Big news over at Marvel Comics as they re-acquired the rights to make a Daredevil movie. Joy! Coincidentally Daredevil #17 hit the shelves and I reviewed that earlier today. There are a lot of non-Marvel related comics to be excited about though, like Saga #6, Walking Dead #101, Before Watchmen: Rorschach #1 and Michael Avon Oeming’s The Victories #1. That’s a mouthful. Let’s see if even half of those are worth your dime.


Avengers vs. X-Men #10 (Marvel Comics)


Is it just me, or is it is silly how Marvel has listed these not as issue numbers, but as “rounds”? This issue is “round 10” but honestly, not a single issue has really been a “round” but rather a simple couple of events. I suppose it puts more emphasis on action, as if we’re witnessing turning points in every issue. As far as this issue goes, that’s true as Cyclops gets a happy helping of “ass whooping”. At least that’s how Iron Man puts it.


I don’t know what’s more demented: Iron Fist’s Mussolini comment or Cyclops wearing a thong.

As Iron Man racks his brain for a solution to this Phoenix problem, Cyclops decides to grab Hope and bring her back to Genosha. Not without a fight. Cyclops is powered up even more now that three of the Phoenix Five have been disbanded. It appears he’s maintaining his composure, although he does raise his temper here and there.


Magneto is made Emma’s bitch. Not much of a change really.

Emma isn’t doing so hot, though. She’s making dissenting mutants kneel before her and it’s gotten so bad the once genocidal Magento proclaims, “it’s no way to treat anyone.” Really? Didn’t you attempt to kill off the entire human race at one point? Either way, it’s a sign that Emma has become unhinged. This sets up the little one-on-one battle for the next issue.


No that’s not puke. It’s dragon fire!

I had one major problem with this issue, but it’s so huge it ruins the entire read. The way in which Hope realizes her potential is a silly one. Instead of her learning the ways of Iron Fist, she sort of accidentally comes across a way of beating the Phoenix. Tony witnesses this “moment” (as does the Watcher. What a creep.) and it appears he may have gotten the spark that will lead to some contraption by him next issue. Either way it’s pretty silly in execution and even how it looks:


The power of Rainbow bright!

For spoiler fans it’s simple: Combine the powers of a Iron Fist dragon with Scarlet Witch and you get some kind of super power. I guess? This is an incredibly lackluster issue that sort of teeters around pointless fights. The big reveal moments are done in such a slipshod way you’ll either cringe or laugh out loud. Probably the most clunky issue of this series yet.

Budget: $10.00-$0.00 = $10.00


Michael Avon Oeming’s The Victories #1 (Dark Horse)


Michael Avon Oeming, best known for his work on Powers, has himself a creator-owned work ready for your consumption. You will note however, this is something completely different, largely because the content is for “mature audiences”. The fact that Dark Horse says, “The raunchiest superheroes since The Boys!” in the solicit could be a good thing. It’s an interesting turn for Oeming, mostly because his style is cartoony in nature. I know Powers was for mature audiences, but how will this style work in a “mature” book of this caliber?


Oh, how adult of this panel!

The main character, as seen on the cover, is a Batman lookalike combined with Spider-Man’s wit. He even comes complete with quips. The quips are just for show though, although it’s not explained why that would be necessary when fighting crime. It appears there are six heroes called Victories. Not much is explained about them here though.


So mature that the villains shit on their victims. Literally.

This is a difficult issue to pinpoint. The style is dark and brooding, yet Oeming’s pencils somehow reduce the impact of the blood splatter and swearing. Speaking of swearing, it’s as if the characters are swearing to make the book mature. This makes it sound false and out of place.


Sweet double page spread!

It’s not until we reach the two thirds mark that the book starts to reveal its dark underbelly.


Losing your mind is the hero’s journey!

This is a beautifully drawn issue that is a tad wonky in the pacing department. I’m still not sure what to make of it since not much was divulged as far as these Victory folks go. The art is definitely something to stop and look at. For instance in one panel the city appears to be bending:


Don’t throw up!

There’s enough here to warrant a purchase, largely because the art sells the book all by itself.

