Off The Rack #71

Monday, December 11, 2017

The lights are up and the banister is decorated so we’re pretty much ready for Christmas. Santa’s Little Helper has left for her trip up north to visit family. We went to see the Nutcracker ballet at the newly renovated National Arts Centre so now I can picture the choreography with the music. I loved the sound of the harp and the harpist was great. I can check that off the list of things people tell me I should do.



Amazing Spider-Man: Venom Inc. Alpha #1 – Dan Slott & Mike Costa (writers) Ryan Stegman (art) Brian Reber (colours) VC’s Joe Caramagna (letters). It took me until the last page to get the title of this new book. Remember when DC had a Batman Inc. series where the caped crusader gathered together a bunch of heroes to fight crime? Marvel is doing the same thing with super villains here. I have not kept up with the scary black symbiote since Flash Thompson and it were together in outer space so there were things in this debut that surprised me. The question for all you Venom fans is whether the creature will choose to be good over evil. Keep reading to find out.



Batman #36 – Tom King (writer) Clay Mann (pencils) Clay Mann & Seth Mann (inks) Jordie Bellaire (colours) Clayton Cowles (letters). This is the best World’s Finest story I have read in a very long time. This issue just goes to show that men can be morons. I love how Lois and Selina meet. I would recommend starting with this issue if you haven’t read Batman in a while and if you like what you read here to add it to your pull list. Catwoman hasn’t been handled this well in a while.



Witchblade #1 – Caitlin Kittredge (writer) Roberta Ingranata (art) Bryan Valenza (colours) Troy Peteri (letters). Image resurrects this title with a new host for the mystical bracelet but this first issue failed to grab my interest. When Witchblade hit the racks 20 years ago the art was what kept me reading but here it looks average. The concept of this weapon bestowed on some deserving woman so she can kill bad guys isn’t very exciting and they didn’t add anything new. This version doesn’t even have the cool gauntlet anymore. The final page wasn’t a surprise so I won’t be reading any more.



Klaus and the Crisis in Xmasville #1 – Grant Morrison (writer) Dan Mora (art & colours) Ed Dukeshire (letters). What a wonderful Christmas fairy tale. I hope they make this an annual tradition.



Captain America #696 – Mark Waid & Chris Samnee (storytellers) Matthew Wilson (colours) VC’s Joe Caramagna (letters). Steve Rogers does the Nomad thing that he did briefly in the past roaming around America righting wrongs. This small town adventure is pure apple pie. The mysterious silhouetted figure in the last panel was small but I guessed who the next villain was before I looked at the next issue teaser. I hope win a booby prize.



Superman #36 – Patrick Gleason & Peter J. Tomasi (writers) Doug Mahnke (pencils) Jaime Mendoza & Doug Mahnke (inks) Wil Quintana (colours) Rob Leigh (letters). Imperius Lex part 4. Well it finally happened. This Apokalips story pissed Lex off so much that he’s done being a good guy. That last panel made him look totally evil.



Barbarella #1 – Mike Carey (writer) Kenan Yarar (art) Mohan (colours) Crank! (letters). I’ve never watched the movie starring Jane Fonda so I have no preconception of this character other than that she is a sexy. I never thought Jane Fonda was sexy though. The way Kenan draws Barbarella reminds me of Milo Manara and I like that this has a European vibe which treats the sex in a natural way that isn’t shameful and creepy. The bad guys are an oppressive religious patriarchy and the good guys are kick-ass women. It’s a sci-fi adventure with a message. I love the cover by Kenneth Rocafort.



Astonishing X-Men #6 – Charles Soule (writer) Mike del Mundo (art) Mike del Mundo & Marco D’Alfonso (colours) VC’s Clayton Cowles (letters). Life of X part 6. It’s been 5 years since Professor X died in Avengers vs. X-Men and I wondered when and how they were going to resurrect him. Here’s when and here’s how. Works for me.



Archie #26 – Mark Waid (writer) Audrey Mok (art) Kelly Fitzpatrick (colours) Jack Morelli (letters). Here’s something that may surprise some of you. For a while in the eighties Penny was watching The Young and The Restless every day and I really got into the soap opera too. I loved the relationships and all the drama. This comic book fills the void left since I stopped watching soaps. The eternal triangle that is Betty, Veronica and Archie is more complicated now because other people are involved. The only thing that would make this better for me is if Dilton was Chinese.



Avengers #674 – Mark Waid (writer) Ryan Sook (art) VC’s Cory Petit (letters). Worlds Collide part 5. You just gotta know that the Avengers and the Champions will prevent disaster but I was surprised that someone makes the ultimate sacrifice. I will mourn their passing.



Darth Vader #9 – Charles Soule (writer) Giuseppe Camuncoli (pencils) Daniele Orlandini (inks) David Curiel (colours) VC’s Joe Caramagna (letters). The story is really good and solid but it’s the art team that makes this book a standout. I wasn’t a fan of Giuseppe’s art when he was drawing Spider-Man but I love his stuff here.



Spider-Man #235 – Brian Michael Bendis (writer) Oscar Bazaldua (art) Brian Reber (colours) VC’s Cory Petit (letters). It’s looking like Miles is stepping away from being Spider-Man which would not surprise me with Brian Michael Bendis leaving Marvel to go write for DC. I have started my grieving process.

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