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…

To start this week seems full of books where characterization is the by word.

Muppet Peter Pan #2 continues with the excellent art of Amy Mebberson. The story drags a little as we travel across Neverswamp meeting people, but the silliness, jokes, and gags keep you from putting it down. In fairness, the source material is a little slow here too. It’s hard to keep parts from sounding more like a travelogue. Randolph’s characterizations continue to be spot on as we see who’s who. There’s a great bit with Sam the Eagle at the beginning (think in terms of his classic speech against animal nudity). Gonzo is Gonzo again in all the right ways; the appearance at the end of a popular character doesn’t miss a beat and fits like a hand in a muppet, and I suspect Grace Randolph’s Whatnot made in with a cameo.

Remember Uncle Sam’s speech that rallied the troops in Crisis on Infinite Earths? Barry gives a watered down version of this to get Ray and Mera to (wo)man up and be heroes. I’m beginning to think Blackest Night is Johns’ answer to those who didn’t feel Final Crisis was “eventy” enough. Green Lantern #47 was the stronger of the tie-ins this week. Johns is good at character and fleshing them out into something more. In some ways he’s better at this than James Robinson in this one single respect. Sinestro steals the spotlight again here. No surprise I guess, but it makes the book worth reading.

Those expecting an epic battle between Reeds of multiple Earths will be sorely disappointed with Fantastic Four #572. It’s actually a decent ending to the story if a little sudden and hollow seeming at first. Turns out 616’s Reed is the smartest man in the room. On the other hand, this issue has a weird bit of dialogue between Valeria and Franklin. Like creepy disjointed dialogue.

The last book of the week is Superman #693. In which we learn how to pronounce Mon-El’s name. A lesson not worth the price of entry. Some will tell you that this is a brilliant piece of characterization. General Lane is the troubled patriot weighing minor evils against the greater good. They’re essentially right. Hearing a man who for all intents and purposes is classified as a villain rail against Superman was interesting. Getting the point of view where Superman is a villain to humanity was novel. They were interesting and novel the first time I read them coming from Lex Luthor’s mouth. So Lane turns into a pale uninteresting copy of Lex Luthor.