Congratulations, Geoff Johns! The Guardians are dead and the First Lantern has been vanquished courtesy of GREEN LANTERN #20, thus ending your nearly 10-year run on all things Green Lantern. And what a mighty run it was. A thank you letter in the back was not enough of a send-off for this amazing run of comic book greatness. Nope. It was far too amazing for that. All eight members of the rainbow coalition, some TV executives I’ve never heard of, and all your co-workers whipped up some extremely congratulatory quotes just for you! You’re the best, Geoff! Annnyhowww. Issue was huge. Issue did offer up a conclusion. Did enjoy. And we will see how it fares in the Best Book of the Week poll.
GREEN LANTERN NEW GUARDIANS #20 and RED LANTERNS #20, which were Wrath of the First Lantern epilogues, also came out this week. And the entire Green Lantern universe gets a creative team reboot next month along with the launch of a fifth Lantern title, Larfleeze. The end is only the beginning and only time will tell if the Lantern Universe can survive without the amazing Geoff Johns at the helm.
Nominees! Only five this week. Picky, picky.
AVENGERS #12 – Thor, Hyperion, some zebra children, and the High Evolutionary made for a great comic. And Avengers has to be one of the five best Marvel books coming out right now.
BATMAN THE DARK KNIGHT #20 – Love the art. Love the story. Loved Tweedle-dipstick. Loved the sideways falling from the rooftops page. Loved the double-page header into the Bat Signal. And that’s what you get for falling in love with Batman!
GI JOE COBRA FILES #2 – Sweet Tiger Team! A stealth bomber tow-cabled the getaway tank! And next on the agenda heist is the Pentagon! Cobra (still) rocks! One of my all-time favorites and I’ll be casting my vote for it in this week’s Best Book of the Week poll.
SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #10 – Peter may be gone but the Green Goblin is not! He’s looking to put some serious hurt on Doc Ock Spidey. And Superior Spider-Man has to be one of the five best Marvel books coming out right now.
UNCANNY X-MEN #6 – I know hell is hell, but man up! We are X-Men, not X-mice! Thank goodness for the Cuckoos. Won’t give away the ending here but I absolutely loved who was chosen to head up the new SHIELD mutant taskforce. And Uncanny X-Men has to be one of the five best Marvel books coming out right now.
What? What’s that? Who rounds out the top five? Thor? All New X-Men? Do I hear a Cable vote out there? New Avengers? Age of Ultron? Guardians of the Galaxy? Don’t forget Hawkeye! The competition is tough. Podcast this Sunday. Perhaps we shall see what the panelists think…
Would like to mention once again this week that we will be looking for guest columnists for our Best Covers of the Day column this summer. If you have any desire to pick out some covers and crack some jokes just let us know. We are compiling a list! And it is quite simple. If I was doing it this week I would have went with Superman #20. Oh. Seems Andy did. It was a double punch to the face with a big SMASH! behind it. As Andy said, “Eeeeee-Zeeeee.” Although I thought the Hector Hammond Superman bobblehead on the inside was equally fantastic, but being on the inside it doesn’t count! He’s got a five foot forehead!
Poll tomorrow. Vote it up! Podcast on Sunday. Listen it up!
Little light this week. But I’m still happy to throw some thoughts your way. Thor ran away with Best Book honors last week. Deservedly so. Was glad to see that the Avengers got its fair share of votes. Deservedly so.
Will actually start off with John Byrne’s new mini-series DOOMSDAY.1 #1 (OF 4) today. Might be a first here on the Best Book of the Week nominees, mentioning a John Byrne book, and Susan will include it on the poll, but, alas, it will not win. Did enjoy though. But then again I’m a sucker for anything post-apocalyptical. A giant solar flare has virtually wiped out all life on earth! Europe is gone. India. Russia. All of the Asian continent. Survivors include the crew of the Space Shuttle who eventually land in the barren wasteland of the southern United States. A submarine crew that dives to the bottom of the ocean. And I guess a couple of convicts who escaped from the local jail. Yeah. I didn’t see how they fit in either. Hmmm. One can only hope they turn into giant mutant radioactive monsters or better yet, zombies. Yeah. Zombies. A post-apocalyptical comic book about zombies. That would be cool. Bet they’d make a TV show out of that!
AGE OF ULTRON #8 (OF 10) – The Age of Ultron is over. Long live the Age of Morgan Le Fey! And I hate to kick a dog when he’s down but it’s all Iron Man’s fault! Again! No matter what universe, timeline or alternate reality, it’s always Iron Man who… what… what’s that… Iron Man is not down… Iron Man’s new movie has made $100 billion and he is the shining star of the Marvel Universe! Okay. Okay. I hear you. I will lay off Iron Man today. But comic book Tony Stark better get it together soon!
CABLE AND X-FORCE #8 – Is gonna get my vote for Best Book of the Week. Damn it. The plot I didn’t get last issue, I wasn’t supposed to get last issue and all was explained nicely here. Damn it. And I loved all of Cable and his hi-jinks. Adios, evil alien overload, and stay away from Agent Brand. She’s very angry! Damn it!
EDGAR ALLAN POES FALL O/T HOUSE OF USHER #1 – By Richard Corben. One of my favorites. And a perfect opportunity to mention another one of my favorites, which was once again conspicuously absent from Mr. Corben’s biography in the back… Starr the Slayer! Dare you. Double dog dare you. Triple dog dare you to give it a read. It’s in sing-song verse and I find it awesome. You’ve been triple dog dared!
FABLES #129 – Spoiler Alert! Spoiler Alert! Bigby dies? The Big Bad Wolf is no more? Should we make a big deal of this? Am I just so jaded on most character deaths at this point that it doesn’t resonate? Liked how the storyline ended. Really liked what I saw at the end. Have no idea how I’m supposed to feel about Bigby dying.
FATALE #14 – Nazis, monsters and a girl you just can’t say no to. Last of the one shots. Have enjoyed them all. New story arc begins next issue. And I’m very curious to see what direction it goes. Hopefully it will continue in its current un-confusing direction. We shall see.
GAMBIT #12 – Gambit? Gambit? Hey. Rogue has been in the last couple of issues, it was a light week and I never talk about Gambit! So why not some Gambit. We actually had a conversation going on in the store about how many issues in a row Gambit could go shirtless. Started with issue #1, he might have made it up to issue #6. But alas, he eventually decided to keep his clothes on. Although Tombstone did go topless for most of this issue. Anyway. Check out Gambit and his jet pack. He’s holding onto the roof of the speeding car for dear life while a still dressed Tombstone blasts away. All the while his jet pack is zooming ahead at full speed. In the other direction!
LEGEND OF LUTHER STRODE #5 (OF 6) – The kiss was great! As was the mayhem!
ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN #23 – Was exactly the issue that the titled needed. Jumped one year later. Miles hasn’t put on the costume in a year following his mother’s death. Set everything back up. Gwen. Jessica Drew. Got me totally interested again. And Cloak and Dagger looked cool. Excellent job!
One last thing before I get out of here today. Summer is quickly approaching. And once again this summer we will be looking for guest columnists on the Best Covers of the Day post. Joshua is ready to do it again this year. And you are more than welcome to give it a go! It’s easy. You can pick any covers you want, and basically say anything you want about them. If I was doing it this week I would have totally gone with Batgirl #20. That Crossed cover is awesome! I also would have had to go with Supergirl #20, which teases the next great DC Comics crossover! Infinite Crisis, Final Crisis, Death of the Family? No. No. No. You demanded it and DC editorial is giving it to you! And it all starts right here in SUPERGIRL #20. See how easy it is? We even accept juvenile humor! Just let us know if you’re interested as we will be turning over the Best Covers of the Day post to you! But only for the summer.
I thought Free Comic Book Day went fantastic. It was indeed a beautiful day. Thanks to everyone who made it out. Sorry you had to wait in line. Sorry we ran out of books. And popcorn! Hope you had a good time. Gina got a sweet Cosmic Comix jean jacket! We will totally be doing it again next year, I will make sure to order more of everything, and you are more than welcome to join us once again!
Onto the shenanigans!
All was quiet on the comments front last week. Nary a one. Must have had visions of Free Comic Book Day dancing in your heads… Even after I “ouched” the beloved Hawkeye. Which still got its share of votes in the poll. Loved the love for Polarity in the poll, btw. And speaking of the Best Book Weekly Poll, you may just have noticed a slight change in the writing style for the weekly poll. Andy doesn’t usually write the poll anymore. Susan has been leading that charge. She got her picture taken on Free Comic Day. That’s Susan. And Adam. He works on the weekends. In their sweet Cosmic Comix uniforms!
Anyhow… where I was supposed to be going with all this was BATMAN #20. The Wonder Twins de-activated. Bruce Wayne and Princess Fox got caught in a trash compactor. No sign of a wookie. Batman Beyond just happened to show up. Clayface was easily captured in the end. He is Batman. And then he and Alfred watched some old footage of Damian and cried. Clayface was cool. Nice hand puppets. And teasing me for Year Zero has got me totally interested. But still. Ouch?
Only the poll knows! And here are my Best Book of the Week Nominees for inclusion in that poll!
AVENGERS #11 – I read Thor first and thought, “Nothing will beat that.” Avengers might have. It was far more like Secret Avengers. It was a black op. At a casino. It was great. Black Widow’s plan: seduce the target then pull out his fingernails one by one until he confesses. And then she wants to behave very badly until morning. Unfortunately no one took her up on that offer. Instead Cannonball and Sunspot went to gamble with a couple of guys from AIM who apparently really know how to drink. But after a couple of bullets to the head, it is left to Shang-Chi to deliver the goods. In the form of a severed demon head!
BATMAN AND RED HOOD #20 – This book is doing the aftermath of Damian death great. Loved the flashback of Jason’s death. And I’m up for Carrie Kelly to be Robin. Hey. The dog likes her!
GREEN LANTERN CORPS #20 – Easy nomination. There was an Orioles shout out. Guy went to a game. Easy nomination. And he obliterated the bad guy with his ring at 325% of power. O-Bliterated. Last issue for Peter Tomasi. I have enjoyed the vast majority of the new 52 Green Lantern Corps. Easily grades out at a B overall. And we shall see what happens next.
JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #3 – Hawkman punched Green Arrow in the mouth. With quite the haymaker. Green Arrow acted like he thought he could take Hawkman. He cannot. Hawkman would break him like America’s Next Top Model.
SUICIDE SQUAD #20 – Surprise of the Week! Green Arrow got a great new direction a couple of issues ago. That comic rocks! Could the Suicide Squad do the same? I loved it. Recapped the setting. Recapped the direction. And still kept everything that happened before. It read like a #1 issue. New writer. Alex Kut. New artist. Patrick Zircher. King Shark. Harley Quinn. The Unknown Soldier was great. The ending was great. Can’t wait to see how that plays out. And now they are truly the Suicide Squad. People are going to die! Again and again!
THOR GOD OF THUNDER #8 – “Hela’s pale bosom, boy! Go polish thine hammer or practice growing a beard before I cast thy ass overboard.” It was awesome. And my pick for the Best Book of the Week!
WALKING DEAD #110 – Michonne and Ezekiel sittin’ in a tree. K-I-S-S-I-N-G. First comes love, then comes marriage. And then the Tiger ate the baby carriage!
Poll tomorrow. Vote, vote, vote it up! See ya!
Free Comic Book Day is in two days!!! And if you’re waiting until Saturday to pick up your weekly haul consider all the following spoilers!
And I have three comments before I get to my Best Book of the Week Nominees today.
- Courtesy of AGE OF ULTRON #7. Wolverine did indeed change the fictional future by killing Hank Pym but probably not in the way he wanted to. Sweet Alternate Universe What if Defenders pin-up!
- Courtesy of HAWKEYE #10. Wow. Is it just me or was that particularly horrible? Swing and a miss! Ouch!
- Courtesy of every Marvel comic this week. Wow. Is it just me or was that one of the most timely (and awesome) promo pages you’ve ever seen? Do NOT call him a raccoon! Although that raccoon is extremely popular right now.
ALL NEW X-MEN #11 – Is the repetitive nature of All New and Uncanny X-Men beginning to annoy you? So many events/scenes seem to be repeated in both books. The cover even screamed “Which of the All-New X-Men will join Cyclops’ Mutant Revolution?” Duh! You already told us that Angel was the one leaving/joining. Nice for continuity. Nice if you’re only reading one series. But c’mon, Mr. Bendis. New material, please! Still liked the issue a lot. The Cuckoos taking out Jean Grey. Kitty Pryde setting the ground rules with Ms. Grey. Magneto flinging Wolverine in the air. Mystique up to no good. The Avengers showing up. Wait a minute… I think I might have seen that before…
ANIMAL MAN #20 – Red Thunder returns! He did appear before. Way back in issue #6. Which I remembered. But didn’t really remember. He’s a character that Buddy Baker played on TV? But it didn’t matter. Loved the rise and fall of Red Thunder. And I hope Buddy Baker’s acting career goes better than Red Thunder’s did!
DETECTIVE COMICS #20 – Emperor Penguin Unchained! After waiting and waiting to get going with the Emperor Penguin story, the Emperor Penguin story is over! Just goes to show you how much story John Layman can cram into one issue. Emperor Penguin with the help of the Man-Bat Serum, some bark from Poison Ivy, and Bane’s Venom kicked Batman’s butt! Then strung him up! But never fear Batman triumphed in the end as only Batman can. “You took me by surprise earlier and I made the mistake of fighting you like a man but you’re a monster.” And once Batman knew he was a monster he took him down without any problem. He’s Batman! He always has a plan! And plan B worked splendidly. And I loved the back-up story, because I was sort of annoyed that the Emperor Penguin story was over so quickly, but then again, it’s not, here comes Emperor Blackgate!
FAIREST #15 – “The Return of the Maharaja” Part One. I was totally enjoying my little tale about the girl and her jackal journeying to meet the Maharaja as I enjoy many, many comics each and every week, but I didn’t think it would garner a nomination as many, many comics I enjoy each and every week don’t. Until the last page when we finally met Maharaja Shah Ah-Ming. You might have seen it coming. He was on the cover. But I didn’t. And so I loved it.
GREEN ARROW #20 – Sort of wrapped up the Komodo story. At least for now. Sure we will see him again. And Naomi is alive! Which didn’t really resonate with me. Who the heck is Naomi? But it sure made Green Arrow happy. I was far happier with the arrow to the eye! Aarrrgh!!! And it looks like Ollie is headed back to his island. Whether he wants to or not!
POLARITY #2 (OF 4) – Very, very impressive once again. Mr Bipolar has now discovered that if he takes his little red pills he’s perfectly normal thanks to a shirtless session with his therapist. But Mr. Bipolar has also figured out that if he ingests any form of illegal narcotics he becomes a superhero! Reading minds was big this issue. And a locker room spanking scene was involved. Just a fantastic book. Again.
SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #9 – A Parker-ectomy was indeed done and it’s time for Spider-Man fans to start panicking once again. Although I can virtually guarantee that Ken calls it the Best Book of the Week. I’ll gladly give it a 3rd place finish. It was an all out mind fight. Loved when Peter ripped off his face to reveal himself as Spider-Man. Doubly loved when Doc Ock ripped off his face to reveal himself as the Superior Spider-Man. And if the book would have ended any other way, I would have called it a waste, instead of what it was, which was great!
TEN GRAND #1 – J. Michael Straczynski might be getting all the pub as the writer and creator of Joe’s Comics but my favorite part was the art by Ben Templesmith. Got me thinking about Fell. I miss Fell. Sigh. And about Wormwood Gentleman Corpse. I miss Wormwood. Sigh. This was not as good as those but definitely has potential. A weird investigator wants ten grand to take your weird case. It involved demons, angels and hitmen. Nice start. Worth checking out. We shall see where it goes.
As to the Best Book of the Week. As mentioned above I’m putting Superior Spider-Man #9 in third. Polarity #2 totally comes in second and is totally a must read book. But my vote for Best Book of the Week has to go to Detective Comics #20. Might have been a quick resolution but it gave me everything I wanted and I thought the payoff was worth the wait.
Poll tomorrow. Vote it up! Free Comic Book Day is Saturday! See you then!
Free Comic Book Day is just nine days, I repeat, NINE DAYS from now, and we are busy, busy getting everything ready for our biggest party of the year! Yes, a party. Here at Cosmic Comix we do not think of FCBD as a sale. (Though we will have plenty of awesome deals available and Andy will be dishing out the details over the next week.) We think of FCBD as a PARTY. A day of celebration. A day of fun. And we totally invite you to join us for a day of fun-filled celebration! Whether you visit the store on a weekly basis, or if we haven’t seen you in years, or if you’ve never even been to Cosmic Comix before, I sincerely hope you can stop on by. It’s a party! Come join the fun!
So, without further ado, here are my nominees for Best Book of the Week consideration!
Five Avengers books this week! Avengers #10, Avengers Arena #8, New Avengers #5, Uncanny Avengers #7, & Young Avengers #4. Liked them all. Will nominate NEW AVENGERS #5 this week because I really like the plot and love to see all the stupid decisions the greatest minds in the Marvel Universe make every issue. And YOUNG AVENGERS #4 because it was cool. Maybe I’m just a sucker but a full-page spread (it even had a key!) diagramming Noh-varr taking out a bunch of bad guys and then giving us a dramatic pose of Mr. Noh-varr saying, “Come with me if you want to awesome,” will get you nominated every time.
Three Batman books this week! BATMAN INCORPORATED #10, BATMAN THE DARK KNIGHT #19, and TALON #7. Liked them all and since I can’t make up my mind which one I liked best, I’m just nominating them all! Really like what’s happening in Batman Incorporated since Damian died. Still don’t like that they killed him but the aftermath is being done very well. And the last page was great. That is one scary Bat-suit! The Dark Knight continues to explore all things Mad Hatter and that dude is quite mad indeed. And the last page was greater. Pool of tears is an understatement. Lake of bodies is more like it. The Joker would be envious of that body count! And Talon totally twisted the series upside down this week with Calvin’s mentor being exposed for who he really is and I didn’t even mind the last page. He’s a Talon! And he’s been dead before.
EAST OF WEST #2 – Jonathan Hickman is a machine these days. He writes Avengers and New Avengers over at Marvel. And MANHATTAN PROJECTS #11 also came out this week. It was also very good. But East of West is off to a fantastic start and I can’t recommend it enough. It’s got a sprawling futuristic western plot complete with a divided (and different) United States of America plus all the usual government intrigue. The four horseman of the apocalypse play a major role with Death at the forefront. There’s a message. There’s a not-dead wife. And the Secretary of the Interior is now President of the White Towers after some serious blood-letting!
GUARDIANS OF GALAXY #2 – Is actually going to get my vote for the Best Book of the Week. Just thought it was great. Loved that Freya, the all-mother of the Asgardians, by trying to protect Earth as one of the nine realms she governs, actually caused the situation. Whoops. But Rocket Raccoon stole the show. Blam! Murdered you! Just cracked me up. Every time he did it. And Groot ain’t nothing but a sliver of wood!
INVINCIBLE #102 – Mustache Fight! Gotta give James credit for that one. Fits perfectly. Was one heck of a fight. Called to mind that old adage: it’s all fun and games until somebody loses an eye! And a major status quo change followed. Which was followed by another potential major status quo change. Of course I will!
JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #651 – Was just a lot of fun and needs some props. One-and-done story featuring all your favorite Asgardians and Fenris the Wolf. It was light. It was funny. And now Thor needs to find some pants!
JUPITER’S LEGACY #1 – C’mon. There was no way this was going to be bad. Mark Millar. Frank Quietly. Just an excellent first issue. Set up everything that needed to be set up. Can’t wait to see where it goes. I would like to mention that an island is involved. The Darma corporation is not.
