Tuesday, September 28, 2010

2 weeks worth of comics

Ooh look I got behind again.  Oh well, I have something to say now.  Onwards!  Spoilers ahead for Birds of Prey #5, Brightest Day #10, Superman/Batman # 76, Supergirl #56 and some old 90s Superboy issues.
Birds of Prey #5
Reading this I was struck again by the lack of solid female friendships in DC's comics.  In this issue Dinah decides (fairly inexplicably to a new reader) to quit the Birds and bugger off to Bangkok with the White Canary.  Zinda and Helena are having none of this and follow her to Bangkok to tell her so.  Friends that won't let other friends do stupid things are good friends.  I can't think of any other book where this sort of thing would happen, and it's what made this issue special.

Brightest Day #10
The firestorm matrix bonding Ronnie and Jason together is revealed to be the spark the ignited the big bang.  This would have captured my interest far more if we hadn't had the Aqua story running alongside it.  Gods alive that was good!  There's all sorts of dramatic heroism all over the shop.  I had tears in my eyes reading this (I think I may be a bit emotional at the moment...).  Without a second thought, Jackson's Dad was going to sacrifice himself so his son could live, Jackson wasn't having this so he's saves his Dad and fights back against Black Manta.  Back on land Manta slings a fish hook at Jackson's father, which is caught at the last moment by Aquaman, leading to an awesomely dramatic full page splash.

I LOVE this sort of stuff.  My heart was all a flutter reading this.

Superman/Batman # 76
This made my heart go all a flutter and made me a bit weepy, until I thought about it more.  You see, this issue deals with Bruce's death & funeral, and Superman's emotional state after the death of his friend.  This is all good and it is great to see, except for Bruce's funeral.  Lois wasn't allowed as it was allegedly core Justice League members only, in civilian clothing,  and there was a secret identity issue.

Fine.  Lois must know near enough all the JLA members identities by now, but fine.  Then you see the funeral scene.  Attending is Clark, Dick, Alfred, Tim, Diana, Dinah and Ollie.

Ollie?  There's no Hal or Kyle, no Wally or Barry, Carter or Zatanna and you're trying to tell me Ollie gets to be the core of the League?  And no Selina or Barbara?  Nothing would stop those two attending Bruce's funeral.  Hell, Talia should also be there.


Supergirl #56
As with last issue, this was great.  Best issue of these 2 weeks without a doubt.  Jamal Igle's art is great, I think he's getting better every issue - it now seems he's not going to Birds of Prey and was never going to go to BoP, so let this be a lesson to us all.  I hope he stays on Supergirl, I really do.  He even drew Sterling Gates in this issue, proclaiming Kara 'sooo ugly!' (some Bizarros speak in opposites) complete with little hearts(!).

Sterling Gates has given Bizarrogirl a distinct personality.  I didn't think that was possible (with the Bizarros).  There's some nice homages to the pre-crisis Kara with Bizarrogirl crushing on BizarroLex.  Mostly, I am struck by the similarities between Bizarrogirl and that imposter Supergirl from issue 18.  There's some things in there about what a Supergirl 'should' be and Kara is considering if she is measuring up to the standard set by the S shield.  I know these last couple of issues have been a general reflection on Kara and recent events but the introduction of Bizarrogirl reads, to me, like a redone version of issue 18.  A far far improved version which is much less patronising to the readers.

Superboy Plus the Power of Shazam #1
Superboy meets Captain Marvel Junior and they are tested for strength and determination.  Cap'n Junior fails, Superboy passes.  It's an incredibly contrived issue set up to bring readers into a new Superboy plotline and vaguely advance the plot of Cap'n Junior.  Not really worth getting unless you're a completest.  The best bit about it is Knockout, who will never cease to rock.  the worst bit is Tana Moon suddenly becoming Caucasian.

Superboy Plus Slither 2
Another meh issue.  Better than the Shazam one but not great.  I'm also trying to track down the other Plus issues as I believe that Robin, Impulse and Catwoman also got involved.

Superboy annual 1997 - Pulp Heroes
Now this was fun.  Superboy and co take a journey to Dinosaur Island.  Superboy gets drunk, loses his memory, they meet cavemen and fight off dinosaurs.  Lots of pulpy B movie type fun.  All the cavewomen are hot, slim yet busty and in fur bikinis.  The cavemen are fat, ugly and in fur loincloths.  I love the pulp style, I appreciate the aesthetic and I'm a sucker for old monster B movies.  However reading this, I was considering what it means culturally and politically when the women are objects of desire and the men aren't.  I think it's particularly important to be aware of this in a comic aimed at teenage boys.  Guess my conclusions.

Superboy & Risk Double Shot (1998)
Another fun one.  Superboy goes undercover at a school to discover which student broke into Project Cadmus.  He adopts an incredibly nerdish persona - which is quite obviously poking fun at Clark's mild mannered identity - and proceeds to be bullied and discover nothing.

There were 3 other books released under the Double Shot title, one was Supergirl & Prysm, the other two are Robin & someone and Impulse & someone.  I am tracking them down on ebay.


Anonymous said...

I loved Supergirl great issue especially the beginning when she is talking to Bizarro. So i hate to bring this up again but on the DC message boards its been said that #60 is Igle's last issue. No need to get scared yet though since it's just a rumor apparently but i guess we will have to see when the solicit for #61 comes out. And one more thing DC why why why can't you get peoples races correct i mean hell Caucasians are not the only people in the world and neither are blondes. k all done =)

Eyz said...

Huh, there's a lot of Superboy stuff lately? I missed the memo -_-

"Superboy Plus the Power of Shazam"
Runs to the store~

Eyz said...

"old issue" a'right.
For a second there, I thought it was a new release, my bad :/

Saranga said...

@ eyez, yes, those superbory issues are from 1997/1998.

He is having a new ongoing start soon tho! Nov or Dec I think?