Saturday, October 30, 2010

This Week's Comic Stack 10/20/10 plus 10/27/10

Combing last week's and this week's Stacks:

Last week

The Good:

  • Chaos War #2- Pak and Van Lente continue their great work with Herc and Co.

  • Steve Rogers: Super Soldier #4- An okay ending that obviously sets up a story in Brubaker's Secret Avengers book.

  • Brightest Day #11- This issue focuses on Martian Manhunter and Fire(Death)storm. This is sooo much better when one or two of the arcs receives the majority of pages.

  • DC Universe: Legacies #6- This issue deals with the fallout from the Crisis and is drawn by Jerry Ordway and inked by Perez. A great stroll through DC history. The backup is a riff on the Legion(s) Of Super-Heroes coming back in time to get Superboy that frankly falls flat. However, that does not ruin the main story.

  • Green Lantern Corps #53- A new arc involving Qward and the Weaponer (now able to affect power constructs due to his studying the White Lantern construct left by Deadman) after revenge on Sinestro.

  • Legion Of Super-Heroes #6- The Earth-Man character solidifies his place on the team this issue and a new vote for Legion leader is called for. In a nod to the Waid series the fourth wall is broken as the writers/editors appeal to the readers to vote for the new leader online.

The Alright:

  • New Mutants #18- This arc about the Inferno babies grown up, while a cool starting point, is meandering and I'm losing interest in it.

  • The Stand: Hardcases #4- Maybe it is the gap between last issue, but for some reason it just isn't as good as previous issues.

  • Batman Beyond #5- Well, there is a bit of a fake-out with Dick there...[whew] Even with my fears alleviated this issue isn't as good as the last. I hope that #6 will pull it together some more and I still look forward to January's ongoing series.

  • Justice League Of America #50- The great art and always cool Crime Syndicate story should make this a hit. Though, it just falls short.

The Bad:

  • Batman: The Return Of Bruce Wayne #5- The great art by Ryan Sook (and Pere Perez) can't save this clunker. The time period is what confuses me. Drawn like it takes place in the thirties or forties(cars and the style of clothes worn) but mentioning the death of Thomas Wayne, it is set just after the murders of his parents. This is a key piece to the whole epic story that Morrison has been telling since he got involved with the Bat books. It ties in the Black Glove to the framing of Thomas Wayne and the Wayne family for several things throughout history along with Carter Nicols and his time machine. Having not read most of that though, I was lost until I researched it later. To be honest, I thought that Bruce was going to go back to the Golden Age Earth-2 time period or something similar and was disappointed to find out that wasn't the case.

This Week

The Good:

  • Justice League: Generation Lost #12- Everything we know (about Ice)is WRONG! In a huge change for the character, Judd Winick gives her an all new origin and backstory. Supposedly repressed memories awaken when she went into a fugue state last issue. Is this real, or is it Max messing with her? Either way it's pretty interesting stuff for the character.

  • Teen Titans #88- J.T. Krul reunites the Geoff Johns Teen Titans. At least that what the promos seemed to promise me. The team had gotten so far from what attracted me to the title in the first place. Now that the gang (for the most part, no Tim as Robin, Cyborg or Starfire) is back I wanted to check it out. Krul is not one of my go-to guys, but has done a few things that look favorable for the title and the characters. Unfortunately, he's also done some not so good thing with characters of late. So while this issue gives me hope for the future of the title, I'm not confident in it yet. Luckily they've paired him with a great artist in Nicola Scott so it will look good (although Gar's one snaggletooth annoyed me). The story is mostly the team dealing with the gang being back together and the teaser of Damian Robin [urrgh...] joining.

  • Zatanna #6- After being stood up by his cuz Zatanna not coming to his show, Zach investigates her disappearance. He saves Zee from a fate worse than death... marriage [ba-dump-bum] and an eternity in hell. A nice end to this little arc. Zach comes off better than he ever has before because until this series he's kinda been an @$$hole, even to his friends.

