Posts tagged Red Lanterns

RIP, Static Shock. We hardly knew ye.

A small first week, as I’ve decided to forego the newest Marvel event, Avengers VS X-men, with only 4 books. Sadly, this will also be the last issue of Static Shock, a moment of silence please.

Moment over, let’s groan about Red Lanterns. Oh, Red Lanterns. Why am I reading this book again? It’s so…you know what? I’m done. I don’t care about this wonderful new Red Lantern, the human Jack Moore. I don’t care about how many ass shots Bleez had this issue. I just…don’t care. Red Lanterns, you’ve officially been dropped. Go away.

Justice League International was fairly disappointing this month. Batwing is a character I know next to nothing about, so when he was kinda sorta in danger, my main emotion was ‘meh’. The fight scene against Lightweaver was also meh, mainly because for a guy with such a cool power, he certainly handles it poorly. Breakdown’s meta reveal was actually pretty awesome, because he knows how to use his powers in the most efficient way. But the best part of this issue, for me at least, was the continuing saga of Guy loving Tora. She’s gone from being slightly cold to him to accepting of his affection, and perhaps showing a bit of affection towards him herself. I like that. You go, last surviving relationship holdover from the original JLI line-up.

I’d like to take a second to say goodbye to Travel Foreman, the artist on Animal Man. I believe he’ll be moving over to Birds of Prey. I don’t know why DC thought it was a good idea to put the man whose creepy-ass art caused readers of the title to shit ourselves on a monthly basis on the girl power book, but okay. In any case, hope y’all brought a change of underwear with you to the comic shop, because mother of god. Maxine Baker is officially the creepiest child. After diving headfirst into a pack of wild dogs out to kill her, who do kill her, little Maxine merely ‘leaves her body’ goes into the Red, steals the body of a fox in the real world, then, as if this wasn’t enough so far, she changes the fox’s body into her own, then sends her old body back into the Red. What the fuck is this little demonic entity?! And then, the ever-shrill voice of reason, that goddamn grandma, decides that Buddy has to stop being around his children, because he puts them in danger. Never mind that the talking cat says that Buddy was created as a superhero to bring Maxine into the world, he’s gotta go. Well, good call there granny. Now Buddy is dead, and taken over by the Rot. This is certainly going to bid well for the tiny savior of all life.

Static Shock wasn’t the perfect book. It was good, if a little confusing. It pulled elements from the first Static series as well as his time with the Teen Titans and, if you looked for it, the cartoon. The writer has come out repeatedly as saying that he wasn’t allowed to write what he’d wanted to, that Editorial had a different vision for Static than he did. But all in all? The final issue…it did what the first issue should have. It fully immersed the reader in who Virgil Hawkins is, as a person. As a hero. And you know what? I liked it. I’m going to miss Static Shock, the only cancelled book that, really, had very little reason to be on the chopping block.

Well, that was this week in comics. Am I disappointed? Well…sort of. Animal Man is always a good read and, if you can find a copy in your comic shop, Fairest also had a good second issue. It wasn’t a bad week, but it certainly wasn’t the week I was expecting. See y’all next Wednesday!

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Makeouts! Makeouts for everyone!

Hey, you guys want to hear something cool? This post is my 150th post, and today is my 22nd birthday. Okay, it’s not cool cool, but it was cool to me. Huh, does it say something about me that I’d rather be on the internet in a comic shop reviewing comics for you than out at a bar or something partying? Nah! Anyway, we’ve got six books in front of us today, let’s get started!

You know what? The last issue of the Huntress wasn’t a final issue. It was a segue into World’s Finest. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, I mean, Weird Worlds segued into My Greatest Adventure, which is probably going to segue into some other anthology series. But did we really need six issues of nothing, only to end in the Helena Wayne reveal? I mean, come on, Paul. And you know that the billion-Euro bounty on Helena’s head is probably going to play a big part in the first ‘year’ of stories in World’s Finest. If you can ignore the words coming out of everyone’s mouths, it’s a good book with pretty art. If you like having a good story to read, pass on Huntress.

