Sunday, February 26, 2006


Recent Comics I Have Read

Batman #650: This is evidently the month for bad rehashes of the old "Batman doesn't kill" bit. At least the Joker is done halfway properly here. I normally love Judd Winick's writing, but maybe my sheer visceral hatred for the whole horrifically bad Red Hood/Jason Todd storyline (which burns with the passion of a million fiery suns) blinds me to it this issue. And, of course, the "Infinite Crisis" ending doesn't help.

Batman Gotham Knights #74: Oh, this is bad. Incredibly lame use of the Joker. And, of course, its features Hush, the dumbest villain since, well, Red Hood/Jason Todd. Oh, and the Joker's trained killer attack pigeons? They have ONE scene. Gah.

Batman Legends of the Dark Knight #200: Crap. Reads like a really bad pre-Neal Adams Silver Age issue. Narrarated (competely unconvincingly) by an emergency room doctor. The Joker is neither funny, nor scary, just pathetic. Even worse than this month's Gotham Knights.

Captain America #15: Cap makes only a brief cameo in this issue; it's all about the Red Skull's daughter and an attempt to torture her back into being evil. So, if you like horrific child abuse and girls being tied up and tortured, well, this is for you, assuming the BTK Killer collects comic books. For everyone else, not so much.

Green Arrow #59: Excellent battle between Merlyn and Green Arrow (and it had better be, given all the build-up). I have to say, though, blowing up cities is getting old, fast. Bludhaven, nuked. Star City, blown to smithereens. Is all this really necessary? Oh, and the ending: yet more "Infinite Crisis," b.s. One Year Later, I'm not sure how many readers will still be around.

Invincible #28: Like Invincible, hate outer-space adventures. Most of them are exceedingly stupid and wouldn't even rate as deliberately bad science-fiction. This is no exception.

JLA #125: Meh. Features the Key, a Mort if there ever was one, and Manitou Dawn, a one-dimensional Native American stereotype. And is there some reason why EVERYBODY keeps calling each other by their secret identities? Geez, no wonder the Society is kicking ass.

JSA #82: Bad. Really bad. Filler between the pages for the rapidly-becoming godawful "Infinite Crisis." Set in the '50's, no less. And the major villain is the Gentleman Ghost? Oh. The. Pain.

New Avengers #16: Again, I never saw the need for the relaunch in the first place, other than a tug at the heartstrings, but this new team is excellent. Most of the credit, I think, goes to Bendis' writing, particularly his crisp, realistic dialogue. He makes these veteran heroes seem like exactly what they are: professionals. This month, however, the Avengers don't appear at all; the whole thing is about a mysterious menace that lands in Alaska, smashes it's way through SHIELD and Alpha Flight without breaking a sweat, and then heads for America. And then, for some unknown reason, there's a backup feature starring, of all people, Kickers, Inc. from the New Universe. WTF, over?

Noble Causes #17: This soap opera disguised as a superhero book never fails to entertain. This month, the focus is on the love affair between Dawn Blackthorne and Celeste Noble. It's an excellent view of how superheroes would likely be perceived in a media-soaked, celebrity-scandal-obsessed modern world.

Ultimate Extinction #2: Good art, good characterization. I appreciated the fact that even Captain America can feel powerless. Ultimate Silver Surfer (as a cult leader) is an intriguing mystery and I actually look forward to seeing what happens next.

Ultimate Fantastic Four #27: I originally didn't much care for the idea of a bunch of teenagers as the FF, but it's been growing on me. This one focuses, a little too abruptly, on Ben Grimm's hang-ups over his transformation into the Thing. Yes, that's a central part of the character, but it's barely been mentioned in recent issues and now he's contemplating suicide? And Mister Fantastic is going to rewrite history to help him?

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