The Haul – March 4th, 2015

It’s been a never-ending supply of snow, ice, and wind here on Long Island for the past few weeks and today is yet another snow day with the kids at home.

2015-02-28 10.39.09
The adult Hansel and Gretel finding their way back home in all the snow…

Thankfully, though, I made it to the comic shop this week and I’m back on the updates!  Here we go!

 

Oni Press
The Life After #7 –
Life After 7
Jude and Ernest Hemingway’s journey through purgatory continues and we get some more flashbacks to the original divisions of Heaven and Hell.  The story is strange, yet never becomes incomprehensible and is always a fun ride.  And, as always, Gabo’s art is stellar.

IDW
My Little Pony: Friends Forever #14 –
MLP FF 14
The My Little Pony craze is still strong at my house, with The Boy still nuts for new pony toys.  I don’t think he’s actually watched an episode of the show in a long time, but nevertheless, we’re still living in a Canterlot world over here.   Anyway, this issue pairs up Spike with the ever-fun Princess Luna to solve a series of fire-based crimes.  There’s some cute stuff with the typical “over-the-top” dramatic cop show tropes, but the best stuff in the issue is with Spike and potential romantic interest, Mina.  This series continues to be a great kids book (maybe all-ages book since I’m still reading it) that stay true to the tone of the cartoon.

Image Comics
Big Man Plans #1 –
Big Man Plans 1
I’ve never read Eric Powell’s work before so I can’t compare this to The Goon, but if this is anything like that, I want to read it.  This book is a bit graphic and violent, but the character stuff here (along with the art and really amazing use of color/sepia) is really what’s important.   It’s nothing completely new — underdog given a tough life who is now older and able to take back what was rightfully his — but the execution is great.

Black Science #12 –
Black Science 12
Right off the bat, one of the greatest things about this issue?  A recap page!  THANK YOU.   And yet, even with the recap, I still remain slightly confused.   I must be a complete idiot or something?  Anyway, the pacing is good, the stakes are high, and the art by Scalera is fantastic.

God Hates Astronauts #6 –
GHA 6
Ryan Browne continues the crazy with this latest issue.  There’s an intelligible (mostly) plot here, but the fun is the the characters, the madcap, the sound effects, the weirdness.  It’s not for everyone but it’s definitely for me.  Whatever that says about me…

Nameless #2 –
Nameless 2
Could it be?  Could I actually be following a Grant Morrison story and understanding (mostly) what is going on???  HALLELUJAH PRAISE WHOEVER IT HAS FINALLY HAPPENED!!!  So an asteroid is on a collision course with Earth and a team of moon-based astronauts/scientists/etc are going to stop it BUT it turns out it’s not a normal asteroid but rather a weapon or fragment of a former 5th planet that was destroyed in an ancient battle between angels and demons and also people are starting to go nuts because of occult stuff.  Simple.  It’s a good story with clean art and I’m gonna stick with it until I don’t understand it anymore.  And maybe past that.

Saga #26 –
Saga 26
Vaughan and Staples continue with the newest volume of Saga and work to juggle the three main parts of the current story — Alana getting swept up in Dengo’s revolution while protecting her baby, Marko and his uneasy alliance of partial frienemies on his way back to save his family, and the trio of bounty hunters attempting to resurrect The Will.   Despite the seemingly overwhelming plotlines and the to-be-expected shock splash-page ending, this book somehow, someway, continues to be one of the best stories out there.

DC
Earth 2 #32 –
Earth 2 32
The main Earth 2 title, which has really transformed into an accessory book to Earth 2: World’s End, reaches its conclusion here and does so unceremoniously or, really, even interestingly.  The planet is ending, people are dying, only a few heroes are left and none are that fascinating.  Oh, well, Convergence is looming anyway…

Earth 2: World’s End #22 –
Worlds End 22
So much doom and gloom.  As with the upcoming Secret Wars on the Marvel side of things, DC’s Convergence and the “five years later” aspect of Futures End have made the finale of this story either completely predictable, a moot point, or a combination of the two.  Dick gets his kid back and then immediately loses him.  Alan Scott gains his confidence back and then immediately fails.  Earth 2 will be (mostly?) destroyed and, at this point, I’m not upset.

Green Arrow #40 –
Green Arrow 40
This issue concludes the whole Kingdom storyline with the best way that they know possible — by throwing every single possible supporting character into the mix (including Lex Luthor and Batman, who do next to nothing in the issue).  The art is fine and, ultimately, the story ends with a very standard yet acceptable “this creative team is leaving but we love this character” sendoff, but there’s just a whole lot of characters for a little bit of resolution.

The New 52: Futures End #44 –
Futures End 44
Only 4 more issues of this series and just when I thought it couldn’t get any more drawn out or annoying, Tim “Beardo” Drake says “Future’s End” and “Crisis” in the same sentence.

