All posts by Noob of All Trades

Shawn Lucas is the self identified "Noob of All Trades". He is married and the father of three boys, two of whom help with their own podcast every couple of months. Raised on Atari, Nintendo, and Sega, he enjoys all games and will play all of them to the best of his ability, which is often average at best. Currently, he is most interested in Magic, Heroclix, and other games that he can play with Chris and his sons.

Age of Sigmar Painting Update #1

Introduction

For much of the last decade, I wanted to learn how to play one of the miniature based combat games. I tried Warmachine and Hordes because I heard they came with a lower price point for beginners. Then, for some reason, I picked up a Warhammer 40k Battle Box a few months ago. I pained a couple of the models and played through the tutorial scenarios in the game. More recently, I saw an add for a subscription box for Warhammer. It takes a step by step approach to the hobby. And, so, I come with my Age of Sigmar painting update #1.

Instructions for undercoating the models.

Stormcast Eternals

I started with the forces of order, mainly because that’s how the instructions went. Also, they only make you paint 6 models for the Stormcast Eternals. That way, if I flaked out again, I could just work to finish them instead of undercoating a bunch of models and having colorful piles of plastic in my pile of shame.

Both sets of unpainted miniatures

Painting the Stormcast Eternals came quite easy actually. They warn that you may need to paint up to 3 coats to cover patchiness and mistakes, but I only used one for them. See for yourself, but I think they came out pretty good after that first coat. Before moving on, I will probably assess again and add a contingency coat if necessary.

Kruleboyz

After the quick success of the Stormcast Eternals, I wrongly thought that the Kruleboyz would go just as smoothly. I should have known better. As forces of chaos, they want to make my life a living hell. While that’s a bit dramatic, after a first coat on them, I see what they meant with the warning of patchiness and needing extra coats.

Unpainted Kruleboyz

I didn’t take a picture after a first coat for them. You might be able to see some of the streakiness in the picture after the second coat. But, they definitely look better already with that second coat. My schedule allows me to work on miniatures on Wednesday. This week, I plan to finish their third coat and then next week I can start on the next step with the models. I also think I need to play through a tutorial from the paint issue.

After the second coat.

The Verdict

Like many, I imagine, I freeze up when faced with the prospect of painting the models. Therefore, this Age of Sigmar painting update #1 represents a huge step forward in the process. Come back next week for the final coat and the tutorial play through. Then, the week after, I start to add some detail.

Fallout Episode 1: The End

Introduction

I considered doing a week of Fallout to celebrate the release of the new television show. Instead, I came up with a better idea. I can still celebrate Fallout for a week with one episode per day. Furthermore, look forward to an entire month of Fallout content in June. I’m still trying to figure out names for the month, but I intend to play through each of the games and take a closer look at the tabletop RPG I ordered a few years ago. For now, let’s talk about Fallout Episode 1.

Plot Summary and Analysis

Click here for the plot summary.

If you ever played any of the Fallout games, little about the plot surprises you. If you never played any of the Fallout games, now you know what to expect when you sit down to play them. The United States and, presumably, the world fell in a massive nuclear conflict. Some residents took up, well, residence in vaults designed to shield them from the dangers of radiation and anything that radiation might have unleashed on the surface.

Inevitably, something happens in the vault that propels one of the dwellers out into that harsh over world environment. They learn that not much changed in the intervening years and people are still people, for better and worse. Mostly worse. Faced with limited resources made even more so by the bombs, it quickly became a race to hoard all of the resources you can.

One faction, in particular, got very good at hoarding those resources. The Brotherhood of Steel, self proclaimed sheriffs and technology gurus of the Wasteland, harness that power into making themselves stronger, faster, and meaner than almost anything in that Wasteland. “Flesh is weak. But steel endures.” If you don’t find yourself having a little nerdgasm the first time you see the armor, this series isn’t for you.

The radiation also created a new species of human through prolonged exposure and mutation. If you’re like me and have too much exposure to zombie fiction, you might mistake these creatures for zombies. But, their appearance is due to the effects of the radiation and not death and decay. The first time I encountered one without the benefit of a wiki, I said, “a talking zombie!”

