Monday, October 16, 2006

Emerald Odd Couplings and the Black Adam Family

It was a light comic book week for FanBoyWonder and for FBW’s wallet—just two books came in for the second week of October but it all-in-all money well spent.

Green Lantern Corps #5

The Upshot from DC Comics: Green Lantern Guy Gardner is helped by an unlikely savior in his battle against the bounty hunter Bolphunga. Meanwhile, in deep space, Lanterns pursue Thanagar's attackers and Mogo gives comfort. But all is not as it seems...

Last issue we noted how it really stuck in our craw in the way that Guy Gardner had become separated from his power ring—sticking it in a hotel safe. Given Guy’s character to date and that it would be a pretty high Corps directive for a GL to NEVER separate himself from his ring we thought it to be a plot hole—but upon further thought, we remembered that a running plot point that Geoff Johns has going in the main Green Lantern title is the fallout from U.S.A.F. Captain Hal Jordan being shot down in enemy territory WITHOUT his ring.

Also, GL Salaak happened upon the scene to chastise Gardner for not having his ring with a punishment to be named later. We admire Writer/Artist Dave Gibbons’ attempt to insert a light hearted moment with Guy’s shore leave but even as it did no real harm, it just didn’t work for us.

Elsewhere in the story, we’re growing more fond Sector 2682’s odd couple of Green Lanterns Vath of Rann and Isamot of Thanagar (a lizard, not humanoid)—two sworn enemies who must work together to protect their mutual sector. But we have to admit we don’t quite remember their introduction given so much going on and a bit of a hazy start both in this series and the six-issue GLC limited series. A recap is in order Dave.

Nonetheless, we like that Gibbons has gotten around to coming up with (or at least leading up to) an explanation as to why Green Lanterns are forbidden from entering or policing the Vegan star system—something as we recall was dreamed up some 25 years ago by Omega Men creator and New Teen Titans writer Marv Wolfman to explain why Green Lantern Hal Jordan couldn’t return Starfire to her native planet in the Vegan system.

It’s nice to see that the Guardians of the Universe’s reach doesn’t or can’t extend everywhere. We hope this gets continued play.

52 Week 23

The upshot from DC: IN THIS ISSUE: "Look what these monsters did to your brother, Isis! They deserve a slow death! Plucked apart like the insects they are!"

We enjoyed this issue but not a surprise given our affinity for all things Marvel Family—but more than that. Black Adam has truly become a fully fleshed out character since he first began to appear in JSA several years back.

Although the term “anti-hero” has been thrown out a lot, since Black Adam is really the anti-Captain Marvel, the term would really apply to him. With his wife Isis and now the addition of his young brother Osiris, Adam really does a family to call his own now.

Given the evens in Judd Winick’s Trials of Shazam, the “Adam family” may be much closer to the traditional “Shazam Family” that we’ve gotten use to over the years than anything else being offered right now.

As for the story line, we have frankly forgotten why the Question and Renee Montoya are involved with this aspect of the plot, even as we are still glad to see them. And we really don’t care about what has happened to Doc Magnus.

That more than anything else may be the fatal flaw of this year-long experiment. As a weekly-book, there are a lot of distinctly different plot threads floating around with little time for the reader to process the information.

Helping neither themselves nor the reader at all is the penchant to keep some story lines dormant for weeks before going back to them—such as with Starfire, Adam Strange and Animal Man lost in space. Since the story is supposed to have been told in real time, it’s been several weeks for the characters as well as the reader but there is little to show for the passage of time.

We would suggest that the 52 crew prepare a recap issue—the readers both old and new need a refresher/crash course as to what’s going on and why we should care about ALL of the storylines. Otherwise, readers like me will continue to cherry-pick what we enjoy and tune out the rest.


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