WHAT IS THE BUY PILE?
Every week Hannibal Tabu (two-time Eisner-winning journalist/blogger/novelist/poet/jackass on Twitter/head honcho of Komplicated.com) goes to a comic book store called Comics Ink in Culver City, CA (Overland and Braddock -- hey Steve, Jason, Vince and Quislet) and grabs a whole lotta comics. These periodicals are quickly sorted (how) into two piles -- the "buy" pile (a small pile most weeks, comprised of planned purchases) and the "read" pile (often huge, often including comics that are really crappy but have some value to stay abreast of). Thursday afternoons you'll be able to get his thoughts (and they're just the opinions of one guy, so calm down, and here's some common definitions used in the column) about all of that ... which goes something like this ...
THE BUY PILE FOR AUGUST 24, 2011
What a wonderful way to say goodbye. David Kim and his intrepid group of mystically-talented friends have stormed an impossible castle in the skies while introducing even more wonderfully new wild ideas ("the sisterhood of blood mummies") while prepping a deep conversation about the challenges of immortality and the desire to maintain your humanity. The action scenes are elegant, thanks to the art of Frazer Irving, while John Rozum's script approaches the subject with such love and such delicacy that it's a wonder to behold. This series is apparently one of many on the chopping block in the face of The New 52, and it's truly a shame to see such a beautiful work of comics art disappear. Rozum announced that a TPB will be coming out under the Vertigo banner, and hopefully that means that more Xombi will one day emerge.
Batman, Incorporated #8
Jump from the Read Pile.
Wow. To start out, Bruce Wayne's invented "internet 3.0," an immersive virtual copy of the real world complete with fully functional haptic feedback that'd make Daniel Graystone nod appreciatively. Taking a team of billionaires in to consider investment, everything gets weird when a serpent sneaks into paradise, complete with digital zombie mercenaries and a thrill seeking agenda up against the Bat's best online operative, ready to transition her way back to kicking people in the face (let alone a possible toss to David Zavimbi). A surprisingly entertaining done-in-one work with brash coloring, innovative action scenes (the elevator one was gripping) and ideas so close to tomorrow that you can almost see them on the horizon. Good stuff!
WHAT'S THE PROGNOSIS?
A jump and some very entertaining reading.
THIS WEEK'S READ PILE
Honorable Mentions: Stuff worth noting, even if it's not good enough to buy
"Daken Dark Wolverine" #13 had a drugged, dizzy plot where Daken wrestled with his normal assemblage of manipulations while struggling with addiction. The problem is that, when struggling, Daken's not very entertaining. The supporting police detective character has an interesting role, and the procedural elements were fine, but there was something off there.
The "Meh" Pile Not good enough to praise, not bad enough to insult, not important enough to say much more than the title
"Captain America and Bucky" #621, "Flashpoint: Lois Lane and The Resistance" #3, "Loose Ends" #2, "Fear Itself: Youth In Revolt" #4, "Flashpoint: Project Superman" #3, "X-Men" #16, "Fracture" #2, "FF" #8, "Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors" #13, "Executive Assistant Lotus" #2, "Kick-Ass 2" #3, "Green Lantern Movie Prequel: Sinestro" #1, "Ultimate Comics: The Ultimates" #1, "Dark Horse Presents" #3, "Mystery Men" #4, "Superman Beyond" #0, "Star Wars Jedi: The Dark Side" #4, "Punisher" #2, "Dungeons & Dragons: The Legend of Drizzt" #1, "Driver: Crossing The Line" #1, "Uncanny X-Force" #13, "Snake Eyes" #4, "Astonishing X-Men" #41.
No, just ... no ... These comics? Not so much ...
"Brightest Day Aftermath: The Search for Swamp Thing" #3 had an inconclusive finale with a plot that spins its wheels to little or no end. It was less than compelling as an element of a large crossover and even less as an individual comic book.
It's shocking to see "Deadpool" #42 so far from the land of purchases, but to be frank, Daniel Way's script is simply boring. The female lead is both baffling and tedious, the title character doesn't have a single moment worth even a chuckle and nothing that happens here is even worth remembering a week later. Tragic, honestly.
"Flashpoint: Kid Flash Lost" #3 was less a comic book and more a tepid collection of pin ups and chatterboxing exposition. Intended, one would theorize, to provide context to the baffling events of the crossover, but it didn't achieve that mission at all.
In "Thor: Heaven and Earth" #3, the title character -- a Norse divinity -- ends the issue reciting what seems to be a Catholic prayer, in Latin. If that doesn't say "fail," it'd be hard to quantify what does. Extraordinary navel gazing from a character that should be clearly associated with action and awe. No.
SO, HOW BAD WAS IT?
There was so much mediocrity and so little worth recommending that the bad books weighed things down.
WINNERS AND LOSERS
After a long string of wins, this week ends up a wash, because despite an inexpensive purchase side. There was just too much dragging the week's reading down.
Wow, what a week on Komplicated! The webcast featured a riveting interview with "Blackjack" creator Alex Simmons as well as a look at the un-embeddable DC commercial that's gonna play in movie theaters, Panthro's debut from "Thundercats," and the awesome new "Battlefield 3" trailer. Add to that one of the fiercest #whodwin Wednesday sessions ever regarding Thulsa Doom, Darth Vader, Lex Luthor, Norman Osborn, M.A.N.T.I.S. and Automan, a great review of "Executioners from Shaolin" on DVD, respect for the legacy of Nick Ashford, and of course regular features like a weekly list of free MP3 downloads, the "relaunched" Commentary Tracks for these reviews and Vince Moore delivering the weekly Blackwatch report of where to find Black people in media. Also, you can listen to a Komplicated report on the Sunday Morning Live web radio show. Updated at least three times a day, the site's bringing it to you in preparation for our September "relaunch," called "The New Black."
Oh, and this weekend on the webcast (Sunday night 9PM PST on the Geekweek Network), there's gonna be an interview with the only Black person writing a monthly comic for either of the big two publishers, "Mr. Terrific" scribe Eric Wallace. So you've got that going for you ...
Got a comic you think should be reviewed in The Buy Pile? If we get a PDF of a fairly normal length comic (i.e. "less than 64 pages") by no later than 24 hours before the actual issue arrives in stores (and sorry, we can only review comics people can go to stores and buy), we guarantee the work will get reviewed, if remembered. Physical comics? Geddouttahere. Too much drama to store with diminishing resources. If you send it in more than two days before comics come out, the possibility of it being forgotten increases exponentially. Oh, you should use the contact form as the CBR email address hasn't been regularly checked since George W. Bush was in office. Sorry!