Thursday, March 1, 2012

Sequential Art - February 23rd, 2012

This will be my last weekly Sequential Art post; sorry it's a full week late. Long story short, I will be taking on a mortgage later this year, and my $35-40 spent each month on comics is a necessary cut. I'm going to drop 10 or 11 of the 13 monthly series I follow, but I haven't 100% decided which ones yet. But hey, I've had fun, I've done a lot of blogging (which was my goal from the start), and it's not exactly 100% over. Just significantly cut back. And I have one last weekly entry to do, so let's go.

Aquaman #6
The Flash #6
Wolverine & the X-Men #6

Naruto ch.575
Bleach ch.482
Toriko ch.176
Beelzebub ch.145
Kimi no Iru Machi ch.170
History's Strongest Disciple Kenichi ch.465
Hajime no Ippo ch.967

Kuroko no Basket Volume 14
Irredeemable Volume 8

Rating System
MVP = Most Valuable Pages. Best issue or chapter of my week.
STAR = Good comic being good, makes me want to keep reading it.
GLUE = Not outstanding, but not bad. Could be worth reading.
FUNK = Good series has an off week. Haven't lost faith yet.
BENCH = Subpar comic. Doubting its value. Needs to redeem itself.
CUT = Bad comic. Not worth continuing to subscribe.

 Aquaman #6

Geoff Johns clearly loves the characters of Aquaman and Mera and even when the series lacks in action (like this issue) it always has heart. Still, this was a side-chapter that was probably unnecessary for knowledgeable fans, but shows off Mera's attitude, motivation, backstory, and powers a little bit and ends on a note that seems like this book's signature move - after the clusterfuck is over, there's at least one human that appreciates everything Arthur and Mera have done. Not bad, Geoff Johns. GLUE

 The Flash #6

Flash #6 plays fast and loose with its timeline but makes it look good. I'm not sure if I like the new Captain Cold, as his new background makes him a little too similar to Mr. Freeze, but the confrontation between Cold and Flash and its setup are extremely well-executed. The writers also incorporated Flash's new superpower caveats in a cool, sensible manner. This is an excellent issue and the whole book is in the top tier of the New 52. MVP

 Wolverine & The X-Men #6

Wolverine & The X-Men is zany as ever, but this Brood storyline is creeping me out in a big way, especially now that students are turning into Brood themselves. While that's going on (and is probably the main focus of the current arc) Wolverine and Kid Omega are using Logan's love of cards and Quentin's psychic powers to clean up at a space casino. WatXM always seems to be on the brink of spiraling out of control, but always somehow balances its rich cast of characters expertly and never ceases to entertain. STAR

 Naruto ch.575

Not bad this week. We get a surprising amount of background on the Hidden Rock Village's Kage, and a lot of action from the combined powers of Uchiha Madara and the Shodai. Craziness. Sasuke appears briefly once again, and I hope he plays a significant role in this current conflict instead of making a cameo and peacing out. GLUE

 Bleach ch.482

Not the most impressive chapter, but the intrigue level is already high and it's moving quickly for Bleach. Scenes of Ichigo and this new Arrancar-like character, plus glimpses of Soul Society and a group of what are likely the "final" arc's villains. Could be from Hueco Mundo, Hell, or the King's Dimension. No idea. I'll keep reading, but I'd like for something to actually happen. FUNK

Toriko ch.176+177

Well, that was weird, but I should have expected it out of Toriko. in 176 Toriko and Komatsu get super-duper drunk from the Island of Alcohol (shaped like a wine glass), then in 177 they pass out multiple times trying to obtain the Stinkiest Ingredient in the World (a combination of a durian and a grenade). I am not making that up. Those are the official epithets for those things. FUNK

Beelzebub ch.145

Maybe it's because I have a little sister, but I was a little touched by this chapter. Kanzaki's spoiled niece gets a ton of great comedy beats but is in tears at the chapter's end, bringing out an unexpected sweet / protective side out of Kanzaki. Bottom line - good shit, but definitely a comedy break. I'd like for Beelzebub to ramp up the action soon. STAR

Hajime no Ippo ch.967

Basically more of the same from the past two weeks, but I'm not complaining. Itagaki is nearing his target time for beating Saeki, and is sure to get wilder and more reckless. Now that he's on a roll I'm 100% sure Itagaki has this in the bag, but this comeback is as good as most vintage Ippo. I'm anticipating an awesome KO spread. GLUE

Kimi no Iru Machi ch.171

Now that the previous chapter's serious business is finished, it's time for cheesecake and underwear jokes. Neighbor girl comes over drunk and takes her clothes off, soon Yuzuki is doing the same. Yup, that's our Kimi. FUNK

History's Strongest Disciple Kenichi ch.464

Decent ender, but still not what I want. Kenichi and Miu collaborate to defeat Jenazad's insane swordsman underling, and in the process they greatly impress a few of Jenazad's other cronies with their selflessness. Sometime in the next few weeks we'll get the master battle I want, and it can't be soon enough. GLUE

 Kuroko no Basket Volume 14

Volume 14 covers nine chapters, the first few of which I've covered in previous posts. The Seirin vs. Touou rematch is shaping up to be the best in the series. In total we see about one half of the game in these 9 chapters, which is a fair pace so far. We get a shooting guard duel, counteractions to Kuroko's skills, and the best Kagami vs. Aomine action in the series yet (that's Aomine on the cover, a prodigy forward with blazing speed who can shoot from any angle).

My only hope is that the match ends with some proper drama and final ploys from both sides, and not suddenly like the previous game in the current arc. Bring it on, Kuroko no Basket. STAR

 Irredeemable Volume 8 (paperback)

I think that Waid et al. are rushing through to the end of the series, sacrificing superior pacing for more action and plot revelations. Tony and his new crew wreck shit, The United States throws diplomacy out the window, we get some strong stuff out of Kaidan and Bette, and Modeus makes another move. Survivor might be done for due to a technicality, which sucks for humanity. Final tease is for Tony's origin story, which I'm quite eager to hear. GLUE


If I do any more Sequential Art posts then they'll probably be for an entire month and won't have as many manga reviews. I'm going to keep collecting volumes and may continue with some of the New 52 in that way, but I'll be curbing my purchases and cutting off at least $30-$40 of comics a month. The two series I will definitely continue are Scott Snyder's Batman and Jason Aaron's Wolverine & the X-Men. Not sure if there will be any others. That's all, folks.

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