Monday, July 31, 2006

52 #12

52 #12
Well, here's a first. The first halfway decent issue of 52, and a backup feature that doesn't make me want to vomit! Overall, a pretty good issue of 52. Not quite there yet, but definitely on the way. Much better than the eh that I gave the first 11 issues. I'll give this one OKAY. And can I tell you how happy I am that Jurgens is gone? Happy happy happy!!!
Here are my pagewise comments:
p.1 When did Maggie Sawyer get so hot? When did Montoya get so butch - she's still a wuss though.
p.2 Vic/Charlie has boxes scattered around the apartment. Two prominent ones are labelled IG36 and IG76. What does this mean, and what is their significance?
p.3 Present in the apartment is "Life Story of the Flash (by Iris Allen)", and another box labelled I.G.35. What are their significance?
p.4 When did the events portrayed actually occur? From the dialogue, they may have just happened, or they may have happened last week. It's very unclear.
p.6 When did Isis go to live in this remote village?
p.7 Super-Shaykh sounds like something to order at Baskin Robbins.
p.10 Billy's craaazy. Billy Batshit. Teehee!
And for once we actually get a readable backup feature. I do hope that this feature lasts, at least as long as the writing on it is good. And I'd like to see histories of some of the more obscure characters, but perhaps also some of those prominently featured in 52.
Not bad....OKAY.
Last issue
Next issue

Supergirl #8

Supergirl #8
p.1 Translations: OBEY, KNEEL
p.2 The banner says nothing intelligible.
p.5 ...aaand there's a goat ogling Power Girl's cleavage.
p.6-7 Which Saturn Girl is this? It seems like the one from Loeb's alternate reality from Superman/Batman. Or is it just a variant of that one? There have been so many!
Karen says "I really @*#$^ hate time travel stories." That perfectly expresses my sentiments as well. At least when time trabel stories are done as poorly as this.
p.8-9 Naked Superman is surrounded by beautiful female attendants, and then Kara enters...ICK!!! Kal El says to Kara "I wouldn't want you to break on our wedding night." ICKY!!!
p.10 And...suddenly KalEl is wearing clothes again? I know he has super speed, but what, now that his mother's come into the room he needs to be clothed? As if we can get any more ICKY?
p.11-12 Page 11 seems to begin to make everthing clear. It certainly seems to be heading towards that, but then page 12 goes careening off into the nonsensical once again. Quite an accomplishment for a two page spread...of which there are waaaay too many in this issue.
p.13 "The curse of El"? WTF???
p.14 Which Ultraman is this? Pre-Crisis or Grant Morrison Earth 2?
p.17 "You would have given me a headache every night." ICKY ICKY!!! I guess we could get ICKier.
p.20-21 I just don't get it. Does Saturn Girl want Kal El dead? Or alive as her son? Or can't she figure it out? Maybe she's nuts? Or maybe Kelly and Berganza don't have a fucking clue as to what it is they're trying to do.
Next issue promises a return to reality, so Joe Kelly can start fucking up the mainstream DC universe as well. Thanks a lot. Let's hope the editing at least gets tighter, because really, Berganza is doing a shit job on it here.
And maybe we find out where the hell this all fits in with OYL? Since Supergirl appeared in issue one of Busiek's run, but then disappeared later on, I'm assuming that's where it fits, but Kelly seems not to care about continuity much, even within his own story, even within a given issue(!), so who knows?
This is one of the shittiest books I've ever had the misfortune to read. It's even ICKier than the first Nightwing OYL which made me wish I could scrub my brain afterwards. ASS or CRAP. Take your pick. AWFUL doesn't even come close to saying how AWFUL this issue is. Please spare yourself, and skip it.
Last issue

Exiles #84

Exiles #84
After last issue's coda to Tony Bedard's overall excellent run, we get to the first issue in the new writer's arc. This new writer who happens to be the same person as the first writer, Tony Bedard. Due to Claremont's illness, Bedard exhausted all of his preplanned issues, and now he's working on fresh material. Except that it seems that this so-called "fresh" material is really just a return to the status quo of the Timebroker. Perhaps Bedard had no new ideas for the title and that's why he was leaving? We'll see.
The starting sequence gets back to the Morph hilarity that we've missed for a while (poor Morph), so that's very satisfying.
This issue would be helped out a LOT by caption boxes identifying the supers from Heather's alternate reality, namely her Alpha Flight and Soviet Super-Soldier teams. Since we've never had a superhero battle story in this reality, it would be nice to get a clear ID on all the players.
As one who collected the entire 2099 run from start to awful finish, I feel that Bedard is really missing the boat when it comes to his characterization of Miguel O'Hara. At least he could search the bargain bins for some of Peter David's excellent work on Spider-Man 2099. And his 2099 slang is completely off. Some of the terms used have never been used before, and well, yeah. Still, it's good to see Gabe again.
Still pissed off about what the powers that be did to the Age of Apocalypse. It's stupid, insipid, uninspired, ridiculous, and completely ruins the perfect ending to that storyline. And it throws plausibility to the winds. That said, Tony Bedard had nothing to do with it, so I guess he has to make do with what he's been given to work with.
And how much do I hate the Lovecraft stuff? A lot.
That said, it's an OKAY issue. Bedard has definitely had stronger issues and I'll keep reading and waiting for them, but this issue had too many problems (not all of Bedard's making) to ignore. Just OKAY.
Who else wants to see a Blink spin-off? Maybe a tales of this alternate reality's X-Men with her as a team leader? At least as a miniseries? Anybody?
Next issue

Sunday, July 30, 2006

I found this on Gene Ha's blog...

This is quite brilliant!

Friday, June 16, 2006

The Villainous Conspiracy

This is just a little something Lowell Francis sent to me and Art to amuse us. Enjoy!:

Being the transcript of the most recent meeting of the Villainous Cabal who controls everything.


"Good morning Gentlemen and welcome to the quarterly meeting of the Villainous Conspiracy. I hope you've reviewed the minutes of the previous meeting. Unless there are an objections, I'd like to move to approve those minutes."


"I'd like to correct the record. Following our discussion of the destruction of Black Adam's forces, I did not say 'bwa-hahahahahahha…', I would like to amend that to strike that or to simply show that it was a slight laugh.


I recall that you were standing on the table when you did that.


I don't remember it that way.


Been in the Lazarus Pit lately? I would accept fiendish cackle.

[Votes on amendment, so passes].


I'd like to move to the first order of business, an inventory of superhumans available.


Thank you Mr. Chairman, as of the last census, we currently have 35 metahumans under my control. Thirteen among our inner circle, ten hidden from the world, six under strong control in our Justice League, two in the Justice League but simply co-opted, and three in the Scranton branch office.


Only three?


Yes. Red Tornado was blown up when we sent evil Detective Chimp against him.




Moving on, we need to assess the capabilities of this quarter's created beings to see if they fall under the minion or super category. As you know we have one slot available for metahumans following Red Tornado's, er, death. Based on our last meeting, that will be filled by Chemo.


Is that the giant chemical factory thing? How are we dealing with the PR on that?


We could say he cures cancer.


I move that Morrow doesn't get to speak again.


As I was saying, we have no slots for new super-beings. Any labeled as such at this meeting will have to be suspended or destroyed. First, we have Naga's new Lizard-Human super soldier hybrids.


(sssss) They've actually quite weak… (ssss)


But they spit venom? And have the strength of five ordinary men…and scale armor…and lightning reflexes.


(sssss) They get sluggish unless I keep them under heat lamps…. (ssss)


Motion to register Lord Naga's new snake-soldiers as minions.



Next, we have T.O. Morrow's new robot soldiers…




Wait…they're very, very powerful….





Finally we has Prof. Ivo's new creation, Amazo.


It really doesn't do much. More of a toy.


What does it do…?


(unintelligible muttering)


Could you repeat that?


It copies the powers of any and all superbeings.


Ivo, you really are an idiot.


At least I don't create gorilla love slaves. No offense, Grodd.


Leave Monsiuer Mallah out of this.


Motion to destroy.



