Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Friday, 26 December 2008

Friday Night Fights - A Dark Night In Parador

Got a bunch of second- or third-string heroes that nobody really cares about at the moment? Don't know what to do with them? Easy: send them off to a South American country that's currently ruled by a supernatural despot that used to be the embodiment of the Wrath of God.

Yes, it's 1993 and the wholesale slaughter of six characters (seven if you count Peacemaker's sacrifice) in a single issue of Eclipso.
Manhunter shows that despite the size of the gun, it's really the bullets that do the work as he's attacked by a horde of Eclipso-possessed bad guys.
Two noises for the price of one this week as we're told a snapping spine goes KRUNCH. But this . . .
CHUK! is the sound of it all being over for this version of Manhunter.

Who could help him walk again? Spacebooger!

This senseless waste of life first appeared in Eclipso #13, cover dated November 1993, written by Robert Loren Fleming with art by Audwynn Jermaine Newman and Ray Kryssing.

Thursday, 25 December 2008

Merry Christmas!

Thanks to everyone who reads and/or comments on this blog - hope you all have a great Christmas and New Year!
And I hope you don't get a big, scary, tentacled thing from Santa, either.

Unless you're into that sort of thing . . .

Monday, 22 December 2008

Final Crisis #5 Annotations Complete

My notes for Final Crisis #5 are up and running at the Annotated Final Crisis site.

Thankfully there's only the one thing I'm having trouble identifying at the moment, though there's still a handul of others from earlier issues over at the Help Needed page.

On the very first page and in the very first panel, there's the trial of Hal Jordan with a jury made up of other Lanterns. On the top row, on the right hand side is a grey/stone faced Lantern that I can't name. I've scanned the image and posted it here - any deas? I've been through the Green Lantern/Sinestro Corps Secret Files & Origins but I've either missed him or he ain't in there.

Friday, 19 December 2008

Friday Night Fights - Bloodlines?!

Oh yes, that DC summer crossover that most fans would love to forget manages to worm its way on to Crisis On Earth-Prime just for a Friday Night Fight! Bloodlines stumbled through the DCU in 1993 with spinal-fluid sucking aliens accidentally creating new heroes and villains, including this fella - Nightblade!
Green Lantern simply stands by and watches as the new kid takes on one of the monsters with a flying kick. Hope he doesn't get used to those legs of his, though . . .
In amongst the confusing artwork, Nightblade's legs have been torn off at the thigh! Comics weren't for kids back in '93!
And now Green Lantern gets in on the action with a big BLAAASHing hammer to the face!

Who else tears new kids' legs off? Spacebooger!

This dreadful cross-over tie in first appeared in Green Lantern Annual #2, cover dated 1993, written by Gerard Jones with art by Mitch Byrd and Dan Davis.

(Oh, and don't worry - Nightblade's legs grew back! No, seriously!)

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Who'd Like A Cocktail? #26

After a month off due to a hectic work schedule, the Cocktail post returns as I run through what I've bought this week.  And what a bumper week to return, as well, as there seemed to be shed-loads of comics.

Ah, Ambush Bug, the DCU is a better place for having you in it.  Ambush Bug: Year None #5 continues the irreverant, nonsensical but above all funny exploits of Keith Giffen's wonderful creation as he hops from one alternate world to another, searching for . . . well . . . a job and . . . er . . . Dan Didio?! It lurches from one gag to another with little regard for plot, let alone continuity, and is all the richer for it. It'll be a shame when this finishes with the next issue but we can hope the Bug will show up somewhere in the DCU soon - hopefully with the Heckler in tow!

Booster Gold #15 picks up from #12 and now regular writer Dan Jurgens carries on Chuck Dixon's unfinished story of museum thefts and time-travel. After a brief visit to the 16th Century where Booster's sister Goldstar turns out to be the model for the Mona Lisa, they return to the present to find Rip Hunter and his lab missing, all because a knife wasn't replaced following the museum theft from several issues back. Cue more time travelling and an awkward reunion with the Elongated Man and a mysterious villain before Booster ends up stuck in what appears to be World War I.

