Captain America is tacos in the bank. This title is always an excellent read. Captain America #39 should be entertaining as we get to see Bucky cross paths with the 1950’s Captain America. I am confident that Brubaker has another strong issue in store for us. Let’s go ahead and do this review for Captain America #39.
Writer: Ed Brubaker
Art: Rob De La Torre
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 1950’s Captain America watching Senator Wright giving a political speech at a rally. The 1950’s Captain America thinks how he is to follow Dr. Faustus’ plan and wait for the fake assassins planted in the audience to “attack” Senator Wright. The 1950’s Captain America thinks how he cannot wait to fight the imposter who is running around trying to be Captain America. (Bucky.) We see the “assassins” jump up on the stage to “attack” Senator Wright. The 1950’s Cap springs to action.
We cut to Bucky’s loft where he is sparring with Falcon. Bucky cannot believe that SHIELD could not find any useful information from the Arnim Zola robot body that they recovered. Bucky gets a huge shot in on Falcon. They stop sparring and Bucky comments that Falcon keeps worrying to much about Bucky’s metal arm.
Bucky then says that they have to find Sharon and save her. Suddenly, Flacon’s cell phone rings. It is Natasha who tells Falcon to turn on the news report. Bucky cuts on the television and we see the news report showing footage of the 1950’s Cap beating up the “assassins” and then addressing the crowd and publicly endorsing Senator Wright for the presidency.
Bucky exclaims that the 1950’s Cap sounds just like Steve Rogers. Bucky says that maybe Senator Wright is their link from Kronas to Red Skull to this other Captain America.
We hop over to Sharon in the medical bay at the Red Skull’s base. In the bed next to Sharon is Sin who is recovering from her injuries. Sin swears that once she is healthy and her father, the Red Skull, tells her that they no longer need Sharon that Sin is going to kill Sharon slowly and painfully.
We hop forward to three days later to a political rally for Senator Wright in Minneapolis. Senator Wright addresses the crowd. We see that Bucky is in the crowd. Bucky is waiting to see if this other Captain America makes an appearance. Bucky thinks that between the skyrocketing gas prices, the plunging dollar, food riots and the housing market crash that it seems that someone is having a fire sale on their country.
The rally ends and the other Captain America never shows up. Bucky thinks how he was only supposed to be here watching. That the Falcon will not like it if he goes outside his mission parameters.
We cut to Bucky going outside of his mission parameters. Bucky is in his Captain America costume and breaks into Senator Wright’s hotel room. Captain America takes out several Kane-Meyer guards protecting Senator Wrights’ room. Captain America thinks that since Kane-Meyer is a division of Kronas International that this is more proof that Senator Wright is their path to the Red Skull. Captain America enters Senator Wright’s hotel room and finds that it is empty.
We shift back to the medical bay at Red Skull’s base. Sin is being released from medical care. Sin slips back into her costume. Sharon has managed to work free from her straps holding her to the bed. Sharon decides that this is her best chance to make her escape from this facility.
Sharon quietly gets up and knocks out the doctor and proceeds to kick Sin’s ass. Sharon hold a scalpel up to Sin’s neck and tells Sin that she is going to walk Sharon out of this place.
We slide back to Captain America in Senator Wright’s hotel room. Suddenly, someone sneaks up behind Captain America and lands a massive punch on Cap that sends him flying across the room. A woozy Captain America thinks how that punch was too much power. That not even Steve hit that hard.
We then see the 1950’s Cap towering over Captain America. The 1950’s Cap tells Captain America to get up. The 1950’s Cap calls Bucky an imposter. The 1950’s Cap says that he is going to kill him. End of issue.
The Good: Captain America #39 was yet another strong read. Brubaker continues the slow burn approach as he delivers a story that moves at a measured pace. Brubaker manages to build plenty of excitement in the reader as we head to the climactic ending with the showdown between the two Captain Americas.
Captain America #39 was a well plotted issue. And the incredible plotting and long range and complex plotlines are the strengths of this title. Brubaker continues to make Captain America arguably the best plotted comic book on the market. It is always fascinating to watch Brubaker deftly mesh together the various complex and multi-layered plotlines.
Brubaker does not give the reader much action with Captain America #39. But that is not a surprise. Brubaker often eschews action for issues at a time in order to construct his brilliant plotlines. And we all know that we will be getting plenty of action with the next issue.
As always, Brubaker treats the reader to plenty of excellent character work and well crafted dialogue. All of the characters are three-dimensional. Brubaker is able to make each character as realistic as possible. And this commitment to strong character work leads to wonderful chemistry between the characters.
I dig the Red Skull’s sly move of employing the 1950’s Captain America in order to give a huge boost Senator Wrights’ presidential campaign. Having the 1950’s Captain America publicly endorse Senator Wright was a brilliant decision by the Red Skull to increase the appeal of his political pawn in Senator Wright. What was so enjoyable about this scene is how Brubaker is able to take these different plotlines and interconnect them in order to serve the Red Skull’s master plan of taking over America. This scene also emphasizes the surreptitious nature of the Red Skull’s attack on America.
Brubaker does a great job with the 1950’s Captain America. This is such a terribly exploited character. This poor bastard doesn’t even know his own true name. It is easy for the reader to be sympathetic for the 1950’s Captain America who has been reduced to nothing but a mindless tool to be employed by the Red Skull.
Brubaker continues to do a wonderful job with Bucky’s character. The reader can tell that Brubaker likes Bucky. I loved Bucky’s inner monologue during the political rally in Minneapolis. Bucky’s jaded and realistic outlook on life emphasizes how governments and politics are so easily used to exploit the general public.
Brubaker also continues to emphasize the differences between Bucky and Steve in how they operate. Bucky breaks his mission parameters in order to try and come into direct contact with the 1950’s Captain America. This is something that Steve probably would not have done. I like that Brubaker continues to show Bucky’s more impulsive and emotional attitude. And this aspect of Bucky makes this story more interesting since Bucky continually plays right into the hands of the Red Skull.
It was pretty cool to see Sharon kicking some ass in this issue. Sharon has not gotten to do that much since she killed Steve. Brubaker is beginning to make up for that by having Sharon quickly dispatch of Sin and then begin to plan a pretty ballsy escape from the Red Skull’s facility. You don’t mess with Steve’s baby’s momma.
Brubaker delivers a fantastic hook ending on Captain America #39. Evidently, the 1950’s Cap is even more of a powerhouse than Steve was. This should be a kick-ass brawl.
Rob De La Torre does a great job as the fill-in artist. De La Torre delivers plenty of quality artwork that matches the mood and tone of Brubaker’s story perfectly.
The Bad: I have no complaints with this issue.
Overall: Captain America #39 was another enjoyable read. Brubaker is money on this title. There are few titles on the market as consistently good as Captain America. I strongly urge you to give this title a try. It will appeal to you regardless if you ever liked Captain America or not before.
Monday, June 30, 2008
Captain America is tacos in the bank. This title is always an excellent read. Captain America #39 should be entertaining as we get to see Bucky cross paths with the 1950’s Captain America. I am confident that Brubaker has another strong issue in store for us. Let’s go ahead and do this review for Captain America #39.
Saturday, June 28, 2008
The Revolution has been highly unimpressed with Superman for quite some time and has not even bothered to post a review for this title in a while. However, I have been anxiously awaiting Superman #677 as James Robinson arrives on this title to take over the writing duties. I am a big fan of Robinson and have faith that he will craft a strong read on this title. Let’s go ahead and hit this review for Superman #677.
Writer: James Robinson
Pencils: Renato Guedes
Inks: Wilson Magalhaes
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: We begin with Hal Jordan and Superman in space. Superman is playing fetch with Krypto. Krypto thinks about how the man throws thing and he catches it and brings it back to man. Krypto thinks how the man does this to make Krypto happy. Hal comments how this is weird. That they are wearing masks and costumes and have super powers and are playing Frisbee with a super-powered canine in space. That is weird.
Superman replies that it is not weird. Superman says that he though better of Hal. After all, Hal has seen so many worlds and probably slept with plenty of alien girls with different exotic looks and skins. Hal says actually he has not dated as many as people think. Superman asks what about Jade? Hal answers that she was exotic, but that was Kyle who dated Jade. Superman says Kyle was lucky. Hal answers that Kyle was lucky until Jade’s luck ran out. Hal says that tends to happen to their kind.
Superman says that he knows he sounds stupid, but he thinks he broke the curse. Superman says that he has Lois. And he has the bestest, greatest and most wonderful dog in the cosmos. Hal counters that fate throws a lot of curveballs. Superman agrees that fate does, but he still has Lois and a good dog and that gives him a complete life. Superman asks “What could go wrong?”
Hal thinks about his past with Carol and villains that were easily beaten. Before Star Sapphire. Before Parallax. Hal thinks how can the greatest man in the galaxy be so naïve? Hal then thinks that perhaps that is what makes Superman the greatest man. That Superman has faith and believes in something better.
Hal then agrees that Superman’s dog is pretty cool. Hal thinks maybe Superman is right. What can go wrong? We then see a darkness swirling around the part of space where the two heroes are located.
We cut back to Metropolis where the Science Police are battling a giant monster that is rampaging through the site. Travis DuBarry thinks how he is the leader of the SP and he is not too sure that his men and women don’t think he is a moron. We learn that Travis got his position because of being in the right place at the right time and having an uncle who is a Senator. All of the SP officers that Travis is commanding have more impressive resumes and are more qualified for Travis’ job. Still Travis does his best. Unfortunately, the monster is shrugging off the attacks by the SP officers.
Suddenly, we see a blue and red blur race through the sky and rip through the middle of the monster. The monster collapses to the ground, but in the process bumps the Daily Planets building and causes the Daily Planet globe to fall to the ground. Out of nowhere we see a shadowy figure grab the globe just before it hits the ground.
