Saturday, September 27, 2014

Stack Rundown, 09/27/2014

Far thee well, September! I look forward to reading regular DC books again, outside of Batman of course... Or maybe not! My list of non-Batman related DC books got rather slim just prior to that Futures End break... Still undecided about Green Arrow, but who cares about next week!? What did I read this week?

Deadpool #35

This was one of those issues where the book is a lot more serious than you might imagine. Just sort of wade cleaning up after all his recent… mess making activities, ranging from his daughter, to dracula to a bunch of terminally ill mutants (I think they’re considered mutants?) who Wade may or may not be able to help live. Solid (more) serious issue with some decent gags throughout… don’t really have much left to say about that.

Loki: Agent of Asgard #6

Wasn’t sure if I was going to read this issue. I was casually enjoying the book prior to its Original Sin break… then that break happened, and it probably was the worst thing that could happen for me and it, because now I sorta don’t care… Makes me worried about DC in April/May, but that’s a different subject. This was billed as an Axis lead in, but it really didn’t make any hints towards Axis, it was just Loki vs. Doom. Maybe when Axis starts up and it reveals Loki’s place in the event itself, it’ll get me interested enough to continue reading his solo, but I think I might drop it. We’ll see.

Secret Avengers #10

By the end of this issue, I was left wondering if Ales Kot is using a bunch of left over ideas he had for Suicide Squad in this book… Not that I’ve got a problem with that, given his issues of Suicide Squad were the best of the series, but it just seemed so familiar. Amanda Waller… Maria Hill… both recruit a psycho to help with their secret team… Both James Gordon Jr. and MODOK believe they are in love with Waller/Hill… Yuuuup. Pretty familiar. That said, Gordon Jr. and MODOK’s core motivations seem to be pretty different, as we never had any delusions from Jr in terms of becoming the new leader of the Suicide Squad, so the angle Kot is taking with MODOK is pretty unique by comparison. This issue was one of those “lay almost everything out on the table” issues, and boy, is this one big twisted rabbit hole, but it’s pretty fun to go down, and I’m still loving this title each and ever issue.

Outcast #4

I don’t know… Like The Wicked + The Divine, I was JUST about out on a title, but then the fourth issue comes and I go “Maybe it’s alright.” The plot just seemed to get to a point where something is going to happen with all this demon stuff instead of just generally flirting with the concept of them. We’ve got this case with the detective and his partner which seems like a crechendo, then we’ve got the creepy guy who “moved in” next door, and given my lukewarm reception of the first three issues, I need to go back and look, but I’m sure he’s possessed or something to. Point is, seems like something is going to happen next issue, instead of just everyone sitting around, making vague references to the past. Regardless… this still feels like a TV show rather than a comic. I will say that the one thing the book has going for it is the visuals. While I think the artist has some pretty lifeless looking faces in a couple of panels here and there, the general visual tone feels very ominous and oppressive, and when demons are the subject, the feeling of oppression is fairly accurate. So fuck it man, I guess I’m reading #5. I’m on an issue-to-issue basis with this one, but things seem to be looking up?

Saga #23

One of the many “shit hits the fan” issues this series has seen. There’s one more issue until the book goes on hiatus again, and after the final page of this one, I can’t see next month’s leaving everything nice and tidy for the break… but, when has that actually happened. Let’s see, first we’ve got some psycho freedom fighter who just murders people abducting Hazel, Alana, Klara and the space ship, then on the ground, we’ve got Prince Robot IV finding Marko and believing he is partly to blame for his son’s abduction. OH BOY. Someone’s gonna die, they’ve got to. I mean, that’s just how this shit’s got to go, right? This has been a super bummer of an arc, might as well go all out and make it that much more depressing.

C.O.W.L. #5

With this issue closing out the first arc, it was advertised as a game changer for the series, and more or less, it was. This issue took a page out of Watchmen’s book, and went all Rorschach on John… and by that, I mean he got obliterated so he didn’t reveal the truth about C.O.W.L. Other than the striking similarity between John and Rorschach’s fate, which diminished the shock for me, I was sort of left wondering why Arclight turned on him. They seemed to be buddy buddy early in the issue, then one conversation with Geoffrey later, and Arclight is frying John. I guess that’s something that may be filled in latter down the line, who knows. But, as someone who has seen the short filmed this was based on, the twist I expected to be coming has finally popped up, and we get that “the good guys are keeping the bad guys around so they stay employed” conspiracy, only with a different twist linking the union to the mob for the comic. 

