Pull List Review: 11/2/11 Comics

Action Comics #3: Wow, the Gene Ha Krypton art in this issue is just fantastic and the color work for the same sequence is pretty darned nice, too. So, Clark is dreaming this sequence–just how good of a memory do Kryptonians have, or is it just Superman’s memory that’s so good? I’m glad to see a more Silver Ageish Krypton back in continuity. For all the love that I have for Byrne’s Superman post-Crisis, his take on Krypton wasn’t something I cared for all that much. I liked the Atom tech reference when Brainiac (I presume) announces “commence dwarf star lensing”. I didn’t care for the fact that Jor-El appears to have Krypto (?) by his side, but I did like that a homeless woman tells Clark that he has a white dog “ghost” watching over him and what that could mean exactly (hmm… ;)). In fact Morrison throws out these little bits of story and then leaves you dangling, wanting more, such as when Clark’s landlady finds Superman’s cape in Clark’s duffel bag and asks him about his being from outer space, but we don’t get to see what happens next! I’m starting to really not like the anti-alien sentiment in this new DCU. We see it here, in Superman, Supergirl, Voodoo, et al. It makes sense, sure, but I just don’t like it. Finally, that one panel of Clark on the floor, clutching a picture of the Kents, apologizing for failing in his mission while his tunic is in the trash–this would be tugging on heart strings material if it weren’t such a quick cut to and from the moment. I could go on and on about this series….

Hawk & Dove #3: When is supporting a book based solely on your love of a character too much? Because this comic is not good, yet I won’t stop buying it because I love Dove so much. (If I were in the DCU I would totally stalk Dove. And Donna Troy. And Steph Brown.) And that bit where she stabs Condor? Seems totally out of character for her, unless she knew something going in to that action that hasn’t been revealed to us. In fact, that is the one thing about Dove that I am really missing: she was previously depicted as a think first superhero, but she’s taking a back seat to Hawk’s aggressiveness in this title so far. If I were a paranoid stalker, er fan, I’d think that Sterling Gates has an issue with my white-haired beauty. :)

JLI #3: How appropriate that Andre Briggs states that the “‘JLI’ will stand for Justice League Inconsequential”, and that’s how I’m feeling about this title right now. It feels like DC was trying to recapture lightning and it just isn’t happening. It’s not a bad superhero comic, but it’s just not good enough.

Mystic #4: Ahh, the conclusion. Just like the other two CrossGen limited series I got, this one just kind of fizzles instead of zapping me. I never bought that Genevieve was the resistance leader that she’s depicted as, and the High Priest’s rejection of Giselle last issue was forced. I wanted to know more about this world and how the two friends fit in it, but I mostly got a teen drama set in a fantasy world. I still love the Lopez/Lopez/Fairbairn art, though.

Red Lanterns #3: Hmm, I see that Bleez is written very differently in this title now than she is in Green Lantern: New Guardians; so, is her appearance in GL: NG supposed to take place before the events of this issue? I hate to sound negative about this title every time, but right now, Ed Benes’s cheesecake art is the only thing keeping me on this title. Ok, that and the hope that Peter Milligan will pull a blood soaked rabbit out his hat and wow my socks off.

Stormwatch #3: I feel like I’m being taken on a wild ride with this book, but it’s not quite gelling for me. I like a lot of parts, but the whole thing isn’t working yet. But since I’m enjoying the hell out of Demon Knights, and the Lex Luthor story in Action Comics was so good, I’m giving Paul Cornell the benefit on this title for now. I do hope though that Adam gets booted from the series–he annoys the hell out of me (which is why I won’t get my wish…). And I know this totally fanboyish of me, but I want to see Superman and Batman throw down with Apollo and Midnighter as written independently by Geoff Johns and Paul Cornell.

I also read:

  • Animal Man #3: I’m starting to think that Travis Foreman only wants to draw grotesque creatures–the art is really starting to turn me off.
  • Detective Comics #3: I just heard someone say that this was the Batman book to get–I don’t see it; the art is nice enough though.
  • Swamp Thing #3: Still good, I just wish the plot would move a little faster, and by that I mean for Holland to take up the mantle of the Swamp Thing, you know, since that is the title and all.

