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The Master

Every comic you've read in 2018

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Sisters of Sorrow #3: this is slow and tense and wonderful. I enjoy every page.

The Hard Place #2: this is a fantastic crime comic.

The Unsound #4: alright.

Action Comics #988: I'm just not sure the point of this. I'm still slightly interested to see where it goes.

Archie #24: good wholesome fun with a really melancholic heart. This book continues to impress me.

Bettie Page #3: I think we're done here.

Detective Comics #965: the bulk of this issue is recapping A Lonely Place of Dying (New 52 version, I guess) and then following up on the Action Mr. Oz reveal. I'm even more bewildered by that reveal here than I am in Action.

 Batman/Shadow #6: it was fine.

Faith and the Future Force #3: going nowhere.

Justice League of America #15: ugh...one more issue of the microverse and the another arc.

Medisin #4: kind of troublesome in its lack of focus.

Red Sonja #9: still so damned good!

Suicide Squad #26: another fucking Dark Nights tie-in. Actually tolerable though. Just biding my time until it's done.

The Normals #5: not sure where this goes from here and I'm not sure I care enough to stick through it.

Comics: 116

Trades: 1

Graphic Novels:

Omnibus: 3

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Nightwing: The New Order #1-6: After Batman is killed, Nightwing takes it upon himself to eliminate superpowers. By 2040, he's leading a government-sponsored group that rounds up and "cures" the remaining people with powers. When his 13-year-old son manifests powers, shit hits the fan.

This was a bit of alternate reality fun, but there are several plot points that are brought up then dropped. Such as: it's specifically noted that Kate is acting out of character, but at no point is this investigated; apparently Liz had a famous sister and that drives her decisions, but I have no idea who she is; DIck married who he married but never thought to have their kid tested for latent powers. Despite these things, this is a good lazy Sunday morning read.

Trevor McCarthy does a splendid job demonstrating Dick's gymnastic skills, and making him look like a fit man in his 50s. There are also times where he's channeling George Pérez's layouts; it's subtle, but it's there.

Comics: 142

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Batman: The Mud Pack (Detective Comics #604-607): Clayface I (Basil Karlo) finds the remains of Clayface II (Matt Hagen), and uses Clayface IV (Sondra Fuller) to break Clayface III (Preston Payne) out of Arkham. His plan is to eliminate Batman, but not before combining the blood (clay?) of Clayfaces II-IV to make himself The Ultimate Clayface. It's only with the help of Looker that Batman is able to survive the encounter.

This was a lot like The Five Doctors, in which only three original Doctors appear, one is shunted off to a time vortex, and the other is a guy in a wig. Clayface II is dead and III is knocked out / under the control of IV for most of the story. Going in, I was hoping to see Batman face the might of all four Clayfaces at once. Maybe that's on me, but I feel the story was trying to lead us to that, but wound up elsewhere. Where it wound up was interesting, in that Batman is legit dead if not for Looker. We don't see that that often, and I have to wonder if they were trying out new (temporary) partners for Batman in the wake of Jason's death. Nevertheless, I felt this had more potential than it showed.

Norm Breyfogle is amazing here. His Batman is a mix of the athletic Neal Adams / Jim Aparo Batman, with lots of shadows and sharp edges. He's a proto-Todd McFarlane in many ways, and I don't think he gets the credit he deserves. There are a few closeups, specifically of Looker, that demonstrate an amazing talent to illustrate faces. Each Clayface is horrifying in their own rights, as well. Karlo is a madman with a mask and a knife, illustrated in horror movie fashion. Payne is more mucusy in and out of his suit, and his face is always in, well, pain from his condition. And Fuller's drippiness represents her sadness, but also her mastery of shape-shifting; she's always in motion -- never content with herself.

