Every comic you've read in 2017

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Star Wars #31: The Screaming Citadel continues. It moves the plot along and sets up some intrigue when it comes to Sana's relationship with Aphra, but it's not a meaty issue. Okay though.

Doctor Aphra #7: Part three of The Screaming Citadel, in which Triple Zero hits a raw nerve when talking to Leia. Lots of action keeps this one moving.

Bullseye #5: All action all the time. This fun, silly series comes to a close with Bullseye killing a few people simply to watch the world burn, as one Alfred Pennyworth once put it.

Nightwing #22: Nightwing v Blockbuster, but with a twist.

Comics: 399

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The Unworthy Thor #5: ok, neat.

The Wild Storm #2: y'know, for a comic that is almost exclusively people standing around talking? This is pretty good.

US Avengers #4: ok, kinda fun.

Uber Invasion #4: so fucking good.

Uncanny X-Men #19: pretty lame.

Nailbiter vol 6: sad to see what is probably the best horror comic of the last decade end. It did it brilliantly, though.

Caravaggio vol 1: the Palette and the Sword: Manara's first in a series depicting the life of his favorite artist. Peasant, Painter, Swashbuckler. I loved it. It's gorgeous. Perhaps some of the nicest coloring I've ever seen on a Manara work. Beautiful.

Comics: 613
Trades: 27

Graphic Novels: 14

Omnibuses: 11

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Harrow County v2: This feels like the volume that Bunn proved he had a story beyond the original short story, and could keep the series going. Crooks nails the Southern Gothic aspect of this. Highly recommended.

Beast: Marian Churchland does really good pencil work, news at 11. This is pretty much just toned pencils. The story's vaguely supernatural and has some super interesting moments that never get fully developed, but it's Churchland's first work doing both story and art, so I'm alright with that. I'm really hoping she doesn't drop out of the scene completely because of her and Graham's breakup, her art is amazing. 

Habitat: I hate the words "environmental storytelling" because of how its used in games sometimes but man is this ever a good example of it. Dilapidated futuretech, living in the ruins of something that used to be big and wonderful, and the sense of scale is insane. Also uses the main character well. 

Single Issues: 171
Trades/Graphic Novels/Anthologies: 67
Omnibuses: 3

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Dark Days: THE FORGE #1: Interesting story, with the reintroduction of more classic DC heroes. I didn't like Batman in this . The whole "When Batman talks, we listen!" overblown/he never trusts anybody version. A Batman-led DC story can be done without all the toxic masculinity, which is what's dominated his portrayal in the past decade. 

Detective Comics #958: This is more like it. Solid as always.

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Divided States of Hysteria 1: Hooooooooooo boy. Maybe you don't want to put a Pride cover on a comic where a trans character gets assaulted because of gay/trans panic. Chaykin went full Miller here. You never wanna go full Miller.

Moonshine v1: Solid? Azzarello does a good prohibition/southern werewolf mashup. Rizzo's black people seem weirdly exaggerated? Nothing real exceptional art wise, it feels like the colorist is doing the heavy lifting here.

Single Issues: 172
Trades/Graphic Novels/Anthologies: 68
Omnibuses: 3

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Martian Manhunter / Marvin the Martian Special: Fun, but not as funny as I was hoping. It pontificates too much on humankind and asks whether we're worth saving or destroying, which is a fine question to ask but it keeps repeating itself. The opening scenes with Marvin and the backup story, however, make it worthwhile. Also, nice touch having J'onn call Marvin M'arvinn.

The Defenders #1: Very solid first issue, but it's relying very heavily on recent continuity from the Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and Heroes for Hire books. As an entry point, it requires too much foreknowledge. The character-specific splash pages are great, and I especially enjoy that the creative team added Cage's showdown with Dr. Doom. Not because of its inherent oddness, but because it tells you how badass Cage is; he went one-on-one with Doom and walked away.

