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Monday, September 15, 2014

Random Ramblings

Well it's Monday, but it actually is a rather beautiful Monday.  It's already half-way through September, and Summer is fast fading, which has me feeling gently melancholy.  Ordinarily, I am absolutely panting to get to September, because I love Autumn, and usually August is hot and muggy and horrible.  This year however we in little old New England had one of the nicest Augusts that I can remember.  More like September weather, dry and in the 70's and 80's.  So actually having the days getting shorter is a bit of a shock. 

I'm sure that it is different in your parts of the country. 

Still feeling queasy about the DC books this month.  Probably going to pass on most of them.  I might give Red Lanterns a look, because I think Guy is supposed to be a Blue Lantern, which sounds a little weird.  I don't know if the Red Lantern book is even going to continue, now that Guy is more or less out of the group.  Not that there is much of a group left, but he seems to have come to terms with the Red Ring and is hanging out on Earth for a while. 

What does surprise me, is that I always thought that a Red Lantern would die if they lost their ring.  And yet Dex-starr and Atrocitus seemed to have survived, and will be incarcerated in the Sciencells, where presumably they can escape some day to wreak more revenge.  Shouldn't they be dead?  Defunct?  Pushing up daisies?  Taking a Dirt Nap?  Who the heck knows? 

I like Guy's longer hair, but the mustache and the beard are starting to annoy me. 

I have heard that there is going to be a Teen Titans cartoon beginning soon? Can't remember where or when, but that would probably be worth a looksie.

Is it me, or is Wonder Woman really late?  Or did I miss the last issue?  Last I knew,she had been stabbed by the First Born. It would be nice to find out what happens.  I am NOT looking forward to the Finches new stint on the title.  I don't know anything about her abilities as a writer, but Brian Finch always makes Diana look about 17, and she always has a cocked hip and sway back.  It's a bit annoying.  And uncomfortable.

I forget where I found this, but it just makes me smile.  It's by Mike Norton, and it is adorable.


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So...so adorable.

Friday, September 12, 2014

I'm Torn

After my abysmal reviews of yesterday's books, I find myself in something of a quandary.  September is supposed to be a "Big" month for DC.  It is when they launched the current 52 Universe a couple of years ago, and each September they seem to be trying to come up with a newer and flashier gimmick.  Hence the lenticular covers and such...because it was SUCH a success the last time!  But this has to be the most depressing and horribly written Cross-over since Marvel's Gawdawful Civil War of a few years back.  That managed to accomplish weaning me off Marvel for quite some time!  I completely gave up the X books, and the Avengers and practically everything else, with a few...a very few exceptions.

So...I think that I am going to give the rest of my usual books a pass this month. I've bought two weeks worth and they were absolutely dreadful. Why on earth, would I continue to shell out my hard-earned dollars to buy MORE stuff that is awful?  That's...that's a bit crazy, isn't it?  None of this crap is going to mean anything in a couple of months anyway.  None of it makes any sense, and it is only a Cross-over in the vaguest of ways, in that everything is taking place five years from now, and EveryThing Has Gone To Hell!!!!!! 

Which means basically, I suppose that the DC Heroes are all pretty incompetent at their jobs.  At least in the new 52 Universe.  They've only been around for "Ten" years, and have managed in that relatively short amount of time, to completely fuck up everything.  Unlike the REAL Heroes, from the old Continuity, who have been around for a helluva lot longer, and have had their share of ups and downs, but managed for the most part to get things done. 

I'm not letting Marvel off of the hook either.  I managed to avoid reading the most recent Cross-over there as well, with the Death of the Watcher, and all of the "mystery" that ensued.  Who killed the Watcher?  Well, it turns out to have been none other than Nick Fury, who is actually old, and we've only been seeing LMD's lately.  Oh, and DumDum Duggan has ALWAYS been an LMD.  An LMD that could fool Wolverine, and telepaths, and everyone, because apparently Nick Fury is a sick twisted psycho, who now must sit on the Moon and be a Watcher too.  Or something.  It's...convoluted.  It's more than convoluted, it makes no sense whatsoever.  And it's a slap in the face of countless stories that came before it.  Oh, and I guess Ironman is going to be a jerk again.  Or a bigger jerk. 

