Tagged: Avengers Assemble

Troy’s Toys, but with Comics: Shots fired

A few days ago, Image Publisher Eric Stephens more or less called out the greater comics publisher community for reasons I don’t and do agree with. Said speech went down at retailer’s meeting ComicsPRO, and the full details can be seen here.

I agree with Stephens that $5-$8 comics are not the future of the industry. Put those comments regarding licensed books is kind of dickish, especially with the quality of the KaBOOM Cartoon Network books. It’s definitely worth a read though, and again, while I don’t agree with everything Stephens says, he does raise a lot of good points.

QUICK PICKS!

Furious #2

Mind MGMT #19

Tomb Raider #1

Aquaman #28

Lois Lane #1

Wake #6


Black Science #4

Chew #4

Deadly Class #2

Rat Queens #6

Walking Dead #122

Deadpool #24

Mighty Avengers #7

Thunderbolts #22

Uncanny Avengers #17

Wolverine and the X-Men #42

REVIEWS!

 

aa26Avengers Assemble #24

Kelly Sue Deconnick/ Warren Ellis/ Matteo Buffangi/ Ruth Redmond

Marvel, $3.99, 20 pages

Matteo Buffangi I want to love you, but you gotta stop drawing Hawkeye with those James Worthy-esque goggles. Or start drawing him riding a snowboard every time he’s on panel. (( Call me Marvel, I have ideas! ))

My nitpicking aside, it’s another fun issue of Spider-Girl teams up with an Avengers. Having Warren Ellis and Kelly Sue Deconnick writing Iron Man is the closest we’ve seen a Robert Downey Jr-esque Iron Man on page for awhile, which I imagine is what a LOT of people want when it comes from the character. And him teaming with Spider-Girl is a fun  follow up to the previous’ issue Wolverine team up. It’s a fun, bright and good looking (sans Hawkgoggles) Avengers book that ramps things up for the book’s end next issue. I’m going to be sad to see it go, as the Ellis/KSD/Buffangi/Redmond team have turned AA into extremely satisfying must-read every month.

JUL130649_mHawkeye #15

Matt Fraction/ David Aja/Matt Hollingsworth/Chris Elliopoulous

Marvel, $2.99, 20 pages

Oh god everything hurts and nothing will be okay ever again.

It’s been entirely way too long since we’ve seen the Matt Fraction/ David Aja team on Hawkeye. So while I’m glad to see them back, the ending of this book has me cureled up in a corner weeping. And it’s not a quality thing. Oh no, far from it.

Why I complained about the delays in the book, it’s easy to see why it takes a little longer to come out, and the end result is worth it. The majority of the pages are crammed with perfectly crafted art, enhanced with Matt Hollingsworth’s colors and Chris Ellipoulos‘ word balloons. There’s even so great used of the white between panels. This book works even without Fraction delightful dialogue, and you can easily follow the story without paying attention to the dialogue.

Also, much like Fuse #1, the cover in so well designed and clever that you’ll appreciate it much more once you read the issue.

It’s a brutal issue of Hawkguy, as the brothers Barton learn what the say about good intentions. And the cliffhanger comes with a price , because I don’t think we’re getting any more of Clint’s story until May at the earliest. So yeah, brb, running into the ocean.

gargal2013012dc11jpg-9dbc3f_960wGuardians of the Galaxy #12

Brian Michael Bendis/Sara Picehlli/Stuart Immonen/ Wade Grawadger/Justin Ponsor

Marvel, $3.99, 20 pages

Once again, I find myself torn with this crossover. Bendis’ dialogue is not at it’s best, and why there’s some solid pieces here and there, overall it’s fairly average. But visually. Damn, just damn

Sara Pichelli delivers when it comes to several highly emotional scene in this issue. It’s a dialogue heavy issue, with a few powerful moments that Pichelli draws beautifully. Justin Ponsor‘s color definitely deliver, especially when the book shifts from deep space to the Shi’iar home planet.

And while Pichelli not being able to draw the entire book irks me a tad, having Stuart Immonen pitch in is more than fine. He and Von Grawbadger are handling the art for the X-Men side of things anyway, so it works, especially given how talented they are.

These crossover is getting better, so hopefully the last 2 chapters deliver. Bendis has two amazing art team working with him, so hopefully his scripts will perform as well as Sara and Stuart are.

