Off The Rack #74

Off The Rack #74

Monday, January 15, 2018

The thermometer has been yo-yoing the last week here in Ottawa going from minus double digits to plus double digits and back again to minus double digits right now. The flash freeze following the mild drizzly Friday made it nearly impossible to get into my X-Trail Saturday morning to go to work. I nearly pulled the door handle housing completely off one door trying to open it. Once I got inside I had to push out all the other doors. I should have just driven to work and let them thaw out on their own as the temperature rose a little. The extreme cold gave me time to catch up with my comic book reading since I didn’t feel like going outside whatsoever. There’s a lot to read this week.



Avengers #675 – Mark Waid, Al Ewing & Jim Zub (writers) Pepe Larraz (art) David Curiel (colours) VC’s Cory Petit (letters). No Surrender part 1. I only started to read the Avengers again recently due to Mark Waid being the writer and I have enjoyed it so far. I got very excited when I found out that Pepe was going to draw the first issue of this weekly event. The very first panel with the blue sky and wispy clouds let me know that I was going to be treated to some lovely art as I read along. Pepe and David make a great team. This story brings together a whole bunch of Avengers very similar to how Phoenix Resurrection is bringing together all the X-Men. A global crisis is what sparks the reunion and even though no villain has been revealed to be the cause, a mysterious former Avenger shows up on the last page to help out. I don’t know who it is and I’m not going to Google the character or read other coverage of this comic book so as not to spoil the reveal for myself. We only have to wait one week to see what happens next.



Action Comics #995 – Dan Jurgens (writer) Brett Booth (pencils) Norm Rapmund (inks) Andrew Dalhouse (colours) Rob Leigh (letters). Booster Shot part 3. It’s nice to see Brett Booth’s art back on the racks. If this title wasn’t heading towards issue #1000 I would stop reading right now. Time travel stories have more holes in them than Swiss cheese.



Mech Cadet Yu #5 – Greg Pak (writer) Takeshi Miyazawa (art) Triona Farrell (colours) Simon Bowland (letters). Yu, Sanchez, Olivetti and Park are grounded for disobeying orders. Their punishment is quite practical. The surprise at the end of this issue gives me an idea of how this story will unfold. Let’s see how things go next issue.



Old Man Hawkeye #1 – Ethan Sacks (writer) Marco Checchetto (art) Andres Mossa (colours) VC’s Joe Caramagna (letters). An Eye for an Eye part 1. One of my favourite Wolverine stories is Old Man Logan by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven. That’s where an old Logan and an old blind Hawkeye go on a road trip. This story takes place in that alternate universe before Clint goes totally blind. This is very new reader friendly. The opening pages introduce geezer Clint and shows off his archery skills. The title page explains where this story takes place. Read on to see Clint say good-bye to friends and family before he heads out to right a long overdue wrong. The last page surprise puts this 12-issue maxi on to my “must read” list.



Sword of Ages #2 – Gabriel Rodriguez (writer & art) Lovern Kindzierski (colours) Robbie Robbins (letters). There is an Excalibur vibe to this issue. Things get crowded as more enemies and allies are introduced. I hope I can keep things straight as there are many fronts in this war.



Daredevil #597 – Charles Soule (writer) Stefano Landini (art) Matt Milla (colours) VC’s Clayton Cowles (letters). Matt is introduced as Wilson Fisk’s deputy mayor of New York City and we are given a glimpse into how the two adversaries plan on playing this game of keeping your enemy close. Meanwhile a serial killer has escaped, complicating Daredevil’s life even more. It’s these types of situations that keep me reading this book.



She-Hulk #161 – Mariko Tamaki (writer) Jahnoy Lindsay (art) Frederico Blee (colours) VC’s Travis Lanham (letters). It’s gray She-Hulk versus green pseudo She-Hulk to the death. I liked that this fight was more psychological than physical. Jennifer seeks help with controlling her alter ego afterwards and I guess Doc Samson isn’t available.



Darth Vader #10 – Charles Soule (writer) Giuseppe Camuncoli (pencils) Daniele Orlandini (inks) David Curiel (colours) VC’s Joe Caramagna (letters). The Dying Light part 4. A very satisfying end to Jedi Jocasta Nu’s story.



Runaways #5 – Rainbow Rowell (writer) Kris Anka (art) Matthew Wilson (colours) VC’s Joe Caramagna (letters). The cover featuring Nico is deceiving since this issue concentrates on Molly and Gert, Chase and Victor. I hope Victor gets a body soon. I’m enjoying the TV show because they changed the characters a little, but I’m glad that the comic book versions didn’t change much from the last time they were on the racks.

And now for the older comic books that I had to put off reading.



Spider-Man #236 – Brian Michael Bendis (writer) Oscar Bazaldua (art) Brian Reber (colours) VC’s Cory Petit (letters). I finally watched Spider-Man: Homecoming and thought it was an entertaining movie. I liked most of it except for Spider-Man being the inconsiderate neighbourhood property damager. It was neat seeing elements of this Spider-Man comic book in the movie too, and there’s a cute scene in this issue that addresses the change in Ganke’s character’s name in the movie. There’s a big surprise for Miles at the end of this issue as Sinister Six Reborn continues.



