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Old 03-20-2013, 04:19 PM   #1
JewishHobbit
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Default The Ongoing Bought/Thought! 2013

Yes ladies and gentlemen... I've decided to go ahead and do it. If we don't like it we can always go back to weekly threads. But for the time being, why don't we give a single, ongoing bought/thought thread a try? Heck, if TMoB wants, he can probably even put the new Diamond lists in here as well, but that's up to him.

Of course, we'll review the new comics of the week, but with this ongoing format we can also review fairly new comics that might be a couple weeks old. Heck, for all I care we can review old comics that we've recently read. Just throw all the bought/thought comics that you read. It's sometimes fun to go see what people thought of older comics.

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Old 03-20-2013, 04:58 PM   #2
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Default Re: The Ongoing Bought/Thought! 2013

New Comics: March 20, 2013

I decided while at the shop to just pass on Nova. I figured I'd read the first arc through before deciding if I was going to drop it or not, but I skimmed the second issue and it did nothing for me (again). Also, I am just not a fan of MCGuiness' art. His Nova looks stupid. So I decided to pass on this, and being that I'm passing on Guardians of the Galaxy and Thanos Rising, I suppose I'm just dodging the whole cosmic movement that Marvel's pushing right now. Sad.

Also being that I'm not reading any of those, nor Avengers, it looks like I might be skipping out on Infinity as well. I don't think New Avengers will be enough to make me pick up a huge event as a tie-in to the ongoing. This is all provided it doesn't tie-in with the X-Men books as well.

New Avengers 4 - This book is still in the testing stages for me, and while I'm liking the overall plot, I'm not really digging Hickman's take on Beast. Beast has always been one of the moral compasses of the Marvel Universe, displayed quite boldly over the past few years of X-Men where he challenged Cyclops' darker path of leadership. Yet, Hickman has him just going along with potentially killing whole planets. It's not an easy decision, obviously, but the fact that he would play along at all grinds on me a bit. I understand the magnitude of the danger that they are in, but I refuse to believe the Beast would follow along with this select group of individuals instead of opening up this danger to more people who might be able to find a way to fix it without worldly genecide.

That said, the story was very good. I like that we're getting Galactus and Terrax. Now, did I read it correctly that these are an other-dimensional Galactus and Terax? Because if I did, I thought Galactus did not have other dimensional counterparts? That goes for the Infinity Gems as well, and there was talk by the big brains of each universe having their own Infinity Gems. Am I remembering these things wrong?

So yeah, decent issue. I'll probably pick up next issue to see how this Galactus thing plays out, but I don't know if I'll be getting this longterm. The art was great, though.

Daredevil 24 - I liked this issue a great deal. It was farily simple but still very good and exciting. The big draw for the book is Foggy's battle with cancer, but the ongoing plot of who is messing with Matt is also intriguing. I also liked Samnee's art. His cover is simple but awesome. I think that defines this whole volume of Daredevil actually. Simple but awesome.

But I still miss the darker stories of Bendis, Brubaker, and Diggle

All New X-Men 9 - Still going strong. Mystique is building up her brotherhood, currently consisting of Sabretooth and herself, and they recruit Lady Mastermind in this issue. I'm curious where that plot's going. The training exercize was fun to watch, and Jean's figuring out that Cyclops had recently met with Mystique was cool. With how freaked out people are becoming over Jean's telepathy, I'm real curious where the story is taking her. People are calling Cyclops or Angel as the one to join Cyclops, but what if it ends up being Jean? She's unveiling all these new abilities and, honestly, the person who is likely best suited to train her in them is the man who knew her best... her husband. Plus, that's where all the plot should be... Cyclops' reaction to Jean, Emma dealing with Jean and Cyclops. Jean dealing with Magneto, the man who theoretically killed her. She would have a lot of great stories in Uncanny. Just saying.

What I don't like is that this issue ended in the same place that the last issue of Uncanny ended. That means that Bendis is going to tell the same story from two different point of views, and I hate when he does that. He hadn't done it in a while until he did it during AvX. I sorta wish he'd just name one of the next issues as the direct continuation of the story and them move forward. There's no need to tell it twice.

And Immonen almost makes me like Cyclops' new design.

Nightwing 18 - I was really wanting a powerful Requiem issue here with how close Dick and Damian were. It was definately a Requiem issue, but it wasn't all that wonderful. It was just decent, and the art didn't impress me at all. There's a "major" moment in the end that reveals Tony Zucco is back alive and in Gotham, but that's not really what I cared about at the moment.

I loved this book when it dealt with the Circus, and continued to like it because the Circus remained a presence. Without that, I don't know how well I'll enjoy the title. I'll stick with it for the time being, but I definately need to make some cuts soon and this might be one of them.

Losing Barrows so he could draw Teen Titans is also a HUGE hit on the book. His pencils were my favorite thing about this title. It makes me half-want to pick up Teen Titans.

