Hello from a very snowy upstate New York, X-Maniacs! My school closed down for the day so I figured I might as well get this Quick Hits post taken care of before heading out to do some more shoveling. This time I've shaken things up a bit and tossed two DC and two Marvel books together, as opposed to a fully Marvel or fully DC post. Before I even read these four books I was expecting the two Marvel books to be WAY better than the DC ones, mainly because I've been enjoying the Marvel comics I've been reading way more than the DC ones lately. But believe it or not, it was one of the DC books that pulled down the high score for the post! Could this be the beginning of a DC resurgence?! No, I seriously doubt it, but I can wish, can't I?
Booster Gold #41:
Summary: We get started with Booster and Michelle arguing with Rip Hunter about Rip's decision to send Booster back to the 25th century to stand trial for stealing from that museum he used to work for. Before anything can be decided, Rip's laboratory hideout is attacked by Dr. Nishtikeit, a Nazi Booster ran afoul of during WWII. It seems Nishtikeit was sent hurtling through time thanks to Booster and has been plotting his revenge for years. Nishtikeit(damn is that name a pain to type!)and his Nazis manage to bypass a very surprised Rip's defenses and bang Rip up pretty good. Booster attacks Nishtikeit and with some help from Michelle(back in her Goldstar attire), Booster manages to push the Nazi attack back and send Nishtikeit on his way. After the battle, Michelle figures that since Booster had saved Rip's skin again, he'd drop the whole, “Go and turn yourself in, Booster” thing, but alas, Rip is still adamant that the right thing to do was for Booster to make amends for his original crime. After some thought Booster realizes that turning himself in was the right move, and Rip tells him that he'll probably only get a slap on the wrist, considering all the good he did with the stuff he stole. A quick 25th century trial later and Booster is sentenced to 5 years in prison for his theft. This issue ends with Booster sitting in his cell and being introduced to his new cell mate.
Thoughts: I had absolutely no problem with this comic. I enjoyed the battle between Booster and Nishtikeit, I liked seeing Michelle don her Goldstar gear once again, and I thought Booster agreeing to turn himself in was the right move. I mean he DID steal all of his crime-fighting stuff! Shouldn't he have to face up to what he had done? I still don't get why that little girl, Rani, is in this series, and her parts didn't add anything to the story for me, but besides that little gripe(and having to type out “Nishtikeit” over and over again!) I have nothing really bad to say about this one.
Score: 7 1/2 out of 10.D'oh!
Summary: We kick this issue off a few weeks back with Lord Summers the First going over a computer scenario of how to kill Wolverine if it became necessary to do so. Basically the plan would be for Magneto to tear the adamantium from Wolvie's skeleton, Namor to pull Wolvie's head off and then Lord Summers the First would finish the job by blasting Wolvie's body into ashes. Back to the present, Lord Summers the First, Emma Frost, Magneto and Namor(hmm, why ever would that group of characters be there?) confront the recently returned from Hell Wolverine on the steps of a church. It seems that Daimon Hellstrom was able to get Wolvie's soul back into its rightful body, but he isn't able to expel the evil spirits that had taken possession of Wolvie... Um Hellstrom, isn't that kind of your whole shtick?! Anyway, Hellstrom tells Lord Summers the First that Wolvie has to fight off the evil spirits himself, and after taking a quick peek in Wolvie's mind, Emma realizes that Wolvie was losing the mental battle against the spirits... Badly. From there Wolvie becomes Possessed Wolvie again(YES!) and runs about attacking Hellstrom and his Ghost Riders. Realizing that he couldn't allow Wolvie to run amok in the streets of San Fransisco, Lord Summers the First gives the order to Magneto and Namor to take Wolvie down... Permanently.
Thoughts: Well there was some good and some bad here... The bad would be the fact that Lord Summers the First was in this issue. Man do I hate that guy now! I also didn't like the fact that Hellstrom couldn't exercise the spirits from Wolvie's body, especially considering that's kind of his thing... That would be like if you asked Storm to make it rain and she was like, “Well right now I just can't do that.” Hellstrom SHOULD have been able to send the spirits back to Hell from whence they came. At least that's the way I saw it. Oh, and I was also REALLY annoyed that everybody kept calling Wolvie “The most dangerous mutant alive.”... Really?! In a world where you have Magneto, who can control the magnetic poles of the entire planet, Franklin Richards, whose abilities even alarm Galactus, and Nate Grey, who can read, manipulate, and control minds(as well as numerous other powers), WOLVERINE is “the most dangerous mutant alive”?! Sorry, I don't think so. But in all honesty, those are just little gripes. The majority of this comic wasn't that bad. You had Wolvie trying, and failing, to expel the spirits from his head, the return of Possessed Wolvie, and Possessed Wolvie running wild. All in all, this was a good, but not great comic.
Score: 7 1/2 out of 10.Finish Him!!!
