Posted by: Brian Hibbs on March 9, 2011
Hitting the ground running, too much on my plate… (and I blew too much of my morning by reading those transcripts that Rich posted…)
BOOSTER GOLD #42: It’s looking extremely likely that Booster Gold is going to keep being published at least through issue #50 (though, given sales figures, I really wouldn’t give it a lot of hope past that…), which is pretty amazing when you consider that his first series only lasted 25 issues!
Giffen and DeMatties have mostly been bringing the bwah during their run here, but this issue was fairly serious and straight forward. I was pretty deeply amused by the “tada, time travel!” nature of having last issue’s cliffhanger, and also not letting it derail the book…. but the very nature of time travel completely gutted this issue’s plot/premise.
The cover asks “Who is the Perforated Man?” and on the very first page you meet the character it is BLINDINGLY obvious who it is. I mean, even the first line of dialogue is a big flashing arrow. But the fact that it is who it has to be completely removes any possible jeopardy from the story, since we know enough about the character’s past and future to know that the situation can’t be anything but temporary. (wow, what a tortured sentence that is when I’m trying to write that spoiler-free!)
Add the fact that this is a two-parter (well, at least), I’ll have to go thumbs-down on this issue. Pretty EH on the Savage Scale. It’s too bad, because I’d somehow be crazy pleased if BOOSTER GOLD somehow made it to triple digits…
One other thing to observe is that this month marks the return of the letter pages to the DC line (well, at least on the ones that are actually on schedule! So not in, say BATMAN, INC.), and I’ll say that, no matter what, at least having the “next issue’s cover” back makes the whole experiment a success for this reader. On the other hand, there’s no sense in bringing the page back if all it’s going to be is mindless glowing praise, and direct exhortations to buy other books. I know, I know, it is only month one, and, probably, none of the current DC editors have any real prior experience working on lettercols, but each and every one of them I read this week was utterly weak-sauce and unentertaining. I’d also use that “in the spotlight” callout to go title-specific with backlist, rather than a line-wide promotion, but that may just be me…
SUPERBOY #5: I’ve been digging this comic way more than I would have ever thought possible — the writing has been fun, and the art pretty swell — but the Kid Flash/Superboy race here really didn’t work for me, because the story made it clear that it wasn’t a race at all — they even stop and sit down for a long conversation in the middle of the book! Boo, hiss! Also: “Changeling”‘s real name is GAR, not GarTH. Garth is Aqualad Tempest, who, yes, is also a Titan, but is not in this comic book, being dead and all. An editor at DC comics, editing a Titan-related comic book should, you would hope, know that. Sadly EH.
Parenthetically, I finally watched a few episodes of YOUNG JUSTICE, and was really shocked to see that the NEW Aqualad has a completely different origin in the comics and the TV show. What’s the point of trying to tie these different versions together then? Especially when Garth is in the cartoon, too… weird.
TITANS #33: Speaking of Titans… well, this isn’t really Titans, and it’s just ugly and gross on nearly every level, and every month I’m shocked that I still have sub customers for this. I suspect they’re waiting for the comic to go back to being about the Titans, and they don’t want a whole in the numbering when that happens, though I suspect it will be canceled before then, because the franchise really isn’t strong enough to support two titles. This went subs-only at Comix Experience with the third issue of this “new direction” because the second sold ZERO rack copies, and in reading through this before putting it in a subbers box shows me really why that is: this pretty much stinks. There’s the continuation of junkie-Arsenal where it’s clear that no one involved has ever done drugs before, and with 100% less deadcatswing; there’s two disjointed subplots about the Atom and Osiris/Isis that read like they have nothing to do whatsoever with this comic; there’s a “gasp-shock” antagonist reveal that made me go “wait, who is that supposed to be?” instead; and one of the most gratuitously gory endings I’ve seen in a comic in a long time. In short: this book is CRAP. Also, it features the line of dialogue “Capture them all. With extreme prejudice.” Um. How do you do THAT? By saying “Ching chong! Ching Chong!” while fighting Cheshire? Saying to Arsenal “Great Frog really sucked, and hippies smell?” Seriously? What the fuck?
NEW AVENGERS #10: I found the modern section to be kind of amusing with Susperia’s rants about the Avengers “cheating” and all, and the semi-false jeopardy of Mockingbird’s wound (though, seriously, Dr. Strange can’t teleport her to a hospital directly? Really?), but I don’t see what the flashback stuff had to do with anything, or why I should care whatsoever. Plus it was really hideous, I think even John K (UK) might agree? There were two issues of NewAv about 2-3 months back that were essentially “The Domestic Adventures of Luke and Jessica, co-starring the Avengers”, and I thought THOSE were super-swell issues, but this is pretty overpriced for what they give you, and Bendis has been writing Avengers for what feels like forever, and it has never felt less relevant to me than now. I dunno, I’m old and bitter about comics these days, but I can’t muster anything better than a very low OK for this?
SIGIL #1 (OF 4): I only vaguely remember the CrossGen series (those books all blur to me), but this appears to have nothing whatsover to do with that version? Hm, wiki says the protagonist has the same name, but there’s a gender switch here with a change of venue. It looks like this looks the most (to me) as “Meridian”, actually, but I guess the point is that none of the original version matters at all? Fine. On it’s own merits, this was fairly EH — oddly the “fantasy” sequences seemed fairly clever and strong, but the “real world” stuff just seemed to ring incredibly false to me. Maybe it was the antagonists of the girl gang or whatever. They felt about as real as “Debbie Duck” did way back in STARBRAND. (God, I’m dating myself again, aren’t I?) — there’s just not enough of the setup properly laid out in this first issue to make me want to come back for issue #2, but at least it’s only $2.99, so there’s a plus. EH.
ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN #155 DOSM: Other than “I don’t see HOW this is a ‘prelude’ to ‘Death of Spider-Man’?” and that it has a “This scene never appears in this comic” cover, I quite liked this issue. Nice bits of characterization, and some downright killer art from Chis Samnee. Bagley’s back after this, but seeing Samnee’s work on the book, I’m not sure I want that anymore. So yeah, I liked this, which is nice to leave on an upbeat note: VERY GOOD.
As always: what did YOU think?