Archive for October, 2012

When do you offer a handshake to a 500 lb gorilla?

DC blows its wad a bit early this week, with three books for me to look over. We’ve got one week left to October, guys! Anyway, let’s just jump right in.

Batman Inc is…odd. It’s never been a staple title for me, mainly because, aside from the way he writes Damian Wayne, I’ve never really been fond of Grant Morrison’s Batman work. He’s a great writer, and I’m a big fan of his Animal Man and All-Star Superman, and while it’s clear that he loves Batman and is very passionate about him, it just doesn’t click well with me. In any case, this issue is the fighting debut, and possible finale, of Damian’s new identity, Redbird. Still laughing over that name. For the uninitiated, the Redbird was Tim Drake’s car back when he was Robin. Not to mention that Tim is “Red Robin” now…sending us mixed signals, Dami dear. The surprise identity reveal of Wingman at the end has me hoping for future team-ups between the two, but it’s not really seeming likely.

This month’s Teen Titans features the revised origin of Cassandra Sandsmark, the one and only (according to DC) Wonder Girl! And it sucks. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. But this book currently sucks so much dick, I feel like I should be paying it extra. Maybe it’s just me, but I prefer my heroes to be heroic. Having Cassie start off as a thief, even before she meets the ‘bad news boyfriend’, under the nose of her mom, for heaven’s sake?! I don’t care how clueless a parent is, they fucking notice when the child that travels everywhere with them is a jewel thief. The complete lack of Kid Flash, Solstice, Bunker, and Skitter (who hasn’t been seen at all in months) in this issue didn’t help. No, sure, send the wannabe love triangle off on a mission alone with only one person with powers, I’m sure that’s gonna work out fine.

Okay, this is important. Past this point, there are going to be major spoilers for this new issue of Flash. Ready? Let’s go.

I have one thing to say about this month’s issue of the Flash:
It’s not Axel.
Behold, Axel as he appeared in issue #12:

And this is the Trickster that appeared in Flash #13:

Observe. In #12, Axel has longer hair, those ridiculous Liefeld shoulder pouches for his T-bombs, a symbol on his belt, yellow and blue plaid pants, and long blue gloves. He is not wearing an overshirt. His mask also connects in the middle. The Trickster in #13 is lacking the shoulder pouches, wearing striped pants, no symbol on his belt, has an overshirt, has much shorter hair, and his mask doesn’t connect.
We’ve been duped, folks. Unless this is an enormous oversight in costume continuity, Axel dressed up a pal of his in a similar costume and sent him to play nice with the monkeys.
Meanwhile, the gorillas have speed! Kind of. Their speed is definitely enhanced to the point where it’s hard for Barry to fight them. Actually, the Rogues are probably more suited to this task than he is, as they’ve been fighting a speedster for years. Speaking of, I like how Marco is sort of the moral compass of the Rogues. He was the first to object to just leaving Barry there to fight alone, and seemed perfectly willing to stay and fight by his side. By the way, I’m now officially 80% certain that Captain Daryl Frye is Barry’s real father. I mean, you don’t keep a picture of just anyone’s dead wife/mother in your office, unless you made something with her that’s still around.

That was this week in comics. If you didn’t see it yet, A-Babies versus X-Babies also came out today, and it is adorable. I’m Touch of Grey, and if anyone needs me, I’ll be in my room with a nice glass of denial rum.


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A Woman of Wonder and a Woman of Bats walk into a prison…

Welcome back to ladies week! For my own sanity, I’ve decided to drop Red Hood and the Outlaws. I’ve been saying that for a long time, but this time, I mean it. We’ve got six books to cover today, best hop to it.

So much makes sense, now. Ursula’s comment to Sally in the original Watchmen series, about the Polish during the war…she knew that Sally was an immigrant, just like she was. She knew Sally had been there in the thick of it, had seen some of the things she’d seen. I knew it was inevitable, that the death of the Silhouette would feature prominently in the Minutemen series, but I still wasn’t ready. Though, I do enjoy how it was Sally, not Nite Owl or any of the other men, who ended up getting revenge for her. I’d also like to say that Darwyn Cooke draws unfairly attractive men. The Comedian is not supposed to look this good. Ah well, what can you do?

On the flip side of the art spectrum…oh Scott Kolins, what have you done? Your art on the #0 issue of Legion of Superheroes was so spot-on, how did your interpretation of the Legion as adults fall so short? I’d probably be spending less time harping on the art if anything had actually happened in the story this month, but no. No confirmation of what went wrong with Grava, and just a bitty fight scene in the other storyline, with Rokk, Jan, Hadru, and the pirates. Altogether, a bit of a waste of $3.

