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The Master

Every comic you've read in 2018

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Infidel #1: holy shit, this is great.

Justice League of America #26: not how I expected this to go, but a solid end to this arc.

Marvel Two-In-One #4: this is awesome. Really awesome ending too. This is the kind of FF shit I want to see!

Mister Miracle #7: so great.

New Mutants Dead Souls #1: terrible.

Ninjak vs. The Valiant Universe #3: I like this, but is the web series, just going to be...this? If so, why are they releasing this at all, let alone before the web series comes out.

Old Man Logan #36: still really good.

Peek a Boo #1: this was a fun first issue. Art is inconsistent, great at times, seemingly rushed at others. I like it though.

Pumpkinhead #2: this is fun.

Red Hood and the Outlaws #20: liking this.

Secret Weapons Owen's Story #0: Holy shit. This was a perfect oneshot. Beautifully told story.

Sideways #2: I'm half interested in this and half put off. I don't like a character within the DC Universe referring to another character being "like something out of a Jack Kirby comic book." That bugs me.

Suicide Squad #37: awesome.

Punisher #222: fucking great.

VS #2: this was ok. Not sure if I'll read another. 

Comics: 733

Trades: 21

Graphic Novels: 9

Omnibus: 10

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On 7/11/2018 at 10:29 AM, The Master said:

The Flash #50: HE'S BACK, BABY!

dancer.gif

W00T!

The Amazing Spider-Man #1 (2018): Just read it. I actually enjoyed it.

This, to me, feels more like the ACTUAL Parker luck. I.E. Peter's life is messed up because he's Spider-Man, not because he's innately a loser. We're (as readers) with Peter the whole time, and he's more appropriately melancholy than Slott's Peter was. It's not a gag comic, it feels like Spider-Man.

And characters like Robbie and Aunt May aren't hating him as much. The Marvel heroes are annoyed at him, but we've seen worse. And he takes down Mysterio and saves the city in one punch.

I'd give this a solid B. Peter being down on his luck is old news, but the execution is much more up my alley.

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Superman #1: Weird book. Felt like it ended out of nowhere. I love that J'onn wants Superman to do more and be better.

X-23 #1: Honey Badger is the best. Also, nice nod to HB's future Wolverine suit from Old Woman Laura.

Old Man Logan #43: Having not read their previous encounter, I felt a little lost, but it was till an okay read.

Plastic Man #2: Fun book.

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Vampironica #1: Jughead the Hunger is leaving me pretty cold, but I'm digging this right off the bat.

Weapon X #15: this is my jam. Classic Wolverine comics stuff right here.

X-Men Blue #23: this is what Ultimate X and Bloodstorm have been up to while the other XB folk were off fighting symbiotes in space with Venom. Fun.

Archie #29: this will be my last straight Archie comic for a while. It's the same it's always been, maybe a little of the shine is off, but I'm bored of it.

Avengers #685: solid. Why do I like Red Hulk so much?

Babyteeth #9: killer.

Batman #43: this is fucking terrible. God. Poison Ivy is the all-time worst Batman villain.

Damage #3: three issues in to his own series where he was introduced and Damage has already fought Suicide Squad and Wonder Woman, and it looks like they're spiralling out into the JL. Cool. How about establishing your character a little bit because this is just Hulk vs. The Marvel Universe with a Hulk that no one gives a shit about. I'm done here.

Death of Love #2: this is weird and fun and I enjoy the art.

Deathbed #2: ehhhh...I'm not really into this.

Evolution #5: still great.

Ice Cream Man #3: this was really cool and weird.

Comics: 745

Trades: 21

Graphic Novels: 9

Omnibus: 10

 

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Optic Nerve #1-6: By Adrian Tomine.