Justice League 18 - I thought this was a great issue. I liked the title prior to Throne of Atlantis, but it wasn't an upper tier book. Then Throne of Atlantis came along and blew me away. I was worried that taking plots from Aquaman is what made the title great and that the quality would fall again after the story was finished, but I ejoyed this story just as much as the Throne of Atlantis story.

The League is rummaging through new member candidates, many of whom we saw come to the League's aid during Throne of Atlantis, and they invited their top picks to the satelite. I got excited when I saw Nightwing among them but he quickly rejects the Justice League offer. It sounds like the main three joining are Elemental Girl, Atom (who is female), and Firestorm. I was rooting for Zatanna as well, as it looks like she might be leaving Justice League Dark, but she wasn't mentioned. That said, the ending of the story reveals that one of those who were on the satelite stole information from their database, so that leaves the window open for the return of any of these people.

I figure it was either Zatanna, getting information for Constantine, or Goldrush, since she was mistakingly linked to the robot chick who freaked out. If that chick was a distraction, it might have been Goldrush who took advantage of it. Planned perhaps?

The Shazam backup strip was good as always, though I'm ready for it to end. In my opinion, this should have just been released as an 8 issue mini, introducing the character, or perhaps make it an ongoing. The story has been great, Gary Frank's pencils are good, and we're nearing the end. June's issue, 21 I think, is a full-issue Shazam story, concluding his origin. I'm eager to see it conclude and see what comes next. If they release the story in a trade, I might consider getting it so that it's all in one place.

Batwoman 18 - Last issue was fantastic and got me back into the series. This issue was good as well. It feels great to be past the Medusa storyline. I can really enjoy the book again because I don't have to frown at yet another mention of missing kids. The art is great and the story is really good. I'm liking Bette's new character design and I like how she's being handled as a character. Freeze was great, but what I find really interesting is that it looks like the title's heading toward a D.O.A. vs. Batman battle with Kate in the center.

Fantastic issue, I'm glad I gave it another shot.


Best and Worst of March 20, 2013

Best: Batwoman 18 - This was just an all around good issue. Not quite as good as last issue, but still fantastic. This was actually a really good week, with Nightwing being the only disappointment.

Worst: Nightwing 18 - Just a very disappointing issue for me. It seems like this title only really gets my interest when Barrows is drawing it, and that worries me now that he's gone. I'm hoping that's just a fluke.

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Old 03-20-2013, 04:59 PM   #3
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Default Re: The Ongoing Bought/Thought! 2013

Venom 31 - Wait... WHAT!!! VENOM!!!! But I don't even COLLECT Venom?!!!

I was at the comic shop, finishing up, when I saw the Venom comics nearby. I liked the first 8 or 9 issues that I read before dropping it due to financial reasons, and I heard that Brock was supposed to be back soon, so I grabbed the three newest issues just to skim. They looked pretty good, but I need a new title like I need a hole in the head, so I put them back. When I got home I realized that I apparently missed issue 31 when I grabbed them to put them back on the shelf. Dagnabbit!

That said, I read it since I paid for it and really enjoyed it. I forgot how much I loved Flash as Venom, and I really like this new direction for the character. I'm intrigued in the Eddie Brock plot and I like this direction for Flash's personal life. Man, I don't need another book but I'm considering checking more of this title out. I loved the art, I'm curious about the direction... and I decided to pass on Nova didn't I?

I dunno... we'll see.

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Old 03-20-2013, 07:03 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JewishHobbit View Post
New Comics: March 20, 2013

I decided while at the shop to just pass on Nova. I figured I'd read the first arc through before deciding if I was going to drop it or not, but I skimmed the second issue and it did nothing for me (again). Also, I am just not a fan of MCGuiness' art. His Nova looks stupid. So I decided to pass on this, and being that I'm passing on Guardians of the Galaxy and Thanos Rising, I suppose I'm just dodging the whole cosmic movement that Marvel's pushing right now. Sad.

Also being that I'm not reading any of those, nor Avengers, it looks like I might be skipping out on Infinity as well. I don't think New Avengers will be enough to make me pick up a huge event as a tie-in to the ongoing. This is all provided it doesn't tie-in with the X-Men books as well.

New Avengers 4 - This book is still in the testing stages for me, and while I'm liking the overall plot, I'm not really digging Hickman's take on Beast. Beast has always been one of the moral compasses of the Marvel Universe, displayed quite boldly over the past few years of X-Men where he challenged Cyclops' darker path of leadership. Yet, Hickman has him just going along with potentially killing whole planets. It's not an easy decision, obviously, but the fact that he would play along at all grinds on me a bit. I understand the magnitude of the danger that they are in, but I refuse to believe the Beast would follow along with this select group of individuals instead of opening up this danger to more people who might be able to find a way to fix it without worldly genecide.

That said, the story was very good. I like that we're getting Galactus and Terrax. Now, did I read it correctly that these are an other-dimensional Galactus and Terax? Because if I did, I thought Galactus did not have other dimensional counterparts? That goes for the Infinity Gems as well, and there was talk by the big brains of each universe having their own Infinity Gems. Am I remembering these things wrong?

