This week is beyond awesome. For those following Blackest Night, both GL and BN #5 are also hitting this week. Interesting Books This Week Chew #6- New story arc! The trade collecting issues #1-5 will also be out the same day for $10. Pick it up! Creepy Comics #2- The quarterly comic of queasy conundrums continues. Gotta love Creepy. Criminal: The Sinners #2- It’s a issue of Criminal. You should already know that if you aren’t buying it, your soul is slowly rotting just like the characters in the book! So you of all people should read it! Detective Comics #859- Written by Rucka. Drawn by JH. Colored by Stewart. Bought by you. Fantastic Four #573- Hickman continues his probably legendary run. The Goon #33- A silent one shot of the funniest book on the stands.
Meh, I’m dropping Fantastic Four – I like Hickman and was a fan of his initial arc (Celestials always welcome), but I’m just collecting too many books. Maybe I’ll nab it in trade if it continues to be well regarded.
Also this week - Brubaker’s “Death of Captain America” Omnibus. I nabbed it for Cdn$55 at Amazon.ca a while back, which is pretty great for a US$75 book jammed with some of the best comics in recent years.
On the sad side, Claremont seems to be running out of steam on X-men Forever and is starting to descend into the incoherence that has plagued most of his books since 2000 - I really liked the book initially, and will stick with it for a while yet.
Still buying all the Avengers books (including Kieron’s Ares), all of the X-men books other than Ellis’s (and none of the billion Wolverine books), and Nova/Guardians of Galaxies and bunch of the cosmic “kings” spinoffs. Just too much - I have no room for storage.
Candidates for axing:
Avengers - Initiative (liked this more with Gage/Slott)
Mighty Avengers (same team I liked, but the team/characters aren’t really clicking for me).
Keep trying to drop Deadpool but my wife keeps insisting on buying it for me anyway (she nabs my weekly comics!)
Also: anyone interested in picking up any Marvel comics back issues runs over the past 20 years? I’m thinking of offloading most of my non-Silver age and older comics, other than runs I really like and might actually reread again, like some of the runs from the 80s (Claremont’s X-men, Miller’s Daredevil, Byrne’s FF, Simonson’s Thor, Stern’s Avengers). Actually I guess I like most of my 80s stuff still.
Most of the stuff I’m going to get rid of is from the 90s+ and not valuable (trust me that you are not going to find any hidden valuable comics - I know as much about this stuff as anyone). Mainly X-men books and spinoffs (Cable, X-factor, X-force, Generation X, X-man), other than Uncanny X-men/X-men which are spoken for, and Ultimate stuff which I’m saving for Nawid once a buddy reads 'em.
I will probably ebay them in big lots and try to get at least something for them, but in the spirit of X-mas, if anyone is interested here, I’d rather give them to someone who is actually interested in reading them. Kieron - here’s your chance for a free library of continuity reference material, lol.
The two X-men books at the bottom mate. Just read Forever in trade, I think the trades for it are frequent anyway.
As I remarked in the game podcast for the week, I think X-Men books are mostly shit. I love Astonishing, Claremont till his first departure, and a few others but for such a huge IP, they really tend to not deliver. The individual on this forum who mailed me Astonishing and a shit load of the other comics offered me a couple of X-Men runs by writers I really like, but I still declined them because it was X-Men, and X-Men has editorial all over it.
I don’t think that’s entirely fair - the xbooks have certainly been better quality over the past 20 years than the Avengers or Fantastic Four, or even Spider-man – basically Marvel books in general were pretty poor during the Defalco/Bob Harras reigns, but the Xbooks were probably the best of the lot. And currently they’re quite good, subject to what I said about X-forever above.
Here are good Xbook runs that you haven’t mentioned, FWIW:
Peter David/Larry Stroman’s X-factor run around 1991 (from X-factor 71 to about 88), and David’s current X-factor run 1-current
Joe Kelly’s brief X-men run, from X-men 71-85 or so. His buddy, Steven Seagle’s concurrent run on Uncanny X-men was also decent.
Joe Kelly’s Deadpool run, from 1-um, around 35 - amazing stuff
Gail Simone’s Deadpool/Agent X run, which started around Deadpool 67 and went until Agent X 12 or so.
Scott Lobdell/Chris Bachalo’s initial Generation X run (amazingly), from 1-25.
The Age of Apocalypse storyline crossing all the Xbooks in the mid-1990s.
Claremont’s run on New Mutants (1-50) and brief X-factor run in 1991 (63-67?)
Brubaker’s Uncanny X-men run (475-503), although generally considered among his weakest work.
Mike Carey’s X-men/X-men legacy run: 188-current.
Grant Morrison’s New X-men run (114-154) - Nawaid, you may like this run, in particular.
Peter Milligan’s X-force/X-statix run (116-129 and all of x-statix)
Mark Millar’s Ultimate X-men run (1-33)
Yost/Kyle’s relaunched X-force (1- current) and New X-men (20-46).
