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The Master

Every comic you've read in 2014

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Black Widow 1-3: real pretty art by Noto, but all you had to so was rotate the mission of the issue and most of Natasha's internal dialogue stayed the same. Kind of disappointed.

Loki of Asgard 1: Teen Loki as the Allmother's James Bond, with a side of oh fuck old!Loki. Fun setup, looks like it could be a good book.

She-Hulk 1: Jennifer Waters gets to kick ass both as a lawyer AND as she hulk, and gets to stand down Tony Stark. I like.

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Sex Criminals always struck me as more about the community around it than the book itself.

Meaning?

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It's got a big following on the internet, with t-shirts and the "Brimpception" cover, but I don't see many people talk about the book itself.

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Runaways (2002, 2005, 2009 runs): Honestly, the 2005 run was the strongest one of these for me; best consistent art, best story lines, and best character development. The 2002 run is good for the setup, but Moore never quite seemed to sink his teeth into them in the 2009 run.

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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)

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Generation Hope 1-12: so, question. Hope was obviously this huge X Thing for at least two years. What happened to her these days? Neat ongoing from around that time, and we get to see the start of Schism. Teon is always fun, and the rest of the team manages to hold their own when away from Hope (which is a plot point). Art changes a lot, but still does well. Gillen does well by Hope and her Lights in the time that he gets to set them up.

Criminal: Last of the Innocent: I know I read this back in 2011, but I honestly was glad for the chance to read this again. The combination of the yearning for the Archie-esque past (corroborated by the similar style flashbacks) along with what the Riley of today is willing to do to get it back makes for great storytelling, as is thr deconstruction of Archie (and also Encyclopedia Brown). Great mini, especially in the way it ends. Read it if you haven't already.

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It's got a big following on the internet, with t-shirts and the "Brimpception" cover, but I don't see many people talk about the book itself.

Ah, ok. I'm removed from all of that. I see why it isn't stirring things up. Same with Wicked + Divine, it's all smoke.

Savage Hulk #2: This is great. Goddamn...Alan Davis can really do no wrong, but when he's drawing Hulk, Marvel Girl AND Havok in his classic costume? Yes, please!

Star Trek: Harlan Ellison's City on the Edge of Forever #2: This doesn't feel at all like a Star Trek episode. That's the problem. I know you have to change it for the comics otherwise you just have a bunch of people sitting on the bridge watching the viewscreen for entire issues, but this is ridiculous. I also thought this was only two issues. It's more. I won't be around for the finish.

Supreme Blue Rose #1: Been a long time since I've read a new Warren Ellis comic. This didn't change my mind. A "mindblowing" redux of Supreme...again. For like the ninth time. Sigh. The art by Tula Lotay is amazing, but not enough for me to buy this book or even the trade. Call me when Ellis becomes more fascinated in a story than himself.

Thanos Annual #1: a retro-continuity story. Not too interested.

The Life After #1: Fialkov's latest book. To say anything about it would be to spoil it. Pretty good. I'll be grabbing the trade, I think.

The X-Files: Year Zero #1: Fun! I'm in. A fifties era X-Files story. Great stuff.

Spider Volume 3: City of Crime: This is the true unsung hero of the Dynamite pulp stuff. The character design is off the fucking hook and the superheroics are violent but stylish. Best of all is that it's ok to kill a big bad in a frivolous way to move the story forward. Each arc in this series (this trade specifically) is so packed with story that it's three arcs in any other comic's plot movement.

Trades: 49

Comics: 632
Omnibus: 8
Graphic Novels: 15

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Agents of ATLAS (2006 and 2009 run): read this on Chris' recommendation: the best kind of Silver Age ridiculous fun. Can understand why people wanted it to go longer for the ongoing, but it manages to end in a good place.

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Notti & Nyce #1-4: Marat Mychaels was one of the Extreme Studios boys of the early Image days. He hasn't moved on from that juvenile era. Ironically, because it is likely he has been drawing comics almost non-stop since that time, his storytelling is certainly better than Liefeld's. But the writing...ugh. No women have ever talked like that to each other ever. AND...it took two issues before needing a fill-in artist on issue three for this creator-owned book. the he only drew like five pages in issue 4. What a fucking mess. Also, Santa may be involved.

The Devilers #1: New creator-owned horror series from Dynamite's creator-owned push by Josh Fialkov. It's a little typical and very derivative of Clive Barker's Harrowers, but the art is pretty great, so I might give it a trade buy.

THUNDER Agents Classic vol 1: Only covers the first four issues, but is over 200 pages. Each issue is like 60 pages long. Insane. Wally Wood isn't the best artist visually, but his costume design is brilliant and his action has a very kinetic bounce to it.

Black Kiss II #1-6: Insane jump away form the first series. This is basically the hardocre porn version of Brubaker and Phillips' FATALE.

Trades: 50

Comics: 643
Omnibus: 8
Graphic Novels: 15

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(In a sprint to finish my existing library in the MU app before my $.99 month expires, will be posting in here a lot).

Immortal Iron Fist (2006 run): Great fucking book. The bones of Fraction and Aja's Hawkeye run show up here and there, but this book is it's own, awesome beast. Aja gets a great workout with the action sequences, especially for the tournament of Immortal Weapons. I like that they include the lineage of the Iron Fists as one offs in the larger story arc, as it's a great way of giving history to the book, and adding in a retcon that makes Danny and Orson outliers in a history of Iron Fists. Pirate Queen Iron Fist is particularly awesome. Read this if you get a chance,

AvX: Consequences 1-5: Pretty much what it says on the tin. Gillen manages to wrap up the loose threads of AvX and set up the new status quo for the X-Men (which can mostly be summed up as Hope trying to live a normal life and Scott being a douchebag).

