Thursday, July 12, 2007

This Week's Haul: Long Live Sean McKeever!

I read a lot of really good comics this week! Here's what I thought of some of them:

Spider-Man Loves Mary-Jane #20

The squeeing hit inaudible decibels this week as I read this. I mean, look!:

They're gonna maybe hold hands!!! Eeeeeeee!!!

Firestar, I love ya, but get out the way! Harry, you suck and go die somewhere. Now all the excess baggage has been removed and MJ and Peter are totally gonna hook up! It's gonna happen! Any issue now!

Except! Ack! It's Sean McKeever's last issue! The letter at the back almost made me cry (it was really nice that he was able to mention his upcoming run on Teen Titans, though). Oh, Sean McKeever, thank-you so much for creating this series. Just yesterday a young girl in the comic shop shyly picked up the first Mary-Jane book, and I was like, "Ohmygod, that's my favourite comic. You should buy it. You'll love it. If you don't, I'll eat it." Because, although I don't normally eat comics, I have a feeling that this one would taste like ice-cream. I await Terry Moore's run with interest and, like most MJ fans, some amount of uncertainty. But I'm sure it will be great. The foundation is so solid, with such a great cast of characters, I think it will be awesome to the end. Everyone was sad when Miyazawa stopped doing the art, but David Hahn has been doing a great job.

Oh, and PS: I love having the Mini Marvels back-ups. Such a great idea.

Countdown Week 42

This was the surprise of the week. As you may recall, last week I said I wasn't going to buy this anymore because I just haven't really enjoyed more than a couple of pages of any issue. Plus, the overall arc is a confusing mess (someone in the store yesterday asked us what Countdown was about and we could not answer that question, except with laughter).

The point I am getting to in a roundabout way is that I enjoyed pretty much every page of this issue. From Trickster and Piper's cuffed-together Midnight Run-style adventures:

to Holly's conversation with Harley to Jimmy's decision to be a super hero to whatever Mary Marvel and the Riddler were doing. Plus, bonus Ryan Choi content, and an odd little scene between Batman and Karate Kid which TOTALLY sounds like a lover's spat:

"Sure. Go. Whatever. I don't know why you think I'll care."
"Fine. I just thought I'd say good-bye, but I don't know why I bothered wasting my time."
"Good then. Go."
"I will."
"Fine. Bye."
"See if I care."

So I was wondering why I was enjoying this issue so much, and then I check the writer and AH! Of course! It's Sean McKeever!

And Forerunner!

(Note: I can't even imagine how challenging it would be to be given Countdown as your first writing assignment at DC. Soooo confusing).

The New Avengers #32

And now Bendis Theatre presents: The Avengers as a Marvel Comics Message Board

Spider-Man: As a re-cap, Elektra is a Skrull. Let's talk about that.
Wolverine: Any one of us could be a Skrull, and I will now give detailed reasons as to why, based on recent events.
Dr Strange: Maybe you're a Skrull, Wolverine.
Wolverine: I certainly could be. And here's an amusing and surreal list of reasons why, including the fact that I am in every single comic on the stands right now.
Spider-Man: So what does this all mean?
Everyone: Shrug. War, maybe?
Spider-Woman: We should take this dead Skrull to Tony Stark.
Luke Cage: Tony Stark is totally a Skrull.
Hawkeye: Backed. Who else is a Skrull?
Spider-Woman: The president?
Everyone: Skrull, Skrull, Skrull
Everyone: Mercifully distracted by plane going down.
Iron Fist: Dr Strange, can you do some magic or something to save us?
Dr Strange: Nope!

And the plane crashed and they are probably all fine. Or Skrulls.

Sub-Mariner #2

I don't have much to say about this. I do want to mention that it falls into one of my favourite sub-categories of comics: Iron Man getting his ass handed to him.

I also want to say that I was totally following and enjoying this series until this moment:

Well...when I heard about this Sub-Mariner mini-series, I certainly never thought I'd see that guy in it.

Ehn. They're probably all Skrulls.

Justice Penis Society of America #7

Well, clearly some quick photo-shopping was done here to reduce Citizen Steel's controversial package. Here's the original:

So I guess I can also expect that Mary-Jane statue to be wearing a comfy sweat suit when it comes out and she'll be studying for the LSAT exam.

They can smudge out Citizen Steel's junk all they want and it still won't distract from the fact that the dude is HOT.

