This Week's Stack

This week was pretty heavy as far as my budget is concerned. Partly because of "Superboy Annual #1" but what can you do? This week's haul included: Wonder Woman #16, Before Watchmen: Minutemen #6, Uncanny X-Force #1, Justice League #16, Bedlam #3, Nightwing #16, the aforementioned, Superboy Annual #1, Red Hood and the Outlaws #16, Supergirl #16, and Uncanny Avengers #3.

I have hung in there with the "He'l On Earth" crossover but I am finding that it hasn't progressed much since He'l and Supergirl entered the Fortress of Solitude. I love crossovers, but this one has stalled. While the Superboy Annual was fun, the banter between Superboy and Superman got stale fast. I will stick with the event. I only hope the Superman issues will rise to the level of Batman issues of the "Death of the Family" event to make it worth my while and my dollars.

Speaking of "Death of the Family" this week's entry's were both hit and miss. The Nightwing issue was solid. It carried through on the Joker's direct attack on Nightwing and Haley's circus. The destruction of the circus and Joker handing Christina a spike covered mallet to say "Hello" to Dick with is as creepy as anything moment I read so far. What's under the DOME?!?!?! Which brings me to Red Hood. The last two issues have been a nice addition to "Death of the Family" but issue 16 had a lot to be desired as an actual tie-in. I like the advancement of Arsenal's leadership abilities but it would have been a better as a Teen Titans issue.

Uncanny X-Force was my surprise of the week. I had only hoped that the Marvel NOW! relaunch of the series could live up to my expectations of Rick Remender's fantastic run. Sam Humphries really delivers and I can't wait to see what's next. Check out my review. There is a great Spider-Man-esque style in the Uncanny Avengers that has kept my faith going in this series. Thor as an agent of the Red Skull via Charles Xavier is very intriguing. The best of the rest? Wonder Woman #16. Brain Azzarello and Cliff Chiang continue to deliver top notch writing and art and the conclusion of Before Watchmen: Minutemen #6 from Darwyn Cooke has been the best of the Before Watchmen titles. "Throne of Atlantis," from what I can only assume is directed from the mind of Geoff Johns, has been one of the best events from DC recently. This week's issue of Justice League continues a next level issue from Johns and artist Ivan Reis. If I were to cut my pull-list down to just 5 issues Justice League and Aquaman would definitely make the the cut.

Finally, I am a Bedlam defender. When this series started there was, what I thought, an unjust amount of criticism of Madder Red to Joker comparisons. While it can be easy to make that connection I find it a lazy one. Nick Spencer has attacked his contradictions of conscious and reform of Madder Red with conviction which has made the read even more engaging. His writing is catered to Riley Rossmo's art and Jean-Paul Csuka's colors to a tee. While the Joker may be the inspiration, Madder Red is his own style of psychopath. Bedlam is well worth your time.

Until next Wednesday. Happy reading!

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Wednesday Stack - Preview 2013-01-23

Here is what I will be picking up at my local comics shop on the 23rd.

BEDLAM #3 Image Comics - 3.50: Regardless of the similar "Joker" feel I am enjoying the story so far.

BEFORE WATCHMEN: MINUTEMEN #6 - DC COMICS - 3.99: I'm sure this series will just continue to be great!

BIRDS OF PREY #16 - DC COMICS - 2.99: Always been a fan of this book. Looking forward to how their new team member blends in.

JUSTICE LEAGUE #16 - DC COMICS - 3.99: "Throne of Atlantis" got off to a great start. Don't see it slowing down here.

NIGHTWING #16 - DC COMICS - 2.99: DOTF Tie-In "A must have" Just below par with the Batgirl Tie-In. Still very good.

RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS #16 - DC COMICS - 2.99: DOTF Tie-In "Ditto"

SUPERBOY ANNUAL #1 - DC COMICS - 4.99: Losing me rapidly. This book better pick up quick. Or I'm done with it.

SUPERGIRL #16 - DC COMICS - 2.99: I can hang with this story for a few issues longer. Critics a lot harder on this series than I feel necessary.

