First off, I would like to congratulate the University of Connecticut Women's Basketball Team for winning their 10th National Championship, and their third in a row. As a UConn alumnus, I feel a deep happiness when my Alma Mater does well. Incidentally, I understand that there was some sort of Men's Championship going on around the same time. Anyone know how that turned out?
This was basically the first week of DC's Convergence stunt...I mean New Story Line That Will Change Comics Forever Event! I wasn't all that impressed with the first book last week, that had an unshaven and very cranky Superman arguing with some Brainiac knockoff.
I can't say that I am particularly impressed this week either. While it has been quite a treat to see characters that have been mothballed, or worse...killed off gratuitously, Brainiac Junior seems to have put a dome over each of the various multiversal Cities, and demanded that they all fight each other. Only One can win, and presumably all the others will be wiped out.
Now, it isn't complete Universes, that will be destroyed, just those cities. Or is my understanding faulty? I don't know. I DO know that DC tried this stunt a few years back with that giant Arena disaster, where all the various characters fought each other in contrived Death Matches. While this may appeal to fifteen year old boys, I can't see putting the future of your company on the line in order to satisfy that sort of theory.
In this case, I think that perhaps Marvel had the best idea. When they wanted to start over and tell new stories about their characters, they kept them, and started the Ultimate Line, wherein we had new versions of the old characters and could tell stories a new way. It didn't really work out all that well in the end, and sort of collapsed, since they only wanted to tell the OLD stories in a different way instead of coming up with actual...NEW tales, but hey. At least we got to still read about our favorites.
DC decided to throw out the proverbial baby with the proverbial bathwater, and started over completely, thereby pissing off a lot of people. I have been partially soothed to learn that the REAL continuity is still out there...somewhere, but now they are bringing it all together in DEATH MATCH 2015!!!!!
Um...well, a bunch of people die, and their cities are destroyed, including egotistical Superman. But some of the heroes live, and are transported to Brainiac Jr's Funkytown...except they don't have city, which makes him very very pissy. They yell at each other for a while, and Brainiac Jr. shows them all the various worlds and cities, and says that he's going to make them fight each other...because there can only be one.
The art by Ivan Reis is nice though. Alan Scott has a nice butt shot on the cover. That's about it.
Well, Ray Palmer's city has been under the Dome for a year, and he has gone nuttier than a fruitcake. Also his hand keeps growing, but not the rest of him, which is weird. The thing with the Domes, is that the Super Heroes trapped under them, lose their powers. Ray isn't coping very well.
Then of course Brainiac Jr sends in some other poor schmoes to fight him, namely Barracuda from Angor. I must confess to being totally unfamiliar with Barracuda from Angor, but it is my belief that they will be using up the unsympathetic characters first, kill them off, and get all the GOOD Heroes together to save the day or the Multiverse, but I could of course be mistaken.
Oh, and apparently Ryan Choi is alive!
Stephanie, Cass and Tim are hanging out on the barren wastes of Brainiac's Funkytown, and all Stephanie really wants to do is go find a bush and pee. I can understand that. She also misses zippers. I can understand that too. Their version of Gotham has been Domed, and for some reason, Stephanie was picked to be the Savior, while Tim and Cass are merely along for the ride. They are a bit grumpy, while she agonizes over her lack of experience, and skills and so on and so forth.
Then she gets to fight Catman. Ordinarily this would thrill me. And Cass ends up fighting Gorilla Grodd, except she doesn't even know who he is. Seriously?
I liked this one a bit better. It's still a ridiculous premise, but the writing is much more snappy, and I am actually intrigued a bit.
Batman and Robin
This version of Gotham is under a Dome as well. Poison Ivy has been growing food for the denizens so that they don't starve to death, when the Penguin, Killer Croc, Mister Freeze, Man Bat and some other guy start stomping on her plants and saying they are taking over. Naturally she's not happy, Batman isn't happy and Damian isn't happy either, although he does get to ride Man Bat around. Oh, and Jason shows up, and Damian gets jealous.
So very very jealous.
Damian has a tantrum and runs off to confront Jason, and some person named Scarlet. Then of course Brainiac Jr. shows up and goes into his usual spiel, and the Extremists show up to fight. Somehow I doubt that this bunch of losers will make it to round two.
I had such high hopes for this one. Love the cover with all the DC women in the snow globe.
But oh...the story. A gorgeous blonde is flying through the air bearing her very very pregnant friend to the hospital. It turns out to be Supergirl, but I got to end of the book before I realized that the Pregnant woman was actually Jessie Quick. Then Vixen, Jade and Zatanna show up. Then the Dome comes down, and they lose all their super powers.
They manage to survive however, by wearing tiny tight clothing, and pouting their lips a lot. And beating people up. And being fabulous and Kardashianesque as far as I can tell. But poor Mera is still wearing her green scaled leotard and is sad because she can't snuggle Arthur.
Then they get the obligatory speech from Brainiac Jr, who also goes and tells the same thing to the Evil Aquaman, who is busy torturing some guy, and sees Mera. It isn't HIS world's Mera, but he's Evil and he doesn't care, so he kidnaps her, while the rest of the girls get their powers back and fight a squid.
Good God, this was terrible.
Oh my, it's Wally. And Jai and Iris! Be still my heart. They've been trapped under the Dome, blah blah blah, and poor Wally alternately reproaches himself for not leaving the kids at home, and trying to run around town at normal speed. Then FOOM...the Dome comes down, and they get their powers back, and he runs through all the various worlds, towing the kids behind him in his wake, which I didn't actually realize was a thing. The Justice Rider's world crumbles, which is a shame. They zip through Bizzarro world, Qward, Krypton, and a place with lots of Plastic Men. The kids absolutely adore the Zoo Crew, and they end up being chased by a small blue turtle, who is that city's version of a speedster.
