Saturday, October 4, 2014

Stack Rundown, 10/04/2014

This was one of those weeks where I had a lot more books to read than I realized. Every time I finished one book, it seemed like I remembered that I had at least two more to read. It never ends!

Swamp Thing #35

I’m real glad to know that Charles Soule is going to be sticking with this book until March, despite being a Marvel exclusive writer now, because with my reaction to the new Green Arrow team, this is one of the few DC books I’ve got left outside of Gotham titles. Here we got the first big introduction to the Machine Kingdom, after seeing what they evolve to in the Futures End issue. They want to manage the Green, not own it, just make it work better, and of course, that’s not going to happen, so conflict is a’brewin’. I liked the bit in this issue where Alec goes to speak with Jonah about what happens when new Kingdoms rise, and the stages of awareness that they go through, which always means war. Of course, Alec hopes to avoid that, but by the last page, it’s clear it’s an inevitability. With so much being done with the various kingdoms, I think this arc will be fun to see a new one rise and how everyone else reacts to it, and given that this is the Machine Kingdom, I think it’d be fun to see a bigger story rise from it within the DCU, but given this book’s place in the lineup (sales wise), unfortunately, that’s probably not gonna happen.

Green Arrow #35

I had a morbid curiosity about this new creative team. When it was announced, I, like a lot of people thought “So, they’re just making it like the show?” But they said “noooo, that’s what the other comic is for.” Uh-huh… If their ability to throw Bruce Wayne and Lex Luthor in there just because is their justification of the book not being like the show, then god help us all, because this book just got seriously neutered. In a matter of a single line within a panel, this issue throws out the entire supporting cast and any dangling plot that was left from Lemire’s run, which is just insulting to the readers of the previous run, and doesn’t help in keeping this book different from the show… especially, when everything was replaced with “Hey look it’s Felecity Smoak, like the show! But this isn’t like the show! TRUST US.” Yeah, Lemire 99% of what Nocenti had done prior, but here’s the thing, that was a transition from shit nobody liked, now the book is transiting from shit people actually did like. Then there’s the visuals, which are fine… but fall right in-line with your standard midcard DC art. This book has just lost it’s entire sense of identity, and has gone from one of DC’s best to just generic-fare. Dropped!

Wonder Woman #34

ONE MORE. Really interested to see what Azzarello does next, if anything at DC, because he’s kept pretty much a single storyline going for three years, and I haven’t gotten tired of it once… Meanwhile, I was really struggling to hold on towards the end of Zero Year, and I love me some Batman. What else is there to say? We’re coming to the end, there’s a big battle, people like Hera are showing that even gods can change, we’re finally getting tot he point where Zeke will actually do something instead of just being Togepi… THAT’S RIGHT. Pokemon reference. The ending is sort of confusing. Not sure what side Poseidon is playing for, but he definitely didn’t seem all too friendly. We’ll see when the story ends later this month… Like Green Arrow, I’m willing to give the new team a shot just out of curiosity, but I can’t say I’m expecting too much.

Justice League #34

Considering all the dropped potential plot lines and easter eggs that have been featured throughout the run of this series (Martian Mahunter vs the Justice League, Amanda Waller using Graves against the Justice League, Plasticman, so on and so on) I can’t say that I was expecting that final page so soon… WHAT WAS THE FINAL PAGE!? Well, I am a spoilers website… Luthor works out a deal with Owlman to do… I don’t know, something? Probably something involving the Anti-Monitor. Solid issue other than that. Seems like the League has their own plan for Luthor, but I’m willing to bet it doesn’t work out, because why would Johns get rid of him on the League so quickly? I like what he’s brought to the table… I think there may be a little too much focus on Luthor, but we’ll see how it goes. I still just don’t care for the Captain Cold plot line. He just seems forced.

