Comic Fodder

Tpull's Weekly DC Comics Review – Part 2

Adventure Comics 4

by Geoff Johns, Sterling Gates, and Jerry Ordway

A Blackest Night tie-in starts here when Alexander Luthor, originally of Earth-3, becomes a Black Lantern. We have to revisit all the ugly that reminds us of nonsense like Superboy Prime punching reality. There are a couple things about the whole idea that an Earth Prime still exists, and Superboy Prime has become an internet pest that don’t sit right with me, but the difficulty with his parents is cool. When Alexander shows up, he transforms Prime back into his Anti-Monitor/Super armor, without any explanation. It reads about as well as it can, but I think I have developed a personal distaste for what Prime has become, and would like to see him disappear permanently.

The second feature with the Legion is written by Geoff Johns and Michael Shoemaker, and has adequate pencils by Clayton Henry. It’s a quick love story with Blok going to Mysa’s aid, and agreeing to stay by her side as she stays the new Black Witch. We also get to see the (finally) developed love of Wildfire and Dawnstar, handled in a fairly subtle manner. Although I hope there is more to Mysa’s story, this was the best treatment I have seen of them in these four issues of Adventure. If that’s what they can do with only a few pages, I can’t wait to see these guys return to a full 22 pages.


Batman: Streets of Gotham 6

by Chris Yost and Dustin Nguyen *

If I have things correctly, Man-Bat’s adventures with the Outsiders took place first, and then he lost control and ended up in this storyline. The villain is a guy with an invisibility suit, given to him by Black Mask. The Huntress is still obsessing on trying to kill him when she finally figures out that Man-Bat is the only one who can detect the invisible enemy. Dini kind of hits us over the head with Huntress realizing how wrong she was, but he had to make her three times more bloodthirsty than she usually is to do it. Of course, the point is that he didn’t have to go quite so far to left field with her thoughts to accomplish this.

Batman can already defeat the suit’s abilities with a quick control in his cowl, which is a mite too convenient, but they were running out of room to tell the story. Turns out the priest was playing along until he could also get a lock on his hidden voice, and somehow we end up with a hidden assassin who can’t hit the broad side of a barn, but he ceases shooting long enough to whisper in the priest’s ear. It doesn’t work on a high level, and I’m glad it’s over. If this is the payoff after so many issues, I don’t think there’s going to be much worthwhile in this series.

The second feature has some witty banter and more drama with Two-Face. The ongoing dilemma of Dylan is fun to watch, and you can’t help but root for the poor bastard. The team of Andreyko and Jeremy Haun get Dylan into a pickle when he stops one of his fellow goons from shooting Manhunter, but Dylan’s the one who gets knocked down and left behind, just when the police arrive.

I think I liked the second feature better than the first. At least they try to get to the point when they know they don’t have a lot of pages.

*As the readers were quick to note below, it was Chris Yost and not Paul Dini who wrote the last couple issues, so the lackluster story should not be attributed to Dini. I had left it at Dini by default, didn't even stop to look at the credits. Thanks for the catch, guys.

Outsiders

by Peter Tomasi and Fernando Pasarin

Fernando Pasarin gives us some great lively corpses as Blackest Night finally arrives to the Outsiders. Terra shows up remarkably docile to see Geo-Force, after her reign of terror in the BN: Titans mini-series. Meanwhile, Halo and Katanna actually take some time out to talk, which is a nice, long-overdue bit of characterization that I had been missing for so many issues with this series. It’s like the gears turn over for Peter Tomasi when he’s dealing with the Blackest night, and everything magically gets better in terms of writing.

This is just in time for everything to get mixed up again, because Didio is taking over the title. Figures. This happened when Chuck Dixon was the writer, too. Just when the series finally came to life, they switched up on us. Who knows if the momentum from the Blackest Night tie-in can be carried over into whatever Didio has planned. Eh, I guess I’ll get it and let you know.


Superman/Batman

by Scott Kolins

In an interesting turn of affairs, Scott Kolins was able to take Solomon Grundy from his mini-series directly to this title, and his debut as a freshly-revived Black Lantern. No sooner do I turn the page than… Man-Bat! Again?!? What is it with Man-Bat being in three different titles at the same time? In a strange turn of events, Bizarro is happening along and tries to take Man-Bat as a pet, and then Solomon Grundy is able to find them at that precise instant.

The fight that follows is interesting, but Bizarro is shown from Grundy’s point of view as purple emotion when Bizarro yells that he loves Grundy. The emotion actually sensed by the ring, though, is rage. The thing is, Bizarro says things backwards, so we know when he claims to love Grundy, he’s really saying he hates Grundy. So why can’t the ring accurately detect the true emotion in the color spectrum when it correctly identifies it? It doesn’t make any sense for the backwards part of Bizarro to be able to fool the ring. Anyway, it’s mostly a Bizarro-Black Lantern Grundy fight at this point, and not all that interesting to me. Man-Bat and Bizarro are supposed to be the stand-ins for Superman and Batman, but why did they put this here? It’s all a little weird to me.


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