Jeff’s Comic Reviews, 6/24/09 releases, Part 1
Nova 26: A solid transition issue, where Rich and the Nova Corps get used to their new status quo, and Nova investigates what happened to his comrades and his brother while he was out of commission.
Gotham City Sirens 1: It’s a little too early to tell how this will shake out, but so far I like it – any time Paul Dini is writing Harley Quinn is a treat, in my opinion. (Selina: “So' I’m right in assuming you’re spending the money I gave you as fast and as foolishly as you can.” Harley: “What’s wrong with splurgin’ on a few nice things? Besides, I put some away, made some investments…” “Please tell me they didn’t involve sending money to a Nigerian prince.” “You got his e-mail too?!”) Harley and Ivy are featured, but so far it feels like Catwoman will be the main character.
Thor 602: Pays off one of the plot threads from the earliest JMS issues, and the conversation between Balder and the mortal living in Asgard is enlightening. (As previously hinted, he’s not being manipulated as blindly as certain characters think he is.) It’s a shame the JMS era will be coming to an end soon, but it’s good that he’s trying not to make the same mistake twice about getting involved in a big crossover. (His recent CBR interview is quite humble about this point, actually.)
Wolverine Weapon X 3: Mike covered this thoroughly below, so I’ll just say that this is the issue that hooked me too and that I’m glad this book is looking to Wolverine’s future not his past.
Dark Wolverine 75: Again, not much to add to Mike’s review. I liked this more than I expected to; I just hope that there are some consequences to Daken screwing with Norman because otherwise it undermines Osborn as a character. Writers Daniel Way & Marjorie Liu have a feature on CBR with their commentary on the first few pages of this issue that’s worth checking out.
Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Utopia 1: I now have hope for this crossover, because this was much more on the level I know Matt Fraction is capable of than recent issues of Uncanny have been. Simon Trask’s anti-mutant group marches on San Francisco, and like all the best X-Men villains they kind of have a point. Trask is bad guy, and he doesn’t want the demonstration to go peacefully, but he’s right that his group has the right to protest without interference. Of course that doesn’t happen and there are mutants and humans rioting in the streets, leading to a prominent X-Man’s arrest and to Norman Osborn invoking his agreement with Emma Frost to create an X-Men group capable of keeping the mutant population under control. Also, Professor X is back from his journey in X-Men: Legacy. Or is he? (Cue the scary music.)
Wonder Woman 33: A truly shocking ending to “Rise of the Olympian”, with grave consequences for Diana and the gods that I was not expecting. Say it with me: “Gail Simone is an evil genius.”
Green Lantern 42: Hal Jordan briefly wields the Orange power here, fueling my speculation that it’s going to be important that he be exposed to the entire emotional spectrum. In the meantime, the Guardians continue to be complete bastards and the Black Power Battery is discovered, leading (finally) to “The Blackest Night”.
Justice Society of America 28: As I said last month, this one’s for the All-Star Squadron and WWII fans by Jerry Ordway with references to the Spear of Destiny (that Hitler used to keep the JSA out of Axis territory) and to Hiroshima. Good by my standards, but hopefully the new creative team will be doing stories with broader appeal. (I’m not sure if they’re starting next issue or if there are more fill-ins planned.)
Justice League of America 34: I’m going to miss Dwayne McDuffie on this book. I really like this mix of characters, and I thought the resolution of the story was good. This issue is also notable because Icon and Superman find out how the Milestone characters got merged with the DCU. (Hint: Final Crisis) There’s also an escape hatch, in case the business relationship ends and the universes need to be separated again. Anyway, I can’t complain about the writers to come – Len Wein and James Robinson – but I also can’t help but feel that McDuffie never really got a fair shot at this book.
Daredevil 119: Issue 500 is coming up faster than I expected – next issue, in fact – so this is way closer to the end of Brubaker’s run than I was mentally prepared for. Things are coming to a head, with someone important to Matt in grave danger at the end of this issue. My guess is that Brubaker will leave Matt isolated from everyone that cares about him, but we’ll see.
Teen Titans 72: Except that it starts with yet another funeral (in flash-forward), I actually liked this better than usual even though it’s written by whatever committee Dan Didio has put together until the new writer takes over. (The name on it is “Brian Q. Miller, who Google tells me is a “Smallville” TV writer.) Anyway, I really liked that the kids behaved like real kids, and on that basis I’m willing to excuse the excruciatingly poor judgment by Wonder Girl. (“Sure, I’ll come in for prison inspection a day early. Alone. What’s the worst that could happen?” – not an actual quote) Without giving it away, I do have to make a short-term continuity rant about the villain revealed on the last page. There was a miniseries that just finished, where this character was utterly broken and defeated at the end and it’s implied that his criminal career is over for the foreseeable future. The ink on that isn’t even dry, and now here that same character is back masterminding a plot against the Titans. I don’t know if they’re ignoring the miniseries on purpose, or if the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing, but it’s downright sloppy especially considering that this book is personally edited by Dan Didio.
Secret Warriors 5: We’re at part 5 of 6, so I can’t really give any details without ruining the story. I’ll just say that I’m impressed that the plotting is so intricate, yet not hard to understand. That takes a lot of skill, which is basically down to Jonathan Hickman. (My understanding is that Bendis is getting a story credit because he came up with some of the ideas in this first storyline, but that the day-to-day writing is all Hickman.)
More tomorrow and Wednesday. (24 books to go!)