Every comic you've read in 2019


The Master
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I read that a year or two ago, and dug it okay, but I remember Aquaman getting dogged out in the book because he was so otherworldly. This would've been written before the whole "Aquaman is lame" insertion into the zeitgeist, but I was surprised at how comparatively dopey I thought the book made him out to be. Might be misremembering it.

To make a recommendation, I enjoyed the Green Lantern/Green Arrow miniseries by the same creative team around that time or sometime after.

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Tales from the Darkside: Joe Hill was set to head up a reboot of Tales from the Darkside with a series of interconnected scripts all written by him. He only finished three or four before the show was dropped, so IDW adapted them into comic book form. Fun, creepy, great concept. Wish the show went forward.

The Tipping Point vol 2: nowhere near as good as the first volume of stories, and even that volume wasn't something that knocked my socks off.

The Complete Ghita: Frank Thorne REALLY wanted to do a porno version of Red Sonja, but it neither has a decent story or decent porn. Lame. Haha!

The Sandman Universe #1: decent collection of stories.

  • Comics: 162
  • Trades: 14
  • Graphic Novels: 11
  • Omnibus: 3
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  • 2 weeks later...

Avengers/Defenders War: this wasn't bad, but it was really unfocused. I wish there was more between Loki and Dormammu, because that was the fun part.

Unnatural #2: not good. I'm out.

X-Men Blue #33: still very solid.

Astonishing X-Men Annual 1: I'm loving this.

Babyteeth #12: well this escalated.

Cable & Deadpool Annual 1: terrible. Like, unreadable.

Crowded #1: definitely not for me.

Extermination #1: Best event first issue I've read in ages. I'm intrigued. Very X-event. Throwback to Xecutioner's Song. Digging it. But, man, you need to know a little bit of X-lore to understand. At one point Young Jean Grey, modern Jean Grey, Rachel Summers and Cable are all in the same room. Haha! 

Hunt for Wolverine: Claws of a Killer #4: decent. Not great. This is the least entertaining of these minis.

  • Comics: 170
  • Trades: 15
  • Graphic Novels: 11
  • Omnibus: 3
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  • 4 weeks later...

Ice Cream Man #6: there's no way this doesn't reach my top 5 horror comics of the year list. Awesome.

Infinity Wars #2: still pretty good.

Multiple Man #3: awesome.

Ninja-K #10: this is Valiant's best series. I think I can say that definitively.

Pearl #1: no thanks.

Volition #1: also no thanks. I just don't like sci fi in comic or book form, I guess.

Weapon H #6: I am absolutely loving this series.

Weapon X #22: this is a quality drop. I'll give it another issue.

Archie's Superteens vs Crusaders #2: this was awful. Now, get me a Crusaders series with this artist and I'm in.

Batman Kings of Fear #1:  no thank you

Bedtime Games #3: a sleeper for best horror comic

Black Hammer Age of Doom #4: I didn't expect this angle, and I'm glad they're doing it.

Cold Spots #1: Too early to say, but this is some good horror comics

Daredevil #607: I really enjoyed this weird diversion form the regular DD story. I sure hope it doesn't cop out and reveal to be Mysterio again.

Die! #1: this was kind of dumb fun.

Hunt for Wolverine Mystery in Madripoor #4: oh thank god, Betsy Braddock is back!

Justice League Dark #2: this is slow-moving as hell, but I'm still enjoying it.

Old Man Hawkeye #8: decent

Old Man Logan #46: it's easy to see where this is leading. It's still good though. Love seeing Alpha Flight back too.

The Sentry #3: really fun, especially since the title character doesn't actually appear except for like one panel of a flashback.

  • Comics: 170
  • Trades: 15
  • Graphic Novels: 11
  • Omnibus: 3
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  • 2 weeks later...
11 hours ago, The Master said:

Batman #82: Bruce and Selina fight Bane. That's it.

Does Bruce know about Alfred? If so, when did he learn what Bane did to him?

It's irritatingly vague. The last issue revealed that much of Bruce's downfall was pre-planned, so everything including him hitting Tim and his defeat was to throw Bane off. Even Damian's capture. But they've been completely cagey on the Alfred situation. 

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Suicide Squad Annual #1: pretty decent. I enjoyed this.

Terminator Sector War #1: decent but not necessary as it basically takes the plot of the recent movie and transposes it over the first film's time period. But I guess that's the unique thing about it compared to other T movies. Oh well.