I believe that's all the business this week, be sure to try the macaroons I baked on the way out.

posted by Gene Ha at 9:18 AM

Friday, July 28, 2006

Daredevil #87

Daredevil #87
Quote from the top of the letters page: "YOU DIDN'T REALLY THINK I'D KILL FOGGY, DID YOU?" I laughed so hard! And yes, Ed, after what you did to Selina's sister in Catwoman, I really did think that you'd kill Foggy. In fact, I wouldn't trust you not to do anything that would further a story. For good reason...because you, my friend, are one of the ballsiest writers currently working in the comics industry, and I thank you for that. Your first arc on Daredevil has been every bit as good as (most of) Bendis' (I didn't like "Echo" or "Decalogue"), and I wish you luck in successfully continuing the drama.
Well, this issue brings to a close "The Devil in Cell Block D", Brubaker's first arc on Daredevil. There was no break between the end of Bendis' run, and the beginning of Brubaker's, for which my thanks goes out to them. They did an excellent job of coordinating with each other before the hand-off, and the title is certainly enriched for it.
Anyways, the warden of Ryker's island pays Matt back for saving his life by selectively deleting all footage of Matt in prison which would show him to be anything other than a helpless blind man. And he goes on the record against the FBI who put Matt in there pending trial, that his belief is that Matt was innocent all along, especially in light of the activity of Daredevil during the time Matt was in prison. Which Daredevil II turned out to be...Danny Rand!! (Quibble: Sure, we wouldn't have gotten it otherwise, but when the art showed "Iron Daredevil"'s fist glowing before punching Matt, well, I thought it was Torchy or something. But, really, how else could the point have been successfully conveyed?) Anyways, it turns out that Iron Daredevil was been hired by Alton Lennox to supposedly track down Foggy's killers. However, when Matt and Danny get to Lennox's office, he has cleared out, and it becomes clear that he was trying to silence all ties to the hit on Foggy. And has since left the country. We'll find out more in two issues.
Matt comes squeaky clean to Ben Urich, and tells him there are no hard feelings about the reporting that ended up getting him sent to Ryker's in the first place. The whole Rykers business turns out to have been a plot to break Matt, and then to possibly kill him, as he was never supposed to survive long enough to stand trial. Duh, but it's nice to see it spelled out. Apparently the FBI were involved both in the plot, and in its subsequent cover-up, as is evidenced by the FBI director's ire at Rykers' warden coming out in defense of Matt, and the two agents he sent to kill Dakota North if she got too close to the truth. Apparently the FBI director was acting on orders from Senator Engel. Not sure why yet, maybe Dell Rusk has something to do with it?
My first reaction to the last page was, "oh no, you didn't". Seriously, killing Foggy was a brilliant move, and then making it all a big plot to get him into witness protection? Well, until I read the quote at the top of the "letters" page, I was put off by it - and then Big Ed showed me just how well he can keep a secret, and that he had actually planned the revelation from the start. So kudos to you Big Ed, I look forward to reading the whys and hows.
And Frank Castle and Matt Murdock part amicably. I guess Castle's entire point in getting himself arrested was to find out exactly what the deal was with Matt being put in prison, and I'm thinking that we may very well be seeing more of him. Brubaker's characterization of Castle was excellent. When Garth Ennis finishes writing Punisher, maybe Brubaker wants to take over there too?
An excellent example of how good this issue is? Page 15. 'Nuff said.
An EXCELLENT issue. Brubaker has shown that he can live up to the standards set by Bendis on his run, and I still look forward to reading this title every month. If you aren't reading Daredevil, you should be.
Previous issue

Action Comics #841

Action Comics #841
However EH Busiek's Superman #654 was, this title is GOOD. Close to VERY GOOD, but I'm not quite there yet. For instance, why in the world would the United States have revoked Superman's security clearance a year ago? And why are the Generals such assholes about it? Hadn't he just saved the world from the Crisis? So he took a vacation, so what? Didn't he deserve it? Since when would that render him a security risk? I don't get the whole subplot of people not believing he is who he is. That aside, it's a wonderful issue. Fantastic cameos too, by Firestorm, Nightwing, and especially the Teen Titans, and especially Ravager. Why doesn't she do things that cool in her own title? Yet another indication of how far superior Busiek and Nicieza are to Johns. They can take his characters and actually make them work, as opposed to hinting at the promise of something which doesn't quite manage to materialize. Anyways, this is a very high GOOD, and I am really excited for the next issue of this title. Why can't Fabian coplot "Superman" too? Damn. Cool detail - the aliens are stealing Einstein Synagogue at Yeshiva University - cool detail. But shouldn't the cop have said "Yeshiva Universit----AAH!"? Still, cool detail. I like how Busiek and Nicieza use real world locations and geography as opposed to just making stuff up like everybody else does. Oh, I really want to give this issue VERY GOOD. Maybe I will after more reflection.
Next issue
Previous issue

Batman #655

Batman #655
Yay! "Son of the Demon" is back in continuity! I think...but didn't they give the child up for adoption at the end? That is Talia though, right? Still...I love it! Batman has a son. And he feels affection towards Robin. And he requires Alfred's help to relearn how to be Bruce Wayne. And a cop pushed over the edge shoots the Joker point-blank in the face! While dressed up as Batman! And apparently, Batman has almost completely rid Gotham of all costumed wackos, except for possibly Two-Face.
My only question: Why does Batman need to build a new Batmobile himself? What happened to Hiro?
An EXCELLENT, fantastic start to Grant Morrison's run on the title...a very auspicious beginning. THIS is what "All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder" should have been. Any chance we can kick Frank Miller off of that title and give it to Morrison as well?
And there are two covers. One by Andy Kubert, and one by Adam Kubert. Usually there is absolutely no point to buying two issues of the same comic, but these covers are both uniquely beautiful. Perhaps in the future we'll get triple variants with Adam, Andy, and Joe? One can only hope. And the interior art is astonishingly competent and beautiful.
This issue was reminiscent of some of the other work that Morrison has done. Batman himself doesn't actually do anything in this issue. Once again, Morrison is writing the inaction heroes, but I like it, like it, yes I do. More, please.
Previous issue

Monday, July 24, 2006

Justice League of America #0

Justice League of America #0
When I read this last week, my initial reaction was mystification. I couldn't figure out what the point of the entire exercise had been, other than to showcase some very good art along with some that was particularly horrendous. (Seriously, hadn't you ever noticed? Superman isn't wearing briefs over his tights, he's wearing swim trunks!) So I waited to see what other people would say about it. (What does that say about my willingness to expose myself through my reviews, my willingness to be original, or my talent as a blogger? Nothing good, I imagine.) And it took a while for them to post on it as well, probably indicating that - for the most part - they couldn't figure out what to make of it either. The "tomorrow" segments are NOT the future, they are possible futures. The "yesterday" segments are all-too-brief glimpses of isolated incidents in JLA history, which for the most part will be unintelligible, or at least unappreciateable (there I go again, making up new words!) to new readers who are unfamiliar with the long history of the JLA and the minutiae thereof. It wasn't particularly was just pointless. I'd say EH, but really, a comic this bewildering actually deserves its own, unique rating...let's call it HUH? Art was not a factor at all. As it was a non-effort, rather than a collaborative effort, it just gave me the impression that many of these artists, instead of drawing the traditional Big 3, instead tried to show us what their versions of the Big 3 look like. Some succeed, and some, frankly, don't. I actually appreciate the variant cover more than the standard one. Even though it's a bit stylized for my tastes, the feeling of it is right. Whereas on the standard cover, the feeling seems to be one of condescension. Basically, it says that the Big 3 look down their noses at us, and especially in the case of Superman, who has spent his life trying to be human (a la Pinocchio - but I suppose that that's merely one interpretation of the character), I completely disagree.
(There was one panel that I particularly enjoyed - the one where the Big 3 are poring over photographs tring to decide who they should invite into the new JLA - because it was reminiscent of the cover of All-Star Squadron #1.)
And it seems that one of the upcoming plots in Brad Meltzer's book is going to be bringing back Earth-2. (And then he'll decide to have every woman raped...or better yet, he'll destroy every single one of their relationships, including Clark and Lois'!) [Edit: Again, I am an asshole. Winick does the relationship ruining, not Meltzer.] At least that's how I viewed the scene with Earth-2 that everybody else seems to be wondering about.
Of the critics who I read most often, The Savage Blog approximates my feeling regarding this issue the best. I really don't understand how The Fourth Rail was able to give it such a high rating. (With all my edits, this post has turned out much longer than it was initially.) What did the rest of you think?
Next issue

Friday, July 21, 2006

Superman/Batman #28

Superman/Batman #28
Actually, this issue was pretty good. It has just the right amount of mystery to make it a Batman story, and just enough superhuman threats to make it a Superman story. No more internal monologues either. I'd say that this is a VERY GOOD issue, although maybe that's just because I'm so jaded by the last year's worth of crappy issues from this title, that mediocre becomes VERY GOOD. I'll see how I feel after the next issue. For now, I'll stick with VERY GOOD, and ask that we leave it at that.
Next issue

