Saturday, February 27, 2010

Blackest Night #7(of 8)

Well, much to my surprise, my comic book order arrived at my front door today. With the snowfall we've gotten around my area, I honestly wasn't expecting to see that package until Monday at the earliest, so if I were wearing a hat, I'd tip it to the postal service. This package of comics contained all of my non-subscription comics from the past three weeks, so needless to say, there's a lot of good stuff here. With that said though, when I had to decide what to read first, it was a complete no-brainer... More then anything else(yes, even more then Dark Wolverine #83)I couldn't wait to dig into Blackest Night #7. So was BN #7 worth the two months worth of hype, or was it a real letdown? Let's find out!

Blackest Night #7: Writer: THE Geoff Johns. Pencils: Ivan Reis.

The penultimate issue of Blackest Night gets started with Nekron and his zombie army dragging all of the Guardians of the Universe to a designated place on Earth. The combined forces of the New Guardians launch into an attack on him, but Nekron is completely unaffected and goes about his business as if they weren't there... Well, that's not a good sign... Black Hand arrives on the scene and prevents the New Guardians from further assaulting his master, wrapping them up in black barbwire. Upon spotting Atrocitus, Black Hand remembers him from his first meeting with Hal Jordan, and attempts to tear the alien's heart out, but meets with no success since Red Lanterns HAVE no hearts. The New Guardians take advantage of this momentary distraction and launch an attack on Black Hand, an attack surprisingly led by Scarecrow. Lex Luthor watches Scarecrow have his moment and becomes insanely jealous, tearing the Sinestro ring off of Scarecrow, and adding it to his own hand. With that, Lex decides to take EVERYBODIES rings, and he goes after Mera's red ring. While this is going on, John Stewart is attempting to turn back the Black Lantern planet of Xanshi, which is on a collision course with Earth. Luckily for John, he is soon joined by pretty much every member of all of the other Corps, and they are all informed by their respective leaders to put aside their differences and join forces with their rival Corps. Returning to Nekron, he proceeds to murder one of the Guardians of the Universe and with some assistance from Black Hand(who returned to his master's side while the heroes dealt the power mad Lex Luthor), he tears out the Guardian's heart. Nekron then uses the heart of the Guardian to draw out the Entity, which is basically the thing that grants life to every being in the universe. Ganthet reveals to the New Guardians that life originated on Earth, and that the Guardians of the Universe hid that knowledge from the rest of the universe in order to protect the Entity and it's homeworld. This revelation pisses Sinestro off something fierce, since the Guardians pretty much destroyed Abin Sur's life because he had come across that knowledge. Sinestro attacks Ganthet, but is stopped by Nekron's continued assault on the Entity, which harms every living being in the universe, including Sinestro and the other New Guardians. Hal figures out that the Entity is like Parallax or Ion, in that it needs a host to use it's powers, so Hal races to the Entity in order to let it bond with him. Sinestro prevents Hal from bonding with the Entity, citing his failure to properly use Parallax's powers in Green Lantern #50, and this issue concludes with Sinestro bonding with the Entity, becoming the first White Lantern!

Wow, so Sinestro is the White Lantern?!? I have to say that I am QUITE surprised by that, since I(and probably everybody else)thought Hal Jordan would get that honor. This comic was extremely good, and I enjoyed pretty much everything about it, with the exception of the big reveal... I was NOT very fond of the whole, “Life began on Earth” revelation, because it disregards the role the Guardians of the Universe had in the DCU. Yeah sure, Ganthet does his best to try to explain that the Guardians are indeed the oldest living creatures in the universe, while stating that life began on Earth, but I just can't buy it... I'm not going to go into the scientific reasons as to why that doesn't make sense(and believe me, I could!), so I'll instead get into the DCU reasons why that doesn't make sense. If life began on Earth, then shouldn't Earth be the home to the most advanced society in the Universe? In the DCU, the Earth is one of the LEAST advanced worlds around! Hell, even Korugar is more technologically advanced then Earth! However, disregarding the Entity/Earth stuff, the rest of this comic was very solid. I loved Lex attacking his fellow New Guardians, because that is SUCH a Lex Luthor thing to do... The greatest evil in the universe is attacking the Earth, and Lex Luthor is still trying to find a way to acquire more power... Leave it to Lex! All in all, this comic was really good, although the Earth/Entity stuff did take something away from it for me.

Score: 9 out of 10.I really hope Black Hand survives Blackest Night, because he's rapidly climbing my list of favorite villains.I'm as surprised as everybody else!

Friday, February 26, 2010

A Quick Look at: Green Lantern #51, Green Lantern Corps #45 & Nova #34

Thanks to the massive amount of snow we received here in upstate New York, my school was surprisingly shut down today. I wasn't planning on going even if it was open, so I'm glad that my attendance is still unblemished thanks to the snow day. As for what I did today, I shovelled a LOT of snow(20 inches worth!), watched the American hockey team destroy Finland to make it into the gold medal game at the Olympics(Sunday at 3:00 Eastern time is the rematch against Canada for the gold!)and of course read a few comics. All in all, I can't complain. I'm hoping my package of new comics comes tomorrow, but with the snow, I'm not holding my breath. Hmm, I know there was something else I wanted to add here, but I'm drawing a total blank... Oh well, it'll come back to me eventually. As with the last batch of reviews, I'm going to try to keep the wordage down... Will I succeed? I guess we'll know soon enough!

Green Lantern #51: Writer: Geoff Johns. Artist: Doug Mahnke.

We kick things off with Larfleeze and Lex Luthor fighting over the Orange Power Battery(God do I wish Lex would have killed that pest!)before we head to the main event, a Parallax-possessed Hal Jordan vs. the Black Lantern Spectre. Parallax Hal tears out one of BL Spectre's eyes and hops inside the giant, finding the black ring that was corrupting BL Spectre and destroying it, reverting BL Spectre back to the plain old Spectre. Spectre decides to attack and punish Parallax Hal since Spectre hates Parallax, so the two once again begin to fight. Realizing that this battle isn't helping in the defeat of Nekron, Ganthet and Star Sapphire Carol Ferris manage to separate Hal from Parallax, and Parallax is pulled away by an unknown entity. Spectre decides to punish the one responsible for the whole Blackest Night mess, Nekron, but the Spectre is unable to harm Nekron, since Nekron is dead and has no soul. With that, Nekron banishes Spectre and rallies his forces to attack the New Guardians.

Although I did like this issue, it suffered from Blackest Night formula syndrome... In other words, we've seen this battle play out in almost the same way in dozens of other comics already. A Black Lantern attacks our heroes(in this case, the Spectre attacks the New Guardians), the heroes are hapless at first, but eventually they figure out a way to defeat the Black Lantern. The main Blackest Night storyline wasn't furthered at all here, so in a way, this issue(although enjoyable)was a waste of time...

Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.Why look, it's Nekron! It seems like so long since I've last seen him actually say something...

Green Lantern Corps #45: Writer: Peter Tomasi. Pencils: Patrick Gleason.

On Mogo, the Green Lanterns and Red Lantern Guy Gardner open this issue by having a good, old fashioned stand-off. Most of the GL's want to attack Guy, but Kyle stops them since he still wants to try to reason with Guy. That strategy doesn't work out, and Guy attacks his friends and teammates. Mogo decides to intervene, and uses it's emphatic abilities to draw all of Guy's good and bad memories from his head, with the hope that the good memories would overpower the bad, which would fix Guy. This doesn't work either, so the GL's attack Guy again and Kyle ties him up. The Indigo Lantern who was assisting the GL's explains that the only way to reverse a Red Lantern transformation is to either kill the Red Lantern, or expose it to the power of a Blue Lantern. Since the GL's don't want to kill Guy, and a Blue Lantern isn't available, Mogo decides to cleanse Guy's Red Lantern blood, temporarily curing him of his affliction and turning him back into a Green Lantern. This issue concludes with the Indigo Lantern getting the summons from Indigo-1 to collect as many GL's as he can find and bring them to Earth to attack Nekron, as seen in the Atom & Hawkman comic.

