Every comic you've read in 2013

The Master

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Avenging Spider-Man: My friends can beat up your friends: The first story featuring Red Hulk and Spider-Man going to meet the mole man is three issues, and feels really padded, like it could have been one. The Hawkeye story is strange, I actually spent more time wondering if the origin story for him was a joke or actually true. The final story featuring Captain America is alright for what it is, but it just sort of just says "Cap did a lot before he was cap, now he knows he can do that stuff and be cap" Nothing really to avoid here, just a mediocre trade.

Trades: 70
Comics: 6
Omnibus: 1
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Walking Dead: Free Comic Book Day-Who cares. God. I was let down by this. Glad I didn't spend money on it for one, but it was also the only FCBD book I got for myself. Michonne: Her origin is completely irrelevant. Governor: A badass villain now made less effective in hindsight because he has a reason for what he does. Boo.

Batman Inc. #10-Again. There isn't a genuine moment in this comic. Morrison has truly lost the plot here. I would have laughed at you if you told me years ago that all of his League of Bats stuff was going to lead to something this shitty. And not only is Burnham the worst artist I've ever seen on a Batman book, but he couldn't even finish this issue on time! Never fear though, DC scoured their influx of shitty self-published books and managed to find two other artists equally as bad.

Dial H#12-A breath of fresh air in modern superhero comics. I love what they're doing with sidekicks here and really hope that the fifteenth issue is enough for the team to wrap up their series. Fuck you, DC, for cancelling this.

Morning Glories Volume Four: Truants-Okay, I might have to go back and read all 4 volumes in a row. I got really lost reading this. It jumps back and forth in time A LOT in this volume and gets a little dizzying. I still like a lot of the characters and the art is beautiful, but, as an ending to "season one" of the series, it was a huge disappointment, and is by far my least favorite of the series.

Then, I was taking to someone a little while ago about a story from What If? volume 2 so I decided to reread through it. But because I'm a neurotic lunatic, I needed to read through volume 1 first.

#1: Spider-Man joined the Fantastic Four-Amazing Spider-Man #1 is a pretty pivotal story in marvel lore, not for being the first issue in his series, but because it helped create that line between the two big books out of Marvel at the time. This one was kind of fun, especially seeing as I've read that original issue so many times (I had a smaller reprint of the book from when I was a little kid along with the issue where the original X-Men fight Blastaar).

#2: The Hulk had the brain of Bruce Banner-This issue is CRAZY! He never has the bestial mind so he is never really hunted by the army. He is never manipulated by Loki, so the Avengers are never formed. He eventually heads over to NYC to join Reed Richards in being Science Bros. They cure The Thing and then Xavier joins them as Science Triplets! So the X-Men are never formed. Then Galactus attacks and the three Science Triplets merge into one body and become X-Man to defeat him. Amazing.

#3: The Avengers had never been-Not very good. Hulk joins forces with Namor and Iron Man has to face them alone because everybody quit because he was an asshole.

#4: The Invaders Had Stayed Together-Amazing! This one is actually in continuity in some aspects if I'm not mistaken. It is referenced at another time later making this actually part of continuity. I love the Invaders and I love this book. It is the entire thrust behind my Liberty Legion fan fiction.

#5: Captain America hadn't Vanished during WW2-An interesting attempt to create a legacy out of Captain America. Though, a grown up Bucky changing his name to Buck is pretty ridiculous. I like the idea of an aged Captain America fighting alongside Buck Barnes, Director of SHIELD. A little goofy at times, but most of these early volume ones are.

#6: The Fantastic Four had different super powers-snooze.

#7: Someone else had been bitten by the radioactive spider-pretty stupid. John Jameson, Flash Thompson and Betsy Brant all get a spin in this trio of stories. None are very good. The Spider-Lady costume is sexy and creepy at the same time.

#8: The world knew Daredevil was Blind-I don't remember the ending of this or much of what happens as a result other than him getting his ass kicked a lot.

#9: The Avengers fought evil during the 1950s-also in continuity, I think. This is where the Agents of Atlas come from. Kind of fun.

#10: Jane Foster found the hammer of Thor-Thor has boobs. That's what happens. Though it's pretty awesome that Donald Blake ended up getting some Sif pussy.

