Off The Rack #123

Monday, January 21, 2019

Hoo-wee, it’s cold outside. I noticed that the snow plow went by overnight to clear the road so I donned my winter gear to go out and move both our vehicles so that the snow removal service we hired can do all of our driveway. The Kia Soul just made it through the snow berm (phew), otherwise I would have had to get out and push. I am grateful for my winter pants with the double lining, my big Sorel boots with the liners rated to -40 C, and dad’s old down-filled parka. It was -22 C (-36 C/-32 F with windchill) while I was outside. The tips of my fingers were tingly when I came back into the house, but after my hot cup of coffee I’m able to type up this intro.



Black Widow #1 – Jen & Sylvia Soska (writers) Flaviano (art) Veronica Gandini (colours) VC’s Joe Caramagna (letters). I don’t remember Natalia dying in Secret Empire but I’m glad she’s back in her own comic book again. Her last solo series was pretty good focusing on her being a spy. This one starts off promising enough with Nat looking for some serious action to satiate her homicidal tendencies. She should be able to find a worthy cause for killing in Madripoor. Her first victims are child sex slaves so there’s no question they will deserve what they’ve got coming.



Man Without Fear #3 – Jed MacKay (writer) Iban Coello (art) Andres Mossa (colours) VC’s Clayton Cowles (letters). I’m glad I stuck with this weekly look at Matt’s recovery because this issue drills down to the core of the hero. This is a very good lead up to Daredevil #1 coming out in February.



Marvel Comics Presents #1 – When this title first hit the racks in 1988 I snapped it up because I was a Marvelite through and through. Still am to a certain degree. This $4.99 US anthology promises to keep a true blue Marvelite happy with Wolverine featured front and center. “Wolverine: The Vigil” part 1 by Charles Soule (writer), Paulo Siqueira (pencils) Oren Junior (inks) Frank D’Armata (colours) and VC’s Joe Caramagna (letters) takes us back to World War II and Logan fighting Nazis. This one involves a Gypsy girl and a demon. Note to the Marvel Bullpen: Canadian soldier’s helmets didn’t have a maple leaf decal on them.

The second story features Namor by Greg Pak (writer) Tomm Coker (art) Michael Garland (colours) and VC’s Joe Caramagna (letters) and shows what the effect that the dropping of the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki had on the Submariner.

The third story stars Captain America and it’s by Ann Nocenti (writer) Greg Land (pencils) Jay Leisten (inks) Frank D’Armata (colours) and VC’s Joe Caramagna (letters). Cap meets a young fan while traveling the back roads of America and it’s all about him inspiring the kid.

Each little story was good overall but unless you’re a Marvelite with deep pockets you really don’t have to read this.



Catwoman #7 – Joelle Jones (writer) Elena Casagrande & Fernando Blanco (art) John Kalisz (colours) Josh Reed (letters). A new 2-part story starts here. The Penguin gets Selina’s attention in “Something Smells Fishy”. I’m curious to see what he wants.



Ironheart #2 – Eve L. Ewing (writer) Geoffo (layouts) Luciano Vecchio (art) Matt Milla (colours) VC’s Clayton Cowles (letters). So far, so good. I really like the art in this. It would have been more interesting if the artificial intelligence in her armour was male instead of female. I think they missed the potential for gender clashes while Riri is in action.



Invaders #1 – Chip Zdarsky (writer) Carlos Magno with Butch Guice (art) Alex Guimaraes (colours) VC’s Travis Lanham (letters). This one is for us old fogeys. You have to go way back in the archives to World War II when Captain America, the original Human Torch and Prince Namor fought together as the Invaders against the Third Reich. That history is used to explain why the now King Namor is waging war again with the surface world. An old photo taken just after the end of World War II sparks a mystery that makes me want to read the next issue as Captain America tries to help is old comrade in arms. I was wondering what was happening with the Namor storyline since the Avengers book is concentrating more on the War of the Realms.



Conan #2 – Jason Aaron (writer) Mahmud Asrar (art) Matthew Wilson (colours) VC’s Travis Lanham (letters). Picts and snakes. Lots of Picts and snakes. Oh, and wine and women too. Conan was hard to kill long before Wolverine came along.



Fantastic Four #6 – Dan Slott (writer) Aaron Kuder (art) Marte Gracia & Erick Arciniega (colours) VC’s Joe Caramagna (letters). Herald of Doom part 1. What better way to have the team back together (again) than having them go off to save the world from Galactus (again). There’s a good reason why the big planet eater shows up over Latveria and it’s not just to have Doctor Doom clashing with Marvel’s first family. When they reveal the new Doctor Doom lackey I got stonged by some song with the character’s name in it. I have a feeling that Reed and Victor are going to argue about how Galactus can be beat, but I hope it doesn’t drag the story on too long.


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