Sunday, September 18, 2011

My comics reading for August, 2011

* NOW WITH STAR RATINGS (ala Wrestling Observer Newsletter PPV reports) *

*****    Watchmen, Marvelman, V For Vendetta
****       From Hell, Supreme, Swamp Thing, Whatever Happened To The Man Of Tomorrow?
***         League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen (the first two series), Axel Pressbutton, Tom Strong
**           Promethea
*              LoEG: Century: 1969
DUD  (or lower)     anything he’s written for Avatar or any of the non-comics drivel he shits out on a regular basis

1. League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century: 1969 (Top Shelf, 2011) *
Writer: Alan Moore/Artist: Kevin O’Neill
Listen to Kirby Your Enthusiasm ( for my thoughts on this latest turd shat out by Mr Moore.
2.-11. Final Crisis TPB (DC,2009) ***
- originally published in Final Crisis #1-7, Final Crisis: Superman Beyond #1-2, Final Crisis: Submit #1 (2008-09)
Writer: Grant Morrison/Artists: JG Jones and many others
12. Just Imagine Stan Lee’s Catwoman (DC, 2002) * (all for Darwyn Cooke)
Writer: Stan Lee/Artists: Chris Bachalo & Richard Friend/Back cover art: Adam Hughes
Just imagine...Catwoman would look like Black Widow and have a personal life that’s part Millie The Model and part Peter Parker. In other words...lame. At least the back-up (writer: Michael Uslan/artists: Darwyn Cooke & Mike Allred) is passable.
13.-20. Marvel: 1602 (Marvel, 2005) ***½
- originally published in Marvel: 1602 #1-8 (Marvel, 2005)
Writer: Neil Gaiman/Artists: Andy Kubert & Richard Isanove/Cover art: Scott McKowen
A really interesting idea, even if it features the bloody X-Men. But at least there’s no Wolverine stinking up the yarn.
21. Batman: Arkham Asylum (DC, 1989) ***½
Writer: Grant Morrison/Artist: Dave McKean
22.-26. Fables: Legends In Exile (Vertigo, 2002) ****
Writer: Bill Willingham/Artists: Lan Medina, Steve Leialoha & Craig Hamilton/Cover art: James Jean, Alex Maleev
- originally published in Fables #1-5 (Vertigo, 2002)
Only just got into this series, but I really dug the idea of the characters from fables – the Big Bad Wolf, Snow White, Little Boy Blue, Old King Cole, etc – living in exile in New York City. The plot in this first arc was a bit convoluted, but didn’t detract from the overall story. I dug this very much and will track down more trades soon.
27. Fables #75 (Vertigo, 2008) ****
Writer: Bill Willingham/Artist: Mark Buckingham, Steve Leialoha, Andrew Pepoy & more
28. Fables #100 (Vertigo, 2011) ****¼
Writer: Bill Willingham/Artist: Mark Buckingham, Steve Leialoha, Andrew Pepoy & more
I picked up all the Fables titles at Elizabeth’s Books for about $12 in total. So it was nice to read the series’ beginnings plus two later pivotal episodes in the series. I just dug the hell out of Fables.
29. Blandman (Eclipse, 1992) DUD
Writer: Fred Schiller/Artists: Bill Maus & Bob Hanon
How the mighty had fallen – in the mid-80s, Eclipse produced groundbreaking titles like Miracleman. By 1992, they were vomiting out shitty Vertigo parodies like this. Godawful in-jokes (and not funny ones either). Horrible in every way.
30.-34. Anna Mercury (Avatar, 2008) ***¼
Writer: Warren Ellis/Artist: Facundo Pecio
Rollicking sci-fi adventure yarn featuring a beautiful heroine. Your usual entertaining stuff from Mr Ellis.
35. Anna Mercury Artbook (Avatar, 2009) ***
Artists: various
Good-girl art done good.
36. Comeback Kings #1 (Ardden, 2011) ***
Writers: Mat Sullivn & Gabe Guarente/Artist: Ethan Young
This idea is pretty dumb – “dead” icons Tupac Shakur, Elvis Presley, Jim Morrison, Andy Kaufman and Bruce Lee are actually an elite team of super-spies – but it’s written with such joie de vivre, and the art is more than competent, so I actually got a buzz reading it. I really hope there’s a second ish.
37. Lady Mechanika #2 (Aspen, 2011) ***¼
Writer/artist: Joe Benitez
I love steampunk.
38. Desolation Jones #1 (Wildstorm, 2005) ****
Writer: Warren Ellis/Artist: JH Williams III
An unexpected treat. This short-lived indie series reminds me of Hellblazer, but it’s got its own style as well. Jones is kinda like a private detective for the ex-spy community exiled to LA. We meet him as he’s trying to recover some missing porn films starring Adolph Hitler. If this series maintains the quality of the first issue, I can’t wait to read the other seven.
39. City Of Silence #3 (Image, 2000) *
Writer: Warren Ellis/Artist: Gary Erskine
You can’t hit home runs every time. This final ish in a three-part series is just really lame cyber-punk. Pffft.
40. Baltimore: The Plague Ships (Dark Horse, 2010) ***¼
Writer: Mike Mignola & Christopher Golden/Artist:  Ben Stenbeck
41. Art & Story #1 (James D. Denney, 1976) **
High-quality fanzine that I picked up for a buck at Elizabeth’s in Sydney. Columns by CC Beck and Nicola Cuti (on E-Man years before he revived the title for First Comic)
42. Pacific Presents #1 (Pacific, 1982) ***½
Writer/artist: Dave Stevens (The Rocketeer)
Writer/artist: Steve Ditko (The Missing Man)
Dave Stevens AND Steve Ditko lunacy? That’s frigging awesome!
43. Calvario Hills #1 (Fantagraphics, 2007) **¾
Writer/artist: Marti
Very high quality weirdness. The racism was unsettling. As was the surrealism. A little bit Hernandez Bros. in nature. Just weird.

