Archive for August, 2012

Annuals week? How about I just call this SPOILERS WEEK and be done with it?

I can already feel my brain exploding. Five books, three of which are annuals, to look at this week! One of which that I, uh, kinda sorta said I’d drop? Call it curiosity, but I actually do find myself slightly interested in this month’s issue of Justice League. So let’s just dive right in.

Minutemen took a turn for the gritty this month. I mean, you thought it was dark last month, with the hanging child, but today? Damn. Gay bashing (literally), cursing, another dead kid…wow. And it’s a Silhouette-centric issue! I really do enjoy this book, but good gosh. The faint of heart and stomach take heed.

I’m going to preface this issue of Justice League by saying this: I’ve dropped this book. I’m not reading it anymore after this. People just made such a stink over the impending Superman/Wonder Woman relationship, my curiosity was piqued and I felt the need to skim. How would it be handled? I mean, it would be coming on the heels of Steve Trevor’s death last issue, right? Ugh, okay. So. First off, Steve Trevor isn’t dead! The apparitions are these parasite entities that feed on living energy. Uh. So, Steve isn’t dead, but he is in the hospital, and Diana is pushing him even farther away by dumping him as the League’s liaison. And then she makes out with Superman on the roof. That was handled well, see you in issue #13! Not.

My first warning should have been the cover. Geoff Johns and Dan Didio collaborated on the Justice League International annual, and I can’t handle it. It was literally the worst thing I’ve read all month. I’m ashamed of myself. I feel unclean. Geoff “I’ll make everything one streamlined continuity if it kills me” Johns forgot that Jaime and Booster don’t trust each other. Obviously, he’s not reading Blue Beetle, either. Guy Gardner quits the team within the first few pages. Godiva is the only woman on the team, and is thus required by law to be the object of affection for every legal male within smelling distance (don’t think I didn’t catch the way August General looked away when Olympian was introduced). OMAC is evil! No good. No, evil! Beetle and Booster are both gone; with Beetle vanished into Reach territory, and Booster apparently erased from the time stream. Agh! I’m sorry, but I’m glad this book is over. Its fucking awful annual has basically stripped me of any positive feelings I had for it.

I’m not quite sure what I just read. Well, for starters, I think Hal Jordan and Sinestro are dead? I think. I mean, it’s just…they were destroyed. By the power of Black Hand. Their rings say they’re deceased, and that the ring itself is searching for a replacement from that sector. But…Geoff Johns has spent a good part of his career trying to make Hal Jordan not look like a tool. In Justice League this month, he elected himself to play Jesus scapegoat. And now he’s dead? And the Guardians are evil? I need someone who knows Green Lantern stuff really, really well to tell me what the fuck happened this week, because I’m mystified.

I can’t say this enough right now. This review of the Flash annual is going to be full of SPOILERS. It’s going to be so full of SPOILERS.

I feel a little numb. I’m…going to need a second to collect myself about the things that happened in this issue, so let’s talk creators. It’s a real who’s who of all-star talent working on the Flash annual; Francis Manapul did the cover and breakdowns for each of the chapters, as well as worked as overall writer. The amazing Marcus To did the pencils and inks for the first chapter. Scott Kolins, whom you may remember from the majority of Geoff Johns’ run on the Flash, did the pencils and inks on the second chapter. Diogenes Neves, current artist on Demon Knights, did the pencils and inks on chapter three. Marcio Takara, who did three issues of the new Blue Beetle series, did the pencils and inks on chapter four, and boy do I thank him for it. His Patty Spivot is beautiful. And Wes Craig, the artist on T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents, hit it out of the park in chapter five. So really, with all these amazing creators, how could anything go wrong?


