Thursday, October 11, 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.

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.

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Blogger Matt said...

When you say New Avengers 35 in the quick roundups, are you talking about the New Warriors comic?

As for Green Arrow, I'll hold out hope till I read it. Everyman's power gets to DNA levels of duplication, but not completely last I knew. Batman was able to use a DNA test to determine Everyman was impersonating Ted Kord over in Manhunter, but, if I remember right, the DNA match was very close.

I don't know if Circe improved his abilities when she was working with him, but it's possible she might have.

Still, the whole death gimmick was a ploy to raise sales and draw people to the title that shouldn't have been pulled. It was sloppily done (Black Canary should have outfought Everyman) and the creative team could do a lot better than that.

4:29 PM  
Blogger Aaron said...

I understand Everyman can go that far, but it makes no sense that a DNA test doesn't find out that it's Ollie, but cutting him up with a chainsaw does.

And yeah, I did mean New Warriors 5. I was going to review New Avengers 35, but changed my mind - it didn't deserve it.

4:48 PM  
Blogger Matt said...

If I were writing it, I'd say the autopsy would show no internal scarring around the lungs which the true Ollie would have after his near fatal encounter with Merlyn.

However the writers will probably come up with a lamer explanation. I'm with you in hoping the storyline improves. Green Arrow is one of my favorites and a title willing to explore the family life of two married superheroes could be a good thing if the creative team quits pulling cheap stunts.

8:42 PM  

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