Archive for April, 2010

Why So Unimpressed?

I only picked up four comics this week, so this is gonna be pretty brief.

Mushy mushy mush, that’s the vibe I’m getting from Green Lantern Corps this month. Mogo erects a memorial tree to honor the dead, Soranik and Kyle wax poetic about his memorial mural, and Kilowog resigns as a drill instructor. Then Isamot and Vath have a moment after it’s revealed that Isamot gave his Sector partner his legs. And then the Guardians repeal the thrid law, so, don’t expect to see Kyle and Sora for a few issues. The issue ends with Kyle and Guy sharing a beer at a decimated Warriors. I’m gonna say it here and now: until Ted comes back to life, these boys are the new official DC Bros.

Gotham City Sirens was a breath of fresh air for me. This issue, Ivy starts her new job at S.T.AR. labs while Selina and Harley meet the neighbors. There have been a slough of missing pets in their area recently, leading the girls to believe that a gang was setting up dogfights. The twist at the end is priceless, so I won’t spoil it for you.

The second issue of the Rise of Arseal was not something I was looking forward to reading. Roy Harper has always been one of my favorite characters, and seeing what is happening to him is too much to bear. Getting a replacement arm is nothing compared to the pain of having to bury your daughter. Of seeing your mentor unmasked and jailed for murdering her murderer. Of falling back into addiction. Of lashing out at your friends to make yourself feel even more alone. God help you, Roy. You need it more than anyone else, now.

What the hell? The latest issue of Teen Titans was just one long string of puns! I am not impressed. And Ravager’s second feature has finally come to an end. A sickeningly sweet, then just plain sickening end.

Yeah, not happy with the comics I read this week. They all just seem to be missing something, something important…

In other news, I just found out about the Red Hood mini coming out in June. If you haven’t seen the cover of the first issue, look it up. Batfans shall wet their pants in joy.

 

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Look, ma, body switching!

This week was quite a doozy as far as comics went, so let’s dive right in, shall we?

Brave and the Bold had an epic threesome of a team-up this month, Wonder Woman, Zatanna, and Batgirl! The ladies take a night off from crime-fighting to have some fun! Dancing, flirting with boys, and just having a good time. There is a pretty big, depressing twist at the end, which I don’t really want to spoil for anyone that hasn’t picked up the book yet. But the scene with Babs, Diana, and Zatanna singing karaoke (All the single ladies!) was hilarious and worth the price of the book.

R.E.B.E.L.S. is still slogging along as usual. With Starro the Conquerer defeated, you’d think that there would be some sort of punishment in store. And you’d be half right. Unfortunately, Starro escapes execution thanks to his still-loyal generals. But that’s not where the story is this month. I said ages ago that I found Starfire to be a wholly uninteresting character with a somewhat cookie-cutter background, and I stick by that. But, it looks like she’s going to be a part of the cast of R.E.B.E.L.S. now, so I’d best start getting used to her.

Unless you like play-by-plays and useless facts, forego the Blackest Night Director’s Cut. The unused designs for some of the Black Lanterns were pretty cool, but aside from that, yawn central.

Power Girl was pretty rad this month, if I do say so myself. Her current opponent is none other than the villianous Ultra Humanite, again, but with a horrifying twist: he’s using the body of her friend Terra! Don’t worry, Atlee fans, she gets her body back by the end of the issue. And strangely enough, so does Humanite. The technology in Strata is far greater than anything above ground so for now it’s goodbye Ultra Humanite, and hello healthy body of Gerard Shugel! But don’t think things are going to be easier for Power Girl with him out of the way, she’s still got the crazed furfetishist Satanna hot on her heels and out for revenge.

Green Lantern was actually pretty dull this month, in the aftermath of Blackest Night. But then again, the gang deserves a rest. Not that they got one. The issue basically dances around Hal and Carol’s commitment problems, as well as how some of the other Lantern Corps are dealing with the universe post-Blackest Night. I’m honestly considering dropping Green Lantern in favor of picking up the new Guy Gardner-centic series slated to start soon, Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors.

I’ve been looking forward to Supergirl #52 for months. I mean, come on. Supergirl and Brainiac 5: together again for the first time! The fanfic practically writes itself. Too bad Brainy basically has to act like a dick throughout the entire issue to keep himself from spilling the beans about what’s going to happen to Kara and him in his past, her future. Guh, time travel makes my head hurt in all the worst ways.

Before I forget, if your comic shop carries it, pick up this month’s issue of Tiny Titans. For a series aimed at little kids, there are enough in-jokes to keep even the most seasoned of comic collectors giggling, and this issue focuses on Trigon, Raven, and Kid Devil.