I really enjoyed this comic, although I will admit to being a bit let down by Guy losing his Red Lantern abilities. With that said though, I am glad that Peter left the door slightly open in case he wanted to turn Guy back into a Red Lantern, since his cleansing was only temporary. So until Guy is cured by a Blue Lantern, the possibility of Guy reverting back into a Red Lantern still remains. Next issue should give us the huge Black Lanterns vs everybody else issue that leads into the final part of Blackest Night, so if nothing else, the next issue should have some awesome action scenes.

Score: 8 out of 10.I'm sorry, but Red Lantern Guy>Green Lantern Guy.

Nova #34: Writers: Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning. Mahmud Asrar.

This issue has the old Sphinx and the younger Sphinx deciding to pit their forces against one another, with the victor claiming both Sphinx's Ka stones. The old Sphinx's forces are basically composed of heroes, while the young Sphinx has selected more villainous characters. After a few one-on-one battles, the old Sphinx's side wins and Darkhawk tears the Ka stone away from the young Sphinx, robbing him of his powers. Old Sphinx then mentally takes control of Darkhawk and forces him to hand over the Ka stone, giving the older Sphinx two, which pretty much makes the older Sphinx a god.

I'm a sucker for one-on-one battles, ala the Contest of Champions mini-series, so it should go without saying that I enjoyed this comic. While the outcome of some of the battles definitely surprised/stunned me(Basilisk defeated Black Bolt? Really?!?), for the most part, the battles shook out the way I expected them to. I'm still not a real big fan of the Sphinx, but this storyline has been good enough to make me overlook my natural dislike of the Sphinx, which is definitely the sign of good writing.

Score: 8 out of 10.The Age of the Sphinx? Can we have another Age of Apocalypse instead?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The sky is falling! Oh wait, it's just snow...

Hey my X-Maniacs(get it, "X-Man"iacs! Aren't I clever!)it's 11:50 pm right now, and I just came in from shoveling snow, so it's safe to say that I won't be posting anything substantial tonight. Here in Binghamton(where my secret X-base is located)we were shellacked with a whole mess of snow today. As of right now, I'd guesstimate that about 15-18 inches have fallen, with another couple expected overnight. I'm a pretty tall guy(6'3")so whenever the snow drifts are higher then my knees it's safe to say it's pretty snowy up here...

My college was inexplicably open today, but luckily it closed down before my first class of the day, so I got a rare snow day. As of now, my school still hasn't closed yet for tomorrow(which is kind of puzzling), but since I only have one class tomorrow, and it's frigging Musical Theatre, I sure as hell won't be braving the roads, whether the school is open or not! Sorry, I'm not waking up super early, sliding my way to school, simply to learn about the history of the American theatre... NOT gonna happen! I expect to spend tomorrow in a similar fashion as I spent today, shovelling snow... I did read a few newish comics last night, including Green Lantern Corps #45, Nova #34 and Justice Society of America Annual #2, but the reviews for those books will have to wait until tomorrow, because that snow has knocked me out! Um yeah, I think that's going to pretty much do it for me tonight. After I publish this post, I'll post a new Deadpool scan over at the pic blog, check out the blogs I follow(so don't be surprised if I post nonsense on YOUR blog!), respond to any comments left for me, and then call it a night. That's it, so long and Long Live The Legion!!!At least they laughed when I said "X-Maniacs"!(from REBELS #9)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A Quick Look at: Batman and Robin #7, Blackest Night: JSA #2, Teen Titans #79, Avengers: The Initiative #32 & Ultimate X #1.

Hey everybody, it's your insomniac buddy X here to bedazzle you with some of the worst work every to appear on the Internet! Since my body doesn't seem interested in sleeping anymore, I have decided to simply lay awake and read comic books for the better part of the night. Hey at least I'm accomplishing something, right? On the plus side, I'm very rapidly reducing the size of my comic book pile. On the negative side, no sleep makes brain work not so good, so I'm not even going to bother attempting full reviews for the 5 new comics I read through last night. Instead, I'll give a(very!)brief synopsis of what happened in the comic, followed by my thoughts on it. Lastly, I'll dish out my score, and a pic from each book, so if nothing else, at least these reviews should be WAY quicker for you brave souls to read through. All right, enough small talk, it's game time!

Batman & Robin #7: Writer: Grant Morrison. Artist: Cameron Stewart.

Batman arrives in jolly old England and, with some assistance from Knight and Squire, winds up finding an active Lazarus Pit. Dick decides to toss the corpse of who he thinks is Bruce Wayne in the pit, and waits for "Bruce" to emerge from it. Oh, and Batwoman also shows up... Don't ask me why.

You know, I'd been warned about this comic by a few of my blogging amigos, most recently by Jason Todd, who cautioned me that reading this comic would probably cost me several braincells. JT, YOU WERE RIGHT!!! I honestly haven't the slightest idea as to what the hell was going on here... Weird British villains, Batwoman in a coffin, Knight and Squire, Batman's corpse, Damian floating around in a tube... Wha??? Reading this comic made my head hurt, but at least the artwork was nice, I guess...

Score: 2 out of 10.Does anybody know where I can buy an English-to-Grant Morrison Dictionary?

Blackest Night: JSA #2(of 3): Writers: James Robinson & Tony Bedard. Pencils: Eddy Barrows & Marcos Marz.

While Mr. Terrific is attempting to create a light source that would defeat those dastardly Black Lanterns, the Black Lanterns decide to trick the JSA into allowing them access to Terrific's laboratory. Instead of mindlessly attacking the JSAer's, they pretend to be nice zombies, which allows Black Lantern Earth-2's Lois Lane access to Terrific's lab(thanks to Power Girl, who considers E-2 Lois her mother), where she gives her BL ring up to Earth-2's Superman, who was defeated in the Blackest Night: Superman mini-series not all that long ago.

I actually enjoyed this comic a lot more then most of the other BN x-over issues. It was nice to see the BL's actually come up with a plan other then, "Terrorize the heroes who were once their friends/lovers." I loved the fact that the BL's were smart enough to momentarily sacrifice themselves in order to gain access to the corpse of Earth-2's Superman. The next issue of this mini should be extremely interesting, since there should be almost no conceivable way the JSA should be able to take BL Earth-2 Supes, as well as the army of BL's knocking at their door.

Score: 8 out of 10.Jeez, how many times is Earth-2's Superman going to return from the dead?!?

Teen Titans #79: Writer: Felicia D. Henderson. Pencils: Joe Bennett.

Static reveals to the Teen Titans that he has to return home to Dakota(Umm, which one?), because a virus is striking the place. I'm not really sure how Static plans on fighting the virus, but whatever I guess. Upon arriving home, he refuses to tell anybody where he'd been, which leads to his friends and family acting distrustful of him. The Teen Titans eventually decide to follow Static to provide him with some emotional support, but before they arrive, Static uncovers a plot by a pharmaceutical company that was benefiting from the virus, and he winds up getting laid out by some big bruiser named Holocaust.

Eh, this was an OK issue I guess. Since I only know Static from the Terror Titans mini-series and the handful of Teen Titans books he's been in, it was nice to get a look into his life. I can't say he(or the vague Dakota)was very interesting, but since he's still a work in progress, I'm willing to give Static, this storyline, and the new writer the benefit of the doubt... For now.

Score: 7 out of 10.Miss Martian has a migraine? I guess she must have read Batman and Robin #7 too!

Avengers: The Initiative #32: Writer: Christos Gage. Pencils: Mahmud Asrar.