Pull List Review: 10/5/11 Comics

Action Comics #2: The goodness of issue one continues. There’s a lot of little things that really make this comic:

  • Luthor referring to Superman as “it”, and reminding everyone else to do so.
  • That people refer to Luthor as “Doctor”. Of course he’s a doctor–he probably has several doctorates.
  • John Henry Irons makes his first appearance in this new continuity as well as John Corben.
  • We find out that Superman emits radiation from his eyes, putting to rest that question for this version of Superman. For the record, I don’t like that. Him being able to see into the other areas of the EM spectrum that we can’t? Sure. But actually emitting radiation? Blech.
  • I love love love Superman’s attitude during this whole torture bit and his escape. He could be extremely angry and vindictive, but he isn’t. He’s even amused at the absurdity of what they’re trying to do to him. I love this brashness, this playfulness, of the character. I wish we’d get that in the Superman book.

Detective Comics #2: Bruce is quite the horn dog. Between all the other Batman comics, I think he’s got a woman in each title! Recall that I was sticking around to find out why the Joker allowed his face to be removed? I just don’t care anymore. This comic doesn’t have that spark for me, thus reinforcing that I just don’t think Tony Daniel is that good of a storyteller.

Hawk & Dove #2: So it always bugs me when a new character is created just to have him/her killed off and move the plot forward, as Osprey is. Regardless, who was Osprey, what were his abilities (do they have anything to do with his name, Oliver Truly?), and what connection did he have with Hawk & Dove? Did they know about this guy who had a similar costume and name theme? See? It’s sad that I’m focusing on a character that appears for only three pages in this title. Most of the issue is pretty forgettable, but Ren shows up, and I’m glad to see her. She was one of my favorite supporting cast members from the 89-91 version of Hawk & Dove.

JLI #2: This issue of JLI doesn’t do much to convince me to continue with the title, I’m afraid. What I do like is that Booster is not being portrayed as the self-centered, fame-seeking putz that he often was while in the previous version of the JLI. He puts his team’s safety first while catching flack for it, and I respect that, even though Batman tells him not to let a retreat happen again. I like this book for some of the character interactions, but it’s not enough to keep me around for long.

Stormwatch #2: Wow, that Adam guy is really frigging annoying, huh (and seemingly inconsistent in his characterization, perhaps)? Also, I generally like Paul Cornell’s humor, but lines like “Any chance of a pint? Whatever one of those is.” is just a little too cheeky. However, he does write Martian Manhunter well. And I knew that Midnighter’s nerve pinch couldn’t take J’onn out! :) I also liked the bit where the Projectionist sets up a hapless villain as the cause of the moon’s transformation, causing the Justice League (International) to go after him. The rest of the issue is split between the big eyeball creature’s conversation with Harry and the conversation Adam is having with Apollo and Midnighter. I’m not as excited about this title as when I read issue 1. It’s better than JLI, but not as good as Demon Knights, say.

Swamp Thing #2: This comic, however, continues to be a joy to read and look at. Yanick Paquette’s page layouts remind me of J.H. Williams III art in Batwoman, but still unique enough. I do believe I have now become a Scott Snyder convert. This story and Snyder’s characterization of Alec Holland just intrigues me. This was one of the new 52 titles that pleasantly and hugely surprised me, especially considering that I almost didn’t pick it up at all.

I also read Animal Man #2 (Hmm, I’m just not sure if I like this comic or not. It’s just . . . there for me right now.), Mystic #3 (nothing wrong with it, it’s just a plot momentum issue to get us to the final issue), and Red Lanterns #2 (this title won’t stay long on my pull list, I think–it’s just not interesting).

Pull List Review (First Half of September 2011)

Because Travis & I reviewed the first two weeks of DC’s new 52 comics in episode 10 & 11 of the LBR podcast, I’ll toss the first two weeks of non-DC comics into the review here. To find out what I thought of the first 26 DCnU comics*, have a listen.

Episode 10: DCnU, week 1

Episode 11: DCnU, week 2

Now on with the rest of the comics I read from the first two weeks of September.

