Thursday, October 18, 2007

Weekly Comic Round-Up

Every week (roughly) Aaron goes to the Laughing Ogre in Columbus, Ohio and spends far more money than his wife would prefer. He then comes back here and writes about the comics he reads that he thought were noteworthy. This isn't everything he picks up, just the things that he feels merit discussion - either for being really good, or for having something really wrong with them.

Death of the New Gods 1
Ok, I know that this takes away all of my geek cred, but I have to say it. I have never been that amazed with Jack Kirby.

I know. I know. Send in the hounds.

In all fairness, I admire his work. Kirby is to comic books what Orson Welles was to cinema. He revolutionized ways of doing things, and took the bare bones laid by those who came before him and redefined how things would be done forever after him.

But that doesn’t change the fact that since he redefined things, some folks have done it better. There are plenty of artists who I think are better, and certainly there are superior writers. So, with that said and upfront, let’s just start off by saying I’ve never been that impressed with the New Gods. In fact, the only reason I even looked at this book was because it ties in to Countdown, even if it doesn’t do so explicitly.

Man, I almost passed on a really good thing. The action is tightly paced, and the art is really crisp and clean. A device is used to show who is narrating each section with a small symbol placed in the narration boxes, and it works really well.

Case in point? I have absolutely nothing invested in any of the three gods who died this issue. But each death hit me.

And Darkseid getting one-step ahead of Metron? Priceless.

Captain America 31
Bucky is still my personal pick to be the new Captain America. But they’re sure doing their level best to make it hard for him. Having been captured in the last issue by the Red Skull and Dr. Faustus (remember, the guy who brainwashed Sharon Carter into shooting Steve Rogers, and to convince a huge percentage of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents to quit?), they’re doing their best to break Bucky, by convincing him that Steve Rogers abandoned him.

The fantasies they create are interesting, though a bit unsubtle. And I don’t really understand why it is that the last one worked on Bucky when the others didn’t. (If it did at all – that’s still left to some debate, depending on whether or not next month’s issue opens up with a dead Agent 13.)

Meanwhile, Tony Stark is having a really bad month. We’ll see more of his bad month in the other books on the round-up, but having to deal with a S.H.I.E.L.D. organization he can’t rely on, and a Falcon and Black Widow who were stunned by a rogue Agent 13, to say nothing of the looming threat of the Red Skull, makes for a rough time for Iron Man.

Brubecker is quickly becoming my favorite Cap author, and that’s not an easy task to accomplish.

In other Captain America news, I picked up Captain America: The Chosen 3 this week as well. Just… don’t. And if they make that guy the new Captain America, I may be as done with Cap as I will be with Spider-Man once One More Day is finished.

(And yes, I know that the idea of using a perfectly new hero to replace the dead/missing/retired icon has worked well in comics before. I still really dig Kyle Rayner, Steel and Connor Kent. But Knightfall would’ve made me happier if Dick Grayson had become Batman, and I’m going to be really upset if the new Cap is a random soldier.)

Booster Gold 3
A comic book where a hero has disgraced himself in order to be able to save the timestream, but who will never be able to get the credit for it, is not what people would expect to be among the more “fun” titles out there today.

People would be wrong.

Booster, Rip and Skeets continue to bounce through time to make reality come together as it’s supposed to. And along the way (in this issue alone), Booster gets drunk alongside Jonah Hex, saved the doctor who will deliver Johnathan Kent’s father, deals with his ancestor Daniel and the double issue of discovering that the Supernova suit was stolen and the fact that he needs to get Daniel together with his future wife, and meets Barry Allen and Wally West – when Wally was still Kid Flash.

This book may be the best title published today. It’s fun, it’s fast-paced, the action is good, and it turns a character who had been little more than a joke into a major part of the DCU.

If you’re not reading this title, close your computer, walk or drive to your nearest comic book store, and pick up all three issues.


Marvel Zombies 2 1
I am so very, very, very torn about this book.

Why? Well, because on the one hand, I want to like it. And it had moments that I found absolutely perfect. The Galactus/Marvel zombies finding Ego, the Living Planet? That was so beautiful it brought a tear to my eye.

