Tagged: Brian K Vaughn]

Troy’s Toys but with Trades!

Those invested in this blog’s continuity (WHY?!?) , you may have recalled that I only reviewed one single issue this past week.

That being said, Image, a publisher I have not shut up about at all this year, has released a number of super impressive hardcovers this past week (and a trade I’m tossing in there because I can). So I’m going to spotlight them here, because they’re all good reads that may or may not be under your radar, or you need some gift ideas for Black Friday.

CasanovaVol1HC_CoverFirst we have The Casanova Complete Edition Volume 1: Luxuria. Casanova is arguably the most Matt Fractiony Matt Fraction book and largely considered to be the book that made him stand out and be notice. It’s the third time this book’s been re-release and the 1st to be released by Image in color and in a fancy hardcover.

The easiest way to describe the book is a multidimensional spy thriller starring Secret Agent Mick Jagger who has some major daddy issues. That probably doesn’t clarify much, but such is the way in Casanova. It’s a book that requires you too devote your entire self to get comprehend, and if you do, you’ll be rewarded with an great read with gorgeous art work. Artists and brothers Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon channel a lot of Mike Mignola in their art, only trading in scares for trippy sci-fi tech and beautiful people. Having the art increased allows the reader to appreciate how much work they put into their art. While the $30 is a lot to ask for 4 comics, you’ll also get a ton of bonus content. It’s a must for Fraction fans, especially with the long await Volume 4 debuting in January.

 

51DjHOqStyL._SL500_AA300_The other massive re-release of collected material is Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples Saga. The deluxe hardcover collects the first 3 trades worth of material ( 18 issues to be precise) plus bonus material that was never put in the bare bones trades. Also a new cover, poking fun of some controversy the book faced by some people with dumb opinions. This Romeo and Juliet meets Star Wars comic is cheaper to buy in single trades ( $40 vs $50), but if you’re new to the book or want to double dip, I can’t recommend going with the hardcover enough. Staples art looks fantastic blown up in this oversized hardcover, and it’s probably the closet we’ll ever get to seeing Saga in the children’s book format that it draws its inspiration from. I know this isn’t much of a review, but I’ve talked about this book A LOT in the pass, so you should know my feelings towards it by now.

TheWickedAndDivine_vol1-1And while not in a snazzy hardcover, Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie’s The Wicked + The Divine also gets its first trade paperback. This is the newest of the 3 Image collections to hit the stands, and tells of the tale of a fan obsessed with pop icons who are actually reincarnated gods, and looking super pretty while dealing with their moralities. Not exactly the cheeriest of books I know, but I’m a fan of Team Gillen/McKelvie/ Matthew Wilson, and cannot recommend the trade enough if you’ve dug any of their past works. The trade collects issues 1-5 of the hit series, but a cover gallery. Well worth the $10 price tag, especially given the level of quality in the book.

 

These three, along with the excellent delux edition of Lazarus by Greg Rucka and Michael Lark are all excellent introductions to some of the best books available today. I recommend picking up all of them, or having someone do so for you as soon as possible.

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Troy’s Toys But With Comics: On time for a change

8435Outcast #1

Robert Kirkman/ Paul Azaceta

Image $2.99

Severe lack of Andre 3000 & Big Boi, despite being set in the dirty south. -11/10.

 

Now that my mandatory Outkast joke is made, I’ll attempt to be serious about Outcast, aka that new Robert Kirkman joint. I’ll be honest, despite KIRKMAN being arguably one, if not THE, most powerful man in comics, his books have done nothing for me as of late. The Walking Dead is misery porn, and Invincible, despite looking great, has hit Mark Millar levels of misogyny. That being said, artist Paul Azaceta is the dude who drew one of my favorite modern Spider-Man stories, $2.99 for 48 pages is a mega bargain, and worst comes to worse I can probably sell this book for double or triple digits once/if the TV adaption hits Showtime.

That being said, I dug Outcast #1. Despite it feeling KIRKMAN wrote this book straight for  a TV  adaption ( again, not unlike Millar), it’s a solid first issue. The script is fairly straight forward (our lead Kyle is an accidental exorcist, but there’s a twist!), and Azaceta draws the hell out of it. Paul, with Elizabeth Bretweiser‘s amazing colors, really do a great job setting up the book realistic yet creepy scenes well, doing  West Virginia proud. And when this book needs to be spooky and brutal, they really get the job done. There’s a bunch of stuff that may make more squeamish readers cringe,  pushing that Mature Only rating. It’s a gorgeous book, and I’m glad Kirkman’s level of success is giving another great artist some major exposure.

While Outcast is not my type of comic, it’s one that may appeal to you. And again, $3 for 48 pages is definitely worth it ( Oppose to Marvel’s bullshit $5 20 page comics). Hopefully the quality of the scripts match the quality of the art sooner than later.

 

download Saga #20

Brian K Vaughan, Fiona Staples

Image $2.99

 

Vaughn and Staples continues to twist that dagger they planted in their readers hearts after that last issue reveal. The book adds another tragedy to the current arc, and man, it’s bad times for everyone.

