Oh man, it’s been almost an entire month since I’ve posted anything related to my readings. I apologize. It’s been busy. While I’ve managed to produce my podcasts and other work on time, the opportunities to read my weekly comics haven’t been around. However, this past week gave me a chance to catch up on stuff I found for my essential weekly reading. The independents are taken care of. I’m about to dip into my DC stuff, then onto Secret Wars. Before I get into everything I’ve picked up since my last blog, what else is going on?
I had a birthday a few weeks back. Thank you to everyone who sent me the wonderful wishes. A lot of cool stuff was sent my way. To sum it up: I am an X-Man, my TV is too big for the entertainment matrix, Playstation 4’s are awesome (and in no way have anything to do with the fact I haven’t blogged in a month), and I now possess a Mother Box. I can use the Boom Tube. Y’know, as in, it’s a toy. Tildy loves it.
As I mentioned before, MattyLovesPodcast is rocking and rolling. It looks like there will be over 20 episodes by the end of 2015, which is huge and a goal. I can’t say enough how proud I am of the show and how far it has come along. This week (actual) Dr. Josh Begley and horror/suspense author, Sidney Williams, join “Dr. Tom” and yours truly as we discuss more Halloween-related reads and entertainment. Be sure to scope out previous episodes for more comic book-centric fun.
Well, the Philadelphia Eagles are a huge disappointment, “and that’s all I have to say about that.”
I’m struggling to hang on to Cable-TV. Before I moved down to Florida, I hadn’t had a cable bill in nearly five years. I found my way around the internets to watch the then-current television programs I wanted to watch. Yeah, I couldn’t watch the episodes the night they aired, (some I did an hour later) but I was still hip to what happened eventually. Since I’ve had cable, DVR–the whole bit, I feel like I watch less television. When I first moved to Florida, I hard-bodied cable television. As I got a little more busy and became more selective, shows like The Flash, Gotham, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. held my interest through the first 8-10 episodes, but then I sort of stopped caring about what was going on. Although I can record the shows the night they air, they’re all available on-demand two days later (or on Netflix later-later). It kind of defeats the purpose of DVR and cable television. Oh my gosh, are people talking about this? They should be.
[EDITOR’S NOTE: Hello, readers past and present. Matt says stupid things that I’m supposed to clean up. Instead, I comment on them and point out Matt’s idiotism. This is one of those times.]
As a sports fan, I understand where DVR is most effective. In this day of technological bonuses/travesties, I know where to go in order to watch sports streaming live–for free. Yeah, the quality isn’t 1080p, but the game is on. It’s hard for me to avoid sports spoilers (or any other), so I don’t usually record games on my DVR or whatever. Plus, as a Philadelphia sports fan, my teams are rarely on cable television anyway… or watchable.
I’m blogging myself out of my $100 cable bill. I just can’t let it go. Have any of you watched the El Rey Network? That alone is worth the monthly bill. I’m not kidding. Go look up today’s schedule. I also have to watch Sportscenter and its related content despite ESPN’s ridiculous top stories having zero to do with highlights of any kind. The Herd is now on Fox Sports-1 and the show is amazing. (Watched daily via DVR–see? One of those things I couldn’t do daily without cable.) Yeah, so the reasons I’m holding onto cable are almost all sports-related, comic book fans. At the end of the day, having my cable television on the backburner helps Tildy and I stay entertained down here in the Sunshine State.
Speaking of Florida, there are a lot of places to find comic books in my area that I didn’t know about until recently. Back in August, I went to an old record shop and found about four long boxes of pure gold. Now, if I already didn’t have every issue of Uncanny X-Men from 1981-on, holy geez. I would’ve crapped my pants out of joy that day, bought the comics, and then go back home to shower and changes my pants and underwear because of the doo doo. Fortunately, crap-pants free, that day I managed to pick up a few issues during Tood McFarlane’s run of Amazing Spider-Man for next-to-nothing. stumbled upon a few new shops here over the past few months. It’s pretty nice. (None are better than A Comic Shop.)
So, comics, right? What all have you missed, or, what all have I missed? Well, here’s the entire list of the comics (by week) that I’ve scooped up since my last blog. Note that some of these books came out a week sooner or a week later, give or take.
