Sunday, November 26, 2006


Recent Comics I Have Read

52 #29: In a bit of a twist, this issue focuses primarily on only two of the dozens of storylines swirling around, the JSA and the Island of Mad Scientists, with most of it going to the "last days" of the venerable Society. I thought it was well-handled, and the contrast between the original, amateur superheroes and the new wave of corporate heroes, epitomized by Luthor's Infinity, Inc., gives a new interesting tension to the DCU. Of course, by the end of 52, I'm sure all of Infinity, Inc. will be dead, so...

JLA Classified #27, 28 & 29: This is the first time I've read this book, so I'm really not sure where it's supposed to fall in the timeline. Clearly, it's pre-Crisis, since Kyle is still Green Lantern and Wally is still Flash. Luthor isn't President and neither is Gonzo/Knight; it's some guy named Jonathan Horne who is evidently really close buddies with the JLA, so I guess this is after Pete Ross resigned. At any rate, it's another attempt to bring some realism to the DCU, with a metahuman arms race between two fictional Central American republics. Chaykin's writing is good, but the narration is AWFUL, even more purple than in American Flagg, and I loved that run. Also, Plunkett and Nguyen's artwork isn't quite up to the task when all of the heroes are out of costume pretty much all the time; I struggled to tell the characters apart. In an interesting departure, the nude torture scene with Wonder Woman is counter-balanced with a duplicate nude torture scene of Green Lantern. Now that's progress, huh?

JSA Classified #17: Hourman has never been one of my favorite heroes, though I like Hourman II's costume. "Take this and in twenty minutes your hour of power begins"--okay, that was funny, but how old are Rex and Wendi Tyler supposed to be? He's at least got the whole Reed Richards grey patch thing going, but she could pass for 30. Also, and I know I've gritched about this before, but the whole concept of "legacy heroes" loses pretty much all of its dramatic punch if NO ONE EVER DIES. Having a couple of Golden Age heroes still around and at fighting trim? No problem. For example, I think having Wonder Woman as a Golden Age hero who is still active due to immortality would be a great idea, better than the whole Hippolyta/Wonder Girl mess. Having damn near ALL of them still running around in tights? Boring. Boring and lazy.

Uncle Sam & The Freedom Fighters #5: Okay, we may be getting perilously close to jumping the political shark here. I've always said I have nothing against politics in comics, regardless of the ideology, provided they are integral to the story and I'm not clobbered over the head with them. Father Time's extended soliloquy was not quite as boring as the African Avengers in Squadron Supreme, but it was pushing the edge. And if, as was made pretty clear at the time, September 11 never happened in the DCU, where are all these references to the PATRIOT Act coming from? Having said all that, Uncle Sam throwing Americommando TO THE MOON was pretty entertaining, despite the fact that his powers are so vague as to be almost Silver Age Superman-ish. I'm curious as to the exact nature of Miss America's powers, and why she's wearing the single most godawful costume every. Paging Blockade Boy! Also, wouldn't it be more interesting if, instead of "First Strike" Father Time's group was a total revamp of the Crusaders, instead of just a few of them?

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