Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Comic Gazing for: 3/31/10

Instead of posting this later on tonight like I usually do, I figure I'll post it now so I can concentrate on finishing up my last paper due before Spring break tonight. Once I'm done with that paper, it's clear sailing all through next week! I'll probably post a few Siege related reviews tomorrow, since I have a lot of Marvel books to start reviewing. As for the books I'll be listing here, I probably won't get my hands on them until around the middle of next week, and considering how good some of these books could be, that is going to be an agonizing wait...

Adventure Comics #9: This is definitely NOT one of the books I'll be eagerly anticipating! I truly, honestly and seriously don't care about the OLD Legion. If this was the Threeboot Legion(or even the Reboot Legion)I'd be OK, but I just don't care about this variation of the Legion. Interest Level: 5 out of 10.

Blackest Night #8: THIS is one of the books I'm really looking forward to reading. Sure, Blackest Night has been lingering for about 4 months too long now, and the quality of the books has definitely begun to falter, but I'm still pretty excited to see how this one ends. We all know that Nekron is going to fail, but everything else is still up in the air. What happens with the White Light after Nekron's fall? Which characters will be getting a second chance at life? How will this issue set up the upcoming Brightest Day storyline? Man, it's going to be tough avoiding all of the spoilers all over the Net while I await my copy... Interest Level: 10 out of 10.

Gotham City Sirens #10: I like this comic, I like the three female stars, and I like the Riddler, so this should be a good issue. I'm still keeping my fingers crossed that Riddler doesn't become a villain again, but that seems more and more unlikely with each passing issue. Interest Level: 8 out of 10.

Justice League of America #43: Hey, now that I've finally read the abysmal Cry for Justice #7, I can read the two issues of the JLA that came out before this issue! Until I read those comics though, I can't really comment on this one. Interest Level: 7 out of 10.

Justice Society of America #37: I'm pretty interested in seeing where this storyline is going after all of the twists and turns that were in the last issue. Interest Level: 8 1/2 out of 10.

Teen Titans #81: I still haven't read issue #80, so there's not all that much I can say about this one... Interest Level: 6 out of 10.

Wonder Woman #42: I was somewhat let down by the anti-climatic conclusion to the last storyline, so hopefully this issue will be as good as I know this series can be. Interest Level: 7 1/2 out of 10.

Dark Wolverine #84: This is definitely one of Marvel's better series, so I'm always excited when a new issue arrives. This is a Siege x-over, and since I can't recall seeing Daken at all in Siege #3, I'll be interested to see what he was up to during the events of that comic. Interest Level: 10 out of 10.

Realm of Kings: Inhumans #5: Since this is the last issue of this mini(I think), I can finally get around to reading the entire mini... I think! Interest Level: 6 out of 10.

Wolverine Origins #46: Much like Dark Wolverine, this is another surprisingly good series. And they're both written by Daniel Way... Coincidence? I think not! Interest Level: 9 out of 10.

10 comics this week, and for the first time in two weeks, DC has surpassed Marvel in the battle for my money! Only 3 Marvel's this week, to 7 DC's. I was a little bit tempted to pick up the X-Men Second Coming comic, but since it's written by the so called creative team of Yost and Kyle, I'm going to pass on it. One day Marvel will smarten up and realize that those two can't write an exciting story without killing off half the characters in the comic, but I guess that day has yet to arrive... Oh well. If it was any other writers doing that event, I'd be happily buying every single issue and crossover, but as such, I won't be picking up a single part of that story. Hey, on the bright side, that leaves me with more money to spend on Marvel's rivals. Well, that's it for this week, let me know what you guys are picking up, and what(if anything)I should be picking up. Until next time, Long Live The Legion!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Booster Gold #30, Supergirl #51 & Superman/Batman #70.

Only three more days of school to go before vacation, and I've managed to take care of most of my studying and papers due this week. I'll still probably squeeze in some more studying before tomorrow's big Accounting exam, but for the most part, I'm well ahead of my school based responsibilities. What that means is that I can spend more time reading and blogging about comics. As such, I have a trio of DC books lined up for tonight, and after tomorrow's Comic Gazing, I'll be tackling the Siege storyline that is running through Marvel at the moment, starting with Siege #3 and then moving along the various Siege tie-ins. Alright, let's get this show on the road.

Booster Gold #30:Writer: Dan Jurgens. Art: Dan Jurgens & Norm Rapmund.
Last Issue: 8 1/2 out of 10.

This issue opens with the grim scene of Mongul and Cyborg Superman bombarding Coast City with the bombs that would soon go off to eradicate the City. Booster is still torn as to whether he should follow his prime directive and do nothing, since Coast City has to be destroyed to protect the integrity of the time stream or whether he should do everything in his power to thwart Mongul and Cyborg Superman's plot. After coming across a small girl, who would undoubtedly die if nothing was done, as well as some more coercing from fellow time traveler Sondra Crain, Booster decides to attempt to halt the destruction of Coast City, time stream be damned. Skeets tries to change Booster's mind on the matter, but Booster is determined, and as such, he sends Skeets to get the little girl and Sondra out of harms way. Booster then launches an attack on Mongul's ship, but is confronted by Cyborg Superman, who makes quick work of Booster, knocking him out and letting him fall thousands of feet. Before Booster goes splat, he is blasted by a mysterious character, and the force of the blast brings Booster back to his senses, allowing him to land safely. Meanwhile, after shunting Sondra and the girl back to the future, Skeets realizes there were two other unidentified time displaced individuals in Coast City, and he goes off in search of them, finding Booster's sister Michelle, as well as her boyfriend, Drew. Soon thereafter, Booster arrives on the scene and is reunited with Michelle, who asks Booster if he is going to try to prevent the upcoming catastrophe, to which Booster says yes. Skeets alerts Booster that it was too late, and that Mongul had dropped all of his bombs, and that in ninety seconds, Coast City would be nothing more then a large hole in the ground. Booster tells Skeets to take Michelle and her boyfriend to safety, but Skeets informs Booster that Michelle's boyfriend is supposed to die in the ensuing explosion. Booster ignores Skeets, and activates his time platform with the intention of taking his sister and her boyfriend to safety, while he continues to try to halt the imminent destruction of Coast City. Before Michelle and Drew manage to get to the time platform, the mystery man from earlier blasts Booster in the back, knocking him onto the platform, while simultaneously knocking Drew off. Michelle, Booster and Skeets return to the future, while Coast City and Drew meet their predetermined fate. Upon arriving back at Rip Hunter's time lab, Michelle mourns her dead boyfriend, and Booster flies off, needing some time to clear his head. This issue concludes with the mystery man from Coast City arriving in the time lab to inform Rip that everything turned out the way it had to. The mystery man takes off his hat and reveals... Booster Gold!?! Or at least an older version of Booster. The two discuss events in time, and ultimately old Booster decides to head back into the time stream where he can continue to work on whatever he was working on.

This was an awesome comic! What a brilliant job Dan did capturing the terrible decision Booster was left to deal with here. Allow 7 million people to die, as was supposed to happen, or do the heroic thing and try to change the way things in Coast City turned out. I was glad to see Booster try to do the heroic thing, even though we all knew he was doomed to fail. The part where Sondra pulls the young girl out of her destroyed car and confronts Booster with her, asking him if he could honestly live with himself if he allowed her to die was priceless. The reveal at the end with old Booster was interesting, only in that it shows that no matter what Booster may be feeling now, in the long run he'll still be working with Rip well into his old age. I was debating whether or not to give this comic a perfect score, but after thinking about it, and recalling the great dialogue and story, the decision became pretty easy.

Score: 10 out of 10.Man was this a powerful scene!

Supergirl #51: Writer: Sterling Gates. Pencils: Jamal Igle.
Last Issue: 8 out of 10.

This issue opens with Supergirl and Mon-El trying to destroy as many of Brainiac's evil robots as they can, before the robots manage to kill any more Kryptonians. While Mon and SG are fighting off hordes of robots, Superboy and the OLD Legion are trying to free themselves from Gen. Zod's military men, since Zod had branded them all terrorists. The OLD Legion's telepath, Tellus, informs Mon of what was happening, as well as alerting him to the fact that Superman had already fallen to Brainiac aboard Brainiac's spacecraft. Mon tells SG what he'd just learned, which confuses her, since she was under the impression that Zod was going to work with the OLD Legion. Mon then tells SG that he was going to try to rescue Supes from Brainiac's clutches, and that she needs to continue helping her people against the Brainiac robots, even though she wants to assist in the rescue of Supes. SG ultimately agrees to remain behind, and Mon flies up towards Brainiac's ship to see what he could do against the evil tyrant. Meanwhile, Superboy and Starman have managed to defeat the Kryptonian military officers they were confronted with(really?!?), but are soon attacked by a few more soldiers, as well as SG's mother, the acting head of New Krypton, Alura. Back in the streets of New Krypton, SG continues to battle until she hears her mother's voice demanding to be unhanded. SG flies to her mother's side, where she finds Superboy about to punch Alura in the face. Needless to say SG doesn't take kindly to that, and she nearly knocks SB into orbit. While SG tries to find out from her mother what the hell was going on, a small army of Brainiac's robots descend into the room and proceed to attack the two women. The robots hit them with a powerful blast of red sunlight, which de-powers them, before moving in for the kill. Before the robots can murder the two women, they are saved by SB, who uses his tactile telekinesis to dismantle the robots. SG helps her mother make nice with SB, and upon hearing from SB that the OLD Legion was only there to help the trapped bottle cities on Brainiac's ship, Alura decides to go against Zod's command and sends out a message that SB and the OLD Legion were not to be obstructed by any Kryptonian. Zod hears this and gets angry, but keeps his cool, declaring that he'd deal with Alura soon enough. This issue ends with SG, SB and the now free OLD Legion heading skyward to launch their own attack on Brainiac's ship.

