Saturday, August 30, 2014

Stack Rundown, 08/30/2014

Time to close out August with grim tales of my voyage to the dark unknown that is the Dark Horse Comics Digital app! Shock! Horror! Questionable user interfaces! This tale has it all!

Superman #34

Still enjoying this story so far, and I like the sort of mirroring that’s going on with Superman and the new guy Ulysses. One thing I really hope doesn’t happen is the eventual Superman vs. Ulysses thing that could potentially happen. I just see the “You have this planet to protect but you don’t do it well enough” cliched fight coming up and I really just wouldn’t put it past Johns to do so. We have these issues where everything is cool between the two, then the honeymoon ends and they’re punching each other, while I sigh and then walk away. For once I’d just like things to work out, give Superman a new ally, have things be friendly, because if they eventually turn against each other, that sort of shit is what has become typical and boring these days… But then again, if they don’t turn against each other, Ulysses is probably going to die, so fucking whatever man, can’t win! (Man, I’m just shitting optimism, aren’t I?)

All-New X-Men #31

Coming into this new storyline with the knowledge that the O5 (well, 4 plus X-23) would be going to the Ultimate Universe, I have to tell you, I couldn’t have given a shit less. Honestly the whole Miles Moraels cameo in the book just seemed masturbatory to me… But oh well. Didn’t Marvel say awhile ago that when they started crossing over with the Ultimate Universe, it would be when they ran out of ideas? Uh. Despite my utter disregard for the Marvel Universe, the banter and humor in this issue allowed me to get through it and I thought the issue was pretty entertaining through out. Though, in a bigger picture thing, just thinking about the title in general now, I’m trying to figure out what the point is anymore? You got the O5 time displaced… ANNNNNND? Right now it just seems like they’re telling whatever story with no clear purpose, agenda, antagonist, etc. While things are entertaining from issue to issue, I’m starting to question the direction more and more and I’m just losing interest each month. Hope something changes soon.

Uncanny Avengers #23

Axis set up! And I’m all for it, because I’m ready for some Rick Remender craziness, and I bet I’ll like it more than Original Sin… Anyways, this is one of those fallout issues where we learn that not only is Wonder Man stuck inside Rogue’s head (I’m confused at how he got there in the first place, I thought she just absorbed powers not people, but I haven’t looked up her recent history/power fix since I started reading Marvel, so whatever) but she’s also lost control of her powers, thus can’t touch anyone again or get Wonderman out. Whoops! Then we got Red Skull and his concentration camps, and turns out Axis is all really a result of Kang using the Red Skull or something, whatever. The BEST part about this issue is Immortus telling Havok and Wasp that they can get their daughter back… by doing it at the exact time and date he tells them to. The immature side of me just found this hilarious. In my mind, the conversation goes like this “You can get your daughter back if you conceive her at this exact date and time, I have foreseen it.” “Wait… does that mean you watched us—“ “SO RED SKULL IS UP TO SOME SHIT, YOU GUYS.” That’s totally how it went down… Fire Rick Remender? But yeah, Axis be coming!

Outcast #3

I’m still sticking with this book, but barely, because fucking hell, is it a slow burn. With the double sized first issue, we’ve gotten about four issues worth of content now and I’m still just sort of waiting for the book to get to the point. Yeah, this dude has been dealing with demons his whole life, but so far it has just been vague allusions to his past and a priest who isn’t the holiest of the holy. What’s the main conflict here? Nothing other then the potential of generic demon possession has been hinted at, and if things don’t get specific soon, then I really see no point in sticking around. I’m giving this one about an issue or two to really hook me, or I’m out.

Low #2

This being Rick Remender’s third Image book in the past year, it’s clear he has a basic bone structure to how he launches these stories. Start with an issue that throws you in the middle of the shit, and smacks you across the face, then follow it up with an issue that goes “and here’s the scope of it all.” That’s exactly what Low #2 did, with a decade long time jump, which I wasn’t expecting. As of now, there are only two Caine’s left, Stel, the matriarch of the family, who remains optimistic despite a reclusive state of depression, and her son Marik, who has become a cop, but is the exact opposite of his mother and sees the world as shit, and deals with it in an equally shitty way, which gets him in trouble by the end of the issue. On top of all that, we get a final couple of pages reveal that one of Stel’s probes came back bringing info on a planet that could sustain human life… but she needs to go out of the city and get it. So here we go, Stel has to balance her hope and optimism against a son who wants nothing of it, the challenge of getting to the probe, and the potential of finding her daughters once again. There you go, that’s the big picture so far. I like these second issues of Remender written stories, because if the first issue is the hook, the second issue acts as the barbs to make sure that hook ain’t coming out. On top of that, you’ve got Greg Tocchini’s fantastic art, which may be busy at times, but I can’t fault an artist making it so I have to pay attention more to all the beautiful shit he draws. Now I just need Deadly Class to come back before Black Science goes on break again so we can get the the unholy trinity going.