#11: The Marvel Bullpen had become the Fantastic Four-I'm still not sure what compelled Jack Kirby to write and draw this issue, but I'm glad he did. It is pure insanity from start to finish.

#12: Rick Jones became the Hulk-a beatnik Hulk. That's what happened.

#13: Conan walked the earth today-Pretty great. Roy Thomas writes (like he did the Invaders issue) and John Buscema draws. Fun. Also, Conan nails a hot cab driver in a tube top named Dannette.

More to come when I get to them.

Comics: 460
Trades: 21
Omnibus: 5
Graphic Novels: 6

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Moon Knight By Bendis and Maleev: I loved these two on Daredevil, but here, something is just consistently off. It felt like they were just taking the basic formula for their Daredevil run, and putting Moon Knight in for Daredevil, and it doesn't really work.

Bart Simpson: Out to lunch: A fun short story series. They were all to short for them to leave any impact on me remembering them explicitly, but they were fun.

Simpsons Comics: Jam Packed Jamboorie: Terrible. This was just boring, the stories were just dull.

Final Crisis: I read this as it was coming out, and had no clue what was going on half the time, and that was with looking for help online. The stories put in a proper reading order, and kind of reads quite well in a trade, the ending is still abrupt, but the theme is somehow more prevalent and interesting. I can now sort of see what Morrison was going for, with the idea of ideas and stories always having to be told, and information is the ultimate power, as a theme, but sometimes he just gets bogged down in doing crazy things for the sake of it, or just pulling stuff out of left field. Again, it reads a lot better in trade, but if you didn't enjoy the story when it first came out, then chances are, you'll still not want to read it in trade.

Trades: 74
Comics: 6
Omnibus: 1

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It's been a while since I posted on here...I figure I'll catch up now:

Marvel Cosmic by DnA - I finished up my entire read through of Marvel Cosmic, I noticed after Annihilation that the events provided diminishing returns in terms of satisfaction, I was less and less satisfied with each event and by Thanos Imperative, I was thorougly wiped out to the point where I couldn't even finish Annihilators. There is a ton of good stuff here though, I quite like the Guardians of the Galaxy ongoing, it was probably my favorite part about reading these stories and Nova's ongoing was also solid. The Annihilation and Annhilation Conquest events are pretty tremendous blockbusters. Before the focus quickly moved to the Inhumans and the Shiar in the War of Kings/Realm of Kings events, and while I quite like the Inhumans, I couldn't get behind the story being told there.

Other things I've read:

I Kill Giants: Very heartwrenching story. I wasn't a huge fan of the manga style art at first, but it grew on me as the book went along. As I am currently in a situation similar, it was actually kind of hard to read at times. It balances it super serious issues with the heart and soul of a child shining bright and loud, highly recommended.

Superman Earth One vol. 1-2: J. Michael Stracynzksi's reimagining of early Superman. It's not bad, just completely unmemorable. Superman's origin is quite like Batman's origin in the sense that everybody has it practically memorized but the entertainment industry keep doing revisions on it. At the most basic level it puts Clark in a bit younger perspective, and instead of the hulking being that he is usually imagined, he's more nebbish, a lot of it feels like Superman come Peter Parker. Again it's not bad, there's actually some conversations in the first volume that strike true to the heart of the story. The later chapters of both books devolve into the slugfest with an uninteresting villain. Not bad, not great, just middling.

Ultimate Comics Avengers by Mark Millar vol. 1-3: Mark Millar is representing excess at its finest at this point. Nowhere near as good as the original Ultimates Series that kicked off much of the Ultimate universe, in fact it's not even the same, while the original Ultimates series reveled in trying to steer towards realism these series take the full swing towards the other end, including vampires, Blade, and completely ridiculous concepts like a cloned Hulk. The stories are all pure insanity but like the Cosmic saga, it continued with diminishing returns where by the end of the Blade saga, I pretty much didn't care. The first story is pretty fun, harking a lot to the Cap on the run in the main universe, the second was a little less interesting, and the third had completely lost me. I may run into the last story when I read the Death of Spider-man Saga.

House of M: Avengers: Kind of boring. A tie-in to a long dead and long out of the public consciousness. It's really an average superhero story that I don't remember much of at all.

