Tagged: Steve Lieber

Chris’ Comics: Paper Girls #7 & The Fix #4

PaperGirls_07-1Paper Girls #7

Brian K Vaughan,  Cliff Chiang, Matt Wilson, Jared K. Fletcher

Image $2.99

What I like about this current arc of Paper Girls is that it’s taking a lot of time travel cliches and having fun with them. So many stories involving time traveling embrace a certain set of rules (Don’t interact with your past/future self, don’t tell people things that haven’t happen yet) that it feels like there’s a certain checklist you have to embrace to tell they type of story. Luckily the team of Brian K Vaughan, Cliff Chiang, Matt Wilson and Jared K. Fletcher play by their own rules, and it makes for a fascinating read.

As anyone who’s read Saga or anything else BKV has written, you know that he’s quite capable of doing emotional moments well. There’s two in this issue that are on the complete opposite end of the spectrum, but they’re both written so incredible well. Of course the credit due is split between Vaughan and artists Chiang and Wilson who excel at body language and mode coloring. Their pacing is great, as one scene goes from super cute to pretty funny in a blink of an eye, while the other drags out just the right amount of time for maximum devastation.

While I was pretty hit or miss on the initial arc, Paper Girls #7 is a great read by a creative team that can’t seem to do any wrong this time around. Everything from the art to the dialogue to the placement of the word balloons seems perfect and significant, and it’s proof that these creators are onto something truly special with this title.

TheFix_04-1The Fix #4

Nick Spencer, Steve Lieber,Ryan Hill, Nic J Shaw

Image $3.99

Sadly, the events on that rad as all hell cover do not take place in this issue.

Mac Brundo is the lead for this issue, a nice change of pace from the last few Roy-centric issues. While he’s no angel, Mac is a little more likable then Roy, and this issue does a good job of making the reader emphasize with him. We also get introduced a character who may or may not have something to do with the events of the last issue, as well as checking in with character find of the year, Pretzels.

Also it’s the first comic I’ve read in recent history where FAP is used as a sound effect, and yes, if you know what that refers to, it’s for those exact reasons. Props to Nic J Shaw for making those fonts large enough for extra comedic effect.

Steve Lieber‘s art thiis month is a little more exaggerated than usual, and it works well for this issue. It never clashes with Lieber’s more realistic style, and when paired with some great sights gags and razor sharp dialogue from Nick Spencer, it results in laughs.

The Fix #4 is another hilarious read from a team of creators who excel at the ridiculous. Between genital based humor, pets, and several threats of violence, it’s hard for me to not love this comic.

 

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Chris’ Comics: The Fix #3

TheFix_03-1The Fix #3

Nick Spencer, Steve Lieber, Ryan Hill, Nic J Shaw

Image $3.99

I’ll be honest; for a hot minute, I almost didn’t review this comic. Given what went down in Orlando this past weekend,  the events in The Fix #3 made my reading experience uncomfortable. That is not the fault of Nick Spencer, Stever Lieber, Ryan Hill or Nic J Shaw in ANY shape or from mind you, as there was no way they could predict was would offer a few days after the book’s release. I will point everyone to this tweet, and encourage anyone who can afford to give to do so.

The Fix #3 sees our lead Roy putting in some overtime, which he scored in the most horrible of ways, poor Pete. Body-guarding musician Elaina seems like a sweet gig for him at first, but things quickly spiral out of control, leading is an ending you won’t see coming.

Nick Spencer is currently know by the majority of comics readers as the guy who did some bad things to Captain America (The Steve Rogers flavor). In this comic though, Spencer is providing some commentary on what fame and the music industry can do to a person. The character of Elaina can be easily called a stand in for a Lindsey or a Brittany,  and what they endured once becoming household names. Spencer may be taking some of the plot points straight from the headlines, but he manages to stay away from becoming too preachy at any given point, which is appreciated.

Steve Lieber’s art is impressive as per usual on this third issue. His work is so expressive, and it definitely helps set up several gags in this issue. Lieber knows exactly when to exaggerate character’s faces for maximum comedic effect, and his body language is just as fantastic. He knows how the switch up the tone on the fly, which really helps keep readers on the edge of their seats. Ryan Hill’s colors are superb, giving this book the proper Shane 3074774-007_fix03Black feeling this book deserves. The constant presence of orange/red colors helps create an environment that appears to be welcoming, but there’s that feeling of tension bubbling underneath. Nic J Shaw, just feels like the right guy to be lettering this book, especially come the finally pages of the book where multiple types of fonts are required. Despite being only 3 issues in, it’s scary how good this art team is, and how well the collaborate.

Further proof of this creative team’s brilliance comes early in the issue, where Roy and his pal Donovan are having a conversation about Elaina. Not only is it a nice bit of exposition, but there’s an amazing gag towards the end that works due to the pacing of the dialogue, Lieber’s page layout, and a killer line at the very end. It’s definitely a tad crude, as is the conversation leading up to it, but given the type of people involved in this scene, it’s completely in character, and serves as a reminder that they’re not exactly the best of folk. It’s something Lieber and Spencer did in SUP FOES a lot, and it’s good to see it return, turned up to 11, here.

The Fix #3 may have be a victim of unfortunate timing, but I can still recognize how excellent this comic is.  It’s a a perfect blend of action, comedy and drama that’s really unlike any comic out there, and by an writer/artist team that’s a proven commodity.

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Chris’ Comics: The Fix #2 & Gotham Academy #18

STL004569Gotham Academy #18

Brenden Fletcher, Steve Orlando, Adam Archer, Sandra Hope, Moritat, Serge La Pointe, Minkyu Jung, Natasha Aletrici, Faith Erin Hicks

DC $2.99

Gotham Academy #18 has a story written and drawn by Faith Erin Hicks. If this was a CBR/IGN type site, that’s the sort of thing that would make me give this comic a 10/10.

Issue 18 is not only the final installment of the Yearbook arc, but also the final issue of this volume. The title will be taking a brief hiatus as Rebirth kicks off, and will return with an annual come August, follow by the 2nd volume starting up in September. So what this issue does is wrap up a plot point for season 1, and give this volume a nice cute ending.