My lists for 09/09/2015
ACTION COMICS 44
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN RYV 5
BITCH PLANET 5
CIVIL WAR 4
DARTH VADER 9
DEADLY CLASS 16
GIANT-SIZE LITTLE MARVEL 4
JOURNEY TO STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS, SHATTERED EMPIRE 1
PLANET HULK 5
AGE OF APOCALYPSE 4
ARMOR WARS 5
CAP AMERICA WHITE 1
DOCTOR FATE 4
FADE OUT 9
GUARDIANS OF KNOWHERE 4
HOUSE OF M 3
INFINITY GAUNTLET 4
STAR WARS 9
STAR WARS LANDO 4
TOKYO GHOST 1
HE-MAN ETERNITY WAR 10
YEARS OF FUTURE PAST 5
CAPTAIN AMERICA WHITE 2
E IS FOR EXTINCTION 4
HAIL HYDRA 3
JUSTICE LEAGUE 44
10/07/2015 (this week)
ACTION COMICS 45
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 1
DARTH VADER 10
DETECTIVE COMICS 45
DOCTOR STRANGE 1
INVINCIBLE IRON MAN 1
JOURNEY STAR WARS FASE 2
PAPER GIRLS 1
SECRET WARS 6
SOUTHERN BASTARDS 11
SPIDER ISLAND 5
STAR WARS 10
STAR WARS LANDO 5
WE STAND ON GUARD 4
Woof. (I was fortunate to have one of the weekly hauls taken care of for my birthday.)
The italicized titles are the books of which I’ve read, the others, not so much.
So it’s not like I haven’t read anything. I can tell you this: Marvel’s Secret Wars has lost a lot of its readers based on how long it has taken for this story to be completed. It was the summer event–the summeeeerrrrrr. It’s October. Why can’t “The Big Two” ever put out an event on time?
[EDITOR’S NOTE: Look it up.]
This week Marvel begins to roll out its “All-New, All-Different” assortment of new titles that take place after Secret Wars. I’m excited for Amazing Spider-Man, Doctor Strange, and Invincible Iron Man, but with Secret Wars (issue six out today) far from being finished, will the lack of the big event’s conclusion hurt the sales of these new titles? I’m going to say no, but that’s because Marvel is different than DC Comics in that the follow-up to most Marvel’s major events usually provides a new, fresh slate to fill with new stories with established characters. DC empties a slate and fills it with stories in an attempt to reinvent characters–in case you wondered how I thought the DCU operates, particularly in the past five years.
My main issue with Secret Wars has been all the tie-ins. At first, they all looked too good to be true. While Planet Hulk, Amazing Spider-Man Renew Your Vows, Where Monsters Dwell, and Weirdworld have been incredible, X-Men ‘92, Xtinction Agenda, Inferno, and Age of Apocalypse have all fallen by the wayside. Oh, wait, the latter titles are all X-Men-related comics. (Old Man Logan, I guess, is an exception. Maybe?)
Isn’t that peculiar? (No.)
I’ve spent some coin on the Secret Wars tie-ins, a lot of coin, and I can’t say that I’ve been satisfied. Over the past two years, I’ve lost faith in the events of Marvel and DC. It just feels like they develop titles to only make money. Story is no longer the driving force. Marvel and DC put out too many titles. I never thought I would say that. One positive thing Marvel has going for them in this final quarter of the year is their amount of monthly titles are, in fact, almost cut in half. True, there were many Secret Wars tie-ins added into the mix over September and October, but some of the tie-in titles are finished or close to completion, thankfully. It now looks as if my list, at least, will be cut down in the coming months, and that’s a good thing. Back to the norm.
With that said, Secret Wars #6 finally comes out today. I’m honestly going to have to go back and read issue five again. The book came out on August 12th. Almost two months since issue five and in the midst of the “summer’s biggest comic book event,” we have to go back and read what previously happened. You shouldn’t have to do that with one of the biggest stories of the year. Still, like I said, it’s probably going to be super-awesome. Oh, comics, you slay me.
[EDITOR’S NOTE: Your incessant flip-flopping slays me.]
Image Comics has dominated 2015. There are so many interesting titles. Although some may end sooner than I would like them to (ahem, Chrononauts), I have enjoyed a lot of books under the Image imprint.
When it comes to Image titles, I follow the creators. I’ll read anything written by Brian K. Vaughan. His most recent venture, We Stand On Guard, is totally badass. What if the U.S. finally decided to take over Canada? Why? I’m pumping my fist that the fourth issue drops on the same day as Vaughan’s newest series, Paper Girls. I’ve been told this new book is a must-read. Guys like Robert Kirkman are already touting the book’s brilliance. He knows his shit. We all should be checking out Paper Girls today.
