Assload O' Reviews Week: DC Edition
Alright, so I'm pretty sure by now that everyone who reads regularly knows there are only 5 or 6 DC books that I read with regularity, because after DC decided that 52 and Countdown were the tails that were going to wag the dog in the DCverse, I completely lost interest in most of the mainstream DC stuff.
That said, I'm willing to take a chance on Salvation Run, and maybe one or two other limited series coming down the pike, but I'm not really feeling DC these days, you know?
(Side Note: Judging by the bombardment of ads, I'm assuming this Lord Havok and the Extremists 8-issue mini by Frank Tieri isn't a joke. Seriously? Who asked for this? 8 issues? What the...?)
Oh, and can we get Hawkman back his own comic? Or has Hawkgirl morphed into something readable while I've been away?
MASSIVE (POSSIBLY MONTH-OLD) SPOILERS AHOY!
CHECKMATE #18-19 --- OK, I'm starting to feel like I'm shouting in an empty room here, but to me Checkmate is the most consistently engaging title DC's got going right now (not including my blind crush on anything Gail Simone's putting out these days), and now I hear whispers of cancellation or consolidation.
Which would be sad, because these two issues are the start of the story arc "Fall of the Wall", and I can't wait to see what Checkmate looks like after this. Dirty tricks, the Secret Six, Suicide Squad, Martian Manhunter, Shadowpact and even a couple of those Chinese folks that Grant Morrison dreamed up for 52 all play their part here, and it's the usual delicious brand of Ruckian backstabbing and counterplotting. Also: where the hell else are you going to get your King Faraday fix, huh? CBG: 4/5.
BIRDS OF PREY #110-111 --- I was admittedly unsure about whether to continue buying this after Gail Simone left, but darned if Tony Bedard hasn't done a heckuva job keeping the title light, fun, and personable with these two stand-alone issues. Issue #110 is a Huntress v. Atomic Skull Fan Club mission (I'm not even kidding about that), and #111 is Oracle v. Calculator at a software convention (wacky hijinx ensue). So yeah, I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm glad I didn't stop buying BoP. Also: Bonus points for the line "Kid, your 'A-Skull' is an A-hole". CBG: 3/5.
JONAH HEX #24 --- As advertised, it's the Halloween issue, and it's a fun idea --- El Diablo possesses Jonah Hex while Bat Lash cracks wise --- but it's a tad confusing in the execution from an art perspective. Put it this way: if you're supposed to be fighting a town full of zombie ghosts and you can't tell which are the zombie ghosts and which are the normal people, that's not a good sign. Still, a fun idea and a nice bit of haunted Old West actioneering. CBG: 3/5.
(Side Note: I've bought every Hex issue since the relaunch, and I've learned this much over the last 24 issues --- Hex is a hundred times more interesting when he's got someone like Bat Lash or El Diablo to play off of. I'm not about to tell Palmiotti and Gray how to do their jobs, but let's just say that an Old West group title featuring these folks would be something I'd buy. Kind of like a DC Heroes version of the Wild Bunch.)
(Additional Side Note: Fanboy that I am, I'm now demanding this become a reality. Make it happen, DC.)
(Son of Additional Side Note: Yes, I realize this would sell all of 7 copies nationwide. I don't care.)
DETECTIVE COMICS #837 --- While I can't say I was really looking forward to my monthly Batman fix being replaced with a Riddler/Harley Quinn team-up issue, I guess in all fairness the title is "Detective Comics", and that's what we got here, with Eddie and Harley detecting their way into a fight with a new villain and a funny bit about the Amazons' Women Shelters/Self-Help Spa. Still, not what I was looking for and kind of a fill-in despite Dini's attempts to make the Riddler interesting. CBG: 2/5.
WONDER WOMAN #13 --- J. Torres sets the table for Gail Simone's upcoming run, and speaking as someone who abandoned the relaunch after Heinberg's ridiculous delays rendered the title irrelevant, I must say that I'm back into being interested in Wonder Woman again. This is a nice tie-up that establishes Diana's relationships with the world in general, and even manages to make Wonder Girl interesting for a few pages, no easy trick there. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the terrific art by Julian Lopez. Plus: WW punches a Hydra in the neck! Also: the more I read references to Amazons Attack, the more glad I am that I ignored that completely. CBG: 4/5.
ALL-NEW ATOM #16 --- Ivy Town becomes converted into a 60's hippie paradise thanks to an evil alien and his reality-changing music machine, and it's up to the Atom to put a stop to the fiend! But can Atom stop the diabolical music-making robots that have Ivy Town under their spell? Guest-starring Ryak of the Linear Men! And now you know why I keep referring to this comic as "Silver-Agey". CBG: 3/5.
GREEN LANTERN CORPS #16-17 --- It's all about the Sinestro Corps War at this point, and once again I'm kind of shocked that I'm enjoying the story as well as I am even though I'm not reading the core GL title or any of the one-shots; that's a testament to both Dave Gibbons and Eddie Berganza. Either way, the story here progresses in ways I thought it would --- the Corps destroy Ranx and everyone heads to earth for the final showdown --- but the big development here is that the Guardians have authorized the use of lethal force from the rings, and I'm not sure how I feel about that.
Smartly, Gibbons has the Corpsmen voice both sides of the issue, and while I sure hope it's not a lasting change in the GLC ethos, it's a dramatic turn of events that really raises the stakes in the closing issues of the arc. Action-packed, crazy battles, money moments, and ohbytheway... Ion's back and he's going to smack the living shit out of Superboy Prime. Hee. CBG: 4/5