Friday, December 28, 2007

Two Weeks Worth of Fast Thoughts - 12/19/07 & 12/28/07

Limited to one paragraph per book because Lawd-A-Mighty we has stuff to catch up on!

BIRDS OF PREY #113 - A promising first issue from Sean McKeever. He has all of the Birds and their personalities down-pat but his take on Superman seems way off the mark. Or am I alone in thinking that Superman is acting like Batman here in his lecture to Oracle about operating in his town and how he won't tolerate failure?

BRAVE AND THE BOLD #9 - Of course with Waid and George Perez on this book, you know things are going to be excellent - but did you know that the HERO Dial works on robots or that the Boy Commandos and Blackhawks both have Frenchmen named Andre among their members? We find out all this and more in a trio of short-stories framed by the continuing story of the Challengers of the Unknown, this issue deserves credit for teaching us several things about the DC Universe that only Mark Waid would think of and only a handful of trivia buffs outside of Mark Waid are likely to recall in ten-years time.

CONAN #47 - A simple set-up issue, but it looks to be leading into one heck of a battle next time. If nothing else, this issue is amusing as we see how Conan the Thief first fell in with a soldier group and became Conan the Mercenary by accident, after sneaking through a Corinthian patrol with little effort.

DAREDEVIL #103 - This is your basic house-keeping issue. A lot of talking heads. A lot of recapping for people who may have missed the first few issues of the current story. And generally a lot of things that don't really do a lot to advance the story, giving this issue the feel of a typical "I had four issues of story, but the editor insisted we needed six chapters for the trade" comic. Despite this, Brubaker does keep things moving and it is interesting to see Brubaker expand and improve upon the ideas that Brian Michael Bendis introduced and then ignored, such as this issue's logical conclusion that if illegal vigilantes need a doctor than super-villains almost certainly need the same thing.

EX MACHINA #33 - The inclusion of the supernatural to what has been - for a comic book about a man who can talk to machines, anyway - a relatively science-based book is one heck of a rabbit to let out of the hat this late in the game. Still, if anyone can make the idea that Mitchell Hundred talked to God work, it is Brian K. Vaughan.

GREEN LANTERN #26 - Despite what the cover says, this issue tells us nearly nothing about the Alpha Lanterns. So what do we get instead? A lot of material about Green Lanterns besides Hal Jordan and John Stewart - enough that I had to double-check and make sure that I wasn't reading Green Lantern Corps. And that's no bad thing, with an issue that features Hal confronting Sinestro, John Stewart usual method of "celebrating" victory, Hal's more conventional methods involving fellow pilot Cowgirl, the Guardians returning to their old secretive ways and The Lost Lanterns dealing with the loss of one of their own. The Sinestro War may be over, but this book isn't slowing down at all.

GREEN LANTERN/SINESTRO CORPS SECRET FILES - Are you a Green Lantern fan? Do you have $4.99 American? Than you simply must get this book which is easily the finest print reference for Green Lantern trivia I have ever seen in print, containing a list of dead Green Lanterns as well as information on all current, living members of the Green Lantern Corps who have been profiled - however briefly - in the current volume. There's even profiles of a few of the more obscure Lanterns from previous volumes such as Raker: The Forgotten Green Lantern of Apokolips and Perdoo The Mad of Sector 2234.

HELLBLAZER #239 - One issue away from John's 20th Anniversary and Diggle has returned John to his roots... literally, in this case. This story centers around an African mystic, whom John met way back in his first monthly adventure in Hellblazer #1 - trying to get a memory encased in a root to John Constantine in order to thwart the machinations of a warlord/dark magician who also has some business with John. All pun-ishment aside, this is one heck of an issue and a good jumping-on point for any readers who might have just crawled out from under their rocks, missed the first two decades of Hellblazer and are curious to see what the fuss is about.

JACK OF FABLES #18 - As a librarian, I should probably be relieved that after a year and a half of a book in which the main bad guys were all evil-ish librarians that this issue introduced an even more evil librarian named Burner. Guess what he does to the books in his zombie-populated town? Still, my personal issues with the maligning of my profession aside, this is one of the best books out there.

JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #16 - Can we please, please, PLEASE let Dwayne McDuffie start writing his own stories instead of having to do introductions and fill-in-the-blank tales for every other stupid crossover that is coming down the pike? Don't get me wrong - this issue is far from bad, as we get more off the no-nonsense ass-kicking Black Canary and (thank you) a Roy Harper who isn't just Green Arrow lite. But I'd rather not settle for merely "good" stories that set-up a Tangent Universe crossover in the Superman books when I could have great stories akin to what McDuffie has been doing with Fantastic Four in recent months.

RED SONJA #28 - I've said it before and I'll say it again - DITCH THE STUPID SUPPORTING CAST AND LET SONJA GO IT ALONE! Nobody cares about the lion-man, Osin the Beefcake or Valera or Valerie or whatever the pirate chick's name is (no Howard fans - it ISN'T Valeria) and this plot with Gath has dragged on for far too long. Sonja, like Conan, while being an epic figure is better suited to brief, episodic tales rather than large written-for-the-trade stories spanning twelve issues. Take an example from Savage Tales - keep it short and sweet.

SAVAGE TALES #5 - Now this is what I'm talking about! Part Two of a Red Sonja story from last issue features Sonja rescuing a bunch of kidnapped women from a demon while dealing with a lecherous hunter who wants to test that "I may only give myself to a man who can best me in combat" oath. Sure, the first part of this story opened with Sonja holding the dope's severed head, making this tale anti-climactic in the extreme. But it's still the best Red Sonja story since the Red Sonja Annual earlier this year.


  1. Page may or may not be totally evil. I mean she does wear a Rex Libris t-shirt. The greatest comic about a librarian pulp hero ever written...

  2. I'm sure you know this, but "Rex Libris" is more of a librarian geek title than a reference to the comic, I fear.
    Rex Libris - Ruler of Books.

  3. It can be both! If she gets a sparrow sidekick, then we'll know for certain...