Friday, July 31, 2009

I Bought Comics: July 29, 2009

[Thoughts, memories, musing, rants, raves, just don't call them reviews.]

glamourpuss #8

There has never been a comic book like glamourpuss and there never will be again. That's a shame, because this is such a great read. Each issue goes off in unexpected directions, providing more information than you'd think possible, and really challenging you to keep up with where Sim is going. I'm surprised to learn that the glamourpuss Book Club selection here, Influence by Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen is a real book. The Olsen Twins interview people related to the fashion and art world? Really? Weird. I also learned in this issue that the author of Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell was apparently a porn junkie. Weird.

Ignition City #4

The art looks worse, less complete here. At first, I thought it was a different inker (since I thought the inker was another Italian), but, nope. So no clue what happened here. I still like this book quite a bit. Ellis is one of the most optimistic and sentimental writers around -- he just disguises it under lots of bastard stuff. I don't like the trick of hiding the BIG REVEAL from us, but whatever.

New Avengers #55

Stuart Immonen is here praise the lord no more of that shitty Billy Tan spew that one poster on the CBR forums though invalidated one of my reviews as I dared to call it ugly which it was ugly uglu ugly art oh but not the work of Immonen who is fantastically wonderful oh yes yay Immonen is here

Secret Warriors #6

I really enjoyed this issue, but something about it left me cold. The last page reveal is good, but not too shocking. The action was good. I don't know. Could just be an off day on my part. Can't wait to see what Hickman has in store for us in the next arc.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

CBR Review: Fantastic Four #569

I recently reviewed Fantastic Four #569 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "With Doom’s master, the Marquis of Death, on the attack, the Fantastic Four are also under siege by alternate versions of the group that are upset with Reed, because he did not kill an earlier incarnation of the Marquis to save the multiverse. And that’s just the first few pages of plot, folks; it doesn’t get much clearer as the issue progresses, which also takes a lot of the energy out of this conclusion. What should be a big blowout starts and stops in fits, because of the convoluted plot and the equally convoluted twists that get throw in."

You can read the rest HERE!

CBR Review: Detective Comics #855

I recently reviewed Detective Comics #855 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "In the lead feature, Williams is beyond words. I am not sure the proper descriptors exist to properly sum up what he, along with Dave Stewart, does. But, I’ll give it a shot. Like some of the best cartoonists in comics, Williams crafts exquisitely designed pages that function both as a large work of art but also function almost perfectly on a panel-to-panel basis. Many artists focus on doing one or the other, but to illustrate lavish pages that need little context to appreciate and tell the story with clarity at the same time? Well, Williams may just be the best artist working in superhero comics today."

You can read the rest HERE!

Monday, July 27, 2009

CBR Review: Dark X-Men: The Beginning #2

I recently reviewed Dark X-Men: The Beginning #2 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "Ah, repetitive comic book storytelling that serves little purpose. The idea behind Dark X-Men: The Beginning is that each story in this three-issue mini-series will show how each member of Norman Osborn’s X-Men team came to be involved in the group. We’re two issues and six stories in, and it’s getting rather tedious. Here’s how it breaks down: see Character A, see Character A get approached by Osborn, see Character A balk at being in his X-Men, see Osborn either make a very persuasive argument or use devious tactics to get Character A agree to his proposal, repeat."

You can read the rest HERE!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Post-Moving Sunday

Well, I am all moved into my girlfriend's apartment, which is now our apartment. Pretty much all unpacked, too. I have plenty of books and DVDs, though, that are going to stay in boxes in the closet, though. But, I have some nice shelves full of trades and hardcovers, so yay. On to the links!

The Reread Reviews -- Fight for Tomorrow and The Splash Page: Wednesday Comics Week Three!


Friday, July 24, 2009

CBR Review: Guardians of the Galaxy #16

I recently reviewed Guardians of the Galaxy #16 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "The interplay between the two Guardians groups is fantastic as they quickly put aside their differences to prevent this horrible future from occurring, but that means facing off against the Badoon, the only species remaining, and the reason why the universe hasn’t collapsed completely. The means by which they’ve kept a small pocket of space unharmed is epic in scope and a wild idea on Abnett and Lanning's part. It’s the sort of idea you’d expect from Grant Morrison, and handled with the same deft skill."

You can read the rest HERE!