Invincible Iron Man Omnibus by Matt Fraction vol. 1 -2: Matt Fraction does a fantastic job here, I really enjoyed these stories, some imaginative stories taking Tony Stark back to his roots literally, and redeeming him from his actions for the past few years, but without having a complete change in Stark's character. The first volume had the Stane son, and the second volume introduces the Hammer daughter and granddaughter, showing a nice little legacy theme there. Also it updates Tony Stark's adventures into the twenty first century with suicide bombers (Five Nightmares arc), corrupt governments (America's Most Wanted), and Social network Terrorism (Hammer Girls arc). I haven't read much Iron Man before this, but this arc seems just as definitive as Brubaker's run on Captain America and possibly Hickman's run on Fantastic Four. I can't wait for the next volume.

Hypernaturals vol. 1: DnA's creater owned cosmic saga with original characters, settings, and plot. It's not bad, it's not as fantastic as the original Annihilation and Annihilation Sagas or the ongoing Guardians or Nova. Probably falls closer to the later events. I think the element missing is the soul, the emotional connection. It's not new, it's using character types you're used to seeing, and the lines are drawn as clearly good and bad. There's substance, and complexity, that's missing. It's an average, below average superhero book. It's still DnA doing the cosmic stories and if you can't get enough and consumed all of their Marvel work, then give this a go.

Superman Birthright: I wanted to read some Superman before the new movie. I loved this book, it started out a little rough, but by the end I truly enjoyed this book. I loved all the little details like the discussion about the disguise, the relationship between Clark and his father, and even the exploration of his home planet. It was truly enjoyable from beginning to end, it's completely accessible, and it's well thought out and stays true to the heart and soul of Superman, something that Earth-One strayed on, a little moving closer to the Peter Parker elements. This one holds true to the heart and soul while experimenting with the origins a bit.

Up Next: All Star Superman, Checkmate by Greg Rucka vol. 1-4, Sin City: Hard Goodbye, Dame to Kill For, and A Big Fat Kill

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Batman: Earth One - I liked that it tried new things, but this was too much. It felt like it was trying too hard to wink at the reader in a 'see what did there' manner.

Superman: Earth One #1 - Better than Batman, but this was this did nothing to help my dislike of the character. This made him out to be God 2.0 and I just cannot get behind that.

Superman: Earth One #2 - The best of the bunch. Superman becomes more human, which is for the betterment of the story. Only real complaint is the constant setting up the next chapter. Just write a complete story.

Spider-Man: Season One - This was completely a waste of time. I have read the Spider-Man origin so many times I've lost count. This added nothing new, and worse, it was completely boring.

Fantastic Four: Season One - Hey, they say twitter in the FF origin. Modernizing! Fuck off. Beyond a page of excellent Thing characterization, this blew a donkey. Twice.

Daredevil: Season One - Best of the Season One line so far. I think the somewhat broken timeflow worked and since I am not as overexposed to Daredevil period, I didn't mind the origin. I did mind the yellow suit, which still looks ridiculous.

Comics - 108

Graphic Novels - 13
Trades - 33 (182)

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I have no idea what you are talking about.

Iron Man: Season One - Really disjointed. The stuff with Tony is fine, if not boring. I secondary plot of a conspiracy to embezzle millions is completely random and goes no where slowly. The art is the star of this book, but it just doesn't fit an Iron Man book. The style would work better with a more mystical character like Dr. Strange or better yet, Thor.

Dr. Strange: Season One - I liked this one story wise. The art however isn't good at all. I could not tell what was happening during most battles. Again, I think the style is miscast. This would work well in a more grounded book like Iron Fist or better yet, Shang-Chi.

X-Men: Season One - Best of the lot so far. I have noticed with all these types of books dealing with the X-Men, Jean is the best character to use as the entry into the original team. Maybe because you get the extra layer of being the only female at the school that makes it a more interesting story to tell.

And as for all three of these, there is no modernizing at all. They are all left kinda timeless, which makes them much more enjoyable, unlike the garbage that were the FF/Spider-Man offerings.

Comics - 108

Graphic Novels - 16
Trades - 33 (182)

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More What If?s:

#14: Sgt Fury Fought WW2 in Space-Stupid. Pure and simple. One of the few wild misses in the original run.

#15: Nova had been four other people-Not bad, just unmemorable.

#16: Shang-Chi fought on the side of Fu Manchu-THIS is the shit. A really fun supernatural martial arts/spy thriller.

