The Buy Pile: Charlie's Angels, Squirrel Girl & Crowded

Crowded #2


Every week Hannibal Tabu (winner of the 2012 Top Cow Talent Hunt/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 ...


Crowded #2 (Image Comics)

Jump from the Read Pile. Once again this little comic that could comes on strong, brilliantly wedging in a exposition dump as an artifact of toxic masculinity, having some great action scenes and a plot that never lets up on the accelerator. It's hard to keep mysterious characters interesting, but the chemistry between this reluctant bodyguard and the target of a million dollar crowdfunded assassination campaign is perfect, not to mention the banter around them. There are so many delightful layers to this Christopher Sebela script that just work, depicting a near future that's scarily close enough to touch. The stylized, slick visuals from Ro Stein, Ted Brandt, Triona Farrell and Cardinal Rae bring this bullet-riddled future Los Angeles to life like the benediction of neon lights. RATING: BUY.

Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #36 (Marvel Comics)

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #36
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #36? It's completely nuts!

Unless you're Larry Hama, writing an issue based largely on being quiet can be daunting for a creative team, unable to rely on half the tools normally available in comics. The creative team of Ryan North, Derek Charm, Madeline McGrane, Travis Lanham and Rico Renzi essentially said, "hold our beers" and delivered a relentlessly entertaining, superbly crafted work. The little details are wonderful throughlines -- the library gag, the story of the punk rocker, the shirts -- as Marvel's mightiest fail because they lack the title character's insights and approaches, often guided by her enormously clever roommate. Three re-reads in and the laughs still work, the cleverness still shines through. How in the heck has this book gone on this long while staying this good? Let's hope whatever the answer is, it remains true. Also? For now and forever, let's remember Tony Stark's new sobriquet: the quartermaster of quips.RATING: BUY.

Charlie's Angels #4 (Dynamite Entertainment)

Charlie's Angels #4
Warning! There is no actual roller derby action in Charlie's Angels #4! Still good, though!

Jump from the Read Pile. The combination of 1970s-era intelligence gathering and situational adaptability gives this the feel of competence porn as the titular agents work to put the brakes on a plot to assassinate the president, Jimmy Carter. John Layman's script is very, very clever, and the visuals from Joe Eisma, Celeste Woods and Taylor Esposito may not be very period specific, but they excellently manage the action packed, super engaging material. Previous issues lacked the ability to balance the action versus the plot, but here, all the pieces click together perfectly. RATING: BUY.

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