Off The Rack #75

Monday, January 22, 2018

The Weather Network is forecasting freezing rain for Ottawa tonight. I freaking hate freezing rain. I hope I don’t fall and break a hip tomorrow.

I didn’t watch any NFL games all season but I watched the two conference play off games yesterday. It sure looked like the Jacksonville Jaguars were going to pull off the upset against the New England Patriots but Bill’s team came back to win it late in the fourth quarter. The Vikings at Eagles game was painful to watch and I went to bed after the Eagles scored and made it 38 to 7. That’s how the game ended so I didn’t miss much. I’ll probably watch the Super Bowl but there’s a Trade Show that Sunday and I may fall asleep before the end of the game.



Avengers #676 – Mark Waid, Al Ewing & Jim Zub (writers) Pepe Larraz (art) David Curiel (colours) VC’s Cory Petit (letters). No Surrender part 2. We find out who the mysterious old Avenger is right off the bat and as far as I can tell she’s a made up hero created for this story. It was cool how she was drawn into the flashback panels though. I don’t know if Pepe drew them or they were scanned from the original art but judging from the Neal Adams and John Buscema panels I would guess the latter. (I was wrong. Pepe confirmed to me that he did draw those panels himself. I think it was a great homage to the original artists.) Right in the middle of the heroes trying to figure out what the heck is going on we are introduced to the super villains. Looks like the Black Order and the Lethal Legion have to fight each other to the death. Why? We don’t know. Who’s controlling them? Dunno that either. The way this story is going I’m going to call it The Contest of Chumps. Before the bad guys can fight each other, they have to get rid of the good guys. It’s as good a reason as any for super power battles and mass destruction. This kind of story is the bread and butter for comic books.



Superman #39 – Peter J. Tomasi & Patrick Gleason (writers) Barry Kitson (pencils) Barry Kitson & Scott Hanna (inks) Gabriel Eltaeb (colours) Rob Leigh (letters). This one off story is called Goodnight Moon and the Justice League guest star. It’s about a bunch of kids from a children’s hospital taking a trip of a lifetime. It’s so saccharine that you’ll need to eat a big bag of salt and vinegar chips to balance the taste left in your mouth. Hoo boy this is hokey, but it’s a perfect all ages Superman comic book.



Strangers in Paradise #1 – Terry Moore (story & art). The last issue of the original run hit the racks in 2007 but it doesn’t feel like 11 years have passed since I last saw Francine and Katchoo. Thanks to by friend Chris who let me borrow his Strangers in Paradise omnibuses to read after the Snail closed down the Parker Girls are still pretty fresh in my mind. This story takes place after Francine and Katchoo get married and they are raising their daughters in their hard won paradise. Katchoo’s criminal past rears its ugly head and their idyllic life is going to be disrupted. When I heard that Terry was going to do a new SiP story I got super excited. He’s one of the few comic book creators that I will always read.



All-New Wolverine #29 – Tom Taylor (writer) Juann Cabal (art) Nolan Woodard (colours) VC’s Cory Petit (letters). Orphans of X part 5. You just knew that the good guys would come up with a way to counter the magic bullets of the bad guys in order for this story to have a happy ending. I can’t wait to read the conclusion next issue.



Damage #1 – Tony S. Daniel & Robert Venditti (storytellers) Danny Miki (inks) Tomeu Morey (colours) Tom Napolitano (letters). Out of Control part 1. This is the first of the New Age of Heroes books to hit the racks as DC throws more comic books up to see what sticks. Damage is a creature created by the US Military who escapes his handlers and they want him back. It’s kind of like a super soldier program gone wrong. The art by Tony S. Daniel & Danny Miki is suitably awesome and I’m curious enough about Damage’s human alter ego Ethan to want to read more. Throwing in Amanda Waller and her Suicide Squad to bring Damage back adds more incentive to pick up the next issue.



Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #299 – Chip Zdarsky (writer) Adam Kubert & Juan Frigeri (art) Jason Keith (colours) VC’s Travis Lanham (letters). The Tinkerer is one crafty old coot. Here’s where the bad guy gets the upper hand.



Aquaman #32 – Dan Abnett (writer) Riccardo Federici (art) Rick Leonardi (breakdowns pages 16-20) Sunny Gho (colours) Steve Wands (letters). Here we go. Arthur has even more motivation to overthrow King Rath now. His beloved Mera is dying and needs to escape from Atlantis to survive so Rath’s Crown of Thorns needs to come down. The odds sure are stacked heavily against the good guys but that’s usually the case for super hero comic books. That’s why I love them.



Super Sons #12 – Peter J. Tomasi & Patrick Gleason (writers) Tyler Kirkman (art) Tomeu Morey (colours) Rob Leigh (letters). The finale to Super Sons of Tomorrow ends with the Teen Titans re-evaluating how the team works together. Will Superboy join the team? Read this to find out.



Batman #39 – Tom King (writer) Joelle Jones (art) Jordie Bellaire (colours) Clayton Cowles (letters). I didn’t see that coming. The last page made me realize why I have been enjoying this book so much lately. Tom King is showing us more of the man in Batman. If Emanuela Lupacchino ever needs a break from drawing Wonder Woman I hope they consider having Jordie Bellaire fill in. Her Diana is super strong.



The Mighty Thor #703 – Jason Aaron (writer) Russell Dauterman (art) Matthew Wilson (colours) VC’s Joe Sabino (letters). This is awesome sauce. As Mangog inexorably ploughs through the pantheon of Norse Gods I kept wondering if the Destroyer would be deployed. I was not disappointed. The death and destruction in the wake of Mangog’s quest for vengeance is mind boggling. Meanwhile, Jane Foster faces her ultimate challenge and I was surprised at how she handled it. Please ignore the naysayers since this hero changed genders and read one of the best runs of Thor since Walt Simonson was on the book.



Champions #16 – Mark Waid (writer) Humberto Ramos (pencils) Victor Olazaba (inks) Edgar Delgado (colours) VC’s Clayton Cowles (letters). Champion For a Day part 1. The team goes on a recruiting drive while Viv Vision gets used to her new human body and having a twin sister. Seeing Vision and Viv 2.0 sneeze makes me think that they have contracted a computer virus. Yes, I am a dorky nerd.



Hilo Book 4: Waking the Monsters – Judd Winick (story & art). I love this series about a boy robot and his friends. Hilo’s sister Izzy is introduced in this volume where secrets are revealed. The agonizing part for me is having to wait at least a year for the next book to hit the racks. I highly recommend this for readers of all ages.


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