Comic Fodder

Tpull's Weekly DC Comics Review – Part Two

The All New Atom 25

by Rick Remender and Pat Olliffe

DC started an Atom series just long enough to introduce a cast of characters and set up a plot… all to cancel it due to low sales, and ruin what might have been one of the more interesting parts to come. Chronos set up Ryan Choi as the new Atom, all for a purpose we do not get to learn. Ray Palmer magically appears with almost all the answers, solving most of Ryan’s problems for him. Most of the rest of the issue is devoted to fighting a bad guy we never had a chance to care about in the first place.

What we end up with is a muddle, tons of questions, and we just sort of have to hope that some time, somewhere, DC will provide a few crumbs of answers to make sense of it. These attempts at relaunch might fare better if they try a few shorter stories. It does a disservice to both the readers and the creative teams if you let them create a grandiose plot and then don’t give them enough room to deliver.

Rann/Thanagar Holy War 3

by Jim Starlin and Ron Lim

It’s part 3 of 8, and the characters are still being maneuvered into place. Critics of Jim Starlin will point out that he always seems to recycle his plots, having an overlarge villain like Thanos or Darkseid, and usually throwing in some religious zealot group, all with a deep-space setting. Some of that criticism is warranted, but there are some gems in this series anyway.

Check out the dismissive way Starlord treats the fact that his entire ship was destroyed: “Lucky for the Empire, my cosmic staff automatically acted to protect me.” Not a care for his crew, really. Now that’s royalty! There is also a priceless exchange between the talking dog Tyrone and Sardath. If that doesn’t make you at least consider finding out what glorious weirdness is transpiring within these pages, I don’t know what will! Next issue is interrupted for a Hawkman Special, which ties in with this limited series.

Trinity 5

by Kurt Busiek, Mark Bagley, Fabian Nicieza, Mike Norton and Mike Farmer

The opening sequences are reminiscent of Doomsday, but they manage to put Konvikt down a little bit easier, revealing to Morgaine the fact that Batman’s brains are a genuine asset to the team, even though he has no super powers. Busiek takes a break from the main plot to have Wonder woman engage in meaningless feminist banter that is too out of place for the day and time. Batman has never acted sexist towards Wonder Woman in my lifetime, although there may have been some stuff that happened in the ‘50s and ‘60s I don’t know about. At this point in time, however, these three have been fighting companions for way too long to be having these types of discussions. Diana talks as if she just arrived in man’s world, and the guys don’t know how to treat her, as opposed to comrades-in-arms for five-to-ten years. It looked more like a reason to give Bagley a chance to show us a Wonder Woman butt shot. Ugh.

At least we get Gangbuster back in his fighting togs in the backup piece. This series is looking more and more like a gradual reveal piece, meaning most people would be more content to wait for the trade than to get these few slivers once a week.

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

I wanted to like The All-New Atom a lot more than I ever did. It had some great high points, and it set about creating an interesting supporting cast, but I think the very problem you describe pushed it lower and lower on my reading priority list. Too many important plot points stretched out over too long and too many writers, and no straight answer as to what the heck was going on.

I'm also not positive that a guy who can shrink really small is an ideal candidate for protector of a city that's supposedly coming apart at the seams. At leas the way it was portrayed.

-- Posted by: Ryan at July 6, 2008 11:47 AM