It seems like Avengers vs. X-Men is the only thing coming out of the comic world right now. This might be because of a little movie called The Avengers hitting in a week and a half. If that’s true, DC is smart to lay low for the time being, as much of their press is going to be quiet while this massive meat ball rolls along. Of course, there is news that a Lobo movie is in the works, which will be awesome once more details surface.

It’s a relatively quiet week, although a few of my favorites are being released, like King Conan, Daredevil #11, and Zenescopes Alice in Wonderland. One thing’s for sure though…many heads roll this week. Literally.


Aquaman #8 (DC)


Oh Geoff Johns, you’re a writer I want to love, but you’ve consistently mired your recent books in some much convoluted doo-doo I can’t help but be wary of your latest offerings. Calm down Johns readers, I know he’s got the talent, but I’m just wary is all. The first story arc in Aquaman was hit or miss with me and the last issue was okay but not great. This issue though, kicks it up a notch, with some witty dialogue and some interesting reveals.


In an alternate scene Arthur screams, “you’re not my mom!”

This issue opens with some backstory on Aquaman and the moment he decided to say “screw land people I’m gonna be a fish!” The big reveal in this issue though, is Arthur’s previous super hero team known as “The Others.” It’s an interesting crew, and one of his ex team members has come back to get Aquaman’s help. Since being on the team though, Aquaman got married, and she’s not exactly the understanding non-jealous type.


Awkward!

I’m not familiar with this team, but… is that a bag on one of the team member’s heads? Creepy and weird. Most of this book involves the team saving a small village and while it’s not that in depth (thanks to the 20 page comics these days) it’s still fun. I kept asking myself, “I wonder how this will affect Aquaman’s impression of the Justice League?”


Introducing a team of characters not one of which has a good costume; no wonder he quit them and went with the Justice League.

This book is snappy enough with the dialogue and revealing enough to feel worth it. A good read.

Budget: $10.00-$2.99 = $7.01


Vampirella: Red Room #1 (Dynamite)


Last week was my first foray into Vampirella comics since the 90’s, and I was slightly blown away by how much better the storytelling was in that issue. Lo and behold another Vampirella comic hits the shelves this week and it’s a #1! Perfect jumping on point. This issue a lot of fun, taking on a From Dusk Till Dawn feel as Vampirella uncovers a bar of mischevious behavior in the south. After stopping an “overfeeding” vampire from killing a girl, Vampirella meets up with:


Get out of this comic Jeff Bridges!

Hmm, he sure looks like Jeff Bridges. Anyway, she ends up uncovering a seedy bar where cage fights are taking place. But not any old cage fight.


Monster Cage Fight. Now that’s a good title for a movie.

Can someone tell me if Vampirella’s claim to fame is tearing people’s arms off? Last week’s issue had the same awesome shot, but it must get redundant at this rate.


Somebody hit play on the R Kelly single “I Believe I Can Fly”.

The action in this issue is pretty exciting, and there are moments that put AVX: VS #1 to shame. Vampirella versus a dungeon of monsters in a cage match? Sign me up.


Cataract removal surgery.

It also has some pretty geek friendly nods, not least of which is this baddy,


Kill Bill anyone?

Unfortunately there are too many good books to fit this in a 10 dollar budget. The action is fun, but all the set up in the beginning is a tad long winded and boring. I can’t recommend this book on a budget, but it’s a lot of fun.

Budget: $7.01-$0.00 = $10.00


Grimm Fairy Tales: Alice in Wonderland #5 (Zenescope)


This book, and the last few issues as well, have fallen into bad pacing consistency. If the book is beautiful and has action, it also has a ton of dialogue bogging it down. If the book has great storytelling, the art is missing the beautiful 2 page spreads that have made me come back for more. THIS issue has some nice art, but a huge twist is introduced that basically retcons the previous issues. I suppose it’s not as bad as a retcon, but everything Alice did in previous issues is nearly negated as a story element from another Zenescope comic, is introduced.


