Monday, October 5, 2009

This Week's Haul

Hands down, the best books of the week were Blackest Night-related. Blackest Night: Titans #2 was great, and Green Lantern #46 was quite possibly the best chapter of the event so far. So, instead of doing a Book of the Week, I’ll be doing something a wee bit different. Details towards the end of the column…

Teen Titans #75: New writer Felicia D. Henderson is off to a good start, reintroducing Raven and Beast Boy to the team and giving the book a much-needed dose of fun and promoting camaraderie among these Titans. However, it seems like J.T. Krul is stepping in for a few Blackest Night tie-in issues, so I wonder is Henderson will be on the book long enough to get any momentum with her story.

Final Crisis Aftermath: Ink #5: With only one issue left to go, this mini-series finally gets somewhat interesting. Why did it take five issues to even remotely care about these characters?

The Last Days of Animal Man #5: I accept that this is just a “possible future” for the man with animal powers, but it’s a pretty good one. It’s not the usual dystopian, world-at-war scenario, and Buddy Baker’s life has actually turned out ok. With all that said, I really do hope that he survives next issue.

Gotham City Sirens #4: Joker emerges from the shadows to take his revenge on “Bruce Wayne” and Harley Quinn; hilarity ensues. Honestly, as much as I love what Paul Dini’s doing on Batman: Streets of Gotham, I find this book somewhat pointless. Not bad, just fairly unconnected to the rest of the Bat-books and pretty much inconsequential. Just my humble opinion.

Justice Society of America #31: The schism in the ranks of the JSA grows ever wider, as philosophical differences between the heroes force each of them to take sides. Oh, and Mr. Terrific dies! Well, probably not, but it looks like he does. And Doctor Fate has some pretty quippy lines of dialogue.

Superman #692: In the aftermath of “Codename: Patriot,” Metropolis is a mess. Mon-El is dead, the Guardian needs to step up, and Sensor Girl is revealed. What? Yeah, that kind of came out of left field for me. I enjoy James Robinson’s writing, but he sometimes puts a subplot on the back burner for too long – like the Zatara story – and then, when he reintroduces it, I have to dig through my long boxes to get myself up to speed and just what in the world is going on.

Wonder Woman #36: Wonder Woman and Giganta team-up to talk relationship-problems, while Paradise Island experiences a rash of immaculate conceptions. All-in-all, another solid issue from Gail Simone.

Astro City: Astra Special #1: The last time we saw Astra, she was in her tweens. Oh, my, how the time flies. She’s graduating from college, and wants to introduce her boyfriend to the wonderfully bizarre cosmic lifestyle she grew up in. Matt, Astra’s boyfriend, acts as our eyes into Astra’s world, showing us what it’s like to be a visitor/outsider to a superhero family. While I’ve been thoroughly enjoying Astro City: The Dark Age, these shorter stories are a nice change of pace every once in a while.

And now, the most disappointing book of the week is…

Justice League of America 80-Page Giant #1: Oh, how much I wanted to love this book. Really, really I did. I love the JLA, in all of its forms, even when the line-up or creative team isn’t what I’d like it to be. So, it was with much excitement that I picked up this issue…and with great disappointment that I found it lacking. I liked the basic story – the JLA is split up and thrown through time after battling Epoch, the Lord of Time, and they must struggle to return to their eras and beat him. But that wasn’t the plot, not really. They were thrown through time, had unimportant adventures, and then only returned to the present through Snapper Carr’s help. The League didn’t really do anything; even the final battle occurred off-panel. The individual chapters were okay, but the writing was inconsistent and I found the artwork, as whole, to be unimpressive. And can someone tell me why Steel, who was absent in the framing sequence, wound up in the past with Wonder Woman? For me, the guest appearance by heroes and villains throughout history were the highlight, but they really couldn’t save this book.

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