Comic Fodder

Tpull's Weekly DC Comics Review – Part Two

Final Crisis: Requiem 1

by Peter Tomasi and Doug Mahnke

I have never taken an art class before, so I probably lack the language to explain all the facets, but I recognize Doug Mahnke’s art as soon as I open the page I’ve always been so-so on Mahnke, but this actually looks like some of the best work he has ever done, so I am happy. Tomasi also tells a pretty good story, also better than his usual stuff.

We get to see a little more action concerning the last moments of J’onn J’onzz. The action is good, and the increased screen time helps to focus more on the character, so we don’t feel quite so much like killing him off was just a stunt. The history of his life plays out through other heroes, and the story was so good, until the Choco’s. Every true fan of J’onn knows he had a weakness for Oreos. You would think that Oreos would like the free publicity, because I tend to forget about them, myself. Seeing J’onn eating Oreos all the time had me craving for them as a snack! One of the few times advertising worked…

Evidently there was either a trademark infringement charge, or the lawyers at Marvel were scared that using Oreos could lead to an infringement charge, so the retcon into a generic cookie name was enacted. It’s a shame, really. Better not to show us the retcon at all and spoil the moment, but just to keep the solemnity of the rest of the issue intact. But don’t worry, J’onn. We all know they were really Oreos.

Trinity 6

by Kurt Busiek, Mark Bagley, Fabian Nicieza, Scott McDaniel and Andy Owens

Wake up, Trinity just got good! The three main characters catch on that something important is happening around them, and concerns the linkages between them. Rita learns from her cards about the qualities of each of the heroes, and it boils down to truth, justice, and the American way. Busiek breaks down the main ideals that our heroes fight for, and does a pretty great job of describing the cores of their beings. The backup story is boring, as the only thing that really happens is Gangbuster meets up with Hawkman and sets the stage to join the JLA (or just the trinity) on the satellite.

Wonder Woman 22

by Gail Simone and Aaron Lopresti

We’re getting better, but not quite there yet. The opening scene presents Diana with some fond wish, her enemies crushed, and super heroes lined up to be her suitors. Lopresti does great with each panel, although it would be interesting if he would try to experiment more. I always want to see good artists learn a new trick and incorporate it into their style. The middle of the story is interrupted by a useless fight between Nemesis and talking gapes. Both the dialogue and the narrative captions are light-hearted, but simple. They do not mix in well with the rest of the story.

After Donna Troy shows up with Nemesis, we switch back to Diana, who is now wearing a red armored gauntlet, which previously was only present in her dream. Claw didn’t give it to her, because he still has his gauntlet. Did they take it from the demon? Then why was she not wearing it earlier? Also, why was she using that same deformed hand earlier to brush her hair back, as if it was a normal hand? Poor art direction, poor editorial, or poor writing, or a mix of all three. It’s a minor error overall, but symbolic of the series so far: a little bit of a mistake. Wonder Woman deserves better than this.

Storming Paradise 1

by Chuck Dixon and Butch Guice

What if the first test of a nuclear device killed all the scientists who worked on the Manhattan Project? That’s the premise of this alternate history WWII comic, and it’s a doozy. Oppenheimer is shown giving his all-too-often quoted speech about having become Shiva, the destroyer of worlds, but this time before the bomb has even gone off. Hard to do it any other way, because he’s not around to say anything after the bomb goes off! I just wish writers didn’t beat the Shiva quote to death every chance they got.

With no nukes, a conventional invasion of Japan has to take place. The story is well-written, with appearances by FDR, General Patton, John Wayne, and more. It is not a story for the politically correct, as the shortened “Jap” is used often, as it was during wartime, and some might be offended by that. Butch Guice has never been in my top ten list of artists, but he’s good, and he experiments. His style here is very fitting, and I appreciate his efforts to make each and every face on a person distinctive.

Chuck Dixon was fired from DC, but Wildstorm is an imprint of DC. I imagine there are limits on that relationship, so hopefully the series is not cut short by the current friction between Dixon and DC. This first issue is great, and I have high hopes for the rest of it. If you want to try something new for a change, ditch the capes and come visit the regular Army slobs in this book. Fans of DC’s old war comics genre will probably like this a lot too.

Tpull is Travis Pullen. He started reading comics at 5 years old, and he can't seem to stop.