Aside from the 2 page Hicks penned and drawn issue that I’ve clearly enjoyed, Brenden Fletcher also wraps up the scrapbook/Damian story arc with Adam Archer and Sandra Hope, plus checks in on another semi-forgotten character with Moritat. The team of Steve Orlando and Minkyu Jung get in on the fun with Maps and another super obscure DC character, and Natasha Aletrici does a cute 6 page story featuring on Pom and her never seen before mother. While these creators all bring their own respected voices to the book, it’s impressive how all these stories fit the tone of Gotham Academy.

With a lot of the weirder, off-bea DC books wrapping up, I’m glad Gotham Academy will be back in a few months. This arc was neat, and it super cool to see so many different creators come together and play in this sandbox. I’m now I’m eager for the original creative team come back and tell more stories with these creators.

 

 

CoverThe Fix #2

Nick Spencer, Steve Lieber, Ryan Hill, Nic J Shaw

Image $3.99

Nick Spencer and Steve Lieber need to be on this book for forever. Also if you want to put that on the trade jacket, y’all more than welcomed to do

Issue #2 of the new crime-comedy comic is just as incredible as the first. Our leads are in a bit of predicament after went down in the first issue, so they hatch up a scheme to deal with their problems. Said scheme involves shooting one of themselves in the hand, and ruining an innocent man’s life. Officers Roy and Brundo are terrible people.

And that’s why this book is so great! Like Superior Foes of Spider-Man, you SHOULD dislike our two dirty cop leads, as they are very bad people, and have yet to do a single thing to change that. But Spencer and Lieber have made a pair of character who are very charismatic, and placed them in a very funny book, so it’s all good. At least that is what I tell myself, truth be damned.

What’s really great about this issue is that everyone is putting 100% into this issue. Artist Steve Lieber not only draws a ludicrous number of panels per page, but Nick Spencer makes sure to fill them full of dialogue. Which means letter Nic J. Shaw has his work cut out for him, and does a excellent job of fitting all that dialogue onto the page without running much interference on the art. And Ryan Hill‘s colors are perfect for Lieber’s are, giving the book a nice warm, California feel.

The Fix #2 is great, simple as that. There’s a reason why this book is flying off the shelves, and it’s because the creators on this title are doing some career defying work. This is not a title you’re not going to want to trade wait for. Buy on sight.

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Chris’ Comics: The Fix #1

TheFix_01-1The Fix #1

Nick Spencer, Steve Lieber, Ryan Hill, Nic J Shaw

Image $3.99

I am grateful for Marvel’s The Superior Foes of Spider-Man for a number of reasons, some of the being the head of crime boss Silvermane in both KISS make up and on top of a remote control car. But the biggest reason I loved that book was seeing creators Steve Lieber and Nick Spencer work together and create a comedy comics with lead characters who are quite the jerks. With SUP FOES ending last year, the creative team has reunited and created The Fix, which is published through Image, and debuted this past week. While Superior Foes excelled while playing within the confines of the Marvel Universe, The Fix being creator owned allows Spencer and Lieber to do and say things that are VERY not main Marvel continuity approved.

The Fix’s premise is very at home for anyone who loved SUP FOES; only thing time around, instead of super villains, we get 2 small time criminals who are also cops. A pair of Boomerangs if you will (i.e. likable, but also the worst type of people), Roy and Mac are trying to make an easy buck in a number of illegal ways; robbing nursing home residents, pqeleyk6dqxzsbtu0walillegal robot fights, letting a “producer” off the hook after a bath salt induced rampage for a cut of his profits. Somehow, they’re super charismatic despite all of this, but I guess that’s because they’re surrounded by folk who are somehow worse. Come the end of the book, we’re finally introduced to a character who is actually morally upstanding, but there’s bit of bit of twist involved that’s super hilarious.

Nick Spencer is an excellent writer who does a lot of  genres quite well, but I find him the most enjoyable when he’s writing crime comedy. It’s a little off-putting at first to see him drop F-bombs and tell stories about accidentally swallowing things that I can’t mention here, but it’s so funny that you’ll get over it fast. Nick is definitely one of the smartest 002_thefix01dudes I currently follow on Twitter, so this script and the dialogue being as clever as it is comes as no shocker (no pun intended). Read the pages where we meet crime boss Josh and see what I mean.

Steve Lieber’s art is as equally inspiring. There’s a flashback involving a Bath Salt induced rampage, and there’s maybe all of 2 dudes in comic who could even come close to capturing this short of insanity/depravity as well as he does. His ability to convey comedy is spectacular, and I absolutely adore how Steve draws facial expressions. In short, Lieber’s art is absolutely terrific. Coloring Lieber’s art is  Ryan Hill, whom I’m not too familiar with, but absolutely kills in this first issue. He manages to nail the sleeze and grit you would expect from a crime drama extremely well, but keeps things bright enough to remind you that this whole shebang takes place in sunny California.

The Fix is incredible. I’ve loved a lot of Image #1s over the last few years. but it’s been a good while since I’ve been tickled by a book this much. If there’s any justice in the world, The Fix will be the next big thing at Image, so you should get on it NOW.

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Troy’s Toys, but with Comics: Superior Foes of Spider-Man #17

My pull list last week consisted of 1 whole title. This week was much better, as several great comics dropped, making me happy and my wallet sad. One of those books was the final issue of The Superior Foes of Spider-Man, which I decided warrants an article/review all to itself. BE WARNED, WE’RE GOING TO GET DEEP INTO SPOILERS!

portrait_incredibleThe Superior Foes of Spider-Man #17

Nick Spencer/Steve Lieber/Rachel Rosenberg

Marvel $3.99

When I reviewed SUP FOES #16, I stated that if that was the final issue of the series, I would have been more than pleased. But now that I’ve read issue 17, I can proudly say that past me was wrong once again, and it was for all the right reasons.

SUP FOES #17 is the issue where Nick Spencer, Steve Lieber and Rachelle Rosenberg show their hand, and all the secrets and twists are revealed. The massive heist and gang wars are all just a distraction for Boomerang, who doesn’t want to the run the city as a crime boss, but as a star pitcher. For the New York Mehs, an excellent visual gag by Lieber that’s also a pretty accurate description of that team. Of course, the other 5 members of the Sinister “6” weren’t in on that plan, so they’re kinda in a bind/in the middle of a 4 way betrayal, and the sudden appearance a certain gun toting vigilante.

