Off The Rack #68

Off The Rack #68

Monday, November 20, 2017 

Ottawa ComicCon put on a special edition Holiday con this past weekend so I went to check it out because it was FREE admission. Still had to pay $8 to park at the EY Centre though. The main reason I went was to pick up the book D&D&D (D)ungeons & (D)ragons & (D)oodles The Tabletop Fantasy Art of Tom Fowler since Tom was there. Much to my surprise Craig Taillefer was sitting next to him on one side and Ronn Sutton was on the other. I spent a happy half hour geeking out and swapping stories with them. After Tom signed my copy and generously drew a sketch inside I walked around the venue checking out the booths. It’s been years since I’ve attended a con and I was impressed by some of the set-ups. Still, the comic vendors looked like the ones that sold stuff 30 years ago. Same tables of long boxes and makeshift walls for the wall books. I saw a lot of old Snail customers that I haven’t seen in years. Some I recognized and some that I didn’t. They all knew me though. The reaction of some folks was “what is he doing here?” looks that made me grin. I ended my sojourn hanging out with my Jee-Riz partner Chris as he helped at a friends booth. I can’t say that I’ll go to another con but I’m glad I went to this one.



Action Comics #991 – Dan Jurgens (writer & breakdown art) Viktor Bogdanovic (pencils) Viktor Bogdanovic, Trevor Scott & Scott Hanna (inks) Mike Spicer (colours) Rob Leigh (letters). “The Oz Effect” concludes with the question of whether Mr. Oz was Jor-El or not left unanswered. Throw in a mysterious super powerful villain and it’s more than enough to keep me reading. I liked Viktor’s slimmer Superman. He looks more natural than the muscle bound version that Nick Bradshaw & Brad Anderson drew for the cover.



Runaways #3 – Rainbow Rowell (writer) Kris Anka (art) Matthew Wilson (colours) VC’s Joe Caramagna (letters). It’s time to catch up with Karolina Dean as Gert tries to get the team back together again. Karolina used to be one hot mess but she’s a lot better now thanks to therapy.  I am really looking forward to next issue when the gang goes to find Molly, my favourite Runaway.



The Wild Storm: Michael Cray #2 – Bryan Hill (writer) N. Steven Harris (pencils) Dexter Vines (inks) Dearbhla Kelly (colours) Simon Bowland (letters). Michael’s first assignment is to kill Oliver Queen. Yep, that Oliver Queen, the Green Arrow guy. His next assignment is to target another well known name. These characters are bad guys in the Wildstorm universe and I think that’s cool.



Spider-Man Deadpool #23 – Robbie Thompson (writer) Chris Bachalo (pencils) Tim Townsend, Al Vey & Richard Friend (inks) Chris Bachalo (colours) VC’s Joe Sabino (letters). Spider-Man tries to arrest Deadpool and mindless mayhem ensues. So a typical issue of Spider-Man Deadpool. But wait, what’s with this lovely art that looks like the old Doctor Strange comic book? Why yes, it’s Chris Bachalo. I am so happy and will be ogling the rest of “Arms Race” with glee.



Star Wars #38 – Kieron Gillen (writer) Salvador Larroca (art) Guru-eFX (colours) VC’s Clayton Cowles (letters). “The Ashes of Jedha” starts here. We’ve got Luke, Leia and Han trying to contact fighters against the Empire on the planet Jedha. That’s where the Empire wants to strip mine the planet’s Kyber crystals. The partisans appear to not want to play nice though. We’ll see how the gang gets out of this fine mess.



Not Brand Echh #14 – It was difficult finding every issue of the 13 issue run of the original series on the spinner racks back in the late sixties but I bought and read every one that I could. This title made fun of my favourite Marvel comic books back then and this latest issue doesn’t spare the House of (sometimes bad) Ideas. It got a couple of genuine chuckles out of me so that’s about $2.50 Canadian per chuckle. Here are the comedy sketches and their creative teams. Secret Empire Abridged: Nick Spencer (writer) Scott Koblish (art) Nick Filardi (colours). Better Than Canon: Katie Cook (writer& art). Gwenpool Absorbs the Marvel Universe: Christopher Hastings (writer) Gurihiru (art). Marvel Behind the Scenes: Nick Kocher (writer) Brian Churilla (art) Chris O’Halloran (colours). Love Can Be Nuts: Ryan North (writer) Erica Henderson (art). The Not Next Issue Page: Chip Zdarsky (writer & art). Forbush Man Returns parts 1 to 4: Jay Fosgitt (writer & art). The whole issue was lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles (letters).



Batman #35 – Tom King (writer) Joelle Jones (art) Jordie Bellaire (colours) Clayton Cowles (letters). “Rules of Engagement” concludes with a terrific sword fight between Catwoman/Selina and Talia, Batman’s ex. The verbal repartee was great and just as great was the one between Damian and Dick. My question is “where the heck did Holly come from?”. I hope that this family adventure theme continues because I really like having Selina, Damian, Dick and Alfred around.



Maestros #2 – Steve Skroce (writer & art) Dave Stewart (colours) Fonografiks (letters). This is a beautifully illustrated Game of Thrones and Wands with wizard warriors plotting against each other. There’s a rekindled romance and a shocking twist that makes reading the next issue a must.



Champions #14 – Mark Waid (writer) Humberto Ramos (pencils) Victor Olazaba (inks) Edgar Delgado (colours) VC’s Clayton Cowles (letters). Worlds Collide part 4. He’s no Blue Fairy but the High Evolutionary pulls a Pinocchio on Viv Vision and all seems lost. The heroes fight through but there’s still a ways to go to prevent total destruction. We’ll find out what happens when Avengers #674 hits the racks on December 6.



