The new year starts off on a good note this week with comics that feature immortal spies, old friends who burned bridges, Chinese fisticism, noirish private detection, the redemption of a hero and the flat-out brilliance of "Dingo."
Are we in a seasonal depression? It's hard to tell, as Steve Rogers and Guy Gardner usher in an age of sadness that's still outshone by a Wakandan princess, The Advocate, two soldiers, a band of stories and two siblings.
In this week's comics, bad people do good things worth being grateful for with a secretary, a Marine, a goth, a lunatic, a hybrid and a phonomancer making the week worthwhile, even with the ghosts of comics past stinking up the place.
It's good times this week as literary espionage meets culture clashes, a web-novel comes to comics and bullet casings fly, while Amazonian princesses go too far, Alpha One can't find a dancing partner and much "meh" manifests in between.
This time out, a huge holiday week of comic book releases leads to good tidings to be thankful for, as Marvel avenges and dominates the purchases while big event comics slide by with barely a whisper of quality to be seen.
This week: Hank Pym, "Phonogram" and...wait, what? That can't be right. Seriously? Brother Power The Geek was good enough to buy? Check that again. Really? Wow. Well, okay, there's that, and, uh...some other stuff too.
The devil's in the details this week, with good dialogue making an appearance in even less-than-clearly-plotted comics, as both William Gravel and T'Challa make it work alongside a mouthy merc and all your favorite stories. Â
Another winning week has come and... well, it's still here. The Red Invasion's too good to resist, even stories have spies, Deadshot intimidates, Parker Robbins inspires and only Kal-El and Steve Rogers screw up at all.
It's quite a week for characterization with Norman Osborn, an FDA agent, Bruce Banner, toys and Luke Cage, even while the Kryptonians take a break, Hank Pym's more important than need be and Osborn's got a secret.
You won't need a dose of venom to enjoy this week's wonderfully winning batch of comics, with a flying monkey coming into his own, a combat magician pulling the trigger and much more, moving past extradimensional sidekicks.
Jericho Drumm reps his city! Parker Robbins makes big moves! Wade Wilson
makes pancakes! Could that be ... no, it's not a unicorn or a cheerleader who can
cook, it's an issue of "Planetary" joining a winner week.
The world's greatest detective is a mystery herself, Jack of Fables gets a snack, and a super-powered college grad has a blast. Meanwhile, things go better than expected with a good number of comics and some good times.
Five comics participate in a meritocracy to make it home with Jessica Drew's soul searching, John Raymond broadcasting, Richard Ryder taking control, Amadeus Cho figuring it out and best of all ... Dog Brother Number One!
Nothing but good times as Matt Murdock gets serious, Jimmy Woo and Michael Holt figure it out, Tony Stark breaks it down, there's no place like home for MODOK and Frau Totenkinder gets a makeover in a great week for comics.
Zack Overkill brings home the best performance of the bunch, but the week itself is a wash despite Tony Stark's email, barbarian bloodshed, wanderings from Wade Wilson and a little thing called "international heartbreak."
Four fascinating men -- Edward Nygma, Daken, Wade Wilson and Amadeus Cho -- show up in a major way while Green Lanterns look confused, Scott Summers revisits some old favorites and indy favorite "Rex Mundi" calls it quits.
Although Jack Frost, Bloodlust and Kal-L fail to accomplish a gosh darned thing, Martin Li and Matt Murdock manage to keep their cool while Scarlett and Toshiro Ono may just be too cool for their own good in a week that wins.
While Blackest Night and a gaggle of Ms. Marvels fail, the denizens of Fabletown bring the goods while Wade Wilson, Vril Dox and Ultimate Steve Rogers make being a jerk pay off in a week that wins by a margin that's razor thin.
That can be called a win, one limping in rather than striding proudly, as wonder takes residence along side horror and sadism, spies can be everywhere at once, the Ultimate Universe resembles a Laker game and more.
The week's a close call, but it squeaks by as a good thing, featuring the overwhelming glory of Fat Cobra, an Encyclopedia Mythologica and a star turn from Peter Parker, even during the time of the Blackest Night.
You'll look as perturbed as Mister Terrific here when you deal with this week's comics despite three jumps, the best comic on the stands coming out and an Alanis Morrisette reference that's worth its weight in gold.
Even if almost nobody shows up, you can win if you're among the last ones standing. This week "predigested Forrest Gump" and Vril Dox are smart enough to make their way home as "Wednesday Comics" befuddles, "War of Kings" rages on and more.
Ambition leads the day as people try some new things, from "Sex and the Marvel U" down to "Greek Street," with uncivil wars, spoiled romance, quests for revenge and plenty more in a winning week. This is The Buy Pile.
When you spend less than a Hamilton on new comics, it almost can't help to go well, especially with Skids and Mudflap-free Transformers goodness and the close of a lot of Bill Willingham brilliance, plus so much more.