Retrospective: Teen Titans vol 3 (part 8)

September 26, 2011

Time for another Retrospective!  Issues 55-78.  For the few who have kept up with my Retrospective, I’ll be going at these issues a bit differently.  Mostly I’m going to try to go through each arc rather quickly.  This is mostly for the next few arcs I didn’t find that enjoyable.

Read the rest of this entry »


DC Solicitations for October 2009 + Commentary

July 22, 2009

For anyone who hasn’t read one of these before, here’s the deal: I rundown the lastest DC solicits and give my thoughts.  Hilarity ensues.

Blackest Night books:

bn04_solicit

I’m just going to cover all of the Blackest Night books in one entry this month.  Otherwise, I’ll run the risk of repeating myself.  Last week’s review of Blackest Night #1 proved quite polarizing.  Most of the fan community seemed to think the book was a masterpiece.  To say the least, I disagreed.

I have read a 6-page preview of this week’s issue of Green Lantern and I am happy to say I liked it better than anything in Blackest Night #1.  The pages I read featured a conversation among Barry Allen, Hal Jordan and Martian Manhunter as a Black Lantern.  What I liked about what I saw was that J’onn was not an “Evil Dead”-style demon like Ralph and Sue Dibny in BN1.

(For all I know, he vowed to swallow Hal’s soul on page 7, but 6-pages without an “I smell a mystery” was a big improvement in my book.)

One of my big problems with BN 1 and last month’s issue of Green Lantern was all of the recapping.  A few people have assured me that all of this recapping was necessary.  And while I’m not necessarily sure it was, hopefully we’re all past it and the story can get started.

I still have some reservationsabout the premise of this story.  And BN #1 kind of confirmed some of my worst fears about what Blackest Night would entail.  But the vast majority seem to be eating this up, so what do I know?

Well, I do know this.  Tales from the Corps #1 was a big, fat waste of money.  I never got around to writing up a proper review.  But save your $4.  DC had the sheer audacity to reprint the various corps pages from Blackest Night 0 – which was, you know, free!

Based on this, I have really low expectations of the tie-ins.  For my money, these tie-ins just look horrible.  And DC has a really lousy track record with tie-ins.  So, buyer beware.

GREEN LANTERN #47

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Written by Geoff Johns
Art and cover by Doug Mahnke & Christian Alamy

    BLACKEST NIGHT continues! The war between the Blue Lanterns and Agent Orange implodes as the universe darkens! But a strange turn will send this epic battle in an unexpected direction when Larfleeze has something he desperately hordes taken away from him!

The war between Larfleeze and the Blue Lanterns is STILL going to be going on in October?  I kind of expected that to be a one-pager since the Blue Lanterns are pretty much helpless without a nearby Green Lantern.  This had better be good stuff if it’s going to hold my interest until October.

GREEN LANTERN CORPS #41

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Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Art and cover by Patrick Gleason & Rebecca Buchman

    The intense and horrific battle between the Green Lantern Corps and the Black Lanterns on Oa takes a turn for the worse! The Corps realizes that the abominable, ultimate goal of the Black Lanterns is not only to feed off the Corps’ emotions, but to consume and decimate the main power battery and destroy Oa forever!

Someone remembered John Stewart.  I think I may pass out!

Final Crisis Aftermath Books:

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I haven’t been following these books (see earlier comment about DC’s track record with tie-ins) so I’m just going to lump them all together.

Seventh Soldier is still posting reviews for Ink and Dance.  Check them out if you are so inclined.

I wouldn’t mention these books at all except that they all end in October!  Any bets as to whether or not they end before Legion of Three Worlds?

BATMAN AND ROBIN #5

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Written by Grant Morrison
Art and variant cover by Philip Tan & Jonathan Glapion

    Are two Dynamic Duos too much for one city? Batman and Robin find themselves at cross-purposes with Red Hood and Scarlet. Who’s right? Who’s wrong? And who will end up being the chosen protectors of Gotham City?

Check out our round table on B&R #1.  And here’s Bruce Castle’s review of B&R #2.

I have pretty mixed feelings about Morrison’s run on Batman.  To be sure, there was some crazy, brilliant stuff in there.  But I often found individual issues to be frustrating.  I’ve gone back and read his issues several times since Batman RIP and they definitely read better this way.

But I love the freshness of Batman and Robin.  This book just feels like a great super hero comic.  It’s still got the crazy Morrison touches.  But it’s totally accessible.  And there are Easter eggs for those of us who read Morrison’s earlier Batman tales.

BATMAN ANNUAL #27

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Written by Fabian Nicieza
Art by J. Calafiore & Mark McKenna

    A murdered priest. A desecrated grave marker. A kidnapped child. A secret key. A mystery whose solution could upset the world order. For Batman and Robin to stop the rampage of a zealot named Amon, the Sixth Sinner, they first have to halt a deadlier foe intent on making sure Amon succeeds. To end the killer’s mad scheme, Batman faces Azrael, Death’s Dark Knight! “The Eighth Deadly Sin” continues in DETECTIVE COMICS ANNUAL #11 and sets the stage for this month’s premiere issue of the AZRAEL ongoing series!

DETECTIVE COMICS ANNUAL #11

 

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Written by Fabian Nicieza
Art by Tom Mandrake

    Picking up where BATMAN ANNUAL #27 left off! A lock without a key. A murder mystery whose solutions could lead to countless deaths. An answer in search of – the Question! Renee Montoya must help Batman save Robin from Amon, the Sixth Sinner, while keeping the fanatic killer from uncovering a 2,000-year-old religious secret. But is Azrael willing to risk Robin’s life in order to see this secret revealed? “The Eighth Deadly Sin” sets the stage for this month’s premiere issue of the AZRAEL ongoing series!

AZRAEL #1

 

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Written by Fabian Nicieza
Art by Ramon Bachs

    Following the events of “The Eighth Deadly Sin” in BATMAN ANNUAL #27 and DETECTIVE COMICS ANNUAL #11, the new monthly series starring Death’s Dark Knight begins! Michael Lane is a man in search of redemption, but does serving the Order of Purity as God’s Angel of Justice bring him closer to achieving his goal – or simply send him further down a road paved with good intentions? When a hired killer comes to Gotham City seeking revenge for crimes committed decades in the past, Azrael faces an impossible conflict: What if God’s justice forces the hero to claim one of God’s servants? From writer Fabian Nicieza (SUPERMAN, TRINITY) and artist Ramon Bachs (RED ROBIN)!

I lumped these three books together.  Unless you are really interested in Azreal, those two annuals are going to be massively skippable.  I read a lot of the original Azreal series.  I guess that makes me an Azreal fan.  I’ll pick up #1 and give it a look.  But I doubt I’ll pick up those annuals.  And shame on DC if they are required reading to enjoy Azreal #1.

ARKHAM REBORN #1

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Written by David Hine
!Haun and artist Jeremy Hine ASYLUM creative team of writer David ARKHAM illness, the building soon mutates into a torture house, and the inmates find themselves trapped in a living hell. And when Jeremiah starts hearing a voice from beyond the grave, it becomes painfully clear that the lunatics really have taken over the Asylum! Beginning a 3-issue miniseries from the BATTLE FOR THE COWL: al has rebuilt the Asylum following the design of his mad Uncle Amadeus. Intended as a model for enlightened treatment of mentArkham Asylum in BATTLE FOR THE COWL, Dr. Jeremiah Arkham    Following the Black Mask’s destruction of

HaunArt and variant cover by Jeremy

I didn’t read most of the Battle for the Cowl tie-ins (see earlier comments about DC’s track record with tie-ins) so maybe I missed the boat on Arkham Asylum.  But the solicit for this issue just sounds unpleasant.  This sure isn’t something I want to read!

