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.

Jesse is apparently reading JL: Generation Lost. I don’t care for Winnick enough to even try it. Booster Gold #33 ties into this title directly, and it manages to make sense while not being bogged down as an integral part. Booster travels to the past to try to find some proof of Max Lord’s existence. Where else would Booster go except to Giffen and DeMattis’ favorite stomping grounds: the JLI era. Naturally, this is entertaining and smart. The ending is a little too pat though. If you’ve seen “Bedknobs and Broomsticks,” you’ll see it a mile away. Doom Patrol #11, by Giffen too, was out this week. My interest in this title has waxed and waned since Metal Men was pulled from it. It’s story telling with an eye toward trades. The idea that DP is on Oolong Island as a research/security force is really interesting. Unfortunately, along with this a reader must suffer through a shoehorned retread of Grant Morrison’s ideas. Dan the Street visited, as has Crazy Jane. Of course the team needs to fight weird challenges, but Morrison hasn’t cornered the market on strange. I’m probably dropping the book under the idea that there’s nothing new here.

SHIELD #2 came out this week. Johnathan Hickman’s long form “What if?” story continues to be interesting, and issue two comes in at a cheaper price of $2.99. Last issue worked to establish the world and the protagonist. This issue we get a clear idea of what the conflict will be. Leonardo Da Vinci shows up and all Hell begins to break loose. There’s an interesting appearance by Nostradamus also. If Doom Patrol is retread of old material, Hickman is providing readers with something different and unfamiliar while having hints of things we can recognize. Set in the 1950’s, we’ve got a prior generation of Stark and Richard. It will be interesting to see how or if he handles a certain (then) frozen captain. We’ve also got some interesting cosmic, almost Inhuman or Atlantean, ideas going too.

At HeroesCon this last weekend, one of the panels featured a conversation with Hickman and Jeff Parker. At one point they talked about their mutual love of letter columns and the insertion of text pieces in a story. Traditionally, text pieces supplement the main story. It is odd to see a text page replace what could have as easily been a traditional paneled page. It wasn’t a bad thing, just a strange and slightly jarring choice near the end of the issue. On the same panel, Hickman admitted that this story was meant to be a 12 issue maxi. Editorial mandates forced it to be cut in half. I hope this decision does not cause the story to suffer. Some of you may be waiting for the trade on this one, I can’t blame you. I would encourage you to give it a try in some form though.

I picked up Batman #700 this week, but I’ll wait for Jesse’s review. I know, despite his hemming and hawing over the price, that he’ll pick up this book. It’s Batman; he’s Jesse. It’s inevitable.

What surprisingly wasn’t on Jesse’s radar for this week is Eric Powell’s Buzzard #1. This mini promises to be an interesting a gruesome tale of one of The Goon’s more interesting and gruesome supporting characters. What’s especially appealing to me is that the story is essentially a western tale. A weird western tale to be sure, but it is a western tale none the less. There’s also a back-up feature for the short lived Billy the Kid’s Old Timey Oddities. This staunches the thirst during our Eric Powell drought.

In brief:

Amy Mebberson admitted that there’s a story reason Skeeter has not been called by name. It does not have anything to do with legal issues as some might guess. Langridge continues to tell nice done in one stories with an over arching story thread. Last week’s Muppet Show #6 brought back Wayne and Wanda and presented some truly weird and inspired bits. The frog scout mime-version of Death of a Salesman springs to mind first and foremost. This issue was made especially sweet by my custom hand drawn cover. I’ll include an image of this in a post this weekend of the arty things I picked up at the convention.

GI Joe: Cobra II continues to give us disturbing glimpses into the broad expanse of the world wide terrorist organization. This arc will focus on something we haven’t seen before: a Cobra controlled cult not unlike Scientology. There’s a mysterious Serpentor-like figure and a new take on the old  Joe, Scoop. No Chuckles this go round.

Secret Six wrapped up it’s rather disturbing look at Catman. His future with the team is called into question and…yikes. Just yikes. If you’re a fan of stone cold stone-coldness, here’s a book for you.

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…

A warning, the last review is really grumpy. You’ll know it when you see the appropriate image.

