Comic Fodder

Tpull's Weekly DC Comics Review – Part 2

Booster Gold 26

by Dan Jurgens, Mike Norton and Norm Rapmund

Now this is more like it! The writer and art teams combine to give us a 30-page story for $3.99. No second feature, just some cool story all the way through. We start with a recap for Booster’s origin, and for Ted Kord. It’s the memory download of the black ring as it inhabits Kord’s corpse. Then we cut to Rip Hunter in front of his chalkboard, and why, of all things, is he still using a chalkboard to make his notes? What does he do with all the other notations we’ve seen on that chalkboard? Is it so there is no electronic record of his hints? Because Skeets probably has a record of them, so it’s not a very good idea. Don’t get me wrong, I love the chalkboard being there, but I do think they need to explain it somehow.

Booster is taking a pity-trip through time to Ted Kord’s funeral, and witnessing himself, as he cannot even say anything at his best friend’s funeral. He mentions something that is glossed over quite a bit, and could have used a lot more attention back in the day: it was Bruce Wayne’s satellite that was hijacked by Max Lord, and Bruce who ignored Ted when he came for help. This chink in the “perfect” planner’s armor should have been hit on by someone, anyone in the DCU, but he got a free pass at the time. At least Booster thinks about it here.

We have yet another spelling error, with Skeets of all characters, leaving an ‘s’ out of ‘supposedly.’ Thanks for the great spell-check, DC. It’s not like you don’t have grown adults, a process for checking for these errors specifically, and access to any one of a million spell check software programs. Way to show the kids that spelling and grammar should be important in a finished, professional publication.

There is an excellent scene where Booster realizes he should always do his best, to honor his best friend’s memory. It’s a good scene, and how many times have we thought something like that regarding a loved one who has passed on, or for a religious figure? It will be interesting to see how log Booster keeps it in his mind, because humans tend to get lost in the moment and forget those kinds of things after a while. Still, it’s a very human thing to do in the first place, and a good touch. Next issue, we get to see how Booster deals with the Black Lantern version of Blue Beetle.

Green Lantern Corps 42

by Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason

Can you believe Patrick Gleason has been on this title for so long, and is doing so well with it? There is a lot of activity here, and the panel choices are good. The power levels of the Black Lanterns reach 100%, and they all stop their attacks and head straight to attack the green power battery. The alpha battery that powers one of the Alpha Lanterns is about to go nova, so Kyle grabs it and takes it to the proper place where the explosion from the overload will do the most damage to the bad guys.

We end with a green ring declaring Kyle dead, but with a moratorium on finding a replacement. Is this because there was an overage of Lanterns from the same space sector, and it will eventually be distributed somewhere else? Looks like it will be held by Mogo for now. Will Kyle rise soon as a Black Lantern? Good questions, and this book continues to be an exciting companion for the Blackest Night storyline.

JSA vs. Kobra 6

by Eric Trautmann and Don Kramer

The creative team always makes sure to include a pin-up shot of the entire team. I might complain, but Kramer always make them look so cool. The one thing that I am constantly reminded of, though, is that Sand is always just there, but never seems to contribute much. It’s a waste of a good character to be in the background when he has been much more active in the past.

Trautmann has Mr. Terrific display his loyalty to the JSA team by giving his other organization affiliation, Checkmate, dribbles of information without the whole story, since he knows they have a spy there anyway. There are some odd choices though, as Power Girl is seen walking out of the conference room as Terrific turns to talk to Jessica Midnight, and then three panels later, Power Girl is still in the room, and getting testy with Midnight. Later, Liberty Belle is posing with a flag in her hand while Hourman is knocking terrorist heads. Some of these choices have me scratching my head, but the rest of the issue is good.

We kick into high gear with a ton of “fire-and-forget” terrorist strikes in the DC area, and a good excuse to showcase all the members, but split up into different teams to showcase how far the team can be spread out to handle big (or at least numerous) attacks. We have another spelling mistake, as they use ‘…to belief’ instead of ‘…to believe in their leaders…’ Guess what, the team working on Booster Gold is entirely different, so we have a couple groups at DC, a dozen or so people on each book, and none of them can put out a decent end product in the spelling area. When I started my blogging, I knew I might be messing up in a few places since I’m a one-man show, but to have so many teams of people at Marvel and DC messing up like this every month is just embarrassing. I spot maybe one spelling error in an entire newspaper, and these guys can’t handle 22-30 pages right?

