Saturday, October 24, 2009

The best of the rest.

You know, I'm STILL waiting on my comic order from last week to arrive? It was shipped out last Thursday and has been sitting in the Philadelphia post office processing facility since last Friday!!! Um, post office guys, it's REALLY not that far from Philadelphia to Binghamton NY! Anyway, this is supposed to be a weekly column about the back issues I've read this past week, so instead of insulting the good men and women of the US postal service(maybe if I kiss up I'll get my comics...)how about I list what I've been reading.

Gotham City Sirens #1-3: This is one of those Batman Reborn series that spun out of the Battle for the Cowl storyline. Basically we've got Catwoman, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn(and Riddler I guess)creating a(VERY)loose alliance in an effort to take down Hush... I think. In reality, it's kind of early for me to figure out what's going on here, especially since regular series writer, Paul Dini, wrote issues #1 and 2, and longtime X-Men scribe, Scott Lobdell wrote issue #3 which was basically a stand alone Riddler story. While I was kind of underwhelmed by issues #1 and 2, issue #3 was a fantastic comic, one that actually has me looking at the Riddler in a different, more favorable light. Mainly due to the third issue, I'll give these three issues a total score of an 8 out of 10.

Batman/Green Arrow: The Poison Tomorrow Graphic Novel: Batman and Green Arrow team up to take out some fat cat businessman and Poison Ivy. The story was sound, and the ending was pretty cool, but there was something about the artwork that just bugged me... Maybe it was the fact that Poison Ivy would provocatively put her finger in her mouth... In almost EVERY SINGLE SCENE!!! Alright I get it, she's a flirt! Ugh... Anyway, for a score, I'll give this one a 6 1/2 out of 10.

Detective Comics #826(Feb. 2007): This was a Christmas issue starring Robin and the Joker. Yes, you read that right, Robin and the Joker. The J-man captures Robin, ties him up in the front seat of a stolen car and proceeds to torture Robin by running over and shooting several unsuspecting Gothamites. With no Batman in sight, it's up to Robin to free himself from Joker before Joker decides to add to his Robin body count. To be honest with you, I really enjoyed this one, especially Joker's final line before he vanished. If you're a fan of Joker or Tim Drake, I'd definitely recommend giving this one a read. Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.

Batman and the Outsiders #9(Sept. 2008): I'm not really sure when or why I brought this comic... Sometimes I really baffle myself. Anyway, this comic was about astronauts being tricked into building a huge weapon out in space, but having no recollection of what they were doing. Batman figures Brother Eye is involved and has his old teammate Looker try to read the mind of one of the astronauts, but the guy winds up dying and Looker is traumatised by the whole ordeal. And um, yeah, that was about it. This is a prime example of why you shouldn't pick up a comic book smack dab in the middle of a storyline... Score: 6 out of 10.

Catwoman #63(Feb. 2007): This was a part of Catwoman's One Year Later post Infinite Crisis storyline, and was actually pretty good. Selina recounts the events of the past year(the stuff that happened after IC), including dealing with her role in Black Mask's death, falling for the son of Slam Bradley, Sam, and ultimately getting pregnant with Sam's daughter. I actually enjoyed this story so much I'm kind of tempted to see if I can find some cheap Catwoman comics somewhere. Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.

Punisher: The End #1: This is one of the VERY rare cases where I had already read this comic but decided to give it a reread to see how it held up. The first time I read this issue was over 5 years ago, and after posting a scan from it last night at the picture blog, I was curious to see if it was as good as I remembered it being or if it had aged poorly. I can say with total confidence that this comic still is the best Punisher comic I've ever read, the best "The End" comic I've ever read, and one of my all-time favorite comics period. Yes, it's that good. The story is magnificent, the artwork fits the style of story perfectly, and the ending still manages to give me goosebumps. Granted, this story probably isn't for everybody, the language, as well as the action, is on the mature side, and to truly appreciate the ending, you do need a pretty good understanding of Frank Castle and his plight. For me though, it is one of those very rare perfect comic books. Score: 10 out of 10.

Formerly Known as the Justice League #1-6(Sept. 2003-Feb. 2004): Maxwell Lord decides to get a group of heroes together to help the common man, so he turns to the old Justice League from the late 1980's. The team consisted of Booster Gold, Blue Beetle, Elongated Man and his wife, Sue Dibny, Fire, Mary Marvel and Captain Atom, and their adventures were about as comical as you would expect from that particular group of heroes. However, I just couldn't quite enjoy all of the jokes in this mini, mainly because of how terrible things turned out for practically everybody on this team! I mean jeez, Max went nuts and killed Beetle, before he was killed by Wonder Woman, Sue was horribly killed during Identity Crisis, while her husband the Elongated Man was murdered soon thereafter by Neron. Mary Marvel went crazy and worked for Darkseid during Final Crisis and Captain Atom is currently brainwashed and working for Gen. Lane. The story was good clean fun, but I couldn't help feeling badly for all the characters... Score: 7 out of 10.