Yeah, that’s what I said.

Anyway, I’m hungry and y’all are probably sick of scrolling, so I’m gonna hit the publish button and go get a granola bar. Peace out!

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I had no money this week

So I am technically pilfering comics for your enjoyment. I hope you’re proud of yourselves.

In Booster Gold this month, Booster puts his angry face on for the camera. While fighting bad guys, he accidentally kills a little girl’s dog. Out comes the sad face. And then he goes back in time to watch a meteor shower. I guess time travel has some perks. But his sister is still mad at him for letting her boyfriend die along with Coast City, so he goes to beg her forgiveness. Oh wow, Gladys was a fake wife! Nonexistant! God, Booster, why didn’t you just tell Ted you loved him instead of the wife charade? Anyway, of course Michelle forgives him. So Rip takes Booster on a little trip to save the girl’s dog from dying. How sweet. Finally, Rip gets an alert from Vanishing Point about Batman. Dun dun dun!

This month, Batgirl started out pretty nicely. Steph successfully averted a trainjacking, got a pat on the back from the Commissioner, and got rained on. Meanwhile, Babs is spending time with Wendy Harris, teaching her how to be cool with being paralyzed. And then the deaths start. Nanites in the blood, is the end diagnosis. Uh oh. Looks like the Calculator is going to be part of Oracle and Batgirl’s personal Rogue’s Gallery from now on, and he has flipped. Unless of course you see someone keeping the corpse of their dead son in their office as normal. Which leads to the question, where’s Kit? If Noah is chillin’ with a corpse, where did everyone’s favorite soul-summoner get to?

Last time on Secret Six, some thugs threatened to kill Catman’s son if he didn’t do in his teammates. Today, he told them to kindly piss off. In, uh, slightly more intimidating words. After stealing the team jet, he finds that his son is nowhere to be found, but Cheshire is beaten pretty badly. Meanwhile, back at the Mansion of Nowhere, Scandal and Bane get into words. And he’s still trying to be a dad to her, so he tries to ground her. Ooh, that wasn’t a good idea. Surprisingly, she doesn’t kill him, or even maim him. Though she does kiss his cheek, which made me d’aww. She really does care about him. Anyway, cut to the guy that has Tom’s kid. He is…having sex with his girlfriend. And then Tom breaks in through the window and grabs her, causing the bad guy, Claudio, to kill his own lady by accident. One thing I really love about Gail Simone’s writing is how she can make you feel bad for the nastiest of men simply by introducing, and destroying, something they honestly love. Also, anyone that encourages slash fic is cool by me. By the way, it turns out that Claudio didn’t kill Tom’s son. Doesn’t mean that the poor bastard isn’t going to die for trying.

Once again, I have no idea what’s going on in Adventure Comics. I think I’m going to drop it until the War of the Supermen is over, because I am so confused.

Gen 13 was pretty good. I haven’t been understanding it lately, but it’s got a good cast of characters and everyone loves the story of a post-apocalyptic world, right? If you’ve never read the series before, I suggest it.

Because I haven’t picked up a Marvel book in nearly 8 months, I had no idea that there was a Young Avengers one-shot for Siege. Long spoiler short, Billy is a closet Norse nerd, Teddy thinks that’s hilarious, there is banter, boyhugs, fighting, and Eli kisses Kate. Also Tommy and Hawkeye sorry, Ronin have a moment. All in all, a good book.

I’m not going to say anything about Brightest Day. It was amazing. It was saddening. It made me gasp a good three times. But I’m not going to say anything. Go to your local comic store and read it yourself.

And now for the star of the show.

I’ve been looking forward to the new Flash series since Flash: Rebirth was announced. I’ve devoured preview pages, pounced on spoilers, but nothing in the world could have prepared me for the sheer work of beauty that the first issue held. I was delighted, I was amazed, at one point, I got a serious case of goosebumps. And while I don’t think it’s my place to fully review what is probably going to surpass Booster Gold as my favorite ongoing, I’m gonna give it a shot.

Central City is obsessed with speed. The citizens chug coffee, the cops try to solve cases as fast as they can, even if the verdicts aren’t always correct. And now, for the first time in awhile, Central City is once again the home of the fastest man alive. To make a long spoiler short, while the title of the first story arc is “The Dastardly Death of the Rogues”, they never specified when those Rogue would be from.

I’m done for the day, gonna go work on my costume for the premire of Kick-Ass on Friday. If anyone is going to be at the Sawgrass Mills Mall, stop by the theater and say hey to the troupe of superheroes you find.

