Thursday, September 27, 2007

This Week's Haul: Blargh!

Man, there was so much throwing-up in my comics this week. Like, really. A lot. It was weird.

Also, I read a lot of stuff this week, so I'm going to run through everything pretty quickly. I'll just say that Avengers: The Initiative was really good. Sub-Mariner was good too. And Blue Beetle.

And now, the rest.

52 Aftermath: The Four Horsemen #2

Is it insane that this is kinda my favourite thing that I read this week? I really, really liked it.

As I mentioned with the first issue of this series, there is some really great Superman/Batman banter happening here. I wish the story arcs in Superman/Batman were half this good. It's just really entertaining reading.

Wonder Woman shows up to complete the trinity in this issue. And she totally holds her own in the snappy banter arena:

Speaking of 'snappy,' the guy we all love to hate, Snapper Carr, shows up at the end of this. I have no idea what's going to happen with that.

I totally thought Batman was holding a flask there in that last panel, but it's just his binoculars.

I dunno...good story, good writing, good art. That makes for a pretty solid comic. I mean, there are still four issues left in which the whole thing could go to hell, but I'm impressed so far.

There was no puking in this comic, but it kinda looked like Superman was gonna hurl. Pestilence is a bitch.

Countdown to Adventure #2

If you want to sell a lot of copies of this comic, maybe don't put Forerunner on the cover. Animal Man, Animal Man, Animal Man. Front and centre.

That's pretty much all I have to say about this. Except that the Adam Strange stuff is the best part.

Countdown Week 31

Add points to this week's Countdown because it was a McKeever issue. Subtract points due to lack of Piper and Trickster.

Also, Jason Todd almost gets wasted by Owl Man.

Would anyone have cared? Anyone?

X-Men First Class #4

How much do I love this comic? SO MUCH!

For one thing, it really fills the Spider-Man Loves Mary-Jane void. And for another, it is just such a great idea and I am really glad that Marvel has continued it into this second series. It's such a sunny comic in the middle of all the gloom. And I also really like that it's all-ages appropriate, but written for an adult readership. So it's running on the assumption that adult comic books fans want to read something cute and fun from time to time.

So in this issue, Iceman and Beast take a road trip!

And it's a totally awesome road trip. Look at the places they go!:

I love that Miami panel.

Ok, and look at how adorable this page is (the set-up: it's the end of the trip, our heroes just saved a bunch of people during a hurricane in the Florida Keys, and now they are waiting out the storm in the car under a dome of ice that Bobby made):

Awwwwwwww. Seriously! So cute!

Jeff Parker rules, and the art, by Julia Bax, was really, really fantastic. I was in love with every panel. Awesome all around.

Iron Fist #9/Iron Fist Annual #1

Double shot of Iron Fist this week!

If ever a sumo warrior traps you with his magic lightning lasso, this is what you should do:


But you can't get cocky, cause otherwise this will happen:

Fortunately for me, I had good money riding on Fat Cobra.

Green Arrow Year One #5

*sigh* What's the point anymore? Now that I know that we all know that he's dead. I think that enough time has gone by that I can drop that week-old spoiler. Dude! Oliver totally got killed on his wedding night by one of his own arrows! Through the neck!

As a Connor Hawke fan, I'm not entirely sad about this development. But I feel bad for Hal and Roy. Those guys are gonna be miserable. And Mia. I love Mia.

But I should really talk about this comic. Because it's really good. And it totally has made me see the sex appeal of Oliver Queen, which was previously a bit of a mystery to me. I know that DC is planning more Year One series (isn't there a Huntress one or something crazy?). I hope they are all as good as this one.

Superman Confidential #6

Hey, remember how the Batman Confidential franchise was totally sucking while Superman Confidential was totally good? Well, DC is putting a fast stop to that! And I guess we have to wait to see how the Darwyn Cooke/Tim Sale storyline ends. In the meantime we get this total garbage.

Oh, please.

Now, first of all, I was excited that Palmiotti and Gray were writing the next Superman Confidential arc. And I was also excited that it would involve Lori Lemaris. But then I saw that Koi Turnbull would be doing the art, and, well...bad art can ruin a comic book.

I tried to ignore the art while reading this and focus on the story, but I just couldn't. It was so distracting.

I think with different art, this would be a completely different comic. The story has a Silver Age imaginary story charm to it. Everyone is a mermaid/man except Superman...Lois, Jimmy, Lex...and Superman is being mind controlled by Lori. Which kinda sucks, because I have a fondness for that mermaid.

