Have you ever opened your calendar and it was just thing after thing, but all you wanna do is sleep and that big project isn't done? Make that science-y AF and toss in some Marvel universe stuff and you've got Unstoppable Wasp #2. This issue came very close to making the mark with great action scenes and thoughtful characterization, it never resolved the core question it raised. Lots to like, but it missed making it home by a hair. RATING: HONORABLE MENTION.
Jook Joint #2 had a lot of really great character moments and developed its underlying plot very well, but its ending was super abrupt and inconclusive. Lots to like, but this wasn't quite well balanced enough. RATING: HONORABLE MENTION.
Daredevil #611 has a fight scene that is equal parts spectacular and ridiculous but a plot has very little going for it. RATING: HONORABLE MENTION.
Robots Vs Princesses #3 did an interesting exposition dump that made everything suddenly make sense, and that's quite an amazing feat. The stakes are still vague and predictable, and the antagonist thinly defined, but this had some good stuff happening. RATING:HONORABLE MENTION.
Domino #8 had some cute character moments and a lot of great artwork while delivering a top notch Morbius the Living Vampire performance. The vagueness of the voices at the other end of the phone sapped some of the momentum from this and the world-ending threat wasn't such a big deal, though. RATING: HONORABLE MENTION.
Bitter Root #1 has a character called Berg that almost leaps off the page, a runaway charismatic figure that shines in every panel he graces. The underlying conceit has some flavor to it, the artwork is enjoyable, but a lot of the characters don't do enough to distinguish themselves. RATING: HONORABLE MENTION.
Fantastic Four #3 had a few very enjoyable moments of emotional honesty that connected. The plot itself, however, strained credulity as the team faced down the equivalent of a very uncreative god. RATING: HONORABLE MENTION.
Terrible Elisabeth Dumn Against The Devils In Suits #1 showed some promise with great action scenes and a concept similar to the show Reaper but didn’t connect most of its characters nor make its core threat tangible enough. RATING: HONORABLE MENTION.
Star Wars Darth Vader #23 tells the messy, bloody story of the construction of Vader's castle on Mustafar. Vader's single minded focus on one thing is both his most endearing quality and his biggest blind spot. The plot is a little slower than it needs to be for the eyerolling ending but the art is good and there are a couple of nice, tense moments. RATING: HONORABLE MENTION.
Mister Miracle #12 proves that this series is more like the uneven Omega Men and less like the literally perfect Vision as almost nothing happens. Like, for an entire issue. Sure, Kanto gets punched, which is all well and good, but the rest of the issue is like watching segments of The Waking Life. Vexing and inconclusive. RATING: MEH.
For all its rhetoric and nuance, Captain America #5 dives back into cliche and familiarity while dodging the actual fights that are here. Taskmaster? That much time for Taskmaster? Ugh. RATING: NO. JUST ... NO.
Transformers Unicron #6 is a huge, splashy, needlessly busy mess that actually only focused on about six of its dozens of characters (the G.I. Joe team, for example, where completely irrelevant), had a visually neutral hug at its climax and established a status quo that's less an end to this storyline than just a stop. RATING: NO. JUST ... NO.
WHAT'S THE PROGNOSIS?
Two actually bad books, but man, that Aphra book gets more fun the more you read it. Let's call it a tie.
The writer of this column just completed the latest season of the weekly web superhero comic Project Wildfire: Street Justice -- you can read it all for free for just a little while longer. 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!