Saturday, July 28, 2012

Stack Rundown, 07/28/2012

So, with my increasing distaste for all things message board discussion, I figured I needed a place to voice my thoughts on all the other books I have read in a given week... hmm, seems like a blog is a good place to do that, let alone a Saturday on a blog when I usually don't have anything to post.

So enter the new Stack Rundown feature, where I'll be posting my brief thoughts on all the other various books I've read in a week. These won't be full spoilers or reviews (although, may very well spoil a few things) just more of a whats left on the cutting room floor, type of deal.

So, hit the jump for my thoughts on everything from I, Vampire to Top Cow's rebooted universe, and expect similar posts in the coming weeks.

I, Vampire #11
Let's start in the dark with I, Vampire #11, shall we? I've made it pretty clear on twitter over the past few months that I, Vampire is one of my favorite series of The New 52, it's truly unique and stand-out from the rest of the line, and this week continues that trend... what other book has a giant battle between a zombie vampire hunter group vs. a vampire horde? And boy is it brutal. Andrew's plans to try and keep the world's vampires peaceful, while striking up a truce with the Order of the Van Helsings didn't go to well, and we start to see Andrew turn a bit... after he believes his friends to be dead, he takes the Van Helsings leader and literally tears him apart, only to put him back together with magic in order to do it again. Joshua Hale Fialkov made mention in a recent interview that he's had to speed up a few elements of the plot to get things going, and if we're to look into solicits where Andrew apparently goes full evil in #13, I can't say my confidence in the books longevity remains high, which is unfortunate, because like I've said countless times, this is a fantastic book, which deserves way more readers.

Staying in the "Dark" Justice League Dark #11 came out this week as well. You got to love the Dark line, starts the month with a 1-2 punch of Swamp Thing and Animal Man then ends it with I, Vampire and Justice League Dark. Jeff Lemire has done wonders with this book in what, three issues? The plot is moving straight along, he's brought some cool characters in, as well as integrating it into the greater DCU with Argus and the Black Room, as seen in the Free Comic Book Day issue DC put out. Tim Hunter was brought in, and while he's a character I'm not all too familiar with, I trust Lemire to do great things with him, and the betrayal of Doctor Mist was pretty unexpected. I thought Milligan's run on the book before was alright, but now with Lemire I am actually anticipating the book each month.

The Flash #11
Now, how about we move to some more super heroic books? The Flash #11 introduced Heatwave into the New 52, as Manapul and Buccellato slowly continue to introduce more and more rogues, who have gone through some changes, and seem to be unpleased with Captain Cold. But at the end of each of the last few issues, Golden Glider has been making her presence known to each of them, which is a story I believe is going to be told in the Annual next month. Generally this has been a fun series month to month, and even with Francis Manapul not on art these past two issues, Marcus To has done a great job helping out.

Next up is Aquaman #11, as Geoff Johns continues Aquaman's hunt for Black Manta, as well as the reuniting of his former team The Others. Black Manta seems to be after a seventh atlantean relic, which is said to have sunk Atlantis, so naturally it seems as if this is going to be the set up to the big Aquaman story Johns teased at the end of the first arc. While I love this book, and the art from Ivan Reis is probably one of the best looking books from month to month, I kind of wish we'd get a little bit more from The Others. Aquaman doesn't seem to want to have anything to do with them, so he acts like a dick towards them, and the readers don't get a whole lot of them, just vague flashbacks and references here and there. That's my only complaint, I'd just like to know these characters better after four or so issues.

American Vampire #29 was great, as finally two of the main characters, Pearl and Skinner, who are somewhat at tense odds with each other (Pearl did try and kill Skinner, after all) are teaming up, and hunting down vampires in 1950s Hollywood. If you enjoy Scott Snyder's Batman or Swamp Thing, you need to read American Vampire as well. Just a great story that I've enjoyed since #1.

That was all I had for super hero comics this week, in the independent space, I caught up on Tim Seeley's new series, which isn't saying much since there's only one issue, but nevertheless, Revival #1 was read, and I enjoyed it. The concept of the dead being brought back to life, but showing no signs of having actually having been dead, is pretty interesting, and somewhat of a twist on the whole zombie thing, if you can call them "zombies." Other than having some pretty great art, I can't say much about the series, simply because there has only been one issue. It was a good start though.

Artifacts #14
I also took the time to catch up on the rebooted Top Cow universe, which means I read Artifacts #1-19, The Darkness #100-105, and Witchblade #151-158 (I apparently became a Tim Seeley fan this month, without even trying, seeing as I also read Hack/Slash earlier in July.) If you don't know, the shared Top Cow universe pulled a Flashpoint (well actually, I believe Artifacts started a few months before) and ended up with Jackie Estacado, host of The Darkness, reshaping the entire universe, where it's mostly the same, but there are some key differences here and there. Starting with the Artifacts series, this was my first introduction to a majority of these characters outside of Estacado, who I knew from The Darkness games. I've got to say, I loved all of this. It was a pretty awesome story, and I love how the repercussions continued through the various series (more so Artifacts.) Having characters like Jenny (Jackie's wife, once dead) feel off about a good chunk of her life and her "daughter" as well as Sara Pezzini have weird flashes of the old universe very briefly, makes it really feel like the whole event isn't over, and I hope to tell it isn't. In both the other series, Darkness and Witchblade I really enjoy the creative teams. Loved the Batman work David Hine wrote, and Jeremy Haun, who was involved with some of Hine's DC stuff, was a great pick for The Darkness. Meanwhile, like I said, apparently I'm a fan of Tim Seeley now? I've enjoyed everything I've read from him, and Witchblade is no different. I sort of see similarities between Hack/Slash and Witchblade, in how he writes, but it's not like I have a problem with it. Overall, I'm now a fan of the Top Cow universe, I had tried to get in before shortly after the release of the second Darkness game, but starting with that series from the beginning was a daunting task, so I'm glad I could jump in with the Top Cow Rebirth stuff.


  1. If I may make a recommendation--if you enjoyed Witchblade and the greater Top Cow stuff, try out Ron Marz's run on Witchblade. He did a great Sara, and it set up a lot of what would happen in Artifacts.

    1. Yeah, I heard that. It's a big run though, so for now I may just stay with the rebirth stuff, and potentially go back to the older stuff at some point.

  2. No, National Comic 1? Lemire did a great job reintroducing Kid Eternity and I'm sure that is not the last time we are going to see him (I would like him JLD)

  3. I, also, thought that National Comics 1 was a fun read, and that they hopefully come back to Kid Eternity in the near future. Maybe, that could even be the "surprise" book Lemire has been talking about?