Manhunter #24

Manhunter #24
Another EXCELLENT issue. Andreyko delivers once again.
This time, the verdict comes in on Kate's client, Dr. Psycho, but before the foreman can read it, the Society somehow deactivates his mental restraints (the art doesn't make it very clear how they do this. In one panel his restraints are present and in the next they're just gone! Oh well, chalk it up to having merely 22 pages wherein to tell a story. The art is still beautiful). Dr. Psycho then goes, well, Psycho on the courtroom, and prevents Kate from getting to the briefcase with her gear. As she resists him, he realizes what she's trying to do, and makes her put on the costume. He keeps the mask, however. He then forces her to tongue kiss him, whereupon she bites down and beats the crap out of him, eventually impaling his forehead with her blade and snapping it off, thus rendering him effectively lobotomized. Afterwards, she finds the verdict on the floor. Not guilty. So not only has she taken care of Dr. Psycho, to the apparent acceptance of the Society, but she has proven herself capable of effectively representing supervillains as well, thus fulfilling Bones' agenda for which he assigned her this case in the first place.
In the subplot, it appears that the Sweeny Todd murderer may be Mark, who leaves Dylan's house, and has apparently been suffering blackouts again, during which he has been tracking down soon-to-be metas, excising their pituitary glands, and apparently eating them. (At least, I think that's Mark. I can't tell for certain.) Gruesome stuff, to be sure, but not that shocking to us regular readers of this series.
The art is lovely as always, and yet another reason why if you aren't already, you should be reading Manhunter.

New X-Men #28

New X-Men #28
A pretty good issue. I'm still not okay with all the death though, seriously, haven't enough died already? It seems that Emma Frost agrees, as she makes that exact same point to Carol Danvers who comes to the mansion to encourage her to register everyone. One by one, she goes over the tragedies that the X-Men have faced in recent weeks, asks why the Avengers weren't there to help, and points out that if everyone knows where to find each and every mutant, then how will that make them any safer? And she compares the tragedy in Stamford to that which occurred at the mansion when Stryker blew up the bus, killing forty-two students. A very valid point. Why should Stamford be more important? Why the national outcry over that, but not over what happened at the institute? Obviously, it's because the world still doesn't care about mutants, despite all their protestations to the contrary. And throwaway dialogue in this issue bears that theory out. Medical and forensic examiners are shown making anti-mutant comments within earshot of some of the students, without caring about the work they were called in to do. It's a very chilling reminder of the state of affairs within the mutant world in the Marvel U, one that has been pushed to the sidelines of late by the whole "Civil War" business. (This issue is not labelled as a Civil War crossover, and it does stand on its own very well, but the themes herein definitely tie in to the Civil War event.)
The remaining students are really pulling together and functioning as a team, or at least as friends. Julian is really taking charge, and has sublimated his ego sufficiently, to the point where he actually begins to resemble a true team leader (even though he isn't). And everyone accepts David as he is, even though he's been depowered. He's still one of the smartest people at the institute, and is acknowledged as such by the kids.
The subplot with Nimrod and Forge is not given very much play, and really doesn't affect the plot of this issue very much. It's not about that. It's about Laurie's, Max's, and Josh's death, Elixir's transformation, Cannonball's near death, and the survivor's guilt that the remaining students are experiencing. There's even a scene in which Emma, once alone, collapses on the floor and cries. Very poignant stuff. And it rings true.
A VERY GOOD issue. There isn't even the obligatory fight scene in this issue - no overt instances of anyone using their powers at all, except for Emma Frost, and she's pretty much always using them. And if you can make that work, then you've put together a very fine issue. Every once in a while it's useful to take a step back and focus on what makes the characters work, and the authors do that very well in this issue.
And I, for one, am glad that Stryker is dead. His hypocrisy always annoyed me.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

She-Hulk #9

She-Hulk #9
Another fine issue from Slott and company, but I'd really like to know where he's going with the whole Starfox mind-rape thing. It really turns my stomach. Otherwise, a very solid issue. And since the Two-Gun Kid special is in continuity, the Starfox thing won't really matter for much longer since John Jameson will be dead soon anyways! VERY GOOD stuff. If you aren't reading this title, you damn well should be.

52 #11

52 #11
Cover: Batwoman Begins - Ha ha. What exactly does the cover mean by saying "Elongated Man: Unhinged?" No more so than he already was! And once again the cover illustration has very little in common with the actual events within the book that it is supposed to portray.
p.1 Completely skipping to day 5...what nothing of note happened on the other 4 days?
The beard is back.
p.2 When was Ralph in contact with Bea? Why?
p.3 Guardian cigarettes? And since when do cigarettes actually write the word cigarette so prominently on their packaging?
p.4 Gotham Gazette: Gordon Back? Has the corruption all the way to Akins already been uncovered? And wouldn't it have been nice to at least have a mention of it? And anyways, this doesn't fit in with the chronology already established in OYL Batman titles.
The design on Vic's shirt changes from panel 2 to panel 3.
p.5 Ridge-Ferrick Holding? I've never heard of them...any ideas?
p.6 Intergang would make sense, as they've always had access to Apokalyptian technology.
Renee and Kate were lovers 10 years ago? Great, more retcons.
p.8 What happened in Ohio in 2004, and what does Luthor 986 mean?
[Edit: received the following response re: Ohio 2004:
raphaeladidas said...
Ohio 2004 is a reference to the theory that Kerry actually won the state.
6:44 PM ]
p.9 How long does it take for Renee to smoke 8 cigarettes?
p.10 Shipment from Khandaq. But isn't Black Adam completely opposed to Intergang operating in his country?
p.12 Abbott is a werewolf? Whisper is the new Copperhead?
p.16 So, Renee taught Kate how to hit?
p.20 So the cult is creating a Sue effigy? What exactly would be the point of theat?
p.1 Segues are awful.
For instance: description of what OMAC is leads to creation of satellite by batman and appropriation by Max Lord, leading to Wonder Woman killing him, leading to the Crisis refugees taking action? First off, what's with the misdirection? We already know that Luthor and Superboy had been acting for a long time previously with Villains United, the Planet Heist, the kidnapping of J'onn J'onzz, and the retrieval of the Monitor's corpse. And what action could Lois possibly take?
p.2 "But they had to keep fighting the OMACs--" Uggh, awful dialogue...who are "they", and why do "they" have to keep fighting the OMACs? Jurgens hasn't even talked about what the OMACs were doing yet!
p.3 Conner didn't know he couldn't beat Superboy.
"Where do we go from here?" uggh
p.4 "A shadow has crossed the barriers." WTF??? What the hell kind of shadow? What are these so-called "barriers"?
What is "The divergent path"?
"Explain. Now." Uggh.
"Because of this strange deviation in realities...Monitors have chosen not to make their presence known...yet"? WTF??? And sudenly a Monitor shows up out of nowhere and Donna ends up wearing Harbinger's orb as a hat?
Dear DC: Please eliminate the backup feature and give us four more pages of story. And maybe start Secret Origins volume 2 to do the backup stories?
Another EH to OKAY issue, but Jurgens is AWFUL as always.
Next issue
Previous issue

