Professor Seedy’s Weekly Progress Report for 5.21.2014

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Because there was a delay, a sneak peek at 5.28.2014 is also included. Enjoy

Title Art Story Characterization Originality Format Grade
Archer Coe 12 & 13 + + + + + A
Like a good song on repeat each time though we discover more than before
Artifacts 37 + + / / / B-
Modern numerology is used in a spell binding lovecraftian tinged manhunt
Avengers World 06 + / + / / B-
Thought provoking existential crisis for hyperion
BPRD HonE + + + / / B
Chapter ends with a dark and murky stale mate between humans and demons
Bad Dreams 02 + / + / C
Spectaculary colored bad dream is fouled up by state the obvious word balloons
Title Art Story Characterization Originality Format Grade
Superman & Wonder Woman / / / / D
Wonder Woman tracks down her no good cheating bf Superman by contacting all his ex’s. Yeah, that happened.
Batman/Superman + / / / / C
trapped in the phantom zone, everyone decide to think like Clark although that lead them to this situation in the first place.
Batman & Frankenstein 31 + + / / / B-
Bruce & Frank reconcile the whole torture rip frank apart to find his souls essence transgressions made from grief
Batman Eternal 07 + + + / / B
Blood + Chaos begins to floods the streets while the Falcone chokes Gotham back into submission.
Batwoman 31 / / + + / B-
Too many sides stories with no payoff.
Title Art Story Characterization Originality Format Grade
Birds of Prey 31 / / F
Nightcrawler dude tries to kill commissioner. Simple but the writers repeat this over and over and… Gordon lives of course.
Brain Boy & GESALT / / F
too much time spent on lovers realizing they dont know each other. Not even the psychic nor his girlfriend.
Cyclops 01 + / + / + B
Relatable story about a son reconnecting with is father by going on a space pirate adventure.
Danger Girl Mayday 02 + / + / / B-
Part exploitation part 80’s action hero about a hero remembering her past life by kicking ass.
Daredevil 03 + + + / / B
A smart balance of daredevil + murdock infiltrating the owls hideout.
Title Art Story Characterization Originality Format Grade
Deadpool Annual 02 + + + / / B
When Spidey’s paranoia isn’t enough, he gets help from his favorite paranoid schizophrenic
East of West 12 + + + + / A-
If only the UN peace talks where this exciting
Elektra 02 + + + / / B
A literary antihero tale as elektra confronts lady bullseye
Flash Gordon 02 / / + / / C
Not even Flash’s logical comrades can stop him from leaping into be the best man.
Ghosted 10 + + + / / B
The end of each arc is a new nightmare for our poor SOB protagonist Jackson
Title Art Story Characterization Originality Format Grade
Green Hornet 12 + + + / / B
Everything great about the new wave of pulp/noir can be summed up in Mark Waid’s Green Hornet
Green Lantern New Guardians / / / / / C-
a morally ambiguous save the planet story that failed to pull any heart strings or urgency
Harley Quinn 06 / F-
Panel one starts off with a 69 between Syborg & Harley. The rest is a really bad slapstick refractory period.
Henchmen 01 / + + + / B
A fun kickstarter indie take on an average Joe becoming a henchman
Hulk 03 + + + + / A-
Banner’s Jigsaw mind is slowing piecing itself together after Zombified Abomination Smashes Hulk into sleepytime
Title Art Story Characterization Originality Format Grade
Invincible 111 + / / / / C
No one is invincible as Image favorite writer Robert Kirkman steps in for some gory surprises
Justice League 30 + + + / / B-
Can Lex rebuild the ignorant Justice League before it is too late.
Justice League America 14 + / / / / C
A catch up and debrief acts as a prelude to Justice League United
Knowledge 04 + / / D
The Pious and Angst tone of Cradle as been done a million times & bludgeons the plot down to a crawl
LOLA XoXo 02 + / / / C-
Well that merry go round of a plot was fast but pretty.
Title Art Story Characterization Originality Format Grade
Magneto 04 + + + + / A-
Although we’re given a reason for his rampage, Erik’s cold lack of remorse and empathy never asks for our sympathy
Magnus Robot Fighter 03 + + + + + A