Budget: $10.00 – $3.99 = $6.01


Avengers vs. X-Men #10: Infinite


This is the third infinite comic and it’s interesting to see how different they’ve all been. The first, using the new Nova, showed how you could create blur and movement. The second showed how you can use transitions between panels with the same background. This time around there is more subtle things being used, like a character’s eyes moving or a layering effect that shows the complexity of something.


Cartoon crazy!

This issue is nice for two reasons. One reason being we finally get to see Scarlet Witch do something. It’s surprising how unused she’s been, especially considering Avengers vs. X-Men #0 featured only her and Hope. The fact that their coming together in an Infinite Comic and not the main series is a bit bewildering, but I’ll take it.

Enter the Matrix!

The second reason is that it shows, in an interesting way, different outcomes that could occur when the Avengers face Cyclops. By plugging into Scarlet Witch, Tony appears to have created a probability machine and see the future. Neat trick. For a measly two bucks you can pick up this comic. It’s a nice aside to the main story, but as far as Infinite comic tricks it’s a bit slim. This could have been part of the main event just fine, which makes this an unworthy buy.

Budget: $6.01-$0.00 = $6.01

Ten comics this week were either close to the mark or downright failures. Either way they can’t justifiably fit into a 10 dollar budget. Chauvinist Daredevil will show these comics how slutty they are.

Avengers Vol. 4 #29 is a frustrating experience. Instead of a new story it’s a retelling of Wolverine and the X-Men #12, a full three issues ago, only this time we find out it’s Xavier who was mind controlling Rachel. Okay? Who cares? It’s like Marvel didn’t want to use Xavier too early or something…which might be why buzz is saying Xavier is going to die at the end of this series. Either way, it’s a pointless issue made even more pointless by the talk Captain America and Xavier have in Avengers vs. X-Men #10.

I’m not sure how Kirkman could have topped last issue, but The Walking Dead #101 is just okay. A major problem with this series is that things move much too slowly. That leaves entire issues that serve as transitional stories rather than stories with important events occurring. The twist ending, because what is Walking Dead without a twist ending, is going to lead to something…but probably not for another two issues. Is anyone else frustrated with the speed of this series? When the characters arrive in a new setting you always say to yourself, “ugh…here’s where they’ll be in a full year.”

I was tempted to show you some pages from Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe #3 (of 4) but really there is no point. Finally a character asks Deadpool why he’s doing it…and the answer is less than interesting. There are two lines of dialogue that are semi-funny…which is a plus. I can’t say I was interested in the slightest when Deadpool’s “plan” was revealed. It’s insulting that characters are killed off with a single panel devoted to showing their corpse. That leaves the reader wishing they could see that part and skip what is actually delivered.

Uncanny X-Force #29 wraps up the story lightning quick. Remender must be tightening down his stories and concluding them as fast as possible for Marvel NOW!. There’s some nice Deadpool dialogue in here, as well as little quips from old Psylocke, but at the end of the day it’s throwaway storytelling at best. I mean…the first ten pages are Psylocke trying to off herself. It’s comical and I’m pretty sure that wasn’t the intention.

Well now, Amazing Spider-Man #691 wasn’t the worst conclusion to the Lizard story. I think this arc was a disappointment in the pacing department and a tad boring when it came to the events here and there. Writer Dan Slott does his best work when it comes to dialogue and here it shines. I also love where he’s left Lizard. It’s always nice when a writer leaves something behind another might be able to build on. I’m a little confused if Spidey is breaking his rule on “nobody” dies. That wasn’t too clear.

I’m a big fan of the art in Captain Marvel #2 but do we really need a time travel story in only the second issue? At one point Captain Marvel says, “is this one of those islands that still think it’s World War 2?” As if they’re hanging around all over the place? I get that she says this to point out the hilarity of the plot, but there’s nothing here that warrants a read besides the pretty pictures.

This series, and this latest issue, Butcher Baker: The Righteous Maker #8, sure knows how to go out of its way to be loud and proud. The first few issues were funny and crazy, with nudity and ultra-violence around every turn. This issue continues that, including a multiple page battle with two naked men with their dongs waggling. That said it’s just too nonsensical to recommend. My theory is this: Matt Fraction had a great idea for a high-energy story that thrust the reader into madness. After the first six issues he lost track of any semblance of story and just started writing in a stream of mad consciousness.

