Archive for March, 2012

Insert clever villainous monologue here!

A mighty small week, with only four books up for review, but still the week I look forward to the most. Final issue of Legion Secret Origins, and the continuing sagas of Flash and Teen Titans. Let’s get going!

I’m going to jump right in with Green Lantern: New Guardians. Okay, Tony, we get it. Larfleeze is eeeeevil. The bad guy. As the sole wielder of the light of greed, I think we all figured that out. Then again, there are the people that love Larfleeze, because of the woobie role that Geoff Johns tended to write him into, but I’m going to say that it was because of Johns’ personal bias towards the character. After all, he created him. Invictus…I’d like to compare this guy to every extreme religious group ever. He wants to wipe out the Vega system and replace it with the ship-universe that he created, because the entire system deviated from his (god’s) great plan. Well, okay. That’s not crazy at all. Except in the instances where it totally is. Then there’s the little reminder that this is, in fact, a Wonder of Kyle book. How did Kyle manage to talk Invictus down when the combined power of Saint Walker and Munk (who was directly channeling Saint Walker) failed? Sigh. Though I would like to point out that there was one page that, upon concentrating and listening really hard, I could actually hear people on /co/ and Tumblr begin to ship Arkillo/Saint Walker. Kind of scary, once you think about it.

Wait. Hold on. On the fucking cover I can see a crack in Gim’s helmet. You know, the thing that allows him to breathe in space. If this wasn’t a prologue to everything that happens after, I’d swear that Paul Levitz was preparing to kill him off.
I spent most of this issue thunking my forehead on the table and whimpering, “Are you fucking serious, Levitz?!” Having Mycroft evil-monologue his way through a botched assassination attempt, the return of the Time Trapper…didn’t we get rid of this character back during Final Crisis? It was revealed that he was actually a grown Superboy Prime that had figured out a way to travel through the Multiverse. Was that not good enough for you, Paul? I will admit, I find Tinya’s sort of airy fairy personality a lot easier to swallow than any other I’ve read her in. In the end, I can still say that this was the best Legion book to come out since the Threeboot ended, so I guess it’s not a total loss.

Scott Lobdell, you are not a good writer. I’m sorry. You’re just…not. You start off the issue with a bad guy monologue, and the monologue isn’t even vaguely threatening. The dialogue throughout the issue is awkward and clumsy, to the point of parody. I will admit, Tim Catholic-guilting the others into coming on his rescue mission was sort of funny…if that was the response you were looking for. I don’t really want to go into this issue in full, just because it disappoints me so much. I’ve been let-down by you before, Scott, but damn. A word of advice: How about you drop a title and focus your efforts on making only a couple of comics terrible? Give Teen Titans to someone else. It won’t kill you.

I’m not sure how to feel about this month’s issue of the Flash. On one hand, I like how most of the issue is focused less on the Flash himself, and more on how he affected the people and city around him. We get a closer look at the sort-of love triangle that is Patty, Barry, and Iris, and Word of God says that neither Francis nor Brian are completely sure who they want him to end up with. Not fond of Lisa’s hateful attitude towards Len, though. She’s kind of become a refrigerator magnet when he’s concerned. In the Citizen Cold mini, she was brought in solely to die, so I’m fairly glad she’s actually still alive at this point, though it’s unlikely she’ll ever become Golden Glider. And then there’s the little detail in Director Singh’s apartment about who might be showing up soon. For those who don’t recognize him, he’s the head of Barry’s crime lab. General web opinion is that he could be the boyfriend of Hartley Rathaway, or at least a close enough friend that Piper allows him to keep some flutes in his apartment. I kind of want to lean more towards boyfriend, because it’d be nice to see a LGBTQ character in the Central City PD. Aside from the mildly questionable characterizations, I really sort of did like this issue. It was cool to see Grodd and Solovar cameo. Manapul’s style looks good on them. Flash still remains my favorite book in the reboot, seven months in. Way to go, Flash.

And that was this week in comics. A short week, but still fulfilling, for me at least. For those of you following Marvel, Avengers versus X-men starts this week. I hear it’s supposed to be an epic crossover event. So, keep me informed, I guess.

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Two out of three ain’t bad…when we’re talking about the Trinity, anyway.

For my own reasons, I simply can’t continue to read Green Lantern Corps and Nightwing. As it is, we’ve got eight books on our plate today, including what seems to be the end of Kick-Ass 2. Let’s go!