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Well, this is awkward.

I am of course talking about the latest issue of Red Robin, but you’ll see.

Let’s start things off with JSA: All-Stars. Essentially, Courtney and Al are trapped in a dimension of demons called the Subtle Realms. They still have a thing for each other but can’t do anything about it, morally, because she’s 17 and he’s like, what? 25? And yet the hormones are still a’flowing. Oh, and did I mention that they’re fighting pretty much the entire dimension? Or that neither of them have any powers in this dimension? It sort of adds to the sexual tension in its own way, mainly because neither are sure if they’ll make it out alive. The tension is lifted briefly when they kiss and Courtney confesses that she’s still in love with him. And then it’s off to fight the…I dunno. Dimension boss or something. Meanwhile back on earth, a new steampunk-meets-Van-Helsingesque heroine named Anna Fortune emerges to fight the Lord of Tears. She is badass and friends with Doctor Fate. She also took down the Lord of Tears single handedly. I really want to see more of her. Sand is a part of the team now, and Power Girl has a dirty mind.

Not even joking. After Kara has to explain to Stargirl’s parents where their daughter is, Sand comes up to her and tells her, “I’m all yours, if you want me.” Kara’s face that panel is pretty much worth the price of the issue.

Anna Fortune has a spell that can help save Courtney from the other dimension, except that she’s kinda been fibbing about how experienced she is with magic so…I foresee shenanigans in the near future.

In the second feature, Jesse and Rick have teamed up with Icicle and Tigress to track down an artifact that can heal people, as well as find the other half of the book they’ve been trying to get their hands on for the last five issues.  As usual, it ends with Jesse and Rick being mushy.

In Batman and Robin, the secret, more twisted side of the Wayne family emerges. Thomas Wayne (version 1765, not Bruce’s daddy), the devil-worshipping black sheep of the Wayne family, seems to have minions in the present day, or followers of the same cult, at least. They attack Damian and…some guy named Sexton who isn’t really Sexton. I honestly have never encountered the character before, so I dunno. Oh, and by the way, Talia is controlling Damian through his new spine. I have no idea how that’s possible. And then she hands the controls over to Deathstroke so that he can kill Dick. WHAT.

Moving on.

Tim, Pru, and Steph go up against assassins sent by Ra’s al Ghul in Red Robin, but the real targets are twelve other people close to him. Tam and Vicki Vale are two of the targets and are…working together to stay alive. Tim resorts to near-torture tactics for information, which may be the new normal for him. And when Dick and Damian show up, Dami goes apeshit and attacks Pru, and Tim puts him down. Sweet. Steph saves Vicki and Tam, but only after accidentally hearing the (fake) bombshell Tam’s dropped about how she and Tim are engaged. Awkward.

Flash: Secret Files and Origins has been rescheduled more times than any other book I can think of that came out this year. Y’know what?

Totally worth the wait.

The art is amazing, the little stories involving the Flash Family and the Rogues were excellent, and HOLY CRAP Scott Kolins, I sort of like you again. Seriously, look at the comparison between Keystone and Central City. Gorgeous. Definitely a book to pick up. Don’t forget, the new Flash book by Johns and Manapul drops next week!

Oh, and speaking of things not to forget, this Saturday and Sunday is the first big sale of the year at Tate’s Comics on University Drive. Fill a longbox for $35 outside in the tent, or pick up back issues for half off! Also, the Super Spotlight for this month is the Flash, which means you get a 20% discount on all Flash merchandise!

For more information visit www.tatescomics.com

Hope to see you there!

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Comics Review aka, Why yes, I -am- Going to be Talking About Blackest Night!

I’ll save it for the endcap, you guys. Sheesh.

Okay, starting off, Gotham City Sirens. Holy crap, was that an awsome issue this month. The art is as fabulous as always, even with David Lopez taking a short break and letting Andres Guinlado have a crack at the girls, and Paul Dini has been the first person in a long time to make me actually sort of impressed with Doctor Aesop. Sort of.

And now, a moment of silence for Edward Nigma’s sanity.

Between having a bomb go off in his face and his ‘friends’ using him as bait to solve the mystery of who was trying to steal their home, dear Eddie has been having a hard time as of late. Was the ladies’ little trick the jumping off point for him? Will the Riddler be returning full-force? Oh, I hope not. I rather enjoy the concept that a one-time supervillian can change their ways, which is actually the theme of the book. I mean, if Ivy can be the new head of the Gotham branch of S.T.A.R. Labs, Eddie can keep his nose clean, right?

