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The Haul – May 11th, 2016

The Weekly Haul Header

Welcome back to The Weekly Haul, where we’re taking a look at what I picked up this past week at the comic shop!  Starting this haul, I’ve added a quick rating system, something that you can look at and get the gist of my opinion on the issue without having to slog through my poorly-worded amateur thoughts.  I spend some time thinking about what image to use for the scale — stars are SO played out, right? — and finally decided on a picture of the thing that strikes a chord with me for all the right reasons and with my wife for all the wrong reasons…THE LONG BOX.

5

Yeah, not that thrilling, I know, but hopefully visually helpful.   So, it’s a typical scale from 1 to 5 long boxes.   The added bonus of choosing the long box, by the way, is we can also add in the “point five” ratings with…

Short Box

THE SHORT BOX!  So much white cardboard, so much joy…

Anyway, in the break, I’ve been up to…you know…uh…nothing, but Remy has been busy with his Quite The Character Stand Up Comedy Shows.  Check out some clips below from the most recent installment, with our very own Remy as host and whiny moisture farmer:

If you’re in the New York area, keep a look out on the interwebz for their next show.

Anyway, to the haul!

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IDW
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #58 –

Written by Kevin Eastman, Bobby Curnow, & Tom Waltz; Art by Mateus Santolouco & Dave Wachter
Written by Kevin Eastman, Bobby Curnow, & Tom Waltz; Art by Mateus Santolouco & Dave Wachter

Is it any surprise that we shouldn’t trust a huge, overly-polite, talking crocodile?  Leatherhead showed his true colors at the end of last issue and, in this installment, our heroes try to save the not-so-evil Utroms from his wrath.  It’s another strong issue from this series which has been one of the most solid and consistent reads out there.

4.0

Image
GrizzlyShark #2 –

Story and Art by Ryan Ottley
Story and Art by Ryan Ottley

Listen, if you’re interested in anything resembling a meaningful plot with character development, look elsewhere.  This book is fun and gruesome and over the top and, while I really enjoyed it, it also borders on one-note and repetitive.  The art is fantastic Ottley-gore but for four dollars?  The complete package just isn’t worth it.

2.5

DC
Batman #51 –

Written by Scott Snyder; Art by Greg Capullo
Written by Scott Snyder; Art by Greg Capullo

And so ends the excellent run on Batman for Synder and Capullo.  Whereas the last issue wrapped up the Gordon-BatMech storyline and brought Bruce back into the cowl, this issue is their epilogue/love letter to Gotham and its protector.  We get to see familiar locales in the city — from Arkham to the rooftops to the Batcave — all for the purpose of reveling in Capullo’s amazing art.  I’ve thought that their run had some very high highs and some very boring lows, but overall, Snyder and Capullo have made a lasting mark on the Bat.

3.5

Earth 2: Society #12 –

Written by Dan Abnett; Art by Iban Coello
Written by Dan Abnett; Art by Iban Coello

I’m not sure if this book is on its last legs with the upcoming DC Rebirth — in fact, the original JSA was featured on the back cover of this past month’s Previews — but there’s not much left to salvage.   The heroes are all still very one dimensional and the great conflict set up in the story — the absence of any natural resources on their fake world — is just ridiculous.  Really?  Nothing?  No resources whatsoever?   In the resolution, Green Lantern gives up his ring to power the planet.  Should we be upset?  You mean that GL can’t just float around and not interact with anyone anymore?  Oh no…  I’ll give the book some points for Coello’s art, but the story is just a snoozer.

1.5

Legends of Tomorrow #3 –

Firestorm by Gerry Conway & Eduardo Pansica; Metamorpho by Aaron Lopresti; Sugar & Spike by Keith Giffen & Bilquis Evely; Metal Men by Len Wein & Yildiray Cinar
Firestorm by Gerry Conway & Eduardo Pansica; Metamorpho by Aaron Lopresti; Sugar & Spike by Keith Giffen & Bilquis Evely; Metal Men by Len Wein & Yildiray Cinar

Anthology books have it hard.  On the positive, these types of comics get to feature characters and concepts that otherwise might not be able to support their own ongoing series.  On the other hand, though, they’re the perfect setup for, what I call, the BoDeans effect.  You may remember (or equally not remember the BoDeans, an alternative rock band from the ’80s and ’90s out of Wisconsin who didn’t attract much commercial success until their song, Closer to Free, was picked as the theme song for Party of Five.

