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 who are 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.
King Conan: The Pheonix on the Sword #3 (Dark Horse)
This issue carries on from the last issue I loved a few weeks ago and the childlike wonder continues to get its due here. Conan is speaking of his exploits between him and Thoth-amon and it gets a tad mystical this issue.
You know a wizard is for real when its serpents meet Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
Last issue was very heavy on the myth and backstory, and for those of you who want to see Conan get his sword on, rejoice! You get some nice classic Conan in action in these pages. Plus he gets an interesting crew of villains to cut up.
Robin Hood really put on some weight.
Writer Timothy Truman brings an interesting twist to Conan that I don’t think has been done before. Conan can already chop up a slew of men with ease…but what if he had his sword mythicized? That just makes him that much more badass in my opinion.
If I could say that once a day at my office job all would be well.
The price on the comic says it’s $3.50 but if you get this online it’s only $2.99 and can be viewed on any browser. That said, well worth the price for the classic art and the adventure this book brings.
Budget: $10.00-$2.99 = $7.01
The Mighty Thor #12 (Marvel)
Technically this is the final issue in the Fear Itself storyline, or you could say the final issue of the epilogue to that story. Thor was killed at the end of Fear Itself and he finally comes back to life here. The fact that most of you probably didn’t know that shows how important this story is. I enjoyed earlier issues, largely because the art was unique and the story of Thor fighting in the underworld might have worked. The smart person in my head should have realized whenever a hero fights to come back to life it’s stupid (just look at Superman), but I thought the Asgardian and Viking elements might make this worth it.
The eater of gods. I’d like to see this dude go toe to toe with Galactus.
The first few pages adequately outline what came before. Seeing as this story has been dragging for months now, that is quite the frustrating turn of events. Clearly this arc should have been much shorter and brought Thor back to life sooner. What this book breaks down in the first 4 pages proves there wasn’t a lot of story to begin with.
For Saurumon!…wait, um…
This book also brought in the element of trolls being an Asgardian enemy. All well and good, but when they lose their champion who was pretending to be Thor the last few issues in the opening pages, there’s really no threat that the heroes will lose. Essentially you’re turning the pages to see cool ways the artist framed the battles.
Remember when Elektra was stabbed straight through the gut and that was a big deal? Those were the days.
That’s not to say this comic is completely worthless. It’s a nice little ride with okay art and a conclusion we were all waiting for. Sometimes when you’re made to wait for something long enough you’re happy to just have it in the end. Not so here. This is one of those situations where the bride pooped her dress.
Budget: $7.01-$0.00 = $7.01
Alpha Girl #2 (Image)
Love the Graduate reference here.
From issue 1 to issue 2 this comic has really changed gears. In fact, you might want to read my review of it, as there is no summary of what’s going on nor any rhyme or reason to who anyone is. The previous issue set up the fact that it’s the 80s and women are becoming man eaters due to some perfume scientists. In this issue we find out our protagonist sells her used tampons, spit and urine to perverts. Reread that sentence. Okay good, we’re on the same page with the lunacy in these pages.
I like my zombies crunched, not stirred.
Luckily I have a twisted sense of humor, which is why I enjoyed this book. There’s enough gore, nudity and sick, twisted shit to satiate a person’s desire to see sick, twisted shit. The art is cartoony enough to give it all a sense of humor. I sense if Jim Lee was drawing a girl putting a used tampon in a bag you wouldn’t get the same reaction you do from this book.
Warning: Some may have a similar reaction to this image, but only if you’re on meth.
I’m going to take a guess and suggest the writer is attempting to keep our interest by describing a world where used spit is worth 100 dollars. If that’s true it’s working. There’s only so many bare breasts and zombie attacks a person can take before they start to wonder where the story is.
I hate when that happens.
I want a spinoff where we find more out about Peaches.
This book is the ultimate adventure in poor taste, which is of course a good thing to us. The nudity, gore and subject matter is just funny enough to warrant a purchase. With a little more story this book can be great.
Budget: $6.01-$2.99 = $3.02
Superman #7 (DC Comics)
Superman has basically been a place for writers and artists to pit a monster of the month against the hero and slowly develop the Clark Kent persona. It’s not too hard to build considering how boring he is. Clark works with Lois and Jimmy, can’t do his job well since he’s so young and green and is even worse at keeping property damage down as Superman. All good reasons why I dropped this book after issue #2 five months ago.
Note to Superman: last I checked you don’t have eyes behind your head. Those people should be flown to rescue, not allowed to stand behind you while giant blasts narrowly miss their heads.