Blue Beetle, however, definitely gave me my money’s worth. In the JLI annual, OMAC beamed Jaime to sector 2. In Blue Beetle #0, we saw the story of Sky Witness, the Scarab’s first Earth owner. And now we see fights! Okay, a fight. At the very beginning. That’s one thing about Blue Beetles, they use their brains over their fists, when they can. Rather than fight the whole damn planet, Jaime has Khaji-Da shield him, help him fit in on the planet so that he can steal a ship and get back to Earth. Khaji-Kai also makes a reappearance, his free will reasserted thanks to his healing by Saint Walker back in New Guardians. And then it all gets creepy. Sky Witness’ body made it back to the Reachworld after he died, and upon sensing Khaji-Da on-planet, he came back to life. He seems to have an almost…Gollum-esque feel to him. He keeps calling the Scarab “my Khaji-Da”, seems almost loving, if you ask me. Yeah, okay. I ship it.

Wave goodbye to the jelly douchebag, kids! God, I am just sick of Tycho as a character, y’all have no idea. This issue of Supergirl, Kara regains control of her Sanctuary under the sea, and puts Tycho on stasis for good. While I wasn’t a fan of Sami Basri when he was the artist on Power Girl, his style really suits Kara. Supergirl. You know what I mean. The end of this issue caused me to hold my face in despair, because it looks as if the Super books are about to all cross over. Now, I dropped Superboy recently, mainly because it crossed over into so many books, and I wasn’t reading Superman or Action Comics in the first place. But then again, I’m only reading one of the books that the current Batman event is crossing through, so what’s a girl to do? I could always flip through the books, for the sake of the plot…or I could pray that what happens in the other books isn’t going to effect Supergirl too seriously. We’ll see, when the time comes.

I’ve heard complaints that the Wonder Woman book doesn’t focus enough on Diana, and spends far too much time on her newly revealed family. Well you know what? Fuck that. Her status as a demigoddess rather than simply an immortal formed from clay is the most interesting thing to happen to her in years. Mythology is a fascinating subject, and rather than just showing Diana and the Amazon’s worship of their gods, showing how Diana copes as living as one of them…yes. It’s a very good thing. The new arc of Wonder Woman has begun! With Hera mortal and Zola constantly at her throat, Diana plans to locate and recruit her other half-mortal brethren, the other three children Zeus sired, starting with Siracca, the wind. But man, is her sister not making it easy on her. Though I must say, in all of this? My biggest question continues to be, where is Zeus?

Like Wonder Woman, Batwoman was born of mysticism. Well, technically, she was born out of a desire to serve a greater cause, but her origin, as the twice-named daughter of Kane, basically set the stage for the rest of her career. Batwoman is the cult-destroyer, the child-saver, the legend-slayer. She’s a being of great will, not magic, which is why she has the strength to combat that which is thrown at her. It’s how she was able to escape Nyx and her brood in the prison. It’s why, even though she feels out-classed by Wonder Woman, she keeps going. I love that about her. Meanwhile, back in Gotham, Jake Kane has decided to train Bette in earnest, and the D.E.O. is full of dicks. Wow, what a shocker. This issue ends on a bit of a cliffhanger, as we see that Pegasus, son of Medusa, is not a flying horse, but a…zombie? Okay, then.

That was this week in comics. Hoo! Between this pishy Florida weather and the first episode of American Horror Story: Asylum, this post is technically coming to you on Tuesday. Sincerest apologies. Oh! The newest issue of Keatinge and Campbell’s Glory is also in stores now, grab it while you can! In the meantime, I’m Touch of Grey, and I’m tired as hell. Y’all have yourselves a good week.

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Disemboweler? I hardly know her!

I’ve decided to drop Superboy entirely. It’s mind-numbing drivel with a bad case of crossover syndrome, and I just can’t take it anymore. That being said, we’ve only got three books to cover today, but boy oh boy.

Let’s start off with the Wonder Woman Ame-Comi one-shot. If you’re like me, then you’ve noticed the DC Ame-Comi figures that your LCS is bound to stock. There are dozens of different ladies in skimpier than usual outfits, with a ridiculous price tag attached. I’ve only ever been tempted by the Jesse Quick figure, to be honest, but the line seems to be popular enough to have spawned its own comic series, with the first victim, er, feature being based on our own Wonder Woman. It’s the standard story of Diana coming to Man’s World, but she seems to be a bit more, hm. Bloodthirsty? I guess that’s a good word for her. But forget the throwaway plot and check out that art! Amanda Connor hasn’t been getting enough work lately. She’s currently the artist on the Silk Spectre mini, and she did the cover to the first issue of Phantom Lady, but that is just not enough. The Queen of Cheesecake needs more exposure, and hopefully the sweaty fanboys that make up 80% of the Ame-Comi fandom (who also happen to be DC’s main pandering demographic), will give it to her.

