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The Master

Every comic you've read in 2018

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58 minutes ago, Dread said:

Judas #1: usually, my kind of thing. This fell kind of flat for me though. I'll give it another. I love the art.

...

Batman #37: holy shit, this was delightful.

Judas started strong for me, then dropped off. But the art is awesome all the way through. As for Batman #37, Clark wearing his glasses over the Batman mask and Lois secretly carrying a flask were nice touches. And Bruce doing the math to figure out if he can hit a baseball thrown by Clark was also a good character moment.

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Champions #18: I thought this book was ending, but it's simply switching creative teams. With this can Cap, did Marvel fire Mark Waid or something? In any case, Cyke leaves the team to go back to the X-Men full time. It's emotional, especially with Ms. Marvel, but sweet. I'd love an epic-sized collection of this run. Thoroughly enjoyed it from top to bottom.

Trade Paperbacks: 10

Single Issues: 79

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Land of the Lustrous v5: More revelations, more wonderful ruminations on depression. This is the first volume where I felt Ichikawa might’ve been a bit rushed, but there are pages that more than make up for it. These are coming slower now that they’re catching up to the Japanese, which sucks bc it means longer between fixes, but it’s still pretty.

Jessica Jones 18: Well that was... a thing. 

WicDiv 35: McKelvie and Wilson continue to go god mode on the art. More revelations on the story front that I think I’m starting to get the shape of the story on. 

[REDACTED XXX]: I’m just gonna quote Jim on this: “The real reason you should hire me is because I feel visceral second hand shame at comics with easy to fix editorial mistakes in them!!” “I just read an issue of [REDACTED], written by [AN AUTHOR WHO IS A WRITER/ARTIST WITH DECADES OF INDUSTRY EXPERIENCE] who decided he needed to narrate what's clearly happening on the page when the artist is [AN ARTIST WHOSE WORK I PARTICULARLY ENJOY]. Twice.” Me: “Honey, do you think [redacted] gives a shit about anything other than the words they masturbate onto the page?”

Single Issues: 56
Trades/Tankobon/Graphic Novels/Anthologies: 14
Omnibuses: 1

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The End of the Fucking World (or TEOTFW): This is the graphic novel on which The End of the F***ing World Netflix show is based. As Chris pointed out to me on Twitter, it's a collection of minicomics, and, if you know what you're looking for, it shows. This, especially, applies to the pacing; it comes in at ~150 pages and I went through it in 10 minutes. Artistically, there's a Peanuts sensibility to Alyssa, yet James and the rest of the world are a bit more indie comic norm. This helps Alyssa standout, pushing her to main character status - at least from a visual standpoint.

Would I recommend it? Hmm, probably not on its own. If you've watched the show, reading this afterwards would be an interesting exercise in the adaptation process; the basic narrative skeleton is here, but the show added so much needed meat to the characters, their motivations, and the world at large. Also interesting: it didn't change much, except the timeline of events and who's looking for the teenagers. Otherwise it's all pretty much here.

Comics: 359
Graphic Novels: 1

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Nightwing #35: If the next issue isn't outstanding, I'm gone. This book is on autopilot and has been for ages.

Ninja-K #2: ok...the stupidity of the retconned codename aside, this is really good.

Old Man Logan #32: fucking great.

Squadron Supreme: Finally reread this after planning to for so long. This reading just reminds me how much Greenwald was able to say about the superhero genre within the constraints of a standard superhero comic. This is Watchmen without the disdain for the subject matter. Without the nihilism. It is so damned good. 

Manara Library vol 3: the centrepiece of this is the two collaborations with Fellini (which are great) but there are a ton of really short pieces here that are fucking brilliant. Also, likely the longest piece in the book is a crazy Chinese mythology-style graphic novel called The Ape which is a Manara thing I've never read before. 

Renato Jones Freelancer Season 2: Kaare Andrews might be the finest draftsman working in the industry. His look is Frank Miller's Ronin-levels of impact. The story is a little overwrought, but it's interesting to see how he had to completely change this story in regards to the Trump presidency. What should be dark comedy is actually just a slightly amplified reality. Weird. His page to page storytelling is so goddamned brilliant, but occasionally the panel to panel stuff is a little jarring.

