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I may end up hitting the size limit here because I've got a lot of Hauls here. Since this is primarily a list, a very, very, VERY long one, I'm putting it behind a cut. I have additional notes on some things, but I'm going to do separate larger entries on some of the most significant things.

And away we go...Collapse )
What I'm hearing: Ru Paul's Drag Race
Carnage #1 of 5 – Zeb Wells + Clayton Crain. The 90s return as Spider-Man and Iron Man become involved in a "Maximum Carnage" revival. Crain's art is still annoyingly dark, even in scenes of full daylight.

Chaos War #2 of 5 – Greg Pak/Fred Van Lente + Khoi Pham. The human heroes have all been immobilized, so Hercules has to recruit some more divine help to take on the Chaos King. It's the God Squad.

Deadpool #28 – Daniel Way + Carlo Barberi. Of course the idea of Deadpool joining the Secret Avengers was too incredible to believe. Featuring the return of Doctor Bong.

Halo: Fall of Reach – Boot Camp #2
of 4 – Brian Reed + Felix Ruiz. The children begin their military training, and John, the future Master Chief, quickly distinguishes himself as a skilled improvisor and natural leader.

Hulk #26 – Jeff Parker + Gabriel Hardman. Thor gets a measure of revenge upon the Red Hulk, and the big galoot just has to take it. With Parker taking over as writer, this series has quickly jumped to the top of my list.
A-Bomb back-up by Parker + Mark Robinson.

Loki #1 of 4 – Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa + Sebastian Fiumara. Which is the true history, the one told in Marvel comics or the one told in Norse myths? Loki is confusing the two, and is left feeling even more the outsider than usual. The first issue has already impressed the hell out of me, and I'm very interested to see where it goes. Loki is rarely handled in a fashion that is so engagingly complex.

New Mutants #18 – Zeb Wells + Leonard Kirk. And the New Mutants are down. They aren't calling the story “Fall of the New Mutants” for nothing.

Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe: A-Z Update #4 of 5 – More files on folk.

Thor: First Thunder #2 of 5 – Bryan J. L. Glass + Tan Eng Huat. Thor's earliest Marvel stories retold. Pretty well written, very well illustrated, but poorly reproduced.

Ultimate New Ultimates #4 of 5 – Jeph Loeb + Frank Cho. There's nothing like a mad Thor. Gorgeous art.

X-Factor #210 – Peter David + Valentine De Landro. The Rahne and Rictor subplot continues, and unravels while something else, completely different, is introduced. I kind of hope it ends up going somewhere.

Muppet Show Comic Book #11 – Roger Langridge. How can you go wrong with a Bunsen and Beaker focused issue?

Green Lantern Corps #53 – Tony Bedard + Tyler Kirkham. Dammit, Kirkham is doing the art. His stuff looks like a 12 year old trying to mimic Marc Silvestri and Frank Turner. I give folks slack when they are amateur, but he's been at this a few years now and isn't getting any better. His work is as technically deficient now as it was the first time I saw it a couple of years ago. How he still gets work is beyond me.

Hellblazer #272 – Peter Milligan + Simon Bisley/Giuseppe Camuncoli. As if his fiance being in the past and getting to know his younger self wasn't bad enough, a group of demons have taken it upon themselves to try and ruin John's upcoming wedding. Pretty good stuff here.

Power Girl #17 – Judd Winick + Sami Basri. Batman!

Vertigo Resurrected one-shot
– Features a Warren Ellis + Phil Jimenez Hellblazer story about a school shooting that was shelved because it was too close to the Columbine shootings. Now it's been brought out, probably somewhat due to the just-completed run on Astonishing X-Men of Ellis+Jimenez. The rest of the stories are from various anthologies and include work by Brian Bolland, Brian Azzarello + Essad Ribic, Grant Morrison + Frank Quitely, Garth Ennis + Jim Lee, Steven T. Seagle + Tim Sale, Peter Milligan + Eduardo Risso, Bill Willingham, and Bruce Jones + Bernie Wrightson with Tim Bradstreet.

G.I.Joe: A Real American Hero #159 – Larry Hama + Agustin Padilla. Wall-to-wall action as the Joes take the fight straight to the heart of Cobra. Hama's taken four issue to tell a tale that probably would have lasted t least twelve in the regular series. Sometimes a lack of decompression can be refreshing.

Transformers: Drift #4 of 4 – Shane McCarthy + Alex Milne. Drift fully gives up his identity as a Decepticon... but he never seemed all that dedicated to it in the first place, making the gesture, and climax of the story, rather hollow.

X-Files/30 Days of Night #4 of 6 – Steve Niles/Adam Jones + Tom Mandrake. More X-Files style storytelling with vampires in Alaska.

