New Comics Review (9-18-07)

Much closer to ontime this week.  Cleaning out the garage and tearing up carpets put a bit of a crimp in my online time.  So, let’s get to it…

Countdown #34 and 33:  Things begin to pick up again in this series.  The Flash Rogues, Jimmy Olsen, Mary Marvel, Holly Robinson, and the search for Ray Palmer all move along nicely.  The interesting thing is how Kyle Rayner fits in to the Ray Palmer arc, and when in terms of continuity.  The back up origins of Lex Luthor and the Riddler are nice synopses.

The Search for Ray Palmer: Wildstorm #1:  The The team looking to track down Ray Palmer leaves the Palmerverse, and starts moving across the 52 alternate realities.  First stop is universe #50, which is the home of the Wildstorm imprint characters.  Appearances by the likes of the Authority and Wetworks.  If for nothing else, this series will establish which universes are which. 

Black Canary Wedding Planner: OK, this may not seem like a “guys” comic.  But if you are one of those people who have ever been married, or been involved in planning a wedding, you will find great humor in this issue.  Sure, it’s got that super hero twist to it, but in so many ways it’s so mundane as to be “normal.”  Married readers will find this brings back many memories.  Others, who have not had that experience, will get far less out of it.

Justice League of America-Wedding Special: More lead up to the Green Arrow-Black Canary Wedding.  This issue has a lot, and I mean a lot, of story set up in it.  While not strictly needed to understand where these prologues are going, but it’s nice to have.  Dwayne McDuffie (Justice League Unlimited animated series), uses this issue to set up more of his run on Justice League of America, from his line up to story arcs.  Older fans, and anyone who watched Saturday morning cartoons between 1970-1982 will find a lot of “fan service” here.

Green Lantern #23:  How much more praise can I heap upon Geoff Johns?  The Sinestro Corps War reaches part 5, with all sorts of great imagery and back story references.  Casual fans will not get many of these, but it’s not needed to understand the story.  A big twist at the end may change the whole nature of the GLC forever.  This may perhaps be the best series in comicdom today.

Booster Gold#2:  Geoff Johns may be the best creative comic writer since Stan Lee.  He’s taken a C-List character in Booster Gold, and transformed him into a great character with depth and a future, not just a throw away character.  The time travelling aspect will allow for some interesting character interactions, as well as insights into existing characters and story arcs.

Black Adam #2: I’m really liking what they’re doing with Teth-Adam since his “episode” resulting in the WW3 story arc.  Though what role Felix Faust will play in this 6 issue melodrama is anyone’s guess at this point.  I have the feeling that several not seen in a while characters will play an important role in this miniseries.

Wonder Girl #1: I picked this one up out of curiosity.  I’ve liked J. Torres’ other stuff, but this one falls a bit short IMO.  Sanford Greene’s art work doesn’t help, as it’s a bit too “cartoony” for what is to be a main line title.  I’m just not feeling this one.  I’ll see what my daughter thinks of it.  It may just have a greater appeal to a younger audience.

infinity inc #1: John Henry Irons, aka Steel, continues to investigate the results of Lex Luthor’s everyman project.  Between his niece Natasha, Gerome McKenna (Nuklon), and Erik Storn (Fury), he has plenty of subjects.  Peter Milligan has a chance to revive several almost forgotten secondar characters with this series.  It has a lot of potential, and I hope it gets pulled off.

Trials of Shazam! #8: The trial of Atlas this time.  Not only does Freddy Freman need to step into the shoes of Atlas, but there’s more to it.  Like many others, I’d like to see this title come out on the original schedule, but it’s worth the wait.  Judd Winick has done an excellent job so far, and it will be interesting to see how this plays out, and how it will tie into the Mary Marvel and Black Adam stories.

Justice Society of America #9: More goodness from master scribe Geoff Johns.  This issue begins a new story arc for the JSA, one harkening back to one of the better miniseries ever produced, Kingdom Come.  New fans will want to get this previous series, just to get the whole story, but it’s well worth it.

