WHAT IS THE BUY PILE?
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 ...
THE BUY PILE FOR JANUARY 25, 2017
Deathstroke #11 (DC Comics)
The idea is that mothers in Chicago hired the titular assassin to kill the gang members responsible for the disturbingly high number of innocents killed via gun violence. The twist to the story reveals the cynical, wonderful core of the character and along the way raises important questions that often don't get discussed. The credits for this issue read like an all-star list of comics legends. Christopher J. Priest. Denys Cowan. Bill Sienkiewicz. with Jeremy Cox on colors and Willie Schubert on letters, they answer the questions "Chi-raq" lost in its sophistry. Challenging, engaging work.
Dante #1 (Top Cow/Image Comics)
Jump from the Read Pile. The premise is very strong here -- a hitman trying to retire gets betrayed by his employers, accidentally killing the grandson of a witch as he escaped. Now he has a body full of magical tattoos and a mission to fix the lives he destroyed so he can get his wife and son back. With thick but effective voiceovers, writer Matt Hawkins takes the reader into seamy spots they'd never go on their own and presents problems that need more than bullets to fix. The moody, noirish art from Darick Robertson, Diego Rodriguez and Simon Bowland handle the action scenes as well as the intimate ones. A promising start for an idea that has some miles on it but can still show you something new.
Odyssey Of The Amazons #1 (DC Comics)
Jump from the Read Pile. Big adventure thrown across a global scale, this Themisciran prequel leaves it all on the field. Hippolyta tasks a crack team of Amazons to find their multi ethnic sisters around the world, engaging in military campaigns to protect the innocent along the way. As diverse as the crew is, so are their opinions, some questioning the mission and being gone so long from home. Writer Kevin Grevioux delivers with stalwart general Hessia and her battalion of immortal warrior women, while drawing on the cultures and traditions of almost every continent. The art from Ryan Benjamin, Richard Friend, Tony Washington, Tony Avina and Saida Temofonte draws you in and shakes you up with great battle sequences and effective character moments. A well balanced tale, this is a great expansion of our ideas of Amazon culture.
WHAT'S THE PROGNOSIS?
Three titanic tales about people who end lives. Not a bad way to start the week.
THIS WEEK'S READ PILE
Honorable Mentions: Stuff worth noting, even if it's not good enough to buy
"Ladycastle" #1 has great art and a fantastic premise -- all the king's men perished and now the women rule -- but barely enough time to develop the huge cast of characters, from the blacksmith turned king to the princess denied knighthood by age to a "Princeless" styled princess freed from a "Tangled" styled tower. A little more focus on who and why these ladies are who they are and we'd really have something.
The "Meh" Pile Not good enough to praise, not bad enough to insult, they just kind of happened ..."G.I. JOE A Real American Hero" #236, "Spider-Man Deadpool" #1.MU, "Wonder Woman" #15, "Tomb Raider II" #12, "Deadpool" #25, "Hal Jordan And The Green Lantern Corps" #13, "Optimus Prime" #3, "Star Wars" #27, "D4VEocracy" #1, "Solo" #4, "Loose Ends" #1, "Doctor Strange" #16, "Bloodshot U.S.A." #4, "Spell On Wheels" #4, "Prowler" #4, "Micronauts" #9, "Infamous Iron Man" #4, "Wonder Woman '77 Meets The Bionic Woman" #2, "Skybourne" #3, "Thunderbolts" #9, "Letter 44" #29, "Kamandi Challenge" #1, "G.I. JOE" #2, "Inhumans Vs X-Men" #3, "Justice League Vs Suicide Squad" #6, "Thanos" #3, "Serenity No Power In The 'Verse" #4, "Avengers" #1.MU, "Hellblazer" #6, "Divinity III Stalinverse" #2, "Totally Awesome Hulk" #15, "Future Quest" #9, "Uber Invasion" #2, "Hulk" #2, "Star Trek Green Lantern Volume 2 Stranger Worlds" #2, "Pathfinder Worldscape" #4, "Punisher" #8, "Frostbite" #5, "Saga" #42, "Ghost Rider" #3, "Flash" #15, "Tarzan On The Planet Of The Apes" #5, "Extraordinary X-Men" #18, "Doom Patrol" #4, "Surgeon X" #5, "Moon Girl And Devil Dinosaur" #15, "Detective Comics" #949, "Assassin's Creed Templars" #9, "Spider-Woman" #15, "Blue Beetle" #5, "Daredevil" #16, "Jem And The Holograms" #23, "Batman Beyond" #4, "Civil War II The Oath" #1, "Reborn" #4, "Batgirl" #7, "Captain America Steve Rogers" #10, "Savage" #3, "Action Comics" #972, "Black Panther" #10, "Micronauts Annual 2017."
No, just ... no ... These comics? Not so much ...Hh, nothing here ... cool ...
SO, HOW BAD WAS IT?
There was nothing openly terrible, so that's a plus.
WINNERS AND LOSERS
Two jumps plus no stinkers means a week worth lauding. Yay!
Did you miss this columnist at the Black Comix Arts Festival? No worries, you can check out the "Menthu: The Anger of Angels" on line for free, you can buy 44 pages of story for three bucks (through Black History Month) with "Project Wildfire: Enter Project Torrent and ask yourself with a collaboration with actor Damion Poitier. More about all that in the monthly newsletter.
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 "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 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!