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The Master

Every comic you've read in 2014

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That was kind of the bridge between his Golden Age and the actual JSA series with Goyer and Johns, right? I need to reread that.

It was indeed. The last page is basically "To be continued! In JSA, coming soon!!!!"

I also give it props for saying, "Hey, remember when Dan Juergens killed all these guys in Zero Hour? That was bullshit, right?"

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Sex Criminals 8: Bit of a breather issue, good time for both Jon and Suzie to get nice things, work through some of their own issues, get introduced to who I suspect is going to be another one of our mains, see a Chip Zdarsky therapist, lots and lots of background jokes, and promptly have it all go to shit in the last few pages. It's officially on with the Sex Police. The letters page, as always, is fucking priceless.

Saga 23: And yup, this is where it all goes to hell, except I think it's actually about to get worse, the way things are going. Everything is converging on each other, though, and the last time that happened, well, shit got real fucked. I can only imagine how much worse that means it'll be this month.

The Wicked and the Divine #4: The first half of the issue is an introduction to the only two frequently mentioned gods to have not gotten major screentime (Kan- I mean Baal, and Daft Pu- I mean Woden). We also get to see Ananke, and we get a pretty neat j'accuse scene with Laura and the gods. But as beautiful as Tron sanctuary is, that ain't shit compared to the back half of the issue. The scenes with Laura and Luci and what goes down in said back half is honestly some of the best stuff I've seen out of both McKelvie and Gillen. And what it sets up, combined with the preview that just went up for Wendesday? Yeah. I'm not ready.

(McKelvie has implied that next issue will just be a happy coffee date with Laura and Luci. I'm beginning to suspect he may have lied.)

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That was kind of the bridge between his Golden Age and the actual JSA series with Goyer and Johns, right? I need to reread that.

It was indeed. The last page is basically "To be continued! In JSA, coming soon!!!!"

I also give it props for saying, "Hey, remember when Dan Juergens killed all these guys in Zero Hour? That was bullshit, right?"

:bowdown:

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Carnal Science TP: an erotic comis trade riffing on old EC sci fi and horror. Goofy.

Selen 2: Luca Tarlazzi would be a great additioin to American comics. His storytelling is brilliant. He's just doing porn though.

Anna: Perverted Innocence: This was pretty awful erotic Italian stuff.

Le Centaurs: another erotic comic that fails miserbaly to try and tell a two-tiered tale on the left and right side of the pages. Interesting idea. Stupid delivery.

GI Joe #1: This is the new series from IDW that has a very heavy political thriller angle. Cobra has gone legit. GI Joe is facing being pulled apart because of their huge need of funding. It reads more like Hunt for Red October than an actual action comic and that's what I kind of love about it.

George Perez's Sirens #1: Awful. Plain and simple. There's no secret that a lot of these guys lose their edge when they get older, but has Perez ever written a comic? This is terrible.

Gotham Academy #1: Also terrible. If this is DC telling their new people to take chances, it isn't working.

Grimm Fairy Tales 2014 Halloween Special: this is by a long shot the most recent thing I've read of GFT stuff and I don't know who the fuck these people are. Interesting that they actually do seem to settle on a continuity and a set of characters though. Might have to go back to giving them a shot.

Guardians 3000 #1: Terrible. Not even as good as the late part of the 90s run. Yuck.

Justice League #35: Out of the blue I decided to check this out because it's drawn by Mahnke. It's pretty good. I find the status of Batman and Luthor interesting. I'll be grabbing the next issue for sure. Reis and Mahnke is a weird combo artwise but I like both of those guys, so there's that.

Klarion #1: fucking brilliant. Ann Nocenti too! Fucking sweet! This doesn't even feel like a DC comic. I love it. I'm along for the ride.

Lobo #1: pretty good. Cullen Bunn does a good job of making you give a shit about Lobo, which is pretty tough. Especially the new Lobo.

Men of Wrath #1: kind of cool. I might grab the trade if the price is right.

POP #2: Crazy good. So good. Not even choked that it's an idea I've been workign for some time anymore.

