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Everything posted by Christian

  1. Immortal Hulk, without a doubt. I don't know. I might have enjoyed a couple of other comics I read this year. Maybe. I read far less comics this year than I have for the past few years. That can only be a good thing, if only one comic immediately comes to mind as the "best" comic of this year. I might have included House of X and Powers of X, but the series was left open-ended and continued in to the "Dawn of X" relaunch, and that's been pretty poor so far. I was pretty excited by Hickman's shaking up the X-Men universe for those two minis. I can't recommend them to be read on their own though. Maybe the most controversial and divisive comics of the 2019 though.
  2. Christian

    DC Comics

    Most of the comic companies have gone to using the cheaper paper stock for their covers that they use on the interior pages, and they didn't bother to lower the costs. There is one smaller comic company (Alterna Comics) which is using the really cheap paper stock and only charging $1.99 per book. So, it's definitely possible. However, you have to wonder how that may effect sales. No one except the most diehard comic fan is buying that companies' books. Some readers may be turned off by a comic which looks to be the same paper stock as a newspaper. I mean, I'm pretty sure the paper stock was higher in the mid-1990s, when mainstream comics were printed on that glossy paper. They are charging a bit above the inflation rate, as a Marvel Comic was $2 in 1996, and checking the inflation rate, it should be roughly $3.25 in 2019 after inflation. I'm wondering if comic companies have raised their prices a bit above inflation due to losing readers though. Sometimes if a business is doing worse, it will raise the prices, to gouge the loyal customers it does have in order to make an up extra profit from lost overall sales.
  3. Christian

    DC Comics

    I believe that price is definitely the biggest reason that comic sales continue to decline. Kids used to be the biggest market for comics. Most kids don't have an extra $4 that they can spend on one comic book. Meanwhile, the average age of the majority of today's comic book audience is mid-30s to early-50s. The publishers had it much easier in the early-1990s too, because kids will pretty much think anything is cool if their buddies are in to it. Plus, the speculators were easy to please, since those people were mostly illiterate and didn't even care about the story, so long as they expected to retire early by buying ten copies of most books.
  4. Well, I guess I should just get this out of the way....Hickman's X-Men #2 was pretty much a mess. There was a somewhat cool concept hidden in this story, which could have worked nicely as a homage to crazy Silver Age plots....except, the issue wasn't written with the fun and flair of a Silver Age pastiche. We had some very cringe-worthy plotting and dialogue. I'm sorry to say this, but it was Howard Mackie levels of bad. Like, Cable deciding to give a grenade to an "alien being". The "alien being" blowing up the grenade and getting upset, only for Cable to assure Cyclops and Rachel that he meant the grenade as a peace offering. When things calm down, even the alien is wondering why Cable would do such a stupid thing. Plus, there's the issue of the fact that it now seems that no one is living on Krakoa. I at least thought that Hickman's series were going to be interesting. I'm not sure how the writer of books like Fantastic Four, Avengers, or SHIELD could end up writing something this dismal. I'm beginning to think this new relaunch was all a horrible mistake, after the promise of House and Powers. New Mutants may be the only decent comic out of the "Dawn of X".
  5. Family Tree #1-I wasn't that much of a fan of this book. It's definitely not bad and is well-written, but I feel like I've seen this from Jeff Lemire before. It reads very much like a cross of Sweet Tooth and Royal City. I mean, if you want something safe from Lemire that you know he can do a good job with the premise, you'll know what to expect. It's not as if the comic book world is overflowing with these types of plots. It's not that I didn't like the story, it's just that I don't see much here that makes me want to continue reading, because it feels like well-worn territory from Lemire. Still, if you love Jeff Lemire's creator-owned writing, I'd say you would enjoy this book. I just don't feel I need another series to collect, unless I find it unique.
  6. Christian

    DC Comics

    I saved the better comics for last. Far Sector #1 (by N.K. Jemisin)-I enjoyed this. It was very well written. This is Jemisin's first comic book work, and many times a prose fiction writer attempts to write a comic book, and it takes them a while to learn the new artform. Jemisin came across as a veteran of comics. In fact, this issue read better than some of her prose short fiction. Jemisin continues to show her forte for world-building, and it is an interesting world she has created. I enjoyed the bits of socio-political commentary about our world that she included the best, although the book is more than just a political metaphor. I would say it is one of the better Green Lantern related comics in years, if it wasn't for Morrison writing Green Lantern currently. The Dollhouse Family #1 (by Mike Carey)-That was quite good. At times, it compared favourably to the Unwritten or Lucifer. I'm glad I picked it up and will continue to look forward to where this is going.
  7. Christian

