Comic Fodder

Tpull's Weekly DC Comics Review � Part 1

Man, I go out of town for a week, and come back to a pile of comics! Let�s see if I can catch up�

Batman and Robin 3

by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely

I have to admit that this issue was a little lackluster for me. Pyg is a little crazy, and Morrison portrays him in such a way that it�s hard to take anything seriously. It feels like I�m watching a camp episode of the �60s Batman TV show. Quitely�s art seems hurried and less spectacular than usual, and of course I go back to check the credits and there is no separate inker. Looking through it a second time, it becomes clear that the colorist is trying to fill in the backgrounds, and the inking is uneven and inconsistent from page to page.

There is not much conversation between Batman and Robin this time, leaving us to follow up with an attack against some of the other less impressive followers of the Black Hand, and then a near-meaningless page of Alfred. The new Red Hood is introduced, and I am assuming it is not the Joker, nor Jason Todd (unless he got bored). There�s just not much substance to this issue, in art or story.

Green Lantern 45

by Geoff Johns and Doug Manke

The formation of the new Black Lantern planet is impressive, and we get a glimpse of Pariah witnessing the event at the beginning, although they could have put a name caption next to him for other readers who might not be familiar with that character. We quickly jump to a smorgasbord of conflicts between the different colors, with impressive art and a consistent great use of colors. Kryb is freed from the Zamorans, and immediately tries to return to �her babies.� Wicked creepy.

The face-off between Carol Ferris and Sinestro is gripping, heavy with history and emotion. Sinestro�s reaction to the purple ring probing for a hint of love in his heart is priceless. All this, and Johns squeaks in a black ring on Laira�s corpse too. The best fun is when the black rings swoop in and help themselves to the pile of corpses in Larfleeze�s den. Despite his murderous and covetous nature, I can�t help but smile at his antics and reactions.

This issue is packed with awesome art, tons of action, and smooth sailing that carry the story forward at a rapid pace. Easily one of the best stories on the stands today.

Justice Society of America 30

by Bill Willingham, Matthew Sturges, and Jesus Merino

We pick up at a battle scene, with Flash and Stargirl being the only two left standing. Jay heads out and returns quickly with the new Dr. Fate, who has a cool costume, but not much understanding of his own powers, just a fancy light show. That�s enough to give the villains pause, given what they know of the previous Fate�s powers, and that�s good enough to let the rest of the team recover. Still, the villains do seem to give up a little too easy.

The large cast of characters is aptly depicted by Merino, but Power girl�s leadership is missing pone big thing: the leadership part. She lets the team split up when Magog wants to pursue the bad guys, while half the team goes back to find out why HQ has gone radio silent. Some quick action lets Power Girl�s team round up half the bad guys, and to be honest, they could have used some name captions to let me know who a couple of them were. In the old days, the villains were rounded out better and introduced better, and this felt like a throwaway scene.

The other group finds Mister Terrific, bloody and near death, and the team figures out that they are being attacked on all fronts by a hidden enemy. They haven�t uncovered everything yet, but they are distracted by Magog�s ego, and his insistence on treating everything like it needs a military approach. While he has an arguable side to his point, he should know better than to be arguing with such seasoned veterans. Readers have the added advantage of knowing Magog�s possible future, and it adds a tension to the confrontation, a heavy sense of impending tragedy. Still, the writing seems to force it in a slightly artificial way, as if the creative team has not really found their full footing with the cast.

Does Magog�s new power add to his arrogance? Does it merely magnify an attitude that was already present? These questions are not being answered in his new series, so maybe someone can tackle them in this title. This was a step up from last issue, and I�m willing to give the new team some time to improve. They don�t have too far to go, I would put them solidly in the middle of the pack already of DC�s various titles.

Superman 691

by James Robinson, Renato Guedes, and Eduardo Pansica

Mon-el gets ambushed just like Flamebird and Nightwing were, and another part of General Lane�s plan falls into place. It is good timing, because it was taking quite a while. That may be par for the course for reality, but us avid readers tend to want to skip over the years of planning and plotting and get to the payoff. Supeman intercepts Ral-dar in time to prevent an international incident, but Lane�s forces are conveniently there (thanks to some magical teleportation), leaving Ral-dar unconscious, and Superman confused and angry. Alura calls him away just then, and we�re left to watch General Lane.

The art team has done great work, allowing a perfect blend of words and pictures to tell the story so you can follow everything well, without any aspect breaking the flow of the story. Mirabai has proven to be Lane�s ace in the hole, and he reveals his plan, although to be fair, it is mostly a parallel of Norman Osborn�s plan during Secret Invasion. Mirabai�s world is a two-page spread worthy of study, and shows that Lane has done his homework. With all of the major super-powered players out of the way, he has assembled some good Superman villains and a new magical foe, while also mobilizing the press against Kal-el. I�m curious what Mirabai needs from Lane in the way of help, given her abilities.

Excellent story all around.

Teen Titans 74

by Bryan Miller and Joe Bennett

Sigh. We get it, a Titan dies. Like they didn�t hit us over the head with it for months now. Gee, who could it be? Yet another Aquagirl death? Unlikely? Wonder Girl? No, we saw her at the funeral earlier. Blue Beetle? Again, too soon after the first one got a bullet in the head. Static? He just joined the team! From another universe! No, they pick on the powerless one, and the main team is too distracted by small stuff to even get close to getting a grip on the overall situation. They really need a Robin.

The dialogue and some scenes don�t play out well, making you go back and read them again to make sure you�re tracking everything correctly. That�s a bad comic. They don�t even bother to identify Geiger. This is how bad things are for the Titans: they still don�t know Calculator is the father of Wendy and Marvin. They still don�t know who is behind the attack on them. They didn�t know about Geiger�s impending blowup. They have no clue where Kid Eternity is. Wonder Girl tells Bombshell she is leaving the team, and the very next page, she delivers a �rousing� rally to bring everybody together instead?!? This is just so weak, I�m at a loss for words.

The whole thing is going sideways. The art is passably good, but it�s not enough for me to want to buy it every month. I need a little better story. There is so much potential for Kid Eternity with the Blackest Night saga, and instead he�s off being tortured. Did they kill a member just to bring him back next month as a Black Lantern? Or will they drop the ball on this too?

The backup feature is boring. Sean McKeever and Yildiray Cinar continue as Ravager turns out to be paranoid enough to carve a hiding place at jus the right place to ambush her ambushers. She takes them out, but is conveniently chased by more attackers showing up at just the �appropriate� time on snow-sleds. Then, from out of nowhere, one of the land-based attackers shows up on a spare snow-sled with an RPG. How convenient! Then they walk away as Ravager holds her breath under the freezing water for 3+ minutes. That�s a cakewalk for Deeathstroke�s daughter.


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

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