Saturday, August 28, 2010

comics for the week of 08/25/10.

When I grabbed my comics this week, I thought it was going to be a fantastic stack of books. After I got done reading them, though, I realized it was not that strong of a selection after all. Plus, none of these books could hope to compete with Mockingjay.

Batman 702 - Morrison pulls me in (once again) only to pull the rug out from underneath me (once again). After the relative strength of 701, I was psyched for this tale. 702 reminded me how bad RIP was, as well as Final Crisis. Honestly, this book didn't add much that we didn't know, the art was a bit uneven, and, worst of all, it read as nothing more than a simple ad for The Return of Bruce Wayne book, which I wasn't getting before and I'm sure as hell not getting now. Maybe it's my ambivalence about Bruce coming back (Grayson deserves to stay as Batman!) but I'm just not feeling any of this. Ever since Bruce died on one page and was revealed as alive a mere four (or so) pages later in Final Crisis, I've felt that Morrison has seriously lost his touch. Maybe he never had it to begin with, as some would argue, but I think he's a great writer - he's clearly not suited to mainstream heroes, though, and I should know better by this point.

Invincible 74 - On the other hand, Kirkman is writing a great superhero book, and has been for the entire run of Invincible. I will admit to being a little concerned with the pacing of the Viltrumite War up to this point, but with this issue, he showed that he knows what he's doing, he's known the whole time, and things are going according to plan. Mark wakes up, he and Nolan and Oliver re-join the battle against the Viltrumites. It appears that they're enough to turn the tide, as the Viltrumite force retreats for some secret back-up plan (next issue is 75!) and the good guys get a temporary respite. We get an interesting look at some kind of Voltrumite legend, in the form of a skull, the Tech Jacket guy gets some alien tail, and the betrayal that we saw at the end of 73 gets dealt with in a rather effective manner. All in all, another great issue from the Image boys.

New Avengers 3 - I'm not sure if this came out last week and I missed it, or if it was new this week, but it was new to me, so here it is. In this issue, the magic battle continues, and Danny Rand gets what seems like a major bump in his power levels. (Not to say that he's stronger, but the legacy just keeps getting extended. This is a good thing, I'm definitely not complaining.) The dialogue between Spider-Man and the Thing is pitch perfect, the ways in which the various sorcerers (Strange, Hellstorm, and Voodoo) are interacting is amazingly great, and Luke and Jessica's relationship continues to be developed realistically. The few bad things about this issue (and the book overall, thus far) are the presence of Victoria Hand (is that really her name??) and the way in which Ms. Marvel has seemingly been simultaneously underused and shoehorned in. I mean, if she's an important part, make her important. If she's just there to keep the women happy, well, that's not a very great decision. Victoria, on the other hand, is worthless. I don't get why she's even in the book. The reveal at the end of the issue is legit, I'm excited for this arc, and for the book as a whole.

Superman: Secret Origins 6 (of 6) - Geoff Johns kind of limped to the finish on this one. With the lateness, the story was going to have to be fantastic to keep me reeled in, and it just wasn't. The story wasn't bad by most accounts, but it was formulaic and lacked the extra oomph that I needed to keep up with the rest of the issues. There were no cool reveals in the finale, like there had been in the other issues, nor did it feel like there were super-important revelations (or even just conclusions!) from a last issue. The people saving Superman seemed like a cheesy moment, but Superman confronting Lex at the tower was a great moment, as was the lack of people outside, waiting for Lex after everything went down. I liked the interplay between Clark, Lois and Superman, but overall, the end fell flat for me, when I was looking for something a little larger. Not bad, but not what I was wanting or expecting.

The book of the week goes to Invincible. Robert Kirkman continues to kick out the jams, and the book really does remind me of a Spider-Man for the 21st century, which I think is probably the best compliment any comic (of this nature) could aim for.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

know your local mascots.

Everyone knows the Lobos. Or, at least, everyone in Albuquerque does. (Maybe everyone in New Mexico?) But after that, it's hard to think of a truly state-wide mascot. Most of the people in both Albuquerque and Las Cruces know that the New Mexico State Aggies ride horses. But does the intra-state rivalry extend up to the northern corners? CNM apparently has Sol the Suncat - very cool-looking, but tremendously underexposed. There are the Western New Mexico Mustangs and the New Mexico Highlands University Cowboys but I didn't know either of those off-hand. (No offense intended, smaller-than-Albuquerque towns; it's not like I'm speaking from a high horse here.) Eastern New Mexico apparently competes in the NCAA Division II Lone Star Conference and has two different nicknames for their men's and women's teams: Greyhounds for the fellas and Zias for the ladies.