RACHEL RISING #16 – Excellent as always. Harlan Ellison had a quote about Terry Moore’s Echo series in the back that I thought fits all of Mr. Moore’s work. “Terry Moore does an acre more straight-up memorable storytelling in one black & white issue of Echo than either of the two comics ‘giants’ in a year’s worth of their prolix, boring, barren crossover ‘events’.” Which is high praise for Mr. Moore and well deserved. Although Mr. Ellison didn’t necessarily need to bash Marvel and DC in handing out that praise. AVX was not prolix, boring or barren! I thought it was great! As is Rachel Rising.
UNCANNY X-MEN #5 – Not the biggest Frazer Irving fan out there. He’s definitely a talented artist. Just not an art style I prefer. But I totally thought his art style worked in this issue as most of the action takes place in Limbo which is indeed a dark, dreary and dismal place. And I love that Illyana is taking center stage for this arc. Dormammu!
Poll tomorrow! Vote it up! And look for the return of the Cosmic Comix Conversations podcast this Sunday!
Even shorter this week but still oh so sweet! CHEW #33!!!!
Although Poyo doesn’t really appear in this issue, Tony Chu was on a rampage and it will still garner my vote for Best Book of the Week! Fastball to the sternum!
And I must give props to CABLE & X-FORCE #7. Just really enjoyed it once again even though I still have no idea where the plot is ultimately headed. Domino is great. I totally appreciate how good she looks when she’s kicking a guy in the throat! And AGE OF ULTRON #6 (of 10) wins the best last page of the week award. Wolverine makes good on his threat and I am super curious to see what the ramifications (if any) are for his actions. And there is absolutely no way I cannot comment on SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #8 today. The Avengers got it figured out! Doc-Spidey is not a Skrull! Nor is he being controlled by a space phantom, the Puppet Master, Purple Man or the Controller. Captain America is so smart! Looks like it’s up to Carlie Cooper to save the day. She better hurry.before Doc-Spidey gives himself a Parkerectomy! Ouch!
Your nominees are welcome. Comment them up! Poll tomorrow. Vote it up!
Short and sweet today. Lots of good books this week. Lots of my personal favorites. And I offer up these 10 fine, fine comic books for inclusion in the Best Book of the Week poll.
AVENGERS #9 – It had a Builder Machine Code translation guide in the back so you could understand what the sentient worm(s) creature was saying. “Join” was as far as I got. Where’s a good red AR box when you need one?
AVENGERS ARENA #7 – Arcade history! Sorry. No baby Arcade. Didn’t go back quite that far. Far more current. Just a couple years back and then rolled it all right up to issue #1 as Arcade develops his new murderworld. With a little help from Ms. Coriander. She was great. Wins for Best Surprise of the Week. Although the series has been good all along. Just an excellent issue.
BATMAN #19 – Can’t believe Andy didn’t quote you any DC covers on the Highlights page! I am really enjoying the fold out covers. Bruce Wayne’s greatest foe… opens to… Jim Gordon? But what popped into my mind when I saw the cover, before I opened it, was Bruce Wayne’s greatest foe… DC editorial? Just trying to do my part, Jim! Clayface was great and I really liked the back-up story, too!
GI JOE COBRA FILES #1 – Happy. Happy. Happy. My Cobra is back. And I am very happy!
HAWKEYE #9 – There are just some heavyweight books this week. Saga. Thor. Uncanny. Whichever one you want. Walking Dead. Batman. I’m going with Hawkeye #9 as the Best Book of the Week. I love the 1960s mod. And the girls. And I even love bro, Bro!
SAGA #12 – Awesome again. Vote it up. It deserves it.
THOR GOD OF THUNDER #7 – And wow do I love this. Great week of books.
UNCANNY AVENGERS #6 – The Scarlet Witch, Rogue, Havoc, etc., all disappeared and Thor was left fighting Apocalypse over a thousand years ago! Still liked it. Kang was involved. It was all good.
UNCANNY X-MEN #4 – Matched up to All New X-Men perfectly. Scott Summers et al talking to Wolverine et al at the school. You really don’t think I would do something like that on purpose? Whatever. We hate you for a wide variety of reasons. I thought it really gave the cuckoos leaving more purpose. Plus, what is going on with Illyana? And, yes, Gold Balls is a very bad mutant name.
WALKING DEAD #109 – Maggie. Having not participated in a Zombie apocalypse I can not relate to what you are going through. Sorry. Plus you’re pregnant. And that hasn’t happened to me yet either. Sorry once again. Geezus, Jesus. How could you be so stupid? Rick has a plan! Rick has a plan! Sure he do.
Congratulations to Harley Quinn for winning Cosmic Madness. People are shocked, surprised and downright miffed! And while I too am surprised, thought Wonder Woman would win without any problem, Harley Quinn is a great character and well deserving of victory. The people have spoken! And to support the people I offer the following hind-sights to her victory: 1) She was picked by the second most people to win in the Cosmic Madness Bracket tournament. 2) We have exactly one back issue of Harley Quinn in the story. Plus she got a bump from being the mascot. And an anybody but Wonder Woman bump at the end. Which all equals victory! And Harley Quinn now joins Joker, the Justice League of America and Batman in the winner’s circle. Fine job all the way around. Hope you enjoyed Cosmic Madness 2013. Winners in the bracket contest will be announced later this afternoon. And as to next year, just for Ken, think Rocket Raccoon!
Thought it was a little light this week. Only read six Marvel books! But the books were good, DC had a very good week, and I easily found 11 nominees for Best Book of the Week!
ALL NEW X-MEN #10 – Continue to enjoy immensely. Jean Grey did very well in Cosmic Madness. Especially for someone who’s dead! Took out Mystique (who was on a murderous rampage in this issue), Poison Ivy, and Emma Frost (who was recruiting mutants to go on a murderous rampage in this issue) in the tournament. Of course, the time displaced young Miss Grey is very much alive and doing just fine. But beware. Rumor has it that Mystique is planning her revenge on young Miss Grey in retaliation for dead Miss Grey kicking her out of Cosmic Madness! Krakoa strikes!
ANIMAL MAN #19 – A Hero to Everyone… except his family! This week did indeed kick of DC’s semi-cancelled WTF month. Which I thought was a terrible idea to begin with. But I am enjoying the fold-out covers! And yes, I am nominating Animal Man once again. The Rotworld story is over. Cliff is dead. We got a funeral. We got some marriage problems. We got Buddy Baker storming into the Red like a maniac. And we got a status quo change. Excellent #1 issue. A brand new fresh start. And I’m willing to give it another go.
DETECTIVE COMICS #19 – What is the 900? The 900 is what number Detective Comics would be on right now if it hadn’t a gotten New 52’d. It is also not a very good part of town. Lots of Man-Bats hang out there. And while this Special 80-Page Spectacular probably wasn’t spectacular it was good as always. Probably depends on how much you like Man-Bat. More Penguin! Please.
FAIREST #14 – A great one shot by Bill Willingham and Barry Kitson. Reynard the Fox goes looking for love from Princess Dryad. She’s a tree. He’s a fox in man’s clothing. Someone had manure breath. It didn’t go well. Inter-species romances can be tough!
FASHION BEAST #8 – Sorry. It’s really good.
GREEN ARROW #19 – The shocking truth… about the death of Green Arrow’s father! I was not shocked by the revelation. I was shocked by how many times Green Arrow got stabbed with an arrow. Used him like a pin cushion! Loved the action. The girl was great. Komodo was great. Didn’t know Ollie had that in him. And the art was utterly fantastic. Best single issue Andrea Sorrentino has done. Just some incredible full page spreads. I’m also giving props to colorist Marcelo Maniolo and writer Jeff Lemire because the placement of the full page spreads was perfect, the pace was excellent and the use of black and white worked great as well. Whoever was responsible for what, kudos all around. Great comic! And while you might think I have never said this before, Green Arrow did win a few of these in the past courtesy of Judd Winick and Deathstroke, Green Arrow is the Best Book of the Week!
INDESTRUCTIBLE HULK #6 – As promised. Walt Simonson. Thor. Frost Giants. And of course the Hulk. Skaashh! Thwam! Skkkowww! Fffchoom! I loved it.
POLARITY #1 (OF 4) – BOOM! Studios. Max Bemis. I ordered some more. Art has a toned down Luthor Strode feel. Story was about a bipolar artist gentleman who reminded me of Spider Jerusaleum. Had some weirdness to it, but made total sense. I much enjoyed. And if we’re curve grading (ie adding in the unexpected factor) it was probably the second best book of the week.
SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #7 – Another great issue. I just can’t enough. And it comes out every other week! They ain’t kidding when they say Marvel NOW! When a DC New 52 book gets passed — issue number wise — by a Marvel NOW! book I am going to laugh, laugh, laugh. All New X-Men is on #10!
SWAMP THING #19 – The Guardian of the Green battles Scarecrow… and not even Superman can help him! Hard to help when you don’t show up until the last page! WTF! Rotworld is over and Charles Soule is now writing. Scott Snyder sent out a tweet to encouraging everyone to keep reading Swamp Thing. And I think I will. Much enjoyed the new Swamp Thing. He’s gone to Gotham. Squeezed some rats. Took on the Scarecrow. It also read like a #1 issue. And was actually probably better than Animal Man. Although I really hope they have now permanently separated the two books. Let them breathe… Anyway. I’m back on board with both and we shall see.
THANOS RISING #1 (OF 5) – Easily the biggest release of the week. (Sorry, Detective #900.) Jason Aaron. Simon Bianchi. Was very surprised that Thanos was born in this issue. Talk about starting at the beginning! Spent most of the issue as a teenager. I did like it. Don’t know that we needed to go back quite that far but I did like it. He better grow up soon, there’s a movie coming!
Once again congratulations to Harley Quinn and a big THANK YOU to everyone who voted and/or submitted a bracket this year. Can’t wait until next year! Bat-cow. Moooooo!
First things first: Cosmic Madness. We now have our Final Four. Not surprisingly, Wonder Woman has made it. Not surprisingly, Jean Grey has made it. Then Harley Quinn beat Storm by one vote! And I do think it is surprising that Rogue has made it this far. Does make me happy. I have pulled no shenanigans. The masses have spoken! And you declared Rogue awesome! What? What’s that? Wonder Woman is next? Oh no! Poor Rogue!