Spread vol 4 Outside: low-key the best horror comic out there right now. Fucking great and only one more volume to go.

Comics: 433

Trades: 12

Graphic Novels: 6

Omnibus: 6

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10 hours ago, Dread said:

Nightwing #35: If the next issue isn't outstanding, I'm gone. This book is on autopilot and has been for ages.

 

Yeah Nightwing's been aimless for a really long time. Almost to the point where it's been hard to see justification for his book besides the value of Dick as an iconic character. I think Kyle Higgins would've really made a great run had he returned for Rebirth. He seemed to have better ideas for Dick during his stint in the new 52.

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I just read 300 pages of the new Justice League International omnibus today and there's still 75% more of the book to get through. I love this shit. Some of the best superhero comics ever made.

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Bride’s Story v9: I love that they go out of the way to focus on the side characters of the story in these later volumes. Still gorgeous, still low key adorable. 

Single Issues: 56
Trades/Tankobon/Graphic Novels/Anthologies: 15
Omnibuses: 1

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Justice League International Omnibus vol 1: Truly, one of the finest runs in superhero comics history. The writers are consistent but the pencilers rotate in and out at various times. However, you can't fault any of them. They're all great. Maguire, Templeton, Giffen and more. It's the greatest experiment in superhero comics at that point. Yeah, you can grim and gritty heroes for the modern world, but that's obvious. Try doing a successful sitcom with them. That's tough. There are legitimate laughs in this book. I hope they follow this up with a second volume but the Gerard Jones thing might keep them from that as that would consist of entirely his writing work, and maybe that won't fly. Some real omissions here come later but it was sad not to have the Justice League Antarctica special in this, considering there likely won't be another. Or, they could do a companion omnibus and include the recent series (Formerly Known as... and I can't Believe it's Not the Justice League)...a Super-Buddies Omnibus, as it were.

Overall, I read over 1100 pages of Giffen/DeMatteis JLI in the past two days and I still want more.

Comics: 433

Trades: 12

Graphic Novels: 6

Omnibus: 7

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I got this for Christmas, and it's still in the shrinkwrap. I'm dying to tear into it but this thing is fucking enormous and intimidating as hell.

As for a second volume... yeah, Jones' stuff is going to be very quietly buried for a long time. If there was any way DC was ever going to try to figure out a way to rerelease his stuff, the recent announcement that he's agreed to plead guilty squashed that real quick.

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Which is a shame because Green Lantern: Mosaic is some of the best GL stuff DC ever printed

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That whole GL run is fantastic. DC cancelled Breakdown as a result of the Jones issue but they did publish some Wonder Woman stuff from him. That said, I can live without the continuation, but I NEED the fucking Super Buddies (with the JL Antarctica) companion, stat!

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I wouldn't mind seeing Justice League Quarterly collected in there somewhere.

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1 hour ago, Dan said:

I wouldn't mind seeing Justice League Quarterly collected in there somewhere.

Yeah. Some good stories in those. The omnibus has one, I believe.

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Peter Parker: Spectacular Spider-Man #302: Whereas the last issue was unexpected in how much unpredictable fun it was, this issue takes that fun and twists it into dark surprises. Still great.

Motor Crush #10-#11: It's official. Babs Tarr is now one of my favorite artists, comic book or otherwise. I can look at her work all day, every day.

Amazing Spider-Man #798: HOLY SHIT. This was great Spider-Man comics. From top to bottom, action and characterization, I had such a blast reading this. Even Stuart Immonen who I'm not usually big on rocked this shit. I felt like a kid again with this issue.

Iron Fist #79: Because of the switching of artists due to the crossover, I didn't care.

Spider-Man #238: s'alright

Batman #44 (2016): My man Bertone put together a list of all the references to past Bat/Cat stories throughout Batman's history here. Because of those (although the art, as he points out, is inconsistent), this was decent.

Savage Dragon #232: I just know the next issue will begin with a threesome. Just know it. But the cliffhanger in this issue is pretty dang creative.

