Weekly Comic Book Discussion 6/9/2005

Majestic; Ultimate FF; New Thunderbolts; Army of Darkness : Shop Till you Drop Dead - what I’ve read so far.

New Thunderbolts was neat. Ultimate FF gives us our into to the Ultimate Mad Thinker and Awesome Android - unless I miss my guess. They’re not named.

Small week for me. My wallet breathes a sigh of relief.

JLA #115: It might just be that the artwork’s more my cup of tea, but this already feels like a breath of fresh air after the lackluster CSA story. There’s characterization here! I do wish the confrontation with Batman wasn’t pushed aside by the Society (these Luthor’s boys, or they working on their own? We know Faust at least signed on).

Batman Dark Detective #3: Why the hell don’t they write Batman like this anymore? I’m loving it.

Rann-Thannagar War #2: The only IC comic to go downhill on its second issue. I felt like I needed footnotes a couple of times, especially during the Throneworld (what’s that?) sequence. I also felt Kyle was sliding into generic GL, rather than being clearly Kyle, which was more forgivable when he was the Green Lantern. Also, Shiera wasn’t sucked up in the whole Hawkman fiasco? Huh. Between her and all the Nth metal floating around, I’m getting a major JLU vibe. She should hook up with Kyle. :slight_smile: I didn’t like that we didn’t get tos ee them escape from last issue’s cliffhanger, either. Still, I get and appreciate the general story. It’s a bigass war.

Wow, get out of my head. My thoughts exactly, except for the Shiera/Nth metal/JLU thing as I usually don’t read Hawkman nor JLU.

Lex Luthor: Man of Steel #4: I’m still trying to wrap my head around Lex Luthor as a good guy who occassionally does bad, but for the greater good. I have a feeling that this is going to end badly for Baldy and I’m going to feel bad for him. I’m not sure that the art style works well in daylight scenes, but it wasn’t bad enough to distract from the story. YMMV.

I picked up, but have yet to read the newest JLU. Yesterday I finally found the issues of Green Lantern: Circle of Fire that I was missing. Yes, I know that it would be a lot cheaper to pick it up in the trade paperback, but whatever.

Also, if you haven’t seen the Geoff Johns interview from which my sig comes, read it. Its’ good.

That’s odd. I swear I hit the “add sig” button. In any event I just read JLA (another mistake in my previous post). Very cool so far. If the entire arc is this good I might have to start picking it up even after its over. That’s how I got into JSA.

Yes, but JSA has a regular Creative team, unlike JLA, doesn’t it? The latter books has fluctuated wildly over the last few authors.

Rann-Thanagar War - See, I disagree. This is what the “space” branch of the DCU needed. We get mention of the various major alien races as the sides are detailed - and as a bonus, Prince Gavyn and Captain Comet! I’m not sure what’s going on with Shayera though.

JLA - Woo. Very spiffy. And that last panel … very nice.

Fables - As full of payoff as this issue was, it leaves be hankering for the next one.

Also picked up Nodwick and KODT.

Ny popular demand, I also picked up uthe first Preacher TPB. Meh. No strong feelings one way or the other. Well, except the Arseface bit, which was too dumb to be funny.

Wha - ?

I’m not reading this series. Is this for real? In continuity?

No new books for me, but I just received Suicide Squad #1-27 in the mail, which I won on eBay less than three days ago. I can’t wait to read all these, but I’m sure it will take me a while.

Anyone catch Ultimate Spider-Man 78? Is MJ’s new boyfriend destined to be the next supervillain or what?

It’s the way Lex sees things. He sees himself as a hero, so that’s the way the series skews your perceptions.

Question before the book review about the Kubert brothers. Did they just sign an exclusive deal with DC? I could have sworn I read yesterday morning that Andy was happy about his current Marvel gig, and then later that afternoon I read that the boys had signed on with DC. Anyone have a clue as to what happened?

Ultimate Fantastic Four: Never thought about that being Mad Thinker and Awesome Andy, Gamera. Nice idea. I kinda liked this issue. Moreso than the previous arcs. I really love Jae Lee’s art. Seems to class up a book.

Ultimate Spider-Man: Bendis, I love your work but enough with the PP+MJ soap opera. Every six months it seems there is another story about the two of them breaking up and getting back together. I know it happens in real life but Spider-Man isn’t real life. Have him hit someone once in a while.

