Saturday, May 2, 2009

Comic Book Reviews 4/29/2009 - Part 2

Sorry for the delay in getting these online, but my cable modem met with some spilled coffee and, well….you can probably figure out the rest. Part 2 of this week’s reviews will include Justice Society of America #26, Superman #687 and Battle for the Cowl : The Underground. Click below for the reviews :

Justice Society of America #26
Story by Geoff Johns
Art by Dale Eaglesham

This is it, Geoff Johns’ last issue. When JSA was restarted a while back, the only reason I gave the book a chance was that Geoff Johns was writing it. I knew very little about these various characters, or what the JSA means to the history of the DC universe. Well, now I know a lot more thanks to Johns.

It’s Stargirl’s birthday party! Or at least it was, during the Black Adam fight, so now the JSA is throwing her a surprise party. During the party she mingles around and gets speeches and kudos from various members, including a “you’ve grown up” speech from founding JSA members Jay Garrick, Ted Grant and Alan Scott.

The key to this issue’s enjoyment, though, is Starman. Crazy, crazy Starman. This is apparently his first birthday party and it’s a little much for him. Not only does he give Stargirl her own uniform (“I found it in the laundry room”, he says as she unwraps the package), but he also supplies the party with lemonade from a local lemonade stand (“They’re going to love the lemonade, Louise! Enjoy college!” he tells the little girl as he hands her a stack of bills and some random coupons, one of which is clearly for Free Parking somewhere.)

One other hilarious moment comes after Starman eats all of the ice cream (along with the candles for the cake) and Hourman and Damage have to run to a local convenience store to restock the ice cream supply…in full costume. While standing in the frozen foods section amidst a half dozen people staring blankly, Damage yells at them “What the hell are you looking at? Haven’t you ever seen super-heroes pick out ice cream before??”

An overall enjoyable issue to end Johns’ fantastic run on this book (except for maybe the last 2-3 issues), and we go out on Starman turning around to face us, the readers :

Starman (waving) : Thanks!
Jakeem : Who are you talking to?
Starman : Everyone.

Battle for the Cowl : The Underground
Story by Chris Yost
Art by Pablo Raimondi

This book impressed me. Plain and simple. I didn’t have much in the way of expectations when I picked this up, mostly because I have picked up every other Battle for the Cowl tie-in so far.

Riddler meets with Penguin (clearly inspired by the Batman Return’s Danny DeVito character) about the Black Mask. Catwoman is having trouble dealing with the fact that Bruce is dead, and Harley Quinn shows up to save the day with her twisted humor. While gun wielding Jason Todd Batman shows up to hand Catwoman her ass, Poison Ivy tracks down Riddler, who is hanging with Harley Quinn clearly setting the stage for the Gotham City Sirens book that is coming out.

Two of the funniest lines in the book involve Riddler and Harley, though. At one point, Riddler is in Harley’s apartment when Harley yells “You’re back!” as someone walks in behind Nigma. Riddler’s thought box reads “You’re back? Dear God, do NOT let the Joker be right behind me.” Then, after Catwoman battles it out with Bat-Todd, she is thrown from a roof onto a parked car below, smashing the windows out. As she lays there, blacking out, Harley approaches looking like a little scared girl and just says “Kitty?”

Great stuff, the writing was fun and the art was decent. I enjoyed this rendition of the Riddler, although I can do without the Danny DeVito Penguin.

Superman #687
Story by James Robinson
Art by Renato Guedes

Something in this issue just didn’t work for me. I honestly can’t pinpoint what it was or when it happened but I had been enjoying this title, and even getting into James Robinson’s work (which I wasn’t really into before). I mean, it’s not bad, but it just didn’t do much for me.

Basically, the Science Police fight Shrapnel, Mon-El shows up to save the day, Jimmy Olsen goes to see Zachary Zatara (who is pretty much a douchebag), and Steel gets shown around the sewers. There are also some shady goings-on with General Lane as he studies Mon-El and Jimmy Olsen is investigating things that happened back at the beginning of Robinson’s run that I had totally forgotten about.

Maybe I need to re-read Robinson’s entire run now that we’re further into the story. If I dod and end up changing my mind I’ll post a second opinion review, if not, I’ll keep giving it a chance but I feel this is the weakest of the various Superman titles right now.

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