The nastiness (and that's putting it mildly) continues in the pages of Crossed courtesy of Garth Ennis and Jacen Burrows as the survivors struggle to come to terms with their new world. A simple mistake by one of their number means they're on the run once more and are quickly made to realise that the diseased Crossed are smarter than they first might appear . . . and a damn sight more disgusting as well. They come up with a novel way of spreading their disease (and yes, that's a pun) which results in another death among the survivors as they move off, heading for a safe haven. It's a tough, visceral story that makes me wonder how it's all going to end.

The Project Superpowers universe expands a little more as well with The Death-Defying 'Devil #1. The silent martial artist with the steel boomerangs gets his own series and, apparently, his own set of bad guys, one of who is dressed the same as himself but with green instead of red on his costume. I'm enjoying the new world these old characters are establishing and am looking forward to the rest of the specials spinning out of Project Superpowers.

Final Crisis #5 finally arrives and starts to tidy things up a little. The whole Green Lantern/deicide charge is brought to a close with the revelation that Granny Goodness is inhabiting Alpha-Lantern Kraken and the Guardians of the Universe charge Hal Jordan with saving the universe.  In 24 hours, no less. Poor old Dan Turpin has been subsumed and is now simply Darkseid who intends to end the entire world while Mr Miracle attempts to save it with the help of Checkmate. An assortment of heroes attack Darkseid's base in Bludhaven prompting a fight between various Shazam powered characters. Meanwhile the exiled Monitor, Nix Uotan, begins to remember things about his previous life as Libra heralds the arrival of his dark lord. It's all going very wrong for the heroes and I like it but, despite the tie-in series, it still doesn't feel like a big enough event. Something like this should have been a crossover series in the truest sense - we should have had to pick up half a dozen issues of series we don't normally buy because as it is at the moment the DCU we're seeing here isn't reflected in any of the normal monthly series. How can this be a universe-shattering event if no-one else knows it's going on?

Talking of the Final Crisis tie-ins, Final Crisis: Revelations #4 was out as well and I still think it's one of the better tie-ins, if only for the central conceit that long-time villain Vandal Savage is actually Cain, the Biblical murderer. With the use of the Spear of Destiny he manages to separate the Spectre from his mortal hose and subjugate it. The Question puts up resistance with the aid of the Radiant and Huntress but it seems to be too little, too late as Savage/Cain uses the Spectre to release the Anti-Life Equation on the world.

In what appears to be the definition of "jumping on point for new readers" new writer Andrew Kreisberg gives us all a run down of who Green Arrow is in Green Arrow/Black Canary #15. It's neatly done, as well, running us through his origin in a handful of pages before, via a flashback, we get a scene where he sweeps out the supporting cast. Ollie's son Connor, fresh from the Judd Winick written "coma and new powers" nonsense, decides to split just as Speedy decides to leave as well as her new boyfriend lives in London. All of this is sandwiched between a framing scene where Ollie and Dinah take down a low-level thug and appear to have (unknowingly) created the new Fiddler. Not a bad issue, but Kreisberg seems to think the title of the comic is still Green Arrow - where's Black Canary's origin? If it's not in the next issue, there will be words.

Justice League Of America #27 had me at a bit of a disadvantage. That nice two page spread where a whole bunch of characters are introduced? I had no idea if they were brand new or part and parcel of the whole Milestone Comics event that happened a few years ago. Still, I went with the flow and the story's shaping up nicely. Best part of the whole issue, though, was Black Canary finally standing up as the leader of the League and chewing out Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman over their secret meeting room.

More Garth Ennis goodness as he and long time collaborator return to the Punisher with Punisher: War Zone #1. It's been a while since I've seen any of Dillon's art work and it's nice to see it again; his clean lines and excellent facial expressions are a joy to see. Couple that, of course, with Ennis's writing and it's going to be no surprise that this Punisher series will be a success even if the dreadful looking film it shares a title with isn't. Chimps flinging junk, lesbians beating up men and the return of Ma Gnucci whom the Punisher killed years before all add up to the sort of story that defines entertainment, at least in my home. I think I might need some help.

