Sunday, March 20, 2011

Comic shop comics: February 23-March 16

The All-New Batman: The Brave and The Bold #5 (DC Comics) One of the many, many things I like about the Batman: The Brave and the Bold animated series is that despite the fact that it clearly draws inspiration for tone and design from DC’s Silver Age, they opted to use the Guy Gardner Green Lantern from the ‘80s instead of Hal Jordan. Why, exactly? It may be that Guy is the most colorful of the Lanterns, with the personality and characterization that offers the most possibilities when it comes to team-ups with Batman, but I think it’s just as likely that the producers decided to use him because he was the only one of the four Green Lanterns who had yet to be prominently featured in a cartoon.

“Hey, no one’s used this character yet!” seems to have been as much a guiding principle as “This character should be fun” when it came to making some of the creative choices on that show.

So in this issue of the comic book based on the show, Sholly Fisch, Rick Burchett and Dan Davis team Batman up with Green Lantern Guy Gardner. They come into conflict with a bunch of Manhunters, the soulless android police force of space, who are in hot pursuit of an alien thief, who claims his innocence.

Guy wants to simply fight all the robots, while Batman would prefer to prove the fugitive’s innocence, so they split up to pursue their own strategies for problem solving. But either because this is a kids comic, or because Fisch is a great and clever writer, the two heroes end up having rubbed off on one another quite a bit, and Guy ends up doing a little thinking and Batman ends up doing a little scrapping along the way.

So it’s pretty much perfect superhero comics—a lot of action, a little humor (I particularly liked the two heroes’ differing ideas of how to use a magic ring to tell if someone’s lying or not), a little characterization and just enough of a twist to elevate the proceeding above simple dot-connecting.

Burchett and Davis’ art is, of course, top notch, and this issue looks every bit as good as the four that preceeded it (Even if the characters chosen give Burchett little opportunity to homage or channel past comics masters as blatantly as in some of the previous issues).

Lobo guest-stars in a few panels, as do Zook and Cryll, neither of whom are named, but are simply among a few weird little aliens shown on an alien planet.

You know, if you would have asked me a couple years ago what my dream job would have been, I probably would have said doughnut shop critic/Dancing With The Stars contestant/syndicated newspaper cartoonist/Batman: The Brave and The Bold comic writer, but now I don’t think I’d even want to do one of the above. I’m not sure anyone can out-write Fisch on this concept right now, and I know I couldn’t.

Brightest Day #21 (DC) Here’s a pretty good example of why I occasionally really love this series. Martian Manhunter is fighting D’Kay, an evil Green Martian who had disguised herself as his late wife and then trapped him in a psychic fantasy for a few weeks, and she tells him that she felt his warm tears of joy against her cheek when they kissed.

J’onn responds with, “Those were not tears of joy you felt--,” and then, on a splash page she finishes the sentence with, “—They were tears of rage!” in a giant, bold, green fonts, while blasting her with his eyebeams, under the title of the story, “Mars Attacks.” (Why not go with the more timely “Mars Needs J’onnz”…?)

See? Pretty bad, right? Or so bad it’s actually kind of completely awesome?

Crazy melodrama aside, this issue is mostly drawn by pencil artist Patrick Gleason, the best working on the book, and it’s actually been a while since so much of the book looked quite so good. Gleason and his collaborators, including his inkers and writers Geoff Johns and Peter J. Tomasai, do a pretty great job of showing two alien shape-shifters with hard to even comprehend physcial and mental powers in hand-to-hand conflict.

The way D’Kay seems to grow tendrils and pieces of herself at violent random when struck, or reaches out to J’onn with snaking pieces of herself, or the way she creates new mouths all over her body in order to scream in pain when he gives her a psycic whammy of some sort—it’s really fantastic work, drawn fantastically. It’s far too rare in superhero comics these days to see a splash page that actually uses all of its space wisely, but the splash where J’onn channels the psychic thoughts of the entire population of earth directly into D’Kay’s mind? Just great stuff.

