Holiday break is basically over, but I read a lot more comics this week to talk about!
What did Skitch read this week?
Aquaman 4 – They squeezed way too much into this one. It definitely felt like I got my money’s worth, though (and this might be the only time you hear me say this) giving this issue an extra issue might have better served the story. I loved seeing the moral choices Aquaman had to deal with, and the preview for future Aquaman stories definitely had me hyped up. Aquaman has been a great series, and this issue was no exception.
Superman 4 – Was cool to see the backlash against Superman and Clark Kent, but (and this is a common refrain this week), I’m not really sure anything happened new happened in this comic. Strange alien creatures with connection to Superman’s past are pissed off and causing havok in Metropolis. I am curious how it’s tied into Action Comics, but I dropped that book, so it’s not exactly that important to me.
Green Lantern: The New Guardians 4 – Little too much exposition in this one, and I just didn’t have a real handle on the threat in the end. Wasn’t a bad comic, and I’m always happy to see Larfleeze, but it just left me wanting more.
Teen Titans 4 – BOOK OF THE WEEK! Was kind of a dull week for new releases for me. Most of the series I usually love this week were just okay. Teen Titans still was strong though, featuring a great fight between Wonder Girl and Superboy, our first look at the complete team, and we got some hints that Bart might be left over from the old DC Universe. I especially loved seeing him wearing Tim’s old Robin costume.
Ultimate X-Men 5 – Quicksilver’s plan revealed, and damn was it a clever one. At least I assume that was intentional. Nick Spencer is still rocking this book, and making me excited to read X-Men again, which is something I never thought would happen again. Now if only Marvel would stop charging 4 dollars a buck I might try the regular universe X-Men again too.
Archie 628 – KISS’s adventures with Archie and the gang continue. This book is ridiculous and fun. And what a shocking last panel!!! WILL KISS SAVE THE DAY??? WITH ROCK???
Incorruptible 24 – After the way I’ve plowed through Irredeemable and Incorruptible the last two weeks it was nice to only sit down and read one issue by itself. And this was a great one. Was really surprised when Max decided to side with St Lucifer. Max’s moral code had seemed so clear up to this point, but he seems to be understanding that maybe that wouldn’t be enough to save his city. It definitely adds some great complexity to an already great series.
All Star Western 3 – Now that I am catching up on DC from the last few years, I understand the importance of the crime bible, and that really made my thoughts about this series go up. All Star Western seems to always be a solid read.
I, Vampire 3 – Kind of weird to see them tying this into other series, you’d think with all the other heroes, a vampire threat would be long dead. But this has been an excellent series so far. Definitely the surprise book of Relaunch to me.
Justice League Dark 3 – Not gonna lie, this was the first book I read this week, and I remember liking it, but not much else about this issue, so I had to flip through it before writing this mini review up. The scenes with Zatanna and Constantine were great. And nice to see Mindwarp survived Flashpoint! Another slow mocing series which I happen to enjoy.
Voodoo 3 – Voodoo vs Kyle Rayner! There was a lot of great scenes in this issue. I’m starting to wonder what Voodoo’s story is. I keep thinking that the big bad in the new DC is the Daemonites…but what does that make Voodoo?
Flash 3 – I actually don’t understand why this series isn’t Wally. There is just nothing Barry like about the stories at all, but Flash has still been a really good series so far. Mob Rule’s story is getting odder and odder, and that was one hell of a last panel!
Detective Comics 858-863 – I liked Batwoman’s origin arc, but the Cutter arc didn’t really do anything for me. I’m not even sure how the two Cutters were connected. It’s not really explained all that well. I would also liked to see some interaction between Batwoman and Batman, the issues hyped it, but it never happened. So far, I have to say that the Batwoman stories before the current series has kind of left me flat. JH Williams is a much better fit for the character than Rucka was.
Deathnote Vol. 1 – I usually don’t like manga or anime that much, but my brother in law kept insisting I read this. And when someone actually gives me the book to read, it’s hard for me to just blow it off. It took me weeks to sit down and read this one, but I’m glad I did. The story itself is ridiculously creative, with a brilliant, popular kid being granted the power to kill anyone he wants…and then deciding to use it to try and make the world a better place. It was just kind of fucked up, but very well written and thought out. I definitely will be checking out more of this series!
