andraste: The reason half the internet imagines me as Patrick Stewart. (Default)
Before The Middleman was an awesome TV show you should all watch, it was a comic book series you should all read. While I never even heard of it when it was being published in single issues and trades, Viper Comics kindly put out a volume containing all three miniseries in honour of its television debut.

If you're a fan of the TV show, this purchase is a no-brainer. While the first two stories made it to the screen in slightly altered form, the third is entirely new middlematerial. If you haven't seen the TV show but like funny, exciting comics that have six-gun toting ninjas, Mexican wrestlers and genetically-engineered sharks, you should read it too.

Either way, you eventually find out the Middleman's real first name, which should be reason enough for fans to buy the book.

Sure, you could probably google it, but wouldn't it be more fun to read it in context? )
andraste: The reason half the internet imagines me as Patrick Stewart. (Default)
The other night many of my friends were out seeing The Dark Knight, and I was home with a head full of glue :(. On the bright side, I finally got around to watching The New Frontier on DVD, and it was made from awesome. I am proud that my Justice League Unlimted obsession has paid off and I recognised almost everyone. (The redhaired guy with the eye patch eluded me, though.) I squealed extra loud when spoiler ) showed up, and even cheered for spoiler ) at the end.

It reminded me of many of the things I love about superhero stories in general. The threat the incipient JSA face here is, on the face of it, ridiculous. But it's not ridiculous to them, and because the characters are well-drawn, the audience cares about whether they defeat the thing.

In honour of The Dark Knight and New Frontier: twenty comics I love, in roughly the order I read them.

Not all superheroes, but mostly. )

Now, be sure to tell me about all the things I missed! I left off a lot of things - like Whedon's Astonishing X-Men or Brian Vaughan's Ex Machina - because I don't feel like I've read a large enough percentage of the story to make a fair judgement. Always room for more comics *g*.
andraste: The reason half the internet imagines me as Patrick Stewart. (Attracted to Shiny Objects)
Before I start praising this book, I'll open by pointing out that the X-Men comic fans reading this have a moral duty to go out and buy the TPB.

Marvel Comics still seems to think people will buy any old crap if they put a big 'X' on the cover, and this is because for a long time that was true. Once, a close association with mutants kept many comics afloat. However, over time, too many mediocre titles and bad crossovers wearied all but the most ardent fans, and the brand lost much of its currency. While the first tier x-books still sell high in a shrinking market, those that have been launched lately have not done well. Gambit and Rogue both had recent solo titles that lasted all of a dozen issues, and they're two of the most popular characters in the stable.

For the most part, it's a good thing that fans are sending a message to Marvel that they will no longer buy anything with mutants in. The downside of the sales slump is that some genuinely worthwhile comics about less prominent characters can get lost. Madrox is one of those worthwhile comics. X-Men fans should make a point of rewarding Marvel for actually managing to publish something good about mutants.

Now, the reasons you want to read it. )
andraste: The reason half the internet imagines me as Patrick Stewart. (Attracted to Shiny Objects)
Warren Ellis is famous among comic fans for many things, among them publically disdaining superhero comics while regularly accepting money for writing them, and having the best Mary Sues in the business. Another thing he should certainly be recognized for is his almost unsurpassed understanding of the possibilities of the medium. The reason The Authority was so successful and influential when he was writing that title was that it demonstrated that Ellis has a wealth of ideas that can only be fully realised in the pages of a comic book, even in the age of CGI.

Ministry of Space, a three issue miniseries published by Image, is another good example of his strengths. It's recently been published in TPB, so now is a good time to go looking.

Hence the timing of this review … )

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October 2017

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