ACTION COMICS #850
GREEN LANTERN #20
JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA #6
TEEN TITANS #47
NEW AVENGERS ILLUMINATI #3
SILVER SURFER REQUIEM #1
ULTIMATE FANTASTIC FOUR #42
It looks like The Revolution is getting another good sized shipment of comic books headed to the Bunker today. Once again, we have a total of 11 titles for this week. It is pretty balanced between Marvel and DC. As always, I’ll try to post as many reviews as possible.
Which DC comic book am I most looking forward to reading? That is a tough choice. There are several great DC titles this week. Action Comics #850 sports the Legion of Super Heroes on the cover. Green Lantern #20 is the finale of a pretty good storyline. Countdown has been a blast to read.
However, I’m going to have to go with Justice Society of America #6. As a long time Legion fan I am completely fascinated with this JLA/JSA story arc. I cannot wait to see what Johns has in store for us with this issue.
Which DC comic book am I least looking forward to reading? That would be Teen Titans #47. I found the Titans East to be a massively disappointing story arc. I hope that this new story arc is able to get this title back on track. Without Johns on this title, I’m afraid that my interest will begin to wane.
Which Marvel comic book am I most looking forward to reading? There really isn’t much of a choice this week. I find this selection of Marvel comics this week to be rather weak. I’m going to have to go with Daredevil #97. This story arc involving the Gladiator has been a neat little character study.
Which Marvel comic book am I least looking forward to reading? It comes down to either Ultimate Fantastic Four #42 or Wolverine #54. I’m going to have to go with Wolverine #54. Loeb is going nowhere slowly on this title. Talk about your ridiculously slow pacing. This story arc lacks direction and I’m just not into this entire Lupine plotline. I do think that Loeb is a talented writer so hopefully Loeb will be able to get Wolverine back on track.
I’ll try my best to start posting reviews as soon as possible. I hope everyone enjoys their new comic books for this week.
Thursday, May 31, 2007
Posted by Rokk Krinn at 9:16 AM
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
The Revolution always enjoys the latest issue of The Irredeemable Ant-Man. I know that this title is getting miserable sales numbers. And that is rather unfortunate because Kirkman is doing a far superior job on this title than he is doing on the better selling Ultimate X-Men. Of course, we all know if you slap an “X” on the cover of a Marvel comic book that it is going to sell well despite the quality of the final product. I’m confident that The Irredeemable Ant-Man #8 will be another good read. Let’s hit this review.
Writer: Robert Kirkman
Artist: Cory Walker
Art Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: We begin with Ant-Man being offered a job with Damage Inc. Ant-Man says thanks and that he will think about the job offer. Ant-Man then takes the stolen jewels in the Black Fox backpack and leaves.
We cut to Eric trying to sell the stolen jewelry to a pawnshop. The pawnshop owner asks if the jewels are stolen. Eric says they are. The pawnshop owner gives Eric $10,000 dollars for the jewels and tells him to come back if Eric gets anymore. Eric then asks if the pawnshop owner knows where Eric can get a really good fake I.D. The Pawnshop owner tells Eric he can help him with that.
We then shift to the next day with Eric accepting the job with Damage Inc. Eric gives his new employer his driver’s license which has his picture on it and the name on it is “Derek Sullivan.” Eric is told that he will be working with the new search-and-rescue divisions of Damage Inc. That they will enter battle scenes shortly before the battle is over in order to rescue anyone trapped or injured.
Eric then asks his new boss if the black haired girl he met yesterday is in the building today. The boss says try the second floor. We cut to Eric hitting on the black haired girl. The girl asks if Eric’s codename is Ant-Man. Eric says no, that it is a praying mantis costume. That his codename is Slaying Mantis and that he made the costume and his sister chose the color red for the costume and that is why it is not green like a Mantis.
Eric then asks the girl to go get a cup of coffee with him. She agrees as long as Eric buys and that he also admits that everything he has said has been total bullshit and he was just trying to act cute to get a date.
We cut to Eric and the girl at a diner getting coffee. The girl’s name is Abigail and her codename is Visioneer. That she has limited psychic ability that allows her to find people who are trapped. Eric introduces himself as “Derek.” Eric then asks when he can have another date with Abigail.
We zip forward two weeks later and see Eric moving into his new apartment. Abigail comes over and Eric tells her that she will be able to meet his sister real soon. Abigail says she will believe it when she sees it. The two start making out on the sofa. Suddenly, there is a big explosion. Eric looks out the window and says that there is a brawl between a super hero and a super villain. Eric says this should be cool to watch. Abigail then asks Eric since he is a super hero isn’t he going to join the fight? Eric begrudgingly agrees.
We shift to Ant-Man heading to the fight. Ant-Man thinks how he is not ready for this. We see She-Hulk battling Mister Hyde. Ant-Man joins the fight and promptly gets punched out by Hyde. Ant-Man plays possum and poses like he is knocked out until She-Hulk and Hyde carry their battle down the block. Ant-Man then gets up and says he is in the clear and out of here. We cut to Eric arriving back at his apartment and telling Abigail that he defeated the villain.
We cut to later that night, with Eric asleep in bed. We see Black Fox sneaking into Eric’s bedroom. Black Fox wakes up Eric and puts a gun to Eric’s head. Black Fox demands to know where his stolen jewels are located. Eric says that he already sold them for $10,000. And that Eric only has $2,000 left over.
The Black Fox snaps and calls Eric an idiot for selling the jewels for only $10,000. That the jewels were worth over $100,000. Black Fox tells Eric that he will do whatever it takes to keep Black Fox from killing him. Eric says that he assumes he owes Black Fox $100,000 and that Eric doesn’t want to die. Eric tells Black Fox that he has an idea.
We hop to the pawnshop. We see the pawnshop owner asleep at his desk. Ant-Man yells in the owner’s ear to wake up and don’t move. Ant-Man says that he is currently miles away, but he has top secret SHIELD tech pointed at the owner’s head. That a week ago the owner purchased some stolen jewels that belonged to his employer. That he will melt the owner’s brain with the SHIELD weapon if the owner doesn’t give back the jewels.
The owner says that he already sold the jewels for $150,000. Ant-Man tells the owner to put the money in a bag and set it out back of the pawnshop or else he is dead. We cut to Ant-Man telling Black Fox that they got $150,000 and that Ant-Man is keeping 20%. Black Fox says Ant-Man did a good job, but that Ant-Man won’t get more than 10%. Ant-Man counters with 15% and a ride back to his apartment in Black Fox’s fancy car. The Black Fox agrees to the deal.
We zip to later that same night. Eric is asleep in bed and Abigail comes walking into his room. Eric wakes up. Abigail is dressed in some lingerie. Abigail gets in the bed and tells Eric that she broke in. Eric responds that he thinks he thinks he is falling in love. The two get ready for some S-E-X. End of issue.
The Good: The Irredeemable Ant-Man #8 was a fun read! I love the tone and mood that Kirkman has brought to this title. Ant-Man is clearly a humorous title, but Kirkman doesn’t play only for laughs. The charm of this title is that it is actually a rather dark and depressing title.
Eric is a pathetic character who has made a mess of his life at every turn. His moral compass is badly broken and he manages to take the wrong choice whenever he faces a critical decision. Yet, the fact that Kirkman has a nice sense of humor and liberally spreads in humorous comments in normally serious situations makes this title a fun read.
Kirkman gives the reader an excellent mix of action and dialogue. This keeps the issue from being a slow read and it gives it a nice pace. Kirkman also gives us a well plotted issue. We are beginning to see the next stage of Eric’s journey. Kirkman has a clear vision for what he wants to do on this title and each issue logically builds off of the previous one.
Kirkman serves up plenty of well crafted dialogue. There is plenty of very humorous dialogue. Kirkman also has continued to be committed to developing Eric’s character. Kirkman has made a nice effort of performing a character study on Eric. Each issue, Kirkman manages to flesh out Eric’s personality just a bit more. Eric is well developed and is an engaging character.
Eric’s new name for his super hero persona is hilarious. Slaying Mantis. I love it. It is idiotic things like this that spring forth from Eric’s mouth that make him such a great character.
The combination of well done dialogue and strong character work creates some excellent chemistry between characters. The scene between Eric and She-Hulk, the scenes between Eric and the Black Fox and the scenes between Eric and Abigail all had excellent flow and chemistry.
The scene with Eric and She-Hulk was flat out hilarious. The banter between these two characters was great. And Kirkman used this scene to show that Eric is no hero. That Eric is basically a coward who would much rather duck out of a serious fight. This is so different from your typical tough guy hero that you see in most titles on the market. Eric views the Ant-Man suit as not a tool to battle villains, but merely a toy to be used for his own personal enjoyment and gain.
The scenes with Eric and Black Fox were classic. Plus, these scenes show that Eric is most definitely not a true hero. Eric has no problems using his Ant-Man suit for personal gain. And Eric is always looking for a piece of the action as he negotiates for a larger cut of the money they steal from the pawnshop owner.
