Staying home sick and reading comics, it just doesn’t get any better than that. So, an early review this week, which may heighten my spoiler potential, especially in the face of some big things happening.
Countdown #45 (7)
This issue opens with a bang. Forerunner is about to ass-hand Jason Todd, when Donna Troy punches her so hard she skips across water three times. That was pretty awesome.
Unfortunately, the rest of the fight doesn’t make Donna look nearly as cool. She does okay but I hated this. To prove Forerunner is scary wicked, the Monitors take her victory for granted but she’s interrupted at the last minute. I contend Donna was down, but not out, thank you very much. Then Forerunner gets all emo on us. This is a lot to assert about a new character in one issue. Also, Monarch shows up. Man, finally, stuff is happening.
Jimmy Olsen: Jimmy is becoming a reporter? Good for him. He also gives a primer on the New Gods which is probably a good idea.
Holly: Good to see Holly wasting some pages. This scene did nothing for the issue, nothing for Holly’s story, and nothing for the series at large.
Karate Kid: This is a nice scene, but you’re about six weeks too late. The Lightning Saga is over. Karate Kid’s story is further along there, than it is here. I’ll continue to allow that comic-time is weird anyway, but c’mon, this is downright distracting, you could’ve done this scene two weeks ago and it would’ve been fine.
So too is the fact that very little ado is being raised about Amazons attacking the Nation’s capital! It’s been out for two months and it’s getting zero play. Yes, this issue bothers to mention it, but it has no bearing on the story, whatsoever. Maybe this event just wasn’t worth doing if nobody’s going to notice or care.
*Errata: I’ve been using the name Fiddler interchangeably with Piper. Piper is the one I mean. Fiddler is dead. Sorry Hartley, I can’t keep all of you musically themed Rogues straight (pun intended). If it’s any consolation, I’m always getting William Zard and Abra Kadabra twisted too.
The Brave and the Bold #4
This series reads like Mark Waid losing a bar bet with DC Comics. The story is out of its mind. It jaunts around more than 52 and is almost as convoluted.
But is it awesome? Oh yeah, it’s awesome.
While technically a prolonged arc, any of these issues would be fun to read on their own. Mark Waid picks up characterization effortlessly. Every character feels true to form, even if that form is Lobo. Speak of which, is it just me, or should Mark Waid be writing Supergirl all the time? She’s got the too cool space brat thing going on, but is just heroic enough to not disgrace her uniform. She’s young and inexperienced, but not a complete A-hole. High marks, Waid.
And, hey, Destiny! (scroll down, it’s all there). I wonder if Waid had to ask Gaiman’s permission (so the story goes)? Although, technically, Destiny is the only member of the Endless Gaiman didn’t create. Loophole maybe? Either way, it makes me a little happy. I miss the days when Vertigo was just DC-dark. Y’know, when we had a specialty line for adults, instead of a specialty line for kids.
I recommend The Brave and The Bold way more than I thought possible. Next month? Batman and the Legion of Superheroes! Why, the hell, not?
There were a few wince out loud moments herein. Most notably when Selina tasers the guy who’s holding her baby. Hey, genius, you’re tasering your baby too, y’know? Helena is suddenly a toddler. She’s talking. Sure, not by much, but better than your average one year old, and she can’t be more than six months. Oh well, those were the slightest flaws in an otherwise pristine gem of ass-kicking goodness.
There’s a scene with a crashing cop car that is simply cat-tastic. Selina continues to outdo herself to get the drop on the two Russian metahumans. Not the least of which is bullwhipping Sickle in the friggin’ eye!
It’s cute that she thinks to call Bruce when she’s in trouble. It’s weird that when Alfred informs her that Master Bruce is not in attendance, she hangs up. Hey, Selina, you’ve got the most sympathetic ear in the DCU on the phone. Repeat after me: “Alfred, I’m in trouble. Get help.”
Alfred can call Master Tim, or Miss Oracle, or someone who might could give you a hand. Hey, I know you had your heart set on Bruce. So do we all. I’m still waiting for him to show up and take me to Prom like so much Davy Jones. But take what you can get.
I guess Holly is making a sacrifice at the end, which presumably leads her to Countdown.
Catwoman continues to be easily recommended. She will apparently be let back into the Bat Club next issue. Enjoy it while the ‘No Girls Allowed’ sign is out being cleaned, Selina.
Checkmate #15: Checkout #5
Lots of chaos and tough-guy fun.
I don’t really feel as if this arc has concluded, but the solicit for next month seems to be moving on to business as usual? At the very least Outsiders will be following up on what’s going down. If this is the end, it’s a weird place to leave off, but arguably okay with the above-referenced continuation. Still, a nice arc that solved some of the Outsiders problems moving forward.
We’ll see what Batman can do for the Outsiders. I don’t know if that’s a good move or not. I’ll let you know.
Flash #13 *SPOILERS*
See, this is just overreacting. Yeah, I hated what they did to Bart. But I didn’t want this (pay attention to the commentary at the top, b/c it settles some head-scratching I was doing).