I’m sorry, but I don’t see how anyone in this gang could possibly be Chinese. Is it a bad artist? I mean, he’s clearly seen Asians before. Harmonia is proof of this. Is the future of China just…an explosion of white folks? Okay…

I really like the designs of the Worldkillers, they’re certainly well done. Also, I’d like to be the first to decry the theory that Kara is another Worldkiller. After all, Reign said that only a Worldkiller can defeat a Worldkiller, and Kara was clearly losing her fight against them. This issue was…interesting. It was fairly slow, for an issue that was essentially one big fight scene. Though at the end, it stands to wonder. Did Reign and her Worldkillers take down the force field? It’ll be pretty awkward if they didn’t. Oh well, we’ll find out next month.

Justice League is completely unlikable. The team is made up of dicks. Well, dicks, Diana, and Barry. I haven’t really seen enough of Cyborg to make a informed decision as to whether or not he’s a dick yet. Though I do have a thing to say about Diana. With the whole ‘rejection of Steve Trevor’ thing, is it possible that they might explore a theme that has been speculated on for decades? Namely, the theory that Wonder Woman could be, dare I dream it, queer? I really, really want that route to be traveled, I just don’t want Geoff Johns to be the one to do it.
Now onto the second feature. Holy fuck, what did you do to Billy Batson? Billy ‘sweetest kid on the planet’ Batson. Billy ‘I’m going to make Black Adam’s magic word chocolate egg cream just to fuck with him’ Batson. Well, he’s apparently a brat now. Thanks for that, Geoff Johns. I will say, I always enjoy seeing Gary Frank’s art. I just wish it wasn’t attached to…this.

I love Wonder Woman. I’ve never said that before, but I say it now. This issue is just…fantastic. The perfect marriage of art and writing, simply amazing. Diana and her band of gods and demigods have sought out Hephaestus to arm them for their journey into hell to retrieve Zola, and on the way, learn the answer to a very good question. How is it the Amazons have only ever had girl-children? Answer: they haven’t. The ‘failures’ of Amazons have been traded to Hephaestus for weapons, and he raises them instead. They are not his slaves, as Diana assumed, but his children. This was a good, good issue. It showed that Diana isn’t always right, it introduced us to more members of her extended family, and it also answered a question that had not been answered before. If you haven’t been reading Wonder Woman before, it’d be a good idea to start. Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang have made fans out of a former Wonder Woman neutralist.

Wow, today is just a day for adoration. Anyone who knows me knows that I don’t like Bruce Wayne. I’m not a fan, never have been. But under Scott Snyder’s pen, something has happened. While he isn’t exactly likable, Bruce Wayne has become something. Perhaps something he’s always been, but I’ve just been too blind to see. Stripped to his core, he is…an unhinged, emotionally-stunted manchild in a Bat costume. And for some reason, I really, really like that.

I have my problems with Red Hood and the Outlaws, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t. I think my major issue is that this All-Caste thing would have worked just as well attached to a new character, not one as well-established in the DC universe as Jason Todd. That being said, I do like the backstory of Essence. Revealing her, as well as Ducra and the Untitled as a whole, to be Vandal Savage-esque immortals was pretty cool. And the designs are fantastic. But…it just doesn’t feel like a book Jason Todd should be attached to. That’s just my two cents, like it or leave it.

Kick-Ass 2 ended in an interesting way. Red Mist is defeated, the superheroes get their shining moment, Mother Russia gets a particularly gory decapitation scene…it wasn’t bad. It’s clearly not the last we’re going to see of Hit-Girl, if the fact that Millarworld is going to be putting out a solo title about her in June. Yes, that’s right, Millarworld. A company where Mark Millar writes everything. And he’s got the gall to advertise it in the back of a Marvel comic with the line, “The Big Two just became the Big Three” attached. Um. Hi, there’s this other company, goes by the name Image, it’s got one of the most popular comics on the market right now? And said comic spawned a TV show? Yeah, get in line for number 3 status.

Hm. Okay, want my opinion? Of course you don’t, but I’m giving it anyway. Jaime is in New York City. Virgil is in New York City. They should totally team up. By the way, the phasing villain here bears a striking resemblance to the other phasing villain who showed up, connection? Perhaps. I’m still not enjoying the Blue Beetle book, but at least I’m hating it less that usual so…progress?

That was this week in comics! I wrote a lot less that I thought I would, hm. In any case, I was barely driven to insane rage this week, fantastic! Let’s hope next week goes just as well. Until then, my lovelies!