Wolverine #43 - Civil War

Wolverine #43
I figured out whose idea it was to have Nitro blow up the school. It was Congressman Sykes. That's who he was talking to in the car. That's whose cabin he was using. Congressman Sykes was using Nitro to push his registration act agenda, and it worked. Now that I have figured out how the Civil War event will end: by everybody ganging up on Sykes and forgetting the whole thing, we can get on with this issue's critique.
A very good issue. I can't give it excellent, because the scene with Tony Stark drags too much - pretty boy does too much preaching - and the scene with the surfer dude and his cohorts makes no sense yet - I know, that's the point, but still.
The art is beautiful and very detailed down to Medalert bracelet on the truck driver's wrist. And the colors are amazing.
This issue has three very odd/interesting scenes (presented here in reverse story order):
Wolverine is apparently so powerful now that what would once have killed him, doesn't anymore. Remember in "Days of Future Past", how Wolverine was left as a shiny metal skeleton by a Sentinel blast? Well, apparently, that's not enough to do him in anymore, as Nitro sears all the flesh from his bones, and Wolvie eventually regenerates and brings it to him, more than a little bit pissed off. (Why don't Nitro's clothes get burned too when he does his thing? Just wondering. )
I also wonder why Wolverine needs to sharpen his claws on a whetstone. As adamantium is unbreakable, wouldn't that also mean that it doesn't lose its edge? A minor detail, but one that should be paid attention to. Still, it makes for a great sequence.
Besides that, Wolverine smells Iron Man coming into town (ozone, I guess), and jumps on top of him from atop a building. A bit unbelievable, but it makes for a very amusing couple of panels.
The dialogue is clunky at parts - take this quote for example:
Wolvie is being screamed at angrily by the head of the commando unit sent to take Nitro down...this is what the guy says: "T.F.G. Tactical Fear Generation. S.O.P. for dealing with guys like this. Standard Operating Procedure." I don't think that anybody has ever heard the term TFG used before, but everybody is familiar with the term SOP. Therefore, why use the abbreviation TFG in the first place, especially if you're going to translate it immediately? And why translate SOP at all? People don't actually talk like that. It's important when scripting to make characters talk like real people. Just a thought.
Anyways, I'm enjoying this arc immensely. It's the only book lately asking the real question, as to why people aren't more focused on the maniac who perpetrated CW#1's atrocity, than they are with registering costumes. And it's doing so with flair. A very high GOOD. It loses points for the above inconsistencies and such, but remains a very solid issue.
[Edit: After mulling this issue over a bit, I'm forced to lower my rating for it. Why? Take a look at page 14. Wolverine jumps out of a chopper at least 40 feet above the ground...without a zipline! Sorry, but the last I checked, Wolverine can't fly. He then proceeds to land perfectly on his feet without rolling or anything. Okay, whatever, I get that his bones are unbreakable, but he still can't fly! Then apparently the commandos are firing wildly, firing blindly, and firing directly at Wolverine! And the commandos are staged in a completely different location than the one in which they landed. And Nitro just happens to avoid every single bullet as he runs through the forest. And why run through the forest anyways? Why not just incinerate everyone from inside the cabin, if he was going to do so at the end anyhow? Sorry, but I am unable to suspend my disbelief any further, and can't overlook these inconsistencies and ridiculousnesses any longer. The issue now rates no higher than OKAY. Another thing...when Wolverine appears after regenerating, he is on fire!!! Um, I'm sorry, NO.]
Next issue Last issue

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

JSA #87

JSA #87
A very disappointing ending to the series which started so excellently under the pen of James Robinson. So much has changed since then. I am looking forward to the new series, but for this entire arc, it really seemed as if this series were a doddering old man who knew he was dying but had nothing to do but wait.
Revelations: It turns out that Courtney couldn't touch or be harmed by the Gentleman Ghost since she's a virgin and he was once spurned by a virgin. LAME! It also turns out that Wildcat actually has some "noble" blood in him, and is thus destined to be the downfall of Craddock. Well, whoopdefreakingdoo.
What I really wanted to know about was the alternate DEAD Batman who showed up in issue #85. Unfortunately, we get no resolution in that area, and I expect the entire thing to be forgotten by the time the new series begins. The only cool part of the issue would have been the fight between Wildcat and Gentleman Ghost, and it was over in less than two pages. Genuinely disappointing. So, this entire arc had a huge leadup, and absolutely zero payoff. Oh, and apparently the JSA brownstone gets destroyed. EH. And based on the cover, Superman, Batman and Robin, and Wonder Woman have at one time or another been members of the JSA. Wonder Woman could be Queen Hippolyta, but Supes and Bats? I thought we did away with alternate Earths!? Whatever...just very upsetting and disappointing.

X-Men #188

X-Men #188
The art is AWFUL!!!!!!
Iceman looks like Martian Manhunter, Cannonball looks like Nick Fury, I couldn't even tell that the third figure that came crashing through the wall was Cyclops until the dialogue clued me in, one two page spread looks as if it's underwater, until you realize that it's actually supposed to be an action snapshot. I had enough of Bachalo's art with the Age of Apocalypse mini, where the writing was AWFUL too. I thought I'd never have to read it again. Seriously, when you have to go back and forth in a book comparing dialogue to illustrations and subsequent panels to the preceding, it really sucks all of the enjoyment out of reading. Half the time, I can't tell what Bachalo is trying to draw. It all looks like rubble to me. I think I might hate his recent work even more than I hate Rob Liefeld, and that's pretty bad.
Regarding the story:
I can't figure out how in the world Cannonball could take down Sabretooth, except that bouncing(?) has something to do with it - since Bachalo doesn't even bother to have it happen on-panel...maybe it was too hard for him to draw?
And why the hell is professor X around? Especially following Deadly Genesis, I'm sure that the X-Men wouldn't tolerate him just walking freely around the school. Unless it's a company mandate - because Brubaker has convinced them that he needs Professor X for some reason. I just hope he's gone next issue, as Brubaker will have him off in space with the Uncanny X-Men.
Regarding the mansion illustration following the story - isn't it kind of silly to have a fence in front of the mansion, but not around the rest of the grounds? Anyone who wanted to break in could just do so through an unfenced area, no? And apparently there are fifty mutants living in the mansion. Oookay...
Anyways, the writing in this issue is pretty good - dialogue is excellent - but what with the godawful art by Chris Bachalo, it just makes it tedious to read, so OKAY. Like Paul O'Brien, I can't wait for the first issue with fill-in art.
And I meant to ask this earlier, but does anybody have any idea what's supposed to be going on on the cover? I see some people there who aren't even in the book! Or does Bachalo just like drawing Cable? Ugh...he is really the worst.
Last issue

Masked Marvel backup

Masked Marvel
Oh my god, why didn't anybody come up with this idea sooner? Oh, wait, Alan Moore did, in Supreme. Still, even if the idea is a bit unoriginal, the execution is EXCELLENT. An abundance of fantastic dialogue and veiled references to DC characters - for example:
"Could be they cross paths with an internet mystic called the I-Mage"
"there's, like, this super-powered horse, kind of dark-colored?"
"Neither rain nor sleet nor... darkest night...?"/"No evil shall escape his sight."
"Bendis wrote that. He's a god!"
Although the characterization of Marvel Comics as part of the Marvel Universe is a bit at odds with its portrayal in She-Hulk, if Kesel can keep up the wit that makes this feature so good, he could easily turn it into a monthly backup, or even a series of specials like Franklin Richards. I'm not sure that he could parlay this idea into a monthly yet, but if he's got a real killer story, he might be able to pull it off. I've got an idea - bring Kesel back to Fantastic Four, fire JMS (that's the important part), and let Kesel put in eight pages of Masked Marvel at the end of every FF issue. Whatever...anyways, this feature was EXCELLENT. Can't wait to see more of it.

X-Men #187

X-Men #187
Here we are, one month later again. Oh, well.
Personally, I never cared for Milligan's run on X-Men. In fact, when my subscription ran out, I saw no point in renewing it. That said, this past arc was not that bad. I am still turned off by the relationship between Rogue, Gus, and Mystique. And I don't really understand why Remy's personality has changed so much. Others have, at one time or another, also been horsemen of Apocalypse - Angel, Wolverine - and they came out of it without the excessive mental reconditioning that Gambit has. If Remy's entire focus in joining Apocalypse was to beat him from the inside, then I'm really not sure how he has now lost sight of that.
The art is nice, as usual, with one exception: On page 15 the colorist colors Emma as Gambit, not noticing she's wearing high heels. It took me a minute to figure out what the hell was going on there, and I had to keep looking back and forth. This makes an excellent argument for circular editing. Let the penciller read the finished product after it has been inked and colored. That way such mistakes will be caught.
Anyways, Milligan says goodbye to Polaris, which is kind of funny, because Brubaker brings her back one week later! Oh, well. An OKAY issue, but I don't think I'll be missing Milligan anytime soon. However, I will definitely miss Salvador Larocca. After taking a look at the cover of X-Men #188, I miss him already, but that's fodder for another column.

