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review 2018-05-28 13:18
Gets better and better.
Transformers: IDW Collection - Phase Two Vol. 4 - Various,Various

I know there is some crossover with volumes five of More Than Meets the Eye and Robots in Disguise, but I'm just reading all of those, especially since I particularly like some of these issues.   


In particular, issue 18 of RiD is from Arcee's point of view, and you get a far more nuanced and sympathetic look at her character than you've gotten before.   At some point, she goes from someone who had a gender transition forced upon her and was simply angry, and portrayed as insane, to someone who was trying to be a better version of herself, and trying to connect with others.   It may have started before here - I suspect it did - but you don't see it.   It starts showing here.   However, she had to be watching Bee, and how others reacted to him, to come up with the thoughts on how others saw him and on how she felt about him.   This didn't happen spontaneously, and yet it happened off scene so it can feel like it did.  


I don't know why is when she went from assassin to fully fleshed out character who - yes, was an assassin - but also became thoughtful about that aspect of her life - without fully ditching her itch to react violently to little provocation.   (To be fair, she had this built in to her character.   Yes, in a really offensive way, but it is part of her character in this continuity and they were making a clear point not to retcon, or go against previous continuity.   That being said, the only reason I didn't knock of stars is that Barber tries to undo as much of the damage he can by really drawing her out, particularly later.   Also, a lot of time this comes from on high: you have to live with horrendous decisions because you want to keep your dream job, and I get that.)


This volume is where I start to really loathe Rodimus.  I say start, but that's not true: I've loathed him for a while.   But this turns into a visceral rage that Arcee and I could talk about over some Energon.   I mean, like she would understand the depth of my rage at him.   Then again, she spent years killing Jhiaxus, watching him come back to life, and killing him again - and I wish it were Rodimus she were killing over and over again...


The lives she would save!   Just think of all the lives she'd save!


Bad, bad shit goes down in More Than Meets the Eye.   It's Rodimus' fault.   It always is.   He just lets Drift metaphorically fall on his great sword for him and fuck you Rodimus.  Drift would make a way better captain, even if he captained on his feels.   And he totally would!

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review 2018-05-10 21:35
Secret Empire
X-Men: Blue (2017-) #7 - Cullen Bunn,Cory Smith,Arthur Adams

It's like Marvel doesn't want me to forget how horrible this idea was and also that it existed and it was a thing they came up with.

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review 2018-05-08 01:36
I loved this way more than I expected to love it
Infinity Countdown Prime (2018) #1 - Gerry Duggan,Mike Deodato

Because, really, just fuck the Infinity Stones/Gems/Those Fucking Things right now.   Yeah, y'know what, I'm mad that shit got flipped on me and I'm using my favorite coping mechanism and stress relief: swearing at other things that piss me the fuck off. 


Anyway, yeah, this was... not at all what I expected.  I had Marvel Insider points, though, so I figured why not?   I really, really want to continue with this storyline, although I might wait for the graphic novel to come out.  I'll have enough to catch up while I do that, to be honest.

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review 2018-05-08 01:32
I wanted to love this more
Avengers: Absolute Vision Book 1 - John Romita,Jackson Guice,Bill Mantlo,Roger Stern,Ann Nocenti,Dan Green,Al Milgrom,John Byrne

I mean, Absolute Vision?   And I'd heard not to expect everything to be Vision.   But there were completely unrelated stories that meant Vision didn't show up until about a hundred pages in, then went away, then was all but gone for a while.   (He was on page, but not functioning.)   I understand why this is Absolute Vision Book 1; it's essential to setting up the second one.   I know this because I've read notes in other Avengers comics that let me know what happened, and a couple other books blatantly referenced this book and volume two. 


I know what's happening here.   I know what's going to happen.   But I still want to finish this badly.   (Both volumes, I mean. I'm a little into the second, and I'm loving it!)  I wanted more Vision.  I wanted much more Vision. I do love what they're setting up, although maybe I love it because I know what's coming up soon.   Reading old comics when you've read newer comics can be odd; you know what's happened, but not the details.  You know whether or not the characters are alive, or active, or dead and then resurrected.   You can see how this storyline affected them years, even decades, down the line. 


And this is a fun comic.   It's old-fashioned as far as both art and dialogue - and any of the writing go.  I've got to admit I am fond of the newer stuff; it's slicker looking and there's not so much exposition in general.   As the world gets more left-leaning in ways, I've found that comics are really trying hard to be more representative, and part of that is a left-leaning quality.   (I'm liberal, and progressive, but also a Zionist, so I step off the beaten path on that.  I'm also struggling with this as I feel abandoned by both the left and the right, and it's influencing a lot of how I view comics, especially those that are political.)  But the point is that I'm a fan of a lot of the politics in newer comics, especially as comics have had a problem with racism and sexism in the past.   They were products of their times, but I don't see this as a reason not to criticism them.  I think that a discussion about why the times were this way is appropriate, and even condemnation of that time thinking these things were okay, is appropriate.   'A product of its time' is normally a pass, much like 'boys will be boys', but a product of it's time doesn't have to be.   It can be used as 'yes it, is, but let's look at why, why it was wrong, and try to make it better.'   


Anyway, older comics can get weird for me for a whole host of reasons.   This didn't as much as many: they didn't deal with Jan's history with Hank Pym that much, but I felt both held their own.   Even though Jan apologized first, she was leading the project, and Hank didn't hold it against her, but instead admitted to his own faults and complimented her.   (And look, it's an old-timey comic.   Jan apologizing first had me cringing a little, wondering if she'd be passively-aggressively held to account for all the weirdness.   She was not.)   Jan was just as flirty as Star-Fox, and neither were held to account.   In fact, there was snark about them being equally flirty but in a way that seemed to be equally snarky at them both.   Neither one was shamed for it in any real way.   When people goggled at She-Hulk, she cheerfully said she was taking it as a reason to goggle right back at them.   (It was her skin color - green, of course - and not her boobs that had them doing double takes.)   Scarlet Witch and Vision's relationship was just done beautifully: they both care a great deal for each other, and while she spends a lot of time at his bedside, it's because he's unwell for a while.   (And while I believe it's to an unhealthy degree, as in she doesn't even eat, I understand why after her hellish, worried life.   She clings to him.   It's not a scenario where she gives up everything and he just takes and takes either.   It's later, in West Coast Avengers, that you find that he doesn't need to sleep, but stays beside her all night because it brings her peace when she hasn't had much in her life.  In other words: I think it would be problematic for a character to give up everything in this unhealthy way, particularly if their parter weren't giving back.   They give up, and in a way that feels fairly equal, so it didn't feel super creepy to me.)


In other words: I just didn't see any of the cringe-worthy sexism.   Yes, Jan strips down to a bikini on a boat to work on her tan.   But to be fair, when she mentions it's for the tan, Star-Fox starts stripping down, too.   And she's not posed in a stick out her boobs way, but rather more naturally. 


Anyway, one star knocked off for the obsession with the weird mouths and poses that have you looking up people's noses.   Two stars knocked off, because why did Absolute Vision Book 1 have so little Vision?   Seriously, a lot could have been taken out without messing up the setup.   Still, it's a good read and I'll probably reread at least the Vision parts. 

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review 2018-05-08 00:45
Spider-Gwen meets Other-Gwen
Spider-Gwen (2015-) #30 - Jason Latour,Robbi Rodriguez

What happens when Spider-Gwen meets an alternate universe Gwen who isn't Spider-Woman, who isn't Gwenom, who's dating Peter Parker?   Well, it brings up some messy, ugly memories, and it's this heart wrenching punch in the gut. 


This series is just absolutely fabulous.   

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