Every comic you've read in 2015


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The Ultimates vol.1

An engaging yet nearly irritating take on the Avengers. The Bryan Hitch artwork is nice but the Millar characterization is a frustrating pill to swallow, mainly because the pop culture references permeate the series. The second half of issue #4 cannot go a single page without name dropping a celebrity. There's literally three pages dedicated to the Ultimates fan-casting each other, followed by a scene of Betty Ross on a date with Freddie Prinze Jr.

Hulk is super horny, Hank Pym is a fucking sadist with a history of abusing Jan because apparently that couldn't have been left alone, Cap is a parody and Jan's propensity to shrink causes her to be naked for a fourth of the series. The prospect of Hulk eating a guy is a turn-on for Betty and...ugh, this was bad. Kind of a trainwreck bad in that I couldn't look away but still very annoying. At least now I know the context for the "doesn't stand for France" quote.

I did like Thor and surprisingly Iron Man tho. I expected Tony to be Turbo-Douche the whole time and that never happened.

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Not really. Movie-Cap is occasionally silly, but Ultimates Cap is notable for being an America-centric jingoist dick who solves problems exclusively with his fists. Movie-Cap repeatedly shows empathy for everyone, regardless of nationality, and would sooner take a punch than deal one when he didn't need to. In Avengers 2, Cap is the only one to stick up for the Maximoff twins' point of view before they actually switch sides.

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The Ultimates vol.2, or Ultimates 2.

A more engaging story this time 'round once all the characters have now been introduced. An intense conflict that makes the Avengers movie final battle look like Candyland, although it gets too satisfied with the comic-bookyness of itself by the end. Art was terrific as always. Overall it was better than the previous volume, either because I'm used to the general awfulness of the characters or that the story was written better.

A lot of the major plot twists I had read about years ago, so the Black Widow twist wasn't so much a shock as it was interesting to see develop. I continue to like Ultimate Tony Stark quite a bit, although his last scene was like RDJ Tony on steroids. The final scene with Hawkeye and Black Widow was dark as hell. And Fury lost an arm? I don't remember that ever brought up during Ultimate Spider-Man!

Speaking of Ultimate Spider-Man...USM vol.15 by Bendis and Bagley.

May've said before in this thread but while I collected USM religiously, I dropped off after a while because every story seemed to end with Peter getting beaten up, unmasked and humiliated without fail. The Electra fight, much as I love Electra, broke me. But re-reading the Hobgoblin story reminded me why this series was and remains the best Ultimate book. Unlike virtually every other Ultimate iteration, you genuinely feel for Peter Parker and are invested in his world. Plus the morality is a lot easier to take in.

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And back to superheros.

Angel: Revelations - Nice quick read that really didn't add anything to the Angel character. The art is not a style I normally like, but I think it worked really well for this book.

Morbius: The Living Vampire - I have no idea what this was trying to be. The first half is a set up for a decent ongoing, Superior Spider-Man shows up and series over. Felt more like reading issues 1-4, 9, 13-18, rather than a nine issue run. Would have worked better as a four issue mini.

Comics: 147
Digital First Comics: 58
Graphic Novels: 14

Trades: 84 (446)(4)(144)

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Black Widow vol 1: Decent story. Amazing art. Kind of how I feel about Hawkeye.

Stray #3: Paying close attention to this as it's about as close to the novel I'm working on as a piece of fiction gets. Still not the same though, so I like it. :)

Sundowners #9: Crazy. As always.

TMNT Mutanimals #3: Again. Great. Better than the main Turtles series, and that's saying something.

The Mantle #1: Starts out EXACTLY as you expect it to, and then goes somewhere else. Interesting.

Thor #8: Re: the reveal. SNOOZE! Next issue needs to be really good for me to come back.

Uber #24: Solid. Things are rushing toward each other. Sure to be a bloodbath soon. You know...more than the usual bloodbaths.

Wolf Moon #6: Jesus. That was dark.

Comics: 527

Graphic Novels: 26

Trade Paperbacks: 65

Omnibus: 3

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I think Hush is a very decent story that's elevated to epic status only because it's a showcase for Jim Lee's art. And that's the thing about Jeph Loeb: when he's writing a straightforward, decent story with a fantastic artist, his books can be great. But then you get Ultimatum and it's just... eeeesh.