 

That being said, it’s misery handled well. Much like Sex Criminals #6 there’s some humor and general cuteness sprinkled throughout the book, which kinda cushions the blow when the bad times happen. And the half of dozen new characters BKV & Staples introduced last issue continue to get fleshed out, even though most of them are gonna lead to more BAD TIMES.christears in the near future.

So yeah, Saga continues to be a modern masterpiece despite destroying the emotions of its’ readers. Good job team Saga 🙁

 

portrait_incredible (3)Ms Marvel #5

G Willow Wilson, Adrian Alphona, Ian Herring

Marvel, $2.99

 

There’s a bit of dialogue in this issue that reminds me that Hurricane Sandy issue of Hawkeye. Since it was delivered by Kate Bishop, I now desperately want Lady Hawkguy & Ms Marvel to be BFFs and have awesome ward adventures.

 

Now that I’ve pitched my fan fiction, let me talk the actual issue. First off, holy crap, the final page of this issue may have just introduced my new favorite ridiculous Marvel villain. And I think this is the first Marvel comic of the last 5-10 years that actually had a training montage. Wilson, Alphonsa and Herring haven’t deliver a mediocre issue of Ms Marvel yet, and the streak Continues with issue 6. It’s a solid ending for the first major arc and it sets up the future of the book quite nicely.

And man, this book continues to look amazing. It’s bright, crazy expressive and just a fun comic. It’s perfect for both new readers and jaded Marvel readers looking for a lighter fun read. It’s literally the perfect all ages Marvel book that takes place in the main 616.

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Troy’s Toys but with Comics: Better never than later

Think I may have messed up that intro title.

 

BELATED REVIEW:

Lumberjanes_002_coverALumberjanes #2

Noelle Stevenson/Grace Ellis, Brooke Allen

BOOM! BOX $3.99

Let me start off this review by congratulating team Lumberjanes, as the series has gone from being an 8 mini series to a on-going! Lumberjanes is a great and important book for a number of reasons, and I’m glad BOOM! is giving the book and it’s fan the support it deserves.

Last week’s second issue is a another stellar comic, this time involving the girls going on a canoeing trip. Obviously things do not go according to plan, and more animals with 3 eyes may or may not show up (spoilers, they do) and the girls stumble upon a good ol’ fashion spooky woods mystery. It’s a ton of fun, and the book looks gorgeous. A lot of the humor, as well as the character building is expressed in the art without much exposition, letting the Brooke Allen‘s pencils do the talking. I’m 100% okay with this, as Allen’s art is super expressive, capturing the girl’s personalities and actions perfectly. Maarta Laiho‘s color art is excellent, and really captures the nature and feel of nature. Noelle Stevenson  & Grace Ellis are fantastic as well, as the dialogue and spoken humor are a hoot.

The all female created, LBGT  and all aged friendly Lumberjanes is arguably one of the most important books out in the market, not to mention one of the strongest. I’m glad it’s found an audience, and I certain hope it grows with each and every issue.

Saga_19-1Saga #19

Brian K Vaughan/Fiona Staples

Image $2.99

Yay, Saga‘s back. Boo, Saga’s last page is brutal.

Saga continues to be the textbook definition of perfection is comics. From cover to cover, Fiona Staples and Brian K Vaughan continue to do everything right. It looks greats, the dialogue is fresh and crisp (no one uses profanity like BKV folks, and the plot moves at an impressive rate. It’s mind blowing on how much BKV and Staples can cram into 20 pages, especially when they’re introducing new characters into the cast.

And the last 2 pages. Just….man. Without going into details, Vaughn and Staples change the game on the readers. They managed to completely changed the mood of the book with 10 words, and not by the traditional comics means of death of destruction. It hurts y’all, it’s hurt something fierce.

TLDR: Saga continues to be the best, although sometimes it can be a jerk while doing so.

Uncanny_X-Men_Vol_3_21_TextlessUncanny X-men #21

Brian Micahel Bendis, Chris Bachaelo, Tim Townsend

Marvel, $3.99

The current arc of UXM is titled X-Men vs SHIELD. If’ you’re keeping up on the title, you’re probably expecting things to play out a certain way. 3 issues into this arc, I can safely say that they’re not going to, and the book is stronger for it.

Several plot lines are coming together and the results are interesting. That’s a compliment mind you, as the book has never been better, and a certain X-man needing some redemption in my eyes comes through, while another one makes his triumphant return. Brian Michael Bendis‘ handling of these characters is impressive, and his dialogue and script on this book has never been better.

I’ve spoken highly of Chris Bachalo before in the past, but it’s usually about his art. While it’s great here, his coloring is really impressive this issue. The various uses of reds, greys, and greens are fantastic, and what really won me over was the 3rd last place. The shade of blue Bachalo uses for the sky is beautiful  and it shows off how he’s grown as a colorist.

Uncanny X-men has been stellar for months, and the book is probably the strongest it’s ever been in years. Bendis and Bachalo are an excellent creative team, and I’m really digging the direction the book has taken during their run.

 

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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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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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