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 JULY 13, 2016
Many years ago, in an issue of "Stormwatch," a character named Fuji uttered the phrase, "unspeakably beautiful." He was using it sarcastically in reference to himself, but it could easily refer to this simply immaculate comic book, this artifact of wonder and impossibility that takes a very brief moment in time, intersperses it with narration that'd have the cast of "Pushing Daisies" nodding appreciatively, creating one of the most effective moments in recent comics. Writer Tom King is a monster, a talent so alarming in what he makes look effortless, and that is shown here again in shocking detail as he's taken a fairly plain jane superhero comic and turned it into a suspenseful masterpiece. The visuals from Gabriel Hernandez Walta, Jordie Bellaire and Clayton Cowles are pitch perfect, capturing emotional moments of regret, desperation, petulance and despair with crisp, digital accuracy. This is diaphanous. Wow.
Power Man And Iron Fist #6
In a virtually impossible feat, this issue managed to make sense of the current mega-crossover by doing what many good stories do: making it personal. The argument about a prophetic Inhuman called Ulysses takes a back seat to some home grown copycats using software to practice pre-emptive predictive policing. Sounds like it could go catastrophically wrong? Of course it does, and the nuanced, effective script from David Walker coaxes out every argument, every consideration, while not sacrificing a second of the humor and action that have made this title so effective, all the way down to the emotional last few pages. The effective artwork from Flaviano, John Rauch and Clayton Cowles delivers the story beats perfectly for another winning issue in an uninterrupted stream of them in this volume of the title.
Jump from the Read Pile.
Any time Spider-Man teams up with someone else, allowing them to be the straight man, it exponentially increases the chances of the book being good. Here, he's flown in from his international superheroics to help Daredevil swipe a briefcase from a band of angry Triad gangsters. The interplay between the heroes is outstanding, as writer Charles Soule deftly weaves a plot element throughout the issue to make an enormously satisfying conclusion while working within the limits of continuity to deliver great entertainment. The team massaging your eyeballs -- Goran Sudzuka, Matt Milla and (again) Clayton Cowles -- make sure you catch some outstanding moments (look for the boat) while not sacrificing a smidgen of visual storytelling. Simply great stuff that would have Charlie Cox salivating for a chance to film it.
Rocket Raccoon And Groot #7
Jump from the Read Pile.
This issue had some great laughs and was very close to the mark in a self-contained tale of grift and gratitude that cleverly worked its narrative thrust through an almost David Letterman-esque application of repetition with minimal variation. Simple, ridiculous entertainment that clearly satisfies, thanks to Nick Kocher, Michael Walsh, Cris Peter and Jeff Eckleberry.
WHAT'S THE PROGNOSIS?
Two jumps, two almost flawless purchases ... wow, that's encouraging!