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

Star Wars Lando Double Or Nothing #2 is another treasure trove of quotes (some of which are much more bombastic than the character we've seen on screen) and L3 is as frustrated and sarcastic as ever, but as far as plotting it gets started but kind of stops mid thought, which makes for a frustrating read. Not bad, but a step down from the stellar debut. RATING: HONORABLE MENTION.

Detective Comics #983 is a solid but crowded issue bringing a new rogue into the gallery and runs several plots at once. The busy nature of this is its issue, from a jaunt to Metropolis to a visit from a Justice Leaguer, is its challenge in that it can't truly develop any of these interesting moments. Intriguing, intelligent but not quite finding its footing yet. RATING: HONORABLE MENTION.

Star Wars Doctor Aphra #21 had some pacing challenges as she engineered another jailbreak (for herself this time) with a crafty bit of manipulation as two of her former lovers close in with wildly different motivations. Fun but uneven, this had some elements of greatness but just couldn't get it together. RATING: HONORABLE MENTION.

Robotech #10 is interesting because it intentionally veers away from the standard Macross tale many grew up with (one guy's dead that lived, another lived that should have died, another turns up way earlier, Zentraedi have intergender mingling) but stays close to the key story points (infiltrators, interrogation, Max vs. Miriya). Is this the scenic route or are we really headed somewhere new? The characters are only clear if you already know them, as the script has precious little time to delve into their motivations before rushing to the next required "save point." Not bad, but not really committing to the old (which wouldn't be worth retelling" or the new (which would break all the rules). RATING: HONORABLE MENTION.

Wakanda Forever Amazing Spider-Man #1 wasn't bad as Okoye leads a trio of Wakandan warrior women in pursuit of a renegade member of their ranks now known as Malice. The plot was a little uneven and the three leads seemed essentially interchangeable but the spirit of the work was strong, Spider-Man was very engaging and the threat was effective. It's very possible this could pick it up with the next issue, so let's see what happens and for now ... RATING: HONORABLE MENTION.

Hal Jordan And The Green Lantern Corps #47 stalled an interstellar war to have a pointless exercise in wills against Hector Hammond that didn't benefit the plot or develop character. A series of things that happen is not the same as a story. RATING: MEH.

Saga #53 had some shocking character developments but just seemed to shock you for the sake of shock. Nothing's wrong here, but if you've read this series at all, you've seen it before. RATING: MEH.

Harbinger Wars 2 #2 made Peter Stanchek out to be a grandiose challenge who ended up having so little panel time he was barely even a guest star. This pinball plot bounced from development to development but doesn't give you much with its large cast of characters to grasp emotionally. RATING: MEH.

Black Panther #2 remains razor thin on characterization as it casts a futuristic inheritor of the "mantle of T'challa" as a Poe Dameron analogue and throws so much action at you that it's supposed to make you ignore the weaknesses in the underlying concept of "a king who sought to be a hero, a hero who was reduced to a slave, a slave who advanced into legend." Gorgeously rendered and emotionally blank, this is. RATING: NO. JUST ... NO.

Flash #49 is bad. Combining the scarily dangerous powers the title character already has with the same kind of heroic nonsense that cracked open the Source Wall in the Metal crossover, this issue introduces a whole new set of anti-scientific frippery dressed in a lab coat. Add to that using the entire Justice League and United States Military for an extended Worf effect gag and this one's a stinker. RATING: NO. JUST ... NO.

WHAT'S THE PROGNOSIS?

Despite the space and speed based shenanigans, things went pretty well this week.

THE BUSINESS

The writer of this column writes a weekly web superhero comic -- Project Wildfire: Street Justice -- free every week. Can't beat "free."

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 Scoundrel (historical fiction set in 1981 east Los Angeles), Irrational Numbers: Addition (a supernatural historical fiction saga with vampires), 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 to try and review the work, 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!

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