I thought the song was great, but I could never find the single release and had to buy the whole (not great) album just for the one song that I wanted.  All of this aside to explain that buying an $8 comic book for only one of the 4 stories just seems not worth it.

But, overall, this second issue isn’t all bad.  Firestorm, written by creator Gerry Conway, is decent but gives more high-stakes when I really want more teenage drama.  Metamorpho, a character that I’ve always found very interesting visually but never really followed his character, is handled by Aaron Lopresti.  His art is fantastic but the story, which I guess is Metamorpho’s first introduction to the New 52, is fairly convoluted already, incorporating Kanjar Ro and aliens and all sorts of insanity.

The other two stories, though, I enjoyed a lot more.  First, Metal Men does a great job injecting a TON of humanity into the robotic titular characters and cameos both Red Tornado and Robotman — a welcome addition to the story.  (God, if you aren’t completely taken with Tin, you have no soul.)  And Sugar and Spike?  You know, the grown up versions of these guys?

sugar and spike

Can I be honest and say that I liked their story the best?  Now young adults, Sugar and Spike are private investigators, helping sort out crimes that the superheroes can’t or don’t want to themselves.  In the first issue, they helped recover some of Batman’s costumes from Killer Moth, last issue they helped Superman recover some Kryptonite from Superman Island:

Action_Comics_224

and in this issue, they track down some shapeshifting aliens, one of which Wonder Woman nearly married when she was young.  Giffen’s writing is great and, though our leading characters could have equally been just new to the universe without being the grown-up versions of a humor comic from the ’50s and ’60s, he gives them a ton of characterization.  The best part, by far and way, is the art by Bilquis Evely with colors by Ivan Plascencia.  Just gorgeous.

So, 2 decent stories and 2 above average stories for $8.  What do you think of that value?  Eh, right?

3.0

Marvel

All-New All-Different Avengers #9 –

Written by Mark Waid; Art by Mahmud Asrar
Written by Mark Waid; Art by Mahmud Asrar

Fresh off her appearance in the Free Comic Book Day Avengers title, the new Wasp (though there is already the old Wasp hanging around, most recently in All-New Wolverine) and Hank Pym’s daughter, Nadia, finds the team, saves the day (how convenient), and then goes off with Jarvis to find her father.  Meanwhile, the rest of the team is still dealing with a Vision who is not in control of himself and prepare for what seems to be a crossover with Nova’s title.  It’s all fine and I’m all for more young characters in a team book, but is Nadia needed when we’ve got the original Wasp in comic book limbo?  Plus another crossover?  I really like Waid’s writing and Asrar’s art is also great, but I’d appreciate some non-crossover stuff before we just completely into Civil War 2.

2.5

All-New X-Men #9 –

Written by Dennis Hopeless; Art by Mark Bagley
Written by Dennis Hopeless; Art by Mark Bagley

Wow.  I am…well…wow.  Reading Hopeless’ books is such a roller coaster.  I’m never sure if it’s going to be terrible or fantastic.  This issue is absolutely, without a doubt, the latter.  Hopeless shows his respect of X-Men history in his deft handling of Evan’s birthday party, showing his past upbringing and his mental state, giving the reader both some excellent characterization and some great X-character cameos in the first half of the issue.  Evan and Beast do some more time traveling (are we done pretending that time travel was really a problem and the characters had to stop or the world will end?) and we are set to do some more Apocalypse history building.

4.0

Black Panther #2 –

Written by Ta-Nehisi Coates; Art by Brian Stelfreeze
Written by Ta-Nehisi Coates; Art by Brian Stelfreeze

Coates and Stelfreeze’s second issue is a slight step downward from their debut, which was a fantastic and interesting foray into a character that I never had much connection with before.  Here, they continue to make T’Challa’s mental state of great importance, having to balance between ruler, brother, son, and citizen, but the focus gets a bit less clear towards the end, when we get some type of reveal about the not-dead/not-alive former Queen Shuri.  Coates has been clear that things will make sense as we read on — and I’m okay with that (hell, I stuck with Morning Glories for 30+ issues) — but in a world where BP is finally getting both literal and figurative screen time, I wonder if some more straight-forwardness wouldn’t be the worst thing.