  • Captain America #611- Things look bad as Cap turns himself over because he's been outed as the Winter Soldier assassin. Meanwhile, there's endless meetings about this fact. The Avengers meet, Obama meets with advisers, Steve meets with Obama, Cap meets with some Nazis (to kick their asses) and finally Steve and Cap meet. Boy, all this meeting and talking you'd think Bendis wrote this issue. That said, I think that the way it's done adds tension to the story and pressure (even though he's unaware of most of these people discussing him) upon Cap. Oh, and Black Widow guests in the poor Nomad back-up.

  • Captain America: Patriot #3- I am really loving this book. Karl Kesel starts with the existing continuity and adds a new depth to it while telling an original story. This is my favorite thing he's written. This issue fleshes out why Cap traded Bucky for Sun Girl as partners in the fifties. The art is simply wonderful.

The Alright:

  • Justice Society Of America #44- Another new creative team, new direction for a title (see Teen Titans) this week as Marc Guggenheim and Scott Kolins take control of the JSA. Already in their first issue I don't think I'll be liking this much better than Willingham's run. The team has their asses handed to them by a new baddie (not even a classic JSA foe) and get all remorseful over the destruction of a chunk of a city. (ummm....Bludhaven is a radioactive crater...and god knows how many times the entire world has suffered damage from invasions, apocalypses and such in the DCU) This just seems to be done for dramatic purposes to amp up the guilt for JSA as a politician goes after them for the damage. [cleaning up and rebuilding after a big fight is half the fun in the DCU] Also one of the big three of JSA (Alan Scott, Jay Garrick, Ted Grant) gets injured. Green Lantern Alan Scott is now "permanently paralyzed" because of injuries sustained by fighting the big bad. Nice,...take out the best part of JSA and after what he just went through with the Starheart, jeez take it easy on the poor guy. Wait, that's not all...Jay wants to retire and Mister Teriffic is losing his smarts. I have a bad feeling about this. The Scott Kolins art is uninked which sometimes works for me, other times doesn't but is still very good.

  • Time Masters: Vanishing Point #4- This title has increasingly less to do with finding Batman in time and more to do with Rip Hunter and Booster Gold. Most of the issue the motley crew of heroes are trapped in an illusion. Booster is trapped with Hal Jordan and has some great banter playing with the world's perception of him and Hal's being so judgemental of him. Jurgens may not be in top writing form this issue, but the art is great.

  • Amazing Spider-Man #646- The Origin Of the Species storyline concludes with a happy ending. [not that kind..] Spidey saves the day and finds out the real father of the Goblin baby is...Harry, and he doesn't have any Goblin/Menace powers. This seemed a fairly abrupt conclusion, but still worked. It must be nice for Spidey to have the Avengers to tie things up that would have taken issues to resolve a while ago. Like those pesky kidnapping charges and all those lose villains running around. Oh, well! Next issue starts Dan Slott's run on Amazing...something I've wanted to see since he did that Spider-Man/Human Torch mini years ago.

  • Uncanny X-Men #529- Half of the issue is set up for the Generation Hope mini, the other half is the White Queen being mysterious and manipulative with what to do with Sebastian Shaw and neither really interests me. For some reason the Portacio art seemed a bit rushed this issue too.

From a few weeks ago...

  • Untold Tales Of Blackest Night #1- I missed this one when it came out. An anthology one-shot that has "deleted" scenes from Blackest Night. A framing sequence featuring the Sinestro Corps archivist, Lyssa Drak, trapped in the Black Lantern Book of Black bookends. Featured in the scenes are: Animal Man, Donna Troy, Scarecrow and Sinestro Corps member Karu-Sil. In a scene sure to be quite important later on, Lyssa is rescued by a mysterious figure she recognizes (the readers don't see him/her/it) who wants her to be a bookkeeper. None of the stories are incredible or horrible and the art is all very good.

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