Thursday, February 19, 2009

Fast Thoughts - The Week of 2/18/09

In which I name the most awesome moment from each book as we look at Hellblazer, JLA, the Red Sonja Annual and the very last issues of Comic Foundry Magazine and Birds of Prey.

BIRDS OF PREY #127 - Honestly, I'm almost relieved that this book is being put out of its' misery at this point. Bedard didn't do a bad job on the title, really... but it was nowhere near as awesome as it should have been coming from the guy who did the Black Canary mini-series two years ago.

Still, all of The Birds get their moment to shine here and this is about the best you could hope for in a conclusion to the series... even though the conclusion does little more than set up the upcoming Oracle mini-series and there's nothing to stop The Birds from reforming later. Which I really hope they do - Manhunter needs something to do and Misfit is too cool to trap in limbo or damn to the Teen Titans.

The Best Moment? A tie between Misfit fighting Gizmo (DARK VENGEANCE!) and Black Canary's reaction to Calculator saying he doesn't want to hear anything except screams. (Five Words: Canary Cry For The Win)

COMIC FOUNDRY #5 - It ended as it began - with a big "F.U." to Wizard Magazine on the cover. Not so much of the usual comedy material but that seems to be fitting for a final issue. And with pieces by Matt Fraction and interviews with Bryan Lee O'Malley & Grant Morrison, it's not like I can really complain about the content.

Rest In Piece, Comic Foundry. Every time I see a kid mock Rob Liefeld, I'll think of you.

The Best Moment? The introduction in which Editor Tim Leong notes that this issue had "More talent here than all of Wizard World Dallas". A statement which I can vouch for as being accurate, if somewhat upsetting as a DFW fanboy. The loss of what is - sadly - the best non-Manga comic convention that DFW had still stings... even if I didn't go last year because I was more of a celebrity than half the guest list.

HELLBLAZER #252 - Milligan is still spinning his wheels a bit, telling us two stories which are connected only by a word at this point - Scab.

We get a fair bit of the English politics of the Delano era here with an anti-Labor Lord getting visited by the ghost/zombie of a Union leader he may have had killed off. Meanwhile, John deals with a strange scabby growth that is covering his chest as well as a creature who seems to be his current girlfriend's aborted child from several years earlier, reborn as a scabby nightmarish youth.

The artwork is competent but seems ill-suited to the Hellblazer style. And while I can see Milligan building toward something in the story, Scab seems like it will read better as a trade than as a monthly mini-series.

The Best Moment? John holding back the tears as he tries to figure out how to lie to his girlfriend about just what came after her, knowing that the likely truth will upset her more than he can stand (and kill any chance he has of keeping the relationship going)... all while burning the scabby corpse of what might have been her baby.

JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #30 - McDuffie doing what he does best - telling a good, action-packed story with his own creations as well as the toys in the Justice League box. You know it's a good story when Superman pushes the metaphorical dark side of the moon away from the Earth to save the solar system... and that's not even the high-point of the book!

The Best Moment? The good Dr. Light gets back her natural powers and then goes on to own The Shadow Thief. Take that Judd Winick!

RED SONJA ANNUAL #2 - A classic old-school Red Sonja story with some of the best Red Sonja artwork in recent memory. The plot is a basic thing; Sonja acts as body guard for a magician who is trying to save the last of the great dragons of Hyboria from a rival who would harvest their bodies for spell components. A simple story but classic Red Sonja was never that complicated. This issue should be a hit with those fans who are unhappy with the current "new" Sonja storyline in the main book.

The Best Moment? Sonja's speech about her father teaching her how to hunt and to honor the beasts they killed as she finds a dragon callously butchered by the evil wizard in an effort to claim the beast's heart.

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