And there were other parts of it I enjoyed too. I liked the idea that Janet Van Dyne’s zombie head, now in control of her hunger, was still a part of the leading council. I liked the idea that, even after the zombie decimation, humans and mutants would still have differing opinions on how life should go on. It even worked for me that Cortez’s son would want to usurp T’Challa.

But the plot holes… dear god, the plot holes. If all it took was a week or so of the zombies not feeding for them to get back in control of themselves, then why did the zombie FF not regain control while they were trapped in the Baxter Building?

And of all the minds who are with the Galactus zombies, would it really be Peter Parker who first noticed that the hunger became less terrible with time? Really? Heck, if anything, I would think it would be Wolverine, with his heightened awareness of his body.

Oh, don’t get me wrong, I’ll keep reading it. But I was really hoping for better from this series, and Issue 1 isn’t as promising as I’d have liked.

Birds of Prey 111
Another one-off issue, but one that I think hit the nail on the head a little better than last month’s. (Not that there was anything wrong with the Helena issue, it just wasn’t quite as amazing.) Barbara needs to get to a localized Intranet to recover information about her identity from when the Watchtower was destroyed. Unfortunately, the Calculator had the same idea, and so both of them have infiltrated a convention taking place at the company’s HQ.

At the convention, Oracle and the Calculator end up bumping into one another while each is trying to get to the intranet, and so they both decide to distract the other by going to lunch together. There’s some cute flirtation between the two, and then they go back to their attempts to hack the intranet.

As these things must, a fight develops, though due to clever writing about a supervillain’s blind spots, despite the fact that Oracle breaks the Calculator’s leg, he doesn’t believe that Barbara is Oracle. The way that Misfit and the Huntress send the cavalry in when Barbara gets in trouble is nothing short of brilliant either.

Booster Gold may be my favorite ongoing title at the moment, but it’s a close contest with Birds of Prey.

A few books which don’t deserve an entire write-up, but are worth picking up if you get the chance. Penance 2 continues on just as strongly as the first issue did, with Robbie going after the Robot Master, for one reason and one reason only. He wants to get Nitro. And the secret of the numbers he’s been writing? They’re revealed. This issue would be another part of Tony Stark’s bad day. In all fairness, this book does deserve a full write-up, but I didn’t want to spoil any part of it. Meanwhile, Justice League 14 continues the battle between the Injustice Gang (or Legion of Doom, if we want to be honest) and the League, and does so wonderfully. I only had two complaints with it – the first being that things are happening so fast that they lack some of the attention they deserve. A new Shaggy Man? Grodd trying to break Geo-Force? Kryptonite paint? They’re all great ideas, and I just would have liked them to get a little more attention. My second complaint, and this is minor, is that in the splash page where Luthor shows Superman and Black Lightning the captured League is a bit too overtly sexualized in how it shows the captured heroines. Trust me, I know that superheroines in bondage is a common nerd fantasy, and has been ever since the early days of Wonder Woman. But I don’t need to be beat over the head with it. Finally, Mighty Avengers 5 manages to earn a little bit of respect from me in how Ares’ handles Ultron. The problem is how flawed other elements of the comic were. Frankly, Ultron shouldn’t be able to stand up to a pissed-off Sentry. “Power of a thousand exploding suns”, remember? Going to be going toe-to-toe with the Hulk in a week or so. And Ultron just killed his wife (maybe). Ultron should’ve been pulped. And I still think that the thought balloons seem more reflective of an editorial voice than that of the character they’re attached to.

So, that’s what I found noteworthy this week in comics. And if you’re not reading over there already, keep up with the developments in the world of superhero film and television at Superheroflix.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Thursday, October 11, 2007

New Captain America

Marvel has revealed pictures of the new Captain America, with a costume designed by Alex Ross.

No word yet on who it'll be, but Marvel has said it will not be Steve Rogers in the costume.

I kind of dig the costume, but don't see why it was needed. Much like Ben Riley's Spider-Man costume it's a decent moderinizing without dishonoring the original, but was it needed? No.