Now that’s a “red” queen. Get it?

The first few pages of this book are also nearly as dense as a Dickens novel. The Red Queen explains herself and the Jabberwocky, and nothing interesting appears on the page. Comics can have dense dialogue, that’s fine, but it still needs action. Why else have pictures?


Those heads were meant for rolling…and that’s just what they’ll do.

The second half of the book is then a bustling rush to get to the finish line. There is only one issue left in this series, but boy did they need another issue or two. The art magically gets better halfway through as well.


Check the guy to the right, above the box. Is that the Pope?

Another unfortunate story element I did not see coming is the conclusion. It appears this book will be taking the latest movie version ending, where Alice is a general fighting off the Jabberwocky army. It might be cool, but it’s not very original.


What a long neck you have…wait wrong fairy tale.

Once again I can’t recommend this book. It’s nice to look at, but the story is much too up and down to enjoy all the way through.

Budget: $7.01-$0.00 = $7.01

Nine comics this week had a lot of potential, and might fit in a bigger budget, but ended up not making the cut. Sad Thing will cry all over these comics in quick succession.

Uncanny X-Men #11is narrated from several different viewpoints some of which are very helpful in understanding the motivations going into A vs. X. Namor for instance, explains why he stans for the X-Men…and why it’s an honor to Cyclops for him to covet his girl Emma. Hope also reveals her feelings on being the Pheonix and that she’s under the impression she can control it. Very helpful to know and kind of stupid it’s not in the main event book. The art is also great. Just not enough room in our budget.

Lets take a trip back in time with Popeye #1! The art is amazingly colorful and fun and this is a very traditional story starring Popeye. The book is very reminiscent of The Adventures of Tintin and is highly enjoyable. You also get a lot of bang for your buck. Sadly it can’t fit into our budget.

Batman: The Dark Knight #8 is incredibly stupid for a few different reasons. At one point Alfred actually calls Batman out for making huge presumptions and I suspect it’s a wink at the reader for how dumb it is. Also one of Commissioner Gordon’s cops somehow got the Mayor to “approve my request to have your mental and emotional stability evaluated.” Say what now? Really this is a done in one issue to tide over readers for the Court of Owls storyline kicking in next month.

AVX: VS #1 is bull. Marvel wants your money and they know kids will buy this for better or worse. I reviewed it much more in depth over here.

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Daredevil #11 looks amazing, and if you’ve been following this story so far you might as well pick this up. But for anyone wondering…this comic surprisingly twists to reveal the entire Omega Effect storyline was for nothing. I won’t reveal anything, but lets just say the characters are back to where they started.

The art in Secret Avengers #26 is really good, but at the end of the day the issue is filler for the big reveal at the end. This is a good example of why big comic events stink. All the residual tie-ins get crap stories simply to keep up with and expand on the main event. This issue barely tells a story while we wait to find out miniscule details.

I keep saying this series is good, but The Activity #5 is once again just okay. There’s a nice twist here and the dialogue is snappy. It just can’t fit into a budget that only allows 3 comics.

Mike Deodato and Will Conrad do a stellar job on the art in New Avengers #25. Everything looks aged and worn in, which is great for a story that goes back in time when there wasn’t a need for an Iron Fist. There isn’t a ton of story here, and a lot of the pages reveal a burning Phoenix and nothing more. When this story fleshes out it will be great, but in a single issue…meh. Also, for an Avenger book…no Avengers.

More chopped heads fly in Wolverine #305 and the amount of brutal killing Wolverine does to the mutants is joy inducing. The story though, is something we’ve seen before over in Deadpool. I can’t pin which issue exactly, and by all means let me know in the comments below, but this story isn’t fresh..


Somebody call the whambulance on Thing. Sheesh.


