Review: Superman #692

September 30, 2009

Superman

When last we left Superman, Mon-El had been beaten up, a bomb had gone off, Lane’s plan was revealed to us, and Superman himself, back on Earth for a brief time, had tried to stop a Kryptonian agent from a devastating strike.  And while this issue is in many ways a direct follow up to that, it feels painfully schizophrenic in doing so.  The world now believes Mon-El to be dead, a water shortage has caused its value to skyrocket, everyone thinks Superman is a traitor, Lane is a national hero, John Henry Irons is in a coma and Zatara has been kidnapped, taken to an alternate dimension, and is being pumped for infor… wait, what?

Before “Codename: Patriot”, Robinson’s Superman was a stellar blend of action and drama that managed to turn Mon-El and the Guardian into compelling characters.  Now, we skip entire story-lines – such as the Zatara one – and get our exposition through psychopathic rants from Morgan Edge, who spend the entire issue enraged and half-shaven and just generally looking homeless.  Anti-Kryptonian sentiment runs rampant as Edge and Lane stir up an insultingly jingoistic humans-first agenda, but the plot is missing exactly what Robinson normally does best: the human touch.  Frankly, every single one of us knows how the bulk of this story will play out.  What we don’t know is, how are the people in Metropolis reacting?  Why?

Unfortunately, when a book’s scope magnifies and the crossovers begin, one of the first things we lose is almost always that human element.  New artist Fernando Dagnino is given little to do with this issue, so it’s hard to judge how well he’ll fit on the title.  His brief action scenes seem competent, but then, his Morgan Edge looks like a complete lunatic.  Though it is impossible for me to make any long-term statements about him on this title and nothing in the issue sets him apart as a particular talent, he does a fine job with illustrating most of what Robinson throws his way.

Pre-”Codename: Patriot”, Superman was only a crossover in name.  It was given space to explore its own world and tell its own stories, and it had a great deal of potential there.  With “Patriot” come and gone, however, the book is rushing headlong into the master-plot.  If that master-plot was fascinating, perhaps this wouldn’t be a problem, but  Superman is offering nothing you haven’t seen before.  It isn’t terrible, it’s just painfully average.

Grade: C-

- Cal Cleary

Superman #691

Superman #689


December 2009 DC Solicits + Commentary

September 27, 2009

I’ve been doing these for a little while now and they always seem to be popular.  So until people stop reading them, I’ll probably keep doing them.  For those who are new, here’s what you can expect.  I go through the latest DC solicits and add my (sometimes snarky) commentary.

I actually skipped the November solicits because Blackest Night took over the majority of the DC books.  One of my problems with Blackest Night (and I have many) is that the story is already getting repetitive.  We’ve seen the same couple of scenes repeated ad infinitum.  When you go through the solicits and every book has the same basic premise (Hero A comes into contact with Dead Person B!) it gets boring.  I couldn’t stand the thought of writing up all of those Blackest Night tie-ins, so I took a month off.

December is really no different.  So I’m going to be more selective about which books I include in this write-up.  And some books will no boubt be lumped together.  That way, I don’t bore you with the same entry 15 times.  (I’ll only bore you with it once – ba dum dum.)

Now that I’ve set the comedic bar at a level I can reach, let’s look at what DC will be offering in December:

Blackest Night Books

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BLACKEST NIGHT #6
Written by Geoff Johns
Art and cover by Ivan Reis & Oclair Albert

    The secrets of Nekron are revealed as darkness consumes the DC Universe.
    Everything else: TOP SECRET.

GREEN LANTERN #49
Written by Geoff Johns
Art and cover by Ed Benes

    BLACKEST NIGHT continues! John Stewart comes face to face with his greatest failures, the planet Xanshi and his wife and fellow Green Lantern, Katma Tui. Plus, what does Fatality truly want with John?

These solicits are a little light on details.  But that’s a good thing in my book.  My concern is that from the details that are included in the solicits, it sure doesn’t sound like a whole lot has happened from Blackest Night 0 up to Blackest Night 6.  Doesn’t it sound like we’re in pretty much the same place we’ve been in from the start of this thing?

Also, did you see that Ed Benes is drawing GL 49.  You know what that means?  Fatality butt floss on every page!  Plus, zombie cleavage I would think.

