Archive for November, 2011

Oh boy oh boy oh boy, pretty art everywhere!

This week is fairly light, with only six titles, one of which being from Marvel. Let’s get right down to it, shall we?

If there’s one thing I can honestly say about Kick-Ass 2, it’s that i don’t know whether I love it or I hate it. On one hand, it’s stupid as hell. The idea of superheroes in a real-life setting, with no superpowers or anything, doesn’t always work. Watchmen pulled it off. For the most part, the first Kick-Ass series pulled it off. But Kick-Ass 2? With Red Mist gone psycho super-villain, he’s sort of dragging it into the territory of the unrealistic. But on the other hand, the members of Justice Forever are, were, pretty awesome, especially the girl whose sole mission was making sure that drunk chicks got home safely. If I was a superhero, I’d probably make that part of my repertoire. This issue sort of tips it into the ‘love’ field. I mean, yes, there’s the tragedy of Dave’s father, but suddenly, Hit-Girl! Face it, Hit-Girl was everyone’s favorite character from the first series, and now, she’s back! I’m sort of looking forward to seeing how the rest of this run plays out.

Okay, I’m just going to come out and say it. I have no idea where New Guardians is going with itself. The rings were drawn to Kyle, but he can’t use them. Members of the different Corps came after Kyle to take the rings back, but now they’re destroyed. And now Larfleeze out of nowhere? Alright..? This book needs to come up with a plot other than “Space police are cool!!!” like, now. Though, interesting to note, this series seems to be a bit behind Red Lanterns, as Bleez isn’t an Alpha Red yet here.

Justice League Dark is finally picking up speed a bit with the third issue. June Moon actually seems to be the main character for this arc, so far. Everyone is looking for Enchantress, but Enchantress is looking for her, so logic dictates…that being said, I love Zatanna and John’s interaction is fantastic. To me, this is a team where my main focus is, okay, how is this person going to react to this person? Not liking how Boston jumps from Dawn to June Moon, though. Romantically, not using his power. Because June doing the flips was pretty awesome, visually.

I had fairly low expectations for the Shade mini. In all honesty, James Robinson has lost a lot of credibility with me in recent years, with the work he did on Justice League, and of course, Cry for Justice. But then again, Starman was how I was introduced to him. The title that felt like it should be published under Vertigo. The crime fighter who wasn’t interested in fighting crime at least, not at first. The Shade, as I said before, was really one of the characters that made Starman for me, and the fact that none of that history seems to have been thrown out with the reboot really means something to me. Last issue, Shade was killed by Deathstroke. This issue, he shows us that aside from being the most understated badass in comics, he is also an intelligent, loving man. Sigh. The two narratives meet when Shade takes care of the mob boss out to kill Von Hammer, and the latter is hired by the former. This is one of those books that can say nothing in many words, and I like that. I know it’s padding, but it’s fun to read, and Cully Hamner did a fantastic job with the visuals.

I’ve been looking forward to this issue of Teen Titans. With #3, we finally get to meet Bunker, whom Scorr Lobdell has revealed as being openly gay. Now, for those of you who know me, or even those of you who know my opinions on the LGBT community, I’ve often said that they’re a group that doesn’t get much representation in comics, DC especially. In recent years, DC has focused much of its energy on lesbians rather than gay men, with Batwoman currently starring in her own ongoing, and Renee Montoya having had a mini-series, followed by a short starring role in Detective Comics. Meanwhile, Mikaal Tomas was in the Justice League and…that was basically it. We’re not going to discuss Piper’s role in Countdown, because I’ve spent a long time pretending Countdown never existed. So for an out character to be a major player in one of DC’s ‘teen’ titles? I’m excited. My initial thoughts on Miguel Barragan? He’s…cute. Very cute. Sort of flamboyant (and wow can you tell that that’s reboot Tim; normal Tim wouldn’t have let anyone get that far into his personal space for a hug without knowing them for years beforehand), but in a good way, not in an oh-christ-is-this-going-to-get-annoying-quick way. By the way, can I just point out that Brett Booth is really bringing his A-game, especially with the scene where Tim and Miguel are poking their heads out of the train to look at the people. Speaking of which, I expect this Girder/Thinker 2.0 hybrid Detritus to be a major player sometime later in the series…a threat level comparable to Trigon, perhaps? Oh right, and the other storyline in this issue focuses on Kid Flash and Solstice. I’m honestly hoping that, personality-wise, Kiran remains about the same as before. I’m not going to call Kid Flash Bart until he proves to me, in some way, in any way, that he’s anything like the Bart Allen I fell in love with when I was 7.