Once again, Marvel  and DC are making the mistake of thinking that I want to read about out and out Villains.  I don't, I really don't.  I mean...I like Villains to a degree, some of them are quite charming in their way, and you certainly have to have a Villain to balance your Hero.  And while I don't mind a Villain being redeemed, or Anti-Heroes, I don't want my Heroes to be complete and utter jackasses.  I only want them to be partial Jackasses.  I AM a Guy Gardner fan after all.  But for all his past and current jackassery, Guy has always been a Hero through and through.  I don't want to see John Stewart become a murderer, just because his girlfriend dumped him. 

So it is all about ME as usual.  But am I alone in feeling this way?  One of the joys of my life is going into my beloved local Comic Book Store to pick up my books and engaging in a bit of banter about what is going on in our fictional worlds, and in general, the scuttlebutt has been..."WTF Are They Doing?"

There are bright spots of course.  The sneak peak of the Darwyn Cooke covers for December fills me with anticipation and delight.  Why?  Because those are the REAL DC heroes! 

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Isn't this fabulous?

Or this...

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Or even this!

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Worlds of Wonder.  Heroes and Heroines, doing their Heroic thing. 

Even..dare I say it...Joy.

You have offered me a tantalizing prospect in the future DC.  But my patience is wearing thin.  Very very thin.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Reviews

Short...but not sweet.  At all. 

Gosh, this was terrible.  With one exception.

Batman/Future's End #1

Frankly, this was incomprehensible to me.  Five years from now, Batman is in bad shape, and against Alfred's advice goes after...something...somewhere, which turns out to be a lab of Lex Luthor's.  Against all odds, he manages to get into the lab, with holograms of Lex taunting him all the way.  And once again, Lex is trying to clone Superman. 

The art was horribly confusing, Batman was fighting...something, I couldn't tell what,and managed to get a body or clone or something...I don't know what.

This was terrible.


Green Lantern Corps/Future's End #1

This wasn't much better.  The Universe still sucks, and John Stewart is now a Killer, using his mad Marine Skills to be a Super Sniper In Spaaaaace!  Or something.  Then Indigo shows up,and they argue with each other, and John accidentally...or so he says...kills her, and become the new Indigo. 

Oh God, just make this Future's End crap stop!  Equally terrible.


Justice League United/Future's End #1

Because it is always such a brilliant idea to put the worst criminals in the Universe in a Gulag, they created one on Mars, which is where people like Despero and Mongul are.  This is what Sciencells on Oa are for, people!  Naturally, they escape, and J'onn who is their keeper is in big trouble. and the villain turns out to be...Captain Shinypants! 

I actually let out a guffaw at that final page.  But it is still awful.


And finally

Hawkeye #20

At last!  A book that wasn't dreadful!  Poor Kate is in jail, and has discovered that Madame Masque is running some sort of lab or factory or something, that gives rich old people new bodies, which is why Elliot Gould...er...Harold is back amongst the living, although one of her arrows was found in his chest.  She's being interrogated by none other than SHIELD, which makes sense, since the clones are LMD's.

Needless to say she's having a very hard time, and getting beaten up, and the story jumps around from the present to the past a bit, so you have to pay attention, but she does win in the end...sort of.  SHIELD takes over, which annoys her, but her old buddies on the beach still love her.  And she discovers that one of Masque's clients is none other than her dear old Dad. 

Bummer. 

She also has almost as many bandaids as Clint.  This is all leading up to the final issues I guess,and it was a humdinger as usual.  And the only bright spot in my reading week.

DC...please we need to have a talk.  This September you are offering us all the lenticular covers again, and showing our favorite super heroes in a horrible dystopian future...again.  It is all wildly out of continuity, wildly out of character, and just wildly wildly horrible.  This is depressing, awful, violent dreck.  It makes me sad to read it.

Just...just stop.  Please.   I don't think that I'm even going to bother picking up any more of your books for this month at least.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Huzzah!

Well, I had heard the rumor...but it has apparently been confirmed that Gail Simone is going to be doing a new version of the Secret Six...and I couldn't be happier!  Well...maybe if I won the lottery or something, but in terms of Comic Book Happiness, I am up there.