Poor Bishop. And UNCANNY X-FORCE #3. Didn’t think things could get worse for poor Mr. Bishop after he got all grizzly on us last issue. But after a psi-blade to the parietal lobe by Psylocke, he turned into a red stump-legged deer! In all fairness, Psylocke had actually entered his mind and this was just his “mind totem.” I know, I know. Who picks a stumped legged deer as a “mind totem”? Hey. It was red! But never fear. It turns out all right at the end as Bishop’s true totem is revealed on the last page. RAAAUGH! He’s a bear!
Got our first Age of Ultron tie-ins this week. SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #6 AU and FANTASTIC FOUR #5 AU. Plus AGE OF ULTRON #3 (OF 10). Was very curious how the tie-ins were going to work. It was Doc Ock Spidey. It was the Fantastic Four cutting short their exploration to return to Earth. It was an attempt to qualify that the Age of Ultron was happening in the Marvel NOW! time stream. Present day Marvel U. Still don’t believe it. Still doesn’t make sense. Still totally willing to be convinced otherwise. If they do actually manage to put the Age of Ultron concretely into present day Marvel U, well, that will just be impressive. In the meantime I will continue to enjoy my alternate Earth, alternate timeline, What If? adventure. Angela’s gonna make an appearance!
Nominees! Easy-peasy this week. Lots of good books.
BATMAN INCORPORATED #9 – Easily the best Batman book of the month. Totally dealt with Damian’s death. Got a funeral. Some flashback fighting. Talia saying she didn’t give the order. A Lazarus pit mention. Leviathan plans. Batman firing Alfred. Although if Batman fired Alfred every time a Robin sneaked out of the Bat Cave… I’m just saying… anyway… it was great. And very easily to understand. Thank you, Grant! Bat-cow. Moo!
BATMAN THE DARK KNIGHT #18 – Maybe the second best Batman book of the month. Batman on the trail of the Mad Hatter. The Mad Hatter history was great. As was Tweedle Dee’s monologue, to Batman, about how he (Batman) put him in the hospital. You fractured my palate, my sinus bones, both orbital sockets… it was quite the list! But to my horror Bruce Wayne picks up a woman I’ve never seen before with the Bat-plane, promises her no more secrets, and whisks her off to the Bat Cave! To which I was screaming… No, No, No! Then I turned the page and Mad Hatter was screaming… No, No, No! Great minds must think alike. Where’s my hat?
EAST OF WEST #1 – I’m in. It was all good. It’s got alternate history. It’s got the past. It’s got the future. It’s got cowboys. It’s got aliens. It’s got the four horseman of the apocalypse. One of whom seems to be the unofficial sheriff in town. It’s got Jonathan Hickman’s stamp all over it. And I’m in.
FATALE #13 – Loving these set in the past Fatale one shots. Black Bonnie Smith in the old west this time around. Her Indian protector, Milkfed, was awesome. But as good as this issue was (and last issue), what really impresses me and what I didn’t expect, was that I’m actually getting to understand our present day Fatale much better. Why she does what she does. And how it all seems to work. All in a self-contained story about Black Bonnie Smith.
FURY MAX #10 – Nick Fury heads to Nicaragua in 1984 and meets up with Barracuda! With the Punisher appearing in the last arc it’s turning out to be a Punisher Max reunion tour! And I’m perfectly fine with that.
GARTH ENNIS RED TEAM #2 – Excellent once again. I like how the book is set up with the interrogation scenes playing into the flashback sequences. And I really liked their rules for carrying out their crimes. If you were a police officer planning to take the law into your own hands and commit bloody murder, I would highly advise following their rules. You will probably get away with it and end up in an interrogation room!
GUARDIANS OF GALAXY #1 – Was very happy that you told me Peter Quill’s origin in the zero issue because this issue jumped right into it. It’s a fight! In outer space! Gamora! Starlord! Drax the Destroyer! Groot (my personal favorite)! I am Groot! And Rocket (Ken’s personal favorite) Raccoon! Against aliens hell bent on destroying the earth! That is krutacking hilarious! Go, Groot, go!
LEGEND OF LUTHER STRODE #4 (OF 6) – Talk about a fight. Luthor Strode will easily win the Best Fight of the Week award. Again. It always does. The art’s great. Super-fast kung-fu superhero fighting at its finest!
RACHEL RISING #15 – Rats. Rats. You thought you had rats. This small town has them coming out of the water pipes. And sinks. And tubs. And toilets. That’s a lot of rats! Hey little girl let me borrow your bat!
UNCANNY AVENGERS #5 – Kang, the Grim Reaper and Oliver Coipel all show up. As do the Wasp, Wonderman and Sunfire. And the Avengers Unity Division is formed. But Rogue stole the show. Little kiss to Havok. Little power stealing from Wonderman. And one uber powerful punch to the Grim Reapers jaw! Krackk!
As to the Best Book of the Week? I think it’s wide open. Would welcome arguments for any of the above. But I will cast my vote this week for Batman Incorporated #9. Not only was it excellent. It was necessary. And I just might have to accept the fact that Damian is dead. Booooo!!!
With the release of GI JOE #2 this week, the untitled, regular version of GI Joe is now two-for-two in my book. Not as far as Best Books of the Week are concerned, but in the Totally Cracking Me Up department. And in a good way. First of all Duke was great. He’s been captured and is being interrogated by Baroness. Name, rank and serial number only. And his serial number is U-P-Y-O-U-R-S. He did it twice. Baroness may not have been amused but I was. And Hashtag was terrific once again. Cover Girl, the Doc and Hashtag are surrounded. Don’t worry I called for backup. Someone gave you a comm? What are you talking about? I’ve got like a bar and a half. I tweeted. I facebooked. And I’m about ready to put our Google Maps pin on MySpace. Cover Girl is aghast! What? You think maybe Cobra follows me on Twitter? Come on!! Come on!! There in here! Oops! I laughed and laughed. Of course, Cosmic Comix both tweets and facebooks and you are welcome to follow along… unless you secretly work for Cobra!
Nominees! Marvel First!
INDESTRUCTIBLE HULK #5 – Liked a ton of Marvel books this week. ALL NEW X-MEN #9, AVENGERS #8, CABLE AND X-FORCE #6, DAREDEVIL #24, NEW AVENGERS #4, and even NOVA #2 were all really good. But I thought Hulk #5 was better than them all. Why? Because it had more WOW!, POW! and "That was cool" moments. When they blew up that sub all the way to the skeletons? WOW! When Bruce kissed the girl to get her to punch him to make him turn into the Hulk? "That was cool." And when the Hulk breached the dome? That was definitely a POW! It read great, was action packed, wrapped up the Attuma story, and next issue we get Walt Simonson, Thor and Frost Giants!
SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #6 – Was probably the funniest overall book of the week. Screwball and Jester were absolutely hilarious. J. Jonah not only got a pie in the face, he got de-pantsed! And the fight between them and Doc Spidey at the end was equally as funny… until it took a brutal turn to the vicious and not funny at all at the very end. I was laughing, laughing, laughing and then I was a little sick to my stomach. Which was the point. Doc Ock is not Peter Parker and the cat is totally out of the bag!
DC COMICS PRESENTS #18 – First I will give some props to JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #2, liked it far more than the first issue. It’s not my blood was a great line by Hawkman and I now have a feel for where they’re going with the title. But my favorite DC book of the week was easily the one and done story in DC Comics Presents featuring Starfire. Joe Keatinge once again impressed me with how he puts together a story. Starfire attempts to save a people from slavery. It does not go how she expects. And I thought it was very well done.
The Rest (and the Best) Third!
CHEW #32 – Shipping schedule sucks but it’s still probably my favorite book of them all! But even with the delayed shipping it only takes a page or two to easily get back into the story. And you talk about moments. No comic does more moments than Chew. Virtually every page has something that makes me say, that was cool, that was different, that was funny, that was awesome! Poyo took at shot at the molasses monster in Manhattan! I love every issue. Heck, I love every page!
CONAN THE BARBARIAN #14 – Assistant Editor Ian Tucker summed up the issue to start the letters page thusly, Sheesh, Conan! Way to make your buddies crawl through a sewer, just for them all to get slaughtered. You’re a real pal! Ah, well. Such is the overwhelming power of Belit’s beauty, I suppose. Agreed! And excellent once again.
FABLES #127 – Just so happy that Fables is back to the main story and the last page garners it a nomination this week. Wait. Stop. Don’t do that, you’ll harm Snow White. BOOM! Where’s my wife! Ain’t gonna be anything subtle about this rescue! Better watch it, Bigby, or you’ll do more harm than good.
INVINCIBLE #101 – Great issue. Touched on everything. The Viltrumites living on earth and not procreating enough. Eve and Invincible’s dilemma for procreating too much. Mom and Pops. Dead Dinosuaurs. And one very angry Thragg!
SAGA #11 – First off, Saga generally has the best opening page in the business. And this one was a doozy. Shocking! Not for what we saw but that it was the very first thing we saw! I actually started laughing. Ain’t no easing into the story with Saga… it’s just in your face! Loved The Will rescuing Lying Cat. That was impressive. But it was really a story about the dad and I thought it was the Best Book of the Week! Absolutely loved it!
Cosmic Madness rolls on! The Sweet Sixteen starts this afternoon! I was thinking of starting a write-in campaign for Hashtag. But alas, Andy won’t let me. So… Vote for Rogue!
