Friday, August 24, 2007

This Week's Haul...At The End of a Long Haul.

I'm back!

I have five weeks of comics to catch up on, so this week's reviews are a little late. The stack of comics from the past month or so is daunting, but I am up to the challenge. I pledge here, today, that I will read every single one of those comics. Because I am a trooper. A rugged, fearless trooper.

I also have five weeks of comic book news and rumours to catch up on. (Final Crisis? Yay?).

Ok, the best way to get these reviews done is to just dive in. Just like riding a bike. And so forth.

The Immortal Iron Fist #8

What is it about Iron Fist that is so appealing? Beyond the fact that it combines some of the best writing and art on the stands right now, this book is just so delightfully macho. And not macho in a babes and guns kind of way. Not even macho in a Green Arrow Year One kind of way. Macho in a way that the men are men, and the women are also men. And everyone is really good at fighting.

This is the first issue of a new story arc that I am saying right now is going to RULE. Look at how this issue ends:

I was enjoying reading this so much. I want to pick up a controller and play this comic book.

Green Arrow Year One #4

And speaking of macho, this mini-series continues to roll along on gritty, testosterone-filled tires. Still on the island, Ollie gets a very disgusting protruding arm bone set by a local enslaved pregnant lady/doctor. She gives him some opium for the pain, and next thing you know he's a total junkie. Suffice it to say, Green Arrow's rookie year was a tough one.

I should clarify: I am really enjoying this series. Based on this, Black Canary should totally marry the guy.

Birds of Prey #109

This week I am all about the segue.

Dinah and Babs have a heart-to-heart about Oliver, which mostly involves Babs telling Dinah why she should not marry him, while Dinah gets angrier and angrier. It ends nicely, though, with Dinah saying that if she decides to marry Ollie, she would like Babs to be her maid of honour. Well, duh. Who else is it going to be? Wildcat?

They really need to just have Dinah say yes and move on because there really isn't any suspense here. Especially with an ad for the upcoming wedding issue being inserted into this very comic.

The real joy of this issue came from the Barda plotline. First, Barda learning about Pokemon from Sin was fantastic:

And also, Scott Free on the phone with his wife as they discuss the current threat against the New Gods:

Oh, those two.

Tony Bedard does a great job with this issue. It was lots of fun.

Astonishing X-Men #22

As an aside, I recently started watching Buffy for the first time. I am now almost finished season 2, and damn. I can see why people like that show. So I can also see why people go batshit crazy for anything that Joss Whedon lays a pen to. Not that I wasn't already enjoying this series and his issues of Runaways.

This issue was every bit as beautiful, funny, and sexy as the others. And I thought this was a fun moment:

Lockheed's a mole!

This issue has a very sad ending.

Batman #668

So I've been hearing for the past few weeks from various comic fans that Batman #667 was the greatest thing, like, ever. I finally got to read 667 and 668 last night and daaaammmnnn. Oh, Mr Morrison. You just do what you do so well: Unearthing crazy obscure crap from the past and polishing it until it is absolutely brilliant!

As usual, it is easy to argue that Morrison is more interested in treasure hunting in the sliver age than in telling an accessible and entertaining story. BUT...this story is definitely entertaining, and with minimal research (a Wikipedia search for "Batmen of All Nations") it's also an accessible story. And even if you don't want to learn about the Batmen of All Nations, or The Club of Heroes as they have since been renamed, I think everyone can enjoy a good old-fashioned murder mystery where party guests on an island are being killed one by one. That's just something that never gets boring. And it allows Batman to do what he does best...figure things out!

And intimidate people:

Oh, Batman. Were I trapped on an island at a real-life Evening of Murder party, I would be very glad that you were there. Unless I were the killer. Which I very well could be.

You know who would be a surprising killer in this storyline? Robin. It's always who you least suspect.

Blue Beetle #18

I love this series so much, and this was even better than usual. The characters are so likable, and the dialogue is so damn funny. Now Jaime is hanging with the Titans and fighting Lobo, so the hilarity is flying!

I really liked all the arguing about sensible uniforms:

The Titans/Beetle have to take over a rocket launch, so Kid Devil gets sent in to clear the launch control centre of actual employees. The result is one of the funniest scenes I've seen in awhile:


And the last highlight I'd like to point out is this exchange between Jaime and Tim:

Jaime gets invited to hang out with the Titans whenever he likes. Yay! Tim can really use a new friend.

Superman #666

This must have been fun to write.

It's definitely a confusing story, but one that involves the Phantom Stranger, Zatanna, a demon from the extinguished Hell of Krypton and a Superman who is mad as hell and isn't going to take it anymore.

As best as I can understand it, Superman has had his soul split by the Phantom Stranger so he would be able to face the demon from Krypton without being corrupted. Basically, we get to see the douchebag half of Superman have a little field day in his dreamworld. Or something. I don't really know, but it's fun.

See Superman not care about people!

See Superman kill Lex Luthor...with his spit!