So yeah, decent issue. I'll probably pick up next issue to see how this Galactus thing plays out, but I don't know if I'll be getting this longterm. The art was great, though.

Daredevil 24 - I liked this issue a great deal. It was farily simple but still very good and exciting. The big draw for the book is Foggy's battle with cancer, but the ongoing plot of who is messing with Matt is also intriguing. I also liked Samnee's art. His cover is simple but awesome. I think that defines this whole volume of Daredevil actually. Simple but awesome.

But I still miss the darker stories of Bendis, Brubaker, and Diggle

All New X-Men 9 - Still going strong. Mystique is building up her brotherhood, currently consisting of Sabretooth and herself, and they recruit Lady Mastermind in this issue. I'm curious where that plot's going. The training exercize was fun to watch, and Jean's figuring out that Cyclops had recently met with Mystique was cool. With how freaked out people are becoming over Jean's telepathy, I'm real curious where the story is taking her. People are calling Cyclops or Angel as the one to join Cyclops, but what if it ends up being Jean? She's unveiling all these new abilities and, honestly, the person who is likely best suited to train her in them is the man who knew her best... her husband. Plus, that's where all the plot should be... Cyclops' reaction to Jean, Emma dealing with Jean and Cyclops. Jean dealing with Magneto, the man who theoretically killed her. She would have a lot of great stories in Uncanny. Just saying.

What I don't like is that this issue ended in the same place that the last issue of Uncanny ended. That means that Bendis is going to tell the same story from two different point of views, and I hate when he does that. He hadn't done it in a while until he did it during AvX. I sorta wish he'd just name one of the next issues as the direct continuation of the story and them move forward. There's no need to tell it twice.

And Immonen almost makes me like Cyclops' new design.

Nightwing 18 - I was really wanting a powerful Requiem issue here with how close Dick and Damian were. It was definately a Requiem issue, but it wasn't all that wonderful. It was just decent, and the art didn't impress me at all. There's a "major" moment in the end that reveals Tony Zucco is back alive and in Gotham, but that's not really what I cared about at the moment.

I loved this book when it dealt with the Circus, and continued to like it because the Circus remained a presence. Without that, I don't know how well I'll enjoy the title. I'll stick with it for the time being, but I definately need to make some cuts soon and this might be one of them.

Losing Barrows so he could draw Teen Titans is also a HUGE hit on the book. His pencils were my favorite thing about this title. It makes me half-want to pick up Teen Titans.

Justice League 18 - I thought this was a great issue. I liked the title prior to Throne of Atlantis, but it wasn't an upper tier book. Then Throne of Atlantis came along and blew me away. I was worried that taking plots from Aquaman is what made the title great and that the quality would fall again after the story was finished, but I ejoyed this story just as much as the Throne of Atlantis story.

The League is rummaging through new member candidates, many of whom we saw come to the League's aid during Throne of Atlantis, and they invited their top picks to the satelite. I got excited when I saw Nightwing among them but he quickly rejects the Justice League offer. It sounds like the main three joining are Elemental Girl, Atom (who is female), and Firestorm. I was rooting for Zatanna as well, as it looks like she might be leaving Justice League Dark, but she wasn't mentioned. That said, the ending of the story reveals that one of those who were on the satelite stole information from their database, so that leaves the window open for the return of any of these people.

I figure it was either Zatanna, getting information for Constantine, or Goldrush, since she was mistakingly linked to the robot chick who freaked out. If that chick was a distraction, it might have been Goldrush who took advantage of it. Planned perhaps?

The Shazam backup strip was good as always, though I'm ready for it to end. In my opinion, this should have just been released as an 8 issue mini, introducing the character, or perhaps make it an ongoing. The story has been great, Gary Frank's pencils are good, and we're nearing the end. June's issue, 21 I think, is a full-issue Shazam story, concluding his origin. I'm eager to see it conclude and see what comes next. If they release the story in a trade, I might consider getting it so that it's all in one place.

Batwoman 18 - Last issue was fantastic and got me back into the series. This issue was good as well. It feels great to be past the Medusa storyline. I can really enjoy the book again because I don't have to frown at yet another mention of missing kids. The art is great and the story is really good. I'm liking Bette's new character design and I like how she's being handled as a character. Freeze was great, but what I find really interesting is that it looks like the title's heading toward a D.O.A. vs. Batman battle with Kate in the center.

Fantastic issue, I'm glad I gave it another shot.


Best and Worst of March 20, 2013

Best: Batwoman 18 - This was just an all around good issue. Not quite as good as last issue, but still fantastic. This was actually a really good week, with Nightwing being the only disappointment.

