WHAT IS THE BUY PILE?
Every week Hannibal Tabu (winner of the 2012 Top Cow Talent Hunt/blogger/novelist/poet/jackass on Twitter/head honcho of Komplicated) grabs a whole lotta comics. These periodicals are quickly sorted (how) into two piles — the “buy” pile (a small pile most weeks, comprised of planned purchases) and the “read” pile (often huge, often including comics that are really crappy but have some value to stay abreast of). Thursday afternoons you’ll be able to get his thoughts (and they’re just the opinions of one guy, so calm down, and here’s some common definitions used in the column) about all of that … which goes something like this …
THE BUY PILE FOR APRIL 26, 2017
Occupy Avengers” #6 (Marvel Comics)
This issue was very entertaining, as Hawkeye ponders how he ended up in another fine mess. His cohorts Red Wolf and Tilda Johnson make star turns, with the former being a flurry of fists and kicks and the latter being the wicked voice inside your head. The issue unfolded like a flower, each petal revealing another detail of character or circumstance. Perhaps the only possible complaint is that at the end of the issue, the reader isn’t very far from where they started. Nevertheless, David F. Walker, Gabriel Hernandez Walta, Jordie Bellaire and Clayton Cowles have put together a book that’s engaging from cover to cover.
Night Owl Society #1 (IDW Publishing)
Jump from the Read Pile. Mix “The Breakfast Club” with “Runaways,” then add a dash of modern “Archie” comics and you get this clever, inventive Young Adult mash-up of genres. A high school nobody organizes a team of talented misfits into striking back at a ruthless local crime lord called the Viceroy. Everything else is either endearing or brilliant. Writer James Venhaus has the patience and skill to balance the needs of the plot against revealing the characters while the subtle artwork from Pius Bak and Marshall Dillon bring you into these lives with care and grace. This is great work all around.
WHAT’S THE PROGNOSIS?
Inexpensive and entertaining, there’s nothing wrong with that.
THIS WEEK’S READ PILE
Honorable Mentions: Stuff worth noting, even if it’s not good enough to buy
“Black Monday Murders” #5 is like visiting a really interesting neighborhood with quaint shops and musty but fascinating libraries where everyone you meet is a quirky character if sone sort. When it is finally collected and all the disparate threads are tied, it will likely be a revelation. In this small an installment, it lacks impetus and wallows in a kind of Chris Carter malaise that’s less than rewarding. Gorgeous looking book, though.
“Detective Comics” #955 had a decent emotional core and an acceptable (if not exactly fresh) threat towards Gotham City. The plot was kind of paint by numbers, most of the characters were left standing around like the eleventh man on a basketball team, but there were a couple of moments that connected. Unbalanced but ambitious.
“Big Moose” #1 had three stories, showing different sides of the massive man mountain from Riverdale High. First, he struggles with a vending machine, a jam-packed schedule and his own aggression. They’re all good, with the center one being the most nuanced and effective of the lot, but all together they’re not enough to make this a purchase.
“Old Guard” #3 makes some good points about how tedious immortality can become but does about two actual thongs plot wise in its sea of savvy characterization.
“24 Legacy Rules Of Engagement” #1 was close to making it work, being effective in showcasing the sardonic wit and martial effectiveness of the new protagonist Eric Carter and telling a fairly complete, if somewhat predictable, story. The issue was not served well by the color palette and art style, but it wasn’t bad.
“Magdalena” #2 did well characterizing its new protagonist and had a clever bit with demonic possession. Unfortunately, most of the other characters didn’t do much to distinguish themselves and the action was merely okay. If the antagonist can develop into something new, this could be something.
“Deadpool Vs The Punisher” #2 is cute, a well-drawn romp with some very strange moments that had Frank Castle using the vagaries of Wade Wilson’s powers to excellent effect. If you love either character, you’ll jump at this.
“Batgirl” #10 had the seed of something amazing — a jumped up Mark Zuckerberg as a super villain — but failed to bring it past Barbara Gordon’s introspection. Not a bad book, but falling inches before greatness.
“Satellite Falling” #4 was a solidly told sci fi adventure story (“I told you I was good at this”) that didn’t have enough time to establish the stakes for its cast of characters. Great art and probably solid appeal in a collected edition.
“Suicide Squad” #16 makes a kind of macabre sense while performing quite an elegant dance of deception and intrigue. This issue is smarter than it seems at first glance, but lacks a little oomph to push it over the line into excellence.
