Friday, August 24, 2012

COMICS READING FOR JULY: “Legionnaire’s disease”

* 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.-6. Angel & Faith #6-11 (Dark Horse, 2012) ***½

Writer: Christos Gage/Artists: Rebekah Isaacs, Chris Samnee (#10 only)

A few patchy moments during the “Drusilla is now sane” saga, but the story’s picked up nicely with the arrival of Rupert’s amoral great-aunties. Better than Buffy right now, I suggest.

7. Hell Yeah #4 (Image, 2012) ***¼

Writer: Joe Keatinge/Artist: Andre Szymanowicz

This better be a miniseries ’cos I’m growing tired of the story and Andre’s sub-manga art. It better pick up next issue or I am gonski.

8. Hit-Girl #1 (Icon, 2012) ****¼

Writer: Mark Millar/Artist: John Romita Jr

As good as Mark Millar says it is.

9. Fatale #6 (Image, 2012) ****¼

Writer: Ed Brubaker/Artist: Sean Phillips

10. Batman Incorporated #2 (DC, 2012) ****

Writer: Grant Morrison/Artist: Chris Burnham

11. Get Jiro! (Vertigo, 2012) ****½

Writers: Anthony Bourdain & Joel Rose/Artists: Langdon Foss with José Villarrubia   

A great mash-up of spaghetti western, insane Japanese gangster flick and the Lifestyle Food Channel! Foss is channelling Chris Burnham channelling Frank Quitely. An exquisite, completely nutty, very tasty slice of sci-fi goodness.

12. The Hypernaturals #1 (Boom!, 2012) ****

Writers: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning/Artists: Brad Walker, Andres Guinaldo

BOOM! gave Abnett and Lanning a clean slate and a new universe to create in and what did they give us? The Legion Of Super-Heroes. Thank fuck it’s very good version of LoSH, in fact probably the best we’ve seen since....oooooooh, the last time Abnett and Lanning wrote LoSH. In the far future, the latest version of the Hypernaturals go missing (presumed dead) and it’s up to two rookies and two retired members to form a new team and find out what happened. A great start to what promises to be another great title from BOOM!

13.-18. The Complete First Six Issues Of Mad (Russ Cochran, 1985) ****

- originally published in Mad #1-6 (EC Publications, 1952-53)

19.-20. EC Classics #10 (Panic) (Russ Cochran, 1987) ***½

- originally published in Panic #1-2 (EC Publications, 1953-54)

Writers/artists: various

21. LoEG: Century: 2009 (Top Shelf, 2012) ****

Writer: Alan Moore/Artist: Kevin O’Neill

Give the devil his due, this is a return to form for the league and a fine ending to an otherwise unsatisfactory trilogy.

22.-37. Strangers In Paradise Pocket Book 1 (Abstract Studio, 2004) ****

- originally published in Strangers In Paradise Volume I #1-3 (Antarctic Press, 1993-94), Strangers In Paradise Volume II #1-13 (Abstract 1995-96)

Writer/artist: Terry Moore

I picked up all six pocket book omnibuses of this award-winning indie series at Elizabeth’s Bookshop in Sydney for $84. Bargain! This romantic, comedy/action series details the tangled lives and loves of Francine, her friend/wannabe lover with a dark secret Katchoo and Katchoo’s boyfriend with a darker secret David. The first three issues is a basic tale of Katchoo avenging Francine after she’s jilted by her douchebag boyfriend Freddie. The next 13 issues go into more detail about Katchoo’s sordid past as an escort and, possibly, an assassin employed by the evil Darcy Parker (her former lover and, shockingly, David’s sister). It all moves along at a rollicking pace and any gaping plotholes are quickly papered over by slapstick violence and some interesting storytelling techniques, including a few nifty prose sequences. All in all, I enjoyed this first volume a lot and can’t wait to get to Vol. 2.

38. Free Comic Book Day: The Hypernaturals (BOOM!, 2012) ****

Writers: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning/Artists: Brad Walker & Tom Derenick

39.-41. Worlds’ Finest: Huntress & Power Girl #1-3 (DC, 2012) ***½

Writer: Paul Levitz/Artists: George Perez, Kevin Maguire & Scott Koblish

42.-44, Earth 2 #1-3 (DC, 2012) ***¼

Writer: James Robinson/Artists: Ncola Scott & Trevor Scott

The rebooting of the JSA is starting slowly but surely. Not sure about a gay Green Lantern, but y’know..whatever.

45. FCBD: Worlds of Aspen 2012 (Aspen, 2012) ***

Writers/artists: various

46. FDBD: Lady Death: The Beginning (Boundless Comics, 2012) **

Writers: Brian Pulido & Mike Wolfer/Artists: Marcelo Mueller, Jason Eden (cover)

Nice tits.

47. FCBD: Jurassic Strike Force 5 (Silver Dragon Books) *

 Writers: Joe Brusha & Neo Edmund/Art: Pasquale Qualano

48. FCBD: Witchblade (Top Cow/Image) *½

Writers: Ron Marz, Tim Seeley/Artists: John Tyler Christopher, Diego Bernard & Fred Benes

Nice tits.

49. FCBD: The Ride/Anti (12-Gauge, 2012) ***

Writers: Nathan Edmondson (The Ride), Peter Calloway (Anti)/Artists: Paul Azaceta (The Ride), Daniel Hillyard, Brian Stelfreeze (Anti)

50. FCBD: The Smurfs/Tinkerbell (Papercutz, 2012) *

Writers/artists: various

51 FCBD: Bongo Comics Free-For-All/SpongeBob Comics (Bongo, 2012) ***

Writers/artists: various

52. FCBD: The Transformers: Regeneration One (IDW, 2012) *

Writer: Simon Furman/Artists: Andrew Wildman & Stephen Baskerville

53. FCBD: Dinosaurs & Aliens (Liquid Comics, 2012) ***¾

Writers: Grant Morrison & Barry Sonnenfeld/Artists : Mukesh Singh & Liquid Studios

Surprisingly good. It intrigued me enough to buy the graphic novel.

