grebok_sod (grebok_sod) wrote,

Last Week in Comics

This was another phat week in comics. Great stuff is happening in more than a few titles with little to complain about in between. DC’s in a good stride right now (again) they just need to keep it up. It’s a shame they’re so pot-committed to Countdown, b/c it’s the only thing that tends to make them look foolish any given week.

Countdown #27

I bought it, I read it. It was okay, I guess. Very little is actually satisfactory about reading a single issue of this series. Like, the bit at the end with Jason and Donna is either: really stupid, horrific, or awesome depending on what comes of it.

I will be quite put out if Jason just shot Donna in the face, for instance. However, if Jason is pulling a whole “I don’t mind killing to get close to the badguy and it keeps y’alls’ hands clean, and we all know Donna can take it.” then that puts him in a good spot to use the psychotic routine that’s been his hat to wear for the past two years, but lets him wear it in a fashion becoming his behavior… well, in Countdown.

Time will tell. Like a week or so.

Black Mary still sucks; Jimmy Olsen is taking too long, and seems to have presented yet another false-start typical of this series (Hey, maybe something will happen NEXT issue!); Trickster and Piper are still cute, although the requisite gay joke per issue is running a little lean; the faux-Amazon story is poorly timed; and it all comes together to make a big mess in the middle of the DCU.

Shame. This book is worse than the sum of its parts.

Blue Beetle #20

While I like Albuquerque’s art enough for its sketchy franticism, I have a feeling that my recurring problem with Blue Beetle comes down to his inability to get a good narrative flow going with his art. On the other hand, Rogers needs to recognize that and throw in a few more bridges in his dialogue and narrative structure. There have been too many times in this series that I have to reread the same page a handful of times and as often as not I give up as soon as I have my best guess as to what’s supposed to be happening. At least once an issue. Three or four times in this last one, I’m sorry to say.

Okay, so Jaime’s in Chris’s mind; monster/scarab/anti-matter ring Chris shoots at Jaime; Jaime loses the armor, which probably puts him in a lot of danger; monster/scarab/anti-matter ring Chris… runs past… Jaime? And Jaime’s kind of cool about it?; then Jaime jumps through backgroundless space toward a golden, glowing Peacemaker helmet – which is impossible to recognize unless you know what you’re looking for. Sooo… but’wha?

Still, there’s very little wrong with this book that couldn’t be corrected with just a little bit of tightening. The Sinestro Corps tie-in was entirely Blue Beetle-centric and appropriate if you’ve been with the series for awhile. You’ve got to appreciate that in a tie-in.

Chris Smith (Peacemaker) being approached by a Sinestro ring was one of the big jaw-droppers this week and heartily appreciated. So too was the resolution.

Also, Blue Beetle still has the best supporting cast in comics.

Flash #223

Wow, Acuna leaves the book, and suddenly I’m feeling it a lot more. That strikes me as particularly odd, b/c I dig Acuna’s art. Perhaps he wasn’t the right tool for the job, or maybe Waid’s opening story just wasn’t that great.

Wally facing down the Justice League was kind of cool, albeit a little out of nowhere. Plus he totally schools Batman. Oddest of all? Batman said he was sorry! If that doesn’t tell you we’re in a whole new era, than nothing will.

Best issue of the new Waid run so far, hands down. Something I noticed, now that Acuna isn’t doing the art: the transdimensional, life-sucking vaginas look less… vaginal. Surely a mistake on the artist’s part.

Countdown Special: Flash #1

My store pulled this for me, and I bought it mostly sight unseen. I thumbed through it to make sure that I wasn’t just buying the last arc of Flash: The Fastest Man Alive and All Flash #1 reprinted or something.

I thought to myself: “Awesome, they got some Carmine Infantino-style art to tell some kind of throwback story!” Imagine my surprise when I got home and it is in-fact Carmine Infantino. This is just a reprint of some classic Rogues stuff including the first appearance of the Piper and the Trickster and the Rogues as the Rogues.

