Welcome to Adventures in Poor Taste’s weekly comic review. A typical week might see over 50 book releases, and that’s just the big two over at DC and Marvel. This column serves as a buyer’s guide to those of us holding a single Hamilton and can’t afford to read every single issue.
Each week I’ll read a glut of the good and the bad and post enough reviews to reach the budget of $X. Yes, that’s $10.00 for those of you who aren’t Roman. I’ll also post comics to steer clear from. Sadly a quality comic is few and far between these days, but using this column a diligent reader can still get their comic on.
Batwoman #6 (DC Comics)
Batwoman #6 is a jumping on issue that summarizes all of the characters motivations and where they stand in the story. Typically these issues recap the story while a fight scene takes place. That way readers who have been following the story aren’t completely bored and don’t feel cheated. This issue does something similar, this time bookended the story with a fight between a villain who gutted her girlfriend in a previous issue. Some details are revealed that make this bookend have a cheeky feel which makes the book a good read.
It’s worth noting J.H. Williams III only gets a writing credit this issue and isn’t doing the art. His two page spreads have sent my jaw dropping so hard I had to see a physician some weeks. Rotation artist Amy Reeder takes on pencil duties this issue and while she can pull her own weight, they aren’t even close to the beautiful paintings Williams produces each month.
I kept hearing the Law & Order music above, while reading this:
The first few pages use this chapter based titling, simply stating the time the moments on the page take place and who we’re focusing on. It’s an efficient way to break down each characters story and works nicely to get any new readers on board. It gives this issue a cop show type feel as if we’re witnessing important information that’s confidential in nature.
That’s a pretty bold move considering her face isn’t covered in bullet proof make-up. Or is it?
For the most part Reed does a decent job, and I’m pretty sure if she wasn’t filling such big shoes her art would be looked at a tad more positively. If she wanted to differentiate herself from Williams though the two page splashes don’t help. That said they aren’t too shabby.
Badass I must say.
This is a good issue with some fresh action and does a good job recapping what’s going on in the story. Luckily DC is still charging only $2.99 for most of their books, making this an easy purchase.
Budget: $10.00-$2.99 = $7.01
Deadpool #50 (Marvel)
All is right with the world. Daniel Way is crafting some exquisite Deadpool dialogue, Carlo Barberi is back with his fresh pencils and Deadpool is finally funny again.
Oh, the beauty of Deadpool’s internal monologue.
The last few issues read as if Way was stretching things out and based on a monthly shipping schedule he probably was. Typically good comics have an issue or two that drop the ball due to fill in artists doing their best and not quite cutting it, or writers just burning out and waiting until the next big story kicks in. This issue starts where the last left off, with Deadpools doubleganger dying, but now there’s a new mcguffin he’s after. A serum that can turn off his healing factor and make him dead.
The difficulty in reading Deadpools mind.
Deadpool seeks the aid of a few different characters, and the issue plays like Oceans 11. All the “players” are being set up for one big heist, only this time it’s for Deadpool’s serum. Much like Oceans 11, all of the players have different motives. While reading this issue I found myself humming the Oceans 11 music as the plot unfolded. Fun stuff.
Finally, evidence Psylocke doesn’t wear underwear.
The last few issues of Deadpool have been difficult to enjoy. Heck, the last issue was interesting being a musical, but it didn’t bring the Deadpool humor I grew to love over the first 40 issues. Deadpool still seems hellbent on killing himself, which has been the main story for a good while now, but with dialogue like this, and fun storytelling you can’t get much better from a comic.
Budget: $7.01-$3.99 = $3.02
Carnage USA #3 (Marvel)
Carnage USA is back and it’s as frightening as ever. Writer Zeb Wells is crafting one hell of a scary story. In the first issue took place during the day setting up the story and introducing the players. Captain America, The Thing, Hawkeye, Wolverine and Spider-man entered a small town in Colorado that was exhibiting a “disturbance.” They quickly found out Carnage was in charge of the whole town, could posses anyone with his symbiote and was as evil as ever. A ragtag symbiote special ops team was sent when the Avengers didn’t respond.
Symbiote special ops with guns? Yes please.
If you’re a fan of horror this book has it in droves. Carnage is a sadistic psychopath, and in one scene is commanding the townsfolk to pull out their teeth. Inside a church no less. Oh, he’s also making Captain America watch. The art by Clayton Crain definitely adds to the dread and dirtiness the pages make you feel.