But of course, Boomerang can’t (and shouldn’t) have nice things, and poop hits the fan shortly after his plan is explained. His final fate is purposely vague , a reference to the Sopranoes, which he names drops, and it features a character who’s appearance makes all the sense in the world. Also I called it last month, so it didn’t exactly come as a complete surprise. The other Sinister 5 member also get their just desserts, with 2 of them ending up in better positions that they were in when the book started, where as the other 2 are probably not. We also get an appearance from poor Mach-VII and a certain bar tender who apparently was more than she lead on to be.

 

The humor in Superior Foes is definitely a good reason as to  why this book so great. There’s a number of hilarious panels that really show up the genius of both Spencer and Steve with both visual and spoken jokes, not to mention some really odd and insane references, especially when it comes to a gag involving the Shocker. References can sometimes be really cheap when it comes to jokes (oh look it’s like that other thing I like, haha), but Spencer and Lieber call themselves out on it as well, and it works in their favor.

But it’s ultimately the message of Superior Foes, eulogized by former wrestler/upcoming Thor Annual writer CM Punk,  that explains  why this book is so great. Spencer, Lieber and Rosenberge ultimately told the tale of a bunch of people who had a dream, and went about the easiest and sometimes most illegal ways to achieve it. It’s not a GREAT moral, but it something we can all relate to on one way or another, sometimes even more so than the super-altruistic leads of these cape comics.

The Superior Foes of Spider-Man wasn’t a book that changed the Marvel Universe (for 6 months), sold incredibly well, or had a massive fanbase like the Carol Corp. What it was thought was Nick Spencer delivering some of the funniest and clever scripts in his Marvel career, Steve Lieber drawing the hell out of this book (this particular issue average 8 panels a page, if not more, without a drop in quality), and Rachelle Rosenberg’s coloring adding another dimensional to the the pencil art (see the Boomerang at the bar pages in this issue for some of her finest work), and giving the book a uniform look when there was a fill in artist.  SUP FOES was a book I almost missed out on when it first launched, and I’m glad I was there for the ride now that it’s over.

 

 

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Troy’s Toys, but with Comics: Superior Trees

Hey Superior Foes of Spider-Man is back this week. Yay, I’m so glad no other Marvel books that I really like are also on hiatus :: breaks out in ugly crying :::

sup foesSuperior Foes of Spider-Man #12

Nick Spence, Steve Lieber, Racelle Rosenberg

Marvel $3.99

 

It’s been awhile since I’ve checked in on ol’ SUP FOES, due to a month delay and some fill in issues I didn’t care to purchase. But Nick, Steve and Rachel and back, and despite a increase in price, I’m glad to see the once again. Especially with that rocking cover by Ron Wimberly.

Our lead, disgraced former Mets pitcher turned super villain Boomerang, find himself in a bit of trouble rest  of the Sinister Six ( actually Five). Mostly because he lied/double crossed the lot of them, or if you’re the Shocker, tried killing. So their anger is justified. Can Boomerang lie his way out of this scenario? Yeah probably, but you should still read the damn thing.

This issue is incredibly rewarding to people who’ve been reading SUP FOES since day 1. Lieber & Spencer bring back a few old gags like the double page death trap warehouse ( complete with Stalin Mummies!), super deformed version of the Sinister Six, over exaggerated facial expressions. Steve Lieber’s panel count per page is also impressive, fitting up to 12  in some pages, without the final product being over crowded. And his placement of characters for comedic purposes really helps sell the humor. This book continues to showcase how strong of an story telling Lieber is ( and props to colorist Rachelle Rosenberg for really making this book come to life, especially with the action sequence towards the end of the book).

Nick Spencer deserves his fair amount of praise with what he gets accomplished with this issue. Aside from tripling the amount of characters in a certain team of villains ( Bi-Beast is back!), the Shocker & Hammerhead get  decent amount of spotlight with their connected subplots. It’s really wonderful to see everything come together for a super great read.

As our first massive arc ( and possibly series :/) wraps up, I’m really impressed with this issue of Superior Foes of Spider-Man. It’s a well constructed comic that manages to raise the stakes without sacrificing character development.

Woods_002_CoverThe Woods

James Tynion IV, Micahel Dialynas

BOOM!, $3.99

 

The 2nd issue of the Woods is heavy on the troupes. Evil facility member? Check. Adorable monkey-esque pet character? Check. Creepy ass alien bear…alright that’s kind of new and awesome.

 

As familiar as the 2nd issue of  The Woods is, it’s not any less entertaining than the first issue. The team of students that decided to run off into said the woods find themselves not as prepared they thought they were, and the divide between the Student Council and the school’s facility begins to grow. With all this growing conflict, I’m expecting  a heavy body count by the end of this first arc.

The team of Tynion & Dialynas continue to impress with this issue. The art in this book is stellar and the dialogue remains sharp, and the amazingly brutal cover by artist Ramon K. Perez is as great as it is horrifying. My only complaint is that the massive cast is making some elements of the book seem a little crowded, but considering the type of monsters that occupy this weird alien planet or moon, I’m sure that’s not going to be an issue for much longer.

Despite the sense of familiarity this books gives off at certain points, the Woods is definitely a must read horror title. It’s a little than the previous issue, it’s constructed in a way to build the dread and terror the cast faces while adding on the intrigue. It’s a unique type of horror comics, one that smart without talking over the reader’s head. With only 2 issues under the team’s belt, I’m really impressed with the quality of story the team has told so far.

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Troy’s Toy, but with Comics: So much Marvel (Belated edition)

Without going into details, life happened. Here’s some reviews:

300px-Secret_Avengers_Vol_3_1Secret Avengers #1

Ales Kot/Michael Walsh/Matt Wilson

Marvel, $3.99

Real talk, I had trouble choosing between covers. Tradd Moore’s was awesome, but Katie Cook’s Avengers Ducks was the cutest thing to ever cute, and it had a M.O.D.O.Duck! I would gladly spend $4 a month reading about Secret Avenger Ducks, please take note Marvel.

I picked this book up for 2 reasons. The first one being my wife REALLY like Spider-Woman, and this appears to be the book to read about J-Drew  with Avengers Assemble wrapping up this month. The 2nd being when the preview pages dropped, this incarnation of the book looked VERY much influenced by the Fraction/Aja Hawkeye book, a title we all know I love.

