Saturday, June 29, 2013

Stack Rundown, 06/29/2013

Twenty-one... twenty-one books were read for this post. Counting the issues I wrote up in spoiler posts, I read twenty-four books this week. Am I insane? Perhaps. Do I have trouble keeping up with this many books? Not as much as you'd think. Is there any question I love comics? Fuck no.

(Note: The picture I used for The Wake is a bit NSFW, a.k.a. boobs, so be warned)

Justice League of America #5

…SHOCKER, Catwoman isn't dead. Who would have expected the shapeshifter on the team would take her place?! The answer is: Just about everybody. Regardless, of all the Justice League books this week, this issue probably teased Trinity War the most. Lots of questions to be had, the big one being who is leading the Secret Society of Super-Villains. Some people think it's Earth 3 Joker, which I'd like to point out that there's an Earth 3 equivalent, Jokester, and he's a hero. Other thoughts are that it's the Outsider from Flashpoint, which I believe is half right. You see, in a real old Detective Comics story, Alfred went through some shit, got white skin, and called himself the Outsider… this guy looks quite a bit like Alfred/a butler, don't you think? In that story, Alfred also gained telekinesis, which this guy uses to block Martian Manhunter out of his mind. So, I'm going with Earth 3 Alfred, who "watched his world die" in a conflict with Darkseid or something, same with Earth Prime and Earth 2, and Trinity War is the first step into bring Darkseid back in Geoff Johns' ultimate plans, as promised in Justice League #6. Earth 3 has also been teased by Johns already, as the First Lantern, Volthoom, is from Earth 3. So yeah, other than that, pretty good book, bring on Trinity War.

Justice League Dark #21

This arc… I don't know, I enjoyed it, but don't know if I really got the point outside of it vaguely mentioning the future (with implications of Trinity War, I guess?). It sort of felt like this arc was just buying time in a way? I don't know, none of the books really fed into Justice League #22 (the start of Trinity War) directly this week, and I feel like if any of them could have sort of set the stage a little bit better, it would have been JLD, given its magic setup. Oh well. What I did enjoy about this issue was one, the Frankenstein and Flash team up… those two work together in a rather odd way, and I'd quite frankly love to see Frankenstein show up in The Flash to repay his debt. I don't know why that would happen, but fuck it, let's see it! Finally, Xanadu… while it almost sounds like she's leaving the team at the end of this issue (which I don't think is the case), we do get quite a bit about her in these 20 pages, while leaving a lot still in mystery. Xanadu is in an interesting position where she's in one book, centuries in the past, and is in a present day book as well, I'd love to see that fleshed out a bit more, and I'd be interested in seeing how a Deadman romance actually works out.

Justice League #21

Holy crap, this issue was so much fun, and pretty funny in parts. So remember in Flashpoint, how all the kids created S.H.A.Z.A.M.? Yeah, well, think the opposite this time, as they all get SHAZAM'd, individually, and action (with a bit of hilarity) follows. One of my favorite parts is right after all the kids get their powers, and they're basically sitting there going "Okay, what do we do now?" Then Billy literally asks "Uh… get him?" Him being Black Adam. Then when they're all rescuing civilians, everyone is doing their part, but Freddy automatically rescues the girl in her lingerie… that's pretty damn funny. Everything wraps up in an entertaining way, and all in all, I really enjoyed this full story. Very surprised it didn't end on a "to be continued in SHAZAM #1 coming in October" which would lead to DC making a creative team announcement on Wednesday… Seems like easy press and a missed opportunity.

Aquaman #21

This is one of those issues that I read, enjoy, but just don't have a whole lot to say about it. I don't know… it feels like this story is sort of lagging? That also could have been due to last month's issue being a side story of sorts. I don't know, maybe I'm not just that into Aquaman being the king of Atlantis again, because it's not like anyone is actually expecting it to go well. The stuff with Mera was interesting, and I'll bet you a future storyline will see her people attack Atlantis or something, seeing as they've been waiting around for a couple of years only to just now find out that she's hooking up with they guy she was supposed to kill. Whoops. Speaking of Mera, she needs to get unfrozen and kick some ass, she hasn't done much of that lately. 

All-Star Western #21

As noted a few weeks ago, Jonah Hex finds himself in Gotham, and Batwing is his welcoming committee, which promptly sends him to Arkham. I had read this book for about a year, but fell off a little after the Court of Owls stuff wrapped up in it, it was always good, but I just couldn't stay all that interested in it. Then I start hearing some good things about Booster Gold showing up int he book, and they show that cover with Batwing, so I decide to hop back on. Still funny and clever, as I would have expected, and Hex's hate for Gotham is still persistent, so modern day Gotham should increase that exponentially, which should be fun. Still not interested in the back up stories though, especially given that I'm jumping on in an issue where the current one ends… Oh, and I wonder where Booster Gold ended up? Who wants to bet in his own book?