Legion of Super-Heroes #15

Legion of Super-Heroes #15
An extremely entertaining issue. I'm just sorry that Kitson missed the hilarity. He often has some very good lines to contribute, but still, there were some good lines anyways...(man, I'm writing unprofessionally tonight - giving in to fanboy impulses and whatnot - aargh!)
VERY GOOD stuff.
A few notes on the issue:
Original inception:
Roll calls (excluding current members of Legion):
Bouncing Boy, Duo Damsel
Wildfire, Tyroc, Dawnstar
regarding Woodrue: "That man seems particularly useless..." Woodrue:"This world--it's artificial--where are the plants?"
Post Zero-Hour inception:
Roll call:
Quislet,White Witch,Sensor Girl,Blok
Great Lines:
Quislet:"Disrupt crazy Kirby machines.."!!;"Quislet's Legends of the Millenium after-party";"Hurry up! Almost Zero Hour!"
The revealed names of those assembled at the end are as follows. Time will tell if any of these individuals will be added to Legion continuity:
Dav Huntr/T'spiri
Chaz Willad/Antares
Lise Stone/Venus
Van Thaddeus,Kahn W'Barr,Sunn E-Born,Jo Lee Rat,Sine Brgg,P'al Gif'n,Gor Vn'Gald'R
Lettercol reference to the Star Rovers. Follow this link to find out more.
Gobbledygook 27.4 Enemy fall down now
Cham masquerading as Bouncing Boy: "I gotta know all this stuff before issue 22...'cause that's when Bouncing Boy joins the legion!"

Legion of Super-Heroes #11-14

Legion of Super-Heroes #11-14
A VERY GOOD and satisfying conclusion to the arc that has lasted since issue #1(?).
Anyways, here's a breakdown of points for each issue, just a quick runthrough including some quibbles and nitpicks, some lists, some gobbledygook translations, and some other stuff:

Legion of Super-Heroes #11

7.1: just a little rattled
say, what's that noise
7.2: who's speaking an alien language? wait, that racket
7.5: here we go!
Thing spoof by Chameleon on page 11.
Backup feature is brilliant, relating classic comics covers to "actual" Legionnaire poses.
Roll call (named legionnaires):
Code Name (Nickname, real name)/Homeworld/Power
Cosmic Boy (Cos)/Braal/Magnetism
Sun Boy/Earth/Heat Generation
Brainiac 5 (Brainy)/Colu/Unparalleled Intellect
Invisible Kid/Earth/Disappearance
Dream Girl (Nura)/Naltor/Precognition/deceased
Element Lad/Trom/Molecular Transmutation
Colossal Boy (Micro Lad)/Earth/Giant who can shrink to 6 feet
Ultra Boy/Rimbor/Super-strength,super-speed,flight,invulnerability,heat vision,x-ray sight one power at a time
Projectra (Jeckie)/Orando/magic spells
Shadow Lass (Shady)/Talok VIII/Creates Darkness
Triplicate Girl (Trip)/Cargg/Splits into Three
Chameleon (Cham)/Durla/Shape-changing
Lightning Lad (Garth)/Winath/Commands electrical force
Phantom Girl/Bgztl (dimension)/Phasing
Light Lass/Winath/Nullifies gravity
Saturn Girl (Imra)/Titan/Telepath
Star Boy/Xanthu/Increases gravity
Brin Londo (Lone Wolf)/unknown/enhanced strength and reflexes
Karate Kid/Earth/Martial Artist
Elastic Lad/stretching ability

Legion of Super-Heroes #12
Roll call same as previous
Nitpick: Shady shouldn't be able to cast darkness, Sun Boy should.
Atom Girl (Salu Digby)/Imskia/shrinking to atomic size
16.2 Gibberish:
[chants some incantation that I swear I'll come up with in plenty of time for us to have it lettered]
I guess Waid never came up with it, did he now? This is similar to Bendis and his "insert threatening alien kree font dialogue here" from Avengers #503
Projectra revealed to be able to project illusions

Legion of Super-Heroes #13
Colossal Boy's name is really Micro Lad
Letters: Polar Boy

Legion of Super-Heroes #14
The letters column verifies my understanding that Batman initiated the Brother I/Eye project after the JLA's mindwiping of Dr. Light.

Superman #653

Superman #653
I just realized that I forgot to post this issue. Suffice it to say that as a penultimate chapter in Busiek's inaugural arc it was VERY GOOD.
But the reason I'm posting now is that I have discovered a translation key for the alien font used on page 3. It is a Comicraft font named "Gobbledygook". I swear, it's really called that. Here's a link to the complete character list.

Anyways, the alien gobbledygook in panel 3.1 translates exactly as follows:
Alien - (a): Aiee!
Alien 2 (a): Run! Run!
I guess the alien language has a different grammatical structure than our own, or at least different rules for the usage of non alphabetical characters.

The kryptonian dialogue in panel 3.4 is as follows:
Resistance has ended Malak is pacified
Prepare landing parties scan undeveloped areas for potential slave labor
Yes great Dru Zod
At once great Dru Zod
--There are no punctuation marks present, but it's completely understandable nonetheless.
Next issue

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Superman #654

Superman #654
Well, there's a disappointing read. After the excitement of "Up, Up, and Away", I was counting on Busiek to keep giving us more of the same, but it seems like he exhausted his best material with his inaugural arc. And I HATE Lois' new haircut. Everlost_MI has compared it to Ming the Merciless' skullcap, and he's right, too. It's just hideous.
The idea of Clark and Lois celebrating the anniversary of their first flight together is cute, but it would be a better story if we'd seen anything hinting at this anniversary over the past twelve years, which we have not.
The plot twist (?) at the end was pretty obvious too. Duh, Lois is just going to do the articles that Clark can't do, because she obviously knows that he's occupied elsewhere.
This single issue is much better than a some recent arcs written for Superman, such as "For Tomorrow" and "Godfall", but still, if Busiek doesn't get with the program quickly, I may lose interest in this title. EH.

I've got a Nit to pick

I've been in contact with MaGnUs, the writer of the Nitpicker column, and he informed me that it will still be around on several different forums, most notably Newsarama's. That said, I took a look at his last column, which was basically a "best of" and found this interesting nit:


COMMENT: I know powers can be stretched for a plot device, but sometimes writers go too far.

TITLE: X-Men: Deadly Genesis.

ISSUE: 2 of 6.

CULPRIT: Ed Brubaker (writer).

NIT-TO-PICK: On page 6, Emma Frost said she sent thought waves to a O*N*E Sentinel pilot through the laser beams of the robot's scanners. PUH-LEE-ZE!!! That's just too far-fetched, no matter how powerful she is, this looks like something from the 60s when Magneto could read minds and astrally project.

NIT-O-METER: This is just too stupid, too lazy, I can't give it less than 8 Bazzars.

Yeah, I noticed that when I was reading it too. Kudos to MaGnUs for pointing it out.
My review of Deadly Genesis in terms of a prequel to Brubaker's first arc on Uncanny will be forthcoming. In the meantime, follow this link to the rest of the column at Newsarama.

Green Arrow #63-64

Green Arrow #63-64
#63 is GOOD. But when it gets itself bogged down in mayoral politics, it doesn't move very much, and it becomes no different than a poor man's Ex Machina. The parts with Deathstroke are very good, and obviously Winick has something big for him - pleading guilty to murder, attempted murder, and everything else? He's got to have a plan. The issue ends with GA fighting alongside Brick, another very good sequence. Unfortunately, nothing much happens, and we have to wait for issue #64 for the conclusion.

Issue #64 is VERY GOOD, being solely a fight between GA and Brick and a bunch of doped-up crazy manic zombies. Intel leads GA and Brick to a warehouse full of vials labelled "morphine", which quite obviously are not what they appear.
The relationship between Ollie and Brick is a very intriguing one - basically, Ollie allows Brick's illegal enterprises to proceed unhampered because Brick spends the rest of his time making sure that there is no other crime to speak of on his side of the wall, and defending the innocent. Although his motivations are financial, he does a good job at it, so he receives Ollie's support for the time being. Their interactions are well written.
And, on the final page, we get our first glimpse of Speedy post-IC. Nothing appears to have changed with her status quo, but something must have happened to keep her out of the first four issues. Not to mention Ollie's surprise upon seeing her. Overall, a VERY GOOD issue.
Next issue

Iron Man: The Inevitable

Iron Man: The Inevitable
Not even worth my time. The art is AWFUL (reminiscent of the works by Winston Churchill's daughter - but worse,) and so is the story, not to mention its execution. By the time I read the last issue, I couldn't even remember what the point of this whole exercise was. Was there even a point? I always like seeing Leonard Samson guest stints, but even with those, this series was just AWFUL.