Superman: Ending Battle parts 1-8(Nov. 2002-Dec. 2002): All of the important people in Clark Kent's life begin to get assaulted by super-villains, leaving Superman to realize that one of his arch-enemies has figured out that Superman and Clark Kent are one and the same. Supes has to travel between Smallville and Metropolis, saving anybody who ever touched the life of Clark Kent, from his dentist to his High School Football coach. Supes eventually confronts the man most likely behind these events, the President of the United States, Lex Luthor, and Supes learns that although Lex does indeed know Supes secret, he wasn't the man responsible for the attacks on his friends and family. So if it's not Lex, then who is the master villain destroying the life of Clark Kent? Trust me, the answer was pretty unspectacular! This seems like one of those cases where a story could have been MUCH better, but it just never clicked like it could have. For a score I'll go with a 6 1/2 out of 10.

Well, that's going to have to be it for tonight. If you have any questions about any of these comics, or just want more information on one of them, shoot me a comment, I'll be happy to respond. Until next time, Long Live The Legion!


  1. Dude Sirens sucked up until Issue three, which was more Riddler based than anything but issue for is awesome, you gotta read it asap. Also, see how Dini added Zatanna and Talia for no reasons at all? Told ya it was just to have them there.

    I actually have that Detective Comics in a trade called Batman: Detective by Dini, that story was REALLY good, Probably my favorite in the book, everything was so well written, from Joker knowing Tim was looking for something and planting it there to Tim's Jinx-ness caused people to get ran over. Thats right, I don't blame Joker, I blame The Jinx. JINX STRIKES AGAIN!!!

  2. I cheered when I saw the words "the best of the rest" on my blogger feed!

    I've actually read about 4 of the things you mentioned here.

    was the Superman: Ending Battle's main villain Emil Hamilton? I read a supes story over the summer where he turned out to be the baddie and it was kind of a downer.

    Catwoman is seriously underrated. The only reason I never picked it up when it came out was because it was written by a writer I'd never heard of. My mistake though. X-Man you should check out her last few arcs, because they tie into Salvation Run and Catwoman trying to get back to her Earth.

    I would recommend that issue of Detective to people, but it's a little too disturbing. I do like the art a lot though, and it's cool that it gets done in one issue.

    Batman and the Outsiders was a victim of really bad timing. Coming out after countdown, it switched writers about 4 times, and then Batman "died." It doesn't help when your book's most interesting chracter is unavailable. I always want to buy the Tomasi issues, but if Geo-Force and Katana and Metamorpho are the book can offer me, I'd rather waste my 3 bucks somewhere else.

    That page from Punisher: the End totally freaked me out.

    Cool post, thanks X-Man!

  3. Jason- I thought the same thing about Sirens, up until the Riddler issue I was really unimpressed. I had to laugh when Zatanna made her appearence because all I could think about was what you said about her showing up for no reason. You were totally right!

    You know, I didn't even think to chalk up Joker's antics to Tim's jinx-powers... Yep, the Jinx strikes again!

    Kello- Aw Kello, you're making me blush! Nah, the villain in that Supes comic was Manchester Black. When he was revealed as the bad guy, I was like, "Manchester Who???".

    Mmmm, I did love me some Salvation Run... If I can find some cheap issues of Catwoman I think I'll toss them in my cart.

    Yeah, that's something I didn't even really think about. Nowadays, every comic storyline is like 4 issues minimum, I miss the days when you'd get a nice 1 issue story. That's what was so good about the Joker-Tim story, it was a nice(well, not so nice, but I think you catch my drift!)little self contained issue.

    I actually picked up the last 2 or 3 issues of Outsiders, but I've yet to read them. There's something infinitely appealing to me about Alfred leading a team. Alfred has deserved his own series for years now!

    Punisher The End was so satisfying, but like I said in the post, it's a very mature read(it was under the Marvel MAX label, so think ages 17 and up). Frank's actions, and the way the comic ended was all I could have asked for as a fan of the character.

    Thanks for the thoughts guys, I'm already looking forward to next week's post!