Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Weekly Haul: October 28th

Batman: The Brave and the Bold #10 (DC Comics) In this issue, Batman grows into a gigantic green, fire-breathing kaiju and tries to smash a prison full of convicted criminals. It’s up to The Atom to get really big and punch him in the face until Green Arrow can find the antidote. That is a very good plot for a comic book right there.

Blackest Night #4 (DC) When I first noticed Geoff Johns’ tendency to lionize the character of Hal Jordan, it was kind of eye-rolling (No way he punches Batman out like he did in Rebirth!) Then it got pretty annoying. Then it got kind of hilarious. Now I think it may be moving beyond hilarious and into embarrassing.

“The only one of us who didn’t worry about fitting in was Hal,” The Flash Barry Allen says to Mera and Ray “The Atom” Palmer at one point in this issue, trying to explain that the Justice League was made of outsiders. “He let the rest of the world fit in around him.”

Yeesh. The Flash then goes on to explain that the only hope the heroes of earth have is to ask themselves what Hal Jordan would do: “So right now, God help me for saying it, and if you ever tell him I’ll deny it, we need to act a little more like Hal. We need to run in, take charge and kick ass like we were born to.” (That’s all I’m going to quote because the next two lines are far too mortifying to type, even for the purposes of mocking).

This latest instance of characterizing Hal Jordan by everyone talking about how awesome he is aside, this fourth chapter was the one where the miniseries really started to feel like a big DC crossover, as it’s just packed with superheroes, supervillains and the undead, Black Lantern versions of both attacking.

There are some pretty clunky lines, there’s some senseless gore (Ray Palmer destroys the first Atom by growing inside him and ripping him apart), and there’s some downright silly character juggling here and there (particularly getting the Golden Age Atom and all three of his legacy versions in the same place at the same time), but if you like DC superheroes as much as I do, there’s no denying it’s also an absolute blast.

Unfortunately, it’s only 25 pages for $3.99. What’s up with that, DC? Why are you guys trying to pull a Marvel here?

Green Lantern #47 (DC) Hal Jordan wasn’t in this week’s issue of Blackest Night, because he was off in outer space, trying to assemble a new Corps featuring a member of each color. So far, he’s got a yellow lantern (Sinestro), a pink one (Carol Ferris) and an indigo one (Indigo-1). They fight a couple of Black Lanterns. Meanwhile, the red lantern Atrocitus goes after orange lantern Larfleeze.

It’s really nicely drawn by Dough Mahnke and Christian Alamy, although it consists of little more than variously colored versions of Green Lanterns fighting—sometimes just bickering, other times tearing one another apart.

Incredible Hercules #137 (Marvel Comics) I’m not 100% certain, but I do believe Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente ended this issue with a full-page splash page that simultaneously serves as an homage to John Romita and makes fun of Chris Claremont. This is the conclusion of the Amadeus Cho storyline that’s been alternating with the Thorcules storyline, and it’s naturally not quite as hilarious as the previous issue, but it does feature some pay-off of various plot stands that have been running through the book since it’s existences, some of which have been running through the book so subtly I didn’t always realize they were even there all along.

King City #1 (Image Comics) As you may have noticed over if you’ve been reading for very long, I’m a real cheapskate when it comes to buying comics, so I was a little surprised that I finally broke down and spent $2.99 on this. I’ve already read and own the contents of this comic, in the original manga-sized digest format that Tokyopop published it in, but when I saw how cool the cover for the second issue was, I decided maybe I should invest in rereading King City, especially given the bigger, squarer magazine-like format. I really dug King City the first time around, and I like it even better like this, I think.

Wolverine Art Appreciation (Marvel) Speaking of comics I really didn’t need to buy, here’s a $3.99 collection of all seventeen (17) “Wolverine Art Appreciation Month” variant covers form March of this year. What can I say? A lot of those covers were extremely cool—Paolo Rivera’s Wolverines-playing-poker remains a favorite—and this seemed the best way to get ‘em all at once.

I appreciate Marvel’s attempt to add value to the project through the format, although it’s not the collection of these I would have wanted if I was allowed to design my own version.

Most of the covers appear as full-page splashes on the right-hand side of the book, while the facing page contains a little art lesson about the artist or style being paid homage to, some quotes from the artists about working on the various pieces and a little biographical information about each.

It’s definitely interesting reading, but it’s hardly worth $4, and, unfortunately, some of the covers are presented as much smaller than the full-page presentation that most of them have. I would have preferred a lot more pages for this much money, and it might have been a neat idea to fill it out with other, past Wolverine covers and artwork.

Oh, and if you see this in your shop, you should at least pick it up and feel it. The covers seem to have been printed on wallpaper. I certainly like the way the book feels; I’ve been absently petting it off and on all afternoon.


Robert Repici said...

I don't know if I just had the misfortune of getting a defective issue, but my copy of Green Lantern only had 20 pages of story (as opposed to the standard 22). What's going on, DC?

Dean said...

Every time a superhero comes back from the dead, Batman gives them one free shot to the jaw, to help rebuild their confidence. He did the same thing for Green Arrow in 'Quiver'. It's a public service that Batman likes to provide.

Johnny Sorrow said...

I think I've been on facebook too much lately, since I just tried to find a "like" button for Dean's comment.

Esteban138 said...

I could not be more with you on Geoff Johns' Hal Jordan... I really can't wait until guys my age take over and bring back Wally and Kyle and the Spider-Man marriage.

Matt said...

It all makes sense if Hal secretly won in Zero Hour and no one realizes it.

Shep said...

Anyone read Dark Reign: Punisher where Daken (Wolverine's son) decapitates and dismembers the Punisher?!?!

Scott said...

re: Dean
I think it's more like "I'll have my character punch Batman to make him look badass!" Lazy writing.

Kid Kyoto said...

"It all makes sense if Hal secretly won in Zero Hour and no one realizes it."

Now there's a recon I'd be 100% behind. Bring back the Hal I grew up with, join PEAT - Parallax's Extreme Assault Team!

Kevin said...

I am being extremely dense today apparently, but how is that last page a send-up of claremont?

Caleb said...

I am being extremely dense today apparently, but how is that last page a send-up of claremont?

Peter uses the expression "to coin a cliche." Claremont used to have his characters say "to coin an expression" or "phrase" or "saying," and then they'd say a pre-existing thing, and therefore weren't actually "coining" anything at all.

I may have just been reading parodic intent into what they meant by having Parker say that though.