This Week’s Comics

It’s a solid week!  I’m excited enough to use exclamation points!! Here’s what I’m looking at this week!!!

BATMAN #699 – Believe it or not, I actually enjoyed the previous issue of Batman.  I’m also completely psyched for issue #700 and Return of Bruce Wayne.
BATMAN RETURN OF BRUCE WAYNE #1 (OF 6) – I’ve surprised myself by digging the concept of “Batman Through Time,” so I’m hoping there’s some extra page count here that will convince me to pay up the extra $1.
JUSTICE LEAGUE GENERATION LOST #1 – I LOATHE what DC has done to Max Lord in the last few years, and when they had the opportunity to fix things after Blackest Night, they chose not to.  Still, I enjoy the creators and I’m curious enough to see how the JLI-era Leaguers respond to New Max that I’m willing to give it a try.
MUPPET SHOW TP VOL 03 ON THE ROAD – This was a GREAT story-arc, and it just wrapped up.  Now you get the chance to pick it up for $10!  It’s deal enough that I’m thinking about moving to trades on this title.  At any rate, this one is a winner.
WOLVERINE #900 – Enough with the fake anniversary issues, Marvel, you money-grubbers.

I’ve also been poring through the rest of the FCBD releases I picked up a week ago.  I found both of Marvel’s entries –Iron Man/Thor and Iron Man/Nova — were both forgettable stories, that must have been put out solely to capitalize on the movie.  Nova?  Really, Marvel?  I was never much of a G.I. Joe reader, but I thought the IDW #155 1/2 — a bridge between Marvel’s #155 and IDW’s new #156 — was pretty good! The writing and art were both solid and it felt like a full-length story for a Free Comic Book Day book.  Dynamite’s Green Hornet, on the other hand, was a waste.  I was hoping for a guide to the umpteen Hornet books they’re releasing to make the most of their license, but what we got was a hodge-podge of random pages from books, some of which weren’t even finished yet.  I can’t imagine anyone picking up this preview and being inspired to check out one of the new Green Hornet books.

Brightest Day sparked up a little conversation last week, which was nice.  I did indeed pick up #1.  Whatever else is said about the book, you definitely get a good amount of comic for your $3, which is a
refreshing change of pace.  I’m most likely done with it, but it really is a decent read with a solid art team, I just don’t really care about the characters or events enough to keep picking it up.  However…I’m getting increasingly frustrated with creators tweaking or adding powers and abilities to already-established characters in order to make some sort of point once, and then it’s forced to be incorporated into canon.  Aquaman’s bulletproof? Really???

I also gave in and read Justice League: Cry for Justice last week.  It did have a couple moments that rang true for me, but for the most part (especially the torture scenes) I found our protagonists acting uncharacteristically and despicably, especially Ray Palmer, who’s apparently going to try to out-Pym Hank to be the biggest dick.  See also his scene explaining how he and Green Arrow were never friends for a good example of changing characters to prove some random point.  It was dark and gruesome for no good reason, which I disliked.  Robinson said in his text piece to #6 that it was by design, so knowing that he got the comic he set out to write, he succeeds.  It’s just that the comic he wanted to write wasn’t the one I wanted to read. The art by Mauro Cascioli was absolutely fantastic, though, until the issue #7 fill-in’s by Scott Clark and Ibraim Roberson ruined an otherwise stellar part of the book.

That’s it for me.  What are YOU looking at?

This Week’s Comics

It’s another short week, but that’s okay.  I picked up TONS of killer quarter books from ComicFest yesterday so I’ve got plenty to read (West Coast Avengers, here I come!).  Here’s what I’m looking at this week:

  • AVENGERS VS ATLAS #4 (OF 4) – And we come to the end of the time-spanning AoA vs Avengers crossover.  It’s been cool to see our Agents meeting up with different eras of Avengers, and this is has been a great fill-in until the new Atlas series starts up.
  • GREEN LANTERN #53 – Post-Blackest Night, this is probably where we’ll see the most in terms of cosmic DCU after-shocks.  I’m looking forward to it.  For all of Johns’ recent shortcomings, they haven’t been on this title.

