Comic Fodder

Tpull's Weekly DC Comics Review – Part Two

JSA Kingdom Come Special: Superman 1

by Alex Ross

This is my favorite DC issue of the week. Everyone knows about Ross’ artwork, and most people know the fondness and care he gives to Superman. But how well can he write? One word: excellent! Looking at an entire issue of Ross work is always a treat, because he knows the importance of a light source. He constantly does his work showing us consistency with the light source, while most of the rest of the usual artists tend to downplay that, resulting in a lot of inconsistency with how each person is angled towards or away form the light source for each panel. The only drawback to Ross’ painting style is that sometimes his pictures have too much the aspect of a painting, rendering them static in some shots, not able to convey the motion that should be present in sequential art.

Kingdom Come (KC) Superman ponders his role in this universe, but gets sidetracked by a green cloud at the Daily Planet, overwhelming his emotions as a reminder of the way the Joker killed Lois in his universe. The result is impressive, although a little reckless, as he has to be lectured by our universe’s resident boy scout, the regular Superman.

After that, KC Superman has a great discussion with Norman McCray, and comes clean to Lois Lane how he lost “his” Lois. The impact helps to create one of the big differences between the two Supermen: this one never puts on the clothes of Clark Kent. Ross does a great job of portraying the sense of loss, and the resulting hardness of this KC version of the man of steel.

Excellent job in writing, and it makes me eager to see the next special, Magog.


Nightwing 150

by Peter J. Tomasi and Don Kramer

Philip Tan draws an imposing Nightwing for this month’s cover. The opening sequence has Barbara showing up and asking Dick to slow down, which of course he never does. We’ve seen this before, but we don’t get a sense of Nightwing really being tired; there’s a small presentation of him feeling beat, but one thing that very few writers have managed to convey is the boundless energy that belongs to Dick Grayson.

After all of Dick’s detective work, he stumbles upon Two-Face’s plot as it flies by him outside his window. Aside from that convenient plot snafu, we have a basic hero-foils-villain master plan story, resulting in victory for the hero. The visuals are good, but Two-Face’s plan didn’t necessarily have anything two-inspired to it. This is the end bookmark to the Batman R.I.P. saga, so we get a new start next issue with the next chapter in the life of Nightwing, where we may get a glimpse of how the absence of Bruce is affecting him. The lack of conclusion in the main Batman title is creating a very un-cool drag on the rest of the Bat-titles, affecting the sense of time and appropriateness that would allow us to see each of the related characters deal with the R.I.P. fallout.


Titans 7

by Judd Winick and Julian Lopez

It’s the best issue Winick has written for this title to date, which means it’s a step above crummy. Jericho shows up after DC Universe: Decisions, magically in possession of Match’s body, and manipulates the Titans into “helping” him. While Jericho blames everything on Match, the fact is that Jericho has been calling the shots all along.

Lopez does great on the art chores, although the techno-babble that Cyborg spouts to declare he can get Jericho to leave someone’s body sounds stupid, and could have used a better explanation. A suddenly-physical Jericho whips out an EMP flare, allowing him to slip into one of the Titans. We’ll have to wait for the next issue to find out what his motivations are.

For a change, this story was almost as good as most of the other fare on the rack this week, which is a positive sign.


Trinity 24

by Kurt Busiek, Mark Bagley, Fabian Nicieza, Tom Derenick and Wayne Foucher

Bagley is shining in his ability to portray different things. The biggest place for improvement he can work on is his drawing of people, but even there he appears to be putting in an effort to make each one distinguishable from the next. The magic scroll make sits way to Carter Hall, and he and Alan and Jay are all de-aged as well as enlightened, setting the stage for the heroes to finally respond in an effective manner to the problems that the universe restructuring has caused.

Meanwhile, Enigma talks down Morgaine, reminding her that their quest for power is not yet complete. The backup story is related, as Kanjar Ro gets captured by Despero, who for some reason is the “correct” third part of the evil trinity that can help complete the plans to remake the world in the villains’ image. What is it about these three villains that make them special apart from any others? Kanjar Ro leads Despero to the Crime Syndicate, which is nice, because I had thought we had already seen the last of them for this series.

Busiek also works in a clever reference to the fact that using the Green Lantern ring normally takes a ton of effort and concentration, but the cyborg compound that John Stewart is infected with allows him to access ring creations with much less effort than usual. And what is up with Krona’s plan to recruit planets? Unlike his earlier epiphany, he cannot seem to contact any planetary sentience on his own. John Stewart’s unique condition attracts Krona’s attention, and he promptly kidnaps John! This series has lots of things happening all at once, and is still providing compelling reasons to tune in each week, an area where it surpasses Countdown by a mile, with its non-events.
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Tpull is Travis Pullen. He started reading comics at 5 years old, and he can't seem to stop.

I'm doing my best to ignore Titans utterly and completely. My initial excitement at having the gang back together has been dashed by Winick's handling of the group.

Jericho possessed Mach's body in the Titans East storyline. He was quickly shunted to the side once Geoff Johns left as I don't think the new writers knew what to do with him.

-- Posted by: Simon MacDonald at November 17, 2008 12:02 PM

Thanks Simon. Do you know how they used Jericho in the DC Universe stuff in the meantime, or are we just supposed to ignore that as a 'what if' story?

-TP

-- Posted by: tpull at November 19, 2008 3:14 AM