Comics I Read: Catching Up #21

Green Hornet 1: I haven’t been that into Kevin Smith’s recent Batman series, but I like the beginning of this series based on Smith’s unused movie script. There’s just enough of his trademark snappy dialogue, but without too much of his trademark crudeness. The front half of the book is the last case of the 1960’s TV show Hornet, and in the back half we meet his son who (presumably) is destined to become the new Hornet. I’m actually more interested in the old hornet, but the last time this was done I wound up liking the modern quite a bit. Phil Hester, of course is a terrific artist and pencil artist Jonathan Lau makes good use of his breakdowns.

Justice League: Cry for Justice 6-7: I need to discuss the ending, so major spoiler warning! Wow. I’m near speechlessness about how abruptly this went off the rails. This series took itself a little too seriously from the beginning, but at least it had a goofy charm. (And #6 proved me right about Freddy not being able to say “Shazam”, which made me happy.) Now, at the end we have Green Arrow’s (adopted) son maimed, his granddaughter dead, and himself a murderer. I by no means think our heroes should have easy lives, but this all seems unnecessarily cruel, contradictory to everything that’s happened to GA since “Identity Crisis”, and (worst of all) I don’t think it leads to a story I’m interested in. Plus, why spend all that effort building Prometheus back up to a credible villain – or at least he was credible until he had a defense for almost everything in #7 – and then shoot him in the face with an arrow. (Which, now that I think about it, also condemns I.Q. since Prometheus says he has the capability to restore his mind.) Again, I don’t expect everything to be “lighty brighty” after the end of “Blackest Night”, but I can’t fathom the doom and gloom here.

War Machine 9-12: I’m not the only one that enjoyed this series – it was just nominated for three Glyph Comic Awards – although I may have been the only one buying it at the end. These last few issues are a great political thriller from Greg Pak, including one of the most unusual courtroom scenes ever (thanks to Ares) and a great scene with Rhodey’s mother. (“I just knew you’d come home dead some day, Jimmy. That’s just what happens when someone like you heads out into a world like this.”) Well worth your time in trades, and I hope Marvel will do an oversized hardcover of the whole series if “Iron Man 2” does well at the box office.

Comments

  1. War Machine was one of the better comics Marvel put out during Dark Reign, although it was disconnected enough from main events that it "didn't matter", so nobody really bought it. But I thought that the entire twelve-issue run was a really intriguing examination of what happens when somebody focuses too strongly on their mission, and when they literally give up their humanity to do so. The callbacks to other characters in the Marvel universe never seemed forced, but rather serving the story (the West Coast Avengers reunion was a particular delight for me). And unlike many titles, this book managed to really help the title character grow without going too far out of their way to do so. With where War Machine was after issue 12, I don't think it's too unlikely that we'll see him in Brubaker's Secret Avengers--he'd fit so well there right now, and I look forward to seeing it.

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  2. I love that I can always count on you to be into whatever obscure book I'm trying to push here. :-)

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