House of M: I didn’t get it last week but I’m glad I got it this week. Marvel’s big summer event. I LOVE summer event crossovers. I know that puts me in the minority but what can I say. I don’t apologize for it. This first issue was a very cool set up. You really do get the feeling that there is only one way to handle the Scarlet Witch issue (unless you think maybe X could render her comatose, or find a way to remove the X-gene or something. C’mon, it’s comics.)

Marvel Knights Spider-Man: Fun stuff. A much better SM than Millar’s. Originally I was unsure of Ethan but he’s starting to grow on me. I didn’t care for the artist’s rendition of Punisher. Too young.

I loved him in an 80s Secret Origins. I have got to pick this one up.

That’s the stupidist thing I’ve heard since DC decided Lex was Clark’s best friend in Smallville. :rolleyes:

Lex does NOT think of himself as a hero. He sees himself as above the entire human race. He is entirely, unreservedly, unabashedly EVIL. He knows it, he revels in it.

I hope this is forgotten about quickly. Jeez, it’s no wonder my reading list is dwindling.

From New Books for June 8, 2005: I’m pretty busy today, so I’ll have to keep it brief. It’s just as well, as I was a bit disappointed in four out of the seven books I picked up yesterday.

Bruce Wayne, romantic and driven.

In IBATMAN DARK DETECTIVE #3, thngs really heat up between the reunited Bruce Wayne and Silver St. Cloud, during the days, while at night (when does he sleep?) the Batman wages his never-ending war against no less than three industrious, hard working and methodical socio-paths (Boy, those guys have work ethic – perhaps this is the energy that comes from following your bliss?) and Silver wrestles with guilt (she’s engaged to someone else.). It makes for a weird contrast: high blown romantic rhetoric verses carefully considered criminal lunacy. Sometimes it amazes how much weirdness we comic book fans manage to just take in stride. I picked up BATMAN LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT #192 for Seth Fisher’s wonderful art (and I wasn’t disappointed – if anything, his storytelling has improved since his two part fill in story on Arcudi’s Doom Patrol). I was surprised how much I enjoyed JH Williams and DC Johnson’s. This is a believable extension of Miller’s Bruce Wayne from Batman: Year One. Dedicated and driven, Wayne works himself to exhaustion (really, he’s becoming an accident waiting to heaven) while driving his closest allies (pre-acid Dent, Capt. Gordon) away, when he hits on the novel idea of recruiting a network, like the Shadow before him. (Meanwhile Victor Fries begins his slow descent into tragedy.) This story flowed together remarkably well, it’s definitely the stronger of the two Batman stories I picked up this week. (Though both offer interesting, and divergent views of the Batman. Englehart and Rogers Batman is an extension of their Bruce Wayne, a creation that enables his personal mission in life, whereas Williams, Johnson and Fisher’s Wayne has no life outside his Batman persona, and doesn’t want any.

Men of Steel

MAJESTIC #4 - Perhaps it’s because I didn’t read the previous issue, but Abnett & Lanning’s confrontation between an alternate universes’ Hadrian 7 and Lord Majestros felt pretty light. There’s something about the books visual style and coloring that works against whatever drama there is in the script. Still its always nice to see Spartan robots filling the air, at least for this old WS fan. While LEX LUTHOR MAN OF STEEL #4 didn’t quite reach the dramatic heights of the first and third issue of this mini-series, Azzarello’s prose and Berjemo’s art remains as engrossing as ever, and this chapter was definitely one of the weeks best reads. Here we watch Luthor get swept up by his own rhetoric and out-sized passions. (I understand a version of this Hope character has appeared before: could anyone summarize the context?) The great man is definitely heading for a fall here, like the poor god of mischief (never thought I’d say that!) in Rodi and Ribic’s Loki miniseries (also highly recommended). I wonder how Azzarello plans to (or if) use the fact the Question sabotaged his Science Spire (see Veitch and Edwards fun Question miniseries) next issue.