This is a Siege tie-in issue, and it takes place before and during Siege #1, just so you know. Instead of turning tail and running from the battle against the Asgardians, Taskmaster decides to stay and fight, hoping he'll finally be recognized as an A-list villain due to his actions. The Constrictor and Diamondback are torn as to whether or not they should battle the Asgardians, and ultimately Constrictor is convinced to assist Norman Osborn's anti-Asgard crusade by the Taskmaster. Eventually Osborn takes the battle directly to Thor himself, and several of his heaviest hitters attack the God of Thunder, including Taskmaster. Diamondback can't decide what to do as she watches the battle, and before she can make up her mind, Osborn's forces have felled Thor. Besides that, the Avengers Resistance(think the former New Warriors)learn that Osborn was behind the destruction of Soldier Field in Siege #1, and they decide to attack Camp HAMMER while Osborn and his forces are preoccupied in Asgard.

Not bad, not bad at all. I've never made a secret of the fact that I've always thought Taskmaster was a WAY better villain then he was constantly being portrayed, so I was happy to see that he had a hand in downing Thor. The Constrictor/Diamondback love story is still rolling along, and since Diamondback kept wishing Captain America was there to watch her back, I've got to believe her relationship with Constrictor isn't all he was hoping it was. The Avengers Resistance taking on the nearly deserted Camp HAMMER is actually an extremely good idea, why not destroy the base of your enemy while he's away? All in all, this comic was quite good. As usual.

Score: 8 out of 10.Yeah that's right, the Taskmaster rules.

Ultimate X #1: Writer: Jeph Loeb. Pencils: Arthur Adams.

In this issue we meet Jimmy Hudson, who was given to James and Heather Hudson by Wolverine as an infant sixteen years ago. With Wolvie dead as a result of the Ultimatum storyline(really?!? They killed off their most popular character?!?), Kitty Pryde hunts Jimmy down, reveals to him that he is the son of Wolvie, and presents him with some of the Ol' Canucklehead's belongings. Among the belongings is a holographic message from Wolvie to his son, where Wolvie asks Jimmy to listen to an idea he had for him. With that, Kitty gives Jimmy the whole, "You're a mutant in a world that hates and fears you" speech, but Jimmy isn't fully convinced he actually IS a mutie, until he pops out three bone claws, ala Wolvie. However, Jimmy's claws wind up coating themselves with metal after they've been popped, unlike his old man. By now, the Hudsons track down Jimmy and Kitty, and needless to say, they are none to happy that Kitty told their son he was adopted without their prior knowledge. This issue ends with the Hudsons having to decide what to do now that the cat was out of the bag.

First off, up until about two years ago, I had collected every single comic book that came out of the Ultimate line of books. Ultimate Spidey, Ultimates, Ultimate FF, Ultimate X-Men, if it said Ultimate on it, I brought it. Then I began to read DC comics, and since I needed to drop some Marvel books in order to afford the DC comics, I ended up dumping all of the Ultimate titles. From what I've read about the Ultimate Universe since I stopped collecting, it's probably a good thing too, because it sounds like that line of books went to hell in a handbasket... I only brought this comic because I needed to add another $3 to my comic book order in order to qualify for free shipping, so needless to say, I figured I'd buy this series one time only, read it, probably not like it, and then forget about it... You know what? I was WRONG! I REALLY liked this comic! Jeph told a very simple, basic coming of age mutant story, and he did it extremely well. The story was well done, the art was good, the dialogue was solid, I liked the Hudsons, and most importantly, I liked Jimmy as well. Trust me on this one, nobody is more surprised by the fact that I liked this comic then me, it's been a while since I've really enjoyed Jeph's work, but if he can keep producing high quality stuff like he did here, I will happily stick around for the ride. So yeah, I'll definitely be buying issue #2

Score: 9 1/2 out of 10.I can tell you from experience, that hurts as much as it looks!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Comic Gazing for: 2/24/10

Since I just placed my order for the past three weeks comics(including the ones coming out this Wednesday), I figured I might as well get this post out of the way while my recent purchases are still fresh on my mind. Before I get to that though, I have a few other things running around in my brain that need to get out. After reading World's Finest #4 last night, I'm starting to get the itch to do another Let's Talk About... post. If you read that review, you probably have a pretty good idea as to what that post is going to be about... Besides that, I've been having some trouble getting to sleep the past few nights, which sucks for sanity(as well as the coherence of my posts), but is really helping me catch up on some of my back issue comic book reading. Over the past three nights, I've read a couple of back issues of Batman(during the Jason Todd years), and I have to say, I have NO idea what all of the fuss about Jason was... Why did the Bat-fans resent him so badly? Was it simply because he wasn't Dick Grayson? I ask these questions because to me, Jason seemed to be a very good compliment to Bruce... Sure he was a bit rough around the edges, but he wasn't ANYWHERE near as obnoixious as the current Robin, Damian Wayne. Weird. Besides that, I finished up the Final Night mini-series that came out of DC in the mid 90's, and I've read through the first 45 issues of the Green Arrow series from the 1980's. All I can say about those issues is, DAMN did Dinah and Ollie run around killing a whole mess of people! The Punisher ain't got nothing on them! Well, that's what I've been doing instead of sleeping, but that's not what this post is supposed to be about. This post is supposed to be about what comics I plan on purchasing this week, so how's about I get to that.

Batman and Robin #9: Wow, we're all ready up to issue #9? I still haven't read issue #7 yet! Hmm, I think I know what I'll be reading tonight!

Blackest Night Green Arrow#30: On the plus side, I doubt Cupid is going to be in this issue. On the negative side, this is yet another Blackest Night x-over issue that isn't going to add anything to the main Blackest Night storyline.

Blackest Night #7: FINALLY!!! I can't WAIT to dig into this comic, especially since most of the BN x-over stuff has been trying my patientce as of late. This issue HAS to be good, right?!?

Blackest Night JSA #3: Huh, I still haven't read BN: JSA #2 yet, so guess what I'll be reading after I finish up Batman and Robin #7 later tonight...

Flash Rebirth #6: Well I'll be damned, it's the final issue of this mini-series... Sadly, I really don't even care what happens here, since we all know Barry Allen survives his final encounter with the Reverse Flash. Maybe if this comic would have come out 6 months ago, I'd be excited for it, but as it is now, the only reason I'm even buying it is to complete the mini-series. Oh, and just so everybody knows, Captain America Reborn>>>>>>Flash Rebirth.

Gotham City Sirens #9: The important thing here is the fact that the Riddler seems to be the focal part of this issue(at least according to the solicits), and that means I should enjoy this issue.

Justice Society of America #36: I'm hoping this series picks up a little bit after the last two issues, which I didn't exactly care for.

Superman #697: Eh, This series has had it's highs and lows, but I still like Mon-El, so I'm still willing to pick it up.

Teen Titans #80: Um, I still haven't read issue #79... Yeah, I'm sure you know the drill by now.

Wonder Woman #41: Wonder Woman vs. Power Girl... 'Nuff said!

Avengers The Initiative #33: Jeez, what the hell?!? I haven't read issue #32 yet... What have I been reading lately???

Dark Wolverine #83: This series might just be the best comic book coming out of Marvel(or DC for that matter!)today. I've given the past two issues consecutive perfect scores, which is almost unheard of, especially in light of how fickle I can be! In my honest opinion, Daken is one of the most complex and intriguing characters in not just the Marvel Universe, but the DCU as well. Once I'm done reading Blackest Night #7, this will definitely be the very next comic I read.

Deadpool #20: Deadpool #19 should be coming along with this order, so I really don't have all that much to say about this series yet.

New Avengers #62: Oh no... It's a new issue of New Avengers... Oh well, much like going to the dentist, reading this series is painful, but something I have to occasionally suffer through.

Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe A to Z Update #1: I LOVE these Marvel Handbooks, I've collected every single one that's been released, and I'm overjoyed that a new one has been published. The Marvel Comics history buff in me can't get enough of these things!

Realm of Kings Inhumans #4: I'll read this mini once I have all the issues.

Thor #607: I normally don't pick up Thor comics, but since this is a Siege tie-in, I figured I'd give it a shot.

Thunderbolts #141: Read what I said about Thor #607. The same exact thing applies here.

X-Factor #202: I'm really not digging the current storyline, but hopefully things pick up with this issue.

