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In honor of Bonnie and Lola and THE GIRL WHO WOULD BE KING we continue our 30 Days of Superheroines!

In honor of Carol Danver’s debut as Captain Marvel in her own title today…CAPTAIN MARVEL (and a few Ms. Marvel’s for old times sake!) – make sure to pick up Kelly Sue DeConnick’s Captain Marvel #1 today!

By Jon Morris

via 5 Minute Marvels

By Hanie Mohd

via Project Rooftop

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In honor of Bonnie and Lola and THE GIRL WHO WOULD BE KING we continue our 30 Days of Superheroines!

And for our 22nd day, I bring you 22 images of the generally delicious Emma Frost! Prepare your eyes for a whole lotta flesh…

By Bruce Timm

Via Comic-Images

By Frank Quitely

By Quitely for Marvel Comics

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In honor of Bonnie and Lola and THE GIRL WHO WOULD BE KING we continue our 30 Days of Superheroines!

Kitty Pryde!

I’ve really come around on Kitty. There was a time when I wasn’t a fan (at all) but ever since Joss Whedon’s Astonishing X-Men I’ve been reading more and more Kitty and loving it. The latest of course being Brian Wood tackling her in Ultimate Comics X-Men. Good stuff!

By Meredith McClaren

Via my collection, but you can find Meredith here.

By Zachary Flagg Baldus

Via Zachary Baldus

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Here are the “rules“.

If you’d like to see the full Marvel October Cover Solicits head on over to CBR.

Similarly uneventful. A few real gems, a couple dogs. Some weirdness. You know, the usual!

Oh, and in a bit of shameless self promotion (and GUILT!) I ask that if you’ve been enjoying these posts over the years that you to check out my Kickstarter for my book THE GIRL WHO WOULD BE KING and donate if you can and think it looks worthwhile. See? GUILT!

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 695. I usually dislike floating heads covers, but this anchors things pretty nicely with a design element. Not bad!

ASTONISHING X-MEN 55. AH-MAZING. And of course it is, it’s Phil Noto! I love the color choices and the very graphic/stylized look he went for. It’s great.

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Here are the “rules“.

If you’d like to see the full Marvel September Cover Solicits head on over to CBR.

Honestly…credit to Marvel for very little in the “offensive” category, but these were pretty boring. I mean…they were light years better than DC’s offerings, but still.

I’m sorry, kids. I brought it hard last time, but there just wasn’t much here this month. Onto the next!

AGE OF APOCALYPSE 7. I really like the light here…but it could be pushed even further I think.

ASTONISHING X-MEN 54. Well this is 100 kinds of awesome. Karma gets so little love…and now she gets Phil Noto love! Which, let’s face it, is the best kind of love.

AVENGERS ACADEMY 36. Jesus H. These horrifying Avengers Academy covers have been AWESOME. This is another one from Guiseppe…we’re headed toward a complete series and all of them are badass.

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Hey, kids. There’s a new She Has No Head! up today, all about recommendations for great Black Widow reading.

Head on over and check it out.

Here are the “rules“.

If you’d like to see the full Marvel August Cover Solicits head on over to CBR.

So, again, I have to admit that these were mostly good. Much more good than bad. That said, I was REALLY drunk (i.e. much more drunk than usual) when I did these…so I found plenty of things to pick at. Hopefully at least a few are funny, rather than just raves. Enjoy!

ASTONISHING X-MEN 43. And we’re off and running right out of the gate! Great idea, great execution. Super phallic, but worth it! Also, don’t forget the bomb behind him, which I almost missed the first time. Cool shit.

AVENGERS ACADEMY 34. Another home run. I’m not really familiar with this artist (Camuncoli) but this is epically cool.  Love the colors and the emotion…the effect he creates with the colors between her costume and power…really good stuff. Also, this cover does exactly what every cover is SUPPOSED to do – makes me want to find out what the interior story is.

