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Bought/Thought - 9/19/12


Aug 4, 2003
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Only 3 new issues for me today, though I did get an ebay auction in with most of the Kirby Genesis line. I read the main mini and am still digesting it. I think I liked it but it was nowhere near as good as Project Superpowers. Man, I miss that line.

As for the new stuff, they were all DC... which was wierd. I've been pretty let down with this Zero Month stuff but these three changed my mind on that. I enjoyed every one of them.

Batwoman #0 - Man... Kate's training was all kinds of messed up! I am officially convinced that she could beat the crap out of any other 'protege' of Batman's. The issue serves as a pause in the ongoing narrative but done in a way that it fits in nicely between recent issues. Kate writing a letter to her father and we are reading it as we see her training. It was very emotional with exceptional art. I had to pause a few times to take in what I was reading. The part with young Kate in her room on the day of her mother and sister's funeral touched me a great deal. Between issue 12 and 0, I've decided to stick with this book for the forseeable future. It was on the bubble a few issues ago but it's solid again. Hopefully it'll sta that way.

Nightwing #0 - We get the origin of Dick Grayson, the Robin name, we see how his mind works and how he figured out that Bruce and Batman were the same, and a nice lead-in to what's coming next in the title. While not as good as Batwoman it was still a good origin story. I was also glad to see that the New 52 version of Dick Grayson never wore the Robin spankies and booties. His Robin suit was much cooler. I also really liked his relationship with Bruce and the early signs of their differences. The issue was really well done.

Justice League #0 - This was my favorite issue of JL since the beginning... and they aren't even in it. You have no idea how much I desparately wish Johns and Frank had a Shazam ongoing instead of this. This book the the book that's closest to being dropped but I just keep getting "one more" issue. Well, now here's one more and I loved it. I just dont know if I want to keep going for the JL portion. I can't keep buying a $4 title for 8 or so pages. Then again, I am very intrigued by the whole Pandora thing, which is playing out in this title.

I might be back next issue, I might not... I don't know. But I will say this... this issue was amazing.

I'll keep it short... Batwoman was by far the best of the week and Nightwing was the worst, though it was also very good.
Spider-Men ended with a question I want a friggin answer too!
No, that's the answer to Jason Todd's new origin :/
Spider-Men ended with

Peter Googling the 616 Miles Morales and not having a very good look on his face.
So there's a 616 version of Miles Morales running around? F***ing Bendis....
I'm like when are going to get that question answered...Bendis?!
The 616 Miles Morales is probably dead... it would be somewhat ironic...
Maybe he was the kid that Captain Stacy died saving way back in ASM #90. :o
Miles was the kid who collected Spider-Man... :o

I know that his name was Tim Harrison... btw...

The 616 Miles Morales is probably dead... it would be somewhat ironic...

That's what I thought when I read it. I thought SPIDER-MEN kinda ended on a whimper. I think it peaked last issue with the conversation. I was hoping Peter would let Miles keep a webshooter. I don't know. The finale just fell flat and felt rushed. Oh well.

JUSTICE LEAGUE was alright. I was never a huge Captain Marvel fan, but I like this new bastard take on him. Seems interesting so far. I'm curious to see how and when he joins the team. It was a nice breather from the lame Graves storyline and looking forward to the next issue. Here's hoping I like it more then past issues.

AVENGERS was pointless. Hawkeye and Spider-Woman calmly disagree and discuss their relationship while defeating Mr Negative and his goons. It was dumb. The whole thing read like, "Look how cool we are" and was a total filler issue til Bendis is done with the book. So, it looks like I'm gonna sit thru 3 more issues of this until the new guy takes over.
I took that ending as Miles did something horrible in 616, seeing as how Peter had just given Miles his blessing not two pages earlier...

I still think they dropped the ball by not including Ultimate Spiderwoman in that series.