Power Girl knows what I'm talkin' about.

Yeaaaah. (I love how Eaglesham draws Powergirl. I really do).

I also love how Eaglesham drew the alternate cover for this issue, which is the one that I bought:

Hilarious! And even better is the subplot that it refers to: Superman and Starman chatting it up while scarfing sloppy joes and milk at the mental hospital cafeteria.

Oh man I love this comic.

Green Arrow Year One #1

I thought this was great. I'm a big Green Arrow fan and Andy Diggle and Jock do a nice job of updating his origin. It starts with Oliver as a cocky, thrill-seeking billionaire with a Robin Hood complex. By the end of this issue he's been double-crossed and thrown off a yacht in the Pacific, so we can expect to see him learning to survive on a deserted island in the next issue, honing his archery skills in the process.

I liked this little fun piece of foreshadowing:

As can be expected from these guys, it's a very macho comic and I expect we'll be seeing a lot of violence and action in the next three issues. And beautiful covers.

Superman #664

Continuing the very long Busiek story-arc about Arion' s bleak prophecy about Superman and the other aliens on Earth inadvertently destroying humanity while trying to save it. In this issue, which I really enjoyed, Arion magically takes control of Superman...but only for a second. Superman is able to overcome the spell using techniques learned from Zatanna. Unfortunately for Superman, no one else knows that, and he has to deal with wave after wave of emergency anti-Superman measures.

First comes the federal government's Squad-K, a tech-heavy bunch of soldiers and vehicles designed to take Superman down if necessary. Then comes Prankster with his own anti-Superman weapon:

A giant pie filled with lead and electric jolts. Well, that's something else!

Then the Justice League AND Justice Society show up:

(No one invited Geo-Force). Superman, awesomely, has to yell to get it through Hal's thick head that he isn't being magically controlled:

Hey, shouldn't Hal be kinda busy off in space with that forget it.

Superman takes a moment to wonder what Batman is doing:

In the end, Superman talks it out with the leader of Squad-K, throws Prankster in
jail, and vows to hunt down Arion and stop...whatever it is that Arion is doing. I honestly kinda forget. But I did like this issue. A lot.

Nexus #99

Hells yeah! New Nexus!

Nexus is a comic that I've only gotten into in the last year, which turned out to be excellent timing what with the new series just starting up after a ten year hiatus. If you've never read Nexus, I can't recommend it enough. It's just a really well-written and beautifully drawn comic with awesome characters. In space. I think a lot of people are intimidated by it for one reason or another, but it's very easy to follow. I really find that, as far as outer-space stories go, this one is very straight-forward. Green Lantern Corps is more confusing than this by far.

This is issue #99, but it could work as a jumping-on point. I'm sure they are hoping new fans use it as a jumping on point. I would recommend reading the three original black and white comics, which is collected in a small out-of-print but easy-to-track-down book called Original Nexus, then reading the single issue Nexus: The Origin, and then the Alien Justice three-part series. Seriously, you read those seven comics and you will be all set to enjoy the new series. Then you'll be able to read amazing pages like this and fully appreciate them:

Seriously, not as confusing as it looks.

As an aside, I think that women are better represented in Nexus comics than in any other comics anywhere. Ever. Actually, people are just generally better represented. And Nexus himself is an amazingly well-developed character.

My goal is to get more people into Nexus. As I keep stressing, I just got on board myself and it was really easy. Great superheroes exist outside DC and Marvel.

Green Lantern #21

I think the good thing about this issue is that it more or less brings people up to speed who may have missed the sold-out Sinestro Corps one-shot. And it does it in a non-boring way for people who have read it.

I am trying to think of things to say about this and I got nothing. It's good. Read it. Parallax is gonna pound on the Green Lantern Corp. You don't want to miss that.

Alright, that about wraps it up. I read other stuff, but I have nothing really to say about it. Oh! Except Superman Confidential, which I wrote a review for that will be posted on Comic Addiction shortly. I also have a copy of the new Minx book, Clubbing, which I haven't read yet, but I'll let you know what I think of it.

Today is my friend Paul Hammond's birthday. He's a talented artist and one half of local screenprinting superstars, YoRodeo. You should check out their stuff at their website. If you like cool art and stuff.


Mory said...

Your summary of New Avengers is priceless!

Anonymous said...

My favorite foreshadowing in GA:Y1 is the whole "junkies suck" thing Ollie did, when his future sidekick becomes one thanks to Ollie's not being there.