½ trade paperbacks!
Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2: War of Kings book 1 – Collects GotG #7-12 by Dan Abnett/Andy Lanning + Paul Pelletier/Brad Walker/Carlos Magno/Wesley Craig. Awesome!

Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 3: War of Kings book 2 – Collects GotG #13-19 by Abnett/Lanning + Walker/Craig. Also awesome!

Marvel 1602: New World/Fantastick Four – Collects Marvel 1602: New World #1-5 by Greg Pak + Greg Tocchini, and Marvel 1602: Fantastick Four #1-5 by Peter David + Pascal Alixe/Khoi Pham. The second and third of the Marvel 1602 miniseries are collected in a single volume. Pretty good, but neither captures the same grandeur that the original series held.

Sub-Mariner: Revolution – Collects the 6 issue Sub-Mariner miniseries by Matt Cherniss/Peter Johnson + Phil Briones. The fall of Atlantis and, because of it, a lead-in to his alliance with the X-Men.

Wisdom: Rudiments of Wisdom
– Collects the 6 issue Wisdom miniseries by Paul Cornell + Trevor Hairsine/Manuel Garcia. A fantastic series that gives Pete Wisdom more depth, adds some interesting characters to the Marvel Universe, and leads into the wonderful Captain Britain and MI:13.
Age of Heroes #3 of 4 – Kelly Sue DeConnick + Brad Walker have fun with the agents of the Avengers - Maria Hill, Victoria Hand, and Sharon Carter. Kevin Grevioux + M C Wyman do such a good job with their Blue Marvel story that I was inspired to pick up the trade the following week. The two page Taskmaster tale by Fred Van Lente + Jefte Palo merely serves as a prelude to his new miniseries. And the one-page Squirrel Girl story by Dan Slott + Ty Templeton was so short is wasn't even worth it.

Atlas #3 – Jeff Parker + Gabriel Hardman/Ramon Rosanas. Alien invaders, bitches. With a back-up exploring M-11's origin. Continues to be the kind of exciting, dramatic, and surprising kind of series that fans say they've been clamoring for.

Black Widow #4 – Marjorie Liu + Daniel Acuna. Dropped. Can't keep ME interested in stories about a hot redhead in a shiny black catsuit? That's a failure that says a lot. This team only has one more issue before they're replaced, but I'm so burned out that I'm not even all that interested in starting back up with the new creative team.

Dark Wolverine #88 – Daniel Way/Marjorie Liu + Stephen Segovia/Paco Diaz. Part 1 of the 4 part crossover with Franken-Castle. It's punishment time as Frank Castle decides to bring the pain down on the man that killed him.

Deadpool #25 – Daniel Way + Carlo Barberi. Deadpool messes with Weasel's plans for legitimizing himself in Vegas. Yeah, DP is a dick like that. At this point, I can't even remember how their last meeting ended so don't know why DP is being so manipulatively dickish.
The bonus back-up by Duane Swierczynski + Philip Bond was actually more enjoyable than the main event and can only be described as a light-hearted, violent romp.

Deadpool: Merc With a Mouth #13 of 13 – Victor Gischler + Bong Dazo/Kyle Baker/Matteo Scalera. This series took a little longer to get to its conclusion than it should have, but this was a satisfyingly fun finale. Also was nice to see that Baker abandoned the reprehensibly bad computer generated art he's been doing lately in favor of his much superior pencil and ink work.

Heroic Age: Prince of Power #3
of 4 – Greg Pak/Fred Van Lente + Reilly Brown/Zach Howard. Two words: fucking brilliant. A consistently awesome reading experience, this time featuring Amadeus Cho and Thor versus representatives of the Egyptian pantheon. She speaks in LOL-cat! Heh-heh-heh.

Lady Deadpool one-shot – Mary H.K. Choi + Ken Lashley. Uhm... makes less sense than a typical Deadpool story, and that's saying a lot. Some jokes I didn't get, and some I think I got but just weren't funny. It's supposed to be a satire on celebrity and fandom, but is mostly just a mess.

Marvelman Primer – Shouldn't this have come out before the first issue of Marvelman Family's Finest? This was pretty cool with an interview with Marvelman's creator as well as a history of British comics from the Golden Age to today, much of which was unfamiliar to me, and a separate history specifically of Marvel UK comics. A few too many pages were dedicated to the art for the various variant covers to the Marvelman Family's Finest miniseries, but what I go from this was worth the price.

Marvel Zombies 5 #5 of 5 – Fred Van Lente + Fernando Blanco (with a nice Frank Brunner splash page). It's the most meta of all the Marvel Zombies comics as the type of zombie dealt with this time falls under the classic definition of a Marvel Zombie, i.e. a mega-nerd totally dedicated to Marvel comics.

