RandoMonday: Irredeemable #33

Here’s a comic chosen at random from my collection.

irredeemable 33

Irredeemable #33 by Mark Waid, Diego Barreto, Nolan Woodard, Ed Dukeshire, Matt Gagnon, Shannon Watters, and Dan Panosian (cover)

“Redemption, part 3”

I loved the idea of this series and its companion, Incorruptible. It’s What If Superman turned evil and took over the world (and in Incorruptible, what if the bad guy, because of what the “superhero” did, becomes the good guy?)?

This issue is part 3 of a cross-over event, but the story is really an examination of the Plutonian’s upbringing as he learns the truth of his origin (namely, aliens are his parents — how did Mark Waid not get sued over this?). Plutonian goes from tantrum with his parents, to wanting to leave Earth with them during the course of the conversation, but in the end, his parents tell him him that “epiphany is not the same as absolution” and seemingly are going to imprison him when former ally and antagonist Qubit and Max Daring, respectively, show up to free him.

As I said, I really dug the premises in both the series, though I dropped both before they concluded and before they got to this cross-over, and I did not resume the series’ after this event. Both ended shortly after and I have been very curious where both sets of books/characters ended up. In this story, I liked how Plutonian quickly goes from fighting to acceptance, inverting the usual superhero trope. Plus, it’s always fun to see an interesting take on the Superman mythos, at least to me. The artists do a good job of showing the various emotions of the characters, from the smug righteousness of Plutonian’s foster father, to the rage of the titular character, and the brief moments of sadness and happiness. And this is a small thing, but there are panels where the background is pure black with the ghostly images in that realm being a kind of glowing teal that I really like.

There is an omnibus of the series scheduled to be published, but who know what will happen given the current COVID-19 crisis, but you can also find this issue and the rest at Comixology.

Pull List Review: 12/7/11 Comics

So, this is how I get my comics: my “local” comic shop is 80 miles away so I only go every 3 to 4 weeks to pick up my lovelies. I also get some comics from an online retailer once a month, so my reviews are always at least a month behind. December is just hard to get anything done in with the holidays, then in January I decided last minute to do the 30 Day Comic Book Challenge (posting every day is actually a lot more time consuming than what you see in the posts), and finally Episode 17 of the podcast kept me busy as well. This is all to excuse the VERY late, quick and dirty Pull List Review for my December 2011 comics, week 1.

Action Comics #4: I’m not sure how I feel about Brainiac being the first “supervillain” Superman faces in the DCnU. On one hand, it makes perfect sense, but on the other, this story has been done and redone over the years. And why is Superman wearing a white t-shirt in this issue? I have a white Superman t-shirt, so this look doesn’t appear “super” to me, although I like the idea that even Superman started out on a budget. And where does he get the shirts made? Could the t-shirt maker put 2 and 2 together? Oh the things Grant Morrison brings to mind! The Steel backup story was ok.

Animal Man #4: A couple fellow comic readers think I’m crazy for not liking this book as much as they do. It’s ok. It’s not great, but it’s not bad either. I’m just not excited to read it so why continue? I am, however, looking forward to reading issue 6 where we get the comic version of the movie that was referred to issue 1.

Avenging Spider-Man #2: Despite the fact that J. Jonah Jameson is a hoot and a half (though still a one-note character if this story is indicative), I don’t think I’ll stick around with this title. And starting with the Red Hulk in the first storyline? Kind of like starting out DC Universe Presents with a 5 issue Deadman story….

Defenders #1: I enjoyed some elements of this title, namely Dr. Strange, apparent Lothario, Iron Fist, comic lover, and Namor. What I didn’t care for was Silver Surfer (I have never cared for that character) and the ads at the bottom of the pages. If this is Marvel’s new ad campaign, count me as morally opposed.

Detective Comics #4: I read it. My last issue.

Hawk & Dove #4: I try, I really do, but this is such a stinker, and we all know by now that this title is cancelled come issue 8. Why is Deadman such a wuss in this comic, but somewhat badass in DC Universe Presents? Bad writing perhaps?

Huntress #3: The art team of Marcos To, John Dell, & Andrew Dalhouse are just doing a superb job on this comic. The story’s not bad, but familiar. Anxious to see if we’ll get a direct, Helena is an immigrant from Earth 2 part of the story, even though I can’t see how that would fit with what’s going on so far.

Irredeemable #32: I got this because of the Irredeemable/Incorruptible crossover that I kept waiting for when I was collecting both series. The crossover is tenuous at best, but we do get the secret origin of the Plutonian. It doesn’t appear that I’ve really missed anything by not reading this title since issue 25.

JLI #4: I like the art team’s work (Aaron Lopresti and Matt Ryan) on this, but the story, much like Animal Man, is so lackluster. I have already decided to drop this title after a few more issues.

