Some great issues are coming out this week which makes it all the more difficult to narrow down a 10 dollar budget! Scott Snyder is delivering some Batman backstory in Batman #0 and Marvel has a plethora of issues to check out. This is the column where I read a huge chunk of the comics coming out today and decide which comics deserve your money in a 10 dollar budget.


Avenging Spider-Man #12 (Marvel Comics)


Kevin Schinick writes this issue and I have to say it’s a change of pace for Deadpool I think a lot of readers are going to love. The man is all over the place lately, with an appearance on Grimm this past monday as a porcupine-man, he narrated Adult Swim’s Robot Chicken DC Comics Special, and now we’ve got ourselves a two part story started with this issue. The man knows comedy and you’ll know he knows it by issues end.


Inception!

There’s not much of an explanation as to why Deadpool is inside Spider-Man’s head, but we do know it’s very much like Inception as there are levels to this dream. The setup doesn’t much matter, because the dialogue and hilarity are the driving force of this issue.


Sure…homage…right…

Of course, Schinick gets a major assist by artist Aaron Kuder, who really blows this issue away with a sketchy yet simplistic style. Hell, the issue even comes complete with a Breakfast Club reference!


Notice the literally giant breakfast surrounding them.

Ultimately this issue proves something about Deadpool that has been a constant for years: the guy is practically already in a dream world with the way he breaks the fourth wall and jokes. Thrust him into a literal dream world as he is in this issue and you’re going to get a full-on hilarious comic.


Fourth wall breakage.

The book is also paced rather well, maybe due to the different Inception levels of dreaming, but you’re going to keep turning the pages wanting to know what happens next.


Spider pigs!

A great issue with a very odd twist ending, but a great issue nonetheless.

Budget: $10.00 – $3.99 = $6.01


Avengers vs. X-Men #11 (Marvel Comics)


The art is epic straight out of a blockbuster flick, but there isn’t a ton to chew on and on top of that it’s hard to swallow the change of direction for Xavier. This issue was the subject of our Is It Good? review earlier this morning, which you can check out here.

Budget: $6.01 – $0.00 = $6.01


Uncanny X-Men Vol. 2 #18 (Marvel Comics)


TThis issue does a great job showing the behind the scenes events inside Cyclops and Emma’s heads during Avengers vs. X-Men #11. It enhances the main event issue, but also serves as a prelude to the madness Cyclops is going through.


Winning!

I’m not exactly sure what is going on with Magik and Colossus, unless of course it’s just them dealing with losing their Phoenix powers and thus losing their minds. It’s played up here in an interesting way, although it does play out over eight pages which turns out to be nearly half the book. Not a good idea to fill half of your book with a confusing thread, although it probably will be carried over next issue.


Yikes..

Apparently, during AvX #11 Scott and Emma have a nice dinner in a white room and while the main beats of the issue take place their conversation takes similar turns here.


Yep, they’re bad guys all right.

In a way this issue is like an annotation for the main book. It’s fun and interesting, but without the main issue you’ll be lost. It’s too bad they couldn’t intercut these scenes into the main book. They do a good job showing the madness and power they wield. Instead, over in AvX #11, we get scenes of them fighting, when in fact they are much more powerful than we think.

Budget: $6.01 – $0.00 = $6.01


Michael Avon Oeming’s The Victories #2 (Dark Horse Comics)


After two issues I’m still a little confused about what this series is supposed to be about. The only thing that has become clear is this series will most likely be more suited to a collected paperback than a single issue read. Why do I come to this conclusion? Because I still have yet to know much about the team aside from their ways of stopping crime. A flashback is slowly being revealed, although it’s not directly shown how it ties into the current timeline.


The art is still eye catching.

The only thing that is abundantly clear is that our hero likes to use brutal force on bad guys whilst cracking wise.


A bloody good time.

It’s quite jarring when the book cuts to an explanation for what a drug called “float” does to a person and then it cuts back to the Victories enacting justice. As far as who or why goes, I’m not sure. I guess these heroes just do things and it requires no explanation.


A bit awkward.

Essentially I’m a bit perplexed by this book as of the second issue. The art continues to dazzle, and the storytelling artistically is top notch, but I’m unclear as to what is going on and why I should care. The hero drops into a depressing malaise once again this issue and again I’m not sure why. I have similar feelings towards this book as I do to the new ongoing Hawkeye series by David Aja and Matt Fraction. Similarly with that book I love the art, but I’m not sure if the writing is quite up to speed.

Budget: $6.01 – $0.00 = $6.01

Sixteen comics this week were either close to the mark or downright failures. Either way they can’t justifiably fit into a 10 dollar budget. The eyeball will see them out.

