Monday, November 30, 2009

Blackest Night #5(of 8)

Writer: The comic book GOD himself, Geoff Johns. Pencils: Ivan Reis.

What Happened: The two Guardians of the Blue Light as well as(ROLL CALL!)Hal Jordan of the Green Lantern Corps, Sinestro of the Sinestro Corps, Atrocitus of the Red Lanterns, Saint Walker of the Blue Lanterns, Carol Ferris of the Star Sapphires, Indigo-1 of the Indigo Lanterns and Larfleeze the only Orange Lantern arrive in Space Sector 666, expecting to find the Black Power Battery that is powering the Black Lanterns. Instead they are met by a big, empty hole. The 7 Lanterns power up and Ganthet(one of the two Blue Guardians)tells the unlikely allies that he can teleport them to where ever the Black Power Battery has gone. So, where is the Black Power Battery? On Earth, more specifically, in Coast City. Nekron(the leader of the Black Lanterns), Black Hand(Nekron's herald)and Scar(Nekron's Guardian)are confronted by Barry Allen and Wally West. Barry realizes that the skull BH is holding must have come from Bruce Wayne's grave in Gotham City, so he makes a bee-line for it, but is unable to wrest it from Black Hand's hands(heh...). By this point, Wally is able to call in some serious reinforcements, including Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Arrow and Black Canary, as well as several others. The heroes take the fight to the thousands of zombies Nekron has summoned from Coast City, with the heroes utilizing their secret weapon, Dove, against the army of Black Lanterns. Wally, Barry and Kid Flash(Bart Allen)try to free the captive Guardians of the Universe from their prison around the Black Power Battery, but they are halted by Scar. Before Scar can do any real damage to the Flashes, Ganthet and the contingent of Lanterns arrive and immediately attack Scar. The combined light from the 7 different Lanterns actually manages to destroy Scar. With Scar gone(but not forgotten)the 7 Lanterns decide to attack and destroy the Black Power Battery, reasoning that if they could destroy that, the Black Lanterns would fall. The Lanterns soon come to the startling realization that they aren't damaging the Black Power Battery at all, and according to Black Hand, they're only serving to make Nekron even more powerful. From there, a single Black Ring shoots out of the Black Power battery and heads right towards the skull Black Hand has been holding since the beginning of this mini-series. The ring affixes to the skull and Bruce Wayne(!!!)rises! Black Lantern Batman leaps into the air to the shock and horror of the assembled heroes and begins to regurgitate Black Power rings from his mouth. The Black Rings affix themselves to every living hero in the DCU who had ever died(and that's like practically all of them!)and with a single word, Nekron kills them all, bringing them back as Black Lanterns. With that, Nekron disposes of BL Batman and this issue ends with Hal Jordan and Barry Allen desperately trying to avoid the two Black Rings headed their way.

What I Thought: I have to admit that this issue kind of shocked me a bit, and not for any reason one might expect. In one fell swoop, Geoff pretty much told us that the events of this comic were not going to have any sort of lasting affect on the DCU. What do I mean? Well, let's face it, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Arrow and the rest of the heroes who were turned into Black Lanterns this issue are obviously not going to remain dead after Blackest Night concludes. I was pretty surprised that Geoff would pull this card out with 3 issues to go in this mini. Besides that, I enjoyed this issue. Not as much as I've been enjoying the past few issues, but this was still a VERY good read. I think the main reason I didn't enjoy this issue as much as I've enjoyed some of the earlier issues of this mini is because nothing really memorable happened. There were no real big deaths, battles or reappearances and no, I don't believe for a second that the Bruce Wayne who made a quick return in this issue is the real, honest to goodness Bruce Wayne, I think that was simply a matter of Nekron messing with the heads of the heroes who were present. The art was brilliant(as usual)and the story was good, but to me, this issue was missing any really special moments to make it truly memorable.

Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.Oh Scar... You deserved better then the lousy death you suffered here. Rest in Peace beloved...

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Flash: Rebirth #5(of 6)

Writer: The comic book GOD himself, Geoff Johns. Artist: Ethan Van Sciver.

What Happened: This issue begins in earnest with the full Flash family(Barry, Wally, Bart, Max and Jay)taking it to the insane Reverse Flash, Eobard Thawne. While the Flashes are battling Thawne, Wally's daughter, Irey(which is what she seems to be going by now)apparently gives her life to save her twin brother. Luckily for Irey, Liberty Belle(another DC speedster)arrives on the scene to save the girl. Meanwhile, Thawne is more then a match for all of the Flash family members present, since he can pick his shots at them while menacing the public, which distracts the Flash family members. Liberty Belle and Irey West(Wally's aforementioned daughter)arrive on the scene to lend a hand in the battle against Thawne. Now outnumbered 7-1, Thawne grabs Barry and the two arch-foes speed away from the rest of the Flash family. While running, Thawne tells Barry that he's been behind every bad thing that has ever happened in his life. From falling down the stairs when he was 11 yrs old, to the death of his mother, Thawne tells Barry that he was responsible for everything. This issue ends with Thawne telling Barry that he is now going to head into the past and kill Barry's wife Iris before the two of them even have their first date.

What I Thought: Bwa-Hahahahaha!!! Oh man... Really? I've never made a secret of how much I like Geoff's writing, but this was kind of ridiculous... Am I really to believe that Thawne has been haunting Barry his entire life like some sort of super-fast boogeyman? That was a pretty weak reveal. I get that Geoff wanted to make the fight between Thawne and Barry EVEN more personal then it was, which is why he made Thawne responsible for the murder of Barry's mother, but all of the other little things Thawne is claiming responsibility for is just overkill. So Thawne pushed little Barry down the stairs, he started a fire in Barry's home, he allowed Barry's dog to run away(really???)AND he killed Barry's mother! Um, if Thawne hates Barry so much, why not just, I don't know, kill Barry!?! Thawne has already showed he could go back in time and kill people, so why not murder a newborn Barry Allen in his crib? I guess Thawne needed Barry alive for some reason(why else wouldn't he kill him?), so instead of killing Barry, why not paralyze him, or cause him some other type of egregious bodily harm? Before Thawne's over-the-top villain act, this issue was pretty good. Wally finally got a new costume(which I liked), Wally's daughter became the new Impulse(which I'm undecided on)and all of the Flash family members were given a chance to shine(which was a good thing). I enjoyed the banter between Bart and Max Mercury, as well as Jay using his hat as an offensive weapon. I really like Jay's hat! To be honest, I'm eagerly anticipating the end of this mini-series and the beginning of the new Flash comic book, which I'm hoping will be a little bit better then this mini has been.

Score: 6 1/2 out of 10.Forget Barry Allen, I want a new series for Jay Garrick! Jay+his hat=sales!

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Best of the Rest.(Nov. 20-Nov. 26 )

Greetings to all on the day terrains know as Black Friday! That always seemed like such a morbid name for the official kick-off to the Christmas shopping season, but whatever I guess. In case you're wondering, no, I didn't wake myself up before dawn to battle through throngs of caffeine-crazed parents at the local mall. Instead, I slept until 11, planted myself in front of the TV, and watched college football all day long. Ah how I love vacation! Of course then I had to go and ruin it all by spending an UNGODLY sum of money on comic books... I literally shudder when I think of what I did earlier today. Why did my online comic shop have to have a massive sale? WHY?!?! Oh well, what's done is done. The only way I can rationalize my actions is by telling myself that I wasn't only buying comics for myself, I was also buying books for Christmas for family members... A lame excuse to be sure, but an excuse nonetheless. Anyway, I'm going to forget about what's bound to be a HORRIFYING credit card bill for the time being as I look back at the back issues I've read this past week. Let's get this party started!

Batman Annual #15: This annual was connected to the Armageddon 2001 comic story that ran through the DCU in 1991. For the record, I don't know anything about Armageddon 2001, and to be honest with you, reading this issue didn't exactly make me want to search out the rest of this story. Basically, Batman bumps into some guy who came from the future looking for a super-hero who becomes the worst villain in history. The guy touches Bats and forces Bats to live through a potential future where Batman was accused of murdering Penguin and is sentenced to death. Tim Drake is running for the US Senate(which makes NO sense considering his age)and the Joker is sane, and a successful talk show host... Uh-huh... Anyway, we get some fun futuristic Batman action, and find out whether Batman is the hero who will turn evil and destroy the future(hint: he's not). I can honestly say this comic left no impression on me at all, so for a score I'll go right down the middle and say 5 out of 10.

Batman Annual #16: I continue my trek down bad Batman annual memory lane with Batman's part of the "Eclipso: The Darkness Within" storyline. Eclipso has scattered magical diamonds all over the planet. Why would he do that you ask? Because anyone who finds the diamonds will be able to use them to summon Eclipso to attack whatever it is they hate the most. How does this benefit Eclipso? I dunno... Anyway, Joker manages to get his hands on 5 Eclipso diamonds and it's up to Batman(as usual)to defeat the Joker before he can cause any new carnage in Gotham. Like with Batman Annual #15, this was another comic I pretty much forgot about right after I finished it. If you want to see giant Eclipso possessed Joker battle giant Eclipso possessed Batman, then rejoice, this is the comic you've been waiting for! If not, then I'd skip it. Score: 4 1/2 out of 10.