3.5

Darth Vader #20 –

Darth Vader 20
Written by Kieron Gillen; Art by Salvador Larroca & Mike Norton

As if the previous issues didn’t feel slow enough, this installment really slows down the action in the main part of the book, though Gillen’s writing of the Emperor is actually quite good.  It’s more character maneuvering than plot progression or action, but it’s a nice change in direction as Vader starts cleaning up his loose ends.  There’s a Beetee and Triple-Zero backup too, with art by Mike Norton; fans of the bloodthirsty droids will enjoy it, I’m sure, but these guys just don’t do it for me.

2.5

Deadpool #11 –

Written by Gerry Duggan; Art by Matteo Lolli
Written by Gerry Duggan; Art by Matteo Lolli

Wow.  What a non-end of an end that was.  After all the build up — since before Axis, actually — Deadpool finally learns the truth about his parents’ fate.  And what does he do?  Nothing.  Just.  Wow.

1.0

Web Warriors #7 –

Written by Mike Costa; Art by David Baldeon
Written by Mike Costa; Art by David Baldeon

Now HERE’S a fun book.  Off the loss of a few main characters in the previous arc, this issue brings back Hobart Brown, the Spider-Punk of Earth-138 and also brings back, fresh off the pages of 1993’s What The–?! #26…

What_The_Vol_1_26

Spider-Ham 2099!  (God, I love this book.)  The story is a blast and the art by David Baldeon is incredible.  BUT WAIT.  The last page reveal?  Marvel is officially bringing back the Mega Morphs.

The Mega Morphs, you say?  What? Yeah, these guys:

Is nothing off limits?

4.5

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What was in your haul this past week?  Any toy lines you want back in comics continuity?   Leave a comment below and join the conversation!

The Haul – March 30th, 2016

The Weekly Haul Header

Happy Fifth Week!   Typically, the fifth week tends to be fairly slow, but I picked up 10 books, including last week’s monster tome that was Batman #50.  That’s right, I’m still testing those DC waters for something fun and interesting…still waiting for it…

To The Haul!

The Haul – March 23rd, 2016

The Weekly Haul Header

Light haul this week — only 8 books — but it was my amazing wife’s birthday!

2016-03-25 21.45.57

Though she may not be the biggest comic fan in the world, not only does she let me continue seeding the house with more and more superhero stuff and remind me when there’s a new Walking Dead on the DVR for us to watch — she even likes some of it!  Allegedly…

To The Haul!

The Haul – January 21st, 2015

The Weekly Haul Header
Welcome to the first installment of The Weekly Haul for 2015!  Yeah, sure, we’re actually at the third Wednesday of the year, and okay, it’s been a few months since we’ve done a Haul, but…ummm…I don’t know.   Thanksgiving turkey coma?  Holidays wrapping paper industrial accident?

Whatever excuse you’ll take, I’ll sell.  Let’s get right to it, shall we?

To The Haul!

The Weekly Haul – August 27th, 2014

I have reached a disturbing milestone in my life as a comic reader.  I have done something — something that I once deemed TOO TERRIBLE TO EVER DO…

I sent comics to the CGC for grading.

For those of you who are unfamiliar, the CGC, or Certified Guarantee Company (not Comic Grading Company, which I’ve always stupidly thought), is one of the largest (THE largest?) comic grading companies out there.  What they essentially do is take your comic, use a standardized method of describing the condition of your book, give a score of 0.5 (poor) to 10.0 (gem mint), and then (here’s the scary part for me) encapsulate the book in a clear container (to quote their website) “through a combination of compression and ultrasonic vibration”.

images
Caution: A combination of compression and ultrasonic vibration may result in vinegar strokes.

Anyway, my big problem with the whole CGC grading/slabbing is that the comic becomes no longer readable.  To me, collecting comics has always (for the most part) been intricately tied to reading.   I like having my runs of titles, going back into the long boxes, and rereading old stuff, discovering interesting things that I may have missed.  I get that we live in the surging digital age of comics, where finding a book is as simple as going onto Comixology and downloading it to the iPad, but — call me an old man — there’s something about holding the book.

