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 MARCH 18, 2018
Transformers Lost Light #17 (IDW Publishing)
Spirit forbid, if this is your first issue (of this series, or of the IDW Transformers universe), well, it might be bad news, depending on how you look at it. Sitting on the precipice of a continuity-ending crossover, tying up loose ends that have frayed and flailed joyfully, literally, for years, every word and every panel in this issue is a thank you note to the readers who have come along for the ride. There are scenes involving Tailgate and Cyclonus, Ultra Magnus and his brother, and the most unexpected court case maybe ever presented in comics, all of which are (if you know what's going on) diaphanous. There are laughs and moments to put a lump in your throat, casting a wide net over billions of years of Cybertronic history, all while making every moment personal.
Writer James Roberts has done so many impossible things in this run, and he continues that undisputed reign with this amazing script. Add in the artwork from Jack Lawrence, Joana LaFuente and Tom B. Long, making 50 foot tall robots feel human in the best way, and you have an issue that could be good news if you're new. You could binge read from the beginning and likely get to the end by the time it's all said and done. RATING: BUY.
Action Comics #1000 is an anthology of short Superman stories, and it is quite a mixed bag. On one hand, there are some truly remarkable stories that illustrate the power and the glory possible with the character. The Tom King-written short gives some real emotional tug to the likes of the Grant Morrison futuristic look at Clark Kent. There's a breathtaking thriller from Brad Meltzer that is really something to see.
On the other hand, there are lots of pages of nostalgic navel gazing, more interested in a hero of the past than the Man of Tomorrow, all capped off with what could be a retcon that will inspire thought pieces and clickbait headlines. Is it worth the price of admission? If Superman is your end-all-be-all, yes, but for anyone else, this is too pricy given the inconsistent quality herein. RATING: HONORABLE MENTION.
Fence #5 isn't bad. It's gorgeous, and captures the fluidity and grace of fencing quite effectively. It's largest deficit is in pacing. It doesn't tell stories in each issue, it presents a scene study. Are they good scenes? Yes. a vignette ("something happens") could be considered a story, but only by the thinnest of margins. If you've ever binge read a web comic like Check, Please, you'll know the feeling of wanting to keep reading on. Stopping at the end of every thought is a disruptive way of doing so, and the periodical format does this series a disservice. Let's see what it's like when it's all a thing. RATING: HONORABLE MENTION.
Justice League #43 had some solid moments, action wise and personally, but had the same underlying flaw in its plot that made Superman: Peace on Earth so frustrating (which one member limply tried to circumvent) and skidded to an uneven halt as its storyline tried to stick the landing but stumbled. Ambitious, but the reach of this issue exceeded its grasp, and that's a little bit of a letdown. RATING: HONORABLE MENTION.
Daredevil #601 has a few truly entertaining moments, all of which are spoilers which is why you won't see posts of those panels. Suffice it to say that Matt Murdock is significantly better prepared to be the mayor of a city than Stephen Amell (language warning), and does okay in both of his identities. Unfortunately, there's not enough room to manage both the requisite ninja fight scene and the epic pwnage of Matt Murdock as the freaking Mayor of New York freaking City. Let's see if this series can pick up the pieces next time. RATING: HONORABLE MENTION.
Mister Miracle #8 is weird. There's no way you could characterize it as "bad," but it's so iconoclastic, it doesn't exactly fit into most definitions of "good" either. There is a war on Apokolips as New Genesis is invading. Okay. Scott Free is the "lorddeity" of New Genesis, co-leading its armies. Got it. He also has a newborn at home and is transitioning in a new nanny, none other than Funky Flashman. Well ... okay. Every other day, he switches between jobs -- relentless bloodshed and military oneupmanship and days cooing at an infant and cleaning poop.
The tennis ball structure bounces back and forth, and by the end of the book, you're not far from where you started. That's not bad, but it's again not really breathtaking. This is much more Omega Men than Vision, which may not be enough for some readers. RATING: HONORABLE MENTION.