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The Master

Every comic you've read in 2018

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2 hours ago, Donomark said:

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.

Claremont's X-Men, for how iconic it is, was overwritten. Stern's Spider-Man was good, but nothing of it really lit me on fire. Miller's Daredevil wasn't a superhero story. 

Gruenwald's Cap (and Dwyer, who co-plotted a lot of it) walked a tightrope for a character who was sen as a stick in the mud prior to their run keeping true to the character, but making the stories exciting and introducing massive characters and ideas and big themes that were far headier than most superhero comics of the day: The Commission, US Agent, Crossbones, the Streets of Ice storyline about (basically) crack cocaine, several stories about right wing movements subverting the youth and the white middle class in America, The Captain, Super Patriot, The Watchdogs, the fucking Scourge, fucking DIAMONDBACK. It goes on and on.

Gruenwald wrote like 150 straight issues of Captain America and the artists were Kieron Dwyer, Ron Lim, and Mark Bagley, and others. It's crazy. 

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Hack/Slash Resurrection vol 1: Tini Howard is a perfect choice for writing this. She gets the flippant tone, but she also understands the need for a heavy emotional connection between characters. She's perfect. The art is mostly great, but gets a little pinky here and there. I really enjoyed this.

Swing vol 1: this was very much of the same vein of Sunstone (same universe as well) and Linda Sejic shares the cartooned side of her husband's art skills and is quite apt for this. It hits very close to home.

Spread vol 5: motherfucker. This was amazing. Fantastic and bittersweet end.

Future Quest Presents vol 1: the first half of this is Jeff Parker and Ariel Olivetti doing Space Ghost and the second half is Phil Hester and Steve Rude doing Birdman. Both are really good. Birdman is more my speed but that's mostly because you can't do much  better than Steve Rude.

Robocop Citizen's Arrest #1: they could make this sequel TODAY and I would love it.

Sideways #3: I think the reason this isn't ringing true for me is that this is very much a Marvel book set indie the DCU. I don't want that.

Comics: 815

Trades: 25

Graphic Novels: 14

Omnibus: 11

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Peter Parker: Spider-Man #308: I love these kinds of Spider-Man stories. Where the weight of the various characters' histories sags them down a depressing present. It's why Paul Jenkins' run on the title is my #2 favorite run. 

Batman# 53 (2016): This is an A+. Terrific characterization of Bruce, top-tier artwork. Wonderfully poetic. I loved this.

Batgirl #25 (2016): This was pretty good. My main takeaway was the return of the Dick and Babs romance which the Dan Didio era of DC Comics has fought against tooth and nail for reasons I still don't know. It worked off their most recent team-ups and felt natural and sweet. The rest was fine, I don't love Batgirl being in grimdark stories but at least she's written better than during the Gail Simone era.

Trade Paperbacks: 17

Single Issues: 193

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The Wild Storm vol 2: still fucking excellent. Can't wait to get my hands on the first Michael Cray trade to continue that side of the story. This is so much up my alley, it's bonkers.

The Dead Hand #1: I get it. Looks pretty. I'm just not engaged.

The Immortal Men #1: this was pretty fun. I'm in for a few more.

VS #3: it's beautiful, but I'm just not interested in the story. I've seen it too many times.

X-Men Blue #25: ok, I am fucking in for this. What a weird team and definitely crafted to be at odds with Havok's upcoming team, I'm certain.

X-Men Red #3: This is still awesome.

Comics: 820

Trades: 26

Graphic Novels: 14

Omnibus: 11

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Harbinger Wars II issues 1-3: Ouch. Originally solicited as a series of 40ish page issues (20 from Matt Kindt and Tomas Giorello, 20 from the Secret Weapons team), it's now not that, and only from Matt Kindt and Giorello and it's not good. Giorello looks rushed and Kindt doesn't quite land the story.

Britannia: The Lost Eagles Of Rome issues 1-2: Another fine detective story, though I miss Juan Jose Ryp's work. Peter Milligan is reigned in just enough for a superhero company.

Speaking Juan Jose Ryp, Black Summer, the trade so nasty, the person who sat next to me left a Chick Tract on the seat for me to read. Too many butt shots for my tastes, but Mr. Ryp is committed to detail.

Remender & Others Uncanny X-Force: Still the highest highs of my time reading X-Men comics. Deadpool as a sympathetic hero! Jerome Opeña! The decay that comes with assassination and murder! Time travel! If you look closely, you can see Black Science, Deadly Class, and Low in here.