As you can see, I’ve been reading a lot of DC’s crossovers and big events from before Flashpoint. A lot of these books were actually the reason I stopped buying comics in the first place. I really do get event fatigue, and DC just kept pushing the universe further and further away from something I wanted to read. Having read a lot of this stuff now with a much less jaded perspective, I ended up enjoying it a lot more than I would have expected. That said, I do have a very general negative comment to make:
With the sheer number of events back to back, it became very hard to take any of these threats seriously. It sort of reminded me of an episode of Backyardigans where the characters realize that their situation is getting worse the longer they sing a particular song:
DC really needed to just stop and let the reader take it all in at some point. Especially with Infinite Crisis, 52, Countdown, and Final Crisis all running back to back the way they did. Because of the rapid fire way this all happened, it was hard to really get a sense of the threats being faced here.
OMAC Project 1-6, Infinite Crisis Special – To be honest, even after reading this one (and the last issue twice), I am still not sure exactly how the OMAC’s were defeated. I always hate that kind of hand waving in a story where the bad guys are defeated and I’m not exactly sure how. It’s like a bad episode of Doctor Who. I thought that Sasha’s story was really good, and I found Max Lord to be one hell of a villain. Killing him midway through the story seemed like a poor choice, as the OMAC’s and Brother Eye just weren’t compelling enough to carry the story themselves.
Sacrifice (Superman 219, Action 829, Advenstures of Superman 642-643, Wonder Woman 218) – Wow, this ended up being so repetitive. I don’t understand why each issue they basically retold the same story with Superman believing he was fighting a different villain while Max Lord manipulated him. This really felt drawn out, and I’m not all that sure why it couldn’t have been worked in to an issue of the main OMAC series. Also, I really think Superman and Batman’s response to Diana killing Max Lord seemed excessive. I really don’t see how she had any other choice.
Day of Vengeance 1-6 – This is the one Infinite Crisis lead in that really surprised me. I typically don’t love supernatural comic stories (which is odd, since I love to write them). They just usually feel over the top, and not at all fun to read. That said, Day of Vengeance was great. The threat felt real and tangible at all times, and the characters were really well done (especially Detective Chimp). I definitely will be reading Shadowpact! Odd that this series had no IC special, as this was my favorite of the lead ins.
Villians United 1-6, Infinite Crisis Special – This series would have been awesome if not for Cheshire. The angle with her wanting to get pregnant really felt tacked on and like a waste of time, and very out of character. Ironic because if a male writer did this, I can easily see Gail Simone including this on her list of crimes against female characters.
Rann Thanagar War 1-6, Infinite Crisis Special – Never really liked the Hawks, and Adam Strange is okay but never really grabbed me. I wasn’t expecting to like this story, and that’s pretty much what happened when I read it.
Infinite Crisis 3-7 – I really thought this story paid off really well. Like I said last week, not really thrilled withg the return of the multiverse, and the worldless characters from the end of Crisis on Infinite Earths probably should have stayed gone, but this really did a great job bringing together all the threats the DC universe had been facing and putting them all in perspective. Granted, I am still not sure why this caused Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman to retire for a year, but the story itself was great.
52 1-52 – Full review coming next week. Will just say I thought the stories were great for the most part, though the real time format didn’t do them any favors. It felt like some stories were paused for weeks (in continuity time) just to fit the format, and other things were glossed over.
world War III 1-4 – There was nothing really wrong with World War III, though I never really felt the scale of the threat that should be going on here. How can every hero in the world not take down Black Adam alone? And it took forever for them to actually deal with him after Bialya. Seemed to be a huge stretch, especially since during Infinite Crisis, the heroes were able to repeal pretty much every villain at the same time. The way the story was told through Martian Manhunter’s perspective was pretty cool, but like a lot of DC’s crossover stories, the scale of the threat just felt unbalanced for the response it got.
Justice League Generation Lost 1-2 – Only read the first two issues when I sat down to type up my comments for the week. Really enjoyed them, but don’t feel like I am qualified to speak at length about it yet. Next week most likely.
Mike Maillaro is a lifelong Jersey Boy and geek. Mike has been a comic fan for about 30 years from when his mom used to buy him Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Adventures at our local newsstand. Thanks, Mom!!
Mike's goal is to bring more positivity to the discussion of comics and pop culture.
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