Sunday, March 09, 2008

Emerald War Crimes And Parting Thoughts On The Way To Chicago

FanBoyWonder is yet again under the gun trying to bang out our weekly reviews before we hit the airport tomorrow for a week in Chicago for work.

After Chicago, we get to catch a breath for a few weeks so hopefully we’ll be able to post on a more regular basis beyond our weekly reviews.

Until then, see you when we’re back from the Windy City.

PS: Our tank is running low so apologies in advance for the typos.

Green Lantern #28

The Upshot From DC Comics: The bizarre introduction of the Alpha Lanterns concludes as the trial of the Lost Lantern ends! But what does the induction of the Alpha Lanterns mean to the future of the Corps? What fate awaits the rest of the Lost Lanterns? Plus, Hal has a startling revelation about the "Blackest Night!"

In many ways the follow up Alpha Lanterns story arc is proving to be more satisfying and compelling than the big “event” of last year The Sinestro Corps War.

In many big events of the past, the impact of the big story is often eroded in the subsequent issues by the creative team’s desire to move on to the next story and/or a failure to deal with the consequences of the characters’ actions during the big event.

To writer Geoff Johns credit, in this issue he has taken the Guardians’ decision to allow the Green Lantern Corps use deadly force in the combat the Sinestro Corps and runs it to its logical conclusion.

The trial of Laira, one of the “Lost Lanterns” raised a surprising amount of mixed emotions within us as we read this issue.

Laira murdered a murderer. She was a solider who killed an opposing solider—yesterday her “generals” permitted her to kill the enemy, today it was verboten. Of course, yesterday was war; today is peace…or at least a temporary cease in combat.

The trial was not so vaguely Kafka-esk and Laira, the defendant’s blinding rage was both understandable and appalling.

Laira killed helpless opponent. A cardinal sin in most warrior codes—even one who murdered other helpless ones. Yet she was a loyal Lantern who sacrificed much in the service of the Guardians of the Universe yet the little blue guys seem all too eager to throw her under the bus.

At the same time they only strip her of her ring and ship her home in disgrace as an excommunicated Green Lantern—they didn’t execute her. Then the Guardians waste no time in enacting their second law—lethal force is authorized against ANY enemy of the GLC.

Who decides who is an enemy of the GLC? The Alpha Lanterns—Internal Affairs or Republican Guard? Time will tell.

Our only disappointment with this story came at the end when a crimson power ring found Laira—all too fitting for a rival faction to recruit among the recently fired of the competition—experience and a willingness to stick it to the old employer.

To a point we like the idea of competing forces to the Green Lantern Corps—the yellow rings of the Sinestro Corps, the Star Sapphire pink rings, an even red rings of rage seems to work but when Laira declared herself to be “Red Lantern”—it just fell flat with us.

Crimson Tide or Red Alert or even Rage in a Ring might have worked but a little originality please. Next think you know that Green Arrow’s former sidekick will drop his cool code name Arsenal and take a step back to call himself “Red Arrow.”

Nightwing #142

The Upshot From DC Comics: Why is another super-powered body, this time the corpse of the KGBeast, being stolen from the Gotham Cemetery — and how is Nightwing going to stop it?

Nightwing starts to piece together the diabolical plans of Dr. Creighton Kendall, a scientist whose twisted mind harbors dark and devious plans that may fit into the far-reaching scheme of Talia al Ghul and her desire to protect herself once and for all from the evil clutches of her father and the world at large.

Just three issues into Peter Tomasi’s run and he makes great strides in reversing years of damage to the Nightwing character.

This issue had the required action and the stolen body plot is moving along but yet again what made this issue for us was the many little character bits to establish and redefine Dick Grayson’s status quo and Nightwing’s place in the DC Universe.

Other reviewers haven’t been as tolerant of this but we enjoyed it—especially the continued Justice Society cameos—but we hold the long view and remember that despite his lineage, Nightwing has operated on the fringe of the DC Universe for years.

But Dick Grayson as Robin, if not as Nightwing, is one of the founding fathers of the DC Universe—his place in the sun is long overdue.

Furthermore, we liked that Nightwing has reached out to the JSA for help in a case—much in the way Spider-Man would drop in on the Fantastic Four for help in the old Marvel Universe. If all these heroes live in the same city, it makes sense for them to reach out to each other.

Keep going Mr. Tomasi.

Teen Titans Year One #3 (of 6)

The Upshot from DC Comics: The newly formed Teen Titans must face off against the possessed Justice League of America to the death! And in this battle, there are no winners.

Not much to say here. It’s not bad but this shouldn’t be a story within continuity claiming to be the definitive secret origin of the original Titans. This is a Young Justice story with the original Titans characters shoe-horned into the plot.

Raven #1 (of5)

The Upshot From DC Comics: From Marv Wolfman, co-creator of Raven, and maverick penciller Damion Scott comes a 5-issue miniseries delving into Raven's past and giving her a new life — but first she must survive the horrors of high school! Can the Titan's empath endure the wave of teen angst at school, especially after someone begins killing students? Emotions are driven sky high thanks to the reappearance of the Psycho Pirate's Medusa mask, and there's no way anyone can contain it once it has fallen into the wrong hands. Titans fans new and old dare not miss this one!

We had been looking forward to this mini-series. This was going to be the long lost second chance for this character who we knew as a kid but was always old beyond her years. Now she has second chance at being a kid.

Marv Wolfman’s story isn’t bad but the art by Damion Scott is unreadable to us. It’s not a lack of craftsmanship, but his style totally turns us off.

And what the hell is an “ Emo” series? God, is Grandpa FanBoyWonder getting old or what?
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