Aquaman #30 – Dan Abnett (writer) Stjepan Sejic (art & colours) Steve Wands (letters). Atlantis Uprising. The revolution starts here. Orin joins the rebel forces and King Rath becomes more unhinged. Meanwhile, Mera is in deep water. I am enjoying this book again. You should give it a try.



Mech Cadet Yu #4 – Greg Pak (writer) Takeshi Miyazawa (art) Triona Farrell (colours) Simon Bowland (letters). It’s all-out action as the four cadets and their robos fight against giant alien crabs and orders from their superiors. The General is not pleased. Let’s see what happens to keep them in their mechs and not get kicked out of the program.



Deadpool vs. Old Man Logan #2 Declan Shalvey (writer) Mike Henderson (art) Lee Loughridge (colours) VC’s Joe Sabino (letters). This issue tells us why the two heroes are teaming up. Makes sense. I like these straightforward good guys versus bad guy stories with witty repartee that don’t tax the brain pan too much.



Superman #35 – Patrick Gleason & Peter J. Tomasi (writers) Travis Moore, Stephen Segovia & Art Thibert (art) Danei Ribeiro (colours) Rob Leigh (letters). Hey, I thought Lex’s armour was mostly green. The battle for the throne of Apokalips continues with Lois and Jon’s lives still hanging in the balance. I still think that Lex will save the day in the end.



American Gods: Shadows #9 – Neil Gaiman (writer) P. Craig Russell (script & layouts) Scott Hampton (art & colours) Rick Parker (letters). This is like reading the novel again but better. The art enhances the story so much.



Defenders #7 – Brian Michael Bendis (writer) David Marquez (art) Justin Ponsor & Paul Mounts (colours) VC’s Cory Petit (letters). This is the funniest comic book on the racks for the week. Yes even funnier than Not Brand Echh #14. Brian has a great sense of humour. I’m wondering now if all the great artists that he works with are also going to work for DC. That would be ideal for me because he really clicks with David Marquez and Sara Pichelli. The five page fight scene between Elektra and Iron Fist is the best I’ve ever seen. Just as good as watching Bruce Lee in Enter the Dragon.



Wonder Woman Conan #3 – Gail Simone (writer) Aaron Lopresti (pencils) Matt Ryan (inks) Wendy Broome (colours) Saida Temofonte (letters). Some sorcery is added to the swords this issue.



Mighty Thor #701 – Jason Aaron (writer) James Harren (art) Dave Stewart (colours) VC’s Joe Sabino (letters). I must have missed Mangog’s origin story back when Jack Kirby first drew him but Jason recaps it very well here. Mangog isn’t the only long unseen character to pop up. The Odinson’s best buddy reappears too. This issue is one awesome battle. The visuals are so striking I could feel each punch. What a great fill-in by James Harren.



Super Sons #10 – Peter J. Tomasi (writer) Jose Luis (art) Scott Hanna (inks) Hi-Fi (colours) Rob Leigh (letters). I like the contrast between Jon’s youthful enthusiasm and Damian’s grim cynicism. The three year age gap feels like decades but each one is subtly influencing the other. This issue sets it up so that the two lads will be spending even more time together learning how to be heroes. This is one of my favourite comic books on the racks right now.



Amazing Spider-Man #791 – Dan Slott (writer) Stuart Immonen (pencils) Wade von Grawbadger (inks) Rain Beredo (colours) VC’s Joe Caramagna (letters). I am enjoying this point in Peter Parker’s life where things are going well for him. His relationship with Mockingbird is sweet and chaste. His new job is challenging. The super heroics aren’t too over the top and he comes out a winner this issue. I know the good times won’t last but I will feel good while it does. My fanboy crush on Bobbi Morse is even bigger now because of the way Stuart and Wade draw her. Sigh.



Incredible Hulk #710 – Greg Pak (writer) Greg Land (pencils) Jay Leisten (inks) Frank D’Armata (colours) VC’s Cory Petit (letters). Return to Planet Hulk part 2. Hulk has to survive a gauntlet to save lives and he smashes admirably. It looks like next issue swipes scenes from the Thor Ragnarok movie. I am looking forward to that guest appearance.



Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #297 – Chip Zdarsky (writer) Adam Kubert with Juan Frigeri (art) Jason Keith (colours) VC’s Travis Lanham (letters). Totally different Peter Parker. Totally different life from Amazing. The two titles aren’t even trying for continuity and that’s okay. I just want to read a good story and this one where Peter and Spider-Man are being pursued by the authorities is a good one. Throw in recent revelations involving Jonah Jameson and this fan is anxious to see what happens next. According to the next issue tease T’Challa will come calling.



Star Wars: Darth Vader #8 – Charles Soule (writer) Giuseppe Camuncoli (pencils) Daniele Orlandini (inks) David Curiel (colours) VC’s Joe Caramagna (letters). We are witness to some Jedi rage this issue along with finding out what the stakes are for the good guys. Wondering what Vader is going to do keeps me coming back.



Weapon X #11 – Greg Pak & Fred Van Lente (writers) Marc Borstel & Ibraim Roberson (art) Frank D’Armata (colours) VC’s Joe Caramagna (letters). The Hunt for Weapon H concludes. Will Hulkverine be a good guy or a bad guy? The jury is still out on that. I like this team and am enjoying their adventures so far.



Spider-Men II #4 – Brian Michael Bendis (writer) Sara Pichelli (art) Elisabetta D’Amico (inking assistant) Justin Ponsor (colours) VC’s Cory Petit (letters). Miles’s search for his evil twin takes a terrible turn but he’s got the Amazing Spider-Man helping out now. The two webslingers should be able to figure things out but you never know.


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