Monday, January 30, 2017

Last Week's Comics Today - 01/30/2017

The Justice League / Suicide Squad ramble below could have gone much longer.

Pick of the Week
Saga #42 - This issue ends with several all-black pages.  I don't know if those are really to hammer home what just happened or to allow your brain a slight mental break before returning to the real world after what just happened.  At one point I said, "They killed [redacted]!" and then tried to explain to her both that scene and the final scene.  She was more concerned with The Stalk.  Maybe someday she'll read it and understand.  Then we can share in the goodness and sadness.  Damn this book for being so good.

Honorable Mention
Aliens Defiance #9 - I'm not sure if it's surprising or expected, but things continue to get worse for the small crew of this beleaguered ship.  When faced with very likely dying very soon vs maybe dying sometime later, they choose the latter and let loose the alien queen they've had on ice.  So now they'll have to deal with that and it won't be nearly as "easy" as it was the first time.  Once again, an amazing read.

Briggs Land #6 - This tends to be near the bottom of my weekly read pile -- not as any sort of indication of quality, as it's outstanding work, just that I need to be prepared to read it.  I'm not sure if that's been the case the entire time, but definitely since the Nazi uniforms issue.  Anyway, multiple plans are hatched or set in motion here setting the stage both short- and long-term.  This is a book that's incredibly well executed.  I'm looking forward to the forthcoming TV series so the comic can hopefully reach a wider audience.

Ether #3 - There's a hand drawn map in here that reminded me of Weirdworld.  There's enough similarities between the titles that for anyone that enjoyed the Secret Wars title, I recommend picking this up.  While that heavier on action, this is a murder mystery with a gut-punch of humanity at the beginning or end of each issue.

Frostbite #5 - The cliffhangers in this series are great by themselves, but even better is how the characters get out of them in the next issue.  It's really well done.  If last issue weren't enough, Vic shows she's nowhere near helpless.  The cast should arrive at Alcatraz next issue and what happens there will be anyone's guess but it should definitely be interesting and make for a fun read.

Everything Else
Abe Sapien v8 - The end of the series snuck up on me.  I mean, I probably read about it months ago whenever the solicits came out, but must have promptly forgotten about it.  It's been clear for a while that BPRD is building toward a finale and as much as I'd like to see it, I'm a little in denial about the whole thing.  We learn a lot in this volume about Abe's early years, about how he became Abe (even if you think you already know), and where he fits in the broader picture.  It's fantastic and makes me want to re-read the entire Mignola-verse to refresh my memory.  For anyone that read Hellboy but not BPRD or Abe, you're missing a significant chunk of the story.

Detective #949 - This two issue arc went well enough that I'm signing up for Batwoman Rebirth #1.  Kate's father is in a completely different place than when I last read, but I'm not sure I want to go back to read how all that went down.  It's good and I'm looking forward to reading more Batwoman.

Justice League Suicide Squad #6 - It's a better ending than these things usually get, and it's satisfactory in places, but my brain wouldn't stop reminding me of certain aspects.  Eclipso "unlocks the darkness within" ...which only manifests as violence, for some reason.  With all the talk of "secret desires" I kept thinking sex was being felt out, and I understand why, but there are other base instincts that could have been represented and the variety would have been nice.  The eclipse itself reminded me heavily of Forever Evil, especially given the cast similarities.  Finally, there's the large-scale destruction.  The Earth has faced a fair bit of global damage due to metahuman fighting in recent months, which reminded me of Hitch's opening Justice League arc and how - unbelievably - only one person died.  Surely more people died here, but I don't know if it will ever be addressed or even commented on in either title, especially given Hitch's detachment from this event.  All I'm saying is, it'd be nice to see some consequences.  There's constant fighting, constant destruction, but hardly any rebuilding or downtime.  For me, that's where the real fatigue of events and "widescreen" stems from.

I've gone off topic long enough.  I'm interested in Batman forming his own league and have no comment regarding the last page.

Reborn #4 - Millar gets Bonnie and her father out of the scrape from the end of last issue, then gets them into and out of two more before this issue wraps.  It's a wild ride and I love seeing Capullo draw all of the craziness.

Teen Titans #4 - I can't quite put my finger on what but something about this feels off.  It's a fine read, kinda typical monthly superhero stuff, which isn't really my usual bag.  There's just something about Damian here that makes me wish only Gleason and Tomasi would write him.  They get him in a way that makes this feel hollow.  Ra's too, if I really think about it.  Hopefully I can enjoy the book more when the entire arc isn't focused on him.  Otherwise, I'll probably drop this in a few months.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #66 - Raph and Angel search for Alopex in Alaska.  It wasn't until that sentence I realized how many female character names start with "A."  It's a good read that moves Alopex forward in a significant way, even if it does seem implausible to borrow a helicopter in New York to fly to Alaska.  I'll just let that one slide.  Sophie Campbell is back and does an outstanding job illustrating everything.

Thief Of Thieves v06 - Honestly, this seemed a bit rushed.  The job within the comic, not the comic itself.  There was a lot of setup, virtually no planning, and then suddenly the plan was getting executed.  I feel like this title has historically taken more time to flesh those events out, with at least one storyline going on the side.  There was no story going on other than the job itself.  Still good, still highly enjoyable, but a minor mis-step I think.  Oh, and an ending that ensures I'll be back for more.