Hey there fellow comic book junkies, it's time for another batch of reviews here at the Comic Blog de X-Man. To be honest, I was planning on reviewing more then just the two comics I have listed in the title, but when the mail came today, that all changed. One of my eBay packages arrived, and when I opened it up, my plans for this post changed. Want to know what was in the package? You do? Great, I'll tell you! First off is Marvel Team-Up #22 which featured a very early team-up between Spider-Man and my favorite comic book archer(sorry Green Arrow!)Hawkeye. I also received a comic called Superman: Apokolips Now. It's got Supes versus Darkseid, I figure you can't go wrong with that, right? Ah, and then there was the crown jewel of this order, the Emerald Twilight storyline that ran through Green Lantern #48-50. I've been trying to procure those three comic books for more then a year now. They were either not in stock, or were priced WAY higher then I was willing to pay. For those of you who don't know, Emerald Twilight is the story that occurs right after Cyborg Superman and Mongul destroy Coast City, which leads to Hal Jordan descending into out and out, total madness. I'm dying to read those three comics, so the reviews in this post may be a bit on the short/sucky side. For that, I apologize in advance, but come on, Emerald Twilight!!! Besides being something that I've been looking forward to reading for ages, Green Lantern #49 is probably among my favorite covers of all-time. Here, check it out:Now is that awesome or what? Depending on time, homework and stuff like that, I'll try to post reviews for the Emerald Twilight comics sometime this week. All right, enough of my fanboy gushing, it's time to get to the reviews at hand. Hey, look at that, they're both written by Tony Bedard! I'll start off with the return of the Catwoman series.
Catwoman #83: Writer: Tony Bedard. Pencils: Marcos Marz.
This issue begins with the original Black Mask recalling the events that led to his death before rising as a Black Lantern. Once Black Lantern Black Mask rises from his grave, he goes right after the woman responsible for killing him, Catwoman(you know, I should probably see if I can find that issue somewhere...). Needless to say, Catwoman is quite surprised to see BL BM alive, but can do little to halt his assault. BL BM finally manages to corner Catwoman, but she decides that if she's going to die, she's not going to give BL BM the satisfaction of seeing her afraid. BL BM tries to elicit fear out of Catwoman, and when she doesn't give it to him, he leaves, telling her he'll just go after her insane sister instead. Catwoman gets in touch with her fellow Gotham City Sirens(Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy)and the trio head to Catwoman's sister's nuthouse. Upon arriving at the crazyhouse, the Sirens spot BL BM and Harley and Ivy attack him while Catwoman rushes inside to check up on her sister. BL BM makes quick work of Harley and Ivy by dropping a wall on them, and proceeds to head inside. Catwoman finds her sister, who blames the death of her husband(at Black Mask's hands)on Catwoman. Sensing BL BM approaching, Catwoman grabs her angry sister and tries to spirit her out of the crazyhouse, but they run smack dab into BL BM, who has transformed the surrounding area into a replica of his old torture room. BL BM chains Catwoman to the wall, and prepares to cut Catwoman's sister's eyes out. However, he is halted by the timely arrival of Harley and Ivy, who toss BL BM into a giant plant, which continues to break down BL BM with acid every time his ring reforms him. The women decide to take the plant to Slaughter Swamp, where it would be able to eat BL BM in peace. This issue ends with Catwoman's sister escaping from the crazyhouse and swearing revenge on the demon that she blames for the corruption of her sister and death of her husband, Catwoman!
This was definitely one of the better Blackest Night one-shots. There wasn't much not to like here, BL BM was hilarious in an evil, sadistic sort of way, and this issue actually ended in a cliffhanger of sorts. I like the fact that this issue didn't wrap up neat and clean like Starman #81, but that it's a storyline that can easily continue into Gotham City Sirens. I'll definitely be looking forward to the eventual return of Catwoman's crazy sister.
Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.Well, if Catwoman won't say it, then I will. "Black Mask? You can't be here! Catwoman killed you!"
REBELS #12: Writer: Tony Bedard. Pencils: Geraldo Borges.
This issue begins by explaining how Starro the Conqueror managed to rid himself of the Black Lanterns who were pestering him last issue(Brainiac-3 teleported them into the event horizon of a black hole). Finally rid of the BL's, Starro decides to begin a massive invasion of Earth, and tells Brainiac-3 to rally all of his forces and send them to the Milky Way galaxy. The Omega Men, who were searching Starro's home galaxy in the hopes that they'd find a way to defeat him, happen across a world that was able to resist Starro's mind control abilities, and begin to search for a rare plant toxin that can counteract Starro's powers. In the meanwhile, Vril Dox splits his REBELS forces in three and sends them all out to locate certain artifacts that he believes will help him kill Starro. One of Dox's groups locate and capture a Dominator Gene Bomb, while the second group heads back to Kanjar Ro's world in search of pieces of the destroyed Gamma Gong. Although the group manages to gather the pieces, Kanjar flips out and runs away from the rest of the group. The final group, led by Dox himself, head to Kalanor which was overrun and conquered by Starro a few issues back. Dox comes across Despero's head, which Starro placed on a pike, and after incapacitating several of Starro's men, Dox takes Despero's head with him after Despero reveals he's not really dead. This issue concludes with Dox secretly plotting with Kanjar Ro and Despero's head apparently against his own REBELS teammates!
I've said it before, and I'll say it again, REBELS is one of the best series I read monthly. Hands down. Besides that, Vril Dox is by far one of my favorite characters, not just in the DCU, but in ALL of comic books. I'd wholeheartedly recommend this series to anybody who has an extra $2.99 in their pocket, because I doubt you'll be disappointed. Anyway, back to this comic. While I'm still a bit disappointed that Dox's son(Brainiac-3)is working as a slave to Starro, everything else about this comic was extremely good(as usual). I love the fact that Dox is plotting against his OWN team with the likes of Kanjar Ro and Despero in an effort to destroy Starro. Leave it to Dox to be playing both sides... I know I say this every month, but I'll be eagerly anticipating the next issue of this fabulous series.
Score: 8 out of 10.Despero sure knows how to get ahead in the world! Ugh... I'm sorry for that...