Monday, February 21, 2011

comics for the week of 02/16/11.

Now that I have a NookColor, I wonder if I'm going to start illegally downloading comics and reading them on there? The screen seems small, but, I mean, I'll be using it primarily for reading regardless. I'm just not sure that anything can compare to going to the shop, getting the comics and flipping through them. Not even free. Which is, definitely, a good thing.

Batman 707 - The conclusion of the Peacock arc. Dick Grayson as Batman just works. He's awesome, I love the relationship between he and Bruce, the way he relates stories about the circus, etc. He's a great Batman, and I'm so happy that they are letting this run its course. The way this arc played out is also a great sign for this book. Tony Daniel wrote a capable little story here, that is bleeding right into the next, with the last page tease of a female Two-Face and the resolution of the role of the Riddler. (Good nod to the critics!) The Beholder mask story might not have been the best that we've ever seen, but the compilation of old and new faces into a good enough story is a great sign of things to come from this book. I'm convinced.

Batman and Robin 20 - Tomasi jumps on the story and Gleason jumps on art. It wasn't bad,but there were several times it threw me off. Notably in the beginning of the story, the weird little prelude with the family watching Zorro. (Seriously, why was that in there? What did it have to do with anything?) Bruce, while seated in the bottom panel, looks like he's approximately 500 pounds. Damn, that's some crappy art. Then, we completely switch gears to Dick as the new Bruce, galavanting about town, when an angel crashes down. The best thing about this issue came next with the shifting relationship between Commissioner Gordon and Damian Wayne. Man, that's gonna be trouble. Dick had better crack down on that kid ASAP. And then, the end? Were those supposed to be White Lantern constructs? Or is this gonna be something else confusingly illuminated? Either way, a great start from a new team after that terribly useless prelude.

Fables 102 - A million times better than the last issue! Ozma on the cover is fantastic and Pinocchio's dedication to the super team inside the pages was an awesome touch. (The wheelchair! The pipe! The insistence on costumes! The deep-seated fear!) Mister Dark is seriously pissed at the Fables and he's found Haven. Flycatcher is doing his best to keep him out, and it's working, but it won't continue to. The Nurse has slimmed down and is fully devoted to Dark, without being subsumed. She still seems like her own person, kind of, but she's under his spell. This is a dangerous combination. The Army is being prepared by Ozma in the beginning of the book, and they're looking for fearless warriors. (GL crossover? No, not really.) The most intriguing part of this book was the quote read to the North Wind by his minion. To me, that's clearly setting up his own sacrifice for his grandchild's sake. That's going to be pretty damn touching.

Green Lantern 62 - The power of Krona is intimidating. Finally, a big bad that actually feels that way. And even though the cover portrayed the conflict at the end of the book, I didn't feel like it was much of a conflict. First of all, of course Hal's gonna roll with his new crew. Secondly, the JLA will be there to back him up if it gets to that point, even if he doesn't ask for their help. It's what they do! So, to me, that was a wasted part of the book. However, the rest of the book more than made up for it. Another shot of the pre-shrunk Guardians in their White Lantern uniforms (great ret-con!) and a battle of all the new Guardians versus Krona. And they get their asses kicked. Not only does he whup them, but he leaves with more than he had, which was inevitable, of course, but is also huge trouble. We get a typical Johns moment of brief glimpses into the future as Hal comes out of his beating, and the end devolves into Hal (and new Guardians) versus the JLA.

Shield 6 - The end of the first arc and it was totally satisfying. It's clear from the end of this that what they were going for was merely setting up the idea behind the organization and that now they're going to spin some other tales that'll bounce around the entire timespan of the Marvel universe. Great work. The reveal of the Forever Man was fitting, as most of this tale is in retrospect. It'll work even better in a TPB. This is a solid start for some of the other stories they can tell, but I wish the whole thing would've come with a big Prelude labeled over the cover so that we could have known that this was merely a set-up. I'm OK with that, because even the set-up was good, and the stories that follow are going to be great, but...you know...truth in advertising. Good stuff, look forward to more. Don't change anyone from the team! If Dustin Weaver needs a break for the next issue (or next arc) that's fine, but you've got to dance with the one who brung ya.

Book of the week goes to Fables, for getting back on track. Leaving Bufkin behind and focusing on the immediate conflict (and making it a truly immediate? conflict) is the right move. This is billed as a five-part story on the cover and it's my hope that by the fifth issue, we have some forward momentum. Great stuff.

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