    DC Comics

    The Batman's Grave #2-Wow, that was almost like someone writing a parody of a Warren Ellis comic book. That would have to be one of the very worst comics I read in 2019. After an ambiguous, but somewhat promising, start on this mini-series, Ellis exemplifies all the worst traits to be found in an Ellis comic. All the positives from the first issue were lost in this one. There are about five pages total with dialogue. Alfred acts as if he cannot take this story seriously anymore. The ending is just random. Last issue ended with a nice cliffhanger to make the reader want to come back. This issue ended as if Ellis finally fell asleep writing the script. It makes me want to very much avoid this comic going forward. I know this is a twelve-issue book, and I may be hasty to damn it so badly, but Ellis may be working to top his Legends of the Dark Knight misfire. Regardless of it becomes a work of staggering genius, Ellis completely lost me with this horrible issue, because I will not spend another $4 for fear that more of the comics will read as poorly as this one. (After this and the three books I read from Marvel this week, I am really beginning to understand why I decided to read very few comics now.)
  8. Morbius #1, Fallen Angels #1, Punisher: Soviet #1....well, I didn't like any of that! Two of them read like they're straight out of the 1990s. I don't mean that as in any way a good thing. Punisher: Soviet was just badly decompressed. I wasn't planning to buy Fallen Angels from the "Dawn of X" line and now that I did end up buying it, I don't regret my earlier decision to not buy this one. I won't be following up on any of these three comics.
  9. Never have your car break down while you're at (or near, as in my case) the comic book store.... I ended up buying way too many comics again, after getting my comic spending habits under control. So, let's see, I picked up X-Men #2, as I was always planning to do. Punisher: Soviet #1-I was thinking about getting this one, but with all the time I had to kill, new Ennis Punisher seemed even more enticing. Morbius #1-I don't know. I remembered seeing Adrian was interesting, so I said what the hell.* Batman's Grave #2-Issue #1 said that I didn't need to buy this comic. Lots of extra time said I was interested enough in issue #2. Gideon Falls-This one is on my pull list. Family Tree-On a regular week? I was probably going to pass on it, because I didn't need a new series to buy. This week, it was a must buy. Dollhouse #1-See Family Tree above. Far Sector #1-What's that Mr. Comic Book Store Owner? This is written by prose genre writer N.K. Jemisin? Sure, why not add it to my total. Fallen Angels #1-Oh, the last "Dawn of X" title? The one I wasn't interested in? OK, I'm interested enough to buy the first issue right now. That'll be good. *Hey, now that I look at the cover, Morbius has a Marvel Legacy number on it. How can that be? Is it counting the early-1990s series? What about the great Steve Gerber 1970s series in Adventures into Fear? Did that get counted?
  10. New Mutants #1-The other title Hickman wanted to write. This was really fun. It reminded me very much of Claremont's 1980s New Mutants run. Very high praise, indeed. Krakoa mostly served as a jumping off point for this story. While that annoyed me in Excalibur, it didn't matter with this New Mutants comic, because it was well written and included humour. I am definitely interested in reading this New Mutants. It made me feel, at times, like I was discovering those classic Chris Claremont New Mutants comics all over again. X-Force #1-This was ok. It read very much like X-Force. It was based strongly in the Krakoan set-up. This comic is actually continued directly on from the first Marauders issue. Benjamin Percy also returns the tone much closer to Hickman's House/Powers/X-Men series. It's Benjamin Percy, so it's worth checking out where this is going with the next issue. So, there's this weird disconnect in the middle of all these titles with Excalibur. It doesn't fit with the other "Dawn of X" books. It was the only book that I didn't enjoy. This will end my "Dawn of X" thoughts, as I don't have any interest in picking up Fallen Angels. Overall, not a band relaunch, although the two comics I most enjoyed were X-Men and New Mutants (both by Hickman). Those will probably end up being the only two "Dawn of X" books I continue buying on a monthly basis, unless the two other titles (outside of Excalibur, which I won't be reading again, because it's terrible) vastly improve. They weren't bad, but they either read as pretty average (Marauders) or it felt like more of the same from the X-line (X-Force).
  11. Let's see....Mourning of the Magician was in 1990. It's not as if John looks that young at the end of Hellblazer either. It was just the stupid reboots that made John look so young while pretending that his age was still the same as Vertigo John. That was just an easter egg for long-term readers though. There's no way that John was really meant to be in his 60s during those three reboots. He was written and looked in his 30s or 20s, depending on which series. Those stories just need to be ignored.
