What’s Hot & What’s Not : What’s Worth Buying in Comics & Slims!

What’s Hot & What’s Not : What’s Worth Buying in Comics & Slims!

 

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MARVEL

What is worth buying Monthly: Al Ewing’s MIGHTY AVENGERS

Buy Here: https://www.mycomicshop.com/search?TID=24597149&affid=200301p0

At 3.99 and up, and with stories that don’t lend themselves to satisfying stand-alone monthly reads, Marvel Comics for me have largely priced themselves out of the monthly or periodical business.

The only exception being Al Ewing’s MIGHTY AVENGERS, the only book by Marvel Comics I seek out on a monthly basis. And even then I pre-order that title so I end up not paying the outrageous $3.99 retail price. And once that title is no longer, I will go back to, happily, getting 0 periodicals from Marvel.

Don’t get me wrong, Marvel has some fantastic writers and artists, from Remender’s UNCANNY AVENGERS to Aaron’s THOR, however at nearly $4 a pop for advertising strewn monthlies, from a company that has the margins of scale to hold the line at 2.99 but simply choose not to, I can’t justify paying $4 and up for their monthly comics. Which you invest all that time in, and the story ends up being derailed by editorial or a weak conclusion. Much better way to sample Marvel, I have found, is to wait till the stories are collected, do your homework by checking the reviews, and using resources like Amazon or your local comic store or library to purchase the collected editions at a sizable discount.

DC

What is worth buying Monthly: ASTRO CITY and GREEN ARROW, and the upcoming GRAYSON has me interested as well! Buy Here:
https://www.mycomicshop.com/search?TID=22331595&affid=200301p0
https://www.mycomicshop.com/search?TID=24307845&affid=200301p0
https://www.mycomicshop.com/search?TID=25854386&affid=200301p0

Everything I said for Marvel goes for DC, with the exception DC has of late had far fewer creators or titles I’m interested in sampling at all. I think they followed up the initial high of the New 52 with largely a lot of uninspired and direction-less characters and books. Their flagship titles such as JLA, Superman, Batman, due to too many cooks (editorial influence) and over-saturation of the characters across multiple titles, are largely unreadable. However in the titles that are one-offs and left alone in the periphery, such as GREEN ARROW and ASTRO CITY that tell self contained stories with characters that are the singular vision of one creative team, if DC can do more of this they can right their flailing ship. Have 1 JLA title, 1 Green Lantern title, and no more than 2 Batman or Superman titles, but staff them with exciting creative teams, and that lack of confusion right there is a start. Add to that if they have more such titles at the $2.99 price-point, they can attract readers rather than alienating them.

DARK HORSE

What is worth buying Monthly: MIND MGMT, THE MASSIVE, GHOST, DARK HORSE PRESENTS, THE GOON OOR, POP, and SUNDOWNERS

Buy your Copy Here: https://www.mycomicshop.com/search?TID=22803281&affid=200301p0

When it comes to the smaller publishers I’m more forgiving in regards to price. They don’t have the scale to set prices as a Marvel and DC do, but still try to provide lower prices, and even when the prices are the same, smaller publishers such as Dark Horse excel in giving you more pages, less ads, extra material, including letters pages, and best of all books that are the unique vision of a distinctive creative team, not typically beholden to company wide editorial events. The books as a whole are more mature, able to offer something more than another reworking of decades old super-hero stories.

Dark Horse makes some of the best hardcovers and collected editions, and recently they have excelled at making some of the best monthly books.

Among them MIND MGMT, THE MASSIVE, GHOST, DARK HORSE PRESENTS, THE GOON OOR, POP, SUNDOWNERS and the recently ended Brian Wood’s STAR WARS. At over half a dozen titles, it for me is clearly a more interesting company with more interesting titles than either Marvel or DC.

IDW

What is worth buying Monthly: WEIRD LOVE
Buy it Here: https://www.mycomicshop.com/search?TID=25619219&affid=200301p0

IDW makes great collected editions and art books. I’m less enamored of their monthly titles. One that does get my vote for solid entertainment month in and month out is WEIRD LOVE.