I adored Secret Six.  ALL of them.  And Catman is going to be back, which is wonderful.  God, I hope that they bring back Deadshot, because the bromance was a hoot.  I really liked Ragdoll, and Scandal and Jeanette, and whomever was the sixth one, which seemed to be a floating position, although Bane was fabulous. 

I love Gail Simone's writing, but I have to admit that I've dropped Batgirl, because for some reason or another, it just wasn't resonating with me.  And Lord knows, I still miss the Birds of Prey, with Zinda, and Dinah and Babs as Oracle.  Also Big Barda was sublime, not to mention Helena.  The new version didn't really click with me either. 

So, with all the doom and gloom going on in the new DC Universe, there is a small glimmer of light on the horizon, which is pretty nice for a change.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Bouquets and Brickbats

Well...that was disappointing.  September hits with a thud.  A palpable thud.  Not to mention duds.  And last week was so good in comparison.


Aquaman #l Futures End

Bleh.  Mera is running things, Atlantis is in ruins, Atlanteans are even more whiny than usual. 

Awful.


Batman '66 Meets the Green Hornet #4

One of the few highlights of the week.  Ty Templeton's artwork continues to shine, the story is fun, and we get to see the Green Hornet and Kato pretend to rob a bank, fight with Batman and Robin, and be in awe of Cesar Romero's mustache.

So fabulous.

Fairest #29

More fussing about Glamours in the Farm, and Reyard finds himself in something of a pickle.  Also, the Owl and the Pussycat go on a date, and it is rather heartwarming.  Nothing too outrageous, but fun nevertheless.


Green Lantern #l, Futures End

Um...what the hell?  Dead Krona is running things and controlling the dead, while Black Hand is nowhere to be found, and Hal teams up with Relic at the Source Wall, and his dead Dad and old dead Green Lantern buddies help out, and Hal ends up attached the the Source Wall.  The End.

I...Don't...Care.

Justice League #33

I got the one with the snazzy Darwyn Cooke cover, which is fabulous.  Lex Luthor continues to match wits and insults with Niles Caulder, as the Justice League fights with the Doom Patrol over poor confused Jessica and her evil Ring.  Lex and Niles are enjoying themselves thoroughly with all the posturing and insults, while Batman of all people is able to go in and talk Jessica off the ledge as it were, and get control of the Ring.  Batman being...sensitive!  Whodathunk? 

In the aftermath, Batman also convinces the rest of the League, who are highly skeptical that perhaps offering membership to Lex isn't such a bad idea afterall.  Keeping one's enemies close and all of that. 

Not bad, especially compared to the rest of the dreck coming out this week.

Tiny Titans #4

Still looking for a replacement treehouse, and they find one...Under the Sea!  And Aquaman fighting Black Manta, who as a Bad Guy gets no Cake. 

Delightful of course, and the way that Comics SHOULD BE!


Hawkeye vs Deadpool #l

It was nice to see Clint again, it is Halloween and he is handing out FUN sized candy bars at his apartment, much to the dismay of the kids who were hoping for full sized chocolate.   Oh, and Wade shows up too, also trick-or-treating.  A young man who is trying not to get killed comes too, and is ignored by Clint, and of course does end up dead, which is a shame. 

Clint and Wade go into action after a bit of snarking, and catch one of the Bad Guys.  Turns out that young hipster dead dude had managed to hack into SHIELD's computer stuff and had a list of all agents, and that other people are willing to kill to get that info.  It all looks like a lot of mayhem and cheerful insults, and I am always in the mood for that sort of thing.

Pretty good!

She-Hulk #8

God, I do love this book.  Captain America is being accused of having murdered somebody waaaaay back when, and  he has come to Jen for help.  He's old now, but still feisty.  The murder trial is going to be in California, and she doesn't have a license there, so she calls Daredevil, who hangs up on her, much to her surprise, so she goes to one of Jamie Madrox's clones, who is running a successful Lawyership.

And guess who is her opponent in court?    Oh Matt.

Once again, this is delightful.  When it comes to smaller quirky books lately, Marvel has been hitting it out of the park.  I wish that DC  would adopt that attitude.