Still, I’m a fan of a good death scene, and this one was okay. It’s written desperately enough, and Bart gets to look heroic doing it. FYI, Bart does all of that heroing without powers.
For all the fun and desperation in this book, it breaks its own mood with some badly timed lags. The Rogues just stand around for enough pages for Bart to catch up with his Grandmother, hatch a plan, knock her unconscious, and start running. Then they stand around some more as Bart pummels Inertia, but don’t go into murderous rage until later. These are the Rogues, I don’t really associate them with murderous rage. Especially not after Abra Kadabra makes such a point that this kid is not the Flash they’re looking for.
Anyway, it wasn’t any worse than the rest of the series, and some moments were quite good. It hardly matters if I would recommend it or not. It’s over. I just hope Bart isn’t. (see review of the JLA for more interesting developments on this front).
Green Arrow #75
Missed this last week, got it this week. It’s not as bad as I expected. I just hate watching Dinah be worthless in a fight. To be fair, Ollie pretty much bones her chances of being effective more than once which is all part of his brilliant plan or something. His brilliant plan which gets him beat, mind you. Maybe next time he should late his girlfriend handle the big boy fights.
Anyway, there’s a big showdown, and that’s fun. There’s a total Deus Ex Machina resolution to the fight, and that’s fun. Ollie gets some resolution from his comic, and that’s fun. All in all, t’wasn’t bad.
Ollie pops the question. We’ll see how that turns out in the upcoming Black Canary miniseries. Another one it barely matters if I recommend, b/c it’s similarly over.
Justice League of America #10
Wow! I didn’t see that coming! I did see it coming, but not how it turned out. SPOILER. I’m happy with it, but I imagine several people are going to feel like Bruce does.
And he’s already on the team! Doesn’t he have to just-so-happen to be fighting Amazo to be invited? Not to mention, couldn’t you let the smoke clear?
“*pant**pant* I’m buh—I’m back. *pant* Oh thank God, we’re safe.”
“Welcome back, pal! Can the Justice League count on you?”
“*pant**pant*Jesus, Hal, can I—can I catch my breath first? *pant* You guys are total dicks.”
The ending is appropriately cryptic. I have a feeling this is only the beginning. Stay tuned Barry fans. I’m looking forward to how this develops, one way or another. For that reason, I suppose I’m still recommending JLA, and I hear McDuffie is stepping up to the writer’s plate. McDuffie good.
Awwwwwwwww. Awwwwwwww. Awwww.
That pretty much sums it up. There’s some fight scenes too. Recommended.
Captain America #27
Mmmmm. Still good.
The bit with Natasha is slightly annoying. Don’t keep pulling a Cable with Bucky. The more people who know Bucky, or knew about the Winter Soldier makes it harder and harder to believe. His involvement with Black Widow is fine, and sneaks between the cracks enough, but let’s not make this a habit.
Regardless, Bucky is looking to take a chunk out of Tony Stark’s ass, and I support that action. You’ll want to act fast, Buck, or the Hulk won’t leave you any.
X-Men Endangered Species: One-Shot
What the hell, I figured, it says “One-Shot” right on the cover. The writing was particularly good. There was a scene with Bishop, and I didn’t hate it. Seriously, that’s a big step. It has a series of little scenes jaunting around the various X title regulars as they attend the funeral of a mutant they didn’t even know. It’s sweet, but sometimes bitter, and it works.
However, this is no one-shot. It’s the start of another damn event! This wasn’t some done-in-one little character piece, it’s a whole thing. Dude, World War Hulk is just now coming out, and another Annihilation event is kicking off, and now this! What’s wrong with you people? I’m trying not to read WWH or any of this shit. At least DC’s events are interconnected. It’s not a series of dysfunctional crossovers vying for position and running over one another like so many Keystone Cops.
You know what, though? If this reverses the whole “No More Mutants” debacle, then I’ll throw my three dollars down. But I’m not going out of my way.
I’d recommend this issue. I don’t know that I’d suggest getting roped into any of the hundred and one Marvel events, though.
Madame Mirage #1
Yeah, okay. It has a whole sexy hi-tech noir superhero thing going for it. Paul Dini is just doing whatever he wants over here, and shit, it’s got my attention. What’s not to love?
I find it reminiscent of Fallen Angel, insomuch as it’s an off-the-grid project of love by a talented creator. I’ll give it the old college try, but if I know myself, I’ll stop buying before too long.
I also picked up a handful of JLU issues at random. You know what? They’re pretty great. Lots of fun, done-in-one goodness. Definitely light reading, maybe too light, but it sure is a nice change of pace compared to the constant inter-referential crossover land the Big 2 have become. They seem to be taking the Johnny DC line seriously at least, which is a good sign. Maybe they aren’t leaving the kids behind afterall. Weird that they don’t have a Superman book at Johnny DC. Or an Amethyst: Princess of the Gemworld book. I mean, c’mon. That’s essential reading right there.
That's my comic story, and I'm sticking to it.