Saturday, November 30, 2013

Stack Rundown, 11/30/2013

So it's safe to say that this was Rick Remender's week, no one really made any bigger headlines than he did. One one side of the fence, he's pissing off Marvel fans with Uncanny Avengers (which I will be spoiling, so... warning), which is always fun, and on the other, he's launching Image's latest critical darling with Black Science. So yeah, good week for Remender, but there were other books to talk about! Promise.

Aquaman #25

Geoff Johns’ new trend is leaving books, and well, boo. Green Lantern turned out pretty well, so hopefully Aquaman keeps pace as well. Anyways, big finale, and it is what you’d expect from a Geoff Johns book. Big fight, bad guy loses. There you go. Simple, yet satisfying. There’s a moment there where Johns sort of teases “no one in a happy relationship!” and Aquaman and Mera break up for about three pages, but then hey, they get back together, in what I choose to believe is a very self aware joke. Here’s the thing though, that ending, with Orm and that woman from his Forever Evil one shot… so… think about it. Aquaman was in a coma for six months, but there was also a pretty clear line of events that lead up to Forever Evil, which Aquaman is trapped in, but then the guy from Xebel, who Aquaman just beat, shows up to find Orm, during Forever Evil… what the fudge? What makes this even more ridiculous, is the fact that this is all Johns, aka the guy who basically runs the DCU! Friggen New 52 continuity for you.

Red Lanterns #25

So the Red Lanterns are now the law in sector 2814, the one that has Earth in it, I was REALLY looking forward to this… but then the book went in a different direction. Let’s be honest, Earth is the only planet anyone really cares about, so what do the Red Lanterns do to demonstrate their “law?” Go to some other planet that never existed until this issue. BOO! I mean, still a good issue, just not exactly what I was expecting/wanting out of it. Future solicits seem to indicate that Earth will eventually come into play, but I’m an impatient comic fan on the internet who has a blog, so that means I want it now! That last page did confuse me, though.

Justice League Dark #25

Second issue in, and I’m really liking J.M. DeMatteis on this book, aside from Constantine constantly having parenthetical in his narration (I think they’re really annoying). Still sort of a slowish burn, setting up for this Forever Evil: Blight story, this is mainly due to the fact that the ending of this issue, where Constantine has summoned the Trinity of Sin, has been featured in two other books. We see how everything gets to that ending on the JLD’s side, how Alec Holland joins up for real, a bit more with this Blight dude, and Sea King apparently is not dead, but he’s got amnesia, but he still hates stuff! I like the idea of spinning these dark books off into their own crossover within Forever Evil, but it’ll be interesting to see how people respond. You’d figure most books would get sales bump with event tie ins, but if they’re putting it out there saying “different 19 part crossover!” then who knows.

Uncanny X-Force #14

I may not be that into the story this book has been telling for the past few issues, but at least I thought this one was pretty straight forward. I didn’t dislike the issue, but it did nothing to sway me to get interested in this arc again. At this point, I’m just waiting for the Cable and X-Force crossover to bring this to an end. I did cringe at the whole Cassandra Nova offering an alliance with Psylocke thing… Really, we’re going with that cliche? Mmmhmm, okay. Also, why is Cluster continuing to show up on the cover of these issues? 

Hawkeye #14

Was there a long wait between this issue and the last? I honestly can't remember anymore. It feels like it, but I don't think there was. Anyways, so starts the alternating issues of Hawkbro and Lady Hawkguy, with Annie Wu drawing Kate's adventures in LA. It was a fun issue, but I'm going to be honest, I'm here for the depressing Clint stories. There's something that's just great about the down on his luck Clint, and upbeat, driven, optimistic Kate doesn't really do it for me. I don't know, I do like the fact that this series can do something interesting like switching between the two Hawkeyes, at least there's that. I will say Annie Wu's art is pretty great, and Matt Hollingsworth's colors look just as well on her art, as it does Aja's.

All-New X-Men #19

This was a sort of underwhelming issue, with not a whole lot going for it. The O5 come up against the Purifiers, who are crazy religious freaks who hate mutants. Turns out the Purifiers are after a mutant, who just so happens to be X-23, who might not have her memories or something? I don’t know, what happened to her in Avengers Arena? But the O5 fight the Purifiers, cops point guns at them, everyone is scared of them, blah blah, and Kitty tries to calm down X-23. That’s really all that there is to this issue, just super decompressed, not really accomplishing anything other than introducing X-23 to the book. Brandon Peterson is drawing the book now, and I’m not sure how I like it. One one hand, I think his art is pretty good, on the other hand, sometimes it looks like everything is put together with polygons, Playstation 1 style. I don’t know… hopefully something more interesting happens next issue.

Uncanny Avengers #14

HOLY SHIT THIS BOOK IS CRAZY. After last issue, I figured Scarlet Witch was going to get it, but then half way through the wait for this issue, I thought maybe Rogue would screw up and she'd die instead? …Fuck it! Both die! Yup. And people are pissed. More so about Rogue, which I can understand, but man… so good. I don't think things are as simple as they seem, but who knows, they could be, and things could be completely fucked for the Unity Squad. In all the uproar, is it a safe guess that Wonder Man is gone too? Seemed like it. Anyways, this book is nuts, and I'm shocked that Marvel has yet to really announce something bigger coming out of it, because this story is built for something like that. Definitely the best crossover event, minus the actual crossover, I've read this year.

