Every comic you've read in 2017


Missy
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Cosmic Odyssey Deluxe Edition: I mean, deluxe? The pages are newsprint and there's not even an introduction. Covers gallery (which is the "animated menu" of comic book special features) is the only added perk. Lame. The story's fuck-off amazing though, and it's beautifully-drawn. I still find it weird they managed to include The Demon but not Mister Miracle and Barda, but whatever. Classic. Just wish it was given a little more respect in its collected edition.

Captain America Epic Collection Justice Is Served: I was worried about double dipping as I got the (terrible) Scourge of the Underworld Cap collection a few years ago. This is wayyyy better and manages to include the complete Scourge story as well as leading right up to and including the first issue of the great "Captain America No More" storyline. Good stuff.

Manara Library Volume One: fucking beautiful. Indian Summer is such a demented and beautiful story. Cursed family, morally ambiguous natives, creepy clergyman and the brink of war. Then a profound western comedy witha  gut punch ending called Paper Man (which I had never read before). Thumbs up on this.

Old Man Logan #19: good story, but I'm not sure about the art. Seems like a bastardized Leonardi, with not as much charm.

Comics: 590
Trades: 26

Graphic Novels: 13

Omnibuses: 11

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World Reader #2: Still enjoying this series, but it's doing the clichéd thing where no one believes their teammate has a superpower.

Avengers #1.1-5.1 (2016): Very fun throwback to the original new Avengers, complete with retro letters pages, characterizations, dialogue, word balloons, etc. These stories chronicle how Cap, Wanda, Quicksilver, and Hawkeye became a team, and slip in very nicely with the 1960s series. There do seem to be a few scenes missing, particularly at the end, but that doesn't take away from the overall enjoyment.

Comics: 385

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Wonder Woman Annual #1: The opening story is the strongest, but the others have their virtues. While I'm not keen on the second tale, the final scene between Diana and King Shark was done well. Thanks to "The Curse and the Honor," I'll be looking for more work from Stephanie Hans. And the final story was quick but cute.

Comics: 386

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Jean Grey #2: This is a damn fine, jam-packed issue. Some might be put off by Jean's gruffness with the other X-Men, but she's frightened out of her mind by the Phoenix Force, so her anger is understandable. 

Comics: 387

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American Vampire Vol. 3 - Continues to be awesome. The guest artists Daniel Zezelj and especially Sean Murphy turn in some gorgeous stuff, in addition to the solid Albuquerque art.

Excalibur Visionaries: Warren Ellis Vol. 1 - Mixed on this. First arc with the Soulsword is pretty good. But then Age of Apocalypse happens and the book gets thrown off course. The arc with Kitty Pryde and Pete Wisdom left me very cold. It didn't help having such inconsistent art. I dug Terry Dodson's work, and the others to some degree, but it changed far too much for my tastes.

Umbrella Academy: Dallas - Baffling to read but it comes together pretty well in the end. Gabriel Ba's art continues to be my reason to read these. 

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Captain America Omnibus vol. 2: collects Captain America #114-148.

Overall an improvement on the first volume. The sense is given that Stan really doesn't know what to do with Cap outside of The Avengers, and a lot of different things are attempted in an effort to figure the character out. We spend some time as Cap goes Easy Rider, taking his bike around to see America. There's a brief attempt to turn him into a more straightforward superhero with a secret identity by day that barely lasts an hour. More than anything, though, is the attempts at Relevance that start here and really make what are otherwise pretty fun stories kind of hard to get through.

