It feels so good to be caught up with my comic books. I may fall behind over the next few weeks, because a pair of NSF deadlines are approaching, along with the final stretch on our new exhibit at the MNCH.

This week I’m also planning on posts discussing some of my recent publications, as well as a short post describing my experiences with online teaching.

But for now, here are my weekly-ish comic book reviews.


Who knows what evil lurks in the heart of Russia?

The Shadow #20. Roberson, Timpano, Guerra. ***
The Shadow has begun his jaunt behind the Iron Curtain. The story is engaging without being compelling, worthy of three stars. I did appreciate the psychological portrait of gulag prisoners, but I didn’t feel like it drove the events of the story.

Deadpool #20. Posehn, Duggan, Koblish, Staples. ****
Deadpool, reeling from the very special issue last month, presents another “inventory issue”. This one sends up the Kirby-Lee style storytelling and art of Marvel’s Silver Age, and does not disappoint. I admit that my lack of  Marvel back story knowledge leaves me unsure which characters are new additions and which are authentic, but I don’t care. I’m curious now which of these will show up in subsequent issues.

Deadpool Annual #1. Acker, Blacker, Shaner, Gandini. *****
I didn’t know I needed a Deadpool Annual, but I did. Well worth the $4.99 entry fee, this book tells the story of the origin and loss of Deadpool’s secondary internal voice. Favorite moment: Thor’s statement that he “…was passing hence for but a latte most vanilla and espied this battle unfairly number’d two ‘gainst one.”

I don’t understand, but it seems to have something to do with butterflies.


Pretty Deadly #2. DeConnick, Rios, Bellaire, Cowles. ***
I added this book to my pull list because of  the way the first issue set off the Brian Wood sexual harassment debacle. It’s quite beautiful, and it feels like the story is telling something important about human nature and the strength of the feminine. But I can’t be sure, because I found it so confusing. I’m hoping to get a reprint of #1, because it sold out… Maybe that will help me understand. If not, I’ll just try to get it from context in the new issues. It seems worth the $3.50 just for the art. Plus: no ads, and the women are not all drawn in the typical idealized comic-book way.

Legends of Red Sonja #2. Simone, Brook, Pierce, Jadson, Rubi, James. ****
The second issue of this anthology series continues to delight. I didn’t think it was quite as good as #1, but still worth the time. I appreciate the way the stories use tales of adventure to provide new insight into Sonja’s character.