Sam Scudder is Mirror Master. There you go. I said it. This is me accepting fate. Sam Scudder is Mirror Master, and he’s trapped in the mirror dimension. He was also taking over the role of Roscoe Dillon, by schtupping Lisa Snart. Oh, and apparently, James Jesse will be sharing credit with Evan McCulloch in the role of Sir Not-Appearing-In-This-Reboot, because Axel was the Trickster that existed over a year before the Rogues broke up, got back together, and got their powers. Though, I do have some specific questions regarding him. What happened to Axel’s gang, from the wastes? Obviously, he’s decided to go back to being Trickster, so did he just abandon them? Transfer leadership to someone else? What? While we’re on the subject of asking questions that will hopefully be answered in the coming issues…Lisa Snart. She exists in two places at once, now. She’s Glider, the spectral soul that can sort of touch the living world, but she’s also Lisa, the paraplegic. How? Though, I’m not complaining. We went many years without any Lisa Snart at all, and now we’ve got two. That’s something to be thankful for…and also a bit of a plot point. Do both Lisas share the same consciousness, or are they two separate people? 

But to the issue itself. The annual is broken up into five ‘chapters’, each dealing with something different, by a different creative team. Chapter one is Barry reminiscing about his dad, and trying to figure out what Doctor Elias’ angle for betrayal was. Chapter two is basically my favorite, because I’m fairly sure this is the first time Scott Kolins has drawn Len as something other than Captain Grandpa. Now, I love craggy old Len as much as the next person, but damn. His pre-meta New 52 costume is so awesome! Actually, everyone but Mark looks like a million bucks, in this opening shot. Mick’s got his Flashpoint hair on with the awesome flamethrower suit, Axel’s one giant pattern with a flying snowboard for some reason…and then we’ve got Mark in his imitation Iron Fist pajamas and his limp metalhead hair. Honey, please. Kolins’ New 52 Barry also seems to look a lot like Wally, in the shape of the jaw, but the costume is pretty solid. Sam (ghh I will never get used to that) doesn’t really get a full costume shot in chapter two, but something feels…off. The plot of chapter two is that Len is sick and tired of the Flash screwing up their jobs, but he also doesn’t feel like moving to a less speedster-occupied town. And guess who comes along to help? If you guessed Doctor Elias, you’re completely right. Gosh, I’m really starting to loathe this guy. Chapter three is Lisa’s side of the story or, “How I went from ‘The Love Interest’ to running this whole joint”. And…errr wow. Okay. Sam, you got the short end of the costume stick. The shortest end of the costume stick. Are you wearing mirrors? Oh my god, you’re wearing mirrors. And what’s with the cowl-horns? Look at your life, look at your choices. In any case, they use the genome recoder that Doctor Elias oh-so-helpfully gave them to integrate themselves with their weapons…and something goes wrong. Well, duh. Of course something is going to go wrong. Do Icicle and Killer Frost not exist in the reboot, Len? You should have talked this whole ‘becoming an ice-meta’ thing over with them first, see how they like it. Spoiler warning: it kinda sucks. In any case, the machine goes kaboom, and everyone, including Lisa, get caught in the explosion. For some reason, Lisa gets powers too, despite not actually putting anything in the machine. Chapter four is the issue taking a little break. In it, Patty Spivot tries to take a blood sample to figure out who Turbine is. Remember Turbine? Well, he doesn’t remember himself, though he did make it out of the Speed Force. Oh, that leads into yet another question: Whatever happened to Iris and the three other people on the boat? Are they still in the Speed Force? Did Barry just sort of…forget about them? That’s pretty lame, man. In another universe, she was the love of your life. Chapter five is where the shit hits the fan. Though I will say this: Ten for you, David Singh. You see your man on the news, and even though him becoming a vigilante again was basically your excuse for trying to break up with him, you’ll still rush to his side. I love that, I really do. In issue #9, Hart and David argued over David’s inability to accept his own choice of partner enough to be open about it, in the annual, he’s cradling his wounded boyfriend in front of half the Central City police force. 


