Comics Reviews (June 29th, 2016)


From worst to best of what I read. Books bought by other people so that I could review them are marked with an asterisk. If you'd like me to review a book, just furnish me with a copy, whether by gifting it on Comixology, e-mailing me a download code, or PayPaling me the cost and telling me what you'd like me to buy. In all cases, snowspinner at gmail. (And it wouldn't be a bad idea, as there appears we'll be on hiatus next week due to a lack of any books I'm buying.)

Spider-Gwen Annual #1

A bunch of largely unremarkable short stories, of which only the Captain America one stood out worth a damn. A couple more were worth a chuckle, but on the whole this is firmly in the "annuals that aren't actually worth your time" category. 

Black Panther #3

Coates was talking up bits of the Alan Moore Swamp Thing run on Twitter a while back, and the influence is all over this issue. But maddeningly, the book continues to not quite click - three issues in there's yet to be any sort of triumphal "fuck yeah" moment where the book feels like it pays something off or actually sells the reader on its concepts and approach. I will continue to stubbornly hold out hope with this one, but man, I hope Coates finds his gear here soon.

Darth Vader #22

The Aphra scene at the start is quite fun, but the confrontation with Tulon Voidgazer that makes up the bulk of the book is a fairly light-weight "Vader disposes of the secondary antagonist" sequence. The cliffhanger it sets up is intriguing, but this is something of a blank within the overall run. 

Spider-Man #5

Bendis sticks to relatively conventional Marvel-soap plotting, and does interesting stuff with it, adding nuance to the Ganke/Goldballs relationship and taking the Miles's Grandmother plot, which had been threatening to careen into self-parody, in an interesting direction by bringing Jessica Jones into the mix through her. The Hammerhead/Black Cat stuff is awkward-feeling, too-quickly raised and disposed of over the last two issues, but without at least one bit of slightly bewilderingly incompetent pacing how would we know it's really a Bendis comic?

Cinema Purgatorio #3

A bit of a weak issue here, with Code Pru having an off month, Cinema Purgatorio itself being more interesting than effective, and Modded... being quite clever, actually, with a technically adept installment that gives Ignacio Calero a chance to cut loose pleasantly. A More Perfect Union is still crap, but The Vast is actually pretty good this month. Still probably the weakest of the set so far.

Nighthawk #1-2*

An unapologetically political book that proclaims itself to be invested in black culture right up front. It's not subtle about this, which I appreciate. The relationship between Nighthawk and Tilda Johnson, who's serving as his Oracle-figure, is reliably solid, and Ramon Villalobos has a solid Frank Quitely-style grotesqueness to his style that works well with the book. It's gotten no buzz so far as I can tell, so I assume it's doomed for cancellation in like four issues' time, but frankly, this is doing a better job of being Marvel's smart and ambitious black superhero book than Black Panther. Will definitely be buying more of it.

The Unbeatable Squrirrel Girl #9

Mole Man as a figure of masculine entitlement. Next issue he's on the cover with a fedora. I cannot imagine this book needs to be sold any more than that, but it's also by Ryan North and utterly hilarious, so there's that too. And with a special contribution from Wondermark's David Malki, which is fantastic and more comics writers need to find excuses to have him draw pages for them. 

Next Week's Books

As it stands, nothing. 


Comment deleted 4 years, 8 months ago

encyclops 4 years, 8 months ago

I'm super confused about whether it's the men's rights types who wear the fedoras or the "white knight" guys they deride for saying "m'lady." Or do they all wear them?

Either way, as a guy who still has almost all his hair but expects that won't last forever, I'm dismayed at the fact that at some point in the future I'll probably have to choose between looking like a tool or getting a sunburned head. What hats are left to white guys with no more than average style? Fedoras, cowboy hats, and baseball caps are hopeless; a beanie is tough to pull off past a certain age or temperature; derbies and top hats are never going to come back, and you wouldn't want them to. The military cap doesn't work outside a Civil War movie or an organic bean co-op. I feel like the sole refuge is the humble newsie, and even that might just be my blind love talking.

I know we were talking about comics, but comics won't keep a guy's head warm. At least not in the rain.

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Aylwin 4 years, 8 months ago

Don't take my word for it, but I've been told that what the internet calls a fedora is virtually always actually a trilby. So maybe you could just wear an actual fedora.

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MattM 4 years, 8 months ago

Wear a crown

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Devin 4 years, 8 months ago

Porkpie? Digger hat? Beret? Or plan ahead and work on having some style, maybe?

I'm fond of a patrol cap myself: not the full USMC eight-point style, but something a little more generic, closer to a ball cap but with a little more shape to the crown and a little less brim. Basically, the question to ask is "if I put a red star on this, would Castro wear it?" Dude had a sharp eye for hats: nothing busy, nothing gaudy, but did you ever see him wearing something dumb?*

In a similar vein, I've seen knit skullcaps deployed with some effectiveness, if you can find something with a little more character than a basic beanie.

*Real question, because while I admire his hat selection, I would also very much enjoy pictures of Castro in silly hats.

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Daibhid C 4 years, 8 months ago

Black fedora (or trilby) and grow a beard. Then instead of looking like an MRA, you look like a brilliant comic novelist.

Full disclosure: I can't pull that off (I don't suit a beard for one thing) and wear baseball caps with sci-fi logos on them. (I used to have a specially-made Discworld one in fact, but it blew away.)

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Tim B. 4 years, 8 months ago

For summer/sun protections a bucket or fisherman's hat. Provides good sun cover without going overboard, has low maintenance requirements & can be easily stored whilst out and about. Style-wise available in a range of plain colours as well as patterned varieties and don't tend to retail for ridiculously high prices, unless you go for particular brands.

I'd say could be pulled off with most 'casual' looks, you may be able to get away with a plain one with business wear but if that's a look you can get away with then you be you.

Winter-wise just go full military fur lined cap with the pull down side flaps, whatever it's called.

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encyclops 4 years, 8 months ago

I sincerely appreciate all the style conversation that's resulted from this, but I probably should have stopped with the first paragraph. :) I still don't know the answer to that question and it has made a number of tweets, and in fact part of this post, very confusing to me. Anyone?

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bombasticus 4 years, 8 months ago

The developmental line between whimsical dandy and MRA shark is extremely fragile -- effectively the chivalrous tipper of a few years ago has often curdled into a would-be pick-up artist today, even though the external wardrobe cues don't change much.

Hope that makes sense! I'm really only commenting here because I thought Cinema Purgatorio was coming out three weeks from now . . . is this a secret accelerated backer-only release?

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David Gerard 4 years, 8 months ago

Get a fedora and put a little card in the band saying "SJW". I'm certainly never giving up my skeptical atheist fedora.

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Tom B 4 years, 8 months ago

Don't be afraid of going with a newsie/flat cap/ascot cap style. Or, Tim B's suggestion of a fisherman's cap could be good in the right seasons/circumstances.

Or, go with a deerstalker. Not that common, but has its own style.

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encyclops 4 years, 8 months ago

The newsie is my current default on the maybe 2 days a year I wear a hat at all. It seems to suit me and will probably be a fine default if and when I ever lose enough of my hair that it becomes an issue.

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ferret 4 years, 8 months ago

A stovepipe hat, perhaps?

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