Weekly Comic Book Discussion 8/18/2005

Here it is, folks. Fairly slow week for me.

Incidentally, having just read Birds of Prey - We learn of the help Dinah called in. Connor. Huntress. Savant. Creote. Wildcat. Richard Dragon (!).

Birds of Prey #85: Yeah, that was a hell of a fighting lineup. With no powers, except for the exclusion of Batman (I know he isn’t on the best of terms with Huntress and Oracle right now, but he still would ahve helped with this, why wasn’t he called?), it’s pretty much as good as it gets for non-powered fighters. Hell of a medical team, too. Superman, Cyborg, Dr. Midnite. What? They couldn’t get Dream to show up to be anaestheologist? :slight_smile: Simone is a hell of a writer. She’s quickly catching up to Johns for my current favorite in the superhero genre.

I didn’t like the tag-team art here. They were all good, but I like a greater artistic continuity, especially in little details. Like Supes and Cy were wearing surgical masks at one point, and not at another. It sounds ghoulish, but I hope Babs stays paralyzed. I liked that she was a full-on disabled character. No exoskeleton or radar sense to mitigate, not even any unrelated powers to balance things out. Just a cinematic hacking skill and hell of mind. Besides, the concept of a hacker/communication expert extraordinaire is more interesting than another acrobat/martial artist.
Klarion #3: The exquisite weirdness continues. Loved the gang.

Green Lantern #3: Now I finally “get” Hal as a character, because that. Was. Bad. Ass.

Birds of Prey #85: Simone is a hell of a writer. She’s quickly catching up to Johns for my current favorite in the superhero genre.

I guess them playing together has him rubbing off on her.
And again, I predict this issue is a significant Infinite Crisis tie in.

Slow week for me too. Next week is looking slow too.

Green Lantern #3: :eek: That was Brock Samson level badassery.

Birds of Prey #85: Some people were kung fu fighting. Others were operating. Cameos by two of my fav characters (Star Girl and Power Girl). Menocchio, I totally agree with your spoiler.

Lex Luthor: Man of Steel: Wow. Just wow. I don’t know what else to say.

Light Lagers to Heavy Dark Brews.

Ultimate Spider-Man Annual #1 - pleasant enough story, very, very light at that (almost too light honestly, like a lite beer). Still it’s worth expanding upon, though it would logically lead to the exclusive of Mary Jane from Peter Parker’s life in the Ultimate Universe. In a universe potentially filled with superpowered girls to date, why would Parker ever turn back and date another vulnerable human being? Imagine: Peter Parker the young superstud of the Ultimate Universe.

Authority: Revolution #11 - a decent continuation of the Authority’s final battle with Henry Bendix. Mysteries are explained this issue, and death comes way too close, to too many members of the team, too often this issue. (That’s a weird, roundabout way of saying this is a good suspenseful read.) I’m hoping that Bru & Nguyen put as much imagination into Bendix’ destruction as they have into his trap(s) for the Authority. Cut bit there between the revived Shen and the new Doctor. Sort of a citris tang on a good, chewy summer wheat ale that leaves you wanting more.

Lex Luthor: Man Of Steel #5 - the exact opposite of the story in the Ultimate Spiderman Annual, like a heavy handcrafted Belgian Ale. Chewy and dense. It reminded me a LOT of the Tommorrow Woman storyline in Morrison & Porter’s celebrated run on JLA, saved by the all the heavy philosophizing. This version of Lex is thoughtful, almost admirable, and one cold son of a bitch. (I wonder how this story was originally intended to tie into the Veitch’s fun Question miniseries, which also involved the Science Spire.)

Bat-Brews: Two Decent Drafts & One Confusing Mix.

As ever, the dependable Gail Simone ties up the various plot threads running though her most recent story arc in Birds Of Prey #85 in a fun, satisfying way. I appreciate how Gail and Bennett plotted out the big fight, and the fact the odds were beginning to turn against the Canary and her allies before the fight was over (Heikki had nothing to worry about, really). I would’ve preferred a definitive end to the clash between the “Little Bird” and the Silk Brothers. While I appreciate the way Simone had the Canary use the Brothers’ obsession with “face” and “rep” against them, she did do it by cheating (spectacularly so) and, in the balance of things that seem to matter in Simone’s moral universe, I’ll be disappointed if that doesn’t cost the Canary, in one way or another, somewhere down the line. As for the storyline concerning Barbara and her surgery, it was interesting enough, but the layouts where Barb floats in the virtual, digital world the virus made her privy too, had the effect of distancing the reader from Barb’s internal struggle, when it should have drawn us in. The closing surprise wasn’t entirely unexpected somehow, though[spoiler] I hope this doesn’t mean she’ll be donning her old Batgirl outfits again anytime soon.[/spoilerr] I like the current “office holder”. All and all a good brew, with a mild, minor, but definitely sour note in the finish.

Batgirl #67 was a real satisfactory read, a solid rich brew, with just the right nods to recent continuity: the Tiger in Detroit, Cassandra’s pride, the Batgirl-Oracle split during War Games, Lady Shiva’s activities since the “Sensei & Student” arc in* Birds of Prey*, the Canary’s enthusiasm for training, Creote’s fixation on Savante, etc. Everything fits so well in Gabrych’s Batgirl stories. It’s really a marvel. The only thing that bugged me was the ending. I found it hard to believe that Barb and the Canary would let Cassandra charge (or rather bounce down) into the Lions’ Den like that, to face, not only Lady Shiva, but a New League of Assassins, and Nyssa, Rha’s Al Ghul’s Elder Daughter? I don’t think so, esp. if Oracle feels she owes Cassandra. I’m also now willing to bet that Cass isn’t Shiva’schild. She’s Rha’s grandaughter. God save her.

