I'm still in a great mood thanks to the American hockey team defeating the Canadians Sunday night at the Olympics... Besides the Rangers winning the Cup in '94, and of course the Miracle on Ice, that game was probably one of my all-time favorite hockey games. To go into the heart of Canada and defeat their beloved hockey team? That's Awesome, with a capital "A"! Besides that, I aced my Accounting exam from last week, so yeah, everything is coming up roses for me. Will my good mood hold out after I give these three comics a read tonight? Here's hoping the answer to that is a resounding yes! Before I get into the reviews though, here's something that caught my eye as I was drifting around the Net today, I thought it was pretty cool, hopefully you guys will concur. Click here to see what I'm talking about.
The Atom and Hawkman #46: Writer: Geoff Johns. Artist: Ryan Sook.
We open with a rather lengthy look at who the Atom is, from his early years, to his becoming an Indigo Lantern. From there, Atom is forced to battle against his good friends, Black Lanterns Hawkman and Hawkgirl. The BL Hawks wind up getting Atom on the ropes, but he is saved by the timely arrival of Indigo-1, who tells him he needs to learn how better to use his Indigo Lantern abilities before it is too late. She then asks Atom to grant her a few minutes to contact the rest of the Indigo Lanterns so she can tell them to gather as many of the other Corps members as they can and bring them all to Earth for the final showdown against Nekron. While Atom is trying to fend off the BL Hawks again, his evil ex-wife, BL Jean Loring, jumps into Indigo-1's ring, infecting it. Atom shrinks down and enters the ring, appearing at the site of Sue Dibny's murder? Huh??? BL Jean makes Atom watch what happened to Sue, before she attacks him with an army of BL Lilliput's, who are apparently a dead race of miniature people. Atom finally has enough of BL Jean, and manages to link his Indigo powers up with a nearby Green Lantern, using the combined powers to destroy BL Jean, severing her connection to the Black Lantern Corps, and reversing the infection in Indigo-1's ring. With the BL infection taken care of, Indigo-1 manages to contact her tribe, and they begin to spread across the universe, collecting members of the various Corps for the final confrontation against Nekron. This issue ends with Atom swearing to himself that he will figure out some way to return the BL Hawks to life.
You know what I just realized? Almost all of the cancelled series that were brought back for Blackest Night hardly featured their title characters... Starman didn't feature Jack Knight at all, Hawkman was an afterthought in this issue, as was the Question in his series, while Billy Batson was only on one page in the Powers of Shazam comic... That's weird. As for this comic, it was more of the same Blackest Night stuff that I'm SO used to reading. Hero meets BL from their past. Hero and BL battle. Hero eventually finds way to defeat BL. Rinse and repeat. I'm extremely excited to see that BN #7 is coming out this week, because we will hopefully get something somewhat new in that issue, instead of the same tired formula.
Score: 5 out of 10.BL Jean Loring is one UGLY woman!
Gotham City Sirens #8: Dialogue: Marc Andreyko. Plot and Art: Guillem March.
We kick things off with Poison Ivy strolling through Robinson Park in Gotham, thinking about how much she hates the people who are plucking the flowers and trampling the grass. Eventually Ivy returns to the Sirens base just as Catwoman and Harley Quinn are watching a news report about two men who were killed in Robinson Park thanks to some sort of unidentified plant toxin. Needless to say, this looks bad for Ivy, but she tells the other women that she had nothing to do with those murders, no matter how damning the evidence looks. With that, Ivy leaves and heads back to the Park, looking for answers. While she's there, the Gotham Police spot her and order her to surrender, which she does with no trouble. At police headquarters, Commissioner Gordon interrogates Ivy and tells her that he believes she is innocent, showing her some photos of the dead men, pointing out that they had needle marks, indicating they were injected with the poison, which Ivy would never have to do. Gordon does tell her that the poison carries Ivy's exact genetic marker, which stuns Ivy. Gordon ultimately lets Ivy go, figuring that she'd be able to track down whoever the murderer was, which enrages one of the cops present. As Ivy leaves the police station, she is struck from behind and knocked unconscious. Two weeks pass, and Catwoman and Harley hear nothing from Ivy, so they begin trying to figure out what happened to her, and why she wasn't contacting them. Catwoman and Harley wind up getting into a bit of an argument, which causes Harley to leave the hideout and head to the park to take a stroll. While walking, Harley is stuck with a needle and injected with plant toxin, which causes her to pass out. While that scene is playing out, Catwoman places a call to the Riddler, and he deducts that the person framing Ivy had to have been a doctor at Arkham, since they would have access to Ivy's blood, which was what the plant toxin was devised from. Catwoman meets with Gordon, and he informs her that Harley was in the hospital, slowly dying thanks to the toxins injected into her. After talking, they realize that the only way to save Harley is to get Ivy to make an antidote, which causes the angry cop from earlier to speak up. Apparently, the cop's brother was one of the men who died in the park, and since he was sure Ivy was responsible, he attacked her as she left the police station, and proceeded to lock her up in the cellar of an abandoned house. After arresting the cop, Gordon and Catwoman find Ivy, and douse her with water, bringing her back to "life". Some time later, Ivy, Catwoman and Harley wind up tracking down the man responsible for the Park murders and discover that he was a doctor at Arkham who wound up becoming obsessed with Ivy. In his deranged mind, he was helping Ivy by killing people, so Ivy repays him by giving him the kiss of death, leaving him laying in the park like his victims.