Comics: 402

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Bitch Planet: Triple Feature 1: The individual entries in this are solid, but not particularly amazing. As something to keep the Bitch Planet name on the shelves while the main story takes a gap to catch up (as opposed to the say, more sporadic schedule it's had since '15), it makes sense to me, and these were originally commissioned as backups for the single issues. I like that Kelly Sue is leveraging the Bitch Planet reach to show off minority authors/artists who may not get a chance to appear in more mainstream comics (she specifically mentions her Visible Women hashtag in the back, and I'm willing to bet she drew from there). I wish it was more of the main story, but I'd rather they take the time to get on a more regular schedule instead of say having a four to five month gap between issues. 

Monstress 12: Sana Takeda goes full gorgeous body horror and it's glorious. Story continues to be a thing that happens and I can vaguely keep up with. 

Single Issues: 174
Trades/Graphic Novels/Anthologies: 68
Omnibuses: 3

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Rapture 2: Kindt continues to do good story work, Cafu does good art work, solid event comic.

Brittania: We Who Are About to Die 3: Ryp does gorgeous work, we get the good Peter Milligan, looking forward to seeing how this turns out.

Black Monday Murders 6: Do I continue to be able to just barely follow this story? Does Hickman have a thing for murder albino ladies? Does this continue to be wonderfully weird as fuck? The answer to all these is yes. 

Crosswinds 1: Okay, so, Freaky Friday with a hitman and a suburban stepmom who's being basically emotionally abused. The story part of this is *noncommital handwave* on the execution. But dear Christ Cat Staggs manages to take some decent line work and then completely ruin it with photoshop filters. She's mostly known for what look like tracing covers/interiors with DC and IDW, and I am betting she and Gail know each other and that's why she got the project, but yiiiiikes. Second worst thing I've read this year. 

Beowulf: DAVID RUBÍN IS AN ART GOD, NEWS AT FUCKING 11. We got this half price at In Stock Trades, and I would've purchased it at full price. The art is amazing, I would be very interested to see translations of the actual script at some point. Worth your money and then some.

Single Issues: 178
Trades/Graphic Novels/Anthologies: 69
Omnibuses: 3

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Underwinter #1: I'm iffy. I'll give it one more.

Valiant High #2: Interesting experiment, but no one asked for Archie to be superimposed over the Valiant universe and now I'm certain there's no existence of a delightful surprise.

Vampirella #1: great

XO Manowar #1: not sold, but I'll give it another.

Adam Green's Hatchet #1: I mean, I knew this was going to be bad.

Adam Strange/Future Quest #1: totally delightful. The Top Cat backup might be the best thing Dan DiDio has ever written.

All New Wolverine #19: great!

All-New X-Men #19: a wonderful end. Great series overall.

Avengers #5.1: This came around. Fun end.

Batman #20: I'm Bane, I'm Batman yadda yadda yadda. Snoooooze

Black Cloud #1: decent start. I'll give it another.

Booster Gold/The Flintstones #1: Uhm...brilliant? Yeah, that's the word.

Captain America Steve Rogers #15: okey doke. I'm beginning to tire of alternate past storytelling at this point. Can we deal with some modern shit now?

Captain Kid #5: a fun end.

Champions #7: pretty good.

Clean Room #17: I'm finally done. I haven't been interested in a couple months.

Colossi #1: very cool. I'm in.

Darkness Visible #3: still right up my alley.

Deathstroke #16: I'm done here too. No thanks.

Divinity III Stalinverse #4: that was it? Lame.

Doc Savage The Ring of Fire #1: decent first issue.

Extremity #2: still not sure what this is really about. Might give it one more. Like the tone and art.

Grand Passion #4: ok, I can't continue with this.

Comics: 636
Trades: 27

Graphic Novels: 14

Omnibuses: 11



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Descender v4: The plot's finally moving properly, though Nguyen gets to do a fun experimental issue right at the front. I like that they show the quality of the paper stock Nguyen works off of in the final art. 

Pizza Surrounded by Crust is Like Collaboration Surrounded By Trust/Team Work Makes the Dream Work: A zine that is shaped like a pizza, and can be unfolded/read four ways. I really like the format of this. 

A Small Guide to Sigils: What it says on the cover. 