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Metabarons by Alejandro Jodorosky and Juan Gimenez: Probably the closest thing we will ever get to Jodorowsky's Dune. Interesting world building ideas,beautiful artwork. The dialog is a bit clunky with every other word having to have Paleo in front. Still I am going to look for more.

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8/16/32/64-Bit Zombie - I don't know what to say. They were so nothing that I don't think I have any thoughts.

Marvel Knights/Sensational Spider-Man - These fall right into the crossover after crossover crap that hurt these books before OMD. It all felt rather unimportant. Having read Amazing earlier this year, nothing is connected. It is really obvious in the Back in Black branding/crossover. The tone in Sensational does not come close to the tone in Amazing. Remember when Spider-Man got new powers and bone things sticking out of his wrists (The Other)? Well, none of the writers did either. Oh, and lets do a 'clever' Superman story. It will be 'great'.

I think one of the best things OMD/BND did for Spider-Man was to cancel all the non Amazing titles.

Comics: 166
Digital First Comics: 58
Graphic Novels: 14

Trades: 88 (468)(4)(144)u

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I completely disagree. The great thing about Amazing/Friendly Neighborhood/Sensational right before OMD was that they each offered something different. Amazing was the flagship, Friendly Neighborhood had Peter David's humor, and Sensational alternated weird/horror stories with character pieces once Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa started writing it. In fact, I think Sensational was the best of the three during the Civil War/Back in Black era.

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Around that time I would agree. Sensational dealt with Mary Jane and Aunt May's perspective during the crossovers, and had that great issue of Liz Allen confronting Peter during Back in Black. There was also a killer Eddie Brock story, best in years.

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Angeles and Demons book 1: erotic GN from France. Pretty solid. A little weirdly rapey. I guess a lot of them are.

Enormous #1: Life in a world with giant monsters. Pretty good.

God Is Dead #34, 35: Still fucking great.

Secret Wars #1, 2: The first issue is a total loss. A huge pile of shit, actually. One page is decent, the Punisher one. The second issue is better, but only in a "whoa this alternate universe is pretty crazy" kind of way. They sure look pretty though.

Secret Wars: The OG version. The Zeck art on the issues he draws is great. The story is fucking terrible. Doom and Magneto are the only characters that are actually interesting. Jim Shooter outwardly writes the X-Men as the most insipid and pathetic characters ever. They're horrible.

Comics: 531

Graphic Novels: 27

Trade Paperbacks: 66

Omnibus: 3

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Saga 28: I like the continuing split between the three stories; Team Fix Stuff/Murder Camping Trip is great, Team Alana/Hazel continues to be screwed in increasingly horrible ways, and Team Get My Thing Back does pretty amazingly this episode, concluding with a page that I'm 99% sure will show up somewhere as a college dorm poster.

Thor 8: Art continues to be beautiful. And yeah, the red herring was a complete fakeout. I got spoiled for this before the issue hit because the internet, I'm interested to see how this is going to work,

especially as I'm pretty sure Jane is still dying

.

Darth Vader 5: Well, shit. This is gonna get real interesting real quick.

Captain Marvel 15: Every once in a while Kelly Sue gets the opportunity to get away from the editorial mandated story and do a story you can tell she really wanted to do. For the last issue before Secret Wars/Last Days/what the fuck ever starts for her, Carol gets to come home, and deal with Traci's death. This issue is the pure gut punch writing that Kelly Sue is really, really good at. Maybe don't read it if you've had a major death in the last few months. Or maybe do

Ms. Marvel 15: Aka that time G Willow Wilson wrote about rape culture using metaphors young girls will understand. All fucking hail. Miyazawa really does well on the art, and I hope he gets to stay for whatever the hell the post Secret Wars status quo ends up being.

Secret Wars 2: ...Yeah, this is pretty much the AU fanfic everyone clearly wanted to write at some point. Esad does great things on the art here. After reading this week's stuff this is clearly the minimum framework you're going to need to understand anything that's going on for the next few months.

Ody-C 5: Aka the moment where Fraction clearly realized the story is about more than just Odyssia, and expands things even further. Also, things get more fucked. Gonna switch to the trade on this, for the future.

