Off The Rack #118

Monday, December 17, 2018


I got sucked into the vortex that happens this time of year for social events that I couldn’t avoid. We went out to dinner on Friday at Grow Your Roots Café in Kanata with our vegetarian friends to celebrate my and Brian’s birthdays, which are two weeks apart in December. I actually enjoyed my beyond meat burger platter. Way better than A&W’s, although to be fair I haven’t had the fast food version yet, but Brian has. And their fries were excellent too. Saturday was date night with dinner at the Yangtze Restaurant on Somerset Street and then crossing Arthur Street to Bar Robo to see the Tony D Trio. I’ve always wanted to see Tony D play live and this was a great chance to do that. It was intimate and we got a great table. We stayed for both sets and got home just before midnight. Not bad for an old fogey. The rocking music helped me stay awake. Sunday morning found us at the Carleton Tavern having breakfast at 9 AM. We try to see Sam the chef before Christmas and wish him and his family all the best for the holidays. Sam spoils us. You can tell he piles a lot more food on our plates than for other diners. You get that when you’ve patronized a place for 40 years. And finally, I venture out tonight to go see the Aquaman movie with my Jee-Riz partner Chris. I hear Amber Heard is in it.



X-23 #7 – Mariko Tamaki (writer) Diego Olortegui (pencils) Walden Wong (inks) Chris O’Halloran (colours) VC’s Cory Petit (letters). X-Assassin part 1. You can safely jump onto this book right here with this new story. Laura and Gabby help out the NYPD with a serial murder case and the killer is something brand new. I like the connection between the assassin, X-23 and Honey Badger and the new art team did a great job so I’m going to keep reading.



Doctor Strange: The Best Defense #1 – Gerry Duggan (writer) Greg Smallwood (art) VC’s Cory Petit (letters). By the Vishanti was this ever good. These Defender one-shots are thoroughly worth reading if you’re a big Marvel Fan. Greg did a wonderful tribute to Steve Ditko in a two page spread and I loved his Clea. The stabby guy in the bed sheet is still killing aliens too.



The Silver Surfer: The Best Defense #1 – Jason Latour (writer & art) VC’s Clayton Cowles (letters). My hopes for all of the Defenders one-shots to be stellar were dashed with this one. Norrin Radd doesn’t even appear until way later in the story. It starts off incomprehensibly with a bunch of aliens and ends with a lot of new age gobbledy goop that the Surfer spouts while floating in space. The crazy knife wielding Halloween ghost only shows up in two panels so that was disappointing as well. The only thing I liked was when the Surfer’s board takes off eh.



The Magic Order #5 – Mark Millar (writer) Olivier Coipel (art) Dave Stewart (colours) Peter Doherty (letters). This is the penultimate issue with many shocking revelations. It sets up next issue’s conclusion beautifully. I can hardly wait to find out what happens.



Miles Morales: Spider-Man #1/LGY #241 – Saladin Ahmed (writer) Javier Garron (art) David Curiel (colours) VC’s Cory Petit (letters). Yay! This did not suck. I was so afraid that the new Miles book would not stand up to the high standard that I put on it when Brian Michael Bendis was writing his adventures. Saladin Ahmed did an excellent job here and it helped that Javier Garron’s art rocked the whole issue. You get all you need to know to enjoy this Spider-Man even if you didn’t read the 240 issues leading up to this. I admit I did a little eye roll when the super villain showed up but then there’s a twist that made me give a cheer. I can’t wait for the next issue, and that’s the magic that Brian used to make that kept me reading.



The Batman Who Laughs #1 – Scott Snyder (writer) Jock (art) David Baron (colours) Sal Cipriano (letters). I was going to give this 6-issue mini a pass because I didn’t like the whole Dark Nights Metal storyline but I thought I’d give Scott Snyder another chance. He presents a very different kind of dark knight that I still do not like so I won’t finish reading this story either, but that’s just me. If you want to see what happens when Batman gets turned into the Joker (WTF?) then you’ll want to read this.