I wasn’t really convinced that J’onn would result to murder/suicide to end any conflict, particularly give that he and his foe are the last two members of their species, and I’m really drawing a blank on thinking of an example of J’onn resorting to deadly force (Maybe I’m wrong, but I always assumed he was closer to Batman and Superman then he was to Wonder Woman and Aquaman on the Whether Or Not To Kill Dudes spectrum).

While the bulk of the issue is devoted to the resolution of the J’onn storyline, which ends much like the Hawk and Aquaman storylines did, there are also a few pages of the superhero community trying to figure out what exactly the overarcing plot of the series actually is (Hey, us too!).

The Atom, Flash Barry Allen, Batman Bruce Wayne and Superman do most of the talking, with other characters from the series chiming in and random heroes doing stuff in the background.

Coming so quick on the heels of Green Lantern #62, in which Barry took Hal Jordan to Superman and Batman to talk about Krona, it was another reminder that JLoA is still somewhat de-coupled form the DCU’s megaplots. If Barry, Hal, Superman and Batman are still more or less the leaders of the DCU, if they’re the folks that show up when someone needs the Justice League in a book other than Justice League of America, maybe the JLoA line-up could be tweaked a bit?*

Brightest Day #22 (DC) I knew it had to happen eventually, but I was still kind of dreading it—this is the issue in which the Firestorm story reaches its climax, which unfortunately means it’s also the story wehre the Firestorm storyline artist Scott Clark provides the bulk of the artwork.

Clark’s figures are okay, although they are pretty far removed from the styles of the other artists on the book, as the whiplash transition between his pages and Iavan Reis’ near the end demonstrates, but he continues to use photos or computer-generated imagery for everything that’s not a character. These scenes are set in the Anti-Matter Universe, where The Anti-Monitor and Deathstorm and the Black Lanterns are all kinda hanging around on an asteroid, experimenting on the white lantern, so it’s mostly a few rock surfaces and globes of various lighting special effects.

I did not care for it at all, and found myself skimming the art and concentrating on the dialogue just to get through it.

The plot? The current Firestorm completes his mission, which involves fighting the aforementioned bad guys and making peace between his two fused secret identities. And then Deadman shows up, but he doesn’t zap him. At least, not yet. Maybe next issue, maybe not.

DC Universe Online Legends #3 (DC) The cover of this issue features Wonder Woman—breasts thrust, back, arched, tiny panties disappearing between her legs, about to stab a robot.

I’d say it is a pretty poor and pretty misleading cover, since at no point does Wonder Woman fight a robot in this comic (and in fact Wondy only appears in two panels and gets a single line of dialogue, “You all right?”).

But, on the other hand, the book is just full of bad drawings of women with huge breasts. In fact, I think the main purpose of this series so far is to provide terrible drawings of Power Girl:In this issue, Mike S. Miller spells Howard Porter on art chores (Adriana Melo and Norman Lee are also still around). Porter needed it. I like Miller’s art okay, despite the waist-less PG and barely-contained Black Canary, and a few details beyond his control (What’s with the design for Brainiac’s nose?).

The story is a tad slow, but a decent enough bit of superhero methadone, provided you don’t mind re-drawing scenes of it in your head as you read to make them less ugly.

DCU Online Legends #4 (DC) Uh-oh. I’m now starting to get a distinct Countdown-like vibe from this book, which doesn’t even seem to have been edited. The cover, which features Wondy in the classic “brokeback” pose, indicates that the art will be from Porter, Mhan and Livesay, and I got a little excited, “Mhan? Mhan who? Not Pop Mhan? That would be awesome!” The interior credits don’t’ mention a Mhan, just Ardiana Melo and Norman Lee, in addition to Porter and Livesay.

In the present, the table of Justice Leaguers that had previously had six people sitting around it on page one has twelve people getting up from it on page four.

Here’s what Aquaman looked like in #3:Here’s what he looks like on page four of #4:Here’s what he looks like the next time he appears in issue #4: Sheesh.