Magnus moves from being a myth to a hero in this smart and well paced action satire
Mind the Gap 17 + / / / + B-
Act 2 is off to a slow start but we’re already given plot twists to wet our appetite.
Monsters & Madmen + + + C
Niles beautifully stitched together a plot about Frank’s Bride but the ending tragically fell apart.
MPH + + + / + A-
Slick dialogue & relatable characters help us slide into this rise of the Anti-Hero story arc
Title Art Story Characterization Originality Format Grade
Nim 01 / + + / / B-
This reads like a fun smashup between an afterschool special and lil’ Red Sonja
Nova 17 + + + + + A
A somber break about a a cosmic boy learning his powers can’t help the reality and problems of a single parent household
Original Sin 02 + / / + / B-
A bunch of fun, banter, chases, and other busy work which leads up to an anti climatic reveal
Powers the Bureau 10 + + + + + A
Well played, Bendis. Christian’s interrogation was slick, smart and one of the best in the comic medium.
Prophet 44 + + + + + A
A mesmerizing odyssey which respects and fears the loneliness of exploring the new and unknown.
Title Art Story Characterization Originality Format Grade
Red Hood & The Outlaws / / + / / C
The not Lobo Pulls a bond villian moment and loses to the Outlaws while putting himself in real Lobo’s crosshairs
Rocket Girl 05 + + + + + A
Rocket Girl blasts through the finish line of the first arc and leaves us charged for more.
RogueTrooper 04 + / + / / B-
War is Hell and Rogue feels why
Saga 19 + / + / / C
Something different this one reads. We’ve stepped away from smart fantasy and into boring melodrama sitcom.
Sinestro 02 + + / / / B
Sinestro kills off his darlings in order to promote growth and unity in his corps.
Title Art Story Characterization Originality Format Grade
Solar Man of the Atom + + + + /
Erika learns how to kill giant goo spitting robots with E= MC motherfucking Square.
Supergirl 31 / / / / / C-
Not exactly a raging Red Lantern issue, more of supergirl being a naïve kryptonian.
Superman Doomed 01 + + + / + A-
Holy Doomsday, Batman. Did Supes just rip Doomsday in half and inhale his bloody remains?
Future’s End 0 + / + / + B
The Eye has decimated everything so let’s defeat time, death, Batman, Superman, Frankenstein… Yep, that’s the plan
Future’s End 02 / / + + / B-
The story starts to pull itself together as our hero’s fall apart at Oliver Queen’s funeral
Title Art Story Characterization Originality Format Grade
Future’s End 03 + + / / / B-
Just when we though the DCU couldn’t get more cynical. So far Grifter is the strongest element of this series.
Uncanny X Men 21 + / + / / B-
We circles around a bunch of paranoid subplot without getting anywhere.
Ultimate FF 02 / F-
Ew, the art is an eyesore and the copy and paste dialogue lacks any natural voice or conversational tone.
All New Invaders 03 / / / / D
Everything came together like a campy Hasbro cartoon.
All Star Western 31 + / / + / B-
Hex and Tuhullah have an interesting style of foreplay
Title Art Story Characterization Originality Format Grade
Aquaman 31 + + / / C
Aquaman spends most of his time punching Swampthings treetrunks
Archer Coe 14 + + + + + A
A consistantly smart and well paced conclusion to this years best non hero story
Avengers 30 + + + / / B
We are flung 50 years into the future to learn Tony is still a selfish bastard
Batman 31 + / + / / B-
Some good action but Riddles & Wit were disappointingly defeated by Batman’s brawn.
Batman Eternal 08 + + + / / B
With no allies or law enforcement left, Batman must find Falcone’s linchpin before it’s too late for Gotham
Title Art Story Characterization Originality Format Grade
C.O.W.L. 01 + + + / + A-
A new Watchman-esque series with brutal dialogue and action.
Captain Midnight 11 / / + / / C
Time and Loss are catching up to Captain Midnight while the plot takes too many easy way outs
Catwoman 31 / + + / / B-
A smart heist involving some easter eggs dropped in previous issues and arcs.
Chew/ Revival + / + / C
Great Character interaction but the plot was very underwhelming and lacked the pull to keep turning the page.
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Professor Seedy’s Weekly Progress Report 5.14.2014

