Comic Fodder

Tpull's Weekly DC Comics Review – Part One

Faces of Evil month is messing me up a little; I have to look closely to make sure I’m getting the right title off the rack, and not mixing it up with the pile already in my hot little hands.

Birds of Prey 126

by Tony Bedard and Claude St. Aubin

It feels strange to know the end of this series is coming, right when Bedard has been hitting some high notes. I suppose it’s better than so many series that are cancelled and can’t seem to come up with a decent end-story to save their lives. The Silicon Syndicate is taking form and substance, and proving to be more interesting villains with each issue. The plot for this issue has Calculator out-smarting everyone and taking control of Kilg%ore. The heroines have little screen time, but since this is Faces of Evil month, it is fitting to have a villain-centric story. Next issue ends it all…

Green Lantern 37

by Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis

Interesting choice for the cover villain; instead of Atrocitus, they chose Laira, a former Green Lantern. With every page, this storyline feels like it is destined to be referred to as a classic. The various colors are all coming into play, interacting with some very interesting effects upon each other’s ring power.

Johns brings together Corps members from red, blue, yellow and green, with only the purple missing right now. Ivan Reis is in top form, and if I had to guess, I’d say he’s loving his job right now. There is also a lot of, let’s call it interspersion between cross-Corps member. The Blue want Hal to be their standard-bearer, but he ends up with a different color by the end of the story, which I did not expect, but which proves to be very exciting, even if it only lasts for an issue or two. The idea that more of the Green will be switching over to other colors has endless possibilities. And can you imagine Hal or Kyle recruiting someone from the Sinestro Corps over to their side?

This is one series that is firing on all cylinders.

Justice League of America 29

by Len Wein and Chris Cross

A lot of people will find this issue weird. The focus is on a classic villain, little used. Starbreaker is an energy vampire who recently resurfaced (and was then defeated) in an Adam Strange mini-series that later set the stage for the Rann-Thanagar War. Last issue, Hawkman appeared talking about a threat from the Shadow Thief; this is that threat. Whatever the original plan was, what we ended up with was another advertisement for other heroes and other ideas (Milestone this time) for issue 28, and for this issue, we get what looks like a filler issue, meaning the regular creative may have fallen behind in plotting, art, whatever. I don’t have insider contacts, so this may have been the original plan all along.

What we get is a re-telling of a couple old tales that feature Starbreaker, complete with anachronistic villain monologue-ing. The classic team is fun to see together, but the art was a little too cartoony and unfinished for my tastes. I know some people actually want Cross as the regular artist on this title, but to be honest, I don’t see any improvement over the last time I saw his work, which was a while ago. The inker didn’t add anything good enough to the effort either, but you can only work with what the artist gives you. It looks like they were trying to do a flashback-style, but it ended up closer to what you see on kids’ cartoons Saturday morning.

In this rendering of the story, Starbreaker fed off of emotions, and was defeated by Hope. When he was defeated in the Adam Rann mini-series, he ended up in a dimension that the Shadow Thief could access, and now Starbreaker has a new minion who worships him. Next issue, we’ll find out how Hawkman learned about the threat.

Overall, this has the feel of story interuptus. Camps will be split down the middle on Wein’s style that mimics older comics, with the other half finding him to be a refreshing change of pace, and a good soldier for helping to maintain continuity. Half will find Cross’ art as lacking as I did, while others rave. With the rushed feel of everything, I’m still leaning towards the belief that the regular issue planned was running behind schedule, and they had to re-work things, and this was their attempt to maintain a publishing schedule.

Robin 182

by Fabian Nicieza and Freddie Williams II

It’s a final battle between Robin and Anarchy, and things do not all end well. For as intelligent as Tim Drake is, he can’t really manage events well. Part of his problem is that he tried to “control” everything, whereas Batman observed and made arrangements to counter any possible eventualities. Bruce knew he could not control every outcome, but he did think far enough ahead to figure out how to come out on top, no matter what chaotic actions occurred.

Whether this is from poor storytelling, or a masterstroke of insight into Tim’s character that will be developed further, I can’t tell. If planned, this could be an image into the future-Drake we saw in the Teen Titans title, who turned out less than good. Anyway, a couple of kids end up dying, and Gordon is less than pleased with Robin. Still, Gordon ends up making Robin “official” at the end. This could also be a sign of inferior writing, but I choose to believe that Gordon is a pragmatist, and works with what he is given, despite his disagreements with methods sometimes. Next issue ends this Robin series.

Supergirl 37

by Sterling Gates and Jamal Igle

Between Superwoman’s actions and what we see of her dealings with certain humans, it is still a puzzle for determining exactly whose purposes she is serving at any given moment. Allura is moving ahead full-speed with her agenda for a new planet for her people, but there is an allusion made that even with their new status, Kandor is still basically stuck in a bottle. I guess there’s just no pleasing some people.

Allura sends Kara after her father’s killer, but Superwoman steps in to try to convince Kara to leave Earth. Is Superwoman really bad? She IS on the cover for “Faces of Evil” month! Or is she truly trying to save Supergirl’s life? While you may think you know what’s going on, Sterling Gates is walking that fine line of mystery to give us just the right amount of intrigue, while Igle gives us some nice, clean art, although some of the coloring makes it seem like the light sources are giving people sunburn.

I have to echo what many others are saying, Supergirl is finally good, and worth reading. It took them long enough!

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