The Buy Pile: Robots, Tigers & Immortals, Oh My!

Thu, August 14th, 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 AUGUST 13, 2014

Archer And Armstrong #23
(Valiant Entertainment)
Jump from the Read Pile.
This issue had two very, very clever moments and several legitimate chuckles (look for Elvis and a Prius, for example) as it did what "The Dark Tower" tried but succeeded. Tons of fun character moments, extremely well-considered plot thanks to the script from Fred Van Lente and solid, engaging artwork from Pere Perez and David Baron.

Astro City #14
(Vertigo)
Hh. In an issue that, surprisingly, was predictable, the most interesting element (discarded super technology) was barely discussed and the least (a trusting elderly woman, a layabout scoundrel) was the focus of most of the story. Brent Anderson's artwork, as always, is rock solid, but Busiek's plot is just ... okay. Not bad, perish the thought, but there's nothing that happens here one couldn't consider telegraphed pages before. Disappointing.

Midnight Tiger #1
(Action Lab Entertainment)
Jump from the Read Pile.
This was a rock-solid, textbook case of how superhero comics should be. Played straight, Gavin Shaw is a teenager struggling to balance his solid sense of what's right with newfound superpowers (enhanced strength, speed, agility and senses, at least) and the hectic schedule of a kid trying to get school right. Rock solid stuff from Ray-Anthony Height, DeWayne Feenstra and Paul John Little.

WHAT'S THE PROGNOSIS?

Rare when "Astro City" takes a misstep, but otherwise solid stuff.

THIS WEEK'S READ PILE

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

"Genius" #2 is an improvement as its plot begins a battle on two fronts simultaneously, one much more dangerous than the other. The vexingly hard-to-discern coloring remains a concern, but with an interesting character flaw and some fantastic visual gags ("Fly Emirates" and a Dave Chappelle bit) it's at least near the stellar heights of its zero issue. Should be back to "better than good" at this rate, by next issue. Hopefully.

"Sex Criminals" #7 is a huge disclosure, opening up all kinds of doors and spilling all kinds of secrets. The forces of the Sex Police are vulnerable and one of our protagonists decides to open a door that cannot be closed again. Interesting stuff that came close to making the mark.

"Judge Dredd Anderson Psi-Division" #1 offers a rare look at the devastated world outside Mega City One, an irradiated land of death and oddity. It's a little slow and its central character doesn't do much, but it's serviceable.

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

"Star Wars" #20, "Harley Quinn" #9, "Unity" #10, "All-New X-Men" #30, "New 52 Futures End" #15, "Hulk" #5, "Starlight" #5, "Batman" #34, "Spider-Man 2099" #2, "Doberman" #2, "Dead@17 The Blasphemy Throne" #1, "Avengers World" #11, "Green Lantern Corps" #34, "Thunderbolts" #29, "Thief Of Thieves" #23, "World's Finest" #26, "F1rst Hero" #1, "Walking Dead" #130, "Star Trek" #36, "New Suicide Squad" #2, "Amazing X-Men" #10, "Captain America" #23, "Rise Of The Magi" #3, "Nova Special" #1, "Legenderry A Steampunk Adventure" #6, "Batman Eternal" #19, "Ultimate FF" #6, "Where Is Jake Ellis" #4, "Justice League United" #4, "Terminator Salvation The Final Battle" #8, "Blackout" #4, "Avengers Undercover" #8, "Hexed" #1, "Southern Dog" #1, "X-Men" #18, "Birds Of Prey" #34, "Ghost" #7, "Death Vigil" #2, "X" #16, "Skullkickers" #30, "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" #37, "Original Sin" #7, "Red City" #3, "Superboy" #34, "Armor Hunters" #3, "Batgirl" #34, "Captain Marvel" #6.

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

Hh. Nothing really terrible. Cool!

SO, HOW BAD WAS IT?

Wait, nothing was terrible? Cool!

WINNERS AND LOSERS

Two jumps, nothing terrible -- let's call this week a huge win, then!

THE BUSINESS

Have you liked The Operative Network on Facebook or followed 'em on Twitter? A new creative studio presenting independent voices doing amazing work, including the writer of this column? Tons of new characters being introduced, free downloads, so much more. Ch-check it out!

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, or spend a few more dollars and get "New Money" #1 from Canon Comics, the rambunctious tale of four multimillionaires running wild in Los Angeles. Too rich for your blood? Download the free PDF of "Cruel Summer: The Visual Mixtape." 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 -- fantasy, superhero stuff, magical realism and more -- 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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