CBR Review: Gotham City Sirens #2

I recently reviewed Gotham City Sirens #2 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "March’s style is quite lovely, mixing a quirky, off-beat sensibility with a very classic look. He changes between very clean, almost simplistic figures and more detailed ones with ease, each character having his or her own unique style much of the time. If it weren’t for the need to show Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn in positions that focus on their bodies for the sake of focusing on their bodies. Sometimes, it works well and with the characters, but a lot of the time, it doesn’t."

You can read the rest HERE!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

CBR Review: Final Crisis Aftermath: Dance #3

I recently reviewed Final Crisis Aftermath: Dance #3 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "For those of us unable to make it to San Diego this year, Joe Casey and ChrisCross have it covered in the third issue of Final Crisis Aftermath: Dance with a wonderfully funny look at a convention in Dubai devoted to the Super Young Team. I don’t know if the timing of this issue hitting shelves this week was planned, but it is definitely one of the best instances of good timing in comics."

You can read the rest HERE!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I Bought Comics (July 22, 2009)

[I purchased comics today. I have reviewed many of the comics I've read this week. Here, I will discuss the ones I haven't reviewed in ways that have nothing to do with reviewery. Yay.]

The Boys: Herogasm #3

...did... did Hughie get a thumb shoved up his ass? And why was he huddled when Butcher went looking for him, but back as Black Noir left him later in the issue? Meh. This mini is inferior to the main title. I'm enjoying it, but not as much as The Boys proper. Nothing much seems to actually happen here, you know? And you would think a mini-series that is happening at the same time as the main book would exist because things need to happen. Enjoyable, but not great.

Captain Britain and MI:13 #15


It sucks that this title has ended, but, now, I can go back, reread it and enjoy a very, very good 16 issues of comics. I don't think this issue ended as well as it needed to given that it's the final issue of this fantastic series. That's a lot of weight of expectations. Were this simply the end of "Vampire State" with issue 16 out next month, it would read better -- and that's clearly how it was written, for the most part. Cornell obviously threw in a few character beats to give the series a bit more closure, but this is mostly the end of a storyarc. A very good storyarc, of course. I'll miss this book. Expect a reread review on it at some point in the future.

Only two non-review books. I guess I'm not reviewing Wednesday Comics #3, but I discuss that series with Tim, so... Next week will be a bigger crop of non-review books since I reviewed so many books this week and want to take it a bit easier -- especially since I'm moving in with my girlfriend this weekend and, then, next weekend, we'll be at her friend's cottage. A week or so of stepping back from comics a little. Not completely, of course, but a bit. Expect any thoughts on San Diego to show up in my random thoughts post over at Comics Should be Good on Tuesday at 5 pm EST. It's posted at that time every Tuesday. Just as I aim for my reread reviews to go up at 2 pm EST on Sundays. I like the regular schedule, as you can guess.

Now, I'm off to eat some doritos and watch Malcolm in the Middle, a highly underrated show.

CBR Review: Dark Wolverine #76

I recently reviewed Dark Wolverine #76 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "Entering Daken into a conflict with Bullseye is a smart move since he seems like the group’s ‘wild card’ at a first glance. As it is, we don’t know exactly what has happened, and neither does Norman Osborn as both men try to turn their boss against the other. The repetition of discussions Osborn has with each is humorous, but overplays the structure here of having the second part of the book mirror the first."

You can read the rest HERE!

CBR Review: Project Superpowers: Chapter 2 #1

I recently reviewed Project Superpowers: Chapter 2 #1 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "Project Superpowers presents an entry problem beyond the plot since none of the characters stand out and grab the reader. With a cast so large, everyone just blends into the background, even those few who get a few more lines here or there. While previous works by the pair have included characters that act as stand-ins for the readers to allow them to figure out what’s going on with this mass of people, here, it’s difficult to find grounding."

You can read the rest HERE!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

CBR Review: Immortal Weapons #1

I recently reviewed Immortal Weapons #1 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "Aaron delivers a Fat Cobra origin story that is, at times, very, very funny, and, at others, heartbreaking. One of the best gags is when Aaron takes the technique of naming the fighting moves used in combat and applies it to sex. My favourite is 'Heaving Tiger Love Hug.' At the other end of the spectrum, the truth of how exactly he becomes a good enough fighters to defeat the Great Xiang Yao, the giant snake of Peng Lai, who is akin to K’un-L’un’s Shou-Lao the Undying, is brutal and something that leaves Cobra visually shaken."

