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ComiX Weekly: 1/11/2012

Welcome to Adventures in Poor Taste’s weekly comic review. A typical week might see over 50 book releases and that’s just the big two over at DC and Marvel. This column serves as a buyers guide to those of us holding a single Hamilton and can’t afford to read every single issue.

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Each week I’ll read a glut of the good and the bad and post enough reviews to reach the budget of $X, yes that’s $10.00 to those of you not Roman. I’ll also post one comic to steer clear from. Sadly a quality comic is few and far between these days, but using this column a diligent reader can still get their comic on.

Amazing Spider-Man 677 (Marvel)

Last issue was a great one and written by Dan Slott focusing on the Sinister Six and their mission to prove they are the best super villain team around. New writing and art team of Mark Waid and Emma Rios start a two part story here that’s filled with Spidey nostalgia and a great mix between classic comic storytelling tropes and pop culture references.

Rios is a relatively new artist from Spain who does a marvelous job on this book. It has a sketchy style that reminds me a lot of the art in Demo by Becky Cloonan. Everything is very fluid which adds to the movement of action on the page. Her take on Spiderman is very classic too, with a normal looking albeit skinny body that moves in relatively natural poses. She also expresses his eyes well giving Spiderman a bumbling demeanor that adds to the crisp dialogue by Mark Waid.

Mix that with a snowy New York City with light blues coloring the buildings and everything feels very natural and calming. There’s an attitude on the page and the art is gorgeous to look at.

That’s a frigid looking NYC.

The story is the usually cliched hero misunderstanding, as Black Cat has been framed, but led to believe Spiderman is the one that turned her in. Of course Spider-Man is having girl problems yet again, so the last thing he wants is an angry Black Cat.The characters are what sell this book though, it’s as if the plot is a means to enjoy more dialogue and experience the sweet superhero lifestyle. The interchange between the two characters is genuine, like two ex’s who love to flirt but know better. Adding Daredevil in the mix, and a neat idea of enemies using a new hologram technology to get around Daredevil’s senses, keeps things fresh and interesting.

Spidey and Daredevil “racing” down. Don’t they know about the laws of gravity?

Mark Waid has been doing a marvelous job on Daredevil the last few months, so it’s no surprise this book is well written. If this book is any indication, Rios is an artist to look out for in the future. She makes every frame feel important to the story even when the characters are chit chatting about the Kardashians.

Budget $10.00-$3.99= $6.01

Deadool #49 (Marvel)

Daniel Way has had a very long run on this book, and by many accounts it’s been successful. The cartoony art goes well with the slapstick humor, but the book has been hit or miss for the most part. It’s actually a little surprising how quickly things can go south in the story department. For instance, last issue the battle between Deadpool and evil Deadpool had funny moments and good inner dialogue banter Deadpool is known for. Here though, everything is slap shod and weak. Even the art is depressingly simple.

Revolting, much like this book!

This issue claims to conclude the evil-Deadpool story arc, although it does end with a cliffhanger. Deadpool has an evil doppelganger, seemingly from parts of his body he’s lost over the years, and his goal is to never let Deadpool appear like a hero. Or something. The issue is terribly plotted. Captain America is helping local police stop Deadpool. Why? Doesn’t seem to matter. Hostages are close to being murdered, but that little issue gets written away in a page or so. The entire book’s story seems to be about the big reveal, which is never a good way to make any sort of story interesting.

If the Empire Strikes Back was only about Vader revealing he was Luke’s father that’d be a pretty lame story. As is this.

Budget $10.00-$3.99= $6.01-$0.0 = $6.01

Three different comics this week had a lot of potential, and although they might make the budget another week, this week they didn’t. Lets deliver them to Galactus in quick succession:

Mike Carey has finished his run on X-Men Legacy, and now Christopher Gage takes over this teen team book with issue #260.1. This is a .1 issue, which according to Marvel is a “perfect jumping on point…” For a first issue this is an okay done-one, as some inter-dimensional monsters who look exactly like aliens from the Alien movie are attacking the school. It juggles a battle while attempting to keep kids in class and sets up a new love story. As far as jumping on you learn very few details. It’s just okay.

This book made the cut last month, but this month it doesn’t do enough to be worth its $3.99 asking price. Carnage #2 is missing the entertaining dialogue from issue #1 and replaced with exposition setting up all the players. This typically happens in issue #2 of comics since the initial surprises are set up. Writer Zeb Wells has some neat ideas as far as symbiotes go in this issue, but it’s tough to like this issue.

There’s a lot to like about this comic. Jason Aaron scripts Wolverine #300 with a great first issue with a compelling story, adding interesting new characters and some great Wolverine tough as nails dialogue. Also: ninjas. Unfortunately the asking price is $4.99 for a 30 page comic! Let me get this straight, an already overpriced Marvel comic at $3.99 for 22 pages gets bumped a dollar for 8 more pages? If you have the cash, buy this one up, but in a 10 dollar budget this book just won’t fly. It’s sad too because the art is sick:

Ninjas, always great in-flight entertainment!

Galactus may now feast.

Batwoman #5 (DC Comics)

The first story arc ends here at issue #5. It’s odd that DC seems to be capping off many of the first story arcs with 5 issues. If this is a trend it’s definitely a money making ploy to fill trade paperbacks with less pages for the same price.

That being said, this is a good final issue to the story. Loose ends are tied up, the reader is reminded of Batwoman’s ultimate goals and it ends with Batwoman joining the Department of Extranormal Operations. So not only will she be a government lackey, but also in direct rivalry with Batman. The cards are laid out and it looks like it’s going to be an exciting year for this comic.

There isn’t a lot to be said about the story without ruining the delicate details throughout, but heck, the two page spreads are just as good as always:

Souls have skeletons. Your argument is invalid.

As long as co-author and artist J.H. Williams III remains on the book this is a must buy. In fact, if you zoom in on single panels the quality is just amazing.

Batwoman falls for every horror movie mistake: flashing the light AT the ghost. Dummy.

Budget $10.00-$3.99= $6.01 – $0.0 = $6.01-$2.99 = $3.02

Whispers #1 (Image)

Joshua Luna, co creator of the smash hit Girls and Ultra is back with a creator owned book titled Whispers. The concept is simple enough, a boy with some troubling mental issues, namely obsessive compulsive disorder, and has recently broken up with a girlfriend. She has her own problems as her father has been recently hurt in an accident. Sam still hangs out with her and can’t wait to tell her about how he dreamed of her and their friends. Only it wasn’t a dream. He was, he’s pretty sure, really floating into their bedrooms the night before. Sam slowly discovers what these powers can do throughout the book.

Yup. Those look like mental issues.

The idea is interesting enough, namely because it’s easy to see yourself with the powers and understand how awesome it would be. The story is a bit depressing at times, and not a lot happens, but it effectively sets up a story that could get very interesting.

The art is typical Luna brothers, very simple but realistic in tone. I’ve always had the impression the Luna brothers wished they could create soap operas or TV shows teenagers could relate to. This book is no different.

Budget $10.00-$3.99= $6.01 – $0.0 = $6.01-$2.99 = $3.02 -$2.99 = $.03

Overall a decent week. There were a lot of bad comics though, as Batgirl was stuck in a mire of plot, Batman and Robin was all boring back story, and even my favorite book of late Demon Knights would be trouble for an Olympic comic reader. It’s also worth noting The Authority #2, a book I loved last month, wasn’t available.


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