Punks The Comic #1: It makes me angry that anybody would like this. This is an abomination of pretentious dickbaggery. Shut up and go make posters for punk rock shows, which is obviously what you'd rather do than tell a story.

Red Sonja: The Black Tower #1 Pretty good. might check out the trade.

Sabrina #1: seriously one of the best comics I've read this year. So good.

Southern Dog #1: I see what they're trying to do, but it ain't very good.

Trades: 73
Comics: 841
Omnibus: 8
Graphic Novels: 26

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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.

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Satan Gone Wild #1: a weird little anthology book. Okay. Nothing to write home about in any aspect.

Savage Hulk #4: Ended with a bit of a whimper. Still a good run overall.

Sundowners #2: This is probably the best superhero book out there. So fucking weird. I love it. Think I'll stop now and follow the trades so I can keep them on my shelf.

Damnation of Charlie Wormwood #1: a really bizarre creator-owned book from Dynamite that is a long first issue (40-ish pages) that has two settings and still manages to be interesting. I'll be checking the trade out, I think.

The Death-Defying Dr. Mirage #1: Quite a departure from the original. I'm intrigued. This is the best single first issue of a Valiant book I've read so far.

The October Faction #1: Super beautiful looking. Very much a Templesmith clone. I'll be grabbing this in trade form.

Superior Foes of Spider-Man #16: I will miss this series after it's gone next issue. So smart and so funny.

Thor #1: This barely has anything to do with the new female Thor. She appears in one panel and she's on the cover. Not sold on this. Feels much more like a third volume in Aaron's run than it does a fresh start, which is a mistake for a book they marketed as something new.

Uber #18: This is the least I've enjoyed an issue of this series since it started. It was still pretty good.

War Stories #1: picked this up because the WS stuff he did at Vertigo was the last good thing Ennis had done. This is awful, so he's still consistent.

Wonder Woman #34: REALLY going to miss this series. I want an oversized huge hardcover collection of Azzarello and Chain et al's run. This is the only DC book worth picking up consistently over the past three years.

Wild Children: a graphic novel that is a psychedelic take on a school shooting. Really weird and interesting.

Edit: Secret Files of Project Black Sky: this is a free webcomic that is essentially a trade paperback outlining the history of the new Dark Horse Heroes world. Great art. Great writing by Van Lente. It's here if you're interested.

Trades: 74
Comics: 852
Omnibus: 8
Graphic Novels: 27

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Wytches #1: Hooo Lordy! This is chilling. I might have a new favorite horror comic. And the terrifying scene from the IMage preview wasn't even in it! Cray cray!

Arkham Manor #1: a high concept story in the Bat-U. Bruce Wayne has lost his home because something happened in his weekly series. So the city moves the inmates of Arkham in because it's condemned or something. Pretty stupid, but I like the delivery.

Deathstroke #1: in this book,Slade is close to being stabbed with his own sword but he pushes it back so hard at his attacker that the hilt goes into his mouth and explodes out the back of his head. Several panels describe it in detail. Right afterwards, Slade calls him an A-hole. This is gorier than every episode of The Walking Dead that I've read. It's one of the goriest comics I've ever read. But because it's for children, they can't say "asshole."

GI Joe #2: It's pretty amazing that they've gone two issues in a GI Joe comic without firing a gun or even having a fist fight. It better happen next issue.

Trades: 74
Comics: 856
Omnibus: 8
Graphic Novels: 27

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Deathstroke #1: It's one of the goriest comics I've ever read. But because it's for children, they can't say "asshole."

Comics can be pretty dumb.

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Re-read Spider-Men, the crossover between Peter and Miles. It stunned me how utterly flimsy and pointless it was aside from just wanting those two characters to meet. It was still early in Miles' career and nothing major happens aside from Mysterio being trapped in the Ultimate universe and knowing Spider-Man's ID somehow. It's not bad, but way less interesting that I recall when it was first coming out.

