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 OCTOBER 12, 2016
Power Man And Iron Fist #9 — (Marvel Comics)
Cancel “Civil War 2.” Undo the solicitations, cut off the shipping. This issue settles the entire thing, proving beyond all reasonable doubt exactly who is wrong in this tete-a-tete and why it’s one of the worst ideas in Marvel history. Better, though, this issue is a complete story that takes two friends on a philosophical jaunt through their own morality. Writer David Walker delivers some powerful moments and the artwork from Sanford Greene, Flaviano, John Rauch and Clayton Cowles does it all from knocking down walls to showing regrets sweep across someone’s face. Thoughtful, action packed and gripping work.
Mosaic #1 — (Marvel Comics) —
Jump from the Read Pile.
Imagine if Kobe Bryant was even better than he is, then got super powers via the Inhuman-transforming Terrigen mists. That’s the underlying premise of this title, as the body-swapping character switches socioeconomic milieus multiple times with great deftness. Writer Geoff Thorne shows off his television chops with fantastic transitions, great establishing scenes (the Terrigen sequence is wonderful) and the visuals from Khary Randolph, Emilio Lopez and Joe Sabino made every moment work, from the last minutes of an action-filled NBA game to a spooky warehouse. Refreshing, interesting science fiction.
Deathstroke #4 — (DC Comics) — Jump from the Read Pile.
There are lots of wonderful things in this crafty, insightful issue. First, we get some great displays of the dysfunctional relationship between the titular character and his youngest child. That led to some great laughs and fed the larger plot. There’s also the interaction with Gotham City’s best known citizen, a mind as keen as Slade’s. The chess game they play with each other, moving subordinates around with deftness and delicacy. Wonderful action sequences, brilliant characterization, fantastic comics work thanks to Christopher Priest, Joe Bennett, Mark Morales, Jeremy Cox and Willie Shubert.
Deadpool #20 — (Marvel Comics) — Jump from the Read Pile.
This issue was a surprise, as a young woman stumbles into Deadpool’s life and he learns some interesting things along the way. The least believable thing is getting to see “Hamilton,” but this done-in-one issue will be something people will probably remember, courtesy of Gerry Duggan, Matteo Lolli, Guru-eFx and Joe Sabino.
Darth Vader #25 — (Marvel Comics) — Jump from the Read Pile.
Yes, this is pricy for a single comic book, but man, does it deliver. Vader has been beset on all sides by would-be warlords and nutjobs with delusions of adequacy. Due to restrictions placed on him by the Emperor, he has held his wrath … until now. This is the Vader that caused terror in 1977, stepping into a smoky hallway. This is the Vader that landed on Hoth in 1980, commanding everything before him. The quiet moments are the most beautiful and when the lightsaber is turned off, Vader wields terror just as effectively. When you get to the end of the thrilling main feature, there’s a fun back up that establishes a new spin off announced today. There’s a third back up that is less interesting, but it can’t outweigh the great fun the rest of the book provides thanks go Kieron Gillen, Salvador Larocca, Edgar Delgado and Joe Caramagna.
WHAT’S THE PROGNOSIS?
Sweet Kwanzaa, that’s an amazing set of comics to start us off, with a strong showing from the Mouse House of Ideas.
THIS WEEK’S READ PILE
Honorable Mentions: — Stuff worth noting, even if it’s not good enough to buy
“Lazarus” #25 had a moment of genuine emotion and resonance that gets lost in military melodrama that falls just shy of making it work. The moments where characters really relate to each other shine, and the rest feels forced.
“The Villain” #4 had some well written elements — the diptych nature of the narrative was effective — but the art needed polish and the individual issues really didn’t stand well enough on their own. Interesting in a collection, not strong enough as a single installment.
“Star Wars Han Solo” #4 had a few cute moments, but dragged longer than it needed to. Marjorie Liu really has a great grasp on the voice of the character, but the plot needed a little more zip.
“Black Monday Murders” #3 got scarily real very quickly. The creative-minded detective cut very quickly through all the frivolity and got towards the very visceral truth. This was very dramatic and very entertaining in a Raymond Reddington kind of way, but it wasn’t quite enough plot to carry through a single issue, especially with the digression in the morgue. This is shaping up to be one heck of a collection, though.
“Solo” #1 wasn’t bad at all, with a lot of work done to establish the character and make the teleporting mercenary a real person behind the guns. What happens in front of the guns, however, could be much more interesting. The action comedy sequences lean too heavily on comedy, but there is a seed of something here.
The “Meh” Pile Not good enough to praise, not bad enough to insult, they just kind of happened …
“Punisher” #6, “Earth 2 Society” #17, “Fix” #6, “Unbelievable Gwenpool” #7, “Hal Jordan And The Green Lantern Corps” #6, “Uncanny Avengers” #15, “Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior” #12, “Flash” #8, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” #63, “Thunderbolts” #6, “Lost Boys” #1, “Britannia” #2, “New Super-Man” #4, “Fuse” #22, “Scooby Apocalypse” #6, “Hard Case Crime Peepland” #1, “Suicide Squad” #4, “Warlords Of Appalachia” #1, “Supergirl” #2, “Letter 44” #28, “Superwoman” #3, “Jupiter’s Legacy Volume 2” #4, “Unfollow” #12, “Sex” #32, “Clone Conspiracy” #1, “James Bond Hammerhead” #1, “Daredevil” #12, “Action Comics” #965, “Shield” #3, “Great Lakes Avengers” #1, “All-Star Batman” #3, “Reborn” #1, “Moon Knight” #7, “Detective Comics” #942, “Black-Eyed Kids” #7, “Old Man Logan” #12, “Doom Patrol” #2.
No, just … no … These comics? Not so much …
Cool. Nothing was terrible!
SO, HOW BAD WAS IT?
That wasn’t so bad …
WINNERS AND LOSERS
With that ginormous number of jumps, this week could easily be described as legendary. What a time to be alive!
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!
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