Gail Simone fills the gap left by The All-New Atom's demise with her run on Secret Six as the gang try to get the Get Out Of Hell Free card across the country. As Tarantula keeps saying, the card plays on their fears and guilt and they slowly begin to turn against each other before they arrive at Las Vegas only to find that the monstrous Junior is already there, along with a whole host of super-powered mercenaries. Chief among them is Cheshire who saves the mercenaries the bother of killing the Six by having poisoned their last meal.

Finally Trinity #28 continues the whole alternate Earth storyline as the should-have-been friends of the main heroes try to set about bringing the missing Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman back to where they're needed. While that's going on, the villains of the piece are causing problems for the Society of this world by releasing villains from all sides before Tomorrow Woman arrives and attempts to help. It's still good fun that romps along at a cracking pace and while it may be unfair to compare it to Countdown, you can't help but think that this is how that series should have been handled.

Friday, 12 December 2008

Friday Night Fights - The Sound Of One Foot Kicking

Maddeningly busy at the moment, so much so that I missed last week's fight.

Still, enough with the terrible excuses and on with the violence!

Does anyone else remember The L.A.W. (Living Assault Weapons) from 1999? A short, six issue mini-series that reunited the principle Charlton characters again, making some changes to some and - doubtlessly - redefining them for the new millennium.  Anyone?  No?  Just me, then.

In a great twist that no-one saw coming, the ward and teen sidekick of Judomaster, Tiger, turns out to be the villain of the piece who has not only grown a ridiculous beard but has gone mad through use of the serum that allows him "dominion over death and demon!"
With the aid of that, he's been able to capture his old judo master . . . er . . . Judomaster! But while he's been doing the usual "Now that you are captured, here is my origin story," schtick, the impossible appears to have happened:
Free at last to dispense justice in the form of a swift kick to the face. What's the sound of one foot kicking?
KER-CHOKK!  Oh yeah!  Only Judomaster and Spacebooger know that sound!

This serum-snatching, face-kicking, ward-whupping was first seen in The L.A.W. (Living Assault Weapons) #4, cover dated December 1999, written by Bob Layton with art by Dick Giordano and Bob Layton.

Friday, 28 November 2008

Friday Night Fights - Predator vs Terminator DC Style!

Been so busy in work lately I've had no time to do anything - except fight as Spacebooger demands!

So Dark Horse comics have the whole Predator/Terminator franchises sewn up. Who cares? Back in the early 90's, DC were doing their own thing with characters who had the same names:
Before Deathstroke became the uber assassin he's been claimed to be recently, even Arisia, the alien Green Lantern girlfriend of Hal Jordan, could kick his ass. Admittedly while she was possessed by the Predator who had also inhabited Carol Ferris, another of Jordan's girlfriends. Man, and I thought I'd been out with some strange girls . . .
But what's the best way to get a possessed alien off you?
A face full of CHOW! Trouble is, Deathstroke's just too confident:
And where's that flaming SHHPP ended up? I think every male reading this can tell by Deathstroke's bulging eyeball.

Is there anything worse than an alien girl punching you there? Only Spacebooger knows!

This interspecies related violence was first seen in Green Lantern Vol 2 #42, cover dated June 1993, written by Gerard Jones with art by Scott Kolins, Mark D. Bright, Steve Mattsson and Romeo Tanghal.

Friday, 21 November 2008

Friday Night Fights - Sokking It To The Nazis!

Friday Night Fights is onomatopoeia mad at the moment and what's better than hearing a solid punch land?
Why, the build up! Hourman takes on Baron Blitzkrieg in the blistering Crisis on Earth-X!
But what's this, our all-American hero defeated? Who could help him? Only the spirit of America, Uncle Sam himself!
What's better than hearing a solid punch land? Hearing it land on a Nazi!

Hail to the chief . . . and Spacebooger!

This bout of international relations first appeared in All-Star Squadron #35, cover dated July 1984, written by Roy Thomas with art by Rick Hoberg and Bill Collins.

