The Haul – March 16th, 2016

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Welcome back to this week’s books at The Weekly Haul!  A quick little comic shop story — when I usually go to pick up my books, I’m welcomed by an empty store, just me and the owner.  Granted, I tend to go late right before they close (thanks to my long commute), but it’s been a while since I’ve been at the shop with other customers.  Point being: I don’t know how to compare my amount of weekly comic purchases with other comic readers.  I’ve always thought that I spend too much on books, especially since I’m usually angry with around half of the comics I read.  This week, though, there was another guy in the shop.  His total: $150 worth of comics from this week’s new releases alone.

superman money

What are all of you spending weekly on average?   Let me know in the comments.

And one more thing — a big congratulations to Batman fan and supporter of the site, Matt, on his wedding!

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Now here we go…

 

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Huck #5 –

Written by Mark Millar, Art by Rafael Albuquerque
Written by Mark Millar, Art by Rafael Albuquerque

Millar’s EXCELLENT story of a small-town, innocent, simple Superman continues with the titular Huck now captured, along with his newly-found birth mother, by some fairly stereotypical evil Soviets.  Red scare aside, the truly kind-hearted Huck finally gets to his breaking point in this issue, something that I figured was going to happen eventually but that I’ve been worried would change the character to a more jaded (i.e. the actual Superman) version of himself.   Granted, the moment happens at the very end of the issue so we’ll have to wait until next week to see the fallout, but the whole build up to the moment keeps Huck innocent and the veritable protector of the weak.  I really love this book.  I’m not sure if it’s an ongoing or not (I thought for some reason that it was supposed to be a limited series, but I don’t see any indication of that in the issue itself), but I look forward to this title each month.

Vertigo
Astro City #33 –

Written by Kurt Busiek, Art by Brent E. Anderson
Written by Kurt Busiek, Art by Brent E. Anderson

The thing that I like about Astro City is Busiek’s ability to jump from hero to villain to peripheral characters with little visible effort, all playing important roles in telling their own stories, but also adding to the mystique of Astro City itself.  This is the second part of the current arc, focused on retired criminal Steeljack as he gets back involved with his old teammate, girlfriend, and betrayer Cutlass, hoping to help her clear her name.  This trope isn’t new, but it’s done very well here.

DC
Action Comics #50 –

Written by Greg Pak & Aaron Kuder; Art by Aaron Kider, David Messina, Javi Fernandez, Bruno Redondo, & Vicente Cifuentes
Written by Greg Pak & Aaron Kuder; Art by Aaron Kider, David Messina, Javi Fernandez, Bruno Redondo, & Vicente Cifuentes

Is anyone surprised that, in this “anniversary” issue, Superman gets back to his usual status-quo powers again?  It’s not a bad issue, actually, even despite the synergy-esque “coincidence” of having Vandal Savage be the big-bad for this arc (HEY DC FANS WATCH LEGENDS OF TOMORROW!).  Superman gets reminded of why he does what he does and, though that’s been seen before innumerable times, it’s still a tight issue.

Detective Comics #50 –

Written by Peter J. Tomasi; Art by Fernando Pasarin & Scot Eaton
Written by Peter J. Tomasi; Art by Fernando Pasarin & Scot Eaton

And then there’s Detective Comics.  There’s an obviously insane and uninteresting villain with incomprehensible motivation, Gordon-man saying “woulda shoulda coulda” in complete seriousness during the climactic fight scene (laughable), and Bullock’s acceptance of Gordon as Batman, which I’m not sure if that was such an important shift in character.  There’s a backup of Batman pinups that makes more plot sense.

Green Arrow #50 –

Written by Benjamin Percy, Art by Szymon Kudranski
Written by Benjamin Percy, Art by Szymon Kudranski

In fairness, I’m jumping into this one cold, right in the middle of an arc without any real idea of what’s lead up to this moment.  BUT, Green Arrow is currently in the middle of a street war about biker werewolves and blood-borne infection (which he has himself, being treated with a tweaked Medtronic insulin pump), as well as getting involved with a guy in Liberia who is treating ebola patients by injecting them with his own healing blood?  Does Benjamin Percy have a blood fetish?  And what does any of this have to do with Green Arrow, who really is very much a side character in his own title?  Not worth the pickup, for sure.

Green Lantern #50 –

Written by Robert Venditti, Art by Billy Tan & Vicente Cifuentes
Written by Robert Venditti, Art by Billy Tan & Vicente Cifuentes

With the upcoming DC: Rebirth, we know that the GL Corps will be returning and, I’m sure, GL himself will go back to his typical superhero outfit, moving away from his current trenchcoat look.  This issue propels forward the battle between Hal and the alternate-Hal from an Earth where Coast City stayed demolished (thanks to Mongul during the Death of Superman) and Hal himself continued to be infected with Parallax.  The meeting of the dual Hals is handled nicely and their motivations are each understandable (though it’s tough to make a sympathetic villain when he develops fangs mid-battle).  The art is inconsistent at times and the stuff between Hal and his brother was a bit snooze-worthy, but overall, I was pretty impressed with the issue.