To be fair, I can be forgiven for the mistake, right?

Character Profiles

Lucy: Lucy lived her entire life in Vault 33. Life appears to be idyllic in the vault. Sure, the gene pool is a bit shallow and, as a result, they must submit applications for marriage to someone from another vault. This happens every 3 years. This time, Lucy gets chosen for the honor. That union goes horribly wrong, many people die, and Lucy’s father is abducted. Remember when I said “inevitably, something propels one of the dwellers” out of the vault? Well, here’s your inevitable something. Lucy’s story in this episode ends just as she sets out into the Wasteland after her father. Based on how she handled herself during the attack, I think she’ll do okay out there.

Maximus: I mention the Brotherhood of Steel above because we get immediate introduction to the group. An orphaned young man taken in by the knights grows up in their care. He feels slighted when a fellow soldier is chosen over him to be a squire and that drives much of his story. While they steer you to believe that Max then sabotaged his peer as a result, I don’t buy it. Sure, the act leads to Maximus taking Dane’s place, but it’s too obvious. Maybe that’s what they want us to think. Stay tuned to see if I’m right.

The Ghoul: Our last main character gets the least amount of screen time. Arguably, though, he gets the best introduction. A familiar face, twisted and deformed by time and radiation, absolutely annihilates a trio of wannabe buckaroos in record time. He then sets out on his own, presumably to get revenge on his tormentor. Maybe he will follow up on the bounty mentioned by his liberators. There’s also the question of his family. Were they ghoulified, too? I mean, cowpokes, right? They take them as they come.

World Building and Setting

Vault 33 from Fallout Episode 1

In the games, the Wasteland is almost a character in and of itself. As you traverse the land, the games drop subtle little bread crumbs that identify it as post nuclear war America. In this first episode, you get almost none of that. With much of Fallout Episode 1 taking place in Vault 33, there’s not much of a chance to show off the Wasteland.

I respect that decision. It follows the vibe of the games. You spend a good part of the games in your vault. Ostensibly, this takes the place of the tutorial that modern games offer. In any case, they did a good job of replicating the look and feel of being in a vault. Then, they captured the feeling of exiting that vault, complete with the blinding white light to add to the feeling of suspense.

The Wasteland looked familiar in that it appears to be a wasteland. Skeletons and bodies frozen by the nuclear blasts dot the landscape of bombed out buildings. One thing that I may have missed is that the games often show the old style cars among the wreckage. Maybe they saved that for the next episode.

Themes and Social Commentary

Liam and I talked the other day about Portal 2. It happens more often than you think. I said to him, inspired by the show, “You know what? You might like the Fallout series. They have a lot of the same humor as Portal. But, the games are ridiculously long, especially the new ones.” That humor only shows up a couple of times in this episode. But, because of that, it hits a little harder.

They do touch on some of the overarching themes of the series. The first theme comes up during the party. Mom tries to push aside all mention of any potential conflict. As she does, the bombs drop. I can’t say what the appropriate reaction is in such a situation. However, ever since dropping social media, I can confidently say that ignorance is absolutely bliss. If the bombs drop over the next few years, then I will die a happy man.

Then, the theme that things aren’t always what they seem. When Norm wanders into Vault 32 to see that the crops died a while ago and also notices a mummified corpse, you realize that there’s been some bad mojo going on there for a while. The lesson here, as always. Trust no one.

I know that’s X-Files. But, it applies here, too.

Narrative Structure, Pacing, and Soundtrack

Fallout Episode 1 moves briskly. As I mentioned, the episode clocks in at over 70 minutes. But, I never felt bored at any time. Sometimes, with longer shows, I find myself counting down the time to the end. That never happened here. By switching between the three stories, they switch up the pacing and that keeps things moving.

Throughout the episode, they reveal things that bring up questions that I hope they will answer later in the season. So far, none of them feel big enough as a hold over to a season 2 (which I know has been greenlit), so they definitely need to wrap them up by the end of this season. Furthermore, I need to keep watching because each one of those questions feels important and necessary to me.

The thing that struck me most about the episode is that music. They chose the old timey music that the series is famous for. Moreover, every song matched the scene exactly. The music director for this series is an absolute genius and deserves and Emmy for their work in this episode alone. If they keep it up, then just hand them the statue.