You can read the rest HERE!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

CBR Review: The Art of Top Cow

I recently reviewed The Art of Top Cow for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "Let’s be honest here for a moment: when you see a book titled The Art of Top Cow, a specific art style jumps to mind. One that descends from Top Cow founder Marc Silvestri with thin lines (perhaps too many), women with impossible bodies wearing little clothes, and hulking men with guns that just maybe resemble characters from another company. There’s some truth in that immediate impression of Top Cow’s work since those elements are found in the pages of this book, but, surprisingly, that sort of art takes up the minority of this book as Top Cow displays that it has featured some of the top names in comics over the years, many of whom you wouldn’t normally associate with the company."

You can read the rest HERE!

Sunday Fun

It looks like Sunday is the day for new content from me.

First up, is this week's Reread Review where I write about Spider-Man: One More Day. I had a lot of fun with this post and wound up taking a stance that I wasn't expecting.

Then, there's the second week of mine and Tim Callahan's Splash Page: Wednesday Comics where we discuss... the second issue of Wednesday Comics... duh.


Friday, July 17, 2009

I Bought Comics: July 15, 2009

[Last week was fun, wasn't it? I'm not sure this week will be just as fun, sadly. But, let's see, shall we? As always, these aren't reviews, just whatever thoughts and feelings come up.]

Incognito #5

This book has gotten stronger as it's progressed. Sean Phillips is better than everyone else, basically. This paper is really nice.

Rasl #5

I need to reread the first four issues, because something's not lining up for me. Odd to see Jeff Smith do a sex scene -- and odder that he felt the need to make sure we see absolutely no nudity. I'm not saying throw it in there for the sake of it, but when you're carrying a 'mature readers' label and were going to have the scene there already, it's distracting to go to the effort of covering things up. Unless he's making a point of doing it here to show that when he has a sex scene, it's not just an excuse for nipples.

Scalped #30

Damn good. Damn damn damn good.

Young Liars #17

"IT'S TOO LATE IT'S TOO LATE IT'S TOO LATE IT'S TOO LATE IT'S TOO LATE!" The words run through my mind like that. It is too late. Another stellar issue. I can't wait to see how it ends.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

CBR Review: Final Crisis Aftermath: Escape #3

I recently reviewed Final Crisis Aftermath: Escape #3 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "Rudy continues to be very impressive in this series, using intricate and interesting page layouts, working in the gutters to provide hints about the scenes we’re seeing and, in this issue, depicting certain scenes with panel shapes that suggest video screens to indicate the way that the inmates are being observed -— and, in one instance, Nemesis using a monitor to notice that one of them has suddenly vanished. Clearly, a lot of thought has been put into these layouts and they are striking in the vein of JH Williams III’s work."

You can read the rest HERE!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

CBR Review: Captain America #601

I recently reviewed Captain America #601 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "The story is serviceable and features a twist that’s not too surprising. Ed Brubaker clearly geared his script towards Colan’s talents with this vampire tale, giving him numerous chances to flex his horror muscles. The story is a series of encounters with vampires and trying to find the cause before more American soldiers are turned -— or before their suspicions of one another cause them to kill each other. A nice little done-in-one that ties into Civil War thematically, but it’s mostly a showcase for Colan."

You can read the rest HERE!

CBR Review: The Killer #9

I recently reviewed The Killer #9 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "I watched Jean-Pierre Melville’s Le Samouraï last week for the fourth time. It’s the story of Jef Costello, an assassin in Paris whose employers turn on him. Coincidentally, this week marks the release of Archaia’s US publishing of the The Killer, a series about an assassin in Paris whose employers turn on him. Don’t you just love it when events line up like that?"

You can read the rest HERE!

CBR Review: Dark Avengers #7

I recently reviewed Dark Avengers #7 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "In the lead-up to this story, Matt Fraction wrote various Emma Frost-centered stories to justify her ties to the Cabal and to set the stage for her leadership of the Dark X-Men, and she continues to be a focal point in this issue. Anyone who thinks Emma has betrayed her fellow mutants are proven wrong here as she and Osborn have a heated confrontation. Fraction clearly understands Frost and is determined to keep her from slipping into one-dimensional ‘villain-turned-hero-turned-villain-again’ territory like so many others have before."

You can read the rest HERE!