Travis thinks how his guilty secret is that he hates Superman. Not all the time, but Superman is always here and always there and the SP are supposed to clean up after him. That Travis thought that the SP were supposed to be something special. However, Superman makes them look like janitors.
The shadowy figure then throws the Daily Planet globe high into the sky and yells “Superman!” We see that the figure is Atlas. Atlas screams for Superman to come before him so that Atlas may show him sorrow and pain. Atlas proclaims himself the champion of Metropolis.
The SP immediately attack Atlas. Atlas shrugs off their attacks and proceeds to take out the SP officers. Atlas then yells that he wants Superman. We cut to space where Superman picks up Atlas’ cries. Superman tells Hal that he has to go and for Hal to look after Krypto. Superman then rockets off.
We cut back to Metropolis where Travis is the last SP officer standing. Travis attacks Atlas, but Atlas quickly takes out Travis. Atlas then screams once again for Superman. Suddenly, Superman appears on the scene. Superman says “Yeah, I heard you. There’s no need to shout.” End of issue.
The Good: Wow. That was the best issue of Superman that I have read in a while. Robinson delivered an enjoyable read with his debut issue on Superman. Superman #677 was a wonderfully written issue that moves at a steady pace. Robinson is certainly taking his time with this story arc and appeared in no rush to start his run on Superman with a flashy issue.
Instead, Robinson decides to go the route of quality writing with an emphasis on well crafted dialogue and strong character work. Superman #677 was a well plotted issue as Robinson pulls off some ominous foreshadowing and then introduces the villain for this story arc. Robinson strikes a good balance between the dialogue heavy scenes with Hal and Superman and the action packed scenes in Metropolis. Superman #677 was well balanced and should satisfy action fans as well as readers who prefer plot driven stories.
Robinson cranks out some excellent dialogue. The banter between Hal and Superman was perfect. The dialogue had a wonderful natural flow. The monologue by Travis in the Metropolis scenes served as a proper spine for those scenes. Robinson whips up plenty of strong character work. The three main characters in this issue, Superman, Hal and Travis are all nicely developed characters. Robinson offers the reader an unfiltered view into each of the three men.
I loved the scene with Hal, Superman and Krypto in space. This was such a fantastically written scene. Robinson delivers the dialogue in such a casual and subdued fashion. I really enjoyed Superman’s view that life is great since he has a great woman and the best dog in the cosmos. For Superman, a man does not need anything other than that. You add a pick-up truck to Superman’s list of what makes life great and you would have a country music song.
I totally dig the sweet and simple view of life that Superman possesses. It is such a small town average Joe way of looking at life. This is part of what makes Superman so special. Very few super heroes in the modern era have such a simple man’s view of life. I dig how this view even rubs off a little on Hal.
I liked how Robinson showed the strong bond and love between Superman and Krypto. I love dogs so I have naturally always liked Krypto. And I am glad to see Krypto making regular appearances in Superman’s various titles.
Robinson also gives us some ominous foreshadowing in the opening scene with Hal and Superman. You have Superman talking about how great life is. Then you have Superman asking what could go wrong? And you have Superman talking how he feels he has broken the curse that affects most super heroes that leads to tragedy in their lives. Robinson even has Hal eventually agree with Superman that life is pretty good and then Hal also asks what could go wrong. Combine that the swirling darkness around Superman and Hal and it is clear that Robinson is cueing the reader that something wicked this way comes.
I enjoyed the look into Travis’ mind that Robinson gives us in this issue. It is always neat to see a normal human’s view of a big-time super hero like Superman. I dig that Travis actually hates Superman to an extent. It makes perfect sense that a proud group like the Science Police that is composed of the best of the best that the police world has to offer would be resentful of a person like Superman who continually makes them look like janitors. I like that Robinson chose to delve into this one-sided rivalry between the S.P. and Superman.
Robinsons definitely gave Atlas an extremely dramatic entrance in this issue. I loved the shot of Atlas grabbing the Daily Planet’s globe. That was a very fitting image for Atlas. Atlas should be a great nemesis for Superman. What is nice about Atlas’ character is that he is not a straight up monster like most powerhouses that Superman fights. And there is no doubt that Atlas possesses the attitude and the power to go toe-to-toe with the big red S.
Robinson ends Superman #677 with a solid hook ending. We see Superman squaring off against Atlas. The reader is more than excited to come back for the next issue in order to check out the pending showdown between these two titans. Next issue should supply us with plenty of action.
Superman #677 is a fantastic looking issue. Renato Guedes and Wilson Magalhaes combine to deliver some gorgeous artwork. Guedes draws a wonderful looking Superman. The scenes with Superman and Hal were just incredible. However, the art was a bit uneven as some of the panels of Atlas rampaging in Metropolis were not quite as impressive.
The Bad: I have no complaints with this issue. However, I can understand if some readers found Superman #677 a bit too slow and that Robinson did not progress this story arc enough. And I can understand if some readers thought we got too much panel time with the SP officers battling the monster and then battling Atlas. Some readers may have wanted to see Superman in action at least a little bit in this issue.
Overall: Superman #677 was a well crafted issue. Robinson did a good job with his debut issue on Superman. This was a balanced issue that should have mass appeal. If you have not read this title in a while then I would certainly recommend giving Superman a try once again. I have a good feeling that Robinson is going to deliver consistently good reads on Superman.
Friday, June 27, 2008
For the most part, Bendis has rocked the Secret Invasion tie-in issues. New Avengers #42 goes all the way back to New Avengers #1 and shows the reader how the Skrulls have influenced Bendis’ Avengers over the past several years. I am confident that this should be a rather gripping read. Let’s go ahead and hit this review for New Avengers #42.
Writer: Brain Michael Bendis
Pencils: Jim Cheung
Inks: John Dell
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: We begin with that same tired scene that we have seen over and over again that occurred months ago when Nick Fury tells Spider-Girl to join Hydra and get her powers back and then she can work for Nick and let him know what Hydra is up to.
We shift to a Hydra base where the Hydra doctors are putting Jessica under so they can perform the surgery to giver her the Spider-Woman powers once again. After Jessica is put under, we see the Hydra doctors morph into Skrulls. The Skrull Queen enters the surgery room and stares at Jessica.
We cut to the Skrull Queen going through the ceremony to completely become Spider-Woman.
We shift forward in time to a few weeks later with the Skrull spies meeting. They decide to orchestrate their plans for taking over Earth. The three targets include the vibranium mines, which can give the humans weapons to defeat the Skrulls, the mutant population, which is simply to large for the Skrulls to battle, and the super-powered community.
The Skrulls decides to create what will appear to be a corrupt faction of SHIELD that will destroy the vibranium mines. This will get Maria Hill in trouble and she will take the fall for whatever the Skrulls are about to do.
The mutant population will be dealt with by the Skrulls finding a way to heat up the hatred that humans have for mutants so that they start fighting each other and killing each other off.
The Skrulls decide this is the same path they need to take with the super-powered human population. That they have to take out the bigger guns one at a time and get the rest of the super humans to fight each other.
The Skrulls decide that they must take out the big guns like Doctor Strange, Doctor Doom, Namor, the Scarlet Witch, Hercules, Reed Richards and Tony Stark. The Skrull Queen says that Tony and Reed are not to be killed. That they are to answer for their crimes on a Skrull world. That is after they watch their planet fall. Then they are punished and then they are killed in the throne city of Galax.
The Skrulls then decide to get Jessica Drew stationed at Ryker’s Island where she can unleash the most madness with the least amount of suspicion. We then cut to the events from the story arc involving the Ryker’s Island jail break. Jessica reports to the Skrulls that the jailbreak was a success in implicating SHIELD as responsible for it and letting loose fifty plus criminals. But, the down side is that the Skrulls just accidentally put the Avengers back together.
We shift to Jessica meeting with Skrully Hank Pym at Hank’s lab. Jessica says that they have another big gun that they need to eliminate: The Sentry. Jessica then tells Hank that the Avengers asked her to join them. Hank is pissed that the New Avengers did not call him to join. Hank shouts that he was a founding member and that they always treated him like crap.
Skrully Hank then tells Jessica that she has to join the Avengers. That Jessica will be living in Tony Stark’s house and this might let them crack Tony’s tech. We shift to Jessica meeting with Madame Hydra. Jessica states that she will spy on the Avengers for Hydra but that Madame Hydra will have to pay her for her services.
We cut to Spider-Woman in her costume officially joining the new Avengers. The Avengers are telling old stories about Scarlet Witch. Spider-Woman asks where Scarlet Witch currently is located. Tony answers that Scarlet Witch had a nervous breakdown and that she is now with her family.
We slide to the SHIELD Helicarrier with Spider-Woman meeting with Maria Hill. Maria Hill lets it known that she does not trust Spider-Woman because she used to be a member of Hydra. Spider-Woman then tells Maria Hill that everyone hates Maria and that no one trusts Maria.
We shift to Spider-Woman on the deck of the Helicarrier. Skrully Yellowjacket radios Spider-Woman and tells her that they are all at Avengers Tower and that the X-Men are here and they are going to Genosha to confront the Scarlet Witch. Skrully Yellowjacket says that Scarlet Witch is out of control again.
Spider-Woman tells Yellowjacket to kill Scarlet Witch. Spider-Woman says that Scarlet Witch has killed Pym’s friends and that he can fake snapping and he can kill Scarlet Witch. After Yellowjacket kills Scarlet Witch then the Skrulls will switch him out.
We shift to hours later in Genosha with Spider-Woman standing there as everything turns white and the events of House of M begin. End of issue.