 

 

 

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Troy’s Toys, but with Comics: Cats on Cats Baby

Upon writing cats on cats I realize that there’s several ways in which that can be taken.

Whelp, Imma keep it, because I hope people’s mind won’t go directly to the gutter (HAH!) and more importantly, I’m lazy. So fingers crossed

With that out of the way, I’m going to change the format up a bit this week, as this is 2014, and that sounds like a thing you should do in a semi-new year. Aside from the 2-4 books I usually review (4 this week!), I’ll name drop/highlight a few other books of note you may want to check out every week  because….reasons?

OTHER NOTABLE RELEASES THIS WEEK:

Furious #1, Dredd: Underbelly #1, Serenity: Leaves on the Wind #1, Adventures of Superman #9, Batman and Robin Annual #2, Fables #137, Bad Ass #1, Black Science #3, Five Weapons #6, Invincible #108, Inhumanity #2, Uncanny Avengers #16, Uber #9, WWE SuperStars #2

REVIEWS:

kaboom_bravest_warriors_annual_001_bBravest Warriors: CATBUG 2014 Annual #1

Kate Leth/Coleman/Monica Ray/Sloane Leong

KaBOOM Studios/$4.99/30 pages

 

As someone who’s a big fan of Cartoon Hangover’s Bravest Warrior, as well as the comics coming out of KaBOOM Studios’, the Catbug Annual was a no-brainer for me. The breakout star of the hit Youtube series is very appealing to me(Yes, of course I own a Catbug t-shirt), and seeing a bunch of awesome indie creators craft tales starring Catbug is a good way to me to give someone $5.

Kate Leth, a KaBOOM & Comics Alliance regular, leads the annual off with a cute 8 page 879fa9244676f0e419af12c64dda780estory that has said Bug that is also a Cat covering the alpahabet. Sloanne Leong also puts a Catbug twist on a familiar story, and her slightly off-model take on the cast works for me. Coleman Engle‘s story is a tad weak compared to the other stories in the annual, but the art reeks of charm, and the colors are fantastic, so it’s all good. Monica Ray‘s story really captures the feel and the look of the show the best, mixing the type of cute and horror you expect from Bravest Warriors. I dug it a ton.

My only beef with this annual is the price point, as it’s not even a double sized issue for $5. Then again I am old, and remember that $5 use to get you a lot more comic for that price. Regardless of my old man problem, the Catbug Annual is a delight for all age reader/fans of the show, and I urge you to buy the hell out of it.

Guardians_of_the_Galaxy_Vol_3_11.NOW_TextlessGuardian of the Galaxy #11.NOW

Brian Micahel Bendis/Sara Pichelli/Justin Ponder

Marvel, $3.99, 20 pages

As someone who was a big fan of the DnA-era Cosmic Marvel, I’ve accepted that  Brian Michael Bendis‘ take on cosmic Marvel is a different beast. And seeing how I’m really digging Bendis’ take on the X-titles he’s writing, I went into the 2nd chapter (the cover says part 1 for some reason) of the Trial of Jean Grey with an open mind.

Sadly, the book is kind of a mess on the narrative side of things. Bendis attempts to play catch up with any potential new readers who’ve come over from the X-neighborhood (S’up), while progressing the story he’s been telling for nearly a year now. Sadly that’s a lot to cover in 20 pages, and it doesn’t mesh as well as it should in the end. Which is a problem with crossovers and event-tie ins, something BOTH titles are coming from.

Luckily for everyone, Sara Pichelli is on art duties, so the book looks fantastic. And with the introduction/catch up done, hopefully the next installment on the GOTG side of things will be an improvement. But if you’re like me and not a completionist/ buying Guardians on the regular, you can skip this issue.

marvel-avengers-assemble-issue-23inh Avengers Assemble #23.INH

Kelly Sue Deconnick/Warren Ellis/Matteo Buffangi/Nolan Woodward

Marvel, $3.99, 20 pages

I could read snarky Avengers team up forever Marvel, please take note.

Spider-Girl’s quest continues on this month, this time seeing her teamed her up the the omni-present Wolverine. Ol’ Bubsnikt is at his best when he’s cranky and forced to team up with teenagers (See: The last 40 years of X-men comics), and with KSD and Warren Ellis on writing duties, it’s no surprise how much this book is as drenched is banter and snark. It’s a solid and dense read, and Matteo Buffangi & Nolan Woodward do a fine job on art duties (with no assists this month, yay), providing slick, fluid, and bright visuals. It’s a shame that the book is ending in March, as it’s been a delightful read post-Infinity.