Monday, July 13, 2009

CBR Review: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? #1

I recently reviewed Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? #1 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "That said, what a wonderful idea and fantastic way to introduce the work of Philip K. Dick to new readers. With the huge influence Dick has had on sci-fi and comics, his work should be mandatory reading for anyone who regularly engages either. No doubt most have seen at least one of the film adaptations of his prose, but his ideas have shaped so much of what’s followed with top writers like Warren Ellis, Ed Brubaker, and Grant Morrison indebted to Dick. So, now you have no excuse, because BOOM! is putting Dick’s work in comic shops this week."

You can read the rest HERE!

CBR Review: Poe #1

I recently reviewed Poe #1 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "Though known for his dark, psychological horror stories, Edgar Allan Poe is also considered one of these originators of the modern mystery story with his story 'The Murders in Rue Morgue,' so it’s natural to combine these two types of stories into one when doing a fictionalized comic of Poe’s life. I will stress the fictional nature of this comic and warn any who are up on Poe’s biography that what happens here bears little resemblance to Poe’s real life."

You can read the rest HERE!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Splash Page: Wednesday Comics Week One

It's back. After a long on-and-off series of false starts, Tim Callahan and I have gotten together once again to comics. Yes, the Splash Page has returned... to CBR! It's only a temporary thing for the column to be housed at CBR as we discuss Wednesday Comics each and every week, but that means 12 weeks of Splash Page goodness.

This week, we kick things off with initial thoughts on the weekly series and its features. Which ones do we love? Which do we hate? Read the first Wednesday Comics Splash Page to find out.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

CBR Review: The Unwritten #3

I recently reviewed The Unwritten #3 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "This issue of The Unwritten is a turning point in the series, as Mike Carey and Peter Gross begin to look beyond the Tommy Taylor books to explore literature on a larger scale. While the first two issues showed scenes from the boy wizard books that exist in this world, this one begins with a scene from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, an important and logical place to begin in this exploration of literature."

You can read the rest HERE!

I Bought Comics: July 8, 2009

[My girlfriend is out of town this weekend camping with friends. I am lonely as a result. What? Weekends are our time to hang out and all of the things that that entails. But, no, this weekend, I'm sitting in my basement apartment all alone, tired, cranky, and ready to talk about comics. Oh lucky you, imaginary reader. You shall be the recipient of my Wisdom on this dark Saturday morning. I come not to review comics but to talk shit. Rock and roll.]

Dark X-Men: The Beginning #1

Because I am a sucker and god forbid we didn't know every small stupid mundane detail about how it came about that the Dark X-Men were formed. Fuck you for buying this and fuck me, too. I hate it when I'm part of the problem. I hate myself right now because of a dumb comic... what the fuck? When did my life come down to me writing about comics online at 2:33 am and hating myself for buying a dumb, shitty comic? And make no mistake, this is a DUMB SHITTY COMIC, people! I don't care how you try to dress it up, there is no reason for this comic to exist except to feed the beast and I'm beginning to hate the beast. I've been digging Fraction's little crossover so far, because it's a logical extension of the larger story -- why wouldn't Norman Osborn form his own X-Men? Why won't he form his own Fantastic Four? Or his own Heroes for Hire? Or his own Secret Defenders? Why not Dark Guardians of the Galaxy? DARK ELDERS OF THE UNIVERSE! Oh yes, it shall be glorious and then we can have dozens of specials detailing how Norman Osborn personally approached each and every character to recruit them to his team and we can be aware of every small bit of continuity, because we have to know. We must know! Because god forbid we didn't know exactly how, detail-for-detail, second-for-second why a lame-as-fuck z-list bullshit character like the Mimic joined the Dark X-Men. You know why? Because Matt Fraction said so. The character wasn't doing anything and Fraction thought he'd make a good addition to the team. That's why. In the story, it's basically the same thing: he wasn't really doing anything and Norman decided he wanted him. It's goddamn metafictional. Art imitating life. No one cares about the Mimic, so why not throw him on the stupid mirror mirror version of the X-Men? He's like Dark Angel or something. And Dark Beast? Well... I can't even remember what happened in that story. It was rubbish and pointless. The Namor one at least built on recent events, because his joining the team actually requires an explanation, because, when we last saw him, he was ready to rip off Osborn's skull and shit in his brain. You want to know why Namor joined up? Because he doesn't know why. Or maybe he did it all for the nookie. Who the fuck knows? And I paid four dollars and something for this comic and I'll probably buy the next two issues, too. I am pathetic and part of the problem. I mean, I've got to know what's up with this team. I just got to. Fuck.