Anyway, moving on.

In Teen Titans this month, the gang is learning that Dakota is the city of BADASS. And also that Gar is a creepy, creepy young man. Seriously, do not miss the opening panels. What? But back to the badassery.

And what badassery it was. When it comes to Dakota villians, they just don’t get much badder than Holocaust. So with half the team being held captive and the other half trying to find them, what do our heroes do? Laugh about how bad Cassie’s escape plans are. No, really. Eight panels of just mockery.

I’m giving this issue an 8 on the WTF was THAT about?! scale.

It gets better, though. The focus cuts away to Cyborg talking to two people about retirement. My first thoughts were, D: no Vic! Don’t go live at S.T.A.R. Labs! My fears were completely overridden when I eventually realized that, oh duh, he was talking to Bart and Kon. So one ceiling/wall crash and three bad puns later, THE BOYS ARE BACK! Woo! I’m not even going to talk about the Ravager second feature. I’m tired of it, it’s tired of itself. Let’s just agree that it is awful and get on with our lives.

Adventure Comics: Pretty art, but if I had a dollar for every page I actually understood…

See, I don’t pick up Superman or Action Comics. They’re not my thing. I mean, I like Big Blue, but he’s just not my favorite person to read about. But unfortunately, if I’m going to understand anything that’s happening in the current Last Stand of New Krypton arc, or the upcoming War of the Supermen series, I’m going to need to start skimming through some back issues, toute suite. To tell you the truth, I have little to no interest in the whole New Krypton thing. In fact, if Adventure Comics, Supergirl, and the upcoming Legion of Superheroes books weren’t tied heavily to it, I’d probably just ignore the entire thing. But I can’t, not if I want to understand the story.

Speaking of having to pick up several different books to completely understand the story…Blackest Night, anyone?

SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER 

That clear enough?

Okay, so Blackest Night. I only have one thing to say.

WHAT.

Since issue #1, Blackest Night and its miniseries’ have had some of the strangest gimmicks to up readership in any comic that I’ve ever seen. Ralph and Sue Dibny killing Hawkman and Hawkgirl? Black Lantern Hawks versus completely unkillable Dove? Undead Terra making out with Gar? Ressurected characters going from Black Lantern to White Lantern? Lantern deputies? What?

But the final issue topped them all. With one word, twelve people were brought back to life. And from the conversations that followed, it seems that the revolving door that is death in the DCU has been closed for good.

But why those twelve?

Well, Zoom is going to have a huge part in the new Flash series, as is Digger, I assume. Carter and Kendra were going to be resurrected anyway, it’s just the way the characters are. Arthur is going to play a big part in Brightest Day, I assume, if the cover to the second issue is any indication. With Holly dead, Hank’s return may signal a new Hawk and Dove mini? Please? As a Black Lantern, Ronnie Raymond killed the other half of the Firestorm matrix, Gehenna, and now he and Jason are the new Firestorm. Jade is back for the sole purpose of stirring up relationship trouble for Kyle, methinks. Or, if she and Soranik get along, a Christmas-colored threesome. Boston Brand…who knows? He was an agent of Rama Kushna in death, so who knows what life will have in store for him? Amon Tomaz…that’s another mystery. Black Adam and Isis are currently stone statues. Kahndaq is back to the way it was before Adam and, I assume, leaderless. Perhaps Osiris will be the new ruler of Kahndaq. Perhaps he’ll attempt to rejoin the Teen Titans or join up with the JSA in a tribute to his brother-in-law. This is one character I want to watch out for.

And then there was Maxwell Lord.

Waaaay back in Countdown to Infinite Crisis, Max showed his true colors as a madman when he killed Ted Kord, took control of Superman’s mind, and then had his neck snapped by Wonder Woman.

Let me tell y’all something. There is no fandom on the face of the earth that has bitched more about a character death than us Blue Beetle fans. Even five years later, we’re still pouncing on every scrap of evidence that Ted may have somehow cheated death. And that rat bastard Max Lord gets a pass to walk? WHAT. Oh yeah, I’m freaking indignant as hell.

And while they’re bringing back Rogues, why was Digger the lucky one? What, would bringing back Lisa have made Len too cheerful or something? He is Captain freaking Cold. The man will be a BAMF until the day he shuffles off this mortal coil. Or what about the Top? Roscoe is a great Rogue. He’s a nutjob, yes, but he’s still great. Or Inertia, who isn’t a Rogue but y’all know my thoughts concerning him.

But that’s a rant for another day. I’m off to reorganize my longboxes now, see you next time.

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