Saga-18Saga #18

Brian K Vaughan/Fiona Staples

Image, $2.99, 20 pages

Maybe you’re not hip to Tumblr. Maybe the term “Feels” is foreign to you. Allow me to help! “Feels” is shorthand for “Feelings”  that you may get from a comic, video game, or overrated niche genre show (#shotsfired). With that being said, I now fully expect everyone to know what I mean when I say Saga #18 had me DROWNING in feels.

The final chapter of what will make up the 3rd volume of Saga is flawless. It’s rare for me to actually choke up in response to the contents of a comic book (Grant Morrison writing Superman aside), but there were several moments in this book that gave me the wibbles. It’s a beatiful book, and THE comic to be ready right now. Several plotlines are resolved, 2 characters fates are revealed, and there are confrontations and answers a plenty. Both Vaughan and Staples are on top of their respective games, and it’s hard to imagine this book being as good as it is with any other creators involved.

The only downside to Saga is that we’re not getting another issue until probably May, which is brutal, given how this book ends. But at least it’s a clean break, and has me excited for the future.

That wraps up this week. Next week, THE most important mainstream comic of 2014 drops, and Steve Lieber returns to Superior Foes of Spider-Man. GET HYPED, ALSO GO HAWKS!

-Chris Troy writes weekly for Forbidden Planet NYC, and can be found on Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr @theanarchris

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Troy Toy’s But With Comics: Very fill in. Such Rush. Wow.

This is the last big release week in 2013, and man, it ended on kind of a downer comics-wise. 4 out of the 5 Marvel books I pulled had more than 1 artist attached to them, and the one with the correctly solicited team still involved a guest artist. Also Saga was kind of brutal. I suppose some explanations are needed.

dd34Daredevil #34

Mark Waid/Javier Rodriguez/Alvardo Lopez

Marvel, $2.99, 20 pages.

Javier Rodriguez came out swinging this week, which is exactly what Daredevil needed after the less than stellar art from last issue. He was a more than adequate fill-in for regular series artist Chris Samnee last time around, but man, Javier really stepped up his game since then  and it leads to some very strong framing sequences and panels in this issue. It’s a very Marcus Martin meets Annie Wu style, especially when it comes to facial expressions and body language. Add strong inks from Alvardo Lopez, with Javier coloring himself, you get a very strong final product. Mark Waid, remains flawless when it comes to dialogue, which surprises no one. This current arc of Daredevil has been impressive, mixing current headlines with obscure Marvel horror, and it’s hard to think who else but Waid could have pulled it off. This was easily the best book Marvel released this week, although it did some strong competition.

marvel-avengers-assemble-issue-22inhAvengers Assemble 22.INH

Kelly Sue Deconnick/Warren Ellis/Matteo Buffagni/Paco Diaz/Nolan Woodward

Marvel, $3.99, 20 pages

You can tell Warren Ellis has come aboard a title when the books starts off with “There are thing of yours I would very much like inside of me.”

That’s not a complaint mind you. Ellis works well with series regular Kelly Sue Deconnick, although the book feels a little more snarky and adult than usual. It’s still a delightful read, as it’s easiest the most fun and humorous Avengers book on the market. This Inhumanity tie-in arc started off on a great foot and the addition of Ellis has only made things better, especially since this story calls back to previous

The only downside to this issue is that Paco Diaz, the other artist attached to this title does not mesh well with Mattero Buffangi. I like Diaz a lot from his work on Daniel Way’s Deadpool, put his pages stick out like a sore thumb, despite Nolan Woodward’s excellent work on the colors. Still not a bad issue, it’s just stinks that some lesser art takes away from the final product. Speaking of which…

ANXMEN2012020-DC11-LR-e6953_latest_photosAll New X-men #20

Brian Michael Bendis, Mahmud Asrar,Brandon Peterson, Israel Silva, Marte Gracia

Marvel, $3.99, 20 pages

See above? Repeat that, but replace the names. Asrar and Peterson are both fine artists, but their styles could not be anymore different. And it doesn’t help that some of Asrar’s pages look extremely rushed, and both artists have their own separate colorists. It’s not a bad comic, but it’s certainly not as good as the book has been. Also ignore that cover, nothing like that even comes close to happening. Again, another good comic ruined by rushed art, something Marvel has excelled at this past week.

