Comics Ate My Brain

September 29, 2004

New Comics 9/29/04

Pretty good week this week.

Green Lantern #181 (of 181): Written by Ron Marz, pencilled by Luke Ross, inked by Rodney Ramos. All things considered, it could have been worse. Marz gives his creation a decent way to exit center stage. There’s a little bit of suspense involving whether Kyle would actually give up the power ring; Major Force reveals himself to be unkillable; and Kyle gets some good news about his mother.

Batman #632: “War Games” Act 2, Part 8. Written by Bill Willingham, pencilled by Kinsun, inked by Aaron Sowd. Batman fights Zeiss as Black Mask continues to plot. Turns out Orpheus had some weird super-spraying machine thing ready to go. The macro-plot has gotten more intriguing, but the execution in this issue is a bit flat. Kinsun looks like Paul Gulacy Lite, and Willingham actually has Batman tell Oracle to “grow up.” Nice. At least he treats Alfred well.

Superman/Batman #12: Written by Jeph Loeb, pencilled by Michael Turner, inked by Peter Steigerwald. The penultimate part of the Supergirl story wraps things up on Apokolips, but ach! that dueling narration! Painful to read. As for the art, in the movie Kara will apparently be played by Calista Flockhart. The super-cousins fight each other, Batman stares down Darkseid, there are teary farewells on Themyscira and in Kansas, and while this is the book of Big Widescreen Events, I can’t decide if they’re presented with too much fanfare or just too matter-of-factly. Needless to say, the narration doesn’t help.

JLA #106: Written by Chuck Austen, drawn by Ron Garney. Thank goodness this issue didn’t involve Batman dealing with his inner failures. He actually gets some funny bits here, mostly interacting with the other children of the dad with super-powers who got killed ‘way back in #101. To his credit, Austen ties the other issues together with this one, and the ending isn’t entirely happy — but I’m still excited about Kurt Busiek bringing the Crime Syndicate back next month.

Superman #209: Written by Brian Azzarello, pencilled by Jim Lee, inked by Scott Williams. Superman fights four elemental creatures, apparently sent by Aquaman (…huh?), including one which forms itself out of Mount Rushmore and makes me nostalgic for that old Justice League of America with “The Fiend With Five Faces!” (Either that or the “Dexter’s Laboratory” where Dexter uses a George Washington giant robot to stop an Abe Lincoln giant robot. But I digress.) It’s a well-done issue, and Superman defeats the giant elementals in a clever way. Next up, Wonder Woman.

Wonder Woman #208: Written by Greg Rucka, pencilled by Drew Johnson, inked by Ray Snyder.

(No, I meant next month in Superman…. Oh, forget it.)

An all-around winner of an issue, as Diana, Artemis, and Phillipus attend a state dinner at the White House. (FYI, the President is now somebody named Horne.) Veronica Cale arranges for Medousa and her pop-culture-loving assistants to be there too. Rucka gives us an excellent blend of politics, mythology, and monster-fightin’, not to mention the return of an old friend. The book’s been very good under his guidance; I hope this means it’s going to be great.

Adam Strange #1 (of 8): Written by Andy Diggle, drawn by Pascal Ferry. So, Adam’s in Gotham City collecting his things to move to Rann permanently, but then Superman shows up to tell him Rann’s gone, and then he gets arrested, and then some big aliens show up to kill him, but he fights ’em off, and to be continued. I’m there for #2, all the way, baby!

DC: The New Frontier #6 (of 6): Written and drawn by Darwyn Cooke. The Best Wife Ever looked at this and said “What’s that? Looks kind of ’60s.” I explained it was a period piece about the Justice League in the early ’60s. I’m glad I didn’t weep openly at the end of the issue like I wanted to, because that would have taken even longer to explain. It almost goes without saying that I loved this series. Cooke’s art is cartoony, but it reminds us that superhero comics are aimed at the “kid inside.” He also uses patriotic speeches a lot more effectively than Jeph Loeb. My only quibble is that there wasn’t enough Batman in this one.

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