Review: Blackest Night #3

Rant: Blackest Night #3

Review: Green Lantern #45

GREEN LANTERN CORPS #43

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

    Red rain falls! As the Black Lanterns continue their reign of terror and chaos on Oa, things go from bad to worse when a horrible loss for the Green Lantern Corps results in Guy Gardner becoming so enraged that he becomes a Red Lantern! And hell breaks loose as the Central Power Battery faces an attack from the newly arrived Black Lantern Corphans!

I split this one out from the other BN books for a couple of reasons:

  1. Something happens!
  2. An angry Guy Gardner is a good thing.

Yes, it kinda sucks that they went and spoiled this development a full 3 months before it happens.  But at this point I’m pretty glad to see any sign of forward plot movement from Blackest Night.  So I’ll take what I can get.

Also, I’ve seen a lot of Guy fans complaining about this already.  Come on, guys!  You know this isn’t going to last any longer than when Kyle got possessed by Parallax.  And that was the single coolest thing to happen in the Sinestro Crops War storyline.  So you should just be grateful that Guy is getting a spotlight.

Turing into a Red Lantern sure beats the one-panel “death” Jeph Loeb gave Guy in “Our Wolrds at War”.  It pretty much guarantees Guy’s going to be around at the end of Blackest Night.  But those close to Guy (whose deaths might push Guy into a rage) better watch their backs.

Review: Green Lantern Corps #39

Blackest Night Mini-Series

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BLACKEST NIGHT: THE FLASH #1
Written by Geoff Johns
Art and cover by Scott Kolins

    The Flashes of Two Cities – Barry Allen and Wally West – battle the undead Rogues. Will the legendary speedsters be able to handle the Black Lantern Rogues’ revenge? Plus, witness the resurrection of Barry’s greatest enemy, the Reverse Flash in this hyper-speed miniseries event reuniting the fan-favorite FLASH creative team of Geoff Johns and Scott Kolins!

BLACKEST NIGHT: JSA #1
Written by James Robinson
Art by Eddy Barrows & Ruy José

    The mystery men of yesterday are back and they seek the hearts of their new counterparts! It’s Mr. Terrific vs. Mr. Terrific, Dr. Midnite vs. Dr. Midnite, Sand vs Wesley Dodds! Can the new generation of heroes survive the rise of the Black Lantern JSA? Find out in this all-new miniseries from original JSA co-writer James Robinson and rising star artist Eddy Barrows (BLACKEST NIGHT: SUPERMAN)!

BLACKEST NIGHT: WONDER WOMAN #1
Written by Greg Rucka
Art by Nicola Scott

    Fan-favorite writer Greg Rucka returns to chronicle the adventures of the Amazing Amazon in the DC Universe’s darkest hour! Black Lantern Maxwell Lord has risen and he seeks revenge and retribution for his murder at the hands of Diana. Look for unexpected changes to await Wonder Woman in the course of this series as she plays a major role in the War of Light against the Blackest Night.

I had pretty low expectations of the first batch of BN tie-in mini-series.  And so far, they have met or exceeded by expectations.  BN: Superman actually had a pretty strong first issue.  But it seems like you can skip all three and not miss anything.  And Tales of the Corps was an embarrassing money grab.  DC should be ashamed of that one.

This crop of tie-ins seems a little more promising to me.  I was a fan of the Johns/Kollins run on Flash and I liked the first 2/3 of their “Rogues Revenge” mini-series.  So while “Rebirth” isn’t to my liking, I expect I’ll like BN: Flash okay as long as Johns can keep the retcons to a minimum. 

The stand-out to me promises to be BN: Wonder Woman.  I know Rucka was upset he never got to deal with the fallout from the death of Max Lord.  Now, it looks like he’ll get that chance even if it years a few years late.  Plus, you’ve got Nicola Scott.  Nicola Scott + Wonder Woman is worth my $3 every time.