Thor #1

So, this issue pretty much flat out said Freyja is the new Thor, right? That, or it was a red herring, because things seemed a little too obvious when all is said and done. If we’re to believe the hints in this issue and Freyja is the new Thor… I'd find that a little underwhelming. First of all, I just don’t have a whole lot of interest in Thor’s mom as a character, plain and simple. But I find the weaker aspect of this possibility the motivation behind it. This issue leans pretty heavily into Odin being back and basically telling Freyja to go make him a sandwich, because she’s a woman, durh. If the potential reason for Frejya becoming Thor is basically to go “That’s right, Thor is a woman, look at me now Odin, you sexist asshole” I’d just find that kind of lazy. It’s just sort of lowest common denominator shit, and I couldn’t see that being very interesting to me, as I’d prefer something a little more complex… I mean, Thor is already a woman, that’s done, I’d just like some more meat behind it, is all. Also, they kinda already did this thing with Wonder Woman and her mother, so yeah. All things considered, like I said at the top, it could be a big red herring, because if it wasn’t, there was nothing coy about this issue meanwhile, Jason Aaron has said there will be some false trails. Freyja could be behind whoever it is that picked up the hammer, and if it isn’t Freyja herself, I’m still betting on Roz Solomon… The new Thor’s lips are distinctively dark, just like Roz’s, so I can’t help but think that’s a key detail not to be missed. Contrary to the Freyja possibility, I’d love it if Roz was the new Thor. She was a great part of the past volume, to drop her would be quite the disservice, and a mortal wielding the hammer would be way more interesting than just Freyja sticking it to Odin. I hope that’s the case, because if not, I can’t see myself continuing to be interested in this title.

Bucky Barnes: The Winter Soldier #1

I thought the whole crux of Original Sin was sorta dumb, and the intergalactic assassin thing… eeeeeh, like I said a few weeks ago, it’s just space X-Force, whatever. With all that in mind, I think Bucky is an interesting character, I like what Ales Kot is doing on Secret Avengers, and Marco Rudy is a good artist, so I decided to give this one a shot… and I came away not really liking it. The whole concept of this series, I’m just not really into it, which shouldn’t come as a surprise given my reaction to Original Sin, and the fact I’m not real into cosmic stuff just cements it. Also, for as good as Marco Rudy is, and how unique the book’s visuals are, I think they’re a little too much at time. Just looking at any given page, Rudy’s work is beautiful, unlike anything else Marvel is publishing. But when it’s time to read it, things can get a little hard to follow either with the layout of the page, or trying to keep track of whose who in smaller “panels.” The visuals are super trippy and experimental, but I think it’d benefit more from being a little more structured and easier to keep track of… but oh well, what do I care? Probably not reading anymore issue.

Captain America #25

I’ve got to imagine that full page spread reveal of Sam with him going “You guys already knew it was me” had to be one of those things that was changed after the fact, because MAN… There really was no drama to this reveal at all. I mean, the friggen cover still had a “who is the new Captain America?!” on it. What’s the point?! So dumb! But whatever… Sam is the new Captain America, sur-fucking-prise. There were other developments in this issue… Jet realizes that hardly anyone fully trusts here, so she ends up going back to Zola, and I’m sure that’s going to be a heart wrenching battle for Sam-Cap, whenever it comes back… Not going to work out well for either of them, that’s a guarantee. Then, in true post-Winter Soldier fashion, someone close to the Avengers is actually an agent for Hydra. Don’t know who yet, but I those last couple of pages really had me guessing (and I came up with nothing solid) who could be the double agent, so to speak. Bring on the new book!

Black Widow #11

I forgot that the Death of Wolverine issues got delayed, because I guess this issue takes place after Wolverine’s death? Sure is subtle though. Just a single page mention towards the end of it with Black Widow talking to X-23. Yeah, that’s pretty much how I’m going to take Logan’s death. Go “Oh yeah” then move on. That said, I enjoyed this issue quite a bit for whatever reason. The issue still went by in a flash and things are still super vague with no hints of answers coming anytime soon, but I just think reading Black Widow and X-23 work together was pretty damn entertaining, specifically the scene where Laura just sticks her hand up and cuts rotating helicopter blades. That’s pretty badass… I look forward to reading her do more things like that in her new title called “Wolverine” that we all know is totally going to happen.