44.-46. The Rampaging Hulk #5, #6, #8 (Marvel, 1977-78) ***
Writers: various/Artists: various
My fave Hulk series ever. Fuck Marvel for retconning it out of existence. And each mag only cost me a buck from Elizabeth’s. Bargain!
47. Marvel Vault: The Defenders (Marvel, 2011) **½
Writers: Kurt Busiek & Fabaian Nicieza/Artists Marg Bagley & Andrew Hennessy
48. The Tattered Man (Image, 2011) **¾
Writers: Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray/Artist: Norberto Fernandez
Fuck – ANOTHER Holocaust revenge yarn? When was WW2 again? Isn’t it time we moved on? Sheeeesh.
49. Marvel Vault: The Incredible Hulk And The Human Torch (Marvel, 2011) **
Writers: Jack C. Harris & Karl Kesel/Artists: Steve Ditko & Karl Kesel
50. The Red Wing #2 (Image, 2011) ***¾
Story: Jonathan Hickman/Artist: Nick Pitarra
Aha! The plot thickens...
51. DC Comics Presents: The Metal Men 100-Page Spectacular (DC, 2011) ****
Writers: Keith Giffen & JM DeMatteis/Artists: Kevin Maguire & Mark Farmer
I’m loving these DC reprints – and this one has been my fave so far.
 52. Teen Titans Lost Annual #1 (DC, 2008) ***½
Writer: Bob Haney/Artists: Jay Stephens & Mike Allred
Just a fun, dumb, 60s-tribute comic. Beatle-esque aliens, John F. Kennedy being kidnapped to another world, classic Teen Titans action. This one’s a lotta fun.
53. RetroActive 1970s: Wonder Woman (DC, 2011) **½
Writer: Dennis O’Neil/Artist: J. Bone
54. Batman: Gotham Adventures #33 (DC, 2001) **¾
Writer: Ed Brubaker/Artists: Brad Rader & John Lowe   
55. Tides Of Hope (Supanova Publication, 2011) ***
Writers/artists: various
Some nice contributions for a good cause.
56. 50 Girls 50 #1 (Image, 2011) *
Writers: Doug Murray & Frank Cho/Artist: Axel Medellin
If I’m gonna fork out dough for a good-girl comic, I want Frank Cho doing the ART, not the friggin’ WRITING. Lame.
57. Lorna: Relic Wrangler #1 (Image, 2011) **
Writer: Micah S. Harris/Artists: various
A Lara Croft/Raiders Of The Lost Ark/Buffy mash-up that could’ve been so much better. The Darwyn Cooke cover is the best thing about this one-shot.
58. Hero Comcis 2011 (IDW, 2011) ***
Writers/artists: various
It’s for a good cause. The creepy tale by Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth and Mike Dringenberg is the clear highlight of the issue.
59. Moon Girl #1 (Red 5 Comics, 2011) ***
Writers: Tony Trov & Johnny Zito/Artist: The Rahzzah
Everyone working on this 50s-retro superhero comic have names like they’re extras on The Sopranos.

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