Wednesday, April 21, 2010

New Comic Day 4.21.2010

Big, almost HUGE, week...almost $30.

**sigh**

Sometimes I do wonder about how much I spend on this stuff. Doesn't help I also have a $25 fundraiser for my current show on Friday night, and I'm working hard to put away a significant dollar amount each week for San Diego. Oh well, I could be spending it on smack.

Batman: Streets of Gotham #11

Written by Paul Dini
Art and cover by Guillem March

As Gotham City swirls in a maelstrom of evil and villainy, three of the most unlikely candidates – Catwoman, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn – step forward to bring some light to the situation. But will their efforts enough to stem the tide of madness and mayhem?

This series is kinda like comfort food. I'm never disappointed, but rarely excited, either. Dini is a master, but that doesn't mean the stories are always brilliant. However, sometimes they are, and I approach each new issue he writes with that hope.

The Brave and the Bold #33

Written by J. MICHAEL STRACZYNSKI
Art by CLIFF CHIANG
Cover by JESUS SAIZ

Oh yes, it's ladies' night! Batgirl, Wonder Woman and Zatanna enjoy a nice, peaceful evening on the town that absolutely won't be interrupted by any kind of superheroic hijinks whatsoever... and if you believe that, there's a giant bronze globe in Metropolis we'd like to sell you!

Aw, yeah...ladies' night! **BOW-chicka-wow-wow**

**ahem**

JMS has been holding up his end of the deal so far, although the series isn't nearly as regular as it used to be. However, Straczynski promised odd pairings, and he's lived up to that. I stand by my previous assertion that this is old-school comics at it best. We don't need sweeping crossovers for heroes to get together, just sharp, done-in-one, fun storytelling. All 33 issues of the modern version of this title have lived up to that. Totally recommended.

Green Lantern #53

Written by GEOFF JOHNS
Art and cover by DOUG MAHNKE and CHRISTIAN ALAMY
1:25 Variant cover by RODOLFO MIGLIARI

A BRIGHTEST DAY tie-in! Exploding out of BLACKEST NIGHT comes the next exciting chapter in the Green Lantern mythos: "New Guardians"! Forced together during the rise of the Black Lanterns, Hal Jordan, Sinestro, Carol Ferris, Saint Walker, Atrocitus, Indigo-1 and Larfleeze must agree to disagree if their next mission is to succeed. But when one of the strangest beings from Green Lantern's past returns, the future of the Lanterns and the universe at large once again falls into question.

Of course, there's noting wrong with huge crossovers, if done right. I'm excited to see what the post-Blackest Night/Brightest Day universe will mean for the assorted ring corps. I don't know if I've pontificated over this already, but it really needs to be said...Kudos to Geoff Johns for introducing the multiple color/emotion ring corps. It's, hands down, the best, most story-generating (which is the most important part) new element to be added to the Green Lantern mythos in decades. There's nothing wrong with the changes writers like Ron Marz put into effect, but rebuilding the Green Lantern Corps as a galactic police force, and then adding the additional spectrum corps...it's just opened up the cosmic DC universe in a huge way.

Justice League of America #44

Written by JAMES ROBINSON
Art and cover by MARK BAGLEY and ROB HUNTER
1:25 Variant cover by David Mack

A BRIGHTEST DAY tie-in! Following the events of BLACKEST NIGHT, the brand new Justice League of America enters into BRIGHTEST DAY with an arc featuring the Justice Society of America. The epic team-up begins with a character from the end of BLACKEST NIGHT joining the JLA. But when the storyline's over, what mysterious villain will be revealed – and which hero will switch teams?

Oh, God...WILL SOMEONE MAKE THIS BOOK GOOD AGAIN!?!?! I mean, I won't drop it, I love Mark Bagley too, too much, but, if he goes, I'm out. Unless they get someone writing this thing that can run with it, AWAY FROM THE ASSORTED CROSSOVERS, and make the team matter.

I mean, seriously, this title has been hamstrung with editorial mandates and tie-ins for years, and when Dwayne McDuffie up and admitted he was having trouble writing a compelling series when it had to tie-in to every DC event down the pike, they fired him. Bad form, Dan Didio. I love so much of what you've put in play at DC, but...You need to let this title breathe, get a team in place, and let it gell into a cohesive unit. Hell, the series has even become about how the team has problems working together!

Pull it out of continuity for a year, and let it establish it's own identity.