Worst: Nightwing 18 - Just a very disappointing issue for me. It seems like this title only really gets my interest when Barrows is drawing it, and that worries me now that he's gone. I'm hoping that's just a fluke.
I don't know about the gems...but we've seen several alternate reality galactus before..it's nothing new.

good list on Big G's wiki page

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galactus

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Old 03-20-2013, 09:07 PM   #5
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March 20, 2013

All New X-men #9: Bendis continues to pace this series really well, with just the right amount of character and story progression. Jean's telepathy continues to be a problem and all signs point to a lot of personal drama due to it. O5Angel confronts Beast on his flimsy reason for him bringing them to the present, and doesn't seem to buy it too much, hinting that he'll be the one to join Cyclops next issue. I liked the Danger Room session, but was hoping Jean would lead the team. Looks like a set up for Scott retaking the lead. I loved seeing Lady Mastermind from the days when Carey's X-men was awesome. I totally agree with JH that it's annoying that Bendis ended this issue the same as the last issue of Uncanny. I was hoping to see Jean, but the star of this title so far is Kitty Pryde, who is at her best since Whedon.

Avengers #8: Lots of decent action, but I need to set aside time to reread the previous issues. It seems like Hickman really likes the imagery of "builders" and "machines" so he uses it over and over again, but I don't know which "machine" or "builders" he's talking about half the time. Maybe I'm just stupid, though. I was really happy to see Ex Nihilo again! I'm hoping to see Cannonball and Sunspot do something soon.

New Avengers #4: I'm enjoying New Avengers more than Avengers. I like the character's voices in this series, and the desperate and epic story. I think the breakout star for me is Namor, who is just hilariously trollish at times. I loved his comment to Beast when they saw the Magneto statue! I can't wait to see more of that world, if it doesn't just get destroyed.

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Old 03-20-2013, 10:43 PM   #6
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Default Re: The Ongoing Bought/Thought! 2013

Action Comics #18: With the announcement that Daniel is taking over Action writing duties, it makes me all the more sad that this is Morrison's final issue. This was a terrific climax, which included some great Krypto moments. That final page put a huge smile on my face.

Supergirl #18: I liked the issue this week, but the cover credits totally threw me for a loop, as Johnson and Asrar were nowhere to be found. This issue was produced by a completely different team. Curious to see where this "lava girl" story goes from here. I did like seeing a little bit of Lex.

Wonder Woman #18: Fantastic issue. I LOVED that final panel on the last page. I guess this is the end of this "arc," but I use that term loosely since I have no idea where the arcs start and end with this book. So far it's seemed like one 18-issue story, but Azz mentioned in an interview that this is the end of the arc, and #19 is a good jumping on point with the New Gods. I don't really check the teams on the solicits, so I have no idea if Chiang is back full time, but I hope he is.

Still have some others to read: Captain America, Captain Marvel, Daredevil, and catch up on some of last month's issues as well.

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Old 03-21-2013, 08:04 AM   #7
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Avengers #8 was fantastic, outshining even New Avengers this week. The plot came fast and furious and it would seem that decompression is not an issue with this title. Hickman's writing always proves solid but the real gem of this issue is the art. Good lord, the art was amazing. I know I sound like a gushing fanboy but this has to be the best the Avengers has been in 10-15 years! As for pointless rating systems, this issue is a solid 4.5/5 - excellent writing/excellent art/excellent pacing.

New Avengers #4 was good as always. Great writing, great art. However, I worry that the story is starting to lose direction/spin its wheels. I loved issues 1-3 but I found it hard to get excited about this installment. It just kind of felt like filler, IMO. I really hope that this story arc does not extend past six issues so Hickman can explore some other concepts/ideas. In the end, Hickman's New Avengers is still leaps and bounds above most other comics being published and previous volumes of the title. It is only when compared to sister-title Avengers that New Avengers begins to suffer.
3.5/5 - excellent writing/great art/ filler issue?

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Old 03-21-2013, 01:29 PM   #8
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Default Re: The Ongoing Bought/Thought! 2013

Superior Spider-Man #6: Loved it, Nice to see how the last issue's events were being addressed by the Avengers

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Old 03-21-2013, 01:36 PM   #9
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Superior Spider-Man #6: Loved it, Nice to see how the last issue's events were being addressed by the Avengers
Except for how Wolverine is even involved in the too extreme for Avengers conversation....

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Old 03-21-2013, 02:02 PM   #10
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Checking back in for Captain America #5. This is seriously the best book being published by Marvel right now. Absolutely phenomenal. It's the book I look forward to most every month. I only read a little of the Brubaker run, but Remender is making this book his own, and killing it. Romita's artwork is fantastic as well. Really dug the rain soaked battles in this issue.

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Old 03-21-2013, 03:01 PM   #11
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I love that Captain America has become a lot like Fear Agent. Crazy sci-fi is wonderful

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Old 03-21-2013, 03:47 PM   #12
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Anybody else been following Gambit? It's been a guilty pleasure of mine. It's been a very well done title. I'm really digging Clay Mann's art, it looks real slick.

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Old 03-21-2013, 03:59 PM   #13
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I don't know what it is about that title. I love Gambit as a character, I loved his 1st ongoing series like mad. I read the first two issues of this ongoing and have skimmed early every issue and I can't find one thing to make me even WANT to buy it. It just doesn't do it for me at all.

