Pull List Review (6/15/11 Comics)

Alpha Flight #1: There is a Fear Itself tie-in, but it’s the typical villain attacks a city plot so the tie-in is so thin. We get a lot more of the relationships of the characters, and how some things have changed since I last read an Alpha Flight comic. Northstar is his usual pricky self, but he’s less of a background character in this series (and I think will be an important part of the ongoing story). His sister hasn’t changed much, however. Nor has Sasquatch. Plus, Aurora’s and Sasquatch’s relationship seems like it has picked up where I left them back in 1986. Vindicator and Guardian are so generic in this issue, I couldn’t tell them apart, save for the fact of the genders, but that changes at the end of the issue in a WTF? moment. Shaman is as I remember him, and Snowbird is in this issue so little it’s hard to to tell anything yet about her. In fact, I enjoyed her appearance in issue 0.1 much more than this issue. Marrina has turned into a bad-ass, and she gets the comedic lines in this issue. She tells a foot soldier of the invading ocean army to “Die, Earth scum!” Guardian chastises her about that, and she says under her breath, “Die, human scum.” So, when did she take on this personality? I really liked the relationship between Northstar and his boyfriend as it has been shown in this and the point 1 issue, but considering what happens in this issue, I’m doubting we’ll see that relationship continue, which is too bad. Overall, I’m looking forward to seeing where this series goes with the characters.

Batgirl #22: I loved the team-up between Stephanie and Squire. And Pere Pérez is back on the art! Guy Major does a great job on colors as well, but it’s so nice that Pérez is back on this title. I liked Lee Garbet’s work when the title first came out, but when Pérez took over, I really enjoyed the art. Dustin Nguyen is not bad (his covers are awesome!), but he’s no Pérez. I just love the way Pérez renders Stephanie (and the other characters). The bit towards the end when Steph and Squire talk about their mentors and the relationships they do/don’t have with them was nicely done, and makes me look forward to reading Batman, Inc. #9. If Batgirl is in the issue, then it can only be better for it. Too bad Bryan Q. Miller isn’t also writing that issue of Batman, Inc.!

Flashpoint: Deadman & the Flying Graysons #1: Last time, I commented how the Citizen Cold series was the best Flashpoint tie-in that I’d read, but this title is now my favorite. The art in this is just gorgeous. Mikel Janin does a good job, but I suspect that the colorist, Ulises Arreola, is the one that puts the art in this book over the top. We get to see Dick Grayson performing as a young adult with his parents in a circus. I don’t think I’ve ever read a story depicting this, and it was quite lovely. Plus, you get some great images of things familiar, like Dick’s Nightwing-esque performance outfit, King Shark and Ragdoll as part of the circus, and Kent Nelson who “performs” as Fate, and who can also see how things are different in this new world. Boston Brand is the same brash and arrogant performer that we’ve always seen from his past, but he does get a taste of what Fate knows, so it will interesting to see how this affects the Deadman.

Flashpoint: Wonder Woman & the Furies #1: We get some history as to why Aquaman and Wonder Woman are at war, and it’s a tragic, though overused plot device. I did like how Aquaman’s outfit has green and yellow in it–it seems more fish-like to me in a way. I hope this gets better next issue. I think that’s the problem with the books that have a direct hand in the world of Flashpoint, like this one and Emperor Aquaman. DC is using these books to give us more the back-story details of the world we’re in, and the plot of those tie-ins suffers a bit since issue one is essentially a flashback, leaving two issues to get us into the meat of the story. We’ll see, I suppose. The Scott Clark and Dave Beaty art is good enough, though everyone’s chins and overall head shapes are similar. Finally, there’s a continuity error that bugs me: when one of the Amazons announces she has the murderous traitor, she is wearing armor, then, two panels later (and what can only be a few moments in “real” time), she has put the armor on the Atlantean and reveals him to the assembled crowd. I know the comic book gutter can be used to compress time, but that’s ridiculous.

LSH #14: I totally missed the contradictory copy on the cover as it relates to actual events in the book, but the Comics Rogue caught it, and it is funny–one of those bits of hyperbole in comics that I just tend to ignore. Does the guy in the blue flame look familiar to anyone else? I knew that Professor Li was more than what she seemed and even more so as evidenced by this issue. Finally, if you had a vision that your loved one may die, would you tell him or her, as Dream Girl did? Maybe I would if I thought it would warn them to be careful, but these are Legionnaires we’re talking about–death is their middle name.

Ruse #4: The mystery and villain have been dispatched, and the art seems improved in this final issue. I enjoyed the return of these characters, but missed the original artist and some of the fantastical elements of the original series. Plus, the showdown between  the heroes and the villain seem all too familiar if you’ve read the previous series–I mean, how many times can they go on “killing” the bad guy in similar ways? Maybe that spark is no longer here. If they came out with another mini, I’d probably get it just to see if things improve, but for now, I think I’d rather go read my CrossGen trades of this series.

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