The Buy Pile: Falling Apart on the Eve of SDCC

Thu, July 24th, 2014 at 10:28am PDT

Comic Books
Hannibal Tabu, Columnist

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 JULY 9, 2014

Saga #21
(Image Comics)
The first part of this series was about everything coming together. Now, the story focuses ln everything falling apart. The tragedy, especially for anyone who has seen a commitment slip away, is the little ways it happens. A harmless indulgence here and there, a hand on a knee, a slippery slope seeming perfectly flat. Brian K. Vaughan frames these very ordinary things in a fascinating, big ideas way as Fiona Staples continues to embody this reality with weight and meaning and -- now -- sadness. Getting painful to watch, but gripping stuff here.

WHAT'S THE PROGNOSIS?

Due to a financial conflict of interest, the phenomenal "Monomyth" #1 by OSSM Comics can't be reviewed here, but it came out as well and was "awesome." Similar conflicts prevent reviews of "The Supernals Experiment" #1 and "New Money" #1, but they're both really, really great as well. So, really, four purchases that all rocked -- can't beat that.

THIS WEEK'S READ PILE

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

"Star-Spangled War Stories Featuring G.I. Zombie" #1 wasn't so star spangled nor did it take place in a war. However, the new deadpan lead created by Palmiotti and Gray would fit in well with the wisecracking leading men of the USA Network, and this unconventional procedural would make a half of a solid hourlong dramedy. It's a little too short on story to make it work as a single issue, but with this kind of character work, there's something worth seeing here.

"100th Anniversary Special Avengers" #1 was like a Marvel-flavored copy of an early issue of "Gødland" -- wild, inventive stuff set far in the future. A little muddled in plot and art, but almost fun enough.

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

"Red Lanterns" #33, "Original Sin" #5.2, "Trees" #3, "Daredevil" #6, "Groo Vs Conan" #1, "Batman" #33, "Midas Flesh" #8, "New 52: Future's End" #12, "Velvet" #6, "Storm" #1, "Transformers Vs G.I. JOE" #1, "Armor Hunters Bloodshot" #1, "Steed And Mrs. Peel We're Needed" #1, "Mighty Avengers" #12, "Kill Shakespeare The Mask Of Night" #2, "Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 10" #5, "All-New Ultimates" #5, "He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe" #15, "Original Sins" #4 (the Doom story was cute), "Dream Thief: Escape" #2, "Trinity Of Sin Pandora" #13, "Deadpool" #32, "Transformers: Windblade" #4, "Flash" #33, "Goon Occasion Of Revenge" #1, "Wolverine And The X-Men" #6, "Batman And Robin" #33, "Archer And Armstrong" #22, "Savage Dragon" #196, "Catwoman" #33, "All-New Invaders" #8.

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

"All-New Doop" #4 doesn't make any sense. It tries to be clever and referential, but ends up vague and pretentious. It tries to have action and guest stars, but only come off contrived. It dances around its one ostensible plot point worth noting, leaving it to dangle. This book is terrible.

What if Luke Cage had Zeus as an absentee baby daddy? The tedious and uninspired "Grimm Fairy Tales Presents Godstorm Hercules Payne" #4 seems to be asking that as the unfairly accused titular character plays hero while being chased by the cops, moans at a gravestone and generally walks around like his middle name was "cliche." Subtly insulting and openly derivative and dull.

SO, HOW BAD WAS IT?

Kind of rough going.

WINNERS AND LOSERS

Due to three purchases being disqualified from reviews, the scorecard shows the week losing on penalty kicks (World Cup aftershock?). However, SO much cool stuff went on otherwise ... well, let's just move into that now, shall we?

THE BUSINESS

Today at San Diego Comic-Con, this column's scribe will be formally announcing the new creative studio noted in his new podcast and handing out limited edition ashcans featuring the work of his collaborators Jason Reeves, Quinn McGowan, Alverne Ball and Damion Gonzales. When and where? 4PM, room 32AB.

Also, as of today, you can buy a brand new comic book written by the writer of this column and drawn by Eisner Award nominated artist N. Steven Harris for just a buck. "New Money" #1 is what "Entourage" would have been like if everybody was rich. Available now and a real hoot.

There is another announcement Friday, July 25th, but you'll have to wait for that.

As of right now, you can spend ten bucks and get about 175,000 words worth 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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