Week 46 (July 18, 2012)

  • Justice League #11 continues in the realm of whelmedness.  A little bit more is revealed about the enigmatic villain, Graves, and the guilt of his attack on Steve Trevor hits Wonder Woman really hard.  I guess her reaction to the situation could be realistic, but honestly it felt really tedious to me, propogating a Wonder Woman archetype that I have hated for sometime, turning the Amazonian paragon into an unthinking, hothead with little sense when things turn sour.  Not even close to how she should be written.  Not feeling it.  I have nothing bad or possitive to say about the Shazam backup.  Black Adam makes the scene and Billy’s “off to see the Wizard . . .”

    Wonder Woman Unleashed

  • Green Lantern Corps #11 was quality storytelling that, although mostly depicting planetwide slugfests between the Green Lanterns and Alpha Lanterns on Oa, also provides a great amount of ambiguity and character development.  Salaak, the Guardians’ lapdog Green Lantern and gatekeeper of Oa who thrives on rules and regulations, when presented with an order by the Alpha Lanterns under emergency regulations, sides with his brother Green Lanterns against the Alphas and Guardians, citing back regulations for why he refuses to acquiesce.  Even further he actually issues orders to other Green Lanterns to aid in the putting down of the Alpha Lantern forces.  An Alpha Lantern also begins to question what they are doing and what it will do to the Corps itself.  And as the back and forth motion of war hits Oa, the Green Lanterns who can be depowered by the Alphas strike back in a truly stunning and crippling way.
  • Batwoman #11 brings to a close the “To Drown the World” story arc in a truly epic fashion.  Batwoman comes face to face with Maro, who up until now I thought was a woman, and another piece of Medusa comes into focus.  The arc had seemed very schizophrenic with the segmenting of each charater’s journey that issue into a two to three page story.  I liked it, despite the seemingly slow pace of each of the segments to run its course.  It tantalized and promoted speculation, which are both good things for writers to generate among their readers.  Each of the other five segments, besides the main Batwoman one, had an individual dilemma they were working toward and almost all of them ended in an equally spectacular note.  This makes me pine for the next arc which is unfortunately several weeks away.
  • Nightwing #11 is a little different than the past issues of the series.  I am not completely onboard with the Paragon character or his anarchist group, but seeing Dick working hand in hand with Sonia Branch (nee Zucco), daughter of Tony Zucco, the man who killed John and Mary Grayson, is quite interesting and I relish more on that note.  Scott Snyder wrote her as wonderfully ambivalent in her morals and a real sly persona.  Anymore light that can be shone on her character is welcome in my book.  Shoot, I hope that they date.  THAT would be an interesting pairing.  And his interactions with Damian toward the end harkens back to his tenure as Batman and the awesome dynamic of their former Dynamic Duo.  I’ll keep reading this title past this arc, not for the main storyline, but the tertiary goodness.
  • Red Hood and the Outlaws #11 was a good characterization issue.  This issue, in the face of the overrunning of Starfire’s homeworld Tamaran, reestablishes her origin and her enslavement by Gordanians.  The story is slightly different, but still retains a lot of the same heartache and tragedy.  In this issue and its predecessor, Scott Lobdell really defines Koriand’r and gives her depth that was lacking in the first seven or eight issues.  Also, I have to say that I am intrigued by the interplay between Jason and his date, Isabel.  Jason has been characterized as a twisted, rebel-without-a-cause badass and the humanizing factor of him caring about and being vulnerable with a flight attendant he barely knows is kind of a curve ball.  Very interested to see where we go from this issue.