  12. What age was Gemma supposed to be when Vertigo Hellblazer ended though? I know Milligan wrote her as an immature psychotic, but let's just ignore that.
  13. I'm pretty sure that Tim Hunter did grow up as the series progressed. There was a Tim Hunter series by Dylan Horrocks that featured Hunter in university. That series was quite a while ago too, so you'd have to figure Hunter would be somewhere in his late-20s, if not even older. Looking online, the last Vertigo Tim Hunter series was from 2002. Plus, there'd have to be some sort of weird time dilation effect going on if John ages in real time, while Tim Hunter stays perpetually a youth, if they exist in the same universe.
  14. I don't think the Tim Hunter stuff is lasting beyond this "special". It's a tie-in with the Books of Magic series. I think it's getting tied off with that comic, and then the ongoing series is going to move in its own direction.
  15. Excalibur #1-That was horrible. So....Apocalypse is a sorcerer now? News to me. This has nothing to do with Hickman's "Dawn of X". Not really. It seems like it's happening in its own alternate reality. It's horribly written and badly conceived. This comic should have never been published in 2019, nevermind part of a huge relaunch of the X-Men franchise. I will not be back, no.
  16. I am pleasantly surprised. This was quite good. I could have done without all the Books of Magic continuity, but I knew that was what this reintroduction was going to be based around, so fair enough. Outside of that, this was the first time that John Constantine has read like John Constantine in a long time, maybe Milligan's "The Scab" two-parter. I'd say that Spurrier definitely has the Vertigo John done well, and it seems like DC is actually interested in letting Hellblazer be Hellblazer again after all these years. If Spurrier keeps this up and has some interesting plots for John going forward, this is absolutely going to be a Hellblazer comic book worth reading again. The plot that Spurrier was setting up for future stories was of interest to me. I look forward to seeing where Spurrier is going with it. I am cautiously optimistic, because I've been burnt many times before, but none of the reboots started off as strongly as this issue from Spurrier, which is hampered by the Books of Magic tie-in remit besides. So, I'm going to keep picking up this Hellblazer relaunch. I'll give this a 7. Story-wise, it didn't do a lot for me, because I don't care about the Books of Magic anymore. Writing wise, it's quite good and shows a lot of promise. So, I'm rating it more for what it seems that this could be, rather than this issue in and of itself. With a better plot, one not so steeped in Tim Hunter lore, this could've been an easy 9. EDIT:Wow. I just figured out that Hellblazer, proper, ended over six years ago. My, how time flies.
  17. Well, I was right to look forward to "Long Night at Goloski Station". Very good. Now, let's look at this Hellblazer relaunch, and see if it can compare to the Hellboy comic. I have my doubts, because this was a damn fine story. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- So, the new Witchfinder mini-series is going to be about Jack the Ripper, eh? Why? I mean, it was bound to happen eventually. An occult detective operating in Victorian London....sigh. That case has finally been solved now. Can't we just move on now? I'm so tired of Jack the Ripper stories. I was hoping when the case was pronounced solved that we'd finally see the Jack the Ripper speculation die away. The only Jack the Ripper story I will ever approve of going forward is my theory that the TV show Three's Company was really about Jack the Ripper in 1970s California. Think about it. What was the main character's name? Jack Tripper....Jack T. Ripper. It's so obvious. That story still needs to be told. Otherwise, time to let it die.
  18. For completests, there's a John Constantine short story, written by Jonathan Layman, included in that DC Ghosts 100-page Giant Special. I didn't buy it, so I can't speak for the quality of the story, if it is worth buying. I just thought some members may be interested in getting that comic too.
  19. Oh, well, it still doesn't make much sense. Saturn would take 29 years to complete a full orbit, I believe. No one is celebrating any sort of birthday in the issue, to be literal. Hellboy would have been born in 1945, if we consider the time he arrived on Earth as his "birth". Liz is still a teenager in the issue. Hellboy would have turned 29 before 1977 when the story is set. So, I still don't understand what the title has to do with anything.
  20. I think that's just for this introductory Special issue. DC has to try to get all those raving Books of Magic fans to try this young, upstart book called Hellblazer. I think the book is moving in a different direction with the beginning of the on-going monthly series. I'm much more looking forward to the Hellboy comic, myself.