Rachel said...

I have an odd request, and feel free to ignore me if it's out of line or just a pain. You've mentioned that Darwyn Cooke comes into your shop sometimes right? It would be wonderful if you could ask him what watch Red is wearing in New Frontier. It says "Jetliner", but I looked it up and couldn't find anything on it. Most of the stuff in that book is pretty authentic, so I thought Red's watch might be real too. Being the huge Darwyn and NF fangirl that I am, I'd like to get the watch if it exists. Thanks so much. :)

rachelle said...

Yeah, sure. I'll ask him. Now I want to know too!

Adam said...

What, no White Stripes review? I am seeing them on the 24th and can't wait. Did you hear about how they are playing in all of these small venues and provinces and bowling alleys and even a bus in Winnipeg?

SallyP said...

It was an interesting week, that's for sure. Some really fabulous stuff, and some rather annoying stuff. I have to admit that I read New Avengers, and am still scratching my head over the ending.

What just happened there?

I found Submariner to be a bit on the annoying side for the same reason.

JSA on the other hand was a pure delight. It had a beginning, a middle and an end, and it flowed logically, and you could actually see the artwork. And the sloppy Joe scene just cracks me up.

I see that Ollie is STILL being an idiot. Has always BEEN an idiot. But I love him still.

Horatio Hellpop is still one of the best names any hero ever had, which is why I like Nexus.

And saving the best for last...Green Lantern! Woohoo! Sinestro is being baddass, Kylellax is being baddasser, and the Guardians are all idiots. And Hal is just so purty.

chrishaley said...

A friend sent this to me from the Something Awful forums.
This guy did a page by page recap of this week's Countdown.
I hope this isn't too long of a comment, but it's pretty funny.

"Let's look page-by-page at what actually happened in this issue of Countdown. It's pretty amazing when you look at it.

pp. 1-3: Remember Flash #13? Yeah, the Rogues killed Bart Allen. This is a useful explanation of what happened in another book, although the fact that it comes two weeks after the book shows the Rogues on the run and a week after Bart Allen's funeral makes it pretty superfluous. Also it doesn't actually match up with what happened in that other book.

p. 4: Oh hey that was just a nightmare, so that explains why it didn't match up to the comic it was ostensibly recapping! Oh look, Deadshot and Multiplex captured Trickster and Piper! You may remember this happening last week. You may remember that they were also in plainclothes when they were capture but now they've got their costumes on, but hey! Keith Giffen is busy or something.

pp. 5-6: Hey have you been reading Detective Comics? No? Well, Riddler is a good guy now. Also remember how Mary Marvel got warned about being too rude and crude a couple weeks ago by Billy/Shazam? Well here is your reminder, SHE IS STILL RUDE AND CRUDE.

pp. 7-8: Hey guys remember a few weeks ago how Holly Robinson got brought into a women's shelter? And how a week later you found out it was a woman's shelter run by Athena, as established in Wonder Woman #5? And do you remember last week when we found out it was being run by Harley Quinn? You do? Awesome, we were just checking.

pp. 9-11: Okay hey remember how Jason Todd and Donna Troy got picked up by a Monitor and had to go find the All-New Atom to find the other Atom? Well, they finally have done that, and here they are getting the Atom. They have resolved to go find the other Atom! The Hunt for Ray Palmer will continue in the Challengers of the Beyond mini-series or whatever it is called. Also this is not to be confused with the SEARCH for Ray Palmer the Atom is on with Chronos in his own book! Will a search or a hunt garner better results??? FIND OUT SOME OTHER PLACE!

pp. 12-14: Hey look it's Mary Marvel, all being rude and crude. Riddler doesn't think much of this, in case you didn't realize this a few pages ago. He suggests, as Billy/Shazam did, that she go find some sort of counseling/mentoring. Will she? Tune in next week or the week after that to see her be RUDE AND CRUDE some more or maybe this will be covered in the Countdown to Mystery mini-series where she gets corrupted by Eclipso like they showed in promo images like three months ago.

