Friday, September 09, 2005

Fork in the Road (Comic Reviews for August 31)

I have come to a division in my path tonight. I can either clean my apartment or continue to fiddle around on the Internet. There are other choices, of course. I could play with my cat, but he is very busy staring into space. Either watching a ghost, or a bug. One would be as welcome as the other, I suppose. I could also sort my comic books, but that comes suspiciously close to cleaning. I could sleep, but I've found sleeping at 330 in the morning screws over my work schedule.

Blogging it is, then. I wonder if anyone will ever see this. I'm not normally this depressing, but there's melancholy music playing in the background. Maybe I need a little food. Low Blood Sugar is really depressing.

That's better, a little beef jerky and a switch from Simple Plan to Bruce Springsteen.

Might as well post the first comic reviews. There will be mild spoilers below.
NOTE: These reviews are specifically directed at my sister, because she has given up on Comic Books, and I want her to know what she's missing.

Week of August 31, 2005:

BPRD: The Black Flame #1
Roger's losing it. Big time. He was such a sweet, well-behaved homonculus before that Captain Zombie jerk got ahold of him. Now, he's gone from herbal man to wanna-be undead marine. Not cool.
On the other hand, it is always good to see Liz Sherman light up a bunch of amphibian demon-men.

Astro City: The Dark Age #3
That was it? That was the big crime of the Silver Agent? That? There's a little suspense at the end there, enough to get me to pick up the next book -- because I want to see what happened, but it's not like I can't wait to see what happens.
I am giving Buseik until the end of the actual story here, but so far I am deeply unimpressed. This Astro City's falling short of par.

Flash #225
This run was hard to top, but I think Johns ended it on a high note. It was what we predicted to happen, but he managed to make it entertaining and tie up a lot of loose plot threads. It was a very solid ending to a wonderful run.
I have to say that for Captain Boomerang II's mother, I was disappointed. I was sincerely hoping it would be Jenni Ognats. The lady they picked, I'm not ever sure how he got speed off of her. Oh well, Speed Force logic, I suppose. It's been screwy ever since Mark Waid created it. At least we have a Capt Boomerang who makes sense as a villain.
Also disappointed I didn't get to see Fiddler, Shade, and Thinker interact one last time in Johns' run, but that's what happens when you run out of time.
Oh, and Kimmy -- Piper is not evil. You can pick up Johns' trades in good conscience.

They are worth it for Professor Zoom! Finally! A fast villain that Wally can't just outrun!

Green Lantern #4
I was underwhelmed by the first 3 issues of this series. I think it was Geoff Johns workload that caused this, because no sooner than he drops the Flash than VOOM! Green Lantern lights on fire!
This issue was so much fun! Hal Jordan vs Kilowog -- In a mud pit! Hector Hammond: Pervert! Sonar in Chains! Blood and gore!

And Hal punches more people!

I love that.

The best part of Green Lantern: Rebirth was Hal hitting Batman (Oh, and Kyle not dying. I like Kyle, he needs to stick around!) I'd been waiting for that since the birth of the Batjerk personality in JLA: Tower of Babel. I think Hal should punch Batman again.

I think Hal should punch more people overall.

Write a whole one-shot about it. Hal Jordan Punches the DC Universe!
I can see it now! Batman! Supergirl! Wonder Girl! Batman! The Joker! Lex Luthor! Batman! Dark Seid! Lobo!
He just tours the whole DCU hitting people, until he gets to the JSA HQ -- where he swings at Alan Scott--
And finds his hand stopped in mid-air. "Hal, we have to talk."

That would be beautiful, just beautiful.

JLA: Classified #11
Ellis' Perry White in Issue #10 was the best portrayal of Perry White I've ever seen. A cross between Jameson from Marvel and Rourke from Transmet. So entertaining that I think Ellis should be contracted to just write the Daily Planet scenes in all of the Superman books.
That said, this issue was just blah. That's all, jsut blah. Nothing really happened, I was hoping for more Wonder Woman dialogue, what with her on the cover, but was sadly disappointed. I'll be picking up #12, though, in hopes of more Perry.

