Saturday, August 17, 2013

Stack Rundown, 08/17/2013

I could sit here and give a brief rundown of what I read this week, from Trinity War to... whatever, but Saga came back this week, that that's all that really matters.

Justice League of America #7

Full issues of Trinity War are back after a two week break, and no one knows anything! That's what I kind of like about this crossover, the fact that the heroes are all so in the dark about whats really going on, and obviously, by the time the Crime Syndicate hits, they're all going to be taken by surprised, and fall pretty hard… or "die" as DC would like you to think. You just get the sense that the leagues are being manipulated by a power greater, and more intelligent than they are, and just being lead on a wild goose chase. Next issue seems like it's going to be another slug fest, which will see Black Adam come back, somehow, so hooray punching. I had the same problem with the last issue and the various inkers, some doing better by Mahnke's pencils than others, and on top of that, multiple colorists created a problem for me too, some pages looking flat while others very vivid. I also started to realize that for however hyped this story is, it's kind of odd that it's really just a long prelude to Forever Evil, which is definitely being positioned as a main course.

Suicide Squad #23

This was a bit of an odd issue, as it was Ales Kot's last, and also featured some fill in art, which I was less than enthused about. I don't know, Kot's first few issues on this series was great, then it was announced he would be out after four issues, then this happened, and he was done. My problem with this issue was how things just seemed to happen, and be dealt with as quickly as possible. Someone hacked Belle Reeve! Okay! …oh it was just John Lynch from Wildstorm/Team 7, well that was unceremonious… and now he's gone, probably. Then there were a bunch of random Wildstorm characters thrown in, and well, yeah… I don't know, I don't think the Wildstorm mix into the DCU has been successful at all, so this issue being a lot of that, with little consequence, really didn't do much for me. In the end, it's just unfortunate. 

Green Lantern Corps #23

Somewhere in between this issue and the last, I asked myself why I wasn't reading this book. I wasn't reading New Guardians or Red Lanterns before, and have enjoyed the hell out of them since the creative shift, and I like Bernard Chang's art, so… yeah, I couldn't come up with a good reason against reading it. So I did, and by the end of #22, where the stuff with the emotional embodiments was teased, I was hooked. There was a lot to love about those issues, and this one, especially given the fact that the emotional embodiments situation is a pretty big deal in the universe. I've also really liked the new recruits under Johns' watch, most notably Jyruk and Maro, who I called was going to do something big, and he did. I don't know, something about a mute (well, at least silent) Green Lantern with completely non-intimidating look to him is just really awesome to me. So yeah… I'm all in on Green Lantern at the moment, looking forward to the crossover in October.

Constantine #6

Honestly, I don't think this book is long for my pull, I mean hell, with the next month off, October may run around, and I could decide not to pick up the next one (I predict that could be a problem for lower selling books in general, but I digress). It's not that it is a bad book or poorly written, I just don't find myself becoming invested in it, nothing is really grabbing me. Yeah, yeah… Cult of the Cold flame is after John… and magic? I don't know, maybe I'm just not solo Constantine fan? I enjoy him enough in JLD, but he also has a bunch of other characters I like to play off of... here, not so much.

Demon Knights #23

Final issue! And well… yeah, it was the final issue. Overall, I was a bit ho-hum about this issue, things get wrapped up, the heroes win, and that's it, they ride into the sunset, so to speak. The problem with New 52 books ending is most of them just end, and that's it. No tease into the future, satisfying conclusion, no nothing. It's just the end, goodbye, see you never. I don't know if this is just due to the time between cancellation or what, it just automatically lessens my investment on a title once I learn it's ending. It would have been nice to maybe have seen a tease or something of what happened to these characters, since most of them are immortal. I mean, Xanadu is in JLD, and have any of the others been seen in modern times? But then again, the book is fucking ending, and needed to wrap up, so it's not like it had the luxury of space to do something like that. In the end, no one wins.

Uncanny X-Force #10

This was a bit of an improvement over the last few issues, for sure, mainly, because a majority of the cast who flat out disappeared for an arc are back. We're back to dealing with the weird enemies Bishop was dealing with in the future, like 68th century. These ethereal beings who are born opposite of everyone, but can't cross over into the real realm, or something like that. It's okay, it's your standard sort of comic booky stuff, nothing amazing, but enjoyable enough, which is honestly unfortunate, given the pedigree this title comes from. I think the most interesting bit is the fact that Bishop's hole "Hope has to die" thing got erased from his head, so I'm sort of already over this Owl queen nonsense, and just want to see Hope and Cable's reactions to Bishop being back. Still wasn't really digging the art, but I saw a lot of people parsing it. I thought some of the pages were nice, but others just seemed muddy, there was hardly any definition of characters opposed to the background, and everything just sort of blended together. I think this book is fine, overall, but I wouldn't mind it getting a kick in the ass, to be honest.

