Saturday, August 10, 2013

Red Lanterns #22 Review

So Atrocitus is believed dead, by the hand of the newest red lantern Guy Gardner.  Guys got the crazy on real hard, the rest of the Red Lanterns are trying to figure out what to do with him.  They dunk him into the mystic blood ocean of Ysmault to get his mind back.  Gardner emerges ginger as ever.  At the his point among the bickering Lanterns Guy decides to teach them about democracy.  The first thing voted on is whether they should have a roof over their heads, like a base of operations. 

    The Red Lanterns locate the flagship of Barg, Thornchief of Starsea (a space pirate) The Lanterns take down all the fighter escort ships and then pair off to take down all sides of the flagship.  Zilius Zox and Guy Gardner team up to head down the center of the ship and the rest of the Lanterns will meet them at the bridge.  Inside Guy, and Zilius blast, and barf all the resistance down, until they come to a storage room.  Inside they find the de-limbed bodies of the Green Lantern Chaselon race.  The pirates just need the crystal ball bodies to crush down and sell as an aphrodisiac. 

    Guy is not happy, not happy at all.  Inside the bridge Barg pleads for his life, and offers everything he can.  Guy rage ahol that he is, blasts the pirate out into space.  The scary part (awesome part) he liked it.  The Lanterns have a new flagship.  Out in deep space Atrocitus is resurrected.  Ut Oh!

    It's a good time to be a Red Lantern fan.  Out of all the Lantern titles, this one has struggled the hardest.  But I can easily see this becomeing one of my favorites as it goes on.  Guy Gardner is at his best, and a team up with the Mad Ball Zilius Zox (Remember Mad Balls?  Man I loved those) is brilliant.  Anyone who decided that they didn't need to read Red Lanterns anymore after the third army and the first lantern will be missing out.  So break out your Red Rings and keep reading, this looks like it's going to be a hell of a good time.

Phantom Stranger #11 Review

 In the House of Mystery Phantom Stranger, and Batman discuss their next course of action.  Best course apparently is to go to heaven and interrogate Dr. Light.  (of course)  But as we know from the previous Phantom Stranger, the angel Zauriel warned the stranger that if he ever returned, he would be erased from existence.  But hearing about Dr. Light's family being without a father, or husband, The Phantom Stranger agrees.  They take Katana, and Dead Man for they're experience with the afterlife, and POOF!

    The group traverses the basement of heaven trying to make their way up undetected, and when they finally find heaven, everyone except Phantom Stranger disappear.  Realizing his blunder, The Phantom Stranger must now find everyone's own personal version of heaven.  First we find Katana with her husband in a paradise.  The Phantom Stranger convinces her that she can't stay there, and they have to complete their mission.  Next we find Thomas Wayne reading "A Christmas Carol" to Martha, and a young Bruce Wayne on Christmas night.  This was the Christmas that Bruce never had, but it's funny because even though Bruce is there.  Batman still looks on in the shadows, and doesn't try to stay.  He just hopes that he can come back some day.  While leaving Boston Brand shows up and says that he's found Dr. Light.  Being more concerned with staying out of hell he doesn't worry about having a heaven he explains.

    Inside Dr. Light's heaven the team finds themselves in a universe of light, and in front of them is Dr. Light inside a womb of energy.  They revive the Dr. but he has no answers about why Superman killed him.  Phantom Stranger decides that the only thing they can do is bring Dr. Light back to life.  But before he can, the angel Zauriel arrives.  Zauriel casts the rest of the group back to earth and puts Dr. Light back into his womb.  The Phantom Stranger thinks to himself about the choices he has made, and that he hopes that the man he used to follow would be pleased with the one he made now.  The issue ends with Zauriel erasing The Stranger.

    I had a lot of fun stuff this issue.  It's good to see the Stranger acting in a larger scope with the heroes of the Trinity War.  I also find it funny that in six issues of Justice League of America it took a issue of Phantom Stranger for Katana to finally do something.  My main gripe in this issue was Batman's heaven.  Yeah I know he wants to be with his parents, but where was Damian Wayne?  Batman goes through heaven but not a single mention about his terrible grief about the passing of his son?  I don't buy it.  The only thing that came close is when The Stranger said he'd bring Dr. Light back to life and Batman responds "Bring the dead back to life?  That's insane.  I like it."  Anyway with the exception of Talon this is one of the smaller titles I hope continues for a long time, and was a really good tie-in issue.


