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Comics Picks For 12.02.2014

A stable week for a change and this meant that I was able to read some more comics this time. Didn’t get through quite as many as I wanted to, and I certainly didn’t get around to reviewing as many as I wanted to, but that’s fine really. Gotta take a bit of an occasional lighter load I think. Most of the Marvel books I read this week weren’t all that impressive (as the top picks at the end will show), but DC was better. And Vertigo’s newest series looks to be damn good too, can’t wait to check out the second issue of that next month.

And I did manage to begin my Flash New 52 read-through finally with volume 1 last night, so that’s something there. Planning to read a lot of graphic novels this year, mostly in terms of catching up with series I’ve missed out on, so we shall see how it all pans out.

Anyway, 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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She-Hulk #1 (Comics Review)

Up until some time last year, hard to pin down exactly when, but I’m thinking middle of the year, I had no idea that She-Hulk even existed. For that matter, up until a handful of months before that, I had no idea that there was a Red Hulk. In fact, the only Hulk I’ve ever known about is Bruce Banner’s plain-joe Hulk. Still, it was exciting to hear that Marvel was launching a new She-Hulk series for its All-New Marvel NOW! launch-wave, though my excitement was tempered by the fact that Charles Soule, a writer I don’t like all that much and would prefer to avoid altogether, was on the writing duties for this.

I went in with an open mind because She-Hulk is a character that I am really interested in exploring more, but all the same, I ended up being disappointed. That too for the reasons I expected, and a few that I didn’t expect. The big culprit here is the art, unfortunately, making this the second of Marvel’s new series I’ve read this week that failed for me on the art level, and which has a passingly good story, more mediocre than anything. I frankly expected more out of this.

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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 11.12.2013

Looks like its going to be the month of busy weeks. The last two weeks I’ve read two graphic novels each along with all my regular monthlies and this past week proved to be no different. Both Detective Comics Volume 4 and The Flash Volume 4 proved to be exceedingly good and now I have two more series that I need to catch up on for the New 52. Tall order, but doable. And as regards the usual monthlies, there were comics across the board, in all sorts of ways: genres, publishers, characters, etc, etc. The year has slowly transformed over the months into a really solid year for comics overall.

I still haven’t made any dent in the pile of graphic novels I have to read, but I’m not too worried about any of it, to be honest. Already used to that phenomenon from my novel reading.

Anyway, 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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Advent Review #9: Infinity by Jonathan Hickman (Graphic Novel Review)

This year has certainly been the year of mega-crossovers and events. Barely does one stop when the next one begins. With Marvel, it was, first, their Marvel NOW! relaunch last fall, which was quickly followed by the universe-wide Age of Ultron, and then immediately after that we delved into TWO crossover events. The first of these was Avengers and New Avengers scribe Jonathan Hickman’s grand space opera Infinity and the other was Battle of the Atom (Part 1, Part 2) for the primary X-Men team books and was penned by multiple writers. And barely has either event finished that we are moving on to the next event: Inhumanity, which has already begun in bits and pieces but won’t kick into overdrive until next year. And not to forget, Marvel’s Ultimate universe is also undergoing its own event right now, Cataclysm which just might see the destruction of that setting.

So indeed, there’s been a lot going on at Marvel next year, including their All-New Marvel NOW! relaunch of certain titles from the current range and which will see some new books debuting as well. Through all of it, I’ve stuck with only two events: Battle of the Atom and Infinity. The former event had a really good start in its first month but fizzled out completely in the second. The latter, which I just read back-to-back (just the core event issues), has been a much better read, primarily because of its incredible scope which covers a lot of different characters and teams and organisations within the Marvel-616 universe and thus giving the reader a good taste for all of it.

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Superior Spider-Man Team-Up Special #1 by Mike Costa (Comics Review)

Earlier this month, writer Mike Costa began a 3-part crossover story that focused on some of Marvel’s premier heroes, the young X-Men of the past from All-New X-Men, Bruce Banner/Hulk from Indestructible Hulk and Otto Octavius/Spider-Man from Superior Spider-Man. This was a story that brought together a very informal team to deal with a very specific, and quite incidental threat, and thus far, the highlight of the crossover was in the interactions between the characters and the light-hearted charm that Mike brought.

Concluding in this week’s Superior Spider-Man Team-Up Special #1, the crossover continues to highlight the fact that what Mike was trying to do here was all about the characters. These are guest issues by him since he’s not working on any of the three titles, and I think it creates a nice way of getting onboard with these characters since you don’t really need to know much about them, other than the broad general stuff, particularly in the case of Otto Octavius being the Superior Spider-Man.

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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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Indestructible Hulk Special #1 by Mike Costa (Comics Review)

The Hulk is a character who has been building up some some steam in the movie side of things for a good while now. There was the first movie with Eric Bana as Bruce Banner, in which Bana gave a fantastic performance that was let down by the script. Then there was the second movie with Edward Norton which had a decent script but a boring performance from the lead. And then was last year’s The Avengers with Mark Ruffalo and that had a fairly solid script AND some decent acting. Ultimately, its the movies where I’m most familiar with the character, outside of some animated appearances here and there.

I haven’t read a single Hulk comic to date unfortunately, and that is something that I’ve been meaning to rectify of late with the current ongoing in the Marvel NOW! relaunch from last year, written by Mark Waid and drawn by Walter Simonson. But, as is usual, I can’t seem to find the time. Which is where Mike Costa’s Special #1 comes in, which has a completely different story and is part of a trilogy of specials across three different titles, telling a connected story. The first installment was great, and the same can be said of this one too.

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All-New X-Men Special #1 by Mike Costa (Comics Review)

With Marvel’s ongoing Battle of the Atom crossover event across the X-Men books, I’ve finally given in and started to read these books. I was already following Brian Wood’s X-Men but having read the first month’s worth of Battle of the Atom issues, I have this hankering to catch-up on both All-New X-Men and Uncanny X-Men, mostly because these series are still “young” and the catch-up isn’t too daunting. There’s already a new issue of the former out, yesterday, and I’ll be reading it soon.

However, before I do any of that catch-up, I decided to read Mike Costa’s one-shot All-New X-Men Special #1, following an interview he did with CBR regarding the Arms of the Octopus mini-crossover he is writing across All-New X-MenIndestructible Hulk and Superior Spider-Man. It was a fun interview and it got me really interested in the story here, so I went ahead with reading the issue. I was expecting something a bit intriguing and entertaining. I ended up getting something that I really enjoyed on all levels, something that is worth rereading and is memorable.

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