Off The Rack #80

Monday, February 26, 2018

Way to go all the Canadian athletes that competed in the 2018 Winter Olympics. You made us proud. Now we get ready for some March Madness. It might seem like I’m a big sports fan but I’m not. It’s just that it’s less annoying than a lot of the stuff happening around the world these days. Sure I was sad when the Canadian Women’s curling team skipped by Ottawa’s Rachel Homan didn’t make it to the medal rounds and the Canadian Women’s hockey team lost the gold medal game in a shoot-out but I didn’t get angry and upset. No one was killed by some idiot.


Archie #28 – Mark Waid & Ian Flynn (writers) Audrey Mok (art) Kelly Fitzpatrick (colours) Jack Morelli (letters). I only keep reading this book because Betty is in it. I don’t like the walking disaster area that is Archie. Nor the smug Jughead. I really hate that big fat jerk Reggie who should be someone’s plaything in prison. The fact that I feel so strongly about these characters means that the creators are putting out a very good comic book but I would stop reading if there weren’t any likable characters. Classic Catch 22.


Doctor Strange: Damnation #1 – Nick Spencer & Donny Cates (writers) Rod Reis (art & colours) VC’s Travis Lanham (letters). Stephen may not be Sorcerer Supreme anymore but he’s still pretty powerful. Remember how Las Vegas was destroyed during a recent mega crossover? Well now the whole city plus its citizens is back on terra firma. Guess where it’s been before being resurrected? Hey, they don’t call it Sun City for donuts. There’s a glitch in Doc Strange restoring all those lives and landmarks and that’s where this 4-issue mini takes off. This is a high stakes game between the Doc and Mephisto and the players will be familiar to Marvel Zombies far and wide. Doc’s team is on the cover but you’ll have to read this first issue to see who’s playing for Mephisto.


The Brave and the Bold: Batman and Wonder Woman #1 – Liam Sharp (writer & art) Romulo Fajardo Jr. (colours) A Larger World’s Troy Peteri (letters). DC’s old team-up title is back on the racks with a murder mystery featuring Batman and Wonder Woman. There’s a strong fantasy element since the murder takes place in Tir Na Nog, the mystical land of faerie. Liam Sharp drew me back into reading Wonder Woman when he did the Cheetah story and here he gets to go all Irish myths for us with runes and rugged faeriescapes. I like a murder mystery as well as the next Batfan but the profuse flowery prose turned me off. It’s a tough decision whether I read the rest of this 6-issue story because I really love the art.


Mata Hari #1 – Emma Beeby (writer) Ariela Kristantina (art) Pat Masioni (colours) Sal Cipriano (letters). This 5-issue mini comes from Dark Horse’s Berger Books imprint. I’m glad Karen is still editing comic books. I met her at a DC Retailer’s conference over twenty years ago. I was lucky enough to share a group dinner table with her at a steak house in Fort Worth, Texas. I can still remember how happy I was when I asked if I could order a second steak dinner after the first one failed to fill me up and she gave me the go ahead. She thought I had a hollow leg. This book is beautifully drawn but I found the storytelling a little confusing with it’s jumping back and forth in time to show us how the lady spy ended up in her current situation. Mata Hari is a very compelling historical figure so I will keep reading this to learn more about her life and death.


Infinity Countdown Prime #1 – Gerry Duggan (writer) Mike Deodato Jr. (art) Frank Martin (colours) VC’s Cory Petit (letters). Flip the cover and you get an info page quickly telling you about the 6 Infinity Stones and what powers they bestow to whoever possesses them. The story starts promisingly enough with the guy who is the best at what he does fighting off some bad guys and then the new Sorcerer Supreme, for the Infinity Stone that he has. Unfortunately the story deteriorated for me when it came to introducing the other stones. It got way too convoluted what with other dimensions involved and what looks like every dang super hero and super villain to ever exist thrown in. I think I have mega event fatigue. Keeping up with the weekly Avengers: No Surrender story with all those heroes and villains to keep straight makes trying to follow this massive story harder to do. I hope nobody dies.


Batman: Sins of the Father #1 – Christos Gage (writer) Raffaele Ienco (art) Guy Major (colours) Josh Reed (letters). This 6-issue mini is based on the Batman: The Telltale Series video game with a different back-story than the Batman that we are all familiar with. This Batman’s father, Thomas Wayne, was a villain who experimented on people. Bruce is trying to right that wrong and save Wayne Enterprises. You can expect lots of action and the first protagonist is easily recognised. I was super impressed with the art here. Kind of reminded me of Frank Quitely. If the rest of this story looks this good it will be a joy to read.


Hit-Girl #1 – Mark Millar (writer) Ricardo Lopez Ortiz (art) Sunny Gho (colours) Melina Mikulic (letters). Hot on the heels of the new Kick-Ass book is this 4-issue mini featuring Dave’s old partner Mindy. She’s looking for a new partner and who she picks is a real winner. This story goes international as the purple-haired perp pulveriser goes to Colombia to deal with the gangs there. I want to see if her new sidekick survives.


