Comics Ate My Brain

June 17, 2007

New comics 6/13/07

Filed under: batman, countdown, green lantern, justice league, star wars, weekly roundups — Tom Bondurant @ 6:48 pm
We begin this week with Star Wars: Rebellion #7 (written by Brandon Badeaux & Rob Williams, drawn by Michel Lacombe), a decent second chapter for “The Ahakista Gambit.” Our rag-tag group of lowlifes recruits its last member, a onetime Jedi Knight squirreled away in seclusion, and everyone then makes their way to Ahakista. So far there’s just a lot of tension being built and mood being set. I’d rate this higher, but it uses caption boxes inappropriately. See, not only do the thoughts of the main character, Wyl, appear in caption boxes (with red letters), he’s got a little speaker in his head that pipes in the taunts of the guy who sent him on this suicide mission. Those caption boxes have green letters. At the risk of being a Luddite who hates cool innovations like caption boxes, I think it would have been clearer to use differently-shaped thought balloons for these “tracks” of narration.

Other than that, the book does a good job of using Star Wars elements and design aesthetics. A particularly effective sequence has AT-ATs destroy a neighborhood like a kid stomping out sand castles. I also like the looks of our heroes’ starship — kind of a Y-Wing crossed with the Millennium Falcon. Overall, an appealing book, but it’s a shame about those caption boxes.

Next is JLA Classified #39 (written by Peter Milligan, drawn by Carlos D’Anda), Part 3 of “Kid Amazo.” The eponymous character isn’t unsympathetic, but he does seem to tread the familiar ground of “must I follow my evil programming?” In this respect, making him a philosophy student was cute. I like D’Anda’s art, and Milligan’s dialogue is good too. There seem to be only a few ways this story can go, though, and I think we’ve seen them all already.

Batman Confidential #6 (written by Andy Diggle, pencilled by Whilce Portacio, inked by Richard Friend) finishes a bad story that never even touched on its goofy potential. At one point, Batman apparently reveals his secret identity to Lex Luthor (a reference to “my,” i.e., WayneTech’s, robots). I would much rather have read the story of how a novice Batman, whose most advanced bits of equipment were the hang-glider and sonic bat-call he had in “Year One,” cobbled together the first Batmobiles, Batplanes, etc., and used those to fight Luthor’s giant robots. Alas, this devolved pretty quickly into something better expressed with action figures. Portiaco’s and Friend’s art was not especially suited to the parts of the story not dealing with robot-combat. Characters just in this issue look manic when they’re supposed to be inspirational, and sleazy when they’re supposed to be noble. I expected more, especially from Diggle.

Countdown #46 (written by Paul Dini, Justin Gray, & Jimmy Palmiotti, pencilled by Jesus Saiz, inked by Palmiotti) was a weird mixed bag. Mary Marvel fights a demon made out of babies, which is all kinds of bizarre and should be Exhibit A to the “line between Vertigo and DCU is B.S.” complaint. Jimmy Olsen visits Sleez, an Apokoliptian pornographer, who’s killed before he can give Jimmy information on the late Lightray. There’s another Tarantinoesque scene with the Rogues’ Gallery, and the week’s cliffhanger centers around Jason Todd, Donna Troy, and new villainess Forerunner. The art is good, although Jimmy looks a lot older than he probably should. However, it never quite comes together as a cohesive single issue. We hear a lot about Countdown‘s master plan, “bible,” etc., but again, my fear is that it’s a 900-1000 page story told in 52 unequal installments, and not a 52-week journey. In other words, even if this discombobulated opening actually starts to pay off in 6-8 weeks, the series hasn’t earned a lot of goodwill on the way there.

Finally, Green Lantern Corps #13 (written by Dave Gibbons, pencilled by Patrick Gleason, inked by Prentiss Rollins & Tom Nguyen) finds Guy, Soranik Natu, and a few other Lanterns on Mogo, curing it of the disease that’s been mind-controlling their colleagues for the past few issues. Everyone gets used well, especially Guy, Natu, and Mogo’s insectoid partner. The cause of the disease is pretty clearly the Sinestro Corps, but the issue works well too on its own terms. Everyone involved with this book is doing fine work — it’s a well-executed space opera.

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