Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Emerald vs. Yellow Makes Blood Red While Wolfman’s Nightwing Flames Out


Under the better late than never file, a busy work schedule plus…..concentration problems have tripped us up despite our best intentions to bang out book reviews for the week of October 3.

We’re also minus our usual proof reader this time around so bear with us. Without further ado….

Green Lantern Corps #16

The Upshot from DC Comics: The Sinestro War continues as Mogo is attacked by the Sinestro Corps. Can the largest Green Lantern of all defend itself from a squadron of Sinestro Corps members?

It’s really a shame that writer Dave Gibbons is leaving (or has been told to leave???) this title as this renowned comic book artist has really come into his own as a writer and he’s just really hit his stride with this title. But at least Gibbons get to out hitting a home run.

Proof that GLC’s Gibbons has stepped up as an equal writing partner to his Green Lantern counterpart Geoff Johns can be seen in the GLC chapters of the Sinestro Corps War. Although reading GLC is not explicitly necessary to understand the main events unfolding in Green Lantern, the Gibbons’ side of the story is every bit as compelling and it adds an extra layer to the Sinestro Corps War story arc.

Better yet we see the Green Lanterns actually turn a corner against their yellow-bellied opponents during the Battle of Mogo. Even with the wall-to-wall action, the art team of pencilers Patrick Gleason & Angel Unueta with inkers Prentis Rollins & Vincete Cifuenyes are all on their A game as they not only present clear visuals, but they so successfully mesh artistically that we are hard pressed to tell who did which pages.

We’ve really enjoyed Gibbons take of the Green Lantern Corps and he has not been afraid to reach back into history to give the GLC a sense of coherence. While the living Green Lantern planet Mogo started out all those years ago a plot twist to a Tales of the Green Lantern Corps back up story, Gibbons has really developed Mogo’s personality and purpose in the Corps.

The revelation that Mogo serves as the universal navigator for masterless Green Lantern rings searching the galaxy for new Lanterns was brilliant. Also, although we saw the Guardian’s de-activation of the power rings’ failsafe now permitting Lanterns to use lethal force in the pages of Geoff Johns’ Green Lantern, Gibbons does a much better job of portraying the gravity of the event by the different reactions of various Lanterns—some who relish being able to kill those who have slain so many of their fellow Lanterns to Kilowog’s reaction when he realized that the Corps has cross a big line.

The Green Lanterns start to stack up the yellow corpses but the cost may turn out to be destroying the Corps in order to save it—this is a theme we hope to see played out in the aftermath of the Sinestro Corps War story line.

Better yet, we love the inclusion of Green Lantern Arista into this book. Geoff Johns may have brought her back to life but it’s here we see Gibbons giving her serious relevance like never before. Gone is the kid Lantern love struck with Hal Jordan but rather a confident veteran Green Lantern even as she continues to defend Hal’s honor to the upstart Lantern Sodom Yat.

But it’s the aforementioned Sodam Yat that really grabbed our attention. Yat has learned that he is prophesied to be a pivotal player to history at some future date so knowing he won’t die “yet”, we see him take wild and reckless chances—and succeed.

Yet it’s his origins that excite us. Yat is from the planet Daxam, sister planet to the now destroyed Krypton. A Green Lantern with (when near a yellow sun) the powers of Superman.

We had long forgotten about Sodam Yat until were reminded to refer to our copy of Tales of the Green Lantern Corps Annual #2 (1986) story by Alan Moore when in a single panel, the story refers to Sodam Yat, the Daxamite who will one day hailed as the “ultimate Green Lantern” as he has been foretold to perish battling the final catastrophe that will bury the Green Lantern Corps in the future.

Okay then….you have our attention. But we will say that Dave Gibbons leaves some pretty big shoes for new GLC writer Peter Tomasi to fill.

Nightwing # 137

The Upshot from DC Comics: The Nightwing/Vigilante/Metal Eddie story shifts into high gear as Eddie's full plan is finally revealed.

NO! NO! NO! In a single issue—his last issue—writer Marv Wolfman managed to go from hero to goat as he undermined all of his efforts to bring respect and stability to Nightwing—both the character and the book.