So, remember in the last Flash series, when Barry saved the occupants of a helicopter before it crashed? Pretty cool, right? Phweeet. That’s the sound of that moment flying away as the image of Barry vibrating an entire plan through a bridge to let it have a safe water landing knocks it out of the park. I will never call this man dull again. Francis Manapul, you are a god among men. You managed to do in five pages what Geoff Johns did not in twelve issues: you have made me respect Barry Allen. And then there’s…oh. Len. You. Uh. You’re generating cold without the gun. That’s kind of…neat? Call me crazy, but I always like the fact that Flash’s Rogues were all guys in spandex with fancy weapons, not actual metahumans. That’s why the ‘new’ Rogues like Girder, Magenta, even the new Zoom didn’t exactly take with me. Still, a Manapul-penned Len Snart is a beautiful thing to behold. Ahem. AAAAAIEEEEGH. Axel. Axel Walker is in this issue. And he’s beautiful. Oh dear god that’s two Rogue sightings in as many pages. C’mon, throw Evan or Mark in for good measure. Ahem. Anyway, the issue ends on a rescue mission and a- dead Barry?! Oh, c’mon. You all know as well as I do that it won’t stick.

Well, that’s this week in comics. Sorry that this is going up so late, but I had a bit of a run in with something called a ‘social life’, and then came American Horror Story. Still, I’ll see you all back here in 7. Until then, happy Thanksgiving!

Say, anyone reading live in South Florida? Well if you do, y’all should know that this Black Friday, and all throughout the weekend, Broward’s three biggest comic shops, Tate’s Comics, Crossroad Comics, and Florida Supercomics, are all having huge Black Weekend sales! For full information and coupon downloads, check out their individual Facebook pages.

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This was actually a pretty good week to be a comic fan.

Fairly big week, hooray! I have to review Catwoman, boo.

Judd Winick, look at your life. Look at your choices. Now look at your writing in comparison to, say, Ed Brubaker. Jeph Loeb. Darwyn Cooke. What do all of these writers have in common, compared to you? They don’t suck when it comes to writing Selina Kyle. I have no review other than this.

Nightwing is kind of like Green Lantern: New Guardians to me. It’s one of those “wonder of x” books, with x equaling Dick Grayson. Dick is now the owner of Haly’s Circus, he gets to bang the hot redhead, but he’s also sort of a murder suspect, and still on the hitlist of that Saiko guy. This issue deals with delving into Dick’s past, and it’s sort of dull. But hey, next month: Batgirl! And after their riveting encounter in her title, I’m just so looking forward to that.

I liked this issue of Red Hood and the Outlaws. It’s like, Lobdell was getting his terrible out of the way early so that he could bring us things like this. Kory’s ‘most cherished memory’ may not really seem like a good thing, but I think I understand. It was the first time she re-asserted herself as a member of royal blood after the Citadel conquered her planet. To her, the feeling she had then was one of not only power, but freedom, a freedom she hadn’t felt for some time. Roy’s memory was another empowering one. He was at his lowest point, and was brought up out of the darkness by an unexpected person. Jason’s memory is the only one that could really be considered ‘cherished’; when he was sick, and Bruce took a night off from The Mission to spend time with him. All in all, it was a pretty good issue. Kenneth Rocafort can draw everything forever, as far as I’m concerned.