In the letters section, writer Ales Clot says this is “Michael Bay directs an episode of Breaking Bad as it meets Arrested Development. and it’s full of spies and super heroes.”. And it literally is, (I guess makes it Agents of SHIELD meet Archer), as 4 different stories are interwoven into one narrative. And it works. It’s a fun, slighty-violent read illustrated wonderfully by Michael Walsh. Walsh reminds me a lot of David Aja & Michael Lark (Daredevil, Gotham Central), and is a perfect fit for this title.

I was really excited for this book to drop, and after reading it, I’m happy to say it surpassed my expectations. Fans of Agents of SHIELD, Hawkeye, Avengers Assemble and the new Black Widow series need to get on this title sooner rather than later.

hawkeye17cvrHawkeye #17

Matt Fraction, Chris Eliopoulous, David Aja, Jordie Bellaire

Marvel $2.99

After the crazy cliffhanger dropped in issue 15, the belated issue 17 (let’s not forget 16 shipped before 15!) is an holiday issue. In March. I’d complain, but  Chris Eliopoulous, the series letter, steps up on art duties to tell the tale (OR SHOULD I SAY..TAIL? HM HM HMMM!) of the Winter Friends. And you know what? Like every issue it’s fantastic. Eliopoulous is a amazing artist, and this fun little story has get twist to it, so who cares if it’s Christmas in March right? Also holy crap, look at that cover, it is sweet, also tight. Again, you should be reading this book, and if you’re not, it’s your lose. Also I’m judging you. More so than usual.

Captain_Marvel_Vol_8_1_TextlessCaptain Marvel #1

Kelly Sue DeConnick, David Lopez, Lee Loughridge

Marvel, $3.99

Don’t call it a comeback. No seriously, we’ve only been Captain Marvel less since November, and she’s been in a number of Avenger titles since then. It wasn’t that painful y’all.

But the 2nd volume of Captain Marvel makes an impressive debut. By now, no one’s questioning Kelly Sue DeConnick’s ability to craft a great story with Carol Danvers. She’s arguably the best thing to happen to the character since Chris Claremont brushed her off from some questionable decisions back in the 80s.

David Lopez however, is the Captain Marvel artist we deserve. While there was some serious talent involved in volume 1, the final page of this issue is some next level stuff It’s a great looking book, and sets up the new status quo for Cap Marvel quite nicely. It’s a good jumping on point for new readers, and it justifies a new #1 for returning readers. Between this and the newly launched Ms. Marvel , it’s refreshing to see some great female writers produce fantastic comics, and that Marvel is recognizing that there’s an audience for these stories.

portrait_incredibleSuperior Foes of Spider-Man #9

Nick Spencer/Steve Lieber/ Rachelle Rosenberg

Marvel $2.99

This is the issues where Boomerang and the Shocker both scheme and attempt to improve their lives. But these guys are super villains, so things do not go according to plan If that’s not worth  your $3, I have no idea what to tell you. Marvel’s best book you’re probably not reading continues to be the best book you’re probably not reading, and I really wish you were. There’s some genuine moments of badassery never seen before in this book, as well as some really strong comedy stuff with amazing timing. This team is so in synch it’s not even funny, only okay, the book is hilarious, never mind that.  The first volume is out in trade, so get on it, get caught up, and buy this comic. Unless you hate good comics. If so, let me tell you what’s going on in “Forever Evil“….

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Troy’s Toys, but with Comics: Rumor has it.

The new hotness in comic book movies journalism is click baiting via casting rumors without any sort of source. Granted it’s nothing really new, late 2013/earl 2014 has already made me sick of it thanks to “OMG THE ROCK SAID SOMETHING ABOUT GREEN LANTERN IN A HASH TAG” or “YEAH MISS MARVEL’S TOTES GONNA BE IN AVENGERS 2, TRUST US, DESPITE US BEING WRONG ABOUT THESE SORT OF THINGS MOST OF THE TIME!”

(( Yes I too find this a tad hypercritical coming from the guy who’s written for Bleeding Cool. But at least that site’s track record is pretty good)).

Back on topic, if it’s not on Variety, Entertainment Weekly or any site of that nature and pedigree, chances are it’s fake. Believe it or not, Batmans-news-movie-geeks.com is probably not your best best for valid movie news, nor is any site, that doesn’t think Marvel’s going to call Carol Danvers Captain Marvel when she makes her debut. //rant over

Here’s some quality picks that dropped this week:

Baltimore Chapter of Bones #2

Lobster Johnson Get the Lobster #1

Action Comics #28

Batman Black and White #6

Trillium #6

Turok Dinosaur Hunter #1

Lazarus #6

Loki Agent of Asgard #1

Punisher #1

Fox #4

Regular Show #9

Archer & Armstrong #0.2014

Reviews:

comics-ms-marvel-1Ms Marvel #1

G. Willow Wilson/Adrian Alphona/Ian Herring

Marvel, $2.99, 20 pages

Yeah,  this is very much the comic I was referring to last week when I called it “The most important release by the Big 2 in 2014”

Not to get all SOCIAL JUSTICE BLOGGER on y’all, but while Marvel’s definitely doing better at getting more female lead titles out there, they ( as well as a lot of companies) could be doing better with book by female creators, and with minority leads. So Ms. Marvel fits that demand. Now the question remains, is said comics any good?

Of course it is, don’t be stupid, did you see who’s attached to this title?!

tumblr_n0jho2DAJO1s4k95yo1_500G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona were not the names I was expecting to hear when the book was formerly announced, but I’m glad it’s them. Wilson, who you may remember from Vertigo’sAir“, is a great female comics writer who should have been given a book of this caliber and hype years ago if there was any SOCIAL JUSTICE in this world (#sorrynotsorr). She’s a proven talent, as is Alphona, who you SHOULD know from his amazing run on Marvel’s Runaways with Brain K Vaughn. No it’s no surprise that they deliver with this more-than-solid-debut.

Granted the teenager getting super powers story has been told over and over again, going back to a nerd getting bit by a spider, there’s enough fresh ideas tossed into this story to make it work. Wilson does an excellent fleshing out young Kamala Khan in a debut story that does an excellent job of showing off Muslim Culture without pandering or being too preachy. Alphona’s, with Ian Herring’s colors, art is also great. It’s bright, clean, and while it doesn’t stylistically look like your traditional Marvel book, continues that theme of nontraditional  art in a Marvel Super Hero, like Hawkeye before it.

