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The Master

Every comic you've read in 2017

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Lucas Stand #6: ok. Weird. Not sure what I was expecting.

Moonshine #2,3: pretty solid. I like the slow game they're playing.

Nightwing #12: this was just ok.

Comics: 284
Trades: 21

Graphic Novels: 9

Omnibuses: 5

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Did Jim Starlin do that issue or was it Marv Wolfman? Starlin's run is one of my favorites. He has the best voice for Batman's inner monologue.

No, that was Christopher Priest. The writing staff was shuffled a lot at that time on the Bat-books, but it's still probably the best era of Batman. Thanks, in no small order, to Jim Aparo.

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Batman #430: Reading these out of order, the reason for the tension between Batman and Gordon in #432 becomes clear: he's yet to tell Jim that Robin is dead. So here, when Gordon asks if Robin is with Batman tonight, your heart breaks for Batman. Besides that, the small addition to Batman's origin is interesting, and it makes it seems like this was meant to be a soft jumping on point for new readers. (One imagines there were a lot of new eyes on Batman post-A Death in the Family, so it makes sense.) While not the most memorable issue of Batman, there are good moments in here: Gordon hinting he knows who Batman is, Batman being slightly off his game, and the seven pages containing the origin and contemporary stories spring to mind. 

Batman #431: Batman throwing a frying pan at a ninja has to be my new favorite Batman moment. This one is jumbled. Skip it.

Comics: 221

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Did Jim Starlin do that issue or was it Marv Wolfman? Starlin's run is one of my favorites. He has the best voice for Batman's inner monologue.

Starlin did #430, while Owsley / Priest wrote #431-432.

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I love this era of Batman, but I think it's really interesting that his reaction to Jason's death - becoming super grim, angry, "I don't need anyone's help", really just a huge asshole - which was presented as precisely the reason why it was so important that he bring Tim Drake on board, essentially became the default Batman characterization within a few years.

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Yeah, between A Death in the Family and Tim becoming Robin, there's a solid reason for him to be so cold and driven. After that, it's writers not realizing why that characterization came about, and not wanting to change it.

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I generally feel disconnected with the current era of Batman, and have pretty much since Morrison left. The character can be dickish, but the idea of him being an insane asshole who hates and distrusts everybody is so counteractive to how I grew to know the character, and how writers portrayed him for years before that. My main thing was in Bruce Wayne: MURDERER/FUGITIVE, where Ed Brubaker and Greg Rucka addressed his mental problems and he came out of that better than ever. There was no "Bruce Wayne is a mask" BS. But then Identity Crisis has him all paranoid, and Geoff Johns tries to address and fix that with Infinite Crisis and One Year Later. But the general idea is that these moments: Jason's death, Gordon getting shot, having his mind wiped, all these explained his behavior. Now it's just he's like that all the time, and it's more than a personal preference. It doesn't make sense for the character. In Dark Knight Returns, he was grinning from ear to ear being Batman. It's how he copes. If he's really supposed to be eternally morose, he would've killed himself a long time ago. It's like Morrison says, you cannot go through all that training and mental preparation and end up an asshole.

I better stop before I pollute this thread more...

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Nova #2: the best single issue Marvel comic I've read in years.

Old Man Logan #16: Interested to see where this goes.

Squarriors v2 #1,2: A step down form the first volume, but I'll try another.

Superman #14: Ok, multiversity stuff. Hope it's better than Morrison's series.

The Fall and Rise of Captain Atom #1: Interested to see where they go with this.

The Flintstones #7: still great.

The Unstoppable Wasp #1: THIS is how you attack social issues in comics. I Loved this issue. Not sure what to expect going in, and I don't know how long I'll like it for, but I'm glad it exists.

Unworthy Thor #3: Solid. Love Beta Ray Bill.

US Avengers #1: Weirdly, a bunch of characters I don't know anything about, a non-character (Cannonball) and a character I really liked who is now unrecognizable (Sunspot). I still kind of liked it.

Unfollow #15: still good.

All-New Wolverine #16: still good.

Avengers #3.1: I think I might be done with this.

Action Comics #971: not as good as previous issues.

Batman #15: This second part would have had more of an impact if AT ANY TIME OVER THE PAST YEAR OF COMICS BATMAN GAVE A SHIT ABOUT OR RAN INTO CATWOMAN IN THIS SERIES.

Black Hammer Giant-Sized Special: this was pretty ok.

Black Eyed Kids #10: still good.

Captain America Sam Wilson #18: way better attacking social issue than the atrocious last issue.

Captain America Steve Rogers #9: ok.