19 books for me this week... That's a bit more then usual. More surprising to me though is the fact that I'll be picking up nearly as many Marvel comics(9)as DC ones(10). That's the first time in well over a year Marvel is nearly getting as much of my money as DC is... That definitely surprised me. Will next week be the week Marvel finally dethrones DC in the battle for my bucks? I guess only time will tell... Well, that's it for me. I see I have a lot of comics to read, so all I have left to say is, Long Live The Legion!!!

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Atom & Hawkman #46, Gotham City Sirens #8 & World's Finest #4.

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...

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Question #37, Superman: World of New Krypton #12 & Titans #22

It's another night, which means it's time for me to post three more DC comic reviews! Since I won't be posting anything tomorrow night, this will have to satisfy my adoring public for the next two nights. Why no new content tomorrow? Well first off, I have a few papers due at school that have rapidly approaching due dates, but the other reason would be the USA/Canada hockey game tomorrow night. I wouldn't miss watching that for the world. Anywho, on to the shoddy reviews!

The Question #37: Writers: Dennis O'Neil & Greg Rucka. Pencils: Denys Cowan.

We begin this issue with the current Question, Renee Montoya and an old friend of the former Question, Professor Rodor, preparing for the possible return of the former Question. While the two wait, Lady Shiva arrives and challenges Renee to a fight to gauge her fighting prowess. While the two women are fighting, the original Question is resurrected as a Black Lantern, and he attacks both women. The two women try to battle him, and Rodor ends up shooting Shiva in the arm, since he wanted to ask BL Question some... well, questions about the afterlife. BL Question approaches Rodor and prepares to pull out his heart, however, Shiva blindsides BL Question after deducing that BL Question can only see people who are showing emotions. After hitting BL Question, Shiva remains perfectly calm, which causes BL Question to lose sight of her... What the hell? Since he could no longer see Shiva, BL Question decides to go after Rodor and Renee, and they pull the same trick, rendering themselves invisible to BL Question. Since BL Question could see no more victims, he leaves, and this issue ends with Renee deciding to go after her one time mentor.

You know what? I give up. I don't even know what more to say... Now if you show no emotions, you're invisible to Black Lanterns? Since when?!? I can recall Etrigan showing no emotions, and still having Black Lanterns attacking him. Whatever... I can see that each writer is going to make up their own rules as to what a Black Lantern can and can't do, instead of following Geoff Johns already established rules on Black Lanterns. Let's put this comic behind us and move on...

Score: 3 out of 10.Um wait, Black Lanterns are actually blind to everything but emotions? Then why aren't they just walking into walls helplessly?

Superman: World of New Krypton #12(of 12): Writers: James Robinson & Greg Rucka. Artists: Pete Woods & Ron Randall.

Picking up from last issue, Adam Strange teleports himself, Supes, Tam-Or and Tyr-Van away from the Kryptonian soldiers who were shooting at them. Unfortunately, Tam-Or was hit before getting away, and he ends up dying on Supes, leaving him with yet another dead-end as to why certain members of the Kryptonian hierarchy were being killed off. Before the remaining trio could go anywhere, the Kryptonian soldiers manage to catch up to them, and once again have their weapons trained on Supes and company. Before Supes longtime military guild rival, Commander Gor, can blow Supes head off, General Zod and Ursa arrive on the scene and Zod orders Gor to stand down immediately, stating that he ordered Tam-Or's capture without the use of lethal force. Zod lays down the law and orders everybody to return to Kandor, with the exception of Supes. Zod asks Supes to have Strange leave, since he wanted to discuss matters of New Krypton's security, and didn't want a man from Rann/Earth there to overhear any sensitive information. Supes thanks Strange for his assistance, and Strange takes his leave, while Supes and Zod return to Zod's office to discuss the matter of the Kryptonian assassinations. Supes and Zod begin to go over the murdered Kryptonians, and what connection they had to each other, and Supes realizes that Tam-Or had made a similar comment to Ral-Dar, who shot Zod on behalf of Gen. Lane of Earth. Supes then suddenly figures out who was responsible for the assassinations, and leaves Zod's office to find out why. The scene shifts to the home of science guild councilor Wri-Qin, where Supes accuses Qin of ordering the assassinations of the other Kryptonians. Qin admits his guilt, and then like a good villain, goes on to explain his entire dastardly plan to Supes instead of just killing Supes... Oh villains... Qin explains that Lane had sent Superwoman to New Krypton to recruit Kryptonians in high places who would be willing to hurt New Krypton's infrastructure, making the planet more easily defeatable for Lane and the forces of Earth. The Kryptonians who promised to help Lane were to be given positions of power on a Krypton ruled by Earth, upon New Krypton's defeat. Qin decided he didn't want to share any positions of power with his fellow traitors, and as such, he began to kill off his fellow conspirators. Once Qin tells his story, Supes orders the military to enter the home, and they arrest Qin. Later on, Zod joins Supes back in Kandor, and tells him that the labor guild had been granted a seat on New Krypton's ruling council, just as Supes had wanted all along. Even though he had earned that victory, Supes is still melancholy over the fact that Qin was willing to sell out his entire planet for the promise of power. Zod and Supes have a heart to heart, and this issue ends with Brainiac's ship hovering menacingly above New Krypton!

Well, this was a pleasant surprise! Actually, this entire maxi-series has turned out a lot better then I thought it would. Now, I'll admit that if you only read the review I just wrote for this comic without having read the rest of this series, you'll probably be a bit lost. However, looking at this series from start to end, I have to admit that I have thoroughly enjoyed Supes adventures on his native planet. It's almost too bad that Supes has to return to Earth, because his time on New Krypton has been very good. The biggest surprise for me though would have to be General Zod's portrayal in these pages. Gone is the insane, "Kneel before ZOD!!!", character most of us know from the movies and his appearance in the Last Son storyline, replaced by a man who's driving force is the protection of his people. All throughout this series I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, and for Zod to reveal some kind of Machiavellian master plan to kill Supes and destroy the Earth, but that moment never came, instead, Zod was oftentimes more level-headed then Supes, and was beloved by his fellow Kryptonians. Not only that, but I wound up becoming a fan of Zod's, something I never thought possible after his actions during the aforementioned Last Son storyline. While Action Comics and Superman have been hurting thanks to Superman's absence in those titles, this series flourished, and in the end left me very impressed, and quite interested to see what would become of New Krypton as Brainiac bears down upon them.

Score: 9 out of 10.So General Zod didn't turn into a psychotic, raging lunatic by the end of this series... Who knew?

Titans #22: Writer: JT Krul. Pencils: Angel Unzueta.

This issue opens with Phobia still manipulating the emotions of Starfire and Cyborg by making them live through their worst fears. For Cyborg, it's failing his fledgling Titans East team again, while Starfire is forced to be completely and totally alone. After watching his young charges get decimated again, Cyborg lets out a massive blast, which momentarily distracts Phobia, breaking her control over the two Titans. Upon regaining her senses, Starfire makes quick work of Phobia, and Cyborg arrives on the scene to help her take Phobia into custody. The following day, the Titans and the Teen Titans meet to remember their fallen comrades, which leads to Hawk yelling at Cyborg for allowing the Titans East team to have been butchered. After Hawk leaves, Beast Boy arrives to cheer up his *ahem* friend. While the two are chatting, Starfire wanders away, thinking about how her relationship to the Titans has prevented her from creating a life for herself, one where she isn't emotionally attached to the Titans. This issue ends with Donna Troy arriving to talk about poor Red Arrow, with Starfire lending her friend a shoulder to cry on, for perhaps the last time.

This was a pretty good comic actually. I was fine with the fact that Phobia was more or less an afterthought, because let's face it, that's what she is. I normally hate Starfire with a passion, but in this comic she was somewhat likable, which was nice. I liked that she was seriously considering leaving the Titans(and the Earth), because she was under the impression that the Titans had stunted her growth as a person. To some extent, that is quite true, as Kory has pretty much done NOTHING of note in the DCU since her debut several years back, except constantly serve as a member of the Titans. While several other members of her Titans team have evolved, grown and developed, Kory has remained pretty much the same person she's been from the start. It would be nice to see Kory grow ala Wally West or Dick Grayson, but I won't be holding my breath awaiting that to happen.

