Saturday, April 27, 2013

Stack Rundown, 04/27/2013

What do we have this week...? Well, there's some creepy stuff. There's some punchy stuff. There's some dumb stuff. Then there's some dumb, dumb stuff. Well rounded week for me! Also, mustaches... I talk about mustaches.

I, Vampire #19

Man, you know what sucks? This book is over. Maaaaaaaaan. I think this is the first New 52 book that I've been reading and enjoying greatly, that has gotten cancelled. This sucks! I liked the way it went out though, especially Mary, who let's be honest, stole this entire series. At one point, Cain even addresses the fact Mary is just one big deus ex machine, and she basically goes "Yeah, so what?" cus that's how Mary do, and potentially some dry wit in the vein of Fialkov asking the editors "What are you going to do, cancel me?" after he "spoiled" this issue at a convention. Andrea Sorrentino also came back to draw a few pages which were a flashback, that pretty much followed up on the #0 issue, implying (then later flat out saying) some pretty horrible stuff Mary went through while Andrew had initially left her after being turned, and then what happened immediately after her being changed. All in all, it was a bitter sweet ending, with a final page that was basically Fialkov once again proving, this ain't no sissy vampire story, then dropping the mic. Man I'm going to miss this book, and god damn it for DC screwing up with Fialkov afterwards.

Justice League Dark #19

So, I don't know if I'm crazy, but I feel like there has been an issue where crazy dreams or something happen to all the characters… maybe it was a different book, but this issue just felt very similar for some reason. Anyways, Doctor Destiny takes the House of Mystery, and things go bad. The JLD recruits Alec Holland in, and then things get BADDER. Everyone gets transported into nightmares of sort, but not Frankenstein, I don't think? I say this, because the Flash shows up, and he's supposed to be helping with this arc, but if that was real, does that mean Frank's "son" ripping his wife apart was real too? That seems like a pretty big thing just to throw in randomly and not address. The whole nightmare stuff just confused me a bit. Maybe it's because I'm generally unfamiliar with Doctor Destiny? Other than that, it was enjoyable enough, and we got some light Trinity War teases, and even saw Steve Trevor offer Deadman a spot in the JLA… which doesn't make sense to me for two reasons. 1. The JLA is supposed to be the neutralizer of the JL, and unless they're counting the three new members, I don't see what Deadman would be brought in for… then again, Stargirl is matched up against Cyborg. 2. Trevor already told Green Arrow that membership was closed? I don't know. WHATEVER.

Superman #19

Hooray, Kenneth Rocafort art. So, this issue automatically had something going for it, just in the art. Overall, it was a sort of goofy issue, that I felt was enjoyable. I still find Lobdell's use of extreme exposition dialogue vs extreme exposition thought bubbles to be really distracting, but he's obviously got a thing for that sort of stuff, so there's no real use it brining it up every time. Anyways, so Hector Hammond is brain dead or something, but his mind is sort of just hanging out, screwing around in Metropolis, or something, all this while Lois is having a house warming party, which Clark is bringing a date to, but of course, he's late. So what does Lois open the door to see? WHA-BAM, Wonder Woman in your face, 10/10, stone cold fox, boom! Clark is doing pretty well for himself. Then he shows, up, everyone starts acting all Hector Hammond weird, and it's equal parts goofy dumb as it is awkward. Then Orion shows up and does some stuff, I don't know. You know what I find weird? Lois' boyfriend. Just not right. Like… I'm not a huge Superman universe fan, so I didn't really care that Clark and Lois aren't married anymore, it's just weird to see her swap spit with another guy. It ain't right!

The Flash #19

So, Barry manages to stop all the mess at the prison with the Outlanders trying to get Trickster free, with no use of his powers (thanks to the H Dial taking them). As usual, I thought it was an enjoyable issue, but it wasn't one of the series' best. A couple of things to note, I like the possibility of Iris potentially having speed force powers, since they've manifested in everyone but her… whatever happened to her brother? I like how Cyborg made a guest appearance. Flash has been in his own little world, so I appreciate the greater DCU acknowledgement, wish other titles did that (I'd kill for the Justice League to show up in Batman just to see Capullo draw them. Perhaps next year). And finally, the new Reverse Flash just got REAL interesting. No longer is he just the yellow version of the Flash, with added dickish tendencies, but now his powers literally allow him to have things happen in reverse, as he demonstrates by killing a guy, then pulling that back, just to do it again. Hooray for originality! 

