I have rescheduled this post more times than I needed to this week, simply because I could not bring myself to start this stack. 20 comics in one go is exhausting, and I still feel like I’m missing three titles. I usually like to have these kinds of posts done by the eighth of the month, but here it comes on the ninth, which is good enough in my book.

September was an interesting month in the Marvel universe, as everyone currently involved in Civil War II had something to say about Bruce Banner’s death. Which is fine, but I’m pretty sure this could have been said in August. Over at Archie Comics, Josie and the Pussycats makes its debut, whilst Jughead gets a new writer and Archie ends its second arc. Black Mask Studios debuts The Forevers, and DC is apparently in need of a web editor. Those blank banners aren’t going to fix themselves.

You’ll notice that the cover image for this post is from Captain America: Steve Rogers. Even though I’m not a big fan of that run, I can’t deny how cute this cover is.

Aquaman (2016), #6 and #7

Lowkey, I’m a Superman fan. I don’t really care to read his comics, but if I really had to choose between him and Batman, I’m always going to pick Superman. I was an avid Smallvile fan during the early years, I used to watch Lois and Clark with Dean Cain in the 90s, and I think Henry Cavill is the best thing to ever happen to Clark Kent. I’m also a big Connor Kent fan. So I’m pretty solidly a Superman fan, as far as I’m concerned. However, I did not appreciate the way he came at Aquaman.

In September’s issues, Aquaman and Superman have a fight and air out their grievances. Black Manta takes out the Fisher King and takes over N.E.M.O. Then, Aquaman returns to Atlantis in order to recoup and talk to his advisors. Mera agrees to abide by some traditions, and N.E.M.O. unleashes a beast.

I’m pretty sure I’ve said this before, but I don’t appreciate the president sending Superman in to stop Aquaman. What is the message being sent here? That Clark is more American than Arthur? But Arthur’s American enough to be detained without a fair trial, or any type of representation? I don’t know how I’m supposed to feel anything but frustrated by that.

And then when Arthur makes the point that Clark’s even showing up plays on Arthur’s feeling about being the odd man out in the Justice League, I can’t help but feel saddened by his loneliness. Seriously, he should team up with Martian Manhunter, or someone, because the love just does not  seem to be there. Almost makes me hope we get an Injustice movie to even better highlight the point.

In other news, I like Black Manta and all of his savagery. Killing the Fisher King and taking over N.E.M.O. was a boss move like no other. Manta knows the N.E.M.O. can’t stay hidden forever, so why not create a distraction while they work on their contingency plan? That’s some good villain work being done there.

I do think that it was a good idea for Mera to agree with the trials. Ultimately, Arthur needs to win over all of the Atlanteans, otherwise he’ll find himself a man with no nationalities. Because the Americans don’t like him, and I’m quite sure they’re working to revoke his citizenship. So anything that can help him stay king is a good thing in my eyes.

I feel like this run is really pushing me to be an Aquaman fan. He doesn’t get as much shine as the other Justice League members, and people really do tend to blow him off. It doesn’t help that his best sidekick isn’t in the comics (BRING BACK KALDUR!). Still, I think that Dan Abnett is doing really good work on this series, and I look forward to reading more of it.

Archie (2015), #12

Cover B by Bilquis Evely (Photo Credit: Archie Comics)
Cover B by Bilquis Evely (Photo Credit: Archie Comics)

It’s the end of the second arc! I’m not too big of a fan of this cover though. Betty’s looks like she’s someone’s mom. Someone’s relatively attractive mom, but someone’s mom all the same.

In this issue, the fallout from the battle of the bands is two almost broken relationships. Hiram Lodge does not take losing lightly. In Classic Archie, Mark Waid reminisces on his original stint with Archie Comics, and we are treated to a story featuring Moose and Midge.

For the first time in a long time, I related to Betty Cooper. Well, maybe it wasn’t the first time, but I really understood where she was coming from. I just wish that it wasn’t at the expense of her relationship with Sayid. Still, boys will come and go, but you can’t beat a decades long friendship.

Speaking of boys, I’ll never get Midge’s wanting to immediately hop into something with Reggie once her and Moose break up. I don’t really understand why it is that she stays with Moose, but Reggie is just as bad a womanizer as Archie. To my knowledge, Reggie has only ever made moves on Midge and Veronica, both of whom were with other people at the time. So what does that say about Reggie?