All-Star Batman: Snyder goes wild, with varying results. The artists carry their weight and Snyder tries to write a story to each of their strengths. I wasn't taken by it as much as I wanted to be.

I still like Wic/Div, news at 11.

Edited by jim
Black Summer and All-Star Batman and Wic/Div

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X-Men Gold Annual 1: Seanan's first X-Men foray, and manages to be a good stand alone that also reinforces who a character is while visiting an episode from her past that just allows her to be who she is. 

Wotakoi v 1-2: If you've seen the first season of the anime (on Amazon Prime), then you know this pretty well. It's still super sweet and nerdy as hell - two otaku run into each other at one's new job, and decide to start dating. Their work friends are also a couple and otaku. Shenanigans ensue. 

WicDiv 38: WicDiv still good and somehow gearing up for the end of the arc and going to be even more of a devastating twist somehow, news at 11. 

Previews: 2
Zines (kinda): 1

Single Issues: 104 (not counting rereads from this year)
Trades/Tankobon/Graphic Novels/Anthologies: 51
Omnibuses: 1

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Batman Beyond #23 (2016): Solid comics, and Will Conrad's artwork slaps. The Robin suit looks pretty cool.

Action Comics #1002: This was a thick-ass read, very dialogue heavy. Very dense. I liked seeing the whole "Superman kills!" headliner and Perry White roll his eyes at it. Lengthy but good read.

Detective Comics #987: Decent end to the story, and a set-up for Bryan Edward Hill's Outsiders. I really like the guy on Twitter, but I found this arc to merely be okay. Not bad, not great either. A lot of the characters spent the arc whining at each other. But he does have a good voice for Bruce and is decent on Cassandra, so that's a plus.

Amazing Spider-Man #805: Continuing to enjoy this storyline although it's moving along very quickly, and Spencer seems to be pulling the wrap-up too soon. But it had great humor in it.

Trade Paperbacks: 17

Single Issues: 197

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Blackcross: this is fucking beautiful and it's a damned shame it was one and done like that. Beautiful art and a real interesting attack on the Project Superpowers properties.

Suicide Squad Hell to Pay #3,4: wow. The shine fell of this pretty quickly. Change of artist and a plunging story. Disappointing.

Justice League of America #28: I've just never been a fan of Chronos. 

Ninja-K #6: still great. Fuck, it's good.

Old Man Logan #38: still great.

Peek a Boo #2: this is basically The Hills Have Eyes, but I'm along for the ride a little longer.

Suicide Squad #39: still great.

The Mainstream #1: this is very much a rejected TV show pitch. It's not terrible, but it isn't good.

Comics: 827

Trades: 27

Graphic Novels: 14

Omnibus: 11

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Batman: The Caped Crusader vol.1: Collecting the Jim Aparo run from Batman #417-#425 and #430-#431 along with Batman Annual #12.

Really this can be seen as a sequel release to Batman: Second Chances which collected Post-Crisis Jason Todd's origin. Even though Max Allan Collins penned that story and most of those issues, that trade ended with Starlin's run. This collection finished it, with art by Jim Aparo, Dick Giordano and Mark D. Bright.

I've always been a cheerleader for the Starlin run of Batman. His voice for the character is pitch perfect, and the way he writes action, coupled with Jim Aparo's artwork and Mike DeCarlo's Seuss-esque inks make this a must-have for any Batman fan. This doesn't include Death in the Family, which that team did, because that's been collected a dozen times elsewhere. But it does collect all four parts of Ten Nights of the Beast, the storyline that introduced the KGBeast, and it fucking rocks. This has to be the first major story that tests Batman's mettle in a way that hadn't been seen until Knightfall, as Batman, Robin, Gordon and the CIA all try to protect politicians and other people involved with the Star Wars Program. 