Why am I still reading Red Lanterns? It isn’t a very good title, never was. It was interesting in the beginning but now, with Bleez sentient, Atrocitus dead, and the human Jack Moore a Red Lantern, well. On the upside, the Bleez ass count for this issue is all of one. One panel of fanservice. Benes, you are improving. Then there are the last-minute character additions known as the Abysmorphs. Ugly, misshapen creatures that flayed the dead Krona of his flesh and ate his body. Atrocitus fights them, and loses. Well, okay. So it looks like the main characters of this book are going to be Bleez and Jack Moore from now on. I can live with that.

I don’t know how to feel about Justice League International this month. On one hand, while a lot of people were hurt in last issue’s bombing, at least we get to see just how intense Guy’s feelings for Tora are. After Generation Lost, I really, really worried about those two. Actually, speaking of Generation Lost, a moment of silence for sweet, stubborn Gavril Ivanovich. DC doesn’t like Rocket Red very much, I think. I mean, this is the second one they’ve offed in less than a decade. Still, a fair point is raised in this issue, which has been raised before: Do superheroes cause more damage than they prevent? Would the bombers have hit the United Nations if the JLI hadn’t been connected to them? And speaking of the team, who will be brought in to replace Gavril, Vixen, and Tora, at least temporarily? My best guess is Batwing, and maybe Blue Beetle. Ooh, if they need another Russian hero, how about Red Star? Then again, do we really want teen heroes, the cannon fodder of the DCU, on a team that has already sustained two casualties and a fatality? Something to think on.

Maybe you’re getting sick of hearing me say this, but Animal Man is probably one of the best titles DC has put out in years. Yes, this is another issue of the Baker family riding around in Grandma’s RV, but it’s the interactions that make this book what it is. The little hints of the chaos going on in the outside world, the flash of a possible future in Buddy’s dreams, Ellen and her mother arguing over the effect Buddy has had on their lives…Jeff Lemire is a fantastic writer, who crafts an intricate world. Whatever payoff all this setup is leading to, it’s going to be amazing. I can feel it.

I really wish Static Shock wasn’t being cancelled, because Marc Bernardin is really bringing his A-game to these last two, one-shot issues. Obviously, he’s being allowed to write what he wants to, because the dialogue? It sound natural. And the action sequences? Solved with science, in the classic Static fashion. If you haven’t been buying this book, you should at least pick up this issue. Go, buy it en mass! Show DC that we want to keep Static around a while longer so that when they inevitably cancel one or more of the books Rob Liefeld is going to be working on, we can get our boy back.

Okay, this may be a horrible thing to say, but if anyone was going to get a happy ending out of Children’s Crusade, I’m glad it was Billy. Sort of. This is going to be the one really spoilery part of this post, so warning.
Cassie is dead. The Vision is dead. Iron Lad has started down the path that made him Kang the Conqueror, and the Young Avengers are no more. The uniforms have been hung up, and a chapter of Avenger’s history has been closed. Or has it? Like Captain America said, they’re Avengers now. In theory. They’ll be thought of as Avengers, Cassie and Jonah included. But does that mean the Young Avengers should no longer exist? Eli seems to have stuck by his word of giving up the costume, and Teddy and Tommy seemed to have stuck with Billy in a sort of familial solidarity, but where was Kate all this time? After the first panel in the ‘time passes’ page, she doesn’t show up. Did she become Hawkeye again? Did Tommy become Speed? There are so many questions that need answers, and I really don’t see how Marvel could just…can a semi-popular franchise. My two cents? It won’t last. The next Young Avengers series will be out in April 2015, mark my words. Also, I’d like to congratulate Billy and Teddy for finally getting an on-panel kiss. And Billy, way to go on your stubble. That’s some nice stubble you have. It probably took you several months to grow it.