I dig how Eric is using the Ant-Man suit because it is a more realistic take on what an average Joe would do if he came across a super powered suit like the Ant-Man suit. The average guy would do the same kind of things like spy on hot chicks in showers, play around with the Ant-Man suit like it was a toy and definitely use it for their own personal gain. Out of all the Marvel super heroes, Ant-Man is the most pragmatic and normal of all of them. And Ant-Man is certainly the Marvel hero who is the easiest for the reader to relate to.
The scenes between Abigail and Eric were great. I love these two characters together. It is nice to see Eric finally find a girl that digs him. However, since it is Eric, he manages to screw up even a good thing like this by building their relationship on a foundation of lies about who he is.
I dig the new wrinkle to Damage, Inc. The concept of a special rescue team that swings into action near the tail end of brawls between metahumans is pretty cool. I like this direction for Ant-Man and it should provide plenty of fodder for future storylines. Plus, it will be cool to see Eric occasionally flash his heroic nature that we so rarely see.
Cory Walker supplies some solid artwork. I am not a huge fan of his style of art, but it isn’t terrible. I find it slightly above average.
The Bad: I have no complaints with this issue.
Overall: The Irredeemable Ant-Man #8 was another good read. Kirkman continues to surprise me with an excellent effort on this title. I wish that more people would give this title a try. It is such a superior read to many of the titles that post much larger sales numbers.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
X-Men just keeps missing the mark for The Revolution. I have tried and tried to get into this title and I just can’t do it. It amazes me that one of Marvel’s flagship titles has not been a quality read in such a long time. Carey’s X-Men continues to be a sub par read. I have no reason to believe that X-Men #199 is going to be anything different. Let’s hit this review.
Writer: Mike Carey
Penciler: Chris Bachalo
Inker: Tim Townsend
Art Rating: 3 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 2 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 2.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: We begin with the X-Men brawling with Hecatomb. Sabertooth has broken out of his stasis field and has locked Sentinel out of the systems controls for the Conquistador.
Suddenly, the Conquistador’s engines start to hit critical mass. I have no idea why or how due to the jumbled mess that this fight scene is. What I do know is that the Conquistador is powered by a fusion core that if it explodes will be like a small sun.
Mystique asks Iceman if he can take care of it. Iceman comments that they will find out. Mystique then gives Iceman a kiss for good luck. Iceman then freezes the Conquistador and prevents everyone from getting crispy fried.
Cable then reveals that he is the one who brought the Conquistador down. That he didn’t have time to warn them. Cable thought the explosion would be big enough to take out Hecatomb, but it wasn’t. That Cable has his psi powers back as a gift from the Mummudrai, Urizen. Cable tells Sentinel to evacuate the wounded.
Cable and Urizen have melded minds and they begin brawling with Hecatomb. Unfortunately, Cable and Urizen aren’t powerful enough as Hecatomb kicks their asses. Cable needs a diversion and calls out for Rogue who is lying in a hospital bed. Cable wakes Rogue up and tells her that he needs her.
One of the nurses touches Rogue to prevent her from getting out of her hospital bed. The nurse drops to the floor dead. Rogue has absorbed the nurse’s entire life force. Rogue comments that with just one touch all of the nurse’s mind and memories are within Rogue. Rogue comments that her powers are even worse than ever. Rogue then engages in some traditional Carey penned tough talk and flies off to join the fight.
Hecatomb is still beating up Cable and Urizen. Urizen tells Cable that Hecatomb is about to absorb him. Cannonball blasts into the scene and pulls Cable out just in time to save him, but Hecatomb is able to absorb Urizen.
Rogue then appears on the scene, gives us some quick tough talk and then begins fighting Hecatomb. Rogue tries to absorb the minds from Hecatomb. That plan backfires and Rogue gets overwhelmed by all the minds and she comes crashing down into the ground.
Cable says that this is all his fault. That Rogue just absorbed the eight billion minds from within Hecatomb. That these eight billion lives are all casualties of a long gone war. That it is too much for Rogue. Mystique then shows she can tough talk by threatening to kill Cable if anything happens to Rogue. (Yawn.)
Cable says that even stripped of its minds, the Hecatomb is still a bomb and it is now counting down to detonation. Cable says they have maybe thirty seconds to stop it. Unfortunately, Cable’s psi powers disappeared once Urizen got killed.
Cable tells Iceman to take the Hecatomb as close to absolute zero as possible in order to take the metal past its stress tolerances. Once Iceman gets the bomb to almost absolute zero, Cannonball and Sentry fly as fast as possible and smash into the bomb and destroy it.
Rogue claims to be all right. She then engages in a double extra large serving of tough talk telling Cable to back the hell off and that she isn’t going back to the mansion to have Emma poke through her mind. Rogue comments how her hands are itching and that she is going to need to touch something real soon.
Cable comments that Rogue is traumatized and that he thinks she is drowning. That Rogue is still infected with Strain 88 and on top of that she is infected with a world full of alien minds. Cable says they need to consult with Emma and Hank and until then they need to watch her closely.
Sentinel then inspects the wreckage of the Conquistador and says that there is no sign of Creed. That Sabertooth survived the crash and walked away without a scratch. End of issue.
The Good: X-Men #199 was just a dreadful read. I cannot imagine how I’m going to satisfy The Revolution’s Rule of Positivity with regard to this issue. Let’s see, what in the world did I enjoy about this issue. Hmmmm. I got it. It appears that Sabertooth is no longer part of the X-Men. Thank god. I have hated Sabertooth’s inclusion on the X-Men. Hopefully, Sabertooth goes his own way and we don’t see him again on this title. Let Sabertooth do his funky Lupine thing over on Wolverine and leave him off the X-Men.
The Bad: X-Men #199 was a total mess. This was really a lousy read. Carey’s story is horribly paced and plotted. This entire story arc has been one rambling story. It has had terrible flow and doesn’t progress in a natural and fluid fashion. At no point have I gotten the impression that Carey has anything of importance in store for this title. Carey seems to lack any direction or purpose. Instead, all we get is plenty of mindless action. Carey’s X-Men is plenty of noise and flash but it is lacking any substance whatsoever.
Carey’s dialogue is pathetic. It is so cheesy that it actually elicits groans from the reader. All we get is generic tough talk from each and every single character. None of the X-Men display a distinct external voice. They all talk in the same tough talking voice that seems to be inspired by a 1980’s Arnold Schwarzenegger action flick.
Carey’s character work is equally unimpressive. Carey writes every single X-Men identical to each other. Carey has failed to engage in even a token effort at developing and fleshing out the characters and personalities of the various X-Men. These characters are about as generic as you can get. Carey’s X-Men are extremely one-dimensional and shallow characters.
Carey has failed to create a single plotline that even remotely engages my interest. I don’t care about Sabertooth’s tired feud with the X-Men. I could honestly care less about the Mummudrai. And the Strain 88 plotline involving Rogue is less than interesting. All Strain 88 seems to do is make Rogue engage in even more tough talk than a normal Carey written character.
The massive sprawling fight in X-Men #199 was an terribly messy, confusing and poorly choreographed fight. I mean, action scenes are about the easiest part of a comic book to write and Carey and Bachalo can’t even do that well. Now, I don’t know who is more to blame for this crapfest of a fight. Is it Carey failing to draft an interesting and well thought out fight? Or is it Bachalo’s crack headed artwork that makes this action scene look like a chaotic mess? Maybe it is a bit of both.
And that leads me to Bachalo’s artwork which I find to be nothing more than complete clutter. Bachalo’s panels are virtually impossible to follow. They look like nothing more than a random jumble of doodles. I think Bachalo’s scenes would have made more sense to me if I took about 10 bong hits and then read X-Men #199 upside down.
Bachalo continues to draw everyone with pretty much the same face. And the only emotion he seems to be able to draw is anger. Bachalo still suffers from Rob Liefeld’s disease that renders an artist completely incapable of drawing hands and feet. Bachalo’s manga style artwork would probably look much better in black and white and in a manga themed comic. The X-Men is just not the right title for Bachalo’s artwork.
Overall: X-Men #199 was just a mess of a read. There was really nothing about this issue that I found well done. Carey’s writing continues to be average at best. Bachalo’s artwork continues to be a poor fit for this title. Carey’s mind numbingly dumb X-Men is the antithesis of David’s through provoking intelligent X-Factor. At this point I would not recommend X-Men to anyone other than die-hard X-Men fans.
Friday, May 25, 2007
Marvel took some time off for Captain America in order to run a whole mess of special issues dealing with the death of Captain America. I am very curious to see what Brubaker has in store for this title now that Captain America is dead. I imagine that Sharon Carter, Nick Fury, The Falcon and Bucky will all now assume center stage on this title until Brubaker brings Steve Rogers back to life. Let’s go ahead and hit this review for Captain America #26.
Writer: Ed Brubaker
Artist: Steve Epting
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10.
Story Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10.
Overall Rating: 6.5 Night Girls out of 10.
