Sunday, July 26, 2009

Recent Reads

See, I can change my review post titles! :)

Green lantern 44
Okay, we're now in Blackest Night. We know this because it says so on the cover and because the Martian Manhunter has risen to attack Hal and Barry. There were some nice bits in this, mainly the conversation in the beginning between Hal and Barry while checking out Bruce's raided burial plot, and just seeing Hal buddy buddy with someone other than Ollie. The main action is apparently going to be kept in The Blackest Night series, with the related titles showing risen dead attacking the lead character. A decent read and nice art, but the actual Blackest Night book promises the better entertainment for the money.

Speaking of which...
Blackest Night 1
This rocked. The art by Reis and Albert is wonderful, making the impossible look real. I liked how the book covered a number of fronts, quick looks at a number of characters. The... (don't read further if you haven't read this yet and don't like spoilers)... killing and raising of Hawkman and Hawkgirl (they're not quite dead yet at the end of the issue) makes sense because Katar and Shayera's souls are renewable resources in the DCU and they can live again after Blackest Night is over. Much as I liked Kendra, I'd love to see Shay come back as herself, so to speak. Ralph and Sue make for freaky undead, and I hope after this is over, they're either alive again (yes, fat chance) or they allowed to return to their peaceful, happy non-existence.

Power Girl 3
The end, mostly, of the brief opening arc. PG rules over Ultra-Humanite. So far, this isn't looking like a serious, somber title, which is okay. It was fun and Amanda Conner continues to be one of my favorite artists, excelling in facial expressions. Her art might be on the cartoonish side, but the characters look and act real.

Gotham City Sirens 2
Selina gets out of revealing Batman's ID by revealing it, along with other names, which was a neat take on the hide the truth among lies concept taught to her by Talia. It did come out of left field, not having been set up prior to the cliffhanger in last issue, but it was a nifty trick, and Harley and Ivy are so much fun, I didn't mind. And Hush as Bruce showing up keeps this book tied to the rest of the current Bat books. Fun read.

Streets of Gotham 2
Here's where we see Hush publicly take over as Bruce, and it looks like he's determined to give away the Wayne fortune. Decent story, but I'm reading this book for the Manhunter backup story, which was fine. I just wish the supporting cast from her book could've made the move east with her. I miss Dylan and the others.

JSA vs Kobra 2
Comic book spy/suspense at its best. Eric S. Trautmann does a good job building on Greg Rucka's recent run on Checkmate which, for me, set the gold standard for books like this. Kobra is one bad-ass organization, one of the nastiest in the DCU because they don't play by the usual bad guy rules or even the usual DCU religious cult rules. They really keep the heroes guessing without making the heroes look incompetent, which is a nifty bit of writing. Don Kramer and Michael Babinski do a wonderful job with the art. The opening page of Power Girl with her arms crossed under her ample breasts could have looked cheesy, but here, it's just the way she looks and the pissed off expression on her face is as dominant as her boobs. (I used the word boobs instead of breasts here to shamelessly encourage search engine hits. Heh.) In fact, the shading on the faces are quite nice.

Supergirl 43
I saved the best for last and I didn't think I'd ever be saying that about the latest incarnation of a Supergirl title. Joshua Middleton's cover is just stunning. He'd previewed it a while bag on his blog and I've been looking forward to seeing it in hardcopy. And I never imagined this book would bring a tear to my eyes. Many tears, which is what happened when I got to the last scene. Kara has been chaffing under her mother's apparently menial tasks and as a typical teenager, can't see beyond her own irritation. For her part, Allura is hardly the most communicable mother, and when she finally tells Kara, my annoyance with Allura, who has been horrid toward Kara since Zor-El was killed, took a turn for the better. Despite everything, Allura does love her daughter and wants her to make an informed decision about which Guild to pledge. Kara's decision is one of maturity and just made my eyes well up.

Jamal Igle's art (with Jon Sibal on inks) continues to amaze. His facial expressions are flawless, his rendering of Kara's costume is the best outside of Middleton right now, and I loved how his art brought to life New Krypton, enhancing Sterling Gates' story which gave us a look at the Kryptonese culture along with the more personal story of a mother and daughter, and the father who, although dead, remains a force in his daughter's life and that of her mother. Kal-El's appearance (I can't really call him Superman here) is well done, fitting perfectly into the story. I could read this beautiful story over and over and not tire of it. And I can stare at the lovely cover all day, and feel as if I'm soaring in the clouds among the birds with Kara. This comes as close to being a perfect comic as possible and it's a great way to intro young people to comics, even if they don't know the backstory that led up to it.


  1. I don't think i've seen a bad review of Supergirl 43 yet. Everyone has something good to say about it and I'm hoping that this will encourage more people to pick up the title.
    It was truly a very very good issue.

  2. Yeah, I haven't seen a negative review, either. I feel like going to my comic shop and shouting, "It's safe to buy Supergirl!" :)

  3. I'm beginning to think that perhaps I should break down and start reading Supergirl now. I DID read all of the rest of your reviews, and they were all just dandy.

    I'm enjoying the heck out of Blackest Night so far.

  4. Supergirl should win a most improved comic award, Sally. Give last week's issue a try.