And that was this week in comics! I’m quite satisfied, how about you? Maybe I’m just in a better mood today. Nope, I’m going to chock this up to the comics, for a change. Anyway, I’ll be seeing y’all next week. According to my watch, it’s time for sushi!

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Buddy Baker, this is a movie that sort of mirrors your life except it doesn’t!

Four books? Really? That’s it? Ahh, I feel sad. Shall we begin?

Let’s go through Red Lanterns and count how many times Bleez’s ass is a prominent feature of the panel she’s in. For an issue where she barely shows up at all, she still manages to show off her tail four times. This particular issue is about the first human Red Lantern, Jack Moore. Notice how I said human, not Earthling. Because the first Red Lantern from Earth was Dex-Starr, who hasn’t shown up since the first issue of this series. In any case, Milligan is trying to make this Jack Moore guy as someone who can keep his wits about him, because he has been suppressing and controlling his rage since he was a kid. I don’t buy it. Either make the Red Lanterns mindless hate machines, or throw them in the blood ocean, restoring their minds. You keep your Mega-Lantern away from me, y’hear?

I do like it when super-teams take a cooldown issue between crisis’s, but only when it’s done right. JLI did it right. There was team interaction (Guy, Tora, and Gavril cleaning up the world-ripper together), personal interaction between characters (Batman and Booster taking down the guys that blew up the Hall of Justice, Dora and Zhifu having a hot dog and taking down some bombers of their own), and it ended on a bang…literally! Though I did take issue with Batman’s “You are so a good leader, man” speech to Booster. He was a quarterback in the future, so of course that qualifies him to lead a superteam in the past. Okay. Right.

I still don’t understand why they’re cancelling Static. It’s a great book, even if it does have its moments of…complete insanity. The two Sharons arc came to an end this month with a little help from Hardware and someone I don’t actually know named Technique. As it turns out, one of Piranha’s ‘freaks’ was actually a second Static in disguise, and…okay, I’m just going to admit it. I have no idea what’s going on. What happened? I don’t know. I’m confused. I want to love this book, because I love Static. But I just…I have no idea what’s going on. Various noises and images and insanity, really. But I’m going to see this through to the very near end, because I love you, Virgil Hawkins. You are my hero.

Oh, this is interesting. So the majority of this issue of Animal Man is actually a movie Cliff is watching, starring his dad. It’s the story of a man who used to be a street hero, but as he got older, he just descended into alcoholism. It’s an interesting story. The end of the issue jumps back into the story with the Baker family running from the Rot, still on their mission to locate Swamp Thing. That particular story will be picking up next month, and I can’t wait.

Wow, that’s it. That’s this week in comics, for me. I’m…disappointed. Hm. I guess I’ll go see a movie or something. See y’all next week!

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This week: Space butts!

Fairly small week, but this is a good thing, for me. For you see, it’s pretty darn cold out, and I have to ride my bike home later. So let’s get started!

Still not very fond of Huntress, except for the art. Marcus To could draw tentacle porn and I’d read it, and hate myself about the same amount. I just don’t like Paul Levitz all that much, okay. Not a fan.

Why is Red Lanterns so awful this month? I’m going to blame it entirely on Ed Benes’ fascination with Bleez’s ass. Not including the cover, he draws a close-up shot of her ass seven times over the course of the issue. That’s a lot of ass. Between Bleez’s booty and Atrocitus’ big boner for Krona, there is very little moving the story forward. Though we finally hear the rest of Skallox and Ratchet’s stories, which is nice. The only real saving grace, honestly, were the final couple of pages, where we see a red ring choose a denizen of Earth…a human, no less. While I liked having Dex-Starr as Earth’s Red Lantern, this repressed nerd, John Moore, has certainly caught my eye. He has not, however, caught my wallet. Until Ed ‘breasts and butts’ Benes cleans up his act, this book is in-store only.

