Comic Fodder

Tpull's Weekly DC Comics Review – Part Two

Batgirl 1

by Adam Beechen and Jim Calafiore

I’ve got a nit-pick that ruins this comic for me on the fourth page, but let me get to that rant later. We start with a little action that ties into the story (very loosely), then switch scenes to Wayne Manor, where Alfred makes a couple of astute observations, but uses everybody’s real name, including Batman’s while talking on a supposedly secure comm line. Yech!

The next setup has Nightwing playing the distrustful hothead, which is a teensy bit out of character for him. Then we have three pages of exposition to catch up to the weird things they did to the Batgirl character since her first series ended. Beechen does a fairly good job with this, although it does illustrate why it is so hard for new readers to latch on to what has come before. This character isn’t that old, but already needs multiple-page recounts just to get us up to speed.

My recommendation is a tentative buy; it’s slightly better than average for an issue, but now let me do my rant. Batgirl claims she is going after a cargo, which is “custom gun magazines,” favored by her assassin father. At first I’m thinking he’s getting a lot of issues of Guns ‘N’ Ammo, but then I realize she’s talking about the type of magazine you put into a gun. Now, I have a passing familiarity with guns, and I have heard of after-market magazines that have been modified, but nobody bothers with a market for a “custom” magazine! Magazines are simple; if you want to change them, you can do it yourself. This is just lame. To compound matters, the cargo is a truck full of boxes! So that sort of ruins the idea that these are specialized “custom” jobs, unless you can order a million of them, ship them in from China, and still claim they are each “custom made.” Lame, lame, lame, lame, super lame. Where’s Larry Hama when you need him?

Final Crisis: Rogues’ Revenge 1

by Geoff Johns and Scott Kolins

Oh, finally! After the train wreck that was Countdown, and the less-than-stellar Salvation Run, the Rogues finally get a decent treatment. Johns knows the motivations of these characters, and does a great job of explaining things as he goes, all while mixing in a sufficient amount of action AND thawing out Inertia.

Love it, gotta buy it, gotta recommend it. One of the best DC issues this month.

Tangent: Superman’s Reign 5

by Dan Jurgens and Jamal Igle

backup story by Ron Marz and Fernando Pasarin

Most of this issue is the heroes fighting the Tangent version of Power Girl, but it is an entertaining battle, and I like the Tangent version. Superman discovers the “main” universe, and promptly decides it is important to conquer. It’s not a complicated story, but it’s a fun read. They try to make things a little more complex with each backup feature, and until the significance reaches a critical mass, the backup feature doesn’t add much just yet.

Trinity 7

by Kurt Busiek, Mark Bagley, Fabian Nicieza, Tom Derenick and Wayne Faucher

The first couple pages are really cool. Superman always gets to play with the neatest toys. Good job by the colorist on this series. Busiek manages to bring in Krona again, further solidifying the consequences of the JLA/Avengers crossover, to make sure it “counts” in continuity, and is not treated as a “what if” story. I don’t mind that one bit.

Okay, for long-time Bat-fans, don’t turn the page too fast when he overrides Hawkman. Pay attention to the code words he uses, and you will recognize whom he is trying to contact before you turn the page. Sometimes people rush through too fast to pick up on neat little Easter eggs like that.

The backup story is better than the previous ones. Green Lantern is trying to figure out some aspect affecting his powers, and Firestorm seeks him out to get the backstory on Krona, which is beautifully rendered. Why did Firestorm seek out Green Lantern? I usually do not pick up on these things, but on reading it a second time, I noticed that these are the only two black men on the team. Has Busiek really thought things through this far? Firestorm is very young and not the most comfortable around women (hence not going to Vixen), but might naturally gravitate to John as either a potential father-figure, or just the only other black guy on the team. Or am I reading too much into things, and it’s a coincidence of the needs of the story?

It will be interesting to see if anything more important develops with the Firestorm/John Stewart relationship as time goes on. Writers in comics are notoriously reluctant to dwell on matters of race most of the time, but considering most tables at my high school were segregated into races not by the adults, but by the choices of the teenagers themselves, it stands to reason Firestorm might gravitate to John (The nerd table where I sat and the jock tables were well integrated; cliques know no exclusions!). If writers did put this kind of thought into the character interactions, the storytelling could be raised to a whole new level. Alan Moore does it quite often, but it is still a little rare in much of the rest of the comic book scene.

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

nigga you be throwin chairs at niggas

-- Posted by: Anonymous at July 23, 2008 9:52 PM