Thursday, June 30, 2005

Comics review for week of June 29

Really need to update this thing some more.

No Homoerotica Friday this week -- Franny and I will be away from our respective computers for the holiday weekend. I'll try to put up something gay on Monday.

As for this week's comic haul... well, let's take a look. I'll try to be as non-spoilery as I can.

Batman: I don't know why, but this issue didn't do anything for me. Maybe I'm just burnt out over the whole Jason Todd thing, but this was a "take-it-or-leave-it" issue for me. It wasn't bad by any stretch of the imagination -- indeed, the bit in the cave at the end was very nice -- but I'm just kind of bored already with the Rebirth of Robin II.

Batman Allies Secret Files and Origins: I think I liked the Batman Villains issue better, but that's just because Black Mask scares the bejeezus out of me. But I really did enjoy this one. The first story was heavy-handed and a little clunky -- and it reminded me of Tim Burton's Batman more than anything. The Commissioner Akins story was spot-on, though. Speaking as someone who doesn't know him very well, this characterized his relationship with the Bat quickly and cleanly. And the Cass/Tim interactions in the third story are great. And lo and behold! A cliffhanger ending that actually makes me want to read the upcoming comics!

Flash: Oh. Oh oh damn. Now there's a "family reunion" that's got me on edge.

Green Lantern: Okay, the woman pilot so felt Hal up. Oh sure, you may say it's gratuitous -- but admit it, you'd try it too if you were there. For me, the gratuitous bit is the scene with the superior officer. I may not know a hell of a whole lot about the military, but my bullshit alarm went into Red Alert mode when I saw that one. It doesn't seem like the kind of incident where you can just say, "Golly, sir, I'm awful sorry... Can I have a plane again now?" And the Jack-Jordan-dying-one-year-ago thing makes my brain hurt. The Spectre series told us Hal's older brother bought it in the Coast City explosion -- if you're trying to tell me that the last 10 years of real time happened in one year of comics, you're out of your fucking mind. One more instance of Geoff Johns insisting that the whole Spectre series Didn't Happen, I guess. But. I nitpick and bitch as an act of love. I'm really enjoying the hell out of this series so far.

Justice League America - Classified: Now, I'm a big fan of Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis, and I've got to say I was really disappointed with these last two issues. If it weren't for the fact that the ending for issue #7 was so horribly sad, I would say they should have ended it right there. This feels like they had a four-issue story, but were commissioned for six. It just felt like they were trying too hard to be funny in this one, rather than let the funny bubble up naturally as a result of upbeat witty banter and self-aware pokes at the comics industry itself. And the final page -- seeing Ralph and Sue Dibny getting excited over trying for a baby and Ted Kord and Maxwell Lord grinning at the camera leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Despite the closing panel, Giffen's League does not live "Bwa-ha-happily ever after," and nothing's going to change that. Instead of reveling in their status as a wildly-out-of-current-continuity story, the ending feels like one last attempt to cram I Can't Believe It's Not the Justice League into the main DCU storyline, and the less said about that, the better.

I'll stay with this title to see what Warren Ellis does with it -- from the previews, it looks like more OMG IDENTITY CRISIS THE JLA IS SO DARK RAWR!!! stuff. We'll see if the lord of Transmetropolitan can make the angst more interesting.

OMAC: When a book asks you to buy more comics with a cliffhanger ending, it had better be good. (Like, say, the bit I mention above.) This ending didn't do anything for me. Then again, I've never been a big Superman fan. I think I'll skip the tie-in crossover, but I'll stick around to watch the remaining members of Giffen's Justice League take the stage. But grim n' gritty bullshit that doesn't suit that team at all, and if #4 is as dark as I think it's going to be, I might end up dropping this miniseries.

Outsiders: One more name for the Women in Refrigerators list. What a waste.

Young Avengers: I order one book from DC's noble competition. (Well, I've also been reading Franny's copies of House of M, but I don't have a lot of emotional investment in it. Hell of a lot easier on a newbie fan than DC's mega-crossover, though.) I've got to say, for a story that hinges off of Avengers: Disassembled and a metric fuckton of time travel issues, it's pretty accessible to a fan of the Distinguished Competition. And it's got one of the last remaining letters columns in comics, mostly talking about this "are they or aren't they?" business. Frankly, I don't see what the big deal is. There's a hell of a lot slashier teams that I can name than this title right now (Outsiders and Teen Titans come to mind right off the bat). But it's still quite cute, clever, and again -- there's a way to do a cliff-hanger ending well. I'd recommend this series to anyone, even if you've never touched the other side of the comics shop in your life.

Well, I'm out of here for the weekend. Hope all my American readers have a nice Fourth... I'll see you all on Monday.


Anonymous Ron said...

Yeah, the whole disconnect between the Maxwell Lord in both ICB...JL series and what's going on in the mainstream DCU is just completely NUTS. And the scary thing is that Giffen/DeMatteis/Maguire are all set to take over the Defenders, which has GOT to entail pretending the last run of THAT series a few years back never happened...

10:43 PM, June 30, 2005  
Anonymous badficwriter said...

Max Lord was taken over by Brainiac. Or Kilgore. Or the Construct thingie that did it before.

I'm certain of it. First we'll have Maximum Twilight, to show how it happened, then Lord's Rebirth, to return him to conniving businessman with a robot and superhero fetish.

7:05 AM, July 02, 2005  

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