Comic Fodder

Tpull's Weekly DC Comics Review – Part Two

Batman and the Outsiders 10

by Chuck Dixon and Ryan Benjamin

How many more issues of Chuck Dixon’s do we get? Enjoyable it is indeed! However, it also serves to remind us that he is already gone, and I actually feel slightly guilty for buying it when I know the guy was fired. The Langstroms are reunited, and this current version of Outsiders is still not meshing very well. This may not be entirely conscious from the writer, but the “newer” members cannot seem to work up as good a rapport as the veterans like Metamorpho, Katanna, and Geo-Force.

Considering how far this title has gone from its roots, there is not really any significant reason to keep Grace and Thunder around. Why not reconstitute a proven team that works? There is also an interesting development with Remac that might be good, if written well. Next issue is a Batman R.I.P. tie-in. Nice job, bringing Batman into the Outsiders, only to have him disappear less than a year later. Each of the two hands at DC better learn what the other is doing. The entire universe is looking like it suffers from bipolar disorder.

Final Crisis: Legion of 3 Worlds 1

by Geoff Johns and George Perez

George Perez gets to draw three versions of the Legion of Super Heroes? I am SO in! This is probably the most exciting concept for me in the entire Final Crisis meta-story. Johns and Perez introduce a warped version of the Kents, the Time trapper, Superboy Prime, and a museum of the future dedicated to Superman, all in the space of five pages. Talk about cramming everything you can into a small space.

What is awesome about this issue is that Johns manages to introduce the entire cast of characters, bringing us up to speed on both the Legion and Superboy Prime, such that a brand new reader knows just about all that is necessary to enjoy the rest of the series. Better than that, even though longtime readers know most of this already, Perez is able to render such a massive visual feast with each page, and the writing is so crisp, it is enjoyable for us old farts to read as well. That is a tough trick to juggle in this day and age.

The Legion has so much potential, it feels like Johns has done more in one issue with the story of the Legion than Jim Shooter’s entire run so far on the Legion’s own series. This was easily the best read of DC this week.

Rann/Thanagar Holy War 4

by Jim Starlin and Ron Lim

I am enjoying this series more than I thought I would. I have always been a sucker for Jim Starlin’s art, but here he does the story, and Ron Lim does the art. Despite Lim’s penchant for drawing stock faces a little too often, he does well juggling the large number of characters, and Starlin makes excellent use of the Weird.

Everything is thrown on its face as Adam Strange, famous for pulling a rabbit out of his hat, unexpectedly contributes to disaster. Will this have a lasting impact on the character? It should. Meanwhile, Bizarro and Starman link up with the other heroes, but unlike a lot of other mini-series, our entire cast is still not grouped in one place. The series is reading more like a novel, switching to each cast member as needed to show all parts of the story, and it is working very nicely. It’s a shame to compare this title, little hyped, with Final Crisis. I’m enjoying this more than FC right now.

Superman/Batman 51

by Michael Green, Mike Johnson and Rafael Albuquerque

I almost didn’t pick this up, because you just KNOW from the cover that Mr. Mxyzptlk has his fingerprints all over this one, but I wanted to see what the artist would be able to do with the small characters. A small cartoon version of the Justice League is brought into this universe. Alfred and Robin approach the situation comically great, while Mxyzptlk adds a bunch of miniature villains into the mix. Considering how “toned down” the cartoon universe is, though, how evil can these villainous miniatures be? It should be fun to find out. I recommend this one.

Tangent: Superman’s Reign 6

by Dan Jurgens and Jamal Igle

backup story by Ron Marz and Fernando Pasarin

The story picks up as Batman gets the lowdown on the Tangent universe. The Tangent Batman looks great, and the backup story should be tying in to the main plot very soon. I’m not sure what made DC think to go back to visit the Tangent universe, but it’s not a bad story.

The problem is, the story is not super, either. Dan Jurgens has always been a personal borderline writer for me, and tends to fall just barely into the mediocre category more often than not. It’s a shame, because I want to like his stuff better, but seeing his name is usually a warning not to expect anything earth-shattering. That said, this issue was better than a couple other titles this week, and in range of three or four others, so that’s better than usual for my personal tastes. Maybe this can be collected as a trade and be a good read for some people.

Trinity 12

by Kurt Busiek, Mark Bagley, Fabian Nicieza, Mike Norton and Karl Kesel

We are back to feeling like the story is a little too short. The JLA takes on the Crime Syndicate, but we don’t get to see enough of it. The scene switches to the side mission with John Stewart, where the strange thing happening to him recently causes him to freak out in front of Firestorm and Red Tornado. And did we just get a hint that Enigma is from the Crime Syndicate’s universe?

The backup story reinforces this idea, but from a different angle. It’s nice to see the main story and the backup story complement each other this way. The writing and art continue to be great, and I can’t resist drawing comparisons to Final Crisis. FC has not been living up to its “crisis” heritage, but I’m enjoying the pants off of Trinity (which does NOT mean I read it without pants on…).
Tpull is Travis Pullen. He started reading comics at 5 years old, and he can't seem to stop. Lately he's been checking to make sure the wastebaskets have been emptied around here.