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Legends and torture and fridging, oh my!

Six titles this week, all DC, all ones I actually enjoy. Maybe this won’t be such a rage-filled week, after all.

I spent most of the five minutes it took me to read Superboy making happy noises. I love Rose Wilson. I love Caitlin Fairchild. I love it when awesome ladies are friends with other awesome ladies. So, the acknowledgement that the two of them cared about each other kind of made me lose my shit a little bit. Also, I just need to say that I don’t read this book to listen to the mental ramblings of Mr. How-Do-I-Emotions. To me, this is Rose’s book. And you know what? I think she’s the first clone. She’s a female clone of Deathstroke. I’m calling it right now, and if it actually happens, you all owe me a soda. Oh, and before I forget, next month…more Gen 13! Yesss! Ahem, I mean, this pleases me. Verily.

Nope. I can’t. I can’t do this. Will someone please go up to Geoff Johns, slap him, and tell him to put his fanfic on his LiveJournal like the rest of us? Because, frankly, if this was good fanfic, I wouldn’t really care. But it has all the standard slashfic cliches: Guy is interested in guy, but said guy is already taken, usually by a woman. Guy makes it so that other guy has no choice other than to work with him. Bondage? Can we just cut to the ending where they make out? And have Marcus To or someone draw it. No offense to Doug Mahnke, but his Sinestro is kind of creepy looking. But enough about the blatant UST which seems to be a central theme in this book. Let’s talk about the Indigo Tribe. Personally, I love this particular Corps, especially because of what they seem to mean to the universe. Their rings, not unlike the rings of the Star Sapphires, completely wipe, and then warp, the personality of the wearer. I mean, they took Black Hand and turned him into a…I want to say militant hippie, because that’s what the Tribe seems to be made up of. And then there’s their manner of speech. I bet Geoff doesn’t actually have a translation guide, he just makes it up as he goes along. I’m a bit worried, though. As they were abducting Hal and Sinestro, Indigo-1 mentioned Natu, as in Soranik Natu, Sinestro’s daughter. Does that mean she’s still around? Do the Indigo have her somewhere? Ooh, I hope we find out soon, I do love my Green Lantern ladies alive, after all.

“Some of my best friends are sodomites.” I love you, James Robinson. I’m really loving the Barcelona stop on the Shade’s world tour. As a character, La Sangre is interesting, charming, and even cute. This Inquisitor fellow on the other hand, is just as interesting, but not as charming. Religious fanatics have always stuck a negative chord with me, especially ones who use their faith as a way to prove they’re better than others. There isn’t much I can say about the actual issue that anyone else won’t be saying. It’s well-written, and the art really suits the arc. To see Shade interacting with country-specific heroes like La Sangre and Montpellier is really a treat, and I hope that trend continues in whichever place he goes next.

Oh, wow. Really now. Hello, fridge! This is going to be a spoilery review, so if you don’t want to know all the happenings of the Suicide Squad, skip to the paragraph after next.
Harley Quinn, we hardly knew ye. No, really, we barely get your updated origin before kaboom, gone. While I find it interesting that Harley wasn’t brought into the life so much as forcibly pushed into it, it really leads me to wonder. What that toxin she was dunked in a last straw that revealed the real madness behind the mind, or did it drastically alter her personality? Also, what the hell is in that juice to make it dye your hair like that? That’s so stupid, it borders on nonsensical. Then again, this is Harley Quinn we’re talking about. Nonsensical is sort of her thing.

What the fuck is wrong with this book. What the fuck is going on in Peter Tomasi’s head. The opening sequence, of Morgan torturing Damian while Bruce rushes to his rescue, is just gross. And then we get into the actual meat of the book, which is a fight scene. Bruce and Morgan throwing each other all over the boat, while Damian just kind of…crawls around aimlessly. And then that ending…what the everloving fuck. Bruce backs down from killing Morgan because he doesn’t want to set a bad example for his son, and then Damian just sort of goes, “Screw this.” and punches him so hard that his fingers go into Morgan’s head. What the fuck, Peter Tomasi. No. I can’t. I really can’t with this book. I want to stop reading it, but it’s the only place where Damian even shows up. Why does this precious hellspawn have to be in the worst Bat-title on my list? Why?