The last company to mention is IMAGE, and I left them for last because they are the best. I get more books from IMAGE than all the other companies combined. In part 2 of this installment we’ll devote it to covering all the great monthly books available from Image.

— to be continued–

 

 

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Slims vs Comic Books! Diamond Preorders for books shipping July 2014!

The internet has made buying anything, a process far easier than I think we truly grasp. The technological leaps ahead that we have done in a few scant decades, taken for granted, underplayed and underacknowledged by a population seeking to numb itself from its horrors, by conversely meeting with jaded cynicism its wonders.

Reading is likewise much changed in the age of the atom.

This post particularly, concerns itself with reading slims (my name for the product hard-headedly referred to as a comic-book. Hardheadedly because it is neither typically humorous or a book).

The term ‘Slim’ poises it correctly as something periodic and sleek and a bit sexy and just as well suited for grownups as Dvds or books or paintings.

Today’s recommended Slims are:

Slims suffer from a bit of a distribution issue. For the most part you are not going to find them in the spinner racks of convenience stores any longer, nor in the big box superstores of say a Target or Walmart. So while Graphic Novels have never been more popular or influential in our society, the serialzed, periodic form of the Graphic Novel, the Slim, suffers from a visibity issue. They are hidden away for the most part in niche stores, called “direct market comic stores” that our misnomers that will not attract anyone but those already in the know, or nostalgia seekers.

It is an insular inbred model that does not shine its light beyond its own living room, and as such is not new reader friendly. Which is a shame, because as someone who has grown up with this oddest of hobbies and artforms, here in 2014 the width and breadth of story and art of the medium has never been better.

From scifi to mystery to historical drama to horror to humor to instructional to spy thriller, you name a genre and there is a writer, artist producing great work in this medium of Slims, of graphic literature.

That said there is, as in any medium, a lot of garbage out there, particularly in the most visible genre of Slims… the Superhero comic. A genre hampered by monopolistic collusion to the point the very term Super-hero has been jointly trademarked by the colluding companies of Marvel and DC. An idiotic trademark, attempting to own a term as much a part of the cultural venacular as God or myth or justice. But it is the choices of fawning to uncreative monopolistic interests that results in flooding the medium with a lot of noise, a lot of bad books.

The rising popularity of digital gives new options to find books, which is a great thing, however it also increases the odds that the books you come across will be bad, will be the noise rather than the signal.

And with Slims being $2.99 at best and $3.99 on the worse end, you can’t afford to experiment at this price point. This is no longer the day of 25cent comics, so each purchase of $2.99 or $3.99 has to justify itself. The $2.99 or $3.99 has to earn its value against a world rife with options from gaming to streaming to dvds to itunes to traditional books.

Which is why preordering is a pretty fantastic idea. Diamond is the monopoly that distributes Slims. Retailers order from them two months in advance. Customers like you and I preorder from Retailers. The benefit of preordering from your retailer… discounts of typically 35% to 40% off!!! WooHoo! Sign me up! :).

Now that said, that discount only means something if you’re ordering a great book. For a crappy book even getting 99% off is not reason enough to get the book.

So the following are books you can order by the end of May, at a discount, for July shipping. I’ve done the homework for you! 🙂

