WHAT IS THE BUY PILE?
Every week Hannibal Tabu (winner of the 2012 Top Cow Talent Hunt/2018-2019 City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs Cultural Trailblazer/blogger/novelist/poet/jackass on Twitter/head honcho of Komplicated) takes on an between seven to thirteen reviews (or so) to share his opinions with you. Thursday afternoons you'll be able to get those thoughts (and they're just the opinions of one guy, so calm down) about all of that ... which goes something like this ...
THE BUY PILE FOR JUNE 5, 2019
Black Cat #1 (Marvel Comics)
Jump from the Read Pile. If you take the archetype of the antihero scoundrel femme fatale cat burglar, boil it down to the core essentials and toss in a soupcon of super powers, you'd likely get something like this refreshingly entertaining issue. It discards all the pathos and complications the character took on in recent years, sticking to what endures about the character. This Jed McKay script has no flaws, doing just enough with supporting characters to make them nuanced. The wildly kinetic, subtle and elegant artwork from Travel Foreman, Brian Reber and Ferran Delgado deliver on the goods. Then, just when you thought it was over, there's a simply delicious backup by McKay with art by Mike Dowling, Reber and Delgado that is a plain hoot. If you're looking for a good time doing naughty things, you won't have bad luck if you say, "Hi, Felicia!" RATING: BUY.
Green Lantern #8 (DC Comics)
Jump from the Read Pile. Wow. In a good, self-contained way, this issue is maybe the craziest doggone thing you'll see this year. After not hanging out for some time, Hal and Oliver Queen decide to spend an evening bonding by beating up poor people in alleys and trading quips, getting away from all the wild outer space stuff for some good old fashioned crime fighting. That doesn't go exactly the way they expected, with a character that hasn't been in continuity since 1958 (really) showing up to make a clutch guest appearance. If you don't know the work of Grant Morrison, you should, because when he nails an idea, it's a thing of wonder. The weird, stylized visuals from Liam Sharp, Steve Oliff and Tom Orzechowski make these silver aged ideas pop for the present day. This is a fun, refreshing surprise. RATING: BUY.
As far as brutal life lessons go, Red Sonja #5 has great quotables and solid parables to spare. As entertainment, watching a spitfire die by inches, losing and falling back, it's not as great. Build the side characters more, or make the threat more visceral and this might work. RATING: HONORABLE MENTION.
Leaning heavily into metaphor, Tony Stark Iron Man #12 takes place just before the magic heavy crossover that nobody is talking about, bringing a bombastic bad guy out of history's deepest cellars to threaten the titular hero. Tony drifts around plot wise and only sandwiches the issue with any effectiveness, but this issue has its amusements and charms. RATING: HONORABLE MENTION.
DCeased #2 had some rock solid character moments (camping, the last transmission) but no matter how good the execution, the core concept is shallow and didn't connect. RATING: MEH.
Do you think it'd be cool to have a pin-up queen turned secret agent Quantum Leap into the bodies and powers of other licensed characters to put together some big MacGuffin? If so, Bettie Page Unbound #1 is right up your alley with an anti-Lovecraft mission swinging through Hyperborea. There aren't any twists or surprises in a book that doesn't bring much other than cultish familiarity to the table. RATING: MEH.
Wow. Batman #72 is an entire issue told in a voiceover monologue, recapping recent issues and stories, all to tell you something that was revealed issues ago. How the mighty fall ... this overwrought example could have been a "meh" book if it had a hint of restraint. RATING: NO. JUST ... NO.
WHAT'S THE PROGNOSIS?
Two good, one bad, that's enough to call this week a winner, which helps after last week's bloodbath.
This Saturday, you can see this columnist signing the Ricanstruction benefit anthology in Pasadena from 1-3 PM.
Also check for an hour of mixing Thursday night from 1-2 AM on KQBH 101.5 FM, Community-Built Radio.
Have you checked out season four of the free web comic Project Wildfire: The Once and Future King? Every week catch a page of the story for the best possible price: "free." Only two weeks left in this season!
The writer of this column isn't just a jerk who spews his opinions -- he writes stuff too. A lot. Like what? You can get Scoundrel (historical fiction set in 1981 east Los Angeles), Irrational Numbers: Addition (a supernatural historical fiction saga with vampires), Project Wildfire: Enter Project Torrent (a collected superhero web comic), 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, a story in Watson and Holmes Volume 2 co-plotted by 2 Guns creator Steven Grant, two books from Stranger Comics -- Waso: Will To Power and the sequel Waso: Gathering Wind (the tale of a young man who had leadership thrust upon him after a tragedy), or Fathom Sourcebook #1, Soulfire Sourcebook #1, Executive Assistant Iris Sourcebook #1 and Aspen Universe Sourcebook, the official guides to those Aspen Comics franchises. 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 to try and review the work, 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!