Synopsis: We begin with Sharon Carter talking with her friend Val. Sharon tells Val how she met with Tony Stark and demanded to see Steve’s body. Tony tells Sharon that it is going to be traumatic. Tony lets Sharon in to where SHIELD is storing Steve’s body. The fact that he is the only Super Soldier specimen means that he must be kept under lock and key.
We see Steve’s corpse. He has transformed into a withered old man. Evidently, after Steve died the Super Solider serum reversed itself. Tony says that SHIELD is running extensive tests to find out why this happened. Sharon mumbles how she cannot believe she did this. Tony asks her what did she just say. Sharon covers it by saying she cannot believe Tony would have done this to Steve. Tony says that he didn’t want this and that seeing Steve dead is killing him. Sharon slaps Tony across the face and tells him that he doesn’t get to say that.
Sharon then tells her friend Val that after that happened, she quit SHIELD. That without Steve there was no point to continuing.
We cut to the wake for Steve Rogers. The Falcon tries to comfort Sharon. Sharon is upset and is about to tell the Falcon that she was the one who shot Steve, when she is suddenly interrupted by Rick Jones. Rick starts talking to Sharon and the Falcon excuses himself saying that he has to leave. Rick tells Sharon that Steve loved her very much.
Sharon then goes to the restroom and stares into the mirror. She hears Dr. Faustus’ voice telling her to remember. She stares at her hands and begins to cry.
We cut to the Falcon flying through the air. He thinks how he couldn’t deal with the wake and had to get out of there and get some air. The Falcon flies by a vigil for Captain America in Central Park being held by both pro-Registration Act supporters and anti-Registration Act supporters.
We then cut to the Red Skull’s penthouse. Red Skull asks Sin if she has chosen her subordinates yet. Sin tells Red Skull that she is ready to move forward. Red Skull instructs Sin to commence her duties.
We see Red Skull then meeting with Dr. Faustus. The two men engage in a battle of egos as they trade barbs. Arnim Zola interrupts and tells them to stop bickering and see what progress Zola has made.
Zola has been busy reverse-engineering some of Doctor Doom’s technology. Zola comments that where Doom only sought isolated moments that time itself shall be open to them. Red Skull then reminds Zola that Skull is the leader and that there is no “us.”
Red Skull then tells Faustus to come with him. That Skull wants Faustus present at a meeting that Lukin has with the Secretary of the Treasury this afternoon.
We then cut to the “secret wake.” (Awww, isn’t that cute. The “secret” Avengers are having a “secret” wake.”) The Falcon is present. Luke “vagina kicking” Cage tells the Falcon that he can’t believe that the Falcon signed the Registration Act. Falcon retorts that he wasn’t going to let Steve get buried alone. That the Falcon told Tony Stark to give the Falcon Harlem and leave him the hell alone. (Huh? Is Tony the King of America and handing out fiefdoms to registered heroes?)
Luke comments that he couldn’t believe Tony was at the funeral. Iron Fist comments that he almost felt sorry for Tony until he remember that Tony sent him to the Negative Zone. Falcon says that he has no love for Tony, but that Stark didn’t kill Steve. Luke, in his infinite wisdom that he displays regularly over in New Avengers, comments that Tony put Steve in front of the bullets whether he meant to or not. That Steve lost his heart or else he would have never taken a hit like that.
Spider-Man sensing that Luke is about to make an idiot out of himself again, steps in and says that the video footage shows that Captain America pushes a cop out of the way of a bullet and saves the cop. That is the first shot. Then the crowd goes crazy and the rest of the shots start. That the strength-dampening restraints SHIELD had on Steve left him weakened. That Steve was still a hero right to the end. That he hadn’t lost anything.
The secret Avengers then toast the memory of Steve Rogers. Suddenly, the Falcon’s communicator starts beeping. The Falcon says that he has somewhere he has to be.
We shift to Bucky getting drunk at a bar. Bucky thinks how he didn’t have the guts to face his best friend for the past year and now he can’t even show his face at Steve’s funeral. One of the customers at the bar with a huge U.S. Navy tattoo comments how Captain America shouldn’t be allowed to be buried in Arlington. That only heroes should be buried there and not traitors. That Captain America fought against the will of the American people and dishonored the uniform he wore.
Bucky thinks how Steve would have debated the guy. That how a majority of people believe something doesn’t mean its right. That the majority of people once supported slavery. But, Bucky is not Steve. We see Bucky proceeding to kick the Navy guy’s ass.
A barroom brawl breaks out and Bucky ends up kicking everyone’s ass and is the last man standing. Bucky thinks how Steve would be so ashamed of him right now. Bucky thinks how Steve was his link and that he has nothing left without Steve.
Suddenly, Falcon appears on the scene. Falcon says they need to leave before cops show up. Bucky sees Tony Stark’s eulogy on the TV. Stark breaks down crying and can’t talk anymore. Stark goes and sits back down. Bucky thinks that he can’t bring back Steve and he can’t be the hero that Steve would want him to be. But, Bucky can do one thing. Bucky can kill Tony Stark. End of issue.
The Good: Captain America #26 was a slightly better than average read. Brubaker gives us some nice insight into how various characters are dealing with the death of Captain America. Brubaker is such a talented writer and knows how to deliver incredibly well developed and realistic characters. That talent really shines in this issue as we see how the different characters are handling Captain America’s death.
Of course, Brubaker serves up some wonderfully crafted dialogue. Brubaker gives us such a nice and naturally flowing dialogue that makes this issue a pleasure to read. Each character has a well developed voice. If you are going to deliver a dialogue heavy scene with almost no action then you had better have great chemistry between the characters and realistic dialogue that captures the reader’s attention. Very few writers can pull that off. Brubaker is certainly one of them.
I fell terrible for Sharon. Brubaker is doing a wonderful job showing how much grief Sharon is in. Sharon is pretty much totally lost and crippled without Steve. Sharon is normally such a strong and confident character. It is so strange to see her completely shattered and weak. I certainly never thought that Sharon would walk away from SHIELD.
The scene with Sharon in the bathroom was beautifully done and incredibly emotional. That is vintage Brubaker and really let the reader see the turmoil is consuming Sharon. The question is if Sharon lets what happen destroy her or if she gets her shit together and fights back against the Red Skull.
I like how Brubaker writes the Falcon. Sam is a true friend and even goes over to the Pro-Registration side in order to be at Steve’s funeral. Sam displays that being a true friend means you honor your friend’s wishes. Steve specifically ordered his team to stand down and to stop their pointless fighting and to try and work against the Registration Act from within the system. The Secret Avengers ignored Steve’s order. Sam, being a true friend, did what he had to in order to honor his fallen friend.
I continue to totally dig how Brubaker handles Bucky’s character. Brubaker has taken great effort in distinguishing Bucky from Captain America. This enables Bucky to move past just being seen as a junior and inferior version of Captain America. It is natural for sidekicks to be overshadowed by their mentor. Look at Robin. He will always be viewed as a cut below Batman.
Brubaker has quickly solved that problem with Bucky. Bucky is now his own man with his own personality and style of operating. Bucky is not Captain America Junior. Bucky is not longer a sidekick. Bucky is an engine of destruction. He is a killing machine. And Bucky operated completely differently than Captain America. Brubaker wisely shows how Bucky is different by showing how Bucky would rather kick ass than try and debate the Navy guy.
I dig how Bucky recognizes his own failings and how that makes him admire Captain America even more. Bucky struggles with the guilt of avoiding his best friend for the past year and not even having the guts to go to Steve’s funeral. And Bucky’s feeling of being totally alone and lost without Steve is perfect. This is exactly how Bucky should feel. This scene was so well done. Brubaker’s Bucky is a tragic figure. It is important that Brubaker keep him that way. That is a large part of Bucky’s appeal.
Brubaker delivers a good hook ending with Bucky vowing to kill Tony Stark. In Bucky’s warped mind this is all that he can do to deal with the situation at hand. Bucky is a living weapon. He needs a purpose and a target. Bucky is struggling to make sense of Steve’s death and desperately needs a scapegoat that Bucky can blame for Steve’s death.
Tony Stark is an easy and convenient scapegoat. It should be interesting to see if Bucky attempts to go through with this threat. And it should also be a cool fight. Bucky better try and kill Tony from long distance while Tony is out of his armor. Otherwise, Iron Man will wax Bucky’s ass.
I absolutely loved the unexpected twist that Brubaker surprised the reader with about Captain America’s corpse reverting back to a withered old man. How cool was that! Evidently, the super solder serum works in mysterious ways and the SHIELD scientists still can’t figure it out. This is a very intriguing plotline and I’m sure it is the genesis for whatever Brubaker will use as a plot tool to bring Steve Rogers back to life.
The Bad: Captain America #25 was a slow and plodding issue. I’m beginning to get weary of nothing but watching people morn over Steve Rogers. I know Captain America’s death is a big deal, but it seems like we are getting nothing but an endless amount of comic books all centered around various character ruminating and reflecting on the life and death of Captain America. It is getting to be a bit much. Enough is enough. I hope that this issue is the last of it. Especially since we know that Steve Rogers will make a dramatic return to life at some point.