MAY140044
*
1 @ $0.60 = $0.60*1 FOR $1 MIND MGMT #1 (O/A)*
MAY140047
*
1 @ $0.60 = $0.60*1 FOR $1 STAR WARS (O/A) (C: 1-0-0)*
MAY140048
*
1 @ $0.60 = $0.60*1 FOR $1 THE MASSIVE #1 (O/A)*
MAY140050
*
1 @ $0.60 = $0.60*GOON OCCASION OF REVENGE #1 (OF 8) *Special Discount*
MAY140010
*
1 @ $1.75 = $1.75*GHOST #6*
MAY140062
*
1 @ $1.79 = $1.79*GREAT PACIFIC #18 (MR)*
MAY140707
*
1 @ $1.79 = $1.79*MANIFEST DESTINY #8*
MAY140712
*
1 @ $1.79 = $1.79*MERCENARY SEA #6*
MAY140713
*
1 @ $1.79 = $1.79*OUTCAST BY KIRKMAN & AZACETA #2 (MR)*
MAY140719
*
1 @ $1.79 = $1.79*REVIVAL #22 (MR)*
MAY140723
*
1 @ $1.79 = $1.79*SAGA #21 (MR)*
MAY140726
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1 @ $1.79 = $1.79*STAR WARS #19 2013 ONGOING (C: 1-0-0)*
MAY140085
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1 @ $1.79 = $1.79*WALKING DEAD #129 (MR)*
MAY140744
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1 @ $1.79 = $1.79*SIMPSONS COMICS #213*
MAY141127
*
1 @ $1.94 = $1.94*LOW #1 (MR) *Special Discount*
MAY140566
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1 @ $1.99 = $1.99*RAGNAROK #1 *Special Discount*
MAY140444
*
1 @ $1.99 = $1.99*USAGI YOJIMBO COLOR SPECIAL ARTIST ONE-SHOT *Special
Discount*
MAY140055
*
1 @ $1.99 = $1.99*TAROT WITCH OF THE BLACK ROSE #87 (MR)*
MAY141233
*
1 @ $2.07 = $2.07*BLACK SCIENCE #7 (MR)*
MAY140696
*
1 @ $2.10 = $2.10*LAZARUS #10 (MR)*
MAY140709
*
1 @ $2.10 = $2.10*MANHATTAN PROJECTS #22*
MAY140711
*
1 @ $2.10 = $2.10*MASSIVE #25*
MAY140071
*
1 @ $2.10 = $2.10*SKULLKICKERS #29*
MAY140730
*
1 @ $2.10 = $2.10*SOUTHERN BASTARDS #4 (MR)*
MAY140731
*
1 @ $2.10 = $2.10*STRAY BULLETS THE KILLERS #5 (MR)*
MAY140734
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1 @ $2.10 = $2.10*HALLOWEEN EVE ONE SHOT CVR A (O/A)*
MAY140640
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1 @ $2.39 = $2.39*MIGHTY AVENGERS #12*
MAY140795
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1 @ $2.39 = $2.39*MIND MGMT #24*
MAY140070
*
1 @ $2.39 = $2.39*BEAUTIFUL WAR #2*
MAY140447
*
1 @ $2.59 = $2.59*CALIBAN #4 WRAP CVR (MR)*
MAY141073
*
1 @ $2.59 = $2.59*SIMPSONS ILLUSTRATED #12*
MAY141129
*
1 @ $2.59 = $2.59*WEIRD LOVE #2*
MAY140541
*
1 @ $2.59 = $2.59*ENORMOUS #2 CVR A CHEGGOUR*
MAY141626
*
1 @ $2.79 = $2.79*TUKI SAVE THE HUMANS #1*
MAY141240
*
1 @ $2.79 = $2.79*BLACK KISS 2 XXXMAS IN JULY SPECIAL ONE SHOT (MR) (C:
1-0-0)*
MAY140601
*
Go here to order : http://www.dcbservice.com/
Tell em HT sent ya!

COMIC BOOK COVERS OF THE DAY

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Artist of the Day: Alex Ross!!

The only reason I started rereading comics or graphic novels or slims, is because of Alex Ross. I had turned my back on the medium, just tired of the juvenile art, the storytelling style, everything. Then Alex Ross exploded onto the scene with the one-two punch of the graphic novels MARVELS then KINGDOM COME.

Self contained, stand alone, complete stories, told with jaw droppingly astonishing painted art. People immediately began calling him the Norman Rockwell of comics, and that term is not quite undeserved.

Like Norman Rockwell, Alex Ross is able to imbue his scenes with a sense of homey Americana, that calls back a yearning to better, simpler days now passed… or perhaps never existed.

But he does more than imbue scenes with nostalgia, he does something Rockwell never did, perhaps never dreamt of doing, Alex Ross imbues his scenes with a sense of awe, of scale, of grandeur.

Of myth.