pp. 15-16: Okay so we assume you've been reading the JLA/JSA crossover, because they're DC's best-selling books. You know the issues that crossed over, as they're the ones where no one in the JLA/JSA really did a fucking thing other than stand around (and cry sometimes) while the Legion of Superheroes from fucking three reboots ago did some stuff so Wally West and Barry Allen can come back. Anyway none of that actually matters, because this is about how Karate Kid, last seen weeks ago talking about how he just wanted to go home to the 31st Century, now tells Batman he is going back to the 31st Century. Awesome. Of course if you read the JLA/JSA crossover, you know that Karate Kid did not actually go back to the 31st Century. Countdown readers will likely find that out in a few weeks! You lucky devils, I don't think this storyline is going to spin back out into another book/mini-series.

p. 17: That Jimmy Olsen, thinking over the past few weeks about how he should be a superhero! What is he up to now? Why, he is still thinking about how he should be a superhero! Perhaps next week he will be a superhero! But more likely it will be covered in Action Comics #852-854 which will be about Jimmy Olsen being a superhero. Guess you should read that too!

pp. 18-19: Well, Trickster and Piper are still shackled together, just like you know if you read the first five pages of this book. Or if you looked at any of the promotional material for Countdown that mentioned/showed this. Since the story is not about them being executed but being on the run, it may not come as a complete shock to you that they make a break for it.


So yeah, there was basically one plot advancement the whole issue. Which was the last page cliffhanger. And the book is pretty highly contingent on you reading about ten DC titles prior to it, and reading another 10 titles to find out what happens next. Awesome."

Anonymous said...

I cracked up at least three times during the Avengers summary. Great jorb, yo.

Skrull, skrull, skrull.

-lazy johnathan

Marcos said...

What about Invincible? The art and stories are great, and recent cheap issue #42 is a great jumping on point. If you try that out, I'll promise to try out Nexus.

rachelle said...

Marcos - I do read Invincible...just in trade. I've read every issue up to book 8. I like it. I could get caught up and read the monthly issues, I suppose. It's just one of those comics, like Y The Last Man, that I wait for the trades for.

Adam - The White Stripes were awesome. You'll have a great time!

chrishaley - That was pretty funny and accurate. If Countdown is in real time, it is in very slow real time.

Sallyp - Horatio Hellpop is an amazing name. And now his son's name is Harry Hellpop!

Marcos said...

Fair enough.

I picked up the free comic book day issue of Nexus, and will try out #99.

You happy now?

Batmanisgrim said...

I don't think Countdown is supposed to be taking place in real time like 52.
I know there is a lot of hate against Countdown, but I like it. I like all the extra scenes that supplement the goings on in other comics.

rachelle said...

Marcos - Yes, I'm happy. But that Free Comic Day Nexus comic might not make any sense to you. It's a rough starting point.

John Foley said...

JSA is really great. It's nice to see DC treating their characters with dignity and respect in at least one of their titles.
Citizen Steel is ludicrous. First of all, how many people were missing the Steel character that isn't John Henry Irons? Secondly, and this is the big one, you mean to tell me that the guy has an accident that somehow gives him the same powers as his brother and grandfather? Two men who had to undergo extensive surgeries and cybernetic enhancements to become super-powered? A freak accident manages to do the same thing? This is unbelievably ridiculous and coincidental, even by comic book standards. This makes Wildcat Jr.'s origin seem almost... plausible.

j. said...

(I posted this before but it never appeared which leads me to believe there's a DC conspiracy)

I know nothing about this Citizen Steel character but it struck me as I was reading your recent post that his costume is the same as Jack Kirby's Fighting American (but with Adam Strange's helmet). Is he actually Kirby's Fighting American?

Since I can't provide links in comments (and maybe trying last time is what caused my posting problem) I'll just suggest Googling Fighting'll see what I mean about stolen costume.


Bill D. said...

Was Alien Justice the mini where Sundra temporarily gets fusion-kaster powers, too, and whips up and old-fashioned flight jumpsuit for her costume? I thought that was an awesomely cute moment.

rachelle said...

J., As far as I know he isn't Fighting American, but he sure looks like him. He's actually the grandson of Commander Steel, who also looks like Fighting American. check it.

I dunno what's going on.

rachelle said...

bill d. - Yup! That was Alien Justice! It was an awesome flight suit! I love Sundra.

Heather said...

I said it over in my own blog and I'm going to say it again here; there is nothing more wonderful/funny/cute in the whole world than Superman and Starman eating sloppy joes together.

BradyDale said...

Here's my question... am I missing out if I don't wait to buy the Green Arrow books as a TP? They look awesome, I know I'll love them... I just think I'll like it better all at once?
Talk amongst yourselves. said...

It will not truly have success, I feel like this.