Friday, 14 November 2008

Friday Night Fights - When Green Lanterns Collide!

As you probably know by now, the wonderful people at Spacebooger are continuing the Friday Night Fights that recently finished over at Bahlactus and the first round is Ka-Pow! where every entry must contain an onomatopoeia associated with the final blow.

As I'm currently going through my old Green Lantern comics at the moment, my entry was almost too easy to choose:
That's Guy Gardner being attacked by fellow Lantern Apros while K'ryssma looks on. Of course, those big boots of Guy's come in handy!
All that hair isn't good in a fight - I mean it's bound to get in the way.
Told you - K'ryssma should have had that cut before tangling with Gardner as she just ends up with a face full of BLAM . . . just as Spacebooger demanded!

This display of gratuitous violence was first seen in Green Lantern vol 2 # 205

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Final Crisis #4 Annotations Complete

Finished the notes on Final Crisis #4 over at the Annotated Final Crisis.

There's a few things I need a hand with in this issue in so far as identifying a couple of characters. You can find all the ones in the Help Needed page but lets see if we can get something out here as well:

Pages 12-13 - Panel 1    In the skies above Checkmate's castle, Hawkgirl battles Silver Swan though I'm unsure as to who the flaming, flying character on the left is. Anyone?

Pages 12-13 - Panel 3    Green Lantern Alan Scott stands in front of a large screen depicting the status of various heroes. In the very top right hand corner is an unknown gold coloured man.  --  solved; it was Robotman.

Pages 12-13 - Panel 5    Not reading Checkmate, I'm unsure of who the speaker is; beside him are Amanda Waller and The Question, Rene Montoya.  --  solved; it was Taleb Beni Khalid.

Page 24 - Panel 2    Above the Checkmate castle from the top down are Killer Moth; an unknown Justifier; Hawkgirl; possibly Sun Girl; Green Lantern Alan Scott; Bolt; Man-Bat; and, in the whirlpool, Typhoon.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Place Your Bets Part II

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned the upcoming tournament in Terror Titans and made some guesses as to who would win their fights. With issue #2 in front of me, I can run through the results of Round One and see how I did:

Pristine vs Offspring - Predicted Offspring to win - nope, Pristine won with what looked to be some big floating eyeball that went Fwapp!
Terra vs Zatara - Predicted Terra to win - got that right; that's the power of having a new mini-series out, folks!
Aquagirl vs The Face - Predicted Aquagirl to win - got that right as well; The Face (whoever the hell he is) was downed with a single kick.
Ravager vs TNTeena - Predicted Ravager to win - got that right but that was no contest; like I said a couple of weeks ago, this might be called Terror Titans but it's essentially Ravager's mini-series.
Hardrock vs Gypsy - Predicted Gypsy to win - my winning streak comes to a halt as Hardrock won just by flicking a bit of rock at Gypsy; can't see it myself but that's the result.
Young Frankenstein vs Son of the Fallen - Predicted Young Frankenstein to win - and right again as a big green fist to the face wins out.
Poprocket vs Star-Spangled Kid - Predicted Star-Spangled Kid to win - and got that right though it was made to look like a close call.
Sapphire vs Argent - Predicted Argent to win - but Sapphire won this one even though the artwork made it look like Argent won.

So I called five out of the eight fights correct - just over 60% isn't bad going but, of course, that has ruined some of my later predictions. Here's my new
Round 2
Pristine vs Terra - Terra to win; again, there's that mini-series and she'll go through to meet the lead of this series.
Aquagirl vs Ravager - my only surviving prediction and I'm still going for Ravager.
Hardrock vs Young Frankenstein - I'm going with Young Frankenstein.
Star-Spangled Kid vs Sapphire - I'm going to say the Kid's going to win this one as well as I still see him and Ravager in the final.

Monday, 3 November 2008

Getting There

Hope everyone had a good Halloween - I had fun with my wife and friends but because of that missed what appears to have been the very last Friday Night Fight.

Shame, as I enjoyed playing along with those.