Oh my glob, Marceline and the Scream Queens is so great! This issue, the Scream Queens take on the underwater kingdom of Sound City, and Princess Bubblegum helps Marceline out of her reporter-induced funk. Also, the shipping is strong with this issue, if Marce’s jealousy over Peebles hanging out with Guy is any indication. I’ve got to say, Kaboom Studios really hit it out of the park when they decided to do a Marceline spinoff, it’s one of my favorite comics running.

Oh what a SPOILER this review of Batman #13 will be!

Unholy son of the six hundred and sixty-fifth son.
I’m practically outspoken when it comes to my dislike of the Joker. He’s never been a particularly compelling character to me, and I find the devotion of some of his fans to be incredibly disturbing. It’s like being a fan of a serial killer which, hey, actually. That’s exactly what being a Joker fan is, at least for the last 25 years or so. He’s a murderer. Silver Age Joker at least tried to be funny, but Bronze-to-Modern Age Joker? All about the number of bodies. I know Joker is supposed to be the mirror opposite to Batman, the madness to Batman’s unshakable sanity, but bullshit. No one puts on a Bat suit and fights crime without being slightly unhinged themselves.

The issue’s focus is mostly on Batman, James Gordon, and the Joker himself, with a minor focus on Harley Quinn.
Commissioner Gordon and Batman are Joker’s two favorite ‘playmates’, the people he longs to unhinge the most. If we’re going by old DCU canon, the Joker not only crippled Barbara Gordon, but killed James’ second wife, Sarah. There’s a reason that Jim Gordon is the second most revered man in the world of Batman, next to Alfred. He’s unwilling to break, but therein lies his weakness. Joker hopes to destroy Jim by killing or damaging the people around him. He has no wish to kill Jim, or at least he didn’t. Now, however, he came incredibly close to snapping Jim’s neck, the same as he did every other officer in the room.
He also made multiple threats against Barbara, which indicates that he knows she’s out of her wheelchair. The chair he’d hoped to stick her in for life. Some people, myself included, believe that the crippling of Barbara Gordon, and the way she proved to herself and the world that being in a chair didn’t mean she wasn’t just as useful as she’d been before, was the best thing to ever happen to the character. Oracle is, more than any other hero in the DCU, the one who would make the most difference in our world. We live in an internet age, and DC will be kicking themselves once they realize that they’re completely devoid of a character whose entire schtick is information-gathering, what with the Calculator and Proxy also lost in the reboot wave.
Batman. Batman Batman Batman. No, Joker knows who Batman is. I said in my review of the Red Hood and the Outlaws review that DCnU Batman knows who Batman is, but now it’s basically been proven. Why go after Alfred Pennyworth, otherwise? Joker knows that he can weaken the Dark Knight by stripping him of his most valuable resources, his family. That’s what this entire arc is about, why he came back in the first place. Joker plans to completely dismantle the Batfamily until Batman is the only one left standing…and he’s starting with the man who has been there for Bruce Wayne the longest. According to the list on the back of the issue, Joker is going to be targeting Dick Grayson, Selina Kyle, Barbara Gordon, Damian Wayne, Tim Drake, and Jason Todd. We’ve already seen that he plans to take out Alfred and Jim, two men that Bruce and Batman respectively depend on. The others on his hit list are the so-called “children of the Bat”, and the woman who, once upon a time, he loved. But…who is missing? Lucius Fox, for one, the driving force behind Wayne Enterprises. Talia al Ghul, the mother of Bruce’s only biological child. Zatanna Zatara, a former longtime friend and ally. Kate Kane, she who took up the mantle of Batwoman. David Zavimbe, the hand-picked-by-Bruce Batman of Africa, to name a few. But no, this crossover seems to be spanning only nine books, including two non-Bat books, so Tim and Harley can join in on the fun. Speaking of which.
You know what? I know exactly what it is I hate about the Joker. Underneath all the madness and facepaint, he’s just another white-trash wifebeater you find on Cops. He specifically targets women and children. Babs, Sarah Gordon, Jason Todd, not to mention that his entire relationship with Harley Quinn reads like a bad Lifetime movie. Because of Harley in particular, I side-eye any woman who proclaims to be crazy about the Joker. I side-eye the men even harder. Despite in the fairly recent Hunt for Harley Quinn arc in Suicide Squad, where Harley goes looking for her honey’s detached face, our girl just doesn’t seem to be that into him anymore. Maybe it’s the constant threats of physical harm, maybe it’s the fact that he has literally strapped his face back onto his head, but Miss Quinn seems to be waking up a bit. I really do hope so, for her sake.

