Pull List Review (2/2/11 Comics)

What’s a better Valentine’s Day present than comics (or even reviews of comics)? I can’t think of any! ;)

Brightest Day #19: This issue starts off with some great exposition between Deadman and the Entity, with a little more of the Entity’s purpose is shown. The majority of the book, though, is a battle sequence between Aquaman, with Aqualad, and Siren’s army (this issue is titled “Aquawar”, after all). There’s some great pages in this issue. I think it’s Ivan Reis who’s doing the Aquaman sequences, and it looks wonderful. There’s a great two-page spread when Siren invades a beach (Reis actually shows a woman getting shot in the back by one of the soldiers, and is, besides a few still bodies shown in the fore/background, the only substantial human injury shown, which I find disingenuous considering it’s an army invading a beach!), another splash page showing Black Manta cutting off Aquaman’s hand, and the final page, also a splash page, showing Black Manta about to stab the Sea King while Aquaman cradles his bloody stump.

Please, please, please, Mr. Johns, don’t give Aquaman that horrible harpoon/magic water hand again. I liked that he was returned whole (well, physically) and his originalish costume. Don’t return to the 90s in terms of his character (I actually think this won’t happen, but it doesn’t hurt to plead the case). :)

This series continues to be my favorite every month. Great art and story that’s building toward’s something. I hope DC continues to do something like this format, i.e., a biweekly, year-long series with this level of quality. Weekly books are just too much for my wallet and patience, but this Brightest Day format I can get behind.

Irredeemable #22: Can I just say, gross? The aliens contain Plutonian by wrapping the out of control, zombie-ish captive (I almost typed “hero”–but he is the hero of this current storyline, in a way) in his own cloned skin! Say it with me: EWW! But is a totally cool concept. :) This issue is doubly eww because of the scene with Modeus and the brain-dead Scylla whom Modeus has dressed up as Plutonian, so, you know, Modeus can role play. But it’s Modeus’s plan that is intriguing (even if predictable). I get the feeling this series as a whole is moving towards something, but I’m not sure what of if it’s going to be good. I wish this series was finite, so I could get a beginning, middle, and end feeling to this title. Plus, with Mark Waid having stepped down as EIC of Boom!, I wonder if he’ll continue writing this series long-term?

Legion of Super-Heroes Annual #1: Keith Giffen reunites with long-time Legion collaborator Paul Levitz, and I must say, welcome home Keith, welcome home! As I tweeted last week, this story made me feel like I did when I read the 80s Legion run with these two creators, unlike the Legion stories I’m reading now by Levitz and Cinar. I don’t blame Levitz so much–I think it can be hard to be given someone’s concept that is based off your ideas and then told to run with it (of course, I may be giving Levitz too much leeway here–maybe it’s just not in him anymore, or maybe this says more about me?). Regardless, I loved this annual. I’ve always enjoyed the Emerald Empress character, and now we get version 2. I do hate, though, how Emerald Empress has been shown in more recent years referring to herself as “eye” instead of “I”. Very annoying. And then there’s the art.

Giffen showed a love of medieval inspired style (especially in clothing) in his 5YL run on the Legion, and we get it back in this issue. And how could we not? It’s set on the feudal world of Orando, which brings Princess Proje–excuse me, I mean Sensor Girl into conflict with the new Emerald Empress. I understand that Giffen is having some eye problems, (please get well soon, sir) and that contributed to the lateness of this annual, so I don’t know if it’s that or Giffen’s continually evolving art style, or even the two inkers, but the art, while definitely Giffen, is “off”. It’s not bad, certainly, but while it suggests the art I’m familiar with from the 5YL Legion, it’s a bit loose in places, especially in people’s faces (in fact, it reminds me of Kirby’s work a little bit). Again, I’m not really complaining, just pointing out a difference in what I’ve seen before. I would love to see Giffen do another annual (make it an “annual” event, if you’ll pardon the pun), or even some small arcs on the main book.

Interesting side note: we are shown what looks like the making of the Emerald Eye of Ekron, but I thought it was already established that the Eye was an actual eye of some space-faring giant? Of course, with so many reality changing events in the DCU, who can really tell? At the end of the book is a serpentine “game board” giving us the history of the Legion up to now. In fact, it ends on something that I’ve been wondering about for a while. It states, “Shadow Lass divorces Mon-El…”. Huh? The end of the “game” states, “You’re all caught up!” Umm, no. Where did this dissolution of one of my favorite Legion romances occur? Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to ensure that I ordered the Legion of Super-Villains special coming out next month.

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