So, there were some bouquets after all, but the Futures End books were just...terrible.  Really really terrible.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Red Lanterns #34

And so, we come to the finale of Guy's little Adventure with the Cranky Corps.  And it's one Heckuva Finale!  As we all recall, Hal sent Guy over to spy on the Red Corps, because it probably wasn't a bad idea to have an idea about what Atrocitus and Company was up to, but more important, it got Guy out of his hair, as he was trying to wrangle what was left of the Green Lantern Corps.  Guy wasn't happy...but he did it.  And just as he predicted to Hal, it cost him.

He defeated Atrocitus, and ended up more or less leading the ragtag bunch of misfits in the Red Lanterns, and lo and behold, he managed to mould them into a pretty decent bunch!  They fought some pretty nasty bad guys, helped some helpless people, and fought with the Green Lanterns, and Guy even conned Hal into giving him section 2814!  I grew to really really like the Reds, my favorite being Zilius Zox, but heck, I liked Rankorr, Bleez and Skallox too.  I didn't even mind when Supergirl showed up, because it was one of the few times that I actually ended up liking her too!  They may have been angry a lot, but they came to actually care about one another, and it was my favorite book.

Then Atrocitus decided that he was really going to hit his former flunkies where it hurt, and destroyed the Blood lake on Ysmault, and went after Earth, seeding it with more rings, and doing everything in his power to destroy Guy and his merry band.  And he was well on his way...

...which is more or less where we pick up, as Atrocitus has recruited scads of humans, by destroying a number of earth landmarks, and making people really mad.  And then he is using them against Guy.  He doesn't like Guy all that much, it seems.   Last Issue, Zox was killed, but he took out the second blood lake, and managed to go out in a spectacular blaze of glory, which is appropriate, because he may have been a testicle with teeth, but he was MY testicle with teeth! 

Skallox, it seemed had gone over to Atrocitus's side, but that was actually a ruse cooked up by he and Guy, and he was also trying to save Shadow Thief, who ended up with a red ring too.  And Rankorr, wasn't really nuts, but was infected with a rather nasty parasite, who was controlling him, so he was aware of what the rest of them...especially Bleez...were trying to do to save him. 

So it is down at the moment to Guy and Bleez. who have drawn Atrocitus away from Earth, and back to Ysmault, where they can make their last stand.  Guy hopes that Zox, Skallox and Rankorr, not to mention Supergirl will be able to make their escapes, not knowing what has happened.  He's  even trying to make Bleez get out, while he holds off Atrocitus and his hordes, but she just tells him that he's an idiot.  The Judge is still hanging around, although she's not doing too much.

He only has a few minutes before Atrocitus shows up, so he contacts John Stewart, and asks him to tell Hal not to feel guilty about sending him to the Reds, he stayed because he wanted to.  He even has a moment of introspection about his rivalry with Hal, which is more than Hal ever has.  But mainly he's just trying his very best to do the Right Thing.

The Reds of Atrocitus show up...and they aren't attacking, which surprises Guy and Bleez, but it turns out that Rankorr and Skallox have showed up in the nick of time.  Poor Skallox was true to Guy and his buds, but Atrocitus breaks his neck, which made me sad, and it also drives Shadow Thief into a berserker rage.  Guy and Bleez are glad to see Rankorr, but once again, Guy is trying to get them all to get out and be safe, when he finally learns that Zox and Skallox are now dead.  He's pretty devastated, but he can't do anything about it for the moment, and just then, the Judge decides to judge HIM!  And finds Guy Gardner...Not Guilty.

Whew! 

She can't say the same for the rest of the newly minted Red Lanterns, nor for herself, and in a final burst of Red Energy takes out everyone!  Rankorr manages to shield Bleez and Guy, and Guy is trying to make sure that the human Reds are safe,when Atrocitus finally starts pummelling him personally. 

This is actually pretty fabulous. Atrocitus HATES Guy, and Guy isn't too fond of him either.  And in typical Gardner fashion, he taunts him quite nicely, telling him that he is more or less a whiner, and not even worthy of the ring.  And to prove it...he takes it off.

So Guy is crouched there, in a t-shirt and jeans, clutching his heart, which is about to explode probably without his ring, while Atrocitus gloats.  Except...that Guy is still pretty angry, and his eyes start to glow red, and ALL THE RINGS, including Atrocitus's come flying onto his fingers!  And then  all of the rings of the other Red Lanterns, with the exceptions of Bleez and Rankorr come to him as well, and he recreates the Blood lake on Ysmault!

