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.
Week of October 14, 2009
Adventure Comics 3
While I adore just about anything that Geoff Johns writes, this book is far and away my favorite. Yes, even more than Blackest Night. Why? Because it’s obvious that Johns wanted to see the stories continue on from where they were before Kon-El died, and he’s doing his best to pick those threads up. I loved the reunion between Conner and Cassie last issue, and I loved the one between Conner and Tim in this issue. Most importantly, I loved the fact that in each other, Tim and Conner have someone who can understand how messed up they are right now. I don’t feel like Red Robin is doing it all that well, so seeing these two best friends open up to each other really made my heart warm inside. Don’t get me wrong, I’m looking forward to the ultimate conclusion between Lex Luthor and Superboy, but the personal stories are just perfect for now. Even the fact that Superboy Prime is returning next issue doesn’t turn me off on this book.
Blackest Night: Batman 3
I thought the story started strong. I think it ended weak. We’ve completely lost the significance of Boston Brand’s body going missing, and the fight between the Robins and their families were weak, the emotional manipulation was far too obvious, and the use of the Demon and Mr. Freeze’s ice-beam were both out of left field and unimportant. Decidedly “meh”.
Green Lantern Corps 41
Now, where the emotional manipulation in Blackest Night: Batman ended weak, I thought these stories worked a lot better. The scenes between Kyle and Natu and Jade were very well put together, and even though Killowog’s old instructor was only introduced in the prelude to Blackest Night, the resonance was still tangible. I was also happy to see the arrival of the Indigo Lantern. Now that we know how to combine rings to defeat the Black Lanterns, I’m ready to see them start to fall – although I am annoyed that it still seems like the rest of the DCU is helpless against the resurrected dead.
Nomad: Girl Without a World 2
Sean McKeever is doing a fabulous job of crafting Rikki Barnes quest to find a place for herself in the main 616 Marvel Universe, and the only thing I can say negative about it is the fact that once this miniseries is over, it’s likely that Rikki will be forgotten again. Still, we’ve got a good mystery unfolding in her school (along with the mystery of who gave her the costume), and the interactions between Rikki and the Falcon made me happy.
Secret Six 14
Gail Simone, Geoff Johns and Brian Michael Bendis will eventually have to duel to the death, just so I can decide which is my favorite writer in comics. Because my answer to that question tends to change based on which of these writers I’ve read most recently. Simone’s run with the Secret Six has been nothing less than awesome, and I’m pleased by how satisfied I was with the end of this storyline. Even more surprising is the fact that I actually liked the change in leadership of the Six, and the consequences it brings. I’m curious to see who the Six’s next member is.
Week of October 21, 2009
Maybe it’s because I didn’t read the issues leading up to Michael Lane’s getting the Azrael armor, or maybe it’s just the fact that I’ve never been all that crazy about religion-based superheroes, but this issue did very little for me. I’ve overall been thrilled with all of the directions the Batman titles have taken since “Battle for the Cowl”, but I was no more interested in Lane or the new Azrael at the end of this issue than I was before I started – and that’s a problem for me.
Blackest Night: Superman 3
The same issues I had with Blackest Night: Batman 3 are evidenced here, but to a slightly lesser degree. The rules about what can damage the Black Lanterns and their rings have been inconsistent, and as such, the way that Conner and Clark defeated Psycho Pirate and Kal-L felt artificial to me. And that’s a shame, because unlike Batman, the emotional games being played in this issue did keep my attention. I enjoyed how the comic played out, and how it ties in to Superboy’s emotional quest in Adventure Comics. I just wish I didn’t find myself scratching my head about the power of the Medusa Mask over the Black Power Rings. I also feel like the barrier around New Krypton is a fairly artificial way to keep a world full of Kryptonians out of the Blackest Night storyline – and one I’d almost have preferred to see them handle by having a Black Lantern-possessed Old Krypton show up.
Dark Avengers 10
I always hate it when I have to use one of my slots for the round-up to talk about a book I didn’t like. Even more so when it’s a book I typically do like, written by a writer I generally adore. But that’s what I’m going to do here. Although I think that Brian Bendis is one of the best writers in comics, I hate how he’s handling Moonstone. She’s deeper than she is currently being portrayed, and she isn’t simply a sexpot – so I dislike seeing her handled that way. The idea of her seducing Bullseye is nothing less than irritating – all the more so following her seduction of Genis some time back. The real shame of it is that I liked everything else in this issue, even the bit about Venom being effectively neutered because he’s on the wrong meds. And the final panel promises a very interesting look into Osborn’s life and mind for next issue. So, hopefully he can get past the Moonstone thing, because I really want to look forward to this book again.
Mighty Avengers 30
This is what I like to see in my Avengers. Major, world-stopping villains. An appreciation for the rich history of the Avengers team. Humor mixed with action. Characters who act in a manner that fits their history. The decision of the team to gather up every other Avenger they could to fight the Unspoken made sense, and it was good to have the Avengers together again – even if they are missing some important members (namely Thor and Iron Man). The Unspoken, despite being a new villain, feels like a major threat, and the threat of the Slave Engine is a good throwback to Marvel’s history. I also really liked the idea of Pym being the Earth Dimension’s Scientist Supreme. I even buy the rationale for why Reed Richards and Tony Stark don’t qualify, even if they are actually smarter than Pym. It’s good to see Pym getting some respect.
With the defection of the Black Widow, there isn’t really anyone in the current line-up of the Thunderbolts I like. But I’m still enjoying this book, and the reason is because of how well Rick Remender makes the characters compelling. Yes, I wouldn’t cry if I saw any of them fall in battle, but their interactions are still believable. But in this issue particularly, the stars are Luke Cage and Danny Rand – and if I felt like the initial brainwashing of Iron Fist was a little too easily accomplished, the pay-off was worth it. It was also worth seeing how far Norman Osborn has truly descended into madness – it’s an important reminder as we see the climax of Dark Reign playing out.
Thoughts? Disagreements? Want to offer up ideas on what books you’re reading this week? Let us know in the comments!