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 NOVEMBER 2, 2016
Occupy Avengers #1 — (Marvel Comics) —
Jump from the Read Pile
This issue really felt like it was warming up to do something as Clint Barton, burdened with unwanted adulation and celebrity, investigates a First American reservation with poisoned water. This leads time-lost superhero Red Wolf into a reluctant team up against gun toting goons and a surprise player. The artwork is superb and the dialogue sparkles, but the conclusion felt too abrupt and the antagonists too vague. Solid work from David Walker, Carlos Pacheco, Rafael Fontirez, Sonia Oback and Clayton Cowles.
WHAT’S THE PROGNOSIS?
Squeaked through with this one …
THIS WEEK’S READ PILE
Honorable Mentions: — Stuff worth noting, even if it’s not good enough to buy
The second back up story in “Faith” #5 encapsulates a lot of why the optimistic, cheerful heroine has struck such a chord with fandom. It’s interestingly told, succinct and self contained. The election-minded backup that preceded was a little more schmaltzy but still worked, while the main feature was somewhat forgettable due to not giving enough information to make the antagonist effective.
“Revolution” #4 has, as a draw, almost everybody fighting everybody else. G.I. Joe, Transformers, Micronauts, Rom, Dire Wraiths and M.A.S.K. in an all out battle royale with mistaken identity, quips and yelling. The actual plot through line gets a little lost with the Dire Wraiths’ science project Axiom, but the basics are easy enough go grasp, if not terribly intellectually rewarding.
“Josie And The Pussycats” #2 is hilarious and meta-textual, but very predictable in terms of plot. It’s almost funny enough to get past that, with a big number of gags and puns.
“Eclipse” #3 has some fascinating plot elements, great tension and a science fiction premise that almost levitates. The character work is the sole Achilles’ heel here, not standing up to the great ideas happening around it (especially those last few pages, which were intense).
“Transformers Till All Are One Revolution” #1 is a mixed bag. On one hand, we learn a lot about Micronus Prime and the shenanigans he’s engaged in. That’s good for the crossover but less inspiring for this issue. What was super interesting was a challenge to the faith of lead character Windblade, who has her belief in the rightness of her cause challenged by tactical realities. There was a seed of true character development and struggle, rushed by the needs of the larger crossover. Pity.
“Motro” #1 is strange — not in a bad way, as there are Image books far stranger with strong followings. A super strong child in a world of sentient machines and post-apocalyptic ravaging weirdos struggles to honor the wishes of a dead parent and do good. Nothing overwhelmingly wrong here, just … well, if you like weird and kind of vague, this should be fine for you.
The “Meh” Pile — Not good enough to praise, not bad enough to insult, they just kind of happened …
“Motor Girl” #1, “Foolkiller” #1, “Rom” #4, “Spider-Woman” #13, “Myopia Special” #1, “Spidey” #12, “Goldie Vance” #7, “Unworthy Thor” #1, “Smosh” #5, “Cryptocracy” #5, “Green Arrow” #10, “Spider-Man 2099” #17, “Wicked + The Divine” #23, “Scarlet Witch” #12, “Awake” #7, “Moon Knight” #8, “Death Of X” #3, “Walking Dead” #160, “Deadpool And The Mercs For Money” #5, “Champions” #2, “Flash Gordon Kings Cross” #1, “Avengers” #1, “Prophet Earth War” #6, “Unfollow” #13, “Big Trouble In Little China Escape From New York” #2, “Shade The Changing Girl” #2, “Mayday” #1, “Red Thorn” #12, “Jade Street Protection Services” #2, “Nightwing” #8, “Everafter From The Pages Of Fables” #3, “Midnighter And Apollo” #2, “Battlestar Galactica Gods And Monsters” #1, “Harley Quinn” #7, “Eden’s Fall” #3, “Death Of Hawkman” #2, “Six Million Dollar Man Fall Of Man” #4, “Batman” #10, “Bitch Planet” #9, “Aquaman” #10.
No, just … no … These comics? Not so much …
“Flintstones” #5 is ham fisted allegory, indicting western culture for its modern legacy of murder, racism and lies. It does, however, have its rare funny moments around a class president election at the school Pebbles and Bam-Bam attend.
Imagine a Superman comic where he never spoke a word, never had a lick of agency or character development and had an ignominious conclusion. “Strange Fruit” #4, which billed itself as an antebellum twist to the modern myth, was just barely a story and not an interesting one as it tosses around racial slurs, covers up the accomplishments of people who did the work and lets those who deserve nothing reap every reward. This is especially, shockingly bad given the proven talent and storytelling accomplishments of the creative team. This isn’t even a good pitch, it’s a literal train wreck. Let us all never, ever speak of this again.
“Catwoman Election Night” #1 was just about as obvious as “The Flintstones,” trying to parrot (Penguin?) sentiments about the pending election through the icons of Gotham. Nah.
SO, HOW BAD WAS IT?
Three bad comics? Guh. That’s rough stuff.
WINNERS AND LOSERS
One jump doesn’t beat a trio of troubled periodicals so this week falls shy of glory.
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, “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!