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Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Kyle's Comics Picks - October 3, 2017

On a movie review deadline this week (hint: "I've seen things you people wouldn't believe."), and pretty low on the energy scale after yesterday's tragic events. So there isn't that much notable in my comics reading right now. I'm working my way through a re-read of the Ostrander, Yale, McDonnell Suicide Squad run, and I'm still dabbling in the old comics I discussed last week. I did finally read Garth Ennis' BORN, his 2000's Frank Castle origin tale, which I thought was pretty strong as a statement about the effect of Vietnam had on the men who were sent there and the kind of reception they got when they returned. While I'm neither a big war comics guy nor have a particular distaste for them, I do enjoy how Ennis has compared and contrasted Castle and his most immediate opposite Nick Fury. I read Fury MAX: My War Gone By years ago and quite enjoyed it, especially Castle's appearance therein. It's fascinating the way Ennis has constructed his two main protagonists as men who are defined by their need for conflict and how they both cope with that hunger - in very different ways.

I'm also just a basic 80's - early 90's kid who really enjoyed playing as Nick Fury in that awesome/bad Punisher arcade game.

Wonder Woman Rebirth Deluxe Edition Vol 1 - If you missed it the first time, or in trade, this collects the first half of Greg Rucka, Liam Sharp, and Nicola Scott's Wonder Woman run. A run that made the best use of DC's bi-weekly scheduling, and told two very compelling and dovetailing stories about Diana's past and the lies she came to believe. Really fascinating use of retroactive continuity.

Swamp Thing: The Bronze Age Omnibus - Ground-breaking tales by two giants in the field we lost this year (Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson). Swamp Thing has always been a favorite of mine, though outside of Moore and Veitch, you might be hard-pressed to find runs on the character that match his outsized reputation for good comics. These stories are certainly worthy of being in that company along with standing in a snapshot for a very peculiar moment in comics history, where trends were pointing back towards Horror, two decades after the advent of the comics code. This was surely DC's best effort in that vein, fun monster stories that sit somewhere between the sublime quality of Tomb of Dracula and Man-Thing just before Gerber got his hands on him.

Paper Girls #16/Stray Bullets: Sunshine and Roses #28 - A pair of exciting Image selections, Paper Girls might be the better of the two BKV books. It definitely has my preferred art team anyway, and it's got a specific flavor that seems unmatched anywhere else on the shelves. Stray Bullets is Stray Bullets, always gut-wrenching, always reliable.

Black Bolt #6 - Friends keep telling me Black Bolt is good, maybe I'll go and buy a batch of them and check it out. I'd love to love a Marvel comic again. While I think Marvel's efforts to expand their writing bench with outside of the industry talents (in an attempt to recapture that same Coates-based sales avalanche) hasn't really worked out, this one may be the exception. I'm excited to find out.

Tomb of Dracula/Werewolf By Night Complete Collections Vol 1 - Here's a fine pair of Marvel moster rallies to pick up, as mentioned above. Tomb of Dracula MIGHT be the finest Marvel comic of the 70's, and frankly paved the way for gothic slugfests like Hellboy. Werewolf By Night was always the runner-up, but got better when Doug Moench took over and paved the way for Moon Knight and provided his entry into the Marvel U.

The Punisher: The Platoon #1 - And to tie off the beginning of this piece, Ennis makes his grand return to Frank Castle this week on a prequel to BORN. This first issue tells the tale of Castle's first kill, and Ennis brings the excellent Goran Parlov on-board for support. This'll be the first thing I read.

Donald Duck: Secret of Hondurica - More wonderful Carl Barks Duck comics from Fantagraphics, which is a delightful little line they thankfully continue to produce. Formative stuff in these here pages.

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