There’s no reason not to but this book honestly. It’s fun, and it introduces another cool toy in Marvel’s already massive and awesome toy box. It’s also a nice warm up for fan waiting for Carol Danver’s return next month in Captain Marvel volume 2. I wish nothing but the best for the book, and am eagerly looking forward to issue 2 already.

Also rest in peace Rainbow Toots (2014-2014). We hardly knew ye.

 

background (1)Superior Foes of Spider-Man #8

Nick Spencer/Steve Lieber/ Rachelle Rosenberg

Marvel, $2.99, 20 pages

I never thought I’d laugh that hard at a “Thanks Obama” joke in 2014 (this is probably a lie btw), but #SUPFOES, has gone and proven me wrong. Also I will now refer to this book as #SUPFOES because that is easier to type than 4 words (Thank you based Nick Spencer).

Steve Lieber returns to  the book after taking an issue off and everything is okay. Well in terms of quality of the book, not so much for the actual members of the Sinister Six.  But Lieber’s panel work is fantastic, especially in the early pages of the issue, crammed with all sort of fun visual gags and great art.

3623026-the+superior+foes+of+spider-man+008+(2014)+(digital)+(darkness-empire)+004Spencer and Lieber have the Six in an odd situation and it’s great. 3 of the members want 1 of the them dead. Said one of is celebrating the biggest success in his recent history, and one of them is dealing with…..well it’s Shocker and hilarious, I’ll leave it at that. The issue is great, and the ending is crazy, especially if you’ve been keeping up what with’s going on in Daredevil.

There’s a rumor (UGH) floating around that #SUPFOES is ending at issue 15 based on an Amazon listing (again, Bleeding Cool so it’s a little more believable). Nick Spencer has stated on Twitter that this book has always skated the thin line between hit and cancelled. Either way, there’s plenty of time to “Save” this book, which you should be reading because IT IS GREAT, which I’ll continue to say until it stops being be. Which is hopefully a few year from now.

 

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

 

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Troy’s Toy but with Comics: #1 with a tie!

Well look at that, apparently there’s a tie. And I’m sure it has everything nothing to do with issue 7 of one of these series dropping this past Tuesday.

saga15-cover#1a) Saga

Brian K Vaughn/Fiona Staples (Image Comics)

With Hawkguy & Sex Criminals sitting at #2 and #3 respectively, I’m sure this comes to as a surprise to no one. Which means I have nothing to explain and the article is over.

 

::: Checks word count and curses :::

Okay so maybe I should explain some of this. But honestly, what is there left to say? NEWS FLASH: BKV STILL GREAT AT WRITING. FIONA STAPLES: REALLY HAS THIS DRAWING THING DOWN!  THE LYING CAT: STILL PRETTY GREAT, EVEN DURING THIS PAST YEAR, THE YEAR OF THE PIZZA DOG!

lying-cat-and-sophie-2Snark aside, Year 2 of Saga was fantastic. Sure we didn’t have the book every month, but when it dropped, each and every issue was a delight. Okay so giant monster gentitals may not be what some people consider delightful, but you get what I’m saying. It’s a well-crafted comic, and easily the crown jewel in the Image Empire these days. BKV’s dialogue is so natural, and his characters sound very realistic, despite having wings and televisions for heads. And again, Fiona Staples, REALLY good at drawing! The range of visuals she can supply to this book is beyond impressive, ranging from sexy to grotesque.

Also the book can be really funny at times, which I appreciate when it’s not tugging at my heart or toying with my emotions. I still get a little choked up at that Lying Cat conversation scene from above.

Saga was flawless in 2013, and I doubt that will change anytime soon. But like I said earlier, this is a tie.

background#1b) Superior Foes of Spider-Man

Nick Spencer, Steve Lieber (Marvel)

2013 saw the debut of 3 books with the word “Superior” in their title. First there was “Superior Spider-Man“, which upset many a nerd and sold a butt ton of comics this year. There was also “Superior Carnage“, but I don’t care about that, and chances are you didn’t either. And then finally there was “The Superior Foes of Spider-Man“, a book that wasn’t even on my radar until the first issue dropped and the early buzz called it the next Hawkeye. Intrigued, I picked up #1 and made sure to buy every issue upon release since then.

Superior_Foes_of_Spider-Man_Vol_1_6_TextlessAs I said like a month or so ago, SFoSM is an FX/FXX comedy set in the Marvel Universe. Past Marvel books starring villains usually attempt to rehab them somehow, making them anti-heroes or straight up heroes. Your Deadpools, Venoms and Thunderbolts for example. Superior Foes makes these villains, arguable the weakest version of the Sinister 5 Six, LIKABLE yes, but also remains you that yes, they are the bad guys, and they enjoy doing bad things. It’s surprising refreshing, and a ton of fun.

Superior Foes use of continuity is probably one of the best things about the book if we don’t factor in how friggin hilarious some of the running gags are. One of my many problems with New 52 DC is that they seem to be embarrassed by their legacy, and the work many talented creators have done for them over the year. The past is embraced here, factoring in stories from Marvel’s silver age up to modern classic runs by writer such as Ed Brubaker and Jeff Parker, which results in some powerful and/or hilarious stuff. Issue #7, which dropped this past Tuesday, is proof of this, tying into the origin of the new Beetle quite nicely.

Nick Spencer and Steve Lieber, 2 wonderful veteran creators came out swinging with this title, and I loved every issue to date. This book definitely owes it’s existence to the success of Hawkeye, but it’s very much it’s own monster. It’s violent, but more so Looney Tunes style, hilarious, and surprising modern and refreshing. And all without a single appearance from the sales-boosting Spider-Man so far. It gets my pick as co-book of the year by being a fantastic book with little to no hype and the use some some obscure characters. Big ups to Spencer and Lieber for really coming through in 2013, as well as to the other creators I’ve talked about these last 3 articles.

And with that, the best of 2013 is wrapped up. It’s been a great year for comics, and I’m excited for what 2014 will bring. I’m taking a small break as I’m MagFEST bound this weekend, but I’ll be back later next week to talk about… ::: checks pull list :: SEX CRIMINALS! And maybe a book that’s :: gasps ::: published by DC!

