as usual, text RUViews are below
The Avengers: Kree/Skrull War (issues: 89-97; 1971-27) – Ok, so I picked this book up because it is one of the major story lines that people seem to talk about, I am glad that I got this from the library because I do not see myself needing to read this again. That is not to say that it was bad, just not to my tastes. If I had grown up on this style, early silver age, then maybe this would be nostalgic, as it is; it just seemed juvenile and wordy. One thing that struck me as funny, on 75 (issue 98, 1971) Rick Jones is lamenting the dark times that he lives in and how hard it is to tell the good guys from the bad. This cracked me up since a lot of the hate I see to the New Avengers is how dark it is and how everyone hates the Avengers. One of the major sub-plots in Kree/Skrull War is everyone hating the Avengers, in 1971.
Thor Visionaries: Walter Simonson vol. 1 (issues 337-48; 1983-84) – WOW! Before the JMS series I had only ever read the issue of Thor that introduced the New Warriors. I did not know what I was missing, and I thank my buddy Benderbrau and the other people on the Outhouse podcast for highly recommending these books. I can’t wait to read vols 2-4. I will say this about this book and the Kree/Skrull – very wordy, I think it took me longer to read these two trades than any of the others in my pile.
Daredevil Visionaries: Frank Miller vols. 1 & 2 (issues 158-161, 163-182; 1979-1982) - Two words: OVER RATED! Maybe if I was reading this book as it came out I would have cared at al, but as it is you can skip vol. 1 unless you are a Daredevil or Frank Miller’s art completeist and you know what happens in vol. 2 already just from any Daredevil and Electra flashback sequence you have ever read…and those sequences are better than reading the source material. All vol. 2 did was solidify Bullseye as a world-class badass. The art is great, but as a story, man this was a huge let down.
Captain America: Road to Reborn (49-50, 600-601; 2009) – meh. The saving grace of this trade was issue 600 everything else was pretty sub par.
Dark Reign: Sinister Spider-man (issues 1-4 and Amazing Spider-Man Family #8; 2009) – damn this book was fun. It opens with a story from Amazing Spider-Man Family #8 that is just heart wrenching then goes right into the mini itself and let me tell you, Brian Reed had me cracking up. The dark comedy through out this series was great. Combined with Bachalo’s art, I cannot recommend this book enough. Of course it is a mini so nothing really happens that affects anything else, but the ride was well worth it.
Orbiter OGN – A touching sci-fi story about space flight. When I read books like this I am reminded why I try anything Warren Ellis does. He has a knack for either learning a lot of jargon, or doing such a good job of making stuff up that when you read what he writes you feel like he must be correct. Published in the wake of the Columbia disaster, books like this should remind us why we love space flight and why it’s worth it…then we have
Gravel: Never a Dull Day – ugh, then I read books like this I and know why people avoid Ellis’ work. Gravel is violent and gross only for the sake of it, and that kind of stuff is always a turn off for me. The artist, Mike Wolfer, does great work, and although I am not sure his style works for comic books, he is good enough that I hope he finds more work.
Incognegro OGN – This book was almost important like Maus but it fell short. Maybe it’s the cartoony black and white art, maybe it’s the beating the reader over the head with the point, maybe it’s the story itself, or maybe all three to some degree, but something held this book back from being as great as it could have been. Recommend reading it, but get it from the library.
Scud The Disposable Assassin: The Whole Shebang! (Issues 1-20 and Drywall: Unzipped from Fireman Press and 21-24 from Image Comics; 1996-2007) – this book is what absurd violent comics should be, over 20 issues of fun, comedy, and action. In a world where anything is possible, Rob Schrab maintains a level of logic that provides rules to chaos to the point that the reader knows to expect the unexpected but is never kicked out of the story by the strangeness of it all. One last thing, the major villain is Voodoo Benjamin Franklin. That’s right, Ben Franklin as a Voodoo Priest. Awesome.
One special note – I read trades, and I have nothing against them, but one of the major arguments I keep hearing in favor of trades is that they are cheaper than single issues. That may have been the case in the past, but recently Marvel and DC have started making their trades 10(ish)% more rather then less for single issue cover prices. Take Captain America: Road to Reborn, this book contains 4 comics and is $19.99, that is ~$5 a comic book. Issue 600 was $5, whereas 49 was $3, and 50 & 601 were $4. So for four comics that would have cost, at cover price, $16 I paid $20. That is not cheaper. The X-Infernus trade is the same way, $20 for four comics that were $4 when published. Compare that to Scud, $30 for 24 comics that if you could find them all would cost well over that. There are many upsides to waiting for trade, display, storage, and (in some cases) ease of reading, all I am saying is that you should not fall into the trap of assuming that it’s cheaper per comic, especially with new books.
Also, remember, I am doing an 'Ask RU' special soon, so please post, IM, PM, email me anything you think I should answer, does not have to be comic related.
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