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review 2017-06-22 23:56
Think Tank #1 - Matt Hawkins,Rahsan Ekedal

I wasn't into this, not the first time I tried to read this, and not at the beginning.   It's pretty typical in some ways: a DARPA scientist feels guilty about creating weapons and wants out.  In fact, I've seen this time and again in sci-fi/comics.   I didn't really see anything in the writing or art to make this original, but the second time around, I was just blown away by the art.   I must have been in a really bad mood, or place, the first time around, because I can't come up with any other reason for me to dismiss this eventually. 


The writing, and storyline, got much more interesting as we learn what the main character will choose to work on, and I suspect he'll try to use it to escape DARPA.   But for now, I knocked off one star because I'm not incredibly into this. 


The art, though?  I would try anything else by this artist.   Black and white, expressive, beautiful, I just can't get enough of this art.   Honestly, this was going to be a three star review, and would have been, if I hadn't been so blown away by the art.

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review 2017-06-08 23:07
This is kinda amazing
Spawn #87 - Brian Holguin,Todd McFarlane,Brian Haberlin,Dan Kemp,Danny Miki,Tom Orzechowski,Greg Capullo

I'd forgotten about some of these earlier Spawn one-shot stories.   The tale of the cannibals and their bunnies, this one about a reporter trying to dig out the truth about Spawn...


When he gets too close and spends a night in Spawn's alley, well...   things get a little more real than he wanted or expected. 


The lead up, the interviews, the showing how much he's invested and how much research he's done, build up nicely to the climax, and that doesn't disappoint.   Another nice tale, although less creepy or disgusting than the other one I read today.   It was a different kind of thrill, but, man, these stories are making me remember why I collected Spawn when it originally came out. 


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review 2017-06-08 23:04
Creepy little tale
Spawn #93 - Brian Holguin,Todd McFarlane,Brian Haberlin,Dan Kemp,Danny Miki,Tom Orzechowski,Greg Capullo

A cult that wants to bring about an elder god that will restore the balance between heaven and hell has the most delicious way to bring about that coming.   And when I say delicious, I mean they are cannibals.   They pick one member to be the bunny and then eat them, believing they'll gain the soul of the people they eat.   By the time this is done, one member will have gained all the souls, all the power, and can bring about this god. 


Spawn is pretty disgusted, and his means of revenge is diabolical. 


There's something truly abhorrent about this issue, but the fun in Spawn is that it sheds lights on the darkest corners of humanity.   This is simply one of the better examples of this, although less realistic than the issues that deal with, say, racism.   


Still, I got a thrill revisiting one of the more disturbing Spawn tales. 

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review 2017-06-04 00:25
This is on a James Roberts level
Transformers: Till All Are One #10 - Mairghread Scott,Sara Pitre-Durocher

And this is no mean feat, nor an insult.   See, as most of you know, James Roberts is the stick I judge things by, particularly when it comes to Transformers comics.   And while Mairghread Scott has been running a very close second - unsurprising, given her writing credits  on Transformers Prime, my favorite of the Transformers cartoons - this is the first issue where I've felt that this series is at a Roberts level of excitement to me.   Ask me any other month?  I was looking forward to More Than Meets the Eye the most, and Till All Are One a close second.   (Of course, it's Lost Light now, but same thing: that was my top pick of the month, followed very closely by Till All Are One.)


I finally have two Transformers series that I'm looking forward to equally.   I've been keeping an eye on Knock Out, hoping for more of the Knock Out/Breakdown vibes from Prime.   (Although Scott has said that it would be Breakdown from the show, with a new name since Breakdown was already in the comics.   That was a fascinating relationship and I've been eager to see more, and haven't yet.   I keep hoping for that, though, and this makes me even more excited to see what could happen with those two bots.)


