Thought maybe I'd just make this an undated, running thread -- and just date the entries as the weeks turn.


3/28/2012


Of the books I've read so far, Flash 7 is my favorite -- I loved Flash running through the wormhole, the promise he made to Snart (and the resolution of that promise), an interesting wrinkle in what will likely wind up being the Golden Glider's origin, the hint at Captain Singh's love life, and more. I liked Iris going through the wormhole -- it'll give Barry some alone time with her (though I'm by no means anti-Patty). And I'm looking forward to Turbine, next issue!

All-Star Western never disappoints, either -- the lead story made good use of Hex's origins and I like the gladatorial scenario. And the backup art had a real John Severin feel to it, which I appreciated -- and I liked the look at Nighthawk's background, as well. My one quibble was that I couldn't tell if Cinnamon was wearing a mask or not -- in some places, it looked like she wasn't drawn wearing one, but the colorist might have been trying to fix that.

Aquaman, sadly, I'm thinking of dropping. It's good -- objectively a good comic, I think, well drawn and exciting in parts -- but it isn't really connecting with me. Maybe it will in trades, sometime down the road.

New Deadwardians: I was planning on waiting for the trade with this one, but I decided to give a single issue a chance. I love the mystery it sets up, and I love the low-key nature of the supernatural here. It's well worth checking out.

Legion of Super Heroes: Secret Origin wrapped up with a nice moment for Phantom Girl, in particular. That said, I'm not sorry to see it go. While it approached the formation of the Legion in a different way than I'd ever seen before, and Chris Batista delivered some nice Ernie Colon-inspired work, the book as a whole was kind of flat. I much prefer the modern-day Legion, with characters who have a long history behind them. 

Still to come: Daredevil and The Unwritten.

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It has been mentioned at least in Superior Spider-Man. Spidey 2099 has to go back in time to a time where there were lots of time-related kerfuffles to prevent one of them.

Captain Comics said:

Also, Wandering Sensei:
I haven't read Age of Ultron yet, but wasn't the crux of that event that the heroes traveling through time a lot had screwed up the timestream? Does that have any impact on three series doing the time-travel bit right now? Do they even mention it?

Indestructible Hulk mentions the weakness of the time stream, too, with some futuristic villains capitalizing on the ease at which they can change history, and Hulk traveling back to certain pivot points in time to fix things. Good stuff!

Awesome! By no means am I saying that every Riddler story is a good story -- there have been some clunkers, certainly, but I don't let 'em drag me down. (And unlike you, I have the luxury of being able to pick and choose which stories I'm willing to take a chance on -- your gig makes it much more likely that you'll read the bad as well as the good!) But Sensei gets to the heart of my joy at the guy in one sentence.


Captain Comics said:

COOL!

I can see that a lot of what I don't like about The Riddler isn't at all present in how you see him, not even as something to be explained away. So I can imagine seeing him through your eyes, and not hating the things I hate, because they're not there. Of course, the trick is getting from A to B. Your clear and insightful explanation -- and the requisite enthusiasm -- is a heckuva jump-start.

No promises, but I will try.

Cap said:

FBP #3: This was formerly Collilder, and has anyone seen or heard why the change was made, and did DC ever make any kind of announcment? Or what? It's fait accompli here, and if I was actually collecting this title (instead of getting review copies), I would be terribly confused. Anyway, as Travis says above, the crazy physics are fun. But as I and others have said before, I've yet to warm up to any of the characters. For one thing, I don't think there's a single woman in the whole cast, which makes it seem pretty adolescent.

The reason for the name change is that there is a book out called Collider already and those guys contacted DC. Thus the name change.

This is interesting (well, somewhat… to me, anyway): I bought seven comic books this week from seven different companies, but none of them were mainstream Marvel or DC. I bought one comic each from (in alphabetical order)…

Abstract Studios
Dark Horse
Dynamite
Hermes Press
IDW
Image
Vertigo

Heresy! Burn him! He's a witch!

I haven't followed any Marvel books for awhile now, and I'm teetering on the edge with DC.

