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The Buy Pile: Happy Halloween With Charlie's Angels

Heroes In Crisis #2 wasn't the astounding accomplishment of its predecessor, but it still has some very strong character moments that engage. The plot conceit ... it's a little hard to believe, with an almost Deadpool level of plot contrivance, but the high production values continue to provide an experience. RATING: HONORABLE MENTION.

Star Wars Adventures Tales From Vader's Castle #5 was a sanitized scare, casting the Sith in shadow and obscuring his horrible might as two characters who wouldn't make it through a cut scene in most video games pulled off something seemingly impossible. Like a single Skittle, this issue didn't give you enough to satisfy. RATING: MEH.

X-Men Black Emma Frost #1 goes to the X-Men, hat in hand, and proceeds to become completely predictable in a quest to somehow justify the title going to the most alabaster person on Earth 616 this side of Tandy Bowen. There's a neat trick with a door, a nice bit of misdirection and some cute uses of telepathy, but this didn't quite do enough to distinguish Emma's work from any other time she's been a professional horrible person. RATING: HONORABLE MENTION.

Tony Stark Iron Man #5 starts to develop a new challenge for the titular futurist, and it might be more than he can handle. Arno Stark -- the true heir and first born of the Stark legacy, is bored and passionate about using his hacked biochemistry and genius IQ to change the world. This issue, which only mentions Tony Stark in passing, feels like watching storm clouds gather on the horizon. Slow, but not bad per se. RATING: MEH.

Green Lantern Huckleberry Hound Special #1 tried to have the resonance of Hard Traveling Heroes but instead had the impotence of Superman: Peace on Earth, casting John Stewart's elder brother in the role of a hashtag before social media and charging hm with understanding restraint. This tried valiantly for the nuance of soul music but was tone deaf, instead shuffling an awkward polka towards irrelevance. Also, coincidentally, Huckleberry Hound was totally wasted here, playing a role of zero significance that didn't even follow the continuity of his star turn in that recent Snagglepuss mini. RATING: NO. JUST ... NO.

WHAT'S THE PROGNOSIS?

One good, one bad, the comics giveth and the comics taketh away, so let's call it a wash with everything in between.

THE BUSINESS

This morning the indie creative studio The Operative Network released the latest edition of The Briefing, their newsletter. This time, there's all kinds of exclusive goodies therein, so, take a look or maybe subscribe?

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!

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