Luke “I never met a vagina I didn’t want to kick” Cage continues to come across as a complete and total moron. Why anyone would follow this idiot is totally and completely beyond me. And Spider-Man pretty much calls out Luke in this issue and stops just short of telling Luke that he is babbling on like an idiot. I really wish there was a writer who could do more with Luke’s character other than giving us a stereotypical character who rants about “respect” and “the man.”
And, of course, by Marvel mandate we get plenty more Tony Stark bashing in Captain America #26. Everyone gets a chance to punk out Tony and in this issue it is Sharon Carter. Look, I know that Sharon slept with Steve and Tony hasn’t (or at least we don’t think he has) but to infer that Sharon had a closer relationship with Steve than Tony is completely asinine.
Tony and Steve have been together as Avengers ever since Steve was rescued from his block of ice. They have been incredibly close and respected friends who have fought side by side countless times. Honestly, the only character in the entire Marvel Universe that I would say has a closer relationship to Captain America than Tony Stark would be Bucky. That’s about it.
Tony comes across as a total dickhead, as usual. And everyone from Sharon to Luke Cage to The Falcon to Bucky take their turns totally trashing Tony Stark. Never mind that Tony isn’t even remotely responsible for Captain America’s death. I’m just getting a little sick and tired of the constant dumping on Tony Stark that takes place in every Marvel title outside of Iron Man.
And what the hell was the Falcon talking about how he asked Tony to give him Harlem and leave him the hell alone? What? Did America switch to a monarchy where Tony Stark is the King of the United States and is handing out fiefdoms to various super heroes to “own?” That made no sense and came across as completely idiotic. I imagine that the Falcon meant that Tony would allow Sam to the official registered hero for Harlem and would allow the Falcon to enforce the Registration Act as is necessary within Harlem. Okay, whatever. It still came across as rather silly.
And then Brubaker trots out the same piss poor speech about how the majority is not always right. And that slavery in America was a law once supported by the majority of the people. God, not this again. I have talked about this over and over and I don’t have the energy to address it again.
Suffice it to say, the Registration Act is not even remotely comparable to slavery laws. The Registration Act is not unconstitutional because it doesn’t violate any of the Constitutionally protected classes established by the Supreme Court. Slavery laws do.
And the entire rationale that just because the majority passes a rule doesn’t mean its right and therefore you can engage in armed conflict is insane. It is called a fucking Democracy, people! Am I the crazy one here? A Democracy is pretty simple to understand. The will of the majority is what becomes the law of the land. That’s it. That is how it works. I guess the minority should be allowed to run roughshod over the majority. I guess that the minute that a law is passed that any minority voting group dislikes then they are completely within their rights to engage in physical conflict. That is nuts.
Last time I checked, we were supposed to be an intelligent and advanced society based on a system of laws and principles. That if a bill is voted into law then the people who were against that law then have to first, accept that the bill is now law and follow the law. Second, the people opposed to that law can then work to change the law or get it repealed through legal means. Non-violent protests, boycotts and rallies. Try to elect politicians and appoint judges who would repeal or amend the law. That is how an advanced society that has a Democracy works.
The Secret Avengers are analogous to the Pro-Life supporters who believe they are justified in killing doctors who perform abortions. The law is wrong, therefore they are justified in lashing out in a violent manner. No. What you do is work to elect politicians who are Pro-Life and appoint judges who are Pro-Life in hopes that one day you can try and get Roe v. Wade overturned. That is how it works in a Democracy. You don’t just take to the street and start beating the hell out of people and cause massive amounts of property damage just because you don’t alike a perfectly Constitutional law being enacted.
Overall: Captain America #26 was both a wonderful character study with excellent dialogue and plenty of emotion. Captain America #26 was also a plodding and slow issue that continued to re-hash worn out themes from the Civil War in a completely illogical fashion. Personally, the less idiotic supposed legal debates about the Registration Act the better. And the less Tony Stark bashing the better. Let’s just get on with dealing with the true villain here: The Red Skull.
If you loved all the endless and circuitous debated about the Registration Act then you’ll love this issue a lot more than I did. If you are more like me and are worn out and tired with the entire beaten to death Civil War plotlines then you probably won’t be a huge fan of this issue.
The Revolution found the last issue of Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes a total clunker. This entire Dominator storyline has been so massively anti-climactic. Waid and Kitson’s run on the Legion ends with this issue. Let’s hope that Waid and Kitson can go out on a high note with Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes #30. Let’s hit this review.
Writer: Mark Waid
Penciler: Barry Kitson
Inkers: Jimmy Palmiotti and Mick Gray
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: We begin with the Legionnaires all assembled around a monument to Mon-El who apparently has died. We then cut to seven days earlier. We learn that the combined forces of the Legionnaires and the Wanderers have won the war. That they have crippled the Dominator forces on the Dominator Homeworld. That Brainiac 5 has come up with a cure to the Dominator’s A.I. virus that they infected the Earth with and that they are setting up the transmitter gate that will teleport all of them back home to Earth.
The bad news is that Sun Boy learned while being held captive that the Dominator’s had a fail-safe strategy. That the Dominator shock troopers number in the millions and have been sent around the universe to spread the Dominator gene code beyond anyone’s control. That the clock is ticking and that the Dominator’s will rebuild and attack at some point in the future.
Sun Boy asks Cosmic Boy if he is willing to destroy an entire race of irredeemable monsters before they rise again. Mekt then comments that the Legion doesn’t have the guts to do that. Dream Boy comments that Mekt is wrong. That he has seen the immediate future. Dream Boy tells Cosmic Boy to tell them about the bomb he has Brainiac 5 building.
Cosmic Boy says that he has no idea what Dream Boy is talking about. Dream Boy responds that that is not what Dream Girl told him. Dream Boy explains that Brainiac 5’s plan to bring Dream Girl back to life didn’t succeed nor did it fail. That Nura is now in a higher state of Naltorian existence. That she comes to others in their dreams and walks them through the future. That is what has been behind Brainiac 5’s recent “hunches.”
Brainiac 5 then appears on the scene. Saturn Girl asks Brainiac 5 to explain what has been going on with Dream Girl. Brainiac 5 tells them he will do that later. That they need to step back since he has some inventing to do.
We cut to Mon-El and Supergirl. They are about to fly back to the moon rendezvous point, when Mon-El tells Supergirl that the lead poisoning is really taking hold of him and that he can’t fly. Supergirl carries Mon-El and tells him not to worry and that Brainy will whip up more of the antidote as soon as they are home.
We cut back to Cosmic Boy admitting to the assembled Legionnaires and Wanderers that it is true that he has had Brainiac 5 work on a bomb to kill off the Dominators. Cosmic Boy states that the Dominator threat must be removed by any means necessary. (The Revolution just loves talk like that!)
Mekt is impressed while Garth is not and Garth calls Cosmic Boy genocidal. Cosmic Boy then tells Dream Boy to come with him. That he wants to talk to him in private. The Legionnaires look at Brainiac 5’s bomb which is very small. Brainiac 5 says that the bomb must be carried into the core of the Dominator Homeworld. That it will be a suicide run for whoever does it.
Supergirl and Mon-El arrive on the scene. Supergirl offers to take the bomb to the core since she is “the obvious candidate for that kinda stuff. You know…invulnerable?” Brainy responds that Supergirl doesn’t have the intestinal fortitude to handle being responsible for killing off an entire race of beings.
Mekt offers to do it himself. But, he can’t get to the core so he is not a choice. Cosmic Boy walks back over and says that Mon-El will do it. That even if they get back to Earth that Brainiac 5 might not be able to get his lab back together and find the ingredients in time to give Mon-El the antidote. And that the lead poisoning is probably already irreversible.
Mon-El accepts the mission. Mekt angrily disagrees and claims that he “owns” Mon-El and that Mekt is Mon-El’s leader. Mon-El ignores Mekt. Mon-El takes the bomb and then thanks the Legionnaires for the past several days where he has gotten to finally live life outside of the Phantom Zone. Mon-El flies the bomb into the core of the Dominator Homeworld. We see a massive explosion as the Dominator Homeworld is disintegrated.
We cut back to the present day where the Legionnaires are assembled at the ceremony for Mon-El’s sacrifice. Cosmic Boy finishes the eulogy and flies off with Phantom Girl and Dream Boy. Supergirl comments how terse the eulogy was and Light Lass responds that maybe the next Legion leader will give a better one. That the Legion election is taking place right now and there is no way a leader who sends a wounded soldier on a suicide mission is going to win.
We cut to Phantom Girl telling Cosmic Boy that he should let the rest of the Legion in on his secret. Cosmic Boy says that he can’t do that until Mekt and the Wanderers leave town. The secret is that Brainy's bomb was really Phantom Zone projector powerful enough to send the entire Dominator Homeworld into the Zone. That this was the only way to effectively imprison the Dominators and to save Mon-El. That Mekt believes he owns Mon-El and this was the only way to get Mon-El free from Mekt. And it was the only way to end the standoff between The Wanderers and the Legion over how to handle the Dominators.