Secret Origins #35: This comic documents the origins of the Martian Manhunter, Max Lord and Booster Gold. The Manhunter and Lord stories weren't anything special, but the Booster Gold story was good old 1980's JL fun. Booster Gold decides to tell his best friend, Blue Beetle, his "secret" origin for some reason or another. I'd always known Booster's origin, but it was fun to actually read it in its entirety. Anyway, if you like Booster like me, then this comic is probably worth trying to find. Score: 7 out of 10.

Secret Origins #29: This comic also contained three self contained origin tales, one detailing how Ray Palmer became the Atom, as well as a look at little known golden age heroes Mr. America and Red Tornado. The stories here were decent, although it always weirds me out to see Jean Loring in past comic books since I know about the horrible acts she winds up perpetrating during Identity Crisis. Score: 6 out of 10.

Birds of Prey: The Ravens #1: This story deals with Cheshire(the assassin mother of Red Arrow's daughter)assembling a team of fellow femme fatales so she can assault some top secret organization. It seems that Cheshire wants to steal something from this organization, but she plays very coy with her teammates, not letting them know what her endgame is until the... well, until the endgame. Unsurprisingly, one of the assassins turns on the rest of the team, which leads to a dilemma of nuclear proportions. This was a pretty good one-shot story, although the way Cheshire wouldn't answer any of her teammates questions about what she was up to or why she was attacking the organization was kind of annoying. Score: 6 1/2 out of 10.

Outsiders #34-46(May 2006-May 2007): These issues were a part of DC's company wide "1 Year Later" event. These issues answer the question of who decided to stick with the Outsiders after Infinite Crisis, and who decided to move on. We also get the Outsiders fighting Monsieur Mallah and the Brain, as well as Dr. Sivana(who Judd Winnick must really like). On top of that, the Outsiders are faced with having to break Black Lightning out of prison after he was wrongfully accused of murder. Since I hate talking monkeys and old, bald, mad scientists, it's safe to say I wasn't exactly fond of these comics. On top of that, there's not really anybody on this team(besides Nightwing)who I can actually say I like. I have to say, these comics were nowhere near as good as the earlier issues of this series, which is unfortunate. Score: 5 1/2 out of 10.

Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again TPB: This was the sequel to Frank Miller's classic 1980's mini-series, "The Dark Knight Returns". If I had to sum this trade up in as few words as possible, I'd simply say this mini-series was one of the worst things I have EVER read in my entire life!!! The story was one of the most nonsensical things I've ever had the misfortune of reading, and the artwork was absolutely terrible. I do like a lot of Frank's work, but this was just embarrassingly bad. After I finished reading this mess, I sat back and tried to think of something, ANYTHING good to take away from this mini, and after several minutes of thinking I came to the conclusion that there wasn't anything good about this mini at all. Instead of buying/reading this mini, I'd just recommend slamming your head into a brick wall 50 times. You'll still wind up with a splitting headache, but at least you'll have saved the money and time you would have spent on this travesty. I'm sure there are some folks out there who read and enjoyed this mini-series, I however was most definitely NOT one of them. Score: 0 out of 10.

Well, that's it for this week. I sure hope the comics I read this week are better then the stinkers I read last week... Until next time, Long Live The Legion!

A Quick Look at Supergirl #46

Writers: Sterling Gates and Greg Rucka. Pencils: Jamal Igle and Eduardo Pansica.

What Happened: For the record, this is the final part of the thus far very good "Hunt For Reactron" x-over. Nightwing manages to free Supergirl from the clutches of Reactron because his tactile telekinesis isn't affected by the red sun shackles he was fitted with in Action Comics #882(how convenient!). From there, NW frees himself and Flamebird and the Metropolis 3 attack Reactron. While this is occurring, Lois Lane manages to sneak past the incompetent Metropolis Science Police and gets into the sewers, which is where the battle against Reactron is taking place. Thanks to the gold Kryptonite(FYI, gold Kryptonite removes super powers from Kryptonians for 15 seconds)embedded in his chest, Reactron is MORE then a match for the Metropolis 3, which he proves by removing SG's powers and nearly cutting FB in half with an energy blast. NW tries to take Reactron's attention away from FB and SG, and winds up catching a beating for his efforts. By this point Reactron has realized that Lois was watching the battle, so he tosses NW aside and prepares to blast her into smithereens. SG and NW try to stop Reactron, but he effortlessly tosses them aside before returning his attentions to Lois. Lois momentarily halts Reactron's attack by stabbing him in the neck with her pen(!!!), but he recovers and prepares to kill Lois and the Kryptonians. FB, who was still injured from the earlier energy blast, transforms into the Flamebird from Kryptonian legend and completely and utterly defeats Reactron, even tearing the gold Kryptonite from his chest and turning it to ashes... Wow... Flamebird prepares to incinerate Reactron, and Reactron tries to save his life by ratting out Gen. Lane as the mastermind behind all of Reactron's evil antics. SG approaches Flamebird and asks her to spare Reactron's life, since her father(who was murdered by Reactron)would want justice, not vengeance done in his name. Flamebird agrees to spare Reactron so he can face charges on New Krypton, before she heads over to NW, makes out with him, turn back into Thara and passes out. After everything is sorted out, SG and FB make up, since FB obviously isn't crazy like SG had always thought, NW takes Lois back to the Daily Planet with her exclusive story about Reactron and Gen. Lane, and SG heads to New Krypton to hand Reactron over to her mother to face the charges of murdering her father.

What I Thought: While there were alot of difficult to swallow moments in this comic, such as NW's telekinesis not being dampened by the red sun shackles, Lois' pen harming Reactron while he shrugged off everything else thrown at him(I guess the pen truly IS mightier then the sword...)and Flamebird turning into a god just in time to defeat Reactron before he managed to kill anybody, it was still a VERY satisfying read. I'd have no problem recommending this x-over to anybody wanting to read a good Super-story. I'll definitely be picking up the next issue of Supergirl in order to see what happens to Reactron, so if nothing else this x-over has managed to convince me to buy more issues of Supergirl, so I have to give a "job well done" to the writers. Besides seeing what will happen to Reactron, it should be interesting to see what the revelation that Flamebird isn't really crazy, but is indeed the reincarnation of the Kryptonian god by the same name does to FB's relationship with NW. Even with no Superman around, his family of comic books continue to please.

Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.On this one page alone Reactron earns 25 coolness points from me. "Krypto-heaven"... HA!

A Quick Look at Action Comics #882

Writers: Greg Rucka and Sterling Gates. Artist: Pere Pèrez.

What Happened: This is the third part of the Supergirl/Action Comics x-over, "The Hunt for Reactron". This issue opens up with Gen. Lane demanding that Col. Hazard adds Reactron to Squad K while the Squad continues to hunt for the Metropolis 3(that would be Supergirl, Nightwing and Flamebird). Hazard doesn't want Reactron, since Reactron is a loose cannon, but ultimately Hazard agrees to bring Reactron along, which greatly pleases Lane. NW meets with his "mother", Lois Lane, in secret in Metropolis and NW professes his innocence to Lois, claiming it was Reactron and Metallo who were seen on TV murdering Mon-El, not him and FB. While NW and Lois speak, NW hears the engine of a Squad K vehicle and he decides to engage them before they locate him speaking with Lois, which would endanger his "mother". SG and FB also hear the engines from their hiding place in Metropolis, and head out to see if NW needs any help. NW lures the Squad away from where he was meeting with Lois, and Reactron disobeys a direct order from Hazard by entering the fight after he was told to remain in the Squad K carrier. SG spots Reactron, and wants to bring him to justice for the death of her father, but ultimately the Metropolis 3 decide to head underground into the sewer system to try to shake the Squad. The Squad catch up to the Metropolis 3 in the wrecked sewer system(the Metropolis sewers were destroyed in "Codename: Patriot" FYI)and NW decides to surrender to the Squad, much to SG's surprise. After Hazard fits the M3 with red sun shackles, FB explains to Hazard that they surrendered to him because they want to clear their names, and that Reactron was responsible for the animosity between the Earth and New Krypton, as well as the death of Mon-El and the destruction of the Metropolis sewer system. After listening to FB's impassioned speech, Hazard decides to question Reactron, which prompts Reactron to kill Hazard and Squad K right in front of the shocked Metropolis 3. This issue ends with Reactron preparing to murder the powerless SG much like he did to her father.

