Every comic you've read in 2017


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Betty and Me #79-86: I enjoy classic Archie Comics sometimes. When I was younger, I would always read the Digests they sold in the Supermarket Checkouts. For the past few months, I was trying to find one of the stories I read in one of those since I knew it had to be some kind of continuing story.

Betty and Me was a more Betty focused Archie comic which was surprisingly rare.For the most part, it was your standard Archie fare (1-3 stories, each ending with some bad pun). Then, for eight issues, it changed up entirely. That brings me to "Betty Cooper, Betty Cooper" where Betty and Me became a parody of soap operas. This leads to crazy stories like Betty getting possessed by an evil woman from the 17th century, Jughead being stalked by a psychopath, Archie being kidnapped to join the male harem of a middle eastern heiress, alien kidnappings, and Veronica falling in love with a mannequin. By the end, it started to fall apart and it went back to normal gag of the day stuff.

That said, Life With Archie also did some weird adventure stories that I might have to check out sometime.

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Superman #22: solid.

Swordquest #0: ok, I really enjoyed this. I did not expect that.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #69: I think I'm done with Turtles comics. It was a fun ride, but I'm bored.

Tekken #1: kind of fun.

The Flintstones #11: still fucking great.

The Unstoppable Wasp #5: still fun.

The X-Files #13: really good ending to the two part Skinner story.

Weapon X #3: liking the buddy cop routine with Logan and Creed. Interested to see how Domino upsets that.

X-Men Blue #3: ok, I'm still in.

X-Men Gold #3: this was not as good as the past two issues, but had a few moments.

Youngblood #1: good start. I'll stick around for a few more.

Zombies Assemble #1: this is the movie Avengers in a Marvel Zombies story with a fun manga aesthetic, so naturally I fucking hate it.

Namwolf #2: still fun.

Comics: 822

Trades: 28

Graphic Novels: 24

Omnibuses: 12

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Justice League / Power Rangers #5: Alpha 5 has a philosophical debate with Brainiac. And when that doesn't work, well, we get that amazing last page.

Mister Miracle #1: Not sure where it's going, but a lot of hints have been laid on the table. Very solid. But! Trigger warning: Attempted suicide plays a major factor in the book.

The Defenders #4: Gorgeous book. The events of Spider-Man #17 play in the background, which is a nice touch.

Marvel Two-in-One #9 and World's Finest Comics #230: Thoughts in an upcoming episode of The Show.

Comics: 431

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Mister Miracle 1: Very intriguing first issue. Interested to see where this goes. 

Bitch Planet Triple Feature 3: Again, doing better with the uniting theme, and it's interesting to see other members of the Milkfed team (Kit Cox teams with Vanessa DelRey for one of the more interesting shorts of this issue.)

Descender 23: Shit continues to escalate, and it's neat to see how Nguyen tackles action sequences with his watercolors.

I Hate Fairyland 15: Interesting to see an issue switch that's entirely to goody Gertrude, and the twist at the end of the issue promises to be a fun one for the upcoming arc.

Southern Bastards 17: The last issue was long enough ago that I kind of forgot what happened, but shit is starting to go down in a big way. The back part of the issue explains why it's been so delayed - both Grimer and Latour lost their fathers within a month of each other. Love to them both. 

Mage: The Hero Denied 1: My first experience with Mage. Feels super 90s to me? 

Zines: 9
Single Issues: 206
Trades/Graphic Novels/Anthologies: 80
Omnibuses: 4

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New Warriors Omnibus: the first 26 issues of this series (collected here) are someof, if not THE, best superhero comics of the 90s. Perfect storytelling. There's a lot more sexual innuendo than I remember (at one point Namorita calls Nova a caveman and he asks "Want to see my club?"). There's also the "Kings of Pain" crossover with the X-annuals and NW annual 1 which is fun, but very wobbly art-wise. The second annual crossover "Hero Killers" with the Spidey books the next year are pretty awful. Bagley's work on this book is just the best.

