Booster Gold #27 (DC Comics) This is the first of the two (2) comic books I bought at the shop. Both were DCU super-comics, and both feature dark gray covers. They make me a little sad to look at. This particular issues is part two of the two-part Blackest Night tie-in, the first half of which apparently did very, very well on account of the incentive of readers getting a little plastic ring with it. I'll be curious to see the eventual sales charts, to see if many of those who checked out an issue of Booster Gold just to get a ring ended up being so intrigued by the story that they hung around for the next part.
It's not really all that compelling a story, unfortunately. While the previous issue featured a lot of character cameos and dealt with an previously unseen bit of recent history (Ted Kord's funeral), this issue is devoted to Booster Gold and company fighting off the Black Lantern Blue Beetle.
If you've read any of Blackest Night or it's tie-ins, then you know the beats of the story—ring reanimates corpse, the zombie hero fucks with the live hero's head, the live hero struggles to remind self this isn't really his or her friend/lover/parent/teammate, and then they temporarily destroy the Black Lantern by means of a light or energy weapon.
How interesting that ends up being depends a lot on the execution and the audience's prior affection for the characters. (I like all of these guys okay, and while Dan Jurgens' writing and art, and the work of Mike Norton and Norm Rapmund within, aren't anything to stand on one's head about, it's not bad, which is sometimes the same as GENIUS! in 2009 super-comics). What separates this Blackest Night tie-in from some of the others I've read are that this is a longer story (The Blue Beetle back-up was excised, and Jamie Reyes brought in to guest-star in the Booster Gold story), and that Black Lantern Blue Beetle was more or less permanently defeated (I guess we'll see if Ivan Reis rememers not to draw him in any crowd scenes in the main series...of course, this does seem to imply that Ted Kord won't be among the Black Lanterns returned to life at the end of the series...on the other hand, there are some hints, including another one this very issue, that Ted Kord may already be back to life via some sort of time travel hoodoo).
Secret Six #16 (DC) Hey, why didn't Secret Six get a Blackest Night tie-in? It sells just as poorly as Booster Gold, REBELS and Doom Patrol, and even though the team has only been around a while, they've still lost a few members who could come back as Black Lanterns. Anyway, this isn't a Blackest Night tie-in, despite all the black in the cover, and the implication that the still-very-alive Deadshot is rising from the grave he's not really in, despite his name being poorly digitally attached to the surface of the grave stone. (Part of me kind of wanted to bury this comic book in a graveyard as soon as I saw the cover).
It's a very, very unpleasant reading experience.
It opens with a page of dialogue in which a chatty a-hole talks about his system for rating women, and we soon find out that he's actually a rapist/killer...and then we find out he's actually a child rapist/killer, and those "women" he was talking about included at least one nine-year-old girl.
That's the first four pages of the comic.
Then Catman and Deadshot "rescue" the child rapist/killer and deliver him to the father of one of his victims. The father intends to torture and kill the killer, and, when he loses his nerve, Catman gives him practical advice on how to torture a human being to death with a knife.
Then they take a teenage girl to a strip club in which the dancers dress in super-skimpy versions of the costumes of unsexy male suprevillains (Ever wanted to see a gal wearing the slutty Halloween costume version of Mr. Mxyzptlk's costume, or Mr. Freeze's? Tough; you can't unsee it!).
Then there's a big fight, in which Black Alice beats the shit out of a bunch of people, including our protagonists.
Then the comic ends, and I have $2.99 less in my wallet and have already been subjected to "escapist" "entertainment" in which child rape is a plot point...hours before Law and Order: Special Victims Unit even starts!