Monday, June 15, 2009

This week, I'm getting too old for this shit

Hey, this is neat: Brian Wood put together a Google Maps thing that shows all the important locations of events that took place in DMZ. I feel one step closer to Matty Roth now.

Ugh, getting behind on reviews again...

New comics this week (Wednesday, 6/17/09):

Boys Herogasm #2

Reportedly, this miniseries about a crisis/orgy among the superheroes of the Boys-verse isn't very good, at least judging by the first issue. I'm sure I'll still read it at some point though.

Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #4

I thought this was the final issue of this miniseries, but there's one more to go. I might review this for Comics Bulletin; we'll see. Short version: Jonathan Hickman needs to do more with his ideas, instead of just throwing something like "pirate FF" into the story for fun.

Destroyer #3

Hey, I think I figured out why this is a Marvel MAX book, rather than a creator-owned thing. In a vintage ad that's reproduced in this week's Young Allies special, we see a character named Destroyer striding menacingly across the globe with Captain America, Submariner and the like on the cover of All Winners #4, and he looks pretty similar to the guy in this Kirkman/Walker miniseries. I guess Marvel already owns the dude, so it's more of a revival (if this was already common knowledge, just ignore me). And it makes the conceit of the series, in which an aging hero is killing off all his former villains before he dies, work pretty well. Neat. So check it out if you feel like more violence and old-man sadness and that sort of thing.

Executive Assistant Iris #1

I'm loath to pay any attention to a comic from Aspen, but the concept of this one amuses me, at the very least. It's about a secretarial type who is also a bodyguard and assassin and whatnot. Of course, I'm sure it will probably be unreadable and feature much in the way of T&A and general stupidity, but the basic idea is halfway decent, which is more than I can say for anything else I've ever seen from Aspen. Or maybe I just find women in business suits and glasses hot, especially if they're carrying swords. U-Decide!

Ex Machina #43

And the mayoral career continues on. Let's get Mitchell Hundred over to Baltimore; he'll blow Tommy Carcetti out of the water.

Groom Lake #3

Chris Ryall and Ben Templesmith keep doing their alien thing. I liked the first issue, but I'm a sucker for Templesmith. I might have a review of this one up at Comics Bulletin this week; I'll let you know.

Incognito #4

Brubaker and Phillips keep their supervillain series going, with this issue seeing Zack fight somebody named Zoey Zeppelin, who might be a hero or a villain; I'm not sure. Please read this, so the team can keep doing Criminal. As enjoyable as this is, that's where the real quality resides.

Jack of Fables #35

Part 8 of the Great Fables Crossover, which is almost over. I really have no idea what it's all about, so hopefully I'll be able to catch up by the time I read it. I bet I'll like it though, because I'm Fables' bitch.

Madman Atomic Comics #16

Mike Allred seems to be kind of limping to a close with this series, doing a repeated musical homage thing, with this issue's cover aping Abby Road (and hey, it looks like Joelle Jones drew a couple pages!). Of course, I might be mischaracterizing it, since I haven't read the last few issues, but I've been pretty unsatisfied with this volume of the series overall; maybe I'll come around when I get around to reading the whole thing.

Mr. Stuffins #2

It's been a couple years (I think) since the first issue of this series came out, but Boom! is finally continuing it. For those who don't know, it's about a teddy bear that has some sort of robotic defense chip installed, so it takes defending the kid who owns it as a serious military task. That first issue was fun; we'll have to see if it was worth the wait. Johanna Stokes and Andrew Cosby write, Axel Medellin draws.

Mysterius: The Unfathomable #6

It's the end of everybody's favorite miniseries of the year, so hopefully it will be collected soon and I can catch up. I hope I don't kill the series by waiting for the trade. Still, I'm excited to read it, since I dig Jeff Parker and Tom Fowler's art looks great. Don't let me down, Mysterius!

Olympus #2

I didn't hear much about the first issue of this series about Greek/Roman mythology in the modern world; did anybody read it? Is it any good? This second issue should get some looks, at least, since it features a Frank Quitely variant cover.

Red Mass for Mars #3

Wow, this series is taking its sweet time coming out; I blame Marvel, who has snapped up Jonathan Hickman and is in the process of smoothing out his rough edges and turning him into the next Matt Fraction. And actually, I didn't read beyond the first issue of this series, which didn't really grab me. Still, it's got some nice art by Ryan Bodenheim, so I encourage people to give it a flip-through.

Thor the Trial of Thor

This appears to be a one-shot along the lines of the Matt Fraction ones that came out recently, about Thor standing trial for murdering innocent Asgardians. Who wants to bet that Loki is behind it? Anyway, this is definitely of interest due to the creative team: Peter Milligan and Cary Nord. Let's hope it's not hackwork...

Ultimatum Spider-Man Requiem #1

I guess this is sort of an epilogue to the series, before it gets relaunched in a couple months? It does feature some nice art by Stuart Immonen and Mark Bagley, with a story about J. Jonah Jameson remembering being saved by Spider-Man, or something like that, but we probably shouldn't encourage this sort of thing.

