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This week in ink!

edited 2012-01-27 00:56:54 in Liveblogging

Welcome, IJBMers to my newest and least ambitious liveblog!This week in ink is a simple liveblog meant to make short reviews of the comics of the week. The idea is simply to review comics and maybe reveal something that might be interesting to potential readers. The only rule I have for myself is that they have to be comics I've actually spent money on, with the exception of explicitly free digital comics on comixology. 

As an added bonus, you, the reader can suggest gimmicks for each week. Should I review the comics as Foghorn Leghorn? With haikus? Anything that strikes your fancy!

So this week we have:

Angel and Faith 6: I'm sure y'all know I love Buffy but I actually love Faith more. When it came out my favorite slayer would be teaming up with my favorite angsty vampire I got excited and Angel & Faith continues not to disappoint, continually outshining sister book Buffy Season 9. While Buffy has been feeling largely aimless, A&F knows exactly where it wants to go and it does an incredible job of Giles being a third character despite being dead This comic is setting up a pretty interesting arc, though it's snaring itself into the confusing continuity of a recurring character which has the potential to be really headache-inducing and points out how cheap death is in the Buffy Universe.

The Mighty Thor 10: While I've enjoyed Matt Fraction's Thor run, the current arc with Thor lost in the limbo of existence has been kind of dull, mostly because it involves the main character sitting around sucking his thumb for three issues. While that changes here and has Thor dealing some awesome monologues, there's the inevitable question of why this needed to take three issues. Still, despite the slow pace Fraction is a master of suspense and I can't wait for the inevitable showdown with his 'replacement'.

Fantastic Four 602: Hey guys, remember that character from the Fantastic Four no one liked? Now imagine he died, came back to life, and then came out of the negative zone with Annhiluis the Living Death on a leash and in command of big-ass fleet. Sound like artificial character inflation to you? Well, fuck off. Not only does this give Johnny Storm the much needed power-up he's always lacked ("Oh no! my most deadly foe uses asbestos!") but it's a genuinely epic story that FF has lacked in a long time and Hickman really delivers on scope, especially in how his entire Fantasic Four/Future Foundation arc has been woven together.

Future Foundation 14: Also, by Hickman. This is a pretty great big idea story let down by terrible art. Also an issue is that in essence the big goal of the past two issues has been to cross a bridge. Okay, it's a bridge guarded by the Celestials, beings even Galactus fears, but even so. The big problem is the art. Juan Bobillo, aside from just having an ugly style, is unable to communicate the imaginative stuff that happens in Hickman's stories. It's a big example of why art is just as important a foundation for comics as writing.

All-Star Western 5: So Remember in Batman: Arkham City where there's not a lot of plot but lots of cool action and character work and the ending suprised you, not because it was really clever but because there was genuinely no reason to see that coming whatsoever? That's kind of this comic. It's incredibly light on plot, though the interactions between Amadeus Arkham and Jonah Hex are really fun. The final twist, however, makes no sense and has no reason to happen other than the fact that the story takes place in Gotham City. It's kind of weird but I think I've started picking this book up more for the back-ups. In addition to being cool wyrd west stuff it also seems to be making a point to be focusing on non-white characters. While I think All-star Western is a weird book to make that a priority it's nice to see that at least some writers are concerned about the lack of diversity in comics.

Justice League Dark 5: I love this poorly-titled comic. Y'all don't even know how much I love it. Despite some pacing issues, this has been a really solid occult horror comic with lots of cool stuff going on. Of all the books going on, it's the most reminiscent of the early Vertigo horror comics and not just because it inspires a good deal of nostalgia by having the ol' Vertigo crew of Zatanna, Shade the Changing Man,  John Constantine, and Madame Xanadu back together. This issue wrapped a pretty intriguing arc and it's a pretty interesting (and deliberate) contrast to the far inferior JLA that the group does not end things being buddy-buddy and that fact is going to be the focus of the next arc. Y'all don't even know how much I love this book. Y'all don't even know.

The Flash 5: Hey, what's red, can travel at the speed of light and is awesome? The current Flash arc, that's what! When a well-drawn arc like this has been such a great and consistent example of exemplary, big-idea soft science fiction there's not a lot to say about it. The closest I can bring to a criticism is that the climax feels a little downplayed, but it's a minor blemish on such a pretty, imaginative, and fun book. It's surprising how good to the Flash the last year has been.



