Hey true believers! Your friends at Hold 322 decided to take a little break this week (we’ve recorded 52 weeks in a row, I think a break is well deserved), but rest assured, oh frantic ones, that the boys will be back next week with their take on all things comic book!

Still, comics were published this last week and were bought. So here’s my take on last week’s stack:

Buffy the Vampire Slayer #14 – Billy the Vampire Slayer… 3.5/5 stars

This was an interesting read, considering I picked it up on National Coming Out Day, and it stars a gay kid who doesn’t fit in in his small town or high school. Billy spends his evenings out by the airport, with jets roaring over his head and trains himself in boxing by day. But he’s still a teenager and has his crush on a boy, Devon, that he thinks is straight, and therefore, unattainable. But the Zompires have come to town and Billy and Devon decide it’s up to them to dust them. Billy is the slayer and Devon is the Watcher? In a world without magic, but a Zompire infestation… why not?

Phantom Stranger #1 3.5/5 stars

We get the New 52’s first appearance of Raven, and the Phantom Stranger is a jerk (and a family man?). Great artwork. Though Trigon’s eyes were weird in this rendition. For years his extra 4 eyes were smaller eyes on his forehead, now he’s got just one set on his forehead and one set on his cheeks. I think it gives him a more alien look, rather than a demonic look. Oh, and the smoking horns didn’t work for me. But that’s mostly a nit-pick to what was a great story by Dan Didio. I think I’ll follow the Stranger for a few more issues and see what happens.

Batgirl #13 – Prelude to Death of the Family 4/5 stars

I think they just wanted to do the nifty covers for all of the Bat-Family this month, so they called this a prelude. Really there’s one part that has anything to do with that, the rest is just a wrap-up of the previous story arc. And this wasn’t a rushed wrap-up. On the contrary, Gail Simone gave us an action-packed conclusion that was almost worth the wait caused by the Zero issue.


Batman #13 – Death of the Family 5 stars – Pick of the Week!

We’ve heard Jeff gush about Scott Snyder for the past year on the show. I’ve agreed that he’s a good writer, but wasn’t quite ready to jump on the Snyder bandwagon. I did point out how amazing his take was on Mister Freeze, normally a semi-silly villain, Snyder made him terrifying. With that in mind, I couldn’t wait for Snyder’s take on The Joker, and he truly delivered. The Joker has always been the most consistent villain the Batman’s had, but over the decades the various writers have never made him much more than a joke. That is until Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons gave us “The Killing Joke“, but even then, he wasn’t as scary… Snyder’s Joker has me scared. There’s a 4 page backup story in the issue featuring Harley Quinn and the Joker, and it freaked me out. This whole face-off thing where Detective Comics scribe and artist, Tony S Daniel had his new villain Dollmaker carve off the Joker’s face. I have an image of a meeting where they tell Snyder this, and he just sighs and says, “Fine. I’ll fix that mess when I bring him back.” He does. Because what’s scarier than the Joker grinning at you? The Joker with his face stapled on and grinning at you. Don’t wait another minute! If this isn’t on your pull list, go pick up #13 and jump on board.

Uncanny Avengers #1 2.5/5 stars

This one fell flat. Too much going on in assembling this new team, and John Cassiday’s art seems rushed compared to his work on Astonishing X-Men. Still, one panel really stood out for me, and I’ve included it here for your amusement… Jeff likes Lattes, too. I’m hoping this one comes together in a few issues, the dynamics Rick Remender is creating between the characters should make this a great series, but I’ve been fooled by him before (Secret Avengers).

Captain America #18 3/5 stars

The stand out character in this issue is our favorite SHIELD honcho, “Dum-Dum” Dugan. He kicks ass! The rest, well, it was nice to have an end (finally) to the whole “Bravo” story line. I was sick of that after the first issue. Next issue will be Brubaker’s last Cap story, and as much as “Emo-Steve” has been the norm lately, I’ve truly enjoyed this series with Brubaker at the helm. Particularly that short period where Bucky took on Cap’s mantle and shield. And to that end, I still get Brubaker’s great work with Bucky on the Winter Soldier series.


Invincible Iron Man #526 3/5 stars

This ends that endless Mandarin story arc, but pays off in a big way. Tony is back, and of all the Marvel NOW! restarts that are coming, I’m looking forward to the new Iron Man the most.





Avengers #31 4/5 stars

Bendis is penning his final story arc for the Avengers, and it looks to me like he’s apologizing. First we get Wonder Man coming back, explaining that there’s something psychologically going on with him that he doesn’t understand, but it caused him to hate the Avengers. The Red Hulk gets his ass kicked by Wonder Man, and most of it is left without a resolution, but at least that’s something. Meanwhile we keep seeing this auburn haired, blue-eyed woman fleeing across what looks like Tatooine on a speeder bike being chased by aliens. She reaches a settlement and we see these molecule chains in the night sky. Ah! We’re in Marvel’s Microverse, sometimes called Innerspace. Gotcha. Her faced is wrapped up like a mummy’s, but she hands a guy an Avengers Priority Card and tells him to send a signal to Macrospace. So let’s see what we’ve got here… an auburn-haired, blue-eyed woman lost in Innerspace, where you have to be shrunk down to the size of an electron to reach it, and she has an Avengers priority card? Any guesses on who that might be? I hope I’m right, because her “death” was a waste, in my opinion, and really was just Bendis saying he didn’t know how to write her.

Wow. you’ve made it this far? Awesome! So here’s my final volley. What you should look for on shelves tomorrow…

From DC: 

Justice League #13 – We hope it’s good, but it’s been hit or miss for this book for a while…

Nightwing #13 – Consistently one of the best books DC puts out.

From Marvel:

Hawkeye #3 – Why haven’t you added this to your pull list yet?

Gambit #2 – The cover intrigues me… no trenchcoat? No silly armor? Issue #1 sold out at my local retailler, maybe there’s something to this?

From IDW:

Zaucer of Zilk #1 – psychedelic goodness from the pages of Britain’s 2000 AD. Check it out!