Saturday, 10 January 2015

My first comics of 2015!!

So the first Wednesday of the new year has been and gone, and with it the first new comic book day. I have started 2015 with good fortune as my new job is a brisk walk away from my local comic shop, meaning that I can pick up my new comics on the day they come out.

For me, it was a doubly good day as two of my new books were issue 1's as per my resolution to try out one new book a month (though I thought I'd come out of the gate hard with two instead) along with two of my already established (on my pull list anyway) books.

So, this week's stash were:

Ant-Man #1 - when this was announced I was in two minds. One one hand, it was an obvious cash cow to milk the upcoming film. On the other, I REALLY like the Scott Lang character and given the creative team, I expected good things from this book. Unfortunately, despite a cool premise/story and gorgeous art, this opening issue just didn't deliver the 'wow' factor I need from my comics. A big issue was Cassie's unexplained return (I had to go look it up) not to mention Scott's character regression compared to FF, which ultimately affected my love of the character. It was still a nice issue to read but it cost more than it was worth and I'm not convinced it'd be worthy of my time going forward.

Earth 2 #30 - Oh, how the mighty have fallen. A few months ago, if I were asked the best book I pull each month, I'd have said Earth 2 with little doubt (or a close 2nd place maybe). Unfortunately since Taylor and Scott's departure and the beginning of World's End, this book has become superfluous to requirements and this issue is no exception. The art is good and the writing fine, but I don't care about filler material; I want story and there was nothing that affected one here. I should drop it but with only two issues left, I might as well finish things off.

Earth 2: World's End #14 - Now, while Earth 2's quality appears to have waned, World's End seems to have actually improved some as the series gets ever closer to it's conclusion. This issue saw the heroes working hard to save the world (naturally) with half protecting the survivors and half woroing to destroy apokolips. Whereas early issues felt very disjointed in its depiction of multiple story threads, the consolidation of these into only two interlocking parts allows the book to feel much more fluid in its reading and easier to follow, thus more enjoyable. Also the art, while not great, is looking much better and more consistent between artists work, which helps my enjoyment level. While not the best book I get, it's nice to see it improve, so will hopefully end on a high note at this rate.

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1 - The second of my new issue 1's for this week, I have to admit I was a bit unsure of picking up Squirrel Girl based on how.... silly it looks (which, given its about a character called 'Squirrel Girl', silly might be what you should expect). However, both the story, about Dorreen Green starting college and attempting to maintain a secret identity, and the art are incredibly light-hearted and mimic Batman '66 and the new Batgirl run in trying to deliver that hip and fun essence. This is a book which is a very enjoyable read and but, much like Ant-Man, doesn't deliver anything which makes me want to come back for a second time.

So, the releases of this first week didn't really blow my mind, with nothing more than books being 'ok' across the board. However, I'm glad I got the new books read early as I can now plan ahead as to what I can buy in the months ahead. Also, it means I can be ready for next week and new issues of Lazarus, Copperhead and Daredevil.

Friday, 9 January 2015

What I took from the Image Expo news.

I was a bit stunned yesterday afternoon when, after checking comic book news sites (as is my standard operating procedure when I get home), I discovered that there was an Image Expo (presumably the first of 2015) having taken place in San Francisco. This was exciting news for me as it meant I could get a pretty good idea of what projects I could expect to see hit the shelves during the next 12 months.

Therefore, using the news from Comics Alliance, I decided to go through the list of announcements to find what books I might like to take a look at within the coming year. Upon doing this, here was what caught my eye:

Saviour by Todd McFarlane and Clayton Crain - I'm not a huge McFarlane fan, but I AM a big Crain fan (his Ghost Rider was immense). Looks like his art has improved since so I wanna keep an eye out for this.

No Mercy by Alex De Campi and Carla Speed McNeil - The info given and the cover are interesting alone, but when taken together I just can't help but wonder what this book is about.

RunLoveKill by Jonathan Tsuei, Eric Canete and Leonardo Olea - I'm not quite sure what this is about but the gorgeous cover art, along with the unusual name has got my attention.

Monstress by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda - Not much to go on, but I've always wanted to read Marjorie Liu's work and I loved Sana Takeda's art in Ms Marvel way back when.

Sons of the Devil by Brian Buccellato and Toni Infante - A pyschological thriller set over 25 years? Sure, sounds interesting. Brian Buccellato is involved? Yeah, I'm sold.

I Hate Fairyland by Scottie Young and Jean-Francois Beaulieu - The idea of a pyscho version of a fairy tale intrigues me.

Obviously, I haven't based the above on much more than the brief synopsis and the art which Comics Alliance supplied, but while additional info may alter my opinion on some of these books in time, they all very much took my fancy. I'm now very confident Image will be supply me with yet more comics on my pull list, especially with my current 'one new comic book every month' resolution which I'm trying to live by.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Comics wish list for 2015

It occurred to me last week (in truth it was about five seconds after hitting publish on my last post) that, while I do have big plans, there are also things that I wish to happen in the wider comics world during 2015:

1. Fantastic Four returns with a BANG - it's a foregone conclusion that FF is to end (something I'm not happy about) but hopefully after the new movie tanks (it will, it's based on the ultimate version after all), it'll be back and better than ever (with Waid in the driving seat again).

2. Better DC books post-convergence - with the exception of Earth 2 (which since World's End started has really dipped in quality as a filler book), I haven't really found all that many good DC books. All being well, once convergence is done that can change.

3. The end of 'Where is Jake Ellis?' - this is now becoming a permanent fixture of my comics wish list. It's been nearly two years since issue 3 and six months since issue 4. Hopefully 2015 will see its final issue released.

4. Some great books with Chris Samnee, Ryan Stegman or Francesco Francavilla on art - There's logic to this. Samnee's on Dardevil, Stegman is always on Marvel books which have no appeal to me and Francavilla seems to do mostly covers. However, if each of them was given a great, interesting, ongoing project I would snap up all three in a heartbeat.

5. Lazarus is made into a twice monthly series - This will NEVER happen, but it's such a good book that a guy can dream.

6. Marvel stops charging $5 for issue 1's - also won't happen, especially when people like me encourage it by picking up Ant-Man #1. Would be nice if we all had willpower, but maybe that's something we can work on. Gotta make Marvel listen with your money right?

7. A Punk Rock Jesus sequel (sorta) - Sean Gordon Murphy's series was f****** awesome and, while he's now busy working with the likes of Snyder and Millar, I'd like to see another terrific series in the same vein as PRJ.

8. A Dark Horse book which appeals to me - This isn't Dark Horse's fault, but I can never find a book that I seems like my thing.

9. Spider-Gwen outsells everything - Gwen Stacy rocks and Marvel are stupid to have killed her off way back when over Mary Jane and keep her that way. Therefore, I hope Spider-Gwen outsells everything every month just to prove a point.

10. Comics become cheaper so that I can buy more - yeah, this won't happen but I couldn't think of anything more and so figured I'd use this to round out to 10. It would be pretty great if this did happen though, right?

I'm sure there are more to my list and I'm certain that will be the case as the year progresses, but this a good set if dreams (however unrealistic) to start with.