Justice League of America #54:
Summary: Most of the beginning part of this comic is an explanation as to who Eclipso and Bruce Gordon are, and what their relationship is. The short form is that Bruce is the guy the Eclipso entity possessed. After the whole magic craziness with the Starheart a few issues back, it seems that Eclipso has managed to possess Bruce, even though there hadn't been an eclipse. Now in control, Eclipso decides he is going to collect characters with a connection to the shadow realms, starting with the always awesome Shade. With the Shade under his thrall, Eclipso heads around the globe and does exactly as he said he would, possessing several shadow-based characters. After collecting a veritable army, Eclipso heads to the moon to collect the last piece of his puzzle, JLA member Jade.
Thoughts: Hey, I REALLY enjoyed this story! First things first, Congorilla didn't show up, which is always a good way to get me to like a JLA comic. Besides the lack of Congorilla, the story made sense and unlike the last storyline, actually gave some background info on the villain of the piece, Eclipso. I mean that last storyline just kept adding obscure villains I'd barely(or never!) heard of and expecting me to know what their connection to each other was, as well as their connection to the JLA. This issue plainly spelled out WHO Eclipso was and WHAT he was doing. It's always good to know what is motivating the villain of a story. Eclipso wants to collect characters with shadow powers. Now he doesn't come out and say why, but that's fine, because that can be revealed as the story moves forward. I mean to me it makes sense that he'd want to make those characters use their combined powers to put the Earth into a state of perpetual night, but maybe he has something else up his sleeves. The Jade thing was a bit of a surprise, since it seemed that Eclipso would have wanted Jade's brother Obsidian, who DOES have a connection to the shadow realms. Eclipso helpfully explains why he was going after Jade, stating he wanted a character who was touched by both darkness and the White Lantern's powers. Where the HELL has the James Robinson who wrote this comic been hiding, because for the first time since he started writing this series I'm looking forward to the next issue. Oh, and the Shade was in this comic, and being a HUGE fan of the Shade, that made me pretty happy.
Score: 8 out of 10.Adding the Shade to any comic automatically makes it better!
Fantastic Four #588: The Final Issue!
Summary: This issue begins with the Avengers arriving at the Baxter Building seconds too late to save the Human Torch from the Annihilus's Negative Zone army. Sue arrives soon thereafter and goes into a deep depression, pulling away from everybody, including her husband. Filled with rage over what Annihilus had done, Reed walks into a top secret room in the Baxter Building and retrieves the Ultimate Nullifier(!!!) and opens the Negative Zone portal, apparently so he could wipe out the Negative Zone altogether(!). Standing right near the entryway to the portal is a small creature resembling Annihilus himself. Reed shows the creature the Nullifier and seems ready to do the deed until the creature reaches behind it and shows Reed a tattered piece of the Torch's FF costume. Now conflicted, Reed decides to simply close the portal and walks away. From there the FF have a wake for the Torch, and several super-heroes show up to mourn. Meanwhile, Kristoff Vernard(the kid who believed himself to be Dr. Doom a few years back)is being coroneted as the new ruler of Latveria while Dr. Doom himself watches quietly from the shadows. A few days later the FF buries Johnny's(empty?) coffin and Doom himself arrives at the funeral, but at a distance, to pay his respects. Spidey takes Franklin out and tries to help him cope with losing his uncle, something that Spidey himself knows all about. With Johnny buried and gone, Valeria and those genius kids living at the Baxter Building begin to brainstorm as to who should take Johnny's spot on the FF, when suddenly Valeria changes her mind and decides that the only thing the kids would be looking into was killing Annihilus, once and for all. Thing takes out his frustrations on Hulk and Thor, while Reed decides to reform the council of otherworldly Reed Richards'. We end things with Reed's father(looking WAY younger than I remember him looking)arriving at Reed's lab.
Thoughts: Hmm......... I SHOULD have liked this issue. A lot. But unfortunately this was one of those rare comics where there was no dialogue. The main story consisted of 6 spoken words. That's it. 6. The Spidey/Franklin story was a normal(and good) comic story, WITH dialogue, but that was basically a back-up story type of tale. I totally get what Jonathan Hickman was going for with a “silent” comic. The silence was supposed to make everything seem more powerful. I've read other “silent” comics before, and I've never liked them... I need dialogue in the comics I read. For me there are three important factors needed in every great comic book; a great story, great dialogue and great art, in that order. Yes, to me, good dialogue is more important to a comic than the art is! So removing the dialogue REALLY, REALLY hurt my enjoyment of this one. Sure, some scenes did actually come across well without words, the scene where Reed tries to comfort the despondent Sue, and when Reed decides to Nullify the Negative Zone immediately come to mind, but those scenes were the exceptions. I would have liked to have seen what Bruce Banner and Donald Blake had to say to the Thing, what the heroes at the funeral had to say, or what the reaction was from the kids when Valeria decided that Annihilus had to die. But alas, I'll never know. Oh well. This was a good comic, but I can't help but think that it could have been a great comic.
Score: 7 1/2 out of 10.This scene was both awesome AND creepy! The total package!