See Superman toss Lincoln out of his chair so he can use it as a throne:

See Superman hand Jimmy Olsen an ironic death:


Anyway, everything is back to normal in the end. But it was a fun ride. Fun and confusing.

The Spirit #9

I was able to meet J. Bone briefly at the Toronto Comic Arts Fair over the weekend, and say hi to Darwyn Cooke. Now I hear that they will both be done with The Spirit as of issue #12?! Noooo!

If you are going to leave a comic book, then you should at least have the common courtesy to make your last few issues really, really suck so it isn't so hard to take. Sadly, this issue totally rules, just like every other issue of The Spirit. God dammit.

Alright, that's all I have to say on this week's comics. I still have a lot of reading to do until I'm all caught up on everything. This time next week I'll be super informed!


chrishaley said...

Good to have you back in the bloggerverse.

Maxo said...

Welcome back!

rachelle said...

Thanks! It's good to be back!

Mr. Fob said...

I made a Batman movie in high school wherein the locked-room murder mystery killer was revealed to be Robin. We'll see if Grant Morrison's great mind thinks like our great minds.

It's good to see you back--I discovered your blog and decided it was my favorite blog ever just a couple weeks before you left on tour.

Bill Burns said...

Great, except that Batman 668 isn't a Grant Morrison comic book--its a JH Williams comic book.

rachelle said...

J.H. Williams certainly got to show off a lot of art styles in those two comics. Dave Stewart too. They looked really neat.

Derek said...

"You know who would be a surprising killer in this storyline? Robin. It's always who you least suspect.

Hahahahaha! Nice.

I loved Batman's line at the end of Batman #668. He knows that's Tim's a badass and that Tim's "captor" is in for a world of hurt.

Man, I had almost forgotten how much I missed your blog. Welcome back!

Matt Bird said...

Welcome back! I checked your blog every day while you were gone, in case you checked in. Compare that to other blogs that actually post every day, but which I forget to check for weeks at a time. What a great blog! Did you see that there's going to be "Complete Super-Sons" trade paperback?

Johnathan said...

Huzzah for the return of Rachelle!

Huh. I appear to have gotten someone else's word verification. "imtim"

Or maybe Blogger has become self-aware and named itself Tim.

SallyP said...

Good heavens, we missed you! I hope that you had fun on your tour!

Is it me, or does Wolverine look as though he has squirrels in his pants on that cover for Astonishing X-Men?

Blue Beetle was fun as usual. Putting Tim and Jaime together could lead to all kinds of hi-jinks. And poor Tim could probably use a friend.

Yes, there isn't a whole lot of mystery left about whether or not Dinah accepts Ollie's proposal, but Barda and Sin together were a hoot. Too bad about Knockout.

You're missing Sinestro Corps! The best story of the summer! And Fall!

rachelle said...

mr. fob - favourite blog ever! oh man, the pressure is on! Thanks!

derek - yeah. Batman saying "I don't think so" at the end was like the best part. Tim's gonna destroy.
Thanks! I missed all you guys too.

matt bird - everyday?! wow, that's dedication. You must have that last entry memorized by now. Thanks! And, yeah, I did hear about that Super Sons collection they are releasing...just in time for Christmas. I feel like they are releasing it just for me.

jonathan - i hope you're ready for a birthday party. because i'm throwing one. for me.

sallyp - oh don't worry, i'm reading the whole Sinestro Corps dealie. I'm just a little behind so I didn't write about it this week. But I'm caught up now. It's very awesome.

Did you read the new Booster Gold comic? It was SO GOOD!

SallyP said...

Booster Gold was sensational. I can hardly wait for the next one.
I'm soooo glad that you're reading Green Lantern. It's too good to miss right now.

the2scoops said...

welcome back Rachelle! What day were you at the TCAF last weekend? I scored the Absolute New Frontier and Darwyn Cooke was good enough to sketch inside. Also picked up some sweet books: Teen Boat, Dr McNinja, and Scott Pilgrim.

Yay you're back!

Charlie Anders said...

Hey welcome back!

rachelle said...

2scoops - I was there for about 15 minutes on Sunday. It was a busy day for me. I didn't get to take much of it in. But it seemed really cool! I saw Jeff Lemire wandering around and I wanted to say how much I love Tales From The Farm, but I got all shy and didn't say anything.

rachelle said...

Thanks Charlie!

Someone emailed me a copy of your article. Is it cool to post it on my blog, or is that bad for Mother Jones' business?

Baal said...

Oh thank god you're back! Your attitude and brains were sorely missed. I hope the tour was ten times better than you dreamed.

Jon said...

May I be the 11th to welcome you back :p Hope your tour was cool.

BradyDale said...

Astonishing X-Men: The Lockheed Mole thing was unbearable. Wow. But it's a great comic. I hope Joss really shows us that Lockheed is a DOUBLE AGENT!!

Dinah: She should marry Ollie. It'll be great.

IRON FIST: Is really the greatest comic in the universe.
I have three words to say to emphasize my agreement with you:

Tall^Frog © said...

Oh man, missed reading your blog! :oD