Archive for January, 2012

I’m a Speed-Force to be reckoned with, baby!

Last week of the month! And I’m just going to come out and say it, this is my favorite week. New Flash, new Teen Titans, new Walking Dead (which I don’t review, if you can’t tell)…it’s just a good week. Let’s get started, shall we?

Hm, maybe I misjudged Green Lantern: New Guardians. Aside from the art, learn size ratios, Tyler Kirkham, the story is actually picking up the pace and getting…interesting. So, the universe-sized ship? It’s full of lost worlds. No, seriously. Okaara, which last I checked, was a barren world, and also Tamaran, which kept getting blown up, are in two of the ships explored. Innnteresting. And in the ship Kyle and Glomulus explore…a statue depicting Larfleeze as the space devil? Yeah, okay, I can see that. Huh. This isn’t terrible, though it did end on a bit of a cliffhanger. Introducing the Big Bad of the series, Invictus!

Legion Secret Origin continues to be the only good Legion book currently being published, what a shock. Man, I love the secret cabal of old people. They’re just so…Big Brother-y. Phantom Girl, Invisible Kid, and Colossal Boy are now officially part of the Legion and, am I the only one really looking forward to the first time Querl and Lyle meet here? Please tell me I’m not. I mean, they haven’t seen each other since the Threeboot ended, and this is going to be their official retcon first meeting…I’m excited. The bulk of the issue is a big fight scene, not much to say on that. Still, it’s well-written and well drawn, what more can I ask for?

I don’t like magic books. I don’t like magic in general. Magic, religion, the unknown and unproven. I just don’t like ’em. And yet I keep reading Justice League Dark, even though I haven’t got a fucking clue what’s going on. Well, no more. June Moon is back inside the Enchantress, Xanadu’s lie has been exposed, everyone is going their separate ways, and I’m no longer into this book. By, JLD. It was a ride that I didn’t get at all.

Justice League, what are you doing? No, I can’t. I just keep asking this book what it’s doing. Bruce Wayne unmasking and introducing himself to Hal, Hal playing leader. Darkseid’s Omega Beams missing, Batman Boom Tube-ing himself to Apokalips…I can’t. How is this DC’s flagship book? It’s horrible. It’s like a gold-plated piece of shit. It still stinks, but the pretty wrapping makes you forget that it does. Oh my god, I just can’t.

I’ve gleaned several things from this issue of Teen Titans. First off, Scott Lobdell probably read the entire Superboy series, Young Justice, and several different incarnations of Teen Titans in his research prior to writing these series’. That’s the only way I could plausibly believe Superboy talking extensively about his TTK in 2012 is actually a thing that happened. Next, Brett Booth invented Wonder Girl’s growing armor. He had to have. He accidentally drew her with a headdress in one panel, and instead of redrawing her, Scott just wrote it in, because it looked cool. Either that, or Scott’s a fan of Kim Possible. And lastly? Scott Lobdell is an evil man, because Superboy’s line about how they could have been friends in another time and place broke my damn heart. So, at the end of the issue, what do we have? Superboy has up and left N.O.W.H.E.R.E., though not before knocking out everyone on the team and leaving them where they lie. Wonder Girl has growing armor now. Kid Flash is most likely an amalgam of Bart and Wally. Kiran is a bright fucking ray of sunshine…oh wait, no she’s not. She’s a doom and gloom rain cloud. Which is basically what the costume and body change signifies, anyway. And Bunker continues to be fabulous, and not afraid to admit how fabulous he is. Whelp. I…don’t actually have anything else to say about Teen Titans.

Good golly gosh, I hope I never run into Francis Manapul at a convention. They wouldn’t make a restraining order big enough. For those of you who have yet to turn your translators to Grey, this means I enjoyed the latest issue of The Flash. There were Rogue cameos (Folded Man, Tar Pit, and Girder!), a nice Flash/Iris moment as well as an equally nice Barry/Patty moment, effective uses of Speed Force, and a fantastic DUN DUN DUN ending to top it all off! Dr. Elias has long since agreed to assist Mob Rule in their bid to stay alive, a pity his Green Generator isn’t exactly clone friendly. Between the generator and Barry’s speed vortex, the clone squad known as Mob Rule meet a fairly tragic end. I feel bad for Manuel. No matter what Mob Rule may have done in his name, they were all still, essentially, parts of him. No one deserves to watch themselves die. Our final page isn’t a cliffhanger so much as it is a setup for a longer story. As it turns out, every time Flash uses his speed, he rips open the space/time continuum, and things travel through time and fall into the present, or past, or future. It’s all very odd. In any case, the end solution, according to Dr. Elias, is to destroy the Speed Force. Say it with me now, folks. DUN DUN DUN!