Actually, the story is kinda dark and shitty. And it bothers me that Aquaman, a perfectly excellent underwater adventure comic, was just canceled and now this hits the shelves.


And yuck:

Yargh. So unnecessary.

Pretty terrible. What do you think, Superman?

My thoughts exactly.

Teen Titans #51

Yep, I think this McKeever-writing-Teen Titans thing is gonna work out just fine.

It's off to a helluva start. The Teen Titans are visited by future versions of themselves, who are now a super hero team called The Titans. Tim Drake is Batman, Cassie is Wonder Woman, etc. Plus, Bart and Conner are back thanks to Tim's cloning efforts. They are all pretty evil, and the teens aren't impressed.

Future versions of super heroes are always fun because they reveal little pieces of what's to come.

Pity for Tim? But Tim is awesome! He's worth, like, ten Conners!

Also, I think this might be a Marvel dig:

I'm going to pretend it is. It's nice that Supergirl and I agree on something.

Yeah, so, excellent comic. I'm adding it to my pull list. Sean McKeever has a real gift for writing teenagers and I don't want to miss any of it. Plus I'm really liking the line-up, and it gives me some bonus Blue Beetle.

Justice League of America #13

I certainly don't need to be convinced that Dwayne McDuffie is the right man for writing JLA. Plus, the Wedding Special was awesome. So I was really excited about this issue.

Shame about the art. Damn shame.

It just looked so incredibly 90s. I dunno. Maybe that's what they're aiming for, but it's not what I'd aim for.

Behold Killer Frost:

And John Stewart:

Pages like this make me want to load Pearl Jam's Ten into my Sony Sports Walkman and set the VCR to tape Lois & Clark. Like, what the hell?

Also...I don't think the writing was that good! Like, it was all messed up and confusing and ignored chunks of continuity and stuff.

I basically liked two pages. This one:

And this one:

The second one I liked because for once it's Superman, and not Batman, who figured something out. Although, I guess it's possible that Batman told him.

Colour me disappointed.

The Spirit #10

Man I love that cover.

Ok, I lied earlier. This was actually my favourite thing that I read this week.

In this issue The Spirit is solving a murder mystery that involves the deaths of many cable TV talking heads. They are all based on actual television personalities, including Rosie O'Donnell, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly and Stephen Colbert. It's all very clever and funny. Check out our hero as he's caught in the clutches of "Ann Coulter":

Oh, snap!

I was particularly impressed with the pages parodying the Colbert Report. Satire of a satire is a tricky thing, and it's done really well.

Also, I think it's an interesting coincidence that this issue opens with a gag that commentates on fill-in comics the same week that the final issue of Cooke's Superman Confidential run got bumped. I mean, not bumped like I think it's finished and DC just won't release it, but in the way that at least one of the creators hasn't been able to finish it yet and thus DC has chosen to start the next arc rather than wait for the end of this one. (Tim Sale, j'accuse!).

*sigh* I can't believe this run is almost over.

Batman #669

Yup, this was pretty much perfect.

I loved this page. So much:

This is gonna make an excellent-looking trade.

I don't really have anything else to say. It was awesome.

Wonder Woman Annual #1

Hey, remember this storyline? Barely? It was so long ago that I actually forgot that it never got finished. Well, here's our ending...and it's really good.

I forget most of the details of the original story on the Heinberg/Dodson run, but I do know that I liked it. And this Annual made me remember why. Heinberg just writes a really fantastic Wonder Woman. And it's a shame that this story couldn't have finished on schedule because this issue gives us a really great plot development that probably would have helped with the Picoult storyline a lot.

Basically, it ends with Circe working some magic that makes Diana a human unless she changes into Wonder Woman. So, as Diana Prince, she is vulnerable and without her powers (at least, I assume no powers...certainly she can get hurt). I think that's pretty dope.

So she does have to learn about being human now. Which was kinda what the Picoult storyline was about. Kinda.

Anyway, Gail Simone can take this development and run with it. I'm looking forward to it.

But back to this issue, there was some really fun battle banter:

There were actually pages of Wonder Woman dishing out the good banter. That's nice to see.

Also, look at this cozy Batman/Wonder Woman panel:

Man. I don't usually want those two to kiss, but I kinda wouldn't mind it. Look at how cute!

