Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Comic Reviews - 5/26/2010 (Part 2)

After reading something on The Weekly Crisis blog, I had to laugh at this week’s very cat-centric comics. RageCat shows up, Power Girl spends some time naming her cat finally, and Roy Harper beats up some criminals with a dead cat while high. Weird. Anyway, on to Part 2…..

Superman : War of the Supermen #4
Story by James Robinson & Sterling Gates
Art by Eddy Barrows, Cafu & Eduardo Pansica

A satisfying conclusion to a fast paced and fun event story. War of the Supermen has restored my lost faith in the Superman family of titles that have been, quite honestly, pretty dull during this past year and change. I’m going to play it safe and pick up a few issues from the creative teams that are coming on board in the next few months before I consider putting any of these back on my regular pull list. Although being the completist that I am, I know that in a year or so the gap in issues will annoy me and I’ll end up hunting them down for the sake of consistency.

I was actually enjoying Zod being written as a sympathetic character who is only trying to protect his people, but you know that Zod must go back to being…well, Zod. The whole bit with General Lane was surprising but I guess it ends his story pretty definitively. Everybody loses in one way or another and our story ends here not with a huge celebration, but reflection by the characters. I’m looking forward to what the Superman titles will bring for this new year,

GI Joe : Hearts and Minds #1
Story by Max Brooks
Art by Howard Chaykin & Antonio Fuso

I’m assuming that this series ties in with the current GI Joe continuity from IDW but it doesn’t really say that anywhere. Doesn’t really matter that much. There are two stories in this issue, one about Major Sebastian Bludd and one about Spirit. Bludd’s story is interesting and shows how he, in a very twisted way, is just trying to be more successful than his father and take care of his family. The Spirit story was OK but I enjoyed the Bludd piece a little more. Not sure if I need another GI Joe tie-in series but this first issue wasn’t bad at all.

Justice League : Generation Lost #2
Story by Judd Winnick
Art by Keith Giffin & Joe Bennett

This was a fun second issue and works very well to set up the trouble that is to come for our Justice League International heroes. Max Lord has succeeded in wiping himself from the minds of everyone in the world (except Booster, Captain Atom, Fire and Ice). Even Superman, a hero who was controlled by Lord to the point of almost killing Batman and Wonder Woman, doesn’t even remember who Lord is.

JL:GL is getting off to a better start than Brightest Day, in my opinion, which is weird because I was looking forward to Brightest Day more than Generation Lost. We’ll see how they stack up when the books really get rolling. We do have many weeks ahead for both bi-weekly titles.

Wonder Woman #44
Story by Gail Simone
Art by Nicola Scott & Travis Moore

Impressive conclusion to one of DCs most under-rated books. This is the last of Gail Simone’s run before the re-numbering to 600 and J Michale Straczynski takes over. Simone shows us why Diana is such a powerhouse in the DC Universe not because she can (and does) hand villains their asses, but because of her compassion and love for all beings. It was nice to have Nicola Scott on this last arc as I really enjoy her interpretation of Diana. A feel-good ending sets things up nicely for a big change promised in JMS’s upcoming stories.

Green Lantern #54
Story by Geoff Johns
Art by Doug Mahnke

This is an issue packed full of action and surprises. If Power Girl #12 hadn’t come out this week, this would have been the easy Book of the Week. Besides the rehash of a scene from Brightest Day #1, almost every page holds something new and interesting. RageCat (aka Dex-Star) and Atrocitus stalk the subway tunnels of New York and meet up with a gang of thugs who don’t last too long. The expressions on Dex-Stars face are just perfect, and if you have a cat you will definitely think twice about being mean to it. Although Hal kicking the cat with a construct boot is a bit much, but in a dark way kind of funny.

There is also an update on the previously believed dead (well…not really believed) Sodom Yat who has the Ion entity ripped from him by our mysterious Collector of Avatars. Every page in this book is fantastic due to Doug Mahnke’s pencils, especially the cameo at the end of the Main Man. I’m looking forward to seeing the last Xarnian go up against Atrocitus, and everyone else should just stay out of that one.

Geoff Johns wastes no time catching his breath, or letting us catch ours, after Blackest Night and starts weaving the new stories with his usual brilliance. Things are building towards big problems again, and I can’t wait to learn more.

Fantastic Four #579
Story by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Neil Edwards

I went into this issue on a slightly down note because Dale Eaglesham has been substituted with Neil Edwards. I thoroughly enjoyed Eaglesham’s take on the FF, especially Reed Richards, who was portrayed as more of a 1940’s action hero type with a semi-rugged look in the vein of Indiana Jones. The new art is not bad by any stretch, just different.

Although, having a more classic “nerdy” Reed does help the surprise impact of his scathing speech in this book to the world’s supposed greatest minds. At the end of the speech you just know that the room was super-silent and if this were a comedy, Chris Tucker would have stood up and said “Daaaaaaaaaaaaammmmnnnnn.!!!” Basically Reed confronts an organization full of the most intelligent people in the world and accuses them of being lazy, self serving and short-sighted. The speech is worth hearing (or reading) because it is full of optimism for the future of mankind, and I wish that some of our “greater minds” would take a page from the brilliant Dr. Richards.

“Here, at the end of human history, we sit on the verge of a transformative time. Never have we lived longer, eaten better, worked less, or possessed more things. We are more advanced than any species that has ever walked the Earth, and now, with our Promethean urge truly unleashed, we stand on the precipice of scientific marvels that will catapult us into the next millennium. Despite all this, evidence presented here suggests that most of you have never been more pessimistic. You fear tomorrow”

Great issue and it once again validates why I have grown to enjoy the Fantastic Four. Hickman is setting himself up to be the Grant Morrison (although a bit more coherent) of the Marvel Universe with his broad story arcs and grand cosmic scope. FF is now (at least as soon as I get to the comic shop again) my first ongoing Marvel book to be added to my pull list.

That’s it for this week. Due to work scheduling and the holiday screwing up delivery schedules I won’t have new comics until next week so I’ll have to do double reviews then. But, in place of reviews, I will have some other things posted that I’ve been working on. Thanks again for reading my ramblings!

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