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Sidekicks and Spacemen

by  in CBR Exclusives Comment
Sidekicks and Spacemen


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 …


Silver Surfer #9

(Marvel Comics)

Jump From The Read Pile

This issue has perhaps the greatest Silver Surfer scene ever done. It’s literally awe inspiring, and Mike Allred and Dan Slott (with Laura Allred on colors) bring it like Fed Ex, a moment so big and so intense that it could shake the sky. The balance of action to plot and character development is solid as the Doctor and his compa … uh, as the Surfer and Dawn Greenwood struggle over the nature of their relationship while the world comes crashing down. Fun stuff.

Stray #1

(Action Lab Entertainment)

Jump From The Read Pile

Just barely crossing the line, this largely set-up related issue shined with some stunning action sequences (kudos to Sean Izaakse and Ross Campbell there) and a decent set of tropes remixed into a new shape. Imagine Nightwing goes to seed, Batman gets the Comedian window treatment and everyone’s left looking at the broken remains. Promising work here, and while it might not have made it in a more competitive week, here we are.


All this, plus new issues of “Project: Wildfire” and “The Supernals Experiment” that can’t be reviewed due to conflicts of interest? Pretty good start.


Honorable Mentions: Stuff worth noting, even if it’s not good enough to buy
“Lazarus” #15 was an interestingly staged fight scene playing at politics, with the real moves happening in the periphery. The plot needed a little more meat on its bones, and the largely silent fight between champions would have benefitted from a little more narration, but it was solid work nonetheless.

“Ms. Marvel” #12 is cute, a clever means of wielding the teenaged God of Mischief with the titular character, using the concepts of truth and trickery to savvy effect. It was all a little too precious and pat of an ending, but the effort is appreciated, and for fans of books like “Young Avengers,” this is solid, young-minded superhero fiction.

“Letter 44” #14 was another case of character over plot, as we get a deep understanding of a friendship between two military men, literally trusting each other with their lives. It stalled the overall story and might have been better, structurally, woven into the overall story, but it wasn’t bad per se.

“IXth Generation” #2 is a fascinating web of deep-grass Top Cow continuity, with so many Easter eggs and links to previous stories that it’d almost take a director’s commentary to track them all. However, the characters surrounding the arguable protagonist either seem to simply orbit her or follow the tune of others, lacking agency. The plot doesn’t do anything wrong, but doesn’t stand up and demand notice either.

“Fables” #149 had hints of its former greatness as a huge tapestry of storytelling from years ago comes back to tie together deftly. However, with even a self-proclaimed note of exposition, its pacing lacked effectiveness. When we all sit down with the omnibus some years from now, this will fit well but fly by without much mention.

“Loki Agent Of Asgard” #11 comes very close to the mark as Lokis old and new address friends and family with results one likes and one does not. The emotional grist here is very savvy, but just when it feels like some kind of conclusion was coming, it drives you to spend money on next month’s issue. Good for business, less so for readers, but still engaging for all of that.

“B**** Planet” #3 is a rock-solid character study, focusing on a culture even more visually and culturally oppressive than our own, desperate to grind a Rubenesque woman into their own ideas about identity and worth. A greatly empowering piece of work that lacked enough plot to make it work.

“All-New Captain America” #4 was heavy on jingoism and empty emotion without having a plot that wasn’t predictable. Great art that seemed like one long sequence of punches, but the script tried a bit too hard to give Falcap something to fight for.

“Ivar Timewalker” #2 had a half decent Doctor/companion riff going with a ton of exposition and a fairly ridiculous problem popping up out of nowhere, but it did so with one of time travel’s most tedious tropes and thinner characterization than the debut issue. Let’s see if it’s back to form next month.

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

“Multiversity Mastermen” #1, “Batgirl” #39, “Valiant” #3, “Trinity Of Sin” #5, “Invincible” #117, “Nova” #27, “Earth 2 World’s End” #20, “Fight Like A Girl” #3, “New 52 Futures End” #42, “She-Hulk” #12, “Captain America And The Mighty Avengers” #5, “Batwoman” #39, “Rocket Salvage” #3, “Silk” #1, “Wonder Woman” #39, “Storm” #8, “Deathlok” #5, “Batman Superman” #19, “Iron Fist The Living Weapon” #9, “Supergirl” #39, “Unity” #15, “Batman Eternal” #46, “God Is Dead” #29, “Red Hood And The Outlaws” #39, “Avengers World” #17, “Batman And Robin” #39, “Reyn” #2, “Justice League” #39, “Black Widow” #15, “Superman Wonder Woman” #16, “Legendary Star-Lord” #9,

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

Re: “Green Lantern New Guardians” #39. Remember how awesome and cool it was when the Sentry lost his sh** and went nuts and tried to kill everybody? What’s that? That was super cliched and tedious and you never wanted to see it again? Oh … oh, you’re not gonna like this issue at ALL, since this is at least the second time this franchise has copied Marvel storylines. Oh, well.

If you were thinking your comics didn’t have enough multi-partner adult recreational acts, “Savage Dragon” #202 has you covered in some detail. The story’s just the basic punching and yelling, but … it got very real in some ways that are just barely safe for work.


A little rough, but not too onerous …


Fun week of super entertaining comics!


So much happening. First of all, if you like “who’d win” discussions and have some time in LA Friday afternoon, you can check out Versus at Cal State Los Angeles, where things are handled in a mock trial format. This precursor to an even bigger battle royale at May’s EagleCon 2015 keeps fights between your favorite heroes where they belong — in ridiculous, funny conversations, not in books you’re expected to pay for.

Saturday night join Stranger Comics for Untamed Soul a juncture between comics and music featuring DJ Al Jackson and the beginnings of the new Kickstarter for “The Untamed” hardcover edition.

In case you missed it, the writer of this column was part of a roundtable of Black comic book writers on an internet radio show yesterday.

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, the official guide to the flagship franchise for Aspen Comics. 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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