#17: Ghost Rider, Spider-Woman and Captain Marvel were villains-Not bad, but I'm not much a fan of the several story issues. They never really get into the fallout as much as they should.

#18: Dr. Strange were (shouldn't that be 'was'?) a Disciple of Dormammu-Pretty fun. It basically corrupts Strange in the way that Doom was initially corrupted and goes from there. Good stuff.

#19: Spider-Man had never become a crime-fighter-It works. Instead of letting the criminal get by him, he decided that catching a criminal would be good for publicity. Pretty neat little story.

#20: Avengers fought the Kree-Skrull War without Rick Jones-Not excellent. Too much to cover in a single issue. A common problem with these.

#21: Invisible Girl Married the Sub-Mariner-Fun. Drawn by Gene Colan, it is a sequel to the Fantastic Five issue.

#22: Dr. Doom had become a hero: What if Doom listened to Reed in University about the miscalculation. Most writers would make it so Doom joined Reed in the FF, but this one has him going home and becoming a super-hero in Latveria to fight Mephisto. Fucking great!

#23: Hulk became a Barbarian: It's one of those What If so-and-so never died but they end up dying later anyway issues. This time Jarella. Not very good.

#24: Spider-Man rescued Gwen Stacy: Fucking great! One of my favorite Spider-Man stories. Would be an amazing jumping off point for an ongoing series, actually.

#25: Thor and the Avengers battled the Gods: Kind of a snooze.

#26: Captain America was President-Fun. This is an example of a great issue. Quite political actually, when you put it all together. Shouldn't be much of a surprise now that I think about it.

#27: Phoenix had not died-Ahhh, yes. One of the kind of body count issues that volume 2 was famous for. In this one, after killing Terrax and Galactus, she slaughters the X-Men and then consumes the entire universe. No big deal.

Comics: 474
Trades: 21
Omnibus: 5
Graphic Novels: 6

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I read some single issues recently, so this is them:

Batman Confidential #8: Fun one in done story, three mini stories in one book, all not bad, the best being Graham Nolan being able to write and draw a story about the origin of the dinosaur in the batcave.

Batman Confidential #20: Three more one and done stories, the first featuring Catwoman meeting the relative heroes, a team I've never heard of was the best of the three, the other stories featuring Robin and Jade and Nightwing and Supergirl were really short and forgettable.

Uncanny Avengers #4: The Red Skull is a bad ass. He just stands by and watches as he tricks the Avengers into beating each other up. Fun.

Uncanny Avengers #5: A character centric issue, not as good as number 4, but still an enjoyable read. Along with his Uncanny X-Force run, Rick Remender is becoming a writer I want to see more from.

Avengers #4: I had no clue what was going on for over half the issue, but it looked ok, so that's something.

Detective Comics Annual 1989: Mark Waid was the writer, so the worst this could be was average, and it was, just sadly average. The main issue was, it felt like a 20 page story, padded out into 40 pages. Still interesting, but not the best book I've read.

The Mask Strikes Back #1: Ok, but something about this just felt inconsequential, we're told how dangerous The Mask "Bighead" is, but it's never really shown. As a first issue, I was hoping for more to try and make me track down further issues, but it isn't, it's just sort of there.

Power of Shazam #1: This was the opposite of Mask Strikes Back, I now want to find some more issues of Power of Shazam, this was a fun issue, and left me kind of wanting more.

Paul Pope 100% #1: I have no idea what happened in this book, outside of a stripper buying a gun.

Batman Adventures #10: Bland story, good art. The story is just sort of there, dull and a quick read. Shame, I was hoping for more from a Riddler story.

Justice League Quarterly #2: This was the best of the bunch. What if Galactus was in the DC Universe, and rather than destroy planets, he redecorated them, and then the B team Justice League had to join the army to take him down. One of the funniest comics I've read in a long time, every other page featured at least one good joke, and Batman hearing about the problems and just washing his hands of the whole story was awesome.

Trades: 74
Comics: 17
Omnibus: 1
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The Shield: Kicking Down The Door - At first look, I thought this would be DC Captain America. After reading it, it was a DC Captain America/Iron Man mashup. Not to say that is a bad thing per say, but this wasn't good. The first storyline shows promise, but it doesn't feel like an introductory story. And then Nazis show up in the second story and I tap out.

