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: Blossoms 666 #5

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CULLEN BUNN – story

LAURA BRAGA – art

JACK MORELLI – lettering

MATT HERMS – coloring

 

Synopsis in a Sentence: Cheryl and Jason use treachery and knives to better their odds at becoming the Anti-Christ.

 

This is it! The big conclusion to Archie Horror mini Blossoms 666! Except it isn’t. Wah-wah.

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If you didn’t think I’d be using Riverdale GIFs during this review, you know nothing Jon Snow.

 

We start this final (ahem) issue with Dilton in jail contemplating suicide, Archie and Veronica under a spell to make out, Julian Blossom consoling Betty who saw said make-out session, and Ethel taking Jughead to the altar of Abaddon in the woods. And that’s just page 1 folks.

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Ethel shows a shocked Jughead the Abaddon statue, then pulls out a knife, presumably to sacrifice our crown wearing compadre, but instead falls on the blade herself after Juggy refuses to sacrifice her.

Time to catch up with Cheryl and Jason, who are lounging around a pool pondering how to get rid of new rival to the horns, Julian. Cheryl gets pulled under water by a pool cleaner- the mechanical kind, not the sexy kind.

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Dance for me Pool Boy!

 

Where was I? Is it hot in here? Oh yeah, Cheryl’s getting attacked, and Jason actually jumps in and saves her, even though they are currently locked in a battle to become Anti-Christ. But since they’ve been siblings all their lives, and twins at that, they’ve formed a pact to get rid of new-to-the-scene bro Julian first. Still, Jason had a golden opportunity there to narrow the field, but I digress.

Meanwhile, Betty and Julian decide to go to the police station to question Dilton, only to find him hung in his cell. Alas, poor Dilton, we hardly knew ye. Betty runs outside and bumps into Jughead, who tells her Julian is trying to become the Anti-Christ, at the behest of the other two Blossoms. Yep, Jason called in his favor from earlier in the series. Betty slaps Julian upside the head, and now he doesn’t have his key pawn in the game.

Julian goes home and tells his bro and sis that was a dirty trick, having Jughead tell Betty the truth. And then Cheryl and Jason take turns stabbing him. Even though earlier, in this very issue, they kind of ruled out blatant murder. Which is why they had Jughead tell Betty, to one-up Julian that way. This part really doesn’t make sense, but they laugh it off saying mom and dad will be mad. Really?

We close up with some bizarre panels of Jughead and Betty at Pop’s, then the twins teasing each other about what they’ll make the other do if they win the title. Oh, and Julian’s corpse in the morgue sitting up. That’s it. And the obligatory The End Question Mark.

Overall Blossoms 666 has been a worthy addition to the Archie Horror titles. Cheryl Blossom is one of my favorite characters, and I liked the Anti-Christ angle of the book. This final issue however left me scratching my head at times and wishing there was a more definitive ending, while still leaving room for future volumes. Otherwise, Cullen Bunn did a good job with the scares and cast of characters, and Laura Braga’s art was top-notch. I hope this team comes back and we get true “winner” between the devilish duo of Riverdale.

 

6.5/10

 

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Badly Recapped: Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #1

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MATT FRACTION – writer

STEVE LIEBER – artist

NATHAN FAIRBAIRN – colorist

CLAYTON COWLES – letterer

LIEBER & FAIRBAIRN – cover

 

Synopsis in a Sentence: A brief history of Olsen, before he gets shipped to Gotham.

 

We begin our journey with Superman’s pal with Superman’s pal’s ancestor on top of a waterfall, fighting for his land before Metropolis was Metropolis. He gets pushed off of said waterfall, and then the story starts. Again. Get used to this, as every few pages there is a new introduction to some form of “Jimmy Olsen, fill-in-the-blank.” It got a bit stale for me, I have to say.

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The next meaningful bit finds present-day Jimmy jumping out of a spaceship, turning into the beloved turtle alter-ego I’ve heard of but don’t get, and being rescued by Superman before crashing into Metropolis with the force of an atomic bomb. This bit, bizarre as it all sounds, was actually fun- the funnest part of the book at any rate.

Next we’re treated to yet another intro, and we get some Daily Planet moments, complete with a heaping helping of Perry White. Who DOESN’T say “Great Caesar’s ghost.” In a comic seemingly built on nostalgia it really felt like a glaring omission.

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At any rate, this section does have the funniest moment in the book to me, when the owner of the Daily Planet asks Clark Kent to keep an eye on Jimmy, who costs the paper a ton in insurance money from his shenanigans. Clark replies that may be a job only Superman can do, with a wink to the reader, on the last panel of the right page. Then we turn the page, expecting another story opening, to instead find Clark still standing there with one eye closed, and the befuddled paper owner dismissing this hayseed. Funny stuff.

Cue another “Yada yada Jimmy Olsen” open and we find Jimmy checking into a dumpy hotel in Gotham, relocating to not only help the Planet’s insurance rates, but because dunh…dunh…DUNH…- he is believed to be murdered! So I guess we’ll see what that’s all about next issue. And when I say “we” I don’t mean me.

In this first issue Matt Fraction serves up a fractured storyline that gives readers an unnecessarily far back background into the title character. It reminded me of the tired joke used in movies where the interrogator tells his captor to start at the beginning, and they literally start at the beginning, reciting childhood memories. There were some genuinely funny moments, and I have no complaints about the art. I think I have to just chalk this one up as something I don’t get/it’s not for me.

6.5/10

 

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Badly Recapped: Black Hammer/Justice League: Hammer of Justice! #1

Jesus, that’s a long title.

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JEFF LEMIRE – writer

MICHAEL WALSH – artist & cover

NATE PIEKOS of BLAMBOT – letterer

 

Synopsis in a Sentence: The Black Hammer gang switches places with the Justice League; hi jinx bound to ensue.

 

Our Dark Horse/DC crossover commences with a fairy tale-esque narrative introducing the Black Hammer characters and their current predicament, namely being stuck on a farm they can’t escape. As a fan of Black Hammer, something just feels off immediately. I don’t know if it’s Lemire’s flowery prose or the dialogue between these characters I’ve grown to love. I’ll just come out and say it- I think this was dumbed down for the DC crowd. Or at the very least, the bite was taken out of my beloved Black Hammer denizens. This isn’t the Mature title I’m used to, that’s for sure. Michael Walsh’s art is serviceable in so much as I can tell who’s who, but is nothing special.

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Back to the story, a weirdo in a bowler hat shows up, wanting to buy the Black Hammer farm. If I had to guess at this point, I’d say it’s Mister Mxyzptlk, but we don’t truly find out this issue.

 

Quick jump to Metropolis, which is under attack from Starro. Just as the Justice League are getting things under control, weirdo-bowler-hat-guy shows up, offering them a vacation for several jobs well done. And he’s got just the place. Back on the farm Madame Dragonfly realizes this dude is magical, just as Diana is coming to the same conclusion in Metropolis. Bada-bing, bada-boom, presto-chango, and our heroes switch locations. Not only that, it seems our JL has been on the farm for the ten years the Black Hammer guys were. Strange, huh? We end with Captain Weird shrak-ing into space and surrounded by the Green Lantern Corps, so that’s something.

 

In Lemire I trust, but this opening issue was pretty “meh” to me, and the art didn’t do anything to hide the lackluster feel of the normally edgy Black Hammer side of things. Hopefully the story picks up in the next issue and we can get past catering to the DC contingency.

 

7.5/10

 

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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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