Seven Soldiers: Shining Knight #4
My first thought upon finishing this comic was "I'd like to have Grant Morrison's baby."
Then I realized that would make me fat.
Seriously, though, this Seven Soldiers thing is that good.
Morrison throws a plot twist in there that I, as a major fan of King Arthur stories, have seen at least once (I believe more than twice, though) before, and I never saw it coming. Bt it makes perfect sense, and totally redefines how you consider the characters.
I liked Justin before, but was iffy if I wanted this new Shining Knight to replace the Golden Ager -- as I am not an advocate of killing off characters that were created before my parents, and killing off the Golden Age Sir Justin was likely if they had a replacement. And I liked seeing Sir Justin in Stars and STRIPE. He was pretty cool.
But after this twist is revealed, I say kill him, or freeze him in ice again, or drop him in the timestream. Push him to the sidelines again, because Morrison's revamp is the Shining Knight I want to see around.
I want to see Sir Justin in Wonder Woman! Right now! Kill Cassie or Donna (again) if you need to make room, but do so post-haste!

Wonder Woman #220
Was depressing. I love what Rucka has done with her, he's defined Diana so incredibly well. This series has actually been fun for me for the first time in years. (Speaking of which, Kim -- I've got the first trade of Rucka's run for you, btw, and will be sending it to you with copies of all of the issues of Shining Knight as soon as I am awake when the post office is open).
A heavy issue was appropriate after what happened in Wonder Woman #219. And it was very good that, after Wonder Woman #219, Rucka had her running around not killing villains to establuish that she wasn't turning into Diana the Punisher. But this issue, and I think it was probably the art, did not carry the same energy as Rucka's others at all. Batman's reaction was disappointing (If you're collecting Batman sightings, don't bother, he's just in a couple panels -- but she's narrating to him through the entire story), but understandable. This was the least of his Batjerkiness this year.
I still advise reading it, because a poor Rucka-written issue of Wonder Woman is still better than any issue since George Perez left the book! This was just below Rucka's usual standard, and I think it's the somber art. Next issue, we are promised an OMAC tie-in, which much fighting and blood, so the energy and action should be back then.

I love Rucka's action-oriented Wonder Woman. I love what the whole DC line is doing with female characters. 2005 should be called "Year of the Woman" or something, because their females have kicked into high gear lately! I hate to say it, but it was certainly worth losing Sue to the Refrigerator to get a decisive Diana in this crossover. I will be supremely unhappy if they kill Diana ("I don’t give a damn ’bout my reputation") and replace her with Donna ("Who can turn the world the world on with her smile!").

New Avengers #9
Notable for a really neat scene with Emma Frost. Emma's inside Sentry's mind, trying to find his false memories. It's very cool to see her at work. I hope Joss Whedon isn't really turning her evil again, but I scanned Astonishing X-Men and sadly, it looks like it. It's a shame. She's a really good character, and I've loved her as a complex heroine since her Generation X days. I was very sad to see this, and couldn't buy Astonishing X-Men because of it.
Then I found this article that talks about her during Morrison's run. Now I'm angry. How is it just as DC is making its goody-goody women more of a presence in their universe that Marvel decides to make one of its most decisive females evil again? How screwed up is that? Especially after the Scarlet Witch debacle!
Plus, it worries me that the writer doing this is set up to direct Wonder Woman. I've got my fingers crossed, though.

Powers #12
Bendis is losing me, I'm afraid. Overexposure, maybe? Or he could jsut be overworked. This is one of the last Marvel titles on my pull list. They keep being replaced by DC stuff. Today, I was in the store and saw House of M #6 was out, but that the clerk forgot to pull it for me. I was reading ti for potential Quicksilver sightings, but I went "nahh..." and just left it on the shelf, in the middle of the crossover! Didn't even scan it.

Guess I'm getting over my completist issues. That's good for my wallet.

Supreme Power #18
JMS drops a bombshell that doesn't really get any reaction out of me. Compared to DC right now, this book isn't impressing me anymore. Won't be picking up the spin-off miniseries, or the relaunch.

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