Secret Origins #44: The opening story serves as a prelude to The Mud Pack issues, but also as a retelling of the original Clayface's origin. The second chapter is a quirky take on Matt Hagen's life and death, and it too ties into the then-forthcoming Mud Pack story. And the third is all about Payne, which is elevated from bland to readable (sorry Len Wein) thanks to Tom Grummett adding horror into the visuals.

Batman #550: After a skin sample is taken from Clayface V (Cassius Payne, the child of Clayfaces III and IV), a new entity is born: Clay-Thing. This tiny, simple creature posses the powers of its father, but can kill with a look -- rather than a touch. This was okay. It opens with a concise recap of The Mud Pack, as well as brief origins of all five Clayfaces.

Comics: 148

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Identity Disc #1-5: Either by coincidence or by design, this was coming out around the same time as Identity Crisis. Due to that, people shit all over it and Marvel. Me, though I wondered if the disdain for the series was warranted, I mostly forgot about it. Until now. Having finally read it -- oof -- it's bad. Up until the final issue, it's a mindless heist overseen by a boogieman and his henchwoman. The last issue, however, thinks it's so clever with its twists and turns and double-crosses and reveals. But it's not. It's just not smart at all.

Comics: 153

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The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Volume III: Century: The longest and most expansive entry in the LXG series to date, IMO this is the most character driven and engrossing as well. It took me hours to finish this volume, and I wasn't stopping and checking which references were what as I did with the previous collections. Still very cheeky in their playing with various historical and pop culture figures, Moore and O'Neil nevertheless spin a heartfelt yarn about Mina Murray and the century following the events of vols. 1 and 2. It becomes an alternate history, and there's no telling what's real and what's fake (pretty much everything British is included here including the first and eleventh Doctors). The Harry Potter parody goes on too long, and after the fourth or fifth childish outburst from the expy, you start to roll your eyes, but what really centers the story are the characters of Mina, Alan Quartermain and Orlando. I enjoy stories with beginnings, middles and ends, so while I know a fourth and final volume is still on its way, I liked seeing how things played out over a hundred years.

Trade Paperbacks: 8

Single Issues: 22

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International Iron Man #1-7: Oops. I didn't realize there was a Bendis-written Iron Man series before this one. Considering page one, issue one starts off mid-story, I should have figured. Oh well. Having just learned he's adopted, Tony begins the hunt for his biological parents. What he discovers, though, is an ex-girlfriend with ties to AIM or Hydra or one of those groups. After lots of flashbacks and talking we finally get the truth about Tony's mother and father, leading us directly into two new Iron Man series: Infamous Iron Man and Invincible Iron Man.

For what it is, I enjoyed this seven-issue series, but my word this could have been a one-shot or, at most, a three-issue story. All of the modern stuff with Tony's ex was nothing more than them going:

Tony: You sell weapons.
Cassandra: Pot, kettle.
Tony: Okay, but not to terrorists.
Cassandra: Meh.
Tony: Do you know who my dad is? I mean, my real dad.
Cassandra: ... maybe.
Tony: Tell me.
Cassandra: ...
Tony: Tell me.
Cassandra: ...
Tony: Tell me.
Cassandra: ...
Tony: Tell me.
Cassandra: ...
Tony: Tell me.
Cassandra: ...
Tony: Tell me.
Cassandra: I'm gonna kill you now.
Tony: I hacked your guys' armor.
Cassandra: Uh-oh
Tony: I won't chase you.
Cassandra: I know.

And scene.

Okay, maybe the Tony / Cassandra would resonate more if I had read Bendis' 14-issue 2015 Invincible Iron Man series first, but all the same this goes on too long. Don't get me wrong, the flashback sequences are great. Learning that she was a major wedge between Howard and Tony just before the former was killed -- and seeing how that led to Tony's alcoholism -- filled in a lot of gaps I didn't know needed filling. But the present-day stuff that didn't center around Tony finding his old orphanage, then meeting his mother really could have been chopped or cut. I'll read Invincible Iron Man (2015) before jumping to Infamous Iron Man and Invincible Iron Man (2017), but man I hope that series is more focused.

