Jeff’s Comics Review, 8/26/2009, Part 1
Green Lantern 45: Continues the off-Earth portion of “Blackest Night”, checking in with all the other Corps as the Black Lanterns try to capture all their homeworlds. There are a couple of surprises for GL readers, one (literally) huge and one subtle, that aren’t essential to the main story but shouldn’t be missed by regular readers. Kudos to Doug Mahnke, who drew a zillion different colored corps members, and several terrific splashes and double-page spreads.
Batman and Robin 3: What can I say about this? It’s as close to the perfect comic book as you’re probably going to get, so don’t miss it.
Wolverine Origins 39: Daniel Way gives an explanation this issue for why Romulus has seemingly come out of nowhere in Logan’s life that’s plausible (even a little bit ironic.) It doesn’t help me care about it more, though, and Romulus’ appearance at the end (assuming it’s him) is a little too much “I created you in my own image” for my taste.
Dark Wolverine 77: This is well written and I think it’s a good direction for Daken, with him being a master manipulator instead of a brawler. I just wish he were a tiny bit less successful at it – I’d be more excited if there was some chance of his scheme unraveling, but so far he pretty much seems to be able to get everyone to do whatever he wants.
The Flash: Rebirth 4: The story pace speeds up (ha ha), as Geoff Johns expands on the Speed Force mythology in a similar way that he added to the GL mythology in “GL: Rebirth”. It’s not quite as smooth and “Why didn’t I think of that?” as the GL ideas, but I love that it seems to have a place for all the existing characters. (Wally gets a big spotlight this time around.) It’s paced as if next issue is the last, which was the original plan, so I’m curious to see how they’ll get to #6 without seeming padded. Stunning work as always from Ethan Van Sciver.
Wonder Woman 35: One of the things I like most about Gail Simone’s run on this book is that she makes Diana face real consequences for her decisions, even the good ones. It’s also fun to have Black Canary under her pen (Gail’s not Diana’s) for a couple of issues to help figure out what Diana’s new direction in life should be.
Blackest Night: Titans 1: A good start, but it’s too early to tell if the emotional stories of Black Lanterns Terra and Hawk are going to be worth telling. I’m also pretty nervous about Donna’s kid coming back – which hasn’t happened on-panel yet but it’s implied – because I have real-life experience with parents who’ve lost a child and I don’t want to see that trivialized.
X-Force 18: The current story is tied up in a satisfying way, and I thought the long-overdue confrontation between Wolverine and Cyclops was well done. I could have done without the three pages of torturing the underage girl (X-23) at the end, however. (Good luck getting that approved by the Disney overlords next time.)
Justice Society of America 30: I liked this better than the last issue (though I liked that one too), and it was good to see the new Dr. Fate again and I thought he was used in a clever way. (They seem to have forgotten that he’s a medical doctor too, or maybe it just wasn’t worth bringing up with Dr. Mid-Nite around.) It makes sense that Magog’s soldiers-not-heroes attitude would cause the split among the team, and I look forward to seeing how that plays out. (I certainly would rather have 2 JSA books than 3 Deadpool books!)
Gotham City Sirens 3: A surprise (to me, anyway) fill-in from Scott Lobdell, of all people, featuring the Riddler. It’s good, and it’s fun to see the interaction between Riddler and the new Batman, but it doesn’t advance Selina, Harley & Ivy’s story much.
Dark X-Men: The Beginning 3: The most successful issue of this anthology, in my opinion. Paul Cornell’s Emma Frost/Namor story uses the “let’s travel the landscape of your mind” in a clever way that works on mutiple levels – for instance, the doors for Namor’s “strategies for coping with the surface world” are labeled “Attack”, “Negotiate” and “Sue” and Emma thinks the latter refers to legal action. The second story is Jason Aaron’s sequel to his “Get Mystique” Wolverine arc, bridging the time between that and “Dark X-Men”. The third story featuring Aurora is good, but a little bit lacking in suspense since we already know she didn’t join the team.
Deadpool 14: A funny conclusion to the pirate story (which by the way seems to be on the twice-a-month plan like a lot of other Marvel books at the moment), but the pending expansion of the Deadpool “line” to 3 titles is making me think about whether I should drop this because I’m definitely not buying all three.
Dark Reign: Elektra 5: The timing of Elektra’s abduction by the Skrulls is finally revealed, leading to a great twist ending. Definitely one of the “Dark Reign” minis worth buying in trade if you haven’t been following it already.
Nova 28: A good story showing off how much Rich has matured in the Nova-Prime role, as he initiates a diplomatic solution with King Blastaar (!) and accepts the need for a (limited) restarting of the Nova Corps. The ending, another patented DnA surprise, brings the series current with the end of “War of Kings”.
Incredible Hulk 601: I like the combo of Skaar and Bruce Banner, and I love the idea that Bruce is in a way more dangerous now that he’s free of the Hulk because he’s free to be a genius without being on the run or being interrupted by Hulk-outs. The She-Hulk backup is much better than the story I made fun of in #600, and based on the ending it looks like Deathlok fans may want to start paying attention.
Hulk 14: Still no reveal of the Red Hulk’s identity, but now Domino has discovered it so it should start to unravel soon. I mostly like the team that Red Hulk assembles to go after her, except that I don’t buy that Frank Castle would get involved even with what he’s being offered and that I could live without more Deadpool. The few clues about Red Hulk’s identity this issue seem to support my theory, so I still have hope of being right.
Son of Hulk 14: Who thought it was a good idea to ship all three Hulk books in the same week? Anyway, this is still quite good, though if I had to drop one Hulk book I would pick this because it’s so separate from the stories in the other ones. (Though I suspect that may change when “World War Hulks” comes around.)
Dark Reign: The Sinister Spider-Man 3: The parts with the bush league supervillains are pretty silly – I still really hate the “Dr. Manhattan” parody – but the terrific art more than makes up for it. The rest of the story, involving a gang war and JJJ possibly being able to turn the tables on “Spider-Man”, is much better.
More tomorrow, and then I probably won’t have time to write until after the holiday.