Uncanny Avengers #25

First off, when did Red Skull get his hand back? Or was that just an art screw up? Gonna guess that… So, incase you haven’t heard, Axis is coming! …Still! Starts proper next week, I believe. I liked this issue for what it did with Wanda, and sticking insider her head for most of it while she did some narration on her feelings towards her father, Magneto. It’s new territory for this book in particular, given it’s never featured interaction between those two before, and it’s somewhat new for me, because I don’t think I’ve read them together in anything past House of M. As for actual developments and how they lead up to Axis, I’m not really sure what the hell happened, but boy, was it brutal and pretty bad ass (specifically Magneto killing Red Skull “pure” without his powers, a nice little “fuck you” to the Nazi). So, Red Skull gets his head crushed by a bunch of bricks and he turns into giant Onslaught? Okaaaaay, sure! See you next week Axis! Not sure what the fuck you are, but I’m down with it.

Rat Queens #8

Well… This was weird. After a long delay between issues, with the last one ending on quite the cliffhanger, what do we get for Rat Queens’ glorious return? A flashback/dream sequence issue. Real odd timing on this one… We basically just get Violet’s back story with her family and how she was treated by other Dwarves, which is important and interesting stuff for the character, but it had absolutely nothing to do with the current story arc, and how they cut back to present day was super weird. Last we saw Violet, she was in the Rat Queen’s house looking at the crazy Cthulhu sky, then this issue ends with Hannah dragging her through the street telling her to stay with her… What just happened? After such a gap in release, I have to admit that this issue just sort of disappointed me. Just the wrong place and wrong time for it, in my opinion.

Hack/Slash: Son of Samhain #4

Well… Bye Delroy. Could have sworn he would have been the new partner in the Hack/Slash books going forward, after all, I did read a tweet that seemed like there’d be more Hack/Slash after this series is over, which is next issue or issue #6… Can’t remember. Anyways! Yeah, he go kablooy. I guess it’s just going to be Cassie and October now? That could be interesting with Cass just sort of looking out for a kid like that… a kid who murders stuff pretty good. All in all, I’ve enjoyed this series, I think it writes Cassie really well, but I’ve just never gotten into this whole Godbeast stuff. I think slashers work for the series, but this whole mythical monster cult and giant beasts, eeeeeeh, it doesn’t do anything for me in a physical sense as well as I just sort of zone out when the backstory is being told. I can understand/respect why the writers wanted to sort of carve out their own path with the character, but it just hasn’t connected with me.

The Li'l Depressed Boy: Supposed To Be There Too #1

I wouldn’t say this series is a “guilty pleasure” of mine, because that implies some sort of shame in reading it, but it’s definitely sort of… I don’t know, the odd man out in terms of books I read? It’s just such a different style of book for me… There’s nothing super exciting about it, no crazy action scenes or fucked up head exploding twists (well, relatively speaking), it’s just a charming little slice of life book that I just really enjoy for whatever reason. It’s like a pallet cleanser for all the shit I usually read. Anyways, the book has been on a hiatus for quite some time, and this issue picks up right where the last issue left off. LDB is suspended from his job, still has a girlfriend, but now the not-ex girlfriend is back in the picture and EMOTIONS. I don’t know what else to say! I like it.

The Fade Out #2

By the end of this issue I was left thinking more about issue one due to a bit before the letters from Brubaker. Apparently the reason that Charlie covered up the murder wasn’t because he thought he may had been involved? I mean… you wake up, find a dead body, make sure you try and erase you being there, and don’t report it? …seems pretty cut and dry. I mean, I don’t think he killed the girl, but he obviously didn’t want anyone to know he woke up in a house with a dead body. Maybe it has something to do with what we learn a bit more about in this issue, how Charlie sort of sucks as a writer now, so he has a deal with his blacklisted drunk writer friend, and just puts his name on that dude’s work… Maybe Charlie just didn’t want any heat coming on him and blowing that situation out of the water. Who knows… Regardless of cover up intentions, this book is still pretty great, only two issues in, it’s kind of what I wish Satellite Sam was, only here, I can visually keep track of characters instead of them all blending into one black and white similar looking dude. Can’t wait for things to develop more.

