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 12, 2017
Power Man And Iron Fist #15 (Marvel Comics)
The last issue of this series is something of a let down as the final resolution to the story had little to do with the actual efforts of the titular characters and more to do with the community around them, friends and foes, drawn in by their experiences. Senor Magico, Black Mariah and the rest struggle with a magical battle after Luke Cage repeatedly says he hates that, and Danny Rand brings no magical martial arts to the table. Great dialogue, outstanding character work and decent, if not stellar, plotting.
Green Valley #7 (Image Comics)
Jump from the Read Pile. There’s a nice plot twist in this issue that is wonderfully inevitable. To speak too much about it would be to ruin it, but the Knights of Keldonia try to get their groove back and the scoundrel antagonist reveals more about himself (a Chumbawumba fan?) in an issue that’s very effective. Writer Max Landis truly connected on this one as the dazzling visuals from Guiseppe Camuncoli, Cliff Rathburn, Jean-Francois Beaulieu and Pat Brosseau brought it home.
Unstoppable Wasp #4 (Marvel Comics)
If you don’t know that Nadia Pym is amazing, you’ll surely learn. Using much of what made Squirrel Girl successful — the ability for enormous amounts of violence but the inclination to befriend — Nadia Pym adds enormous intellectual capacity and a pan-ethnic female empowerment vibe that’s very engaging. Writer Jeremy Whitley nails the balance of whimsy and dedication that makes her entertaining on many levels, while the art team of Elsa Charretier, Megan M. Wilson and Joe Caramagna delivered on every visual level. Great twists, fun dialogue, this book is a winner.
Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #19 (Marvel Comics)
This issue, Doreen Green did something she’s never done before — she didn’t win outright. That’s not much of a spoiler, but the method through which the plot develops is very entertaining. Classic villain monologuing, hilarious action scenes and the margin gags that put this series on the map from the very clever team of Ryan North, Erica Henderson, Rico Renzi and Travis Lanham. This series is a reliable winner and this issue gives you everything you need.
WHAT’S THE PROGNOSIS?
An entertaining batch of books came home this week.
THIS WEEK’S READ PILE
Honorable Mentions: Stuff worth noting, even if it’s not good enough to buy
“Mosaic” #7 is far better at characterization than plot, Making Morris Sackett believable and interesting in his singleminded selfishness. Dancing between the raindrops of a tepid crossover that ended recently, however, forces this story into ill fitting clothes, and that limits the effectiveness of Sackett’s character arc.
“Spencer And Locke” #1 takes the simple fun of “Calvin and Hobbes” and gives it the noirish sheen of a procedural, echoing both Watterson’s style with the hallucinations intact into adulthood. If you like procedurals, it’s not bad, but the narrative conceit doesn’t shine brightly enough to win the day.
“Nancy Drew And The Hardy Boys The Big Lie” #2 was very close to making it home as the titular characters are further revealed, the details of their acquaintance exposed. The plot covered a lot less ground than the startling debut issue, but this book seems to be going somewhere.
“Silver Surfer” #10 was very close to making it home with one of the most endearing endings ever, but the build up wasn’t string enough to make it all connect.
The “Meh” Pile Not good enough to praise, not bad enough to insult, they just kind of happened …
“Rat Queens” #2, “Amazing Spider-Man Renew Your Vows” #6, “Titans” #10, “Dungeons And Dragons Frost Giant’s Fury” #2, “Spider-Man 2099” #22, “New Super-Man” #10, “Assassin’s Creed Reflections” #2, “Wicked + The Divine” #28, “Deadpool Vs The Punisher” #1, “Helena Crash” #2, “Gotham Academy Second Semester” #8, “Micronauts” #11, “Doctor Who The Twelfth Doctor Year Three” #1, “Captain America Sam Wilson” #21, “Batgirl And The Birds Of Prey” #9, “Godshaper” #1, “Supergirl” #8, “Ragnarok” #12, “Detective Comics” #954, “Think Tank Volume 5” #2, “Once And Future Queen” #2, “Amazing Spider-Man” #26, “Justice League Of America” #4, “Deadpool And The Mercs For Money” #10, “Rose” #1, “Grass Kings” #2, “Weapon X” #1, “Wonder Woman” #20, “Rom” #9, “Khaal” #4, “Action Comics” #977, “The Unbelievable Gwenpool” #14, “Planet Of The Apes Green Lantern” #3, “Star Trek Boldly Go” #7, “Rockstars” #5, “Old Man Logan” #21, “Flash” #20, “Black Panther and The Crew” #1, “Torchwood 2” #3, “Hal Jordan And The Green Lantern Corps” #18, “Star Wars Doctor Aphra” #6, “Circuit-Breaker” #5, “Red Hood And The Outlaws” #9, “Guardians Of The Galaxy” #19, “Copperhead” #12, “Doctor Strange And The Sorcerers Supreme” #7, “Vampirella” #2, “Kingpin” #3, “Drifter” #18, “Suicide Squad” #15, “Doctor Who The Eleventh Doctor Year Three” #4, “Motor Crush” #5.
No, just … no … These comics? Not so much …
Nothing truly bad this week? Sweet.
SO, HOW BAD WAS IT?
That clearly could have been worse …
WINNERS AND LOSERS
This week is a victory for comics fans, especially with Nine Twilights back this week, and that’s awesome.
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!