Ten for you, David Singh. You done good. Once we get the warm and fuzzies out of our eyes, there’s still the unfortunate fact that a big Rogues fight is sort of happening right there in the middle of town. Len sides with Barry, putting Elias in cold storage as his way of thanking them both for saving his sister in the first place. The sister he’s about to go fight with. Len has strange ways of doing things. The actual fight scene of this issue takes place in the mirror dimension, between Flash, Mirror Master, Heatwave, and Weather Wizard. Yet, it still takes all of eight pages for him to kick the crap out of all of them, go figure.

Then there is, of course, the ending. Cold fights alongside Flash until he talks it out and makes nice with his sister, then tries to re-assume control over the Rogues. But he’s interrupted by, get this, monkeys falling from the sky! The invasion of Grodd has begun! On the downside, we’re not going to learn what happens until October. On the upside…that was the best possible way to end an issue!

Overall? I may have had a little breakdown over the idea that Evan McCulloch just…isn’t anymore, but I really did like it. Maybe in later issues we’ll find out why Len is fighting so hard to keep the Rogues, and his sister, loyal to him. Maybe we’ll find out if Lisa was ever a skater, or if Digger was ever a Rogue, or what happened to James, or if Piper was always a vigilante. But for now, we’re going to have to be satisfied with what we’ve got.

That was this week in comics. I need all of the drinks, because my poor heart can only take so much. I’ll catch you all on the flip side.


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Have Rogues, will travel.

Should I feel sad that there are only three books this week? Maybe, but one of those books is Flash, so allow me to show you all the fucks I do not give. In any case, aside from Flash, we’ve got Batman Inc and Teen Titans, and at least one of those is going to drive me into a frothing rage, so let’s get on with the madness, already.

They pushed the third issue of Batman Inc back a month after the tragic shooting in Aurora, Colorado. Why? Well, the teacher all but threatening a classroom full of kids on the first page may have had something to do with it. Other disturbing imagery, such as a man being asphyxiated via a plastic bag and what appeared to be two children being hung may have also added to it. Don’t want anything freaky being attached to the sacred Batman name, right? Ha. In any case, I don’t think I’ll be reviewing this issue. Instead, I’m going to take another shot at the reboot. Last week, I talked about how, instead of doing a hard reboot, like they’d done with the Superman, Flash, and Wonder Woman franchises, Green Lantern and Batman remained relatively untouched. Seeing as this new Batman Inc is basically a direct continuation of the last Batman Inc series, and stuff from several years ago, such as Ventriloquist having Matches Malone killed, is still canon, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that only Barbara Gordon and Tim Drake were touched at all. Why? Why do this, DC? Batman and Green Lantern have the two most needlessly complicated continuities ever. Y’all had the chance to simplify, and you chose to complicate. For shame. Actually, now that I think about it I will say something about this issue of Batman Inc, and that is this: Damian Wayne is an adorable little brat. He’s taken on a new identity, Redbird. For those of you not in the know, Tim Drake’s old car when he was Robin was called the Redbird. You’ll also notice that Damian uses escrima sticks, the nonlethal weapon of choice of his mentor, Dick Grayson. He took things from two previous Robins to make his new role. Precious baby.

Oh my god, Cassie. You…I don’t understand you. One minute, you’re glad to be free of the Silent Armor, the next, you’re all pissed off that your ex stole it from you, because you have to wear it. And then the underlying narrative about Tim and Kon both having a thing for her…ladies please. She’s her own woman, and your supposed friend. Focus on saving her life before you argue over her like she’s a particularly tasty piece of cake. Meanwhile, over in the Kid Flash backup, dinosaurs! Seriously, that’s it. A little dinosaur fight scene, a part about Steg and Dax mutating snakes, a quip from Bart, the end. It’s five pages long. I can’t in good conscience call it a true backup. I mean, c’mon now.