All in all, I’m curious to see how this Cheryl Blossom saga plays out, and how long Veronica will really stay gone. I am also curious to see if Mark Waid hints at the incestuous relationship between the Blossom twins. We’ll see next month.

Black Panther (2016), #6

Cover by Brian Stelfreeze (Photo Credit: Marvel Comics)
Cover by Brian Stelfreeze (Photo Credit: Marvel Comics)

Sometimes I think that Black Panther is too political, but it’s political in the way that comics should be. It’s wrapped up in the politics of Wakanda because it’s about a Wakandan monarch. It’s world-building. And in this midst of this, we get to see the man behind the mask. We get to see what really makes T’Challa, son of T’Chaka, tick.

In this issue, T’Challa launches an attack to reclaim his adored ones, but they are saved at the last minute. Shuri continues to learn more Wakandan legends in whatever dream space/ afterlife that she currently occupies. And The Crew comes in to do the dirty business of exposing the revolution.

When Ta’Nehisi Coates said he wasn’t letting his Black Panther run get involved with Civil War, he was serious. That doesn’t stop Black Panther from being involved, but Civil War II just does not exist in this run. Some of T’Challa’s friends just happen to have time to visit.

And I don’t quite understand that. How do you have a shared universe where characters will intersect with each other, but it doesn’t reflect across everyone’s individual books? How are we supposed to mark the time passing across the comic book universe if someone’s in the desert in their own book, but in the city in someone else’s? I don’t get it. It’s very confusing.

And I wish it was just a Marvel thing, but DC and Archie Comics do it too. I just want some universe consistency guys, help me out here.

Captain America: Sam Wilson (2015), #13

Cover by Daniel Acuna (Photo Credit: Marvel Comics)
Cover by Daniel Acuna (Photo Credit: Marvel Comics)

My comic book guys all hate this run because they think that Nick Spencer is too political. I love this run because I know what Nick Spencer is getting at. I hope this run goes on for at least another year, because I am here for it.

In this particular issue, Sam Wilson and John Walker face off. Sam implements some interesting new technology, and we find out some stuff about Steve Rogers.

I want to say that I’m surprised, but I knew that it would happen. I also want to say that I don’t feel betrayed, but Steve wasn’t happy with the way Sam was doing stuff even before he got his powers restored. But where does this leave their friendship?

I am not surprised that Steve was the one that talked John Walker into getting Sam to give back the shield. I’ve legitimately been waiting for Hydra!Steve to undermine Sam like this since the first issue of Steve’s run. I am not surprised, but I am terribly disappointed.

Steve is not coming out of this run with his reputation intact.

Captain America: Steve Rogers (2016), #5

Cover by Paul Renaud (Photo Credit: Marvel Comics)
Cover by Paul Renaud (Photo Credit: Marvel Comics)

In this issue, Steve Rogers continues to be a snake in the grass that uses the Avengers’ fatal flaws against them. The Hydra memories continue to get more complicated, and Steve continues to plot.

Civil War II is really starting to look like a distraction to cover up the real plot: the Hydra takeover. Everyone is so blinded by their distrust in each other and their own agendas that they’re not seeing the betrayer in their midst. The legend of Steve Rogers is covering up the reality, and it’s going to cause a world of hurt.

On the upside, all versions of Steve are seeming to catch up with each other. Which is a good thing in my book. I personally like my characterizations to be the same across the board.

Cyborg (2016), Rebirth #1 and #1

I’m happy to see Cyborg return for a new ongoing, but I am beyond weary that this will be just as bad. I’m hoping that it works out for him, but, if I don’t like it, I’m tapping out at six issues whether the arc is finished or not. Also, I need DC to fix it’s banner issues. It’s been a month with some of these comics, why isn’t the artwork up?

In its inaugural issues, Cyborg sets the tone of wanting to figure out if Victor’s a real boy. Silas’ notes from Victor’s original surgeries is revealed, and an android seeks to replace Silas’s role in Victor’s life. Meanwhile, Victor and Sarah take a trip to a jazz club before running across Kilgore.