Score: 7 1/2 out of 10.And the love affair continues...

Friday, February 19, 2010

Action Comics #886, Adventure Comics #7 & Green Arrow/Black Canary #29

Since I've gotten a lot of my Marvel comics out of the way lately, it's time to dig into the ever growing pile of DC's I have. Since I'm feeling particularly lazy tonight, I have no idea how many reviews I'll be doing before I call it a night. I guess I'll take it one comic at a time...

Action Comics #886: Writers: Greg Rucka & Eric Trautmann. Artist: Pere Pèrez.

We open things up with Nightwing(Chris Kent)acting like one of Marvel's mutants by decrying the fact that no matter what he does, the public still hates and fears him. Flamebird(Thara Ak-Var)tries to cheer him up, but they wind up arguing about her being possessed by the Kryptonian god, Flamebird, while Chris is possessed by nothing. Hey, I'd be more then happy if an ancient Kryptonian god WASN'T taking me over, but to each his own I guess. Thara decides to give Chris a Kryptonian crystal to explain why she is possessed, while he isn't. Annnnnd, que flashback sequence! Chris gets a LONG lesson in Kryptonian mythology, and since I like you so much, I'm going to spare you the excruciatingly boring details. All you need to know is that the Kryptonian gods Nightwing and Flamebird have an enemy god called Vohc-The-Breaker, and that Vohc was responsible for imprisoning Nightwing in the Phantom Zone, because he's EVIL! After learning this, Chris does what any reasonable twenty-something would do, he sleeps with Thara... Sure, why not? Afterwards, Flamebird takes possession of Thara while she was sleeping and speaks to Jax-Ur, who is demanding payment for assisting Flamebird and Chris a few issues back. Flamebird reluctantly agrees to betray Thara and Chris the following day by sending them into a trap Jax-Ur had set for them. That is exactly what happens, and this issue(mercifully!)ends with us learning that apparently Jax-Ur is the host for Vohc-The-Breaker.

What the HELL was that?!? You know, I've defended this title since Greg took over. I liked the Chris Kent character since the AMAZING Last Son storyline, so I was more then willing to put my neck out and try to find the good in this series... Sure, it's been getting tougher to actually find good in this series with each passing month, but I still tried... That is until I finished reading this comic. What a frigging mess! A lesson in Kryptonian mythology? REALLY!?! The Nightwing/Flamebird myth was hokey and boring AND it went on for PAGES! Then there's the "shocking" revelation the Jax-Ur is apparently some evil Kryptonian god who has never been mentioned or shown before this issue. Um, so what? It's not like Greg and Eric have been building towards the Vohc reveal, they just sort of threw it in there, and as such, I could care less about it. After reading this, all I want is for Geoff Johns to write one issue of this series returning Chris to a seven year old kid, while getting rid of everything that's happened here recently...

Score: 2 out of 10.If you're a fan of Kryptonian mythology, then this is the comic book you've been waiting for!!!

Adventure Comics #7: Writer: Tony Bedard. Pencils: Travis Moore.

This issue gets started with Black Lantern Superboy fighting Wonder Girl. Superboy tries to fight off the influence of the black ring, but is unable, and he is forced to watch helplessly as his body tries to kill his girlfriend. During the battle, WG manages to wrap BL SB up with her lasso and shock him, which allows SB to regain control of his body for a second. SB takes that time to whistle to Krypto, who rushes over to protect WG from BL SB. BL SB makes quick work of Krypto by freezing the dog, something SB was never able to do, before returning his attention to WG. SB manages to take control of his body AGAIN, and he writes the word "fortress" into some rocks near WG, which causes her to head north to the Fortress of Solitude, with BL SB and Krypto in hot pursuit. The three arrive at the Fortress, and BL SB immediately attacks WG, while Krypto notices something peculiar buried under the floor of the Fortress. Krypto winds up digging up SB's body, which was buried under the Fortress after the events of Infinite Crisis. BL SB's Black Lantern ring becomes confused by the presence of two Superboys and finally decides to abandon SB for his corpse. Before the ring can latch onto his dead body, SB uses his freeze breath to freeze the ring in its tracks, while WG throws it into space, where the two hope it will remain frozen forever. This issue ends with SB re-burying his corpse, before returning to the battle against Nekron with WG and Krypto by his side.

Hmm, I've seen a few reviews that gave very high praise to this comic, and after reading it for myself, I have to disagree!(sorry JT!) As a matter of fact, I didn't like this comic at all! It was bad enough that Wonder Woman was able to shake free of her black ring, but Superboy? No way! If SB can maintain some form of control over his body while he's a BL, then why can't Superman or Kid Flash? Sure Tony tried to sell that SB had extensive mental training to resist being mind controlled(which is doubtful, since SB quit the Titans after being mind controlled by Lex Luthor, and then "died" soon thereafter), but you can't expect me to believe that SB's mind is better conditioned to avoid telepathic assaults then Supes, who's been a hero forever, or a speedster like Kid Flash... I will say that I really liked that Tony used SB's dead body in this issue, because I was wondering what became of it, but even that part seemed somewhat off to me. I've seen Black Lantern rings free themselves from many different types of prisons, they've even been shown to be capable of puncturing Green Lantern constructs, but this issue ends when SB's black ring is unable to escape some ice? The damn things travel through the universe without freezing, but they can't escape frozen spit?!? And on top of that, why didn't a black ring attach itself to SB's corpse right from the start? If Nekron is the all-knowing embodiment of death, how come he didn't know a very powerful corpse was buried under the Fortress of Solitude? I don't know, maybe I was looking too far into things here, but some of the events in this comic just didn't add up for me.

Score: 4 1/2 out of 10.So because Superboy has had telepathic coaching from Raven, he's able to counter his black ring... Uh-huh...

Green Lantern/Black Canary #29: Writer: Andrew Kreisberg. Pencils: Mike Norton.

We kick this issue off with Green Arrow learning that his cop friend, Lt. Hilton, was stabbed in the back of the head by Cupid, but is inexplicably still alive, even with the knife handle jutting out of his head... Well, that's just weird. The doctor explains that Hilton is awake, and coherent, but that he may be slightly off-kilter and brain-damaged... Well, I would say so! GA tries to talk to Hilton, but unsurprisingly, Hilton doesn't feel like talking, so GA leaves the hospital and meets up with Black Canary and Speedy. The trio head down to police headquarters, and GA begins to look into any strange crimes that may be the handy work of Cupid, when he comes across reports of a stolen eighteen wheel truck. Speaking of Cupid, she has loaded the truck full of "love potion" chemicals, which she plans on dumping into the Star City drinking water. Oh, and Hilton(with the knife STILL planted firmly in his head)gets up and leaves the hospital... Cupid makes it to the waters where she plans on dumping her chemicals, but she is interrupted by her former army buddies. They try to kill her, but GA and company arrive on the scene and make the save. GA winds up in the army helicopter, while Cupid ends up battling BC(after Speedy was knocked into the waters below)in the GA copter. GA's copter explodes, while BC and Cupid's helicopter crashes into a nearby dam. GA emerges from the wreckage of the army helicopter just in time to see Cupid hanging onto the edge of the dam, with BC hanging on to her leg. Before Cupid and BC fall into the waters below, GA manages to shoot Cupid through the hand, pinning her to the wall, as well as curing her insanity... Umm, what? The now sane Cupid helps BC climb onto the dam, saving both women. A little later, GA and BC question Cupid, and learn that she is back in control, and with that, they leave her to the authorities. Lt. Hilton, who was quietly watching from a distance, shoots a man in the head and steals his car, driving away, all with a knife handle sticking out of the back of his head! This issue ends with GA and BC being summoned by Hal Jordan to meet him up at the JLA Watchtower, setting the stage for the Cry for Justice mini-series.