THE ANSWER! #1 - DARK HORSE COMICS - 3.99: Looks like a fun Dark Horse pick-up (off the rack though)

UNCANNY AVENGERS #3 - MARVEL COMICS - 3.99: Book has been late and needs a defibrillator to keep me from dropping it.

UNCANNY X-FORCE #1 - MARVEL COMICS - 3.99: Can't possibly hope it's equal to what Rememder did with last run but will give the Marvel Now a ride.

WONDER WOMAN #16 - DC COMICS - 2.99: Great book all round. Looking for more of the same!

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Catching Up On DC Nation and Ultimate Spider-Man

Just caught up with the latest episodes of Young Justice, Green Lantern and Ultimate Spider-Man. While I enjoyed all of the new episodes, I really enjoyed Green Lantern: The Animated Series – “Prisoner of Sinestro” the best. That was a bit surprising to me. Green Lantern, Hal Jordan isn't at the top of my favorites list but the tone and story of this episode was outstanding. The ending when Sinestro declares he didn't kill but just didn't "save" his prisoner in time was pretty dark and sets the pace for Hal questioning his admiration for the "hero" Sinestro. I also didn't know what my final verdict was going to be on the animation style of the series but in the end I found it a nice change up from Young Justice and Spider-Man. Sets it own visual style and I would like to see some more shows in that form.

Ultimate Spider-Man was light, fun and "cartoony" in a good way and in a way I expect from this type of show. It's a good one to watch with the kids and it maintains a nice action pace. I would like to see some more story substance in this show but for a season 2 kick-off very entertaining.

Young Justice is a great middle ground in style between both of the aforementioned shows. 'Cornered' was a nice action piece that kept all the characters involved and relevant to the whole story. Some characters can get lost or misused in a big action event like this. Mal stepping in and declaring himself Earth's greatest champion was as fun to watch and as touching to witness such a sacrifice for others. Heavy on action and emotion.

The episode titled "True Colors" really moved the overall storyline to the next level. Adam and Bumblebee do all they can to help Jamie rid himself of the scarab. Robin's team investigates the involvement of LexCorp Farm and the Reach. Deathstroke makes an attack on Sportsmaster on behalf of of Lex and Black Manta. While Black manta deals with the emotional trauma involving Auqalad and his need for revenge. The team defeats Black Beetle with the help of the new martian Beetle and now must hide him from the REACH to keep him safe with help from Johnathan Kent. It's a very dense story arc with plenty of action and heart. Looking forward to the rest of the season.

What are some of your favorite animated shows now back on the air?

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Good series poll

I just got out of the hospital last night and am at home recovering. This is a good chance to catch up on a good comic series. I have on my iPad all the single issues of the complete 'Blackest Night' run. Any other good crossovers I should try and tackle while I've got the time on my hands? I know you guys will have some great suggestions! Send your comments.

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Looking for More of Your Favorites

You guys have been great about what comics I should be checking out and I greatly appreciate it! So now my company Twenty One Productions and Twenty One Podcast have been throwing around some ideas for new shows and projects and I think the best way to appeal to people is to get their advice. This is where you come in again. I’m always looking for good suggestions so give me yours. Right now let’s just throw some stuff at the wall and see what sticks but I would like certain categories. Please repost this with your friends, I want everyone’s opinions I can get. So the categories are as follows and give me a short synopsis or reason why something is your favorite. You don’t need to answer them all just whatever you like. Also the more obscure or fringe worthy are extra welcome. Let’s get this ball rolling!

YOUR FAVORITE:

TV Shows

Movies

Videogames

Hobbies

Comics

Music

Websites

GO!

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Looking for Advice to Add

I have been going through all the books on my pull list and I would like to add some books but would like some advice from the Comic Vine community on what you guys are really enjoying and what would be worth my limited and hard earned dollars. I am mostly a DC reader and the books on my list are as follows: Aquaman, Batman, Batman: The dark Knight, Superman, Batgirl, Batman, Justice League, Supergirl, Wonder Woman, Action Comics, Detective Comics, Superior Spider-Man, Avengers Arena, Thunderbolts, Punisher: War Zone, My Little Pony, Daredevil: End of Days, Justice League of America, Earth 2, Star Wars, Uncanny X-Men, Saga, All-New X-Men, Justice League Dark. There are a several of those books that I am about to drop and I am looking for advice on some of the better Marvel Now, DC and some good independent tiles. I am loving Saga and I will try pretty much any genre. Just looking to see what you guys think. Hit me up with your suggestions and maybe a brief synopsis of the story. Any ideas you could throw my way would be greatly appreciated!

