Badly Recapped: Gideon Falls #18

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JEFF LEMIRE – writer

ANDREA SORRENTINO – artist

DAVE STEWART – colors

STEVE WANDS – lettering & design

RAUL ALLEN – variant cover

 

Synopsis in a Sentence: The Bishop sends Fred and Angie on a mission from God while Norton/Danny and his father escape the hospital to go on a mission of their own.

 

The issue kicks off in the bloody hospital room with Clara questioning her dad about the dead guy he presumably killed. She gets called away to view some camera footage that shows the true culprit was a nurse. Meanwhile dad and Danny bond over the knowledge that the Smiling Man is real, and they’ve both seen him. While Clara goes to search for the nurse, these two sneak out to seek out the Ploughmen, a name we haven’t heard in quite awhile.

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Meanwhile, the Bishop is giving Father Fred, Dr Xu, and the readers some much needed exposition about just what the hell is going on. Apparently the OG Norton Sinclair from 1900 built a machine in the black barn that not only caused a dimensional rift, creating multiple Gideon Falls (Falls’? Fallses? Whatever.) over different times, it also unleashed a hungering evil.

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Nice job Norton.

This was another solid issue of a consistently great horror comic. Jeff Lemire knows when to throw the readers an informational bone, and Andrea Sorrentino’s moody art is as complimentary as ever. There are some gruesome horror moments to be had, but the full page spreads (4 in this issue), while cool, really eat up the page count. There’s a Wizard of Oz moment from the Bishop that made me roll my eyes, but overall I enjoyed Gideon Falls #18.

8.9/10

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Badly Recapped: Comics week of 8/21/19

CRIMINAL #7

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Synopsis in a Sentence: Ricky Lawless gets restless and reckless.

THOUGHTS

  • Just another stellar issue from Brubaker and Phillips
  • My one complaint- wish there was a character and/or recap page like in The Fade Out
  • I love these flawed characters and their interactions with one another
  • If you want to get into comics but aren’t a fan of superheroes, pick up anything this team is doing at the time and you won’t be disappointed

9.5/10

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DAREDEVIL #10

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Synopsis in a Sentence: “Daredevil” saves North from being murdered by his fellow officers.

THOUGHTS

  • Vast improvement on the art from the last few issues
  • The onemonepnoeia lettering wasn’t great. Yeah, I’m bitching about lettering.
  • Matt’s guilt over sleeping with a married woman may be moot, as it looks like Mindy may go back to her husband. Which is probably a good thing since Elektra shows up at the end.
  • Will North get off Daredevil’s ass now that Matt saved him and is going to take the heat from the failed murder attempt on him?
  • Matt’s client knows he’s Daredevil now. Who killed his brother. Methinks it could be an issue.
  • Will Spider-man show up for a brawl with DD like next month’s cover art suggests?

9.0/10

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POWERS OF X #3

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Synopsis in a Sentence: The Year 100 X-Men battle Nimrod to smuggle info to the past to prevent this timeline.

THOUGHTS

  • This is my favorite Powers issue, I think mostly because it focused on one timeline instead of jumping between four
  • Hickman found a way to do time travel (which I love anyway) without doing time travel- suck it haters!
  • The end was tragic but also such a cool moment. It made me rethink Wolverine and how hard being the best there is at what he does must be for him sometimes.
  • I’m really glad Marvel is putting this series out every week, and I’ll be sad to see it end

9.0/10

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Badly Recapped: Comics week of 8/14/19

GIDEON FALLS #16

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Synopsis in a Sentence: Norton/Danny meets his maybe sister Clara in the more rural version of Gideon Falls, and both visit their father in the hospital who becomes a secret host of the Smiling Man. Bonkers.

THOUGHTS

  • Nice glimpse into the past showing Clara and Danny as kids, and use of a childhood injury tying to a scar on Norton, so maybe he really is Danny?
  • If you’re not reading this, you have no idea what I’m talking about at all. But you should be reading it because it’s a great horror comic.
  • Great imagery throughout, per usual
  • I don’t know if I mentioned it before, but these issues always feel short. Maybe I just read it faster because I want to know what happens next.

