Sunday, July 4, 2010

This Week's Comic Stack 6/30/10

Well, I had some trouble posting this on Thursday night. But here it is now. Happy Fourth Of July everyone.

The Good:

  • Green Lantern #55- Johns continued to deliver great action and story while Manhke really raised his game from last issue. Lobo showed up to throw down with Atrocitus which dragged Hal, Carol and Sinestro to his defense. Dawg got into a fight with Dex-Starr (the RL cat, more on him later). It all ended with a twist, as the fight was engineered for a purpose and Lobo's payment an interesting one. It came back to the mysterious figure hunting the entities of the different Corps. Yet, the Spectre too, hunts for the Red Lantern entity, the Butcher. Last but not not least was the four page origin of Dex-Starr. It was finally revealed what happened to make this one pissed off pussycat.

  • Flash #3- Barry was last accused of having DNA at a murder scene, but obviously he wasn't a murderer, so he must have contaminated the scene. Barry preferred taking heat for being careless much more than having to explain the physical evidence which is still unexplained. While he discussed all the stuff going on with Iris, the future Renegades attacked again. Almost beaten, he was saved by the just escaped Captain Boomerang who gained a new power from the White Lantern it looks like. This issue had a short back up similar to GL#55, this time it was a nod to the old Flash Facts explaining how boomerangs work and the new power of Captain Boomerang. While last issue had a slight pacing problem this one didn't. I loved the almost Silver Age feel of this issue.

  • Secret Avengers #2- Although this was mostly more setup for next issue, there was enough to keep me satisfied. While Sharon Carter tried to figure out who knocked her out, Steve took the team to Mars. They found mind-controlled workers (in some nifty space suits too) building something. Splitting up, half the team ran into a mysterious armored being and the others ran into Nova wearing the "Serpent Crown". While the action was limited this issue did move the plot along fairly well. The art was terrific as well.

  • Captain America #607- This was a great issue. The menace and threat that Zemo presented in the issue and the boiling anger of his target, our hero Cap [yeah no more Bucky Cap], were handled well. Zemo was out to destroy Bucky's rep and his suitability to be Captain America. Unfortunately, Zemo's ahead of him. After a hallucinogen induced rampage on some NYPD (stopped by Steve), Bucky tracked the girl who "slipped him a mickey" and faced a new "Beetle" (unnamed in the issue, but I'm going by the costume). Meanwhile Zemo bought some footage of the Winter Soldier, presumably to leak to the public.

  • Batman Beyond #1- Adam Beechen got the voices of the characters down very well. I'm mixed about the art. It had a style that was not like the animated design but tended towards the more cartoony comic art style. I just don't see it fitting. The Superman/Batman Annual a few weeks ago was strange enough seeing the animated "Beyond" world done in a realistic style. This more cartoony style was even more offputting. That said, I enjoyed the story and even though the it dropped several clues as to who the mystery villain is that is after old Batman villains, I'm thinking they are red herrings.

The Alright:

  • Justice League Of America #46- For some reason this issue really improved over last issue. Perhaps Robinson has finally got down the members or maybe it's the addition of the JSA (which is probably the book he should be writing). The art too seems to have improved with the inker adapting to Bagley's pencils better. This issue started off the JLA/JSA crossover which features the teams dealing with the return of Jade and the power of the Starheart going crazy (again).

  • Justice Society Of America #40- I decided to give JSA a try again before the crossover event began. I hadn't bought this title for almost six months and apparently the writer thought that noboby else had too. The issue was a complete recap of the two previous arcs (which blended into each other) told as a flashback. That caught everyone up on events with the JSA/JSA All Stars and prepared them for the JLA crossover.

  • Doomwar #5- A good solid action comic. This issue Reed brought in War Machine as extra back up. T'Challa got desperate in taking the fight to Doom using Deadpool to track him down.
  • Wonder Woman #600- As far as the "anniversary" issues this month this was my favorite. It opened with a fun story by Gail Simone and George Perez [can't go wrong there] with WW leading a battle of heroines against robotic sirens and the high school graduation of the girl who took Diana home in the Perez run. Then there was a cute little story about WW talking with Power Girl about her cat with art and story by Amanda Connor. An okay team up with Superman followed (written by Louise Simonson). Geoff Johns wrote a small retrospective piece that transitioned into JMS' prologue for his reboot of Wonder Woman as a character and concept. While I didn't mind the Don Kramer art and, to a lesser extent, the 90's-ish costume the reboot really rubbed me the wrong way. I felt that this idea would better suit the Earth One concept better.

The Bad:

  • Invincible Iron Man Annual #1- What was touted as the return of the Mandarin turned to be an awful waste of time and money. The real crime was that Iron Man was not in the entire story at all except as cameo spots in news reports. Instead we got a story about the Mandarin abducting a famous Asian movie director to make a movie of his life story ala Kim Jong Ill. The Mandarin was not interested in truth or credibility. Taking months, the production claims many lives and the spirit of the director. In a final bid for freedom and a parting jab at his captor the director edited a true version of the Mandarin and switched out the approved version. Needless to say, this did not end well. I liked the added touch that the director had made a movie based on one of the past Iron Fists though. [This admittedly read a lot better the second time around after getting over the absence of Iron Man.

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