Justice League is getting progressively better. I haven’t been following Wonder Woman (though I’m changing that as of today), so this is my first look at her in the DCnU. You know, I like her. I like her a lot. She’s got the mindset of your typical Amazon, and the curiosity of a child. Combined, they make for a good, interesting take on a character we all know so well. You know, one of my favorite things about Justice League is all the little character cameos. Dr. Stone works alongside Dr. Ivo and Tom Morrow, while their intern is Sarah Charles. Squee!

I like Simon Tycho. Maybe it’s because I have a weakness for evil rich dudes, but my god do I like this character. He reminds me of reboot Brainiac 5, always focusing on the experiment at hand. Supergirl is a fantastic fish-out-of-water title, and I really do like it, so hopefully this Luthor-lite is going to be a recurring villain.

So is it just me, or is Brainy’s hair getting curlier and more fabulous every issue? Is there a humidifier in his lab or something? No, I’m not going to focus on the Dominator plot. I have no interest in the Legionnaires on that mission, but I happen to love Brainy and Glorith, so that’s where I’ll be focusing my attentions. This Portella guy? Keep him on Legion. His Brainy is the best I’ve seen in a couple of years.

I don’t think any of you comprehend how much I love Green Lantern Corps. I’ve always enjoyed reading about Lanterns other than the ones from 2814. That being said, I love Peter Tomasi, as a writer. Yes, he keeps the Lanterns of 2814 at the forefront, but he also introduces us to so many of the lesser-written Lanterns. For instance, in this issue, Salaak is fantastic, and Lantern Porter really gets a star role. I’m interested to know what’s up with the enemy they’re fighting, though. I’m guessing that they’re creatures literally made of willpower, that would explain the higher than possible levels. Maybe a creation of the late Krona? Ah well, until next month.

So, maybe y’all have heard of a gentleman named Kevin Maguire. In my personal opinion, he does the best, most expressive faces in comics. Ig Guara is now officially my choice for a close second, a title that, ironically, was once held by the last penciller of the Blue Beetle ongoing, Rafael Albuquerque. Basically what I’m saying is that the art in this book? Probably my favorite in the DCnU. Yes, I like it better than Batwoman and the Flash. But really, look at Jaime on the second page. Look at his face and his body language and tell me that this isn’t one hell of a happy kid. You can literally feel the characters emotions as you read, and that’s amazing. The story is also getting progressively better, with Bianca regaining some of her first-run awesome mom charm, and Milagro finally having a speaking part. However, most of the issue is more focused on La Dama. She’s… noticeably more evil in this incarnation than she used to be, actually killing someone on-panel in order to locate Jaime. Also, look at Plasmus, Warp, and Phobia. Those new designs are flawless. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that I do in fact love Blue Beetle, in its current incarnation.

That was this week in comics! Sorry about the late update, but, well, I’m addicted to American Horror Story. If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s really worth a watch. See y’all back here next Wednesday!

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The last two paragraphs of this entry are just a gigantic spoiler for the most recent issue of Superboy

Oh dear god, why me? I know I have the choice of not picking up some of these books, but I’m a masochist, sort of. Eleven books this week, and I’m really, really hoping that the good outweighs the bad.

Best pull the bandaid off as quickly as possible. Legion Lost, everybody. I don’t think I’ve stressed how much I don’t like this book. The art is half-assed, the characterization of all the Legionairres stuck in the past is shoddy, and oh my god, Fabian Nicieza, stop writing things. Okay? Killing off a character, just to have said character come back within the same arc is not good writing. I’m done with this.

I have to say, when it comes to blood and guts and gore, no title does it better than Deathstroke. I mean, that’s all the book is, really. Blood, guts, gore, and a little bit of a plot regarding someone out to kill Slade Wilson. For such a simple concept, it’s surprisingly enjoyable.

