What’s I&N Store (4/16)

  • Skyman #4 (Dark Horse): Decided to stick with it after being blown away by Fialkov’s The Bunker.  This sure as heck isn’t The Bunker.  After this issue, one thing’s for sure: it’s over.
  • American Vampire: The Second Cycle #2 (DC/Vertigo):  The Second Cycle has kicked off well enough.  I am nervous, however: no, not because of Snyder’s admirable ability to scrounge up a scare, but because seconds rarely taste as fresh as the first.
  • Batman Eternal #2 (DC): The first one wasn’t very good: sure, the story was bookended nicely; but in between, it was an uneven shuffling of Batstuff, resulting in something less Batman Eternal and more Scott Snyder’s Gotham City.  Maybe I’ll give it another shot–you know, to be fair.
  • Wonder Woman #30 (DC): War: what is she good for?  I guess we’ll find out soon enough, won’t we?
Wonder Woman #30

Wonder Woman #30

  • Star Mage #1 (IDW): “Like Harry Potter meets The Last Starfighter.”  Feh to the former; hellz yeah to the latter.  I’ll thumb through it, for sure.
  • A Voice in the Dark #6 (Image): Hasn’t been good since #2.  Taylor’s dialogue continues to speak to his weakness as a storyteller.
  • Stray Bullets: Killers #2 (Image): #1 was everything you want out of a comic book experience.  Sure proved that Lapham hasn’t missed a beat–and that he thrives on the crash.
Stray Bullets: Killers #2

Stray Bullets: Killers #2

  • Ms. Marvel #3 (Marvel): #2 wasn’t as strong as #1, but it didn’t turn me off completely.  It did have a freaky hand, however, in my wondering if this series, long term, is for me.  We’ll call this one the decision maker.
  • Uncanny X-Men #20 (Marvel): At this point, it is what it is: plenty of promise, short on fulfillment.
  • Curse #4 (BOOM!): This very mediocre series comes to a close.  I hope this final issue rings true.
  • Rover Red Charlie #5 (Avatar): Still working our way toward the Big Splash.  I hope it’s really big–to justify the journey, the telling of this dog of a tale.
  • Solar: Man of the Atom #1 (Dynamite): I haven’t liked anything Frank Barbiere has done.  Can’t imagine that this’ll be any different.  I am interested in the character, however.
  • Translucid #1 (BOOM!): Not familiar with the creators, but the premise seems interesting enough.  Doesn’t hurt that Jeff Stokely’s the cover artist!
Translucid #1

Translucid #1

  • X-O Manowar #24 (Valiant): Has been a solid read from the get-go.  Things are heating up, though, with the big Armor Hunters event right around the corner!

Turning pages,

Scott

What’s I&N Store (4/9)

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The lightest week in a long while swings around at the right time.

  • Astro City #11 (DC/Vertigo): On to something new after the Winged Victory arc.  Doesn’t matter what it is, really; it’s going to be a solid read.  Kurt Busiek’s good like that.
  • Royals: Masters of War #3 (DC/Vertigo): My problem with #2: the pacing. If Rob Williams were shooting for the fog of war, then he hit the target and caused plenty of collateral damage in the process. The art from Simin Colby, however, was just as strong.
Royals: Masters of War #3

Royals: Masters of War #3

  • Batman Eternal #1 (DC): I have no faith in the value of this series–for a couple of reasons, really: the words “weekly” (more so “weakly’?) and “various” wail like a siren warning me away; and I’ve found no use for Snyder’s Batman since the penultimate issue of the Court of Owls storyline. Hard to imagine things’ll be different this time around. I’ll thumb through it and make the call from there.
  • East of West #11 (Image): Still a slow death–even after an uncharacteristically busy #10–but still very good. Funny: Hickman’s plodding style plays well here but not so well on his hero books.
East of West #11

East of West #11

  • Manifest Destiny #6 (Image): I swore to Derek that #5 was my last issue.  Let’s see if I can stick to my muskets.
  • Shutter #1 (Image): A “female Indiana Jones”?  That promise doesn’t do much for me–mostly because I couldn’t care less about Indiana Jones. (Deep breath, Derek. It’ll be OK.) How about, maybe, a “classy Lara Croft”? Nah. Still nothin’. OK, how about an “Image #1″? Now we’re talkin’!
  • All-New X-Men #25 (Marvel): Anniversary issues–and why not celebrate an anniversary at #25!–generally suck.  My expectations?  Already in the vacuum bag, boys and girls.
  • All-New Ghost Rider #2 (Marvel): Will most assuredly pass.  #1 was a disaster–save for Tradd Moore’s art, of course. Terrible transitions, head-scratching moments, and stomach-curling schmaltz add up to a missed opportunity.
  • Daredevil #1.5 (Marvel): Leaning toward leaving it on the shelf.  Again: anniversary issues never satisfy.
  • Iron Fist: The Living Weapon #1 (Marvel): I’ve always liked Iron Fist/Danny Rand.  And I also like the idea of a singular creator–in this case, Kaare Andrews–taking him on. I’ll give it a try.
Iron Fist: The Living Weapon #1