I know that Rebirth was meant to be a reboot, but I really don’t think that Cyborg needed to be retconned. I think he just needed a new story, and we could have all been fine. Yet and still, here we are living in another Pinnochio story, and I really just want to blame David F. Walker.

However, I won’t blame Mr. Walker, simply because his run on Power Man and Iron Fist has really redeemed him in my eyes.

That being said, a good bit of the stuff done in Walker’s run could have been kept. Like Victor’s ability to camouflage his machine parts. Maybe we’ll get back to that at a later date, but I remember that it had really went a long way into helping Victor out with his Pinnochio issues. I’m not knocking the cybertech, but a little boy literally said that Cyborg can’t have a girlfriend because he has no heart. Camouflage would have been a godsend right then.

I also liked the issue with the government trying to assert ownership on Victor’s person. Again, this is something that could be explored in the new series, but I honestly would have rather us have gotten to move forward from that point, rather than have to start over. The first Cyborg run didn’t have a lot of strengths, but it didn’t need to be retconned.

That being said, I am willing to give this book 4 more issues. So if it hasn’t hooked me by the end of November, I am done. I want Cyborg to be as great as the rest, but my stack costs too much for me to support a book I don’t like.

We’ll see how it goes.

Josie and the Pussycats (2016), #1

Cover F by Robert Hak and Steve Downey (Photo Credit: Archie Comics)
Cover F by Robert Hak and Steve Downey (Photo Credit: Archie Comics)

You know what I love about Archie Comics? They’re really good about the variant covers. They don’t even bother citing the main cover credits in the book itself, because they send all of them out so you can choose the one you like the best. Usually, I’m good with whatever cover I get, but I was super particular about Betty & Veronica #1, and I know that I’ll want the Derek Charm cover of Reggie & Me simply because I love the way he draws Reggie.

In this first issue, Josie ditches life as a solo act and puts a band together. Alexandra Cabot and Alan M. make their introductions. In Classic Josie and the Pussycats, we are treated to a story of how Josie came to be, as well as the story that started the band.

I don’t know why I expected the Pussycats to be high schoolers, but I’m very happy to see them being adults. I always wondered if all of the touring would affect their school work, but I don’t think I ever remember them being in high school anyway. Which makes me wonder why Archie and the gang have to continuously be high schoolers? Wouldn’t it be more fun if they were adults?

Still Alexandra Cabot having been a childhood friend of Josie’s really gives me a Patsy/Hedy vibe. I don’t understand the idea behind frenemies. Either you’re friends or you’re not. I can’t be bothered to hang around people who are so constantly negative toward me. Also, Alexandra’s being a witch in the old comics had to be a sign of the times. If those powers are carried over, then Alexandra needs to be hanging out with Sabrina.

All in all, I am absolutely ecstatic about this new run. Josie’s an absolute sweetheart, and I’m curious to see how Melody and Valerie’s lives play out. Also, I appreciated the Jughead cameo. Things like that keep New Riverdale interesting.

Jughead (2016), #9

Cover A by Derek Charm (Photo Credit: Archie Comics)
Cover A by Derek Charm (Photo Credit: Archie Comics)

Issue #9 is like a brand new #1 because they changed writers. I don’t know what happened with Chip Zdarsky, but I enjoyed the hell out of his run. Also, as much as I like Archie Comics’ new layout and how they’re trying to organize things, I need them to be better about the older variants. Just list the comics by issue numbers, and then have a secondary page that lists the main cover and all of the variants. It might be adding an extra step, but it’s better than fans having to go outside of Archie Comics to find a particular cover because the website no longer lists their specific variant. I’ll be the first to tell you that that is absolutely frustrating.

In September’s issue, Jughead meets a burger lady and finds himself out of his element. The gang tries to talk him through it, and Sabrina moves to Riverdale. In Classic Jughead, they’re doing Robin Hood for some reason.

Legitimately Asexual!Jughead is both hilarious and really well handled. The high fives at the altar panel had me rolling, but I thought it was very fitting, all things considered. Conventional attraction does not work for Juggie, and I think that this issue really highlighted that.