9.5/10

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BLACK HAMMER/JUSTICE LEAGUE: HAMMER OF JUSTICE! #2

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Synopsis in a Sentence: The Justice League mope around Black Hammer farm, the Black Hammer team deal with a Starro invasion in Metropolis, and John Stewart and Colonel Weird look for a way to put the teams back where they belong.

THOUGHTS

  • Not a fan of the art, especially the Black Hammer sheriff
  • I like that Bruce still goes on nightly patrols in the quiet town
  • I also like how Gail can’t really swear in the DC Universe
  • The stuff with John and Weird was terrific- the best parts of the two issues so far
  • Nice little cliffhanger that correlates with a major part of the original Black Hammer series

8.5/10

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POWERS OF X #2

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Synopsis in a Sentence: The beginning of the Xavier/Magneto alliance still leads to the destruction of the world via a galaxy consuming intelligence. Or something.

THOUGHTS

  • There was A LOT to take in in this issue
  • I may be a big dummy
  • This was a let down after House of X #2
  • Is Hickman a genius or a madman?
  • I do enjoy the concept of the time jumps, but it’s difficult to see how they are affecting one another at this stage
  • The art in both series has been top-notch

8.0/10

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ANALOG #7

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Synopsis in a Sentence: Jack gets in bar fight in Miami while on a job; Sam and Oona blackmail some guy; I lose patience with this book.

THOUGHTS

  • I don’t know what this story is
  • Is there a story?
  • This was a Peacock pick, so why am I reading it?
  • It’s actually one of the better issues, but I don’t care about any of it
  • My score is going to seem ridiculously high, but like I said above, it’s not bad. I’m just not invested.
  • Either Sam is a little person, or Oona is a giant, or the art is just off.

8.0/10

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Badly Recapped: Comics week of 8/7/19

Trying something new here because I’m lazy. Just the briefest of thoughts on all the comic books I read each week. So here goes…

DOOM PATROL #2

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Synopsis in a Sentence: Cliff gets a new robot body and Larry hatches three positivity eggs from his chest and Lotion eats one and the gang prevent a couple planets from getting divorced. (Yeah, it’s a run-on sentence, but you try summing up this book briefly.)

THOUGTS

  • This book is so bizarre, but there are enough fun moments to keep me interested
  • I really need to pick up the previous run
  • I really need to read Way’s Umbrella Academy
  • I love the two-page spread of Danny Land
  • I also love Cliff’s level-up ability after performing acts of kindness

8.5/10

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THE GREEN LANTERN #10

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Synopsis in a Sentence: Multiversal Green Lanterns must team together to fix a rift… I think….

THOUGHTS

  • This book is so bizarre, but not in a fun Doom Patrol way
  • This issue makes me want to drop Green Lantern
  • What the fuck is going on in this book?
  • The art is still good I guess
  • The issues of this run that have been weird but accessible are being heavily outweighed by ones that slap the reader in the face for not knowing obscure DC history
  • I liked the Living Lantern lady (who after somewhat extensive searching I found out is the Tangent Lantern, and is either a different universe’s Lois Lane, Zatanna, or neither, I think.)
  • I don’t want to have to look up multiple characters, events, or places to enjoy a comic book- sorry

6.0/10

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INVISIBLE WOMAN #2

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Synopsis in a Sentence: Sue and Nat chase down leads to Tintreach’s whereabouts in the slums of Madripoor.

THOUGHTS

  • Still digging the art style, though a couple spots were wonky
  • The Raiders of the Lost Ark drinking game homage was pretty lame, especially the way Sue “won”
  • Otherwise I did like seeing Invisible Woman’s uses of her powers, notably turning parts of a building invisible to tail a baddie
  • Black Widow is so badass
  • Spoilers- Tintreach had a wife all along. That’s the cliffhanger.

7.0/10

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SPACE BANDITS #2

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Synopsis in a Sentence: Our two anti-heroines bust out of prison by stealing others’ escape plan and set out to get their bloody revenge on those that wronged them.

THOUGHTS

  • Not as fun as the first issue
  • Felt a little generic- hopefully the revenge stuff picks things up
  • OK art, but the colors steal the show
  • Seems to be moving really fast, and I’m not sure that’s a good thing

7.0/10

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HOUSE OF X #2

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Synopsis in a Sentence: “The many lives of Moira X” shape the possible futures of mutantkind.

