This Week's Haul: I'm back, baby

Hey, I read some comics this week in a (somewhat) timely manner for the first time in, oh, months. I have been reading comics very slowly lately, what with the new baby and all. So here are my quick thoughts, several days later.

The Return of Bruce Wayne #1

Hey! It's Bruce Wayne! I love that guy! And I love Grant Morrison! And you know who else I love? Chris Sprouse!

This was awesome. I loved how the cavemen talk, how Bruce Wayne talks, and how shirtless he was. In this comic, Bruce Wayne emerges from a cave, shirtless, in cavemen times. He shirtlessly kicks a young Vandal Savage's caveman ass before jumping forward in time without a shirt on. It's just good comics.

I know a lot of people, myself included, felt that Batman jumping around through time on a journey back to the present had been, y'know, done. But here's what Captain America: Reborn didn't have: Bruce MF Wayne.

Booster Gold #32

Keith Giffen and J.M. Dematteis jump on to revisit the character they made so enjoyable in their JLA comics. But here's the thing: it's terrible. I almost stopped reading this issue like six times. I felt the same level as exhaustion as I did watching Iron Man 2. I just wanted everyone to shut up for five seconds. This issue is a sea of word balloons, and each one is full of really obnoxious dialogue. You would think that written dialogue couldn't be grating, but, well, here we are. I hate to say it, because I have been a fan since the beginning, but this series is getting officially dropped by me.

Marvels Project #8

I was really excited about this series when I first heard about it. Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting revisiting Marvel's Golden Age characters sounds like the best thing. But in actuality, it was pretty boring. I think the problem was mostly that the whole story was just straight narration from the POV of The Angel. The series looked fantastic, and the writing certainly wasn't bad, but there was nothing particularly memorable about any of it, which is surprising and disappointing.

Birds of Prey #1

Thanks to some poor decisions about new writers, I will no longer be reading a couple of my favourite series, Wonder Woman and Power Girl. This is a real drag, but at least we have BoP starting up again with Gail Simone at the helm. I would much rather see Nicola Scott than Ed Benes on art duties, but I'll still take it.

Black Widow #2

Marvel is putting a lot of effort getting some Black Widow books out for potential new fans who loved her in Iron Man 2. Even though the script failed to ever mention her name. I was kind of expecting this series to be a thrown-together intro to the character, but it's actually been really good so far.

The Flash #2

I do not care about Brightest Day and I didn't like Flash: Rebirth, but I am really liking this new series. Francis Manapul's art certainly helps.


Say, can we talk about that preview of Green Arrow #1 that's running in a lot of DC comics this week? A rape scene! How fresh and original! And also: the ENTIRE preview is JUST a rape scene. If you are going to preview the first few pages of an, I don't even know what to say. Seriously. What the hell?