New Mutants #15 – Zeb Wells + Leonard Kirk. The New Mutants become secondary characters in an issue more dedicated to the new opponents they will soon be facing, a team of soldiers that were trapped in Limbo for twenty years and show the demonic effects of their time in hell.

Thunderbolts #146 – Jeff Parker + Kev Walker. You do realize by now that Jeff Parker is five shades of awesome, right?

Ultimate New Ultimates #3 of 5 – Jeph Loeb + Frank Cho. I wouldn't go so far as to say that this series is as good as Ultimates 3 and Ultimatum were bad, but this is significantly better. Enjoyable, even.

X-Factor #207 – Peter David + Sebastian Fiumara. There's some drama between Rictor and Shatterstar... which gets uncomfortably interrupted when Wolfsbane shows up (yeah, Rictor was with her before he decided to go the guy way with Shatterstar). Awkward. Meanwhile, Madrox has made a hell of a mistake with client choices. Still a great series.

X-Men: Phoenix Force Handbook
– Files on characters somehow related to Phoenix. Yes, I know I'm nerdy.

Brightest Day #6 – Geoff Johns/Peter Tomasi + Ivan Reis/Patrick Gleason/Scott Clark/Joe Prado. Dropped. I just don't care about most of these characters, and Lost-level “every question is answered with two more questions” plot progression is not going to keep me coming back.

Hellblazer #269
– Peter Milligan + Giuseppe Camuncoli. I'm thrilled to see the references to the last time that John Constantine met Shade back during the Shade, The Changing Man series, but it's probably going to leave people that didn't read that a little confused.

Power Girl #14 – Judd Winick + Sami Basri. PG's company is falling down around her ears thanks to an embezzling employee, but she's too busy battling an android super weapon to deal with it. Great pacing that jumps back and forth exceptionally well without ever feeling forced or confusing.

Time Masters: Vanishing Point #1 of 6 – Dan Jurgens. The series is proudly emblazoned “The Search for Batman” but that's just an excuse to let Dan Jurgens play with Booster Gold, Superman, Hal Jordan, and Rip Hunter as they jump through time. This is really just a larger scale extension of what Jurgens was doing on the Booster Gold series, but sense he was doing such a great job there I'm expecting this to b fantastic. So far, it is.

G.I.Joe: A Real American Hero #156 – Larry Hama + Agustin Padilla. Larry Hama wrote almost the entire 155 issue run of the Marvel G.I. Joe series, and now he's back at it. Completely ignoring the Image/Devil's Due series that also used the Marvel series as its backstory, this goes in an opposite direction of all the others. This puts the Joes as the underdogs as Cobra has manipulated itself into a state of legitimacy thanks to the American government's fear of terrorists and willingness to give up freedom in favor of security. Gee, there's no political commentary there...

Walking Dead vol. 12: Life Among Them – Robert Kirkman + Charlie Adlard. The cast find a gated community that seems to be doing well for itself, and has invited them to join them. Unfortunately they've gotten past the point where they can trust others, and it looks like that is what is going to bite them in the ass this time. Continues to be one of the greatest comic book series of all time. Would I lie to you?

Darkstalkers: The Night Warriors #3 of 3 – Ken Siu-Chong + Eric Vedder/Joe Vriens. Boss battle! Short on substance but long on action, just like you'd expect from an arcade fighting game. It's damn pretty, though.

back-issue buys
EPIC COMICS aka Marvel's creator owned imprint
St. George #2 – D.G.Chichester/Margaret Clark + Klaus Janson. Features the first appearance of Shreck, who would later be known as Terror in the Terror, Inc series.

St. George #8
- Dwayne McDuffie + Jim Lee. Early Jim Lee art that only looks like his about half the time, as he was trying to mimic Klaus Janson's thickly lined style. Though this was the last issue of the series, it was actually a fill-in issue so I didn't need to have read the rest. (Yes, all three Shadowline Saga titles ended with a fill-in issue. They were all wrapped up in the Critical Mass miniseries, which I now want to find.)
Deadpool Corps #2 of 5 – Victor Gischler + Rob Liefeld. I keep expecting this series to be even more madcap than it is, probably Gischler is just spread too thin doing this, DP: Merc With a Mouth, and the new X-Men series. That said, I guess I'll reveal here part of why I actually like Rob Liefeld – he reminds me of Jack Kirby. As opposed to many people who think learning from Kirby means drawing in his style, Rob knew that's not what's needed. He draws in his own style (which is admittedly not to everyone's taste, and is often of inconsistent quality) but injects every scene with a ginormous amount of dynamic energy. And since he finally got away from doing a splash page every couple of pages (done cuz the original art for a splash pages sells better, natch) the flow of his stories has much improved.