Star Wars #41 – Kieron Gillen (writer) Salvador Larroca (art) Guru-eFX (colours) VC’s Clayton Cowles (letters). Still haven’t seen Last Jedi yet but this comic book is satisfying my need for the adventures of Luke and company.



Detective Comics #971 – James Tynion IV (writer) Miguel Mendonca (pencils) Diana Egea (inks) Jason Wright (colours) Sal Cipriano (letters). Fall of the Batmen part 3. The Victim Syndicate is starting the takedown of Batman’s team with one of their own. Will Clayface’s rehabilitation hold? This issue had one of my pet peeves. I find it annoying when fonts are used that make me have to take my glasses off and stick my face right up to the page to read what’s written. I like to give the creative team credit for their work but when it’s hard to make out the letters of a new name I want to boot whoever decided to use the hard to read font in the bum.



Detective Comics #972 – James Tynion IV (writer) Miguel Mendonca (pencils) Diana Egea (inks) Jason Wright (colours) Sal Cipriano (letters). Fall of the Batmen part 4. No definitive answer to which way Clayface will go, good or evil, until the last page. One of the good guys is given a way to take Clayface out but whether it’s used or not is another question. This story is intense and I’m having fun reading it.



Spider-Man/Deadpool #25 – Robbie Thompson (writer) Chris Bachalo (pencils pages 1-11) Victor Olazaba, Wayne Faucher, Al Vey & John Livesay (inks pages 1-11) Scott Hepburn (pencils & inks pages 12-20) Chris Bachalo & Chris O’Halloran (colours) VC’s Joe Sabino (letters). The conclusion of Arms Race has the Chameleon getting away but not empty handed. I can’t wait to see what the bad guy does with the stolen file. The change in art from Bachalo to Hepburn was very jarring and made this issue not as much fun as it usually is to read.



Doomsday Clock #2 – Geoff Johns (writer) Gary Frank (art) Brad Anderson (colours) Rob Leigh (letters). This issue clears up some things. We find out how and why the Watchmen characters are interacting with the DCU characters. Considering how powerful Doctor Manhattan is, everything could be a fig Newton of his imagination but that’s okay. Geoff and Gary are sure to make this interesting.



Astonishing X-Men #7 – Charles Soule (writer) Phil Noto (art & colours) VC’s Clayton Cowles (letters). A Man Called X part 1. Phil’s art is always a welcome site as Professor X, now simply called X, cleans up the mess after the battle with the Shadow King. One crisis has been averted but a big kaboom introduces another one. I’m not familiar with this new super villain so lets see what the team does to stop another calamity.



Batman: Creature of the Night #2 – Kurt Busiek (writer) John Paul Leon (art & colours) Todd Klein (letters). This story takes an ominous turn as Bruce discovers a sinister side to his manifestation of Batman. There’s no branding on this prestige format series and I think that’s hurting sales. I definitely recommend this for anyone looking for a different type of super hero story.



Amazing Spider-Man #793 – Dan Slott & Mike Costa (story) Dan Slott (writer) Ryan Stegman (art) Brian Reber (colours) VC’s Joe Caramagna (letters). Venom Inc. part 4. Venomized Spidey is doing dirty work for the bad guys but his pals help him get back to normal. Now these unlikely allies are going to stop Maniac from controlling all the crime families. This is one of those stories with lots of heroes and villains running around. I’m just happy to see the Black Cat in action again even if she is a villain.



Phoenix Resurrection #2 – Matthew Rosenberg (writer) Carlos Pacheco (pencils) Rafael Fonteriz (inks) Rachelle Rosenberg (colours) VC’s Travis Lanham (letters). There are two things going for this story that will keep me reading. First of all the art is really nice and more importantly I haven’t gotten confused with what’s going on even though there are more characters running around than you can shake a stick at. So onward and upward.



Phoenix Resurrection #3 – Matthew Rosenberg (writer) Joe Bennett (pencils) Lorenzo Ruggiero (inks) Rachelle Rosenberg (colours) VC’s Travis Lanham (letters). I’m reading this now just to see what mutants pop up. The one this issue is a sight for sore eyes.



Spider-Men II #5 – Brian Michael Bendis (writer) Sara Pichelli & Mark Bagley (pencils) Sara Pichelli, Elisabetta D’Amico & John Dell (inks) Justin Ponsor (colours) VC’s Cory Petit (letters). There’s a sense of finality to the end of this story about Miles and his future. I’m glad he didn’t die. That being said, I didn’t like this ending much. Maybe I forgot some stuff but what happens to Bad Miles seemed to come right out of the blue. It just goes to show you that even my favourite writer can flub an issue now and then.



Captain America #697 – Mark Waid & Chris Samnee (storytellers) Chris Samnee (art) Matthew Wilson (colours) VC’s Joe Caramagna (letters). Cap’s ride around America is waylaid by Kraven the Hunter. He’s been hired to hand Cap over to the bad guys but he can’t resist having some fun before he does that. What the bad guys do to Cap on the last page made me wonder why they needed Kraven’s help at all. The very last page by Leinil Francis Yu (pencils) Gerry Alanguilan (inks) & Matthew Wilson (colours) teases us some more about the return of the original Wolverine. I wouldn’t mind if young Logan guest stars in this book for a while.


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