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 JUNE 21, 2017
Odyssey Of The Amazons #6 (DC Comics)
Powerful women challenging each other for glory as they stand against giants and demons? That's worth reading about, as several Amazons a long way from home fight alongside a Norse valkyrie to stop the destruction of multiple worlds. The script from Kevin Grevioux will excite fans of classic Conan or Prince Valiant as it ratchets up the excitement and the artwork from Ryan Benjamin, Richard Friend, Don Ho, Tony Washington and Saida Temofonte makes the adventure live. Fun book, super engaging.
God Country #6 (Image Comics)
Perfect. This dazzling, roller coaster of a story comes to a tooth rattling conclusion that is, in a word, absolutely freaking perfect. A cranky old man with a magical sword travels across the universe to settle a score and what happens is quite literally the stuff of legends. The script from Donny Cates elevates the love of a man for his family to the stature of myth while the visuals from Geoff Shaw, Jason Wordie and John L. Hill show up in a major way. This was breathtaking in single issues and seems like it would reward even more collected. Wow. Just ... wow.
Daredevil #22 (Marvel Comics)
Jump from the Read Pile. Matt Murdock continues his quest to change the game in terms of law and order in the Marvel Universe and man, it's riveting. With all the nailbiting suspense of a John Grisham yarn and all the pugilism of, well, a superhero comic, Charles Soule's script is brilliant while delivering with the visuals of Goran Sudzuka, Matt Milla and Clayton Cowles. There are several wonderful, tense moments of legal wrangling as well as some well done scenes of actual wrangling, so this book balances its story and spectacle quite effectively.
WHAT'S THE PROGNOSIS?
Super interesting work this week making its way home.
THIS WEEK'S READ PILE
Honorable Mentions: Stuff worth noting, even if it's not good enough to buy
Spencer And Locke #3 was so close to making it as one of the protagonists struggled with childhood trauma. Unfortunately as a modified holodeck episode most of the character development was an awkward delusion. Still really good, but it showed the seams of the story.
There were a lot of great elements to America #4 -- some great ties to previous issues, the character making some hard realizations about her own behavior -- but the ending is a little muddy and leaves too many questions unanswered. Very close, but this one just couldn't seal the deal.
G.I. JOE #6 is, at its heart, fun. With some killer action scenes and great dialogue ("I'm contractually obligated to be there") and showed that, amazingly, Skywarp is the best G.I. Joe of all. Unfortunately, this issue had an ill-defined antagonist and an even more ill-defined chain of command, confusing things that could be more clear. This series is finding its balance of pacing, but it's not there yet.
Batman #25 was extremely close to making it home through its skillful framing device, good looking art and intensity. What it didn't do was tell the details of its story, instead talking about telling the details of its story, the prelude to a war between the Riddler and the Joker, each tired of the repetitive nature of their relationship with the titular character. A near miss with some very compelling elements.
Did you like Shaft from Dynamite? Luke Cage #2 is very close to it in thematic energy as the protagonist is led towards the truth by various parties as old business comes knocking. The best lines came from catalyst character Warhawk, who might remind some of Mouse from Devil in a Blue Dress. It wasn't quite as good as the first issue, but it was really damned good and hopefully picks up the pace next issue.
Nancy Drew And The Hardy Boys The Big Lie #4 is solid if somewhat routine crime story as the teenaged detectives continue to dive deeper into the small town criminal environment, going undercover to try to find out who murdered the boys' dad. It had good pacing but didn't distinguish itself like previous issues.
Crosswind #1 takes Freaky Friday in a whole other direction as a conflicted Chicago area assassin and a harried Seattle area housewife end up in each other's bodies. The characterization is top notch and the art is great, but this plot doesn't have enough meat on its bones to work. The characters fascinated so perhaps this will work better in retrospect.
Secret Empire Underground #1 was wholly ridiculous in a decent way, as Bobby Morse leads a very motley crew of former Avengers to the Savage Land to get a cosmic cube fragment they believe is held by Sauron. Hilarious dialogue, decent action scenes but an ultimately forgettable plot.
No, just ... no ... These comics? Not so much ...
Superman #25 was not good. From its inconclusive climax to its ridiculous ending, this issue made less sense than an afternoon watching a Michael Bay movie. Manchester Black deserves better, all around.
Shirtless Bear-Fighter #1 is bad. This book is scarily, amazingly bad. It goes so far into bad puns and overwrought cliches that it's like it's trying to be awful. It succeeds. This is terrible. Wow.
In this Secret Empire flavored issue of Captain America Steve Rogers #18, "Stevil" tries to fully embrace his newfound supervillain swagger by leveling threats and yelling at diplomatic delegates. Seriously, that's most of the plot, while Namor gazes at his navel. This relentless march of Nazi-esque supremacy gets a heck of a public road bump and on top of seeing many "heroes" engaged in fascism (and not the well-meaning Mark Gruenwald Squadron Supreme fascism, no, this is full on goose stepping here) very little actually happens in the pages of this comic book. As entertainment, this doesn't succeed. As a narrative this barely qualifies. As a whole, this disappoints wholeheartedly and it's time for all of this to stop.
SO, HOW BAD WAS IT?
Majors and minors really stunk up the place.
WINNERS AND LOSERS
Gotta call a tie game with three great purchases fighting Stevil, Superman and a naked guy fighting bears as the week's worst books.
Wanna check out the characters from the new book Irrational Numbers from Wunderman Comics, written by this columnist with art by Giancarlo Caracuzzo, Flavia Caracuzzo and Josephine Roberts? You should!
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!