Uncanny X-Men #10

Last issue I asked, "where's the revolution?" as this book seemed to be a lot of talk and no action, given the concept of Cyclops sort of being a mutant revolutionary now… and well, they attend a protest? I don't know man, baby steps. One of the more interesting elements of the series is brought back up, and that's Magneto's relationship with SHIELD, and whether or not he's actually undermining Cyclops, or playing SHIELD for a fool. Given that there was another deal made off camera, I'm going to guess he's still got a grudge against Cyclops. It was weird though, Magneto asks Maria Hill who is sending Sentinels after them, as if that's a thing… I can remember that happening like once or so? He spoke about it as if it was a much bigger plot point, which it just isn't, given how this series has focused on anything but… until a weird Sentinel shows up at the end. Good issue though, enjoyed it more than I have recently.

Deadpool #14

I got pretty tired of the last arc of this series around the third issue when I realized they were pretty much doing the same thing each issue, so I haven't really been enjoying the book all that much lately, but this issue turned it around, quite a bit. The 1970s issues was followed up, as The White Man woke up in modern times seeking revenge on the Heroes for Hire, and their leader Deadpool, which of course means hilarity ensued. From page one, I was laughing with the abrupt decision to drop the narrator, all of which played out on page. Finally, I enjoyed this issue for the fact that it brought back up some seemingly random event from a few issues back where Wade was abducted and something was taken from him, this of course leading into the next arc… which seems like it's going to be serious? I'm all for that, honestly.

Thor: God of Thunder #11

After going into the past 3 issues thinking "is this the finale of the arc?" (I don't pay attention to Marvel solicits that closely) we finally get to the finale of the arc! This was the finale I was hoping for, to be honest. Everything wrapped up in grand, badass fashion. I thought Gorr's fall, both physically and mentally, was very satisfying; you had Thor doubling hammering him (yeah, yeah) mixed with his son declaring him the god of hypocrisy. Great stuff. This whole story has felt like a nordic tale, myth, legend, whatever, and that's what really attracted me to it, to begin with, it had that truly epic feel. I'm not sure if the next arc is going to have a feeling comparable to that, I'll give it a shot, but I loved this arc so much, that the next one has quite a bit to live up to. 

Red Sonja #2

Two issues in, and I have to say, I really think this blows Batgirl out of the water. Gail Simone just fits this book like a glove, yet something about her Batgirl has just never completely clicked with me. I probably said this in relation to the first issue, but I really believe Gail Simone is at her best when left to her own devices, much like Secret Six. Both that book and this do have editors, but they pretty much function on their own, so Simone can seemingly get as crazy as she wants. Her Red Sonja just has a grand swords and sorcery (minus the "sorcery" with a second dose of "swords") feel, which you can tell she's having quite a bit of fun with. The battle, disgracing and "curse" that takes place in this issue really feels as if something much larger is being set up. So far, so good.

Saga #11

Jesus christ, how long has it been since #12 came out? Since April? Too long, TOO LONG! But it's all better now, because I read a new issue of Saga which makes this a pretty god damn good week for comics. I was actually taken back a bit by this issue, after the "uh-oh" cliffhanger that 12 left off with. Turns out that was a flash forward, and this one went a bit back prior before the end of 12, which I wasn't quite expecting. But whatever, man! Saga is back! Everything is good! This issue also reminded me why I love the book so much, and that's the dialogue. It's so casual and doesn't strive to be clean or politically correct, I mean, you have a naked spider lady telling her ex that he's "hard" for another character who is "wet" for him. Now, using casual terms for an erection and lady juice (okay, that one might be even more casual) is nothing revolutionary, but it's refreshing just to read dialogue that isn't trying to be proper, or have all this phony superhero bravado. God, I love this book. I hope the next break isn't another 3-monther.

East of West #5

And by #5, I mean #1-5, aka the entire series up until this point, literally hours before this post goes up. Why? I don't know, I had heard good things about it, and given a trade's worth of issues are out now, figured I'd try the first issue, which was soon followed by the other four. I don't wan't to get into specifics, given I'd have to talk about five different issues, but I loved everything about this series, from the characters, the setting, and the interesting take on the apocalypse. What I was worried about was this going over my head, like Hickman's Avengers, and due to the fact that it can sometimes take a bit for me to really get hooked on a creator owned title, but reading all five issues within an hour or so really helped me grasp everything I needed to. In a way, this reminded me of American Vampire. Sure, they're two entirely different types of stories, but tonally, there are some distinct similarities, which is a good thing.

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