The Buy Pile: Star Wars, Autobots and Squirrel Girl's Absolutely Nuts


Every week Hannibal Tabu (winner of the 2012 Top Cow Talent Hunt/blogger/novelist/poet/jackass on Twitter/head honcho of Komplicated) takes on an uneven baker's dozen 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, and here's some common definitions used in the column) about all of that ... which goes something like this ...


... and now for something completely different ...

The Buy Pile started at Comic Book Resources in March of 2006 and for more than a decade, 40-70 comics per week got read for reviews. That's exhausting. It's time for a change. Now you'll get between seven to thirteen comics reviewed per week, rated for your convenience. Like it? Hate it? Hit those Facebook comments on the side of the article and this week, we'll actually read them! Let's get started, shall we?

Star Wars: Thrawn #2 (Marvel Comics)

Jump from the Read Pile. While Stan Lee might balk at the per-balloon word count, this playful issue revels in the laser like focus of its fan favorite title character, who shows all of the enthusiasm of a toll booth operator at 3AM as he outplans and outthinks almost everyone around him with seeming effortlessness. His laissez faire attitude towards the behaviors of others -- think Pepe Le Pew chasing his #metoo minded would be victims -- is a huge part of this issue's charm as he makes a set of Xanatos Gambit moves that are elegant and engaging. Jody Houser's script is tighter than the seams between pyramid stones and the art from Luke Ross, Nolan Woodard and Clayton Cowles seals the deal. RATING: BUY.

Transformers Lost Light #16 (IDW Publishing)

What's happening in Transformers Lost Light #16 may blow your gaskets!

You aren't ready for this comic book. You're not. The very underpinnings of the Transformers universe are up for grabs, and it gets weird. If this is your first time reading this book, apologies are in order because it does not remotely care. If, however, you followed this storyline through More Than Meets The Eye, this issue is like hitting the lottery. An attempt to save the life of a beloved medic leads the challenged crew of mechanoids led by Rodimus into ... it's as hard to say as it is for the characters to accept, but the quotes come fast and furious and a reunion is like an earthquake ... if you've been along for the ride. As insular as this title is becoming, it's doing remarkable character work and not slowing down an iota. Respect due for James Roberts, Jack Lawrence, Joana LaFuente and Tom B. Long for this literary, nuanced, challenging and beautiful work. RATING: BUY.

Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #30 (Marvel Comics)

Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #30? That's nuts ... IN SPAAAAAAAACE!!!!

Wow. There's enough good stuff here for two issues, but wow. First of all, Squirrel Girl has seventy plus alien races wielding a slice of the Power Cosmic and determined to kill her, the Silver Surfer and her wildly well adjusted roommate. That's a story all by itself, and its resolution is freaking crazy. Once you get past that, there's another engrossing story about the difference between justice and revenge. To fit both of these stories in one book is a masterwork and writer Ryan North is remarkable for making it happen, but Erica Henderson, Rico Renzi and Travis Lanham make every panel (especially a bit with Nancy Whitehead near the end) shine. This Squirrel Girl reign just won't let up. RATING: BUY.

Postal: Laura #1 (Top Cow/Image Comics)

In Postal: Laura #1, you won't see the title character much but her presence is everywhere.

Jump from the Read Pile. A wonderful, self-contained coda to all the madness this series has created, the pivotal character Mark leans in with vigor and the new sheriff Maggie shows strength of character at a point where many couldn't, all under the looming metaphorical presence of the title character. Writer Bryan Edward Hill balances threat and promise with equal measures and the visual presentation from Isaac Goodhart, K. Michael Russell and Troy Peteri is equal parts potboiler and high quality cable drama. Effective, gripping storytelling is on display here. RATING: BUY.

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