Another writer in 2015 I swear by is Jeff Lemire. Descender is an excellent series, which will continue later on this year. I’ve raved about it in the past. The last time I blogged about comics, Plutona issue one came out that Wednesday. Later in the same week, I spoke a bit about it on my podcast. The second issue comes out today and we all will (possibly) find out what happened to “Plutona?” As the misfits gathered and headed into the woods, I felt they would stumble upon something in which they shouldn’t. I was right. This title has promise. Emi Lenox and Jordie Bellaire provide the perfect artistic style in order to tell this story. I can’t wait to read issue two.
What else I can say about Southern Bastards? In the past, I said you don’t have to be a football fan to read this series. The actual playing of football is secondary to everything else going on. So many interesting characters bring this book to life. Craw County, Alabama is so “real.” I love Euless Boss. He’s so conflicted and confused. His right-hand man, Esaw Goings, is also interesting. Everyone in Craw needs to keep their eyes on this a-hole. This book is wonderful. Jason Aaron comics are essential reading in 2015.
I have to talk a little about the Star Wars comics. They’re so dope. Let’s start with the “sleeper” of all the series released by Marvel. Star Wars: Lando is a heist book where Lando Calrissian (in the period of time between A New Hope and Empire) steals what he doesn’t know is an Imperial shuttle personally owned by The Emperor, or Darth Sidious–whatever. Anyway, The Emperor sends Chanath Cha after Lando and his crew. Cha is one of the coolest-looking villains introduced in this new run of comics. He has a Boba Fett style of cool. Let’s hope he actually does something. I think Charles Soule snags the feel of a classic Star Wars tale given all the typical elements embedded within all the great stories within the universe.
Journey to Star Wars: A Force Awakens – Shattered Empire is the comic that bridges the gap between Jedi and the upcoming film out December 18th. In talking with the guys at A Comic Shop, we all agreed we had no idea the story would take place immediately after Return of the Jedi’s conclusion. All the characters are still spread out and whatnot. Han and Leia still have to take down the rest of the Imperial forces on Endor. Apparently, they didn’t get the memo (which I love).
We’re about to get the first “event” (oh no) from the new Star Wars comic universe entitled “Vader Down.” I’ve already explained how the Darth Vader series is the essential book to read out of them all. With the way things are headed, Vader is about to be outed as, more or less, a traitor because he hired his “apprentice,” Aphra, to steal a large amount of Imperial credits. How in the hell is he going to get out of this situation? The Imperial investigator is pretty solid, and clearly not afraid of Vader. That speaks volumes.
The aforementioned Jason Aaron is killing it on the Star Wars self-titled series as well. We got Han and Leia running from the Empire with the help of Sana Solo, Han’s “wife.” Luke is looking for the Jedi Temple on Coruscant, hasn’t found it, and is now under the custody of one of the Hutts, who just so happens to be a collector of Jedi artifacts. I can’t remember his name without looking it up. We’ll call him “Harry.” As it turns out (at this point), Luke is “the last Jedi,” and also the ultimate “prize,” according to “Harry.” I get the vibe “Harry” isn’t necessarily a bad guy, but he’s not to be trusted quite yet.
I’m telling you, the Star Wars comics are currently the best material Marvel puts on the shelves month-to-month. This is also due to the fact so many of us are over the Secret Wars lull. I know there is going to be a huge payoff, and I’m looking forward to it. (Partly so we can move on.) I cannot wait for the X-Men rollout.
I’m hoping the X-Men will become the book of readers sick of the Avengers-related stuff–the movies, not the current comic book stuff that is gearing more towards the movie universe nonsense. I mean, it’s not nonsense, but it’s not the comics either and the comics should influence the films, not the other way around.
I could go on and on.
[EDITOR’S NOTE: Please. Wrap it up.]
Next week I’ll talk a little about Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios, Orlando. I have a “Frequent Fear Pass.” After a few trips, I think I have the layout memorized enough. I’ll likely be back there at some point this weekend. A long time ago I came up with a guy who hides in bushes and jumps out to scare people passing by. The “Bushmen” are real at Universal. Surreal.
Until next time!
Matt de Simone is the owner, operator, and oracle behind MattyLoves.com, a brand of blogs and podcasts dedicated to comic book-centric topics. Matt loves comics. It says that on the blog. He grew up being called “Matty.” It started out as a nickname. It turned into a way of life. Now, it’s going to hopefully get Matt a friggin’ job.