Iron Fist: The Living Weapon #1

  • Nightcrawler #1 (Marvel): The name Chirs Claremont carries a lot of weight.  Unfortunately, Nightcrawler is my least favorite X-Man–ever.  May have to BAMF! its way into my bag.
  • Flash Gordon #1 (Dynamite): Not kidding: the main reason I’m leaning toward “yes” is because I’ve taken to Millar’s Starlight, a clear spin on the Flash Gordon story.  Doesn’t hurt that Jeff Parker and Evan Shaner are attached to it.
Flash Gordon #1

Flash Gordon #1

  • Magnus: Robot Fighter #2 (Dynamite): I enjoyed #1 enough.  You down with FVL?  Yeah, you know mehl.
  • The Twilight Zone #4 (Dynamite): #2 was one of our top books of February.  #3 didn’t quite reach that level, but it was still pretty good.  #4 brings J. Michael Straczynski’s first arc to its face-melting final act.  Will the real Trevor Richmond please stand up.  Please stand up.  Please stand up.
The Twilight Zone #4

The Twilight Zone #4

  • Unity #6 (Valiant):  I’m awfully close to passing on it.  It’s no secret: I’m a Matt Kindt junkie.  Thing is, #5 was pretty terrible.  Arrgh!  I don’t know what to do!

Which books are you looking forward to this week?

Turning pages,

Scott

Top 5 Books of February

Sorry our list is late.  I blame Derek for having passed on his half of the Top 5 because his wife gave birth to his second child–another beautiful daughter–or something silly like that.

#5. Lazarus #6 (Image): Greg Rucka’s not a shy guy.  We know which way he leans politically–and there’s plenty of leaning here in Lazarus.  Sure, he could easily have turned this series into a didactic dystopian diatribe; however, he handles the political landscape with class, never becoming too heavy handed.  This chapter is beautifully bookended: it kicks off with a flashback to a young Forever–and the simmering mystery regarding her family ties–and ends with the hope of a brighter future for old Dennis’s granddaughter–a future with a family not her own.  The issue is a slow burn, satisfyingly so, which at its peak features the fleeting threat of violence.  Michael Lark’s art is as effective as ever, but it’s the pacing, the patience, that propels this part of the story. (SC)

Lazarus_06-1

#4. The Twilight Zone #2 (Dynamite): J. Michael Straczynski’s a frustrating fella.  His Joe’s Comics line, in general, has been a major disappointment; but we’re still willing to give him a shot, aren’t we?  Of course, we are: he’s JMS, after all.  And good thing, too: The Twilight Zone is something special–even if it isn’t so unique.  See: the storyline–what makes this initial arc a believable Twilight Zone episode–is the very same storyline at the center of JMS’s Sidekick.  No kidding!  But I’m not going to speculate as to the reason for his identical identity-swapping plots; instead, I’m going to put that inconvenient truth aside and celebrate what he’s done well.  Let’s be honest: it’s no surprise that Straczynski shines here: after all, he wrote episodes of The Twilight Zone television series some twenty-five years ago; and those TV writing chops are seen specifically in the furious pace that is set, the result of narration and dialogue designed to launch the story into the stratosphere, where, in true Twilight Zone fashion, the impossible becomes even more impossible: Trevor Richmond, who is technically the re-faced former Trevor Richmond, finds a new and improved Trevor Richmond, who unsettlingly looks the part and is looking to right the former’s wrongs–in the boardroom and in the bedroom–and the former is none to happy about it!  Straczynski and artist Guiu Vilanova set Trevor Prime in motion–a la Dan Aykroyd’s Louis Winthorpe III from Trading Places: he gets scoffed at, shot at, frying-panned at; and, unable to take it anymore, he swears revenge “one way…or the other” on an ominous final page that makes us believe him.  Something tells me that this new Trevor Richmond isn’t exactly what he looks like. (SC)

Twilight Zone #2

Twilight Zone #2

#3. The Massive #20 (Dark Horse): Once again, Brian Wood wields tension like a gun loaded with climaxes but not fired. He offers us a rope; we willingly pull it taut; and he challenges us along the way, never allowing any slack, but also never threatening to snap the rope in two. The telling tug-of-war extends to the characters, as well: Mag vs. agents of Arkady–and then Arkady himself; Cal vs. Yusup, himself a seemingly reluctant agent of Arkady; and, ultimately, roiling beneath the surface, waiting to boil over, Cal vs. Mag. The juxtaposition of the conversations is choreographed elegantly, and executed expertly by the game Garry Brown, through to the final page of this deliberate dance–a final page that hints at Wood’s willingness to finally pull the trigger: as his page-bound proxy promises, come next issue, “[A]ll will be made clear.”  Oh, and there’s something about Mary–something very mysterious and melodious about Mary. (SC)

