Comic Fodder

Tpull's Weekly DC Comics Review – Part One

Green Lantern 38

by Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis

Johns takes care to show us the supporting characters of Hal’s life right away, sandwiching in Tom, Carol, and Cowgirl, managing to remind us of Hal’s earthen roots and still wrangle up some tension involving Hal’s relationships. The major focus is on the battle between the ring corps, and Atrocitus has just made Hal a Red Lantern! We have a major skirmish between green, yellow, blue and red, and it is fun.

While the writer maintains a good balance between exposition (to help the reader understand the perspective and role of each color corps), the coloring of this comic is arguably more important than most. Normally, a colorist has to “simply” make sure each part is colored correctly, and playing around to try to enact good “effects.” While you can say this is still the bottom line of what has to be done, the importance of each corps color has taken center-stage, and the focus on color itself is more prominent than it usually is in your average comic. This also means that it is very important not to have a coloring mistake show up, as well.

There are two reasons why this was one of my favorite titles this week. One is the one-panel flashback to the blonde Cowgirl, and Hal reflecting that yellow is his one weakness. Beautiful! The second is the unpredictable nature of the series, in way that matches Nova for Marvel, and I have to wonder if the cosmic background allows for this kind of flexibility in the storytelling. Will Hal stay a Red Lantern? Will he end up Blue, or Green, or some combination? And who knows how things will be disturbed further when Orange and Indigo join the party?

The Omens and Origins backup fits here better than it does anywhere else, as you might expect.

Justice Society of America 24

by Geoff Johns and Jerry Ordway

Alex Ross continues to do covers for both JSA and Superman, and it’s hard to argue against them, but I also long for the days when we could get a full comic made of Ross art. In the meantime, Ordway is one of those old-timers who never feels old, his interior art servicing the story quite nicely.

Johns picks up on the old budding romance between Billy and Stargirl before doing a flashback that reminds us of the roots of Black Adams involvement with Shazam (and it doesn’t hurt that they plugged Ordway’s old Power of Shazam mini-series, either, does it?). Isis is alive again, and changed deeply, almost 180 degrees from her former loving attitude. The Flash disappears into mystic ether when Isis and Black Adam attack the JSA, and that’s not even counting the new trouble from Mary Marvel showing up!

Next issue should wrap up the Black Adam story, and it will be a tough challenge after that to maintain the high quality that we have come to love in this book.

Superman 685

by James Robinson and Javier Pina

The cover is magnificent, but it really should have been used back when Pa Kent actually died, and it feels a little out of place with the ongoing story. The Phantom Zone is gone, Mon-el is dying, and Superman can’t get to the Legion in the future. A cure mysteriously appears just in the nick of time, though, giving us another super-powered character at the same level as Kal-el. Think he’ll need it, with a planet of angry Kryptonians on the loose?

The pieces are tantalizingly set up for more involvement from the Legion, between Tellus’ appearance and Mon-el’s now. DC gave us hints a while back that Superman would be leaving Earth. Here they enact it, with Superman agreeing to Allura’s terms: join New Krypton, but only if you sever all ties with Earth. Except now we have to put up with Catwoman over in Detective, and Mon-el here in Superman. Are they tying to do what Marvel did when they moved Hulk out of his series and Hercules into his place? I’m not sure I agree with the logic. But I am intrigued enough at the prospect of what they might do, so I’ll be hanging out.

Wonder Woman 29

by Gail Simone and Aaron Lopresti

The plot is slow-moving, as they spend six pages or so simply picking themselves up out of the rubble from their tango with Genocide. Cheetah is revealed as the brain behind most of the goings-on, and Zeus heads over to Kane Milohai to win back Diana’s service. Cheetah confronts Wonder Woman at the same time, and Cheetah makes mincemeat out of her. Is this because Milohai’s empowerment is poor, compared to that of Zeus? Or because she loses something as Zeus attacks Milohai’s? Or is it just simply that she’s been badly hurt by Genocide, and can barely stand? The story doesn’t help answer any question, but if simone is good, she will help us out by the next issue or two.

The title is still limping along with its mediocrity. Lopresti has good potential, but he does to apply himself to good backgrounds, and you can tell that Simone doesn’t give him a lot of direction in the way of settings, which sometimes artists need. There are two panels focusing on the white apes, and I still can’t see why they are around. The Omens part of the Origins and Omens backup is surprisingly lame. I remember when this title was good, but that was many years ago.

These are good filler issues, but not quite up to the same standards as a title like the current Superman saga, where you can be sure we’ll be talking about New Krypton for years to come. Think we’ll be talking about Genocide as anything other than a filler villain five years from now? These stories may be just sufficient to keep the title running and keep a reboot at bay, but that’s about it.
Tpull is Travis Pullen. He started reading comics at 5 years old, and he can't seem to stop.