Off The Rack #40

Monday, March 20, 2017

It’s the first day of spring but you would still think it’s the dead of winter here in Ottawa. I hear it snowed in Vancouver recently too. I don’t consider spring starting until I can’t see anymore snow on the ground around our neighbourhood. I figure that will be the middle of April this year. I’ve already seen a robin at our house though. We put up a bird feeder last fall and it attracts many birds. Mostly house sparrows but we see finches, juncos, nuthatches, chickadee-dee-dees and our favourites the cardinals and woodpeckers. The male cardinals are bright red-orange and the females are a mocha coffee colour. We have had downy, hairy and pileated woodpeckers come and feed. Watching the birds outside our window is like watching fish swim around an aquarium. Very calming. Until the undesirables show up. Starlings and squirrels snark up a lot of feed and scare away the little birdies. The squirrels have gotten so brazen now that I have to go outside to shoo them off the feeder. I used to be able to do that just by banging on the window. Stupid squirrels.

We lost one of the greatest comic book artists on March 18 when Bernie Wrightson succumbed to cancer and passed away. I have always been a bigger fan of the art side of our hobby and Bernie’s art gave me goosebumps. His pen and ink work was stunning. Rest in peace Mr. Wrightson.


Punisher #10

Punisher #10 – Becky Cloonan (writer) Matt Horak (art) Frank Martin with Guru-eFX (colours) VC’s Cory Petit (letters). I’m disappointed in Matt. This whole issue takes place at a sea port in Newfoundland and he didn’t put one Canadian flag in any of the panels. Even a little one would have been nice. It looks like another dire situation for Frank but the bad guys screwed themselves. You’ll see the obvious giveaway, but maybe I’m wrong.


Uncanny Avengers #21

Uncanny Avengers #21 – Gerry Duggan (writer) Kevin Libranda (art) Dono Sanchez Almara with Protobunker (colours) VC’s Clayton Cowles (letters). If there’s a fill-in artist who makes me just as happy to read this book as when regular artist Pepe Larraz draws it, then it’s Kevin Libranda. I liked how Deadpool found a way to defeat the Red Skull’s Professor X powers. I wonder if they’re going to bring back old Charles.


Batman #19

Batman #19 – Tom King (writer) David Finch (pencils) Danny Miki, Trevor Scott & Sandra Hope (inks) Jordie Bellaire (colours) Deron Bennett (letters). The art in this issue is pretty awesome. Part 4 of “I Am Bane” has the big bad guy wading through Batman’s rogues gallery one by one. Almost every Bat villain you can think of get‘s his licks in. odd that there are no women. I was also bothered by the fact that they’re all loose inside Arkham asylum. How are they going to be get back in custody? The last page leads into the inevitable final battle between Bane and Batman and I want to see who wins. Like I couldn’t guess.


American Gods #1

American Gods #1 – Neil Gaiman (writer) P. Craig Russell (script & layouts) Scott Hampton (art) Rick Parker (letters). I started a list of books I want to read after the Snail closed because I found myself with a lot of extra time. American Gods by Neil Gaiman is on that list. I’ve been told what the premise of the book is so I had a bit of background going into reading this first issue of the comic book adaptation. Reading the comic book is going to enhance my reading of the novel when I get around to it because I will visualize Scott’s depictions of the characters in my head and they are very nice ones. The back-up story “Somewhere in America” by P. Craig Russell (script & art) and Lovern Kindzierski (colours) was a hot piece of erotica about unsafe sex. This gets added to my “must read” list.


Totally Awesome Hulk #17

Totally Awesome Hulk #17 – Greg Pak (writer) Mahmud Asrar (art) Nolan Woodard (colours) Cory Petit (letters). This hasn’t been a solo book for the last few issues with Amadeus hanging out with his friends but I am still enjoying it. This issue is a good place to start as the team has to figure out a way to save themselves and some civilians from being eaten by aliens. You could call these guys the Asian Avengers because what happens in this issue gives them something to avenge. If you jump on here you won’t want to jump off until you read the next issue.


Batwoman #1

Batwoman #1 – Marguerite Bennett & James Tynion IV (writers) Steve Epting (art) Jeromy Cox (colours) Deron Bennett (letters). Kate chases after a mystery woman from her past after dealing with a terrorist in Istanbul. I like how she’s teamed up with Julia Pennyworth.


 Kill or be Killed #7

Kill or be Killed #7 – Ed Brubaker (writer) Sean Phillips (art) Elizabeth Breitweiser (colours). This issue features Dylan’s ex-girlfriend Kira, now with purple hair instead of red. I’m glad she’s still hanging around because boy does she have problems. We start off during a session with her therapist and get a lot of background. I love this kind of stuff because it makes the characters more engaging. Kira might need an emergency session after she decides to do something stupid at Dylan’s place.


Monsters Unleashed #5

Monsters Unleashed #5 – Cullen Bunn (writer) Adam Kubert (art) David Curiel & Michael Garland (colours) VC’s Travis Lanham (letters). Okay, Kid Kaiju comes through to save the world from the Leviathon Mother, showing up all the Marvel super heroes. I guess that’s why he’s getting his own book. Look for it to hit the racks on April 19. Unless it’s drawn by an artist that I really like I will take a pass. The Kid’s creations are more suited to fans of action figures or Saturday morning cartoons than an old coot like me.


Super Sons #2

Super Sons #2 – Peter J. Tomasi (writer) Jorge Jimenez (art) Alejandro Sanchez (colours) Rob Leigh (letters). This is great. I don’t know why but I love really well written comics about young super heroes like this and Champions. Maybe it’s because I can’t let go of being a kid. Damian and Jonathan have to deal with Super Lex in order to get a lead on Kid Amazo, the very bad boy they’re after. Everything doesn’t go smoothly and then, uh-oh, their dads find out about what they’re doing. I can’t wait to see what happens next.


