Saturday, November 14, 2009

Current Faves!

SECRET SIX (Volume 3) #s 1-16

Gail Simone is a tremendous writer who does great characterization and build-up with her storylines--two things sorely lacking in a splash-page crazy deconstructed-story world. She has perfect pitch and timing, and has a knack for providing great reveals and surprises. (No shock she's a fan of John Ostrander!)

With her team book, Secret Six, she has a vast universe of nastiness and despair at her disposal, and it's good dirty fun. Backstabbing, killing, deal-making; all the terribleness of a soap opera without a pesky reset button or a glamorous last act reversal.

Nicola Scott provides excellent art for such a dark series; and her men are absolutely delectable. I always did love a bad boy, but DAMN! Bane, Cat-Man, and Deadshot are all drool worthy in every panel.

If you're a fan of great stories, dark humor, sexiness, and lots of cool cameos and geek-bits, you'll love this book!

(and counting)
You always worry with a high profile book that the reality won't match the expectation, but this book has more than delivered.

Although I'm always happy for a little visibility for the Sisters of Sappho, I worry about depictions being gratuitous or sappy. No worries there; Rucka and Williams do a great job of keeping Batwoman a Dyke-To-Watch-Out-For without her sexuality running the show. We get to see her drag it up at a ball with Maggie Sawyer, we're treated to a date from hell, and of course her ex is in the back-up feature (The Question.) But the intensity of the Kate character, her troubled past and her broken family are the real focus.

This book is all action and intrigue, with the mystery only just beginning to unravel some 5 issues in. Williams art is beyond phenomenal (the word is not overused here) and I can sit and scan the gorgeous pages for an hour after reading. J.H. Williams III is doing pencil, ink, and coloring work on the series. (His "PROMETHEA" with Alan Moore was easily one of the best artistic works of all time.)

Regardless of your feelings about the absence of The Bat, this book is well worth your time and money; let go of any preconceptions you may have had about the character or the hype. Good stuff can be popular, too!
(and counting)
When Christos Gage (Chris Gage, Christian Gage, whatever name he's using this week) came on as co-writer for Initiative, I was a bit concerned. It was in my top two books every month, and Chris Gage's history was a bit sporadic for my tastes. He had started off incredibly with "DEADSHOT" at DC, and his "IRON MAN/CAPTAIN AMERICA: CASUALTIES OF WAR" Special was phenomenal. But then he had put out a lot of stuff that, frankly, I found mediocre and flavorless. So I was quite trepidatious.

Doubts be damned! This is still a butt-whooper month after month, and Gage has made it his own after Slott's departure. Inventive, insightful, far-reaching, action-packed, gripping, and well planned. The changing art is cool since it's almost an anthology book with the constantly changing perspectives and storylines, so that works out as well.

I love getting to see the underpinnings of the larger universe. This book provides a pulse of the Marvel Universe on whole through a large cast of diverse characters getting some spotlight. And as is typically the case, when you utilize the folks that don't have a huge following, there's a lot of leeway for what can be done.

This is the place to see the big picture unfold. See relationships grow and change, fave characters come into their own. This one has it all.
EX MACHINA # 1-45 (and counting)
Brian K. Vaughan has become hands-down the best new comics writer of the last decade.
Yes, fan boys; FUCK GEOFF JOHNS! This here is the grown folks real deal.

He can write any style story so deftly that you forget you're reading fiction. It's inspirational how easy he makes tying all the chords together. (Damn him!)

My current fave of his is EX MACHINA, a Wildstorm/DC ongoing about Mayor Hundred of New York City; a super hot, super savvy metro-sexual (there's an ongoing controversy right there!) with a remarkably complex cast and a superb mixing of politics, history, sociology, and science fiction. And Tony Harris' art is stupendous. In addition to his lush, incredible designs and layout, he has succeeded in making two fictional 4-color characters top the real world 'Hottest Bachelors' list (Hundred and Bradbury, baby!)

The complete series thus far is available in affordable trades (see below) and Vaughan's previous work includes the equally worthy "Y: THE LAST MAN", "PRIDE OF BAGHDAD", "RUNAWAYS", and some powerful good stories in Marvel's "4-1-1" and Dark Horse's "Buffy."

I bought a few issues of "THE MIGHT AVENGERS" in the beginning because Deodato's Ares was slobberific good eye candy. But now that Master Man Dan Slott has taken over (along with some amazing pencil work by Khoi Pham, the book is hyper-addictive. It is seriously a title I re-read the minute I finish just to be sure it was as incredible as I though it was, and then find myself wincing in realization that I have to wait 30 more days for another fix.

(and counting)
Slott has been around for quite a while; he started off writing excellent stories for the 'kiddie comics' such as "Ren & Stimpy," "Batman Adventures," etc. (I calls 'em 'all ages,' but why quibble!) But he has come to prominence with 'mainstream comics fans' in recent years for his splendid blend of story-telling, humor, wit, Easter eggs, and geek history.

His "SPIDER-MAN/HUMAN TORCH" mini-series was pure silk. His two "SHE-HULK" series were perfection. His "THE THING" series, though brief, showed how simple it is to showcase a great character after 40 years of stories. "AVENGERS: INITIATIVE" is one of the best concepts in decades.

Now, with Mighty, he's taken back the real Avengers and shown how it's done. A big 'Thank You' to Mr. Slott for making one of my fave teams readable once more! Great characterization, action, momentum, dialogue, and a reverence for even the 'C' and 'D' list characters. Great stuff.

For ordering any new or back issues, check out the link below for Lone Star Comics, my recommended online dealer!>Buy comic books at

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