The Punisher #1: damn...this might be the golden age of Punisher comics. There's only one of them and it's really fucking good. That's a rarity.

The Silencer #8: this isn't bad, but it's just the same thing over and over. I'm out.

X-Men Gold #34: pretty good. Never been a huge fan of Storm-Centric stories. I feel she's always misused.

X-Men Red #7: great.

Beyonders #1: not great. I'm out.

Brothers Dracul #5: solid.

Catwoman/Tweety and Sylvester #1: these have broken down like so: 1, wow, this is the best single issue of the year, 50% of the leftovers "this was ok" and the other 50%, why did I waste my time. This one is the latter.

Cyber Force #5: this commits a comics cardinal sin for me: the cover has a character who does not appear in the issue. But I guess that is happening more and more these days. Anyway, this was a Ripclaw-centric issue and I dug it a lot.

Daredevil Annual #1: not great, but these Marvel annuals tend not to be.

  • Comics: 181
  • Trades: 15
  • Graphic Novels: 11
  • Omnibus: 3
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Masters of the Universe: Origin of Hordak: this is such a definitive work for me. It's funny because this encompasses like, basically everything I try to do in my writing. Cosmic horror mixed with a heavy dose of Kirby influence. Keene and Giffen teaming up on the script is inspired. I wish that team did more.

Hammer Locke #1: I've been wanting to read this for close to twenty years based on how cool the cover was and the art style. Never found it. Then Mike helped me out. It did not live up to the hype I'd built in my head. Sad face.

Extermination #2: sooooo X-Menny and I love it.

House Amok #1: I couldn't describe a single thing from the plot to you if you put a gun to my head. Forgettable.

Hunt for Wolverine Dead Ends #1: this one shot basically runs down how the other miniseries didn't really amount to anything. It's a housekeeping issue. Not bad,

Leviathan #2: I'll pass thanks.

Lex Luthor/Porky Pig #1: this was pretty fun.

Marvel Two-In-one #9: still great.

The Monster Hunters Survival Guide Case Files Wendigo: I'll pass.

  • Comics: 190
  • Trades: 15
  • Graphic Novels: 11
  • Omnibus: 3
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Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Lost Chronicles Volume One: This only appeals to anyone who was a fan of MMPR as a kid, or at least had a general familiarity with them at one time. I've read a few of the Kyle Higgins issues here or there, but this collects anthology short-stories that vary from character-driven, insightful tidbits, to comedy stories, to straightforward Ranger stories akin to the show with a modern twist.

I greatly enjoyed this. The original series was cheesy, often unbearably so, but the love and affection from the writers and artists poured through on every page. There isn't a single story in the volume that I didn't like. Now and then there are some fun in-jokes just at the machine-like process of the old episodes (commentary on how the Rangers were squeaky-clean to the point of being boring, or how Rita would come up with any monster tangentially related to whatever the Rangers were doing that week just to fuck with them), but some of the character focused ones were stunningly effective without betraying the vibe of the series. The best story, by Tom Taylor and Frazer Irving, involved Finster and how he came to work for Rita Repulsa and hit like a brick to the face. I'd recommend the trade purely for that entry alone, but even without it there's so much positivity and fun nostalgia that it's an instant must-buy for any 90s kid. You owe it to your past-child self to read this, it's terrific. 

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Spider-Man: Life Story - I haven't read Spider-Man in years (Spider-Gwen's been where I've been getting my fix in the meantime). This is just, wow. Everything I love about Peter Parker and Spidey stories is there, the triumph and heartbreak, the lack of easy decisions, the journey that each character goes through. Some of the plot developments were honestly really hard to read, such as Harry and MJ in the 70s, and Aunt May in the 80s issue. Oof.

Bagley's art is always really good, but I've always thought of him more as a blockbuster kind of artist (I probably need to read more of his ongoings). This was a bit of a surprise to me, the range that he's able to bring to a six decade story. While I wish each issue had a bit more individual visual identity, he, Dell and d'Armata illustrated the hell out of this story.

If I have a complaint, it's that each issue feels about a couple pages short, several things happen just a bit too quickly. But overall, I had a great time with this. I'm really looking forward to catching up with what I missed, I hear Spectacular Spider-Man by Zdarsky's really good.