  21. Hellboy and the BPRD: Saturn Returns-What....the.....hell? I expect most of these Hellboy and the BPRD (the ones not written exclusively by Mignola) minis to be boring. This one checks that box. Yet, I'm not sure that this damn story made one lick of sense. I couldn't piece together an actual story here. I have no idea what this final issue had to do with anything. The second issue went off on some tangent about Erich Von Daniken's Chariots of the Gods. Since the story was set in the 1970s, I thought that was sort of neat, because that was a major aspect of pop culture at that time-period. That went absolutely nowhere though. I don't understand what it was doing in the story, and I don't know what there was of an actual plot to these three issues anyway. What does the title even mean? A reference to Saturnalia, surely. That title ends up meaning absolutely nothing in the end. There's been a long series of missing person cases in this small New Hampshire town through the ages. The police have finally come upon bodies. There are theories as to what is going on. Something from the history of the BPRD seems to be responsible. Then, the perpetrator is shot in the head. The End. That's enough plot for one comic. Meanwhile, a young Liz runs away from the BPRD....and this ties in to the wider story how? It's like an extra half-a-story gets tacked on to this story-arc to pad out page count, and then it's resolved without making much sense either. The sad part is that it was another missed opportunity. Move the story two years later, since it took place in the 1970s anyway, and move it to Massachusetts instead, since it already took place in New England; it could have featured the Dover Demon. That would have given the story a bit more depth. Just thinking about this comic makes me angry. I think I'm putting more time and effort in to being angry than the writers spent on the plotting. I must stop ever thinking about this comic book series again. Terrible! Terrible even with low expectations. Bring on a Mike Mignola written Hellboy Halloween issue.
  22. Marauders #1-For a comic book about free trade, there sure was a lot of beating up Russians. It was cute enough. I'm not sure there's enough meat to keep reading the book, but for right now, there's nothing that makes me want to stop reading it either. I do like Kitty Pryde a lot. So, I'll keep reading this one for the nonce, but it doesn't hook me like Hickman's issues, so far. If we saw a bit more on the issue of trade, it would probably do more to catch my attention. Amazing Spider Man: Full Circle #1-I wasn't really sure what this was when I picked it up, other than some sort of Spider Man anthology with a story by Jonathan Hickman. I thought that sounded worth my time. Well, it's not an actual anthology, it's a "round robin" story. Sadly, Hickman writes the first part of the story, so he doesn't get to add much to the overall story. So, buying it to read a Hickman Spider Man story is a waste. However, the Jason Aaron portion of the story is completely insane, and made up for me buying this thing. It's a gentle mocking of Kraven's Last Hunt featuring Peter Porker. Holy hell. The plot isn't bad either, once you get in to it. The writers were trying to do something a bit more high concept, to make up for that exorbitant price tag. Here's a note: When you just made a person spend fuckin' $10 for a comic book, the editor shouldn't open the comic saying, "I hope we were able to make this work"! Geez. It's not worth $10, no, but it was a clever, fun story with some nice names writing the story, and the Aaron portion was pretty damn amazing.
  23. Grant Morrison didn't stay on the book for long, regretfully. I really loved that zero issue showing that we're living in the Kali Yuga. Morrison wrote some issues of this for Virgin Comics before they went out of business, which were never published. When Graphic India started up, it bought the rights to publish the unpublished Virgin Comics series, but Morrison seemed to have lost interest in finishing the comic. After the previously finished issues were published, Graphic India got another writer to take over the book from Morrison.
  24. I am liking Hickman's X-Men. It has a different feel to it, but there's also the sense of the classic buried underneath. I'd say it is pretty close to what Ewing is doing with Immortal Hulk. It's not as good as Immortal Hulk (at least not yet), and Hickman is using a lot more in-depth continuity. I don't think a reader unfamiliar with the history of the X-Men would be able to figure out what was going on with most of X-Men #1. Immortal Hulk's use of continuity is much more superficial. It reads as a stand-alone series. I'd best describe X-Men #1 as Chris Claremont meets Grant Morrison meets Arthur C. Clarke. If you haven't read House and Powers of X books, don't bother with X-Men, because it won't make much sense. X-Men #1 continues over directly from the finale of Powers of X, which is why it's released just a week after that series ended. Although, Hickman said that the new X-Men series was going to be done-in-one stories, and that's definitely not what this issue featured. Right now, I'm the most excited I've been with the X-books since Mike Carey was writing X-Men probably, and it's the most interested I've been in the direction of the X-Men since Morrison. I even want to read most of the spin-off "Dawn of X" titles now to see where this is going.
  25. X-Men #1, and...that's it. OK then.
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