Having the whole group explain their views on love to Jughead had to be the best part, because it’s so easy to forget that these are individuals with very different ways of viewing life. It also played well to their characters to have Veronica use shopping as a metaphor for dating, and Reggie see love as possession. For Jughead to see his interest in the Burger Lady to be equal to his interest in his friends was very eye-opening for me. Because you think it’d mean that she’s nothing special, but Jughead legitimately is only interested in his friends, his dog, and his food. So for this random chick in a burger suit to be on the same level as Jughead’s friends is a lot.

I loved every piece and particle of this issue, and I can’t wait to see where it goes. I know that Jughead and Sabrina probably won’t work out, but my first thought upon seeing the two together was that this is probably what caused Afterlife with Archie.

Probably.

Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, #11

Cover by Amy Reeder (Photo Credit: Midtown Comics)
Cover by Amy Reeder (Photo Credit: Midtown Comics)

Recently some random made a comment that Lunella was not naturally intelligent, and I wanted to crawl through my computer and backhand him. Lunella might be super self-absorbed, but she was super intelligent long before the terrigen mists activated her in Inhuman gene. I will fight anyone on that, no question.

In this issue, Lunella still can’t catch a break. She finds herself committed to a hospital during a mind swap with Devil Dinosaur, and gets a love confession from Kid Kree. And it doesn’t help that Mel-Varr’s dad is currently hunting her down.

I don’t know what to say about this issue. Kamala legit put Lunella in the hospital because she didn’t understand Lunella’s powers. And it’s not that I blame Kamala for how she reacted, because she really didn’t know, but this is why Lunella needs other super-powered friends. So that when things like this happen, she’s not automatically tied down to a hospital bed.

And poor Devil Dinosaur. He didn’t ask for any of this, so why is he always getting the boot? Lunella thinks that she only has herself to trust, but here’s Devil Dinosaur always coming to her rescue. Who else has Lunella’s back like that? Lunella should really be working on some way for them to communicate better.

I don’t know how this Mel-Varr issue is supposed to work out. He already came at her wrong in the beginning, and now Lunella doesn’t even want to bother with him. And when she finally opens up to Melvin, he ruins it by reminding her of why he came to Earth in the first place? This can only get messier.

I’ll still be reading it though!

Nightwing (2016), #4 and #5

I really need DC to fix their banner problem. They can send out advanced artwork for all of their properties, but they can’t fix their page banners? At least when they had the wrong ones up it wasn’t a random grey space.

In Nightwing #4, Dick and Raptor finally spring their trap on the Parliament of Owls. Dick has a conversation with Batman, and the Raptor reveals his real loyalties. In Nightwing #5, the “Night of the Monster Men” story continues as Gotham is plagued by Dr. Strange’s creations. Nightwing does a bit digging, and Batwoman puts Batman in check. Gotham Girl makes a move.

My biggest takeaway from September’s issues is that the We Are Robin movement is technically still alive and well, despite the fact that Duke doesn’t even seem to be in school any more. While I am very ecstatic about this, I really think that they should be the ones getting training right now. I legitimately don’t care about these other characters in the current Batfam lineup. A lot of them don’t even seem to be involved in the Monster Men issue. Like, where the hell is the other Gotham twin?

DC is trash for not giving me a Robin Corps book.

On another note, I am not at all surprised to find out that Raptor may have been playing Nightwing. Everything in me said that it would blow up in Dick’s face, but I’m happy to see that it didn’t happen immediately. I do think that invoking the memory of Dick’s mom was a low blow though, especially if Raptor is going to betray him later.

Oh well, we’ll see how that goes.

Patsy Walker, AKA Hellcat! (2015), #10

Cover by Britney L. Williams (Photo Credit: Marvel Comics)
Cover by Britney L. Williams (Photo Credit: Marvel Comics)

Every time I read a new issue of Patsy Walker, I feel like I should go back and read all of her comics from the beginning. Patsy is legitimately Marvel’s version of Archie Andrews, to the point where she is probably one of the oldest still in use in the Marvel Universe. I also think it’s hilarious that several of the people who ended up working at Archie Comics over the years, also happened to have worked on different versions of Patsy.

In September’s issue, Patsy finds herself in hell, again. As Jubilee tries to reason with Patsy’s ex-husbands, Patsy has to face the past that she’d been running from. Also, Black Cat makes an appearance.

I live for the way that Hellcat! Is drawn. I think that Britney L. Williams and Megan Wilson do a phenomenal job with it. I love how the characters are proportioned, I love all of the colors; I just like everything about this comic. It’s really funny and cute, and I can see how Patsy had lasted for so long as a lifestyle comic.

