by Aaron Einhorn
Every week Aaron goes to The Laughing Ogre in Columbus, Ohio and spends far more money than his wife would prefer. He then comes back here and writes about the comics he reads that he thought were noteworthy. This isn’t everything he picks up, just the things that he feels merit discussion – either for being really good, or for having something really wrong with them.
So, this one is kind of a “filler” issue. It doesn’t really advance the meta-plot at all. But it does manage to be fun with what it does, as it pits Stephanie Brown against Basil Karlo, Clayface. The story is all built around Karlo’s quest to reclaim an item from a bank vault. While, like I said, it doesn’t really advance the overall story of Stephanie’s transformation into a fully-realized heroine as Batgirl, it does give us some more insight into Detective Gage’s backstory. It also helps develop the blossoming relationship between Batgirl and Proxy. It’s an easy, fun read, and worth the time to take a look at, especially with the way that Bryan Q. Miller makes the dialogue sparkle.
Birds of Prey 4
Well, the White Canary’s identity has been revealed, and if it isn’t as shocking or amazing as many fans hoped it would be, it’s still a nice tie back in to earlier events of the first Birds of Prey series. This issue also helps explain the betrayal of Oracle and team by Savant, and pits Huntress, Dove, and Zinda against the Penguin. The final beat sets up the next arc of the book with the return of a classic for for the team, and really my only complaint is the intrusion of Brightest Day into the book. Another excellent issue from Ms. Simone and company.
Incredible Hulk 611
For a character who I love, it’s amazing how often I find myself really disliking individual issues (or even entire story arcs) of his book. That said, Incredible Hulk 611 is probably one of the stronger parts of World War Hulks, as we finally get the showdown between Skaar and the Green Scar version of the Hulk. And it’s pretty epic, even if the ending is a bit “touchy-feely.” I’m not sure how I feel about the ever-growing “Hulk Family,” but this issue worked for me. We’ll see where it goes from here.
Spectacular Spider-Girl 4
This is not a title I’m ready to see end. May Parker is a great character, and her supporting cast has been brilliantly defined throughout the course of her numerous series. Even her clone, April, manages to remain interesting to me, despite being a Symbiote-infected character. It’s also amazing to see a mature, experienced Peter Parker – all the more so since current mandate at Marvel seems to be to keep Peter forever immature. The only thing that makes me happy is the fact that, despite DeFalco’s insistence that this is probably the end for the entire MC2 Universe and Spider-Girl, the door is kept open for more stories in this universe.
There are parts where this issue gets everything right. Seeing Osiris’ slow mental degradation has been kind of awesome, even if it reminds me that I don’t know – or care about – Ink and Cinder. And part of me wants to really like the plot between Cheshire and Arsenal to take down Slade. The problem is that I don’t buy it. I just don’t. Neither character seems to have any real motivation other than “I’m hurting and self-destructive,” and that doesn’t fit with the cold, calculating Cheshire we’ve seen, or the hero Roy has developed into. The takedown of the Titans’ by the Dominators feels like nothing more than the trope of “have the heroes be defeated, and then let them rally and win in the next issue.” It’s a fine trope, but the problem is that these Titans aren’t heroes, and I don’t want them to rally. There’s tons of potential here, but none of it is realized. Stay away if you can – I wish I had.
Meanwhile, in Booster Gold 35 we get the second part of Booster’s trip back to hang with Ted, and are given proof that Blue Beetle was smarter than most people credited him for, Daredevil 509 shows how Iron First, Luke Cage, and Typhoid Mary are each getting drawn into the insanity Matt Murdock has brought to town, Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors 1 provides us with a decent set-up for the series that will bring Guy Gardner, Attrocitus, Bleez and Ganthet all working together, Justice League: Generation Lost 7 pits the former JLI against Checkmate as they try to track down Maxwell Lord, Shadowland: Blood on the Streets 1 gives us a look at how Shadowland is affecting some of the other figures floating around New York City, including Paladin, Silver Sable and Misty Knight, Steve Rogers: Super Soldier 2 continues the mystery of who is recreating the Super-Soldier process, and has an ending that would’ve made more sense if Rogers hadn’t lost the serum years ago, Ultimate Comics: Avengers 3, Issue 1 brings back Ultimate Blade as the black-ops Avengers realize they’re going to have to face superpowered vampires, and Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man 13 continues to explore how badly Peter Parker’s life can be ruined by the Ultimate Chameleon(s)!
Thoughts? Disagreements? Want to offer up ideas on what books you’re reading this week? Let us know in the comments!