One thing that must be said about the Starlin run, and this involves Death in the Family, is that it's very 80's. The Cold War politics, the hunt for a misogynist serial killer, battling Columbian drug smugglers: this is very much the "License to Kill" era for Batman comics, at least in the Batman title. That might grate for some readers, but the writing and artwork are both so on point that I can never care all that much. This story also contains the infamous issue where Jason Todd seemingly kills a diplomat's cocaine dealing son out of revenge for the suicide of one of his girlfriends. And in a way, after reading the run up to that point, you can definitely see how the issue would end up the way it does. It's not solely a comic that shows what a bad boy Jason was as much as it was a boiling point reached when Batman and Robin went up against too much red tape and too many horrible people that one of them would snap. You see scenes of Jason going too far and being violent to the point where Batman has to pull him back. Until flashbacks in Under the Red Hood, these were the only times you'd see scenes like this. The jerkass Jason Todd persona was only ever portrayed between these nine issues, and he'd been around for six years up to this point. Any other collection that included him, and he was the kid Robin. If you want Under the Red Hood Jason, here's where you get it.

Trade Paperbacks: 18

Single Issues: 197

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The Black Flame Archives: this Peter Gillis book from 1First comics was weird. It was heavily anchored to the times but kind of prophetic regarding comics. Think of it as Conan The Destroyer meets The Sandman. It isn't particularly good. Tom Sutton's pencils are the highlight.

Action Comics #1000: great milestone. I just wish there was something in it we haven't seen them do a billion times before. The best part about it are the new covers from different eras. Johns/Coipel had the best piece. The worst by far was Bendis. Ugh. Not liking his angle on things at all.

Antar #1: This was a little too stumble to be a good read. There's good stuff here but it gets lost in its own clunkiness.

Avengers #689: holy fuck! This was good!

Batman #45: Jesus Christ I'm sick of fucking Booster Gold. This is awful.

Black Hammer Age of Doom #1: ok. Did not see that coming. Awesome!

Comics: 832

Trades: 27

Graphic Novels: 14

Omnibus: 12

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Daredevil #601: this is really good.

Death of Love #3: still really fun and bonkers. I dig it.

Evolution #6: still good. It's slowing down a bit.

G.I.Joe vs Six Million Dollar Man #3: ooh...this one stunk it up a bit. Unfortunate.

Her Infernal Descent #1: hell yeah. I'm in for more.

Incredible Hulk #715: I know this ends in a couple issues, but I love it.

Infidel #2: nowhere near as good as the first issue but still good.

Infinity Countdown #2: this was really fun.

John Wick #2: this was just ok.

Mister Miracle #8: fuck this is good. They better package it as one trade.

Ninjak vs Valiant Universe #4: fuck. I didn't think they could pull it off. Great!

Skyward #1: cute and fun, but not good enough to keep going.

Superman #45: this was just...ok. I feel like a little bit more was needed to make this earnest and solid.

Tales of Suspense #104: great ending to this.

The Ballad of Sang #2: I don't need to read any more. It's kind of dumb and it's something I've seen a million times.

The Further Adventures of Nick Wilson #4: still fucking great.

The X-Files Case Files - Florida Man #1: this is a blast.

Weapon H #2: this was a hell of a lot of fun. A lot of story packed into this issue. Felt almost Silver Age.

Weapon X #16: looks like a new direction is being taken next issue and that's a good thing.

X-Men Gold #26: I'm not sure exactly what they're trying to do here. Not my favourite.

Doctor Star and the Kingdom of Lost Tomorrow #2: this is pretty interesting on a storytelling level. A typical father's regret story but layered with time travel and cosmic intensity.

Rogue & Gambit #4: better than the last issue. I have a feeling this will come around in the last issue.

All-New Wolverine #34: I loved this. What a way to go out. One more issue. Bittersweet on this one.

Avengers #690: wonderful end. Great and difficult storytelling to do with this page count and these characters and the need to promote what's next. Crazy.

Babyteeth #10: Jesus...just when you think they can't go anywhere else...

Comics: 857

Trades: 27

Graphic Novels: 14

Omnibus: 12

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Nightwing Annual #1 (2018): I liked the character dynamics in this. Dick and Vicki Vale flirting was interesting but the book points out that by this time he's back with Barbara, so we're not just whoring out Nightwing around for the sake of it. 

Nightwing #48 (2016): S'ok. Dick racing against demons on Supervillain Island doesn't feel like a Nightwing story, more Iron Fist if anything.

Batman #54: Utterly excellent. Whereas before I was hot and cold on King's run, this book has been on fire since the wedding issue. 

Batgirl Annual #2 (2018): Pretty good. Scott does grimdark Batgirl better than Gail Simone.

Batgirl #26 (2018): S'ok. I really like Paul Pelletier's art.