Wolfman was brought in last year after DC Comics (quite rightly) fired former Nightwing writer for gross incompetence. Wolfman’s run was initially supposed to be a four-issue fill-in but it was extended for another year following positive fan feedback.

Wolfman brought back badly needed stability to the character that he co-created with George Perez during the New Teen Titans days. More importance he brought competence—something that had been in short supply on this title for a while.

Yet competence is supposed to be the bare minimum not the bragging right. Even as we enjoyed Wolfman’s run, we didn’t put blinders on…he wasn’t exactly lighting the pages on fire with excitement…but he seemed to be moving the character along, positioning Nightwing to be taken to the next level.

We weren’t crazy about the introduction of Dick Grayson’s long lost love/fem fatale as there have been too many Nightwing “finding himself” stories looking into his past instead of facing forward. We were less crazy about the introduction of another “new” Vigilante.

“Metal Eddie” was lamest of antagonists. But Wolfman had Nightwing back to his worst “boy blunder” days. This Nightwing couldn’t find his ass with both hands…when he wasn’t getting it kicked by every Z-list bad guy.

Worst of all, Wolfman’s last issue didn’t even give us the identity of this new Vigilante (It’s JJ as why else would Wolfman introduce a 25 year old, previously dead, minor supporting character of the previous Vigilante Adrian Chase).

Wolfman is saving that for his new Vigilante series. So instead he gave us the three words that we have learned to loathe in the DC Universe… “to be continued.”

Good-bye Marv. Don’t let the door hit you on the ass on the way out.
Tales of the Sinestro Corps Presents: Cyborg Superman

The Upshot from DC Comics: Who is Hank Henshaw? What made him the Cyborg Superman, and what does he hope the Sinestro Corp can give him? Alan Burnett peels away the mysterious layers of the mechanical monster as the new JLA Watchtower's defenses are put to the test against him and the Sinestro Corps!

FanBoyWonder remembers the very first issue that introduced Hank Henshaw 17 years ago. It was in a throw away story in Adventures of Superman #466 in a spoof of the Fantastic Four’s origin—but if it went horribly wrong.

Long story short, it gave us the Cyborg Superman. This one-shot neither compelled us or bothered us.

Writer Alan Burnett gave us a pretty good wrap up of Henshaw’s origin while advancing the story moderately and giving us a more developed sense of Henshaw’s death wish. He can’t die—no matter how many times he does, his consciousness keeps finding its way back.

Cyborg Superman wasn’t the peace that comes from oblivion and he wants the rest of the universe to join him in his peaceful slumber. Talk about if I can’t have it, no one can.

All in all an amusing story tie in but we’re anxious to get to the main event.

Detective Comics: #837

The Upshot from DC Comics: This special issue of DETECTIVE COMICS features two of Gotham's recently reformed rogues: Harley Quinn and the Riddler! Readers who have enjoyed Harley's role in COUNTDOWN will take special pleasure in this story as they learn how she became involved in the Amazonian Women's Help Center.

We haven’t read a Batman book on a regular basis in years but our best pal Kemosabe urged us to give it a whirl as he swears by the work of writer Paul Dini on this book.

Despite the fact it was a Countdown tie-in—have we mentioned that we think Countdown sucks and we’ve dropped the title like a dead fish???—and despite it featured the Riddler P.I. with the Dark Knight only appearing the last page, it was an amusing waste of time.

We’ll keep this title in mind during a slow week when we have an extra $2.99 burning a hole in our wallet.

2 Comments:

Anonymous John Micek said...

A thousand pardons, I beg of you. Wait until Bats appears full-time. You'll get a better sense of Dini's work then. I swear!!!

1:27 PM, October 10, 2007  
Blogger FBW said...

Wasn't blaming you Kemosabe...it wasn't a bad issue by any means...enough for me to see what you are talking about...but i'll wait until after the Ras story line to pick it up again for another go.

7:20 PM, October 10, 2007  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Free Hit Counters
Online Universities