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review 2017-06-09 18:27
Love this
FCBD 2017: All-New Guardians Of The Galaxy #1 (All-New Guardians Of The Galaxy (2017-)) - Aaron Kuder,David Marquez,Gerry Duggan,Brian Michael Bendis

Marvel may be completely tone deaf when it comes to, let's say, one particular event their running right now.   They also have a lot of series that look like they won't be touched by said event: the Guardians and the Royals are in space, so it looks like Guardians of the Galaxy, I Am Groot, Royals and Black Bolt are safe, at least for now.   Luckily, the Defenders looks like a safe bet, too, if only because it looks like it's based on the TV shows on Netflix, or at least an amalgamation of the shows and the comics.   


And Marvel's FCBD books tend to follow the same pattern: new stories that highlight new series, or events, that they hope are huge.   That event, Spider-Man, Guardians of the Galaxy and Defends are up this year; I already spoke about the other comic, and this year?   Guardians makes sense.   Written by the author who wrote Deadpool, and tying into the movies.  Defenders ties into the upcoming Defender series, based on the four series thy already have out: Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist in that order.   (And I always hated the name Power Man; I'm glad Luke seems to be dropping that all around.   My friend asked me if I was serious and when I said 'yes,' he nailed why I hated that name: it's so generic.)


The Guardians is written by Duggan and is just hilarious.  I didn't think I'd be into the new Defenders - I've spoken about my Bendis fatigue, and yes, he writes Defenders.   However, I actually truly enjoyed this: it had some angst and a vicious circle of destroying ones enemies.  Looking forward to seeing where this series goes, although I'll most likely take it out of the library or buy it on sale later.

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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 2017-06-02 02:15
Wolverine shows up
Spider-Gwen (2015-) #20 - Jason Latour,Robbi Rodriguez

And man, this is just as twisted as the Daredevil reveal.   Well, not quite so much, but only because Daredevil has been fleshed out in this series, and has been shown to be cunning, and manipulative, and willing to use all his power to turn Gwen to his side, or at least use her to his benefit.   Wolverine is more of a blunt tool, but it's not so much how he treats Gwen - or the Osborne's, or any of his bounties - so much as how he deals with his protege, Shadowcat.   Nasty stuff, and I see a lot of the same power dynamics that goes into the Daredevil  and Gwen relationship, except that Shadowcat has drunk the kool aid.   (Her backstory is not delved into, and his is told as a myth, a story told round the fire at camp to scare children more than the truth.  I think there are kernels of truth, in that Weapon X comes into play and acts much as it did in 616, but I'm not so sure about the curses.   I'm not discounting anything given the differences in this universe, but I'm extremely skeptical given the context: frightened prey who insists on calling Wolverine 'Mr. Murderhands' at first is retelling a rumor he heard and believes because he's frightened.)


Shadowcat.   Did she follow Wolverine willingly from the beginning?  Or was she co-erced, or tortured, into obedience?   Given how Wolverine tries to deal with her to get to the bounty first, I wouldn't discount the second or third option.   Given what I know about S.H.I.E.L.D in this part of the multiverse, I think those are likely options in fact.   (Or that they would, at least, ignore what Wolverine did to get her to toe the line.)


It's a lovely interplay between them.  No, actually, it's horrifying, but it's lovely to see how Latour balances that and Gwen and Daredevil and also how she's trying to hard to save her friend, from both himself and from Mr. Murderhands and his just as scary - and just as murder-y - friend. 


The art, as always, is atmospheric, the colors vibrant and lush to match the action and emotive content, as well.   Just perfectly matched to this comic; I can't imagine another artist illustrating this series, in fact.  Oh, I'm sure they could, but this art has become iconic for the series, at least to me, and I try to imagine what it would be like illustrated by anyone else and come up blank.

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review 2017-06-02 02:04
Loving this so much!
Suicide Squad (2016-) #18 - Rob Williams,Tomeu Morey,Tony Daniel,Sandu Florea

I'm going to admit that I don't even come close to understanding the Harley Quinn/Flag fling, but I'm also not-so-secretly kinda digging it.  I can see all the ways this can go sideways.   Also, since June Moon and Killer Croc seem to be in a somewhat-relationship, this is not close to the most mind-boggling relationship in this series.   I mean, it makes sense in some ways: June, not the Enchantress but June, is kind to Croc, and is the only one he sees as pure.   He's been shown to want to protect that in his backstory, and if she doesn't rebuff him, I can easily see him both falling for that, but not outwardly acknowledging that. 


Still, mind-boggling because he's so unstably violent, that I can't really see a sustained relationship, which is what this seems to be turning out to be, even if behind the scenes.   (His first concern is for her.)


I feel like Williams is leading up to Flag/Quinn hijinks, and while I was itching for them to start, I understand why they didn't.   It should be a slow buildup.   


At the same time, Zod is really super pissed off that someone is trying to control him, to the point where he's willing to preform brain surgery on himself with the help of a mirror and laser vision.   All I'm going to say about that is I will never, ever trust a Dr. Zod.   Never.   Never ever ever. 


I knew this was going to be bad as soon as I realized what Waller planned to do - and unsurprisingly, I am not wrong.   Still, I wasn't quite sure how Zod's plans would come together and I'm starting to see now - and it looks like a bunch of fun.   Can't wait for the next issue!

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review 2017-05-27 21:55
Loving this series
All-New Guardians Of The Galaxy (2017-) #2 - Gerry Duggan,Aaron Kuder

The Guardians first theft was a test for the second, more important, theft.  Then again, when someone wants you to steal from the collection of an immortal - a Celestial named the Collector - you know things might go sideways.   I mean, he named after himself after his hoarding obsession!   You know you're a hoarder when collecting isn't just the thing you do, it's so much a part of you, it's your name.   


And The Collector isn't your run-of-the-mill hoarder.   He only collects the good stuff.   The one-of-a-kind stuff.   And he's super serious about keeping that shit in his collection.   He doesn't just have a space-museum, oh, no.   The rooms can shift around.  He has robots and horrors as safety, as well as a buttload of mines.   And not just one kind of mine.   Some blow up if an organic being shows up nearby.   Some... I forget all the kinds, or even the others, because the organic-sensor mines stood out most.    But Rocket listed off a whole bunch of kinds. 


Drax still won't fight, which everyone figures he might have to.  In fact, when he kills someone, he screams at them that it's their own fault, he tried not to fight them, and he won't accept that guilt on his conscience, nope, not him. 


Gamora, however, is willing to murder everyone who gets close to her.  Robot, not a robot, whatever, all the same to her.   She also has a side deal with the buyer, as far as I can tell.   Rocket is pretty much the same, while Groot is tiny. And The Collector is... far huger than I remember, but hey, Celestial.   I'm willing to go with it, especially if the Guardians come out of this okay.   

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