Low #3

This book hasn’t caught on with me like Deadly Class or Black Science have, but I still enjoy it quite a bit. I just don’t think Low has gotten to the point that’s really supposed to hook me in yet. Deadly Class’s strength is in the characters and their interactions, while Black Science had some great twists that pulled the rug from under the readers, leaving us with a protagonist we didn’t expect. Low… well, Low’s got an optimist for a lead which is something shocking for a Remender book, but the story just seems so small despite the setting. Right now Stel is just trying to find a world where humans can live, and she has a lead, yet what’s not addressed is that the city they live in has like what, six months of air? So are we to assume that as soon as they find a world, they can all just up and leave the bottom of the ocean like that? I don’t know. After the first issue’s events, none of that’s really been touched upon, and that’s where it seems the big picture may lay, so hopefully the series shifts towards that plot sooner than later. All that said, man, those last couple of pages sure were great to look at.

Chew #43

So the last time an issue came out, I believe I thought something along the lines that Olive couldn’t die because after Toni’s death, it seems in poor taste to kill another Chu like that…. but I don’t know, that “she wasn’t ready!” last page didn’t seem like a great indication of Olive’s future. But hey, this is comics! Shit’s teased all the time! She could be totally fine! Or totally dead! Who knows! is Poyo dying? If so, fuck this shit, I’m out! I don’t know what else there is to say about an issue of Chew, with a story this long, it’s sorta difficult to say anything new about it… Not like I’m going “I wonder if I’m going to finish this or not?” Because 43 issues in, clearly… I’m going to read the last 17.

Sundowners #2

Remember last month where I said the Dark Horse app isn’t THAT bad, but it still sort of sucks… Well, I take that back, there’s nothing “sort of” about it. As of writing this (thursday afternoon), it’s still literally impossible for me to buy anything in the app. Had to go webstore and sync back to it… Absurd. Anyways, TO THE ACTUAL BOOK. This book is trippy, and I sort of love it. This issue went deeper into the “are these heroes just crazy?” question and… well, they might be, but there definitely is something going on under the surface. I did find the jumping between characters added with the omnipresent narrator a bit distracting this issue, but it was nothing too cumbersome to keep track of. It’s just sort of rare to see that sort of narration these days, so when it pops up like in this series, it just sort of takes me off guard, but I’m sure once I get a few more issues in, and actually remember it’s coming, it’ll be fine. All that said, interesting book, sort of hard to see where the big picture is going, but I’m definitely curious.


  1. In re: Saga, I understand that part of the overall arc of a story, especially one that's likely to be as long as Saga (it's literally in the title), it's inevitable and necessary that there be conflict, pain, growth, change, etc. But hot damn, you're right. This arc is like a straight shot of morphine: suppress those endorphins! What bothers me is how BKV has gotten away from even a measure of hopefulness in the arc--Izabel's pick-me-up story to Alana about her ex-girlfriend in this issue excepted. Where's The Will? Where's Lying Cat? Where's Gwendolyn and Sophie? Where are those goofy reporter guys (outside of one small cameo in this arc)? It's all these extra wacky and multi-layered characters that has made the series great! I really hope this arc is just one of the necessary bumps in the road, because I don't think I could read a long-form series that is this depressing in perpetuity. Here's hoping that's what happens going forward. (Oh, and I guess we sort of got a hint that Marko and Alana might not be splitsville forever, so I guess there's that.)

    In re: Low, after that first heart-rending, edge-of-your-seat issue, #s 2 and 3 sure have taken a much more slow-burn approach. Hopefully Stel venturing outside the city is the kick the series needs to see a little more action and momentum in the plot.

    1. Well, the next issue of Saga has The Brand (The Will's sister) on the cover, so we could get some answers there.

  2. Saga and Rat Queens are like the best comics out right now

    That rebel from the robot kingdom is a damn maniac. I really enjoyed this issue and I can't wait for Rat Queens next week.

  3. Saga was great because it really played with your expectations up to this point, from Alana and Marko's marriage to the confrontation in the space ship.
    I loved that Cowl #5 was the pay off to everything that has been building so far.