AVENGERS ACADEMY 35. WOW. Again, another Camucoli…I’m going to have to watch out for this guy. This is gorgeous and haunting and the tiger shape on the brick wall is just the icing on the cake.

AVENGERS ASSEMBLE 6. See now, I want to give this cover credit for zipping up Black Widow (although it kind of looks nothing like her) but look at the green chick…what the fuck is up with that costume…I mean that shit gives costumes like Starfire and Star Sapphire a run for their money. Ridiculous.

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Here are the “rules“.

If you’d like to see the full Marvel July Cover Solicits head on over to CBR.

Avengers vs. X-Men shit is burning me out man. I can’t believe we still have another month (plus?) to go of this shit. That said, some pretty great covers in here and not a whole lot to snark at (especially on the objectification front)…Marvel has definitely cleaned up their cover game in the last year. I’m going to go ahead and take credit. 😉

AVENGERS ACADEMY 13. Bitch looks good on a throne. Isn’t it nice when things come together?

AVENGERS ASSEMBLE 5. Marvel continuity is confusing me. Cause Black Widow is cozied up with two dudes this month (oh wait, that’s next month). And judging by that clipart explosion behind them…it’s a hell of a kiss. Also…I thought Hawkeye was with Spider-Woman…? So confusing.

AVENGING SPIDER-MAN 9. I like the simplicity of this and the sassiness…but something about it makes them looks like giants…which is freaking me out.

AVENGERS VS X-MEN 7. So I guess what we’re saying here is that Cyclops is the worst shot ever?

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It’s been a while now since I engaged in a full on rant. Stop on by She Has No Head! to see what all of the fuss is about this week.

Here’s a hint:

All my CBR Reviews are up already this week, and I got some great books in the draft…check them out!

Wolverine & The X-Men #9

“Jason Aaron and Chris Bachalo’s “Wolverine & The X-Men” #9, despite being a tie-in book to the massive “Avengers vs. X-Men” crossover still maintains its identity. It also remains a pretty good book, which is no small feat when getting swallowed by such a gigantic idea so early in its existence.

Aaron continues to use his characters in smart ways and he has such a diverse and interesting cast at his disposal that he can lean heavily on how compelling everyone is, regardless of the very weak plot he’s given…”

Rachel Rising #7

“Terry Moore’s “Rachel Rising” #7 is a great comic book, and as Moore ratchets up the stakes and body count (neither of which I thought could get much higher) the book becomes even more layered and mysterious.

A couple issues ago a plot point struck me as a bit too cliché to work well in “Rachel Rising” but Moore redeems himself in this issue by creating a scene with the newly deceased Jet that absolutely makes your skin crawl in horrible anticipation, resolving itself into something absolutely unexpected and almost sweet. It’s a wonderful reversal and the kind of thing we see far too little of in even the smartest comics…”

Birds of Prey #8

“Duane Swierczynski and Jesus Saiz’s “Birds of Prey” has been a smart mix of superhero and crime comics with a lot of moving pieces and solid character development. Issue #8 continues that tradition and delivers an intriguing piece of the Birds’ story as we head into “Night of Owls” crossover territory next month.

Swierczynski has proven in his “Birds of Prey” run that he likes to jump around in time, but he does it so cleverly in this issue, it’s hard to fault him for using what works. His reveals pace out nicely and at the end of this issue we get a peek at Dinah’s big secret that he’s been teasing us with since issue #1…”

As always, likes and retweets are much appreciated and you can read all of my CBR Reviews here.

Here are the “rules“.

If you’d like to see the full Marvel June Cover Solicits head on over to CBR.

So I had to break the solicits up into two nights since I started so late on Friday…thus two nights of drunkenness…woo. Of course I can’t afford a bottle of Veuve every night (do you know who I am?!) so we’ll have to go with Vodka & water with lime…which are also delicious.

Have I mentioned how much I hate the idea of superheroes fighting superheroes? I mean I know we’re WAY out of ideas in the comics world, but it just annoys the crap out of me. I hate events anyway, but I’m extra sick of this event before it’s even begun.* 😦

That said, I was thinking of running an X-Men versus Avengers poll…just for fun. Don’t know if I have the time or interest beyond the initial push though…we’ll see.