I hate Godiva. No, really. I seriously hate Godiva. Nix her, bring in Jaime, and this will officially be a better book. JLI is my ‘everyone should just stand around and talk to each other’ comic. The first arc, or at least the first five issues of the first arc, have seemed a bit lazy. Rushed at some points, dragged out at others, but keeping in the overall theme of not being very good. Still, the banter between August General in Iron and Rocket Red, the pre-existing friendship between Fire and Ice (not to mention the pre-existing romantic relationship between Guy and Ice), and Booster’s general excellentness keeps me coming back.

I’ve heard that Static Shock is supposedly one of DC’s lowest-selling books, and from an outsider’s point of view, I can see why. If you’ve never read anything from his Milestone series, or Rebirth of the Cool, or Terror Titans, or his issues of Teen Titans, or seen his show, then what the heck are you even doing picking up this title? But somehow, I find it highly unlikely that, if you’d been reading comics or watching cartoons prior to the DC reboot, you somehow managed to miss out on Static. His return to mainstream comics in Terror Titans was one of the most talked about things at my LCS the week that issue came out. Static is an amazing hero, and Virgil and his family are incredibly interesting characters. The most recent issue of Static Shock deals with Piranha’s crew kidnapping one of the Sharons, and Virgil going out to hunt them down. Static’s interaction with the villains, as well as his ongoing inner-monologue, is really what makes this issue work. If you haven’t been reading Static Shock, now might be a good time to start.

Now normally, I sort of hate fakeout endings. They get me all worried over nothing, or over something that is resolved the next issue. But thank Kord Jeff Lemire didn’t actually pull a Morrison and off Animal Man’s son. I don’t want to see any dead kids just yet. Actually, I don’t want to see any dead kids ever, but DC hates fully functional families, so there you go. Still, Maxine is their tiniest badass, and Ellen and Cliff are equally awesome. Wait until you see what happens to the third hunter, holy shit. It’s just fantastic. Can I make a quick confession? I don’t care about Swamp Thing at all. I’ve never made an effort to read his series, his return at the end of Brightest Day did nothing for me, I just do not care about him. I can’t find it within myself. But I’d better start caring, because it looks like he’s going to be in Animal Man soon.

That’s this week in comics! Now if no one minds, there’s a big plate of curry waiting for me at home, and I intend to get there before it cools off. See you all next week!

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It’s a good week to be a comic fan!

A normal week, five books. Only one real ‘must-read’ series in the bunch, but still. Let’s dive right in!

I hate to give praise to Paul “women don’t read comics” Levitz, but this was a pretty solid issue of Huntress. A common problem with a book based on one character is that it can sometimes succumb to internal-monologue syndrome. Luckily, this is not the case here, as the book tends to rely more on the art and dialogue to tell the story, which is nice. Also, I’d like to just say that I hope Helena gets a spot in the Batwoman book at some point, as Kate could probably teach her more about fighting. If Helena hadn’t known that…Vulcan neck-squeeze move, she would probably have been dead in her fight against the Chairman’s guard.

If you’re not reading Red Lanterns, you’re really missing out on a fantastic story. The gigantic plot device known as the Blood Ocean has struck again, with Lanterns Ratchet, Zilius Zoxxx, and Skallox going into the drink. Their pasts are, well, for the two that are shown, not as tragic as Bleez’s. Skallox apparently stole something from the person he worked for, and got his ring as he was tortured in an oven. Ratchet’s past was sort of sad, but already used. On his planet, isolation is a law. You’re not allowed to meet anyone face to face, but he and several of his people longed to meet in person, and they did. And they were arrested by the Isolation Police who…somehow exist as a viable law enforcement agency on a planet where no one is allowed to meet. Aside from the part about meetups being illegal, the concept was already done in the Waid/Kitson Legion of Superheroes threeboot. In any case, these Lanterns were only thrown into the plot device so that Atrocitus could find out whether or not Bleez plans to kill him and assume control of his Corps. Meanwhile, the corpse of Krona gets up and walks away, and Atro is completely devastated. Is it just me, or is there a whole lot of necrophilia within the Lantern Corps mythos? First Black Hand, now this…yeesh. Oh, and the Earth Brothers plotline was visited again. Who wants to bed that Glasses Brother gets a ring and kills No-Good, Jail-Bound Brother?