It has become habit these days for people without a fraction of Ross’ talent or vision to take his work for granted. To call his effort: extremism, and to call his meticulous paints: stiff, over rendering… I see nothing stiff or over-rendered in the work of Alex Ross but people are allowed their opinion, though the criticism always struck me as uninformed opinion.

It always struck me as the voices of jealous ants trying to deride an elephant. People disparaging Alex Ross, simply because he was that good.

Alex Ross is a meticulous perfectionist, who paints worlds that never were, but should be, and populates them with the stuff of faith…rewarded. Long before Hollywood made a habit of making our marvels real, Ross reached out to the lightning, and called down the thunder, and put it on paper, and gave us all a vision… to aspire to.

Many a painter has come on the sequential art scene since Ross’ mainstream debut, and they all bring something wonderful to the mix. But it’s a testament to Alex Ross’ skill, his understanding and his love for the heroic… that none of the numerous painters now in the medium, quite grasp that sense of grandeur that Ross brings to even the least of his creations.

All his creations look out at you with eyes that have seen the worst, yet still seem to say… “endure, be better.”

And end of the day, I figure… that’s not such a bad message for an artist and his art to leave us with. So for all these reasons Alex Ross is our Artist of the Day.

Check out all his work at the links below:

Site for Alex Ross Art and Info!

Mythology: The DC Comics Art of Alex Ross

Rough Justice: The DC Comics Sketches of Alex Ross

The Dynamite Art of Alex Ross HC

The World’s Greatest Super-Heroes

Absolute Justice

Absolute Kingdom Come

Uncle Sam: Deluxe Edition

COMIC BOOK SERIES OF THE DAY I of III: THULSA DOOM!

Arvid Nelson is a strong writer, I really like his work, and leave it to him to flesh out one of Robert Howards more underwritten, stereotyped characters. Plus fantastic covers!

It’s one of the books I would recommend picking up the slims (individual issues) over the graphic novel if you can find them. If not grab the graphic novel here: Robert E. Howard Presents Thulsa Doom SC!

GRAPHIC NOVEL Review : SIGHT UNSEEN Horror by Tinnell and Hampton!

Reviewing SIGHT UNSEEN Graphic Novel
Written by Robert Tinnell
Art by Bo Hampton
Published by Image Comics

Purchase your copy of SIGHT UNSEEN here!

Review Copyright 2011 Heroic Times
All rights reserved

When was the last time a book with pictures… scared you?

Gross you out? Yes. Surprise you or excite you? Certainly. With a clever page reveal, WALKING DEAD surprises all the time.

But scare you?

Sequential art (I don’t use the term comic-book, it’s not about elitism, it’s just I don’t like misnomers. The term comic-book may have been accurate 80 years ago, it just isn’t today. So you’ll catch me using a bunch of terms, GN. Trade, Collected Edition, Monthly, Slim [you read it here first:) ], but very rarely comic) being too far out of your head, lacks the ability a novel offers to surrender yourself to your internal dialog, and Sequential art being too much in your head, doesn’t allow you to surrender yourself to someone else’s external dialog.

So that should spell no to the idea of getting scared by the marriage of words and art, because fear requires loss of control, the surrender of your senses to the violation of the other (in terms of media film/tv/radio drama) or the hypnotism/violation of the self (novel).

Graphic Literature, slims, manga (insert your favorite nomenclature here) 🙂 is a bastard medium that is somewhere removed from those two extremes of submission, and as such is a medium that is in large part about viewing specific moments at your leisure. The ability to linger on a particularly affecting panel, or race through multiple panels, or rereading a word balloon, all define graphic sequential viewing as a medium for lovers of the moment, and as such you tend to be an aloof master of time in sequential stories, and fear requires you to be time’s slave.

I’ve read all kinds of slims. All kinds of horror GNs. I’ve read slims that have sickened me, disgusted me, surprised me.

But I have never read a slim that has scared me.

Based on all the reasons given, there is no such thing. At least that’s what I thought till I read Robert Tinnell’s and Bo Hampton’s SIGHT UNSEEN.

Published by Image Comics back in 2006, 5 years ago at this writing, it is a relatively unknown book and somehow that almost seems fitting; as if it is one of those whispered of tomes, more myth than matter.