I though this was a good enough comic. It furthered the Last Stand of New Krypton story, while planting some seeds of discontent between Alura, the head of New Krypton and Zod, the head of New Krypton's military. I'm starting to get the feeling that Zod is going to take Alura out in order to gain her job, and with it, complete control over New Krypton's political system. With Superman, Supergirl and all the rest of Supes allies about to board Brainiac's ship, Alura is ripe to be picked off by Zod, if that is his plan. Besides that, I liked SG and SB, I enjoyed Mon-El's parts, but I'm still annoyed by the fact that the OLD Legion is getting any page time here, but what can ya do. The next part is in Superman #698, and as soon as I get my hands on it, I'll be reading and reviewing it.

Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.Ah Superboy... How do you get yourself in these situations...

Superman/Batman #70: Writer: Joe Casey. Pencils: Ardian Syaf.
Last Issue: 7 out of 10.

Once again, this story takes place just after the DC event, “Our Worlds at War” from a few years back. Batman and Superman decide to trick the Durlan who was hellbent on killing Superman by sending him a secret message that revealed the location of Supes Fortress of Solitude to him. The Durlan decides to send his henchman, NRG-X to the Fortress to kill Supes, and Supes meets him there, finally able to really tear into NRG-X since they were no longer fighting in a populated area. Meanwhile, the Duran discovers the location of a half destroyed Durlan ship hear the moon, and heads there to see what sorts of weapons he could use against the Man of Steel. However, unbeknownst to the Durlan, Batman was also aware of the ship, and this issue ends with Batman making his way towards the Durlan's crippled ship in his... Bat-spaceship I guess.

Eh, this was an OK issue, but it wasn't really anything I'll remember. Once again, I think my lack of knowledge on the, “Our World at War” storyline hurt my enjoyment of this comic, but it was readable, it had Supes and Bats in it, and it had a pretty decent battle between Supes and NRG-X, so what more can I say?

Score: 6 out of 10.Huh, who knew Supes was such a back fighter...

Monday, March 29, 2010

Batman #697 & Batman: Streets of Gotham #10.

Hey there X-Maniacs, I've got two Batman related reviews on the agenda for tonight. Yeah I know, usually I do three reviews a post, but I've got a boatload of schoolwork to complete by Friday, and I'm trying to get everything out of the way before those deadlines start nipping at my heels(like they usually do!). Why such a busy week school wise? Well because next week I'm on Spring break(YAY!!!), and I guess my professors want to grade papers or something during their time off... As for me, what are my Spring break plans? Pretty much what my plans are whenever I have any down time, reading comic books and playing video games... Pretty exciting, no? Anyway, since most of you are reading this post to check out the worst comic book reviews on the Internet(I assume), why waste anymore time talking about myself? On to the shoddy reviews!

Batman #697: Writer & Pencils: Tony Daniel.
Last Issue: 6 out of 10.

This issue opens with a scene showing us that the guy wearing the Black Mask is trying to fight off the influence of the Mask, but proves unable to thanks to Fright. From there we head out to the battle for Devil's Square as Batman and his allies begin to carve their way through Mask's soldiers as they try to make their way to his layer. Batman breaks from the rest of his allies and begins to sneak towards Mask's shelter, while his posse keeps the attention of the bad guys. Upon entering Mask's base, Batman makes quick work of Professor Strange and Dr. Death, but is attacked by the Reaper. Batman hits Reaper with a slight antidote that shakes Reaper from his mental domination at the hands of Mask's cronies, and leaves him alone in the room with Dr. Death and Strange, warning Reaper not to kill the two mad scientists, since they may be able to fix up his decaying body. From there Bats narrowly avoids an explosion, and discovers a woman laying near the rubble of it. He goes to check on the woman, but it turns out to be Fright playing possum, and she spits some of her fear gas in his face, disorienting him. Black Mask sneaks up behind the prone Batman, but instead of simply shooting Bats in the back of the head, he has to taunt him first... You know, that's one of my favorite comic book pet peeves right there... Why taunt/alert the hero? Just shoot him in the back of the head and be done with it! No, instead we have to warn him so he can move... Man are villains dumb! OK, rant over. Mask shoots at Bats, but Bats manages to dodge the gunfire and Mask hits Fright instead... Whoops! Mask keeps shooting at Bats, and eventually hits something flammable, causing yet another explosion. Bats rushes Mask and knocks the Black Mask off of him, revealing... Dr. Jeremiah Arkham! So Nagash was right... From there we get a few epilogues, including Arkham now locked up in his own Asylum, several of Gotham's underworld bosses scrambling to grab some of the power left by Mask's defeat, and Catwoman seemingly preparing to train the infinitely annoying Kitrina Falcone as her own little sidekick, Catgirl. This issue ends with Bats taking the Black Mask's well, mask, and putting it in his own little trophy room.

Brace yourselves for what I'm about to type everybody... Are we all suitably braced? Yes? Alright then, here goes... I actually liked this comic! I picked it up having heard some terrible things about it(JT!), but surprisingly it wasn't NEARLY as bad as I thought it was going to be. Sure, it wasn't an instant classic or anything like that, but it was a pretty good comic with a decent enough story. The reveal that Mask was Arkham was... OK I guess. I was pretty sure that Mask was going to turn out to be Hush, especially with the clues Tony laid out last issue(the dual guns, the Aristotle quote, etc)but I guess they were all red herrings. In the end though, I'm glad Hush didn't turn out to be Mask, because I think Hush works better as his own man, not pretending to be some other character. I can't say any of the epilogues had me really excited for the future(Catgirl? Meh. Penguin trying to control Gotham's underworld? Meh.)but who knows, maybe Tony can surprise me again next month.

Score: 7 out of 10.I really don't have anything to say except that this is a cool image...

Batman: Streets of Gotham #10: Writer: Paul Dini. Pencils: Dustin Nguyen.
Last Issue: 8 out of 10.

Finally we're back to the Zsasz storyline that was last visited in issue #7. This comic starts off with Victor Zsasz, who is running an underground fight club where he forces street children to fight to the death, learning from one of his underlings that it's getting tougher to find kids to put in the club. Zsasz warns the underling that he either finds some kids, or he'll be facing off against Zsasz in the ring. From there we learn the origin of the guy in the trench coat(Abuse), who had been brutalizing several Gotham City criminals. It seems Abuse is actually the kid from the Heart of Hush storyline who was injected by the Scarecrow with Venom. It turns out that the kid(Colin)for some reason still has remnants of the Venom in his system, and that he can control it, using it to alter his form from a child to a hulk. Wanting to use his abilities for good, like his hero Batman, Colin took up the Abuse moniker and began wailing on those who would prey on kids. As such, he's been investigating the deaths of the children from Zsasz fight club. However, he isn't the only kid trying to find out who was responsible for the deaths of the street children, Robin(against the wishes of Batman)is also trying to hunt down any leads and winds up running into Colin by the river where many of the dead children's bodies have been washing up. While the two are discussing what each knew, Zsasz underling comes across them, and along with a few henchmen, capture the two children at gunpoint. The goons bring the kids to Zsasz factory and go to lock them in cages, but this only serves to piss Robin off, so he breaks one goon's arm and knocks a few of the other henchmen around. Upon seeing this, Zsasz's underling reports what was occurring by the cages to Zsasz, while Robin knocks Colin out(so he wouldn't be hurt), grabs one of Zsasz's swords and runs around the factory in search of the sick villain. Eventually Robin makes it to the ring, where a large crowd had gathered to watch the fights. Zsasz enters the ring with a knife and challenges Robin, who is of course all too happy to oblige. The two fight, and Zsasz's unpredictable fighting style proves to counter Robin's fighting skills, which leads to this issue concluding with Zsasz preparing to slice the downed Robin's throat.