Therefore, Cosmic Boy says that they can’t tell the rest of the Legion the secret until after the election. Phantom Girl tells Cosmic Boy that it is clear that part of him wants out of leading the Legion. That he is deliberately letting the Legionnaires think he is an ass just so he won’t be re-elected. That Cosmic Boy won the war and could still win the election despite himself. Phantom Girl tells Cosmic Boy to take a break or take command. Just pick the path that excites him.
We see Cosmic Boy alone amid the wreckage of the Legion HQ. Cosmic Boy picks up a statute of himself, Saturn Girl and Lighting Lad, the three founders. Suddenly, a time portal opens up and two men and a woman step out of it. They tell Cosmic Boy that it is a privilege to meet him. That they are the Knights Tempus, galactic defenders of the 41st Century. That they have come to invite Cosmic Boy to their team.
Cosmic Boy responds why me? Why not Brainiac 5, Supergirl or Lightning Lad. The heroes from the future reply that they aim high. That Cosmic Boy is the one whose destiny guides them. That its his tales of heroism as a boy and as a man that inspired them to create the Knights.
We then cut to Lighting Lad and Saturn Girl searching for Cosmic Boy amid the wreckage. They are excited to tell Cosmic Boy about the surprise winner of the Legion election. Saturn Girl tells Lightning Lad that Cosmic Boy’s thoughts suddenly disappeared. Saturn Girl sees the statue of the three founders with Cosmic Boy’s ring around the statue. Next to the statute amid the rubble is a cover of an Adventure Comics comic book and a Legion of Super Heroes comic book from the pre-Crisis Levitz era. End of issue.
The Good: Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes #30 was a kick-ass read! I’m stunned. After a truly horrid wreck of an issue that we got with issue #29, I had lost any and all hope that we would get anything worth reading in this issue. I was wrong. Waid actually delivered a good read.
What a great plot twist having it revealed that Mon-El isn’t really dead, but is actually in the Phantom Zone along with the Dominator Homeworld. I didn’t see that coming. I was actually annoyed that Waid would kill Mon-El so soon after brining him back.
Without a doubt, Cosmic Boy is star of the show. And, obviously I’m biased, so you know that I love all the attention that Cosmic Boy has gotten on this story arc. I have to give Waid credit. Waid has done more with Cosmic Boy’s character than any other Legion writer. I love how Waid has handled Cosmic Boy’s character and how Waid has grown Cosmic Boy into a total stud and probably the most heroic of all the Legionnaires.
Cosmic Boy’s plan to have Mon-El “blow up” the Dominator Homeworld with Brainy’s “bomb” was genius. This was the perfect way to deal appropriately with the Dominators without committing genocide, it also saved Mon-El from dying from lead poisoning and lastly, it staved off a showdown with Mekt and the Wanderers on how to deal with the Dominators.
Cosmic Boy even sacrifices his own image in order to save Mon-El, take care of the Dominator threat and diffuse the tense stand-off with the Wanderers. The Legionnaires view Cosmic Boy has a cold hearted leader who sent a wounded soldier on a suicide mission. Other Legionnaires viewed Cosmic Boy as a murderer who sanctions genocide. Very few heroes would be willing to allow their teammates to view them in such a negative light.
However, Cosmic Boy is a true hero. All he cares about is doing his job. He doesn’t care about getting the love, praise and adulation from his teammates and the public. That is the mark of a true hero. There is no ego with Cosmic Boy. It is all business. Cosmic Boy is a leader that could care less if you love him or hate him. But, believe me, you will respect him.
I absolutely loved the ending. It was just incredible. The Knights Tempus are a very intriguing. A group of super powered teens from the 41st century who used the Legion as their inspiration! Very cool. The Legion has been inspired by the heroes of the 21st century. It only makes sense that the young brash upstarts in the Legion would eventually grow up and become icons. And that at some point in the future, the Legion’s tales of heroism would inspire future generations just like the JLA inspired the Legion.
I also like how the scene mirrors how the three original Legionnaires, Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad and Saturn Girl, appeared in Superboy’s time and told Superboy that he was their inspiration for forming the Legion and that they wanted him to join the Legion. Here the Knights Tempus consist of two males and a female. And Cosmic Boy is their Superboy.
Obviously, I love hearing how the Knights chose Cosmic Boy over all the other heroes including Supergirl because Cosmic Boy’s tales of heroism as a boy and man stand above all the other great heroes. That Cosmic Boy’s destiny is the greatest of all the other heroes. That’s right, baby. Cosmic Boy is a total big time stud! I completely dig that Waid catapults Cosmic Boy to the forefront as the greatest Legionnaire and the inspiration for a future generation of heroes.
I like the imagery of Cosmic Boy being approached by the Knights Tempus while he is holding the statue of the three founding Legionnaires. You can tell that Cosmic Boy’s tenure as Legion leader has taken a massive toll on him. Obviously Cosmic Boy yearns for simpler times when it was just the three original Legionnaires. Before all the responsibilities were heaped upon his shoulders.
Phantom Girl is completely correct. Part of Cosmic Boy doesn’t want to be leader anymore and he is using his excuse of not telling the Legion the truth about Mon-El and the Dominator Homeworld until after the election as a reason to get him voted out of office.
There is no doubt that Cosmic Boy really needs to get away from the Legion for a while. Going with the Knights Tempus is the best thing that Cosmic Boy can do for himself at this point. Cosmic Boy needs to get re-charged. He needs to once again experience that wide-eyed optimism that comes when brand new heroes decide to form their own group of heroes.
I definitely dig the Knights Tempus and am very curious to learn more about them. The Knights Tempus and Cosmic Boy’s adventures in the 41st century should definitely provide for some interesting storylines. Hopefully, whoever takes over for Waid doesn’t wait to long before revisiting the Knights Tempus and Cosmic Boy.
Waid then ends his run with a truly intriguing final panel. Among the ruins of the Legion HQ we see two covers of two old Legion comic books. One of them looks to me like the cover of Adventure Comics #372. The other one looks like Legion of Super Heroes #296 from 1983 where Sun Boy is holding the dead body of Cosmic Boy’s brother.
By the way, the following issue #297 was always my favorite issue. Cosmic Boy goes berserk and finally uses his magnetic powers to their fullest capabilities when avenging his brother’s death. Cosmic Boy uses the magnetic waves around Earth’s atmosphere to fly instead of the flight ring because it is much faster. Then Cosmic Boy uses his magnetic powers to boil the metals in the criminal’s blood. Now that is evil. No writer has ever made Cosmic Boy that powerful in any of the other versions of his character.
At any rate, the big question is what is the meaning of those two covers? Is it alluding to the fact that the Adventure Era Legion and the Pre-Crisis Levitz Era Legion both still exist in one of the 52 universes of this new Multiverse? Will we possibly be seeing these two Legions at some point in the future? I can only hope so. I know that we are getting hints that the Legionnaires in the JSA/JLA crossover are from an alternate universe.
I would love to see DC publish a comic book involving the Pre-Crisis Legion or the Adventure Era Legion. I’d most definitely take either the Adventure Era Legion or the Pre-Crisis Levitz Era Legion over this current version of the Legion any day of the week.
Waid also leaves us hanging and wondering just who won the Legion election. Clearly, it is someone who was not expected to win the election. Could it be a Legionnaire like Ultra Boy? I can’t wait to find out.
Oh yeah, I also liked that Waid told the reader that Supergirl was doubling her efforts to return to her own time. Thank god. Having Supergirl hi-jack this title failed to increase the popularity of the Legion. Which is exactly what I said at the very beginning.
Legion of Super Heroes #15, the final issue before Supergirl hi-jacked this title, sold 31,600 copies. Here we are a year later and Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes #29 managed to sell 30,906 copies. That is less than before Supergirl hi-jacked the title. So, DC’s belief that Supergirl would increase the popularity of the Legion was incorrect. It is time that Supergirl gets the hell out of the Legion.
Kitson served up some solid artwork. This issue wasn’t anything spectacular looking, but it got the job done.
The Bad: Just one small question. What happened to Shadow Lass in this issue? She was white. Poor girl must have contracted whatever disease Michael Jackson suffers from.
I appreciated finally learning what is going on with Dream Girl. However, I can’t say that I’m particularly thrilled with the concept that Dream Girl is now in a higher state of being and visits people while they are sleeping. I’d much rather have Dream Girl alive and part of the team.
I still believe that Waid completely and thoroughly dropped the ball with the entire Dominator plotline. This Dominator plotline failed miserably to live up to the hype. It was terribly anti-climactic. Also, the vast majority of the conflict between the Legion and the Dominators occurs off panel and between issues. Waid wraps up the Dominator conflict way to quickly and conveniently.
The plotting for this storyline was terrible since the basis for the conflict was lame and all the action took place off panel. The pacing was poor as we had this huge build up to the conflict and then quickly raced through it with a rather cursory treatment.
