Every comic you've read in 2019


The Master
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Doomsday Clock #6: this is still pretty great. Enjoyed the backstory of these weirdos.

Hunt for Wolverine Mystery in madripoor #3: this is the first issue of this one I wasn't captivated by.

Infinity Wars Prime #1: I know I'm months behind on comics, but is this the longest and plodding event in Marvel's history? Probably.

Justice League Dark #1: decent start. I'll try more.

Marvel Two-in-One #8: great issue.

Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer #2: I don't need this in my life.

Mr. and Mrs. X #1: terrible.

Nancy In Hell #1: I liked this. Is  it following something else up? Seems dropped right in situ. Decent.

 

  • Comics: 123
  • Trades: 11
  • Graphic Novels: 7
  • Omnibus: 3
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  • 2 weeks later...

Terminator: Sector War #1-4: Thanks to a conversation on the patron-exclusive Q&A, I decided to finally give this miniseries a read. Taking place on the same night Sarah Connor was being hunted in LA, Sector War follows an NYC police officer as she's being tracked by another Terminator. It's a very quick read and hits some of the same beats as the original film, but the action is solid and the ending sets up a potential sequel with Sarah.

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The Walking Dead #1-193
The Walking Dead: Michonne Special
The Walking Dead: The Governor Special
The Walking Dead: Tyreese Special
The Walking Dead: Here's Negan

Well, that was a hell of a series. Glad it ended where it did, because it was getting rather predictable: Rick & Co. setup a safe place, invaders storm the gates, Rick & Co. fight them back, people die, repeat. Not sure the series could handle another war between humans / communities.

I also feel it didn't really begin until #50, which is when it clearly became Carl's story. It didn't find its feet until #100, when Negan made his presence known. And it didn't get great until #115-126 ("All Out War"). Mostly this is because Rick was a horrible protagonist until "All Out War came to its conclusion. Until then (and even some afterwards) he was a self-righteous nob who shouted everyone down until they gave in and let him have his way. Kirkman mellowed him out in the final third of the series, however, turning him into a much more palatable character.

Charlie Adlard is the real star of this series. Even when zombies take a back seat and the characters sit around talking, he kept the scenes fresh. His use of angles, shadows, and facial expressions brought the book to life. (Oof! Pardon that pun.) His role in making The Walking Dead the phenomenon it is today cannot and should not be understated.

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Still really slow with my comic reading this summer.

Harem Nights: Eros graphic novel set in the middle east a couple hundred years ago. Not great.

Old Man Logan #44: still pretty great.

Pestilence A Story of Satan #3: still one of the best horror comics of the year.

The Sentry #2: I'm really liking this. Never got the character or bothered reading any of the other series, but I'm digging this. Sort of Superman in the MU but through the lens of Alan Moore's Supreme but completely fucked around with.

Songs for the Dead #4: yikes. Why am I still reading this? I'm not anymore.

The Cape Fallen #2: Jesus. Did not expect it to dive into that realm that quickly.

The Long Con #1: definitely not for me.

Punisher #228: Whata  way to end it! Looking forward to catching up on the new numbered series. Why the fuck does Marvel constantly do this shit?

  • Comics: 130
  • Trades: 11
  • Graphic Novels: 8
  • Omnibus: 3
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1 hour ago, The Master said:

Giant-Size X-Men #1: My first time reading this classic tale. It was alright. My main takeaways are: Thunderbird and Sunfire are assholes. Banshee is a delight.

That issue is really more important than it is actually great. It's an interesting historical document, but as an actual story it's... fine.

I've been doing some reading myself, finally...

Fantastic Four by Matt Fraction Omnibus: Collects Fantastic Four vol. 4 (the 2013 series) #1-16, FF vol. 2 #1-16, and a couple of one-shots.

While I understand collecting these together as they were tied into each other (The FF goes away for a while (Fantastic Four) and leaves a new team in charge of the Future Foundation (FF), composed of Ant-Man, Medusa, the She-Hulk, and a new character called Ms. Thing who's basically "what if Taylor Swift got a hold of one of Ben's old Thing exoskeletons"), it's actually a jarring read as the tone of the two series could not possibly be more different. Fantastic Four is a fairly straightforward FF book with art by Mark Bagley, and it's quite good. FF, on the other hand, is drawn by Michael Allred, and it is awesome. It is pure Allred Silver-Agey wackiness from beginning to end and I loved every page of it.

Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat! #1-10: Post Marvel Divas Patsy, written by Kate Leth and drawn by Brittney Williams, it's adorable and fun.

The Unstoppable Wasp vol. 1, #1-8: Nadia's setting up shop, becoming an American citizen, recruiting teenage girl supergeniuses for a think tank she's setting up, and generally being superhumanly cheerful all the time. Also very cute, even if "Nadia instantly wins over everyone she encounters" gets a little much after a bit. However, the back pages have interviews with real women in STEM who talk about how awesome science is and why girls should study and find careers in engineering, that that's amazing.

Ant-Man and the Wasp #1-5: Mark Waid writes a surreal trip through the microverse with Scott and Nadia, made more awkward as Scott is literally the only person on the planet Nadia doesn't like. Gorgeous artwork by Javier Garron, Beautiful covers by David Nakayama, and Waid in goofy banter mode? I'm in.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Batman #77: If this sticks, I'm done with Batman comics for a long time. I'm tired of The Dark Knight Returns-influenced Batman stories. Stories that are juvenile perceptions of mature themes. And, sadly,  I think it will stick, because Tom King is quoted as saying, "What we’re going to do... [it's] something that's going to change the character for a generation, or maybe more. Maybe forever. I never thought we'd get this kind of stuff approved; when you're working with a corporate character, you think you're going to have to reset. But this is a change that's going to shake the world of Batman and it's going to leave my mark on the character."

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The Tipping Point vol 1: the first of two OGN anthologies of worldwide talent. Pretty decent.

Hunt for Wolverine Weapon Lost #4: solid ending.

The Realm #8: this is getting tired. I'll give it one more.

The Silencer #7: still going strong.

The Terrifics #6: this descended into shit pretty quickly.

X-23 #2: solid.

X-Men Wakanda Forever #1: barely readable. Horrible stuff.

X-Men Blue #32: this was great.

Astonishing X-Men #14: ok...I LOVE this lineup. It's basically all of my favourite X-Men on a team. I'm in for a while.

Bubba Ho-Tep and the Cosmic Blood Suckers #2: this is terrible. I am curious as to why Joe Lansdale's name isn't attached at all in the credits. Makes me think he thinks it's terrible too.

Captain America #2: the Cap shame train continues. If this doesn't get good, I'm gone after next issue.

Cosmic Ghost Rider #2: this is terrible. I'm out.

Fissure #4: solid ending.

Mister Miracle: ok. I finally got around to reading this. I'm as behind on my TPBs as I am the monthlies. First thought: Mitch Gerads is a brilliant artist. Looks beautiful. My second thought: I wish I could see it in some other format than a 9 panel grid EVERY PAGE FOR TWELVE ISSUES. I'd say this comic is smarter than it needs to be if they didn't tell you that with every scene. Fuck, I hated this. Darkseid eats a fucking baby carrot with ranch dip. Kirby is turning over in his grave with this shit.

Birthright vol 7 Blood Brothers: still brilliant. Probably high up on my favourite comics of the year again this year.

  • Comics: 142
  • Trades: 13
  • Graphic Novels: 9
  • Omnibus: 3
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X-Men: The Dark Phoenix Saga Omnibus: collects Uncanny X-Men #97-105, #107-108, and #125-138, Phoenix: The Untold Story, Bizarre Adventures #27, What If? vol.1 #27, and a bunch of material from Classic X-Men.

Technically, this probably should have been called The Phoenix Saga, as it collects the entirety of the Jean-as-Phoenix storyline, but this is what'll sell. I mean, it's 70s X-Men. You don't need me to tell you this is good. It's some of the best comics work Marvel ever put out. Eleven issues of Dave Cockrum, followed by fourteen of John Byrne at the absolute height of his powers. This collection also includes The Untold Story, which is what issue #137 was originally would have been before Jim Shooter refused to allow the story to end with Jean alive after having destroyed the planet of the asparagus people, along with a roundtable interview with Shooter, Claremont, Byrne, and Terry Austin, explaining the history of the story and why it was changed at the last minute. There's a story from the Bizarre Adventures magazine where Jean's sister comes to terms with finding out Jean is A) a mutant and B) dead by remembering that time they got kidnapped by Attuma and turned into water breathers. (Comics, everybody!) What If? #27 is probably the most famous issue of the original series, which explores the ramifications of Phoenix surviving the battle with the Shi'ar. It's... not very good. Overall, this is a vital collection; my copy had a major printing error that severely fucked up issue #138 (Jean's funeral and Scott's departure), accidentally reprinting several pages of the issue before and some pages of Classic, but I'm not seeing this online as being much of a thing, so I may just have gotten a bum copy.