As for the webshooters, Ultimate Aunt May gave Miles Ultimate Peter's webshooters over in Miles' book.
X-Factor #244 - [blackout]Terry.[/blackout] :(
The Mighty Thor #20: While Gillen gave us a nuanced villainous Kid Loki last issue, oscillating between petty jealousy, rage, and a hint of regret that Thor couldn't see that the situation he dropped Loki into would do nothing but rebuild his villainous character, this time Fraction gives us more of a cookie-cutter Loki. He pretty much acts like Kid Loki normally does, only he'll occasionally step off to the side of a panel to sneer because he's eeeeevil again, see? Maybe I'm being unfair--Loki doesn't do anything especially stupid or out of character--but he just seems a bit more ham-fisted than last issue's Loki to me. Anyway, Heimdall falls under Surtur's spell and leads a charge on Asgardia while Surtur's plan stands revealed, and it's about as colossally sinister as you'd expect from a 100-foot fire demon. Looking forward to the conclusion and what comes next for both Thor and Loki.

Stumptown vol. 2 #1: Another start to another case with Dex Parios, everyone's (or at least my) favorite modern noir private eye. Interested to see why she rejected her first client just for being associated with some corporation. The bulk of this issue, however, deals with her second client, whose job she actually takes. Dex is on the hunt for a rockstar's missing guitar. Kind of a cool backdrop for a mystery comic, as opposed to the usual seedy stuff (although I'm sure it'll get seedy at times because, again, noir). A bunch of stuff happens (including a hilarious standoff with two moronic thugs), culminating in Dex's introduction to a new antagonist: DEA Agent Cathy Chase. Pretty exciting overall, as Rucka jumps us right into some action about halfway through this very first issue, and the elements it sets up to tackle later on are interesting as well. The only drawback for me is Southworth's art, which is good but seems a little sloppy in the inking. I don't remember volume 1's art looking this scritchy-scratchy, and it's a little offputting.

Green Lantern: New Guardians #0: I almost put this issue back when I opened it up and saw a bunch of nonsense with Hal's supporting cast. But then Kyle showed up, so I bought it. The story's nothing special; Carol and Kyle wind up in a rehash of Blackest Night because Black Hand something or other, blah blah blah. I think it's connected to whatever's going on in the other GL books, which I couldn't care less about. The most noteworthy thing that pertains to the actual series of which this issue is a part is both Kyle and his ring manifesting their ability to channel the powers of any corps. In a moment of desperation, Kyle blasts free of a horde of Black Lantern zombies with a blue/green combo all on his own. Carol speculates that it may because Kyle used to be the Torchbearer, which Hal apparently told her. Can anyone reading Green Lantern confirm that? I'm surprised Johns would write Hal speaking of Kyle as anything other than his plucky but vaguely incompetent sidekick. Anyway, they figure out that Kyle is apparently supposed to stop this new Black Lantern situation by channeling the entire emotional spectrum, which makes Kyle apprehensive because that means he'll have to embrace fear, rage, and avarice along with the relatively "good" emotions. Meanwhile, the Guardians and the Zamarons are teaming up to apparently put an end to all the corps. I suppose that's what the upcoming GL crossover is about but, again, couldn't really care less. I'll be looking forward to however Kyle, Arkillo, Saint Walker, et al.'s story continues in this series alone.

Avengers Academy #37: Speaking of destinies, the path Finesse chooses for herself in this issue wasn't a surprise. It's a bit sad that she couldn't wind up a hero, but the way Gage wrote her, this seemed the far likelier outcome right from the start. I think she may still wind up in anti-hero or, at the very least, anti-villain territory when all's said and done, though. The rest of the characters pull out a win against all the odds and Jocasta's return was pretty cool. Nothing spectacular, though; this series was so good that pretty much no story would be enough of a send-off. It's even sadder to know that some of the characters are going off to serve as cannon fodder in that stupid Avengers Arena series now.