Comic Book Comics #5 (Evil Twin Comics) Here is writer Fred Van Lente and artist Ryan Dunlavey trying to explain the latest twist in the history of Marvelman/Miracleman:This issue of their comics history comics series, billed as the “All-Lawsuit Issue!” discusses all of that, as well as the Disney Vs. The Air Pirates battle, the legal adventures of Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons and some of their British invasion peers, and some of the saddest, most tragic bits of American comics/superhero creator history—DC’s dealings with Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel and Marvel’s dealing with Jack Kirby.

As with the previous issues, it’s comics history told in the medium that is best-suited to telling it—comics!

5 Ronin #1-3 (Marvel) I discussed these three issues at Blog@ the other day, if you’d like to click on that link to read my thoughts on ‘em. Just including them here in accordance to the “rules” I established for myself regarding this column.

Green Lantern #63 (DC) This is the comic book equivalent of a big, deep breath before plunging into something big, stressful and perhaps even exhausting. Of course, it is clearly labeled “Prologue: War of the Green Lanterns,” so naturally it involves a lot of set-up.

The story is split in to two story threads, each of which is illustrated by a different art team, which is the ideal way to have two different art teams draw a single issue, if it has to be done with two different teams.

Ed Benes and Rob Hunter handle the story that takes place in the distant past, which is essentially Geoff Johns rewriting bits of Krona’s conflict with the Guardians to include the emotional spectrum ideas he’s been toying with over the last few eyars, while Ardian Syaf and Vincente Cifuentes handle the part of the story set in the present, in which The Guardians prepare to start some shit with Hal Jordan, and “The New Guardians” read a giant book.

From the prologue, I couldn’t really tell you what “War of The Green Lanterns” will be about exactly—and since I only read one of the three books that it will be spread across, I guess I probably won’t have to good a handle on it even once it starts—but the last panel features the phrase “There will be only three” imposed over an image of the four Earth Green Lanterns all reaching for three Green Lantern rings.

I guess Hal, John, Kyle or Guy are going to (probably temporarily) stop being a Green Lantern soon? The safest bet would be Guy, who has worn yellow and red rings for lengths of time before, however he is currently starring in a book that has both the words “Green” and “Emerald” in the title…

Anyway, Green Lantern—it’s still not terrible at all.

The Grim Ghost #1 (Ardden Entertainment) Whether or not to judge a book by its cover can be infinitely more complicated when a particular book has more than one cover.

For example, here’s one of the covers for the new Ardden/Atlas revival of the 1975 Seaboard/Atlas series, which lasted all of three issues: And here’s the other:
Neither resembles the original all that closely, although one is a fairly generic-looking, ‘90s-era super-comic imgae, and the other is the more highly-stylized work of the highly idiosyncratic Kelley Jones, one of my favorite comics artists.

I’ve always had a great deal of curiosity about the ‘70s Atlas books, an often stumbled across footnote in America comics history, and that coupled with Jones’ presence was enough go get me to pick up the book.

It turned out to be pretty terrible. The story, by screenwriter Stephen Susco and old pro Tony Isabella (who scripted one of the original GG comics), is about a dead man named Michael, who lives in a dream-like shadow world called The Fringe, which is apparently where most people go when they die.

There’s a bad guy there, named Braddock, who wants to do something to the souls there, and there’s a good guy there, named Michael Dunsinane, an 18th century highwayman who rides his horse around The Fringe protecting souls.

He is Matthew’s mentor, and has been teaching him how to shoot soul energy.

And that’s about it, really. Much of that information is relayed in first-person narration boxes, in the most straightforward and uninteresting way possible.

Jones offers little sense of place throughout the book, although given how vague the setting is in even the narrator’s mind, perhaps that’s appropriate. Something seems pretty off with Jones’ art as well. Maybe it’s the way Eric Layton’s inks look atop it, or maybe its Kieran Oats’ colors, or maybe Jones had little time to work on this and/or didn’t care all that much, but the art, while definitely that of Kelley Jones, doesn’t quite look right, if that makes much sense at all.

