Saturday, February 17, 2018

Comic Shop Comics: February 14th

Archie #28 (Archie Comics) This was another pretty great issue from Mark Waid and Audrey Mok, but the best part? Reggie Mantle casually popping kids' balloons with a knife as he passes them on the street, plotting a villainous scheme out loud to himself.

The shiny metal cover means there aren't decent images of it available online and I can't scan it so that it looks halfway decent either, so there's the two-page title splash by Jimenez.
Dark Knights Rising: The Wild Hunt #1 (DC Comics) Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo and company's extremely successful Dark Nights: Metal event series, which just published its penultimate issue last month, owes quite a debt to Grant Morrison. Not simply, or even primarily, that cool scene in the beginning where Kendra Saunders dramatically flips over the map of the Multiverse from the Morrison-written Multiversity and reveals that the black, back of the map is itself a map, a map of the so-called "Dark Multiverse." No, Snyder has also incorporated bits and pieces from Morrison's Final Crisis and attendant comics, and the root of Metal involves elements from Morrison's Batman run, particularly Darkseid sentencing Batman to the Omega Sanction.

So it is fitting that Morrison himself gets an opportunity to contribute to the series, with this laboriously titled one-shot special, one that functions more-or-less like Metal #5.5, detailing as it does what is going on with The Flash and Cyborg, the only one of the smaller teams of Justice Leaguers that was left out of Metal #5.

Morrison and Snyder are but two of the writers credited on this 32-page story. James Tynion an Joshua Williams are also credited, and the art is produced by Howard Porter, Jorge Jimenez, Doug Mahnke and Jamie Mendoza. Who did what isn't specified, so I'm not sure if Snyder and Morrison plotted and Tynion and Williamson divvied up pages to script, or if the entire thing was written rock band style as 52 reportedly was or...what. It's worth noting that it all reads an awful lot like Grant Morrison though, with a touch of Snyder evident. As for the art, the three primary artists have different enough styles that it is rather immediately obvious who is drawing one.

The secret origin of Detective Chimp is weaved throughout the story, which mainly focuses on Flash, Cyborg and Raven's mission to reach the House of Heroes in Nix Uotan's ship, while the Dark Knights pursue them in The Authority's carrier. Meanwhile, Detective Chimp and a collection of the world's greatest scientists--mad and otherwise--try to assist. There are a lot of callbacks to Multiversity, 52 and other Morrison comics, but the most surprising is that of the last page or so, a surprise appearance by the Primate Legion from the Gorilla Galaxy of the 853rd Century, from the pages of 1998's DC One Million 80-Page Giant, if I recall correctly.

As with almost all of the other tie-ins to Metal, there's a sense that this is just filler or, put more kindly, texture; nothing in this issue is necessarily important to the series itself (at least, not so far), and it is just the sort of thing that, were Metal Morrison's own comic, he wouldn't spend space on, but instead suggest that such things were happening and leave it to the reader to imagine what goes on in-between story beats. That said, it is of course fun filler/texture, with a few touches that bring it in line with a DC "crisis" comic, like when a version of The Flash Barry Allen heroically sacrifices his life, telling another version, "There's always a sacrifice."

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