And that’d be this week in comics. Sometimes I feel bad that I’m not following more books. But then I think to myself, hey. If these books don’t interest me, why would I force myself to suffer them? Well, I’ve got to go have feelings about Gotham Central now, see y’all next week!

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I dub thee, DC what are you doing week.

It’s a…well, it’s a week. Six books, two of which are on their last chances. Sigh. Okay, enough stalling.

Green Lantern Corps, what are you doing? Peter J. Tomasi has effectively integrated the mythical hammerspace into DC continuity. For those not in the know, hammerspace is the term used in some anime fandoms to describe the place where characters keep previously unnoticed weapons or supplies. But instead of hammerspace being a dimensional rip, he’s made it into an actual planet. Okay, sure. Also, way to have aliens carrying around and trading completely random Earth weapons. Ugh. I’m actually pretty glad I’m not paying for this title anymore.

Nothing happened in Legion of Superheroes this month. Nothing. Unlike in the various downtime comics the post-Zero Hour Legion had, this one didn’t have any sort of underlying plot. It just showed the characters…existing. Which, I guess was okay. We see that Salu and Ayla are still lovers, that Imra and Garth went back to Winath to raise their kids, and that Glorith doesn’t really like being in the Legion. Okay, that shows a little bit of character development. But there’s just so little of anything going on, I nearly fell asleep. And don’t even get me started on that art. Good god, what is that art even trying to accomplish? Sorry, LoSH, you’re officially in-store.

Oh wow. Oh snap. I can’t even right now. Remember how I was hating on Blue Beetle last month? Jaime stabbed Paco through the heart, though not of his own will, and Paco was dying. Well, this month, Jaime had the Scarab save him…except the Scarab lied. Instead of inserting a, a healing bug into Paco, Khaji-Da turned him into a sleeper agent for the Reach, a Red Beetle. It was a twist I wasn’t expecting, and it certainly made this issue incredibly interesting. Blue Beetle, you are safe for another month.

I loved the first couple of issues of Supergirl. They were wonderfully drawn and interestingly written. But now? This, ‘oh god where is Krypton what are these powers what’s going on’ Kara’s been saddled with has really begun to irritate me. I mean, jeez. I’ve heard broken records that occasionally play different songs. Anyway, in this issue, Kara discovers what happened to Krypton by way of her home of Argo City, which was protected from the destruction by a giant force field, though it has since died. And then we get the fight scene. This seems to be a pattern with Supergirl. Kara is confused and scared, someone superpowered appears, she gets angry, there is a fight. I really hate to do this but…I’m benching this book.

I think this may be ‘what are you doing’ week. Because Nightwing had me saying that every couple of pages. We’re in New Orleans this month, so of course there’s going to be a voodoo priestess. I mean, why not? And of course she’s Jimmy the clown’s ex-wife. And of course Raya is hooking up with the guy who’d liked her forever and also fought Dick a couple of issues ago. Next to no progress was made with that book subplot, so I guess we can write this issue off as filler..?

Oh god, I can’t even. Even? It’s gone. Knocked out of the park. Red Hood and the Outlaws, as I may have said before, is a book that gets better with every issue. Most of this month is focused on Jason’s fight with the Untitled in hiding as well as Jason’s past with the All-Caste, though the other plot, Kori and Roy versus Crux, is also pretty prevalent. Let’s talk about that first. Roy’s character in the reboot seems to be that of a man who plays the fool, but still has a lot of heart to him. He proves that by not really saying anything when Kori reveals that she’s been depowered, just sets out to help her the best he can. Any other person would probably dwell on her powerlessness, but not him, and that’s nice. Kori is also showing a bit of heart this issue, especially in her scene with Roy, and at the end, where she doesn’t immediately agree to use her, very lethal, powers on the angry mob chasing Jason. Speaking of whom, wowzers. Aside from wielding the most badass weapons (swords that seem to require your own blood to work, holy shit) I’ve seen in quite a while, he also shows an amazing ability to not give a flying fuck. His own murder? Batman being a douche? Ignore all that, let’s kick some ass. Wow.

And that was this week in comics! I’ve got a teeny, tiny social life to go sustain now, so I must be off. By the way, Tumblr officially convinced me to go out and buy the first five issues of Wonder Woman and Batman, so I may do a mass assessment of the two books later, once I read them. If not see y’all next week.

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I’m just going to paraphrase and call this Flashback Week.

Another Wednesday, another pull list full of DC. Seven books this week, let’s get down to business.