Wild Storm #2

Wild Storm #2 – Warren Ellis (writer) John Davis-Hunt (art) Steve Buccellato (colours) Simon Bowland (letters). This 24 issue series is very ambitious and there are a lot of players involved. If I was a new reader I would be wondering who are these people? Some people work for International Operations (IO) and some people work for Halo. The two organisations don’t like each other and they’re both after Angela Spica, the Engineer. I hope that helps with getting into this story. One of my favourite things from the old series was the Door which could transport people to different places. I think we’re introduced to a new Door this issue and she’s a lot better looking than Lockjaw.


Ms. Marvel #16

Ms. Marvel #16 – G. Willow Wilson (writer) Takeshi Miyazawa (art) Ian Herring (colours) VC’s Joe Caramagna (letters). I like this story about a malevolent computer virus and it looks like Kamala can’t defeat it. That is until she gets a clue from her old pal Bruno. I can’t wait to find out how Doc.x gets deleted.


Superman #19

Superman #19 – Peter J. Tomasi & Patrick Gleason (writers) Patrick Gleason (pencils) Mick Gray (inks) John Kalisz (colours) Rob Leigh (letters). Part 3 of “Superman Reborn” looks like it might resurrect the pre-New 52 Lois and Clark. I hope not. That would confuse me to no end and then I would get annoyed and stop reading these amazing Superman books. Patrick draws the creepiest Mr. Mxyzptlk ever. I wonder if they’re going to do the saying the imp’s name backwards thing?


 Guardians of the Galaxy #18

Guardians of the Galaxy #18 – Brian Michael Bendis (writer) Valerio Schiti (art) Richard Isanove (colours) VC’s Cory Petit (letters). I love these issues featuring one team member. Angela’s up this time around and it’s a beautifully drawn fight scene between her and some alien bounty hunter. The issue ends with a major threat heading for Earth. It starts with Th and rhymes with anus.


Spider-Man #14

Spider-Man #14 – Brian Michael Bendis (writer) Sara Pichelli (art) Justin Ponsor (colours) VC’s Cory Petit (letters). Nothing serious between Miles and Gwen despite what the cover shows. This is one of those issues that annoy Bendis detractors because nothing really happens. The heroes hop from one dimension to another and each wind up in different ones by the end of this issue. I can easily forgive because of Sara’s art.


Mighty Thor #17

Mighty Thor #17 – Jason Aaron (writer) Russell Dauterman (art) Matthew Wilson (colours) VC’s Joe Sabino (letters). The gods of Asgard and the Imperial Guard of the Shi’Ar finally come to blows in part 3 of “The Asgard/Shi’Ar War”. Meanwhile Thor can’t seem to win much in the challenge of the gads against the Shi’Ar gods Sharra and K’ythri. Mjolnir is sure getting a workout though. This book is not only chock full of action but it’s visually stunning as well.


Amazing Spider-Man #25

Amazing Spider-Man #25 – Dan Slott (writer) Stuart Immonen (pencils) Wade von Grawbadger (inks) Marte Gracia (colours) VC’s Joe Caramagna (letters). I wish you didn’t have to pay $9.99 US for this one issue starting off “The Osborn Identity” story. That’s a bit much for one comic book don’t you think? Sure you get a bunch of back-up stories but none of those really matter to the main story. You do get 40 pages of Stuart and Wade goodness though, so why couldn’t they have printed just that and charged $4.99 US? As you can probably tell Norman Osborn is back so the Green Goblin can’t be far behind. I did like the team-up with Mockingbird with a hint of Peter and Bobbi possibly becoming more than friends. Here are the other stories that pad this issue. A fight with Clash by Christos Gage (writer) Todd Nauck (art) Rachelle Rosenberg (colours) VC’s Travis Lanham (letters) which has the old “it’s not what you think” twist at the end. A silly Tsum-Tsum story for the younger readers by Jacob Chabot (writer) Ray-Anthony Height (pencils) Walden Wong (inks) Jim Campbell (colours) VC’s Cory Petit (letters). Thank Thor that was a blessedly short 6 pages. A Parker Industries mishap at their Shanghai facility by James Asmus (writer) Tana Ford (art) Andres Mossa (colours) VC’s Travis Lanham (letters). A young Spider-Man story about a boy and his dog by Hannah Blumenreich (writer & pencils) Jordan Gibson (inks) Jordie Bellaire (colours) VC’s Clayton Cowles (letters). Some Aunt May gags by Cale Atkinson which were even sillier than the Tsum-Tsum story. And finally to ease the pain of having to buy an overpriced comic book, the return of another Spider-Man nemesis. One thing that “The Clone Conspiracy” did was bring back Otto Octavius, Doc Ock. He now has a youthful body thanks to Miles Warren’s cloning process. So meet The Superior Octopus by Dan Slott (writer) Giuseppe Camuncoli (pencils) Cam Smith (inks) Jason Keith (colours) VC’s Joe Caramagna (letters). He’s bad-ass now plus he’s got Hydra backing. Here’s a prediction: Somewhere in the future Peter and Norman have to team up to fight Otto and Hydra.


Archie #18

Archie #18 – Mark Waid (writer) Pete Woods (art & colours) Jack Morelli (letters). This issue proves that love is blind. Archie and Veronica have nothing in common and should not be together. Betty and Dilton Doiley are more compatible. I wish I was Dilton Doiley.




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