Wednesday, August 31, 2011

$30 Pull List for 8/31/2011

Real light week for the pull list, and despite actively looking for something to spend my money on, even Tom, the proprietor of Texas Comic Shop had no recommendations other than perusing the back catalog.

Route Des Maison Rouges #5:Pick of the Week RDMR is like a Top 40 radio stations. It's nobody's favorite, but it's everybody's second favorite. It's not the best noir comic, that's Blue Estate. It's not the best cheese cake art comic, I have to say Zenescope does it better. It's not the best writing, right now that's IDW's GI Joe. But it does all of that really well and in a very entertaining fashion. This week, that's good enough to be the best. This issue sees the murder of the Dark Ladies Maison's Mistress solved and continues the conspiracy between the Mayor and his yet unseen master, the Governor. word of warning: If you get this, go back and grab the first 4 issues, or you will be lost, and the release schedule isn't exactly consistent, and you do have to deal with some translation artifacts. Despite that, it's worth it, so we have that going for us.

Spider Island: Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #1: This was an impulse pick up. Light week, Kung Fu, Immortal Weapons? I’m in like Flint. Strong opening for the limited series. Sets the scene, summarizes enough that you need know nothing else about Spider Island to read, and well written. The art work is stylized, but very good and keeps in-line with the previous Iron Fist/Immortal Weapons comics. It also has a Fat Cobra cameo, so we have that going for us.

Chopping Block:
Justice League #1: The flagship title of the re-launch. They cleared the schedule to give this the week alone. The showcase of DC’s Creative and Artistic talent. And it’s not good. An origin story that introduces us to 4 characters 5 years before today. Green Lantern is …well Green (I imagine that will be said a lot across the internet) and now way overpowered. Batman is Frank Miller’s All Star Batman and Robin’s Batman, not year 1’s Batman. Superman is no longer a dick, just a fratboy douchebag. Cyborg gets some more depth, so there’s that. The art is very well done, but you expect that from Jim Lee, and we get a guaranteed return of the 4th World, so we have that going for us. So, it at least buys itself a second issue.

Secret Avengers #16: Yeah, that bad it slips. I normally like Warren Ellis, I’m a big fan of Nextwave. This takes a turn for the Nextwave, but not in a good way. I’ve never been a fan of Jamie McKelvie’s art, and this does nothing the change that opinion. But the cover is great, so we have that going for us.

Total Price: $15.11

Thursday, August 25, 2011

$30 Pull Lust for 8/24/2011

A full week does not necessarily equal a good week. Over budget, but not over entertained. Despite not reading them, I'm burnt out on crossovers. At least September will bring the DC relaunch and an end to a couple of crossovers, you know, until they realize they made a mistake and do another Crisis Crossover in a year or two.

Snake Eyes #4
:Pick of the Week Snake proves he earned his 3B0, Helix strikes the first return blow on Cobra, and Iceberg skis the hell out of a slope to save Alpine. The consistent quality I’ve come to expect from IDW’s GI Joe comics is present here as this wraps up the first arc of what looks to be this generation's Special Missions. Good stuff here, a step down from the previous issue, but hitting that high mark every time out would be near impossible, so that really isn't a complaint. Snake Eyes looks like he's going to become a regular feature in the Pick of the Week slot.

Captain America & Buck #621: Continuing with the early partnership of Bucky and Cap, told from Bucky's perspective. It's good, but not great, and really that's all I can say about it.

Teen Titans #100: The final issue of this volume ends in mediocre fashion. Plots tied up, relationships are established/reestablished/broken/damaged and will promptly be forgotten. It is less offensive than the previous two issues, but still substandard.

X-Men Schism #3: Came out last week, but I didn’t get my copy until this week. Cyclops crosses the moral event horizon in a very disturbing, but realistic manner. Halfway through the mini, and I have a feeling the last act will be rushed, because based on the spoilers we have seen so far, there is a lot of development that needs to be packed into 2 issues.

Chopping Block:
GI Joe: A Real American Hero #169: Better than last issue, but it seems off. There is a lot going on, really too much for a single issue. Snake, Storm, and Billy's road trip should have been pushed off an issue to give Chuckles interrogation more space to develop. Kwinn being the ghost in the machine is interesting, and hopefully will come into play more.

