Comic Fodder

Tpull's Weekly DC Comics Review – Part Two

Azrael: Death’s Dark Knight 3

by Fabian Nicieza and Frazer Irving

Nicieza starts us off with some lessons for Azrael to understand certain elements that make up Batman and his crusade, all to help him become ready to follow his new pursuit. The Harvey Bullock sideshow ends on a flat note, and I have to wonder if there wasn’t more or different things that could have been done with it/in place of it.

The art is more fitting with Azrael himself than with any of the rest of the DC cast, and Talia really doesn’t look anything like herself. They also take a trip down awkward lane as Michael gets it on with his dead brother’s widow, which I assume is just grist for the upcoming series.

The ultimate verdict is that this was an okay read, but he ends up being a slightly religious version of the Punisher, and that’s not enough for me. I would have a hard time following this on a monthly basis. Maybe a different creative team will give us more interesting art and clever use of Azrael in his role as unwitting pawn of Al Ghul, but I’ll have to see it before I buy it.

Final Crisis Aftermath: Escape 1

by Ivan Brandon and Marco Rudy

Tom Tresser, aka Nemesis, is the focus of this surreal experience, with him waking up in nutsville, and getting knocked out time after time with precious few answers. The wild kaleidoscope gives him images of Rick Flag, Cameron Chase, Count Vertigo, and Amanda Waller, all flashbacks to better days on the Suicide Squad, back when he existed for something more than Wonder Woman’s date. There’s a disturbing scene where Wonder Woman appears to be boxed up like the Omacs from Final Crisis, and there is some weird censorship on the narrative text, filtering out things they don’t want us to know yet.

The art is interesting, and full of “special effects” to create different sensations so the reader can understand the disorientation and weirdness, but it falls short of being a good start. The average reader needs more of an introduction, and we end up getting half an episode of the Prisoner; worse, it’s the second half, and they’re not filling us in on the first part. I suppose I’m semi-interested enough to check out the second issue, but they should have introduced the whole idea better.

Oracle: the Cure 3

by Kevin Vanhook, Julian Lopez, and Fernando Pasarin

For some non-explained reason, Larry Rand is still hooked into the virtual world, even though he’s been disconnected. The psychic connections are mysteriously still valid, and Oracle manages to save him via the owner of the virtual game, whose dog avatar licks Larry’s avatar in the face to deliver the cure. That’s not the big cure of the series, though. In a strange twist, the owner of the game, Corey Wynn, is not your average software developer. He’s basically a Hollywood hunk, for some unknown reason. Would it hurt to make him skinnier or fatter, or give him glasses, or something that might reflect what 99% of all male computer programmers look like? It’s like the creative team wants to put out pop candy with rock-hard bodies for this mini-series, and it’s really misplaced.

The Calculator makes it to Wendy’s bedside, but she conveniently wakes up all on her own at the exact time he was going to deliver his cure. Gee, that’s not hard to believe at all, is it? Wendy’s a double of Barbara now, as she can’t feel her legs. Barabara defeats Calculator in one panel, and they announce Batgirl #1 next month. It was a pretty lousy ending, and makes the whole series fall flat. Can we please have a teensy bit more thought into a good story rather than to have coma-girl wake up at the precise time they want her to? It’s like everyone just phoned it in.

I really miss Bruce Wayne.

Trinity 50

by Kurt Busiek, Mark Bagley, Fabian Nicieza, Scott McDaniel and Andy Owens

Krona has ripped open the planet, and his encounter with the Worldsoul does not meet his satisfaction. This is perfectly in keeping with Krona’s ego and attitude: he has spent his whole life in the pursuit of knowledge and power, and now that he has more than almost anyone else in the universe… it’s not enough. He’s convinced there has to be a greater purpose than mere existence of the entities that embody the souls of the planets. The simple idea that when you get to a big enough scale, there’s not much left to do but sit back and enjoy life is just not sitting well with him, and he throws a tantrum. It also doesn’t help that what the Worldsoul shows him is slightly beyond his ability to fully understand. That ego thing, you know.

The art combination of McDaniel and Owens really shines here, with the altered celestial environment. Then we switch back to Bagley for the trinity to come in and sacrifice their powers to contain Krona and heal the planet. But how successful were they? Lois recovers on a whole planet, but things are still sort of falling apart. Where is the trinity, and what do they look like? Where are Krona and Morgaine? The’ve got two issues to wrap everything into a neat little bow for us. It will only take two weeks. I’ll wait. Is good.

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