The Massive #20

The Massive #20

#2. Fatale #20 (Image): Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips’ Fatale has been a well-Lovecrafted hypnotic thrill-ride from the smoking hot and super suggestive first issue.  But none has possessed as much raw demonic power as this month’s offering, in which Josephine lights up and lets go, revealing several sides of herself, including, most notably, her desperate suiside–well, her numerous attempts, anyway.  She’s driven to find Nick, and she ain’t kiddin’ around: in fact, in a particularly creepy scene, she kicks a kid–a boy who hits puberty hard in Jo’s “pretty, pretty” presence–out of a car she jacks and leaves him in the middle of the road, another casualty of the ruinous raven-haired femme fatale, who, in the end, lobotomizes Lance with a cigarette-flavored kiss and saves Nick, but not before leaving him with a memory that blows his mind–and an issue that blows ours to smithereens.  Sexy mothereffing smithereens. (SC)

Fatale #20

Fatale #20

#1. Mind MGMT #19 (Dark Horse): And now for Matt Kindt’s next trick: using a torn paper technique and tri-color coding to affect four–count ‘em: four!–concurrent narratives, the incomparable creator sends Meru to Berlin for the next stop on her magical mystery recruitment tour, leaving us with that childish sense of wonder only a true wizard of the medium can inspire.  The Magician’s Tale–the issue’s spine, fractured from the moment the fem illusionist first steps on stage–takes us on a vertical adventure, page after page, from fleeing the increasingly unfriendly audience–and the agents she’s identified in it–all the way to the welcoming arms of the new Mind Management.  Attempting to keep pace with the disgraced mage, Meru’s crew splits into two teams, each–in its own series of panels–heading horizontally toward some precarious parallelism–all while the Eraser and her gang, in their own longitudinal fashion, actively pursue, and ultimately score the former agent.  Doesn’t matter for whom you’re rooting: it’s an issue that deserves a standing ovation and the top spot in our Top 5. (SC)

Mind MGMT #19

Mind MGMT #19

The Biggest Dis(appointment): Rover Red Charlie #3 (Avatar)

Our heroic hounds chasing chickens?  A tasty treat!  Umm, but having a former feeder toss a bulldog’s kibbles leaves a bad taste in the mouth, doesn’t it? Ugh. (SC)

Rover Red Charlie #3

Rover Red Charlie #3

Turning pages,

Scott

What’s I&N Store (4/2)

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I’ve been dropping books and passing on new books and have been buying more books than ever.  Sure ain’t adding up, but it sure as hell is piling up.

  • Veil #2 (Dark Horse): #1 was a bit underwhelming, somewhat annoying at times, especially as the mysterious young lady got all Seuss-ian while trying on language–like a veil between who she was and who she has become.  But it’s Rucka, sucka, mother——, so I’m trying on another.
  • Detective Comics #30 (DC): Brian Buccellato and Francis Manapul take up the cowl after having pushed the pace on The Flash.  I’m interested.
Detective Comics #30

Detective Comics #30

  • Trillium #8 (DC/Vertigo): Lemire’s time-twisting, sci-fi, doppelganger-driven epic comes to a close.  Has flown by, really–so much so that I don’t feel that I’ve developed any sort of connection to the characters.  But has this series really been about the characters?  No: it’s been about the far-out layouts, which have been pretty outstanding.
  • Monster & Madman #2 (IDW): A very Steve Niles initial offering–with art from a fella with an appropriately creepy name: Damien Worm–made this one a must buy.  So did the clever strategy of making us wait for the madman.
  • The Field #1 (Image): Ed Brisson’s a must try thanks to his solid showing on Sheltered.  I haven’t read Prophet, so I don’t know much about Simon Roy.  Guess I will after this one.
  • Sidekick #6 (Image): J. Michael Straczynski has certainly been prolific of late.  How does he manage it all?  Well, for one, he’s using the same storyline for two of his current books: this one and The Twilight Zone.  Not kidding: while reading Sidekick #5, I felt like I had entered the Twilight Zone.
  • Starlight #2 (Image): #1 was really, really good.  Out of this bunch of books, I’m looking forward to this one the most.  Art-wise, it’s no surprise: Goran Parlov’s art brings me back to one of our favorites of 2012 and 2013: Fury: My War Gone By.   And it’s no secret: Mark Millar generates great ideas.  Those great ideas usually translate into great first issues–and, just as usually, not-so-great series.  Here’s hoping that this one goes all the way.
Starlight #2