Anyhow, have finally gotten off my behind and started trying to catch up with some annotations - have begun the notes for Final Crisis #4 and hope to have them done in a day or so and can then crack on with some of the others.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Run, O.J., Run!

Going through my old comics at the moment and came across an advert on the back of Green Lantern Vol 2 #128 from May 1980 which, with the benefit of hindsight and the internet, made me laugh.


Sunday, 26 October 2008

Place Your Bets

I'm going to forgo the usual Cocktail post this week to focus on something that appeared on the DC Nation pages at the back of several of this weeks' comics - the Dark Side Club Tournament that's upcoming in the Terror Titans mini-series.
I've not read anything about this so it kinda caught me by surprise, but I can't help run through it and try and guess who will win. So, here's my predictions, round by round:

Round 1
Pristine vs Offspring - Offspring to win; I've no idea who Pristine is which makes me instantly discount them as cannon fodder which, I'll warn you now, is going to be my reasoning for much of this round.
Terra vs Zatara - Terra to win; Zatara's a fairly well fleshed out character in the Teen Titans, but Terra's got a new mini-series coming up.
Aquagirl vs The Face - Aquagirl to win; The Face is cannon fodder again.
Ravager vs TNTeena - oh so easily Ravager to win; this mini-series might be called Terror Titans, but it's Ravager who's the star here.
Hardrock vs Gypsy - Gypsy to win; this is all about experience vs brute force.
Young Frankenstein vs Son of the Fallen - Young Frankenstein to win; cannon fodder rule comes into play once more.
Poprocket vs Star-Spangled Kid - Star-Spangled Kid to win; cannon fodder once more - I mean, come on: Poprocket?!
Sapphire vs Argent - Argent to win; cannon fodder again, you see
Round 2
Offspring vs Terra - Terra to win; Offspring's funny but, again, Terra's got that mini-series that'll carry her through this round at least.
Aquagirl vs Ravager - Ravager to win again; this is still her series.
Gypsy vs Young Frankenstein - Gypsy to win; she's got the experience but from a story point of view, her win will benefit her next fight if I'm right about the result of the last Round 2 match.
Star-Spangled Kid vs Argent - Star-Spangled Kid to win; his win will prevent an all-female semi-final.
Round 3 - The Semi-Finals
Terra vs Ravager - Ravager to win; Terra's new mini-series will be no good against the star of this mini-series so she's going down!
Gypsy vs Star-Spangled Kid - Star-Spangled Kid to win; two definite heroes fighting against each other, one of whom was in the JLA, the other is a new legacy character, will give this last fight a touch of drama.
The Final
Ravager vs Star-Spangled Kid - I'm going to go all out and bet that neither of them will win; by this point, Ravager will have realised just how evil the Terror Titans are and will work with Star-Spangled Kid to bring them down.

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Lord Havok And The Extremists

Finally finished the notes on Lord Havok And The Extremists over at the Annotated Final Crisis site. I'd had the first four issues typed up by the start of this week but with work and everything else getting in the way, I just couldn't get time to finish them.

Anyhow, they're done. Now I only have Final Crisis #4, Final Crisis: Revelations #3, Final Crisis: Submit, Final Crisis: Rogues' Revenge #3 and Final Crisis: Legion Of 3 Worlds #2 to write up.

Ah, crap . . .

Did I dream it or was Final Crisis supposed to be a stand-alone series, free of multiple cross-overs?

Friday, 24 October 2008

Friday Night Fights - With Enemies Like This

It's no wonder Jonni Thunder aka Thunderbolt didn't get an ongoing series; hell she didn't even get a mention in Infinite Crisis and most everybody else in the DCU did.
That's right - she just called the villain of the piece a "well-stacked snake!"
A lousy shot?! Jonni's about three feet away and she still can't shoot her?!
Ah, it all ends badly, though as the "well-stacked snake" gets shot from behind by someone else.

Will anyone mourn for her or the Jonni Thunder aka Thunderbolt mini-series? I doubt it . . . not even Bahlactus!

