Thursday, January 19, 2017

Osborn Would Never Expect To Be Attacked With Colored Tiles

The Icepocalypse wound up being somewhat of a dud, which is fine with me. I spent the weekend mostly comfortably inside, relaxing. Mostly relaxing. I spent too much time on Marvel Puzzle Quest, which is probably not a good idea for how irritated I can get with it.

It's one of those games like Bejewled, where you try to match up three of the same colored tiles. In this case, matching the tiles represents an attack made by a comic character against an opponent. The goal is to knock out their three-person team before all of yours do. The characters even level up, and have special attacks earned by collecting a certain number of particular colors. There's even a story to the whole thing, loosely based around Dark Reign, Osborn being boss of all superheroes, forming his crappy Dark Avengers, consorting with various criminals. They added in something about an alien mineral called Iso-8, which Osborn is using in experiments on mutants. I think that's mostly in there to provide a different brand of generic cannon fodder, and as an excuse to involve the X-Men as playable characters.

When the game is going well, it's a lot of fun. You can put the different characters' special powers to use to boost each other. It's a pleasant feeling when you use Black Widow's Widow's Sting (which costs 9 blue tiles) to stun the opponent so they can't do anything, and then, before it wears off, use Hawkeye's Take Aim power to get enough blue tiles (plus a critical attack bonus) so the Widow can use it again when it wears off. Very handy, especially against enemies that are 50, 60 levels higher than my characters.

Which is one problem I have with the game, that the levels increase on the enemies really damn fast, faster than I can level up my characters simply by progressing through the story. I guess maybe if I only used the same three characters all the time, but what's the point in having a couple dozen options if I'm only going to use three?  So I had to keep going back and playing earlier levels to try and boost my characters up enough to match up. Wasn't expecting to level grind when I started this game.

The weird thing is, I tend to find the fights against generic characters tougher than the ones against Dark Avengers. The generics rarely actually move tiles, but somehow they also get credit for the tiles I match, and they have irritating special powers that can do a lot of damage, especially when I'm at a 60-level deficit. They convert some yellow or blue tile into a countdown timer, and the harder I try to match those and get rid of them, the more of them they throw on the board. So you get situations like Thor or the Juggernaut being wiped out by a Thug with a Pistol. That happened a lot.

So it's frustrating at times. I repeatedly get fed up, turn it off, swear I'm done. But it's really easy to convince myself that if I just got the right layout of tiles early, I can get a strong start and pull it off. Sometimes it even works out exactly like that. Other times, it seems like no matter how good of a move I make (because you can get a nice chain reaction of matches if you play it right/get lucky), it only succeeds in setting the computer up for some massively damaging string of attacks on me. I mutter, "This thing is rigged," a lot. But it can sure eat time, which is probably a good enough reason to let it drop for a while.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

What I Bought 1/12/2017 - Part 2

I'm typing this last Friday, as much of Missouri braces for Ice Deathstorm: The Slip and Break Your Butt-Pocalypse. Maybe Icepocalypse is better. Either way, by the time this posts, hopefully I have emerged unscathed.

Great Lakes Avengers #4, by Zac Gorman (writer), Jacob Chabot (artist), Marissa Louise with Tamra Bonvillain (color artists), Joe Caramagna (letterer) - I keep thinking Flatman is getting ready to scratch under his nose, rather than making the "ssh" motion.

Bertha and Good Boy brought Snerd back to their HQ and tied him up in the closet. Snerd tries to justify his actions by arguing he's making real changes and improvements, and so what if a few people get hurt. Unfortunately they can't prove any of it, and they weren't supposed to be superheroing anyway, since Connie hadn't gotten the injunction lifted. But Snerd does a little too good of a job arguing the strength of his position, and Good may have killed him. I guess he was still making noises when they tossed him in front of the hospital and sped off. And he survived a gunshot wound in the chest in his flashback, so maybe he has healing  powers?

Story took a dark turn there in a hurry. I thought Chabot's art in the panel where Good pounces on Snerd has a resemblance to '50s horror comics. The stories where the asshole main character gets a bad surprise comeuppance right and the end, maybe a cackling narrator to finish things off? I think it's the look of horror on his face, combined with the shading for Good's musculature. Maybe also the shades of orange Louise and/or Bonvillain used, and all those emphasis lines around the edge of the panel. Or maybe it's just because it's a werewolf pouncing on someone with intent to kill them.