If you’re into that sort of thing, weak character development but lots of bangy-bangy, then by all means treat this book like a well marbled steak. Sadly I just can’t do it. Dan Jurgens is doing a great job keeping the pace. This book has a particularly high amount of internal narration and Jurgens does a good job spacing everything in such a way it doesn’t feel too cramped. It is quite dense though, especially for something so weak on story.
The fact that Superman solves his problems this way is why he went through so many changes in the 90s.
The “New 52” really hasn’t improved Superman and it shows in this book. I understand making him younger might help attract new readers, but please change up his supporting characters or even where he works. He’s still a bumbling Clark Kent trying to get his word count in.
So his new costume basically makes him Iron Man now.
The sucker in me thinks the Helspont character introduced in this issue might make Superman a bit more intergalactic, but when you read each panel and whisper to yourself, “who cares,” there’s a major problem.
Budget: $3.02-$0.00 = $3.02
Three different comics this week had a lot of potential, and might fit in a bigger budget, but ended up not making the cut. New villain Helspont will beat them to a pulp (probably because he’s pissed they took one of the “L”s” out of his name) in quick succession:
Avenging Spider-Man #5 is a cute issue where Peter is trying to connect with Captain America. I can’t understand why this cover has Cap attacking Spider-Man, but what would I know about marketing? We also learn Steve Rogers tried to write comics when he was a kid and he created the character known as Sir Spangled, The Human Tank. If that doesn’t jump some sort of shark it should very well be eaten by one.
I was a big fan of the first two issues of Aquaman, but Aquaman #7 is a weak first issue for this next story arc. It reads almost like a free preview with not a lot of meat on the story. I blame the collected comic industry. It’s cool to see Black Manta, but that’s about all this issue offers. The Arabian character and playing with seeing into the future is interesting though.
Avengers vs. X-Men #0 is just okay, and should be commended for the delicate character development it seems to be crafting. For $3.99 though it doesn’t fit in a tight budget. For a longer review check out my review here.
Helspont shall dine, then if we’re lucky go back to Wildstorm.
Atomic Robo: Real Science Adventures #1 (Red 5 Comics)
A lot has been said about this silly, yet super-cool comic over the last few months. This issue begins a new short story form that’s a tad hit or miss to be honest. The first two stories, spanning eight pages, are well worth the price of admission, but the others leave a lot to be desired.
The upside is you get 20 pages of content for $1.99. For my tastes I only enjoyed half the book and have to pass this week, but it’s a good value nonetheless.
Budget: $3.02-$0.00 = $3.02
Batman: The Dark Knight #7 (DC Comics)
Paul Finch needs to turn his brain on when it comes to writing a story. The guy is awful and it shows monthly on this book. This entire issue is just a carryover from the last issue with a slight resolution. We’re already getting shafted by getting only 20 pages of comic, so it’s even more obvious when books are stretching out a story. So let’s see…Batman lets himself get beaten up by Bane:
Flash shows up, grabs the magic elixir, and Finch skips drawing Flash handing the elixir to Batman by having that important piece happen off pane:
Then, Batman basically commits murder:
Bane seemingly dies and Flash inappropriately comments on said murder:
Finally, Bane’s body is pulled out to sea. Let me get this straight. Bane was falling, choking on a serum, probably broke his spine on the landing and at the very least shattered his skull and is most likely knocked out. Last I checked when you are incapacitated you would drown in such situation:
And the heroes do nothing. This is everything that is wrong with comic books. I literally shouted after reading this page, “You’re heroes save him!” On top of that the inker casts them in darkness. Way to be the good guys.
Budget: $3.02-$0.00 = $3.02
Daredevil Vol. 3 #10 (Marvel)
I’m pretty certain it’s impossible to hate Mark Waid’s latest run on Daredevil. The character is fresh, fun and exciting. Paolo Rivera is just owning each frame too. It’s always appreciated when an artist can make the pages sing with such a simple hand.
I simply hate it when I get my pits mixed up with my maws!
This issue is a bit more action-packed than previous, but it contains some nice backstory on Mole Man, and ends with a lengthy letter from Catwoman that is spot on.
“The Man Who Wasn’t Brown” just doesn’t sound as nice as “The Man Without Fear.”
The one fear I have, though, is that it appears Matt Murdoch is going to get another crazy person storyline. How many times can this guy lose his mind over the years? It’s gotten to the point where it’s just boring. Can he please stop losing his mind, people?!
When did Mole Man get mad hops?
Who doesn’t love the Mole Man krak!
Very enjoyable read. At this point it’s a must-buy each week.
Budget: $3.02-$2.99 = $.03
Eclectic week of comics that were actually good. Anyone interested in a different type of zombie book might want to check out the victorian era The New Deadwardians #1. It was a decent introduction that puts a spin on the genre. ComiX Weekly is taking a break next week, but expect a single issue review of Avengers vs. X-Men #1.