The Verdict

An impressive first episode of a show that easily could have been very bad. I’ve seen some reviews where people shit on the show. Ignore them. Also, the inevitable bros with their cries of “WOKE!” popped up in response. Ignore them. Fallout episode 1 made me feel like I was playing the games and, for that, I salute them.

Marvel Comics April 2024

Introduction

As mentioned in the previous DC review article, Marvel Comics April 2024 comes a week later than anticipated. Technically, it comes 5 days later, but you get the point. I also wrote in that article that I started to feel too generous with these reviews. While I recovered from that then, I feel a bit like this article will reinforce that idea. You’ll see what I mean when we get right into the reviews. And, I thought I might have more to say, but instead, let’s do this thing.

Decent

Writer: Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Art: Daniel Earls

I just texted Chris, “The art on the new Hulk series is so bad.” I said something stronger, but no reason to repeat the curse here. He agreed. I think that my instinct is pretty strong overall, but I like to get his opinion as well to make sure that I’m not missing something. Turns out I’m not. The title continues with the horror theme set by Al Ewing and does a decent job of emulating that. With even passable art, I’d push this into the “Good” section and it might even flirt with great. It’s just that the art is so bad that it drags the title down. Stop doing Hulk so dirty, Marvel.

Good

Writer: Eve L. Ewing, Artist: Christopher Allen
Writer: J. Michael Straczynski, Art: Carlos Magno

Apparently, this issue ends Eve Ewing’s run on the title. I don’t see the title in the coming solicitations, either. It struggled a little bit with me through the 10 issues, but overall I enjoyed it and will miss it during this hiatus. Can’t wait to see who they get to write it next. Similarly, this run with JMS on Cap took a bit to get going. But, this issue floored me. It reminded me of everything I enjoyed about his Spider-Man. Still not as good as my favorite Cap writers, but he’ll get there.

Great

Fantastic Four 18

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Writer: Ryan North, Artist: Carlos Gomez

Fantastic Four, She-Hulk, and Doctor Strange all make regular appearances here. Avengers also often appears here. So, I will concentrate on the newbies. I have no idea what’s happened to Guardians of the Galaxy. Maybe I fucked up my DCBS order. Nope, a quick Google machine search shows that they’re done again. Fudge. Oh well, Al Ewing back on Venom gives me the warm and fuzzies. Speaking of Al, his run on Thor is finally starting to ramp up and I think it’s going to be a blast. Stay tuned.

The Verdict

Marvel Comics April 2024 brings an impressive line up of titles and stories. While not all awesome, I said several times that it’s a magical thing when the title matches the author so well. I don’t know if both publishers are using AI or what, but they’ve both figured out how to make that work in a big way. As I’ve been saying, it’s a great time to be a comic fan right now.

DC Comics April 2024

Introduction

I unintentionally went dark for a week there. But, I updated the YouTube, released the latest episode of Noob’s Book Club, and now I’m getting back to the main page with DC Comics April 2024. Even so, the review comes later than usual. What can I say. Spring sprung in Massachusetts this week. We went for a walk. I went over to the Y for a swim. And, I’m obsessed with the new Fallout series. But, more on that next week.

Decent

Writer: Ram V, Artist: Ricardo Federici
Writer: Simon Spurrier, Artist: Ramon Perez
Writer: Tom King, Artist: Guillem March

Many people seem to like this Detective Comics story. I admit that it has some high points. But, overall, it’s too uneven for me to put it anywhere but in the decent column. So far, the Simon Spurrier run of Flash hasn’t panned out the way I hoped, either. I mean, I give them all credit for trying new things with the titles. But, they just don’t work for me.

Good

Writer: Joshua Williamson, Artist: David Baldeon

Brian Michael Bendis made me care about Superman (until he drove the title off a cliff), but Jason Aaron and Joshua Williamson made me love Supes. I think Williamson intentionally backed off in this issue in order to prepare us for the big reveal at the end and the next story to come.

