Comic Fodder

Tpull's Weekly DC Comics Review � Part Two

Green Lantern 43

by Geoff Johns and Doug Mahnke

Ever since Parallax, we have known that there are entities that embody the color powers. Whomever holds the Ion power holds the green entity, and the black entity is� well, it seems it�s constantly hungry. A character who has been treated as a joke in the past has been given new life, as the Black Hand is given a comprehensive retcon that is non-destructive, in which Geoff Johns seems to have a specialty.

Philip Tan is gone, and although he would have been a good choice, the selection of Doug Mahnke fits the tone very well, matching his excellent use of shadow and solid constructs to benefit this morbid atmosphere. At last, Blackest Night starts here. It is every bit as cool as we hoped it would be. The flow of events towards this moment has read very well, meaning we didn�t need a deus ex machina or a sudden twist from nowhere to introduce this crisis to the universe. Johns was given the time to build slowly, letting things simmer, barely held in check.

If you haven�t been reading this, you might want to finally reconsider. Things are about to explode.


R.E.B.E.L.S. 6

by Tony Bedard and Claude St. Aubin

There are some excellent items in this comic book. The description of the Dominators� various weaponry is cool, and St. Aubin�s art works well to convey a sense of their desperation. We quickly learn Amon Hakk�s motivations against Dox, and the Durlan moment where we see how she/it came aboard Dox�s ship is priceless. We also catch a fast glimpse of various other alien races across the galaxy, showcasing more of the cosmic DCU than Starlin has been doing over in Strange Adventures.

Dox�s team looks almost complete, and his failsafe allows him to maintain his confidence and talk back to Starro with surety that does not feel out of place, but rather with an assuredness that comes from someone who has been messed with, and is supremely confident that the aggressors will learn a harsh lesson for it. It�s an attitude that is not encountered much in superhero land, and it is just another reason to like this character.

Now for the part that some people will hate: the �real� Starro is revealed to be a humanoid, muscle-rippling alien, not a floating sea star. The original foes of the Justice League have been tampered with over the last couple decades to make them appear more imposing. Starro holds a classic place in the hearts of old-timers who remember stories of a starfish in space with fond nostalgia. They will hold severe misgivings with this version of Starro�s history.

I felt serious misgivings when writers twisted Despero from his original form into a muscle-bound conqueror, and this follows that element a little too close for comfort. Still, it�s not necessarily a bad idea, and I want to see what Bedard makes of it. Starro has only had about a dozen appearances in the entire history of DC, so this premise is not too far outside the realm of believability. Still, if this storyline takes, and this is the new way of things, we will have to acknowledge that some of the corny goodness that the inner child devoured with glee will be forever gone from DC. Newer readers may not even understand where this is coming from, but longtime readers understand.

For me, I want to give Bedard the benefit of the doubt, as everything else about the title has been good. This can turn out good too, despite whatever damage it might do to your pleasant childhood memories.


the Unwritten 3

by Mike Carey and Peter Gross

If you have never read Mary Shelley�s Frankenstein, the first two pages of this comic should make you rush to Amazon.com, or better yet, an old bookstore that has classic copies available. The writing is incredible, and the quick depiction in comic form was cool to see. Count this as another unexpected benefit of the series� premise: the attention paid to great classic literature may do more to ignite interest than most other things have done lately.

A book club of professional authors has assembled at the house where Tom grew up, and Hexam is prodding him to take a stroll down memory lane. Hexam knows the power of stories, and in this universe, they can be powerful weapons. She tries to impress the importance of this onto Tommy with a beautiful line about a rifle, but Tommy isn�t buying it. The art is great for the setting, and the dialogue is witty while still flowing well to progress the story.

What impresses me is how smoothly Carey incorporates nice, modern language and reactions in with Tommy�s so-called literary GPS knowledge to inform and drop hints. In the meantime, danger is coming closer. An intelligent read with layers of text and subtext, this is also a good suspense story dropping literary factoids like they�re hot.

It is quite possibly the best new series to come along in the last couple years.


Warlord

by Mike Grell, Joe Prado, and Chad Hardin

The issue starts off great, with an idealistic young man coming face to face with people who have been around long enough to have heard the spiel before, from the Warlord himself. Turns out that the Warlord didn�t necessarily make sure all the people who followed his dream got to see the full fruits of victory, and that has made for a lot of bitterness. The next scene gives us Travis himself, being interviewed by Ewan McBane, bringing a great combination of the prehistoric setting of the Warlord�s land into contact with modern elements like digital recorders. For a series that deals in the antiquated, Mike Grell has weaved an opening tale that still addresses elements of modernity that might help keep you interested, even if swords & sorcery stuff is not your typical cup of tea.

Tinder, Shakira and Alysha get together to rescue Travis Morgan and Machiste in a rousing scene that shows McBane has also decided to show some moral spine. It�s obvious hat Ned Hawkins is not just in his head by himself anymore, that somebody else has taken up residence. This is shaping up to be a well-drawn beginning of a new Warlord series that builds well upon what has come before to give us a great new story.

Who says critics are grumpy? Lookee there, four good reviews!

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

nFUzd8 Major thankies for the article post.Much thanks again. Keep writing.

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