Off The Rack #128

Monday, February 25, 2019

It was so windy last night that it blew over our amaryllis flower that was inside the house. That was the crash I heard overnight. Actually, this amaryllis bulb produced a mutant flower stem that was the tallest I’ve ever seen. We got two stalks, each almost 2 feet tall, topped by three huge red blooms each. I had rotated the pot regularly so that they wouldn’t grow at an angle but there was enough of one to make them topple. I should have supported them sooner.



Black Widow #2 – Jen & Sylvia Soska (writers) Flaviano (art) Veronica Gandini (colours) VC’s Joe Caramagna (letters). I like this new Natalia who doesn’t have to hold back like she has a license to kill now. Her mission to shut down a torture porn site based in Madripoor is a good story but a couple of things bothered me about this issue. Clayton Crain’s cover is very nice but you couldn’t tell that one of the women was the Black Widow in disguise compared to what’s shown inside. I thought the veil Nat wears was dumb and the next issue teaser spoiled the last panel. A better match on the hair colour would have fixed the cover problem and a different image for issue #3 in the next issue ad page would have been nice.



Catwoman #8 – Joelle Jones (writer) Elena Casagrande & Fernando Blanco (art) John Kalisz (colours) Josh Reed (letters). Something Smells Fishy part 2. We find out what the Penguin wants Selina to do and she goes and does it. This story isn’t too complicated and I expected better. I didn’t like the facial expressions that the artists used when Selina was puling off the heist. I thought that it was an amateur imposter trying to steal the artefact. Catwoman should never look like she’s afraid. I hope the next issue is better.



The Unstoppable Wasp #5 – Jeremy Whitley (writer) Gurihiru (art) VC’s Joe Caramagna (letters). This is a wonderful issue dealing with mental health. Nadia needs help but will she reach out before it’s too late? Read this great issue to find out.



Stronghold #1 – Phil Hester (writer) Ryan Kelly (art) Dee Cunniffe (colours) Simon Bowland (letters). Meet Michael, just a cog in the wheel of life. Or is he? The Stronghold is a sort of cult and their mission is to protect Michael from the Adversary. The mystery of what Michael really is and what happens if he is awakened is more than enough to make you want to keep reading. This is a good comic book about people with super powers without the spandex posturing.



Auntie Agatha’s Home for Wayward Rabbits #2 to #4 – Keith Giffen (writer) Benjamin Roman (art). I fell in love with the art and the quirky characters after reading the first issue and I want to thank my Jee-Riz partner Chris for lending me his copies to read so that I can finish this story. There aren’t many funny animal comic books on the racks other than the Disney stuff so this one is a rare gem. It’s a great David versus Goliath story.



Hulkverines #1Greg Pak (writer) Ario Anindito (art) Morry Hollowell with Andrew Crossley (colours) VC’s Joe Caramagna (letters). It’s good to see Weapon H back on the racks and a classic Hulk villain being their evil self. This new book is blatantly targeted at die hard old Marvel Zombies like me but it’s well written and well drawn. Read the title page to catch up with what’s going on in Clay Cortez’s life and then jump right in to watch as Hulkverine and the Hulk duke it out in a battle to the death. The last page surprise made me pine for the next issue.



Naomi #2 – Brian Michael Bendis & David F. Walker (writers) Jamal Campbell (art) Carlos M. Mangual (letters). I like how the mystery of Naomi’s true self is progressing naturally. There aren’t any leaps and cuts in the origin story that I find annoying. Please give this book about an adopted daughter looking for answers a try. You won’t be disappointed.



Sharkey #1 – Mark Millar (writer) Simone Bianchi (art & colours) Peter Doherty (letters). I can’t pass up a comic book with those names in the credits. This sci-fi series is about an interstellar bounty hunter. The art is out of this world. Sharkey is going after a huge bounty but the competition is fierce. It’s going to be fun to see who wins.



Love Romances #1 – This $3.99 US anthology of “love stories that can only be told in a comic book” should have hit the racks February 13 in time for Valentine’s Day but it’s still worth reading. All stories were lettered by VC’s Travis Lanham.

“The Widow and the Clockwork Heart” by Gail Simone (writer), Roge Antonio (art) & Jim Charalampidis (colours) takes place in a Steampunk future where robots mend broken hearts.

“Heartbroken from Beyond” by Margaux Motin & Pacco Dorwling-Carter (story & art) & Lee Loughridge (colours) is a haunting ghost story of love and loss.