That's just the big colleges. I've skipped over the smaller colleges, as well as the plethora of high schools that compete at a high level, but we have to talk about the Isotopes! Once the Duke City Dukes, the Isotopes now fully embrace their Simpsons heritage with the new statues in the park.

Both the New Mexico Thunderbirds and the New Mexico Scorpions used to belong exclusively to Albuquerque, but the dismay at playing every home game at Tingley Colleseum drove both teams to seek a new venue and, consequently, a new name. The Thunderbirds now play in the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho, but the Scorpions have suspended their operations, as of about a year ago. Recently, the New Mexico Mustangs (no relation to the Western New Mexico university) started playing at the Santa Ana Star Center. Here's to hoping they'll fare better than the Scorpions. It's worth noting that the Mustangs have their own minor-league feeder team in Rio Rancho, as well, with the Renegades playing at Blades Multiplex Arena.

As mentioned earlier, with the major sports leagues in their annual lull, and the school term about to start up again, now's the perfect time to get out and root for some other kind of local team. Show your support for the city, as well as the people who try to represent it.

Friday, August 20, 2010

comics for the week of 08/18/10.

Man. So much to say about this great week, and I even, apparently, missed an issue of New Avengers! Damn.

Buffy: Riley Special - Waaaay better than expected. Riley has a great discussion with his wife, before joining Twilight. Their conversation is amazing, and really captured the feel of their relationship from the one episode we saw the two of them in. Also, we see Angel (as Twilight, with special font for his speech bubbles) talking to Whistler! Whistler?!? Yep, that's right. This seems like a super important point, something that needs to get brought up in the main book and I'll be surprised if it doesn't. The wait for the new Buffy issue (September 1?) now seems, even though it's just a short amount of time, almost insufferable. I'm pretty sure that we're into the final arc at this point, and my only question is: How long will we have to wait for Season 9?

Ex Machina 50 - The most controversial ending since LOST? I mean, this one was a pulling of the rug, it was a twisting of the knife, it was...shocking, to say the least. I read a lot of people saying that they were definitely disturbed, but only a handful saying that they hated it or even disliked it. It was a tough pill to swallow, and it was nowhere near as satisfying as Y: The Last Man's ending (which stands up in my mind as one of the best ending of all time, successfully raising the entire level of the series) but it had some similarities. My friend Mindy said that Mayor Mitchell Hundred was "Yorick in a suit, with green glowy things on his face," and compared him (100) to George Clooney. Pretty funny stuff.

As for the issue itself, I'm not going to spoil specifics for those who haven't read it yet, or are reading in TPB form. Suffice it to say that this is an ending no ifs, ands, or buts about it. It also pulls a Y: The Last Man in a way, because it really made me think that maybe I should go back and re-read the whole thing, look for signs that it was headed this way. It changed my outlook on the Mayor, on the other characters, and on the series as a whole. The splash page was instant-classic. In my opinion, all of the loose threads (that I cared about or care enough about to remember) were taken care of, and it feels like this is definitely the story that Brian K. Vaughn set out to tell.

I just can't tell if that's a good thing or bad.

Fables 97 - The story of Rose Red just gets better and better and better. After what I thought was a slow start, this mini-story has gotten to the very definition of a slow burn. Rose Red and Snow White's early history is being detailed, sure, but there's so much more to it. Who was the figure portraying itself as her mother (and as the pig's head before that)? Someone sufficiently impressive so as to render Rose essentially speechless. Rose is being groomed to become a major player again, and Bigby looks like he's going the other way. The confrontation with the Dark Man is coming to a head and damn it's gonna be good. Great issue.

Green Lantern Corps 51 - The story of the Cyborg Superman continues. It's good, I suppose. I like Ganthet as a Green Lantern, I like the fact that Kyle and Jon and trapped and having to do some unusual thinking, but I just can't convince myself that I love this book, or this storyline. I'm not sure if it's a post-Blackest Night, ongoing-Brightest Day haze or what, but I'm not feeling the Green Lantern comics at all at this point. Still didn't pick up Emerald Warriors, and don't really like the main book, either. In this one, we learn that Henshaw (surprise) still wants to die, and he thinks that Ganthet can kill Alpha Lanterns, so...you know, he turned himself into one. I don't know. It's not a bad story. I'm just not feeling it.

It might be a shock, in a week with Buffy and Fables, but comic of the week has to go to the stunning conclusion of Ex Machina. That book punched me right in the chest and, after two re-reads, I still haven't recovered. Worth every single penny, maybe for all the wrong reasons. Go get it.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

prognostication is easy.

I'm sure that I'm not the first one to write the obituary of Tiger Woods' career, and I'm certain that I won't be the last. But it's time to lay it all out on the line: Tiger Woods is essentially done, at this point.

When he fell from grace, everyone expected some kind of slip-up. There's no doubt. But not this much! His 18-over par was his worst finish as a pro, and he looked worse, at times, during the Bridgestone Invitational.

So here we are, looking at a previously-unfathomable occurrence: Tiger Woods might not pass Jack Nicklaus as the all-time leader in major championships. The Reilly column says it better than I ever will be able to, other than to say that there was a time, as a non-golf fan, when a Tiger appearance was a reason to watch the sport. The way he intimidated other golfers reminded me of Michael Jordan in his prime, toying with people he knew he was better than.

Now, though, the story of Tiger and his Mistress(es) will forever be tied to his golf game. It could have just been a speed bump, a minor hiccup in an otherwise remarkable career. With the way he's performed since he's come back, however, even if he regains his form, this will form a major chapter. The Dark Period.

Unless he never regains his form. Unless he fails to take aim at that Nicklaus mark and fails to do what once seemed like a foregone conclusion. If he never gets back to that place, this becomes the story. This is the story.

Tiger could apparently play while being distracted. But he cannot, as of this point, play while the world knows he's distracted. It's easy to sit back and play armchair psychologist (or prognosticator) and to judge a sport that I've never enjoyed much less played, but here it is: my money's on Tiger failing to capture the all-time mark.

If, a year from now, he's on an unprecedented tear, winning everything under the sun, I'll be happy to write a mea culpa column. I'd love if Tiger roared back into form, and started making golf interesting to guys like me again. Unfortunately, I just don't see it happening.

Monday, August 16, 2010

where are our heroes?

I got linked to this Op-Ed column on women's suffrage by a friend on Twitter, and it really struck a chord with me. Two parts in particular I want to (briefly) discuss.

"We always need to remember that behind almost every great moment in history, there are heroic people doing really boring and frustrating things for a prolonged period of time." I think this is the hardest thing for children (and even young adults and maybe even adults) to fully wrap their heads around. The myth of the overnight success story has become so dominant that it's hard to reconcile the fact that real change takes real time with our desires for change now. It's hard to see things now as the important steps they might one day be recollected as. It's the paradox of trying to see your own glasses. It's a hard thing to grasp, but I think the theory is that it should get easier as we grow older.

Secondly:

"The constitutional amendment that finally did pass Congress bore Anthony’s name. It came up before the House of Representatives in 1918 with the two-thirds votes needed for passage barely within reach. One congressman who had been in the hospital for six months had himself carted to the floor so he could support suffrage. Another, who had just broken his shoulder, refused to have it set for fear he’d be too late to be counted. Representative Frederick Hicks of New York had been at the bedside of his dying wife but left at her urging to support the cause. He provided the final, crucial vote, and then returned home for her funeral."

Where are these people nowadays? Where are the people upon whom we can count to do the right thing even under duress? Under extenuating circumstances? Without needing backroom deals to be cut in their favor, without the lobbyists, without the guarantee of re-election?

Maybe the two quotes are tied. Maybe these people are still here, I just can't see them yet, because it's one of the slow times. Maybe we're merely building the foundation for something remarkable that will come, "sooner than most people think." But as I acknowledged above, it's hard to be patient.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

comics for the week of 08/11/10.

Half and half. No Emerald Warriors for me this week. If I hear amazing things about it in the course of this next week, I'll pick it up next Wednesday.

Batgirl 13 - A great start to a new year of stories. A pretty self-contained loop here in 13, with a mini-battle against Clayface, that old staple of the Batman Rogues, but really, just trying to develop the characters some more. The story of Nick the Detective seems like it'll be pretty predictable, but I love the relationship between Stephanie and him. The role of Proxy, feeling forced in the last arc, seems to be coming along quite a bit better. And DC must have heard the complaints because the issue opens by focusing on Steph as a college student - we need more real life. And we're getting it. This book is well-written, pencilled in a fine manner and will continue to have a place in my pull stack.

Daredevil 509 - Shadowland continues, and I like how they're dividing these books up. I was worried that there would be things here from Shadowland 2 that would upset me, meaning I'd have to be buying both books (which I am, but I shouldn't have to) in order to understand everything. However, the Daredevil book right now is focusing on Dakota and Foggy, which is great, because their story is really one that people who have been reading this book for a long while honestly do care about. After the ninjas attacked their car at the end of last issue, things looked bleak, but fortunately, Danny Rand and Luke Cage show up to help out. We see the overlap between this book and Shadowland 2, but it's done in a really great manner. Also, the art continues to murder - starting with Bendis' run and Maleev's art, this book has had the best, most consistent art for the last...five-plus years? Seven-plus? Great, great book, I'm loving what they're doing, and I can't wait to see how it ends. (It's got to be Matt either dead or a villain, right? Got to be.)

Spectacular Spider-Girl 4 (of 4) - A nice end to a nice arc. I wish Spider-Girl was still a monthly title, but I think I say that every month in praise of this book. The gang war gets finished, in kind of the manner that most fans probably would have predicted, Punisher gets a few more lessons from the Spider family, we get to see the Warriors of the M2 Universe (they don't call them the Avengers?) and the Hobgoblin gets dealt with. After last issue's revelation that Peter was playing the part of Wild Card, the conclusion hurtles toward us pretty quickly. There's nothing wrong with that at all, but, again, I wish this was a monthly book, because I feel like there's so much more that could be expanded upon: the role of April and what she's going to do to the family, Peter and Normie's team-up and the ways that could continue, what's going to happen with Black Tarantula...there's so many possibilities in this book. Also, it really felt like some of the dialogue between Peter, MJ, and May was a not-so-subtle dig at the current mainstream Spider books. And I'm OK with that.

The Unwritten 16 - I hope that I don't have to re-articulate my thoughts every month on this book, but here it is in plain English: if you're not reading this, you are missing out. This issue felt like the conclusion to the first arc, with the discussion between Tom and Wilson Taylor, the shifting at the end towards the story of Lizzie Hexam and the revelation of the last book in the Tommy Taylor series. Pretty much as good as it gets. I feel like the discussion between Tom and Wilson will be picked over again and again as this series progresses, because there was probably a lot of truth in it, and a lot of clues and signs that we just can't see yet. The death felt a little anti-climactic, as I thought Wilson would have some sort of protection, or he would defend himself, or something! but I didn't mind it. I'm curious to see if Savoy will be physically near Tom when the next issue begins, or if all three of the crew will be physically separated as well as mentally and emotionally. Seems like that's likely to be the next part of their journey - finding one another again, now that they know a bit more about why they're together. Great book, look forward to every issue all the time.

Book of the week is and probably always be, when it comes out, the Unwritten.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

slow news day.

Back in the day, there was this great TV program called Sports Night. It was a fictitious look at the SportsCenter life, written by Aaron Sorkin, who would go on to write West Wing, and gather numerous awards. There was an episode, “A Girl Named Pixley” where the cast (crew) sat around the set (newsroom) complaining about what a slow day they'd been having. That's how I felt when I looked at the headlines of ESPN in order to figure out the column for this week: Football's just beginning, hockey's nowhere near anything exciting, the World Cup and the Tour de France are over, basketball hasn't even made it to the preseason and baseball is suffering from the doldrums of the season. There's not much going on. The top headlines on EPSN.com read as a special kind of test of the avid sport's fan's attention: No Tiger Promise for Ryder Cup, Isiah Thomas declines Knicks job, LeBron uses critcism as fuel, Eagles security nabs fan in new McNabb jersey, et. al. This is almost the land of Nod.

So instead, let's focus on home: Lobo football is about to start their season. Despite the controversy of where the players were going to engage in preseason, the simple truth is that we're all just hoping for an improvement on last year. Going 1-11 in his first year, coach Locksley must be thinking, “Well, there's nowhere to go but up.” (Especially after that pesky assault case.) Just because it should be true, though, doesn't mean that it will be. Tons of curiosity on my part to see, if this season goes as bad as last season did, if losing a ton of games matters more than bad press and a possible assault on an assistant coach.

The Isotopes, on the other hand, despite losing their last two in a row, stand only three games behind the Oklahoma City RedHawks. This does, however, put them behind the top two teams in the remaining three divisions of AAA baseball, so our chances don't look fantastic.

The good news is: The construction on the Pit is almost complete. The Men's Basketball team will have a beautiful new place to play in this season, as ticket-holders from last season can attest. The court won't be new, but there will be plenty of new box seats for the wealthy ABQ business owners to woo their clients in, and after the impressive performance of the Lobos last season, this seems to be the perfect time for a new look.

UNM's fall term is about to begin and with it comes a plethora of fall sports that weren't mentioned here. The award-wining ski team tops the list, followed quickly by the men's soccer team, as well as the women's, looking to move out from under Elizabeth Lambert's shadow. The women's Volleyball team, led by coach Jeff Nelson, looks to improve on their impressive showing last season, and, of course, the cross country team will be putting in the miles.

So while this may seem like a dull time to be a sports fan, it's a great time to get involved with our community. Come out and support the Lobos, or keep an eye and/or ear out for the next Isotopes game. Chances are, you won't be disappointed.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

comics for the week of 08/04/10.

When I went to the shop this week, I had a moment of panic when there was nothing in my pull box. I thought to myself this might be the first week since I was a child that I had no comics to read in a new week. Thankfully, the end of the alphabet held a few of the not-so-must pull titles for me that I'm loving regardless.

Red Hood - The Lost Days 3 (of 6) - Jason Todd's voyage continues, and Talia's involvement in that journey deepens. We learn here about some of the different lessons that Jason's taken it upon himself to learn, including toxicology and different methods of killing. Not too shabby. Winick definitely knows how to tell a story, that's always been obvious in his works. However, all of this feels like strange prelude to a story that we already know. If they're going to spend this time on this story, they should really dig in, instead of just glossing over certain verses and chapters. We all know it's leading toward that confrontation with Bruce (hopefully something with Dick, too?) but this is the Lost Days. I guess they want to briefly touch everything. It's good, don't get me wrong. I'm just not sure it'll be as fulfilling as I want it to be. They could give Jason Todd his own ongoing series and I would buy it, even if it 'merely' covered this same time period. Good book, good story, good art, just wish there was more to it. The cover(s) by Tucci really kills, too.

Shadowland 2 (of 5) - Daredevil continues his descent into madness, and by the end of this issue, things will never be the same, even as much as the end of issue 1. Seriously, this is a great little mini-series, and the end results are going to be amazing. Ever since Joe Q and Kevin Smith took their ride on the Daredevil Express, bringing him back to relevance, this title has been one of the flagship Marvel titles. And each guy has found a way to out-do the previous. Diggle is crafting some classic material here. Matt seems to be waffling in his commitment to the Hand, especially in regards to his decision to kill Bullseye, but everytime anyone pushes him on it, he pushes back harder the other direction. Luke Cage, Danny Rand and a whole crew (including [an apparently not invited] Spider-Man) drop into Shadowland to have an intervention with Matt, and things go really, really poorly. Also, the Kingpin is positioning himself as the sane voice of reason opposite Matt. (Check out Spidey's line about black costumes and the typographical trick they play on the Previously page.) This book is scary good.

Shield 3 - On the other hand, this issue of this series felt weak to me. While issues 1 & 2 seemed groundbreaking, this one just seemed confusing. I had to go back and read it a second time to (try to) keep straight who was who and what was happening. Granted, this might have more to do with me reading issue 2, waiting approximately a month, then reading issue 1 and now reading this new issue, but I'm not convinced. The story is still epic in scope and I'm glad that we're seeing some definition of protagonist and antagonist, but it seems to jump pretty rapidly all over the place. That's not always a bad thing, but this might be the sort of book that's better to read in trade if we're going to be dealing with intricate, time-spanning, history-gauging storylines that combine real-world history with the history of the Marvel Universe. (Imhotep fighting the Brood? Bad to the bone! Galileo building a machine [pre-Ultimate Nullifier?] to knock out Galactacus? Kind of confusing, especially given the letter from the Vatican in the back where he says he merely created another world. [Does the picture in the comic look anything like that? Not to me, it doesn't.]) This book still gets tons of chances, I'm looking forward to every issue, but this issue didn't really do it for me.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

oh favre.

