The Reading Pile #21

So, hey, The Reading Pile is of legal age now! Some interesting books in the pile this week, so let’s get right to it.

Criminal 1, Image Comics, 1/9/2019
Writer: Ed Brubaker
Artist: Sean Phillips

So I have gushed about the history & synergy of Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips before; perhaps the best in the business. I’ll be honest, I think crime/noir comics are the best books out there when they are done well and these two have been doing it forever.

I easily spent 30 minutes with this book. It seamlessly weaves:

  • a kid robbing an elderly man after his hearing stories of post war pro wrestling in Japan AND an epic jewel heist.
  • Said kid pawning said fortunes and bailing his pops out of prison. One Teeg Lawless, character that has been in older volumes of Criminal.
  • Teeg finding out about the death of his former partner, Arvin. He reminisces and attends the funeral. Oh, and he also fornicates with one of Arv’s old girlfriends.

We close with a funeral, a fight and Lawless stumbling on to one of Arvin’s old potential scores that could be quite lucrative.

This was pretty good and we are just getting started. 4/5

Wonder Woman 62, DC Comics, 1/16/2019
Writer: G. Willow Wilson
Artist: Xermanico

Wasn’t going to include this as I do review a lot of Wonder Woman books, but I loved the B cover and it had some outstanding visuals. One of my favorite panels in recent memory:
Fairly typical WW story, she has an epic battle with Ares: there’s conflict, then resolution and then fallout. Not a whole lot left to say, I found Xermanico’s art particularly stunning in this issue. We close with this panel and I loved it.4/5

Conan The Barbarian 2, Marvel Comics, 1/16/2019
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Mahmud A. Asrar

So we are not picking up from issue 1, instead there’s a brief summary of what happened with the Crimson Witch and her child servants. So I am guessing we’re getting some self contained stories that will be tied together in some way. I think I like this approach. It can give an author as skilled as Jason Aaron some leeway and keep thinks fresh.

This issue is good: Conan is battling some Medieval warriors of the woods called Picts when they are attacked by giant, terrifying Ghost Snakes. That’s plural, not one snake, but a pack of them and Conan barely escapes with his life with the help of a Pict shaman.

Though they are enemies, the shaman convinces Conan to help the Pict tribe battle the demon Ghost Snakes. Much carnage ensues; you’ll never guess (wink, wink) who pops up at the end and to tell you anymore would be ruining the story.

Awesome issue, shout out to Mahmud Asrar and his awesome art. Makes me want reach out for my sketchbook. 4/5

The Green Lantern 3, DC Comics, 1/9/2019
Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist: Liam Sharp

The weirdness and hillarity continues with this title as I, AGAIN, found myself laughing out loud, many times. I always feel like I’m being lazy when I go bullet list to summarize but it’s helpful:

  • the earth has been reduced to a fraction of it’s size and is now for sale in this weird galaxtic auction.
  • Sold for ten thousand jilli-stellars to the Gandalf looking shepard! Well, you know Green Lantern isn’t standing for this nonsense.
  • He is fighting with said shepard and confronting auctioneers and all hell is breaking loose!

This isn’t for everyone, but this issue was hilarious! Lastly, awesome Jae Lee DC B variant. 4/5

Quick Hits

Man Without Fear – anyone like this? Matt Murdock in a coma for four issues while we observe his world unravel? I didn’t care for this at all. Dropped from the pull.

The Batman Who Laughs 2 – I took for granted how much I could enjoy a good Batman story like this. Elements of mystery, a great confrontation between Bats and TBWL and a surprise reveal at the end. Really liking this. 4/5

Martian Manhunter 2 – Bought this for the awesome cover. If you didn’t read my review of the 1st issue, we basically alternate between MM’s life on Mars and earth. In this issue, I found myself skipping through the Mars stuff as I found the earth stuff infinitely more interesting. 3/5

Appalachian Apocalypse – found the art INCREDIBLY distracting in this, so much so that I couldn’t finish it. I’m going to try and read it again because it can’t be as awful as my initial impression. Appalachian Esophagus.

That’s it for this issue, be good to each other and read some comics. Peace.

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