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

It's Like Another Language

Trust me, even in grim, rainy, credit-crunch hit Britain where I live, not a single bloke, not one would ever ask this of a girl:
God, I didn't use the word "snog" to a girl even when I was a teenager, let alone old enough to take a girl right to the edge of a cliff! Hardly surprising what happens next:
That'll teach him.

This terrible display of courtship comes from Vol 2 of Tangent Comics.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Who'd Like A Cocktail? #25

Another Garth Ennis title leads the Cocktail posts this week as Crossed #1 picks up the story a year after where the preview #0 left off. The world's gone to hell, an infection has ravaged the world and most of the population has become evil, depraved sons of bitches, willing to perform any and all types of atrocity. It's certainly not a happy go lucky book with little sign of the black humour that Ennis usually peppers his stories with. This is grim, horrible stuff but it's done so well you can't help but continue reading it. Comparisons to The Walking Dead will be made - a small band of survivors in a post-apocalyptic world - but the titular Crossed, the infected, aren't zombies. There's obviously some intelligence left as they go about destroying the remaining dregs of humanity despite the survivors' best attempts to continue. It's a tough read but well worth it, and the art by Jacen Burrows is gloriously hideous.

Dark Tower: Treachery #2 continues adding to the Dark Tower stories of Stephen King and introduces something that was missing from the original books: a female gunslinger. Or, at least, a young woman who wants to be a gunslinger. Rejected due to tradition, though, young Aileen is unlikely to gain that hallowed title despite her obvious proficiency with a pistol.

The big DC event of the year, Final Crisis, continues with Final Crisis: Revelations #3 with the re-born Cain - lately known as the immortal caveman Vandal Savage - seeks out the Spectre who had been the one to mark him all those years before. The heroes struggle against the people of Gotham who have succumbed to the Anti-Life equation that Darkseid unleashed at the end of Final Crisis #3; Batwoman attacks and almost kills the Question before the Spectre and Radiant arrive and seek sanctuary in a church. Joined by a few survivors, they are soon surrounded by the possessed civilians who wait for the arrival of someone. That, with no surprise, turns out out to be Cain/Savage, who arrives clutching the Spear of Destiny and demands that the Spectre face him so that Cain may have his revenge. Convinced of his powers, the Spectre appears but is more than a little surprised when Cain manages to pierce him with the Spear. Theological debates between the Spectre and the Radiant aside, this is  easily one of the best Final Crisis tie-ins and I can't wait for the next issue.

Talking of "no surprise there," Speedy and Dodger finally get together in the pages of Green Arrow/Black Canary #13 even though Speedy fronts up about her HIV positive status. It's nice to see a genuine romance blossom without Judd Winick feeling the need to make a big deal out of it; both Speedy and Dodger act realistically and while I'm no fan of his drag-a-plot-out-till-it-snaps story telling, he's done well with this. Back at chez Arrow, though, things aren't going that well with the recently revived Connor Hawke who appears to have no memory of himself and at the same time has developed some sort of regenerative ability where wounds heal up in a matter of seconds. That can't bode well.

Love is in the air elsewhere this month, specifically the pages of Green Lantern Corps #29 which really begins to explore the idea of the Star Sapphire Corps. Newlyweds Miri and Kered are heading off on their honeymoon when their ship is attacked by Mongul who raids it looking for food and when challenged almost casually kills Kered before leaving. Guy Gardner and Ice, meanwhile, attempt to find out where their relationship is going but, despite maturing over recent years, Gardner still manages to be a bit of an arse when it comes to Ice. Back at the ship, a distraught Miri plans to kill herself to be with Kered but is found by a Star Sapphire ring and becomes one of, it not the first Sapphire Corps members. Saarek - the Lantern who can talk to the dead - continues his secret mission to find the corpse of the Anti-Monitor while the scarred Guardian who sent him on that mission later has Gardner, Arisia and Sodam Yat head to Zamaron on a diplomatic mission after expressing her dislike of the Zamarons obvious attempt to emulate the Corps. There's a lot going on in this title at the moment and much of it is heading towards the Blackest Night event next year which is shaping up to be really big.