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Troy’s Toys, but with Comics: Small Week.

QUICK REC: I’m not sure how much you, the reader, may or may not be interested in WWE wrestling (aka “The Wrestle”), but if you are, you NEED to flip through WWE Superstars‘ debut this week. That book is insane, in the best sorts of ways, and I assure you, it’s good for a few (unintentional) chuckles. People who aren’t into the “sport” should look away, but I believe in the Shield and I was not disappointed with what I got. Now to to comics definitely worth buying.

 

UNCX2013015-DC11-LR-3a1a4Uncanny X-men 15.Inh

Brian Michael Bendis/ Kris Anka

Marvel, $3.99, 20 pages.

NOTE THE .INH! DON’T WORRY, IT’S NOT TOO HEAVY ON THE INHUMANITY THINGS, AND IT CAN BE ENJOYED REGARDLESS IF YOU CARED ABOUT INFINITY OR NOT.

Uncanny 15.INH was another solid done-in-one by Bendis and guest artist Kris Anka. Anka reminds me a lot of All New X-Men’s Stuart Immonen, only his character’s facial features seem a little softer. Which is not an insult mind, and is good seeing how this is a very female heavy issue. Anka does a fantastic job on this issue and I hope he comes back from time to time. His body language is great, his fashion sense is superb, and the very expressive art really helps to sell the humor Bendis injects into the script.

Bendis needs to pay extra attention to a name in this issue, as there’s a HUGE easter egg/gag referring to one of his most hated moments from his STILL on-going Ultimate Spider-Man run. And it works, given the X-Men played a role in THAT particular story. Clever nods to his past works aside, the issue is great. Ton of characterization, some really funny moments, a splash of action and a nice use of the greater Marvel universe to tie it all together. These last 2 issues of Uncanny X-Men have been the best the series has seen, which is exactly what this title has needed to even the playing field with it’s sister books.

Superior_Foes_of_Spider-Man_Vol_1_6_TextlessThe Superior Foes of Spider-Man #6

Nick Spencer/Steve Lieber/Rachelle Rosenberg

Marvel, $2.99, 20 pages 

“I wand you to draw Doom…like one of your French Girls.” G.P.O.Y. Y’ALL!

The Superior Foes… is pretty much the Marvel equivalent of an F/X (or is it FXX these days?) comedy. The cast is pretty unlikeable for some reason (or several), but occasionally do some things that makes them enjoyable, and then karma kicks them in the face and we have a good laugh. This issue starts off with a date, which makes you want to cheer for Boomerang at points, but then you remember that he’s kind of a scumbag. And then you find out what exactly his past actions have done to the other members of the Sinister Six, Speaking of endings, man the one for this one is a doozey.

Spencer and Lieber continue to wow me every month with this book. The humor is the best thing about this title, ranging from quick  little throwaway gags to some amazing panels that are laugh out loud funny. You may think a sad, drunk Doctor Doom isn’t canon, but I think it’s great and I’m sure I’m not the only one who does so. And the creators have done an excellent job of making a bunch of B-list villains both enjoyable and likeable, without ignoring the fact that they’re criminals. Which I like, because some bad guys are cool because they’re evil and it sucks when they’re watered down (see 90s Marvel). Superior continues to excel, and I hope this book sticks around, as it’s a complete gem of a title.

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Troy’s Toys, but with Comics: Triple X Edition

Obviously yes, I am still experimenting with titles for this thing.

Amazing_X-Men_-1Amazing X-men #1

Jason Aaron/Ed McGuinness

Marvel, $3.99, 20 pages

I’ll admit, I’m a little late to this party, mostly because I initially overlooked this title last week. I’m already pulling a ton (2) X-titles on monthly basis, so I figured I could trade wait Amazing. But then I got a free digital code for it, and decided to check it out, because free is great.

With that explained, let’s me start off with saying the Ed McGuinness‘ art is PERFECT in this book. His style, a mixture of classic John Byrne and 90s Capcom, really captures the script well, the character looks iconic and fresh. Also his BAMFS are super cute. The strong inks and colors only improve it, and Amazing is already on par with it’s sister books, which says a lot given the talent attached to those books. It’s nice to see Ed given a chance to work with a writer I really dig, sorry not sorry Jeph Loeb.

Veteran X-writer Jason Aaron‘s script is also flawless, mixing action and comedy for a perfect first issue. Bringing back a beloved fan-favorite character like Nightcrawler is no simple task, but these creators definitely meet and surpass those expectations. With Wolverine and the X-men ending in a few months, Amazing X-men is positioning itself quite well as the heir to the most dynamic X-book on the stands.

 

All-New_X-Men_Vol_1_18_TextlessAll New X-men #18

Brian Michael Bendis/ Stuart Immonen

Marvel, $3.99, 20 pages

Kitty Pryde and the original X-men find themselves in a new school, new uniforms and new classmates this week in ANXM. Fresh from Battle of the Atom, Benis and Immonen use this issue to set up the new status quo, as the X-kids deal with the insanity that’s gone down  over the last few months. This also means an insane amount of drama and a ton of dialogue, which is to be expected from a Bendis-penned X-book.

Stuart Immonen is probably my favorite artist working at Marvel at the moment, as the level of talent he brings to this book is crazy. He’s tasked with drawing an insane amount of X-men, and each of them are unique (well except 2 of the triplets, which is kind of the point) and dynamic, despite most of the issue involved mutants standing around and talking. The new uniforms, something my wife described as Power Rangers-esque, are really neat, although  would have preferred to see Jean in White and Gold instead of White and Green. Apparently I’m a costume fashion snob.

 

Brian Bendis’ script is a very by the numbers talking-heads-Bendis script. Which isn’t a bad thing mind you, as the title is coming off a crossover and needs some time to breathe. It’s just something we see a lot from Bendis. Regardless of what my snark may imply, it’s a cute issue to start off year 2 of ANXM, and I’m excited for the new issue dropping in a few short weeks.

portrait_incredible (2)X-Men Gold

Chris Claremont, Bob McLeod, Stan Lee, Louise and Walter Simonson, Roy Thomas, Pat Ollife, Len Wein, Fabian Nicieza, Salvador Larroca

Marvel, $5.99, 60 pages

X-men Gold is a one shot in honor of the X-men’s 50th Anniversary, and is basically classic X-men continuity porn.