Labels: ,

Weekly Comic Round-Up

Every week (roughly) Aaron goes to the Laughing Ogre in Columbus, Ohio and spends far more money than his wife would prefer. He then comes back here and writes about the comics he reads that he thought were noteworthy. This isn't everything he picks up, just the things that he feels merit discussion - either for being really good, or for having something really wrong with them.

Green Arrow and Black Canary 1
Hey! Look! Connor and Dinah together on the cover! And a caption that this is not the team we expected. I guess that means that Dinah really did kill Ollie on their wedding night last issue.

Sure it is.

Needless to say, Dinah isn’t taking the fact that she killed her husband well. She’s become overtly violent and aggressive, with Connor, Hal and just about everyone else in the DCU telling her to deal with it. Dinah, on the other hand, is convinced that it was a fake Oliver, and that he’s still alive and out there.

And of course, it’s Batman who is suspicious enough to believe that Dinah might be right. An autopsy reveals that Bruce was correct – how shocking. And as the issue closes, we see who has the real Oliver Queen captive.

Pardon me, but what the hell? There are more plot holes in this then I can even begin to deal with. Let’s start with the fact that they did DNA testing on Ollie’s corpse. That should’ve revealed the truth – most shapeshifters don’t get to that level of duplication. But an autopsy performed by Batman and Dr. Mid-Nite will reveal it. Right.

Then there’s the question of how it took place? Dinah should’ve realized it wasn’t actually Ollie long before he came after her with a knife.

And finally, Dinah is among the ten best martial artists in the DCU. Oliver Queen doesn’t even come close (though his son might). She should have been able to disarm and disable the fake Oliver without jamming an arrow through his neck.

They really need to work to pull this out of the nose-dive they’re currently in. I want to like this book – I love Green Arrow and Black Canary. But this is just lame.

Green Lantern 24
The Sinestro War continues. As the Sinestro Corps comes to Earth, they send the Cyborg and the Manhunters to take out the JLA, as we saw last week in the Cyborg’s own comic. Meanwhile, Superboy Prime leads the Sinestros to attack earth proper.

And Parallax goes after Hal Jordan’s family. Hal flies off to the rescue, and is absorbed by Parallax, but then Kyle and Hal work together to burst free.

Ganthet and his Smurfette arrive and contain Parallax in the lanterns of Kyle, Hal, John Stewart and Guy Gardner – because humans have shown themselves to be especially capable at confronting their fears.

Really? Because, to my knowledge, the only two Lanterns to be possessed by Parallax were Kyle and Hal. That’s not exactly the criteria I’d choose for who to keep it captured.

Kyle does reclaim the mantle of (a) Green Lantern though, which is cool. I prefer him as a Lantern to being the receptacle for Ion. Besides, Ion is going to the Daxamite GL – which is going to be a necessity with Superboy Prime leading the Sinestro Corps.

It was a fun read, but moments that should have been meaningful were rushed.

Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man 24
“One More Day” continues, and now Peter is off to Dr. Strange to attempt to save May’s life. Despite being told by Stephen that May’s death is inevitable, and there is nothing that can be done, Peter insists. And so Strange uses magic to let Peter ask everyone he can think of to help his Aunt. They all refuse.

(Which makes no sense. We have seen that the technology is there to clone a person. We have also seen that the technology exists to transfer someone’s brain into a clone. If anyone has earned this procedure, it’s Peter.)

Peter, being foolhardy, then sneaks magic from behind Strange’s back to go back in time to prevent the shooting from happening. Because the knowledge of Latin from chemistry and biology is enough to use one of Dr. Strange’s artifacts, of course. It doesn’t work, needless to say.

Strange finally counsels Peter to go and be with his Aunt in her dying moments, rather than spending what time she has left rushing around to try to rescue her. Peter agrees, and as he wanders away, he remembers Strange saying that Peter couldn’t change what was meant to be. At which point a little girl shows up and says “But I can.”