Starlight #2

  • Inhuman #1 (Marvel): Will give it a flip through.  It’s got Soule, but I’m not a Souledier.
  • Loki: Agent of Asgard #3 (Marvel): Not sure how I feel about this book.  I like the voice Al Ewing is affecting; in that, it’s a fun read.  I’ve never been a fan of the Thor side of the Marvel Universe, but I could see myself sticking around because it seems Ewing smartly isn’t taking the Asgardian aspect too seriously.  But what is this, really?  Considering the page-bound Lorelei lob just prior to her appearance on Agents of Shield, it’s nothing more than a companion pamphlet–right?
  • Magneto #2 (Marvel): Credit to Bunn and Walta: in #1, they delivered three terrific page turns and developed some serious tension–between Magneto and the motel maid!  A few questionable choices plot-wise leave me wondering if mine is a fleeting attraction.
Magneto #2

Magneto #2

  • Moon Knight #2 (Marvel): The first phase of the new Moon Knight didn’t have me waxing nostalgic.  But it’s Warren Ellis.  No, yeah, that’s all I’ve got.
  • Archer & Armstrong #19 (Valiant): Best moment of #18: Armstrong doin’ a beer bong–all while Archer’s in the middle of a shoot-out with Bloodshot.  Other than that, a notch below what we’ve come to expect from one of our top books of 2013.  Some people say that there’s a crossover to blame…
  • Caliban #1 (Avatar): Garth Ennis goes sci-fi horror.  Well, OK, then.  Gonna be on the lookout for that patented Avatar–the publisher, not the movie–moment.  Come on: you know what I’m talking about: you have been reading Rover Red Charlie, right?
  • Dead Letters #1 (BOOM!): Some more noir from BOOM!  It’d be a crime not to try it!  The second #1 this week that promises a premise predicated upon some dude waking up somewhere without any clue as to who he is, where he is, etc.  Yup: that’s what The Field is offering, as well.  Every new series should start that way!
Dead Letters #1

Dead Letters #1

  • Quantum and Woody #9 (Valiant): Last issue got my goat.

What are you looking forward to this week?

Turning pages,

Scott

What’s I&N Store (3/26)

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This week, quantity marries quality.  The bridal bed: my bag.

  • The Massive #21 (Dark Horse): #20 was one of our Top Five Books of February–and deservedly so.  Brian Wood and Garry Brown have hit all the right notes leading up to this arc ender–a real “Bloc” buster!
  • Mind MGMT #20 (Dark Horse): It might seem as if we’re getting paid to say so, but, no, it’s just true: #19 was our #1 book of February. That’s back-to-back top spots! And let’s not forget that #17 was our top single issue of 2013!  Innovation has been at the heart of our celebration; in that, we can’t wait to see what Matt Kindt has come up with this time around.
Mind MGMT #20

Mind MGMT #20

  • Pariah #2 (Dark Horse): It’s Sheltered in outer space. I like Sheltered enough, so I’ll try another.
  • Dead Boy Detectives #4 (DC/Vertigo): So very Vertigo, isn’t it? Has hooked me much in the same way John Ney Rieber hooked me with The Books of Magic ongoing back in the day. I love how the three narrative voices come together–kind of like the comic book version of Peter, Paul, and Mary.
Dead Boy Detectives #4

Dead Boy Detectives #4

  • The Sandman: Overture #2 (DC/Vertigo): I’m already over its being overdue.  I’m not much of a Gaimanite.  It’s all about J.H. Williams for me.  His art is always welcome in my bag.
  • The Wake #7 (DC/Vertigo): Can’t say that I understand the celebratory waves left in the wake of the first five issues. But what I can say with certainty is that I liked #6 quite a bit–despite some expository dialogue that smacks of a Sci-Fi original movie. The clever cliffhanger–one of several selling points of #6–calls quickly–too quickly?–to mind what’s come before, making this month’s offering as crucial as can be.  The danger: doling out too much or too little here in #7.  Snyder’s got to play this one just right.
  • Alex + Ada #5 (Image): Sure, the forum discussion gets a tad technical, but it is easily chalked up as a necessary evil–one rehabilitated almost immediately by Jonathan Luna’s patient visual storytelling, which, along with complementing well Sarah Vaughn’s more economical approach to the dialogue, accentuates the suspense born of Alex’s choice to reboot Ada.  Love the way the issue ends: I’m pretty sure my eyes widened–like Ada’s–in anticipation of that final page turn, which revealed, to my dismay, a suffering Ada.  Kudos to Luna and Vaughn for making me suffer along with Ada in the moment and along with Alex for the last month or so.  I’m desperate to discover how this pans out for the two of them three of us.
Alex + Ada #5

Alex + Ada #5

  • Fatale #21 (Image): This siren song of a series hit a high note with #20–our #2 book of February. Yet another insistent miracle from Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips.  Not yet willing to accept that Josephine’s story is coming to an end.
Fatale #21