This was an OK comic, but it never really connected with me. The story, art, etc. were all well done, but this is one of those comics I'll probably forget about the moment I put it back in its bag. For the record, it was perfectly acceptable, but nothing more.
Score: 6 out of 10.You know, if Riddler ever got his own series I'd buy not one, but TWO copies!
World's Finest #4(of 4): Writer: Sterling Gates. Artist: Phil Noto.
We get started with the giant Superman/Batman robot built by the Toyman and Mr. Freeze rampaging through the streets of Gotham City. The robot had managed to capture Supergirl and Batgirl last issue, which brings Batman and Superman on the scene to try to stop the robot. The robot, which is being powered from within by the Kryptonite Man, eats Supergirl, and is about to do the same to Batgirl before she is saved by Batman and Robin. With Batgirl out of harms way, Batman decides to enter the robot in order to save Supergirl and figure out a way to shut it down. While Batman is doing this, Superman has the job of keeping the robot distracted. Batgirl and Robin wind up finding Freeze and Toyman, who were watching the carnage from a nearby rooftop and the two spring into action, knocking the robot's controls from Toyman's hands, which causes the robot to enact its self-destruct program, which is to fly to New Krypton and explode, bathing that planet with deadly Kryptonite. The robot flies away, just as Batman finds Supergirl laying injured on the floor thanks to the Kryptonite exposure she was suffering from. Using Supergirl's x-ray vision, Batman discovers Kryptonite Man's location and goes about cutting him out of the trap Freeze and Toyman had placed him in. By this time, Superman has finally broken into the robot, and as luck would have it, he arrives at the very spot Batman, Supergirl and Kryptonite Man were located! Superman pulls the Kryptonite Man's holding tank out of the wall, and after Batman attaches a homing beacon that would deliver it safely to the Batmobile, Supes tosses it out of the robot. With the Kryptonite Man and his radiation gone, Supes grabs Batman and along with Supergirl, the heroes exit the robot just seconds before it explodes. The three heroes head to the rooftop where Batgirl and Robin were battling Freeze and Toyman, and take the villains out with ease. As Superman is trying to see why Toyman did what he did, Toyman explodes, revealing that it was only a robot, not the real Toyman. This issue ends with the heroes parting as friends, while the real Toyman meets with General Lane to see how they can next try to attack New Krypton.
What can I really say about this comic? Besides the Mad Hatter and the Penguin, Toyman is the most useless villain in all of comic books. With all of the good, underutilized villains in the DCU, I have absolutely NO idea why a loser like Toyman is still alive, let alone why Sterling thought it was a good idea to have him serve as the main antagonist in this mini-series... There are some characters that probably should have been retired in the 1950's-1960's, and in my opinion, Toyman should be right at the top of that list. Honestly, reading about the Toyman actually makes me just a little bit embarrassed to even read DC comic books... If ANY other villain had been in Toyman's spot, I probably would have enjoyed this mini-series a lot more, but just as bad casting can ruin a good movie, choosing the wrong villain can ruin a comic book, and the inclusion of the Toyman totally ruined this mini-series for me...
Score: 5 out of 10.Hmm, I think I have to agree with Damian here...