A series which may be more familiar to the older members of this site, I'd never heard of it until this week. It's peak 90s Indie-Hipster comics, with all of the black and white rendered writer-artist existential malaise Gen-Xer misery you could ask for. Very much like Ghost World, but unlike that series this title is an anthology with several short stories making up the first few issues, and continuing long-form stories starting with issue #5. Also unlike Ghost World, while the protagonists are often pathetic wrecks of human beings, Tomine does a better job rendering them as understandable and sympathetic instead of detestable like Enid Coleslaw. And honestly, I love 90s hipster comics with all the sadness and minimalist that comes with it. It's a nostalgic vibe I get, because I remember these being around back when I first got into the game. I'd be interested to know what others thought if they've read this series, but for myself I'm really enjoying it and look forward to finishing the last six issues.

Trade Paperbacks: 16

Single Issues: 171

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X-Men: Red #6: Still easily the best X-team book out there. Twice now Jean has used her powers on other people without consent. Both times she was doing good, but I hope they make something of this; she cannot be psychically influencing others without blowback.

Jessica Jones #1: A surprise digital-first issue which picks up right where Bendis left off. While some of the tropes are still there -- such as the two-page spread of talking heads -- the dialogue is less Bendisy. At 40-plus pages, it's essentially two issues rolled into one.

Batman #51: In the aftermath of last issue, Bruce is in a bad place -- which makes it the worst time for him to be called for jury duty. Even worse, the case he's assigned calls Batman's legitimacy into question, as Mister Freeze claims he only confessed to a murder spree because an enraged Batman was going to kill him. This issue is mostly setup for the next, but I like what they did with Bruce here. Using very little dialogue, you know everything he's feeling. From his bathroom outburst to his loneliness in the hotel, this is a very broken man.

The Magic Order #2: Mark Millar and Olivier Coipel begin to expand their world, and we get a few more clues as to what's going on.

Tony Stark: Iron Man #2: Character wise, Slott has me hooked into this book. Plot wise, he needs to start moving this somewhere.

Rogue Trooper: Tales of Nu-Earth, volume 1: In truth, I've only read the first 50- or 60-ish pages of this 400-page beast. They're solid, Silver Age-inspired war stories set on an alien world. They're also quite repetitive; reading them all in one sitting was a mistake on my part. For future readings I'll consume maybe two or three stories at a time, rather than pushing through, because these are fun, action-packed, beautifully drawn stories.

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Darth Vader Annual #2: This does an excellent job weaving post-Revenge of the Sith continuity into pre-Rogue One continuity, all while setting up the events of Star Wars and giving more depth to Vader and Tarkin. These two men clearly hate each other and would see the other dead in a heartbeat, but for the sake of The Emperor and Empire they cannot harm each other. It's great stuff, and fully explains why Vader is Tarkin's toady up through Star Wars.

Speaking of Vader, he has a brilliant line that parallels Obi-Wan's quote of "This is the weapon of a Jedi Knight. Not as clumsy or random as a blaster." Granted, Vader is comparing a lightsaber to the under-construction Death Star, but it's a nice way to demonstrate that Vader very much learned from his former master. Also, more Loyalty Officer Uddra please!

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Darth Vader #18: Holy shit! Read this! Tarkin and a team of mercenaries hunt Darth Vader in a game of death. Why they're doing this I will not reveal, as it's a great concept, but I will say this adds so much to Tarkin and Vader. Even more so than the annual mentioned above. I'm grateful to the creative team for making this a single issue; this concept could very easily have been stretched out to a four- or six-issue story, but I don't think it would have been as impactful.

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Runaways #1-11: This is the current series, and it is good! Using a time-displaced Gert as the entry point is a brilliant idea. Normally when a creative team uses a gateway character to introduce readers to the other characters, plots, and themes of a story, said gateway character if fully part of the team / group within a few issues. With Gert, however, she missed two whole years of her friends' lives -- during which time they thought she had been killed. Because she had been. They mourned her, made new friends, grew and aged in ways she'll never know. She's still 15; some of them are adults. To her, they are strangers -- shadows of friends at best. So even after 11 full issues, Gert is still an outsider to her family. It's exceptionally powerful writing by Rainbow Rowell.

Kris Anka brings such truth to this pencils There's so much subtlety and exuberance, hidden desires and half-lies, fears and love to every line. His design work is amazing, too. Gert's redesign (#11) is perfect and demonstrates everything she's feeling; Nico's is a maturation of where she started, but still wholly Nico in style and tone; Molly remains the youngest member, but she's clearly aged. Whereas his work on Starlord was sexy and action-packed, here it's grounded most of the time and I cannot think of a better artist to bring this version of The Runaways to life.