X-Factor #8

X-Factor #8
Finally it's good to see a book react to the consequences of Son of M (review forthcoming). It makes perfect sense to do so in the book where Layla Miller is a fixture, as she was instrumental in ending the House of M. Peter David's writing in this issue is excellent, especially in the following dialogue examples:
Guido to Doctor Modern: "I thought mutants and humans were different races./Never cottoned to that thinking. History's filled with too many cases of one type of human deciding another type weren't human, usually followed by hilarity and death".
This exchange between SHIELD Madrox and Layla: "Good heavens young lady. You look so serious. Like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders./I do./How do you deal with that?/I shrug."
Layla quoting from Ayn Rand "evil is impotent and has no power but that which we let it extort from us."
Terrific stuff.
And I called this issue's major revelation, in which the two Tryps are revealed to be the same person. Of course, there's no way that Madrox could have known that, as he wasn't in the room when the hints were dropped.
Why does Rictor have to register under the Superhuman Registration Act? As he points out, he is no longer superhuman, so isn't his registration completely unneccesary?
Peter David shows once again that he has some continuity problems he's got to work out, one of which has a major ramification on the plot. Since it was previously established that Siryn's secondary mutation of persuasion doesn't work on non-mutants, and Spider-Man is decidedly non-mutant, how does she get it to work on him? (David's done this before with a cop, by the way.) Spider-Man falls sway to it, and reveals to Siryn everything that he knows about the House of M, which everyone involved in ending it has been hiding from everyone else. Oops. Maybe a retcon is in order? Or explaining the discrepancy with a tertiary mutation? At least the high and mighty Bendis admits when he's screwed up (see the letter column in the latest issue of Ultimate Spider-Man).
[Edit: It has been brought to my attention that the preceding paragraph is ass-backwards. Apparently, my brain wasn't working so I pulled it out of my ass. Sorry, Mr. David. Please excuse me.]
And still unresolved is my question from last can Jamie absorb things that his dupes are carrying?
Artwise, it's nice, if a bit stylized for my tastes. Except for one point: are Guido's glasses in the process of falling off of his face on page 11?
Still, it's one of the best of the recent Civil War crossover issues, and I'll admit, I did enjoy it, even with its flaws. So I'll rate it at VERY GOOD. I would rate it excellent, but this issue is the second in a row which has yet another major continuity flaw. Peter David really has to work on these flaws which keep managing to slip past his editors...oh how I miss the days of dedicated continuity editors.
[Edit: With the above edit in mind, this issue now rates at EXCELLENT.]
Last issue

Generation M #1-5

Generation M #1-5
I just read this in one sitting, and it wasn't bad. Sure, there are a couple of glaringly obvious errors, like the identical twins of whom one is a mutant and the other not, but overall, my impression was that this series was OKAY. It definitely could have been better. The stories should have been the focus of the issues, and we really should have been able to read more of them. More appearances from former mutants we knew would have been nice too. I loved seeing Beak post mutancy.
The series started out nicely, but then it devolved into just another murder mystery, which turned into a mutant hunt, which, by the last issue, became a fight with the X-Men. It could have been so much more, but instead it just kind of fell out of the sky like Ned Ralston, the dragon guy who died on the first few pages of issue #1. Sure, it had some nice moments, and some clever moments too - for instance Sally walking out of her AA meeting just before Tony Stark got up to speak. But they were too few and far between. This was a great concept that could have been better.
But I didn't hate it, so I have to rate it as OKAY.

The Nitpicker

I just found this site and it's brilliant! I was reading Generation M #4 (yeah, I know, but I just got around to it), and I was thrown by two things 1) a 40-something man saying that he used to attend Xavier's school - back when they didn't accept anybody except X-Men, and 2) that this 40-year-old ex-mutant's identical twin brother was NOT a mutant!!! WTF??? So I went to google, and found this column, which hit the nail right on the head, and was apparently doing so for a while on all manner of books, so I'm adding it to my links now. Unfortunately, The Nitpicker is no more, since the CBEM ceased publication on July 7th, but the old columns are still available.
Go to either of these sites to read them:

Ultimate Spider-Man #97

Ultimate Spider-Man #97
Well, it's not like it was bad or anything, but here I went on last post about Kitty and Peter's relationship and now it seems that I may have been either too late or too early in posting, depending on your perspective. Regardless, it seems that Kitty has now moved to crazy town and is getting all hormonal on Peter. Let's hope it's just PMS.
In this issue, Bendis tries to reclaim the mess that was the "Clone Saga" of the '90s, but I have no clue how he's going to manage that one. He introduces Ultimate Scorpion who happens to be a deranged clone(?) of Peter Parker.
And that's about it.
Sure, there's some relationship mending between Peter and MJ, but it's really about the reveal of Scorpion's face.
So, OKAY, but the issue really doesn't do anything for me. It suffers from Bendis' talent for decompression. Nothing much happens. Oh, well, let's see what happens next month.
Last issue

Monday, July 17, 2006

Sensational Spider-Man #28

Sensational Spider-Man #28
And...we get a complete about-face in this issue. Absolutely Sensational, or EXCELLENT. Here we have a Spider-Man story in which Spider-Man is nothing but a supporting character. Not only that, but we get a very good recreation of the long-ago fight where Doc Ock unmasked Spidey, and we get the first supervillain to come after Spider-Man because he has revealed his secret identity. I am still not happy with the revelation, (which can only be undone through the use of clones,) but all things being as they are, this is an EXCELLENT story. In 22 pages, we are made to actually care for young high-school student Jordan Harrison, and we get an EXCELLENT payoff on the last page. Also, the art is beautiful. It occurs to me that there is always so much more to say about an AWFUL issue than an EXCELLENT one. Oh well, cest la vie.

Green Lantern Corps #2

Green Lantern Corps #2
This is better than the first issue. That's really not saying much, but it's about the only praise I can give it. Besides a talk with Mogo about Fear leading to Anger and Anger leading to Power (there's Yoda talking again), we get orbital Lantern spacestations for Lanterns on assignment, a mystery so obvious, even I have it figured out, a missing Lantern, and the death of a Lantern we were supposed to care about, but really (besides the fact that I believe it to be a ruse), I couldn't care less. See, when you kill someone without ever having put the effort into making them essential to the story, well then, you defeat the purpose. So, another CRAPpy issue. Oh, and the art is atrocious.

Wolverine Origins #4

Wolverine Origins #4
Which has apparently dropped the colon from the title, in response to it not being as shitty as everyone feared. (Get it, colon?) [Edit: I guess it hasn't officially dropped the colon, but it's still a great line - isn't it?] Anyways, this issue is kind of cool, featuring a great fight between Wolverine and Captain America. Yes, that Captain America. The plot doesn't get advanced much, but come on, Wolvie fights Cap!!! And there's a Deus Ex Machina on the last page to prevent him from killing Cap too. A very OKAY issue. Let's see where it goes from here.
Next issue
Last issue

Ultimate Fantastic Four #31

Ultimate Fantastic Four #31
Well...this issue is something. Man, you gotta love those Marvel Zombies!
My only complaint is the Lovecraftian thing. I mean, come on, seriously? Introducing Lovecraftian elements to the Marvel Universe is a huge mistake. We are only 31 issues in. It's waaay too early for "old gods" and magic. I mean, if Doom's all on about how it wasn't his mistake that was responsible for the accident, what better way to prove it than through displaying his scientific prowess? Magic seems to be a cop out for him. Sure, the magic Doom can be formidable, but we haven't even explored everything else yet. And if you start with the magic so early, it is sort of like admitting that you've run out of other ideas - since, hell, you can do anything with magic. And then, once you're done with that, there's nothing left to do except to turn Doom into the anti Dr. Strange.
And once Reed knows what is infecting Johnny, is there any doubt that he could fix it himself? Come on, books is books.
But the dialogue is great as always, and the pathos are true - however they came about, they feel genuine. "Victor? Are you crying?" Great line.
And you gotta love those Marvel Zombies! Due to the Lovecraftian elements I can only give this book a GOOD, but everything else was really fantastic.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Green Lantern #12