The little girl is probably Mephisto. But even if Pete does go back in time, how does it matter? It has long-since been established that time-travel doesn’t let you change the past, it just creates an alternate reality.

I’ve seen spoilers for the end of “One More Day.” They anger me. But it seems like not only am I going to be mad about the results, I’m not going to be real happy with the journey.

JMS won me back to Spider-Man after the horror that was “The Clone Saga” and “Maximum Carnage.” But now he may have pushed me away from the web-slinger even harder.

Black Adam: The Dark Age 3
Adam’s quest continues, and wow has it been fun so far. Faust points out what the rest of us noticed, but that Adam had missed. Isis was missing a finger bone, and without that bone, the Lazarus Pit was unable to repair her. But Faust has said that he can bring her back if all of her amulet can be reclaimed.

Using the magic in her bones, Adam is now able to transform once again. So he begins his quest to regain the amulet pieces. The first piece is guarded by Hawkman.

It was a fun little fight, but why on Earth did it last? Adam is able to go toe-to-toe with Superman and Captain Marvel. Hawkman is a tough fighter with wings and a cool mace. The first punch Adam threw that connected should have removed Carter’s head.

Still, this is a minor quibble. The book has been excellent so far, and continues to be so. If you’re not reading it, you really need to.

A few books which don’t deserve an entire write-up, but are worth picking up if you get the chance. Countdown 29 continues again, and after a really strong week for Countdown and it’s crossovers, this week was kind of blah. First, it depended on the events of the upcoming Lord Havok cross-over, and that hasn’t come out. Secondly, the bits with Mary Marvel/Eclipso, The Karate Kid/Triplicate Lass, Holly Robinson and Jimmy Olsen were all a bit flat. And they really lose points for letting the Jokester be Monitored. He had a lot of potential that I wanted to see explored. And if they weren’t going to explore it, then the Crime Syndicate cross-over shouldn’t have been his origin. In Superman 668, Bruce and Clark are looking for the mysterious Third Kryptonian. (Of course, it’s more than that now. There’s Clark and Kara, but there’s also Karen (Power Girl), Krypto, Christopher, and also Zod and company.) The search was kind of uninteresting. Not bad, but uninteresting. But what was worth reading was the interaction between Christopher and Robin. Finally, New Avengers 35 features the team losing it’s first member as a death occurs fighting Zodiac. And then Night Thrasher disbands the team. It could’ve been interesting, but after five issues, I don’t feel like I know these characters. And by now, I should.

And if you’re not reading over there already, keep up with the developments in the world of superhero film and television over at Superheroflix.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Weekly Comic Round-Up

Every week (roughly) Aaron goes to the Laughing Ogre in Columbus, Ohio and spends far more money than his wife would prefer. He then comes back here and writes about the comics he reads that he thought were noteworthy. This isn't everything he picks up, just the things that he feels merit discussion - either for being really good, or for having something really wrong with them.

We’re really trying to understand why Marvel gave us practically nothing this week, so this is a very special, all DC (and very nearly, all Countdown) round-up.

Countdown Presents The Search for Ray Palmer: Wildstorm
Now, we’re going to do these in the appropriate chronological order for the characters (which is a weird idea when dealing with a group of heroes jumping from one reality to another. So, that also means we’re starting with my least favorite of the three. (Which based on the fact that it occurs before Countdown 31, I’m thinking it was supposed to be released last week.)

Anyhow, let me just say that wow, do I ever hate the Wildstorm universe. I kind of enjoyed the first Authority trade, but only because I was intrigued with the idea of a pro-active Justice League.

What bothered me about it? Well, mainly the fact that this world features a group of super-powered psychopaths, who in theory are their heroes. And thanks to the wonder of Mr. Mind devouring the multiverse, it is now a part of continuity as Earth 50.

Not a lot of plot, really. The story is all about the fact that the Authority nearly throw-down with Kyle, Donna, Jason and “Bob”, but the fight is averted due to the arrival of Majestic, who recognizes the heroes from his time filling in for Superman. There’s also a brief encounter between Monarch and Kyle, that suggests the final fight that Countdown is leading to.

