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Shaft’s Big Finale

by  in CBR Exclusives Comment
Shaft’s Big Finale

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 MAY 20, 2015

Shaft #6

(Dynamite Entertainment)

Despite having the unfortunate racial realities of the 1970s on full display, this literary, Shakespearean tragedy comes to a thunderous conclusion. There’s violence and repercussions and some great character development on the titular character as he begins to evolve into the cold blooded Blaxploitation icon the world knows so well. When this is all collected together, it’s gonna be regarded as a masterpiece, thanks to David Walker, Bilquis Evely and Daniela Miwa.

WHAT’S THE PROGNOSIS?

An affordable week, if nothing else.

THIS WEEK’S READ PILE

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

“Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency” #1 is like an effective cover of one of your favorite songs. Its distracted, meandering take on the titular character is effective, and the idea of placing him in wholly new environs is a solid idea. However, without the signature framing of Douglas Adams’ precocious prose, there’s not much funny about this, barely a quotable moment and nothing spectacular to see.

“Star Wars” #5 was a surprise in that it, like this week’s art-challenged “Transformers” book, had a series of mildly interesting scenes depicting character interactions that showed some sign of promise. An awesome, poster-worthy Boba Fett sequence. The scoundrel and the princess. A Skywalker angrily raising a blue lightsaber over the sands of Tattooine. However, as a story this pastiche of scenes didn’t connect, with only the staggering talents of Cassaday and Martin to keep the aesthetics on track. Not bad, but a swing and a miss.

“Empire Uprising” #2 was very close to the mark due to the effectiveness of its underlying premise — the dangers that come after getting everything you’ve wished for. A teleporting, seemingly invincible super villain rules the world with the help of an army of super powered henchmen literally addicted to sharing his power. This one focused on possible flaws in his oppressive utopia from the top down, blowing up a decent part of Angola in the process. The last issue was a nailbiter while this one brooded a bit much, but the top notch team of Waid and Kitson again showed some promise. Let’s see where it goes next.

“Deadpool’s Secret Secret Wars” #1 had a number of literally laugh out loud moments as the flavor of the month danced between the panels of comics that came out during the Reagan administration. However, as a story it didn’t even do much to illuminate or distinguish the original moments that matter, let alone make any of its own. If you’re looking for some riffs on stuff that most people in bars weren’t even alive to see, this is for you, but it’s not giving much to the cheap seats.

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

“Master Of Kung Fu” #1, “Jem And The Holograms” #3, “Convergence Adventures Of Superman” #2, “Planet Hulk” #1, “Drones” #2, “Secret Wars Battleworld” #1, “Convergence” #7, “Groo Friends And Foes” #5, “Convergence Batman And The Outsiders” #2, “Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 10” #15, “Convergence Green Lantern Corps” #2, “Spider-Verse” #1, “Bloodshot Reborn” #2, “Convergence Hawkman” #2, “Ultimate End” #1, “Insufferable” #1, “Convergence Justice League America” #2, “Doctor Who The Eleventh Doctor” #12, “Convergence New Teen Titans” #2, “Adventures Of Aero-Girl” #1, “Convergence Superboy And The Legion Of Super-Heroes” #2, “Swords Of Sorrow Vampirella Jennifer Blood” #1, “Convergence Swamp Thing” #2, “Ninjak” #3, “Uncanny X-Men” #34, “Convergence Wonder Woman” #2, “Shaper” #3, “Mad Max Fury Road Nux And Immortal Joe” #1, “Battlestar Galactica Six” #5, “Fade Out” #6, “Transformers” #41, “Spawn” #252, “Oh Killstrike” #1, “Tithe” #2, “Legenderry Vampirella” #4, “A-Force” #1, “Archie Vs Predator” #2, “Avengers World” #21, “Kaijumax” #2, “Daredevil” #15.1, “Jungle Girl Season 3” #2, “Deathlok” #8, “EI8HT” #4, “Guardians Of The Galaxy” #27, “Solitary” #3, “Loki Agent Of Asgard” #14.

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

The Superman from Earth-9 (Tangent) was fascinating if uncharacteristically un-aggro in “Convergence The Flash” #2. A Tuvok-minded departure from his world-ruling past made the first half of this issue engaging and interesting, asking many questions that made sense and showing why he’s such a dangerous competitor. The ending sucks any relevance and importance from those strides, however, leaving a lackluster issue in your hands when all is told. Uncool to have the rug yanked out from under you.

SO, HOW BAD WAS IT?

Man, that “Convergence” thing just keeps dragging on, huh?

WINNERS AND LOSERS

One mildly bad book and one literary triumph end up with a week that has a thin margin but can still be claimed as a victory for budgetary reasons even with all the uphill climbing the crossovers required.

THE BUSINESS

On Tuesday, you can catch the world premiere of the trailer for the new animated series “T.A.S.K.” from Zak Farmer, Damion Gonzales, Sean Isaakse & a talented team of animators. Better go sign up at Facebook for all the latest info.

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!

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