Captain Kid #4: Interesting. One more issue to go.

Curse Words #1: Once passed on making a comic book with a friend because we didn't think we could do it justice properly. Reading this tells me we could have.

Deathstroke #10: this is not good, but the next issue feature The Creeper, so I'll check that out before quitting.

Comics: 306
Trades: 21

Graphic Novels: 9

Omnibuses: 5

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Black Jack Ketchum - I'll be honest, I have zero clue what happened in this.  I tend to zone out a little when things get mystical, but even so, this was a step beyond that. 

Iron Fist: The Living Weapon - I thought this would sorta pick up where the Immortal Weapon series left off.  I guess things happened in the in-between time and I am a little lost on the Ku'n Lun of it all.  This might have been an okay book. But this art is some of the worst I have ever seen.  I want to say this looks all 90s EXTREME~!!~!, but that would insult the 90s. 

 

Single Issues: 8
Graphic Novels: 2
Trades:
29 (212)

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Black Jack Ketchum - I'll be honest, I have zero clue what happened in this.  I tend to zone out a little when things get mystical, but even so, this was a step beyond that. 

Iron Fist: The Living Weapon - I thought this would sorta pick up where the Immortal Weapon series left off.  I guess things happened in the in-between time and I am a little lost on the Ku'n Lun of it all.  This might have been an okay book. But this art is some of the worst I have ever seen.  I want to say this looks all 90s EXTREME~!!~!, but that would insult the 90s. 

Funny, how we can agree and disagree in one post. Case in point: I gave Black Jack Kertchum one issue and thought it sucked. IF: TLW is one of the best-looking Marvel books of the past quarter century.

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Star Trek: Deviations: A "What If?" story where the Romulans destroyed the Federation and invaded Earth at some point during Kirk's era, enslaving humankind and erasing our history. So much of our past has been forgotten, we believe the Romulans made first contact, not the now-dead Vulcans. Somehow, Riker (as Snake Plissken) learns of a man named Picard who's being held captive, and frees him because he knows of a secret base in the stars. He does so with the help of familiar faces, but there's no explanation of how they all came to be on Earth or how this base is supposed to save them, and we only care about the characters because we know versions of them from TNG. It's a jumble, I'm sorry. Skip it.

Comics: 227

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The Deep #3: Quick but fun issue. The art looks a little looser in places.

Comics: 228

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Detective Comics #854-860: There is so much good in here (I'm speaking only of the Batwoman portions, as I read this as Elegy the TPB), but it's muddied by all of the stuff with the cult, the monster-people, and the prophecy. And so much continuity! I thought this was supposed to be a major introduction to Batwoman, but it's nothing of the sort. You will literally have no idea what's going on if you're not already familiar with her adventures. Don't get me wrong, everything about Kate's past, especially when she came out to her CO and father, was amazing. Brilliant storytelling. (I could read an ongoing series, by Rucka, of Kate Kane's life between getting the boot from the military and meeting Batman for the first time as Batwoman.) But I found myself actively getting angry at the book for not explaining the monster-people, which come out of nowhere. Worse: Alice. Her way of speaking bored me.

Despite all my griping, I did enjoy the book. In fact, I thought I would try to seek out what came before, hoping it would fill in the gaps. So I read...

Crime Bible: The Five Lessons of Blood #1-5: ... because I was under the impression this was a Question / Batwoman story, not a Question story in which Batwoman appears for one-ish issue. If you read 52, maybe this will make sense. It is an Aftermath book, after all, but to me it was boring and didn't answer the questions about Kate. Looks like I'll have to dig into 52 to get that, but I'm in no rush.

Comics: 240

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We Can Never Go Home - Bad thing happens and things spiral from there.  I was enjoying this until the rather sudden ending.  Almost like this needed a sixth issue or a rethink of pacing from the start.

Super Sons #1 - I've never read any Damien before.  Seems annoying.

Batman #18 - I'm sure this plays fine in context.  Out of context, not so much.  Would have been nice if it said Part 3 at some point before the last page.

 

Single Issues: 10
Graphic Novels: 2
Trades:
30 (217)

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Batgirl Annual #1 (Rebirth): Two stories in this. Supergirl and Batgirl team up, and Barbara tries to sustain her friendship with Alysia whilst balancing her costumed life. I liked the latter more than the former.

The Titans Annual #1 (2017): The current JLA and the Titans are kidnapped by the Key and must work together to figure out how to beat him. There's a lot of unneeded comparisons between the League and the Titans that isn't new. Titans are a family, the League don't trust so easily. There's also a revelation of Donna that I don't love. Wonder Woman in particular comes out as the most dickish, which goes against how Rucka's been writing her lately. The art was good though, and I did enjoy the interactions between Barry and Wally and Bruce and Dick.

