Comic Fodder

Tpull's Weekly DC Comics Review – Part 1

Booster Gold 19

by Dan Jurgens and Norm Rapmund

Crisp, clear pictures and precise narration give you the hint of what Voyager mission starts off this comic, and it’s not even part of the primary plot! The beauty of this series is how they can hold your attention with only a few panels, and as long as you have a passing familiarity with the DCU, there is a lot of fun to be had with the smallest of time-travel moments. Most time travel episodes are lucky to have one good moment of that sort, and it is usually saved until the end; here, we get tons of little desserts all the time.

The primary story makes me uncomfortable, mostly because of the extended duration in which Booster stands around talking to his past self. The disparity between the two selves is more striking than I thought could happen, given the small “distance” between their respective time periods. However, Jurgens makes the most of the opportunity to showcase how much ‘present’ Booster has grown. The Men In Black memory-fade device always feels too convenient, so I’m hoping it breaks soon, or they don’t have need to use it every time.

Michelle’s breakdown was unforeseen, and does add another interesting development to the tangled milieu. Rip’s amazement that Booster managed to fix a problem with the time stream without Rip’s presence is great fun: here Rip has pulled Booster into the life, and he still judges Booster by his old behavior. The clues on the blackboard are fun, with an allusion that Bruce Wayne will eventually be back, a reference to the anti-life equation still being at large, which we already knew, and a fairly useless-looking one about keeping the Vigilante away from the Titans, which is already happening, so too late for that one, at least. Is the “immortals fighting” reference a hint about the events upcoming in Wonder Woman’s title?


Green Lantern 39

by Geoff Johns and Philip Tan

Get ready for another color! The Controller’s try to take possession of the orange light, and it breaks an age-old treaty. Philip Tan gives the Controllers a lot more definition and lines, as opposed to the traditional sterile, clean-lined, young and immortal look they tend to have everywhere else. These guys look like they have lived most of those years now, and I appreciate the effect. The colors and inks make this quite possibly one of the best artistic teams working in the field today.

Hal got stuck with a blue ring last issue, and he doesn’t like it. After a slight time-delay, the Guardians get a clue about the situation, and they don’t like it either! Ganthet and company seem to have some inside knowledge of what is to come that hasn’t been shared with the Corps by the other Guardians, while Johns helps to give voice as to why Jordan is a man of action, and his own personal objections to the idea of joining the Blue Corps. In a seeming paradox, Ganthet tells Jordan he will need to “find hope” to drain the blue ring of its power and allow it to come off. But if he does manage to find hope, wouldn’t that just prove that he might be well-suited to be part of the Blue after all? Looks like a catch-22 to me!

The Guardians’ reaction to the Blue makes them appear, yet again, far from wise. More and more they remind me of the Controllers, only angry that nothing ever goes the way they want it to. You wanted to be responsible for the entire universe guys, welcome to the headaches of upper management!

Larfleeze is the entity that controls the orange light, and it looks like the entire Corps is him, and perhaps his energy constructs are images formed from people he has killed in the past? The Controllers may have split off from the Guardians, but Larfleeze doesn’t care about that aspect, he still holds the entire group responsible for the breaking of the treaty. And who can genuinely say that he is wrong?

Awesome story, awesome art. Mandatory reading.


Secret Six 8

by Gail Simone and Carlos Rodriguez

I actually went out and read someone else’s review to see what I am missing about this title. The review started out like this: “I love it, but darn if I can explain why.” I can’t treat this book seriously any more, as it seems like Simone wants to have it both ways, and have this be a bloody book about villains, but somehow with the same antics of Giffen’s JLA. The attempt to do both makes each half fall short.

This issue is a down-time issue, filled mostly with twisting Deadshot’s character around until he is no longer recognizable as anything except a poor comic foil. Ragdoll is lovely as always, but not enough to make up for the entire train wreck. Scandal goes on a date with the stripper Knockout impersonator, while Deadshot acts as a double-date partner with Jeannette, and why would Jeannette want to do this after the way Deadshot treated her the last couple of issues?!?

The backgrounds aren’t much to look at, and there isn’t much definition given to the characters, so the art alone can’t contain my interest. A Ragdoll cartoon at the end is a silly little diversion that makes me slightly amused.

Next issue is a crossover with the search for a new Batman. Cool cover, but will the insides reflect the attempt at seriousness, or will it just take the Battle for the Cowl and drag it through the mud? If there is no improvement, the next issue or two will be my last.


Titans 12

by Sean McKeever and Angel Unzueta

McKeever moves into the writer spot, easily referencing the dangling plot threads left behind by Winick. Unzueta has an interesting style that strikes me as very good on some pages, and with an over-emphasis on shading the next, but I can’t tell if that’s due more to the inking. Awesome splash page of Deathstroke halfway in, though!

The plotline for this strikes a familiar chord from when Deathstroke originally started picking apart the Titans one by one. The decision by the team to use Cyborg as bait is not the most brilliant idea in the book, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing, because they are operating without Nightwing, and Donna has blown it before in a leadership role in the past. Is this intentional writing to show that she has to gain more experience, or just a lack of imagination on the writer’s part? Either way, so much for the warning in Booster Gold to keep Vigilante away from the Titans.

This is a hard one to judge, but it feels like it’s missing something still. That said, it is an improvement over the first eleven issues in writing. The new artist curls up the lips of people as they talk too much, it is actually distracting. A little more work on facial expressions could improve things a lot.


Warlord

by Mike Grell and Joe Prado

Warlord is back! He was overdue for a reboot, and it’s great that Mike Grell likes the character and ahs come back to do the writing (and some cool covers!). Joe Prado does well on the inside art, too. The setup at the beginning shows us the Warlord’s newest challenge, with a two-page spread that summarizes how Travis Morgan came to live in the hidden world of Skartaris.

This isn’t my normal genre. I have read a ton of books in the arena, but not usually many comic books. The art is excellent and holds my eye, and I am interested to see what happens next. There is a better sense of pacing than when Mike Grell was involved with the original series, and I am coming back to check out issue 2. Good job.


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