You know, I think I’ve discovered exactly what it is about Batgirl I don’t like. I don’t think, in this universe, Babs was ever Oracle. Even back when she was in the chair, people knew not to mess with her. Hell, there were entire issues of Birds of Prey dedicated to Oracle still being able to beat the crap out of people. Here she’s just…hesitant all the time. There’s none of that old feistyness that made Babs who she was. Yes, there’s snark, but every Batfamily member has that. And now, seeing the way she interacts with Dick, I’m sure of it. I’m not fond of this title. I don’t even like it. Sorry, Gail. Sorry, Babs. You’re not my cup of tea.

I find that by not reading the story and only looking at the beautiful art, Huntress is much more bearable. Marcus To is a wonder, and everything he draws is just fantastic. Paul Levitz puts me to sleep.

Batman, what are you doing? That’s the basic theme of Batman and Robin this month. First he buys a dog for a kid that prefers cats. Then he tells Damian that he can’t patrol with him. Then he makes terrible, terrible puns while fighting someone named Morgan. Okay. Yeah. Bruce, seriously. What the hell are you doing?

I don’t exactly advertise it, but I love Batman: The Brave and the Bold. It’s a fantastic show with a great cast of characters, and the comic, when I pick it up, is just as entertaining. I’m only going to say one thing about the all-Robin issue of B:TBatB, and that thing is, this is the single most quality comic to come out so far this month, and you should go buy it.

I’ve had people ask me why I like Batwoman so much, as a title. This isn’t just a little intro story, I’ve literally had people at my LCS ask me what I got out of Batwoman. It can’t be because it’s a title starring a woman, because I don’t like Batgirl or Catwoman, as books. It can’t be because of the creative team, because while I like Blackman, I will always prefer Rucka as a writer. So what is it? Why does this book have me singing its praises all the time?
Because. That’s my answer. Because.
The story is a continuation of another story that I personally loved. The main character is in turmoil because she believes that her father, someone she has looked up to and depended on for emotional support her entire life, has lied to her about the single most important event from her childhood. This isn’t just a book about Batwoman. It’s a book about Kate Kane, and Jake Kane, and Bette Kane, and Maggie Sawyer. It’s about intertwined destinies and new love and distrust and cynicism and death. Why do I buy this book every month, and talk it up every time I’m asked? Because it’s worth it.
This month’s issue was just…spectacular. The opening sequence, when La Llorona is drowning her in Gotham Harbor, the scenes with Bette and with Maggie…I can’t. I’m blown away. A special welcome back to Flamebird, by the way, whose costume just looks fantastic in this art style.

Ever read something that you hate to admit you love? That’d be Suicide Squad for me. I was never a huge fan of the original run (though I do love me some Amanda Waller), but it did have its moments. This new 52 run? I love it, except for those few moments I don’t. Not a fan of Waller’s new look, not a fan of Harley’s new look, nor the fact that she seems to have been thrown into the sexpot role her pal Ivy used to hold, but aside from that, I can dig it. I love Deadshot here. I love King Shark. And now, I love that Captain Boomerang is back in a starring role. I’m officially on board, Suicide Squad. You’ve converted me.

You know, I think I remember why I don’t like the Body Doubles now. They’re so ridiculously male gaze-y, I feel like they’re not even people. Just…cardboard stand-ups with healing powers and guns. Resurrection Man will be a lot better once they’re no longer the center villain.