Countdown Presents The Search for Ray Palmer: Crime Society
This next entry into the search for Ray Palmer is a more pleasant experience, for me at least. Why? Well, because it’s mostly about the origin of the Jokester. And I dig the Jokester.

You see, the Jokester reminds me of the fact that a friend of mine plays a heroic Joker in a superhero role-playing game I’m involved in. So, he’s oddly comforting.

Again, the story is a little anemic on plot. We see most of the search and battle in last week’s Countdown, after all. But the Jokester has a story, just sufficiently twisted enough away from the Joker’s to work. And it gives us confirmation that Duella Dent was actually the Jokester’s daughter.

I really do dig the characters of Earth 3. I want to see more of them. I’m starting to hope that the Jokester is going to make it back to New Earth with Jason, Donna and Kyle. Even if it means that, eventually, the Joker is going to kill him.

Countdown 30
Why, oh why, is it that there can be so many characters I care about in Countdown, and yet I find myself unable to enjoy the comic?

Maybe it’s that there are too many stories, and they aren’t getting enough attention. Or maybe it’s the fact that I don’t find any of them as compelling as the Search for Ray Palmer?
So, to recap, OMAC is scanning Karate Kid, Jimmy escapes Cadmus as his powers go haywire, and Holly and Harley have to fight sharks in order to get to Paradise Island.

Yes. Sharks.

But we do get more of the universe-hopping team. (Originally a trio, now up to five.) This time around, they end up at Earth 15 – a world similar to New Earth in many respects. They have a Batman, a Superman, a Wonder Woman, and Kyle as a Green Lantern. But there are some serious differences as well. For one thing, Jason Todd is that world’s Batman. Their Atom is an eighteen year-old girl, and that world’s Superman is a Kryptonian by the name of Zod.

Yeah, Zod. Though he isn’t a General.

My only real complaint is that it feels like the purpose of the Ray Palmer quest is to demonstrate as many of the different worlds as possible, and I can’t help but think that’s a mistake. Leave yourself room for new ideas in the future, guys.

Tales of the Sinestro Corps: Cyborg Superman 1
So, I really dig the Cyborg. I think he has a great look, and a fun origin. That and he’s one of the few folks able to go toe-to-toe with Superman, and for that he gets major points.

I was really looking forward to this issue, as a result. And all I can say is why?.

The comic starts off slow, as we go through a recap of his origins. We also see that all is not well between him and Sinestro. And did we mention that he wants to die, but doesn’t think he can?
Well, they’re going to hit it again,
…and again
…and again
…and again.

The assault on the Watchtower by the Sinestro Corps should’ve been terrifying. I was bored to tears. Even when the Big Three arrive and Superman goes against Henshaw, I found myself uncaring. This is a problem.

I really wanted to like this issue, but just felt empty inside at the end.

A few books which don’t deserve an entire write-up, but are worth picking up if you get the chance. In Metamorpho: Year One 1 revists the origin of Metallo in a compelling, if unoriginal, story. It does beg the question though of why an ancient Egyptian Orb transformed him in a way that is consistent with superhero costume patterns. Meanwhile, Bizarro am not back in pages of Action Comics 856. Superman stay on Earth, not rescue Pa. Bizarro Justice League am very dangerous. Am hating this storyline. Never read. Finally, Joss Whedon keeps things moving with Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Eight 7. Faith crashes the coming out party, and finds herself almost making friends with the psycho-princess-Slayer, while Willow tries to get Dawn to tell her what spell her boyfriend used to make her a giant.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

News dump from SuperheroFlix

So, like I said, I'm now working on getting news and stories up at SuperheroFlix. And it's been keeping me busy.