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Revival vol 1: wow. Had this in my comixology account and forgot I bought it. Solid. Best thing Seeley's done by far. Powerful, personal, scary and mysterious. Very good.

Trades: 51

Comics: 643

Omnibus: 8

Graphic Novels: 15

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Daredevil 1-36: The most recent Waid/Rivera and Samnee run. Honestly, this is fantastic (and the first Daredevil I've ever read, honestly). There are darker turns, but it's not overly depressing, and the way that the larger plot of the run ends up playing out is amazing. We get a new love interest, Foggy and Matt's relationship takes center stage a fair bit, and we get new and interesting villains, along with the old ones. Rivera and Samnee do amazing work with the art here, too - I'd be surprised if they weren't nominated at minimum for an Eisner on this.

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The MU app has up until the Now! renumbering on it. If they're still doing that $.99 deal for SDCC, go for it.

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Daredevil 1-36: The most recent Waid/Rivera and Samnee run. Honestly, this is fantastic (and the first Daredevil I've ever read, honestly). There are darker turns, but it's not overly depressing, and the way that the larger plot of the run ends up playing out is amazing. We get a new love interest, Foggy and Matt's relationship takes center stage a fair bit, and we get new and interesting villains, along with the old ones. Rivera and Samnee do amazing work with the art here, too - I'd be surprised if they weren't nominated at minimum for an Eisner on this.

I think both writing and art have won Eisners already. It's the best DD has ever been.

Waid/Rivera/Samnee on DD is indeed the best the character's ever had. However, if you're at all curious about older, darker, how-much-worse-can-Matt's-life-get-before-he-eats-his-gun DD, read Frank Miller and Dave Mazzuchelli's Born Again, in issues #227-233.

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Yeah, Bru's run was brutal.

Born Again is one of the all-time classic Marvel stories, however.

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Born Again has become what Miller's Daredevil is known for, but actually reading 167-191, it's not that at all. Plenty of darkness, sure, but a whole lot of fun. "Guts" is one of my favorites of that run, and it's pretty much a comedy.

Speaking of Born Again, I just read DD 297-300, the Last Rites arc. It's no Born Again, but it's not bad. DG Chichester overwrites like crazy, but Lee Weeks carries this story. I always thought that Lee Weeks' style was "JRJR if he didn't get carried away with the Frank Miller influence" Exceptional Daredevil art.

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Chichester gets unduly shit on for his DD run. I think it's pretty great. As far as "overwriting" goes, he's merely writing in the popular American style of the time.

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Yeah, Marvel's attitude at the time was "I don't suppose we can actually have Chris Claremont write everything, so if you could try to write more like him, we'd appreciate that." Chichester was simply tapping into that house style.

Daredevil has historically been written in one of two modes: Wisecracking Spider-Man ripoff, or GRR HIS WORLD IS PAIN. Mark Waid's run has been remarkable in that he's the only writer who has successfully managed to incorporate both elements (although Karl Kesel had a pretty good swing at it as well).

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Wolverine and the X-Men 1-42: One of the better X books I've read in a while. Focuses on a lot of the newer characters/neglected older characters, and doesn't hesitate to go absofuckinglutely insane (see: Krakoa as the school grounds). It falters towards the middle, but for the most part it works really well with the tie-ins, when it has to (the AvX one is the best example of this, Battle of the Atom, not so much). Came out of this wanting more of Kid Omega, which I was not fucking expecting.

Uncanny XMen 531-544, 1-20: For all the events that this ties into, manages to be a very solid run. The Sinister undercurrent throughout is pretty fun, and I will take a book that is nothing but Gillen's Hope and Namor bouncing off each other. There's a lot of what feels like editor mandates, but the core of watching Scott's descent is always a fun little train wreck.

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Uncanny X-Men vol 1-3: Each trade is five issues and in true Bendis fashion, the first three issues of volume one are absorbed COMPLETELY by people talking to each other. This is the first of his stuff I've read since...Secret Invasion? If there was anything else after that, it was foisted upon me by Mike for the podcast. I don't like his writing and it isn't particularly on display here, but there are some decent moments. Predictably, the plot moves glacially. The art is fantastic because most of it is done by Frazier Irving. Cyclops is way too assholish. When he's not, he's portrayed as a conflicted Jesus figure. Please! Not too bad, but I wouldn't recommend these to anyone.

Trades: 54
Comics: 643
Omnibus: 8
Graphic Novels: 15

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X-Men Legacy 1-23 (Spurrier run): Best described as a real fuckin trip. Especially with some of the art later on. Also seems to have mainly served as the door for getting Legacy out of the MU, which, not sure how I feel about that. Good overall arc, though, even if it took me a while to get into it.

Dark Reign: Zodiac 2-3: So the MU app didn't have #1, which was weird. Very Heavy Metal feel to this, but a neat little story.

Wolverine and the X-Men Annual (2013): Great little catchup story on Kid Gladiator, brings him back into the story. Fun issue, good art.

Have now saved what I'm hoping is the best for my last day with the app: Kelly Sue's Captain Marvel, SWORD, and Thor: The Mighty Avenger.

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