Great

Writer: Tini Howard, Artist: Carmine Di Giandomenico
Writer: Jason Aaron, Artist: John Timms
Writer: Chip Zdarsky, Artist: Jorge Jimenez

Each one of these stories represents a very good writer at the peak of their games. Dark Prisons feels very much like the Detective Comics story, but more focused and tight. While the Catwoman “Nine Lives” story easily could have gotten hokie, Tini Howard keeps it cool. And, Jason Aaron pulled off the impossible. He got me to not only enjoy Superman, but a Superman story about Bizarro. Bravo, Sir.

The Verdict

DC Comics April 2024 is mostly good. Even the decent titles entertained me on one level or another. I think I wrote in my Marvel review last month (I could search, but it’s getting to 11pm now and I’m tired) that it feels like comics finally found those sweet spots of writers and the books they write for. It’s a good time to be a comic book fan right now.

Used the Google Machine to find the cover images.

April 2024 Independent Comics I Love

Introduction

A few month ago, you might question the title of this series. And, honestly, you’d be right to do so. Before last month, the Spawniverse languished in mediocrity (at best) and I wondered how, or even if, Uncle Todd could pull it together. They just felt too crunched by all of the books. Honestly, it started to feel like the early days of Image with the missed deadlines and misprints. But, hopefully the upturn in quality from last month continues into April 2024 Independent comics.

Gunslinger Spawn 30

Plot/Script: Uncle Todd, Art: Carlo Barberi. in my opinion, Gunslinger suffered the most from the drop off in quality. Chris told me how much he liked the title, maybe even more than the main title. I listened to his advice and, honestly, it’s why I filled in the back issues of the other titles. Then, things started to slip and I started to lose faith. Last month brought back much of what made the title fun. Now, before I give away what I thought of this month’s issue, let me just say how much I love that cover. It brings back old school vibes in a good way. So does the story and art of this issue. A bit of a filler issue, but well done overall. My verdict: Great

King Spawn 32

Script/Plot: Uncle Todd, Art: Javi Fernandez. This book only registered with me because they revisited one of my favorite Spawn stories of the last decade, Dark Horror. So, it barely made that much of a difference to me when the quality started to decline. It always just felt like the main title’s little brother. But, I appreciate their commitment to making all of the titles better and I really enjoy the current story revolving around Al and reckoning with being mortal again. My verdict: Good.

Scorched 27

Script/Plot: John Layman with Uncle Todd on additional script, Art: Stephen Segovia. I questioned the change in tone from single hero titles to a team for this book. Eventually, it won me over and became my favorit book in the Spawniverse. Like the others, it lost some of that edge and, frankly, it bummed me out. But, with this new attempt at bringing the titles back to a higher standard, they hired John Layman to write this one. ‘Nuff said. My verdict: Good, but Layman’s still in the early phases. I expect this one to hit great sooner rather than later.

Spawn 351

Script/Plot: Rory McConville with Uncle Todd on additional script, Art: Brett Booth. I stayed with this title in spite of the fact that I wanted nothing to do with the Heaven/Hell war storyline. Then, at some point, that shifted and I started to like the story a lot. They delivered with the big finish last issue and now start to rebuild in that aftermath. I like where they’re headed and give them the benefit of the doubt. My verdict: Good.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 149

Story: Sophie Campbell with Kevin Eastman on consulting, Art: Vincenzo Federici. I make no secret that this is my favorite book since starting to collect it during The Armageddon Game. I feared a drop off (also no secret) after that story wrapped. Granted, there was a lull, but they needed to take a few episodes off before ramping back up to the big 1-5-0. Rarely does a writer click on a title like this. But, Kevin Eastman clearly cares about his heroes in a half shell so much to put them in the capable hands of Sophie Campbell. I can’t wait to see what they have in store next. My verdict: Great

The Verdict

April 2024 independent comics continues the upward trend set last month. Granted, they fell quite a bit, so an upswing was imminent. But, I’m glad to see that Uncle Todd continues the “new direction” of his titles and they’re not just a one off. Sometimes, you just need to shake things up. Unless you’re TMNT. Don’t change a damn thing.

Spawniverse on Image. TMNT with IDW.