    A Princess’s Dilemma

  • Before Watchmen: Silk Spectre #2 is a super sexy, groovy trip into the 1960’s following Laurie Juspeczyk, the future Silk Spectre, during her youth in San Francisco amid the psychedelic rise of the hippy movement.  Donning a yellow and black proto-Spectre costume, she begins to fight injustice not because he mother, the original Silk Spectre, is pushing her on, but because she wants to.  The ominous threat brewing in the background is the corporate interests of the country pushing drugs into the emerging youth culture to promote spending and consumerism, but at the expense of lives and innocence.  I like what writer Darwyn Cooke is continuing to do and as ever artist Amanda Conner delivers a sumptuous, sexy atmosphere to the words of Cooke, a seminal artist in his own right.
  • Legion of Super-Heroes #11 was a pretty decent issue.  I’ve mentioned the “Levitz Paradigm” before, as coined by writer extraordinaire, Dennis O’Neil, about this books author, Paul Levitz, pertaining to the way in which he writes multiple progressing plots into each issue of his books.  This book defies this usual mode of storytelling and just give a straightforward plot of the rescue mission ex-Legionnaires and prospective members launch into Dominator Space to retrieve Dream Girl and Brainiac 5.  Last issue Dream Girl had a premonition of a traitor within the Legion that would reveal themselves in coming days.  The main point of conflict in this issue is the realization of that prophesy.  Levitz’s writing makes this issue work, but Fracis Portella’s art is what really makes it memorable.
  • Catwoman #11 continues to be edgy.  Catwoman’s schtick is getting to be a little tired, although this issue does make her a little more palatable again.  For the past several issues the plots have been getting stagnant, but this story with Dollhouse really has reawakened the eerie quality of some of her earlier versions, such as when she shot  Black Mask in the head in the 90’s after the horrific things he did to her younger sister.  With this storyline juxtaposed against the uneasy alliance Catwoman has made with Gotham City detective Alvarez and her relationship with the yet unrevealed traitor, Spark, the direction of the book has turned back into an interesting mode.
  • Wonder Woman #11 features the debut of Demeter and Artemis.  Also the next salvo in Hera’s war against her hubby Zeus’ baby mama, Zola.  Once again, backroom politics are engaged in to ensure the destruction of the young woman and her unborn child.  This has been, from issue #1, a really unique take on the character and the title.

    The Prophesy

  • Blue Beetle #11 featured the New 52 debut of the 80’s team-up “The Gold and the Blue.”  Booster Gold makes the scene, and whereas in the past Booster Gold and the Blue Beetle (then Ted Kord instead of Jaime Reyes) were best friends, this issue has him and Jaime engaged in a brutal brawl that only stops when Jaime’s grandmother steps in and calls Booster a bully.  Really bizarre issue.  Really bizarre.
  • Batman Beyond Unlimited #6 continues the Superman Beyond title to the culmination of Lex (from beyond the grave) and his daughter’s plot to kill Superman.  Drawing a ring of kryptonite laden meteors around the planet Earth in permanent orbit, the accumulated radiation raining down from literally all sides spells near certain doom for the Man of Steel.  After a month of absence the Justice League Beyond Unlimited title returns with the next chapter in the Kobra plot that results in the destruction of New Genesis.  Darkseid is no longer ruler of apocalypse and in his place sits his son, Orion.  The reasoning behind this reversal finds its explanation in the final episode of the tv series, “Justice League Unlimited.”  Once again, this anthology title has taken the DC animated canon and given new life to what have been abandoned story lines fallow with possibilities.  In Batman Beyond the prophesied “10,000 Clowns” six part story kicks off, and Terry finds himself torn in all directions with his duties as Batman pulling him in one direction and his guilt over his sins as a negligent boyfriend pulling him another.  Gotham is like Rome with the Vandals of Clown gangs at her gates, and the stakes are getting high.
  • The Unwritten #39 is a revelation is many ways.  Danny Armitage comes face to face with the cult leader of the religion surrounding Tommy Taylor, Lucas Filby.  Through Filby we are FINALLY told the back story behind the foulmouthed rabbit, Pauly Bruckner.  Both Filby and Bruckner have ties back to Pullman, the Cabal, and Wilson Taylor.  And in the process we don’t so much learn, but rather are shown the incredible nature of the Australian policewoman, Didge.   The Unwritten continues to deliver incredibly well framed stories that engage and enlighten simultaneously.

 

Disclaimer: I do not own the rights to any of these images and give credit to those whose work they are.

Illustration Credits:

Justice League #11:  Drawn by Jim, Colored by Alex Sinclair, Inked by Scott Williams

Red Hood and the Outlaws #9: Art by Kenneth Rocafort, Colored by Blond

Wonder Woman #10: Art by Cliff Chiang, Colored by Matthew Wilson

Batman Beyond Unlimited #6: Drawn by Dustin Nguyen, Colored by Randy Major, Inked by Derek Fridolfs

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