Review: Blackest Night: Superman #2

ADVENTURE COMICS #5

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Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Jerry Ordway; co-feature art by Francis Manapul

     Concluding the 2-part BLACKEST NIGHT tale of Superboy-Prime! The Black Lanterns have forced Prime to face his deepest and darkest fears, but what – and who – are they? And how will Superboy-Prime strike back after this devastating attack?
    Plus, Conner Kent faces off with Superman’s greatest enemy in an exciting co-feature by Geoff Johns and Francis Manapul. That’s right: Superboy confronts Lex Luthor!

I’m truly torn on this one.  On the one hand, I’ve been enjoying Adventure Comics so far.  On the other, I’m really sick of Johns’ take on Superboy-Prime.  The end of Legion of Three Worlds totally crossed a line for me and I was hoping not to see the character again for a while.  But Johns just can’t seem to stay away from him.  On the upside, I’m looking forward to the Conner/Lex confrontation.

Review: Adventure Comics #2

BOOSTER GOLD #27

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Written by Dan Jurgens
Art and cover by Dan Jurgens& Norm Rapmund
    Black Lantern Ted Kord is out for blood in this BLACKEST NIGHT tie-in issue! Blue Beetle Jaime Reyes joins forces with Booster Gold in an attempt to take down Black Lantern Ted Kord once and for all. But the battle will have consequences for the Blue and the Gold, and Booster and Beetle’s lives will be forever changed!

This is another tough one.  This issue definitely fits into the “Hero A comes into contact with Dead Person B” formula I talked about earlier.  And there’s no way I won’t be sick of that by the end of the year.  And DC has already gone to the Ted Kord well at least one time too many since killing him off in Countdown.  But still, I really like Booster Gold.  I feel like Jurgens does a great job with the book and I’d like to see it get some attention.  Hopefully Jurgens can rise above the formula and deliver one of the better tie-ins to this event.

TEEN TITANS #78

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Written by J.T. Krul
Art and cover by Joe Bennett & Jack Jadson
    An unexpected BLACKEST NIGHT team-up! Ravager has sworn to kill her father Deathstroke. But what happens when they’re forced to fight side-by-side against their dead friends and relatives? Will they kill each other before the Black Lanterns do?

Remember when Titans was the goose that laid the golden eggs?  Well, DC totally killed that goose.  (I think that goose may even be a Black Lantern!)  This franchise is in a tail spin and DC doesn’t seem to know what to do to pull out of it.  I’ll give you a hint, DC, a Deathstroke/Ravager issue is NOT the answer.

On the upside, I don’t see Sean McKeever’s name anywhere on this comic book.  Therefore, I will buy it on principle.

JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #40

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Written by James Robinson
Art and cover by Mark Bagley & Rob Hunter
    The JLA can’t escape the BLACKEST NIGHT! Faced with the continuing threat of the Black Lanterns, Zatanna, Vixen and the rest of the team confront their pasts when fallen friends and foes return for blood!

I can’t be the only one who finds Bagley’s cover to be hideous, right?

I recently posted an article about the new JLA line-up.  Interesting to see Vixen and Zatanna featured so prominently after not being included in the official line-up.  I guess the rumors that Robinson’s team will be super-sized are true.

As I said in my article, I really can’t muster up any excitement for Robinson’s JLA after 3 issues of Cry for Justice.

JLA: the New Line-Up

BATMAN #694

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Written by Tony Daniel
Art by Tony Daniel & Sandu Florea

    While Black Mask and his Ministry of Death struggle to maintain control of Gotham City, The Dark Knight sets his sights on Kittyhawk – a young thief pivotal to the outcome of Black Mask’s gang war. But will a powerful adversary thought long dead spoil all of Batman’s plans? Guest-starring Oracle and the Penguin!

Not too much to say here.  I’m having some trouble keeping up my enthusiasm for Batman with the back-and-forth writing from Winick and Daniel.  I mean, these are two of my least favorite writers in comics these days.  Black Mask and Penquin both feel over-used these days.  And I’m enjoying them more in Dini’s Streets of Gotham.

*shrug*

DETECTIVE COMICS #860

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

    Batwoman’s origin story concludes here! In “Go!” part 3, Kate Kane becomes Batwoman and goes after a terrorist cell in Gotham, but all does not go according to plan. Plus, in the present, Kate confronts her father about her supposedly dead sister!
    In the co-feature, the Huntress joins The Question in her quest to track down the leaders of the human trafficking ring. But finding them – and bring them to justice – will be harder and more dangerous than either hero thought!

