Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Picklist: September 10, 2008

  • Booster Gold 12
    Oh, come on. Of course I'm going to be reading this. Booster Gold is one of my top three favorite comics out right now. And I'm only saying top three, as opposed to number one, because I'm too lazy to think through all the titles I'm reading to see if there's something I like more. Screw Trinity; they should make this a weekly.

  • Dark Tower Treachery 1
    Another Dark Tower mini! Yay, Roland! I hadn't heard this was coming down the pipes, but I'm psyched to see it.

  • Ex Machina 38
    I like this title. It's not my usual thing, really. I mean, I'm not even sure what world it's taking place in. It's not the Wildstorm world, because that got Blowed Up. And Mitch Hundred managed to prevent one of the Twin Towers from coming down on 9/11, so... I kind of hope they never drag this into the DCU's Multiverse.

  • Final Crisis Revelations 2
    The sad thing is, there are so many bloody Final Crisis titles that I couldn't even remember which one this was. I had to go and look at FC:R 1 to see. That was the one where Dr. Light, rapist and general scumbag, got crisped by Crispus. Burn on him. Heh. Again, I'm not sure where the line is between the DCU and Vertigo anymore. This is some dark and violent stuff. When we left off last issue, the Spectre was about to take vengeance on Renee Montoya, aka The Question. Crispus couldn't stop the Spectre from whacking his own son, so will he be able to save Renee? Inquiring minds want to know, so I'm going to give this another try.

  • Green Arrow Black Canary 12
    This title is kind of blah. I'm pretty much reading it as a matter of habit at this point. I'm honestly not sure why I'm bothering.

  • Trinity 15
    More Trinity, please. Honestly, I haven't been enjoying the backup stories so much, but this book is still going strong. It's way better than last year's horrible Countdown.

  • Wonder Woman 24
    What I said about the Green Arrow Black Canary book? Ditto.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Reviews: August 27, 2008 (part 2)

Adam Strange Special 1
So like I said in the picklist entry, I'm only getting this because it's tied in with the Rann-Thanagar mess (notice how you can't merge the two, like Bennifer, because Ranagar is a place?), and I'm only reading that because I kind of liked the interactions in the Countdown to Adventure mini, even though I hate the hell out of the whole Holy War thing.

So anyway, when I saw the cover, the first thing I thought was, "Is that supposed to be the Spectre?" I mean, wrong color scheme and all, but same wonky pointed hood, and he's Rilly, Rilly Big. Of course, it's actually Synnar.

And you know something funny? I really liked this book. It was wicked cool, with Adam bouncing through time, finding out things that may or may not lie in his future. It's enough to actually restore some interest in the Holy War series for me. Particularly the part where Sardath apologizes to him and admits he was wrong. That part has really bugged me. It's not like I was ever really fond of Sardath, but the whole conversion thing really felt to me like DC taking a swipe at religion. Like if a scientist becomes religious, he's bound to become a total psycho about it. It's nice to see that that isn't going to last forever.

Manhunter 34
Bad art alert. Ugh.

GAHHHHH! Ramsey's grandfather pulled his puppy's head off! That's just gross, not to mention cruel. There has to have been a better way to show that the dog is a robot. Couldn't he have opened a side panel, or something?

And what's with Boomerang Jr? I thought he decided to be a good guy, no? He was hanging out with Kara over in Supergirl and all... when did he go over to the Dark Side? Oh... he didn't. Kate really isn't that good at this stuff, is she? It's a little endearing, actually. She's really trying, but the world is a bit more complicated than she's able to see. And you know... I think I'm glad. Sometimes right and wrong is simple. Saving those women takes priority over the Big Picture for Kate. It might for me, too.

And wow... I bet there's going to be a huge uproar about Todd and Damon kissing. It's okay for them to be gay (just barely), but no PDA. Right... The 'phobes are going to be out in force this time.

See you all next week.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Reviews: September 4, 2008 (Part 1)

Supergirl 33
Now this was nice. It's about time they portrayed Kara as a normal person. The way she trashed Clayface was just lovely. I mean, who doesn't enjoy hearing a supervillian whimper? It reminded me of this.