Death Row:
Gotham City Sirens #26: As DC wraps everything up for the relaunch, Catwoman plays both sides of the struggle between OTB and Poison Ivy and Harley. A series that I keep coming back to after leaving it for dead finally ends my indecision for me.

DC Comics Presents: Justice League of America 100 Page Special #1: One day, DC will shorten that title. One day, I will stop being a sucker for these 100 page specials. Reprinting a collection of JLA and Green Lantern from '98-'00. Honestly, this reminds me of why I wasn't reading JLA, or DC in general in the late '90's. It's horrible and I wasted $8 on it.

Total Price: $33.49

Friday, August 19, 2011

$30 Pull List for 8/17/2011

A heavy week means no extra pick ups, but after the past two light weeks with nothing else worth looking at on the shelves, I'll take it. Dive in the ink is fine for the $30 Pull List.

Zatanna #16: Adam Hughes gives us the best cover I have seen all year. Inside is a quick one and done fill in featuring Limbo Town, Fuzzy Slippers, Extradimensional Giants, and Cocoa Butter. Nice issue, but nothing outstanding.

Captain America #2: I have to give this issue the worst review I have ever given a Captain America comic written by Ed Brubaker, Forgettable. Entirely forgettable. To the point that when I first wrote this post, I forgot to put anything here about it, forgot I bought the issue. It took me 4 days and digging through the recent issues to remember I had said nothing about it.

Avengers Academy #18: Continues the (Give It Up Already!) Fear Itself crossover with the Cadets continuing to be hounded by Titania and Absorbing Man. Last ditch plans and dirty pool fail and the issue closes with a round about Micronaughts cameo. A step down from previous issues, but I’m blaming that on the dumb ass, drawn out crossover.

Powergirl #27:Pick of the Week Really good issue from a series that has been very good for most of it's run and now ends. Calculator comes up with a plan that has crossover written all over it (one that has a better basis than Fear Itself, Blackest Night or most recent mega-events) and used PG as his test subject. Too bad this is a plot that will probably be dropped in the reboot like everything else, because it deserves to be explored. The only issue is the coloring. What is it with DC's colorists and their easy to spot mistakes that editors glance over? First Titans, then JLA, now Powergirl. Is no one proofreading their work? DC's editorial department needs to step it up.

Uncanny X-Men #542: Now firmly in the Solid category, just as it gets cancelled, as Cyclops tosses everything at Hammer Bros. Juggernaut and fails. Kitty and Pete take a field trip with Illiyana and the end reveal has already been spoiled by the solicits for next month, so it is no spoiler to say, Colossus gets a power up. Look for major fisticuffs next issue.

Chopping Block:
Titans #38: Questionable art aside, if this comic wasn’t already cancelled, this would be the last issue I picked up. Poorly executed at just about every point, a shock cover that would have been at home in the Silver Age, and developing pointless plot threads that will most likely never be followed up on.

Fables #108: Another slow, story building issue that is superior to the Mr. Dark plot while dealing with the fallout. Nothing much happens, but at least it happens in an entertaining matter.

Justice League of America #60: Daniel Sampere is quickly rising in my favorite artists list. Not just because he came here and explained what happened with the coloring in issue #59, but because he gave me a two page spread with the Duke of Oil. The final issue of this run explains how this iteration of the League disbanded and hints at Dick's return to Nightwing. Art is good, writing is nothing to write home about.

Total Price: $34.53

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

$30 Pull List for 8/10/2011

Another low volume week for the Pull List, but this time, it isn't bolstered by quality. Even looking to spend another $13 at the shop, I couldn't find anything I felt worth $2.99. Cloak & Dagger almost made it, but the last handling of them left me flat, I'm burned out on crossovers (hey Marvel, at least finish one Avengers based event before you start the next), and I couldn't care less about Spider-Man.

Blue Estate #5: The Rachel Situation is finally being handled. And her brother is being manhandled. For an issue that did the most to actually advance the plot, it was a weaker read than the character development issues that preceded it. Still really good.

