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 AUGUST 5, 2015
Omega Men #3
Jump from the Read Pile.
There is a word for what happened in this issue. "Elegant." The plot, the dialogue, the artwork ... it's like the Alvin Ailey Company performing on tour, from the grid structure of panels to the twists and turns of the narrative. As with many spaceborne tales, there is a princess, but this one ... she's literally full of surprises, she would make Padme and Leia slow clap with appreciation. To say much more would spoil the engaging work of Tom King, Barnaby Bagenda, Romulo Fajardo Jr. and Pat Brousseau but there is a great story contained in these pages that likewise works well in the flow of the continuing issues. A very nice surprise.
WHAT'S THE PROGNOSIS?
Clever and cheap? Hard to beat! Allons-y!
THIS WEEK'S READ PILE
Honorable Mentions: Stuff worth noting, even if it's not good enough to buy
"Kaptara" #4 centers around a ridiculous flashback riddled with cliche and convenience that is still funny in a "Johnny Bravo" kind of way. If hamfisted humor works for you, this rough hewn art might be to your liking as it achieves a sum beyond its parts.
Depicting a literal brother vs. brother scenario, "Transformers" #44 reveals that the vain Autobot Tracks is the older sibling of the slightly less vain Decepticon Needlenose, and that frayed relationship serves as a microcosm of the challenge on Cybertron -- a disenfranchised population under the heel of an oppressive regime with a history of abuses of power. Sound familiar? The real world allegories are subtle enough to not go all New Caprica on you, but the drifting plot didn't allow the well conceived ideas to have sufficient execution. Great art, good ideas, close but no energon cube.
"John Flood" #1 is part Adrian Monk and part "Bedlam" as a failed government experiment takes on crime fighting and hiring a new straight man for his gags. Not bad as procedurals go, but not great either.
"Fuse" #13 was a decent science fiction police procedural, heavy on the Dick Wolf influence and light on characterization for almost every person on panel. An annual celebration unique to this culture brings out all the tensions and eccentricities of the place as bodies start stacking up. A good jumping on point that can't pass the Bechdel test but is still decent entertainment.
The "Meh" Pile Not good enough to praise, not bad enough to insult, not important enough to say much more than the title
"Bunker" #13, "Groot" #3, "Wicked + The Divine" #13, "Civil War" #2, "Long Distance" #3, "Ultimate End" #4, "Dream Police" #7, "Green Lantern" #43, "Future Imperfect" #4, "This Damned Band" #1, "Sex" #23, "Bat-Mite" #3, "Guardians Of Knowhere" #2, "Looking For Group" #5, "Angel And Faith Season 10" #17, "Mad Max Fury Road Mad Max" #2, "Guardians Team-Up" #9, "Bloodshot Reborn" #5, "Spire" #2, "Infinity Gauntlet" #3, "Jupiter's Circle" #5, "Amazing Spider-Man Renew Your Vows" #3, "Imperium" #7, "Shadow Volume 2" #1, "Ms Marvel" #17, "Age Of Reptiles Ancient Egyptians" #3, "Darth Vader" #8, "Midnighter" #3, "Red Skull" #2, "Star Trek" #48, "Detective Comics" #43, "Outcast By Kirkman And Azaceta" #11, "Siege" #2, "Batman Beyond" #3, "Red Sonja Conan" #1, "Age Of Apocalypse" #2, "Barb Wire" #2, "Giant-Size Little Marvel AvX" #3, "Deadly Class" #15, "Spider-Island" #2, "Insufferable" #4, "Lobo" #9, "Bucky Barnes The Winter Soldier" #10.
No, just ... no ... These comics? Not so much ...
It's hard to tell if the creators are trolling or having some kind of legitimate breakdown, but "Airboy" #3 was just as loopy, embarrassing and hard to read as the previous issue that got everybody angry, just not picking on a specific group. What the hell is happening here?
SO, HOW BAD WAS IT?
"Airboy" notwithstanding, it was kind of a grind but not terrible.
WINNERS AND LOSERS
A single jump overcomes even the navel gazing lunacy, so we'll call this week a winner by a very thin margin.
Forgot to mention that the writer of this column was a guest on the Fanboy Comics podcast. discussing tons of fun pop culture shenanigans. That and all other appearances in media can be found on the media page at this columnist's website.
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 and "Soulfire Sourcebook" #1, the official guide to the 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!