Moving away from a series set in outer space, let’s look at a series where the first big villain is from outer space! Can I please just state for the record how disappointed that Manga Khan wasn’t used as the first villain for the new JLI? I mean, that would have been perfect. I’ve noticed something about this issue. A lot of people/goop monsters seem to be grabbing inappropriate things. Though, in Godiva’s case, I highly doubt she copped a feel of Batman’s junk by accident. Uh. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the JLI saves the day in the end, because there is no way that this Peraxxus fellow blows up the Earth. Just isn’t good for the DCU, as a whole.

Wait wait wait, hold on a second. Guillotina is a Female Fury. Not a Bang Baby. Scott McDaniel, what are you doing? That being said, Static Shock didn’t really wow me this month. For one thing, despite all the teasing, just like with how Babs got back on her feet, no one is actually saying how Sharon got split into two people. And frankly, all the Bang Babies in the world aren’t worth jack if you’re not informing us of how a member of the hero’s own family was essentially mutated, and why he blames himself.

I like to save my favorite books of the week for last, and oh my god, I’m so glad I did. If I’d read Animal Man first, I probably would have spent all night on it. Maxine has officially become a Kid Powerhouse, which is fantastic. Most of the issue actually focuses on her, but that’s not what has me freaking out. The depictions of the agents of the Rot, the Hunters Three, are officially the most disgusting things I’ve ever seen. Travel Foreman is a sick, sick man. And that ending…is Cliff, well, dead? Or is he one with the Rot, just as Maxine is one with the Red? I mean, that would be sort of awful for Buddy, to have one kid be the savior of man, and the other the destroyer. I must say, I think Jeff Lemire is a Bleach fan, because the whole ‘kitty cat mentor’ thing is striking a familiar chord.

And that’s this week in comics. Wow, I barely got angry at all, my meds must be kicking in. Ha, that’s a joke. I guess, when really pushed, the folks at DC can put out good books! I’ve got to go now, but I expect I’ll see you all back here next Wednesday?

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And the award for most times in an issue where I said, out loud, “What the hell am I reading?” goes to…

Only four books this week, now that Hawk and Dove is officially on my do not touch list. Though I did skim it and…so many teeth. So, so many teeth. Anyway, we’ve got our first round of third issues, so may as well get a move on.

Red Lanterns is actually pretty good this time around. Neither Ed Benes nor Rob Hunter have bothered to learn how to draw a cat since the first issue, though. This issue centers on the pain of Bleez, and oh my god. It may not have been the best idea for Atrocitus to give her back her mind, though. There is no creature alive that is more conniving than a woman in the midst of a rage.

I’m just going to file this issue of Static Shock under weird. So, the people that have been trying to take out Static have been doing it because they think he knows something, and the organization that funds the team itself is operating out of a club? And Virule is a big living virus? Okay? At least Static himself is more interesting and entertaining than the plot.

And the big villain of the JLI’s first arc has been revealed! Aw, I was hoping for Manga Khan. Let’s be honest, everyone was hoping for Manga Khan. Aside from spending an issue getting beaten up by tiny golems, #3 was basically about character building within the team. Bea and Tora are revealed to still be friends, and Gavril is still interested in Bea. Godiva is…shallow and only on the team for a PR move. And Guy’s big weakness is still a punch to the face. Okay, back of the head. Still, it was a good joke while it lasted.

Yeesh, Animal Man doesn’t even have to try to be DC’s what the fuck am I reading book. It just comes so naturally. The marriage between the art and the writing is so flawlessly fucked up, I can’t even. The truth is out: everything has been leading up to this revelation in the Red. The totems of the Red created Buddy Baker, created Animal Man, so that he would father Maxine, the new avatar of the Red. A war is brewing, and it must be won by…a four year old girl.