How often to we say to ourselves, “well at least the art was amazing.” This is how I felt while reading Batwoman #12. Wonder Woman is in this issue…I suspect because writer/artist J. H. Williams III really wanted to draw her. Either that or he didn’t have enough story for Batwoman as they split the story between them. I love the idea of Batwoman being a monster detective, but there just hasn’t been enough going on in this book for the last year. Sure is a pretty issue though.

I wanted to like Wonder Woman #12, but hell, was this issue ridiculous. Once again it appears a writer is capping off a story much faster than they intended. From the pregnancy being rushed ahead to a fight that seems forced it’s all a frustrating mess. Either Azzarello didn’t plot this out well enough or DC is forcing him to end things early. Either way it’s annoying.

Deadpool #59 was probably the funniest issue in the last six issues. Wade has stopped being sorry for himself and has a bit of a skip in his step again. I laughed out loud a couple times while reading and the plot, while a simple one, has enough quirk to kick it up a notch.


Somebody shut this broad up. Daredevil is just happy about the movie rights switching to Marvel. Give him a break!


Saga #6 (Image Comics)



Bar none, this is the best new series of 2012. It doesn’t matter what else comes out for the next four months, there simply isn’t a book that can beat this. Writer Brian K. Vaughn knows how to write dialogue and seriously brings the drama when it comes to relationships. On top of that, with a fantasy universe completely unknown to anyone but Vaughn he’s able to consistently bring new elements that wow you. Case in point, how about a rocket that’s a tree?



They said trees couldn’t fly!

There’s a certain quirkiness to this series that allows the viewer to accept the most bizarre things. I, for one, was weirded out by the monitor-headed aliens, but by issue #6 all I want is to learn more about them. Vaughn is definitely leaving a lot of details unknown at this point, which drives a lot of the anticipation of the series.


Lunatics, every one of them!

There are also layers to this story that keep you always wanting more. For instance, the narration from the newborn baby allows the viewer to anticipate some of the events that must occur. It adds a layer to the events as they occur as well, for instance in this issue we learn from the narration that the rocket tree is going to be its new home.


Cute.

Of course, as soon as you start getting your bearings straight Vaughn adds another layer. The twist at the end is delectable, especially when you start to play out the possibiliies. Just when you thought there weren’t enough threads going Vaughn adds something that’ll not only add a layer to this onion, but allow us to peel back a layer on other characters.

Budget: $6.01 – $2.99 = $3.02


Before Watchmen: Rorschach #1 (DC Comics)



I’m in the camp of people who think these prequels are stupid. If they aren’t written by Alan Moore, what’s the point? Not to mention these are prequels and have no real bearing on the original series. Yet another feather in the pointless cap of these comics. That’s not to say I can’t appreciate the story inside. Believe me, I’ve come in open minded.


Brutal.

Give this story credit, at least they gave Rorschach a sadistic villain to take down in this miniseries. Judging by the picture above the guy loves what he does, which will make the inevitable beat down all the better.


He doesn’t LOOK formidable.

The art is done by Lee Bermejo and John Higgins and boy does it sing. By book’s end you’re going to love looking at this comic. Considering this is the same team that brought us Joker I can’t help but think good things will come from it.


Is that a photo?!

The story does well enough to setup our villain and the fact that good old Rorie is a beat detective without any rules. That’s not a hell of a lot to build on. There’s some nice narration in the opening that brings up Rorie’s childhood, but beyond that it’s rather limp in the story department. He’s looking for some drugs, gets duped and get his ass whooped. I suppose this is a moment he’ll never forget. The moment his detective work didn’t really work out.


Nice upside-down shot.

And once again I find myself not very interested in the main thread of one of these Watchmen prequels. I’ll admit am a little interested in learning how or why Rorie becomes the “end of the world” sign holding wacko, but is this a must read? Nope.

Budget: $3.02 – $0.00 = $3.02


Daredevil #17 (Marvel Comics)



I reviewed this issue earlier today and have to say it was one of the better books. Art, story and purpose all blend together in a nice story about Daredevil. Check out the review here.

Budget: $3.02 – $2.99 = $0.03

Nice week for comics, although there were a few letdowns as far my expectations go. I was almost 100% sure Captain Marvel #2 and Uncanny X-Force #29 were going to be purchasable. Let’s do this again next week and see how it turns out? See you then!