Here are just a few of the stories the site has put up over the last few days:

Heroes Re-cap for Episode 2.02: 'Lizards'

Writers of Transformers Revealed as Rewriters for Watchmen
Jonathan Jackson Battles The Seeker in The Dark Is Rising
Composer Ilan Eshkeri Re-teaming with Director Matthew Vaughn for Thor
James Wong Writing and Directing Dragon Ball Z Live-Action Film
Digital Production Supervisor Jeff White on Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
The Incredible Hulk Storyline and Spoilers
Watch 4 Clips from Episode 2 of Bionic Woman!
Johnny Dynamite Television Series in the Works
Visual-Effects Supervisor Scott Farrar on Transformers 2
James Purefoy to Play the Lead Role in Solomon Kane
Underdog Paws Its Way to DVD and Blu-ray Disc December 18
Steven Moffat Is Writing Tintin
Full Cast List Revealed for Justice League: The New Frontier
CONTEST: Win Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer on DVD!
EXCLUSIVE: Eva Mendes Is Dating The Spirit
Malin Akerman Leaks a Little Watchmen Info
Carlos Mencia to Bring Beaner Man to the Big Screen!
Creators of Watchmen Consult with Author of The Physics of Superheroes

And I'm going to be writing reviews for the site as well.

Now, I didn't contribute all of those stories (not even close actually), but wow, it's a lot to keep up with. It's been tremendous fun, but it's a lot of work.

I'll be back on Thursday with the round-up.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Crickets chirping...

Hey gang, I just wanted to let everyone know that things are going to slow down over here for a bit. I'll still be doing my round-ups here, and will still be talking about anything that is superhero related without being related to film or television which crosses my mind.

Why will I no longer be talking film or television?

Well, because I'm going to be busy working over at Superheroflix. Superheroflix is a spin-off genre site from MovieWeb, and one that has decided to bring me on-board working with them.

It's a tremendously exciting opportunity, and one I'm looking forward to. But it's not the place to talk about how excited I was to see Black Adam rip one of the Four Hoursemen into shreds in this weeks Countdown, (Hypothetically. To best of my knowledge, we will never see Black Adam engaging in violence against the Hoursemen in the pages of Countdown.), so I'll still be putting stuff over here.

I'll probably also, once I get used to things, put links to breaking news from Superheroflix over here as well.

Just wanted to keep everyone informed.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Weekly comic round-up

Every week (roughly) Aaron goes to the Laughing Ogre in Columbus, Ohio and spends far more money than his wife would prefer. He then comes back here and writes about the comics he reads that he thought were noteworthy. This isn't everything he picks up, just the things that he feels merit discussion - either for being really good, or for having something really wrong with them.

Avengers: The Initiative 6
The cover really gives this issue away. Someone has taken out “The Gauntlet” – and logically the suspicion falls on all of those recruits who have been abused by him for five issues straight now – especially the former New Warrior, Rage. (Justice gets implicated as well, despite being a part of the staff, for his own New Warrior connections).

S.H.I.E.L.D.’s investigation is interesting enough, especially considering my general distaste for that kind of story. And it’s fun watching Gyrich sweat that S.H.I.E.L.D. might discover his personal black ops team.

The continuing mystery about the death of MVP also rears its’ ugly head, and Hardball continues to communicate with his conspirator.

What’s most fascinating is that Gauntlet wakes up and lies about who his attacker was – to protect his soldiers, the way any good sergeant should. But the shocker of this issue is who the attacker was –someone who has previously been drastically underestimated. A nice compelling issue that goes a long way towards making us finally care about these recruits.

Teen Titans 51
The world of the future Titans is not one I would want to live in. The future visions of the team are brutal and unforgiving, and not terribly far removed from the Justice Lords from the Justice League cartoon.

I wouldn’t want to read an entire series about them. But they’re fun guest stars, in that “we’re really villains” sort of way. It’s fascinating watching them try to warp their younger selves into becoming who they are. The Titans are, obviously resistant to this to varying degrees. Some fight against it with all their will, while others (looking at you, Kid Devil) succumb to temptation from their future selves.

The first high point of the issue for me would be the fact that this world gives some credence to my hopes that Kon-El will return from the dead somehow, and that his relationship with Cassie will rekindle. The second would be the confrontation between the two Tim Drakes – The future Batman who carries the same gun which killed Bruce’s parents, and the Robin of today.