“B***h Planet” #10 had some great moments that really seized the moment but the whole plot didn’t connect appropriately. This is a great case for the trade, because with the momentum of binge-reading and no interruptions would help these moments hit their marks more effectively.
The “Meh” Pile Not good enough to praise, not bad enough to insult, they just kind of happened …
“Joyride” #12, “Unfollow” #18, “Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency The Salmon Of Doubt” #7, “Infamous Iron Man” #7, “Real Science Adventures” #1, “Black Panther” #13, “Blue Beetle” #8, “Orphan Black Deviations” #2, “Rocket Raccoon” #5, “Optimus Prime” #6, “Kamandi Challenge” #4, “X-Men Blue” #2, “Micronauts Wrath Of Karza” #1, “Elektra” #3, “Hook Jaw” #5, “Doc Savage Ring Of Fire” #2, “Wonder Woman” #21, “Star Wars Darth Maul” #3, “Kill Shakespeare Past Is Prologue Juliet” #2, “Patsy Walker A.K.A. Hellcat” #17, “Flash” #21, “Jem And The Misfits” #4, “Supergirl Being Super” #3, “Great Lakes Avengers” #7, “Doom Patrol” #6, “Britannia We Who Are About To Die” #1, “Weapon X” #2, “Batman Beyond” #7, “WWE” #4, “Ben Reilly The Scarlet Spider” #1, “Judge Dredd The Blessed Earth” #1, “Hal Jordan And The Green Lantern Corps” #19, “Old Man Logan” #22, “Doctor Who The Twelfth Doctor Year 3” #2, “Moon Girl And Devil Dinosaur” #18, “Batman The Shadow” #1, “Hadrian’s Wall” #6, “Justice League Of America” #5, “Thanos” #6, “X-O Manowar” #2, “Ultimates 2” #6, “Kill Or Be Killed” #8, “Mighty Thor” #18, “Action Comics” #978, “Doctor Who The Ninth Doctor” #12, “X-Men Gold” #2, “D4VEocracy” #3, “Savage Dragon” #223, “Hellblazer” #9, “Mighty Captain Marvel” #4, “G.I. JOE A Real American Hero” #239, “Teen Titans” #7, “Ladycastle” #3.
No, just … no … These comics? Not so much …
“Hulk” #5 is slow. S-L-O-W. Well drawn, not bad dialogue, but spirit, is it ponderous.
SO, HOW BAD WAS IT?
The worst book could have been mediocre with better pacing, which is a great sign.
WINNERS AND LOSERS
This week is a winner due to nothing truly being terrible and solid entertainment from the purchases.
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The writer of this column isn’t just a jerk who spews his opinions — he writes stuff too. A lot. Like what? You can get “Project Wildfire: Enter Project Torrent” (a collected superhero web comic), “The Crown: Ascension” and “Faraway,” five bucks a piece, or spend a few more dollars and get “New Money” #1 from Canon Comics, the rambunctious tale of four multimillionaires running wild in Los Angeles, a story in “Watson and Holmes Volume 2” co-plotted by “2 Guns” creator Steven Grant, two books from Stranger Comics — “Waso: Will To Power” and the sequel “Waso: Gathering Wind” (the tale of a young man who had leadership thrust upon him after a tragedy), or “Fathom Sourcebook” #1, “Soulfire Sourcebook” #1, “Executive Assistant Iris Sourcebook” #1 and “Aspen Universe Sourcebook,” the official guides to those Aspen Comics franchises. Love these reviews? It’d be great if you picked up a copy. Hate these reviews? Find out what this guy thinks is so freakin’ great. There’s free sample chapters too, and all proceeds to towards the care and maintenance of his kids … oh, and to buy comic books, of course. There’s also a bunch of great stuff — fantasy, superhero stuff, magical realism and more — available from this writer on Amazon. What are you waiting for? Go buy a freakin’ book already!
Got a comic you think should be reviewed in The Buy Pile? If we get a PDF of a fairly normal length comic (i.e. “less than 64 pages”) by no later than 24 hours before the actual issue arrives in stores (and sorry, we can only review comics people can go to stores and buy), we guarantee the work will get reviewed, if remembered. Physical comics? Geddouttahere. Too much drama to store with diminishing resources. If you send it in more than two days before comics come out, the possibility of it being forgotten increases exponentially. Oh, you should use the contact form as the CBR email address hasn’t been regularly checked since George W. Bush was in office. Sorry!