Overall, Chabot did a fine job as fill-in artist. He draws Bertha a little more pear-shaped than Robson, but close enough. Maybe there's just less definition in her upper body. He dialed Connie's facial expressions way back, which is a plus. She can still look angry enough to tear off your face at times, but she doesn't look that way all the time here. Ditto for Snerd, although I was less bothered by him looking like he was so angry he was about to mess his drawers. Still, it wouldn't make sense as his expression in every situation. Sometimes a guy needs to look more smug, or conniving, or just scared. I do notice Mr. Immortal's stubble is gone, thank goodness. Going to assume Flatman stopped a bought him a razor. Oh, and the drunk guy from last issue does not seem to have joined the team. Oh well.

Deadpool #24, by Gerry Duggan (writer), Matteo Lolli (penciler), Christian Dalla Vecchia (inker), Guru-eFX (colorist), Joe Sabino (letterer) - I wouldn't be surprised if Preston shot Wade in the leg there, just for partially blocking her view. Or just because.

Wade provides the cure for the disease he got from Stryfe, for which Stryfe expects him to kill some people for him later. Didn't wade go through this once already with Vetis, the demon? Whatever, worry about it later. Wade realizes Madcap faked the call from Ellie to get him there to infect her, and uses that to track Madcap to a HYDRA base because Madcap is riding around on Bob. Deadpool tells Madcap everything he thinks he knows about himself is a lie (must have missed that issue), Madcap triggers explosives, tears loose from Bob, and escapes.

He fucking escapes. So this carnival ride is going to continue? Duggan is starting to try my patience. I was pretty much ready to be done with Madcap, and hey, Wade could still be stuck dealing with fallout from whatever Madcap got up to disguised as Deadpool. But no. On the plus side, I think we've established Preston might be almost as into Cable as Wade is, given she keeps referring to him as a "silver fox".

The assault on the HYDRA base was pretty good, for the sheer fact neither Wade nor Preston were messing around. In one panel, Preston smashes through a ceiling, and as she bloodily jams a pipe into one HYDRA guys shoulder, she's bringing her LMD-knee down on another's head, popping it like a water balloon. I don't know if the eyes would go shooting off in opposite directions like Lolli drew, but it's a distinctive image to be sure. And then you get one HYDRA guy asking to be arrested, and Wade shoots him. So the last HYDRA guy tries surrendering to Preston, and she punches through his chest with a line about being off the clock.

I should probably be more bothered by these things. Those guys were surrendering, and that does bug me, but 1) It's not like I'm surprised if Wade makes choices I find morally questionable. 2) Preston is pissed and after the being who nearly killed her husband and children. 3) The surrendering guys in question work for HYDRA. They are basically Nazis (or Nazi collaborators). However much I might laugh at the antics and misfortune of HYDRA Bob in Cable/Deadpool, HYDRA is bad news, and these guys signed on to further that, even if they're doing it for the healthcare or whatever. Also, in that universe, they signed on for encountering costumed types. Sometimes they get Spider-Man or Captain America and it's off to jail. Sometimes they get Wolverine or Deadpool and it's off to the morgue, assuming there's anything left of them.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Jars Are No TVs When It Comes To Improvised Weapons

Having seen American Ultra over the weekend, yeah, they wasted Walton Goggins. He just laughs a lot, loses a couple of teeth, and gets a speech at the end that hammers some theme of the film in a remarkably unsubtle manner. Not much to work with there.

His character is a possible psychotic the CIA turned into a killer for them, and is one of many Topher Grace tries to use to kill Mike Howell (Jesse Eisenberg), who years ago agreed to be used for an experiment in exchange for getting out of prison. Eisenberg's memories of this were buried, but when he was about to be killed as a loose end, the agent in charge of the project uses the trigger word, and he proceeds to lay waste to most of the killers sent after him. Major assist from Kristen Stewart's character who was his handler and decided to stick around and watch over him/be his girlfriend.

The end is kind of crap. Eisenberg, who was after all, taken advantage of in a time of desperation by the government and used, first as a lab rat, then as a killer, is targeted for execution because Topher Grace is an asskissing toady who wants a promotion. Eisenberg, having refused to die, ends up working for the CIA again, killing people, as the only alternative to being taken into the middle of nowhere and shot twice in the back of the head. Bill Pullman, who runs the CIA, gets a nice killing machine, rather than some bullets in the face. I mean, what's that say? If you're experimented on and used by the government, your only hope is to lean into it and continue to be a useful tool?