I know I mentioned a while back that we should accept the genius of Langridge, but this issue needs comment. Muppet Show: The Treasure of Peg Leg Wilson #4 is a good ending to the arc and a nice segue into the next. This is the problem with the issue. It works too hard to serve the story. The clever variety of sketches are mostly gone because this issue has to wrap up the arc. Still, a poor Langridge issue is better than a good issue of most other writers. Next month: ROAD TRIP! WOOOOOO!!!



X-Men Forever #11 continues to demonstrate how far through the looking glass we’ve come with the book: Wolverine is still dead, Cyclops has still got a healthy son, Shadowcat has an adamantium claw, and Colossus is back in Russia as a champion and boy toy of a certain Black Widow. Seriously, this is the most enjoyable X-book out there.

Tony Daniel’s second issue of Batman was pretty uninteresting and mildly confusing. Daniel drew a passable issue, but he forgot to tell a coherent story. On the upside, Edward Nigma remembered something useful: he’s really the Joker…if a certain panel is to be believed. Morrison’s Batman and Robin #6 was adequate. The dial-in poll run by Jason is a nice moment for those of us who remember back in the day. On the other hand, Hannibal Tabu at CBR’s Buy Pile called it nicely when he said Flamingo is the Batman equivalent of Darth Maul. I’m waiting to hear Jesse’s take on the Doc Savage cross-over book. I do know the background and history of the character, but I’m not sold on the idea of needing him in the DC Universe.

Anyone remember the DC cross-over events MILLENNIUM, ALIEN INVASION, or BLOODLINES? Of course not, they suck. I fear Blackest Night will be the same way. I came to the realization while reading this month’s Booster Gold. DC’s plan to connect it to books to boost numbers hurts both the book the story ties into and the over all story. My beloved BG suffers because we’ve already dealt with Ted and his death. I can understand that Booster feels guilt and shame and anger, but bringing Ted back is an unfortunately literal depiction of the old chestnut, “beating a dead horse.” The only readable part of the book was the funeral/memorial. Reading Booster go down the list and point out why each hero attending is really a douche bag was entertaining. Worse, by throwing all of these sub-par tie-ins and mini’s, DC has managed to turn the potentially best GL story in…ever into a drawn out and over exposed flaming piece of stupid.

On the whole: not a great week for books. I won’t be reviewing for a couple of weeks. I’ll try to post something on those Thursdays, but with my travels in the next two weeks, I won’t be around to get books.

This Week’s Comics — And that’s it! Nothing more!

Wow…What an uneventful week for me. That’s probably good, though, since I haven’t had a chance to read any of the new books I picked up last week. Instead, I recently filled in all the holes in my Justice League Europe collection so I opted to read everything between Breakdowns and the change to Justice League International. <SPOILER ALERT!> It was awful. That out of the way, here we go…

BLACKEST NIGHT SUPERMAN #2 (OF 3) – After reading the first issue last month, I’m going to pass on this one.

JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #37 – Is this James Robinson’s run yet?  No?  Well, still…I was really looking forward to reading Robinson’s run on JLA, but aside from the slagging Cry for Justice has been getting, the recently-announced line-up is distinctly underwhelming. It’s not Robinson’s fault that the main draws of JLA are unavailable, but someone is to blame for The New Teen Titans featuring Congorilla. These are NOT the World’s Greatest Heroes, so I don’t understand why this book even exists (or what happens to all of these characters already in Titans).

Note to DC: take a look at the JLA’s history. In all that time only once has a team of b-listers been successful and that was the Giffen/DeMatteis run. Aside from that, every time there’s been sales and interest has been surrounding the iconic characters of the DCU. With that in mind, why would you ever stop putting out that book in favor of a JL Detroit revival? Want to publish the JLD/JLE/JLI again? That’s cool, just give it another title and let the rest of us keep enjoying the Big Guns.

MUPPET SHOW TREASURE OF PEG LEG WILSON #3 (OF 4) – This book gets better and better each issue. Matt’s review last month was more in-depth and right on than anything I could say.

UNDERGROUND #1 (OF 4) – A new Jeff Parker book? I know nothing about it, but I’m in based solely on that.

WEDNESDAY COMICS #12 (OF 12) – I’m just including this because I’m thrilled that the inevitable TPB is now within sight.

Apropos of nothing, Marvel sure has a ton of books coming out this week, none of which look particularly interesting.