See, this issue?   The focal point is Blast Off and his unrequited love for Onslaught.   And boy, is that full of issues.   Where do I start?   The fact that Onslaught barely notices that Blast Off exists.   (I mean, Starscream keeps saying Onslaught doesn't notice at all - but that can't be true.   After all, they're part of the same combiner now, so Onslaught must have some inkling that Blast Off exists and that he can merge with him and the other bots who form Bruticus.)   Or that, as Starscream says, Onslaught is a monster - and Blast Off is not.   How does Blast Off even justify feeling love for Onslaught?   It's twisted, it's honest, and it's something that Starscream could - and does - use to try and control Bruticus through what he sees as Blast Off's weakness.   


The solution, the way that Starscream manipulates Blast off, is just as slow and devious and cringingly awful as the way that Starscream manages to put down and goad Blast Off all at once throughout this issue.   And the fact that Starscream infiltrates Blast Off's mind, and dreams, to get this done is the perfect way to twist that knife a little deeper: it's creepy and a violation - as Blast Off points out when he first realizes what's happening.   It makes his eventual, and reluctant, acceptance of Starscream's proposal all that more sleazy feeling, and it's a coup that feels very Roberts to me.   


And while I not only had this series on my radar from day one, since I saw the announcement in Windblade, I believe, I've also loved it unabashedly.   And yet this issue made me perk up and pay more attention.   There is something nuanced, and brilliant, and unsettling about every single panel in this issue that made my hair stand up straight, and made me sit up, perk up, and pay more attention than I have in the past.  


This feels the most perfect of a perfect run of issues so far.   If you'd asked me earlier, I'd say the fact that the Badgeless issue came out a couple days after the police in Dallas were shot - a chilling timing that couldn't be foreseen - was the most spine-chilling thing that would happen in this series.   And despite the importance of that issue, and the uncanniness of having Ironhide plead with the Decepticons to join him, and make sure the police force - the Badgeless - were kept honest, this issue simply manages to get under my skin even more. 


Brava, Scott.   Brava.   You had my full attention before, and while I'm not sure what else I can give, you have that as well now.   


And I've forgotten to give a shout out to the artist.   I have to say, this might be one of my favorites as far as illustrations for the Transformers series go so far.   (Actually, second favorite.   My favorite were some of the Windblade comics.)   Just really intense, really gorgeous art with lush colors.   Brain too fried by amazingness of writing to rave more about the art, though.   When I think about this story, the whole twisted storyline just honestly dominates in my mind.

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review 2017-05-29 15:33
Only two more issues
ODY-C Vol. 2 - Leonard Bacon;Joseph Parrish Thompson;Richard Salter Storrs;Henry Ward Beecher;Joshua Leavitt;Henry Chandler Bowen;Theodore Tilton;William Hayes Ward;Hamilton Holt;Harold de Wolf Fuller;Fabian Franklin;Christian Archibald Herter,Matt Fraction

This volume covers issues six through ten and I picked up issues eleven and twelve for a whopping $1.40.   That's less than half the price of the original prices of most comics I buy!   The storyline continues to be excellent, although I feel like this veers from The Odyssey a bit.   The kinky bull and the boy he starts teaching - not kinky stuff, just history and myths - turns into 1001 Nights.   We're with the bull's former mistress/queen, Ene, and talking about Heracles a lot, although I can't remember how much this aligns with the original Odyssey.   I suspect that Matt Fraction got bolder as this went on and ended up diverging a bit, but I don't actually have a copy of the Odyssey on me.   (And after being spoiled but the translation I read in coulee, I can't back to other translations online.)  


It didn't matter.  I was so wrapped up in Ene and the bull and more of the pettiness of the gods that I couldn't stop reading this.   It's fascinating and it tries to peel back some of truths of our being by shedding light on some of our darkest impulses.   (Although some of our best are here, too.   That bull may stay in leather 24/7, but his sacrifice for the boy he comes to love as a son?  I almost wept.)


Ward's art continues to highlight how bizarre this whole series gets, and again, works perfectly with the story itself.   Bright, even dazzling, it fills the scope of this story to the brim and makes it as rewarding visually as it is to read as a story.


I"m going to save the last two issues for at least a day or two.  I still have over a week to the next Black Bolt, and  I don't have anything else illustrated by Christian Ward to keep me going until then.

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