The Buy Pile: Swords and SHIELD



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 ...


Captain America Steve Rogers #11 (Marvel Comics)

Jump from the Read Pile. The most compelling work regarding Steve Rogers, the time when his commitment to his cause is more galvanizing and implacable than any time since the start of the first "Civil War" is when he's literally a Nazi. With a heavy bit of monologuing, better use of a flashback than the last two seasons of "Lost" and a subplot that was simply delicious, Nick Spencer's twisted tale of fascist ascension is scary. Yes, it's all a set up for a big crossover. Yes, it even acknowledges the likely temporary status quo for the titular character. Most high level criticisms of the underpinning concepts are lampshaded or addressed herein. Alongside Spencer, Jesus Saiz, Scott Hanna, Rachelle Rosenberg and Joe Caramagna really nailed it here.

"God Country" #2
Big ideas keep coming in "God Country" #2.

God Country #2 (Image Comics)

Jump from the Read Pile. A magic sword gives an old Texas man his memories back after Alzheimer's addled him. This leads to a pointed conversation with a war god and a few touching character moments that really worked well. Donny Cates, Geoff Shaw, Jason Wordie and John L. Hill present an intimate, wondrous magical realism story that has surprises and a good hook for an enjoyable read.

"Odyessy of the Amazons" #2
"Odyessy of the Amazons" #2: warriors and Vikings and trolls, oh my ...

Odyssey Of The Amazons #2 (DC Comics)

Jump from the Read Pile. This issue wasn't the masterpiece the first issue was, but there are some fun escalations as the Amazons team up with some local talent and have a great mix of elements from multiple pantheons. Writer Kevin Grevioux weaves a tightly plotted piece that doesn't have as much time for character development but makes up for it by raising the stakes. There's solid visual storytelling from Ryan Benjamin, Don Ho, Richard Friend, Tony Washington and Saida Temofonte.


Complex stories, intriguing ideas ... all good so far.


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

"Nightwing" #15 is a really well constructed issue that goes back into history to establish its socially challenging central conceit that's likely to be frowned upon by the Friends of Lulu. Great art, believable characters, solid dialogue, problematic underpinnings.

If you liked "Young Avengers," "U.S.Avengers" #3 will likely be right up your alley, specializing in sizzle more than steak as a future version of Captain America (who, presumably, is not a Nazi) joins Roberto DaCosta's strange team of mutants, pacifists and weirdos in fighting ... well, somebody who looks like the weird love child of Doctor Midas and the Red Skull. The stakes don't seem very high and the whimsy meter is cranked up above the 80th percentile, so if you're looking for some empty comics calories, this has them in stock for you.

The "Meh" Pile Not good enough to praise, not bad enough to insult, they just kind of happened ...

"Mycroft Holmes And The Apocalypse Handbook" #5, "Old Man Logan" #18, "Batwoman Rebirth" #1, "Ultimates 2" #4, "Spell On Wheels" #5, "Captain America Sam Wilson" #19, "Green Arrow" #17, "Silk" #17, "Horizon" #8, "Uncanny Inhumans" #19, "Green Lanterns" #17, "James Bond Hammerhead" #5, "Harley Quinn" #14, "Generation Zero" #7, "Spider-Man" #13, "He-Man Thundercats" #5, "Invincible" #133, "Justice League" #15, "Star Wars Poe Dameron" #11, "Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 11" #4, "Monsters Unleashed" #3, "Lucifer" #15, "Black Panther World Of Wakanda" #4, "Kill Or Be Killed" #6, "WWE" #2, "Aquaman" #17, "Sex Criminals" #16, "Gamora" #3, "Mother Panic" #3, "Angel Season 11" #2, "Uncanny X-Men" #18, "Super Sons" #1, "Clone Conspiracy" #5, "Walking Dead" #164, "Star-Lord" #3, "Superman" #17, "Uncanny Inhumans" #19, "Battlestar Galactica Gods And Monsters" #4, "Venom" #4"Trinity" #6, "Night's Dominion" #6, "Unfollow" #16, "Punisher" #9, "Dead Inside" #3, "Unbelievable Gwenpool" #12, "Wild Storm" #1, "Deadpool" #27, "Forever War" #1, "Daredevil" #17, "Star Trek Boldly Go" #5, "Invincible Iron Man" #4, "Cave Carson Has A Cybernetic Eye" #5, "Patsy Walker A.K.A. Hellcat" #15, "Doctor Who The Tenth Doctor Year Three" #2, "Mighty Thor" #16, "Batman" #17, "Doctor Strange" #17.

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

Nothing was terrible!


No stinkers helps out a lot.


It's an easy win with three jumps and nothing leaving a bad taste.


Right now there's the major web comic "Menthu: The Anger of Angels" and starting next week, "Project Wildfire: Street Justice," both written by this columnist. Best of all? Free of charge. Can't beat that.

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!

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