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I'd say the best part of Spider-Men was Ultimate Aunt May and MJ getting to meet an adult version of Peter after having to deal with him dying in the Ultimateverse. It was a nice epilogue of sorts for those characters, as they were given a bit of closure.

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Batman: The Jiro Kuwata Batmanga #2-6: Pretty light-hearted and a little stupid. It's an interesting look at another culture's view of Batman, especially Japan in the 60s. There's no other time in modern history I can think of than the late sixties in japan for creative output. Interesting stuff.

God is Dead #20-22: Great. Still. Hickman's gone but he's passed it on to good hands.

POP #3: Great series. Love this.

X-Files Year Zero #3, 4: Also great. Super fun.

What If Wolverine: Father: If Daken was raised by Wolverine, they would have moved in with monks and Wolverine would never have told his son about a life of violence. Daken still grea up to be an asshole and Wolvie is unimpressed. Not very good.

Trades: 74
Comics: 868
Omnibus: 8
Graphic Novels: 27

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Archer and Armstrong vol 1: I gave this one one issue, in fact, I think Mike and I reviewed this one. I gave every Valiant series one issue and was not impressed enough to read further except once. This one, gets much better. Less pedantic and hipstery. It tightens up into a pretty solid and dense four issue arc. Interesting set-up to this corner of the Valiant universe. Pretty good. This is from the Humble Bundle I bought.

Trades: 75
Comics: 868
Omnibus: 8
Graphic Novels: 27

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Bloodshot vol 1: as I believe this was the first of the relaunch series, I remembered the least about it. It's a far cry from the religious immortal quest of A&A, but it's a pretty solid military sci fi story. I look forward to the next few volumes.

I might end up writing a Kindle Worlds novel about one of these.

Trades: 76
Comics: 868
Omnibus: 8
Graphic Novels: 27

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Harbinger vol 1: I forgot I read this. This was the only trade I bought from Valiant in trade form because Harbinger was my favorite of the original series. For some reason I read it on my iPod when the actual hard copy is right over there <motions to left> but I did. It's pretty good. It maintains a lot of the original feel of the book with a more lazer tight focus on Pete Stanchek and a modern eye. I still think that the end of the first arc meeting the epic issue 25 of the original series in plot is a little much given that the original series spent a lot of that time dealing with a team of teenagers living and dying on the run. I look forward to the further volumes.

Shadowman vol 1: This was actually kind of great. Very pulpy. Very close to a novel I've been working on. Beautifully drawn.

XO Manowar vol 1: It's a beautiful looking book. I have problems with it. IN concept, Visigoth barbarian wearing a dangerous alien suit of armor versus alien vegetables is appealing, but there's something about the delivery that doesn't hit. It might be that I never engaged with the original series, but I didn't really like this.

Trades: 79
Comics: 868
Omnibus: 8
Graphic Novels: 27

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Doctor Strange Special Edition (1983): reprints Doctor Strange, Vol. 2 (1974), issues 1, 2, 4 and 5 by Steve Englehart and Frank Brunner in Baxter format. When I went to Rhode Island Comic Con last weekend, I bought a few books from a large dealer (one of the guys who contributes to the Overstreet Price Guide) and he liked what I bought so much (some Silver Age split books, a few Howard the Duck issues I'm missing) that he gave me a break on the price and threw this comic in for free. Damn if it wasn't far and away the best thing I walked out of that con with. The Englehart/Brunner run on Strange is one of those things I've been meaning to read for years but just never got around to, and holy shit, it was amazing. Stunningly gorgeous art. A story that makes little to no sense (Strange is attacked in his home by a religious fanatic who abducts Clea, then is sucked into the Orb of Agamotto to heal, and essentially spends four issues trying to escape an LSD landscape) and yet is very readable. Exactly the kind of story that Doctor Strange should be in, and it makes me want to go back and track down those issues of Marvel Premiere (#9-14) that lead to this run; it's amazing that Brunner only did ten issues of a character he became so identified with. (And then, ater he left, Gene Colan took over for a year, so I'll need to track those down as well.)