Nailbiter #6

Don’t look now! But it’s a breather issue in between arcs! Unlike most Image books that take a month or two off when a trade is released, Nailbter chugs right on with this one-shot issue about a lady who wants to have her child in Buckaroo in order for them to grow up and become a serial killer so she can become famous. The logic is super fucked up and twisted… but I kind of like it. That sort of shit is totally believable, if we’re talking about a town where something like 16 serial killers have come out of. I can totally buy into some nut job coming up with this twisted idea. Loved the resolution to the story too… Lady runs away from everyone, ends up having the baby in a barn just outside the city limits, gets over being crazy, hah. For a sort of in-between issue, I did end up enjoying it quite a bit.


  1. Re: Green Arrow... Just, WTF? Yet another terrible DC editorial decision. Can't wait to see if the book gets any sales spike at all from the creative team shift and if it lasts at all. (On that note, I've been morbidly watching Batwoman hemorrhage readers for the past year since they pulled the plug on Williams III. Now Batwoman is teetering on the verge of lowest selling New 52 book, which means if it doesn't get cancelled before March, there's no way it's back after that.)

    Re: Wonder Woman, like you, I have little faith that I'll have any interest in the Finches take on WW. Oh well, been a fun ride while it lasted!

    (I'll be down to Bat-books, Superman, and Justice League for DC books. Thinnest my DC pull has been in over 3 years.)

    Re: JL, the art, especially the colors were just jarring. Oh, and DC screwed up another credit, as they listed Ivan Reis as the cover artist on the interior when in fact they hijacked Fabok's cover for #35. NBD. SSDD at DC.

    Re: Rat Queens, I love that book, but I'm guessing it's suffering from Indy-itis. Just a couple creators who got overwhelmed by the unexpected success of the title and are sort of playing catch up. Hopefully they can get to a place like Saga or Lazarus where they pace the book with 4-6 issue arcs, followed by planned multi-month breaks. It's been so long since the last issue, I could hardly remember what was happening as it was. Throw in the flashback sequence, and all the momentum is completely cut short. So, yeah, love you Rat Queens, but please start planning better.

    Re: Uncanny Avengers, yeah, whatever. Let's just get to AXIS, or excuse me, 'Avengers & X-Men: AXIS' (glad Marvel clarified that, or I would have had no idea whether I should read it or not) so that Rick Remender can mess some shit up.

  2. I think that what happened in the issue with essentially the entire supporting cast being dropped from Lemire's run was a slap in the face to him. I know some are excited because he seemed more like the pre-New 52 Ollie, but the fact that they're making it like the show with Felicity is such a waste. I was thinking they'd combine Ollie's team with Diggle and Felicity from the show and was wondering how they'd pull it off. However, that will never happen since they're just making it like the show with Green Arrow vs Merlyn. It is such lazy writing to me and even though I love the show, I don't need to see it in comics too. The Mia Dearden reference was cool, but it's so disappointing.

    I'm really looking forward to Axis which is the first Marvel event I've been excited for in a long time since so many have sucked lately. I also love his writing and can't wait to see what happens since it'll be the culmination of Uncanny X-Force and Uncanny Avengers which will hopefully be as amazing and epic as I expect it to be.

    1. Agreed on both counts. Lest there was any doubt, when I said Remender "messing shit up," I meant that in the best possible way. Remender is the master of writing crazy stories where shit hits the fan in the best possible way.

    2. I completely agree. I love how he does his own thing and goes nuts. He also uses continuity which I really appreciate. He's currently my favorites writer at Marvel and to me, Uncanny X-Force and Uncanny Avengers have felt like events even if they weren't promoted that way. I can't wait to read Axis and can't believe it took Marvel this long for him to officially do an event. With bringing Appcalypse back in Axis which goes back to Uncanny X-Force and the twins in Uncanny Avengers, it'll be epic.

  3. Ahh man hearing that they're basically turning Green Arrow in a copy of the show is disappointing. Especially considering that they already have an Arrow comic that ties directly into the show, so making this a pale imitation is doubly redundant. Luckily for me I still have a few more Lemire issues to read.