Fables #121: Wow, who would've thought the cubs would make for such great stories when they were born all those issues ago? Therese and Dare's story draws to a close and it's bittersweet, to say the least. As sad as the climax was, though, I like how it inspires Therese. Great story--possibly the first really memorable one for me since Ambrose's realization of his destiny a couple years ago. The stuff in-between wasn't bad, it just felt like kind of a lull by Fables' standards.

The Walking Dead #102: Kirkman strung us along for the whole issue, teasing that Rick might actually cave to Negan's demands. While I know that his actually doing that would've been pretty much a narrative dead-end, since it would basically just be a matter of time before Negan demanded too much or killed the wrong person and forced Rick to fight back anyway, I was definitely fooled. If not for that last page, I'd have said Rick was making the best of an impossible situation. He's certainly made mistakes before, after all. It was nice to see various people react to [blackout]Glenn's[/blackout] death, too. There's definitely something different about [blackout]Glenn[/blackout] dying as opposed to others. Like Rick said, he's one of the few who managed to survive without dirtying his hands or compromising his beliefs too much. He was, in a lot of ways, the best of the group we've followed for the majority of the series. It seems like the group's lost its innocence somehow now, even though the majority weren't innocent to begin with. As irritated with how much of a token death it seemed at the time, I have to admit, Kirkman's making good use of [blackout]Glenn's[/blackout] death now.

Daredevil #18: Another great issue. I wasn't aware of what happened to Milla because I only read a few issues of Brubaker's run. That's pretty f***ing sad. Curious to see where the plot goes. It'd be kind of understandable if Waid reveals that Matt really is just bonkers; I doubt that's what it'll turn out to be, but I wouldn't be surprised. Chris Samnee's art is gorgeous, as usual.

X-Factor #244: Kind of saw the ending coming about 2 pages in, but it was still good. I assume this means [blackout]Terry[/blackout] will be another member crossed out on the recap page of the next issue, but I hope she at least shows up again someday. Then again, when the last member who was touched by divine powers (Darwin) returned, he was kind of a dick. :csad: Still, I'm more interested in Havok's one page of character development than anything else in this issue. I'm really interested to see how Havok goes from a relative nobody to leader of the Avengers in a couple months.
DD was great. I can't wait to see who's messing with Matt's head.
Yeah. Good times. I hope he and Foggy mend fences sooner rather than later, though. The rift between them feels so wrong.
I think it was a pretty natural turn of events in their friendship. Being Matt's BFF is 2nd worst to being whatever chick he's banging, so I can understand why Foggy told Matt to piss off.
Does Foggy get threatened by DD's villains a lot? He's seemed pretty insulated from Matt's double-life so far in Waid's run, except for the bones of Jack and the insinuations about said double-life.
Mysterio messed with him a little bit, causing him to cheat on Liz Osborn effectively ruining their relationship. He was stabbed in prison when visiting Matt but that was to get him into witness protection. His life is always in some sort of danger with most people still knowing Matt is DD. So, it's been a mixed bag of trials and tribulations being Matt's friend and partner.
Cool. I'm glad he's playing such a big role in the current series. It's always offputting to me when writers try to focus solely on the hero and all but abandon their supporting casts. Glad Waid didn't go that route.

Sword of Sorcery featuring Amethyst #0: Decent reintroduction to Amethyst. The basics remain the same, except for Amy's age--she's 17 instead of 13--but a lot of the details have changed. Instead of a witch taking her away from Gemworld to be hidden in a human family, Amy's birth mother (or so it seems right now, at least) took her from Nilaa (I guess they thought "Gemworld" was too on-the-nose) and raised her herself on Earth. She also trained her as a warrior starting from the moment Amy could walk, resulting in 17-year-old Amy's being a bit of a stereotypical angsty girl. One scene where she kicks some would-be rapists' asses reminded me a lot of Buffy. I can't really tell if that was the writer's intent or if her portrayal of a tough, angsty chick just comes off that generic, but I have to admit, I was pretty bored of the stuff on Earth. Thankfully, Amy and her mom return to Nilaa about halfway through and immediately come under attack, so it looks like the action will ramp up a bit in coming issues. Overall, not bad but not a jaw-dropping reinvention of Amethyst or anything. I'll continue to get it, though.