Not bad, not bad at all. Before I go any further, I will admit that seeing Zsasz own Damian left me pretty pleased... I'm sorry, but I hate the kid! Even though I did enjoy seeing somebody hand the ultra-arrogant Damian his ass for a change, I will say that I was kind of surprised that it was Zsasz who did the honors... It's not like Zsasz was ever known for his fighting prowess, so the fact that he was able to trounce Damian was kind of out of character. Paul did an admirable job of trying to explain that Zsasz's unpredictability was too much for the studied Damian to overcome, but still... Besides that, I will admit to being surprised/impressed by the origin of Abuse. I had completely forgotten about that kid, and when he was giving his origin, I went, “Oh yeah, I remember him!!!”. That's the second bit character Paul has brought back from his Heart of Hush storyline, but this one was WAY better then the lame Dr. Aesop. The next issue seems pretty obvious, with Abuse rushing in to save Damian from his grisly fate, but I'll still be looking forward to it. Plus I REALLY want to see Zsasz get his comeuppance... Man has he been a real bastard during this storyline!

Score: 8 out of 10.Yes I hate Damian, but even I have to admit that this part was pretty cool.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Saturday, March 27, 2010

JSA All-Stars #4, Justice League: Rise of Arsenal #1 & Green Lantern #52.

Great news(for me anyway!), the comic book order I placed Wednesday arrived today! That means I'll be pushing off a few other books(sorry Teen Titans #80 & Outsiders #27!)so I can read the books from this order first. I have two weeks worth of comics here(3/17 & 3/24)so there are a few books I'm really looking forward to digging into. Before I get to those however, I read JSA All-Stars #4 last night before going to sleep, so I figure I should give a few quick words to that comic before I delve into my new books. Oh, and one more thing, I figure I should thank those of you who have taken the time to leave comments on my two blogs. After posting this, I'll be checking/responding to 20(!)different comments from 5 different people! 20 comments over the span of 24 hours is pretty awesome, so like I said, THANK YOU for taking the time to post your thoughts. Boy am I glad I kept this blog going! :-)

JSA All-Stars #4: Writer: Matthew Sturges. Artist: Freddie Williams II
Last Issue: 7 out of 10.

This issue begins with Johnny Sorrow beginning the ceremony to summon the dread King of Tears from its dimension to the mainstream DCU's dimension. While that bit of evilness is going on, Sand heads to the All-Stars and warns them about dreams he'd been having concerning Sorrow and the return of the King of Tears. Sand describes the location of where Sorrow would be enacting his ceremony, and the All-Stars head out. Before they all go however, Sand corners Stargirl and tells her that she has a special part to play in everything according to his dreams, but before we can find out what is said, the scene shifts to the JSA All-Stars arriving at Sorrow's location and launching into an all out assault against Sorrow and his Injustice Society. The battle begins with Sorrow immediately killing King Chimera(huh...), which surprises Sand since that doesn't occur in his dreams. From there we get a whole bunch of action pages until the King of Tears begins to materialize and starts attacking everybody. Sorrow approaches Stargirl and tells her that if she goes with him he'll call off the King of Tears and allow the All-Stars to live. Seeing as that the King of Tears is easily trouncing the All-Stars, Stargirl agrees to go with Sorrow, and he has her destroy the cosmic rod and get rid of her power belt to prove she was serious. With that, Sorrow seems happy, and he teleports away with Stargirl, leaving everybody else(including his own team!)to deal with the King of Tears. This issue ends with Stargirl finding herself in some sort of bizarre world, powerless and being chased by skeletal dogs. Before the dogs can devour her, she is saved by Atom Smasher... Wha-huh???

This was a very good, fast-paced comic, with plenty of action and a good enough story. I'm still dying to find out what's up with Sorrow's strange fixation with Stargirl, because that's just creepy. So next issue should deal with the All-Stars and the Injustice League trying to find a way to send the King of Tears back to its own dimension, while showing us where Stargirl wound up, why Atom Smasher was there and how come Sorrow didn't come to Stargirl's rescue at the end. All in all, good stuff. I'd be remiss if I didn't say that if King Chimera is really dead that would be a real waste, because I thought the character had some potential. However, when dealing with a character whose forte is illusion casting, it's hard to believe anything you see...

Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.Hmm, the King of Tears and Dan Didio, seperated at birth?!?

Justice League: Rise of Arsenal #1(of 4):Writer: JT Krul. Pencils: Geraldo Borges.

Umm OK, here goes... This issue starts out by showing the attack by Prometheus that leaves Roy missing his arm. From there he wakes up surrounded by his friends and teammates and they break the news to him that his daughter Lian was killed. Roy freaks out and in order to help him sleep, Dr. Midnite sedates him. While unconscious, Roy's mind drifts back to his old band mate, and to all of the drugs he used to do. A little while later, Roy wakes up and demands to see the body of his daughter, which Dr. Midnite allows. After that, he takes some painkillers and sneaks out to Star City, returning to his home there and fighting a duo of burglars who were trying to steal his computer. After he takes care of the thieves, Black Canary arrives and tries to convince Roy to return to STAR Labs, since he's still pretty messed up. Roy refuses, wanting to be in the last place he lived with Lian, and he ultimately tells Dinah to take a hike. After Dinah leaves, Roy takes out his frustrations on a punching bag, and this issue ends with Roy taking a whole mess of painkillers, which causes him to see his dead band mate again... Can you tell I really wasn't into reviewing this one?

I just don't get it... The purpose of all of this, that is. I just can't figure out what the bigwigs at DC are thinking with not just this mini-series, but with the whole Rise and Fall storyline... Why? Character development? That's a load of BS, because if anything both Roy AND Ollie's characters have taken a great big step backwards since the Cry for Justice abomination concluded. Ollie is back to being the lone wolf hunter of criminals like he was back in the late 80's and Roy seems to have reverted to a childless, pill-popping drug addict like he was back in the late 70's/early 80's... So this storyline is obviously not about developing characters. But then that takes me back to my original question, what is the purpose of all of this? To tell a good story? Umm, killing off little girls and retarding the growth of established characters does not tell a good story, so that's obviously not the answer either. I just can't answer that question... And that makes me both sad and angry. Sad because Roy's character didn't need to be broken down, he has always been one of the more unique comic characters around(let's face it, there aren't a whole lot of single father super-heroes in comic books), and angry because this storyline has taken 30 years of character development and thrown it all away. What more can I say?

Score: 4 out of 10.*gasp* Wow, what a revolutionary idea! Like 30 years ago...

Green Lantern #52: Writer: Geoff Johns. Pencils: Doug Mahnke.
Last Issue: 8 1/2 out of 10.

This issue gets underway with all of the Black Lanterns in the area around the Earth(as well as the Black Lantern planet of Xanshi)responding to the events from Blackest Night #7(Sinestro becoming THE White Lantern)and making a beeline towards Coast City. John Stewart and his rag-tag group of Color Corps members realize that the best way to save the Earth is to attack Xanshi and try to destroy it before it destroys the Earth. While that is going on, Sinestro is getting a history lesson from his White Ring about the origin of life in the universe. While he is distracted, Nekron attacks him and cuts him in half(!!!)... Well, I guess that's ONE way to deal with things... Xanshi sends a huge blast of energy down into the Pacific Ocean which in turn sends a huge tsunami wave towards Coast City. However, before the wave can submerge the city, Hal Jordan erects a huge green wall to keep the waters back, which unfortunately leaves Hal open to an attack by the Black Lanterns and Black Hand himself. Back on Xanshi, John Stewart and his allies manage to reach the center of the planet and pool their powers to destroy it's black core, which obliterates the dead world. While that action is occurring, the White Light resurrects Sinestro, and these two acts actually seems to hurt Nekron for the first time since Blackest Night began. Now alive again, Sinestro prepares to attack Nekron one final time, but we won't get to see what happens during that battle until Blackest Night #8...

Eh, for what it was(a place-holder issue)this comic wasn't half bad. It gave us Xanshi getting destroyed and it also set-up the final battle between Nekron and... well, everybody else. I was looking forward to reading Blackest Night #8 before I read this comic, and after reading this, that feeling hasn't changed. Man do I wish there was a comic book store near me... Oh well, maybe I'll have my comics rush delivered this week so I can read BN #8 as soon as possible!

Score: 8 out of 10.Ouch, you're going to need a couple of band-aids to patch THAT cut up!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Batman & Robin #10, Superman: Last Stand of New Krypton #1 & Titans #23

I'm sure burning through the new books I ordered last week in a pretty rapid fashion... Luckily I placed another comic order this past Wednesday, so hopefully I'll be getting this week's books as early as tomorrow. Speaking of comic orders, since I'm pretty sure Blackest Night #8 is dropping this coming Wednesday, I'm going to see if there are any back issues I've been needing so I can place yet ANOTHER order to fill out my shopping cart. So yeah, that'll be three consecutive weeks of CB orders, which means after BN winds down, it's time to start to show just a little restraint... HA! Yeah right! So it's three DC reviews on the agenda tonight. Unfortunately one of them is written in Morrisonese, which means I probably won't have the damnedest idea as to what's going on... Might as well start at the bottom first, no?

