What’s that feeling?

This week was another big week in my comic file, as shown below.

Needless to say, it was an impressive lineup, especially with Dancer in the mix, which I’ve been looking forward to since it was announced.

Atomic Robo: Real Science Adventures

I started things off with Atomic Robo, since I wanted a bit of a humor pick me up after the day I had.  Oh boy, did it deliver.  I’ll admit, I haven’t read all of the Robo books yet.  I’ve read Vol 1, 3, and all the FCBD books, plus #1 of this arc.  After Vol 3, I didn’t think it could get much better (seriously, H.P. Lovecraft is in it, how could it get better?).  I am telling you right now, I was so wrong.

At first, I looked at this panel and had a pang of recognition.  Then it dawned on me.  These were the characters from Team Fortress 2 (if you haven’t seen the videos introducing the characters, Google them, its totally worthwhile).

I was not expecting this turn of events.  But damn, it’s opened a whole new world of potential awesome for Robo.  Just imagine if Robo met GLADoS?  Seriously, I think my mind just exploded with how crazy good that confrontation would be.

This issue of Robo has solidified a spot in my file for the foreseeable future.

Dancer

I was really excited for this book when I saw it announced.  I’m a big fan of the writing of Nathan Edmondson, especially in The Activity.  The solicits for Dancer put the book on the ‘other side’ of the law, but I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.

The first issue sets up the characters lives, then tears it down.  They are forced to go on the run by an unknown assailant.  When they finally get a glimpse of him…let’s just say it’s shocking.

When I finished the book, I was satisfied, but disappointed.  But then, as I gave it time to settle and I mulled the book over in my head, I wasn’t just satisfied.  This was the EXACT kind of story I am very interested in reading these days, but the disappointment lingered.  I didn’t understand it.

Then it dawned on me.  I was disappointed that I didn’t have more to read.  This doesn’t happen to me too often.  I recognize that I need to wait to get some closure from whatever I’m reading and I can live with that.  But when I am faced with this sort of feeling, I’m pretty sure this is a good thing.  Why?  I am anxious to see more, I want to keep reading.  This means Edmondson and Klein have been wildly successful in making me care for the story, and that’s great.

Winter Solider

I didn’t read this book, but I know it’s going to be awesome.  You know how?

Yea.  A Gorilla with a Minigun.  I HAS to be amazing.

The big pile

The second week of the month has always been an incredibly heavy week for me in comics-land.  This week, I came home with 7 titles (and had left 2 books behind, to pick up another time).  What was in the magic box this week?

Batwoman – I like how this story arc is being told.  Unfortunately, Amy Reeder’s art has just been too inconsistent for me.  I really, really, really like some of her pages and then, there’s other pages that are just so wildly off from that.  DC has recently announced that Reeder will be leaving the title after issue 8.  From what I’ve seen from her replacement (Trevor McCarthy), there is another very talented person going on the book.  I just hope that the art is consistent.

Batgirl – I really don’t know what to say about this title.  I enjoy reading it.  Barbara’s struggle with her past is really engaging, but the main story arcs are just not doing it as much for me.  I’m not sure what I’m going to do with this book.  I think I’ll evaluate it once Night of the Owls is completed.

The Activity – For me, this book is really well done.  So far, each issue is a single mission (so you can really read any issue and follow it pretty well) and is packed with some really fantastic art and writing.  I would like to see missions maybe go longer (read, span several issues), but, I appreciate the accessibility of the self contained issues.

Ultimate Comics X-Men – What I like about the Ultimates universe is that it’s really small (in terms of books).  I could add Ultimates (and, I think I will) but I don’t feel that I NEED to.  I really like the look of the art in X-Men and the story has been really engaging thus far.

Grifter – This issue was a real improvement over the last few.  I enjoyed it, and felt I got my money’s worth.

Peter Panzerfaust – This book is fun.  A daring rescue and great action.  Fantastic art.  From what I hear, there’s a real HOOK in issue 3.

Saga – I’m not going to say anything else about Saga that I haven’t already said.

Thief of Theives (2 issues) – I left these behind.  I’m going to pick #1 up this week, and assuming I like it, #2 will come home the following week.  Brandon says its both Leverage and Ocean’s 11, which makes it good enough for me.

It’s quite the haul.  It’s unfortunate that I have such a heavy week, and then the rest of my weeks are generally 2 issues, but there’s not much I can do about that (aside exercise self control and leave some books for another day).

A confession

The comic people that read this blog are probably aware of a little book called Saga.

I read the preview in Previews.  I was mildly interested, I suppose.  Nothing matching the excitement of the comic book fans that I follow on twitter though, who were exploding with joy and excitement.

I asked Brandon to add it to my file.  I thought about changing my mind a few times between then and yesterday.  In the end, I bought it.

I wanted to find it ok.  I seriously did.  Just ok.  I didn’t need more books in my file.

