Batman & Robin #15: This has been a high-octane ride since issue one, and here we are at the penultimate issue of Grant Morrison’s run on this title. Man, does Morrison know how to write the Joker. And the Frazier Irving art is awesome (especially the coloring)–better than Quitely’s run on the book (there, I said it). I loved that last page: so minimalist, so powerful (guess who’s back?!). One nit, however: there’s a panel showing Batman getting hit in the back with his cowl clearly and securely on, but in the next panel, his cowl is off. Visually, that’s a stretch to me, the gutter aspect notwithstanding. Still, a minor quibble.
Brightest Day #12: The majority of this issue focuses on J’onn J’onzz and his confrontation with D’kay on Mars. Unfortunately, just when I thought J’onn did something spectacular that would change the DCU, oops!, it’s all a telepathic ruse. Yawn. There are a couple pages of non-J’onn stuff, one containing a pretty picture of Dove’s face (remember that I love Dove?). :) Also, are the writers setting up some sort of attraction thing between Dove and Deadman? Gross!
DC Universe: Legacies #6: I just noticed looking at this comic again that George Pérez inking Jerry Ordway makes Ordway’s pencils look pretty darn good. Anyway. Remember the end of the Crisis? The Detroit JLA? The events of Legends? In fact, you get about 8 pages summarizing that John Byrne series. This issue gets us through the mid- to late-80s of DC continuity, ending with the news that Barbara Gordon was shot by the Joker (from the great The Killing Joke). If I wasn’t such a fan of the DCU and had a love of continuity, this series would fall waaayyy flat; it’s not bad, however, there’s just not much meat to it. I wonder what the sales on this book are? Are there that many of us out there that eat this stuff up? The second story is just more Keith Giffen Legion silliness.
JLA #50: Finally a JLA Robinson-written issue that doesn’t totally suck, thanks mostly to the lack of internal monologues and the plot-oriented action. I am confused, however, as to which version of the Crime Syndicate is in this issue. I think they’re the anti-matter universe version of the group, but now we have, apparently, the original Johnny Quick and Power Ring back (but how?). No mention, however, of the anti-matter universe is made. The majority of this 56-page issue is fight scene after fight scene, and it’s only at the end that we find that Dr. Impossible is involved and ends up double crossing Owlman (which I found funny, and out of character for Owlman somewhat), giving rise to the main baddy of this storyline: Omega Man (yeesh, really?). I think this storyline is my last for the JLA comic.
Legion of Superheroes #6: I like the new artist’s style, but his storytelling technique needs work. One panel Shady is hugging Tinya after making up from last issue’s events and the next panel is Shady striking a menacing and angry pose that makes no sense. Also, at the end of the issue, Earth Man is threatening Brainy verbally, while pointing a finger at Brainy’s face. The next panel shows Brainy clutching at his throat and gulping, suggesting that Earth Man grabbed Brainy by the throat, or scared Brainy so much that he reacts in a very physical way, which is so completely out of character for him (ok, maybe Levitz should take most of the blame for that one). Levitz is also amping up the sexuality of the group. First we got the revelation that Shady and Earth Man were doing it (I still don’t know what happened between her and Mon-El!), and now we are shown that Shrinking Violet and Lightning Lass are a couple. I actually missed this the first time around, but Vi has her arm around Ayla’s waist while talking about taking Ayla back to Imsk for some R&R (wink wink). Curiously, Ayla says nothing on that page and only eats what looks like potato chips the whole time–what’s up with that?
Finally, this issue had an additional short story featuring Phil Jimenez doing pencils. When I heard Jimenez was drawing the Legion, I was pretty excited because I like his work a lot (you should check out his wonderful Otherworld trade–a pity that series didn’t continue), but I didn’t care for the inks over Jimenez’s pencils. As far as the story–Legion Academy trainees are sent out to deal with a forest fire–the end result was pretty lame. It takes a transformed-into-a-genius Academy member to point out that Chemical Kid can stop the fire after the rest of the gang give it their best shot? And with Legion old-timers Cosmic Boy and Duplicate Girl there supervising? Please. I find I’m not liking Paul Levitz’s writing, which is too bad since his last run on the Legion remains one of my all-time favorites for any comic.