Howard the Duck 3: Fun comic, I'm honestly not looking for too much more than that from this. Funny and ridiculously on point backup story this month, too.

Southern Cross 3: Well, shit. Mystery continues to deepen, space horror gets edged back a bit this issue and the art is definitely getting better (colors are really carrying this). This is probably going to read better collected in trade, but I'm gonna stick with this monthly.

Injection #1: Declan and Jordie are doing interesting work art wise, and as far as the first issue, no idea what the fuck is going on, but that kind of seems to be standard for an Ellis #1 these days. I'm intrigued and gonna stick with it.

Angela Asgard's Assassin #6: As with Darth Vader this month, a definite "well, fuck". Hopefully this gets picked up after the Secret Wars reboot, otherwise, worst cliffhanger ever. Real pretty, too.

Kaptara 2: Half the fun of this is seeing what the hell the artist can come up with for this story. We get a bit of a breather to see where Keith is, and still manages to use some bits from the wreck to move the plot forward. It's not a masterpiece by any stretch, but like Howard, it's a fun book, and I'm interested to see where it goes. It's got heart, it's got some fun 80s references, and it continues to make me laugh.

Loki: Agent of Asgard 14: Odin and Freyja with uzis, and Old King Loki riding a snake dragon monster with a horde of spirits. Yeah. I am totally here for this shit. We're finally getting some idea about Verity who is likely gonna be a linchpin for whatever's been going on, and hey, I like Loki's new look. Bring it, kids.

The Kitchen 7: The issue is literally titled "Everything Goes to Hell". Pretty straight forward description for everything that happens here. Not sure how this is gonna turn out with one issue left, but I'm interested to see where Masters takes it. Ming does a great job this issue on the art.

Secret Wars: Battleworld: No idea what happened in that first story other than Strange bodyhopping and all sorts of interestingness as they flesh out the new world, but the second story is kind of infinite Modoks. That was interesting.

Planet Hulk #1: Not actually about Planet Hulk. Two stories here. The front half is Humphries writing literally the closest thing I've seen to a canon Steve/Bucky relationship with Steve as a gladiator with Devil Dinosaur as his steed. Oh also he gets sent to destabilize Greenland (get it ? Because Hulks.) by killing the Red Hu - I mean King. Back half appears to be how Greenland came to be in the universe, as far as I know? It has Pak on it, and features Amadeus Cho.

Bandette #1: One of the Eisner nominees, the first issue was free on Comixology a while ago. Basically a cross between TinTin and Nancy Drew, and real pretty.

A-Force #1: Yes, you need Secret Wars #2 to even have a clue of what's going on. But the general arc of this? I'm interested. We get America Chavez in a comic for the first time since Young Avengers vol 2. She's kind of out of the picture after this issue, but she shows up over in Siege soon, so I can live with that. Plus, flashbacks. We get to see the general shape of the team, how it works, and everyone's relationships. Plus, the art's real pretty. (I disagree heavily with Jill Leopore's interpretation of this issue, but will say I understand the criticisms surrounding needing Secret Wars #2 to understand what's going on. It's getting an ongoing after Secret Wars, so we'll see how that plays out.)

Archie vs Predator 2: This issue features DeCampi throwing shade at the cops, and the Predator ripping Sabrina's head and spine off of her body, and so much shading of the genre. Yeah. I am so fucking here for this subversive little mini.

Casanova: Luxuria: Read this last year in a food depped/dehydrated haze after going to Chicago Pride. Good frame of mind for a first read with this. Fraction and Ba basically ripping apart the Bond genre, and being pretty much amazing while they're at it.

Casanova: Gula: Luxuria was good. Gula is possibly my favorite entry in the series. Moon gets his turn to interpret the universe, and he does amazing stuff with it. Fraction does great things with the plot, including focusing this arc on Zephyr, hardly featuring Casanova, and actually writing the plot twist in very early on and spending the rest of the arc basically all but screaming it at you. Just a great time, all around.

Casanova: Avaritia: Can basically be summed up as the darkest timeline. Ba is back on art and utterly kicks it out of the park. Fraction spends the entirety of these issues pretty much utterly destroying Casanova and also bringing in a new interesting angle with Newman Xeno. Very, very close second for my favorite entry, may be the technical best one, especially on the art. And also seems to be leading into Acedia in some very interesting ways.

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