BATMAN: THE UNSEEN #1-2

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Written by Doug Moench
Art and cover by Kelley Jones
    The fan-favorite Bat-team of Doug Moench and Kelley Jones reunite to introduce the newest member of Batman’s rogues gallery in this twice-monthly, 5-issue miniseries! Horrible and unexplained murders have Gotham City held captive. Bizarre deaths have been occurring throughout the city, but the perpetrator is unknown. Even when the crimes have been committed in view of witnesses, all that is seen is a glimpse of a weird, skinless “meat-man” who seems to fade away after the crimes. Gotham’s only hope is their Dark Knight Detective, but how can Batman find and fight an Invisible Man?

Lots of Bat-books this month!  I’m skipping over that Kevin Smith book because really, I don’t care.  This mini-series seems equally skippable.  But I am more intrigued by a Doug Moench and Kelley Jones reuninion than I am a Kevin Smith bat-book.  So, maybe I’ll give it a try.

BATMAN #691

 

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Written by Judd Winick
Art by Mark Bagley & Rob Hunter

    BATMAN double-ships this month as Two-Face and the new Batman throw down in the Batcave. And the fight is a vicious one, but just as Two-Face begins to get the upper hand…Batman shows up? The final chapter of Dick Grayson’s first adventure as Batman is a can’t-miss!

I didn’t expect to like Winick’s return to Batman.  Winick has been seriously disappointing me for the last year or so.  But his first two issues of Batman were surprisingly readable.  Even good!  So, I’m looking forward to more.

One of the best things about Winick’s Batman so far is that it more less makes Battle for the Cowl irrelevant.  Which brings me to:

BATMAN #692

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Written by Tony Daniel
Art by Tony Daniel & Sandu Florea

    BATMAN double-ships this month with Tony Daniel returning to the series as the new writer and artist after his best-selling BATTLE FOR THE COWL miniseries! With Batman pounding the pavement in search of Black Mask, Penguin on the run, and the completion of the new Arkham Asylum looming close, Gotham City has reached a boiling point! Guest-starring Catwoman and the Huntress and featuring the return of Gotham City’s most notorious crime family!

I never thought I’d say this, but thank god Winick’s coming back!  Who knows, maybe Daniel will surprise me.  I never thought I’d be enjoying Winick’s Batman, so I guess anything is possible.

But, what’s up with the revolving door on this book?  Batman is one of DC’s best selling titles.  We’ve had three artists and two writers since the revamp of the line.  There has to be a better way to handle one of your flagship books!

DETECTIVE COMICS #858

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Written by Greg Rucka
Art by JH Williams III; co-feature art by Cully Hamner

    The shocking and tragic origin story of Batwoman begins here! In “Go” part 1, young Kate Kane and her family are kidnapped by terrorists, and Kate’s life – and the lives of her family – will never be the same! Plus, the mystery behind the villainous Alice is at last revealed!
    Then, in The Question co-feature, Renee’s search for a missing girl comes to a bittersweet end, leaving Renee with more questions and an even bigger mystery for her to solve. As long as she can survive the night, that is…

I’ve only got one issueof Detective to go by so far, but it was a good one.  Since we really don’t know much about Batwoman at this point, this story sounds like a good one.  Hopefully, it will fill in the gaps the same way Rucka’s Action Comics Annual did for that book.  Although it’s a shame that story was stuck in an Annual instead of folded into the main book the way this one is.

BATGIRL #3

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Written by Bryan Q. Miller
Art by Lee Garbett & Trevor Scott
Cover by Phil Noto
    It’s a new look and a new costume for the all-new Batgirl! As crime in Gotham City continues to rise, the newest member of the Bat-family vows to wear the mantle of the Bat and fight alongside Batman and Robin in their war on crime. There’s just one problem: She hasn’t told Batman and Robin yet!

Love the Noto cover!  DC sure is being secretive about who will wear the Batgirl costume.  If the book is good, I won’t care who’s wearing the costume.  Having said that, if it’s Barabara Gordon that’s going to be somewhat anti-climactic, donchathink?

BATMAN: STREETS OF GOTHAM #5

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Written by Chris Yost; co-feature written by Marc Andreyko
to hunt him down!Manhunter co-feature, Jane Doe is in custody and claiming that Two-Face asked her to kill the former D.A. Since Kate Spencer can’t find the bipolar baddie, it’s up to Manhunter    Meanwhile, in the

    The 2-part “Leviathan” story begins from guest writer Chris Yost (RED ROBIN) as the Huntress finds herself in an unusual position – the responsible one! Because when Huntress hunts down a violent new criminal, she finds herself stuck with a violent, loose cannon of a partner on the case – the Man-Bat.
Haun; co-feature art by Jeremy FridolfsArt by Dustin Nguyen & Derek

Since the Batbooks relaunched, three titles have really stood out; Batman and Robin, Detective Comics and Streets of Gotham.  So, I’m a little disappointed to see a fill-in writer already.  I’m ready to see the Huntress get the spotlight, but a team-up with Man-Bat makes that prospect a lot less appealing.

RED ROBIN #5

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Written by Chris Yost
Art by Ramon Bachs

    “Council of Spiders,” Part 1 of 4! Ra’s al Ghul goes from hunter to hunted! What is the Council of Spiders, why have they been killing assassins, and who is the Wanderer? After the death of Red Robin last issue, the League of Assassins now must – wait, WHAT? Everything shifts into insane overdrive as the daughter of Wayne Enterprises CEO Lucius Fox completes her quest to find Red Robin, only to get caught up in one of the deadliest games on the face of the planet.

Red Robin #1 was a surprisingly good read.  Issue 2 hit a lot of the same story beats.  So, issue three had better be pretty good or I won’t be around for issue 5.  Robin + the League of Assassins is usually not a good mix.  The League has not been used to good effect in recent years.  So, my expectations are pretty low for this series.  But not as low as they are for…

GOTHAM CITY SIRENS #5

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Written by Paul Dini
Art and cover by Guillem March
    Harley Quinn takes center stage this issue as the girls deal with the after effects of Hush’s deadly manipulations over the last few months. Plus, don’t miss a surprise guest-star!

Issue onesure blew.  Read Seventh Soldier’s review for the gruesome details.  All I’ll say is that this book reminds me of Dini’s work on Countdown…

OUTSIDERS #23

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Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Art by Fernando Pasarin & Jay Leisten

    “The Hunting” continues as Halo, Katana and The Creeper attempt to capture Killer Croc and return him to Gotham City before more dead bodies surface in the Louisiana swamps. But when Man-Bat joins the fight, will he side with the monster or the monster-hunters?

I’ve been planning to give this book a try for a long time now, but every time I think about picking the book up it is in the middle of a massive story arc.  So far, no one has recommended this book to me.  Maybe I’m not missing anything.

WORLD’S FINEST #1

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Written by Sterling Gates
Art by Julian Lopez

    After tracking down a threat to The Man of Steel – and all of Metropolis – Red Robin must team up with the new Kryptonian Nightwing to end this mysterious threat and rescue Flamebird. But is all this just a red herring to distract the heroes from an even bigger threat to Gotham City and New Krypton? Be here to find out in this 4-issue miniseries from rising star writer Sterling Gates (SUPERGIRL) and artist Julian Lopez.

I’m looking forward to seeing the new Batman and Superman families interact.  I’m a fan of Sterling Gates’ work on Supergirl.  Looks good!

SUPERMAN: SECRET ORIGIN #2

 

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Written by Geoff Johns
!Luthor Lex and see how meeting the Legion of Super-Heroes shapes the Superman he will one day become! Plus, more on the beginnings of the young Superboy century as th journey into the late 30alof all time continues! In this second issue, readers will witness young Clark Kent’s initi

    Geoff Johns and Gary Frank’s exploration of the origin of the greatest Super Hero
SibalArt by Gary Frank & Jon

I’ve been accused of hating on Geoff Johns a lot lately based on the fact I haven’t been drinking the Blackest Night Kool Aid.  But I have been a huge fan of his work on Superman.  This series is bound to be chock-a-block with Geoff Johns retcons.  But they will be drawn be Gary Frank.  And odds are there won’t be any superheroes revived as Evil Dead-style zombies. 

Geoff Johns, if you’re out there, more like this please.