Trade Paperbacks: 10

Single Issues: 87

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Land Of The Lustrous 5 / A Bride's Story 9: Still wonderful. The superlatives remain the same. Ichikawa uses tricks to keep the pace on LotL, but they're smart tricks and they work.
Jessica Jones 18: Bendis and Gaydos bow out from the character they created as gracefully as possible. As long as I don't read too many Bendis comics, the writer's tendency to use twelve words when he could use three won't grate on me so much.
That Redacted Comic Hannah Mentions: Given the writer's bibliography there is literally zero fucking reason for him to put text describing the clearly visible action on the page. I think I'd be kinder to the comic if the dialogue was any good, but it clearly isn't.

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Savage Dragon #217-231: This is where the book goes from violent mature readers to "whatever the fuck I want even if that means gonzo porn" mature readers. It is a little shocking, seeing as I've been reading this since I was like 12. And I've never liked Maxine, but whatever. I'm along for the ride. I'm glad I finally caught up, and I have 232 in the mail to me right now. 

Sherlock Frankenstein and the Legion of Evil #3: wow, this is good. Easily better than the Black Hammer book.

Tales of Suspense #100: whatever. It was alright. I'll give it one more.

The Hard Place #5: great ending. Solid mini.

The Mighty Thor #702: fucking great.

Realm #4: this was pretty solid.

Uber Invasion #10: awesome, as usual.

Vampirella #9: I'm liking this. I like the relationship and the storytelling is really picking up.

X-Men Grand Design #1: this was pure fucking garbage. The worst. 

X-Men Gold #18: more solid from this title.

Action Comics #994: this was pretty good. It's not consistent.

Black-Eyed Kids #15: great end...sort of. I hope this comes back. One of the better horror comics of the past 2 hours for sure.

Bonehead #1: sci fi power fantasy drek.

Detective Comics #971: this is fucking excellent. Holy shit.

Doomsday Clock #2: MUCH better than the first issue. It's becoming something of its own rather than aping 38 pages of Rorschach walking around journaling himself. 

Eugenic #3: what an ending. I can only imagine how much better it would have been had I known this character for the prior two issues instead of this just being an exercise in world-building.

Glitterbomb the Fame Game #4: solid. Loved the ending.

Hack/Slash Resurrection #3: great cliffhanger. Could see it coming, but enjoyed it nonetheless. I ordered the trade, so I'm waiting for that.

Imaginary Fiends #2: fucking awesome. Here's a contender for best horror comic of the year...and it pissed me off as it is very close to a novel idea I have.

Invincible Iron Man #595: that was really anti-climactic. Terrible storytelling move. Fuck. Just focus on Doom and give Riri her own book or put her with the Champions or whatever. This split focus isn't working.

Justice League of America #21: REALLY did not like the art here. Sad Ray is getting on my nerves too.

Ice Cream man #1: this is fucking crazy weird. I love it. debating on just buying the trade for this.

Comics: 469

Trades: 12

Graphic Novels: 6

Omnibus: 7

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Also, on the Savage Dragon thing (i.e.: one of the last two comics I picked up at my old LCS): I also have like the last 40 issues of Walking Dead unread, but I'm just thinking fuck it. I'll sell the whole run on eBay. 

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The Ancient Magus’ Bride vol 1-8: They had a manga library at C2E2. I decided to get acquainted with the manga version of one of my favorite recent series. A bit more expanded out than the recent show, but still pretty 1:1 in terms of content. Some gorgeous double page spreads too. 

Card Captor Sakura: Clear Card Arc 2: CLAMP is getting back to form, the mystery deepens, it’s great to have it back.

Dead Rabbit 0: Ashcan/intro to the new Duggan/McCrea series. It’s not anything new, but it’s done well so far.

The Highest House 1: Carey and Gross come back for some good old European comics with a hint of magic and lots of feudal intrigue. 30ish pages, bigger size, Yuko Shimizu cover. 

On a Sunbeam Preview: The First Second folks put together a preview of this for the con, looking forward to seeing it collected.