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Wednesday's Stack - Jan. 16

New comic book day. Gotta love it! I average 8 - 10 books per week and Wednesday's stack had a little bit of everything for my hard earned dollars. I started on Tuesday with the digital exclusive release of "Injustice, God's Among Us." The comic based on the upcoming April release of the Street-Fighter style video game. Having only seen the trailer and extended game play video I was intrigued by the possible storyline. The Man of Steel now runs the world with an iron fist as told to us by Batman. Flashback 5 years prior to Superman's rule and a surprise attack on

Lois Lane that sets the events in motion. Nice set-up and hard to pass by for .99 cents.

Wednesday's stack included, Batman #16, Batgirl #16, and Batman and Robin #16 all part of the "Death of the Family" cross-over. A "He'l on Earth" tie-in book, Superboy #16 and from Marvel, All-New X-Men #6 and Captain America #3. Finally Image's, Saga #9 and The Black Beetle #1 from Dark Horse Comics.

All told the week was pretty stellar haul. The Bat-books continue to be top-notch with Batman and Batgirl excelling in both Scott Synder and Gail Simone's writing. Greg Capullo's still illustrates the best and scariest Joker among all the Bat-artists. I do wish Ed Benes would complete an entire book even though Daniel Sampere's work is also quite good. All-New X-men continues to be one of my favorite Marvel Now titles and new artist David Marquez's work is fantastic!

Without question Brian K. Vaughan and Fina Staples' Saga continues to be some of the best work in comics today. Issue 9 focuses on The Will's rescue of Slave Girl and new character, Gwendolyn, as they continue the search for Alana, Marko and Hazel. This issue is a great example of the multi-layered story of Saga and the imagination and creativity of the different characters, alone, are worth making this book a must have on anyone's pull-list. Finally, a very nice surprise from off-the-rack was "The Black Beetle." I am a big fan of noir and if you are too then this book is a great find. The Black Beetle is on a stake-out of a meeting between Colt City's biggest crime families when a mysterious attack occurs taking out several key crime figures and injuring our hero. Following his leads to an Alcatraz style prison, housing the worst Colt's City has to offer, The Black Beetle finds himself as a prime suspect in a murder scene. Creator Fancessco Francavilla combines enough grit, camp and mystery to make this "pulp" in all the best ways. I anticipate good things to come from this series.

Superboy was really the only low-light of my stack. The story classic "over-expalining" of what was is happening every panel and oddly without progressing the story very much. I also was not a big fan of Iban Coello's art which serves to distract me from the story. The "He'l on Earth" event overall has been mostly a disappointment in my book but I will ride the story out and hope that the overall story is worth it. Otherwise I highly recommend all the books in my stack! Happy Wednesday!

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And So It Begins

I am what you'd call a "lifer" in comics or "old," either fair terms. I had once heard someone refer to the themselves as a "lifer" in regard to comics as someone who has read comics since they were young, maybe fell off reading and/or collecting for a time, came back in to the comic book fold but all the while has always maintained an interest in all things comics. Certainly an apt description for me. So now I find myself diving even deeper into the pool with Comic Vine and trying to utilize the site to it's fullest. Hence my first blog post hoping that leads to reviews, comments and more comic book fan connections. It started with sending in suggestions to "The Best Stuff In Comics This Week" and hearing G-Man use some of mine and avidly listening to the podcasts weekly. So thanks to Comic Vine for giving me an outlet to connect and participate in my love for comics. As a "lifer" I am excited about continuing my pursuit of a medium that grabbed me as a kid with Spider-Man, Daredevil, Batman and Supes and the hope that I can pass my passion and wonder of comics on to my own kids and live the same excitement of my favorite heroes through their eyes.

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