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Quantum & Woody vol 1: I wasn't sure how this would work being brought back, and turns out, not very well. The best part about this is the 2 page webcomics they reprinted for the trade. Those were the only times I laughed.

Rai #1-4: I read issue one when it came out and it wasn't very good. The rest of the series isn't either. It's so fucking dense, I read the "previously" catch-up page of issue three and I was like "What?!" Nonsense.

The Green Woman: a Peter Straub story adapted to graphic novel by John Bolton. The villain in this serial killer tale is likened after Peter Capaldi for you Dr. Who fans. It's a little long, but beautiful.

The Last Battle: crazy historical graphic novel drawn by Dan Brereton.

The Mystery PLay: graphic novel by Grant Morrison and Jon Muth that I wanted to end almost the entire time I was reading it.

Trades: 80
Comics: 872
Omnibus: 8
Graphic Novels: 30

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I haven't read any comics in a long time. I was in the book store the other day and picked up Harley Quinn Hot in the City. It's really fun. She's kind of the Deadpool of the DC universe in the first issue.

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Ms. Marvel (2014) #5-9: This was a lot of fun. These issues aren't super-heavy on plot - Kamala Khan is hit with a Terrigen Bomb, gets shapeshify powers, becomes the defender of Jersey City, meets an evil clone of Thomas Edison with some cockatiel mixed in - but the characterization of Kamala and her family are pretty delightful. She's fumbling her way through becoming a superhero, and is getting a lot wrong, but has all the bottled enthusiasm of a 15-year-old Tumblr nerd and uses that to rocket her way through whatever happens to be sitting in front of her. There's more than a little early Peter Parker in her, and it works.

However.

In these five issues, she meets Wolverine and Medusa, both of whom take time out of their day to comment on what a remarkable, wonderful, exciting kid this new Ms. Marvel is after having known her for about a page and a half. Kamala is a very appealing character, but when established audience favorites go out of their way to tell the reader how much we need to love the new kid, it smacks of the worst kind of Mary Sue-ism, a charge which has been leveled at this book more than once and isn't at all unfair. Writer G. Willow Wilson needs to trust the reader to like Kamala based on the characterization on the page, not because Logan told us to.

Also, this book follows Dan's Cardinal Rule Of Making Sure Dan Likes Your Book, which is bringing in Lockjaw (see also: Dan Slott's The Thing).

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Dan Slott's The Thing).

I can't help but read that and think of Spider-Ham's abdomen eating someone even though I know what you're talking about.

:yes:

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Revival Volume One: You're Among Friends TPB by Tim Seeley and Mike Norton - One January day in Wausau, Wisconsin, twenty-three people come back from the dead. They're not hungry for flesh, acting instead like they've never been dead...then their family members start dying a few weeks later. Police officer Dana Cypress is appointed to help a CDC scientist investigate these special cases and maybe find some clues as to what caused the dead to rise. This is a good if unspectacular comic. The premise is a promising twist on the zombie genre (with some other supernatural stuff mixed in), but it uses a lot of familiar tropes: Dana is a single mom who became a cop to impress her father, her father is the overprotective sheriff, you've got your religious nuts, a reporter broke the story and is still investigating it, there's step-sibling incest...well, that last one's probably only familiar because of Game of Thrones. It's a solid read, but it's not going to leave you excited for the next trade. The only thing that really has me interested in reading more is Martha. She's by far the most interesting character and gives the book an edge that it lacks in other areas. Mike Norton's art is dependable as always. The characters are expressive, the landscapes are spot on countryside, and, while he's not a horror artist, those aspects are effective enough. The only real problem I have with the art is Mark Englert's coloring. It's not as bad as on the Hack/Slash issues I read, as Mike Norton is a better artist, but there's a plastic-ness to the coloring that robs the art of some of its energy.