I think it's nice that she forgave Empress. She's finally really acting like a hero. And the others are seeing her that way, too. "Because she's Supergirl." And shouldn't that be how it is?

Trinity 14
So What Now?
Okay, so the Crime Syndicate is on the Antimatter Earth. So who's on Earth-3? Is Earth-3 the Antimatter Earth? Grrr...

So Superman gets marked. Now all three of them have. But damn, on his forehead? "That's gonna leave a mark", as they say. I'm glad that Vixen, at least, got that they were all acting like each other. And I have to say that Enigma is shaping up to be the most interesting character in this whole series. My guess last week that he's the Eddie Nigma of the Syndicate's Earth hasn't been confirmed yet, but the way he charged in all white knight makes me think it even more.

--Let the Burning Begin
So... it's nice to see Geo-Force looking better after trying to slice his own throat with a sword over in DCU: Last Will and Testament. Oh, right, I forgot. None of DC's comics have anything to do with any other DC comics any more.

They throw a human sun into the Sun. And "Supergirl barely shields us in time". With what? A teenaged girl shields Rex Mason, Brion Markov and Carter Hall? Three strapping dudes? I mean, the Silver and Bronze Age Superman (and maybe Supergirl) would have used their capes. But I don't think Supergirl's costumes are indestructable any more, let alone infinitely stretchable.

I'd talk more about the story, but there wasn't much of one.

Angel: After the Fall 12

Gawd, I've missed her. But... but... she's only back to make Angel's final death easier on him? And Angel's willing to go... why? Because Wesley gave him a vision of Angelus destroying everything? Honestly, I'm not sure I understood what was happening here.

Buffy Season Eight 18
Ah, yes, teenybopper centaur porn. What could be better?

When I read Fray, I wondered what happened to all the Slayers. I mean, I think Joss wrote it before all the potentials became actual Slayers, but I figured there had to be a way to make it fit. Buffy is really freaked out to find out that it was all, seemingly, for nothing. I would be, too.

Willow watches BSG! "Frak," she says. Twice. And if Kennedy is "Ken-doll", does that make Willow "Barbie"? "New, from Mattel. It's Dark Barbie! Watch her eyes turn black as she decides to destroy the world. Comes with one yellow crayon."

"Ridden hard and put away wet." ICK! But it's a Forestal. Straight from Garroting Deep, it's Cairroil Wildwood. Or Lorelahn, as he's called here. Cool... but we didn't see enough of him. I imagine he'll be back next issue.

So... is Future-Dark-Barbie-Willow-Madwoman a good guy or a bad guy? She wants Fray to kill Buffy, but she seems to have some good reasons. Maybe. Argh, cliffhangers irk me.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Picklist: September 4, 2008

Ah, Labor Day. One of those lovely days that can transform a Wednesday into a Thursday.

  • Adam Strange Special 1
    I haven't been enjoying the Rann-Thanagar Holy War thing. But on the off chance that it improves, this tie-in is going to be necessary.

  • Angel: After the Fall 12
    I'm not sure, but I think this is the last issue of the series. It's definitely not as strong as the Buffy continuation, but there's no way I can miss it.

  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer 18
    This cover is so over the top. Honestly, teenaged centaur porn? Ick. But I've been loving this. I have to admit... my favorite sequel to the TV show has been WaTchers. So I'm considering Joss's Season 8 as a sort of Earth-2 Buffy. I know that's probably bass-ackwards, but WaTchers was here first, and I think the stories are actually better. But like all good things, it's coming to an end, and I'm glad Joss is doing this one.

  • Manhunter 34
    So... Kate and the Birds of Prey in the desert (with the candlestick). I like Manhunter. I have since it started. Even when it's lagging, it's still better than most of the books out there.

  • Supergirl 33
    In all honesty, I didn't entirely get what happened last issue. Supergirl spends then next 50 years or so trying to deal with not saving Thomas? I'm hoping that this issue clears things up a bit.

