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The Things what CHris read 1/18

In an attempt to keep me writing daily without having to resort to fandom Role-playing and/or Fanfiction (sparring the world from my Oracle X Emma Frost saga/shipping....what it could make sense....), I've decided to convert my dying LJ into a comics blog of sorts. Nothing special, just a summary of what I bought each week, what I liked/disliked, in addition to anything I borrow, buy in trade or read on Marvel Digital. With any luck, I can get some discussions going, and maybe get some people to buy some cool comics in the process. Worst case scenario, endles shipping discussions.

What I pulled this week/What trades I recently acquired:

Fueled by alcohol, I picked up 2 new collections over the weekend: Esstenial X-Men volume 2 & Deadpool MAX volume 2. EXM collects both "Days of Future Past" and "The Dark Phoenix Saga", 2 trades I've never read, plus introduces a ton of new folk to the X-universe, like Kitty Pryde, Emma Frost, the Hellfire Club, amongst othesr. While the 30+ year material is a bit dated, it's still pretty damn enjoyable, considering it's a ton of issues for a phonebook sized collection at $20. Also this particular run of Claremont/Byrne stories influenced so much X-stuff, it isn't even funny. Worth your time.

I've only browsed some of DP Max volume 2, but this book looks so good it isn't even funny. I don't want to shit on Daniel Way, who helms the solo Deadpool book, but his book is easily the weakest of the monthly 'Pool stuff (the other 2 being MAX and Uncanny X-Force). On topic, DP Max is a stand alone Deadpool book, which casts Pool as a deranged yet loveable goverment killing machine. Several Marvel characters are recasted in this universe, and it's delightful. Go buy this and volume 1, and assuming you're not a big fan of the multi-voice ADD Deadpool Way's writing, you'll probably end up loving it.

What I pulled this week:
Batman #5 (DC Comics $2.99, available in print and digital) BOOK OF THE WEEK!
Yo Scott Snyder can do no wrong when it comes to Batman. I'm usually not the biggest Batguy unless Grant Morrison's involved, but Snyder's Batman is probably right up there w/ Animal Man as far as my favorite new relaunch title. Let's discuss the art first: Greg Capullo has gone from Todd McFarlane light to Ryan Ottley's Vertigo influenced brother (I mean this in the best way possibly), probably because he's paired up with Ottley's former colorist (which as an Invincible fan, is killing me!) . He's excelling on every front, going from some insane panel/page layouts, to some legit sad panels of a son missing his dad Everything about this book is so very, very good, while being very, very, twisted.
The premise of this arc is this: There's supposedly a secret society who's been ruling Gotham for over a century. They've never felt threatened by the Bat, as he's usually content solving their super criminal problem for them. But when Bruce Wayne has some ideas to improve Gotham, the Court of Owls get all pissy about this, and decide it's time for Wayne to die. Obviously this does not sit well with the Batman, who's determined to stop this from happening obviously, and it's not going well for him. This issue shows just how bad things are for the Bat, as he gets his ass handed to him on a physical and mental level. I'm usually not a big fan of these "OH YEAH, THESE GUYS WERE HERE THE WHOLE TIME" angles for stories, and I'm glad Bruce/Snyder is addressing that as well. Are the Owls what they say there are, or are they exploting some Gotham urban myth? Either way, I'm really glad Snyder is continuing with his world building of Gotham city, turning it into a character itself.
TLDR: This book is great, you should go buy it.

Daredevil #8 ($2.99, Marvel, Print only)
Comics are a very visual medium, and someone at Marvel knew this when they assigned Mark Waid some of the BEST artists in Marvel's stable. DD for the last 8 issues is one of Marvel's sharpest looking book, having the dynamic Silver Age look mesh with today's sensibilites. That and Mark Waid has been writing the HELL out of these scripts. Bendis' fantastic DD run was hugely influenced by Frank Miller's legendary run, so Waid deciding to go back to DD's roots helps to make a different, yet still amazing book. Issue 8 is a crossover with it's brother book, Amazing Spider-Man, and while you don't have to read Amazing, you should because it was also a well written/drawn book that obviously leads into this story. Had Batman not dropped this week, this would have been my book of the week. It's part 2 of a crossover involving Spidey & DD dealing with a Black Cat framed for a crime she's not responsible for, and eventually ties heavily into what's been going down in DD these last couple of issues.
TLDR: Go buy the Daredevil Hardcover when it drops, then get caught up on the rest of the series. You'll thank me.