This week's haul...makes me rethink my pull list

I was thinking that since I haven't been reviewing my weekly comics lately, instead of doing that this week I will take a long hard look at my pull list.
I want to cut it down by quite a bit because I am frankly tired of being buried in comics, but also because I am finding myself very bored by most of the comics I read.
So maybe you guys can help me make some decisions.
Action Comics
Superman: World of New Krypton 
I am actually thinking of dropping all comics written by James Robinson because they are really not doing it for me. I think I'll keep Supergirl and World of New Krypton and drop the rest of the Super titles until all this stuff is wrapped up. Because it is really dull. There have been so many issues where basically nothing interesting happens at all, and I usually forget about the comics as soon as I am done reading them. This is the sort of thing I want to avoid.
Amazing Spider-Man
I have enjoyed nearly every issue of Amazing Spider-Man since Brand New Day began, so I am definitely keeping this one. Unlike Superman, the issues are quite memorable and have great cliffhangers.
Ambush Bug
Well...I guess I can hold out for the last issue of this. Whenever it comes out.
Animal Man: Last Days
I am actually enjoying this way more than I thought I would. And it's a mini-series that falls into that category of "mini-series that I enjoy, but not really enough that I would buy the trade, so I may as well buy the issues." I'll keep it.
Batman: Brave & the Bold
As much as I love that this is a comic, I think I'm gonna let it go. I have an awful lot of kids comics and, though I love them in theory, they are written for small children so they aren't particularly exciting. I dropped Super Friends and Billy Batson for this reason. But I will still buy any issue drawn by J.Bone.
Batman & Robin
I guess I will have to wait to see how the next issue of this is now that Quitely is done his first run on it. Man, those three issues were awesome though!
Blackest Night
I know I kinda hated the first issue, but I am enjoying this event now so I am sticking with it.
Booster Gold
I just realized that I didn't get the latest issue of Booster Gold. And I didn't notice. Hmmmm...nah. I love Booster Gold. He stays.
BTVS: Angel HCs
Do not judge me.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer TPs
I have only been reading this comic in TP format, which is something I would like to do with more comics.
Captain America
Captain America: Reborn
Obviously these are not going anywhere.
Brubaker is done, so that sucks. I'll see how the next one is. My love of Daredevil as a character transcends writers, usually.
This is the sort of thing that I would normally not even consider having on my account, except I read everything Jeff Parker writes (which reminds me...must add Agents of Atlas TPs to account)
Flash: Rebirth
This is definitely in the maybe pile. This week's issue kinda implied that the story might get less agonizing starting with the next issue, so I guess I will hold out another month and see.
Ghost Rider
As long as Jason Aaron is writing it, I am reading it. Because it is the best.
Green Lantern
I recently dropped Green Lantern Corps because it makes me sleepy, but I think Green Lantern will be staying on the account for a long time. I think it's some of Geoff Johns' best work.
Hector Plasm
Tales Designed to Thrizzle
These all fall into the "if there is ever a new series/issue I'll get it" category that doesn't exactly put a strain on my wallet.
Jersey Gods
Aw, I like Jersey Gods. You guys can stay.
Jonah Hex
They can take my Jonah Hex when they pry it out of my cold, dead hands.
Marvels Project
I can't think of any reason why I would drop this. It's definitely going to be awesome.
Mighty Avengers
I am not even sure why I am reading this, because I am not traditionally an Avengers kinda gal, but I am enjoying it so I'll keep it for now.
Muppet Show
YES! STAY! (Though I dropped Muppet: Robin Hood)
Power Girl
This comic is amazing and each issue is better than the one before. I love it.
I can probably swing one book a year. I have actually been buying the issues too because I can't wait.
Secret Six
I love this book. I can't imagine dropping it.
Scalped TPs
I used to buy the issues, but this story reads so much better in trade format. It's one of my favourite comics.
Tiny Titans
This is the one DC Kids comic I am going to keep. It makes me happy.
Top Ten
These aren't coming out in a hurry. I wish they would, though.

Toy Story
This comic is actually really awesome. If you like the movies you should be reading it.
Uncanny X-men
I like Matt Fraction's writing on this series that I will even suffer through the Greg Land art every other story arc. I'm keeping it.
Uncanny X-Men: First Class
I don't dislike this comic, but I could probably live without it.
The Unwritten
This comic is awesome and my husband loves it too. I could probably trade-wait it, though...
Wednesday Comics
I am actually way behind on my Wednesday Comics reading. And here's why: it was so hot the last couple of weeks that I couldn't comfortably read in any room that didn't have a fan. And reading Wednesday Comics in front of a fan is hard. But I am keeping this on the account until the end for sure.

Wolverine: Weapon-X
As long as Jason Aaron is writing it, I am reading it. Because it is the best.
Wonder Woman
As long as Gail Simone is writing it, I am reading it. Because it is the best.
Y: The Last Man HCs
I sold all my trades to replace them with these snazzy HCs. They come out pretty slowly (for some reason), so it's not really a burden.
I really love this comic, especially now that Francesco Francavilla is back on the art. Everyone should be reading this, especially during this Batman drought.

So there. I think I have made some decisions. Any suggestions of things I should be reading that aren't on this list?

This Week's Haul: Mommy, why is that man licking Batman's skull?

Blackest Night #1

Ok, so I finish reading this week's Wednesday Comics and I am all smiles about Kyle Baker's Hawkman (that thumbs up and smile?! Seriously!). Then I read Blackest Night and...maybe I didn't read these things in the correct order.

Wednesday Comics fills me with love and happiness when I read it. I love those characters, and you can tell that everyone writing or drawing the comics loves them too. And then Blackest Night was just so...messed up.

SPOLIERZZZZZ!!! If you haven't read Blackest Night yet, and don't want to be spoiled, stop reading now.

