Comic Fodder

Tpull's Weekly DC Comics Review

It’s a light week for DC and Marvel alike. Here’s what we have so far for the new year:

Detective Comics 852

by Paul Dini and Dustin Nguyen

DC continues to mis-label their event comics, giving this a “Last Rites” stamp, even though the only relation is that the tale takes place after Batman has been kidnapped by Darkseid’s goons. We get to see what happened to Hush after his helicopter crash. Bringing Hush back so quickly only serves to highlight the idiotic statement Dini had Nightwing make about seeing the last of Hush.

Hush is recovered by a couple of Samaritans, and he gets the idea from him to impersonate Bruce Wayne for as long as he can get away with it, just to recover some of the funds that Selina has stolen from him. He does reasonably well, but somewhat lacking for a brilliant mastermind, and ends up getting caught by, all of all people, Catwoman herself. So basically this title is just treading water until the behind-schedule Final Crisis wraps up, and we can move on to finding a substitute Batman. Until then, don’t expect to see any detective work or any Batman in this title.

Rather than continuing to collect it, should I just assume it’s closed for renovations, and pick it up again later? DC should have put the title on hiatus or something, or even inserted a filler issue of a past story as a flashback.

Faces of Evil: Solomon Grundy 1

by Geoff Johns and Scott Kolins

Fresh off of their Rouges’ series with Final Crisis, the Johns and Kolins team tackles the next event in DC comics, Faces of Evil. DC wants to put the spotlight on some bad guys, and for whatever reason, perhaps due to his recent machinations against the JLA, they have chosen Solomon Grundy. This one-shot is a lead-in to a seven issue miniseries for Grundy, so I wasn’t sure how good this would be.

Well, it’s pretty good. Kolins has deliberately amped up the hunched-over monster aspect of Grundy. It’s an excellent choice, and far overdue. Johns takes the story back to the beginning of Cyrus Gold, and brings us up to speed, ending with a surprise visit and offer from Alan Scott and the Phantom Stranger. Will this end up curing Cyrus of his Grundy curse? Consider me intrigued.

Secret Six 5

by Gail Simone and Nicola Scott

It is disturbing to see Gail Simone doing so well on Wonder Woman finally, and to simultaneously watch the Secret Six plunge into mediocrity. Most of the villains are out of character from any way of what any other writer has used them previously, and Deadshot’s internal monologue to give us insight into his motivations yields us nothing more than the gem that he, himself, is also an idiot. Way to reduce a complex, haunted character to a punchline. Nobody on the creative team has any idea how to conduct a reasonable fight scene. The flashback showing the staff firing automatic weapons into the horde of villains at point-blank range and still missing was horrible. The fact that we haven’t really lost any villains is also dumb.

Nicola Scott is the wrong artist for this title. While I like Scott’s work, it is too “pretty” for the dark tone that is supposed to be here. The lines are too clean, and there is no sense of grit or grime, except for possibly the last page. It’s like watching a movie scene of WW II where the troops are invading Normandy, but somehow nobody ever gets mud on their nice, polished uniforms. It is lacking the realism that would make the art fit.

Finally, to top it all off, Simone introduces us to the person behind the cloak, this villain from nowhere who frightens everybody, and it is another family relation. Sinking her teeth deep into cliché, the bad guy is Ragoll’s sister (former brother?). We go from Lawton drawing on a cigarette to the whole team magically appearing in another location at the exact right time to save Bane. Predictable and boring. I know Simone has many fans who gush nonstop at her good work, but I see little of it here.

Terror Titans 4

by Sean McKeever and Joe Bennett

Dc is making a concentrated effort to ret-con a bunch of Milestone characters into the regular DC universe, so they have co-opted a number of titles. Terror Titans is one of them, as Static is introduced here, beating Ravager and breaking free of the bad guys’ control just before getting knocked out with drugs. Star-Spangled Kid proves that Hardrock can’t live up to his name, and Terra takes out Aquagirl.

Clock King sets up a meeting between the persuader an dher father, which is great, except for a the end when Clock King kills the dad, and with this act, he expects to secure… her full support from now on?!? The rationale of a lot of this is going out the window, seeing as if someone kills my loved one right in front of me, they will not be getting my services in the future, I am pretty sure. I’m still not feeling the terror in this title.

Trinity 32

by Kurt Busiek, Mark Bagley, Fabian Nicieza, Mike Norton and Ande Parks

Here’s something it took me several months to realize: the overlapping logos of the big three at the top of the cover Superman always gets top billing, then Batman’s logo comes up front, then Wonder Woman’s. I don’t think there’s a meaning for the inside story each week, but that’s the pattern they have been using, anyway. I had noticed it on occasion off and on, but it wasn’t until I sat down and pulled out half a dozen issues and confirmed it with the others that I saw the overall pattern. Just another sample of the fun you can have with this title, that you can’t get anywhere else.

The big three’s closest friends are nearing the end of their journey on Krona’s experimental planet, learning the history when Krona was switched out as the people’s deity for these three. The second part shows the heroes finally getting into the full swing of things, using their hero member Tarot equivalents to counter the villains’ plot, and try to take a little control of their reality. Busiek and Nicieza have inserted a poignant moment of heroic sacrifice into the comic, as both Tomorrow Woman and Triumph have learned that he/she is dead in the regular universe. Both are fighting for it anyway, trusting that it is for the greater good, but neither one telling the other what they respectively know, for fear the other might try to convince him or her otherwise. It’s a neat scene, and somewhat unique; I can’t remember another situation quite like it in comics, usually it’s only one person who knows who is alive or dead in the alternate universe.

There are some grumblings on the net among the fans that they bought this series to see the big three, and they’re getting bored without them in the title, and is this all just a big mistake? I counsel patience, as the big three will be back, and in a big way, inside a month or two I’m guessing. This needs to play out to show how instrumental they are, but you can’t get them the lovin’ if they’re always around, now, can you?
Tpull is Travis Pullen. He started reading comics at 5 years old, and he can't seem to stop.