I’m gonna die I’m gonna die I’m gonna die oh my god my babies.
I’m trying to not have an epic freakout here, to be clear, concise, and informative regarding this issue of the Flash, but my babies are all suited up and back in action. Piper’s got his best costume yet on, zipping around the city on a motorcycle stopping his former comrades, catching Len before he’s smashed into Len-paste, Axel’s officially Trickster, Lisa is a freaking babe, Mark is basically the same as ever with a beard, Mirror Master may be Sam Scudder, and aaaaah I can’t.
I’ll try. I must.
I can’t.
I’m a Rogues fan through and through. I’ve enjoyed the non-Rogue issues of the Flash in the New 52, but my god. Putting them in is like adding chocolate chips to banana bread. The bread tastes great on its own, but it’s only when you add that little extra zing that you realize just how much better it could be.

That was this week in comics. To all Floridians, we’ll be having a hurricane this Friday, so do try to prepare. It’s only a category one, but you never know. See y’all next week for Justice League, Minutemen, and several annuals, including the continuation of this week’s Flash!

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Oh yes, it’s ladies week!

I’ve started to look forward to the second week of the month, if only for the fact that I get to think up new ways to use the term ‘ladies week’ in the title of my review. So, who are the ladies of this week, you may ask? My personal femininity trinity, Supergirl, Batwoman and Wonder Woman! Oh, and of course, Kori in RHatO, the lovely ladies of the Legion of Superheroes, and Brenda over in Blue Beetle. Rock on with your bad selves!

I’m kicking off ladies week with Green Lantern. Obviously, just trying to get the testosterone out of the way as quickly as possible. So, what have we learned this time around? Well for starters, Black Hand is terribly predictable when it comes to one-liners. “Death is at hand!” Really? Really, Geoff Johns? Actually, this issue is probably the first of this new Green Lantern book that I’ve just plain disliked. For one thing, we get to see what was kept from the old DCU in regards to the vast mythos that encompasses the Green Lantern Corps, sort of. John still blew up Mogo, as seen in War of the Green Lanterns. Blackest Night still happened, obviously. The war of light still happened. Kyle Rayner still carries the title of Torchbearer, which means that at one point, he was still Ion, which means that the events of Zero Hour and Green Lantern: Rebirth must have happened, too. How did I come to this? Okay. If Hal Jordan had never gone off the deep end and become Parallax, he never would have ended up destroying the Corps and then ultimately dying. Which means Kyle Rayner never would have gotten a ring of his own, eventually leading him to restoring the Green Lantern Corps and accepting the Ion entity into his body. In conclusion…DC, your reboot makes no fucking sense at all. Hard reboot basically everything else, leave Green Lantern, Legion of Superheroes, and Batman almost completely untouched. This is not how a reboot is supposed to work, get your shit together. Anyway, back to the issue at hand. Now, when I said that the plot twist was predictable, I meant it. It was ridiculously predictable, from the moment I read the words “Hal Jordan is not your enemy” in the Book of the Black. I mean it’s like, hello. If he’s not your enemy…obviously he’s going to be your greatest ally. That’s how comics work. There is no neutral ground with this stuff. In any case, I have nothing more to say about Green Lantern that isn’t a cheap shot at the Guardians being supposedly all-seeing, yet being unable to see that Hal clearly is still wielding a Green Lantern ring when looking right at him. Way to drop the ball on that, guys.

I have exactly one complaint regarding Legion of Superheroes this month. One. And that’s this: Paul Levitz, you’ve been writing these characters for years. How in the hell did you seemingly forget that Nura is Naltorian? She’s not human. Speaking in a purely evolutionary sense, she’s more than human. Above humans. Other than that, way to go. Nura and Luornu kicking major ass, Chuck Taine at his most relevant in years, you even managed to showcase the talents of the new recruits. This was a great fight scene issue, hopefully next time, we get to find out what was up with Grava.

I quit. I’m done. Nothing can top this. I can’t even do an accurate analysis, let alone a proper review, of this month’s issue of Blue Beetle. It can be summed up in a sentence: Khaji-Da finds Jesus. I’m sorry. I’m laughing too hard to even focus right now.

