Every comic you've read in 2015


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And I do not like Ramos' art on Spider-Man for some reason. I just doesn't fit in my head.

Mike and I have had words about this, but I totally agree. He's a talented artist and storyteller, but he just doesn't work for me on Spider-Man.

I consider Ramos one of my favorite Spider-Man artists, oddly enough. A lot of his artwork can be strange looking but it's just so fun to look at. The opening splash to ASM 16 made me gasp when I first saw it, to give an example.

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I appreciate Ramos' style a lot. I can definitely understand why people would not like him on Spider-Man, and he's not my favorite artist either, but I have enjoyed his run during Slott's run. His styled has been tailored more towards a mainstream superhero look. If you compare his current stuff to the Death in the Family Goblin story from 13 years ago, it's radically different.

However, I think Spider-Man works the best when he is struggling. I'm not talking classic Daredevil levels of crap piled on top of him. Just problems paying rent, woman problems, ect. Just my preference.

There's ways to do it, but too many writers like to write Peter the same way he's been in their heads like it's still the early 80s, as though the guy hasn't learned a single thing about how to live as Peter and Spider-Man. I'm not saying he should have everything under control because his struggles define his character. But the whole "GAHHHH! I CAN'T LET ON THAT I'M REALLY SPIDER-MAN!" thing has been played to the hilt in a way that's...it's written like we've never seen it before, from ASM or any other character.

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Batman/Superman vol 2: well, the shine is off. The story is nowhere near as good as the first volume (and even that wasn't great) and the art is crazy inconsistent. I'm out.

Comics: 266

Graphic Novels: 16

Trade Paperbacks: 48

Omnibus: 2

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Star Wars: The Original Marvel Years Omnibus, vol. 1: collects Star Wars issues #1-44 and Annual #1.

So this was an interesting thing. Issues 1-10 are by Roy Thomas and Howard Chaykin (with an assist from Don Glut towards the end), with the first six being the adaptation of the first movie. They very clearly are blindly stumbling with a copy of the script and some production art. They don't know what Star Wars is supposed to look or feel like, and they're doing a fairly decent job despite the awkwardness. Chaykin's art is not too bad; at this point he was still dynamic and exciting (he was chosen on the basis of his work on Cody Starbuck), and while the Cabbage Patch faces are a thing, they don't overwhelm everything. After the movie is over is the Han Solo-led Magnificent Seven riff, introducing everyone's favorite giant green rabbit bounty hunter, Jaxxon. Yeah.

After that, the team of Archie Goodwin and Carmine Infantino take over for the bulk of the run (other than a fill in from Mary Jo Duffy and two from Chris Claremont), and these feel a hell of a lot more like Star Wars. As a kid, I couldn't really read this comic because no one looked even remotely like who they were supposed to be, and that feeling hasn't gone away. Chaykin made an effort to have Leia look like Carrie Fisher; Infantino does not. Moreover, his graceful work form a decade earlier has pretty much abandoned him at this point; everything looks rushed and scratchy (inks from Bob Wiacek and Gene Day don't help). It takes the better part of three years before any non-human characters look on-model, and Darth Vader never stops looking pretty goofy. However, that said, his action is top-notch, his work on vehicles is terrific, and the storytelling is fantastic. Moreover, Goodwin writes what feel like Star Wars stories without relying on throwing Darth Vader at things every month. In fact, Vader was pretty much out of the book entirely for two years. The world is built up, the characterization is on point, and his Leia is pretty kickass.

The last six issues are the adaptation of The Empire Strikes Back, by Goodwin and Al Williamson, and these are terrific. (Mike and I gushed about issue #43 way back when on Grumpy Old Fans.) Williamson is clearly and obviously using photo reference to draw things, but hot damn, it all looks pretty good.

Overall, this was a hellishly fun bunch of comics that was a huge part of being a Star Wars fan in those early days.

Moon Knight (vol. 1) issues 1-14 (1980): I found a cheap lot on eBay and figured what the hell. Written by Doug Moench with art by Bill Sienkewicz, it really is "What if Batman really believed he was Matches Malone some of the time?" The incredibly derivative nature of the character is mitigated by the fact that some really talented people are working on the book, and that they're making some effort at depicting the main character s being truly mentally ill without playing it for laughs or drama. That said, better Batman stories were available at the time.