Teen Titans #19

So, I thought last issue was pretty shitty, but this was a slight improvement. There are some interesting ideas in this series, but I find the execution just to be severely lacking. First the good… I thought the Trigon fight was fun. Barrows got to do some big super hero punching, which was not present in Nightwing for obvious reasons, so there's that. There's also a blink and you'll miss it revelation of Wonder Girl's father being Lennox from Azzarello's Wonder Woman. I don't know what it is about Lobdell and that book, but he seems dead set on bringing elements from it into the greater DCU, with or without Azz. As for the reveal itself, I thought it was pretty clever, and a good way to tie Wonder Girl to Woman. 

Then there's the execution… mainly it all surrounds everyone outside of the core Titans. Raven… what the hell is her motivation? It's completely unclear. Why did she get Beast Boy? I'm not even sure Lobdell knew, because the original cover had Skitter (remember her?) on it, so the editorial influence is blatantly clear there. Speaking of "why are they here?" Psimon? Again, just why? What happened to that not Dr. Light guy? Then at the end, everyone is chill and seemingly already very familiar with Raven, when they have no reason to be. Still no explanation on why Tim was being a fucking creep two issues back. Finally, I'm going to point out that the scripting on Lobdell's issues is getting ridiculous. Every other issue has someone else scripting it seems… which is fine, because be it Nicieza or Bedard, they've improved the dialogue. In the case of Teen Titans, it's really not being executed well from the start, so why don't they get someone who can fully dedicate themselves to the title? I have a feeling we may get a handful of creative shifts after Villain Month or whatever in September, this is on my list of books I hope get one.

The Darkness #112

This was an alright issue, but quite honestly, I didn't think all too much of it. It saw Hope (whose Darkness powers are getting stronger) wondering into the forest near her house, where the Ancient Ones (maybe) guide her on, and seemingly try to kill her, which is interesting due to the fact that the Ancient Ones are in good with Jackie's Darkness clone, or whatever you want to call that. Like I said, it was alright. I find it interesting that this book will be ending in July, followed by a three issue series where Jackie is said to be killed and then… who knows? They can't NOT have The Darkness around, it seems like that franchise, along with Witchblade is Top Cow's bread and butter. Hine specifically said he believed Jackie's story was over, and Jackie is just a host to the Darkness. They have to relaunch something afterwards. Not sure if I'd be interested in a Hope book though… But aren't males only able to host the Darkness? Yeah, I don't know. Things could get real weird.

Invincible #102

So, two things happen in this issue, Nolan finds out he's the Viltrumite emperor, and Mark proposes to Eve, d'aww. Once again, this is Kirkman bringing up a plot point from a previous issue, that with everything going on, I almost forgot about, but then I was all "oh yeah!" and here we are. With the amount of time this series has been running, it has the ability to always bring up these previous plots from the past. I was actually surprised that the revelation that Nolan is of royal blood wasn't revealed all that long ago, but so much has happened since then, I guess it was easy to forget. Anyways, this book got me thinking. Now that Mark is going to be married (assuming things go well) and a father (they can't kill Eve's baby again, can they?)… I think it's time Mark embraces his Viltrumite heritage and grow a mustache. On that point, other heroes in any other universe should grow mustaches, and just mustaches, nothing else. Imagine Batman with a stern Tom Selleck mustache… Fuck yeeeeah.

The Eighth Seal #1

So, The Eighth Seal is a digital title from Thrillbent (Mark Waid's publisher) written by James Tynion IV, who, if you're familiar with the Batbooks, you've probably heard of by now. So the deal with Thrillbent is that instead of just looking from page to page, panels within the pages will often change or shift to draw attention, or simulate movement/changes in the scene. It's pretty interesting stuff for the digital format, but up until now, not a whole lot of it interested me. Then this issue came out, and being familiar with Tynion's work, I gave it a shot on Comixology (also can be read for free at Thrillbent's website) and it was pretty good. It's the story of a woman, whose husband is a pretty powerful man in Washington DC, let's leave it at that, and she has some pretty messed up dreams… the kind where she turns into a monster and kills kids. She sees a therapist and wouldn't you know it, there's more to her dreams than she thought. Combine that with just who she exactly is, and it makes for a pretty interesting story. So, I'd say give it a shot. You've got no excuse not to since it's available for free online.