“War Crimes”, Part 3 in Detective Comics #810 is a complicated, confusing brew. One wonders what the brewers were imbiding when they made it (or perhaps. what they slipped into it). The issue had it’s share of surprises. The identity of the “reformer” made for an interesting surprise. His was the sole, understandable rationale of any of Batman’s enemies in this story arc, of which, there are at least four: the Joker, Arturo Rodriequez a Geraldo like TV journalist, Aaron Black, and the Black Mask. The near fanatic, irrational hate that motivates Arturo Rodriguez, given the way he steamrolls over Crystal Brown’s responses to his questions finally emerges for what it is, utterly irrational. (During War Games, Rodriquez’ change of heart simply seemed inexplicable and contrived. Now it’s clear that he’s nuts, as nutty as any semi-permanet guest at Arkham Asylum.) And just what does the Black Mask think he’s going to accomplish by dressing up like Batman? If he was the intelligent, if sadistic crimelord he’s supposed to be, he would just sit back and let Arturo and Aaron Black screw the Dark Knight for him. What does he think he’s doing? The problem with this story is that there are too many villains, and too many of these villains POV’s actions or motivations are are inexplicable, and not just irrational. It makes it hard to get a handle on the story as a whole, much less want to.

Back to the Bar.

Thoughts Folks?


Large means REALLY large on this board.

Not sure if you meant to spoiler your entire Batgirl write-up also. If you click the red exclimation point on your post and explain your situation a mod-type person would probably change your spoilers and font size.

Birds of Prey was one of my favorites this week - I hadn’t anticipated that Dinah would call so many extra fighters - Creote, Savant, and Huntress all make perfect ssense though, and Wildcat was already around - the two extras were icing. I would’ve thought that Canary would have known Richard but it seems she doesn’t, as she refers to him as ‘that Dragon fellow’. I love that Connor and the Brother he was fighting exchange calm pleasantries during the fight - perfect characterization. My favorite part of the ‘fight’ half of this issue, though, was the reaction of one of the Brothers when they saw Richard Dragon on the other side.

Probably, they could’ve rounded out the team with Batman, Nightwing, Batgirl, and Robin - but it worked well as is. I hope Dragon gets many more cameos like this, and better ones too - I miss his series. As for Babs’ recovery… I hope she recovers the use of her legs, slowly. We’re in a reality where people come back from the dead, Amazons heal with purple rays, and Batman himself overcame severe spinal injury - while Babs’ paralyzation was an interesting dimension to her character, it didn’t strike me as particularly believable. And knowing Simone, she’ll be able to milk the recovery and the aftereffects for a couple of years, anyway.

Green Lantern - Ah, I see that Geoff Johns has provided me with other converts to the cult of Jordan. As I mentioned in a Weekly Comic Thread way back during GL : Rebirth, the reason I always liked Hal as a character because he was, apart from Batman, the one convincingly bad-ass character in the Justice League.

The Authority : Revolution - The Midnighter’s just fun to watch - I wonder though… he has all these fancy sensors to analyze the abilities of people he encounters, without even seeing them in use, how did he miss the nano-invaders? The Engineer should be able to deal with them easily, I’d hope…

Well, in a few months, she’ll get a year of rehab all at once.

I think it’s a genre thing that you just have to buy. Despite having magic, superscience, and other weirdness floating around, the DC Universe looks pretty much like our own. That kind of stuff just isn’t availiable to most people. Even among the superheroes, there’s unequal distribution of kewl swag (or else why hasn’t Waynetech commissioned Steel to make armor for all of the non-invulnerable Leaguers?). In the real world people are paralyzed, and stayed that way, and still make great contributions. I like seeing that reflected in the comics.

I’m most worried about Babs giving up her post as information goddess to become yet another martial artist. We saw seven this issue alone, and I can rattle off another half dozen in the DCu without even trying.

For god’s sake, what happened?


[spoiler] Hal was fighting a new model Manhunter, only to discover that it had a power battery for a head, which it used to drain his ring, leaving Hal powerless. The new Manhunter then left Hal to make an older obsolete Manhunter self-destruct (in a blast that would destroy Coast City… again), so Hal commandeered a fighter jet and set off after them. The Manhunter destroyed Hal’s jet, and Hal leaping from the wreckage and plummeting towards Earth, recharged his ring with the killer robot’s face.

It was a thing of beauty. [/spoiler]

That’s not knowing fear for you.

You forgot the part where

He snapped the thing’s head off with his bare hands while in free fall. :eek:

But, yeah. Effing bad ass.

Klarion - It is a charming little book, isn’t it?

Manhunter - The whole Manhunter-hunt arc is coming to a head, and there are implications of connection to OMAC - with the smart money being on 'The Manhunter Program (which enhanced humans with alien tech) was a direct progenitor of the OMAC Project (which enhanced humans with super tech, turning them into sleeper agents.) Some nice background on Manhunter continuity.

The Pro - Garth Ennis’s hilarious ‘prostitute becomes a superhero’ hardcover. Finally managed to pick it up.

Also this week…

Thunderbolts ties in with the House of M, in a not-too-horribly-annoying way.

Defenders lags a little, but retains the kind of inspired insanity I’d expect. Conjecture : Umar was originally naked in the shower scene bit, but the artists were forced to draw on the black ‘swimsuit’. Her arms and random objects are always very strategically placed.

Cable and Deadbool rocks the casbah, as usual.

Livewires wraps on a macabre note, but I have high hopes we’ll see these plucky mecha again.