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Incredible Hulk #714: fuck yes. Great angle on the Hulk. Looking forward to see where the next few issues go before it's rebooted.

Infinity 8 #1: I liked this. A little weird. Kind of Heavy Metal-ish, but a new, interesting angle.

Lucy Dreaming #1: not for me at all.

Ninja-K #5: still great. It has to be with that shitty title.

Superman #43: this is not lighting me on fire. Bizarro stories never have.

Tales of Suspense #103: solid.

The Mighty Thor #705: fuck. Devastating. Still one more issue to go.

Vampirella #11: I'm out.

Weapon H #1: I really enjoyed this.

X-Men Gold #24: solid.

Avengers #686: this was great.

Breathless #1: I spent the first half of this thinking it was stupid, and then I really started to like it. Kind of a bio-medical take on Bright but aliens instead of orcs.

Champions #18: how was this not the last issue of the series?

Cochlea and Eustachia #1: this was fucking weird. I'll do another.

Cyber Force #1: yet another Cyber Force reboot. I like this so far, though. Funny how each reiteration tightens the focus from the original team slowly down to Stryker and Velocity. They know who people give a shit about.

Daredevil #600: holy fuck, this was good.

Detective Comics #977: really good.

Doomsday Clock #4: the last two of three issues of this have bored me to tears and then grabbed me by the end. They need to cut this by like 8 pages an issue and it would be a lot better.

Factory #1: Nooooope.

GI Joe vs. Six Million Dollar Man #2: wow...this is going to hit my best of the year list, I think, which is crazy because I've never seen an episode of SMDM.

Liz and Beth 2: a solid erotica graphic novel.

Comics: 765

Trades: 21

Graphic Novels: 10

Omnibus: 10

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Bingo Love: A Kickstarter comic one-shot about a pair of black women who fell in love in high school in 1963, were broken up by their families, started families of their own, and reunite over fifty years later. The artwork and story concept is top notch. The actual scripting is not. This could have been better with a defter, more experienced hand. As it is, it's surprisingly basic, with lines like "The world is not yet ready for our love" said with no apparent awareness of its own cliche. It's not awful, and was probably meant to be geared towards kids (the content is like a 90s level PG), but I was expecting something sturdier in its writing. Still, I'm glad it got made and I might check out the couple of tie-ins that were promoted in the middle. 

Trade Paperbacks: 16

Single Issues: 172

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Amazing Spider-Man #803: Two issues into the run and I am loving Spencer's Spider-Man. It's hard to explain, but he simply has a pitch-perfect read on Peter's voice and character, moreso than there's been in over a decade. He also has a great tempo for the Spidey action scenes. And so far there's been two solid cliffhangers in a row.

The Savage Dragon #236: Whatever goes on in this issue gets overshadowed by Maxine's cartoonish sex drive. It's commented on in the issue, but there's no real sense that it's going anywhere. But she's trying to get laid when her kids are missing. Even if it's due to some comic book gobbly gook, it's still stupid.

Trade Paperbacks: 16

Single Issues: 174

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Hit-Girl #2: this is dumb fun. Good little twist in it too.

Imaginary Fiends #5: really great.

Invincible Iron Man #598: pretty great.

Justice League of America #27: this was just ok. This series swings from arc to arc in quality.

Lockjaw #2: this was fucking delightful. Kazar has my favorite funny line in a comic this year.

Lucas Stand Inner Demons #2: this is abandonable.

Mera Queen of Atlantis #2: not good. I'm out.

Comics: 772

Trades: 21

Graphic Novels: 10

Omnibus: 10

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Runaways 11: Really good breather issue, we get to touch base with all of our mains, but we especially get to focus on Gert, who's been feeling a bit "girl out of time"-ish, and decides to take things into her own hands. Interesting backup story with Karla, too. 