Ab Irato #1: no thanks. 

Action Comics #980: boy did they ever put the brakes on with this storyline. Let's go!

All-New Guardians of the Galaxy #2: pretty good.

American monster #6: fuck this book is good.

Anno Dracula #3: I don't like this. Too bad. I'm out.

Archie #20: oh! They're going "1950s set 1980s teen movie"!

Batman/Shadow #2: the Shadow's really out of character here, but I like the book.

Batman #23: way behind on this. GREAT issue where he teams up with Swamp Thing. One and done. Beautiful.

Batwoman #3: I'm done. BOOOOOOORING.

Black Cloud #2: still not sure what the fuck is going on, but I like it.

Black Hammer #9: really good.

Britannia We Who Are About to Die #2: solid.

Comics: 834

Trades: 28

Graphic Novels: 24

Omnibuses: 13

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Ooku: The Inner Chambers v1: Alt history of Japan where 75% of the male population dies due to a disease, and women take over the public roles, and men are the ones cloistered and sheltered. Mostly focuses on the harem of men who serve the female Shogun, and all the tiny politics therein. The character I thought was going to be our main character only appears to have been around for one volume, so I'm kind of interested to see how this will play out in the long run. And there's only minimal instances of Fumi Yoshinaga dude character sameface! The main thing hindering this is the damn translations; they chose to go with thee/thou/borderline Shakespearian parody for a lot of the dialogue, and it really quickly grates.

Land of the Lustrous v1: This and Steven Universe came out at the same time (though the translation is just being released now Stateside), and man, Kodansha should probably be real careful about using the "if you like Steven Universe, you'll love this!" marketing tag, because while that statement is very accurate, Cartoon Network could prooobably sue for copyright infringement if they looked too close. That said, I'm very interested to see how this distinguishes itself down the way. 

Lone Sloane: Chaos: It took them a month and a half, but the Heavy Metal order we placed during their warehouse sale finally fucking showed up! The art on this is gorgeous and absolutely nuts. No clue what's going on storywise, but I get the sense that this is towards the end of a series? There's a note in front about a movie, or something.  Just look at the goddamn pretty artwork and let it happen.

Juan Gimenez: Overlord: Heavy Metal has a Juan Gimenez artbook. It's goddamn gorgeous. 

Fatal Rendevous: A Manara story with lots of rape and a wife who's in over her head because of her idiot husband. Really weird, not my favorite of his. 

Zines: 9
Single Issues: 206
Trades/Graphic Novels/Anthologies: 85
Omnibuses: 4

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The Heavy Metal Order

tl;dr Heavy Metal ran a crazy clearance sale on their website at the end of June. Said order shipped last week, and only after three emails, a phone call and a PayPal claim. This is super shady.

Druillet-Loane Sloane Something Or Other Aside from a weird 90’s LOOK WE CAN USE PHOTOGRAPHY IN COMICS THANKS TO COMPUTERS, it’s bugfuck nuts and completely beautiful. Near as I can tell, it’s about a woman who commits an interstellar train robbery to wake up a religious/resistance leader by giving the sarcophagus he’s buried in a blowjob. Euro as fuck.

Milo Manara-Fatal Rendezvous Manara draws a lot of rape. Like every other “rape story, but with a twist”, the female character comes to enjoy it and there’s information at the end not included in the extortion of her body. It’s difficult to complain when it’s $2, but still left a bad taste in my mouth.

Juan Giménez and Roberto Del Prado-Apocalypse  Sr. Giménez elevates the story about an American Vietnam vet that sees a child blow up helicopters Akira-style and meets that person again, decades later, manipulated by Vietnamese gangsters. Sr. Giménez’s watercolors remain stunning. The story’s okay, maybe it lost something in translation, idk.