Lex Luthor Porky Pig #1: This was weird. I dunno...there's something offputting about making Porky Pig look as realisitic as possible to fit into the DCU. 

Ben Reilly Scarlet Spider #23: Pretty good.

The Immortal Hulk #5: Wow, this was good. Great. Intense.

Red Hood and the Outlaws Annual #2: 

Spoiler

Welp, Roy's totally gonna be dying in Sanctuary.

Trade Paperbacks: 18

Single Issues: 206

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Cochlea and Eustachia #2: weird and kind of psychosexual Dali-esque shit. Not exactly my jam, but I'm glad it exists.

Cyber Force #2: ok, cool. More please.

Deep Roots #1: gahhhh, I'm good.

Detective Comics #979: this didn't light me on fire. This series hasn't for a little while. I'll at least see this arc through.

Dungeons & Dragons-Evil at Baldur's Gate #1: ugh...someone's terrible D&D campaign put into comic form.

Hit-Girl #3: this was a bit of a step down from the first two.

Hunt for Wolverine #1: fuck, this is interesting.

Comics: 864

Trades: 27

Graphic Novels: 14

Omnibus: 12

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Savage Dragon #233-237: this goes a little of the porno deep-end at times but it's absolutely shocking how long this book has been going on and more plot shit happens in a single issue than it does in a year of any other monthly comic. 

Ice Cream man #4: fucking great. The best issue yet. What an ending!

Imaginary Fiends #6: this one kind of lost its shine for me. Not the best ending.

Invincible Iron Man #599: solid. Love Maleev's art in this.

Justice League of America #29: oof...they ended on the Chronos arc. Lame. Oh well, looking forward to a new angle.

Lockjaw #3: I wouldn't be liking this half as much if D-Man wasn't in it. Fuck I love this character.

Marvel Rising #0: I am very happy Devin Grayson is getting comics work, but this just isn't for me.

Regression vol 2: Talk about going off the deep-end...the ending of this is fucking bonkers. I liked it though. Low-key great horror series that creates its own universe and physics. I dig it.

Kill or Be Killed vol 3 and vol 4: This was solid. Once you get around the conversational storytelling style, the horror/crime gets to poke through. I can't help but think that the lead-out form the final volume should have been the story all along.

Wildstorm Michael Cray vol 1: the first spinout from The Wild Storm sees Cray assembling a team and going after human monsters (reg DCU characters) for I/O. Namely, a rich guy who kidnaps people and brings them to an island to hunt them (Oliver Queen), a murderous police scientist with a speed suit (Barry Allen) and a deep sea scientist whose transforming himself into a Lovecraftian creature (Arthur Curry). I love this angle and I hope the second volume continues it.

Tales of the Batman vol 2 Gene Colan: This is some really good stuff. A few of these are some of the first comics I ever read. Early Jason Todd here, redheaded Jason Todd, that is.

Moon Knight #194: this is a really unadvised move after the last arc. Not happy with this garbage. I'm out.

Old Man Hawkeye #4: fucking great. Love it.

Sacred Creatures #6: so ends the first volume of this story which I've just realized is basically a european style graphic novel series. I really loved this. 

Shadowman #2: I really really want to like this, but I just don't. I'm out.

Suicide Squad #40: holy shit. Still fucking great.

The Demon Hell is Earth #6: this one really lost steam halfway through the series and never got it back. Too bad.

The Mighty Thor #706: man, brought tears to my eyes, but I still don't know if I loved the ending or if it was a huge copout.

 

Jane Foster better have a huge impact on the new Thor series.

The Silencer #4: this was good. Not great.

The Terrifics #3: same as above.

Wasted Space #1: perfect title for this. I'm out.

X-Men Blue #26: still fucking great.

Abbott #3, 4: not a very clear story, but I'm enjoying it anyway.

Action Comics Special #1: not sure why this was made, but parts of it were pretty good. This HAS to be runoff from Action Comics #1000. It has to be.

Avengers #1: pre-historic Avengers? It makes absolutely zero fucking sense, but I need more of it now. Seriously, it takes place 100 million years ago? There's an Iron Fist....before Iron? Before humanity even. I'm confused, but I. Don't. Fucking. Care. Feels very Kirby.

Batman #46: not good, but the best of the Booster Gold run thus far.

Breathless #2: I think we're done here.

Captain America #701: ok, I'm intrigued.

Comics: 893

Trades: 31

Graphic Novels: 14

Omnibus: 13

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