Like, GG totally rides around on an evil-looking horse, and when one thinks of evil-looking horses, one’s mind automatically goes to Kelley Jones, who was responsible for the Vertigo adaptation of Sleepy Hollow and the monthly series The Crusades, which was all about a violent psycho who rode around San Francisco on a violent psycho horse that was even more insane than he was.

This horse? I am not at all afraid of this horse.

Well, the scene where it first appears, and seems to be spinning like a flying star at some Tom Mandrake-esque bad guys while its nostrils flare out as if to snort them is a little scary.I mean yes, that scene is obviously incredibly insane, but when you look closely at some elements of it, I mean, Jesus, did Oats just completely redraw that woman’s face or something?

I think I’d prefer a cheap, Showcase/Essential style collection of the old 1970s material of the various Atlas books over revivials, if this is the nature of what we can expect.

Iceman and Angel #1 (Marvel) You can’t tell by Rober Cruz’s fine-but-not-Juan Doe’s cover, but this one-shot starring two of the “First Class” X-Men is actually illustrated by Juan Doe, probably most familiar to Marvel readers for the FF comics set in Puerto Rico he’s been doing with writer Tom Beland.

I’m not entirely sure what’s changed here, but his art looks a bit different. It’s a tad scratchier, and more drawn-looking, with more lines visible and fewer, soft, luminescent planes and shapes asserting themselves over the lines that created them (Er, that is, his Beland collaborations tended to look a little more like grids of animation cels; this is a more comic book-y comic book). I like it. In fact, I think I like it even better.

The plot? The two title X-Men are hanging around NYC during spring break, when suddenly Goom suddenly emerges from the sea to attack the city.

“Do we have any kind of plan here?” Angel asks.

“Just keep it busy until the Fantastic Four or Avengers show up,” Iceman replies.

I guess a lot of superheroes probably use that as a plan. Especially in New York.

Writer Brian Clevinger’s script is fast-paced, clever and engaging. There’s a bit of suspense to the physical conflict, given how relatively week the two heroes are compared to their advesary, but the mandate here is clearly humor over drama or action. I particularly liked the one-page, three panel answer Clevinger and Doe provide to Ice Man’s question of “Where’s The Fantastic Four already?! Or the Avengers! Or the military!” They answer those questions by cutting away to three different scenes, all laid out similarly, giving it a nice rhythm, and the military’s whereabouts are particularly amusing.

I can’t recommend this highly enough to anyone who likes fun superhero comics.

Justice League: Generation Lost #20-#21 (DC) In the previous issue, Max Lord shot Blue Beetle III in the head, just like he shot Blue Beetle II in the head! Oh no, did DC kill the replacement of the old Beetle in the exact same way as they killed that old Beetle?! (Probably not!)

Issue #20, drawn by pencil artist Joe Bennett (my least favorite of the JL:GL artists), is mostly devoted to the origin of Max Lord, explaining on how we became such a heartless a-hole, with only a scene spent on the heroes escaping from Lord’s base with the apparently dead Beetle. (Don’t worry; he’s totally not dead). I’m not sure how much of the Lord backstory information is new, but I didn’t really like the implications that he basically became a villain because his mom pushed him to be one. She’s a Lady Macbeth type shrew, and reading between the lines it sounds like writer Judd Winick is saying that Mrs. Lord made Max bad.


Issue #21, penciled by Fernando Dagnino, returns the focus to the heroes, who are angsting alone and in pairs at their base, trying to figure out what to do now that it seems like their failed quest to bring down Lord has resulted in the death of a 17-year-old kid (Although, come one, he’s not dead).

It’s pretty straightforward superhero soap opera, but it’s handled pretty well.

Like Brightest Day, this series is starting to reach its climax, and I find myself increasingly interested in how exactly the big conflict will reach its resolution, and what will happen to all of these characters afterwards. This issue in particular sets up a few new relationships and/or motivations for some of the characters, and thus reads a bit like a roadmap to another series of some kind going forward.