  • If you must eat a phoenix, boil it, do not roast it. This only encourages their mischievous habits.

    Angel and Faith 6


    where is this, I want to read it, nao


    Been on the stands since October. You can purchase it legally on comixology and less legally if you know internet fu.

  • If you must eat a phoenix, boil it, do not roast it. This only encourages their mischievous habits.

    illegal means are a go

    Angel and Faith are two of my favourite characters from the show, and Giles is pretty awesome too


    In some case I'd be all 'rargh comics need support' but let's face it, anything with Buffy stuff plastered on it will be a success.

  • If you must eat a phoenix, boil it, do not roast it. This only encourages their mischievous habits.

    There are no comic stores in my town :/

  • edited 2012-01-27 01:56:37

    That's a shame. Do Aussies get Comixology?

    Also, keep in mind I drive 60 miles to get my comics because I am a madman.

  • You can change. You can.

    So, this is Reboot Flash, isn't he?

    Is Flashpoint in any way relevant?

  • If you must eat a phoenix, boil it, do not roast it. This only encourages their mischievous habits.

    That's a shame. Do Aussies get Comixology?

    I have no idea

  • edited 2012-01-27 02:00:34

    ^^Yes, and from what I've read Flashpoint has pretty much no bearing on the story.

    ^If you're interested in comics at all go to comixology.com and check. It's a digital distribution comic store.


    Action Comics 6: Followers of my inane statements will know that a big issue I have with Smallville is that it's a  Superman story where other heroes do all the heavy lifting. That's the big issue with this comic in a nutshell. Aside from needing a very very close reading as the story is incredibly dense, Superman just really doesn't do anything but get rescued by the Legion of Superheroes and reminisce on his past. I suppose there's a good story in there, but the big draw of Action Comics to do was that it was going to be of the first days of Superman. Instead we've got an okay Legion of Superheroes comic with Superman guest-starring.

    Swamp Thing 6: I really really like Swamp Thing, and not just because I loves me some good ol' horror. Not only is the art in this book consistently beautiful (though it has a new artist, Marco Rudy, rather than veteran Yanick Paquette) it's story is engaging and rather off-putting. Fans of horror really need to check this out.

    The Defenders 3: Matt Fraction is a polarizing writer, but on the whole I like him. Defenders seems to me to be a perfect comic for him, both separated from the most masturbatory nonsense Bendis has been dealing with and lets him play around. This end of the first arc has been fun and establishes  a larger continuing arc and the character interactions, especially those dealing with Dr. Strange and Red She-Hulk are entertaining. It's a little rushed and requires a closer reading but the latter isn't automatically a bad thing.

    The Amazing Spider-man 679: And as we wait for the big new Sinister Six arc to finally happen we get this short story of Spider-man finding about a catastrophic future and trying to prevent it. It plays quite well to the dichotomy of Spider-man and Peter Parker and why the two are a single inseperable person. It's filler, sure, but it's fun filler.

    Hellblazer 287: And so we have the newest of Constantine's many ventures into Hell. This time, after being emotionally and literally blackmailed by his niece Gemma, to rescue his sister out of Hell. It's hard to add to what makes Hellblazer good, because this comic plays like an itemized list of them. While that may seem like it reeks of formula (and you wouldn't be wrong) it's a pattern that works and Milligan writes a clever enough and guilty enough Constantine to still have some amusing dialogue, twists, and mindgames.

    Animal Man 6: AND SPEAKING OF FILLER. We're interrupting your regularly scheduled comic to bring you the movie the protagonist starred in. The 'movie in the comic' isn't automatically bad but it does engage in every dramatic cliche about wash-ups and superheroes involved. It's pretty obvious they're biding their time so they can do the Animal Man-Swamp Thing crossover after it ends its current arc. 


    Elric- The Balance Lost: Between this and Demon Knights the second week of the month is a good time for fantasy comics. Thanks to the unique nature of the Elric stories a lot can happen while still showing the big, half-mad ideas of Elric's creator Michael Moorcock. It also benefits from acting as something of the crossover of Moorcock's work he always hinted at with various characters that have shown up in Moorcock's writing (plus a new guy named Eric Beck who is probably supposed to be from our dimension) all of which are Eternal Champions. I've made no secret that I'm not a fan of fantasy stories that make big deals of their sprawling and massive mythologies and histories that are so much dross in the actual importance to the reader. The Elric book plays like a response to that, focused on big ideas, characters, and action. It might be a little intimidating to people who don't know Elric but it should be newbie-friendly enough. The art also isn't incredible but by no means is it bad. 

    Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Season 9) 6:  Season 9 has always been something of a mixed bag and has pushed the 'real world' aspect of Buffy a bit too much for my tastes. This time, it deals with Buffy becoming pregnant and struggling with whether or not to have an abortion. While this isn't really something I read, I like what it serves as a framing device for. Buffy decides to consult the one person she knows had a slayer for a mother: Robin Wood. The real star of this comic is Nikki, the slayer Spike killed and how she reacted to her pregnancy. As much as I enjoyed seeing Nikki and how she dealt with the aspects of motherhood in conjunction with her destiny as the slayer, Buffy's weepy inaction is rather jarring. It's a mixed bag on the good side.

    Batwoman 6: Wait, J.H. Williams III isn't doing the art anymore? Suddenly two-thirds of my reasons for buying this book are gone.

    Demon Knights 6: This issue is a pretty great one, with the battle that the previous three issues have been leading up to being the focus. It's a really fun and exciting issue and it still manages t o put in plenty of fist-pumping moments of dramatic exultation and still melding them perfectly with character developments. There is a moment that's flow-breaking and kind of confusing but otherwise this book is really fun and if you like western fantasy you really owe it to yourself to be reading this.

    Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E.: Oh hi there, one of my most anticipated comics each month. Glad to  see you survived the first cut. In any case, this comic is two stories, one a standalone and the other building up for future issues. It's a bit of a change from other issues which have all been focused on big ideas jammed into a laser-focused plot. This seems to want to pause to give Frankenstein some character development with his memories in Vietnam. It succeeds in characterizing him, but sadly the actual plot left me rather underwhelmed while I was interested in B-plot Frankenstein's bride and fish-person Nina were all up in.  On the bright side, the art has improved.

    Wolverine and The X-men 5: Okay, this is totally a comic you should read. It's the funniest X-men comic that's actually trying to be I think I've ever read. That said, it's the second comic in the same week that's dealing with an unwanted pregnancy and I was hoping this one would have some interesting resolution to it and without wishing to spoil anything I think I can say that it certainly does.

  • If you must eat a phoenix, boil it, do not roast it. This only encourages their mischievous habits.

    Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Season 9) 6

    fuck, I was considering buying that but I don't think I will now.


    I've been enjoying Buffy Season 9. I mean it's pretty and well-written... but the actual stuff happening has been a series of ups and downs. The bad part is only one or two of the ups deal with Buffy herself.

  • If you must eat a phoenix, boil it, do not roast it. This only encourages their mischievous habits.

    It does not even sound like there is an apocalypse

    what is buffy without an apocalypse, malkavian


    There's not really much of a metaplot whatsoever. 

    At least with Angel & Faith there's a driving arc.

    Oh, and a surprisingly great issue with Harmony.

  • If you must eat a phoenix, boil it, do not roast it. This only encourages their mischievous habits.

    Yeah, the Harmony arc was surprisingly not-lame.

    The plot about the apocalypse was always one of the best things bout Buffy though.


    I'd be happy with Buffy just having something definite to punch.


    >Greg Rucka to write Avenging Spider-man and Punisher


  • I approve of this thread. Also, Mighty Thor and Journey into Mystery are the BEST things Marvel are putting out now.


    Holy- do my eyes deceive me? SOMEONE ELSE WHO LIKES MATT FRACTION?

  • He had Odin chokehold the Silver Surfer and call him a gimp. What's not to like.

  • Have you been reading his Defenders stuff?

  • Whoops, didn't notice that xD

    I'm loving it, Dr. Strange is amazing at everything. 


    Sorry this took so long, but weather and family duties did not permit me to go to the comic shop until today... so here's LAST WEEK IN INK!