What I Thought: Hey, this is turning out to be one hell of a good x-over! It's fast paced, exciting, and tells a good story. Not bad! I'll be interested to see how the writers decide to end this x-over, hopefully they'll allow Reactron to escape with his life, because he's turning into a pretty decent villain. That guy has been responsible for some pretty evil acts during his short time in the DCU. He'd be a great reoccurring foe for SG, much like Metallo is for Supes. Instead of continuing to heap praise on this comic, I'll instead end this post and move on to the final part of the "Hunt" storyline.

Score: 9 out of 10.I don't know about anybody else, but I am absolutely LOVING the way Gen. Sam Lane is being portrayed in the Superman family of books. Lex Who?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Quick Look at Action Comics #881

Writers: Greg Rucka and Sterling Gates. Artist: Pere Pèrez.

What Happened: For the record, this is the first part of the Action Comics/Supergirl x-over, "The Hunt For Reactron". There, now you've been informed. Flamebird, Nightwing and Supergirl teleport into an alley in Metropolis, disoriented and unsure how they arrived there. After regaining her wits, SG attacks FB(that's right, I'm not going to keep typing out all these names!), since SG still blames FB for not preventing the death of her father at the hands of Reactron. The two women fight(while NW tries in vain to stop them)until they realize the public is afraid of them due to what happened in the "Codename: Patriot" x-over(Mon-El's "death"). Guardian and the Science Police respond and order SG, NW and FB to surrender, and rather then fighting against the police, the Metropolis 3 flee the scene, heading to one of SG's hideouts in France. SG gets reacquainted with NW(her "cousin"), and proceeds to call FB a crazy religious fanatic who hears voices in her head. FB takes offense at SG's words, and before long, the two Kryptonians are brawling in the streets of Paris. NW tries to separate them, and this issue ends with Squad K(who have been reorganized under Gen. Lane's command)preparing to attack the Metropolis 3. Besides that, Reactron spots SG on the news and wants to chase after her, Perry White tries to figure out where Jimmy Olsen vanished to(he's swimming with the fishes, literally!)and the army hangs up on Lois Lane.

What I Thought: I thought this was a good way to open this x-over. We got some back story on the relationships between the various characters(NW loves FB, SG hates FB and SG was glad to see NW was alive and well), as well as a lot of senseless Kryptonian violence. Practically this entire issue dealt with the Kryptonians fighting the cops, Squad K and each other! No wonder we don't want them here on Earth! I was extremely pleased to see that the writers remembered that this was the first time SG had seen NW since he returned from the Phantom Zone. That would have been an easy thing to overlook, so kudos to Greg and Sterling for remembering to bring that up. Since I don't have Supergirl #45(THANK YOU USPS!)my next review will deal with Action Comics #882, which is the third part of this x-over.

Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.The voices in my head are telling me to read Action Comics #882, so I think I will.

Talking turkey.

Well, I've pretty much resigned myself to the fact that I'm probably not going to see my missing package of comic books anytime soon, so I'm going to just read the issues I have while using reviews from fellow comic book aficionados to figure out what happened in the books I don't have. I hate not actually reading the comic books personally, but what can ya do? On a positive note, my online comic book shop shipped out my latest CB order on Wednesday, so it's conceivable(but unlikely)that I'll be reading Blackest Night #5, Cap Reborn #4, JL Cry for Justice #5 and of course the comic I've been waiting nearly 4 years to read, Dark X-Men #1 as early as Saturday, provided my package doesn't get lost in the mail again... Speaking of my online comic shop, they sent me an e-mail alerting me to a 40%(!)off sale on ALL TPBs! Needless to say I'll be taking advantage of those great savings. I already have 13 trades in my shopping cart, and I'm only through the letter "e". Hmm, that's all I've got for now, I should really start to read some comics before I fall into a turkey induced coma. Happy Thanksgiving, and as always, Long Live The Legion!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Quick Look at Daredevil #502

Writer: Andy Diggle. Art: Roberto De La Torre.

What Happened: This issue opens up with the paralyzed Owl being betrayed by his top three lieutenants. With Owl stuck in a hospital bed, the three goons have decided to divvy up his criminal enterprise amongst themselves. Needless to say, Owl doesn't take this news very well. From there Daredevil has a nightmare about his woman troubles, and wakes up in his underground Hand lair. White Tiger, who is only pretending to be a member of the Hand(like Black Tarantula and DD himself), demands to know why DD killed Master Izo at the end of the last issue. DD takes her to Izo's body and explains that Izo isn't really dead, only faking it, and on cue Izo awakens(HA! I knew it!). The scene then shifts to Kingpin's office in midtown Manhattan. Owl's three lieutenants from earlier arrive and tell Kingpin that they had told Owl exactly what Kingpin had ordered them to. Kingpin tells them that he wants them to pretend to run Owl's organization, while in reality, they'll be taking orders from him. One of the lieutenants doesn't agree with this arrangement is is beheaded by Lady Bullseye for mouthing off to Kingpin. The other two lieutenants quickly fall in line after witnessing that. This issue ends with some crooked cops interrupting a drug buy and taking the drugs for themselves. Before the cops can shoot the drug buyers, Daredevil and his Hand army arrive on the scene.

What I Thought: I liked this comic. It wasn't the greatest comic book in the history of comics, but it was a good, solid book. As I(and probably every other DD fan)suspected, Izo didn't die last issue, he only faked it, so that the Hand would take DD in as their leader. So now that we know DD isn't pure evil, it should be interesting to see how far he allows the Hand ninjas under his command to go next issue as they confront the crooked cops. The Hand has always been a clan of assassins, so it should be VERY interesting to see if they kill the cops, and if not, then how will DD convinces them not to kill the cops while still maintaining the charade that he is the evil leader of the Hand. All the story lines are easy to follow and beginning to come together here, what more can I ask for?

Score: 8 out of 10.I hate it when that happens!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Quick Look at Batman #693

Writer/Pencils: Tony Daniels.

What Happened: Batman and Robin track down a few more of Black Mask's False Faces, and wind up beating them into unconsciousness. After defeating the False Faces, Bats and Robin check out the ambulance that was to serve as the False Faces getaway vehicle and discover that the back of the ambulance was loaded with tons of prescription drugs. The next day, Dick goes to a benefit party to keep an eye on Hush, who is still masquerading as Bruce Wayne. Dick is accompanied by Huntress, and the two make sure to stick relatively close to Hush. Meanwhile, Black Hand is talking to himself? OOOOOOK then... Back at the benefit, the Riddler bumps into Hush and makes vague comments about Bruce Wayne having babies... Wha??? Some teenage girl breaks into a lab at the benefit and is pursued by both Huntress and Riddler. The girl runs past Riddler and Huntress and a bomb suddenly blows up. Huntress manages to escape any major damage from the blast, but the Riddler seems to have been driven insane from the explosion... Huntress tries to track the girl who set off the bomb, and Oracle alerts Dick that something is happening at Gotham Harbor. After a change into his Bat-clothes, Dick arrives at the harbor and discovers several hacked up and charred mobsters from the Falcone mob, who were feuding with Black Hand's criminal enterprise. After examining the corpses, Dick concludes that it was the Reaper behind the crimes. Oracle discovers that the girl from the benefit escaped to Devil's Square, which is where Black Hand had set up his base of operations. She delivers this news to Dick, and he heads to the Square to see if he could find this girl and discover what she was up to at the benefit. Dick successfully sneaks into the Square and questions some kids about whether they had ever seen the girl. One kid goes over to tell Dick what he knew, and winds up getting shot in the head for his troubles, ending this issue.

What I Thought: Wow, this was awful... What the hell happened? I liked the last issue, but this one had 100 different things going on, with not enough time being paid to any specific storyline. For example, it seemed Black Mask was talking to himself in two different voices, since when does he do that? What the hell was up with the Riddler after that explosion? Speaking of the Riddler, what was up with his cryptic comments to Hush, and why did Hush wink when Riddler mentioned having rugrats? Did Black Mask show up at the gala in disguise and if he did, who did he go as? Why did that teenage girl set off a bomb at the gala? This comic was just all over the place. Hopefully next issue things will start coming together, because this was just a mess.

Score: 4 out of 10."What's Riddler talking about?" What was ANYBODY talking about in this issue???

Monday, November 23, 2009

A Quick Look at Green Arrow/Black Canary #26

Writer: Andrew Kreisberg. Art: Mike Norton and Bill Sienkiewicz.