Not for the faint of heart.
It’s all a set up for a cool fight scene that is for sure. If you’re looking for impressive prose you might want to look elsewhere.
Unfortunately there are a few things that drag this book down. For starters it’s $3.99 for 20 pages of comic. This is a miniseries, part 3 of 5, and is clearly going to read better as a trade paperback. This issue has some great moments, but at the end of the day it’s a book about fighting and shooting which typically doesn’t sustain a single issue.
Remember, when civilians are bulletproof a shooting gallery is a must.
The big reveal at the end of the book reveals nothing besides the fact that there will be even more fighting in the next issue. This series is fun, but as far as single issues go it won’t pay off until the final issue.
Budget: $3.02-$0.0 = $3.02
Ninjettes #1 (Dynamite)
I’m a sucker for #1 issues and when they are written by people with a great track record I can’t resist. Garth Ennis takes us on a wild trip of the ultra violence here and unfortunately I can’t say I enjoyed the ride. It might be because a lot of the book spends time setting up the main character, who I wasn’t familiar with, but by all accounts is pretty boring. She’s angry, she’s badass and she likes to kill. Gotcha. When a guy is split in half and a little boy murdered in the first few pages it’s hard to like the main character.
That’s what I call a cock-tail. You see what I did there?
I’m all for gratuitous sex and violence, but when the comic is filled with dialogue that seems to be going nowhere what’s the point? Ennis is known for writing up some dirty things, and you can’t fault him for doing it again here. Unfortunately the violence appears slapshod and the story much too cliched to give a damn.
Budget: $3.02-$0.00 = $3.02
Two different comics this week had a lot of potential, and I think they might make the budget another week, but ended up not making the cut. Lets deliver them to the Govenor in quick succession:
I really want to like Wolverine and the X-Men Alpha and Omega #2, but sadly this mini-series is not doing it for me. I think when this mini-series ends with issue 5 it will read much better as a single volume. Also the fact that the entire story is taking place in a telepaths mental construct makes this story throw away in nature. All the actions in the construct aren’t real which make them pointless in a way. This issue does bring in the issue of Wolverine losing it, and there will probably be repercussions with the Quentin Quire character.
Demon Knights #6 continues the battle between Etrigan the Demon and his team of misfit warriors against the sorcerers. Things are amping up here, and will probably conclude next issue. That being said, I’m left a bit unimpressed with the battle scenes. Warriors versus armored raptors is cool and all, but at least 3 panels in this book are identical in nature. The female warrior is surrounded by raptors and yelling. Okay I get it. I love what this book is doing, but it’s spent 6 issues in one location and this story has worn out its welcome. End already.
Thief of Thieves #1 (Image)
Robert Kirkman is listed as the writer of the story here and Nick Spencer is the writer. I’m not familiar with Spencer’s work, but judging by this first issue I’m definitely going to be looking for his name from now on. This book introduces readers to a master thief who has taken on an female apprentice with a kid who wants to make a buck. It’s funny, but the synopsis listed actually gives away more details on the story than the book actually does.
Conrad Paulson lives a secret double life as master thief Redmond. There is nothing he can’t steal, nothing he can’t have… except for the life he left behind. Now, with a grown son he hardly knows, and an ex-wife he never stopped loving, Conrad must try to piece together what’s left of his life, before the FBI finally catch up to him… but it appears they are the least of his worries.
The book actually gives details on how to steal a car.
This issue uses some interesting titles to express what you’re about to experience. It’s a neat little trick, and gives the book the feel of a story being told for our benefit. The color used in the book reminds me of an art deco style which gives the images a cooling look.
“If you like orange you’ll love this book!” is a great way to fail at a pitch.
The story introduces an interesting relationship between Redmond and Celia is just flirtatious enough that you want to learn more. Two thieves on top of the world. Everyone knows this will probably end badly, but their interchange keeps you interested in their relationship
Ah. Ain’t that sweet.
While this issue feels a bit short it’s a great first issue. It peaks your interest and does it with some very clean and good art. I can’t wait for the next issue.
Budget: $3.02-$2.99 = 3 cents.
With three good books in our bag, one of which a new series and another being an old favorite I think we’ve got ourselves a decent week.