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Old 03-21-2013, 04:44 PM   #14
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I'd like to read Gambit. I'm completely in love with Clay Mann's art. I just can't afford it (Hawkeye is in the same boat, sadly).

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Old 03-21-2013, 08:17 PM   #15
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Checking back in for Captain America #5. This is seriously the best book being published by Marvel right now. Absolutely phenomenal. It's the book I look forward to most every month. I only read a little of the Brubaker run, but Remender is making this book his own, and killing it. Romita's artwork is fantastic as well. Really dug the rain soaked battles in this issue.
I agree man ..it's a profound freakin arc. This is slipping a bit under the radar but i dont think most people get just how solid it's been. Remender (and Hickman) are just blowing it out of the park with the work so far.

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Old 03-21-2013, 08:44 PM   #16
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Cap has been good. It's radically different from what Cap usually is and it's a vein that hasn't been tapped into since Waid's 2nd run when Cap did some time hopping after a battle with the Red Skull. I think the reason it flies under the radar is because it alienates the average Cap fan plus so many of the NOW books have been so successful that it gets easily lost in the shuffle.

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Old 03-21-2013, 09:36 PM   #17
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Well it's also self contained....I love the fact it's nothing like the Bru stuff...great idea to not try to cash in there...seriously it's a mix of crazy Jack Kirby and "The Road" on LSD..yet with some real grounded undertones...love it.

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Old 03-23-2013, 11:24 PM   #18
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Default Re: The Ongoing Bought/Thought! 2013

I actually liked Nova #2. A big improvement over the first issue...or should I say it didn't focus as much on the glaring deficiencies. The first issue failed to make Sam Alexander a compelling character nor succeeded in making his backstory any more interesting than your usual generic origin story, and it suffered greatly. With him taking on the mantle of Nova in issue 2, the book focused more on the exploration of his powers and the mysticism that makes Nova such an interesting character, thus improving the book.

I guess in a way you could say that Loeb's writing on this book is like a random supporting character in an RPG; if the subject matter is weak to begin with he's not going to do a whole lot to improve on it, but if it's something interesting and strong he will not hurt it. That said, I rue the next family-centric issue by Loeb. Thankfully, according to Steve Wacker Loeb won't be on the book for too long...probably around 12 issues. Anyway, I'll continue reading the book. The fact that it will also further this big cosmic plot that Marvel has brewing is more incentive as well.

As for other books, Hickman's one-two punch of Avengers and New Avengers continues to deliver. While I'm a bit iffy about the way the Avengers reacted to Star-Brand (blaming him for Hulk attacking him...right...at this point, in conjunction with what's going on with Cyclops, it really does feel like the Avengers are the bad guys/bullies half the time) I really enjoyed everything else in the issue. I like how Hickman showed Nightmask flashing himself and Star-Brand to the Superflow plain, which keeps in line with abilities of the Nightmask established in Ellis' newuniversal series (which I've gone back and read...fascinating how Hickman is incorporating the stuff introduced there into this book). Can't wait to see what Star-Brand and Nightmask do in terms of their confrontation with Ex Nihilo, maybe we'll finally get some answers as to how the Builders are connected to all of this (and who are they exactly). New Avengers continues to introduce interesting concepts and pushes the envelope for the Marvel U, with Tony constructing a Dyson Sphere and the Illuminati traveling to the other Earth. Excited to see what the fallout from this will be and what Doctor Strange has planned exactly. I'm also hoping that Tony's "Sol Hammer" will become a big part of the Marvel U going forward, would be awesome to have an active Dyson Sphere in the books...maybe it could even act as a base of operations one day.

And Superior Spider-Man delivered once again. Really enjoying it, looking forward to seeing Peter and the Avengers deal with how out of control Otto has become.

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Old 03-23-2013, 11:38 PM   #19
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Default Re: The Ongoing Bought/Thought! 2013

I liked Nova # 2 also..but man this is decompressed...hard to really know what we have here still. The art is phenomenal though.

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Old 03-24-2013, 12:54 AM   #20
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Default Re: The Ongoing Bought/Thought! 2013

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Originally Posted by JewishHobbit View Post
That said, the story was very good. I like that we're getting Galactus and Terrax. Now, did I read it correctly that these are an other-dimensional Galactus and Terax? Because if I did, I thought Galactus did not have other dimensional counterparts? That goes for the Infinity Gems as well, and there was talk by the big brains of each universe having their own Infinity Gems. Am I remembering these things wrong?
As stated in the issue, Galactus is a universal constant. As for the gems, each universe has their own set but they only work in the universes they are from. I believe this was set up even before Hickman's run, though I cannot remember specifically. We've also seen alternate universe infinity gems before...there's a plot going on in the Ultimates comics about them right now.

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I liked Nova # 2 also..but man this is decompressed...hard to really know what we have here still. The art is phenomenal though.
Care to elaborate on that? I'm not sure what you mean.