The Good: New Avengers #42 was a solid read. Bendis delivers up another pleasant Secret Invasion tie-in issue. I am really enjoying seeing what the Skrulls have been up to during all the events since the Avengers Disassembled story arc. Bendis cranks out a slower paced issue. But, that was fine with me since I wanted a good sense of what Skrully Spider-Woman has been up to over the past several years.
New Avengers #42 was nicely plotted. It is quite enjoyable to see how Bendis seamlessly integrates the Skrulls’ infiltration of the New Avengers into the past story arcs on this title. Bendis continues to impress me with his logical and focused approach of revealing how the Skrulls have been positioning themselves for the past several years in order to launch the Secret Invasion.
What was particularly well done was that Bendis managed to make New Avengers #42 as new reader friendly as possible. Bendis does a nice job of integrating enough back-story into this issue so that even readers who have not been reading New Avengers since the Avengers Disassembled story arc will understand what is going on in this issue.
Bendis serves up some serviceable dialogue. It was not anything special, but it got the job done. There was not much character work in this issue. Still, Bendis did a good job showing how once the Skrulls assume a human form that they end up truly indentifying themselves with the human they are impersonating.
This was nicely shown when Skrully Hank Pym is noticeably irritated that he was not invited to join the New Avengers while Spider-Woman does. Seeing Skrully Hank Pym spit that Hank never got any respect considering that he was an original Avengers shows that these Skrulls truly become the humans that they impersonate.
I dig how Jessica was switched out with the Skrull Queen. Bendis did it in a seamless fashion that made sense. Having Jessica swapped out during her surgery by Hydra allows this Skrull swap to fit perfectly into the back-story on this title.
I like how Bendis revealed the Skrull’s three prong attack once they started infiltrating Earth. It was a logical and well calculated attack. First, they have to eliminate the vibranium mines so that the humans cannot make weapons from vibranium that the Skrulls cannot counter. Second, the Skrulls must reduce the mutant population. Third, the Skrulls must get the human super-heroes to fight each other in order to reduce the numbers.
Bendis unveils a logical and well-calculated three prong attack by the Skrulls that meshes perfectly with the past events on New Avengers. I like how Bendis shows that the Skrulls have been manipulating events to further their own agenda. I dig that the Skrulls do not actively cause everything bad to happen, but they certainly take advantage of various events in order to massage them in the direction that they want them to go.
My favorite scene in this issue was when Spider-Woman reports back about how the jailbreak that she caused at Ryker’s Island was a success in that fifty plus villains are now on the loose. But, and there always is a “but”, Jessica then sheepishly states that she thinks that they just accidentally caused the Avengers to get back together. That was a pretty funny scene. Plus, since the Skrulls for the most part were so incredibly successful with all of their plans leading up to Secret Invasion, it was realistic that at least one of their plans would backfire on them.
I have to say that it appears that the Skrulls hate and despise Tony Stark more than any other human. I love that every time Tony’s name is mentioned that there are multiple curse words preceding Tony’s name. I also love that the two humans that the Skrulls consider to be the most dangerous are Tony Stark and Reed Richards. Tony has no metahuman powers and Reed has metahuman powers that most people would consider more of a joke than a threat. This is a cool way to show that overt power does not necessarily make a person the most dangerous threat.
The Bad: New Avengers #42 suffers from the usual defects that most Bendis titles possess. And that is that the story has a bit of fluff designed to stretch this story over the entire issue. New Avengers #42 had a couple of scenes that I found to be nothing more than time wasters. I could have done without the scene involving Jessica and Madame Hydra and the scene with Jessica and Maria Hill. I also do not think that we needed four pages for Skrull Queen to transform into Jessica.
I have to say that I am totally over the Skrull covers. I am beginning to hate them more than the played out and completely tired zombie covers.
Overall: New Avengers #42 was another good Secret Invasion tie-in issues. Bendis continues to do an impressive job seamlessly meshing the Secret Invasion back-story into the Marvel universe history. I still find the Secret Invasion tie-in issues to be more enjoyable that Secret Invasion itself.
If you are enjoying the Secret Invasion event then I would strongly recommend that you pick up New Avengers #42. You will get treated to plenty of interesting back-story that helps to flesh out the Secret Invasion event.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
The Secret Invasion tie-in issues continue to be strong reads. I get much more excited for the newest issue of New Avengers and Mighty Avengers than I do the newest issue of Secret Invasion itself. Mighty Avengers #15 deals with one of Marvel’s whipping boys, Hank Pym. I did not like that Bendis continued to pile on more misery on Pym’s character by revealing him to be a Skrull. Still, I am sure that Mighty Avengers #15 should be an entertaining read. Let’s go ahead and do this review.
Writer: Brain Michael Bendis
Pencils: John Romita, Jr.
Inks: Klaus Janson & Tom Palmer
Art Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: We begin with Henry Pym giving a lecture at a university in England. One of the young hotties in the class starts to flirt a bit with Pym. (My Skrull alert just went off. There is no doubt that this student is a Skrull.)
We cut to later that night with Hank in front of his computer working. Janet comes home drunk as a skunk after a night out being a ho, I mean, attending parties and trying to further her fashion design career. Janet tries starting a fight with Hank, but Hank refuses to participate and simply asks Janet to go to bed since she is drunk.
We cut to the following morning and see that Janet has packed up all her stuff and left. Janet leaves a simple note behind that says “Bye.” Hank comments how classy Janet is.
We hop forward to Hank in bed with the pretty blonde from the lecture he gave the other day. After they finish having sex, the blonde proceeds to ask Hank all sorts of questions about Janet. The student then tells Hank that the Avengers have re-formed. Hank checks out an internet newsite to read the article himself.
The girl comments that this means Hank will probably be headed back for the States. Hank replies that his life as an Avenger is over. That he is staying in England. Hank is a little hurt that nobody called him to join this newest version of the Avengers. Hank asks the girl if she wants to go to dinner tonight. The girl readily agrees and says that she has a billion questions for Hank. (I told you she was a Skrull.)
We shift to dinner with the girl asking Hank a million questions about his life and his career with the Avengers. We slide to them back at Hank’s place and talking about the Kree-Skrull war. Hank starts ripping on Skrulls and calling them lying, cheating weasels. The girl asks if Hank is worried about the Skrulls attacking once again. Hank replies that he isn’t since they always beat the Skrulls.
The girl replies that Hank is arrogant. The girl predictably gets all Skrully and attacks Hank. Hank barely puts up a fight and dies like a bitch. (Great. Hank really has always gotten the short end of the stick considering how the other original Avengers are treated.)
The Skrull then undergoes the process of transforming completely into Hank Pym.
We cut to two months ago with Ultron attacking the Mighty Avengers. We see Pym helping SHIELD and the Mighty Avengers figure up a way to defeat Ultron. We slide to Pym meeting with the other Skrull spies. Pym says that the information they had on Tony Stark is outdated. Pym says that Stark has gone organic with the Extremis virus.
Pym says that this Stark Tech has a weakness that Ultron found and penetrated. That this Stark Tech is now what is used on all SHIELD bases and the Avengers Tower. Pym says that the Skrulls can now exploit this weak spot. Pym says that it is time to summon the Skrull armada. Pym then says that he is going to go put the proverbial cherry on top.
We cut Hank meeting with Janet and giving her a new serum that allows her to shrink to wasp size and to grow to giant size as well. Hank says that with the Initiative and the new world that it might be nice to have that option of powers. End of issue.
The Good: Mighty Avengers #15 was a rather ordinary read. This was actually a relatively boring issue. Especially compared to the previous Secret Invasion tie-in issues which were excellent reads.
Bendis does give us some nice dialogue that is remarkably free from your typical Bendis speak. Bendis surprised me by delivering a rather sympathetic Hank Pym. Usually, most writers, Bendis included, make Hank look like a jerk. Instead, Bendis makes Janet look like the total jerk for a change. It was nice for Hank to not be the bad guy for once when it comes to that relationship.
I always thought that Pym was a character with so much potential and that all he needed was the right writer to come along who actually cared about Hank’s character. Bendis shows us flashes of how interesting Pym can be. I dig how Bendis has Pym emphatically state that his life as an Avengers is behind him, but at the same time shows how hurt Hank is that he was not contacted and asked to be a part of the New Avengers. Bendis gets across the fact to the reader that even though Pym is a founding member of the Avengers that he is often ignored, overlooked and rarely gets the respect that he is due.
I enjoyed the one page with Pym meeting with the other Skrull spies. Bendis does a nice job showing how the Skrulls finally figured out why their data on Tony Stark was useless. This scene also explains how the Skrulls were able to gain knowledge of the weak spot in Tony’s new Stark Tech and then were able to use that against our heroes in the events in Secret Invasion #1.
I found the artwork by John Romita, Jr., Klaus Janson and Tom Palmer to be slightly better than average. I will admit that I am not crazy about this style of artwork. It is a bit too rough looking for my taste.
The Bad: Mighty Avengers #15 is a bit of a dull and plodding read. This was a slow issue and not much intriguing happened. Actually, this issue felt like pure filler. We really didn’t learn anything particularly important or new. I don’t have much to say about Mighty Avengers #15 because nothing really happened in this issue.
Much of Mighty Avengers #15 was fluff. Bendis burns 12 pages with Hank giving his lecture, fighting with Jan and courting the student. We then get 3 pages of the Skrull fighting Hank. Then we get 2 pages with the Skrull assuming Hank’s form. That brings us to 17 pages into the story with the reader getting absolutely no new information concerning Secret Invasion that would be considered even remotely interesting.
And the scenes with the blonde student were boring. We all new that the student was a Skrull the minute she made her appearance. So, that took out the excitement of how Hank was going to get replaced by the Skrull.
We then get the one page flashback scene during the Ultron story arc. And then the one page scene with Hank revealing the flaws of the Stark Tech to the other Skrulls. Then the one page scene with Hank giving Jan her new serum.