Confession time: I’m a behind on this title.  But I love the art on the book.  Rucka’s writing hasn’t completely won me over to Batwoman yet.  But maybe I’ll feel differently once I catch up.  I am looking forward to seeing the Huntress and the Question though!

Review: Detective Comics #857

BATMAN: STREETS OF GOTHAM #7

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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

    Paul Dini returns to STREETS OF GOTHAM as Batman and Robin uncover a sinister plot involving dozens of Gotham City’s young runaways. Is Arkham Asylum escapee Humpty Dumpty at the center of the scheme – or is he just the tip of an even more dangerous iceberg? Guest-starring Abuse and Zsasz!
    And in the Manhunter co-feature, now that Kate has finally tracked down Two-Face, she’s ready to confront him for the hit he ordered on Gotham’s former D.A. But their confrontation is not going to go the way she planned!

I haven’t gotten around to writing up a review for Streets of Gotham, but I have been keeping up with the book and mostly enjoying it.  I wasn’t thrilled with the 60′s-TV show-worthy bad guy, The Broker.  But if you’re going to do the character, last issue was about as good of a story as you could possibly tell.  I am enjoying watching Dini re-invent Mr. Zsasz.  And I am enjoying the build-up in the Manhunter back-up to the inevitable showdown beteen the former DA of Gotham and the new sheriff in town.

Review: Batman: Streets of Gotham #1

BATGIRL #5

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Written by Bryan Q. Miller
Art by Lee Garbett & Trevor Scott
Cover by Phil Noto
    It’s Bat vs. Bat in “Core Requirements” part 1! As Gotham City burns, the new Batgirl comes face-to-face with Batman and Robin, who are anything but happy about her running around with a bat-symbol on her costume. Batman confronts Oracle as Damian confronts Stephanie in the ultimate Bat-family feud.

My favorite thing about this series so far is the Phil Noto covers.  And I think this is Noto’s best cover yet.  But the first two issues were pretty mediocre.  And it’s not promising that the solicit for this issue reads an awful lot like the one for the first issue.

In all honesty, if the next issue is a marked improvement over the first two I am unlikely to be here for issue 5.

Review: Batgirl #2

Review: Batgirl #1

GOTHAM CITY SIRENS #7
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Written by Paul Dini
Art and cover by Guillem March
    Catwoman takes charge as the other Sirens fall victim to their most dangerous challenge yet!

Does the text for this solicit even matter?

Hey, I like Catwoman’s boobs as much as the next guy.  Depending on who the next guy is, I may like them more.  I’ve got a healthy collection of Jim Balent’s boobtastic run on Catwoman to prove it.  But even I got sick of this bad girl retread after the first couple of issues.

Can this book really be written by the same guy who is writing Streets of Gotham?  Maybe there are two Paul Dini’s.  One of them worked in animation and wrote Detective Comics and Streets of Gotham.  The other guy wrote Countdown and this.

It’s the best explanation I can come up with.

Review: Gotham City Sirens #1

SUPERMAN: SECRET ORIGIN #4

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Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Gary Frank & Jon Sibal

    While everyone wants something from Metropolis’ first Super Hero, Superman must fight his first Super-Villain – someone who wants everything – the Parasite! Meanwhile, Lex Luthor turns his attention toward The Man of Steel…
    Geoff Johns and Gary Frank continue their bold reinterpretation of the origin of The Man of Steel for the 21st Century!

Geoff Johns can hand in a blank script for all I care.  I’m on board this mini-series for Gary Frank’s art.  As I said in my review of the first issue, the art pushes all my Superman fanboy buttons.

Review: Superman: Secret Origin #1

ACTION COMICS #884

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Written by Greg Rucka; co-feature written by James Robinson & Greg Rucka
Art by Pere Pérez; co-feature art by CAFU

    When Lois tries to run the story that will clear Flamebird and Nightwing once and for all, she finds herself blocked at every turn. With the world’s anti-Kryptonian sentiment escalating to a near-frenzy, not even being General Lane’s daughter will keep her safe!
    Plus, to the shock and horror of Flamebird, the problems with Nightwing’s uncontrolled aging reach a critical juncture! and in part 6 of the new co-feature, Captain Atom squares off against his old adversary Major Force just as some troubling memories start to resurface – one word: Monarch!