ACTION COMICS #882

 

action_cv882
Written by Greg Rucka & Sterling Gates; co-feature written by James Robinson & Greg Rucka
Art by Julian Lopez; co-feature art by CAFU

    “The Hunt for Reactron” part 3! Supergirl and Flamebird continue their slugfest, with poor Nightwing caught in the middle! Wait, isn’t that man standing over there the same Reactron who murdered Supergirl’s dad and Flamebird’s surrogate father? Get him! Continued in SUPERGIRL #46…
    And in the new Captain Atom co-feature, the mystery of where (and when) Captain Atom is heats up when someone with a connection to Metropolis arrives on the scene. But are they friend or foe?

I didn’t get around to writing up a review of the last issue of Action Comics which featured the debut of the Captain Atom back-up feature.  So, let me just say right here: WTF?  I had read that Rucka and Robinson knew the first installment would leave people scratching their heads.  But that was so not cool.  You’ve got 10 pages.  At least give us something!

Of the Superman books, Action has been the weakest.  Which is not to say it’s bad.  It’s better than a lot of the Bat-books.  But it’s not living up to the high standards of Robinson’s Superman, World of New Krypton or Supergirl.  I’ve even considered dropping the book.  But since I’m reading Supergirl, I’ll stick around through the Reactron storyline.

Hopefully the Captain Atom co-feature will make sense by then.

ADVENTURE COMICS #3

 

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Written by Geoff Johns; co-feature written by Geoff Johns & Michael Shoemaker
Art by Francis Manapul, co-feature art by Clayton Henry

    Superboy is back and hunting for Lex Luthor! He can’t find Luthor on his own, and he needs help from his best friend Tim Drake, a.k.a. Robin. But Tim’s now traveling the globe under the alias of Red Robin! The boys’ reunion isn’t all smiles and hugs, as Conner discovers that Tim has been hiding a great many secrets from the newly returned Boy of Steel. And they’re secrets that could destroy their friendship!
    Plus, in the Legion of Super-Heroes co-feature, the intergalactic odd couple known as Sun Boy and Polar Boy team up to figure out what’s up with the menace trying to destroy the universe.

To date, I still have no idea how Conner came back (although rumor has it Legion of 3 Worlds comes out today.  Maybe that will finally explain it.  Honestly, I don’t care.  I’m just glad to have him back.  And I’m glad to finally see these Titan reunions.  I hope this book lives up to my expectations.

SUPERMAN #693

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Written by James Robinson
Art by Fernando Dagnino & Raúl Fernandez
    It’s a special issue set entirely within General Lane’s Project 7734 headquarters! Learn more about the mysterious Mirabai, Codename: Assassin and Atlas, and witness Lane ply information out of his latest…acquisition. All this plus revelations about Lex Luthor and Brainiac!

I think we can all agree that Cry for Justice was a joke, right?  (If you liked it, please write me a 1,000 word essay on why you like crappy comics.)  But Robinson’s Superman has been a really under-rated gem.  And this looks like a pivotal issue.  Can’t wait!

SUPERMAN: WORLD OF NEW KRYPTON #8

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Written by James Robinson & Greg Rucka
Art by Pete Woods

    On a mission in space, Superman and his fellow Kryptonians encounter the might of the Thanagarian Army. Can Superman keep things peaceful between the two races – or will The Man of Steel discover that Hawkman’s legendary temper is shared by all his people?

I’m on the record as loving this book.  Kryptonians vs. Thanagarians?  Yes please.  But please don’t pull another Green Lantern issue.  I think it was issue 3 where the cover depicted Kal vs. Hal.  But the actual issue had them shaking hands and slapping each other on the back.  Not a punch was thrown.  I may be mistaken, but I think they had tea and scones. 

Anyway, since there’s no fight on the cover maybe we can expect one within the pages of the book!

SUPERGIRL #46

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Written by Sterling Gates & Greg Rucka
Art by Jamal Igle & Jon Sibal

    Continuing from ACTION COMICS #882, “The Hunt for Reactron” concludes! It’s the final showdown between Flamebird, Supergirl and the man who killed their father. And for the Daughters of Zor-El, that means it’s payback time. Will Reactron make it out alive? Or is Nightwing the only one who can save
them all?

Hold on!  Did we know previously that Flamebird was Supergirl’s sister?!?  I think not.  Ooops.

THE BRAVE & THE BOLD #28

 

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Written by J. Michael Straczynski
Art and cover by Jesus Saiz
    J. Michael Straczynski (Amazing Spider-Man) and Jesus Saiz (OMAC PROJECT) continue their series of unlikely pairings with a match that spans the decades! When an experiment meant to alter the speed of light goes awry, Barry Allen finds himself face-to-face with some surprising allies – World War II’s legendary Blackhawks! But Barry isn’t the Flash they know, and he’s not even the kind of hero they need to help fight history’s most grueling war! What must Barry sacrifice to serve his country – and his world?

Another odd pairing from JMS.  Barry + Blackhawks really isn’t doing it for me.  JMS is going to have to really deliver the goods to win me over with these kinds of team-ups.

BOOSTER GOLD #25

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Written by Dan Jurgens; co-feature written by Matthew Sturges
Art and cover by Dan Jurgens & Norm Rapmund; co-feature art by Mike Norton
    “Day of Dead” concludes as Booster Gold battles Black Beetle in the past and jumps through time to team up with the new Batman and Robin in the future. But how are these events connected – and what is the Black Beetle really after?
    Then, in Blue Beetle, Jaime Reyes must stop the Blue Beetle scarab from trying to kill him…and everyone else on the
planet Earth!

If you left Booster Gold when Geoff Johns left (as I did) it’s time to come back.  The book is just as much fun now as it was then.  In fact, the addition of the Blue Beetle back-up feature has made it a party.  You like parties, don’t you?

DCU HALLOWEEN SPECIAL 2009 #1

 

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Written by Joe Harris, Billy Tucci, Jake Black, Franco, Adam Schlagman, Mandy McMurray and others
Art by Rags Morales, Joe Prado and others

    Darkness falls across the land as the DC Universe faces its greatest horror in this Halloween special filled with all-new stories! Watch as Guy Gardner continues his quest to share Halloween with the cosmos and his fellow alien Green Lantern Corps members. In another tale, Red Robin finds the true, deadly meaning of the sinister holiday while overseas on his quest to find Bruce Wayne. Meanwhile, Bizarro receives neither trick nor treat in his own backwards celebration of the spookiest night of the year on his home world. Plus, 10 other ghoulish tales to fill you with fright this Halloween!

By now, I think everyone knows these holiday specials are pointless.  Seriously, who’s buying them?  Save your $6!

DOOM PATROL #3

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Written by Keith Giffen; co-feature written by Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis
Art by Matthew Clark & Livesay;co-feature art by Kevin Maguire

    Remember Mento? Yeah, that guy – goofy helmet, lightning bolt on his chest. After reading this issue, it’s a sure bet you won’t forget him again any time soon. Oh yeah, and the resolution of that whole “black hole” thing from last issue adds a kinda-sorta new member to the Doom Patrol roster. As for everyone’s favorite Metal Men, it’s the dynamic debut of Douglas, Robot Hunter! We’re too good to you.

I’ve never been a fan of Doom Patrol or the Metal Men.  But the creative team on this book pretty much guarantees I give it three issues to win me over.

GREEN ARROW & BLACK CANARY #25

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Written by Andrew Kreisberg
Art by Renato Guedes, Mike Norton, José Wilson Magalhães & Bill Sienkiewicz

    The main story this month focuses on the sudden and strange return of Green Arrow! Of course, we’re talking about the Green Arrow that Black Canary stabbed on her wedding night!
    And in this issue’s co-feature, Black Canary is stunned to find that Cupid can’t tell the difference between the two Green Arrows – which could lead to one of the deadliest Super-Villain teams of all time!

I have to admit my heart sank a little when I saw Kreisberg was still writing this book.  Every month, I check the solicit to see if he’s been replaced yet.  No such luck.  This solicit suggests that Green Arrow/Black Canary is going to continue to suck well into the fall.

Sigh.

JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA #32

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Written by Matthew Sturges & Bill Willingham
Art and cover by Jesus Merino
    The seismic rift among the members of the Justice Society deepens due to the strange actions of several new team members as well as some long-seeded conflicts! It all leaves them dangerously weakened as their home base faces assault from an army of bounty hunters who plan on collecting the price on the head of each and every member of the Society!

I remain cautiously optimistic about the new creative team on JSA.  They have some big shoes to fill!

JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #38

 

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Written by James Robinson
Art and cover by Mark Bagley

    A new era begins for the World’s Greatest Heroes as superstars James Robinson (STARMAN, SUPERMAN) and Mark Bagley (TRINITY, Ultimate Spider-Man) take over! It all begins as a one-time member of the JLA falls before he can warn the team of looming peril while what’s left of the JLA journeys to the heart of their past to decide if the team has any future at all.
    Of course, that means this is the best time for a savage villain from the team’s past to attack the demoralized heroes! The team will have to muster enough will to win not only today, but in the harrowing months to come. It’s the start of a spanking new odyssey for the JLA that will lead in the coming months to a fresh line-up for DC’s flagship team. Get onboard now for the next epic chapter of the Justice League’s legacy!

I’ve been waiting for DC to make JLA relevant again.  And ordinarily, Robinson and Bagley would be cause to celebrate.  But Cry for Justice #1 was really, really bad.  You know it was.  Stop fooling yourself just because Mauro Cascioli painted Wonder Woman in a thong that would make a porn star blush.

Hopefully, the Robinson of Superman will show up instead whoever it was that wrote Cry for Justice #1.

JUSTICE LEAGUE: CRY FOR JUSTICE #4

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Written by James Robinson
Art and cover by Mauro Cascioli
    How far would you go for justice? The heroes have found themselves turning to darker tactics in their search for retribution. Starman and Congorilla have captured the killers who took down some of their friends, but now what do they do with them? Meanwhile, Green Lantern and company wrestle with the idea of torturing villains for information in order to save lives.

It burns!  It burns!

MAGOG #2

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Written by Keith Giffen
Art by Howard Porter & John Dell

    Magog’s got a problem: How does he use the Justice Society and their vast resources and abilities without their knowing he’s going against their standard operating procedure? And that doesn’t even compare to his more immediate problem: coming face-to-face with the putrid villain known as Miasma beneath New York City! Continuing the all-new series from writer Keith Giffen (JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL) and reuniting the best-selling JLA art team of penciller Howard Porter and inker John Dell!

This is officially 1 issue longer than I thought a Magog on-going series would last!  (I tease!)

Gotta say, the Porter/Dell art doesn’t exactly excite me.  The Morrison era JLA was one of my favorites.  But that was in spite of the art, not because of it.

POWER GIRL #6

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Written by Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray
Art and cover by Amanda Conner

    “Space Girls Gone Wild!” part 3 of 3! The trio of sexy alien marauders continues their rampage across Earth, and Power Girl makes her last stand against these seemingly unstoppable foes. But even Power Girl has her limits…

I’m here for the Amanda Conner art.  I’ll probably stick around as long as she does and not an issue longer.  The book is just enough fun to justify my $3 purchase. 

RED TORNADO #2

 

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Written by Kevin VanHook
Art by Jose Luisí & J.P. Mayer
    He thought he was alone, but Red Tornado’s on track to meet the family he never knew he had! And in issue #2 of the 6-issue miniseries, Red Tornado discovers the next member: Red Torpedo! Hold on to your hats as this exciting new series from writer Kevin VanHook and artist Jose Luisí whips up a zephyr of excitement!

DC, why do you keep trying to make Red Tornado happen?  He’s so not fetch!

THE SHIELD #2

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Written by Eric Trautmann; co-feature written by Brandon Jerwa
Art by Marco Rudy & Mick Gray; co-feature art by Greg Scott

    The Shield’s mission deepens as he struggles to free himself from the mind-washed hordes. Unfortunately, someone else is on the same mission despite no official sanction. Can The Shield control the situation – or will he be forced to scrub out, thanks to Magog?
    Plus, Inferno takes on Black Canary on her own turf! Will she catch him before he’s even started to run?

THE WEB #2

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Written by Angela Robinson; co-feature written by John Rozum
Art Roger Robinson & Hilary Barta; co-feature art by Tom Derenick & Bill Sienkiewicz
Cover by Stanley “Artgerm” Lau
    The Web finds himself in over his head as he plunges deeper into the criminal underworld looking for the elusive villain Dr. Archer. With his calls of duty piling up, The Web gets caught in a terrible death trap and in his civilian I.D., he’s found himself rolling with made men. Has the new hero overplayed his hand already?
    Plus, the Hangman begins tightening the noose on San Francisco’s organized crime, but he finds resistance in the form of the Ugly Man!

Not much to say on these Red Circle books at this point.  I hope they are good.

I had really expected DC to do more with the Milestone characters than they did.  I hope the way they screwed over Dwayne McDuffie didn’t screw that deal up to.

SECRET SIX #14

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Written by Gail Simone
Art by Nicola Scott and Doug Hazlewood

    The shattering conclusion to “The Depths” is here! The Six find themselves pitted against Artemis, Wonder Woman and the hideous secret being from deep within the new Devil’s Island!

This book is pure awesome.  And “The Depths” promises to be one of the best arcs yet.

I know you’re not reading this book.  It doesn’t have Superman or Batman in it.  It’s not written by Geoff Johns and there are rarely any zombies.  That’s no excuse!

Secret Six is the essence of awesomeness!  Buy two copies of each issue and read them both!

TITANS #18

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Written by Bryan Q. Miller
Art by Angel Unzueta and Wayne Faucher

    With the Titans team slowly dissolving as members drift their own way, only the empath Raven recognizes the mounting disconnection. With her only friends drifting apart, Raven makes a surprising life choice that will affect the course of her strained relationship with Beast Boy.

Titans has slowly grown from a train wreck into a mediocre book spotlighting 1 Titan per issue.  The last two issues have both been readable.  But you had to really like the character who was receiving the spotlight.  This issue looks about the same.  Still, it beats the train wreck Titans used to be.

TEEN TITANS #76

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Written by Felicia D. Henderson; co-feature written by Sean McKeever
Art by Joe Bennett & Jack Jadson; co-feature art by Yildiray Cinar & Júlio Ferreira

    Guest-starring Beast Boy and Raven! With the Teen Titans unraveling at the seams, two former members must return to Titans Tower to help Wonder Girl right the sinking ship! If only it were that easy…
    And in the Ravager second feature, Rose uncovers a horrific
black market. And she deals with it the only way she knows how: with blood.

Teen Titans has also gotten better since the exit of Sean McKeever.  Now if only we could get him off the co-feature!  I look forward to seeing what Felicia Henderson brings to the table.  I hear she’s a Gossip Girl writer.  That sounds like a pretty good fit for the Titans…

WONDER WOMAN #37

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Written by Gail Simone
Art by Bernard Chang

    It’s a civil war – and the world hangs in the balance! Zeus has made Achilles ruler of the Amazons, and Diana finds herself in battle against the people she loves most! And what is the secret behind the sudden rash of pregnancies on Paradise Island?

It looks like Rise of the Olympian was only the beginning!  I can’t wait to see what Gail has in store for us next.


DC Solicitations for September + Commentary

June 16, 2009

Same drill as always.  Just like the title says, this is the DC Solicits for the month of September + my commentary (for what it’s worth).

BLACKEST NIGHT #3
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Written by Geoff Johns
Art and cover by Ivan Reis & Oclair Albert

As the dead attack in full force, Green Lantern is faced with an impossible decision and the scattered remains of the Justice League suffer a terrible loss. Who can stop the Black Lanterns? Why are they rising? And how can the Spectre help?

Not a whole lot of info there.  I think DC may be trying to thwart my snarky commentary.  Frankly, what is here doesn’t sound all that appealing.  The JLA is already scattered.  How much more scattered can they be?  Another terrible loss?  Meh.  Another death in a mini-series in which the dead have come back to life seems pretty meaningless to me.