*Update – these just weren’t very funny. Despite the vodka, this is mostly me raving about cool shit…lower your expectations in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…

AVENGERS VS X-MEN 2. Sigh. I’m already tired. And this one I’m pretty sure is from last month…off to a great start!

FURY MAX 2. Another from May, not June, but so cool that I had to post it. Nicely graphic, and the images working as a dress is very badass. I’m into it. On third look the way the bayonets (or whatever) are pointed toward her lady bits is not ideal. But I’m going to pretend it’s an accident and happily go on my way!

ULTIMATES 10. Also from May. This is gorgeous, but if there is a soldier or superhero that would pose like that while climbing up (or down) some rocks I will eat my goddamn shoe.

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Been just swamped over here, folks, but wanted to link to the last two weeks of CBR Reviews.

Friends With Boys

“Faith Erin Hicks’ “Friends With Boys” is her best work to date, an engaging beautifully illustrated black and white coming of age story about a girl going to her first year of public school after years of home schooling and the recent disappearance of her mother. Hicks story is surprisingly bold. While on the surface it’s a simple story of a girl named Maggie, her three older brothers and their strange family situation (her mother has just left them), there’s a bizarre supernatural element that pays off in unexpected ways…”

Fairest #1

“Fairest,” Bill Willingham’s latest “Fables” spinoff series with art by Phil Jimenez promises a lot of beautiful ladies with its title and Adam Hughes cover, but what you’ll find inside is a bit surprising. While the title and the cover suggest this issue will be focused on Briar Rose, we spend most of the issue meeting Ali Baba (Prince of Theives) and his non-genie of the lamp, Jonah…”

Green Wake #10

“Although “Green Wake” #10 unfortunately brings the series to a close, Kurtis Wiebe does an excellent job of making it feel as if this was his plan all along. Morley gets to the heart of Green Wake quite literally in this final issue and makes a risky decision with ramifications for all the citizens of Green Wake, past, present and future.  Wiebe has a very specific vision for “Green Wake” and you can feel his uncompromising devotion to it as his tale draws to its conclusion. He unravels his mysteries nicely but rarely says anything outright — both a strength and a weakness…”

Supurbia #1

“Grace Randolph and Russell Dauterman’s “Supurbia” #1 is very interesting. It’s hard to know if it can deliver on all its promise, but this first issue is a bizarrely intriguing blend of traditional superhero comics and “The Stepford Wives,” with a dash of “The Real Housewives” series from Bravo thrown in for modern flavor.  Randolph’s idea is lots of fun, focusing on the “women behind the supermen.” If they were less interesting women it could have been a disaster, but Randolph chooses her cast well, which helps to offset the idea that these women (and one man) are not the actual superheroes of the story, even if they are the stars…”

Avengers Academy #27

“Christos Gage and Karl Moline wrestle with a massive roster of characters as the entire “Runaways” cast guest stars in “Avengers Academy” #27. Looking for help locating Old Lace, their lost dinosaur, The Runaways come knocking at Avengers Academy and quite naturally get into a fight. The fighting scene is expected; given superheroes too frequently default to fists first to settle disagreements. Plus, The Runaways have been treated poorly by the superhero community in the past and the Avengers Academy students aren’t the most level-headed group out there…”

Angel & Faith #7

“Angel & Faith” #7 is the first issue of the series that hasn’t really hit the mark for me. It’s still a solid book, but it’s just not ringing true enough to give it the emotional punch of the first arc. Christos Gage has a good handle on both Angel and Faith’s voices and personalities, enough so it was clear to readers something was going on with Angel’s personality and that continues here. However, on the plotting front this feels a bit weak. The second installment of this new arc, titled “Daddy Issues” is set up to parallel both Angel and Faith’s relationships to or as fathers…”

Avengers #23

“Avengers” #23 is not a bad comic book, but given the stakes and the players on the field it should be so much more. In this issue, The Avengers attempt to escape the clutches of Norman Osborne’s H.A.M.M.E.R. while Viper negotiates with the U.S. Government, using the kidnapped Avengers as their bargaining chip. Brian Michael Bendis finds some great funny moments for his characters in this issue, the kind of good chuckles that make comics fun. Unfortunately, beyond those funny moments and a decent escape scene toward the end, there is so much missed opportunity and the issue is ultimately disappointing…”

As always likes and retweets are much appreciated and you can read all my CBR Reviews here!