As much as I like Geoff Johns's writing, his secret origin of Hal Jordan which comes to an end in Green Lantern #35 has seemed to drag a little. Still, there's a couple of good points raised in this issue about why the buildings on Oa are all yellow and why the Guardians don't like the Lanterns to fraternise but otherwise the resolution seems a little weak for the length of the story. Still, next is the Red Lantern storyline which ties into Final Crisis.

Ah, I still miss The All New Atom which finished a few months ago, but at least I've now got my Gail Simone fix with Secret Six #2. Charged by an anonymous contact, the team band together to break Tarantula out of Alcatraz prison and escort her across the country to Gotham, knowing full well that every meta-human mercenary will be on their tails. While the breakout starts off well enough, it all goes down the pan fairly quickly and they're left trying to find a way out with a bunch of guards heading towards them. Meanwhile, the mysterious Mr. Junior comes out of his box for once and hires as many mercenaries as he can to capture Tarantula and the Six, offering an enormous bounty. And framing all this is the long-awaited fight between Catman and Batman which has been brewing ever since Simone revitalised Catman in the pages of Villains United. It's peppered with wonderful dialogue with Catman trying to work out why he can smell Mexican food and at the same time Batman attempts to help him and the Six by warning them off the Tarantula gig. This is Simone doing what she does best and I really hope her run lasts longer than The All New Atom.

With The Stand: Captain Trips #2, the adaptation of one of Stephen King's best books continues apace and while I'm enjoying it, it still has the same problem as the first issue - condensing such a huge book means cutting a lot out and it still feels a little rushed. If it's going to be done, why not do it right? But hey, that's just a fan of the book bitching about it as opposed to any complaint about the book itself which still looks gorgeous.

Trinity #19 switches focus this week, with Tarot and Gangbuster stepping up to the main story rather than being the back-up. In the new and alternate world that's been created recently, they need to find a way to bring back the heroes that they now only vaguely remember. On the way they meet a very different Alfred Pennyworth who gives them a little something to pass on to "the head of the J.S.I." - a scroll from the reing of Khufu who (notwithstanding Jim Starlin's recent retcon) was a previous incarnation of Hawkman. The world, meanwhile, struggles to remember the heroes of the trinity with a young woman becoming obsessed with drawing Wonder Woman, convinced that she was real despite the condemnation of her abusive husband. It appears she's not alone as Firestorm briefly arrives - due to him investigating the Cosmic Egg at the time of the reality warping, he still knows things shouldn't be like this.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

You Don't Say?

Understatement: noun, singular:

1) a disclosure or statement that is less than complete
2) restraint or lack of emphasis, especially for ironic effect
3) Batman's remark when the Joker takes over the Spectre

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

No Way To Treat A Lady

Madame Xanadu puts her best dress on, displays a large amount of heaving alabaster bosom and what reaction does she get from the Phantom Stranger?
No wonder she looks pissed!

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Who'd Like A Cocktail? #24

Hey, look at this, a Cocktail post on time for once . . . okay, it's about half a week after most people get their comics but I'm in the UK and I pick mine up on a Saturday so cut me some slack, huh?

Ah, The Boys #23 - if there's one title I look forward to each and every month, knowing I'm going to get one hell of a good read it's this one and, with no surprise, this month's delivers. Vought American, the company behind most of the successful American superheroes, is obviously gearing up for some huge confrontation; Wee Hughie and Annie continue their romance unaware of who each works for; Butcher still gets his kicks . . . manipulating . . . the Director; and a plan is put in place to find out information about the most profitable superteam out there, the G-Men.  Said plan involves someone from The Boys going undercover and while I mentioned Ambush Bug last week as giving me a laugh out loud moment, that didn't compare to the last page of The Boys #23. If you haven't read it, you need to, trust me!