Juan Giménez-Overload Juan Giménez art book. Literal stunner for the art. Multiple embarrassing misspellings. At least one unclosed parentheses I caught, there might be one more. But look. Sr. Giménez’s work carries weight, and not merely in the breasts of his female characters. His Tarot deck is fucking incredible, from The Empress to Justice to Chariot, just goddamn, Juan Giménez.  Please, Humanoids, find a way to expand on this for a re-release! I’ll even copy edit it for you! For free!

 

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Cable #1: this was kind of fun.

Captain America Steve Rogers #17:this is really fucking good.

Captain America Sam Wilson #22: also really fucking good.

Curse Words #5: not the greatest, but I think next issue is the last one.

Darkness Visible #4: still good.

Dead Inside #5: fucking great ending.

Deadpool vs. The Punisher #3, 4: this is really fun. To date the only Deadpool comic I've ever read that I actually like. Though, I have tried many times.

Detective Comics #957: solid.

Doc Savage The Ring of Fire #2: nope. I'm out.

Catalyst Prime: The Event #1: this was the FCBD issue introducing the characters. Kind of cool actually.

Generation X #1, 2: ehhh.....not sure about this.

God Country #5: this book is fucking cool.

Heathen #4: this was the first of these I didn't like.

Highlander The American Dream #4: still great. Fun stuff.

Comics: 850

Trades: 28

Graphic Novels: 24

Omnibuses: 13

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Hulk #6: this is a really fucking good book.

I Am Groot #1: this felt most like the movies than the other Guardians books. Pretty fun.

Infamous Iron Man #8: so awesome. God, there should always be a monthly Doctor Doom book. Always.

Invincible Iron Man #7: lots of talking here. We can move on from this, can't we?

Jean Grey #2: i see where this is going now. Better first issue than the actual first issue, actually.

Justice League of America #7: this was not too good. A few decent parts.

Justice League/Power Rangers #4: fun.

KISS Forever: a fun oneshot showing KISS avatars through history. Decent.

Little NIghtmares #1: I'll pass.

Luke Cage #1: this was really good. I liked this.

Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys The Big Lie #3: I'm out. 

Nick Fury #2: I'm also out. I fucking hate these books like Winter Soldier and this Nick Fury that take an espionage character and try to remake Casanova in the Marvel Universe or something. So poorly thought out.

Comics: 862

Trades: 28

Graphic Novels: 24

Omnibuses: 13

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local AV Club dude had a comics sale today. Also I bought a bunch of shit at FlameCon. Expect a bit of catch-up the next few days.

Wolverine 6: Aka that one with the Esad Ribic porn looking cover. Kurt and Logan talk in a bar. Also something with some lady that has to do with the larger plot I guess?

Scarlet Witch 11, 15: As I said to the dude this afternoon: the reason I read this is not because of James Robinson. The rotating artist here is very interesting and I'd like to think he writes to let the artist take the lead. Let me have my dreams. Del Duca is lovely, and Del Rey brings it nicely full circle. Plot? Fuck if I could tell you what was going on.

East of West 30-34: So, my main problem here is that I read this far enough apart/not on a monthly basis that I forget what the fuck happened in the last trade. For the love of god, Hickman, give me a recap page. Shit continues to escalate, and I'm looking forward to seeing where this goes. Mistook Dragotta for Henderson in some of these issues with how sketchy this got. 

The Unworthy Thor 1-5: I was here for the space nonsense, Coipel beefcake, and Beta Ray Bill. I reacted... not kindly when they went to undo Angela Queen of Hel, to put it generously. Fuck that shit, Aaron. This mainly appears to be a mini to set up the next stage of Thor. I should really catch up on the main series at some point. Issue 4 has Coipel, Irving, Ribic, and Dauterman, which is pretty neat.  Issue 5 has three separate artists, though, which is not a good look. 

Black Hammer 7: Take a shot for every Marvel and DC reference you see in here. Let me know how your liver stands up. Continues to be some A+ stuff, but man, Lemire is not even remotely subtle here.

