Quick Reviews: Avenging Spider-Man 15.1

Avenging_Spider-Man_Vol_1_15.1WRITTEN BY: Chris Yost
ART BY: Paco Medina
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
RELEASE: December 26, 2012

We are unhappy with the exact details of how the end of Amazing Spider-Man 700 went down, but we are both super-de-duper excited about the direction Slott and Co are going with with the future of Spider-Man. We are only gonna be able to keep the big change in Spider-Man’s life going forward under our hats for a few more days, peeps, so go read ASM 698-700, and tell us what you think.

How is Avenging Spider-Man 15.1? Well it is a point-one. If you didn’t buy 700 and bought this instead, then I guess you’ll find out what happened in 700, and be ready to ignore Superior and just read Avenging. You are also the kind of person who read Luigi’s comic when Mario’s is on the shelf. You’ll order imitation crab when there is Maine Lobster around.

I like imitation crab actually, its… ok. It does fine in crab salad, and sometimes, in crab cakes, if I a really hungry, like writing this sentence made me. It doesn’t really fill that lobster sized hole in your stomach, though, you know?

I’m not gonna put a grade here, ‘cuz if you can’t figure out what I’m saying you don’t deserve to know! Also I’m gonna go get some crab cakes.

Quick Review: Mara #1: Because you Demanded it!

WRITTEN BY: Brian Wood
ART BY: Ming Doyle and Jordie Bellaire
PUBLISHER: Image Comics
RELEASE: December 26, 2012

Mara, as far as I can tell from the tease of the first issue, is the story of a female volleyball player who lives in Orwell’s 1984. If that sounds high concept, I don’t think that I am under- (or over-) selling this book. Seriously, we are just in 1984, but instead of the lottery subplot you’ve got sports, especially woman’s volleyball.

Mar is sexy, a little smart, but most too self-aware for me to really attach myself too. That goes for the character and the book, actually.

Without spoiling this book, I don’t really have much else to say about it, except, that there really is a lot of volleyball in here, and I don’t thing Dolyle and Bellaire are really doing the sport justice. It is often hard to tell what is happening in the sports scenes.

Cabel’s Grade: C+

So this was Christmas

We won’t be doing quick reviews today, but we will have a feature for you on Friday, but not to fret, little ones with sugarplums  I am gonna give you a roundup of some of my favorite Christmas webcomics and then a video from the internet!

Some funny Christmasy webcomics, and a delightful, if depressing Christmas video.

Tests

Dear Satan Claus

We sure do like the folks over a Loading Ready Run here.

Did you know that the JLA and the JSA used to have Thanksgiving together every damn year? Christmas though is for family!

jla-jsa-thanksgiving

VF Cast Special: X-Men First Class: The Movie

This week we discuss comic book movies, pretty blue things, and what it’s like to be a cad. It’s time for X-Men: First Class!

DIRECTOR: Matthew Vaughn
PRODUCED BY: Bad Hat Harry Productions
IMDB for more info?: Here!
RELEASE: June 3, 2011

x-men-first-class-uk-poster

We discuss the perfectly and surprisingly delightful X-Men: First Class.

I promised a link to Movie Bob’s review and discussion of the film, as if you really need anyone’s opinion of anything that is not ours. Cretins!

There are problems with the film, which of course we discuss, but it really ends up being a a super positive podcast. Sorry haters, I guess you are gonna have to find somewhere else to get your hate on. Try Limbaugh.

I do have one problem with the film that is only tangentially touched on in the podcast. We discuss that Professor X is a bit of a dick, but I never mentioned how much I hate watching him use his powers.

James-McAvoy-X-Men-First-Class-2

I don’t think I’d have been bothered if he did the ol’ finger to the temple thing when he was really focusing or, like, when it was really important for us to know he was using his powers, but for some reason it was decided that EVERY DAMN TIME Xavier used his powers, which was in almost every single damn one of his appearances on film, he had to put his damn hand on the side of his damn head. As you can tell I found that slightly annoying. Pretty good movie though.

Vestrymen Grade: B

Some people like to download the podcast: VFCast! Special – X-Men: First Class

The music for this episode of Vestrymen from the Future! is used under a Creative Commons licence. Intro music “The Future Soon” by Jonathan Coulton.

Quick Reviews for 12/19/2012

Happy! #3, Transformers #12, Daredevil #21, Hawkeye #6, sex, drugs, and nicknames!

Happy #3

WRITTEN BY: Grant Morrison
ART BY: Darick Robertson
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
RELEASE: December 19, 2012

Happy! #3 is saner than the Happy!s that have come before, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t torture, gun shot wounds, and talking flying ponies.

Grade: B+

Transformers: More than Meets the Eye #12

Transformers_MorethanMeetstheEye_12-CvrRI-459x700WRITTEN BY: James Roberts
ART BY: Alex Milne
PUBLISHER: IDW Comics
RELEASE: December 19, 2012

Neither of us are Transformers fans so a lot of the mythology goes over our heads and we are generally lost and confused, which it turns out our target audience loves, so, good then?

Vestrymen Grade: C

Daredevil: The Man Without Fear #21

Daredevil_Vol_3_21_TextlessWRITTEN BY: Mark Waid
ART BY: Chris Samnee
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
RELEASE: December 19, 2012

We read this for the Spectacular Spider-Man cameo. I usually like Mark Waid, but we were both underwhelmed with this issue.