The second story in the issue features Beowulf, who's apparently some kind of super-soldier who survives into a dystopian future where humanity has regressed to the Dark Ages. Outside of the future aspect and the fact that Beowulf kills almost all the people who came looking for his help against the Grendel, it's a pretty straightforward retelling of the Beowulf story. I can't say I was especially interested; I mean, I've already read Beowulf. Jesus Saiz's art is as amazing as ever, though, so that was a plus. I am so jealous of his linework it's embarrassing. :o
Moderate sized week. Onward with the spoilerfication!


BATMAN BEYOND UNLIMITED #8: For my four bucks this continues to be the most consistently enjoyable thing I have gotten onto at DC Comics post NEW 52. I ditched the underwhelming BLUE BEETLE, the underachieving JLI is over, and when Morrison leaves ACTION COMICS I will without any regrets. While the three reprint strips of digital first material may not always sync up, their place in the same general universe usually is good enough for me. This is one of those rare issues when the Batman Beyond strip by writer Adam Beechen, artist Norm Breyfogle and colorist Andrew Elder. The "10,000 CLOWNS" arc is reaching a fever pitch as it seems everything is going haywire at once. Old man Wayne is suffering from liver failure and horrible nightmares; Max is mixed up with a dangerous cyber-hacking cabal; and Dana Tan's ex-con brother has mobilized Jokerz gang members from all across the nation to become insane terrorist bombers in Gotham City. In fact the only good thing Terry McGinnis gains in this story is a new ally in Vigilante, an armored crime-fighter. Little does he know, as established in prior issues, that this man is essentially the grunt who executed his father on orders from Derrick Powers and Mr. Fix. Beechen continues to draw in everything from his BATMAN BEYOND comics (both the HUSH mini and the canceled ongoing title) with another appearance from the new Catwoman (daughter of the minor villain Multiplex). The art is good and there's even an homage to "DEATH IN THE FAMILY". The Superman Beyond strip takes the middle and while it isn't horrible, it continues to be the the weakest link in this anthology; no small wonder it is written by J.T. "RISE OF ARSENAL" Krul, with art by Howard Porter. The last strip is the JLU one by Derek & Dustin Nguyen which continues the struggle against the Ouroboros, a demonic serpent summoned by the Kobra cult which has ravaged Apokolips and New Genesis and is set to destroy the Earth as well. This is a set-up strip, and it is amazing to see what some stories would full a while issue doing mostly accomplished in 10 pages. Overall while this is a reprint of digital material, it is among the best anthology series I have read from a "big two" company in some time and I always anticipate every issue. It also likely features Beechen's best work with his handling of the Batman Beyond series, which has only gotten stronger with time.

AVENGERS ACADEMY #37: The second issue of Christos Gage's seminal run on a third tier Avengers title in September wraps up its final story arc this week with a dramatic flourish. AVENGERS ACADEMY could be considered a "dead book walking", as it has been announced as cancelled after issue thirty-nine. However, if one includes the "point one issue" (issue #14.1 to be precise), this series will have seen at least forty issues of material throughout its run. That tally doesn't even include a two issue appearance in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN written by Gage as well as a giant-sized one shot (written by Paul Tobin). Thus, over forty issues of material is a hefty bit of material for any ongoing series these days, especially one which centered around original creations. This issue alone featured a cast mostly created by Gage and former regular artist Mike McKone as well as characters created by Paul Cornell a couple of years ago alongside types such as X-23, created by Craig Kyle and Chris Yost back in 2002-2003. New regular artist Tom Grummet returns to handle pencil duty after a brief absence, flanked as usual by Cory Hamscher on inks and Chris Sotomayor on colors.

