New Comics Wednesday (2/19/20)

Happy New Comics Wednesday!

Go here for a complete list of comics releasing this week.

What are you getting this week?

My comics

  • JUSTICE LEAGUE #41
  • LEGION OF SUPER HEROES #4
  • UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY #4
  • VALKYRIE JANE FOSTER #8
  • FIVE YEARS #8

Other comics

  • MARVELS VOICES #1 – “Inspired by the acclaimed podcast series!” I don’t know anything about this podcast, and now there’s a comic inspired by it? Has anyone listened to this podcast who would like to sell me on it? (Yes, I know I can go listen to it myself, but what’s the fun in that?)
  • STAR #1 – I’m always on the lookout for new Marvel or DC characters and Star sounds like something I’d be interested in. Waiting for the trade, though.
  • WOLVERINE #1 – Snikt!
  • ARCHIE MEETS B-52S #1 – Look, I enjoyed “Love Shack” as much as the next person, but why does this musical group have such staying power in the pop culture zeitgeist?
  • DOCTOR TOMORROW #1 – I almost tried out this series.
  • GODKILLERS #1 – Same. Maybe waiting for the trade.
  • PLOT #1 – And a third almost ran where I might get the trade.

What are some other comics I missed that I should add to my Buy list?

Best comic I read recently

VALKYRIE: JANE FOSTER #7 by Al Ewing, Jason Aaron, Pere Perez, Jesus Aburtov, Joe Sabino, and Mahmood Asrar and Matthew Wilson (cover)

Valkyrie Jane Foster 7

The best Marvel comic you’re not reading continues with the Marvel Medics treating Death herself! The plot is pretty simple (the medics journey to Death’s realm to prevent her from dying and have to face some uncomfortable situations along the way [a la the Hero’s Journey]), but the execution of the scene with the portraits, Jane’s conversation with the Death of Death and her soliloquy as she answers Its question (“Do we need Death?”), and how the final page connected all of what came before was so great.

 

New Comics Wednesday (2/12/20)

Happy New Comics Wednesday!

Go here for a complete list of comics releasing this week.

My comics

  • BATMAN PENNYWORTH RIP #1
  • THE GREEN LANTERN SEASON 2 #1 – More Grant Morrison and Liam Sharpe Green Lantern goodness.
  • HAWKMAN #21
  • SUPERMAN #20
  • 20XX #3 – I recently talked about issue 1 in glowing terms, but after reading issue 2, I’m now questioning my initial reaction to the series and also wondering if I will continue with it. Issue 3, you have a lot riding on you!
  • DRAGONFLY & DRAGONFLYMAN #4

Other comics

  • ANIMAL MAN BY GRANT MORRISON TP VOL 01 – If you’ve not read this series, do yourself a favor and get this.
  • BILLY BATSON AND MAGIC OF SHAZAM TP BOOK 01
  • HARLEY QUINN & BIRDS OF PREY #1 (OF 4) – In case you enjoyed the movie (I haven’t seen it yet)?
  • ZATANNA AND THE HOUSE OF SECRETS TP – Another of the DC Kids OGNs that I wish I’d ordered.
  • STAR TREK YEAR FIVE VALENTINES DAY SPECIAL – I now wish I’d ordered this.
  • AERO TP VOL 01 BEFORE THE STORM – I’m keeping an eye on this as a future InStockTrades purchase.
  • COTTONS SC GN VOL 01 SECRET OF WIND – I totally missed this in Previews. I want to read this book now.
  • DOCTOR MIRAGE TP VOL 01 – Same as with Aero.
  • HOPE TP – Another book I’m interested in getting.

Best comic I read recently

NEAR DEATH v1 by Jay Faerber, Simone Guglielmini, Ron Riley, Charles Pritchett, Tom Coler, and Daniel Freedman

near death v1

Some time last year, probably during an Image sale on Comixology, I bought both volumes of Near Death primarily because I’m a fan of Mr. Faerber’s comic books. That and I am a sucker for the “bad guy” attempting a shot at redemption. In this case, hitman Markham dies briefly and finds himself being haunted by all of the people he’s killed. He comes out of the experience not wanting to end up in that place again, and so decides he needs to balance the scales. He does this by helping people and, with a few missteps, not killing anyone in the process.