There was also a nice back-up story, also written by Heinberg, and drawn by Gary Frank. It was also really good:

Those are some really great facial expressions. I'm interested to see him upcoming run on Action Comics.

Holy smokes, am I done?! For real? Awesome, now I'm gonna work on my accounting assignment!


Adam said...

That last Superman pic in your Confidential review is the spitting image of a Hank Hill horror reaction shot.

I also love that after Batman and Superman make pithy one liners Robin gets scolded for his pun.

the2scoops said...

Shame about the rough start to JLA this month. I enjoyed the writing well enough, but the bad art took away from it. I always thought the point of comic book art is that, if you took out the word balloons and narration, the reader should be able to tell what is going on based solely on the art. If you took out the words on JLA, you'ld think you were looking at a collection of pin-ups and poses. I hope they swap artists quick, as this guy can't illustrate a narrative to save his life. Very 90s Liefeld-esque indeed.

Re; Teen Titans

I love this new Beetle-friendly line-up. I don't think Conner and Bart are there because of Tim's cloning; i think they were stringing him along with that ruse in order to preserve their timeline.

rachelle said...

Yeah, the cloning story does sound a little simplified. I'm sure that'll all be revealed.

They're probably all skrulls.

SallyP said...

Blue Beetle is always fabulous.

JLA was actually pretty good, but boy howdy, do I agree with you on the art. This is one of their premier books, couldn't they actually find someone who can draw?

Also, in Countdown, Holly is going to disappear, and I can't say that I'll miss her in the least. I can also say that it was a darned shame that Jason Todd wasn't eviscerated.

John Foley said...

I cannot believe how good Iron Fist is, every single month. This is a character that I didn't even care about a year ago, but now he's on of my favorites. I love how the current story arc is basically just a video game like Street Fighter (right down to the sumo wrestler who shouts the name of his special energy moves!) but it all works. That's amazing.
But even better than the regular title was the Annual. Oh man. The idea that Orson Randall is a cross between Iron Fist and Doc Savage! I love it. Complete with quirky manservants and associates. Plus an airship. I loved everything about that.
JLA was sold out at my shop when I went in, but maybe I got off lucky. Ijt's a shame they couldn't find anyone better to pair up with McD.wruyjjc

Chuk said...

What? Green Arrow dies? Again? NOoooooooooooooooooooooo!!!

Caleb said...

Hey, who's that freezy person in Wonder Woman?! It's not the Blue Snowman is it?!

Nice JLA scans to. Those are among the panels that made me, like, yell at the comic book. I love the one where John't stomach hurts too, and his feet and hands like disappear into his torso. It looked like he was tranforming.

rachelle said...

Sallyp - you liked JLA, eh? I wanted to like it so bad. I think a different artist would make all the difference. (*cough* Amanda Conner *cough* *cough*).

John - Iron Fist is amazing. I don't even know what to say about it. It's just so consistently enjoyable. The double shot this week was a real treat.

Chuk - oh yeah. Where ya been? He totally gets an arrow jammed through his neck! See last week's Green Arrow/Black Canary Wedding Planner for details.

Caleb - the freezy guy is actually Minister Blizzard. There was a real parade of obscure villains in the WW Annual.

John Foley said...

For some reason my word verification letters got mixed in with my regular comment. I'm not really dyslexic.

Jon Hex said...

If the annual had come out before Picoult's run, maybe Circe wouldn't have been reused as the villain for the next plot arc. All those reimagined villains were cool.

David page said...

Snapper carr is a totally happening checkmate agent. Keith said it himself in a newsarama interview. That there would be an unexpected checkmate agent at the end of issue 2

Chance said...

I don't like it when heroes are captured like in JLA and there's no convincing reason given thet they're not totally disabled, unmasked and etc. like you know Joker and Luthor would do. "Put Batman in a straitjacket? He'd get out of that. Let's just cut off Brucie's legs instead! That'll hold him!"

I mean, I don't want to see that, but I'd like the writer to explain why it isn't done.

BradyDale said...

You are so right about 4 Horsemen. We loved all the same parts. Totally a surprise and the pick-of-the-litter this week (though the Iron Fist issue is pretty sweet -- not so much the Annual, but it was okay). Tell all your friends!!! (ok, I guess you just did)

bill said...

I haven't read comics in about 45 years, but dialogue like that could bring me back.

Snapper Carr is still around? Tell me you're joking...or that this is a cloned, much brighter alternative...