Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Fast Thoughts - The Week of 7/16/08
BIRDS OF PREY #120 -
Still kind of on the fence about Bedard so far. The best part of the issue comes early as Black Canary fights Manhunter and proves that unlike certain other writers we won't mention, he does have a handle on how a fight with Black Canary should be handled.
Manhunter: So why, with all the heat I'm packing, aren't you cutting loose with your famous Canary Cry?
Black Canary: Frankly Kate - I'm trying REAL hard not to put you in the hospital.
Anyway, Dinah chews out Babs about sending someone to spy on her family. Babs claims she was actually having Manhunter scout out Mia for her, but I don't believe it and neither does Dinah. And then Babs chews out Dinah for not having been exactly honest with her how her adopted daughter Sin "died" and Dinah walks off, telling Babs that the next time she wants to know what is going on, she should call her.
Too bad the rest of the issue isn't nearly as good or as interesting, except for the introduction of Babs' newest operative: a "ghost" who can walk through walls and see into the minds of dead people called Infinity.
Slight tangent: Is Infinity a new character? She seems oddly familiar but I can't find anything about her on-line.
The rest of it is more of the blah blah blah about Platinum Flats, more grade-Z super-villains who even Blockbuster wouldn't employ coming out of the woodwork and the ultimate sign of desperation... Joker has been brought in as a special guest villain.
All in all, the character moments are great and Bedard has a real handle on the core team. Would that he could come up with a menace that actually seemed... uh, menacing... for The Birds to deal with.
FINAL CRISIS: ROGUE'S REVENGE #1 - It's Geoff Johns' writing with Scott Kollins' artwork doing a story about The Flash Rogues' Gallery. If you liked Johns/Kollins run on The Flash, you'll probably love this. If you didn't, stay away. It's just that simple.
For the rest of us... well, I'm afraid that this story may be too little/too late. Johns has his hands full trying to explain away three separate Flash-related messes, including...
1) The death of Bart Allen and how - while everybody seemed to be living to make Pied Piper and Trickster miserable in Countdown - the rest of The Rogues got ignored for the better part of a year.
2) The cheap-ass way in which The Trickster was killed and what he was really up to.
3) Barry Allen's return from the dead.
Still, give Johns credit. While he might not be able to explain away all these problems, he does give us a lot of good character moments with The Rogues. And he does explain away one of the bigger questions that most people who hate The Rogues have - namely, Why do a bunch of guys with ice guns, flame-throwers and mirror powers who have no chance of honestly fighting a man with superspeed even bother when they can't really hurt The Flash?
The answer? It's not about hurting him. It's definitely not about killing him. It's about slowing him down just enough to make a living. And from that perspective it makes a lot of since. Sure, Captain Cold knows he'll be lucky to hit the Flash with his freeze ray. But he can endanger enough people to keep The Flash busy long enough to make a getaway.
Think I'll easily see this one through to the end, if only to see Inertia as Kid Zoom. :)
HELLBLAZER #246 - Very understated issue, this one. We don't get to see the big fight between John and the big-bad. Then again, we don't need to. We see plenty of horror as John walks toward the confrontation, thinking of all the friends he's lost, all the innocents he's hurt and everything that has gone wrong because of Newcastle.
Interesting experiment - read this comic while Green Day's "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" plays in the background. It really brings out the torment of John's cursed life as well as what the lousy punk music John's band created as a youth must have been like.
HUNTRESS: YEAR ONE #5 - Lots of good, time-line and character defining moments here. We get a foundation for Barbara Gordon's longtime hatred of The Huntress that goes deeper than "But I'm Supposed To Be Batgirl!" and "She Slept With Nightwing!" and the idea that Catwoman helped Huntress out with getting established in Gotham. This is, simply put, the best book that nobody is reading right now and we need to get Ivory Madison on a regular monthly title ASAP.