Friday, August 23, 2013

Justice League Dark #23 Review

Trinity War, Chapter Five

I have not been the biggest fan of the Trinity War so far.  With Villains Month looming on the horizon, I was hoping the action would pick up a bit with Justice League Dark #23.  It does, but is this actually a good thing?  Yes and no.

Justice League Dark #23 is full of action.  Everyone wants Pandora's Box and seems like they will go through anyone to get it.  Shazam versus Stargirl, Zatanna versus's a smorgasbord of awesome fights.  The Box is corrupting almost everyone in the DCU, and I mean everyone.  In the best page we see it effecting characters from canceled books and other Earths.  It really shows the span this event really has.

I really like Mikel Janin's art.  There are so many characters involved and he does a great job with all of them.  The action is intense and everything looks great.

What Justice League Dark #23 is missing is forward momentum.  Not much story progression, just great action.  I usually don't mind this, but it leaves a lot to be tied up in next weeks Justice League.  I have said it before, but I believe this event will read better as a trade then the individual issues.

Justice League Dark #23 has great action.  Everyone in the DCU seems to be fighting each other and it looks great.  What it does lack is story and plot beyond the action.  Next weeks Trinity War finale has a lot left to resolve.



Red Hood and the Outlaws #23 Review

Oh man, the siege of 'Eth Alth'Eban has begun. Arsenal comes out being the most badass he has been the entire run of Red Hood. First off he takes out the legion of Man Bats they throw his way. Next Graystone goes after him with magic. But on top of all the gadgety goodness Arsenal has lined his clothes with salt protection magic. Using a ice gadget created after stealing the design from Mr. Freeze, he takes down Graystone. Next Cheshire teleports inside Arsenal's protective shield, and shuts it down. To pay her back he locates her teleporter and overloads her device, to scatter her atoms to the wind.

Finally Red Hood comes out and tries to stop Arsenal, but Roy isn't feeling it. All Roy wants is his friend back and this memory impaired version isn't it. So Arsenal beats Jason down, until he is interrupted by Starfire. Kori blows up Roy's gun, and tells him that he is being manipulated by The Untitled, and that he has to stop. But getting the Outlaws out of dodge is stopped by another assassin Rictus, who wants to take Kori on. While Starfire fights, Lady Shiva, Bronze Tiger, and Jason Todd go up to Arsenal for a little payback. The beat the ever lovin shit out of him, the only thing they seem to leave out is a curb stomping. But Roy being Roy wants the last laugh, and fires the last of his weapons, a single arrow. But this arrow explodes on the fountain, exposing the Lazarus Pit inside.

The League of Assassins isn't really happy, once The Untitled destroy this pit they will be unstoppable. Jason trying to spare the lives of Arsenal and Starfire says that he will lead the League against The Untitled. The two outlaws are hauled off, and Jason takes on the duty as League leader. The book ends with Red Hood hearing voices explaining what he needs to do. As the voices come, Jason's hand start emitting energy, and finally the energy become swords. The other don't understand whats going on, but they don't have time because The Untitled are there.

I had a really hard time trying to understand the decision to make Red Hood and the Outlaws more about Arsenal and Kori, and barely have any Red Hood at all, but this issue gives me a little insight. Arsenal I find has the super power of badassery. Kori, and Jason are pretty useless in this issue, but this is more in line with the DC Presents: Arsenal, which gave me more respect for the character. Not really a fan of the continuing arc this book is doing, but I'm a loyal reader, and I'll keep reading, and waiting for Jason Todd to become the central badass again.


Trinity of Sin: Pandora #3 Review

Continuing the Trinity War, we find our heroes fighting each other. They are all under the influence of the seven deadly sins, and Pandora can't find a way to stop them. The Sins hover around the chaos tormenting Pandora, telling her that they will only get stronger and that they will conquer the world and punish it, in the blessed name of Pandora.