So here are a few CBR reviews I didn’t link to from last week and this week.  Enjoy!

Wolverine & The X-Men #6

“Jason Aaron and Nick Bradshaw’s “Wolverine & The X-Men” #6 continues this excellent series with the same high energy and confident storytelling we’ve seen in the first five issues.  Aaron has made his book an action packed and wild ride never skimping on character development. He does more with character in a few lines than most writers can do in pages. It’s a deft skill to never sacrifice character development for plot while simultaneously never sacrificing plot for character development…”

B.P.R.D. Hell On Earth: The Long Death #1

“B.P.R.D. Hell On Earth: The Long Death” #1 by Mike Mignola, John Arcudi and James Harren kicks off another fantastic mini-series with a story focused on Agent Johann Kraus. Like all Mignola’s excellent books in the Hellboy universe, “The Long Death” stands nicely on its own for both veterans and new readers, making it a powerful beginning to a must-read mini…”

Winter Soldier #2

“Winter Soldier” #2 by Ed Brubaker and Butch Guice is a wonderful noir espionage mix with a breakneck pace. It’s a story playing to both Brubaker and Guice’s strengths as writer and artist and the result is an exciting new book for Marvel. Brubaker is at his best in this issue with effortlessly cool dark and dirty spy capers. James and Natasha fit the roles of espionage agents perfectly and Brubaker has a great handle on both their voices. The premise for the book plays to both Brubaker’s and his characters’ strengths and the concept is firing on all cylinders…”

Birds of Prey #6

“Birds of Prey” #6 by Duane Swierczynski and Javier Pina is a good comic book but a step down from what we’ve seen for the past five issues. It’s unfortunately timed, as this issue seems like the penultimate issue of the first arc.  Swierczynski’s “Birds of Prey” has been a rollicking ride full of jumps forward and backward in time, tons of mystery, action and a beautiful amount of character development — including the introduction of a fantastic new hero in Starling. Unfortunately, this issue feels like a misstep as too much of the mystery is unloaded through info-dump talking heads. It’s never ideal from a storytelling point of view and feels completely counter to everything Swierczynski has done thus far…”

This was a great damn mini-series…if you missed it, definitely pick it up in trade.  Great stuff.

Legion of Monsters #4

“The worst thing about “Legion of Monsters” is that it’s not an ongoing series. Thanks to fantastic work by Dennis Hopeless, Juan Doe and Wil Quintana I felt more love and investment in these characters than I do for most characters I’ve read about for three times as long…”

As always, likes and retweets are much appreciated and you can find all my CBR Reviews thus far here.

Wonder Woman #5

“The world we live in is one in which most artists have to have a fill-in issue several issues into their run on a comic. It’s an unfortunate reality, but if it’s going to happen, it’s nice when editorial is smart about it. “Wonder Woman” #5 is the perfect example of a smart fill-in issue.

With Zeus out of the picture, Poseidon makes his move, and Diana, rather than fight the angry god, turns his attention toward Hera in a clever bit of plotting that raises the book far above your typical “hero punches villain” trope…”

Ultimate Spider-Man #6

“Ultimate Spider-Man” steps up as the second book I read this week with a fill-in artist that transcends what is often a terrible mis-step in a comic by picking an excellent artist in synch with the book’s style, tone and very essence.

