As much as RU hates to do it, but this week includes some very, VERY bad comics. That being said, there are some gems buried at the end of the episode.
Uncanny X-Men #7, Batman: Through The Looking Glass (OGN), New Mutants #37, X-Factor #232, Thunderbolts #160, Batman #5
Hello there internet people, its your good buddy RU here to talk about one of the three reasons I get out of bed everyday – comic books!
Before I get started, I have to reiterate one thing, I love comics, I love the visual story telling they provide, the shared universes most of them reside in, the continual nature of the stories – I love comics! That being said, my G-d, there is some garbage out there. I promise to end this episode on a positive note, but I am going to start with two books that are not only horrible but one of which I have no idea how it got published...maybe I would if I could have finished it.
(As usual, a text version of the RUviews is available below the video)
Uncanny X-Men - That's it Marvel, I am done. I can't do it anymore. I have a run of the first volume of Uncanny that starts with 246 and doesn't stop until the book did. Add some annuals and sporadic earlier issues that makes for over 300 comics, with the gaps filled in with 9 (soon to be 10) volumes of Essentials. A 23-year run of monthly comics that I just can't bring myself to read anymore. In an earlier episode I commented on how disappointing this new volume was, and - with the exception #5 – it has actually gotten worse. No story has made sense, no resolution has left me fulfilled, and no issue was worth anywhere close to $4. FOUR DOLLARS! I can't even explain to you how bad issue 7 was because after reading #6 I couldn't bring myself to get past the first page. I tried, I really did, and I even read the last page to see if it would inspire me to see how they got from point A to point B. No such luck. The art is no help either; when reading stories that provide no emotional connection to the reader it serves nobody when the art is stiff and boring. Eminent tracer, Greg Land, lends his specific style of porno faces and wrestling poses that would excite any pre-pubescent boy without the Internet if any of them were reading comics. Instead, he is insulting to people who spend FOUR DOLLARS on a comic book. One final note, I know me, I survived Austin, Claremont's returns, and Fraction (I still maintain that Austin > Fraction), I obviously hate myself and my wallet, meaning: if you hadn't renumbered the book back to #1, I'd probably still be waiting for it to get better, but instead you gave me a jumping off point. Call me when the book doesn't suck.
Batman: Through The Looking Glass (OGN) – What the bloody hell is this shit!? For the second time in a week, and only the third time I can think of, I couldn't finish a book. Through The Looking Glass is an original graphic novel written by Bruce Jones (Incredible Hulk and Nightwing) with art by Sam Keith (The Maxx and a bunch of other stuff you should have read by now) – and it made me sad with how bad it was. If you're familiar with Bruce Jones you know he is very hit and miss, this is Nightwing Bruce Jones, not (as I hoped) early Incredible Hulk Bruce Jones. The story makes no sense. I don't mean "it makes no sense" like Brazil had you wondering "what's going on?" that you are willing to find out but rather "What the hell is going on?" that frustrates you and makes you realize that you'd rather re-read X-Tinction Agenda (true story). And the art, did Keith read the script and realize it wasn't worth even his C-game? There are flashes of The Maxx levels of greatness, and then there is this [if you are reading this, I flashed a page of the book right here...not sure what else I can tell you. I think its page 8 - the one where Robin looks like he ate the Penguin and absorbed his shape]. Look at this, Robin is described as an adolescent not an overgrown dwarf with the face of a 5 year old. I don't know who to blame for this, who saw the final product and said "ship it", but whoever it is made me even more thankful for my library, cause I didn't pay for this crap.
Now, before I get to the good to great books I want to highlight, if you haven't yet, pick up New Mutants #37. It's a stand-alone issue that highlights how much fun this book is.
X-Factor and Thunderbolts – When it comes to comic books that exemplify how good comics can utilize the month to month these two books have been on the ball the past couple of months. X-Factor's They Keep Killing Madrox storyline has been incredible. From one issue to the next you get a mix of fun, action, and emotions. This plot flowed naturally from the previous story and, with the conclusion in #232; you see the next conflict and how it comes naturally. X-Factor is one of those books that make me light up when I see them in my box each month. It hasn't been a perfect book, but the highs heavily outweigh the lows.
Not only has Thunderbolts been phenomenal since Fear Itself, but it has also sold me on Jeff Parker as a writer – at least on this book. The escapee's trip though time has made for a great read, and next month's confrontation with the classic Thunderbolts team is a book RU wants NOW. Looking for a good superhero book, this is it.
Batman – If you are not reading this book, or are not planning on picking it up in trade, I don't know why you would bother with super hero books. I hate to sound like a broken record, but I do not want to imagine the inevitable day when Scott Snyder is not writing Batman. Since the re-launch Snyder has created a book that is very new reader friendly and dark as all get out. Snyder, who pretty much owned The Outhouse's 2011 awards, is already in the running for single issue of the year with #5. Face The Court took everything that makes comics unique and, with art from Greg Capullo, took the reader through the same levels of confusion, disorientation, and frustration that Batman was feeling as his enemies tortured him. And, that last page, not sure what Bats was feeling, but my breath was taken away. Read Batman, realize the awesomeness that is Scott Snyder.
That's it, soon I'll be showing off my new AoA Omnibus!
RUviews on Facebook
RU on Twitter @IamGHERU
Written or Contributed by: GHERU