Oh, and Goggins' character is almost certainly running around loose. In a more optimistic movie, I would hope that Mike showing mercy helped Laffer and he isn't busy turning into Steve Buscemi's character from Con Air. But this isn't exactly a film that encourages that interpretation.

Granting that my perspective is somewhat skewed by years of watching characters in action movies take extraordinary amounts of punishment and keep going, I did wonder at how easily Mike was able to defeat some of the trained killers in the supermarket. I'm not sure whether a metal dustpan is that effective as a stabbing implement. But the one I noted most was I think he took out one guy by smashing him over the head with a jar of something he just grabbed off a shelf. I think it was pickles. One shot to the head, and the guy dropped. That happened a lot, albeit usually with things more suited to the task than a jar.

There were some good scenes in the film, Stewart and Eisenberg both did fine. Nothing great, but I'd been meaning to get around to seeing it for awhile, so mission accomplished.

Monday, January 16, 2017

What I Bought 1/12/2017 - Part 1

The beginning of the year has been pretty Marvel-heavy. I expect that'll change over the second half of the month.

Nova #2, by Jeff Loveness (writer), Ramon Perez (writer/artist), Ian Herring (color artist), Albert Deschesne (letterer) - Inside, it's more Sam rescuing Richard than what you see here.

Sam finds Rich under attack by the Cancerverse thing that came out of him last issue. The two drive it back into a tear, then Sam takes Rich to the Champions to confirm Rich is who he says he is. Although I'm at a loss as to where Sam got a sample of Rich for Amadeus to compare the live person to. That's pretty creepy, like Tony Stark keeping Thor's hair to make a cyborg clone creepy.

As usual, the heroes of Earth are morons who have no clue Richard saved the damn universe like 17 times while they were busy punching each other over legislation. He attends Sam's family get-together, which seems a little odd - 16-year old kid brings mid-20s(?) guy to family thing - but it seems to pass without comment, and they fly to Knowhere to visit Cosmo. Then Death's Head attacks them, along with two other guys I don't know.

I like how Richard and Sam play off each other (and putting them together neatly eliminates my complaint from last month about there not being enough Rich). Richard is the veteran, but he's been away, he's a little confused, a little unsteady, and Sam gets to be the stabilizing influence. Perez and Loveness are managing a nice balancing act there, so far. And we'll have to wait and see why Richard is unwilling to admit the creature came from him. I'm sure it's part of the reason he's alive again, why he saw the "tear" to drive it into and Sam didn't, but Rich ought to know hiding that stuff doesn't help anything.

OK, I know I said last month I liked Perez drawing Rich's shoulder things as being modular, and I do, but they're getting a bit large. As in, they're starting to reach Cable-level shoulder pad size, and that's not a good sign. The variety of aliens in the bar was nice. I especially like the gooey thing with the one eye in the center of the panel on page 17. And Sam;s body language in that panel where Cosmo tries to explain calling Rich his favorite Nova. But hey, Rich did kill Annihilus like a boss. And he was a New Warrior, and that's much cooler than being an Avenger. Those dorks let anyone join, including Sabretooth.

Ms. Marvel #14, by G. Willow Wilson (writer), Takeshi Miyazawa (artist), Ian Herring (color artist), Joe Caramagna (letterer) - Well, gee, I'm not sure I'm rooting for Kamala after she made Richard sad in our last book.

Kamala's online RPGing takes a worrying turn when one of her guildmates says something that suggests he knows where she lives. She tries tracking the guy down, but the player claims his account was hacked. Soon, someone who can control machines is attacking her remotely with cars and construction equipment, and knows Kamala is Ms. Marvel.

Kamala is making the classic Batman mistake of distancing herself from her support network when she;s under stress. Granting that Bruno is gone, and Mike is in a bad way, she turns away from her family, and I guess going to Nakia or Zoe is out. At least as Ms. Marvel. She could have gone to her friends as Kamala, and asked for some help. Yeah, I don't know what they could do against this guy, but she barely even considers getting help, which is a bad sign. I'm also not sure she should have dismissed Maxwell as a suspect so quickly. It probably isn't him, but if this enemy is as good with technology as they appear, they could easily figure out she was trying to track them and pretend someone hacked them.

