Game Tape

The euphoria of Wednesday books has worn off; now it’s time to review the game tape and see what worked and what didn’t. This week was strong considering how light it is for me. Unfortunately, there only seems to be one Mad Hatter story: his infatuation with “Alice.” To his credit, Landry Walker does his best effort to make it interesting. If you didn’t bother to read Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the Eighth Grade, then let me tell you that Landry Walker’s best effort is pretty good. It’s just not enough to hide the fact that we’ve heard this story before. There are some new and disturbing moments here. We see what makes the Hatter so dangerous; he’s not just a kook with fetish for hats and the writings of Lewis Carroll. Still, for most of you out there, I’d say unless you’re a big fan of Landry Walker and co., wait for the trade on this. A while back, November or December, I predicted that we’d see Cobra Commander making an appearance the new GI Joe series by March of this year. So I was off by a few months. GI Joe #19 marks the second time we see the revamped Commander… briefly. He made an appearance in last month’s GI Joe: Cobra II. The new look is interesting and favorable. The fangs at the bottom are a really nice touch. Story-wise, we see Destro proving he’s more than just a pretty face and a weapons maker. He tears a new one for Major Bludd. Two interesting things about this series are that the Joes are always on defense and Cobra troopers are pretty bad ass. Yes, GI Joe is still America’s top secret, highly trained, special mission force. It’s just that they didn’t know until very recently that there was anything out there that could give them a run for their money. So they’re scrambling to play catch-up. Remember the cannon fodder from the cartoon? The Vipers with the silver face masks and the goggles? In this iteration, one of them nearly killed Snake-Eyes. Let me repeat that for emphasis. One of them nearly killed Snake-Eyes. Beat the ever-loving crap out of him.

I did pick up New Avengers #1 this week. It’s pretty okay. In spite of the fact that it’s got a strong and different line-up, it’s my least favorite beginning of the three starts. It’s not bad by any stretch of the imagination, but, more so than Avengers, this was classic talky Bendis. I like the magical-mystical-mysterious threat: someone’s after the Eye of Agamotto. On the other hand, It didn’t occur to me until just this minute, but all three Avengers titles follow the exact same plot. Team is set up, threat is introduced in hints woven throughout, final page is a surprise/ reveal. So this is essentially the third time in almost as many weeks that I’ve read this issue.

Agents of Atlas #2 was enjoyable as we get some interesting clues as to what’s going on here. It hints also as to how 3-D has “memories” of Section Zero in the 1950’s. Naturally Parker’s snappy dialogue continues to make this the single most enjoyable read by either major publishing company. People should be taking notes on how it’s done.

That’ll wrap things up. On a tangentially related note, I asked my comic vendor to drop JLoA, JSoA, and Green Lantern from my pull list. I’ve spent too many months only being mildly interested in them. The JSA title has the best chance for redemption. I’m probably only it through the crossover.

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