Last Comic You Read
Selfishly setting this thread up because I've been crushing my comic backlog. In the last two months, I've read:
- Daredevil by Frank Miller: 4/5. Most of Miller's work is a 4/5 for me. This run was no different, filled with highs and lows. Born Again blew my socks off right up until he brought in Nuke and Cap for no apparent reason. I also don't find the faceless ninjas (Elektra included) compelling. Still, you can feel Miller's influence on the industry even today.
- Miracleman by Alan Moore: 4/5. Like Miller, most of Moore's stuff is a 4/5 for me. The government conspiracies and sexual assault plotlines don't hold up, but the Superman deconstruction is haunting. I'll never look at Shazam the same way again.
- V for Vendetta by Alan Moore: 4/5. I had trouble following the government bureaucrat plotlines, but otherwise, this is incredibly solid. I think the movie is reductive compared to Moore's original work. My takeaway was that you could assign a high school class V for Vendetta just as easily as you could 1984.
- Daredevil by Brian Michael Bendis: 4/5. Again, highs and lows here. I think superheroes are at their best when they're fighting villains in colorful spandex. When superheroes deal with real-world people and problems, I lose interest. Tony Stark solving climate change will never interest me. Overall, the Bendis run is a little too grounded for my liking, but I have to give him credit for making something like this coming out of the '90s.
- Fantastic Four by Mark Waid: 3/5. I gave up on this run. Jonathan Hickman's Fantastic Four is one of my favorite books (comic or prose), but it's done me the disservice of rendering every other FF run irrelevant.
- Hellblazer: Dangerous Habits by Garth Ennis: 5/5. I'm not a Garth Ennis guy. I've read Preacher, Sara, and Punisher Max. While teenage me thought he was the greatest writer since Chuck Palahniuk, adult me is unimpressed. That said, adult me is still enough of an edgelord to love John Constantine. This is probably the best Constantine story I've read, in part because its themes run counter to a lot of Ennis' other work.
- JLA: Tower of Babel by Mark Waid: 3.5/5. I've read a lot of famous comic stories. It's always this era that stops me dead in my tracks. Something about '90s and early '00s comics is always a slog. Good story even if my eyes glazed over at times.
- Harleen by Stjepan Sejic: 5/5. Not my first DC Black Label book, but probably the best one I've read. The dialogue, particularly in the first book, is a bit cringey, but it's worth powering through. Sejic reenvisions Harley Quinn's origin story through a genuinely feminist lens.
I just read most of that last Punisher storyline that everyone was complaining about, and it was actually a pretty fun read. And hey, the skull logo was still there, just worn by Ares now lol!
It may seem a out of character for Frank to become the warlord of a criminal ninja organization, but they actually made it work and it was entertaining for sure. There were some solid reasons that he did what he did in this story.
Lone Wolf and Cub
This tale of a father and son journey might be too era specific but it was interesting to me how sharp your everything was to survive in this period. Sword, mind, body and skill.
Some tactics were funny to read yet effective as it unfolds. A lot of really reckless parenting! If you see past the pacing and perhaps some difficulty understanding some cultural references, it truly is a gem of a saga.
I'm only on the 4th omni so far!
Neat murder mystery in a deep sea facility. Only on book 2 so far but hooked in. I think in general those who read Kindt's work, like Lemire, know that his words are stronger than his art. Many of the designs are trippy but I dug it. I feel he has a lot more freedom with his imagination here than having to be set in the world of Mind MGMT. He weaves it all tightly.
I haven't touched a Spawn comic in years but saw this on the dollar bin and gave it a go. The lay out seemed typical Spawn stuff. He's more of a lead tactician now and building this team consisting of She-Spawn(strong female lead), Medieval Spawn(team powerhouse), Gunslinger Spawn(guy on the team with attitude) and Redeemer(seems to be the deus ex machina). Recruitment begins to save something good to prevent something world ending. Tons of great art. I wanted to continue but the 2nd issue was not in any bins I've visited.
Finishing up the late 80s 12 issue Saga of the Sub Mariner Limited Series.
Finishing the last 25 issues of IDW ARAH Hama run I started earlier in the year from issue #1
Secret Six by Gail Simone: 4/5. I read this one at Robo's behest and wasn't disappointed. I mostly knocked it a star because of the forced crossover stuff (admittedly a DC problem, not a Simone problem) and because I didn't like the last arc. The dialogue is whip-smart, the characterization is unique, and the interpersonal relationships are real. What is it about a team of losers and misfits that works so well? The X-Men, Guardians of the Galaxy, Doom Patrol, Suicide Squad, etc. all fit the bill.
Yeah, that Simone is a gem of a writer when she's left alone to do her thing. I love that she made Mad Hatter into both a truly weird MFer and truly a dangerous threat. And she made Catman cool, of all God's Loser Characters. And Simone's handling of Deadshot is why Will Smith's handling of him sucked. Will Smith couldn't act sleazy even if his wife's boyfriend told him to.