::: Also see Longshot saves the Marvel Universe #4 sadly :( :::

saga-17-web-72Saga #17

Brian K Vaughn, Fiona Staples

Image, $2.99, 20 pages

This is Saga’s Red Wedding issue. Or it’s Walking Dead midseason finale if that first reference doesn’t make sense to you. It’s the type of issue that has people screaming about their feels on Tumblr, because oh god, it hurts, and chances are it’s not going to get better next issue.

BKV and Staples has been carefully crafting this moment since the 3rd volume began. It’s been pretty light on the action, focusing on building characters and relationships, all while the volume 2 cliffhanger remained mostly ignored, not falling into place until the last 2 issues. And then previous issues’ cliffhanger drops, and it turns out to be a massive swerve and GUH, THIS BOOK IS SO GOOD Y’ALL, ALTHOUGH IT’S ALL FOR THE WRONG REASONS, GAH!

So yeah, Saga’s still great, but MANNNNNNN, it hurts y’all. It hurts.

I still need to read Pretty Deadly #3, but what I saw I liked. So it’s fairly safe to seem it’s pull-worthy. And with that, that wraps up my 2013 pulls. The next 2 weeks are extremely light on comics, so I have something else in store. Plus maybe I’ll look at some new toys. Who knows, but happy holidays regardless FPNYC Faithful.

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Troy’s Toys, but with Comics: Greenest Wednesday

A butt-ton of books dropped this past week, so let’s get down to business, yes?BlackScience_01_Cover_B

Black Science

Rick Remender/Matteo Scalera/Dean White

Image, 20 pages, $3.50

Black Science is a book I was a little concern going into it, as it came across as a spiritual successor to Fear Agent. FA is a personal favorite of mine, so there was a high expectation to be met. So did it you may be asking yourself? For the most part yes, as Matteo Scalera is no Tony Moore/Jerome Opena yet, but his pulpish visuals do Remender’s script well. It also helps that the “painted art” is by Dean White, who served Remender well back on Uncanny X-Force, and continues to do so here. There’s some fantastic use of shades of black, purple, orange, and blue in this book, and I definitely feel the “punk rock forbidden science” hook. That being said, there’s a case of Fridging (killing off a female character to only advance the plot) early on that kind of rubbed me in the wrong way, especially with all the internet rage over in Uncanny Avengers, also written by Remender. The ending, while a tad predictable when dealing with sci-fi, had a Tim Truman vibe to it that I really dug. Like something out of Vertigo in it’s prime, Black Science is definitely a book worth keeping an eye on.

cache_308_479_0__92_saga16_coverSaga #16

Brian K Vaughn/Fiona Staples

Image, 20 pages, $2.99

Saga, perfect Saga, remains the best. As we come closer to the end of act 3, we finally see things established at the end of act 2 come full circle, making me excited to see how this all wraps up before the brief and painful between volume hiatus. It’s more of the same from BKV and Staples, fleshing out some characters new and old, some world building, and a delightful poke at the spandex books and the folks who read em. And several characters find themselves in odd scenarios, which is all good, surprising no one. Staples continues to be an fantastic artist, and BKV is easily one of the best writers in comics right now.  The end product is at it’s worst great, and at it’s best brillant. Either way, the reader are winners in the end.

Hawkeye_Vol_4_14_TextlessHawkeye #14

Matt Fraction/Annie Wu/Matt Hollingsworth

Marvel, 20 pages, $2.99

Whelp, time to start looking at book written by the DeFractions clan. This month in Hawkeye, we return to the West Coast to check in on Katie-Kate Bishop and Lucky the Pizza Dog. Joining Fraction for her first full issue s Annie Wu, who’s off to a strong start. Wu comes from an animation background, which  shows, as the characters are very expressive in issue #14,  something I’m delighted with. Wu also throws Kate in several super-cute outfits, which I am a fan on. Fraction continues to write the hell out of this book, showing how Kate is similar to the OTHER Hawkeye, often for laughs, other times showing why she stuck around with Clint for so long. It’s an incredibly well executed done in one, proving that Kate Bishop could handle her own on-going series (she lets Clint co-star in this one after all). It’s takes a certain caliber of artist to be able to keep up with David Aja, and Wu  has the chops and the skill to do so.