Comics: 160

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Victor Lavalle's Destroyer #5: still fucking great.

Totally Awesome Hulk #22: fantastic.

Batman White Knight #1: on one hand, I appreciate DC is opening up their Elseworlds-ish storytelling capabilities, but this is nonsensical junk that never would have made it past my editorial desk.

Comics: 119

Trades: 1

Graphic Novels:

Omnibus: 3

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Infamous Iron Man #1-12: I fibbed; I went to this series before Invincible Iron Man (2015), and wow! It had to end -- it was all leading up to that point -- but I need more Victor Von Doom as Iron Man in my life. His redemption arc has so much potential, and the twist at the end of #11 set the stage for major repercussions. If Marvel drops the ball on this after Bendis leaves Iron Man, I will be very disappointed. I want to say more, but I won't spoil the series or the epic reveal, so I'll simply add that Alex Maleev is at the top of his game here. From astral projections to magic, from the future tech to ancient architecture, from the loud explosions to the quiet moments, every page is perfect.

Comics: 172

EDIT: Oh! And the storytelling device Bendis uses in #12 was genius. Before it happened I was rather bothered that the series would end with a lame, seen-it-before magical battle, but then he yanked that rug so hard. Bravo!

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Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death #1-6: This has been on and off my radar since it first came out. The first few issues are okay; Pamela's trying to live a normal life, with a normal job, doing normal things. She even shuns Harley when she comes calling. But then her workplace mentor is murdered, as is the CEO. So it looks like we're going to get a murder mystery with Poison Ivy as the good guy -- maybe with the cops on her tail, too -- but that all stops. Literally, the cops are forgotten about until the last two pages. Instead we follow Ivy as she attempts to raise three six-month-old plant / human hybrids who look like they're 18-year-old models. (It's gross.) All they want to do is have a "rad" time at "the club" and sing karaoke. Seriously, it's like a white guy in his 40s wrote the fifth issue. Then it all leads to a weak twist, Swamp Thing showing up, and the status quo being reset.

What began with some promise quickly became drab, offensive, and clichéd.

Comics: 178

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Detective Comics Annual #1 (2018): The revised origin of the Basil Karlo Clayface, it merges the original Golden Age story with the one from the "Feat of Clay" two-parter from Batman: the Animated Series, which I certainly won't complain about. 

Throwing it out there that Mike's reading of the Mud Pack storyline made me miss the other Clayfaces, especially Preston Payne. Sure, they've not been featured in cartoons as much (Clayface III is pretty violent), but I'd like to see them back and hope that these big Basil Karlo stories don't keep them out of continuity.

Incredible Hulk #712: Solid reversal of the Thor: Ragnarok Hulk vs. Thor fight. I forge this is Greg Land, as he's left his porn-swiping days behind.

Ben Reilly: Scarlet Spider #13: S'alright. The characters of Ben, Kaine and the Slingers work well together.

Trade Paperbacks: 8

Single Issues: 25

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Invincible Iron Man #1-14 (2015): This is amazing. Seriously some of Bendis' best work on any character ever. Tony starts out his normal self, then is shattered into a million pieces by the events of warring with the Inhumans and Civil War II. My only gripe is that #13 ends with Tony trapping Doom and forcing him into a conversation, which we never see. The very next issue is brilliant and emotional and brings in some Avengers continuity, but there's no Stark / Doom talk. That's minor though. By the end of this series Tony was a living, breathing character for me.

David Marquez illustrates the first five issues, and his sleek lines are perfect for the more lighthearted story. Then Mike Deodato Jr. finishes out the series, and man his newer style is amazing. He brings the darker edge to the book, which fits with the emotional deconstruction of Tony.

Comics: 192

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Jessica Jones #16: Someone has to die before this is over.

Defenders #9: Mostly one long fight, but still good.