What Happened: This issue opens up with Ollie having a dream that he's meeting with his younger self, back when he was stranded on the island that turned him from a boozing playboy into Green Arrow. Young Ollie tells old Ollie that he should go back to Dinah and make up with her, but old Ollie is too busy wallowing in self-pity to listen to his younger self. After a few pages, and some fisticuffs, old Ollie realizes that his younger counterpart is right, and he wakes up, determined to find Dinah and beg her forgiveness. Upon arriving at his and Dinah's home, Ollie discovers ANOTHER Ollie standing in the doorway with Dinah and Mia. Ollie launches an attack on Ollie #2, which cause Dinah to believe that Ollie isn't Ollie, but that Ollie #2 is the real Ollie... That was officially the most CONFUSING line I have EVER typed out! Somewhere my English professor is crying... Anyway, to make a long(and confusing!)story short, Ollie convinces Dinah that he is the real Oliver Queen, and Dinah realizes that Ollie #2 is Everyman, who took Ollie's place during Ollie and Dinah's wedding. Everyman runs away, still thinking that he is the real Oliver Queen, and is chased down by Ollie and Dinah. Before Ollie and Dinah can apprehend Everyman, he falls through a window on top of a warehouse, which causes Ollie and Dinah to lose track of him. Everyman winds up getting captured by an unseen assailant(probably Cupid...)while Dinah and Ollie return home to make up with each other.

What I Thought: Hey, you know what? I liked this comic. It was heads and shoulders better then the last few issues of this series has been, so that's definitely a good thing. It was a bit confusing at times(there were THREE different Ollie's here!), but all in all, I can't really complain too much. Plus Cupid didn't show up! That fact adds an extra 1/2 to the score for this issue!

Score: 7 1/2 out of 10.Leave it to Ollie to attack his younger self in a dream...

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Green Lantern Corps #42

Writer: Peter Tomasi. Pencils: Patrick Gleason.

What Happened: We open this issue up with the Indigo Lantern known as Munk assisting Green Lanterns Vath and Isamot on Oa against an army of Black Lantern children. While Munk helps to even the odds a little, the three Lanterns are still egregiously outnumbered. During the pitched battle, the Black Lanterns suddenly stop when their rings inform them that they had exceeded their 100% power-level. Over on another part of Oa, Kilowog is about to be killed by his former drill instructor, when the drill instructor receives word that 100% power-levels had been exceeded. The drill instructor, as well as several other Black Lanterns in the area, begin to fly away, while their rings continuously repeat the words "Devour will". Kyle and Soranik, who were battling Black Lantern Jade witness the same thing when BL Jade suddenly ignores the two Lanterns and sets off to "devour will". So what does "devour will" mean? Thousands of Black Lanterns begin to mass at the Central Power Battery on Oa and proceed to stage a massive assault on it. Every Green Lantern on Oa, as well as Munk, respond at the Battery while the Black Lanterns attempt to weaken the Battery itself. During the battle, the Black Lanterns pool their powers and construct an enormous angel of death, which begins to literally tear the Central Power Battery out of the ground(!!!)! While the Green Lanterns try to stop the huge death construct, Guy and Kyle head to the sciencells and grab the captured Red Lantern Vice. Guy and Kyle throw the sciencell into the black construct and Vice begins to tear into every Black Lantern in sight. The attack from Vice takes the Black Lanterns by surprise and begins to weaken the black construct to the point where it begins to loosen its grip on the Central Power Battery. Unfortunately, Alpha Lantern Chaselon responds to the sciencell breach and kills(!)Vice, which allows the Black Lanterns to continue their assault on the Central Power Battery. The Black Lanterns also realize that Chaselon, being an Alpha Lantern, actually has a mini power battery inside of him, so they all gang up and attack him, ultimately tearing the power battery out of Chaselon, which kills him. Green Lantern Salaak alerts Kyle that the Black Lanterns had killed Chaselon, and that they had inadvertently created a small fissure on Chaselon's mini power battery. If left unchecked, the crack in the mini power battery would grow until it exploded so destructively that it would probably destroy much of Oa and possibly the Central Power Battery itself. Kyle rushes to the mini power battery and snatches it out of the hands of the Black Lanterns, which causes hundreds of them to give chase. With the mini power battery rapidly approaching meltdown, Kyle throws an energy dome up around himself and hundreds of Black Lanterns and says his good-byes to Soranik and Guy via his ring. This issue ends with Kyle holding tightly to the mini power battery as it violently explodes, vaporizing the Black Lanterns surrounding him, destroying the black construct that was attacking the Central Power Battery and most importantly, killing Kyle...

What I Thought: Wow... That comic was simply amazing. I'm going to start off by giving MAJOR props to Patrick Gleason and the entire art team, because this was one of the best art jobs I can recall seeing in a comic book in quite some time. The pencils, the inkwork and the colors were completely flawless. What a fantastic job. Now that I'm done gushing about the artwork, it's time to delve into the story. The story was pretty much as good as the artwork! There's really nothing in this comic book I can find fault with... OK, almost nothing. There is the ending of course. This issue ends with Kyle Rayner laying dead amongst hundreds of scattered black rings, with his own green ring vacating his dead body and leaving him to head to another space sector. As a fan of Kyle and a collector of both this series, Green Lantern and dozens of GL books from the 90's(which starred Kyle), it should go without saying that I have alot to say about Kyle's death, so bear with me here. First off are my initial thoughts on Kyle's death. I liked it. It was well done, and Kyle died in the most heroic fashion possible, saving his fellow Lanterns and possibly even Oa itself. What better way to go then that is there? Do I like the fact that Kyle is dead? Hell no! Of course not, but if he had to go, I can't think of a better way for a Green Lantern to die. The only thing that bothered me about Kyle's death was WHERE it happened. In my honest opinion, Kyle's dramatic moment should have come in the main Blackest Night title, not here. The death of Kyle Rayner, while certainly not on par with Batman's "death" in Final Crisis or Barry Allen's death during the original Crisis, should have happened in the flagship book of this mini-series, not a random issue of GLC. The fact that Kyle DIDN'T die in the main Blackest Night book leads me to believe that he isn't actually dead. OK, I'll grant that it looks like Kyle did indeed bite the bullet here, and his ring sure seemed to think he was dead, but to all that I simply say one word, "Ion". Sodam Yat, the last Green Lantern to contain the Ion power is dead, which means the Ion power is without a host. Kyle used to be the host of the Ion power. Put one plus one together and what do you have? Kyle being resurrected by the Ion force, that's what! I have absolutely NO doubt whatsoever that Kyle will be alive and well in very short order. I think the events before Kyle's eventual return should be very interesting, especially Guy Gardner's reaction to it. Next issue should be an absolute blast to read, I can't wait for it to come out!

Score: 10 out of 10.I could have chosen several differnt pictures from this comic to post, but this one might just be my favorite.

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Best of the Rest.(Nov. 13-Nov. 19)

Well, I've pretty much accepted the fact that my poor lost comics aren't coming anytime soon(if ever...), so after I get through the two new subscription comics I received in the mail today(Green Lantern Corps #42 and Green Arrow/Black Canary #26)I'll probably wind up digging up some reviews for the comics I'm missing so I can move forward with my comic book reading. I'm already two months behind on some titles because of this snafu, so before I fall further behind, and definitely before I get Blackest Night #5 later on next week, I figure I should make sure I'm caught up. I hate having to catch up this way, but what else can I really do? One good thing I will say about not being able to read a majority of my new books is the fact that I've been flying through my back issues. So without further adieu, here's the rest of the comics I've read this past week.

Outsiders #21-23- These issues dealt with the Outsiders returning to Gotham City only to find Arkham Asylum destroyed and a couple of Batman's rogues on the loose. It seems that Mr. Freeze, Clayface and Killer Croc didn't want to join forces with Black Mask, so rather then get killed by Mask thanks to the chips he had implanted in them, the three villains abandon Gotham and head off trying to discover a way to have the chips removed. With the three villains menacing three different parts of the globe, the Outsiders are forced to split up in order to corral the villains before they can cause any more damage then they already have. I liked these comics. I liked the concept, I liked the artwork, I liked the story, BUT I'm not sure if I like the Outsiders themselves... I'll definitely be giving this series another couple of looks, and hopefully I'll warm up to a few of these Outsiders. Score: 7 1/2 out of 10.

Batman: Batgirl #1(June 1998)- This was pretty much a flashback issue to when Babs was still Batgirl. Babs is on the trail of Victor Zsasz, who had recently escaped Arkham, and she has decided that she will do everything in her power to take Zsasz in before Batman does. That's pretty much the gist of this one. When I say "do everything in her power", what I'm really saying is act like a self-absorbed jerk. I was actually surprised at how much I didn't like Babs in this one. Usually she's one of my favorite female DC characters, but in this issue she was just annoying. Score: 5 1/2 out of 10.

Wonder Woman: Donna Troy #1(June 1998)- Donna decides to go to church in order to ask God why he allows bad things to happen to good people. During Donna's talk with God, we she flashbacks of a recent battle she had with some neo-Nazi scumbags. Ugh, the less said about this one the better. First off, why would Donna even decide to talk/pray in a Christian church? Aren't her gods of the Greek variety? Besides that, the story was pretty dumb, and the imagery really bugged me. Score: 4 out of 10.