Power Girl #11

Written by JIMMY PALMIOTTI and JUSTIN GRAY
Art and cover by AMANDA CONNER

Power Girl's life has been torn apart, and the last thing she needs is to find out that one of her closest allies is now one of her deadliest enemies! But, we're sorry to say, that's exactly what Satanna has managed to serve up!

One part sad, one part glad. Sad because there's only one more Palmiotti/Gray/Conner issue of this series left, and it's become one of my favorite reads on a monthly basis. that's all because of what that team brought to the table. Especially Conner's strong-but-sexy artwork. I'll miss the hell out of this series when I drop it after next issue. Like I said at the top of the page...I need to cut back on the comics $$ for a bit, and if the team is gone, what I was reading for will be gone.

The Spirit #1

Written by MARK SCHULTZ
Co-feature written by Dennis O'Neil
Art by MORITAT
Co-feature art by Bill Sienkiewicz
Cover by LADR├ľNN
1:10 variant cover by MARK SCHULTZ

The Spirit returns in an all-new ongoing series! Central City destroys everyone who lives within its borders...so it's a good thing The Spirit already died once! International crime syndicate The Golden Tree wants to help Central City's Octopus consolidate control over the underworld and the Spirit is the kind of mess the Golden Tree was created to clean up. They've offered the Octopus the services of one of their finest assassins to take his breath away for good – and the sight of this killer would get anyone's heart pounding!

This issue also features the debut of the eight-page THE SPIRIT: BLACK and WHITE co-feature, showcasing the industry's finest talent. And who better to kick things off than DENNIS O'NEIL and BILL SIENKIEWICZ?

More of DC's First Wave line...A little background here;

The Spirit was created by a genius cartoonist named Will Eisner in 1940. It was a comic book series that was actually an insert into Sunday newspapers, and Eisner owned the property outright, holding full creative control. He managed to tell many different and affecting stories within the framework of The Spirit's world. The Eisner series is sheer genius. (Despite the ugly stereotype of the Ebony White sidekick character)

The most recent version of The Spirit was a series DC published starting in 2007, with the first 12 issues being handled by modern genius cartoonist Darwyn Cooke. After Cooke left with issue 12, the series limped along for about another 20 months, but no one really captured the way a modern Spirit ought to work like Cooke did. (I should've stopped reading with his departure).

The recent movie, directed by sometimes-genius cartoonist Frank Miller was nothing but a nightmare. I never saw the whole thing. The power went out about 20 minutes in the film, and it felt like a reprieve from Hell.

I hope this series gets it right, I really do. The property is too ripe, and too historically important to lie fallow. I am most intensely interested in the "Black and White" back-up feature. It'll be cool to see various creators play with the property, and O'Neil and Sienkiewicz are a hell of a way to start.

Ultimate Comics Avengers #6

COVER BY: Carlos Pacheco
WRITER: Mark Millar
PENCILS: Carlos Pacheco

Like father like long-lost psychotic son? Not quite! Looks like this anticipated Father-Son reunion will result in bullets instead of tears! Will the Avengers get there in time to keep Captain America and Red Skull from blowing themselves away and the world in the process? Hold on to your masks!

Y'know, this title debuted the exact month that Ultimate Comics Spider-Man (below), and Millar and Pacheco are already 3 months behind Bendis and Lafuente. Go figure.

The Ultimate Red Skull being Ultimate Captain America's illegitimate son is a fairly interesting concept, but I can hardly tell you what's going on in this story arc. It's been that long since I read an issue. However, I usually enjoy the title when it comes out, and Pacheco is no slouch in the art department.

Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #9


COVER BY: DAVID LAFUENTE
WRITER: Brian Michael Bendis
PENCILS: DAVID LAFUENTE
INKS: Todd McFarlane
COLORED BY: Allan Jefferson
LETTERED BY: Jared Fletcher

It's the return of Spider-Woman! And guess who she totally makes out with in this issue! What?? Yeah, you heard me!! Wanna see a Spider-Man story you have never ever ever ever seen before? We promise you, it’s right here!! All this and Kitty's Pryde's world comes crashing down around her as the U.S. government comes to Midtown High to collect her.

This title is great. It's a great all-ages title staring a familiar hero, and, while it carries some continuity BS with it, it's not the 40 years worth the "regular" title carries. I love this book, and I have from the start. I love the voice Bendis gives these kids, and the way he spins the superhero action in to the mundane High School hijinks in a pretty effortless way. It's top-notch.

But I still miss Mark Bagley's art.

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