Teen Titans #21

Okay, by the time the finale of this arc comes, we will have gotten October's solicitations, where I'm hoping we get a new creative team, just because any changes would make sense post villains month. If not, I'm out. This is just.. bad. I can't buy that everyone is Raven's BFF out of no where, and the ending makes no sense. What the hell just happened? Trigon shows up and four of the Titans are on leashes of his? What? God… this is just dumb, it's almost like no one is trying anymore.

Red Lanterns #21

Like New Guardians, with the switch in teams and creative direction, I figured I'd give this one a shot as well, also due to the fact that it's becoming quite clear that Charles Soule is being fast tracked within the industry, and there has to be a good reason for that... Well, there is, because like Soule's Swamp Thing, this too was pretty damn good. Basic premise is that Hal wants Guy to be an inside man on the Red Lanterns, who are trying to strengthen their ranks, guy ultimately agrees to request, but more for his own reasons, and the persistent cloud looming over this whole situation is, Guy might go native… which he probably will. This was a strong first issue for Soule, but now the real question is, what happens next? Yeah, Guy takes over the Red Lanterns after stealing Atrocitus' ring… but what's he going to do now? While I enjoyed this issue as a whole, I'm not sold on continuing to pick this book up long term, it's the job of the next few issues to convince me to.

Larfleeze #1

I wasn't going to buy this, then I was, then I wasn't, and then I did. I like Larfleeze okay, I'm not a huge fan that would be all excited for this new book, but being that I do find Larfleeze a bit enjoyable and I'll be reading Giffen and DeMatteis' Justice League 3000, I figured (in the end) to give this one a shot. I enjoyed it a bit, and it definitely hit the funny note it needed to hit. Most of the issue was Larfeleeze, sitting on the edge of the universe, about to be swallowed up and obliterated, just taking the time to tell his slave butler his origin (while said butler is very worried about their existence.) Plenty of Larfleeze speaking about himself int he third person, smacking his butler around, and so on. It's funny, and well written, but I still don't know if I'll stick around long term. I think I'll wait until the story actually picks up, as they teased some stuff actually changing with the Orange Lantern Corps in the back.

Superman #21

You know, say what you will about Lobdell's work on Teen Titans (lord knows I have), but despite all that, I still enjoy his Superman. It seems clear to me that he puts most of his focus on this title, rather than Teen Titans, which is a 50/50 chance if he actually scripts an issue from month to month. In no way is this series say as grand as the first issue of Superman Unchained felt like, but it's simple fun, really. Sometimes that's all you really need, because after all, these are super hero comics, not everything has to be game changing high stakes every issue. HIVE wants to control Hector Hammond, Hammond breaks free, and Superman is just Superman, sure, that works. Kenneth Rocafort's art always helps too… But I'm not going to lie, I'd like to see him draw for someone other than Lobdell at some point, but if he's happy with his work situation, then fine.

The Green Team #2

Everything about this book should put it in a position where I shouldn't give a single damn about it, but for whatever reason, I really, genuinely enjoy it. What can I say? It's fun. Many of the characters are pretty obnoxious in that typical rich spoiled kid way you'd think, but it's all very tongue in cheek, so it doesn't come off as obnoxious as it would in other circumstances. Though generally enjoyable, I do think this book really needs to establish why it is around, sooner than later, don't just tease a character saying he has big plans, because lord knows if the book will every get to a point where those plans can be realized in more than one hastily slapped together issue. Final thought is that I'm looking forward to Deathstroke next issue, that should be plenty ridiculous. 

The Flash #21

I thought this issue spent way too much time on the whole Flash/Kid Flash thing, especially because nothing much came from it. 15 pages of Barry chasing Bart, finally catching up to him, and that's it. We get reminded that Bart isn't from the present timeline, and his powers aren't directly connected to the speed force. The more and more they tease Bart's true story, the less and less likely it becomes being worth all the time spent on it. Bart is somewhat of a small character in the grand scheme of things, so it's not like the payoff of whatever the mystery is will be earth shattering. But never mind all that, when it seems like no one either wants to be the one to tell the story, or is allowed to. We're going on two years of vague teases, with no real info. Yeah, I felt like this was just somewhat of a waste, didn't really progress the core story any, other than the new Reverse Flash kills another dude.

Sex #4

It's kind of interesting how everything surrounding the main character of this title is far more interesting than the main character himself. The setting and all the supporting characters are so great, they have their own stories, and they're doing stuff… Simon on the other hand, he's just not doing much. Okay… you went to the brothel your not-Catwoman figure owns, in a Castro looking disguise, and? Oh, you're telling your lawyer you want a life now? Great! Oh, wait… that'll be next issue… Maybe. Like I said, the setting, supporting characters, and general concept is great, but pretty much like the rest of the issues, I really would like to see Simone Cooke fucking do something other than stare at a ceiling, stare at someone, or talk to his lawyer.