Batman & Robin #10: Writer: “Mad” Grant Morrison. Pencils: Andy Clarke.
Last Issue: 6 1/2 out of 10.

This issue starts with Damian(he's only TEN YEARS OLD!!!)Wayne holding a meeting with the Board of Directors of Wayne Enterprises... Damian levels accusations of financial irregularities at some of the board members, and they ACTUALLY LISTEN to him!!! My god, I think my IQ just fell 40 points... I mean, I don't care how smart he is, he's TEN!!! While Damian is making me want to gouge my eyes out with a rusty icepick, Dick “I'm still Batman?!?” Grayson is meeting with some weird guy named Oberon Sexton, who tells Dick that he suspects that the Domino Killer(whoever the hell HE is)is probably targeting Bruce Wayne since the Domino Killer was hunting down members of the Black Glove(which the media insinuated Bruce to have been a member of... I guess). Dick acts confused and leaves, returning to Wayne Manor where he meets Damian and Alfred, who had shut down the Manor's electric systems since they are unsure of whether or not they had picked up all of El Sombrero's eavesdropping devices... El Sombrero? Really?!? So the guy's name translates to The Hat!?! Anyway, the trio discuss the fact that they now seem to believe that Bruce Wayne is alive and trapped in time, and as such they begin to search the Manor for any possible clues Bruce(while trapped in the past)may have left for them. Everyone wanders around, with Dick and Damian discovering some secret passage that leads them to a mysterious room of suits of armor. While this is happening, some goons try to attack Oberon Sexton, but he manages to get away. While Damian and Dick are searching the secret room, Damian begins to realize that when Bruce returns he'll probably lose his place as Robin, so he begins to get even more bitchy then usual. We then get a flashback to the last time Damian and Talia were together, where she was trying to sow seeds of doubt about the way the Bat-family felt about Damian. Back in the present, Dick begins to investigate a strange symbol on the floor of the secret room, as Damian grabs a sword from one of the suits of armor and takes a swing at the back of Dick's neck. Before Damian can connect, Dick falls through the floor, landing in a DOUBLE secret chamber! Ooo, Wayne Manor is sure quite the mysterious place! Damian seems to snap out of a trance and realizing what he almost did, runs away screaming about what his mother did to him. Dick wanders around the DOUBLE secret chamber and finds a strange alter with the Bat logo etched into the floor, as well as the word, “Barbatos” carved into the wall. Damian runs through the graveyard at the Manor(every home should have one!)and bumps into Sexton, who tells Damian to keep quiet, since the minions of the Domino Killer were spread all throughout the graveyard, ending this issue.

I don't even know what to say... What a mess! For me, the tone was set right from the start when Damian was heading a meeting with the Board of Directors at Wayne Enterprises. OK, I get it, Grant LOVES Damian, and Damian can do NO wrong, but come on, this is getting insane now! Are you really going to tell me that Wayne Enterprises, a multi-BILLION dollar company would even ENTERTAIN the notion of having Damian at one of their meetings?!? I mean there's suspending belief, but that's going TOO far! With that bad taste already in my mouth, I could never really get into the rest of this story. It was more of Grant's bizarre, nonsensical insanity. Knowing how crazy Bruce Wayne is(the guy built a multi-million dollar Batcave!)I can't believe that he would have been unaware of all of these secret rooms/passages hidden throughout the Manor. If I wanted to get REALLY nit-picky, I'd point out that those secret rooms should have been almost in ruins thanks to the Gotham City earthquake of a few years back... If you like Grant's Batman work, then I'd guess you'd probably like this issue. If you're like me, and can't decipher Morrisonese, then you're probably glad this issue ended when it did!

Score: 4 out of 10.Yeah, I'm sure this happens to all of the Fortune 500 companies...

Superman: Last Stand of New Krypton #1(of 3): Writers: James Robinson & Sterling Gates. Artist: Pete Woods.

We begin this mini where the World of New Krypton maxi-series ended, with Brainiac launching a massive attack on the Kryptonian homeworld. Unlike the first time Brainiac attacked the Kryptonians and stole the city of Kandor, this time around the Kryptonians are empowered by the yellow sun, and as such go about trying to defend themselves against Brainaic's robotic minions. Unfortunately, Brainiac's robots are equipped with weapons designed to neutralize the Kryptonians super-powers, which leads to Brainiac's forces pushing the Kryptonian forces backwards. While Superman and his Red Shard military unit are racing around the streets trying to destroy as many robots as they can, General Zod fires a massively powerful blast at Brainiac's ship, which kills several members of the Kryptonian military who were trying to attack Brainiac's ship, while doing absolutely NO damage to the ship itself. Supes, having seen what had happened, and witnessing the deaths of the military members, confronts Zod, who calls the incident unfortunate and calls the dead soldiers collateral damage. That does it for Supes, who quits the military guild, tears off his uniform and launches skyward back in his familiar red and blue. While Supes is taking the fight to Brainiac's ship, Supergirl assists her mother, who was being mobbed by robots and gets her out of harms way. SG drops her mother off with General Zod, where she figured she'd be safe, and heads back into the streets to try to fight off Brainiac's forces. Unfortunately for the Girl of Steel, Brainiac's forces hit her with a blast of red sunlight and prepare to kill her. Before the robots can finish the job, Superboy, Mon-El and the Legion of OLD Super-heroes arrive on the scene and rescue her. After cleaning up the robots, SG brings SB and company to Zod, and the OLD Legionaries tell him that he must not destroy Brainiac, because Brainiac still has several captive bottle cities aboard his ship, and destroying the ship would destroy those cities. Zod tells them that he understands, and he asks SG to go back out to help her people. Mon-El joins her, and after they leave, Zod commands his men to arrest SB and the OLD Legion, calling them maniacs. Back in space, Superman manages to bypass Brainiac's ship's force-field, and gets on board. After tearing through the few robots there, he runs into Brainiac himself in his room of bottled cities. Before Supes can launch an attack against Brainiac, Supes is struck down by a powerful blast fired by Lex Luthor(!). Needless to say, that ends this issue.

This was a VERY good beginning to this mini. The story was sound(Brainiac either wants to take back Kandor or destroy it), the artwork was good and everything blended together nicely. I was pleasantly surprised to see Lex standing with Brainiac, mainly because I had forgotten that they were working together... Whoops! Anyway, as far as I'm concerned, the addition of Lex can only help this mini, so it was great to see him here. The only thing that annoyed me about this one was the addition of the OLD Legion, but at least they were for the most part inoffensive. It should go without saying that I'll be collecting all three parts of this mini, as well as the other x-over stuff.

Score: 9 out of 10.Come on everybody, say it with me, "IT'S ABOUT TIME!!!"

Titans #23: Writer: Eddie Berganza. Pencils: Scott Clark and Ardian Syaf.
Last Issue: 7 1/2 out of 10.

This issue begins with a flashback that completely misrepresents what the original Teen Titans were all about, so I'm going to completely ignore it, lest I go off on some kind of a rant. After the awful flashback, we find Batman(Dick Grayson), Donna Troy and that OTHER Flash(Wally West)heading to Titan Tower to look at the new statue that was erected for their fallen teammate Tempest. While there, they get word from Cyborg that they should get to the bedside of Roy Harper since things weren't looking very good for him. We get a few more flashbacks detailing how much Flash hated Roy in the beginning because of the fact that they both had a thing for Donna, which would lead to tons of tension between Wally and Roy during their early years. Donna paints a different picture of Roy then the guys ever saw, stating that he was very sensitive with her. After the flashback sequences end, the three remaining original Teen Titans arrive at STAR Labs and sit at the bedside of the ailing archer. Dick begins to get upset and wants to leave(which would be the Batman way of doing things), but Donna convinces him to stay. Cyborg informs them that the doctors had finally halted the spread of the nanites that Prometheus introduced into Roy's system, which prompts Wally to run off to hug his wife and kids. This issue concludes with Wally having one final flashback where he finally buried the hatchet with Roy, mainly due to seeing how much Roy had grown over the years, and seeing the type of father Roy had become.

This was a good issue, although some of the flashback stuff ran contrary to my knowledge of Teen Titan history. I don't recall the original Teen Titans being a bunch of out of control kids, nor did I think Wally and Roy's relationship was nearly as bad as some of these flashbacks made it out to be. However, most of the rest of this comic worked well for me, and I was glad to see the Titans show some sort of emotion towards Roy's situation, unlike in the Rise and Fall Special. It was also a nice touch for Wally to rush off to see his own kids considering the fact that Roy had lost his daughter. Little things like that often go a long way with me, because they make sense in the context of the character(Wally in this case). While I still DETEST what DC did to Roy and especially Lian, this comic was good, and I'm cautiously looking forward to the recently released first part of the Rise of Arsenal mini-series.

