Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Suicide Squad SNAFU, Back To Booster Gold’s Future Past & The Hobgoblin Strikes

Howdy folks,

FanBoyWonder has been preoccupied with an ill family member so that and other exigent circumstances are forcing us to keep our weekly reviews as brief as possible or otherwise we won’t be able to post at all.

With that, here are FanBoyWonder’s quick and dirty reviews from the shotgun formation for the books for the week of February 13.
Suicide Squad # 6

The Upshot From DC Comics: The Squad hits the kingdom of Dubai — where the corporate makers of Scarlet Tears have hired Carapax to defend their deadly business! Meanwhile, one member gets religion, and another prepares to pull a double-cross that could doom the whole mission!

Here we see the Suicide Squad during a “typical” mission—Total SNAFU (Situational Normal All F**KED UP)—just like the good old days.

The art by Javier Pina and Robin Riggs is perfect while John Ostrander’s script gives us great action preceded by a nice build up and character interaction—such as between Rick Flag and the Bronze Tiger and even funnier between Windfall and Twister and their…unique take on divinity.

But the part that bothered us was Amanda “The Wall” Waller taking remote metal control via a machine manned by The Thinker/Cliff Carmichael of Chemo’s body and charging into the field with the Squad.

While Waller co-opting super-powers to personally kick ass is totally consistent with her character, seeing a “Meta Wall” is a lot like Batman with a power ring—in the end it cramps both their styles but perhaps this way, The Wall will merit her own action figure.
Booster Gold #0
The Upshot From DC Comics: An issue over ten years in the making! An official ZERO HOUR crossover kicks off the second time-traveling story arc of "the greatest hero the world will never know" with "Blue and Gold," Part 1! Witness the secret origin of Booster Gold as he journeys through the time line, lost, in an attempt to return home...with a good friend in tow. But there's an evil out there waiting for him; one of the greatest villains of the DC Universe: Hal Jordan, a.k.a. Parallax!

We had no real desire to revisit 1994’s Zero Hour and this books’ hokey Zero Issue was an unwelcome reminder of yet another DC event that fell apart of its own weight.

It’s great to see Blue Beetle Ted Kord alive and kicking thanks to a timely intervention by Booster Gold and a trio of other Blue Beetles—past, present and future—but we afraid it’s not going to last.

Thanks to a nudge by Extant, Booster and the (Blue) Beetles head back to the future to the 25th Century and the day that football star Michael Jon Carter threw the game, got caught and in disgrace stole a time machine to make it big as a 21st Century hero called Booster Gold.

Here we see that Michael’s dad was pushing him to cheat to help him pay his gambling debts and it was his desire to help his dad that lead to his fall to disgrace.

We really disagree with this little twist that writers Geoff Johns and Jeff Katz has inserted Booster’s origin—that he threw the game for a greedy and ungrateful dad, not because he was a self-absorbed, arrogant p**ck. This is Johns’ penchant for inserting a “noble flaw” that absolves the hero of any real blame at work.

Booster Gold creator and current series artist Dan Jurgens had it right the first time two decades ago. Michael Jon Carter was a jerk full of hubris and he paid the price but even jerks can rise to the occasion to become a hero—even gets into more for the girls and glory than to do the right thing.

Green Lantern Corps #21

The Upshot From DC Comics: In this story, the saga of the mysterious Alpha Lanterns spills into Green Lantern Corps! Chosen for the elite Alpha Lanterns, Boodikka continues her absolute pursuit of justice and order. When she is assigned by the Guardians to investigate the negligence of her sector replacement, Boodikka is shocked to uncover startling secrets about her own life from before she joined the Corps! Writer Sterling Gates explores the life of Alpha Lantern Boodikka in part one of "The Curse of the Alpha Lantern."

This wasn’t a bad story, especially with fill-in writer Sterling Gates, but given that the Alpha Lanterns were just introduced, maybe this was a bit soon to drill in so close to an individual Alpha as it take some of the mystery from these Borg-like beings who have been tapped to police the police.

We found it telling at the start of the issue to see Alpha Boodikka taking a veteran Lantern to task and literally telling him how to do his job and that he was in double-secret probation.

It would be interesting to see Honor Guard Lantern Guy Gardner micro-managed in such as way.

As we said, not a bad issue but we miss Green Lantern Soranik Natu. She is one of the best contributions by former GLC writer Dave Gibbons and we she hasn’t been forgotten in the new writing regime.

Amazing Spider-Girl #17

The Upshot From Marvel Comics: Caught in the middle of a war between the Black Tarantula and the Hobgoblin, Spider-Girl learns that there’s a new Crimelord in town who claims to possess the secret files of Wilson Fisk, the former Kingpin of Crime.

This was a typical issue of Spider-Girl by writer Tom DeFalco, with artists Ron Frenz and Sal Buscema—which is to say first rate.

Here we find that May Parker has been deemed suitable donor for an operation that will restore all or part of Baby Ben Parker’s hearing—which as you will recall was damaged during Miss Spidey’s battle with Carnage a few issues back.

So naturally Miss Spidey is out and about web-swinging and can’t afford to get tied up by crime when the Hobgoblin picks his moment to strike. With the element of surprise and Spider-Girl’s desire to flee than to fight, she is captured.

Kudos to DeFalco for such as skilled set up. He actually surprised us by having us think it was yet more Hobgoblin build up but he unleashed HG when we least expected.

New Jericho Tonight

FanBoyWonder’s favorite new show—Jericho—airs it’s second episode of it’s surprise second season tonight following the outcry by enraged Jericho fans following news of the show’s initial cancellation last spring.

We fully admit that we are late in coming to the party but as we’ve been catching up on the first season, we are blown away at just how good each and every episode has been.
While Battlestar Galactica remains our all time favorite, Jericho is quickly working its way up to a close second as these two shows about life and survival following post-nuclear holocaust are as quite similar as they are totally different.

The beauty of this second season of Jericho is that you can know very little about what happened last season and still follow along.

Here’s the Upshot from CBS on Jericho 2.0: Returning for a second season as a result of one of the most unprecedented and impassioned displays of fan support on behalf of a television program, JERICHO is a drama about what happens in the aftermath of a nuclear explosion in the once peaceful town of Jericho. Following the battle with New Bern, the citizens of Jericho begin reconstruction efforts to restore the town’s power and communication with the outside world. As the country’s new leaders, the Cheyenne government, attempt to establish their stronghold in the region, Jericho’s citizens become suspicious of their new leaders and question why their community is so important to this newly formed government.

In tonight’s episode—Condor—Jake (Skeet Ulrich) helps Major Beck (Esai Morales) prepare for a special visitor from the Cheyenne government, while Hawkins (Lenny James) continues to work with Chavez (Chris Kramer) to uncover the secrets of this new regime.

Jericho airs tonight (Tuesday) at 10 p.m. EST with Season 1 episodes airing on Sci-Fi Channel Monday’s at 10 p.m. (check local listings).For more info, check out the show’s Website here www.cbs.com/primetime/jericho/
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