And just like that, I’m back. Now, I’m not a fan of Fabian Nicieza. No, that’s an understatement. I loathed 90% of his Red Robin run, and firmly believe that the only good thing he’s ever written was a Babsgirl/Catwoman comic drawn by Kevin Maguire. So I’m going into this month’s one-shot issue of DC Universe Presents, starring Kid Flash, prepared to dislike it. I’ve not been pleased with the way Bart’s been shown in the reboot. Lobdell and Booth seem to have spliced together his pre-Max Mercury personality and that of the DC Animated Universe’s Wally West which, while not a terrible combination, has been used in the worst way. In fact, Bart has been passed from terrible writer to terrible writer for so long, I think I can honestly say that the only thing I’ve liked him in for the past, oh, eight years or so? Kid Flash Lost, by Sterling Gates. But that’s the past. And technically the present. Enough preamble; how is this issue? To sum it up in two words, not bad. Speedsters tend to be motor-mouths, they even think at the speed of light. I enjoyed all the internal dialogue in this issue, reminded me a lot of KFL. What I don’t understand, however, is how Bart managed to pull a Deadpool and break the Fourth Wall several times over the course of the issue, most notably at the beginning and end. Though I must say, I laughed out loud at, “If you’re a masochist, check out Teen Titans #12”. Something tells me Lobdell will be responding to that one in his usual fashion. Another thing I liked was the art style. Jorge Jimenez is a relative newcomer, I only recognize his name from a Batman: Arkham City comic I never picked up from last year…but I like him. His style reminds me a lot of the art in Empowered. A little bit manga, a little bit rock and roll. I especially enjoyed his take on Bart’s costume, and the design of the new character Teryx and Dac. He’s also amazing at drawing Bart in motion. I hope Brett Booth takes a lesson here, because wow. Okay. I admit it. I’m impressed. The issue managed to overcome the instances where Bart felt the need to flirt with Dac for no reason other than “GIRL SHE’S A GIRL OHMYGOD SHE’S A GIRL” by being completely awesome in other aspects. You win this round, Nicieza.

Guess what didn’t get shorted this week?! When I saw that I had a copy of The Shade in my pile, I got the overwhelming urge to hug the guy that pulls comics. I didn’t because, well, there’s only one person in my LCS that I can annoy like that and get away with it, and Chris ain’t him. Anyway! We’re now officially one issue from done, people! The best thing James Robinson’s done in years is going buh-bye. If you haven’t been able to find copies of the individual issues, please, please try and pick up the trade or trades, when they come out. We need to let DC know that we’re not ready to let go of Mr. Robinson at his best. As for this issue, wow. Wow. When I like a book like this, I find it hard to truly review. In a way, I don’t want to spoil the surprises for those who haven’t had a chance to read it yet. So I will say this and this alone: Richard Swift is a man who can battle gods and win…without killing his enemy, should he not wish to. I implore you, dear reader. Get this issue on your own. You’ll not regret it.

Star Wars cover? Really, RHatO? I…no. I can’t. I can’t take you seriously. Roy, no one will get that reference to an awful book. You are on a star cruiser orbiting a distant world. No one in space has read Fifty Shades of Grey. Oh. Oh no. This isn’t happening. I’ve spent a year badmouthing this book, dismissing it as tripe, I can’t suddenly be starting to…like it, can I? Allow me to explain. Despite Komand’r’s Czarnian makeover, she manages to do a particularly heel face turn and show her true colors…as forever loyal to her sister and Tamaran. On one hand, noooo. I’ve always enjoyed Komand’r as the ‘black sheep’ of the royal family of Tamaran, which is why I liked seeing her in her own right as Queen in the last R.E.B.E.L.S. series. But on the other hand, I do love a good story of betrayal. Because this is what it’s setting up to, right? There is no way the ultimate alien bad girl is…nice, right? Come on, Lobdell. Don’t do this to me. You can’t. You’ve done so much already. Just…let me have this. Broken trust, a nice, fragile emotional state for Kori to use as an excuse to push her friends out of her life. Please. I need this to be where this story is heading. Or else…I don’t even know. Also, next month, yet another fucking origin for Jason. Enough! I wanna know about Roy! Give Roy an origin!