Thank god for Batwoman. While I was sorry to hear that Amy Reeder will soon be leaving the book as artist, she’s certainly bringing her A-game now. Such expressive faces, such beautiful movements, sigh. She will be missed. As for the story, while the Medusa-focused segments did little to forward the plot (mainly because they were flashbacks), they were still very interesting. Sune seems to have more compassion than her brother, Maro. Scratch that. Sune definitely has more compassion than Maro, who sacrificed three women to obtain Bloody Mary. That’s another thing. The horrors that Maro magics up are all based on local legends. The man with the hook for a hand. The Weeping Woman. Bloody Mary. Even Killer Croc represents the pet alligator that someone flushed down the toilet. I like how Falchion wonders what kind of living legend he’ll make Kate into. Don’t you know, B-list supervillain? Batwoman is a local legend, she doesn’t need to change at all, silly.

And that was this week in comics! Also of note, though I chose not to review it, the second issue of Adventure Time came out. If you’re a fan of the show, I’d recommend giving it a read. Anyway, I’ve got to get going now. See y’all next week!

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Makeouts! Makeouts for everyone!

Hey, you guys want to hear something cool? This post is my 150th post, and today is my 22nd birthday. Okay, it’s not cool cool, but it was cool to me. Huh, does it say something about me that I’d rather be on the internet in a comic shop reviewing comics for you than out at a bar or something partying? Nah! Anyway, we’ve got six books in front of us today, let’s get started!

You know what? The last issue of the Huntress wasn’t a final issue. It was a segue into World’s Finest. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, I mean, Weird Worlds segued into My Greatest Adventure, which is probably going to segue into some other anthology series. But did we really need six issues of nothing, only to end in the Helena Wayne reveal? I mean, come on, Paul. And you know that the billion-Euro bounty on Helena’s head is probably going to play a big part in the first ‘year’ of stories in World’s Finest. If you can ignore the words coming out of everyone’s mouths, it’s a good book with pretty art. If you like having a good story to read, pass on Huntress.

Why am I still reading Red Lanterns? It isn’t a very good title, never was. It was interesting in the beginning but now, with Bleez sentient, Atrocitus dead, and the human Jack Moore a Red Lantern, well. On the upside, the Bleez ass count for this issue is all of one. One panel of fanservice. Benes, you are improving. Then there are the last-minute character additions known as the Abysmorphs. Ugly, misshapen creatures that flayed the dead Krona of his flesh and ate his body. Atrocitus fights them, and loses. Well, okay. So it looks like the main characters of this book are going to be Bleez and Jack Moore from now on. I can live with that.

I don’t know how to feel about Justice League International this month. On one hand, while a lot of people were hurt in last issue’s bombing, at least we get to see just how intense Guy’s feelings for Tora are. After Generation Lost, I really, really worried about those two. Actually, speaking of Generation Lost, a moment of silence for sweet, stubborn Gavril Ivanovich. DC doesn’t like Rocket Red very much, I think. I mean, this is the second one they’ve offed in less than a decade. Still, a fair point is raised in this issue, which has been raised before: Do superheroes cause more damage than they prevent? Would the bombers have hit the United Nations if the JLI hadn’t been connected to them? And speaking of the team, who will be brought in to replace Gavril, Vixen, and Tora, at least temporarily? My best guess is Batwing, and maybe Blue Beetle. Ooh, if they need another Russian hero, how about Red Star? Then again, do we really want teen heroes, the cannon fodder of the DCU, on a team that has already sustained two casualties and a fatality? Something to think on.

Maybe you’re getting sick of hearing me say this, but Animal Man is probably one of the best titles DC has put out in years. Yes, this is another issue of the Baker family riding around in Grandma’s RV, but it’s the interactions that make this book what it is. The little hints of the chaos going on in the outside world, the flash of a possible future in Buddy’s dreams, Ellen and her mother arguing over the effect Buddy has had on their lives…Jeff Lemire is a fantastic writer, who crafts an intricate world. Whatever payoff all this setup is leading to, it’s going to be amazing. I can feel it.

I really wish Static Shock wasn’t being cancelled, because Marc Bernardin is really bringing his A-game to these last two, one-shot issues. Obviously, he’s being allowed to write what he wants to, because the dialogue? It sound natural. And the action sequences? Solved with science, in the classic Static fashion. If you haven’t been buying this book, you should at least pick up this issue. Go, buy it en mass! Show DC that we want to keep Static around a while longer so that when they inevitably cancel one or more of the books Rob Liefeld is going to be working on, we can get our boy back.