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Avenging Spider-Man (Peter Parker Issues) - Fun. Marvel Team-Up Fun. I loved this. Doesn't really add anything to the Amazing run I was read, but who cares. Spider-Man teaming up with Devil Dinosaur & Moon Boy. I mean, c'mon!

Superior Spider-Man - Not really a fan. I never had a rooting interest in the story. And the ending left me very cold. Frigid.

Avenging Spider-Man (Doc Ock Issues) - Not fun. More of the same. Even Sleepwalker showing up didn't help much. And I think I am the biggest Sleepwalker fan. Also the only.

Superior Spider-Man Team-Up - This was a real disconnect with the main series. Spider-Ock was out of character and it was blah.

The Arms of the Octopus Crossover - Made me kinda want to check out All New X-Men. Seems like it could be interesting. Spider-Ock still is awful. And why did they make a comic team-up of Wolverine and a chef? And why was it included in this?

Superior Carnage - I was interested until Spider-Ock showed up, then blah.

I think it is safe to say that I did not enjoy the Superior run.

Comics: 91
Digital First Comics: 44
Graphic Novels: 8

Trades: 67 (385)(4)

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Parliament of Justice: Oeming gets free reign to write one shot graphic novels at Image. This is one of them. It is half of a story.

Arkham Manor #6: Great. Solid.

Arkham Manor Endgame #1: Uhm...has nothing to do with the actual series.

Convergence #0: This does not bode well.

Darth Vader #3: Finally, we veer away from Vader fighting the rebels in between films. Good stuff.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes #5: Kind of tiring of this now. Looking forward to the end.

G.I. Joe Snake Eyes Agent of Cobra #3: Oof. A step down here.

G.I. Joe ARAH #212: Picked this up because it starts the Death of Snake Eyes story. Snake Eyes does not appear. Not impressed.

G. I. Joe #7: Phew. This is still great.

God is Dead #31: Still good.

Hellboy and the BPRD 1952 #5: Great ending. Fun.

Hit 1957 #1: A far better first issue than Brubaker's Fade Out. Not great, still. Interesting though.

Jem and the Holograms #1: Not my bag, but fun and cute. I hope a lot of young girls get to read it.

Kanan-The Last Padawan #1: The first real mis-step of the Marvel SW comics. Terrible.

Jungle Jim #2: Man, I wish this had nothing to do with the rest of the King line of books. Great artist and writer wasted on continuity.

Millennium #3: Holy shit. Great.

Past Aways #1: Terrible.

Project Superpowers Blackcross #2: Great. Enjoyed the hell out of this. Best Ellis in a very long time.

Quantum and Woody Must Die #3: Hilarious.

Rat God #3: I still don't really know what the hell is going on. It's purty though.

Rumble #4: Insane. Fun. I'm liking this now a little more than before.

Sensation Comics #30: Wow. Scooby Doo much?

Squarriors #2: One of the most beautiful books on the shelves. Highly recommended.

Comics: 288

Graphic Novels: 17

Trade Paperbacks: 48

Omnibus: 2

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Cafe Racer by Sean Murphy, Katana Collins and the Apprenticeship - Got this at a signing event with Sean Murphy, finally got around to reading it. Decent read, some fun racing sequences,character work is okay and art holds together for the most part. Interested to see more of it.

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Suiciders #2: This has become very interesting. I'm in for another couple issues.

TMNT Mutanimals #2: Fuck, this is so good. I can't put my finger on what's so great about it, but I just plain love it so much.

Black Hood #2: I really remember nothing about this issue.

Maxx-Maxximized #17: Bizarre and fun. Especially to read around Easter.

UFOlogy #1: This has an interesting premise and a solid quiet set-up. I like the art too, but the lettering fucking kills me. This bullshit hipster children's book font all these new comics are sporting is fucking ridiculous.

Uncanny Inhumans #0: I liked elements of this. I love the characters (of which we only get Black Bolt and Medusa) and McNiven's doing a loose thing that feels a little like Tom Raney. BUT: I have no fucking clue what's going on with the Inhumans. as a zero issue, it fails at trying to entice new readers.

Wolf Moon #5: Woof. Heavy shit.

Deadly Class vol 2: Super intense. This is very autobiographical for Remender (depsite the assassin school, I'm assuming) and after the first two volumes, it's pretty evident we both had a similar teenagehood. There is a moment in this volume that I laughed at harder than any other comic in my life. Wow.

Astro City-Victory: Nice. Finally interesting to see Winged Victory get a spotlight arc.