Oh my good lord. I could weep. J.H. Williams III is back in the artistic saddle, and will you guess who’s come along for the ride this issue? The woman of bats and the woman of wonder, together for the first time. Oh, gosh. The issue could be a bit hard to follow, with several plots going on all at once, sometimes even two on one page! Wonder Woman’s story follows her battle with mythic creatures to protect the world. Batwoman’s story has her teaming up with Abbot the wolfman to fight Bloody Mary and discern the location of Medusa, who, as it turns out, is a person, not an organization. Bette’s story follows her recovery, and her desire to don a mask again as soon as possible. And Maggie’s story follows her helplessness at being unable to locate the missing children of Gotham. Thankfully, having read JHW’s stuff before, I didn’t find it very difficult from panel to panel. In fact, looking back at it once I got over being completely overwhelmed at first glance by all the detail that goes into a single page, the stories blend rather nicely. Diana is fighting a visible enemy. She’s getting her hands bloody, seeing her progress as it happens. Kate is fighting an enemy she cannot find. She’s not moving forward, or backward. Her progress is at a standstill. This is a story that should not be missed. If you haven’t been reading Batwoman so far, correct your grievous error and start.

I don’t like Simon Tycho. As bad guys go, he’s no Lex Luthor, but he’s certainly slimy. Harnessing alien technology only to turn around and sell it? Not cool, bro. In any case, whoops, revealed the big plot twist anyone could see coming from a mile away. Simon found the rest of Kara’s pod before she could…and he just wants to talk? I’m more concerned with the Superman/Supergirl interaction. I have a confession to make. I haven’t read a single issue of Superman or Action Comics since the reboot. All of my knowledge of Big Blue comes from Justice League and the appearances he’s made in Superboy and Supergirl. And…I don’t like what I see very much. He comes off as kind of a douche, with more concern for people Kara hurt accidentally than his cousin herself. I mean, Jesus Supes. At least offer to teach the girl English or something.

I’ll get to everything else in a second, but holy hell you guys. The New fucking Gods are coming back. That means Orion. That means Lightray. That means the most badass woman to ever walk the DCU, Big Barda. I mean, I know we got Darkseid back in Justice League, but this is a bit of a bigger deal to me. Darkseid…you can’t go more than a couple of years without Darkseid. He’s like that one really annoying sticky out hair that grows on the blind spot on your chin and will always come back, no matter how often you pluck it. But the rest of the New Gods, you guys! Highfather! The Forever People! Aaah, I can’t stand it!
Ahem, but back to what actually happened in the rest of this issue of Wonder Woman that wasn’t the very last panel. The throne of Zeus has been taken up by Apollo. Hera is banished and made mortal. But most importantly, the messenger of Olympus, the god of thieves, Hermes has shown his true colors. Stealing Zola’s baby just after it is born, he’s delivered it to his aunt, Demeter. But why? Why would Demeter want the baby fated to slay the king of heaven? It’s a mystery, all right, and one we’re not even going to get hinted at until October. Damn it, #0 month.

And that was this week in comics. Ahh, ladies week. Who cares that it’s 4 am. I feel happy and whole. Hope to see y’all back next week. Same place, hopefully not the same time.

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Short, late…I’m two for two on this one.

Before we begin, I’d like to offer an official apology. My best friend is off to Puerto Rico with her boyfriend for two weeks, and neither of them can pack a suitcase to save their lives, so I was away from the internet all day. My secondary apology concerns the subject matter of this review. There are two books. Two. Neither of which I’m feeling very enthusiastic towards. Your mileage may vary this week, and for that, I am very sorry.