Destroy Everything You Touch: An Inktober sketchbook. Really gorgeous.

The Changeling: A comic about a real case where a woman was mistaken for a changeling by her neighbors and family in Ireland, done for 24 hour comic day. Great hallucinatory inkwork.

You Wake Up Naked and Alone: A very short BOTW zine by one of the people who worked on Rose of Winter. Very pretty and evocative.

No Gods, No Dungeon Masters: Anarchy and geekery zine. Very cute. 

Magical Beatdown v2: Magical girl gang aesthetic writ onto actually beating the shot out of dudes. Some good shit, this.

Blinded by the Ice: A YOI AU from the 70s, and a short fan comic that tackles some of the ambiguity of the series' ending. First thing I saw walking into CAKE, and probably one of my favorite purchases.

Zines: 8

Single Issues: 177
Trades/Graphic Novels/Anthologies: 71
Omnibuses: 3

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Houses of the Holy: A graphic novel that's basically a journey through a woman's psyche. I don't think any of the sparse dialogue is lyrics, but I could be wrong. Wonderfully composed art, and the few times there are words they're wonderfully used. 

Cosmoknights: As far as I can tell, this is a weird blend of present day, space future feudalism. It looks like it's just two young girls in love at first, but there's weird stuf bought in on the edges. This is apparently the prologue to the comic proper, and I'm probably going to check it out at some point.

Can You Make the Dog Sexier?: Basically a zine that breaks down a nightmare commission and dialogue between a client and an illustrator, and gets increasingly absurd as it continues. 

Playlist: A Comic Book Anthology: An anthology of comics done to song lyrics. I picked this up for $5 at CAKE; and it's worth about that. There's some that are wonderful, and others that just feel phoned in. (Pet peeve with some of these: please choose a font that we can actually read the lyrics with ffs.)

Sea Change: Basically, a choose your adventure story, but done in comic format. Apparently won a grant; worth your time. 

Zines: 9

Single Issues: 178
Trades/Graphic Novels/Anthologies: 74
Omnibuses: 3


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Vigilante #1-#50. Written by Marv Wolfman, Alan Moore and Paul Kupperberg.


So, we all like super heroes. They're probably the most popular power fantasy in storytelling. But whenever seriously applied there's always the pesky notion that they're fascist, violent and morally decadent. There's always the street level heroes like Batman, Daredevil and Spider-Man who often deal with rougher elements of "the streets", but try never to let it reach their morality.

Adrian Chase started out that way. Introduced in The New Teen Titans Annual #2 as an attorney who's wife and two children are killed by mobsters, he exacts his revenge and becomes a crime fighter. Initially fighting non-lethally with his own support group, this guy goes through the worst of it, becoming more of what he fights against as the series goes on. He tries twice to give up the costume, brought back not by a sense of obligation but by fate. Two other friends become Vigilante and on both separate occasions quickly killed. Chase goes up against sex abusers, drug pushers and other costumed vigilantes who, as bad as he gets, are worse than he is. Over the last dozen or so issues the mental strain of his crime fighting career change him from an altruistic do-gooder into a near-raving psychopath who literally cannot tell the good guys from the bad. I won't spoil the final issue but it ends in the only real way it could.

This series concluded in 1987, during the 80s era of DC where Watchmen, Batman Year One, Dark Knight Returns, Green Arrow: Longbow Hunters and several others were breaking all the rules. The final year rightfully has the book containing a "Suggested for Mature Readers" label on it. There's sex with plainly illustrated nudity, brutal violence and coarse language. But like many of the harsher books at DC at the time, it's all for the sake of plussing the story. Chase's Vigilante is one of the more uncompromising crime fighter tales I've ever read, and, frankly, a much more believable take on the Punisher idea than that actual character. There is unfortunate racism in one story about drug dealers that thankfully several letter writers called the book out on, but barring that I highly recommend this series. It's gritty and uncompromising in that special good way.


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Superman #25: 

While I'm pleased they reversed Lois losing her leg, the explanation is bullshit. We had scenes between her and Clark that Jon didn't see, so they couldn't have been mental manipulations by Black.

