Bruce Castle Presents: Millar vs. Johns!

Wolverine #70

Wolverine #70 (*****)

Okay, this story isn’t going to change the medium. This issue features a “twist” that I saw coming and you probably will too. But that doesn’t stop this from being one hell of a good time. This book rarely comes out (We get the next one in March I believe), but every time it does it’s on the top of my stack. This thing isn’t even in continuity! I should be waiting for the trade! But I don’t care. I experience so much joy whenever I see that “Old Man Logan” tag. Who knew the elderly could be so pleasing? As I said, the Shyamalan twist isn’t that great, but Millar executes it brilliantly. Better yet, he doesn’t dwell on it. The story progresses and we even get a cool last-page-reveal. Of course, as I’m sure even Millar knows, this book wouldn’t be anywhere near what it is without the art team. Steve McNiven, Dexter Vines, Morry Hollowell, I salute you. I’m sure you fine people are responsible for this book’s delays but take your time. I’d rather have Wolverine out twice a year than a rush job. If you aren’t reading this book now, you’re missing out on some wonderful euphoria. Oh well, you guys can still enjoy the trade that comes out next year. Oh, and I love the chosen puppet master behind this issue’s scheme.

Kick Ass #5

Kick-Ass #5 (****)

So, do we all agree that the name, Mark Millar, is synonymous with lateness now? Good God, it’s been like five months since the last issue, right? I had to reread the previous four to get up to speed. Oh well, I can’t really hate this book too much. Although I will say that the bit Millar wrote about the comic coming before the movie is bullshite. This issue’s delay is supposedly due to JRJR’s involvement with drawing the animated movie sequence, but I suspect that isn’t the only thing this new movie has influenced. So, last issue we were introduced to Big Daddy, the character Nicholas Cage is playing. Now we’re introduced to the Red Mist, the character McLovin is playing. It seems like the Red Mist gets a lot more screen time than he was supposed to. Anyway, let’s just say I’m really annoyed that the movie and the comic are being produced at the same time. As for the actual issue, there’s not much to say. If you have loved this book like me, then you’ll probably enjoy this. Millar provides some interesting and funny stuff and JRJR makes things pretty. Can we have the next issue a little quicker this time?

Green Lantern #36

Green Lantern #36 (****)

Must I talk about the lateness in every damn review?! Is this the price I pay for quality? I guess, but what happened here DC? Wasn’t Shane Davis supposed to draw this? Then Doug Mahnke was shown as the artist on the DC website. And now that we actually get it, Ivan Reis is the on the book. WTF!? Shouldn’t Reis be working on Blackest Night? Oh well, Reis, as always, brings the goods. Seriously, I don’t care what you think of Johns, the pictures alone should do it for you. And boy does Reis get to show off this issue. We get to see the Red Lantern world, the Blue Lantern world and the birth of a Pink Lantern. And Reis isn’t the only one who deserves praise. Nei Ruffino, the colorist, also shines as you can imagine. Green, red, blue, he’ll have you wondering if you’ve picked up a Hulk comic by mistake. Hell, even the letterer, Rob Leigh, gets to have fun. That’s right, even the word balloons are outlined in green, blue, and red. This book looks fantastic and Johns continues to build his wonderful cosmic epic.

Justice Society Of America #21 (Variant Cover Edition)

Justice Society of America #22 (***1/2)

And so Johns and Ross’ incredibly long epic concludes. Seriously, this has been about a year and a half in the making. Is it as good as it should be? No, but it’s an entertaining conclusion to a story with limitless potential. I think the main reason for my disappointment is the fact that I failed to realize who was writing my comic. This is Alex Ross and Geoff Johns, these guys live in the past. They, Ross especially, try to tell the same stories they loved as a child. This method is fantastic for kids, but will inevitably leave the rest of us wanting. This is our traditional battle finale. We’ve gotten all that sappy emotion out of the way which makes room for some big combat between the Gods and the men. The fighting ends after some humorous banter and demise of the JSA’s foe. Now we have to get rid of all that Kingdom Come nonsense. Again, KC Superman’s potential seems a bit wasted. Sure he punched a lightning bolt and all that jazz, but for so long he just seemed to blend into the background. Although I will say that Ross, who actually did draw some pages, did give the hero a fitting farewell. I think this review makes it seem like I disliked this issue, but I really did enjoy it. I liked the arc itself even more. Still, as I explained, I can’t help but feel a little sad.

2 thoughts on “Bruce Castle Presents: Millar vs. Johns!

  1. Uh, first off, thanks for commenting DC. It seems like it’s been a while, but maybe you’ve just agreed with me on most things so I should take that as a compliment. After all, we tend to comment more on opinions we disagree with. There are only so many times “great review” has an impact, yes?

    @GL: Was I too kind? Yeah I think I was. It should be a four-star. I guess I’ll change that. Sorry for my review actually, I mostly commented on the great art. What can I say? I was impressed with the pretty pictures.

    As for the War of Light hate, why? I’m just curious. When it comes to old mainstream characters, what can you do? What do you want your characters to do that doesn’t seem tired and boring? This is a new concept that has people talking. What are all these new lanterns, blah blah blah. Granted, the new concept could suck or just disagree with you. That’s fine. Did I just answer my own question? Try to give me more if you can. I don’t know, the color thing is a little lame, but it’s still interesting.

    @JSA: Probably the biggest difference between us here is me feeling the length. Just to let you know:

    As far as trades go Thy Kingdom Come began at issue #7 and ends at issue #22. That’s almost two years considering the lateness and those KC specials. And think about it, how many stories have been told? You got the Vandal Savage stuff for issues #1-4. Then two issues of Lightning Saga which I consider JLA (It was collected in a JLA trade). Then issues #7-11 or so was establishing the team. But for what? This arc that’s what. I seem to even remember Johns talking about that. Then for #12-16 was a bit of Magog which was fine, and then everything else was Gog. Now Johns only has three issues left and that’s all folks.

    So to me, it seemed like a slow burn. That’s cool. I consistently gave this book top marks. But it has to all build to a satisfying conclusion and for me, this worked ok, but it wasn’t anything grand. As I said man, I liked this story, but I didn’t love it. The biggest problem with Johns and especially Ross is this old-school shit. It’s fine in small doses. I loved Kingdom Come, although that was more time specific against Liefeld and all that. I thoroughly enjoyed Justice too. But it seems Ross is one of those guys who takes two steps back while the others step forward. It’s general “fan wank” if you will. They aren’t specifically jerking off Hal (To relate to your GL problems), but it’s the same basic principle. Again, this stuff doesn’t bother me often, but hey, this site does have Rant in the name, right? JSA was the center of anger baby, the last straw, but again, I did like it.

  2. Oh and the sadness I referred to was disappointment. But as for KC Supes:

    “…did give the hero a fitting farewell”

    See? I mentioned it. It was mostly a recap of Kingdom Come, but it was great seeing Norman again. Especially after that one-shot and since he’s based off of Ross’ father, you can definitely feel emotionality there. And the actual last two pages (I think?) were awesome. KC Supes aging? Yeah, that was sweet.

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