BLACKEST NIGHT: SUPERMAN #2

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Written by James Robinson
Art and cover by Eddy Barrows & Ruy José

    It’s a crisis in Smallville as Psycho Pirate attacks! Plus, Superman’s dead bride returns as a Black Lantern! And she joins in on the haunting of Smallville in the second part of this terrifying 3-issue epic from writer James Robinson (SUPERMAN, STARMAN) and artist Eddy Barrows (TEEN TITANS, ACTION COMICS)!

Superman’s dead bride?  I assume we are talking about Earth-2 Superman and Earth-2 Lois.  Surely DC wouldn’t put such a huge spoiler in the solicits, right?  Hopefully, this will be better than it sounds.

BLACKEST NIGHT: BATMAN #2

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Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Art by Adrian Syaf & John Dell

    The Dark Knight continues his journey into BLACKEST NIGHT! Will the new Batman join his predecessor in the grave? Will Red Robin’s reunion with his father be bitter and bloody? Can anyone escape the horror of the Black Lanterns? Find out in this new installment of the 3-issue miniseries from writer Peter J. Tomasi (GREEN LANTERN CORPS, THE MIGHTY) and up-and-comer Adrian Syaf!

I like Tomasi.  So much like the Superman mini-series, I am going to assume this is better than it sounds.  But I think this solicit kind of hits on part of the reason Blackest Night just doesn’t appeal to me.  Of course Tim’s encounter with his father will be bitter and bloody.  DC seems to think that all comics should be bitter and bloody these days.  Thank goodness for fun comics like Power Girl and Booster Gold!

BLACKEST NIGHT: TITANS #2
bln_titanscv2Written by J.T. Krul
Art and cover by Ed Benes & Rob Hunter

    Titan-on-Titan violence! Black Lantern Hawk has his talons set for the female Hawk and Dove! Meanwhile, Red Star faces a frightful family reunion with Black Lanterns Pantha and Wildebeest, and Donna Troy faces her worst possible nightmare! Plus, Black Lantern Terra terrorizes Beast Boy! Continuing the 3-issue miniseries from writer J.T. Krul (JSA CLASSIFIED, Fathom) and superstar artist Ed Benes (JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA)!

Holy crap!  That cover is disturbing.  It beats the zombie butt-shot from issue 1.

Buncha dead Titans fighting living Titans.  Zzzzzz.

GREEN LANTERN #46

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Written by Geoff Johns
Art and cover by Doug Mahnke & Christian Alamy
Oh, man!  I have to wait until September for the Mongul vs. Sinestro throwdown?  I was thinking that was coming right up.  No wonder the last issue of GLC seemed a little padded out!

    BLACKEST NIGHT continues! For months, Mongul has wrested control of the Sinestro Corps. Now Sinestro wants a word with him. And Hal wants a word with Sinestro. But in the midst of BLACKEST NIGHT, they’ll all become the hunted as the fallen Sinestro Corps members rise. What will happen? Here’s a hint: Sinestro gets some serious payback.

 

What else?  Well, looks like Hal has two arms.  Big flipping surprise!

GREEN LANTERN CORPS #40

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Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Art and cover by Patrick Gleason & Rebecca Buchman

    The battle continues on Oa as the honored dead of the Green Lantern Corps and the recently deceased Sciencell convicts who lost their lives in the riots have all become Black Lanterns and will not rest until the bloody hearts and minds of the Green Lanterns are literally in their hands. Kyle Rayner, Guy Gardener and John Stewart resort to their most brutal fighting yet as the Blackest Night threatens to envelop Sector Zero and send the universe reeling into chaos!

Buncha more zombie stuff.  All these Blackest Nights solicits read the same.  I sure hope the books are more interesting than the solicits.

WEDNESDAY COMICS #9-12

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Yay!  Wednesday Comics!  Best idea in years.

FINAL CRISIS AFTERMATH: <Fill in the Blank> #5

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I haven’t been reading any of these aftermath minis and I’ve made my feelings about them known for the last few months.  Seventh Soldier has been reading them and posting reviews so far.  Since I’ve run out of things to say, I’ll just lump them all under one entry and post links to 7th’s reviews:

Run!

Escape

Dance

Ink

(Ink gets the picture since 7th liked it best.)

BATMAN: WIDENING GYRE #2

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Written by Kevin Smith
Art by Walter Flanagan & Art Thibert

    Kevin Smith’s newest Batman adventure has only just begun and already the surprises are pouring in! This issue has more guest-stars, more twists, more turns and more Batman than you can handle. Don’t miss the sensational second issue from Smith — the fan-favorite creator behind GREEN ARROW and Daredevil — and artist Walter Flanagan (BATMAN: CACOPHONY)!

Personally, I think Smith is way overrated.  But if you’re into him, more power to you.  I don’t know of anyone who’s into Walter Flanagan.  I found his art distracting in Cacophony…

BATMAN AND ROBIN #4

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Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Philip Tan & Jonathan Glapion

All of us at read/RANT really liked Morrison and Quitely’s first issue.  I’ve got high hopes for this new dynamic duo.  Obviously Tan is no Quitely.  But it’s a trade-off I’m willing to make for a monthly comic as opposed to whatever schedule Quitely would keep.  Plus, Morrison is notoriously good at tailoring his scripts to the artist he’s working with.  So, I expect Tan to really shine here.

    Meet the Red Hood and his sidekick Scarlet, Gotham City’s vicious new “protectors,” in the start of a new arc! This dangerous duo is out to destroy the very reputation and legacy of the Batman by replacing it altogether. Writer Grant Morrison (FINAL CRISIS) teams with hot new artist Philip Tan (GREEN LANTERN) to bring you what’s sure to be the new Batman and Robin’s biggest challenge yet!

DETECTIVE COMICS #857

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Written by Greg Rucka
Art by JH Williams III; co-feature art by Cully Hamner

    “Elegy” part 4 of 4! Batwoman faces off against Alice in an attempt to stop the villainess from unleashing a toxic death cloud over all of Gotham! But Alice has more up her sleeve than just poison, and Batwoman’s life will never ever be the same again.

This is bound to be a popular book here at read/RANT.  Usually, Seventh Soldier is all over the Rucka stuff.  But he’s going to have stuff competition from Bruce Castle who just can’t stop geeking out about this one.  I swear, you’d think he never saw a lesbian in a rubber suit before!

BATGIRL #2

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Written by Bryan Q. Miller
Art by Lee Garbett & Trevor Scott
Cover by Phil Noto
    As the new Batgirl continues her nightly mission, the mystery of her secret identity intensifies. Now she has become the target of both Gotham City’s heroes (who don’t take kindly to a new person wearing the cape and the cowl) and its villains (who want to see the entire Bat-family six feet under)!

Please don’t let this be Barbara Gordon!  Please don’t let this be Barbara Gordon!

(The solicit says a new person wears the cape and cowl – so maybe there’s hope!)

Seriously, with Hal Jordan, Ollie Queen, Kara Zor-el and Barry Allen all back, I don’t think I can handle another Silve Age revival.  Please don’t let this be anyone but Barbara Gordon!

Also, if I don’t find out who the new Batgirl is in Batgirl #1, you can bet I will be ranting. 

BATMAN #690

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Written by Judd Winick
Art by Mark Bagley & Rob Hunter

    Penguin ups the ante in his bid to become Gotham’s top crook and enlists a few of Arkham’s finest to keep Batman busy. Meanwhile a mysterious presence enters the scene to aid the Penguin – or is there another motive at play? And Two-Face takes a massive leap forward in uncovering one of Batman’s greatest secrets.

I know it’s a backhanded compliment to praise Winick’s first issuefor being surprisingly good.  Coming from most any other writer, I would have considered it pretty average.  But these days I am surprised any time I don’t hate a book by Winick.  And I didn’t hate the first issue.  Good job, Judd!