Captain Marvel: Ms. Marvel - A Hero Is Born Omnibus: collects Ms. Marvel #1-23, Marvel Team-Up #61-62 and #76-77, Defenders #57, Marvel Two-In-One #51, Avengers #200, Avengers Annual #10, Marvel Super-Heroes (the 1990 series) #10-11, Marvel Fanfare #24, and a few pages from various other Avengers issues. I.e., pretty much the entirety of Carol Danvers' career as Ms. Marvel the first time around.

What started as a naked attempt to hop on the 70s Women's Lib train several years after it left the station (the corner box on the cover has the words "This Female Fights Back!" in tiny print, and original writer Gerry Conway, who will gladly today concede he had no idea what he was doing, presents the Adventures of A Strong Independent Woman Who Doesn't Hate Men, Exactly, But Can Kick Your Ass While Making 73 Cents On The Dollar) gets a lot better when Chris Claremont, a writer who actually does have very definite ideas about how a strong female character should be written, takes over early on. On other words, it becomes a perfectly serviceable B-or-C-level Bronze Age Marvel comic. Most of his overwhelming Claremontisms are missing, as he's more concerned about writing a fun adventure book, not a soap opera with Important Things to Say. The art is chiefly handled by Jim Mooney with Joe Sinnott on inks, so it looks nice enough (Mooney was the guy you got if John Romita Sr. didn't pick up his phone) for the bulk of the book, with a couple of fill-ins by Carmine Infantino. Towards the end, the panic is setting in, and they try everything they can think of (a new costume, streamlining the cast, a change of setting), but it becomes clear the book is out of steam and it gets cancelled mid-storyline. Mike Vosburg is the artist of the last few issues, and it's some of the worst artwork I've ever seen. Afterwards, Carol makes a handful of appearances here and there (the MTIO is excellent, and features very early Frank Miller artwork), before her original storyline wraps up in the pages of Avengers, and specifically Avengers #200, which is heralded quite justly as one of the worst comic books Marvel ever put out. It looks nice (the art is by George Perez, at the point where he was becoming very recognizably George Perez), but the story hinges on the fact that (CW)

Carol is raped, forced to carry a child to term, and then falls in love and goes off to be with her grown-up baby who is also her rapist

, presented by oblivious, tone-deaf creators who had no idea that there was anything wrong with any of that. Claremont came back for Avengers Annual #10 to explain why the Avengers, and the writers of #200, are stupid motherfuckers who are motherfucking stupid and JESUS CHRIST YOU GUYS; this is also the issue where Rogue, who up to this point only had the power to absorb powers and memories, holds onto Carol for too long and permanently takes her powers of flight, super strength, and invulnerability. (Michael Golden does the art here, and you either like him or you don't; I'm not especially keen on him.) After this, the collection skips over the whole time a powerless Carol hung out with the X-Men and eventually became Binary (presumably that's in Uncanny X-Men Omnibus vol. 3), only to wrap up with a story from Marvel Fanfare that calls back to the MTIO poker game and she finds out for the first time that Mar-Vell had died while she was off-world, and now she's Binary and look out, outer space, here she comes. Overall, a pretty representative slice of Bronze Age Marvel, more historically interesting because of what's happened with Carol in the last ten years than anything else.

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At present, I'm on issue #103 of (Uncanny) X-Men, and, with decades of hindsight, it's fascinating seeing all of the groundwork Claremont is laying for the X-Men and Marvel Universe.

I might have to read those issues of Ms. Marvel and The Avengers, if only as a morbid curiosity.

