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The Buy Pile: From Mundane To Fantastic with Ms. Marvel & Astro City

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) 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 27, 2018

Modern Fantasy #1 (Dark Horse Comics)

Jump from the Read Pile. This is a very pleasant surprise as the trials and tribulations of the early twenties working set gets a swords and sorcery overlay. Sage of the Riverlands is a bored corporate drone (who happens to also be a level 12 ranger) in a land where orc families fight discrimination, an impenetrable castle floats mysteriously in the sky and a mooching former wizard sleeps on her couch. The engaging ingredients give the perfect amount of panel time to each character, developing them and letting them have their own arc while feeding the larger narrative. The cartoony art may not be for everyone, but the storytelling chops of the creative team (Rafer Roberts and Kristen Gudsnuk) can't be denied. RATING: BUY.

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Astro City #52 (Vertigo/DC Comics)

Astro City #52 takes one last dance into the starlight.

Who gets to say what counts as trauma? This issue digs deep into the metaphysics of consequences as the support group leader Mike tells all about his lost wife and some don't understand. This issue does some really fascinating things, to giving heroes a bit of follow through after the rubble and the punching to diving deep into how we address loss. Kurt Busiek again delivers a powerful script (there's two words that hang like a stormcloud at one point, and it's amazing) while Brent Anderson, John Roshell, Sarah Jacobs and Jimmy Betancourt make the pages picture perfect. We deserve comics as good as this. RATING: BUY.

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Ms. Marvel #31 (Marvel Comics)

Don't let the numbering on the cover confuse you with Ms. Marvel #31.

Jump from the Read Pile. This oversized issue was an engaging attempt at a slumber party that gets disrupted by an alien teleporting cat, a Squirrel Girl-worthy conflict, Arnim Zola and samosas. The creative talent on this crew was almost Wu-Tang sized -- G. Willow Wilson, Saladin Ahmed, Rainbow Rowell, Hasan Minhaj, Nico Leon, Gustavo Duarte, Bob Quinn, Elmo Bondoc, Ian Herring and Joe Caramagna -- and yet they all created an essentially coherent narrative (so kudos to editors Mark Basso and Sana Amanat for herding all those cats). Enjoyable, self-contained and effective, this issue hit all the right notes. RATING: BUY.

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