BATMAN: STREETS OF GOTHAM #4

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Written by Paul Dini; co-feature written by Marc Andreyko
Art by Dustin Nguyen & Derek Fridolfs; co-feature art by Jeremy Haun

    With Batman’s recent “Bruce Wayne” problems barely contained, Gotham City’s new Dark Knight must now deal with the most lethal arm of Black Mask’s growing empire – Victor Zsasz!
    And in the Manhunter co-feature, now that Kate has Jane Doe under arrest, what does Jane have to say about why she killed the former DA? Will she flip on her actual leader, the Black Mask – or will she continue to point the finger at Two-Face?

It’s funny.  For the last few months, I’ve been reading the solicits for the new Batbooks with little to no enthusiasm.  As good as RIP was, it kind of ruined the Batbooks for a while.  The main books were good.  But everyone else just passed the time until their books got relaunched.

Now that I have been pleasantly surprised by all of the Batbooks so far this month, all of these solicits sound a lot better.

GOTHAM CITY SIRENS #4

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Written by Paul Dini
Art and cover by Guillem March
    Bruce Wayne has always been considered the quintessential ladies’ man. But he’s never faced ladies quite like this before! Has Gotham City’s playboy prince finally met his match?

Paul Dini is just writing soft core Batporn now, is that it?  We have text that doesn’t make any sense (seeing as how Bruce is currently dead) and a cover that seems to portray Harly on Catwoman action (with a whip, of course).  And, oh yeah, there’s Poison Ivy’s ass!  This isn’t even Ed Benes slipping in an ass.  No, this is just Poison Ivy mooning the reader for no apparent reason (other than readers seem to like shapely asses – even green ones.)

Will I be buying this book?  You bet your (shapely green) ass I will.  But I think I may have to hide it from my wife…

OUTSIDERS #22

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Written by Peter J. Tomasi
Art by Fernando Pasarin

    “The Hunting” continues as Metamorpho, Black Lightning and Geoforce scour the globe to track down Clayface. But when tensions rise, Lighting and Geoforce will find themselves at odds over the control of the team. Plus, the Creeper and Man-Bat head down to the bayou to catch themselves a Killer Croc!

These days, the JLA is scarping the bottom of the barrel.  Teams like the Outsiders are basically stuck with C-listers.  So it makes sense that they would pack the book with as many C-list Batman villains as possible.  Next month, the team will battle Poison Ivy’s ass.

RED ROBIN #4
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Written by Christopher Yost
Art by Ramon Bachs

    “The Grail” part 4 of 4! In this explosive conclusion to the debut arc, Red Robin’s search leads him to the deserts of the Middle East with the League of Assassins by his side. How many lines will he cross to prove that Bruce Wayne is alive? One journey ends, but a far deadlier one begins as Red Robin learns the truth – although he may not survive to tell anyone, because back in Gotham City, Red Robin faces off with the one man who could stop his quest: Batman!

I can admit when I am wrong.  For months now, I’ve been expecting the worst of Red Robin.  And while I still think it makes no sense whatsoever for Tim Drake to start calling himself Red Robin, the first issue was actually pretty damn good.  So, keep it up!

SUPERMAN: SECRET ORIGIN #1

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Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Gary Frank & Jon Sibal

    Hot on the heels of their acclaimed run on ACTION COMICS, superstars Geoff Johns and Gary Frank reunite to present a 6-issue event that spells out the definitive origin of Superman for the 21st century – and it all starts with a gigantic 48-page issue! Chronicling Clark Kent’s journey from the cornfields of Smallville to the skyscrapers of Metropolis, you’ll witness a whole new look at the beginnings of Lex Luthor, the Legion of Super-Heroes, Lois Lane, Metallo, Jimmy Olsen, the Parasite and more! It’s a look at the mythic past of the Man of Steel with an eye toward the future!

Forget Blackest Night!  Forget Flash: Rebirth!  (Please let me forget Flash: Rebirth!)  This is the Geoff Johns book I am looking forward to!  I loved Johns and Frank on Action.  It was my favorite monthly comic at the time.  So even though they appear to be crapping all over Mark Waid’s “definitive” Superman origin from just a few years prior, sign me up.

ACTION COMICS #881

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Written by Greg Rucka; co-feature written by James Robinson & Rucka
Art by Julian Lopez; co-feature art by CAFU

    “The Hunt for Reactron” starts here! Spilling out of the stunning finale of “Codename: Patriot,” Supergirl and Flamebird find themselves at each other’s throats! What’s happened to these two childhood friends to put them at such odds, and can Nightwing calm them down before the situation escalates? And just what are they going to do about all of the guys who are surrounding them? You know, the guys in the tanks? Continued in SUPERGIRL #45!
    Plus! James Robinson and Greg Rucka’s Captain Atom co-feature continues! What is happening to Captain Atom, and more important, what’s happening to his mind? Team Breach is on hand to lend some answers, but Atom probably isn’t going to like them.

I expected to like Rucka’s Action Comics more than I liked Robinson’s Superman-free Superman.  But frankly, the book has been something of a disappointment.  Hopefully, things will improve when the book crosses iver with the always excellent (since rge new team took over) Supergirl.

And, I’m still hoping the Captain Atom back-up rocks!  If there’s one character in the DCU who needs some love, it’s Captain (What the hell has been going on with all the Monarcg shit) Atom.

ADVENTURE COMICS #2

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Written by Geoff Johns; co-feature written by Geoff Johns and Michael Shoemaker
Art by Francis Manapul, co-feature art by Clayton Henry

    Superboy is back and living out his teenage years in Smallville. But all is not as it seems in Superman’s hometown. And while Conner reunites with his former girlfriend, Wonder Girl, to see if they have a future together, Lex Luthor and Brainiac form a partnership that will cause havoc throughout the DC Universe. But what do their plans have to do with Conner and the other students at Smallville High?
    Plus, in the Legion of Super-Heroes co-feature, which takes place all the way in the 31st century, Lightning Lad travels to the prison planet of Takron-Galtos to confront his brother, Lighting Lord. There, Lightning Lord informs Lighting Lad of a shocking family secret that sets the pieces in motion for a war that will decide the future of the universe. Yeah, the universe. No big.

Awwww.  What a sweet cover!  I’ve been waiting for this for a long time.  It takes me back to the days of Young (So much better than Johns’ angst-filled Titans) Justice.  Of course, this being a Johns book, I expect that after a bloody trauma, the couple will realize they have no future together.  And there will be angst.  Angsty angst.  Like in Twilight but without the vampires.

SUPERMAN #692

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Written by James Robinson
Art by Renato Guedes & José Wilson Magalhães

    Tragedy strikes in the aftermath of “Codename: Patriot” as Metropolis buries one of its own! And with a man down, the Science Police are on their own to stop a cadre of Super-Villains from stealing a formerly common commodity that has suddenly become rarer than gold!

I have to admit to being wrong again this month!  I wasn’t really all that interested in Robinson’s take on the Guardian and Mon-el.  In fact, I let the book slip off my radar for a little while.  But once I got caught back up, Robinson hooked me!

Hopefully, I’ll have to apologize to him again when Cry for Justice comes out.  Because that 5-page preview was bad.  Real bad.

SUPERMAN: WORLD OF NEW KRYPTON #7

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Written by James Robinson & Greg Rucka
Art by Pete Woods
There ain’t a whole lot I like better than World of New Krypton.  Maybe a mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich where the mutton is cut real thin…

    It’s never a dull moment on New Krypton – just when Superman was getting used to his place on his reborn homeworld, he’s thrust into a new position that makes his previous duties look like a cakewalk. And thanks to the fallout from the “Codename: Patriot” storyline, New Krypton’s ruler – and Superman’s aunt – Alura has her hands full keeping the people of Kandor from panicking. So of course it’s the perfect time for an alien threat to arrive and declare war…

 

SUPERGIRL #45

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Written by Sterling Gates
Art by Jamal Igle & Jon Sibal

    Continuing from ACTION COMICS #881 – “The Hunt for Reactron” part 2! Can Supergirl rely on her seemingly unstable childhood friend to help her track down her father’s assassin? Or will she ultimately get burned by Flamebird?

If Bruce Castle does another list of the best covers of the month, he better remember this one!  I love the expressions on both characters’ faces.