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23 minutes ago, Donomark said:

XD harsh but true. I always felt he was B-list Romita whenever I re-read my Amazing Spider-Man Essentials.

Jim Mooney was quite a good artist, but his style mirrored Romita's so closely it was kind of eerie.

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On ‎8‎/‎24‎/‎2019 at 11:27 AM, Donomark said:

Romita and Buscema were the house style for most of the characters in the 60s and 70s, right?

Romita was the art director, but Buscema was the guy he and Stan wanted everyone to draw like.

The Hawkman by Geoff Johns Omnibus: collects Hawkman vol. 4 (2002) #1-25, JSA #56-58, and Hawkman Secret Files.

So this is when Johns tried his damnedest to clear things up by saying "you know what? They're all Carter Hall now." Overall not a bad run, and a surprisingly quick read. Rags Morales can be a little cartoony, and sometimes his anatomy is a little off, but he's an artist who can draw Hawkman very well, and that's in pretty short supply. Johns leans into the idea that Carter is a huge asshole and probably a little nuts, and drives home the idea that Hawkman's main attributes are A) has a mace and B) is willing to smear your insides all over the wall with it.

Also, Kendra Saunders has been around for TWENTY YEARS, you guys.

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Multiple Man #2: This series is really fun.

Immortal Hulk #4: so fucking good.

Infinity Wars #1: after all the bullshit lead-up, this was actually a great issue.

Project Superpowers Chapter Three #1: another not great revival of these guys. I'll give it one more.

Quantum Age #2: ooh, I love this.

Red Sonja #19: just drab. I'm done with this one.

The Seeds #1: jesus...awful.

Weapon X #21: solid end to this run.

X-Men Gold #33: this was kind of interesting. Storm's not my favourite, but I love her origin, so I'm intrigued to see where this storyline goes.

X-Men Gold Annual #2: awful.

Hot Lunch Special #1: weird, I'll give it one more.

Champions #23: this was solid.

Daredevil #606: great. I loved this. Felt a bit like Brubaker's run.

  • Comics: 155
  • Trades: 13
  • Graphic Novels: 9
  • Omnibus: 3
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Spider-Man: Life Story #1-6: An interesting take on Spider-Man, and the Marvel Universe, that I would like to see applied elsewhere. This series explores a reality in which Marvel does not have a sliding timeline, in which Peter Parker was bitten in 1962 and aged throughout the years. We see familiar beats -- clones, secret and civil wars, symbiotes -- but the results are vastly different. For instance, by the time the superhero civil war hits in 2006, Peter is a 60-year-old retiree living with his adult children far away from New York City. By taking what we know and turning it on its head, Chip Zdarsky is able to play to and subvert expectations at the same time. For this most part, it's a smooth, satisfying read that jumps decades at a time. Near the end, the pace picks up a little too much; it felt like Zdarsky was racing towards the ending. But that does not impact the overall enjoyment of the story, and the series ends on a bittersweet note.

From his run in the 1990s to his career-defining Ultimate Spider-Man pencils, Mark Bagley's legacy will always be tied to Spider-Man. So he was the only choice to illustrate this series. While one could argue that each issue should have had art consistent with the decade -- John Romita for the 1960s, Ross Andru for the 1970s, Ron Frenz for the 1980s, Todd McFarlane for the 1990s, Mark Bagley for the 2000s, Sara Pichelli for the 2010s -- it makes more sense to present one artistic vision from first to last. And Bagley does just that. His characters age with grace and consistency; his 72-year-old Peter Parker is very much the 19-year-old Peter Parker all grown up.

As a complete package, Spider-Man: Life Story is a solid read, and it's great to see Marvel offer what's tantamount to a long-form What If? story.

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7 hours ago, The Master said:

Spider-Man: Life Story #1-6: An interesting take on Spider-Man, and the Marvel Universe, that I would like to see applied elsewhere. This series explores a reality in which Marvel does not have a sliding timeline, in which Peter Parker was bitten in 1962 and aged throughout the years. We see familiar beats -- clones, secret and civil wars, symbiotes -- but the results are vastly different. For instance, by the time the superhero civil war hits in 2006, Peter is a 60-year-old retiree living with his adult children far away from New York City. By taking what we know and turning it on its head, Chip Zdarsky is able to play to and subvert expectations at the same time. For this most part, it's a smooth, satisfying read that jumps decades at a time. Near the end, the pace picks up a little too much; it felt like Zdarsky was racing towards the ending. But that does not impact the overall enjoyment of the story, and the series ends on a bittersweet note.