Hearthstone Update April 2024

Introduction

In yesterday’s update, I gave all the things I liked (and a few I dislike) about Magic the Gathering Arena. I planned to do Hearthstone today. From previous articles, you may expect the list of dislikes to be much longer than the list of likes. However, as I mentioned a few times before, age made me both more understanding and less patient. I can’t explain it, kids. As a result, I came to a place of understanding and even joy with the game as of this Hearthstone Update April 2024.

Events

Hearthstone events happen much more infrequently than Arena. Certainly, unless you count the Tavern Brawl, we don’t get them every week. However, when run, I enjoy them. Blizzard also makes them easy to complete and they give good rewards. Similar to Arena, you receive packs and hero portraits mostly and sometimes card backs.

The most recent event for the release of Whizbang’s Workshop set.

If the rewards this time look paltry, I agree. I think they went lighter this time around because they recently ran an event for Hearthstone’s 10 year anniversary. That one gave many more and much better rewards. Still, how can you complain about free packs and a hero portrait?

Really? 10 Years?

Man, I am getting good at these transitions between sections. And, it only took 10 years. No, that title isn’t meant to remind you that 2 Generations gaming debuted almost 10 years ago. Instead, I refer to the Hearthstone 10 year anniversary mentioned above. If you asked me 10 years ago, I never imagined still talking about this game on this page 10 years later. Sure, the game might last that long. However, when it first released, Chris and I shared a mutual hatred of the game.

Because he sticks to his guns much better than I, he eventually left the game and never came back. I quit and uninstalled more times than I can count. Yet, here I am. 10 years later and still talking about the game I once loved to hate. Hell, I wrote an article a few weeks ago possibly eulogizing the game. Then, they promptly came out with the plan for the new Hearthstone year and here we are. Congratulations, Hearthstone, I guess we’re stuck together until the bitter end.

Other Modes

Instead of talking about the other freebies, which are similar to Arena, I want to mention the other modes that Hearthstone offers. Some of them died after being left on the vine to rot. Obviously, I’m looking at Duels and Mercenaries, of course. I just started playing Mercenaries regularly when they finally decided to pull the plug. Yes, poor timing on my part, but it still stings.

Mercenaries, we hardly knew ye.

Then, only the old stalwarts remain. Tavern Brawl, which gets a bump every time they run the whale backed event, the Brawliseum. Arena used to be the cash cow and everyone streamed it, but then they released Battlegrounds. I wrote an article about it and the time and said that I’d probably only play that mode. For a while, that was true. Then, I completed the rewards track for the mode and now I just play to finish quests.

Rewards Tracks

If I’m being honest (and why wouldn’t I?), I only play for the rewards at this point. As I just mentioned, they give rewards for Battlegrounds. They also offer a rewards track for the main game mode every time they release a new set. No video this time because I played on my Smurf account this morning. But, the screenshots give a general idea.

Overall

Overall, as of the Hearthstone Update April 2024, I found peace with the game. I play to finish quests and to get free (and slightly more than free) rewards on the rewards tracks. I celebrate lasting longer than the ill fated attempt at eSports and look forward to see what the next ten years brings. Raise a glass in the tavern, fellow gamers, and toast with me.

MTGA Update April 2024

Introduction

I wrote Chris a couple of months ago to tell him that I might be done collecting Magic: the Gathering cards. He, Jason, and I played a few times as a three person play group. However, the last coupel of times we tried to get together, we found out just how busy adult life still is, even when you have grown up kids. I imagine that blew up the group because the group chat went eerily silent after the most recent attempt. I feel bad because I enjoyed the times playing with them. it even inspired me to think about trying to find another group to join. Instead, as usual, I played digital Magic against faceless opponents. Can I tell you how much fun that is? Let me with this MTGA Update April 2024

Events

One of the things I give Wizards credit for is the number of events that they run. Every week, we get a Midweek Magic event that costs nothing and gives you 3 free cosmetics if you win three matches. Aside from that, they also put on a special event (again for free) when each set is released. Usually, it comes with already constructed decks, so you just pick your favorite combination of colors and get to the games. These events also give cosmetics. Often it’s five and they are card styles of the new cards.