Avengers #681 – Al Ewing, Jim Zub & Mark Waid (writers) Kim Jacinto with Mike Perkins (art) David Curiel (colours) VC’s Cory Petit (letters). No Surrender part 7. It’s Kree Captain Glah-Ree’s turn to narrate an issue as his Lethal Legion team fights the Falcon’s Avengers team for the prize. Some surprise characters pop up right at the end that will make fans clamour for the next issue. Mike Perkins’s pages were only subtly different from the rest of the art and that surprised me too.


Batman #41 – Tom King (writer) Mikel Janin (art) June Chung (colours) Clayton Cowles (letters). Everyone Loves Ivy part 1. I was naïve to think that Joelle Jones was the best artist for this book because there are lots of artists that I love out there. Mikel Janin made me gasp after I flipped open the cover and saw the first page. Page 10 made me sigh. His Poison Ivy will haunt your dreams. The Cat and the Bat face a daunting challenge in this new story. This is a great issue to start to find out why I’ve been raving about this title every issue.


Moonshine #7 – Brian Azzarello (writer) Eduardo Risso (art & colours) Cristian Rossi (colour assistant) Jared K. Fletcher (letters). Boy was I surprised when this issue hit the racks. I thought #6 finished the story of Lou Pirlo, mob enforcer. Plus, it’s been almost a year since #6 came out. This supernatural tale continues with the location changing from the hillbilly hills to New Orleans. I’m thinking some voodoo be due.


Superman #41 – James Robinson (writer) Ed Benes (art) Dinei Ribeiro (colours) Rob Leigh (letters). The Last Days part 2. I was tolerating this story about Superman and a native scientist trying to save a planet from a Jonestown massacre until the science guy explains how he’s going to save his species. He sure didn’t take any genetics classes. I do not suffer foolish science gladly. The good news is that this story is over and Jon learns a lesson in tolerance.


Defenders #10 – Brian Michael Bendis (writer) David Marquez (art) Justin Ponsor (colours) VC’s Cory Petit (letters). Ah Jessica, Luke, Danny and Matt, we hardly got to know you. I don’t know if this team book will continue after this but it won’t be the same. This sure looks like Brian Michael Bendis’s last issue. David Marquez made me sigh on page 11 panel 5. I’m glad Felicia is okay.


Incredible Hulk #713 – Greg Pak (writer) Greg Land (pencils) Jay Leisten (inks) Frank D’Armata (colours) VC’s Cory Petit (letters). Return to Planet Hulk part 5. Hulk faces off with the Warlord in the fifth and final gauntlet. The final page had me singing Chuck Berry’s Maybellene in my head. Now that we’ve gone back to Sakaar it’s time to revisit another old Hulk story. Get ready for World War Hulk II.


Damage #2 – Tony S. Daniel & Robert Venditti (storytellers) Danny Miki (inks) Tomeu Morey (colours) Tom Napolitano (letters). I can’t say that I am enamoured of the title character since he’s just a one hour Hulk but the guest stars are worth the read. Here we have the Suicide Squad and next up is a real hero that I am certainly interested in.

Amazing Spider-Man #796 – Dan Slott & Christos Gage (writers) Mike Hawthorne (pencils) Terry Pallot & Cam Smith (inks) Erick Arciniega (colours) VC’s Joe Caramagna (letters). Threat Level: Red part 3. The art and writing this issue was very wooden to me. Kind of stiff and predictable. I don’t like Peter and Mary Jane getting cozy again either. If it wasn’t for what’s happening to Norman Osborn I would consider benching this book.



Super Sons #13 – Peter J. Tomasi (writer) Carlo Barberi (pencils) Art Thibert (inks) Gabriel Eltaeb (colours) Rob Leigh (letters). The Parent Trap part 1. Damian’s mom, Talia al Ghul, needs his help for a hit and she’s not going to take no for an answer. The boys find themselves in even more trouble when one of the targets is revealed. Robin and Superboy’s friendship may not survive. As much as I love Carlo’s art I wasn’t happy that Talia looks more like Damian’s slightly older sister than his mother.


Astonishing X-Men #8 – Charles Soule (writer) Paulo Siqueira (pencils) Walden Wong & Roberto Poggi (inks) Edgar Delgado (colours) VC’s Clayton Cowles (letters). A Man Called X part 2. Y’know, I don’t think that the guy in Fantomex’s body is Charles Xavier. He keeps saying trust me, I can fix this and then he screws things up royally. So, another comic book with amazing art. Psylocke made me sigh on page 3.


Mighty Thor #704 – Jason Aaron (writer) Russell Dauterman (art) Matthew Wilson (colours) VC’s Joe Sabino (letters). The Death of the Mighty Thor continues. Wow, I snagged a larger than usual pile of comic books off the rack to read last week and inadvertently saved the best ’til last. The writing and art was as powerful as can be. The build up to the last page made it a spine tingling experience. This story is going to be another highly recommended collection when it comes out in trade paperback.


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