Suicide Squad #1: A new miniseries to resurrect Amand Waller’s super secret hit squad of bad guys working for the government.  Current and former members are brought back together for a “one shot” mission to see if a fallen comrade is still alive.  The action is pretty good, with the Russian “People’s Heroes” and the opening back story segment.  Should be a fun 8 issue run.

Jonah Hex #23:  Who says westerns are dead?  The team of Palmiotti and Gray once again deliver with this title.  Our narrator for this story is a school teacher who once traveled with our favorite bounty hunter.  In many aspects this is a typical Hex story, but the use of using a non-regular character to tell the story makes it much different. 

Batman Confidential #9:  This one is a great read.  Carrying on with the “origin” of the Joker.  I’m really liking how Michael Green is playing out the transformation of a robber to a psychopathic sociopath.  It’s also interesting to see how the actions and reactions effect not only the Joker to be, but Bats and his circle as well.

Thor #3:  This issue bought it a few more purchases on my part.  While not a terrific issue, it ends with a typical JMS smarmy speach, it did give it some hope for improvement.  Oliver Copiel’s art is the best thing about this series, but it won’t be enough to sustain it.  While a distinct improvement over the first two issues, I hope someone else takes over this title and takes it to where it could, and should be.  Oh, and continuity is once again in dire jeopardy.

Captain America- The Chosen #1:  I’m unsire where David Morrell is going with this, but that’s not a bad thing right now.  With all the back lash from Marvel killing off Cap, this may be one of the options to “bring him back.”  I’m not sure where this falls into contunuity, or if it does at all, but there seems to be some tie in to when Cap lay dying.  This could be one of the best series Marvel has done in a long time, if it’s handled right at the end.

Moon Knight #12:  I think that Charlie Huston needs to reign in his style a bit.  It’s not that holding three story lines is a problem, but with two having several similarities, it gets a tad confusing.  More so as time lines and story orders are unclear.  Still, I enjoy this series, as Huston has a good grasp of the character, and all his issues. 

Ghost Rider #15:  Hobb’s choice takes on a whole new meaning in this issue.  Johnny Blaze/Zarathos continue their quest to take on Lucifer and his component bits.  However, two new players are about to make their appearance on the scene.  Daniel Way and company have revitalized a character that had not been handled especially well since the mid 1980’s.

Death Dealer #4: Two thirds of the way through this take on Frank Frazetta’s character.  Nat Jones has created a very worthy take on the Frazetta painting, and has carried the story well so far.  In some aspects, this harkens back to when Frazetta was working on comics in the 50’s, especially the fantasy series.  It should also be noted that Image is coming out with 5 more titles based on Frazetta works.  If they are as good as Death Dealer, they will be worth the pick up.

Lone Ranger #8: Along with Jonah Hex and titles like Loveless, the Western comic is far from dead.  Brett Matthews and Sergio Cariello have brought a solid sense of story and character to this title, which I have found immensely enjoyable since issue #1.  I’m kind of hoping that Dynamite will pick up the “legacy” character of the Green Hornet with the same team.  That is if they survive long enough as a business.

DMZ #23: Having just complete the Friendly Fire arc, creator Brian Wood takes us on a journey with a “regular” resident of the Zone.  This is not a ground breaking story, but it does offer a nice look into the lives of others besides our main characters.  One of the best scripted and plotted series out there, even if over looked by many.

Groo- Silver Anniversary Special: Woo hoo!  New Groo material from Sergio Aragones and Mark Evanier.  Groo is one of those odd ball characters that just make for a great read.  While Dave Sim’s Cerebus was more ironic, Groo is just plain silly fun.  Think Conan with less brain power, more invincibility, and a serious case of bad luck and timing.  One of the most fun reads I’ve had in a long while. 

 Speaking of Dave Sim and Cerebus, I picked up volume two of the Cerebus collections.  This volume, titled “High Society” compiles issues 26-50, and chronicles Cerebus’ continued stay in Iest under the employ of Lord Julius.  This is a genre that is sorely lacking in today’s comics.  Someone needs to pick up the slack left by the likes of Dave Sim, Sergio Aragones, and Fred Hembeck.

Back in two weeks folks!

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