The Buy Pile: Scoundrels in Space (or Double Your Doctors)

Doctor Who The Thirteenth Doctor #10

Every week Hannibal Tabu (winner of the 2012 Top Cow Talent Hunt/2018-2019 City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs Cultural Trailblazer/blogger/novelist/poet/jackass on Twitter/head honcho of Komplicated) takes on between seven to thirteen reviews (or so) to share his opinions with you. Thursday afternoons you'll be able to get those thoughts (and they're just the opinions of one guy, so calm down) about all of that ... which goes something like this ...


Doctor Who The Thirteenth Doctor #10 (Titan Comics)Jump from the Read Pile. The Corsair. In what could very much be the first time in-canon the storied scoundrel Time Lord has ever been seen, and she is an all-world hoot. The fam mostly chuckles in the background as the Doctor has a kind of Odd-Couple vibe with this amazing, engaging character who very clearly cons the lot of them within seconds. There is a fight scene here which is well worth deep study and instantly establishes the brand of shenanigans here. Best of all, this chapter is part of a longer narrative but stands well on its own. Great work is on display by Jody Houser, Roberta Ingranata, Tracy Bailey, Richard Starkings, Sarah Jacobs and John Roshell. RATING: BUY.

Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #34 (Marvel Comics)

Star Wars Doctor Aphra #34
When they go low, Star Wars Doctor Aphra #34 gets positively subterranean!

Jump from the Read Pile. The not-so-good doctor has hit rock bottom, out of places to run and with what feels like every blaster in the galaxy aimed at her. How she responds to this existential crisis is wonderfully on brand and even more entertaining as this new Simon Spurrier script slices a mean spirited swath of whimsy into your brain. The artwork of Wilton Santos, Cris Bolson, Andrea Broccardo, Marc Deering, Walden Wong, Chris O'Halloran, Stephane Paitreau, and Joe Caramagna take scenes that could have been saccharine and give them real bite. This is a super enjoyable guilty pleasure comic book. RATING: BUY.

If you can follow the convoluted conversation, Assassin Nation #5 has a pretty complex conclusion to its bloody attack on shedders of blood. It does take some intensive focus to follow, admittedly, but it ain't bad and likely will work much better in a collection. RATING: HONORABLE MENTION.

If you're a fan of the franchise, Firefly #8 had some world-shaking developments that you're likely to swoon about. If you're a more casual fan, the plot is a little too hectic despite a number of great character moments. RATING: HONORABLE MENTION.

The Immortal Hulk #21 wasn't bad, a well structured character piece that moved along one plot point. The problem? The title character is nowhere to be seen and the conclusion seems ill considered at best. RATING: HONORABLE MENTION.

The Orville #1 isn't quite as engaging as its televised counterpart, but that's a tough race to win. What it does have is well thought out science fiction concepts and some good character work (it will help if you know the show, which you should because it's super entertaining). This issue feels like it cut out at the halfway mark of the episode, which is a buzzkill, but what's here surely ain't bad. RATING: HONORABLE MENTION.

Fairlady #4 was again close to the mark with a self contained mystery to solve. Its resolution followed the law of conservation of characters well enough but seemed to troll the reader in a way that was frustrating despite being inevitable and surprising. Maybe too clever for its own good, this one would only invite rereading from masochists. RATING: HONORABLE MENTION.

Loki #1 is fun but it's all over the place, establishing Loki as an indifferent king of Jotunheim, a scoundrel at play and great with quips in every arena. The characterization is much stronger than the plot, which presents no greater enemy for Loki than himself. A fun first date, but it's easy to be on the fence about whether or not you wanna call back. RATING: HONORABLE MENTION.

Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #1 is madness. It works very hard to have a whimsical, bombastic tone and showcase some harsh but Johnny Knoxville-styled realities. Unfortunately, the plot is a drunken car ride filled with scraped guardrails, maimed pedestrians and demolished monuments (the last one is real). Great pacing, good but effective characterization, but that plotting is not together yet. RATING: MEH.

Collapser #1 was actually doing well depicting the horror of a mundane life rescued by the sweet slick feel of vinyl records. The work was framed by some weird space stuff that made things make much less sense. Swing and a miss. RATING: MEH.

Sweet spirit singing Age Of X-Man Omega #1 is bad. Most of the issue is people arguing with each other, but the ending (so derivative even people in the book call it out as unoriginal) had so many problems from a logistical and logical standpoint that it baffles. As conclusions go, this is a stumble and a fall. As crossovers go, this is embarrassingly bad. As comics, this just doesn't work. RATING: NO. JUST ... NO.

Not a dream! Not an imaginary story! Batman #75 happens in real, modern continuity and has one other issue: it's not a good idea. Bane runs Gotham -- the cops, the "Batman" (calm down, it's “Drunken Murder Zaddy" Batman), everything, and every hero better stay out or else. What's that, you say? After No Man's Land (TV version or cinematic) there would be measures put in place to stop this kind of anarchy? That does seem logical, but let's do like this plot and set aside logic. This issue strains credulity and takes Bruce Wayne in the opposite direction from Morrison's Bat-God into a Bat-Fool. Stop it. RATING: NO. JUST ... NO.


Two jumps barely beat two stinkers, so breathe a sigh of relief, fellow children.


Hitting SDCC? Check this columnist out alongside Fanbase Press for a talk on 1980s nostalgia in comics.

Have you checked out season four of the free web comic Project Wildfire: The Once and Future King? Best read it while you can for the best possible price: "free."

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 Scoundrel (historical fiction set in 1981 east Los Angeles), Irrational Numbers: Addition (a supernatural historical fiction saga with vampires), 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 to try and review the work, 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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