Avengers-Assemble-21-Cover-e1579Avengers Assemble #21

Kelly Sue Deconnick/Matteo Buffagni/Nolan Woodard

Marvel, 20 pages, $3.99

The last time KSD and Buffagni worked on an issue of AA, I had some harsh words about the art. Skip ahead a few months, and Buffagni’s stepped up his game, delivering one of the best-looking issues of the series since Kelly Sue came aboard. The animated style is clean, fluid and bright, making it a perfect fit for the script, which is great itself. We have Spider-Girl swinging by for a nice team up with the other Spider-themed lady Avengers, and there’s laughs and action aplenty. Plus KSD brings in a female villain from her awesome Osbourne mini series from a few years back, and throws in some baddies from A.I.M. as well, while tying this all into Inhumanity. It’s a surprisingly dense read, ensuring you get your $4 worth from the comic. I really hope the title can stay crossover free for a bit, because it really shines when KSD is allowed to do what she wants with Spider-Woman and her teammates. And with Warren Ellis coming aboard next month, things are only looking better for this title, especially with the art now as good as it is.

Pretty-Deadly-2-CoverPretty Deadly

Kelly Sue Deconnick/Emma Rios/Jordie Bellaire

Image, 20 pages, $3.50

Pretty Deadly, much like Saga, is mature comics done right. Issue 2 shows the reader exactly why this book is titled as such with one of the most bad ass fight scenes this year. Rios and friends deliver an impressive 12 page action piece which is both brutal and beautiful, almost calling out other action comics (no pun intended) out there in a way. Everything from the page layouts to the coloring is fantastic, and it really shows off the strength of this creative team. Not to say KSD doesn’t pull her weight, because she does as she ensures there’s a plethora of quality content crammed in this book from cover to cover. It’s just that this issue is owned by Rios, who does the coolest thing I’ve ever seen with butterflies in a comic.  A step up from a impressive debut issue, Pretty Deadly is the type of comic I hope get an oversized hard cover some day, so that I can drool over the art is a slightly nicer format.

portrait_incredible (3)All New X-men

Brain Michael Bendis/ Brandon Peterson/ Israel Silva

Marvel, 20 pages, $3.99

My biggest problem with this issue is that Kevin Nowlan is only drawing the cover. It’s also my only problem. Well played Marvel.

Fill-in artist can either make or break a book for me. Sometimes they deliver (Daredevil) and sometimes the artist that swings by has the odds stacked against them and they can’t (again, Daredevil). Brandon Peterson, an artist I was actually kind of dreading filling in, make me a believer real quick with this issue.

Israel Silva, the colorist, is probably the real star of this issue. Kitty, Magik and the O5 X-men are in Miami this issue, and Silva’s colors are definitely faithful to the city.  Obviously Peterson gets props as well for capturing the look of Miami with his art, but Silva’s use of neon colors completes the package. It’s a stick looking book, and Bendis’ script plays to strenght of his co-creators. It’s chock full of action too, making up for a relatively slow previous issue, and the last page reveal is great if you don’t pay attention to solicits. It’s another great issue in a strong week for comics.

 

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I have read some comics, and one of them is called “Sex Criminals”!

It was a GREAT week for comics that I buy, and I am excited to tell you all about them FPNYC Faithful. Let me do so right now!

sex-criminalsIn terms of new releases for 2013, Sex Criminals (Images Comics $3.50) is definitely one of the books I was most hyped for. Oh wow, Chris is excited about a Matt Fraction book, I am surprised, said no one. All joking aside, I was sold on this title after I got a chance to read a few pages at Heroescon this year, and the final product definitely met, and exceeded, my expectations. It’s been awhile since I’ve gotten to enjoy a creator owned book by Fraction, and Sex Criminals shows of a side of the writer’s talents only hinted at in Hawkeye. It’s funny, with a hint of tragedy, and if you’re not following Fraction on Twitter, some of the adult content shown off in the book will suprise you. And speaking of Twitter, Chip Zdarsky‘s art is as good as his tweets are hilarious. His style is very unique, and he does some really impressive work with layouts, panels designs, and comedic delivery. And being a comedy book only makes it stand out on the shelves even more. I can’t recall reading a book this funny in awhile, outside of Superior Foes of Spider-Man, and it looks fantastic, thanks in-part to some wonderful coloring.  Sex Criminals is definitely something different and something adult, but worth it if you’re not afraid to try something not involving spandex, and are a fan of  Judd Apatow style comedies.