Uncanny X-Force #20
(Marvel, $3.99, digital AND print)
I don't like paying $4 for 32 pages of comics. For UXF, I'll make an exception, for the simple fact that's it's currently Marvel's best book, at least IMO.

Despite being issue #20, this is offically year 2 of UXF, and things have changed a ton. Two of the team's members have left for the happier pages of Jason Aaron's "Wolverine and the X-Men", and have been replaced been by characters I don't want to spoil,despite one of them being on the cover. Deadpool, the team's comedic relief, has somehow became the team's moral center, which says a lot, as he's Deadpool and that idea is frightening. Without going into spoiler terrority, let me say this. YOU NEED TO GO BUY ALL OF THE TRADES AND GET CAUGHT UP WITH THIS BOOK IMMEDIATELY, IT IS GREAT, AND YOU SHOULD SUPPORT IT WITH YOUR DOLLARS!

<-- A tad bias.

Uncanny X-Men #5

(Marvel, $3.99, digital and print)
While the first 3 issues of the relaunch where hit or miss, the 4th issue of UXM was pretty great. Now we have Greg Land on pencils, and the book ends up being a surprise-follow-up to the last Uncanny X-Force arc. Script wise, this book is great. Kieron Gillen is in top form, as the plot is good blend of action and dialogue, including some GREAT interactions between the cast. The continuity between what was established in UXF is perfect, and it's nice to see that the UXM team did there homework. Psylocke's addition to the roster (subbing in for the injured Emma Forst) was a nice touch, and it's cool to see someeone who isn't Cyke/Wolverine appear in multiple X-books. As for Land's art, I didn't hate it. It's not as amazing as what the OTHER X-men book has offered, but it's serviceable. My only beef is that Hope looks way older than she should and some of the expressions on the characters faces do not match their dialogue. Still average Land is is still better than terrible Land art.
TLDR: If you've been buying UXM and UXF, you'll be in for a nice suprise. If you're on the fence about the title, Amazon+trade waiting is the way to go.

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I had pretty limited exposure to Snyder's work before Iron Man Noir, but I've read the first two issues of Batman and your review is tempting me to go back for more. I just have problems reconciling a world where some titles are awesome and others, for characters they interact with, are so bad. Catwomaaaaaan!

I think both pre-reboot Snyder Batbook are collected in trade: Gates of Gotham as well as The Black Mirror. Both are during Dick-Bat times. The former has an AWESOME Damian/Cassie Cain exchange, and plays heavily into the series. The Black Mirror is amazing, and apparently may play a role in Batgirl later.
But this is my first exposure to Snyder, outside of the 1st issue of American Vampire that I own, as well as Swamp Thing which I'm dying to buy in either trade or digitally.

As for the Batbooks, all I'm pulling is Batman/Batwoman. I dropped Batgirl 3 issues in, as it wasn't doing it for me. I think I'm only pulling 4 new DCU books in total (the other 2 being Animal Man & Demon Knights.) I started off with like 7, but most of them were dropped after 1 or 2 issues, either due to quality or cost. More so the later, as I really dug Action/Wonder Woman/Superboy, but couldnt spent all the $$$ per week/month.

I also have been enjoying Snyder Batman, that and the Flash are pretty much it for me and DC. I am surprised you never read The Dark Phoenix saga before. I have a ton of those essential books, they are great in terms of what you get for your money. I love the Spidey ones, I have all of the amazing Spider-man volumes lying around somewhere, and quite a few X-men. The problem with some of the X-men books is later on they get caught up in crossover story lines, which aren't all in the books.

Flash looks incredible, but this fuckery that's gone down with Wally West has kept me from reading it.

As for X-things, I was a Spidey kid growing up, until Grant came aboard w/ New X-Men, so I never picked it up. That and most of the major storyarch were explained in those convient trading cards from BACK IN THE DAY. I do like the Essentials though, and will probably buy a few of the other X-one.

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