Well, that's it. This was the last issue of Andrew Kreisberg's GA run. Before I get into my thoughts on this issue, let's take a look back at Andrew's GA work. First he introduced us to Cupid. Then Cupid became obsessed with GA. From there, Cupid began killing GA's enemies. Cupid then gets arrested, breaks free, is revealed to be a member of a top secret black-ops project, does evil things, then is cured of her insanity... And that's pretty much Andrew's run in a nutshell! See the problem? If used properly, I think Cupid could have been a welcome addition to GA's rogues gallery, unfortunately, this series became more about Cupid then it was about GA and BC, which completely turned me off of the Cupid character. All right, with that out of the way, I can get back to the comic at hand. Surprisingly, this issue wasn't as bad as I expected it to be. Sure, there were a few REALLY bad parts, such as Cupid getting shot through the hand and regaining her sanity... I have NO idea how the hell THAT works out! However, this comic did something that I've been waiting MONTHS to see happen, it FINALLY gave us a conclusive ending to the whole Cupid storyline. Sure, I probably would have preferred to see her die, preferably at the hands of Lt. Hilton, but at least this comic ended with Cupid's tale over, because if this comic would have ended with Cupid once again sneaking away or outsmarting everyone, I think I would have thrown this comic book across the room! As for the next issue... I'm not sure what to expect. I guess it will pick up after the events of Cry for Justice, but I'm not positive. All I know is if Cupid shows up next issue, I'll riot!

Score: 7 out of 10.Wait, Green Arrow doesn't kill? He must have forgotten his series from the 1980's, because all he seems to do in those comics is kill people!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Daredevil #504, Mighty Avengers #33, New Avengers #61 & Uncanny X-Men #520.

As promised, I have a few new reviews to post tonight. However, all four comics I'll be writing about are Marvels, so sorry to all of you DC fans! I'll start off with the comic that should be the best of the bunch before things get progressively worse...

Daredevil #504: Writer: Andy Diggle. Artist: Roberto De La Torre.

We get underway with Daredevil ordering one of his Hand minions to begin the construction of a building in Hell's Kitchen called Shadowland. From there, DD is informed that his two good friends, Dakota North and Foggy Nelson have been suffering some professional setbacks, which pisses DD off, since he figured getting away from them would help their careers out. Angered at what he figures is Osborn striking at him through his friends, DD decides to send the Hand into Hell's Kitchen and proclaim it his, hoping to provoke a response from Osborn. From there we head to the Kingpin, who reveals to his second in command, Lady Bullseye, that it wasn't Osborn who was destroying the lives of DD's friends, but that it was actually him(!). Kingpin is counting on DD to confront Osborn, leading to a large confrontation between the two, which should hurt both sides. Kingpin then figured he can use that moment of weakness to continue to re-consolidate his power-base. Osborn gets wind of what DD was planning in the Kitchen, and responds by sending in a battalion of HAMMER agents(exactly as Kingpin had hoped)to the Kitchen, which leads to a massive battle between DD and the Hand and Osborn's HAMMER officers. While this is going on, Dakota and Foggy learn that it was Kingpin behind their recent misfortunes, and they realize that they have to try to get word to DD to alert him to the fact that once again the Kingpin is playing him for a fool. This issue ends with the Hand routing Osborn's forces, capturing them and locking them up in DD's underground lair.

Ah, so Kingpin has been playing both Osborn and DD... Brilliant!!! What an inspired storyline twist, one that I didn't see coming at all. Since Osborn should be out of power in a few short months(after the Siege x-over), everything in this comic is setting up for the Kingpin to once again take his place as DD's deadliest foe, the way it should be. Kudos to Andy(and Ed Brubaker before him)for setting up such a smart and unexpected turn of events.

Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.This series just keeps on producing some high quality stuff!

Mighty Avengers #33: Writer: Dan Slott. Pencils: Khoi Pham.

Osborn's Dark Avengers and Pym's Mighty Avengers reluctantly join forces to battle the Absorbing Man, who had managed to absorb the powers of a Cosmic Cube. Osborn figures he can end the battle easily by simply sending the Sentry to take down AM, but is shocked as AM uses his newfound reality manipulating abilities to tear the Void from the Sentry, which leads to the two halves of the Sentry attacking each other. Since nobody from either team can damage the nearly godlike AM, Osborn decides to tap into Project PEGASUS(which was where AM was being held), and he learns that the scientists inside were doing an experiment where they were hoping to transfer the powers of the Cosmic Cube into AM's ball and chain. Upon hearing this news and seeing that the process obviously worked, Osborn figures AM's ball and chain is inside the Project, and that it is probably imbued with the near limitless abilities of a Cosmic Cube, so he runs from the battle and enters the Project, hoping to gain possession of the Cosmic ball and chain. Pym, who was eavesdropping through Osborn's two-way radio, races after him. While this is going on, one of Jocasta's bodies in Pym's Infinite Avengers Mansion is taken over by Ultron(!!!). Back at the Project, Osborn and Pym arrive at the Cosmic ball and chain, and Osborn blasts Pym away, leaving nothing between him and godhood. Before Osborn can claim the Cosmic ball and chain though, Pym tricks him into believing that he had already used its powers, which would explain how Osborn had pretty much taken over the Marvel Universe. Osborn hesitates momentarily, which leads to Pym decking him and claiming the Cosmic ball and chain for himself. Pym heads outside, and tries to bring down AM with the Cosmic ball and chain, but meets no success. Inside the Project, Loki appears before Osborn and gives him an Asgardian sword which can undo AM's absorbing powers, thus severing his link with the Cosmic Cube. Osborn rushes outside and strikes AM with the sword, ending his threat, while his adoring public looks on. This issue ends with Pym heading back to the Infinite Mansion after realizing that Loki had a hand in Osborn's victory. Pym ends up finding a camera feed that picked up an image of Loki, and winds up comparing it to something he had on file, getting a 100% match...

OK, first the scene at the end of this issue. I'm going to guess that the 100% match Pym discovered was between Loki and the Scarlet Witch(who Loki was pretending to be as he guided the Mighty Avengers to do his bidding). The main story was all right, but the main thing that caught my eye here was Jocasta getting one of her bodies infiltrated by possibly my favorite Avengers villain, Ultron! The last time Ultron graced the pages of an Avengers comic, BENDIS had transformed him into a her, because BENDIS hates me. I'm hoping that Dan brings back classic Ultron, not BENDIS'S abomination.

Score: 7 1/2 out of 10.Needless to say, if classic Ultron returns, I'll be doing my happy dance.

New Avengers #61: Writer: BENDIS... Art: Stuart Immonen & Daniel Acuña.

This is going to be less of a review and more of a vague overview, because I just can't stomach doing a full-out review here... The Hood unites his forces and uses his Norn Stones to destroy the Avengers hideout. He then sends various c-list villains after Steve Rogers and Bucky as well as Spider-Woman and Spider-Man. Cap and Bucky manage to barely hold thier own against the losers, while one of the Hood's villains manages to mind control Spider-Woman into attacking Spider-Man, ending this issue.

I'm sorry, but this comic was really bad... All of the things I hate about BENDIS(bad/repeated dialogue, inane storytelling, characters acting out of character)were all present here. If you have enjoyed the last few issues of this series, then chances are you'll like this comic. If you're like me, and you've wanted to wash your eyes out with soap and stick hot pokers in your ears after reading the past couple of issues of this series, then avoid this comic at all costs!

Score: 1 1/2 out of 10.AVOID THIS COMIC BOOK!!!

Uncanny X-Men #520: Writer: Matt Fraction. Pencils: Greg Land.

