Saturday, July 19, 2014

Stack Rundown, 07/19/2014

It was a smaller week for me, only a handful of titles outside the ones I already covered here, but there were a couple new series and a favorite of mine returned after a longer than usual gap between issues, sooooo, comics.

Teen Titans #1

Like New Suicide Squad before it, I came in on this series with not a whole lot of expectations, well I had some given Rocafort’s art, but nevertheless, I was willing to be sold. Suicide Squad didn’t work out all that well, but this on the other hand, well I actually liked this issue, especially when put up next to the past Teen Titans in comparison. Teen Titans was just garbage… It started out okay, but it just turned into a mess, and rightfully it got put out its misery. This book on the other hand did what needed to be done, just be simple, fun, and not full of hot garbage, and it was successful! Was it perfect? No, not really, it was really comprised of one long scene, played things a bit safe, and had a pretty ham-fisted social equality moment with Bunker. Not that I had a problem with that moment, it just felt real forced. But like I said, I enjoyed the issue just fine, and definitely plan to check out more. It was just fun, and had some damn fine art. I still think the Titans have lost their place in the New 52, but if the book is generally enjoyable, and not full of contrived nonsense, they’ll find their place eventually.

Original Sin #6

I’m in a totally weird place with this book, part of me finds what’s happening kind of interesting, the other part of me gives no shits about it. Take for instance Nick Fury, so he’s getting older by the day and needs to get a replacement cosmic assassin, that’s kind of cool… but everything else, I mean, fuck if I care. So, Fury killed the Watcher? Is that what we’re going for right now? Because that’s kind of a let down. It’s just a mixed bag… I wanted secrets! But those all seem to be saved for the tie-ins, which is a really weird thing to do, because as far as the actual Original Sin series goes, nothing has really come from the Watcher being dead other than a bunch of people going “What’s going on?" There was just so much build up to these last two issues, but that buildup was just sort of weird, strange and random feeling, so the pay off was just… bleh. Just a very strange event.

Secret Avengers #5

This is one underrated, clever, clever book. This issue is just full of people hiding secrets, others knowing more than they should, those people who find out that others know more than they should deciding whether or not they can be trusted, some other people are having big issues, there’s some mystery, so on and so on. Now, I’m fully aware that there was a lot going on in that last sentence, but that’s only because there’s a lot going on in this book, and Ales Kot does a great job of juggling every little plot thread, and conveying the sense that everything is connected (supported by a classic cork board with yarn attaching everything as the last page). On top of everything that’s going on, the style remains palpable as always with plenty of wit and humor to mix in with the secretive nature of the book. I mean, Hakweye’s character description is just “like that green guy on TV, only cooler.” Fourth wall breaking caption boxes? Sure! Why not? Last week I mentioned New Suicide Squad just not having an edge or unique voice to it, and the vibe that Secret Avengers has got going on now is exactly what Suicide Squad needs… which makes that whole Suicide Squad situation that much more tragic, considering Kot was starting to do so, then FOREVER EVIL, and it sucked again. 

Uncanny X-Men #23

For whatever reason, I thought this Last Will and Testament of Charles Xavier story was going to be a one and done issue, so imagine my disappointment when the last page came and we still didn’t know anything about it… Pretty disappointed. Most of the issue was just build up to that and wrap up of other plot lines, so it was just a bummer to get no real hook or reveal from this issue, I guess I’ll have to wait until the next one… But lets talk about some things that did happen… Scott knows whatever happened to Eva to make her age, but it’s one of those things where characters talk about things they know, but the reader has no fucking clue what they’re referring to… I HATE that shit. Lord knows when it’ll be addressed again, but man that was annoying. Then there’s Dazzler… How come every time an emotionally distressed woman is in the bathroom, looking in the mirror, there are scissors right on the side of the sink? …Talk about an overused cliche. 