Red Lanterns #4: Read it. Should have dropped it after #2. What a disappointment considering Peter Milligan is writing it.

Stormwatch #4: Again, I really like the art on this book, but the story seems like a bit of a mess, probably because  it feels like the middle chapter of something to me, like I came in 20 minutes late to a movie. I did like the visual of the new character that shows up at the end. And the Next Issue blurb promises a last page shocker next issue.

Swamp Thing #4: I kind of think of this as a companion book to Animal Man, but it’s so much better to me than AM. I’m really starting to like Alec Holland as a character, and when you throw Abby Arcane into the mix as an apparent antagonist (if the Green is to be believed), I think you’ve got an interesting story to tell.

Happy Groundhog Day! Hope that miserable rodent isn’t such a scaredy cat this year.

Pull List Review (5/4/11 Comics)

Adventure Comics #526: Not much going on here, but I was impressed with the Geraldo Borges art in that it took me a few pages to realize that I wasn’t seeing Phil Jimenez’s pencils! I mean, I did notice a difference, but I thought it was the inker. I appreciated the attempt at continuity.

Irredeemable #25: My last issue. I’m still interested in where this story goes, but not enough to pay $4 for another year or two. Bye bye Boom!

Secret Six #33: Ok, now we’re talking here. I enjoyed the internal monologue at the beginning–Gail Simone is fast becoming one of my favorite writers. I also liked how the group transformed from one page to the next into demonic-looking versions of themselves–it was just a cool image. That scene between Catman and his parents was just fucked up. Imagine choosing to torment another soul in Hell as your version of Heaven. One of the weaker parts of this issue, however, was when the Six were forced to live out their fears/torments. I mean, how many times have we seen that? Although, I do admit I found the Shark’s torment damned funny. The weakest part of the story was the quick turn-around of Ragdoll’s allegiance. At the start of the issue he was all “stay and join me” and then at the end he has some sort of pivotal moment (his friends announcing their intent to stay and fight Hell, but they essentially were doing that the past two issues. What changed?) and wants to rejoin his buddies (I can’t wait to see the fallout). But at least Simone pulls it out at the end with Bane threatening to take over Hell eventually (and you believe him), and Lady Blaze revealing that Scandal’s Earthly girlfriend will be Blaze’s soon. Way to twist the knife just a little more, Ms. Simone. I liked it!

Pull List Review (4/6/11 Comics)

Brightest Day #23: Oh, I do not like where this story is going for my pretty, precious Dove. We’ve known since the beginning of this series that Capt. Boomerang is meant to throw his black boomerangs at Dove, and Digger gets one step closer to doing just that. But what will that mean? (Please don’t let it mean Dove is dead, oh please please please.) Will her taking a hit allow for Earth’s savior to come to be? So, Swamp Thing has become corrupted by the Black and is out to kill the Earth, but the end of the story reveals that Earth’s savior is the wasted body of Alec Holland. Hmm, I’m going to go out on a limb (not really) and guess that Alec and Swamp Thing fuse in some way and becomes Earth’s White Lantern. Also in this issue, we get (sigh) some Earth Elementals in the forms of the Hawks, Aquaman, J’onn J’onzz, & Firestorm. Really? Earth Elementals? Again? I’m so tired of that trope, even though I like that these characters are playing that role, though Firestorm has already been an Elemental. What does this mean for the upcoming Aquaman series that follows Brightest Day? Or does the elemental aspects just vanish after this latest threat is overcome (probably)? So many questions and only one more issue to answer them (and the Aftermath follow-up miniseries). Can’t wait for #24!

Irredeemable #24: Sigh. I want to know how Tony (Plutonian) gets out of the prison he’s in and who his mysterious benefactor really is (it must have something to do with Modeus though), but I don’t think i care anymore. I used to have to stick with a comic until a storyline wraped up, but it’s been 24 issues and nothing seems to be wrapping up in any way and I’m just getting more and more bored. Good-bye Boom! It was fun getting to know ya.

JLA 80-Page Giant 2011: What a disappointment. I read the solicitation copy and decided to chance it. I should have listened to my gut and passed on this $6 (!) turkey (I do like the “Artgerm” cover, though). You should too.

Secret Six #32: Ok, Catman has become my new favorite bad-ass in the DCU. Here’s a guy who was a third-rate Batman clone (sort of) and under Gail Simone’s artful pen (keyboard?) has become (dare I say it?) even more interesting to me than Batman. The dude kills a demon with a couple knives and grit! BAD. ASS. And Ragdoll is a hoot and a half (though I can see how he could get very tedious at times, especially over time–I’ve only been reading for a few issues). Yeah, I need to go read all of this series.

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.