Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Dishonorably Discharged—Supergirl, Green Arrow, Ion, Wonder Woman & Hawkgirl

While FanBoyWonder was “away” we had reason to review and consolidate the batch of books we’ve been subscribing to each month.

Since DC Comics has yet again seen fit to hike the average monthly price of a comic to $2.99 per issue (we still remember fondly the day when comic books were cover priced at 40 cents), there were a number of fair-to-middling books on our reading list that we decided that were no longer worth the investment.

Some were easy to drop but a couple we reluctantly let go as some economic choices had to be made.


We’ve made no bones about our unhappiness with this book and the title character since Jeph Loeb reintroduced Kara Zor-El back into the DC Universe in Superman/Batman.
When Loeb wrapped up his overhyped/underdelivered turn with this character, we had high hopes for Supergirl One Year Later since as far as we were concerned there was no were to go but up.

Oh boy were we mistaken. We noted our confusion and displeasure with the new direction of the book, despite the addition of Power Girl (Here’s our recap
but we were going to stick with it…at least until PG finished her guest stint…but on-again, off again writers and book’s perpetual lateness exhausted our patience.
Somewhere out there, Peter David and Linda Danvers are laughing.

Green Arrow

This book and specifically Judd Winick’s take on Green Arrow had been alternately annoying and boring us for some time now and frankly it’s just been inertia that’s kept us from dropping the book until now.

As we’ve noted in the past, Winick’s penchant for injecting his pet social issues at the expense of a good (or even serviceable) story and his lack of imagination, inability and/or unwillingness to retain the core personality of the characters he inherits (i.e. Connor Hawke) annoys us to no end.

Yet we didn’t mind when Mia, the young runaway Ollie Queen took in and who later became the new Speedy, turned out to be HIV Positive. As a 15-year-old prostitute who turned tricks to survive on the street, it was a natural consequence or the real dangers or runaway life and in that moment we saw a hint of Mike Grell-like greatness…but once Judd made his social statement…the issue and the plot thread just faded away.

Speaking of Grell, you want to read some great Green Arrow, pick up Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters and the first 75 issues of the previous Green Arrow series.


This mini-series was a HUGE disappointment and we hated it so much we stopped with at the second issue of this 12-issue limited series—something we NEVER do.

What was supposed to be a post-Infinite Crisis showcase for Kyle Ranyer, the one-time “modern age” Green Lantern, Ion seems poised to banish into Kyle into obscurity.

We were confused going into this series as we’re still not sure what the heck exactly happened in Infinite Crisis and the pages of the Rann/Thanagar War where Kyle was transformed into Ion.

Writer Ron Marz not only does nothing to explain or clarify what’s going on but he’s still writing the character like a rookie instead of the guy who was THE Green Lantern for nearly a decade. The art by Greg Tocchini only adds to the confusion—is layouts are fine but his style is a pure and simple mismatch for a Green Lantern book.


This was a tough choice for us drop this book. If economics weren’t a factor we would likely have stuck with this book longer. As we reported in April, FBW met Hawkgirl artist Howard Chaykin http://fanboywonder.blogspot.com/2006/04/pittsburgh-comiconhoward-chaykin.html where he explained what he was trying to do with character.

We think he’s on the right track but the book just hasn’t picked up far enough, fast enough yet to make it a must read. But of all of our cost cutting choices, this one was the toughest. Good luck Kendra.

Wonder Woman

Although we thought a relaunch of Wonder Woman was unnecessary, we had high hopes for this book—mainly due to the great work of previous Wonder Woman writer Greg Rucka—but we were greatly disappointed.

We had looked forward to an exploration One Year Later of Diana’s post Infinite Crisis journey following her murder/justifiable homicide of Maxwell Lord and how she has dealt with the consequences of that act.

What we got was Donna Troy who we find has been wearing the armor of Wonder Woman for some time. Yet we only know it is the one-time Wonder Girl because the dialogue tells us so….Donna is drawn exactly like Diana in an inspired bit of artistic laziness…that is when they weren’t going overboard with all of the cheesecake shots.

The “all new and bold direction” of Wonder Woman boiled down to the old replacement hero trick. It’s a rotten thing to do to a much abused character like Donna Troy. She deserved better and so do the readers.

We didn’t even bother purchasing the first issue…why bother when the hero we are reading about we just KNOW will be taken out of the picture sooner or later. This is just the latest example of DC trying to fix what wasn’t broken and f**king it all up.
Merciful Minerva!!!!


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