Lucifer 13: A Christmas oneshot that transitions Black off writing duties and some dude named Richard Kadrey on. This will probably continue to run as long as the Fox series does. They get paired with Marco Rudy and Ben Templesmith, though, so damn is it good looking. 

Trouble 1-5: Hoooo boy. I got this for free, the guy wanted to get rid of it so bad. I heard how bad it was. But actually reading it with my eyeholes is like staring into the sun during the eclipse. Let us never speak of this thing again.

Power Girl: Aliens and Apes: Gray/Palmiotti/Conner. It's a fun, light read, and god bless the cheesecake. Found it for cheap at the sale. Worth it. 

Magdelena: Reformation: Dude threw this in for free. It is notably free of the Witchblade line's obsession with cheesecake, so it definitely is a bold new direction. The writing's Buffy lite but as a way to potentially spin out a new series, pretty solid. Art is sketchy but pretty nonremarkable. Not anything I'd pay money for, but would gladly read more for free.

Lumberjanes/Gotham Academy: I read the first issue of this but never finished the mini. It's a pretty solid crossover, despite the writer having nothing to do with either property and the artists randomly changing towards the end of the mini. Good job to whoever thought of this crossover, for real. 

Zines: 9

Single Issues: 226

Trades/Graphic Novels/Anthologies: 88

Omnibuses: 4

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Night Owl Society #2: this is still really great.

Nightwing #21: not really very good anymore.

Ninjak #27: ok, I guess.

Occupy Avengers #7: this is really great.

Old Man Logan #24: not very good anymore. Might drop this.

Paklis #1: a Heavy Metal-esque anthology from Dustin Weaver. It's fucking gorgeous. I love it.

Comics: 868

Trades: 28

Graphic Novels: 24

Omnibuses: 13

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Shutter 23-30: Amazing, perfect wrap to this series. 29 and 30 straight up made me bawl. Interested to see what Del Duca does after this 

Demo 12: Essentially a one shot that contains what's basically a song set to a comic, and Cloonan and Wood switching artist/writer duties. Interesting to see this in the single format. Early Cloonan, so it leans a bit more manga than her later stuff, but it's still gorgeous. 

Casanova: Avaritia 1-4: I only followed this in the collected hardcover from Image, so it's really interesting to see how the single issues flowed. Still probably my favorite (and the most technically astounding) of the four arcs so far. 

Batman: Detective Comics 871-879: There's a main story here, but honestly, the thing that has my attention is the backup/randomly occasionally the primary story with Snyder and Francavilla (and ocassionally Jock) about James Gordon. I think there's some beyond this run of issues to this story.  The way Francavilla uses color here only heightens the creepiness.

Zines: 9

Single Issues: 247

Trades/Graphic Novels/Anthologies: 88

Omnibuses: 4

 

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Trouble by Mark Millar and the Dodsons. This comic’s a stinker. It’s a misfire on almost every front.

-The covers are embarrassing and everyone but the girl models are credited. Unless, of course, I missed the credit.
-Mark Millar can write some gleeful dark comedy but as a romance comic writer he’s hilariously miscast.
-The Dodsons draw good cheesecake, but why get the Dodsons on a project that thinks it’s for young girls?
-For some reason Marvel needed it to tie into the universe somehow so the story’s about how Uncle Ben and Aunt May met. This also makes Uncle Ben canon impotent.
-There’s portions of the Millar dialogue that feels incorrect. I cannot imagine any girl who has a lot of sex in high school happily saying post-coital “yeah, I’m super fucking pregnable.” They tend to be terrified of that.

It’s a dumpster fire, but I didn’t hate it as much as I thought I would.

Detective Comics: The Black Mirror by Scott Snyder, Jock and Francesco Francavilla. This comic ISN’T a stinker. Hell, it’s great. Snyder spins a frightening, tense yarn and the two pencillers do great work. It inspired fear.