Comics: 295

Graphic Novels: 17

Trade Paperbacks: 50

Omnibus: 2

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Went to my shop and dropped 35 bucks on several Convergence titles.

The Question: Pretty good, possibly the best written out of the bunch.

Flash-Speed Force: Pretty solid. Nice return for Wally.

Superman: Very good. Writing and art were both solid.

The Atom: Kind of weird and random.

The Titans: S'alright.

Batman and Robin: I really liked how this was done in deference to the Post-Crisis Bruce and Jason relationship. Writing was tight. Artwork was blech. Denys Cowan is not for everybody.

Nightwing/Oracle: T'was okay. I still don't like Simone's writing, but she did okay for the most part here. Art was okay.

Batgirl: The one I was looking forward to the most. It's a bit hit and miss for me. I was going in expecting to be disappointed, and in a way I was. Cassandra's voice is off for the first half, as I figured it would be. There's a bizarre scene where she and Steph argue over eating a gerbil which I hadda re-read because that scene came off as such bullshit. It's just about buyable because of the context of living under the dome. At this point I have to decide whether I want my favorite characters appearing at all or whether I want them appearing and written well. It should be the latter, but the story's not done so there's still hope for redemption next time.

Miles Morales-The Ultimate Spider-Man: Good if super-rushed. Miles beats Dr. Doom and all of Hydra virtually off -panel. The hell.

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Avengers: Rage of Ultron-I don't think I'm anywhere near wrong when I say that Ultron stories are often the best Avengers stories. He is their definitive villain. This is a superb graphic novel. Probably in the top three Ultron stories. That's saying a lot. If the movie can pull off a fifth of this weight, then it'll be a good movie. There is the uncertainty of no Pym the movie has going for it that makes me unsure.

Comics: 295

Graphic Novels: 18

Trade Paperbacks: 50

Omnibus: 2

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2 Guns - Having watched the movie first killed any surprises this may have had. Enough difference to make me keep reading, but more for curiosity.

3 Guns - I was expecting a 'buddy cop adventure'. Instead this is really just a rehash of the first series, with a new 'gun' added to make it 'different'.

Hulk: Grey - I have little interest in the character of the Hulk. Plus, I feels like I read this story (or close to it) so many times.

Daredevil: Yellow - Probably the best of these color things, but kinda grading on a curve. Having read close to no Daredevil, I didn't find the story to be repetitive. And I kinda like the stupid yellow costume.

Captain America: White - Hard to judge fairly, as this was just a 0 issue for an unfinished series, but I don't think it would have varied in quality from the others.

Spider-Man: Blue - Not bad, but again, nothing new to the story. And I have a vague feeling I read something similar to this when I did my clone saga read thru.

Comics: 110
Digital First Comics: 44
Graphic Novels: 8

Trades: 72 (413)(4)

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All New Hawkeye 1 and 2: Switches between watercolor flashbacks to Clint's carnie past and the new present status quo with Katie Kate and Clint. Not sure how to feel about the new status quo, as the finale to the Fraction/Aja run has yet to be released (next week, I believe it is?), and one of the first things they undo is Clint's deafness, which was a major part of the Fraciton/Aja run. I dunno. It's Hawkeyes, its quippy, the first two issues were solid enough, but not anything real special.

Angela: Asgard's Assassin 4 and 5: Yeah, this is the shit. Crosses over with the Guardians like everyone and their mother is doing nowadays, but it's actually pretty damn fun, and beautiful to top. Angela is stabby, there's awful puns, pretty battle scenes, and hellspawn galore. I'm liking it, if nothing else, and it's a fun read. I'll take it.

Batgirl 37-40: More interestingness with reestablishing Batgirl in Burnside with the first two issues, very solid. However, the last two issues of this arc are everything I've been wanting from the new take. A very deliberate callback to the parts of past continuity that they acknowledge as part of Batgirl's history, acknowledges said history, and moves past it in the space of two comics while not outright dismissing what has gone before and how it affected Barbara? Uhm, fuck yeah. And actually kind of makes that cover even more creepy? The new run at Barbara is very firmly established here, and now that the team has this groundwork underneath it, I can't wait to see where they build out from here.

Captain Marvel 9-14: See discussion in upcoming HG episode

Criminal: Savage Edition: Criminal meets old school high fantasy? Uhm, hell yes. Not as unrelentingly depressing as other Criminal entries, but a great return to the world. More of Teeg, always fun.

