Off The Rack #114

Monday, November 19, 2018

Stan “The Man” Lee passed away last week at the age of 95. I am grateful for the stories he wrote when I first started reading comic books as a pre-teen. My favourite super hero is Spider-Man and his alter ego Peter Parker. Being the number one son of a Chinese family that whole responsibility motto resonated very deeply with me. I have read thousands of comic books in 50 years and the one issue that hit me the hardest was Amazing Spider-Man #33. This was where Spider-Man was trapped under tons of collapsed rubble and Aunt May was on her death bed. Peter had to free himself in order to save her. His resolve and herculean effort won out and I’ll never forget the feeling I had when I got to that panel where Spider-Man lifts tons of wreckage off of himself. Stan Lee and Steve Ditko told an amazing story and made me a fan for life. Comic book fandom and the comic book creative community mourn his passing and I acknowledge their sadness. Me, I’ll remember what a fun and upbeat man Stan was and I hope I can be as fun and upbeat as I get older.



Love is Love – Done by a plethora of writers and artists. My Jee-Riz partner Chris gifted me this anthology because I was too cheap to pay the $9.99 US when it hit the racks. This book was produced after the 2016 murders of 49 people in The Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida by a lone gunman. As much as I want to believe that Love conquers all, the reality is that fear and hate so easily overshadows compassion and love. A lot of these stories made me think about man’s inhumanity and I hope that others reading this book try to make changes to make a better world.



Auntie Agatha’s home for Wayward Rabbits #1 – Keith Giffen (writer) Benjamin Roman (art) Bryan Valenza and Beyond Colorlab (colours). Here’s one that Chris recommended and we had leftover copies on the rack so that I could give it a look see. I’m sure glad I did. I haven’t read anything new by Keith “close-up” Giffen in quite a long time but remember his hilarious take on Ambush Bug. This story about Julie and her aunt is also very funny. I love the anthropomorphic animals. I wish I didn’t need a magnifying glass to read some of the word balloons but other than that, I had a hoot. This gets added to my “must read” list.



Firefly #1 – Greg Pak (writer) Dan McDaid (art) Marcelo Costa (colours) Jim Campbell (letters). I was late in my appreciation of Joss Whedon’s TV show but was able to watch the whole series after it came out on DVD thanks to fanatical friends who bought it and lent them to me. If you liked the TV show and the Serenity movie you will like this new comic book. Even if you weren’t a fan of the show, you’ll enjoy this space western because Greg did a great job of introducing these characters. It’s a good non-spandex adventure book.



Catwoman #5 – Joelle Jones (writer & art) Laura Allred (colours) Josh Reed (letters). Copycats part 5. Selina finds herself caught by the crazy Mrs. Creel. The big showdown is next issue and I can’t wait.



Domino #8 – Gail Simone (writer) David Baldeon (art) Jesus Aburtov (colours) VC’s Clayton Cowles (letters). The gals team up with Morbius to save the world from a deadly vampire virus. Jesus’s art is awesome sauce.



Thor #7/LGY #713 – Jason Aaron (writer) Tony Moore (art) John Rauch (colours) VC’s Joe Sabino (letters). “Young Thor’s Lament” is a great one issue story about the difference between gods and mere mortals. I love these old tales. They’re a nice break from world shattering stories where everything is at stake.



The Unstoppable Wasp #2/LGY #10 – Jeremy Whitley (writer) Gurihiru (art) VC’s Joe Caramagna (letters). They never told us what was in the bag. I want to know what’s in the bag. If they don’t tell us what was in the bag in next issue’s G.I.R.L. versus A.I.M. story, I’m checking out of this wasp’s nest.



Uncanny X-Men #1/LGY #620 – Ed Brisson, Matthew Rosenberg & Kelly Thompson (writers) Mahmud Asrar (art) Rachelle Rosenberg (colours) VC’s Joe Caramagna (letters). Disassembled part 1. This title used to be my favourite Marvel comic for a long time back when Chris Claremont (writer), John Byrne (pencils) and Terry Austin (inks) were on the book. Then I got tired of reading about how the whole world feared and hated mutants and wants to wipe them out. Here we go again with the X-Men fighting to stop a vaccine from being released that can stop the mutant gene from activating. That’s just flogging a dead horse to me. The final nail for me in this $7.99 US first issue was the 4-part back-up stories meant to keep me reading. If they had revealed who was behind all the madness and confusion in the main story, I might have decided to read the next issue but these vignettes only made the main story clear as mud. They felt like fillers used to pack a high priced comic book. This is another massive Marvel mutant event that I’m going to not care about.



Avengers #10/LGY #700 – Jason Aaron (writer) David Marquez & Ed McGuinness (main story art) Frazer Irving, Adam Kubert & Andrea Sorrentino (back-up stories art) Justin Ponsor, Erick Arciniega, Frazer Irving, Matthew Wilson & Giada Marchisio (colours) VC’s Cory Petit (letters). First there’s the big fight between war monger Namor and his Defenders of the Deep versus the Avengers. Then the new Russian Winter Guard butt into the fray. Much punching and bravado <is involved. We wind up this $5.99 US issue with the introduction of the Squadron Supreme of America (because Justice League is already taken) who fill the void left by the Avengers and S.H.I.E.L.D. for the US government. I had a “what the?” moment while reading the back-up stories when Wolverine showed up to rescue Loki from the Celestials. Wolverine’s appearance eventually made sense only because I also read Thor and Logan was in that book recently. Jason Aaron is keeping this super hero team entertaining for me so I’ll keep reading.


Fantastic Four #3/LGY #648 – Dan Slott (writer) Sara Pichelli & Nico Leon (art) Marte Gracia (colours) VC’s Joe Caramagna (letters). I must have missed reading #2 because I was surprised to see the team reunited and a whole bunch of other super heroes gathered to fight the Griever. No worries though. The villain is defeated and the universe is saved. Now the FF can return and we can move on to Ben and Alicia’s wedding. Other recent weddings didn’t go off as planned and I expect this one won’t either.


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