23 April 2012

Hitting the read pile

My read pile of comics has been getting depressingly long while I spend the weeks working in Cardiff and the weekends going to the theatre and doing a few mandatory household chores.

I got the opportunity to attack the problem on a rare Saturday morning off having paid a visit to Ace Comics in Richmond the day before to get all my latest issues.

This is what I read, starting from the bottom and working to the top.

Mark Millar has been on scintillating form in recent years (Fantastic Four, Ultimates, Wanted, Kick-Ass, etc.) and I started off with three of his.

Kick-Ass is probably most famous for putting very rude words in to the mouth of an 11 year old girl who kills lots of people so the end of book 2 comes as a shock and sets up the Hit Girl comic nicely.

I've read The Avengers for more years than is probably sensible and now, like the X-Men, I find I am largely reading it because I have always read it. The current run is competent enough but lacks the excitement of, say, the Englehart years. The Avengers have also spread in to three or more monthly comics but I stick with just the main title.

X-Factor (nothing to do with the tv show!) is completely different. I read this just because it is good. Peter David has been writing it forever and he mixes characterisation and complex plot twists excellently.

I've recently picked-up New Mutants again now that Dan Ablett is writing it. Dan writes more than anybody else I know and he sure knows how to craft a story. That's why I read it.

Iron Man also has several comics to his name, thanks to the films, but I read just the original title that is now steered confidently by Matt Fraction. Here we see Tony Stark the genius at work, rather than just some guy in a powerful suit. Yes, there is fighting but it is not all physical, some of it is political or commercial. It now has the same cool feel it did during the unsurpassed era of David Michelinie and Bob Layton.

The read pile is not any noticeably shorter than it was before but I had a lot of fun digging my way through some of it.

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