This is the origin issue of Resurrection Man, it seems. Boy, Mitch Shelley was a gigantic douche prior to acquiring his powers. And he had Deathstroke working for him…okay, I need to know more. Just how important was this platinum blonde Alzheimer’s patient? So it looks like his origin is this: Mitch was a scientist for the United States government who had developed a serum that could restore lost limbs, a regeneration serum. He was the one who gave the Body Doubles their powers, or at least, he gave them to Carmen. She got a small dose of regeneration serum but after some…terrorists? Let’s go with terrorists. After some terrorists attacked his base, Mitch got injected with the full serum, everything that was left. So now, he doesn’t just regenerate limbs, he comes back to life. There must have been a glitch in the serum that caused superpowers, or maybe it was intentional. In any case, wow. What a turn-around. I was honestly planning on dropping this down to in store-only status and I may still do it, but it seems that so long as the story is focusing on Mitch, it’s not unbearable.

Oh dear, it seems as though the thing everyone else could see was going to happen has finally happened. Damian has decided that his father getting him a dog was just the last straw, and he’d rather fight crime with Morgan. I think Morgan promised him a kitten. Oh, Bruce. You insufferable asshole. It’s not your ‘job’ to love your son. Being a good parent just isn’t in your skill set. It’s flashback month! This time, we look at how Bruce met Henri Ducard and his son, Morgan. I have this terrible feeling that all the good Damian did with Dick is going to be negated, and he’s going to turn into a villain. I don’t want that at all. I don’t think anyone wants that.

I love Suicide Squad. I love it in an entirely non-ironic way. It’s well-written with interesting characters, and Adam Glass is not afraid to have big, powerful men show real emotion from time to time. I have exactly three problems with this entire series, so far. First, Amanda Waller’s size. She’s still the same old Wall, just…hot. And that is sort of freaky. Though this issue, she calls her husband when she thinks she’s about to die, when she thinks she’s going to have to kill everyone in the prison remotely, just to tell him that she loves him. That’s a great bit of characterization for her. Just because you don’t fuck with Amanda Waller doesn’t mean she doesn’t have the capability to love.
My other problems are with Harley Quinn’s outfit, and only her outfit, and Captain Boomerang’s disappearance respectively. Harley Quinn has spent many years as either the Joker’s flunkie-slash-girlfriend, or trying to forget him and move on with her life. Her fling with Deadshot seems like it would qualify under that second part. There’s no shame in attempting to, if you’ll forgive my paraphrasing, fuck the pain away. Then again, it didn’t seem to work. Looks like Harley’s headed back to Gotham, as of the end of this issue. As for Digger…his story was open-ended. There was no distinct ending to it. Is he dead? Alive? Being tortured? Hopefully he’ll show up again within the next few issues.

Last issue of the Shade, we met Richard’s great-grandson. This issue, we learn just how familiar they are. After all, the Shade has a history of secrecy and seclusion, so how would a living family member be aware of him? Well, there was once upon a time when grandfather saved grandson’s life. Of course, an issue set in 1944 is going to be drawn by Darwyn Cooke. This man is a retro god, and I’m not afraid to say it. This issue is all about how Nazis wanted to kill Darnell Caldecott, and how Richard did not allow that to happen. With the assistance of wartime hero Vigilante and cross-dressing hero Madame Fatal, Shade keeps his kin alive. An interesting change, Madame Fatal was originally envisioned as a man dressing as an elderly woman. Aside from the cane, Madame Fatal just looks like a buxom platinum blonde. ‘She’ looks more like a naughty librarian than anything else. But I blame that on Cooke’s inability to really change up his style vis a vis women. Not that I’m saying all his women look alike, only that…he’s not good at making them look old. Still, it was a fantastic issue, and not a bad jumping-on point if you still haven’t picked up the series.

Superboy is an interesting book. It has shown us that Gen 13 is still around, that Rose Wilson was never a pawn of her father, and that Superboy himself may or may not be a villain. But the most interesting reveal so far, is the knowledge that Rose, friend of ‘Red’, may just be a part of the 13. She’s got the designate number of 8, as well as a codename, Ravager. If Rose is in fact part of the 13, that’ll mean that she has no actual connection to Deathstroke, unless, of course, it was his DNA that she was built out of. And how freaking cool would that be?! Oh yeah, and something happened involving Superboy, too. Who cares. Rose!

Usually if I’m talking about Geoff Johns, I’m snide. Jeering. Constantly throwing out accusations that he’s got a Green Lantern sex toy shoved up his butt at all times. But you know what?
The current Green Lantern series, starring Sinestro, is the best one I’ve read in years. Because Sinestro isn’t looking for redemption, he’s just looking to do his old job again, as reluctant as he seems to be. The last couple of pages were my favorite, as they set up the next arc. Hal and Carol are giving it another go, and the Guardians are planning to police the entire universe, or possibly conquer it, with a ‘third army’. Personally? I’m shaking in my boots here. Because while the Manhunters and the Alpha Lanterns were freaky bananas as it was, what could this ‘third army’ possibly be made up of?