THOUGHTS

  • This is the Hickman-iest X book yet, and if you’re a fan of his that’s a good thing
  • As a Hickman fan, I’m a sucker for the Moira timelines pages
  • I can see how the two artless pages of exposition at the beginning would turn some people off
  • Resurrection would be a cool power, but it might get maddening
  • I’ve enjoyed the two House books far more than the one Powers book I’ve read

9.5/10

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DAREDEVIL #9

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Synopsis in a Sentence: After much soul searching, Matt finds reason again to dawn a mask and fight for the downtrodden.

THOUGHTS

  • Did you know Matt is Catholic?
  • I really miss the art from the first arc
  • Why is the nun way more attractive than Matt’s love interest?
  • Cool seeing Reed Richards- does he know Matt is Daredevil though?

8.0/10

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Badly Recapped: Paper Girls #30

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BRIAN K VAUGHAN – writer

CLIFF CHIANG – artist

MATT WILSON – colors

JARED K FLETCHER – letters & design

DEE CUNNIFFE – color flats

 

Synopsis in a Sentence: The paper girls get a restart to their first day together with no memories of their adventures, but the promise of friendship to come regardless.

 

We’ve finally hit the end of the bittersweet road with Erin, Mac, Tiffany, and KJ. I’ve been reading this book since issue 1, and it’s the only ongoing series I’ve seen through to the finale since I started reading comics 5 or so years ago. Has it been a perfect series? No, I can’t say that. There were times when I was downright frustrated with how Brian Vaughan kept us in the dark. But I’m damn glad I stuck with this book, and there were definitely more good times than bad. On to the recap…

We begin with Mac feeling out of place at KJ’s bat mitzvah before Erin enters, whose name neither of the former can remember. Erin begins to remind them that they can’t forget that they were friends, something the quartet tried desperately to remember when they were mind-wiped and returned from the future last issue. Before we can get too worried that their memories are gone, Terminator Tiffany busts in and blasts the other 3 with rainbow-emitting guns, and whew- it was all a dream of Mac’s.

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Mac gets out of bed only to realize (with some help from her asshole brother) that it’s 5am on Hell Morning (early after Halloween night), exactly where the series started. She gets dressed and heads out to deliver her papers. We’re then treated to a beautiful two-page spread of Mac riding in the early morning, and I have to say here what a treat it’s been to view Cliff Chiang’s art over the series; Matt Wilson’s colors have been unbelievable as well- something I only seem to notice when it’s really good.

The next few pages show each of the girls waking up, not remembering all they’ve been through, but Vaughn does a nice job of teasing that those memories are just out of reach. The girls eventually meet up, like they did the first time, and deal with some bullies, almost like they did the first time. There are some subtle differences sneaking through; enough to even notice from the first issue nearly 4 years later. And yet it still manages to feel familiar- once again, great writing at work.

The paper girls decide once again to stick together on their routes in case any more ruffians show up, when out of nowhere a station wagon is on their asses, then swerves in front of them, causing Erin to skid and fall off her bike, spilling papers everywhere. This is new, and we see why- the driver is none other than Wari in disguise, the woman they met in prehistoric times and the future. She just saved our heroines from getting hit by a drunk driver speeding through an intersection. Wari drives away, leaving the girls to ponder who saved them.

Did I mention this was an oversized issue? Hence the oversized recap, but I’ll try to cut the rest short. The girls hang out and smoke at a playground, Tiffany has a weird existential moment about finding herself by quitting her job (or something- the only “off” part of the book), the girls finish Tiff’s route with her, and they all go their separate ways.

Wait! Erin asks her “new” friends if they want to hang out together before getting ready for school. Just ride around. They all agree, and we’re left with the satisfaction that the unspoken bond forged over their incredible adventures hasn’t been broken. Now that’s more like it.

Paper Girls #30 gave me everything I wanted in a series-ending issue. It had callbacks, feels, and a sense of closure for the book that leaves readers happy, even though it’s sad to see it go. In short, it “delivered.”