So why this time?  I came across two comics that I have relatively no interest in reading but — I’m no dummy — I understand their importance in comics history —

Incredible_Hulk_Vol_1_180Incredible-Hulk-181

 

 
Incredible Hulk #180 and #181 are the cameo and first full appearance (respectively) of the future X-Man, Wolverine.  Granted I am a HUGE X-Men fan and, therefore, having these issues are fun for me, but I am NOT a Wolverine fan.   These issues, while I love the original whiskered-Wolvie, are not special to me.  I don’t know if I’d ever sell them — and I’m convinced that people who slab their books are primarily interested in resale value — but I could part with these (over most of my collection) and be fine with it.

I will give the CGC this — I’m really excited to find out what grade they get.

Anyway…

To The Haul

Oxygenation and Circulation

TMNT 23

This installment of poor medicine in comics doesn’t just contain itself to a single panel; rather, the “quack” team of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #23 works really hard to frustrate me.

This issue focuses on the aftermath of the fight between our heroes and the Foot, specifically on Casey Jones’ injuries and Leonardo’s capture.  The Leo stuff is actually pretty interesting, but for our purposes here, let’s take a look at the horror show hospital that Casey gets brought to.

photo 1(1)

Okay, so our “hero” Casey has been stabbed through the chest and is currently bleeding to death.  Just another day in the TMNT New York City, but we better hope that this surgeon decides to not finish his tuna fish sandwich and actually scrub into surgery sooner that five minutes from now.

The biggest glaring error in this panel is the physician taking care of Casey’s airway.  Remember folks, breathing (and oxygenation) is important!  As he’s being ventilated right now, I’d be surprised if he’s getting much oxygen at all.  First off, in the absence of neck injury, the correct way position his head would be in the “sniffing position”, which anatomically keeps the airway open.  This is done by slightly tilting the head backwards (extension of the neck), putting the ear in line with the sternal notch.

fig2
This looks a bit extreme and more likely for tracheal intubation, but you get the hint..

In addition, the hold on that bag and mask is improperly done.  The right way, per the ACEP (American College of Emergency Physicians), AHA (American Heart Association), and the other major medical groups is the EC hold.  For one-person ventilation (meaning you don’t have a second person to compress the bag), this is how it would look:

Screen shot 2013-07-04 at 5.46.14 PM
From the AHA

It’s called the EC because the 3rd-5th fingers from the shape of a “E” along the mandible and the thumb and pointer form a “C” around the actual mask portion.  This ensures a good seal of the mask around the face of the patient, helping effective oxygen delivery.  Poor Casey already isn’t doing so well…

Oh, and I love the look of complete indifference on the face of the guy holding the IV fluids, who I have to guess is a surgical intern who had the unfortunate luck to match residency in a hospital that caters to ninja and mutant fight victims.  The beds in this hospital don’t come with IV poles, sadly.

photo 2(1)

Casey is now in surgery, seemingly being wiped up with a white cloth and a large Planters peanut.  This great hospital has opted not only to not intubate him (place a breathing tube in his windpipe to protect his airway), but they’ve simply placed a mask on his face, hoping that it remains delicately balanced on there for the duration of his surgery.  See!  No face straps!

Screen shot 2013-07-04 at 5.55.27 PM

And I really have no idea what facemask has two tubes attached to it.  Granted I don’t spend much (read: any) time in the OR, but I have no clue what the second tube would be for.

Lastly for this panel, the IV.  Oy, the IV.  This is one of the biggest medical mistakes in comics.  IVs are placed TOWARDS the heart.  This one is backwards, placed going towards his fingers.  What’s even more infuriating is that IT WAS DRAWN CORRECTLY IN THE FIRST PANEL.

photo 3(1)

Miraculously, Casey survived surgery and made it to recovery.  For some reason, he is now intubated (which I’m guessing was done in a panic intraoperatively when the oxygen mask slid off his face) and also has a nasogastric (NG) tube in place, maybe to decompress his stomach, maybe to add more drama.  I just love the physician’s comment that he suffered “significant trauma, particularly to the abdominal region”.  I am guessing that this is Dr. Noshit Sherlock, M.D.  “Oh, thank you for telling me that, doctor!  I thought that all that red stuff covering his abdomen when I brought him to the hospital after he was stabbed in the gut was just some ketchup!”

