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) grabs a whole lotta comics. These periodicals are quickly sorted (how) into two piles -- the "buy" pile (a small pile most weeks, comprised of planned purchases) and the "read" pile (often huge, often including comics that are really crappy but have some value to stay abreast of). Thursday afternoons you'll be able to get his thoughts (and they're just the opinions of one guy, so calm down, and here's some common definitions used in the column) about all of that ... which goes something like this ...
THE BUY PILE FOR DECEMBER 31, 2014
Jump from the Read Pile. Somebody's getting their ducks in a row, as Coulson, Fitz, Simmons and May all appear in a very, very fun and sneaky issue that brings all of the nine realms of Norse mythology crashing down to earth and only Phil Coulson (now severed from the "new" Nick Fury) and his "bus" team (or at least some of them, now that we know who Skye REALLY is) help Earth's Mightiest Heroes when punching isn't enough. Mark Waid's script is a wonderful bit of coordination and character development for the character made so beloved by Clark Gregg, borrowing the best elements of the TV show without any of the budgetary restrictions. Kudos as well for the art team of Carlos Pacheco, Mariano Taibo, Jason Paz and Dono Almara for making a lot of scenes that could have been messy turn out clear and effective and even fun.
WHAT'S THE PROGNOSIS?
Enjoyable and inexpensive -- what's not to like?
THIS WEEK'S READ PILE
Honorable Mentions: Stuff worth noting, even if it's not good enough to buy
"East Of West" #16 is kind of all over the place. The Endless Nation's show of force got short sheeted (and they don't like it), the Chinese analogue lies boringly in wait and the supposed American analogue has fire nipping at its heels. The Endless assault should have really been the centerpiece, with its mystery and machinery, as both framing elements of Horsemen seemed to stall, not forward the narrative. However -- and this is why this book got purchased -- even when this series is frustrating it fascinates, even when it goes astray the undiscovered territory has elements of interest. The deposed Texas governor is desperate, the horseman of death wants revenge, as does his warrior woman love and a reckoning remains on the horizon. This issue's another small step towards that end, and the antici (say it) pation is overwhelming. Not bad at all, but just unfocused.
"All New Miracleman Annual" #1 is creepy in many ways. In its first half, it takes all the trepidation and anxiety characters felt about Billy Batson, grinning like a maniac, and turns it into a British mod nightmare straight out of a 1960s teeny bopper magazine. Kid Miracleman is the threat everyone fears about extrahumans, dressed like that skeevy kid in the back of the coffee shop with bad poetry in his back pocket. Then the arguable hero makes a conscious decision to stay stuck in the kind of "biff pow" heroism that Adam West might find familiar, all with a weird meta shadow hanging over it, as though some horrible "Truman Show"-styled trick was being played on the characters and they had no idea. Unusual, awkward comics storytelling but strangely compelling, surely of interest to superhero fans closer to the art comic crowd.
The "Meh" Pile Not good enough to praise, not bad enough to insult, not important enough to say much more than the title
"Earth 2 Worlds End" #13, "X-O Manowar" #31, "Batman Eternal" #39, "Star Trek Planet Of The Apes" #1, "New 52 Futures End" #35.
No, just ... no ... These comics? Not so much ...
SO, HOW BAD WAS IT?
Not much to complain about here.
WINNERS AND LOSERS
Coulson lives and leads off a slow week that gets it done, economically and entertainingly.
Did you check out this columnist's latest podcast discussing the new D'Angelo album with internet ne'er-do-well Dreamkiller Jenkins? Hotness.
As of right now, you can spend ten bucks and get about 175,000 words worth of fiction from the writer of this column. The links that follow tell you where you can get "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, or "Fathom Sourcebook" #1, the official guide to the flagship franchise for Aspen Comics. Too rich for your blood? Download the free PDF of "Cruel Summer: The Visual Mixtape." 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 the work will get reviewed, 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!