Friday, July 14, 2006

Chris' Reviews 7/12, Pt. II

Part 2, as promised.... Massive Spoilers Ahoy!

GREEN LANTERN CORPS #2


OK, so Guy Gardner and Soranik Natu are investigating the most recent murder in a string of warrior-killings scattered throughout the sector, while Rannian Lantern Vath seeks some counsel from Mogo, The Green Lantern Planet.

(Incidentally, Mogo is one of the Ten Coolest Concepts In Comics Ever.)

The investigation appears to go south when a hotheaded prince accompanies Guy on an interrogation and kills the informant, and Natu is ambushed and apparently killed, as we see Guy present her coffin and proclaim that she's dead.

There are three things that made me really enjoy this issue:

1) Soranik Natu utilizes her medical background to do some nice deductive work during the autopsy of Lantern Myrrt, which is just fanTAStic. It seems to me that it would be all too easy to let the GL rings do most of the exposition and plot hammering on a title like this, and Dave Gibbons not only manages to avoid this but uses a character's established background to do it.

2) Guy protects a princess from laser blasts by creating a ring construct of a 50-foot tall version of himself, arms crossed and smug smile across his face. That one panel right there tells you everything you need to know about Guy Gardner. (It's times like this I wish I wasn't a 'ghetto blogger' and had a scanner to show you this panel.)

3) The further characterization of this series as a police procedural with really, really kickass weapons and memorable characters. Which is, you know, just about 100% of what I want in a Green Lantern Corps series.

Frankly, Gibbons throws a lot of alien names, planets, and whatnot around, and while at times it's a bit confusing, it also adds to the sense that we're working on a cosmic scale, and that's just fine by me.

And no, I don't think for one minute that Natu's dead. It's gotta be a setup, otherwise DC will have made a colossal waste of one of the most interesting new characters introduced in the last year. (Not that that's above them.)

Best Moment: That Guy Gardner panel. Must...get...scanner.

Worst Moment: It's sometimes hard to tell what's going on and who is who during the battle and funeral scenes; not sure if this is Gleason's fault or a result of the fact that there are just some confusing things happening in the script.

Comic Book Goodness: 4/5 for GLC fans, 1/5 for everyone else. This initial arc carries a LOT over from the Recharge miniseries character-wise, so if you haven't read that then you're probably still wondering what's going on here. The good news is that the Recharge series was seven kinds of excellent, so you shoud read it anyway.


HERO SQUARED #2

As I mentioned yesterday, Boom! Studios sent me a preview copy, and having never read either the one-shot or issue #1, I was coming into this comic cold. I knew the general premise --- alternate universe superhero version of a slacker from our Earth comes here and meets his slacker self --- but not much else.

I enjoyed this a whole lot.

99% of this issue takes place at a psychiatrist's office, where Slacker Milo and Captain Valor have decided to seek help to reconcile their differences. It's a dense read, as almost all of this is talking.

But it's good talking. Much of it is funny, and it sounds a lot like you'd expect people in this situation to sound. Aided by Joe Abraham's unique ability to capture facial expressions the precise way they'd look at the exact point in time they're saying the most important piece of whatever dialogue they're saying, Giffen and DeMatteis manage to catch up new readers and immediately invest them in what's going on.

There's just a whole lot to like here, from the comedy bits to the moments of real insight (that, thankfully, are usually immediately followed by more comedy bits).

I'll definitely be buying #3, and incidentally this is loads better than that overrated Defenders miniseries from last year.

(I'm just sayin'.)

(And yes, I still feel bitter about that miniseries.)

Best Moment: Having had enough, Captain Valor takes Slacker Milo and deposits him on a polar icecap surrounded by penguins. That? Was funny.

Worst Moment: Realizing that when they advertised on the cover "All-Therapy Issue!" they meant it.

Comic Book Goodness: 3/5. Like I said, 99% talk, but it's good talk that caught me up well, and hopefully there's more action next issue. But then, I get the feeling this isn't necessarily an "action"-type book, and that's OK too.

3 Comments:

Blogger Guy LeCharles Gonzalez said...

You know, I haven't read the Recharge mini yet (flipped through #2 and #4 one day) but GLC has been relatively easy to follow for me, and enjoyable. There's a general sense of a larger story hovering in the background, but Gibbons has done a solid job of focusing on the characters that it's not a distraction. Your "police procedural" comment is apt, as it could be described as Gotham Central in space...if the Detective had power rings.

I think you can safely call this one a strong 2/5 for non-GLC fans, possibly even 3/5.

11:10 AM  
Blogger redlib said...

Cool, I thought only librarians like me used the term police procedural-- it's standard stock for collection building in mystery-- along with cozy, which involves a British village and a cat.
We are getting Arizona temps here, and I don't like it.

3:44 PM  
Blogger Cap'n Neurotic said...

You're right; Hero Squared isn't really an "action" type book. While the mini did have its fair share, with the destruction of Milo's apartment and the warring versions of what exactly happened to the Captain's home universe, so far the actual series has mainly been the two Milos dealing with the fallout from the mini with lots of talkie-talkie. But that's fine with me: I loves me some talkie-talkie.

7:15 AM  

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