Yesterday, the AP reported that Brett Favre, former MVP of the National Football League and Super Bowl XXXI champion, would finally retire. Favre, who spent most of his career with the Green Bay Packers as one of the most beloved figures in that area, has gone through a roller-coaster of an exit, if this is, indeed, his goodbye. Three years ago, Favre was the face of the Green Bay Packers, the quarterback who'd been with one team his whole career. He broke record after record in the 2007 season, only falling short of the ultimate goal – another Super Bowl win – in the NFC Championship Game against the New York Giants, who would ultimately win the Super Bowl. After the glory-filled season, Favre appeared to be done. He appeared in a press conference to announce his retirement, he shed some tears, he said that he didn't have it anymore. “I know I can play, but I don't think I want to. And that's really what it comes down to.” It was an instant classic: A good old boy had done good, he'd been with one franchise his whole career, he'd done everything a professional football player could desire and now, he was going out with some well-placed tears and everyone could empathize with him. Except that, four months later, Favre appeared on the Fox News Channel to say that he'd been pressured by the Packers into retiring early and that he was never fully committed to the idea. He requested a release from the Packers organization, there was some back and forth, and finally, the Green Bay Packer for life ended up playing for the New York Jets in the 2008 season.

At the end of the 2008 season, Favre informed the Jets he was retiring, after which they released him. After he was released, he signed with the Minnesota Vikings (long-time rivals of the Green Bay Packers, for what it's worth) and played another season of record-breaking football. Among the records Favre smashed through in 2009 was the (perhaps dubious) honor of being the only quarterback to beat all 32 teams in the NFL when his Vikings defeated the Green Bay Packers. When the Vikings lost in the NFC Championship Game to the New Orleans Saints, the eventual Super Bowl winners, the Brett Favre watch officially began; again.

So it's not so surprising to wake up this morning and see that Favre is once again out and about in the media, claiming that he might not retire after all. There's no denying that he's one of the all-time greatest quarterbacks in NFL history, so if he wants to play the game, and he's able to do so, there's no doubt that he should be allowed to do so. But in the short course of three years, Brett Favre has unchangeably tarnished his image. He's won more games than he's lost, so it's not like it's all been bad, but most people would agree that sports isn't purely about the product on the field or the court, or wherever it's taking place. Michael Jordan sets the precedent with his Wizards-comeback that NBA purists just try to forget, his mismanagement (notably drafting Kwame Brown first overall) and his vitriolic Hall of Fame speech. It will be a shame if Brett Favre continues to shade his post-career impressions as the Boy Who (Constantly) Cried Wolf, as opposed to simply being one of the best to ever throw a football.

Monday, August 2, 2010

comics for the week of 07/28/10.

All DC. What a weird change from when I was a kid.

Flash 4 - Continuing the story of the Rogues from the future versus Flash, with old Captain Boomerang (Digger) thrown into the mix, and the real rogues showing up at the end for even more of a twist. Man, Johns can really do it. He keeps a tight script, knows what he's doing ahead of time, and chooses his artists well; Manapul continues to kill. Barry is a compelling character, I'm glad that he's been brought back, but I'm still not sure that I see the necessity of it. His story is going great, but Iris does feel a little under-utilized at this point - that will clearly change, with the Top making his decision in this issue.

Green Lantern 56 - God. What a cover. Amazingly, the story inside lives up to it, as does the art. Doug Mahnke is not one of my personal favorites, but one of my friends loves him, and I've gotta say, he's continuing to get better and better. His art is perfect for this book. Hector Hammond is clearly getting his due from Johns, starting a few years ago. I'm loving the way all the different Corps are interacting in this book, and I actually hate Hal less and less as we see more of the contrasts - Sinestro included, obviously, but Larfleeze and Atrocitus, too. Johns continues to do (virtually) no wrong.

Green Lantern Corps 50 - This was not the issue that I wanted it to be. That's not really a fault of the issue as much as it is me, but...for a fiftieth issue, it seemed to lack any real oomph. The return of the Cyborg Superman wasn't an event, because we'd already seen him. We didn't get the confrontation between Ganthet and Cyborg that's clearly brewing, and I'm not sure if we'll get it next issue either. I like the Alpha Lanterns more now than I did when they were introduced and I like the revelation that the Collector (whatever he's going to be called) has spoken with Cyborg. The Manhunters clearly have a role to play, too, and that's got to be part of Johns' master plan - he's been getting after that history, and I love the way it's going. That being said, I don't know how much longer I'll stick with this book. This arc has to finish pretty damn strong for me to continue spending money on it instead of jumping over to Emerald Warriors.

Book of the week goes to Green Lantern, despite the superior art by Manapul on Flash. The story is larger in scope, it feels like Johns is just doing more there.