“French Quartered” by Dennis “Hopeless” Hallum (writer), Annapaolo Martello (art) & Jim Charalampidis (colours) is about an overprotective father in old New Orleans.

“Gone Like the Wind” by Jon Adams (story & art) & Tamra Bonvillain (colours) is a love lost and found story.

Each story has a clever twist that makes them special. Give this to your sweetie as a belated gift.



Guardians of the Galaxy #2 – Donny Cates (writer) Geoff Shaw (art) Marte Gracia (colours) VC’s Cory Petit (letters). The Final Gauntlet part 2. Team books can be unwieldy but this isn’t a real team book anymore. There are many factions trying to either stop or facilitate the resurrection of Thanos. This involves either killing or saving Gamora. There are many good guys and bad guys to keep track of but Donny and Geoff do a great job of keeping everybody straight. I’m happy to put this book back on my “must read” list.



Batman #65 – Joshua Williamson (writer) Guillem March (art) Tomeu Morey (colours) Steve Wands (letters). The Price part 3 of 4. This story is all about Gotham Girl wanting to resurrect her dead brother. I didn’t read part 2 in the Flash and didn’t feel like I missed anything. I don’t care what happens to Claire Clover/Gotham Girl so I’m not going to read part 4 either. I’m sure some of the buying public doesn’t like being coerced into picking up a couple of extra comic books off the racks that they don’t normally read to get the full story. DC should have spun this story off of the Heroes in Crisis books instead of interrupting the Tom King story. I can’t wait to get back to that.



Wolverine: Infinity Watch #1 – Gerry Duggan (writer) Andy MacDonald (art) Jordie Bellaire (colours) VC’s Cory Petit (letters). These new Infinity Stone stories hurt my head. I read the first one where Thanos got them all with the Gauntlet and the Avengers stopped him from killing everything but after that, every time these gems showed up things got more confusing. Now the stones all have souls thanks to Adam Warlock and they are inside humans. The Time Stone is still on Earth and that’s not good. A big bad alien named Warbringer has landed and wants the stone for himself. Cue Logan’s involvement. He’s supposed to protect the hapless human. The appearance of Loki and Phoenix Force Wolverine was fun and since Logan was dead during the Infinity Wars, this will be a way for him to get caught up with Marvel continuity. If you’re a fan of Wolverine being the best at what he does then you’ll want to get in on this 5-issue mini.



Doctor Strange #11 – Mark Waid (writer) Jesus Saiz with Javier Pina (art) Jesus Saiz & Rachelle Rosenberg (colours) VC’s Cory Petit (letters). The Dread Dormammu, what a doofus. Stephen defeats the demon again and all is well. The Doc had a little help from his friends with one friend returning as a big surprise. I’m looking forward to the bad guy on deck in the next issue. He’s big, he’s red and he’s hungry.



Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #3 – Tom Taylor (writer) Juann Cabal (art) Nolan Woodard (colours) VC’s Travis Lanham (letters). Mother of Exiles part 3. Wow, talk about an underground society. Welcome to Under York, miles below New York City. Spider-Man and the Rumor mount a rescue mission which is sort of successful. I can’t wait to find out what happens next.



Avengers #15/LGY #705 – Jason Aaron (writer) David Marquez (art) Erick Arciniega (colours) VC’s Clayton Cowles (letters). The team is caught in the middle of a Vampire Civil War and one of their own has been forced to switch sides. Can the Ghost Rider break his evil bondage? I’m guessing yes. I loved the devil dog riding in the ghost car with its head out the window. It’s artistic touches like that that adds enjoyment to reading a comic book.



Miles Morales: Spider-Man #3 – Saladin Ahmed (writer) Javier Garron (art) David Curiel (colours) VC’s Cory Petit (letters). The team-up with the Rhino and Captain America ends with fighting a new super villain. Snatcher is a lame super villain name but the good guys still have a tough time taking him down. There sure were a lot of expletives deleted in this issue.



Avengers LGY #709: No Road Home #2 – Al Ewing, Jim Zub & Mark Waid (writers) Paco Medina (pencils) Juan Vlasco (inks) Jesus Aburtov (colours) VC’s Cory Petit (letters). It’s the big fight issue with Voyager and her team trying to beat Nyx, goddess of darkness. She just killed all the gods of Olympus so good luck with that. Fortunately for the good guys, Nyx reveals her plans, which saves the heroes from certain death. This issue has a running narration by Hawkeye and it takes a surprising turn in the last few pages. This twist makes me glad that the next issue hits the racks in a week.

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