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Off The Rack #898
Kin  |  March 12, 2012

I didn’t read near as many comic books as I wanted because of the big to do of having our ducts cleaned at home. First there was the guy who came to give us an estimate, then the actual cleaning itself the next two days. We’re breathing easier now that all the dirt and dust has been vacuumed out.

Penny and I had a lovely dinner with my cousin Alex and his wife Meggy from Hong Kong Sunday night. We went to a fancy schmancy restaurant downtown called the Beckta. I even bought a new pair of dress pants for the occasion. There was a lot of catching up to do since they only make it to Ottawa every few years.

Author and friend Charles deLint is having a book launch at the Raw Sugar Café at 692 Somerset Street West on Thursday, March 15 from 7 to 9 PM. I am looking forward to reading his new book “Under My Skin”. Tune in to the Rogers Daytime show on channel 22 that Thursday at 11 AM to find out more.

Avengers: Fury’s Big Week #1 – The Avengers movie doesn’t open until May 4th but this 4-issue mini should tide you over until then. Ws-Christopher Yost and Eric Pearson document the trials and tribulations of Nick “Samuel L. Jackson” Fury, Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. It’s a dirty job, but somebody’s got to do it.

Fairest #1 – Fables fans are gonna love this. I did for sure. W-Bill Willingham returns to the Homelands in this spin off featuring the female stars of Fables. Under the beautiful Adam Hughes cover you’ll find the adventures of Ali Baba, Prince of Thieves. He and his motor-mouthed bottle imp, Jonah Panghammer, are off to awaken Sleeping Beauties. Yes, there’s more than one. I was bummed out when I got to the “to be continued”, a sign of a very good debut.

The Manhattan Projects #1 – W-Jonathan Hickman has taken the department responsible for developing the atomic bomb and put one of its scientists in a Freaky Friday meets Silence of the Lambs kind of situation. As if nuclear holocaust isn’t scary enough. A-Nick Pitarra reminded me of Geof Darrow. This is the kind of wacky comic book science that I love.

Age of Apocalypse #1 – These are not my X-Men. W-David Lapham and A-Roberto De La Torre set this story in the dimension where the villain Apocalypse ruled. Homo Superior has subjugated Homo sapiens in this cruel world and the heroes are a team called the X-Terminated. No, they’re not dead, so the name doesn’t make a lick of sense. Since I didn’t come to care about any of these characters I will leave this for the die-hard X-fans.

Night Force #1 – W-Marv Wolfman is back on the racks howling at the moon with his classic 1980s occult fighters “re-imagined for a new era”. This time A-Tom Mandrake is drawing this 7-issue mini but I will always think of Gene Colan when I think of Night Force. This one is for fans of things that go bump in the night. I’m not one.

Supurbia #1 – This 4-issue mini takes a group of super heroes and plunks them in the suburbs as neighbours. W-Grace Randolph has created an interesting cast of characters and A-Russell Dauterman does some nifty art work. There’s plenty of domestic discord and a nefarious mystery woman to hook adventurous readers. This is like Jennifer Blood with super powers.

Ultimate Spider-Man #8 – Nothing even remotely like what is shown on the cover happens inside this issue. The solution to Miles being outed as the new Spider-Man just blew into town. The UU Scorpion is not to be trifled with.

Beyond the Fringe #1
– Fade the Fringe star and save two universes. W-Joshua Jackson who plays Peter on the TV show Fringe tries his hand at writing a comic and I think he did a great job but that’s only because I’m a big fan of the show. If you’re not, this story will not make a lot of sense but can still entertain you. A-Jorge Jimenez got the likenesses of the actors down pretty good too.

The Boys #64 – Curse you Garth Ennis. You ended this issue with another of your cliff hangers that made me scream bloody murder. It’s torture to make us wait weeks for the next issue to find out what happens next. The good ones seem to take forever to hit the racks again.

Rachel Rising #6 – This just took a very spooky turn. This is a zombie comic with a twist and I like it a lot.

The Lone Ranger #3
– W-Ande Parks starts a new story with some new bad guys. Villains who claim they have God on their said are my favourite because it’s so satisfying when they fall from grace.

Jennifer Blood #10 – Okay, W-Al Ewing, you got me. I wanna see what’s up with Ninjettes Two.

Fatale #3 – W-Ed Brubaker and A-Sean Phillips tease us with a little more of Josephine revealed. We’ll eventually know everything about this mystery woman but I’m enjoying the show so far. It’s interesting that this is selling better than their Criminal series even though those stories were just as good as this one.

Men of War #7 – Two very different war stories, both ending with hope for the heroes. I read this on a Friday, a day when I try to wear something red to honour our troops in the Canadian Forces.

Winter Soldier #2 – Here’s another Ed Brubaker book that’s selling well and for good reason. I tend to groan whenever I see Doctor Doom in a story but he’s being well used here. This spy versus spy stuff is fun.

Venom #14 – Now that the “Circle of Four” has come to a close I’m going to detox from this title until something major happens. It’s not like I’ll never see Venom again. It seems that he’s joining the Avengers. Isn’t everyone?

Defenders #4
– I was a little disappointed when I saw that this issue isn’t drawn by the Dodsons, but only a little. P-Michael Lark and Is-Stefano Gaudiano and Brian Thies did an admirable job. W-Matt Fraction focuses on Dr. Strange and the weird device they found at Wundagore Mountain, with cameos by Iron Fist and She-Rulk. I liked the glimpse we got into the personal life of Dr. Strange.

Amazing Spider-Man #681 – Hoo boy, what an ending to Spidey and the Torch’s space adventure. Sure W-Dan Slott and Chris Yost save the day with a deus ex machina but it was still tense there for a while. Now we’re anxiously headed to “The Ends of the Earth”, Doc Ock’s farewell tour.


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