. Ultimate Comics Hawkeye: I really liked Johnathon Hickman's Secret Warriors saga, and I have enjoyed his FF work and some of his work outside of the big two, so this was a severe disappointment for me. Completely not able to stand on it's own two feet and providing very little insight into who the Hawkeye character is. It's a falls so hard in it's focus on that one character that it just ups the action quotient and brings in a team for the sake of it. Sure it may be consequential to the Ultimate Comics Ultimates series (or whatever it's freaking called), but it did nothing for me during this first reading. Ultimate Comics X-men by Nick Spencer: This lineup of the X-men is sooo different than the regular universe's version, and it's kind of refreshing. But plot-wise it doesn't do much new with the X-stories. I like the constantly changing focus from character to character, and it shows that they know how to utilize a large cast and it helps build a large worldview and a broader scope. From that aspect it does a great job, from the smaller character moments it's hard to get invovled as I'm not familiar with many of the characters from Ultimate X-verse, except for Bobby, Kitty, and Johnny who were supporting characters in Ultimate Spdier-man, those characters bring a ton of emotional weight to the story as they decide what to do in a post-Peter world. Nonetheless, it was entertaining enough and consistent enough to read the whole 12 issues. Ultimate Comics Spider-man: Starrring....Miles Morales....the new spider-man. Compared to Peter, he's younger, more immature, more naive, yet still full of so much heart. Bendis doesn't miss a step with the new series. He gets it just right making fresh and new but still showing respect to what came before, unfortunately the origin is a little haphhazard, as it's exactly the same, but once you get past that little mis-step, it's easy to get sucked back in to this story. The new supporting characters are also reallly great as well. Silence and Co.: A bland noir story doing nothing new compared to before. Kind of an odd story actually, involving an adopted member into the mafia who gets involved in some plot that involves some organization that's involved with everything, who then kills his mafia family and now he wants revenge on them. It's really convoluted and has little plot or character when it's all said and done. The Compleat Moonshadow: An odd adventure really, a coming of age story that has slightly echoing Hictchiker's Guide or Terry Pratchett, with completely random characters popping in and out of this adventure. The core theme is super strong, but I'd have to stay the story was a little too off kilter for my tastes, it was a little too absurd, a little too ridiculous, a little too random, and I couldn't get past it, no matter how much I really loved the coming of age factor, and the life experience factor. This is still a surprisingly well down story that i absolutely enjoyed but probably won't read again. Bedlam vol. 1: I really liked this, the build in the first half of the book is delightfully macabre, the main character is an odd conglomeration with definitely some Joker in there. The story loses some luster as it moves away from the main character and focuses on the murder mystery plot. There's a flashback sequence involving a montage of murdering kittens. That alone is great.
  22. Uncanny X-force by Rick Remender: An absolute keeper, fantastic story that's pretty looking, with a strong story that is pretty self contained within its run. Great thematic relevance, looking at actions and consequences, outstanding mix of characters, mixes continuity with the ease of new comers reading, just a strong x-men universe story. Probably the strongest since Whedon's Astonishing. 8.5/10 Top 10 and Spinoffs (the Forty-Niners and Smax) by Alan Moore: Smax spin-off is awful. The rest of it is pretty decent. It's borderline parody most of it, and it's not exactly reinventing the superheros, but it's a marginally fun book, that got boring at times, just because it's all so casual (and it's a procedural). It didn't excite me, it didn't make me want to rush home to read the next chapter, it was all just kind of boring, and that may have been the point of the book, but it wasn't as fun as I wanted it to be to read. 6.5-7 Green Arrow The Longbow Hunters: My first Green Arrow and one of the most famous books from that character as I understand it. I don't think the book transcended the 80's as well as Frank Miller's timeless batman stories have. It feels very much stuck in the 80's and it's hard not to fault it for it. The plot is a little topsy turvy for my taste, and while there is some great emphasis on the Green Arrow character, I felt that it honestly got stuck more on it's blase drug/conspiracy plot that just didn't work for me at all. It ate up a majority of the book, and it was my least favorite part, but all the stuff that focused on Arrow and the rival archer was solid writing. 