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Title Art Story Character Originality Format Grade
2000AD #1881 + / + + + A-
Each well drawn and written six page exploitation is cheeky SciFi spliced with 20th century history tropes.
Abe Sapien #12 The Garden + + + + / A-
Hypnotizing southern gothic narrating us through the apcalyptic end times with an art style just as foreboding.
Action Comics #31 / + + + / B
Interesting duality between Superman and Doomsday and the morality of having blind faith in Superman.
After Life with Archie #05 + + + + + A
We’ve left our life in Riverdale and there’s none better to lead us away than Francavilla & Sacasa
All New Ghost Rider #03 + / D-
Beautiful action can’t rescue the bogged down pacing from the superfluous and pointless word balloons.
All New Ultimates #02 + + + + B
Despite half the book being an action scene, Ultimates proves we can still have intrigue and character development.
All New X Men #27 + + + / / B
Although we’re attacking the base again with excessive double page spreads, it still feels fresh and captivating.
Amelia Cole & The Enemy Unleashed / / / + / C
Slap & paste plot made it difficult to follow Amelia and her comrades.
Americas Army FCBD + F
Half the comic is a debriefing the other half was a reused issue while both lacked action.
Archer Coe & 1000 Natural Shocks 10 & 11 + + + + / A-
The pacing was smooth and each plot reveal and character development enhanced the mystery
Archie 655 + + + + + A
Suspending belief is rewarded with a fun romp through 50’s culture and Sci-Fi with some dashes of modern irony
Ash & the Army of Darkness 07 + / / / C-
Plot adds some to Ash’s past but it felt just as much of a throw away as this issue.
Astro City 12 + + + + + A
Wow, this was an excellent reminder of why we love stories about villains.
Atomic Robo & Friends FCBD + / + + / B
A quirky and fun Sunday Comic Strip style story
Avengers 29 + + + + / A-
A gripping Illuminati story which divides the pious Captain and the amoral Iron Man
Avengers Undercover 04 + + + + A-
Repercussions from killing Arcade is used to unveil human natures and individual identities.
Batgirl 31 / / / / / C-
Creepy action from rag doll wasn’t able to overshadow the awful melodrama
Bloodshot & Hard Corps + + + / / B
Surprising twists turns the issue into a captivating techno thriller when Bloodshot goes rogue.
Captain America 20 + / + C-
There’s some novelty with the Dream within a Dream trope otherwise it severely lacked any development
Captain Marvel 03 + + + + B
Complex cast and a dynamic plot that wonderfully balanced human emotion with a cosmic adventure.
Clive Barker’s Next Testament 09 / + + + / B
God moves in psychopathic ways and ends up being challenged by his chosen heralds.
Constantine 14 + / / / / C
Great artwork but the story had some tonal inconsistencies
Deadly Hands of Kung Fu + / D-
Great Kung Fu action couldn kick the awfully unoriginal story and characters into shape.
Deadpool 28 + + / / + B
Because of some Pokemon drop outs and Deadpool’s extravagance, the honeymoon turns into a fun and hot pursuit
Deadpool vs Carnage 03 + + / + B-
Instead of just grinding out the death toll the creative splatter and humor keep it from being monotonous.
Deceivers 05 / / / D-
Because the pacing is too quick for the deceit to sink in, the protagonist seem to have precognition or omniscience
Uncle Scrooge & Donald Duck FCBD + + + + + A
A great FCBD double whammy which has smart and memorable laughs
Epic 0 / / F
another bored and cliché millennial using superheroics as a form of escapism
Fables 140 + / / + / B-
Plenty of metafictional humor and irony to keep flipping the pages
Les Miserables Fall of Fantine + / + / + B
Magna art style compliments Fantines emotional tragedy
Federal Bureau of Physics 10 + + + + + A
Great character development which twists around reality warping machines and spooks
Gravel combat Magician 04 + / D-
Bloody awful english stereotype offensively gets in the way of his own story.
Green Lantern Corps 31 + / / / + B-
The pacing from the breakout and riot let’s the desperation and gravity slip through its fingers
Grimm Fairy Tales Annual 2014 / / + / / C
The story and artwork were bland and lacked any fantastical elements that make this series shine.
Robyn Hood Vol 3.4 / / + + / B-
Rich with needed character development from introspection and plot twists
The Dark One + + + / B-
A god and mortal romance which twists various Fairy tales and religious mythology together.
Hellboy In Hell 06 + + + + + A
Art & writing create a world full of myths, characters, and humor which prompt to be reread multiple times
Iron Man 25 + + + / + A-
A well pace and excellent beat down which put the fear back into Malekithe
Jack Kraken / + / + / B-
Action cop with squid arms shoots ghosts and zebra people. Why not?
JailBait / / / D-
A counterproductive finale and sexist artwork finish off a story about sex trafficing.
Judge Dredd + / + C-
Campy but creative fight sequences emerge while fighting the dark judges
Justice League United 01 + / + + + A-
An alien super baby with three tentacle nipples & other unexpected surprises from this cheeky group
Krampus 05 + / + + / B
This tale has been wrapped up with a nice little bow on top. Hope to see them next fall.
Minimum Wage 05 + + + + + A
Our favorite everyday man is getting back in the saddle while facing ultra relatable insecurities & awkward situations.
Miss Fury 11 + + + + + A
A self contained time stepping and mind bending adventure of what makes Miss Fury tick
New Avengers 18 + + + + + A
Illuminati weight the moral consequences of saving their own universe by destroying other universes and fighting superheros.
Nightcrawler 02 / + / / C-
Go exploring in Kurt & Amanda’s past before tripping in some major plot holes.
Quantum & Woody 10 + + + + + A
Another clever adventure of Woody bumbling and sucker punching his way through dating, robbing, and being an awful brother.
Secret Avengers 03 + + + + + A
Ales Kot finally delivers a twisted and fun brain hemorrhage which Kot is know for.
United States of Murder Inc + / / + + B
What if the mafia won alt history with just enough character development and plot to hook us in.
Superboy 31 + + + / / B
This is an electrifying and witty fun ride.

