Friday, May 09, 2008

Them reviews


Action Comics Annual #11 - The final part of the Richard Donner/Geoff Johns story, Last Son, that premiered in October of '06. Considering it's been so long I pulled out the previous issues so I could get caught up as I had forgotten quite a bit. Last Son centers around the discovery of a young Kryptonian boy that Superman, needless to say, bonds with immediately. The kid turns out to be the son of two Kryptonian prisoners held in the Phantom Zone, General Zod and Ursa (of Superman II fame). The story in of itself is a very brief one. Adam Kubert handles the art, apparently exclusively, which is why the damn story took nearly two years to complete. Regardless of the wait, once you read the story all th way through it's a damn good one. When the governemtn finds this kid, their first instinct is to use the kid for experiments. Superman retrieves him and with his parent's and Batman's help crafts a fake identity for the kid who they name Christopher. Once Zod and his army of Kryptonian prisoners exiled to the Phantom Zone appear, shit really kicks into high gear. By the last part in the Annual, there is nothing left but massive win and sad. Zod's army is sucked back into the Phantom Zone but so is Chris, which is devestating to Lois and Clark who for the first time have an opportunity to have a real family (even if Lois was hesitant at first the kid quickly grows on her). Kubert's art, while he might be one of the laziest in the business, really manages to bring out the emotion in the story. As for the win, Lex Luthor was really fun. Him and his Superman Revenge Squad, Bizarro, Metallo and the Parasite (finally spoeaking English again) were fantastic. Watching Metallo use the different colored kryptonite embedded in him against Zod's army was cool. Using red one one fellow to turn him into a giant ant and then gold to send another bunch plummeting from the sky (their reaction was pretty funny..."sweeeet!") Lex himself was pretty much the over the top Lex of the movies. In fact, the characters as shown in this story were all throwbacks to the Donner movies. Not saying this is a bad thing, actually with Johns' help they come across quite wonderfully without coming across as cheesy and godawful (honestly, the Donner Superman movies tend to make me cringe at times). Of course, the ending was a foregone conclusion. There was no way DC was going to allow Superman to have a son, at least not yet. Maybe after Final Crisis? Now, the kid isn't dead and neither is Zod, Ursa or Non (thankfully, cause these guys will make some excellent villains for some awesome stories down the line). There's plenty of opportunity to bring him back. When they do, Superman stories will have to change dramatically. When Superman and Lois got married, nothing really ever changed. The idea of Superman with a son changes the dynamic of the character so radically that I'm left wondering why they never did this years ago. So yeah, I guess the whole story is a sentimental one in a way, but combined with Geoff Johns ability to push events in the DCU forward it opens up many exciting possibilities. Needless to say, this was my favorite read of the week. The hardcover is coming out in July, I would snap it up as soon as possible.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer #14 - Another strong issue by Drew Goddard. Goddamn, but for whatever reason I always have a hard time remembering what goes on in this series from month to month. Okay, so Buffy and crew end up in Japan to find the body of one of her slayers tied to the edifice of a building with a warning written in blood. Meeting back up with Xander, his girl Renee and Dracula (DRACULA!) they plot details of their attack on this clan of Japanese vampires who have stolen Buffy's scythe. Dracula teaches Willow a new spell while Xander and Renee share their first kiss. It's the penultimate issue before the story's climax next issue so it's a lot of lead up into the climax. Dawn, who's been a giantess since issue #1, is transported into the middle of a giant crowd of vampires and starts tearing shit up to serve as a distraction so Buffy and crew can infiltrate the big bad's lair. Buffy is like two seconds away from getting her scythe back before realizing that it's an illusion before the real bloodsucker appears and impales one of her crew. Fucked! All build up for the climax, but that ending was brutal. Drew Goddard really likes suprising people with brutal character deaths. It's gonan be interesting to see how the affects of this play out.

Detective Comics #844 - Picking up from last month, Bruce Wayne is held captive by Scarface and the new female Ventriloquist, Peyton Riley. The issue is mostly the origin of the new female Ventriloquist, involving her loveless marriage to a mob family, her husband's attempt to murder her and her finding the body of the Ventriloquist and the smashed remains of Scarface. Somehow or another, she takes possession of Scarface (or he takes possession of her, however you wanna look at it) and starts rebuilding Scarface's criminal empire. It's all origin this issue. It's pretty decent enough, but it's not exactly what I was expecting. The last month's issue kicked off a potential romance between Batman and Zatanna and this month nearly completely ignores it. Shame that. It's a lot of Zatanna going on about how she needs a man more deidcated to her then to his own agendas and so on and so forth. Dini left it open, but I suppose it was a bit much to expect that anything more would be done with it what with the upcoming RIP story and Final Crisis. As for Peyton Riley, her origin is pretty well told and very well fleshed out, but again, the way story ends makes me wonder why Dini even bothered telling it. Peyton Riley is also supposed to be a familiar to Bruce Wayne, but since I've only been reading Detective Comics for the past year (never picked up more then a scattered issue here and there before then) I have no idea who she is or why she could be significant. However it seems pointless to wonder how now.

