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 AUGUST 10, 2016
There is a moment here where two robots kneel down to pray. It is, in fact, one of the heaviest and most complex moments in comics this year, easily. It serves, without any spoilers, as the emotional spine on which this quiet, suspenseful issue rests, as the titular Avenger and his wholly synthetic family struggle with the loss of one of their own, each in drastically different ways. There are no punches here, no grandiose set pieces or kinetic action sequences. Regardless, this creative team (writer Tom King with the able support and teamwork of Gabriel Hernandez Walta, Jordie Bellaire and Clayton Cowles) sets this pot to simmer, and the delicacy that results is remarkable. This issue encapsulates cybernetic grief, and for such audacity and inventiveness alone it is worth noting, but to do so in such an effective way? Astonishing.
All-Star Batman #1
Jump from the Read Pile.
From a brilliant set up to the wonderfully plotted setting to Two-Face and Batman squaring off in an intellectual gamble, almost every element of this wonderful, outstanding issue is off the freaking chain. Fulfilling the promise of big company comics, this accomplishes from conception (nuanced, complex) to execution (a single story is told here, while providing a perfect set up for future ones). When you read the credits, it all starts to add up -- these aren't tyro talents but all-stars themselves, firing on every cylinder: Scott Snyder, John Romita Jr., Danny Miki, Dean White, Steve Wands ... titans of industry all. This issue twists tropes you may have seen in "Running Man" and other "run the gauntlet"style stories, and gives them a deeper, psycho-thriller resonance. Dazzling work.
WHAT'S THE PROGNOSIS?
Not to get all Keanu with it, but, "whoa."