Foilball’s Review Roundup #32 – THE GROANERS!

“Ah, I’m so lazy this week.” – Billy Zonos

Instead of doing the usual coverage of my twice-monthly DCBS shipment, I thought I’d split my remaining reviews into separate Roundups divided by overall quality: The Groaners, The Mediocres and The Gooders. This, obviously, is The Groaners. For those that have read the following books, yes, I feel your pain. For those that have not, yes, you dodged a bullet and your wallet thanks you.

Anna Mercury #2 (**): OH MY GOD. This one is awful. Forget every nice thing I said about the first issue. This series reads likes it’s based on an idea that’s 10 years old. You got me, Ellis. Oh, you bastard.

Dreamwar #3 (**1/2): Things are not looking up. Finally, we get some kind of explanation… well, no. We get Superman crying after Batman is killed, “Hal… Ollie’s dead. Why didn’t it matter to us? What are we doing?” Yeah, I’d love the answer to that one too. Please? Thanks. Oh, wait… Zealot killed Batman:

Justice League of America #22 (*): One. I hate the Amazo story from the opening arc. Two. I still hate it. Three. Why does every woman that Benes draws look like a total whore? Four. Black Canary serves it up fresh. Wait, that was awesome! Five. Red Tornado… don’t care!!!

The Programme #12 (-): To be honest, I skimmed it and then read the end. Of what I read, I have no idea what this book was supposed to be about and I don’t really care to ever know.

Runaways #30 (*1/2): It could have been worse. If you skip the first 15 or 16 pages, the wrap-up is kind of nice. My favorite/best part of this travesty? Finding out just how fucked up Nico has become.

Amazing Spider-Man #563 (**1/2): Note to Bob Gale – Stop telling cheesy jokes. This has been a message from your readership.

Superman #677 (*): Um, is this supposed to be in continuity? Superman talks like a fucking idiot! Misogyny? Check. Naiveté? Check. I mean, shit. The guy talks about his dog like a 7-year old would. How lame is this? I thought Robinson was this huge talent? And who the heck is this lame-ass Atlas character? GAH! I didn’t think it could get worse than the Busiek Superman run, but this one has shown me the error of my ways.

Superman/Batman #49 (**1/2): I’m surprised how bad this was as compared to the other 5 parts of this story. The end just didn’t work for me. I don’t buy Lana Lang trying to poison the earth with Kryptonite in order to force Supes to leave, never mind the fact that she has been behind this plot the whole time. This is just ludicrous to me. This story is definitely out of continuity. I don’t see Johns or Robinson paying much attention to this particular change in the Clark/Lana dynamic. Oh, but I did like that final page (with Batman inside that vault filled with all types of Kryptonite): Yep, Bats is a douchebag.

Trinity #3-4 (**): This book is boring. And ugly. Bagley doing DC characters just doesn’t look right. As much as I hate doing it, I’m dropping this book. Maybe if the plot picks up later, I’ll jump back in. For now, I’m just gonna ignore it. Sit it out like my pal, Superman.

The Ultimates #4 (*): I don’t know what bugs me more? The awful plot or the “ripped straight from cheesy movie” dialogue? “Come with me if you want to live.” Really? REALLY?!?!

Uncanny X-Men #499 (**1/2): I loved the first 4 parts… this was a jumbled mess. The A and B plot did not sync up well, every cutaway was painful, and the revelation that the mysterious hippie woman was Mastermind’s daughter was actually a non-event. Meanwhile, back in Russia… their faces: priceless.

Wolverine #66 (*): MOST OVER-RATED BOOK OF THE YEAR. Everyone is literally jacking off into each other’s mouths over this one… I just don’t see it. This book is atrocious. So atrocious, someone needs to give it a red power ring. DING. I mean, BIG DEAL, Millar is adapting “Unforgiven” and using Wolverine to play the role of William Muny. I don’t care! Why!?!? Why is this a good idea? (And I like westerns…)

X-Men: Legacy #213 (**): Are we ready for some super-retcons? So, let me break this one down: Mr. Sinister has a machine that in the event of his death will transfer his essence into the body of Professor X? 

And on that note… I’ll post The Mediocres tomorrow, maybe. Hey, it’s the Fourth of July, I may be busy. Like, drinking and stuff.

Review: Dreamwar #1 & Number of the Beast #1

With all the Annihilating Conquests, Final Crises, Secret Invasions and Counting Down, it appears that a couple of summer events have gotten lost in the shuffle. Namely, DC/Wildstorm Dreamwar and Number of the Beast. So, I thought I’d shine a little light on the Wildstorm universe and its summer spectaculars.

First, Dreamwar. Confession: I had literally no idea what this thing was about when I ordered it. I saw Keith Giffen’s name and I was in. He is the man responsible for Annihilation and the revitalization of Marvel’s cosmic heroes… why not go in blind? But after reading the first issue, I still have no idea what the hell is going on! We get very little in the way of explanation. All we do know for sure is that the DCU heroes from the Silver Age (I think) have invaded the Wildstorm Universe. All the major Wildstorm U characters and teams are present: The Authority, Stormwatch, Mr. Majestic, The Wildcats, Gen 13… even the old fogies from Tranquility make an appearance. But still, no idea what the heck a “Dreamwar” is. Usually this would send me packing, but it’s Giffen so I’ll stick it out. I trust the man. I can’t really recommend this yet, but I can definitely give it a “wait and see.”

The next chapter in the biggest Wildstorm event since forever takes place over in Number of the Beast. The story continues from the “TBZ-Approved” Wildstorm Revelations mini, and before that, the Gage penned Armageddon one-shots. Armageddon and Revelations, especially Revelations, were good enough to get me to order this 8-part bi-weekly epic, so this mother-effer better deliver. I don’t really have an opinion on Scott Beatty’s writing one way or the other, but I love Chris Sprouse. It’s so nice to see him penciling again. Just like with Dreamwar, I’m a bit confused by the first issue. I think I’ve figured out that the characters in this book are forgotten heroes from the Golden Age, but I’m not sure how this relates to the current Wildstorm U. Are these character trapped inside some kind of “bubble world”, like the Weapon Plus facility from Morrison’s X-Men run? I don’t know. Is this an apocalypse for Wildstorm? I JUST DON’T KNOW… I could read up on it, hit the forums, but I kind of want to be surprised this time. Like, we already know so much about Secret Invasion and Final Crisis, it kind of spoils them. It’s like when a movie trailer shows you all the cool or funny parts and then you see the movie and you realize you just wasted 10 bucks because everything cool or funny was in the trailer, and trailers are free. But even with the confusion I liked it all the same. And as far as this “forgotten Golden Age heroes” fad goes, this book is tons better than Project Superpowers and almost as cool as The Twelve. I just really like these characters. And The High is back? AWESOME. I’m definitely sticking it out and look forward to the next bi-weekly installment. And as soon as I figure it out, I’ll clue ya’ll in. Promise.

We got ourselves two summer events from Wildstorm which makes three total from DC. If you’re sick of all the hype surrounding Secret Invasion and Final Crisis, you may want to give one of these events a shot. Especially Number of the Beast… it appears to have the most potential for awesome. And pick up Wildstorm Revelations when it trades, it’s definitely worth a look.