Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Fast Thoughts - The Week of 05/14/08 & 5/21/08

Because you demanded it!

BIRDS OF PREY #118 - Tony Bedard returns! And just as I was getting used to Sean McKeever. There's honestly nothing really all that bad about this issue but there's not a lot to redeem it either. Bedard deserves credit for doing probably the most interesting idea yet with the earth-bound incarnations of the New Gods with The Dark Side Club. But that doesn't forgive the fact that continuing the Black Alice/Misfit conflict is pouring gasoline on a dead ember and hoping for a fire. And the revelation that Alice and Charlie are blood relatives is cliched to the point of being painful. Not a good start...

GREEN LANTERN CORPS #24 - Almost in stark contrast to Birds of Prey, this is a book I feared would be cliched which managed to surprise me. Sure, we were all worried when the solicits said that Mongul the Second was cultivating an entire planet of the parasitic, telepathic Black Mercy plants - but this story shocked me as almost no page time was given to depicting the dream worlds of the two captured lanterns and - oh shock of shocks - Guy and Kyle were actually depicted as being smart enough to know what a Black Mercy is and use their powers to defend against it accordingly. And as for the last-page revelation regarding what a Black Mercy truly is... well, I don't think ANYONE expected that!

HELLBLAZER #244 - I can't do this book justice by trying to describe it. Suffice to say, Andy Diggle is continuing to rock this book back onto it's foundations. And what is more, he managed to bring back Ellie; an old favorite member of John's supporting cast with a wink and a nod. Though I'd sure like to hear the story of just HOW she is free of Hell's grip, especially after the working over John gave her nearly ten years ago, I am content enough with Diggle's explanation for why she doesn't hold a grudge against John.

JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #21 - Much like his run on Fantastic Four was spoiled by a need to connect to Post-Civil War Marvel, I wonder what Dwayne McDuffie's JLA run might have looked like had he not been forced to bend his stories to conform to a series of big events (GA/BC Wedding, Tangent Universe Special, etc). Hopefully it would have been a lot more stories like last month's Wonder Woman/Flash team-up against Queen Bee or this issue which - despite being a direct lead in to Final Crisis - is still the best examination we've had of the Superman/Batman/Wonder Woman relationships in a while (Yes, that includes Trinity!) Anxious as I am for James Robinson to take over, I will miss McDuffie on this title and wonder what might have been.

KNIGHTS OF THE DINNER TABLE #139 - Say what you will about Brian, but I think that the better part of him actually was trying to do the right thing in this issue. Okay, yes - he got a brand new character with a whole lot of benefits out of the bargain... but he still had to kill his character. And he chose to do so as a hero.

RED SONJA #33 - I had been hoping for a nice, normal Red Sonja issue to talk about this month after the bru-ha-ha of last month's "What If?" I might as well hope for the moon, for all the good it is doing me.

This entire issue might as well be titled "Red Sonja in Hell", because that's basically what it is. Sonja tormented by the people she failed to save. Sonja tormented by the friends who died because of her. And Sonja pinned down and threatened with rape by every man she ever killed.

Never mind the fact that her traveling companions from her final question - and ever warrior who ever aided her in battle and died beside her - show up to save her, heal her and vow to stand beside her no matter what. It's still a wee bit on the creepy side building to that touching moment.

SERENITY: BETTER DAYS #3 - Like "Those Left Behind" before it, this Serenity story gets confused in the last chapter. And what is worse, this time the story isn't resolved as the two conflicting forces are attacked by third force that is never identified or even speculated upon. And the final scenes - rather than building upon the characters we love - adds whole levels of unpleasantness to both Simon, Inara and Mal. You can do better, Joss. Seriously.

WONDER WOMAN #20 -There's something seriously wrong when Wonder Woman reads more like Red Sonja then Red Sonja. Or am I the only one disturbed to hear Wonder Woman trash-talking Beowulf and saying he's too ugly to be a whore? I can see Red Sonja saying that to a rival male warrior but not Diana - even though, if the final pages are to be believed, Diana isn't really herself in this story. It's a bit weird but I still like it.


  1. I think, THINK, the 3rd party in the "Serenity" mini finale was the guy who built the robot the stole in the 1st issue. Not that its very clear...

  2. Actually, the Earthbound New Gods was first introduced in the Mister Miracle mini-series during Grant Morrison's big Seven Soldiers event. They're apparently going to play a big part of Final Crisis.

  3. Oh, I know where it came from and I know they're supposed to have a big part in Final Crisis.
    I still think this is the best use of them in everything I've read.
    Of course, I also gave up on the Seven Soldiers books fairly early on.

  4. Ah, the way you worded it, it sounded like this was your first time seeing them. My bad.
    Though, I don't know. If you replaced Dark Side with Roulette, there wouldn't be much difference.

  5. Ok, then I've got NO idea who that was supposed to be...

  6. No, it wouldn't.
    Come to think of it, I wonder if this didn't start out as a Roulette script. I seem to recall Bedard using her before.

  7. No, I mean "No, it isn't very clear" - agreeing with you that it isn't very clear. Not "No, it isn't that man".
    (Tim Curry voice) No, sorry. I said "no," meaning "yes."

  8. Wait a minute. Robinson is taking over the main JLA book? I thought he was doing a second JLA book.

  9. He is. I hadn't heard the news and this issue sure looks like it's building to a change in staff, what with Clark, Diana and Bruce talking about not having time for the League and changes coming.

  10. Yes, I'm familiar with it. And I agree - it's not really aimed at kids or written for them, even if it is inoffensive and "child-safe".