Fatale #21

  • The Manhattan Projects #19 (Image): Can you guess which part of #18 I appreciated the most?  If you’ve been following our blog for a while, you know exactly which sequence left me squealing with joy–a hole lot of joy!  (Hint: it’s not the one in Oppenheimer’s head.)
  • Satellite Sam #7 (Image): With #6, it’s back to business and, as a result, a return to form.  Matt Fraction’s writing is crisp, the dialogue an intricate dance; Howard Chaykin’s artwork is–as always–out of this world.
  • Captain America: Homecoming #1 (Marvel): It’s Fred Van Lente’s turn to wield the shield!  Oh, I’m definitely down with FVL.  I’m hoping he’s going to deliver the Super Soldier I’ve been longing for since Brubaker bailed–and Remender, subsequently, failed.
Captain America: Homecoming #1

Captain America: Homecoming #1

  • Iron Patriot #1 (Marvel): Ales Kot (Zero) and Garry Brown (The Massive): a Marvel Team-Up worth picking up!
  • Hawkeye #18 (Marvel): Has been a wild ride number-wise, and, as a result, storyline-wise.  #17 was kind of fun in a frivolous and furry way.  Speaking of: it’s time for another Kate Bishop singleton!  Starting to wonder if I’m buying this for Fraction or for his Hawkeye.  I’m leaning toward the latter.  That’s right: I’m the Leaning Reader of Hawkeye–who may pass on Clint-less copy.
  • Miracleman #4 (Marvel): The real Miracleman: Alan Moore.  Hard to believe this stuff is thirty-plus years old.
  • The Bunker #2 (Oni Press): An interesting premise, naturally complicated by the time-travel aspect, delivered with relative ease by Joshua Hale Fialkov and Joe Infurnari.  Looking forward to this one.
The Bunker #2

The Bunker #2

  • Doc Savage #4 (Dynamite): Still haven’t read the first three.
  • The Midas Flesh #4 (BOOM!): #2 was one of our top books of January.  #3 didn’t crack our list for February, but it was solid follow-up that gleefully gave us all the finger–Midas’s finger.  That’s some serious WMD: Weaponized Midas Digit.  Talk about the spoils of war!  The blood is the treasure!
  • Uber Special #1 (Avatar): I’m still diggin’ Uber.  Not too sure how much we need a “special,” though.

What are you looking forward to this week?

Turning pages,

Scott

What’s I&N Store (3/19)

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Can’t buy ‘em all.  That’s why I narrow it down to a select many every week.

  • Dark Horse Presents #34 (Dark Horse): A pricey pick, that’s for sure; but a gotta grab because Dean Motter’s magnificent Mister X is making his much anticipated return to the DHU.  And we love us some Mister X: if you didn’t already know–and you’d be in rare company–Mister X: Eviction was our #1 book of 2013.
Dark Horse Presents #37

Dark Horse Presents #34

  • Skyman #3 (Dark Horse): Has been OK.  My interest level in this book increased exponentially after reading Joshua Hale Fialkov’s The Bunker.  Makes this a bit of a potential pick.  Thing is, as a four-issue mini, Skyman might not have the time to realize that potential.  On a positive note, I’m willing to go the distance because it’s a mini.  Wouldn’t have been so willing if it had been an ongoing.
  • White Suits #2 (Dark Horse): Toby Cypress’s art was certainly remarkable.  The story, not so much.  I’m leaning toward passing on it.
  • The Witcher #1 (Dark Horse): Capable horror scribe Paul Tobin (Colder) makes it a maybe.  The fact that it’s based on a video game makes it a maybe not.  May also pass on this one.
  • American Vampire: Second Cycle #1 (DC/Vertigo): I’ve been looking forward to this!  Oh, sure, I bashed Batman a time or two and have been mostly put to sleep by The Wake (that is until #6, which was, pretty much, in The Wake world, anyhow, the equivalent of a cold shower!).  But that doesn’t mean I’m a Snyder hater; in fact, I happen to love American Vampire.  Consumed ‘em all in trade form and am ready for the next course!
  • Animal Man #29 (DC): Jumped off a while ago.  Wondering if it’s worth picking up seeing as it’s the last issue and all.  Love Lemire’s cover:
Animal Man #29

Animal Man #29

  • Batman and Aquaman #29 (DC): Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason continue to deliver the darkest of the Dark Knight books–and now, apparently, the wettest.
  • Suicide Squad #29 (DC): Hasn’t been as good as I had hoped it’d be with Kindt in command.  Riding out his run, anyway.
  • Wonder Woman #29 (DC): It’s no surprise that this is the only New 52 book I’ve stuck with–without missing an issue–from #1.  It’s no myth: Brian Azzarello has made a monthly living of being good.  Of drawing out the story, sure, but of being good, nevertheless.
  • A Voice in the Dark #5 (Image): Well, I certainly didn’t celebrate #4.  (Check out my review here.)  What I have celebrated, however, is the potential that Larime Taylor has shown–especially in a terrific #2.  Here, I’m hoping to see more than a return to form: I’m hoping to see improved pacing.  This book desperately needs to cut to the chase–and draw some blood in the process.
A Voice in the Dark #5

