Better late than never!

Welcome back to the ToG Blog for, uh, let’s call it hangover Thursday. Not that I actually had a hangover this morning, mind you…ah well. All excuses aside, it’s time to get to those comics!

I’ve got issues with Earth-2 that have nothing to do with Alan Scott. James Robinson, we need to have a chat. While I find it fantastic that you’re apparently enjoying Animal Man as much as I am, having Alan be the representative of the Green on Earth-2 instead of controlling the power of the Star Heart is…a little offputting. Especially considering the third storyline this issue deals with…I’ll get to that in a sec. To address the thing that pretty much everyone reading this book has been bitching about on the internet since the previews came out, Sam is dead. He had one issue of existence, and now it’s gone. I’m very disappointed in you, DC. You had this whole “We’ve got a new gay guy! Very iconic! You’re gonna love him!” thing going on, you give Alan a cute partner that people wanted to know more about, and then you kill him. Way to go, you. So yeah. The first story is focusing on Alan being chosen to protect the Earth as a representative of the Green. The second story involves Jay ‘fighting’ Hawkgirl. I’m actually sort of excited to see which Doctor Fate James Robinson plans to put on this Earth. I hope it’s Hector Hall, if only for the chance that his wife Lyta might be around too. Now onto the third story. I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that JR was inspired by the current run of Animal Man for this but…the Rot is on Earth-2, and its champion is Grundy. Last we saw Grundy, in the old DCU, Bizarro was flinging him into the sun during Blackest Night. I’ve always like the character of Grundy. From the infamous ‘Solomon Grundy want pants too!’ commercial from my childhood, to his friendship with Hawkgirl in the Justice League animated show, to ‘smart Grundy’ in The Tornado’s Path, to the Grundymen in Morrison’s Limbo Town, to his various appearances throughout the DCU as a whole, Solomon Grundy has just been entertaining to me, as well as the right amount of creepy. I’m looking forward to seeing exactly what his presence on Earth-2 means for everyone living there. He seems to have the same life-sucking powers as everything we’ve seen from the Rot over in Animal Man, but who knows? Anyway, next month? Al Pratt! Woo!

You don’t want to know how long it took me to get an issue of The Shade. It came out three weeks ago, and my LCS finally got their copies from Diamond yesterday. In the defense of the shipping company, my shop probably orders less than 20 copies a month, because not that many people pick it up. Personally, compared to all the Grimm Fairie Tales issues they order, I find it a travesty, but that’s a complaint for another day. I’m not as familiar with Frazer Irving as I have been with most of the other artists on this book. I know he worked with Grant Morrison on the Klarion mini for Seven Soldiers of Victory, and he did a few pre-boot issues of Batman and Robin (specifically, the issue where Damian beats the shit out of the Joker with a crowbar), and I’m fairly sure I’ve seen his art connected to the John Constantine books once or twice, but it’d take a bit of Google-fu I don’t quite feel like doing to confirm that. It’s funny, I just realized that I spend more time talking about the creators on Shade than I do the actual story. Maybe it’s because, as entertaining and interesting as the content is, the main appeal behind this book, for me, is getting to see different artists at work on a single storyline. Still, the Shade story is coming to a head. Richard is back in London to confront his errant descendant about his cultist activities as of late. It’s really a funny issue, as Shade’s almost condescendingly bored quips at Dudley really showcase his specific brand of humor. As always, I highly recommend this book to anyone who was a fan of Starman in the past, or anyone who wishes to be a fan of James Robinson now.

Goddamnit, Dan Jurgens. I just…what happened between last month and this month that suddenly turned on Booster’s hidden heterosexuality? He’s taunting me, I’m telling you. Anyway, this month was the epic fight scene, as opposed to next month, which will involve burying the dead. Godiva got a chance to be awesome, Guy finally got his internal monologue on, August General kicked some ass, and it was just generally fun. Best part, though, was just after the fight, when OMAC (the team’s giant whiny baby. My god, I hate that guy) is still pissing about on his little half-rampage, and Booster steps up to calm him down, sans-forcefield. It was pretty rad. But then he went and kissed Godiva and I just…why? No really, why? Last issue, he was going on about it being ‘awkward’ that she wanted him, and he didn’t want her, now he’s getting her hopes up with a smooch. Okay, Booster. You do that. Oh, and then we have the new villain set-up. Remember Lightweaver’s brother, who was all, “No, don’t be a dick! Don’t use your powers like that!”? Well, Lightweaver died. So now the brother is going to use his own powers to fight the JLI, probably at Gavril’s funeral. Classy.

So you know how I keep saying that Animal Man is the best thing to come out of the New 52? I finally pegged why. Buddy Baker will do anything for his family, up to and including finding a way to get himself a new body after he dies and his old one is taken by the Rot. This is the one marriage editorial didn’t touch. The one family they didn’t retcon or destroy. No matter how hard the Rot tries, Buddy will never abandon Maxine. Will never allow their enemies to hurt Cliff. He would die for any one of them, Ellen, Cliff, Maxine, even Ellen’s mother. Because they are his family and the place from which he draws his greatest strength. It’s been shown that things will happen to Cliff in the future, that Buddy will eventually die and leave Maxine alone to fend for herself, but for now, he fights on. Also, a good question was raised this issue. Who is the avatar of the Rot? If it’s Grundy again, I’m going to be both pleased and a bit miffed. Who is borrowing from who, in this respect? I suppose it could be an entirely new character, or maybe someone like Garbageman. Oh! Or it could be Black Hand, who was the embodiment of death on Earth for a while, and has recently become a Black Lantern again over in the main Green Lantern book. Before he passed out, Cliff mentioned the name ‘Arcane’. I’m not reading Swamp Thing right now, but could he mean Abby Holland’s uncle, Anton Arcane, a practitioner of dark magic? Actually, a quick search has revealed that yes, that’s exactly who he means…but he also means Abby’s brother, William, who is a new character within the 52. Oh, and apparently he is the avatar of the Rot. Well, then. I guess that answers that! Okay, you’ve got me, I’m more than a little pumped to read Swamp Thing next month. I’ve been hearing good things about it, I may go and pick up the past ten issues early.

Well, that was this week in comics. Sorry it was late but I, heh, I’m only human. As far as you know. See you next week when we take on Batman, the next installment of the Minuteman mini, Superboy, and this month’s issue of the Shade. Here’s hoping I actually get a copy this time!

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