Posted by: Graeme McMillan on August 21, 2007
Ah, starting off the week with a sick day is either (a) a good way to have a three day weekend, or (b) a really, really bad way to make a busy week just that little bit busier. You be the judge, but I’m leaning towards the latter option. For now, have a round-up written in a state of belly-churning haze. I’m pre-emptively apologetic about it, if that helps…
ACTION COMICS #854: If there was any doubt in my mind that Final Crisis was going to involve some kind of continuity reboot yet again, this issue – or maybe COUNTDOWN #37, which really started the whole “Jimmy Olsen knows Superman’s secret identity now” thing – removed it entirely. Much more than Jimmy knowing who Robin or Wonder Woman are on their downtime or even having superpowers himself, knowing just who Clark Kent really is marks Jimmy for some kind of death/rebirth/mindwipe down the road very very clearly. Which is kind of a shame, considering the other things that Kurt Busiek sets up in the Action issue, in particular Jimmy’s new ownership of Krypto the Super-Dog. Action is still a fun Good, but Countdown only manages to be passably Eh (Nice Stephane Roux art on the back-up origin of Poison Ivy, though).
BLACK CANARY #4: Somehow, both Hibbs and myself completely missed that there was a third issue of this, but that kind of suggests that we care about it more than is actually the case; this final issue just manages to hammer home how little this story was actually about Black Canary, and how much it was really about removing the developments that Gail Simone had come up with in Birds of Prey so that DC can go ahead and get her married off to Green Arrow without having a pesky foster daughter or any of that “independent, smart” stuff. Seriously, whoever came up with the “You made me think that my daughter was dead, but really you’d just kidnapped her to be trained by monks so that she doesn’t grow up to become an assassin and I can never see her again? Of course I’ll marry you!” ending? What was that? Crap.
CAPTAIN AMERICA #29: Just when you think that he’ll zig, Brubaker tends to zag, especially on this title, which continues to be much more interesting without the lead character than with… Now, if they could just get poor Sharon into an outfit that doesn’t look like something Dazzler wore in the ’80s, everything would be Good.
JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #12: It’d be lazy to say “Yeah, what Hibbs said,” but that’s pretty much the case. Meltzer’s run ends with what is more or less a fill-in issue instead of any kind of summation of what he’s done so far, including advancing (or in some cases, creating – Geo-Force is an informant for Deathstroke, but really he’s double-crossing him? Huh?) subplots that he had no intention of finishing any time soon. You can see what he was going for, but it falls far short of being anything other than Eh.
OUTSIDERS: FIVE OF A KIND: THUNDER AND MARTIAN MANHUNTER #1: Interesting mostly because of the needless Countdown crossover (Someone is killing the New Gods! I get it already!) and J’Onn J’Onnz’s portrayal – I guess that “angry young Martian” thing from his recent mini didn’t last long at all, then – than anything else, this is thoroughly Eh. The new Batman and The Outsiders series isn’t looking in the least bit promising at this point.
SPIDER-MAN FAMILY #4: Jeff Parker and Leonard Kirk reunite with their Agents of Atlas again in the fun lead strip – which feels curiously old-fashioned, in the way that the creators and characters are going through different books instead of just being launched into their own ongoing immediately – and the reprints include Mary Jane #1. It’s as if this cheapie anthology title is made for me to continually tell everyone that it’s quirky, offbeat and thoroughly appreciated in these regions, which probably dooms it to cancellation within the next year. Until then, it’s Good and worth checking out.
TERROR INC #1: If anything was designed to give me that special “Wait, what?” feeling over and over again, it’s this gonzo crime horror book. It’s one of these things that I’m convinced that I shouldn’t like, but I do, and feel guilty about it. There’s nothing original or even that entertaining about it, other than the strange relentlessness of the whole thing, which I’m sure will have worn thin by the end of the next issue, but still… It’s… Okay, somehow. Which feels wrong to admit.
What did the rest of you think?