The Gold Standard #21

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No, I’m not a lazy bastard, I just spent the past three weeks getting caught up completely with my beloved Battlestar Galactica, and then spent the weekend rewatching the premier about six times. Understand, I love this show to absolutely no end, it’s one of the finest shows that anyone can catch on basic cable. If you haven’t seen it then you owe it to yourself to check it out, seriously, it’s near flawless.

I also have been watching Wolverine and the X-Men, and have checked out the first fourteen episodes as of writing this. Cameos by Rockslide, Hellion, Mercury, Dust, Wolfsbane, Pixie, Boom Boom, Senyaka, Pyro, Dazzler, Gambit, Magma, Nitro, Quill, Psylocke, Sauron, Mellencamp, Scanner, Blink, Marrow, Vanisher, X-23, Madrox, Spiral, Mojo, hell, I even saw the Hulk! This is like, a fanboys wet dream. How could this happen? How could a cartoon be this awesome? And then I check the writing team and see two names that just radiate hope for animated comics. Craig Kyle and Christopher Yost. They’re like the new Paul Dini and Bruce Timm. This show is even better then the Legion cartoon and I LOVED that! Oh, and you know what makes it even better? Clancy Brown is the voice of Sinister. Clancy “Lex Luthor” Brown.

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Also, Glazer and I are working on the official Nexus awards, as we’ve been drafted as the MCs. Go us!

If you haven’t seen The Wrestler, do yourself a favor and go see it. Please. It’s an incredible movie, whether you’re a wrestling fan or not.

Also, speaking of wrestling, the Age of Orton is truly upon us and I am ready for it! Randy is the best classic heel in the business right now, as he can combine the work ethic, the classic bad guy promos, and the ability to make us, as fans, absolutely despise him. Edge and Jericho are both awesome, but Orton has it in him to surpass them. Hell, his dad, Cowboy Bob Orton, WISHES he could have the success of Randy! Not to mention that he has a hot stable behind him in Legacy, as DiBiase and Rhodes both have nothing but potential, and the trio should provide us with a quality stable for the next few years. Cutting Manu was a godsend, and the use of Sim Snuka seems like a waste when you consider his presence never really went anywhere, but I see them coming back as their own team. All Legacy needs now is DH Smith and they’re set.

Dark Avengers was a let down. I mean, it’s pretty much just Bendis being like “Ooooh! I like what Ellis did on Thunderbolts! I know, I’ll do it too! Same characters and everything!” Only he can’t write like Ellis. Sure, it’s too easy to fairly judge, but I really get the feeling that this book is going to be a cheap knock off of Thunderbolts.

And how about Thunderbolts? The new team is pretty slick, especially with the inclusion of one Eric O’Grady, the Irredeemable Ant-Man!

Who decided that Solomon Grundy needed to be DC Comics version of the Hulk? I mean, Grundy always had his own niche carved out as the super strong, nigh invulnerable zombie. Now? Now we have Cyrus Gold who turns into Grundy for a week upon his death, and Grundy yells out “GRUNDY KILL!”. I had such high hopes and now…..gone.

Sterling Gates is getting more props then usual now as he returned Prometheus to the forefront of villainy with a single issue. Perfect way to handle it too, I mean, he always was the anti-Batman, so why wouldn’t he have an anti-Robin? And why wouldn’t this anti-Robin choose to ignore his mentor in need in favor of taking the mantle for his own purposes? Great issue.

Speaking of Batman, I found myself satisfied with how he eventually went out. Sure, I would rather have had his fall in RIP be the death, but this works rather well for me. He goes out putting a God killing bullet in Darkseid, how bad ass is that?

Manhunter is over, unfortunately, and it seems like this is the last time too. The jump ahead of about fifteen years left us with the best way to end the series, though the use of three different artists for the final issue really bugged me. As much as I like all three, I wish Gaydos would have just done the entire thing on his own.

Kick Ass team ups! FTW!

Secret Six reminds me that I should, in fact, be very very afraid by Ragdoll’s family tree. Also that Bane is a bad ass, but mainly that Ragdoll’s family tree is the stuff of nightmares.

Secret Invasion War of Kings I actually got a few days later after receiving many, many recommendations. Generally I dislike the Inhumans quite a bit, the whole concept bores me, and Vulcan as Emperor of the Shi’ar is something that hasn’t had enough effort put into it to get me caring. So I really just got into this because of the Abnett and Lanning writing team, and I wasn’t disappointed. I actually gave a damn about the Inhumans! That’s never happened before! This actually got me psyched up for the upcoming War of Kings, so it’s getting my vote as far as something my readers should be checking out.

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Robin is out of the Teen Titans, and wearing a Red Robin outfit over in his own book. And hey, look, a Robin symbol! Holy sidekicks, Batman!

Deathstroke’s new creed is that he works for himself, not for the money, and how it’s going to make him more dangerous. Ummmm……I’ve been reading DC constantly since I got back into comics in 2003, and outside of protecting Dr. Light in Identity Crisis, I can’t remember the last time he did something for a buck. He’s been a super villain, not a mercenary, and this book just went ahead and established that it’s the new ‘official stance’, despite that it’s not new.

Spider-Girl is building towards a finale faster and faster by the month, and it sucks. I mean, the book is still awesome, but knowing that it’s ending just knocks out some of the steam. I want to see what happens to May. I want to see the secret of the Brand New Day. Hell, I want to know what the hell our girl is going to do about the new Green Goblin! But only two more issues means just that, in two months it’ll be over and she’ll be relegated to back up stores in Spider-Man Family until it gets canceled again.

