Saturday, December 22, 2012

Stack Rundown, 12/22/2012

I'll be honest with you, sometimes with these posts, just to fill them out a bit more, I force myself to talk a bit about books I may not have a whole lot to say about... Well, thanks to the Christmas rush, and say Marvel putting out a billion books in a month, I've got a lot to talk about this week, and don't want to spend that much time on this post, so I'm going to be brief with a few of these.

Green Lantern #15

Hal had Kilowog to show him the ropes... Simon is going to have a talking alien squirrel... and that's pretty awesome. Green Lantern continues to be great, but I have to question the point of labeling "Rise of the Third Army" as a crossover, because it really isn't... It's just a line wide slow burn, and if the issues following it are going into another crossover, what is going to be happening with the risen Third Army at that point? Like most of Geoff Johns stuff, I at times appreciate the slow build, but the other half of the time think, "just get on with it, already!" We do get a bit of interesting teases with Hal and Sinestro and Volthoom, the First Lantern... but seriously, let's get it going.

Sword of Sorcery #3

I said this on Twitter, but it's pretty clear that someone at DC pointed to Game of Thrones and said "THAT!" in regards to this book... and I don't care. This title is just fun, Game of Thrones-lite or not. We keep getting more world building, introductions of new characters, and it's going to be fun seeing Amethyst go back to Earth now, though I'm trying to figure out how it's going to work, because we saw her in JLD, but I'm not sure if it was ever specified that it was her first time back from Gemworld or not. Also, the ending of the Beowulf story was a big "meh" info dump. I'll tell you, DC really seems to want to make the New 52 Kobra aka Basilisk into a thing, but I'm not sure anyone really cares. Have them go up against the Justice League of America, rather than an okay at best Suicide Squad, then we might care.

Wonder Woman #15

But what about Final Crisis? SHUT UP ABOUT FINAL CRISIS! This is The New 52, biatch! a response that I imagine is said around the DC offices a lot. Regardless, as many would assume, this issue didn't quite have an Orion vs. Wonder Woman fight, and ended on that panel I have pictured. Still... Cliff Chiang was back, and boy is his art great, all his character designs for the series are pretty great. Loved the little bit between Zola and Hera in the hotel, fighting over the TV remote, nice little bit of humor there. No idea where they're going with the New Gods stuff, but it seems pretty cool, and I'm sure as hell along for the ride.

Thief of Thieves #11

Again, I really enjoy this book, but I don't think the wait between months is worth it. In the monthly format I'm not getting anything that really makes me think "OH SHIT! I can't wait till next month!" The breaks in-between issues just feel like commercial breaks, which is appropriate, given this books' TV like feel. I'd much rather (and will) wait for the collection to come out instead, just so I can get the satisfaction I want all up front.

Saga #8

Saga is hands down the book of 2012. Love Scott Snyder's Batman and all, but Saga is untouchable. Everything about this book works perfectly, and I have never come away wanting anything more than I was given. Vaughn gives readers things they want that they didn't even know they wanted. I didn't really have any though about Marko's ex, but as soon as that last page hit, I thought "Holy shit! Yes! This is going to be awesome." This book is really the perfect mashup of story, dialogue, and art, especially the art. I don't know what it was about this issue, but it really made me take notice to how god damn beautiful Fiona Staples' art is, especially during the scene between Alana and Marko's father. Just a fantastic book, all around.

Witchblade #162

If I had never read Witchblade before, I'd love this issue simply for the revisionist history of why the Cubs are cursed, and the infamous black cat incident. We continue to get a bunch of subplots building up, as per usual for Tim Seeley and more teases, mainly Sarah staring at a bunch of babies in a hospital and being asked if she has kids and GOD DAMN IT JUST REMEMBER ALREADY!!! AAAAAGH. As with my thought on all the Top Cow books I've read, man do I want shit to go bad already!!!

Happy #3

There's nothing quite as depressing as making an imaginary blue horse see the world is fucked and become depressed himself. Thanks Grant Morrison, merry fucking christmas to you too! No but really, this book continues to be absurd and great for it. I really hope Morrison does way more Image stuff, letting him loose is when he really does good work. Didn't see the twist with Nick's daughter coming, but then again, I'm betting no one did, because we just learned he had a kid this issue. That was my main problem with the issue, we get a huge back story dump, then find out that Happy is the product of Nick's daughter's imagination. I think we should have gotten the back story maybe an issue before, but given that it's only four issues, I can't see where it would really fit... Regardless, it all happened almost too fast in my opinion.

Thunderbolts #2

Let's get this one out of the way first... this book isn't for anyone new to the Marvel U, and really illustrates how Marvel NOW is just really a glorified marketing stunt, rather than The New 52 actively making the universe more accessible for the most part. Not that it's bad or anything, I just came out of this book with no thoughts at all. The characters didn't sell me, the art is alright at best, and the final page reveal did nothing for me, like it probably would for someone who knows who the hell that was. So, I tired it, didn't care for it. I'm out.