This issue gets underway with the undisputed god of the mutant race, Cyclops(who from this point forward shall be referred to as Lord Summers the First), ordering his minions, in this case, Psylocke, Colossus and Wolverine, to go to New York City to see who had sent the Predators to Utopia Island and to deal with the party responsible. The trio head to the Big Apple, and Wolverine picks up the scent of a Predator in the sewers, which is where the team heads. After a quick search, the team learns the Fantomex(!)had beaten them to the Predator and had successfully destroyed it. Wolvie tries to convince Fantomex to help the X-Men track down the people responsible for sending the Predator lose, but Fantomex declines, since he was hired by a third party to kill the Predator, and as such, his job was completed... My god is Fantomex awesome... Back on Utopia, or more accurately under it, Namor, under the direction of Magneto, has created a massive, Atlantian built pillar to support Utopia, thus preventing it from sinking into the Pacific. After thanking Namor, Mags heads to the surface to inform Lord Summers the First of what he had accomplished. Lord Summers the First, upset that Mags hadn't cleared the project with him first, basically tells Mags that NOBODY is allowed to do ANYTHING on Utopia unless Lord Summers the First had allowed it. Mags tells Lord Summers the First that he was only trying to be helpful and gain the Lord's trust, but Lord Summers the First tells Mags that he'll never be trusted. Back in NYC, the trio of X-Men trace the Predator to a location and break in, but the group of individuals who had sent the Predator out seem to be prepared for them. This issue ends with Professor X and Mags making up(awww)before Mags leaves Utopia to "do something good" with his life.

Hey, this issue wasn't half bad! Now I'm actually looking forward to the next issue instead of dreading it! Sure, Lord Summers the First was still acting like an asshat(heh...), but you know what? I expect it now. Sadly, I've finally come to terms with the fact that the character who was at one time amongst my favorites has been mutated into an unrecognizable, and wholly unlikable character. Oh well, hopefully Lord Summers the First will get killed off soon, so he can return in a few months as the character he used to be. The story was OK, I didn't really care too much about the trio of X-Men and their trip to NY, although it was awesome to get to see Fantomex again... If Fantomex was in more Marvel comic books, I think I'd be a slightly happier person. The stuff between Lord Summers the First and Magneto was interesting, especially depending on how Matt decides to play it out. Let's face it, Mags is now responsible for saving Utopia from a watery grave, which could have a major impact on the mutants living there if they discover what Mags had done for them. With Uncanny rapidly approaching issue #525, I'm hoping for a big showdown between Lord Summers the First and Magneto for leadership of Utopia, and I don't think I have to say who I'd be pulling for if such a battle ever did take place...

Score: 7 1/2 out of 10.If only Mags would kill Lord Summers the First off... He'd automatically become my favorite Marvel character then.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Comic Gazing for: 2/17/10

It's another Wednesday, which means it's time for another installment of Comic Gazing! Today was the first day of my Mid-Semester break(which used to be called Mid-Winter Break), and I spent it doing exactly what I thought I would, laying around watching the Winter Olympics and reading comic books. After watching a few events, I came to the simple conclusion that I have NO idea what was going on in half of the sports I was watching... Anyway, enough about that, let's get on to the comic books! A few new comics came in the mail today, including Green Arrow/Black Canary, Titans and Adventure Comics. With the exception of Adventure, I can't say I'm really looking forward to reading any of those books... I still have a slew of other books to read as well, so expect a lot of reviews to be up on this blog come tomorrow night. Well, with the pleasantries out of the way, here's what I'll be ordering with my next comic book order.

Batman #696: I really don't even know what to say about this book... This issue promises to have both the Penguin and the Mad Hatter in it, two villains I have repeatedly called useless, and who I'm embarrassed to even have to read about... Right now, all I want is for this storyline to be over, because I don't know what the hell Tony Daniel is doing with this series. How the same guy can be responsible for the very good Battle for the Cowl and this junk is totally beyond me.

Batman Streets of Gotham #9: I'm hoping this issue goes back to the stuff with Zsasz and the fight club he was running, although I think there may still be one issue to go before we get back to that particular storyline.

Blackest Night Flash #3: Blackest Night x-over means I buy it no matter what.

Green Lantern Corps #45: Red Lantern Guy Gardner vs. the Green Lantern Corps... What more do I need to say?!?

Green Lantern #51: I guess Hal is Parallax in this issue, since the only way Hal can think of defeating Nekron is by becoming an even bigger menace then Nekron is... That's definitely some strange strategy...

Justice League of America #42: I haven't read issue #41 yet, and to be honest, I don't think I'm going to until the Cry for Justice mini-series wraps up. I really don't understand why neither Marvel nor DC can seem to put their comics out in the proper order anymore...

Outsiders #27: I just decided to drop the Magog series this week, and this is another series that is perilously close to the chopping block... Although I actually enjoyed the last issue, I'm still only collecting this series on a month to month basis.

Supergirl #50: I'm picking this issue up on a whim. Since it's the fiftieth issue, I figured I'd give it a shot.

Superman Batman #69: This is another series I'm currently picking up on a month to month basis. I wasn't thrilled with the Blackest Night x-over issues, and as a matter of fact, I was tempted to just drop the title last month, but instead I've decided to give this series one last chance to impress me before I decide to finally drop it.

Captain America #603: It's Captain America and it's written by Ed Brubaker... To be perfectly honest with you, if I could only pick up one comic this week, this would probably be it.

Daredevil #505: I'm actually going to be reading DD #504 tonight, so I'm not going to say anything here.

Dark Avengers #14: I'm going to stick with this series until the bitter end(which is coming up rather quickly). BENDIS continues his bizarre dissection of the Sentry here, and morbid curiosity forces me to buy this...

Deadpool #19: Considering how much I like Danial Way's work, I have no idea why I dropped this title several months back... I guess now is as good a time as any to start collecting this series again.

Doomwar #1: I'm going to give this first issue a shot, but unless it really blows me away, I doubt I'll be sticking around for the rest of this mini.

Guardians of the Galaxy #23: The last few issues have been a little weak, but I'm confident that things will pick up with this issue.

Uncanny X-Men #521: *Sigh*... What more can I say about the terrible condition of my one-time favorite series, Uncanny X-Men? This is one of those titles I really don't want to read anymore, but since I've been collecting this series since the very beginning of my comic book reading career, I feel duty-bound to continue reading this series as it continues its agonizing downward spiral...

16 comics this week, which is just about normal for me. Sure there are a few I'm on the fence about, and at least one I don't even want to read, but for the most part, this looks like a solid week with a few very interesting reads. That's it. Until next time, Long Live The Legion!

Dark Avengers #13 & Wolverine Origins #44

First off, congrats to the US men's Olympic hockey team for picking up their first win today against Switzerland. While comic books are my passion, hockey ranks very high amongst my favorite things. Sure, nobody is giving Team USA a chance in the Olympic tournament, with powerhouses Canada and Russia the big favorites, but as a proud American, and a feral hockey fan, I'm one of the few who believes the young American team can make some waves in this tourney. Next up for the American team is Team Norway, which was spanked today by Canada, and then it's the big game against those Canadians... But since this blog isn't called X-Man's Hockey Blog, I think I should get to what this blog is supposed to be about, and that would be comics. I'll be checking out two books tonight, one I will probably hate, while the other one should be solid.

Dark Avengers #13: Writer: BENDIS!!! Artist: Mike Deodato.

For some reason we start in ancient Egypt where some guys are smearing lamb's blood onto the doors of their homes so their firstborn children will be spared from an angry and vengeful god... Oh boy, this is going to be a real BENDIS of a comic book, isn't it... We then go to a few months ago where we discover that Norman Osborn has been able to recreate the formula that gave the Sentry his powers. Osborn presents a thankful Sentry with the vial, and he drinks it, releasing the Void. Osborn then calls the Void his secret weapon, which means it looks like I was correct when I guessed the Void was Osborn's weapon for keeping the Cabal under control. After that scene, we head to right after the Sentry's wife blows his head off with a weapon left for her by Marvel Boy a few issues back. Sentry's wife reveals that before he became the Sentry, Robert Reynolds was a simple junkie, and that he gained his powers by breaking into a laboratory and drinking the formula which ultimately turned him into the Sentry. After this revelation, the Sentry returns to life as the Void, and announces that he is going to kill Sentry's wife for her actions. Before he can follow through on his threat, Sentry retakes control and demands that the Void leaves his wife alone. The two argue for a while, and the Sentry ultimately leaves Avengers Tower and races towards the sun with the hope that he'd burn up and die. Of course that doesn't happen, and the Void ultimately convinces him that if he just gives in to the Void, good things will happen, which is apparently what Sentry decides to do as this issue ends.