All in all, we get only about one page that contained any new information that is of interest to the reader and that is the page where Pym talks to the other Skrulls and we learn how they are able to attack Tony’s new tech. I had to slog my way through this dry and uneventful issue for basically one page worth of payoff.
I cannot say that I’m thrilled that Hank got killed off. I guess we don’t know for sure if Hank is dead, but it sure seemed like it. I feel bad for Hank’s character. I have always thought he was an intriguing character with lots of potential. It seems that people forget that Hank is one of the original Avengers. Historically speaking, Henry Pym is an important character. Unfortunately, Hank has continually gotten the short end of the stick. Maybe it is better than Hank is killed off since it appears that no one knows how to properly handle his character.
Overall: Mighty Avengers #15 was a slightly better than average read. This was certainly one of the weaker Secret Invasion tie-in issues that I have read. And this issue bordered on being a simple time waster. And that is totally understandable as Secret Invasion itself is sure to be taking up plenty of Bendis’ time and efforts. Still, I would not recommend wasting your hard earned money on Mighty Avengers #15. There is nothing that happens in this issue that will add to your experience over on Secret Invasion itself.
The Revolution completely enjoyed Final Crisis #1. Too bad that the sales numbers reflect that not many comic book readers share my enthusiasm over this title. Now, there is probably no way that I will not love Final Crisis #2. I am a huge Barry Allen fan. I was just a little kid when DC killed Barry and I was completely and totally traumatized. Barry’s death was the first one I experienced in my young comic book reading life. I hated it then and I still hate it. I cannot wait to see the iconic Flash make his return in Final Crisis #2. Let’s go ahead and hit this review.
Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist: J.G. Jones
Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: We begin with young Japanese super heroes hanging out in a trendy club in Tokyo. We see a news report being played on one of the TV’s in the club. On the news report is an older hero named Rising Sun who is ranting about the new young heroes as being useless posers. That all the young heroes do is hang out in clubs and have made being a super hero nothing more than a gimmick.
Rising Sun rants that in his day, fellow heroes like Ultimon, Hammersuit, Zero-X and Junior Waveman were true heroes as a part of Big Science Action. Rising Sun states that Japan has had a proud tradition of super-heroism with special distinction in the field of monster hunting.
Excellent Super Bat scoffs at Rising Sun as nothing more than a stupid old man. Excellent Super Bat states that something will happen to put Super Young Team on the map.
We then see Super Sumo enter the club. Super Sumo sits down at the bar and orders a drink. Mega Yakuza then walks up behind Super Sumo and challenges him to a fight. Super Sumo states that he only fights for money and proceeds to ignore the challenge. Mega Yakuza then blasts flames at Super Sumo that light his back on fire.
Super Sumo casually finishes his drink and then proceeds to rip Mega Yakuza’s heart out and stuff it in a glass. We then see Super Sumo go to the bathroom. Super Sumo examines the burns on his skin. Excellent Super Bat encourages his friend, Atomic Lantern Boy to go get Sumo’s autograph.
Atomic Lantern Boy enters the bathroom and ask for Sumo’s autograph. Sumo yells for Atomic Lantern Boy to leave him alone. Suddenly, Shilo Norman (the other Mister Miracle) enters the bathroom and whips out his motherboxxx and heals Sumo’s burned skin. Shilo says that Motherboxxx is about the only thing left after the cosmic war that the powers of evil won. Shilo reveals that they are here among them right now. Shilo asks for Super Sumo to help him put together a team.
We slide over to the exiled Monitor, Nix Uotan, reading the dictionary from front to back. The exiled Monitor is now working at Big Belly Burgers. Nix thinks how he feels like he belongs somewhere else. Like one day he is going to find the magic worked that will take him home. We then see the exiled Monitor sketching various costumed characters.
We cut to Turpin beating the crap out of Mad Hatter. There is blood all over the Mad Hatter’s apartment. Turpin demands to know where the children were taken. Mad Hatter pleads that he does not know anything. Turpin continues to viciously beat the Mad Hatter. Mad Hatter finally admits that the children were taken to Bludhaven.
During this vicious scene, Turpin wonders to himself what is wrong with him. Turpin wonders why he is acting so viciously. Turpin sees himself in the mirror an comments that he does not look too good. Turpin thinks that he should have known better. That all roads lead to Hell.
We slide over to J’onn J’onzz’s funeral being held on Mars. Superman gives a touching eulogy. Superman ends the eulogy by saying “We’ll all miss him. And pray for a resurrection.”
We shift to the meeting between Libra and all the super villains. Lex still is not impressed with Libra. Lex states that Martian Manhunter was an easy target. Lex says that he will think about following Libra if Libra is able to hurt Superman.
All the villains then exit the abandoned strip club where they were holding their meeting. Lex tells Vandal Savage that Lex and Sivana are going to form an alliance against Libra’s ambitions. Lex asks if he can count on Savage’s support. Savage tells Lex that Savage will follow Libra since it seems that Libra has something interesting planned for all the super heroes.
Human Flame thanks Libra for giving him back his respect and dignity. Libra then tells Human Flame to come talk to him about what the Human Flame now owes Libra.
We cut to Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman pouring over the evidence found at Orion’s murder scene. Wonder Woman comments how the death of Martian Manhunter strips them of their instantaneous mind-to-mind contact that he used to provide for them. Batman responds that it appears that the Secret Society vowed revenge on J’onn for impersonating Blockbuster recently. (Um, yeah whose idea was that, batboy?) That J’onn’s death was an organized crime styled execution.
Batman then says that Orion’s murder is something totally different. In walks Hal Jordan and Alpha Lantern Kraken. Hal informs out heroes that Alpha Lantern Kraken is now in control of the crime scene. Kraken acts like a bitch and is dismissive of Hal’s “crime fighting club” and wonders how it impairs Hal’s duties to his space sector.
Batman states that Orion was shot. That the internal trauma is consistent with the blast pattern of a bullet detonating inside his skull. Batman says the question remains what kind of bullet was used since it left no other trace of its passage. Kraken dismisses Batman’s opinion since there is no bullet wound. Batman disagrees and says that he has already sent John Stewart to reexamine the murder scene.
Kraken asks under whose authority did Batman send a Green Lantern back out to the murder scene. Kraken states that it is her duty as an Alpha Lantern to handle the crime scene and that Earth falls under the jurisdiction of the Guardians. Kraken says that she is in charge and not Batman. Batman spits back that he does not remember voting for the Guardians.
We shift to John Stewart and another Lantern investigating the murder scene once again. John’s ring detects an energy signature it could not identify. Johns then says that whatever it is it has been buried in the concrete for fifty-years. The other Lantern flies off to investigate the rest of the crime scene.
John digs up the object in the concrete and sees that it appears to be some type of bullet shaped object. John’s ring scans it and says that it has Radion in it. Suddenly, John’s power ring dies.
A hooded figure with a cape in a Green Lantern outfit appears on the scene and attacks John. John immediately recognizes the Lantern and says “My god. It’s you!” The mysterious Lantern fires energy spikes at John that pin him to the wall. The mysterious Lantern tells John to say goodbye to his eyes. The mysterious Lantern then uses the energy spikes to gouge out John’s eyes.
We cut to Hal Jordan asleep at his apartment. Suddenly, the Alpha Lanterns led by Kraken appear in his bedroom and inform him that he is under arrest for the murder of a New God and the attempted murder of his partner. The Alpha Lanterns then strip Hal of his power ring.
We shift to the Hall of Justice where Batman tells Superman that Kraken is wrong. Batman says that Hal is not the killer. Superman agrees. Superman says that Doctor Mid-Nite and Wonder Woman are with John Stewart and are administering purple ray treatments. Superman then states that he has to run to the Daily Planet to keep his secret identity from getting blown. Superman asks Batman to hold down the fort for a couple of hours. Batman watches Superman fly off and says “Hh. Superman, Superman...”
Batman then enters the lab where Kraken is closing up her investigation. Batman tells Kraken that Hal is not the murderer. Kraken dismisses Batman and says that the investigation is over and that Hal has a criminal history with his stint as Parallax.
Suddenly, Kraken cries out “Help me! She’s eating my mind alive. Tell them our weapons don’t work…” Suddenly, Kraken barks why Batman is looking at her. Batman attacks Kraken and orders a Black Alert and for the Hall of Justice to be sealed immediately. The two brawl, but Kraken ends up taking down Batman and then opening up a boom tube. Kraken says that Batman will make a nice plaything for Granny Goodness.
We shift to Turpin arriving in Bludhaven. Reverend Good approaches Turpin and calls Turpin “the great one” and asks Turpin to come with him. Good tells Turpin that everything is going well and according to plan. Good says that they have been working to create this pit as a cradle for Turpin’s rebirth. Turpin asks what the hell Good is talking about.
Good answers that the Gods of Apokolips are bringing about the final crisis of man. Good tells Turpin that they have grown a new body for his son, Kalibak the Cruel. Turpin keeps wondering what is wrong with himself. We see tons of people being held in cells. Among them we see Kamandi. We see blood drip from Turpin’s ears. Turpin whispers that none of this is right.
Good then gives Turpin a complete tour of the “Evil Factory” where they are rounding up the heroes of Earth and performing surgeries on them. We see Batman behind strapped up to one of the machines in the lab. Batman yells “They’re coming to get us all. Warn the Justice League! Warn everyone!” Batman is then hooked into the machine and falls silent. Turpin then says “Oh God, Oh Jesus. There’s someone in my head.”
We slide over to the Daily Planet where Perry White is praising Clark for his article on Martian Manhunter’s death. We see Jimmy Olsen dropping off a disk to Lois Lane. Jimmy then hops back onto the elevator. We see Jimmy turn into Clayface.