King Conan: The Phoenix on the Sword (Dark Horse)



If you’ve been following ComiX Weekly you’ll know this has made it into the budget every single week. I understand not everyone loves Conan, and that’s fine, so if you wouldn’t purchase this by all means grab another issue in this week’s column that I would have bought if my budget was bigger. This is the final issue in the Phoenix on the Sword storyline and it was so damn good I plan on buying the trade or hardcover when it’s released.


Would chopping a head really make a “Spttch” sound?

This issue is all fighting, save for some nice dialogue at the end. Sometimes a comic that’s all fighting stinks, especially when the art is flat. I’m looking at you AvX: VS #1. Fortunately, Tomas Giorello is an amazing artist. The art is clean and gritty, the choreography is spot on and the heads fly like majestic eagles!


Heads just get sliced with aplomb when Conan’s around.

Timothy Truman obviously told Giorello to go nuts. And I love it.


You said this last issue, and I don’t care. Still awesome.

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better… he fights a giant magical ape!




Rut roh, Conan’s not the only one who can decapitate!

A really awesome series. If you are catching wind of this book now I suggest getting the back issues. It’s that good.

Budget: $7.01-$2.99 = $4.02


Superman #8 (DC)



Last issue I was disgusted. This issue was a nice surprise. Superman hears Helspont out about his “deal” and we get a little backstory on this Wildstorm turned DC villain. Sounds like a sweet deal for us. Oh and they fight. Finally.


I think this new suit is growing on me. Just like it grows on him! Bhahahaha!

Helspont shows Supes the future, by way of a “cerebral-stunt” bug thingy. It’s what’s on the cover.


Getting a “See the future” bug is about as bad as getting a STD it seems.

I’m starting to understand what DC is doing with Helspont. The guy is a copy of Dr. Doom, only he’s some sort of cosmic guy instead of a dude with a country. He’s arrogant like Doom, he talks like Doom, and he strikes out whenever someone doesn’t want to follow his orders. That’s probably why this comic works so well. The dialogue is great, but again, can you recommend something that seems to be a blatant copy?


Didn’t Obama say that?


Splat.

This is a fun issue and Helspont is growing on me. The book would make the budget on a different week.

Budget: $4.02-0.00 = $4.02


FF #17 (Marvel)



Writer Jonathan Hickman has outdone himself here. Along with the very fresh and pulpy look Nick Dragotta is doing, this issue is a slam dunk, home run, whatever you want to call it. It’s a super fun done in one issue and I couldn’t get enough. The book moves at a fast clip and surprises are at every turn.


He helped defeat the Celestials last week but can’t get Johnny kicked out. What a loser.

You see, Johnny is a real pain. He parties all night, calls Peter when he’s in important meetings, and oh right, had Reed install a portal into the Negative Zone, which was originally a closet. Typical pain in the ass roomate.


He’s about to be eaten and you insult him. Jeez.

You keep turning the pages and things keep getting worse and worse. Peter keeps taking it, the nice guy that he is, and the pressure continues to build.


I want that horse creature to get his own book. Also…when I play cards I’m always engorged too.

The problem is that Peter is a regular boring guy. He can’t party like Johnny Storm every night. Especially with a job. What does Johnny do for a living? I think nothing, besides loaf around waiting for another cosmic event. The party is quite fun to watch though. For instance, Johnny’s horse friend at one point offers Peter a drink. Then this happens:


Psychedelic man!

Something not a lot of comic writers get credit for is pacing. This issue is amazingly paced. Sometimes great art can be spoiled by a heavy dose of dialogue, but this book evens it all out to make the story nice and smooth. Believe me when I tell you, the final splash page is the perfect cherry on this smooth drink.

Budget: $4.02-2.99 = $1.03

A lot of good comics this week, and we even came up above budget. Of course many of the books I had to turn down were still quality reading. Taking a peek at next week’s comics shows not a lot of Avengers books, mainly because the movie hits on Friday and I’m sure they want the Avengers titles to hit the week after everyone sees the movie. It’s a pretty light week for Marvel, lets hope Image and DC can pull their weight.