Comics: 194

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Batman #32: I honestly give zero shits on the Bat/Cat thing (never really have) but I dug the fuck out of the end of the WORAJ. Fun.

Dastardly and Muttley #2: weird way they're going with this. I'll read another. It's entertaining enough.

Infamous Iron Man #12: Fucking hell, this was good.

John Carpenter's Tales of Science Fiction Vault #3: fun ending. I look forward to the next arc.

Marvel Legacy #1: some fun elements here. Interested to see where they take some of this.

Nightwing The New Order #2: this is another alt-reality thing that should be up my alley. It's certainly better than White Night or Dark Nights Metal, but not by a lot. I'll give it one more.

Mighty Thor #23: great transition forward.

X-Men Blue #12: Past X-Men with Ultimate X-Men with characters form Mutant X; this is a regular old X-men alter-reality gang bang, and I can't say I don't kind of love it.

Action Comics #989: still not too sure where this is going, but I have an idea, and it's intriguing.

All-New Wolverine #25: excellent. Really solid.

Astonisher #1: snoooooooooze

Atomahawk #0: terrible faux Kirby crap.

Babyteeth #5: still great!

Detective Comics #966: uhm...HOLY FUCK! Take what i said about X-Men Blue, distill it down to one thing and run with it. DC is finally realizing what made their comics fun (i.e.: the last time they were good was ten years ago) and rehashing some of that stuff in a new way. Fuck me gently, this is a trip.

Hack/Slash vs Vampirella #1: dumb fun

Harley & Ivy Meet betty & Veronica #1: garrrrrrbage.

Iceman #6: ok, a Champions reunion and they're wing-manning Iceman on his first gay date. Never thought I'd type those words. Sure did dig it though.

Nightwing #30: crazy. Looking forward to see where it goes.

Old Man Logan #29: this was fucking great.

Punisher The Platoon #1: this was pretty terrible. I'll try one more solely for the Parlov art. But man, it's hard to believe I ever enjoyed a single thing Ennis ever wrote.

Ironwood 1, 2: Bill Willingham's erotic fantasy graphic novels from Eros that sit firmly between Elementals and Fables and BOY does it ever show?! Interesting.

 

Comics: 139

Trades: 1

Graphic Novels: 2

Omnibus: 3

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Tales of Suspense #101: I could see reveal coming, but still enjoyable.

Quantum and Woody #2: Funny but I think I'm out. It isn't holding my interest.

Eternity #1: ... what? No. Done.

Paper Girls #1-2: This has my interest, especially because I'm having fun deciphering the language of the "aliens" or whatever they are. I have 22 of 26 letters.

Comics: 199

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What If...? #1 (1989): What If the Avengers Had Lost the Evolutionary War? Oof! This is bad. Not poor quality bad, but boring and heady and up its own ass bad. What the hell is this? Make no mistake about it, I love What If...?, warts and all, but this issue has always boggled me. Its such a poor way to open the revived series: there's absolutely zero action or character development, it's unclear on what the mutated heroes are attempting to accomplish, the mutated humans do nothing but sit around staring at things, Wolverine is made the leader because reasons, and everybody suddenly loves one another and sees the heroes as gods because now everyone is special. All that said, Ron Wilson draws a great Captain (America) and Wolverine, and his cosmic entities are a sight to see as well.

Comics: 200

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What If...? #2: What If Daredevil Had Killed the Kingpin? Man alive this is great! As a kid I was ho-hum on it, but that's because I couldn't appreciate the complexity of Matt's madness nor had I read Born Again at that point. Looking at it now, there's a miniseries packed into this issue; it's filled with so much characterization and story (Matt sinking into despair, Rose's redemption, Karen's pain, Matt's friends chasing him down, even The Punisher looking to help Matt) and I would love to read more of this alternate universe. The idea that Matt is looking for judgment and death fits him so well; he can't simply throw himself off a building or let the raging gang war stop him; he needs to be punished for killing a man, even if that man was Fisk. I could read this over and over again, and so much of that comes down to Greg Capullo. This was his first Marvel gig, but you would never know it. The pain and anguish he brings to Matt's face is utterly human, the frighting visions Matt sees are grounded in reality while still being monstrous, his Hobgoblin is actually menacing without being OTT. Seeing this, I'm kinda sad he became a McFarlane clone for so long. I do wonder how much of this comes from inker Ian Akin. I'm not familiar with his work, but I do wonder if he kept Capullo reigned in.

