The Haul – March 23rd, 2016

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

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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…

 

IDW
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #56 –

Written by Kevin Eastman, Booby Curnow, Tom Waltz; Art by Mateus Santolouco
Written by Kevin Eastman, Booby Curnow, and Tom Waltz; Art by Mateus Santolouco

This book is, no joke, one of the best things around.  Sure, I’m a TMNT fan.  Yes, these four mutated reptiles, in their Archie incarnation, were the first comics I read on a regular basis, month after month.   In this issue, as the turtles are recovering from their battle against the Technodrome, we are introduced to Leatherhead (a personal favorite of mine) and, as Fugitoid tries to make things morally right with the remaining Utroms, a murder mystery begins.  I can’t say enough great things about this title.

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Nowhere Men #9 –

Written by Eric Stephenson; Art by Dave Taylor and Emi Lenox
Written by Eric Stephenson; Art by Dave Taylor and Emi Lenox

After a lengthy gap prior to the last issue, Nowhere Men keeps plugging along, deftly balancing the science-related background material with the (especially in this issue) humanistic and personal stories of its characters.  Which, strangely, becomes its occasional downfall.  There are a lot of characters involved in this story, many of whom have not been deeply fleshed out yet.  The art is excellent and each character has his or her own distinctive look, making the large cast list navigable, which absolutely helps in this book.  Overall, I happen to really like this title, though I do find myself fighting through trying to remember who everyone is.

Marvel
All-New All-Different Avengers #7 –

Written by Mark Waid; Art by Adam Kubert
Written by Mark Waid; Art by Adam Kubert

Still dying to know — anyone interested in this crossover?   I am hearing ZERO buzz about this.  Digital crickets across the internet.  With this issue, the ANAD Avengers get pulled into Infinity Crisis Standoff, complete with a heroes versus heroes battle, the old and tired trope of these type of stories.  It’s a boring issue, a surprisingly uncreative plot from an excellent writer, elevated by Kubert’s art.

Contest of Champions #6 –

Written by Al Ewing; Art by Paco Medina
Written by Al Ewing; Art by Paco Medina

It was a fun ride, Contest of Champions.  I liked your fun, carefree story.  I liked the alternate reality versions of characters.  I liked the no-consequences nature of your plot.  But, now you’re already tying into the main universe.  Sales ploy?  Maybe, but I won’t be sticking around to see if it works.

Obi-Wan and Anakin #3 (of 5) –

Written by Charles Soule; Art by Marco Checchetto
Written by Charles Soule; Art by Marco Checchetto

I do like that this title fleshes out the relationship between Obi-Wan and Anakin and, in the previous issues, helped to make the adolescent Anakin more than a whiny weak-willed wimp (ALLITERATION!).  In this issue, though, Anakin gets easily fooled into helping the (possibly) wrong side.  For a guy that will become one of the biggest threats to the galaxy, he sure is a mess as a kid.

Star Wars #17 –

Written by Jason Aaron; Art by Leinil Francis Yu
Written by Jason Aaron; Art by Leinil Francis Yu

In which Luke and Han become literal nerf herders and Leia continues to be awesomely amazing.

Uncanny X-Men #5 –

Written by Cullen Bunn; Art by Greg Land
Written by Cullen Bunn; Art by Greg Land

I hear a lot of praise about this title, many calling it the best X-book out now.  There are a lot of good things here, but also some uneven moments too.  The good — Bunn definitely has respect and knowledge of the depth, bredth, and craziness of the X-universe.  From his callback of the Dark Riders to acknowledging Magneto’s history on Genosha, the plotting is extremely well done.  Magneto’s character actually is the strongest thing here, as Bunn doesn’t simply revert him back to bad-guy, but has added a ton of complexity from his previous series; his motivation is layered as much as his personality.  The no-so-good — I don’t get M’s characterization at all.  She’s gone from stuck-up princess to angry angry angry all the time.  As one of the few leftovers from (my favorite) Generation X, I just am not a fan of this portrayal.  Also, to each their own, but I just don’t get the allure of Land’s art.  Overall, though, the good far outweighs the bad.  Bunn should really be praised and get a lot more recognition for what he’s doing here.

X-Men: Worst X-Man Ever #2 (of 5) –

Written by Max Bemis; Art by Michael Walsh
Written by Max Bemis; Art by Michael Walsh

I’m still surprised what a fun read this book is, from the art to the (albeit continuity irrelevant) story.  Bailey begins to get in over his head with being an X-Man trainee as, the cover foretells, he falls in reluctant step with the wrong mutant terrorist, Mystique.  There’s nothing of great importance here — no mutant mythos building, no racial or sexual metaphors — but there is a very good story about a kid who finds himself mixed into a nightmare while trying to attain his dream.

 

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And there it is — a short but sweet installment of this past week’s books.  What did you read this past week — leave your comments below!

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