Interesting choice for her to ride the ferry in Embiggened form. Keeps people at a distance, but also makes her more visible, a more obvious target. Also, her deciding to deal with the car attack by getting bigger and meeting it head-on seems a little unlike her. The way there's a panel that focus on her arm and torn costume after she jumps out of the excavator doesn't seem like a coincidence, either. Overall, she isn't acting like herself, at the time all the things she thought she could rely on are crumbling beneath her. Around her? They're crumbling, regardless. She can't seem to fix any of it, can't patch things up with Bruno, help Mike, trust Tony Stark or Carol Danvers, she's angry, she's frustrated and impatient, and she's trying to deal with things directly that don't seem like they can be.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Foyle's War 5.3 - All Clear

Plot: Trigger warning for suicide, again.

The American Major Kiefer (see "Invasion") has returned to Hastings, but he's not doing well. He's haunted by a lot of dead G.I.s, deaths that were covered up. This has made him short-tempered with everyone, a stark contrast to most of the people in town, who are eagerly awaiting the announcement that the war (in Europe) is officially over.

Meanwhile, the Hastings constabulary office prepares to be closed down and transferred to a new location. Milner is waiting to hear on a promotion, and waiting for the birth of his and Edie's first child. Sam is trying to find a new job, and Foyle is preparing to return to retirement. But first he'll have to contend with a committee formed to prepare for the revelry that will follow the announcement of war's end. Also on the committee are Martin Longmate, local hotelier and prospective politician, is planning a big party, Dr. Ziegler (who seems sure he knows Longmate from someplace), Edie's doctor, Major Kiefer, and a Mark Griffiths, who seems very troubled, and who Kiefer seems to detest for some reason. Also present at the first meeting is Longmate's assistant, Janice Hilton, whose husband Edward is home at last. Edward won't speak much of his experiences, but he knows Janice isn't telling him everything, either. And Janice is soon to learn Longmate is looking for a new assistant, even interviewing Sam. over dinner, to see if they can 'get along.' Sam fortunately dodges that bullet.

Griffiths condition continues to worsen as someone starts leaving pictures of tigers pinned to his door, and mailing him sand. It's putting considerable strain on him, to the point Dr. Ziegler prescribes him some sleeping pills. Within a couple of days, Dr. Ziegler is stabbed after leaving another meeting of the committee. Within a day of that, Mark Griffiths has committed suicide. Kiefer might know something about what drove Griffiths to that, but he's not talking, and there's no sign he's connected to the death of Dr. Ziegler.

And in other news, Andrew comes home. He made it through alive, although a bout with sinusitis has wrecked his vision to the point he won't be flying anymore. And he's trying to patch things up with Sam.

Quote of the Episode: Andrew - 'You don't have a leaflet on love.' Sam - 'No, but I've quite a few on desertion.'

Does Foyle go fishing? Indeed he does!

Things Sam can do: Make tea, cut Andrew down to size (at least temporarily). She's not at home in the advertising world, though.

Other: Polly Maberly is playing Edie in this episode. Caroline Martin had the role previously. Edie wanted to name the child "Winston", but fortunately, they had a daughter. Who will be named "Clementine". I guess that's an improvement.

As it turns out, Kiefer was in charge of a group of American G.I.s preparing for D-Day off the coast of England one night that were jumped by German E-boats, and 700 soldiers died, with the whole thing hushed up for morale. Which is an actual thing that happened in reality. In-story, Griffiths is the major in the signal corps who didn't check to make sure the radio was set to the proper frequency, and so the warning about the E-boats was not received. Foyle can thank Miss Pierce for that information.

There's a point, after Andrew has come home, he and Foyle are sitting and talking, and Andrew brings up Sam. He discusses his poor decision-making, tries to excuse it with being miserable training pilots, admits things didn't work with the other young lady. Foyle is kind of looking at him out of the corner of his eye, even though they're seated facing each other, and then, very simply, quickly, and directly, says, 'You weren't very kind to her.' As much as I enjoy those scenes where Foyle will rattle off everything illegal or immoral a character has done, in this exasperated, sarcastic tone (he gets a good one on Longmate near the end of this episode), I've always liked that brief rebuke. It's simple, straightforward, and easily conveys his disappointment in Andrew.

At the same time, when Andrew first appears, as Foyle is fishing, Michael Kitchen manages a very obvious smile, without seemingly lifting the corners of his mouth. I don't know, he doesn't smile in a way I would normally categorize it based on his mouth, but it's still very obvious he's happy. I thought that was pretty impressive.

Also in this episode, we learn Foyle can drive, he simply prefers not to.

