Monday, June 7, 2010

Comic Reviews from 6/3/2010

Once again, due to work schedules and the holiday messing with US shipping dates, I wasn’t able to pick up last week’s comics until this week. I managed to get a hold of a few to read through. What happened last week? Well…..

Jason Todd gets a little more backstory (the SuperBoy Punch wasn’t good enough for you ingrates?), Mighty Crusaders introduces us to the Hall & Oates of superheroes, DustWars goes nowhere, Future Superman goes vigilante on the criminals of Metropolis, and we witness the brutal deaths of Superman, Wonder Woman, Jesse Quick, Stargirl, Catwoman, Captain Marvel and a large percentage of the Green Lantern Corps.

Want more?  Keep reading....

Mighty Crusaders Special #1
“Full Circle”
Story by Matthew Sturges, Brandon Jerwa, John Rozum and Eric Trautmann
Art by Javi Pina
Cover by Stanley “Artgerm” Lau
Colors by Jason Wright
Lettering by Travis Lanham

When the Red Circle characters were inserted into the mainstream DC Universe a while back, I had very little interest in them. This one shot has done it’s job in making me interested in them. I’ll be going back and reading some of the books released previously about these characters in anticipation of the July Mighty Crusaders first issue.

Many regular DC characters make appearances in this issue to further integrate the Red Circle characters into the grand DC Universe. Gentleman Ghost, Dr. Sivana, Alan Scott and I’m pretty sure that I saw Captain Nazi in a crowd shot…all of this helps the regular DC reader draw the new characters into an already fairly crowded universe.

The Mighty Crusaders series has definitely earned a 3 issue trial this summer and I’ll be going back and filling in my knowledge of these characters as soon as I can.

Justice Society of America #39
"Fatherland – Chapter Four”
Story by Bill Willingham
Pencils by Jesus Merino
Inked by Jesse Delperdang & Jesus Merino
Colors by Allan Passalaqua
Lettering by Rob Leigh

Continuing the Elseworlds-ish story of a future run by the super-powered Fourth Reich, this month’s issue of JSA is restoring my lost interest in a title that I dropped months ago. Depending on how this story finishes up, it may get back onto my regular monthly pull list.

Mr. Terrific and the rest of the de-powered detainees execute their complex escape plan and head to disable the Darkness Engine that holds them captive. Some great action scenes and many heart-breaking “deaths” (this is an alternate future anyway) add to the fast pace of this issue. Hero and villain fight side by side to escape the Fourth Reich but we are left on a cliffhanger for what I think is the final issue of this story next month.

Jesus Merino does a good job with the heroes and villains that have been aged two decades, are out of costume and have been living under harsh prison conditions…but still makes them recognizable. Although Willingham does add a lot of name-dropping so we know who we are looking at most of the time :-)

Superman / Batman Annual #4
“A Time Beyond Hope”
Story by Paul Levitz
Pencils and Color by Renato Guedes
Inked by Jose Wilson
Lettering by Steve Wands
Cover by Art Germ

I gave up on the Superman / Batman title a long time ago. Actually it was back when Brainiac was controlling the Metal Men and…..honestly I can’t remember what else happened because I didn’t care anymore. The book that gave us Public Enemies and the return of Supergirl completely fell off my pull list due to poor (and sometimes very confusing) stories.

The main reason that I read the annual was because of my interest in the upcoming Batman Beyond mini-series. I was a casual fan of the cartoon, I definitely haven’t seen all of the episodes but I keep meaning to catch up with it, and I’m a huge fan of the Return of the Joker movie (the uncut version is MUCH better if you haven’t seen it.) The story here in the annual does focus on Batman, at this point Terry McGinnis, and future Superman who I think is based on the Superman from an episode of the cartoon that I kind of remember seeing.

There are heavy references to the animated Batman Beyond so some dialog may be lost on those that didn’t see it but the interaction between future Bruce (even darker and angrier than regular Bruce, believe it or not) is perfect. My one big issue with the story is that I figured out who the “ghost” was really quickly and it’s very obvious, which might have been intentional. Other than that, the art was good and the book did it’s job to get me interested in the mini-series to come. It also ramped up my need to catch up on the animated series which I will be doing very shortly.

Dust Wars #1
“Gunther Valley – Part One”
Story by Christopher “Mink” Morrison
Art by Davide Fabbri
Colors by Domenico Nezeti
Lettering by Michael Thomas
Cover by Paolo Parente

I’m always interested in the alternate realities where mechas and modern-ish weapons existed in the 1940s but this first issue was just plain dull. I’m not sure who is on what side and the story never really gets to go anywhere. Oh well, now I know not to buy the rest :-)

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