Comic Fodder

Tpull's Weekly DC Comics Review – Part 1

Note: just about every DC comic has a six-page ad for the ridiculous “Lost Days” of the Red Hood. Judd Winick and Pablo Raimondi take the whole ‘holes-punched-in-reality’ and Lazarus Pit nonsense and stretch it out into six issues. Think taking one of the worst ideas in DC’s history and decompressing it so you can linger painfully on the open wound. Do yourself a big favor and skip it.

Adventure Comics 12

by Paul Levitz and Kevin Sharpe

With certain titles shining again, it feels like DC’s own golden age. We have The Brave and the Bold, and also Adventure Comics back. In an interesting choice, Levitz takes his first story and includes a character called Superboy, but it’s not the one who has been in the book lately. It’s a young Clark Kent, actually playing hooky from school to check out the Metropolis of the future. Sharpe makes sure to have fewer lines and make you believe the characters are really very young.

Levitz takes the opportunity to have Saturn Girl explain that she will put telepathic “blockers” on Clark when he returns to his own time, so no memories of his time in the future can interfere or cause problems back in the present. We also get to see Phantom Girl, Triplicate Girl, and Saturn Girl betraying a bit of a crush on having the living legend right next to them all. He also includes small Easter eggs for longtime readers, such as some innuendo in a scene between Chameleon Boy and RJ Brande that is more meaningful if you already know Brande is the Durlan’s father.

Justice Society of America 39

by Bill Willingham and Jesus Merino

Merino’s art steals the show with nice panel work and big splash pages. Mr. Terrific continues to narrate the grim future, which includes the Green Lantern Corps, along with Darkstars, Omega Men and others trying to stop the bad guys, but the evil, strategic geniuses simply turn off the sphere, let the good guys all come in, and then flip it back on with them inside.

This ode to The Great Escape continues, with older versions of all your favorite heroes trying to make a last, desperate bid to change the outcome of time. Vivid scenes show valiant last stands by tons of good guys, including a really nice scene with Superman. It’s all so Terrific can get a message through to his past self. He succeeds, but the message seems to arrive in the present right when Dr. Midnight pronounces Mr. Terrific dead! Well, that’s just great.

The story’s execution has held up, so this familiar retread of the X-Men’s Days of Future Past still is a worthy effort. The cliffhanger is a good one, and the tale is not going to go on forever and spawn countless contradictions and problems like the original X-Men tale, but hopefully be wrapped up and knocked out of existence next issue.

JSA All-Stars 7

by Matthew Sturges and Freddie Williams II

Yet another funeral, and yet another excuse to have a ton of DC heroes standing around with their collective heads bowed. This time it’s for Damage, who lost his life during the Blackest Night. We focus on Judomaster for the rest of the issue, and how she deals with her grief. Turns out that Sand had a vision of Damage’s death and let him know about it, but Damage went and did his job anyway. Judomaster takes his resources and uses it for the health care needs of victims from when he lost control over his powers.

The art is still Williams art, so I always want to think about dropping the title, and the second feature isn’t helping. We’re STILL running around with the same foursome, and Hourman and Liberty Belle act surprised when the two villains try to double-cross them. Like they haven’t done that two or three times already. Travis Moore’s art is slipping, and even the dialogue gets weird when a chunk of stone falls on two of them, creating a trap of sorts. Jen Van Meter is writing a big run-on sentence of a comic that has no punch to it. This title needs a big change if it wants to have a chance to stay in print.

Red Robin 13

by Fabian Nicieza and Marcus To

Tim is back in Gotham, with a Batman that has Grayson’s voice, something good that is entirely attributable to Nicieza’s writing. Dick sounds just like he should in the Batman costume, but Nicieza has Tim go solo quickly, to avoid using the big Bat as too much of a crutch. There are some good developments here, such as Tam Fox telling Vicki Vale that she was engaged to Tim as a way to deflect attention from the problems with him trying to maintain his secret identity.

Tim tries to launch a plan to control crime in Gotham better, and part of it involves maintaining a fragile peace among some of the gangs. The Lynx threatens that with some recent moves, so he calls her out in public and defeats her. Just then, she reveals that she is an undercover agent of the Honk Kong police! Planted there from youth, Tim considers it, but the revelation does not stop him from turning her over to the cops. He has his own plan, and taking Lynx out of play works better for him. How many years of her life might be down the drain because of this? Or will it help her street cred? It will be fun to see if this decision works for Tim, or if it comes back to bite him big time.

In one issue, I’m already happy there’s a Red Robin title. Nicieza gave us more development in one issue than Chris Yost did in all of the last year.

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