Gates and Igle have been consistently excellent since they took over the book.  (Last issue made my list of the top 5 books of May.)  If you’re still hung up on all those years Supergirl sucked, it’s time to get over it!  Read Supergirl!

SUPERGIRL ANNUAL #1

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Written by Sterling Gates
Art by Fernando Dagnino & Raúl Fernandez

    In SUPERGIRL #34, Supergirl took the new secret identity of Linda Lang. But how long until someone finds out her secret? Now, for the first time ever, witness Supergirl’s initial attempt to live her double life in “Linda Lang: Day One”!
    Plus! The secret origin of Superwoman revealed! What drove Lucy Lane to become the superpowered threat known as Superwoman? How did she transform from Lois Lane’s little sister into Project 7734’s secret weapon? Find out here!

And as a bonus for being so awesome, Supergirl gets… an annual full of filler material.  Read Supergirl, but this looks utterly skippable.

THE SHIELD #1

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Written by Eric Trautmann; co-feature written by Brandon Jerwa
Art by Marco Rudy & Mick Gray; co-feature art by Greg Scott

    Spinning out of August’s “Red Circle” event from superstar writer J. Michael Straczynski comes the new ongoing adventures of the patriotic Shield and the mysterious man on the run, Inferno! Eric Trautmann (CHECKMATE) and Marco Rudy (FINAL CRISIS) take Lt. Joe Higgins, a.k.a. The Shield, into the hotspots civilians dare not go. His first mission takes The Shield to the razed country of Bialya, destroyed by the rage of Black Adam in 52. Something lurks in the mountains beyond militia activity, and The Shield must investigate!
    Plus, Inferno stars in a fast-paced co-feature from writer Brandon Jerwa (G.I. Joe) and artist Greg Scott (GOTHAM CENTRAL)! Who is Inferno, and why is he being pursued by the Dark Men? He’d better find out fast because Green Arrow and Black Canary have questions of their own for the new hero!

Hey look, DC bought their own Captain America knock-off!  Too bad they don’t have Ed Brubaker to write it.  (I tease!  I tease the Red Circle!)

I’m not sure what to make of these Red Circle on-goings.  I guess DC has to get their money’s worth since they bought the characters.  I hope they’re good.

THE WEB #1

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Written by Angela Robinson; co-feature written by John Rozum
Art by Roger Robinson & Hilary Barta;co-feature art by Tom Derenick & Bill Sienkiewicz

    Spinning out of August’s “Red Circle” event from superstar writer J. Michael Straczynski comes the new ongoing adventures of the selfish rich-boy hero the Web, and the mysterious-undying Hangman. Writer/director Angela Robinson (D.E.B.S.) and artist Roger Robinson (BATMAN: GOTHAM KNIGHTS) spin the tales of The Web, a man who has only recently come to understand the burden of true heroism. He’s fighting crime on his own terms, and for his first mission he’s hunting down the men responsible for killing his brother!
    Plus, the Hangman stars in his own co-feature with a touch of urban noir from writer John Rozum (DETECTIVE COMICS) and artists Tom Derenick and Bill Sienkiewicz, the team behind REIGN IN HELL! The Hangman haunts the streets of San Francisco and touches lives as he works to discover whether his powers are a blessing or a curse.

See The Shield.  Nice cover though.

Also, I wouldn’t brag about having the art team from Reign in Hell on the back-up.  the weakest thing about that mini-series was the art.

THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD #27

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Written by J. Michael Straczynski
Art & cover by Jesus Saiz
    The wait is over as J. Michael Straczynski arrives on THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD! First up, the best-selling scribe pairs Batman and…Dial H For Hero? Robby Reed and his grandfather thought their brief visit to Gotham City would go smoothly until one of Gotham’s petty thieves made the score of the century in the form of Robby’s H-Dial! Batman’s on the case, but The Joker’s crime wave has the city in a panic, and the power of the H-Dial has had a very unexpected effect on the hood who stole it. The choices he makes could change his life – and Robby’s – forever! Features the stunning art of Jesus Saiz (OMAC PROJECT)!

After waiting for what seems like years, JMS kicks off his B&tB with Dial H for Hero?  Oookay.  Well, at least the book promises to look good!

BOOSTER GOLD #24

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Written by Dan Jurgens; co-feature written by Matthew Sturges
Art and cover by Dan Jurgens & Norm Rapmund; co-feature art by Mike Norton
    Booster Gold faces off against Black Beetle for the fate of the entire Justice League. But Black Beetle isn’t all he seems, and his one, true identity is revealed at last! Plus, Matt Sturges and Mike Norton take Blue Beetle out of El Paso and drop him directly into harm’s way in a battle against…Black Beetle!

I finally got around to catching up with Booster Gold last issue and I am so glad I did.  This book is perfect for anyone who likes fun comic books.  (And if you don’t like fun comics, well, phooey on you!)  The new Blue and Gold make a great double feature.  I’ll stick around as long as they stay this much fun.

DOOM PATROL #2

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Written by Keith Giffen; co-feature written by Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis
Art by Matthew Clark & John Livesay; co-feature art by Kevin Maguire

    It’s a black hole, but it’s not a black hole. If you’re a Doom Patrol fan, that made perfect sense. And even if not, then you’re in for one hell of a ride as the Doom Patrol face off against the most annoying alien this side of G’nort. Who’s G’nort? What, do we have to spoon-feed this stuff to you?
    Oh, and we send the Metal Men into space. Just because.

I’ve never been a fan of Doom Patrol or the Metal Men, but I am really hoping this book can change both of those things.

THE FLASH: REBIRTH #6

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Written by Geoff Johns
Art and covers by Ethan Van Sciver
    In a battle along the outskirts of time, the secrets of the Speed Force have been revealed! The new archnemesis of those who ride the lightning is coming for Iris Allen. And the Barry Allen you knew is gone forever…or is he? What change does Wally West face? What destiny will Kid Flash choose? Prepare to meet a Flash Family that’s both familiar and different…and get to the starting line for the next epic adventures of the Speed Force!

It’s not like we didn’t all know Barry was returning to the role of the Flash.  But that cover pretty much ruins what little drama this tepid mini-series had left.  I’m looking forward to wrapping up this Rebirth nonsense and moving on to the actual series.  Honestly, Green Lantern Rebirth was terribly over-rated too.  Johns didn’t hit his stride on Green Lantern until he was about a year into the on-going.

GREEN ARROW & BLACK CANARY #24

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Written by Andrew Kreisberg
Art by Mike Norton, Josef Rubinstein and Bill Sienkiewicz

    The main feature this month focuses on the DC Universe’s bizarre answer to Thelma & Louise as Black Canary and her rival Cupid end up on the lam from both Big Game and the Star City Police! Meanwhile, this issue’s co-feature sees Green Arrow doing his best to bring down Big Game himself before the baddie can find either woman in GA’s life!

I seriously hate this book.  Please do something, DC.  Both Green Arrow and Black Canary deserve better.

And while I sometimes rant against senseless killing in comics, please kill Cupid dead.  Let Sean McKeever write it if you have to.  Just kill her as soon as possible before she can further stain the pages of this comic.

JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #37

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Written by Len Wein
Pencil art by Tom Derenick

    It’s the epic finale of the 3-part Royal Flush arc as Roulette and Amos Fortune raise the stakes, and the JLA go all in! But with the odds against them, the team had better pray for a last-minute miracle before their chips are cashed in for good.

As much as I am excited to see Plastic Man back on the team, this is clearly just filler until DC is ready to move forward with a new direction for the book.  DC, you screwed this book up!

JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA 80-PAGE GIANT #1

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Written by Chuck Kim, Josh Williamson, Rich Fogel and others
Art by Mahmud Asrar, Adrian Syaf and others

    With a tale this massive, we could only fit it in an 80-page giant! When a battle between Epoch and the Time Commander spills over into our era, the Justice League finds itself scattered throughout time. That leaves Superman and Dr. Light fighting alongside a tornado-powered Samurai, Green Lantern and Red Arrow locked in a showdown with Cinnamon in the Old West, Green Arrow and Firestorm facing the Bride of Frankenstein in WWII, John Stewart and Vixen drawing swords alongside the Shining Knight, and Black Canary and Zatanna evading gangsters with the original Crimson Avenger!