Lazarus #1

Hey look, Greg Rucka and Michael Lark… they're good. They've got a new series from Image, and it's pretty good. Basic premise is in a shitty future, humans have gone back to a type of feudalism (could be wrong on that definition, it's been awhile since I've been in a history class). You've got your families who run everything, the serfs, and the peasants (or "waste" as they're called).  Each family has their badass enforcer who apparently can't be killed, aka their Lazarus, and the Carlyle's Lazarus is named Forever. A simple killing machine, Forever is not. She seems to have a few emotional issues with what she is and what she's called to do, and there's a pretty particularly grim scene that highlights that aspect of her. As with most Image books I pick up, I'm really going to wait and see where this one goes, as I'm rarely instantly sucked in for the long haul with new properties. That said, chances for this one are high, because Rucka and Lark are off to a good start.

The Bounce #2

So, if you read my thoughts on the first issue, you'll know that my main problem was coming into this book with little knowledge of the situation or context, and leaving it with barely anymore. The first issue just introduced the broad concepts. Kid is a superhero, kind of a slacker, stoner, there you go. Nothing much past that. While I didn't like the first as much as I thought I would, this issue started to move in the right direction, starting to flesh some things out a bit more, and introduce some more weird concepts. We get a bit of Jasper's origin as a hero, and it's the classic science experiment gone wrong, but something weirder comes out from that. His stoner friend who died in the same experiment, well he's in some superhero limbo where he's the perpetual victim, and Jasper got to this limbo by taking some drugs, which come from another super powered person's general existence. Sounds weird, right? Well, it sort of is, but it's kind of weird in all the right ways. Definite improvement from the first issue, and I look forward to more from this book.

The Wake #2

I feel like one night, Scott Snyder was up late reading all sorts of crazy evolutionary theories and was just like "I want to write that!" Then called up Sean Murphy and now we have one great friggen book. So, we're running on the theory that man at one point was amphibious, and some tribes stayed in the water and continued to evolve… Ok... Well, this thing can also seem to shape shift? Mmhmm… then we're some odd years into the future, the earth is flooded, and the moon is blowing up… WHAT?! That's what I'm enjoying most about this book so far is how crazy it is. How the hell do we get from point A. to point B. here? Why is the friggen moon blowing up?! I don't know! But I want to! And that's how you hook readers to your new book. I will say that having fantastic art from Sean Murphy and Matt Hollingsworth also helps quite a bit… but seriously, wtf is going on here?

Deadpool #12

So, luckily, this issue wasn't the same as the last, and the one before that, but that's only because they had to end this arc someplace. I don't know… I found it a bit flat, I guess? This whole arc, actually. The presidents stuff was just so ridiculous, and Tony Moore's art was fantastic, and everything was just a step down this arc, in general. Although I didn't like the arc as much, it did manage to put the slapstick aside for a bit and end on a serious note, which for Deadpool, is refreshing. Next issue is one of those flashback issues, so I'm sure I'll love that!

X-Men #2

Sooooo, this book is really good. I mean, really good. The art, the dialog, the characters, the action, it's all just so god damn good! Pretty much every time I turned I page, I would sit there and think "Shit, this is really good!" Have you gotten the fact that I think this book is really good yet? Rarely ever read a book like that. It's kind of hard for me to actually explain why I feel so strongly about it, as you just have to read it and watch everything just click. All the core cast pretty much share the stage equally, which is nice because characters like Rachel Grey and Jubilee don't show up in the other X-Men books I read, and I'm pretty much all for getting to know other characters I'm somewhat unfamiliar with (more so Rachel, I know Jubilee from the cartoon). One plot point I'm interested in seeing become fleshed out is the relationship between Jubilee and Shogo (the baby she brought back). I mean… he's just a baby, it's not like he's going to do anything, but he has to be there for a reason, right?

All-New X-Men #13

Really enjoyed this issue for a couple of reasons. First, we find out what Mystique's plan is, and that's to just straight up buy Madripoor. It's almost comical when she tells Hydra she wants to buy it, asks how much, and is just standing in front of a literal mountain of cash. Second, the original X-Men and their reactions to the present day Marvel U are still pretty funny, and then where Jean gets left at the end of the issue is a pretty damn big cliffhanger. Finally, Kitty's response about Havok's "M-Word" speech. It was not so much what Kitty said, but the fact that it was said. It would have been so easy for the X-Men office just to have the whole race just sort of rally behind "Let's ban the M word!" would have been easy press for websites, and all that sort of stuff. But instead, we've seen multiple characters take issue with it, and the whole situation rests in a grey area, rather than black or white. Because not every mutant agrees with what Havok said, it ultimately feels like a more natural event, as in reality, no one would ever have full support on something like this. So, good on Marvel for making this feel like a natural issue, instead of preaching it and overriding characters' personalities and beliefs. 