6.5-7/10 The Secret Service by Millar: Another movie pitch that feels like a movie pitch. Lot's of been there done that, the entire book summed up in one line: a coming of age, rags to riches (or slums to suave), James Bond story. Not nearly as fun as it should be, no deep characters, no deep plot, just kind of there. 4/10 High Roads by Scott Lobdell: Absolutely ridiculous fun, the stuff that Millar claims he still does. A completely crazy view on WW2 heroes and comic book tropes, there's a crazy cast of characters with a midget Adolf, a Steve Rogers (Captain America), a failed Kamikaze pilot, and a femme fatale that used to be Adolf's mistress. One part superhero, one part team book, one part Indiana Jones, one part noir, many many parts insanity, oh so much fun. Sure it doesn't mean much but it's a blast to read and a crazy ride. 7.5/10 Warren Ellis collection: Two Step: Weird, unfunny, excessive story, but very pretty to look at. 4/10 Tokyo Storm Warning: Mechas in WW2, pretty cool take on the Anime big robot craze, mostly ho-hum, but that ending is killer and makes up for the book a bit. 6/10 FreakAngels: Really really decompressed as the whole story takes place over two to three separate 24-36 hours period over 2 weeks, but this is such a good story with 12 characters that are awesome and each one comes with their own unique personalities, voice, and look. The entire story is masterfully written, no matter how slow paced it can be. It's so enjoyable, and offers a really refreshing look on the dystopian genre and the coming of age genre at the same time. Loved it. 8.5 Currently Reading: Defenders by Matt Fraction Up Next: Moonshadow by JM Dematteis Young Liars by David Lapham Punisher by Greg Rucka
  23. I haven't been in here in a while. Busy with work and all. One sentence answers mostly. Black Hole: fantastic but disturbing Ultimate comics: Spider-Man - continuing Bendis run after ultimatum, still solid but something feels like its missing, or that its so overstuffed with supporting characters that it removes so much focus from Parker. Lex Luthor: man of steel - I remember liking this quite a bit, gets into the villain's psyche excellently. New Ultimates vs ultimate avengers: pretty bad actually, mo re craziness just for the sake of it. Death of Spider-Man: if this wasn't tied into the crappy ultimates book, it would have been better, still very good, and the last pages are pretty excellent. Very strong ending to the hero, and Parker goes out just like he should. Arkham unhinged: really unnecessary read and tie in to Arkham city game. Was interested in the universe but the book holds back a lot because its meant to be a prequel and its meant to be for a wider audience. Extermination: started off really fun, payoff wasn't good though unfortunately. Doctor Strange the oath: never read dr. Strange as the star before always in a supporting role, but this was a very solid book, I really enjoyed it, hits all the right notes for a strange story, but I didn't do enough for me personally, as I harly remember much of it now. Kingdom come: didn't live up the hype, never been a DC kid, and I've tried, but this didn't work for me, it's solid and I followed the story, but I don't think it warrants all the hype it gets. Secret avengers by Warren Ellis: love this book, quick fun done in one stories, light on continuity, large on ideas and action pieces. Uncanny X-force: one last trade left, but so far up there with one of the best runs of Modern Xmen history. Excellent. One hiccup with the otherworld arc being slightly off kilter, and outside of the need for some understanding of the universe, its an absolutely astounding book that uses continuity, looks at the consequences of the actions, and balances all the right aspects of drama and humor. A keeper.