Okay, this may be a horrible thing to say, but if anyone was going to get a happy ending out of Children’s Crusade, I’m glad it was Billy. Sort of. This is going to be the one really spoilery part of this post, so warning.
Cassie is dead. The Vision is dead. Iron Lad has started down the path that made him Kang the Conqueror, and the Young Avengers are no more. The uniforms have been hung up, and a chapter of Avenger’s history has been closed. Or has it? Like Captain America said, they’re Avengers now. In theory. They’ll be thought of as Avengers, Cassie and Jonah included. But does that mean the Young Avengers should no longer exist? Eli seems to have stuck by his word of giving up the costume, and Teddy and Tommy seemed to have stuck with Billy in a sort of familial solidarity, but where was Kate all this time? After the first panel in the ‘time passes’ page, she doesn’t show up. Did she become Hawkeye again? Did Tommy become Speed? There are so many questions that need answers, and I really don’t see how Marvel could just…can a semi-popular franchise. My two cents? It won’t last. The next Young Avengers series will be out in April 2015, mark my words. Also, I’d like to congratulate Billy and Teddy for finally getting an on-panel kiss. And Billy, way to go on your stubble. That’s some nice stubble you have. It probably took you several months to grow it.

And that was this week in comics! I’m quite satisfied, how about you? Maybe I’m just in a better mood today. Nope, I’m going to chock this up to the comics, for a change. Anyway, I’ll be seeing y’all next week. According to my watch, it’s time for sushi!

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Five Wednesdays do not a fabulous month make.

This is the thing I don’t like about months with five Wednesdays in them. Comic companies put out their best stuff in the fourth week, completely forgetting that they’ve got one last week to fill. That’s why this Wednesday, the 29th of February, I have three books, but I’m only honestly looking forward to one of them.

Let’s start on a low note with Justice League. My god, I’ve never been less impressed with a ‘flagship’ book in my life. The art is fantastic, but the writing is sub-par. I wanted to say something snarky like, “Even for Geoff Johns”, but I’ve been very happy with Green Lantern, cleverly disguised slash fic that it is, so I can’t hate. I can however, hate the crap out of this title. Splash pages and minimal plot advancement, that’s this sixth issue of Justice League. With Jim Lee’s art being what most people are actually buying the issue for, I don’t blame them, but still. Six splash pages, with two of them being two-page spreads. Overkill? Maybe. But it still looks pretty. I’m going to say, though, I don’t think Hal could be more of a dick to everyone at the end of this issue if he tried. It’s a real achievement. And Barry…darling, you are just precious. “You can call us…the Super Seven!” Precious baby. The Pandora backup, I think was made as some sort of back door in case this 52 thing doesn’t work out. I mean, the bitch shot the Phantom Stranger and was allowed to walk away. Everybody watch out, we’ve got a badass over here.

As I’ve said time and time again, Legion Secret Origins is the best Legion book currently out. Paul Levitz has the capacity to not suck, if he really tries, and this book shows it. This issue, the team actually does something! Whee! And that something? Fly off into space to act as the cavalry! This is done after they fail to recruit Superman from the past, breaking Brainy’s time bubble in the process. Speaking of which, the interaction between Brainy and Lyle this issue was simply precious. Lyle surpasses Brainy’s expectations as a body guard with a big brain, and even gives our favorite 12th-level intellect an idea on how to solve the problems with time travel. All in all, it’s just a good issue that showcases the kids, rather than the secret cabal of old people for once.

The Shade is an odd, slightly confusing book when you’ve got a bad memory. It took me a moment to remember the events of the third issue, as the fourth was an almost completely unrelated story. Still, when it comes down to it, as the opening page so adequately states, it’s all about blood. That’s right, folks, we’re in vampire territory! This issue’s co-star is La Sangre, a formerly human-turned vampire girl that Richard had a hand in raising, who has a vial of his blood in her gruesome ‘collection’, which his leukemia-ridden great-grandson needs to survive. There, I managed to explain the entire issue in one go. I’m not sure how much I enjoyed this issue. The writing was decent, and the art was alright, but I don’t know. As much as I adore Snyder’s American Vampire, vampires just aren’t generally my thing. That opinion may have been what decreased my overall enjoyment of this issue.

Well, that was this week in comics. I’m fairly disappointed. But hey, next week is a double-shot of joy for me; the final issue of Children’s Crusade comes out, and it’s also my birthday! See you then, comic lovers!

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