Continue reading

Pull List Review (8/3/11 Comics)

Adventure Comics #529: Eh, it ended. I’m not sure why I’m sticking with this latest incarnation of the Legion. Actually, I do know why: 1) I love the characters; 2) Paul Levitz is writing them, only, I’m not caring for what he’s writing this time around. I keep hoping that things will be more like I felt about his 80s run on the title, but I don’t think it will be. I’ll read a few issues of the relaunch, but since the word is that the Legion is largely untouched in the DCnU, I don’t have high hopes that I’ll continue with any Legion title.

Flashpoint #4: A lot of focus is given to the S!H!A!Z!A!M! family kids, but it’s only a few tidbits in this issue that make this worth reading. Flash pleads with Thomas Wayne to stop what looks to be the final surge of the Atlantean/Amazonian war, but Batman refuses because it doesn’t matter if Barry succeeds in restoring reality as he knows it. Of course Barry doesn’t want to hear this, and compels others to join him, even Batman in the end, for he tells Thomas, “Bruce would’ve come.” And they call our Batman a master manipulator! Finally, the last page where Prof. Zoom appears to gloat, pointing at the devastation around him and telling Barry, “Look what you did.” I really am looking forward to the final issue coming out at the end of the month to see how all this contributes to the relaunch.

Flashpoint: Batman #3: The secret origin of the Joker! Yet again, we are shown what a bastard Thomas Wayne is. When he recounts the infamous alley death scene, he says two shots are fired, “bang, bang”, causing Martha to scream, “NOOOOO!”. But then he tells her what could happen if Flash is successful (which means that this story fits somewhere between Flashpoint issue one and two, I guess, thus connecting to the main series–which  I like immensely). The ending of this series is pitch perfect, and Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso did an awesome job overall. I almost didn’t buy this title, but I wanted to get the trinity tie-ins to see what DC would deliver, and this, so far, has been the best that I have read.

Flashpoint: Secret Seven #3: What the hell was the point of that? And by that I mean the whole series. Just to show that Enchantress is a betrayer, and Shade is an unwilling murderer? Waste of time. I thought the Lois Lane mini was the worst of those I’m reading, but this one takes that no prize thus far.

Flashpoint: World of FP #3: When I read the first issue of this, I thought perhaps it would have some sort of impact on the larger world of Flashpoint, but it’s really only a story between a daughter and her father with familiar tropes of loss, anger, and reconnection that kind of fall flat for me.

Mystic #1: What a breath of fresh air. I went into this with some reservations because I didn’t know the series when it was at CrossGen, and because the two restarts of old CrossGen series at Marvel were a bit lackluster. This is not. The story itself (by G. Willow Wilson) is a bit of trodden ground, but the characters and setting help make up for that. The art, however, is wonderful. David López (pencils), Álvaro López (inks), and Nathan Fairbairn (colors) do a fantastic job at conveying this world in a very accessible manner. Even the backgrounds are done well. The only complaint I have about the book visually is the choice to have the characters talking in purple text. I think that’s an unnecessary and distracting detail. I can’t wait to see issue two.

Secret Six #36: How bittersweet. I would have liked to see what story Gail Simone would have done with these characters if DC hadn’t gone down the relaunch path (not to mention the Bane transformation to fit him into the upcoming movie), but this is what we got, and it ends very well all things considered. I love love love the opening panels featuring Bane and his new girlfriend, Catman’s oft repeated mantra of “leave Huntress alone”, King Shark, Scandal proposing to the two loves of her life, and especially Huntress. It is through Huntress’s eyes and narrative through which the hero-side of this story is told, and it is a perfect way to end this story about these “criminals”: “In the end, we won. Of course we did. . . . Because we’re heroes. Right?” LOVED IT! I wish and hope and pray that DC brings these characters back together with Gail Simone writing them.

SHIELD #2: There is so much going on in this book, and if you didn’t read the previous seven issues, I can see someone getting very lost. Hell, I don’t understand everything and I’ve read it all. It is something that will require a reread once all 12 issues are published. But it is lovely to look at and I love the concept.

I also read Batman: Gates of Gotham #4.