For the competitive player, there are Open events that allow you to try to win a spot in one of the Pro Tour events. I’ve never entered into one of them, but found myself thinking about it more than once. I have a pretty fun Timeless deck that I might give a shot if they ever use that format.

Other Freebies

Again, upon the release of each new set, they mail you 3 packs from that set. They used to use codes for them, but now they just automatically show up in your inbox to be retrieved. Speaking of codes, they used them in a more creative manner for the Murders at Markov Manor set. There are six clues that you have to solve to receive experience on the rewards track and a card style for the card that the clue describes.

Rewards Track

Speaking of the rewards track (how about these seques in this article, amirite?), I still paid the money for all of the rewards. For 15 bucks, you get access to all of the rewards in the video below. There’s card packs, card styles, little gems for more card styles and sleeves, gold, and sometimes gems. I know they’re all digital, but I feel like it is well worth my money for what they give.

Ranked Ladder

I rarely take any type of ladder seriously in these games. However, Arena makes the prospect slightly more appealing. They give away packs for reaching certain levels. Even so, I usually just play my elf deck when I have a quest for green cards or creatures, so I never make it beyond gold rank. It just gets tiring playing agianst the same stupid lifesteal cards every game.

Overall

In general, I enjoy my time in the game. I still wish I played against real people more often because playing against some nameless avatar who seems like he always draws the best cards against my mana flood or screw leaves me swearing and wishing even harder that I could flip the table on them. Other than that, though, I recommend the game as of this MTGA Update April 2024.

Marvel Snap April 2024: Zeroes to Heroes

Introduction

True to my word, I played almost no Marvel Snap during the Avengers season. I cared nothing about the cards or characters. I couldn’t even muster the ability to care enough about the Conquest variant to play for that. Instead, I saved my money. I’m glad I did because Marvel Snap April 2024 season revolves around one of my favorite groups, The Thunderbolts. Sure, the lineup is from the MCU and I prefer the Green Goblin led team, but I’ll take what I can get from all this cross promotion.

New Locations

Thunderbolts Tower looks liked a placeholder from datamining. Yeah, upon further research, it is -2 power after turn 5. If you’re playing some kind of junk, this could be a fun location to play. Otherwise, I will mostly just play around the debuff. Castle Zemo also favors junk, so maybe they’re trying to push that archetype this time around.

New Characters

Screenshot-2024-04-01-173525

Image 1 of 6

All of these cards look like tons of fun. I think my favorites are Valentina and USAgent. Many of the 6 drops are fairly high power with some upside, so getting one of them in play 2 turns early with some draw back looks good to me. And, USAgent punishes big decks, though I admit that I haven’t seen a ton of them. Maybe the meta got big again with the latest season. Who knows? Zemo gives you card advantage and the possibility of a combo breaker. Red Hulk can be a surprise drop against a Sunspot type deck. White Widow forces the opponent (if they care) to one zone for a couple of turns, so that’s nice. And, I haven’t quite figured out how to use Red Guardian just yet, but he can zap a Nightcrawler and freeze him in a location.

The Verdict

I already know that I plan to get the Battle Pass for Marvel Snap April 2024. The cards are fun. The locations are fine. And, I admit to actually missing “war with added features” from my daily rotation. I’ll see you out there, fellow SNAPers!

Cards taken from Marvel Snap Zone.

March 2024 Marvel Comics

Introduction

Missed another deadline in March. Unsure why this happens every year around this time. I heard that trauma can resurface as a memory even if you can’t remember the event or events. I mean, that’s as likely as anything. Then again, maybe it’s just hangover from winter hibernation. Either way, March 2024 Marvel Comics comes two days late.

I skipped a couple of books again this month. Two, you know. I want to get the entire run of “Gang War” since I accidentally skipped a month in DCBS. Likewise, I’m so far behind in X-Men I don’t think I’ll ever catch up. Finally, Dr. Strange #12 didn’t fit with #13 and Venom #31 paired with Carnage #5 (which I didn’t order) for a two part story.