SIGHT UNSEEN is a ghost story and like all ghost stories it requires, not that you believe, but that you want to believe. It requires that ineffable quality that all ghost stories require, your willingness to be— seduced. If for you horror is less splatter and gore and slasher or zombie, and instead is crystallized by titles like The Legend of Hell House (1973) and The Haunting (1963) than SIGHT UNSEEN is a book that waits… for you.

Specifics I always find idiotic things. I don’t read spoilers, I don’t read the back of paperbacks, that tend to give away lots of great things you should experience, rather than have told to you.

I come to reviews not looking to be told, beyond the most generic themes, what I’ll find, rather I ask only that you enlighten me to what I may feel.

And with that consideration, is how I review.

The most generic description of SIGHT UNSEEN is it is a book about a man who seeks to see the dead, foolishly perhaps not preparing… for the dead to see him. There’s a nice technological hook to the story that elevates it out of the ‘routine’ ghost story, and into the unusual and innovative.

Yeah, I hear you saying, but where does the scare come in?

Robert Tinnell creates an immersive engaging story, but with any other artist it would suffer from that normal distancing effect, that makes for a great graphic novel, or a nice static story, but not anything more than that.

No, the true alchemy here is with artist Bo Hampton.

Bo Hampton, does something in this GN that I have never seen in three decades of reading comics, he makes the characters move.

These static images, he arranges, he places, he cuts, he juxtaposes in such a way, that in moments he breaks that anchor of control, of distance, that is always there between word and picture, and should be there.

It is the charm of the medium that it is there, our control, and Bo Hampton with foreshortening, and blurring, and angles, and an inexplicable understanding of how to get behind our eyes, in brief moments sets us adrift from our control, and we find ourselves, not watching bad places, but in bad places and among bad things.

And that bit of immersion that the story of Robert Tinnell married to the art of Bo Hampton pulls off, is as close to alchemy as anything you’ll read in the story.

He creates sequential art that does two things that sequential art seldom or never does, match perfectly the tone of the story the writer tells AND match perfectly the angles and perspectives and images those words would invoke in your own head.

Hampton shatters that normal, fun difference and dissonance between writers perspective, artist perspective, and readers perspective that makes comics so expansive a medium, and by collapsing these three perspectives he creates a fetid, claustrophobic, dank, limiting idea space, that pulls you in.

And watches you.

In the years since first reading this… accident on paper, this odd confluence of genius or mania, I have never come across another sequential art book, by the creators or anyone else, that does what this book does. That makes a thing of words and pictures… writhe.

The book is called SIGHT UNSEEN and if your brain is wired anything like mine, the book will make you do something a ‘comic-book’ wasn’t designed to make you do.

It will make you look over your shoulder.

Your mileage may vary, but if it doesn’t… you are in for a treat.

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

WOLVERINE Dissected : What you should know before seeing the movie! or “Favorite and Best Wolverine Comic Book reads!”

wolvfire

Marvel is a company I don’t do on a Monthly basis anymore (DC as well for that matter), primarily because it makes no real sense to buy individual comics compared to picking up the collected trades. The ads are way too obtrusive, the price per story-page ratio… is too high, and the third thing missing is something called… feedback.

The letters page in comics.

The letterspage, true to its name, was a place in comics where letters to the editor was asked or answered. Some books’ pages were just okay, some were great, but all were appreciated. The effort and time the publishers put into producing these one or two pages, now sacrificed to ads, were appreciated, and I think helped build an audience.

And it’s not comparable to online message boards, because this dialog between audience and creator was informed dialog. And that does come from it being written and moderated and chosen, with an eye to self promotion on the companies part surely, but I also got the sense they were balanced pages that presented well thought out opinions of various shades.

Go read some of the old MASTER OF KUNG FU letters pages, or the old DEFENDERS letters pages, they are signposts of the times as much as discussion of any particular issues, and as such are great pop-culture time capsules.

And editorial at the big two comic book companies, Marvel and DC, have done away with those time-capsules, and to their detriment I believe.

