POW! Bi-Weekly Comics Review 9/25/2010
I know, I can’t beleive it either, after way to long, POW!! Bi-Weekly Comics Reviews returns!
So much has happened since my last edition of POW! in…January?
I’m a lazy slob!
So much has been added and removed my pull list in the last 9 months. Shit, I even started reading X-Men related books after 16 years of swearing to never again. Some titles got shuffled to the side because, in the end, they are going to get fast turnaround for Trades. Others have remained on the list but have gone completely against what I was reading them for (Hi Wonder Woman and Superman, you both go here). Some still chug-along at being really awesome (The entire Bat-line for DC has been amazing) and along the way there have been some really nice gems (Damn you BENDIS, Scarlett is to good not to read). Some books were added to my pull list and then quickly dropped (so long Black Widow, you had such potential and crapped it away in 3 issues). some additions are welcome favorites (I missed you Captain America) while some that started promising quickly gave way to just some really plain stupid storytelling that borderd on Fan Fiction writing bad. Yeah I’m looking at you X-Men titles. How does Marvel put out something as EPIC as X-Men: Second Coming and then crap it away a month later with the tripe that is X-Men: Curse of The Mutants?
So let’s jump right into the pile for 9/25/2010, shall we?
This week The good people at Heavy Ink shipped me 14 books. 10 of these were DC titles, 2 were Marvel and 2 actually came from Image. As always I’ll reviw in order of book I enjoyed most first and then it is a free for all.– Wow! For a book featuring teenaged female Wolverine , this book was pretty dialogue heavy. In fact nothing really happens in this first issue of X-23 until like the last 2 pages. Actually, I don’t really mind that, because after how great Second Coming was, the subject of “what the hell do we do with X-23?” is something The X-Men were going to have to address. You almost get that vibe that this is going to the solo teen-angst book but the dialogue makes you realize that it is more about how the adults project their angst i.e. what they’ve subjected this character to onto and how that guilt is making them even more screwed up than they were before and these are the X-Men! They were Emo before Emo was Emo! Marjorie Liu, I’m putting faith in you to keep me hooked on this title. The first issue was more than I hoped for, don’t screw it up after just one issue! Hey who doesn’t love a good “Girls Night Out” comic? More importantly who doesn’t love a good team-up between members of the Bat-Family and the House of El? I mean c’mon, its Batgirl and Supergirl fighting holographic Draculas, what’s not to love? Man I’m glad I added this to my pull list. This was my first issue of Batgirl and it was everything a fun comic should be. It is also what you want to see in a single issue team-up between Batgirl and Supergirl! Of course I’m guessing this isn’t going to hold up for much longer what with Bruce Wayne coming back to the DCU proper next month. I hope this book can remain fun yet still have the proper sense of adventure and action a Batman related book should. How can one sum up how much I love Supergirl right now? Supergirl is fun as it gets but this current story-arc with Supergirl and Bizarro Supergirl travelling to Bizarro Earth as it is getting destroyed by what seems like a giant space bug… well that right there is just good comics my friend. I mean hell, if its got Bizarro in it, ANY Bizarro in it, I’ll read the damn thing. Add to this Bizarro #1 and of course the fun of deciphering Bizarro speak, well my friend then you have a comic worth reading. How good is it? So good that my buddy with the Bond Villain name, Chris Van Gelder – Hater of All Things Superman, even admitted to digging the story building to this issue. For Van Gelder to admit that is HUGE~! It is also proof that Supergirl is worth every penny I sink into it! Y’know the main Green Lantern title has been suffering from MSS (Meandering Story Syndrome) since Blackest Night came to its way overhyped conclusion. But over in GLC Tony Bedard has taken over the reigns from Peter Tomasi and have given us closure on the saga of the Alpha Lanterns (and possibly rid us of Hank Henshaw to boot). I think I’m just happy that Jon Stewart played a major role in this since he pretty much spent most of Blackest Night crying over how he let the planet Xanshi explode back in 1988. Now if GLC can give us consistent Stewart and Kyle Rayner stories with random Lanterns thrown in, as well as the Bromance of Isamot Kol and Vath Sarn. I love GLC a lot as the tales of other GLC members is just ot great as a concept for it noit to have a great bok and luckily, it has just that! Birds of Prey have been back since April or so and so far, its been… ok… not great but every issue has moved the story, set-up in the issue, e along. I like the book and the characters. Hell I’ve ALWAYS liked the characters and the book. There really isn’t another book like it on the shelves. It also features Lady Blackhawk, the best no nosense dame in comics! (Note: Dammit why can’t Alex Ross give us a Lady Blackhawk poster?) Still, this Black Canary/White Canary arc needs to wrap up so we can get to some right proper espionage and rescue missions dammit~! If you had told me back in January that I’d be buying an Image book in 2010 I’m sure some epic insults about me copulating with your Mother would have followed. But here we are in 2010, rapidly coming upon 2011 and Image has put out something that was so much fun in its first issue that it had me giddy to read the second. Good thing they came in the same shipment. Honestly though, Image has gone from being the bastard child of disgruntled Marvel employees that it started as, to being a fine publisher of truly different comics. Take Morning Glories for example, a book that is about 6 kids who are accepted to Morning Glory Academy, a rather… um… Unique Prep/Boarding School. Hey, I can relate to this book! I went to a Boarding School where I learned