Green Lantern #12
There's really a heck of a lot going on in this issue - it's amazing they could fit it all in. Hal Jordan does a riff on Yoda, saying "Pain leads to Fear. Fear leads to Hate." How can you not hear Yoda going "Hate leads to Suffering"?
The Global Guardians get a better introduction than they did in the previous issue. Apparently, they are:
1. Tasmanian Devil - Australia.
2. Freedom Beast - South Africa: Freedom beast is Dominic Mndawe, created in Animal Man #13 by Grant Morrison and Chas Truog. He is the successor to Bwana Beast.
3. Sandstorm - Syria. I've never seen him before.
4. Manticore (IV) - Greece: If this is the same guy, then he first appeared in Outsiders v2 #5. The IV is from Wikipedia. Personally I couldn't possibly tell you who the other three were.
5. Gloss (Xiang Po) - China: First appeared (as a superhero) in Millenium #7, as one of the New Guardians. The Guardians gave her the power to draw energy from the Earth's Dragon Lines (mystical energy fields that run throughout the planet, aka Ley Lines). She can command the Dragon Lines, manipulating the Earth's energy to create earthquakes and affect local ecosystems.
6. Jet (Celia Windward) - Jamaica: First appeared in Millenium #7, as one of the New Guardians.
Jet has the ability to generate various forms of electromagnetic waves, such as microwaves, to use for a variety of uses. She can fire blasts of heat and force, generate electromagnetic pulses, move and manipulate metal with magnetic fields, fire blasts of electricity, and see in other spectrums of the spectrum besides visible light (such as ultraviolet and infrared). She can fly by "riding" the natural electromagnetic field of the Earth (via magnetic levitation). When she uses her powers, her hair turns to green flames, but ironically, she doesn't have any fire-related abilities.
She should be dead, the "AIDS Vampire" killed her.
7. Crimson Fox III - who has apparently been brainwashed since last issue, because she appears on international TV spouting the party line that the Global Guardians are good, and the Green Lanterns are bad.
For some reason, Alan Scott places a call to Oliver Queen upon hearing the Fox on TV.

Next there is a bar scene with many old Green Lantern villains. Someone named Loragg is hiring someone to take out Hal Jordan. He hires a guy named Hunger Dog, who kills the old villain Flicker when challenged for the contract. Also present are Black Mass and a Dominator. Can you identify anybody else?

Whereas earlier Hal's thoughts were that he ws unable to make a fist because several of his muscles were severed, now he apparently has no difficulty.
Hank Henshaw wants to recruit Hal for his new Manhunter corps, but Hal says he already belongs to a few groups. These would be the JLA, GLC, and USAF.
While fighting the Cyborg Superman, Hal frees several of the GL prisoners there, including Ke'Haan and Laira, my man Jack T Chance, Hannu (whose name is misspelled Honnu) - who has apparently never once fired his ring, Graf Toren from Karaxia (although he had been discovered floating dead in space by Guy Gardner and the JLTF in Warrior #20), General Kreon - (described as "the construct is just on or off." What?), and Boodikka from Bellatrix who is missing her right hand since Hal cut it off.
They have apprently been outfitted with new rings, since Hal had stripped them all of theirs after defeating them.
Once freed they attack Hal, because to them, no time has passed since his attack on Oa.

While fighting, they discover that Arisia is apparently alive, not murdered by Major Force in GG:Warrior #43. They also discover Lashorr of sector 3453 and Relok Hag who apparently disappeared battling dominators in Invasion.

There's too much going on in this issue, and too many surprises, to really give it a bad rating. It's not as solid an issue as the last one, but is much better than, say, the first four issues of this series. And like I said last time, I'm a sucker for the Cyborg Superman and my man Jack T. Chance, the baddest GL ever. There are a few logical issues with this issue, and it has awful dialogue at times, but it's really not that bad. And I'm interested in finding out the backstory regarding all the GLs here, many of whom were deceased. So I'll rate this GOOD, but if you disagree with me, at least you'll know why.

Ultimate Spider-Man #96

Ultimate Spider-Man #96
I only recently began reading this series, when they had Peter get together with Kitty Pryde. That was a great idea! And here we have another fantastic idea. Morbius, long a lame character, has been revitalized into a sort of Blade type vampire hunter, who also has the power to cure vampire bites. When I saw that the title of this arc was called Morbius, I was apprehensive, but it couldn't have been done better. Bendis' portrayal of Peter is excellent as well, as a kid who is completely out of his element - much more so than normally. Peter is a scared, frightened kid, and Bendis does a terrific job of selling that. Mary Jane also seems to have come to accept her role as Peter's best friend, and NOT his love interest, which is very good, because I love the chemistry between Peter and Kitty. And finally, a nice moment when Peter is bitten by a vampire, who promptly screams, spits his blood out, and screams about it being tainted. My only complaint about this issue is that it could have used a bit more exposition, and a conversation between Morbius and Peter would have been nice. Chalk the lack of those scenes up to Bendis' tendency to overly decompress - thus taking up room which could be used better for other things. A VERY GOOD issue, one that makes me glad I started reading this title.
Last issue Next issue

Daredevil #86

Daredevil #86
EXCELLENT!!! Daredevil fights alongside Kingpin. Daredevil fights alongside Bullseye. Daredevil kicks the shit out of Bullseye. Daredevil beats up guards. Daredevil saves the warden's life. Daredevil beats up prisoners. Daredevil TOSSES A SHOTGUN TO THE PUNISHER!!!! (Punisher reads a book in his cell during a riot, periodically stopping to beat up those stupid enough to attack him.) All in 22 PAGES!!! Read Daredevil. 'Nuff said.
Next issue

Uncanny X-Men #475

Uncanny X-Men #475
I feel like I've missed something. Was there an issue between 474 and 475 (besides the ridiculous annual)? Why is Charles Xavier back at the mansion? Where in the world did Warpath come from - and when did he get these knives from Storm? Isn't it too early to bring Polaris back into the fold? Heck, she JUST LEFT!!! Why have Hawok and Rachel apparently completely forgiven the Professor for the deceptions, selfishness, and thoughtlessness revealed in Deadly Genesis? When exactly did Xavier and Lilandra have their marriage anulled? Otherwise, this is a pretty solid first issue for Ed Brubaker and Billy Tan, although it really doesn't read like Brubaker's other stuff. His unique voice seems to be missing. The feeling that was present during Sleeper, Catwoman, Gotham Central, and that we see in Captain America and Daredevil, is just missing. Maybe he is overextending himself? But the dialogue is good, and it looks like the beginning of what could be an exciting story. And, though I wish him no ill, I am soooo glad that Chris Claremont is gone. JLA, Excalibur, New Excalibur, Uncanny, The End, all of it was crap. Poorly written, near nonsensical crap. And I'm so glad that he won't be taking over on Exiles. That said, we seem to be heading off on a story reminiscent of the good old days when Chris Claremont didn't SUCK. Space opera here we come! A VERY GOOD first issue. I'm looking forward to #476. [Just one more note: Billy Tan's work on this is very pretty, and easily readable, but he can't draw Beast for shit. It almost looks as if he drew Beast with his old features, then was reminded that Beast is now more feline in appearance, and just tried to alter what he had already drawn, with the end result being that he looks somewhat like a blue elf in some panels, and more like a blue orc in others. Also, it appears that he has forgotten that Beast wears glasses when working. Hopefully these aberrations will have disappeared by the next time we see Beast. Personally, I wouldn't mind if Beast went back to looking like he used to, but continuity dictates that barring some unforeseen future plot development, he will remain in his feline form for the time being. Everybody else looks beautiful. I find Rachel's impishness particularly interesting, if out of the ordinary for someone who has suffered so much recently and needed so much psychotherapy. But it's cute.]

Young Avengers #12

Young Avengers #12
Damn you Alan Heinberg! Why can't you get your scripts in on time? What has been one of the most surprisingly good books to come out of nowhere is now going on hiatus, because its writer can't meet a damn deadline!!! At first it was going to be a bimonthly, which, although disappointing, was acceptable. Heck, since moving to a bimonthly schedule, Joss Whedon has made his Astonishing X-Men work. He hasn't missed a scheduled month yet. But Heinberg couldn't even pull that off. And the ultimate chutzpah is that even though he can't manage to get this book in on time, he took the helm of the new Wonder Woman series, which, apart from ensuring that that series will be chronically late - just you wait and see - means that this wonderfully clever and refreshingly original book gets put on hiatus, and who knows if it will be back? And the shame is that judging from the first issue of Wonder Woman, it's going to suck hard. So a great book got cancelled for, at best, a mediocre book. Man do I hate this guy. Almost as much as I hate J. Michael Straczynski. No, I hate JMS more. I would give this book a high VERY GOOD, but on account of the aforementioned ridiculousness, I just can't. Really, this issue seemed to be a coda to the series, and effectively wraps up all outstanding plot threads. We get a new Hawkeye, we get confirmation (of sorts) that Warlock and Speed are Wanda's children, we get hints of a possible relationship between Hawkeye and Speed, Patriot gets infused with his grandfather's super-soldier blood, Changeling sorts out his problems with the Kree and Skrull empires - after a fashion - and the issue ends with this optimistic, though majorly corny, line: "I can't wait to see what happens next!" Sorry, you'll have to wait for quite some time. And odds are, beyond the upcoming Young Avengers/Runaways Civil War mini, nothing will happen, unless somebody decides to cameo these characters in other books. Goddamn it. GOOD.