I was very surprised that Sean did not choose Lindsay to be his future bride but I have no problems with Catherine. She seems like a fine, fine woman. Best news of the night was hearing that Dez is going to be the next Bachelorette. That should be equally as entertaining. Huh? What’s that? Oh. Sorry. Wrong website again. Hard to keep it straight sometimes…
Cosmic Madness rolls on! Thought we would see at least a couple of upsets in the first round. Thought Mera had a chance at taking out She-Hulk. Thought Gwen Stacy had a chance to beat Mary Jane. Thought the tag team of Betty and Veronica had an opportunity to emerge victorious over Pepper Potts. But it was not to be. Sorry, Talia. Sorry, Hope. Sorry, Ms. Marvel. Y’all put up a good fight but in the end there were only two minor upsets in the first round. Number 9 seed Spider-Woman defeated number 8 seed Spider-Girl. And number 9 seed Mystique triumphed over number 8 seed X-23. Chalk reigned in the first round! As to the bracket contest, five of you picked the first round totally correct. And nine of you only missed one. Second round voting to determine the Sweet Sixteen begins this afternoon!
The surprise, stretch, crazy Best Book of the Week Nominees!
AVENGING SPIDER-MAN #18 – Featuring Thor, Electro and, of course, Doc Ock Spidey! Read well. Lots of electrical fighting. And some science. Plus the last page showed us once again that our Superior Spider-Man definitely has a sinister plan up his missing tentacles.
CROSSED BADLANDS #25 – Garth Ennis is back and there is just such a night and day difference to the book when he is writing it. The gore and depravity is still ever present but it is always a story set in that world, not a story about that world. And we shall see who survives in the English countryside.
KATANA #2 – I really like the art. Think Alex Sanchez and crew are doing a great job. Still sorta waiting for the plot to unfold. Although I have read and enjoyed both issues so far. Plus it looks like Katana is headed to Gotham next issue.
MANHATTAN PROJECTS #10 – Many, many an issue ago, Joseph Oppenheimer killed and ate his brother Robert Oppenheimer. It’s that kind of book. This issue takes place in Joseph Oppenheimer’s brain and is all told from dead brother Robert Oppenheimer perspective. It was a trip. And the last page promised us an Oppenheimer Brain War!
ULTIMATE COMICS X-MEN #24 – If you haven’t been following along, the surviving mutant population has been banished to the desert to eke out a meager existence. But they are mutants. With multiple powers between them. So why can’t they create an environment for success? This issue they did. They now live in a beautiful environment. As they should.
The always nominated because they are awesome Best Book of the Week Nominees!
BATMAN #18 – Harper Row cannot be the next Robin. Every time I see her she has either snot or worms coming out of her nose! Glad to see Alex Maleev on a DC book. He was nice enough to give Harper a bandage on her nose from where Batman punched her. Too bad Andy Kubert didn’t actually draw Batman punching her in the nose. And yes, I am fixated on Harper Row’s nose!
BEFORE WATCHMEN OZYMANDIAS #6 (OF 6) – Loved the entire mini-series and can’t wait to see what Jae Lee decides to draw next.
THOR GOD OF THUNDER #6 – Downright scary. No Esad Ribic. No Thor. And 10 or so pages of a relatively generic Gorr origin story. I personally still loved it. And all will be back to exceptional again next issue so don’t get too uptight.
UNCANNY X-MEN #3 – Mr. Bendis. Mr. Bendis. Mr. Bendis. Talk. Talk. Talk. Time Out. Talk. Talk. Freeze. Talk. Talk. Mangeto has a plan. Talk. Talk. Two in a row for Mr. Bendis. The Best Book of the Week!
WALKING DEAD #108 – Ezekial does indeed have a tiger. Roaarrr! Doom! Doom! Shiva abhors violence. And of course Rick flies off the handle once again. Liar! Wrakk! Absolutely loved that we met another community, The Kingdom. And it looks like Negan’s days may be numbered. Sigh.
The biggest release of the week was easily AGE OF ULTRON #1 (OF 10). It has been in the planning stages for years and has been hyped for months. Since I usually do not read solicitations or previews I had no idea what to expect, but I was highly curious how it was going to fit into Marvel NOW! Short answer: it’s not! Andy did do a highlight yesterday. It was accurate. From page one Ultron has taken control of the world and the Marvel heroes are on the run and/or cowering in the corner. And because the first page also said "New York City, Today," I’m calling it a big ol’ What If? At least for now. Will be some tie-in issues with ongoing series but they all look to be solicited under a separate AU designation. For example, Superior Spider-Man #6 will be coming out but Superior Spider-Man #6 AU will also be released. They will be entirely different issues albeit with the same issue number but designated differently by the addition of an AU. Hopefully prominently on the cover. Have to see about that. And yes, Point One’s were not enough. Marvel has now gone to publishing the exact same issue number twice! Don’t act surprised. We will also have to see where the story goes. Giving the first issue a solid B. Could have used a little more set-up. We still have no idea how Ultron took over the world. It was action packed. It was very pretty. It did establish that the heroes are in a world of hurt and better get it together fast if they want to survive. I do prefer my continuity but Age of Ultron should be a fun ride if nothing else. We shall see.
Nine nominees for Best Book of the Week today!
ALL NEW X-MEN #8 – I’m not really an Angel fan and even with the double angel, double wing, double page spread, I thought the first half of the issue was a little weak. Then the Avengers showed up. ‘Tis my home, wench. This was unwise. KRAKABOOM! But as much as I enjoyed Thor destroying Hydra, Iceman and Kitty Pryde channeling Beast and Captain America was one of the funniest things I have ever read! Absolutely hilarious. And what Scott Summers Jr. said to Captain America was equally fantastic. Very nicely done. And to end it the way they did with Jean Grey. Everything is fine. I can read your minds. Stop worrying. I’m in control. That was awesome. Loved it! And I’m picking it as the Best Book of the Week!
CABLE AND X-FORCE #5 – Been enjoying since the jump. Liked that this issue seemed to finish the first arc and thought it really put everything in its proper time and place to move forward. Plus, Domino and Colossus is a good pairing. Too bad he seems destined for imprisonment. And the Metal Gorilla/Forge vs. Mega Scorpion/Dr. Nemesis fight was not something you see every day.
DETECTIVE COMICS #18 – It was great. John Layman is great. He weaves together threads better than anyone else in the business.* Although Editor Mike seems astonished at this ability. Editors Note #1 – It happened it Batman, Inc #8. Editors Note #2 – He really did too! See Detective Comics #14. Editors Note #3 – OMG, She sure did. See Talon #3. I certainly hope Editor Mike was joking. And while it made me laugh it was probably for the wrong reason. Plus if you push that nonsense with a Layman book you could put a note on virtually every page!
* Rusty’s Note #1 – See Chew. And I am not joking.
FASHION BEAST #7 – Dude. I know you don’t read it. She took seven pages to put on her fancy new clothes. Seven. pages! Here… I think the pearl gray hose rather than the black. Please… put them on. Best getting dressed sequence I have ever read! And that was after getting stormed by the paparazzi! I love it!
GREEN ARROW #18 – Dude. I know he’s about to fall to his death on the last page. Doesn’t matter. He will survive. It has now become an excellent book and I will keep reading Green Arrow. Give it a whirl!
MARA #3 (OF 6) – Dude. I know you didn’t understand the first issue. Neither did I! This issue rocked! Our volleyball player has developed super powers and is going to work for the government. Automatic nomination! Under the "Renewed Faith" clause.
SNAPSHOT #2 (OF 4) – Dude. I know you didn’t like the first issue. I loved it. And the second issue was good, too. Comic Book Guy is getting deeper and deeper into you know what! And it once again featured enough twists and turns to make it anything but just another story.
SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #5 – Actually had me on the edge of my seat. What’s he gonna do? Is he going to shoot? I just didn’t know. I found it riveting. Plus the last page made me go… HMMMMMM. When Peter does return he’s gonna have some ‘splaining to do. And I truly hope the end game, whatever it might be, is as well done as this has been. Most fun I’ve had with Spider-Man in many, many a year.
WORLDS FINEST #10 – Timely nomination! Cosmic Madness starts today! Kevin Maguire artin’ up some Power Girl this week has got to garner a few extra votes! She’s the #6 seed in the East region and I expect her to make a nice little run. Voting starts around 2 pm today. Vote it up! And may the best woman win!*
* That means Rogue!
PS – Doop is a Lima Bean. And Iron Fist did a pileated woodpecker. A+X, baby! Don’t think, just read!
My man Bishop! Although I don’t think it was meant to be humorous, I would like to thank UNCANNY X-FORCE #2 for providing me the laugh of the week. Bishop? Is that really you? My friend, where have you been? That guy don’t look so good… GROAAWR! Greetings from the future… I’m back! Why yes, yes you are! I laughed and laughed. Poor Bishop, he’s back and he’s a bear!
Let’s talk some Batman! The spoilers were out early, early, early for this week’s BATMAN INCORPORATED #8. Heck, Diamond sent us an email a week ago telling us the issue was sold out and we needed to order some second printings! Immediately! What actually occurred was really not a surprise at all. Looking at the cover is a dead giveaway and the story has been flowing in that direction. Just makes no sense to me when placed into what’s been going on in the other Batman titles. Mr. Morrison probably had this all planned out years ago but times have changed and it’s going to be very interesting to see how it plays out across the other Bat titles and if it sticks for any substantial length of time. I know not everyone is as enthralled with Damian as I am, but he’s been absolutely fantastic and I would hate to see him go. Also enjoyed BATMAN THE DARK KNIGHT #17. Second issue by Gregg Hurwitz and Ethan Van Sciver. It’s really updating, revamping and redefining the Mad Hatter character and doing an excellent job of it. And I’m just flat out nominating TALON #5. The story continues to build, it seems to get better every issue and I’m really impressed every time I read it. It’s Talon for goodness sake!
Five more Nominees!
GUARDIANS OF GALAXY #0.1 NOW – A perfect Point One issue and a perfect origin issue. I know everything thing I need to know about Peter Quill, aka Star-Lord. Of course, I know nothing about what the Guardians of the Galaxy title will actually be all about because this issue was all about Mr. Quill, but I much enjoyed and now anxiously await issue #1.
HAWKEYE #8 – Loved everything about it. The pin-ups. The story. The art. Just made me smile while I was reading it. And the final double page spread was great. As much as I love the humorous side of Hawkeye, a serious gangster war would be awesome! Clint Barton must die! Bro!
