Starting off slow; Hibbs on 7/23/14

OK, spam  on the site locked down, new store pretty close to squared away, maybe I am now in place to start reveiwin' again.  I've certainly been missing it somewhat. I can't promise this will be every week (in fact, I think I feel confident in announcing that this will NOT be each and every week... unless I do one of those Patreon thingies, in which case then it would be a paid job, and thus an obligation.  But I'm not thinking about doing that until I can prove to MYSELF that I can stay on this horse for a little while. Let's just go full capsule-style under that jump.

AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE #6: Man, talk about a crazy good issue of a crazy good comic book. I wish these came out more frequently, sure, but damn if this isn't worth waiting for! EXCELLENT.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #4 SIN: The "weird" thing is that the Doc Ock stuff was really really really working, and there wasn't exactly a great creative reason to bring back Peter; and so much of the "what's next" appears to be tied up in multiple versions of Spider-Man, anyway, which less reason to bring back Peter, right? "Secret other spider-person locked in a vault for 10 years" is, I guess, a thing, but it strikes me that it is a thing that absolutely takes focus away from Peter and having's Peter's stories be about PETER (because, otherwise, why bring him back?).  I guess that's a long, tangled way of saying: EH.

BATMAN #33 (ZERO YEAR): Oh, oh, finally "Zero Year" ends.  I'm sure it will read pretty swell as a book, but as individual comics I mostly thought it was meandering and plodding.  However! I liked the end if only because it it was a generally cerebral conclusion, with a battle of wits at the core. I've got a strong GOOD in my heart for this.

BATMAN AND ROBIN #33 (ROBIN RISES): I have to say that I prefer a Batman who tries to, y'know, sneak around the JLA, to one who just quits when he doesn't get his way.  And damn if I don't think this book looks crazy fabulous, too -- but I'm having a great deal of cognitive dissonance with the DC universe insisting to me that Darkseid is actually a scary threat when I and you both know that he was always just All Talk in the previous continuity, while at the same time insisting that everything that had to do with Ras' al Ghul DID happen just like they've shown it before. So this storyline has me torn between "awesome!" and "Yeah, but no!".  A slightly less enthusiastic GOOD then?

BATMAN ETERNAL #16: With some more artistic consistency, this could be the greatest "big" Batman story ever (It's certainly more coherant than, say, "Knightfall" or "Cataclysm"), but, man, do I get whiplash of the art when reading this. I'm really liking the little game they're playing with the spectre here, and I like the "new" additions to the cast, and, yeah, I just generally think this is a golden age to be a Batman fan, I guess, so, here's a solid GOOD, too.

NEW 52 FUTURES END #12: I've lost the thread of this. I felt like I skipped an issue or something? But I didn't? Mostly I just don't care? Sales are horrific on it at both stores, too, so I guess I am not alone. AWFUL.

STAR SPANGLED WAR STORIES GI ZOMBIE #1: And now for thirteen words I never thought I would type: I was genuinely impressed with STAR SPANGLED WAR STORIES FEATURING GI ZOMBIE #1. Absolutely, positively not what I was expecting (felt very much like a gritty HBO pilot, not even slightly "Star Spangled"; had extremely realistic art, and low SFX, which is the opposite of what the covers promised). Color me shocked, this was VERY GOOD.  It will, however, be cancelled before a year is out, I'm sure. The cover and title is entirely wrong for the book.

SUPREME BLUE ROSE #1: If you're going to follow up on the Alan Moore notions of "The Supremacy", and so on, then this was nearly a perfect 90 degree turn away from the last version, I think.  I am intrigued by where this might go, but at the same time I am worried that Warren Ellis is only on for his usual six issues, in which case, why bother talking it up? It was clearly GOOD, though.

Hey, how about a graphic novel review?

SECONDS GN:  You know, I kind of loved Bryan Lee O'Malley's Chibi-style art here, and the narrative flow, but I absolutely hated the end of the story -- the protagonist learns not a thing, and rather things being driven by "Well, maybe I shouldn't change time/space because it hurts other people", the narrative is all driven by the protagonist's feelings and imaginary magical beings.  "A Wizard Did It" is, at the end of the day, crappy storytelling, and while one could totally forgive the shallow SCOTT PILGRIM for that (because I read that shallowness as an essential part of the story), one expects a little more from the "sophomore" work, doesn't one? I really liked the style and most of the execution of the work, but I thought as a piece of art it kind of failed the test of Humanity. Strongly OK is about as good as I can muster.

Right, so that's me this week.  What did YOU think?