Comics: 201

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X-Men: Children of the Atom #1-2: This is a very dense series; you will have to dedicate some time to read even one issue, let alone the entire six-issue story. It also features some very bad street dialogue. The sapieniests are very clichéd leather-clad, skinhead, gun-toting white guys who hate everyone; they have zero depth, and that really brings this otherwise decent series about the formation of the original X-Men down a bit. I might finish it, if only for Steve Rude's art, but I might not. We'll see. I don't feel like we're getting to know any of the kids.

Superior Spider-Man #1: Dave and I were talking about this comic earlier today, so I thought I'd give it another look. Decent first issue, but it doesn't standout all that much. At the moment the only thing that makes Spider-Otto different from Peter is his briskness with those around him.

Comics: 204

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Star Trek / X-Men: Thoughts in episode 1000.

Star Trek: The Next Generation / X-Men: Second Contact: Thoughts in episode 1000.

Batman '66 Meets the Green Hornet #1-12 (#1-6): Thoughts in episode 1000.

Comics: 212

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The Shadow/Batman #1: this is already better than the other series.

X-Men Gold #13: holy fuck this is good.

Falcon #1: I'm not so much put off by the "stick out like a sore thumb" street language, and I actively hated the Patriot character during Secret Empire even though I don't dislike him here, it's the fact that this is parroting the EXACT SAME STORYLINE from the Sam Wilson Captain America series. What the fuck? And it's not like it's picking up on the Hate-Monger who left the Sons of the Serpent and became a militant black activist to stir up shit. It's just that fucking lame-o Blackheart again. Tip to Marvel editorial: Blackhearts has never been good in a comic and will never be. I'm out.

Galaktikon #2: I appreciate this for what it is, but without the album that accompanies it, it's not a solid read. I'm out.

Harbinger Renegade #8: this was fun. This felt closer to real Harbinger comics than a lot of ones I've read lately.

Hellboy and the BPRD 1955... #2: Brian Churilla is great and belongs on Hellboy, but I'm just not interested in the story anymore.

Mister Miracle #3: this is on such a higher plane than any other monthly comics coming out right now. I'm not sure if there's ever been anything like it. It has a slight feeling of what a 90s Vertigo Mr. Miracle series would have been, but something far more. Postmodern comics at its best.

Ragman #1: "y'know what I want? A Ragman reboot with a geopolitical PTSD angle!" - no one ever.

Red Hood and the Outlaws #15: really fucking fun.

Retcon #2: still not sure what the fuck is going on, but I kind of like it.

Ringside #12: really solid.

Shadowman Rae Sremmurd #1: a weird oneshot. 

Slots #1: hell no.

Spirits of Vengeance #1: Oof...not good. I'll give it one more.

Superman #32: I'll soak up all the Superman I can before Bendis takes over. This was fun. Not as good as what's going on over in Action, but still really good.

The Archies #1: Ehh...not great.

Comics: 155

Trades: 1

Graphic Novels: 2

Omnibus: 3

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Batman #40: These two most recent issues were good, but there was no need for them to be two issues. A really dense, well-paced single issue would have served the drama better.

Comics: 213

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Batman #40 (2016): Didn't really like this two-parter. We don't learn anything from Bruce and Diana's friendship, and nothing is gained from this adventure. Felt like a waste.

Spider-Man #237: Very solid read that ended too quickly.