Captain America: The Chosen #1-6(Nov. 2007-March 2008)- A US soldier fighting in Iraq comes under fire by some Iraqis and he winds up defeating his enemies thanks to some assistance from Captain America... Or does he? Although the soldier swears Cap was right by his side helping him take down the enemy and rescuing his injured comrades, nobody else saw Cap, so what exactly is going on? Is the soldier going crazy, or is there more than meets the eye occurring here? Usually once I finish a comic off, I already know what I thought about it. I know the score I plan on giving it, I pretty much know what I intend on writing about in my reviews, and I'll even know which picture I intend on posting along with the review. Usually. After I finished off this mini-series, I was pretty conflicted about what I felt/thought. I wasn't sure if I liked this mini or not, and I had NO idea as to what I wanted to score it. That very rarely happens to me. I think I really enjoyed this mini-series, but there was something there that seemed to be just a bit off. I can't quite put my finger on it, but something about this mini didn't seem right... Yeah, I know, that doesn't make any sense, but what can I say? The artwork was flat out gorgeous, but the story... I don't know. For a score, I'm going to go with an 8 1/2 out of 10. I liked this mini-series, or at least I think I did. This is one of those mini's that I can see I'll have to reread in about a months time to see what I thought after a second go-round.

JSA All-Stars #1-8(July 2003-Feb. 2004)- The elder members of the JSA have been kidnapped by a demon calling himself Legacy. The second generation members of the Society meet to decide what they should do, when they are interrupted by the Spectre(who was Hal Jordan at the time)the Spectre tells them that before they attempt to tackle Legacy, they have to wrap up any unfinished emotional business they might have hanging over their heads, because that baggage will only make Legacy stronger. The JSAer's decide to heed Spectre's words, and as soon as the JSA members are out of sight, we discover that the true Spectre was Legacy's captive and that the "Spectre" the JSA spoke to was actually Legacy in disguise! So the question becomes, why did Legacy kidnap the elder members of the JSA, and why does he want the younger members of the JSA to confront their inner demons? I liked this mini-series, but not as much as I would have hoped. This mini-series basically consisted of an issue that set the story, 6 one-shot type stories documenting each JSA member facing their past and a final issue wrapping everything up. The problem with reading six one-shots is that they're going to be hit or miss. For example, I really enjoyed the Dr. Midnite story, while I felt the Dr. Fate story was lacking. I did like the fact that after the main story each issue in this mini-series had a secondary story which detailed one of the older JSAer's who is linked to a current JSAer. Hmm, that's a pretty confusing way of putting it. Let me try again. In the Dr. Midnite one-shot issue, after the Dr. Midnite feature was concluded there was a story which dealt with the golden age Dr. Midnite. After the Stargirl one-shot there was a story about the golden age Starman, etc. Although I thought the main story was kind of weak, many of the one-shots were good, and if you're a fan of the JSA like I am, then this mini would definitely be worth a read. Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.

Nightwing 80 Page Giant #1(Dec. 2000)- While patrolling the streets of Bludhaven as Nightwing, Dick Grayson spots a man bound with chains in a wheelchair careening down a busy highway. Dick springs into action to help the man, and manages to rescue him before he becomes street pizza. Unfortunately though, the man had a heart attack during the ride, and thus can't give Dick any info. A woman in a bizarre getup shoots the bound man several times from her vantage point, obviously wanting to make sure that he was indeed dead. Dick chases the woman, but ultimately she gets away. Dick later learns that the dead man had some numbers branded on him before he was murdered, and a short time later, another branded dead man turns up, followed by another. It's up to Dick to try to piece this puzzle together before anymore people are murdered by this crazy woman. Imagine my surprise when I found this comic laying in my unread back issues pile! I thought I'd read all of Dick's Nightwing comics, so finding this issue was definitely a pleasant surprise. The story was good, not great, but come on, Dick Grayson+Nightwing+Bludhaven is a recipe for success! Score: 7 1/2 out of 10.

Countdown Presents The Search for Ray Palmer: Wildstorm #1(Nov 2007)- The Monitor from Countdown to Final Crisis, Donna Troy, Kyle Rayner and Jason Todd arrive in the Wildstorm Universe in search of the missing Ray Palmer. Instead of finding Ray though, the three heroes find lots and lots of Wildstorm style trouble! This was one of the comics I received from my sister who is a big fan of Wildstorm's The Authority series. Me, I didn't particularly like the Authority, and I didn't particularly like this comic. Granted it was like 1,000% better then the Countdown maxi-series, but that's not really saying much, now is it? A fan of both the Wildstorm and DC Universe's(like my sister)would probably enjoy this one WAY more then I did. Score: 6 1/2 out of 10.

Aaaaaaand that's it for this week. I'm not really sure what I'll be checking out for next week's column, but rest assured, it'll be something. Until then, Long Live The Legion!

A Quick Look at Titans #19

Since I got out of school early today and a few of my subscription comics arrived in the mail, I figured I'd throw out a quick review of Titans #19 before things get busy again later on today.

Writer: JT Krul. Pencils: Angel Unzueta.

What Happened: Roy Harper(Red Arrow)and his young daughter, Lian, have moved away from NYC and the Titans and have wound up at a modest home in Star City. Roy gives Lian some archery lessons before taking her to school for her first day at her new school in Star City. Before he goes, he promises her that he'll be there to pick her up after school, and that he'll paint her new bedroom upon returning home with her. Unfortunately for Roy, he spots assassin Lady Vic(!)trying to murder some guy being protected by a police escort. Roy(as Red Arrow)steps in the way and winds up ruining Vic's assassination attempt. Although Roy manages to keep the guy Vic was after safe, Vic herself manages to elude capture, which prompts Roy to chase after her. By this time, school has let out and Lian is sitting all alone in front of the school building with Roy nowhere to be found. After a few minutes, Mia(Speedy)Dearden arrives to take Lian back to her home. After Mia returns Lian home, Lian begins to fear that there could be something drastically wrong with Roy, but Mia tries to reassure the girl that Roy's probably fine. Roy is still hunting Vic and he ultimately catches up to her in an abandoned warehouse. The two battle, but Roy is distracted by the fact that he once again allowed his duty as a super-hero to get in the way of his duty as a parent. This distraction leads to Vic gaining the upper hand during the fight, and she manages to wrap a chain around Roy's neck and she slowly begins to strangle the life out of him. As he begins to lose consciousness, Roy's mind begins to drift to what would become of Lian with him not there to guide her. After seeing a vision of her strung out on heroin as he was, Roy gets a burst of adrenaline and manages to drive his head back into the face of Vic, knocking her out. This issue ends with Roy handing Vic off to the cops before returning home to find Lian sleeping on the couch. After thanking Mia, Roy decides to let Lian sleep on the couch while he heads up to Lian's room to paint it as he had promised her.

What I Thought: I'm a big, unabashed fan of Roy, always have been, always will be. For a character with no superpowers, he's a very unique character, what with his overcoming heroin addiction and raising a child(which he fathered with a villain)on his own. With that said, I thought JT did a wonderful job with this story. It was a great look into Roy's life, and did a masterful job of showing how he was trying to balance the duties of being a single father with those of being a super-hero. Everything was well done, from the dialogue to the characterizations(JT even mentioned Great Frog!!!)and as any of the regular readers of my blog know(all three of them!)proper characterizations are one of the most important aspects of a comic book story to me. Plus, as a fan of the old Nightwing series, I have to admit that seeing Lady Vic make an appearance here did cause me to smile a bit. All in all, this was the best Titans solo story BY FAR, and has gotten my afternoon off to a very good start.

Score: 9 1/2 out of 10.I've heard the word "bloke" before, but "manky"? What the hell does that mean???

Thursday, November 19, 2009

*Grumble, Grumble*

And so it's come down to this. I'm now resorting to quoting monsters from the Legend of Zelda instead of reviewing comic books... Well, what can ya do? My comic book reading is all messed up right now, all thanks to this damned postal "error" I've been dealing with. Instead of reviewing a comic book tonight, I figure I'll review my sad comic book situation.