Rat Queens #3

This is one of those books where I love, but I don't have much to say about it. There's nothing SUPER deep going on here, but there doesn't need to be anything like that, because the series so far has just been pure fun. What this issue does a little differently is sort of hint and tease that there actually is a bit more going on beneath the surface on a character to character level. Past relationships, family stuff, beliefs, all that sort of stuff. It was nice to get those character bits and teases, because while I'm not at that point, nor do I feel it's coming anytime soon, but the violence, swearing and partying ways of the Rat Queens could grow old after awhile if there was nothing to back it up. If you're looking for something that's pure fun, check this one out.

Black Science #1

So while Rick Remender was killing characters and pissing off fans over at his cooperate gig, he was launching his first of two new Image series (that we know of) with the anarchic Black Science. Basic premise is, you got this dude, he's an anarchist scientist, there's actually a league of them, and they have no authority but themselves. Then there's this stuff called black science, and well, shit went bad. As the reader, you jump in during the middle of the action, and have barely any time to get your bearings, meanwhile there are crazy aliens, someone gets killed, the main character's narration is super depressed, and then they jump to a whole different universe or something. It's crazy sci-fi goodness, that's for sure. Then you've got the art by Mateo Scalera, which looks great on it's own, but then you add Dean White coloring it? Hoooooooly shit, one of the best looking books this year, that's for sure. Looking forward to where this one goes, it was the first Remender creator owned book I read. Yeah, yeah… I know, I should read Fear Agent… on my christmas list.

Saga #16

The book is finally getting to where #12 left off with a pretty big cliffhanger, but there’s even more added elements we didn’t get to see all those months ago. So we know Prince Robot IV is basically going to corner everyone in this lighthouse they’re staying at, but what we find out is that Gwendolyn is going to show up soon after that, but actually looking to Marko for help in order to save The Will. Shit is about to pop off, that’s for sure! Can I be honest about something? I don’t feel great about Oswald’s chances of getting out of the situation, especially after flipping through issue #12 again. That sucks, you know why? Because this book is so fucking good at producing entertaining and likable characters, so it absolutely sucks to lose anyone! When Marko’s dad died: “fuuuuck…” When Lying Cat almost died: “FUCK!” When The Will got stabbed in the fucking neck last issue: “ANOTHER FUCK!” Man, this book is great. 

Pretty Deadly #2

Here’s the thing about Pretty Deadly, if you’re in this for a well defined story right up front, you’ll probably be disappointed and not like it, but if you’re willing to sort of open your mind and just go where the wind takes you, it’s a pretty damn good book. It’s a little out there, a little ethereal, very much like a story book, but ultimately very satisfying. From what I can gather, Deathface Ginny is somewhat of a folk tale in this world, basically a “sing her song and she’ll come” sort of deal, and that’s very much what happens this issue. Big old western fight with guns and swords… Sliced eyeballs, corpses turning into a mass of butterflies, you know, the normal sort of stuff that happened in the west. There’s probably a bigger story in the mix here, but I love the surreal tone this book has taken so far, and it can take it’s time as far as I’m concerned.  And yes, "Deathface Ginny" is still my favorite name for a comic character in recent memory.

Revival #15

Ever since everything sort of snapped together for me, this has been one of my favorite books each month, and I just ended up buying the deluxe hardcover with issues #1-11, because why not? Anyways! So, one of the story elements I tend to forget about is the fact Em was murdered. It gets mentioned every now and then, but it took center stage this issue with her sister Dana going in detective mode on it, meanwhile you have someone investigating the three people Em murdered (although, I guess they’re considered missing to everyone else), creepy kids talking about cutting off their parent’s eyelids, and good old fashioned midwest racism. Lots of stuff going on in the book, as always, but it’s so good. Really happy Tim Seeley is on Batman: Eternal. All that said, I thought there was something off about this issue’s art, and sure enough, I went back to check and there was a different colorist. At some point I said “this looks like Invincible” and that’s because John Rauch was coloring it. This is no knock on John Rauch’s colors, he’s great, but I thought it was a pretty noticeable switch.


  1. I'm not disappointed by the delay in bringing Earth into the picture in Red Lanterns because I believe this story will bare more fruit, with the whole Ratchet thing. All I know is that Zox needs to get drunk more often!
    And I literally said to my friend "Shit is about to pop off" after reading Saga this week.

  2. Regarding the continuity issue in Aquaman, the way I see it, is that the whole Dead King saga with Aquaman missing for six months, took place before the events of Trinity Way and Forever Evil. Nevertheless, the epilogue takes places during or after the event of Forever Evil. The guy from Xebel took his time in finding Orm. Is the only way it makes sense to me.

    1. That's about as much sense as it's going to make, but it isn't really made clear in the issue itself, that's the problem I had.