It was more than ok.  It was great.  The preview was a terrible preview.  The book was fantastic.  The art was great, the story was engaging, and damnit, I want more.

So, I feel bad for hoping it wasn’t going to be good.

The Rest

Back in Number Six, I noted that I’d talk about the other books in my comic file, and this seems like the best time to do that!

When I started my file, a benefit I received was free issues of the Previews magazine.  This is a dangerous magazine, let me tell you.  I quickly started fliping through it and found a few different titles to add to my file.  Then, by recommendation, I picked up a few more here and there.

So, here’s the rest of my file (that have been released):

The Activity – A modern-day covert-ops team fighting terrorism and what-have you.  It doesn’t work for everybody.  I like it though. There’s some fantastic panels.

American Vampire – I picked up Volumes 1 & 2 at the library and was really drawn into this Scott Snyder book.  I had mentioned this to Brandon and he snuck the start of a new storyline into my file.  Anyway, a fantastic read.

Fatale – A horror/noir story.  Brubaker/Phillips.  Awesome.

Peter Panzerfaust – A retelling of Peter Pan.  In World War 2.  He’s a resistance fighter.  One issue in, and it’s a keeper.

Star Wars – Dawn of the Jedi – This is the story that tells the beginnings of the Jedi order.  I’m high on Star Wars these days, and I’m giving the EU another shot.  This has been worthwhile so far.

Winter Soldier – Bucky Barnes reprises his role as the Winter Soldier.  He’s a bad-ass spy and is joined by the Black Widow.  Commie Gorillas with Jetpacks and mini-guns.  Buy it.

Number Six

Back in August, DC launched the New 52.  As I had blogged, I was very excited to start seriously reading comics.

Now, 6 months later, I’m still just as excited as I was prior to the launch of the New 52.  I’ve added, removed, experimented with a variety of books.  I’ve also taken the digital plunge (I definitely prefer the paper copies, but sometimes the price is right!) and overall, I’ve been really happy with what I’ve read thus far.  I do need to say many thanks to James Leask and Brandon Schatz from Comics! The Blog for helping me navigate this strange new world.

So, most of the books in my file are six issues in.  What are they?

Batwoman – when Brandon gave the first issue of the Elegy run in Detective Comics, I thought he was a bit crazy. Who honestly reads Bat-anything-that-isn’t-man?  Alright, so I was so wrong.  J. H. Williams III has some damn pretty pictures.  Williams is taking an arc off of art, so #6 was a little inconsistent, but the story was still very strong.  My favorite book.

Batman – Scott Synder has amazing talent.  His take on Batman is fantastic and puts the character right into the stories I want to read.  Amazing stuff.  The mind-bending #5 was worth every penny I’ve spent on comic books through this whole new-hobby thing.

Detective Comics – The first arc of DC was shocking, a little horrifying, and well, off putting (to some).  Personally, I loved it.  Was definitely walking a fine line – I could easily have seen it going a few steps too far for my tastes, but I think it stayed right where it needed.  Now Batman is facing off against the Penguin and the tone of the story is quite different and welcome after the heavy first arc.

Batgirl – I got sucked in by the hype of this book on Twitter.  It’s not my favorite title, but, it is a nice change of pace from some of the darker/heavier things I read.  Barbara Gordon is still scarred from the events of the Killing Joke, and that makes this a good book – Batgirl is hesitant and overly analytical, which gets her into trouble.

Grifter – This started out great.  It’s fizzled for me.  I’ll be hanging on until #8, just to complete the arc and get out when the switch writers (which, has me miffed…).

Justice League Dark – One of two “large” team books in my file.  Reading comics has me realized that I like lone-wolf stories.  This realization (and a rather un-inspired read) lead me to drop Justice League proper.  Dark however, is different.  I like the subject matter more, the story drew me in.  I don’t see Dark leaving my file anytime soon, as it’s currently one of my top 5.

Severed – A 7 issue mini-series that captured my attention.  A slow-burning horror book that ended perfectly.  Some people don’t like it.  I quite enjoyed it and I’ve passed it along to a friend who is also enjoying it.

Ultimate Comics: X-Men – I discovered that this series restarted a few months late, but I was able to pick everything up.  I wanted to read a Marvel Ultimates title SPECIFICALLY because they were going to include a digital copy for free with all copies.  I’m really digging the world that currently exists for the mutants.  #7 was a bit meh until the end, but I expect very exciting things to start happening pretty soon.

Last of the Greats – After 5 issues, the status of this title is up in the air.  I’m a little torn.  The first issue was amazing, then the books declined slightly until #4, which completely turned me off.  Since I knew that #5 might be the last, I kept with it – and I’m not sure if #4 was so awful that anything would look great, or if #5 was actually a return to great.  I don’t know if this book will see any more issues, and if it does, if I’ll continue.

So, that’s about half of my current books.  I’ll talk about the others in a future post.