What Happened: On October 8th at around 5 PM, X-Man75 placed an order with his favorite comic book shop. The order contained two weeks worth of comic books, and the only reason he placed the order was because he had added enough comics to the shopping cart to qualify for free shipping. X-Man's comic package wound up making its way to the Philadelphia mail sorting facility(as usual)on the 12th of October, and X-Man was happily thinking that he'd be reading his comics by the end of the week. However, that was not to be. The comic book package strangely remained at the sorting facility until the 15th, which was about when X-Man was expecting to receive the package. Dutifully, X-Man checked the USPS website everyday, expecting to see that the comics were headed his way, but every day he was met with the same screen, telling him his package was still sitting at the sorting facility. One day, X-Man came home from school, and checked the USPS website and was mortified by what he discovered. His package of comic books were now considered "dead mail" and were being sent to a Mail Recovery Center! Upon learning this dread news, X-Man wrote an e-mail to the USPS and to the comic shop from where he ordered the books to begin with, wanting to know what has happened and what he should do next. The following day(October 30th)the comic book store responded and told X-Man that usually when this happened, postal officials at the Recovery Center would open the package looking for some sort of identifying feature(such as an invoice)and from there, they'd reseal the package and either deliver it or return it to the comic shop, usually the latter. The comic shop then assured X-Man that once they received the package they'd send it back out as soon as possible. On November 3rd, the USPS responded to the e-mail and said that it appeared that X-Man's package was sent to a Mail Recovery Center(which he already knew!). The e-mail then asked X-Man to provide a description of the package(which he never received)so they could forward the description to the Recovery Center. Since X-Man had never seen the package because he never got it, he responded to the e-mail as best he could, telling the USPS representative that it was a cardboard box of a few pounds that contained comic books. Since then there has been no new information. X-Man contacted the comic book shop late last week and was told that they still haven't received anything, and the e-mail he sent to the USPS last Friday still hasn't been responded to. Thanks to this situation, X-Man has been unable to read the latest issues of Action Comics, Secret Six, Teen Titans, Superman: Secret Origins, Nova, Guardians of the Galaxy, Gotham City Sirens, Dark Reign: The List, Blackest Night Titans, Avengers: The Initiative, Blackest Night Superman and REBELS. After finishing this post, X-Man intends on sending another e-mail to the USPS in the vain hope that they may have some good news for him.

What I Thought: What a lousy story! Poor X-Man75! You've got to feel sorry for the guy. It's got to really suck that he has all of these comics sitting around, but he can't read them because he doesn't have the previous issues. For example, the poor guy has Blackest Night Superman #3, but Blackest Night Superman #2 is lost at a Mail Recovery Center somewhere. Sure, he could just go ahead and read BN Superman #3 without reading #2 first, but who wants to read a story with a big hole in the middle. No, he'll probably wait until his comics finally get to him and then try to catch up. Of course X-Man is definitely tempted to just buy the missing comic books from the comic shop again so he can read the comics he has, but that would just be a crazy waste of money. No, X-Man has no other recourse but to wait...

Score: 1 out of 10(hey, the story was pretty bad!).Poor X-Man, just sitting all alone waiting for his comics to arrive...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Quick Look at Superman/Batman #65

Writers: Peter Johnson & Matt Cherniss. Artists: Brian Stelfreeze, Brian Haberlin, Kelley Jones, Joe Quinones, Federico Dallocchio... Wow, that's ALOT of artists for just one comic book!

What Happened: During a battle between Batman & Superman vs the terrible twosome of Joker and Lex Luthor, the Scarecrow gasses all four of the rivals with fear gas. From there each man falls asleep and is forced to live through their worst nightmares. Supes fears failing his friends and loved ones, Joker fears being laughed at, Lex Luthor fears becoming Jimmy Olson(HA! So do I!)and Batman fears murdering his parents. Scarecrow decides to bury all four adversaries in a graveyard, so that the world would never know what became of them, but just as Batman murders his father in his dream, he is jolted awake by the shock of it all. Bats pulls Superman out of his Kryptonite encased casket, and then goes after Scarecrow, forcing him to ingest his own fear gas. Supes and Bats arrest Lex and Joker while they're still coming to, and this issue ends with a glimpse of Scarecrow's nightmare, being the Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz.

What I Thought: You know, I liked this issue. It was a stupid little Halloween story, but I definitely enjoyed it. Most of the nightmares were pretty well done(especially Bats and Lex's), so I can't complain about them, the art was acceptable and I've always been a fan of Scarecrow, so I'm always happy whenever he pops up. I do have to admit that Lex's Jimmy Olson nightmare had me laughing... I might have to say being Jimmy Olson is the ultimate nightmare! All in all this was a pretty good one and done comic that required no real thought process, and every now and then I enjoy that.

Score: 7 1/2 out of 10.If only the Daily Planet staff knew just how right they were!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Quick Look at World's Finest #1(of 4)

Writer: Sterling Gates. Pencils: Julian Lopez.

What Happened: We start with Red Robin battling some bikers in Amsterdam. As RR prepares to eliminate the last biker, he is helped by some tactile telekinesis. Assuming it was Superboy helping him out, RR turns around and finds Nightwing hovering in the air above him. Nightwing calls RR by his first name, which irritates RR, but NW reveals to RR that he is actually Chris Kent(who RR met a while back)and that he needs the assistance of RR. NW explains that his partner, Flamebird was kidnapped by the Penguin and his associate, the Kryptonite Man. Something in the Penguin's building is interfering with NW's x-ray vision, and with Penguin operating out of Gotham City, NW was hoping RR would lend a hand. RR is very reluctant to help at first, but finally relents and the two heroes head to Gotham. By this point, Penguin is holding an auction to sell Flamebird to the highest bidder, with Kryptonite Man keeping her sedated. RR winds up breaking into Penguin's base and attacks Penguin and his goons. NW soon enters the fray and dumps liquid lead on the Kryptonite Man(rendering his radiation harmless to Kryptonians)and proceeds to heat the lead up to the point where it solidifies on Kryptonite Man. RR knocks Penguin out and NW takes RR and Flamebird back to Amsterdam. Flamebird and Nightwing help RR fins some 200 year old letter he was looking for in Amsterdam before the two Kryptonians head back to Metropolis. This issue ends with the Toyman rescuing the Kryptonite Man from his lead casing and strapping him down to an operating table.

What I Thought: Well, there was some good here, along with some bad. I guess I'll start with the good. The story was solid and fast paced, and I liked the dynamic between Red Robin and Nightwing. Besides the good story, the art was also well done, so no complaints there either. No, my main complaints would have to deal with the choice of villains thus far in this mini-series. I've never hid my hatred for the Penguin. He's a short, fat guy with an umbrella fetish. What the hell does the Penguin bring to any comic book? In my opinion, absolutely nothing. But then Sterling topped the Penguin with the even more useless villain, the Toyman! Ugh, what's next, an evil talking monkey?

Score: 7 out of 10.Um, shouldn't Red Robin have at least tried to deny that Tim was his real name? Jeez, when did the Bat-family get so lax with their secret identities?

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Quick Look at Dark Reign: Young Avengers #5(of 5)

Writer: Paul Cornell. Pencils: Mark Brooks.

What Happened: The Young Avengers arrive at the hideout of the fake Young Avengers and discover not only the fake Young Avengers, but Norman Osborn and some of his Dark Avengers. Needless to say, from there we have quite the brouhaha. The fake YA and the Dark Avengers take the battle to the Young Avengers, while fake YA Coat of Arms stands on the sidelines, conflicted over what to do. Surprisingly, the Young Avengers manage to gain a slight advantage in the battle, so Osborn calls Sentry in to help out. Wiccan tries to reason with Enchantress, and he tells her that she isn't really an Asgardian like she originally believed, but that she's just a regular girl who Loki empowered to mess with the Avengers. Sentry doesn't take kindly to Wiccan's continued talking, so he blasts him to the floor. At that point Coat of Arms has seen enough, and she links herself, Enchantress and Wiccan via a magic chain and Wiccan uses his magical powers to transport Sentry away from the battle. With Sentry defeated, Melter of the fake YA figures he made the wrong choice aligning his team with Osborn and company, so he has Enchantress teleport the fake YA away from the battle. With the fake YA's gone, Sentry transported to who knows where and Bullseye injured, Osborn decides to retreat, telling the Young Avengers that the entire battle never happened before taking his leave. And that for all intents and purposes was the end.

What I Thought: I liked this mini-series. That's really the best thing I can say about it. I like most of the fake Young Avengers, and I've always liked the original Young Avengers. I also liked the way Sentry was easily defeated in this issue, I've never liked the Sentry, so I definitely enjoyed seeing him humbled. All in all this was a pretty good mini-series... Except for the last page. I don't know WHAT the hell it meant. I'll post it, and if anybody has any clue as to what it means, by all means, drop me a line!

Score: 6 1/2 out of 10.??????

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Quick Look at Superman #693

Writer: James Robinson. Pencils: Fernando Dagnino.

What Happened: This comic was all about Gen. Lane of Project 7734 trying to recruit Mon-El into joining his forces against the world of New Krypton. Lane tries to reason with Mon, which doesn't work, he has him beaten up by Atlas, which once again, doesn't work, and he has one of those damnable talking apes in the DCU experiment on/torture Mon, which also doesn't work. After a few weeks of this, the Parasite, who is also being forced to work with Lane, visits Mon in his cell and offers to help him escape, provided he takes Parasite with him. With no other real recourse, Mon agrees, and after allowing Parasite to leech some of his power, the two make a break for the portal exit of the Project. Parasite activates the portal and races away, and when Mon exits the portal, he is met by Lane and a surprising amount of carnage. Mon can't imagine Parasite caused so much damage in such a short timeframe, and Lane explains that it wasn't Parasite who did this damage, but Lex Luthor and Brainiac(from Adventure Comics #2)when they made good their escape from the Project. With Lane's super-powered defenders after Lex and Brianiac, Lane tells Mon that there's nothing he can do to force Mon to stay, so if he wants to go, he might as well. Mon is surprised, and threatens to expose Lane's evil activities, but Lane could care less, explaining that Superman is persona non grata on Earth, all thanks to Lane. Mon leaves swearing to fix Supes bad image. This issue concludes two days after Mon and Lane's meeting with Guardian and the Science Police preparing to battle Bizarro, who is menacing the skies of Metropolis again.