Earth 2 #15 Review

We start this issue of Earth 2 off with a battle.  Who doesn't love a battle?  Earth's Wonders, vs. Apokolips's Terrors.  We've got the Flash, Dr. Fate, Green Lantern, The Atom, The Sand Men, and Red Arrow, going up against the new uglies Brutaal, Beguiler, and Bedlam.  The fight didn't go well, and in the end the only one standing, or I guess crawling is the Flash.
    Finally we see Hawkgirl back flying over Casablanca searching for a man named Darcy Twain.  Hawkgirl arrives at his castle only to be ambushed, by two new characters added to the story.  Hazard, and Melody.  Hazard tells Hawkgirl that the man she is looking for is only an alias of his, and that his real name is Roger Sharpe.

    Back in the savage Gotham, Wonder Woman's daughter Fury is battling Big Barda, and Mr. Miracle.  While searching for the new Batman, Big Barta and Mr. Miracle were attacked by Fury, who was sent by Steppenwolf to retrieve Mr. Miracle.  Mr. Miracle tells Barda to run because no matter what Fury does, he will be able to escape her.  Enter another new character to this story.  Red Tornado.  The story ends with Fury, and Mr. Miracle staring up at the new female Red Tornado telling them to yield.

    This issue is kinda funny where we get a lot of new characters, and even ones who haven't been around a lot.  But not much goes on in it.  Being James Robinson's last story I kinda hoped we see more, but I'm not going to complain when I get Mr. Terrific, Red Tornado, Hawkgirl, Big Barda, and Mr. Miracle in one book.  This book has been as good as it has because of James Robinson, and Nicola Scott.  I really hope that after the new writer takes over, the same freshness that this title has maintained continues.


Eric's Shirt of the Day

Eric, The Joker and Harley finally show up for work on Saturday.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Movement #4 Review

Finally a Movement that wasn't Crap

The Movement is a book about the little guy.  It's a book about the people who walk the streets and look up at the shiny skyscrapers and wonder what went wrong.  It is a book about taking back what was stolen and fixing the wrongs that have rotted out society's core.

The idea behind The Movement is good.  However, the execution has been sub par...until now.  It took four issues, but Gail Simone finally makes us care for her lead characters.  I have to be honest, until this issue I would have been hard pressed to name more than two of the leads, let alone know their powers.  By showing their histories, we learn about them and their motivations for being in a group like The Movement.

These motivations fly headfirst into the powers that be of Coral City.  All hell is breaking loose and loyalties are tested.  Characters that were set up to be traitors prove to be allies and vice versa.  The action is well done and for the first time I can say I'm looking forward to the next issue.

Though the writing had previously left me luke warm, Freddie Williams II's art was always the highlight of the book.  It remains impressive in issue #4.  The character design is great and the action scenes pop.  The catoony grit style matches the tone of the book perfectly.

I can finally say I enjoyed an issue of The Movement.  Gail Simone uses flashbacks of the characters early lives to give personality and motivation to her creations.  Freddie Williams II's art is great and fits the story to a tee.  The Movement's street level tale is beginning to win me over.


Green Lantern #23 Review

No Time for Love, Dr. Jordan

Hal Jordan has not been a great Green Lantern Corps leader.  Since assuming command Lanterns have died, Larfleeze stole Lantern property and a high level prisoner has escaped from her Sciencell.  To make things right, Hal decides to bring the prisoner back to face justice.  Although Hal is the leader of a whole Corps of Green Lanterns, he decides to attack the problem the way he usually does...alone.

Last month the escaped prisoner, Prixiam Nol-Anj, became a Star Sapphire based on her love of her Clann.  She loves them so much that she flies right to them upon escaping.  Not too smart.  Hal follows her to the planet and confronts Prixiam and her shabby Clann. 

A fight starts, Hal declares he has no time for love (Dr. Jones?), but Prixiam disagrees and shows him what Carol Ferris is up too.  We see a scene from New Guardians #22 with Carol and Kyle Rayner fighting Relic.  This scene is what I have the most problem with.  Is Hal upset that Carol is in danger?  Is he upset that she is fighting alongside Kyle? I assume the later, but the rage and/or jealousy doesn't ring true.

Then in another "Lights Out" foreshadowing, Both Hal's and Prixiam's rings lose power.  Hal barely escapes dying from the hostile environment and then flies off looking for Kyle and Carol. Yes, he just leaves Prixiam because of what I assume is jealousy.  The last panel shows a pretty pissed off looking Hal flying through space.

To say I was disappointed with Robert Venditti's story is an understatement.  I like the idea of loner Hal Jordan being put in charge of reforming the Corps.  He genuinely seemed to want to do a good job.  Then he completely abandons his mission to find his ex-girlfriend who may be cheating on him.   Hal has always flown by the seat of his pants, but now he is being controlled by what is inside those tights.

Billy Tan's art was descent, but not great.  I was impressed last month by the colorful art, but this month seemed a bit bland and washed out. 

Green Lantern #23 was not a good book.  Hal comes off as a jerk more concerned with his failed relationship with Carol Ferris than rebuilding the Corps.  The book looked ok, but was a bit bland and uninspired in the art department.  I hope that Venditti rebounds with the next issue, but that will have to wait until after the upcoming Villains Month.


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Injustice: Gods Among Us #30 Review

Superman has turned into a bad ass.  In the movies he breaks necks and in the comics he melts faces. Injustice has contributed to this trend big time.  Though Injustice Gods Among Us #30 can be viewed as a filler issue, it is a nice love letter to a more good and pure Man of Steel.

Tom Taylor stops the death and destruction for one week at least, giving us a look at Superman helping a kid with his bike.  Yes, a kid has wrecked his bike and Superman is there to help him.  Or at least try his best.  Taylor shows the Superman that was an inspiration to kids everywhere.  A Superman that everyone looked up too.  A Superman that inspired people to be better people.  It's as if Taylor wants to show that even though he has contributed to this new ruthless Superman, he is really a fan of the classic Man of Tomorrow.

Bruno Redondo's art is very good.  The classic look matches the classic message of the book.  The bright colors match the good feelings throughout.

Injustice Gods Among Us #30 is a lull in the action, but it is a welcome lull.  Those readers who like to see the inspirational and good Superman are in for a treat.  Though this is not a must read by any means, it is an issue that left me with a huge smile on my face.


Superboy #22 Review

Does Superman know that You Raid his Wardrobe?

Alright just to get it out of the way in the beginning of this issue, a woman named Jocelyn Lure goes to Superboy's apartment looking for him. Yes she is from the future, yes she is trying to stop Superboy from destroying that future, and no Superboy isn't home.

Now to the fun bit. Superboy in Highschool. All the classic stereo typed kids from all our favorite John Hughes films stuffed tight into a 19 page comic book. Awesome right? Well it's pretty fun, I'll give it that. Superboy goes to High school to investigate reports that the students have gone insane.  He believes that one of the students will be H.I.V.E.'s next target. Superboy immediately goes from being the cute new boy in school to pariah when he has an altercation trying to defend a girl from her over-bearing boyfriend. Super Boy humiliates the bruiser, and the princess goes to the jock's side. Now that Superboy is a cross between the Brain and the criminal, he is befriended by the basket case Eliza Ellis.

Throughout the day Superboy is sent to the guidence office, principal's office and finally superintendent's office. School Hard. We go back to the halls to find that the Jock is now going crazy. Superboy subdues him so that he doesn't hurt anyone. And again people look at him like he's the freak. Doing some detective work Superboy goes to Eliza to see what she knows about the "freak outs". Eliza seems unsympathetic to the students plight, and while Superboy is trying to get more information out of her, it all goes monsters. While it appears that Superboy himself has gone insane he seems to believe that whoever is responsible has made all his friends into monsters. Including an awful monster Krypto.

I enjoyed this issue enough to want to read more on Superboy in high school. The only problem is that the stereotyped teenagers are over the top in their roles. But I'll let it slide because I'm biased to anything John Hughes like. My only real gripe is that towards the beginning a character goes from being a Gwen Stacy type all green jacket, and skirt, to a few panels over where she became a sporty Mary Jane Watson. Maybe it was intended to be a different character, but the art work wasn't completely clear in the end. Superboy #22 give it a read.