I had high hopes for this issue, largely because Francesco Francavilla is the artist, but Captain America and Black Widow Vol. 1 #636 narrowly misses the mark. The art is at times sloppy and the pacing is much too slow to warrant a single issue buy. There are some neat ideas in here though, like a Weapon of Mass Destruction that is a snowglobe-sized planet of “omega-level psychics”, but it could have done without a boring interrogation by Cap and Hawkeye. Still going to pick up the next issue, though.

The Creep #1 is as noir as you can get, save for the black and white and moody art and the detective work might interest some. The art reminds me of something you’d see in an OGN, but overall the story befuddles me. I didn’t reed issue #0, thinking it wasn’t necessary, but I’m about as lost as a guy can get.

Jonathan Hickman continues to tie up loose ends on Fantastic Four #610. Artist Ryan Stegman seems to be pulling off an Erik Larsen impersonation on the art, but it doesn’t do this story any favors, largely because many pages only have three or four panels on a consistent basis. I kept wondering why there wasn’t more to this story save for a neat idea of A.I.M. buying an island and getting diplomatic immunity. I guess they learned something from Doctor Doom. Oh, and Obama makes an appearance.

It’s always frustrating when a story deviates completely away from the main stroyline in order to develop some new character, which is what happens in The Manhattan Projects #6. It appears Russia has a Manhattan Project of their own, complete with a scientist with a brain in a jar and robots. Nothing too interesting here that can’t be summed up next issue in the first few panels.

Whoa what happened to the art in Scarlet Spider #9?! I haven’t checked, but I’d wager this book is being canned when Marvel NOW! kicks into gear in a few months as this issue is a sprint to a conclusion that is uninspiring and boring. The art is pretty basic and drab. Skip this puppy.

Rick Remender can do no wrong, but on Uncanny X-Force #31 he sure does waste pages with characters going on and on about seemingly nothing. Wolverine potentially killing his son comes up for some odd reason and Sabretooth and Mystique are doing it. Another odd turn of events. I suppose Remender is reminding us this book is about his point of view on death squads, but couldn’t he have done it in a more interesting way? A plot advancing, but boring, issue.

Ed Brubaker used to be invincible, but I’m starting to think he’s phoning it in with Winter Soldier #10. It feels like ten years ago he introduced this new plot of another soldier being woken up like the Winter Soldier…but we’ve had so many twists and turns that haven’t involved this character I can hardly care. Black Widow having “another layer” of mind wiping doesn’t help either. Oh and when Captain America and Hawkeye meet up with Winter Soldier they aren’t a little surprised he’s alive? I guess that whole Fear Itself thing never really happened. Now that’s annoying.

Wolverine and the X-Men #16 should otherwise be known as Everything You Wanted to Know About the Hellfire Club in 22 pages or Less. It doesn’t help matters when the Phoenix Five show up…who were reduced to the Phoenix Four like…2 months ago. Bachelo is on art, but it’s all uneven and hard to get into. Largely because Aaron spends a ton of time trying to make the 12 year old villain really scary, when it’s moreso just silly.

Somebody get Becky Cloonan back on this book, because Conan the Barbarian #8 has some funky facial expressions that’ll make you laugh when that’s not the intention. I love the idea of Conan being on his home turf being dragged down by his lover who is a fish out of water…literally. There’s no battling unfortunately which only seems to work when Brian Wood does an exceptional job on the narration. This issue leaves a lot to be desired.

Rogue sovles a war by making both sides touch through her. Why didn’t she do that months ago with Cyclops and Captain America? X-Men: Legacy #273 is finally over! Woohoo! This was a real mess, largely because it seemed to think the alien races that were introduced were the driving force, when it was Rogue all along. A very predictable story arc to say the least.

I really like Incredible Hulk Vol. 2 #13, but I’ve been following this ridiculous yet fun story from the start. Bruce Banner has finally created an antidote to kill the Hulk…and decides to not use it. What a wussbag. Instead, he wants to give peace a chance and team up with the Hulk. I had a lot of fun with this story and I think Jason Aaron is doing a good job, but it can’t quite break into the budget this week. Sure can’t wait for Hulk with guns next issue though.

I was afraid this would happen and it did. Mark Bagely’s work has become a bit too messy for my liking in Avengers Assemble #7. The story isn’t doing much better either as many of the characters are either laying on the ground half dead or smashing things senselessly. This book has quickly become a Guardians of the Galaxy book and that’s fine, but then again they only have a few choice moments of character. (Does “I am GROOT” ever get old?) The cliffhanger looks interesting, but it’s nothing to pay money to see.