One big facepalm for this terrible attempt.

Oxygenation and Circulation

TMNT 23

This installment of poor medicine in comics doesn’t just contain itself to a single panel; rather, the “quack” team of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #23 works really hard to frustrate me.

This issue focuses on the aftermath of the fight between our heroes and the Foot, specifically on Casey Jones’ injuries and Leonardo’s capture.  The Leo stuff is actually pretty interesting, but for our purposes here, let’s take a look at the horror show hospital that Casey gets brought to.

photo 1(1)

Okay, so our “hero” Casey has been stabbed through the chest and is currently bleeding to death.  Just another day in the TMNT New York City, but we better hope that this surgeon decides to not finish his tuna fish sandwich and actually scrub into surgery sooner that five minutes from now.

The biggest glaring error in this panel is the physician taking care of Casey’s airway.  Remember folks, breathing (and oxygenation) is important!  As he’s being ventilated right now, I’d be surprised if he’s getting much oxygen at all.  First off, in the absence of neck injury, the correct way position his head would be in the “sniffing position”, which anatomically keeps the airway open.  This is done by slightly tilting the head backwards (extension of the neck), putting the ear in line with the sternal notch.

fig2
This looks a bit extreme and more likely for tracheal intubation, but you get the hint..

In addition, the hold on that bag and mask is improperly done.  The right way, per the ACEP (American College of Emergency Physicians), AHA (American Heart Association), and the other major medical groups is the EC hold.  For one-person ventilation (meaning you don’t have a second person to compress the bag), this is how it would look:

Screen shot 2013-07-04 at 5.46.14 PM
From the AHA

It’s called the EC because the 3rd-5th fingers from the shape of a “E” along the mandible and the thumb and pointer form a “C” around the actual mask portion.  This ensures a good seal of the mask around the face of the patient, helping effective oxygen delivery.  Poor Casey already isn’t doing so well…

Oh, and I love the look of complete indifference on the face of the guy holding the IV fluids, who I have to guess is a surgical intern who had the unfortunate luck to match residency in a hospital that caters to ninja and mutant fight victims.  The beds in this hospital don’t come with IV poles, sadly.

photo 2(1)

Casey is now in surgery, seemingly being wiped up with a white cloth and a large Planters peanut.  This great hospital has opted not only to not intubate him (place a breathing tube in his windpipe to protect his airway), but they’ve simply placed a mask on his face, hoping that it remains delicately balanced on there for the duration of his surgery.  See!  No face straps!

Screen shot 2013-07-04 at 5.55.27 PM

And I really have no idea what facemask has two tubes attached to it.  Granted I don’t spend much (read: any) time in the OR, but I have no clue what the second tube would be for.

Lastly for this panel, the IV.  Oy, the IV.  This is one of the biggest medical mistakes in comics.  IVs are placed TOWARDS the heart.  This one is backwards, placed going towards his fingers.  What’s even more infuriating is that IT WAS DRAWN CORRECTLY IN THE FIRST PANEL.

photo 3(1)

Miraculously, Casey survived surgery and made it to recovery.  For some reason, he is now intubated (which I’m guessing was done in a panic intraoperatively when the oxygen mask slid off his face) and also has a nasogastric (NG) tube in place, maybe to decompress his stomach, maybe to add more drama.  I just love the physician’s comment that he suffered “significant trauma, particularly to the abdominal region”.  I am guessing that this is Dr. Noshit Sherlock, M.D.  “Oh, thank you for telling me that, doctor!  I thought that all that red stuff covering his abdomen when I brought him to the hospital after he was stabbed in the gut was just some ketchup!”

One big facepalm for this terrible attempt.

The Haul – March 20th, 2013

Things at the house this past week have been pretty chaotic.  This year marked the first big Seder (the Passover meal) at our house and my overachieving wife wanted to prepare everything herself.  The Boy wanted to make the Seder plate though:

No actual living things were harmed in the creation of this Seder plate
No actual living things were harmed in the creation of this Seder plate

Yup, the contents of the plate are all courtesy of Toys R Us by way of his play kitchen foods.  Anyway, we had 12 adults and 4 children at the Seder and the night went without a single argument or food fight, a great achievement if you ask me.  And the food was excellent!