saga14-cover-71322Once again another issue of Saga (Image Comics $2.99) hits the stands, and once again, I’m blown away. I’ve praised the book plenty time in the past, but there’s a 4 panel sequence towards the end of the book that’s so beautiful it’s hurts. Everything about this book is perfect, from the dialogue, the emotional timing, to the art. It’s a really difficult book to review when everything is done so right. With only 14 issue under their belts, Staples and BKV have introduced a fairly large cast, a very diverse one at that, and their designs and actions just show how powerful their creators imaginations is. Image has been THE publisher for the last 18 months or so, and books like Saga are the reason why.

Avengers_Assemble_Vol_2_19If you remember last week (which you should, otherwise you may have some problems), I was not kind to the latest issue of Captain Marvel. This week, Avengers Assemble #1 (Marvel, $3.99) drops by the same writers, and it’s a much needed improvement. Kelly Sue Deconnick and Jen Van Meter use Infinity to delve into Spider-Woman psyche, and showing off a side of Black Widow we usually don’t see. It’s a fun read, and Barry Kitson delivers the type of visuals you’d expect from the veteran artists. Unfortunately, the art suffers from being inked by no less than 4 inkers, and it doesn’t stay as consistent as it does when Chris Bachalo does it. It’s still a good issue, and well wroth your time. And Avengers Assemble is only going to get bet, as November see Warren Ellis jump on board to lend a hand with the scripts.

Wolverine_and_the_X-Men_Vol_1_36Pretty cover is pretty, and super misleading. Don’t expect a mutant throw-down in Wolverine and the X-men 36 (Marvel, $3.99). What you should expect is one hell of a plot twist, and a great story told by Jason Aaron and Giuseppe Camuncoli. If you haven’t jumped on board with Battle for the Atom yet, there’s very little this issue will offer you, but if you’re like me, you will scream at several points in this book. It’s great, simple as that. we’re about halfway through Battle of the Atom and this event is delivering, not unlike Schism from a few years back. With any luck, this will continue into October, and we’ll have an X-event for the ages.

 

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Troy’s Toy: The One when Marvel makes a come back.

Still no Wolverine Legends, or whatever the crap they’re supposed to be called. I’m hearing September at this point, supposedly comics shops exclusives, so that’s cool. Well it’s only cool if I can snag both Emma Frost and Cyclops. Otherwise it’s the WORST THING EVER.

Remember last week when I was a huge liar and said there’s been a severe lack of new Marvel stuff out there? Hasbro’s gone done called me out by releasing a BUTT TON of new Marvel things. First up, what will ultimately phase out the Marvel Universe line (BOOO!) is the initial wave of Avengers Assemble figures. Based on the new animated series currently airing on Disney XD, the first wave consists of Iron Man (not pictured), Captain America, the Hulk, Falcon, Black Widow and the Red Skull. I bought myself the Black Widow because it’s arguably the best Widow figure to come out in the 3.75″ inch scale. Each of these figures posses somewhere between 12-15 points of articulation, fairly good sculpts and all non-Hulk figures come with S.H.I.E.L.D gear aka, spring loaded weapons that you can aim at your cat when she’s being dumb (yes I’m speaking from experience). I’m really digging the Widow figure, which I’m fairly certain it is re-worked movie Avengers figures with a non-ScarJo looking head sculpt. They’re $15 a pop, and I’m sure the short-packed characters are going to be harder and harder to find with every passing week.