Ooh, you're missing the goods from Marvel. DC, I don't blame you.

The Baron said:

I haven't followed any Marvel books for awhile now, and I'm teetering on the edge with DC.

Three weeks worth coming at ya...

Thief of Thieves - Redmond and his crew commit the heist he refused to do years ago. Red herrings I am sure abound, and I have no idea where everyone's loyalty lies. Constantly keeps you guessing, and I dig it. Also, Andy Diggle will be the regular writer on this. I approve.

Invincible #106 - Mark and his father arm wrestle to determine who is the strongest. Battle Beast is sent out to kill the former ruler over the Viltrumite, Thragg.

Wonder Woman #24 - Wonder Woman is the new God of War, but she isn't anxious to take up the mantle. Hermes makes the women realize something they never thought of before, and I loved the panel with Hera, Zola, and Zeke. If you have seen it I think you know what I am talking about. It genuinely made me giggle.

Brother Lono #5 - I've decided this could have easily been done in 4 issues. Dragging its feet.

Fables #134 - Bigby meets Boy Blue in the afterlife and they have quite the conversation. Really well done.

Zero #2 - The art on this one really turned me off. We go deep into our "hero's" past as we see when he has to make his first kill.

Flash #24 - A nice wrap-up to the Reverse-Flash arc. Showing us that the more you change the past the further you screw up the present.

Batman: The Dark Knight #24 - I was wondering why if Basil Karlo is such a great actor he would turn to crime. Now I know, and we learn how he got his powers. I really like this series as it has turned into a secret origins style mag on the Batman's villains. Although each arc may go on an issue or two too long, but that is the nature of the business these days.

Sidekick #3 - I still haven't gotten issue #2 yet <sigh>. Anyways former sidekick Flyboy attempts to rebrand himself as The Bullet. It goes well, for a while. Then it goes horribly wrong. Interesting comic, and I love seeing Tom Mandrake's art again.

Conan: The Barbarian #21 - This issue wraps up the "Black Stones" arc. The artifact has caused Belit to fall in love with a witch, and Conan comes to her rescue.

Rat Queens #2 - This would be so much better if they toned down the cussing. It reminds me of me and my friends when we were 12. It would be a much more fun, as there is some good here, as the Rat Queens and other surviving adventurers realize that they have been set-up.

The Rocketeer & The Spirit: Pulp Friction #2 - I guess Paul Smith is off the book sense this is months late, and all he did was the cover. A lot of fun nonetheless as you say Commissioner Dolan fall over Betty. As well as Cliff and Ellen flirt with each other. Appearances by the Octopus and an old Doc Savage villain make this a treat.

T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #3 - Finally, I think we get a real good issue, and the story moves quite a bit forward. More background on the alien tower, the agents fight Iron Maiden, and some very funny moments.

Spider #15 - The Spider goes out on a rampage, and you can see this series speeding to its conclusion as he is out of control. Good read, and I will be sad to it end.

Green Lantern #25:  Light's Out is over and Hal and the gang have a camp out on Mogo to determine what the corps should do now.  Some not very subtle comparisons to shrinking oil reserves and gun control are brought up and promptly abandoned so that Hal can go hit some bad guys.  (It almost seems like Venditti doesn't like his main character as Hal almost continuously comes across as an ass.)  

This title continues to be the weakest of the lantern titles since Johns flew the coop.

Earth 2 #17: Tom Taylor takes over, as the world army and the "wonders" try to escape Superman.  Meanwhile, a familiar character has her brain installed in the Red Tornado body and the new Batman breaks into an Arkham Base to release the inmates.

I don't know if this is why Robinson left or not but if Earth 2 becomes just another Batman/Superman title I won't be sticking around too much longer.