Black Science Vol. 1 (2014) Review

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STORY BY Rick Remender

ART BY Matteo Scalera

COLORS BY Dean White

Black Science is a genre redefining science fiction epic. Rick Remender and Matteo Scalera take us on a reality hoping adventure with a team of flawed ego-maniacal scientists. They’ve just finished building “The Pillar” which allows people to travel to alternate dimensions. They describe it like an onion, the Pillar slides them down through layers of reality to presumably arrive at the core and foundation to all realities. Nevertheless, all is not well since the Pillar had been sabotaged and is constantly jumping the team from one hostile dimension to the next.

Although each jump usually leads the team to a more desperate location, to stay behind will inevitably forfeit their chances of ever going home. With the diminishing crew dying off, even if they choose to carry on who knows how long until it leads to their ultimate destruction. Meanwhile, there’s the chance the Pillar itself is cracking through realities and making all of existence unstable.

Unlike other similar stories such as Fantastic Four, Lost in Space, or Sliders, Remender always puts the danger in the foreground. The peril and doom is just as prominent as any character whether it’s coming from sources such as Frog Warriors, possessed primates, or getting caught in a genocide war or much more. It also serves as the primary motivation for Grant and the team to get everyone back to their own reality. If that wasn’t enough, there’s constant inner-group conflict revolving around power struggles and trust.

As the story progresses, we discover that the team has just as many layers as an Onion. In many stories a character like Grant would be the hero or all round good guy; however, Remender doesn’t insult the readers with stereotypes, cliches, or overused tropes. Instead, Remender likes to bring healthy doses of realism to his characters. From little Pia to Kadir, each is well defined with their own personal flaws, self absorbed motivations, as well as their brilliance and fearlessness. A large amount of tension stems from conflicts between all these very diverse set of characters. This isn’t to say the characters aren’t likable. In fact, not only are the readers able to connect to these characters, but also their realistic portrayal helps anchor us down in this unbelievable epic. For example, we see Grant break away from the idealism and conventional nature of explores and scientists. Each new threat or revealed secret peels back another layer of Grant’s ego until only his raw and primal nature remains. Perhaps he sums it up best when he says,

“Ideology is masturbation. A jerk-off afforded to those few privileged with time on their hands and no wolves at the door. Put that shit to the test in the field. This is what you get. A savage monkey willing to die so long as he destroys his enemy”.

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Also, Remender isn’t afraid to sacrifice lives in order to remain true to the tale. By issue six, the readers have already seen some prominent characters die. With a steady death count, most writers fail to keep the readers from becoming detached. However, each life which is lost, no matter how small their role, is always a gut punch to the readers. Because we care about these people, it adds just that much more tension and feeling of risk. Once again, this shows how much talent is embedded in the writing.

Meanwhile, Matteo Scalera does an excellent job of balancing the familiar with the exotic. Each creature, plant, civilization looks somewhat familiar while simultaneously new and exotic. The eyes never feel like they are staring at another world or planet; rather, they are looking at this world from a flipped and reinvented perspective. Furthermore, praise also goes to Scalera and his team’s endurance for being able to completely rebuild our world from issue to issue. Each new dimension has its own unique and defining characteristics, and it’s always a dark and beautiful treat for the eyes.

