Comics Ate My Brain

August 18, 2006

New comics 8/16/06

Filed under: 52, checkmate, green lantern, nextwave, secret six, weekly roundups — Tom Bondurant @ 1:45 am
Congratulations, Green Lantern Corps #3 (written by Dave Gibbons, pencilled by Patrick Gleason, inked by Prentis Rollins, Mick Gray, and Wayne Faucher) — you won me over. This was the best issue so far, including the miniseries. I figured out the murderer’s motivation early in the issue, but that’s not a knock on it. In fact, I got the feeling I was supposed to figure it out at around that point, and from then on the plot takes a “Mission: Impossible”-esque turn. It ends pretty brutally for the murderer as a new Lantern is chosen and a rookie looks on impassively. This introductory storyline touched on the blend of politics, police work, and (for lack of a better term) knighthood that, in combination, should define the Corps, and it made me hopeful that the future holds more of the same. For now, I’ll be happy with the all-Dave Gibbons spotlight on Guy Gardner, starting next time.

Secret Six #3 (written by Gail Simone, pencilled by Brad Walker, inked by Jimmy Palmiotti) practically gave me whiplash with all the reversals of allegiance. It begins in a place that seems incongruous with last issue’s cliffhanger, so when the first reversal comes, it feels more like a course correction. The bulk of the issue concerns the Six’s trip to Lady Vic’s base, out for revenge after her goons attacked them in #2. There are complications, naturally. Scandal gets a spotlight, and Catman is once again seen as prime father material. Simone keeps everyone likeable, with a couple of exceptions: I’m getting a little tired of Ragdoll being so precious (on good days, I hear David Hyde Pierce; more recently, it’s been Dr. Smith from “Lost In Space’); and the super-Catman-sperm idea seems, well, less fresh the second time around. The art seems to be settling more into a Tim Sale style, but that’s not bad and for the most part everything is clear and understandable. A double-page spread with Vandal Savage and Scandal is a highlight.

Checkmate #5 (written by Greg Rucka, pencilled by Jesus Saiz, inked by Fernando Blanco) featured the selection of a new Black Queen’s Knight, along with the fallout from Alan Scott being “fired” as White King. It was a decent done-in-one issue, although I did wonder about the utility of one part of the selection process: what’s it do to your candidates’ morale after you reveal they weren’t in any danger? Maybe it’s helpful; I don’t know. Anyway, all of the candidates are unknown, and none of them really jump out otherwise, so the eventual winner doesn’t seem preordained. You’ll probably make an educated guess about halfway through. I like Blanco inking Saiz; not that Saiz is a bad inker of his own stuff. With Blanco on inks and Santiago Olmedo on colors, the figures pop a little more than they might have in previous issues. I’m eager to see what Rucka does with the Suicide Squad next time.

52 #15 (written by Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin, breakdowns by Keith Giffen, pencilled by Shawn Moll, inked by Tom Nguyen) gives us a little Montoya and Question in Kahndaq and a lot of Booster and Supernova (and Clark Kent) in Metropolis. It’s all pretty effective, with the possibility of death hanging over a couple of characters. After a touching reunion in the Kahndaq prison, however, we’re off to the races with Booster. He gets a good sendoff, I have to say; regardless of whether he’s really dead (or, more to the point, whether this is the “right” Booster). If an issue can leave you feeling sorry for a computerized sidekick, not to mention feeling the frustration of a powerless Man of Steel, it must have done something right.

Now that I’m bummed out again, I almost feel guilty telling you how fun Nextwave #7 (written by Warren Ellis, drawn by Stuart Immonen) was. Pretty daggone fun, I have to say. It picks up from last issue’s fight against the Aeromarine, sets up the new menace from … Dormammu’s kid brother, looks like (have we seen him before?), and gets right into the crew fragging Mindless Ones. Like the caption says, “Nextwave: when America can only be saved by killing a butt-load of monsters.” Ellis’ script is a sprightly affair, and I have always been a big fan of Stuart Immonen, but I particularly like the slightly stylized approach he uses here. Still no signs of this book running low on attitude anytime soon.

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