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Peter Panzerfaust Volume One: The Great Escape TPB by Kurtis J. Wiebe and Tyler Jenkins - A reinterpretation of Peter Pan, with Pan and the Lost Boys as a group of orphans that comes together and fights back against the Nazis in Paris during World War II. It's a decent war story, but a lot of the Pan references are really forced. Recasting Pan as a (relatively) carefree American during World War II is a clever bit of allegory, but describing him as flying when he jumps a great distance and having him exclaim "pixie dust" take you right out of it. When Wiebe works in a reference to Neverland, you can see the machinery in getting that reference out. The framing story, with someone interviewing the Lost Boys about the war and Peter, is a good way to get insight into each of the Lost Boys and inject a bit of mystery, with who this interviewer is and why he's interested in Peter. The best way I can describe Tyler Jenkins' art is the style of "How It Should Have Ended," but more refined. The mix of Jenkins' spindly figures and simple faces with Alex Sollazzo's mostly brown color palette perfectly captures the comic's recasting of fantasy elements in a war setting. Also, I love this cover. I'm not sure if I'll pick up more volumes. The art certainly charmed me, but the writing didn't really sell me on the Peter Pan trappings.

Grim Leaper TPB by Kurtis J. Wiebe and Alusio C. Santos - Lou and Ella are in love, but there's a problem: they're dead, their souls come back in other people's bodies, and they die soon after finding each other again. It's a great idea, but there are a couple problems that detract from it. The way their souls get put in new bodies doesn't need an explanation, the visual is enough, but there are questions raised about them being put in new bodies that are brought up but not addressed. The core love story is good, but exploring these aspects of the concept could have made the book so much better. There's a problem with the love story as well, which is that Lou is kind of an asshole. There's not really an explanation for why these two characters get so many second chances, which is fine in a "the universe works in mysterious ways" sense. But Lou makes it hard to go with it on that level. Wiebe offsets this somewhat by the material in the last two issues. There's a nice conversation between the two and really great gags in the last issue. The humor throughout the book helps too. What really makes the book work is the art. It's cartoony and exaggerated, which really makes both the humor and horror sing. The various deaths are of the Final Destination variety and I don't think you could get a better artist to realize eyeballs popping out of skulls and a face getting ripped apart by a crowbar. There's one pair of deaths that has a romantic aspect and Santos adds heart bubbles and a skull made of blood that makes it morbidly funny. He colors the book itself and there's a lot of purple that seems to embody both the romance and horror. A lot more could have been done with the concept, but the humor and great art are enough to carry the love story to a satisfying conclusion.

Westward Volume One TPB by Ken Krekeler - Victor West, the arrogant, vain, not very bright son of one of the biggest technology companies in the world, is in a life threatening accident. But they can rebuild him, they have...steampunk technology. Generally, I don't have the time of day for steampunk. I just find the tendency for it to be mashed-up with everything and the fetishization of it to be obnoxious. But Greg Burgas at Comics Should Be Good has championed this book since it came out, so when Ken Krekeler did a Kickstarter for the first trade, I saw it as the perfect chance to check it out. And I ended up really liking it. The book has two storylines, Victor before the accident and Victor afterward. The flashbacks show that Victor is a terrible person, and while Krekeler gives him slivers of goodness, he doesn't change who he really is. In the present, there's potential for change, but he still acts the way we've been shown he does. With the steampunk mix of the Victorian and futuristic, there's an implication that the rich have the advanced technology and the poor are stuck with horses and carriages. Since one of the main story points in the book is an anti-technology, anti-rich terrorist group, it definitely looks like that's the case, which I think is a good way to reconcile the paradox of the genre. The artwork is in black and white with some grey tones and it suits the story. The faces are good and Krekeler nails the technology. The art's at its best when Krekeler uses shadows, the stark contrast between black and white adding a great deal of atmosphere. When he Kickstarts the second volume, I'll definitely be backing it.

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Deathstroke the Terminator #0-21: Not sure what spurred me on to reread through this again, but this encompasses the huge first chunk of Wolfman's run, though I believe he came back. Some good comics here. Not top tier. Nothing that goes back to the New Teen Titans stuff, but some interesting characterization here.