    The Invincible Iron Man 513: Matt Fraction's Iron Man has been a series of ups and downs, but it's always been imaginative and never been boring. The latest arc has featured long-since missing villain Mandarin remodeled as a maniacal crime lore with the brilliance of Lex Luthor and the ego Kim Jong Il. It makes for a fascinating character working from behind the scenes to destroy Iron Man through his reputation all the while declaring all-out war on China. (I'm hardly an expert on this but I did feel the present Chinese superheroes were respectful to culture of China) The one issue I have (and have held for a long time) is the art. While the various mechs in the comic are beautiful human beings feel rather flat are artificial, reaching an uncanny valley at best. Still, this comic has maintained an intelligence and crazy imagination that should satisfy both fans of superhero action and detailed plot intrigue.

    Daredevil 9: The most decorated comic of 2011 has often been applauded as 'lighthearted' which I think is an overused term in comics. I really think the only reason 'lighthearted' has been used to describe Mark Waid's Daredevil is because there isn't a concise English word for 'not as suicidally depressing as the rest of Daredevil'. Waid's run hasn't left the darker roots behind but simply acknowledges that there's only so much a man can go through before either crack... or improving himself. This issue deals with both Daredevil investigating a Moloid plot of grave-robbing and the on-going meta-arc of material made by the Fantastic Four which crime lords around the world would go to war for. Beyond the combination of noir and pulp adventure, the art is beautiful giving what I think is easily the best visualization of DD's powers in his history. If you like superheroes or even comics as an art form you owe to yourself to check this comic out.

    Avenging Spider-masn 4: LAAAAAAANNNNNNNNNNND!

    ....I apologize for that outburst but it's really surprising what a step down this issue was from the first arc, and the art is no small reason for that. Land has already built a reputation for tracing as his way to success and this issue plays like his highlights: meaning they don't look like tracing if you don't focus too much. Oh, but it isn't visually an issue. The story is lame too! The whole story focuses on Spider-man having to deal with Hawkeye, who I've never liked, being a dick and Spider-man both trying to get him to not be a dick and taking the piss out of him. While I enjoyed Spider-man pointing out what a dick Hawkeye was, I'd prefer a reason to not hate Hawkeye. Admittedly, the story tries to do that but it just makes Hawkeye look like even more of an insecure dick. Hopefully the coming arc with Cap will remove the existing problems, especially Land.

    Amazing Spider-man 679.1: I have a hard time calling this comic 'bad' but what it is is filler, as the 'point one' in the number should suggest. Nothing of significance happens and none of it is good enough to make for a particularly notable one-shot. It's Web-filler for when the upcoming Sinister Six Arc finally arrives. Skip it.

    Wonder Woman 6: No lie, this is the best Wonder Woman comic I've ever read. Under any other circumstances that would be damning it with faint praise. Wonder Woman's always been a character and concept I've wanted to like WW but her comics have always been lackluster and the fact that her New 52 version has been the second in three years should say something about past incarnations. However, this takes Wonder Woman to a satisfyingly mytholigical level, playing like a political intrigue comic among the Greek Gods. The interpretations of the Gods are satisfying and Cliff Chiang's art is missed but Tony Akins provides a suitable replacement. This is the Wonder Woman comic I never knew I wanted. I hope the interpretation sticks.

    Batman 6: When I went to Comic Con, Batman artist Greg Capullo spoke about how he didn't engage in hype-talk and then went on to say that writer Scott Snyder would be recognized as one of the great storytellers in the history of Batman. Despite Snyder's strong first issue at the time, I was understandably skeptical but as far as I'm concerned Greg Capullo does not engage in hype-talk. Snyder's Batman is a distinct contrast to Morrison's run. Whereas Morrison's Batman was on top of everything because he was Just That Good, Snyder has Batman run ragged at at his last edge at every point. The fact that Snyder and Capullo can make that work so well with Morrison's Batman speaks to both their craft. The arc  of Batman dealing with the ancient conspiracy of The Court of Owls as well as the idea that he doesn't understand Gotham as well as he did is great and even better is to see him fight back against all odds. For all the stuff I've loved, Snyder's Batman might well be the best comic of the New 52.

  • If you must eat a phoenix, boil it, do not roast it. This only encourages their mischievous habits.

    > still no Faith & Angel



    Next week, sis. Next week.

  • If you must eat a phoenix, boil it, do not roast it. This only encourages their mischievous habits.



    You have to wait four days. And you can spend that time reading Snyder's Batman!

  • You can change. You can.


    start with Morrison's Batman epic and go from there. :3

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