Weekly Comic Book Discussion : 1/1/2009

Books were delayed this week due to the Christmas holiday.

Final Crisis Secret Files has background on Libra which is… disappointing, I guess. Green Lantern is awesome as usual as we get to see more of the Blue Corps, and find out what might scare Sinestro…

Was Final Crisis Secret Files worth getting?

Not really. I thought we were in for a big reveal about Libra - my money was on him being not the original Libra, but Eobard Thawne. Instead, we get some backstory on the real Libra, how he met Darkseid, et cetera. There’s also a page from the Crime Bible, some notes from Grant Morrison about the Anti-Life Equation, and a few pages of character design sketches.

I’m not sure why anyone would have thought Libra was anyone but Libra.

But, then, I couldn’t figure out why anyone would think ‘Doctor Hurt is Thomas Wayne’ was anything but a painfully transparent lie, even from the start, but people thought otherwise even after I thought it was completely confirmed.

I have a theory that people simply refuse to take Morrison works at face value, no matter what the story, nor what he, himself, says.

The art on Teen Titans makes me weep…so awful. Especially the scenes where Cassie was hugging Kara and Tim. Human backs don’t work that way! As to the story, Bombshell is getting on my nerves - but so is everyone’s reactions to her. They should either keep her under lock and key or Just Get Over It Already.

I really liked Eddie’s attempts to recruit other teen heroes (especially the younger contingent of the JSA), and have to agree with Eddie and Jaime about Vic’s surveillance. And ‘Sizzle Shorts’ is totally not gay at all. Nope.

The longer New Krypton goes on, the more I want Kara to be re-orphaned. Enjoying the story, though, and Kal and Kara’s conflicted feelings about the whole deal.

The Blue Lanterns are pretty neat…and the only Corps so far to have an oath that comes close to the Greenies. I still can’t wait to see the Indigo Corps.

JLA’s leaving me confused - in a good way. I’m not sure what’s going on, but it’s clearly going to be explained. And Firestorm’s bit about hitting Batman would make the issue worth it all on its own.

'cause the artist kept giving us “significant” close-ups of him, especially his eyes–blue, scarring around the edges, etc. The assumption is that it meant something. And the original Libra was…blah…in his one appearance. I thought it was Thwane or even Barry. The backstory was right out of “Cliche super-villian’s style guide” It wasn’t…bad, but eh. There was nothing special. It’s neat that they got Len Wein to write it, but…eh.

I completely forgot to comment on Blue Beetle - my favourite part of the issue (which was awesome all around) was the fact that Polaris was spouting Objectivist rationalizations for his actions.

Given that Blue Beetle is most remembered as Ted Kord, who was created by Ditko…well, if Ditko was dead, I think they’d be able to detect the seismic perturbations caused by his turning over in his grave in Beijing. As it is, I’m pretty sure I heard the grinding of his teeth. >_>

Having the New Gods back in their Ditko duds seemed odd in Secret Files – particularly since the art wasn’t very Ditko-esque. That one page on the Anti-Life Equation, however, came off as a lame attempt to reconcile the impossibly stupid Death of the New Gods with what Morrison actually planned and is doing in Final Crisis. They should’ve just ignored that humanoid “Source” in embarrasement.

Trinity was… meh. Even worse, Busiek is still flogging that boring Khyber as if he’s a relevant supervillain. Meh, I say.

Blue Beetle, very good. Too bad it is ending, but hope they keep using Jamie. Hope in someplace other than the terrible Teen Titans book, that is.

The looming end of LSH apparently kicked Shooter in the ass, because he is finally moving forward on all the plotlines he’d left dangling while going off onto tangents. I like him better motivated, apparently. I also like that the Destroyers have now been cast as a kind of whacky “aliens” more in keeping with some of the stuff earlier in this run. However, I’ll not be missing this version when they switch over after the Three Legions stuff.

New Krypton continues to make Alura into the heavy, which is at least new for an El, and actually gives her a personality, which I don’t remember previously. But, even if I’ll accept Hawkman standing up to tyro Kryptonians, no way I’m buying Guardian and Black Lightning at it. They should be fine red mists. Nice bit on the final reveal, too.

JSA closes this very loooong storyline, strongly. How they got rid of Gog… made a hella lot of sense, actually. Much preferred the Kingdom Come epilogue here to that crappy “the Kingdom” they originally put out (not the Final Crisis the Kingdom, which seems deliberately confusing). I’m curious if Johns will be using the final reveal here as a starting point.

Rage of the Red Lanterns is sadly lacking in rage kitteh, but damn this storyline is awesome. Like Warth more than Walker, like the bit with Fatality, and finally we get to see some Guardians who don’t act like brain-damaged jackasses. I’m beginning to suspect that the Oans act as they do because they’re over-contaminated with willpower, just to highlight how all the emotional spectrum influence their wielders.

whew big week.

I didn’t want to bring this up again, but since you did…

This issue is perhaps the worst and slowest one so far. The last thing this series needs is more characters and convolutedness. Now, I don’t mind complex stories, but this one just seems to throw in all sorts of vague mysticism and direction changes for no apparent reason.

I started buying this series because Kurt Busiek has never let me down. I hate to say it, but there’s a first time for everything.

Incidentally, I have a theory regarding mystical storylines. I think it’s best to keep them crisp and clear, and whenever possible, make the magic appear as though it’s following some sort of logical principles. You don’t have to spell out what those rules of magic are, but at least give readers the impression that there’s some sort of logic going on.

I don’t see that with the Trinity storyline. You’ve got these spectral apparitions of our three main heroes. You’ve got clear indications that they were worshipped as some manner of deity. How? Why? The story doesn’t have to answer these questions explicitly, but it should at least let readers sense that there’s some kind of rhyme and reason behind it.

Why would Ditko be buried in Beijing?

Come on. Somebody had to ask.

I’ve been missing the “Eat it, Grandpa” Legion since Shooter took over. I’d argue that we haven’t seen the real “Eat it, Grandpa” Legion since then–there’s no relevance between the pre/post Shooter characters (When’s the last time that Micro Lad complained about being called Colossal Boy? Since when was Timber Wolf running around calling Chameleon Boy and Invisible Kid “wimps”?), or the pre/post Shooter world (the whole regimented adult paradise/teen oppresion thing got handwaved away in a few panels with Invisible kid), etc.

Don’t get me wrong I like the Shooter stuff (well…except the stoopid fake-future slang. Sometimes it works (grife, sprock), sometimes it doesn’t (furdlurk, florging). I like the Shooter stuff overall (excluding the bad fake swearing) but I can’t reconcile it with the “Eat it, Grandpa” guys.

Also, wild-ass speculation: We now know that the post-Zero Hour Legion is from Earth-22 (Kingdom Come’s future). The “real” (pre-Crisis) Legion comes from New Earth’s future. Could the “Eat It, Grandpa” Legion be from a post-Crisis analog of Superboy-Prime’s world? The only major social thing Shooter left from the pre-Shooter stuff is how important comic books are there. Just a thought.
Regarding Green Lantern: Y’know what I miss? The pre-Denny O’Neil “Authority Sux! Don’t trust anyone over 30! Down with THE MAN! You’re just little blue space-Pigs!” Guardians. Cool, collected, wise, dispassionate but not uncaring (think Katma Tui’s origin). We haven’t seen 'em for any length of time since (gad!) 1973-ish, but I miss them. I can’t believe that the Guardians ran the GL Corps and the Manhunters for about 5 BILLION years with only two screw-ups (the Manhunters and Sinestro) given how they’re currently being written (catastrophic failures every 10 issues or so). I’m probably a minority of one, but I’d also love to see the post-Manhunter/pre-Green Lantern organization (showed up…um…twice? Trustworthy aliens with Manhunter-esque batons) reappear. That said, I’m loving Green Lantern.

He wouldn’t…that’s just where he’d end up by the time he’d finished spinning.

Yeah, some of the best bits that came from the last reboot were summarily dropped: all the agoraphobic and xenophobic adults, all the kids continually monitored by “the Service” – which turns out to be some kind of memetic or info-aliens, Phantom Girl always interacting with two worlds simultaneously, Triplicate Girl from her planet of herselves, Colossal Boy’s supersized city and his big gay brother… that was great stuff!

Instead, it all gets written off immediately, and we’re served multiple “LSH now works for the UFP, but the UFP does not trust them” plotlines, and minor character after minor character are introduced, hog the spotlight, then vanish into obscurity while interesting characters like Shadow Lass or Atom Girl languish in the occasional walk-on.

I won’t be missing this LSH, although I do sorta miss Waid’s LSH.

Or worse, stick around forever. Gazelle to name one such.

I’m not nearly as enamored with Gazelle as Shooter is. For that matter, Lancelot AND Arthur weren’t as enamored of Guinevere as Shooter is of Gazelle. :wink: I do like Accountancy Lad though.

We do? Didn’t look like them in JSA…

I thought they did–the one piece uniforms, the “L” insignia on where the belt-buckle should be, the vertical stripe down the center of the uniform all look like post-Zero Hour to me.

It isn’t them, it’s just very like them. This is how the Legion looked when Kingdom Come was published, and there are drawings of them in KC. I think ‘And the heroes retreated… to other times and places’ section near the beginning. Me, I like M’ressy. He, theoretically, could actually kick Brainy’s ass. That said, Gazelle, I don’t love, but I like that there are new characters showing up. Very in the spirit of the old Shooter Legion. A nice big epic plot, too. I mean, what is there to bitch about?
Welcome back, Fenris.

The dumb fake cussing? :wink:

Seriously though–I’ve enjoyed Shooter’s Legion and it, like the Waid “Eat it, Grandpa” Legion that preceded it didn’t fall into the trap of the Post-Zero Hour stuff where every other plotline (up until the underrated Legion Lost stuff) was just a regurgitated silver-age plot redone.

Random Legionnaire after Legionnaire being introduced and the UFP not trusting them is kind of how things ran till the 70s or so, after all.

(Yes. I have read most of the 60s stories. I even own Star Boy’s first appearance somewhere. And the first Little Jimmy Shooter stories. Not as reprints. Heck, I ever have a flight ring. (Caution: Does not enable wearer to fly.))

I liked the Moy Legion. I didn’t like Legion Lost, but I liked the Moy Legion a lot. It had optimism and energy. Stuff you didn’t see so much at the time.

I liked the Waid Legion because we never really got a reboot of the Legion after Crisis.

I understand we’re getting the Cockrum Legion back. Not bad, but…

Well, Superboy and Supergirl were there - and the post-ZH Legion never had Supergirl…

That would be one thing worth complaining about. It was nice that the recent LSH storylines weren’t rehashes of already-been-done plotlines (e.g., let’s retell the Darkness Saga, let’s retell the Fatal Five’s origin, etc, etc) as had been the case with the reboot LSH.

But this, too, was stuff we’d seen before. We’ve already read those stories; give us some new stuff.

Also: didn’t Gim mention in JSA that he’d seen Kingdom Superman’s future – that he’d come from there?