Posted by: Graeme McMillan on September 5, 2007
Firstly, thank you all again for the donating and stuff, genuinely. Secondly, Onomatopoeia on the internets? I’m really going to have to watch what I say now. Thirdly, yeah, yeah, I really should’ve had these up yesterday, but real work got in the way. If Brian really did have me chained up in his basement, at least you’d have some consistency in my posting habits. Still, better late than never, right?
To the world of comics!
ACTION COMICS #855: As much as I love Bizarro and the idea of a Bizarro World, this particular journey there offers little besides a chance to look at Eric Powell’s attractive, slightly sloppy, artwork. Maybe if All-Star Superman hadn’t done a Bizarro story so recently, this wouldn’t feel so familiar and anti-climactic, but as it is, this is thoroughly Eh.
AMAZONS ATTACK! #6: The last-page reveal on this reminds me very much of a the last-minute reveal of Villains United, the pre-Infinite Crisis mini… The idea that not only have we not known who the mover and shaker of the whole thing really was but that, now we do know, things are much more exciting and dangerous than before. The difference between that series and this one is that we all knew that everything was coming to a head the next month, with the release of Infinite Crisis #1 – Here, we’re left with “Wait, it’s Granny Goodness? What does that even mean? Maybe we’ll find out sometime in the next six months of Countdown, or maybe we’ll have to wait a bit longer. Or maybe Granny will die first, just like lots of New Gods characters are getting killed these days. Huh. Okay, then.” As much as the “The Amazons are now hidden amongst humanity!” thing is ripped off’ve the end of Grant Morrison’s first JLA storyline – even if that ending had the greatest immediately-forgotten addendum ever (The Martians weren’t just hidden undercover as humans, they were hidden undercover as humans who were in close contact with fire on a regular basis, so that their powers never returned. Apparently it wasn’t just most readers who didn’t get that at the time) – I kind of like the idea that this makes them easy pickings for Granny Athena’s Women’s Shelter Fury army down the road. Outside of its larger context for Countdown and Final Crisis, this was a pretty weak conclusion of a somewhat dull and flawed mini-series, but I can’t shake the feeling that most of that blame falls at the feet of editorial, rather than Will Pfeifer and Pete Woods. Eh.
AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE #5: In which we find out that there’s a shady black-ops division of The Initiative, that the Hulk doesn’t kill everyone in the Marvel Universe, and that despite a competent script and relatively attractive art, it’s really really hard to get me interested in this series. Eh, again.
BATMAN ANNUAL #26: Pretty much scene-setting for the upcoming Batbooks crossover next month, I’m not sure how true the cover blurb (“The origin of Ra’s Al Ghul”) really is – we see parts of his past, sure, but I don’t really feel as if I’ve learned that much more about his motivations or exactly how he went from idealist to psychopath… Cutting to Talia explaining that his wife got killed and that “darkened his soul” doesn’t really do the job for me. Again, Peter Milligan playing it straight is curiously unsatisfying – he doesn’t really hit the petulant child mark for Damian, surprisingly – but David Lopez’s art is nicer than his recent Countdown efforts. Okay, overall.
EX MACHINA MASQUERADE SPECIAL: Another in the series of the pointless apparent-cash-ins for Brian K. Vaughan and Tony Harris’ series, this time we flash back to just after Mitchell Hundred’s accident to find out that John Paul Leon does a very nice version of the past, and that the KKK are just like superheroes. Or something. It’s Okay, but there really is a feeling of playing for time here.
FANTASTIC FOUR #549: You can’t fault Dwayne McDuffie for lacking ambition. In one issue, he finishes the Frightful Four storyline and then starts to make the universe fall apart in full view of a gang of Watchers, and manages to make the Invisible Woman both scary and awesome in between. Admittedly, there’s a lot of Black Panther worship going on, but I have to admit enjoying this old-school slice of Good nonetheless.
OUTSIDERS: FIVE OF A KIND: WONDER WOMAN AND GRACE #1: And so we reach the end of this seemingly endless preview to the new Batman and The Outsiders series which has accomplished the reduction of my desire to read said new series by almost 100%. While each of the oneshots – with the exception of the surprisingly good Metamorpho/Aquaman one – has on its own been disappointing and Eh, adding each together has given this series a momentum of Crap all of its very own.
SILVER SURFER: REQUIEM #4: So, he dies, then. An unsurprising Crap end to an unsurprising if beautifully illustrated series.
TEEN TITANS #50: I can see what they were going for in this anniversary issue, with chapters from Titans-related creators as well as new writer Sean McKeever, but the end result is more clip-show filler than a celebration of the team or bold new step forward… It reads very like one of Claremont’s “quiet” issues post- whatever big storyline the X-Men would have completed some point in the mid-80s, with both the compliment and insult that you can read into that comparison. A high-ish Okay, but I’m not sure that there’s enough to make any new readers come back for the next issue…
Tomorrow: New comics brings the joy of the Black Canary Wedding Planner, arguably the most eagerly-awaited comic of the last ten years. You know that I’m excited, right?