From his run in the 1990s to his career-defining Ultimate Spider-Man pencils, Mark Bagley's legacy will always be tied to Spider-Man. So he was the only choice to illustrate this series. While one could argue that each issue should have had art consistent with the decade -- John Romita for the 1960s, Ross Andru for the 1970s, Ron Frenz for the 1980s, Todd McFarlane for the 1990s, Mark Bagley for the 2000s, Sara Pichelli for the 2010s -- it makes more sense to present one artistic vision from first to last. And Bagley does just that. His characters age with grace and consistency; his 72-year-old Peter Parker is very much the 19-year-old Peter Parker all grown up.

As a complete package, Spider-Man: Life Story is a solid read, and it's great to see Marvel offer what's tantamount to a long-form What If? story.

I was highly anticipating this series, and it surpassed my expectations. Between this and his recent Spec Spidey run, Chip Zdarsky really knows Spider-Man. It was refreshing to me in 2019 that the entire series is consistently bleak and dour, which I feel is accurate to the character. Spider-Man is a comedic character but Peter Parker's life is unerringly - sometimes depressingly - dramatic.

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JLA Year One: The Deluxe Edition: collects all twelve issues of the 1997 miniseries by Mark Waid, Brian Augustyn, and Barry Kitson.

My worries this was not as good as I remembered are unfounded. This is still a terrific Silver Age JLA story. It does not include Secret Origins #32, which retold the story of how the League got together in post-Crisis continuity (i.e., swapping out Wonder Woman for Black Canary), which is a shame, as it was A) a very good issue of that book, and B) the direct opener of this series; Year One assumes you've read that Secret Origins and it will take a while to catch up if you haven't. However, in all this is a great story that pays loving tribute to 1960s DC while keeping its voice (mostly) modern, especially in its treatment of Aquaman, who is struggling to adapt to life on the surface (he has difficulty learning to read English as it makes no damn sense, keeps forgetting not to mumble since sound carries much further underwater, and is in general the weird guy in a room full of fairly weird guys). Barry Kitson's art is a lot more 90s than I remembered, but it was still a hell of a lot better than most of what was circulating at the time, and if nothing else is very expressive.

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Fantastic Four #1: this was solid. I'll read more.

Hunt for Wolverine Adamantium Agenda #4: good ending.

Old Man Logan #45: this series is so damn good. Love the artwork.

Red Hood and the Outlaws #25: I was kind of stale on this series for a few issues, but I'll check the tone change a little in the next arc before giving up.

Robocop Citizens Arrest #5: really good. 

Suicide Squad #45: really good, but don't know if i'll be reading the Aquaman tie-ins.

  • Comics: 161
  • Trades: 13
  • Graphic Novels: 9
  • Omnibus: 3
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54 minutes ago, Dan said:

JLA Year One: The Deluxe Edition: collects all twelve issues of the 1997 miniseries by Mark Waid, Brian Augustyn, and Barry Kitson.

My worries this was not as good as I remembered are unfounded. This is still a terrific Silver Age JLA story. It does not include Secret Origins #32, which retold the story of how the League got together in post-Crisis continuity (i.e., swapping out Wonder Woman for Black Canary), which is a shame, as it was A) a very good issue of that book, and B) the direct opener of this series; Year One assumes you've read that Secret Origins and it will take a while to catch up if you haven't. However, in all this is a great story that pays loving tribute to 1960s DC while keeping its voice (mostly) modern, especially in its treatment of Aquaman, who is struggling to adapt to life on the surface (he has difficulty learning to read English as it makes no damn sense, keeps forgetting not to mumble since sound carries much further underwater, and is in general the weird guy in a room full of fairly weird guys). Barry Kitson's art is a lot more 90s than I remembered, but it was still a hell of a lot better than most of what was circulating at the time, and if nothing else is very expressive.

I've been meaning to reread it for a few years now, but the fear of it not holding up has held me back. Think I might dive back in soon thanks to your post.

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