grebok_sod (grebok_sod) wrote,

These Weeks in Comics

So I’m late. So sue me. I have a life…. Okay, no I don’t, but I sometimes am obligated to other stuff, and no one reads my blog anyway.

Let’s get down to it.

Countdown #24-23

So, now that we’ve established a few BS worlds more or less based on one-shot Elseworlds, let’s start knocking them down like tenpins? This has got to be one of the weirdest plays DC has made in awhile. I’m sure it’s all going to wring out in the wash, but seriously, if you only have 52 worlds why would you start blowing them up?

I love you DC. I really do. But if you’re just wasting our time creating and recreating your world just to recreate it again, then I have to ask you to really take a look at yourselves when this is all over and make sure this is who you want to be. Do you really want to be Grant Morrison’s DCU, or whatever? That’s fine if you do, but you got nearly 20 years (about 10 good ones) out of the last Crisis. Start thinking in broader strokes please.

I even hear there’re plans for another weekly series after Countdown. Man, I really don’t recommend it. I’m sure there’s enough of us A-holes out here still buying Countdown b/c we’re in too deep, but I promise you, we’re not likely to make that mistake again. I’m not saying it’s doomed to failure, only that it had better be good.

Black Canary/Green Arrow #2

The overarching complaints about Winnick are clearer to me now. I still think he’s an alright cat, but some of his work is better than others. But, man, some parts of this issue –namely Mia—are a mess. Hey, everyone Mia was a whore who has AIDS!! Is it out of our system now? Beyond that, I never got the impression Mia was much of a whore. She turned some tricks, did some stuff she regrets, nobody ever paid her to walk on other girls for instance.

I’ll go on to bitch about Paradise Island later. For now, suffice to say that the timing of this series is in some serious question. It would behoove DC to try to map this all out for themselves, if not us. It might honestly be a surprise how little sense this makes.

Who are these Amazons? The new self-help crew, or the ones who currently can’t remember who they are and are spread throughout the world living normal lives? What the crap could they possibly want with Oliver Queen for that matter? Bah! Despite what’s wrong with it, there were quite a number of good parts.

Batman and the Outsiders #1

This was good. Really good, actually. Pick of the Week Good probably. A nice reminder how great Dixon is when he’s not handling every book with a non-powered vigilante on the cover at once (even then, he’s passable). There was some good tough guy stuff, some good paramilitary stuff, and Batman schooling Thunder about why she’s not a superhero, which is long overdue.

All in all, I’m actually looking forward to this series more now that Dixon is attached. Since I haven’t spent a lot of time talking about Dixon on this blog (afterall, what’s he been doing lately? Rush City? Who cares?), you might not know how remarkable that is. But it is.

Booster Gold #3

Wait, so the badguys are finally revealed to be people that you’d be hard pressed to give a crap about even if you are a huge Booster and/or Rip Hunter fan? Weird narrative decisions aside, this was another great issue. It didn’t set the bar any higher, but it didn’t let it droop any lower either. It was a nice walk on part for Barry and didn’t bend the brain too hard to allow for his appearance. Even if it did feature his notoriously ridiculous origin.

The setup for next issue is quite interesting, especially the sentiment that Barbara’s crippling was an anomaly. Especially since Moore has previously stated he felt it was a mistake after-the-fact. Still, Barb is considerably more interesting as Oracle and I can’t imagine DC changing that after all this time on a whim. But who knows anymore?

What really bothered me, was the line: “First you must save the woman he loved!” Re: Ted and Barb. Listen, I know this is comics and it’s all about the melodrama, but Ted had a crush on Barb, Barb liked him back – End Of List. I suppose, “The Girl He Really Liked A Lot and Would Have Kept Seeing If That Jerk In Short Pants Hadn’t Always Been Around” doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue. Can’t wait to read it though.

Suicide Squad #3

I regretted buying this issue, right up until I finished it. After that, I actually feel pretty good about it. It’s finally about what I thought it was going to be about. The Modern Squad. I know Ostrander always had the story in mind for how Flagg would have survived, I don’t know that I really needed to read it. Oh well, he felt he needed to say it.

Plus, Skartaris!

Also it was nice to hear someone refer to Amanda Waller in the positive. Not just that, but rely on and have faith in her better nature. That was a nice touch.

Titans East #1

In this issue, Everybody Dies!

Or, so it appears. No big loss, except maybe Hawk and Dove, but they’ve died a couple of times now, and even had their respective Lord of Order/Chaos killed so they shouldn’t even have powers. It’s an exciting time.

In other news: So, Teen Titans has shuffled around their membership to be just the kids without any old Titans; members and now there’s moves to bring the old New Teen Titans back together to form just the “Titans”? So, you mean like when Young Justice and the first Titans series were out before they were cancelled and replaced with the Tragedy Titans and the Too-Cool for the DCU Outsiders?

Would it help if I said “I told you so.”?

Wonder Girl #3

Meh, getting better. At least in the end Cassie gets over Conner, even if she’s still a sociopathic brat. Albeit there’s no promise that’ll stick.

Still, Torres is doing okay, and providing an interesting angle on the New Gods storyline. It’s just a shame nobody can keep their Greeks straight.

Seriously, sometimes the Gods are referred to as being around, other times they all left. Sometimes sometimes Paradise Island is populated, sometimes it’s not. Sometimes by the new Amazons, more canonically (presumably?) with just Mad Queen Polly and her four houseguests. The Gods are around, but they’re not, but they’re New Gods, but not all of them, but—but—

Holy sweet Zeus shit! Stop it! Everyone take five. Come back and reconvene on just what the fuck you think you’re doing with the Amazons, et alia. Talk among yourselves. Make sure you ALL know what the fuck you think you’re doing with the Amazons.


And you wonder why Wonder Woman has trouble catching on…?

Wonder Woman #1 -- I mean #14

Or, you did, and then you brought on Gail Simone and all will better real soon.

So much good in one little issue. An overt statement about how and why she’s not Superman or Batman, but deserving to be beside both. A few Golden Age nods, like defeating the problem through diplomacy and a dare. Apes and soon, Nazis! Seriously the only thing missing was Diana being bound, gagged and riding a missile.

If you didn’t pick this up, then perhaps you are enfeebled of brain, or a shut-in or something. Try ordering online, and let me make your decisions for you. There you go.

Avengers: The Initiative

Man this series is good. Really good. Slightly odd that the better portion of this issue is dedicated to Spider Man… again. However, it is prescient and it comes around to be very much about the Initiative, while serving a vital function in Spidey’s world.

Well played.

If a trade is scheduled, wait for that and jump on board. If one isn’t, then get on now while the getting on is good.

Welcome to Tranquility #12

Last issue? Shit, really? This is almost as bad as New Mutants #100 “of a 100 issue limited series”.

Okay, it’s not that bad… or that tragic.

It gets a reasonable ending. I’m not dissatisfied, just surprised. It wraps up fairly quickly but that lends a good energy to the story. It’s chaotic without being out of control. Which is what you want from your big apocalyptic showdown.

If you didn’t buy it in issues, I would hope it gets a collection or two. Buy them instead, at least you know it has an ending.

Birds or Prey #112

Is McKeever taking this book over or not? I like Bedard, but he’s doing it less and less for me on this book. If McKeever isn’t coming on, I might just take a break for awhile. Maybe Bedard should too.

None of the issues have been bad, but they’re generally subpar, and I wonder if Tony isn’t a little overworked at the moment.

The Brave and The Bold #8

This series is consistently just awesome. This is a better Flash and family story then the Flash’s own series has been churning out. Mark Waid needs to take a page from Mark Waid here and write more like… Mark Waid. Hrm. That’s weird.

We’ll talk about the Flash in a little bit. The fact is, this was delicious, even though I was fairly certain I wasn’t going to enjoy it that much. Mark Waid’s bar bet with the DCU continues to delight and entertain, and his superheroic segueing storylines are just too skillful to ignore.

If this isn’t the best book in the DCU, it’s not behind by much. Be reading this book or the one missing out is you.

Catwoman #73

Man, even though I said I probably wasn’t going to read this anymore it’s still Pfeiffer and it still has those beautiful covers. So I went into it willingly... mostly. I’m glad I did. It’s still a good comic, even if I don’t agree with the hows and whys of writing Helena out. But considering she was aging at a rate that would have the West family nodding in sympathy we can expect the shock-gasp-Helena’s-back-as-another-Catwoman story to come sometime next year abouts… with Sin in tow… shit, now I want to write that story. Powergirl’s illegitimate Wunderkind can be the badguy, it’ll be great.

Hey, so long as Pfeiffer is writing it, I don’t like my chances to bow out gracefully from reading Catwoman. You shouldn’t either.

Checkmate #20

Shit, I was really thinking the Wall was taking everybody down too. So much so, that I almost don’t approve of the switchback ending. I’m sure it’s just my sour grapes, but the reveal came out of nowhere.

Still, Rucka is writing the crossover book to beat, man. If DC is committed to putting out another weekly book I can only suggest getting Rucka and Waid to do it. Yeah, I know they were already involved in 52. Aaaaaaand? 52 was great, doubly so in retrospect. So let’s be smart about this.

Seriously, Checkmate is picking up and distributing all these little story threads in a way that should make the rest of the DCU jealous. Particularly any part that involves Amazons. ‘Nuff said.

Flash #234

The central story about the Flash and Co. was shaping up and growing on me (made better in Brave and Bold, but what are you going to do?), but then we’re right back to fighting Vagina-monsters next month? Hopefully that manages to have anything to do with anything.

While we’re on the subject, WTF is Flash-World all about? Does someone out there know more about the Flash enough to tell me that any variation of Emu Planet is canonical?

Angel #1

Meh. Buffy Season 8 is better. I’ll stick out the first arc or so just to make sure, but I did not care for the opening issue.

Wesley’s presence/existence was annoying; Gunn’s fate was annoying; I’ve never been into Connor, so he was annoying; and the overall “Hey remember that awesome ending on the show? Well it actually turned out really awful” was annoying.

I applaud the decision in part, b/c there would be no point in writing a comic about how awesome everything is, but then I would rather have just left the series where it was. Or told a different story entirely. Oh well, the Dragon part was cute. Oh, and what happened to Fred/Demon in Fred’s Clothes? If she’s not going to be in this series, could you just tell me now so I can stop reading sooner rather than later?

Depending on how slavishly devoted to Joss Whedon you are (I rate about an 8) is whether you’ll just have to have this or not. For the rest of you, I’ll let you know in an issue or 4 if it’s up to snuff.

Although as a sidenote, it’s just as ridiculous that Angel is being published by a different publisher than Buffy as it was that they were on different networks. Seriously, Whedon, you don’t have any pull here? Buy your properties back, and put them back under one roof.

Marty’s Pick of the Week
Halo 3

Wait, that’s a goddamn video game. This is a comics blog. Foul! Foul! Pfie on you, Martin Henley! A pox on your household.

Yeah, well, deal with it fanboy. I just got an Xbox 360 over the holiday (thanks to the best friends in the universe) and I finally got to “Finish the Fight” as it were. Now my secret is out that I am not an early adopter by any stretch, and have been too poor to even be a middle or late adopter.

Let me just say that the Halo franchise is the single best shooter out there. Oh sure you can fight any battle from WWII from any of 700 angles, and there are plenty of other alien-battling engines out there --but Halo was the first and best shooter to throw a layer of real story on top of its clip-popping, shell-spending, grenade-throwing action. Yeah, Halflife happened first, but was also a puzzler and a problem solving game with shooting as its secondary feature. I love Halflife too, but Halo was straight action all the time, with a touch of class.

Finally 3 came out and put a period on the end of the run-on sentence that was Halo 2. A sophomoric effort with a dubious B story and no ending. But! Three is so good it makes 2 better. The story is tight and makes absolute sense in the world they’ve created. There’s a symmetry between the first and third game which puts Lucas to shame. Even the parts that I had only begun to begrudgingly accept by the end of Halo 2 paid off here. I got teary at parts. In a first-person shooter!

It might break the form, but I don’t care. Halo is a great series, and 3 made it greater.

Now let’s get ready for Halo 4! I wouldn’t mind if they called it something else, what with the namesakes having been taken care of and all. FYI, if you were unhappy with the ending, be patient and sit through the credits. See if that doesn’t make you feel better. I was happy either way, but I admit I was happier after the credits. Like Final Fantasy X2.

Well, that’s my comics – and videogame story—and I’m sticking to it. Don’t be such a stranger.

Tags: amanda waller, angel, batman and the outsiders, birds of prey, booster gold, brave and the bold, catwoman, checkmate, countdown, flash, halo, i told you so, outsiders, paradise island is a mess, suicide squad, the initiative, the wonders are in trouble, titans, titans east, welcome to tranquility, wonder girl, wonder woman, young justice

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