I don’t think the market can support a second Justice League book for long—I’m no economist, but I think a single, great-selling Justice League book is better than two poorly selling Justice League books—but I wouldn’t mind seeing these characters in this particular formation now and then.

Knight and Squire #6 (DC) In the conclusion of the series, The Joker takes on the entire super-people community of England in a battle to the death. As the difference between American superheroes and British superheroes has been a theme writer Paul Cornell has played with throughout the series—sometimes subtley, often blatantly—it’s a perfect way to end the series, with a character symbolizing all that dark, grim, gritty and serious about superheroes coming into conflict with the more playful, whimsical characters of Knight and Squire.

Not all of them survive, but the the title characters certainly live to see another day, and I look forward to seeing more of them in the future, as well as more of Paul Cornell and artist Jimmy Broxton, either as a team or working solo (putting Broxton’s work in front of the mainstream comic book audience, and his name in front of editors, is probably the best thing to come out of this series).

Now that its complete, I’m really quite impressed that DC published this particular series at all. Knight and Squire are presented as the British Batman and Robin, but Knight and Squire was hardly the British Batman and Robin (or Batman, or Detective Comics, or Batman: The Streets of Gotham, or…). I’m even more impressed that they didn’t have The Joker appear until late into issue #5, and that Batman never appeared, which is actually a pretty daring way to do a Batman spin-off.

So good job DC, and congratulations to Janelle Siegel, whom I hadn’t noticed until she was thanked at the end of this issue that she was actually the editor, while she had just started as an assistant editor in the Bat-office a couple years ago.

Namor: The First Mutant #7 (Marvel) Here’s the problem with pre-ordering monthly serial comics. If you order a whole story arc, like the three-issue “Namor Goes to Hell” with its straightforward, the-title-says-it-all, how-can-it-not-be-at-least-a-little-awesome arc which this issue is the second part of, and you discover upon actually reading the first issue of the arc that it actually kind of bites, you’re already locked in to the rest of it.

So despite being sorely disappointed with the previous issue, here I have the next one in my stack of new books.

Ariel Olivetti’s overly computer reliant, photo-slapping-down art isn’t quite as dull and lifeless in this issue as it was in the previous one—perhaps because there are more characters walking around in front of the photos of deserts that serve as the setting for about half of the book, as Doctor Doom and two others travel to Hell to rescue Namor—but it’s still pretty dull and still pretty lifeless.

It also seems to lack the appropriate scale. Hell should be a place of extremes, and yet Olivetti’s art is small, and seems to shortchange the script (as well as missing an opportunity to draw some really cool shit).

When the rescue party finds Namor, he’s on a throne, answering petitions with his subjects, a parade of skulls with crabs legs and claws protruding from their neck holes, all asking him for water. There are only a dozen of them, so it’s looks about half as hellish as a line at the post office around Chistmas.

One panel features Namor coered in bugs, although here “covered” simply means there’s a spider on his forehead, and two worms in his hair. Gross? Sure. But more along the lines of, say, walking into a spider web in your basement, rather than something truly nightmarish.

The overall effect is something along the lines of a made-for-TV movie, where the viewer is keenly aware of the limits of the budget based on the shoddiness of the special effects.

I wasn’t really expecting something as fantastic as, say, this story, only with Namor wrecking shit in Hell instead of New York, but I certainly would enjoy a little more fantasy than what Olivetti commits to the page.

Tiny Titans #38 (DC) In this issue, Aqualad and Lagoon Boy—Tiny Titans, the only place to see Lagoon Boy!—meet an underwater superhero named Aquagirl, who asks them to join her team of kid superheroes, who also happen to be named the Tiny Titans.

Franco and Art Baltazar Tiny Titan-ize some of the last characters I would have expected to see here, the teen heroes from Terror Titans and The Face from the end of Sean McKeever’s run on Teen Titans, as well as a lot of unusual pets and Aquababy (as seen in the crib in the panel above).