  24. Last time I was on here I had finished my travels through the Marvel Cosmic universe. I've pulled a way from that universe completely it was a fun ride. Now I'm exploring a couple of different universes all together: Marvel Ultimate - After Ultimatum Some brief overview. At some points across the years, I've read the almost the entirety of Ultimate Spider-man up to the Ultimatum event. I really liked that book, it was consistently entertaining, true to character, and never really faltered too far. I've of course read the famous and very good Ultimates Runs by Mark Millar, and have recently read his multiple mini-series on Ultimate Comics: Avengers, which were ridiculous. And I've read at the very least the first 5-6 trades of Ultimate X-men and FF. Never finished either one of those as the writing was never really ever that strong, although there are certainly some stand outs. I quite liked Bendis run on Ultimate X-men and I never really read past that point. Ultimatum came out and devastated the entire universe pretty badly, but I wanted to see if they would pick up the pieces, and if it could return to it's former glory at least a little bit. The biggest problem is that it's changed the universe so much, and as somebody who hasn't read the event and doesn't want to read the event, it's pretty hard to play catch up, but I tried anyways. Ultimate Comics New Ultimates: Thor Reborn - First off we have Jeph Loeb back in the saddle continuing pieces from the previous stories. It's obvious from this story alone that the world is in a bit of a mess since Ultimatum. The Ultimates now consist of Cap, Iron Man, Valykrie, Hawkeye, Barda (who? DC?), a dead Thor, and Carol Danvers (who is introduced at some point before this and is now head of Shield). The story is a bit of a mess and really is mostly a set up to the big action sequence in the final three issues where Frank Cho can play with some great visuals. I don't remember much of the story at all, except some demon sex and multiple rebirths, and other random shit happening. Ultimate Comics Ultimate X - I'm not sure what happened to the rest of the X-men, as there is only two or three of the original cast left here in this book. But this is a new introduction to the X-men world, going back to teens once more and recruiting them. But the X-men status quo again is the same as it ever was. Story isn't really a mish mash of ideas like the previous book was as it's got a clear thorough-line of establishing the X-men's standing in the Ultimate universe once more. But it didn't really entice me to read more. Ultimate Captain America - Much more like it, I really liked this story, even if Ultimate Cap is a bit of a jocky asshole, and even if this has many elements of the prototypical Cap story (Viet Cap, Super Soldier Serum development by other countries, etc..), it's done pretty well. I really liked the look at Cap's faith, and the ending felt pretty poignant. There's a lot of consequences being taken here, and some send offs to Cap's putting down France. It's good stuff, not great stuff, but definitely readable and interesting. Unfortunately the villain of the piece is too one dimensional, there could really have been a conversation about America, a breaking of Cap mentally, but most of the stuff brought up is typical, sociology 101, and it's all done through torture. Ultimate Thor - Another one I was entertained by. I really liked the element of Thor just being a wacko, but Millar put the kibosh on that in Ultimates 2. Moving forward though, telling the story of how Thor came to be part of the Ultimates, is not a bad story. Again, it's a typical Thor story, but it's well done. All the usual elements are there, but they're not really deviated too far from the 616 verse. Nonetheless, an entertaining myth story. The other Universe that I've really dived deep into is Sin City: Just ranking the books but really I've loved them all. I love crime noir, and this is great great shit. 1. Hard Goodbye 2. Yellow Bastard 3. Dame to Kill For 4. Booze Broads and Bullets 5. Big Fat Kill 6. Hell and Back 7. Family Values Odds and Ends: All Star Superman - really great Superman story, I think I was more attached to Birthright for some reason, but this was some great stuff. It'll probably read better in re-reads. Checkmate by Greg Rucka (and one Outsiders Crossover) - I love Rucka's Queen & Country, this is basically that with superheroes. It's not bad, but it's missing the extra oomph. Some hurdles for me, as some familiarity would probably help build the connection to these already known characters. It did do a good job of balancing international politics and spy work with the superheroing. Pretty entertaining, but definitely not better than Queen & Country. Up Next: Black Hole, Either: Top 10 by Moore or Uncanny X-Force by Remender