I’m not sure, but I think New Avengers Vol. 2 #30 may have had a couple racist moments. Be warned, you should read AvX #11 first, but I’m not sure really when this takes place. Cage and Daredevil are guarding Emma after she was depowered…and some crazy Bible-spouting humans come to ruin their day. The art is exceptional and if you’re into Luke Cage you’ll like this since it’s all about him. Not sure why Iron Fist is on the cover…

I think X-Treme X-Men Vol. 2 #3 may have swung my opinion of this series around. Things were a lot easier to follow this issue and the elseworlds aspect actually works. The twist you won’t see coming, but hell, how can we take a floating Xavier head in a jar seriously? This is Sliders meets the X-Men so take what you will from that.

Team 7 #0 is good, but not great, as it builds a team of non-superhuman heroes who use guns to get the job done. It also appears OMAC might be involved with these dudes. We shall see where this team goes, but as of now I’m more curious how they touch on the greater DC universe, which this issue doesn’t deliver much of.

You might think, “why do we need more origin comics on Batman?” and you’d be right. Batman #0 is frustratingly pointless. You do get 28 pages of comic book for three bucks, but it’s really not worth the time. See Batman fight the Red Hood gang and mess up, see him have a long-winded conversation with a pre-commissioner Gordon and see Batman test out a automatic Batarang. Okay? It comes with a booster story showing all three Robins in their previous lives and how they were heroes before they even met Batman. Again, frustratingly pointless.


You can love these comics, but they won’t love you back.


X-O Manowar #5 (Valiant Entertainment)



This Valiant relaunch continues to satisfy, largely because it’s not revealing too much too soon. Instead, the stories are allowed to grow organically in their own books as the larger universe begins to reveal itself. This issue continues to open things up and the art continues to excel.


Finding home.

The protagonist appears to be getting his bearings now that he’s been jettisoned thousands of years into the future. Coming from a warring culture in Italy, it’s pretty clear he hasn’t lost any of the fight or violence. For a hero to kill his enemy so ruthlessly, I can’t wait to see this thread of the character be developed over the coming months.


That’s one way to get rid of a grenade.

I never read the original stories and I’m glad I haven’t. A part of me knows going in completely blind to these properties is only going to make them stronger. Having no affinities to a past version and not knowing any of the twists and turns ahead is a good thing. Now…Ninjak is introduced this issue and it’s vaguely familiar that this is an older property, but not knowing just how badass the character is makes his characterization in this issue stronger.


Knife versus wrist blaster. Blaster wins.

So far Valiant is delivering. Give this book a look.

Budget: $6.01 – $3.99 = $2.02


Batman and Robin #0 (DC Comics)


This issue is so surprisingly similar to Batman Incognito #2 it’s scary. It’s all about Damien here, only he has nearly an identical origin as his mother. Also why there is a giant man-bat I’m not sure.


Still it’s cool.

There’s nothing really new or interesting here, except for just how darn cute Damien is whilst wearing his father’s cape and cowl. Nearly every detail in this book has been revealed in exposition, so once again I find myself asking why these #0 issues were produced in the first place.


Awww. And he’ll grow up to be just like his daddy…if DC decides to not kill him that is.

A marketing stunt I’m sure.


Shark reference!

And on top of all that it’s an incredibly quick read. You’ll be in and out within 3 minutes.

Budget: $2.02 – $0.00 = $2.02


Demon Knights #0 (DC Comics)


I was a big fan of the first story arc of Demon Knights and while it slowly lost its luster in my heart, I still hope to return to the book one of these days. This is the first instance of a #0 issue where I was glad the story was deviating from the main story. This issue shows Etrigan’s growth as an extremely powerful demon in Hell, the spoiled nature of Jason of Norwich and the events that lead to their binding.


Very cool looking Lucifer.

It’s outside these characters that the book really delivers though. Both the backstory of Merlin and the waring culture in hell are entertaining aspects to this story.


Flying heads. A favorite pastime in hell.

On top of that the binding of Etrigan and Jason is actually a clever one. Maybe I missed it, but the purpose of the binding actually makes some sense and helps build up the hero as well.


More comics with scenes like this are much needed!

Sure, this hero is basically a fantasy version of Hulk, but the backstory revealed here makes him a tad more complex and interesting. All the more reason why this issue is great. When you find out Merlin’s true origin…you’re going to flip.


Come at me bro!

This was a highly enjoyable surprise well worth any fantasy fan’s hard earned dough.

Budget: $2.02 – $2.99 = -$0.97

Another week, another slightly over budget ComiX Weekly. I blame the uneven nature of purchasing two $3.99 issues. Next week sees some new #0’s from DC Comics, Marvel unleashes the final chapter of Spider-Men and Walking Dead #102 ships. Join us next week!