Nightwing was pretty damn good, and Tomasi found a great use for Ra’s. Admittedly, the issue is just a vehicle to do a giant discussion between Dick and Ra’s, but like Robin, it’s been doing an admirable job at pushing Dick into the role of his mentor. Not to mention that this issue more or less had Ra’s throwing in his vote for Dick as Batman, which is pretty cool since he’s one of the best villains in the rogues gallery.

X-Men Spider-Man! Yes! BEN REILLY! SINISTER! BONE CLAW WOLVERINE! NINETIES! FTW

DC this week spoiled two Black Lanterns with solicits for their toys, of all things. Earth 2 Superman and J’onn J’onnz. Well, hey, they prayed for a resurrection.

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I like Len Wein as much as the next old school fan, and I love seeing veterans of the industry find work in the modern market, but at the same time, his writing style is jarring in the places they use it. A flashback tail inside of another story I could understand, a few pages here or there, maybe a narrative. Hell, the Final Crisis: Secret Files actually worked in my eyes. But his JLA issue just completely ripped me right out of the story. One issue we have the JLA vs the Shadow Cabinent and a big reveal about Shadow Thief, then all of the sudden we’re treated to a story right out of the seventies. Completely lost me and killed the heat going into the next issue.

One Punisher book ended as another began, and no offense to the amazing Matt Fraction, but I wont be missing War Journal. Sure, it was a fun book, but as time went on it suffered from art issues. At least the last issue was great, and the whole deal with Rhino convincing Frank to give some idiots a chance at playing super villain because they haven’t actually done anything wrong yet was just priceless. Rhino should be a staple in all Punisher books as the dopey bad guy that is scared to death of Frank but somehow has aquired a quasi mutual respect. That said, the first issue of the new book was awesome. I mean, best chase issue I’ve read in years, Frank avoiding the Sentry with traps in place all the way. Great to see him in the proper Marvel universe, as always, and especially to see a writer who keeps in mind that Frank is fucking smart.

I don’t read Ms. Marvel, but hearing that Carol is slated to die and be replaced full on with Moonstone depresses me. Carol is awesome, and I feel like I should have read her title now. Boo.

I love DnA but I’m on the verge of dropping Authority. There’s nothing wrong with the book per se, but it’s just…..it’s not something I’ve been able to get into. I have every issue so far, I love the characters, and it’s by one of my favorite writing teams. And yet…..I don’t care. Earth is dead, people are doing shit, it’s a cool premise but I keep feeling as if I would care more if I read more of the line.

Teen Titans roll call! I want to care, I mean, I still read this book, and I’ll most likely keep reading this book, but it needs more of a grab. Apparently the final roster for the upcoming team is Wonder Girl, Ms. Martian, Aquagirl, Kid Eternity, Blue Beetle, Static, Bombshell, and someone who looks a lot like Smallville’s Kid Flash. Potential is there, but the fact that they’re immediately going into a crossover with two books I don’t read is enough to make me say frak it.

Is it bad that I’m only still reading Tangent: Superman’s Reign because I want to know how it ends but don’t want to get it in trade? It’s not bad, but I just….unless a few of the characters (Flash, Manhunter, Atom) crossover into DCU proper.

Legion of Super Heroes is wrapping this week and all I can think about is how much I want the new series, because as much as I loved the current run at the start, Jim Shooter killed it dead. Hell, I liked it and he killed it dead.

I loved the story in the Uncanny X-Men Annual, but Daniel Acuna doing interiors almost killed it. I despise his lifeless style in all of it’s forms and have, on more than one occasion, had to actually force myself to read books that he did art for.

Green Lantern seems clear that by the time Blackest Night hits that Hal will have worn most of the rings possible. He’s wearing the Green, technically he’s been Yellow (Parallax), he’s destined to lead the Blue, and this issue ended with him wearing a Red. That leaves Purple, Indigo, and Orange. I think Johns can make it happen.

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And on a final note, Peter David is the MASTER of kicking his readers right in the balls. More will be explained when I do my review of X-Factor later in the week.

What I read this week:

* Bird of Prey
* Brave and the Bold
* Faces of Evil: Deathstroke
* Green Lantern
* JLA
* Robin
* Supergirl
* Tangent: Superman’s Reign
* Astonishing X-Men
* Dark Avengers
* Mighty Avengers
* Ruins
* Thunderbolts
* Uncanny X-Men Annual
* X-Factor
* X-Men Legacy

Best of the week:

1. Green Lantern
2. Ruins
3. X-Factor

What I read last week:

* Action Comics
* Booster Gold
* Faces of Evil: Prometheus
* Final Crisis
* Green Lantern Corps
* Manhunter
* Nightwing
* Invincible
* Amazing Spider-Girl
* Deadpool
* X-Men Spider-Man

Best of the week:

1. Final Crisis
2. Invincible
3. Green Lantern Corps

What I read two weeks ago:

* Authority
* Detective Comics
* Faces of Evil: Grundy
* Secret Six
* Cable
* Invincible Iron Man
* NYX: No Way Home
* Punisher
* Secret Invasion: War of Kings

Best of the week:

1. Invincible Iron Man
2. Secret Six
3. Detective Comics

What I read three weeks ago:

* Batman
* Final Crisis: Secret Files
* Green Lantern
* JLA
* JSA
* Legion of Super Heroes
* Superman
* Teen Titans
* Avengers: The Initiative
* Captain America
* Fantastic Four
* Kick Ass
* Punisher: War Journal
* Ultimate X-Men
* X-Force

Best of the week:

1. Green Lantern
2. Captain America
3. Batman

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The (very brief) Gold Standard