Besides Passover, this past Monday was my wife and her mother’s birthday, which means planning some kind of night out.  This has become more difficult to do as our schedules have gotten busier.  Oh, and since the addition of those two other humans living in our house.  Thankfully, Dawn is in agreement with me that adults shouldn’t need birthday presents (especially those who have the means to get their own things) so I don’t have to worry about the gift hunt like I used to, but getting the kids to behave in a restaurant on the first night of Passover?  I’d almost rather panic while searching Zales.com…

Basically?  Tiring week.

photo 3

And for the non-Jews out there, Happy Almost Easter!

photo 1(1)

To The Haul!

The Haul – February 20th, 2013

This past week marked my return to work after a week vacation, which of course, leads to something that looks like this:

photo(13)
HIPPA Compliant Photo

Yeah.  A stack of labs to go through so large that it took me all freaking week.  Blech.

Meanwhile, besides working this week, comics came out.  That’s about it — getting back into the swing of things after time off has always been a difficult task for me.  Though almost as a reward, X-Men First Class, the best superhero movie made (go ahead, bring the debate), has been on TV almost non-stop this week.

Freaks and CliquesMan, I love that movie…

To The Haul!

The Haul – February 6th, 2013

Two great things happened today.  First of all, today was the official start of my vacation.  Fellowship has been great, but being on service for the whole year can be a bit exhausting.  Putting that away response message on my work e-mail was one of the more satisfying things in a while.  No big plans for the vacation — work around the house, get beat up on by the kids, read some comics — but it will be nice to be woken up by a screaming infant or a tapping 3 year old instead of my alarm.   Whoa.  No it won’t.

The second great thing that happened today?

NemoThat’s right, the historic Winter Storm Nemo, which dumped about one and half feet of snow in my area.  The office shut down early yesterday so everyone could get home safely — a far cry from my residency days when the threat of bad weather would commit you to what amounted to a prison sentence, having to stay at the hospital until further notice.  The drive home was long, but not terrible, and for a while last night it seemed as if Nemo (the fish, the sea captain, or the early 1900s little boy in Slumberland) would be a lot of hype.  Well, color me completely wrong, because by this morning, things were COVERED.

Photo taken while panicking about how long it would take to shovel
Photo taken while panicking about how long it would take to shovel.  Arms already hurting…

Even though living on Long Island is not the greatest when it snows this much, there’s just something about a snow day (and, yes, even though I’m 30 years old, I still call it a snow day) that I really love.  I could do without all the shoveling (and today really cemented my need for a snowblower), but going outside and goofing around in the snow is just a blast.  The Boy, though, has mixed feelings about this.  Yesterday, he was very excited to, and I quote, “build a snowfamily and make snow angels”.  Today?  A bit of a different tale.

The Many Moods of a Snow Day
The Many Moods of a Snow Day

See?  We started off pretty strong, but the happiness was pretty short lived.  Jacob has inherited a lot of my OCD and, once his hands got wet, we spiraled downhill pretty fast.

"Daddy, why is there only one set of footprints?"  "Well, son, because you forced me to carry you because you were too afraid of, and I quote, getting snow in between your toes."
“Daddy, why is there only one set of footprints?” “Well, son, because you forced me to carry you because you were too afraid of ‘getting snow in between your toes’.  Diva.”

The daredevil, the steamroller, the Juggernaut — AKA The Girl — has no problems with snow.  You know, if it was lava instead of snow, she probably would have jumped right in as well.  Doesn’t matter.  No fear, that kid.

 

I've realized that it's a near-impossible feat to get a picture with the both of them looking at the camera at the same time.
I’ve realized that it’s a near-impossible feat to get a picture with the both of them looking at the camera at the same time.

And, for good measure, here’s a shot of the oldest child enjoying the SNOW DAY!

Unkempt mane blowing in the breeze...
Unkempt mane blowing in the breeze…

As for me, my arms and chest are on fire from shoveling — time for the ritual hot chocolate reward!

To The Haul!