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The Best Comic Ever (This Week) (That I Bought)!

Another strong field this week.* This time, it came down to two strong contenders with something in common. But only one can win. So I crunched the numbers, ran some simulations, flipped a coin, and picked the one with Spider-Man in it anyway.

The Best Comic Ever (This Week):

Assault on New Olympus #1 (A.K.A. Incredible Hercules vs. Amazing Spider-Man, A.K.A. Incredible Hercules #137 1/2, A.K.A. Incredible Herc/Agents of Atlas Double Feature With Spider-Man Is Like Nerd Porn For Brad Curran)

So, yeah, this is a comic where Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente writes a fight between Spider-Man and Hercules over a seemingly airhead goddess. It has everything that makes Pak, Van Lente, Incredible Herc, Spider-Man, Marvel Comics, mythological superheroes, and comics in general great. Rodney Buchemi’s not too shabby on the art, either. And then there’s an Agents of Atlas back up by Jeff Parker and Gabriel Hardman, which is just not fair to other comics that do not have Agents of Atlas backups. Which really oughta be all of them.

And yes, the other comic I considered for this honor was X-Men vs. Agents of Atlas, which really makes me want a Jeff Parker Uncanny X-Men run, even he will probably wind up being as hamstrung by writing Uncanny X-Men as Fraction, Brubaker, and everyone else since… Claremont? The first time? And only like one really good half? Still; Jeff Parker for President of the X-Men is something I’m all for. Can someone start a meaningless petition for that?

Other comics I bought this week in brief(-ish):

Ghost Riders: Heaven’s On Fire #4- Now with 99% less Ghost Riders! Kind of an off issue for Aaron and Boschi, but it did at least have a goth spiritual terrorist hottie fighting Madcap. Don’t see that every day. I have like negative interest in the back up reprints, for some reason. And that reason is I never wanted to like Ghost Rider before Aaron wrote him, and those things remind me why that is.

Marvel Zombies: Evil Evolution- So, yeah, that’s too much zombie viscera in my dopey ape superhero comic. A real sour way for a run of comics I probably liked too much to end (especially with no Peyer back up?!?!?!), but I guess that’s what I get for following their attempt to turn a sleeper hit in to a franchise.

Strange Tales #3- A mixed bag, for sure. The highlights for me were: Stan Sakai’s Hulk, because it’s Stan Sakai drawing the Hulk; the art on Corey Lewis and Dylan McCrae’s Longshot story (I mean, it’s something that could have been in X-Men Unlimited, and the dialogue almost gave me a seizure, but it looked pretty), Jay Stephens’ fun Beast vs. Morbius short (get that guy on a Beast mini/ongoing now!), Jeffrey Brown’s “FF are jerks” gag strip (I really like funny Jeffrey Brown), Paul Hornschemeier’s downbeat, effecting Nightcrawler Meets the Molecule Man (which features the saddest super villain monologue ever), and Michael Kupperman’s Avengers, which is incalculably better than any other Avengers comic ever.

The lows were Peter Bagge’s cute but underwhelming Hulk serial (the whole “the story Marvel didn’t want you to see until now” aspect of it didn’t help at all), Jonathan Jay Lee’s trailer for a Punisher revamp we’ll never (with art I couldn’t get in to at all), Max Cannon’s dumb Amazing Fantasy #15 riff, and whatever it is Chris Chua was drawing (that guy works with Khoi Pham? For reals?).

Becky Cloonan’s Namor strip was the median. Great art, as you’d expect, but what was with that reveal at the end? (That said, I’d buy the hell out of a Super Villain Team Up revamp with Doom as Namor’s deadbeat roomate, so good on Ms. Cloonan there.

I liked Strange Tales overall. People who waited for the trade are in for a nice package, I think, but it was also fun in singles (not $5 fun, each time, but good enough to justify $15 for three issues). Of course, I’m the guy who loved the first Bizarro Comics anthology and have barely read any of the people involved’s indie work, so… yeah, I’m that guy. Moving on.

Mighty Avengers Assemble Hardcover- Got this at the LCS’s Halloween sale. I really liked the Bendis/Cho arc. The one where Bendis and Bagley team up for the last time, not so much (well, what I’ve read; haven’t finished it, because seriously; Mark Bagley is as not very good at drawing big action comics as Bendis usually is at writing them). But yeah, that Bendis/Cho arc; first Avengers I’ve ever really liked outside of Kupperman’s just now.

I was pretty surprised, since I’ve always found Bendis’s New Avengers (featuring a roster I uniformly like) to be almost good. Mighty (where I like 2 1/2 of the characters, and one (Ms. Marvel) only because she’s good in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2) I really dug on a “widescreen comics” level. Also, Cho’s actually a pretty good comic book artist, and not just a pin up guy! Who knew? I almost feel bad that they blew up this team for Secret Invasion. And hey, thought balloons! I forgot I missed those!