Listen, I would have watched a Patsy Walker show. She’s really too cute.

That being said, Marvel isn’t even attempting to pretend that Patsy and all of her friends are a little bit too young looking to have been teenagers in the 60s. Which is being nice when you consider that Patsy Walker as a character is legitimately 72-years-old. I mean, I’m here for it, but she was almost 50 when she went to Hell, so how does that work?

Lowkey, I would like to see Patsy and Buzz try again. I know, it might be terrible, but I think that they could be cute together.

Lord knows, he’s probably better than Nuke.

Spider-Man (2016), #8

Cover by Sarah Pichelli and Jason Keith (Photo Credit: Marvel Comics)
Cover by Sarah Pichelli and Jason Keith (Photo Credit: Marvel Comics)

Ulysses and Hydra!Steve is really going to mess up a lot of people’s functions. I hope Marvel is planning to do some major retconning after this, because there is literally no other way to go from here.

In this issue, the Jones-Cages confront Miles about his grandmother. The Avengers go and see Bruce Banner. It does not end well.

I really need Marvel to do something about these comics not matching up chronologically. If Bruce died in August, why does Miles have to see it in September? To be honest, I’m pretty sure that Bruce died in July with Rhodey (who probably died in May?). I can’t tell though, because none of this matches up. Hell, Steve Rogers is well past this moment, and Sam has been stuck on the same night for two months. Luke Cage is currently in the process of being jumped by Carol Danvers’ crew of Avengers, so again, at what point is all of this supposed to sync up?

On another note, while it is cute to see the teen Avengers supporting each other, it’s heartbreaking to watch Kamala lose faith in her hero like that. This is why the Young Avengers need to be reinstated: none of them should have had to witness Bruce’s death up close like that.

I am too ready for Civil War II to be over.

The Forevers, #1

Cover B by Ramon Villalobos and Ryan Ferrier (Photo Credit: Comicosity)
Cover B by Ramon Villalobos and Ryan Ferrier (Photo Credit: Comicosity)

The Forevers is my try comic for the month. I’m legitimately trying to slim down my list, so I’m not sure if I want to take it on long term, but I figured it’s worth a shot. I think next month I’ll try out Black from the same publisher.

In the first issue of The Forevers, seven people get together to burn something. Jamie Ashby attends the funeral of someone that had been like a father to him. Kate Sage has an argument with him, and Daisy Cates dies.

I am not a fan of this artwork. It’s a little bit too realistic for my blood, and it doesn’t help that Bronson Pierce looks just a bit too much like Idris Elba. In fact, quite a few people look like actual celebrities, and I have to wonder how long it will be before someone gets sued.

As far as the story goes, I won’t deny it’s interesting, but I can’t really see myself getting into it. I don’t understand the deal with these people, and I really don’t care to try. Did they burn something for fame and fortune? Are they immortal souls? I don’t know, but I’m sure that someone out there probably wants to find out. It just won’t be me.

The nice thing, though, is that Black Mask Studios has a preview of Black at the end of The Forevers. I believe that Aftershock does that too. I could see myself getting into Black. It’s the comic book where black people, and only black people, get super powers. It definitely looks like something worth reading.

We’ll see next month.

The Totally Awesome Hulk, #10

Cover by Terry Dodson and Rachel Dodson (Photo Credit: Marvel Comics)
Cover by Terry Dodson and Rachel Dodson (Photo Credit: Marvel Comics)

So apparently it was Black Panther’s 50th anniversary. Which would have been nice to know, like twelve comics ago. Real cute, Marvel. Real cute.

In this issue, Amadeus is looking for Clint Barton. T’Challa is tracking Amadeus. Jake Oh is assisting T’Challa. And Maddy gets caught up in Texas.

I really thought we’d be done with Amadeus dealing with Bruce’s death, but here we are. I don’t like this. I don’t like this at all. Why the hell wouldn’t Amadeus want to kill Clint? What right did Clint really have to kill Bruce? Why is T’Challa even involved in this crap? Civil War II needs to end.