valuable lessons and skills… like forgery, extortion and how to sneak up the fire escape to the girls dorm so I could watch them change… what? I was a teenager, I was supposed to be a pervert! Anyway, Morning Glories is chock full of quick snappy dialogue and an archetype for every character (Ladies Man? Check! Tramp? Check! Token aSian Student who may or may not know Kung-fu? Checj! Emo Girl that writes bad poetry? BIG CHECK!). In the first 2 issues we’ve had an exploding blackboard, a 1960s Batman deathtrap disguised as a classroom and an RA try to stab some of the girls on her floor. Yup, sounds EXACTLY like my Boarding School! I like the IDEA of a Guy Gardner-centric Green Lantern title but so far I’m not impressed. Two issues in and it feels like they’ve cut down Guy’s swagger a bit and Guy Gardner is 100% swgger. Still, teaming guy up with Arisia and Kilowog (and I’m guessing Sodam Yat eventually) isn’t a bad idea for a team book. The book is a solid read and it is looking to clean up the aftermath of Guy’s little Red Lantern rampage during Blackest Night. The fact that it is dragging the Blue Lanterns and Red Lanterns into the story means that next issue should pick up the pace a little bit. I’ll stick with this book for now because… well, I’m Green Lantern fan dammit! I love the concept of the Green Lantern Corps right down to the core and really, Guy has deserved to have his own book again for some time now. Hey lookit that, we discover who the new Hush is… but I’m buying it. Revealing the mystery of the Big Bad Villain in the fourth issue of a six issue mini-series is Comic Book Writing 101. Pure bait and switch through and through. So we’ll finish out this fun ride in to the world of Terry Mcginnis and then get ready for the ongoing series in 2011… unless the payoff ot this story sucks balls and we end up with something stupid like a clone of Alfred returning as “The Outsider”… who am I kidding, I’d read that… probably… no no, I’d definitely read that because chances are it would end up in Grant Morrison’s hands and Alfred Pennyworth would end up as the new head of the Gotham City Underworld! Put down that X-Men: Curse of The Mutants tie-in right now! The best X-Men books are Uncanny X-Men and X-Men Legacy. In Uncanny we are getting the search for the 5 new lights that Cerebra picked up after Second Coming. Its a big deal because these are the first new active X-Genes since M-Day from the ludicrously awful House of M story back in the mid-00. Sweet Jesus, I just referred to something in the new Century as in the past tense already. Doesn’t that tell you how awful House of M really was? anyway, Storm and Hope Summers (who is in no way the next Phoenix) travel to Nigeria, the new world leader in Ethnic/Religious cleansing, in order to track down the newest of the five lights. Now I know that “Hope & The 5 Lights” sounds like either a terrible children’s book or mediocre R&B group from the 50s but the whole concept of finding these new mutants efore they accidentally kill someone… well that’s a good idea. Of course this issue just kind of skipped over the ending to the previous issue but why quibble? Its a good read, soemthing I never thought I’d say abut X-Men comics ever again. Oh also in this issue, Emma Frost and Kitty Pryde come to an understanding of sorts. I really wanted to like this book. I mean, its a DC war comic and it had The Losers in it. That right there is a one-two punch. To my recollection DC has never put out a bad World War 2 comic. Now I’m not saying this comic was bad. I loved the story, because its The Losers DAMMIT! No, my complaint is with the art. Now I’m not saying Chad Hardin is a bad artist, in fact that isn’t the case at all. But this is a DC War Comic man, the art needs to be as gritty as the story beign told. Am I asking for too much? I mean, I know not everyone can draw like Joe Kubert (the definitive “let’s a draw World War 2 story” artist) but what made DC War comics so great was grittiness of war was portrayed with the fantastic action and usually a moral about the horrors of war at the end of the story. I got the action, I got the moral but I didn’t get the gritty. I’ll give this book 4 issues and I hope we get more than just The Losers (I might be the only fan of The ‘Mercs out there). – Hey Batman teams-up with both the Question and the New Azrael for a story that was ok. We get a moment between The Question and Harvey Bullock, the once again shows that Bullock might be a slob but he is still one helluva detective. Basically, Batman and Robin are out ot stop a cult from sacrificing a group of children who all share the same bloodline. Even worse is the flow from the Batman Annual to the Detective Comics Annual seems non-existant, as part 2 almost seems to start off as a different story entirely. Add to this an Oracle back-up story where she has to call in the most uselss of the original Outsiders in Looker. Its 2010 and we’re reading a Looker story? In 2010? Really? This is more exposure than Looker got than in all of the 00’s. Could the return Colonel Blimp be far behind? The quest to find the Green Lantern of the 31st Century continues. The Legion is turning into Degrassi as we find out who is sleeping with who and I’m still confused as to why Princess Projectra is Sensor Girl in this version of The Legion because the original purpose of Projectra becoming Sensor Girl was to A) Trick Legion faithful into thinking that Sensor Girl was Supergirl and B) Projectra took up the mantle of Sensor Girl after watching Karate Kid sacrifice to save her home planet of Orando. Well if Karate Kid died during Countdown in the post Infinite Crisis world, why was there a need for Projectra to even become Sensor Girl? More importantly, why did they change her already awesome costume? I’m still reading Legion but Paul Levitz better address some of these issues soon!
That’s the ballgame kids!
Join me next time as Lex Luthor fights Gorilla Grodd, The new version of X-Force launches and we continue our journey with J. Michael Staczynski’s re-imagining of Wonder Woman which, unlike most fans, I don’t hate!