That was this week in comics. I…need an Asprin or a stiff drink, because I just realized that I’m going to have to read and review five titles I’ve dropped and one title I was never reading in the first place several times between now and February. I’m Touch of Grey, and I hope to see you again next week.

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The Rot spreads everywhere unseen…

Welcome, one and all, to the month of five Wednesdays! Yes, this means shorter posts, comparatively, but five Wednesdays means five new entries in the ToG Blog, and this is week one! Boy, my pull list is tiny today. And yet, I’m still rather pleased, as one of my favorite books is on the plate for today. Let’s jump right in!

This is goodbye for Earth-2. I’d been expecting so much from this book, and it turned out to be a grim and gritty version of the Golden Age. At this point, Robinson is just name-dropping to name drop. Oh, and Terry Sloan is apparently evil. I think that was the final straw for me, personally. Farewell, Earth-2. You were just disappointing.

So, uh. Who else was cringing through Green Lantern? Like I’ve said before, Muslim-Americans are an incredibly touchy subject within comics. I’ve seen the phrase ‘terrorist Green Lantern’ thrown around too many times on forums and various comic websites since Simon Baz’s reveal. But you know what it is that bugs me most? No one thinks he’s innocent in the bombing. His own sister doesn’t really believe him to be innocent. She was willing to sell him out to the Justice League. And I guess that’s why I can’t really take this title seriously. I mean, you know Hal and Sinestro are going to come back. You know they are. So, where’s that going to leave Simon? Out in the cold, or dead. Sorry, but that’s what happens in DC now.

Rotworld begins! When we last left Buddy and Alec, they were in the Rot…meanwhile, back on Earth, the Rot was in everything. The last stand of the Green included Poison Ivy, Jason Woodrue, Deadman, and, uh. Yeah. That’s it. And then the Rot got to Woodrue, so a ghost and an eco-terrorist were all that was left to fight for the non-meat living things of the world. This issue is…pretty bleak. It shows how the Rot overtook everything. Killed billions of people. Turned metahumans into rotling warriors. I…kind of want to know why this isn’t playing out in the other books. I mean, Earth was basically destroyed by this mini-event, and it’s being contained to two books. The Court of Owls story spanned over what, ten? Amazing. Anyway, it seems as though Alec and Buddy have parted ways for the time being, as Swamp Thing is going to tell the story of The Green Kingdom, and Animal Man will be telling the story of The Red Kingdom. Speaking of which…


Didn’t the Baker family already die once? Seriously, even the Earth’s Dragon Balls wouldn’t bring them back again. It’s a solid story, though. Technically speaking, Cliff is the weakest member of the Baker family. He has no powers of his own, nor the strength of a grown person. Of course he’d be the first infected. Next would be Ellen, who is too good of a mom to have any real self-preservation instincts, when her kids are involved. But, poor Maxine. God, she wouldn’t be able to fight her mom and brother, she’d try to make a run for it, if the idea came to mind. So, the last stand of the Red are Beast Boy, Steel’s consciousness in an armored shell, and Black Orchid. Eh, they’re doing better than the Green, at least. And of course fucking Constantine is still alive. You couldn’t off that guy with the gun that could kill any man. Once again, though, how have traces of the Rot not shown up in other books?! This is sincerely distressing me. Are the Swamp Thing and Animal Man books not part of the main DCnU? Is this a universe-next-door Vertigo thing? I. Don’t. Understand. And now, with the end of the world, and also the Flash Annual having dashed my hopes of Mirror Master being Evan McCulloch, I’m fairly certain our favorite gap-toothed Rogue won’t be showing up to lend a family-restoring hand this time. Ohh, it’s going to be a long month.

That was this week in comics! I’m pleased with what I picked up, personally. I mean, between you, me, and the wallpaper, I bought Animal Man, Swamp Thing, and Fairest. Which, by the way, if you’re not reading Fairest, read Fairest! It’s a pretty cool side-series to the long running Fables book, and I like it quite a bit more than the other side-series, Jack of Fables. In any case, I’m ToG, I’m hungry, and I’m fairly sure I’m not out of eggs. See you next week, when we wade though Suicide Squad, Superboy, the Ame-Comi Wonder Woman one-shot, and Batman. Goodnight!

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