Science Dog - Seems like I am missing something. Or lots of things. Feels like a bad What If story based on characters I know nothing about. And Google just told me he is in the Invincible universe. That makes more sense. Still isn't good.

Comics - 108

Graphic Novels - 17
Trades - 34 (189)

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New Mutants (Marvel Graphic Novel #4)-This is basically a better two issue origin tale than it is a standalone graphic novel, but the form was still pretty new. Claremont was basically jump-starting an ongoing series with this anyway. I love Bob McLeod's artwork. Kind of like Colan's painting with pencils.

Trades likely to be covered in the next Dread Media:

Bedlam vol 1

Freaks' Amour

Hellraiser vol 5: Blood Communion

Hellraiser: The Road Below

Oh boy...I shouldn't have waited so long to catch up on What If?'s in this thread:

#28- Daredevil became an agent of SHIELD-One of the rare works here done by an actual creative team from the book that falls flatter than a pancake.Ugh.

#29-Avengers defeated everybody-I thought this was sort of fun, but it is hard to buy the central idea of Scarlet Centurion tricking the Avengers into thinking that they should shut every other superpower in the world down in order to save it. At least until Civil War anyway.

#30-Spider-Man's Clone survived-this one is filled with equal pathos and fun, making it kind of the perfect Spidey story. Pretty damned good.

#31-Wolverine had killed the Hulk-Pretty cool. Leads to Wolverine joining the Brotherhood then becoming a mole in the X-Men and eventually dying to save the X-Men. Another gem is the backup of What If the FF never existed. Really, it should say, What if The Thing went on a rampage and never joined his friends after the accident? It's fun because his accident leads to scaring a high school Peter Parker into going back home instead of to the radiation experiment, to Donald Blake's cab being late and missing his flight so he never discovers Thor's hammer, and to drafting Tony Stark and Bruce Banner to stop him instead of going on their fateful missions. Basically, Ben Grimm's bitchfit led to no Marvel Universe.

#32-The Avengers had become pawns of Korvac-I literally remember nothing of this story.

#33-featuring Dazzler and Iron Man-In part one we get a credible and tragic story, played straight mind you, where Dazzler becomes the Herald of Galactus. Amazing. Then Iron man never left King Arthur's time and eventually became King Anthony of England.

#34-The Marvel universe went crazy-aka "Holy shit! We're contractually obligated to give Fred Hembeck x number of pages a year and we haven't given him ANY this year!"

#35-Elektra had lived-written and drawn by Frank Miller in his prime with Terry Austin on inks. Amazing. It isn't an earth-shattering story but it is wonderfully personal and street level.

#36-The FF had not gained their powers-written and drawn by John Byrne in his prime. Apparently they would have become the Challengers of the Unknown? Who knew?

#37-The Beast and The Thing continued to mutate-totally inconsequential.

#38-featuring Daredevil/Captain America/ Vision & Scarlet Witch-Ha! Jump forward to the far future of 2013 to see where our heroes are in their old age. The Vision/Scarlet Witch story is actually quite sweet and heartfelt/. Old Man Cap is boring. Daredevil is pretty good as he and Black Widow, now the president of Russia (!), put their old costumes on to stop a terrorist.

#39-Thor battled Conan-pretty awesome actually.

#40-Dr Strange had not become the master of the mystic arts- one of thos "Psyche! He did anyway" kind of stories. Not very good and very derivative of a previous What If?

#41-Sub-Mariner had saved Atlantis from its Destiny- snooze.

#42-The Invisible Girl had died-in childbirth. Brutal. This is one of the best FF stories I've read ina long time. There's a great badass page of Reed getting revenge. The sequence at the funeral is actually very heart-wrenching. Good stuff.

#43-Conan were stranded in the 20th Century-perhaps the greatest What If? of volume one. First of all, this cover:


Then, you actually read the interior and it is a direct sequel to another of one of the best What If's of all time (#13). Too bad they'll never get reprinted. But to see Conan dressed as a pimp become the leader of a militant black gang is worth hunting it down on eBay. AMAZING!!!!

#44-Captain America were revived today-another great Sienkiewicz cover. Some really great action and a nice swerve in the story. Well done.

#45-The Hulk went Berserk-Another great Sienkiewicz cover:


Hulk kills Thing, Human Torch and iron Man before Thor can kill him right after he becomes the Hulk.

