Saturday, July 5, 2014

Stack Rundown, 07/05/2014

It was a pretty good week, one of my favorite series came back with Hack/Slash: Son of Samhain #1, and I got a cooking lesson from Southern Bastards... Meanwhile, Original Sin sort of tread water, and I was reminded that Superman Unchained was a book.

Green Arrow #33

Man, did this episode feel like… YOU KNOW WHAT. I just fucked up by calling this issue an “episode” but I’m not going to correct it, because it illustrates a point… Man, did this issue feel like an episode of the show. There, SEE? But that’s really not a bad thing, considering how well that second season of Arrow turned out. Diggle? Check. Flashbacks? Check. Ollie feeling unsure of himself? Check. Crazy soap opera family revelations? Check. Bad guy who not only wants to kill Ollie, but hurt him through his family? Check. Seriously… THIS IS ARROW. Seriously, bro. It’s hard to say if the similarities are similar, even if you got Diggle showing up here, but both properties work well for the same reasons, they have a great balance of personal stuff, history, and villainy. Some parts of this series don’t work quite as well for me, like Fyff and Naomi… I just don’t care about those two, never have and I don’t think I will, so you know… if Fyff succumbs to that bullet, oh well. 

Superman Unchained #7

Oh yeah, this book! To be honest, there was a part of me that was just going to wait for the rest of these issues to get collected in trade, because I mean, do we all think the delays are really over? Let’s be real. The total lack of consistency with the release of these issues has really sucked, because the book has been pretty good from the start, so yeah, it’s unfortunate… but also, this book is just barely in continuity to begin with, so it’s not like it matters. That’s what bugged me with this issue, because I’m starting to get the feeling that there are so many plot points set up in the early issues that just aren’t going to be dealt with. Remember how Lex Luthor captured Jimmy Olsen and was… I don’t know, doing some robotic shit to him? What about that flashback with the crazy farmer who shot Clark? Chances are we’re not going to hear about any of these again. So yeah, the book is good, but it’s also just unfortunate in a way.

Swamp Thing #33

WHAT'S IN THE BAG!? That's probably what I'm left wondering the most about this issue… That is, whatever the Wolf used for payment to the demons who attacked Alec. Brother Jonah seemed pretty disturbed at what it was, but then he got gutted, soooo, uh-oh? Other than that, Lady Weeds is quite the evil… Lady. This book is doing quite well as always, nice short arcs, but packed with great moments through each issue. Really looking forward to how this arc works out, like the rest of the arcs Charles Soule has written so far. Also, got to say, it's great having an artist like Javier Pina who can pitch in for Jesus Saiz and not miss a beat. I completely forgot Saiz didn't draw this issue until I went to grab a picture for this post.

Original Sin #5

You know what's weird? Having an event series with an issue that's almost entirely flashback. Yeah, Nick Fury is some galactic assassin… Okay. Not going to lie, I skimmed over this issue, because the end result was the same, I didn't need to read all of Fury's dialogue about it. So yeah, I thought this issue was pretty damn boring. I'm not even sure where this book is going anymore. 

Black Widow #8

I had read something about the story where Natasha gets brainwashed again and when she comes back, her memories of her relationship with Bucky were gone. That sucks… Still sucks, apparently! The moment in this issue where he wants to say something, but can’t… well, it may have turned me into a swooning teenage girl for a second. AWWW, BUCKY… I need to go post sequential panels with instagram filters over them on my tumblr… Okay, that’s mean…ish, I’ll stop. But anyways, I’m enjoying these last couple of issues featuring other characters from the Marvel Universe. This title has been sort of closed off in it’s own little world for a bit, with Maria Hill being the only notable guest character, but with Daredevil, Winter Soldier, Punisher and Hawkeye all having appeared or are set to appear, I’m definitely having a little more fun with these issues, which is not to say I wasn’t having any before. I like continuity, I like there being ties to a larger universe, and a title doing its own thing is fine, but every now and then, like what the book is currently doing, I like the doors to be open.

The Punisher #8

These past two issues were okay, I guess. I mean, not that they were bad, they just didn’t have the same spark that the first six did, and I hope that spark comes back in this upcoming arc. What I did end up enjoying about this issue was seeing all the military tactics that were used when Frank and his prisoner buddy were fighting off Crossbones and the cartel. It all just felt authentic, but didn’t fall into the trap that the last issue did where they had editors boxes explaining what ever single abbreviation and other military term was. What this issue did do well, and Black Widow before it, was set up that short crossover with out being too cheesy or making it seem like you had to read both. So there’s that… but I am reading both, so there’s also that!