Well, the writing is slightly better. That’s all I can think to say, regarding Superboy this month. Scott Lobdell has been replaced on the title by Tom DeFalco, which is sort of like replacing horse crap with dog crap. It’s still crap, but there’s less of it. They’ve also switched artists, taking away the stomachable R. B. Silva and putting on the nostril-obsessed Robson Rocha and Eduardo Pansica. I think this issue is supposed to be setting up the next storyline, by introducing the mindwarping villain, Kiva, but it also would work well as a standalone issue. Also, and I feel like I’m going to be saying this a lot, what the hell is up with mysterious future detective Jocelyn Lure? She’s the same lady that clued us in to Bart’s villainous nature in Teen Titans a few issues back, and now she’s over in Superboy. Who are you, detective? Can I call you Josie? These are my two top questions, DC. Please try and answer them before the new year.

I lied! Marceline and the Scream Queens is amazing, and everyone should read it! Okay, I know this isn’t the kind of book I usually cover, but darn it. Marceline’s comic is so entertaining for all the right reasons. In this issue, the vampire queen herself discusses where she wants her band to go…with a Mick Jagger lookalike record producer! In the backup, we see how the power of song can change the hearts and minds of even those programmed for one function. How sweet! Yeah, if you want a comic that doesn’t want anything from you except for you to be entertained, pick up Marceline and the Scream Queens. You won’t regret it.

I’m in love. I am. Harper Row needs to be a reoccurring character, Becky Cloonan needs to be a regular artist, and the main Batman book needs to be less Batman and more people he saves. This is a revolutionary idea, and I personally support it. But seriously. The idea of showing the daily lives of people in Gotham other than those belonging to the Batfamily isn’t new. In fact, that was the premise of the series Gotham Central. But Gotham Central was an amazing book with a diverse, interesting cast of characters, and the main Batman book is proving that it can be, too. I mentioned earlier this week to someone that my enthusiasm for this book was waning, but this issue perked it right back up again. DC, you’re doing right by me for once. Give Ms. Cloonan some more work. I’ve been a fan of hers for years, ever since I saw her work in Jen Van Meter’s Hopeless Savages. When it comes to female creators…let me put it this way. In recent years, DC has thrown over some excellent ladies in order to employ some sub-par men. Don’t give this treatment to Becky Cloonan. Her style pops, and is quite unlike anything else on the page today. I sincerely hope that DC has more work for her in the near future.

And, well, that was this week in comics. For those who were unaware, the amazing mini from Vertigo, Punk Rock Jesus, had it’s second issue come out this week. It’s a great book, and I highly suggest it. Oh, and for observant Rogue fans who don’t really feel like wading through Suicide Squad, yes, Digger Harkness is alive. Will he stay that way? Well, judging from the name of the book…I’m Touch of Grey, and  holy god am I tired. It’s 3 am. I’m going to bed.

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The Rotworld cometh!

Welcome to August, readers! For a first week, it could be worse. We’ve got the last issue of Justice League International, the first two parts of the Rotworld event, and more. Shall we?

Hey, who remembers Twilight Lady? If you read Watchmen…you probably still don’t remember her. She sent a picture to Nite Owl, and he had a dream about her turning into Laurie as they blow up. And…that was it. Now, however, she gets a backstory! Kind of! Turns out, she’s a house madam with a thing for S and M. Okay? Well, Rorschach has a thing about prostitutes, so he freaks out. I wasn’t too into this issue. People tend to forget that everyone in Watchmen is actually pretty awful. Nite Owl has gone to seed and was pretty impotent, Silk Spectre was generally useless, Ozymandias has a god complex, Dr. Manhattan was god, if god didn’t actually give a shit about anything, Comedian was a rapist and an overall awful human being, and Rorschach was a misogynist. I don’t know. Maybe my enthusiasm for this Before Watchmen thing stems directly from my joy at seeing creators I like getting work again. I honestly think I may just stick to the two books whose art I like. Sorry, Nite Owl.

