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 FEBRUARY 25, 2015
Darth Vader #2
Jump from the Read Pile.
Many in the Empire would like to view Vader as their own Rodney Dangerfield, giving him no respect despite the fact that he's a walking weapon of mass destruction. With menace and seemingly effortless will, Vader slices through objections and obstacles like the crimson lightsaber at his side (a simile noted in the issue). With the well-considered use of a familiar face (plus some favorite set pieces), Kieron Gillen's script gives Vader three rock solid Vader moments ("Have faith" "I have" and "Hmm, droids") that are less quippy than the main title but still engaging. Plus, solid art from Salvador Larocca and Edgar Delgado make this an engaging treat, no matter how your saber swings.
Jump from the Read Pile.
Everything is going great for Matt Murdock. Fantastic girlfriend, big money book deal, fresh city that enjoys his presence ... so he freaks out, of course, and threatens to ruin it. When a clever murderer kidnaps his girlfriend, it's almost a relief. This could have been a "women in refrigerators" comic, but Mark Waid is far too smart to let you stew in cliche that way, and the visual storytelling from Chris Samnee and Matthew Wilson delivers on every level. A clever, savvy done-in-one that the Netflix team would be smart to read.
WHAT'S THE PROGNOSIS?
"Make Mine Marvel" indeed, with two solid books from the Mouse House of Ideas.
THIS WEEK'S READ PILE
Honorable Mentions: Stuff worth noting, even if it's not good enough to buy
"Princeless The Pirate Princess" #2 was very, very close to the mark. The lead character meets a very credible equal and struggle over issues of responsibility and reputation, trash talking every moment along the way. The artwork is superlative and if the story had more than two basic scenes and a more conclusive ending, it could have gotten it done.
"Criminal Special Edition" #1 is a gritty, bloody one shot that follows the patriarch of the Lawless family (their name and their inclination) through one portion of his lengthy career in crime. A jailhouse stint, a murder contract, several bodies stacking up, illicit drugs ... just an average June and played straight with a fun twist added of a "Watchmen"-esque insertion of an old sword-and-sorcery styled pulp comic woven into the larger narrative. Very close to the mark, and for fans of noir, this is a "can't miss" comic book.
The "Meh" Pile Not good enough to praise, not bad enough to insult, not important enough to say much more than the title
"Men Of Wrath By Jason Aaron" #5, "Uncanny Avengers" #2, "Earth 2 World's End" #21, "Spider-Man And The X-Men" #3, "Rasputin" #5, "Star Trek" #42, "Inhuman" #12, "Wicked + The Divine" #8, "He-Man The Eternity War" #3, "Tomb Raider" #13, "Spider-Man 2099" #9, "Grimm Fairy Tales Presents Little Mermaid" #1, "Deathstroke" #5, "Transformers Drift Empire Of Stone" #4, "All-New X-Men" #38, "Justice League Dark" #39, "Sex" #20, "Evil Empire" #11, "New Avengers" #30, "Sinestro" #10, "Fantastic Four" #643, "Turok Dinosaur Hunter" #12, "Batman" #39, "Secret Avengers" #13, "Fight Like A Girl" #4, "Amazing X-Men" #17, "Star-Spangled War Stories Featuring G.I. Zombie" #7, "They're Not Like Us" #3, "Spider-Gwen" #1, "Cyber Force" #11, "G.I. JOE Snake Eyes Agent Of Cobra" #2, "Flash" #39, "S.H.I.E.L.D." #3, "Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes" #4, "Superior Iron Man" #5, "Batman Eternal" #47, "Amazing Spider-Man" #15, "Galaxy Quest The Journey Continues" #2, "New 52 Futures End" #43, "Captain Midnight" #20, "Catwoman" #39, "All-New Invaders" #15, "Plume Volume 2" #3, "Suiciders" #1, "Orphan Black" #1, "Deadpool" #42, "Gotham Academy" #5, "Life After" #7, "Thief Of Thieves" #26, "Aquaman" #39, "Chew" #46, "Thor Annual" #1.
No, just ... no ... These comics? Not so much ...
"Danger Club" #7 is less a comic book and more a showcase in vagueness. It's a shame that Eric Jones and Michael "Rusty" Drake turned in such effective artwork, because the script from Landry Q. Walker is almost gibberish. No.
"George Perez's Sirens" #3 got way too meta for its own good, taking the characters' opportunity to have motivations and reasons and just making them props for the narrative. Shame, because Perez art is always worth seeing, but it got disturbingly "Dark Tower."
As messy as "Danger Club" was, it's Shakespeare compared to "ODY-C" #3, which compounds obtuse, overwrought prose with muddy, vexing artwork. This comic's a catastrophe of pretentious faux literary essays and tedium. Guh.
SO, HOW BAD WAS IT?
A fist fight with a baby and three incomprehensible books. That's not a good thing ...
WINNERS AND LOSERS
Even two jumps can't beat four bad books, so this week has to be called a losing one.
As of right now, you can spend ten bucks and get about 175,000 words worth of fiction from the writer of this column. The links that follow tell you where you can get "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, or "Fathom Sourcebook" #1, the official guide to the flagship franchise for Aspen Comics. Too rich for your blood? Download the free PDF of "Cruel Summer: The Visual Mixtape." 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!