Ladies week is back!

So, it’s the second week of the month again…hold me? I mean, on one hand, I’m really looking forward to Supergirl and Batwoman, but on the other hand, there’s Justice League and the Red Hood Night of the Owls tie-in. I’m a mixed bag of feelings, here. Best just jump right in.

Three words: Registering Metabolic Arousal. Tony. Why. I mean, it’s funny, because he’s a teenager and she’s scantily dressed, but really? I’m equally amused and ashamed. Though on the other hand, Jaime is slowly morphing back into that adorably awkward dorky kid that I begrudgingly fell in love with in 2006, while still mourning the loss of Ted Kord. He’s nervous around Bleez not only because she can, and would, kill him in a second, but because he’s trying to remember the stuff his parents taught him about being polite to the ladies, and figure out just how it applies to space aliens. I liked the character interaction in this issue more than I liked the fight, because the fight is connected to the next issue of New Guardians and…yeah. Crossover fever is hitting hard these days, and I’m not pleased about it. Also, and I may not have mentioned this before, but I really like Marcio Takara’s art. He draws a beautiful Jaime, and unlike Ed ‘Tits n Ass’ Benes, he makes Bleez’s suit look more like semi-functional armor than a bondage suit, which is always nice. A moment of silence for Glomulus, who will most likely be back in New Guardians.

Sigh, and it was going so well. I’ve never been a huge fan of the Dominators just because…well, they’re the Dominators. Everything they’re about is in their name. They invade worlds to expand territory, DC’s answer to Skrulls. And while this new storyline is going to focus on Querl and Nura (two of my favorite Legionnaires), and Nura is obviously going to be more ass-kicky than usual, I can’t help but feel anxious. Paul Levitz’s writing has always been pretty questionable to me. His setups are elaborate, but often don’t pan out into anything. I’m still waiting to find out if Mekt was lying about being born with a twin. Francis Portella’s art is fantastic, especially when drawing Nura fighting. Thank you, man who knows how to illustrate a realistic fight scene…with genetically mutated aliens. In any case, this issue is setting up the next arc. Brainy and Dream Girl were kidnapped by Dominators for undisclosed reasons, and Starman quit the Legion to get back the woman he loves without dragging the rest of the team into an interplanetary incident. Let’s focus for a moment on how fucking stupid this idea is. Thom may be Omega-powerful, what with his powers being those of gravity itself, but he’s still healing. He’s still in a goddamn floating wheelchair, but no biggie. He’s just going to steal a spaceship, fly to the Dominator planet, and make everyone fall over or something. Thom, look at your choices. They are bad.

Look at Justice League. No, I’m serious. Just look at it. Don’t bother reading it, you’ll be happier.
Actually, I’m not being entirely truthful. As always, the Barry/Hal interactions are adorably bromoerotic in nature, and Barry is…Barry, stop being so ridiculous. You better tell him what he wants to know, or he’s gonna be so upset with you. Also, can I point out that Bruce has the best way of asking Clark on lunch dates? These boys. These boys. Diana was, for once, less detrimental and more ornamental. She used her lasso, yes, but the main focus of this issue was on her former not-paramour, Steve Trevor. But honestly, don’t try and glean an actual plot from this issue, there isn’t one. It’s a team-up issue without everyone in the team being in the same place at the same time, with both halves of the team (minus Aquaman) coming to the same conclusion: A man named Graves is after them. The backup isn’t much better, because oh my god Billy stop. Stop existing. I would literally prefer this kid to not exist rather than read him like this. Not even Gary Frank’s great visuals can fix this disaster.

I’m going to take a moment to express my excitement over Jill Thompson being the one to tackle this particular issue of The Shade. I’ve always loved Thompson’s Scary Godmother, and her work with the various Sandman characters (especially her Little Endless story books, and the entirety of Brief Lives, my favorite arc), so having her attached to the best mini DC has put out in some time? Yay! This issue deals with Albert Caldecott, another one of Shade’s grandchildren, and tells the story of how his lover summoned, and was then possessed by, a minor servant demon known as a homunculus. That’s literally the entire issue, so let’s ignore it and talk about expressions. Thompson’s expressions are what made me a fan, the first time I read Brief Lives. She’s on par with Amanda Connor and Kevin Maguire when it comes to body language, and could probably do a silent comic without having any trouble telling the story of what’s going on. If you’re only picking up one issue of The Shade, though why you would do that is beyond me, make it this one.

Personal opinion time: Supergirl has gotten better since Kara was given someone to interact with. Siobhan was just the ingredient this book needed to go from yeow to wow! The saga of the Banshee family continues with a bit of history behind the father/daughter reunion. So, my one question is this: If Tommy’s sacrifice ensured that the curse would end and Black Banshee could never harm his daughter again, what plot hole is allowing this fight to take place? Hopefully, that’ll be explained next issue. Another interesting thing is to watch Siobhan struggle with the monster inside that wants to be set free. The fact that she’s fighting it with everything she’s got, rather than submitting to the hunger, is really admirable.

Red Hood and the Outlaws is terrible. So why do I keep reading it? Like I’ve said every time I review a Lobdell-penned book, his dialogue is amateurish, his pacing it enough to make me flip a table, and don’t even get me started on his Jason-narratives. But…then there are moments. Like Jay and Tim bonding over breakfast, or Roy using his arrows to keep a powerless Kori from going into cold shock, or this issue, where the Talon Xiao Loong calmly asks that Jason end his life on his own terms. Scott Lobdell is like…a spec of gold dust in a pile of shit. He’s capable of writing something good, but these spurts of brilliance are few and far between.

Surprisingly, Batwoman isn’t a tie-in to the Night of the Owls event, and I couldn’t be happier. I suppose it’s because this book actually has a plot that isn’t in any way tied to Bruce Wayne and his drama. Several different storylines are running through this issue, so hold on tight. First off, we’ve got the main story, Batwoman and Sune vs Falchion. Badass ladies being badass, I approve. Then there’s the Kate/Sune side-angle which…I don’t want to use the term revenge-gay, but yeah. That seems to be the case, at least until we learn more about her personality. And then, there’s Bette. Coma Bette. Dying Bette. I…I don’t know what to say about this. I’ve never been a huge fan of Flamebird as a hero, but I really did like Bette as a character. She was a minor Titan in the old DCU, and had the potential to become a strong member of the Batfamily…instead, it looks like she’s being fridged. I don’t know. I think this is the first time I haven’t been completely satisfied with an issue of Batwoman. My head hurts.

Oh, Wonder Woman. With every issue, my love for this title grows. How did I ever find you boring?! This particular series is so steeped in mythology, I just can’t handle it. I mean, look at the scene between Diana and her handmaiden. At first, you’re reading it, and everything’s cool…then BOOM the handmaiden is actually Persephone! Who foolishly tried to commit suicide to leave the land of the dead! You think Diana is just going to be getting a normal wedding ring, or maybe a bondage collar of some kind to show that she’s really committed to marrying Hades…then BAM! Noose! Aughhh. I love this book. Love it. But I’m not sure about the guest artist. Tony Akins is nice, but goddamn, bring back Cliff Chiang. Tony, your Strife is hella scary. 

And that would be this week in comics. I’m obligated to inform you that Catwoman and Nightwing came out this week, and they…weren’t complete dreck. They both tied into Night of the Owls and, like Red Hood, their purpose was to humanify one of the Talons. Who knows, maybe this crossover is doing something good, after all.

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