Weekly Comic Book Discussion 11/1/2007

Here 'tis.

Picked up my belated issue of Superman Prime from last week.

Other than Jack of Fables, my haul was 100% DC this week - a lot of Countdown and 52 tie-ins and spin-offs.

Which means, since Vertigo is a DC imprint, it was 100% DC.

Big week for me.

Countdown # 26 - Ugh. I see they’ve taken to heart the criticisms that the damn Monitors were all indistinguishable – but too little, too late DC. Also, it seems rather stupid that the Monitors are all freaking out about universe-hopping – when the damn Anti-Monitor! just invaded Earth in the Sinestro Corps War!

Countdown to Mystery # 2 - Okay. Thought we’d get more of a “tour the new DC magicverse” out of this, but we’ll see how it goes.

Countdown to Adventure #3 - Main story is good. Back-up story is… pretty much useless without following the rest of the Countdown stuff, and even then not so interesting. If they want to make Forerunner interesting, she has to do something interesting rather than just go interesting places.

Death of the New Gods #2 - Although I’m annoyed by the whole concept of this series, it’s not bad story-wise thus far.

Supergirl & the LSH #35 - One of the nice things about this LSH incarnation was that they didn’t spend a lot of time on origin stories – they introduced the characters, and their backstory just sort of came out over the course of the series. This is a Wildfire origin story. Also, they’d better have a good reason why primitive-Evolvo Lad actually hurt Supergirl with a punch.

Action Comics #858 - Happy to have a “real” LSH story again, and somehow the goofy costumes and art style are really evocative of the good ol’ days when the LSH were a Superboy back-up story. Wonder if getting this LSH version back in-continuity might mean there’s opportunity for future miniseries?

** JSA** #10 - My copy had a printing error that made the dialog in word bubbles on several pages very difficult to read. But, at long last, Obsidian shows up and acts like a member of the JSA! Alas, the only sign of Jakeem is in a Kingdom Come flashback.

Except apparantly Vixen has the wrong powers here.

Countdown (to Final Crisis) # 26 - A catch your breath, recap issue at the halfway point, also helpful for people who decide to start picking up the book with the re-branding as being critical to next year’s big event. No serious criticism here from me - not much happens, but this is a good place for a recap issue.

Lightray, Countdown takes place after the conclusion of the Sinestro War, as should be evident from Kyle Rayner’s participation.

52 Aftermath - Crime Bible # 1 - I like the tone of this series so far. Renee Montoya makes a good noir detective.

Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes # 35 - A decent story ruined by terrible, terrible art. Obvious setup at the end for Supergirl’s return home.

Action # 858 - Nice start to this story, looks likely to be more coherent than the Lightning Saga.

JSA # 10 - Enjoyed it, not much else to say.

JSA Classified # 31 - Stupid story, and like Legion, terrible art. Same guy who did the Doctor Mid-Nite vampire story. How does he keep getting work?

Countdown actually spans the period (before, probably), during, and after the Sinestro Corps War – as is evident by when Kyle’s appearance in Countdown begins. The Monitors have been OMG! about a few anomalies – including Kyle – all that time. While the Anti-Monitor was blithly popping up on Earth, specifically to menace the Multiverse.

Even had they sorted out the Anti-Monitor’s reappearance completely offstage of Countdown, some lip-service at least mentioning it in what is supposed to be DC’s main tie-in series these days should have occurred.

Or, Og forbid, an Editor’s Note.

I could swear I do remember an editor’s note saying that it’s after the Sinestro Corps War story. I’ll see if I can find it.

I can’t recall an editor’s note, but Dan Didio out-and-out said so in one of his Newsarama interviews.

Tell that to poor Swamp Thing, stuck in the Vertigo Ghetto…

Beats the heck out of me. This guy reminds me of one-time Titans artist Bill Jaaska. << shudder >>

Treasure Island #1-5: Dang, Roy Thomas is doing a pretty good job. I’m especially intrigued by this Long John Silver fella. Was he named after the greasy fast food chain?

It was in The All New Atom. which came out a week before Kyle’s return in Countdown itself.

The first page contains the note: ‘Kyle Rayner appears here after the events of Green Lantern #26 and concurrently with the events in Countdown #33.’

Once again, we have to disagree on the week’s Superman book.

I though the art style was totally unsuited to every portion of the story. Rather than evoking them, it felt like it was making fun of the Silver Age stories - and not in a loving ‘it was all so silly then, and we loved it for it’ way, but in a ‘wasn’t this shit stupid?’ way, totally unsuited to the story, which, while not itself feeling like Silver Age silliness, evidenced a certain fondness for it, and a desire to use some of the silly tropes more-or-less seriously. Action hasn’t had a good artist since…well, since Busiek’s pre-Johns/Donner run ended, but Kubert’s problem was his chronic lateness, all the artists who’ve done it since have just been ugly. (Though at least the art on the Bizarro arc was suited to Bizarro.)

Other books:

Death of the New Gods - I’m enjoying the series, though the art sets my teeth on edge. I don’t think it handled Superman well, though - it just doesn’t ring true to me that he’d goad Orion into a fight like that. I don’t know of the history between them Scott referenced, but regardless of what happened between them, it seems very out of character for Superman to be picking a fight over it. Also, in light of how Barda died, some of the imagery in Takion’s funeral speech for her seems terribly ill-chosen, though that might just be my own freakish sense of humour.

New X-Men - Skottie Young’s artistic experimentation yields much better results than it did last issue. Though I still prefer the earlier issues of his run. And the kids were absolutely great. I loved the ‘campfire’, and all the dialogue around it. ‘Hate you.’ ‘Indoors? Well played.’ ‘They’re bulletproof.’ The solution to Elixer’s funk was brilliant.

Messiah Complex - Since New X-Men and X-Factor are the only 616 X-books I’m reading right now, this left me mildly baffled. After having the parts I didn’t have the background for explained, I have to wonder - aside from Rogue, do any of the former villains the X-Men take in STAY former? Magneto, Gambit, Juggernaut, Mystique, Sabretooth…

Countdown to Mystery - Love the Dr Fate story. The Spectre/Eclipso story is…interesting, and, story-wise, good. But it’s got some seriously out-of character moments for Offspring and Woozy. I kept expecting it to be revealed they were being controlled by Eclipso in order to manipulate Plas. I’m still holding out hope that’s the case.

JSA - I love Superman-22. I really hope he gets to meet Super<male>-Prime, just to watch that whiny bitch’s head explode when 22 gets all optimistic about New Earth.

JSA:C - I agree with cmkeller - stupid story, horrid art. The Dr Mid-Nite vampire story he mentions was also rather lame. (Although it wasn’t as rife with continuity errors.) I’m beginning to think Sanchez’ art is a sure sign of a lousy JSA:C arc.