In “Ultimate Spider-Man” #6 we see Miles doing legitimate solo crime fighting as he saves a woman being robbed. Things do not go so well (although he is ultimately successful) and it’s clear Miles has a lot to learn. That goes for more than just fighting, as he deals unsuccessfully with the police, reporters, and fans (and non-fans). He’s also learning when to exit before you almost get unmasked in broad daylight…”

I’ll have one more review coming this weekend (for a GREAT book) but I thought I’d get these up now.

I also did reviews last week for: Batwoman #5, Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Season 9 #5, and X-Men Legacy #260.1

As always, likes and retweets are much appreciated and you can read all my CBR Reviews thus far, here!

Two new reviews are up on CBR:

Wolverine and the X-Men: Alpha & Omega #1

“My kingdom for more superhero comics by Brian Wood. Don’t get me wrong, I still want all his great independent, creator-owned, non-superhero stuff (since I’m greedy), but the plain fact of the matter is that the superhero world is a better place with Brian Wood writing stories in it. “Wolverine and The X-Men: Alpha & Omega” #1 is a great comic, the kind we need stacks and stacks of…”

X-23 #20

“The penultimate issue of “X-23” is another great one, the kind of outing that makes you thoroughly depressed that it is the next-to-last issue and not just “issue #20.” However, pairing up Marjorie Liu and Phil Noto again this month and next (with #21 due in March) is a wonderful way to end the series if it has to end, as they have showed the true potential of this book, and how much it will be missed from the Marvel comics landscape.
..”

As always, likes and retweets are much appreciated and you can read all my CBR Reviews thus far here.

My first CBR Reviews of the new year…read ’em and…well…just read ’em!

SECRET AVENGERS #20

“Warren Ellis has been absolutely killing his run on “Secret Avengers,” writing some of the smartest and best superhero comics of the last year with brilliant standalone stories that tell surprisingly complex tales with satisfying results. It doesn’t hurt that Ellis has had a rotating cast of unbelievably talented artists to help him deliver these stories, and Alex Maleev on this issue is no exception…”

ANGEL & FAITH #5

“Despite how much I’ve been enjoying “Angel & Faith” thus far, I was hesitant about this issue — even with the always exceptional Phil Noto as guest artist — since it guest-starred arguably my least favorite Buffy Universe character, Harmony. Those fears were averted however, as Christos Gage and Noto do great work delivering a fun issue that manages to keep things moving forward while still taking a little breather…”

JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #4

““Justice League Dark” continues to be the title of the new DCU that I desperately want to like more than I do. It’s a good book, but with so many fantastic characters crowded together, largely unused, too much of the book is falling flat…”

As always, likes and retweets are much appreciated and you can read all my CBR Reviews thus far here.

Here are the “rules“.

If you’d like to see the full Marvel March Cover Solicits head on over to CBR.

Come one, come all, to our bi-monthly installment of DRUNK COVER SOLICITS IN THREE SENTENCES OR LESS!

So again, these are a bit on the late side but here they are…fresh for the new year in all their non-glory.  The thing is…I gotta be honest…Marvel has cleaned up their game considerably.  And I know you want to be sad about it, cause let’s face it, making fun of shit is fun.  But seriously, there’s not A LOT to make fun of lately. The difference in Marvel’s covers now, from a year ago…it’s pretty remarkable.  They are going on five or six months now of having covers so non-offensive that it’s pretty tough to give them a hard time.  So #1 – My hat is officially off to them and #2 – how can I take credit for this change?

I still make plenty of fun of the covers below…but there are only 26 covers to DC’s 52, and that’s straight up because there’s just not as much to say on the whole.  And I appreciate the hell out of that change, but I also have to admit that on the whole the covers are more boring too.  Would I rather have offensive than boring?  Well, for Drunk Solicits, yes, the answer is yes, for life?  No, no, I’d rather have just about anything than offensive crap in comics.  But still…it’s very interesting this development in covers over the last few months.