As of the end of the first arc I can now confidently say, Batwoman was worth the wait. The ghost woman, Maria, was in fact a ghost. Dead as disco. So how was she still on this plane? Well, that would have something to do with Medusa, an organization that seems to be the new Religion of Crime in Kate’s life. Like the Dark Faith, Medusa seem to have some ties to magic, as well as being a big-time criminal organization. Man, there are a lot of those roaming around freely in the DCnU. Oh, and by the way, the DEO didn’t waste any time going after Kate. But, instead of shutting her down, they offered her a job. And she took it. Actually, that’s over-simplifying things. If she didn’t take the job, her father would rot in prison for crimes against his country, namely, stealing the military tech that Kate used as Batwoman. So even though literally minutes prior she’d been cutting him out of a picture, symbolically cutting him out of her life, Kate still chose to help him. There’s hope for you yet, lady. As always, the art was amazing. Especially the opening and closing sequences, and when Kate threw off the influence of Maria, whoo. And while neither Bette nor Maggie had any real appearances in this issue, they still played their parts to make it work. Let’s hope the next arc is as good as the first, as well as all those who come after.

That was this week in comics! I hope to catch you all here next week. For now, however, I hear tell of fajitas in the kitchen, so I’m going to go make one. As always, I am Touch of Grey.

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This week: Space butts!

Fairly small week, but this is a good thing, for me. For you see, it’s pretty darn cold out, and I have to ride my bike home later. So let’s get started!

Still not very fond of Huntress, except for the art. Marcus To could draw tentacle porn and I’d read it, and hate myself about the same amount. I just don’t like Paul Levitz all that much, okay. Not a fan.

Why is Red Lanterns so awful this month? I’m going to blame it entirely on Ed Benes’ fascination with Bleez’s ass. Not including the cover, he draws a close-up shot of her ass seven times over the course of the issue. That’s a lot of ass. Between Bleez’s booty and Atrocitus’ big boner for Krona, there is very little moving the story forward. Though we finally hear the rest of Skallox and Ratchet’s stories, which is nice. The only real saving grace, honestly, were the final couple of pages, where we see a red ring choose a denizen of Earth…a human, no less. While I liked having Dex-Starr as Earth’s Red Lantern, this repressed nerd, John Moore, has certainly caught my eye. He has not, however, caught my wallet. Until Ed ‘breasts and butts’ Benes cleans up his act, this book is in-store only.

I hate Godiva. No, really. I seriously hate Godiva. Nix her, bring in Jaime, and this will officially be a better book. JLI is my ‘everyone should just stand around and talk to each other’ comic. The first arc, or at least the first five issues of the first arc, have seemed a bit lazy. Rushed at some points, dragged out at others, but keeping in the overall theme of not being very good. Still, the banter between August General in Iron and Rocket Red, the pre-existing friendship between Fire and Ice (not to mention the pre-existing romantic relationship between Guy and Ice), and Booster’s general excellentness keeps me coming back.

I’ve heard that Static Shock is supposedly one of DC’s lowest-selling books, and from an outsider’s point of view, I can see why. If you’ve never read anything from his Milestone series, or Rebirth of the Cool, or Terror Titans, or his issues of Teen Titans, or seen his show, then what the heck are you even doing picking up this title? But somehow, I find it highly unlikely that, if you’d been reading comics or watching cartoons prior to the DC reboot, you somehow managed to miss out on Static. His return to mainstream comics in Terror Titans was one of the most talked about things at my LCS the week that issue came out. Static is an amazing hero, and Virgil and his family are incredibly interesting characters. The most recent issue of Static Shock deals with Piranha’s crew kidnapping one of the Sharons, and Virgil going out to hunt them down. Static’s interaction with the villains, as well as his ongoing inner-monologue, is really what makes this issue work. If you haven’t been reading Static Shock, now might be a good time to start.

Now normally, I sort of hate fakeout endings. They get me all worried over nothing, or over something that is resolved the next issue. But thank Kord Jeff Lemire didn’t actually pull a Morrison and off Animal Man’s son. I don’t want to see any dead kids just yet. Actually, I don’t want to see any dead kids ever, but DC hates fully functional families, so there you go. Still, Maxine is their tiniest badass, and Ellen and Cliff are equally awesome. Wait until you see what happens to the third hunter, holy shit. It’s just fantastic. Can I make a quick confession? I don’t care about Swamp Thing at all. I’ve never made an effort to read his series, his return at the end of Brightest Day did nothing for me, I just do not care about him. I can’t find it within myself. But I’d better start caring, because it looks like he’s going to be in Animal Man soon.

That’s this week in comics! Now if no one minds, there’s a big plate of curry waiting for me at home, and I intend to get there before it cools off. See you all next week!

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