Much of this volume features the Falcon, who makes his debut a couple of issues in. At this point, he can't fly; he's just a guy Steve trains in a one-page montage and also he has a pet bird. However, Sam is a good addition to the book for the handful of issues he appears in at first, and when he comes back a year or so later, the book becomes Captain America and the Falcon (not a joke, people who aren't old enough to remember, that was the title on the cover for a fairly long time). With this, Cap more or less permanently sets up shop in Harlem, and a lot of time is spent discussing racial issues. Stan is the writer for the bulk of this book, and he was an outspoken opponent of bigotry, but a lot of what's here does read as a middle-aged white guy who means really well trying to talk about a subject he doesn't entirely get and is hamstrung by not wanting to offend anyone. There's really no overt racism on display here from white characters towards POCs; if anything, it's the residents of Harlem who are perhaps a little too angry at the world and need to be taught how to channel their energy more productively. It's as condescending as it sounds. However, in the last year, Stan hands the writing chores over to Gary Friedrich, and then it just gets offensive. The population of Harlem is a powder keg, angry and blinded by emotion and ready to riot at a moments notice, despite the fact that all the white cops are being so reasonable and not fighting back, given everyone's real grievances and also they're being tricked by the Red Skull. We also meet Femme Force, a division of SHIELD that's all ladies, who can do everything a man can do, except for when they can't, and also Sharon and Val are both in love with Steve and so they're super catty and come within inches of pulling each others' hair. Friedrich is doing his damnedest to channel what Denny O'Neil is doing over at DC, but even more hamfisted and over the top.

Now, with that said, there's a lot to like here. The stories are better paced and make much better use of antagonists, throwing characters like the Grey Gargoyle, the Kingpin, and Spider-Man into the mix along with the obligatory Red Skull and HYDRA stories. The fact that Steve barely has a life outside of being Captain America is overtly addressed; he has nothing going on that isn't being Cap 24/7, and "Steve Rogers" only exists because you can't realistically put "Captain America" on a library card. The fact that Steve is a man out of time is not harped upon but does inform the character; he's pretty lonely, and treats Sharon like a cherished possession more than a partner, to the point that even Nick Fury is like "You know, she can probably make these decisions herself, Steve." He's actually called on it. The action isn't nearly as slam-bang fun as it was in volume 1, but the stories tend to make up for it.

Gene Colan is the primary artist, and his stuff is always great, but Dick Ayers is just not the inker for him, so a lot of this work is really toned down and lifeless. John Romita takes over maybe 2/3 of the way through, and again, it's not his best ever stuff, but it's not bad at all. (If nothing else, he does an awesome Red Skull.) There's also a fill-in story by Gray Morrow, and that looks terrific.

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@The Master - are you looking for recs, re: Hans?

My Brother's Husband v1: Surprised at the people they got for pull quotes for this - Alison Bechdel and Anderson Cooper do not strike me as the type to read manga. This is a really striking, compelling story - a single dad meets his dead brothers husband, and struggles to wrap his head around his brothers life, and come to terms with his own prejudices about being gay, all through his interactions with him, his daughter, and their neighbors. There's more of this to come, and I can't wait. 

Shutter v1-4: Read this again because I wanted to see if the story coheres better when reading it close together (it does), and to see if I could trace all the references that Del Duca puts in her art (you can). If you haven't read this yet, I highly recommend it.

Single Issues: 171
Trades/Graphic Novels/Anthologies: 63
Omnibuses: 1

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Apparently she's done an issue each of Journey Into Mystery and Fearless Defenders. She also did the full interiors (I believe) for the Superior Spider-Man: Inhumanity one-shot. She also painted this Peter Parker cover that is one of my absolute favorites. 

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Revolutionary Girl Utena omnibuses 1 + 2: Viz did a deluxe edition rerelease of Utena, and damn, this box set is worth it and then some. They seem to have touched up some of the translations, and the larger size and color illustrations are wonderful. Story wise, it's interesting to see this develop in parallel to the anime (it's not an exact adaptation).

Single Issues: 171
Trades/Graphic Novels/Anthologies: 63
Omnibuses: 3

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Superman #24: Okay issue. Problem is, the villain is a one-trick pony; if you've read his schtick once, you've read it a thousand times. So even if he's tough and cool and kicking all sorts of ass, his dialogue is boring.

Comics: 388

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Batman #24: Holy shit this was great! It looks the The Button will have a lasting impact on Bruce, and this issue took the first major steps. Tom King understands Bruce, not just Batman, and it's amazing to read.

