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.
JSA All-Stars 2
I’m still not a big fan of “pro-active” superhero teams. It really moves the characters from “heroes” into “vigilantes” in my book, and that’s not a trend I like to see. Fortunately, Matthew Sturges understands that, and has done a good job with showing us that not all the members of the JSA spin-off team are comfortable there. The battles between the All-Stars and the Injustice Society are solid, if not particularly exciting, but the inter-personal issues between Magog and Power Girl, and Stargirl’s attempts to find out what Johnny Sorrow wants with her, make this worth picking up. That said, I could have done without the Liberty Belle/Hourman back-up story that bumped the price of this issue up to the $3.99 mark.
Red Robin 8
Chris Yost is doing his best to make Tim Drake his own kind of Bat-sidekick, and I’m loving it. Seeing how Tim analyzes a fight is reminiscent of the way Sherlock Holmes fights in a certain-recently-released-film, and it really works here. It also works well to show that Tim is absolutely Bruce’s son, in some ways more so than any of the others who have worn the Robin mask. I also like seeing the respect that Ra’s gives him. This is a solid title that rarely disappoints.
As much as I enjoy Brian Michael Bendis’ writing as a general rule, and his work on Avengers in particular, this book left me oddly unthrilled. Maybe it was because seeing Thor get curb-stomped really upset me. Maybe it was because I don’t like to see Tony Stark in a coma. Maybe it’s because of the fact that it still irks me to see Steve Rogers running around the Marvel Universe when Captain America: Rebirth isn’t finished, but all-in-all, this book just didn’t excite me. I wanted it to, but it didn’t.
Suicide Squad 67
Gail Simone is a writer who commands utter respect from me. For those of you who follow her on Twitter or Facebook, you’ll understand how amusing that is, considering she’s one of the most off-beat and bizarre folks I’ve ever encountered in social networking. John Ostrander commands total respect from Gail Simone. Secret Six is one of my favorite books, and Suicide Squad used to be. I was so excited for this book – and the risk of disappointment was so high. They didn’t disappoint. Black Lantern versions of The Fiddler and other former members of Task Force X arrive in the midst of a fight between the current Suicide Squad and the Secret Six – where the reason for that fight is that Amanda Waller wants Deadshot back. It is alternately hilarious, full of great action, and full of high drama. The different showdowns were each better than the one before them. And even better, unlike Weird West Tales, this story plays into the greater Blackest Night narrative, since it will be continued in Secret Six 17. I can’t wait.
Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man 6
Another solid issue of Ultimate Spider-Man, no matter what we call it. The battle between Spidey and the Spider-Slayer was decent, if it lacked much in the way of tension, and seeing Ultimate Mysterio’s ideas and drive as a master villain has been a lot of fun. But what really makes this issue work is the teenagers. Johnny Storm, Bobby Drake, Kitty Pryde, Mary Jane Watson, Gwen Stacey, and, oh yeah, Peter Parker, stole this issue as they bickered and argued like real teens. It reminds me of everything that was good in the early days of New Mutants, New Warriors and Power Pack, and I loved every panel of it. What does it say about the characters behind the masks when I found myself getting annoyed with the superheroics?
Meanwhile, in Blackest Night: Wonder Woman 2 we get a transitional tale from issue 1 into Blackest Night 6, where we see what is going on inside Wonder Woman’s head while she’s possessed by the Black Power Ring, Siege: Embedded 1 has Ben Urich traveling with Volstagg in order to get the true story about the war against Asgard and Blackest Night: Weird Western Tales 71 gives us a fairly pointless story where a bunch of DC’s Old West heroes come back as Black Lanterns in order to kill Simon Stagg.
Thoughts? Disagreements? Want to offer up ideas on what books you’re reading this week? Let us know in the comments!