You know what? Bravo, DC. I support this wholeheartedly. Shit, they should consider doing issues like this for some of the other stuff they’re dragging out for Countdown and Final Crisis.

How about some classic OMAC (Buddy Blank) and Kamandi reprints so we can refresh –or indeed learn about—some of that stuff? How about a handful of classic Legion reprints, like the first resurrection of Lightning Lad, or some Karate Kid and Triplicate Girl stories? Or reprints of Superman’s Pal: Jimmy Olsen of the first time Cadmus put him under the knife for developing weird powers?

Yeah, a lot of this stuff is collected somewhere or other, I’m sure, but I’ve never known a comic company who didn’t want to sell me the same thing twice. At least it would be neatly packaged as to be relevant to the topic at hand.

Green Arrow: Year One #6

I’ve mostly not commented on Green Arrow: Year One. Just b/c it’s not entirely relevant. It is, however, pretty damn good. Seriously, Diggle and Jock (which sounds naughty as hell) did a bang-up job recreating Ollie’s origin. I’d like to see them take over the Black Canary/Green Arrow series (and I will ALWAYS type it that way, despite what the actual title is).

Green Lantern Corps #17

More great stuff from the Sinestro Corps war, which should come as no surprise.

A new Ion has been named, and I totally don’t mind. This Sodam Yat kid from Daxam is a far better Green Lantern than Kyle ever was already. Yeah, that’s probably just b/c I hate Kyle, but so what?

The kid’s alright, plus a Daxamite with a Green Lantern ring is a little bit terrifying and a lot egregious. A Daxamite with the power of Ion fighting Superboy Prime, is even more egregious and I totally can’t wait.

Robin #167

Wow, this issue was this close to being the Pick of the Week. A really nice issue that finally addresses the people Tim lost last year, and brings it around to the big one. His dad.

I will always contend that Tim was more interesting (and unique in the Bat-mythology) with a living father. Even still, I like Jack’s death, and I like this issue dealing with Jack’s death.

I was even warned that the end of this issue would make me cry, and I walked brazenly in. I figured, no way are the bat-books going to get me twice in as many weeks. I was sick when I read Catwoman, that’s cheating!

Nope. Damnit, if I didn’t choke up and get all misty. I think I could’ve made it if it was just Tim at Jack’s grave. I was ready for that. Bruce at Jack’s grave pushed me over the edge. Great stuff.

I don’t know that I’ve ever heard of the writer: Brandon Thomas, but he made me cry in one go, so my hat’s off to him and I hope we see more of him.

(After looking him up, he’s all sorts of cute about how bad he wanted to write Robin. Well, Brandon Thomas, on the off-chance you’re ego-Googling yourself and come across my blog: You did great. Truly, one of my favorite Robin issues in quite some time. Thanks.)

Teen Titans #52

This is just a little awesome all over. There’s plenty of high-angst still, but it’s not overdone and it’s tempered with equal parts high action. It’s just the right dose of each.

Plus Blue Beetle totally saves the JLA! Albeit a little odd that the JLA flies off saying they trust the Titans to handle Starro. Really? Have you been reading this series, Batman? B/c I’m totally not sure that’s a good idea. Didn’t you guys form the League to deal with threats like Starro?

Regardless, great stuff and a fantastic setup for the next issue.

Unrelated question:

Question: Is that Son of Son of Vulcan?

Thunderbolts #117

Yeah, this series is still pretty damn quality.

I like Doc Samson --pretty much thanks to Peter David—, so this issue was a special joy. Hell, Ellis is making Penance out to be the bass-ackward, little cutter bitch that he is, and its very gratifying. In fact, I think that one word sums up this series: Gratifying.

Ellis isn’t ignorant to the Story he’s telling at any time. Writers are a delusional bunch, and prone to misinterpreting their own work. But Ellis is in utter control of his story. So much so, that I want him to run the next Marvel crossover. Hell, I’d like him to go back and tell me Civil War all over again, b/c I think I might believe it this time.