Overall: Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes #30 was a satisfying end to Waid’s run on this title. I have had huge issues with the majority of Waid’s run on the Legion. However, the final scene of this issue was very emotional and well done. It definitely piqued my interest and I am looking forward to the next issue of the Legion.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
The Revolution found Countdown #50 to be a bit of a disappointment after a rather hot debut issue. I’m sure that the writing team will crank up the story a bit with Countdown #49. There are certainly plenty of interesting plotlines already in place. Let’s do this review for Countdown #49.
Writers: Paul Dini and Tony Bedard
Penciler: Carlos Magno
Inker: Jay Leisten
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: We begin with Killer Croc breaking free and killing a guard. Killer Croc then attacks Jimmy from behind. When Killer Croc tries to slash Jimmy Olsen open, Jimmy bends and elongates his body just like Elongated Man would. Killer Croc is unable to cut Jimmy open. The Arkham Asylum guards then blast Killer Croc with electrical guns and take him down. Jimmy stands there confused and wondering how he managed to survive Killer Croc’s attack.
We cut to a meeting of the Monitors where the Monitor who killed Duela Dent is being charged with breaking protocol. That Monitors do not act on a whim or pursue their own agendas. The accused Monitor responds that any anomaly no matter how small violates the cosmic order. That he took action and expunged Duela.
The accused Monitor states that they have seen what happens when individuals stray form one universe to the next. The accused Monitor asks if another Crisis must occur in order to move them to action. That they should prevent such an event. That there are many loose ends from the last Crisis. That people walk New Earth that should not be there. That they must correct these mistakes. We see on monitor screens Karate Kid, Nightwing, Supergirl, Brainiac 5 and Chameleon Boy.
The accused Monitor then points to Jason Todd, Kyle Rayner and Donna Troy and states that these are three cosmic mistakes just waiting to be corrected. And that it isn’t murder if these creatures shouldn’t be alive in the first place.
We cut to the JLA satellite where Karate Kid is being held captive. Red Arrow asks Karate Kid to tell him why he and his teammates are in the present day era. Karate Kid refuses to answer and claims that the JLA are not heroes since they would lock him up for no reason. The two men trade some verbal barbs and then Red Arrow walks off.
We then shift to a yacht speeding through the Atlantic Ocean. Some old rich guy is on a cell phone transferring money into an unidentified person’s account. The old rich guy then jumps off the speeding yacht in order to commit suicide.
We cut to inside the yacht where Mirror Master, Trickster and Pied Piper are standing. Pied Piper used his flute to make the rich guy jump into the water to his death just after transferring a hundred million dollars into Mirror Master’s account. Trickster has wired the yacht to explode once they leave. Mirror Master confirms that the money is in his count via his laptop. Mirror Master then tells Trickster and Pied Piper that they have passed their test of loyalty.
Pied Piper then uses Mirror Master’s laptop and transfers the money to Pied Piper’s account. Piper says that Mirror Master owes him for killing Piper’s parents. Mirror Master says that they are now even.
We then see Pied Piper and Trickster standing on the deck of the yacht. Trickster tells Piper that he thinks Piper made the fat rich man swim five miles to shore without getting tired. Piper asks Trickster why he doesn’t rat Piper out. Trickster says that if Piper transfers the one hundred million to Trickster’s account then he won’t say anything about what Piper did. Piper transfers the money from the charity that Piper had transferred the money to into the Trickster’s account.
We cut to Gotham City where Mary Marvel is being chased through the streets by some gang members. Mary runs into a building that seems to be drawing her to it. Mary thinks how there is something familiar about this place. That this must have been how Billy felt when he first met the Wizard. Except that this is even scarier.
One of the thugs enters the building and tells Mary that this place has been abandoned since the “ragheads” moved out. Suddenly a shadow figure appears from above and grabs the thug and tears him into little pieces.
Mary thinks how there is a monster in the building. Mary sees dead bodies all around her. The shadowy figure comments that the dead people are drug addicts, squatters and real estate agents. People stupid enough to intrude upon his solitude. The shadowy figure flies toward Mary. It is Black Adam.
Mary cries out that she is Mary Marvel. Black Adam then responds that this day is not a total loss after all. End of story.
We get a back up story about the History of the Multiverse. We learn that there is one Monitor who represents each of the 52 universes. The Monitors meet in the Time stream. They activate the Well of Revelation in order to view the beginning of the Multiverse.
That there was no crossing between the infinite universes until one man appeared who would be the first to cross the gulf between multiple worlds. Barry Allen. The Flash. He transported himself from Earth-One to Earth-Two. There he met Jay Garrick, the Flash for Earth-Two. And with that a handful of people gained knowledge of the Multiverse. End of issue.
The Good: Countdown #49 was a kick-ass issue! Dini and the boys did an excellent job with this issue. Dini and Bedard deliver plenty of good dialogue. The dialogue had a pretty good flow.
Countdown #49 was well paced. It never felt rushed, but it definitely moved quickly. The plotting continues to be well done. It is obvious that Dini has a clear plan in mind and has wasted no time establishing the various major plotlines. I also like that the writers manage to touch on each of these major plotlines with each and every issue. That probably won’t continue through out the entire series, but I dig the balanced attention that the writers are giving each plotline.
The Jimmy Olsen scene was awesome! Elastic Lad is back in action! This was probably my favorite scene. I most definitely was not expecting Jimmy to suddenly display his Elastic Lad powers. Back in Jimmy Olsen #37 in 1959, Jimmy Olsen first made his appearance as Elastic Lad after drinking some alien serum or something like that. As Elastic Lad, Jimmy was made a member of the Legion of Super Heroes and went on several adventures with the Legion of Super Heroes. This of course was the Adventure Comics Era Legion.
Well, it looks like Elastic Lad is back. And with this move, DC brings back a piece of Jimmy Olsen’s Pre-Crisis history. Jimmy’s career as Elastic Lad and memberships in the Legion of Super Heroes was wiped out by the first Crisis. I’m obviously thrilled to see another aspect of the Pre-Crisis DCU making its return.
I am excited to learn more about how Jimmy has gained his Elastic Lad powers. It is clear that even Jimmy doesn’t know what is going on. It appears that Jimmy doesn’t even know that he used his elastic powers to evade Killer Croc’s attack. This is a very cool twist to Jimmy Olsen’s plotline and should make things interesting.
The scene with the Rogues was well done. I’m glad to see that Piper is still a good person. Not only does he not kill the old rich guy, but he had transferred the hundred million dollars to a charity and not his own personal account. That was a nice way to show that Piper’s altruistic side is still alive. And it contrasts Piper with his fellow Rogues in Mirror Master and Trickster who wanted the money in their own personal accounts.
Evidently, the Trickster has returned more to his previous form than Piper. Trickster is one devious fellow and is definitely up to something. I’m curious to learn what Captain Cold’s big plan is. I know that Piper is getting involved to try and foil the Rogues. What I’m wondering is what is the Trickster up to? There has to be something more going on with the Trickster than simply seeing him return to his past criminal form.
The Monitor scene was captivating. We learn that there are 52 Monitors with each one assigned one of the 52 universes. That each Monitor polices his own universe. Now, there is a large split over how to deal with “anomalies” from other universes. I’m curious to see which side ends up prevailing.
We also get several cool teasers concerning some of the anomalies that are running around on New Earth. We see Karate Kid as one of the anomalies. This lends support to the idea that the Levitz Era Legion exists in one of the 52 multiple Earths.
The big three anomalies evidently are Jason Todd, Kyle Rayner and Donna Troy. We know that Donna and Jason have both returned from the dead. Now, what is going on with Kyle I have no idea. I have never been a fan of Kyle and quite honestly, I wouldn’t mind seeing a Monitor blow away Kyle.
I am definitely excited to learn more about why Jason, Kyle and Donna are all anomalies. I really dig Jason and Donna and both characters deserve some much needed attention. I just hope that both of them survive Countdown.
The Mary Marvel scene kicked ass. He’s baaaaaaaack! Black Adam, the stud extraordinaire. Black Adam is even more monstrous than when we last saw him. Black Adam is more animal than man. And of course, you know when Black Adam makes an appearance you are going to get some viciously bloody action.
Mary is definitely in for a tough time. I’m curious to see how Mary gets herself out of this tight situation. Especially considering how after Captain Marvel defeated Black Adam at the end of 52. Black Adam’s grudge against all the members of the Captain Marvel Family is definitely back in a big way. This was definitely a fantastic hook ending and it got me excited for the next issue.
I really enjoyed the back up story dealing with the history of the Mutliverse. I found it much more interesting than the incredibly boring backup stories from 52. This is a genius move on part of DC to try and educate new fans about the long and glorious history of the DCU. Yeah, it takes some effort on the part of newer fans, but it is well worth it.
Look, we don’t just drop history classes in school just because it is tough to expect younger people to understand the long and convoluted history of not just the world, but America itself. You don’t see history teachers saying “You know, let’s just teach history from the Vietnam War up to the present. Everything else is just too much and would be too difficult for students to understand.”
