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 JUNE 1, 2016
Jump from the Read Pile.
Okay, yes, this is ten dollars. Yes, for one thing, that’s a lot of money. This, however, is worth it. Four creative teams toss in no less than nineteen pages each for a complete narrative featuring an interesting framing device, an ending that is surprising but inevitable and — best of all — is very funny.
Playing fast and loose with the spotlight on the character these days, the titular mercenary agrees to protect a scumbag investment banker who lost the ill-gotten funds of numerous organized criminals only because it will give him a chance at revenge on someone who wronged him. That set-up alone should be enough for you, but when you add in a clever, continuity-laced set of team-ups with Daredevil, Power Man and Iron Fist (how awesome would it be if Deadpool showed up on a Netflix show? Sorry…) you’ve got a tale that tromps across boroughs and has fun in the process.
Then — oh, wait, it gets better — check out the laundry list of creators involved: Gerry Duggan, Charles Soule, David F. Walker, Jacopo Camagni, Veronica Gandini, Joe Sabino, Guillermo Sanna, Mat Lopes, Clayton Cowles, Elmo Bondoc, Nolan Woodard, Paco Diaz and Israel Silva. Holy mackerel! This can go down in the canon of great Deadpool stories like the classic Joe Kelly stuff as one worth revisiting.
WHAT’S THE PROGNOSIS?
Add to that the release of “Niobe: She Is Life” #3 and “Dusu: Path of the Ancient” #4 (prequel to the prose novellas written by this columnist, neither of which can be reviewed due to conflicts of interest) and that’s a solid start!
THIS WEEK’S READ PILE
Honorable Mentions: Stuff worth noting, even if it’s not good enough to buy
“Chum” #2 is solid noir in an island setting that fans of “Criminal” will find simply delicious. Like most noir, it skims over characterization, so the actual appeal of the femme fatale Summer remains a factor of mystery. The mournful nature of the men wrapped around her fingers made sense as far as the narrative goes, and the somber artwork might remind some of the cinematography of the film “Deja Vu.” If you like noir, this will likely hit all the right buttons for you.
“Green Arrow Rebirth” #1 wasn’t bad, with shades of the Silver Age crusader and a dash of Stephen Amell’s televised bad boy. The rock and roll themed Black Canary was a welcome counterpoint, and their interaction was just the right mix of nostalgia and genuine tension. The cardboard, unidimensional antagonist, however, was a stack of cliches wrapped in a trope and that’s nothing worth seeing. The same goes for the waifish human flotsam used as a plot device with the catchphrase, “Thank you, mister beard man.” If Canary and Arrow can ignite again, maybe this could be something down the road.
“Satellite Falling” #2 was very close to making the mark with a thrilling chase and an effective emotional moment between the lead and a supporting character. The climax needed a better earned hook than the one it had, as it came out of the blue somewhat, but if this series finds its footing, it could really be something.
In “Amazing Spider-Man” #13, Peter Parker is an idiot. Wait, no, that’s not fair. To be more accurate, Peter Parker and Tony Stark are both idiots, recklessly endangering innocent civilians and setting a terrible example for a legacy hero who then becomes a wholly pointless friendly target as a result of their immaturity and overcompensation. While doing some lampshade hanging on the modern trends, a “Secret Wars” subplot pops back up. While there are a few chuckles here and great visuals, the total package is a shade above “meh.”
The “Meh” Pile Not good enough to praise, not bad enough to insult
“Unfollow” #8, “Contest Of Champions” #9, “Nowhere Men” #10, “Batman Beyond” #13, “Spider-Woman” #8, “Casanova Acedia” #5, “Spider-Man 2099” #11, “Power Lines” #3, “Green Lanterns Rebirth” #1, “X-Men ’92” #4, “Predator Life And Death” #4, “Discipline” #4, “Grimm Fairy Tales Presents Red Agent” #5, “Invincible Iron Man” #10, “Savage Dragon” #214, “I Mage” #4, “Moon Knight” #3, “4001 A.D.” #2, “Bloodlines” #3, “All-New Wolverine” #9, “Public Relations” #8, “Superman Rebirth” #1, “Independence Day” #4, “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Pink” #1, “Doctor Who The Fourth Doctor” #3, “Marvel Universe Avengers Assemble Civil War” #4, “Walking Dead” #155, “Spider-Women Omega” #1, “Doctor Fate” #13, “Strange Attractors” #1, “A-Force” #6, “Bolts” #1, “Control” #1, “Deus Ex Children’s Crusade” #4, “Elephantmen” #71, “Superman The Coming Of The Supermen” #5, “Old Man Logan” #7, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Bebop And Rocksteady Destroy Everything” #1, “Goddamned” #4, “All-New All-Different Avengers” #10, “Batman Rebirth” #1, “Dark Souls” #2, “Punisher” #2.
No, just … no … These comics? Not so much …
Precognition isn’t a new super power in the Marvel milieu. From mutants to younger mutants to people who inherited the power to immortals to more mutants to even more mutants to demigods to derivative super villains to more mutants to… well, you get the idea (yes, this could have gone on longer). Many people have used it to varying degrees to do everything from avoid getting punched to saving the entire universe. With all that data on hand, the fact that a brand new Inhuman could be the spark behind “Civil War II” #1 is, frankly, stupid. With this conceptual underpinning, the issue borrows the party scene from “Age of Ultron” as a central motif and devolves into a mess of mangled bodies (one of which has been a target for damage recently) and hurt feelings. As reasons for dozens of supposed heroes to go into open melee combat with each other, this is so thin it makes Kate Moss look like Nell Carter, featuring arguments that were long in the tooth when Tom Cruise did “Minority Report.” Add in maudlin sentimentality that doesn’t go along with how comas work, and this is a grandiose mess. Gorgeous artwork, the opening battle was interesting, but the conceptual underpinnings of this make next to no sense.
SO, HOW BAD WAS IT?
There was only one really dumb book, so that’s not so bad … right?
WINNERS AND LOSERS
A jump beats the sole bad book, given the vast crevasse of “meh” between them so we’ll call the week a winner.
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 “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 and “Executive Assistant Iris Sourcebook” #1, 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!
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