Comics: 389

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Batman #24: I've not been consistently following King's Batman run since the end of the first arc. It's very "modern" Batman, especially with David Finch's art. Batman is drawn like Miller's Dark Knight with a severe overbite and says stuff like "I don't even trust Alfred.", and you don't know if he's joking or not. James Tynion IV and Scott Snyder have a more preferred take on him. But I think this is the best issue King's written since the start of Rebirth. It's still not my personal take on Bruce Wayne. I think the character should be content with being Batman. But it drove the story he wants to tell, and I think the BIG REVEAL that comic book sites spoiled 48 hrs ago (We get review copies of DC Comics at the Batman Universe with the instructions to wait until Wednesday, so we're better than most apparently) wasn't that big a deal. Like, wake me up when they're walking down the isle and make it to their Honeymoon without a scratch. But it's certainly in intriguing development that I would endorse going all the way.

Nightwing #22 (2016): Solid issue. Miguel Medonca is a really good artist.

 

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Superman #24 (2016): I agree with Mike, but I enjoyed it a tiny bit more I feel.

Bane: CONQUEST #2: Awesome. That's all I have to say. Chuck Dixon writing Batman is always awesome.

Amazing Spider-Man #28 (2015): Best issue of the arc. Moderately decent Parker and Osborn show down. Slott doesn't seem to hold their rivalry in as high regard as say Doc Ock and Spidey, so like New Ways to Die it was only so good. But I enjoyed it.

Iron Fist #4 (2017): Still fun and exciting.

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Spider-Man #17 (2016): Definitely more substantial than the last few have been. This read more like a Peter Parker era issue of USM.

Champions #9: Nice to have a new character who's Mexican, but there's more of that creeping sameness with a lot of young Marvel heroes in her personality. Hyperactive, geeky, fangirlish...some variety would be nice.

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Iceman #1: Bobby (the older version) continues to process his sexuality all while training his younger self, fighting a Purifier, and having a conversation with his shitty parents. Solid issue. 

Comics: 392

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All-New Guardians of the Galaxy #3: A trippy look into Gamora's head (soul?) grants us an excuse to relive her backstory, and outline fears she can never articulate. The real star of this issue, though, is Frazer Irving. His style provides the perfect atmosphere for a haunted dreamscape / soul. The brown skies and arid wasteland are littered with subtly hidden screaming faces, which remind me of Stephen Gammell's work on Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. While not a good jumping on point, it is worth a read for the art alone.

Darth Vader #1 (2017): Following directly on from Revenge of the Sith, Anakin is reborn as the armored Darth Vader. His first task: to build a red lightsaber. This wasn't to my liking, as it lacked any substance.

Comics: 394

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Planet of the Apes/Green Lantern #2: This was really fun.

Powerless #1: hmm. I've got the next one, so I'll try it, but it don't look good from here.

Realmwalkers #1: Ugh...no thanks.

Reborn #5: this is still really fun.

Red Hood & The Outlaws #8: this is the first issue of this that I didn't really enjoy.

Red Sonja #3: a little bit of convenience added to the story with the PHD of Hyborian Studies (makes jerkoff motion with hand) but I still love this.

Redline #1: something about this is screaming that it sucks to me, but I'll give it another go. Might just be a bad first issue.

Reggie and Me #3: fucking great. digging this.

Royal City #1: solid.

Star-Lord #4: really fun.

Suicide Squad #13, 14: still great.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #68: really solid. LOVE having the Mutanimals around.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Universe #8: This is good too. 

The Few #3: I'm out.

The Great Divide #6: wait...is that it? I hope not.

The Mighty Thor #17: I begin to tire.

Comics: 608
Trades: 26

Graphic Novels: 13

Omnibuses: 11

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Deathstroke #20: After the events of The Lazarus Contract, Slade is now quoting the bible and attempting to reconcile with Jericho. While this is an interesting concept, too much is crammed into this one issue. By the end, when he has his new team of Dark Titans, he's only spoken with two of the five people we see gathered. Where did the other three come from? Wintergreen I get being there, but why's Rose there when earlier in the issue she made it clear she hates her father? And who's the Rogue-looking one? It's an okay issue, but it feels like this needed to be a two-part story / interlude before the next chapter begins. Despite my minor complaints about the written storytelling, it looks great and flows from one panel to the next during the quieter pages.

Comics: 395

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My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness: Yes, it's about a mid twenties woman calling a lesbian escort agency to try to lose her virginity, but it's also more about her struggles with anxiety and depression, in a massive way that hit home for me. Read this. You won't regret it. 

Single Issues: 171
Trades/Graphic Novels/Anthologies: 64
Omnibuses: 3

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