At the end of the first arc, we’re left with a nail biting conclusion that Remender has only just begun this ride. He’s kicked off a dynamic and beautiful tale which is willing to challenge conventional story telling and examine how human nature and destiny fit into scientific and technological progress.

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Rat Queens: Campaign 1 (2014) Review

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STORY BY Kurtis J. Wiebe

ART BY Roc Upchurch

For those old, new and current gamers of dice throwing Role Playing Games of any sort, Rat Queens is your mistress. The campaign has the cliché underlying mystery with a few small battles which build up to one major all epic of epicness battle sure to top every battle until the end of the next story arc.

However, this isn’t what makes Rat Queen’s so special. It’s the fact that every loud mouth character is a perfect iteration of the people we use to chuck dice and level grind with. Betty is the social and provocative butterfly who always brings the candy and drinks. Jerk know-it-all Hannah endlessly pulls spells out of her ass to save the day while effortlessly pissing everyone off. Meanwhile, Violet would rather rely on her armor class and attacks rather than her intelligence checks to solve any problem. Then there’s the quiet and mysterious Dee who spends an obnoxious amount of time juggling her backstory and healing the Rat Queens. Finally there’s Sawyer who takes on the role of being the passive game master who just wants to try and push these vulgar degenerates into the direction of some sort of quest.

Unlike other takes on the RPG genre, this series doesn’t get bogged down with the quests or backstories. Instead, it relies on quips and quick jabs at each other to move the pacing along. Even when there are brutal fights with explosive guts and brain matter, chances are the readers are still laughing from the Rat Queen’s hijinks. The Rat Queen’s also make sure to wink or stumble towards the fourth wall cleverly letting us in on the joke.

The Rat Queen’s as well as all the other guild’s are adorned with garb which is part fantasy and part contemporary. This is a nice touch and it’s easy to imagine people dressed similarly at the next Live Action Role Playing gathering or Renaissance Festival. At first glance the lines seem jagged and the characters are abstract caricatures. However, with closer examination the amount of exhausting depth and detail pops out to a photorealistic quality. Rather it be from the physical traits such as eyes, ears, hands, or the backgrounds contrasting with the foregrounds through the use of shading, focus, and textures, or the simple and small tears in the fabric and flesh, each panel is a feast for the eyes. For an indie release, it’s amazing Roc Upchurch is able to pull off the coloring, inking, drawing with just his own two hands.

Although this might seem like a niche release, it’s ridiculously enjoyable for even the level one readers. Even if one misses a few issues, Kurtis J Wiebe writes a way where any issue can be a jumping on point. Once again, this series doesn’t get bogged down with an epic overarching story where if you missed the castoff you better wait until the next arc begins. Instead, just like a great campaign ran by a great storyteller, each issue is a great opportunity to join in for a great laugh. Rat Queens is just that great.

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Pretty Deadly Vol. 1 (2014) Review

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STORY BY Kelly Sue DeConnick

ART BY Emma Rios

COLORS BY Jordie Bellaire

DeConnick uses heavy parables combined with abstract forms of art and storytelling. This combination creates a surrealist mystery. However, the story blooms perfectly, and every detail only reinforces the path to the end. For example, each character has a name or appearance which are symbolic for the American myth they represent. Johnny Coyote is a trickster, Old man Fox is a thief, Sissy the vulture girl represents death while this dreamlike story is carried on the wings of the butterfly. Because the myth is set during the early 19th century wild west, the natural landscape also helps establish the earthy tone of the other mythological aspects.

Furthermore, Rios and Bellaire’s style of artwork and coloring looked more handcrafted than the usual polish and shine Image is known for putting out. Because they went with pencil sketched art and colors that weren’t overly inked or glossy, the art not only depicts dreamlike settings and characters but also the personal touch looks like a story from an earlier time. This isn’t to say the art and colors are minimalistic or indie. In contrary, the artwork is beautiful and detailed from the eyes to the skull landscape of deaths domain to the kinetic action scenes. In fact, the gun battles and sword fights in this story were exceptionally brutal and flowed with a brilliant understanding of pacing and movement.

With Deconnick’s mastery over storytelling and Rios and Bellaire’s artwork, the reader can’t help but soak in every detail from every frame and word the flows from one panel to the next. What the creators give us is an enchanting coming of age and changing of the guard tale. Because everything came together perfectly in the end, it’s hard to imagine where they will go next. However, with the world building from the artwork, plot and the short story supplements, it’s understandable why it would be hard to walk away from Ginny and Sissy.