#46-Uncle Ben had lived-Alright. Not great. Especially after the previous few issues.

#47-Loki had found the hammer of Thor-another great cover, but a totally missable story.

Special #1-Iron man had been a traitor-Despite some pretty good Ditko art, this is a total miss. Mr. Fantastic kicks his ass. That's it.

Comics: 494
Trades: 25
Omnibus: 5
Graphic Novels: 7

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I have enough time in the rest of this year to read as many OGNs this year as I have every other year we've counted these combined. I have two to add this time:

Area 10-This is part of the Vertigo Crime run they did a while back. I found a chunk of them at a used bookstore for stupid cheap a couple months ago and this is the first one I read. I really enjoyed it. It's paced a little weirdly, but the story is innovative and the art is gorgeous. Gage takes the typical "single gimmick" crime story and makes something wonderful out of it. This case being trepanation. Samnee's art is PERFECT. Completely flawless. I'll be surprised if I see anything else from him this perfect, but I'll enjoy trying.

Blast Furnace: Recreational Thief-Created one page a day, one hour a page over the course of six months with no planning or plotting. This has the recipe for a complete disaster, and it is anything but. Ryan Browne creates a story that is both heartfelt and sweet, and cruel and hilarious all at the same time. It never gets tired. Even when there are like four flashbacks within flashbacks (like the Inception of flashback sequences). And there are ostriches. Lots of them. Blast Furnace is a thief who lights his necktie on fire before going on the job and has weapons like the "Electrostache" which, if you aren't sure, is a mustache that shoots electricity. This is stupid. This is genius.

A trade now:

God Hates Astronauts: The Completely Complete Edition-Thus far, hands down the greatest Kickstarter reward I've ever received. Ryan Browne (who did the above Blast Furnace) collecting a three issue miniseries that he created over a span of six years. It is INSANE. Superheroes fighting bears. The dad from Family Matters loses his arms, has them replaced with gorilla arms and calls himself Gnarled Winslow. Anything I say about this here, will not do it justice. It is madness. It is Sparta. It is staring into the face of God and then God asks you to get out of the way because he's trying to watch Spongebob Squarepants. Ryan Browne has officially gone from a guy I thought was funny on twitter to someone whose work I will buy sight unseen indefinitely. So happy he's the next guy on Bedlam. It'll be interesting to see how he handles the dark horror stuff.

And finally, I have dived into volume 2 of What If?

#1 The Avengers Lost the Evolutionary War-This one's pretty uneven, but it is pretty amazing to end the first issue of a rebooted series (only a few years after volume 1 was cancelled, mind you) with one of the most existential endings a Marvel Comic has ever had.

#2 Daredevil Killed the Kingpin-Great to see a terrible deed drive Daredevil mad. Even better to see Greg Capullo do his Born Again era Frank Miller impression.

#3 Steve Rogers had refused to give up being Captain America-This is great because it riffs on my favorite era of Cap. Great storytelling here.

#4 the Alien Costume had possessed Spider-Man-Snooze. I don't recall many of the Spidey issues of Volume 2 being much good.

#5 The Vision had Destroyed the Avengers-This was the first What If... that I ever read. It forced me to go back and get everything else. I loved it and read it over and over. It's also the first of several good WIs that has The Vision turn into an asshole. And it's the best. Great stuff!

#6 The X-Men Lost Inferno-Wow...I remember this being a lot better.

#7 Wolverine was an Agent of SHIELD-written by Jim Valentino and drawn by a very young Rob Liefeld. Pretty fun actually. Unfortunately, the end does a big info dump on what it all lead to instead of six more pages that could have made it something special.

Comics: 501
Trades: 26
Omnibus: 5
Graphic Novels: 9

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Area 10-This is part of the Vertigo Crime run they did a while back. I found a chunk of them at a used bookstore for stupid cheap a couple months ago and this is the first one I read. I really enjoyed it. It's paced a little weirdly, but the story is innovative and the art is gorgeous. Gage takes the typical "single gimmick" crime story and makes something wonderful out of it. This case being trepanation. Samnee's art is PERFECT. Completely flawless. I'll be surprised if I see anything else from him this perfect, but I'll enjoy trying.