Previews: 2

Single Issues: 57
Trades/Tankobon/Graphic Novels/Anthologies: 24
Omnibuses: 1

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Dead Rabbit #0: What Hannah wrote. Nothing new here, but executed well by lifers and I want to read more.
Dept. H v3: I'd have to check the previous two trades, but I'm not feeling one of the big axes on which the story turns. That said, it's still the Kindt family so everything else about this comic makes up for it. (A note so sweet it hurts: Their daughter colored a fill-in page of Dept. H characters named and drawn after her friends. She' credited in the front of the book.)
Sebastian O: Oscar Wilde as Luther Arkwright, I guess. Inessential in the Morrison bibliography.
Ms. Marvel v8: I'm still here. Every time I think I'm gonna bounce because of Ms. Willow Wilson's politics, and yet each time she keeps my attention. She's grown into the stature of a great superhero writer. As long as she keeps doing Ms. Marvel, I'm gonna buy it.
Death: At Death's Door: An old Sandman spinoff manga done by Jill Thompson. I'm drawn in by seeing her work in a different style. It's a quick read, but I also imagine it slides neatly into Sandman continuity.
The Highest House #1: The new miniseries from Mike Carey and Peter Gross. This time around, it's commissioned by a French comics publisher (and I imagined IDW licensed it), so Mr. Gross' pages look fantastic and the issue is printed at a magazine comics size. It feels a little more YA, but whatever, Mike Carey still knows how to write cruel, evil nobility, and Mr. Carey's in rare form here. It's $5, but I feel I got my money's worth.

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Harrow County vols 6 and 7: The threads are finally all coming together, and Crook does amazing art work over these two volumes. Can’t wait to see how it ends.

Astonisher v1: Part of Lion Forge’s Catalyst Prime line, and a hell of a comic about mental health and also superheroes and also Tony Stark IRL. Arts pretty solid. The Priest oneshot in the back has me interested in some of the other stuff from the line.

Black History In Its Own Words: Ron Wimberly’s illustrated quote collection about black history. Good quick read, includes lots of lesser known individuals.

Afar: Graphic novel from Del Duca and Seaton - this feels like it was planned as a mini but got released as a graphic novel, and might be continued? Gorgeous art, intriguing story.

Puerto Rico Strong: Anthology comic that sold out and will be benefiting Puerto Rico recovery. There’s a lot of repeating of some of the history (which probably could’ve been cut down on a bit/condensed after the first instances), but still an a solid anthology. 

Crossplay: A bunch of kids at an anime con use sex and cosplay to figure out their genders and sexuality. It’s a nice short comic, and there’s some pretty hot stuff in there too. Definitely worth a read through if you find it.

Dept H vol 3: Yeah, uh, I need to reread this because I’m trying to figure out where the giant ass turtle and squid came from. Still fucking gorgeous and incredibly well crafted.

The Spire: BOOM FINALLY FUCKING REPRINTED THIS, HALLEFUCKINGLUJAH. Still my favorite mini from 2015/16. Miyazaki meets Perdido Street was one of the blurbs I believe, and that continues to be a very accurate distillation of this mini. 

Previews: 2
Single Issues: 57
Trades/Tankobon/Graphic Novels/Anthologies: 33
Omnibuses: 1

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This is Jim not noticing he was logged in on Venneh's account until he hit publish. Ugh.

Shaft: Dynamite put out a great licensed comic, even if it leans into a particular detective story trope. However, it goes somewhere with that trope.
Harrow County v6-7: The wheels continue to turn as the series nears the end. Tyler Crook remains fantastic and whenever they put out a trade is when I'll pick it up. There's one resurrection that felt like author fiat to cover up a plot bit, but given how often resurrection happen in this series, it's difficult to argue they're not allowed to do it. Dark Horse runs a lot of underrated horror comics, but this is one of their absolute best.
Black History In Its Own Words: It's a Ronald Wimberly sketchbook. It's still good and I choose to believe someone will read this and have their mind blown. I'm bummed he didn't do Paul Robeson, though.

Edited by Venneh
more about Shaft

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Moon Knight #190: this is still ok. I'm just jazzed Jacen Burrows is doing a Marvel book.

Phoenix Resurrection #1: ehhh...

Scarlett's Strike Force #1: what? Hahaha! Garbage.

Suicide Squad #32: great. Bittersweet.

Demon Hell Is Earth #2: this was a solid second issue. I'm in now.

X-Men Blue #18: I'm a little confused about what's going on here but this book has earned so much good will I'll stick around a little.

Babyteeth #7: this book is so good.