The climax to this four part arc has been built up over the prior issues but in effect has capped off a subplot which has been running through the book on and off for roughly the past 17 issues. Jeremy Briggs, a morally corrupt teenage billionaire with super-powers of his own, seeks to put an end to "the hero/villain paradigm" once and for all. To this end he's developed a "cure" which removes super-powers and seeks to release it via missiles into the atmosphere; after which only he would determine which people get to have super-powers. While Briggs has always had some points to his arguments, his ruthless tactics and often unstable allies (which include the Neo-Nazi Big Zero and artistically murderous Coat of Arms) have earned him the scorn of his peers at the Avengers Academy. Having attempted to get them to join his cause, the two forces collide in a final battle which may not be the most original for a comic book, but proves greatly satisfying. Despite a cast of nearly a dozen characters, Gage manages to give all of them a notable line, sequence, or panel in the ordeal. While the duel between good and evil may be predictable, Gage is wise to not offer a clean and perfect solution as Finesse seems to cross a line which can't be undone. To a degree it is disappointing that Gage does what too many creators do - remove a decent new villain from the stage at the end of a run - but the finale wouldn't have been as effective otherwise. It is amazing how Finesse started out as a member of the cast I couldn't stand and by now I genuinely do care about her; that's solid development for you.

Grummet's art works best with action sequences, and this issue gives him a lot to work with - explosions, rockets, fisticuffs and some blood. Perhaps the only flaw the issue has is the use of a rather famous line from the 1983 version of "SCARFACE", which does come across as rather pedestrian. However, a counter argument to that is that teenagers tend to make pop culture references all the time. While this arc may not be as rich as the prime of the series during its first year, it does prove to be a satisfying culmination to roughly three years worth of stories and character development. It had been too long since this series reached this level of satisfaction and quality, and one can only hope the last two issues will prove to be a satisfying epilogue and not a case of a series being unaware of when to end on a high.

DAREDEVIL #18: Let the record show that it only took Marvel two months to note on the cover that this series, as written by Mark Waid, had won a 2012 Eisner Award for "Best Continuing Series". As the saying goes, "when you've got it, flaunt it", and few major franchise superhero titles deserved it as much as this era of the Man Without Fear. New regular artist Chris Samnee returns to interior art after getting relieved by Mike Allred in the previous issue, and the continuing plot continues to get more bizarre at an increasing rate. The friendship as well as legal practice between Matt "Daredevil" Murdock and Frankin "Foggy" Nelson has been destroyed over what is seen as Matt's sanity waning once again. The buried remains of Murdock's father wound up in Murdock's desk; Murdock insists they were destroyed in a battle against Mole Man, while Foggy sees it as the last straw between their torturous friendship. While Foggy does come close to being merciless to some readers, longtime ones will realize that given how many horrible, bizarre, and downright terrible things Nelson has endured by being pals with a superhero, his "final straw" talk has some merit. Murdock naturally insists that he's not insane, which becomes harder to prove when his institutionalized ex-wife appears in his apartment, and a fleeing gangster seems to vanish before Daredevil's enhanced senses. Waid cleverly weaves all of this around another one of the firm's "procedural cases" which really does make a reader wonder why FOX or some other major network hasn't realized this series would be a goldmine on prime time TV. At any rate, Waid is on course to introduce another new villain to Daredevil's gallery - a gallery which has sorely lacked many rogues for years - and this mystery plays right into those goals. The art is incredible, the colors by Javier Rodriguez are wonderful, the dialogue is crisp and the plotting is intricate without being confusing. This era of DAREDEVIL really is a diamond in the rough for those who believe mainstream superhero comics can't offer anything besides cheap crossover stunts or gimmicks, and isn't to be missed.

