Pick of the Week.
People once said Ellis’ Authority was the Justice League) finally done right. In JLA Classified #10, the first part of the “New Maps of Hell” arc, Ellis proves that, with the right artist, he can still kick in doors. Guice’s realism matches Ellis’ dialogue and action scenes perfectly, making this is a great re-introduction for those DC readers who skipped his award winning work on Ruse for Crossgen. The dialogues as good or better than JLA/Planetary, and it has Ellis Authority’s pace, and (by issue’s end), its’ scale. A+.
If Jeph Loeb wrote like this more often, he’d have a fan. Superman-Batman #21 is action packed fun. I loved references to the Avengers, esp. the dead bow-man. Only two things that bugged me: Bats has no business criticizing the Maximums for child endangerment, and it’s no clearer exactly what the retarded Bizarros are doing in this story. I hope the Maximum’s survive the arc. I’d like to see them go against the Authority or the WildCATs sometime. (After all, Ellis & Millar made multiple universes fashionable again, and one of the pleasures the medium is that anything can happen in the comics.) A.
Chaykin’s Universe is as corrupt as anything Azzarello can imagine, but where the latter’s 100 Bullets is all dark drama, Chaykin’s City of Tomorrow revels in sexy fun, transmitted via a lot of “tell it like it is” dialogue, and punctuated by sparks of flying lead. Recommended, esp. for those still waiting for the American Flagg! hardcover. A.
Pfieffer & Wood’sCatwoman #45 shapes up into a decent straight ahead read. The issue starts off with a beautifully illustrated action scene (it’s beautifully illustrated throughout – Wood’s & Anderson, take a bow) and maintains it’s pace through a wild dream sequence, and a confrontation with Hush. Hush may be a badass in other Batbooks, but the way Selena took him down here works for me just fine (though why she trusted him in the first place is still beyond me). B.
Old Timers, Mythic Lore & New Legends:
Tomasi delivers a decent story reuniting the previous generation of Outsiders: Black Lightning, Metamorpho and Katana, in issue #26. Conrad and Parson’s detailed story-telling lends the title a strong JSA-like feel which makes for an interesting and welcome change-of-pace. I wish I found the story more compelling, but I think that’s because we still don’t know by issues end why the old team has to come back together again. B.
We’re treated to the “Secret History of Hellboy” (or at least, the Right Hand of Doom) in Hellboy: the Island #2. It’s all a bit vague, unfocused, and not much happens, per se, but the reason is simple: we’re coming out of a nicely illustrated, if unexciting (it’s all portent, and no payoff) fever dream. C.
Hudlin & Romita’s first story arc comes to a decent, if mildly anti-climatic close in Black Panther #6 which left me mildly disappointed after the series strong start. I was surprised that they didn’t wring more, in terms of action, intrigue or suspense, from the incursion of deathlock cyborgs, and the sudden transfer of consciousness (at least I think that’s what it was) seemed to out of left field). I somehow expected more fan-fare, somehow. I liked the way Huldlin worked T’Challa’s family into the action and the way the Panther and his sister handled Klaw and the Soviet Radioactive Man. C.
I also picked up Legion of Superheroes #8. Hopefully I’ll get to it by the weekend,….