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Off the Rack #948
Kin  |  February 18, 2013

Happy Family Day folks. Silver Snail Ottawa will be open today from 10 AM to 5 PM if your family needs stuff to read or you just want to get away from your family for a while. Families can be a blessing or a curse. The ice on the Rideau Canal looked really nice this morning as I drove over the bridge on my way in to work. Get out and skate, but bundle up because it is extremely cold today. The sun will be shining though, so it will feel warm on your face at least.

Secret Avengers #1 - W-Nick Spencer follows in the footsteps of W-Greg "Queen & Country" Rucka and W-Ed "Winter Soldier" Brubaker in trying his hand at super spy stories. He did a pretty good job of throwing Hawkeye and the Black Widow into a dangerous field test against an evil arms dealer. The twists and turns made this issue interesting enough to make me keep reading.

Katana #1 - The wielder of the Soultaker gets her own book but W-Ann Nocenti doesn't tell us why Katana is in San Francisco's Japantown. I think she's there to find someone to train her to use her katana. If that's the case, then this must be some kind of origin story. I liked the art by Alex Sanchez but this issue didn't make me want to find out what happens next.

Battlefields #4
- W-Garth Ennis brings hot Russian fighter pilot Anna Kharkova back to the racks in a 3-part story called "The Fall and Rise of Anna Kharkova". The whole issue is Anna recovering in a German P.O.W. camp after being shot down. The relationship she develops with her doctor is slowly played out and makes the shocking end of this issue a heart wrenching experience.

Uncanny X-Men #1
- This title reboots featuring the exploits of the "bad" X-men lead by Cyclops. Scott is running around trying to save new mutants as they pop up all over the world. W-Brian Bendis sets out Scott's intentions quite clearly and adds a nice little twist at the end to keep you hooked. I love the art by Chris Bachalo and the redesign of Cyclops's costume.

Batman #17 - Opinions are going to vary on this conclusion to "Death of the Family" but I liked it. W-Scott Snyder answered a lot of my questions leading up to this issue and I am extremely satisfied. He managed to keep me guessing throughout this issue about a lot of things and that's what made it so much fun to read. It's going to be hard to top this story the next time that the Joker appears on the racks but I hope that whoever writes that story gives it a good try.

Ex Sanguine #5 - I didn't like how this story ended. Sure, we found out who the killer was but the relationship between the vampire and the crazy blonde girl ended with a thud given what the cover insinuates. I hate when comic books do that.

Powers Bureau #1
- Why the changed title you ask? Well, it's because Deena and Christian are now working for the F.B.I. I've watched these characters evolve over the years but at the core of each one is a cop trying to do the right thing. This is a book that I will read not matter how long it takes between issues because I've grown to love Pilgrim and Walker and care about what happens to them.

Batgirl #17 - Barbara is back fighting crime none the worse for wear after the whole Joker "Death of the Family" thing. W-Ray Fawkes follows up with a sibling rivalry story that will give you the creeps. I liked the art by P-Daniel Sampere and I-Vicente Cifuentes.

Clone #4
- This action-packed issue is a thrill ride. The only problem is, I finished it in about 5 minutes and I can't wait until the next issue hits the racks.

Fury Max #9 - Nick’s mission with Frank comes to a successful conclusion but it was touch and go there. They didn't make war comics like this when I was a kid.

Django Unchained #2 - I'm glad that this story is available in comic book form because I don't think that I would have gone to see the movie and then I would have missed out on a great story. I find that I can handle the extreme violence better seeing an image on paper rather than the more real moving image on a movie screen. I can still remember feeling awful while watching the whipping scenes in Roots.

Fatale #12 - W-Ed Brubaker and A-Sean Phillips go to historical lengths to show us another femme fatale from France. Mathilda gives us a clue to Josephine's origin.

Before Watchmen: Comedian #5 - I would have to say that this comic was better comparing this Viet Nam story to the one in Fury Max. W-Brian Azzarello makes a valid argument for the way Ed Blake, The Comedian, fights his war and I really like J. G. Jones's detailed art.

Bedlam #4
- Oh man, this book takes a left turn as a new murderer flits about the city killing people. The victims are connected and Detective Acevedo breaks the case. Bedlam is like a brighter Gotham City.

Archer & Armstrong #7 - This is so much like W-Fred Van Lente's Incredible Hercules run. Combine the brothers Armstrong and Gilad and you have Hercules and put Archer and Kay the Geomancer together and you get Amadeus Cho. Now all four are off to Greenland to save the world from The Null.

Buffy Season 9 #18 - This is the part of the story where the villain gains the upper hand. I'm okay with the time travel element added to this adventure because I don't think it's going to work out for the bad guy.

America's Got Powers #5
- The inside front cover shows a picture of the Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) bomb that plays a part near the end of this issue. I thought that it was coincidental because I read that some people in Russia think that the recent meteor exploding there was really a bomb test. I think the conspiracy theorists are grasping at straws there. This story has the bad guys getting ready to wipe San Francisco off the map to stop the super-powered kids from escaping their control. I'm hoping the good guys can prevent the deaths of innocent lives but we'll see in next issue's conclusion.

Ame-Comi Girls #5 - This issue features Supergirl as she and the rest of the good girls try to stave off Earth's destruction by the evil Brainiac. Find out what Black Kryptonite does to her as the story continues in Ame-Comi Girls #1. Sales of this book must have been good enough that DC is committing to more issues. I've had enough of this Manga makeover of the women of the DCU. Let me know who wins.

Avengers Arena #4
- If you buy this book because the cover says that X-23 fights Darkhawk then you'll be sorely disappointed. There's a fight of misunderstanding and another kid checks out but this is really Chase's origin story. I liked the surprise twist at the end.

Wolverine & The X-Men #25
- I loved Broo but I don't like the change he's gone through. W-Jason Aaron has made the little guy a feral beast. Ugh. The change in artist to Ramon Perez doesn't appeal to me either. This book may have jumped the Shark-Girl for me except that someone from Logan's past shows up and I am curious to see who he is.

Batman & Robin #9 to #16 - Going from "Night of the Owls" to "Death of the Family" with Damian and his dad was super fun. P-Patrick Gleason's Joker is the best. I nearly threw up a little turning the page and seeing a close up of his twisted villain. I've got some Batman Inc. and Detective Comics sitting in my “to read” boxes and now I want to haul them out to see if they are as good as this book is.

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Kin
Kin is the Manager of the Silver Snail in Ottawa, and has been since 1990.
38th Anniversary Poster by Dave Johnson