When done right, that slim, floppy thing people inaccurately call a comic book, can give you an entertainment value, that you’re not going to get from the trade.

It, when done right, will give you an experience unique to the serial format. That differentiates it, from the trade paperback, or the movie, or the anime.

When done right a slim, forget the term comic book… it’s a misnomer, we’ll for this article call it a slim. 🙂 . Please send all royalties to me. 🙂 .

Anyhow, when done right the Slim… works. It’s a dose, a quick fix, as Ellis likes to say. When done right, they are worth seeking out.

Examples?

FELL by the Aforementioned Warren Ellis, bringing it back to Marvel CRIMINAL… they in scant pages not only give you an ad free story, but give you a dialog, this behind the scenes material, into the creator and the creative process.

And that’s something you don’t currently get from mainstream Marvel and DC comics.

I grew up in the 70s, so that letters page, I think for me and a generation of readers, and a generation before them; was this dialog about and into the creative process, the backmatter if you will of the stories.

And yes, I know now we have the internet, yada, yada, yada (I really hate that show 🙂 ) but that’s no replacement for a well moderated, and well edited Letterspage. But companies, want to cut costs and give you the lowest common denominator product for the highest cost.

And so today you who don’t know anything better, get the typical DC or Marvel monthly book. A book that is not worth picking up new (for me. For the rest of you buy 12 copies if you like, but for me… no).

My process typically is… if the book is getting really strong feedback, to wait a few months for the trade, avoid the ads, or pick up the back issues later for a fraction of cover price.

That said the only two Marvel Trades I’ve bought in the last year is Brubaker’s first DAREDEVIL trade, and Peter David’s first X-FACTOR trade. I’ve read quite a few at the library, and am just as glad I didn’t buy them. Now I do buy comics, I’ve spent over $1000 on books and trades last year, I just haven’t been buying Marvel.

That’s not to say they don’t have great stuff, and great creators.

They do.

But a great creator in service of soap opera drivel, is for me…a waste of a great creator.

Though I heard some of the books are really good. CAPTAIN AMERICA, WOLVERINE, GHOST RIDER, all with great creators… but I’m not piqued enough to deal with the Ads, the price, the crossovers, the lack of respect for the readers (you know what really sold Marvel Comics over DC in the 60s and 70s, it was the personality of Stan Lee. This concept of talking to, rather than at, your audience. This talk seen in his Soap Box articles (just collected), and in every letterspage. And there was something special about that particular odd brand of forum and dialog as practiced by the comics of yesterday. This arcane idea… of community.

You bring up the internet and I’m going to break your knees.)

The monthly books I do pick up, have either Letterspages (most Indies)or what Warren Ellis has coined “BackMatter”(CRIMINAL). It just shows the book isn’t just some assembly line piece of drivel, that editors are flooding the market with to try and bury books that are worth your time.

So yeah lacking all that can’t be bothered with new books from the big 2.

But as stated, I will pick up especially well reviewed book, that I find in the back issue bin for a $1 or less (the price all Marvel Comics should be 🙂 ).

And here are three old reviews I’m finally getting around to posting:

Trilogy of acclaimed Wolverine stories. They are:

Wolverine 32

Mark Millar spent a year on Wolverine, doing a story arc about Wolverine being turned by Hydra and killing heroes. While well received by fans and critics alike, I was rather underwhelmed. Finding it very much a one-trick pony of an idea, that stretched over 12 issues… felt very thin.

Millar’s last issue on the book however, in one self contained story, has more power and is plain better than his previous 12 issues combined.

And much of this issues success is owed to the dark, brooding, yet at the same time clean, crisp art of Kaare Andrews. Very much a David Mazzucheilli (sp) vibe.

WOLVERINE 32: PRISONER NUMBER ZERO is a very minimalist tale, of the dark days of the war, a concentration camp, a new commandant, and a little man… who will not die. Compelling and dangerous from first page to last. It’s the kind of issue that you can hand to people who don’t know comic-books and they will be… smitten. B+/A-.

Wolverine 56- It would be exactly two years after Millar’s story, before anyone did anything as good with the character. In this issue newcomer Jason Aaron pens his own one-shot…. about the man who cannot die.