Iron Fist #77: Solid, well paced finale to the arc.

She-Hulk #162: Solid

Amazing Spider-Man #795: Not a bad read.

Savage Dragon #231: Malcolm's attacked by killer sexbots while on another planet the main female leads are attacked by sex-hungry fiends. The art was noticeably lacking but the last page was an interesting cliffhanger.

Trade Paperbacks: 8

Single Issues: 31

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Royal City #6: not the best issue of this series.

Savage Things #8: I thought this was kind of a wonderful, low-key ending.

Justice League of America #16: pretty decent compared to other parts of this arc.

Sacred Creatures #4: siege story mixed with a hospital orgy. Alright.

Suicide Squad #27: solid. Really solid.

The Family Trade #1: I can't get past the art. It's pretty terrible and not right for the story.

The Wild Storm Michael Cray #1: this is fucking excellent. So excellent, I don't want to skip right to the trade, so I'll probably do both.

Volcanosaurus #1: ughhhhhhh. I knew this would be bad, but I couldn't resist. I was duly punished.

Weapon X #9: how great is this? Fucking great.

Wormwood Gentleman Corpse Mr. Wormwood Goes to Washington #1: TERRIBLE.

X-Men Blue #13: holy shit this is fun.

Youngblood #6: it's taken a long time for the shit to hit the fan, but I have to say I'm interested.

All-New Guardians of the Galaxy #12: fucking fun.

Aquaman #29: Sejic tells this slow story where nothing really happens with such love and delicacy that it's still fuckdiculously entertaining.

Batman #33: I was not prepared for lovey-dovey horseback Middle Eastern Batman, but I have to say it was pretty good.

Champions #13: not great.

Deadpool vs Old Man Logan #1: fun, dumb fun.

Generation Gone #4: still great. Mind-blowing ending. 

Invincible Man #593: I'm still so here for this.

Comics: 174

Trades: 1

Graphic Novels: 2

Omnibus: 3

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Exit Stage Left: the Snagglepuss Chronicles #2: I think I might finish this one in the trade. Using Snagglepuss, Huckleberry Hound, and their friends adds nothing to this Cold War era story. If you're going to tell a tale of McCarthyism on a world with humans and sentient animals, do more than recap what really happened. Okay, it's great that there's no Ducksburg, Qauckville, and the like, but why are these characters here if not to use them in a new, fresh, creative way? It looks great, though.

Rogue & Gambit #2: We really get into Rogue's head here. It turns out one of the reasons she's always fretting about her feelings for Gambit is because the first time they kissed she was under mind control, so she's not sure if her feelings are her own or a remnant of that. Considering she's always been toyed with and cannot get physically close to anybody, this was a great addition to her tormented psyche. Pere Perez is nailing these characters, too; the way Rogue holds herself clearly demonstrates a reluctance to open up, while Gambit always has the right amount of swagger. Adding to this are Frank D'Armata's lush, perfectly chosen colors. The double-page spread that starts the book is genius; I've never seen a dialogue scene like that, and I love it.

Swamp Thing Winter Special: Okay, this was visually beautiful, but what was this story about?

X-Men Red #1: Take my money! While I'm not quite sure what Jean asked of the UN, the issue as a whole was excellent. Mahmud Asrar has been on my radar since 2011, when I first saw his art on Supergirl #1, and he's grown so much since then. Brilliant stuff.

Invincible #1: With the series coming to a close next week, I thought I'd try to dive back in from the start. This is such an oddly paced issue; the way it ends, especially, is such an anticlimax.

