Comic Fodder

Tpull's Weekly DC Comics Review – Part 1

Action Comics 877

by Greg Rucka and Sidney Teles

Ursa breaks out into the open to discover one of her sleeper agents, Tor-an. Guess what she does to him? The action jumps quickly to Chris, trying to save Thara, and we don’t have a lot of time to miss Superman, since Lois Lane quickly brings in Doctor Light to help out, which causes General Lane all kinds of fits, just because her involvement causes him to lose his live feed via satellite. The steps are logical and fun, and it shows that Rucka has put some thought into this.

The art is not the greatest in the world, but it’s not bad either. The explanation for Chris growing up so fast leaves a bit to be desired at this point, but between Cable, Franklin Richards, Nate Grey, Superboy, Impulse and so on, I’ve had a lifetime fill of young characters getting speed-grown. Even Layla over in X-Factor. It’s boring. The other problem is the abrupt shift from Chris at the Fortress to a Kryptonian Bonnie and Clyde. I know they want to hook people into buying the next issue, but the cliffhanger introducing them comes out of nowhere, and feels really out there as far as the plot we were involved with. I hope they improve their sense of pace and explanation, but overall we’re still doing well without the big man himself.

Booster Gold 20

by Keith Giffen and Pat Olliffe

I hope this isn’t the new creative team, because it didn’t work. Rip actually encourages Booster to take a trip into the past, just to get him out of the way while Rip repairs some equipment?!? Considering what a control freak Rip is, the story starts off on a major implausibility. At least Norm Rapmund is still around to do the inks. Even the sub-heading, 52 Pick-up and the other 52 references are cheesy, and betray Giffen’s corny style.

In a completely artificial manner, Booster automatically stumbles into a secret tale of Task Force X, with a previously unknown composition involving Frank Rock, somebody Giffen tried to do something with in his failed Suicide Squad trial. The whole thing smacks of a story thread that Giffen has had in his head forever and finally had a place to put it. The covert agents quickly spill the beans on everything to Booster, against all protocols and common sense. Undercover agents never would have exposed their cover to an X-factor like Booster in the ‘50s, and it ruins any chance of enjoying the story.

The story falls apart even further as the covert op gets broken wide open, with an unscheduled missile launch giving Booster a reason to go break things in a very visible way, and it doesn’t seem to bother Rock and Co. in the slightest. To cap it all off, Giffen gives us the crew of the aborted launch, homages to Marvel’s Fantastic Four, suggesting they might have had DC equivalents if not for Booster’s interference. The plot is so awkward, they have to fill in the gaps by having Booster go back to Rip and just have rip stand around and tell the rest of the story, all so the reader can get the sense of the guiding hand of fate putting Booster in the right place at the right time to save a moment of history again. Then, the stupid Fonzie joke that didn’t work in the beginning gets its punch line at the end, but I can only chalk it up to Giffen’s sense of humor, which didn’t work for me in the slightest here.

The real fact is, Booster Gold has grown up since Giffen played around with the character, to the point that the writer could not effectively operate the character in a story in any way that was true to his having moved forward in life. The tale reads like someone who wants to reflexively use his toy in the way he used to, not realizing that after the “upgrade,” some things don’t work the same anymore. Until and unless that hits home for Giffen, any attempt to play with Booster is going to end poorly. For someone that we know loves to experiment, this felt like a nostalgia trip gone horribly wrong, in some attempt to revisit familiar stomping grounds.

Green Lantern Corps 36

by Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason

Gleason has fun with the ring constructions while Sinestro lays out Soranik’s true past. The face tattoo is a little awkward, because I don’t think we’ve ever heard her mention that it just appeared one day. Most of the beginning might work well, but Tomasi keeps forgetting that the Korugarans are aliens; Soranik wastes most of her dialogue with human cuss words, such as bastard, damn, and hell. She hasn’t been around Kyle or Guy that long, has she? There is nothing remotely resembling an alien left in Soranik, and it ruins a lot of the appeal her character had. She might as well be Donna Troy at this point, for all the differentiation Tomasi gives her.

The rest of the issue proceeds much better, focusing on the break-out, and showcasing as many villains as they can in a few panels. Finally, we cut to Arisia and Sodam Yot. Sodam is just a bad name to give a character, what with its biblical connotations. The end doesn’t make much sense, though, and it seems like they ran out of imagination. Sodam has to request for the ability to tap into his Ion power? That doesn’t work, so the ring tells him a massive power surge might activate it?!? Mongul blasts him point-blank with yellow energy, and that should pretty much kill the guy, but in a miracle, a blast that would kill any other Lantern magically supercharges him instead. It makes no sense to me at all. If Mongul’s rings had the potential to do this for anyone with Ion power, then it almost makes him useless.

This is probably the weakest issue of the Corps I have read in months.

R.E.B.E.L.S. 4

by Tony Bedard and Claude St. Aubin

The panel layouts are fun to follow, and the mystery continues at a good pace, bringing a Durlan into the mix while Dox rounds up the rest of his team. The Omega Men don’t have much luck, but they get an unexpected helping hand from another source. Dox also gets a chance to display that he’s a ruthless so-and-so again, and for some reason his consistency is refreshing.

The art style follows closely even with a slightly different creative team, and it’s interesting to see the different names on the credits while still following a consistent style of display. The surprise at the end is interesting, and makes me wonder how they will have it all fit, enough to make we want to tune in next month.

Titans 13

by Sean McKeever and Angel Unzueta

Ugh. Jericho used to be one of my favorite characters, and now he just kills a man in cold blood on live TV. Sigh. The only way to explain it is that the “evil voices” have taken him over, but it’s just sad to see such a noble hero so unable to even struggle against what’s happening. Everything gets lamer as the story continues.

The Flash just stands there and lets Red Devil get shot, and we finally find out what Jericho’s master plan is. He doesn’t want help, he just wants to murder the Titans and Deathstroke. Why? Not really sure. That’s part of why this is all so dreadfully poor. After that, Rose grabs Jericho’s hand, pinning him in with the bomb, but in the next couple panels, he twists free from the martial arts pre-cog girl and drops the device anyway. Instead of actually using his speed, Wally stands around and asks everybody, “Shouldn’t we be doing something?” Really. He could have taken off the bombs from all the innocents by now, but he’s having more fun asking blatantly obvious questions at normal speed. Couldn’t they at least have rigged up a trap to take him out of the scenario for a few minutes?

The way Jericho escapes is slightly clever, but the resulting visuals are too reminiscent of the classic Wolfman/Perez story from the New Teen Titans #10, back in 1980. And lest I forget, they all make sure to stress that it’s the Teen Titans and the Titans that are taken out. Both groups, you see, because heaven forbid any reporter simply mention the Titans as one big group. I mean, it’s not like they don’t all call themselves Titans… wait, they do? Oh. Well, it’s not like they all arrived together as one group… wait, they did? And the reporters still all had enough sense of composure during a live hostage situation to distinguish the adults from the teen group? Wow.

This was six kinds of lame, and I am not even sure I’ll bother to get the conclusion, because it means I would have to buy Vigilante #6. I think Vigilante was in six panels in this issue, that’s how much impact the crossover is having. It’s the worst cross-over in recent history.

R.E.B.E.L.S. was the best this week from this group, followed by Action, then Green Lantern Corps. Don’t bother with the others.

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