Not sure what will happen with Edward and Janice. Janice had a child with Longmate, Edward found out, there was an argument, he did strike her, so who knows. Edward is still trying to adjust to being out of the military, and it's not entirely clear he wants to adjust, that he wouldn't rather be back there. I don't know if he wants to stay with Janice, or if she should stay with him after that. Probably not, since she doesn't want to have the child adopted, and I'm not sure how great a dad Edward will be to a child not biologically his (or maybe even to one that is biologically his). He mentions at one point he's thinking about moving, it wasn't clear if he was going to do that solo or not.

Anyway, the war is over, but the show is not. Now we're going to explore England after the war, and eventually England in the midst of the Cold War.

Friday, January 13, 2017

2016 Comics In Review - Part 5

The final part. One thing I'm finding a struggle this year is how to define some of these books. Is that Mark Waid/Barry Kitson Avengers thing a mini-series? What should I consider Henchgirl? If Darkwing Duck never comes back, should I think of that as a mini-series, or just a swiftly dying ongoing, like you'd get from Marvel?

Favorite Ongoing Series (minimum 6 issues purchased this year):
1. Uneatable Squirrel Girl
2. Patsy Walker aka Hellcat
3. Henchgirl

I didn't expect it to end up like that. There were enough issues of Squirrel Girl I was unsure of I thought Hellcat would win, but the current Black Cat arc reversed that. There weren't many books in consideration this year. I dropped Black Widow. Deadpool and Ms. Marvel were both extremely up and down. Which left Darkwing Duck, which I wouldn't put on the level of the books I did pick.

Favorite Mini-Series:
1. Wynonna Earp
2. Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love

This was a generally unsatisfying year for mini-series. There was nothing that really knocked my socks off. But Wynonna Earp was solidly readable every month, and I still have to see if Deadman is going to stick the landing or not.

Favorite One-Shot:
1. Deadpool: Last Days of Magic
2. Locke & Key: Small World
3. Suicide Squad: War Crimes

This was a solid category. I didn't even put that Blue Beetle Rebirth issue in there. Locke & Key came in ahead of Suicide Squad because I felt like the art and writing worked together better. I liked the story in War Crimes better, but the art held it back.

Favorite Trade Paperback/Graphic Novel (anything I bought in 2016 is fair game, regardless of publication date):
1. Tony Cliff's Delilah Dirk: the King's Shilling
2. Jim Rugg and Brian Maruca's Street Angel
3. Paul Grist's Jack Staff: Everything Used to be Black and White
4. Norm Breyfogle's and mostly Alan Grant's Legends of the Dark Knight: Norm Breyfogle Volume 1

It was pretty close between #3 and 4. I like Breyfogle's art better, but the quality of the stories he illustrated were a lot more variable than the ones Grist wrote and illustrated. Although those Batman stories are interesting in contrast to his portrayal in more recent years.

Favorite Writers:
1. John Ostrander
2. Paul Grist

I think Ostrander wins by default any year I buy something he wrote. May have that written into the blog constitution. Or would that be the fundamental lows of this blogiverse? Gerard Way and Jonathan Rivera are a strong candidate for next year if Cave Carson holds up.

Favorite Artists (minimum 110 pages):
1. Chris Samnee
2. Brittney L. Williams
3. Mike Hawthorne

Honorable mentions: Takeshi Miyazawa, Michael Avon Oeming, Reilly Brown, Shawn Crystal

That top 3 was pretty tough. Didn't fit James Silvani or Erica Henderson in there. But even if I found Black Widow ultimately disappointing, it wasn't the fault of the art.

Also, I recognize it isn't fair to put a minimum page limit on the artists to qualify, when no similar requirement exists for the writers. But then, I don't include artists that might make it based on back issues or trades like I do with writers. So the artists that are in play get a much smaller field of competition. Honestly, these categories are getting to be a real mess. I definitely need to keep better trac of what back issues I buy in the coming year, so can I factor those into things somehow.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

2016 Comics in Review - Part 4

I keep track of how many pages are being drawn by the different artists in the comics I read. I set 110 and 154 pages as benchmarks, for reasons I no longer recall. I mean, I remember those equal 5 and 7 22-page comics, but why those number of comics were the lines I drew escapes me. This year, James Silvani (132), Chris Samnee (120), and Scott Wegener (132) all reached 110 pages. Deadpool had three different artists reach 110 pages, with Mike Hawthorne, Scott Koblish, and Matteo Lolli. I guess it balances out Ms. Marvel getting zero artists that far.

