Thursday, March 31, 2011

comics for the week of 03/30/11.

These have never been called reviews, because they're really not. If there was ever any interest in that, I suppose I could switch it up, but for now, let's call them what they are: recaps for people who read. They're not for people who don't read, and they're not for someone trying to find out if they should read.

Action Comics 899 - Lex's quest is complete. A twist from Brainiac here and a turn from RobotLois there, and we have a revelation that...is kind of complicated? I mean, I know I read comics and am thus expected to be kind of a geek, and I get the Negative Zone, and... but... well... it was good. It's not that it wasn't good. It was just...flat? Kind of? I was psyched to see Brainiac versus Luthor and it lived up to the billing, but the big bad...he was weird. I'm excited to see how Superman is going to deal with this next issue, though. The whole revelation about the black energy, and its tying into Blackest Night, though, at this point, feels like something that's going to retconned more than actually genuinely connected. That's all right sometimes, but also, sometimes, they should just let it go.

Detective Comics 875 - Scott Snyder continues to write the best Bat book on the market and Francisco Francavilla did the art to death on this issue! Remember last month when I said it was good, and it fit the tone of the story, and it was perfect? Well this issue confirmed that. Damn, this was a spooky story, and perfectly spooky art to match. The old school feel of the story was reinforced by the flashbacks to the original case, and the role of Bullock (both in this book and in the current Bat mythos) cannot be overstated. He's old hat by this point. In fact (and this just occurred to me) he might be getting groomed to be Commissioner someday? Regardless, the story of James turns out to be equally as creepy as we were all imagining, not least of all because it's not truly wrapped up when this story ends. Some stories end on a cliffhanger; this one was more like we ran over the cliff and ended right on impact with the ground. Who knows if we survived or not, but we can damn sure feel that sting.

Green Lantern Corps 58 - War of the Green Lanterns Part 2 was just as good as Part 1, with Kyle taking center stage (I guess he's sharing it with John Stewart, to be fair) but still managing to continue the main storyline. I love the tension between the two of them as polar opposites, but how they continue to work and even thrive together. The art-effect of turning the GL symbols yellow in the background was a nice little touch, and Ganthet's role in this book and in this arc is going to be impossible to overlook. I have a sad feeling that he's going to die? If his death means that other Guardians will follow in his footsteps, both literally by becoming GLs and figuratively, by embracing emotion, I've got to be OK with that, though.

Green Lantern Emerald Warriors 8 - The showdown we've all been waiting for in the War of the Green Lanterns part 3: Guy Gardner versus Hal Jordan. I love the joke of the Green House, and I love that they're shown as having made some major contingency plans after the Corps last decimating event. However. The fight felt more than a little off, and it was odd how Gardner (but not so much Jordan) was able to fight the Parallax effects for so long when we'd already seen Kyle and John succumb so quickly. Ganthet's hand exploded from the will power it took to rip their rings off - Guy's just that tough?? Hard to believe. But I like what's happening with the overall feel of the War of the GLs: we've got a good story, a huge big bad, and some separate threads that are being rapidly pulled together. Here's to hoping this won't be a five month event that stretches into six or seven or eight, even, and here's to being blissfully ignorant of those details by avoiding Previews.

Scarlet 5 - The end of book one, eh? That'll work. I think this story has pretty much been told as far as it can go, so I was glad to have those last few pages of Scarlet's narration saying that she was going to have to give in and become the person they wanted her to become. Things have got to be picked up a notch (or five) if Bendis wants this to continue to be a semi-believable tale, because there's not much more to say in this vein. I loved the beginning with Detective Going and her narration, the way she smelled the BS setup that was coming and I loved her interaction with Federal Agent James. There were several times where I laughed out loud and this, I think, more than anything is what Bendis does well. Before he burst onto the scene, there weren't many comic book writers who could really, really nail a dialogue scene, whether it was supposed to be straight or comedic and throw in the zingers the way he does. Of course, it's played out now, and everyone and their mother apes the style, but when it's done well, like it is here, it still holds up. He does people well, and the people in Scarlet's universe are about to get bumped up a notch, or five, like I said. This is good stuff and here's to hoping it gets better.

Book of the week goes to 'Tec. The shift in storytelling was stark and could have come across as shifty and even pandering. Instead, we got one of the best two-issue (if you really want to call it that) stories that I can remember. Great work.

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