Ultimate Spider-Man 114
Well, Bagley’s art being absent is felt in this issue more than it had been in either of the issues prior – I really wanted his pencils for the fight between Electro and Spidey. It’s still fine art, but it just feels off somehow.

The issue mainly focuses on Peter’s attempts to get those he cares about out of the line of fire, now that Osborn has been released. Why? Because he’s Peter Parker and he does that. We also get a tease of future storylines, as we say May on a date with Miles Warren.

Once the family is safely sequestered, Peter goes on the hunt for Osborn, and instead finds Electro. They fight, unsurprisingly. S.H.I.E.L.D. shows up to end the fight – but the cavalry isn’t here to help Spidey. They take both villain and hero down, and the issue ends with Peter in custody of S.H.I.E.L.D.

I’m thinking that the less-than-pleasant relationship between Peter and Fury is going to bite Parker on his butt next issue.

Justice League of America 13
We’ve been building to this – starting with the wedding special, and now that it’s here, it doesn’t disappoint. The Injustice League is prepared for the JLA, and the League is quite seriously caught with their pants down. With Luthor and the Joker as their masterminds, the Injustice League is well-prepared, and has set a series of ambushes for the League.

One by one, we watch each of the League’s heavy-hitters go down. Batman frees himself and attempts to free Wonder Woman, but presumably that goes poorly. Green Lantern, Hawkgirl and Red Tornado are quickly dismantled by Fatality, Shadow Thief, Killer Frost and Poison Ivy. And it is only due to the intervention of Black Lightning that Superman, Vixen and Black Canary manage to avoid defeat at the hands of Grodd, Dr. Light, the Cheetah and the Parasite. But waiting in the wings is a power-armor clad Luthor.

I am tingling with anticipation for the next issue.

A few books which don’t deserve an entire write-up, but are worth picking up if you get the chance. In Green Arrow: Year One 5 we finally get to see a bit of who Ollie is meant to become. It’s taken way too long to get here, and unless you are the most die-hard Ollie fan, I think this whole series could easily have been skipped, but it is starting to be good. Countdown 31 continues the saga, with a pleasant re-appearance of the Crime Syndicate (Society, whatever) fighting against Donna, Jason Todd, Kyle Rayner and the Monitor. Towards the end of the issue, they’re assisted by the Jokester – the only man crazy enough to fight the Crime Society, and who ends up following our heroes on their quest through space and time. (I’m beginning to think that Duella Dent is actually the daughter of the Jokester). Secondary character Holly Robinson continues her story, Mxyptlyx gets abducted through a rip in reality, Jimmy’s powers cause chaos for everyone at Cadmus, and Mary Marvel continues her descent into evil at Eclipso’s guidance. This issue might have earned a full write-up, but it loses points for the fact that the best part of it was the two-page bio of the Joker at the very end.

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Listen! Up in the sky!

So, a while back we talked about old-time radio plays of superheroes. Well, three weeks of listening to them haven’t diminished my enthusiasm in the slightest. But there’s one little problem… they’re old.

Now, don’t get me wrong, there is nothing at all wrong with old stories. But it does remove the heroes from our frame of reference - Superman was a different character in the 1940’s then he is today. His relationships with Lex, Lois, Perry, etc. have all changed dramatically in the intervening sixty years, and the modern day listener can be somewhat confused when listening.

Fortunately, a great group of fans has come to the rescue.

The great people at Pendant Audio have been recording audio dramas for several years now. They started off with fan dramas, the first one being Star Trek, and then they moved into superhero audio shows, Superman: The Last Son of Krypton first, than Batman: The Ace of Detectives, Wonder Woman: Champion of Themyscira and Supergirl: Lost Daughter of Krypton.

They’re good stories, grounded in modern continuity, with a remarkably good group of voice actors working on them - all the more remarkable because they’re fans across the internet and not professionals. The different superheroes are also intertwined (no worries, they will provide you with a list of the stories and what order they should be listened).

I’m up to “issue” 6 of Superman: The Last Son of Krypton, and loving it so far. They’re not perfect, but they are a lot of fun.

4 masks out of 5

Labels: ,