I said I'd have to get a move on with these reviews, especially in light of earlier today's rather... enthusiastic trip to the comic book shop. I mean those 20 something comics I picked up aren't gonna review themselves, so here are the last couple of comics that I needed to review from last week. Next on the agenda, THIS week's books!
Iron Man 2.0 #2:
Summary: The mystery of Palmer Addley continues here with the(thought to be) dead Palmer possessing a US soldier and making him don a suicide bomber's vest to kill several other US soldiers in Iraq. War Machine(who has been tasked with solving the riddle of how Palmer is striking from beyond the grave) heads to Suzi Endo, a world class computer expert(and possible ex of Rhodey's). Suzi manages to track the signal that set off the bomber's vest to a location in Russia, which is where Rhodey flies to. Rhodey finds an abandoned warehouse and upon further inspection discovers a whole mess of dead Russian soldiers pinned to a wall. Rhodey catches a glimpse of somebody out of the corner of his eye and pursues them, but winds up getting hit with a monster virus, which completely shuts down his armor. While laying face down, somebody walks up to the helpless War Machine and tells him to go back to the States and tell his bosses that Palmer Addley is dead. Suzi, who was keeping an eye on Rhodey after he left, manages to reboot Rhodey's hydraulic system, which gets him up off the ground, before telling him to get out of the warehouse as soon as he could. Rhodey tries to drag himself out the door, but is caught in a huge explosion before he could get clear. This issue ends with War Machine laying wrecked in a massive crater.
Thoughts: First things first, I do enjoy a good mystery. And this story is giving us a good mystery. I'm as lost as Rhodey when it comes to Palmer Addley, and how he's doing what he's doing. So yes, the story here is very good. BUT(you had to see that coming!), I don't know who many of the characters are in this series... I have NO clue who Suzi Endo is, and what her relationship to Rhodey is. I'm guessing they were an item once, but I'm not sure. That's more on me than Nick Spencer though, because I really never followed Iron Man(or War Machine) until very recently. The bottom line though is that I'm enjoying this comic, and look forward to learning more about the mystery of Palmer Addley.
Score: 8 out of 10.I hope the speech is at least interesting...
Summary: Last issue ended with Lobo killing one of Starro's lieutenants, Storm-Daughter. While Starro is more concerned with hiding the Lobo clones he had under the Psion homeworld, his other lieutenant, Smite, wants Lobo to pay for the murder. Starro decides to take the starfish off of Dox's face to find out how to beat Lobo, but Dox simply taunts Starro because he's AWESOME. Starro gets tired of hearing Dox, so he sticks th starfish back on Dox's face(HA!). Back on the planet Rann, Starro's forces are slowly beginning to overrun the planet, with Starro's mind controlling starfish attaching themselves to Adam Strange's daughter, as well as his father-in-law. Smite decides to program all of the Lobo clones the Psion's had created with the memory of how Lobo destroyed their homeworld of Czarnia, figuring the best way to beat Lobo was with an army of Lobos. Starro nixes this idea, since he didn't want to risk losing control of the Lobo clones. Smite gets sick of Starro and decides to face Lobo himself, so he could avenge Storm-Daughter's death. With Smite occupying Lobo, Starro tells all of his mind controlled Psion's to move the Lobo clones to a safer place, while he takes the mind controlled Dox to Rann to finish conquering that world. Back on Rann, Dox's son, Brainiac 3(Lyrl Dox) learns that most of Rann has been conquered by Starro's forces, meaning it was up to him to revive the near dead Tribulus to mount some kind of offensive against Starro before it was too late.
Thoughts: *sigh* I honestly can't believe this series is going to be canceled in a few short months... I say this as somebody who reads a LOT of comic books monthly(if you don't believe me, just check out any of my New Comic Day posts!), both DC and Marvel, so I'm not saying this lightly, REBELS is THE best comic coming out of DC, and probably one of the top 5 comics I read every month. As always, Tony Bedard's story was fantastic and the art was great as usual. I don't know what more to say. I'd implore people to read this comic book, but by this point it's too little too late. Before I go on a wicked rant against my fellow comic fans, and the DC hierarchy, I think it would be best to just end this review right now...
Score: 9 out of 10.That top panel made me literally laugh out loud!
Red Robin #21:
Summary: Okay, let me just say right now that there is NO earthly way I can even begin to review this comic book. It was THAT bad... All I'm going to say is that Red Robin seems to FINALLY have managed to shut down the Unternet by dooming the Madmen to live out their lives as lunatics... Oh, and in the end it appears that Anarky(Lonnie Machin) somehow manages to keep a sliver of the Unternet alive...
Thoughts: All I have to say about this comic book is this: THANK GOD this storyline is FINALLY over!!!!! This Unternet business was just a massive headache where I understood every third page. Now hopefully Fabian Nicieza can get off this Unternet kick he's apparently on so we can get some good Red Robin stories, like we used to before the Unternet junk came to the forefront.
