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Why couldn’t I live that "ultimate power corrupts absolutely" one, instead: Graeme on DC 5/31

Graeme McMillan

Well, this week has pretty much officially kicked my ass. It’s mostly work-related stuff – in fact, I think it’s entirely work-related stuff, now that I come to think about it – and as such completely disinteresting to all of you, but I just want to announce that Stan Lee had it right: That great power? Really does come with great responsibility.

Let’s lose ourselves in the world of DC continuity, shall we?

AMAZONS ATTACK! #2: You know what I’m bored of? Fake “Oh no, we’ve killed off Superman’s Ma and Pa” cliffhangers. Guess what, DC? We know that they’re somehow fine – We’ve survived The Kingdom and Our Worlds At War, both of which (as far as I remember) featured exactly the same ending to this issue at one point or another – “Kansas is aflame! Superman rushes off, griefstricken!” – so it just doesn’t work anymore. It’s one of a few bum notes in this overall Okay second issue. Will Pfeifer’s script is pretty sound overall, and Pete Woods’ art is really great, but there’s something disconcerting about seeing the return of “Why is this happening? See Another Comic #7! – Ed” footnotes not once but twice. Have I been so mollycoddled by modern superhero comics that the prospect of plots flowing between books, or is it just that I’m annoyed when it happens in scenes that don’t seem to have any other purpose in the book other than to drive people to those other comics?

COUNTDOWN #48: I really like Adam Beechen’s writing normally – Sorry, people who want to kill him because of Batgirl – but the last page of this issue has ridiculously clunky dialogue: “…I think Lightray’s dead. But how… how is that even possible?” “I… I don’t know, Jimmy. What does it mean for the universe… when a god dies?” I don’t know, Superman, but I do kind of feel that your incredibly melodramatic question – and, in fact, that entire ending, which reads as if it was meant to be a shock and surprise – would have had more power had the cover of this issue not read “Death of a New God” and had you standing over Lightray’s corpse. Elsewhere in the issue, it’s still as if the series hasn’t found its feet yet, but it’s (dare I say it) improving slowly. There’s nothing here that matches the joy that marked 52’s best stuff yet (although Jimmy Olsen’s various super powers appearing and disappearing comes close), but this Okay issue did mark the first time that the series didn’t feel like a terrible mistake, which has to count for something, right?

TEEN TITANS #47: All-new! All-continuity! Not only tying up their own loose ends, the Teen Titans seem to be becoming the go-to characters to get everything else tied in as well – The main thrust of the issue is following through from Countdown #51 and 48, and ends with the start of an Amazons Attack! crossover. Which, in one way, is kind of cool for the continuity nerds – Now you can work out the timeline for all these events in the DC Universe, finally – but on the other hand, it feels as if the lead characters are just guest-stars in their own book (especially as, of the three main characters in the Countdown-related plot, only one is a regular in this series); the Titans-related scenes feel tacked-on and superfluous, which is somewhat depressing. But then again, this kind of thing is what the kids want… Eh.

On a related note, how bad is it that I was still tempted to pick up the first 52 trade this week, despite having bought the singles, just because I wanted to read whatever extras were included…?

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