I picked this up at C2E2 from Samnee, who signed it and drew a little face in it. Just thought I'd mention it.

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#7 Wolverine was an Agent of SHIELD-written by Jim Valentino and drawn by a very young Rob Liefeld. Pretty fun actually. Unfortunately, the end does a big info dump on what it all lead to instead of six more pages that could have made it something special.

I'm pretty sure this was the first comic I ever read with Liefeld's art, and I remember very distinctly thinking "what the hell is this shit?" It was fairly low key compared to what came later, but his lack of fundamentals really bothered me from the start.

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Ant-Man: Season One - Not very good. Bad plot and I was not a fan of the cartoony art.

Hulk: Season One - I enjoyed this one. Great art and a new to me take on the Hulk.

Avengers: Season One - Bad. Never feels like an Avengers story. Art is inconsistent and reminds me of Heroes Reborn.

I think that leaves me with liking three of these Season One books. Not a good overall average.

Comics - 108

Graphic Novels - 20
Trades - 34 (189)

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Last time I was on here I had finished my travels through the Marvel Cosmic universe. I've pulled a way from that universe completely it was a fun ride.

Now I'm exploring a couple of different universes all together:

Marvel Ultimate - After Ultimatum

Some brief overview. At some points across the years, I've read the almost the entirety of Ultimate Spider-man up to the Ultimatum event. I really liked that book, it was consistently entertaining, true to character, and never really faltered too far. I've of course read the famous and very good Ultimates Runs by Mark Millar, and have recently read his multiple mini-series on Ultimate Comics: Avengers, which were ridiculous. And I've read at the very least the first 5-6 trades of Ultimate X-men and FF. Never finished either one of those as the writing was never really ever that strong, although there are certainly some stand outs. I quite liked Bendis run on Ultimate X-men and I never really read past that point. Ultimatum came out and devastated the entire universe pretty badly, but I wanted to see if they would pick up the pieces, and if it could return to it's former glory at least a little bit. The biggest problem is that it's changed the universe so much, and as somebody who hasn't read the event and doesn't want to read the event, it's pretty hard to play catch up, but I tried anyways.

Ultimate Comics New Ultimates: Thor Reborn - First off we have Jeph Loeb back in the saddle continuing pieces from the previous stories. It's obvious from this story alone that the world is in a bit of a mess since Ultimatum. The Ultimates now consist of Cap, Iron Man, Valykrie, Hawkeye, Barda (who? DC?), a dead Thor, and Carol Danvers (who is introduced at some point before this and is now head of Shield). The story is a bit of a mess and really is mostly a set up to the big action sequence in the final three issues where Frank Cho can play with some great visuals. I don't remember much of the story at all, except some demon sex and multiple rebirths, and other random shit happening.

Ultimate Comics Ultimate X - I'm not sure what happened to the rest of the X-men, as there is only two or three of the original cast left here in this book. But this is a new introduction to the X-men world, going back to teens once more and recruiting them. But the X-men status quo again is the same as it ever was. Story isn't really a mish mash of ideas like the previous book was as it's got a clear thorough-line of establishing the X-men's standing in the Ultimate universe once more. But it didn't really entice me to read more.

Ultimate Captain America - Much more like it, I really liked this story, even if Ultimate Cap is a bit of a jocky asshole, and even if this has many elements of the prototypical Cap story (Viet Cap, Super Soldier Serum development by other countries, etc..), it's done pretty well. I really liked the look at Cap's faith, and the ending felt pretty poignant. There's a lot of consequences being taken here, and some send offs to Cap's putting down France. It's good stuff, not great stuff, but definitely readable and interesting. Unfortunately the villain of the piece is too one dimensional, there could really have been a conversation about America, a breaking of Cap mentally, but most of the stuff brought up is typical, sociology 101, and it's all done through torture.

Ultimate Thor - Another one I was entertained by. I really liked the element of Thor just being a wacko, but Millar put the kibosh on that in Ultimates 2. Moving forward though, telling the story of how Thor came to be part of the Ultimates, is not a bad story. Again, it's a typical Thor story, but it's well done. All the usual elements are there, but they're not really deviated too far from the 616 verse. Nonetheless, an entertaining myth story.

The other Universe that I've really dived deep into is Sin City:

Just ranking the books but really I've loved them all. I love crime noir, and this is great great shit.