Back in Maryland we see our side characters to Pandora, Agent Chang, and Agent Kincaid have tracked down Pandora's weapon maker Marcus Severin. They banter a bit about "how I ain't saying nothing", "Oh yes you are" blah blah. Ultimately they show Marcus video of Pandora blasting away with the guns he made, and they tell him that she is a super villain. Agent Chang, and Kincaid threaten to bring him in, unless he tells them where to find Pandora. Throughout the issue we see Pandora's past and how she trained through time, trying to find a way to understand, and finally stop evil. The last flashback, an old woman shows Pandora a spirit that is trapped in a bowl. The spirit looks like liquid, and the old woman says that you cannot touch it, pour it, burn it, etc. But you can see yourself in it.

Back at the evil superhero show down, Pandora is on the verge of giving up. When she realizes what the old woman meant about seeing herself in it. As Pandora rushes Envy, all the sins realize at once something has changed. As Pandora runs towards Envy she tells him all about all the people she knew throughout her life, all the things that they could do, and how it was all the things she couldn't do. As Pandora shoots Envy in the face repeatedly she tells him "I envy them." Pandora looks at the rest of the Sins and tells them she can explain how Envy is gone, but first she wants to know who's next.

Pandora #3 comes off a little flat. All that goes on is a little flash back, and the continuing fight from Justice League Dark #23. The only thing that really saved the issue for me was the last few pages that turned the book back to bad ass. Mostly this issue was hum drum but it did leave me wanting issue #4 so I guess it did it's job.


Constantine #6 Review

When last we saw our chain smoking, baron of bastards....Oh yeah he's about to die. Chris, Constantine's little friend who he got killed* (Way back in issue 1. ES) has been waiting for Constantine in the astral plane for his revenge. But sadly even on the astral plane Chris doesn't stand a chance.

Elsewhere at the temple of the Cold Flame. A bunch of people sit around chanting before they pass the Kool Aid around. Sargon, and Mister E come to tell the leader of the Cold Flame, that Constantine is about to die, and that they should mark him as one of theirs before he does. The Cold Flame send out some monsters to take care of the body. The monsters show, and Lloyd the bartender is forced to fend them off, as Constantine fights off Chris who has gained some power from some people he shouldn't have. But before he can show off his new power, the Cold flame monsters that attack his body also come for his spirit. The "fetches" grab Chris, and spirit him away, but Constantine knows all the tricks and forces them back.

Meanwhile back at the fight at "The Joint", Papa Midnight shows up to beat the monsters back, and against his better judgement decides to revive Constantine. As Papa Midnight voodoos, the leader of the Cold Flame uses Constantine being out of commission to find out where he hides all his special items. We end the book with the leader of the Cold Flame standing in a room that's obviously Constantine's happy place (it doesn't have a no smoking sign), full of artifacts.

Being a follow up to the great issue #5, it seems unfair. What could top Constantine, and Shazam in a issue together, and what could be better than Constantine being Shazam? But either way it's Constantine and you can't help but have fun, watching him be the asshole we love. Not a bad issue, but I hope for better next month.


Green Lantern New Guardians #23 Review


On Elpis the new home world of the Blue Lanterns, only a handful of Blue Lanterns are left. But that isn't the only problem. The entity of the Blue Lanterns Adara, leaves the central power battery. The Lanterns watch it leave and know instinctively that it is sick, and before they can think of what to do about it, they see the reason for Adara's escape. Relic has come to the Blue Lantern home world.

Before any real damage can begin Kyle Rayner, Carol Ferris, and the Templar Guardians fly in to back up the harnessers of hope. The Templar Guardians go first simultaneously entering Relic's mind. But instead Relic enters each of their minds instead, and shows them why he is doing what he is doing. The information is to much and the Guardians go down. Next Carol Ferris tries to turn the tides, but her power is ineffective. What Relic does he does for love. Kyle's up to bat and uses the power of fear to get his point across. Relic already facing his worst fear, fires an energy blast, directly hitting Saint Walker. As everyone looks on in horror The Blue Lantern central power battery is destroyed.