Payback & Redemption

While JLA #115 and JUSTICE LEAGUE ELITE #12 had their strong points, I have to say I was disappointed by both books. The art in both books was quite impressive, but both stories suffered from abrupt changes of scene, which I found pretty frustrating at times. I’ve never seen Batista and Farmer work together before, but with the exception of the last sequence on a Gotham rooftop (which felt oddly cramped, and the shade of red in the sky had the effect of flattening the figures) their take on the “satellite JLA” in JLA #115 was rock solid and compelling. They did a great job with the debate that opened the issue (though I couldn’t help think they would’ve hashed this out by now). Given how dangerous the Society is, now that their collective memories have been restored, I’d be surprised if Batman didn’t come around to the “satellite leagues’” point of view on the matter of the mind wipes and lobotomies, even if he never quite gets over the fact they tampered with his mind. That said, I think we really should’ve seen them get their revenge on the “satellite league”, and not just have their bodies fall out of the sky. As for JUSTICE LEAGUE ELITE #12, I really liked the first two-thirds of the book: the story was clearly heading to an exciting, if costly, climax. Then Sister Superior suddenly regains control of herself, and pulls a deux ex machina ending out of her ___, saving the say, but abruptly killing all of the suspense Kelly and Mahnke had been building through the last hard-driving storyarc. Then suddenly, we’re in the midst of the denouement and everything’s ‘hunky-dory’: I just couldn’t buy it. (However I am glad that the conclusion left the door open for more adventures featuring the Elite (though I doubt Manitou Dawn will ever be as compelling a character as Manitou Raven), and Coldcast survived. I’d really like to see him team up with Batgirl again, sometime in the future.

An Alternate Apocalypse

HOUSE OF M #1 was a perfectly decent introduction to what’s going to be an all-encompassing alternative worlds story. (We could’ve used a pause like the one between the last scene in Genosha and Parker’s alternate future in the last chapter of Justice League Elite discussed above.) I liked the way Bendis & Co. portrayed the issue-long debate between the pro- and anti-execution camps, with Emma playing the resident realist & devils advocate. (A role she might get typecast in from here on out.) Pietro has never been so symathetic. Ivan Coipel draws the cutest Wasp I’ve seen since Pacheco’s in Avengers Forever.

Thoughts anyone?

I’m not at all an Avengers fan, so my knowledge of Disassembled is from the net and the intro to House of M. But even so, I really liked it… until I read a very insightful notice of a huge plothole online. In Astonishing X-men, Beast has a sample of the cure for mutant powers in his lab. Why isn’t that an option preferable to killing her? I wouldn’t really care so much, except that they say right on the cover that this is the Astonishing X-men, as opposed to Uncanny, or X-treme or just plain adjectiveless X-men, and the team makeup and costume style seems to confirm that. (and that’s the main reason I bothered picking up house of M So shouldn’t the continuity match up with that book?

In other news, Exiles was rather good this week. I’m glad we finally found out why Beak was picked to join the team (and even gladder that it looks like he’s leaving). I hate prophecies that never get explained. Very curious as to what will happen next. Not too broken up to see Namora dead either.

Well, in case you didn’t know, in “normal” Spider-Man continuity, Mark Raxton is the Molten Man. Granted, he reforms (don’t remember if it’s permanent), but I’m sure they used that name for a reason.

I KNEW, but since it’s been on the order of two decades since I read a Spider-Man that dealt with the Molten Man, I had forgotten. :smiley:
Still, I was pretty sure he was going to turn out to be a supervillain of some kind and frankly, that bugs the hell out of me. Why not just introduce a cool character for the sake of the character, without turning him into a supervillain?

Lex has semi-justified his actions to himself by claiming to be trying to overthrow Superman since at least the Silver Age. Once Superman is gone, humanity can act for itself, and elect Lex Luthor king of everything. He’s also unabashedly evil, but he still thinks he’s doing the world a favor by distracting and ultimately thwarting the man of Steel.

He’s hypocritical and wrong, of course, since he’s more oppressive than Kal-El would ever think of being, but that’s the way he thinks.

The partial appearance of the android in one panel clinched the notion for me.

Myself, I like Jae Lee on some things, but I don’t think I like him on the Fantastic Four.

I’m not trying to be argumentative, but I have never seen any such indication in my nearly 30 years of reading comics.

Luthor’s evil is not limited to just trying to kill Superman. LexCorp was little more than an elaborate front for a huge crime empire. He had a finger in just about every illegal pie you can think of. He poisoned Lois’s mother to coerce Lois into marrying him. He killed his self-defense trainer in cold blood because he thought she was laughing at him. I could go on. These are not the actions of someone who thinks “Poor misunderstood me. Why won’t the Justice League invite me to join?” Luthor is a deranged sociopath, but he’s not self-deluded.

Yet another piece of “continuity” I’m going to have to ignore. This is becoming less and less a DC Universe I want to read about.