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Old 03-24-2013, 06:18 PM   #21
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Default Re: The Ongoing Bought/Thought! 2013

Age of Ultron #1

It was okay IMO. I felt that it was slow after the opening action sequence where Hawkeye saves Spider-Man. I really hope it picks up .

Injustice: Gods Among Us #1-10

Wow. Well done. I really liked the whole concept of turning Superman 'evil' (like Harvey Dent in TDK). IMO this is a solid 9.5/10. Can't wait for World War Sea!

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Old 03-25-2013, 02:29 AM   #22
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Huge week - the feast in the feast or famine schedule. Spoilers ahoy.

DREAD'S BOUGHT/THOUGHT FOR 3/20/13:

ACTION COMICS #18: Let this issue be a public service announcement against the practice of writing comics while on a controlled substance. Grant Morrison finishes his run on this title, with Rags Morales and Brad Walker handling art. Apparently Superman is facing off against the tyrant from the 5th Dimension who may or may not be the devil himself who has plagued him since birth because he's essentially a magic trick by Mr. Mxy. Beyond that, it devolves into well drawn babble that quickly loses me. Morrison uses big words and high concepts and pays homage to past Superman stories, but things seem to be a train of acid trip moments rather than a story, or a finale. It is possible that it may make more sense if I read this run in one sitting; it also may be possible that doing so may either drive me insane or summon Grant Morrison himself into my room with a chainsaw and a hockey mask. Expecting another ALL-STAR SUPERMAN, to say I have been disappointed is an understatement. After this issue, with all the shenanigans going on at DC Comics, I have no clue who the long term creative team will be and frankly I don't care. I'm down to one DC book now, which is hardly uncommon for me historically.

BATMAN BEYOND UNLIMITED #14: This anthology series of digital first comics set in the "Beyond" universe first created by Bruce Timm and other writers for Kid's WB continues with a satisfying helping of tales this time around. The last story is the Batman Beyond strip by Adam Beechen with Peter Nguyen on art, which serves as an epilogue to the "1,000,000 Clowns" arc, focusing on Dana Tan. The long suffering girlfriend, then ex-girlfriend, of Terry McGinnis (the Batman of 2040), she's had a lot to deal with. Her brother was the Joker King, and in death he nearly destroyed Gotham and almost killed her father, Bruce Wayne, and scores of others in his mania. In this strip we delve into her psyche a little and we finally have a confrontation where she figures out the secret between Terry, Wayne, and Batman and wants answers more than protection. It brings things full circle and seems like a natural progression. The second strip is the "Superman Beyond" strip by J.T. Krul and Howard Porter, which is offering a better arc than the last. Superman is being caught up in a civil war on a distant planet which was caused by his eager but ill thought liberation of a slave race decades ago. It is an arc where it is difficult to tell which side is in the right, which is true of a lot of war, and this complex situation for Superman is quite welcome. Finally, we have the JLU strip, "Flash Drive", which is offering a new look into the Flash of the future. Her name is Danica and her connection to the speed force allows her to communicate with previous speedsters - in particular Jay, Wally, and Bart. Wait, a segment of DC where Wally West exists? Writer Derek Fridolfs better be careful before he's banished from the company for such transgressions. The art by Nick Falardi is fine, and this is a fine break from the usual JLU stories. Overall, another fine package for those who don't read these online first - like me!

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES #20: Past the ides of March comes the finale to the "Krang War" story which has not only developed subplots which have flown through this book since it launched almost two years ago, but pays homage to both the original 1980's comic books and cartoon series. Kevin Eastman and Tom Waltz are once again in sync on the story (even if the latter does the scripting and thus likely the lion's share of most issues), and are paired up with artist Ben Bates and regular colorist Ronda Pattison. As the cover shows, this issue features the first showdown between the Ninja Turtles and the Dimension X warlord Krang, whose intergalactic efforts are one of the catalysts which caused their creation.

Borrowing from both the original Mirage Studios canon from the early 80's and the TV animated program of the late 80's, Krang is the only member of the Utrom race of "living brains" who isn't in stasis or dead. He has assumed the throne from his father and is continuing to conquer the stars in general and planet Neutrino in particular. To this end he has set up a power base on Burnow Island (on Earth), assumed the mantle of dictator there and contracted Baxtor Stockman's laboratory to produce genetic weaponry for him. These experiments led to the creation of the mutagen ooze, as well as no end of other things (including Krang's army of stone warriors). Seeking the Fugitoid (a Neutrino scientist trapped in the body of a robot), Krang has kidnapped the royal family of Neutrino to force a final surrender with the rebels. The Turtles were accidentally zapped to Dimension X and into the midst of this war by circumstance, but now are actively engaged in its conduct.

