This Week’s Comics Haul:

Strong showing this week! Good to see the semi-annual appearance of Powers; I have no idea what’s happening in that book but I’ve been buying it for so long and it’s so rare that it actually comes out I feel I owe it to…me? Bendis? Marvel? My priorities are messed up. Otherwise, the Before Watchmen experiment continues while Grim Leaper concludes, Aquaman (hopefully) wraps up the Black Manta arc before heading into DC’s incredibly stupid #0 issue gimmick.  Although certain web-comic creators would vehemently disagree, Gambit is actually pretty decent. Well, decent enough to warrant a purchase of a second issue.  What did YOU buy this week?
American VampireAquaman 12Before Watchmen: Minutemen 03Grim Leaper 04Gambit 02JIMPowers 11Wolverine & Friends XO Manowar

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This Week’s Comics Haul – Sweltering in the City Edition

It’s too hot to even move; best thing to do is find solace in some air conditioning with a stack of comics. What I picked up this week (And a rare show of restraint!); what did you get? Tell us in the comments!

AvX 08

Before Watchmen Silk Spectre 02

Daredevil 15

Fables 119

Invincible Iron Man 521

Justice League 11

Saga 05

The Dark Tower: The Man in Black 02

Wonder Woman 14

X-O Manowar 03

Books I’ve picked up in the past but this week I was able to show restraint and not buy:

Wolverine ($5 bucks??! C’mon) & Fantastic Four. . Granted it’s only two but it’s a start!

A strong crop of books this week; it’s difficult to pick out which one or two could be the stand-outs this week. But picking two, I’d say it’ll be X-O Manowar and… Daredevil. Daredevil ?!? Yes, DD. I like the current arc, hell, I’ve liked the entire relaunch. It’s a fun book that still feels dangerous for the characters. It’s a delicate balancing act and Mark Waid pulls it off.
Reviews and thoughts on these in the next few days, along with the kick off of the MB Interview series!

This Week’s Comics Haul featuring MILLIONS OF DOLLARS MILLIONS OF DOLLARS MILLIONS OF DOLLARS

AvX #6 – – reminiscent of The Authority.  Cyclops still auditioning for lead singer of Cameo. Hope actually looks like a teenager. Emma is wearing something wholly impractical. Thor v. Cyclops! Ok, this book has definitely redeemed itself, especially with the final panel & Cyclops pronouncement. This could actually be leading to something bad-ass! I will definitely stay tuned.

Before Watchmen: Comedian #01 – I’m starting to come around on these Before Watchmen titles. This offered some interesting twists on established ’60’s myths, so I applaud them for that.  The one thing that always bugged me about Watchmen  was, if seemingly everyone knew Eddie Blake was The Comedian at one point in time, why was everyone then so mystified & amazed when Rorschach uncovered Blake’s secret costume stash in Watchmen#1? Did everyone forget? Answers people! I need them!

Daredevil # 14 : A Date with DOOM!: Ok, it’s not really called that, but Dr. Doom does show up up.  In fact, last we saw Matt he was trapped in a box in Castle Doom in Latveria. HOW. WILL. HE . ESCAPE? I ain’t saying nuthin’ beyond “clever premise.”

Fables #118 – a terrifying twist I didn’t see coming. Much creepier than expected.

Grim Leaper #2 – Still an interesting premise, but the last panel, while disgusting, also introduced a brand new character  that had me leafing back through the book trying to figure out exactly who was being talked about. Hate that.  Though I dug the little 4 part EC Comics-esque story in the back, which featured a whole new disgusting way to kill someone.

Saga #04 – I guess Vaugh takes a while to get going.  The story is definitely ramping up and there’s super bizarre things popping up in every issue.  I just hope he starts to unveil a bit more of the narrative soon.

The Dark Tower: The Man in Black #01 – First off, The Stand  is one of my ALL-TIME favorite books (the unabridged version, of course). Odd then that it took me until just two years ago before I picked up The Dark Tower. While the comics were cool and some beautifully illustrated, they just felt like re-treads on something I’d just read.  I picked this up as a way to hopefully shine more light on one of King’s strongest creations, Randall Flagg a.k.a The Main in Black a.k.a The Walking Dude.

The Punisher #12 – Frank still has one eye, but that doesn’t stop him from stomping his female quasi-partner senseless in a trash-filled alley over a picture. Why am I still reading this?

