Saturday, October 26, 2013

Stack Rundown, 10/26/2013

The final two weeks of a month are becoming Image dominated for me. This week, my DC and Marvel books combined were only one book over the amount of Image titles I read, tied if you count me catching up on the latest issue of Fatale. Of course, Image has been launching great new titles one after the other, and this week's pull list was blustered by the launch of Pretty Deadly and Velvet. Lots of good stuff to read, so it's safe to say I love these weeks.

Justice League #24

I really liked this issue, a whole lot. A good chunk of the issue was dedicated to telling Ultraman's origin, with his bastards of Kryptonian parents and methhead Kents (who he killed, when he was 7). Shit's crazy in Earth 3! I still really want an Earth 3 book. But then we get to see Ultraman spotlighted in the present, and he terrorizes Jimmy and Lois, leading to a fight with Black Adam. If these Justice League issues will sort of spot light particular Crime Syndicate member, consider me happy with that. These characters, like the reinvented Earth 2 characters, are prime for the New 52 , as they aren't mainstay characters, so there's room to reinterpret them in a new way. Good issue. Hope we get more with Owlman and Dick soon. No idea whats coming with that, but I'm sure it'll be interesting.

Justice League Dark #24

DeMatteis has really been sort of a trojan horse in The New 52. Comes in as a co-writer for Didio on Phantom Stranger, then all the sudden he's on that book solo, Larfleeze, Justice League 3000 and now Justice League Dark. For his first issue, I thought it was a pretty good start, maybe a little heavy on the set up for Forever Evil: Blight, but what are you going to do when you're the first part of a crossover in a crossover? There was a lot of similarities between this issue and Phantom Stranger in amount of content, DeMatteis' writing style is definitely dense, but it isn't overbearing. He gives you a lot of narration but it never feels like it's too much exposition or anything like that. The book retained it's $3.99 price point, but honestly, I didn't even mind, because this wasn't an issue where you feel like there's a lack of content. Lots of Constantine feeling guilt for once, and some set up for the "new" JLD to come with Nightmare Nurse and sort of Swamp Thing? Definitely looking forward to seeing what DeMatteis does in the future when more players than Constantine come into the picture.  

Aquaman #24

Geoff Johns is going out strong on the title, thats for sure. This story is getting pretty close to being my favorite of the run, next to the crossover with Justice League a couple of months back. While not anything new, I do enjoy the twist of Aquaman’s ancestors being the villains in this story. I honestly can’t imagine what he’s going to do when he confronts the Dead King next. “Hey give me back my throne which my ancestors murdered your family for.” I mean, honestly, what right does Aquaman have to try and fight this? There isn’t a whole lot of justification for any retaliation, he’s got no ground to stand on. That said, Mera will probably be in trouble, and that’ll be his reason to fight, but aside from that, nothing. If he wins back the throne it’s the exact same thing again. “Good for you Arthur, you stole the throne like your ancestors before you, dick.” Ultimately, I don’t really have an idea of what’ll happen next, and in a world where many books are predictable, that’s a good thing.

The Flash #24

Well, this was essentially the final issue in this team’s run. Sure there’s the Zero Year issue next month, but I don’t think Manapul is drawing it, and then Buccellato will be writing a couple issues until Forever Evil is over, where I assume DC will change up a bunch of shit and launch new books. That said, you could sort of tell they were wrapping up with what they had to say on the character, almost too a fault. I thought the final confrontation with Reverse Flash was pretty lackluster, and didn’t amount to a whole lot, and then we got a bunch of time with Barry narrating to himself about his powers, moving forward, dealign with the past, ect. It just felt like the issue was a little to weighted towards the wrap up stuff, and the actual confrontation with the Reverse Flash felt really light as a result. Not a bad issue, just could have been paced out a little differently in my mind.

Red Lanterns #24

Man, there’s going to be a lot to cover in the Green Lantern Annual next week. These last two issues of Lights Out have been a bit on the dull side, lots of talking. It also doesn’t help when solicits reveal big hooks of current issues. Yeah, we know the Red Lanterns are getting their own sector, and it’s going to be the one with Earth in it. With the lack of anything really happening in these past two issues, at least that means we’ll probably get a ton of stuff going down in the Annual. I did enjoy Guy’s reaction to Bleez hearing he was a spy. What would have made it better is after telling the Corps, if he just stuck his middle finger in her face with a big “fuck you.”

Wolverine and the X-Men #37

More mutants punching other mutants! More answers being vaguely hinted at or flat out not being addressed. That’s pretty much what’s going on at the moment, and everyone is still pretty worried about screwing up the time stream even more. Correct me if I’m wrong, wasn’t that the result of Age of Ultron, how they just pretty much broke it completely? So whatever, break it some more! We know that the O5 can’t go back and all that, which means shit is really screwed up, so why not just start talking about all the cool shit that happens in the future? I don’t know, there’s not a whole lot to talk about with this issue. Quire laughing at his younger self when asked if they’ll ever leave the school was pretty funny though.

Uncanny Avengers #13

Holy fucking shit, this book, THIS BOOK! I am just tapping my foot, trying to patiently wait for whatever the hell comes next after this. Death is teased coming up, and the easy bet is Scarlet Witch… but with Avengers 2 coming up, I don’t know. That’s a ways off, I guess… more than enough time to resurrect her. Anyways, it’s sort of easy to see what could possibly happen, while Wanda is going along with the Twins’ plan, she’s got a plan of her own, but Rogue doesn’t know that, and ends up killing her. Then Red Onslaught happens, and that’s probably Marvel’s next event, as Bleeding Cool has been teasing something happening with this book soon. I just can’t get over how exciting this book is to read every month. And even with the shit hit the fan mentality of this book, I think my favorite part was the running joke of Cap losing his hearing, and just yelling everything he says. It’s totally out of place given the severity of the situation at hand, but it’s still so fucking funny.

