This is becoming all too common these days. And unfortunately, it shows no signs of letting up. Been busy. So has everyone else, I know. So, rather than post 1 or 2 full reviews, I’m going to play a little catch-up with some mini-reviews. I’m going to try to focus on books others haven’t covered. Or at least books that haven’t been reviewed three and four times.
Daredevil #112 – Last issue, I gave this book a try after a long absence. I enjoyed the set-up of the Lady Bullseye character. This issue, we get some interesting glimpses into her plan which seems to involve testing possible recruits to her cause. But the overall focus of the story seems to be showing what a monumental jerk Matt Murdock is. I mean, this guy cheated on his wife. Then he got angry with his mistress when she revealed their indiscretion to the police to clear him of murder charges. Is he in some kind of a dick-off with Tony Stark? It was still a good read, but I’m not inclined to keep reading about such an unsypathetic character.
DCU: Decisions #4 – Just the premise of this story should have been enough to tell me it was going to be bad. Then there’s the fact that it’s co-written by Judd Winick. I’ve defended Winick in the past, but I’m done with that now. More and more, he seems determined to live up to his reputation as a hack. This issue is made up of essentially two parts. The first part is a non-ending which leads into the next story arc of the horrible Titans book Winick writes. A four-issue mini should offer some kind of closure, but this one is all set-up for another book. A really bad book. The last several pages is nothing more than a public service announcement about the importance of voting. I had low expectations of this book, but Winick and company managed not to meet them.
Justice League of America #26 – I want to love this book because I love th Justice League. But McDuffie’s cast is too big. And his stories, while they may have seemed fresh in the animated series, rehash the most over-used comic book cliches. Occassionnaly, you’ll get some good character moments. But all too often, everything is on the surface. This issue is particularily bad. After months of build-up, Vixen’s story ends with a return to her status quo. But not before a trip to a parellel universe! The pat ending comes out of nowhere like the story just ran out of gas.
Making matters worse is Ed Benes’ ridiculous amount of T&A. Usually, I don’t mind Benes as a penciller. But when the story is as thin as this, you can’t help noticing that Vixen’s butt takes up half the panel and her porn star chest takes up the other half. This is to be expected from Benes. He has made a name for himself selling cheesecake. But it feels so out of place in DC’s flagship title.
Justice Society of America #20 – Now this is how you handle a big cast and parellel universes! There were so many character running around, it was sometimes hard to keep track of who was who. And there were a whole lot of Earth-2 character I just don’t care about very much. But Johns, Ross and Eaglesham do a masterful job of shining a spotlight on the emotional impact of the story. Primarily, we’re dealing with Power Girl here. We finally get some answers as to how there are two Power Girl’s running around and we feel the loss both characters are feeling. In the background, we also get important character moments for Alan Scott and Mr. Terrific. Even with the confusion of having multiple Justice Society’s battling it out, this is just a good, fun comic book. It puts Justice League to shame!
Reign In Hell #4 – There is a big story being told in this mini-series. And there are a lot of players. Most of them don’t even qualify as C-listers. So, it can be a bit hard to keep track of who is doing what. I like the stylized art by Tom Derenick and Bill Sienkiewicz, but sometimes it adds to the confusion. With so much going on, I almost wonder if this mini-series wouldn’t have been better served by a different structure. Maybe one more like the similar Annihilation story also written by Keith Giffen. I think I would enjoy each of these stories more if they had been compartimentalized in overlapping mini-series instead of one big story that can’t focus on any one thing for too long.
Secret Six #3 – This book continues to be the most fun read of the month. It’s twisted, sure. But it’s hysterical. And the artwork is amazing. If you haven’t checked it out yet, it’s time to start.
Superman #681 – First of all, let me say that I am loving the New Krypton story line so far. The premise is big and ripe with possibilities. And the New Krypton Special was just that, special. The scenes drawn by Gary Frank depicting Superman’s reaction to Pa Kent’s death were brilliant! As the second chapter in the story, this issue does a good job of moving the plot along as well as undercoring what a big deal it is that one hundred thousand Kryptonians have arrived on Earth. My one complaint is that the cliff-hanger ending literally just drops from the sky. (My minor quibble is the entire page that was devoted to Krypto asking to be let into the Kent farm – what is it with Robinson and Krypto?!?)
Teen Titans #64 – I really should drop this book. I’m still reading it out of habit, which is a bad thing. I understand what Sean McKeever’s been trying to do with this book. First, he broke down the cast to the point where the team currently has only four members. Now, he’s slowly rebuilding it by adding members one at a time. The problem is, neither the departures nor the additions feel organic. Most of the characters who left the book did so because the plot demanded it. And in this issue, the team takes in Bombshell for pretty much no reason whatsoever. Even Bombshell seems amazed by their stupidity. I should really drop this book…
Terror Titans #2 – Man, this is just pointless! McKeever introduces characters in a single panel only to kill or maim them in the same panel. Who the hell cares? And the over-the-top gore is not cool. It’s certainly out of place in a mainstream super-hero book. Especially part of the Titans franchise. But that franchise is in sorry shape these days. Sadly, this is just one indicator of how bad things have gotten.