The Marvel Legends line gets a HAWKGUY FIGURE BROS, BRO BRO BRO SERIOUSLY BRO HAWKGUY.  That’s Tracksuit Dracula for Rocket Raccoon line, who’s the build a figure for this wave. Includes is Black Panther, 2 members of the Wrecking Crew (I think Wrecker and Pile Driver, hell if I’m gonna google them), 90s Jim Lee Era Jean Grey, the 2012 Scarlet Spider and Hawkguy….Hawkeye if you’ve ignored my sage-like words to buy the book and am not in on the joke. Note, the variant figures will probably ship in the new few weeks- Pile Drive, Heroic Age Hawkeye, White Phoenix Jean Grey, and Age of Apocalypse Jean Grey. I’m not too crazy on Jean’s face sculpt with the final product, but the rest of the line is fine. Obviously I am a big fan of the Hawkguy, which means he too was bought this week. These figures are more in the 20 point range of articulation, and go for about $25 bucks a pop. I’d grab em as soon as possibly, except maybe for 90s Jean, and hope that the Phoenix version is better. Oh, and the Blade/Punisher figure from last year was re-released, now with a red skull on his chest to mirror his current look in Thunderbolts.

And to complete the Marvel trifecta is a quartet of new Marvel Universe figures. Spider-villains Rhino and Mysterio make their Marvel Universe debut with a pair of sharp figures, and are joined by a iconic take on Captain America, and Elektra, who I also think is making her MU debut. I don’t know, I think to ignore Elektra whenever she’s mentioned. But each of these figures are great, ESPECIALLY Mysterio, with his big dumb fishbowl. Not unlike the AA line, these also are going for $15, and are worth buying immediately because they’re gonna be harder and harder to fine as the series is phased out. And again, MYSTERIO PEOPLE, WHY WOULDN’T YOU WANT TO BUY HIM AND HAVE YOUR SPIDER-MAN/MEN ASSAULT HIM?

Yes I’m aware I have some weird criteria for toys to buy. What of it?

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I have bought some comics, and some of them have won awards!

San Diego Comic Con is going down, and I am not there, but in hot-ass Brooklyn instead. Part of me is jealous of the dozen or so people I know who are in attendance, but then I realize it would cost me at least a grand for a hotel, flight and badge. Also Twitter enables me to follow the big announcements, sans the 30 second previews or what have you attached to them, so there’s that. It is a collection of mix feelings that happens annually, which I’ve yet to get over.

Oh look  Avengers: Age of Ultron is the sequel to the Avengers film. Huh, I guess Thanos is Act 3? :: shrugs ::

Anywho, the Eisners went down on Friday night, and several ( well, more like 4) books I pull took home awards. David Aja, artist on Hawkeye, took was awarded 2 of the industries’ highest achievements, AND HEY , LOOK, VOLUME 2 OF HAWKEYE IS AVAILABLE TO BUY, HOW WEIRD IS THAT TIMING?!

::: Puts on his king of the segues crown :::

Volume 2, in a word,  is amazing. Aside from the fantastic Pizza Dog issue, it also collects 2 of my favorite single issues, #6 (The Christmas issue) and #7 (the Hurricane Sandy issue). This trade is also BRUTAL, as the party is over for ol’ Hawkguy, as his actions from Volume 1 begin to catch up to him, and things are a lot worst for Clint by the time the trade ends. Matt Fraction continues to weave a wonderful narrative, and the always amazing David Aja is joined by talented artists like Annie Wu, Steve Lieber, Jesse Hamm and Francesco Francavilla. I think we’re all aware how much I like this book, and encase we’re not, there’s an annual dropping next week that I will definitely talk about in great detail.

Moving onto more recent single issue releases, Adventure Time #18 dropped this past week, and is another book that took home an Eisner. With good reason mind you, it’s easily the best all ages book on the market, with Ryan North, Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb all doing an excellent job capturing the feel and the look of the show. This issue is one of the densest issues to date, and fair warning, there’s a lot of callbacks to the newer episodes in the series. So if you’re not caught-up, you may be a little lost. It also ends on a hell of a cliffhanger, one that is equal parts disgusting, horrifying and a even little funny if you’re a sociopath like me. The back up by Rachel Edidin and Kel McDonald is also a delight, with McDonald’s art giving the AT cast a unique look, and Edidin’s story ends on amusing twist. Adventure Time remains a great, funny book, and is one of the few books I don’t mind pay $4 for.