  • Trinity 14
    "A cataclysmic event that will change the world Рbut not like anyone involved expects". I think I just threw up in my mouth. How many cataclysmic events that will change the world can we have? And if those involved are surprised, it's probably only because they don't read enough comic books. Still, Trinity has been solid, and I'm not going to let a clich̩-ridden promo deter me.

Seeya Thursday (or Friday), assuming I don't find something to rant about before then. Like the horrible Dark Knight movie that I shouldn't have gone to.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Too much darkness

Over at Every Day Is Like Wednesday, Caleb writes:

At the rate they’re going, I’m predicting Robin turning tricks on the street for the sheer thrill of it, Wonder Girl joining the pornography industry and Blue Beetle coming out as a cannibal by the 75th issue.
I think he's being optimistic.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Reviews: August 27, 2008 (part 2)

Runaways v3 1
Ugh, more bad art. I bloody hate cartoony art. I've seen webcomics that look better than this. I can barely talk about the story; the art was so distracting that it was hard to follow.

So... am I mistaken, or has Chase gotten even more immature? And what, Karoline killed 7 billion people while she was off-planet? That's impressive for a teenager. My guess is that she didn't do any such thing, of course.

I don't mean to obsess over the art, but I have a very visual memory, so it's actually a little difficult to remember everything that happened. What was the deal with the station manager? Did he have a heart attack? Did someone push him? The art was so horrendous that I couldn't even follow what was going on there. Please God let them get a new artist next time. I'm not so tied to this title that I'm willing to insult my eyes every month just to follow it.

Look... I know there are different artistic styles. I'm not asking for Alex Ross here. But I'd like the people to actually be shaped like people, you know what I mean? That weird panel with Chase ripping into the sandwich... I mean, what were they thinking?

Superman 679
So Superman is getting his butt handed to him by Atlas. And Lana shows some moral fiber and gets fired from LexCorp by the cyberghost of Lex Luthor.

At least they cleared up that Zatanna thing between Clark and Lois. I was afraid they were heading for some serious creepiness there after last month. Honestly, I wouldn't put anything past TPTB at DC these days. Superman having an affair with Zatanna? Why not? But thankfully, it wasn't anything like that.

Still, Clark grew up in Kansas. Culturally, he isn't really an alien. So why didn't he get Lois' comment about Ireland? He's got a super-brain, no? And... is this before or after Lois winds up in a hospital bed so a Monitor-ette can bribe Superman into tootling around the multiverse in a Yellow Submarine? I'm so freaking confused about the timeline in the DCU these days.

It was nice to see Kara, though. Supergirl is into cats, clearly. I mean, we knew that from Streaky. But one of those cats looks distinctly unhappy about it. Does Supergirl just not notice that it's trying to eat her? And who shot her from space? Does Cat Grant have friends in the military? I mean: "hussy"? I did like the Hotel Hell touch, though. Even if the "4" was the triangle kind instead of the kind that actually looks like an upside-down "h".

I'm trying to figure out who's more protective of whom: Kal or Kara. I mean, Superman acts like a big brother ("Not her. Never--"), but Kara still remembers him as a baby, and when she heard he needed help, she was there.

Anyway, here's hoping that the next issue doesn't bite. Heh.

Blue Beetle 30
"I printed out this picture from my armor. The paper is made of dead skin cells and sweat." Awesome line of the week.

I want to see a teamup between Jaime and Ryan Choi. Honestly, that would be amazing. And I love the way that Jaime cares about the villains he's fighting. He's got heart. He's a teenager and he has teenage friends, and they act like teenagers. Granted, I could do without the little hearts floating in the air... it reminds me of the little kid Justice League over in Superman-Batman, but this is how to write a comic.

Reign In Hell 2
Meh. Yeah, I don't really have much more to say about it than that.

DC Universe - Last Will and Testament 1
Okay... I'll admit it. I don't have a clue what this was about. I mean, the world is ending? Superman has told them all that this is the end? Since when? What's this coming off of? Is this just out of order? Something that comes off of Final Crisis?