What I Thought: For the most part, I liked this issue, but not for the reasons one might have expected. The torture/experimentation on Mon-El actually became very tiresome after a while, it just kept dragging on. I do wonder if that talking ape(it's the DCU, OF COURSE there was a talking ape here!)may wind up discovering the cure for Mon's impending death, but that's neither here nor there, although if that does indeed happen, remember, I said it first! No, the parts of this comic that featured Mon were almost universally boring, with one exception, whenever Gen. Lane was involved. I thought James did a wonderful job with Lane here, he's not just another crazy super-villain with an axe to grind, Lane seems to firmly believe the Earth is threatened by the very existence of New Krypton, and he is going to do everything in his power to protect the planet. Sure, some of his actions aren't "nice"(torturing Mon for example), but everything he does seems to be for the greater good. I liked the fact that Lane actually showed remorse at the sight of the soldiers who died during Luthor and Brianiac's escape as well. The fact that he seemed truly bothered by the loss of life definitely had me looking at Lane in a different light. It's funny how one simple, well written scene can totally transform one's ideas about a character.

Score: 7 1/2 out of 10.My god, WHAT is DC's obsession with talking apes?!?

Friday, November 13, 2009

The best of the rest.(Nov. 6-Nov. 12)

Since I'm still waiting on my comic book order of over a month ago(has it really been THAT long?)I've been reading a lot of my rainy day back issues this past week. Sure, I'll get a few new books here and there thanks to my various subscriptions, but that blasted mail snafu has put a major crimp in my comic book reading. I've got like a dozen or so comics that I can't read because I don't have the prior issues. Unfortunately there's not much I can do here... I sent out an e-mail to the comic shop I placed the order with to see if they've heard anything from the USPS earlier today, but they still haven't gotten back to me. After that I guess I'll send ANOTHER e-mail out to the USPS and see what they have to say. *sigh* Besides that, the weather's been nice, school has been rapidly moving towards winter break, and everything else is pretty good. Well, with the formalities out of the way, it's time to get into the comics.

Titans #18- I read this comic a few weeks ago, but never got around to doing a proper review for it. Whoops. So, instead of wasting a post on a month old comic, I figure I'll just talk about this issue here. It was a spotlight on Raven and her evil brothers. The main gist of it was that one of Raven's evil brothers told her that no matter what she did, she'd always be Trigon's family, with Raven retorting that she considers the Titans as her family, even though the Titans are currently a very fractured bunch. By the end of this issue, Raven is wondering where she should go from the Titans(hint:the Teen Titans.). For a Raven story this was OK, I've never really been that into Raven's character, so I wasn't exactly doing cartwheels over a comic that spotlighted her. If you like Raven, then my guess is that you'd enjoy this comic. I don't like Raven, so to me this comic was OK, and nothing more. Score: 6 1/2 out of 10.

Batman: Streets of Gotham #3 & 4- I've got to say, I've been very happy with this series thus far. It's definitely earned a permanent spot on my pull list. The main feature has been very good, and the Second Feature starring Manhunter has been fantastic. I really don't have anything negative to say, so I'll just post my score and move on. Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.

Batman Annual #11- My sister gave me this comic a few months ago and I can distinctly remember her telling me that she thought this was a very funny comic book. It wound up in my rainy day comic book pile until this past week, and you know what, it was absolutely hilarious! The annual dealt with two separate stories, the first was about Clayface(Preston Payne)and his love affair with Helena, who just so happens to be a mannequin... The second story dealt with the Penguin falling in love with a woman and deciding to turn over a new leaf, although the Batman didn't believe the Penguin was a changed man. The Penguin story was good, and remember, I hate the Penguin and I still liked that story, so that should say a lot right there. The Clayface story was positively genius. All I can say is Clayface accusing Batman of having an affair with Helena and Batman's subsequent reaction was laugh out loud funny stuff. Score: 9 out of 10.

JLA 80-Page Giant #2- This comic had 7 different stories in it, and I'd say the good definitely outweighed the bad. For the record, here's the story listing. Batman and Green Arrow starred in the first story, which consisted of GA and Bats early days and GA trying to prove that Bats was actually Bruce Wayne. Story two featured the dysfunctional silver-age JLA, while the third story told a tale of the late 1990's League dealing with realistic robots. The forth story was a tale about Wonder Woman trying to bring Huntress and Big Barda together, #5 featured Superman and the Atom taking down a living intergalactic spacecreft. The sixth story was about Orion being forced into a partnership with Plastic Man to save the west coast, and the final story featured Justice League A from the DC One Million event. For me the high point was the GA/Bats story, while the low point was the Wonder Woman, Huntress, and Big Barda one. All in all, this was an OK collection of stories that I'd give a mild recommendation to. Score: 6 1/2 out of 10.

War of Kings: Warriors #1 & 2- These two comic tied into the War of Kings x-over from a few months back. While I enjoyed War for the most part, I wasn't exactly blown away by these two comics. The first one featured a story on Gladiator's origin(yawn)and a feature on KING Blastarr of the Negative Zone. The second comic featured stories on Crystal and an origin tale on Lilandra. Seeing as that I don't like Crystal, Gladiator OR Lilandra, that should give you some idea of what I thought about these two comics. I definitely could have found a better way to spend $8... Score: 5 out of 10.

OMAC Project TPB- This trade collected Countdown to Infinite Crisis, The OMAC Project #1-6 as well as Wonder Woman #219. We really get a little bit of everything here. Ted Kord's death, Maxwell Lord's insanity, angry robots, Maxwell Lord's death, and Brother Eye taunting Batman. To me that's the recipe for a pretty good story! I've always liked the idea of Brother Eye and the OMAC's, so this trade was definitely right up my alley. I'm still not sure how/why Maxwell Lord went from the JLA's inept liaison to an evil mastermind, but whatever I guess. This was a good trade with a good story, the only thing that sort of bothered me was the fact that the story actually finished up in Infinite Crisis, not in this trade, but since I read IC, that's really no biggie. Score: 8 out of 10.

Superman/Batman #53-56- The story here was that due to some magical mishap, Batman and Superman swapped powersets. So, Bruce gained all of Superman's powers and Supes gained... Well nothing, he was left totally powerless. While Superman and Zatanna try to track down a way to reverse the spell, Super-Batman decides to eradicate crime the world over. This was a very good story for a few reasons. First off, it was just cool to see Bruce flying around in his Batman gear with glowing red eyes. If I was a criminal, that right there would scare the hell out of me! It was also interesting to see Bruce decide to dedicate himself to using Superman's powers to travel the globe halting all crime everywhere. On one hand it really made me wonder why Clark couldn't do the same thing. In the blink of an eye the guy can go from one part of the planet to the other, he doesn't need to sleep or eat, and with his speed, strength and other powers, why doesn't Supes stamp out all crime planetwide? On the other hand though, if Supes did decide to take such drastic actions he'd seem more like a tyrant then a hero, and that was kind of the crux of this story. Bruce kept becoming more and more enamoured by his powers and abilities and allowed himself to get completely out of control. Of course in the end there was a cop-out reason as to why Bruce acted in the manner he did, but for the most part this story was very well done. Score: 9 out of 10.

Batman/Huntress: Cry for Blood TPB- This trade collected Batman/Huntress: Cry for Blood #1-6. On a rainy night in Gotham, the cops find a dead mobster floating in the river with a crossbow bolt sticking out of his chest. Batman arrives on the scene and immediately figures Huntress was responsible. Bats stops by Huntress' apartment and discovers her drying her wet hair. Huntress claims she didn't kill the mobster, and that she had just taken a shower. Bats gives her the benefit of the doubt and leaves. The next day, a newspaper reporter runs a piece slamming Huntress, and Huntress decides to pay the reporter a little visit, since the reporter is obviously in the mobs pocket. Upon arriving at the reporters apartment, Huntress discovers the woman dead with several crossbow bolts gutting out of her chest. On top of that, the police were called by somebody, so Huntress makes a quick escape and runs right into Batman and Nightwing, who are now severely doubting Huntress' claims of innocence. The three wind up fighting, Batman is accidentally shot by Huntress' crossbow, which enrages Nightwing, and Huntress winds up getting knocked off the rooftop where they were doing battle, landing in a river, where she is pulled out by the Question?!? From there, the Question helps Huntress get out of Gotham and the two decide to try to clear Huntress' name. This was a highly enjoyable mini, especially for me, since so many of my favorite characters were placed in prominent roles. I've always been a big Huntress fan, and it was great to see the Vic Sage version of the Question make an appearance here as well. The end of this mini was a little vexing, but other then that, this was a very good trade. Score: 9 out of 10.

