“I’ve got the magic in me.” -direct quote from Billy Kaplan

Now normally, I’d be lamenting the end of another month while at the same time joyfully expressing my love of the comics that came out this week…but May has five Wednesdays this time around, and DC shot its wad a bit early. So, I suppose that y’all can consider this an early warning. If I can’t think of something current and interesting to talk about next week, there may not be a post, as all DC is putting out for the fifth week of May are annuals for series’ I don’t read.

Ah, as for the lateness of this post, well…I guess I should come clean. I love independent comics. I probably love them more than superhero comics at this point, and I’ve spent the last few months building up my Los Bros Hernandez collection. Yesterday I picked up the twelfth volume of their Love and Rockets collection, Poison River, done entirely by Gilbert Hernandez about his best-known character, Luba. I got home around 10 pm and spent the next three hours devouring the entire book, before even touching the actual new comics I bought. But really, can any of you blame me? It’s always good to look outside one’s comfort zone, and trust me, there’s nothing on the market further from DC Comics’ new 52 than Love and Rockets.

I wanted to kick things off with a bang by looking at Bruce’s confrontation with Talia…but unfortunately, that’s to be put off another month. Grant Morrison wasn’t involved with the 11th issue of Batman Incorporated at all, despite being the creator of the two protagonists, Jiro Osamu (the Batman of Japan) and Shy Crazy Lolita Canary. Instead, we get an issue written by the usual artist, Chris Burnham, and an artist by the name of Jorge Lucas. If the name doesn’t ring a bell for the usual DC reader, have no fear! Lucas is yet another artist DC has drafted in from another company, this time Top Cow, though he has done work for Marvel in the past. As for the story itself, it’s not bad. A regular Bat-style bad guy punch-em-up with no real detective work thrown in (that’s left to the computers, don’t you know), and a cute look into Jiro and Canary’s size-challenged romance. Though seriously, this issue was originally solicited to be a direct continuation of #10, don’t do that again, DC.

It’s winter in Gotham! Well, sort of. This month’s issue of Li’l Gotham is full to bursting with celebration as Mr. Freeze learns the true meaning of the holiday season (hint: it isn’t kidnapping children), and the Gotham Girls have a crime-free night on the town…depending on how loosely you interpret the word “crime”. Nyugen and Fridolfs deliver yet another adorable issue of what I’m not even beginning to hesitate to call my favorite thing from DC right now. Be sure to come back next month for another two installments, all for $2.99! As far as digital-to-print comics go, that’s bargain basement, baby!

So there were some panels floating around earlier this week of Billy putting a gun in his mouth. His reasoning was that if he was dead, all his spells would come undone, and Loki would no longer have his powers. I’m going to be honest, those panels sent me into panic attack mode. Why? Because this is Kieron Gillen at the typewriter, kiddies. He would do it. Of all the talent Marvel has in their stable right now, I doubt there’s a creator out there who is quite as good at causing pain to comic fans as this guy. I mean, his last big writing job for Marvel, Journey into Mystery, is commonly nicknamed Journey into Misery by the fans of the book. If that’s not a telling sign of a man who wants to make you cry, I don’t know what is. 

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Fuck you.
That being said! As far as closing issues to first arcs go, this one was quite the winner! While not quite destroyed, the Mother parasite has been beaten back to the point of nonexistence. This is a good thing! Unfortunately, in order to keep her that way, none of the Young Avengers are allowed to go back to New York City until Loki and Billy can figure out a way to eradicate her completely. This is a bad thing! So, parental distress, check. Suicide attempt, check. Constant reminders that Little Loki is not a good guy, nor looking out for the group’s best interests, check check. Um. At least Billy got a nifty new costume, the team is officially a team, and Kate is going to teach Noh-Varr the definition of ‘hot make-outs’ at some point in the future? Oh, and did I mention that the next issue is going to feature the return of Speed and, get this, David Alleyne?! Okay, this guy? He’s got my second favorite power, next to superspeed. Before the events of M-Day, he could absorb any knowledge from another person, though he’d end up forgetting it once they were out of range. His brain was later unlocked by the Stepford Cuckoos so that he’d be able to remember everything he’d ever learned. Granted, he’d never be able to learn anything new just by casting around for it, but still. I can’t even explain how excited I am for this guy to be in this book. Even more excited than I am about, say, Billy’s hot new costume:

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He is Donna Troy-ing this mother up. Gotta love a guy with the confidence to wear a galaxy on his hips.

The Flash was certainly a busy beaver this week. Aside from his guest spot in Justice League Dark and showing up briefly in the main Justice League title, his own book had more mystery, death, and intrigue than you could shake a Speed Force-imbued stick at! But first, an unpopular opinion that no one cares about: I really do like Barry and Patty together, as a couple. They seem to make each other happy. While Barry has literally crossed the ravages of time and space for Iris, their life together happened in a different world. A better world, most would argue, but not the world we’re going to be seeing for a good while. I’ve made my peace with this, to an extent. I’m still pretty damn mad about it, in some respects, but I’ve mostly made my peace. That being said: Barry, you’re living with your girlfriend now, who knows that you’re actually the Flash. This less-than-professional interest you seem to have in Iris, and that she seems to have in you, isn’t going to go unnoticed for long. Patty Spivot is one blonde you can not make dumb jokes about. The meat of this issue, despite rather misleading appearances on the cover, is about detective work. Investigations are in, brutal violence is out! Well, sort of. We do get a neat scene where Barry windmills a train into submission in pursuit of a super-powered suspect, but that’s about it. So! Four bodies went into the Speed Force, Marissa, Gomez, Albert, and Iris. Three developed powers, two are left alive. One is on the run, one is oblivious…and Barry thinks that now is a good time to finally go investigate Kid Flash?! Bubba, your priorities are seriously wonky. I will say, the dedication to Carmine Infantino was a nice touch. Memorial pages have been popping up in comics all month, but an actual dedication…didn’t think you still had that kind of class in you, DC.

That was this week in comics! If you’re able, be sure to also pick up All-Star Western for a taste of Booster Gold, and the second to last issue of Fionna and Cake! Things are really heating up there! Going to be honest, unless there’s something I’m forgetting, it doesn’t look like I’ll be getting any comics next week at all. Good for my wallet, bad for my soul! This may just call for a nifty little required reading list of my own…

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