Gravel #12

Another solid issue of Gravel. I'm not sure where this is going, but each issue is enjoyable. Highly underrated book.

No Hero #6

Warren Ellis wins, you fucking bastards. I don't know exactly what, but he wins. Everyone give up, because the superhero comic is officially dead. The last page of No Hero #6 killed it. The final page grabbed the superhero comic's spine, ripped it out of its back, and then the final page proceeded to attach the spine to itself using excess skin -- it made itself a giant penis out of spine and uttered



There's nothing else you can do with superhero comics anymore. I sure as shit don't know what else there is. I thought I'd actually seen it all, but then I saw a guy rip out a spine and attach it to his groin in triumph. And he's been the fucking portagonist of this comic. He's our point of view character. The new recruit. Our eyes and ears. So what does that say about us? Why did I feel excited about that final page? Does Warren Ellis know something about my superhero-loving brain that I don't? Because Josh is me and I'm Josh, so I secretly want my penis to fall off and then replace it with a superhero's spine? Of course I do, because I just realised that superheroes are just about money. All of the high ideals I worshipped, the morals, the ethics, the saving the world -- all a facade in the pusuit of money. I gave up my social life, I stayed inside weekends, pouring over my precious superhero comics, escaping into their worlds, I gave it all up and it's just about money. That's all. Oh sure, they'll say that it's about art and the love of the characters, but I know for sure. They raised the price by a dollar not because they had to, not because that's the only way to keep the comics coming, for superheroes to keep saving the world, but because they want more money. They're happy to lie to our faces, to laugh about it, to bullshit us -- they make us care, make us obsess, make us devote large chunks of our lives. We could be out getting laid and drinking and having fun, we could be making friends, but we don't. We're willing to exchange our cocks and our appearance if it means we can live the superhero dream. AND IT'S REALLY JUST ABOUT MONEY. IT WAS ALWAYS ABOUT THE MONEY. FROM DAY ONE. We've been had, we've been bilked -- and when we realise the truth, we'll want our cocks back by any means necessary... Warren Ellis knows this and he's shown us the truth. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Oh fuck and he's right. That final page is so goddamned fucked. And it's a mirror, people. Look at Josh's mask. It's a mirror that reflects our faces. Because he is us and we are him. Enjoy your comics.

Friday, July 10, 2009

CBR Review: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly #1

I recently reviewed The Good, the Bad and the Ugly #1 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "Polls more than Dixon makes his mark here, providing gorgeous visuals that capture the grit and feel of Leone’s films without actually replicating the look, which is an approach that always works better. Too often in works like this, more emphasis is placed on remaining ‘true to the source’ that it lacks any of the depth or feel of the original, but Polls captures that. One way in which he conveys a cinematic feel is in his page layouts as he uses, primarily, page-wide panels stacked upon one another like film stills. He only breaks from this layout briefly to great effect."

You can read the rest HERE!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

CBR Review: Batman #688

I recently reviewed Batman #688 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "The main repetition is a discussion between Alfred and Dick as Dick struggles with his new role as Batman, adjusting to the costume and the attitude. The scene here is more comedic and lighthearted than in Batman and Robin with Alfred amused that one of his duties is now 'pacifying a neurotic Batman.' The different tone allows the scene to be its own, but it reads like a second-rate knockoff of last week’s powerful discussion between the characters -- again, not Winick’s fault, but it’s hard to ignore."

You can read the rest HERE!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

CBR Review: Wednesday Comics #1

I recently reviewed Wednesday Comics #1 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "But, the format works extremely well, each page gorgeous and unique with a healthy mix of artists known for their superhero work and artists that fall outside the regular DC stable. More than that, each of the 15 pages has its own look and style that isn’t replicated elsewhere, something that’s harder to pull off than you’d think. Chiarello has assembled a diverse and interesting collection of creators."

You can read the rest HERE!

Monday, July 06, 2009

CBR Review: Greek Street #1

I recently reviewed Greek Street #1 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "On the basis of the one dollar price tag for 40 pages of story, Greek Street #1 deserves a look. In that regard, I cannot recommend this issue highly enough, because you would be a fool to not check it out. If my review were simply of the format/price, the book would warrant five stars, because Vertigo’s new initiative to provide low-cost first issues is a brilliant move, but this is a review of the content of this excellently priced comic and that’s where things get a little bit murky."

You can read the rest HERE!