Captain America #22

I’d be lying if I told you that I didn’t want to see old man Captain America try and suit up to beat up on some young whippersnappers… and then he’d probably die. Hey! Earl Tubb in Southern Bastards is old, and beating the shit out of people. What’s Cap’s excuse? Anyways, you know what this issue should be called? “AXIS IS COMING, YOU GUYS.” There were plenty of little lines dropped here and there about the mutants, Genosha, etc… all Axis stuff. This is why I’m reading the book in the first place, I’m a fan of Remender, Axis is coming, and this is part of the setup. Luckily, I have enjoyed the book past the fact that it’s setting up the event I plan to read, but I’m also just happy that my blind faith was rewarded, and I’m actually getting what I thought I’d get. So yeah, other than the Axis set up… I bet that mystery guy is Ian, Falcon is going to probably be the new Captain America at some point, and old man Rogers? I don’t really have any thoughts on him.

Thor: God of Thunder #24

I really liked this issue, it was a pretty damn good epilogue if I do say so myself. It hit all the good emotional notes needed between Thor, his not-girlfriend-but-pretty-much-girlfriend, Jane, and everyone else, as well as managing to set up some interesting future storyline down the road in the last couple of pages. Other than that, I don’t have a whole lot to say about the issue other than it closed everything out well and set some stuff up. Still not sure if I’m going to read the Thor/Loki Original Sin series, but I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it, I guess.

Hack/Slash: Son of Samhain #1

This was potentially the book I was looking forward to the most this week, because I love me some Hack/Slash. If you don’t know, Hack/Slash is the creation of writer Tim Seeley, who if you read this site, you’re well aware of by now. Hack/Slash ended last year after damn near ten years of publication through various series and publishers. Now, writer Michael Moreci and Steve Seeley have brought it back, jumped forward a bit in time, and kind of sort of rebooted Cassie. I say “kind of sort of” because while the story starts off with Cassie as a bounty hunter, having left everything in her previous life behind, there’s quite a bit of “you can’t escape your past/fate” sort of stuff going on, both literally and figuratively. What Hack/Slash has always excelled at is overcoming the (intentional) cheesecake qualities that its had over the years, and really digging deep into Cassie’s character so she’s much more than a hot chick in a bra and mini skirt hitting monsters with a baseball bat. That same sort of mentality (with a little more clothing this time) is present right from the get go here, as we’re soon finding out that Cassie still isn’t okay, with hints of what has happened during the time gap peppered throughout. Cassie is a great character, and it only took one issue to make it clear she’s in more than capable hands, and I couldn’t be happier to see where it goes. Here’s to hoping it catches on and we get more than the initial first arc that has been promised.

Nailbiter #3

While this book hasn’t wowed me like Southern Bastards or Deadly Class, I’m still really enjoying this book. The setting is uniquely great, and the mystery that Williamson keeps digging deeper each issue is becoming morbidly more interesting with each twist. I mean, you got a serial killer who is killing other serial killers, and killing other regular people to look like another serial killer, then you’ve got a former serial killer who is “retired” but he’s just creepy enough to make you think twice about that, and on top of that there’s a whole fucking graveyard of nothing but serial killers who the main characters are going to be digging around in next issue. The story has got all the makings of a cult-hit movie that was never made, and that’s why I’m enjoying it so much.

Southern Bastards #3

Man, this book is really, really good. What's better than an old man just going around beating the shit out of someone with a crude stick. This is like Southern old man Batman, and, AND, it comes with the recipe for Jason Aaron's mom's fried apple pie in the back. That's value! But seriously, the whole vibe, setting, waterer you want to call it, that this book has got going on, is just fantastic. I love shit like the conversation between Coach Boss and his #1 lackey, where they just have these one liner tangents about the football film they're watching and their opponents running a no huddle offense or something. Little shit like that just adds so much flavor to the dialogue and world, which is really why this book is so good. And god damn, is it brutal too. That ending… Nothing is going to be held back.

1 comment :

  1. Yeah, Soule has been doing the "many small arcs contained in several big arcs contained in one mega-story" thing really well with Swamp Thing. I enjoyed Snyder's time on the book and I think he's been doing a really good job with most of the books he's done, but when it comes to Swamp Thing I think Soule has made it even more enjoyable.