Bradbury & Batman Win Big


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 ...


Batman And Robin Annual #3

(DC Comics)

Jump from the Read Pile.

If you don't know, believe it is certain: Damian Wayne is the best Robin ever. In a truly charming, enjoyable issue, the Son of the Bat jumpstarts a teleporter he got from a locked safe, rode a motorcycle onto the Justice League satellite and ends up punching things on the moon. Batman -- bemused and proud -- stoically guides the wonderful little tornado of violence and moxie towards heroism, towards wonder, towards being better. The anonymous threat is actually fitting because it doesn't distract from the virtually flawless dynamic between the caped crusaders. Peter Tomasi's command of this relationship elevates this potentially ridiculous story into a Jack Bauer-esque tale of "what will they do next?" The artwork from Juan Jose Ryp, Jordi Tarragona, Juan Albaran and Sonia Oback is dynamic and gripping, expressing emotions and action with equal zest. A really enjoyable, fun comic book.

Shadow Show #5

(IDW Publishing)

Jump from the Read Pile.

Wow. If you're reading this comic, take the whole thing in. It's a true piece of literature, an actual self-contained piece of culture with significance and heft that will stick with you. This simply, simply wonderful book might get your attention because of Chris Evenhuis, who stands in the same zip code as Jamie McKelvie and knows how to frame a moment with such poignancy that it's almost like every high school endorphin is rushing through your body all over again. However, what really, really does it is the script from Sam Weller and Mort Castle, which turns the delicate nature of friendship and the endless vistas of teenaged possibility over in its hand like a fragile crystal. This is plain remarkable, a reminder of the power and the grace that the milieu is capable of. Wow.


A very refreshing, enjoyable batch of purchases.


Honorable Mentions: Stuff worth noting, even if it's not good enough to buy

"Kanan The Last Padawan" #1 was a solid but uncompelling prequel for the current animated series that had its titular character as a framing device and despite some effective Jedi moments, it fell short of the mark because of its somewhat derivative nature from other works. As it explores new territory, perhaps this series will impress by doing something new.

The "Meh" Pile Not good enough to praise, not bad enough to insult, not important enough to say much more than the title

"X-Files Season 10" #22, "Arkham Manor Endgame" #1, "God Hates Astronauts" #7, "G.I. JOE" #7, "Batman Eternal" #52, "Tech Jacket" #9, "Palmiotti And Brady's The Big Con Job" #2, "Batman Superman Annual" #2, "Amazing Spider-Man" #17, "Robert Heinlein's Citizen Of The Galaxy" #2, "Avengers Ultron Forever" #1, "Batwoman Annual" #2, "Cyclops" #12, "Uncanny Season 2" #1, "Guardians Team-Up" #4, "Convergence" #0, "Iron Fist The Living Weapon" #11, "UFOlogy" #1, "Pathfinder Origins" #3, "Operation S.I.N." #4, "Earth 2 World's End" #26, "Punisher" #17, "Angel And Faith Season 10" #13, "Rocket Raccoon" #10, "Gotham Academy Endgame" #1, "Spider-Gwen" #3, "Battlestar Galactica Death Of Apollo" #5, "Uncanny Avengers" #3, "Harley Quinn" #16, "Galaxy Quest The Journey Continues" #3, "Uncanny Inhumans" #0, "New 52 Futures End" #48, "Doctor Who The Ninth Doctor" #1, "X-O Manowar" #35, "Sinestro Annual" #1, "Witcher Fox Children" "1, "Superman Wonder Woman" #1", "G.I. JOE A Real American Hero" #212, "Wonder Woman" #40, "Black Science" #13,

No, just ... no ... These comics? Not so much ...

Nothing that bad, that's great!

SO, HOW BAD WAS IT?Not much to complain about here.


Two jumps and nothing really that bad ... April Fool's or not, that's no joke!


Wondercon is this weekend, and this columnist will be appearing on two panels plus covering other panels for this website. If you see something cool and related, feel free to use the "#htwca2015" hash tag.

As of right now, you can spend ten bucks and get about 175,000 words worth of fiction from the writer of this column. The links that follow tell you where 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, or "Fathom Sourcebook" #1, the official guide to the flagship franchise for Aspen Comics. Too rich for your blood? Download the free PDF of "Cruel Summer: The Visual Mixtape." 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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