Decent

Black Panther 9

Image 1 of 3

Writer: Eve L. Ewing, Art: Chris Allen and Mack Chater

Black Panther fell off a bit this month. I can’t explain why. But it just didn’t hit as well as it had been. As I read, I noticed that Punisher isn’t a legacy numbered title. I know that it’s a “new Punisher”, but that still surprised me. Also, I forgot how wordy J. Michael can be, probably from his time on television and movies. His Cap hits all the right notes, but lacks the edge of some of my other favorite Cap writers.

Great

Avengers 10 and 11

Image 1 of 5

Writer: Jed McKay with various artists

Avengers 10 ended the previous story with a bang. The only reason I moved them to good is because 11 followed up a little stale. Doctor Strange assembles the Secret Defenders (an odd ball group, but necessary) to battle a role playing game that actually draws from the occult. Fun story so far. Everything I said about Hulk last month holds this month, especially the art. Goodness, Marvel, take better care of my boys Spidey and Hulk. I saw Al Ewing came back for an issue of Venom. I think they did it to give Gronbekk time to focus on the Venom/Carnage crossover. Ewing writes a decent story, but nothing on the level of his actual run. Speaking of Ewing, his Thor is starting to take shape and I think will soon get up to great.

Great

Writer: Ryan North, Art: Carlos Gomez
Writer: Rainbow Rowell, Art: Andres Genolet

Last month, no She-Hulk. This month two issues and no Guardians. Not sure if it’s Marvel shipping schedule, DCBS, or my screw up. Oh well, There’s not much more that I can say about She-Hulk at this point. They just found the perfect writer for the character and I enjoy everything about the title. Fantastic Four leads with a shocking discovery and crafts a great narrative around that discovery. Also, just a fun title right now.

The Verdict

Unlike DC and Spawn/TMNT, March 2024 Marvel Comics takes a bit of a step back. None of them are bad, but most of them are just solid stories with good art. I suppose we could have worse problems in our comics reading lives. Until next time, Zombies, Excelsior!

Images taken from the mothership.

DC Comics March 2024

Introduction

I wrote earlier in the week that the Spawniverse and TMNT delivered probably some of the best issues that I’ve read in months. I mean, TMNT continues to be one of my favorite comics since I started collecting during Armageddon game. The Spawniverse, though, varied wildly in both content and quality. Okay, what does this all have to do with DC Comics March 2024?

Well, I graded all of the comics either “Good” or “Great”. And, honestly, the ones that I put in the “Good” column mostly just as a nit pick. I guess what I’m saying is that comics are in a really good spot right now. It’s just too bad that they’re a dying medium and won’t be around in a couple of months. Hey, I have to repeat it every so often, or it might actually happen.

Good

Jason Aaron accomplished something no other writer ever has. He not only made me care about Bizarro, but he actually wrote a Bizarro story that I enjoy. The nit pick here is, it’s Bizarro. I can’t put him in “Great” territory. Ram V and Tom King are both on my “can’t miss” list. I like everything that they right. However, I haven’t quite accepted King as a Wonder Woman writer yet. And, Ram takes some chances in Detective that I respect. They haven’t quite paid off 100%, though. Finally, Simon Spurrier writes a good Flash story, but I still like Williamson better.

Great

Writer: Chip Zdarsky, Art: Guiseppe Camuncoli
Writer: Tini Howard, Art: Carmine di Giandomenico
Writer: Joshua Williamson, Art: David Baldeon

I’ve been waiting for Zdarsky to take off on the Batman title. He came close a couple of times before. This story, though (Joker Year One) rises almost to the level of Tom King Batman. Regular readers of the page (both of you!) know what high praise that is from me. Tini Howard, likewise, took what I enjoyed about the Joelle Jones Catwoman and expanded on it with the Nine Lives story. Last, but not least, Joshua Williamson showed that he’s not a one hit wonder by making me look forward to the Superman issues every month. Bravo to all of you.

The Verdict

Maybe I’m getting soft in my old age. Then again, I keep talking about how impatient I am in Noob’s Book Club. Who knows? In any case, I liked DC Comics March 2024. Along with the Spawniverse and TMNT titles, I enjoyed reading comics this month more than any time over the last year probably. Hopefully Marvel keeps it up. Come back Friday to find out.

Head on over to the mothership for more comics.