A Voice in the Dark #5

  • Fuse #2 (Image): #1 was an offer I could easily refuse–not re-Fuse, mind you.  Leaning toward leaving it on the shelf.
  • Lazarus #7 (Image): #6 was terrific–as always.  In it, Rucka and Lark build some serious tension, which neither slacks nor snaps.  It’s no wonder that Lazarus was our #7 book of 2013.
  • Sex Criminals #5 (Image): #4 was a bit of a rebound from a not-so-good #3, which was our Biggest Dis(appointment) of November 2013.  I’m going to go one more round and see what happens.  Let’s call this my having faith in Fraction.  Sure, he’s a mad god; he’s an effing oversexed overlord!  But when he’s good, he’s damn good.  If Fraction’s big three books were a menage a trois–ain’t they, though?–Sex Criminals would be on the bottom–and loving it, no doubt.
  • Zero #6 (image): With an arc in the books, er, trades, Zeroour #8 book of 2013–gets back to business with Vanesa Del Rey (artist on BOOM!’s quick Hit) bringing Ales Kot’s vision to life.  OK, not going to lie: still not too sure how I feel about how #5 ended.  I mean, aliens?  Really?  Going to have to trust my man Kot on this one.
Zero #6

Zero #6

  • All-New Ghost Rider #1 (Marvel): My only real exposure to Tradd Moore has been Zero #2, which is my favorite issue of the series thus far.  Honesty: I don’t give a boo about Ghost Rider; I’m grabbing this to get a little Moore.  We’ll see if the little’ll turn into a lot soon enough.
All-New Ghost Rider #1

All-New Ghost Rider #1

  • Avengers World #4 (Marvel): The series has been mostly blah.  Started off well enough, but it seems to have fallen into its “bigger” trap, leaving me asking, “What in the world?”  Consider how much bigger my bag promises to be this week, this one might find itself displaced.
  • Daredevil #1 (Marvel): Speaking of being displaced: time to see what Waid and Samnee have in store for comidom’s newest San Franciscan.
  • Ms. Marvel #2 (Marvel): I was very surprised by how much I enjoyed #1.  Reminded me of my initial experience with Miles Morales and how well Brian Michael Bendis handled–and sold–the character in the face of controversy.  In this case, I’m hoping that Wilson and Alphona can keep Kamala out of the editorial web that ultimately ensnared Miles.
Ms. Marvel #2

Ms. Marvel #2

  • Uncanny X-Men #19 (Marvel): Don’t judge me.
  • Winter Soldier: The Bitter March #2 (Marvel): Probably not.  I didn’t really care for the first one.  And after Remender’s Deadly Class #2, I’ve pretty well given up hope that he can deliver something that interests me.
  • X-Men #12 (Marvel): OK.  Now you may judge me.  You know, the series started off on such a nostalgic note, and I bought right into it.  Felt like the X-book I had been waiting for since coming back to comics.  Then came the momentum busting Battle of the Atom.  Since then, the damn thing’s been a bit of a mess.  I’ll ride out this storyline and decide from there.
  • Curse #3 (BOOM!): My curse: being unable to quit on a mini if I’m at least two issues in–even if I really don’t care very much about it. That pretty well describes this series for me.
  • Harbinger #0.2014 (Valiant): Everything you’ve wanted to know about the Bleeding Monk but were afraid to ask.
Harbinger #0.2014

Harbinger #0.2014

  • Letter 44 #5 (Oni Press): Still loving President Blades, and right now that’s all that matters to me.
  • Shadowman #16 (Valiant): A monthly mystery: I don’t care a lick about any of the characters and I’m often vexed by all the voodoo; but I still like it.  A major selling point: Roberto De La Torre’s art.  It really suits Peter Milligan’s turn on the book.
  • The Sixth Gun #39 (Oni Press): I’m almost caught up!  I’ve got three more issues to rock out.  Know what?  There’s no reason why I shouldn’t read through them tonight.  There you go: I’m going to read them tonight; and I will read this one first.  How’s that?  Oh, and, umm, just in case you didn’t know already: it’s good.  Really good.  As I’ve mentioned in recent posts: the team of Bunn and Hurtt will go down as one of the greats of the modern era–maybe even of all time–because of the terrific work they’ve done on The Sixth Gun.
The Sixth Gun #39

The Sixth Gun #39

  • X-O Manowar #23 (Valiant): Has been a solid read from the get-go.  Aric’s another one of my favorite characters, and Venditti’s shown a great command of his character in and out of the armor.