1. Hard Goodbye

2. Yellow Bastard

3. Dame to Kill For

4. Booze Broads and Bullets

5. Big Fat Kill

6. Hell and Back

7. Family Values

Odds and Ends:

All Star Superman - really great Superman story, I think I was more attached to Birthright for some reason, but this was some great stuff. It'll probably read better in re-reads.

Checkmate by Greg Rucka (and one Outsiders Crossover) - I love Rucka's Queen & Country, this is basically that with superheroes. It's not bad, but it's missing the extra oomph. Some hurdles for me, as some familiarity would probably help build the connection to these already known characters. It did do a good job of balancing international politics and spy work with the superheroing. Pretty entertaining, but definitely not better than Queen & Country.

Up Next: Black Hole,


Top 10 by Moore

or Uncanny X-Force by Remender

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Quite a bit to go through from me, so apologies if I ramble on.
Simpsons Comics: Extravaganza: Not the best Simpsons comics I've read, but enjoyable, if a bit bland at times.

Arkham Asylum: A serious house on a serious Earth: I enjoyed it when I previously read it, but this time, the book just felt kind of forced, like Batman and the rogues all sounded like pseudo-intellectuals, and all their dialogue comes across as stilted and forced. The arts still great, but just the dialogue, just felt off.
Tales of the Golden Avenger: Iron Man: Stories of Iron Man, the teenage Iron Man stories were the best in this compilation book, everything was just good, but not great.
Simpsons Comics Spectacular: One of the better Simpsons trades I've read recently, but still, not fantastic. It seems the fortunes of the show and comic mirror each other. When the shows at its creative peak, the comic sucks, but when the show is growing tired, the comic seems to put out some great material.
Batman And Robin Must Die: Frazier Irving draws the scariest Joker I think I've ever seen. The art was great for his arc, and this should have been The Joker, that Morrison should have used since the start of his run. Someone who is genuinely terrifying, even if the conclusion to the actual story comes out of nowhere, and isn't really explained, which seems to be a theme for Morrison's Batman run.
Gotham By Gaslight: First story with art by Mike Mignola is awesome. The second story is pretty bad, so overall it worked out as average.
Avengers Initiative: Another mini trade, that is "The prequel to the hit movie!" I wish Marvel/DC would either chose to stop publishing these things, as they never tie in with the films, or actually get the people who write the films to write the stories, as this was just bad.
Hush Beyond: Utter garbage. The book seemed more interested in carrying on the Batman Beyond DCAU storylines, than actually telling an interesting story.
Batman and Robin: Reborn: The first three issues were always good, and the Red Hood story reads a lot better in one sitting, rather than in monthly issues, but it still feels like there's pages missing, as Morrison doesn't really bother to explain what is going on.
Batman Incorporated: This was a mixed bag, the book felt like it didn't know what it wanted to be at times. Did it want to set up Batmen across the world? Did it want to have Batman give financial backing to other lower tier heroes? Did it just want to be Morrison said he's read a lot history books and throwing a lot of shit at the wall and seeing what stuck? Most of the stories are ok, but I was just left shocked at how jarring it was to read these changes issue by issue. I'm really starting to find myself hating Morrison's Batman run, because he clearly just wants to show how smart he is at times, and have stories that just fly over the readers heads in the hope that he sounds smart, as he routinely pulls out story pages and just says "Try and work it out now."
Trades: 84
Comics: 17
Omnibus: 1
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The Number 73304-23-4153-6-96-8 - I don't get it. And granted I got this from the library, but this thing costs $29. No words and it took five minutes to finish. That would be a waste even if I did get it. Which I didn't.

Comics - 108

Graphic Novels - 21
Trades - 34 (189)

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Batman: Ego and other tails: Some of Darwyn Cooke's Batman/Catwoman work, including Selina's big score, which is the highlight of the trade.

Batman: Black Mirror: Scott Snyder's story of Gotham as a living breathing demon started here, and right from the get go, he seems to get Batman and Gotham. He uses interesting new villains, that tie into the history of Gotham, and also features The Joker in an issue. The highlight is his new major villain, James Gordon Jr, who's incredibly creepy at points. I wish Snyder would have been given more time with Dick as Batman, as he clearly understands the character and his surroundings.

Trades: 86
Comics: 17
Omnibus: 1
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