LEGEND OF LUTHER STRODE #3 (OF 6) – It amazes me how good it is when all it is is one big fight! Justin Jordan mentioned it in the back. Hard to have a plot and character development when it’s all one big fight but I think he balances it pretty well. And the one big fight is fantastic!
UNCANNY AVENGERS #4 NOW – Somehow this is turning out to be an “I like it more than you do” book. I love it. Not totally sure why you don’t. The first story arc came to a fine ending and the Onslaught tease at the back was great. The Scarlet Witch, Thor, Cap, Rogue, even Havoc. Love them all. And the Red Skull wielding Prof X’s mind powers is great!
UNCANNY X-MEN #2 NOW – Talk. Talk. All they ever do is. Talk. Talk. Emma and Scott basically talked for the first seven pages! And it didn’t stop there. All that was missing was a table! I love the Bendis talky issues. What surprises me is that talking X-Men are being adored by many of you these days while talking Avengers sent y’all into the abyss a couple of years ago.
As to the Best Book of the Week? I will happily take Hawkeye #8. It was the болваны!
Are you ready for the 4th Annual Cosmic Madness tournament! I totally am. Who is the greatest female superhero of all time? Your votes will decide the winner! I will be voting for Rogue each and every chance I get. Should be smooth sailing at least until the Invisible Woman shows up. That’s one tough chick. An invisible air bubble to the cranium works every time. Of course voting is not determined by sheer power alone. Who would triumph in epic battle is only one reason to cast a vote. You can use any criteria you want when choosing a winner. Hair color. Nail color. Curvaciousness. Your reasons are your own. I will be voting for Rogue.
I would like to thank the Cosmic Comix Selection Committee and the entire website crew for all the hard work they did in putting together the tournament. I was actually kicked off the committee this year. There was an incident. Cops were called. Don’t ask. Love the pop-ups! Helps everyone to know who they are voting for and we have some very interesting match ups right off the bat. Lois vs. Lana? Miss Lang is sure to win! So be sure to fill out your own bracket. Valuable prizes will be up for grabs. And voting begins on March 7. Good luck to one and all.
Comments on the week!
AVENGERS #6 – Next podcast is on March 3rd! And the Avengers is very high on my list to talk about. That’s now the third origin/intro story in a row. Hyperion. Smasher. Captain Universe. They haven’t been perfect but I am very intrigued by how Mr. Hickman is going about building his Avengers team and story.
DAREDEVIL #23 – Truly enjoyed the fake origin story at the beginning. Reminded me of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles… But the Stilt-Man joke was even better. Went instantly from awkward and intense to relaxed and friendly. Nice one, Foggy!
GI JOE #1 – Ah. Code names. They can be funny. But Shipwreck is not amused. Why do I have to wear this silly sailor uniform? Because you’re Shipwreck. I don’t want to be Shipwreck. I want my codename to be "badass." Why can’t we choose our own codenames? Because then I’d have half a dozen Joes all fighting over who gets to be "badass"! I laughed and laughed. Here comes Hashtag! #coolgijoenicknames
HELLBLAZER #300 – The end of an era! Haven’t read much Hellblazer as of late. Did enjoy this issue. And while the Vertigo edition is indeed ending, in a couple of weeks we will be getting a brand new Constantine #1 of the DC New 52 variety.
MORBIUS LIVING VAMPIRE #2 - Morbius didn’t die at the end of this issue. Killed someone instead. And I liked it again. Just reads well. Been impressed by Joe Keatinge. He also wrote DC UNIVERSE PRESENTS #17 this week. Arsenal in the fight for his life! It too read well. Couple of new writers have been impressing these days. Joshua Hale Fialkov (I Vampire) wrote ALPHA BIG TIME #1 (OF 5) this week. Art was horrible. Plot was generic. But the words flowed nicely. And the Legends of the Dark Knight he wrote a couple of weeks ago was fantastic. And I would be remiss not to mention Dennis Hopeless on both Avengers Arena and Cable and X-Force. Three names you just may want to keep an eye out for in the future.
RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS #17 – Wins the award for most randomly pointless and yet fantastic page this week. Check this out! Love me some Damian!
Nominees! My five contenders for the Best Book of the week!
CONAN THE BARBARIAN #13 – Awesome as usual. The Woman on the Wall part one! Really don’t think I’ve read better Conan stories than what Brian Wood is doing right now.
INDESTRUCTIBLE HULK #4 – I really like. And y’all must too because it’s selling really well. Love the “hulk out” jokes. What do you mean there’s no internet connection! And a sweet Fun Fact from Dr. Banner: I never knew how long a sub full of SHIELD agents could hold their breath until I stubbed my toe on a bulkhead. Plus the underwater Dreadnought was cool, Attuma was villainous, and they shot Bruce Banner out of the submarine like a missile!
SAGA #10 – Awesome as usual. Giant alien space baby! That shoots oily goo out of its eyes! Saga rocks!
SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #4 – Thought it was very interesting that they said Doc Ock had been Spider-Man for a month. But then it really read like he had been. Issue #2 is still probably my favorite Superior Spider-Man issue but this issue easily zoomed into second place. Liked it a lot. And the last page got me even more intrigued.
THOR GOD OF THUNDER #5 – Awesome as usual. And the Best Book of the Week! Simply a great comic and a great series! An eleventh ranking in our top series is way too low! It’s so good Thor is going to win Cosmic Madness 2013! Okay. Okay. That last statement is probably a wee bit over the top. Rogue is going to win Cosmic Madness 2013! Maybe. We’ll see. Voting begins in just a couple weeks and we’ve got empty brackets waiting for you to fill out! Stop on by!
Again? Again. C’mon, doctor, this is getting ridiculous. You’re not going to let me nominate any Marvel books again this week? I just can’t accept that. UNCANNY X-MEN #1 doesn’t deserve a nomination? No? No. Well then. If I can’t nominate it, I’m just gonna talk about it! And I must say that I liked UNCANNY X-MEN #1 quite a bit. Fit smoothly into everything that’s going on. Defined Cyclops and his team even more. Art was good. Story was good. Think it was well worth reading, especially if you’ve been following the mutants post-AVX. So why no nomination? Maybe a little light on the POW. Little light on the WOW. And the last page doesn’t count. Last page was good. Last page was interesting. Totally will have to see how the last page plays out. Which sums up the issue. It was well done. It was interesting. And I am absolutely reading more.
Felt that way about AVENGERS ARENA #4 and CABLE AND X-FORCE #4, too. Really liked them both. Series I am enjoying. Thought Avengers Arena did a real good job of delving into some characters this issue. Thought the Darkhawk end really opened up some new possibilities and questions. What happened to our beloved Darkhawk? And I was very happy to see that Cable and X-Force wrapped up the Eat-More processing plant giant blob monster mini-arc. Blob monsters are never a good idea! But it did help lay the groundwork for the main plot: Cable is a terrorist and they are gonna hunt him down, which looks to be the focus next issue.
More Marvel? Sure! WOLVERINE AND X-MEN #25 I enjoyed. Maybe not as good as last issue. But once again way better than the circus arc. Series seems to have found its footing again and the rest of this Savage Land/Dog story should be good. And SECRET AVENGERS #1 was a very good first issue. Set up the premise perfectly. It’s Hawkeye. It’s Black Widow. It’s SHIELD. It’s Black Ops. And it’s the new Nick Fury. Yep. There’s a new Nick Fury and he’s in Secret Avengers!
Speaking of #1 issues. KATANA #1 was actually pretty darn good. Thought the art was fairly dynamic. Didn’t think it "popped" of the page exactly, but the layouts and style I liked. Story read well. Learned about Katana and her sword. Her history. Her dilemma. Surprised I liked it as much as I did.
I also really liked FATALE #12. It was a very straight-forward one shot. It was set in France in 1286 AD. It was about a witch. Totally got a Hellboy feel off of it. It was good. And I would totally be remiss not to mention STAR WARS #2. If you liked the first one, you will like the second one. And the first issue won the poll! Feel free to vote for it again.
But to me the week comes down to two books. That’s right. Two books.
And my massive two nominees for Best Book of the Week are…
BATMAN #17 – SPOILER ALERT #1! The conclusion to Death of the Family. And I was very surprised how it played out. We’ve been speculating how it would end. What does the Joker have under the covered serving dish? Well, first of all there were multiple dishes. And they had fake flunkie masks in them. And it really had nothing to do with how the story ended. Does the Joker know the identities of the Bat-family members? Well, second of all the Joker doesn’t seem to care about secret identities. And it really had nothing to do with how the story ended. So you’d think I might be upset, confused or discombobulated as to how the story ended. And you might be. But I just wasn’t. I liked where it went and liked what they did. Damian at one point said, “So it was all a twisted joke.” Once again you can take that two ways. Thanks for teasing us (the readers) with things that ultimately didn’t really matter. But I didn’t take it that way at all. A twisted joke is what the Joker is ultimately all about! He didn’t want to kill them. He doesn’t want to know their secret identities. He just wanted to play an elaborate twisted joke. And it was a great one! Ha Ha Ha! Furthermore, I have to mention BATMAN AND ROBIN #17, which was nothing but multiple dream sequences. But in Alfred’s dream he blows Joker’s head off with a shotgun and after waking up from this “nightmare” he drifts back to sleep with a smile on his face. Best two pages of the night! That’s what I think of your twisted joke!
WALKING DEAD #107 – SPOILER ALERT #2! What did Negan do to Carl? Much speculation also abounded. The answer? Nothing! Yep. Nothing. And I loved it! And I loved what Negan had to say. I can be reasonable. Yes, if you mess with me I’m gonna mess you up, but can we not try to work together. Very easy to say when you’re the man in charge and we’ve only ever seen Negan in charge at this point. But he’s trying to be reasonable. Crazy Rick is going off half-cocked, pretending to be Tony Chu (Chomp!), lying to his people and planning a war! I’m telling you I’m thinking about changing sides! At least until Carl’s in charge. Letters page! Even Mr. Kirkman had to comment on his own truly terrific cuss line. It was a doozy. One of the best I’ve ever read. Although not to be repeated here. And it has now been confirmed Jesus is pronounced biblically not spanishly. Here comes Ezekiel!