DARK AVENGERS #181: Jeff Parker's run on this series, whether as T-Bolts or this has certainly seen peaks and valleys for me, and this is probably on the high end of a valley for me. The cast has once again expanded to such an absurd size that many are just colored names in action scenes without personality with the best bits struggling for panel time. Parker is trying to mingle his long-running arc and characters with the editorially demanded Dark Avengers relaunch and I don't think it is clicking perfectly. Both stories past and present are devolving into slugfests with scores of characters hitting each other and beyond some occasionally clever dialogue I find myself forgetting them. If there is one boon, it is that this time Parker has crafted some actual villains, such as Sultan Magus and Boss Cage in the present and future who at least serve their roles well. The artwork by Neil Edwards is fine if one likes Bryan Hitch-lite, which can seem a bit pedestrian to me sometimes. It isn't bad and can be fun at times but usually doesn't leap off the page for me. Mr. Hyde and Troll get a moment, and Man-Thing's "universal language" continues to be a highlight as he switches from highbrow exposition to "gangsta slang" depending on who he's talking to. The dilemma with the present story is it seems to be a generic battle against a generic high powered despot amid a conspiracy, and the future plot features an obvious rip-off of Judge Dredd in time for a film, which seems very lazy. At this point I am waiting for this cast to meet in one time finally and be paired down to something more tolerable, and these issues are just fodder on that road. I have reached the point where I probably like the series enough to not ditch it, but I don't love it so much that I will mourn its inevitable cancellation for long. I do hope the work Parker has done with Songbird, Man-Thing, and Troll endures, but who knows what Marvel LAME! (or Marvel NOW!, whatever) will bring.

VENOM #25: The end of new writer Cullen Bunn's first arc doesn't reach the heights of former series writer Rick Remender, but it still manages to be a rollicking good time. It also is a rare story which seems to wrap up in under four issues before continuing onward - tact which could be due to a the brief MINIMUM CARNAGE crossover coming next month. Thony Silas handles the art, with three inkers and two colorists in tow, which is often a sign of a rush to meet the deadline. This storyline has picked up from the "Circle Of Four" crossover earlier in the year which involved Flash Thompson/Venom, X-23, Red Hulk, and Ghost Rider all teaming up via circumstance to defeat the demon Mephisto's son Blackheart in Las Vegas. This left Venom with a satanic "mark" which has attracted a demon to his flesh as well as Hellstorm, the "son of Satan" to his life. Just as Thompson has seemingly overcome alcohol and struggles against the temptations of his own temper (as the alien symbiote which empowers him has been chemically sedated to his will), in comes a genuine Faustian ordeal. This leads to a battle against Hellstorm's own "Monsters Of Evil", who are a collection of ancient monsters made more dangerous via demonic efforts. Silas' art is at home with all the monster action and as often with Venom, his victories tend to only lead to more problems. By this stage Bunn's new female reporter character Katy Kiernan has replaced Betty Brant in Thompson's cast, although in SECRET AVENGERS the character is hooking up with Valkyrie. Bunn may not have matched Remender's skill on this series yet, but he at least maintains a consistent tone and voice for the character, which is important when an ongoing title switches writers. Marvel will soon feature this incarnation of Venom in two team books, so one hopes the parent title can continue to succeed.
Everything Burns has been fantastic, my favorite mini event in a while.
AVENGERS ACADEMY could be considered a "dead book walking", as it has been announced as cancelled after issue thirty-nine. However, if one includes the "point one issue" (issue #14.1 to be precise), this series will have seen at least forty issues of material throughout its run. That tally doesn't even include a two issue appearance in AMAZING SPIDER-MAN written by Gage as well as a giant-sized one shot (written by Paul Tobin). Thus, over forty issues of material is a hefty bit of material for any ongoing series these days, especially one which centered around original creations.

Yup and the reward to Gage for such an accomplishment is to see his creations get massacred by each other in a sh***y Marvel NOW book. :up:
TheCrapulent1 said:
Carol speculates that it may because Kyle used to be the Torchbearer, which Hal apparently told her. Can anyone reading Green Lantern confirm that?

Actually, Carol's not really been around in Hal's book after the first couple of issues. I think she had a cameo a few issues ago but it had nothing to do with Kyle. Honestly, I don't even know how the events in Green Lantern's title could have any impact on New Guardians.

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