Game Tape

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…

Pardon me if I mix up this week and last.

Honestly, I was buying Giffen’s relaunch Doom Patrol relaunch because of the Metal Men back up story. It’s not that I don’t like everyone’s favorite expendable heroes; it’s just that their story didn’t really interest me as much. Outside of the 1960’s and Grant Morrison, no one has made them as weird as they really should be. They always end up as another team run by a grumpy man in a wheelchair. Giffen has come close though. This Metal Menless issue was pretty good and it brings back one of my favorite aspects of Morrison’s run: Danny the Street. I’ll continue to give it a shot as long as it’s weird.

This remains one of the most consistent books I read. It’s always at least good. Mostly it’s great… if you can accept the abandon with which these characters commit some horrendous acts. This month’s issue starts of pretty basic mission to stop some crazies (acolytes of Brother Blood in this case). As always the character interactions are where it’s at. From the bromance of Deadshot and Catman to the burgeoning romance between Ragdoll and Black Alice, Gail Simone creates pitch perfect dialogue. The ending knocked my socks off. I can’t wait to read next month for the resolution of this cliff hanger.

If you ignore the maudlin ramblings of Thundercracker, the schemings of Hot Rod (referred to as Rodimus Prime) and Swindle are interesting. Like the autobots themselves, I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop on this alliance with the Decpticons. Taking place 3 years after Megatron’s defeat in All Hail Megatron, some of the transformers have come to see that the war is over and there’s no need for factions… maybe. Ultra Magnus’s appearance and subsequent disappearance doesn’t really make any sense though. Still, it’s a pretty good story as a whole.

The GI Joe books continue to be solid. This month Cobra completed the MASS device. Still loving the reinterpretation of Dr. Mindbender. On the other hand, we still have not seen a glimmer of a Cobra Commander. It’s almost making me crazy.

Ever wonder what Kurt Wagner would look like if he were normal looking? Checkout the latest issues of X-Men Forever. I can’t say enough good things about this title. You should be reading it if you were in love with the X-Men back in the 1990’s. It’s all that and a bag of chips.

That’ll round out this edition of Game Tape except to say that I really dig the mystery Morrison is setting up in Batman and Robin. I’m also glad to see some depth to Daimian finally. I’ll let Jesse go into more detail.

Game Tape

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’s theme is caveats.

Doom Patrol #4 looks into the team’s proverbial closet. Given it’s a Blackest Night tie-in (which books aren’t selling well? Must be the ones with BN tie-ins), there are a lot of skeletons hanging out. This is the first issue where I really enjoyed the main story. I’m finally beginning to understand the structure of Oolong Island as a sovereign nation of “mad” scientists and Doom Patrol’s place within that frame work. I like that a lot. The dialogue was fun especially the bit between Robotman and Negative Man. I can honestly say I didn’t see the last page coming. Maybe I’m slow, but my mom doesn’t think so. The Metal Men story was enjoyable too. It puts to bed the age old question, “which is more important to a female robot: taking over the world, shopping, or bickering? It was an enjoyable read for me because I like the characters, but the title is still a little too “not-ready-for-prime-time.”

As much as I love Jeff Parker, this hasn’t been my favorite. As usual the dialogue is crisp, fun, and shows character. It’s the cookie cutter team meets team story that disappointed me. It ends more suddenly than feels natural too. The art in both present and “flashback” was fantastic. It was also nice that the story is building to something bigger in AoA regarding the Siren known as Venus. Again, Parker fans are going to love this, but Johnny-off-the-street-X-fan is going to get the wrong impression of the glory that is a Jeff Parker written book.

Guest writer John Ostrander penned a good Deadshot piece for Secret Six #15. Fans of Simone’s psychotic team probably won’t enjoy this shift of gears from the manic pace of the last several issues. Me? I was thankful for it.  Maybe it’s just because I like Ostrander and miss the old Suicide Squad. At any rate, it’s a good book for Suicide Squad fans more than Secret Six fans.

Jonah Hex #49 was a nice blood bath with a bit of a tease at the end. It’s the last of the Six Gun story – arc that ties into the up coming movie. If you like westerns, gun play, or guys getting the crap kicked out of them regularly, pick up this next issue. The title is never bogged down in continuity, and the few arcs there have been are short. Very accessible to new readers.

GI Joe #11, much like the previous issue, is finally better than just good. Everything is coming together so well. Destro and Mindbender squabble enjoyably. Snake Eyes and Breaker are coming back into the fold, and Scarlett does more than sit in a chair while people yell at her. It won’t be long now before we finally see Cobra Commander.

I also picked up this week’s Astonishing X-Men. I just haven’t read it yet. Actually, I’m sort of dreading it. The Brood have always bored me to tears.