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View Full Version : Weekly Comic Book Discussion 6/29/2005


CandidGamera
06-29-2005, 07:04 PM
Here 'tis.

Spider-Man / Human Torch wraps this week, in a delightful fashion. We get the next issue of Shining Knight which had plenty of great opportunities to place a nod to the real Sir Justin, but nothing doing...Outsiders #25 wraps the crossover with the Titans. Fantastic Four #528 is fun and interesting; Flash #223 is damn good and features the return of an old Flash villain; Green Lantern #2 continues the new entertaining direction;Birds of Prey #83 is lovely as usual;Young Avengers #5 is pretty cool. JLA Classified ends on a note that seems to be a big middle finger to the Omac Project. Annnd, Omac Project #3 goes into the reasons they haven't spotted the satellites, hands Batman an ego blow, inspires an irate JLIer to get the team back together or at least try, and gives us an interesting cliffhanger to noodle.

Got some more, but that's what I've read so far.

Menocchio
06-29-2005, 08:41 PM
OMAC #3: Ah, there we go. Batman didn't know about teh robot things. Good, good. Really ratcheting up the drama and tension here. And a doozy of a cliffhanger.

Batman #641: Why is Jason wearing a little mask under his big mask? Between the fight from a few issues ago and Red Hood clearly defining teh motives we'd already guessed, nothing much happened this issue. I hope the Joker kills this guy dead again soon. Interesting to see that Jason's using stolen Kord tech. Is he on Lord's payroll?

Shining Knight #3: Here's the continuity patch for those what need it! Besides that, nothing much happens. Too much exposition, especially for a four-issue miniseries.

Green Lantern #2: Cool. building character on Hal. I'm not liking teh guy just yet, but I've seen enough to give Johns the benefit of the doubt.

JLA Classified #9: Well, it's over. I'll take OMAC, thanks. (Or GLA for my goofy Super-antics).

The Flash #223: Wow. The Reverse Flash... Wow! What the hell will this book do without Johns? (Of course, I said the same thing about Waid)

Hey, It's That Guy!
06-30-2005, 12:08 AM
JLA Classified #9: Whew, I'm glad that's over. And that's the last time I ever loyally collect a book out of loyalty to the creative team if I don't like it that much. But the last panels, just head shots of Blue Beetle and Max Lord standing next to each other, with the caption "And they lived bwah-ha-happily ever after," was all too creepy and a little sad.

OMAC Project #3: As if this wasn't moving slowly enough, I find out that we need to read the next three Superman titles AND Wonder Woman before continuing back with OMAC #4? I'm sorry, Mr. Rucka, but that's ludicrous to expect for a miniseries, which by its definition should be self-contained. Even though Booster Gold and Guy Gardner are forming a posse of ex-JLI members, I probably won't be around to see it. And the big reveal at the end was already hinted at, so it didn't shock or surprise me too much.

G.I. Joe: America's Elite #0: Well worth it, a full-length issue for 25 cents. But even though I loved Joe Casey's work on Wildcats and I grew up loving G.I. Joe, I can't be bothered to follow this relaunch. Funny, I remember Casey saying in an interview a couple years back that he was already sick of the '80s nostalgia "toy comic" craze. Now that G.I. Joe is the only one left, I guess he changed his mind.

Batman/Huntress: Cry For Blood #3: My first taste of this older miniseries; a cheap back issue. Now I'm going to have to track down the rest, since it was really good. It's not often you can pick up a miniseries from the middle and follow along perfectly with what's happening and get filled in on what you missed, but I enjoyed the issue for just that. Of course, I also liked seeing Huntress training with a very patient Richard Dragon and a very laid-back Question. For fans of the Question/Huntress dynamic in the JLU cartoon, this is the very issue where they meet and become friends. Ah, it's good to remember Greg Rucka has done far better work than the glacially-paced OMAC Project.

Charlton Bullseye #1: I haven't read this one yet, but it seemed like something I can't go wrong with, a 1981 Charlton comic featuring two of my favorite characters, Blue Beetle and the Question, before DC bought all the Charlton heroes! I'm not sure if Steve Ditko did this issue or not, but I am saving it for another day. A great find at a very decent price.

Leaper
06-30-2005, 01:08 AM
I keep up with very few titles these days. Young Avengers is one of the few. It's gotten to the point where I wait on pins and needles for the next month's issue to come around. I'm glad it's popular, because if it keeps up the level of quality it's had so far, it deserves a good run.

Wolfian
06-30-2005, 01:17 AM
Outsiders #25: The first issue of Outsiders I bought, which hooked me, was the February issue where Indigo finishes an enemy by making him more robot than human. This issue's ending really hit me. Not as much as the end of the kidnapping arc, but still pretty well. I'm not looking forward to the next two issues, a reunion of the original Outsiders featuring Batman. I'm still not sure how Donna Troy figures into all of this. Apparently she screws up Colu's development. It looked fine in last week's Legion of Superheroes. Eh, best not to worry too much about these things.

OMAC #3: I'm torn. On one hand this series is really going somewhere now. The scenes with Guy and Wondy IN SPAAAAAAAAAAACE had me in stitches ("...we have yet to identify the ass that needs kicking."). Wonder Woman can survive in space? I know that she can hold her breath for ridiculously long periods of time and that "after wearing [that] outfit for so long [she] doesn't really get cold" (both from her guest appearance with Kyle Rayner during his "Hero's Quest"), but IN SPAAAAAAAAACE? Also how is she communicating? Booster has air inside his shield so his voice can travel to his communicator. Guy is using his ring. Is J'onn linking Wondy? But I digress.

On one hand I'm finally happy about this series. On the other I have to read a mini-series within the mini-series to understand it fully? WTH? I complained about there being another Superman cross-title miniseries after last week's Adventurers of Superman. :Sigh: I'll buy them because the stories (OMAC and AoS) are good, but still...

Final Night: Thanks, Lou! This cross-over didn't disappoint. Having a sole figure skipping around doomed galaxies had a lot of Pariah in it, but the story was original enough that unlike Zero Hour, it felt like a new story. My favorite parts: Zatana and Fire's magic show (I'd pay to watch it in Vegas), Kyle and Parallax at the Wall, and of course the sacrifice at the end.

I still have to read GL and the Flash, but not tonight.

Menocchio
06-30-2005, 07:00 AM
JLA Classified #9: Whew, I'm glad that's over. And that's the last time I ever loyally collect a book out of loyalty to the creative team if I don't like it that much.

You have a better excuse than I did. I simply couldn't be bothered to take it off my pull list, and then back again once it ended. :smack: Stupid anthology title. Well, the next story looks pretty good.

I'm torn on the OMAC x-over. It was a cool enough cliffhanger that I'm eager to see where this is going, but I don't really want to pick up four more books. And I think I can tell where this is going (spoilers for OMAC #3 and speculation below):

Mind-Controlled Superman is sent after Batman. Wonder Woman intervenes. This gives Batman enough time to figure out how to break the control (or maybe Wonder Woman does it). Superman, freed, is pissed at Batman for starting this whole mess, but more at Checkmate.

But, the fact that I can see it coming doesn't make it less cool. And that'd setill be pretty cool. I guess I'll pick it up if my buying feels pretty light the next few weeks.

I missed Outisders, did the quality improve from the last few installments of this story? I'm also torn on whether to wait for a second printing or beg for spoilers for my Titans reading.

Hey, It's That Guy!
06-30-2005, 08:12 AM
Final Night: Thanks, Lou! This cross-over didn't disappoint. Having a sole figure skipping around doomed galaxies had a lot of Pariah in it, but the story was original enough that unlike Zero Hour, it felt like a new story. My favorite parts: Zatana and Fire's magic show (I'd pay to watch it in Vegas), Kyle and Parallax at the Wall, and of course the sacrifice at the end.

I'm glad they arrived, and doubly-glad you liked them. I reread them one more time before sending them off to you, and it was one of the better crossovers of the '90s.

Wolfian
06-30-2005, 09:30 AM
The Flash #223: Wow! Speedsters doing what speedsters do best. Bart wasn't his normal irratating self which is a good thing.

Green Lantern #2: The last issue didn't really do it for me, but I knew Johns could and would do better. Glad to see that I was right.

Wow! Four awesome new books this week plus a great old one. I'm hard pressed to remember a time when I was this excited about all of my purchases for a week.

Wolfian
06-30-2005, 10:23 AM
One last thing: the cover for GL#2 rocks! The original design can be seen here (http://www.dccomic.com/comics/?cm=3652). For the final design they changed the background to a blurry sky blue and changed the generic ring shine to a green streak, all making the cover very active. It practicly jumped off the racks at me. In case you couldn't tell, I have a new favorite cover.

Cliffy
06-30-2005, 10:58 AM
So far, all I've read is

Lucifer TPB 8: The Wolf Beneath the Tree -- Holy crap! I thought I had a vague idea where this thing was going, but I was way off. The arc which takes up most of this book is a change of pace for the series, because for once Lucifer is not in total control of the situation. As always, I'm champing at the bit for the next round.

--Cliffy

WonK
06-30-2005, 12:14 PM
New Books for June 22nd & 29th, 2005:

Spoilers,....


Best of the Week

Wow! Planetary #23: Percussion treats us to the wilder side of life in the Planetary Organization (I love these guys in action!), and an orphan’s touching faith in his “father”. Fast-moving, fun AND intriguing. I wish more issues of Global Frequency had been half as exciting: this issue is nearly flawless!

“The Lonesome Death of Jack Monroe in Captain America #7 is the most effecting issue yet of Brubaker’s run. The heavy jagged blacks Bill Sienkiewicz used to finish Leon’s single issue New Xmen stories might have suited Jack Monroes’ slow, sad decline a bit better than the heavy line and flat colors employed here. Great, evocative cover by Epting.

The old “Men’s Adventure” genre, which dominated popular paperbacks in the fifties and sixties, gets a revival in two books this week, and both books are beautifully done. Almost every story in Solo: Darwyn Cooke is a lighthearted celebration of the more popular tropes of the genre, right down to the ads that used to appear in magazines like the early Playboy. This collection is capped off by a great story that pits master thieves Stark and Jeff (from Cooke’s original graphic novel, Catwoman: Selena’s Big Score up against the Batman. Without question, the best edition of DC’s Solo series to date.

You can get a taste of something closer to the real thing in Howard Chaykin’s City of Tommorrow #3, where a swaggering ex-spec ops trooper returns home and, quite literally declares war on vice in his hometown. The big difference from older variants of this theme is half the town is populated by domestic service robots gone bad. (The ‘bots form the backbone of the unseemly vice-ridden underbelly of the town, it’s pimps, loan sharks, gambling den operators, hustlers, hookers and shills.) In the process he impresses the ladies, be they human pushovers or crafty robotic whores, who are ready and willing to let him know it. Even more sex soaked than Chaykin’s celebrated American Flagg!, this “city of tomorrow” is definitely not for kids.

Good Art: Straightforward Stories.

The new long-term creative team on takes over in Catwoman #44. Pfieffer’s version of Selena Kyle really enjoys action, whether she’s the careful thief or daring crime fighter. She also seems a bit reckless. A vague offer to take some pressure off the East End doesn’t seem reason enough for Selena to work for Hush. Still it was fun to see Catwoman take on Scarface, and a low rent version of Iron Man earlier in the issue. Pete Wood’s clear line quality applies here works well with Brad Anderson’s color, some panels remind me of fine watercolor, gauche and pen & ink scifi illustration I’ve seen from Europe. I hope Woods and Anderson can maintain the same high standard for the rest of their run on this title.

Mahnke and Nguyen’ straightforward storytelling shines on Batman #641, Judd Winnick’s ‘decent enough’ close to the “Family Reunion” story arc. I think it might have helped if a panel or two had been used to suggest that the fight had gone on for a long time, the better to explain the fact the two still aren’t still tearing at each other by issues end. I look forward to Nightwing, Robin and the Huntress’ reactions to the new, self confident Jason Todd. (Ethically, he’s an intelligent version of Nightwing’s Tad.) Also it would have added a nice subtext to the story if the Huntress had been substituted for Onyx. I find myself hoping Jason Todd figures into the whole Countdown “deal”. Perhaps he should cap Maxwell Lord. That would certainly be a grand way of introducing him to the new DCU as it’s resident version of the Punisher.

Palmiotti’s inks lend welcome structure to Brad Walker’s pencils (and they really look good) in Richard Lissau’s decent Batman short, “A Friend in Need”, in Batman Allies: Secret Files. Driven as ever, Lissau’s Dark Knight finds himself in the humbling position of having to ask a Gotham City PD detective to accept his help on a case. It’s an interesting take on the new status quo in Gotham since the War Games crossover. In “Taking Sides”, Anderson Gabrych pens an interesting exchange between Tim and Cassandra, that closes with a lead-in to an upcoming one month crossover in the Batman titles. Snyder’s finishes lend Derenick’s expressive compositions a nice Alan Davis-like feel here. Ron Randall does a nice job illustrating an otherwise unnecessary story about Gotham’s peculiar brand of criminals from Commissioner Akin’s point of view.
Sean Murphy and Pete Woods contributed two nice illustrations as well.

[b]Superpower Politics

Rucka & Morales conclusion to the “Bronze Doors” arc in Wonder Woman #217 had a curiously formal, storybook-like quality-there’s the requisite epic battle, near death experience, and the closing awarding of boons (which reminded me of the end of the film version of Wizard of Oz)- which contrasts sharply with the intrigue and betrayal at the heart of the story. Morales and Bair’s art was great, however, so I’m happy. I found myself wishing Cassandra’s father was the God of War, which seemed to have greater story potential, and that someone would take pity on poor suffering Ferdinand and introduce him to a nice cow.

The Wakandan resistance to economic and military invasion continues in Hudlin, Romita, Jansen and Week’s fast-moving Black Panther #7. I had a little trouble buying into the Black Knight’s capitulation. I realize the Panther is trying to spare the deluded idealist here, but to me, but the tactic felt a bit out of place, given the context of the story. The scene between Klaw and T’Challa’s mother and the deployment of deathlock cyborgs make me wonder how far Hudlin’s planning to take the tale.

Waid and Kitson’s Legion of Superheroes #7 featured really strong characterization (emphasizing Braniac 5 and Chameleon this issue), dark intramural intrigue, action and humor, without feeling rushed. When Brainy flips out, it humanizes him, prick that he his much of the time; and this really isn’t your parent’s Cosmic Boy. These guys play hard ball, and their games as chilling as those in JMS and Frank’s Supreme Power. Reading Supreme Power #17, I wondered how much of this books intensity might be diluted now that it’ll be a Marvel Knight’s title. Much of the intensity here comes from the fact that JMS deals with adult situations. I love the way JMS is developing Mark Milton’s growing isolation and Kingsley and Spectrum’s relationship. Zarda’s callous disregard for life (she needs to be fixed?), and the Generals manipulation combine to keep the reader uneasy suspense throughout. Good issue.

The Kids are Alright

Gabrych dialogue crackles in two good Batkid stories this month. David Cain’s honorable, if stilted version of parental affection (and the way Cassandra returns it) lends Batgirl #65 a fun, if perverse twist; and I liked the way new series penciller Pop Mhan laid out the conversations between Batgirl and Brenda (the coffee shop girl who I’d like to see more of), Onyx, and esp. her scene with Batman in the Cave. (I love the way Mhan draws Cassandra’s mask, which is a big improvement of Ale Garza’s helmet design.)

If sidekicks were truly created for younger readers to give them a character to identify with, Bill Willingham delivers on the wish fulfillment in Robin #139. Here, Willingham shows off Tim Drake’s intellectual strength and near tactical genius, and, more than ever, and Tim begins to look more and more like a credible successor to his mentor (and the Junkyard Dog is also a pretty horrific addition to Tim’s growing rogues gallery). I also appreciated Mindy Owen’s restrained finish over McDaniel’s layouts. With the new art team, Robin could shape up into a dependably fun read, a welcome addition to my monthly pull and hold list.

Geoff Johns and Judd Winnick’s “Insiders” crossover concludes in Teen Titans #25 and Outsiders #25. Geoff John’s Titans showcases Cassandra Sandsmark, the new Wondergirl. Concerned and upset over Connor, she finally cuts loose and demolishes a lot of lethal Superman robots, and has some nice moments with Tim and Connor. The issue also features creepy and intriguing dialogue between the Braniacs, Luthor and “son”, and Indigo and her former lover, Shift. Some felt the Titans and the Outsiders battle with the Superman robots was over to quickly. I felt differently. Clark and Thibert use the relatively long scene to underscore how powerful Cassandra really is, something that’s often overlooked in this title. (If the new Supergirl takes out Connor in September’s Supergirl #2, it would be interesting to see Cassandra manage to put Kara down in retaliation). I think it might have helped however, if some of the panel compositions weren’t so tightly crowded, and if the page layouts featured a couple of wide, long shots, of the kind Grummett employed in earlier issues of the Titans.

Picking up where Johns left off, Judd Winnick’s script for Outsiders #25 starts off pretty well, but was marred by a couple of narrative missteps at issues end. Most of the issue is devoted to the final battle between the assembled heroes and villains, and Carlos D’Anda does a good job of working the emotional highpoints into his page layouts. However I think there was one subplot to many. I found myself wishing D’Anda had the luxury of an extra page or two, the better to set up for Connor’s change of sides, and Dick urging Starfire to cut loose, as Wondergirl did earlier in Titans #25. The narration for the scene where the gathered heroes concentrate fire on Brainiac 8 was all too reminiscent of the climax of the Dark Phoenix arc in Claremont and Byrne’s Xmen, and ended up feeling derivative and forced. Finally Nightwing’s decision to quit the Outsiders at issues end struck a false note. If this is really how Dick Greyson feels about the inevitable dangers of a superheroes life, why doesn’t he quick fighting altogether? Why does he go undercover in his own title or continue to fight with Batman in Gotham? It’s too inconsistant with his “life” elsewhere.

Quick Closing Shots.

Giffen and Bisley take their new Authority/Lobo parody to grotesque extremes in Spring Break Massacre. It’s demented fun, esp. the earlier part of the story. The ending wasn’t quite as funny or effective as their previous effort, the Authority Lobo Xmas Special. I’d still like to see more however. I like their take on the Authority. I can’t really say I liked this months installment of the OMAC Project, #3. It also was far too disjointed. I might bail on this story line. While it was nice to see Mike Mignola’s back on Hellboy: the Island #1, I do wish he’d developed the dialog between Hecate and Hellboy more. For me, that was the most interesting aspect of this issue.

WonK
06-30-2005, 12:17 PM
New Books for June 22nd & 29th, 2005:

Spoilers,....


Best of the Week

Wow! Planetary #23: Percussion treats us to the wilder side of life in the Planetary Organization (I love these guys in action!), and an orphan’s touching faith in his “father”. Fast-moving, fun AND intriguing. I wish more issues of Global Frequency had been half as exciting: this issue is nearly flawless!

“The Lonesome Death of Jack Monroe in Captain America #7 is the most effecting issue yet of Brubaker’s run. The heavy jagged blacks Bill Sienkiewicz used to finish Leon’s single issue New Xmen stories might have suited Jack Monroes’ slow, sad decline a bit better than the heavy line and flat colors employed here. Great, evocative cover by Epting.

The old “Men’s Adventure” genre, which dominated popular paperbacks in the fifties and sixties, gets a revival in two books this week, and both books are beautifully done. Almost every story in Solo: Darwyn Cooke is a lighthearted celebration of the more popular tropes of the genre, right down to the ads that used to appear in magazines like the early Playboy. This collection is capped off by a great story that pits master thieves Stark and Jeff (from Cooke’s original graphic novel, Catwoman: Selena’s Big Score up against the Batman. Without question, the best edition of DC’s Solo series to date.

You can get a taste of something closer to the real thing in Howard Chaykin’s City of Tommorrow #3, where a swaggering ex-spec ops trooper returns home and, quite literally declares war on vice in his hometown. The big difference from older variants of this theme is half the town is populated by domestic service robots gone bad. (The ‘bots form the backbone of the unseemly vice-ridden underbelly of the town, it’s pimps, loan sharks, gambling den operators, hustlers, hookers and shills.) In the process he impresses the ladies, be they human pushovers or crafty robotic whores, who are ready and willing to let him know it. Even more sex soaked than Chaykin’s celebrated American Flagg!, this “city of tomorrow” is definitely not for kids.

Good Art: Straightforward Stories.

The new long-term creative team on takes over in Catwoman #44. Pfieffer’s version of Selena Kyle really enjoys action, whether she’s the careful thief or daring crime fighter. She also seems a bit reckless. A vague offer to take some pressure off the East End doesn’t seem reason enough for Selena to work for Hush. Still it was fun to see Catwoman take on Scarface, and a low rent version of Iron Man earlier in the issue. Pete Wood’s clear line quality applies here works well with Brad Anderson’s color, some panels remind me of fine watercolor, gauche and pen & ink scifi illustration I’ve seen from Europe. I hope Woods and Anderson can maintain the same high standard for the rest of their run on this title.

Mahnke and Nguyen’ straightforward storytelling shines on Batman #641, Judd Winnick’s ‘decent enough’ close to the “Family Reunion” story arc. I think it might have helped if a panel or two had been used to suggest that the fight had gone on for a long time, the better to explain the fact the two still aren’t still tearing at each other by issues end. I look forward to Nightwing, Robin and the Huntress’ reactions to the new, self confident Jason Todd. (Ethically, he’s an intelligent version of Nightwing’s Tad.) Also it would have added a nice subtext to the story if the Huntress had been substituted for Onyx. I find myself hoping Jason Todd figures into the whole Countdown “deal”. Perhaps he should cap Maxwell Lord. That would certainly be a grand way of introducing him to the new DCU as it’s resident version of the Punisher.

Palmiotti’s inks lend welcome structure to Brad Walker’s pencils (and they really look good) in Richard Lissau’s decent Batman short, “A Friend in Need”, in Batman Allies: Secret Files. Driven as ever, Lissau’s Dark Knight finds himself in the humbling position of having to ask a Gotham City PD detective to accept his help on a case. It’s an interesting take on the new status quo in Gotham since the War Games crossover. In “Taking Sides”, Anderson Gabrych pens an interesting exchange between Tim and Cassandra, that closes with a lead-in to an upcoming one month crossover in the Batman titles. Snyder’s finishes lend Derenick’s expressive compositions a nice Alan Davis-like feel here. Ron Randall does a nice job illustrating an otherwise unnecessary story about Gotham’s peculiar brand of criminals from Commissioner Akin’s point of view.
Sean Murphy and Pete Woods contributed two nice illustrations as well.

Rucka & Morales conclusion to the “Bronze Doors” arc in Wonder Woman #217 had a curiously formal, storybook-like quality-there’s the requisite epic battle, near death experience, and the closing awarding of boons (which reminded me of the end of the film version of Wizard of Oz)- which contrasts sharply with the intrigue and betrayal at the heart of the story. Morales and Bair’s art was great, however, so I’m happy. I found myself wishing Cassandra’s father was the God of War, which seemed to have greater story potential, and that someone would take pity on poor suffering Ferdinand and introduce him to a nice cow.

Superpower Politics

The Wakandan resistance to economic and military invasion continues in Hudlin, Romita, Jansen and Week’s fast-moving Black Panther #7. I had a little trouble buying into the Black Knight’s capitulation. I realize the Panther is trying to spare the deluded idealist here, but to me, but the tactic felt a bit out of place, given the context of the story. The scene between Klaw and T’Challa’s mother and the deployment of deathlock cyborgs make me wonder how far Hudlin’s planning to take the action in this tale.

Waid and Kitson’s Legion of Superheroes #7 featured really strong characterization (emphasizing Braniac 5 and Chameleon this issue), dark intramural intrigue, action and humor, without feeling rushed. When Brainy flips out, it humanizes him, prick that he his much of the time; and this really isn’t your parent’s Cosmic Boy. These guys play hard ball, and their games as chilling as those in JMS and Frank’s Supreme Power. Reading Supreme Power #17, I wondered how much of this books intensity might be diluted now that it’ll be a Marvel Knight’s title. Much of the intensity here comes from the fact that JMS deals with adult situations. I love the way JMS is developing Mark Milton’s growing isolation and Kingsley and Spectrum’s relationship. Zarda’s callous disregard for life (she needs to be fixed?), and the Generals manipulation combine to keep the reader uneasy suspense throughout. Good issue.

The Kids are Alright

Gabrych dialogue crackles in two good Batkid stories this month. David Cain’s honorable, if stilted version of parental affection (and the way Cassandra returns it) lends Batgirl #65 a fun, if perverse twist; and I liked the way new series penciller Pop Mhan laid out the conversations between Batgirl and Brenda (the coffee shop girl who I’d like to see more of), Onyx, and esp. her scene with Batman in the Cave. (I love the way Mhan draws Cassandra’s mask, which is a big improvement of Ale Garza’s helmet design.)

If sidekicks were truly created for younger readers to give them a character to identify with, Bill Willingham delivers on the wish fulfillment in Robin #139. Here, Willingham shows off Tim Drake’s intellectual strength and near tactical genius, and, more than ever, and Tim begins to look more and more like a credible successor to his mentor (and the Junkyard Dog is also a pretty horrific addition to Tim’s growing rogues gallery). I also appreciated Mindy Owen’s restrained finish over McDaniel’s layouts. With the new art team, Robin could shape up into a dependably fun read, a welcome addition to my monthly pull and hold list.

Geoff Johns and Judd Winnick’s “Insiders” crossover concludes in Teen Titans #25 and Outsiders #25. Geoff John’s Titans showcases Cassandra Sandsmark, the new Wondergirl. Concerned and upset over Connor, she finally cuts loose and demolishes a lot of lethal Superman robots, and has some nice moments with Tim and Connor. The issue also features creepy and intriguing dialogue between the Braniacs, Luthor and “son”, and Indigo and her former lover, Shift. Some felt the Titans and the Outsiders battle with the Superman robots was over to quickly. I felt differently. Clark and Thibert use the relatively long scene to underscore how powerful Cassandra really is, something that’s often overlooked in this title. (If the new Supergirl takes out Connor in September’s Supergirl #2, it would be interesting to see Cassandra manage to put Kara down in retaliation). I think it might have helped however, if some of the panel compositions weren’t so tightly crowded, and if the page layouts featured a couple of wide, long shots, of the kind Grummett employed in earlier issues of the Titans.

Picking up where Johns left off, Judd Winnick’s script for Outsiders #25 starts off pretty well, but was marred by a couple of narrative missteps at issues end. Most of the issue is devoted to the final battle between the assembled heroes and villains, and Carlos D’Anda does a good job of working the emotional highpoints into his page layouts. However I think there was one subplot to many. I found myself wishing D’Anda had the luxury of an extra page or two, the better to set up for Connor’s change of sides, and Dick urging Starfire to cut loose, as Wondergirl did earlier in Titans #25. The narration for the scene where the gathered heroes concentrate fire on Brainiac 8 was all too reminiscent of the climax of the Dark Phoenix arc in Claremont and Byrne’s Xmen, and ended up feeling derivative and forced. Finally Nightwing’s decision to quit the Outsiders at issues end struck a false note. If this is really how Dick Greyson feels about the inevitable dangers of a superheroes life, why doesn’t he quick fighting altogether? Why does he go undercover in his own title or continue to fight with Batman in Gotham? It’s too inconsistant with his “life” elsewhere.

Quick Closing Shots.

Giffen and Bisley take their new Authority/Lobo parody to grotesque extremes in Spring Break Massacre. It’s demented fun, esp. the earlier part of the story. The ending wasn’t quite as funny or effective as their previous effort, the Authority Lobo Xmas Special. I’d still like to see more however. I like their take on the Authority. I can’t really say I liked this months installment of the OMAC Project, #3. It also was far too disjointed. I might bail on this story line. While it was nice to see Mike Mignola’s back on Hellboy: the Island #1, I do wish he’d developed the dialog between Hecate and Hellboy more. For me, that was the most interesting aspect of this issue.

Hey, It's That Guy!
06-30-2005, 07:42 PM
Today I got an eBay order from Canada containing the last issues I needed to complete my run of Denny O'Neill's Question series from the late '80s, #2-9 (and a few duplicates I already had). I now own #1-36, Annuals #1-2, and Question Quarterly #1-3. I believe Quarterly actually ran for five issues, but I've never seen #4 or 5 anywhere, so I won't stress in the meantime.

The Question is one of my favorite characters, needless to say, along with Blue Beetle, Starman (Jack Knight), and the Golden Age Sandman. I only recently started buying Question back issues because I never had any in the past, and I put together this complete run in record time, for a very small amount of dough. I haven't even read them yet, but I'm saving them for August when my life becomes a lot more laid-back and less complicated. Then Vic Sage and I have some catching up to do.

Cliffy
07-01-2005, 08:48 AM
More from this and last week:

Spellbinders #4 -- This was a slow build in previous issues, but this chapter pays it all off with a big reveal and a big action scene. One of the things about a miniseries is that you can kill off a few characters if you want, and I'm not at all certain that Carey won't do just that in the climax. Good stuff.

SS: Shining Knight #3 -- Starts a bit slow with all the exposition, but Bianchi's art is so lovely it's nothing to complain about. By the end it's hardcore, and I'm panting to see how Morrison pulls it all together in the last issue. Plus, another appearance tying back to previous Seven Soldiers issues.

Runaways #5 -- Last ish, the reveal was that Victor's father was Dr. Doom. I thought it was lame, and hoped that that was a bit of misdirection. Who in the Marvel Universe, I wondered, is as bad-ass as Doom but could be Victor's dad without it being a cliche? Magento? No way. Kingpin? Meh. Green Goblin? Oy vey. But Vaughan not only came up with an answer I'd never have thought of, it's the best possible character he could have chosen. Awesome.

Legion of Superheroes #7 -- I like that the main plot is building to a head, but I thought Briany's freak-out just wasn't very well written. Maybe I just have to reread it sometime.

--Cliffy

sleeepy2
07-01-2005, 10:44 AM
Anybody else get Shaun Of The Dead #1 from IDC? A pretty straight-forward adaption of the movie.

Under a pile of junk I found my copy of The New West #1 and liked it quite a bit. Is this series over?

WonK
07-01-2005, 04:57 PM
Today I got an eBay order from Canada containing the last issues I needed to complete my run of Denny O'Neill's Question series from the late '80s, ... The Question is one of my favorite characters, ... and I put together this complete run in record time, for a very small amount of dough....

Lou: keep an eye out for Darwyn Cooke: Solo. Among other things, it features a sweet short Question story.

Hey, It's That Guy!
07-01-2005, 06:21 PM
Lou: keep an eye out for Darwyn Cooke: Solo. Among other things, it features a sweet short Question story.

Oh, my shop didn't seem to have any copies left, but I love Cooke's work and I love the Question, so I fully intend to pick one up at one of our many other local comic shops.

Wolfian
07-01-2005, 10:27 PM
A comic book store in my area is having a 50% off sale of back issues. That means that I can string together entire arcs for less than the price of the TPB. Gah! DC might as well garnish my wages. I picked up all of the Superman/Batman time traveling arc with the exception of #19 today.

Hmm, at that price maybe I can give some Marvel comics a chance...

Hey, It's That Guy!
07-01-2005, 11:08 PM
A comic book store in my area is having a 50% off sale of back issues. That means that I can string together entire arcs for less than the price of the TPB. Gah! DC might as well garnish my wages. I picked up all of the Superman/Batman time traveling arc with the exception of #19 today.

Hmm, at that price maybe I can give some Marvel comics a chance...

The best Marvel books I've read in recent years:

X-Force #116-129 by Peter Milligan and Mike Allred; subversively satirical, darkly funny, very violent, and deeply shocking. It was continued into X-Statix #1-26, but those didn't seem to have the same magic that made their X-Force so fresh and crazy.

She-Hulk #1-12 by Dan Slott and various artists; hilariously funny, sexy (but not in that skeevy, pervy, embarrassing way), and extremely well-written.

Ed Brubaker's current run on Captain America is supposed to be excellent (it's up to #7), and Warren Ellis and Adi Granov are doing really cool things with their Iron Man reboot (only #1-3 so far). But I'm much more of a DC/Vertigo/Wildstorm reader myself.

Cliffy
07-01-2005, 11:20 PM
Thos are good picks, Lou. Of course, there's also Morrison's sublime run on New X-Men, but even at half price that'll be pricey to pick up. (It was in New X-Men #114-154, plus Annual 2001, if you're interested.)

--Cliffy

Hey, It's That Guy!
07-02-2005, 12:00 AM
Thos are good picks, Lou. Of course, there's also Morrison's sublime run on New X-Men, but even at half price that'll be pricey to pick up. (It was in New X-Men #114-154, plus Annual 2001, if you're interested.)

--Cliffy

As much as I liked those (or at least the first Morrison hardcover I checked out from the library), the art by Quitely and Kordey kept me from loving them. Still, it was the first time I cared about the X-Men (and enjoyed them) since around 1993.

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