Goddess Mode #1 – Zoe Quinn (writer) Robbi Rodriguez (art) Rico Renzi (colours) Simon Bowland (letters). This new Vertigo book takes place in a very colourful future where folks live in a virtual reality because the real world sucks. Cassandra Price is a coder who works for the corporation that controls the VR. A glitch sends her into another reality and there she meets three other women and I think they go fight evil forces. This book is very bright and very tech and text heavy. I felt like I didn’t get to know Cassandra very well before she gets transformed into a goddess and her situation is very confusing. This book is not to my taste unfortunately.



The Unstoppable Wasp #3/LGY #11 – Jeremy Whitley (writer) Gurihiru (art) VC’s Joe Caramagna (letters). A.I.M. has broken into Pym Labs to steal tech and Nadia must save her friends and keep the bad guys from getting away. These foes are quite formidable and even with the help of the original Wasp and Mockingbird, the bad guys win. I like the new A.I.M. villains and want to learn more about them.



Avengers #11/LGY #701 – Jason Aaron (writer) Ed McGuinness & Cory Smith (pencils) Mark Morales, Scott Hanna & Karl Kesel (inks/finishers) Erick Arciniega (colours) VC’s Cory Petit (letters). It’s the calm before the next storm. According to the cover Jason’s other story in Thor, “The War of the Realms”, will cross over into this book in 4 months. Meanwhile, T’Challa meets with some international super heroes to try and form an alliance to keep the world safe. Thor and She-Hulk go on a date and Phil Coulson explains why there’s a Squadron Supreme of America. See, it’s not always massive alien invasions and war with Namor.



Fantastic Four Wedding Special #1 – This lead in one-shot to Fantastic Four #650 has 3 stories.

“(Invisible) Girls Gone Wild” by Gail Simone (writer) Laura Braga (art) Jesus Aburtov (colours) & VC’s Joe Caramagna (letters) is a silly bachelorette party at a strip joint with Alicia’s friends and some of Sue’s super powered buddies. I expected better from Gail.

“Father Figure” by Dan Slott (writer) Mark Buckingham (pencils) Mark Farmer (inks) Matt Yackey (colours) & VC’s Joe Caramagna (letters) reminded me of who Alicia’s step-father is. I was touched as I remembered asking Mr. Fowler for Penny’s hand in marriage. I loved the job the two Marks did. I would have sworn Jack Kirby drew this.

“The Puppet Master’s Lament” by Fred Hembeck (writer & art) & Megan Wilson (colours) was a monologue recap of Ben and Alicia’s relationship. It was typical Fred Hembeck humour.

You really don’t have to read this since there’s nothing here that impacts the wedding much but it’s a nice accompaniment to the big day.



Sasquatch Detective #1 – Brandee Stilwell (creator & writer). This $7.99 US 64-page special continues the beloved tradition of silly funny animal comic books that used to rule the racks. Too bad it doesn’t cost 25 cents like back in the fifties. You get the origin story by Ron Randall (art) Ross Campbell (colours) & Dave Sharpe (letters). This will tell you how Tonya Mae Lightfoot from the Appalachian Mountains leaves her Sasquatch family to go to Los Angeles and join the LAPD. What follows are five short stories where Tonya solves crimes. I would not have wanted to read this big book normally, but the art throughout is really good. Thanks to Gustavo Vazques (art) & Chris Sotomayor (colours) in “Sasquatch Anniversary”; Gustavo Vazques (art) & Ross Campbell (colours) in “Unsolved Mysteries”, “Neighbourhood Watch”, “Arrest and Relaxation” & “Smoke and Mirrors”. There are even some cameos by some DC heroes as a bonus.



Batman Annual #3 – Tom Taylor (writer) Otto Schmidt (art) A Larger World’s Troy Peteri (letters). If Tom King ever leaves Batman I hope that Tom Taylor takes over the writing chores. I love when Alfred is featured but only if it’s very well written and this story is very well written indeed. The relationship between Alfred and Batman/Bruce is special and this story proves just how special. If you’re a Batman fan but don’t normally get the annual, you have to get this one.


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