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.


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