I really liked the design for Aquagirl, which is basically just a girl version of Aqualad (I read this issue twice, the second time with my seven-year-old niece—she has to read 20 minutes every night for school and I was helping her with her homework, so we read Tiny Titans and InTouch Weekly…or People. I forget which now. Anyway! She asked if Aqualad and Aquagirl were brother and sister. She also pronounced “Aw,” as in, “Aw yeah Titans!”, as “Ow,” which rather changed the meaning of certain lines.)

I didn’t understand the “Hurtin’ Titans” gag at all, but the bit at the Aquaman Family Home, from Aquaman’s choice of newspaper to the final panel, was pretty brilliant.

Wolverine/Hercules: Myths, Monsters & Mutants #1 (Marvel) There’s something rather forced about the first issue of this four-issue series. Although the pair don’t cross paths all that often, they actually have quite a great deal in common, as writer Frank Tieri demonstrates quite effectively. Unfortunately, that demonstration involves the characters telling each other how much they have in common, much of which is pretty obvious, and could probably have been communicated just as well with explaining.

That’s part of the forced feeling, along with the pretty thorough linking of the story to some pretty specific bits of continuity, shared via some stretches of montage recaps.

The basic plot is that Wolvie has gotten together with Herc to have a few beers before going off to kill a villain he has some history with whom I’ve never read anything about before. Conicidentaly, a Herc villain from the 2005, Tieri-written Hercules miniseries shows up to offer the Wolverine villain his assitance.

Despite this somewhat forced feeling, Tieri’s script is a lot of fun, and I was quite relieved to see that his Hercules story would be tonally similar to the light-hearted version we’ve seen in the recent Greg Pak/Fred Van Lente Hecules books (Although this one is set “Yet Years Ago…I would guess shortly before World War Hulk…no, before Civil War).

Prior to the villains’ alliance, the story basically entails Wolverine and Hercules drinking in a bar and talking—a talk that includes a story about the time Hercules disguised himself as Namor to fight a giant Nazi robot—and fighting some ninjas.

Juan Roman Cano Santacruz’s art is pretty great, and he ably mixes all of these diverse settings and characters from traditionally different genres into a single narrative without losing a bit of visual coherence. He also draws pretty “accurate” versions of the two leads—his Herc is huge, his Wolvie is small, and the relationship of their visual appearances is a nice, sharp contrast that demonstrates that their many similarities don’t preclude many differences.

I picked this up on a whim, based on my affection for the Herucles character, and was pleased it turned out to be as good as it did—I’m looking forward to the rest of the series now.

Young Justice #2 (DC) This concludes the first official story arc of the book, a story in which The Joker fights The Justice League using a small army of Jokerized, bomb-toting monkeys.

It’s pretty weird, although not because of the above. I don’t really want to spoil it, but the nature of the conflict isn’t quite what it seems and, stranger still, it references an old Justice League of America story in which The Joker uses Snapper Carr to infiltrate the League’s Happy Harbor HQ, which I guess maybe also happened in this book’s continuity—which is the same as the animated series it’s based on…?—as well as in official DCU comic book continuity?

I’m not familiar enough with the TV series to know how many of these characters are actually in the show, so I couldn’t really understand the nature of Snapper Carr’s appearance, and that of a few other characters.

It also seems like it could have easily been a one-issue story instead of a two issue one. Like writer Art Baltazar and Franco’s work on the recently canceled Billy Batson and The Magic of Shazam series, this story seemed to lack economy. Of course, part of the reason it might feel stretched out is that so many of DC’s kids books are done-in-ones, and are thus super-tight in plotting, with no inch of any page ever wasted.

Something else I noticed about this particular book, and this isn’t a criticism as much as an observation, was that Superboy is the only young person to appear at any length, with Miss Martian showing up for a few panels. So this story really read more like a Justice League comic, in which Superboy just joined the League, then a comic book about the kid superheroes. (Does the show follow suit, Readers Who Watch The Show?)

A couple of other quick observations...