AGE OF APOCALYPSE #1.  All the above said, let’s start with something slightly offensive.  But not really. I mean this is such a cartoonish and exaggerated drawing style it’s hard to take it TOO seriously.  It doesn’t have the same effect of looking at something super realistic.  That said, Jean is wearing some Starfire level shit there and it’s just fucking ridiculous.  C’mon comics, don’t be a douchebag.

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 681.  Is Johnny wearing his Future Foundation pajamas for this mission?  He looks like an idiot.

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Have to give this week’s Cover Of The Week to Chris Burnham’s Batman Inc. Leviathan Strikes #1 – though it’d look a lot better without so much crap splashed all over it:

Although for “holiday spirit” I have to give it to this wonderful Daredevil #7 from Paolo Manuel Rivera:

I’ve got some new CBR Reviews up!

Also, I was thinking this week about the CBR rating system and what it means to me and I was curious what some of you that read CBR reviews regularly think of the rating system there – what does 4 stars, etc., mean to you?

For me it’s a bit like this:

5 stars = the best comics – i.e. an excellent/great comic (but not necessarily 100% perfect – I know Greg Burgas reserves his 10 stars – which would be a 5 star equivalent – for something absolutely perfect, but I’m not sure I even believe in 100% perfect, so I don’t hold out my 5 stars for that)

4 stars = a very good comic

3 stars = a good comic

2 stars = a not good comic (for any number of reasons including mediocrity)

1 star = a bad comic

0 star = the worst comic (also a rating I have never given…yet)

Of course, CBR lets us use 1/2 stars – thank the gods! – so I use those to flesh out a bit more nuance – like 2.5 means it’s almost good, but not quite.  3.5 means it’s almost very good, but not quite.

Does this align with how you guys read those ratings?

A quick accounting of my reviews shows that of 120 reviews I have given five, 5-star reviews and only a single 1-star review (no zero star reviews).  I have a lot of 4.5 stars, but I chalk that up mostly to me being stingy with my 5 stars (also, I deliberately try to review books I believe I’ll like, so that’s working towards more positive reviews than negative as well).  On the whole I feel good about the ratings I’ve given, though I think my pattern, from a cursory look is to give books a half star extra than they sometimes deserve.  If I went back and re-evaluated all my ratings, I think they would mostly stay in tact, with a fair percentage being edged down half a star if push came to shove.  It’s all very interesting to me…but I catch myself wondering if other reviewers think this much about something like this.

The Ray #1

“Opening directly into the action, but rife with humor and even a well constructed origin story, Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray, with stunning visuals from Jamal Igle, strike a perfect tone for this young energetic hero in DC’s new limited series “The Ray.”  In this first issue, Lucien Gates — a lifeguard accidentally shot with a solar energy “sun gun” and turned into a superher — explains how he became a superhero, introduces us to his life (including friends, family, and girlfriend) all while saving the world from gigantic telepathic jellyfish. We also get a peek at the big bad for the series, who is unfortunately not nearly as compelling as Lucien…”

Ultimate X-Men #4

“Though technically quite proficient, there’s a mechanical quality to this issue of “Ultimate X-Men” that results in something decidedly uninspired and conservative. Given some of the bold ideas put forth in this series (namely that the government created mutants) I expected (and hoped) for much more at this point in the series…”

Northanger Abbey #2

“Nancy Butler and Janet K. Lee deliver another beautifully drawn, smartly executed adaptation of a Jane Austen novel with “Northanger Abbey”. Nancy Butler has over the last three years proven to be extremely adept in adapting these tales for Marvel — first with “Pride & Prejudice” (art by Hugo Petrus) in 2009, followed by “Sense & Sensibility” in 2010 (art by Sonny Liew), followed by “Emma” (also with Lee) in 2011, and now “Northanger Abbey” in 2011/2012. Butler has known what she was doing with these lovely stories since her very first attempt, and it’s clear with “Northanger Abbey” she’s not missed a beat…”

As always, likes and retweets are much appreciated and you can read all of my CBR Reviews thus far, here.

THE GIRL WHO WOULD BE KING

THE GIRL WHO WOULD BE KING

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