Score: 8 out of 10.Wow, that's the longest string of profanity I think I've ever read...

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Dark X-Men #5, Green Lantern Corps #46 & REBELS #14

I've got a few comics here tonight that I've been looking forward to for quite a while! The final part of the mini-series which returned my namesake, X-Man, in Dark X-Men #5, the final Blackest Night x-over issue of the always good Green Lantern Corps, and the final part of the Starro the Conqueror storyline in REBELS. Well, let's skip the rest of this introduction and get to the comics, because I can't wait any longer!

Dark X-Men #5(of 5): Writer: Paul Cornell. Artist: Leonard Kirk.
Last Issue: 8 1/2 out of 10.

This issue gets started with the Dark X-Men trying to defeat the Green Goblin persona in Norman Osborn's mind, while Osborn himself has a mental war against Nate Grey for control of Norman's body. Nate's plan was for the Green Goblin persona to keep Osborn and the Dark X-Men preoccupied, however, Nate made a severe miscalculation and Osborn and the Goblin team-up to rid Nate from Osborn's mind. With Nate weakened and back in the physical world, Osborn has him quickly captured and tortured. Before sending Nate into the Omega Machine where his powers would be siphoned off for various nefarious effects, Nate tells the Dark X-Men that they let themselves down by not assisting him against Osborn, since he, unlike Osborn, would have been willing to help them overcome their various problems. This issue ends with Osborn having Nate wheeled away while the Dark X-Men realize that they probably screwed up their best chance to get out from under Osborn's thumb.

I totally expected this to happen. There were only two ways this mini could have ended, considering how INSANELY powerful Nate is, Nate either gets captured by Osborn and put in the Omega Machine, or he “dies” again and returns to the astral plane as discorporated energy, because with Nate's power level, he wasn't going to be allowed to roam around the Marvel U. For me, being THE biggest Nate Grey fan anywhere, I'm OK with this ending. Importantly, Nate ISN'T dead, he's just imprisoned, which means there is always a chance he'll be back again someday(kind of like Frosty the Snowman...). With Osborn almost certain to lose his power at the conclusion of the Siege x-over, I'm cautiously optimistic that no more Osborn means that Nate will be freed and allowed to do stuff in the Marvel U again. By the way, I'd be ALL for Paul Cornell taking over the writing duties from either Matt Fraction(Uncanny X-Men)or Mike Carey(X-Men Legacy), because in just five issues he managed to put together a better storyline then either of those other two writers have been able to string together in YEARS!

Score: 7 1/2 out of 10.I couldn't help but laugh when even the Green Goblin himself called Norman Osborn's hair bad!

Green Lantern Corps #46: Writer: Peter Tomasi. Pencils: Patrick Gleason.
Last Issue: 8 out of 10.

We open this one up with several members from all of the Color Corps combining forces above the Earth in an attempt to halt the thousands of Black Lanterns trying to descend upon the planet. While the Lanterns have some success, there proves to be too many BL's, and the Color Corps begins to lose ground. To make matters worse, Black Lantern Ice and Black Lantern Alex Dewitt(Guy Gardner and Kyle Rayner's girlfriends)attack their respective boyfriends. Guy manages to freeze and destroy BL Ice, while Kyle, with some assistance from Indigo Lantern Munk, destroys BL Alex. From there, all of the members of the Color Corps arrive in Coast City just as the Anti-Monitor(!)is attempting to free himself from the Black Power Battery, where Nekron had imprisoned him. The Color Corps members try to pool their powers against the Anti-Monitor, but since he isn't a full Black Lantern yet, they can't effect him. Instead, the Lanterns devise a plan which consists of putting Dove in a Green Lantern bullet construction(since she is full of the White Light of life)and fire her at the Anti-Monitor's head. While Dove's bullet passes by, all of the Color Corps members add some extra power to it, and it winds up striking the Anti-Monitor, knocking him over and out. Unfortunately for the members of the Color Corps, the Black Power Battery is STILL draining the power of the downed Anti-Monitor, and when the Corps members try to pull the Anti-Monitor away from the Battery, the Battery cuts their lines and sucks the Anti-Monitor back in. This issue ends with the Color Corps members re-newing their attack on the Black Power battery, since they realize removing the Anti-Monitor from it would de-power all of the black rings.

There was a whole lot of action here, and for the most part, it was all good. I enjoyed Kyle's interaction with poor dead BL Alex, and I'm glad Peter decided to put that in there, because Alex's death was probably one of the key moments which turned Kyle into the hero he is today. Other then that, there's really not much more to say... This comic was a welcome addition to the Blackest Night story, and didn't disappoint.

Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.Aww, seeing all of those Lanterns working together makes me want to break into a chorus of Kumbaya.

REBELS #14: Writer: Tony Bedard. Pencils: Claude St. Aubin.
Last Issue: 10 out of 10

This issue begins with the Omega Men(who had managed to procure the anti-Starro venom they went in search of)arriving at the Psimon's space station, but not getting any response from inside. Why is that? Because Starro himself was inside and ready to wage an all-out war against Dox and his REBELS. Adam Strange blasts Starro with a gun designed by Dox that was supposed to break Starro's hold over his slaves, but unfortunately, the gun doesn't work... With the gun a failure, the REBELS attack Starro, but even their combined efforts have little to no effect on Starro, as he easily brushes everybody and everything aside. During the battle, Starro falls into the Psimon's laboratory, and discovers all of his starfish that the Psimons had been experimenting on. This infuriates Starro, and he goes on a rampage, trouncing everybody and then using the starfish to latch onto everybody except for Dox(who was behind his impregnable force-field), Wildstar and Elu(who are both made entirely of energy). Before Starro can finish off Dox and his last two REBELS, the Omega Men arrive on the scene and shoot everybody full of quills containing the anti-Starro venom. However, the poison seems to have no effect, and Starro simply sends a few starfish at the Omega Men and enslave them as well. With his forces completely under Starro's control, Dox offers himself in exchange for Starro allowing Wildstar and Elu to go free. Dox puts his force-field down, and Starro grabs him by the throat in order to gloat a bit, because that's what any good super-villain would do! Before Starro can pop Dox's head off, Dox tells Starro that he happened to notice that when the Omega Men fired their quills, they only hit one starfish(the rest of the shots hit arms and legs of people), and that that starfish had died from the poison. With that, Dox pulls one of the quills out of Starro's arm and jabs it into the giant starfish on Starro's chest, which breaks Starro's hold over all of his slaves in all 9 galaxies he was under control of, as well as greatly diminishing his power. Before Starro can continue the fight, Despero grabs a hold of Starro, and restrains him, ending his threat. With Starro and his starfish army FINALLY defeated, Dox sends a transmission out to all of the planets which were taken over by Starro and tells them that he was responsible for saving them, and that he'd be organizing ways to assist them with getting back on their feet after their time as Starro's slaves. He ends the transmission by announcing that he would be reestablishing his LEGION peacekeeping force, and that he'd be getting in contact with the leaders of the worlds he assisted in order to discuss reparation... HA! This issue ends with Adam Strange deciding to stick around the REBELS for the time being in order to make sure Dox didn't take advantage of any of the newly freed planets.

Of course I liked this one! After 15 parts, the whole Starro story is over... While the end came kind of... easy I guess, I was still pleased with the overall story here. These past 14 issues(plus the 1 annual)have really led me to become a huge fan of the characters in this book, to the point where I've been collecting all of the past LEGION/REBELS comic series. The next few issues should deal with Dox and his now bigger then ever ego after ending the threat of Starro, and the more Dox we get in this series, the better this series will become which is a GREAT thing! I'm eagerly looking forward to the next few issues to see where things go from here. Long Live The REBELS!

Score: 9 out of 10.Hmm, I've heard people talk about poking their eye out, but I've never actually seen it happen...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Justice League: Cry for Justice #7(of 7), Justice League: Rise and Fall Special #1 & Green Arrow #31.

Since I finally got my hands on Justice League: Cry for Justice #7, I figure I can FINALLY start reading all of the various post-Cry comics I've had laying around. So basically, this post is going to tackle the final issue of Cry, as well as the aftermath with Green Arrow... Now, I read Cry #7 last night, and to be honest, even as I read this, I'm still not sure what I should score it... Why? You'll find out after I voice my thoughts on this comic after the review. Alright, with the intro out of the way, let's get down to business.

Justice League: Cry for Justice #7(of 7). Writer: James Robinson. Pencils: Mauro Cascioli, Scott Clark & Ibraim Roberson.
Last Issue: 9 1/2 out of 10.

We get started with Prometheus demanding his release from the Justice League or face the prospect of several other cities being destroyed like Star City was. The JL doesn't want to free Prometheus, so instead they spread out and head to various different cities, hoping that they can disarm the bombs Prometheus's henchmen had planted. From there, the scene shifts to Star City, where Speedy is battling against the villain responsible for placing the bomb there for Prometheus, the Electrocutioner. Before she can wrap him up, the building they were fighting atop collapses and the Electrocutioner escapes. By this time several heroes have arrived in Star City, but there is little they can do to halt the widespread destruction occurring due to Prometheus's bombs. Speedy runs into Donna Troy and asks Donna to take her back to Green Arrow's house, where Roy Harper's daughter was staying, in order to make sure she was all right. Upon arriving at the scene, they find GA's house had collapsed and GA and Black Canary are standing there with the body of Roy's young daughter Lian, who was crushed during the building collapse... It's going to tough to finish this review after having to type those words... Several other bombs in other cities begin to go off, and the JL spreads out trying to minimize the damage and prevent another catastrophe such as what happened in Star City. The whole time, Prometheus tells the heroes that if the release him he'll provide them with the codes to deactivate the bombs. After several non-successful attempts to stop the bombs, GA finally gives the word to his fellow Justice Leaguers that they need to release Prometheus, or they'll be facing several cities destroyed and a death toll in the hundreds of thousands. With that, the heroes release Prometheus from the Watchtower, he provides them with the codes and they manage to stop the bombs from detonating any further, while Prometheus returns to his extra-dimensional base. This mini-series concludes with Prometheus, back at his headquarters, plotting his next move. He winds up turning around, and standing behind him is Green Arrow, who sends an arrow right between Prometheus's eyes, killing him.

I'm not really sure what to write here... I guess I'll start with my gut feelings. The death of Lian Harper was one of the most disgusting, despicable acts I've read in a comic book for quite some time. I want to compare it with Yost and Kyle's actions in New X-Men when they murdered off half the population of the Xavier school, but the comparison isn't valid, because what happened in this comic was far worse, and I never thought I'd ever call anything worse then the deaths of 20+ innocent mutant children... I can accept anything in a comic book provided it makes the story better, from murder, to rape, to genocide. Killing off the 7 year old daughter of Roy Harper added NOTHING to this story. And before you say, “Well it fueled Green Arrow's actions”, I refute that by saying that GA STILL would have been more then justified in his killing of Prometheus based solely on his maiming of Roy, along with the fact that Prometheus was responsible for the deaths of 90,000 people in Star City. No, Lian's death was unnecessary, wrong and out and out sickening. The only saving grace in the comic was the ending when GA put the arrow through Prometheus's head, because if this comic would have ended in any other way, I would have had some real doubts as to whether I'd want to read anything written by James Robinson again. The guy is(was I guess)one of my favorite writers before this mini-series started, but all he did here was maim and kill off characters I cared about... You can only be slapped in the face so many times before you start to get pissed, and yeah, that last slap really pissed me off. As for GA killing Prometheus, it was well within his character, if you don't believe me, just pick up some of the early issues of the GA series from the late 1980's, because all Ollie did back in the day was kill people who deserved it. As for my final thoughts on this comic, I guess all I can say is that it disappointed me. I think this story could have easily played out without the maiming of Roy Harper or the death of his daughter, and still had a huge emotional impact.

Score: You know, I've been thinking about what to score this comic for almost 24 hours now, and I've gone back and forth numerous times. I don't think I've ever had a tougher time giving a comic a score then I've had with this comic... After MUCH deliberation, I'm going to give this comic a 0 out of 10... It's definitely not the worst comic I've ever read, not even close. Hell, there were parts I really enjoyed, but killing off Lian Harper will forever sully this comic to the point where I don't think I'd ever want to read it again...Justice is served...

Justice League: Rise and Fall Special #1: Writer: JT Krul. Pencils: Mike Mayhew.

This issue kicks off with a quick recap of the closing moments of Cry #7 where Green Arrow puts an extra hole in Prometheus's helmet... While Prometheus was still in it! After killing Prometheus, Ollie heads back to STAR Labs where Roy Harper was being treated after the loss of his arm. However, Ollie can't stand to remain there, and decides he needs to go out and hunt down the man who placed the bomb in Star City at the behest of Prometheus, the Electrocutioner. Not trusting the look in Ollie's eyes, his wife, Black Canary decides to go with him to make sure he doesn't cross any lines(even though unbeknownst to her, he already had). While Ollie and Dinah travel through the decimated streets of Star City, SAINT Barry Allen and Hal Jordan decide to pay a visit to Opal City in order to see if the Shade knew more about Prometheus's evil schemes then he let on during the Cry mini-series. Upon arriving at the Shade's home, SAINT Barry tries to attack, but the Shade pulls them both into the Shadowrealm, and leads them to the inter-dimensional home of Prometheus. The Shade leads them indoors and tells the two heroes that they weren't the first people who asked to find Prometheus's hiding place, at which point the two heroes spot the corpse of Prometheus, with a green arrow still jutting out of his head. Back in Star City, Ollie spots the Electrocutioner and proceeds to beat the hell out of him, while Dinah looks on. With Electrocutioner down, Ollie draws an arrow, takes aim and shoots, only missing the Electrocutioner's head thanks to a timely nudge by Dinah. The two begin to argue, which gives Electrocutioner the opportunity to slip away, which only manages to piss Ollie off even more. Ollie and Dinah then continue to argue about right and wrong until they are interrupted by the arrival of SAINT Barry and Hal, along with a box containing the corpse of Prometheus. SAINT Barry(the hypocrite)rants and raves about Ollie being a murderer until Ollie points out the the SAINT once murdered the Reverse-Flash in an attempt to save his wife. Dinah asks to see the body to confirm that Ollie had indeed crossed the line, and after Ollie tells Hal to do it, Hal opens the lid, revealing the lifeless body of Prometheus. While Dinah tries to process what Ollie had done, Ollie grabs Prometheus's teleportation key and leaves the scene, telling the heroes that he wasn't finished just yet. This issue ends with Hal, SAINT Barry and Dinah deciding that they have to locate Ollie before he kills again.

First off, I can't tell you how happy I was when Ollie threw the SAINT's role in the death of the Reverse-Flash in the SAINT's face! Big time props to JT Krul for bringing that up... God do I hate SAINT Barry... One thing that I didn't hate though was this comic! It was quite good, it filled in a few loose ends from Cry #7(such as how Ollie was able to find Prometheus), plus it went a great distance in making me an even bigger fan of Green Arrow(which I didn't think was possible!). Since I just read the entire 80's Green Arrow series, I like that GA is returning to his roots as a hunter of criminals, as opposed to a simple super-hero. With that said though, I was slightly disappointed in the depiction of Black Canary in this comic... Yes I know that Ollie is hurting from the maiming of Roy, the death of Lian and the destruction of Star City, but what about Dinah? It can be argued that she cared about Roy EVEN more then Ollie did, plus she's been seemingly unaffected by the death of Lian, which is kind of annoying to me. I guess she's been busy and all, but for Dinah it's like business as usual. I had a similar problem with a conversation between Wally West and Dick Grayson in this comic. Neither one seemed all too bothered by Roy's condition, and the death of Lian wasn't even mentioned! Both heroes had known Lian for almost her entire life, and although Dick is playing the distant Batman role now, I would have expected Wally to have said SOMETHING about the death of Lian, especially since he himself is also a father... Besides those small gripes, this was a very good comic that I'd have no problem recommending.

Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.Ah the Shade... He's STILL my favorite supporting character ever!

Green Arrow #31: Writer: JT Krul. Artist: Federico Dallocchio.
Last Issue: 9 out of 10.

This issue picks up directly after the Rise and Fall Special, with Green Arrow still searching Star City for the Electrocutioner, all while trying to avoid a confrontation with Hal Jordan, SAINT Barry Allen and Black Canary. Ollie manages to halt some looting, but draws the attention of the trio of heroes searching for him. Before they can take him in, Ollie unleashes a flare arrow that blinds Dinah and Hal, while sending an electric shock into SAINT Barry when he tries to corral Ollie. Ollie makes a break for it, but is pursued by his wife. Dinah manages to catch up to Ollie, but he hits her with a glue arrow, pinning her to the ground, which allows him to make his escape. Ollie ducks into the forgotten underground catacombs of Star City while the heroes continue their search for him on the surface, emerging to continue his hunt for the Electrocutioner when it was safe to come back out. After a run in with some over-exuberant cops, Ollie bumps into his son Connor Hawke and Connor gives Ollie a piece of his mind, since he found out about the death of Prometheus(from that damned big mouth hypocritical SAINT Barry!). Connor basically spits on all of his Buddhist teachings and tells Ollie to get lost, which he does. This issue ends with Ollie returning to the catacombs and finding Speedy there, holding the Electrocutioner at arrow point, pleading with Ollie to let her kill him.

Much like the Rise and Fall Special, I enjoyed this comic a lot. The funny thing though is the fact that with each passing comic I read, I'm beginning to hate SAINT Barry more and more! I mean damn, you'd think he'd come off his frigging high horse at least once! Man do I wish he was still dead... Besides my Barry Allen hatred, I was also a bit miffed at Connor Hawke's attitude towards his father. Connor had come to terms with Ollie's actions a long time ago, and the excuse for his bad attitude(as well as his regaining of his memories)was pretty weak. Other then that though, the rest of this comic was gold. I'm hoping Ollie makes a pin-cushion out of the Electrocutioner next issue, but with Connor's words ringing in his ears, I tend to doubt that's going to happen. Oh well, whatever happens next issue, I'll be eagerly anticipating it.

Score: 8 1/2 out of 10.Jeez, that's about the most pathetic put down I've ever read! What's SAINT Barry going to do next, tell Green Arrow's parents on him?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Comic Gazing for: 3/24/10

Hooray, my comic book order finally arrived today! After school, I happily tore into it, and was... surprised by the lack of new comics in it... That order contained those two real light weeks of books on the 3rd and the 10th. I had a few back issues in there which should be pretty good though, and I'm REALLY looking forward to reading a few of the new books I did get(REBELS #14 & Dark X-Men #5 would be at the very top of my list), so life is good for me. See, it doesn't take much to make me happy!

Other then that, I ordered a new PS3 game today, since Gamestop was having a 20% off any new PS3 games sale. While I've been THOROUGHLY enjoying NHL 2010(maybe the best hockey game EVER, and I've played 'em all!), I figured I might as well take advantage of the sale while it was in effect(Spring Break is rapidly approaching you know!). So what did I buy? Well I was going to pick up God of War 3(even though I'm one of the few PS2 owners who never played GoW 1 or 2), but my amigo JT(of the awesome Jason Todd's Comic Spot)managed to convince me to pick up Dragon Age Origins instead. I'm a sucker for two types of games because of their long replay value, sports titles and RPG's, which is what Dragon Age is. So if the game sucks, I'll be coming after you JT!

Before I get into this week's picks, I'm adding a NEW feature to my Comic Gazing post! Yeah I know, AWESOME! After I do my write up for each comic, I'll give a number on a scale of 1 to 10 denoting just how much I'm looking forward to reading each comic. Alright, enough small talk, it's time to go Comic Gazing!

Batman: Streets of Gotham #10: FINALLY we get Paul Dini and his Zsasz storyline back, which I've been looking forward to for the past two or three months now! Interest Level: 8 1/2 out of 10.

Green Lantern #53: Well, I know this comic will have something to do with Blackest Night, I just don't know what... All I do know is that I'm going to be pretty happy when Blackest Night ends, although I will admit to being just a bit pissed that Blackest Night is going to immediately lead into Brightest Day, ANOTHER multi-part x-over event... Come on already DC, how about a little bit of a break between "EPIC" crossovers! Interest Level: 8 out of 10.

Justice League: Rise of Arsenal #1: Now this one has me a bit torn... I am and have always been a huge Roy Harper fan, and when he lost his arm in Cry for Justice #5(?)I was seething... How the hell do you maim one of your deepest characters?!? BUT, if nothing else, the maiming of Roy Harper(which is in the early running for worst comic book moment of the year!)seems to be shining some attention on the character... I don't know what DC is going to do with a one armed archer(that's kind of like the one legged man in an ass-kicking contest, isn't it?), but here's hoping Roy actually gets something mainstream from this... Interest Level: 9 out of 10.

Superman/Batman #70: The last issue of this series was OK, and I'm kind of/sort of interested in seeing where the story goes, which is the only reason I'm buying this comic... If things don't pick up dramatically here though, I may drop this book in favor of Supergirl, which impressed me when I read the past two issues. Interest Level: 6 out of 10.

Superman #698: All I know is that if Superman doesn't return to this series with issue #700, I riot! I think the great Mon-El/Flamebird and Nightwing experiment of 2009 should definitely end, and Supes should take his spot back in Action Comics as well as this title. Why not have Mon and Nightwing/Flamebird move over to the Adventure Comics title and split time with Superboy there? Interest Level: 5 1/2 out of 10.

Avengers The Initiative #34: I love this series... I really do. I've enjoyed it from the beginning, and as it rapidly approaches it's end, I have to admit that I am getting a bit sad. Christos Gage has been pumping out very strong stories here, and in my humble opinion, he is currently doing the best Avengers related comic book. When the Avengers titles are relaunched after Siege, I'm all for Christos taking over the main Avengers book. Interest Level: 8 1/2 out of 10.

Captain America #604: It's Captain America and it's written by Ed Brubaker... Do I really need to say anything more? If you have even a passing interest in Marvel Comics or Captain America, you should be buying this series. 'Nuff said! Interest Level: 9 out of 10.

Deadpool #21: This is THANKFULLY the final part of the Hit-Monkey storyline... I've already gone over my hatred of all things monkey in several prior posts, so I'll spare you guys from more of my monkey venom, but yeah, I hate monkeys... Interest Level: 7 out of 10.

Mighty Avengers #35: One word: ULTRON!!! Ultron is my all-time favorite Avengers foe, and whenever he(it)pops up in an Avengers comic, I'm always excited... Well, except for when BENDIS turned Ultron into a female robot, but let's all disregard that for the sake of my sanity... Interest Level: 9 out of 10.

New Avengers #63: Oh god no, it's another installment of New Avengers... WHY?!? *sigh* Well, as an Avengers fan I'm obligated to read this garbage, even though I know it's going to be painful... Interest Level: 1 out of 10.

Thor #608: This is a Siege x-over issue, and it should feature Ragnarok(the evil Thor clone from Civil War), so although I don't normally pick up Thor comics, I'm really excited about this one! Interest Level: 8 1/2 out of 10.

Thunderbolts #142: This is also a Siege x-over comic, which is why I'm picking it up. The last issue was pretty good, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this one will follow suit. Interest Level: 7 1/2 out of 10.

Uncanny X-Men #522: Yay, Shadowcat looks to be returning with this issue...... And just so you know, that last line is LITERALLY dripping with sarcasm. I HATE Shadowcat so much it hurts, and the fact that she is ALREADY being brought back, while Jean Grey continues to rot in her grave just proves that the writers of Marvel's mutant titles hate me. Interest Level: 1 out of 10.

X-Factor #203: I have to admit that I'm glad the last storyline with the Fantastic Four is over, because X-Factor works better(to me at least)somewhat disconnected from the rest of Marvel's heroes. So long as Peter David is at the helm here, I have little doubt that this should be a good to great comic though. Interest Level: 7 1/2 out of 10.

And that's it. 14 new books this week, which is pretty much perfectly normal for me. Shockingly, this is the second straight week Marvel is taking more of my money then DC, this time by a count of 9 to 5! After months of DC domination, Marvel seems to be making quite the comeback in the battle for my attention/cash. Granted, two of the Marvel books should be absolutely atrocious, but still, even if I was to eliminate those two comics, Marvel would still be winning. Now the question becomes, when will DC break Marvel's grip and retake the top spot? Only time will tell... That's it everyone, until next time, Long Live The Legion!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Supergirl #49 & 50.

Since I'm still waiting on my package of new comics, I'm getting down to the nitty-gritty/stuff near the very bottom of my new comic pile... I'm actually beginning to get slightly alarmed by the fact that my new books haven't arrived yet, and considering the headache I went through with one of my CB packages getting lost in the mail last October, it should come as no surprise that the longer I wait, the more nervous I get!

Besides that, I decided to do a Magneto week over at my scan blog(which you can check out here)... Kind of... As I was going through my collection, I realized that I have A LOT of Magneto appearances... So what I decided to do was just post Magneto appearances from the 90's, excluding Age of Apocalypse stuff. Plus I tried to pick some rare(ish) appearances. Alright, that's enough babbling for now, let's get to these Supergirl comics. One quick note, I hardly ever read Supergirl comics(only if I have to during x-overs), but I decided to give these issues a shot since the series made it to issue #50. Will I like it enough to put it on my monthly pull list? I guess I'll know in a couple of minutes.

Supergirl #49: Writer: Sterling Gates. Artist: Matt Camp.

This comic begins with Lana Lang(who I'm guessing was letting Supergirl crash at her place)collapsing in the lobby of her hotel in a pool of blood. From there, Supergirl, who seems to be possessed by evil Irish spirits, is battling Silver Banshee. I've got to say that I'm a wee bit lost here... It kind of feels like I walked in during the middle of a movie... Long story short, SG and a cop(Inspector Henderson)manage to drive the evil spirits out of Supergirl's body. Since those spirits were old enemies of Silver Banshee, she thanks the cop and teleports away. Afterwards, SG and the cop have a chat on the roof of a building, and SG hears the doctors trying to resuscitate Lana at the hospital, so she takes off and changes into her street clothes, arriving at the hospital just as the doctors were pronouncing Lana dead. SG talks to one of the doctors and asks to see Lana's body(since Lana was apparently suffering from some sort of bizarre illness before she died), but before the doctor can answer her, she hears some strange noises coming from the morgue. Changing back to her Supergirl attire and rushing to the morgue, SG discovers Lana's body completely enveloped in a strange cocoon. This issue ends just as the cocoon begins to open.

Not bad, not bad at all. The story was good enough to make me want to get the past couple of issues so I could see what was up with Silver Banshee and that cop, plus the cliffhanger has me eagerly anticipating the next issue. Well, I guess I might as well stop talking and get to SG #50.

Score: 7 1/2 out of 10.Hmm, that sure doesn't look very good...

Supergirl #50: Writer: Sterling Gates. Pencils: Jamal Igle.

This issue gets underway with General Lane finding his thought to be dead daughter, Lucy, alive and not so well. It seems Lucy(or Superwoman if you prefer)has developed magical AND Kryptonian based powers, which freaks out her father, who recoils from his pained daughter and orders her restrained and tested to see what was wrong with her. From there we head to Metropolis, which is dealing with an invasion from alien bugs! Wow, like those awful old black and white movies! Anyway, it seems the insects have captured Supergirl and erected a hive over the hospital SG was in last issue. Gangbuster manages to sneak into the hive and break SG out, and the two return to STAR Labs, where Dr. Light explains to SG what they knew(not much)and what they were planning(nothing yet!). Remembering what happened last issue, SG figures Lana Lang's body and the strange illness she was suffering from had something to do with the bug problem, so she decides to go back in with Gangbuster to see what she can learn. The two are discovered by the bugs, and SG allows herself to be captured, hoping to get some answers. Sure enough, the drones bring SG to Insect Queen, who had seemingly taken over Lana's body, and as any villain worth their salt would do, Insect Queen begins to taunt the trapped SG. SG listens to Insect Queen's origin story before breaking free and going on the offensive, grabbing Insect Queen and bringing her to Dr. Light, who had created a machine to separate Insect Queen from Lana. The women toss Queen into the machine, and after a quick scare, Lana is back, and Queen is purged from her body. After Lana had recovered a little, SG scolds her for not being truthful about her disease and the severity of it, and pretty much tells Lana that she wants nothing more to do with her. Lana tries to explain that she didn't want SG worrying about her illness as opposed to doing the whole super-hero thing, but SG is unmoved and decides to put some space between herself and Lana. This issue ends with the newly powered Superwoman killing one of Gen. Lane's doctors and proclaiming herself ready for duty.

Well, after reading these two comics, I think I'll give the SG series a shot. They were good enough to warrant a spot on my monthly pull list. The main story(with Insect Queen)was good and all, but the back story with Gen. Lane and Superwoman was what really caught my attention. Superwoman seems to have the potential to match SG power level-wise, which should make their inevitable showdown a pretty good read.

Score: 8 out of 10.Ugh... That's one villain I'd never want to tangle with...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Random Scan of the Week!

After finding this scan, I'm tempted to put one day every week aside for a retro-Random Scan of the Week using my collection of Marvel Essentials and DC Showcases... I dare you not to chuckle at Magneto's over-the-top super-villain performance here!From Uncanny X-Men #18(March 1966)/Essential Uncanny X-Men Volume 1.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Action Comics #887 & Mighty Avengers #34

Only two new reviews tonight since I'm still waiting on my comic order. This is why I hate ordering from the comic shop in Texas... Sure, they have the best selection of back issues at really good prices, but it takes FOREVER to actually get the package! I mean, I ordered my books on Wednesday the 10t h and I'm still awaiting the package 10 days later! Even my patience has its limits! Granted, I still have a few new books to get to, but my new comics pile is starting to grow thin, and that always worries me a bit. Also, with tonight's reviews, I'm going to try something a little bit new... From now on, I'm going to post what I scored the prior issue for what ever series I'm reviewing. I figure last issue's score should give some indication of what I'll think of the comic I'm currently reviewing. Of course my first review of the night completely blows that theory out of the water... Well, I've got a bottle of strawberry flavored water and a big bag of Sour Patch Kids with me, so let's get to the reviews!

Action Comics #887: Writers: Greg Rucka & Eric Trautmann. Art: Pere Perez. Last Issue: 2 out of 10.

This comic gets underway with Lois Lane visiting the Web(whoever that is!)in Metropolis, where he gives her a computer that can't be hacked by the government. With no fear of her father killing her work, Lois embarks on a world tour, where she blogs about how Nightwing and Flamebird aren't the evil Kryptonian terrorists her father makes them out to be. From there we go to Flamebird and Nightwing in Iraq, where they are confronting evil Kryptonian, Jax-Ur, who happens to be the host for the vengeful Kryptonian god, Vohc-The-Breaker. Vohc wants Flamebird to love him, but she loves Nightwing, so it's all a big, soap opera-esque mess. Just with Kryptonians, instead of bad actors. Since he was spurned, Vohc creates a fake Rao(who is the main Kryptonian god)and sends it loose in the Middle East. Nightwing and Flamebird try to halt its progress, but fake Rao takes whatever is thrown his way and grows in size and strength. Realizing they were fighting a losing battle, Flamebird confronts Vohc himself, and Vohc throws a black lightning bolt at Nightwing, trapping him in what appears to be the Phantom Zone... Even though the Phantom Zone was destroyed. Flamebird loses the will to fight with Nightwing gone, but luckily for everybody, Lois Lane arrives on the scene with a cell phone! What a strange way to end things...

Compared to last issue, this comic wasn't all that bad. Then again, I don't know how this comic COULD have been as bad as last issue was! This comic was more or less about Nightwing and Flamebird attempting to halt the rampage of fake Rao, which was WAY better then last issues unwanted Kryptonian Mythology lesson. Sure some of the dialogue was hokey, and the story wasn't terribly original, but at least this comic was readable, and that makes it a huge improvement in my book!

Score: 6 1/2 out of 10.I can almost HEAR the noise Super Mario makes when Rao begins to grow in size!

Mighty Avengers #34: Writer: Dan Slott. Pencils: Neil Edwards. Last Issue: 7 1/2 out of 10.

This issue gets started with Pym FINALLY telling Quicksilver what everybody else has already known, that the Scarlet Witch who has been manipulating the team from its inception was actually Loki in disguise. Quicksilver throws one of his patented Quicksilver tantrums and Pym tells him that he has a plan for capturing Loki and seeing what he knows about the real Scarlet Witch's whereabouts. Pym then creates a machine/torture device on the Isle of Silence(think an Asgardian prison)and manages to snare Loki in it. Loki tries to manipulate the team into fighting each other('cause that's what he does), but Pym pushes a remote control button that inflicts a massive electrical shock strong enough to cause even Loki pain. Sensing that he could be in real trouble, Loki telepathically calls out to his brother Thor for assistance, and the God of Thunder arrives on the scene just as Quicksilver(who had stolen the remote away from Pym)is electrocuting Loki. Thor demands that Quicksilver halts his actions, and Quicksilver responds by baiting Thor into a fight. Thor makes quick work of Quicksilver, but Pym prevents Thor from really hurting Quicksilver. Thor then warns Pym to never create another Asgardian torture device, and Pym agrees to that, so long as Loki is punished for his actions. Since Loki DID torment the Mighty Avengers for so long, Thor grants Pym one question which he can ask Loki, and Thor warns Loki that he had better answer it truthfully. Instead of doing the expected, and asking Loki where the Scarlet Witch was, Pym asks Loki if he'd like to join the Mighty Avengers(!!!??!)! Loki of course turns down the offer, figuring Pym insane for even asking, and the rest of the team, from Quicksilver to Stature decide to quit, not wanting to be led by a man who would welcome Loki into the ranks of the Avengers. This issue ends with Ultron continuing to take over the bodies of Jocasta back at Infinite Avengers Mansion.

HA! Although there were some dead spots in this comic, as well as events that were never adequately explained(such as Pym knowing Loki would return to the Isle of Silence), the last few pages more then made up for that! First there was the part where Pym tried to recruit Loki to join his team, even though Loki has been an enemy of the Avengers longer then ANYBODY else. Not only did he try to get Loki to join up, but he then went about rationalizing it in a scientific way! Only Pym... Pym's actions seem to have broken up the team, and although I'm a bit upset about that, I'm overjoyed that I won't have to read about Amadeus Cho anymore... God do I HATE him! The ending, which heralds the return of Ultron also left me smiling, because Ultron IS my favorite Avengers villain, and anytime he appears is a good thing as far as I'm concerned... Well, as long as they revert Ultron back to his original appearance... I hated BENDIS'S female version of Ultron... So yeah, all in all, this was a pretty good read.

Score: 7 1/2 out of 10.When you can manage to leave Loki completely dumbstruck, you know you've done something right!