Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Fast Five

So many comics to read, so little time. Here are a few quick reviews.

Trials of Shazam! 4
Reasonably enjoyable, but I just don't get it. Freddie is/was Capt. Marvel, Jr, and here he is acting at times like a rank amateur, not to mention the need for all these tests. And I would've prefered him on the cover. And not all that much forward movement plot-wise in this installment. So I was both entertained and disappointed.

Didn't say 6 of whatever. Maybe an error, maybe not. I am enjoying this and would love to see it continue, but it was intended as a mini, right? Nice twist re: Mike's mind being manipulated by Brother Eye. And the art is easy on the eye. :)

Green Arrow 69
When this book was revived with Kevin Smith at the helm, then Brad Meltzer, it was special. Even after Judd took over, there were stories that rose above the mundane. This isn't one of them, not so far. Just another bad guy storyline with a big-name hero guest star. The fact that that can be ordinary is a bit telling, because Judd isn't really doing much with this yet, tho the whispered banter between Ollie and Bruce at the ceremony was fun. And the art is nice. At least, with McDaniel and Owens' art, Mia doesn't look like a tramp, as she did in the issues before they took over drawing the book.

52 32
Nice Ralph Dibny scenes in this. Very metaphysical when Ralph asks Rama Kushna "Where is the essence you all talk about?" And when he talks about how much it hurts, all he misses about Sue, it just about tore my heart out. I've always loved Ralph and Sue, and this scene epitomized the beauty of their love. I also liked the scene with the Teen Titans and Osiris who is being judged by his association with Black Adam, yet is also being given a chance to prove himself, but on his own.

Justice League of America 4
I opted for the Michael Turner cover with Roy as Red Arrow. Hal narrated this time and we find out why Roy's there, and that the team hasn't officially been put together yet, so I'll be interested in seeing what the big 3 feel about Roy being in the JLA. Brad Meltzer shows his love for JLA history with his choice of big bads, and he seems to have a thing for Solomon Grundy, who also appeared in GA, "Archer's Quest." Now, let's hear from Hal:
"Dinah thinks that's why I asked Roy to come. That he reminds me of my youth. That he makes me feel younger. More alive. All of that's true. But the real charge I get from Roy has nothing to do with seeing pieces of Ollie. It's seeing pieces of myself. It's no different than when we pick successors. Abin Sur saw it in me. I see it in him. No fear."
This brings to mind an interesting point. Hal's had a special relationship with Roy from the moment he went back to look for him after hearing Roy talk about why some kids turn to drugs. Unlike Ollie, who brushed it all off as nonsense, Hal was troubled enough by Roy's words and tone to seek him out. And found him desperate for a fix and starting withdrawal. And he took Roy to Dinah's, which was where Roy's special relationship with Dinah began. Ollie became Roy's father figure and was legally his guardian for a lot of years, but Hal became a mentor, as I see it. Ollie had Roy, and now he's got Connor and Mia to be his legacy. Hal has no one, and never had a sidekick. Roy might not be the next Green Lantern (Earth already has a couple of others, anyway), but in some ways, Roy fills that role with Hal. Brad really puts this aspect of these characters into the stories. Just a panel here and a panel there, some relevant narration to contrast with the action, but it raises things a bit above just another superhero action story.

I know folks wish the story would get moving, but now it's a lot clearer that Brad has started things before the JLA is fully formed. While Bruce, Diana, and Clark were picking the team, the other heroes who will make the cut are busy and now the big 3 are busy with the same problem which will clearly have them all intersect. Brad's pacing in comics is very much like pacing in novels. Maybe he should move things along faster, but he does get there soon enough. And for me, all the character bits make up for the slow start, not to mention the wonderful art. If only JSA 1 hadn't hit the ground running the way it did; it makes for a tough comparison.


  1. Well, techincally Hal DID have a sidekick, waaaaaaaaaaaay back when, this kid with pointy ears named Kairo, who had no powers other than being kidnapped a lot. He used to ride around on Hal's back. I kid you not. Fortunately, Kairo's been buried in a very deep deep hole, and everyone pretends that it never ever happened. *shudder*

  2. Eek. I missed Kairo. Actually, from the sound of him, I'm glad I did. I much prefer Hal's mentoring of Roy.