This story THE MAN IN THE PIT much like the earlier PRISONER NUMBER ZERO finds our protagonist trapped and at the mercy of merciless men. MAN IN THE PIT is a good story. Jason Aaron clearly showing those writing chops that impressed me so much in THE OTHER SIDE. The art however is… is bad. Which it gives me pause to say, because I’m a Chaykin fan, like anyone else. Chaykin being an artist I liked very much in the late 80s, into the 90s with his BLACK KISS, AMERICAN FLAG, and POWER AND GLORY work.

However it is now 2008, and the rigors of a monthly schedule with few exceptions is a young man’s domain. Chaykin’s work here looking very phoned in. That last page is horrendously bad.

However while the look of the art itself is rushed and unfinished, you cannot fault Chaykin’s layouts. He still knows how to move your eye, and tell a story.

So even notching it for art. A strong issue: B.

However it does point out an issue, about making Wolverine a masochistic foil. The story points out the problem of Writers, not really knowing what to do with the character of Wolverine, falling back on just testing out their latest torture or “death of the day” on him.

Because a man is capable of receiving great punishment or to an extent rising from the dead, does not mean that every story trope has to revolve around this extreme. Or that he’s going to want to be put in a position every day to test that trope.

Because of tetnus shots, I can step on a rusty nail every day and not die. But just because I can doesn’t mean I’m going to. It’s unpleasant.

Wolverine/Logan is a world class spy and fighter and survivor. Yet nearly every issue, some writer has him getting shot in the head by a two bit punk, trapped in a pit, or otherwise the male equivalent of the bondage girls of the 40s and 50s.

I give Millar’s story a pass, because it’s a fable, in its own way a ghost story. However Aaron’s story while a good read, kinda asks you to believe that a character that can survive the Hulk: A/ is going to get trapped in a pit by losers and B/ having found himself trapped couldn’t just jump out the frigging pit.

Stories like this tend to dumb down and power down the character to put him in these inane situations where writers can go for the lowest common denominator. “Look I blew his jaw off”.

Wolverine/Logan is a hero and a dangerous fucking man not because he can heal from any wound, but because he doesn’t have to.

Read that last sentence again Marvel.

Unless you are Spiderman you’re not faster than Wolverine, and you’re not going to sneak up on him. You are not going to catch him by surprise. This dude is James Bond (albeit an uncouth James Bond) with Claws. And James Bond doesn’t stand around to get shot in the fing head.

Wolverine getting hurt, needing to use his healing factor, should be the exception not the rule.

It should happen so rarely villains don’t even know about it, and then when he does get shot, and rise from the dead so to speak, it’s this moment that has weight. Because in the previous year no one has even scratched this killing machine.

Claremount and Bryne, more than creators Dave Cockrum and Len Wein, defined this character. And arguably his finest hours were with Claremont and Miller in his first mini-series (still holds up), and with Claremont and Paul Smith in their 80s run in the UNCANNY X-MEN.

That said there are some new writers on the block who are doing some amazing work.

Possibly my favorite recent Wolverine story, even topping Millar’s PRISONER ZERO is Mike Carey’s one-shot FIREBREAK. It’s a wonderful story that uses a disintegrating marriage as the framework for this tale of an out of control wildfire and a blinded hero.

I was not a fan of mike Carey’s LUCIFER but I found this one-shot completely riveting. And the art by Scott Kollins is as frenetic and beautiful as ever (though you miss the tightness of an inker. The colorist probably doing inks and colors in photoshop, and you miss the strength of a real inker, finishing and interpreting the work). We accept the blindness aspect as one of the rare times the Hero gets hurt, but beyond that he gets mauled by a bear, shot down by Hydra goons. Hydra goons?! Comeon, blind or no, there’s no way they were going to shoot Peter Parker or James Bond point blank. So how are they going to take by surprise a man who can smell their adrenalin.

But that artistic license aside, a great issue. A-.

Well That’s all for this installment. Hope you’ve enjoyed me breaking up your favorite unbreakable mutant. Just in time for the movie no less. 🙂 .