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Tpull's Weekly DC Comics Review � Part 1

Action Comics 879

by Greg Rucka and Diego Olmos

The Bonnie and Clyde of the Kryptonian set fight free from the confusion that is introduced by Codename: Assassin and his goons, but Chris quickly pursues. Rucka uses this issue mostly to bring the events of the recent annual issue into play, hinting at the powers and the myths associated with Flamebird and Nightwing. Az-Rel and Nadira know more about the legend than Chris does, not sure about what-all Thara knows so far.

The lame part of the story comes when Lois enlists Mon-el and his x-ray vision to look into her father�s tomb. We are supposed to believe that the general was thorough enough to fake a screw in the skeleton�s left wrist to impersonate his corpse, but stupid enough to have the wrong number of teeth! I understand they probably switched the dental records anyway, but if someone remembers to plant a screw in his bones, how hard could it be to yank out the teeth until you have the right number? It�s a big slap of lame in the middle of a good story, and Rucka should have come up with a better way for Lois to confirm her suspicions.

A second feature begins with Captain Atom this issue, written by James Robinson and Greg Rucka, drawn by Cafu. It�s not sensible for now, with Cap Atom attacking a medieval setting, but then flashing to a meeting with the old Justice League Europe. There really should be a better introduction for readers, and the story really needs to have started differently. It�s a big mess, but hopefully additional issue will fill in the blanks and make something out of it. But with things like this, it�s going to be really hard for DC to shake off the negative connotations associated with the term �backup.�

The Brave And The Bold 25

by Adam Beechen and Roger Robinson

For those in the dark, Hardware is a character from the Milestone universe, which has been merged with the main DCU, their histories now interwoven. DC starts one of its biggest pushes here to integrate all of the Milestone characters into this shared universe. Forced as it is, let�s hope they can make the best of it.

The story here is good, although the taunts from Hardware�s foe about his obsolescence seem out of place, considering how easily Hardware broke the JLA�s encryption recently over in their title. The whole point of Hardware is that he is supposed to be cutting-edge, having the best tech available. To help Hardware beat his enemy (also from the Milestone universe, now part and parcel of main DCU), Blue Beetle uses his armor a couple times to access and boost Hardware�s suit, resulting in a mind-meld equivalent that lets Beetle know the truth behind the joining of the universes. When he has enough time to comprehend what is now in his brain, it would be great to see him have a conversation with Static over in Teen Titans about it. They�re going to need that kind of fluid movement to successfully integrate this many characters and utilize them fully.

Robinson�s art is fairly good, and reflects the teen atmosphere that this version of Blue Beetle seems to bring with him, so the style is appropriate for the character. Since Beetle�s own title was canceled, it�s nice to see DC also making an attempt to keep him on the scene; they could have left him in the second feature deal, but they are letting him appear here and in Teen Titans, so I don�t think Beetle-lovers can complain too loudly. One change of late I don�t like: when do we get to see a photo of next issue on the final page again? It�s not that hard to fit it in, guys!

Superman/Batman 62

by Michael Green, Mike Johnson and Rafael Albuquerque

No independent inker again, which makes for poor facial expressions and a lot of missing lines that would make this show up better. Albuquerque is a lot better when someone else inks his stuff. Seriously, is there some cost-cutting factor at work in the industry now so they only have to pay one guy for the art and inks? If I wanted this style to fully infiltrate half my books, I�d just have Darwyn Cooke draw everything.

Robin and Supergirl team up for an Arkham breakout, and Kara gets an eyeful of sickening evil, more than any other experience she has had. For all of Robin�s acting like Kara is in the way, she saves him quick enough from Poison Ivy. There are tiny problems in the story. For starters, when they meet for lunch, Tim stumbles over calling her Kara, and settles for her secret ID of Linda, but then they proceed to talk about aliens and fighting Doomsday, etc. It�s kind of hard to think Tim would want to bother with the Linda bit if they were just going to chat away about everything so blatantly. Also, considering Tim knows what it means to be a Kryptonian, the attempt to leave her at the Batcave was a little ridiculous. Finally, why can Zasz be so confident that he can outrace Supergirl�s super-speed, but the distraction of robin crashing through a window is better? Ahem. Supergirl�s speed could have reached him sooner than Robin falling from a height, in any universe.

Those gripes aside, it was an ok tale overall, except for all the people in that food joint hanging around who might have heard everything.

Titans 15

by J.T. Krul and Jose Luis

Forget the rest of the Titans, our focus is on Garth, formerly known as Aqualad, now called Tempest (not to be confused with the guy from Doom Patrol, or the one from Atari Force). He has finally located his wife and child, Dolphin and Cerdian, and both are dead. The issue functions mostly as a recap for Garth�s life, and references all of the people around him who have died, serving as a good introduction/reminder of certain characters that we are about to see for the Blackest Night event. Slizzath appears to taunt Garth, and because of Slizzath�s connection to elements of death itself, he knows what is about to happen with the Black Lantern Corps. He manipulates Garth so he can die, because he figures that he�ll get a ring and be back. Garth is left confused.

Jose Luis has impressive art all the way through the issue, and he does a good Dick-Grayson-in-Batman costume (more proof of how good things can be when you let a good inker tackle your art). Krul writes a great scene between Dick-Bat and Garth, and yeah, I know how it sounds, but until Bruce is back, I�m calling him Dick-Bat (it�s better than the other way around, isn�t it?).

Garth returns to Atlantis and assumes the empty throne, just in time for his biggest nightmare to erupt in Blackest Night. This was a great story, re-introducing us to an often-neglected character, showing us what has gone before in a nice, fluid way (water pun not intended) to prepare us for the big storyline to come. Nicely done, and my favorite issue of the new Titans title since it started up again.

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

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