Ultimately, three artists reached 154 pages: Kristen Gudsnuk, Erica Henderson, and Brittney L. Williams. I do wonder about including Gudsnuk, since Henchgirl was a webcomic originally, that she published one page at a time over months some time ago, but if we're going to start making those kinds of corrections, the blog legislature will have to form a committee to inspect the issue, then draft a bill, there'll be arguments. Or they'll adopt the Baseball Hall of Fame approach and leave it vague and up to the personal code of the voters, meaning me.

At any rate, Williams narrowly edges out Henderson, because Unbeatable Squirrel Girl occasionally let other artists draw one-page flashbacks or dream sequences, so congratulations to Brittney L. Williams. As I prize artists who can consistently produce quality work on a monthly schedule, this is actually sincere, even if it will not help her in any way.

Roche Limit - Monadic #1-4: Michael Moreci, Kyle Charles, and Matt Battaglia brought the Roche Limit story to a close with most of the cast from the first two mini-series trapped inside some kind of simulation the aliens were using to understand human individuality, so that they could copy it. Minus the capacity for self-sacrifice. Then they were defeated (maybe) by human capacity for self-sacrifice.

High Point: Matt Battaglia's colors continued to be the most vivid and eye-catching part of the series. The combinations of purple and black when outside, versus the sickly brown and green inside the house inside the city, versus the relatively normal color scheme where Sasha was. There's still a possibility reading all three mini-series back-to-back-to-back will help.

Low Point: The story felt a lot like Dark City. The previous mini-series strongly suggested the aliens were already back on Earth, so does blowing up their larger fleet in space really make much difference? Considering there's no indication anyone on Earth knows there's anything to be worried about? In every issue, there would be several pages where Charles' artwork got rushed and characters would be indistinguishable from one another, or you couldn't even tell what the heck was supposed to be going on.

Suicide Squad - War Crimes: One-shot by John Ostrander, with art by Gus Vazquez and Carlos Rodriguez. The Squad tries to retrieve a former member of the U.S. government who was abducted by a mercenary super-group to be brought before an international tribunal. The Squad has its usual issues with things not going smoothly, exacerbated by their typical backstabbing. A solid one-off story, though it's hamstrung by some issues with panel-to-panel continuity and proportions.

Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #4-15: Ryan North and Erica Henderson, plus Rico Renzi as colorist. Jacob Chabot drew one issue, and several other artists did one or two pages here and there. Squirrel kept a Dr. Doom of the early 2000s from conquering the 1960s, had that team-up with Howard the Duck I mentioned, fended off the amorous advances of Mole Man (not to mention the boneheaded truther nonsense of friggin' Brad). Nightmare tried attacking her in her dreams, she and Koi Boi defeated the Swarm (if you chose correctly), and then she and Ant-Man kept Enigmo from taking over the world.

High Point: The trading cards are always good. North has a good grasp on Doctor Doom. Taskmaster got a better showing than I expected. I'm still hoping friggin' Brad becomes a recurring nuisance. Erica Henderson draws some comedy bits extremely well, and some of her fight scenes are pretty great too, although she doesn't get as much opportunity to show that off. There are just a lot of bits and pieces, even in what I'd call the weaker issues, that I really liked.

Low Point: Eh, I didn't love the Howard the Duck crossover. There were certain elements I enjoyed, but overall, I could take over leave it. The issue all about computer science got too bogged down in teaching us computer science.

Wynonna Earp #1-8: Beau Smith was back writing Wynonna for comics, with Lora Innes and Chris Evenhuis as the artists, and Jay Fotos as colorist. There was a demon cartel that harvests organs, a guy who infected a mall to show off his weaponized zombie plague, a confrontation with the Clantons (and taking on a family heirloom), protecting a werewolf and his family in witness protection, and a brief vacation with Valdez.

High Point: There are times I think Smith tries to get too clever with his dialogue, and it becomes clumsy. Mostly he walks on the right side of that line. I really like Valdez as a character, reminds me a lot of Cassandra Cain. Innes gives Wynonna a certain cheekiness, a playful smirk in body language, even when it isn't visible on her face, that really seems to fit the character.

Low Point: I didn't really care for Agent Dolls. Partially my general distaste for authority figures, partially that the constraints he put on Wynonna seemed contradictory, like he was trying to break her, but Smith wasn't really presenting it as such, because he didn't want us to outright hate Dolls. I got a little more used to him in later issues, so this is a lukewarm low point. But the book was generally solid.

And that's it for that part. Tomorrow, I wrap this up with arbitrarily ranking titles and creators to suit myself.