To say that this issue is an action issue is an understatement. This is easily the most over the top battle the IDW Comics incarnation of TMNT have ever faced, and Bates is an ideal artist to depict it. Donatello works on an "ultimate weapon" with the Fugitoid as Raph works on distracting Krang's army as Leo and Mikey stage a rescue with the princess and more rebels. Considering the development of previous issues, this one offers a satisfying battle against Krang himself (in his ever present robot general body) without closing the door on future conflicts, but merely adding to them. Both the heroes and the villain end up with what they wanted, and there is quite a tender reunion at the end of the issue. Not only does the issue offer a lot of fight sequences, but also manages to give the Turtles their chance to shine in their own ways. The Fugitoid and Donatello have a discussion about philosophy, while Raph gets to engage in a big fight, Leonardo leads, and Mikey makes quite an impression upon the Neutrino princess. Gone, too, is the whiny bumbling Krang of the cartoons and a figure likely in part influenced by Chr'ell, the evil Utrom from the 2003 animated series.

Bates apparently will depart the series after this issue, at least in the near future. This makes him the second artist the book has seen within seven issues since Dan Duncan left the series with issue twelve. Eastman will take over art and scripting for the next issue before the subsequent arc gets underway. This series continues to excel at merging the entire mythology of the TMNT from 1984 until now and weave new threads all its own. With both of the "big two" seeming to relaunch many old franchises every few years, they might do well to take notes on how IDW has managed to produce something here which pleases several generations of fans, including new ones.

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: SECRET HISTORY OF THE FOOT CLAN #4: This four issue side mini series by Mateus Santolouco and Erik Burnham wraps up with an action packed ninja romp. While the Turtles, April, and Casey manage to claim the coveted book of Foot secrets, the professor ultimately joins up with the Foot for fear of dying as well as dismay at his situation. We learn the final details of Saki's revival and his secret of immortality (ooze from an Utrom), and that being reincarnated from feudal Japan means Mikey can automatically understand Japanese. The art is great and the finale offers a lot of action, although the regular TMNT issue this week blew this out of the water. Still, this universe's take on the Foot is interesting, and this has been a worthy side series to flesh their continuity out. Krang is the next to get the treatment, and that should also be a worthy read for Turtle fans.

INVINCIBLE #101: I get the point, but yet another cover poking fun at "1st issue mania" is starting to dilute the joke and almost come off as envy. Robert Kirkman, Ryan Ottley and the rest of the gang produce an engaging development issue developing the seeds sown by previous stories. Thragg, regent of what is left of the Viltrumites is dismayed so see that "the earth effect" of compassion for others is spreading to some others within his ranks. Mark Grayson, ironically, now finds himself in the position of being considered a rogue villain which Cecil has employed for the greater good, much like some of the other villains Grayson has fought over. Tensions with the Guardians of the Globe are raw, and to say he's not welcomed among them is an understatement. Eve is pregnant again, and this time she's keeping the baby, only has to stop using her powers to ensure its survival. Finally, Nolan is essentially exiled to the moon. This is a book which has often refused to accept a status quo, although that often means it goes in some wonky directions. At the core the characters are all the same, which is the main thing. It will be interesting seeing where things develop, especially as some previous issues were shockingly dismaying for me.

SAGA #11: In merely ten issues, this creator owned series by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples has become the second best selling comic published by Image Comics; right behind Robert Kirkman's "The Walking Dead" which took years to crawl up the top 100 list. "Saga" is comfortably within the top 40 and virtually every issue sees at least one reprint even at this stage; these are not only great numbers for both Image and the creators, but better numbers than Vaughan often saw at Wildstorm. Amid a flashback to the conception of the cross breed child Hazel, the star crossed lovers Marko and Alana (as well as their ghost babysitter and Marko's parents) must escape the vortex of a space monster as well as being tracked by mercenaries hired by their worlds to slay their child. As with many things within this series, it is the execution which counts just as much as the story itself or the imaginative details. Another character passes the mortal coil, in a move which has been fairly well planned for several issues but still bares some weight to it. Meanwhile, the mercenary troupe (consisting of Marko's ex Gwen, the Will, a slave girl and a Lying Cat) are coming into their own as another eclectic family unit. Every issue of this series appears to be a work of art, and it is no mystery why it has become so popular. It is one of the rare examples of an excellent book selling somewhere near where it deserves.

DAREDEVIL #24: Mark Waid and Chris Samnee continue on their yeoman efforts crafting the best run on "the man without fear" that the character has seen in years, if not decades. While some note that this run isn't "as dark" as previous ones that the character is known for, that doesn't mean that dark things don't happen and that Daredevil's enemies aren't vicious - it simply means the comic can strike more than one tone. While Daredevil fights a long term battle against a mysterious foe who is manipulating things from afar (who readers get a glimpse of this issue and may or may not be the weird robot Mr. Kline), his best friend Foggy Nelson is beginning an equally dire battle against cancer. As with the last issue, Murdock is fighting an enemy which seeks to replicate his origin - in this case by sending some "Daredevil dogs" into his office. As always, Waid's already excellent script is flanked by some of the best artwork in comics, and Samnee (alongside colorist Javier Rodriguez) carries on upon the tradition set before him by previous artists during this run. Much like the best stories, the tone of the series is able to change from romantic comedy to action to horror without skipping a beat or appearing jarring. Such things are difficult to execute, yet seem effortless when executed properly. This is the rare Marvel series which doesn't seem to be forced to buckle to the will of a line wide crossover or editorial meddling, but exists all its own to have its way - and readers reap the benefit.