The good guys regroup around Saint Walker, and the blues with what little power still remains in their rings shows Kyle a secret of the Blue Lanterns. Kyle's will power energy charges up to 154%, but his compassion level charges up to 180%. Without explaining to Kyle how they can charge compassion, they tell him to use the power to teleport Saint Walker out of there. With the back up gone, and their power levels at 0% The once Blue Lanterns remind us "That all will be well", as Relic treats Elpis, like Vader treated Alderaan.

This is the issue that brings New Guardians back to where it was before the never ending cross-overs with the Third Army, and then the First Lantern. I can easily see this becoming my favorite title again, as it was the first year of the New 52, and I can't be happier about it. Pick it up, read it, love it.


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Injustice: Gods Among Us #32 Review

Tom Taylor has done a superb job with Injustice so far and this issue is no different.  He has a tough job in creating a weekly comic based on a story that fans of the material already know.  He succeeds by creating smart dialogue and twists that flesh out the story beyond what we know going in.

Injustice: Gods Among Us #23 is a fine example of this.  Yes, this issue is basically a fight between two powerhouses, but it is a great issue.  Issue #22 made you think that Batman and Superman would square off, but instead we get the Man of Steel and Captain Atom.  Taylor's dialogue and characterization is great and the art team of  Santi Casas, David Lopez and Jheremy Raapack make the brawl epic.  The two titans battle and in the end the reader is left wondering who could possibly survive.

Injustice: Gods Among Us #32 is another winner.  Tom Taylor's script is excellent and the art team of Casas, Lopez and Raapack back it up.  This comic continues to impress week in and week out.


Batman And Nightwing #23 Review

Acceptance. The final stage of grief.  Bruce Wayne is obsessed with running a computer simulation of Damian's final moments.  The Heretic, Talia, Leviathan and all the chaos and destruction that happened while Bruce was trapped.  No matter how many times he tries, he cannot end the simulation with him saving his son's life.

In the meantime, Alfred has asked Dick Grayson to visit with Bruce and talk some sense into him.  Instead, Dick enters the simulation with Bruce and the two of them succeed in saving Damian.  As the simulated Damian fades, Dick tells Bruce that he should make his son's death count for something just like he did when his parents died. 

With Dick and Bruce gone, Alfred enters the simulation and instead of letting Damian leave the Cave, he tricks him and the program ends with the little Robin living to fight another night.  Of course Alfred blames himself for the death, but Bruce tells him they both lost a son and no one is to blame.

Peter Tomasi has saved the best for last.  Bruce finally stops trying to bring back Damian back from the dead and sees that he is not to blame.  In fact, he sees that even though things could have been done differently, Damian's death has hurt everyone, not just himself.  Thanks to Dick and Alfred he realizes that Bruce and Batman must continue on in the name of his fallen son.


Sunday, August 18, 2013

World's Finest #15 Review

Power Girl's always rushing in head first. Desaad has taken Huntress and Power Girl flies head first into a boom tube after her, hoping that this tube will be the tube home. Oh Quantum Leap how we miss you. Back to Worlds' Finest. Power Girl emerges on the other side, confronted by parademons. But Power Girl isn't the only one having problems. Elsewhere Huntress is strapped down to a chair, helpless at the hands of Desaad.

Power Girl punches her way through the Parademon horde desperately trying to find her friend, striving to make right what Desaad put wrong....Wait wait. I'm back on Quantum Leap again. Desaad is alerted to Power Girl's presence and leaves Huntress to take care of the problem. But being the daughter of Cat Woman, and Batman has its advantages. She easily makes her escape.

Finding Power Girl, Desaad and her obviously fight. Using his electro torture taser jobbers, (little help if anyone knows the name of it, off hand) Desaad easily takes Power Girl down. That is until Huntress arrives (add heroic theme music here) and Desaad realizes that even though he would love to finish the job, he would rather toy with them more. He opens a boom tube and sends the duo back where they came from. But on arrival Power Girl realizes that she might have to changer her name to Powerless Girl. FIN

One of the better Worlds' Finest books I've read. Earlier in the series, it suffered from various artists, coming in and only doing a few pages here and there, but in the capable hands of Robson Rocha, this book is fantastic. The book finally has somewhere to go in the story and we're seeing what the title should of been from the start. Not a great jumping on point but go back to issue 14 and if the writing and the art remains, then you will have no regrets. Great issue.

Superboy #23 Review

We pick up where we left off in the last issue of Superboy. Superboy is surrounded by monsters. Even a monster Krypto, and a monster Dr. Psycho. Superboy uses his TK to knock the surrounding monsters back, also making everyone human and Kryptonian dog again. But he sees one girl who looks suspicious and Krypto and him are on the hunt.

During the chase Krypto goes after something and is thrown back through a wall. Superboy investigates and finds another Superboy. He assumes that there is another clone just like him, and the two begin to duke it out throughout McDuffie High. But when the fight crosses paths with the one friend he made, and first suspect Eliza, he realizes that she's afraid of him not the other Superboy.

Using his head for the first time Superboy asks a cowering Eliza for her phone as the evil Superboy stands behind her. Using the camera on the phone Superboy finally sees through the illusion, and sees the girl he was chasing after his monster attack. But the girl is knocked out by the surprise ending. Dun Dun Duh! Psycho Pirate.

This issue was a very fast read. It didn't continue the fun of the John Hughesesk Highschool fun, we at Weird Science loved about last issue, but I guess you can't stay Breakfast Club forever. But getting Psycho Pirate at the end is something to look forward to for next issue. But Superboy continues to have the problem where story is lost because of his smashy smashy attitude.

Justice League of America #7 Review

Part 4 of the Trinity War sees Lex Luthor pondering on who could of made Superman kill. Being the bald beautiful man he is, the idea makes him very jealous that it wasn't him. Enter Pandora. She explains to Lex that she needs him to open the box and that it was a prison for the evils in men's hearts, hearts such as his, and that that it can be this prison again. Inside A.R.G.U.S. HQ, Plastique goes to the morgue to visit Dr. Light's body. The Outsider tells her that Dr. Lights metamorphosis needs to begin, and apparently whoever the mole inside the Justice League is has taken down surveillance. Plastique places something on the body of the good doctor.

Meanwhile in Pittsburgh, Dr. Psycho is preparing to play a little game of murder the innocent people, when he is interrupted by The Martian Manhunter, The Question, Cyborg, Green Arrow, FireStorm, Element Woman, and The Atom. It's teams like this that make the whole book for me. Doc Psycho holds his own until Superman shows up, but in his weakened condition collapses. Dr. Psycho goes through Superman's mind learning all his secrets until Martian Manhunter intervenes and retcons his mind. Turns out Dr. Psycho was sent to Kahndaq so the team would search him out, but is completely innocent of messing with Superman's mind. Back at the House of Mystery Cat Woman uses her Feline wiles so that the House of Mystery will let her, Steve Trevor, Simon Baz, Flash, and Vibe into it. Inside they find out that Phantom Stranger #11 was a bust, and the team is reunited with Batman, Deadman, and Katana.

After the interrogation of Dr. Psycho, The Atom tells the rest of the League that she has been a double agent for Amanda Waller. The rest of the team believes that Amanda Waller might of wanted Superman to turn killer, so that the JLA could take over for the League. The team goes off to A.R.G.U.S. HQ to question her. Finally we find ourselves back in Lex Luthor's cell as Pandora is about to give him the box to open. But she is taken by surprise by Wonder Woman and her team Hawk Man, Star Girl, Frankenstein, Aqua Man, and Black Orchid. Wonder Woman takes the box and is engulfed in energy. When the smoke clears Wonder Woman claims she has the box, and that the box has her.

Some might feel that the Trinity War is taking it's good ole time. But I'm having fun watching the slow build up. like I said before just the idea of seeing these three very different teams that we haven't seen before is awesome. The beauty of reading a title like Justice League is that you get all your characters in one book, now we have three League titles in one book, brilliant. The mystery behind The Outsider and his plans, what Pandora's Box actually is. Very fun stuff. Very interested in seeing how this all pans out and leads us into Villain's Month. Unless this story arc takes a big left turn in Pt 5 in Justice League Dark, I recommend this story arc to any hero worshipping fan boy out there.