Well, the Dread Lord BENDIS strikes again! I wonder if he's contractually obligated to alter character's origins and personas, because it sure as hell seems that way! I've never seen a writer radically change as many characters as BENDIS has during his time with Marvel... It's really crazy. The Scarlet Witch, Hawkeye, the Hood, Osborn, and now the Sentry, have faced radical changes at the hands of BENDIS, just to name a few. Now, I know what you're thinking, "He must have REALLY hated this comic!"... However, to be honest, this comic wasn't that bad. Sure, it annoyed me that yet another character has been radically changed by BENDIS, but it was the Sentry, and I really don't care about him anyway. To me, he's always been a poor man's Thor/Superman. If I was a Sentry fan, I'm sure I'd be pretty pissed, but as it is, I'm apathetic towards these changes to the Sentry's origin. That's a good way to describe how I felt about this comic actually, apathetic.

Score: 6 out of 10.So wait, now the Void is Galactus, and the Sentry is a junkie??? OOOOOOK...

Wolverine Origins #44: Writer: Daniel Way. Pencils: Doug Braithwaite.

We open this issue with Wolverine breaking Ruby Thursday out of her cell at the Raft prison. It seems that Ruby is an integral part of Wolvie's plan to finally bring Romulus down, and he explains to her that he'll set her free provided she assists him, which Ruby is all to happy to do. The warden at the Raft locks down that section of the Raft and puts the power dampeners on, which prevents Cloak from teleporting Wolvie and Ruby to safety. The warden receives a call from Romulus, who informs him that he'll assist the warden in taking Wolvie out, provided the Warden tells Romulus who Wolvie went in there to break out. Meanwhile, Wolvie steals clothing from a few guards and along with Ruby and Cloak, disguises himself as a guard. This only gets them so far before the warden realizes what Wolvie did, and calls HAMMER for assistance. Skaar shows up, and the warden mistakenly believes he was sent by HAMMER, so he tells Skaar what was going on, and that when he makes contact with Wolvie, he'll give the signal to return the superhuman powers to the occupants of the Raft. Skaar finds Wolvie and reports that he's made contact just as Ares of the Dark Avengers(who was the guy HAMMER sent), arrives on the scene and attacks Skaar. Since the warden shut down the power dampeners, Wovie has Cloak teleport Ruby out of the Raft, while he tries to convince Skaar that there is no reason to battle Ares, since Wolvie got what he came for. Upon getting out of the Raft, Cloak tells Ruby to lay low and await further instruction from Wolvie, so she leaves. Back in the Raft, Wolvie finally convinces Skaar to stop fighting Ares, and the two make an escape. This issue ends with Romulus catching up to Ruby and knocking her around, while demanding to know exactly what Wolvie was planning.

As usual, this was another solid outing for this series. Sure, I could care less about Ares, Skaar, Cloak and Rudy Thursday(what a bizarre character to bring back...), but even with all of that deadwood hanging around, Daniel STILL managed to make this comic book interesting. That's the sign of a great writer, being able to take a bunch of characters that I would normally avoid reading about and making the comic they're in readable. On top of that, and I NEVER thought I'd say this, the whole Romulus story has really grown on me... Now, when Jeph Loeb first introduced the idea of Romulus, I thought it was one of the most idiotic story ideas I'd read in quite some time... I'm supposed to believe that this one figure(Romulus)has been secretly manipulating Wolverine for nearly 100 years now, and nobody, not Wolvie, not Professor X, not SHIELD, nobody knew about him? Come on! But then, a miraculous thing happened, Daniel Way took the idea and really ran with it... He made it almost believable(almost), plus he managed to work Romulus into many of his stories, which helped make Romulus look like some kind of serious threat. Plus, unlike BENDIS, he was able to work Romulus into Wolvie's(and a lot of other character's)mythos without dramatically changing the characters. I know I'll be eagerly anticipating the next issue to see what happens next in the thus far highly entertaining Woloverine/Romulus battle.

Score: 7 1/2 out of 10.Yeah that's right, Romulus has managed to grow on me!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Booster Gold #28 & Justice Society of America #35

Since I can't wait to dig into the Green Arrow comics I've been reading the past few nights(I just finished the Longbow Hunters and the first two issues of the 1980's series, and they are GREAT!), I'm going to cut the small talk tonight, and jump right into the reviews. How's that for an introduction?

Booster Gold #28: Writer/Artist: Dan Jurgens.

This issue gets started with Booster Gold basically giving us a quick origin of himself and his mission to safeguard the timestream... Huh, that seemed unnecessary... After Booster is finished reminiscing(as well as beating the Royal Flash Gang), he gets summoned by Rip Hunter. From there, the scene shifts to a few years ago, where Booster's time-lost sister, Michelle, has taken up residence in Coast City, just prior to it being utterly destroyed by Cyborg Superman. Although Michelle feels there is something she should be remembering about Coast City during this time period, she can't figure out what. Back with Booster, he is informed by Rip that somebody is trying to prevent the space accident that ultimately turns Hank Henshaw into Cyborg Superman. Although Booster hates to do it, he travels back in time to protect the integrity of the timestream, which means he has to make sure Henshaw turns into the horrific Cyborg Superman. Booster winds up running into a strange time travelling woman who was attempting to sabotage Henshaw's ship, so it wouldn't take off. Before anything can happen between Booster and the woman, she is pulled away in a time portal, leaving Booster behind to watch Henshaw fly towards his macabre fate. This issue ends with Michelle finally figuring out that Coast City would soon be reduced to a hole in the ground, just as she bumps into the man responsible for all the destruction, Cyborg Superman.

Not bad, not bad at all. First off, props to me for working "macabre" into this review. That's one of my favorite words. Anyway, as a fan of Cyborg Superman(yeah, that's right, I like him!)I liked that this issue focused on him in two separate time periods. I've got to say, in light of this issue, I don't think I could possibly do what Booster is doing... Would it really have been all that bad if he had travelled into the past and somehow prevented Henshaw from taking off on that ill-fated flight? Really, how does preventing Henshaw from going insane and killing millions harm the timestream? I'll definitely be looking forward to the next issue(s), which should give us a Booster Gold/Cyborg Superman throwdown.

Score: 8 out of 10.Say what you will about the Reign of the Supermen storyline, but Cyborg Superman made one awesome looking Superman!

Justice Society of America #35: Writer: Bill Willingham. Pencils: Travis Moore.

This issue gets underway with Dr. Fate laying helplessly on the floor of the JSA's base(thanks to a paralysis spell from Mordru), while his teammates are trapped in various pocket dimensions created by Mordru where they'll be trapped until Mordru decides to kill them, one JSAer at a time. Mordru decides to start by killing the most powerful member of the team, Alan Scott, and the two battle high above the earth. Ultimately, Fate is able to shake off the effects of the spell, just as he figures out where Mordru stashed his teammates, which leads to him rescuing them from their plights. By now, Mordru and Alan's battle has reached the front door of the JSA's headquarters, and the team rushes outside to assist Alan. After some time(plus some quick thinking by Fate)Mordru is defeated, and this issue ends with the team locking him up in the pocket dimensions he created to imprison them.

Eh, this was an OK comic... I doubt I'll remember it past tomorrow, but it was an all right way to pass the time. I've never really been a big fan of Mordru, but he was written well enough here where he didn't become all that bothersome to me. Um, I guess that's all I've got to say about this one...

Score: 7 out of 10."It hurts when I do this." Well then don't do "this"! Ha-ha-ha... Ugh...