I have been looking forward to this since it was first announced, and that was like two years ago. I loved The Sinestro Corps War, I love Geoff Johns, I love Ivan Reis and I love Green Lantern comics. I don't want to judge too harshly after one issue, but was very reminiscent of the kind of comics I don't like. It was a lot of over-the-top, nineties-style dark sensationalism. And I know that it's silly to accuse a comic book of being sensationalist, as if they are supposed to be something else, but this just seemed like, y'know, Carnage or Spawn or Knightfall. I felt like it was aimed more at the barbed wire Superman symbol tattoo set, or those who might wear this t-shirt, or this one, than at those of us who love superheroes. I'm not against dark in my comics, or character death. That's not really my problem here. I liked Identity Crisis and Final Crisis, and I am sure that from all the darkness in Blackest Night there will be great moments of heroic triumph in future issues. But isn't there a better way of getting to it than zombie Ralph and Sue Dibny?

Also: skull-licking.

I will doubtlessly be buying and reading the entire series, but for now I am going to say that the beginning was way over-the-top and, for me, disappointing. The whole thing made me want to grab all my Showcase Presents books and hug them.

Wednesday Comics #2

Last week I declared Superman to be the winner, more or less, of the first issue of Wednesday Comics. This week it falls far behind thanks to an abrupt scene change to Superman and Batman engaging in one of their usual rooftop chats about Superman's humanity (or lack of). As much as I love those two hanging out, it was pretty unoriginal. This week I felt the strongest comics were Metamorpho, Supergirl, Hawkman, Batman and Kamandi. The Deadman page was really hot looking, too.

Super Friends #17

DC Kids tries to cash in on the Obama comics craze with a cameo that never really calls the President by name, but you know it's him. Then they go back in time to stop Chronos from turning the nation into the United States of Chronos. Oh, Chronos. It's always something with you.

Hey, the second trade collection of Super Friends came out this week too! Buy it for your kids!

All Select Comics #1

Michael Kupperman does a comic for Marvel! He wrote and drew the back-up in the 70th Anniversary comic that revisits some of Marvel's Golden Age characters. Kupperman does a hilarious short comic about Marvex the Super Robot, which is followed by a couple of Golden Age Marvex reprints (which are no less absurd than Kupperman's parody). Absolutley worth buying for the Kupperman comic alone, All Select also features a pretty neat Blonde Phantom story by Marc Guggenheim that is more like illustrated prose than a comic.

Captain America #601

This was amusingly called a very special issue of Captain America on the cover. It was very special because it is drawn by Gene Colan, but based on these first page panels, I thought it was because Bucky and Nick Fury were finally going to make out:

This issue is sure to be a hit with teen girls because it is jam packed with vampires. Man, as if WWII didn't suck enough, Cap had to fight vampires too?! There must have been times that he wished he didn't volunteer for the experimental super soldier serum.

Rasl #5

I was going to just buy the trades of this, but since the issues are only coming out three times a year I decided I couldn't wait that long. Rasl is awesome. And Jeff Smith seems to getting all of his years of writing PG comics worth of frustrations out by having the characters do it a lot in this series.

Nexus: Space Opera Conclusion

I'd say it's a rare week indeed when we get a new issue of Rasl AND a new issue of Nexus. Sadly, this is the end of the road for Nexus, at least for now. It started with a great first issue a couple of years ago...and then a reprint of Nexus's origin...and then the second issue...and then another reprint of the origin...and then a Manga-sized collection of the first issues of Nexus...and now this double issue that collects the final two issues of what has turned out to be a 4-part mini-series. Oh well. As per usual, this issue of Nexus is beautiful and fun.

Angel: After the Fall vol 4 HC

Aw man. Like it isn't embarassing enough for me to be buying these hardcovers, they go a slap this cover on the newest one. Gross. I could not get it in my shopping bag and away from judging eyes fast enough.

I haven't read this yet, I just want to point out how bad the cover is.

This Week's Haul: Wednesday Comics Forever!

Wednesday Comics #1

This is one of the most creative and ingenious ideas DC has had since their short-lived Solo series (which, by the way, should be collected in trade format please). You take a bunch of the coolest comic creators and pair them up with a bunch of DC's coolest characters (many of which are underused usually) and print it in an awkward-yet-fun-to-read giant newspaper format. I am having a hard time choosing my favourite strip, but the Superman one was absolutely beautiful to look at, and probably had the best cliffhanger.

Amanda Conner obviously draws an awesome-looking Supergirl (and Super-pets!). I also really liked the Catwoman and Demon comic because it's nice to see Selina Kyle being Selina Kyle again. Man I miss that Catwoman series.

