The Buy Pile: Alas, Poor Thanos...

Thu, May 29th, 2014 at 10:28am PDT

Comic Books
Hannibal Tabu, Columnist

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WHAT IS THE BUY PILE?

Every week Hannibal Tabu (winner of the 2012 Top Cow Talent Hunt/blogger/novelist/poet/jackass on Twitter/head honcho of Komplicated) 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 MAY 28, 2014

Nothing
Hh. As you'll see in the Honorable Mentions below, there were some interesting attempts, but nothing scheduled to come home based on track record and nothing that punched above its weight class to make the jump. Maybe some older issues of "Miranda Mercury," perhaps? Or the Glyph Award-winning "One Nation" maybe? Whoops, wait, the toddler in the house will likely want "My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic" #19, at least that can get picked up.

WHAT'S THE PROGNOSIS?

Inexpensive, at least. Oh, the engaging and intriguing "Thaniel" #3 came out, that got purchased, but due to a financial conflict of interest, that can't be reviewed by this column.

THIS WEEK'S READ PILE

Honorable Mentions: Stuff worth noting, even if it's not good enough to buy

"Southern Bastards" #2 was thinner on plot but just as thick as a pot of roux when it comes to atmosphere. The long reach of football on a southern town runs clear through quaint ideas like "law" and "justice," and for a prodigal son of this run down municipality, that doesn't sit right. The last scene and its symbolism is strong, but it took a while to get there. Well worth watching, though, to see if this stays strong.

"Serenity Leaves On The Wind" #5 had good speeches and decent action (including a fantastic bit from the Chiwetel Ojiofor character) but a cliche, predictable plot that didn't distinguish itself. Surely manna from heaven for Whedonites, though.

"24 #2" had no time for niceties of characterization or context as it's all BANG BANG BANG in the nonstop style that made the show so gripping. on the page, however, the antagonists become cutouts and the English-speaking officials chasing Jack are a sad and needless afterthought. Not bad, but it will fit better in a collection as this issue doesn't stand alone.

The first half of "Chew/Revival" #1, created in the style of "Chew," is much better than the second half, which treats the world of "Chew" like a distasteful intruder, whereas "Chew" (already steeped in the weird and the unusual) acts like the idea of recently resurrected residents of a Wisconsin town is just another day at the job. Better explanations, better conceived story, more characters used (and ringing truer to past depictions), the more "realistic" "Revival" section is the only thing that kept this from making it home.

"Midas Flesh" #6 had some interesting moments as the dead flesh of the mythical king is used as space borne weapons of mass destruction in a decidedly sci-fi setting. However, the interpersonal challenges of betrayal and forgiveness didn't get anywhere near the room they needed, and the lunatic turn of a career military man likewise came out of nowhere. Good ideas, mostly adequate presentation.

The last page of "All-New Invaders" #5 is deep. The rest of it is pretty predictable, as the Kree Supreme Intelligence fails to live up to its name and Tanalth the Pursuer gets caught flat footed. Not a bad action sequence, and a cheesy speech from Cap, but not exactly groundbreaking material here

Optimus Prime doesn't seem so good at his job in "Transformers Robots In Disguise" #29, which has the Autobots landing in the middle of a situation they never could have expected -- humans working alongside Decepticons all over a shared loathing of the newly red-badged Megatron. This leads to lots of shooting and punching and only Prowl ready to step things up to the next level, which is not somewhere either side was ready to go. Not a bad issue, but it relies too heavily on human oversight and approval to make the plot work. Not bad, and at least away from the mess of the crossover.

"Deadly Class" #5 had its second two-thirds as a hyper kinetic action film, a chase scene that was thrilling and repossessed every part of your seat except the edge. The "story" around it? Not so engaging. Characterization? Fuggedaboutit. Great chase scene, though.

The "Meh" Pile Not good enough to praise, not bad enough to insult, not important enough to say much more than the title

"Batman" #31, "The Star Wars" #8, "Wolverine" #7, "Sovereign" #3, "City The Mind In The Machine" #4, "Batman Eternal" #8, "Mind MGMT" #22, "Star Trek" #33, "Catwoman" #31, "Shadowman End Times" #2, "Winter Soldier The Bitter March" #4, "Ghostbusters" #16, "Flash" #31, "Thief Of Thieves" #21, "Halo Escalation" #6, "He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe" #13, "Sheltered" #9, "Justice League Dark" #31, "Godzilla Rulers Of Earth" #12, "Larfleeze" #11, "Star Wars Rebel Heist" #2, "Uncanny Avengers" #20, "All-Star Western" #31, "Trees" #1, "Conan The Avenger" #2, "New 52 Futures End" #4, "Fuse" #4, "Nightwing" #30, "Pariah" #4, "Red Lanterns" #31, "Dry Spell" #1, "Suicide Squad" #30, "Captain Midnight" #11, "Superman" #31, "Avengers" #30, "Sex" #13, "Deadpool" #29, "Furious" #5, "Dexter Down Under" #4, "X-Files Season 10" #12, "Fantastic Four" #5, "Tomb Raider" #4, "Giant-Size Spider-Man" #1, "Mass Effect Foundation" #11, "Guardians Of The Galaxy" #15, "C.O.W.L." #1, "Inhuman" #2, "Star Wars Legacy 2" #15, "Iron Man" #26, "Skullkickers" #27, "Iron Patriot" #3, "Dead Body Road" #6, "Marvel's Guardians Of The Galaxy Prelude" #2, "Vandroid" #4, "Mighty Avengers" #10, "Elephantmen" #57, "Harbinger" #23, "Aquaman" #31, "Ms. Marvel" #4.

No, just ... no ... These comics? Not so much...

"Thanos Annual" #1 is, sadly, terrible. Most of the issue involves a future projection of Thanos philosophizing with a past instance of himself, right after losing the Cosmic Cube ... in a conversation both of them admit to knowing they can never remember. Thanos' grand ambitions and overwhelming brilliance have been whittled down to mere compulsion, ordinary insanity, the tedium of a Batman villain. Much ado about nothing, a plot that stands still and character "revelations" that are at best retrograde. Awful, awful stuff.

"Thunderbolts" #26 had a bad ending that rolled back a lot of stuff the last story arc did. Deadpool's characterization was way off, the issue was talky, the action was pointless towards resolving the plot ... what the hell happened here? Not good.

SO, HOW BAD WAS IT?

Two awful books drag down even the mountain of "meh" here.

WINNERS AND LOSERS

With nothing good enough to sway the vote, the two terrible titles tank the week's batch of comics. Que sera sera.

THE BUSINESS

As of right now, you can spend ten bucks and get about 175,000 of fiction from the writer of this column. The links that follow tell you where you can get "The Crown: Ascension" and "Faraway," five bucks a piece. Love these reviews? It'd be great if you picked up a copy. Hate these reviews? Find out what this guy thinks is so freakin' great. There's free sample chapters too, and all proceeds to towards the care and maintenance of his kids ... oh, and to buy comic books, of course. There's also a bunch of great stuff available from this writer on Amazon. What are you waiting for? Go buy a freakin' book already!

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!

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