Monday, March 26, 2012

What's Your Issue? Spotlight on X-Factor #233

We're back to Peter David's X-Factor this week. Honestly!? This issue kind of exemplifies why I always champion X-Factor as one of my favorite comics. They can change things up in an organic, interesting way and somehow make me not only like it, but like it even more.

After Jamie Madrox is resurrected after his night of 1,000 deaths, him and Layla Miller embrace in a way that might make you blush. That was last issue. In this issue? It becomes apparent that Layla has become Jamie's new slam piece. And no, there's no nicer way I could have put that. As Madrox often does, he's having a whole internal debate about how wrong the whole thing was and blah, blah, blah. Jamie has been attracted to Layla ever since he went to the future and she was older babe. He needs to get over himself about this, and finally deal with his gross emotional problems. To her credit, Layla is having kind of the same thoughts re: regret. But she's a little bit more honest here, admits the whole Guido-no soul thing, and ... yeah, I'll admit it. I kind of want them to get together. And let's give it up to Peter David who somehow made me feel not icky about that. It's weird how Layla is becoming my favorite.

Where's the team? Madrox asks. This is when Layla alludes to a change in leadership.

Friday, March 16, 2012

What's Your Issue? Spotlight on Superboy #7

I have something kind of dirty to admit this week... I actually kind of enjoyed reading “Superboy.” When I read the initial solicitations, I had a feeling like it might play out this way. I also think since this might be the only time such an event happens, I should probably review this issue.

When last we left The Superboy, he was barreling his way to a secret N.O.W.H.E.R.E. facility. He beat the snot out of the new combined forces of the Teen Titans, then confronted Rose Wilson and a bunch of the agents on his way to deliver a smackdown to his current handlers slash creators. Why it has suddenly occurred to him to attack the evil organization, I can’t tell you. I think it would have been a better idea to trash the place when you first woke up or when you’re red headed doctor hottie became super strong and went berserk. But I guess The Superboy isn’t very bright. Or we can blame it on his newly cloned brain still learning how things work. I don’t really know (or care?) but Superboy’s motivations should be clearly established so we as readers can get behind him. It’s pretty hard to relate to a character who seems very resistant to establishing emotional connections and has no clearly established purpose. I feel a little bit like I’m reading about a teenage version of The Hulk who hasn’t turned green yet.

I’m getting off topic. Let’s talk about The Superboy’s progress. He’s finally inside the facility now. The director of security guy - he reminds me a lot of The Guardian from Project Cadmus from the “Death of Superman” era - tries to stop him with a crapload of security dudes. They have guns that can down a tank (really!? Because even in comic book terms, I kind of don’t believe them) and they have the element of surprise. They blast him, but Superboy tosses them around like ragdolls anyway. It’s interesting to note that he gets hurt here. He also doesn’t immediately recover; it seems to really have a negative impact on him. There’s also this really strange moment where reality shifts, I guess because another character is in N.O.W.H.E.R.E. either manipulating the enviornment or altering The Superboy’s perceptions. Still, it’s a weird few panels that don’t really go with the rest of the issues. Dear editors at DC Comics: If you’re not going to show this character who is doing this thing or explain why he’s doing, I don’t really care.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

March Comics Roundup

I have a few odds and ends that are worth highlighting this month. Here goes.

Fans of my Goodreads page will note that the Salem Press Graphic Novel encyclopedia I contributed to is out next month. If you are a library and have money or are independently wealthy, feel free to purchase the book here. I'm excited it's finally out. It's also worth noting that DC Comics just tweeted about a Flashpoint giveaway that you can view here. Enter to Win. You know I just did.

This month I read both Wolverine & Jubilee and vol. 2 of Gotham City Sirens (the latter which I bought at Bergen Street Comics - I finally visited!). I recommend both books, and will probably be providing extended reviews of both of them for my new gig on Graphic Novel Reporter reviewing things that I read. You can read my first review on the special edition of Oni Press' Courtney Crumrin here.

If you don't think I update my blog enough, be sure to check me out on Yelp. I've been catching up on my back log lately. While I still don't review a place every day, I've been updating my reviews a lot more there. I hope to eventually get down to the Midtown Comics in NYC's financial district soon since I still have yet to go. I have a cool list of NYC comic shops you can read about there.

Wednesday also means 'new comic day.' Here's the issues I bought for this week:

Friday, March 9, 2012

What's Your Issue? Avengers Academy #27

Full disclosure: Actually. Let's take a minute after that statement. Every time I blog lately I feel like I'm revealing some sort of seedy insight into my comic buying habits. You guys might soon know me better than I know myself...

The only thing I was going to admit, re: above "full disclosure" is that I'm not a regular reader of Avengers Academy. I've heard good things about it, but with Young Avengers and every other attempt to modernize the Avengers team and turn it into a franchise? No thanks. I know Marvel has a big movie planned, and yes... Joss Whedon is writing it so I'm super excited. But the idea of creating a bunch of kiddie Avengers has been done several times in the past few years with generally disasterous results. And by that I mean boring! I'd rather have a comic that takes place in an alternate reality where all the Avengers are kids again ala that one rad Star Trek: TNG episode. Oh wait noIwouldn't because honestly I hatestorieslikethatsomuch!

Anyhoo, it's gotten a few good reviews on Comic Book Resources (I recommend their reviews section if you are mulling over buying a title, as I often do. Again with the buying habits!). I know that it's gotten a little bit of press for having gay characters in it, but again... if they're characters I don't really know or care about, there's not much sense in reading the stories. I picked up this issue as probably most people did, because a lil' old team called The Runaways happen to be guest starring. Recently, they popped up in the Daken comic. I think that they are now reduced to being guest stars in books that need them to boost sales. Despite this being a very clear sales gimmick, I'm game. I love them, and I'll read whatever they are in. Well played, Marvel.

Monday, March 5, 2012

What's Your Issue? Spotlight on Angel & Faith #7

Sorry for the delay in getting this blog out, kiddies. Things have been much busy in the Life of Ryan. But I did buy a new comic last week, and it turned out to be Angel & Faith #7. So let's talk about it.

Yes, I'll admit it. I've been buying Angel & Faith... but I haven't exactly been reading it every week. I got the first issue signed by Christos Gage and Rebekah Isaacs at the New York Comic Con, so I read that. I liked it, but didn't exactly love it. People raved about it, so I guess I let expectations get the better of me. I was also largely disappointed by some of the quality of the IDW Angel stuff, especially when it wasn't being written by John Byrne or Peter David. Some of that got real bad real fast, and DO NOT argue with me. Because I am clearly right and you are clearly wrong.

So I didn't even realize when I started reading Angel & Faith #7 that this was the second part of the "Daddy Issues" arc. Because I read the solicitations and because I'm actually buying the damn things I realized that Harmony had showed up recently, and that Drusilla was set to. These are two of my favorite characters from the Buffy universe ever so I was kind of ridiculously excited for a competent writer to tackle both of them. I thought I might get to the Harmony issue last month, but let's start here with Drusilla's.