Wow! 

Rankorr is gobsmacked, and even Bleez is impressed!  Guy is a bit...tired, and tells them that they need to get everyone back to earth, and the baddies over to Mogo and Hal, who will know what to do with them.  And then he more or less turns over the Red Lanterns to Bleez and Rankorr, or at least the rest of Sector 2814.  He's going to make sure that Earth is ok personally. 

And so he goes home. 

This...was fantastic.  I'm going to miss the Red Lanterns terribly, especially Zox and even Skallox.  I'm glad that Bleez has grown and that she and Rankorr seem to have something going together, which is nice.  I'm really glad that Atrocitus is down.  He's not dead, because Guy doesn't really like killing people all that much, so he can be put back into play later by someone else, because you should never wreck all the toys.  But Guy has done an amazing job of running his own Corps.  It was probably a doomed effort, considering what they were all up against, but still...he took something horrible and made something good out of it.

Really Fabulous.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Very Delayed Reviews

Back from my prolonged vacation, and I hope that you all had a nice Holiday.  Too bad for the kids going back to school.  Great news for their parents!  I had a lovely time, but I'm all camped out and ready to sleep at home again.

So, here are my scintillating reviews of last weeks books...almost in time for this weeks books!


Adventures of Superman #16

Time travel, the destruction of earth, old Lois, and Kamandi of all people.  Delightful as usual.  Why oh why are they cancelling this book?  Oh, and Mxyptlk shows up too.

So...lovely.


Aquaman 334.

I did get the "selfie" cover with Arthur sticking his tongue out, because it cracks me up.  Otherwise, not a whole heck of a lot happens, other than Arthur continues to fight the Chimera, who can also summon fishy friends, and there is a lot of destruction and so on and so forth. 

Okay...nothing earthshattering.


Batman '66 #14

God, I do love this book. Usually that means that they are going to cancel it.  But lucky so far.  We have a Bat-Robot, taking care of the Clock King, not to mention Louis the Lilac, and even the Riddler and the Joker!  Bruce and Dick actually get to take some time off, since Bat-Robot is ridding the City of Crime!    But alas, the Bat-Robot is no match for the Joker or the Riddler, with their twisted and maniacal schemes, so its a good thing that the original caped duo is still lurking.

So...delightful.

Jonah Hex #34

And so, one of my favorite Western heroes...or at least anti-hero rides off into the sunset.  And dare I say it...something of a happy ending? For Jonah Hex?  Whodathunk?  Drawn absolutely breathtakingly beautifully by Darwyn Cooke, Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti's dusty tale comes to a pretty satisfactory close.  I'm a sucker for a happy ending anyway, and this has such a great twist on the ending that we "know" happened to Jonah.

Fabulous.

 But I'm going to miss this book a lot.


Red Lanterns #34

Wowzers!

Sinestro #5

Well, it's Hal and Sinestro and Parallax...back together again.  And for once, Hal doesn't come out smelling like a rose!  Haw!

I can't help it, I'm rather glad to see Hal NOT be the Best for a change, and Sinestro, with all of his problems is a rather fascinating protagonist.  We shall see where this goes, but if I were Hal, I'd not want to piss Sinestro off TOO much, since I'm sure that he's going to be needing all the allies he can get.  Oh, and Sinestro has managed to figure out how to control Parallax, and saved Hal's life, which I am sure he is going to hold over Hal's head for quite some time.

Pretty darned good.

Saga #22

And speaking of pretty darned good...Klara, who is fast becoming my favorite character, is busy reading all of Geist's books.  Too bad that the translator ring has conked out.  But she's worried about Alana and Marko, and with good reason.  Alana is getting a bit too into the drugs she uses to continue to work, and Marko isn't happy about it, and he spends too much time with one of Hazel's friends mommy, and the two of them seem to be...sadly...drifting apart.

Also, Prince Robot's Dad, is really cranky.  And the janitor who stole his baby is also really really REALLY cranky.  Things don't look too good right now...and it is all so fascinating.


Dang it, it was a really great week!