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Pull list for September 16 2015

September 15, 2015

I work 6-10 tomorrow. So I should have no problems getting the reviews up.

I’ll go to the store for: Age of Apocalypse #4, by Fabian Nicieza and Gerardo Sandoval; Agent Carter one-shot, by Kathryn Immonen and Rich Ellis; My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic #34, by Jeremy Whitley and Andy Price.

I’ll also review: House of M #3, by Dennis Hopeless and Marco Failla.

So that’s 3 comics I’m picking up, and 3 reviews. Last week nearly broke me (OK, not really, I’ve actually got a full month’s wages saved as a buffer in case of emergencies, but still, $50 is a lot of money for me to spend on comics in one week), so I guess it’s nice that this week’s lighter.

I’m most excited for AoA and Agent Carter. AoA’s been a great story so far, and last issue’s cliffhanger looks to raise the stakes. I really liked the Immonen/Ellis Carter mini, so the one-shot should be good.

As an aside, while I won’t be picking up the TPB, I have read the single issues of Heart In A Box, by Kelly Thompson and Meredith McClaren. I highly recommend it. A great premise, excellent writing, and gorgeous art.

The December solicits are out. Lots of Fred Hembeck variant covers. Nice to see him still getting work. It’s a fun style he’s got. Mary Jane will be joining Iron Man’s supporting cast, which could be interesting. Hellcat looks like a lot of fun. Gwenpool – ugh. Why. Just why. So stupid. ANXM’s solicit shows that the rising hatred against mutants is because of something Scott’s done. Of course it is. Sinister returns in EXM. Ms. Marvel still looks fun – Bruno gets a girlfriend? Good for him. I wonder how Kamala will feel about that.

Web Warriors #2 is Gwen-centric, which is no surprise at all. I actually wonder how big a role Anya will get to play in the series. She was left out of the solicits for the first issue. She hasn’t done all that much in the Secret Wars Spider-Verse mini. I get the feeling that, with Gwen being so big right now, she’ll end up stealing the lion’s share of the attention in Web Warriors. And that Anya will mostly just be left tagging along with the group. Frustrating. Anya’s way cooler than Gwen.

New Avengers continues to have the most ridiculous solicits. It should be a really fun series. ANAD Avengers will apparently have tension between Ms. Marvel and Nova. I’m curious what that’s about. Ultimates looks awesome. Loki will be in Thor #2 – yay! It’ll be interesting to see how he’s treated there. What Loki’s going to be like in ANAD. Squirrel Girl will be going back to the ’60s, and there’s no way that won’t be awesome. Ant-Man’s solicit is a hilarious plea to movie-goers to read the comic. Very nicely done. Angela’s solicit refers to her as “the Mockingjay,” which is pretty funny. And it’s just a badass solicit in general.

My pull list for that month – not counting November titles that have been delayed: Extraordinary X-Men #4; Spider-Man 2099 #4; Ultimates #2; A-Force #1; Ms. Marvel #2; Silk #2; Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #3; Angela #3; Extraordinary X-Men #5; Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #2; New Avengers #4; Hellcat #1. So, 12 comics. A light month.

I finished reading I Take You, by Eliza Kennedy. My review from Goodreads:

I honestly had trouble deciding what rating I should give this. Admittedly, I don’t normally read chick-lit – I am, after all, a guy, not the target audience. But I found it hard to decide how I felt about the book. There’s some definite funny bits, and there’s also some annoying bits. There’s plenty of jokes that fall completely flat. The main character leans towards unsympathetic – she’s a cheater, a liar, and a lawyer. I actually do try to avoid the knee-jerk hatred of cheaters, but she’s a serial cheater. She knows it’s wrong, and she does it anyway. And when she’s doing it, she takes pride in it. Even more unsympathetic are her mother and two step-mothers – all three of them are just annoying. There’s also the requisite Sassy But Insightful Best Friend. Though, I’ll give Kennedy some points in this case for the friend being Korean-American and a bisexual who leans towards women. The book also gets into way too many long-winded diatribes and debates about human sexuality.

Truthfully, where the book is best – and what gives it an extra star – is actually the legal stuff. Kennedy went to Harvard Law and spent several years as a litigator, so the legal stuff is very clearly a matter of author appeal. The legal case here is based on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill from 2010. The protagonist is actually with the firm representing the ones responsible for the spill, so she’s fighting on the side of the devils and she knows it. But Kennedy makes all the legal stuff both easy to follow and enjoyable to read. It’s a much more fascinating and compelling story than the woman sleeping with every good-looking guy she comes across.

All that said, I need to mention once again that I am really not the target audience for this book. So my rating may not be entirely accurate as a result. Women who are into chick-lit are probably going to enjoy this more than I did.

It’s interesting how it’s often easier to say something about something you don’t like than something you do. So many of my Goodreads reviews are brief, but this one ended up being pretty long, by my standards. All in all, I can’t say I truly enjoyed the book. But I can definitely see where other people would. Though, reading some of the reviews on Goodreads, I seem to have actually gone easy on the book. Whatever.

And I read Empowered Vol. 9, by Adam Warren. My review from Goodreads:

This is the lightest volume of Empowered in a while. Considering the ending, that this still counts as a lighter volume says a whole lot about this series. However, I do try to avoid spoilers, so I won’t actually go into how absolutely insane the ending is. Suffice it to say, body horror and the lead character having an emotional breakdown are not expected here.

But, the story! Aside from a few really heavy moments, and the last 30 pages or so, the story is mostly really fun. It’s mostly about Emp – already prone to being captured by villains – becoming the target of a large number of villains as a result of news leaking about her being able to access the portal leading to a major alien weapons depot. She has to rely on her wits to defeat the villains, making use of her expert knowledge of the various villains she’s dealing with. It’s a lot of fun to see her manipulating them all so easily, and on those rare occasions where she’s free, she also shows plenty of competence in combat.

There’s also, right in the middle, a story about a guy wanting to ghost write her autobiography, which would basically be softcore bondage porn. The whole thing really has nothing to do with the main story, but it’s still amusing.

There’s a lot of callbacks to things from previous volumes. They shouldn’t pose any problems for new readers, because why is anyone starting with the ninth volume? But even aside from that, the references are easy to understand, so you don’t really need to have read the previous volumes. (But why wouldn’t you? They’re all great.)

The art is as good as always. It’s a very manga-inspired art style, and while it can occasionally be a bit tough to follow the action, it’s usually not a problem. The art is expressive, and is kinetic enough to make for more exciting action sequences.

The Empowered series has always been great, and it remains so.

It’s definitely a great read. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I’ve now read 24 books this year. I’ve reached my goal. So yay me. And then I’ve still got four more books sitting on my desk – I should be able to finish them all by the end of the year. One’s only a novella, so I might finish that in a single sitting. One of the books is frigging huge, though. So that might take some time. Just the same, I should hit 30 books for the year.

My schedule for the week: 6-10 tomorrow, 3-11 Thursday, 3-11 Friday, and I forgot to get my schedule for next week. Oops. So I have no idea when I’ll be posting anything over the next week! Yay!

And that’s me done.

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