JLA: Crisis of Conscience TPB- This trade collected JLA #115-119 and came spinning out of the events of Identity Crisis, namely the JLA deciding to force Batman to forget about their mindwiping of the evil Dr. Light. Flash(Wally West), who found out about what the JLA did to Batman during Identity Crisis, calls the JLAers who made up the team during the Dr. Light/Batman mindwipings and tells them that if they don't tell Batman what they did to him, he will. Before the JLAers can decide whether or not to tell Bats what they did, they are interrupted by the Martian Manhunter, who when told what happened is sure Batman already knows. Before the League can go to Batman, they receive a distress call from the Red Tornado, and when the League arrives to help, they find Tornado wrecked and are ambushed by the Wizard and his Secret Society of Super-Villains. The Wizard and his crew defeat the heroes and transports them all to Gotham, where he runs into Batman. Wizard reveals that him and his Society know all of the secret identities of the JLA members and that they intend on attacking the League through friends and loved ones. The villains make their exits, thus leaving the JLA with the same choice they faced years ago, what do you do about a collection of villains with knowledge of your secret identity and no qualms about using that knowledge to hurt or kill your loved ones? Now this was a great story. Which is no real surprise since it was written by Geoff Johns and Allan Heinberg(Young Avengers). The story and characterizations were great, so it should go without saying that I highly recommend this trade. Score 9 1/2 out of 10.

Whew, that was a lot of comics! That's it for this week, as always, Long Live The Legion!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Quick Look at Booster Gold #25

Writer & Artist: Dan Jurgens.

What Happened: This issue begins with Booster, Rip and Skeets returning to the present after fixing the messed up timeline that occurred due to Dick Grayson's death. With that business taken care of, Booster wants some down time, but Rip instead sends him back to the Batcave to retrieve the photos of Booster trying to prevent Barbara Gordon's shooting at the hands of the Joker. Booster heads to the Cave and runs into Damian, the two briefly fight until Dick arrives on the scene to see just what was going on. Meanwhile, Rip Hunter thinks that TO Morrow may know something about the true identity of the Black Beetle, so he heads to Morrow's layer, only to find Morrow being driven slowly insane by his chrono-viewer. Rip takes the viewer off of Morrow, and is promptly attacked by the Black Beetle. Black Beetle taunts Rip for a while before damaging the power core in Morrow's lab, forcing Rip to beat a hasty retreat. Back at the Cave, Dick sends Damian away, and Booster levels with him, showing Dick the photos of himself, Babs and Joker. Booster and Dick do some bonding, and as a show of good faith, Booster takes Dick 15 years back in time and allows Dick to watch his younger self celebrate Christmas with his parents, bringing this issue to a close.

What I Thought: This was a nice little story. Nothing much really happened, Dick and Booster bonded, Rip ran into and was outsmarted by Black Beetle again and I didn't bother to read the Blue Beetle back-up feature(as usual). All in all, this was a good, if unspectacular comic book. Next issue begins the Blackest Night x-over stuff, so I'm definitely looking forward to that. Before I end this post I want to get something off my chest. I'm sick and tired of DC's Second Feature experiment. It was OK for the first 2 months or so, but now it's just really annoying. It really bothers me that I have top pay an extra $1 to read Booster Gold because there's a Blue Beetle back-up story... I HATE Blue Beetle! And quite frankly, I'm probably not the only one! If there was a large Blue Beetle fanbase, he'd still have an ongoing series. Enough with the Second Features. There have been a few good ones(Streets of Gotham), but for the most part this whole experience has been a large waste of my money, and if it doesn't stop soon, I'm going to have to cut many of these Second Feature books out of my budget. End of rant.

Score: 7 1/2 out of 10.How in the world does Dick deal with Damian? If I had to put up with that kid, I'd have gone insane a LONG time ago!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Quick Look at Dark Wolverine #79

Writers: Daniel Way & Marjorie Liu. Pencils: Stephen Segovia.

What Happened: As per Norman Osborn's orders, Daken attacks Moses Magnum and his gang of losers in a warehouse. Norman plans on having the entire fight recorded and then sent to the media in an effort to repair Daken's poor public image. Daken attacks the losers and takes them out, until it's only him and a woman named Emmy Doolin. Daken arrogantly tells Emmy to shoot him. However, she refuses, claiming that there is no way he is the real Wolverine. This momentary distraction is all Moses needs to blast Daken into unconsciousness. Moses' gang debates killing Daken, but ultimately Emmy convinces the rest of them to make a run for it in case the rest of the Avengers are around. Before leaving, Emmy taunts the semi-conscious Daken and the villains make good their escape. Daken crawls around in his own blood for a while, which leads to Norman Osborn berating him through an earpiece he was wearing. Daken also imagines his father, Wolverine, telling Daken that it isn't as easy being Wolverine as Daken may have originally thought, which enrages Daken. The villains figure out that Osborn double crossed them, so they decide to blackmail him with surveillance footage of Osborn approaching Emmy just prior to her breaking Moses out of court last issue. The villains call Osborn and threaten to release the footage, which would surely hurt Osborn's image. Osborn tells them that if they turn themselves in, he'll have them arrested and sentenced, after which he'd have them secretly released under false names. This issue ends with the villains agreeing to Osborn's deal, and Osborn contacting Daken, telling him to capture these bozos already, and that this time he was planning on sending live television cameras to the scene, so Daken had to not only capture the villains, but he'd better look good doing it.

What I Thought: As usual, I thoroughly enjoyed this comic. I especially liked the fact that Daken suffered what could probably be considered his first major loss to Magnum and his gang, especially Emmy. I do have to wonder exactly what Osborn is thinking sending a live news crew to capture Daken's exploits, seeing as that Daken tends to have one hell of a vicious streak in him, and with his actions being filmed live, there's no room for error, if Daken messes up, or gets to violent, it's going to be a major black eye for Osborn and his Avengers. So what's Daken to do? He could royally piss Osborn off by deliberately becoming overly violent in capturing the criminals or he could play the role of good soldier(for once)and take the villains in by the books, especially with the camera crews present. With the way Daken is always playing mind games, I'm honestly not sure which way he'll go. I think he wants to prove he can play the role of Wolverine as well as his father, so I wouldn't be surprised if he took Magnum and his crew in by the books, just to prove to himself that he can. But then again, after the way Emmy taunted him after his defeat this issue, Daken might just be of the mindset to gut her, which wouldn't look very good on the 6 o'clock news. I guess that's the thing I enjoy the most about both Daken and this comic series, it's extremely difficult to figure out which way Daken is going to go. Daken's actions aren't easily guessed, he's one of the most complicated characters in comics today, and personally, I love that fact.

Score: 8 out of 10.I love the fact that when Daken hallucinates about Wolverine, Wolvie is holding a big mug of beer. How very unthreatening.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Quick Look at Wonder Woman #37

Writer: Gail Simone. Art: Bernard Chang.

What Happened: We open this comic with the dead God of war, Ares, taunting Wonder Woman in a dream, stating that one of his best agents(presumably Alkyone)is betraying WW and the Amazons as they speak. After some more taunting, Ares departs. Meanwhile, on Themyscira, several missing Amazons return to the island. While that is occurring, Alkyone is plotting with Achilles. Wonder Woman decides to head to Themyscira to take her mother off of the island before things get any worse there. Upon her arrival, WW is attacked by Donna Troy, who blames WW for the deaths of her husband and children. It seems that Donna's battles with Genocide have left her slightly off kilter, which is why she sees WW as her arch enemy. WW tries to wrap Donna up with her lasso so she'll see the truth, but at the lasso's touch, Donna begins to scream in agony. WW realizes that some of Genocide's evil residue remains on the lasso, so she tosses it in the sea with the hope that removing the lasso from Donna's proximity will right her mind. WW's ploy pays off, and she makes up with Donna, after which the two women head back to Themyscira to confront Achilles. Upon arriving, they discover WW's mother, the former queen of the Amazons, Hippolyta, wrapped in chains. Hippolyta explains to WW that Achilles(who was chosen by the gods to be the king of the Amazons)has decided to take Alkyone as his queen, and that they have decided to execute her for the good of Themyscira. This issue ends with Alkyone demanding WW turn over her weapons from the gods since she is no longer the princess of the Amazons.

What I Thought: I liked this issue. It wasn't mind blowing or anything, but it was a good, solid comic book. Nothing stands out as really good or really bad, so I honestly don't have much to say here... I'm guessing the real fireworks between WW, Alkyone and Achilles will begin next issue, so I might as well wait until then before I really delve into the events of this comic.

Score: 7 out of 10.Hmm, I've got to say, Ares has DEFINITELY looked better...