Comic Fodder

Tpull's Weekly DC Comics Review – Part 1

Green Lantern 46

by Geoff Johns and Doug Mahnke

Straight out of the Blackest Night 3, Indigo-1 takes Hal to Zamaron, and his green energy combines with Carol’s to start destroying the attacking Black Lanterns. Sinestro can’t help but fight with Hal even in the midst of all the chaos, and Hal doesn’t even try to reason with him anymore. The ancient corpses Khufu and Chay-ara from Hawkman continuity are possessed by the black rings, and the Zamarons’ power battery collapses, freeing the Parallax-type beast inside.

We get a quick peek at Scar, and see that the rest of the Guardians are still held captive, while John Stewart is confronted with the planet Xanshi getting a makeover right in front of him, all in black. Indigo-1 knows a lot more than she really should, but she knows Sinestro will resist, so she takes him to his home planet Korugar and has him face off against Mongul. Once that little business is taken care of, something disturbing happens: the people of Korugar see that he has freed him, which means there will be more Sinestro trouble after all of this is over, because you just know the people are going to start worshiping him again as their savior.

Sinestro steps up, in charge of his own Corps once again, and claims leadership of the new expedition to defeat the Black Lanterns. It looks like Hal is going to let him, too, when Abin Sur and his sister Arin show up for a great cliffhanger. Mahnke shines on the art, and the entire artistic team is really firing on all cylinders. It’s great to see color used for additional meaning more than normal in the artwork, and it shows they have really thought everything through.

This issue is full of action, and the face-off between Sinestro and Mongul is great. Too many showdowns are over too quickly, and sometimes with a dues ex machina or some unbelievable trick. In this case, we have a great fight with a perfectly believable outcome that was not boring to watch. Great midpoint for the Blackest Night event.

Justice Society of America 31

by Bill Willingham, Matthew Sturges, and Jesus Merino

Jesus Merino deserves some props, as I find his art to be strong and captivating. The Magog/Wildcat fight is broken up, but Magog does not stop with his objections. The panel choices are great, with a nice round-the-table discussion broken up into five panels on a page, circulating through various JSA members, with a slightly humorous villain confession scene on the next page.

The JSA is still on the wrong path, accusing the All-American Kid of being a murderer, and they don’t seem to want to explore the possibility that he might have been controlled. It shows a flaw in Power Girl’s judgment, actually, and I’m not certain if it is intentional, or accidental. Sometimes the writers are clever, but sometimes we can read too much into something. Are they setting up to show how Power girl is not the best leader for the group? Not everyone is a leader, so that wouldn’t be a bad thing per se, and I think a case is growing to show that she is in over her head.

Magog raises some very relevant points about how open and non-security conscious the JSA is, and this will end up splitting the team, as this story arc sets up for the introduction of the JSA All-Star title. Oh, and they just said Mr. Terrific is dead. I hope this isn’t right during the middle of Blackest Night…

Superman 692

by James Robinson and Fernando Dagnino

While this issue is pleasant to read, it is starting to reflect some of that slow Robinson pacing. The city is sabotaged, the heroes can’t fix it, and from a scene right out of the first Tim Burton Batman movie, nobody can bathe, so the TV commentators are all disheveled and dirty. We get it already.

Dagnino makes the most of it with the art, and it kicks into high gear with the Zatara part. Robinson has been too clever for his own good, and they have to spend four pages explaining that Mark Merlin is really dead, and that Prince Ra-Man is not the source of the mysterious energy in the satellite, which hasn’t been referenced that much recently, anyway.

We do get a good reveal for one of the Science Police, who turns out to be a Legionnaire undercover. The march of general Lane through various special divisions is a neat trip down memory lane (pun unintended) for those who love continuity, although at this point a lot of people are calling that type of thing continuity porn. Anyway, we all knew Mon-el was alive, and now we know where he is.

Good art aside, they do need to pick up the pace a bit and move us somewhere. This issue was purely treading water.

Teen Titans 75

by Felicia D. Henderson and Joe Bennett

Bennett draws some impressive monsters, that’s for sure! The art is great for stuff like that, and he could probably improve the way he draws the characters at this point, but I’d like to see him work on a monster book or something at this point, he’s just really good with that sort of thing. Beast Boy has shown up to place his hat in the ring for being the leader, but the spell-checkers have all left the tower, as the automated systems announce an intruder on the “premeses” instead of “premises.” Two punches for the writer, letterer, editor, et al.

There is an awkward scene that has Cyborg and Starfire announce to Red Arrow that Gar has left to lead the Teen group, and it doesn’t read well at all. Luckily, Raven in injured, allowing us to have some more drama with Gar’s unrequited love for her. The flashbacks are awkward though, with Gar trying to say that the original team had “the highest expectations.” Actually, the team was brought together on the fly, with no expectations at all, and half of them weren’t even sure they wanted to stay on the team! So the writer really blew it there, and should re-read the first twelve issues of New Teen Titans immediately.

It’s these types of sloppiness that ruin the story a teeny bit, but luckily Bennett puts out some nice art pages that sort of make you forgive them.

The backup is not doing too well, and Yildiray Cinar’s drawing has me feeling the characters are a little too much of a caricature. Sean McKeever has Ravager survive the ice and then find out why Will tried to kill her. But he could have killed her earlier when she was still passed out a couple issues back, so the whole thing is still relatively silly and stupid. Plus, she doesn’t kill anybody, and considering her rage and her past actions, she probably would have started a killing spree at this point. Anyway, the bad guys have chosen to do some human slave trading in these remote winter parts. If I had my own submarine, you think I’d waste it trying to smuggle people? This Will guy is such a moron. I can’t wait for the feature to go away.

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