Gen 13 #13

I’m on the fence. I very much have enjoyed the last several issues. However, this seems like a perfect place to jump off. I could really use to be reading (read: buying) less comics. Contrarily it’s probably a great time to jump on.

I’ll go ahead and recommend it.

We’ll see in 30 which way I jump.

Marty’s Pick of the Week
Tales of the Sinestro Corps: Superman Prime #1

Yeah. It’s gotta be this one. It’s just too good.

It’s nice to get an origin on the sociopathic little ingrate for all the whippersnappers who don’t know who Superboy Prime actually is.

Johns has turned something nice into something awful as a statement about turning nice things into awful things. It’s either totally sick or it’s total genius, I vacillate between the two, and refuse to call it both.

To set the tone, he’s totally Superdick Prime to and about Bart Allen.

Not for nothing –I liked Bart—but Superboy Prime’s got a case.

This is only the third page, by the way. Clark hasn’t been on Earth four minutes and he’s desecrating the grave of the kid who beat him up.

It’s apparently a touchy subject b/c despite the fact that the evil equivalent of the Green Lantern Corps has declared war on the Earth, one kid peeing on Bart’s grave gets some attention:

”All this for li’l ole’ me? You shouldn’t have.”

Man, the amount of times Johns brings an army you’d think I’d get tired of seeing a hoard of Superpeople. I don’t. It’s the kid in me, I grew up amid the Crisis on Infinite Earths: Mo’ Superpeople=Mo’ Better.

Although, I am a little tired of the “Pile-On” mentality of the DCU lately. Batman and Robin are rushing to this fight like they’ve got something to say. Get some people (including yourselves) to safety and give the Superpeople room to work.

Oh, did I say Robin?

Seriously! Tim! Run away!

When I was first reading this page, I thought Tim was going to bring Prime to his knees with a shrill whistle (playing off his Superhearing). I thought that was weird but pretty cool, a cute way for one of the very-breakable heroes to make a difference until a grown-up shows up.

That’s not what happened....

This wasn’t the first time I cheered while reading this comic, but it was the loudest.

That’s what happened.

There were several Rock’n’Roll moments like this throughout the issue on both sides. Not the least of which was Red Star bringing some noise to SBPrime’s house.

One moment, I didn’t think was possessed of any Rock’n’Roll at all, however, was Risk having his other arm ripped off. That’s just overkill and kind of stupid.

But like I said above, it’s nice for the kids to see where this poor deluded bastard is coming from. It makes Johns’ mouthpiece far more terrible and tragic if you appreciate that SBPrime is just some poor dumb schlub who discovered he had superpowers the same day his world died.

This broke my heart:

”So, I punched Pantha’s head off. What else could I do? Right? You see that, right?”

He is right. He’s right about lots of stuff, on some level. Which, of course, is how Geoff finds a way to comment on the fans of the DCU about the DCU from the DCU.

I do find it important to warn fanboys who believe Johns is on their side; that’s he’s telling it like it is; that he’s getting away with this right under DiDio’s nose: He’s not. He’s making fun of you. You can believe it’s all in good spirits or make your own peace with that as needed. I just feel it’s fair to warn you when he’s making fun of Meltzer (a good friend of his) or the state of the DCU (which he’s a big part of) it’s simply b/c he has a sense of humor about it. He doesn’t feel how you feel. But he does know how you feel and he made a petulant wretch of a character out of those feelings.

That said: when he’s clicking, he’s clicking and I’m loving this whole story. Plus I think entitled fandom can afford a few cheap shots. I do prefer Johns penned in a little. All writers benefit from a little editing and being able to focus. I think that’s what we’re seeing here, and it’s lovely.

Cheers, y’bastard.

That’s my comics story, and I’m sticking to it.

Tags: blue beetle, comics, countdown, donna troy, flash, gen13, green arrow, green arrow year one, green lantern corps, ion, jason todd, pick of the week, review, sinestro corps, sodam yat, superboy prime, teen titans, thunderbolts

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