Whedon’s Astonishing X-men. Drop it when Ellis arrives.
Matt Fraction’s gotten better on Uncanny as well - last couple stories have been decent (when he also wrote Dark Avengers as a crossover).
The X-books are definitely in the best hands they’ve been in the past 20 years. Fraction is probably the weak link, but Kyle/Yost’s X-force and supporting stuff keeps getting better (and between running the cartoon, they seem to be positioned to take over the franchise), Mike Carey is excellent, and Peter David’s X-factor is also excellent.
The 1990s may have generally stank - books like Joe Casey’s runs on Cable/Uncanny X-men may be unreadable, ditto Howard Mackie on X-factor and even Warren Ellis and Jeph Loeb’s contributions, but the real editorial interference occurred on Lobdell’s and Fabian Nicieza’s runs, when Bob Harras was effectively plotting the book. I actually think Lobdell could have done a good job if he was given more creative freedom, as he was at the end of his run during the Harras/Quesada transition and as evidenced on his Generation X stuff which got less attention from editorial so he was left more to himself.
I actually do like Millar’s Ultimate X-Men. I passed on Brubaker’s X-Men even though he is probably my favorite current writer not named Alan Moore. I mentioned Astonishing. I read Grant Morrison’s New X-Men (not all the way but enough to understand the references in Astonishing) and I really disliked it. I think the art is largely to blame. Some of it looked drenched in shit. Even Quitely was off his game. I’ll give it a reread some time.
But those works you listed, none of them really strike me as must haves. I mean when a highlight of a franchise is a low point of a writer’s career…
If anything, I echo Desslock’s recommendation of Joe Kelly’s Deadpool run, and Lobdell/Bachalo’s Gen X run. They are amazing and iconic to this day with regards to the characters they were dealing with. I still occasionally read the Deadpool run simply because it’s was the high water mark of that character’s career and nothing he has appeared since matched what Kelly managed to wring out of him.
What so good about Fantastic Four? I read 470 and 471 and, while the premise was interesting and the scenes in the family trite but well written, the way it was carried over is neither interesting nor new.
He gets a portal to see alternative universes and meet version of himself working together to do all kinds of absurdities.
So when it starts being good or say interesting things? At least Secret Warriors #1 had some cool revelations and good pacing.
Yeah, Secret Warriors is definitely a much better book from Hickman than FF, at least based upon the initial arc. Nice to see the FF in the hands of someone who isn’t a hack, at least, unlike most of the past 30 years.
Nawid, I don’t know what “must have” means since it’s so subjective, but those are definitely among the best (superhero, at least) comics over the past 20 years – they’re certainly “must have” as far as I’m concerned, as they’re the comics I’ve most enjoyed during that timeframe. The Deadpool stuff, from both Joe Kelly and Gail Simone, is probably the closest to “everyone must read” status.
I’m not an X-men fan but I loved Grant Morrison’s New X-Men run, though it did suffer a little from the inconsistent art that also plagued his excellent run on Batman. It’s one of the most novelistic series in mainstream comics and genuinely ambitious and interesting and, well, new. The three omnibus editions are well worth collecting. It’s just a shame that from what I understand Marvel almost immediately revoked everything he did the second he left the book.
I wonder if Nawid’s negative take on the X-Men books comes from the sheer number that are put out. Sometimes, the wheat gets lost in the chaff.
I think simple reader preferences are playing a big role here. I’ve read quite a few of the books Desslock mentioned and simply didn’t find more than one or two of them any good at all. Most of them I’d consider average or disposable.
Secret Warrior is perfectly fine, but only “better” than FF in the sense that it’s a plot-oriented book. You read it to get news reports on the events occurring in a fictional universe. A lot of what Hickman is doing with FF is brilliant on a characterization level, overturning decades of persistent poor writing of the FF in general and Reed Richards in particular.
Character is my primary interest in the serialized superhero universe stuff, so I found-- and still find-- Hickman’s FF to be brilliant stuff. I never would have thought him capable of writing in this style, either. Secret Warriors is more the sort of book I expected out of Hickman’s Marvel tenure, solid and functional but neither daring nor surprising.
Just finished my books:
Chew #6- Fantastic. I’m loving how everyone is a dick and yet they are totally fun characters. The world is still surprising and the twists and turns are a joy. Love the buddy cop stuff and how it is getting all Training Day on us.
Creepy #2- Stories were good but not as strong as last issue. Love the art (except for Nathan Fox).
Criminal: The Sinners #2- I love this book. Brubaker is sure tossing in a lot of stuff this time around (which makes sense because this is going to be the longest arc so far).
Detective Comics #859- Really enjoyed the whole flashback. I love the Mazzuchelli-ish art style and I think we finally have our strong emotional connection to Kate. Great issue.
Fantastic Four #573- Great one-shot. Each issue leaves me smiling to the end. This Neil Edwards guy is a great find as well.
The Goon #33- A little short (it was solicited as 40 pages and we got 22 story pages) but it’s the fucking Goon. Loved it.