DARK AVENGERS #188: More shenanigans with the "Thunderbolts as Exiles" by Jeff Parker and Neil Edwards. The team is split up, and in a seemingly thankless death, Moonstone is blasted to bits. Or is she? Clor finally wakes up after some repairs and apparently sees her "ghost", while the rest of the team is in the clutches of the weird Hell's Kitchen crew, who take on Dr. Strange and lose. The action all still takes place on a parallel world where various heroes have split up NYC into territories, but the cogs are being lost to the machine. No character is rising to the fore and it seems like a lot of indulgence. I barely care about this book anymore, and while I am glad U.S. Agent is restored to the way he was pre-SIEGE (damn, that's already a long time ago, isn't it), this isn't a book I am stunned is selling poorly and is being canned.

INDESTRUCTIBLE HULK #5: Mark Waid and Lenil Yu wrap up a two part tale (imagine those) in which the Hulk takes on Attuma on behalf of both China and some Atlanteans as well. Seemingly drowned by Attuma and his sea monsters, Banner survives and meets up with some stock rebels working against Attuma. Considering both figures were among "the worthy" from FEAR ITSELF, you'd think a minor mention of it would come, but it doesn't and I suppose it doesn't matter. I would take the Atlantean rebels who help Banner more seriously if one of them, Mara, didn't seem to aim her rear end at the panels twice to indulge male readers. The rest is standard fare; Hulk has a rematch with Attuma and his monsters, and this time wins. This is a perfectly fine book, although it does pale alongside DAREDEVIL.

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #6: Dan Slott reunites with Humberto Ramos on a story which sees one of Spidey's newer rogues (Screwball) teaming up with a cast off of Daredevil's (the Jester) to form a dynamic duo of pranking and vandalism for the sake of Internet fame. When they publicly humiliate Mayor Jameson, he orders the crooks arrested, although Spidey-Ock considers it beneath him. That is, until some college jocks insult his new tutor (who happens to be a midget) and it sets off all those memories of being tormented by bullies. Things promptly get ugly from there. Meanwhile, the apparent murder of Massacre by Spider-Man has caught the Avengers' attention, and they're considering either an intervention or booting him. This is amazingly hypocritical, and the fact that Wolverine of all people - a walking immortal genocide machine - has to call them on it is absurd. Still, one supposes the angle of Spider-Man killing someone would shock people, even if the Avengers are chock full of characters who have murdered enemies in war or other matters before or recently - even Hawkeye has killed nameless Hand or AIM grunts in Bendis' NEW AVENGERS. Yes, the same Hawkeye who broke up with his wife because she allowed her rapist to fall to his death back in the 1980's. Anyway, Spidey-Ock's vicious beating of the two pranksters goes viral and THIS of all things - and not talking like Dr. Evil all the time - finally tips off MJ that something is amiss. The art is fine and overall this remains one of the most fascinating and suspenseful "mind swap" stories in years, although by now it is starting to reach the point where I seriously wonder how long Slott and the powers that be can believe this arc can seriously last. To a degree it covers territory from previous issues, such as how vicious Ock is in his new body and how he treats slights to his person, perceived or otherwise. The difference is more people seem to see it here. A fine issue, although not as good as some previous ones, especially on a week as heavy as this one was.

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Old 03-25-2013, 06:12 PM   #23
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Default Re: The Ongoing Bought/Thought! 2013

I'm not stunned Dark Avengers is selling poorly..however I am enjoying this book and will miss it.

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Old 03-25-2013, 06:18 PM   #24
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Default Re: The Ongoing Bought/Thought! 2013

Anyone pick up the New Secret Avengers series....aside from this annoying Marvel insistence to have all Nu-Fury appearances come off like he's unquestionably the only Fury thats ever been..It was pretty decent. It looks to focus heavily on some of the same stuff the old series was on..and this new AIM sovereign nation...to which some cooler older villians are a part of (such as Graviton). Given the feel of this book, I really have no clue why the numbering restart ..the vibe was very similiar, and essentially it's some what of a natural progression of what Remender was doing.

Fans of Taskmaster and seeing underused Villians of yore will be pleased with this book. Spencer impressed me.

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Old 03-25-2013, 08:02 PM   #25
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Default Re: The Ongoing Bought/Thought! 2013

I'm not really interested in Black Fury or the Coulson transplant to care.

I probably should have dropped Dark Avengers/Thunderbolts a long time ago. I was digging what Parker was doing a few years ago but ever since the time hopping/alternate universe stuff started being implemented, this book has become more of a chore to read than fun. I'm not even sure that I want to see how it all concludes. I like Jeff Parker and all but he is one guy that Marvel should have reigned in a loooooooong time ago.

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