In other news, I really want Amadeus to start messing people up, because they really are trying him. It’s like Steve said, it doesn’t take a lot to start something amongst the Avengers because they already don’t like each other, much less trust each other. These people are not really a team.

The longer this goes on, the more I think this entire universe needs either a massive reboot, or a lot of these characters will need to retire. Very soon.

Titans (2016), #3

Cover by Brett Booth, Norm Rapmund, and Andrew Dalhouse (Photo Credit: DC Comics)
Cover by Brett Booth, Norm Rapmund, and Andrew Dalhouse (Photo Credit: DC Comics)

For some reason, I don’t have Teen Titans Rebirth in my stack which is weird because the whole reason I even bother with Titans is because of the Teen Titans.  Like I really don’t care for most of the people on this team, but they at least have a compelling story. And it’s nice to see Damian doing things, but how is he running a team over Starfire? I need to have words with my comic book guy.

In this issue, Garth does not die (shoot). Karen Beecher-Duncan wonders at being Bumble Bee again (do it!). Wally finally talks to Linda, who then gets snatched up. Neither Wally nor Linda have been catching many breaks lately.

In a move that I can only attribute to the artist, I suddenly am okay with Garth. He’s not Kaldur, but he’s definitely cute. Do with that what you will.

I like that Roy and Donna have a bit of a moment, but then Roy chickens out on being real with her. I’m not sure if Roy has a kid or is even still with his baby mama in this run, but, if not, he really should have made a move for Donna. I don’t know the history there, though. The last story I read with these kids was from 2008.

I appreciated the scene with Karen and Mal, and I would love to see Karen come back and be great. Whether that will actually happen remains to be seen, but it is definitely a nice thought.

In other news, it sucks that Linda got snatched up just as she and Wally were about to have a moment. Hopefully that gets sorted in the next issue.

Wonder Woman (2016), #6 and #7

Every time I get to Wonder Woman, I know that I’m almost done. I only read X-Men in trades, so there’s never anything else after Diana. After reading 18 comics already, getting to Wonder Woman always makes me feel super accomplished.

In issue #6 (because, you know, Wonder Woman’s run is special), Steve and Diana make it back to civilization. Steve is examined, and Diana is essentially locked up. Steve visits his god child, and the gods visit Diana. Barbara Ann Minerva learns a lesson. In issue #7, Wonder Woman frees Steve’s unit. Barbara Ann talks a bit more about her husband. Wonder Woman saves Steve, and Barbara Ann changes back.

I think “The Lies” could end here, but I get the feeling that the two stories will have to intersect eventually. Diana’s life in “Year One” seems a little bit too idyllic, but I feel like they’re both ultimately two different parts of the same story.

And it just hit me that the Barbara Ann Minerva in “Year One” is probably the Barbara Ann, aka Cheetah, in “The Lies”. Oh yea, this is definitely the same story.

So what’s the deal? Because Steve team members are all very much alive in “The Lies”, even though they’re dead in “Year One”. So did they just not die? Were they resurrected? Or was “Year One” the lie? I am confused and intrigued.

I’m not too happy that issue #9 is going to cover Barbara Ann’s education, but I guess it’s worth noting. Still, I can’t wait to see what happens next!

16 titles, 20 comics, and it only took me, what, 3 days to knock them all out? I really need to trim my list down, or figure something out, because this is terribly exhausting. Adding to that, this month I’m supposed to be beginning Teen Titans – unless that somehow managed to fall off of my pull list. I doubt it though.

I cannot say enough how much I think Civil War II is both unnecessary and terribly damaging to the current Marvel universe. All it’s doing is spreading more and more distrust between the many superhero teams, and it’s still not even all of them who are currently active.

Honestly, I think that Marvel is going down this route because they’ve fallen into this pattern where they can’t pass on some of these mantles like they want to. Steve Rogers can’t be Captain America for 75 years without becoming stagnant. He’s immortal, but he needs to retire. Let him move on so he can live his life, or you run the risk of a Steve Rogers new generations can no longer relate to.

These titles have to be passed on. New and legacy characters need to be supported. Let Bruce get old and get to enjoy his many grandchildren. Let Dick and Damian be Batman for longer than 12 issues. Even Archie had to grow up sometime, guys. Let these characters grow. Let them go.

Or we’ll be stuck forever in this holding pattern, and run out of new stories to tell.


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