Matador #6

Matador #6
I know that this is old, but I just finally got around to reading it. And boy does it suck. It's just indescribably AWFUL. I think that Devin Grayson was going for some sort of noirish bad guys win, good guy loses ending, ala Sin City, but she just can't manage to pull it off. Instead, it just dies there on the page like a freshly caught fish. It flops around a bit, offering potential for satisfying resolution, but it just dies. Ugh. As good as the first five issues were, this final issue just ruins the entire story completely. If you want satisfying cop drama, read Powers or collected trades of Gotham Central. If you want crime noir and corruption, read Sin City. If you want CRAP, read this.

Green Lantern Corps #1

Green Lantern Corps #1
Well, this is just not good. It doesn't even come close to being good. The characters are all sterotypes. Youve got the battle-hardened soldier, the newly-promoted officer, the rookie, the racist, the reformed guy, and the asshole. And some minor supporting characters with absolutely no personality whatsoever. In fact, the only main character with actual thought put into him is Guy Gardner, and that's quite possibly because we already know him so well. If he were a new character, he'd be just as awful as all the rest of the characterizations.
And the Guardians have sheathed their entire planet in some sort of armor? Wha?
The art is weaker than it was in the Recharge mini - that was OKAY - and so is the story. I'm willing to accept the new status quo of the rings, namely, that the yellow impurity can be overcome by fearlessness, but the new status quo of the Guardians as unapproachable bureaucrats rubs me the wrong way. Sure, the Guardians have ALWAYS been assholes, but they perpetrated their assholery in person, not through intermediates. Whatever. This is so bad that it defies the format of a traditional critique. AWFUL.

Friday, July 14, 2006

52 #10

52 #10
Cover: Since the scene is a near representation of one that occurs within, why not have the cover artist dress Clark the same as he is inside?

p.1 Since Freddie and Mary got reduced to their human/mortal forms when the wizard Shazam was destroyed by the Spectre, why wasn't Black Adam as well? And couldn't Black Adam merely change into a suit? Why EVER go back to being a mortal? Do the clothes not come off?

p.2-3 Who else is present?
A Rocket Red for Russia
Sonar for Modora
Cascade represents Indonesia
Ibis the Invincible represents Egypt. This has to be a new Ibis, as the original was shown being killed in Seven Soldiers: Zatanna #1.
Kobra? The original was killed by Black Adam, who ripped his heart out, in his Himalayan hideout. One wonders what happened at that point to his twin brother. According to Wizard she's a representative of India????
Wizard erroneously identifies the August General as "General August". They also erroneously name Lady Zand "Lady Zandia". F#)%ing morons.

p.4 I agree with Douglas Wolk, the term "terrorist" should not be used as flippantly/lightly/easily as the writers seem to be doing here.
Plus, besides for the fact that probably no Arab/Egyptian in the history of the country had their given name as Adrianna, how is her last name Tomaz?

p.6 Remember that whole big commotion about product placement in comics? How it detracts from the art? Whatever. I'm just saying that unless the made up brands are really going to play actual roles in the DCU, why not make a little money, and possibly lower consumer costs by replacing Sundoller coffee with Starbucks? Just a thought.
Again with the Lorem ipsum crap? Why not use a little imagination, and actually show us what the "Notice of Termination" says? And why in the world would it be that long?

p.9 Clark Kent must be the only white man in history to be able to pull off a YELLOW suit. Would somebody please edit the colorist?
And apparently Clark's band-aid FLEW OFF HIS FACE while he was falling. That's either the shittiest band-aid in the world, or the shittiest art in the world, I can't tell which.

p.13 Okay, the inclusion of nations which are run or havens to criminals now makes no sense. Sonar? Kobra? Lady Zand? Ibis? All criminals. Why would they even WANT to be part of this. If anything, they should be banding together to oppose Black Adam.

p.14 Clark and Lois are so lucky. Neither of them needs to be at work before 10:05AM!! And who has salad for breakfast? Unless it's supposed to be 10:05PM, and Clark is only JUST starting to prepare dinner, and for some reason, THE SUN HASN'T SET YET!!!
And why would Clark wear glasses in his own house? I have a prescription, and I don't even wear glasses in my own house.
And although Lois mentions that the world hasn't been put back together exactly as it was, we're ten weeks in and have still seen no indication of any differences.
On the cover of the "Meta-Human Journal" why are Flash and Green Lantern missing from the Big Seven? Flash is definitely missing.

p.16 Just had a thought - now that Superman is GONE, why doesn't Clark "switch to contacts"? It would make it easier to take pictures!
"Not even the camera could tell for certain"? Sounds like Jurgens' dialogue is seeping into the front of the books.

p.17 The letterer should have emphasized the word CLEAR, not PHOTOS.

p.18 Something I'm still not clear on...if Booster is getting paid by companies to wear their logos, then why can't he afford his lifestyle anymore? Nothing has changed regarding his sponsorship CONTRACTS has it? And I thought he was using insider information to make money on sporting events and in the stock market! So where is he spending all of THAT money? Is he blowing it on hookers?
I have never seen a moving company use actual wooden crates to pack things up.
So he's being forced out because he's a superhero? I don't think that actually qualifies as violating a lease agreement. In fact, I'm sure of it. A realtor/landlord has no right to refuse occupancy to any individual based on their PROFESSION. That actually violates several state and federal laws. Unless Booster brought a fight home with him, and there are no indications that he has, he has every right to sue anybody trying to evict him out on the aforementioned grounds.
Who leaves their house while there are movers there? What is he, an idiot? Okay, by all indications, maybe he is. Really, he has to manufacture a bad guy? There aren't enough bad guys who escaped during the Villains United Special?

p.19 I never realized that Professor Morrow was in prison IN A HOME IN THE SUBURBS!!! What???
Why would Dr. Magnus think he was hated? And by whom? And when did he go a little crazy?
[Edit: I received the answer to the preceding question:
9:19 AM, Garrie Burr said...
Doc Magnus went crazy at the tail end of the original series, thanks to Mike Sekowsky and Jack Miller. Because of his insanity, the Metal Men became "New" with human identities and a benefactor similar to Mr. Jupiter over in Teen Titans around the same time.

Magnus got better in the MM revival by Steve Gerber and Walt Simonson...]
And, something I just realized, wasn't he trapped in a metal body too? As "Veridium"?

p.20 "Mad doctEr"

Since we've just finished the crisis, how is it possible that Donna doesn't KNOW half this stuff already?
p.1 Why is there no mention made up front of the Lex Luthor from the Society of Villains actually being Alexander Luthor?
"EVEN Superman's secluded fortress..." apropo of what, exactly?
p.2 "so was the greatest of the Green Lanterns"? Who writes this shit? Okay, Jurgens...but when did he get so AWFUL?!
So they mentioned Jean Loring's "attempted murder", but they don't mention that it was SHE as Eclipso who goaded the Spectre into his crusade? I don't get it.
The Spectre wasn't REALLY stopped, was he?
"They were friends. Ted trusted him."....bleargh...omg there goes my lung. Besides which, if the pronoun in the preceding sentence is They, the next sentence's pronoun should be THEM!
p.3 I don't recall Booster being on site when Batman presented Ted's goggles.
p.4 "Brother Eye's activity didn't end with Kord's death/Correct". One would expect a continuation of the activities of brother Eye, but noooo. First we have to talk about, wait for it, JASON TODD!
That's right, don't bother explaining the genesis of the OMACs, because if it really didn't make sense the first time around, then what chance does Jurgens have of making it comprehensible?
In next week's conclusion: Donna finds herself reviewing the history of her last nine week's review of history and gets caught in an endless loop. HAHAHAHAHA!!
Isn't it strange how in the very same panel, Jurgens draws Donna twice - as if she were TWO COMPLETELY SEPARATE PEOPLE!!!

I can't wait for week twelve, when we won't have to put up with Jurgens anymore. They should just move him to a senior citizen's home and never visit him. Seriously, he is AWFUL.
Again, the rest of the issue is EH. Really, with all the talent behind this project it should be sooo much better than EH, but it still hasn't been.
Next issue
Previous issue