Comics Load: Make It Work

Queer comics fans have a new reason to rejoice (and I’m not just talking about the return of Nightwing’s bulging tights!). No, frequent Comics Load contributor and So Super Duper comic book creator Brian Andersen has launched a brand new, all-gay podcast about the X-Men! The X-Gays read, review and discuss all the latest X-titles in the Marvel Universe and bring their own brand of fierce mutant expertise to the subject. Don’t let their name fool you, though. They’re not to be confused with any ex-gays. No, Brian and co-host Jason Brock are licensed, professional and practicing homos, and they want to share their passion for the X-Men with you. You can hear their first ‘cast here. Give it a listen and be sure to let Brian know you loved it. But not too much. We don’t want him to get a big head and stop doing reviews for FBOTU. Speaking of which, here’s a fresh batch of reviews from Mr. Andersen. Enjoy!

image Brian’s Book of the Week

Title: Spider Island Herc #7

Writer: Greg Pak, Fred Van Lente

Artist: June Brigman

Inker: Roy Richardson
To be totally honest (something I very rarely am), the only reason I’m giving this book the coveted spotlight slot (heehee, I said ‘slot”) is for comic penciler June Brigman. I adore Miz Brigman! But before I fire off my praise for the art, I gotta say the story is pretty darn…well, weak. It’s basically a paint by numbers cross-over where the Olympian demigod Hercules joins the Spider-Island fray going down in Spidey’s Amazing title—and about 90 bazillian other books. (So sorry, Van Lente! You know I typically love your writing!) Nothing exciting or special enough goes down in the story to tickle my fanboi spider-sense, but here’s a quick rundown: Herc gets spider powers, fights some spider-garbed bad dudes wearing various spidey outfits, steals one of the spidey-baddies costume, and then runs afoul of the X-Men. Now, onto the art. When I was a little wiper-snapper, one of my most favorite books was Power Pack. And one of my most favorite artists was June Brigman, who co-created and drew the book. That comic really cemented my long-time love of comics. So for me, seeing her back drawing comics is like a comfy, warm, superhero-adorned Snuggie that I can drape around myself while I cuddle at home with my two pussies. (And by pussies, I don’t mean cats…I mean kittens!) Bring on more Brigman, Marvel!
image Title: Superboy #1

Writer: Scott Lobdell

Artist: R.B. Silva

Inker: Rob Lean
Continuing with my uncharacteristic honesty in the above review, I’ll start by saying that I’m not writer Scot Lobdell’s biggest fan. His work in the 90s on the X-Men isn’t one of Marvel’s mutants’ most shining moments (in my semi-bitchy opinion), but I have to say there’s no question that Lobdell is a polished writer, able to craft interesting stories, clever dialogue, and enough mystery to pique my inner Scooby (or just maybe my inner Scrappy). That being said, I actually enjoyed this new spin on the origin story of DC’s clone-y Superboy. It’s a lot of set-up, sure, and very little action, but a good writer can make a superhero comic book story engaging enough with minimal action. I’m loath to admit it, but Lobdell has done this. Ugh. I now hate myself for typing that. 
image Title: Batwoman #1

Writers: J.H. Williams III, W. Haden Blackman

Artist: J.H. Williams III
Amazing, gorgeous artwork. That’s something that every critic can agree upon when talking about this book, that and the fact that red-headed super-ladies are always insanely hot, like, re-dunk-ulously hot. But, damn, if this book isn’t beautiful to look at. It’s a feast for my peepers, and let’s be real here, I’m a big fan of feasting—just ask my ever widening girth (and not “girth” in the orifice filling way, either, sadly)! I will admit some confusion as this book seems to pick up right after the last Batwoman story ended a year or so ago. So, is this a relaunch, like the rest of the new 52, or just a continuation of the old school, recently departed DCU? I’m a wee-bit confused, and not just because I haven’t taken my meds for the day. Also, I’m not sure how “welcoming to new readers” this comic is, since it really hinges back to what’s come before, but after all is said and done, who cares really? It’s lovely to look at and as pretty much any reality TV fame whore in Hollywood can attest, that’s pretty much all that matters in life.
image Title: Fear Itself #6