Vestrymen Grade: C

Hawkeye #6

2727071-hawkeye_6_coverWRITTEN BY: Matt Fraction
ART BY: David Aja
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
RELEASE DATE: 12/19/2012

So you  are still not reading Hawkeye, eh? If you are “waiting for trade” you are stronger than both of us put together. This book is great every damn month. I’d read it every damn day. Go pre-order the trade at least, would you? Please? If this is canceled we might just give up on public life and cancel the podcast, or your face. That is right, we might cancel your face! What do you think about that? It is easy to avoid! Go buy Hawkeye!

Vestrymen Grade: A+

You can download this podcast, you know, to listen to on your iThing or whatever: Reviews from the Future! 12-19-2012

The music for this episode of Vestrymen from the Future! is used under a Creative Commons licence. Intro music “The Future Soon” by Jonathan Coulton. Also featuring “Kenesaw Mountain Landis”, also by Jonathan Coulton.

Brought to you by Colgate-Palmolive! A Review of The Walking Dead #105

I like zombies.

A lot.

Return of the Living Dead - Tar Man

That much.

So it’s strange that I had never read any of Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead. Because it’s got zombies and stuff.

Anyhow, I read this book today:

The-Walking-Dead_105 Cover

It’s The Walking Dead issue 105!

I mentioned this book in our weekly comic book review podcast, stating that I wasn’t exactly sure how to assign a grade to this type of issue. Imagine watching a single episode of a daytime soap opera. You learn that Charles is sleeping with Cassandra and that she might be pregnant with Jose’s baby. You learn that Mark is blackmailing Eric. You see, with your eyes, Emily fighting with William. You watch it, you take it all in, you finish ironing your bed or whatever the fuck people do while they watch daytime soap operas, but it doesn’t mean anything to you because you don’t have a clue who these characters are. You’re not in the loop, and the result is shallow and pointless melodrama. You want to feel the emotions that you know the musical cues are supposed to emphasize, you just don’t have the tools to do so.

Now, imagine that daytime soap opera is a bad ass survival epic, brutal and twisted and gory and delightful. You really think that you should be loving it, and you’re pretty sure that you would if you had any context. You don’t have any of that thing. You are pretty comfortable rooting for the stoic kid with the bullet hole where is right eye used to be, and you’re pretty sketched out by the fascist fucker with the wives and face-ironing, but really you don’t have a clue where this all started or where it’s going. Shit, any one can write pulp, what makes this book any different?

Super hero comic books usually don’t work like this. The periodical format is so thoroughly ingrained in the roots of the genre that we expect the background to find its way into the writing over the course of the issue. Even in the age of the cross-over event and the mini-series we still, at least, generally expect our super hero stories to work for a reader whose entire worldview encompasses the last three issues.

Soap operas don’t play by these rules. They’re long, melodramatic, convoluted, and unpredictable. They’re not friendly to casual viewers because they have no real interest in appealing to casual viewers. They cater to the true believers, the initiates who are willing to engage a heap of characters over the long haul. This can be extremely rewarding (it’s also why Smallville was a piss-poor super hero show, but a halfway-decent soap opera) but the joys of the continuous serial narrative are insurmountably beyond the grasp of he who hesitates to commit.

Does that mean they’re not great stories? You read Dickens in high school for a reason, right?

Every bit of evidence I can gather, having read a grand total of one issue of The Walking Dead, suggests that Robert Kirkman is writing a killer book. If I had to take a stand, I’d give issue 105 a “B” on its own merits. Ignore that grade completely, because the real strength of this book is in how hungry I am to read issues 1 – 104.

– Peace

Quick Reviews for 12/12/2012

All 12s all the time today. Our first re-attempt at a skypecast.  We review Age of Apocalypse 12, ASM 699.1, Batgirl 15, Batman 15.

Age of Apocalypse #10

Age-of-Apocalypse_10-674x1024WRITTEN BY: David Lapham
ART BY: Roberto De La Torre
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
RELEASE: December 12, 2012

We like Roberto De La Torre, but if you can tell me what the heck is going on in AOA #10, please tell me. We think, if we read this from the beginning we might really dig it, or we might hate it so very much, hard to tell really.

Vestrymen Grade: Not a good jumping on point

Amazing Spiderman 699.1

WRITTEN BY: Joe Keatinge and Dan Slott
ART BY: Valentine Delandro
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
RELEASE: 12/12/12

ASM has been one of our favorite books for a while now, but neither of us have ever been that excited about Morbius: “The Alive Vampire,” as Leland has taken to calling him. Its an ok book, but we are all still holding our breaths for #700. Also publishing a .1 right before you change a hero’s whole world seems dumb, downright dumb.

Cabel’s Grade: C+
Leland’s Grade: D

Batman #15

WRITTEN BY: Scott Snyder
ART BY:Greg Capullo
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
RELEASE: 12/12/12

Death in the Family is fucking awesome. If you are not reading it, you’d better be waiting for the trade, cuz this shit is real, yo! The Joker is creepy, and the crossover is written really soldly from author-to-author, creative team to creative team. Start reading, it, now.

Vestrymen grade: B+

Batgirl #15

batgirl-015-01WRITTEN BY: Gail Simone
ART BY: Daniel Sampere
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
RELEASE: 12/12/12

Gail Simone is rad, radder that you, radder than me, and as you can tell from  my previous review we rather like the crossover too. Fun, insane, gut wrenching unpleasant, and really well written. FYI: Batarangs concuss.

Vestrymen Grade: A-

You can download this podcast: Reviews from the Future! 12-12-2012

The music for this episode of Vestrymen from the Future! is used under a Creative Commons licence. Intro music “The Future Soon” by Jonathan Coulton. Also featuring “Kenesaw Mountain Landis”, also by Jonathan Coulton.