Clark thinks that he just saw Jimmy outside the building. Clark then approaches Lois when suddenly a huge explosion rips through the Daily Planet. We see Clark standing amid the rubble of the Daily Planet’s offices. We see Lois’ hand sticking out of a bunch of rubble.
We shift to Wally and Jay arriving at the abandoned strip club where Libra and the villains were meeting. Wally said that Batman had him search the internet for anything unusual around the time J’onn was murdered. Wally discovered that there was a seismic pulse at the same time as J’onn’s death and the epicenter was this location.
Jay tells Wally that this is where Jay first met Barry. That back then it was a community center. Wally does a high-speed search of the facility and tells Jay that he found traces of Martian blood and a “crime bible.” Wally also says he found something that looks just like Metron’s Mobius chair even though it is mostly plastic and wire.
Wally mentions how Batman came up with a wild idea which Wally ran with since they are talking about god weapons. Wally says imagine a bullet fired backwards through time. Jay mentions that he hates all forms of time travel.
Wally says what if this is where the god-bullet breaks into time. The shell travels back through time, kills Orion, and passes through him into the past where it finally buries itself in the concrete fifty years ago. Wally then points at Metron’s chair and says that it is the scope of a higher-dimensional gun.
Suddenly, Metron’s chair begins to glow with energy and make a noise. Jay yells that he recognizes the vibrations. That it can’t be, not after all these years. Suddenly, we see Barry Allen running out of the energy chasing the god-bullet. We see the Black Racer hot on Barry Allen’s trail. Barry yells for Jay and Wally to run. End of issue.
The Good: Final Crisis #2 was an incredible read. Morrison blows the reader’s mind with a complex and gripping tale. It is far too early for me to render a final opinion on the Secret Invasion versus Final Crisis debate. However, I can say that Final Crisis #2 completely destroyed Secret Invasion #2.
Final Crisis #2 was certainly an improvement over the first issue of Final Crisis. Yes, Final Crisis #2 is still providing more set-up for this event and there was not much action in this issue. However, lots of action was not necessary at all in this issue. Final Crisis #2 provides plenty of through provoking plotlines and teasers.
Rather than mindlessly entertaining the reader with big explosions destroying iconic structures in the DCU, Morrison seeks to actually engage the reader. Final Crisis #2 is much more of a psychological thriller than a mindless action story. Morrison creates some wonderful tension in the reader and an ever increasing sense of doom as we head to the ending of this issue.
Our Marvel heroes may have suffered plenty of property damage over in Secret Invasion, but our DC heroes suffer more personal losses in Secret Invasion #2. J’onn is dead. Lois is gravely injured. Batman is captured and hooked into a machine at the Evil Factory, John Stewart is seriously injured and has his eyes gouged out, Hal Jordan finds himself arrested for murder and Turpin realizes that Darkseid is inside of his body. Final Crisis #2 was a very bad day for many of our heroes.
Final Crisis #2 is pleasantly paced as Morrison begins with a measured pace and slowly increases the intensity as we arrive at a frenzied final scene with the dramatic appearance of Barry Allen. Final Crisis #2 is a strongly plotted issue. Morrison is weaving multiple intriguing and complex plotlines and is allowing them to evolve organically.
In Final Crisis #2, Morrison proceeds to systematically strip New Earth’s heroes of strategic characters. This is just like the type of strategy that you see in any war. The reader sees a two prong attack from the New Gods of Apokolips and the Secret Society led by Libra. The first thing that it taken out in a war is the enemy’s communications. For our heroes that is Martian Manhunter who has always streamlined the communication between the JLA members.
Next to be taken out in a war is the command and logistics center. In Final Crisis, Batman is the equivalent of the command and logistic center for our New Earth heroes. Next to be taken out are the two top cops in John and Hal in order to effectively end the investigation into Orion’s murder. This was a brilliantly constructed attack on our heroes that progressed in a logical fashion.
Morrison dishes out plenty of strong dialogue. Morrison also pulls off some excellent character work. All the characters are nicely fleshed out and well developed. Morrison generates some pleasant chemistry between the various characters. It is the little touches that make it such a well crafted issue.
For example, when Superman has to fly off to the daily Planet in order to give Clark Kent some needed face time, we see Batman shaking his head as he says “Superman, Superman…” This small touch shows how radically different Batman and Superman are about how they operate.
I really enjoyed the opening scene in Japan. Of course, I have to admit that I love everything about Japan, so I might be a little biased. I dig all the characters from Super Young Team and Big Science Action. I like the nod to Japan’s love of Kaiju in that the Japanese super heroes crafted a specialty in monster fighting. I definitely look forward to seeing more of these characters.
Super Sumo is a total bad-ass. I dig his calm and casual manner in which he takes out Mega Yakuza. I liked the appearance of Shiloh armed with his motherboxxx. I am interested in Shiloh’s plan to build his own team to lock horns with the Gods from Apokolips who are walking among us as regular humans.
I like that Morrison is orchestrating several different factions in this story. We have the big three leading our traditional super heroes. We have the Green Lanterns and their investigation. And now we get Shiloh forming his own group to battle the New Gods of Apokolips.
I am curious to learn more about the characters that we see the exiled Monitor, Nix Uotan, drawing. I do not recognize the Superman-esque male with a lightning bolt on his chest nor the female version of that same character. It does appear that one of the characters Nix is drawing is a Monitor. And the fourth character that we see Nix drawing looks like a variation of Dr. Manhattan from the Watchmen. It makes sense that Nix is drawing characters from various multiple Earths that he still retains vague memories about.
I liked J’onn’s funeral scene. Morrison does a nice job giving Martian Manhunter a proper send-off. What I found the most interesting about this scene was the very end of Superman’s eulogy where he says that they will all pray for a resurrection. Morrison is practically screaming at the reader that J’onn is not permanently dead. And belief in resurrection in the DCU makes sense since Superman, Hal Jordan and Oliver Queen, to name a few have all experienced resurrections of some sort.
I liked the scene involving John Stewart at Orion’s murder scene. Morrison does a nice job with John’s character by getting across the fact that John is one of the Corps’ top cops. Of course, the best part of this scene was the incredibly vicious attack by a mysterious hooded Lantern.
I am curious to learn the identity of John’s attacker. We see that John recognizes the hooded Green Lantern. What is odd is that John’s ring was drained of all its power. That is something an Alpha Lantern can do. However, we know the attacker was not Kraken since the hooded character was wearing a white glove that is typical for a traditional Green Lantern outfit which is unlike what Kraken wears. It must be another Lantern possessed by a God of Apokolips. I cannot wait to see who the mysterious Lantern is.
I totally dig how Morrison handles Batman’s character. Morrison shows off Batman’s detective skills as second to no one; even that of an Alpha Lantern armed with superior technology. The tension between Kraken and Batman was well handled. I chuckled at Batman’s sarcastic comment that he never voted for the Guardians.
Morrison stuns the reader when Kraken gains a moment of lucidity and calls out to Batman to help her and that someone is eating her mind. It was a pretty cool twist that Kraken is in fact under control of one of the Gods of Apokolips. That neatly explained Kraken’s rush to arrest Hal for Orion’s murder and the attack on John Stewart and then subsequently pronounce the investigation into Orion’s murder closed.
I liked how Morrison handled Lex’s reaction to Libra killing Martian Manhunter. Lex is understandably a tough man to impress. Lex is quite clear that the only thing Libra can do to impress him is to hurt Superman. We also get an interesting little plot wrinkle as it appears that Lex is trying to form an alliance to move against Libra. We already know that Sivana is willing to side with Lex. I will be curious to see if Lex ends up gathering a competing faction of villains to vie against Libra’s group.
Morrison has Libra mention that it is time to see what Human Flame can do for Libra since Human Flame owes Libra. I am interested to see what in the world a lame character like Human Flame could possible do for someone like Libra.
Morrison delivers an intense read with the final three scene in Final Crisis #2. These three scenes hit the reader like consecutive blows from a jackhammer. First, we have the stunning reveal involving Turpin and the gruesome fate of Batman. Second, we get the shocking scene at the Daily Planet. And lastly, we get the dramatic return of Barry Allen.
I love how Morrison uses Turpin in this issue. Morrison hints to the reader that there is something terribly wrong with Turpin in the scene where he brutally beats the Mad Hatter. The feeling of impending doom continually grows as we see Reverend Good approach Turpin and talk to him like Turpin is his boss.
That uneasy feeling of dread reaches its height as Turpin is taken on a tour of the Evil Factory. Once Good mentions that they are now able to bring back Turpin’s son, Kalibak the reader realizes that Darkseid has taken over Turpin. The cool part of this scene is that Turpin realizes what is going on with himself at about the same time that the reader finally puts it all together as well. Turpin exclaiming that there is someone in his mind confirms the reader’s suspicions.
This would also explain how Turpin managed to escape Boss Dark Side and his evil children in the first issue. Morrison handling of Turpin and his falling under Darkseid’s control was pure genius. Turpin’s monologue is so wonderfully crafted. The scenes involving Turpin completely captivate the reader’s attention.
Morrison also shocks the reader with the sight of Batman trapped in the Evil Factory. The Evil Factory is a hellish looking place and I can only wonder what type of machine that Batman is being hooked into. I would imagine that Morrison is going to remove Batman from the playing field for the rest of this big event.
That is probably because Batman is not a character that works particularly well in big cosmic events. After all, Batman did not do much in the original Crisis, either. Of course, Morrison might also give Batman a temporary power-upgrade via the New God technology and allow Batman to play a more active role in a battle involving gods.
The next bomb that Morrison drops on the reader near the end of Final Crisis #2 is the scene where Clayface sets off the bomb in the Daily Planet. It appears that Lois is in serious trouble. I would certainly think this qualifies as hurting Superman.
Now, as much as I would love it if DC had the cojones to kill off Lois Lane, I don’t think she is dead. I figure that the last thing Libra wants is a Superman who is in a murderous rage and has nothing at all to lose. That is absolutely the one type of adversary you don’t want to battle against.
I would imagine that Lois will be in a coma. This will certainly cause pain to Superman and take him off the playing field as he will be preoccupied with Lois’ condition and will probably spend most of his time at her bedside. All in all, this was a well done scene.
But, by far and away the best part of Final Crisis #2 was the final scene involving Jay and Wally. I found the idea of a god-bullet that travels through time to be a pretty damn cool concept. Leave it to Morrison to come up with some wild method in order to kill a god.
And of course, since I am a massive Barry Allen fan, I loved seeing the iconic Flash make his dramatic appearance on the final page as we see him chasing a god-bullet while the Black Racer is hot on his trail. What was so amazing is that even though I knew what was coming, I still got goose bumps.
We all knew that Barry would be making his return by the end of Final Crisis #2. Yet, Morrison manages to do it in such a brilliant fashion that the reader is still filled with excitement and surprise when it actually happens. That is a sign of excellent writing.
Obviously, I am intensely curious to learn how the man, the myth, the legend: Barry Allen, managed to come back from the dead. This should certainly make for one interesting story. I trust Morrison to come up with something well crafted.
J.G. Jones provides plenty of excellent artwork. Final Crisis #2 is a beautiful issue. Jones does an impressive job bringing Morrison’s story to life.
The Bad: Personally, I have no complaints with Final Crisis #2. But, there are certainly aspects of this issue that will not appeal to some comic book readers. I would imagine that some readers will view the opening scene in Japan to be largely unnecessary and too drawn out just to serve the purpose of introducing Shilo into the story.
I am sure that some readers will think that Morrison made a mistake by introducing new characters into a big event like Final Crisis. The thinking will be that Morrison should have just had Shilo approach already established characters like the JLA, JSA, Titans, Outsiders, etc. for help instead of travelling to Japan to try and recruit a bunch of characters that the reader has never seen before.
Personally, I dig that Morrison is trying to introduce some new characters into the story rather than rely solely on already established characters. But, I can understand why this scene would fail to impress some readers.
I would think that some readers will find Final Crisis #2 too lacking in the action category. A common criticism will be that two issues of set-up on a seven issue mini-series is too much. And that is a valid argument.
However, I would argue that a lot happened in this issue that goes beyond set-up. You do not need mindless action to progress a storyline. Morrison has plenty occur in this issue that was more interesting and gripping to read than just mindlessly blowing up the Hall of Justice, the JSA brownstone, the Watchtower, Titans Tower, etc. Morrison gives us attacks on New Earth’s heroes that have a much more personal and devastating impact on them and the reader than just mindless big explosions.
A continuing inherent weakness of Final Crisis is that Morrison is not attempting to make this mini-series all that new reader friendly. I could give Secret Invasion to a new reader and they could enjoy it with zero effort on their part. Green aliens have infiltrated Earth and now we have a huge brawl on our hands. On the other hand, Final Crisis is thick with continuity that may make it harder for newer readers to fully understand and enjoy.
And I still think it is a risky gamble to center the Final Crisis around the New Gods franchise. Even though I adore them, the fact remains that the overwhelming majority of comic book readers just have not gotten into the New Gods. This franchise has never been a strong seller. I do not know how many readers are that interested in seeing the birth of the Fifth World.
Overall: Final Crisis #2 was a brilliant read. Morrison treats the reader to a wonderfully crafted issue. To be sure, Morrison challenges the reader and requires them to work while reading Final Crisis #2. Morrison gives the reader a rich story full of plenty of substance for the reader to digest. This is definitely an issue that is even better after a second or third reading. It is that detailed and deep.
If you enjoy reading comic books that are thought provoking and require the reader to think then you will certainly enjoy Final Crisis #2. However, if you prefer to simply be entertained and not to have to put forth much effort, then I would suggest sticking with Secret Invasion. Final Crisis #2 probably is not going to appeal all that much to action fans. Unlike Secret Invasion, Final Crisis does not have that summer blockbuster feel to it.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist: JG Jones
Colorist: Alex Sinclair
Story: 9.4 out of 10
Art: 9 out of 10
Overall: 9.2 out of 10
In Japan a bunch of "poser" superheroes gather at some sort of superhero club. Inside the club a fight breaks out involving Sonny Sumo and Megayakuza. Sumo quickly ends the fight by ripping through Megayakuza armor and taking out his heart. After placing Megayakuza heart on the bar counter Sumo goes to the bathroom to check his injuries. Just then a black "Mister Miracle" comes in and tells Sumo that Motherboxx has found him.
We then cut to a short scen of a teenage kid waking up in his room and at work telling his co-worker his strange dream of being exiled to Earth by some judge. Then we see the same kid drawing sketches of different superheroes.
The scene again changes to an apartmant were Tupin, the detective from last issue, beating the crap out of The Mad Hatter for answer to what happend to the mind controlled kids. During this time Tupin feels strange like he is being controlled from an outside force. Tupin finally gets Mad Hatter to tell him the kids are in Bluehaven.
Next we see Superman and all the rest of DC superheroes gathered together in Mars for Martian Manhunters funeral.
Elsewhere Libra ask all the supervillains if they are coonvinced of his power yet. Lex Luthor says he wont believe Libra until he is able to take down Superman. Libra just says fine. Outside while all the supervillains are leaving Libra tells The Human Flame how he can repay him for killing Martian Manhunter.
At the Hall of Justice the Justice League is running their test on Orion's body to find out what or who killed him. Just then Hal Jordan comes in with Alpha Lantern Kraken who decides to take charge of examining Orion's body and telling the League their help is not necessary.
Over at the dock where Orion's body was found John Stewart is looking for some evidence with some help from his Green Lantern ally Opto. After finding a glowing bullet both Lanterns are attacked out of nowhere. The attacker appears to be a fellow Green Lantern although we only see him from the neck down. This unknown Green Lantern pins John against some crates ready to kill him.
Over at Hal's apartment the Alpha Lanterns come in and arrest Hall for murdering John Stewart and take away his ring.
Back at the Hall of Justice Superman decideds to go back to the Daily Planet as Clark Kent so no one becomes suspicious of were he is all the time. As Superman leaves Batman goes back to the emergency room to check Orion and Kraken testing. Just as Batman is about to question Kraken she attacks and knocks out Batman and takes him with her through a Boom Tube.
In Bluehaven Tupin meets with a reveren that leads him to an underground base were all the kids are locked up. As the suppose reveren leads Tupin through the base Tupins ears start to bleed though he doesn't seem to notice. They then reach what looks like an experimentation chamber were we see Batman locked up in some sort of machine. Batman tells Tupin to get the League and warn everyone but some sort of headware is placed on his head before he finishes.
At the Daily Bugle we see that Clayface is posing as Jimmy Olsen and blows up the whole bulding with Clark, Louis, and Perry in it. Clark, in just his Superman gear, comes out of the rubble and see what looks like a dead Louis buried under rubble.
We then see Wally and Jay in Central City running to were all the supervillains gathered earlier in the day to find some evidence on who killed Martian Manhunter. They then see a machine inside the building that seems to start up with something screaming there name. That something appears to be a returning Barry Allen running out of the machine telling them to "RUN." End of issue!
Wow! That is all I can say about how awesome this issue was. I did not realize when I first read this issue how much stuff happend until I wrote the summary. Morrison really didn't pull any of the punches with this issue. Final Crisis #2 was far and away a much superior read than the first issue of the series, which was just plain average.
I practically loved every scene in the book. I thought the scene in Japan with all the kids dressed up in superhero costume was hilarious. I kind of wonder which of the kids in the club actually have superpowers and which ones are just dressing up so they could get into the club. Also the scene where Sonny Sumo ripped out Megayakuza heart out was just gruesome. Any time I get to see someone pull out some other characters heart in a comic book its a A in my book. Also I kind of wonder who this black guy calling himself "Mister Miracle" is since last I heard the New Gods Mister Miracle is still alive and white, but I may be wrong. Still I wonder if this guy is working with Granny Goodness at Bluehaven.
Speaking of Granny Goodness, I believe that was her maquerading as a revern since that is her thing. All I know is that were Granny Goodness is involved Darkseid is not far behind and it does seem that both Darkseid and Goodness are gathering up the re-encarnated New God children for some sort of diabolical plan, obviously. But I am kind of wondering why Goodness is running test of these NEW New Gods in what seems to be turning them into animal creatures.
Also how was Goodness able to control one of the Alpha Lanterns and why didn't the Guardians of the Universe know their was a traitor among the Alpha Lantern? Though I got to say I love it when any character stands up to Batman and just brushes him off. While Batman is my favorite comic book character it doesn't happen often when a character, in this case Kraken, completely ignors Batman. Also the more I see the Alpha Lanterns the more I love to hate them because it is obvious that Morrison and Geoff Johns over in Green Lantern are cooking up the Alpha Lanterns to be a force in the near future.
I don't know if it is just me but I am getting the feeling that Libra is Darkseid. Because it seems that Libra is working together with Granny Goodness to take down all the superheroes one by one. And Morrison has already revealed that Darkseid will be the big bad guy of Final Crisis so it could be interesting to see if Darkseid is using the Libra identity to work behind the scene and slowly manipulate the villains to do his bedding or if this Libra may be the re-encarnation of Darkseid and is looking for the Anti-Life equation to regain his power.
My second favorite part of this issue was how Libra and his crew of villains were able to take down some of the biggest heroes in the DC Universe. First we had Martian Manhunter quickly die last issue without warning. Then in this issue John Stewart seemingly killed by a Green Lantern. Then Hal is accused of by the Alpha Lanterns of killing John Stewart and basically becoming useless with his power ring taken away. Then Batman is quickly captured by the rogue Alpha Lantern and imprisioned in some secret underground bunker under Bluehaven. If that wasn't enough the Daily Planet is blown up and seemingly killing Louis and Perry. Now I do not think John is dead sinc he we do not see his actual death the reader is only told of his death. But I thought it was genious how Libra took out Superman because we all know Superman is invulnrable to all physical harm so the only way to take him out is to take out his loved ones. As Kingdom Come proved that without those closest to him Superman isn't so super anymore and is really at his weakest.
But my favorite scene of the whole issue has to be th return of Barry Allen. Morrison made sure the reader anxiously awaiting for the third issue with the mystery of how Barry is back. And now with three Flashes existing in the same universe it will be interesting to see if one or more of them die or if Morrison has something else in store for us with all the three Flashes. And what is a Crisis without a Flash playing a big role in it anyways
The only reason I did not give this issue a perfect score is because I still have no idea what Tupin's, I think that his name, role is in this title since I do not know hardly anything about this character and have never seen him before Final Crisis. Also it is clear that if you haven't been reading any DC book in a couple years this title will only confuse you since it seems Morrison is not really making any effort to make Final Crisis new-reader friendly. So if your thinking of picking up Final Crisis I advice you to look some of the stuff leading up to Final Crisis on Wikipedia since it is a pretty good website to get some info on whats going on in comics or else you may be lost with this and the first issue.
JG Jones art in this issue was just phenomenal in this issue. This is how art should look like for a big event. Jones nows how to make each page better than the last and the last page with the return of Barry Allen was awsome.
Closing Comments: If you liked the first issue of Final Crises than you'll definetely love this issue but if you were on the fence with this series you'll still love this issue since it was miles away better than the last issue. In any case Final Crisis is truly shaping up to be an great series and hopefully it will be the FINAL Crisis we have in the DC Universe.
FINAL CRISIS #2
GREEN LANTERN #32
TEEN TITANS #60
CAPTAIN AMERICA #39
FANTASTIC FOUR #558
IMMORTAL IRON FIST #16
MARVEL 1985 #2
MIGHTY AVENGERS #15
NEW AVENGERS #42
ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #123
ULTIMATES 3 #4
UNCANNY X-MEN #499
WOLVERINE ORIGINS #26
X-MEN LEGACY #213
MAN WITH NO NAME #2
PROJECT SUPERPOWERS #4
Okay, I have to ask this. What the hell is up with Marvel this week? This is an insanely large collection of comic books from the House of Ideas. Are they releasing absolutely all of their titles for the month on Wednesday? Good lord. It is bordering on ridiculousness.
All right, let’s check out the comic books for this week. It appears that we have a huge shipment of comic books headed to the Bunker this week with a whopping total of 20 titles. Yeah, that’s right. 20 damn titles. I seriously need counseling.
Which DC comic book am I most looking forward to reading? This is an easy choice. It has to be Final Crisis #2. Why? Two words: Barry. Allen. Nuff said.
Which DC comic book am I least looking forward to reading? This is also an easy choice. I cannot say I am all that excited to read Trinity #4. This title isn’t as horrid of a read as Countdown was. But, this title is definitely no 52. Trinity is floundering as a resolutely average read. And that is unacceptable for a weekly title.
Which Marvel comic book am I most looking forward to reading? Well, since Marvel is throwing everything including the kitchen sink at us today, this is one really tough decision. The House of Ideas is spoiling us with numerous strong reads this week. Daredevil #108 should be a great read as it appears that Brubaker has gotten this title back on track.
Fantastic Four #558 should be a good read. Anytime Doctor Doom comes calling, you know you are in for a wild ride. Also from Millar comes Marvel 1985 #2. I loved the first issue of this title and expect Marvel 1985 #2 to be just as good.
We get double barrel Secret Invasion action from Bendis with Mighty Avengers #15 and New Avengers #42. For the most part, these Secret Invasion tie-in issues have been excellent and certainly better than the story itself on Secret Invasion. I expect these two issues to be strong reads.
However, the Marvel comic book that I am most looking forward to reading is Captain America #39. Yeah, what a surprise. Captain America is Marvel’s 800 pound gorilla and whatever week this title is published, it is almost a lock to be the Marvel comic book that I am most excited to read.
Which Marvel comic book am I least looking forward to reading? This is a tough choice. Ultimates 3 #4 is sure to be a dreadful read. Loeb’s take on the Ultimates has been a huge disappointment to this point.
However, the Marvel comic book that I am least looking forward to reading is Wolverine Origins #26. Way has consistently delivered practically unreadable issues during his entire run on this title. I see no reason for that to change now.
As always, I’ll try my best to start posting reviews as soon as possible. I hope everyone enjoys their new comic books for this week.
The Followers of The Revolution voted for Wolverine #66 to receive The Che this week. This vote really was just a two horse race between Wolverine #66 and Guardians of the Galaxy #2. The results for best read of the week were as follows:
Wolverine #66: 27% (18 votes)
Guardians of the Galaxy #2: 21% (14 votes)
Superman/Batman #49: 9% (6 votes)
Justice League of America #22: 7% (5 votes)
Flash #241: 6% (4 votes)
Iron Man: Director of SHIELD #30: 4% (3 votes)
Brave and the Bold #14: 4% (3 votes)
Ghost Rider #24: 3 % (2 votes)
Amazing Spider-Man #563: 3% (2 votes)
Tangent: Superman's Reign #4: 3% (2 votes)
Ultimate X-Men #95: 4% (3 votes)
Trinity #3: 3% (2 votes)
Batman and the Outsiders #8: 1% (1 vote)
X-Factor #32: 1% (1 vote)
The Followers of The Revolution voted for Amazing Spider-Man #563 to win the Sequential Methadone Award of the week. This was not even close as Amazing Spider-Man #563 just ran away with this dubious honor. What was surprising is that the winner of the poll for the best comic book of the week came in second place in the poll for the worst read of the week. Clearly, Wolverine #66 is a love it or hate it kind of issue.
Amazing Spider-Man #563: 33% (15 votes)
Wolverine #66: 15% (7 votes)
Flash #241: 8% (4 votes)
Trinity #3: 8% (4 votes)
Iron Man: Director of SHIELD #30: 8% (4 votes)
Batman and the Outsiders #8: 6% (3 votes)
Justice League of America #22: 4% (2 votes)
Brave and the Bold #14: 2% (1 vote)
Ghost Rider #24: 2% (1 vote)
Guardians of the Galaxy #2: 2% (1 vote)
Superman/Batman #49: 2% (1 vote)
Tangent: Superman's Reign #4: 2% (1 vote)
Ultimate X-Men #95: 0% (0 votes)
X-Factor #32: 2% (1 vote)
All right, let’s go ahead and dish out The Revolution’s weekly awards.
The nominees for the Che for the best read of the week:
Guardians of the Galaxy #2
The Winner: Superman/Batman #49
I broke with the Followers of The Revolution with the winner of the Che for this week. This was a tough choice. I gave positive reviews for each of these three titles. In the end, Superman/Batman #49 simply offered up a more balanced read that delivered a much more dramatic ending than the other two nominees.
And now the nominees for the Sequential Methadone Award for the worst read of the week:
Amazing Spider-Man #563
The Winner: Amazing Spider-Man #563
I was not that impressed with Trinity #3, however, Amazing Spider-Man #563 was just putrid. In the end, it was no contest. I had to agree with the Followers of The Revolution and award Amazing Spider-Man #563 the Sequential Methadone Award of the week. At this point, Amazing Spider-Man may have edged out both New Avengers and Countdown for the dubious distinction of having won the most Sequential Methadone Awards.
So congrats to Superman/Batman #49 for winning the Che for the week and congrats to Amazing Spider-Man #563 for winning the Sequential Methadone Award for the week.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
The Revolution has been disappointed in the Justice League of America ever since Meltzer left this title. It is unfortunate, but it appears that DC views this title as nothing more than a vehicle to shill for stories that are to take place on other comic books. DC really needs to make a serious effort to revive their flagship team title. Hopefully, McDuffie can get this title back on track with Justice League of America #22. Let’s go ahead and hit this review.
Writer: Dwayne McDuffie
Artist: Ed Benes
Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: We begin with Kathy at the Hall of Justice talking with Red Tornado. Reddy is in a bad mood as he talks about his endless cycle of being born, growing more comfortable with who he is and just as he begins to accept his own humanity something snatches it away from him.
Reddy says that he is often destroyed, but never dies. Reddy says that today his teammates are going to place him in his new body. Reddy comments that this is just another part of the cycle where he is reborn better than ever. Reddy asks Kathy how many times has he been destroyed. Kathy answers “eight.” Reddy comments that he doesn’t even remember all of them.
Kathy then confronts Reddy about acting as cold as ice lately. Reddy responds that one night he watched Roy and Kendra having sex. (Wow, Reddy, way to let your wife know that you are a total perv.) Reddy says that he thought about how he will never have what Roy and Kendra have no matter how many new bodies he gets. Reddy says he is not talking just about sex. That he is talking about his need to belong. About a family.
Kathy says that she and Traya are Reddy’s family. Reddy then says that they are a family of a sort, but that he would like to make that arrangement more traditional. Reddy then asks Kathy to marry him. Kathy tells Reddy that this is not the time or place to make such a big decision. Kathy says that they will talk after Reddy’s procedure.