Halo: Blood Line #5 of 5 – Fred Van Lente + Francis Portela. This series is about a family unit of Spartans, a team that group up together and have developed some of the same issues that siblings often have. I like the fact that when looking at the Spartans through the eyes of another one, we see them sans armor and as young teenagers. It's an excellent way to illustrate the familial bond. Well written and well executed, though works much better once all the pieces are together.

Realm of Kings: Son of Hulk #4 of 4 – Scott Reed + Miguel Munera. Still not completely clear on everything that happened here, I did enjoy the Micronaut action and am glad to hear there will be a follow-up.

Spider-Man: Fever #2
of 3 – Brendan McCarthy. Psychedelically awesome as Spider-Man loses his sense of self in the outer planes and Dr. Strange quests to find him.

Thor and the Warriors Four #2
of 4 – Alex Zalben + GuriHiru. Power Pack in Asgard, and Katie, the youngest, is convinced that Beta Ray Bill is a horse. She not only dubber him Thorse, but also asked to ride him... Anyway, in the meantime, Loki is up to mischief.
And the Hercules back-up by Colleen Coover is a piece of brilliance.

Ultimate New Ultimates #2 – Jeph Loeb + Frank Cho. It's nice that Frank Cho can draw women that actually look physically powerful enough to take down Captain America and the other male members of the Ultimates... now if he could just work on having a variety of faces. Aside from hair, outfits, and, uh, proportions, they all look like the same woman. The writing is surprisingly enjoyable.

Uncanny X-Men #524 – Matt Fraction + Terry Dodson. Second Coming part 6. A moment is taken for the fallen hero before the the action explodes again. These kind of big, epic crossover events are one of the things I enjoy about the X-Men, and I'm loving the hell out of this one.

X-Men: Hellbound #1
of 3 – Chris Yost + Harvey Tolibao. Second Coming tie-in. A group of X-Men travel to limbo to retrieve Magik, who was teleported there during the battles. All their other teleporters have been incapacitated or killed, so the hope is they can get her to help defend against the large scale, coordinated attack that they are under. Of course, things don't go as planned.
Contains a reprint from issue #4 of the Magik miniseries by Chris Claremont + Sal Buscema that features the origin of her Soulsword.

Fraggle Rock #1 of 3 – Heather White + Jeff Stokely. Katie Cook. Jeffrey Brown + Michael DiMotta. Cute, but nothing special. Might appeal to adults that still adore the Fraggles, or to kids, but doesn't offer much more.

Muppet King Arthur #4 of 4 – Paul Benjamin/Patrick Storck + James Silvani. Very well done. Like the Muppet Peter Pan story, the characters take on a life of their own, and the Muppets don't stick to the roles they've been assigned, instead they follow their own direction. It leads to some unexpected moments, and some very expected moments, but all are delightful.

Muppet Show Comic Book #5 – Roger Langridge + Amy Mebberson. Continues to be entertaining from beginning to end. Even the bad puns are perfectly placed for true Muppetude.

28 Days Later #10 – Michael Alan Nelson + Declan Shalvey. As if it wasn't bad enough trying to not got killed by the infected, now there are a bout of heavily armed men with mysterious motives moving about... men that seem to want to capture the infected alive.

Brightest Day #1 of 24 – Geoff Johns/Peter Tomasi + Ivan Reis/Pat Gleason/Ardian Syaf/Scott Clark/Joe Prado. As I'm typing this I've already read issue #5, and I'm still undecided. The problem is that while I find the plot interesting, very interesting, I just don't care about the characters. At all. My favorite of the batch, the Martian Manhunter, has only gotten a couple of pages so far. Other than him we've got Aquaman, Firestorm, Hawkman & Hawkwoman, and Deadman. Essentially, a bunch of characters that had been killed off because they have trouble carrying their own series.

Doom Patrol #10 – Keith Giffen + Matthew Clark/Ron Randall. Enjoyable, but little plot movement as the villain first assault is enacted but his motivations remain shrouded.

G.I.Joe Origins #15 – Merrill Hagan + Klaus Scherwinski. Sometimes this is less a series of origins and more just solo spotlights, this is one of those times. Despite the misnomer, the issue is a good one. We get a one-off story featuring Snowjob, the Joe's Arctic specialist, taking a mission well out of his element in the city of Caracas, Venezuela. The coloring is frustratingly dark, as it seems the art could be some of the best in any of IDW's Joe comics so far. Thankfully the story still works, highlighting the character's skill at adapting to an environment and mission that is outside of his area of expertise.

Darkstalkers: The Night Warriors #2 of 3 – Ken Siu-Chong + Eric Vedder/Joe Vriens/Joe Ng. This is a comic series based on a Japanese arcade fighting game... describing the plot will just sound like the mad ramblings of a delusional psychotic on LSD. Instead, I'll just say that it's gorgeously violent fluff.
What I'm hearing: Invader Zim