Uncanny X-Force #7

Okay, who didn't see that one coming? And by "that one" I mean Psylocke being a touch bi-curious? From day one the thought in the back of my mind was: "Oh… so Betsy's lover gets split into three, and one of them is a female? Well… that's totally going to happen." and it did. So, basic rundown for those uninformed, Fantomex, guy who can create visual misdirections, has three brains (I don't know, go ask Grant Morrison), get split into three at the end of the first volume. Cluster is the female good part of his brain, Fantomex is the "scoundrel" part of his brain, and Weapon XIII is the bad part, and they all love Betsy in their own unique way, but she stuck with plain old Fantomex. Turns out though, Fantomex lost his misdirection powers, and part of his "love" for Betsy now involves her abilities being a substitute for his old ones, when they go steal shit. While Cluster on the other hand, pretty much just loves Betsy for her, then they start kissing. Yeah! It's totally weird. Something had to happen still, and seeing as Betsy and Cluster have teamed up in the present, I'm pretty interested in seeing how this one pans out.

Uncanny X-Men #7

More Frazer Irving with X-Men in sort of hell gorgeous art… but I got to say, for a $3.99 20 page book, that one double page spread (you know if you read it)… come on. I'm not going to complain too much, because I'm buying digital codes off a dude, but still… I can't help but think two pages of black really helps justify the price. But anyways, things get left in a pretty interesting spot. First, all the new X-Men pretty much realize their "teachers" all suck, and are broken, so considering they're so bad at being mutants to begin with, that creates quite the problem. Finally, Magik, well… all of Limbo is inside of her, and she's transported to the past to talk to Dr. Strange to get things worked out. What that means for her long term? I don't know, but like I said, this book is in a pretty interesting spot at the moment.

Hawkeye #11

Saving the absolute best for last! So, if you aren't familiar with Hawkeye at all, the fact that this was an issue told from Pizza Dog's perspective is going to be absolutely lost on you. If you are familiar with Hawkeye… well, fucking Pizza Dog! Someone give this issue an award, I don't care what, but hand it over, because everything about this was flawless. It would be one thing to just tell a normal issue from a dog's perspective, but no, Fraction, Aja, and Hollingsworth went balls deep on this issue. You can't read any word of dialogue that the dog wouldn't understand, so pretty much just names, basic commands, praises and pizza. The visual storytelling on Aja's part uses basic symbols and figures to illustrate the dog's thought process, and one of my favorite bits was Pizza Dog confusing a hobo for Clint. Finally, on Hollingsworth's end, he colored the issue entirely in a pallet of colors that dogs are able to see. Like I said, give this issue an award. Just fantastic… I will say I hated the ending. There are two things you don't do to a guy. First, no kicks to the balls, second, don't take his dog. I honestly debated before writing this which is worse, and I think the second is by a pretty good margin. Way to go Kate. New York Pizza > LA Pizza.


  1. I didn't like this issue of Superman. And I loved the ending to the issue of Teen Titans, they already set up that Trigon's son can take over an individual so why can't Trigon's himself take over multiple people? I just thought it was a great cliffhanger/twist.

    1. It's not a great twist, it's cliched bullcrap that had no context or set up. It's as if it was a terribly placed jump cut in a film.

    2. I dont know what set up you could need, maybe the ground rumbling in anticipation of Trigon's arrival?

    3. Also, I just wanna make clear that I'm only defending the ending because I agree about the Raven thing

    4. Yeah, fucking anything. I go back to the film analogy, it's just bad editing. Or storytelling in this case. It's literally one panel things are fine, and then the very next page and POOF Trigon is there, and already in control of four of the Titans.

    5. I can say that's a problem with editing, but in context of what we learned about him and his sons, I thought it was a natural progression. Oh, and I would totally recommend Red Lanterns because it has all of the fun of Green Lantern without being bogged down by having to read everything that has come before. You can practically read it to learn what's going on in at least Green Lantern

  2. I love Frazer Irving's art and I hate how much hate it gets... all I read over the review comments in IGN is how much everyone seem to hate the art. I don't remember him getting so much critisism from his time in B&R. Get the man back in DC, I'd love to see him in animal man, for example

    1. Wow, definitely. I will buy literally anything Irving does (even picked up the first Bedlam trade because of his covers, no joke)... Thinking about dropping Animal Man but if he gets put on art duties I'm staying.