And so the Justice League International ongoing ends not with a bang, but an awkward cough. This wasn’t the best way to end this book, and not because it was a glorifed fight scene issue. Gavril Ivanovich died. That’s awful. But do we get any real closure on his death with a cemetary fight scene between the remaining members of the JLI and Lightweaver’s twin brother? Do we ever get to find out if Bea’s going to be okay? Do Tora and Mari get out of the hospital? This isn’t the end, not the real end, what with the Annual coming out next month, but it barely feels like a legitimate last issue. It feels like a stopping point, but not an end. Sorry, Dan Jurgens. Try again in a few weeks.

I’m not that into Earth-2. There, I said it. There are so many good characters to work with, so many new ideas to explore, and such a great creative team…but nothing is meshing for me. For one thing, I’m still torqued that the Rot/Red/Green concept is basically the first big storyline. We’ve already got a Rotwold going on in Swamp Thing and Animal Man, do we really need that here, too? Sigh. Then there’s Hawkgirl. It’s now obvious that the woman behind the wings is Kendra Saunders, not Shayera Hall, which should make for interesting storytelling. I liked Kendra in Dwayne McDuffie’s Justice League, but then she sort of…fell off the map until Blackest Night, when she died and came back as Shayera Hall. And then she died again during Brightest Day. Still, I’d like to know what Kendra’s connection to the government is. Is she, like Al Pratt, a wonder created from the fallout of the Apokalips war? Or is she just an experiment? Oh, speaking of Al Pratt…the Atom grows. This is some real Ant Man/Giant Man shit we’re getting into, Robinson. The Atom’s whole thing is that he shrinks. It’s why he’s called the Atom. Hell, in the post-Zero Hour Legion reboot, after Shrinking Violet gained Colossal Boy’s powers, she had the decency to change her name to Leviathian. I don’t know why I’m taking so much time to dissect this issue. Nothing of extreme importance happened, nothing interesting happened, and it was just an overall boring read. Sigh. Next book?

This week marks the beginning of the event I’ve actually been looking forward to, the prologue to Rotworld! From now on, Swamp Thing and Animal Man will be crossing over, with Scott Snyder and Jeff Lemire sharing writing duties on both books. I’ll be honest, I’ve not read any Swamp Thing from the New 52, mainly because I wasn’t terribly interested in Swamp Thing from the old universe. But I’ve heard good things about it, so I’m going to have to rectify that at some point. Anyway, I’ll be reviewing Animal Man and Swamp Thing together, as they are essentially one story. 
It’s hard to believe that after all these weeks of running and looking, finding Alec Holland was as simple as walking into the Louisiana swamp. No, really, that’s all they did. Buddy and Alec talked, recapping everything that had happened in Buddy’s book so far, and then…they dove down into the Rot together, leaving Maxine, Ellen, and Abby behind. Okay, nothing odd there. Except, is that Cliff, who is supposed to be deathly ill, walking down the road barefoot into the loving tentacles of Slenderman? Read that panel and tell me I’m wrong. Over in Swamp Thing, the Rot attacks! Luckily, Abby is connected to the Rot itself by blood, so she can shut off the portal through which the Rotlings are coming from, saving the day. Sort of. Because after she shuts the portal, the Rot King, Arcane, comes and rips off Alec’s tether to Earth, severing him from his powers as Buddy has been since they jumped into the muck. Bummer? Also, I’m going to assume that Swamp Thing, Animal Man, and to a lesser extent, Justice League Dark take place in a different universe than the rest of the DCnU, because there is no way the other superheroes wouldn’t notice the entire world going to rot over the course of a year. That’s right, a year. They spent a year in the Rot, though it only felt like a few hours. And we’re not going to get to see what went down in this year they were away until October because of fucking origins month. In conclusion, I really liked my first look into Swamp Thing, definitely going to have to buy the first eleven issues.

And that was this week in comics! Huh, feels…short. I don’t know, I was only really excited for two of these books, and they both left me on this giant damn cliffhanger that won’t be picked up again for ages…hm. I guess I’m just unfulfilled. I think this is a good night for Batwoman: Elegy. See you next week, folks!

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