Monday, August 17, 2009

This Week's Haul

So, here’s the drill…each week I’m going through my stack of books and giving quick, concise, sometimes rambling and incoherent capsules reviews of DC’s offerings. Nothing Blackest Night-related, though; that gets covered elsewhere. Cool? Cool.

Adventure Comics #1: Or #504, if you’re keeping count. Superboy’s back, and it’s a breath of fresh air. Manapul’s art has a different feel to it than his Legion of Super-Heroes run; it looks nice. The Legion second feature is a wonderful treat as well, but how long until we get a new, monthly Legion of Super-Heroes series?

Final Crisis Aftermath: Escape #4: Holy crap, what in the world is going on in this series? I feel like I stopped caring three issues ago…

Action Comics #880: Part 2 of “Codename: Patriot” ramps up the action in this story while not sacrificing character development. It’s beginning to feel like all these months of Superman-less Superman books is starting to pay off. On the other hand, I really want Captain Atom to leave the Matrix and return to the real world sometime soon.

Red Robin #3: Tim Drake finally starts acting like a detective! Will wonders never cease? I like this book, and I’ve always liked Tim as a character; now if Yost can just stop with the endless flashbacks that throw off the pace of the book, I’d be happy.

The Red Circle: Inferno #1: An improvement over last week’s Hangman offering, this issue provides connections between the main characters while deepening the mysteries about their backgrounds. I am, however, disappointed that writer Straczynski won’t be writing any of the ongoing books to come out of these one-shots.

Titans #16: Argh. I love the Titans. Always have. I hate this book. Loathe it. Really want it to get better, but it’s not showing any signs of that happening. The Starfire spotlight wasn’t bad, but it seems like even she is jumping ship and moving on over to the JLA. Is there going to be anyone left in six months time?

Superman Secret Files 2009 #1: The Secret Files have been few and far between the past few years, but if we only get one or two a year with the quality of this one, I’ll be okay with that. This was a good primer for the “World Without Superman” Superman universe, and has some pretty good profile pages and schematics of New Krypton and Metropolis, not to mention several interesting short tales that shed some light on some new players in the DCU.

R.E.B.E.L.S. #7: Probably the best book you aren’t reading, but if you aren’t, then you should. Does that make sense? Vril Dox tries to recruit allies against Starro. It doesn’t go well. For anyone who enjoyed Dox’s antics twenty years ago in the pages of L.E.G.I.O.N., this is the book for you.

JSA vs. Kobra #3: The plot thickens as Mr. Terrific takes steps to counter Kobra’s plans, and pretty much fails. This mini-series has a wonderful espionage feel to it, and if you’ve bee missing the cancelled Checkmate series, give this a try. It has a real sense of immediacy given the world’s current geo-political climate.

Green Arrow/Black Canary #23: Okay, I’ve been on the verge of dropping this series for a few issues now. But, now that Kreisberg is done with his “villain makes Star City silent” mega-saga, this story is pretty good. Not great, not fantastic, but definitely a step up from recent issues. He’s attempting to give Green Arrow something resembling a Rogue’s Gallery, while throwing a few monkey wrenches into the Ollie-Dinah dynamic.

Booster Gold #23: Dan Jurgens is solid. He doesn’t miss a beat. Month in, month out, good, fun stories. He’s not reinventing the wheel here, not making Booster Gold grim and gritty, or socially relevant. Just trying to tell a good super-hero yarn, that’s all. The Blue Beetle second feature is always a plus, but best of all? Cute girl on the cover. Can’t go wrong there.

Batman #689: Call me crazy, disagree with me all you like, but I actually like Judd Winick’s Batman. Let the flaming begin! I’m serious, though. Winick's not writing Shakespeare here. What he’s doing is showing us that Dick Grayson is a much different Batman than Bruce Wayne. And it’s not necessarily in a bad way, like how Jean-Paul Valley was a murderous lunatic when he adopted the mantle of the Bat. No, Dick is just far more well-adjusted than Bruce was. Do I want to see Dick Grayson as Batman forever? Nope. Do I think it will last forever? Nope. Is it cool for the time being. Sure.

And now, the book of the week is…

Fables #87: I love Fables. Love it, love it, love it. Well written, beautifully illustrated, and thoroughly engaging. “The Great Fables Crossover” was a little too dues ex machine for my tastes, but what can you do? The book is back to true form now, returning to long-festering plot lines that you didn’t even know existed. If you’ve never picked up an issue of this book before, then do so at once, after lashing yourself with a wet noodle first, of course. And then go out and stock up on back issues or trade paperbacks, and dive headfirst into the Fables universe. As long as you’re old enough, of course, because Fables is suggested for “mature readers.”

Yeah, like that ever stopped you before...

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