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Yeah Spider-Man: Life Story is the truest Spidey tale I've read since the JMS era. I've said before on this forum, but I see Spider-Man more as a tragic figure than he's been majorly portrayed in the past decade. Any two of his personal tragedies would've ruined most heroes, but this guy has seen more death and torment before the age of 25 than arguably any other Marvel hero. But Marvel currently wants to pitch him as the goofy squeaky-voiced teen who trips over himself.

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1 hour ago, The Master said:

Is the current Batman run the most meandering story ever?

They lost me in the horribly bloated wedding storyline. 

I'll jump in and check out the Tynion run next issue, though. I like his Batman. He did that Batman Eternal series as well as Detective for a while.

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Superman #18: This is the coming out issue, if you'll pardon the wording. Before the entire world, Superman reveals his civilian identity -- but not before telling those closest to him. As I noted on Twitter, I actively went into this issue wanting to shit all over it. "How dare Bendis and DC take away such a crucial element of the Superman mythos," I wanted to scream at the clouds. But I finished the book in tears. They did the exact opposite of my fears. They did not remove anything from Clark Kent or Superman, they actually added to him. He no longer has to hide anything about himself, thus allowing himself to be who he truly is: Clark Kent, Kal-El, and Superman all at the same time.

The only piece that bothered me, and I'm glad they addressed it, was the Jimmy scene. No spoilers, but it felt like it was done that way because they didn't have enough pages to actually have the scene that moment deserved. (That could be an entire issue.)

The wordless moment with Perry White was brilliant, and was perfectly sold by Ivan Reis and the entire artistic team. As was the also-silent two-page spread preceding it. Clark taking a moment to decide who to tell first -- his best pal, or his mentor -- shows he's really struggling with this. He's still reflecting upon it. (Literally, he sees himself in his monitor as he contemplates the moment.) It's all wonderful storytelling.

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I know some people have been uncharitable to Bendis' Superman era (mostly because of bias), and I will admit his dialogue can be a bit much (Adam Strange was annoying), but he gets Clark Kent in a way most new writer simply have not in a long time (Jurgens doesn't count, not being a new writer to the character).

Additionally, today's issue of Detective Comics by Tom Taylor really surprised me. I went in thinking it was going to be another dull fill-in issue, but it was a brilliantly told story of an orphanage named after Martha Wayne, and Batman's connection to it. One of the best issues I've read all year.

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FX #1: "Sure," I said. "What could hurt trying out John Byrne's series from 2008?" Everything. Everything hurts.

100 Bullets vol 1: holy shit, this does NOT hold up. Rereadthrough of the series...cancelled!

Red Hood and the Outlaws Annual #2: not great, but I don't think I remember the last time I've read a good annual. Weird.

Joker/Daffy Duck: terrible.

X-Files Case Files Hoot Goes There #2: fun.

Venom First Host #1: eh...not terrible, but not terribly good.

X-23 #3: brilliant. Great book.

X-Men Blue #34: excellent.

Aphrodite IX Ares: a Top Cow talent search book. Not great.

  • Comics: 198
  • Trades: 16
  • Graphic Novels: 11
  • Omnibus: 3
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Asgardians of the Galaxy #1: this was alright. I'll give it one more.

Border Town #1: completely surprised by this. I loved it.

Captain America #3: just...not good. It doesn't feel natural >Very forced, which is a shame, because I enjoy the angle. Maybe I'll give it one more.

Cover #1: Ok, I'll give it one more.

Secret Agent Deadpol #1: I think we've found it! The solo Deadpool book I'll actually read more than one issue of!

  • Comics: 203
  • Trades: 16
  • Graphic Novels: 11
  • Omnibus: 3
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  • 2 weeks later...

Doomsday Clock, Part 1 hardcover: collects Doomsday Clock #1-6.

I mean, it's not terrible by any means, but... why is this a thing that exists? The Watchmen sequel no one asked for, it's much more superhero-focused than the HBO series and serves as a more linear extension of the original, but with more Batman in it. Geoff Johns is not Alan Moore. Gary Frank isn't Dave Gibbons either, but he isn't actively trying to be.

I'll finish the story and there's virtually no chance this doesn't get podcasted at some point, because I mean it when I say it's not a bad comic in and of itself. I'm just not sure why we needed it.

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There was much more of a place for it two years ago, after "The Button". IDK what happened, but everyone agrees the delays killed this book. After Heroes in Crisis, there doesn't seem to be a solid idea of Rebirth's foundation of continuity. I liked this story FWIW, but they cut their legs out from under them with the delays, pure and simple.

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