Avery’s Pick of the Week

  • Scribblenauts Unmasked: Crisis of Imagination #3 (DC): My daughter has enjoyed the first two issues well enough.  By “enjoyed” I mean “not torn the covers off yet.”

That about does it I&Nmates!

What are you looking forward to this week?

Turning pages,

Scott

What’s I&N Store (3/12)

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My work here is done.  Time to get to work.

  • Astro City #10 (DC/Vertigo): Busiek’s Winged Victory tour has been a revelation!  Hope it soars right to the end.
  • Royals: Masters of War #2 (DC/Vertigo): #1 was a jolly good show!  Rob Williams’ characters were instantly engaging; and Simon Coleby’s art was terrific, like Jae Lee with more detail and without the reliance on silhouettes.  Together, they’ve delivered a well-rounded opening salvo filled with “awe,” “exhilaration,” “excitement,” and “fear.”  Has a depth that separates it from the very similar Uber, which just so happens to be on tap this week, as well.
  • Monster & Madman #1 (IDW): Frankenstein’s monster and Jack the Ripper together in the same book?  Oh, and Steve Niles as the facilitator?  Yes, please!
Monster & Madman #1

Monster & Madman #1

  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #32 (IDW): Ross Campbell’s surprisingly strong run on the post-”City Fall” arc comes to an end.  Good news, though: one of our favorites, the terrific Mateus Santolouco, is back with #33!
  • East of West #10 (Image): A compelling read that has really started to take off.  It’s a solid showcase for Hickman’s serious side, which is a nice counterpoint to his maniacal The Manhattan Projects.
  • Manifest Destiny #5 (Image): I’m just about done.  It’s a shame, really: #1 promised so much–maybe too much.
  • Stray Bullets: Killers #1 (Image): Gonna have to stick this on the ol’ Catch Up pile because…
  • Stray Bullets Uber Alles Edition (Image): I recently read the first four issues of Stray Bullets on Dave Lapham’s website.  Have been waiting for this bad boy ever since.  Thanks to my man Derek for pointing me in this direction.
Stray Bullets

Stray Bullets

  • All-New X-Men #24 (Marvel): I’m a sucker for the Shi’ar Imperial guard, so…
  • Fantastic Four #2 (Marvel): I’m a fair fella. I put The All-New Invaders out of my mind–only after a bit of a purple purge–and jumped into James Robinson’s reboot of The World’s Greatest Comic Magazine with the optimism of an innocent.  As it turned out, it wasn’t bad.  It wasn’t fantastic, but it wasn’t bad.  Robinson–one of our favorite writers of 2012–set the terms of his take on the cosmic quartet–with fine art from Leonard Kirk–and did so well enough for me to follow along.  4 Now! anyway.
  • Hawkeye #17 (Marvel): Sure, we’re bee-bopping around a bit, but it doesn’t matter much: wherever Fraction fires his arrows on Hawkeye, they hit the mark emphatically.  This departure from the deafening events of #15 promises to be “a raucously adorable and hilarious animated adventure.”  Sock it to me!
  • Secret Avengers #1 (Marvel): The secret’s out: Ales Kot and Michael Walsh are teaming up again (see Zero #1 or the recently released Zero TP) for an Avengers title that I’m really looking forward to.  No, really.
Secret Avengers #1

Secret Avengers #1

  • X-Force #2 (Marvel): I didn’t really love #1.  Heck, I barely liked it.  But I’m going to give it another issue because Si Spurrier has earned my not-so-easily-earned loyalty.  (Yes, I’m still riding the high of the meticulously meta Six-Gun Gorilla, one of our favorite books of 2013.)
  • Death Sentence #6 (Titan): No hyperbole here: this is one issue away from cementing itself as the mini to beat for 2014.  Writer Montynero’s made himself a must-read–the result of his brilliant storytelling, his unforgettable characters and his insightful back matter.  Mike Dowling’s art–which calls to mind the fabulous Sean Phillips–is the perfect complement to Montynero’s wild, wild words.  If you foolishly missed out on this rocking good time, fret not: there’s always the trade.
Death Sentence #6

Death Sentence #6

  • Red Team #7 (Dynamite): Wow.  Forgot this was a thing.
  • Magnus: Robot Fighter #1 (Dynamite): Fred Van Lente’s bringing Magnus back, and, I’m like a groupie, so, yeah, I’m going to pick this up.  Don’t have any experience with the character, so, yeah: groupie.  Oh, c’mon: you know you’re down with FVL.
  • Uber #10 (Avatar): Still solid.  Wondering how long Gillen’s going to go with it.  Wonder how long he can go on with it.  Fair or not: I’m going to be holding it to Royals: Masters of War.  It’s the nature of the business, ain’t it?  Yeah, comics are hell.
  • Unity #5 (Valiant): Looking forward to the new arc, which has not been billed as Kindt, CAFU, and you.  Man, it should’ve been.