Writer: Matt Fraction

Artist: Stuart Immonen

Inker: Wade Von Grawbadger
Poor Fear Itself. This event book for Marvel has completely and totally been overshadowed by DC’s Flashpoint/New 52! Is anyone talking about or giving two *bleeps* about this comic anymore, let alone all the multi-issue crossovers? I fear that for an event comic to have this minimal of an impact on the blogosphere and with readers is just about as bad as it gets. It’s akin to Christina Aguilera’s desperate attempt to produce a hit Lady Gaga-ish pop album last year. Talk about a boooooooomb! People just couldn’t care less. This, sadly, also seems to be the case for Fear. Hopefully, there’s a spot for Fear Itself to join the judging panel on a singing competition talent show in a last-ditch effort to redeem its relevance? I say wait in the wings at X-Factor; I doubt that boozy Paula Abdul will last an entire season!
image Title: Green Lantern #1

Writer: Geoff Johns

Artist: Doug Mahnke

Inker: Christian Alamy
Just like the afore-reviewed Batwoman, this comic has left me kinda, sorta confused. So is everything that’s gone on before in the standard DCU still holding up for the newly relaunched Green Lantern? Everything that happened after the Lantern War and Blackest Night still seems to be the status quo here, and therefore, really isn’t very welcoming to new readers. I’d say if you were a Lantern fan before, you’re sure to love this book. If you weren’t, and if you saw that atrocious Ryan Reynolds Lantern movie—his 35th attempt at becoming a movie superhero action icon—you might want to skip this comic. Otherwise, dig in! I quite enjoyed it.
image Title: Legion Lost #1

Writer: Fabian Nicieza

Artist/Inker: Pete Woods
Wow! Now this was a failed attempt at a reboot. At least in terms of making me care one wit about the characters, the story or the comic. I mean, it was as dense and difficult a read as if I was stuck back in college reading that overrated English-canonized novel Wuthering Heights—seriously, have you read that “classic” novel? It’s like a long, dragged out soap opera, minus the sex, the secret evil twins and the fun. Anyhoot, I’m not much of a Legion of Superheroes expert—I’ve never really read or followed the Legion much other than the occasional dabble here and there (much like my short-lived phase as a straight guy)—but, man, this book was just laborious to read. Nothing here welcomed new readers, no attempt was made to re-imagine anything, and, well, frankly, in keeping with my recent honesty pattern, it was just not my cup of tea, my glass of soda, or my snort of…well, never mind. Skip this comic with a capital SKIP!
image Title: Suicide Squad #1

Writer: Adam Glass

Artists: Frederico Dallocchio, Ransom Getty, Scott Hana
Not bad, evil doers! The squad of a-hole villains is back and refreshed as all these supposed relaunches said they would be. And I enjoyed it. I’m a sucker for scenes with horrible maiming and torture (Exhibit A: my extensive Madonna movie collection). My biggest complaint is that the interior art didn’t match the eye-poppingly awesome cover. Oh, and the fact that former large-and-in-charge, pretty-‘n-plump, strong and as powerful as she is wonderfully round and robust, Amada Waller is now just another skinny-assed super-babe with huge knockers. One who has a panache for flashing the tippy-top of her pretty, pretty lacy bra. Blah. Give me my thick Waller back, DC! We big girls need someone we can look up to!
image Title: Daredevil #3

Writer: Mark Waid

Artist: Paolo Rivera

Inker: Joe Rivera
Daredevil is fun again, peeps! Even if you’re not a fan of Daredevil, even if you despise redheaded lawyers, or just lawyers in general, this book is really, really entertaining. It’s like a throwback to classic Marvel, when comics were both exciting and humorous and surprising and enjoyable! Plus, DD gets a whole new mission and a whole new focus, without having to do a whole new universe reboot! Take that, New 52!
image Title: Uncanny X-Force #15

Writer: Rick Remender

Artist: Jerome Opena
As stellar as every single mother-effing previous issue, this book rocks. Hard. Like, harder than Lita Ford and Hanson COMBINED! Yeah, that’s saying a lot, but it’s true. I’m loving how Archangel’s knife wings are being used as a cape as he walks, dragging on the floor so seductively! Hot! And ingenious! Whoever designed this new element for Archangel totally Project Runway’ed the shiz out of it, and I’d give them the Bryant Park Collection prize in a heartbeat. Wurk it, gurls!
image Title: Li’l Depressed Boy #6

Writer: S. Steven Struble

Artist: Sina Grace
Hipster cool? Check. Odd little moody story? Check! Clever reflection on a generation of people striving to figure out their lot in life? Check! A simple, easy, enjoyable read? Quadruple check! How can you not enjoy a comic where a guy entertains some small-town cops by showcasing his weird little sideshow circus-y talents? I know I do this every time I’m trying to get lucky…which might just explain my pitifully low “just-scored” tally.
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