Comic Fodder

Tpull's Weekly DC Comics Review – Part One

Due to the holiday, comics came out a day later than usual, so the reviews also start about a day later. Well, that and I have a day job...

Detective Comics 848

by Paul Dini and Dustin Nguyen

Hush is up to his usual tricks, running Batman around with his other rogues’ gallery of villains, while Hush himself goes after Catwoman. Scarecrow actually uses Venom on a kid, and the effects pump him up a little faster than I remember it acting on a person before. What kind of effect will that have on a child? And when Batman “deflates” him, can his system handle the shock?

This is mid-way through the story, and so far one of the bigger discontinuities with the whole idea of Batman R.I.P. Everywhere else, Batman has already gone missing, so we’ll have to pretend this storyline transpire just before he goes awol. The end state of Catwoman is a little tough to swallow, but just pretend Hush is that good of a surgeon. It’s such a shame all the truly skilled doctors are crazy. Imagine what all of Batman’s enemies could do for the health care industry if they weren’t trying to kill the Bat!

Green Lantern 34

by Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis

We are nearing the end of “Secret Origin,” and we get to see how Black Hand originally got his weapon, while Hal gets introduced to pocket dimensions for the very first time. The art and colors and lettering are excellent on every page, and this entire creative team is truly firing on all cylinders. After the action, Hal takes a lesson of Sinestro’s to heart and goes to bury one of his personal hatchets. The story remains just as gripping for the character development part, as we get to see the beginning of Carol and Hal on their journey to mutual attraction.

The end is amusing, as Hal and Sinestro have maintained their training session one or two seconds past the allotted time allowed for them, and they get into trouble with the Guardians! Can you say control freaks? A very enjoyable read, and one of the best DC books this week.

Manhunter 34

by Marc Andreyko and Michael Gaydos

Manhunter has stepped her foot into a big mess this time, endangering an undercover assignment that has been utilizing the Suicide Squad. The story jumps between her, Dylan being hunted by his ex-wife’s dad, I think, and Iron Munro being the one behind giving his grandkid a robot dog. The issue takes a two-page detour for a TV political discussion on immigration that very, very loosely ties into the Manhunter story, but is mostly used as an excuse to show a close-up of two male guys kissing. Why that angle was chosen is weird, but whatever. The entire two pages doesn’t really need to be there, except to remind us that Obsidian is still slumming gin the backgrounds as part of her supporting cast. Nothing moves the story along until we get back to Manhunter.

It’s the same story as the last couple of months: this is a better than average title, but can it increase its sales? Historically, this kind of title has a limited shelf life. I’m still waiting for them to kick it up a notch and give us a more compelling reason to want to keep it around.

Nightwing 148

by Peter J. Tomasi and Rags Morales

I like the politician Nightwing is rescuing. “Do me a favor,” she says after hearing some bad news from Nightwing. “Start lying to me.” That’s a cool attitude to have when your life is in danger. Tomasi spends a few too many word balloons showing off Alfred’s medical skills, and for some reason it takes an entire page to show him washing his hands off after removing a bullet or two from Dick’s shoulder, but t picks up a little after that.

The last page is beautifully drawn, and is probably a result of a hallucinogen, but it just looks really, really cool. Tomasi is proving to be every bit as good as any of the past writers of Nightwing. The absence of Batman continues with the R.I.P. theme too, but without overly dwelling on it. Good job.

Secret Six 1

by Gail Simone and Nicola Scott

The bad guys are back, but the word balloons get mixed up between the twins, as the guy in the green says something that the guy in the orange should have said, and vice versa, but thankfully we don’t have to put up with them for long. The weird thing about some of the writing is that they use censored characters for a lot of cuss words, but use God’s name in vain without any censoring at all. That kind of stuff used to be #@$ out too, and it would be more appropriate to keep doing it. Ragdoll provides some great comedy relief, but Scandal has a weird vision of her deceased lover, Knockout.

The re-introduction of the team is somewhat awkward, and not meant for newer readers as far as I can tell. Batman is present in this title, and is setting up the group for something involving a new villain that supposedly already has all of Gotham shaking in their booties and paying tribute to him. This is awkward too, for in a town where Joker, Penguin and others have a lot of pull, the introduction of a new character with no backstory goes over poorly in trying to tell us he scares everyone else. Hopefully with this poor start, things can pick up when they actually start their assignment.

What would be better is if they could somehow give us a real reason that is believable for explaining why these odd people all still want to work together in the first place.
Tpull is Travis Pullen. He started reading comics at 5 years old, and he can't seem to stop.