Uncanny X-Men #5

So, when Frazer Irving was announced as next artist for this title, it was sort of a "huh?" moment for me. Don't get me wrong, Frazer Irving is a great artist, but I don't think you can just throw him at anything. He has a style that is somewhat unsettling, and really shines given the right story… and well, this was the right story, because holy crap was his art fantastic in this issue. Short end of it is as followed: Magik's powers are screwed up like the rest of the Phoenix Five, but they're also connect to magic and limbo, so she gets sucked into that realm by the Dommowhatever (that guy from UMvC3 who has a fire head) dude, who is being a dick of sorts. So, sending the X-Men into a hellish realm that has a bunch of demons and what not, definitely a good fit for Irving. Some of the things he drew this issue were just so big and grand, I'd be hard-pressed to tell you that this wasn't one of my favorite issues I've read from him. The rest of the book (the writing) continued to be fun. Magik is the character I'm least familiar with, so I'm not complaining that we're getting an arc centered around her, all for learning about new mutants, well, new to me at least.

Deadpool #8

This book has continued to surprise me for the last few issues. The first couple of issues were fun, but you could sort of see through everything, and come to the conclusion it was one liner, funny thing happens, another one liner, then repeat. But ever since the ending of #5, the title has gotten a bit more serious… about as serious as a Deadpool title can get, but still, something is there. What I'm getting at is that it now has this solid plot line to follow, it has a purpose past "lol, Deadpool!" Even the one off story set in the 1980s last issue has a part to play in Wade trying to get Preston out of his head. Buuuuut, even with the increased sense of purpose (or, you know… whatever), the book is still pretty dumb... in the best possible way.

Uncanny Avengers #7

This book has gotten so much better from the first few issues, no doubt to that. I think what I'm enjoying about this book so much is the fact that the team is just not getting off to a good start, at all. There's so much freaking drama that has been brought in by the X members, but oh well, Apocalypse's twins are attacking, time to work together anyways! But before the earth gets attacked, you have Rogue being benched, her not accepting it, being assigned to go after Magneto, and having Wanda basically call her a whore again. Yeah, life's not great for Rogue in this book. Havok has no idea what to do, Wasp starts flirting with him, meanwhile a Celestial is getting assassinated and Thor realizes he done screwed up bad hundreds of years ago, leading to all this mess. There has just been so much going on in these last few issues, and Remender hasn't been letting up on the gas. It's surprising how much I've gone from "Man, I really liked Uncanny X-Force, but I don't know about this one" to "Okay, now we're talking!" in only two or three issues.


  1. I really enjoyed Teen Titans, it was just so good to see the team fighting a big bad. I believe Psimon is the "Not Dr. Light", right? Isn't he the one we saw flashbacks of? I don't think we've seen the last of him, anyway. I don't believe they were chill with Raven, it was just they were so exhausted from the fight they didn't find a reason to attack her or anything.
    And side note, I absolutely loved the goofiness of Superman because it was just Hammond fucking up Clark's life.

    1. Nah, Lobdell said in an interview like with H'el he wanted to use a different character (Bizzaro) but editorial said no to Doctor Light, so he created some weird fetus looking thing that controls his brain dead brother to steal light, or whatever.

      And I meant that the Titans should have no knowledge of who Raven is, let alone her name or the fact that she's Trigon's daughter, and Superboy is just standing there spouting off cheesy ham-fisted likes like "Was this your plan, Raven?"

  2. I wouldn't be too shocked if they start attempting to bring some measure of past Titans continuity in. Obviously, they can't bring any of the last volume back; the reboot seemed to rely on these guys flat out not knowing each other. It might not be too late to wrench in some of the Wolfman/Perez era though.

    New 52 Teen Titans has apparently been an unmitigated disaster, so I would not be too shocked if DC was like "well, that's a wash, let's try to bring some of the things fans loved before back and try and salvage this".