I just recently got back from an Orlando vacation and I have a stack of comics to read and review/rant about. On a side note, I finally got to visit Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park. If you’re a Marvel fan and you’ve never been down to IoA, you owe it to yourself to plan a trip. The Marvel Superheroes island is a lot of fun and the Spider-Man ride is one of the coolest attractions anywhere. Anyway, on to the comics:
Action Comics #869 – The cover to this issue is misleading. These events do not take place in the comic, nor does anything remotely resembling these events take place. Instead, we get a whole lot of awesomeness. Seriously, the Brainiac arc is one for the ages. Do not miss it!
Batman and the Outsiders #11 - No one knows where Batman is. I just saved you $2.99. Not much else happens in this fill-in issue. The team wonders if they should carry one without Batman which is ridiculous given that this is only issue 11 in a series that follows a very long run of the Outsiders without Batman. If the team made it for years without him, why on earth would they consider disbanding when Batman goes missing? This is just padding while Batman RIP plays out.
Birds of Prey #122 - I keep reading this book hoping for a return to glory. If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result, I must be crazy. This book is going to remain a mediocre, run-of-the-mill super hero cliche-fest as long as Bedard is writing it. And the art is equally dull (I did like the cover though).
Captain America #42 - Hey look! A Marvel book! The epic Death of Captain America story wraps up here. The payoffs we’ve been waiting for come fast and furious. And of course there are multiple epilogues setting the stage for the next chapter in Brubaker’s run. An issue like this could have easily disappointed. But Bru and Steve Epting deliver a satisfying conclusion.
Daredevil #111 – Another Marvel book? What the heck? I haven’t checked in on Daredevil in a while. This issue seemed as good a time as any as it kicks off the Lady Bullseye story. So, I came back and I’m glad I did. In the past, I’ve enjoyed Brubaker’s run on Daredevil but sometimes got frustrated with the pace. Not so on this issue. I’ll definitely stay on board to see where this story goes.
Deadpool #2 – For a DC guy, I’m turning into a regular Marvel zombie here… I hadn’t planned on picking up this issue. I thought the first issue was a mixed bag. And I’m pretty sick of Skrulls these days. But on a lark, I gave issue 2 a try and I’m glad I did. It was a very entertaining read. I laughed out loud a few times. (“The more pouches the better, right Rob?”
DCU: Decisions #1 – I was definitely skeptical about the concept of this mini-series. I’m still skeptical. But, the first issue wasn’t the train wreck I was expecting. Still, is anyone really interested in the political leanings of the JLA? If you are, you’ll probably enjoy a lot of this. If not, the entire mini-series is skippable. For now, I’ll call it surprisingly not horrible.
Flash #244 – Alan Burnett starts what could be the last Wally West story in his own title. The name of the story arc is certainly ominous. “This Was Your Life Wally West” has a certain ring of finality to it. I actually enjoyed the family dynamics in this book for the first time since they were introduced by Mark Waid. There’s an interesting story involving the fluctuation of Wally’s powers. Unfortunately, it’s all brought down a little by the villain, a generic bee-guy. Still, this book hasn’t been readable in a long while. So, I’ll take what I can get!
Reign in Hell #3 – The cover says it all. It’s the fight you’ve been waiting for, Etrigan vs. Blue Devil. What? You haven’t been waiting for Etrigan to throw down with Blue Devil? Okay, we’re not dealing with DC’s A-list here. But I have been enjoying Giffen’s interesting twist on Hell. He steers clear of the usual Dante’s Inferno imagery and presents a more traditional war story told in an unusual setting.
Robin #178 – Now this is how you do a Batman RIP tie-in! The issue offers an interesting look at what Robin’s world would be like if Batman really did go missing (unlike the predictable and repetitive Batman and the Outsiders). The plot threads Nicieza has been building finally start to come together. Good reading!
Superman #680 – Wow. James Robinson really loves Krypto! Still, I have to admit it was pretty cool. My dog would have been asking Atlas to rub her belly.
Teen Titans #63 – I was one of the many people who thought last issue’s violent and senseless death was a travesty of bad story telling. (For the curious, Marvin died but Wendy survived and is currently in a soap opera-style coma.) This issue had no where to go but up. Still, more than half of the issue was dedicated to rehabilitating Bombshell. Talk about a wasted effort! This issue is better than last issue. But it’s still bad.
Titans #5 – The first four issues of Titans were a train wreck. And sometimes, you just can’t look away from a train wreck. Well, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that this issue was actually a vast improvement over the previous four. (I credit fill-in artist Julian Lopez with the majority of the improvement. His artwork is still full of needless T&A. It’s still overly cartoony and not especially good. But it does not hurt the eyes the way the previous artist did). Yes, Judd Winick still tries to hard to sound cool. But there are actually a few good character moments here. And the plot actually goes somewhere. So, I damning with faint praise. Titans got better. But it still has a long way to go.