Invincible Iron Man #1 - This was a total impulse buy and honestly I kinda wish I hadn't. First of all, so much has been happening with Iron Man that I'm really not so sure what's going on. Yeah, he's the current Director of SHIELD, that much I know, but I don't know where the characters are all at. I'm still not sure what this Extremis thing is. Apparently at some point Tony Stark injected himself with some sort of nanovirus? I don't know. All I know is that this isn't the Iron Man I'm familiar with. Iron Man as superspy isn't really my thing. Iron Man as industrialist super genius and womanizer, yeah, that Iron Man I know. And while they still got the womanizer thing going, the rest is tossed aside. Sure, maybe it's just because it's been so long since I've read the title. I haven't read it since Joe Quesada was writer. But honestly, this just isn't the Iron Man I want to read. We still see some of his supporting cast, Pepper Potts now drawn to look a lot more like Gwyneth Paltrow, but in the new setting I don't see that they serve a purpose. Does Tony still need a secretary? He's the friggin Director of SHIELD! The interaction with Pepper was also way off to me. I don't know that Pepper would be so cool to Tony's womanizing as I've always been under the impression that she had a thing for him. And then for whatever reason she shows him her cheap $3 dollar thong from Target. What the hell? Yeah, just what we didn't need. I always thought Pepper was meant to be a little more wholesome then the sluts Tony always picked up. Are we defining the concept down these days? The rest of the plot involves Ezekial Stane killing the board of directors of a corporation with some new found powers he's gained and plotting against Tony Stark. Okay, that's cool I guess. The rest of the issue is given to Tony talking about his five worst fears, all centered around his armor or its technology getting out. The issue actually starts off in Africa where three youths powered by the same stuff operating the Iron Man armor blow themselves up killing 90 some off people at market. That did get my attention. The issue ends with Tony Stark discovering the cause of the explosion and that it was indeed connected to his technology. Sounds like Matt Fraction is gonna re-tread the Armor Wars story a bit here. It was an alright issue in of itself, I guess, but I'm not sticking around for the rest of the story.

Nova #13 - S'alright. I know, just alright? Well, the interior doesn't quite live up to the cover's promise, which features Nova versus the SIlver Surfer. Nova ends up at a planet in the middle of being consumed by Galactus. Okay, okay, so far so good. The leadership of the planet asks Nova to help them carry off the elite as there is no time to save everyone. Nova's response is fuck the elite, they can take care of themselves (guess he's an Obama voter). So he starts hauling ass rounding as many people up as possible on these massive ships and stops like right in the middle of it all (might be getting my sequence of events muddled here) to take care of some murder mystery. Some pyschic alien is taking control of people and going on a killing spree. Now that idea is cool enough in of itself, and Nova fights and quickly captures this alien, but it really detours from what's going on around them. Dude. Galactus is eating the fucking planet. The lead alien guy even says as much, but Nova gives him shit and kinda comes off as an asshole. Dude. GALACTUS IS EATING THE FUCKING PLANET! No time to stop and smell the roses. So everyone gets rounded up but now none of the ships can take off since the technology Galctus uses is preventing the, uh...well, the engines won't turn over as it were. So Nova thinks to himself, fuck it, let's go try talking to Galactus and see if maybe he can't stop or slow down or whatever, give all these people a chance to escape. Naturally Galactus just ignores him. Just before Nova gets to put on a show of force the Silver Surfer comes along to whomp his ass and that is where the issue ends. Like I said, the issue itself is okay, but it leaves you wanting more in the next. It's a three part story, so I should hope the next issue really gets up and goes. I mean it takes place on a planet being eaten. By fucking Galactus. There's only so much time for beating down so there needs to be real tension as the clock starts ticking down. Fifty bucks says the planet blows and Nova fails.

Secret Invasion #2 - I said I wouldn't pick it up and goddammit I really shouldn't have. So the Mighty and New Avengers face off against the Skrull "captives" in that downed Skrull shuttle. It's an okay issue but it didn't do nothing for me. Except for the fact that one of the captives was indeed not a Skrull not much happened. A character that I don't think anyone has ever given two shits about, Mockingbird. Yeah, Mockingbird is back from the dead. Mockingbird? Alright. It's pretty safe to say that the rest, or most of the rest, are Skrulls. The captive Spider-Man and Hawkeye were Skrulls. But aside from the end where an army of Super Skrulls lands in the middle of New York City there really isn't much else to mention. Luke Cage's reaction to his counterpart was pretty funny. This series screams "wait for the collection." And at this point I definitely will.


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