Not one single word of explanation about what's going on. Lots of great characterization. Robin being jealous of Nightwing's relationship with the Bat. Rocky playing pastor to everyone. Clark and Pa Kent. The defeat of Deathstroke. The dissolution of Brion Markov. But it was all painted against a backdrop of a situation that near as I can figure doesn't exist. That's frustrating. There's no bloody context here. Gah.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Reviews: August 27, 2008 (part 1)

Trinity 13
That Was a Sonic Boom
Ryan Choi! I've missed him. I really enjoyed the All-New Atom. It was surreal in a Buckaroo Banzai sort of way, if you know what I mean. If you haven't read it, go and find it. I have no idea if DC is going to be releasing it as a trade, but it's so worth reading. I'm not sure why the Atom symbol on his forehead has only three loops instead of the normal six, but maybe they'll explain that.

Anyway, he's getting to help out the JLA on Earth-3 (if that's what they're calling it these days). The Earth of the Crime Syndicate.

Have I mentioned that I love Busiek's writing? Probably not here, since this is such a new blog, but I really do. Y: The Last Man, Superman: Secret Identity, Trinity... he just has a feel for the kind of stories I like and the kind of characterizations that feel right to me. I hope he's on Trinity all the way till the end.

So... Enigma is from the anti-matter universe? I've been figuring that he's some sort of parallel Earth Riddler, but I hadn't thought of anti-matter (at least partly because matter and anti-matter would annihilate, so I always have to jam my "suspension of disbelief" hat on extra tightly whenever they have matter folks in the anti-matter universe, or vice versa).

But if they try and make it seem like the Syndicate is a good thing for that Earth, I'm going to be irked.

Drop the Coffin and Surrender
The backup story is too disjointed for me. I get the idea of a story arc, but they're "dribs and drabs"ing it a little much here. The splash of the Titans/Outsiders/Birds of Prey showing up was cool, though. I can't wait to go back and read this arc of the backup stories once it's done. I'm sure it'll make a lot more sense then.

Final Crisis - Superman Beyond 3D 1
You've got to be kidding me. I missed the part where this was going to be 3D. I figured "Superman Beyond", it must be the Superman from the world of Batman Beyond. But no, it's focusing on Clark moping by Lois's hospital bed. And the instructions for the 3D glasses were wrong; the 3D works better (though not very well, really) with the red lens on the left.


I'm definitely going to have to pull out my copy of Yellow Submarine tonight. The first shot of the Yellow Submarine is the first page with actual good 3D. I mean, 3D is such a gimmick, but it's kind of cool here. I'm not sure what Ultraman is doing here, when he's busy getting beaten to a pulp by a Batmanized Superman in Trinity (see above), but lately it doesn't seem like DC really cares about such things any more.

I'm kind of curious to know exactly what Morrison was on when he wrote this, because in terms of stoner visions, it compares favorably with Promethea. And I have a little bit of a headache from those stupid 3D glasses.

Final Crisis - Rogues' Revenge 2
What kind of art is this? Ick. Weird squiggly lines all over everyone's faces. And... is this Libra's deal? He wants to reboot everyone?

Remember when the Rogues didn't murder people? Yes, I know, it's self-defense here, but.... well, fine. Remember when DC didn't have people killing each other in horrible ways? Sheesh, what's the point of Vertigo if you get to burn people alive and electrocute them to skeletons and blow them up from the inside in the regular DCU?

I'm so not enjoying this. I'll read the third part just to finish it off, on the chance that it'll be important for other stories, but gawd, reading this made me want to go and wash my eyes. Both from the art and from the story.

Justice Society of America 18
"Born to wander the earth until I meet my soul mate." Sounds like New Amsterdam (and a pox on Fox for cancelling it).

Anyway, it's Gog! And he's lost his insipid grin. I think that means someone's going to get a whupping. Except that KC Superman managed to goad Gog into creating Magog. That's some serious bad news. That isn't how the KC Magog came into being, though, is it?

This is such a cool book. Why can't the JLA be this interesting? Granted, I was hoping for a little more of the Earth-2 story (more than just two pages at the end), but at least they're not dropping it.

More when I get to it...