No way. History is cool. History is vitally important. I love that DC is embracing their rich history and making the honest effort to educate new fans about their history and getting them hooked on all the wonderful little details in DC’s past. I think the majority of new readers will really enjoy learning more about DC’s history. It gives everything in the present much more depth and context.
Magno provides some solid artwork. I definately am enjoying the art in Countdown more than the art in 52.
The Bad: So Black Adam has his powers back already, huh? Wow, that didn’t last long did it? I thought that DC would at least milk that plotline for at least a year or so before delivering the grand return of Black Adam. But, instead, DC waits a couple of weeks and gives Black Adam his powers back. I think that was a bit premature and that DC could have really turned that plotline into something a bit more compelling and dramatic that lead into a really impressive return of Black Adam.
The Karate Kid scene did nothing for me. I’m getting enough over in the JLA/JSA crossover that these quick scenes in Countdown aren’t giving me anything that I didn’t already know.
Overall: Countdown #49 was a great read. I am absolutely loving this title. DC has really impressed me with this follow up effort to 52. I didn’t think it was possible, but I believe that I’m going to enjoy Countdown just as much as I did 52.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
X-Factor is one of The Revolution’s favorite Marvel titles. David always delivers a well written issue full of great dialogue and a commitment to character growth. There is no doubt in my mind that X-Factor #19 is going to be another good read. Let’s do this review.
Writer: Peter David
Penciler: Khoi Pham
Inker: Sandu Florea
Art Rating: 4 Night Girls out of 10.
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10.
Overall Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10.
Synopsis: We begin with Jamie holding one of his dupes who was poisoned by Fatale. The dupe doesn’t mind embracing his death. Jamie worries that lately his dupes have been too death obsessed. And Jamie himself was ready to let the “Reverend Maddox” put a cap in his head. Jamie wonders what is wrong with his survival instinct lately.
Jamie absorbs his poisoned dupe and then Jamie collapses to the floor. Rictor stands next to Jamie’s body completely confused.
We cut to Rahne and Strong Guy where Rahne is trying to pick up a scent. Rahne snaps at Guido. Guido comments that he is worried about how Rahne has been acting lately when in wolf form. That she may decide to stay in that form permanently. Rahne says she has been worrying about that, too. Rahne then tells Guido that she caught the scent.
We hop over to Monet and Siryn squaring off against Marrow, Fatale and Blob. They begin to brawl. During the brawl, Siryn blasts Blob. Blob flies high into the air and lands over on the nearby alley where Rictor and Madrox are located. We see Madrox standing up when Blob then falls on top of him and splits Madrox into several dupes.
Rictor races around the corner to help Monet and Siryn and gets taken down by a ricocheted bullet from Fatale’s gun. Monet and Siryn kick ass on Fatale and Marrow and take both of the villains down and out. Monet tends to Siryn’s stab wound and tells her that she needs medical attention. We see a mysterious figure pull Rictor into the alley, pick him up and walk away with him.
We shift to Rahne following the trail of the scent all the way to Quicksilver’s building. Our heroes knew that Pietro would be mixed up in all of this somehow. Suddenly, Guido is attacked by Nils Styger, otherwise known as Abyss. Abyss throws Guido several blocks through the air.
We then see Reaper arriving on the scene carrying Rictor over his shoulder. Rahne and Reaper begin to brawl. Callisto then joins the fight. Callisto calls Rahne a sell out for working for the same government that was responsible for M-Day. Rahne says that Callisto is wrong. That it wasn’t the government responsible for M-Day. However, before Rahne can tell Callisto that Scarlet Witch caused M-Day, Quicksilver grabs Rahne from behind. Rahne collapses to the ground and transforms back to her human form.
Quicksilver orders Reaper and Callisto to dispose of Rahne as they see fit. Reaper throws Rahne down a manhole into the sewer. Reaper then sees a piece of paper that fell out of Rahne’s pocket that says she should go climb down a manhole at the intersection of Bachman and 5th. Callisto comments that it is the wrong address, but close enough. Quicksilver then grabs Rictor’s unconscious body and drags him into Quicksilver’s building.
We shift back to X-Factor’s brownstone where Siryn is getting treatment for her wound. Blob says that he won’t tell them anything. Monet then comments that she is going to pull the information from Blob’s mind. That it will be like strip-mining. That Blob's mind will be just smoking ruins inside his skull. Monet then asks again where X-Cell’s location is and where they got their weapons.
We cut back to Quicksilver with Rictor. Rictor wakes up and Quicksilver tells Rictor that he has been watching out for Rictor. Quicksilver says that Rictor can’t leave yet until he hears what Quicksilver has to offer. We see Abyss, Reaper, Marrow, Fatale and Callisto on the other side of the closed door ready to attack if Rictor tries to escape from the room.
Quicksilver tells Rictor that they can save the former mutants. That the former mutants that weren’t worthy can be purified through Rictor. That evolution stems from nature and that Rictor has a connection to nature. That power or no, the connection still resides inside of Rictor. That with Quicksilver’s help that connection can be used for the salvation of the mutant race. Rictor tells Quicksilver to tell him more. End of issue.
The Good: X-Factor #19 was another good read. David continues to crank out consistently good issues each and every month on X-Factor. David serves up a well paced and plotted issue. David gives us enough action to liven up his dialogue heavy story. I love that David has a clear vision and direction for this title. David is clearly building up to a huge event involving Quicksilver and the ex-mutants who were robbed of their powers by M-Day.
Of course, David delivers his usual excellently crafted dialogue. Each member of X-Factor has their own distinct external voice. The dialogue has a wonderful natural flow and makes this issue a pleasant read. The great dialogue and well developed characters lend to plenty of chemistry between the various members of X-Factor. There are very few titles on the market that have the incredible level of chemistry between teammates that you find on X-Factor. David has made X-Factor more than just a super team. They are really a family with all the dysfunctions that your typical family has.
David continues his strong commitment to character development. David is eternally growing the characters of all the various members of X-Factor. In this issue, we see Rahne, Jamie and Rictor all further evolve in this issue.
David has been building up to Rahne dealing with feeling more at home in her wolf form than in her human form. At some point, this has to tie into what is going on over in Wolverine. We know that Wolverine is a Lupine and evidently so are other characters in the Marvel Universe including Rahne.
Jamie, being the star of this title, continues to grow and grow with each issue. It suddenly dawns on Jamie that he has a serious problem with his survival instinct. Is Jamie suicidal? Does he have a deathwish? Clearly, something is going on inside of Jamie’s fractured mind that is causing him to act in a decidedly unbalanced manner. I’m interested to see what David has in store for Jamie.
But, the biggest development in X-Factor #19 is that David finally heats up the Quicksilver/Rictor plotline. David has been slowly building up to this moment. I am completely captivated by this plotline and cannot wait to see what Quicksilver has planned for Rictor.
I’m glad that David is dealing with the remnants of M-Day. This storyline has been largely ignored by Marvel and that is a shame. There is plenty of potential with this storyline and it is necessary that Marvel follow up on this long dangling plotline.
David’s version of Quicksilver is excellent. Quicksilver is such an oily and snake-ish villain. Quicksilver comes across much differently than his father Magneto. Quicksilver operates through manipulation and lies. Magneto was more straightforward. Magneto operated as an authoritarian dictator.
Of course, they do have some similarities. Both father and son believe that what they are doing is helping mutantkind and both men have god-complexes. However, it seems that Quicksilver doesn’t truly love and care for his people like Magneto does. I like that David is contrasting the different styles between Quicksilver and Magneto. It helps bring Quicksilver out of his father’s shadow and give him his own unique style and image.
The Bad: I just don’t dig the style of artwork that Khoi Pham and Sandu Florea are giving us on this title. I find their art to be rather drab and dull. The faces are poorly sketched and lack any personality. The artwork continues to be the Achilles’ heel of what is an excellently written title. If Marvel would just put some quality artwork on X-Factor then you would have one truly amazing title.
Overall: X-Factor #19 was a good read and is leading up to what should be a wild ride involving Quicksilver’s plan for Rictor. X-Factor continues to fly under the radar and, in my opinion, is the best X-title that Marvel has on the market right now. I don’t even think it is close. X-Factor is definitely worth your hard earned money.
SUPERGIRL AND THE LEGION OF SUPER HEROES #30
SUPERMAN BATMAN #35
CAPTAIN AMERICA #26
FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL #1
IRON MAN HYPERVELOCITY #5
IRREDEEMABLE ANT-MAN #8
MARVEL ADVENTURES IRON MAN #1
It looks like The Revolution is getting another good sized shipment of comic books headed to the Bunker today. We have a total of 11 titles for this week. I’ll try to post as many reviews as possible.
Which DC comic book am I most looking forward to reading? That is easy. Countdown #49. Yeah, last issue wasn’t all that exciting, but it laid the foundation for what should be an exciting read this week. Countdown definitely has shown that it has the potential to be every bit as good as 52.