Sunday, July 05, 2009

I Bought Comics: The Day After Canada Day 2009

[Back to the same old, same old. NOT PROPER REVIEWS AT ALL!]

Batman and Robin #2

I liked this. Not sure what else to say.

The Boys #32

Someone's gonna get fuuuuuuuuuuucked. Wasn't sure that it was Annie here at first, though. The fight is brutal and it's nice to see the group against enemies that require more than brawling. Looking forward to next issue.

Cerebus Archive #2

I haven't actually read this yet. I will, though. I've been busy with various other things.

Strange Adventures #5

So... Manuel Garcia is gone and so is Rafael Alburquerque... but Starlin steps up to do the main story's art... not bad. This series is somewhat entertaining.

Uncanny X-Men #513

Combine this issue and last week's Utopia one-shot and you get a great beginning to this crossover... if you imagine them as one comic. Stupid slow comics. Otherwise, I like this idea and the vague ambiguity about how much Cyclops knows about Emma working for Osborn.

That's it for now.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

CBR Review: Captain America: Reborn #1

I recently reviewed Captain America: Reborn #1 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "The dialogue that narrates the opening of the issue is the perfect primer for new readers as it gives the essential plot points to get you up to speed, while a scene where the Falcon and Sharon Carter enlist the help of Hank Pym reveals other pertinent details. Brubaker’s dialogue rarely seems forced in these revelations and adds enough new events or perspectives to keep those already in the know entertained. It’s a hard trick to pull off, Brubaker does it well."

You can read the rest HERE!

CBR Review: Irredeemable #4

I recently reviewed Irredeemable #4 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "After three issues, we finally get to see how the world is reacting to the Plutonian’s villainous turn, which has included destroying at least one city, and killing millions. While the focus up until now has been the Plutonian’s former allies trying to find out anything they can about him, this issue touches upon the world in a bigger way, with the United Nations preparing a response."

You can read the rest HERE!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

The Best of 2009: Halfway Mark Rankings

Since we're halfway through the year, I want to give a look at where my top ten list for this year is. I did the same thing last year and the list changed quite a bit by the end of year, so who knows what will happen with this one. As well, this year, I'm adding an extra short list of books that seem like good contenders to crack the top ten, but haven't yet for whatever reason -- mostly for a lack of issues.

Halfway Mark Top Ten of 2009

1. Young Liars: No surprise here.
2. Scalped: Again, no surprise.
3. Seaguy: Slaves of Mickey Eye: Some damn fine writing by Morrison and damn fine art by Stewart.
4. The Surrogates: Flesh and Bone: I really enjoyed this when I read the advance .pdf. It should be out in the next month or two.
5. Captain Britain and MI:13: "Vampire State" has been extremely strong.
6. Godland: The regular schedule really helps this book.
7. Secret Warriors: Jonathan Hickman is writing the hell out of this book.
8. Captain America: We'll see what Brubaker does with the resurrection of Steve Rogers, but this year has been a bit weaker in general so far.
9. The Boys: Another weaker year with "We Gotta Go Now" dragging out a bit much, but it ended very well and the latest arc kicked off with a bang.
10. Ghost Rider: Basically, the three Tony Moore issues put this series here.

Contenders/Books to Watch

Batman & Robin: Only one issue released as of the end of June, but a very strong one. The most likely book to jump into the top ten -- and in a high spot probably.

Unwritten: Again, a victim of lack of issues. This book shows a lot of promise and may take Young Liars's spot as far as Vertigo love goes.

Final Crisis Aftermath: Dance and Final Crisis Aftermath: Escape: Only two issues of each, but both are rather good. Escape needs to show that it can provide a compelling narrative by the end, while Dance may get sunk by shit art.

Gravel: A solid 3.5 stars book that seems poised to take that leap above its current level.

Irredeemable: The first three issues have been strong and Waid's comments suggest that it will only get better.

That's where we are at the halfway mark. Bring on the second half of 2009.

CBR Review: Deadpool: Merc with a Mouth #1

I recently reviewed Deadpool: Merc with a Mouth #1 for CBR and, in the process, wrote the following sentences: "Because no one demanded it, another Deadpool ongoing title featuring an artist known primarily for his work on Star Wars comics and a novelist who’s never written comics before that will almost certainly be cancelled within a year! And, if the first issue is any indication, there will be some outrage from the hardcore Deadpool fans, while everyone else simply shrugs and mumble about how they thought the book had been axed three months earlier."

You can read the rest HERE!