Comics I Read: September, Part 5
Strange Adventures 8 (of 8): I love the splash page of Bizarro with an undersized Hawkman helmet on his head, but it’s sharply downhill from there. The scene between Synnar and Bizarro doesn’t make any sense unless you know whether this version of Bizarro talks in opposites or not, which Starlin doesn’t establish. (Does “Bizarro no join you” mean “yes” or “no”? No way to tell.) Then he turns the Prince Gavyn Starman into a Firestorm ripoff wearing a thong, somehow the JLA is there beating the crap out of Comet (who folds like a house of cards) and I’m getting heartburn just thinking about the rest of it. Fortunately, it ends with everything pretty much back where it started so hopefully the rumors about Starlin’s falling out with DC are true and we never have to speak of this again. (I’m looking forward to Adam Strange and Comet appearing in REBELS, though.)
Justice League: Cry For Justice 3 (of 7): Slowly improving, though it’s still at times borderline icky. (Like the splash page of Hal Jordan saying “are you here now as hero…or as villain?” to Supergirl with his line of sight pointed at her enormously drawn breasts.) I love that Robinson’s trying to repair Prometheus as a character, which he talks about in the afterward and one of those two-page origin things, though I wish he hadn’t done it at the expense of one of my favorite old Hawkman villains.
Justice League of America 37: Len Wein does a terrific job elevating the last part of his fill-in story with a Royal Flush Gang idea I don’t remember ever seeing before, even though it makes perfect sense. (There are 4 gangs – one for each suit.) He has some old school fun by splitting the JLA into 2-3 person teams and reuniting them at the end. The scene between Superman and Vixen is one of his best appearances in this book all year. (But it’s a one-page flashback, so it’s a cheat to feature him on the cover.) Based on this arc, I’d actually love to have Wein on the book for an extended run.
I don’t have much to say about Action Comics 881 and Supergirl 45 other than that I’m enjoying the “Hunt for Reactron” story so far.
Superman 692: The deterioration in Metropolis is a little over the top, but this is a good issue anyway. I am a little disappointed about how Robinson resolved the Mark Merlin subplot, although it’s possible that the character who explained was lying. Also, isn’t exposing Mon-El’s Jonathan Kent alias going to inevitably lead to Superman’s identity being exposed? Not that the Guardian could possibly know that, but I wonder if they’ve thought it through. Legion Alert: If you’ve been following the recent appearances of Legion of Super-Heroes members, don’t miss the end of this issue.
Teen Titans 75: Not a bad start for new writer Felica D. Henderson. (And artist Joe Bennett, but he’s a known quantity so I expected him to be good.) I like the idea of Beast Boy trying to be a mentor for the kids, but I’m pretty sure the stuff between him and Raven that this story depends on happened over in (non-teen) “Titans” so they should have at least recapped it here instead of assuming everyone reads both books. (Minor error: somebody got Static’s name wrong in his caption on the splash page, but I’m assuming it’s not Henderson because Static creator Dwayne McDuffie says she’s a big fan of the character.)
Supergirl Annual 1: Two great stories from Sterling Gates: one is a fun secret identity story of a kind we don’t see much anymore, and the other – more relevant to the ongoing storyline – details the life and death (or is that death and life?) of Superwoman.