Young Allies Comics #1

Here's this week's anniversary thing, featuring a story about Toro and Bucky teaming up to punch the Red Skull and Hitler, or something like that. Probably fun; it's by Roger Stern and Paulo Rivera. The reprint backups look kind of doofy, with a comic about Terry Vance, Schoolboy Sleuth and some prose stories by Stan Lee. Still, it's probably one of the best things Marvel has out this week. I might have a review of this one instead of Dark Reign: FF; we'll see.

Batman The Black Casebook TP

Ah, it's the trade collecting a bunch of the stories that Grant Morrison referred to in his run, which could be fun or could just be cringe-inducing. I guess if you care about whatever happened there, you might want to see this. Me, I don't, but I'm not a Batman freak like some people.

Body Bags TP Vol 1 Fathers Day

This collects Jason Pearson's original miniseries that introduced his violent setting and over-the-top characters, with a bouncy girl wanting to get close to her daddy, a badass bounty hunter/assassin. It's pretty fun stuff, full of blood and gore, and Pearson's got style to burn. Here, if you want a sample, you can read the first issue online.

Bone Vol 9 Crown Of Thorns TP/HC Color Edition

I don't know if this is just coming out or if it was already released, but I figured I should mention it just in case. It's the final volume in Jeff Smith's excellent series, finishing off the colorized version of the comic. This is great stuff; I highly recommend it if you haven't read it before. Not a bad price point either; you can get it in softcover for ten bucks, or hardcover for twenty.

Fart Party Vol 2 GN

I never did read the first volume of this book, because Julia Wertz's art just doesn't really grab me. But it did get a lot of acclaim when it came out, and I liked Wertz'sattitude when she spoke on a MoCCA panel I attended about comics in a down economy. I'm going to piss her off though and do exactly what she complained about: you can read her comics online for free (although her site seems to be down at the moment) if you don't want to drop cash for the book. There, I'm an asshole (her words).

From Wonderland With Love Danish Comics In The Third Millenium TP

Midtown Comics shows this as shipping this week, but I kind of doubt that that is the case, since Fantagraphics' site has almost no information about the book, which indicates that it's not coming out quite yet. It's a collection of Danish comics, spotlighting the scene in that country that gets overlooked in the U.S. in favor of Japan, France, etc. It looks pretty nice; you can see some samples at the Comics Journal message board. I wish I had checked out more European comics at MoCCA (including several creators featured in this book); that was one area I didn't look at too much, and I regret it. This book appears to be one way to remedy that oversight.

Hitman Vol 1 A Rage in Arkham TP

Is DC finally responding to fans' demands and putting out trades of this series? That would certainly be nice. This Garth Ennis/John McCrea series is pretty well regarded, and rightly so from what I've read, with its main character exploring themes of brotherhood and morality while getting involved in goofy shenanigans around the street level of the DC universe. This first volume deals with his origin, which is decent enough, but I think it picks up significantly in subsequent installments. Let's all buy it, so DC actually finishes collecting the series.

The Irredeemable Ant-Man TP

People seemed to like this Robert Kirkman-written series about a jerk of a guy getting superpowers and messing around with other Marvel superheroes; I think I read a little of it, but it didn't really do anything for me. But here's a second chance, with a trade that collects the whole series. Maybe I'll see if I missed anything. To the library?

Nexus as it Happened Vol. 1 TP

Since the Dark Horse archive editions of this series are so damn expensive, it looks like Steve Rude and company are offering a cheaper alternative, reprinting the first seven issues of the series (that is, an initial three-issue miniseries, then the first four issues of the regular series) in a black and white digest-size for ten dollars. Not bad. I've barely read any of the series, but it's one of those that everybody seems to love, so maybe I should check it out now that it's affordable.

Sleeper Season 1 TP

Brubaker and Phillips again! This was their well-regarded if ultimately doomed series from Wildstorm, and it's pretty awesome, about a hero working undercover in a supervillain gang. It's really good crime comics, paving the way for their current masterpiece Criminal. Check it out if you haven't before; this book collects the entire first volume of the series for $25. Dig it.

Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane Season 2 TP Sophmore Jinx

Oof, this was sure a disappointment. I really enjoyed Sean McKeever's run on this series, but Terry Moore just boring-ed up the joint, and Craig Rousseau's art didn't really make things livelier. I say give it a miss; If you want to know more, read my reviews of the first and third issues.

Treasury of XXth Century Murder Vol 2 Famous Players HC

Rick Geary keeps pumping these volumes out, and they keep being entertaining and informative. This one is about the murder of Hollywood director William Desmond Taylor. Good times, with the shooting and the secrets and the hey hey.

Wasteland TP Vol 4 Dog Tribe

I didn't realize another volume of this series was coming out already; I need to catch up. I'm on record as digging this post-apocalyptic series by Antony Johnston and Christopher Mitten, so I'm excited to get caught up. I believe this volume collects issues #21-24, which are about Abi and Michael getting caught up in a war between "dog tribes". The bit #25 is coming soon, and it's going to be a full-color special. I need to get back into this thing; it's good comics.

