Great news(for me anyway!), the comic book order I placed Wednesday arrived today! That means I'll be pushing off a few other books(sorry Teen Titans #80 & Outsiders #27!)so I can read the books from this order first. I have two weeks worth of comics here(3/17 & 3/24)so there are a few books I'm really looking forward to digging into. Before I get to those however, I read JSA All-Stars #4 last night before going to sleep, so I figure I should give a few quick words to that comic before I delve into my new books. Oh, and one more thing, I figure I should thank those of you who have taken the time to leave comments on my two blogs. After posting this, I'll be checking/responding to 20(!)different comments from 5 different people! 20 comments over the span of 24 hours is pretty awesome, so like I said, THANK YOU for taking the time to post your thoughts. Boy am I glad I kept this blog going! :-)
JSA All-Stars #4: Writer: Matthew Sturges. Artist: Freddie Williams II
Last Issue: 7 out of 10.
This issue begins with Johnny Sorrow beginning the ceremony to summon the dread King of Tears from its dimension to the mainstream DCU's dimension. While that bit of evilness is going on, Sand heads to the All-Stars and warns them about dreams he'd been having concerning Sorrow and the return of the King of Tears. Sand describes the location of where Sorrow would be enacting his ceremony, and the All-Stars head out. Before they all go however, Sand corners Stargirl and tells her that she has a special part to play in everything according to his dreams, but before we can find out what is said, the scene shifts to the JSA All-Stars arriving at Sorrow's location and launching into an all out assault against Sorrow and his Injustice Society. The battle begins with Sorrow immediately killing King Chimera(huh...), which surprises Sand since that doesn't occur in his dreams. From there we get a whole bunch of action pages until the King of Tears begins to materialize and starts attacking everybody. Sorrow approaches Stargirl and tells her that if she goes with him he'll call off the King of Tears and allow the All-Stars to live. Seeing as that the King of Tears is easily trouncing the All-Stars, Stargirl agrees to go with Sorrow, and he has her destroy the cosmic rod and get rid of her power belt to prove she was serious. With that, Sorrow seems happy, and he teleports away with Stargirl, leaving everybody else(including his own team!)to deal with the King of Tears. This issue ends with Stargirl finding herself in some sort of bizarre world, powerless and being chased by skeletal dogs. Before the dogs can devour her, she is saved by Atom Smasher... Wha-huh???
This was a very good, fast-paced comic, with plenty of action and a good enough story. I'm still dying to find out what's up with Sorrow's strange fixation with Stargirl, because that's just creepy. So next issue should deal with the All-Stars and the Injustice League trying to find a way to send the King of Tears back to its own dimension, while showing us where Stargirl wound up, why Atom Smasher was there and how come Sorrow didn't come to Stargirl's rescue at the end. All in all, good stuff. I'd be remiss if I didn't say that if King Chimera is really dead that would be a real waste, because I thought the character had some potential. However, when dealing with a character whose forte is illusion casting, it's hard to believe anything you see...
Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.Hmm, the King of Tears and Dan Didio, seperated at birth?!?
Justice League: Rise of Arsenal #1(of 4):Writer: JT Krul. Pencils: Geraldo Borges.
Umm OK, here goes... This issue starts out by showing the attack by Prometheus that leaves Roy missing his arm. From there he wakes up surrounded by his friends and teammates and they break the news to him that his daughter Lian was killed. Roy freaks out and in order to help him sleep, Dr. Midnite sedates him. While unconscious, Roy's mind drifts back to his old band mate, and to all of the drugs he used to do. A little while later, Roy wakes up and demands to see the body of his daughter, which Dr. Midnite allows. After that, he takes some painkillers and sneaks out to Star City, returning to his home there and fighting a duo of burglars who were trying to steal his computer. After he takes care of the thieves, Black Canary arrives and tries to convince Roy to return to STAR Labs, since he's still pretty messed up. Roy refuses, wanting to be in the last place he lived with Lian, and he ultimately tells Dinah to take a hike. After Dinah leaves, Roy takes out his frustrations on a punching bag, and this issue ends with Roy taking a whole mess of painkillers, which causes him to see his dead band mate again... Can you tell I really wasn't into reviewing this one?
I just don't get it... The purpose of all of this, that is. I just can't figure out what the bigwigs at DC are thinking with not just this mini-series, but with the whole Rise and Fall storyline... Why? Character development? That's a load of BS, because if anything both Roy AND Ollie's characters have taken a great big step backwards since the Cry for Justice abomination concluded. Ollie is back to being the lone wolf hunter of criminals like he was back in the late 80's and Roy seems to have reverted to a childless, pill-popping drug addict like he was back in the late 70's/early 80's... So this storyline is obviously not about developing characters. But then that takes me back to my original question, what is the purpose of all of this? To tell a good story? Umm, killing off little girls and retarding the growth of established characters does not tell a good story, so that's obviously not the answer either. I just can't answer that question... And that makes me both sad and angry. Sad because Roy's character didn't need to be broken down, he has always been one of the more unique comic characters around(let's face it, there aren't a whole lot of single father super-heroes in comic books), and angry because this storyline has taken 30 years of character development and thrown it all away. What more can I say?
Score: 4 out of 10.*gasp* Wow, what a revolutionary idea! Like 30 years ago...
Green Lantern #52: Writer: Geoff Johns. Pencils: Doug Mahnke.
Last Issue: 8 1/2 out of 10.
This issue gets underway with all of the Black Lanterns in the area around the Earth(as well as the Black Lantern planet of Xanshi)responding to the events from Blackest Night #7(Sinestro becoming THE White Lantern)and making a beeline towards Coast City. John Stewart and his rag-tag group of Color Corps members realize that the best way to save the Earth is to attack Xanshi and try to destroy it before it destroys the Earth. While that is going on, Sinestro is getting a history lesson from his White Ring about the origin of life in the universe. While he is distracted, Nekron attacks him and cuts him in half(!!!)... Well, I guess that's ONE way to deal with things... Xanshi sends a huge blast of energy down into the Pacific Ocean which in turn sends a huge tsunami wave towards Coast City. However, before the wave can submerge the city, Hal Jordan erects a huge green wall to keep the waters back, which unfortunately leaves Hal open to an attack by the Black Lanterns and Black Hand himself. Back on Xanshi, John Stewart and his allies manage to reach the center of the planet and pool their powers to destroy it's black core, which obliterates the dead world. While that action is occurring, the White Light resurrects Sinestro, and these two acts actually seems to hurt Nekron for the first time since Blackest Night began. Now alive again, Sinestro prepares to attack Nekron one final time, but we won't get to see what happens during that battle until Blackest Night #8...
Eh, for what it was(a place-holder issue)this comic wasn't half bad. It gave us Xanshi getting destroyed and it also set-up the final battle between Nekron and... well, everybody else. I was looking forward to reading Blackest Night #8 before I read this comic, and after reading this, that feeling hasn't changed. Man do I wish there was a comic book store near me... Oh well, maybe I'll have my comics rush delivered this week so I can read BN #8 as soon as possible!
Score: 8 out of 10.Ouch, you're going to need a couple of band-aids to patch THAT cut up!