Comic Fodder

Tpull's Weekly DC Comics Review – Part One

Action Comics 870

by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank

Well, whatever possible interest Brainiac might have had in Earth is toast. Johns writes a moving story that shows the alien’s perspective, and the way that Superman has come to care for the planet just isn’t what Brainiac is looking for when trying to find value. We also get a Supergirl more interesting than she has been in her own title, plus a great scene with Cat and Lombard.

Gary Frank’s art is slowly improving as he works on this title. His lines are so sharp, though, he makes most faces and bodies look unnaturally old. He actually does his best work on Brainiac. On the off chance the internet has not spoiled things for you already (which it did for me), I won’t say what happens in the end, only that this finale was pretty good. Some people won’t like it, but DC has tried to create some movement in its Superman titles in the last few years; it hit a kind of rock-bottom in 2004, but has slowly improved since then. I like what I’m seeing.

Detective Comics 849

by Paul Dini and Dustin Nguyen

I can’t quite get behind Nguyen’s rendering of Batman, but there is a quality to it that hints of the perversions that the Dark Knight fights. Things look bad for the Bat at the end of this issue, but the final part next month will tell the tale. The main focus here is Batman tracking down Selina’s heart (literally), and confronting Hush.

There is still a huge disconnect between the regular Batman R.I.P. storyline and this title, and I am waiting to see if the conclusion ties anything together. Even the plot is opposed, though, as Bruce’s love interest in Jet is nowhere to be seen, while Hush focuses on Batman’s true love with Selina (at least in Hush’s estimation). It just doesn’t fit that he has two love interests in trouble at the same time, and this side-trip with Selina only serves to undercut any belief we might have had that Bruce had real emotions for Jet. Maybe the story is crafted well, and they can still manage to pull both stories off and have them remain consistent; I just don’t see how at the moment.

Green Lantern 35

by Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis

Busted! Both Hal and Sinestro are in trouble with the Guardians, and considering Hal is the only one bold enough to confront the little blue shorties, maybe he has even less fear than the great Sinestro! It doesn’t pay to over-think things too much, because when the Guardians order Hal “do not question the Guardian.” …Hal questions them: “Why?” Instead of a punishment, they answer him and everything continues on, showing that this new rookie can ignore what they say with no ill effects. For an ancient race that is trying to impose their all-wise authority on their police force, a couple simple “why” questions seem to throw them entirely off track, making them appear more as control freaks that can’t really control anything.

Johns uses the history in this retro-flashback to make some good observations, and still manages to a) cover some stuff with Hector Hammond and the Black Hand; b) release another prophecy and foreshadow the red corps; and c) re-establish Hal on Earth. Not bad for a single comic. This concludes the backstory that Johns has used to lay some cool foundations for his main story to come, solidly aided by Reis’ great pencils, and an excellent job on coloring.

Green Lantern Corps 29

by Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason

I have a little trouble with Gleason’s art, mainly because he tends to get proportions a little off, and when he draws a woman’s face, for example, she tends to look artificial, like a mannequin. The ring constructions and other items, buildings, planets, etc. are all fantastic. If there was a way to have someone else draw the people and let Gleason work on everything else on each panel, I think you would have a kickin’ art team.

Tomasi works with the color purple, addressing the history of the Zamorans and their recent decisions. He simultaneously lays down some tension between the yellows and purples as we get to see the selection process for Zamora’s new Corps. This title is working hand-in-hand with the main Green lantern title to build towards the new Corps and their confrontations with each other, and Tomasi is proving to be a good wingman for Johns' overall plan for this newest Green Lantern saga. It would be great to read an interview that clues us in on how much is driven by the master plan, and how much Tomasi is free to input things for himself as the story grows.

The death and resurrection of Tora has never impressed me, and she doesn’t come across well here except as a plot device. The real Tora started out as a Norse princess, and had something of a foreign sense to her. Most writers have since thrown her origin to the side, and she behaves like any other American woman. Things would be a lot more interesting if the writers had kept an exotic tinge to her. I don’t expect that to happen at this point, which means it might be best for all purposes if Tora simply stays out of sight and out of mind on Earth.

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