Saturday, May 2, 2015

COMICS READING FOR MARCH: “Ya want me to bop you with this lollipop?”


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

HOW I RATE THE COMICS VIA THE ALAN MOORE SCALE
*****   Watchmen, Miracleman, V For Vendetta
****     From Hell, Supreme, Swamp Thing, Fashion Beast, League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen (first two series)
***      Axel Pressbutton, Tom Strong
**       Promethea
*         LoEG: Century: 1969
DUD (or lower) any of his non-comics stuff

1. Hellboy: House Of The Living Dead (Dark Horse, 2011) ****
Writer: Mike Mignola/Artists: Richard Corben (interior); Mike Mignola (cover)
The Frankenstein monster, werewolves, vampire women...and luchadors! Plus gorgeous Richard Corben artwork! Fantastic (if typical) Hellboy horror action.
2. The Wrenchies by Farel Dalrymple (First Second, 2014) ***
I love Farel’s art, but this sci-fi yarn is very confusing. It was hard to follow in parts and ultimately unsatisfying. Beautiful art, though.
3.-4. Silver Surfer #9-10 (Marvel, 2015) ***¾
Writer: Dan Slott/Artist: Michael Allred
5.-8. Future’s End #42-45 (DC, 2015) ***¾
Writers/artists: various
9.-14.Young Liars Vol. 1: Daydream Believer (Vertigo, 2008) ***
- originally published in Young Liars #1-6 (Vertigo, 2008)
Writer/artist: David Lapham
Lapham creates one of the greatest comics of all time, Stray Bullets. It is the PERFECT comic. But everything else he does is so hit’n’miss. Young Liars is a good example: unlikable characters, castration, midget rape, transvestites and nose-biting. Unpleasant for unpleasant’s sake. And not particularly well-written either.
15. Stray Bullets: Sunshine And Roses #1 (Image, 2015) *****
Writer/artist: David Lapham
The perfect comic.
16. The Multiversity: Mastermen (DC, 2015) ***½
Writer: Grant Morrison/Artists: Jim Lee & friends
17. Howard The Duck #1 Marvel, 2015) ****½
Writer: Chip Zdarsky/Artist: Joe Quinones
18.-19. Guardians Team-Up #1-2 (Marvel, 2015) ***¾
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis/Artists: Art Adams (#1); Stephane Roux & Jay Leisten (#2)
20. Legendary Star-Lord #9 (Marvel, 2015) ***½
Writer: Sam Humphries/Artists: Paco Medina & Juan Vlasco
21. All-New X-Men #38 (Marvel, 2015) ***½
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis/Artist: Andrea Sorrentino
22. Marvel Universe Guardians Of The Galaxy #1 (Marvel, 2015) ***¼
So Very Young: Writer: Mairghread Scott/Artist: Adam Archer
Star-Lord: Writer/Artist: Joe Caramagna   
23. Justice League United #8 (DC, 2015) ***
Writer: Jeff Lemire/Artists: Neil Edwards, Jay Leisten  Keith Champagne (interior); Dan Hipp (Mars Attacks! variant cover)
Another uninspired conclusion to a Legion of Super-Heroes yarn where Brainiac 5 pulls some pseudo-scientific bullshit out of his arse to save the universe..again.
24. Justice League 3000 #13 (DC, 2015) ***½
Writer: Keith Giffen & JM DeMatteis/Artist: Howard Porter
25. Justice League Europe #32 (DC, 1991) **¾
Writers: Keith Giffen & Gerard Jones/Artists: Darick Robertson & John Beatty
The league teams up with the Doom Patrol...kinda. Goofy stuff.
26. Gotham By Midnight #4 (DC, 2015) ****½
Writer: Ray Fawkes/Artist: Ben Templesmith
27. Suiciders #1 (Vertigo, 2015) ***¼
Writer/artist: Lee Bermejo
28. Batgirl #39 (DC, 2015) ***½ 
Writers: Cameron Stewart & Brenden Fletcher/Artists: Babs Tarr & Cameron Stewart
29. Terminal Hero #5 (Dynamite, 2015) ****
Writer: Peter Milligan/Artist: Piotr Kowalski
30. The Black Hood #1 (Dark Circle Comics, 2015) ****½
Writer: Duane Swierczynski/Artist: Michael Gaydos
Finally, an Archie superhero done right.
31. Curb Stomp #1 (BOOM!, 2015) **¾
Writer: Ryan Ferrier/Artist: Devaki Neogi (interior); Tula Lotay (cover)
32. Thor Annual #1 (Marvel, 2015) ***½
Writers/Artists: various
On yarn is penned by ex-WWE wrestler CM Punk. It’s passable.
33. MPH #5 (Image, 2015) ***¼
Writer: Mark Millar/Artist: Duncan Fegredo
34. The Woods #11(BOOM!, 2015) ***
Writer: James Tynion IV/Artist: Michael Dialynas
35. Men Of Wrath #5 (Icon, 2015) ****
Writer: Jason Aaron/Artist: Ron Garney
36.-61. Herbie Archives Vols. 1-3 (Dark Horse, 2008-09) *****
- originally published in Forbidden Worlds #73, 94, 110, 114, 116; Unknown Worlds #20; Herbie #1-23 (American Comics Group, 1958-1967)
Writer: Shane O’Shea/Artist: Ogden Whitney
Quite possibly the most extraordinary, bizarre, sad, desperate, loveable, strange comic I’ve ever read. An obese autistic child, who is bullied by his overbearing father and kids at school, fantasises that he is an omnipotent superhero who can travel anywhere in the universe, have amazing unreal adventures and is friends with everyone from the US President to the Queen and historical figures, who he visits whenever he travels back in time. Herbie uses the power of lollipops to achieve his fantastical aims as he loses himself deep in a fantasy world where he is loved and respected, unlike the real world. Well, that’s MY interpretation of this crazy comic and I’m sticking to it!
