Thursday, May 20, 2010

This Week's Comic Stack 5/19/10

Quite a lot this week as the Heroic Age was launched by Marvel. Also, it's funny to note that there are a lot of #1's and anthology books this week...

The Good:

  • Brightest Day #2- This wins misleading cover of the week as Aquaman is barely in the book. This issue focuses on Martian Manhunter and a new take on his arrival on Earth, the Hawks track Hath-Set as the Atom tries to find out why Ronnie and Jason are stuck as Firestorm. The book ends on a trademark Johns "Whoa!" moment. The pacing of so many storylines is done well. There is a fairly gruesome scene when a White Martian learns of J'onn's resurrection echoing the Black Manta scene in #1.

  • Superman: War Of The Supermen #3- With the Kryptonians dying in space, Flamebird flies into the sun [What is with DC and having people fly into suns to sacrifice themselves to save the day...Hal...Sodam Flamebird] and changes the sun back to Yellow. Although, with heavy losses (once 80,000 now less than 7,000) the Kryptonians are still more than enough to overpower the humans. Kara prepares to face Ursa in Washington, DC while Kal-El awaits Zod in where else but Metropolis.

  • Prince Of Power #1- A holdover from last week. Amadeus Cho puts his unique style of adventuring to bring down the Griffin. He demonstrates that he's not afraid to put the front company of the Greek gods billions of dollars in debt to find Hercules. He gets into a contest with the head of Pantheon over mystical items that give the various gods their immortality/omnipotentence which he wants to use to find Herc. There is a hilarious "Memo" from Cho to all Olympus Company employees about changes he's enacting as well as a preview of the Atlas series. A fun and funny book. Watch for the joke "sound effects".

  • Legion Of Super-Heroes #1- As Saturn Girl visits home, the Legion is forced to make Earth-Man (who just went on a xenophobic rampage) as a member if they want to stay on Earth. Meanwhile an attempt to view the beginning of time awakens a strange being on Oa and threatens Titan's populace. The strange being takes a Green Lantern ring and brings it to Earth offering it to Earth-Man, the new Lantern of Sector 2418. I can see how Levitz is regarded as the premiere Legion writer. He sets up some interesting groundwork for future[no pun intended] issues. Plus the art was top notch.

  • DC Universe: Legacies #1- Two stories written by Len Wein about the onset of the Golden Age. In the first two kids witness several emerging mystery men (the Crimson Avenger, Sandman and Atom). The second involves Scoop Scanlon (who first appeared in Action Comics #1) trying to explain Dr Fate and the Spectre. The art is very good (Joe and Adam Kubert). I'm looking forward to this tour of the DC eras.

The Alright:

  • X-Men Legacy #236- Bastion encloses Utopia (along with most of San Fran)in a giant energy sphere. The Avengers show up to help break through the outside. The X-Men prepare for the worst on the inside. They don't have to wait long as dozens of Nimrod class Sentinels emerge from the inside of the sphere. Things don't look too good. The Avengers cameo is the highlight of the issue. It seems next part (X-Force) will be meatier.

  • Invincible Iron Man #26- Somewhat of a disappointment. Nothing really happens. Tony recruits a former employee to help re-purpose his last nine remaining armors while the Hammers recruit the new? Spymaster.

  • Zatanna #1- Dini tries to propel the female magician in fishnets to a major mystical force in this series. It's not a bad first issue. I will have to read more issues to make a final verdict on it as the issue failed to grab me. The art by Stephane Roux does help sell it though.

  • Justice League Of America #45- More set-up for the JLA/JSA crossover. But this time the team kinda started feeling like the League for a bit. I also think that the inker(s) really aren't a good match for Bagley's pencils. The art isn't as vibrant as his previous projects

  • Enter The Heroic Age #1- A "sampler" anthology one shot. I love these as they allow me to test several titles/creative teams without buying an issue of each title. Avengers Academy, Thunderbolts and Atlas hold the most promise. Also spotlighted are Black Widow and Hawkeye & Mockingbird

  • Age Of Heroes #1- Another anthology book. This mini takes a focus on characters instead of titles. There is a great Kurt Busiek story about JJ Jameson's reaction to the Siege aftermath. Paul Cornell gets a love letter to his Captain Britain & MI 13 series and there is a funny one page Spidey story by Dan Slott and Ty Templeton. Unfortunately there is an awful Doctor Voodoo story in the middle. This will probably be hit or miss by each story.

  • Superman/Batman #72- I got this because I thought that this would be a Dick Grayson Batman and Superman team up. But, it wasn't. Taking place sometime after Identity Crisis (reference in the story) Batman intercepts an ultrasonic distress call for Superman because he's out in space. Turns out Lois has been abducted to be the sacrifice for some cult ticked off because she married Clark instead of Superman. Paul Levitz pens this by the books adventure.

The Bad:

  • Avengers #1- The art was the usual John Romita Jr quality. I liked the use of Kang and the Next Avengers. That's about it. The dialogue is what I feel is typical generic Bendis snark. With a few changes anybody could have anyone elses lines. There's so little personality within his dialogue. That carries over to the horrible Oral History of the Avengers (the prose fake interview or recording that Bendis loves to throw in to his comics). With his dialogue Bendis places his own attitudes and ideas about the personalities and motivations into the founding Avengers that wasn't there to begin with. That just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. In Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Joe Casey did such a better job in updating the existing personalities and motivations. Using stuff that was actually in the original stories he came up with a story that took what was there and gave it a modern day feel and relevancy. Bendis just does what he pleases. Anyways....I also found the anti-Avengers attitude of Wonder Man so random. However, I since found out that it has been previously established, so kudos on keeping that going, I guess. Unfortunately, I don't think that Avengers will be in my pull list.

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