East Of West 30-34 by Hickman and Dragotta. Finally, some guns go off. Hickman’s got a couple great lines, “Justice is what the strong do to the weak’ is my favorite and the series remains a well oiled clockwork machine. It’s like talking about 100 Bullets past a certain point, pieces are moving around the board and no one’s fucked up. Steady as she goes.

Scarlet Witch 11 and 15 by James Robinson and Del Duca and Vanessa Del Rey. I’m kinder to Robinson than Hannah is because of the one shot format of the comic. If this was a traditional constructed as five or six issue minis, I wouldn’t’ve bought any of it, but thus far, I’ve bought six issues. I don’t think the story’s hard to follow, Scarlet Witch traces back her Romani heritage and fights off a larger threat (to the core of magic, maybe?) that only she can stop.

Magdalena v1 by Tini Howard and like three other dudes, idk. Pure popcorn comics, but given Magdalena’s history in the Top Cow stable (TITS! WITH WOMEN! AND DEVILS!) this is an upgrade. I wouldn’t buy it at full price, but now I know to look for later trades at a con. I didn’t expect anything from the at bat and it hit a single.

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Black Mirror's by far my favorite Snyder Batman work. That was a helluva story.

 

Teen Titans #11 (2016): Whenever Damian's not opening his fucking mouth, it's good. Really liked the passing of the torch from Garth to Kaudler'aan.

Batgirl #14 (2016): It's no Batgirl Year One, but it's alright. Hope Larson's gotten better. IDGAF about Barbara's white girl problems though. "Oh no, I'm not the cool girl in school. I'll just sulk with my robotically perfect eidetic memory." The interaction between her and Dick was good, but I prefer her being older than him.

Detective Comics #963: Good.

Batman Beyond #11 (2016): Solid

 

 

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Deadly Class 30: What's happening to Saya? Who gives a fuck! Road trip!

 

And they somehow run into Marcus and Maria.

I'm really getting frustrated at the priorities of the plot and the convenience. The issue itself is pretty fun when it decides to not focus on the larger plot, but bringing it back in just makes things awkward. 

Redlands 2: I'm happy with how they chose to follow up here, and interested  to see where the series goes. Del Rey and Bellaire working together is some amazing stuff. 

Black Magick 7: I keep reading this because we get free review copies and I'm determined to see what people love so much about this series, other than Nicola Scott doing wonderful black and white (and occasionally color) work. I don't get anything out of this. 

Glitterbomb: The Fame Game 1: Mehhhhhhhh. Insexts does this better. 

Spy Seal 1: Tintin/Richard Scarry aesthetic meets spy games. Intriguing, fun little first issue. 

Crosswind 3: The plot is middling at best, but the art is just straight up deviantart photoshop effects tracing level embarassing. The process pages in back make me actively long for the base drawings over the final product. PS THE EAST SIDE OF CHICAGO IS THE FUCKIN' LAKE. 

Zines: 9

Single Issues: 253

Trades/Graphic Novels/Anthologies: 88

Omnibuses: 4

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Red Hood and the Outlaws Annual 1 (2017?): Pretty good, an interesting take on Dick and Jason's relationship. Lobdell plays it the opposite of Dick and Tim, whereas that's a positive big bro/lil' bro relationship, Dick and Jason's is more contemptuous, with time and age bringing regret. I enjoyed it.

Secret Empire #10: Haven't been following this story much but tuned in for the final (?) issue. Cool fight scene.

The Savage Dragon #226: Erik Larsen goes IN on Donald Trump in a depressingly believable story.

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Rapture 4: Chess piece storytelling to get Shadowman where they need him to be for the 2018 series, was tempted to burst out laughing for most of the issue, but the charmingness in the last two pages softened me a bit. Still not sure why this was an event? And while I get what they were going for with the lettering for Babel in his dialogue heavy sections it just felt like they got the letterer drunk and told him to go nuts. 