Batman and The Signal #1: what a waste and a terrible entry in the Bat-family.

Batman #38: saw this coming like a page into this, but it was still really solid.

Captain America #697: how is it that Cap hasn't met Kraven before? This was really fun.

Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles #1: fuck,, this is so good.

Goosebumps Monsters at Midnight #2: nawww...I'm good.

Guardians of the Galaxy #150: great "final issue," We know there will be a new #1 after the Infinity thing because we live in a bizarre world where Marvel is always going to have to keep a GOTG book in publication as it's one of the most popular franchises right now. Weird.

Comics: 482

Trades: 12

Graphic Novels: 6

Omnibus: 7

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Detective Comics #978: Solid.

Titans #22 (2016): I think The Titans are the one group in DC that Rebirth still hasn't nailed. Donna Troy in particular is being given a treatment similar to Roy Harper in the new 52, I.E. a complete and utter downgrade from where she was before 2011. She is arguably the second most important member of the original Titans after Dick Grayson, and IDK if its because the different media has stayed away from her in favor of the Wolfman/Perez created characters or because of her various origin stories (just stick with the first origin, it makes the most sense), but after reading the whole of the original New Teen Titans run, she's really being punked out as a character and I don't care for it.

Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #21: It's funny to me that there has to be an editors note signifying that a heroic appearance by Poison Ivy takes place before a story in another Batman title where she's a super villain. Just do a character arc and stop picking and choosing when she's good or evil.

Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #42: Good stuff. I'm surprised with all the talk about the ends justifying the means there was no utterance of Hal becoming Parallax, which I'm pretty sure is still in continuity, but whatever. Ethan Van Sciver might be a dick, but he's still a good GL artist.

Falcon #7: I think this issue had more potential than it demonstrated. The artwork is good for a vampire story, and I've not really seen Blade feature in a Marvel comic for a while (glad his hair is back to being decent). But I don't agree with how Rodney Barnes had him immediately ask Misty Knight out. Not saying Blade isn't a romantic, but that came off as way too causal for a hardass like him. And as dark as the artwork was, I kept expecting the story to match its tone and it never did. Not bad, but a smidge let down.

Captain America #699-700: Chris Samnee's artwork is awesome, as always. The story is good, but I wished it packed a touch more of a punch considering how end-of-the-world it was. But I liked how Waid wrapped up the conclusion. The backup by Waid, Jack Kirby and Frank Giacoa was killer tho.

Ben Reilly: The Scarlet Spider #17: This series is at its best when its confronting the bullshit hit-job Dan Slott put on Ben's character in Clone Conspiracy by making his fight for his soul a torturous one. Much of Ben's inner monologue is well written, and his interactions with his lifelong foil Kaine are great. It makes this Midnight Sons crossover worth a damn. Also the constant digs at OMD are mucho appreciated. The only downside is how the artist Will Sliney seemingly never remembers when to draw Ben's web-shooters. He's had this problem for several months now. EDITOR?!!

Trade Paperbacks: 10

Single Issues: 94

 

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Prism Stalker 2: JESUS FUCK CHRIST THIS GOES IN HARD. 

Deadly Class 33: Oh look, the plot finally remembered Saya existed again! Just in time for more torture porn and female characters suffering because of dudes! Yaaaaaaaaaay. 

Sleepless 5: Oooooooh. Good turn here plot wise, and more explanation-exposition about the Sleepless guards. Del Duca is lovely as ever on the art. Interested for the next issue. 

A Bride’s Story v7: Aka the volume that should feel more sleazy than it does for half or more of it being set in a lady’s bathhouse and a dude getting a second wife. It’s actually pretty amazingly pure and sweet, and the female nudes are lovingly rendered but don’t feel samey, cheesecakey, or like Mori had a hand down her pants while she was drawing these. There’s so many different body types. (Also Mori has admitted to having A Thing for the female form. It shows here.)

Delicious in Dungeon v4: Good weaving in of plot stuff to extend out the manga’s run, a real kick ass fight, and some potentially interesting consequences. Let’s see how this goes. 

Previews: 2
Single Issues: 60
Trades/Tankobon/Graphic Novels/Anthologies: 35
Omnibuses: 1

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