East of West 38: Dragotta does crazy good things with art here, interested to see what the outcome of this particular chapter is. 

Tokyo Tarareba Girls v 1-2: From the mangaka who did Princess Jellyfish, and man, you can tell she's taking aim at some things she's seen among her friendsgroup (even to the point that she points it out in her writer's notes at the end). Three women who are in their 30s (which is considered past the prime age for marriage/relationships in Japan) deal with their love lives, and it's a fun and honest look at such. 

Again!!! v1: One of the two people who worked on Yuri on Ice did this - it's basically a story where a guy falls on his face, travels back in time to the first day of high school, and gets the chance to do it all over again. A girl also does the same thing and ends up back in time with him. He decides that the best way to fix his high school life is to make sure the traditional cheer club (ouendan) doesn't go under. Amusingness ensues. :)

Proxima Centauri 2: There appears to be a narrative here? Kind of? Darymple's art is still a hell of a thing. 

Descender 32: So, I kind of got spoiled for this already by a press release, bc Image released a thing about the follow up series, then put a "do not share until 7/25" on it, and by then it had gotten out so less than a half hour later we got a "never mind". Hell of a thing, and interested to see where the new series goes, since it'll be more fantasy focused, and Nguyen on fantasy = oh hell yes. 

Leviathan 1: Pitarra feels Stokoe-esque on this. Though the Trump-esque page was certainly not a thing that I was expecting. Other than that - ehhhh? Doesn't feel like anything particularly new on that front. 

Seven to Eternity 10: Well at least there's a recap so I can remember what's going on here. Opena continues to be godmode here. Remender is practically writing from a stencil at this stage (I'M A BAD MAN WHO DOES BAD THINGS ETC ETC ETC), but the fact that we've basically got this guy and the devil on a road trip will be fun if nothing else.

Previews: 2
Zines (kinda): 1

Single Issues: 102 (not counting rereads from this year)
Trades/Tankobon/Graphic Novels/Anthologies: 49
Omnibuses: 1

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Moon Knight #193: this was just so awesome and crazy and fucked up. It is shocking to see this in a Marvel book. It's more like an Avatar book, not just because of Jacen Burrows' art. The guy's one of the best and it's great to see him get more exposure. I imagine his page rate might be better with Avatar, funnily enough. Exciting to see where this goes next.

Mystik U #3: an interesting experiment that lost its steam sometime near the end of the second issue. This felt a little desperate and half-thought-out. Art was solid.

Old Man Hawkeye #3: fuck, this is good. 

Old Man Logan #37: also fucking good. It's funny that OM Hawkeye (which takes place in the OM Logan universe) and Old Man Logan (which takes place in the regular Marvel U) are both better than the original OML storyline that I enjoyed.

Shadowman #1: loved the art here. I'll give it another.

Suicide Squad Hell to Pay #1,2: the digital stuff has been on and off for me. Injustice is great. Everything else sucks. This was really good. Jeff Parker and Dow Smith as a creative team seals that deal.

Suicide Squad #38: fucking great.

The Beef #2: ok, this is trash.

The Crow Memento Mori #1: nah...I'm good.

The Demon Hell is Earth #5: not the best of the series, but decent.

Comics: 782

Trades: 21

Graphic Novels: 10

Omnibus: 10

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The Batman and Robin Adventures vol.3: Finishing out the B&R era of the Animated Batman comics, this titles is probably the weakest of the three mains, comparing with the first Batman Adventures and the Gotham Adventures series. The stories range from decent to bland, and the most consistent artists being Brandon Kruise and Joe Staton don't really give the book a major punch like Ty Templeton, Rich Burchett or Mike Parobeck did. You get a number of stories where Batman and Robin are reacting to various crimes, much like the B&R season of the animated show. Think episodes like "The Terrible Trio" or "Make 'Em Laugh", in terms of structure rather than quality. One issue adapts the Huntress, which is funny considering she appears later in the animated continuity of JLU. Batman and Robin Adventures Annual #2 brings back Zatanna, but the story isn't much to write home about. Three issues stood out: One where the GCPD ran a pool of how many crooks the Dynamic Duo could capture in a single night, one pitting Batgirl against the Riddler, and the final issue where Ra's Al Ghul is abducted by aliens and uses their UFO to destroy the world. The latter is admittedly wacky, but Batman takes quite the beating throughout and it was a decent pulpy Ra's thriller. Overall this series ends rather weakly, but I still enjoy it despite itself and would recommend it. It reads like Batman digest adventures, which are nice to have.