Wonder Woman: Earth One v1: Finally read through this. This is... I'm still not sure how to parse this one honestly.  On the one part - there's a very interesting story about a mother and a daughter and the differences between what our parents want us to be verses who we really are, the framing device of greek theater is neat, and it's gorgeous. On the other hand, there's some weird Diana poses that very specifically look like they were traced from BDSM porn/are very cheesecakey in places they shouldn't be. I'm interested to see how they tackle vol 2 of this. 

Zines: 9

Single Issues: 254

Trades/Graphic Novels/Anthologies: 89

Omnibuses: 4

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Plastic #2: so fucking creepy and cool. LOVE this.

Rapture #1: I've not liked Deadside Ninjak for some time but I love the character design on Magpie and the story seems promising.

Red Sonja #5: still surprisingly wonderful.

Redneck #2: hillbilly vampires, slightly more interested in this than I expected.

Renato Jones Season 2 #1: pretty good. Gonna wait for the trade on this though.

Romulus #4: I'm officially out.

Royal City #3: still good.

Secret Empire #2,3: still fucking excellent. I don't care what anyone says: this is the best Marvel crossover in ages.

Secret Empire Uprising #1: aka The Champions with Wasp and Black Widow. I'm cool with it.

Spencer & Locke #2: still really fun.

Star-Lord Annual #1: eh, kind of dumb.

Street Fighter vs. Darkstalkers #1: kind of fun.

Suicide Squad #18: still fucking great.

Superman #23: I'm getting bored. Love the art, but I'm getting bored.

The Dregs #3: probably has my vote for miniseries of the year so far.

The Mighty Thor #19: cool.

Comics: 885

Trades: 28

Graphic Novels: 24

Omnibuses: 13

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Ooku v1: Fumi Yoshinaga’s main (??) manga, about Shogun-era Japan, but with 3/4 of the male population dead. The archaic language didn’t bother me and the story compelled me. One of those “oh, the thing everyone said is good is actually good” moments. There’s some same face, because it /is/ Ms. Yoshinaga. I’m sold on the palace intrigue (female shogun arrives and upends the power structure inside the all-male harem). Ooku’s a good one.

Land Of The Lustrous v1: Maybe it’s because I haven’t seen Steven Universe, but I read this and immediately pre-ordered the next three volumes. The manga-ka’s style is lithe and exaggerated, bolstered by some stunning splash pages.

Black Hammer 7: The team finally arrives at Kirby. I view this as a condemnation of DC and Marvel that they couldn’t figure out a way to publish a story that obviously honors their long histories.

Lucifer 13: Two stories (the first by outgoing writer and Marco Rudy, the second by incoming writer and Ben Templesmith) which I enjoyed. This reminds me of a time Vertigo could reliably produce above average superhero adjacent work.

The Unworthy Thor 1-5: Man, Coipel is great when you give him time. When you don’t, though…

Legion of Monsters: Juan Doe and Dennis Hopeless turn in a fun mini. Years ago, it was the first time I saw Mr. Doe’s art. Returning to it, there’s a couple panels viewed from two feet behind Eliza Bloodstone’s ass which are eyeroll-y, but the collection holds up.

Crosswind 3: The work Cat Stages turned in is a badly colored mess that makes it difficult to figure out where any given scene occurs. The process material in the back of the issue (props to the team for that) shows how reliant Ms. Staggs is on computer effects which she’s a novice at using. Hannah tells me she’s done a lot of IDW work, but if this is Ms. Staggs firing on all cylinders stay far, far away. Gail Simone appears to enjoy the bodyswap/fish out of water story she’s telling, which I enjoy more the more i recall of it.

This, of course, ignores that the east side of Chicago is a lake and not an actual neighborhood.

Redlands 2: Enjoyed it.

Portions Of The Comic Book History Of Comics: Man, this is sad, funny and informative. Alan Moore’s secret origin is that he was kicked out of school for being “one of the most inept LSD dealers.” Comics! Also, the part about Stan Lee and Jack Kirby is so fucking depressing.

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