Which brings us, somehow, to last week.  I was able to restrain myself from picking up Flash #1, but in spite of Matt’s unimpressed review and Chris Sims’ outright negative review I had to pick up Brightest Day #0 for myself.  They’re both right, and the first page with it’s dead baby bird and precious use of the phrase “Brightest Day” should have been my first indication.  The whole book is super-navel gazing not super-heroing, and while that works to some extent for a first issue, there’s no indication it’s going to get any better, just that we’re going to get another version of 52 starring Deadman.  Thanks but no thanks.

I also have a problem with Johns’ version of Guy Gardner.  At first I liked that he was still a jerk, but the good-hearted side shone through a little more.  Now he’s just written like “Earnest Guy Gardner” from the JLI days, except not funny or ironic.  Here was a character you hated, true, but he at least had his own personality different from anyone else in the DCU.  Now he’s just like every other Lantern: sincere, dammit!  And I think I’m going to pass from here on out.

So that’s it for me.  What are YOU Getting?

Game Tape: The Return

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 marks the full and glorious return of my LCS…more or less. I was ecstatic beyond words at walking in (on a Wednesday!) and seeing the familiar friendly faces. Here’s hoping that the guys can make it work.

On to the books!

COBRA COMMANDER UPDATE: In GI JOE #16, we see the gloved hand of the Commander. Dixon is really milking the suspense here as we see more of the inner workings and structure of Cobra. Although there wasn’t a single Joe in this issue, it still held my interest. This issue marked the end of the second act in this over arching story introducing Cobra to the world stage. Destro is rewarded for his contribution to the M.A.S.S. Device. The Baroness receives a reprieve for her go-it-alone strategem. Dr. Mindbender is reprimanded (I choose to interpret the single shot of his panic as such). The plans go into their final stages. Big conflict is coming and the drums of war hasten their bloody tattoo. On a personal note, my heart leaped with joy to see Major Bludd on the last page. Of all in the inner circle of Cobra, Bludd has always been my favorite. From his grating voice to his poetry bordering on Vogon-esque, he’s just a ton of fun.

Amazing Spider-Man #626 was a solid story. I skipped 625 with the Rhino because it’s a Kelly book. This issue, though, Van Lente is at the helm. The Hood drives the action here with an appearance by the newest Scorpion as setting the stage for things to come. One thing that this new team of Spider-Man writers has be able to better than most since the old Stan Lee days is balance Spidey and Peter. When one takes precedence over the other, the book suffers. As important as the balance is the fact that Peter is redeemable in these stories. The old “Parker luck” doesn’t just keep kicking him and beating him to pulp as it has in less memorable years. I’ve said it before, the fun of the book is back.

Green Lantern #52 is good and readable, if you can wrap your mind around the sudden shift in Sinestro’s raison d’etre. Johns hasn’t set this up as well as he thinks he has. Making noises here and there about always wanting to avenge Abin Sur’s death hasn’t convinced me that he’s not simply the maniac that ran the Sinestro Corps. The moment with Stewart was nice. Maybe we can finally put the past behind him. There was also a pleasant lack of Luthor and Scarecrow being mindlessly dumb. The issue as a whole was fast paced in a not so rushed way. Considering that this mini-crisis ends in the next book published, I’m not sure how it can feel that way. Still, this was a peak in the EKG for the whole story. For the moment, I’m choosing to ignore the fact that all life and all Lanterns now seem to stem from Earth in a weird creationist sort of way.

I also snagged three Jeff Parker books. I didn’t know he was doing another Hulk related book, but Fall of the Hulks: Red Hulk #3 caught my eye. I don’t know much of what’s going on, but it wasn’t too hard to catch up. Some of the ideas were clever, and I might have appreciated more if I were actually following the story instead of the writer. Might be worth looking at in the cheap bins later.

I picked up Thunderbolts #142 also. I haven’t read it, but let’s assume that like Avengers vs. Atlas #3, it was brilliant and fast and clever.

That wraps up my return to regular comic reading…except to say that I also got Muppet King Arthur #3. Like FoH, I have no real idea what’s going on, but the gags are good and the art is the best it’s been on any of these Muppet fairytales. Mebberson was outstanding on Peter Pan, but her art is so static. This artist, whose name escapes me right now manages to be consistent (what was lacking in Robin Hood), cartoony, fun, and dynamic.