Superman #50 –

Written by Gene Luen Yang; Art by Howard Porter, Ardian Syaf, Patrick Zircher, & Jon Bogdanove
Written by Gene Luen Yang; Art by Howard Porter, Ardian Syaf, Patrick Zircher, & Jon Bogdanove

A great compliment to Action Comics #50, this book wraps up the fight against Vandal Synergy Savage by, yes again reminding Superman about why he does what he does, but also by showing the reader a little “Christmas Carol” walk through an alternate present where Krypton survives under the rule of Savage himself.  I do like seeing characters have to give up their wishes for the greater good — there’s something about when Superman does this that makes it feel rejuvenating to his character.  Porter’s art is solid, but some of the supporting art is muddied with heavy lines.  Overall, a good anniversary issue, similar in tone to Action #50, but very much a conclusion to an era.

Marvel
All-New X-Men #6 –

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

Wow, such a mixed bag of stuff here.  It’s nice to see Blob back, given that this team of the young original X-Men have some history with him and the moment in battle of Beast’s self-doubt and Warren’s determination are very well done.  On the other hand, I do not get AT ALL Idie’s complete character change — her voice reads totally different than either Fraction or Aaron wrote her before.  Her casual talk and very abrupt acceptance of the contrasts between her religion and her current line of work ring sour to me.  Also, outside of using him for the upcoming Apocalypse Wars crossover, what has been Evan’s role in this book?  Not much…

Captain Marvel #3 –

Written by Michele Fazekas & Tara Butters; Art by Kris Anka & Felipe Smith
Written by Michele Fazekas & Tara Butters; Art by Kris Anka & Felipe Smith

I obviously have not been paying attention because if I knew that Captain Marvel’s title involved Alpha Flight I would have been picking this book up from the start.  Carol is in charge of the Alpha Space Station (wha–huh? Slap an Alpha on the front of the title and the Canadians will follow?) and, following some type of sabotage to the base and injuries to herself, Carol is trying to figure out exactly what is behind all the chaos.  Hint: it’s, for once, maybe not Wendigo.  It’s a good story with a nice amount of mystery.  I, of course, would like more page-time for the AF characters, but it’s Cap’s book, I get it.

Deadpool: Mercs for Money #2 (of 5) –

Written by Cullen Bunn; Art by Salva Espin
Written by Cullen Bunn; Art by Salva Espin

It’s easy to think that Deadpool is overexposed.  It’s easy because he is.  Totally.  But this book is excellent.  It’s a blast.  It’s funny, it’s cartoony violent, it’s so well done.  Better than the main book?  Yup.

Extraordinary X-Men #8 –

Written by Jeff Lemire; Art by Humerto Ramos & Victor Ibanez
Written by Jeff Lemire; Art by Humerto Ramos & Victor Ibanez

So, as Apocalypse Wars begins, we don’t really get much Apocalypse in this issue, but there’s still a lot to like.  The lead story has some great moments — calling back an awkward love triangle between Logan, Storm, and Forge and the return of Sugar Man, something that myself and maybe 3-4 other people were clamoring for.  Lemire avoids the trap of making the characters that fall into the future become automatically evil and, though I’m not sold on all the future Horsemen, the art by Ramos is great.  The backup story focuses on Magik and the newest student, Sapna, getting help from Dr. Strange in helping her be the logical replacement for Doug Ramsey.  Out of all the X-books right now, even though I started very cold on this title, I’m enjoying it the most now.

Spider-Woman #5 –

Written by Dennis Hopeless; Art by Javier Rodriguez
Written by Dennis Hopeless; Art by Javier Rodriguez

I keep waiting for the moment that this book becomes a typical super-hero solo title (at which point I don’t think it will survive in the market) and moves away from the really interesting story of a new mother trying to balance her kid and her dangerous job.  We may be getting there all too soon with the upcoming Spider-Women crossover, but for now at least, I really adore this title.

Uncanny Avengers #7 –

Written by Gerry Duggan; Art by Ryan Stegman
Written by Gerry Duggan; Art by Ryan Stegman

A great creative team, front-line huge-name characters — why is this crossover not getting any attention?  Is anyone reading this?  The best thing here is Stegman’s art by far and away; while the story is fine, it feels all too similar to DC’s mindwipe/Infinity Crisis stuff.  The addition of Cable (a favorite character of mine) was a good move to the Uncanny team in general, though his “I STOMPED THE BRAKES WITH TELEKINESIS!” line was such a eye-roller.

Web Warriors #5 –

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

Closing out the alternate-reality-heavy Electroverse arc pretty nicely, the team continues to blend and piss each other off, ending up in a saved universe but two more members missing in the “web” of realities.  I’m surprised that this title is holding on (though I’m sure that appearances from Spider-Gwen and an upcoming crossover don’t hurt), but I really like this book a lot.

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So, there you have it!  I read a bunch of DC books and some were actually pretty good!  I didn’t hate myself for reading X-books!  I used a lot of exclamation points!   Leave your thoughts below in the comments and let us know what was in your weekly haul!

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