The Walking Dead #99 – Set up set up set up.  Issue #100 promises to be huge.  At this point, how can they not kill Rick?  I think that’s the safe bet.  Or even crazier, EVERYONE gets eaten and they just end the series that way, on the darkest note possible.

Uncanny X-Men #14 – Did Mr. Sinister just say he was a eunuch? Regardless, an XCELLENT (see what I did there? That’s called laziness.) return to form here.  Mister Sinister, here in his current role as devilish 19th-century English gentleman, shines as a an almost unparalleled mastermind.  Really, like Lex-Luthor-from-Red-Son type shizz. From the interesting twist on “let loose the hounds!” to learning how far his genetic manipulation & cloning goes, Sinister as a serious threat is back. Pick this issue up.

Wolverine #308 – I can already tell this is going to be terrible…(opens cover) yep, I was right.  This is clearly House of 1000 Corpses / The Devil’s Rejects, just set in the Marvel U. & starring Wolverine.  It also seems that the “brain-wash Wolverine to be a secret killer thing” has gone beyond trope & into the realm of cliche. This was was much better done in Mark Millar & John Romita Jr’s Wolverine: Enemy of the State. 

Wonder Woman #10 – Not as good as past issues but it does feature an interesting escape from Hell and a dog-headed medusa gets head-butted by an Englishman. HEADBUTTS FOR ALL.

Side Note: What’s with the MILLIONS OF DOLLARS MILLIONS OF DOLLARS MILLIONS OF DOLLARS ? Read With Leather’s Best & Worst of Raw to find out.  It’s one of the highlights of my Internet week.

This Week’s Comic’s Haul also; What’s up WIth Marvel’s Man Thong Fascination?

Amazing Spider-Man #687 – Excellent cover art, so-so resolution to the story with the death of a “Who?  Oh. Who cares?” character.  Also, there was a blatant rip off of one of the most emotional and epic spider moments from the past, ever.  Look in the comments for details as again, no spoilers but this had nowhere near the poignancy that the orignal moment did. (Hint: It involves the Juggernaut.  The original, not this Colossus bastardization).

American Vampire: Lord of Nightmares #01- So I picked this up, I just haven’t read it yet.  Have you been reading American Vampire? You should be.

Avengers #27 – I was never clear on who the Protector was in the first place, so him apparently getting the boot form The Avengers is no big deal.  The whole book moves so quickly from betrayal to betrayal to a non-resolution; the two best things about this book were: A) The cover and B)When it was over. They also completely gloss over HOW  this particular squad of Avengers managed to avoid burning up in the sun.  You have all of the members on the ship, preparing to fry, Thor is outside the ship, grimmacing and clearly prepping for the worst and then VOILA!  they’re on the Kree home world stomping the Protector flat.  Done with this book.

Batman #10 – WEAK SAUCE. How many times are they going to retcon the Batman mythos?

Batman & Robin #10 – Damien is a giant asshole and a wonderful character to read.  His casual dismissal of hardened criminals and more experienced Robin’s is balanced by his running off to get his dog for a portrait and as he dashes out of panel you can see his shoe laces are untied.  Balancing the psychotic assassin side with the 10 year old boy side is a clever little touch.  Details  like that let me know both the artist and the writer are actually putting some thought into their books.

Before Watchmen: Silk Spectre #01 – It’s not a bad read at all, though it has a heavy  Archie  vibe.  Still, I don’t get why these (and more coming) exist.  Well, okay, I get why they exi$$$t, but was Watchmen really begging for prequels?  No.  But what the hell, I’ll read them.  BONUS: Check after the jump for the oh-so-clever (ed.note: It’s not clever) facial joke.

Fantastic Four #607 – Another clever moment involving kids, this time a little punk bad mouths The Black Panther within T’Challa’s earshot and while walking backwards, backs into the king.  Like all loudmouths, he quickly goes mum and mutters something about wanting to ride Elephants with Franklin.  I found it to be a nice joke panel.  Otherwise, something about Egyptian gods and a well I don’t even know.

Incredible Hulk #09 – This series is so uneven! Hulk’s in Atlantis (well, the Atlantean version of a hick border town, really) where some stupid nonsense happens.  Best part: Sailor to Captain: “The cannons are loaded with hammerheads.  Crabs are whipped into a frenzy. And every Atlantean on board is heavily armed and drunk to the gills.” Moments later, Captain to sailor: “KEEP FIRING! KEEP DRINKING!” Otherwise, not important.  Skip this.