I've read some of Hickman's FF run and am impressed with it but I've not seen anything from it to say it beats the Byrne run. That 5year run as writer/artist is the finest body of work yet published by Marvel Comics, imho; only beating Simonsons' w/a run on Thor due to being about twice as long. Byrne made Sue into an actual person and the respect of finally being a grown-up Woman, as well as showing why Doom is arguably the awesomest comic character ever created. The Waid/'Ringo FF run is my 2nd-fave run on that book as he brought it all back to them being a family of ImagiNauts. My impression of the Hickman run is that it doesn't actually focus on the Four themselves so much as the kids and assorted other 'family' members, aside from Reed and the Cross-Time Council of Reeds.
So, aside from the obvious of 'finish reading the run', sell me on why it's the best run of all.
If those are your preferences, I don't know that I can sell you. They're two different flavors. While I'm sure some folks appreciate all FF runs, I'm only drawn to Hickman's science-fiction epic. I think he manages to stay true to the characters, maintain the elements of intimate family drama, and tell a story on a grand scale. If your vision of the FF is light-hearted explorers, I'm not sure you'd like the Hickman run as much. If you like Rick Remender's Black Science, you'll probably like Jonathan Hickman's Fantastic Four.
That said, to best appreciate it, you do have to finish the run. 😀 To make matters worse, you really need to read his FF, Avengers, and Secret Wars arc to get the complete picture. It's a lot to manage with alternating titles almost all the way through, but well worth it. There are individual Big Two runs that I like more than Hickman's Marvel epic (namely Uncanny X-Force, All-Star Superman, and Astonishing X-Men), but nothing comes close to Hickman on that scale.
The new Masters of the Universe comic that started.. I think two weeks ago?.. is starting out pretty fun. It's a prequel to the Netflix Revelation show, and seems to be set pretty much right after Adam becomes He-Man for the first time. Which is pretty cool.
I'm interested in seeing where it goes, because technically (according to Smith) the Filmation cartoon is the prequel to the new cartoon. So is this comic setting up a whole potential SERIES where they can re-tell the entire Filmation story through comics in the Revelation style, or are they going to dump the Filmation connection and imply that the events of Revelation took place not TOO long after He-Man first appeared in Eternia? It certainly seems to imply, even just based on the age of the characters here and in the show, that the events of the prequel and the events of Revelation can't happen more than a few years apart.
And here's something controversial - I actually think I prefer the latter to be the case. The Filmation He-Man seems far more of a 'grown up' to me than the Revelation He-Man, and from a narrative point of view, I actually think removing the connection to Filmation entirely and making this its own separate He-Man universe is better and more interesting.
Other than that, I am SO far behind on my comics. Like... so far. I think I'm 15 or 16 issues behind on Ghost Rider. I have a bunch of Thor and Moon Knight I haven't read yet. I've given up on Spawn because there's too many for me to actually read nowadays. I've given up on DC because I haven't liked anything they've put out in the last year-ish. I've given up on X-Men because ONCE AGAIN it has become an absolute clusterfuck of nonsense that's almost impossible to follow (WHY can't anyone just tell X-Men stories anymore? - why does it have to be filled with rubbish and a constant need to re-invent everything?).
Secret Six is one of my favorite comic runs overall, and possibly my favorite in DC's entire catalogue. Robo bringing it up the other day has me thinking I might go back and re-read it, but I'm already so far behind on newer stuff I doubt I'll get around to it anytime soon.
There's a 2021 heman revelations prequel written by kevin smith.
The new one forge of destiny also seems to be a prequel.
Both dark horse I guess they're connected.
Daredevil by Ed Brubaker: 4.5/5. This was the last DD run I wanted to hit. Brubaker's run felt like a natural extension of Bendis's run, though I'd argue Brubaker's work was better. It didn't have the highs of Bendis's run, but it also didn't have the lows. If I were to rank the DD runs I've read:
- Waid - haven't read this one since it was first published. I'd like to go back to it soon while the others are fresh in my mind.
The last few comics I've read.
1. Ditko Archives Vol 3. Just some silly 5 page horror stories I'm reading for the month of Oct. Obviously the stories are bad but Ditko's cartooning is really good at this point. You can see his style maturing story by story.
2. Tomb of Dracula (read a stack in the 20s) Also reading for October. Going thru my nearly complete original issue run (missing like 4 of the main run) Colan with Palmer inks can't be beat.
3. Daniel Clowes "Monica" A great comic by one of the great cartoonists of the modern era. Beautiful colors; more personal than his usual work.
4. Age of Bronze Book 2 by Eric Shanowwer. Don't know why I took so long to read these considering my love of comics and ancient history. Really well done. The new color editions are well executed.
5. "Jack Kirby: Epic Life of the King of Comics" by Tom Scioli. Liked Scioli a lot from his FF Grand Design book. His 2 books on Stan and Jack are essential. Just grabbed a handful of his "Godland" series the other day to give it a go.
6. "Supergirl Woman of Tomorrow" Tom King / Bilquis Evely. Fun little character study with some really nice art.
Sitting on my stack to finish or start next. The final few books of the Zdarsky Daredevil run, The final 3 trades of Immortal Hulk, "Madwoman of the Sacred Heart" Alejandro Jodorosky & Moebius.