  25. It's been a while since I posted on here...I figure I'll catch up now: Marvel Cosmic by DnA - I finished up my entire read through of Marvel Cosmic, I noticed after Annihilation that the events provided diminishing returns in terms of satisfaction, I was less and less satisfied with each event and by Thanos Imperative, I was thorougly wiped out to the point where I couldn't even finish Annihilators. There is a ton of good stuff here though, I quite like the Guardians of the Galaxy ongoing, it was probably my favorite part about reading these stories and Nova's ongoing was also solid. The Annihilation and Annhilation Conquest events are pretty tremendous blockbusters. Before the focus quickly moved to the Inhumans and the Shiar in the War of Kings/Realm of Kings events, and while I quite like the Inhumans, I couldn't get behind the story being told there. Other things I've read: I Kill Giants: Very heartwrenching story. I wasn't a huge fan of the manga style art at first, but it grew on me as the book went along. As I am currently in a situation similar, it was actually kind of hard to read at times. It balances it super serious issues with the heart and soul of a child shining bright and loud, highly recommended. Superman Earth One vol. 1-2: J. Michael Stracynzksi's reimagining of early Superman. It's not bad, just completely unmemorable. Superman's origin is quite like Batman's origin in the sense that everybody has it practically memorized but the entertainment industry keep doing revisions on it. At the most basic level it puts Clark in a bit younger perspective, and instead of the hulking being that he is usually imagined, he's more nebbish, a lot of it feels like Superman come Peter Parker. Again it's not bad, there's actually some conversations in the first volume that strike true to the heart of the story. The later chapters of both books devolve into the slugfest with an uninteresting villain. Not bad, not great, just middling. Ultimate Comics Avengers by Mark Millar vol. 1-3: Mark Millar is representing excess at its finest at this point. Nowhere near as good as the original Ultimates Series that kicked off much of the Ultimate universe, in fact it's not even the same, while the original Ultimates series reveled in trying to steer towards realism these series take the full swing towards the other end, including vampires, Blade, and completely ridiculous concepts like a cloned Hulk. The stories are all pure insanity but like the Cosmic saga, it continued with diminishing returns where by the end of the Blade saga, I pretty much didn't care. The first story is pretty fun, harking a lot to the Cap on the run in the main universe, the second was a little less interesting, and the third had completely lost me. I may run into the last story when I read the Death of Spider-man Saga. House of M: Avengers: Kind of boring. A tie-in to a long dead and long out of the public consciousness. It's really an average superhero story that I don't remember much of at all. Invincible Iron Man Omnibus by Matt Fraction vol. 1 -2: Matt Fraction does a fantastic job here, I really enjoyed these stories, some imaginative stories taking Tony Stark back to his roots literally, and redeeming him from his actions for the past few years, but without having a complete change in Stark's character. The first volume had the Stane son, and the second volume introduces the Hammer daughter and granddaughter, showing a nice little legacy theme there. Also it updates Tony Stark's adventures into the twenty first century with suicide bombers (Five Nightmares arc), corrupt governments (America's Most Wanted), and Social network Terrorism (Hammer Girls arc). I haven't read much Iron Man before this, but this arc seems just as definitive as Brubaker's run on Captain America and possibly Hickman's run on Fantastic Four. I can't wait for the next volume. Hypernaturals vol. 1: DnA's creater owned cosmic saga with original characters, settings, and plot. It's not bad, it's not as fantastic as the original Annihilation and Annihilation Sagas or the ongoing Guardians or Nova. Probably falls closer to the later events. I think the element missing is the soul, the emotional connection. It's not new, it's using character types you're used to seeing, and the lines are drawn as clearly good and bad. There's substance, and complexity, that's missing. It's an average, below average superhero book. It's still DnA doing the cosmic stories and if you can't get enough and consumed all of their Marvel work, then give this a go. Superman Birthright: I wanted to read some Superman before the new movie. I loved this book, it started out a little rough, but by the end I truly enjoyed this book. I loved all the little details like the discussion about the disguise, the relationship between Clark and his father, and even the exploration of his home planet. It was truly enjoyable from beginning to end, it's completely accessible, and it's well thought out and stays true to the heart and soul of Superman, something that Earth-One strayed on, a little moving closer to the Peter Parker elements. This one holds true to the heart and soul while experimenting with the origins a bit. Up Next: All Star Superman, Checkmate by Greg Rucka vol. 1-4, Sin City: Hard Goodbye, Dame to Kill For, and A Big Fat Kill