Criminal Last of the Innocent #3:Pick of the Week This isn't the best of the 3 issues so far, that would be #2, but it is the best of this week. The aftermath of Issue 2 is laid out as well as the plot of issue 4. This is a transition issue.

New Avengers #15: Continuing with the Fear Itself tie-ins (god, end already), this time focusing on Squirrel Girls opening day encounter with Sin’s Battletech Knock-offs. Of course, it uses the now over used post mission de-brief framing devise, so you know nothing bad really happened to her. It also tries to do a little elaboration on Wolverine’s expansion pack past and skim the surface of Logan and Doreen’s previous relationship (easy money bet: he slept with her as he was training her to be a ninja. We can then add statutory rapist to Wolverine’s resume since she isn’t much past 20 now and they hint at it being years ago). The issue does open with a heat segment of building up Wolverine by having him take down Iron Fist during a sparring session, only to have SG hold serve on him, thus making Wolverine officially the Worf of New Avengers. Go read TVtropes to get the references, god knows this is so paint by the numbers Bendis is.

Teen Titans #99: Second to last issue before the relaunch, and JT Krul and crew pull out all the stops, but not in a good way. The writing is crap, the art alternates between crowding the page and leaving massive areas of unused black space. There is a section where it looks like another page should have been as one panel has Ravager hitting Indigo with a sword and the next panel has all the baddies flying off to assault Titan’s Tower despite only Headcase and Inertia not being on the losing end of a fight the last time they were seen. Overall, disjointed and sub-mediocre.

Birds of Prey #15: The last issue of this run closes with something it hasn’t been before, average. It caps off the Phantom Lady story from last issue in an easily forgettable way all around.

Total Cost: $17.82

image from

Thursday, August 4, 2011

$30 Pull List for 8/3/2011

A light week, really light week. Coming in way under budget, and unable to find anything else on the shelves that looked even remotely interesting, I walked out with only 5 issues. But it was 5 good issues, any week with a 1.00 batting average is a good week.

Secret Six #36:Pick of the Week. It is with a deep sadness that I say goodbye to the Secret Six. For 36 issues, 3 years straight, this comic has been excellent. Near the top, if not the absolute pinnacle, of what DC produced every month. Bane's plan with-in a plan is finally revealed as the eight members of the six go against everybody, really, everybody. They know they are going to lose, they all know that they are destined for hell now that the mcguffin that started the run has been used. Everyone would rather die then go back to jail. So they go for it. They lose, because they always lose.

Red Skull Incarnate #2: Not as strong as the first issue, but still solid, as we continue to follow a young Johann Schmidt as he navigates his way to adulthood.

GI Joe #4: Zartan and Storm Shadows assault on the Pitt has left the Joes divided and scattered. Scarlett and Flint are left to try to set-up a new base, Hawk and Dial Tone rendezvous with Shiprwreck, and Duke and his team are left chasing snakes. One of my favorites, Lifeline, makes his first appearance in the series.

Avengers Academy #17: As the team tries to come to grips with their actions in the previous Fear Itself tie-in issues, they are interrupted when the Norse powered Absorbing Man and Titania come looking for Hank Pym. The issue ends with the cadets stranded, out matched, and divided. This is generally the best Avengers title currently running, and this issue does nothing to stop that trend.

Chopping Block:
Thunderbolts #161: When the worst comic of the week is better than average, it's a pretty good week. Thunderbolts manages to actually advance it's own plot while being a Fear Itself tie-in. Fixer's side deal comes into play and the magical duo of Man-Thing and Satanna are playing a game not everyone else is in on.

Totla Price: $17.51

Image from:

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

More JLA Art

Sigh (I seem to start a lot of posts with that lately). Comic Book Resources gave us a look at the upcoming JLA with David Finch's take on the team.

One, where's Cyborg?
Two, canonically Wonder Woman is equal in height to Hal Jordon, so based on perspective, she should be at least equal height to him, if not slightly taller. So, besides regressing to pants less Wonder Woman, she is now a 5'6, 15 year old girl in a push-up corset, as opposed to, you know, a woman with equal stature and ability to her male counter parts.

Bigger version is available here: