Weekly Comic Book Discussion 1/17/2008

Here it is, belated!

Marvel actually managed to impress me with a title this week - The Incredible Hercules. It’s about damn time Herc had his own title, and I like it so far.

Bit late, but I picked up four goodies:

Checkmate: quite good, the end of the Mademoiselle Marie mini-arc, and I think it’s official that she rocks. Hard. You don’t put “badass” and “French hottie” together very often.

Robin was ok. I liked the other team (Beechen & Gleeson) better than this one, honestly, but it still works. I’ll have to wait and see if it picks up steam.

JLA: At least they’re moving things along faster than Meltzer did. I don’t like the changes in Vixen, her new powers. Change her back, she was cool and new!.

The Twelve: Been looking forward to this for awhile. Not the artist I would have chosen, but i really like it. Kinda sad Cap’s not around for this, but then the story might be much shorter. I’m a sucker for Golden Age stuff, I guess.

Well Fred Van Lente is awesome. (Which reminds me, I still need to get that last volume of Action Philosophers…) I do like his take on the Marvel U’s version of the Greek pantheon who are usually only used as antagonists so we never get to see them do anything other than annoy the Avengers for a couple of issues.

I enjoy this book quite a bit, but this particular issue…seemed to have every third page missing or something.

JLA is moving along but I keep wondering about Vixen. Her power suddenly seems to be Amazo’s. Hmmm. I wonder…could this actually not be Vixen at all, but an Amazodroid duplicate that believes itself to be her? Maybe had her memories copied to it’s harddrive?

Maybe she’s a Skrull? :stuck_out_tongue:

**Checkmate #22:**Hmm… This one was too gritty for me. Tautin a bit too bloodthirsty. I would also like it more if she was more stealthy than invincible assault rifle princess. I did like the brief interlude with the new whites.

Justice League of America #17: There’s stuff here to like. I like the C-List villains running scared from Waller and the prospect of transportation. But there’s also something off about it. It’s not… Epic. It’s not epic at all. This is about the best of the best of the DC universe. They should be saving at least a city every issue. McDuffie made JLU, he should think *big *here. Also, I am again disturbed by the idea that anyone outside of Waller’s machiavellian cabal would approve, or even consider approving, of Salvation (then again, the JLA seems to be under the impression that it’s a prison offworld, not just a dumping ground, which is more acceptable).

Birds of Prey #114: McKeever continues to start out his run strongly. The thing with Superman is odd. The precise complaints he had weren’t terribly valid. But the team, namely Misfit, did fuck up, big time. So they did deserve a dressing down. Anyway, giving Zinda her own story arc, and bringing in her most notable adversary from her Blackhawk days? Awesome.

The Flash #236: Yeah, sorry Mark, your first run is still awesome, but something just didn’t click on this one. I like Wally as family man, like the kids, but it just didn’t come together. Maybe the the next guy can make it work better.

Robin #170: Hey kids! Chuck Dixon’s back! And he’s as pissed about Spoiler as you are! This issue was great. Almost nostalgic for me (Dixon’s Robin and Detective were favorites when I first started collecting). Violet is a complete Red Herring, though, and I am disturbed to see that Penguin is a criminal again (though, unlike Riddler, I’m supposed there’s no reason to keep him straight).

Booster Gold #6 So Booster, Dan Garret, Jaime Reyes, and Joe Quesada go back in time to save Ted Kord.
“But if Ted never dies, then what makes Sasha Bordeaux turn against Max? How does this affect the timing of the activation of Brother I and the OMACs? Of Max using Superman as a weapon and Wonder Woman killing him? And how they both took the next year off because of these events?”
“… It’s magic.”
Seriously, fun issue, but I’ll withhold actual judgment until I see exactly why Ted can’t be saved.

Countdown to Final Crisis #15: The challengers plot remains mildly interesting but poorly exectuted, the Karate Kid plot is neither interesting nor well-done.

I realized something during the White Queen’s Quadrant scenes…

White Side is nationally homogeneous - White King, his Bishop and Knight are all American. White Queen, her Bishop and Knight are all ex-Soviet. When Waller was WQ, it was even worse - the only one on the White side of the Court that wasn’t American was Vertigo, and I gather he’s a US citizen, now.

