Off The Rack #115

Monday, November 26, 2018

Oh well, no Grey Cup for Ottawa. The Calgary Stampeders trounced the CFL team from our nation’s capital 27 to 16 in yesterday’s championship game. I feel sad for all the Redblacks fans. We’ll get them next year eh.


I was so excited to meet Steve Leialoha in 1985 that I asked him how he kept his long hair out of the way when he was drawing. He smiled and said he tied it back in a pony tail. Probably the dumbest fanboy question he’s ever heard. I am still embarrassed to this day. He still drew this for me in my diary.



Archie #700 – Nick Spencer (writer) Marguerite Sauvage (art) Jack Morelli (letters). This issue might as well be a reboot because it’s a great place to start reading a more sophisticated Archie Comic than the ones I read as a kid. Jughead’s got a job (gasp) writing for the Riverdale Gazette and he narrates this introduction to all things Riverdale. I like how all the main characters are presented and I really like the art. I have been recommending this book since Mark Waid revamped it and even though Nick Spencer wrote his heart out here, none of it seemed like padding.



Batman #59 – Tom King (writer) Mikel Janin (art) Jordie Bellaire (colours) Clayton Cowles (letters). The Tyrant Wing part 2. Batman, Penguin and Bane. I read this issue with glee because it is awesome sauce. The big bad super villain could be perpetrating the biggest con on Batman since the Riddler. I can’t wait to see where this goes.



Cover #3 – Brian Michael Bendis (writer) David Mack (art) Bill Sienkiewicz (art pages 21 to 24) Zu Orzu (colours) Carlos M. Mangual (letters). It’s Fields, Max Fields, comic book creator and international spy. He’s no James Bond or Austin Powers just a fish way out of the water. I’m still enjoying this very much. If it wasn’t for the credits page I would have thought that Bill Sienkiewicz’s pages were drawn by Walt Simonson.



Lucifer #2 – Dan Watters (writer) Max & Sebastian Fiumara (art) Dave McCaig (colours) Steve Wands (letters). “Of Red Deaths and Ginger Tomcats”. This story takes place in four different dimensions. It’s a challenge to keep track of everything that’s going on and no connections have been made as yet. Lucifer appears in three planes and is portrayed quite differently in each. This new Vertigo book is atypical of what the imprint embraces but I prefer a more linear story. I hope this has a hell of a run.



Marvel Knights: 20th #2 – Matthew Rosenberg & Donny Cates (writers) Niko Henrichon (art) VC’s Cory Petit (letters). Elektra Natchios joins the cast of this Marvel mystery. So now we have Bruce Banner, Frank Castle, Elektra and Matt Murdock teaming up. Matt is the only one who remembers that he’s Daredevil and we get a glimpse of Bruce’s alter ego but nothing monstrous yet. This book is keeping me guessing.



Immortal Hulk #9/LGY #726 – Al Ewing (writer) Joe Bennett (pencils Hulk pages) Ruy Jose (inks Hulk pages) Paul Mounts (colours Hulk pages) Martin Simmonds (art Crusher Creel pages) VC’s Cory Petit (letters). I liked the synergy of the Hulk’s and Crusher Creel’s stories alternating throughout this issue. The surprise at the end will give you a good idea about how different this new Hulk book is from what you’ve read before.



Doctor Strange #8/LGY #398 – Mark Waid (writer) Andres Guinaldo & Javier Pina (pencils) Javier Pina & Andy Owens (inks) Carlos Lopez (colours) VC’s Cory Petit (letters). Stephen’s betrayal of Kanna comes to light which changes their relationship status. The high stakes fight with Baron Mordo ends with the Doc’s friend coming to her senses. Still, all is not well with the good Doctor.



West Coast Avengers #4 – Kelly Thompson (writer) Stefano Caselli (art) Triona Farrell (colours) VC’s Joe Caramagna (letters). Yay, B.R.O.D.O.K./M.O.D.O.K. is defeated and Los Angeles is saved. I love this team. They’re so much fun.



Ton Stark: Iron Man #6/LGY #606 – Dan Slott & Jeremy Whitley (writers) Valerio Schiti (art) Edgar Delgado (colours) VC’s Joe Caramagna (letters). Stark Realities part 1. A new story starts here and it’s a doozy. I remember the last relaunch and Tony trying to make the world a better place with Stark Tech. Dan tries doing that again with a new Stark virtual reality game. Suffice it to say that things don’t end well. I like the old school villain who shows up on the last page. Dan sure upgraded this baddie.



Middlewest #1 – Skottie Young (writer) Jorge Corona (art) Jean Francois Beaulieu (colours) Nate Piekos (letters). This is not like the fun, whimsical and irreverent “I Hate Fairyland” unless you count the talking fox. It’s the story of Abel, a kid living in the mid-west with a tough love single dad. Pretty heavy stuff but there are some signature Skottie Young touches like the fox and pink energy sources in the background. The story starts with Abel getting into trouble and progresses to him running away by issue’s end. I’d like to follow along and see what happens to the lad.



Fantastic Four #2/LGY #647 – Dan Slott (writer) Sara Pichelli (pencils) Sara Pichelli with Elisabetta D’Amico (inks) Marte Gracia (colours) VC’s Joe Caramagna (letters). I lucked out and found one copy left on the racks for me to read. This is where the Griever first appears to threaten the multiverse and we see how Reed, Sue and the rest of the Future Foundation reunites with Ben and Johnny plus all the heroes that have ever been associated with the Fantastic Four. I like how the kids have grown up a little and I hope they are involved in future stories.



Uncanny X-Men #2/LGY #621 – Ed Brisson, Matthew Rosenberg & Kelly Thompson (writers) R. B. Silva (pencils) Adriano Di Benedetto (inks) Rachelle Rosenberg (colours) VC’s Joe Caramagna (letters). I said I wasn’t going to read the rest of this story after the first issue but then I flipped through this issue and the art really impressed me so I grabbed it off the rack. The highlight of this issue plot-wise is who shows up on the last panel to help the mutant heroes.

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