Killogy Halloween Special: I interviewed Alan Robert about hsi IDW series Killogy and talked a little bit about this. Killogy was a miniseries where four character who bear the likeness and the voices of Frank Vincent, Brea Grant and Marky Ramone all end up in the same prison cell during the zombie apocalypse. Well, this one has Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein from the Misfits as the hero and it's fucking rad.

Trades: 80
Comics: 895
Omnibus: 8
Graphic Novels: 30

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The Maxx Maxximized #1-12: IDW has taken the original pencils from Sam Kieth and William Messner-Loeb's early 90s IMage series, scanned them, re-inked and re-colored them for new presentation, and BOY does it breath new life into one of the more culturally popular properties of the era. There's a lot of rape discussion, and even some victim-blaming on behalf of the female protagonist, but it is made very clear that she is a damaged woman. Fantastic stuff. Been more than 20 years since I'd read this, and for the most part it feels like it could have come out today.

Trades: 80
Comics: 907
Omnibus: 8
Graphic Novels: 30

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Wild Children OGN by Ales Kot and Riley Rossmo - I hated this the first time I read it a few days ago. I've been turning it over and decided to give it another shot. I didn't dislike it as much this time around, but I'm still not sold on it. Part of the problem is that I've been watching a lot of Godard and he's a master at dressing up an essay with a narrative, as well as doing it in a self-aware manner. The set-up and ending are fine here, but when it gets to the substance in the middle, I don't think it's as deep as Kot thinks it is or is conveyed in an interesting enough way. I'm all for getting a message out about pursuing new ideas and perspectives, especially in regard to education, but the message is more memorable than the way it was told. Kot also made a misstep in hiring Rossmo to draw it. I love Rossmo's art, but he excels in stories that need a lot of energy and more of a fantastical touch. His art's not bad in this book, but with so much of it centered around conversation, an artist more suited to that would have made it stronger. When it gets psychedelic, it rests on Gregory Wright's coloring anyway. I'm certainly glad that Kot took the risk to put out something like this, I just don't think he had the skill to realize it fully at the time. I'd like to see him try it again now that he's been writing comics for a few years.

Zero Vol. 1: An Emergency TPB by Ales Kot, Michael Walsh, Tradd Moore, Mateus Santolouco, Morgan Jeske, Will Tempest, and Jordie Bellaire - The back of the book sums it up best: "Edward Zero was the best spy the agency ever had - and then he realized he was working for the wrong side." The two things I most appreciate about this book are how Kot structures it and the rotating artists. The series is essentially told in flashback, the first issue starting with an aged Zero in 2038 and then showing a mission from 2018. After a flashback within the flashback showing Zero's childhood and first mission in #2, in proceeds linearly from #3-5. #2 serves to show how he became who he was, adding weight to his growing suspicion in the subsequent issues. The structure extends to the types of stories as well. Issue 1 is an action issue, issues 2 and 4 strike a balance between conversation and action, issue 3 is a classic spy story, and issue 5 is a debriefing issue with a great game changing ending. Along with keeping the spy element fresh, each issue fleshes out the world and Zero. There are some pretty significant emotional moments in the early issues, but the writing and art are strong enough to make them feel earned. Every other issue also hints at the larger story, keeping it moving forward without it becoming obtrusive.

Kot avoids a common problem with comics these days by having a different artist draw every issue. As the series is made up of done-in-ones, this not only fits the story format, but allows Kot to hire the artist whose skills best suit each story: Walsh's lends itself to the fight amid an army engagement; Moore's has an animation quality that fits the look at Zero's childhood (while also fitting with the violence); Santolouco's has the cool air of a Bond story; Jeske's roughness complements the older agent and the dirty, drag-out fight between him and Zero; Tempest's is more low-key and suited for an issue full of conversations. Jordie Bellaire colors each issue, but rather than trying to create a consistency through the colors, she changes her colors to suit each issue as well, often using different hues of one or two colors.

Good done-in-one stories, a gradually building overarching story, and a variety of excellent artists, this book really impressed me.

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