As to the Best Book of the Week? I’ll just call it a tie and let y’all sort it out in the poll tomorrow. See ya!
Not nominating a single Marvel book today. No can do. Doctor’s orders. Although I am very, very happy with my Marvel comics right now. And I much enjoyed ALL NEW X-MEN #7, AVENGERS #5, IRON MAN #6, NEW AVENGERS #3, SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #3 and X-FACTOR #251 this week. All are series I like, all are series that deserve Best Books of the Month current series consideration, but as individual issues they only get B+’s this week. Close but no cigar! Do have a comment on New Avengers #3… so much for the Infinity Gauntlet and so much for Cap! You’ve killed us all! I will also give RACHEL RISING #14 a "Great Series But B+ Issue This Week" rating. And of course I have to mention FASHION BEAST #6, which I much enjoyed once again.
These are my five nominations for Best Book of the Week!
DETECTIVE COMICS #17 – Wrapped up the Merrymaker/League of Smiles story very nicely. Absolutely love that so much story happens in each individual issue. Absolutely love the dialogue. Absolutely love the way Batman acts. Absolutely loved it all. And I absolutely cannot wait to get on with the Emperor Penguin story. It’s going to be even better!
GARTH ENNIS RED TEAM #1 – Obviously written by Garth Ennis. He — or more likely Dy-no-mite! — likes to put his name in the title. It was real good. Read long. Read smooth. A group of elite cops decides to kill a narcotics dealer they have been trying to arrest for two years. Far more “real world” than The Boys or even Punisher Max. Never went over the top. Very logical. Very controlled. Very well done.
GREEN ARROW #17 – I am now reading Green Arrow again. It was excellent. Loved the art by Andrea Sorrentino. It was even more dynamic than his work on I Vampire! And as someone who has not read Green Arrow in a year, the story was totally accessible and got my interest piqued for what’s to come next. I only have one concern. "You were never supposed to leave the island" was already the death knoll for one of my favorite TV series. Here’s hoping Green Arrow handles it a wee bit better!
LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT #5 – Legends of the Dark Knight #2 was the last In Case You Missed It book we wrote up on the website. We just might have to do it again for issue #5! It was great. Joshua Fialkov (I Vampire!) writes. And it was very crime noir-ish. All centered around Slam Bradley. He’s an old Gotham City private eye. Featured Black Mask, the GCPD, and most certainly Batman. Well worth reading. And it’s a self-contained one shot!
SNAPSHOT #1 (OF 4) – Was the Best Book of the Week! Wow. I double absolutely loved it! For many, many reasons. Started off at a comic book store. Dude is waiting on the steps for the store to open on Wednesday. Sorry. Holiday. Have to wait until tomorrow. Reaction? Gah! Thwarted! I found it very funny. But then it got into this whole murder mystery. Comic Book Guy found a phone with a dead guy’s picture on it. Cops get involved. And I don’t want to give it away. Multiple twists and turns. Surprised me on more than one occasion. Couldn’t believe where it went. Couldn’t believe where it ended. It was awesome!
PS – Since writing the above I have learned a thing or two. Andy did not really like Snapshot. Called it "ridiculous." Chris did not really like Snapshot. Called it "mundane." I will continue to call it awesome! And it is totally possible that I have gone mad once again! But that’s up to my doctor to determine. Always remember: only you can prevent forest fires. Oops…wrong website. Only you can decide if you like it or not. So pick up a copy of Snapshot and tell me what you think! And of course tell me if I’m CRAAAAAZZZZZY!
DC Comics has had many a mini-crossover running through various titles over the past few months. Some you may not be familiar with, like the Black Diamond Probability or Hawkman Wanted. Some you are probably more familiar with like He’l on Earth, Rotworld, or the giant elephant in the room that is Death of the Family. So many crossovers in fact that Scott had to make that eternal plea of “no more crossovers” on the last Cosmic Comix Conversation. I’m usually not in that camp. I love me some long, involved, multi-titled stories! But as I was reading AQUAMAN #16, part of the Throne of Atlantis crossover, and GREEN LANTERN CORPS ANNUAL #1, the finale to the Rise of the Third Army crossover, this week, something struck me as very unsettling. Because the Third Army, which is composed of ugly looking grey men, and the undersea evil trench dwellers in Aquaman, who are uglier looking grey men with gills, could very well be long lost cousins! And if ever the two should meet… I don’t even think I could survive that crossover!
Best Book of the Week Nominees! Only six this week. Picky. Picky.
BEFORE WATCHMEN DOLLAR BILL #1 – Just a one shot and everything you need to know about Dollar Bill. As I was reading through the issue learning about Dollar Bill’s origin and exploits, I found it highly entertaining. But all I was waiting for was his cape to get caught in the revolving door. And it did. And I found it highly entertaining.
BEFORE WATCHMEN OZYMANDIAS #5 (OF 6) - I love me some Ozy! Loved how he came up with the idea of thwarting nuclear destruction. By watching old Sci-Fi TV shows of course! The Outer Limits was the winner. Loved how he created Bubastis. That’s his cat. Loved how Dr. Manhattan played into it. Teleportation! And even Richard Nixon was great. Plus, Jae Lee is fantastic. It’s easily my favorite Before Watchmen series.
HAWKEYE #7 – It was a pure filler issue. And a quickly thrown together issue of a New Jersey flood in the Marvel Universe to empathize with victims of Superstorm Sandy will not get my vote for Best Book of the Week. But it is still Hawkeye. It was still good. It still deserves a nomination. And you are welcome to still vote for it.
INVINCIBLE #100 – Absolutely loved the first page. And pages two through five. Thought Mr. Kirkman just might do the unmentionable and walk away with Best Book of the Week honors. But quicker than you can say Doc Ock is Spider-Man, the Invincible universe remains unchanged. For the most part. There was a status quo change. Or two. And the last page was almost as good as the first.
I VAMPIRE #16 – I only have a few more chances to nominate it! We did find out this past week that the series will end with issue #19. At least it appears that Mr. Fialkov has been given enough notice and time to "finish" the story. Which is a good thing. Glad he will be able to put a cap on a series I have much enjoyed and I will happily read it all again when it’s completed.
SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #2 NOW – Very easy nomination! Thought it was the best of the Doc Ock issues so far. Very heavy Mary Jane. Loved the dating sequences. Very heavy ghost Peter. Loved the double dialogue. Thought Carlie Cooper was great. Thought it was very “realistic” the way events played out. Just an excellent issue all the way around!
As to the Best Book of the Week? If we are comparing apples to apples, then Before Watchmen: Ozymandias is the winner. If we are comparing apples to oranges then Superior Spider-Man #2 is the winner! Poll tomorrow! Vote it up!
Thought it was an excellent week of comics. Thought it was very heavy on both beginnings and endings. Thought WINTER SOLDIER #14, which was Ed Brubaker’s last issue of the title, and BEFORE WATCHMEN MINUTEMEN #6 (OF 6) were both good and wrapped up their respective stories well. If I wasn’t being picky I would nominate them both! And my favorite beginning of the week goes to UNCANNY X-FORCE #1. It was not nominee-worthy, would have to give it an OK grade in all honesty, but Bishop is back, baby! I know, I know. Bishop? Bishop is back? Yes. Bishop is back! We haven’t seen Bishop since he chased Cable and Hope through time and space and I have dearly missed him. I most certainly enjoyed that merry chase that lasted the better part of two years. Sucker never did catch them. Can’t wait to see who he’s after now!
Nominees! A whopping 10 this week!
AVENGERS #3 – Was probably not the Best Book of the Week, but I think it deserves a nomination. I have enjoyed all three issues and I’m giving props to Mr. Hickman for bringing the Ex Nihilo story to an end. It was a rather abrupt ending and we probably haven’t seen the last of him but I was terrified that it would go on for 40 issues so I was happy. Plus Captain Universe was pretty cool and it was heavy Captain America and Thor which is all good.
CHEW #31 – Bad Apples Part One! We go from Toni’s funeral to Tony’s reinstatement to the FDA to the case of the immolated lard-asses. Yep. Fat people spontaneously combust! But it’s not their fault. Blame it on Thinergy Super Soda and a high priestess. Chicken is DOOM! Death to the chicken eaters!
COBRA #21 – The last issue! Again! Will be rebooted in April as GI Joe: The Cobra Files #1 with the same creative team. This ended great. Tomax and Clockspring invite Cobra to the party and the Russians take a whippin’. Wrapped up the story and re-set the stage for Cobra’s next incarnation. Here’s hoping they can keep it going.
FABLES #125 – Snow White Part One! The island of murderous toys story was good but it was long and this was exactly what we needed. The first words of the book were, "Back to the main narrative," and it took a couple of pages to readjust but it was all good after that. Touched on multiple aspects of Fabletown life, re-introduced all the main characters, and then teased us with Prince Brandish, Snow White’s first husband. Thought it was perfect.
NIGHTWING #16 (DOTF) – Loved the beginning. Joker dug up all of Nightwing’s dead circus buddies! Nightwing was so mad he started throwing ice knives! Good thing Joker had that corpse to hide behind. Ended like all the rest. The Joker holding a covered serving tray and to be concluded in Batman #17. Wow. Does that issue have a lot of pressure on it or what! A three-month multi-title cross-over that we have all enjoyed has been virtually all built up to this point. And it all rests on Batman #17’s shoulders? Good luck!
STUMPTOWN V2 #5 – The Case of the Baby in the Velvet Case comes to an end. Excellently. Gave us some more twists and turns and still managed to wrap everything up wonderfully. No more Stumptown in our immediate future. Totally want to see a volume three. Hopefully sooner rather than later.
UNCANNY AVENGERS #3 – John Cassaday is totally worth the wait. And the Red Skull continues to be awesome. Thor was fantastic this issue. And with him on his side the Red Skull just might have a chance. Sorry, Wolverine, I serve the Reich eternal!
