Comic Fodder

Tpull's Weekly DC Comics Review – Part 2

Blackest Night: Tales of the Corps 3

by various

The final issue of this quick three-part mini-series focuses on members of the Green Lantern Corps. Peter J. Tomasi gives us an inside look at the time when current-Corps trainer Kilowog was himself a recruit. Chris Samnee draws a cartoony version of boot camp, interrupted at one point by a real emergency The cool part comes at the end, when we learn that Kilowog’s group helped to save the life of Sinestro before he turned bad himself.

Tomasi tells the next story too, with young Arisia witnessing a legacy of ring-holders in her family. Mike Mayhew draws great scenes full of action, giving us a lot to look at in almost every panel. It’s a quick legacy story, and it’s told well, and fits nicely within the confines of a short story.

The final part is a director’s commentary, with Geoff Johns, and editors Adam Schlagman and Eddie Berganza going behind the scenes of Blackest Night #0 to explain why they did things in a certain way. Some of the comments show how long they have been building up to this point, while other texts show why they identified things the way they did to maintain consistency with the way things currently are in the DC universe. There’s a lot of comments relating to how different aspects of darkness and light relate to and fight with each other. They also drop the hint that Atom will be a big player in this event somehow.

Don’t forget to put all three issues next to each other to enjoy the three-page cover photo. Good stuff!

The Last Days of Animal Man 3

by Gerry Conway and Chris Batista

Buddy has gone a little off the bends, desperately scratching at any chance he might have to repair his declining powers. He has a chance if the DNA from his children might be able to jumpstart things again, but he’s so wrapped up in his troubles that he acts like an insensitive jerk to his wife. After his daughter tells him she doesn’t worry too much about him, and his son buries himself in lawyer work non-stop, Buddy finally has a reality check and realizes he missed seeing his kids grow up.

Batista does okay on the art, but I actually don’t like the inking too much, and the backgrounds are very simple for the most part, leaving us without much interesting to look at other than the characters themselves. The series goes off the tracks at the end with Buddy and Starfire kissing. Granted, we’re 20 years further down the road, but given how devoted Buddy was to his family and protecting them, and what a primary thought they were in his head from what we are used to seeing, this just feels wrong. Plus, after an additional 20 years, Starfire should definitely have a sense of propriety and not be part of anything like this. His whole thought narration turns into crazy talk, with Buddy thinking only of himself (and after the grand realization that he had been thinking only of himself too much all these years), and it basically renders the entire issue useless if Buddy is going to continue being selfish in this respect along with everything else. At least he used to be loyal, if nothing else. Now… nothing else.

I’m a little disgusted with the choice the writer took, and I don’t think it adds anything good to the story. If this were a different character, it might be more believable, but we know Buddy to be from the old school of heroics, which included being faithful and trustworthy. Now he has been transformed into a guy having a middle-age crisis, and turning to a younger hottie for his sense of validation. Ugh. If I wanted to see that kind of thing, I’d just go to work. And how in the world does his last thought make any sense, that Starfire “can make everything all right,” because I’m pretty sure her tongue can’t fix your power loss. Unless… oh, they meant THAT kind of power…

This whole series just took a turn off super-hero road and went into the boring crisis of middle age. Boring.

Madame Xanadu 13

by Matt Wagner and Michael Kaluta

Xandau is still trying to help people, and sneaks in to question a corpse to help her link the pieces of the puzzle together. Unfortunately, all she seems able to do is warn the next victim, Richard Miller. We still have interspersed flashbacks showing Xanadu in her tryst with a young lady during the Inquisition, and you just know that’s not going to end well for anybody. We’re smack dab in the middle of the story arc, and Kaluta’s artwork continues to be a joy to behold. One of Richard Miller’s flashbacks blends four images into a giant collage, dividing each other and leading to each other at the same time. They even squeeze in another appearance by Wesley Dodd and his girlfriend Dian. I imagine a ton of people are going to be getting the trade for this arc the day it is available.

Wonder Woman 34

by Gail Simone and Aaron Lopresti

Hey, remember all those re-launches of Wonder Woman they did to try and define who the character was, where she was going and all that jazz? Welcome to yet another series, we’re 34 issues in, and Diana’s wandering around a frozen wasteland wondering who she is, what direction her life will take… I think I finally figured out what the “wonder” in her name really stands for, like, “I wonder if she will ever get her act together?” Lopresti is good at the art for the parts where he puts effort into it, but for the panel of the ape hugging Diana, they give us nothing but white space, and the only thing in the brownstone is a sofa and a TV, apparently, so for however long those apes stay there, I suppose we just expect them to sit and watch the boob tube.

Wonder Woman meets with T.O. Morrow, whose name is conveniently ret-conned into a Jewish name so he can have a trustworthy motive for turning in a creature called Genocide. See, T.O. Morrow is now a covert Jew who was oh-so-coincidentally born in Warsaw, and I guess we’re supposed to believe the guy is somehow 65 years old now. Don’t bother asking why he didn’t help Diana earlier, because the creative team is too busy making sure to give us nothing but white space every other panel during the exchange.

Okay, now we segue to the Black Canary, who acts more like a teenage party hound than the Dinah we know, and they’re off to track down Doctor Psycho. Wonder Woman electrocutes her opponent via her bracelets in a way that nobody knows how. Did I mention there’s at least one panel of white space and no background on every (censored) page for the rest of the issue? Thanks for not trying at all, guys. Do me a favor, go buy the last three issues of Madame Xanadu and get a clue on how to draw a comic, then come back and try again, okay?

She disobeyed Zeus, and the other deity she got her powers from, Zeus killed him, so how does she get to even keep her powers at this point? Wretched comic.

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