We cut to the lab where Batman, Dr. Niles Caulder, Dr. Will Magnus and Zatanna are preparing Reddy’s new body for the transfer process. Batman then contacts Dr. John Irons and says that they are all ready. Irons responds that there is a problem in the lab where Reddy’s old body was being stored and for Batman to come take a look.
We shift to Detroit, Michigan where Bronze Tiger appears to be on a stakeout. Vixen sneaks up behind Bronze Tiger who immediately attacks the unknown figure. Vixen blocks Tiger’s blow and then Tiger realizes that it is just Vixen.
Vixen says that she came to talk to Bronze Tiger about her problem with her powers. She tells him how she now leeches powers off of metahumans around her. Vixen says that she thinks she is draining her teammates’ powers. Vixen admits that she still has not told this to all her teammates. Bronze Tiger feels Vixen is making a mistake by not telling her teammates. Vixen admits that she is endangering her teammates and is abusing their trust.
Vixen says she doesn’t know what to do. That the JLA is the most important thing in her life and that she doesn’t want to lose it like she has lost everything else in her life. Bronze Tiger then tells Vixen to trust her friends. Vixen thanks Bronze Tiger. Tiger replies that they know each other so well and that is why it never works out between the two of them.
We cut back to “The Kitchen” in the Hall of Justice where Red Arrow and Kendra are sparring. Kendra goes full bore and is not pulling her punches. Evidently, Kendra is mad at Roy and this is how she is going to work out her frustrations.
We shift to outside the Kitchen and see Superman and Hal Jordan walking down the hallway. Suddenly, Roy comes flying through the wall of the hallway. Kendra gets on top of Roy and asks if he wants his arrow back as she appears to be ready to stab him with it. Roy says maybe when Kendra is in a better mood. (Seriously Roy, there are much better looking girls in the DCU who have better personalities and aren’t nearly as high maintenance as Kendra. Move on, buddy. Plus, at some point Hawkman is probably going to kick your ass.) Kendra gets up and then stalks off.
Superman comments that Roy and Kendra have been fighting a lot lately. Hal says that bickering is bad for the team and that Roy and Kendra should call it off and stop seeing each other. Superman disagrees. Superman asks if it is possible that Roy and Kendra are fighting so much because the relationship is meaningful. Hal says that Superman isn’t making any sense.
Superman replies that Roy is acting just like Hal. That both of them meet girls and employ the “love ‘em and leave ‘em” approach to their relationships. After all, Roy has spent his entire life hanging out with Hal and Ollie who definitely act that way when it comes to women.
Superman suggests that if Roy has real feelings for Kendra that he should go talk to her about them. Roy responds that he has not necessarily admitted it to himself. Superman says that Roy should admit it and go tell Kendra.
We slide over to Irons and Batman looking at Reddy’s old body that is now completely repaired. Batman says that Magnus stated that Reddy’s old body’s self-repair functions were totally damaged and that the old body could not be fixed. Evidently, that is not the case and now Reddy has his choice between two bodies.
Batman inspects the body and states that Reddy complained of a “secondary program” running in this body. That it is possible that secondary program is what kick-started the self-repair function. Suddenly, we see Reddy’s old body spring to life. The body says that discover is imminent and a presumptive attack is necessary. Reddy’s body then grabs Batman by the throat and begins to choke him.
We shift to Vixen meeting with all the JLA members (except Batman and Zatanna). Vixen reveals her problem with her powers and that she has been leeching her teammates’ powers for some time. Black Canary says that the JLA bylaws are very clear about this sort of thing. Superman jumps in and says that he knew Vixen’s secret so if there is any punishment due then he is equally culpable. Roy adds in that he also knew, too.
Dinah retorts that she will not let Superman and Roy take the hit for Vixen. Dinah states that Vixen has admitted to losing control of her powers, stealing power form her teammates putting them at risk in battle and conspired to conceal all of these facts from the team at large. Dinah states that this cannot continue and that Vixen is to turn in her JLA credentials and com-link. That Vixen is off the team effective immediately.
Wonder Woman stands up and retorts that this is not the wisest course of action. That maybe Dinah should take time to reconsider. Dinah curtly responds that the decision is final and the meeting is adjourned. Dinah asks everyone to leave the meeting room except for Vixen.
Vixen tells Dinah that she doesn’t need to apologize. That Dinah did what she had to do. Dinah says that she was not planning on apologizing. Dinah says she has to run a tight ship. Dinah then says that she is also Vixen’s friend. Dinah then says why don’t they see if they can fix Vixen’s problems. Dinah then contacts Zatanna and asks if she can borrow her from Batman for just one moment.
We cut back to Reddy’s body choking Batman. Irons picks up a huge gun and is about to blast Reddy’s body. Reddy’s body lets go of Batman and races at super speed and punches out Irons. Batman then thinks how Reddy’s body has super speed and super strength. Batman thinks how he originally though that Vixen’s new ability to absorb super powers somehow came from Amazo. Batman realizes he was wrong. That Amazo still has his powers. And now Amazo has a body to use them in. Batman goes to alert the rest of the JLA, but Amazo knocks out Batman before he can do so.
We cut to Amazo in the lab where Reddy’s new body is and we see that he has knocked out Caulder and Magnus. Amazo then downloads himself into the new body. The new body stands up and the eyes crackle with energy as Amazo says “Amazo lives again!”
The Good: Finally! We get an issue of Justice League of America that actually concentrates on plotlines for the title itself. Imagine that. What a wacky concept. Justice League of America #22 was a solid read. McDuffie delivers a well paced issue that offers a nice mix of action and drama.
Justice League of America #22 was properly plotted. McDuffie crafts a focused story that addresses three different plotlines that actually only pertain to the JLA and not some other title. It was stunning and enjoyable to finally see some time and effort devoted for plots for the JLA rather than for other comic books. McDuffie constructs a well framed issue. The story has a nice flow to it and the scenes smoothly transition into each other.
McDuffie cranks out some solid dialogue. I have to admit that despite my initial reservations, that McDuffie is flashing quite a nice feel for the various personalities of the JLA members. Each Leaguer has a nice external voice and the characters are well developed. Each Leaguer acts true to their character. McDuffie manages to dial up some quality chemistry between the various Leaguers that has been noticeably absent as of late.
McDuffie does a nice job with Red Tornado’s character. I totally dig how McDuffie uses the opening scene of Justice League of America #22 to lampoon the tired plot device of “killing” Red Tornado during any large event. By having Red Tornado act so nonchalant and slightly dismissive on the day that he is about to receive a new and improved body, McDuffie is able to emphasis the fact that worn-out act of destroying Red Tornado has really lost any and all impact or meaning.
I like how McDuffie handled the strained relationship between Reddy and Kathy. I found it interesting that Kathy rejected Reddy’s marriage proposal. I am curious to see if this is a sign of trouble ahead for this couple.
McDuffie treats the reader to a great Batman. During his run on this title, McDuffie has continually impressed me with his handling of Batman’s character. McDuffie captures Batman’s personality perfectly. Batman is direct, blunt and no-nonsense without being a raging asshole.
McDuffie does a good job with the scene between Hal, Roy and Superman. It certainly makes sense that Roy would treat women the way he does considering that he grew up around Ollie and Hal. It was cool to see Superman giving out relationship advice. This scene shows how Superman plays a stabilizing role in the JLA and is a person that all of the Leaguers can turn to with their problems.
I loved how McDuffie handled Dinah in this issue. The reader gets a clear sense of Dinah’s unquestioned authority and extremely direct style of leadership. I dig that McDuffie even has Dinah rebuff both Superman and Wonder Woman during her decision to kick Vixen out of the JLA. This was a smart move by McDuffie that helps to elevate Dinah’s standing within the League and reaffirms to the reader that Dinah doesn’t back down from anyone and is a leader who rules decisively and confidently.
I also liked that McDuffie shows the caring side of Dinah we see her standing by her friend, Vixen, and offering to do whatever she can to help Vixen solve her problems. I think that kicking Vixen out of the League was the only realistic course of action before Dinah. And I have no problem if Vixen is dropped from the roster. Vixen is pretty much the only character on this title that I view as not being JLA worthy.
McDuffie ends Justice League of America #22 with an awesome hook ending. We learn that Amazo was the secondary program and that Amazo kick-started the self-repair function. Then we get to see Amazo take everyone out and possess the Red Tornado’s new and improved body. We should certainly be in store for plenty of action with next issue.
Ed Benes cranks out plenty of great artwork. I have always enjoyed Benes’ style of art. I thought that the new Amazo looked pretty bad-assed.
The Bad: The scene with Bronze Tiger and Vixen bored me. Of course, I will admit that neither character has ever held any interest for me at all. We learn nothing new in this scene and simply rehashed well worn information. This scene felt like a total time waster as McDuffie was trying to burn a few pages in order to stretch the story across the entire issue.
I like Roy. I like Kendra. However, I cannot say that the relationship between Roy and Kendra even remotely interests me. I find them to be such a weird pairing. This is one plotline that I could care less about.
Now, while I am glad that we are finally focusing on the JLA, I would still like to see more original plotlines than just rehashing what we just got a little while ago. The new plotline involving Amazo comes across as repetitious. It seems that McDuffie is simply recycling what Meltzer already gave us. Meltzer already dealt with reviving Red Tornado once again. Meltzer also already dealt with the JLA battling Amazo. Seriously, are there no other villains for the JLA to battle? It would be nice if McDuffie didn’t almost completely repeat a story arc that we just got a little over a year ago.
Overall: Justice League of America #22 was a solid read and the best issue that we have gotten in quite some time. Is it possible that McDuffie is beginning to right the ship and that the JLA will begin to return to form? It is too early to tell, but I certainly hope so. Even though Justice League of America #22 was an improvement, it is still too early for me to recommend that readers flock back to the JLA. Let’s give it another issue or two and see what happens then.