Sunday, September 20, 2009

Comic Reviews Double-Shot (9/10 & 9/16) – Part 1

Due to some scheduling and financial issues, it’s been a while since I’ve been to the comic shop to hang out on a Wednesday afternoon. The store was packed with regulars and the conversation was, as usual, fun and at times heated. I picked up two weeks worth of books so I’m going to do the reviews in two parts (First the 9th, then the 16th).

What happened the week of 9/9? Dick Grayson has a family reunion, Salaak gives his equivalent to Mel Gibson’s speech from Braveheart, Dave Liszewski gets his testicles electrocuted (yeah, ouch is right), Tim Drake finds some ancient graffiti, Scandal Savage is just plain awesome in every way and Kryptonians VS Thanagarians begins.

Pick of the Week :

Secret Six #13
Story by Gail Simone
Art by Nicola Scott

How can such things come from the mind of a nice person like Gail Simone? Secret Six is a heavy contender for my Title of the Year Pick (although it will be going up against All Hail Megatron so it has some serious competition). Each month the characters in Secret Six perform acts that are purely wrong and mostly for evil reasons but it is just so much damn fun.

Still stuck in the horrific prison being built on a remote island the team is split up and forced to chase each other down. One of the highlights of the issue comes as Scandal Savage is confronted by a team of about ten henchmen (henchpersons? don't recall seeing any women in the group, doesn't matter) in a hallway. The exchange goes like this :

Scandal : Thirty seconds, gentlemen.
Henchman 1 (pointing a gun at Scandal) : Thirty seconds for what, traitor?
Scandal : Thirty seconds to live, guard of slaves. Enough time to call a loved one or to pray, perhaps. Probably not both.
Henchman 2 : What are your orders, sir? What do we do???
Henchman 1 (pauses for a few panels then reaches for his cell phone) Belinda? Bee? It's me. I don't have much time, sweetheart. I wanted to tell you I love you.
Scandal (leaping into the crowd with blades out) : Time's up.

It's moments like this along with more twisted scenes like Ragdoll trying on an unconscious Wonder Woman's boots and tiara that add to the evil fun in this book. The art by Nicola Scott is nothing short of beautiful and action-packed. If you have any interest in villains or the darker side of things, please pick this book up and check it will not be disappointed.

The Rest :

Blackest Night : Batman #2
Story by Peter J. Tomasi
Art by Ardian Syaf

Some ex-Batman villains show up as Black Lanterns and Red Robin shows up to help out. Other than that, the entire issue consists of Batman and Robin wielding flamethrowers while Jim and Barbara Gordon hold off dead criminals at Gotham Police HQ. Kind of what you would expect from this title but it's honestly not the most exciting Blackest Night tie-in.

Superman : World of New Krypton #7
Story by James Robinson & Greg Rucka
Art by Pete Woods

While still possibly the weakest of the Superman-family books, this is still not a bad way for Superman to spend his time away from his home in his own title and Action Comics. As Kal assumes control of New Krypton's military following Zod's assassination attempt, the Kryptonians hatch a plan to take one of Jupiter's moons for themselves. What? Jupiter has like 57 moons....seriously, no one on Jupiter will even notice.

While Operation : Callisto is underway, a new threat pops in on the Kryptonians soaring on wings of Nth Metal. Kal and his team fly out to meet this new threat near Mars and now have to stop a moon from crashing into New Krypton. If it's not one thing it's another, right?

This has been a decent title and I'm already 7 issues in (this is a 12 issue series, right?) so I'm in for the long haul now. Lately it's been treading a bit of water but hopefully it will ramp up to an impressive conclusion and the return of Superman to Earth.

Green Lantern Corps #40
Story by Peter J. Tomasi
Art by Patrick Gleason

Blackest Night tie-ins have been wearing a bit thin for me recently. It's not the main story, which I'm totally digging, but the tie-ins all seem to just have the same formula.

The biggest highlight of this issue was the Corps realizing that the Guardians are gone which causes the Alpha Lanterns (who I've never really liked) to step up and assume control. No, no, no....Saalak ain't havin' that. He drops some Guardian Law knowledge on their glowing asses and steps up to lead the Corps in a speech worthy of a military commander. I have a feeling that the Alpha Lanterns are not going to let this drop though, and that their direct connection to the Book of Oa is going to be a bad thing pretty soon now that the Black Corps controls the Guardians.

Red Robin #4
Story by Chris Yost
Art by Ramon Bachs

I would consider Red Robin to be the World Of New Krypton of the Bat-titles. By this I mean that it is the weakest of the group of books, but by no means a bad title. If things got tight it would probably be high on the drop list but happily, that's not the case right now.

Tim continues his re-branding as Red Robin and his search for Bruce Wayne. Right now he's about the only person, besides his new bestest pal Ra's al Ghul, who believes that Bruce isn't technically dead. Towards the end he gets his first official validation of that belief as a plot piece from Final Crisis shows up. Decent story, even if the art isn't much to write home about.

Part Two (9/16) coming shortly!

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