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 JANUARY 9, 2019
Domino #10 (Marvel Comics)
Jump from the Read Pile. Domino has a dilemma: save the extradimensional probability-based fighter Longshot or save the world. She goes a long way to address this choice alongside a super-strong Texan mutant, a snake-themed former terrorist and a Wakandan exile with a bear fetish. Summing up everything you need to know, this Gail Simone script twists and turns and banks and pulls your emotions along, deftly balancing the antiheroic characterization and the driving plot with fantastic, vibrant visuals from David Baldeon, Michael Shelfer, Alberto Albequerque, Anthony Piper, Victor Olizaba, Ed Tadeo, Carlos Lopez and Clayton Cowles. RATING: BUY.
Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #40 (Marvel Comics)
[caption id="attachment_1497392" align="aligncenter" width="1200"]
Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #40? Maybe not "nuts to that" but ...[/caption]
This issue is a big, big surprise ... in a bad way. Normally, each issue has several serious laughs, a fascinating twist and some kind of shenanigans worth talking about. This issue is ... just okay. It throws a rhetorically improved spin on an argument that dates back to before Secret Invasion and has a lot of standing around by its normally engaging supporting cast. After dozens of outstanding issues, it's almost inevitable, one would suppose. Even Fables and More Than Meets The Eye had issues that weren't legends. It's not bad, by any stretch of the imagination, but this is junior varsity stuff after watching NBA Championship-level ball for years. RATING: ... BUY?
Justice League #15 had a couple of interesting new ideas and a big scope of action, but wasted its chance to impress with the Trinity in a fragmentary subplot, relied on panels not in evidence to do character work for Hawkgirl and cut itself short in terms of an actual conclusion to what we have here. RATING: HONORABLE MENTION.
Outer Darkness #3 was very close to making it home with some very intriguing new ideas and a mixture of humor and innovative new ideas that make The Orville such a delight. The plot cut short a little sooner than it should have, but there were some good things happening. This collected work should be intriguing, but this was shy of making the mark from a periodical. RATING: HONORABLE MENTION.
Avengers #12 was a series of very entertaining moments -- like, really -- masquerading as a story. The idea that T'challa has taken on the responsibilities of SHIELD while abandoning their trappings of paperwork is very, very attractive as the Avengers slowly turn into a Wakandan institution. The cliche driven character drive-bys had some chuckles but didn't congeal into a coherent whole, as the whole issue is a trailer for other things happening. RATING: HONORABLE MENTION.
In Die #2, a group of childhood friends come back to a fantasy game that turned real decades later, haunted by everything they did and didn't do. The character work is stronger here as the spins on RPG tropes play out as development, and the moody, atmospheric art fits better than it did in a living room. It was a little slow, but this might be on its way to becoming a thing. RATING: HONORABLE MENTION:
Captain Marvel #1 had a lot of cute dialogue and character work showing Carol Danvers as a sort of Sex and the City styled protagonist who can happen to toss around a kraken. Unfortunately, its plot veered all over the road like a jam packed passenger van in Accra, what passed for an antagonist was limp and it looks like the last part of the issue cribbed an old Captain America plot line from a few years ago. Still not quite making "fetch" happen. RATING: HONORABLE MENTION.
Gunning For Hits #1 would work fantastically as the first half hour of a Starz or premium cable channel hit, with a Denis Leary-worthy voiceover and lots of inside baseball info about the music industry. From a pacing standpoint, it didn't have enough happen, but if you liked shows like Love Monkey or Action then you might pick this up. RATING: HONORABLE MENTION.