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Super Sons #1 - I've never read any Damien before.  Seems annoying.

Totally, but the little shit grown on you.

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Spider-Woman #17: A fun, lighthearted, human story about unconditional love. Sad to see it's the final issue. I've only just discovered how good this series is, so I'll have to go back to catch up.

Comics: 241

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Divinity III, issue four: I'm running out of good things to say about Divinity. Still fantastic. Whenever it comes out, we're here. I'd love, love, love to see more of the Stalinverse heroes, because those backup features were not enough.

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Jughead: The Hunger: Though the identity of the killer is in no way, shape, or form a mystery, Jughead dealing with being a werewolf and Archie wanting to believe there's still good in his friend made the book. Hopefully a miniseries comes out of this, because there many more stories to tell. 

Comics: 242

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DIvInIty 4: (yes that's totally how they should've typed it out, I am genius) Somehow along the way this Russian Elseworlds story also became a story about the power of stories on children, and how they shape us, and let me tell you, that was not a thing I was expecting when I went in here. Kindt and Harsine get to throw in vague enough references to sci fi classics in a montage that they can escape potentially being called out for copyright, but are clearly having fun with the riffing. And apprently there's going to be another mini spinning out of this this winter, so let's see how that goes. And technically all those Stalinverse heroines still exist in the main universe, so yes, there is some real opportunity to pick up on that. 

Ninjak 25: Kindt's clearly having fun here, let's see how this goes. (Also how does the man do all this he's writing at least half the Valiant Universe last I checked, plus two ongoings over at Dark Horse, and a mini over at Boom.) Not too remarkable. 

Single Issues: 124
Trades/Graphic Novels: 24
Omnibuses: 1

Edited by Venneh

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James Bond: HAMMERHEAD: I thoroughly enjoyed this.Written by Andy Diggle with art by Luca Casalanguida, this is a solid six-part miniseries that's just a classic Bond caper. Nuclear warheads, traitorous women, souped up cars, international intrigue. This had it all. The artwork reminds me of the Punisher MAX series during the Barracuda storyline, but the way Bond is drawn reminded me of Bruce Wayne. This read like a solid Daniel Craig era story, and I look forward to more from this team.

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Joe Hill-The Graphic Novel Collection: Been choked with myself for missing out on Wraith and The Cape when they came out and always meant to catch up. This is the best and most economical way to do so. Amazing work for the most part.

All-New X-Men #17: pretty solid. Kind of wish this story (the love story between Iceman and the Inhuman guy) was more of a central focus in the actual event. Stronger.

Demonic #6: very solid ending.

Detective Comics #948: this was just ok.

Divinity-Aric Son of the Revolution: really good. I love this event.

Dr Strange and the Sorcerers Supreme #4: i'm kind of liking this.

Dollface #1: weird and a little depraved.

EVIL Heroes #4: very up my alley.

Evil Ernie Godeater #5: this really fizzled out. Just a bunch of cosmic bullshit.

Foolkiller #3: getting really good.

Gamora #2: going nowhere. I'm out.

Generation Zero #6: kind of a nothing issue in a lot of ways, but good character work.

God Country #1: lots of new comics are right up my storytelling alley. This is another one.

Great Lakes Avengers #4: I think the real success of this is that it definitely feels like that early nineties kind of satire this team was born from. Really fun.

Green Valley #4: This will probably make a very exciting movie.

Harbinger Renegade #3: they just cracked it right open. Good stuff.

Invincible Iron Man #3: this character finally works for me. The introduction of Pepper was solid too.

JLA The Ray Rebirth #1: hard to make this character interesting, as depicted exactly in this issue.

JLA Vixen Rebirth #1: this was terrible.

Justice League vs Suicide Squad #4,5: DC is being so much smarter than Marvel with their events. Marvel's feel earth-shattering in scope, but really nothing ever happens. DC's are smaller and more intimate and this is a perfect example. The implications of this are universe-rending, but it still feels tightly-wound and personal. Fantastic. I need to go and read the JL tie-in issues.

Comics: 326
Trades: 21

Graphic Novels: 9

Omnibuses: 6

 

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Batman #426-429 (A Death in the Family)
Batman #440-442 and The New Titans #60-61 (A Lonely Place of Dying)
Batman #635-641, 645-650, and Annual #25 (Under the Hood)

Thoughts in an upcoming episode of The Show

Comics: 265

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