Invincible #92 – Totally getting this out of habit only.  Once issue #100 hits I’m out.

Spider-Men #01 – Complete and total set up issue.  Avoid.

Ultimate Comics X-Men #13 – Done reading the Ultimate Comics line. I don’t care about what’s happening, any of the remaining characters and the plots are stupid.

Uncanny X-Force #26 – Another X-book I’m going to stop reading.  A fleet of Omega Red variations show up, can’t kill Wolverine or alterna-Nightcrawler, Deadpool sucks now that he doesn’t have his healing factor anymore, I do not care about Fantomex or Psylocke sooooo….passing on UXF from here on out.

After the jump, the Marvel’s Mysterious Man Thongs

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This Week’s Comic Haul With BONUS Reflections

This is what happens when you slack off; you have to combine two posts into one.  NOW YOU KNOW.  Let’s get to it:

Animal Man #10 – The exceptional run continues.  Buddy Baker’s wife continues to ignore good advice, his son with the exceptional mullets meets someone unexpected, flying dogs to the rescue and Buddy finding out what’s in store for him…good issue.

Avengers vs. X-Men #05 – GAH.  My brain…definite points for coming up with an ending I did not see coming.  Whether that ending is any good…I’ll discuss further in the comments to keep this as spoiler free as possible.

Before Watchmen: The Minutemen #01 – So torn on buying this book but in the end, what are you going to do? Not buy it?  It’s Watchmen, for chrissake.  Even if it is a complete and utter train wreck.  But you know? I didn’t hate this issue.  There were some interesting allusions made, some tentative groundwork laid.  HOWEVER. Was Watchmen so successful due in some part to the fact that you didn’t have the complete story?  That even after 12 issues, you had to drawn your own conclusions?    Whatever this series becomes (I’m talking about the entire Before Watchmen plan DC’s got) I’m hoping it doesn’t trample upon the original too much.  I’ll definitely be reading the original 12 after these all wrap up.

Detective Comics #10 – Seemed like a placeholder title, honestly.  I’ll give it until #12 before I decide whether to continue reading or not. The villain had a cool design at least.

Harbinger #01 – YES. SO AWESOME.  I have zero idea how old you are or how long you’ve read comics, but I first became aware of Valiant Comics through my local comic shop & Wizard back when I was still buying every shit derivative Blood/Fire/Death/Hell/Stryke book Image was putting out.  By then it was too late; the early books were way too scarce and way too expensive for someone with a 20 hour a week minimum wage job to pick up.  But the sense that these were somehow different and better  definitely permeated the first few years of Valiant, before they expanded their line, got caught up in the creative and production death spiral that was Deathmate (look it up), started pumping out double chromium covers on everything and eventually got bought by Acclaim before finally dying an ugly death.  WELL.  Now it’s back and back to basics and it F’N RULES.  Buy this.  X-O Manowar too.  So excited to see where these go from here.  Toyo Harada is a bad mutha.

Swamp Thing #10 – This also had the feel of a tweener issue. The artist also swapped out for the book, so that was a bit disconcerting.  I’m intrigued by Anton Arcade though.  Seeing as how he killed Swamp Thing and all this…

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #11 – Like Phil Collins said, I don’t care anymore.  Sorry Miles, I’ve been with you for 11 issues and I’m getting your book out of habit more than anything else.  Time to break on out of here.

Uncanny X-Men #13 – I think Marvel wants me to stop giving them my money.  At least for X titles.  Storm narrating how her husband The Black Panther beat the shit out of her? “He eventually got his K.O.”? Is this a video game? Then Rulk snapping Psylocke’s arm via joint manipulation?  LIKE HE WOULDN’T HAVE JUST TORN IT OFF AND BEAT HER TO DEATH WITH IT.  GTFO.  Then some story about some X third stringers I don’t care about.  Then a last page appearance by Super Slut Force. (See comments as I don’t want to give any spoilers here).

XO Manowar #02 – Can I just read this every week? So awesome. In case I didn’t say it strongly enough earlier, you should really be reading these Valiant books.  Especially with Bloodshot and Archer & Armstrong on the way.