*Three comics I would have bought on normal weeks were disqualified because I didn’t buy them: Buffy because I dropped it (push came to shove, and I was going to just get that Willow one shot and pack it in anyway; now I’ll just do that retroactively), Captain America: Reborn because I left it for later (trade if all else comes fails, since I have the rest of Brubaker’s run that way), and Deadpool Team Up because I forgot it/didn’t get home with it. Also, I only bought Marvel stuff this week, so there’s that awful bias going on. Be sure to tell me what else I forgot/why my opinion is wrong, folks!

16 Comments

FunkyGreenJerusalem

November 4, 2009 at 10:57 pm

he will probably wind up being as hamstrung by writing Uncanny X-Men as Fraction, Brubaker, and everyone else since… Claremont? The first time? And only like one really good half?

G-Mozz!

(And remember, Casey wasn’t hamstrung, he was strung out on coke!)

You apparently didn’t buy Secret Six this week. You are a horrible, horrible person. (Seriously, it’s Ostrander writing Deadshot. You should go back and buy it immediately.)

Morrison never wrote Uncanny, though.

I have to say, Strange Tales #3 was by far the weakest issue of the series. Chua’s short was flat-out incoherent, but for me Lewis’s clocked in as the second worst if only because the writing was so aggressively awful that not even the art could save it. Cannon’s segment was running pretty closely with Lewis, though.

Brown was probably my favorite segment of this issue, but I did enjoy Cloonan’s as well. I actually liked Lee’s Punisher story. There wasn’t much to it, but the art was interesting enough and I’d take it as an asian-inspired elseworld oneshot over that piece of crap Mangaverse Punisher one-shot Peter David did a few years ago. Then again, I may just be being overly generous to it seeing as how it followed the 1-2 punch of Chua and Cannon.

(And remember, Casey wasn’t hamstrung, he was strung out on coke!)

I remember Casey’s Uncanny got kind of good as he was leaving.

I bet Chad will write about it some day. Generic banter about our feud.

And yeah, Thok, I really ought to get in on Secret Six/Suicide Squad some day. It’s on the list.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

November 4, 2009 at 11:38 pm

Morrison never wrote Uncanny, though.

You think that was his secret?

Working on ‘X-Men’ and not Uncanny?

I remember Casey’s Uncanny got kind of good as he was leaving.

His widescreen annual with Ashley Wood was fantastic.

WRT Ghost Rider… I’m still scratching my head over who was behind the decision to rename Dan Ketch “Danny.” Guys, seriously? That’s just asinine. That’s the version of the character which appears alongside Petey Parker and Stevie Rogers in “Mini Marvels” (or perhaps Superhero Squad… friggin’ Superhero Squad…). Not in a (relatively) grown-up horror title.

Boy, Apes vs. Zombies could have been a thing of beauty. I’m not sure if I was turned off more by the use of multiple artists, or the contrived time-travel device which I thought couldn’t work in Marvel comics.

NOT SO RANDOM THOUGHT — “Best comic” sure doesn’t mean anything when you admit to flipping a coin.

Strange Tales #3 — I read the Stan Sakai story, and the Peter Bagge story liked both; the rest was crap.

Wow, I read so many comics this week and I totally forgot two really important ones, Assault on New Olympus, and Doctor Voodoo. Back I go!

I’ve bought nothing but Marvels the last couple of years, but I haven’t got any of these. And not just because I haven’t been to the store this week. I haven’t bought any of these series. But I did buy one issue of Bendis-Cho Mighty Avengers– the first issue. (I also got some later ones without Cho.) I really miss thought balloons, too. I was so glad to see them. I also want third-person narrative captions back. (I don’t deny they were overdone in the old days, especially by the annoying writers who would always describe what the pictures obviously showed. But that was better than the writers who wrote character dialogue to describe what the pictures showed. ‘Help! A trapdoor just opened and I’m falling into this dark pit!’) A lot of books these days need captions. Sometimes the art isn’t clear enough about what is happening.

I’ve seen referrences to ‘widescreen comics’ several times on this website, but I still can’t figure out what it means.

“whatever it is Chris Chua was drawing ”

Yeah, what the F was up with that? It looked like Jackson Pollock trying to draw a comic using his splatter technique. Was there even anything sequential going on there? I can’t believe Marvel accepted that thing.

I’d buy Uncanny X-Men by Jeff Parker… that would be sweet as sweet potato pie. Didn’t Parker do a few arcs on X-Men: First Class?

Secret Six came out this week and I don’t yet have it? What the Buddha is wrong with me…

Boy, Apes vs. Zombies could have been a thing of beauty. I’m not sure if I was turned off more by the use of multiple artists, or the contrived time-travel device which I thought couldn’t work in Marvel comics.

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