Darth Vader 2-4: Oh, this will be interesting. Darth Vader basically in an unsure place after the events of Episode IV, and he's moving to consolidate his power again. Most interested in Aphra and the hellishly cheerful torture murder droids (I want 5). Funny story, the adaptation of Phantom Menace was one of my first comics, I somehow managed to stay interested despite that.

Gotham Academy 1-4: Basically a gothic boarding school AU with OCs. Actually a really good entry for girls getting into comics, and real interested to see where this goes. Killer Croc just showed up. It's a thing.

Howard the Duck 1-2: So it turns out that Chip Zdarsky is actually kind of a perfect fit for a Howard book. Not anything I was ever expecting to say. I'm thinking about taking a shot anytime the Guardians show up in a book these days, especially Rocket Raccoon. Ridiculous, off the wall, and yet manages to shoot you in the feels.

Loki Agent of Asgard 12-13: And again, Al Ewing is managing to run with the threads of JiM and the convoluted as fuck history of Asgard and do some neat stuff with it. Wish it hadn't taken the better part of ten issues to get to it, but again. If they can manage to keep being awesome through the upcoming Secret Wars stuff, I'll be impressed.

Marvel 75th Anniversary: Great collection of oneshots for Marvel's 75th by old and new talent. Samnee's oneshot is by far the best bit. Seek that out if you read nothing else from that.

Ms. Marvel 12-13: Neat little oneshot with Loki, followed by more deeply delving into the Kamala, the Inhumans, and the cultural expectations. Still loving it. Probably going to stick mainly to trades on this.

Rat Queens 9-10, Braga special: The climax of the Tentacle Cthulhu arc. Really liking where they went with this, even as interrupted as it ended up being with the artist change. Stepjan is a perfect fit for the series, and I can't wait to see where they go from here. Gonna stick mostly to the trade/the review copies I'm getting, but it's still worth giving your money to.

Saga 26-27: More interestingness with establishing the new round of status quo, and introducing/reestablishing our characters. Honestly, I'm most interested in the Gwendolyn/Sophie/Lying Cat trio so far, though they're selling me on the Rebellion and the Prince Robot/sealchild/Marko/tree addict person, especially with the OD flashbacks for Marko in 27.

Southern Cross 1-2: Space gothic is the best way of describing this. Issue 1 is world establishing and setup. Issue 2 is where the straight up horror terrors and space horror comes into it. I look forward to Cloonan scaring the shit out of me.

Spider Gwen 1-3: I am always, always a fan of AUs. Getting to see the subtleties of SpiderGwen's world (officer Frank Castle, Murdock as the Kingpin, Uncle Ben being alive for starters) and how this plays into her attempts to save her city (and her own ass) is something I am so, so fucking here for. Great art, it's fun, and it's kind of right up my alley.

Unbeatable Squirrel Girl 3: The continuing ridiculous ass adventures of Doreen Green and her fighting various Marvel C list villains, and Galactus, with squirrels. Ryan North, you motherfucker. One of the funnest books out there, but fun in a whole different way than say, Spider Gwen.

Wicked and the Divine 8-9: Calling it now: Issue 8 gets an Eisner, if nothing else for Matt Wilson's fucking brilliant color work. Basically a 40 page deconstructed rave experience with all sorts of neat revelations. One of my favorite issues of the run so far. Issue 9 continues to prove that the team will keep you on your motherfucking toes, and is the reveal of the last of the gods. Also sets up stuff for the last two issues of the arc, which are apparently going to be even more devastating than the issue 4-5 run. I'm stockpiling accordingly.

Ody-C 3-4: Christian Ward's style can be hard to follow at times, but man, these two issues focus on the Gods, and the Cyclops. The blend of dactyl hexameter and straight up dialogue is great, and the general Barbarella space fantasyness of it convinces me to stay with it on a monthly basis. Plus, a pretty fantastic All Men joke.

Casanova Acedia 2: Gabriel Ba and Fabio fucking Moon, kids. Read Casanova if nothing else for these motherfuckers on art. Still no idea what the shit is going on, though the backup is proving to be kind of integral to explaining what the fuck may be going on. Apparently next issue was written to Brian Eno's "Here Come the Warm Jets" on repeat, so I'm just gonna sit back and see where this goes.

