While I mostly review single issues for The Outhouse I am a trade-waiter by nature. I put in a regular order through Discount Comic Book Service and get a monthly shipment consisting mostly of HC’s TPB’s and OGN’s. I’m also a stay-at-home dad who enjoys books and movies. As a result my “to be read” pile has gotten a little high, so for the month of November I’m going to read a trade a day and then post short capsule reviews every 5 books or so.
Welcome to Stack Month.
Which turned out to be a lot more time consuming than I had thought.
Why am I doing this again?
So, uh, it’s December now.
Written by Gail Simone
Penciled by Jim Calafiore
Read my full review here.
The New Avengers Vol. 4 AvX
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Penciled by Mike Deodato
This is another AvX crossover collection that ends up better than its parent series. I can see how reading a 3 issue K’un Lun flashback may have stalled out if you were reading along as AvX was published but I enjoyed it as it was presented here. The other three issues are nice “done-in-one’s” dealing with Avengers trying to escape an X-Men prison, an Illuminati meeting and a Daredevil/Luke Cage team-up. Deodato is a mixed bag for me, lots of cross-hatching, shadows and some weird faces. On the other hand he’s skilled at constructing pages that are open and easily readable, not always simple with Bendis-levels of dialogue. At this point I’m pretty sure I enjoyed almost all the tie-in’s more than the main event. If you enjoy Bendis-Avengers this is more of the better stuff, if not then you’ve skipped past this paragraph already.
The New Avengers Vol. 5
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Various (Gaydos, Pacheco, Martinez, Oeming, Deodato & more)
You’ll never hear me accuse Brian Bendis of ending his adjective-less Avengers run “too awesome!” I thought the SPOILER return was clumsy and cheap. Since I was taking a break from the Avengers post-Bendis I had resigned myself to going out on a low note. Then New Avengers came along. This is the ending I wanted, Bendis working with well know collaborators, telling the last story of Luke Cage and Jessica Jones as Avengers, returning the mantle of SPOILER to SPOILER. Each issue gets a different penciler, there are some great indie cartoonists in the jam portion of issue #34 and the whole thing feels like the loving send-off I was hoping for. This final volume as an excellent culmination of all the distinctly “Bendis-y” Avengers elements (Luke/Jessica, Victoria Hand, Maria Hill, the whole “New Avengers” concept, Squirrel Girl) and ends his run on the high note I was hoping for.
Written by Chuck Dixon
Penciled by Ryan Benjamin
Another find from the $5 Bin at Detroit Fanfare, I bought this mostly because I’ve been on a Chuck Dixon kick. I enjoyed his work on IDW’s most recent GI Joe reboot and his self-pubbed military action/pulp/men’s adventure/sci-fi ebook Bad Times: Cannibal Gold. I was hoping for a good action thriller, what I got was some sort of teeth clenching, side boob, 90’s, alien crap. The story is laughably thin, Grifter and Midnighter are both sent on the same mission, one to kill a target the other to protect him. They meet, fight, find out about some larger alien crap and then spend the rest of the time clenching their teeth, exchanging “banter” and helping an alien stripper woman who mostly refuses to wear clothes. If you’re looking for a manual on how to creatively use layouts to obscure a woman’s nipples than this is the book for you. Everybody else, steer clear.
Ultimate Comics The Ultimates By Jonathan Hickman Vol. 2*
Written by Jonathan Hickman & Sam Humphries
Penciled by Esad Ribic, Luke Ross & A Lot of Help
I read all the Vol. 1’s (Ultimates, Hawkeye, X-Men & Spider-Man) of Marvel’s most recent Ultimate relaunch and ended up sticking with none of them. I enjoyed the natural endpoint of Bendis’ Ultimate Peter Parker, hadn’t been a fan of any recent (Millar) Ultimates works and hadn’t followed Ultimate X-Men in some time. With regards to the Ultimate Universe the bloom was pretty well off the rose for me. Then came “Divided We Fall, United We Stand”. Crazy Civil War, states seceding, a nuclear attack on Washington D.C., President Cap; it was just the type of nutso world-changing stuff I liked about the Ultimate Universe. So I went back and had a look at Vol. 2 of The Ultimates. This volume wraps up the story of Ultimate Reed Richards, his Children of Tomorrow, their conflict with The Heavenly City of Tian and the U.S. Government and introduces Tony Stark’s talking brain tumor. Also a Giant-Man version of the Hulk fights a city-sized Iron Man armor. This is the type of stuff I’m looking for. Hickman and Humphries have a great sense of character within the huge scope of these stories and Ribic and Ross are both great for big action. Even though all of these creators are long gone and the whole universe might come to an end this book is still worth a read.
*That’s just a really stupid title.