I like Aquaman and the Hawk people’s costumes, which are pretty different than most other costumes they wear:So yeah, Wonder Woman’s totally in this series, huh? I guess that does make it a bit weirder that Wonder Girl isn’t going to be part of the TV show. It still makes sense to me that she wasn’t around at the beginning of the series, but if they’re going to be using Superman’s “sidekick,” it does seem strange that Wonder Woman’s sidekick isn’t involved, as she’s a character who has had a sidekick of some form or another for a lot longer than Superman. (On the other hand, I wouldn’t blame anyone for not wanting to deal with untangling Wonder Girl under any circumstances, even if the TV show does provide the opportunity to start from scratch and not deal with the comic books’ continuity problems).

I can’t believe Baltazar and Franco wrote this page:So many words in so few panels really seems like a rookie mistake.

*So my theory for who the White Lantern/Champion of Life would be at the end of the series was going to be that it was a new, Big Seven Justice League, since the Returnees starring in this series—Firestorm, The Hawks, Aquaman and Martian Manhunter—were all former Justice Leaguers. And, like, together they would make-up that champion. That would give the JLA a solid a new raison d’etre, a new mandate, and sort of restore them to primacy/centrality of the DC Universe, given that they’ve sort of wandered off since, oh, Identity Crisis or so.

Now I’m not so sure, as we’ve yet to see hints of a new
Justice League book, and the solicitation for the Brightest Day follow-up suggests a single hero (Which is puzzling, since no single character in this story has gotten the attention to really be a logical choice, save Deadman, but he’s so obvious a choice that he seems way too obvious).

I was thinking a JLA consisting of the current line-up plus The Big Seven would be kinda cool, although there are maybe too many redundancies (Two Batmen, two Amazon warriors, two speedsters, two Supers, two green people with green energy powers). I wonder if maybe a better line-up would be the Robinson’s current line-up—Batman Dick Grayson, Supergirl, Donna Troy, Jesse Quick, Jade, Congorilla and Starman—plus the former Leaguer returnees Martian Manhunter, Aquaman, Firestorm and The Hawks? That’s a big line-up with no real redundancies.

They’ve got to tweak it soon though, don’t they? Doesn’t a Justice League book with
no Green Lantern in it seem sort of insane when there’s a Green Lantern movie around the corner? And when DC’s got so many Green Lanterns to choose from?

Also, Wally West not being on the League right now makes no damn sense to me at all.

Man, what a long tangent…sorry, I just love talking about Justice League rosters…


Jacob T. Levy said...

The Max Lord stuff is pure new retcon. When they first retconned Max into being a supervillain in the OMAC/ Checkmate stories, they "revealed" that he had *always* been plotting against the super-heroes, which made no damn sense and was contradicted by plenty of Max's POV scenes and thought balloons from JLI.

So this is a new attempt to say that Max only became a supervillain after the destruction of Coast City. The good news is that that leaves most of his original appearances intact, since he had basically disappeared from the comics by that time.

The bad news is that it makes a hash of his "I established total telepathic control over Superman subtly and bit by bit over many years of JLI-related meetings and that's why J'onn didn't notice" story. But then, that didn't make much sense anyways.

Not a great retcon, and agree about the unpleasant shrewish mother character, but it's an attempt to fix Max by letting him turn evil sometime after his JLI days were over.

mordicai said...

I DON'T like those Brightest Day comics, but the strong point for me has always been the way D'Kay was drawn-- she's all kinds of messed up, & I think it is a much better portrayal of "Martians are aliens!" than the "Manhunter has....a slightly larger head!" style.

Kid Kyoto said...

@the Aquaman images, I had to blow up the 2nd one all the way to see what you were talking about about, but wow. that's bad.

So he goes from his normal costume, to some sort of armor, to his normal costume but with some kind of kewl belt in the same book.

I thought one of the big things about DC online was Jim Lee's character designs, you'd think someone would have shown them to the artists before they got to work.

Caleb, I'm glad you're out there keeping them honest. Maybe you should start making Linkara-style 'THIS COMIC SUCKS!" videos?