54. FCBD: Sonic The Hedgehog (Archie, 2012) **

Writer: Ian Flynn/Artists: Ben Bates & Terry Austin

55. FCBD: Star Wars/Serenity (Dark Horse, 2012) ***

Writer: Zack Whedon/Artists: Davidé Fabbri & Christian Dalla Vecchia (Star Wars), Fabio Moon (Serenity)

56. FCBD: Bad Medicine #1 (Oni Press, 2012) ***½

Writers: Nunzio DeFilippis & Christina Weir (Bad Medicine), Antony Johnston (Wasteland)/Artist: Christopher Mitten

57. FCBD: Mega Man (Archie, 2012) DUD

Writer: Ian Flynn/Artist: Patrick Spaziante (interior), Chard Thomas, Fabio Redivo and Evan Stanley (cover)

58. FCBD: The Intrinsic (Arcana, 2012) DUD

Writers: Sean Patrick O’Reilly, Casey Jones & Erik Hendrix/Artist: Allan Otero

59. Blackguard #4 (self-published, 2012) **½

Writers/artists: various

The usual hit-and-miss anthology strips from the usual crew. This time, the topic is “fear”.

60. Richard Stark’s Parker: The Score (IDW, 2012) *****

Writer/artist: Darwyn Cooke

 61.-65. Mystery Society #1-5 (IDW, 2010) ***½

Writer: Steve Niles/Artist: Fiona Staples

66.-68. Seaguy: Slaves Of Mickey Eye #1-3 (Vertigo, 2009) ***½

Writer: Grant Morrison/Artist: Cameron Stewart

69.-71. Beautiful Killer #1-3 (Black Bull, 2002) ***½

Writer: Jimmy Palmiotti/Artist: Phil Noto

72. Angel & Faith #12 (Dark Horse, 2012) ***½

Writer: Christos Gage/Artist: Rebekah Isaacs

73. Hit-Girl #2 (Icon, 2012) ****

Writer: Mark Millar/Artist: John Romita Jr

74. Before Watchmen: Comedian #2 (DC, 2012) ***

Writer: Brian Azzarello, Len Wein (The Curse of the Crimson Corsair)/Artist: JG Jones, John Higgins (The Curse of the Crimson Corsair)   

75. Before Watchmen: Silk Spectre #2 (DC, 2012) ***¾

Writer: Darwyn Cooke, Len Wein (The Curse of the Crimson Corsair)/Artist: Amanda Conner, John Higgins (The Curse of the Crimson Corsair)   

76. Before Watchmen: Ozymandias #1 (DC, 2012) ***

Writer: Len Wein/Artist: Jae Lee, John Higgins (The Curse of the Crimson Corsair)   

77. Before Watchmen: Minutemen (DC, 2012) ****

Writer/Artist: Darwyn Cooke; Writer: Len Wein/Artist: John Higgins (The Curse of the Crimson Corsair)

78. Supurbia #4 (BOOM!, 2012) ***¼

Writer: Grace Randolph/Artist: Russell Dauterman

79. Secret (Image, 2012) ***¾

Writer: Jonathan Hickman/Artist: Ryan Bodenheim

80. The Secret Service #3 (Icon, 2012) ***¾

Writer: Mark Millar/Artist: Dave Gibbons

81.-82. The Infernal Man-Thing #1-2 (Marvel, 2012) ***

Writer: Steve Gerber/Artist: Kevin Nowlan  

83. Extermination #2 (BOOM!, 2012) ***½

Writer: Simon Spurrier/Artist: Jeffrey Edwards

Edwards’ art leaves me cold, but there’s at least one disturbingly horrific scene that would make Mark Millar and Garth Ennis proud.

84. Gen 13: Ordinary Heroes #2 (Image, 1996) ****

Writer: Adam Hughes/Artists: Adam Hughes & Mark Farmer

A really cool conclusion to this micro-series that makes me want to check out more of Gen 13.

85. Sebastian O #1 (Vertigo, 1993) ***½

Writer: Grant Morrison/Artist: Steve Yeowell


86. The Psycho #1 (DC, 1991) *½

Writer: James D. Hudnall/Artist: Daniel Brereton

Nice art, shame about the dull story of super-spies and betrayal. Brubaker did this so much better in Sleeper.

87. Rocketeer Adventures 2 #4 (IDW, 2012) ***½

Writers/artists: various

88. Buffy The Vampire Slayer season 9 #11 (Dark Horse, 2012) ***½

Writer: Andrew Chambliss/Artists: Georges Jeanty & Nathan Massengill

89. Mind MGMT #2 (Dark Horse, 2012) ****

Writer/artist: Matt Kindt

90. The Freedom Collective #1 (Rough Cut Comics, 2009) ***

Writers: Colin Barr & El Sloano/Artist: Dominic Regan  

A nice Jack Kirby-esque pisstake from the UK.

91. Punk Rock Jesus #1 (Vertigo, 2012) ****¼

Writer/artist: Sean Murphy

The return of Christ as a cloned reality TV star. Awesome concept.

92. Fury MAX #4 (Marvel, 2012) ****¼

Writer: Garth Ennis/Artist: Goran Parlov

The best Nick Fury comic ever written.

93. Dial H #3 (DC, 2012) *

Writer: China Mieville/Artists: Mateus Santolouco (interiors), Brian Bolland (cover)

A confusing mess. I can’t be bothered trying to follow this title anymore.



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