Will Eisners Spirit Archives HC Vol 26

This is the final volume of DC's fancy collections of Eisner's signature series; it apparently limped to a conclusion here, so the best stuff is in earlier volumes, but I bet it's still good reading. I've only sampled The Spirit, but one day (one magical day, in which I have unlimited funds to spend on comics and time to read them) I hope to get to this series and experience more of Eisner's genius.

Wonton Soup Vol 2 GN

Hey, I had no idea this second volume of James Stokoe's space cooking series was on its way, so this is a pleasant surprise. I quite enjoyed the first volume, so it should be fun to see what sort of goofy sci-fi deliciousness Stokoe comes up with here.

You Shall Die By Your Own Evil Creation TP

Everybody seems to love Fletcher Hanks, so here's the second half of his dubious life's work. I've only read a little bit of his comics, and it's enjoyable, in a demented way, but I'm not seeing the big deal that everybody else seems to see. Not that it's bad, but everyone insists that there's more to this stuff than "so bad it's good", and I don't necessarily agree that he was a misunderstood genius or whatever. Eh, maybe when I eventually read the books I'll change my opinion. In the meantime, I'll still recommend them, since they really are some weird, crazy shit.

Naoki Urasawas 20th Century Boys Vol 3 TP

Aargh, I'm behind again. I really liked the first volume, and word is that it only gets better from there. Someday I'll be able to catch up, but I've got a bunch of other stuff to get to first. Yes, I'm complaining about having too much good stuff to read. Woe is me.

Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei The Power Of Negative Thinking Vol 2 GN

I've been hearing good things about this series, which sees a depressive, suicidal teacher deal with various wacky students of his. Yet another one to check out someday.

Shojo Beat Vol 5 #7 July 2009

Final issue! Boo hoo hoo. If all went well, you should see a review of this issue directly below this post. There's going to be a hole in my heart for a while; I think the positive view of humanity brought on by this ultra-feminine dose of comics each month might now wither and die. On the other hand, quitting the monthly dose of estrogen might stop this troublesome bleeding...

Yokai Doctor Vol 1 GN

I dunno if this will be any good, but I'm often interested in stories about Japanese monsters, so this series from Yen Press Del Rey about a guy who treats their illnesses could be fun. Maybe one to watch out for?

Once again, not an especially momentous week, but that's good, since it allows me to make a lame attempt at catching up on reading and writing. Keep you browser pointed here; I've got junk to blab about.


  1. Stuffed kind of sounds like We3....

  2. Sorry - I meant "Mr. Stuffins." Not sure why my brain just did that.

  3. FYI: Yokai Doctor is from Del Rey, not Yen Press.

  4. Sandy: It's played more for laughs, from what I remember, with a teddy bear that talks like a badass. Definitely not very Grant Morrison-like.

    Chris: Whoops! Fixed.

  5. yeah, Hitman had 5 trades out while it was still being published & they never finished it. Here's hoping they go all the way.

    DC has such a strange manner in which they choose what books get re-issued in certain formats. Starman gets the big omnibus, but Hitman, The Question, Sandman Mystery Theater & Shade all get the usual 5-6 issue trades.

    the Nexus book, is that really coming out? I read on Steve Rude's site that they didn't have enough money to pay Diamond to ship it & were about to miss a mortgage payment on top of it. Sounded like a horrible situation.

  6. Matt, I absolutely love your reviews and generally think you're spot on, but this made me throw up in my mouth a bit:

    "I blame Marvel, who has snapped up Jonathan Hickman and is in the process of smoothing out his rough edges and turning him into the next Matt Fraction."

    NO! God No! Hickman has many rough edges, but....ugh....the idea of turning anyone into the next Fraction makes me quesy. Fraction has lost several steps since Marvel picked him up. A lot of the fun in Hickman's work is when he just vomits a thousand ideas on a page. Plus, Hickman should *always* draw his own stuff.

    Madman - you're right on. I felt like the book lost its way after that tribute to every artist ever issue. It's very much the product of Allred drawing whatever he feels like drawing, and while it makes for pretty pictures, it also makes for dreadful reading.

    Absolutely go to the library and read Irredeemable Ant Man!!! It's not high-lit or anything, but it doesn't pretend to be. It's standard Kirkman soap-opera stuff, but it has a great sense of humor about itself. My favorite is the issue where the mock the Hell out of Marvel's product placement thing by forcing a picture of Old Spice into *every* panel.

    Speaking of Kirkman, Destroyer...I'm waiting for the trade, but yeah, that's an old property. I don't know why Kirkman did it, though. His creator owned stuff is where it's at!

  7. Kenny: yeah, I'm hoping Hickman can keep his unique style going, but after seeing Fraction lose his mojo, I'm not all that optimistic. Here's hoping for more Casanova and stuff along the lines of The Nightly News.