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?

Well…

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. 

Image

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.

Advertisements

1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    Eric said,

    Wow, after reading four paragraphs I just stopped. What was written here was far worse than said comics, which were amazing. Supes and WW came together because they felt alone, as many couples that get together do; they just clicked. Plus, WW is pushing him away to protect his as many heroes have done; look at all the times Batman has pushed people away. And the JLI opened man stories for the future, including leading Blue Beetle to the Reach world in issue 13 of his series. For all we know, there might have been something in between Blue Beetle and JLI that we didn’t see but maybe will in a future issue. And OMAC isn’t evil, he was taken control of by Brother Eye, which was forced on him in his own book. I’m sorry to say your feelings are in the very small minority based on what I’ve been looking into on reactions to these books.


Comment RSS · TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: