Game Tape – the Bulldog edition

Wednesday has come and gone. The heroes have fought their battles and villains have hinted at things to come. Now it’s time to review the game tape…

This week was a fairly strong week for me. It was, in some ways, a week of redemption.

Willingham’s Justice Society of America has for the most part left me unimpressed. I’ve kept the book because the guy that writes Fables deserves more than a fair shake. The problem hasn’t been that the book is bad. It’s more that instead of doing something interesting, he’s chosen to do JSA by the numbers. Traitor in the ranks? Got it with Kid Karnevil. Since the Robinson/ Goyer relaunch, everybody has had the team battle Mordru. You can’t really ever beat a magic powered time traveling villain. You can only out magic a magician into going away to lick their wounds. Now it’s Nazi’s. In comics, these guys were the boogey men of the 1930’s and ’40’s. I’m looking forward to the day in comics when fighting Nazi’s is as timely as fighting the Visigoths.

Still, this issue had me hooked. Why? I’m naturally curious. Throw me twenty years into a future that doesn’t look familiar and my first question is, “What happened?” This is the exact framing device that Willingham uses, and he’s got the world’s third smartest man serving as our historian. That’s the other thing that gets my attention. Michael Holt’s Mr. Terrific is an interesting character to me.

For whatever reason, Fantastic Four #576 decided that it does not need to tell full issue. The issue starts off quite strong with sit-rep type scene running down where they’re going and stating to expect the unexpected. There’s some boilerplate lab talk. Then, Apparently it’s okay to have ten pages of silence, create another huge gutter (a la last issue), dump significant chunks of plot into it and move on until we almost have an ending and then a text page explaining the wrap-up. I dig the silent pages. I object to the shoddy story telling through short-hand.

This newest Atlantis is admittedly the most interesting iteration we’ve seen. The Atlanteans are anthropomorphic denizens of the ocean and they have a triad of races and three kings. They look cool. Since this is a multi-part arc, and we saw the highly evolved moloids last issue, I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop. With an over arching title like Prime Elementals, I guess we’re headed into a volcano or the sun next culminating in some big melee involving all of these “new” kingdoms.

Like I said, this was a week of redemption. I confess that I did pick up Blackest Night #7. It didn’t make my head hurt as much as the latest Green Lanterns or the previous issues of this series. I am happy the the rest of the rainbow coalition has finally arrived. I know Stewart’s pretty bad-ass, but why were we supposed to believe that he was holding off the multitudinous hordes of the universe’s dead?

We also finally get something of an explanation as to why Earth is so blasted important in the whole of the universe. On the other hand, we have to suffer through more of Johns’ fetish for gratuitous violence and gore. In the post BN DC, can we please have less of Larfleez and more of Atrocitus? He’s a much more interesting character with some depth. Larfleez is the running gag/ catchphrase that gets tired too quickly.

At last! Batman and Robin #9 totally made sense. There were no weird moments of confusion due to editors. No women popping out of boxes for no apparent reason. No odd or dull plot threads (we might finally put the Crime Bible to rest!). What we have here is coherent and interesting and fun. Thanks for restoring my faith in a Batman title.

Finally, if you aren’t reading X-Men Forever, you’re missing a fantastic read. This issue was devoted to Cyclops and the Family Summers. It’s interesting and stuff happens that isn’t angsty and ham handedly allegorical for anything.

That wraps up everything for me.

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3 comments on “Game Tape – the Bulldog edition

  1. Jesse says:

    It’s funny, I’m hoping we get less Atrocitus and more Larfleeze. It just seems that rage is so over-represented in comics…

    • Matt says:

      True, rage is over represented, but there are facets to greed that Johns does not seem to care about or able to examine. For me, Larfleeze is a one dimensional character. Writing him has to be the easiest thing Johns does all day. I want X or gimme Z.

      I cringe in the same way that I get ill when Wheelie appears on an episode of Transformers.

      At least with Atrocitus we get moments that border on character and depth.

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