Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Comics of the week 15th January 2009

Criminy. I just realised it’s Tuesday and if I don’t get hurry up and write something I’ll have two weeks worth to do. Eeep!

Spoilers ahead for Manhunter 38, Green Arrow and Black Canary 16, Action Comics 873, Booster Gold 16, Final Crisis 6, The Amazing Spiderman 583.
Manhunter 38
The final issue. I would feel sadder but I still don’t understand why we are suddenly in the future. So mostly I was confused and was hoping this issue would rectify my confusion. That aside, this was a pretty damn good issue. Actually scrap that this issue was bloody great.
It starts off slow, introducing us to everyone and letting us catch up on where they are in the future. Kate has had Dylan make her a mystery something, Ramsey is graduating that very same day, Dylan and Cam have separated and we meet Sweeney Todd and Mrs Lovett, Todd is trapped in Bones’ body (I don’t know why). Todd and Mrs Lovett are on a murder spree, of course and have commandeered a van.

After Ramsey’s graduation ceremony they all head back to the house for the party, which is where it gets stunningly cool. Todd and Lovett turn up and decide they want to eat all the fresh meat*. Then it seems nigh on everyone gets superpowers and start kick ass. Even those that don’t have superpowers join in the fight, clanging Mrs Lovett with something metal. There’s a giant man, Obsidian, Kate of course and Cam being all light filled and explody.
The whole set up, being all the family and friends fighting as one in their back yard against the bad guys, is just wonderful.
And finally we find out what the mystery something is – Kate got Dylan to make a Manhunter costumer for Ramsey and the issue ends with them going out on patrol.

Very good, great send off. 3 different artists, but I didn’t find that a problem.

* A far classier way of dealing with cannibalism than Marvel's recent effort. Which I nonetheless find amusing, because I have not sense of taste or decencyand have seen far too many 80s slasher flicks.

Green Arrow and Black Canary 16 – Faces of Evil issue: Merlyn.
I can’t help thinking that Merlyn should be spelled Maerlyn.
I thought the Faces of Evil issues would be told from the villain’s perspective? That ain’t happened. Part of the story was told from Merlyn’s POV, but most was business as usual.
I appreciate how on the cover Merlyn’s nose resembles an arrow. Clever, I thought.
The art in this was good. Clear and effective.
The story? Well I do like this ongoing, I am enjoying all the stories, but it has yet to feel like a GA and BC comic. It feels like a GA comic where Dinah is a supporting character. And that’s not right to me. It seems that very often Ollie is in the foreground, responding to the action, interacting with it, and Dinah is behind him, (often physically placed behind him, at least in this issue), awaiting his lead. She seems more static. I know she took the lead in contacting Oracle to get the info, but she then got shot and was out of the game. She could still scream surely? And when has getting shot stopped any other hero? It just seems like she’s not allowed to be in the thick of the action, and that disappoints me.

This issue also introduced us to a new woman who’s obsessed with Ollie. If their method of including Dinah more is by framing her in terms of the jealous girlfriend I will be so angry. I want to see Dinah kick some ass and win fights, without Ollie’s help.

Maybe I need to reread them all to get the big picture. I’ve been put off buying volume 1 of the ongoing because so far it’s only out in hardback and that’s bit pricey, but now I'm bored with waiting.

Action Comics 873 – Faces of Evil: Les Luthor
Again, not so much telling us the whole story from Lex’s POV.
This is the final part of the New Krypton saga. Aaaand I don’t know how I feel about it. I hate the treatment of Alura, I think it’s crappy and tacky. I would have preferred to see more of the magic fighters, but did love the depowering of the Kryptonians with ‘mazahs’. I’m not up to date with the Marvel family so don’t know where that came from, but I like it. I do like the New Krypton planet, particularly the panels where it was formed, but feel trepidation towards Kara’s decision to fly there. I can only hope that Kara is there to keep an eye on her mother. I’m gutted by Superwoman being evil but delighted by the return of Zod, Ursa, and the bug lump.

Booster Gold 16 – Faces of Evil: Enemy Ace
This was easily the best of the week’s purchases. Booster goes back in time to the second world war and is captured first by an American, who turns out to be Maxwell Lord’s granddad (or dad?), then by Enemy Ace.
I am not seeing how Enemy Ace is evil. OK so he fought on the side of the Germans, but he’s wasn’t shown as being a Nazi and he has honour and saved Booster and Mr Lord from torture. Not all German soldiers/airmen were Nazis, many would have wanted to fight for their country regardless of the specific political nature of their government, and I don’t see how this necessarily makes Enemy Ace any worse than an allied airman, except the fact that we won. Yes he shoots people and he did allow Cyrus to be tortured, but then again, it’s a war time situation. And I’m betting the allies also tortured their prisoners. And it’s a different time. I don’t approve of what was done, but I don’t think that makes the man evil.
I presume there’s some comic history to the character I’m not aware of.

This issue also saw Michelle and Skeets trying to locate Michael. I’m growing very fond of Michelle.

Final Crisis 6
Thank god Mary Marvel reverted back to human, that godawful outfit was hurting my eyes. I do not like Apokolipsian themed costume. Ollie is taken over by the anti life equation and Dinah fights to bring him out from it, it kinda looked like she was succeeding.
There is so much going on in this issue, it’s so dense. I can’t start to explain it, it’d take too long, so I’ll point you to Supergirl Comic Box Commentary for an in depth review.
Batman’s dead though. Hmmm.

The Amazing Spiderman 583
I buckled, I bought it because it’s the Obama commemorative issue. That back up story was daft. I did like the dating story though. But not enough to justify £2.90 on the comic! Was this issue more expensive than normal? Cos £3 for a comic is ludicrous.
Interestingly, the boyfriend, who hates American superhero comics, and American politics coverage, liked the Obama story. One of my friend’s who never reads comics also enjoyed the whole book.

This is a timely comic as not only is today Obama’s inauguration but also I got a late Christmas present on the weekend, of a Spiderman piggybank.

On the subject of inauguration, man am I glad he's been sworn in. I was half convinced he;'d be shot before he could take the oath. I have enjoyed Peter David's commentary.

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