WOLVERINE AND X-MEN #24 – Exactly what we needed. The preceding clown arc was not good. And a series that we have enjoyed since its inception needed a reset. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Touched on all aspects of the school. Storm and Black Panther. Storm and Wolverine. Nice hair cut! Kitty and Bobby. Idie and Broo. Brand and Beast. Sabertooth and Kade Kilgore. Jean Grey and Quentin Quire. Just think this title works better as an X-Men catchall series, a spine series, a what’s going on in the X-world book. Sure, there are stories that could be fleshed out (Broo for example) but at its heart it should be what this issue was, a day in the life of the X-Men. Loved it!
YOUNG AVENGERS #1 NOW – Debated on this one. Loved the beginning with Kate Bishop and Noh-varr. The full page cut out layout was very cool. Liked little Loki and Miss America Chavez. Liked what Kieron Gillen had to say in the back. Do not like the Young Avengers in general. Did not like bringing back the dead mom. That never ends well. Am totally willing to read more, do have faith in the creative team, it could go a couple different directions, have to see how it plays out.
As to the Best Book of the Week, sticking with Chew #31 this week. Poll tomorrow! Vote for your favorite!
Little light this week. Which in the past has sometimes led me to stre-e-e-e-e-e-e-tch out my Best Book of the Week Nominees list. But not today. Only the crème de la crème for you. Per doctor’s orders. Although you are more than welcome to add to the list. Andy does try and list 20 or so titles on the Best Book poll each and every week and seeing as how I’m of little help these days with my miniscule list of nominees, feel free to shout out your favorite!
Here’s my six nominees!
BATMAN #16 (DOTF) – Started off real slow. Dancing partners? Aimless wandering through Arkham Asylum? I was more scared of not being able to nominate Batman than I was of the Joker! But never fear… Batman punched a horse! And things totally took off from there. Down went Mr. Freeze, Clayface and the Scarecrow in seconds flat! I had to agree with the Joker’s assessment of Batman’s actions, “My, my, you’re all fired up, aren’t you? I haven’t seen you like this in a long time.” Then Batman peeked behind a door and saw a fantastic double page spread. And the rest of the issue was good to go. Plus, the back-up story was excellent once again. Penguin, Riddler and Two-Face are a great addition. I would also like to add that the inclusion of flies — yes, flies — was inspired. That mask has to be quite rank at this point and flies seem highly appropriate. The issue did end with the Joker holding a bloody covered serving tray (as did both BATMAN AND ROBIN #16 and BATGIRL #16), and all three issues said to be concluded in Batman #17, so…. same serving tray? Different serving trays? And what could the Joker possibly be hiding underneath!
CONAN THE BARBARIAN #12 – Conan saves Belit and the crew from certain death with the help of a local priestess. The fight scene on the dock was awesome. Will you surrender Belit in exchange for safe passage from our waters? Um. No. Will you surrender your gonads, since obviously you have no use for them? Um. Yes. Gimme that spear. Thok! And this sword. Krunnch! And that was only the first half of the book. Then Belit screamed for a couple of pages which lead to a very quiet and yet moving double page spread of Conan just sitting on the deck of the Tigress. And it all ended up with a potentially substantial status quo change. Loved it!
FASHION BEAST #5 – My Doctor and I got into a fight about this one. How can you nominate Fashion Beast? Nobody reads it and therefore it can’t be any good. Sorry Doctor. Everyone can read, and enjoy, anything they want. And I am a total fan of Fashion Beast. Well, then what made this issue better than the others to garner a nomination? Well, I have nominated it before, but this issue was great by itself and deserves to be nominated. It had a paint fight! Which was totally awesome. As was the squelching of their shoes as the combatants walked to certain doom after their paint fight. And to top it off, the unseen man behind the curtain, after totally admonishing both paint fighters, promised to reveal all mysteries on the last page. It was a great issue!
NEW AVENGERS #2 NOW – Didn’t really like the first issue. Too much Black Panther for me and not enough plot. Problem solved. This was great. We got a huge plot this issue. And the Illuminati was front and center. And I must say, if the Avengers title is promising to go big, then New Avengers is promising to go BIGGER! This plot is potentially enormous! Which is not surprising from Jonathan Hickman, he likes his looooooong stories. But with the Illuminati and the Infinity Gems and multiverse after multiverse involved, this could be epic. I’ll let you know how it turns out in five years…
SAGA #9 – The cast of characters just keeps getting better and better. Gwendolyn was great. The Lying Cat was great. The amoeba-nosed gangsters were great (although they are now dead). And even the Slave Girl proved she has a part to play in this saga. Thataway! Really enjoyed the letters page. It was all about issue #7 and our naked giant. Brian K. Vaughan admitted that it was all his fault. Even printed the original page script for our perusal. To which I only say once again: PUT SOME PANTS ON!
X-FACTOR #250 – Hell on Earth War Part One! Andy totally got it right in his Highlights post. Oh. He was just quoting me. I totally got it right! The last couple of issues of X-Factor have been excellent. As was this. There was so much going on. So many old plots catching up. So many threads being woven together. And nope I didn’t understand it all. Wasn’t really reading X-Factor a year or two ago. Didn’t matter. Everything I read in the past six months was there. And the story going forward is flat out cool. Mephisto and the other “Hell” gods want to kill Wolfsbane’s kid in order to end the war. Which hasn’t even started yet! Can’t wait until it does! And as Shawn reported a couple of weeks ago Peter David is going through some tough times physically right now. Plenty of ways to help, checking out some X-Factor is a very simple, if indirect, way to do so.
As to the Best Book of the Week, I’m sticking with Saga #9. Poll tomorrow. Vote for your favorite!
Doctor, Doctor, give me the news. I got a bad case of missin’ you. No pill’s gonna cure my ill. I got a bad case of missin’ you. Yes, I have been in touch with my doctor again this week. He is a world renowned psychologist. We talked about Amazing Spider-Man #700. We talked about SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #1. And we talked about poor Peter Parker. Seems nobody got it right. The correct answer was a mere two weeks! Which I was actually very happy to see. You can now relax. No need to panic. No need to stress. No more speculation. No more wondering. Just enjoy the story. Or don’t!
My doctor has also prescribed a reduction in Best Book nominees. I tried to explain to him that I always feel bad when I limit my nominees. There are many, many, many titles/issues/books that come out each and every week that I enjoy; like, for example, AVENGERS ARENA #3, CABLE AND X-FORCE #3, FANTASTIC FOUR #3, PUNISHER WAR ZONE #3, ULTIMATE COMICS X-MEN #21, or even EARTH 2 #8 and BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER #17 this week. And they deserve some love, too. But he countered with the argument that this is supposed to be about the "best of the best" and there might be 20 to 25 books each and every week that could be mentioned if it was a Comics Worth Reading list and not a Best Book of the Week Nominees list. We will be discussing it in further counseling sessions. *Sigh.*
So, without further ado, and per doctor’s orders, I present to you my nominations for Best Book of the Week! All six of them!
DETECTIVE COMICS #16 (DOTF) – Was awesome. As are all my nominees! It’s only six for goodness sake! *Double sigh.* John Layman once again broke the formula for all the other Death of the Family tie-ins and it was great. Seems the Joker has inspired all sorts of various gang cults to spring up. We have the Die Laughing gang. We have the Funny Bones gang. And we have the League of Smiles. Which I thought was a fantastic name for a gang. Ended with us meeting the League of Smiles leader. Goes by the name of Merrymaker. Remind you of anyone? Couldn’t decide if it was a Grant Morrison-esque Batman villain or a V for Vendetta looking villain. Couldn’t decide if we had seen him before. Doesn’t matter either way but I can guarantee you we will see him again. And of course the underlying Emperor Penguin storyline, which I’m sure we will get back to once DOTF is over, was ever present.
LEGEND OF LUTHER STRODE #2 (OF 6) – I don’t think anybody does extreme, over-the-top (and yet sensible) violence better than Luther Strode. Basically one big fight for the entire issue. Would like to get a little more out of where Petra’s motivations lie, but no time for that this issue. They were too busy fighting! Also featured some excellent cussing! So, if cussing and violence is your thing, look no further than the Legend of Luther Strode.
SWEET TOOTH #40 – Was the Best Book of the Week. No recants. No do-overs. It wins. An absolutely fantastic cap to the series. Jumped to the future and then spanned years. Got a grandpa Sweet Tooth out of it! Really couldn’t have asked for more. You hear the name Jeff Lemire a lot. He writes Animal Man. He’s about to take over Green Arrow. DC throws his name around as much as they can. Sweet Tooth is his claim to fame. Sweet Tooth may have had some ups and downs, but between the great ending to the main story last issue, and this absolutely wonderful epilogue issue, it has cemented itself right into must read territory. That is if you want to read about human/animal hybrids trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic world and who doesn’t!
STAR WARS #1 – The very anticipated Brian Wood Star Wars launch does not disappoint. Takes place after the Battle of Yavin and the destruction of the Death Star. Lots of characters involved. Lots and lots of name dropping throughout. You may or may not have got all the references depending on your Star Wars knowledge. Don’t think it mattered. The plot was well defined. The Rebel alliance is on the run from the Empire and looking to establish a new base of operations. And it read very smoothly. Loved that Darth Vader got chastised by the Emperor for the destruction of the Death Star. But not for the reason you might think; i.e. putting the Emperor’s world domination plans on hold. Nope. That cost trillions of credits to build and took two decades of work! Even an evil empire has to answer to the bean counters!
THOR GOD OF THUNDER #4 NOW – As an unabashed Thor fan I couldn’t be happier. I love this thing. And the portrayal of the Godslayer in the cave was incredible. You think the Joker is scary? Think again. This dude is off the hook! And I do think the story will continue after this story arc ends next issue. Don’t see a radical shift coming. Just see it building and building and as unabashed Thor fan I couldn’t be happier!
WALKING DEAD #106 – Classic Walking Dead issue. Nothing happened. It ended on a cliffhanger. And yet it too was awesome. Because the time for panic, speculation, stress and all out general wondering has begun. And I will wonder for an entire month. Because all I want to know is what Negan did to Carl! And that is far more important than what happens to Peter Parker!