Comic Fodder

Tpull's Weekly DC Comics Review – Part Two

DC Universe: Decisions 2

by Bill Willingham, Judd Winnick, and Howard Porter

Ah, the political debacle continues. The scene between Green Lantern and Green Arrow follows the first few minutes of an internet forum, with Nazi accusations following in just a few minutes. After years of being pals, the political tension actually causes a fist-fight between these two comrades. Does anyone believe this? I’m not sure who wants to see our heroes debase themselves into a couple of country hicks who come to blows because they dare to have differing political beliefs, but I don’t see anything worth fighting over here.

In the meantime, our serial killer has so few targets; he puts up multiple pictures of the same candidates on his stalking board. I was wrong from my guess last issue: Guy Gardner’s public declaration wasn’t anywhere near as embarrassing as I thought it would be. Right after the heroes decide they need to stop things, nine different super-heroes come out and declare for one of the three candidates. In a world where the various super-teams can communicate with each other almost instantly, does anyone think Supes and company couldn’t get the word out fast enough?

Nothing worse than writers imprinting their real-world political beliefs onto your favorite characters to make you feel like something sacred just became tainted. Man, I hope nobody in the rest of the world is looking at this. This type of thing makes me embarrassed to read comics.

Terror Titans 1

by Sean McKeever and Joe Bennett

It’s a new six issue mini-series, meant to juggle a number of concepts: Ravage, the Dark Side Club, and the Clock King’s agenda. One matter of controversy is the constant killing of characters. Just as bad, if not worse, is the sudden appearance/re-appearance of the heroes to begin with. For instance, Sylvester Pemberton is dead, so the immediate appearance of a Star-Spangled Kid, without the guarantee we will learn who he is and where he came from, is a bit of a let-down. Bennett’s pencils are nice, but the body count is harsh.

We lose a super-hero, Molecule, in the space of a few pages. Seeing as how he was a throw-away Atom anyway, we should not be too upset? That’s precisely the point! There are too many fourth-tier characters cluttering up the universe, and we are never given any reason to care about them. Hence, when they die, we shrug. So what’s the impact of having a “gruesome” or “dark” story with a lot of mortality? The final impact is nil. Making the very fact that you tried to affect us meaningless. In short, killing off characters just in an attempt to shock does absolutely nothing for the story, and you might as well just have them captured.

McKeever also has a potential historical inaccuracy in the issue, but there is enough guess-work that it can be excused. Simply because I find it intriguing though, here’s the story: most people commonly think that in the ancient gladiator arenas, when the crowd gave a thumbs-up, it meant the vanquished fighter could live, while a thumbs-down meant the crowd was calling for his death. McKeever mimics this here, but the Italian thumbs-up of ancient Rome probably did not have the same meaning as the American thumbs-up. Rather, a thumbs-up pointed towards the chest or the throat, where the crowd wanted the sword plunged, while a thumbs-down told the victorious warrior to throw down his weapons. This is the type of historical debate that could have been worked into the comic to make it more interesting, but oh well. We read what we have been given.

The story by itself is not bad, per se. Ravager’s attitude is deliciously complex, as her actions never quite fall on the side of the angels, but she doesn’t seem to want to commit to being fully villainous, either. Despite the inconsequential killings, it manages to be a pretty good read, and I’ll stick around to see how it turns out.

Top 10 Season Two #1

by Zander Cannon and Kevin Cannon

No, Alan Moore isn’t back, but we do get to see some of his creations back in action again. Zander Cannon has managed to keep the gritty cop feel to Top 10, and the characters ring true. Each person is interesting and distinguishable, leaving no problem to identify each one, unlike a series like Marvel’s New Warriors. It feels like everything that made Top 10 noticeable and remarkable has been achieved again.

Welcome to Season Two. Pull up a chair.

Trinity 18

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

In a neat move that reminds me of a way that something related to DC: Decisions could have been presented to us and not have us throw up, Busiek gives us a re-fashioned universe with top reporter Lois Lane covering the top news stories. The news stories are reported just like they might sound if it were real and we were watching CNN, but the topics all concerned things that were significant in that universe; in other words, they didn’t debate today’s actual mind-numbing topics, but covered items relating to the super-characters that inhabit that world.

A handful of heroes seem to remember portions of the world the way it used to be, but perhaps only Firestorm has full recollection of the “proper” order of the universe. The backup story features a crook that actually died in the original proper world, but has a new lease on life here. There are a ton of annotations on the web to help give readers a clue to all of the Easter eggs in this comic that reflect parts of DC from ages past, and they are too numerous to mention here! Suffice it to say they are less subtle than Morrison’s clues in his Final Crisis stories, and the fact that they are more easily recognizable to fans without needing endless hours of research is reader-friendly. And as usual, I dig the cover.
Tpull is Travis Pullen. He started reading comics at 5 years old, and he can't seem to stop.