I’m not loving the Anti-Krypton story that seems to be taking hold of the Superman books post Codename: Patriot.  It just feels like watered-down X-Men.  Are you really going to cover any new territory here?  I don’t think so.

As I mentioned in my review of the latest issue, the Captain Atom back-up is just getting tiresome.  The word “Monarch” does nothing to improve my outlook on that subject.

Review: Action Comics #881

SUPERMAN #695

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Written by James Robinson
Art by Fernando Dagnino & Raúl Fernandez

    Part 2 of Man of Valor! Metropolis gets a chance to see the new Mon-El in action. But now the stakes are raised even higher and the action escalates as Mon finally goes mano-a-mano against the Parasite! This is a battle that’s been brewing since Mon’s emergence on Earth and now it explodes into the streets and skies of the city.
    Plus, with Mon-El’s secret identity publicly known, how will the Science Police react to him now that they know he’s been living among them all this time? All this plus the return of Natasha Irons and the fate of Steel!

I’ve actually enjoyed most of Robinson’s run on Superman.  But even I have to admit that the pace has been somewhat slow.  Some issues have felt like padding.  But this issue looks like it will finally advance some long-dangling plot threads.  And that’s good – as long as they aren’t tied up as sloppily as the Codename: Patriot finale.  That was a stinker.

Review: Superman #691

SUPERMAN: WORLD OF NEW KRYPTON #10

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Written by Greg Rucka & James Robinson
Art by Pete Woods

    New Krypton is a planet so fresh, it’s experiencing countless things for the first time. Its first spring. Its first blooms. Its first birth of a child. And now its first homicide. When an important figure in Kandor is murdered, the suspect seems obvious to everyone but Superman. But can he make Zod or the Council believe this is more than an open-and-shut case? And can he uncover the real killer in time to save the life of the accused? It’s a dark mystery, but R.E.B.E.L.S. star Adam Strange arrives in time to help find answers…even though the truth may blow apart the civilized trappings of Kandorian society in the process.
    This action-packed arc leads all the way to the series’ final issue, which itself sets the stage for huge happenings in the DC Universe next summer!

The other Superman books have their charms.  But I can certainly understand why fans would be disappointed in them some times.  World of New Krypton, on the other hand, always delivers.  Next to Secret Six, it is the book I look forward to the most from month to month.  I’ll be sad when it’s over!

Review: Superman: World of New Krypton #7

SUPERGIRL #48

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Written by Sterling Gates
Art by Matt Camp

    Uh-oh! The Silver Banshee is back in Metropolis! This time she’s after an artifact that could finally break her family’s eternal curse. When Inspector Mike Henderson gets involved, Supergirl is pulled into the conflict! Meanwhile, Lana Lang’s mysterious condition takes a turn for the worse. Will the Girl of Steel be able to save her only two human friends? Join fan-favorite writer Sterling Gates and guest artist Matt Camp (SUPERMAN: SECRET FILES 2009, Zero Killer) to find out!

I hate to say it, but the usually reliable Gates/Igle team has hit a bit of a speed bump with the last couple of issues.  Crossovers into Codename: Patriot and Hunt for Reactron have pushed the book slightly off track.  Hopefully, now that those crossovers are in the past, the team can get back to delivering very good (maybe even great) Supergirl stories.

Hey!  Where’s Igle?

Review: Supergirl #44

WORLD’S FINEST #3

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Written by Sterling Gates
Art by Jamal Igle

    The Toyman has crafted the ultimate killing machine to protect himself from the Kryptonian menace, and Oracle has sent Supergirl and Batgirl to stop it. But when Supergirl faces off against the Kryptonite Man while the new Batgirl takes on Catwoman, they both find themselves in over their heads.This looks like a job for…

Oh, here he is.

This solicit sounds good enough to me.  So, I’ll use this space to address something that has been bugging me.  With no Birds of Prey book, I’m not sure what Oracle’s role is in the DCU.  She just seems to be all over the place.  Is she running The Network, mentoring Batgirl, or just setting up random operations like this one?  I don’t know.  But I’d really like to see her concentrate on setting up a regular group of operatives like what she had in Birds of Prey.

I really miss that book!

GREEN ARROW & BLACK CANARY #27

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Written by Andrew Kreisberg
Art by Renato Guedes & Jose Wilson Magalhaes and Mike Norton & Bill Sienkiewicz

    First up: “Five Stages” part 3! Cupid and Green Arrow team up against Black Canary and Green Arrow (?!) just as the mysterious soldiers of Cobalt make Star City their own battlefield!
    And then in the co-feature: Just where did this mysterious second Green Arrow come from? And how is Cobalt connected to his recent past?

Every month, when the solicits come out, Green Arrow/Black Canary is one of the first things I look at.  It’s not because I am anxiously awaiting hints of what is to come on the book.  It’s because I desperately hope that DC will replace Andrew Kreisberg.

Every month, I am disappointed.

And then I see Cupid on the cover and I can barely contain my fanboy rage.  Please, DC, do something about this book!

Review: Green Arrow & Black Canary #21

JSA Books

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Written by Bill Willingham
Art by Travis Moore & Dan Green
JSA ALL-STARS #1
Written by Matthew Sturges
Art and cover by Freddie Williams II

    The Justice Society struggles to pick up the pieces after the team’s devastating break up! Regrouping at a new, temporary home base, the smaller team reflects on the recent infiltration of their ranks and how they can protect themselves from another such attack in the future! And why is the new Dr. Fate acting so weird?

 

    An all-new ongoing series! The Justice Society spin off group struggles to pull itself toward some semblance of order after the JSA’s devastating split! New home base, new training methods, new villains – all bringing the JSA All-Stars face-to-“face” with one of their greatest villains again – for the first time! Join writer Matthew Sturges (JUSTICE SOCIETY, JACK OF FABLES) and artist Freddie Williams II (ROBIN) for a new chapter in the JSA legacy.

Well, the cast is definitely big enough to support two books.  So, this seems like a no-brainer to split the team.  I don’t know if I’ll follow both books or not. 

Review: Justice Society of America #29

POWER GIRL #7

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Written by Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray
Art and cover by Amanda Conner
    A blast from the past! The alien Vartox has come to Earth to claim a wife—and her name is Power Girl! PG may have wanted a boyfriend, but not quite like this! The fan-favorite team of Palmiotti, Gray and Conner craft another winner!

I’m a big fan of Amanda Conner’s art.  And I feel she is the perfect artist for Power Girl.  But the writing team of Palmiotti and Gray always leaves me feeling underwhelmed.  This book is a great book to thumb through at the comic shop for the art.  But reading it sometimes feels like a chore.

I appreciate the light tone and the art.  I just wish the writing were a little more interesting.

SECRET SIX #16

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Written by Gail Simone
Art by Peter Nguyen & Doug Hazlewood

    The supremely powerful and infinitely dangerous Black Alice returns and she’s decided she wants to be a member of the Six – even if someone has to die to make room!

Of all the books coming out in December, this is the one I’l looking forward to the most!

And yay Black Alice!

Boo no Nicola Scott!

Review: Secret Six #13

WONDER WOMAN #39

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Written by Gail Simone
Art by Aaron Lopresti & Matt Ryan

    This is it! The secret behind Wonder Woman’s new power and the true meaning of the Olympian are revealed right here!
It’s an all-out action issue as Diana faces an old foe with a hideous new face!

I’m still hoping Gail Simone can make me love her Wonder Woman as much as I love Secret Six.  This issue sure sounds like a winner.  You know I’ll be there.

(But odds are Seventh Soldier will beat me to the punch when it comes time to write a review.)

Review: Wonder Woman #34

TITANS #20

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Written by Mike Johnson
Art by Angel Unzueta & Wayne Faucher

    Spotlight on Donna Troy! What happens when a young twenty-something woman feels like she grew up too fast and deprived herself of a twenty-something kind of life? As Donna ponders this, the Fearsome Five continue their Titans revenge streak. They picked the wrong time to do it…

Seriously, if you’re not going to do anything with this book, just cancel it and spare us all the trouble.

read/RANT


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:

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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

 

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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.


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