Looks like someone had a little extra filler in their JLA drawer.

The Samurai?  Was Apache Chief too busy?

JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA #31

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Written by Bill Willingham & Matthew Sturges
Art and cover by Jesus Merino
    Magog and Wildcat square off as the team traitor involved in the attack on a fellow JSAer is revealed! It all leads to greater tension and permanent rifts within the most storied Super Hero team of all time! Clearly, this was an inside job, and though they may not realize it now, the damage to the group is deeper than any of them suspects.

Now this sounds good.  Why are JSA and GLC the only decent team books DC is putting out these days?

JUSTICE LEAGUE: CRY FOR JUSTICE #3

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Written by James Robinson
Art and cover by Mauro Cascioli
    The team welcomes two new members as Supergirl and Shazam join the roster! And it’s just in time, too, because when Prometheus is finally caught and his evil machinations are revealed, the League finds out they may be unable to stop him.

Oh boy!  That 5-page preview for this book was awful.

I wanted to punch Hal Jordan in the face.  This was Hal at his worst!  Where the hell does Hal Jordan get off getting on a soap box.  Hal, you are one massive retcon away from being a supervillain and now you’re going to lecture Superman about how to get the job done?

For 5 pages?!?

Oh boy!

I couldn’t stand that the rest of the Justice League sat there and listened to him go on and on.  I lost respect for them.  Superman or Wonder Woman should have put the little crybaby in his place.  And Ollie should have shut his buddy up instead of standing on the sidelines saying “Oh boy!”

The upside is that this book can only get better.  Because those 5 pages were some of the worst I’ve read this year.

And please, someone show Mauro Cascioli how to draw Wonder Woman so that her crotch is covered.

JSA VS. KOBRA #4

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Written by Eric Trautmann
Art by Don Kramer & Michael Babinski

    The trail of Kobra leads the Justice Society of America to Fawcett City! Jason Burr may think that it’s safe to venture into former Shazam territory, but he’s about to learn that the JSA protects each other’s turf no matter what. And now that Burr has gotten them mad, there’s no holding the Justice Society back!

I wasn’t going to buy this book.  It just looked like another unnecessary mini-series from DC.  But I skimmed through the first issue and it looked pretty darn good.  I brought it home, but I haven’t read it yet.  I spent the weekend catching up on a pile of Dark Reign books.  But, this looks like good stuff.

Check back later.  I think we may have a review of the first issue coming from Seventh Soldier.

MAGOG #1

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Written by Keith Giffen
Art and variant cover by Howard Porter & John Dell

    Introducing the latest member of the Justice Society of America to break out into his own monthly series! Tired of chafing at the restraints that being a member of the JSA put upon him, Magog decides to take justice into his own hands and track down who’s behind the dealing of high-tech arms to lowlife scum around the DC Universe! Be here as the hunt starts Magog on the path to discovering his own unavoidable destiny thanks to writer Keith Giffen (JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL, DOOM PATROL) and artists Howard Porter and John Dell, the acclaimed team behind JLA!

When I heard DC was putting out a Magog on-going, I was confused.  Of all the JSA characters out there who could be getting their own on-going series, Magog seems like an unlikely candidate.  If nothing else, he has the least track record.

(For the record, I’d buy a Mr. Terrific series, DC.)

I’m not a huge Giffen fan.  And I usually dislike Howard Porter.  So, I’m far from sold on this on-going.  But I will say that I read Dan Jurgens’ issue of Brave and the Bold in which Magog took on Booster Gold.  And it was good.  So, maybe this character has some life in him beyond JSA.

By the way, read Booster Gold.

RED TORNADO #1

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Written by Kevin VanHook
Art by Jose Luisí & J.P. Mayer

    Think you know everything there is to know about the mighty Red Tornado?
Well think again!
    This miniseries shines a new light on the true origin of Red Tornado, the Justice League of America’s resident android Super Hero! You’ll not only discover a crew of characters new to the DC Universe, if Red Tornado has his way, you’ll also uncover the hero’s true android family! But will it cost him the love of his adopted human one?
    Get caught in the whirlwind of this exciting new series from writer Kevin VanHook and artist Jose Luisí!

I may not know everything there is to know about Red Tornado, but I’m pretty sure I know everything I want to know about him.  Frankly, I got my Red Tornado fix when Brad Metzler shoved him down my throat, ruined the Justice League, wrote a multi-part JLA story centering on this third-tier character.

Although, in a world where Magog gets an on-going, I guess a Red Tornado mini series makes sense.

POWER GIRL #5

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Written by Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray
Art and cover by Amanda Conner
Variant cover by Guillem March
    “Space Girls Gone Wild!” part 2 of 3! As the trio of sexy alien marauders continue their rampage across Earth, Power Girl tries to figure out how to stop ’em! But with aliens this gorgeous, readers won’t ever want them to leave!

PG is a fun comic book.  On that basis alone, issue one made my top books of May list.  Yes, you should be reading it…

SECRET SIX #13

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Written by Gail Simone
Art by Nicola Scott & Doug Hazlewood

    War breaks out on the new Devil’s Island and the Six are split in half. Now they’re on opposite sides and ready to die (or kill) for their cause! But what in the world are they fighting over that’s strong enough – and brutal enough – to take down Wonder Woman?

I love this book.  Last issue kicked off this storyline on a high note.  You know this is going to be a classic.  I can’t wait.

And lest you think I am alone in my praise of the Secret Six, issue 9 (which was a bit of an off issue) also made Seventh Soldier’s top 5 list for May.

TITANS #17

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Written by Pat McCallum
Art by Angel Unzueta & Wayne Faucher

    Spotlight on Beast Boy! Gar Logan grows tired of not being taken seriously by his Titans teammates. And what he plans on doing about it will shock you!

Confession: I sort of half-read the last issue of Titans that spotlighted Cyborg.  It wasn’t half bad.  Which is a giant leap above Winick’s run on this title.  Is it possible that the Titans franchise is righting itself?  Am I wrong to get my hopes up?

Probably.

TEEN TITANS #75

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Written by Felicia D. Henderson; co-feature written by Sean McKeever
Art by Joe Bennett & Jack Jadson; co-feature art by Yildiray Cinar & Júlio Ferreira

    Come celebrate our gala 75th issue with an all-star cast of Titans past and present! Joining this issue for the extravaganza is new ongoing writer Felicia D. Henderson, a co-executive producer on TV’s hit show Fringe! Don’t miss this start to a fresh new take on DC’s premier teen team!
    And in the Ravager co-feature, Rose lies nearly dead in the Arctic when a horrific discovery chills her even more!

Well, the book needs a fresh start.  Hiring TV writers is often times a deal with the devil.  They tend to put their comics work on the back-burner.  And rightly so.  The money’s in TV.  But it sucks when your favorite comic is a low priority for its creative team.  After the train wreck that was McKeever’s run, I’ll take any change and hope for the best.

Unfortunately, McKeever’s still here writing his own Mary Sue, Ravager.  That main story is going to have to be pretty darn good to make up for the annoying back-up feature.

WONDER WOMAN #36

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Written by Gail Simone
Art by Aaron Lopresti & Matt Ryan

    “The Rise of the Olympian” has changed Wonder Woman’s life completely, and it’s not over yet as repercussions are still being felt all over the world! In this issue, Diana finds herself fighting for her life against the man destined by the gods to take her place – Achilles, the Warkiller!

A few people have asked me why I haven’t written up anything on Rise of the Olympian.  Honestly, I’ve been stock piling issues.  I’ve found that Gail’s big WW stories read better when you have the whole thing in front of you.  So, I plan to read the whole story at once and do a write-up then. 

Thankfully, Seventh Soldier has been following this story monthly.  And his write-ups are far better than my ranting anyway.

That’s it for this month!

read/RANT


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