Batman #25: The War of Jokes and Riddles opens with a very strong look at The Riddler.

Comics: 405

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Batman #25: Not my cuppa.

Superman #25: Yeah, I was confused by how the story wrapped up certain elements, and found it to be awkwardly paced. Liked some parts, didn't care for other parts.

Nightwing #23: Very solid stuff. This run is better than Higgins' run, which wasn't due to his writing but more to the constant Bat-crossovers during the new 52. This feels like the classic Nightwing of old, like the Chuck Dixon/Scott McDaniel era.

X-Men BLUE #5: Pretty good. Much of this book has been fight scenes, so I'm hoping that slows down for a bit.

America #4: America, as written by Gabby Rivera, is still an abrasive and arrogant character. I gave this series an arc. Best thing about it from issue to issue was the artwork by Joq Quinones, Joe Rivera, Jose Villarruba and Jordan Gibson. They did consistent work that kept me going. But it's not enough to keep reading a book I can't enjoy due to its protagonist. 

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Wonder Woman / Tasmanian Devil Special: Both characters are perfectly utilized in this one-shot: Diana uses peace and kindness to tame the wild-yet-friendly beast, then they go on an adventure to save the Amazons. The backup is a little racy, in that Taz is a complete horndog and it features the word cuckold.

Lobo / Road Runner Special: Awesome! So much pure fun.

Comics: 409

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Click vols 1-3: these are solid, but I hope the recent reprint-surgence of Manara stuff leads to a better translation. This is creepy, funny, sexy all wrapped in one. Solid sex comics.

Green lantern/Space Ghost #1: ok, did not dig this one.

Infamous Iron Man #6: still great.

Inhumans Prime #1: this was terrible.

Jughead The Hunger: funny and stupid and horrific. Solid. LOVE these Archie horror comics

Justice League of America #3: so good.

KISS The Demon #3: ok, I'm out. This is garbage.

Lobster Johnson The Pirate's Ghost #1: decent.

Mighty man #1: good oneshot featuring the third iteration of the character.

Moonshine #6: is that it? Lame.

Nightwing #18: this went up its own ass really quick.

Ninjak #25: so fucking good, still.

Nova #5: so fucking good, still.

Occupy Avengers #5: still pretty great.

The Old Guard #2: Rucka's tough woman character type: check! Great idea: check! Poor, obvious storytelling refusing to do anything interesting with its idea or character: check! 

Old Man Logan #20: pretty good. Interesting cliffhanger.

Peepland #5: great ending. Really good series overall.

Quantum Teens Are Go #2: no, I'm good thanks.

Comics: 653
Trades: 27

Graphic Novels: 17

Omnibuses: 11

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Reggia and Me #4:

Rock Candy Mountain #1: hobo kung fu during the great depression? I dunno. Ok.

Rough Riders Riders on the Storm #1: oof! Off to a bad start. I'm out.

Royals #1: I thought we were done with the Jim Madureira copycats? Ugh. I like the story idea but the art is impossible to deal with for me.

Savage Things #2: fucking great.

Slayer Repentless #2: holy shit, this is good. Other than the clunky inclusion of Slayer lyrics in dialogue this is an amazing miniseries. LOTS of story packed into these two issues and it ends next issue. Better than I expected.

Space Riders Galaxy of Brutality #1: I don't know what to think about this. 

Star-Lord #5: this is a fun series. Reminiscent of Superior Foes in a lot of ways.

The Flash by Mark Waid Book Two: I've become a lot less of a fan of Waid since his recent social media shenanigans, but there's no denying the coolness of the Return of Barry Allen storyline in this collection. The other stuff is pablum at best, a few issues are garbage (fucking Bloodline? Ugh!)

Madwoman of the Sacred Heart: this is an absurdist satirical metaphysical erotic black comedy from Europe, so obviously it's Jodorowsky and Moebius. It's fucking brilliant, actually. This collects the three volume graphic novel.

Comics: 661
Trades: 27

Graphic Novels: 18

Omnibuses: 12

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