Off The Rack #79

Monday, February 19, 2018

Happy Family Day Folks and Gung Hay Fat Choy too. Looks like the Jee Gang will not be gathering for the traditional Chinese New Year family dinner for the Year of the Dog. That’s fine with me since a lot of the kids are now living away from home and won’t be there anyways. There are two new dogs in the family now. Niece Sam just returned from 4 years in Japan with her dog and niece Tara just got a puppy up in Thunder Bay. Both Cas and Jane are very chill it seems.

I’m even more semi-retired now as I am only working half days on Tuesday and Wednesday. It still means I get to see some of my favourite people when they come in to pick up their books on Wednesday. I will miss the Saturday folks and hope that I can get back to working that day again.




Avengers #680 – Al Ewing, Jim Zub & Mark Waid (writers) Kim Jacinto (art) David Curiel (colours) VC’s Cory Petit (letters). No Surrender part 6. They should have featured Rogue on the cover since she narrates most of this issue. Ah wish they wouldn’t use her southern accent for Rogue’s inner monologues. It makes mah face cringe. Meanwhile, Logan shows up in Peru.



Sideways #1 – Dan Didio & Justin Jordan (writers) Kenneth Rocafort (art) Dan Brown (colours) Carlos M. Mangual (letters). Another New Age of Heroes hits the racks for DC with teenager Derek who can somehow manipulate rifts in space to instantly travel anywhere. He kind of looks like a young Peter Parker and his costume looks like a Captain Boomerang hand-me-down with a full face mask. There’s not much of an origin story since we’re supposed to know what happened by reading the Dark Nights Metal comic books. I stopped reading those but I was still okay understanding stuff since this is just Derek getting the hang of his super powers. I like his cosplaying friend Ernie and the big bad creature that shows up on the last page so I’ll give the next issue a look-see.



Kick-Ass #1 – Mark Millar (writer) John Romita Jr. (pencils) Peter Steigerwald (digital inks & colours) John Workman (letters). A little change in publisher and a major change in lead character. Nerdy Dave Lizewski is replaced by someone who already knows how to kick ass and I like them already. This is one of those lemons and lemonade life lessons. I like the softer look to the art too and I credit the guy finishing John Romita Jr. pencils for that.



Action Comics #997 – Dan Jurgens (writer) Brett Booth (pencils) Norm Rapmund (inks) Andrew Dalhouse (colours) Rob Leigh (letters). Booster Shot part 5. If you take the time travel element out of the Superman versus General Zod and his family fight it’s pretty good all out action. Meanwhile back on Earth, Lois is still trying to rescue her dad. This is the issue where the bad guys get the upper hand leading to the possibility that the good guy are going to lose. Let’s see how Dan Jurgens figures out a way for the bad guys to lose instead.



Weapon X #14 – Greg Pak (writer) Yildiray Cinar (art) Frank D’Armata (colours) VC’s Joe Caramagna (letters). Nuke-Clear War part 3. I like how this team will do anything to win. Domino and Warparth need to get a room. What Lady Deathstrike and Sabretooth have cooking keeps the intrigue going. Wonder what the next mission will be?



Detective Comics #974 – James Tynion IV (writer) Philippe Briones (art) Allen Passalaqua (colours) Sal Cipriano (letters). It’s so long Clayface, for now at least. A major villain from Batman’s Rogues Gallery won’t stay gone for long. The aftermath of Fall of the Batmen leads into a story featuring Batwoman. I’m a fan of Kate so I am very interested in what happens next.



Skybourne #5 – Frank Cho (writer & artist) Marcio Menyz (colours) Ed Dukeshire (letters). We had to wait 18 months for this 5-issue mini to tell its story but I am a sucker for anything that Frank Cho draws. I had a flashback to reading his Liberty Meadows strips because one of the characters looked exactly like Brandy. This is one collection that I will recommend the heck out of when it hits the racks.



Amazing Spider-Man Annual #42 – Dan Slott (writer) Cory Smith (pencils) Terry Pallot (inks) Brian Reber (colours) VC’s Joe Caramagna (letters). This story is pure nostalgic Spider-Man. We’ve got Betty Brant snooping around an old news story that her ex-husband Ned Leeds was looking into. This puts her in danger because certain underworld members don’t want the secret to be revealed. Cue the appearance of old Spidey villains the Enforcers. Add in a cameo appearance by the current New York City mayor Wilson Fisk, so you don’t think this is a reprint from the 1960s, and the classic Spider-Man saves the day ending and you can give this book to any kid who isn’t glued to their mobile devices to read. I learned something new from the title of this story too. “Bury the Ledes” might look like a typo but it’s a newspaper term they used to mean “a lead in a story” instead of the heavy element lead. I think that’s just dumb. They should have called this story “Bury the Leeds” since Ned is dead, but is he really? Read this annual to find out. The backup story by Broadway playwright David Hine (Marcus To (art) Ian Herring (colours)) is a silly surprise all about Peter Parker’s Spidey sense. This could explain the old Parker Luck.



Batman #40 – Tom King (writer) Joelle Jones (art) Jordie Bellaire (colours) Clayton Cowles (letters). Super Friends part 4. What a great end to Batman and Wonder Woman’s epic odyssey in another dimension. It’s a powerful story of love. Back when I was a rabid X-Men fan I thought that Chris Claremont (writer) John Byrne (pencils) and Terry Austin (inks) was the best creative team for that book and I didn’t want that to change ever. I wish the same thing for this current Batman creative team but I know it will change eventually. I will love it while it lasts though.



Captain America #698 – Mark Waid (writer) Chris Samnee (art) Matthew Wilson (colours) VC’s Joe Caramagna (letters). Out of Time part 1. The last we saw, Cap was flash frozen again. This is where he gets thawed out. When this happens is another story. This is tantamount to Cap dying again. It’s a convenient way to have Cap fighting a new tyrant but how the heck is he going to get back to the present? Ugh, I hate time travel.



Darth Vader #11 – Charles Soule (writer) Giuseppe Camuncoli (pencils) Daniele Orlandini (inks) David Curiel (colours) VC’s Joe Caramagna (letters). While on a mission to find Force sensitives, Vader is attacked by bounty hunters. Lots of action this issue. I am really impressed with the art. Giuseppe Camuncoli has come a long way since he was drawing Spider-Man. What Vader will do when he finds out who hired the bounty hunters makes me want to read the next issue.



Old Man Hawkeye #2 – Ethan Sacks (writer) Marco Checchetto (art) Andres Mossa (colours) VC’s Joe Caramagna (letters). I’m having a lot of fun seeing these future versions of Marvel heroes and villains. The writing is very clever. I love the club run by the Orb called Eye Candy. A fine establishment indeed.



Marvel Two-In-One #3 – Chip Zdarsky (writer) Valerio Schiti (art) Frank Martin (colours) VC’s Joe Caramagna (letters). This issue’s guest star is the Prince of Power. If Herc should ever get his own book again Chip should write it. Plenty of dramedy here. We’ve got Doctor Doom and the Mad Thinker for drama and Herc for comedy. I like how there’s a good reason why Ben and Johnny have to find Reed and Sue and the new recruit they get to help. This book is a sleeper hit in my opinion.



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