Nightwing #1-4 (1995): After playing Batman for a little while ("Prodigal"), Dick is no longer sure about his future. He's not even sure who Dick Grayson is. So he sets off to investigate his parents' murder; he suspects there's more to it than meets the eye. This gets him mixed up in an international scuffle, ethnic cleansing, a secret coup d'état, and no new revelations about his parents. He also finds himself helping a woman with a troubled family, but this is the dictionary definition of filler. Over all, Dick is written with an odd mixture of pulp noir and kid-sidekick dialogue; I see what Dennis O'Neil was going for, but it really doesn't work. This is early days for Greg Land, so there are lots of stiff poses and bad decisions, but you can see the potential. He's able to animate Nightwing's movements with grace, and few artists can accomplish this.

The Flash #123: More thoughts in episode 1000, but this was a lot of fun.

Justice League of America #21-22: Same as above.

I also read the Mallah / Brain story in Young Monsters in Love, but I won't count that in my total.

Comics: 225

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Kid Lobotomy #1: terrible, unreadable dreck. Seriously, this is what Black Crown comes out the gate with? Oof!

Kill the Minotaur #5: pretty great, actually.

Comics: 176

Trades: 1

Graphic Novels: 2

Omnibus: 3

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The Punisher Meets Archie: This is big dumb fun. The Punisher, as always, is hunting a killer. Said killer hightails it to Riverdale. Said killer also happens to look like Archie. Paths cross, hilarity ensues. For all of the silliness in these 64-ish pages, there are two things of note taking place:

Writer Batton Lash found a way to set the story in then-contemporary times (1994), while making an excuse to have Archie & Co. dress like it's 1955. The centerpiece is a throwback sock hop at the high school, thus explaining why and allowing for Archie to be in his sweater and bowtie. It's a neat trick to capture classic-era Archie Comics without setting it 40 years in the then-past.

The other thing Lash does is give The Punisher some very deep characterization. As soon as Castle and Microchip arrive in Riverdale, Micro notices a sort of longing in Frank's eyes; a "what if" passes before Castle as he sees a family taking a safe, leisurely midnight stroll through a park. It's sad and eye-opening; we rarely if ever see The Punisher's human side, and this was rather touching. Adding to that, Frank goes undercover at the sock hop as the new gym teacher, and he instantly hits it off with Miss Grundy. Jokes can be made about how pervy she's being upon seeing the unshaven, buff, dark, handsome man who's just walked into her world, but, really, Frank seems to actually enjoy being around her. And, again, this ties into the "what if" aspect of the previous scene. It's not that big a stretch to assume The Castle Family might have settled in a suburb not unlike Riverdale, with Frank taking a job as a gym teacher or police officer has his life not gone down a dark path.

Art wise, John Buscema handles The Punisher scenes while Stan Goldberg does everything Archie, and these two guys have the hardest job. Blending these two disparate styles, tones, and worlds seems impossible, yet they make it work through Red -- the deadly Archie lookalike. He has hints of both styles -- Archie's round features and silly hair, yet darker and more wild-eyed -- thus bridging the worlds.

My only gripe is that four characters writer war journals throughout: Punisher and Microchip, of course, but also Archie and Veronica. With the exception of Veronica, all of their journals sound identical, and, worse, they're written like Rorschach. While The Punisher might use a Rorschach-like shorthand, Microchip employing the style makes no sense. And yeah, Archie is trying to be all grim and gritty, but unless he saw The Punisher's journal, how would he know to write his like Castle's?

Anyway, that's a small thing. Due to the excuse of sock hop making the book look dated, it winds up being timeless. And it's so much fun. If you have 20 minutes, give it a go.

Truth: Red, White & Black #1-7:

On 2/21/2017 at 7:54 PM, Donomark said:

TRUTH: Red, White & Black: The seven issue miniseries by Robert Morales and Kyle Baker about the Tuskegee-Inspired Experiments on black soldiers in an attempt to recreate the Super Solider Serum. An utter classic. Kyle Baker needs to be more prolific on mainstream books, his art flows between unbelievably cartoony to perfectly realistic. The writing is fantastic, and gives a thoroughly realistic take on the origins of Captain America. Highly recommended.

Every word of this. Stone cold classic.

Comics: 233

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