Trade Paperbacks: 17

Single Issues: 174

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Again!!! vols 2-3: We get more of the effort to save, and then build, the ouendan back up, and thank god, they don’t forget about the female character who also came back. A lot of the chapters also poke fun at other time travel media, which is amusing. A nice, light read. 

Land of the Lustrous v6: This, on the other hand, gets straight into the body horror barely three pages in and doesn’t let up for the rest of the volume. Gorgeous art to go with it at least?? I want the next volume already - can it be November now?

Previews: 2
Zines (kinda): 1

Single Issues: 102 (not counting rereads from this year)
Trades/Tankobon/Graphic Novels/Anthologies: 52
Omnibuses: 1

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Batman Annual #22: A story taking place during Aftershocks, after Cataclysm, but really a sequel to Knightfall in which Batman and Robin deal with the supposed ghost of Abattoir. Art was very late 90s sketchy, but the story was entertaining.

Batman #52 (2016): This was very good. Plenty of criticism is heaped on Batman's actions and state of mind but this is the first time I've ever seen it done by Bruce Wayne. Coupled with the best Batman artist working today, Lee Weeks, and I can see this story being an underappreciated classic years down the line.

Nightwing #47 (2016): Moderately decent.

Adventures of the Super Sons #1: This had a fun tone to it that felt almost nostalgic. Like the team-up comics of the 90s. Me likey.

Green Arrow #43 (2016): This wasn't too shabby. First issue of the Benson sisters run. I have my hangups on Roy but that's not their fault. It's classic Green Arrow and is a solid start to a story. (Additionally, Roy's probably gonna be one of the casualties of Sanctuary coming up).

Ben Reilly: Scarlet Spider #22: Ooookay.

The Immortal Hulk #1-#4: This shit is pretty good. I got into reading the Hulk through Greg Pak's Amedeus Cho run, but was interested to see where the story would go next. I'm not familiar with reading Al Ewing's stuff, but his darker, more investigative approach is really cool. And it's new reader friendly for someone who's unfamiliar with Sasquatch from Alpha Flight.

Trade Paperbacks: 17

Single Issues: 184

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The Silencer #3: I'm really liking this.

The Terrifics #2: This really was a split of the first issue into two stories. This issue sets up the premise for the book. I'm in for a few more. 

X-Men Blue #24: I find this interesting. Very much a cut away from the regular flow of the series. It also features my favourite X-Man, so there's that.

All-New Wolverine #33: Old Woman Laura looks to be a lot of fun.

Analog #1: I literally remember nothing of this issue.

Avengers: Shards of Infinity #1: oof...bad.

Batman #44: the long slow trudge to the wedding continues.

Deathstroke #30: a good setup for the team-up with Batman but I'm not sure I need to read more.

Demi-God #1: Ok, I dig it. I've seen this before, but I dig it so far.

Isola #1: this was beautiful, if a little light, but I'm in for a little while.

Red Sonja #14: this was good, but it's kind of going through the motions. Still, I think the team of Amy Chu and Erik Turnham can officially be called the definitive writing team on RS.

Ringside #15: an abrupt and bittersweet end. I think this series would benefit from a full series read through at once rather than monthly.

Superman #44: this was interesting. Love me some Mahnke on art too.

Swashbucklers the saga continues #1: oof...not good.

The Curse of Brimstone #1: not into this at all.

The Punisher #223: I love this. Top 3 Punisher arcs of all-time for me.

Some Eros GNs: 

Time Wankers: hysterical. Exactly what you think it is.

Coley Running Wild: props for the androgynous/bi thing for the era, but good lord this was terrible.

Liz and Beth v3: maybe the best of the bunch thus far.

