Thursday, December 20, 2007

Wonderful Comics Week

Well, there was one dud, so I'll get that out of the way first.

Justice League of America 16
Okay, I'm a patient person. I believe in giving writers every chance to entertain me. In the case of Dwayne McDuffie, I'm still waiting. Thank goodness for the short extra focusing on Roy, by Alan Burnett. Even the art was better on that, and while there were some odd moments (Cheshire was at Roy's for Christmas the previous year?! He's shopping for a gift for Hawkgirl?!), the story maintained the holiday spirit while dipping into Roy's Teen Titans past and was overall a nice feelgood story that wasn't too sugary.

That leaves the first story, the main story, and leave it I wish I could. The art by Benitez and Llamas left a lot to be desired. Everyone had Jay Leno's chin and eyes that bugged out and while Dinah wasn't posturing, she looked like a shrew. Red Tornado in the computer playing chess with John Stewart was the highlight for me. And Guy "hanging up" on John was a cute touch. This clearly was a setup to intro someone named Tangent into the DCU and had nothing to do with the JLA. In fact, there really wasn't much of a story. I'd summarize, but that runs the risk of making it sound more interesting than it was, because some of what might've been interesting seemed to have happened off-panel.

Countdown to Final Crisis 19
Jimmy Olson is in the thick of all things New Gods, Trickster and Piper remain an entertaining duo even with one of them dead, I liked Earth 51, and things on Themyscira are heating up with Holly and Harley meeting Hippolyta. So, while things were unnecessarily slow in some issues, the story is starting to come together and it's intriguing.

Shadowpact 20
The stories alternate between Blue Devil and Rex the Wonder Dog and the trapped trio in the Nightshade Dimension. This isn't a great comic, but it is an entertaining one.

Birds of Prey 113
Sean McKeever's first issue benefited by Nicola Scott's lovely art. She draws wonderful facial expressions and Doug Hazlewood's inks worked well with her pencils. Like Sally, I had some misgivings re: Barbara's inability to compensate as new info came in about Tabby's scheme, and given the outcome, Superman's admonishment was earned, but I don't like seeing the Birds, especially Babs, fail like that. I see them/her as far more competent and Supes should know that no one's infallible. What would have happened, how many people would have died, if they hadn't been there? Yes, perhaps they should have sought out the big guy, but really, they've taken on a lot of real badass villains, so there was no reason for Babs to think this would turn out any differently. Plus, Gail Simone wrote some failure for the Birds, so seeing it happen again bugged me a bit. Still, I was pleased that McKeever used something from the past -- Tabby -- that worked with Huntress' background. And the characters were mostly well handled. And Misfit, an impetuous teen, learned a hard lesson. So, I have hope that this book will remain one of my favorites.

Catwoman 74
Another great Adam Hughes cover. Selina was real badass in this one. She really surprised Calculator with her attitude. Too bad she ran into the Suicide Squad, but she sure gave them a run for the money. Since I knew she was scheduled for a Salvation Run involvement, her capture was not a surprise.

Checkmate 21
The new White Queen is revealed and it looks like there won't be so much antagonism. The history of Mademoiselle Marie, the name of a string of women fighting for France, was nicely woven around the story of a modern-day hostage taking. A favor for the UN might become a real mess for Checkmate in this taut tale, complete with the requisite cliffhanger.

And one left from last week...

Simon Dark 3
I am really enjoying this. The art style is different and creepy while still being very realistic. And Simon is an intriguing character, simple and noble, childlike and wounded, yet trying to do the right thing. And he's made at least one enemy. I really want to learn how he became the way he is. Niles and Hampton are doing a great job with this.


  1. I don't quite know what to think about JLA. I didn't think that the writing was so bad, and of course ANY book that has Guy Gardner in it, is automatically a good book. But the disconnect between the writing and the art was just gawdawful. Can't they PLEASE get some decent art on this book? But it was nice to see Roy.

    Countdown wasn't bad. I've been wondering about the whole Themyscira Hippolyta and Granny Athena are BOTH on the same island? Yeah, right.

    I did like Birds of Prey. But having Superman yell at you must be a lot worse than having Batman yell at you. Batman yells at everyone.

    I guess the Calculator was getting paid for setting Catwoman up? Had to have been Waller. What is going to be interesting, is that if you have been reading Salvation Run, Deadshot gets betrayed too. Considering how many of the villains he was responsible for sending to the penal planet, he's going to be running for his life!

    Checkmate was as good as always.

  2. hmmm.... A lot of people have been enjoying Salvation Run. If they do a trade, maybe I'll pick it up then.

  3. Anonymous6:37 PM EST

    I'm pretty sure that I should not have been as bored by JLA as I was.

    It had loads of Roy and thats usually enough for me, but not this time. I found it to be a yawnfest.

    I liked the Moo Gi Gong mention, wish we'd seen it though, whatever happened to a writer showng why the character is awsome, rather then telling it?

    Roy and Chesh contact each other at christmas to arrange a meeting for Lian to see her???

    I'm kind of disappointed to think that he see's her, then lets her go off to continue murdering people unimpeaded, thought he'd come to the conclusion years ago in Titan's that that wasn't the way to go. I guess it was supposed to be an 'awww' moment, that he puts Lian first and plays happy families once a year or something. I wasn't feeling it I'm afraid.

    Yep, boring stuff IMO.

  4. You're right about Roy and Cheshire. In Titans, he'd pretty much decided prison was the right place for her.

    Reading JLA was like reading about a comic that sounded good, not reading the actual comic.

  5. The problem with the DCU right now, as reflected in JLA, is they are so interested in "universe continuity" and setting things up for "Final Crisis" that the stories are just done for that, and not to tell good stories about the existing characters. I too was kind of disappointed with this issue of JLA.

  6. There are writers who can make it work. I think Will Pfeifer is doing a great job, so far, with Catwoman and Salvation Run. Even tho I'm not reading Salvation Run, I enjoyed this issue with the Suicide Squad capturing Selina. It was exciting. The problem with JLA is that McDuffie didn't write an actual story because the good stuff happened off panel. That's not DC's fault or the whole continuity's fault. It looks like lazy writing.