The Reading Pile #16
The Reading Pile turns sweet sixteen today and is also being brought to you from my flooded basement. Had a lot of fun with the books this issue: some I liked and some I didn’t and that’s just the way it is and the way it goes.
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Rich Tommaso
This story went in a direction I didn’t think it would go. There was a reveal last issue and I thought there would be a huge confrontation with Golden Gail leading the way. Not so as Colonel Weird is thrown into another dimension. Fun issue, executed well, but I found it strangely unsatisfying. Rich Tommaso is the new artist for this issue, check the cover. Style suits the story quite well, though I think I would find this irritating otherwise. Inspector Insector is my new favorite quirky character. 3.5/5
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Christian Ward
I have been hating on this iteration of the series, but I really enjoyed this. Basically this was the fight with Thor and Old Man Logan (with the Phoenix force) taking on the Doom mashup. I was sour on the issue before this one, but I thought this one was great. I guess the Phoenix resurrecting gave me feels or something. Lastly, awesome cover. 3.5/5
Writer: Bob Salley
Artist: Shawn Daley
An ogre chained to a dead guy he can talk to, imprisoned with other men. They escape and there are also trolls in the story. Lots of folks really liked this but I thought it was just ok; I was going to read it again, but it sold really quickly once I put it up on ebay. 3/5
Writer: James T Tynion IV
Artists: Ray McCarthy, Emanuela Lupacchino
There is just so much, “blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah” tedious dialog in this. Maybe it’s because I didn’t read part 1 of The Witching Hour, but, man, this book has really struggled with pacing and art since the issues with her brother. I’ve already read issue 57, didn’t like it much better and I’m looking forward to the new creative team in issue 58. 2.5/5
Writer: Frank Tieri
Artist: Inaki Miranda
Yeah, yeah, I read Harley Quinn books, what of it? Both covers to this are killer, the interior art is really good, too. The story starts fairly tediously, even by Harley standards. Just her and Red Tool out on the road ala Mad Max with really bad jokes. They stumble upon a gang of Clockwork Orange looking clowns who claim a dead for years Joker is now alive; things are getting interesting now. Also, a fairly epic appearance by Batman Beyond at the end has me curious. 3.5/5
Writer: Steve Orlando
Artist: Matthew Dow Smith
There was some buzz around this book, wasn’t there? I’ve heard two different things: that it’s awesome and that it’s hard to follow. Here we gooooooo…
Ok, yeah, I’m having a hard time with this waaaaaaaaay too much dialog to follow. Guess I am in the “hard to follow” camp. Art is really accessible, the book looks great, and there are giant robots. I hate writing a dumb review like this but, geez, there’s the Thrice-Nine, the Oprichniki, some flashbacks and it’s all a little hard to understand at this point. 3/5
Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Javier Pina
Been awhile since I’ve checked in with the good doctor. I know Mark Waid is a polarizing figure for many, but I’ve, mostly, enjoyed his run on this title (you can read an earlier review here.)
This just feels like a nice old school Marvel read and I appreciate that. Strange has returned to earth, regained his confidence and prowess with magic, only to discover one of his students has been impersonating him.
No crossover crap with Captain Marvel, no dumb mash ups, no new, awkward/stupid teenage characters; this is just a solid story and this panel has got me curious for what happens next. This issue wasn’t awesome or anything, but that’s ok. Sometimes it just feels good to read something familiar. 3.5/5
Writer: Robert Kirkman
Artist: Lorenzo De Felici,
The mystery of the Transference was revealed in issue 7 and we are gearing up for a new conflict and some personal dilemmas in issue 8. Fun title when it steers more towards the monster and sci-fi end of things, but gets kind of “meh” when we lean towards the soap opera melodrama that Kirkman can be heavy handed with. Still, I’m digging this. 3.5/5
Writer: Charles Soule
Artist: Phil Noto
I finished the Netflix DD series this week and thought it was quite awesome. Not exactly sure I loved the characterization of Bullseye as he was so mentally ill, but no denying it worked and the fight scenes were tremendous.
So I’ve read Daredevil off and on forever. I’ve always been into the more obscure Marvel characters and I like how they don’t force the entirety of the Marvel universe down our throats with this book. I stopped reading when DD left New York, but I’m back with issue 610.
Yeah! It’s like I never stopped reading: DD is torturing himself over being with Elektra, who, of course, leaves him by the issue’s end . The fight scenes against this new villain, Vigil, are great and I am digging this. 4/5
Writer: Tom King
Artist: Clay Mann
I LOVED THIS though not a whole lot happened other than Wonder Woman, Superman and Batman confronting Harley Quinn and Booster Gold’s “did I or didn’t I” blatherings. Book contains one of my favorite Harley pages in recent memory.
They may be burning this a bit slow for some, but I thought this issue was perfect. 5/5
That’s it for this time. Maybe you haven’t noticed, but I’m going bi-weekly for The Reading Pile. I apologize, but it was just too hard doing this weekly. I’m enjoying the books more doing it every other week and I feel like the content is more organic this way.
Lastly, wanted to shout out Andy Tomberlin and his new Indie Spotlight Series as I think it’s great. There’s bound to be some crossover in both our efforts and I think that’s a good thing.
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