Rat Queens #7

Feels like it was longer than usual between this issue and the last, but that matters fuck all now, because MAN, this book is getting good. The first volume of the series was a fun, violent, and foul language-filled romp through a D&D fantasy land, but now… now we get to the world building, and metaphorical mountains are being dropped on us. These past two issues, this one in particular, has really subverted my expectations of the series, because not only is it just a general balls-to-the-wall blast of a book to read, but its lore and mythology have begun to shape up into something legitimately interesting to see filled in. Best of both worlds, as we’ve got the fun that the Rat Queens have been from the start, and the story to back it all up. I mean, we get Sawyer’s past, a lot of info on Dee’s native culture, some more hints that Hannah is into some serious dark shit, and more. This book just keeps getting better, and deserves all the Eisner nominations it received. 

The Wicked + The Divine #2

This book is interesting, I’ll give it that… also, I’ll give that it looks fantastic as well, so there’s that too, but I don’t know, something just isn’t clicking with me yet. I see a bunch of people really praising it online, but for whatever reason it just hasn’t gotten there for me. I think I’m waiting to see what the big picture is before my brain sort of goes “oh yeah, this is great!” Right now, it just seems like there’s Laura, she’s kind of a fangirl and she's going to be the errand girl for the gods, or something… I just don’t have a good sense of what the story around Laura is going to actually be. She’s a big fan of the gods and seems to willingly blindly do stuff for them annnnnnnnd? That’s what I’m missing, the “and” of it all. There can be this world/concept that seems cool and interesting, but what is done with it, we’ve got the cause, what’s the effect? I guess since one of the gods shows up dead on the last page, we’ll see what means on a bigger scope next issue. So yeah, I want to like this book more than I do so far, but it really hasn’t reached that point yet.

Dark Engine #1

So I had really no idea what to expect from this title. It’s a book that I didn’t recognize any names on, nor did I see a whole lot of promotion for it. Regardless, when it was first announced, it sounded cool and had a good looking cover, so I decided to pick it up, and ended up liking it quite a bit. The book reminded me of Pretty Deady in the general feeling of it, being that it’s heavy on the great art and sort of light on establishing itself in a clear way. The basic premise of the book is that these alchemists made this ultra violent warrior lady, and sent her back in time to destroy their enemy who caused their shitty world. Sym, the book’s main character, has something called a “dark engine” in her, which is apparently sentient and is what caused the situation she was sent back to create. Something like that… My problem was that the book didn’t do a good job of really conveying that up front, much like Pretty Deadly which sort of just hovered around a bit before nailing the point down. There’s a scene with Sym fighting dinosaurs, and I didn’t get that it was because she time traveled, I thought that was just the world state. In fact, most of my questions of just what the setting was got cleared up in reading the intro to an interview after the fact. The book definitely lets the art do most of the heavy lifting, and for good reason, because the art was particularly strong, but there’s that part of me that wished the issue established the setting a bit more. It was a good start though and the book definitely caught my attention, so I’ll continue on with it… I will l say though, and this is a totally dumb complaint, but one of the alchemists’ name was Paul… in this dark fantasy world where we’re talking alchemists and a main character called Sym who has some crazy shit inside of her while she goes killing dinosaurs and tearing shit apart… this dude’s name is just fucking Paul. Paul! Way too regular sounding. Just took me out of it for a bit… good thing he killed himself! Bye Paul!


  1. God Rat Queens owns so hard. I feel bad for anyone not reading it.

    1. I read the first two issues that a friend had (signed by Roc Upchurch too!) and subsequently chose NOT to buy the first issue when I found it at my local comic shop a few days later, as I had already read it. I feel a little dumb for not hopping on board when I had the chance.

  2. Out of all the three titles that were relaunched. . . Grayson was the only good one, but Teen Titans is at least better than New Suicide Squad.
    Is there any doubt that Nick Fury is Marvel's Batman? When this entire series has been pretty much all about him manipulating everybody else.
    I haven't read Uncanny X Men since that Schism event happened and I have to say I want to read more after this issue.
    One of the things I love about the second issue of Wicked + Divine is that it made the bigger picture clearer, with the last page revealing inner fighting.