62.-63. Secret Identities #1-2 (Image, 2015) ****¼
Writers: Jay Faerber & Brian Joines/Artist: Ilias Kyriazis
A corrupt police commissioner gets a super-villain mole to infiltrate a JLA-style super-team with plenty of skeletons in their closet. But why? This mystery is building nicely.
64.-65. C.O.W.L. #8-9 (Image, 2015) ****
Writer: Kyle Higgins & Alec Siegel/Artists: Rod Reis (interiors), Trevor McCarthy (covers)
66. The New 52: Future’s End #40-41 (DC, 2015) ***½
Writers/artists: various
67. Rocket Raccoon #8-9 (Marvel, 2015) ****
Writer: Skottie Young/Artists: Filipe Andrade (#8 interior); Jake Parker (#9 interior); Skottie Young (covers)
68.-69. Nameless #1-2 (Image, 2015) ****¼
Writer: Grant Morrison/Artist: Chris Burnham
Lovecraft meets Kubrick’s 2001? I can dig that.
70. Batgirl: Endgame #1 (DC, 2015) **
“Writers”: Cameron Stewart & Brenden Fletcher/Artist: Bengal (interior); Rafael Albuquerque (cover)
Nice art, shame about the story. Dialogue-free comics are cool...except when you’re paying $6.25 for a comic that takes less than five minutes to read.
71. Batgirl #40 (DC, 2015) ***
Writers: Cameron Stewart & Brenden Fletcher/Artist: Babs Tarr & Cameron Stewart (interior); Cameron Stewart (cover)
The story arc ends before the Convergence “event” begins, which is a perfect jumping off point for me. Fuck DC.
72. Shadow Show #4 (IDW, 2015) ***
Writers/artists: various
73. Moon Knight #12 (Marvel, 2015) ***½
Writer: Brian Wood/Artist: Greg Smallwood (interior); Declan Shalvey (cover)
Goodt!
74. Moon Knight #13 (Marvel, 2015) **½
Writer: Cullen Bunn/Artists: Ron Ackins, Tom Palmer, Walden Wong & Victor Olazaba (interior); Declan Shalvey (cover)
With the previous creative team walking, to be replaced by a far inferior team trying to recreate the magic of Warren Ellis’s first arc...well, it’s the perfect time to walk away from this series, especially with the Secret Wars “event” about to kick off. Fuck Marvel.
75. Strange Sports Stories #1 (Vertigo, 2015) **
Writers/artists: various
Not worth the US$5 price tag.
76. Mind MGMT #31 (Dark Horse, 2015) ****
Writer/artist: Matt Kindt
The final arc begins! I get all my Dark Horse comics sent to me digitally, but I still buy hard copies of this entertaining series. It needs to be held in the reader’s hands, I reckon.
77. Nailbiter #10 (Image, 2015)
Writer: Joshua Williamson/Artist: Mike Henderson
Things get darker. Who knew that was even possible?
78. Nailbiter / Hack/Slash (Image, 2015) ***
Writers/artists: various
A fun lil’ crossover that adds a bit of back story to the Nailbiter storyline.
79. Revival #28 (Image, 2015) ****¼
Writer: Tim Seeley/Artist: Mike Norton (interior); Jenny Frison (cover)
80. God Hates Astronauts #6 (Image, 2014-15) ****
Writer: Ryan Browne/Artists: Jordan Boyd (interior); Ryan Browne (main covers)
81.-82. The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #2-3 (Marvel, 2015) ****¼
Writer: Ryan North/Artist: Erica Henderson
OK. I’m glad I stuck with this series, because it’s swiftly become one of the few Marvel series I still enjoy. Funny, whimsical, absurd. And next issue Squirrel Girl faces off with...Galactus! Can’t wait.
83. All-New X-Men #39 (Marvel, 2015) ***¼
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis/Artist: Andrea Sorrentino
84. Guardians Team-Up #3 (Marvel, 2015) ***¼
Writer: Sam Humphries/Artist: Mike Mayhew
85. Marvel Universe Guardians Of The Galaxy #2 (Marvel, 2015) ***
Writer: Mairghread Scott/Artist: Adam Archer
86. Black Science #12 (Image, 2015) ****
Writer: Rick Remender/Artist: Moreno Dinisio
After losing its way (and my interest) for the past few issues, this dark take on Lost In Space trope has taken a strong turn for the better. Really keen to see how our heroes – who seem to now be unwitting villains – cope with the news that their dimension-hopping is destroying the planets they visit.
87. Bitch Planet #3 (Image, 2015) ****
Writer: Kelly Sue DeConnick/Artist: Robert Wilson IV
Love this series. You go, girls!
88. Chrononauts #1 (Image, 2015) ****
Writer: Mark Millar/Artist: Sean Murphy
Stupid and overpriced, but damn this is a fun read. What if Bill & Ted were super-intelligent and invented time travel? Yeah, they’d cause bulk havoc and this series takes that particular ball and runs with it.
89. Velvet #9 (Image, 2015) ****
Writer: Ed Brubaker/Artist: Steve Epting
90. Stray Bullets: Sunshine And Roses #2 (Image, 2015) *****
Writer/artist: David Lapham
Comics perfection.
91. Nemo: River Of Ghosts (Top Shelf, 2015) ****¾
Writer: Alan Moore/Artist: Kevin O’Neill
If this graphic novel is truly the end of The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen saga, then it ended strongly after a few mid-series hiccups. The story of uber-pirate Janni Nemo on a mad mission to the heart of South America to fight Nazis is pretty damn cool.



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