Speaking of $4 books :: points to crown :: both Avengers Assemble #17 and All New X-men #14 have dropped, and these are both books that live and die by their artists. The AA/Captain Marvel crossover “The Enemy Within” is now almost over, and the AA chapters are easily the weakest, thanks to some unsatisfying art by Matteo Buffangi and Pepe Larraz. Which is a shame, because Kelly Sue Deconnick’s script is fine, and there’s a ton of stuff that goes down this issue. But it’s ultimately ruined by some less than stellar pencils, which is a shame, because we’ve seen how much a KSD script can shine with the right creator with the earlier issues of this run, not to mention Captain Marvel. Hopefully the whole thing will read better collectively, but if not, at least I have Barry Kitson to look forward to in the near future. Kelly Sue deserves better honestly, given how well she handles these characters, ranging from the A-listers to some more obscure guest stars. respecting their proper “voices” and making it a fun engaging read. Hopefully someone at Marvel will recognize that sooner that later.

Meanwhile, Stuart Immonen is INCREDIBLE over in All New X, as a mostly fight issue wraps up the 2nd chapter of this book. I know it’s not fair to compare this book to AA, especially when Brian Michael Bendis and Immonen work so well together, but it’s hard to ignore the difference in quality between the 2 books. All New X-men blends the required action and drama the franchise is known so well with Bendis’ great sense of comedic timing, and the final result is wonderful. Hell, even the Uncanny Avengers come off a light more delightful here than their own book. While Bendis’ Uncanny has been hit or miss at times, All New is probably the biggest surprise for me out of Marvel Now in terms of personal enjoyment.

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I bought some comics, let me tell you about them.

Toy-talk next time I swear, but for now I want to talk comics and y’all got to suffer through that first. I’ve bought a few books that warrant discussion, at FPNYC and now I’m going to spend 500 words trying to explain how great they are.

First off, there’s Marvel’s mini-event “The Enemy Within“. One would assume if I were to talk about a Marvel event it would “Age of Ultron”, but I really have very few positive things to say about that. And “Infinity” is something I can wait to be collected before touching, sorry Hickman.

“The Enemy Within”  is a crossover between Kelly Sue Deconnick’s 2 books “Captain Marvel” and “Avengers Assembled“. Both of those titles are books I’m already buying as is, so it really wasn’t a hard sell. The event spins out of recent happenings going down in Carol Danvers’ book, where an old enemy is giving the good Captain hell, and forcing her to fight a ton of her old foes. So Carol calls in some of her mightiest pals to help deal with that.

And it’s such a fun read! You really don’t need to know much going into it, although being caught up on at least “Captain Marvel” helps. It feels like a lost Jim Starlin Avengers story from the 70s at times, and I mean that in a good way. The BIG difference is how KSD writes the cast. The Avengers come off as actual friends, so there’s a nice degree of warmth in the script, as well as some solid humor. The art by Scott Hepburn and Matteo Buffangi gives the story a very fluid and animated look, which I dig a lot. It’s a 5 issue arc, and if you want to read a FUN Avengers book with cast similar to that of the movies, it’s the way to go.

Dark Horse Presents #25 also dropped this past week, and for $8 , you definitely get your money’s worth. There’s 11 stories contained in 80 pages of comics, by some big name talent. Matt Fraction, a writer I’m obviously found of, makes his Dark Horse debut with Christian Ward and gives a nice done in one story focusing on  lost romance and time travel. There’s a GREAT 1 page strip by Emma T Capps, who’s all of 15 year old, a Buffy The Vampire story begins  by series regulars Jane Espenson and Karl Moline, and stories by A-list creators like Fred Van Lente, Freddie Williams III, Phil Winslade, Mike Baron, Steve Rude, Dan Jolley and Leonard Kirk, amongst others. My only complaint with this book is that some of the content is  already in the 2nd and 3rd chapters of their stories, so some of the tales may come across as confusing. Regardless of that, I remain pleased with my purchase.

And because the buzz around it is great, I also picked up the Legend of Luthor Strode, by creators Justin Jordan, Tradd Moore and Felipe Sobreiro. Published by Image Comics’, this book is as awesome as it is violent, which is to say A LOT. It’s “Kick-Ass” meets “Charlies Atlas”, which I know, does not say much about the story, but I’m trying to keep this relatively light on the spoilers. In fact, I’ll go on the record for saying that I liked it a ton better than “Kick-Ass”. For a $15 trade, you could do a lot worst, and this book definitely deserves a spot on your book shelf.

So there you go, a bunch of great books worth your time! Hope you check at some of them, and let me know what you think here, or on twitter. @theanarchris is my handle, and I’m fairly active on there, so all feedback is appreciated.

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