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 MARCH 23, 2016
There was nothing on the stands that was so impressive that it demanded a ride home. The only comics that intrigued were conflicts of interest — the weekly webcomic written by this columnist and that awesome Aspen Comics Humble Bundle. Sorry.
WHAT’S THE PROGNOSIS?
Urf, that’s a rough way to start an anniversary …
THIS WEEK’S READ PILE
Honorable Mentions: Stuff worth noting, even if it’s not good enough to buy
Make no mistake, “G.I. JOE Deviations” #1 is not a good comic book. It is, however, bad in the way “Snakes On A Plane” and “Soul Plane” are bad: in a manner that’s so hilarious and egregious that it’s within arms reach of being good again. Cobra Commander borrows some thematic pages from “All Hail Megatron” and finds out that running the world is a lot less interesting than taking it over. The specifics of the story might be cliche and a touch predictable, but there are a set of really solid laughs so it’s not all bad … just don’t let anyone catch you reading it.Â
“Cyborg” #9 was very close to making it work as the character, for the first time, showcased exactly why he belongs in a group as powerful as the Justice League. Working with the entire team and showcasing his complete skill set, as established by classic Wolfman Titans runs and even his appearances in animation, Cyborg is shown developing a fantastic plan … and then not finishing its execution. The issue just kind of stops. Given that there’s a new writer coming next issue, that’s strange.
“Snowfall” #2 is a rock solid installment of atmospheric science fiction that grabs you by the collar and runs fast and hard. it does a great job of the establishing both its leads, both protagonist and antagonist, but fails to conclude well and make the issue tie together. This is likely another one that will work when collected.
“Public Relations” #6 is confusing. It has some decent laughs and solid art, but a plodding plot that accomplishes little and a strange take on casual racism and sexism that’s either lampooning it or celebrating it. A comedy that treads water, it’d be TV good (i.e. you’d watch if you saw it flipping channels) but not quite good enough for three bucks.
“New Avengers” #8 was extremely close to making the mark, with Bobby DaCosta showing exactly why he’s the billionaire super hero to watch, Songbird changing the game, Hawkeye being just plain wonderful. The ending was a let down, though, and the overarching plot elements that created the arguable antagonist is like the plot of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” without the mitigating circumstances.Â
“Doctor Who The Tenth Doctor Year 2” #7 moved a little too fast for its own good as the titular Gallifreyan helped a wildly varied crew of time-dispossessed castawaysÂ struggling against an all-too-abstract antagonist. The piece felt rushed but had elements of greatness there.
“Grayson” #18 had great art, some super entertaining quips and a surprise appearance by one of the title character’s newest and kookiest friends. For all that, its core plot was muddy and its climax anticlimactic. Not bad, but not good enough.Â
“Angela Queen Of Hel” #6 is a comic book that knows its days are numbered and does not care, becoming strangely meta and wildly referential. Does that make for much of a story? Not really, no. Does it make for a spectacle, something you almost can’t look away from? Heck yeah. It’s surely something …Â
The “Meh” Pile Not good enough to praise, not bad enough to insult, not important enough to say much more than the title
“Wonder Woman” #50, “All-New Hawkeye” #5, “Stan Lee’s Chakra The Invincible” #9, “Wraithborn” #2, “Deathstroke” #16, “Contest Of Champions” #6, “X-O Manowar” #45, “We Are Robin” #10, “Ringside” #5, “Howling Commandos Of S.H.I.E.L.D.” #6, “Teen Titans” #18, “Doctor Who The Eleventh Doctor Year 2” #7, “Obi-Wan And Anakin” #3, “Superman Lois And Clark” #6, “Hyperion” #1, “Circuit Breaker” #1, “Suicide Squad Most Wanted Deadshot And Katana” #3, “Bill And Ted Go To Hell” #2, “Illuminati” #5, “Superzero” #4, “Venom Space Knight” #5, “Birthright” #15, “Patsy Walker A.K.A. Hellcat” #4, “Secret Six” #12, “Doctor Who The Fourth Doctor” #1, “Star Wars” #17, “Cry Havoc” #3, “Justice League 3001” #10, “Totally Awesome Hulk” #4, “Bloodshot Reborn Annual 2016” #1, “Harley Quinn” #26, “Ultimates” #5, “God Is Dead” #48, “Batman And Robin Eternal” #25, “Uncanny X-Men” #5.
No, just … no … These comics? Not so much …
“Batman” #50 is a messy, ridiculous roller coaster of a reset button for the Dark Knight Detective, now back and more effective than he’s ever been. His battle with the oddball villain Mister Bloom is part motivational speech and part boot to the face, and there’s no denying it had its amusing elements. However, given the revelations in “Batman and Robin Forever,” the part with Duke Thomas seems repetitive and facile, Jim Gordon a failed experiment and the whole thing an exercise in mindless destruction. Not terrible, but we can do better than this.
“All-New All-Different Avengers” #7 starts out pretty interestingly, with a compelling character moment for the current Thor and Captain America. It starts to go sideways when the Avengers Unity Squad (Uncanny Avengers to you) show up, and then takes a turn for the “that’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard in my life” territory at its end. Maria Hill has some explaining to do for this ill-conceived, atrocious plot.
SO, HOW BAD WAS IT?
WINNERS AND LOSERS
Two stinkers and zero purchases? That’s … that’s terrible.
This column began publishing, independently, on March 5, 2003. This column began it’s run at Comic Book Resources on March 9, 2006. Moving through another year of the column, enormous gratitude is due to Jonah Weiland and the amazing staff he’s built, creating one of the best websites on the internet. Let’s keep the party going.
You noted above that the writer of this column has a weekly webcomic he does with Quinn McGowan, right? It’s pretty good …
The team at Aspen Comics put together one heck of a Humble Bundle of “pay what you want” comics. Great stuff.
Finally you can see this column’s writer on two panels at Wondercon this weekend. Whew!
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 “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 and “Executive Assistant Iris Sourcebook” #1, the official guides to those Aspen Comics franchises. 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!
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