Geoff Johns ships Sinestro/Hal, and nothing anyone says can make me think differently. I mean, my god. “No, you can’t go see the woman you have a confusing and overly complicated relationship with, you have to come with me, right now. To save a planet.” That being said, Sinestro laughing is probably the creepiest thing. Like a Parallax-possessed Barry Allen making out with an Ophidian-possessed Hector Hammond. It’s creepier than that. And his attitude directly afterward. “Okay, you hilarious ape-creature. Let’s go save a planet and destroy a Corps.” These two are ridiculous. It’s like, Johns has been waiting to write this particular fanfic for years, so now he’s throwing every single idea he’s ever had for them into a single issue. Sinestro is able to control Hal’s ring. They’re going to go off and save a planet together. Sinestro is jealous that Hal wants to go see Carol before he leaves. So much banter. Oh no, is that Sinestro’s ex or something?! (probably his sister, to play up the wacky misunderstanding aspect) And then Hal dies! Congratulations, Geoff. The ultimate Green Lantern fanfic has been published as a comic. You win.

OH MY GOD, RED IS CAITLIN FROM GEN 13.
I’m sorry for the spoilers, but holy shit. My mind is blown. The rest of this issue is toilet paper compared to that final page. Holy mother of god. I have no words right now. I literally cannot think of anything else to say about this issue.

That was this week in- holy fuck, seriously?! Caitlin is Red?! I can’t even. I really can’t. You guys don’t even know how much I loved the Wildstorm version of Gen 13, and now Caitlin is interacting with Superboy and Rose Wilson..? Oh my god. That was this week in comics. I’m going to go try and find coherent words.

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And the award for most times in an issue where I said, out loud, “What the hell am I reading?” goes to…

Only four books this week, now that Hawk and Dove is officially on my do not touch list. Though I did skim it and…so many teeth. So, so many teeth. Anyway, we’ve got our first round of third issues, so may as well get a move on.

Red Lanterns is actually pretty good this time around. Neither Ed Benes nor Rob Hunter have bothered to learn how to draw a cat since the first issue, though. This issue centers on the pain of Bleez, and oh my god. It may not have been the best idea for Atrocitus to give her back her mind, though. There is no creature alive that is more conniving than a woman in the midst of a rage.

I’m just going to file this issue of Static Shock under weird. So, the people that have been trying to take out Static have been doing it because they think he knows something, and the organization that funds the team itself is operating out of a club? And Virule is a big living virus? Okay? At least Static himself is more interesting and entertaining than the plot.

And the big villain of the JLI’s first arc has been revealed! Aw, I was hoping for Manga Khan. Let’s be honest, everyone was hoping for Manga Khan. Aside from spending an issue getting beaten up by tiny golems, #3 was basically about character building within the team. Bea and Tora are revealed to still be friends, and Gavril is still interested in Bea. Godiva is…shallow and only on the team for a PR move. And Guy’s big weakness is still a punch to the face. Okay, back of the head. Still, it was a good joke while it lasted.

Yeesh, Animal Man doesn’t even have to try to be DC’s what the fuck am I reading book. It just comes so naturally. The marriage between the art and the writing is so flawlessly fucked up, I can’t even. The truth is out: everything has been leading up to this revelation in the Red. The totems of the Red created Buddy Baker, created Animal Man, so that he would father Maxine, the new avatar of the Red. A war is brewing, and it must be won by…a four year old girl.

That was this week in comics. My word, this is a short, short post. Ah well. I’ve still got to come up with something for today’s NaNoWriMo entry, on Detective Comics. Anyway, that’s all she wrote for me. I’m going to get on home. See y’all here next week, same time, same place.

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Don’t worry, this is comics-related. And no, I’m not taking a break.

I’m doing National November Writing Month!

However, instead of writing a novel, I’ve decided to officially spend the month doing what I’ve been doing basically every day since the reboot; I am going to redo the recent DC reboot so that it appeals to everyone, even those outside that huge, huge, planet-spanning 18-35 white male demographic.

30 days, 30 (or more) titles, 30 characters and/or teams getting a jump.

Follow it all day by day on my Tumblr, http://www.touchofgrey37.tumblr.com

Uh, or just follow the tracked tag NaNoWriMo: DCU re-reboot. Because my Tumblr was recently invaded by Rogues, and you all don’t need to be subjected to that.

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