2/5/14

Red Lanterns/Green Lanterns #28: Arguably, the reason for this flip book is that it contains a single story, half of which occurs primarily on Ysmault, and half of which occurs primarily on Mogo. (The Red Lanterns live on the former, while the Green Lanterns currently make their home on the latter). But it really could be told in a conventional way, so I maintain my theory that this was done to give Red Lanterns a sales boost. Anyway, Supergirl turns up as a Red Lantern, and no one recognizes her (how long has Hal been in space, anyway?), but Hal's ring does reveal that she is Kryptonian, so everyone goes on red alert and reds and greens gang up and capture her to go back to Ysmault for her to be dropped in the blood sea to get her mind back. (Guy also make reference to not wanting Superman to get mad at them, or they're done. I like that Superman has such a formidable rep -- although he gets batted around enough in his own book that I wonder why. Plus, you know: Darkseid, Mongul, etc. There are plenty of characters even in The New 52 that are more powerful than Supes.) The story doesn't progress much beyond Supergirl getting dumped in the blood sea -- we learn nothing about how she got to be a Red Lantern, or what she's going to do now that she is one -- but there is a nice scene where Guy and Hal actually talk, and come to some agreements, which is a pleasant alternative to the usual scenario, where they shout insults at each other unnecessarily until they come to blows. Also, a question I raised elsewhere was answered here: It IS possible to come back from being a Red Lantern, despite no longer having a heart, but it has to be done by a Blue Lantern. Only one survived Relic, the irritating Saint Walker, and for some reason he and his ring aren't getting along.

Forever Evil #5: We saw a sort of anti-Crime Syndicate League come together last issue, and this issue cements the deal. And it's a LOT OF FUN! Yes, Forever Evil is an "event," and we've all got Event Fatigue, but I'm enjoying this. As The Baron says in his JSA thread, the interaction between the villains is delicious (possibly because we see it so seldom), and there's genuine tension about who will lead -- Batman insists on leadership to prevent fatalities, but Luthor wants it and has all the power. For example, he's created The New 52's first Bizarro, who is Superman-level and follows his orders. Also, this League is lethal, as they would be, and it isn't sugar-coated. Sinestro executes a member of the Crime Syndicate (!), while Bizarro appears to kill a minor Bat-villain. Luthor shows his true super-power, as he talks a Crime Syndicate "employee" into switching sides -- who then promptly murders another long-running villain! It's clear that these guys are going after the Syndicate no matter who's in charge, and it's all very plausible and convincing (and I won't spoil the issue by detailing the membership). And a cliffhanger reveals why the Syndicate had to leave their own planet -- and it looks very familiar, and very scary.

Green Arrow #28: This is essentially a set-up issue, with writer Jeff Lemire setting up all the pieces for the upcoming "Outsiders War." One of the reasons I'm not a big fan of this series is because they took GA back to square one, and I've read enough "newbie superhero learns the ropes" stories that I don't want to read any more. (Especially when it's a hero who keeps bringing a bow and arrow to super-power fights, and the only reason I could accept that he survived in the Old 52 was his experience.) But this issue, out of the blue, implies a much longer career for the New 52 Green Arrow than previously suggested, in that he once had Roy Harper and Diggle (from the TV show) as his superhero support team. Since the first issue began with him more or less beginning his career, with more or less the current support team, that's a revelation demanding explanation.

Batman: Joker's Daugher #1: I wondered how they were going to allow the Joker's Daughter to come into full flower without making Batman look incompetent, and they managed to -- barely -- in this issue, where J.D. sinks further into madness and sews The Joker's face to her own. She acknowledges that eventually the sewed-on face will rot off, and looks forward to how disfigured she'll be as a result. That's pretty chilling, and I admire what they're doing with a character who at first glance seems little more than trademark-bait. Also, there's still some residual distaste from her Old 52 "career." I'm not sure I'll ever really like this character, but at least they're really trying to make her interesting.

Detective Comics #28: "Gothtopia Part Two" continues this upside-down world that's, honestly, pretty entertaining. (Catwoman as Batman's partner Catbird? Purr-fect!) The Little Man Behind the Curtain is revealed, Batman shows enormous competency (which I always enjoy) and drafts a surprise -- but eminently logical -- "sidekick." Also, I'm really pleased that they're not going to drag "Gothtopia" out for six months or a year as an "event" but are instead going to wrap it up in three parts -- so it moves along briskly, which means you barely have time to absorb one surprise before they throw another at you. Very well done.