Let me be honest, if you haven’t read a X-men book before Grant Morrison started writing for the franchise in 2001, this is not the book for you. The “newest” story in this book canon-wise is a Fatal Attractions tie-in/Onslaught prequel. Which kids, are events that happened in the mid 90s. It’s definitely a old-school throwback, and at times, not even a good one, at it comes across a tad sexist and racist depending on the story. And it’s worth noting that at least 14 of the 60 pages are previews for Amazing and All-New X-men. It’s not for everyone, and even the intended audience may have some problems with this one.

detail (1)Superior Foes of Spider-Man #5

Nick Spencer/Steve Lieber

Marvel $2.99, 20 pages

This book is perfection.

It really is! Everything from the cover to the last page is great, without a misstep in site. Spencer and Lieber’s formula is no different than the one BKV and Fiona Staples use over in Saga; start off awesome, and end with a crazy, shocking (no pun intended) cliffhanger. I don’t think I’ve read a heist in comics before this insane, nor hilarious. And the intro for this issue is CRAZY tense, and kind of gross, but in a good way.  This book is a blessing, and it’s gone from great to can’t miss in the span of 5 issues. This book is up there with Hawkeye and Daredevil in terms of quality, something I know I’ve said a number of times before, and will continue to say until sales and morale improves. I mean c’mon it’s like Forever Evil, only no I suppose not come to think of it, and actually good!

 

NEXT WEEK! SEX CRIMINALS, PROBABLY ANOTHER X-MEN BOOK, AND OH BOY, DAREDEVIL!

 

 

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Here I have bought some comics and NEW YORK COMIC CON WEEK!

In case you’re new here, it’s been established that I have much love for the hometown show known as NYCC. Granted PAX East and Heroescon are probably my favorite shows, NYCC is all the HYPE of SDCC and is only a subway ride away, making it TON more easier to get to than it’s west coast counterpart. More importantly, I’ve always had a great time at NYCC, so I’m excited for Thursday obviously! But we still have 4 days, so let’s take a look at what I dropped cash monies on this week. (Also make sure you swing by the store for the numerous signings and events we’re having over the next 7 days!)

3345294-17a

All New X-men 17

Brian Michael Bendis/Stuart Immonen

$3.99, Marvel, 20 pages

One of the biggest joys I’ve gotten out of Battle of the Atom is watching my wife read this event. She’s still new to cape comics/events in the 616, and seeing her lose her collective sh*t over BotA has been great, considering I’m jaded towards these sort of things, even the ones I like. Chapter 6 of BotA plays off of the reveal from Chapter 5, doing some world building for the X-men of the future. Bendis had been hyping up the issue on twitter for a week, and while you can argue it living up to said hype or not, it’s still a fun read. Stuart Immonen, Wade von Grawbadger and Marte Garcia are still doing some of the best work in their careers, as this book continues to be a visual treat. And if you’ve been reading the X-books for a awhile and there’s a nice little homage to Jason Aaron‘s first Wolverine and the X-men story, which I enjoyed . The 2nd month of Battle of the Atom is off to a strong start, and I can’t wait for Chapter 7 to drop on the eve of NYCC.

Superior_Foes_of_Spider-Man_Vol_1_4_Textless

 Superior Foes of Spider-Man #4

Nick Spencer, Steve Lieber

Marvel, $2.99, 20 pages

Superior Foes continues to impress, as the Sinister 5 run into the Heroes for Hire, and things do not go well for our leads. Which is good, because they’re villains and they’re not supposed to have good things happen to them, right? I may be confused about that.

Spencer and Lieber are still firings on all cylinders here, and 4 issues in, we can see/enjoy a few fantastic running gags these 2 have established. If you would have told me that Boomerang was going to be one of the breakout characters of 2013 before this book dropped, I would have laughed at you. Now I couldn’t agree that statement anymore, although I do have some love for the female Beetle as well. And if you’re expecting some nods to Luke Cage and Shocker’s run in the Thunderbolts, you’ll get it. And the 2nd half of this book is fantastic, fleshing out Boomerang a ton, only to throw a hilarious black-humor swerve on the final page. Again, if you like Hawkeye and Daredevil or B/C-list villains you need to be reading this. book.

 

9780785166580_p0_v2_s260x420

Avengers Arena Volume 2: Game On

Dennis Hopeless, Kev Walker, Jason Gorder and Riccardo Burchielli

Marvel, $15.99, collecting issue #7-12

The 2nd collection of Avengers Arena answers several questions the ultra violent series raised in the first volume, all of which are brilliant in their own ways. But then several more are raised,  delivering a twist that could change how we’ve all looked at the series this far. Hopeless is blessed with 3 different and VERY talented artists for this volume, all who maintain a fairly similar art styles, which is nice if you’re a fan of consistency. And with most 2nd tier/new characters being used, it’s nice that the stakes in this death game still remain high. Marvel’s teasing a 2nd season of this title under a new name (which should be revealed at NYCC this week). Possibly the most violent Marvel title not being published under the MAX label, Avengers Arena remains a delight, assuming you don’t mind a book with high body count.

 

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I have bought some comics, and now I’m taking a vacation

Little bit of news FPNYC Faithful, I’m going to Europe from 9/10-9/20. Meaning I’m not going to be talking comics with y’all for 10 days. Which means you’ll have to go to one of those other hundred websites that talk about Marvel comics, I KNOW, I’N SCARED FOR YOU TOO, BUT SOMETIMES LIFE IS HARD YOU GUYS.