Black Side, on the other hand mixes it up a bunch - Black King is Israeli, his knight is Brazilian, his Bishops have both been Chinese. Black Queen is American born, but renounced her citizenship in favour of a Swiss one, her Bishop is American, still, and her Knight is French.

I’m still trying to figure out if there’s any significance to this point except in my head.

Other books…

Flash - Say what you want, I’ve enjoyed this run, mostly for the interaction between Jai and Iris. (Although…does anyone know how Jai is supposed to be pronounced, Jeye, Jay, or something else entirely?) Honestly, I want the kids to get their own book.

Birds of Prey - Ugh, Babs has been too influenced by Batman, methinks. The way she’s treating Misfit is really bugging me. Yes, the kid screwed up, big. Yes, she needs to be punished - probably more severely than she has been - but… I’m not sure how to articulate what I mean. She’s being punished wrong. The way Babs is treating her just seems like it’ll teach her the wrong lesson - not ‘think before you act, you’ve seen that the consequences can be horrifying’, but ‘you have become worthless in my eyes’, which doesn’t seem conducive to getting her to act rationally - she’s a thoughtless kid, who screwed up trying to earn Oracle’s approval…I’m getting a terrible ‘Steph Brown in War Games’ premonition.

On the other hand, next issue’s cover, with her and Black Alice with the claws out, amused me to the point the actual story can only be a letdown.

Catwoman - Salvation Run’s timeline already hurts my head. This isn’t helping. The last page intrigues me. Based on next issue’s cover, I’m assuming it’s some sort of dream/hallucination provoked by the machine, but it’d be interesting if it were something else.

Iron Man and Power Pack - Continues to entertain. I have one issue with it, which kept taking me out of the story.

The armours were fully functional. Now, I don’t know the suit’s tech specs, so I don’t know if the power supplies could be temporarily removed or disabled, so I was able to handwave that after the initial ‘but…how?’ moment on that once where it was going was obvious.

What I couldn’t handwave away was the War Machine armour still having actual ordinance loaded into the missile launcher. Was Tony drunk when he ordered them shipped out? Was everyone - Tony, Rhodey, the museum curator, security at Stark Enterprises and the museum - asleep? Yeesh.

Still, fun issue. I still miss the GuriHiru art, though. The Little Marvels backup wasn’t as good as the earlier instalments in this story, but it was still pretty darn funny - I especially loved Gambit’s armour and the Charles Atlas parody.

Wow, no one else picked up The Twelve? Or did i miss the big discussion?

I got that last week. It’s interesting. This week, Transformers was mid-arc, Birds of Prey was disappointing, Booster Gold was ‘wait and see’, and Atomic Robo kicked ass.

So little love for Booster Gold? Tch. I’m just hoping the changes will stick. I have my doubts, but… I hope I’m wrong.

Dying is the best thing that’s happened to Ted’s career since the original G/DM league. Almost monthly he gets another eulogy, pseudo-resurrection or flashback appearance in the pages of one comic or another. His popularity could never withstand a true comeback.

What do you have against Ted Kord?

Am i the only person that buys spidey?

You are now.

Well, so this month (and next), it’s his turn for a pseudo-resurrection in Booster Gold.

I did really like the ‘Abby Road’ tribute, though. Note that Dan Garret had Paul’s place. Eg: Is Dead.


Not so. Everyone but Booster and Rip and the Beetles believes Ted to have been killed by Max, so all those stories proceed in the same manner. I suppose it would have been smart for the Beetles to have visibly left Ted’s glasses behind for Sasha to send to Batman, but unless this becomes a plot point later in the story, I’ll assume it was a minor detail left out of an overall enjoyable story.

I like that Countdown actually seems to be headed somewhere, finally. In the last two weeks, we’ve seen some sense of movement on every storyline except the Piper/(dead) Trickster one. It seems obvious to me that it’s going to turn out that Ray Palmer made the big mistake of never returning to his own home dimension in order to “seed his immunity” there.

Well, I think the rescue of Ted complicates things, based on the solicitations for upcoming issues of Booster Gold wherein Max Lord is alive, in contorl of an OMAC horde. My hope is that they’ll find a way to fix it without Ted having to nobly sacrifice himself.

Actually, all they had to do was stop time at the moment Max fired, and substitute an unintelligent clone of Ted, then the real Ted would appear dead to the world but still be alive in the time stream.

Honestly, do I have to do all the thinking for them?