Kobra succeeds in the end, with all of the smaller diversionary attacks being thwarted. Burr kills the Secretary General of the United Nations and others, and escapes. We now have a terrorist on the loose who can teleport anywhere, make unwitting people into suicide bombers, and all the people that got arrested and/or killed were people he wanted to get rid of anyway. Mr. Terrific does manage to cure his love, Sasha, and stop all the other attacks.

I can understand why some people might not like the ending. The good guys feel somewhat okay that they stopped so much, but the bad guy actually achieved every one of his goals. How masterful is Burr as a manipulator, when he succeeds at everything he wants to, but you still feel like you’ve achieved something yourself at the end of the day? It’s a little chilling, and a good case for this new Kobra to be justified as a major new threat to the DC Universe. Remember that Faces of Evil storyline DC did a while back? While Prometheus received a fairly lame treatment, Kobra has come out shining. DC needs worthy villains, and the team here has given us one. Kudos for one of the better mini-series this year.

R.E.B.E.L.S. 10

by Tony Bedard and Andy Clarke

The same ‘download’ treatment from Booster Gold is done here for the ring that takes over the recently-killed Stealth. It makes for a handy excuse to do a graphical flashback for a recap. Adam Strange and Captain Comet arrive to fill in Vril Dox on the Blackest Night problem, while agreeing that the immediate threat is Starro. Meanwhile, the High Vanguard has been sent to kidnap Lyrl Dox, and Lyrl goes with them willingly. Vril goes ape-(censored) when he finds out, claiming the entire galaxy is doomed now. So which is really the bigger threat, folks, Starro, or the Blackest Night? The question should be raised though: if Vril is so brilliant, why did he not take greater security precautions to protect his son? Smooth, move, 12-level genius.

Starro restores Lyrl’s intellect, and Lyrl immediately takes down the force field restricting Starro’s forces. Then Stealth arrives to make mattes worse, and they also stumble across some Sinestro Corps members under attack by the new Black Lantern, Harbinger! You ever have a feeling that your day has just been shot?

We end with a cool sight: a Yellow Lantern has been killed, and the ring approaches Vril Dox, who becomes a member of the Sinestro Corps! It’s a perfect cliffhanger, and I hope the Blackest Night tie-in convinces more people to check out this title. Andy Clarke’s style is great, and his art is improving all the time. His faces are great, and the backgrounds are plentiful. Also, reading a character like Vril Dox, who is heroic and ruthless at the same time, is just wicked fun.

Titans 19

by J. T. Krul and Angel Unzueta

It’s time for Speedy – wait, Arsenal – wait, Red Arrow to have his spotlight. The art is a little strange at first, with a poorly-proportioned house behind Roy and his daughter. The hairstyle choices and the face for Roy make it hard to distinguish him sometimes from Wally these days.

The storytelling is awkward, as the faculty at Lian’s school are negative about everything involving Roy no matter what, to the point of ridiculousness. Krul hits us over the head with a hammer, with no hint of subtlety for something that feels like a teenager’s Hallmark special TV movie. The big villain distraction is Lady Vic, a horrendously-dressed villain whose biggest assets are her breasts. She gets away, and Roy tracks her down without explanation, able to find her hideout with no problem. It would be nice to know how, in an entire city, he knew exactly which building she was in. there is a depressingly lame moment where he is in trouble, and allegedly thinks about Lian, and that gives him the strength to overcome. This special moment brought to you by Krul shows (badly) how Roy manages to be a single parent and a super-hero, and hardly mentions anything or anybody else relating to his Titans group. One of the worst spotlights in Titans history.

the Unwritten 7

by Mike Carey and Peter Gross

We pick up with Tommy in jail, but being visited by storybook characters. The story is side-tracked by how many times they use the F-word, and it feels a little lazy for such a literary character to fall back on this one word all the time. Tommy is many things, but lazy he is not. Savoy saves Tommy’s butt from a hired hit job, and reveals himself to be a reporter. I don’t know any reporter that can fight that well, but who am I to judge?

Hexam plants herself in the prison easily enough, and Tom goes from telling Savoy off for the lies, to explaining everything there is to know about the Song of Roland. That’ll show him! Still, for all its faults, the weird stuff keeps you interested, as an image of Roland appears outside the fence-like jail cell, about to put the horn to his lips. The conspiracy is about to launch a professional hit squad attack on Tom next. While this issue was not as good as any that have come before it, they still tried to add some pieces to the puzzle. It was better than Titans 19, at least.

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