What are you looking forward to this week?

Turning pages,

Scott

What’s I&N Store (3/5)

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Huge week.  And, yes, this counts as narrowing it down.

  • Veil #1 (Dark Horse): Greg Rucka’s killing it with Lazarus and has Cyclops in his sights.  On the strength of the former and in anticipation of the latter, I’m thinking that this one’s a no-brainer.
  • Trillium #7 (DC/Vertigo): Through six issues, Jeff Lemire has insisted that we turn the page on our own expectations.  As excited as I am sad, knowing that–including this one–only two issues of Lemire’s head-spinning layouts are left!
Trillium #7

Trillium #7

Wild Blue Yonder #4

Wild Blue Yonder #4

  • Clone #15 (Image): Clonetopia?  Yeah, probably not.  David Schulner and Co. have made it clear: happy endings end rather quickly in Clone–often after a single page turn.  And what terrific page turns they are: artist Juan Jose Ryp’s attention to detail is astounding–not unlike the great Geof Darrow, no?
  • Jupiter’s Legacy #4 (Image): If I’m remembering correctly, I thought #3 was all right–certainly enough for me to ignore my oath to pass over any Millar material no matter how shiny.  We all know by now that Mark Millar’s not concerned with our experiences as readers of his fine material; he’s too busy generating new ideas like…
  • Starlight #1 (Image): Of course I’m going to give Mr. Millar another opportunity to frustrate the hell out of me.
  • Velvet #4 (Image): Brubaker and Epting are taking their time, doing their thing, which is near-perfect cinematic slow-burn espionage.
Velvet #4

Velvet #4

  • Loki: Agent of Asgard #2 (Marvel): I’ve never been a fan of Thor’s corner of the Marvel Universe.  Al Ewing, however, has convinced me to extend my visit to a tidy right angle.
  • Magneto #1 (Marvel): Cullen Bunn (The Sixth Gun) writing one of my favorite characters?  Yes, please.
  • Moon Knight #1 (Marvel): I was crushed after the most recent–and mostly crazy–run of Moon Knight–by Bendis and Maleev–came to a close.  Now, Warren Ellis and Declan Shalvey are in charge of the lunatic in white.  Can’t wait.
Moon Knight #1

Moon Knight #1

  • Uncanny X-Men #18 (Marvel): Maybe–just maybe–#17 was a hint; maybe it was the nudge I need.  See: at the end of the issue, Cyclops kicks David Bond off the team because the new mutant fails to live up to expectations.  Maybe–just maybe–I should finally cast this book aside because it hasn’t lived up to my expectations.  Then again, Marco Rudy’s art looks ridiculously good.  So, another possibility: Fate has kept me around long enough for this!
  • Afterlife With Archie #4 (Archie): The series has been so good for so many reasons.  In fact, #3 was our #5 book of January–and deservedly so: Roberto Aguirre Sacasa’s storytelling–a brilliant balance of Archie and Afterlife–is top-notch, and Francesco Francavilla’s art is a perfect fit.
Afterlife With Archie #4

Afterlife With Archie #4

  • Archer & Armstrong #18 (Valiant): #17 was a rare sideways step for Fred Van Lente.  It certainly wasn’t what we were hoping for from one of our favorite books of 2013.  Wouldn’t you know: I liked #0.2014 a lot; in fact, it turned out to be one of my favorite origin issues, like, ever.
  • The Auteur #1 (Oni): Game-time decision.  Yeah, not too sure I need another “deranged” book.
  • Day Men #3 (BOOM!): A Millaresque release schedule without–so far, anyway–the Millaresque payoff that, generally, makes it worth the wait.  I’m going to have to pull #2 to bring myself up to speed.  Yeah, that’s always a bummer.
  • Evil Empire #1 (BOOM!): Another game-time decision.  I’m not familiar with Max Bemis or Ransom Getty, so I’ll give it an earnest flip and see what happens.
  • Quantum and Woody: Goat #0 (Valiant): Maa.
Quantum and Woody: Goat #0

Quantum and Woody: Goat #0

  • Rover Red Charlie #4 (Avatar): #3 was…  Oh, I’m going to save it for a future post.
  • The Twilight Zone #3 (Dynamite): Has been surprisingly good.  Certainly Straczynski’s best work–of the current batch, anyway.  The shine, however, was taken off a bit after I read Sidekick #5.  Seems Straczynski’s borrowing from himself–and he sure as heck isn’t being subtle about it!  Sure, I’ve seen creators who have borrowed from themselves, usually from past work, but this is just silly: Sidekick and Twilight Zone are concurrent titles, for goodness sake!  OK.  OK.  Wait a sec.  Is this the Twilight Zone?  Oh, well.  Still want to see how this plays out.
Twilight Zone #3

The Twilight Zone #3

What are you looking forward to tomorrow?

Turning pages,

Scott

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