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Best of 2013 Part 2c: Monthly Comics

A few days ago I did my best of 2013 list for the books I had read in the second half of the year. In a departure from previous such lists I divided the books and the comics into separate posts so that I didn’t have one massive post up. Massive posts are a bit tough to handle, especially when you are promoting them on social media. And with the split posts, the directions are different and there’s no unnecessary crossover.

So, with the novels and graphic novels already having been covered, I now delve into my favourite monthlies of the year. This is the final “best of” list I’m doing for 2013 that involves reading.

You can check out my top-of-the-month lists on my Reading Awards page and this list is both an extension, and a continuation of what goes on there.

Let’s see what makes the cut and which comes close then!

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Comics Picks of The Week 16.10.2013

This was another week with me reading far more non-DC comics than DC comics, as was the case in September. Lots of great variety in the comics this week, especially a lot of exciting new series with their first issues. There are a few other series that I’m looking forward to reading in the next few days, particularly catching up with some favourites like Bill Willingham’s Fables, of which I’ve read the first two volumes, and some Top Cow books.

Which brings me to the my usual complaint with my comics reading: the lack of being able to read any graphic novels. I fully expected to be able to move through at least two this week but I got caught up reading a really big fantasy novel that proved to be a tough slog, not to mention a sudden fascination with the Candy Crush game on my iPad and my smartphone, so I’ve been whiling away a lot of time. No idea what’s gonna happen this week, but as always, I’m hopeful!

In the meantime, here’s another edition of this new feature. Full reading list, as always, is available here and all my comics reviews are available here.

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Comics Picks of the Week 04.09.2013

DC’s Villain’s Month kicked off in style last week with several one-shots featuring some of DCU’s biggest villains, plus the first in Geoff Johns’ new event series. Its certainly been a power month for DC. Sadly, I didn’t get a chance to read any Marvel comics this weeks, which sucks, but hoping to change that this week.

One can hope!

So once again, in no particular order, here are the comics I read this week, the reviews I put up for them, and my top picks. Full reading list, as always, is available here and all my comics reviews are available here.

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Action Comics #23.1 by Michael Alan Nelson (Comics Review)

As I mentioned in my review of Supergirl #21-23 a week back, I had a lot of fun getting back into the title with the creative change of writer Michael Alan Nelson and artist Diogenes Neves. Up until then (actually till about #19), the series had been plodding along, going from one boring story arc to another, and I had lost faith in the title almost completely. So much so in fact that I had taken a 10-month break in between.

With Michael and Diogenes coming in however, the title gained a new life and I’m finally really excited about reading this book. However, in Villain’s Month, Supergirl has not been trusted with an issue of its own, which is rather sad since there is a distinct lack of female creators and female heroes being featured during this time. And with Cyborg-Superman being put forward as a distinctively Supergirl villain, it is odd to see his Villain’s Month issue being main-titled under the Action Comics banner. DC marketing clearly has a loose hold on how best to put forward all their titles.

Either way, I was really excited for this issue, given how Supergirl #23 ended, and because I’ve come to really like Michael’s work. Of course, I’ve even had the pleasure of meeting him in person and discussing his plans for Supergirl, so cue more excitement. I had no idea at the time that he was going to be moving forward with this title like this, so I’m quite elated to see where he goes next.

Note: This review contains major spoilers for Supergirl #23 (primarily the ending).

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Supergirl #21-23 by Michael Alan Nelson (Comics Review)

Supergirl. Maid of Might. Girl of Steel. Superman’s cousin. She has been a mainstay of DC comics for a number of years and has featured in several different mediums over that time, right alongside big blue. Most recently, the character’s biggest break was as a recurring character on CW’s Smallville, a show that lasted ten full seasons and featured Supergirl in several key episodes during the later seasons. Played by Linda Vandervoort, this version of Kara Zor-El was an elder cousin who had managed to escape the destruction of Krypton but had become stuck in her pod’s stasis field during a crash on Earth. Other than the movie Supergirl where the character was played by Helen Slater, this was Supergirl’s biggest outing.

And then came the New 52 in September 2011 and rebooted her comics continuity, and even gave her a much bigger platform than before. Universe reboots tend to do that. I read all the first twelve issues and even the special Zero issue last year, but I struggled to connect with the character. I just couldn’t. Mike Johnson and Michael Green’s scripts had a lot of potential, but the execution often fell short for me. And I stuck with the title for that first year because I love the character.

With the advent of the announced creative change from issue #20, with Michael Alan Nelson being brought in (and new artist being brought in for #21, Diogenes Neves), I decided to get back to the title and suffer through the H’el on Earth issues so I could be caught up with everything that had happened since I had stopped at #0.

Note: Contains spoilers for the previous issues, especially the H’el on Earth event issues.

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