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The Buy Pile: Crime and Comic Books

Criminal #3

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 MARCH 20, 2019

Criminal #3 (Image Comics)

Jump from the Read Pile. Just tangentially brushing against the Lawless family that have centered this series, this issue depicts the life of a an embittered, drunken comics vet ground down and spit out by the industry, honored for his body of work as the sun sets on him, still working to survive like Dick Dale. The arc of this largely self-contained issue is ruthless and efficient, and every panel moves the plot even when it seems subtle. This Ed Brubaker script is enthralling and the visuals from Sean Phillips and Jacob Phillips really made an impression, patiently and deliberately drawing the reader in until the poignant last page. This is a great surprise. RATING: BUY.

Batman #67 is, from one angle, a wickedly mean metaphor of a tale, positing cultural shorthand as a lens through which to examine a twisted, ugly relationship. From another angle, this issue long chase sequence could be called all sizzle and no steak, revealing nothing new about that relationship through its running and punching and property damage. It depends on where you're standing, and that interpretive element is intriguing, but possibly infuriating. Your call. RATING: HONORABLE MENTION.

RELATED: Batman's Road Runner Issue May Be the Key to Surviving His Knightmares

James Bond 007 #5 has a fun reboot of a popular old character from the Sean Connery days and a new spin on an old antagonist, which is refreshing in a way, but the lead character is just a bullet fired by MI6, a cipher of obscure motivations and rationales. Looked darned good, though. RATING: HONORABLE MENTION.

Dungeons And Dragons A Darkened Wish #1 was an intriguing start, showing a party of adventurers coming together and struggling in a clearly fifth edition world (if you're well read, you might see the mending cantrip, maybe dimension door, maybe even thunderwave). The cast is too big for more than one or two to get enough character development to make the last page significant. This is still an interesting and gorgeous looking start, let's see how it develops. RATING: HONORABLE MENTION.

Grumble #5 had a lot of interesting elements as a family is forced on the run from political persecution of the supernatural persuasion, becoming grifters along the way. The emotional beats are solid but the antagonist is far too vague to connect the dots. Interesting, but missing some key elements that would make it work. RATING: HONORABLE MENTION.

Wild Storm #21 has so many fun ideas and dialogue and so little actual story. Oh, people talk sbout doing things and have monologues that would make Raymond Reddington smirk, but little actually happened and that's a shame. Another one for the trade. RATING: HONORABLE MENTION.

James Bond 007 #5 has a fun reboot of a popular old character from the Sean Connery days and a new spin on an old antagonist, which is refreshing in a way, but the lead character is just a bullet fired by MI6, a cipher of obscure motivations and rationales. Looked darned good, though. RATING: HONORABLE MENTION.

Lazarus Risen #1 has a murderously good back up prose story, a nail biting work of tension and suspense that's good to the last syllable. The main story is solid, cementing the partnership between two sisters and working a nearly unworkable situation. Unfortunately, instead of being a complete work, the lead story reaches too far, leaving an unsatisfying cliffhanger and a half-developed subplot. High caliber work that doesn’t fit in a periodical format, especially not for eight bucks. RATING: HONORABLE MENTION.

Double Jumpers Full Circle Jerks #4 had a really clever plot element based on the way RPGs work, but the rest of it moved too fast and gave the reader too little context. RATING: HONORABLE MENTION.

Miles Morales Spider-Man #4 was very close to making the mark with a succinct and smile-worthy homage to a John Hughes classic that, unfortunately, didn't have much time to expand on its romantic lead (who is an emcee) or its sidekick (who ... saw Braveheart or something). The humor was solid and the art is super engaging, very closely riffing off of the cinematic approach, but its fidelity lost something in translation. RATING: HONORABLE MENTION.

NEXT PAGE: Captain Marvel, Naomi, Immortal Hulk and Avengers Fail To Make The Cut!

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