Avengers #2

This was basically the "we're getting the band back together!" issue, with all the recruitment, and whatnot. Still don't know who half these guys are, but whatever, it seems like next issue will be the real big kicking off point. Still interested to see how this and Hickman's other book New Avengers integrate with each other. It's funny though, I came out of the first issue not liking the art, then I read the first volume of Uncanny X-Force, and now I like the art... still don't like how this guy draws Hulk, and still think X-Force was better, but you know, whatever.

Avengers Arena #2

So this book seems to be showing more of it's true colors as a vehicle for character development, but I'm still trying to decide if I care or not, and that's where I stand. I will say, the way one character unceremoniously gets killed off is pretty funny in a twisted way.

All-New X-Men #4

This book is good and all, but it kind of confuses me. After listening to a podcast where they talk about it, I can't wrap my head around where this book is supposed to go, and I have a fear that it's really just going to be a one trick pony. Bendis is relaunching Uncanny X-Men correct? That seems to be where present day Dick Scott will go, recruiting new mutants and whatever, but what about that whole plot in this book? What will not-Dick Scott and the other X Men have to do in this time period going forward? They saw how shitty everything is, are they really going to try and get everyone around a campfire and sing Kumbaya?  Again, I like the book, it's just a head scratcher, that's for sure, a very interesting head scratcher. 

Cable and X-Force #2

Would I be wrong in saying that this book is pretty much the Marvel equivalent of Red Hood and the Outlaws. Because I kind of see it that way, and like it for the very same reasons. It's got a very similar vibe, and fun, morally grey characters. I'm really liking it so far, which makes me happy since this was one of those "whatever, I'll give it a shot" books. For whatever reason, I'm being drawn to Domino... she's cool, and I have a very small bit of knowledge about her.

Hawkeye #6

When I was first flirting with the idea of reading some Marvel titles, everyone kept saying "read Hawkeye!" and I was all "yeah, yeah, I will, eventually" because if you have any passing knowledge of comics, you couldn't not know about how good everyone was saying this book is in the past few months... and it is, it really is. I liken this to the exact opposite of Ann Nocenti's Catwoman. It's weird and goofy, but completely endearing, rather than a nonsensical mess. Between the track suit bros and a villain who is an old white guy who dresses like a cross between LL Cool J and Kanye West, this book is so absurd, but it works. Also, got to say, love David Aja's art WAY more than the guy who did the last two issues. Very, very Batman: Year One

Thor: God of Thunder #3

This type of book is something I can really appreciate. It's almost like Hawkeye, in the sense that it stands completely by itself, almost entirely disconnected from the rest of the continuity, but not quite (given an Iron Man cameo). Conceptually, the past, present and future story telling just makes to story feel like a true epic, which is fitting, given the story focuses around a god. If I had to relate this book to one in DC's stable, in terms of style, Wonder Woman is the obvious choice. Somewhat disconnected from continuity, all on their own, just being awesome. So far this has been a very easily accessible book, and one of my favorites of the NOW! branding.


  1. YES! I too am picking up Hawkeye, Happy, and Saga! I love these! I agree with all your comments! And thanks! I actually hadn't gotten that that was Marcos ex! Oooo! So excited!

  2. "really illustrates how Marvel NOW is just really a glorified marketing stunt"

    Why, because it's not a new-readers reboot like the New 52 was? Look around the 'net, you'll find out that the word "acessibility" wasn't the focus, unlike DC's initiative. The point was to do fresh new stuff by switching around authors instead of sticking to the old creative teams. It's not a glorified marketing stunt to end all the long-standing runs - Matt Fraction/Salvador Larroca in Iron Man, Brubaker's Captain America - for a switcharound. In fact, the only team that stayed consistent was Amazing Spider-Man's, but that title is being revamped, so it counts.

    1. Yes, that's exactly what I meant. It isn't as new reader (which I am) friendly as the New 52, no need to take offense or anything.

    2. I'm not taking offense, don't get me wrong, I just like to illustrate my points, unlike the kind of Internet-savvy users who post "lol no" at every opportunity (I'm sure you know the kind). I just don't agree that Marvel NOW's a stunt simply because it had a different approach than the New 52. I mean, obviously it was a reaction to DC's initiative, but isn't the fact that it's not exactly the same actually a good thing? They're not totally ripping off DC and at least they're also not pissing off the fanbase. Well, again with the exception of Superior Spider-Man.

      Although, if you want the really new-reader friendly quality Marvel books, you can't go wrong with Daredevil and, as you already know, Hawkeye. Avengers is only starting and I haven't actually read it yet, so I can't give an informed opinion, but I believe it's also good for new readers, unlike Uncanny Avengers.