Bouquets and Brickbats
As a fifth week, it is always something of a mixed bag for me at the Comical Book Store. And a mixed bag is exactly what I got.
Adventures of Superman #12
I am going to miss this book a lot. This was...an interesting story, I do have to say, by Peter Milligan and drawn by Agustin Padilla. We have Superman thwarting the Toy Man for the umpteenth time, and being mocked by Lois and the general populace for being TOO much of a "Goodie Two-Shoes" apparently. So, in his infinite wisdom, he decides that if he can create two different identities for himself, how about creating a THIRD, so he comes up with "The Demolisher"!
The Demolisher then goes out and does what Superman can't do...which is put the fear of God into these miscreants! He is sort of a combination of Batman and the Punisher, and he certainly gets results! The crooks are all scared to death, and leaving town in droves. And at first, the general populace thinks that this is great, and even Lois is all hot and bothered.
Then of course, he goes to far, and he finds himself enjoying being morally compromised and therefore makes the Demolisher horrible so that everyone will hate him and he dumps that persona and decides that being a NICE guy is good enough for him. It has echoes of crazy old Silver-Age stuff, along with a bit of the sensibilities behind Kingdom Come, and it is just enough...out of character to really take one aback. I kept waiting for the reason for his being so bizarre was Red Kryptonite or something.
It's an interesting story at any rate, and I enjoyed it. But still a bit "off" for Superman, so I'll give it a nice small bouquet.
Batman '66 #10
God, I do love this book to death.
It is summertime in Gotham and everyone is hot and cranky,so they are easy marks for a fellow selling a neat little doodad that creates your own personal "cool" space. People are lining up around the block to plunk down their hard-earned two dollars for a You-Cooler. Even Aunt Harriet buys one, and is wearing a fur coat to swan around town in, all the while being cool and comfy. Naturally this makes Bruce, Dick and Alfred...slightly concerned.
So down to the Batcave they go, and naturally they figure out that it is probably none other than Mister Freeze, up to his old tricks. Naturally, they are right, and Freeze uses everyone's Coolers to create a mini-Ice Age in Gotham! Batman and Robin leap into the Batcar...and crash into a giant snowdrift! So naturally they get their Bat-Rocket Skis! They even shovel out the Batcar from the snow with a Bat-shovel.
When they do get to Gotham, they have to convince everyone to give up their You-Coolers, with one cheapskate whining about losing his two bucks. Sheesh! Another citizen is worried about Robin freezing to death with his bare legs, and we learn that he is actually wearing flesh-colored thermal tights. I can only assume that all of the Super Heroines are ALSO wearing flesh-colored thermal tights and don't have their lady bits hanging out in the breezer all of the time!
So naturally there is fighting and ice, and a snow tank, and icicle duels, and it is all just lovely beyond belief.
In the second story, Bruce is in the hospital with a snake bite and is hallucinating. Barbara Gordon shows up and is the one to spot the bite and determines that it is from an Asp, so naturally, we find out that Lisa Carson, a girlfriend of Bruce's and former kidnap victim of King Tut has come to believe that she is Cleopatra reincarnated, and is busy doing...Cleopatra type-stuff. She also finds out that using an Asp as a weapon doesn't really work all that well, when it bites one of her henchmen. Then Batgirl just slaps her around for a bit and she gives up. It's lovely too.
The art is gorgeous and the stories are fabulous, and this is my FAVORITE BAT BOOK!
Five huge Bouquets.
Batmwoman Annual #1
Remember that story with Batgirl having to work the DEA and Bones because they had her sister? Well, Marc Andreyko remembers and so we get a nice bit of closure here. Kate is still fighting Batman and needs to expose his identity or lose her sister. Naturally, Batman manages to figure out a way to talk her off the ledge and work together. Beth/Alice is still creepy, and Hawkfire (which is a STUPID name) is trying to sneak in and get her, and her Dad is trying to help.
Turns out that Bones is obsessed with Col. Kane, thinking that he was his father, and this was an elaborate scheme to get to him. He's been lying to Chase all this time, and fortunately, Agent Asaf manages to come in and help save the day along with...naturally...Kate and Batman. It's pretty good actually, and like I said, gives me some much needed closure. And there is a gorgeous shot at the very end of Batman and Batwoman flapping around Gotham fighting crime...together.
Two large Bouquets!
The Flash Annual #l
I was...hideously underwhelmed by the purchase of my first issue of Flash under Venditti and Jensen last week, but I figured that I'd give them another chance and see what happened in the Annual.
I am even more hideously underwhelmed.
Seriously, this was awful. If you want to bring in a surly teenager, who needs to be "saved" by Barry, and want to make him a character of color, then just create a new character for God's sake. Because this kid isn't Wally. Not MY Wally anyway. Damn, I miss Wally. And Linda and the twins, and Max Mercury and all of the Flashes.
Barry is out dealing with Time problems again, and is just being...totally a jerk and incompetent, and for some reason Gorilla Grodd is in there too, and it is one of the worst books that I think I've read in quite soem time.
I am dropping this for good. Now.
Green Lantern: New Guardians Annual #1
And this was the other book that reeked.
I love Kyle, really I do. I like Carol. I actually think that the idea of the new new Guardians out trying to make up for all the harm that the old Guardians did isn't a bad idea, but this is just getting worse by leaps and bounds.
Now there is another version of Kyle, only an EVIL version of Kyle, that somehow happened because of what went on behind the Source Wall, and they fight,and Carol hauls off and smooches Kyle, somewhat to his surprise. and Oh, it is just TERRIBLE!
Why are they doing this to Carol? Is this some weird way for her to get back at Hal? Remember how Hal finally figured out that he loved her and she loved him and that's how he managed to come back to life and beat Relic and all that? And ten minutes later, she is slobbering all over Kyle...who is completely oblivious by the way. Heck, he had just managed to piss off poor Soranik by blabbing that he didn't love her, but it was Jade he was still hung up on.
What the Hell is going on?
Another ten Brickbats. And I'm dumping this too.
And speaking of dumping...
I ended up with a free copy of the New 52 Futures End preview of the upcoming crossover from DC.
Somehow Brother Eye is back, and has infected all of the Superheroes, and it is five years in the future or something and the usual horrible dystopian future, and a few ragged survivors, and time travel, and it is just...dreadful.
I will NOT be getting this. Thanks for saving me the money, DC!
Boy, I'm cranky today!