It was a big week for the X-books as the first 2 chapters of “Battle of the Atom” dropped. Originally I was going to sit this one out and wait for the trade, but I’m an addict of sorts, so I figure I might as well pick up the first 2 issues to hold me over to December/January. And I’m glad I did, because they’re really solid. Chapter 1, the Battle of the Atom (Marvel, $3.99, 32 pages) one-shot is written be Brian Michael Bendis and joined by Frank Cho and Stuart Immonen, and Benis and Immonen handled chapter 2 as well over in All New X-men (Marvel, $3.99, 20 pages) . Props to Stuart Immonen who managed to bang out 24 pages between 2 books, as Cho couldn’t finish the BotA one-shot by himself. Regardless of art assists, the books look fantastic, as Cho doesn’t go too cheesecake (something he’s famous for) with part 1, and Stuart remains one of Marvel’s best artists, drawing dynamic page after dynamic page. Bendis isn’t a slouch either, his scripts are action packed, but don’t skimp out on the humor or drama either. BMB juggles the 4 teams quite well, and despite 50 years of X-comics, these books are super accessible.  Both these books are worth the $4, so if you’re not a X-men fan but want to check em out, I wholly encourage you to do so. And yes, unless you’re anti-Bendis or some nonsense, there’s plenty to enjoy if you’re a veteran X-fan too.

In non-X-Men Marvel news, the 3rd issue of the Superior Foes of Spider-Man (Marvel, 20 pages, $2.99) has been released and we’re all better for it. Hawkeye did not drop in August, and chances are we’ll be Hawkguy impaired in September as well, which sucks. SFoSM however has done a great job of filling the Hawkeye-sized hole in my heart, as the 3rd issue of this fantastic issue is comedic delight. Boomerang, our lead for this series,  manages to fill us in on the life of a low-tier Spider-Man villain, gets thrown out of his crew, hits up a meeting for Super Villains anonymous and gets a little revenge on his old “friends” all within 20 pages. Nick Spencer KILLS it with this book, as the humor is fantastic, and he gives Steve Lieber plenty of quality stuff to work with. And Lieber delivers too, as his expert pencils give us excellent visual gags that only enhance Spencer’s jokes. I know there’s no shortage of fantastic books at Marve these days, but Superior Foes is quickly making a name for itself amongst it’s peers, and is one of the most funs books Marvel’s been putting out as of late.

Oh hai Mark, it’s been awhile.

Released a week about, the latest Invincible collection dropped, collecting the landmark 100th issue of Robert Kirkman/Ryan Ottley‘s fantastic series. I use to buy this title monthly, but decided to go back to trade-waiting when I felt the book was getting a little stale. And I’m glad I do so, because coming back to it after a brief break only made me love this title again. Ryan Ottley is probably my favorite monthly artist on the stands these days, and watching him grow on his book over the year (artistically) has been a treat, as his action bits (and violence) are second to none. And Kirkman is great as well, reminding us all that the joys of a creator owned book mean the status quo can change on the dime. If you’re a fan of super hero books, there’s no excuse not to buy Invincible (unless you don’t like excessive violence, then yeah, I can understand why you may not be reading it). Even with it be being 100 issues deep, there are a ton of collection/omnibus’ in existence that can help you get caught up ASAP. I advice you do so.

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I have bought some comics, one of them is called Hawkeye.

Before we get into the reviews, I just wanna give a thank you shout-out to Loran/Solphie, who’s time at FPNYC has come to an end. I wish her all the luck out in California, and thank her for her many years of writing about giant robots for us.

So a book I forgot to mention last week that’s worth your time is The Superior Foes of Spider-Man by Nick Spencer ( Morning Glories, Secret Avengers) and Steve Lieber ( Hawkeye, Underground), which a cool update of the ” Blank Foes of Spider-Man” mini series from the 90s. One of things I liked about this book was the fact that Spencer made sure to point out that these guys are STILL villains in the debut issue, and that’s something that isn’t going to change. There’s shades of a Brubaker crime book in this issue, but make no mistake, Spencer does not shy away from the fact that this book takes place in the Marvel Universe. The script is great for a debut issue, introducing this cast of B & C-list Spider-villains and throws in a few neat plot twists along the way. It’s also insanely funny at times, which makes the villains a tad more likeable, even though some of that humor is DARK. Lieber’s art is fantastic, and his style is very much in the vein of Aja on Hawkeye and Samsee on Daredevil. SFoSM is  the type of quirky book that Marvel’s been famous for as of late, and it’s a welcome addition to the already strong Spider-Man family of books.

Chris Bachalo and Tim Townsend return to Uncanny X-Men this week, and I couldn’t be happier. Frazier Irving is a hell of an artist, but Bachalo owns the visual end of thisbook, and issue 10 is proof of this. Bachalo is an artist I usually associate with big-booming splash pages and double spread, but here he’s channeling his inner Steranko, with a dash of J.H Williams, and gives us some interesting panel work and layouts, not to mention some great use of white space. And his Magik is THE BEST, no one denies this. His pencils and Townsend’s inks stands over even better than to his own coloring, giving the final product an awesome look worthy of one of Marvel’s flagship titles. It kind of makes me wish Uncanny was bi-monthly, so that Bachalo wouldn’t need a guest artist every other arc. Bendis bounces back from the last arc strong as well, giving us a surprisingly dense script with some great character development. Despite the deceiving cover (a Bendis trademark), Uncanny X-Men is a great read, and I’m really curious as to how things are going to play out.

The crown jewels of Steve Wacker’s line of Marvel books both shipped this past week, and Daredevil and Hawkeye this month have a lot more in common than just an editor.  Both books are missing the artists usually associated with the title, but neither of them suffer for it. DD’s colorist Javier Rodriguez takes over for Chris Samsee as a guest artist for this arc, and while he’s not as gifted as Samsee is, the book still looks great. Mark Waid has written a nice little 1st chapter in a 2 parter that’s not an intense as the previous arc, but still a fantastic read, and a ton of fun (which is kind of a given looking at that cover). Then again Waid hasn’t written a bad issue yet on this book, so this come as no surprise really.

Meanwhile over in Hawkeye, Francesco Francavilla returns to help Matt Fraction introduce a new supporting cast member to the book, not to mention setting the record for the use of “Bro” and “Seriously in a single panel. I know the former may not sound impressive if you’re not reading the book, but I assure you, it is. Francavilla was done no favors having to follow up Aja’s amazing Pizza Dog issue, but he delivers in spades, telling a excellent story that blends tragedy, action and humor. While this issue isn’t as groundbreaking as the last one on technical or storytelling level, which is a bit of an unfair comparison, it STILL is one of the best book on the stands, getting the 2nd year of the book off to a great start.  (( Also worth noting is that the 2nd collection just dropped 2, which y’all need to get on.) This was definitely a Marvel-heavy pull week,  but it doesn’t matter to me who’s publishing what when the books are so good.

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