Green Lantern #43

I'll say this: Doug Mahnke was the perfect artist choice for this issue. If you need something gross and scary drawn, call up Doug Mahnke. We get a background story for the Black Lantern, who will be playing the part of our villain in the upcoming Blackest Night summer blockbuster event. We're gonna see a bunch of dead DC characters (heroes and villains) rise from the dead, and this issue gave us a refresher on who those characters might be. Dr Light might live to rape again!

I hope I won't have to see some sort of evil zombie Johnathan Kent. That would be terrible.

Uncanny X-Men First Class #1

This is the first issue of a new series that continues Jeff Parker's X-Men First Class series. This time it's written by Scott Gray. Where the first series was about the very first X-Men team, this series is about the dawn of the Uncanny X-Men era, with the expanded line-up of Cyclops, Wolverine, Banshee, Storm, Nightcrawler and Colossus. I really like this idea for a series because it serves as an updated introduction to this era of X-Men for new/young readers. It's all-ages appropriate, and the stories are fairly simple and funny. The characters are introduced and explained in very clear ways without being boring (I was impressed with the introduction of the Inhumans in this issue). Roger Cruz, who drew most of the issues of X-Men First Class, is the artist on this series as well, so that helps tie it all together.

Amazing Spider-Man Annual #36

In this issue Peter Parker goes to Boston for Aunt May's engagement dinner. He gets to meet May's extended family and immediately gets the hots for his female cousins.


I like to think that Peter Parker would be more happy for his aunt being reunited with her estranged family than being all "Hot cousins! Boiiiiing!" The joke goes on for pages. It's disappointing.

The rest of this comic is ok. That's the best I can do.

Superman: World of New Krypton #5

I know that I am not stupid, or inexperienced at reading comics, so I am not embarrassed to say this: did anyone else have a hard time reading the panels of this comic in the correct order? It was all double-page spreads but none of the pages looked like double-page spreads. It was weird. But that doesn't take away from the fact that I am enjoying this comic a lot. I love Pete Woods' art and I am a big Superman movies/Zod nerd. The Gary Frank cover for this issue is absolutely beautiful.

The Nobody

I haven't had time to read this yet, and I really want to savour it. I will say that it is probably the nicest-looking Vertigo book I have seen. I flipped through it and got excited and had to put it down because I knew I didn't have time to read it. My Friday night plans include reading this and maybe watching a bunch of Mary Tyler Moore Show episodes. And ignoring the fact that my beloved Saku Koivu just joined the Anaheim Mighty Ducks (more like the Mighty SUCKS!). I mean really, Montreal, he buys cancer treatment equipment for your hospital and you let him go?

But I digress. The Nobody looks amazing.

Archie Double Digest #200

What's this? A gripping epic Archie storyline about our teen hero having to move away from Riverdale? And it's drawn by Norm Breyfogle?! Stay tuned for more details in this week's Archie Sunday post...

Showcase Presents Bat Lash vol 1

Judging from the size of this thing, I am gonna say that there won't be any further Showcase volumes of Bat Lash. This Showcase is about half the size of a regular one (and $7 cheaper). I'm kind of into that. It gives me hope that more characters with limited runs will get Showcases. Maybe I'll get my I...Vampire or Scalphunter Showcase. Or Rose and Thorn. At any rate, Bat Lash is awesome and this is going to be a fun read.

This Week's Haul: Canada Day Delay

Batman and Robin #2

Wow. Y'know, normally if someone said "hey, there's going to be a new series where Dick Grayson is Batman and Bruce Wayne's newly introduced ten-year-old son is going to be Robin" most people would say "Great. Call me when Bruce Wayne is back." But then if you add this: "Oh, by the way, it's written by Grant Morrison and drawn by Frank Quitely" that pretty much changes the game completely.

So in a world where I am not bothering to read any of the current Batman titles (actually...I did read Detective last week...and it was awesome), the Morrison/Quitely juggernaut is creating yet another beautiful masterpiece that forces me to pay attention to this World Without Batman nonsense.

So far, this book is meeting every expectation. This issue had a lot of Dick Grayson doubting his ability to be Batman. Alfred gave him a fantastic pep talk that I just loved. And Damian is being a perfect little brat.

Quitely is only drawing one more issue, at least that we know of, but I am confident that the comic will continue to be great. I hope. Because it's awesome.

Toy Story #2

I meant to mention this when the first issue came out, but this is just a delightful comic. It's perfectly written for kids and captures the spirit of the movies and its characters really well. I think there are a ton of great short stories that can be inspired by the Toy Story universe, and a comic book is a perfect place for them.