PREVIOUS WEEKS

I see this thread has been fallow for a while, so I'm not the only one who has let a bunch of comics stack up. Here are a few from the last few weeks.

Vampire Diaries #1: I have nothing further to say than what I said in the Feb. 5 Comics Guide, so I'll repeat it here:

I read the first issue of this, and it read like a one-shot. It also read really fey. It starred three guys who'd been alive since the Civil War -- two vampires and a witch -- who had to meet up every 23 years, so they had met up many times. But apparently they weren't really fond of each other, and were real catty to each other, in a high-school Mean Girls kinda way. They were also trying to kill each other, but in such a slap-fight manner that it didn't seem any of them were trying very hard, so I was almost surprised when one of them did die. But again, no one seemed very troubled by any of this, as the other two were all like, "Well, he's dead. What's for lunch?" Frankly, it almost read like a parody.

Is that what the show is like? Is everybody gay and shallow? Just curious. I don't intend to read another issue.

The Unwritten: Apocalypse #1: I wouldn't have know what was going on here without the accompanying press release, which tells me it's the year-long climax to The Unwritten. Anyway, it opens with Tom Taylor lost in fairy tales, and he moves through several of them before he figures out how to get out, which he does just in time for a last-page cliffhanger. I get the feeling we're supposed to have as much fun as the writer did lurching from one fairy tale to the next, but it felt like filler to me.

Scribblenauts Unmasked #1: This read a lot like the Lego Batman and Li'l Gotham stories. So it's not for me, as I'm a bit long in the tooth for the target age group. But that's good -- we can always use more comics for kids, especially well done ones like this one.

Batman and Robin Annual #2: Something Damian left behind induces Brucey to call Dick to give it to him. In the explanation of what this is, we get a long flashback to Dick's early days as Robin. He's more rebellious here than we've ever seen him before, which I'm good with -- the way Dick has always been shown before, as the dutiful kid, his later evolution into Nightwing made little sense. I like this version of Dick Grayson's history better. And, once again, I'm missing Damian and wondering why they killed him so fast.

Green Lantern Corps Annual #2: A set-up issue. The Corps rescues a bunch of villains the Durlans are trying to impress into service (including, notably, Kanjar Ro), who end up getting deputized in the Red Lanterns/Green Lanterns book above. We also learn about a deep-cover Durlan Green Lantern with the last name Daggle, that both sides -- Durlan and Corps -- are racing to get to first. The Durlans, of course, want to kill him, but with that name, you know he has to have kids! That is left unresolved, as is everything else in this issue. As I said, it's a set-up issue, which I find a little disappointing in an Annual.

Earth 2 Annual #2: We learn the origin of the Earth 2 Batman. And while it's not all that shocking, it does have some really interesting elements, and doesn't ignore the ramifications of the identity behind the mask. All is explored and explained, using a few tools unique to Earth 2 in surprising ways. I quite enjoyed it.

Worlds' Finest Annual #1: A flashback tale of Kara and Helena on Earth 2, when Huntress was Robin (and Batman's sidekick) and Kara was Supergirl (and Superman's secret weapon). I like these two, and their relationship with each other, MUCH better than I do in their regular book, which is weird, since both are written by the same writer (Paul Levitz). Maybe it's because they're younger, and Helena is not yet the boring tight-@$$, and Kara is not yet a slut indiscriminate in her bed partners. They meet another young lady, and I don't think I'm spoiling much to say that she's the heretofore unknown daughter of the third member of Earth 2's Trinity, Wonder Woman. This kid calls herself Fury, and what little we know about her is really intriguing. Hint: She's working for the bad guys.

I liked Forever Evil #5 well enough, but I didn't think anything really big happened in it. I guess I read #1-4 all in one big lump a month and a half ago, and I felt the "big wallop" that came with it. I guess I thought this one would have ended with another big punch. About five pages from the end, I expected to find out who the "cowardly Green Ring" had chosen as its successor.

I will keep reading, though.

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