Rucka and Lark's Guide to Spies and Formalwear


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 ...


Lazarus #12

(Image Comics)

Jump from the Read Pile.

This is more like it. When every family comes together to meet, there are a score of living weapons on hand and they're the least dangerous things around. This issue deftly explores the politics and personal intrigues of this series' world while offering a kind of classy, sci-fi sheen. Engaging, especially to see the "Lazari" size each other up.


None too shabby.

The wonderful "Monomyth" #3 came out from OSSM Comics, but since the writer of this column has a financial conflict of interest, it can't get a real review, despite being recommended.


Honorable Mentions: Stuff worth noting, even if it's not good enough to buy

"Axis Hobgoblin" #1 was going really well with Roderick Kingsley as a new age guru of costumed identity franchising. Then some old business with the Goblin King popped up and it derailed the new ideas being presented with tedious old expressions of vengeance and ill-considered amnesia. Some great ideas, some solid moments but a flawed sum at the end of things.

"Memetic" #1 had some interesting ideas about how an information attack could cripple the world, echoing sentiments of the old Warren Ellis Forum from years past. However, the idiosyncratic characters got lost in the rush of plot needed to establish what was happening and the serviceable artwork did nothing to shock or engage. Another TV pilot-ready idea that may not fit the comic book stand.

"All-New Ghost Rider" #8 promises big but delivers small as Johnny Blaze faces off against a new skull-headed Spirit of Vengeance that has completely taken over the body of Robbie Reyes in order to enact its own bloodthirsty plans and ambitions. There are some hard to take character moments with Robbie's brother and the "Luther Strode"-esque action is a little hard to follow, leaving not much room for the solid character of Robbie to shine through.

"X-Force" #11 has a simply hilarious ending after going really sideways most of the issue. Bad news for everybody, and only entertaining at its conclusion.

"Transformers Robots In Disguise" #34 is a deep dive into Cybertronian history with one mechanoid who loved through most of it. The tainted legacy of the title Prime (which really casts the uber-villain Megatron in a different light) is examined and more questions are raised than answers as secrets were hidden on earth while mankind was fresh put of the trees. The art's too muddily colored, the action is too sparse, but for fans, there's a wiki worth of must-know data here.

From one side, "Amazing Spider-Man" #8 had a very smart ending and a funny Spider-specific climax, but getting there was on the cliche side and the Spider-Girl back up was instantly forgettable.

The "Meh" Pile Not good enough to praise, not bad enough to insult, not important enough to say much more than the title

"Arkham Manor" #1, "Letter 44" #11, "Batman Eternal" #29, "All-New Invaders" #11 "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Ghostbusters" #1, "Avengers And X-Men Axis" #3, "Walking Dead" #133, "Cyclops" #6, "Star-Spangled War Stories Featuring G.I. Zombie" #3, "Elephantmen" #60, "All-New X-Factor" #15, "Deathstroke" #1, "Amazing X-Men" #12, "Father's Day" #1, "Earth 2 World's End" #3, "G.I. JOE" #2, "Red Lanterns" #35, "POP" #3, "Deadpool" #36, "Superman" #35, "Edward Scissorhands" #1, "Wicked + The Divine" #5, "Predator Fire And Stone" #1, "Flash" #35, "Dungeons And Dragons Legends Of Baldur's Gate" #1, "Five Ghosts" #13, "Harley Quinn" #11, "Avengers" #37, "Death Of Wolverine The Logan Legacy" #2, "Terminator Enemy Of My Enemy" #6, "He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe" #18, "7th Sword" #5, "Infinity Man And The Forever People" #4, "Tomb Raider" #9, "New Warriors" #11, "Multiversity The Just" #1, "Justice Inc" #3, "New 52 Futures End" #25, "She-Hulk" #9, "Transformers Primacy" #3, "Justice League Dark" #35, "Delinquents" #3, "Aquaman" #35, "Starlight" #6, "Grimm Fairy Tales Presents Inferno Rings Of Hell" #3.

No, just ... no ... These comics? Not so much ...

There wasn't anything terrible this week! Cool!


Not hating anything is a good thing!


An inexpensive but ultimately acceptable week of comics makes it a thin win.


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. 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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