Mara Queen of the Celts: maybe the best of all the GNs so far. Really solid with wonderful art and...an actual story!!!

Comics: 798

Trades: 21

Graphic Novels: 14

Omnibus: 10

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Detective Comics #986: Solid. I'm liking the inclusion of the original Outsiders with the Bat-Family.

Red Hood and the Outlaws #25 (2016): Again, a really great character issue mainly focusing on Jason. Art was pretty slick as well.

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #25: I don't think I'll ever like a GL book as much as this one. I came on about halfway through, but have mostly enjoyed every issue. Now that the focus is going to be strictly on Hal again, this is a jumping off point. But I'll always have fond memories of this title and hope it goes down in GL history as a solid chapter.

Superman #2 (2018): My only quibble is that the Flash was written and even colored to resemble Wally, but it was supposed to be Barry. Bendis' voice for him was way off. Otherwise, and much owed to Ivan Reis' artwork, this was a hellified issue.

Trade Paperbacks: 17

Single Issues: 188

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The Savage Dragon #237: Sex and violence. This is the American Superhero doujin.

Amazing Spider-Man #804: Still good. I want to see more of Spencer writing Mary Jane rather than her just appearing in the margins, but the storytelling is still very solid.

Trade Paperbacks: 17

Single Issues: 190

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X-Men Gold #25: hell yeah! This was fun. Dumb ending, but pretty appropriate for X-Men books. It's played out to do the whole "what are we supposed to do with 12 X-Men?" thing is ridiculous at this point. YOU'VE GATHERED EVERY WILLING MUTANT ON THE PLANET TO ONE BUILDING! Otherwise, great.

Xerxes: the Fall of the House of who gives a fuck #1: holy shit. This is unreadable.

The Further Adventures of Nick Wilson #3: still great!

Avengers #687, 688: great!

Brothers Dracul #1: this was fucking awesome. Starts out very similar to a historical fiction novel I was plotting until I ran into another author who lives like an hour away from me who had just published a critically acclaimed book of the exact same content. Thought about going the comics route with it, but now I most certainly won't. Haha!

Captain America #700: this was really great. Played out very well. The backup with Waid riffing over Kirby/Leialoa {sic} art was weird but kind of cool.

Champions #19: not as good as before, but still good.

Crude #1: holy fuck. This is awesome.

Detective Comics #978: this was alright.

Domino #1: this was also alright. I'll do another.

Eternity Girl #2: this was good. If this doesn't get beyond "depressive superpower character" soon though, I'm gonna ditch.

Exiles #1: oh...oh God. Terrible.

Gideon Falls #2: fucking fantastic man. Top five horror comics of 2018 so far.

Red Hood and the Outlaws #21: decent.

Captain America Epic Collection The Bloodstone Hunt: god, this is part of probably the best superhero run of the 80s and definitely the best superhero run of the 90s. Greenwald's Cap is one of the best things Marvel's ever published. Just wonderful pure superhero comics. Great stories here: introduction of Crossbones, Diamondback (who I've always loved), Serpent Society, Red Skull, the issue where Magneto faces off against Red Skull and on and on. Art by Dwyer, Bright, Lim and early Bagley doesn't hurt either. Wonderful.

Comics: 813

Trades: 21

Graphic Novels: 14

Omnibus: 11

 

 

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4 hours ago, Dread said:

 

Captain America Epic Collection The Bloodstone Hunt: god, this is part of probably the best superhero run of the 80s and definitely the best superhero run of the 90s. Greenwald's Cap is one of the best things Marvel's ever published. Just wonderful pure superhero comics. Great stories here: introduction of Crossbones, Diamondback (who I've always loved), Serpent Society, Red Skull, the issue where Magneto faces off against Red Skull and on and on. Art by Dwyer, Bright, Lim and early Bagley doesn't hurt either. Wonderful.

Comics: 813

Trades: 21

Graphic Novels: 14

Omnibus: 11

 

 

We're talking about an era that had Frank Miller on Daredevil, Roger Stern on Amazing Spider-Man and Claremont on X-Men. If you're throwing it against those, I needs to read it.

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