That was this week in comics. My word, this is a short, short post. Ah well. I’ve still got to come up with something for today’s NaNoWriMo entry, on Detective Comics. Anyway, that’s all she wrote for me. I’m going to get on home. See y’all here next week, same time, same place.

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We’re number 2! We’re number 2!

So begins the second month of the reboot. Oh, and look! Our first mini since the reboot began, and it’s dealing with our favorite Mafia princess, Huntress. I have six books to address this week, may as well get started.

You know what? Hawk and Dove was so spectacularly terrible this month, I’m not even going to address it. Congrats, series. You are officially off my radar forever and for always.

How can a series with such beautiful art be so badly written? Huntress is being portrayed as a lot more bloodthirsty this time around, but that’s not really what bugs me. Paul Levitz just…is not that good a writer. He had his time, it passed, and now he is on far too many books for his own good. Marcus To, however, is right on the level. His expressions and action lines are flawless, and I’m so glad to see that he chose to put Helena back in her cross uniform, that was always one of my favorites. Story-wise, this book is a pass. It’s nothing we haven’t seen before.

Red Lanterns is probably my favorite of the Lantern books out right now, if only because Atrocitus is looking at his life and going, “What am I doing?”, a question that many people are asking right now. Unsatisfied with his current level of rage, Atrocitus decides to become some kind of crimson avenger to those who have lost loved ones, and are, themselves, full of rage. Though the cover is a total fake-out. Spoiler alert: the kid doesn’t join the Corps. Which is actually a real pity, she’s so cute, she could have been their mascot or something.

This book isn’t the JLI, it’s the Fang and Gavril show. Even when falling to his possible doom, August General in Iron takes potshots at Rocket Red. I just want to pinch their ridiculous iron faces. And while they decided to turn tail because a member of their party was injured, it was still nice to see that, yes, Guy and Ice are still together. Well, that theory just got shot in the ass. Damn it, Jurgens. What are you even doing? Why are you using Ice’s Generation Lost personality?! Are you going to use that backstory, too? Ugh. Hey, look! Booster has a backbone! And…AG and Batman are happy to follow him?! Oh, my heart. Can I just say one thing and not be judged? I don’t like Godiva. She’s seriously the worst example of a man trying to write a ‘sexy’ woman, and failing. Badly. Holy shit please tell me that’s Manga Khan’s redesign. Okay, hi, I am officially on board with this book. C’mon next issue!

The second issue of Static Shock answers a couple of questions, but raises a few more. Why is Static fighting the evil Power Rangers? Who is the Joker-like figure talking to Piranha? On the up side, we learn that Sharon has a…clone? Doppleganger? Well, whatever it is she has, it either thinks it is her or wants to be her, and refuses to give up the rights to her life. Aside from the questions both asked and answered, this issue also introduces us to a completely unnecessary checking-out scene in which we meet what may be Virgil’s series love interest. I know it was drawn through the eyes of teenagers, but random cleavage really wasn’t needed, okay? Overall, though, a good issue. I’m digging this series so far.

Animal Man is going to be our ‘what the fuck?!’ series, I see that now. Maxine Baker is turning into a horror movie child, the kind that is so young, yet so much more knowledgeable of the situation at hand than the adults are. And while the art is…actually really fucked up looking at times(the hippos…the hippos…), the faces of the Baker family are all very expressive and powerful. Traveling through the ‘life web’ to the ‘red place’ is the main focus of this issue, once Maxine and Buddy leave home, but I’m more interested in the villains. What are they? Where did they come from? No, seriously, what the fuck are they? Buddy saw them in his nightmare last issue, and obviously the hippos birthed them this issue, and then they took on the forms of the zookeepers they killed…but what are they? Hopefully, the next issue will shed some light on them.

That was this week in comics. Just a warning: Second issues are being snapped up as quickly as the first. If you want to get yours right away, try either calling your LCS to reserve them before they come in, or go pick them up yourselves as quickly as possible. I’m Touch of Grey, and there is some pasta on the stove that needs my assistance.

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