I honestly thought I had missed an issue when I read Justice League Of America #25, I really did. I even went so far as to double check the stash of comics I still haven't bagged up and put away and sure enough, there was #24 - I had simply forgotten what had happened. That's not a good sign for what is DC's flagship team title. Still, it was a better read - the Anansi storyline speeds up and there are some nice touches and references to Animal Man's previous problems with reality aka Grant Morrison. Red Tornado quits the team after asking his long suffering girlfriend to marry him and at the end, the reality warping powers of Anansi appear to have created an alternate time-line complete with its own version of the League.

One issue I had missed last week was Tangent: Superman's Reign #7 so I picked that up this week. The change of regular artist was a little unsettling as Wes Craig's style seems a little more cartoonish at first - which isn't saying it's bad, just a little different. On Earth-9, Batman and the native heroes manage to break into Superman's fortress to find their friends captive while the magicians attempt to find Superman himself; both groups coming to the knowledge at the same time that both the Earth-9 Superman and his wife Power Girl are now back on our Earth. They wander around, shocked at the idea of homeless people and attempt to help but merely gather a crowd of hangers on, people who want something for nothing. Of course it's not long before our own Superman and Power Girl turn up to find out what's going on. The back up story, History Lesson, continues to be a potted history of the Tangent characters, this time focusing on the Flash while at the same time having the Earth-9 Jennie Hayden showing a lot of gratuitous cleavage.

Picked up Terror Titans #1, the first of three new mini-series this week, and which follows on from recent events over in Teen Titans. Within the first couple of pages, a third string character bites the dust, cut in half by an axe, before his compatriots are made to fight in an arena for the Clock King. Ravager, late of the Teen Titans herself, has joined Clock King to train the Terror Titans and isn't impressed by the team that she almost singlehandedly dealt with recently. Dreadbolt, field leader of the Terrors, is given a mission by Clock King - to kill Dreadbolt's own father, the villain Bolt while Ravager takes to the arena and battles another third stringer, Fever. It's all good, dirty fun hanging round with the bad guys and girls who aren't afraid to kill people and there's a couple of surprises in there.

Being a big fan of Alan Moore, I had to pick up Top Ten: Season Two #1 even if the man himself isn't connected to it. Written by Zander Cannon, though, who has worked with Moore on these characters before, as well as being illustrated by Gene Ha who co-created the original series with Moore, it's no surprise that it's in good hands. Like the original, it begins slowly, offering up several different threads and stories for the characters to deal with, both criminal (like having twelve dead girls appear in the fountain outside the police station), personal (Lieutenant Peregrine's husband going through an identity crisis) and procedural (the new Commissioner being something of a stickler and insisting on the entire Top 10 members wearing standard police uniforms. That the series is only running for four issues surprises me - there's a lot here that would seem to imply a longer run, but hey, I'll take what I can get.

With Trinity #18, the maxi-series appears to have shifted up a gear, changing from one big fight to something more of a mystery. Krona's out from his prison and free to roam the stars while the release of whatever energy by the bad guys in last week's issue has shifted this world into something else. Heroes are all members of the Justice Society International and Lois Lane's a bitch on TV who is determined to bring the Atom in for questioning over the death of Sue Dibny. I'm something of a sucker for alternate worlds - hell, that's one of the reasons I read DC and not Marvel! - and while this issue is a little bit of a scene setter, it still works.

The last title I picked up was the last of the new mini-series that started this week: Vixen: Return Of The Lion #1 and I have to say I'm glad it's only running to five issues. I picked it up as Vixen's long been a character I've liked - hell, I was one of the three people who enjoyed the Justice League Detroit - but I have to say this held no surprises whatsoever. With the discovery that the death of Vixen's mother wasn't solved years ago, she packs up her bag and heads back to her home village . . . which is being threatened by me who work for the man behind her mother's death . . . whom she humiliates and defeats in battle . . . prompting an appearance by the bad guy . . . whom she attacks but is surprised to discover is stronger than her. Early in the issue, Superman tells her "You can never go home again. It's a cliche because it's true." and that seems to sum up this issue - it's strictly by the numbers. If this was an ongoing, I'd be looking to drop it; as it is, I'll stick it out for the run.


Related Posts with Thumbnails