Score: 1 1/2 out of 10.Something happened here. The end.
Birds of Prey #10:
Summary: After Calculator “killed” Oracle last issue by blowing up her helicopter, he decides to kill Huntress, Dove(good!) and Lady Blackhawk. Before he can get the job done though, Black Canary arrives on the scene, apparently not selling the mental abuse Mortis delivered to her last issue. This gives Huntress, Dove and Blackhawk the chance to break out of their bonds, while Hawk also shows up to lend a hand. Calculator tries to get away, but is caught by Huntress, who lets him go, but not before telling him that by killing Oracle he'd be facing the full wrath of the entire super-hero community. After all the Calculator stuff is taken care of, we head to the Batcave, where we learn Oracle is still alive(duh). She tells Batman(Bruce Wayne), Batman(Dick Grayson), Red Robin, Batgirl, and that worthless pain in the ass Misfit that she was still alive, but that she would only be working with them from this point forward, since too many bad guys had learned of her existence. And that's pretty much that.
Thoughts: Eh. It's not like this comic was bad or anything, it just didn't do anything to impress me. I like that Oracle faked her death, since that does take her off the radar of the villains, thus making the villains a bit more sloppy, but the rest of this issue was meh. I still hate that Hawk and Dove are on this team, it was never really explained how Black Canary managed to escape Mortis's mental torture, and Huntress letting Calculator go bothered me(even though I get why she did it). Plus I had to see Misfit, which always puts me in a bad mood. So yeah, this wasn't a bad comic, but it definitely wasn't something I'd want to spend a whole mess of time talking/thinking about.
Score: 6 1/2 out of 10.Now THAT is a big gun!
Summary: Rictor, Madrox, Shatterstar and Longshot head to the graveyard where Jameson's general friend was killed a few issues back to see if Longshot could use his powers to “see” who shot the general. Meanwhile, Monet and Strong Guy come across some people protesting mutants and Muslims and begin to debate them. Mayor Jameson soon arrives on the scene and ALSO begins to debate... Ugh. Longshot manages to see who shot the general, and Rictor uses a facial recognition program to create a picture of the woman. Madrox sends the woman's picture to the other members of X-Factor, and Monet and Strong Guy spot the woman in the crowd of protesters heading towards Jameson. Strong Guy gets in front of her, and she shoots him through the chest with her finger(which fires some sort of energy bullets). With the crowd now panicked, a secondary sniper from above sets her sights on Jameson.
Thoughts: I didn't like this issue AT ALL! It was WAAAAY too preachy for my tastes. I like my politics on my TV(so I don't have to watch it!) and my entertainment in my comic books. Sure, some comics can get across a political message in a clever, non-browbeating sort of way, but this comic just irked me. And I say that as somebody who AGREES with the message Peter David was delivering through Monet and Mayor Jameson! Even still, I didn't think the protest scenes had any place in this comic, and it REALLY hurt my enjoyment of this usually good series.
Score: 2 1/2 out of 10.Please, let's not get into the Longshot/Shatterstar relationship again...
Summary: Batman(Dick Grayson) is still suffering the aftereffects of being stabbed by Azrael and his magical sword. Don't ask me when that happened, because I have no clue. After a restless night sleep in which Dick was plagued by dreams of a circus performer from Haley's Circus being beaten to death(which he has NO memory of), Dick heads out after hearing about some lunatic running rampant in Gotham. Dick arrives on the scene and sights a floating man throwing fire and swords at all of the “sinners” he sees around him. Red Robin and Catwoman arrive on the scene to help, but the madman is too much for them, as he batters them with his myriad of powers. Azrael arrives on the scene and tells the madman to stop, revealing that the guy was named the Crusader. Azrael tells the Bat-members not to worry about Crusader, since he always listened to Azrael, but Dick wants Crusader taken to prison for all the damage/death he caused. Azrael says no, and vanishes with Crusader in a puff of smoke and fire. From there we head just outside of Gotham where we learn Ra's Al Ghul was enhancing the powers of some guy named Fireball so he'd be able to destroy all of Gotham. It appears that Azrael, Crusader and Fireball are working for Al Ghul, and are testing the heroes of Gotham. If the heroes fail the test, then Al Ghul intends on destroying the entire city.
Thoughts: This is actually the beginning of a crossover with at least Red Robin, and possibly Gotham City Sirens(even though that's just a guess on my part). I have to admit, I've never cared for this new Azrael, plus I don't know who Crusader and Fireball are... I have no idea when Dick was stabbed by Azrael, or what the deal with Dick's weird dreams were. So there were a lot of things I just couldn't enjoy here, because I had no clue what was going on! I did like seeing Ra's towards the end of this issue, because he is one of my favorite Bat-villains. But besides that, there were just too many times I sat back and had no idea what I was reading.
Score: 5 1/2 out of 10.What's a Batman review without the obligatory shirtless Dick Grayson pic?