 

9.5/10 

 

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Badly Recapped: Gideon Falls #15

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JEFF LEMIRE – writer

ANDREA SORRENTINO – artist

DAVE STEWART – colors

STEVE WANDS – lettering & design

 

Synopsis in a Sentence: Father Fred faces his fate in a fraternal Gideon Falls. (Or maybe I just like alliteration too much.)

 

We’ve been following around a time jumping priest the last few issues (Fred’s predecessor?), but now we get back to our main protagonist, Father Fred, who finds himself in a different version (time?) of his Gideon Falls. If memory serves, he had switched places, literally, with the protagonist of this GF, Norton. Norton’s shrink, Dr Xu, is there to confront the father, who has some sort of timey-wimey amnesia, and runs off.

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Fred stumbles across a couple of winos who give him a bottle of booze, and uh-oh, our recovering alcoholic priest doesn’t pass it up. What follows are hallucinations (maybe) of the infamous Black Barn, two guys chasing Fred, and I assume a past meeting with a young woman named Rebecca. She tells the father “He knows,” and I’m led to believe that the two had some sort of romantic tryst, maybe even committing- gasp!- adultery. We even see images of Rebecca hanging, before turning into Smiling-Man.

Meanwhile Dr Xu heads back to Norton’s and takes one of his little surgical masks before heading back to the last place she saw Norton. She find’s the father’s collar there, tracks him down not far away, has a bit of confusing back and forth with him, and then asks what he knows about the Black Barn. The end.

This issue felt short, but maybe it was just the quick pacing that had me burning through the pages. There were the usual bits of WTF moments, scares, and added intrigue with the Rebecca mystery. As usual, Sorrentino’s art style matched Lemire’s tone, and we got another good issue of Gideon Falls.

 

8.5/10

 

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Badly Recapped: Criminal #6

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ED BRUBAKER – writer

SEAN PHILLIPS – artist

JACOB PHILLIPS – colors

 

Synopsis in a Sentence: Teeg Lawless finds love in all the wrong places.

 

Right off the bat I gotta say Criminal is a tough book to discuss. Not in a bad way, mind you. I’ve loved this iteration by Brubaker and Phillips, and if you’re fans of their past work, so will you. What makes it tough to discuss is there aren’t really arcs in the traditional sense of the word, as far as modern comics go. We go from one set of characters and story, to a completely different set and story, then introduce some new set and story, and now we kind of loop back. Like I said, tough to discuss, but by no means is that a strike against the work. So I’ll just get into this issue, titled “Song to the Siren.”

 

We open up with good ol’ Teeg Lawless, lovesick as a puppy. And who is this new broad he’s shacking up with, spending his money “like it had an expiration date”? She sure looks familiar, huh? We’ll get back to that later.

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We get a flashback showing how Teeg got to this point, namely by scoring large on a stick-up job with fellow criminal Chic Severin. The two go out to celebrate at a club and run into Jane, one of Chic’s old girlfriends. Teeg is immediately smitten, but by the end of the night Jane goes home with Chic.

 

The next morning, Chic recruits Teeg to go “teach someone a lesson.” Seems Janey stole 10 grand from him, and Chic wants his pound of flesh. They go to a cabin on a lake Jane is staying at, but she gets the drop on Chic and shoots him dead. Teeg has her dead to rights, but doesn’t pull the trigger. Instead the two of them start a whirlwind love affair, living the high life on what’s left of the robbery take.

 

The money finally runs out as Teeg is informed his “wife’s” credit card was declined at the hotel they’re staying in. He hastily packs up and sneaks to the bar where Jane went for a drink, hoping to skedaddle before hotel security catches them. Teeg sees Jane talking to a guy at the bar, and it’s here that it clicked for me- Jane was indeed the woman from the previous issue that was being traced by the PI- the guy she’s talking to here. Yeah, I’m a bit slow on the uptake.

 

We already know how THAT ended; this issue ends with Teeg trying to put together a big score to appease Jane’s insatiable desire to live on a permanent vacation. Oh, and he gets word his son was evicted because Teeg forgot to pay rent. What a scumbag.

 

Overall this was another near-flawless issue of Criminal. Brubaker writes crime noir like no one else, and Phillips’ art, while perhaps not for everyone, definitely fits the tone of the book. I love how this tied into last issue, and look forward to how this piece of the Criminal puzzle fits into future books.

 

9.5/10

 

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