Which DC comic book am I least looking forward to reading? Supergirl and the Legion of Super Heroes #30. Waid has ended his run on this title with a massive thud. The last issue was a total clunker and this entire Dominator story arc has turned out to be horribly anti-climactic.
Which Marvel comic book am I most looking forward to reading? Honestly, this is a pretty weak collection of Marvel comic books. None of them really get me excited. Having said that, I am very curious about the new Iron Man title coming out this week in Marvel Adventures Iron Man #1.
Now, I know nothing about these Marvel Adventures titles. I avoid comic book websites and message boards so I haven’t read anything about this series of comic books. Are the Marvel Adventures title Marvel’s answer to DC’s Johnny DC comic book aimed at younger readers? They appear to be separate from the regular 616 Universe. Any explanation from people who read these Marvel Adventures titles would be appreciated. And are people enjoying these Marvel Adventures titles?
Which Marvel comic book am I least looking forward to reading? Now, this is an easy answer. X-Men #199. This title has been a hot mess. Bachalo’s artwork makes my head hurt and Carey’s writing has been mind numbingly generic.
I’ll try my best to start posting reviews as soon as possible. I hope everyone enjoys their new comic books for this week.
Posted by Rokk Krinn at 9:08 AM
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
The Revolution always looks forward to the newest issue of Moon Knight. It looks like we are in store for a showdown between Moon Knight and the Punisher. It should certainly be entertaining watching two of Marvel’s biggest nutjobs cross paths. I’m sure that Moon Knight #10 is going to be another quality read. Let’s hit this review.
Writer: Charlie Huston
Artist: Mico Suayan
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: We begin with Moon Knight watching Punisher blow away a bunch of criminals. Khonshu is a huge fan of the Punisher and loves his style and grace in the Punisher’s wholesale slaughter without a trace of regret. Khonshu say that Punisher serves another and wears his lord’s banner across his chest. And the Punisher appeases his master’s appetite unlike some others that Khonshu could mention.
Moon Knight retorts that he does plenty for Khonshu. Khonshu responds that there is always more need for vengeance. Punisher then yells out if Moon Knight is going to hide and talk to himself all night or join the party. Punisher asks Moon Knight if Stark or Rogers has asked Moon Knight to join their respective sides. Moon Knight responds that neither side wants him. Just like they don’t want Punisher. Punisher tells Moon Knight now to get caught on the wrong side.
Moon Knight asks Punisher if he ever thinks about what he does. How it is as bad as what the criminals do. If the Punisher worries about what he could become. If the Punisher deserves to live anymore than the criminals he kills.
Punisher comments that he knows here he stands and he doesn’t worry about it. That when they are all dead and the war is over that there will still be one bullet left. To clear all accounts. Punisher comments that Moon Knight is still on the fence and is trying to have it both ways.
Moon Knight responds that he still has forgotten that Punisher killed Moon Knight’s brother. Punisher answers that it only happened that way because Punisher got to Moon Knight’s brother first, or else Moon Knight would have killed his own brother.
Moon Knight then leaves the scene and gets back in his Moon Copter. Ray is geeking out at the sight of the Punisher. Ray tells Moon Knight how the soldiers in Iraq are all huge fans of the Punisher. Moon Knight tells Ray to fly back to the estate.
We cut to the next day. We see the Profiler approaching a girl in a seedy bar. The Profiler tells the girl that she is pathetically lonely and desperate. That she has no self-esteem. That she is just his type. We see that the girl has a scar on her face. She asks the Profiler for another drink.
We see Crawley leading Marc to the bathroom of the same bar where the Profiler is taking a leak. Crawley tells Marc that the Profiler is inside. Marc enter the bathroom and threatens to force the Profiler to look at himself in the bathroom mirror. The Profiler begs for Marc to hurt him but not to make him look at himself in the mirror. Marc begins to smack around the Profiler for a bit. The Profiler says that he knows that Marc is here to get the Profiler to look for information on an old enemy Moon Knight is trying to track down.
Marc grabs the Profiler and asks him how close he is to digging out one of the Profiler’s eyes out with his thumb. The Profiler answers pretty close until the girl distracts Marc and makes him feel bad for beating up on a helpless geek like the Profiler. Suddenly, the girl with the scar yells at Marc to leave the Profiler alone.
The Profiler comments that he just finished belittling the girl and that she equates emotional abuse with affection. The girl calls the Profiler a dick. The Profiler agrees with her statement. The Profiler takes the information Marc has on his former sidekick, Jeff Wilde. The Profiler tells Marc to meet him here tomorrow. Marc says he won’t meet him at this location. The Profiler responds that Marc has bad memories about this location. That is why the Profiler came here hoping it would keep Marc away.
The Profiler then tells Marc about the bartender inside the bar who uses his belt to whip his wife on a nightly basis. Just so Marc doesn’t end up directing all that pent-up rage at someone who doesn’t deserve it. Then the Profiler looks at Crawley and tells him that he knows how Crawly thinks about how he abandoned his family and his wife died along and his son became a serial killer. The Profiler then adds that Crawley is right. It is all Crawley’s fault.
We then cut to Marc going back inside the bar and grabbing the bartender’s belt and then beating the bartender with it. We then see that Jeff Wilde and some equally decaying woman next to him watching the entire scene between Marc and the Profiler from a nearby sewer drain. The woman tells Jeff that soon Moon Knight will take Jeff seriously. That soon he will take both of them seriously and before it’s over, they will both get what they want from Moon Knight. End of issue.
The Good: Moon Knight #10 was a damn well written issue. Huston is doing a truly excellent job on this title. Huston’s dialogue and character work is phenomenal. Huston has made Moon Knight one of Marvel’s strongest reads with some of the best writing you are going to find on the market.
I enjoyed how Huston used the scene between the Punisher and Moon Knight to play up how disappointed Khonshu is with his servant, Moon Knight. That the Punisher can really dish out the vengeance. It is neat that the Punisher is already serving his own lord: Death. It was interesting to see that Moon Knight actually seemed jealous when Khonshu fondly compliments the Punisher for his skills and openly wishes that Moon Knight was more like Punisher.
Huston does a good job getting across the fact that as much as it seems that Moon Knight doesn’t like Khonshu, that Moon Knight is still Khonshu’s servant and there is still that sense of loyalty and respect and the desire to be commended for a good job as Khonshu’s fist.
I love how Huston writes the Punisher. Huston gives the Punisher plenty of depth and texture. Seriously, if Marvel cannot keep Huston on Moon Knight then I would completely psyched if Marvel could get Huston to write Punisher: War Journal. In just this short scene, Huston displays a wonderful sense of Punisher’ character and does so in an enjoyable fashion.
I dig Huston’s take on how the Punisher rationalizes killing criminals when such actions make Punisher a criminal himself. Punisher’s responds to that question by stating that when his war with crime is over then he will have one more bullet for himself to settle up the debts and transgressions he has committed during his war. That is perfect. The Punisher should have that type of view of himself.
I also like that Huston avoided the hackneyed and predictable hero versus hero battle due to a conflict of crime fighting tactics. Instead, Huston uses the cerebral approach to this meeting. And that is most definitely a surprise since Moon Knight and Punisher are two of the least cerebral super heroes. And that is what made this scene even cooler.
The scene with Marc Spector and the Profiler was incredibly intense and extremely well done. The dialogue was just sick. Huston can always be counted on to supply plenty of quality dialogue, but the dialogue in this scene was just wonderfully done. The chemistry between Marc and the Profiler was perfect. The back and forth dialogue was just right. This scene had excellent flow and grabbed the reader’s attention from the very beginning and didn’t let go until the very end.
The Profiler shifts from his usual know-it-all and cocky attitude to being a scared little dork when confronted by a pissed off Marc Spector. However, once the Profiler realizes that Marc needs his help, suddenly, the Profiler shifts back to being his typical cocky self at the end of the scene. Huston writes such naturally acting characters and it shows in this scene. Real people change their attitudes based on the situation as it unfolds around them.
Profiler ruthlessly skewering Crawley with the comments about Crawley being at fault for his wife’s death and his son becoming a serial killer was just vicious and cold. I love the detail that Huston puts in every character, even minor supporting characters like Crawley.
Huston delivers a solid ending. We see Jeff Wilde and a woman that I don’t recognize. I don’t know if this is the nurse who has been taking care of Jeff or if this is Jeff’s mother. At any rate, you know that Huston is going to deliver a wild finish when Moon Knight and Jeff clash.
The Bad: Moon Knight #10 was a slowly paced issue. This issue read like filler. As much as I enjoyed how Huston handled the Punisher’s character, that entire scene was a throwaway scene. It didn’t advance any current plotlines nor did it create any new plotlines of any importance. It was really unnecessary and it took up half of this issue. It really held back the flow and progress of this story arc. It also felt disjointed and shoehorned into the story arc.
Overall: Moon Knight #10 was another solid issue. Yeah, it was filler and it certainly broke the flow that Huston had created on this story arc. However, a filler issue from Huston on Moon Knight is still better than most regular issues on other titles.