Fastback...that's his name is looking for help against the Evil Amazons. The same Evil Amazons with Evil Aquaman.
I actually liked this one.
Well, we go through the history of Roy Harper, and all his trauma. Poor Roy. He's been Domed too. The rest of the Titans lost their powers, such as Starfire and Donna Troy, but old Roy is actually handling things pretty darned well, which is certainly a change.
Then the Dome comes down, and they get their powers back, and Roy goes to suit up, while Donna and Kory are fighting the Extremists. I thought the Extremists were fighting Batman? There must be a lot of Extremists, who look as though they have all escaped from a '90's era book and forgot to change their looks. Kory and Donna are getting their butts handed to them, when Roy saves the day, and then is handing the conundrum, of saving his friends and his city...or getting Lian back.
Frankly, I think the Bad Guy is lying, and that's not really Lian, but Roy is supposed to kill Kory and Donna in order to get her back. I am actually intrigued by this one as well.
But as a whole, I am not thrilled with this little experiment so far. Convergence may improve...although I remain a tad on the skeptical side. We shall see.
Fables: the Wolf Among Us #4
This was pretty good as usual. Bigby goes to a dive bar to interview the Woodsman who at the moment is his only real lead. He runs into Grendel, as in Grendel and Beowulf, and they have a fight...naturally. But it gives us a chance to see the various stories as told from different protagonists, and what really happend, and what was in the story. Same thing with the story of Red Riding Hood.
As Bigby and the Woodsman amble off fairly amicably, we learn that the Woodsman wasn't really much of a hero, as he was a petty thief, and scoundrel, and his motives about going to Granny's house, were less than honorable. It's an interesting take on the story, and they seem to bury the hatchet as it were...then there is a brouhaha back at the castle, and Bigby is horrified to find Snow White's head lying on the ground, cut off perfectly just like Faith's.
Ant Man # 4
God, I do love this book.
Cassie has been kidnapped by the deranged son of Darren Cross, a major Bad Guy, who wants that nice Doctor to use Cassie's heart to revive the mostly dead body of his dear old evil Dad. Or else he'll kill her family. I see the rotten apple doesn't fall far from the tree!
Scott is desperately trying to figure out a way to get into the lab, which has been Ant-proofed, and Grizzly tells him about this support group for former villains, so he picks up Machinesmith, who has been reduced to working for kid's birthday parties.
There is a whole lot of fun, and fighting, and stuff. Grizzly is finding out that wearing a bear suit in Florida may not have been the smartest thing he could have done. But they do end up breaking in, and then Scott seems to be squished by the rejuvinated Cross.
Oh My! Again!
I also love the art in this book.
This is the new Hawkeye book, not to be confused with the old Hawkeye book, which hasn't even finished up yet, but heck, it's still as good. The two Hawkeyes are running about a Hydra installation, and free some really messed up kids, who have obviously been experimented on, by the Hydra doctors. But something is obviously wrong, since the Hydra people are terrified at the release of the kids.
Also Clint can't hear what is going on half of the time, and keeps having flashbacks to the Circus where he and Barney ended up,and we even get to see the Swordsman, so that's cool.
I do like this book a lot.
Howard the Duck #2
And speaking of liking a book! Howard has been collected by the Gatherer, who gathers people and stuff for the Collector. He's...not happy about it. Rocket Racoon has also been gathered, and keeps trying to figure out a way to escape, if only Howard would shut up long enough to let him. Howard however is filled with righteous indignation, so the two of them get hauled in to see the Gatherer, who explains that he's going to just take a little DNA sample from the two of them, and make mates for them, and they can live the rest of their lives in luxurious confinement.
Rocket offers him some DNA and spits at him, except it turns out to be an Azalian Acid Capsule, and they escape and talk to the ship's computers, and go looking for the Heart of the Celestial, whose location has been shaved into Rocket's chest by Drax.
Poor Howard just wants a normal life, but Rocket is having the time of his life, and causing maximum amounts of mayhem, when the rest of the Guardians show up, and proceed to blow stuff up. The Collector is still at Cosmocon, looking for more stuff for his collection, and I do admit to laughing out loud at that scene.
They grab the stuff, they grab Howard and a few of the prisoners, and beat feet out of there, but Howard is outraged that they left so many behind. They didn't have room in their ship, but Rocket promises that they will go back and free the rest.
So Howard is home, and says hi to Spider-man who is snoring on his rooftop, and then goes to see his friend at the Tattoo parlor, which is being held up by...Aunt May?
Oh God, I do love this book.
Saving the best for last.
Marco is tripping on the bad acid that Yuma gave him, and having visions of his past, and his proclivities towards violence that he has been so desperately trying to suppress. Prince Robot is disgusted by the two of them, and at a loss for what to do. Oswald, who just keeps getting more adorable, persuades him not to dump them out the airlock,and he calls...reluctantly...for help on how to revive them.
Turns out his blood has some interesting properties. Also Oswald convinces him that Marko isn't the pushover that he seems, and while he's not afraid of Prince Robot, Marko scares the crap out of him. Yuma is apologetic about the bad trip, but Marko thanks her and says he sees things clearer now, and doesn't need the drug anymore...but that he's going to find the guy who took his family and terminate him with extreme prejudice.
The art, as usual, is simply spectacular, the story is equally so. I LOVE this book!
So...it was quite a Wednesday. Some really off-beat and fun books from Marvel, Saga, which is spectacular, and a couple of the Convergence books weren't too bad...but I'm not impressed so far.