The Buy Pile: Gods, Monsters, Kings & Justice League Disassembled


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 ...


Justice League #38 (DC Comics)

Jump from the Read Pile. There's a lot of fascinating things here, bracketed by the Flash as a framing device for what's happening in, essentially, "Justice League Disassembled." A currently unseen antagonist answers the "who built the Batcave" question in the most lethal possible way. The discord within the world's protectors as they struggle with geographical separation and cliquishness in the light of this is credible and creative. This Christopher Priest script again really digs into who the characters are (especially a nice play on public perception and one often less regarded Leaguer) while the efficient, cinematic artwork of Marco Santucci, Alex Sollazzo and Willie Schubert created a great visual tableau for the tale.

Rise Of The Black Panther #2 (Marvel Comics)

The guest star in Rise Of The Black Panther #2 smells like fish sticks, yet this issue enthralls.

Jump from the Read Pile. An origin story, in this day and age, is a hard sell. This effective, concise Evan Narcisse script makes what was old brand new as his Black Panther: Year One approach makes the Wonder Woman-styled gladiator competition shtick have legitimate tension and still fits in an entire adventure for the new king with a team up to boot. Balancing that many plot elements is a feat for experienced creative teams, but with the visual work from Javier Pina, Stephane Paitreau and Joe Sabino, this reads as smoothly and effectively as the works of the masters. A Wakanda unrevealed stands on the precipice of change and here, for the first time since Hudlin's solo run, we get the Black Panther we deserve.

Transformers Lost Light #14 (IDW Publishing)

Grimlock is here to bring the mickey fickey ruckus in Transformers Lost Light #14.

If you don't know anything about this series, just stop. You're gonna need a lot of background information. There's TFWiki for this series and More Than Meets The Eye, and you're gonna need a while. Go on, swing back when you're done. Nah, it's cool, this review will hold. Sure, see you in a bit ... are they gone? Okay, great. You already know the Scavengers -- some of the biggest losers in the Decepticon line up (despite the amazingly named Spinister) and the apparently brain damaged Dinobot Grimlock (like, he makes his animated version look smart). Desperate for cash, they take a job that brings up all kinds of old business (like, deep continuity stuff, manna from heaven for longtime readers) and showcases fantastic character work while delivering a complete, personal story. The Barkbots are the weirdest thing here, and after much you've seen, they shouldn't shake you too badly. If James Roberts, Sara Pitre-Durocher, Brendan Cahill, Joana LaFuente and Tom B. Long have completely abandoned the concept of being transparent to new readers (are they back yet?) it gives them more time to create these sweeping tapestries filled with dozens of characters for the long time fan.

Wicked + The Divine 1923 #1 (Image Comics)

Do you dare step towards the lighthouse in Wicked + The Divine 1923 #1?

Jump from the Read Pile. This book is a must-have, not because of its excellence as a comic book (but there are some great comic book moments, to be certain), but due to the amazing prose sections littered with gorgeous language from Kieron Gillen and enthralling design from Clayton Cowles (who surely earned his keep this issue). Some examples: "The island looked like a threat, a fist of rock that had forced its way through the waves." "The champagne he sipped added to the sense that he was an academic dressed for an awards ceremony, his demeanor indicating it was an award he felt sure he would win but that was also beneath him." Between diaphanous language like that and entrancing dialogue dripping with tragedy, this is a big story about love and betrayal and longing and ambition told in a relatively small amount of space. This is a deep, engaging read and further explores how the "gods" really work, again showing Anankhe's timeless plotting. In a word: wow.

Deathstroke #28 (DC Comics)

In Deathstroke #28, the publicity friendly New Super-Man struggles to handle the titular assassin.

Once upon a time, Slade Wilson decided killing was bad and went to turn over a new leaf by training would-be young super heroes. It seemed like one of the best and brightest turned up dead and they all lost faith in Slade's tutelage, so what's left for an assassin who failed at redemption? This fractured, intentionally messy narrative shows the titular character outwitting another Superman (he's really more Ultra Boy, really) while bouncing from one horrible situation to the next, a morally dubious digital Jiminy Cricket yammering in his ear all along the way. Writer Christopher Priest started this series with the intention of making this "like the Sopranos with super villains" and it's working wonderfully, here with art from Diogenes Neves, Trevor Scott, Jeromy Cox and Deron Bennett.


Sweet Kwanzaa, five books in the Buy Pile? Wave a freaking flag, that's awesome!

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