The Bounce #6

Okay, I think I’m finally starting to get a grasp of this book, and where it’s going. Stay with me here, there are multiple dimensions, and one of these dimensions is a world of super heroes, and somehow they’re starting to sort of “leak” into our dimension? Meanwhile, the Darling was one of the first to sort of access this, and the US Military nearly killed the hero he thought of as a son, but now he’s working for that General (I think?) and no doubt going to sort of screw him over. Meanwhile, Bounce is sort of lost in all of it? I think I’m on to something! Not sure though. It isn’t a shocker to say that the book is a bit surreal, but this issue did seem to start putting everything together in a way. Still waiting for that moment when it really comes together though. 

Velvet #1

I don’t know about you, but there’s something about a woman with jet-black hair and a single white stripe through it that just works incredibly well for me. And it works pretty god damn well for this book too. Surprise, surprise, Image has another great book on their hand. I’m not really a fan of spy thrillers, but I’ve caught up on Fatale recently, and given Ed Brubaker’s fantastic ability to write femme fatale characters, it’s no surprise how much I liked this book. Wait wait wait… I take that back, I can get into spy thrillers… I like Archer. This is sort of like Archer… but this agency is as competent as ISIS is incompetent. My personal investment in the genre aside, I thought this was a great first issue, with tons and tons of a appeal to grow a bigger story off of. Another thing that is just amazing about this book is the creative team. We all know Brubaker’s stance on the books he wants to write now, but Steve Epting is a dude who could go to either Marvel or DC and drawn anything, from Batman to the Avengers, anything… yet he helps build this book from the ground up with Brubaker. It’s admirable, and another title you can ad to Image’s line up of A-List books.

Satellite Sam #4

Still enjoying this book, but now that Sex Criminals has launched, I’ve got a new favorite Fraction book. I’m ultimately still having the problem keeping track of whose who in this book. Every issue I have to read the cast page, and it’s still difficult, when you got five dark-haired males, with similar looks and haircuts. Michael, he’s the main character, I got him, he isn’t an issue with his glasses, but the other four? Two have mustaches, and those barely help. All that said, the subject matter and setting of the book wins me over time and time again. The mystery of the series took the back seat a little this issue, while everything else built around it. That’s fine and all, you got to do the world building, but I’m more interested in the “who killed Satellite Sam” plot at hand, to be honest. Everything else… eh, I can take it or leave it.

Sex Criminals #2

Speak of the devil! You know what are weird? Image #2 issues. You got these first issues that are just great proof of concepts that you get hyped on, then the next month comes and it's "oh shit, these are ongoing stories, there's more." I love, love, love this book. This issue was the counterpoint of last issue, in that it dealt with Jon's... sexual origins, and as you may expect, the male perspective on this is a bit different. What does Suzie call the orgasm-fueled time stop… zone, or whatever you want to call it? "The Quite." What does Jon call it? "Cumworld." And what does Jon do with his powers while Suzie uses them to escape from life? Steal porn. Fucking dudes, right? This issue continued where the first left off, with good dumb sexual humor mixed with tons of charm… and glowing dicks, never forget the glowing dicks. Sex Criminals is one of those books that really illustrates why I love Image so much lately. It’s dumb fun, with lots of heart, and in a world of mainstream comics where sex is either heavily implied or bitched about in another “controversy,” it’s refreshing to have a book about super powered genitals.

Pretty Deadly #1

I knew next to nothing about this book prior to reading it. It was just one of those books that had a good amount of hype surrounding it (especially in the days leading up to it) and I always planned to pick it up because of that. Something about Death’s daughter and it’s a western? That’s literally all I knew going in. Sure enough, as with most Image books that I’m just randomly trying, I found myself quite liking this title. First of all, I’ve just got to say that “Deathfaces Ginny” is a FANTASTIC name for a character. When I read that, I just paused and said to myself “That’s fucking awesome.” Deathface! Aside from that, this felt sort of like a zero issue so to speak, because we don’t meet the main character until the final page, and most of the issue. One of the review quotes I read about this describes it as a book best savored, and I totally agree. No one is doing themselves any favors just burning through this book, it’s carefully paced, and intentionally vague as an effort to draw readers into this world, and for me, it did just that. Combine the cool world with great art from Emma Rios and Jordie Bellaire, and you’ve got yourself yet another great book from Image.

Rat Queens #2

I know I say I go into a good number of books not knowing much about them (hell, look above), but as I said last month, I read a preview of this book like two or so days before the release, and then just decided to pick it up. So far, this has been one big pleasant surprise to me, it’s just one delightful as all hell book. This issue continues the bickering, swearing, violence and drinking that made me love the first so much. Two issues in, and all four main characters are already pretty well defined and distinct from one another, and the entertainment that they produce is really what drives the book. While I really enjoy the wit to the writing, I’ve got to say I enjoy the art just as much. Roc Upchurch’s designs for all the characters really shine through a very crowded fantasy setting. It’d be all to easy to draw “generic elf woman” or “generic dwarf woman” but all of Upchurch’s characters really feel unique, which helps define their character along with the writing. This is just a generally fun book, well worth a look.

1 comment :

  1. What I thought Red Lanterns #24 did really well was showing why Guy Gardner is the best Green Lantern