Pull List Review (4/27/11 Comics)

Action Comics #900: It’s nearly 100 pages of Superman stories commemorating 900 issues of Action Comics. The first story is the continuation of the story that’s been building with Luthor. It was interesting to see the various times in Superman’s life that Luthor makes him relive as drawn by the artists of those particular stories. Anyone whose read this site knows of my dislike for Gary Frank’s Superman art, but I have to admit, Frank’s sequence in this issue (aside from the mouths I still I can’t stand) worked well enough, especially the look of hurt and regret and sympathy Superman gives to Lex after reliving the death of Jonathan Kent. The rest of the story is merely the sad continuation of Lex’s hubris, and the fight between the Superman family and the Doomsdays (to be continued in #901).

The Ryan Sook art of the second story is lovely and understated, befitting the tone of “Life Support”, though I did not care for the Krypton setting. I’m just not interested in stories about Superman’s biological parents. The Paul Dini three-page story is hardly worth the effort, but it is only three pages; however, the RB Silva/Rob Lean art is very good, especially the celestial hippo. Geoff John’s story (a four pager), was a nice little Clark and Lois moment, featuring the Legion of Super-Heroes.

The last story, if you want to call it that, was an annotated storyboard written by Richard Donner & Derek Hoffman. I do not share Geoff Johns’s reverence of Mr. Donner, and this “story” only furthers my distaste for Donner’s comic book work. Besides, Lois wouldn’t fall for the charm of the antagonist of the story–she’s married to Superman for crying out loud! Enough with Donner and his association to Superman. (And while I’m attempting to pick at the Reverend Donner, his director’s cut of Superman II? Not so great.)

The best story, however, was the second to last one, “The Incident”. It was much ballyhooed in the press, especially the conservative spin of it. Long story short, Superman renounced his U.S. citizenship because he was “tired of having my actions construed as instruments of U.S. policy. The world’s too small. Too connected.” Nothing may really become of this, but I applaud DC for taking at least this step in this character’s evolution. It seems right. But it pisses me off that the narrow-minded conservative talking heads out there only heard Superman say he was no longer an American and that somehow negates everything Superman actually stands for. If Superman were real, I would hope he would stand for the entire world, not just America. America is just one country, after all. What this world needs, what this country needs, is a good dose of world patriotism, not this jingoistic crap that’s infested America for too long. Ok, I’m stepping off the soapbox. But I really liked this story and think its detractors need to open their eyes, as Superman did in it.

Brightest Day #24: Ok, the ending to this maxi-series was kind of a let down, but I totally loved the journey. The writing and art of this series was top notch for the most part (the early Firestorm stuff I wasn’t too keen on), and it got me excited for an upcoming Aquaman series–that’s never happened before. Plus, my beautiful Dove had more screen time, as it were (even if she did fall in love with Deadman). Sure, the destinies of the resurrected heroes and villains felt somewhat forced at times, but I like the idea that our choices, however small, can impact things in a greater way, even if we can’t see it.

So, Swamp Thing is back and he’s now the Earth’s champion–not totally original, but ok. Him murdering greedy, anti-environmental businessmen–how will that play out? We all “sin” against the Earth every day–should we all be punished for driving our vehicles? For not recycling? For being too complacent or jaded to force our government to act for our environment instead of slowly killing us all? Where will your eye for an eye justice end, oh Thing of the Swamp? Perhaps some of these things will be answered in the Brightest Day Aftermath series coming in June.

Mighty Thor #1: Given the excitement I felt about the movie, I wanted to check out this new series. Unfortunately, I did not get that same sense of excitement from this book. It’s not a bad start: Galactus is coming, and Thor pulled a seed from the World Tree and has been affected by it in some way that I’m sure is relevant. The art is ok (I do like the coloring quite a bit), though Thor’s head looks little too Neanderthalish to me. Anyway, I’ll read a few more issues to see how it’s going.

Ruse #2: Unlike my reading of Sigil, I very much enjoyed this second issue of Ruse. So much is going on in this series in comparison. I find it interesting that Waid seems to have totally dropped the fact that Emma is a witch, but maybe it will come up in the next issue when Emma has to fight, bare-knuckled, woman vs. woman in an underground match. That Simon Archard is a right bastard! The art continues to not impress me–it seems to be a little better this time, but still inconsistent, especially in the way the main characters are shown.

Wonder Woman #610: I know that cover is cliché, but I still really like it. What I am getting tired of in this storyline are all the fight scenes. The majority of the individual issues and the majority of the total issues has been filled with fight scenes. I know that seems strange to complain about in a superhero comic book, but for some reason, I expect more character growing and less fisticuffs in this title. At least Diana now has her Lasso of Truth, which I find extremely funny since she uses it tied as a noose (which, by thew way, how did she tie it into a noose so quickly? In one panel, she’s admiring it, and the next time we see it, it’s in a noose. The events of the panels do not seem to indicate that she’s tying it in any kind of knot.). We finally see Steve Trevor, though as a doctor. I would have been fine not ever seeing him in this storyline–I find him the weakest member of Diana’s supporting cast.

I also read Batman, Inc. #5, Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors #9, and FF #2, but since I haven’t yet reviewed FF #1, the #2 review will have to wait.

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