Monday, October 02, 2006

Bane Damage, Magic Lighting Strikes Twice & JLA Table Talk Continues

Here is FanBoyWonder’s pics for the last week of September. Sorry to be late…Brianna the Girl Wonder has been handful since we got her back (not that we are complaining mind you!)but look for more comic reviews as well as postings on the upcoming new season of Battlestar Galactica. Stay tuned!

JSA Classified #17

The Upshot from DC Comics: Part 1 of "The Venom Connection," written by Tony Bedard with art by Scott McDaniel and Andy Owens (GREEN ARROW)! Bane attacks Hourman in his home to get at the drugs that can keep him at full strength!

We were dubious when we first heard of the premise of this two-part story arc featuring Hourman but we were quickly won over.

First, following the really lame previous three issues, this book is finally doing what it should—shining the spotlight on individual JSA members.

Second, that the spotlight is on Hourman—both the original Rex Tyler and son Rick. We’ve been eager to see more of Rex Tyler after he was literally returned from the dead thanks to time travel and the sacrifice of the android Hourman in the pages of JSA.

Third, by pairing Hourman up with Bane—the villain who broke the Batman—it is not only out of the ordinary match up, but on many levels it makes sense given they both use a drug as their power source.

We thought the blue pill scene between Rex and wife Wendi was cute, while the dialogue between Bane and Rick Tyler over the nature of their respective drug addiction gave a nice insight into both their characters.

Scott McDaniel’s art here isn’t the best we’ve ever seen from him but it is still quite serviceable.

Our only pet peeve with the story came from Rick Tyler’s claim that following his Time Vision 60 minutes in the future, he raced up by car from New York City to the Tyler estate in Hartford, Conn. Being a native of the Nutmeg State ourselves, it was tough to swallow that he did the drive in an hour—we can only suspend our disbelief so far.

Why? All Connecticut natives would no know the answer to that. Two words—Merritt Parkway. We look forward to next issue.

Trials of Shazam #2 (of 12)

The Upshot from DC Comics: Enter Freddie Freeman — left powerless by the events of DAY OF JUDGMENT and BRAVE NEW WORLD — who finds his life outside of being Captain Marvel Junior in even worse shape. The good news: Freddie is given the opportunity to regain his abilities…if he can pass a few tests administered by the gods themselves. The bad news is he has to earn each and every ability from scratch!

We realize that the very nature of this mini-series is change so we are keeping an open mind and trying to reserve judgment but a couple things did stick in our craw...even as we were pleased with the overall issue.

After the end of last issue with Captain Marvel/Billy Batson aged to look more like the Wizard Shazam (with the power to match), the focus shifts to Freddy Freeman, now depowered as Captain Marvel Jr., as is Mary Marvel.

Freddy is faring better than Mary, who has lost her powers several hundred feet up over the ocean while in battle. She is in a coma, while Freddy says “Captain Marvel” to no avail.

Our beef is that while Billy Batson is…or rather was just a kid of 15 or 16, the Freedy Freedman we see here is old enough to be in college with just ten credits from graduating. Unless Freddie is a Doggie Hauser-like boy genius, we’re confused Billy and Freddy (and Mary) had previously been contemporaries in age.

We also would like a little explanation as to what happened to Billy/Cap but we’ll let it play out for now.

But as we said, we liked the issue and are pleased that writer Judd Winick has a clear sense of direction as to where he is taking this series. Howard Porter, if anything, took his art up a notch from last issue’s impressive debut. We especially liked the “cartoony” look of page 1—a clever and subtle way to illustrate how simple times were compared to how things are now.

Justice League of America #2

The Upshot from DC: Best-selling author Brad Meltzer and the fan-favorite art team of Ed Benes and Sandra Hope continue the return of the World's Greatest Super-Heroes! The selection process continues — a new villain appears — and a sinister figure ensures that the first casualty is Red Tornado's android body!

We are REALLY not trying to crap on this book, nor on writer Brad Meltzer—whom we like. We are rooting for Brad, we want him to succeed and we think we see where he is going but he’s GOT to pick up the pace.

We’re up to the third issue (counting the “Zero” issue) and there isn’t even a full roster yet. The table scene with Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman was cute for the first third of the first issue, but it’s gotten stale real fast.

But what bothers us most about the table scene is the subtle pretentiousness of the “Big Three” as the pour through the photos of potential new leaguers with the absolute expectation that whomever they “invite” into the League will drop everything and rush to the call.

What would be much more interesting and what we would really like to see is less the “invitation” process and more the reactions of those invited into the League. What we really want to see is not so much of rebuilding the League’s roster but rebuilding the League’s reputation—each of the Big Three has something to prove and trust to regain.

We are warming to the Red Tornado storyline. Actually we really didn’t have a problem with it last issue except for it occurred in the mist of so much else going on. What we do like are the little bits of trivia in the internal monologues about the “community” within the DC Universe—especially with Jefferson Pierce/Black Lighting.

It’s not that this issue, or the issues so far are bad but merely a “good” issue of a relaunched book claming to be the “World’s Greatest Super-Heroes” is not good enough. DC itself has raised the bar of expectations—and we believe it’s well within the abilities of Brad Metzler to clear it—as we said, he’s got to pick up the pace.

52 WEEK 21

The Upshot from DC: "No disrespect, Raven, but we're as much Infinity Inc. as you are Titans. Neither team is the same one it used to be."

We found this one of the more interesting issues in a long time but we’ve been eagerly awaiting movement on the Steel vs. Luthor storyline.

Lex Luthor has created his own personal super-team with his “everyman” program where his scientists activate a person’s “meta-gene” to grant them powers. But what Luthor can give, he can take away…and does to Eliza Harmon, the teen girl speedster dubbed Trajectory.

Her loss of super-speed during battle got her killed and Lex took away her speed. Why? Because she had dissed him and no one disses Luthor and lives. It’s good to get an occasional reminder of just how evil this dude is.

Luthor’s “Infinity Inc.” has us smirking at the irony. Since the team name and roster wasn’t being used anymore, bought the rights and created his own Skyman, Nuklon and Fury.

Meanwhile, John Henry Irons’ confrontation with his niece Natasha, who as Team Luthor’s leader is Starlight, was disappointing but expected. We’re taking it as a sign that we are really into this storyline as we really want John Henry to give a Steel-toed kick the spoiled-little brat in the arse.


Anonymous Capitol Ideas said...

Unless, of course, he jetted it up I-95, On a good night, with no traffic, he coulda made Greenwich or Stamford in about 45 minutes or an hour.
But New Haven? Still 90 minutes, no matter how you slice it.

12:44 PM, October 03, 2006  

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