Comic Fodder

Tpull's Weekly DC Comics Review – Part Two

The Brave And The Bold 21

by David Hine and Doug Braithwaite

I had thought this story might be ending with this issue, but there’s one more part next month. Phantom Stranger manages to defeat Orlan and save Green Lantern, but only because the human child helps to spur Phantom Stranger out of his dream-state. The Purge is the name of the entity that was possessing Orlan, and the girl is crucial to helping to protect everyone, but she is in danger herself. So, the Phantom Stranger hops to Earth by his usual mysterious ways, and recruits Green Arrow to go on protection detail.

The story falls apart a little there, because just as Ollie is about to get the drop on an armed goon, he turns his head to a kid who is trying to get out the words “bad man.” It might have been one thing if Ollie hadn’t spotted the gunman to begin with, but it just turns into a lame plot device for him to be winged with a bullet after letting himself get distracted. This isn’t his first day on the job, and it’s a little unbelievable for this to happen.

The art is holding up, at least, so I’ll tune in next week for a somewhat predictable ending. This looks to be a nice diversion, and Braithwaite always puts in an effort on the page. Although better than some stuff this week, B&B doesn’t make my list of favorites this time around. I’d still recommend it to people if you have a spare couple bucks.

Faces of Evil: Deathstroke 1

by David Hine and Georges Jeanty

Somebody goofed in the indicia this month, as it identifies this comic as “Faces of Evil: Prometheus 1,” meaning they have some sort of template set up for the Faces of Evil one-shots, and either somebody did a mindless cut-and-paste, or everyone forgot to reset the indicia markings.

The story is a little “off” for me, because the original abilities of Slade Wilson were not this extreme. They have either turned him in to a Wolverine clone when I wasn’t looking, or they have started to stretch exactly what he can do with his abilities. He fools machines into thinking he is dying while he is controlling all of his body’s molecules to heal? What happened to his more restricted super-soldier origin? It’s all a ruse to get Rose in front of him. Rose tries to kill him, which he expected. Supposedly, this was all just to get the right kind of tools so he could make a jailbreak.

Then, to make a somewhat limping story worse, Slade is standing in front of a window that can “withstand a direct hit from an Exocet missile.” Slade takes a metal bar and cracks the entire window with some story about everything having a weak point. So now he’s Karnak from the Inhumans too.

The big deal besides just a jail-break, which could have been done off-panel? Deathstroke has had a revelation, and wants to be a loner, deciding who lives and dies. No more associating with villain groups, just doing his own thing. It’s a brand new Deathstroke! Except it’s not.

The first thing he does once he’s out of jail is to approach a waif on the street and take her in, which is a repeat of what he did with Terra, and to an extent, the second Ravager, Rose. So after his big revelation, and decision to do something different… he goes out and starts a cycle of doing things the exact same way he’s always done them.

This was okay the first time I read through it, but as soon as my brain started asking questions, it all fell apart, and I quickly became disgusted with it. Possibly the worst thing I have read by David Hine. The artwork is slightly cartoony and the inking comes from a inking-by-the-numbers book. It looks like the colorist tried to use a computer to work wonders, to less than stellar effect. Give this a big fat pass.

Faces of Evil was supposed to highlight a big threat to the DCU for 2009. After reading this, I can’t figure out if Deathstroke is going to start hunting specific heroes, deciding they have to die, or if he’s just going to do a re-run and have his new girl infiltrate a super-hero team. Very unsatisfying.

Tangent: Superman’s Reign 11

by Dan Jurgens and Carlos Magno

backup story by Ron Marz and Andie Tong

One thing I like about Dan Jurgens is that he is old-school enough to give us a nice two-page splash that identifies all of the heroes and which universe they came from originally. After that, we get some good art showing the heroes assembling to attack the Tangent Superman and his force. My hat is off to the inker, Julio Ferreira; it looks like he went crazy (in a good way) to bring out special effects and define some of the characters well.

The face-off between the Joker and the Tangent Batman was great, and it was only one panel! The heroes gain a lot of ground, but the bad guys have released the Tangent version of the Ultra-Humanite, who looks coo, in a nostalgic Voltron kind of way. The backup story has Jennifer getting killed and replaced by Tangent Clayface. Is this all there is to the backup? Or is this a thread that will be picked up in another series at a later date? Because if this is all there is to it, I am left feeling unsatisfied with the backup story. Nice cover art by Reis and Prado and company, though.

Trinity 34

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

Ooh, Shane Davis and Richard Friend work on this week’s cover! I believe I have liked almost every cover to this series so far. The battle between the two teams of major arcana is in full swing, with both sides understanding how everything works, and targeting the enemy appropriately. The heroes have to draft a couple of replacements to their arcane team due to death and incapacity, but the new recruits do not fit the slots as well as the originals. While the fight goes on, the historians relate Superman’s death at the hands of Doomsday, although still in alternate history form.

The backup story shows another hero-villain struggle, with the villains outfoxing the heroes, as Charity misinterprets a code from Rita. Rita is still held by the bad guys, but trying to guide the heroes by leaking info to Charity. The bad guys win a battle, and the war moves on to the next hotspot. You know what would be great? If we got to see a map that shows which forces control which parts of the globe. The overall feel is that things are a draw for the opposing sides. Hmm, maybe if Donna, Dick and Kara weren’t traipsing off on Krona’s world, things might be going better. Still, we all know their mission to bring back the trinity is the thing that will really tip the balance. Nice work by the whole creative team this week.
Tpull is Travis Pullen. He started reading comics at 5 years old, and he can't seem to stop.