Captain America Reborn #1

Look sharp, Marvel Universe, because Daddy is coming home!

This was a good comic the same way that Brubaker's entire run on Captain America has been good. Well, great, actually. I was mildly bothered by how much Sharon looked like a teenager, and the fact that she was wearing a halter-jacket (?!) but other than that it was great. And it looks like Captain America's return from death is being explained away using deliciously ludicrous comic book pseudo-science. Hooray!

What I am really looking forward to is The Marvels Project. I love me some WWII-based comics. And some Namor!

Uncanny X-Men

I haven't been reading Dark Avengers, and I haven't been really paying attention to what's going to be crossing over into what over at Marvel. So I was really confused when I was reading this issue. I thought I had missed one somehow. I am kind of sad that some Dodson-drawn issues are being wasted on a storyline that I really don't care about. I did really like Namor's Frank-N-Furter-style entrance, though.

Jonah Hex #45

The second issue of a six-part Jonah Hex story, and I think it's working really well. The nice thing about the longer storyline is that we get to see all of the DC western characters teaming up: Jonah Hex, El Diablo, Bat Lash and Tallulah Black. It's pretty awesome.

Marvel Divas #1

You could describe this as Sex in the City with superheroes, but that would make it sounds really bad. And it isn't! At all! I honestly was not expecting much out of this, but I really, really enjoyed it. The writing was fun, the story was interesting, and the art was great and really suited the story. I look forward to the next issue.

Exiles #4

There was a different art team on this issue, and that kinda made a big difference for me. I was not into the previous art because it had a lot of clothing that looked like this:

But I do really enjoy this fun-spirited series about a rag-tag gang of dimension-hoppers. So I hope we can keep the art a little less distracting.

The Muppet Show #4

Each issue of this series impresses me even more than the last one. I really am just blown away by haw great this comic is. It's funny, it perfectly captures the spirit of The Muppet Show, it has long poems and songs worked into it, the art is fantastic, it's touching, and each issue has a compelling main story. It's crazy how good this comic is.

Tales Designed to Thrizzle HC

I am writing a review of this book for my local weekly paper, and I will post a link to that when it's up. Lemme just say, though, that if you have not read any or all of Tales Designed to Thrizzle you are cheating yourself. This is comedic genius. There is just no other way to describe it. And not only is Michael Kupperman a comedic genius, he is an incredible artist. It's a perfect storm. This book is $24.95, collects the first four issues in FULL COLOUR(!), and looks fantastic on a shelf. You should also follow MKupperman on Twitter. Dude is hillarious.

This Week's Haul: Huh? Wha? Comicssszzzzzzz...

Alright, I still haven't had a chance to catch up on my sleep from HeroesCon, so I'm going to make this brief. In exchange, I will write the hell out of this week's Archie Sunday post (which I swear will actually happen this week).

Daredevil #119

Listen Daredevil. Here's what you need to do: You have to start with the man in the mirror, and ask him to change his ways. Trust me, man, no message will be any clearer.

Matt Murdock's life continues to suck in an epic way. His wife is crazy, he's working with Kingpin, he has Lady Bullseye on his ass, he's cheated on his wife with Dakota, and now he's been fired. He's so depressed he isn't even shaving anymore. His only friend in the world is a big fat crime boss who talks to ghosts and hates his guts.

And yet this is still one of the best comics on the stands.

Wolverine: Weapon X #3

Guns that shoot cancer!

Zorro #14

This issue wraps up what has basically been the romance portion of the Zorro story. Based on some sneak peeks I saw of the next story arc (with art by Francesco Francavilla), the next part of the story is going to be darker and maybe have more action. But I have enjoyed every issue of Zorro so far. The first trade finally came out last week, and I encourage people to check it out.

Superman #689

So, wait, Mon-El isn't gay now? He's flying around the world meeting heroes and villains and smooching ladies? Man, that handsome guy at the café back in Metropolis is gonna be disappointed.

Green Lantern #42

I love that the Orange Lantern guy is basically just a horrible nerdy collector.

Patsy Walker Hellcat TP

I'm pretty excited that Marvel decided to collect this mini-series into a trade. Kathryn Immonen, who will soon be writing Runaways (yay!) really did a great job writing an extremely underused Marvel character. And David Lafuente provided some really nice art.

[EDIT: Kathryn Immonen's first issue of Runaways actually came out this week. I just picked it up. This is what happens when you send your husband to pick up your comics for miss stuff).