RORSCHACH #8: This issue tells three parallel stories in tiers: a red-tinted story across the top, a green-tinted story across the middle, and a blue-tinted story across the bottom. Each issue in this series has its own "feel." If you're tradewaiting this series, that's okay, but reading on a month-to-month basis kind of makes you slow down and think about what it is you just read.
GREEN LANTERN #1: i read issue #2 last week, so I thought I'd read issue #1 this week. [I wasn't going to buy it at all because I didn't like either of the covers, but then I realized I mistook the variant cover of Far Sector #11 as the variant cover of Green Lantern #1.] this does not really read like a first issue, AFAIAC. Frankly, I enjoyed #2 more, when I expected to be a bit confused. The best of comics from my personal "Golden Age" (basically, 1980-2000, plus maybe a decade or so on either side) have two things in common: 1) they are part of a larger story, and 2) they are entertaining on an individual basis. Modern comics have metatextual mega-continuity down pat, but too many of them are simply not entertaining enough on their own to be picked up and enjoyed.
That's probably been the case for longer than I think, but I'd grown used to being on the inside and didn't care all that much about newer readers. then along came Flashpoint which invalidated everything that had come before in one swell foop. I understand that that is not necessarily the case case anymore, but it's too late; I stopped reading DC comics (for the most part) seven years ago.
JUSTICE LEAGUE: LAST RIDE #1: I almost bought this one, but I didn't. I thought the ad looked interesting, but when I flipped through the comic, it looked like another exercise in mega-continuity to me.
"The Deadly Dreams of Doctor Destiny" (Justice League of America #34).
For those of you keeping track at home, my Comics Reading Project for 2021 is DC Super-Teams. My original plan was to work my way through them in chronological order of first appearance, so I started with the JSA's adventures and then moved on to the Seven Soldiers of Victory. I then abandoned the plan and jumped ahead to the Justice League (in part because I had really enjoyed my JSA "re-read"***, and moving quickly to their spiritual successor just felt right. Also, by then the once-canceled JLA Bronze Age Omnibus #3 was back on the schedule.)
*** Years ago, I started a read-through of the All-Star Archives. I was doing fine until midway through Vol. 5, when I ."lost" the book. Well, actually, what happened was that The Lovely and Talented was tidying up, found the book wherever I had set it down and put it away ... somewhere. She couldn't remember where, and I couldn't find it to save my life. Eventually I gave up, figuring that it would turn up sooner or later, and read my way through the rest of the series. At least, that's how I remembered it.
Long story short(ish) -- when I decided on this reading project I also decided to make one last look for the missing book before gritting my teeth and buying another copy. It turned up in a very unlikely place (at the bottom of a box in the back of a closet, still with the bookmark in it showing where I had left off). So I finally got to read the stories in the last half of Vol. 5. But when I got to Vol. 6, I couldn't remember having read any of those stories either. Or those in any of the subsequent volumes. And some of those stories are way too significant to have just forgotten entirely. As far as I can tell, I must have put that project on hold until Vol. 5 turned up, and eventually I forgot to ever get back to it and just assumed that I had finished. The Moral of This Story? I'm not sure, but I think it has something to do with how it sucks to get old.
This week I bought one Marvel comic and three DCs.
LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT #1: As I mentioned in this week's installment of "This Week in Comics," I tried this one simply because I miss Batman. It features the Penguin, the Joker and Mr. Freeze all vying for a new kind of poisonous gas for sale by a weapons merchant wearing a gas mask. We've spoken elsewhere recently about the overuse of the Joker, but when you haven't read a Batman series regularly in well over a decade, his use here is easy to overlook. The first issue of this new LotDK present a pretty good vision; recommended.
THE FLASH #770: In part three of this story in which Wally West is bouncing through time into the bodies of various speedsters, he lands in the body of Jay Garrick, the Golden age flash, just prior to being sent on a secret mission by FDR with the Ray to capture the "Spear of Destiny" before Hitler can get ahold of it. the story presents ham-fisted Christianity (the GA Flash) against ham-fisted atheism (the Ray) and is not all that thought-provoking; the art's nice, though. At the end of the story, he leaps into the body of the Reverse flash just as he's about to be inducted into the Legion of Doom.
SUPERMAN RED & BLUE #3: Five more standalone tales of the Man of Steel more interesting for the art than the stories themselves. the stories were all... okay. They each present stories of what Superman means to one particular creator or one writer/artist team. The only one that really annoyed me... insulted me, really... was the lead story which blatantly lifted a plot point from a John Byrne story in hope (?) no one would spot it.
I've still got two more new comics from this week to read.