No Mercy #1: A bunch of rich privileged kids basically doing voluntourism and of varying degrees of awful/hipster have their bus crash in the middle of inhospitable country. As far as I can tell this comic is going to be watching them die one by one in horrific ways. ...I'm pretty okay with that. Bring it on, DeCampi.

Convergence: The Question #1: MY GIRL RENEE IS BACK. And Rucka's writing her, and Hamner is on art. It's a Christmas miracle. Neat interactions with TwoFace, and Kathy Motherfucking Kane shows up at the very end. It's pretty much the swan song of one of my favorite bits of the old DCverse, and since they made a hot fucking mess of Batwoman in the new 52, I will take whatever I can get with this trio.

Thor Annual: aka that time Noelle Stevenson, CM Punk, and Jason Aaron did awesome one shots based on the various takes of Thor's. I'm partial to Noelle's the most, though Aaron's is very close. Punk doesn't do a half bad job either. Noelle's oneshot with Thor the Current makes me want to catch up on the series - I've been hearing very good things from friends about it.

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Chimichanga - I have no idea what this was supposed to be. I think funny? If so, it failed completely.

Unlikely - Autobiographical relationship story. The story is whatever, but the art is donkey. And this was really hard to read at times. As in, I could not make out words at times do to piss poor lettering.

Take What You Can Carry - Juxtaposing kids shoplifting and Japanese internment camps. Why not.

BB Wolf and the Three LPs - The classic story, but told with the wolf being the good guy. Oh, and set in Mississippi in the 20s. Lots of racism. Best of the bunch here. Art is pretty good too.

Comics: 110
Digital First Comics: 44
Graphic Novels: 11

Trades: 73 (416)(4)

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Nailbiter vol 2: Holy shit. Excellent.

Nailbiter/Hackslash: 2 stories featuring team-ups between the 2 universes. They're fun, but completely skippable.

Birthright vol 1: Jesus. Josh Williamson is probably the best comic writer working today. Amazing stuff.

The Shaolin Cowboy: Shemp Buffet: an oversized HC collecting a four issue miniseries composed of almost entirely SC versus a horde of zombies. Those who know Geof Darrow, know that he goes to extremes. For example, much of this series involves SC fighting the zombies with a long stick with chainsaws attached at both ends. There is a sequence of 22 consecutive doouble page spreads of SC simply swinging the stick around and sawing zombies in half. 44 pages! IMMEDIATELY followed by seven pages of DP spreads of SC jumping across the heads of zombies to escape. INsanity at the highest level. People shitting themselves at how crazy the new Howard the Duck is have NO IDEA.

Comics: 296

Graphic Novels: 18

Trade Paperbacks: 53

Omnibus: 2

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Flash Gordon (2014 Dynamite series) #1-4: Oh my God, this is so much FUN. I swear, Jeff Parker only knows how to write amazingly entertaining comics, and a comic where Flash Gordon responds to being put in an arena by cutting a motherfucking promo beforehand certainly qualifies.

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Flash Gordon (2014 Dynamite series) #1-4: Oh my God, this is so much FUN. I swear, Jeff Parker only knows how to write amazingly entertaining comics, and a comic where Flash Gordon responds to being put in an arena by cutting a motherfucking promo beforehand certainly qualifies.

Yeah, it's pretty great. I'd avoid the recent King relaunch though. That Parker series is brilliant. Have you read King's Watch?

Assassination Classroom 1: a manga about an alien who destroys most of the room and demands to teach the alternate class at a high school or he'll destroy the earth. Then he says he'll destroy the earth at the end of the school year so the government has put a bounty on him and told the students if they kill him they'll get 10 billion dollars. I can really relate. Actually a student leant it to me.

The Shadow Special 2014: really losing steam this latest Shadow stuff.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1-44: this is the modern series. Super solid. Fun writing, sharp stories, great villains and AMAZING art. Highly recommended.

Ant Man #4: Goddamn, Nick Spencer is great. What a fun series.

Comics: 342

Graphic Novels: 19

Trade Paperbacks: 53

Omnibus: 2

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Flash Gordon (2014 Dynamite series) #1-4: Oh my God, this is so much FUN. I swear, Jeff Parker only knows how to write amazingly entertaining comics, and a comic where Flash Gordon responds to being put in an arena by cutting a motherfucking promo beforehand certainly qualifies.

Yeah, it's pretty great. I'd avoid the recent King relaunch though. That Parker series is brilliant. Have you read King's Watch?

LOVED it.

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