A shirt like this is so non-descript that it's simply an excuse for me to write about whatever I want, which in this case is some comic book reviews. But not before I indulge in some blog reporting. I could also complain about the weather like an author I follow, John Scalzi, who loves in nearby Ohio. I won't kvetch about the weather. I did yesterday. But here is what Scalzi wrote:
SERIOUSLY, OCTOBER WTF?
Though, before I leave off the subject of the weather, I do rather like the Haiku my wife penned yesterday.
She is watching A LOT of Breaking Bad.
As for the shirt, this is so form fitting that it's an under-shit only. I am not that secure with my flabby torso.
MORE BLOG RECAP
I know this information may be more fascinating to me than anyone else. And yet, I love recapping, if only for my own analysis and reflection.
After writing about the blog's statistics, my page views spiked to a recent high of 149 hits. The Powell's Books entry, T-shirt #215: Powell's Books, jumped out at 22 views, whereas T-shirt #211 - HYDRA came in second for the week (new results) at 21 views followed by T-shirt #213: Bitch Magazine (16), T-shirt #212: Orange UnderArmor (16)--due to its content about the Samsung Galaxy S4?-- and, as previously reported, the newly popular T-shirt #62: Nightwing (12).
Though this is not really as exciting as it sounds since sites like vampirestat and adsensewatchdog account for large numbers of these page views (91 and 46).
Still, I find the statistics interesting as some of the numbers may represent actual readers.
SIDENOTE: Given that today's shirt is very non-descript, I dressed it up with the replica hat worn by characters in the film Alien. The name of the ship was the USCSS (United States Commerical Star Ship) Nostromo. Clearly, this was the captain's hat. It is my second replica hat. The first hat was ruined when, during high school, friends of mine showed up at my door and hit me in the face with a cream pie, irrevocably soiling my hat.
COMIC BOOK REVIEWS
These reviews will be brief. Since returning from Hawaii and finishing Night Film, I have been working to catch up. I still have a huge stack to work through, but I am chipping away at it. Last night, I caught up on the X-Men Battle of the Atom issues, and I have dispensed with many of my favorites from the last month, such as Avengers, Thor, Iron Man, Nova, and Justice League.
If you do not wish to risk spoilers, skip these reviews.
I wrote about Fables in T-shirt #184. Though it is one of my top ten favorite comic books currently being published, I often delay gratification by not placing it highly in my weekly stack and even allow it to back log to be able to enjoy four-six issues all at once. I did not go much in depth on stories from Fables in the blog post I dedicated to the subject. I just delivered as strong recommendation to read this book. Currently at 134 issues, at least 120 of which are collected in trades, reading the entire run of Fables is time-consuming commitment. I continue to try to entice my wife to read comics, though I do not push them on her. This is one comic I think she would like. Once again, I refer you to my List of Comic Book Recommendations for Non-Comic Book Readers from T-shirt #160.
Fables #134 chronicles Bigby's (The Big Bad Wolf) time in the afterlife. Recently, he was "killed," though the Fables are working hard to bring him back to life. Roaming the afterlife, Bigby encounters Boy Blue, based on the Nursery Rhyme character "Little Boy Blue," who died defending the Fables in the war against the Adversary in the Homelands, the original lands populated by the Fables before they were forced out. Boy Blue dies from magical complications with Rose Red, his great love, at his side.
An extremely popular character in Fables, the question of whether Boy Blue would return to life has been a constant thread in the comic for several years. Fables author Willingham puts this question to rest in issue #134 as Boy Blue talks with Bigby and then "moves on" to another world. In the course of the conversation, Boy Blue assures Bigby that he will return to the mortal world because he is a "god" and the rules are different for such as him.
After Boy Blue crosses over, Bigby gets to spend time with his son Dare (Darrien), who died trying to find and rescue Therese, who had gone missing. The issue content spends most of its time on a reflective conversation between Bigby and Boy Blue, in which the latter delivers "the meaning of life" in such a way that demonstrates why this is one of my favorite comic books and why Willingham is such a great writer.
Lazarus continues to be on of the best comics being published today. I first reviews Lazarus way back in T-shirt #138 on August 6th and again in T-shirt #168. Basically, I have covered all three issues released so far. And now issue four.
Rucka and Lark continue to amaze. After the cliff-hanger at the end of issue three, the story resumes as the two Lazaruses battle the mop up crew sent to kill them. Since a Lazarus can regenerate, "death" is only possible by destroying the brain entirely or decapitation.
Sounds easy enough.
But a Lazarus, especially the Carlyle Lazarus Forever is a bad ass. When Forever cannot get the clean up crew to back off, and they are about to behead her, she attacks and slaughters them all, even though she is unarmed and out-numbered facing a assault rifle armed, high-tech body armored crew of a dozen soldiers.
Aided by Joacquim Morray, the Lazarus for the other family, the two (though mostly Forever) mop up the clean up crew.
Johanna Carlyle's ruse works to frame her twin brother Jonah for the betrayal of the family and the attack on Forever, making him a fugitive from the family. The story grows more complicated and promises more excellent twists and turns to come.
The issue ends with Forever receiving a mysterious message, to add another complication and layer to the plot.
I have been enjoying immensely Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo's run on Batman with Zero Year stories that depict origins or first encounters with classic Batman villains. The first villain depicted is the Joker, who started as the Red Hood before falling into a chemical vat that transformed him. Snyder/Capullo re-invent the basic story, positioning the man who becomes the Joker as head of the Red Hood Society, a terrorist group that tries to take Gotham City hostage.
Issue 24 is the culminating, double length issue that wraps up the Joker story before shifting to the next Zero Year story (the Riddler).
Batman stories live and die by the use of Bruce Wayne and an extended cast of characters in both Batman and Bruce Wayne's life. Some Batman writers have focused too much (or entirely) on Batman and have forgotten that Bruce Wayne is the man in the cowl, and he is A MAN, and needs to be treated as such.
The Zero Year story of the Red Hood Society does a great job with showing the two roles, both Batman and Bruce Wayne, while giving page time to other cast members, such as Alfred and Jim Gordon.
In the end, the Red Hood plunges into the chemical vat, but the comic ends with the Riddler making a public announcement via video feeds not the Joker, which is a surprising twist.
Even though Capullo was unable to finish art for the entire double-length book, and the replacement artist is not nearly as skilled, the comic is a strong one and arguably one of DC's best products of the year.
An excellent and more in depth review can be found at
WORD OF THE NERD,
a new website I discovered that looks quite good.
Stay tuned tomorrow for the Weekly Comics List.
And as always, thanks for reading.
- chris tower - 1310.24 - 9:03