STAR TREK: YEAR FIVE #20: A new story begins as we move closer to the end of the historic five-year mission. If you're not a fan a "decompressed" storytelling (and make no mistake: I am not), you won't find any here. Writer Brandon Easton is verbose in a good way. This is a time-travel story in which Mr. Spock is accidentally sent to Vulcan's ancient past and ends up meeting Surak. It's a clear jumping on point for anyone who hasn't been reading this series regularly and is curious about how the mission will be wrapped up (in #25, I think).
Okay, one comic book left.
RED ROOM #1: I probably wouldn't have read this were it not for Cap mentioning it in "This Week in Comics"... which is not to say he recommended it, just that it would have flown beneath my radar otherwise. I liked Piskor's work on X-Men: Grand Design, so I was curious what his creator-owned stuff was like. I'm not going to spend too much time on this one because I cannot imagine anyone on this board being interested in this type of fare.
THE MARVELS #2: The scavenger we met in issue #1, Kevin Schumer, is the nephew of Phineas T. Mason (the Tinkerer).
MAESTRO: WAR & PAX #5: More Future Imperfect EYKIWs, this issue featuring Dr. Doom. This is the last issue of the second Maestro limited series. The third, World War M (featuring the Abomination and the Sub-Mariner), begins next month. Speaking of Future Imperfect, the third Peter david Hulk omnibus also shipped this week. One more ought to do it.
J. WERNER PRESENTS CLASSIC PULP: GHOSTS: Interesting time on this one, as PSArtbooks shipped a collection of the first five issues of Dell's Ghosts just last week.
FIRE POWER #12: Recommended.
SERIAL #4: If you want to see a pedophile get what he deserves, this is the book for you. (Not as graphic as Red Room, but still pretty graphic.)
MARVEL DOUBLE ACTION: The most recent in a long line of Marvel comics whose title doesn't sound quite right. I have no interest whatsoever in the current "Heroes Reborn" nonsense, Had it not been for "This Week in Comics" I wouldn't have given this one a second look. but it's the only comic book currently on the stands that at least looks like an "old school" comic book. On the Squadron Supreme Earth, Nighthawk and the Falcon were a team known as the "Dynamic Double" (a stupid name, I admit, but I guess they had to account for the stupid title somehow). It's loosely based on Spider-Man #121-122, but instead of Spider-Man's girlfriend Gwen stacy being killed it's Nighthawk's partner the Falcon. It reads very much like an "Amalgam" one-shot, so if you liked that fifth-week event you might like this. I'm even going to file it in my "Amalgam" shortbox.
IMMORTAL HULK #47: This issue features the Avengers (or the characters calling themselves "Avengers" these days, at any rate). On the letters page, writer Al Ewing reveals that the whole "Immortal Hulk" arc will soon be coming to an end. Frankly, I'm just as happy to see it come to an end as to continue. I've been reading and enjoying it, but it's just not "my" Hulk, y'know?
GREEN LANTERN #3: Honestly, I'm having trouble following the thread of this series from issue to issue. #3 has two stories: one featuring John Stewart and one featuring Sojourner Mullein. Did the last issue of Far Sector (#12) ever ship? I never saw it.
Friend of the Devil - This is the latest offering from Brubaker and Phillips. Ethan Reckless is living in LA in the 80s and is hired by a Vietnamese refugee to find her step-sister. This leads him into a very dark world of drugs, skinheads, satanic cults, snuff films, and Hollywood wannabes. I thought this was pretty damn good, and the ending surprised me, This is pretty dark though, almost to dark for me, and I love noir. I had just finished the documentary Sons of Sam last week, and there are a few similarities between the two.
Hard Melody - This is by Chinese creator Lu Ming. There was a trio of rock musicians who tried to make it big in China in 2000. They never did, they broke-up, but agreed to get back together when they had become successful in their private lives. Fast forward and they are approaching middle age, dissatisfied where their lives have gone, and decide to take one more stab at success as a group. I really liked this book as well, as some idealists try to make it. I will also say that Lu Ming's art is just beautiful.
Amazing Spider-Man #868 - This is the first part of the "Chameleon Conspiracy" arc. I've been reading ASM for almost a year now, having not read it since before "Spider Island" (9 years!). It is amazing how much has happened since then:
Peter Parker and Boomerang were roommates. They just split when Boomerang screwed Spider-man over (no way!)
Tombstone's daughter is the new Beetle and she is dating Robbie Robertson's son.
Peter has a sister!?!
Ned Leeds came back as a clone, made by the Jackal. The clone died. Apparently some form of him is back again. The clone or something knocked-up Betty Brant
Norman Osborn is now running Ravencroft
And that is just off the top of my head.
"Peter has a sister!?!"
No. No he does not. Not on Earth-J.
RORSCHACH #9: This issue features a Will Graham-style (Red Dragon by Thomas Harris) forensic investigation.
FAR SECTOR #12: The last issue of the first series featuring my current favorite Green Lantern, Sojourner Mullein.