Black Science #8

Another solid issue from Black Science, and oh hey look, The Shaman spoke! He was probably the best part about this issue, giving some history of his dimension and what an alternate universe’s pillar (one where everyone is apparently praying mantises) brought to it… And it was nothing good! This is pretty much what the alternate Grant McKay was saying in issue #5, the device they created just fucks everything up and everyone dies, and now everyone is coming to terms with that fact. Still a few questions to keep the intrigue going, like whatever the spirit that possessed Chandra in issue #6 is up to (I think it might be an alternate McKay again?) and then I think something is going to happen with the kids that isn’t “oh shit, we’re going to die.” Art was pretty spectacular this issue too, lots of action, lots of great looking colors. Yep, still a great book, confirmed!

Saga #22

I think I finally got to the acceptance phase with the family breakup that’s going on in this arc. Like… Fuck it, no one is going to be happy, might as well accept it, love is fucking dead! DEAD! Boo. Anyways, this was that issue where shit hit the fan, Marko finds out Alana has been high as shit lately, and we find out Marko has been saying Ginny’s name in his sleep. The Ginny thing was my one issue with what went down here, because for the whole arc we saw what was going to be Alana’s downfall, but we got no indication of anything with Marko and Ginny, Alana just says he’s been saying her name in his sleep. I mean sure, it’s not like I didn’t see that one coming, hell, I expected them to fuck before the shit hit the fan, but I just feel like I could have used a page where Alana hears him talking in his sleep, instead of it just being blurted out like it was. Oh well, still one of the best books out there, still depressing. 

C.O.W.L. #4

One of the things I really liked about this issue was the internal politics with two of the higher ranking members of C.O.W.L. figuring out how to deal with another member. Situation is basically this: This dude Arclight, he likes the ladies, and the hookers, but doesn’t like to pay the hookers, and gets a littler physical with said hookers and pimp. One member of C.O.W.L. wants to fire him, but the boss holds out on it, because Arclight is the public face of the organization and the Mayor’s office wants to hire non-union superheroes, which is why the organization is on strike at the moment, so they’d basically be handing the mayor a freebie. Shit like that in a super hero book is not only clever, but just really unique and entertaining, which is why I’m loving this title so far. What I didn’t love so much was the fact that there was some fill in art. The art itself was fine…. but this is an Image book, and having an art switch in the middle of an issue is literally unheard of. It’s jarring in cooperate books, but it was REALLY jarring here. Just delay… all the cool Image books do it anyways!

Revival #23

I’ve got no idea how long Revival is supposed to go on, but after reading this issue, I sort of felt like this was a midpoint issue of sorts, as it felt like it was closing the book on some of the earlier plots from the title. One of the main things that goes down this issue is Anders Hine gets put to rest, and Hine was one of those big dangling plots from real early on in the book that I had mention. With Hine put to bed, a multitude of other problems are coming up in some pretty big ways… You got the people Ibrahim works for offing someone, Sherriff Cypress just going full on asshole towards Edmund, and of course… Em is pregnant with a Reviver baby. The upcoming solicits for the title mention that spring is about to come to the book and I feel like that sort of supports my theory of this issue at least signifying a change coming to the book, because you know… Spring is new beginnings and all… Poetry! 

Sundowners #1

If you’ve been following me on twitter the last week, you’ll probably know that I’ve been dreading my first trip into having to use the Dark Horse digital app. Dark Horse is literally the one major publisher who doesn’t use Comixology, because who fucking knows. So what does that mean? Well, they’ve got their own shitty app and it’s super inconvenient. It’s not AS bad as I make it out to be, but compared to Comixology… sorta shitty. ANYWAYS, I don’t read Dark Horse stuff mainly because of that reason, hell, its barely on my radar, but as a fan of Tim Seeley, I had to make an exception, and I’m glad that I did. Sundowners is the story of a vigilante support group in Chicago, with each of the members having their own personal disorders, along with experiencing some creepy shit which they believe to be anything from ghosts to the illuminati. What this outside force/entity these heroes have come up against is up to debate, but there’s something bigger at work, that’s for sure. This issue served as a introduction to most of the cast detailing their heroic style, “powers,” and personal problems. For instance, one of the heroes is powered by a “curse” of sorts, for any sin she commits, like adultery, taking god’s name in vain, etc, she gets a boost in divine powers… Also, she really likes to steal shit! It’s an interesting concept and despite my distaste with the format I have to read it in, it definitely hooked me, so I’m going to have to bite the bullet on that one.

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