Wow.   Couldn’t say something about  a “zero hour” too?

Oh, there’s also a guy waiting in line for the new iPhone uSphere despite the world falling down around him, Superman punching (and defeating) Mecha-Brainiac with a single punch, and more silly stuff that took me out of the story again and again and again.

Marvel
Avengers #42 –
Avengers 42
Things power forward with obvious momentum as we get closer and closer to “time running out” with the start of Secret Wars.  Our Earth-bound heroes develop their plan to survive the destruction of the planet while the surprisingly-continually-interesting Gladiator and the Imperial Guard want to end Earth’s days even earlier than expected.  We get some more surprise appearances here too — the Guardians of the Galaxy one makes sense to me, but Cyclops’ cameo (and cryptic threat/promise) came a bit out of left field for me.  Listen, I know that things are going to go bad and the planet will be destroyed for Battleworld, but Hickman’s journey continues to be very interesting.

Avengers World #18 –
Avengers World 18
When Cannonball and Sunspot left the X-Men to join up with the Avengers, I was pretty pleased — anything for more exposure of X-characters in more books, right?  But, since their “defection”, they haven’t amounted to much in terms of being at the forefront of Avengers stories until very recently.  Cannonball is out in space and is a new father — fine, I suppose, though it really takes him out of the everyday mix — and Sunspot, the former heart of the New Mutants, the lovable goofball who tries (and fails) to be Rico Suave, suddenly appeared to be a smart businessman and the de facto leader of the Avengers.

Weeeeeelllll…things get messed up here.  As expected, AIM is not out for a business takeover and Bobby gets screwed.  This is more in line with the Bobby I know — he’s not bright, but he’s determined and loyal.  As we get closer and closer to Secret Wars and…whatever is going to happen to the 616 Universe, it’s good to finally see Bobby as that still semi-naive guy who expects the good in everyone.

Guardians Team-Up #1 –
Guardians Team-Up 1
I’m not into these team-up style books usually, as they are built to take my money without exchange of relevant (or even usually good) stories.  But, if Art Adams is penciling, I’m buying!

So, I was right on both counts.  The Bendis-driven dialogue, while great, doesn’t make up for the fact that the story has no weight and, ultimately, feels like a way to get GotG movie fans to buy a comic (SPOILERS: the big bad is Nebula).  And Art Adams draws the hell out of this book and I’ll buy it as long as he’s on it.

Hawkeye #1 –
Hawkeye 1
Very different from its predecessor, yet very much the direct descendant.  Jeff Lemire, while a great storyteller in his own right (and proving it here), channels the familiar voices of Clint and Kate from Fraction’s series.  I was expecting him to nail it and he does.  What I was most surprised with, though, was Ramon Perez’s artwork.  I was not a great fan of his work on Wolverine and the X-Men, but his stuff here is really bipolar and fantastic.  The main story is done with David Aja in mind, yet its strikes differently and new.  The flashbacks, though, colored by Perez and Ian Herring (who I believe also does the main story too), are ethereal and soft, a real contrast to the rest of the book.  Great first issue.

Star Wars: Princess Leia #1 –
Star Wars Princess Leia 1
It doesn’t take much to sell me on a book written Mark Waid and drawn by Terry Dodson, but for a moderate Star Wars fan like myself, I just wasn’t sure if Leia had enough character to support her own title.  I’ve enjoyed both Marvel’s main Star Wars book as well as the Vader ongoing, so why not this one, right?

It’s difficult filling in space between Star Wars and Empire since we know where everyone needs to end up, but so far, Leia’s journey is well thought out, makes sense for her character, and gives us a clear vision for this book.  It’s a great issue with amazing Dodson art.

Wolverines #9 –
Wolverines 9
What a pile of garbage this book has become.  Of course, that’s implying that this was good to start, so…what a pile of garbage this book has always been and continues to be???

We’ve (permanently?) shifted from kill words and recovering Logan’s body to a surprise new Fang (who flies) who has been secret buddies with Wolverine for years and years and years (super secret because this has NEVER been in comics before) now goes on adventures with each of the characters in the book to determine if any of them killed Logan.  Of course, since we know as the reader that NONE of them killed him, there’s no point other than to watch nothing happen on meaningless adventures.

Oh, and there’s some annoying innuendo between Deathstrike and Shogun.  I need to stop reading this title.

X-Men #25 –
X-Men 25
For an issue that focuses on Jubilee and M (and to a lesser extent, Rachel), my favorite X-Women this side of Kitty Pryde, I felt just completely bored.  The issue spends most of its pages with Monet trying to escape a cave in (and becoming uncharacteristically feeble and doubtful) with the big twist that a nuclear bomb did something to create Clayface a monster?  The art is muddy and dark and the story is a snooze fest.

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