One thing I enjoy about this premise is that Markham’s motives aren’t altruistic and he has no compunction about killing again, but he chooses not to. It reminds me somewhat of the Rockford Files but edgier. Guglielmini’s art is sufficiently noirish and moody, but I’m never confused about where my eyes should scan across the pages and who I’m looking at, which, surprisingly, is a lot more of a problem in other comic books I’ve read than you’d think. And after reading both volumes of this title, I can now read the recently released OGN Over My Dead Body!

What are you getting this week?

RandoMonday: Animal Man #21

Here’s a comic chosen at random from my collection.

Animal Man (1988) #21 by Grant Morrison (writer), Chas Truog and Doug Hazelwood (artists), John Costanza (letterer), Tatjana Wood (colorist), Art Young (assoc. editor), Karen Berger (editor), and Brian Bolland (cover)

God, I loved this series. Yes, you had your Dark Knight Returns and your Watchmen, but while Animal Man was similar in some ways, in others it was better. This was Morrison at his beginning, exploring things that are familiar ground now, but back then, this was some head-splodey stuff. And the feels that this book generated….

Speaking of feels, Buddy is feeling pretty crappy. His family was murdered in the previous issue (though we only see the result), and contrary to the usual “save the day in the last panel” trope, his family is killed, and Buddy could do nothing about it (in fact, he was off having an adventure). In this issue, he decides that old-school Biblical is the way to go, but it’s not your typical histrionics that we might have seen from lesser writers. No, Buddy is cold, calculating, and it creeps you out. Teaming with the Scottish Mirror Master (who turned down the assignment to kill Buddy’s family, and who is helping Buddy because the group that tried to hire him owes him some money), Buddy goes after the men who ordered the hit. Buddy drowns the first guy in the ocean–Buddy’s expression as he watches the guy drown (“I hold him until he stops kicking.”) is quite disturbing. The second guy he buries alive, shown in panels that are completely black except for the word balloons. The third guy he punches out of the side of a building–of the three, this is the only time that any emotion shows on Buddy’s face as he delivers the deathblow, right after the man pleads for his life. Finally, Buddy finds the assassin (Lennox) and the story enters into familiar territory in that  Lennox is inside a mechanized armor suit. They fight, but Buddy electrocutes the guy, trapping him inside the armor, barely alive. However, Buddy still wants more blood. He puts on a glove with sharp talons at the ends of the fingers, and proceeds to dismember Lennox (off panel). After he’s through killing the men responsible, Buddy claims that he feels nothing (echoing his emotional detachment throughout the issue), but also, he knows how he can fix everything: all he needs is a time machine.

What a brilliant issue among many in the Grant Morrison run of Animal Man. While I have all the single issues, I also have the first two trades of this series. It occurred to me rereading this specific issue that I should get the trades that complete Morrison’s run on the series so that I can easily reread the series. As for the art, I was never a big fan of Truog/Hazlewood’s work, but they did do a good job at conveying how overcome Buddy was in this issue (and especially in the previous issue). This is definitely one of those kinds of comic books where even if you know the plot, you still get so much out of reading the issue. Do yourself a favor, and seek out Morrison’s Animal Man.

Comic Book Memories

Here’s a video (using Google Hangout) where I discuss certain comics that have a special memory for me.

Comics discussed:

  • Animal Man (1988) #15
  • Legion of Super-Heroes (1980) #305
  • New Teen Titans (1980) #4
  • New Teen Titans (1980) Annual #2
  • Brave and the Bold (1955) #182
  • Amazing Spider-Man (1963) #187
  • Marvel Tales (1964) #98
  • Avengers (1963) #177

When I Was 21: Comics from March, 1990

Because my daughter just turned 21, I talk about the comics I bought during March, 1990, when I was 21. These include Daredevil #280, Legion of Super-Heroes #7, Hawk and Dove #12, New Titans #66, Star Trek #8, Animal Man #23, and L.E.G.I.O.N. ’90 #15.

And the novel I was trying to mention was Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut (go read it).